Look Ma! I’m drinking charcoal! 

(This ain’t no backyard barbecue…)

What the hell?

   Over the past few years activated charcoal lemonade has become an “it” drink. 

   It showed up on health blogs and in the hands of the sexy and fit then made its way across the country until it finally reached the juice bars and cute hipster eateries of D.C. and Baltimore.   

   Just in case you’re wondering…this is not your Dad’s grilling charcoal. Activated charcoal is usually made of wood or coconut shells. It was long used as a method of poison control. The charcoal is said to grab impurities as it travels through your stomach and intestines. 


(DO NOT put this in your mouth.)

   Activated charcoal is now a darling in natural health circles. It’s touted as a powerful detoxifier in cleanses and many people swear by it for tooth whitening. (Yes I will try that and write about it…stay tuned!) In trendy eateries and juice bars it shows up in lemonades, ice cream, and even brownies!

Black Hole Sun…

   I chose to try the “Black Lemon-Aid” from Pure Raw Juice, one of my favorite juice places in the city. It tasted good…tangy, sweet, cold, and refreshing. Mercifully the charcoal is rather flavorless. 


   It turned my teeth black, it turned my tongue black, and about 24-48 hours later it turned my shit black. Luckily it’s pretty easy to gargle and brush off. I would recommend drinking it with a straw…which is smart to do with anything acidic so you don’t destroy your tooth enamel. 

    

   I felt pretty good after drinking it, but a little dehydrated. With any kind of powerful detoxifier like charcoal, you need to up your water intake as much as possible. The body needs extra water to help flush out any toxins…and flush out the charcoal (which presumably surfed my intestines picking up stray garbage to emerge as Batman poo). I usually drink 60 – 70 oz of water a day and I ended almost doubling that for the 24 hours after I drank the charcoal lemonade. 

Final Thoughts…

   I’d be interested to see how this would work with the master cleanse. If you substituted the charcoal lemonade for some of the regular that you drink during that cleanse, would it effect the results? I don’t know…and I’m not super interested in doing a cleanse at the moment. 

   If you’ve had any close encounters/success stories  with charcoal I want to hear about ’em! Share ’em below!

Xoxo 

Farida 

   

Return to Life Challenge: Falling off the Wagon…Climbing back on!



Falling off the wagon…

I am two weeks late so here we go!

 I fell off the wagon. 

Shit. 

   Was I sitting around, binging on Netflix, eating copious amounts of sugar, and neglecting my workouts completely? No! And yes? I did binge watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the recommendation of one of my besties Mrs. Timberlake. I loved it…ohmygodiwantmylifetobeamusical!!!!!

    I also definitely did workout over the past two weeks. I averaged about three workouts a week…sometimes four. And I started a once a week new job that was an incredible motivation. So these were not baby workouts, I did Advanced reformer, tower, chair, and my Return to Life Mat during almost all of these workouts. One day I did “intermediate” Pilates reformer twice, high chair, and mat! If you don’t know what most of those terms mean, suffice it to say it’s ALOT. 

   The problem is consistency. And the whole point of this challenge was consistency! So it’s Monday and I’m getting back on the wagon. Missing one or even, gah, two days a week is acceptable but I have to get back to the challenge…while adding on everything else. 

That Devil Chocolate…

   I’ve been as of late drinking a lot of mocha lattes from Artifact coffee (I bring my own almond milk). The chocolate they use is divinity…but I’ll save that for another blog. I need to make sure those are a treat and not a daily practice!

   The other problem is I can have a cup of coffee in the morning and then not eat all day! Not good. Once caffeine fun time wears off, I am a shaking starving mess of a human being…ready to eat anything in my path.

Body language…

   I took these pics last week, and I think my work is starting to show!!! I find myself wearing my smaller skirts and feeling more free in my body! Just in the nick of time because this sunshine and warm weather are everything!!! You couldn’t pay me to go inside! (Ok…how much?) I love being so sweaty mid day, that I have to change to go out at night! Yay!

(Yes…I know. I’m working on clearer lighting and installing a full length mirror at my house. These are taken at my parents place.)

Climbing back on the wagon…so until next update!

Xoxo

Junkie for Joe

Kitchen Witching…Grain Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust!

 

The First Try…
   After perusing my instagram food porn, I was hell bent on trying out this vegan, grain, and gluten free pizza crust. We could all use less carbs in our life, but Pizza is sacred. And the indigestion and potential weight gain that follows it is worth every orgasmic bite.

   I knew my Mom would be the perfect cooking companion for this recipe, since she’s on a pretty restrictive new diet. What is life without pizza? She was really really excited.


(Does this make you hungry?)

   The crust’s base is mainly cauliflower. Cauliflower seems to be hot right now. It’s been used as a stand in for grain and carbs in a number of recipes like nachos, fried rice…and now pizza crust. Not a bad second act for a vegetable usually known as the crappy part of a veggie platter. (I actually love raw cauliflower though…)

   I’m a big fan of the Detoxinista. She’s got a lot of really healthy recipes that actually taste damn good. That’s a big deal for me. I’m a health nut but I’m also a culinary hedonist…I’d take the few pounds that come along with the pleasure of eating an orgasmic meal. 

   So I went with her recipe. I used a pound and a half (one whole head) of purple cauliflower even though the recipe called for a pound. One of the most important parts of the recipe is straining the cauliflower and I was worried. Once I had cooked and blended the cauliflower it looked like purple grey mush. I didn’t think it would survive being squeezed in a dish towel. But it did!


(I resisted chia seeds as long as possible…only for the glory of pizza did I give in.)

   The rest of the recipe is pretty easy…although the almond meal (also known as “Almond Flour”) and chia seeds are going to cost you a pretty penny. (Make sure you buy ground chia seed, not whole.) The good news is you can make a several pizza crusts and bunch of other recipes with them. So having them hanging out in your pantry is not a bad thing.

(Hot out of the oven…from gray mash to brown blob?)

   Although from the picture it looks kind of cracker like, it’s actually soft inside and a little crispy on the edges. The combination of salt, oregano and  cauliflower is pretty delicious and even buttery at times. 


  

    My Mom topped hers with her homemade pizza sauce, olives, and shredded cheddar. I used her homemade sauce, chicken sausage, olives and shredded manchego. We cut up pieces of the crust, topped them, then microwaved.  

It was good but I didn’t love my topping combo. Also shredded manchego on a pizza is maybe not a great idea.

The Second Try…


   I made a simple home made pizza sauce with fresh organic basil, a can of organic fire roasted tomatoes, a can of organic tomato paste, water, tons of garlic and onions, salt, pepper, oregano, and a little cane sugar. It turned out really well and made plenty for two pizzas. 


   We used two heads of yellow cauliflower  and made two crusts. The crusts turned out much tastier the second time, so I’m not sure if yellow cauliflower is better then purple for this recipe?

    Mine an oval…my Mom’s a square. My Mom’s burned a little in the middle. Maybe the crust was too thin in those spots? 


   This time once the crust was done I topped my pizza with goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms, green olives, banana peppers, shredded white onion, and lots of my homemade sauce.  Then I popped it in the oven again for a few minutes. 



   My Mom split hers and topped half with buffalo mozzarella, white onion, sautéed mushrooms, and my homemade sauce for my sister. On her half she did Parmesan cheese, white onion, green olives, and sauce. 


   Thanks to allergies I gave up gluten some years ago. So on the spectrum of gluten free crusts, I like this one a lot. It’s nice and light digestion wise too…you can have a few pieces and feel pretty darn good. 

   With all the toppings it was really delicious. I seemed to have found the magic combo. The goat cheese went perfectly with the sauce and crust. I LOVE sauce so I would advice other sauce lovers like me to wait to top this pizza and heat it until you’re ready to serve. The crust can become soggy after sitting with sauce on it for a while. 

   I was too stuffed to try my Mom’s pizza (we made a huge salad too). They used a lot less sauce so the crust stayed pretty firm long after they topped and heated it. Both my Mom and sister loved it. Neither of them have allergies and can eat gluten. So this recipe seems to be a win across culinary boarders. 

   I’m curious to try this recipe out again on my Toro, who thinks grainless, glutenless pizza is absolute sacrilege. That would be the true test.

The Recipe…

   Go forth and try this recipe, especially if you’re vegan, gluten free, paleo, or even just looking to cut carbs. I recommend it. And don’t forget to share pictures with your favorite local food porn junkie (me). 

Xoxo,

Junkie for Joe

   
   

Return to Life Challenge Week 5…Sick Daze and Stops…Period…

(Lowdown on the slowdown.)

The Upside…

   This has been a fun week! I’ve been cooking and eating more healthy fresh yummy food. Got a wee hike in with my Toro and JG. I felt strong and flexible climbing over logs and ducking under brush. I slept deeper after getting to play outside.

The Downside…

   Perhaps in honor of the full moon my body has chosen to break down and force me to stand still. Boo. I am sick and getting my period…at the same time. So I’m definitely not getting as many workouts or working out to the intensity I need and want to be. But I’m respecting my body…eating lots of fresh veggies, resting and hoping that I’ll be back in action soon! 


(Plenty of sunshine streaming through the windows with Pilates apparatus in Magenta…Pilates Paradise. Not sure whose Pilates studio this is but it’s gorgeous!)

GOALS…

   As soon as I’m back in commission I’m going next level with the Return to Life Challenge. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had seven days straight of workouts. I’m typically doing the Return to Life Mat 4 or 5 days a week. I like having a few days break from the mat routine itself to keep myself fresh and interested. But I’d like to make the 2 or 3 days I don’t do it into days for full workouts on the apparatus. And days to do other workouts, cardio, barre, belly dance. So week six, here I come!

I Owe You Some Awkward Body Shots…

   Next week when I’m not sick and on my moon cycle I will have brand new bikini shots. 

Love😘 

Farida 

Return To Life Challenge Week 4…CH-CH-CHANGES! 

(Pre-Spring Queening)

The Change Train…

   Finally leaving the station, slowly but surely. This week has been really intense and emotional… but it has also spurred a very strong desire and motivation to make changes in my life! 

   I started with small changes like making sure Im relaxing and getting in bed at a better time. This includes turning off shows or giving myself space from people and things that stress me out or trigger me.

   I filled my fridge with groceries for the week so that I could have healthy snacks to munch on and ingredients to cook healthy meals. My stomach was really starting to hurt and complain about my sugar consumption.

   Been taking more time to primp my hair and put on a cute outfits and eyeliner. There is no reason why I shouldn’t feel like a Queen every day while tackling chores and work! 

   Hopefully the smaller changes will help me feel strong and able to tackle the big stuff…and there is a lot of big changes that need to happen in my life these next few months!

Celebrating The Victories!

   My clients and my Boss have commented on how I look a lot lighter. Not working as hard as I want my gut reaction is to say: “No!!!!!! I don’t deserve compliments! I have not worked hard enough!” I’ve started to rethink that attitude a little. It’s good to have high standards, but you have to celebrate the victories, otherwise you’re not enjoying life right?  I found that actually taking time to celebrate the victories actually makes me feel even more motivated to keep on keepin on! It’s also fun to be able to throw on clothes and not worry about if they aren’t going to fit right that week!

Goals…

   My goals for this week are more home cooked meals, more early bedtimes, and more workouts. Especially full workouts at the studio so I can supplement my Return to Life Mat and progress to some tougher exercises!