Shopangles – Total Cleanse

30 08 2010

I love getting e-mail updates from Canadian website the Sweetspot. They have great columns about the latest trends, all sorts of reviews (products, restaurants, shops, etc.), reminders of the cool events that are happening in your city for the weekend and have a feature called Sweet Deals that compiles contests, giveaways and discounts.

After my spring/graduation vacay, I’m all about embracing thriftiness. I’ve become a bit of a contest-oholic (no luck yet 😦 ) and I’ve been using coupons at the grocery store wherever I can.

While browsing the Sweet Deals section of the Sweetspot website, I came across a 10% discount for a 3-day juice cleanse delivery program by a Toronto-based company, Total Cleanse.

Total Cleanse creates organic, preservative-free fresh juice blends (6 a day for 3 days) and delivers them straight to your door.

Personally, I like the idea of cleanses, as long as they are only for a short period of time. I once attempted to do a 5-day elderberry cleanse that consisted of consuming only water and elderberry juice for the 5 days, but that was too difficult for me to do. I hardly had any energy to do anything after the first day of that cleanse and didn’t have the will power to continue on.

That’s why when I found this 3-day cleanse, I thought I’d give it a try. After eating so poorly these last few months, I thought I’d start the summer off right.

So I ordered the 3-day Total Cleanse which came out to be $110 with the discount.

My juices arrived early Monday morning the week I began my full-time summer job as a camp counselor. This was a big mistake.

I was so eager to try the cleanse and I hoped it would help me shed a little weight before a friend’s wedding I had coming up. I did it, but I should have waited at least a week to allow my body to adjust to a 9-5 work schedule where I’m active all day.

Surprisingly, I followed through with it!

Having to drink 6 juices a day really helped curb any hunger. I think the mental part was most difficult.

My meals and snacks for a day

So each day you have to drink 3 Green Energy juices (made of Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, celery, parsley, kale and spinach). Basically it’s like a green monster but in juice form and it tastes more like cucumber juice.  I loved the juice consistency because the one thing I hate about green monsters is how thick they are. Plus I’ve been using our magic bullet to make my smoothies and it does a bad job of blending the banana in. I hate having to chew on chunks of banana when I’m trying to chug down breakfast before rushing out the door.

Then there are 2 Lemonades (lemons, cayenne pepper, ginger & maple syrup) that are really tasty and the cayenne pepper adds a nice kick (reminiscent of the Master Cleanse). And finally 1 Very Berry (blueberries, apples, pineapples & wheatgrass) juice. It’s like a regular fruit smoothie, sweet and delicious. The “dessert” juice. A perfect way to end the day.

Since the juices are pre-prepared and packaged in a ready-to-travel bottle, it was very convenient for me in the mornings. I just chugged it down before leaving the house and took my “snack,” the lemonade, with me to work.

(I took the labels off the bottles I took to work so co-workers wouldn’t ask me about it or offer their opinions on cleanses because I didn’t want to explain or hear what they had to say on the subject. I was doing this for myself so I didn’t tell anyone about it aside from my parents, sister and two close friends.)

The first day went well. I was so exhausted from work, I finished my last juice and went straight to bed.

The second day was a bit more difficult. Knowing you shouldn’t or can’t eat something really tries your will power. And just being on liquids, I started to get really strong cravings for solid food in general. Again, it really helped that I was so exhausted from work, because I would just go to bed really early and therefore wasn’t tempted to eat anything.

The third day was the most difficult but I really brought it upon myself. It was my sister’s birthday and I couldn’t not go out with her, but I also couldn’t eat or drink anything, so it was really hard just drinking water while everyone else was eating.

I did manage to finish the cleanse and not cheat, but they recommend that you ease your body into the cleanse by adjusting your diet to smaller meals of plain foods and ease your body out of the cleanse on a similar diet. Unfortunately, I thrust my body back into my normal diet.

Overall, I lost mostly about 5-7 lbs, and though it was water weight, it was nice feeling lighter after all the pounds I packed on from exam time stress eating. I think I’m going to try the cleanse again in September before school starts.

For interested Canadians, Total Cleanse delivers throughout the GTA, Montreal and Vancouver and the price for a 3-day cleanse ranges (depending on city) from $144-240. (5-7 day cleanses are also available in certain cities.) Also, their customer service is great. They e-mail out a cleanse preparation guide and were really prompt with their replies back to my questions.

*Obligatory Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with this company whatsoever. I just randomly decided to try their product and liked it so I wanted to share my experience.*

In the spirit of thriftiness, I’ve also become prone to checking other deal-finding sites for exclusive promotions and just scored 20 hot yoga classes for $20 at the Bikram Yoga Centre! You know what that means, right? There’s a yoga post to come (and it is a LONG time coming!).

Check out these sites for daily deals for activities, travel, pampering, food, etc. :

Fab Find – Deals available for Canadian cities.
Groupon – Deals available for cities around the world!
Living Social – Deals available for Canadian, U.S. and a few Europeans cities.

These are the only ones I know of now and check on the regular.

If you know of any other cool websites that specialize in finding deals, let me know!


Recipangles – Summer of Pizza returns

3 08 2010

Pizza is most definitely my favourite food.

I’m a strange Indian girl who is not a huge fan of traditional Indian food. I’ve always been a picky eater and I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve always preferred bland food over intense flavours, the very thing Indian food is known for. Of course, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more adventurous with food, but pizza is still my all-time fave.

Last summer I discovered the deliciousness of Amy’s Kitchen organic pizza and went on a spending spree to indulge my taste buds.

This summer, my bank account can’t support my Amy’s Kitchen or fast food pizza joint pizza habit, so I’ve gotten thrifty and healthy.

Instead I’ve been over indulging on veggie-overloaded naan pizzas.

Red onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and zucchini topped with marble cheese on a whole wheat naan

It’s such a quick and delicious meal. I’ve made pita pizzas in the past using thin whole wheat pitas to cut down on the carbs, but they weren’t as satisfying as these pizzas are. I do enjoy thin crust pizzas, which this is in comparison to traditional store bought or restaurant crusts, but naan bread is a bit more doughy and dense (but in a fluffy way) than pita bread.

Here’s my quick, cheap and easy way of making them:

Saute your veggies for a few minutes to cook and soften first (I used red onions, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini and spinach and cooked them for about 5 mins on medium)

For convenience sake, I bought canned pizza sauce (Unico is my favourite brand with Primo coming in a close second). You need a special tandoori oven to make a proper naan, so that also has to be store bought from either the grocery store or from a restaurant.

Top your naan with pizza sauce and your cooked veggies

My other time-saving trick was to use sliced cheese from the deli section of the grocery store.

1 slice of havarti (this one had jalapeno peppers in it for some added zing) ripped apart to cover the toppings

It obviously doesn’t take long to shred cheese or use already shredded cheese, but the slices pull double duty for sandwiches. (Oftentimes blocks of cheese get moldy in my fridge from infrequent use, so deli slices are a better choice for me.)

Into the toaster oven it goes...

I use the toast function on the toaster oven and set it to between medium and dark. Approximately 3-5 mins.

And out comes the finished product!

Oops, I forgot to mention I added some leftover chicken breast to the above pizza.

Here’s a breakfast pizza I made with turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, spinach, red onions and mushrooms:

Breakfast pizza

As you can tell, red onions and mushrooms are my pizza staples. I can’t eat pizza without them! (Well I can, but it’s never as good!)

What are your favourite pizza toppings?