vegansaurus!

02/03/2012

All-vegan boutique in SF: the Detox Market!  »

Last week I got the scoop about an all-vegan market in the Mission. The Mission?! I’m there all the time (burritos and bars). How did I not know? 

The Detox Market is amazing. I was so nervous to be going to a beauty boutique, looking like a hot mess after work, but it was so soothing in there! Clean, bright, and very well organized. Inside I met Rachel (hey girl!), who walked me through the store and explained all of their products and philosophies.

The Detox Market sells organic, vegan (and local when possible!) products. In each genre—be it tea, toys, lipstick, salt, chocolate, candles, NAIL POLISH—they only sell one brand! Rachel explained that they choose the best of the best! The highest quality of everything! Believe me, it shows.

I can’t possibly go over every product in the store, but I’ll show you what stuck out to me. You’ll just have to check it out yourself!


The Can-Can Cleanse
! Rachel offered me a sample of the green juice and it instantly revitalized me. For a split second I thought, “Maybe I can do a juice fast!” Anything is possible, right?


TAZA chocolates! Valentines Day is coming up. Or someone’s birthday, I’m sure.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that nothing good comes out of Florida. They are wrong for two reasons: 1.) I was born there; and 2.) The Spice Lab salts come out of there! Florida FTW!

Of course there were many different varieties, but OMG! Truffle salt? Yes please and thank you.


Water-based nail polish! Just what Sarah and I need when we have girl’s night with cake vodka and sing-alongs to Katy Perry!


They have sooo many flower essences. Which I always just kind of brushed off as a hippie thing, but after my visit, I’m reconsidering. Rachel held up a card featuring about eight pictures of flowers; I was to point to the one that visually appealed to me the most. The one I choose, which looked like a bird of paradise, was “Quiet Mind.” I was thinking it meant that I was mellow and introverted, but I was wrong! She told me it means I’m really stressed and need to calm down, try to focus and find clarity. Then she sprayed me with my appointed flower essence. She’s good—I want to go back and get Quiet Mind essence! And spray it all over myself the recommended five times a day!


Guess what? Soy wax is out and coconut wax is in! That’s what these Pure Light candles are made of. Let me tell you, they smell delightful. Mother’s Day can’t come fast enough. (My mom loves candles!)


Don’t these Inna Jams look pretty? They are made in Berkeley! Local product alert!


Last but certainly not least is the Kusmi Tea collection. This tea is from Paris. So fancy! I smelled a couple different varities and it’s good. I’m not even really a tea person, but I’d brew myself a cup of this stuff (probably the detox one).

There is so much more at the Detox Market, including skin care, makeup, and sunscreen. Seriously, all organic and top of the line. Toothpaste even! Rachel gave me a sample of some acai toothpaste that I just love. LOVE! Get up and go! If I had known about this place before Christmas, my shopping would have been so much easier. You can find something for almost anyone here. Or just go treat yourself.

The Detox Market is located at 969 Valencia St., between 20th and 21st streets in the Mission. There is also a shop in Los Angeles, at 8380 Beverly Blvd. Happy shopping!

07/06/2011

Vegansaurus does an Organic Avenue juice cleanse!  »

Last week I embarked on a five-day Organic Avenue Lovedeep juice cleanse. I did it for a number of reasons: I wanted to “reset” my body and system after developing some bizarre and detrimental habits (daily venti coffee, unreasonable affinity for sugar and candy, pigging out at night and not eating anything in the morning, etc.); I wanted to observe the effect it had on my body and my training regimen (muay Thai, running, Bikram yoga, four jobs); and of course sheer curiosity. I consulted with the folks at OA and told them my intention was to maintain my usual life/training schedule during the cleanse, and after their approval, I booked the dates and kept my fingers crossed. I went to the pick-up location near my office on Monday and picked up a big silver box of fresh-pressed fruit and veggie juices. Inside were six 16-oz. fresh juices and one chlorophyll shot, my food for the day. Organic Avenue also sent me a daily email explaining the benefits of each juice, and offering a suggested drinking schedule and words of encouragement.

I didn’t finish the juices; I couldn’t stomach all of that juice every day. And since I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t necessarily need them. I’d usually keep them and enjoy them the following day, and I have three leftover juices now that the cleanse is over, which I definitely intend to drink before returning my bottles! The juices themselves ranged from totally scrumptiously delicious—orange, ginger lemonade, grapefruit, pear—to borderline undrinkable—chlorophyll shot, Young Love (spinach/celery/cucumber). Pick-up/drop-off was easy, the staff was cheerful and accommodating, and the simplicity of the whole process really made it run smoothly.

Day 1
The first day was the toughest; my moods swung like crazy and I was impatient and irritable for most of the afternoon/night. I had a brutal headache from Starbucks withdrawal, craved salt, and generally felt unlike myself. I made it through the workday without too much drama, but that evening’s seven-mile run was undoubtedly tougher than usual, and I realized I’d need to take it easier in the gym over the week. With no carbs in my system I wasn’t my usual Energizer Bunny self. I got home from the gym that night and passed out on my bed before I could even take my shoes off.

Day 2
I was definitely a little out of it when my alarm went off, but I packed up for the gym and sipped a cucumber juice on the way. Muay Thai class wasn’t too bad, though again I noticed my stamina wasn’t up to par. The following run, this time five miles, wasn’t as rough as the previous day’s, but I was huffing and puffing more than usual. Once at work I was actually feeling good; though still a bit foggy I was in better spirits and enjoyed the juices. I wasn’t nearly as cranky or tired when I got home, though I still slept like a rock.

Day 3
I woke up feeling decent, made it to work and coasted through what was to be the best overall day of my cleanse—no hunger pangs, no headache, no mood swings, decent energy throughout the day—I’d even say I was chipper! There was an orange juice on the menu that day, and after living on spinach, orange juice is the GREATEST THING EVER. I felt like I was cheating! Feeling great, I made it into the gym that night and blasted through five rounds of full-contact sparring and an advanced conditioning class. I felt tired when I got home, but that’s normal for me on a Wednesday night.

Day 4
I woke up feeling clear-headed and was off to the gym. I took it easy in muay Thai, having noticed a significant drop in my stamina and endurance, but I made it through just the same. My run was, again, grueling: I took walk breaks and was certainly not as fast as usual. Though my patience was wearing a little thin at this point, my mood was good. Work was busy and I stayed focused through the day, and enjoyed the delicious grapefruit juice. Into the evening, I was having elaborate, borderline-romantic food fantasies; I missed my precious food! Got home that night a little grumpy, but as usual passed the heck out swiftly.

Day 5
While I generally sleep until about 1 or 2 p.m. on my Fridays off, this time I was wide awake soon after 11 a.m. Feeling great, I got ready to run some errands and packed a few juices along with me in my gym bag. I made it through the day feeling really good; my energy was up, I felt clear and enthusiastic and focused, and my body felt rejuvenated from the good night’s sleep. When I started that night’s training, however, everything changed. My run was dismal; I could barely keep it up for more than five minutes at a time, taking frequent walk breaks and watching other runners leave me in the dust. Muay Thai was equally pathetic; though I made it through three hours of training, I felt like I didn’t have a shred of life left in me. I got home that night and did my best to get a juice down as fast as possible before passing out.

Breaking the Fast
OA sent me an email with directions for my first day after the fast: I could eat as much as I wanted of one fruit of choice, and enjoy a big green salad for lunch and another for dinner, adding some roasted veggies if I so desired. I had some water, then enjoyed CRUNCHING into an organic Fuji apple before heading to the gym again. That day’s training was the worst of them all—I barely survived the run, and opted for a beginner muay Thai class. Even still, I was wiped out by the end and couldn’t wait to get home for my salad. I took a quick nap before I ate, and truly enjoyed every forkful of greens and tomatoes and beets and kale. It felt so good - almost scandalous!—to chew mouthfuls of food again.

I made it through five days of juicing without any major adjustments in my work/life/training schedule. I didn’t cheat once, I followed my plan, and I feel great. Though my stamina and endurance in the gym were significantly lower, my energy levels were the same and I really wasn’t tempted to cheat very often. Hunger was never a problem—if I craved food it was its flavor, texture, familiarity. My skin never broke out like crazy and my digestive system didn’t react too violently at all. I’m so glad I had the experience and I feel pretty great. I learned so much about my body and the fuel I put into it, the importance of complex carbohydrates and balanced proteins, the benefits of a raw organic diet, and how fuel affects mood. I am excited to make changes to my old habits. No, I won’t be cutting caffeine out of my life—I am a sincere and dedicated coffee-LOVER—but it will be decaf for the most part. When I crave something sweet I’ll opt for organic pineapple or fresh berries instead of Twizzlers and Swedish Fish. And I’ll fuel my body on a more regular basis rather than that abusive binge-and-starve pattern. This was an incredible, educational, rejuvenating experience and I can absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in a kick-start to good habits. Organic Avenue offers many different levels of cleansing, and supports you the whole way through. If I can do it, anyone can: you just have to want to!

[Organic Avenue provided me a five-day cleanse free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. You can order your own cleanse on their website or by calling 212-358-0500. First image via Organic Avenue. Also, check out how Maria did on the Blueprint Cleanse. Vegan cleanses galore, people! Now, back to your regularly scheduled binging!]

05/15/2011

Vegansaurus does BluePrint Cleanse: the verdict  »

[Our series on cleanses continues, with a look into the rest of our three-day BluePrint Cleanse!]


If you’re wondering if I broke the cleanse early, you’re right! I totally did. But, it was pretty late in the game, with two juices left on Friday night, I declared enough and ordered some vegetable sushi for delivery. My stomach did not revolt, a BluePrint Cleanse fairy did not appear to punish me, and I went on to (sadly) drink my last bit of cashew milk.

Overall, I enjoyed cleansing, in a kind of sick way. Today, my first day officially back, I found myself kinda craving the green juice, with the celery-ish aftertaste. And cashew milk? Imma find you again. We will meet again, perhaps with vodka to make a “BPC Lebowski.”

I’m not cut out for full-on cleansing. It’s just not me. The headaches were brutal, and the raw food “detox” symptoms were pretty interesting, like non-stop itching on the first day, and all kinds of weird smells.

Positives? Sleeping like a motherfucking baby, especially on day two and three. In fact, I did not need additional sleep aids, and I almost always need a little help. There was mental clarity, which is another thing that is rare in my brain. I didn’t get the energy boost that I was promised, though that could be due to other reasons.

I’m definitely doing another cleanse again (like I said there is a bit of perverse joy out of it), but I’ll stick to one or two days, or BluePrint Cleanse’s Juice Till Dinner.

And yes, I did indeed lose those three pounds. Much better than Cal Teen bars.

BluePrint Clease provided me with a three-day cleanse free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. You can order your own cleanse (available via pick-up in select US cities or via FedEx) at their website.

05/12/2011

Vegansaurus does BluePrint Cleanse: Day 1  »

[This post marks the first of what will be a series on cleanses! Several of your Vegansaurus writers will be taking one for the team and trying out a few juice cleanses. First up, New York City’s infamous BluePrint Cleanse!]
 
I spent most of my day completely miserable. My head ached, and I’m fantasizing about pancakes.

 Why? I’m on a cleanse. I said I’d never be on a cleanse. I MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE ON CLEANSES. Well, make fun of me now, because I’m in this.
 
The reasons were pretty simple: I feel like utter shit all the time, Also? I really want to lose three pounds.

I’m already very familiar with BluePrint Cleanse thanks to the exploits of one Julia Allison, so I went with that. Also, I’m lazy, and didn’t want to spend any time preparing anything myself. BluePrint is so dummy-proof they actually label the juices for you in the order you have to drink them—I appreciate that. Otherwise, I’d be mixing them all up into one giant juice (has anyone tried this?).

You’re supposed to prepare by slowly weaning yourself off sugar, coffee and carbs in the days before, but I didn’t do that. Oops! To be fair, the day before I ate pretty lightly and had a salad for dinner. That’s a lot of healthy eating for this girl!

Today, I had coffee and a banana for breakfast, and started the cleanse at 1 p.m., right before a conference call. Perfect timing, right!? I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I dove right into that fucker.  I did start my day with a water with lemon like I was supposed to, so I DID read your prep email, BluePrint Cleanse.

The first juice is a green juice, made from lots of good stuff like kale, celery, and other green things. People seem to either love it or hate it, and I loved it. Despite my ultra-unhealthy leanings, I love green juices. And I felt pretty awesome after the first one. Healthy. Like Gwyneth Paltrow must feel every time she sends off her GOOP newsletter.  However, five minutes later, I was starving. The “cheat sheet” to BluePrint allows you a few little snack foods in case you get crazy, including veggie broth, celery, and avocado. So of course, it was time for a snack of broth!

Let me tell you—veggie broth has NEVER tasted so good. That broth was *almost* like the romesco sauce from Ubuntu. In my mind, they were basically the same. About an hour later, was the PAM juice, pineapple, apple, and mint. This juice was really amazing, and could easily be mixed with a little vodka or rum (See? I’m still up to my old tricks! BPC *does* have a cocktail menu, though).

At this point, it was only 4 p.m. Four fucking o’clock. How was I going to make it with no food and FOUR MORE JUICES? A bit later, I chewed on some celery stalks and downed juice number 3, another green juice. This is the same recipe from the first juice, but the batch was not as celery-esque as juice number one.

Despite headaches and the food cravings, I actually feel okay.  All I miss is sugar. Bread. Dear, sweet, sugar. Delicious, wonderful carbs. But what I’m finding now that I don’t have all this food to eat is…I’m bored. I spend so much time and energy thinking about food and eating food that now I don’t have to think about it, I don’t know what to do.

At the end of the night, I’m about halfway through juice number 6, a cashew milk, agave and cinnamon drink, and it is like a little milkshake. It’s a relief: finally some sweetness after all the tart fruit and veggie juices. Number 5, a beet/apple/ginger concoction, was surprisingly much better than I thought it would be. Number 4, the spicy lemonade, was another blend that I felt would be improved with some tequila.

Now, it’s confession time. Because this isn’t going to be one of those cleanse diaries where the author magically floats her way through it, living on smiles. I DID have a handful of baby carrots after eating my permitted “cheat” of ¼ of an avocado. And I broke in another way: I had a bunch of crackers when I freaked out about my salt intake. I have reasons for this that are pretty sound, so I don’t really care that I “cheated.” As far as I’m concerned, I MADE IT.

Other than that, I’m uh, not that hungry. Really. Honestly. Physically, that is. Mentally, I could eat a pizza wrapped in a burrito deep-fried in phyllo dough. Actually, maybe not. But, really, I’m not that hungry at all. I suspect this will only get easier.

Come back for day 2 of my party with BluePrint Cleanse. Tell us, what are your experiences with cleanses, both home-made and commercial?

Disclaimer: BluePrint Cleanse provided me with a three-day cleanse free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. Pancake photo by Moirabot, via Creative Commons.

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