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takin’ me back

Today was another successful day of Operation: Get Clear Skin. Successful being used very loosely of course – meaning I pulled out all the stops by sticking to the list I posted yesterday…but my face is technically still not clear at all. I honestly do think I can see a glimmer of improvement, though, so my hopes are high.  Thank you for all the supportive comments and advice.  You guys rock!

Actually, the drama with my face brought back a memory of Thailand for me today.  It was Valentine’s Day of 2008, and Jonathan had planned a one night getaway for us at a hotel in Chiang Mai.  It was really only about 15 minutes away from our apartment, but had air conditioning, a bath tub and was gecko free as far as we could tell:)

this little guy welcomed us to our kitchen the day we moved in – little did we know his entire extended family + all his friends lived in our house as well.

flowers the husband bought me from the market

hotels like this are fairly inexpensive for Americans

I seriously stayed in this tub for hours on end.  It was like I was back in America.

The next morning he took me out to breakfast…

and then it was time for the big surprise.

He had booked me a massage and facial (also really cheap in Thailand – I could get a manicure for about three dollars)!

I remember laying on my back, feeling like I had died and gone to heaven as a sweet Thai woman massaged things into my face.

You see where this is going.

The next morning I woke up and throughout the day this rash began to show up on my face.  It was like my entire face was completely overtaken by blemishes…seriously beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my 27 years.  I wanted to hide under a rock and never come out.  And I kept asking myself “what could have possibly made you think it was a good idea to let someone rub not only their hands, but also various other unknown concoctions all over your face?!”

Needless to say I haven’t had a facial since.

And that’s where memory lane ends.

Back to today.  I started off again with a delicious breakfast juice before doing an hour session of yoga in preparation for my class tonight.

The goods.  Parsley, escarole (leafy green I picked up at Whole Foods last week!), 1 plum, 1 organic carrot, 1 beet and 1 apple

aren’t beets so pretty?

a spry little sprig of parsley

and the finished product

After yoga and some light house keeping, I was ready for a snack.

apple and almond butter

I haven’t had an apple and almond/peanut butter together in a long time…but I think it is time to bring it back! holla.

I also sipped on a Pom spritzer (a few ounces of Pom juice mixed with seltzer water) on the side.  This little drink was so refreshing to me today.

A little while later lunch was a green monster just like yesterday’s, except with almond milk – yay for a stocked fridge!

After meeting with a new student whom I will be tutoring now as well as student I’ve been tutoring for awhile, I came home craving exactly what you see above: homemade salsa (recipe coming soon!), baby carrots, sugar snap peas, spelt pretzels and spicy garlic  hummus.  This snack plate was so filling and it took me forever to eat it, which is a plus in my book:)

Dinner was a little more carb heavy.  I somehow failed to get a picture, but the husband and I made Mexican Fiesta Pasta. It was hot, mexicany, spicy and it really hit the spot!

I must be off to bed now…I’m planning to make it up in the morning in time for a run, but I’m a little worried seeing as how tired I am right now and how late it is.  Must. Get. Sleep.

G’night!

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let’s clear things up

Hello!

This morning…I juiced.

But before that I went on a 3.5 mile run.  It was a decent run – not the best I’ve ever had, but certainly not bad.  I love those moments when I hit a high in the middle of my run, whether caused by my current tune, something to do with the scenery or just a good strong and steady stride, it’s just so sweet.  We didn’t make great time – I think we finished in about 38 minutes, but I’ve just been less worried about time lately.  I would honestly rather just enjoy running than be super worried about how fast I’m going.

Anyway, so I came home and showered and then got to juicing.  I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had switched cleansers to Burt’s Bees because I wanted to start using all natural skin care.  I’ll be doing a full review on it later as I want to give it a little more time before I form a final opinion.  One thing I don’t think I mentioned before is that I felt like it was a good time for me to make the switch because I was having some serious breakouts on my face.  I haven’t had a problem with breakouts since high school, and I’m not really sure what’s going on.  But I figured since my face was already broken out, it would be a good time to change my skin care system, since switching can often trigger a breakout. Might as well get it all over with at once.

Not sure that was the best idea.  I’ve been using Burt’s Bees for about 2 weeks now, and my face has progressively gotten worse.  I honestly don’t think that BB is specifically the problem.  I think there was already a problem, and so far BB just hasn’t miraculously cleared up my skin.  It has gotten so bad, though, that I finally called the other day and set up an appointment with the dermatologist.  I’m seriously feeling desperate!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and was washing my face when it occurred to me that I should really try every natural remedy I can think of before I end up with a prescription cream of some sort that is full of chemicals and most likely expensive on top of that.  After just a little bit of researching I came up with a few ideas that I’m going to begin implementing.

  • Drink a lot more water – I drink water with most meals, but often forget to drink it in between
  • Eat more raw foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (read: lots of juices, green smoothies and salads)
  • Eliminate (with a few exceptions) refined sugar and coffee
  • More yoga – yes, I think this matters.  It helps relieve stress and tension, which has a positive effect on my skin
  • Not wearing makeup whenever possible - this is kind of a catch 22 because I want to avoid makeup so my skin can breathe and begin to clear up, but I also have more of a desire to wear it because my face is so broke out.  Not sure exactly how to handle this other than I won’t be wearing makeup anytime I’m at home
  • Continue to wash morning and night with Burt’s Bees
  • Use tea tree oil on blemishes
  • Stop touching my face! I have a bad habit of doing this.

I just felt so compelled today to do whatever I can to take care of this problem.

Breakfastleafy greens + 1 beet + 1 carrot + 3 celery stalks + 1 apple + small piece of garlic = one amazing juice

After my juice, I did an hour yoga session.  I’m learning to turn my planning for classes into awesome classes for myself. I pulled out all the stops, even using my lavender scented cloth:)  A couple of hours later I had a snack plate.

Newman’s Own spelt pretzels

natural almond butter

homemade salsa

carrots and celery sticks

And for lunch I opted for a green smoothie.  This contained 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 container of soy yogurt (we’re out of almond milk), 2 heaping tablespoons Vega Shake and Go Smoothie, half a banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds and ice.

For an afternoon snack I veered from raw and ate up a cinnamon raisin Ezekiel english muffin with 1 tbsp almond butter.

Plus I drank lots and lots of water all day long!  Many trips to the bathroom ensued.

For dinner Jon and I grabbed salads from Chipotle on our way to buy groceries.  Mine included lettuce, black beans, grilled veggies, 3 kinds of salsa and guacamole of course!

Overall I already feel much better today.  Even though I can’t tell a difference on my face yet, it feels good to know that I’m going everything I can.  I would love to be able to cancel that dermatologist appointment in a week.

Well, now that I’ve laid out all my problems for the world to see, I must be headed to bed;)

Question: have you ever had problems with your skin, whether acne or something else?  Any ideas for natural treatments?

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fireworks in September

Last night I met up with my friend Grace to go watch our city’s fireworks show.  It was an absolutely beautiful night, almost cool enough for a jacket, and we had a fantastic time.

Surprisingly the fireworks show was one of the best shows I think I’ve seen in a while.  They timed it with half time of the high school football game, so it was somewhat short, but what it lacked in length it totally made up in awesomeness:)

Jon left early this morning to go back to work, so I spent most of the day getting the house cleaned up and working on my yoga class.  Only four more days until I teach my first official yoga class…I’m a little nervous, but so excited!

Right when I got up this morning, I drank a small green monster to tide me over until I decided what to do for the morning.  I sort of wanted to go for a run, but yoga was really calling my name, so I opted out of the run.

A little while later I was starving, but not quite ready for lunch, so I had a little snack.

homemade hummus and Kashi TLC crackers

A couple of hours and a sparkling clean bathroom later I decided to cook up some lunch!  This is one of my favorite go-to meals when Jon isn’t home.  It’s healthy, easy and he doesn’t like sweet potatoes…so it works out perfectly:)

I mixed 2 tsp of olive oil with a few shakes of garlic powder, ground red pepper and oregano.  After slicing the sweet potato and snapping the asparagus, I tossed everything in a gallon ziplock bag together, shaking it until I couldn’t shake anymore.  I then dumped the sweet potatoes out on a cookie sheet and placed them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Ready, set, speed clean the bathroom!

When the buzzer went off, I flipped the potato rounds and added the asparagus to the cookie sheet before throwing it all back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Last time I made this I cooked the asparagus too long – but this time they were just perfect!  They still had a little bit of crunch to them, but were still just the right amount of soft:)

I promised myself that if I got everything cleaned and worked on yoga, that I’d sit back, relax and do something purely for fun later tonight.  I think I’m gonna grab some dinner and maybe read a book or magazine for awhile until Jon gets home.

Yay for a three day weekend!  Hope yours is going swell:)

Love and chia seeds:) Candice

Edited to add: haha!  When I went back to re-read this post, I realized I never explained why our city was shooting off fireworks in September..lol.  It rained cats and dogs on the 4th of July this year, so they had to cancel the show. It was rescheduled for last night.

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fingers crossed

Happy lunchtime folks!

I started this morning off with an ice cold green monster.

2 big handfuls of spinach, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tsbp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass, 1.25 cups almond milk, ice

Have you tried a green smoothie yet?  I know some are really intimidated grossed out by the thought of spinach in their smoothie.  But you can take my word for it – you cannot taste it!  So the questions isn’t “why put spinach in your smoothie?”  The question is “why not?!”

A couple hours and pages of writing later, I was ready for a snack!

This yogurt bowl contained 1 container Whole Soy yogurt, a quarter of a banana, and some granola that was on sale at the health food store the other day – Bakery on Main Cranberry Maple Almond Granola.

I guess it was a little much for just a morning snack, because lunchtime has come and gone, and I’m nowhere near hungry.  o’well!  Guess I’ll fit lunch in later on if I get hungry.

I’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon fighting with iPhoto and Flickr as I try to transfer all my photos over.  Does anybody want to volunteer to do this for me?  Puh-lease???

One thing I wanted to mention is about a new site that’s totally worth checking out: Healthy Living Blogs.

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sounds Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. So, check it out when you get a chance!

I’ll see you all later.  I’m planning on making a new tofu recipe tonight, and I’ve never had much luck in the tofu department, so I’ll be back tonight with either a great new recipe for you…or a catastrophic fail.  Cross your fingers:)

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gonna be a long night

Breathe Candice.  Breathe.

It’s 10:30 pm on Wednesday night.  I’ll be leaving tomorrow at about 6pm for HLS.  Allow me to show you my to do list.

1.  edit a 20 page dissertation for a client
2. write 3 brochures for Outbox
3. make a casserole for Jon to eat this weekend
4. buy snacks!
5. start AND finish my photography homework
6. write a letter to my old principal
8. announce the Operation Beautiful book winner!
7. pack

Right.  So, I’m gonna keep this short!

I spent most of today shopping for last minute things for HLS.  At about 1pm I was starving, so I broke for Subway.

veggie delight w/ lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, pickles, banana peppers, olive oil, s&p, oregano

This is my favorite at Subway.  And one of the best things about it is that it cost under $4!  Granted I kinda wanted another one as soon as I finished it.  Next time I’ll have to remember and get a 12 inch if I’m starving (“starving” being used very loosely of course).

After several more hours of running errands, I was famished again! What’s a girl to do?

Froyo of course!  This particular shop didn’t have non-dairy, so I settled for the original tart topped with blueberries, strawberries, peaches and cocoa almonds.  I loved the addition of the peaches!  I practically inhaled this.

I also snacked on a few blue corn tortilla chips later on.

I finally got back home from the city around 4:45 and was able to sneak in a quick 20 minute power nap before heading to yoga.  I usually am no good at short power naps, but this one kind of did the trick!  Actually, I could really use another one about right now…

After yoga Jon and I were both spent, so we did whatever any self respecting hungry couple would do – heated up leftover enchiladas.  Somebody’s gotta eat ‘em, and I’m about to head out of town!  I wouldn’t want the husband to have to eat them all by himself:)

Okay, hate to cut this short, but I gotta get crackin’!

Hope you all sleep well, and I’ll see ya in the morning!

*today’s photos courtesy of the iPhone. wahoo!

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