Sunday, February 28, 2016

Arbonne 30 Days to Wellness and Beyond: Week 2

This post is a few days late for the end of my Week 2. I'm still sticking to the program, and haven't cheated once. Read about my Week 1 summary here.

The shakes are still tasting good, and I've discovered I like the vanilla shake blended with blueberries even more than raspberries. The blueberries cut the strong vanilla flavour perfectly. I've forgotten to take my omega 3's a few times - I really need to be better at remembering those. One thing I've noticed this week is that after I do my chocolate shake at lunch, I feel a little bloated. I mixed it up yesterday (Saturday, a non-working day) and tried to do the chocolate at breakfast instead. No bloating. The problem with this routine on work days is I need a blender for my vanilla shake, which I'm not willing to drag to work.

My suppers have been pretty standard, and much the same as Week 1. One fish meal, one beef meal, and the rest of the time is chicken. I do miss my usual more interesting suppers, but I'm not missing the prep for them. It really is quite easy to bake chicken, steam veggies, and make or heat up rice/quinoa.

Quinoa, fizz tabs, and vanilla blueberry shake.

The change this week is that I've really stepped up the workouts. I'm doing circuit training, to my own pace, with my own music. This is quite the deviation from my usual Beachbody workouts. We're making some changes to our workout room which will cut down a bit on the available floor space, but allow us to have the treadmill in front of the TV (right now it's in a room with no TV). I'm feeling a lot stronger, which is wonderful. My clothes are also fitting better, although I'm still not comfortable in my "judgement jeans".

On Thursday, I started my 7 Day Body Cleanse and so far that has been fine.  It's a liquid that you mix with a cup of water and drink at night. It tastes like freshly juiced apples, and there have been no sprints to the washroom so far (which I was really afraid of!)

I weighed myself on Saturday and was exactly the same as I was at the end of Week 1. I was really surprised, because I can see lots of changes in the mirror. I really wish that I'd taken before and after photos. I meant to, but forgot to on day one, and then by the second day I was already way less bloated so I figured it was too late to get an accurate "before"

In summary, I'm still finding the program easy to do, I'm a little frustrated with lack of pounds shed considering how many foods I'm eliminating, but I'm going to continue to push forward and work out hard. Here we go Week 3!

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond: Week One

I've been complaining for about a year about the need to get back in shape. While my meals are usually decently healthy, my snacking habits are out of control. I officially have a pile of pants that no longer fit, and I've got some tops that can really only be worn with certain bottoms without looking completely unflattering. Replacing my wardrobe is something that I don't want, nor can afford, to do.

Changes needed to be made. I signed myself up for the Arbonne program as  a way of committing myself to sticking to a program. If I'm paying for it, I'm going to do it!

Included in the program (and I believe it can be modified) is:

1  30 serving bag of chocolate meal replacement (20 g vegan protein)
1 30 serving bag of vanilla meal replacement (20 g vegan protein)
60 omega 3 supplement capsules
40 bags of detox tea (herbal blend, pretty good!)
1 bag of 30 serving fibre boost powder (I blend it in my morning smoothie)
40 fizz tabs to flavour water and give an energy boost (I crack mine in half)
7 Day Body Cleanse (mine hasn't arrived yet - on back order)
Guide book
Access to private Facebook group for support
I also purchased a bag of chocolate Fit Chews. They have the texture of saltwater taffy and are good for a quick snack.

There are a lot of exclusions in the program: white pasta, gluten, cereals, bread, dairy, processed food,  refined sugar, alcohol, pork, most beef (allowed once per week at max), corn, white potatoes, and soy.

I planned on starting the challenge on Monday Feb 8, but my shakes were late arriving in the mail, so I started last Friday Feb 12. There is some planning to do, involving trips to the grocery store, Costco, and Bulk Barn. Some of the items I picked up were:

Tons of cartons of dairy-alternative milks (almond and various almond blends, all unsweetened), lemons, limes, green apples, frozen berries, brown rice pasta, quinoa, various organic salsas, plain almond and pumpkin seeds, avocados, almond butter, brown rice crackers, "clean" hummus, chicken breasts, frozen haddock, and ground chicken.

My thoughts after Week One:

The shakes are quite tasty... not McDonald's milkshake tasty, but I certainly don't dread them like most other protein shakes I've drank. I love that you don't need a blender. They mix perfectly fine in a shaker cup. I do blend my morning vanilla shake (thank you Blendtec!) with raspberries and avocado, but my chocolate lunch shake is just shaken with almond milk. My supper meals have been filling and good. I do a protein (chicken mostly and once a week haddock), a grain (quinoa, brown rice tortilla, or brown rice with salsa mixed in), and lots of veggies (broccoli, spinach, salad, sweet potato, etc). The only veggies I can't have are white potatoes and corn. I've worked out four days out of seven. The Facebook group leader throws out an exercise routine every few days, but I've just done some google searches to find basic circuit routines that take 20-30 minutes and involve lots of resistance training. I generally don't find myself getting hungry, but I did wake up in the middle of the night on Day 3 feeling like I could have a snack (I was too lazy to actually get up). My clothes are less snug, and the scale tells me I'm down 2.5 lbs.

Here are a few of the suppers I made this week.

Chicken and green salsa, spinach and lemon, cherry tomatoes, brown rice with red salsa

Brown rice tortilla with ground turkey, salsa, spinach and cherry tomatoes

Haddock with sweet potato and broccoli

So far, so good! I'm glad I decided to try this program, and I'm excited to see what progression I make in the next week.

Glitterary Girl

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Currently 02.16.16

I've made my way through only two books this month. The first one I've been meaning to read for sometime - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. It was funny, as I expected. I don't watch The Mindy Project but reading this made me think I'd like it! The other book was Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I'm really into YA books lately. This was a great one, and I'll definitely be reading the other ones in the series.

Care plan after endless care plan. Work has been insane the past few weeks. It usually doesn't stay this busy for this long of a stretch, so I'm crossing fingers for a bit of a breather sometime soon. I knew my quiet end to 2015 was going to be short lived! Today is actually my fourth anniversary (bloggiversary!) of Glitterary Girl. It's a hard spot to be in when you've been doing something for four years with no real goal of furthering it. It does however still fill the creative outlet I need, so I shall continue!

Throwback to one of my earliest posts! 

NYFW coverage, Grammy coverage, my Fitbit app.

Jaxon and Justin on the red carpet. 

R and I watched Making a Murderer and The Jinx over the past month. We're also addicted to The People Vs. OJ Simpson. I totally remember the trial from when I was a teen, and I think the actors for this series are doing an amazing job representing the real people.

My cluttered make up table. I swear I need to clean it every day.

Muffled zombie sounds from downstairs. The Walking Dead I believe.

The strawberry lip balm I just applied.

Sweats and slippers

Sore! At lunchtime today I noticed my back hurt. It didn't hurt this morning when I woke and I don't think I injured it. It feels pinchy on the left side, which alarms me. I used extra lumbar support at work this afternoon which made it feel better at the time, but it's enough to make me not want to chance a work out tonight. I hope a good night sleep fixes it. I'm also feeling pretty tired after the Grammys last night.

I'm excited to continue on with my Arbonne 30 Days to Welllness program, which I started on Friday. So far I'm feeling great! Not going to lie, the birthday party and baby shower I attended on the weekend were difficult. So much food!! I'm going to do a dedicated post on my wellness adventure sometime really soon. I haven't cheated at all.

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Me Day

A few hours on my own in the mall, and I definitely know how to spend them!

I'm pretty average in the make-up skills department. I love getting my make-up done by a pro and soaking up tips on how to use makeup to make it look natural. I especially need help in the foundation and concealer department since I've been using these more lately (thanks spotty skin). 

I had my face done at Sephora Halifax last weekend (free with my upgrade to VIB status), and I really loved my make-up artist Mary's skills. I have my eye on the few of the products she used, but I'm making a vow to myself to use more of what I have in my stick now before buying any more. I really liked the Urban Decay finishing spray. It made my skin look really fresh. My eyes were done with the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette.

Before leaving Sephora, I was sure to spritz myself with some perfume - Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale. Usually, I visit the store during the week and I can't wear perfume to work. I haven't smelled the new CK2 yet, but I'm curious to!

After Sephora, I hit up the Aritzia sale (oops, I did again) and will be sharing a couple of new things I bought in a few weeks when I do my shopping budget post.

DAVIDsTEA was my next stop, to stock up on a few new teas to help get me through my 30 Days to Wellness (more on that in a later post). I picked up The Glow, Serenity Now, and Cinnimon Rooibos Chai (caffeine free).

Vest: Club Monaco
Sweater: Old Navy
Hat: H&M
Pants: Uniqlo
Necklace: Stella & Dot
Bracelet: Gift
Boots: Town Shoes

All of that was accomplished in under two hours! A perfect amount of time to feel like I had a bit of a "Me Day".

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, February 07, 2016

All Dressed Up?

Statement tees are an essential part of my casual style. While I usually throw one on with jeans, I decided to pair this one with a skirt. I quite liked the slightly edgy vibe!

Someone should have reminded me that my scarf ends are not reins - no need to hold them...

Top and Bracelet: Banana Republic
Skirt: Club Monaco
Scarf: Zara
Tights: Calvin Klein
Boots: H&M

What's up with everyone for Super Bowl Sunday? With R being down and out with a cold, we're keeping it pretty quiet this evening. Pizza and a cupcake to share will be the extent of our excitement. I'll be reading my Kobo, but will tune in for the halftime of course!

Glitterary Girl

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My Monthly Purchases: January 2016

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. My quarterly budget is $500. This amount can be rolled into the next quarter if it's not all spent. My goal is to keep my out of pocket expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget. Since I've been keeping a budget, I'm much more careful with what I buy, and I will return stuff at the end of the month if I'm not crazy about it after hanging it in my closet.

Boots: Aldo
Reg $130 on sale for $65
How cute are these? My tall nude sandals are impossible to walk in, so these will be a welcome replacement. They have no platform, so I have to put a gel pad in the ball of the foot. Can't wait to wear them when the weather is drier. 

Pants: Banana Republic
Reg $124 on sale for $33
I have very similar pants in black that I got at Top Shop, and I love wearing those, so having ones in another color seemed logical.

Excuse the wrinkles. I dragged them out of the laundry to take the photo :)

Cardigans: American Eagle Outfitters
Reg $45 each, on sale for $16 each
It's rare that I buy more than one of something, but these were so soft and I really couldn't decide between the two colors so I just kept both of them.

Bracelet: Joe Fresh
Reg $16, on sale for $4
This looks nice with all of my hematite jewelry.

Original value of items: $360
Price I paid: $134
I saved 63%.

January's total leaves me with $431 for the rest of the quarter. I had $65 left from last year coming into 2016 so it brought my starting point up a bit. I'm not likely to buy much in LA due to the exchange rate (grrr),  so I won't try to save too much of my budget for vacation.

Glitterary Girl