Mar 19, 2015

Urban Remedy - Cindy Crawford's Essentials Meal Plan Review

I have been wanting to do a cleanse for a while now, but since I am not a proponent of doing straight juice cleanses, I wasn't sure what to do. That is until I came across Urban Remedy. Urban Remedy offers a variety of organic, raw, vegan healthy meal plans that are delivered right to your door. recently had an offer to receive Cindy Crawford's Essentials three-day meal plan, so I bought one.

Source: Urban Remedy
My nicely packed box of goodies arrived via overnight mail. 

The plan comes with three full days of meals and is meant to be started the morning after the box arrives. 

Cindy's Essentials comes with the following 19 items;

Morning Beverage
2 Cold Brew Light
1 Matcha Au Lait

3 Mint Cacao Chip Shakes

Shredded Kale Salad
Zen Salad
Super Green Quinoa

Green Juices

Spicy Lemon Sprouted Almonds
Sweet Potato Hummus with Crudite
Superfood Trail Mix

Veggie Pad Thai
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
Zucchini Pasta with Marinara and Hemp Seed Pesto
Raw Soup

Day 1

Each morning started out with a "meal in a bottle" called the Mint Cacao Chip Shake. This was one of my favorite items of the meal plan and I did not mind having it three times. The ingredients consist of almond, banana, cacao, spinach, cashew, mint, vanilla and stevia. I usually do not like stevia, but I could not even taste it in these shakes.

A few hours later, I tried the morning beverage of the day: Cold Brew Light (coffee beans, filtered water, almond milk). While I am a coffee drinker, I take it sweet and creamer. This drink was too bitter for me, so I added some sweetner to it to make it more palatable.

For lunch, I had the ready-to-eat Zen Salad - napa cabbage, kale, red cabbage, carrots, almonds, carrots, sesame seeds with a salad dressing of rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, olive oil, cilantro, ginger, raw agave, garlic and Himalayan sea salt. Lunch was delicious and very filling. I was so happy with lunch that I was excited for what I would be eating for dinner!

Another thing I liked about this meal plan is that it came with snacks! I actually was not even very hungry, which is not usually the case by mid-afternoon. I munched on the Spicy Lemon Almonds, which I didn't particularly care for and the Glow juice (cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, kale, E3 live and lemon). E3 live is blue-green algae, btw. I really am a fan of green juices, but I hate making them. It takes so long!

Since I was so happy with lunch, I thought I would like dinner for sure, but I didn't. The Mediterranean Quinoa included quinoa, kale, cucumber, cherry tomato, mint, cilantro, lemon, olive oil, cumin, garlic, cayenne, and Himalayan sea salt. There just seemed to be something missing that would have tied the whole meal together.

Day 2

The morning included the same items as Day 1. 

Lunch was the Shredded Kale Salad - kale, romaine, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, beets, hemp seeds with a salad dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, garlic and Himalayan sea salt. Lunch goes two for two! It was delicious. 

The day's afternoon snack was the Clean juice (cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, kale, burdock root, dandelion green and lemon), which tasted oddly similar to yesterday's juice, and the Superfood Trail Mix (sunflower seeds, cashews, goji berries, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds and inca berries). I had never had inca berries before and I was not a fan. I wound up picking those and the cacao nibs (too bitter) out of the mix. 

Dinner, on the other hand, was a home run. I loved the "Veggie Pad Thai." The "noodles" were made of zucchini, beets, carrots and red peppers with basil, mint and cilantro, and the sauce of coconut cream, almond butter, ginger, Nama shoyu, soy free miso, garlic, lime juice, coconut sugar, cayenne pepper and sea salt was awesome. This was also my first time having zucchini noodles and I am surprised that I am a fan. More surprisingly was that this meal was actually filling!

Day 3 

Day 3 began with the Mint Cacao Chip shake again but was followed up by a Matcha Tea Au Lait instead of Cold Brew Light. I enjoyed this drink much more. 

Like the previous two lunches, I was very happy with the Super Green Quinoa Bowl. The ingredients consisted of quinoa, kale, rainbow chard, swiss chard, dates, red peppers, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic and sea salt. The dates definitely added some much needed sweetness and texture to the bowl. 

My snack for the day was a simple Sweet Potato Hummus and Veggies platter, which was delicious but so easy for me to make myself that I found it disappointing.

Dinner seemed very big on day 3 compared to the other two days because there were two items: Zucchini Fettuccine with Marinara and Hemp Seed Pesto and Raw Soup. The pasta was so bland that I could not finish it, so I was glad that at least I had something else to eat. The soup was made of carrot juice, avocado, ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper, garlic, soy free miso, basil, olive oil, mint and sea salt. It definitely had a kick and was nice and refreshing. 

I was so full throughout the day that I wound up saving my last juice for the weekend. The Genius, again, tasted similar to the other green juices but was made from cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, parsley and lemon.

Overall, the meal plan had highs and lows for me. I loved all of the lunches, the Pad Thai, Matcha Au Lait and Mint Cacao Chip shakes but could do without the other items I received. I also loved that I was eating so healthy these three days and that I felt satisfied and really good the whole time. If I were to order from Urban Remedy again, it would be by mixing and matching to make my own meal plan. 

Mar 17, 2015

Fight for Air Climb + Other Weekend Fun

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's beginning to feel like spring here in Albuquerque. It feels like we have been traveling a lot in the last few months, so it was nice to have a regular weekend at home. 

The weekend started off with a stairclimb for me. I completed the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb

The event took place at the 9-storey tall Sunrise Bank Building in Downtown. Raisin Bread came along with me because we wanted to have brunch afterwards, and since this was my second time doing a stairclimb, we figured it would not take very long considering the number of floors I had to complete.

It was a very small event. I think there were a little over 100 people registered. As soon as I got there, I turned in my waiver, picked up my climb shirt and got in line to head to the stairs. Shortly afterwards, I was up and climbing. 

I finished in 1:35! Wow, my legs felt like jelly afterwards. 

The rooftop of the building was set up for a party. There were people doing Zumba and the views of the city were pretty spectacular!

After I caught my breath, we headed to The Grove Cafe and Market a few blocks away. This is one of my favorite places to eat, but since it isn't that close to our home, we usually can only come on the weekends when it is extra busy!

I ordered the kale and brussels salad with bacon, smoked gouda, dried cranberries, walnuts and some other items I can't recall. The salad was huge and so delicious. I am a kale addict. The salad was so big that I was able to take a lot of it home to eat later that day.

The rest of the weekend was filled with hanging out with the puppies. Here is Gus waiting patiently for his dinner. hashtag crossedpaws 

On Sunday morning, we had our first hike of the year on the Embudito Trail. I love that so many of the trails in Albuquerque are dog-friendly. My pups love being outside. 

We did an easy 1 mile out and back before heading home.

Sunday morning also called for some donuts. I zipped over to Rebel Donut and got us a coconut, cinnamon roll, Rainbow and chocolate red chile bacon donut. Yum!

Sunday afternoon required some meal prep for the week as well. I made a big batch of steel cut oatmeal with strawberries and honey for our breakfasts.

Plus, some shakes of bananas, almond milk, mixed berries and honey. So easy!

I also, finally, got out my paperwork to start working on our taxes. That took the better part of the day and I am still not finished. Ugh, taxes. 

Hope your weeks are off to a good start!

Mar 12, 2015

Family Reunion in Southern California

As I posted previously, Raisin Bread and I were in Southern California last weekend to run The Coaster Run 5K with my siblings. In addition to the race, there was lots of driving (around 250 miles!), lots of good food and time spent with family.

On Friday night, we arrived at LAX after dark. The lights of the city sprawl let me know that we are headed to the right place.

After picking up our rental car, we drove down to Westminster for dinner at Sumran Thai.

We started with the Picky Platter, a sampling of appetizers including crispy spring rolls, chicken satay, fried shrimp and calamari. It was much more fried food than I was used to, but all delicious.

I was debating over a number of noodle dishes but wound up ordering the Pad Thai. I wish I hadn't because it was too saucy and sweet for my taste.

Raisin Bread ordered the Pad Woon Sen, which I tasted and thought was quite lovely.

We continued south to San Diego to stay with my brother for the night at his newly purchased home! We also met their new maltipoo puppy, Cosmo, who is 4 months old and crazy with puppy excitement. 

The next day, we chilled at the house and took Cosmo on his first outing to the park.

For lunch, we stuffed ourselves silly with all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue at Manna. We tried some brisket, galbi, spicy pork belly and beef tongue. So yummy! Definitely something I miss now that I am in Albuquerque. 

Beef brisket on the grill
After some more hanging out at the house, we made our way to our hotel for the night, The Knott's Berry Farm Hotel

This was my first time staying at this hotel. On the second floor of the hotel, there is a section of rooms that are "Camp Snoopy Rooms." There is a glass door that separates this section of the floor from the regular hotel rooms. 

The hallway is also specially decorated in this section of the hotel with the whole Peanuts Gang.

 Our room was adorable as well. It was a whole Snoopy-themed extravaganza, from the headboards to the paw print carpet.

Guests staying the Camp Snoopy Rooms also are greeted by up to two Snoopy plushies, which are theirs to take home.

The room was really too much cuteness. Did we feel weird that there were four adults staying in a Camp Snoopy Room? NEVER!

For dinner, we drove over to the semi-new Anaheim Packing District. I had read about it in an issue of American Way Magazine and thought it sounded similar to places like the Ferry Building in San Francisco or Chelsea Market in Manhattan.

One of the main buildings of the Packing District is the Anaheim Packing House. Anaheim used to be a giant orange grove and this building served as a citrus packing house. The building has been restored and transformed into a bright and airy gathering place. I love when old buildings are salvaged and rebirthed into something modern and useful instead of being torn down.

There were many options for places to eat, but half of us decided on Orange Tei for ramen and sushi.

I ordered the karamiso ramen, and to be honest, it was definitely not the best bowl of ramen I have had. Not even close. There were too many assorted vegetables in the soup for a bowl of ramen. The broth and noodles were tasty though.

Dinner took a bit longer than we were expecting so we raced back to the hotel because we had to be back by 8 PM for a special visit! 

Another perk of booking a Camp Snoopy Room is that every night Snoopy comes by between 8 and 8:30 PM to tuck you in. 

Raisin Bread and I ready for our tuck in!
Here's Snoopy! He's ready for bed too. 

Getting tucked in was such a funny experience. My sister-in-law giggled the entire time and looked like she was about to cry from laughing so hard.

As a side note, I am sure that we are not the first adults to be tucked in by Snoopy. We are not that groundbreaking.

We, of course, did not go to bed after being tucked in but we did soon after. So exhausted and we had an early wake up call for the race!

After the race, we headed back to the hotel to wash up and rest before we returned to the Anaheim Packing District for lunch.

This time we hit up The Kroft. which describes itself as "comfort food reinvented." The offerings includes appetizers, poutine and sandwiches.

I ordered the prime ribeye dip with caramelized onion, horseradish, arugula and au jus, plus I added cheese. It was so delicious! Much better than yesterday's meal.

We also shared an order of the braised short rib poutine. Yum!

The Packing House had live music all weekend long. Loved it.

The previous night there was a huge line for popbar, which sells gelato on a stick, so we went over to check whether or not there was a line after lunch. There wasn't so we figured, why not?

I had a hazelnut popbar dipped in milk chocolate and Raisin Bread had peach dipped in white chocolate and waffle cone.

I wasn't overly impressed by my popbar. I have had better pops from DC's Pleasant Pops and Denver's Aiko Pops.

Since we are already in Anaheim, we swung over to Downtown Disney to do some browsing. I loved this Stitch print from WonderGround Gallery.

Turkey leg rice krispie treats

Then it was back to Knott's, where we went shopping around the Knott's Marketplace before meeting up for dinner.

My sister, dad and mom were all celebrating their birthdays this month, so we decided to have a family dinner at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

There is an option for family-style, so we decided to do the fried chicken meal family-style. The meal included biscuits.

A cup of creamy chicken noodle soup and a big bowl of salad to share.

We also got corn and mashed potatoes and gravy along with our fried chicken.

We also got dessert, and I had a slice of apple pie. The meal was decent, not amazing. But the location was convenient for where we were.

The next morning we got up bright and early to head back home!