My Journey to Whole 30 | Week 1

11 Jan 2018

First of all, happy 2018 everyone!!

Hope everybody had a lovely holiday time with friends and beloved ones, and most importantly, with lots of food to be eaten. I sure had, especially lots of sweets. For this reason I just really am in need of a complete reboot of my digestive system. Start fresh along a fresh new start of year.

Usually I eat healthy, trying to pay attention to the ingredients of products, buying mostly organic food. But now and then I go off track and go crazy with the amount of food I eat or just binge on desserts one after the other. I also realized that lately I've been up in the clouds, so lost in the healthy lifestyle world. I don't know if you guys out there feel the same sometimes, but I get this immense pressure of eating clean that I freak out and don't even know what to do anymore. So this past week, even if I had a combo of healthy meals, I just started incorporating things like cookies, bread (lots of it), cakes and other things that had plenty of sugar.

I exercise religiously five to six times a week, pushing my body to the limit. But it really doesn't compensate if I will go home and eat horribly. Gym workouts are not only in the gym, but the hardest exercises are proven outside of it (with your nutrition). I've struggled with this for YEARS. It is indeed a very difficult thing to do. Everyone can go exercise for the minimum of 30 minutes recommended but the REAL test is when it comes to food.

Watching youtube I came across a BuzzFeed video titled People Try The Whole 30 Elimination Diet. I've never heard of this diet before but it seemed pretty interesting although very, very hard. But I love to challenge myself, especially with things that involves a better outcome at the end. So I spent the entire day researching for recipes that are not only easy to make but also things that I will actually enjoy to eat. I carefully created a weekly meal plan so I don't get lost up in the clouds again, and have a guide to what meals I would have to prepare that day and for the following day if possible.

I will be posting each weekly meal plan by the start of the week with a follow up of the previous week, sharing the struggles, the successes, things that could improve and so on.

Before we embark on this journey, I would just like to say that taking care of your health is extremely important, so be mindful of all the diets out there. Be sure to communicate with your doctor beforehand to make sure what diets will work for your health needs. And remember, regardless of your end goals, whether it is to lose weight or just eat cleaner overall, your mental health is above everything else.

Now let's jump on this journey! Here it goes the first week of meal plan!

For guidance:

Holiday Book Wishlist 2017

26 Nov 2017

I always say and will always keep saying it: books are the best gift you can ever get (besiFdes food). I have so many books in my never ending list which are on my goodreads profile but the ones I am sharing above are the "I would not mind getting them for the holidays this year" list.

1. Bear Town 
A novel written by the same author of A Man Called Ove (yet to read) about a small town that has big dreams. The story has some relation, actually quite big relation I reckon, to Ice hockey, so that really called my attention. I love sports, specifically soccer and basketball but lately I've been quite fascinated with Ice hockey too so this book would be interesting to read. But also because it is the story of a community coming together to achieve a common dream. 

2. When Breath Becomes Air
This one is a bit of a deep read. It is a memoir by Paul Kalanithi who was a neurosurgeon who got diagnosed with terminal cancer. He writes about the reflection of what could be the meaning of life? What is it that makes life worth living? I love books like such because it really makes you think about everything. 

3. The Girl on The Train 
This one I'm pretty sure people are more familiar with since it became a movie and all. Haven't seen the movie nor have I read the book yet, and I do not want to see a movie before reading the book so I need to read this first. 

4. Brida
From one of my favorite authors. I've read a couple of books from him but this one is next on my list. It has a bit of a similar style to The Alchemist (which is also on this list) since it deals with the mystical and spiritual powers and the connection to the universe. How fun does that sound? 

5. Little Fires Everywhere
This story is based in a town from Cleveland, so that is one of the reasons why I want to read it. Go Cavs! But in all seriousness, this book just like Bear Town, centers into a community, but instead of working together towards a common goal, there is some tension and disagreements that occur between them, hence the title of the book. 

6. The Sun and Her Flowers
This one has been a LONG time occupant in any type of book lists of my own. Rupi is one of my all time favorite poets so it is no surprise that I am dying to get this book into my hands. 

7. We Were Liars
Suspense novel. Enough said. 

8. The Alchemist
Basically all members of my family has read this book but myself. They keep recommending it over and over again so I guess the time has come for me to finally read it. Just as I mentioned previously, it has a similar theme to another one of Mr Coelho's books, Brida. I'm all about for spirituality and universe connections so yes, quite excited to be a part of this beautiful story. 

9. Just One Wish
Another book that is deep to read. Just like When Breath Becomes Air, it deals with the topic of cancer. It is about a 17 year old girl who her brother has cancer and she tries to convince him that he will survive an upcoming surgery. 


Stripes for Fall?

20 Nov 2017 Miami, FL, USA

Stripes for fall? It's Miami so it's always hot around here and the typical fall outfits of comfy sweaters, leggings and boots are definitely out of the question. Can't complain really since I don't have to suffer the many layers of clothes on top of me and instead, wear a simple romper like so.

This lovely white & blue striped romper is so comfortable to wear. I always have those days that do not want to put too much effort into my outfit. The whole "figuring out the top and bottom" ensemble, making sure they match, I just get too lazy sometimes and so I opt for a simple, easy one piece look. I also like that this romper is somewhat off the shoulders. I've been lately obsessed with off-the-shoulder looks, and the bow tie in the middle just completes the entire look.


Photograph by Sarah Sturgis

Book Of The Month | November

13 Nov 2017

We know that books will always be better than the movies (not to devalue the works of all the amazing movie directors out there). I love watching movies, don't get me wrong, but when you read the book version is like you are creating your own movie inside your head you know? Generally I like reading books about things that I can relate to, characters that are around my age range or older. I don't tend to read books about teenagers set in High School because it's like, I already lived that phase of my life and I definitely try to deviate from romantic stories. But there are some that are too good not to read, that even though they do have a dose of romance and perhaps it's narrated in a teenage world, you can still take so much value from it, and that is what John Green's book are for me.

I've only read The Fault In Our Stars before jumping into the bandwagon of the brightly orange cover of Turtles All The Way Down. It's THE book of the season, I've literally seen it at least once every time I check any of my social media. But not only because it's popular but when I saw it was from Mr Green, I HAD to. Did not know what the book was about at all, I thought it had to do with turtles? the beach? animals. Something along those lines.

So I bought the book in Urban Outfitters in one of my weekly visits, of course, when I saw that orange swirl (which I totally understand now why it is a swirl). That was on Friday. I spend the entire weekend glued to the book and I can say that I devoured it until the end. Barely slept, barely ate, all I did was read. I just couldn't stop. The book was good, oh it was sooo good.

For starters, it deals with two major things I can relate into my own life: anxiety and perception of reality. I don't really talk or like to talk much about my anxiety issues but reading about it, how Aza dealt with her own type of anxiety, it was so so so relatable. I try not to dwell on my anxiety, often times not giving it attention, or perhaps I do not really know what is and what isn't anxiety anymore, so reading about it, it was as if I was reading parts of my life. At times it wasn't though because I would read about her anxiety attacks and then it would be a trigger so I would be having one as well.

Aza, the main character of the story, also questioned the idea of what is real, how do we know we are real and not just living in a fictional world. It scared her the notion that "self" is not a singular noun. The self is many things so who are we really? She felt that her thoughts were controlling her and not the other way around. Some really philosophical stuff right there for sure. I did not agree to many of the ways she saw the world though. I would have several discussions with Aza in my head completely disagreeing and other times completely agreeing. But after you read this book, you will realize the meaning of the title and the swirl on the cover and tie everything up together and it will make so much more sense.

I found it so beautiful that there was this constant debate inside my head with agreeing or not agreeing with Aza because that is what John Green perhaps wanted to reflect with the title? That the world is not only a globe but it can also be flat that is on top of turtles after turtles after turtles that go infinitely all the way down. There is no above or below us, like Davis talked about the sky and the universe. The world is not only one thing, it can mean and it can be seen, completely different to me or to you. Our realities are different, not only from person to person but also from different species. Why would we try to define what is real and what is not when we do not even know what we don't know?

So defining what is real is kind of a complex issue. But one thing for sure I can say about all of this is, just as Malik told Aza, the beauty of science is not only asking questions to obtain a definite answer but to learn how to elaborate even more adequate questions. And that is what reality is for me. It's science, it's asking more questions, it's spirituality, eating food, turtles, seeing a baby smile, the sun rays reflecting on the green leaves in front a big infinite blue sky. But mostly, reality is an infinite depth.

Peter Thomas Roth: Cucumber Gel Mask & De-tox Reviews

18 Aug 2017

On my recurrent visits to Sephora, Peter Thomas Ross has always called my attention, especially their 24K Gold Mask (I asked for a little sample and just the fact that has gold in it, was everything). My face type is oily but I've never really had many break outs, until I reached college. It was as if I was going through a delayed puberty phase, the one where pimples just starts coming out of nowhere and you do everything but it does not stop whatsoever.

 I've tried some products now and then for acne but it really did not seem to work properly. As of lately I've done the vampire facial, or better known as the Kim K facial (I'll write about this in a future post). Long story short, this facial did help a lot with just occasional break outs coming out, but one thing that I cannot fight against are the period break outs. The ones that you will get no matter what when your period is about to come. For these times, I really needed something that would keep in control of the skin irritation and I am so extremely thankful for the Cucumber De-tox collection. It is perfect if you are looking, as the name itself implies, to detoxify your skin out of impurities and to give that needed moisture.  

My favourite color is green so it gave me more reasons to go for this product, that and the fact that it helps soothe irritation from break outs, cools and detoxifies, but mostly because it was green though. I suggest keeping in inside the fridge so when you need to use it and apply to the skin, it is SO fresh and it feels amazing. 

* Things to know:
- Leave it for at least 10 minutes
- The consistency is gel so it would not dry on your face
- It has a slight smell of cucumber (of course)
- If you want an extra moisture treatment you can leave it overnight
- Use it twice-three times a week

* Results:
[Having in mind that every skin is different, therefore the results could vary according to person]

If I have a break out and I use this mask, it really does help it calm down. It also works well for sun exposure irritation and other related skin issues. I use it three times a week mostly with cucumbers on my eyes too. Overall, the skin feels really good after usage of the mask, you could really feel that your skin has been cleaned thoroughly. I follow the facial cleanse treatment with the cucumber de-tox  gel cream. 

This cream is so cool because after you use, it goes back as if you've never touched it (it's gel after all) and me as a perfectionist, this little element is so satisfying. This gives you moisture to your skin, if you do not have the mask, this will do but if you have both, you can use this right after the mask. 

* Things to know:
- Use twice daily, morning and night
- It is lightweight and oily free but do not abuse it too much since it can get quite heavy

This cream does its job well, it gives you the right amount of moisture to the skin. Whenever I put it on, I can feel that my skin is being hydrated and healthy overall.

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