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August 2014

Purium Cleanse | My Personal Review

*** Note, I did this cleanse a couple of months ago, (June 18 - 27)  I've had this review saved in my draft section. I'm just finally hitting publish because I've been reading and educating myself along with others in the area of food and nutrition. I've recently found a profound interest in learning more about our bodies and nourishing them the right way.

(More to come on this in a minute)



Purium 10 Day Cleanse | My First Ever.. Any Kind of Cleanse


I have never done any kind of cleanse before so I don’t have anything to compare this experience to. I just wanted to share some of my personal thoughts throughout this process.

I won’t go into much about the products because you can read all about them HERE

This particular product has been popular on the islands, if it weren’t for my close friend, Ashley or my sister in law who have actually done it with rave reviews, I probably wouldn’t give this cleanse a second glance.

I knew coming back from a break a vacation with non-stop eating, I would want to rid my body of all this “grease” (In and Out Burgers). But I really wanted to do this cleanse to reset my body so I would not be so caffeine dependant. Coffee and I have had a long affair, some days I found myself ordering my third quad shot for the day and it’s only 5pm. During exam week, I doubled up on caffeine with energy drinks. This combination was so bad in every way possible. I didn’t like how I felt without caffeine either. I knew I needed to get rid of all thse “toxins” that my body has ingested all this time. I needed a reset and I needed it bad.


Day 01           

Not sure if it’s a good time to start this cleanse because it looks like it will be that time of the month for me. Along with the headaches, bloating, and tiredness that comes with it, I felt like this would be an uphill battle.

We woke up in the morning and took 5 pills (again you can read all about them HERE). Along with these pills you are allowed a “flex” food. (It’s certain fruits/veggies on the "list"). We chose an apple. The idea is to eat/drink something every 2 hours, which we found to be difficult because we were not used to the idea eating something every 2 hours. So I actually set the alarm to remind me.

That Green-Stuff.
2 hours later, it’s time for my first shake, a green concoction fueled with super fruits and veggies. I don’t have anything to compare it too other than my Chocolate Vegan Shakeology (which, to this day I drink religiously) I’ve never even tried a shake that was so... green. The only problem I had was a distinct after taste it had that didn’t sit well in my mouth. I had to “chase” my drink with a piece of blueberry or watermelon. So it was a bit hard to swallow for my taste buds. My hubby didn't bother to sip his shake, he tanked it down in 2 big gulps. The aftertaste did not sit well with him either.

Peeing To The Extreme.
I noticed after my first dose of those 5 pills, I peed all the time, not just a little pee here and there, these were long pees and quite often too! So we realized we shouldn't go to far from a bathroom!

5 More..
Pills and another choice of flex foods. For “lunch” I decided to sauté squash, spinach, & kale with coconut oil and garlic. This turned out really good! This is definitely my kind of eating, I’m not one to stuff food in my mouth, I’ve always been a “light” eater.


At the end of the day, I thought this was all “doable”, wondering why people had a hard time with this 10 day cleanse, but this was just day one, the excitement and thrill of something new still lingered in my head.


Day 02
Down 2lbs

Feeling lighter, but a bit more hungry now. Thinking about how day one was doable, I thought day 02 would be easier… NOT.

The effects of being on my period started to kick in. The headache, the bloating, the need for chocolate was all heightened! I was a bit more irritated today and definitely did not feel like following a strict regime.

I’ve realized now that a piece of watermelon bursting in my mouth will help with that (bleh) aftertaste the green shake leaves in my mouth.

This was the first time in a long time that I’ve had such a horrible headache that left me wanting to throw up with every sound or ray of light. I literally had to hibernate in a quiet and dark room. But this was all to be expected, as a caffeine junkie. So I needed to go through this process, I needed to detoxify myself. I let the migraine ride out as long as I could, but by 6pm, I took half a dose of Excedrin Migraine. That half a dose was enough to keep me sane and functioning for the rest of the night. I still had a slight headache lingering on for the next few days.


Day 03
Down 03 lbs

Still feeling the pang of my headaches and now my period is on it’s heaviest. I don’t feel like doing much, I have no energy, so I sat around and watched a lot of movies. But I continued on with the meals and kept up with the shakes. I don’t feel hungry at all; I just “miss” food. The smell of the pizza for the kids hits my senses like a ton of bricks.


Day 04
Down 3.5 lbs.

Today was a busy day with dance and then we headed to the state fair, surrounded by the smell of funnel cakes, hot dogs, french fries, and everything we could not have. But I was very impressed at our will power. We stuck together, and commiserated about all the foods we could not have, and dreamed of the food we will have in 6 days!

I notice my hubby is doing amazing on this cleanse, he looks great, has energy, and feels great. He even went to the gym today. I’m so proud of him, I knew he would rock this ! I on the other hand, skipped the gym, I could not find the strength or the will power to even think of lifting heavy objects.

*** Just to share how immobile and fragile I was, I was literally knocked down TWICE by my dogs who ran into me while playing fetch. I did an amazing face plant and later that day, landed flat on my back. I blame my slow senses to lack of sustenance.

Day 05
Down 5 lbs.

I’m feeling better today, much lighter. I can tell the shorts are getting loose and my muffin top is slimming down. Looking in the mirror makes me feel good.

Planning ahead on meals is key.


Day 06
Down 7 lbs.

Today I'm feeling good. In fact, today is the best I’ve felt the entire time I’ve been on the cleanse. I woke up at 6am and was ready for the day. I felt lively and energetic. I took the dogs out for a long walk in the morning and I was up and about with house chores, not feeling to hungry or irritated.


Day 07-10

I stopped recording from here on out. Why? I think because it was the same thoughts and feelings. Soon enough the meals, the pills, and the shakes were a part of the routine. I didn't think about it to much, and just went about my day to day routines. My strength and energy came back by Day 6, but not enough to do strenous workouts at the gym.


Over time the pills were easier to tank down. The drink, unfortunately never came easier for me. Infact, I think on Day 06 I added a 1/4 cup of organic apple juice to my shakes to help with the taste and it indeed take that edge of aftertaste off. Eating my felx foods became like second nature and just excited that the countdown to real food was just around the corner.

On Day 10 of our cleanse, we ditched the drink, (we literally tossed it on in the back seat) as we headed to Whole Foods for lunch. Our first meal was Tofu and some salad and it was delicious! I know my hubby is not a big tofu person, but that smile on his face was like no other, that Tofu hit the spot!

Recap & Review.
This cleanse was an eye opener of the damage and long term effects that certain foods can do to your body. This has helped me kick my coffee/caffiene addiction. Since then I have only been to Starbucks 4 or 5 times. The last two times I tried to order my usual, Quad Shot over ice, I ended up dumping it. It didn't taste very good. So I tried to order it again on another day and I still ended up dumping it. I just didn't find that same satisfaction as I once did.

Now as far as the weight loss. Many will ask, "Did it stay off?" "How many pounds total did you lose?" This question I tend to stay away from because many people do this cleanse for various reasons. My main reason was not to lose weight. Sure I could stand to lose a few pounds here and there, but it was not my main concern. I did end up losing 8lbs. My husband lost 15 (?).

Did I gain it back? Yes, I sure did. Gradually, though. Remember, I'm writing this months after the cleanse. *** And there is a reason for the weight gain (more on that in a minute).

Is it a great source/tool for losing weight? Yes it is. This could be the boost many people need to get them back on track. But in my opinion, it is not for long term weight loss goals. I believe in physical exertion (cardio, weights) to tone the body and aid in weight loss. Again, we all have different goals. This cleanse was simply a stepping stone into a wanting and craving a healthier lifestyle.

Would I recommend it to friends? YES! I have sold a few friends on it already!

The one thing that keeps me going on this journey to living a healthier lifestyle is gaining knowledge from all kinds of sources/people. I'm realizing that the body is an amazing instrument, a tool for us to live in. It is capable of many things and how we treat it will determine the longevity of our life. I have set goals for myself and although there may bumps in the road at times, it does not steer me away from where I want to be. I keep challenging myself and my physical capabilities because the challenge is the satisfying part.

Challenges like my 2nd Spartan Race under my belt.IMG_5633


Academy Of Hype | Dancing With Passion.


I just wanted to share (like the proud mama I am).

My son and their dance crew Academy of Hype competed in World of Dance Bay Area last week. They came home in 2nd Place.. but in my heart they will always be 1st (Of course their hometown dance crew won.. just sayin...)

I have never witnessed an amazing unit or what we call here "Ohana" as these guys. Not with just the Academy of Hype but with all their dancers in the Hyper Squad Dance Company. Maybe I'm a bit bias because my kids dance with them.. but I've been around all of them and witnessed their dedication and most importantly their passion. I have been so fortunate to know the choreographers and I can tell you firsthand that they have the utmost dedication and passion to the art of dance. It's amazing to see some career oriented individuals who are engineers by day and dancers by night. They just simply love what they do. It's not to often you see people living out their passion, we get so stuck on the social norm of finding a dead end 9-5 job just to survive, but how many of us can honestly say "I love what I do..." So I commend all the people out there.. just living their dream! It may not pay the bills but if it makes you feel happy and fulfilled, why not?

New York, Part 2

Good Morning New York!!!  IMG_4699

We followed the advice from the front desk to visit a coffee shop "down the street" which turned out to be a few blocks, by the way. On our walk I couldn't help to notice a runner just passing by or Chinatown getting ready for the morning as they set their fresh fruits out. People just doing their normal Saturday routine in this giant city.






There it is (below) 12 Corners. I just had to take a quick shot while crossing the street. It still amazes me how there is a coffee shop on the bottom floor of this building that houses people as well. Everything is just stacked one above one another. 





Brooklyn Bridge.


This is where I'm kicking myself... I wish (wish, wish, wish) I brought my good camera!!! That would be the only way I could really capture the scale of this beautiful structure!





Subway Escapades.
Trying to figure out the routes using the subway was an adventure in it's own. After our first subway ride I felt like a true "New Yorker". It took a few rides to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B. I still laugh thinking about how we are standing on one side of the platform and wondering "How do we cross the tracks and get to the other side so we can go the other direction?" After getting on and getting off the subway, we finally asked one of the workers. "So.. how do we get on that (pointing across the way) side?" She must've shook her head thinking "Damn tourists!" She said in every station there were stairs that led you to the other end. Oh my goodness.. that look on our faces as we realized how easy it was still cracks me up. 





I'm still on such a rush from having rode the subway. With every ride I kept thinking "we are underground.. oh Lord, we are underground!" Then that movie with Denzel Washington pops in my head (every time)!

IMG_4737 copy


 The MONUMENTAL Grand Central Station.


 THIS ... (DESERVES ALL CAPS) was probably the highlight of my entire trip! I gaped the entire time!  I kid you not, I literally did a 360 saying "Oh my goodness! Oh my word! What the heck! Wow! Wow! Wow!"


 It's just one of those places you just have to see for yourself. The structure, the paintings, the design & layout is absolutely breathtaking! It is not only a train station, it has restaurants, shops, markets... It was like nothing I've ever seen before. 





A Park In The Center of The City aka Central Park.
Another place to marvel on is Central Park. It's been in tons of movies and shows, but the idea that they built this massive park smack in the middle of the city ... amazes me!






IMG_4784Sitting (more like resting from all the walking) with my love on a bench at Central Park. (Crossed that off our dream sheet!) 




Goodness gracious.. I love this man! Our time here in New York (sans kids) has been one amazing adventure! He knows how much I simply adore the city life most importantly the freedom to travel. He continues to take this wanderer in me places I have dreamt of all my life. I am so greatful for all he does and continues to do.. for me & for us. 




Back on the subway... to our next spot.








Oh Times Square, You Crazy!


How do I even describe the atmosphere of Times Square?
Crazy does not even come close. Chaotic? Maybe... Crowded? To say the least. 

It was all that and more. A place where you are constantly over stimulated by your surroundings. But you know what I enjoyed every crowded second! There's no other place quite like it. 



T'was A LONG day.. for sure.
Our feet were aching from the hundreds of blocks we walked today. We headed back to our hotel before the sun went down. We had every intention of washing up and heading back out for dinner. But, we didn't budge. I ended up laying down watching tv and wondering how we could order delivery. 



So instead of venturing out on the streets of Manhattan at night, we opted for delivery from a well known pizzeria, Lombardis. Within 15 minutes it was delivered via bicycle! And it was delicious! 





So long NYC! What an experience! It was one of the most eye opening places I've ever been to. New Yorkers seem to be a part of an elite group that have made them resilient to the ongoing noise of the city, the cabbies that drive like they had somewhere to be "yesterday!", the lack of personal space, (what's a house or a yard?), apartments built over a restaurants that are next door to a public school. Forget using your own car, public transportation is the only option, the incessant use of jaywalking, walking 10 blocks is considered to be "right around the corner" or the multitude of food places (which makes up for the lack of grocery stores). But for all these reasons and more, we will return time and time again. 

New York, Part 1

When I was around 11 years old, I surrounded my room with Bop, Tiger Beat, & Big Bopper magazines. I would cut out the photos of my favorite celebs and plaster them all over my walls. I would wake up to a collage of Alyssa Milano, Corey Haim, Kirk Cameron, and Corey Feldman. I would even create my own magazines because I had a collection of magazines, so to save space, I would clip out the articles and photos that I couldn't part with. (Those clips may have included Debbie Gibson, NKOTB, or even Tiffany) and recreate my own magazine. I don't recall what I named the magazines but I remember my "author/editor" name being "Jenna". Not sure why I picked that name, I think because at the time my best friend was Jennifer and I always wanted a "normal" name like hers. All the while I'm fascinated by these celebrities who live these lavish lives in a magical place called "New York City". Since then, I have long been fascinated by the hustle and bustle of the city life. I wanted to be a part of it all somehow, the big buildings, my office on the 27th floor with a coffee in one hand, a briefcase in the other, passing by thousands of people day in and day out. Maybe mainstream media and Hollywood movies has glamorized it for me but it kick started my fascination for this lifestyle. At that age, I wanted to be a part of the media, I wanted to use my creative ways to help advertise, help communicate what others could not. I wanted to live smack in the middle of it all, "The City That Never Sleeps", "The Big Apple" of NYC! So when a trip to NYC was on the agenda for this weekends travels, I didn't hesitate and jumped at the chance. 



My first visit to NYC was back in 2002 and even then, we didn't venture much. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing, where a co-worker and I (who I didn't know all that well) won some tickets to watch a taping of a tv talk show , The View. We took the bus to NY for the weekend and traveled around a bit, but for two young women, we didn't venture to far out. 

12 years later, another opportunity to visit this wonderful city with my better half and it was literally one of the best times I've had in a long time. There's something about traveling and taking your senses to whole new level. Seeing new things, hearing sounds you're not familiar with, and just feeling the sensation of being in a different place.



The drive from MD was a little congested but I peered through the window like a kid in a candy store. 






We stayed at a quaint little hotel, Howard Johnson SoHo at the edge of Chinatown in Manahattan. It was the tiniest hotel we have ever stayed it, but it was decent with a great view for just the two of us. 




Rudy is in our bathtub taking this photo of the gorgeous view of the city. 


 We arrived in New York around 7pm and by the time we headed out to meet an old friend of his, we caught a glimpse of a beautiful sunset. (I just wish I did bring my good camera). I've taken many sunset photos, but to see it perched between the city landscape was altogether a different kind of beauty. I loved it!



Unexpected Company, East Villiage, Venezulean Cuisine, and Momofuku.


An former co-worker of Rudy just friended us on Facebook that day and not even 5 minutes of posting that we were "headed" to New York, he messaged us and just like that, we had the pleasure of having our very own personal tour guide for the night. 

I am constantly amazed by the generosity of people, most importantly, good-hearted people. I was introduced to this guy as the guy who gave my son guitar lessons. (Even to this day, my son has a love for music). He took the time to show us around with his very pregnant wife after a long day of work. They live in Jersey but take the train over to New York to work. (That idea still amazes me, that most people do not own cars here!). He opted we try something different in East Village. We ate at Guayoyo, Venezuelan Cuisine and it was so good!!! We walked around Manhattan till the wee hours of the morning ended it with dessert from Momofuku Milk Bar. We originally wanted to try the Big Gay Ice Cream, but that line extended to the next block even at midnight! We parted ways after dessert and even to this day, when I think of the genuine, good-hearted people, that couple comes to mind. They took the time to give us a brief tour to places we otherwise would have not ventured to ourselves. 

Rudy and I ended our night at top of the Empire State Building.




 Our first night in New York was as eventful as I anticipated. We risked our lives in the back of several cabs whose seat belts don't seem to work! We've been heckled at by drunken people at 1am. We walked the streets of Manhattan and even jaywalked like everyone else! We flagged down cabs and spent it with some pretty amazing people!