y girlfriend and I did a juice cleanse last week. We ordered a StyleBlueprint voucher for my favorite Nashville juice bar, The Urban Juicer, and after some fumbles at the start (they aren’t great at answering their phones, and I may have gotten a little “angry mom” with them about insulated bags) we started on February 3. It’s important to me this year to try to reboot my health from head to toe and recover, so I thought this would be a great way to kickstart that. I also thought it would be fun to do a sort of running journal as we went to catalog how I feel and how things are going!
February 3, Day 1: I’m not too concerned about how this is going to go because I was a juicer for two years until my juicer broke and I’ve just never gotten around to replacing it. We drink six juices and one elixir every day for three days – standard juice cleanse stuff. The first juice of the day is my go-to every time we go to Urban – The Well Being.
The worst juice of the day by far was the Liver Lover. I wasn’t struggling with it as much as much as Ram, but I did partake in power hour with her (we put on a 90’s Power Hour mix on YouTube to make her get through it.) Drinking 6 juices per day is hard because it’s just so much – I feel like I’m just constantly drinking. I did get a headache on my drive home (though it could have been from ridiculous Nashville suburb traffic) and ripped through my bag to find the Lemon-Aid elixir, which is supposed to be good for aches.
All in all I’m feeling good and staying strong on day one!
Captain’s Log, 9:19pm: I am so tired but I have to stay awake to drink all this stupid juice.
So a couple months ago Athena and I discovered that we are soul mates, which is awesome. I had been (she probably does not know this) reading her blog for like three years, then we became friends on the Twitter, and now we text all the time. She helps keep me focused (eyes on the prize) and we have developed the Beyonce life plan together.
What is the Beyonce life plan, you ask? It’s basically a lifestyle change program like any other, but a whole lot more fun. (And with a pretty great personal model, too.) You find a friend (or a group of friends) and use each other for accountability. Set up your goals and lean on each other for support. I realize this is not the most revolutionary advice, but it makes it a little more fun to have a sort of inside joke to talk about texting Yonce.
The beauty of the Beyonce life plan is that it is customizable. Here’s my plan to get back on track after working for 20 days in a row and eating like crap:
Grocery shop once a week for fresh fruits and vegetables
No added sugar
Three servings of vegetables (this used to be super easy for me when I was juicing but I have found it much harder now)
Eat breakfast every day
Pack healthy snacks for work
Go to the gym five times a week
Do laundry weekly
When I work too much, everything else goes to the wayside. Eating well (or eating real meals at all), going to the gym, and general maintenance get thrown aside for grazing on unhealthy snacks, conserving energy to get through the day at work, and three-day blowouts and outfits that become more and more questionable. Having a partner in crime and a go-to photo to look at (regardless of whether it is attainable for my body or not) helps considerably – especially when I want to make bad food choices. This Beyonce cannot eat McDonald’s, no matter how much I think I miss the fries. This is really the worst part for me, so whenever I want a muffin or something sugary, I look at the photo of Beyonce pictured above and think twice (or three times) about what I’m eating and why I’m eating it.
Your plan might include cutting gluten or evaluating your finances, automating payments and savings, or starting a program like Couch to 5k. Set up your plan, find your Beyonce, and you too can become like this:
Let us know if you are joining us!
Disclaimer – obviously Beyonce is not affiliated with two silly bloggers who are using her to inspire our plan to get our lives together. But thanks Yonce!
At the end of the month of September, I sat down to catch up on my spending tracking. Though I was great at tracking (and spending) in August, I did less well on tracking through September. I didn’t think I was spending too much, but I had a HEART attack as I added up the totals I spent on food. For just me – one person – I spent $228.35 on food. That is totally unheard of for me – and even worse that that included a free $50 haul from Relay Foods and did NOT include a $20 bar tab from a Mayer Hawthorne concert! It’s time to do something serious. I need a dedicated budget tracker (not just jotting down what I spend in my planner) and I need to STOP spending so much.
I fell in love with May Books the first time I saw them, and was excited to find their expense notebook and food/exercise tracker. I ordered one of each and after a month or so of using them, these are my thoughts.
May Designs books are absolutely gorgeous! They’re hand stitched notebooks with beautifully printed covers. They’re about the size and width of the standard Moleskine notebooks, for reference. In addition to the two I chose, they have several planners, plain or lined notebooks, and other inserts to choose from.
Budget book: I wish there was a better system for outlining variable income. There’s only one small line, but I have so many different secret shopping incomes that it’s hard to figure out where to distinguish all of it. I also don’t like that there are so many lines for savings, insurance, and investments as compared to other things, like shopping. My insurance and investments right now come out of my paycheck, so they aren’t even included in my monthly income anyway. And as much as I would love to have enough money for 12 lines of savings goals – I just don’t right now. I’m working to customize it more for my needs, but I’m not quite there yet. I do really like that in the back there are sheets for special event/vacation budgets, though.
Calorie and exercise journal: There’s literally nothing I would change about this. It has places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, your daily target calories, a water tracker, and a place to log exercise. Everything has plenty of room, and it’s a great tool to use for pre-planning what you’ll eat in a day. I do this a lot to keep my dinners on track, since I don’t have White-Out at home 🙂
Another criticism is that the pretty designs on the front seem to be rubbing off, so that means I need to take better care of them than just throwing them in among the clutter of my Thirty-One Retro Metro. This would be easier in a more structured/organized purse than my “throw in and carry around everything that fits” mantra.
Click through for more photos and to enter the giveaway! Read more…
It’s flu season – surprise! I got knocked out pretty badly after Christmas, and it took a whole month to get back up to speed. Toward the end, I finally acquiesced and saw a doctor (exposing myself to even worse bugs, being told to stop running for a week, and feeling better before I even picked up the prescription.. but still a $40 co-pay lighter. Ugh.) There are a lot of ways to cut medical costs stemming from colds, injuries, and even chronic illnesses, including ways to make money with your body (that don’t include working on a corner.)
If you’re sick or experiencing a minor injury, I’d check out a CVS Minute Clinic or MedExpress before heading to the doc or ER without health insurance.
Clinical trials – I’ve already made $40 this month from attempting to qualify for one study (I wasn’t eligible, but got paid anyway) and have two more scheduled. I imagine it would be a great way to get treatment for conditions or even to get on things like birth control (there are several studies going on now about Mirena, but since I already have one, I’m ineligible. They may cover the cost of the implantation, but I’m not sure.) I’m on a waiting list right now to study the effects of running with minimalist shoes – this one doesn’t have compensation, but you do get a free pair of barefoot shoes, so I hope they get funding 🙂 Of course, this isn’t going to be for everyone, and you should only sign up for the studies you feel comfortable with (which might only be ones that include motion studies, x-rays, or blood draws.) Check your local research hospital or university med school, find federally funded studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, or search private facilities on CenterWatch.com.
Pay your co-pay at the time of service to avoid any processing/billing fees. If they don’t advertise that they charge these fees, pay up front anyway and ask for a discount. It’s worth a shot – at the end of the day, it saves them some money. And if it’s feasible, try paying your balance in cash – the office won’t have to pay the debit/credit card company the 2-4% fee or wait for a check to clear, and they might give you a credit for the difference.
When visiting a doctor’s office, if it’s a collaborative practice, try setting appointments with nurse practitioner’s or physician’s assistants.
Planned Parenthood is great for discount contraceptives (including condoms and the pill, which usually runs around $25 for a month’s supply,) and they also offer affordable sexual health services for men and women. I’ve been treated wonderfully by PP in the past, and their sliding scale meant that I paid nothing or very little for visits with them early in my college career.
If you’re a current college student, you’re probably already paying some kind of fee for the health services they provide. Take advantage of it, even if the reputation is less-than-stellar.
Check out local colleges for dental or optometry clinics.
Ask for drug samples or coupons from your doctor’s office. You could also check to see if the manufacturer of a prescription you take has a discount program.
SET UP AN HSA! This is especially good for someone like me who has so many dental issues going on. I maxed mine out knowing I would use it all up, and if I have to spend money on my teeth, I’d rather that money not be taxed if I can help it. In future years, while I may not max it, I’m still definitely going to have one. You can use it on some over-the-counter drugs, or even things like acupuncture and massage.
Get in shape and eat right. This is more of a preventative medicine thing, but seriously – eat like crap, feel like crap. Your body reacts to the things you put in it! (If you don’t agree with me, juice for a week, then turn around and eat fast food the next week. Tell me when you felt better.)