// strategy for creatives who mean business

My First (Non-Scary, Quite Delicious!) Cleanse Experience

I’ve been curious about different cleanses for a couple of years, but I haven’t known where to start- until the internet delivered a little Christmas present into my lap that I get to share (in a real way) with you! This January I was contacted by the ladies behind The Conscious Cleanse, and asked if I wanted to participate in exchange for a review & a discount for any interested readers.

It seemed like a perfect way to start the new year, and something you all might be curious about too!

I’ve heard about cleansing to get rid of toxins in your body, but one of the things that I didn’t realize is that while it’s great to give your body a break by eating gentler foods, that process helps boost your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the great food you’re putting so much of your pay cheque toward every week. I know, it’s really practical, but the idea that I was spending so much time & effort on making good choices and I might not be getting the full benefit of them was a huge motivator for me.

The other big benefit of a cleanse is that it  can help you re-set your taste buds, figure out what your trigger foods are (foods you might be craving emotionally or be addicted to), and pinpoint food sensitivities that you aren’t aware of.

My first cleanse experience!

The Conscious Cleanse goes further in that you have an actual handbook including a day by day guide with daily journaling prompts, a focus for your intention, along with insight into how you’ll be feeling and what a new ingredient to try out could be. If you buy the more in depth cleanse program you also get access to coaching calls, tips, support, shopping lists and recipe resources. It was honestly such a wonderful experience! I miss those darn journaling prompts, they became a highlight of my morning.

So, my results!


My 2013 Personal Planner Design & A Free Printable Planning Sheet

Kyla Roma 2013 Planner Design

It’s not a secret that I’m an organization junkie. I love beautifully designed file folders, agendas, lists and stationary… don’t get me started! I’m on a card kick at the moment.  Aside from my laptop, the organizational tool that I work with most is my day planner. I’ve blogged about using a Filofax planner, making my own planner from scratch (part one & part two here), and making a planner from a Moleskine notebook (no biding required!). So when 2013 rolled around and I’d already tried so many options I wanted to try the one I hadn’t tackled yet: designing my own planner and have it printed and bound for me.

I went this route rather than buying a planner because I wanted a challenge, and because I wanted a two pages per day layout that gave me space to make lists and track my work time as well as a daily view to plot out appointments and client calls.

Organized is Sexy. 2013 Planners to Start The Year Right

There’s nothing I love more than a good day planner. While digital has it’s place, I seem need to have some things on paper to feel like everything’s being taken care of. Plus you just can’t beat the satisfaction of crossing things off an old fashioned paper list! These are some of the most promising planners I’ve found in my search for the perfect way to start the year.

2013-Calendars-Planners


Halloween Wreath Project

There are plenty of cute Halloween wreath tutorials online and if that’s what you’re looking for, please turn back to Pinterest right now. For you braver souls, I’d like to introduce you to someone I bumped into at my Mother in Law’s house last weekend:

Scary Halloween Wreath DIY

It was inspired by a wreath with icicle teeth that my mother in law saw at the Halloween version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion, but with jagged teeth made from foam her version makes up in attitude what it might lack in subtlety. And then some.

This wreath is gleefully deranged. It will eat any candy left unattended near the door, and it’s not to be trusted. With one look it’s clear what will happen when trick comes to treat if this wreath has anything to say about it, and quite frankly you don’t have the appropriate permits.

I hope you bring him to your neighborhood this Halloween :)

Grab…

  • A basic wreath with as much or as little decoration as you like (Tip: Larger wreaths with more space in the center make a larger gaping maw for you to fill with teeth)
  • Black spray paint
  • Two googly eyes (bloodshot Halloween eyes are available at dollar stores, or you can add red permanent marker lines to a normal pair)
  • 1-3 white craft foam sheets
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Healthy & Hearty Vegetarian Pot Pies

It’s officially fall and as the leaves have started to turn and fall I’ve started to crave comfort foods. Especially now that I can use an oven without turning my kitchen into a sauna. While fall food cravings aren’t new to me, I’m prioritizing making being active and losing weight this fall so a big part of my search for hearty fall meals has meant being on the look out for dishes that are relatively healthy and portion controlled. Bonus points if they’re easy to freeze so I can make them during the week.

These pot pies come through on all counts! They’re packed with veggies, freeze well and are only ~500 calories per pie. In my books that makes it a perfect fall recipe. The trick is they only have pastry on the top, so you have a great flaky crust without all the calories and they use an ingenius bean, rosemary, and vegetable stock puree instead of a gravy. Bonus points for a recipe that makes you feel incredibly clever in your kitchen! This could win over the pickiest eaters.

Healthy & Hearty Vegetarian Pot Pies


Summer Favourite: Chilly Chai from Scratch

When I was growing up my mom started taking trips to explore India. Whenever she would come home her bags would be packed to the brim with rugs, hats, colourful notebooks with tissue thin paper, and everything was steeped in the smell of incredible spices. We adopted lots of traditions when she came home, and aside from the food (oh the food!) my favourite was definitely homemade chai.

It’s suddenly started to get cool in my city, making it comfortable to wear jeans again or to wear a sweater at night but until now it has been hot! This recipe can be made hot or cold, but since it’s probably hotter where you are I’m showing you how to make a batch of the cool stuff.

We’re all a little pampered with our chai tea bags and chai lattes, but with a few basic spices and some black tea you can have dirt cheap, delicious chai until it’s cool enough to skip the steps where you cool it off!

 

Chilly Chai from Scratch

Best made in the evening so you can enjoy it all the next day :)


Whole Wheat Pancake Parfait

One of my favourite shows (that I can only watch now and then before the urge to go to a greasy spoon overpowers me!) is Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. I recently caught an episode with a delicious and decadent pancake parfait, and part way through watching it I couldn’t help myself from trying to make a slightly healthier version of it for myself. When I realized I had all the ingredients I needed to make this I literally ran to the kitchen, scattering my tiny dogs as I went and sending them into a fit of loud, chirpy barking that I usually only hear when they spot a murderous toddler or mailman in the neighbourhood. Watching food TV around me when I’m hungry is a dangerous game, friends.

If you have a favourite pancake recipe, then you can sub it in but I’ve included one that’s vegan & oil free because it’s such a relatively low fat base for the toppings. Also because the recipe just makes gorgeous, fluffy pancakes! I love that this is a simple recipe combined with a sense of playfulness in how you put it together, that makes it an over the top treat that’s also fun to build. This is perfect for a Sunday brunch, and made with whole ingredients that you won’t regret later in the day.

That being said, I dare you to make a reasonable sized pancake ;)


Veg Idea: Shake & Bake Tofu

As a vegetarian, it’s easy to get suckered into eating carbs. When I crave savoury food, images of pizza or macaroni and cheese usually flash in front of my eyes before I black out and come to in the parking lot of a Little Caesars. Because I’m incredibly poised & have excellent self control.

To avoid these kind of impulses I’ve been trying to add more healthy, savoury food into my meals and I’m surprised at the big impact that it’s having in stopping me from craving the foods that are usually hardest for me to avoid. One of the things I’ve been enjoying in sandwiches is something I’ve made since I was a teenager- shake and bake tofu.


Black Bean Brownies

When I first heard about black bean brownies I thought that maybe the gluten free people had gone too far. While I understand the reasons it works, a brownie that swaps flour for beans sounded like it would end in tears. However, I’m happy to say that these are delicious, moist, rich and chocolatey brownies that are downright dangerous. Dangerous to the point that they prompted these tweets:

Fair warning: after making this I recommend you immediately take them into work or offer them to a crowd of friends as a means of self defence. Another thing to note is that they’re really fun to make, because all you need is a blender & a brownie pan!


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