These Things Come in Threes.

green-machineTriplets (duh).  Bad things (apparently).  And juice cleanses (for me at least).  Last week I did my third juice cleanse through Pangaea Earth Foods (remember Juice Cleanses 1 & 2?).  This time B did it with me.  Yep, you read that right.  As with the last two times I dropped a few pounds during the cleanse and felt fresh and clean when it was through – ready to take on a few weeks of healthy eating.  But this time it was definitely a lot harder to make it through the 3 days solid food-free.  Maybe that’s a 3rd time juice cleanse thing?  For what it’s worth, my friend AC agrees.  So that totally makes it a thing.

The pic above is of Juice #1 on Day 2 – “Green Earth Smoothie”.  And yes, it’s been Instagrammed.  Shocker.

Anyone else doing any cleansing?  Body? Home?

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A Different Kind of Clean.

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This is WAY overdue (that seems to be a common theme around here lately huh?), but I wanted to post about my first juice cleanse experience…also because I will be embarking on cleanse #2 starting Monday morning.  Yep, I liked it that much that I’m doing it again!  But now that I’ve spoiled the ending for you, let me rewind back to the beginning…

I love to eat.  I also love to run.  Usually the latter keeps the former in check, but I just don’t feel like the equation works the same post-baby.  So, I’ve kind of been on this never-ending quest for skinniness that I’ve never had to go through before.  Squeezing in runs when I can and bringing salads for lunch helps, but I had such a crazy summer with whacky schedules and work projects that I ate like crappola and was feeling like I needed something to kickstart me into a healthier eating regime.  I was also turning 30 and felt fat and frumpy.  Ok, so the 2nd reason was probably my real motivation.  But still.

Juice cleanses seem to be all the range with cool people these days so I was really curious to try one, but couldn’t do it for a while since I was still nursing (more on that 10 month labor of love here and here).  But in August, just after I stopped pumping and right before my birthday (and much needed vacation), I decided I’d give juicing a try.  Luckily I had 3 other co-workers equally excited about the prospect of instant skinniness, so we did it together.

We decided to go with Pangaea Earth Foods‘ 3-day beginner cleanse – 5 juices a day delivered right to our office!  You can see our juice cleanse takeover of our floor’s fridge in the shot below.  Those dark green bags in the middle are all us.  The ordering process could not have been easier, and Erika, the owner, was great.  She totally prepped us for what we were about to go through, and texted us every day to see how we were doing and keep us motivated.  I highly recommend Pangaea to anyone in the Philly area.  It’s small and local and I found most of the juices to actually taste really good – something I have heard is not the case with some local competitors.

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So here’s the drill.  You get 5 juices a day, for 3 days.  (See pic below – look how nice and neatly packaged they are!) The cleanse is really a “raw food diet” in liquid form designed to flush out your system, get rid of toxins, and rejuvenate your whole digestive track.  The theory is we spend a lot of energy breaking down our foods and that makes us sluggish.  Feeling sluggish leads to less exercise and healthy eating, which makes you more sluggish.  And the cycle continues.  So the cleanse kick-starts you out of that.  There are approved raw foods in solid form that you can eat, but we were trying to be hardcore and do juice only.  The approved foods list included things like green veggies, raw seeds and nuts, sashimi, vegetable/miso soup broth, etc.  You can also have as much water as you’d like, and herbal teas too.

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The night before we started I was terrified – I was not confident that I’d be able to make it three days without solid foods (my goal was juice only), ESPECIALLY considering we were going to a Phillies game Monday night (and by the way, if you don’t believe that I didn’t cheat – see below – on your left is the delicious “Almond Love’ night cap aka Juice #5, and on your right is B’s Phillies helmet cup of vanilla and chocolate soft serve…). But in reality it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought, and I felt great 90% of the time I was on the cleanse.  The other 10% is attributable to some bloating I had on the first day from drinking so darn much, and the hunger crankiness I got at a few points during the day.

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I found Monday to be tough because my body was in a bit of shock, but I also had adrenaline going and that “it’s the first day – I can’t screw it up now!” thing going.  I weighed myself Tuesday morning and had already lost 5 lbs!  I knew it was just water weight, but seeing numbers come down on the scale was really motivating, and helped me get through Tuesday with a positive attitude.  Which was much needed since I found it to be the hardest day.  Monday’s adrenaline had worn wore off and I was feeling a tad hungry, but wasn’t yet at the halfway point.  By Wednesday I think my body had adapted because I felt great and even contemplating going another few days with just juice.  But I stuck to just 3 days knowing I’d give it a try again sometime later in the fall (which is now tomorrow!).

For me, the mornings and late afternoon’s were the hardest parts of the day.  Ironically dinnertime was the easiest.  I felt very full by the end of the day (you aren’t eating, but you’re drinking a TON) and just sort of ready to be finished with my juices for the day so I could go to bed.  But during the occasional lull of the workday I was hungry and wanted a snack.  It’s amazing how routine eating can be – I’m still not sure if I was actually hungry, or if the time of day was dictating me to feel that way.

So fast forward to the end.  My total weight loss was 6.5 lbs, and 2 months later I’ve been able to keep half of it off.  The few days following the cleanse I craved healthy foods and just felt great – bye bye sluggishness for sure.  Over time that has gone away a bit, but I learned a lot while cleansing, in particular what the body really needs vs. what it thinks it needs.  As someone with a great tendency (and propensity) to over consume, that was a total wake up call.  I also felt super proud of having accomplished what I set out to do, and had this great sense of being in control about things.  It really was a great experience for me and I knew I’d want to do it again.

So here I am, about to start cleanse #2 tomorrow morning to kick start some healthy eating for the next month or so.  Hoping to look and feel good on the beach for JB’s wedding in Puerto Rico!  And even though I’ve just written a mini-novel on how much I enjoyed cleansing the first time, if you can believe it I’m terrified again.  But we do thrive off challenges here at Keep It Neat so we’re going to rise to the occasion and get our juice on.  Wish me luck!

Summer Slump.

Working-Mom-Summer-Slump-Need-VacationAs I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m in a bit of a blogging slump.  We’ve had a VERY off-schedule August and I’ve been too exhausted by the end of the day to blog about some neat projects I’ve actually worked on this summer.  I pretty much organize some area of my life or house every weekend.  Sometimes it’s small (like my coupons), sometimes it’s a lot bigger (like the outdoor space behind our house), but I can never let well enough alone.  I’m always “just quickly tidying up” while B rolls his eyes since he knows this will snowball into me fully reorganizing some space that he deemed perfectly fine.  So I have been busy keeping it neat around here and do have some things to share soon.

We’re on vacation starting this weekend through Labor Day and it can’t come soon enough.  I’m in need of some time away from work (and my organized spaces!) to just fall off the grid and relax.  We’re headed out to Montauk where my family has been going for 59 years. Until I was 18 I hadn’t missed a trip out there, but then along came college and the real world (aka a job in 2004, our wedding in 2009, and a super pregnant yours truly in 2011).  Needless to say in the last 12 summers I’ve only made it out there 4 or 5 times.  My last time out there was in 2010 when B and I made a long-weekend trip out to see my family.  While fun, it’s too short, especially coming from Philly.  So this time we’re doing it right and staying for just over a week.  I cannot wait.

I may do some blogging if the mood strikes (I really do have some fun organizing projects to share!), and I’ll definitely be doing some running.  I’ve got serious miles to catch up on for NYC 26.2.  My busy August put running in the back seat (blogging is obviously trailing behind the car – hanging from the bumper!).  I’m in the middle of Week 8 right now which is turning out to be a little challenging because of the Pangaea Juice Cleanse that I’m doing (that I mentioned here).  And I can’t wait to post about that adventure too – I just finished Day 2 of 3 and so far so good.  Trying to start my new decade feeling light and fit (yep, I turn 30 on Monday…whomp, whomp).

So, basically this is one giant multi-tasking post:  serving as a public acknowledgement of my slumpi-ness as of late, a warning that more slumping may occur  and a promise of some quality bring-you-up-to-speed future posts.  You know I like to multi-task!