The Rookie Guru Reviews: The Dr. Oz 3-Day Cleanse

It’s that time of year again.  Winter is slowly (painfully slowly) coming to an end and everyone is getting ready for warmer weather.  That means no more hiding all the winter weight you gained under big sweaters and even bigger sweat pants.  What it also means is that everyone (at least everyone I know) is either starting, finishing, or in the middle of a cleanse.  Whether it’s a raw food cleanse or a juice cleanse, people are jumping on board.  I’ve never been a big fan of cleanses, especially the juice/smoothie kind.  If only for the fact that eating, for me, is almost a religious experience.  I love making food.  Chopping vegetables, stirring ingredients, putting things in and taking things out of the oven.  Cleanses always seemed like something you had to suffer through.  Once the cleanse was over, you were told you’d feel amazing, like a new person, but the experience itself turned me off.

So why did I decide to do one now?  I have no idea!  A friend of mine recommended the Dr. Oz cleanse to me and I was looking for a way to reset my system.  I trust Dr. Oz’s opinion and if I was going to do a cleanse, it might as well be his.  Before starting the cleanse, which consists of three to four smoothies a day, supplements and an Epsom salt bath, I looked at some reviews online.  I got some great tips on how to start and all the prep work needed, so I felt pretty confident when I started.

Let’s get to the it!

Dr. Oz 3-Day Cleanse

Cost & Prep

I spent about $120 in groceries per the shopping list attached to the cleanse.  Please note that the shopping list doesn’t include the snack shakes, so I would add a little bit extra to account for that.  Like most of the reviews I read online, people suggested doing all of your prep work the night before so that when it’s time for your shake, you can just dump everything into the blender and be done in ten minutes.  Friday night, I prepped my morning and lunch ingredients, putting everything into ziploc bags and sticking them in the freezer.  I only suggest sticking the bags in the freezer if you have a good blender.  I have a cheapo one from Walmart and blending took way longer than I expected.  I ended up having to take everything out of the freezer and sticking it in the fridge to let it defrost.

To help with the consistency of the shake, I also bought frozen berries.  Since berries are frozen right after picking, I figured this was just as good as fresh (and cheaper).  I also decreased the amount of banana in the breakfast shake since I’m not a fan of bananas in shakes.  I know that helps with mouth feel, but I couldn’t do it.  The other reason why I suggest a high speed/high quality blender is because of the celery in the lunch shake and the kale in both the lunch and dinner shakes.  Because kale is a tougher vegetable, it take a lot to break it down enough to incorporate into the smoothie.

Day 1 (and only)

I left out the stevia in the green tea since I’m not a fan and drank my tea without it.  The breakfast shake was by far the best out of all of the shakes.  The berries were very tart, but it really wasn’t bad at all.  I suggest blending as much as possible (again) because of the raspberry seeds and the spinach.  I found myself chewing on raspberry seeds while drinking which interrupts the whole experience.  It took me about 2 hours to drink the whole shake and I still had some leftover.  I found it to be very satisfying though and I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t have any cravings.

The lunch shake was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve ever drank in my life.  Right up there with the barium I had to drink before getting x-rays, which is pretty bad.  And when I say pretty bad, I mean I’d rip out my fingernails one by one before having to drink that stuff again.  The lunch shake was right up there with that.  I didn’t finish it at all.  The ingredients call for four stalks of celery.  I reduced it to two and it was still too much.  I’d also reduce the amount of cucumber and up the quantities of apple and pineapple.  The bits of celery I was sucking up through the straw were completely unappetizing as well.  The coconut oil and almond milk added flavor, but the celery and cucumber overpowered everything else in the drink making it tastes like grass and dirt.  Since I couldn’t finish the shake, I was starving by dinner time.

The dinner drink was just okay.  It had a spicy kick to it, but I felt it lacked flavor.  Or maybe I was too hungry by that point to notice any subtle flavor the drink had.  I drank about half before I couldn’t take it anymore.  I ended up having chicken breast, kale, and zucchini for dinner.  I needed to chew something solid.  I needed the experience of eating a plate of food.  It also didn’t help that I was on some serious medication for my neck, which increased my appetite exponentially.  I felt like I was starving!!

Results

All in all, cleansing wasn’t the thing for me.  I would rather have eaten all of the ingredients separately in a big bowl instead of blending them all together.  The weight loss and feeling of euphoria would have been great, but I’ve always been a slow and steady kind of person, so I’m okay with not seeing instant results.  I did take away some things with me.  I still do the breakfast smoothie on the weekends and eat a raw food breakfast every morning consisting of berries and some melon.  I also add in a couple of bananas.  Before my breakfast, I drink a glass of lemon water or hot green tea with lemon.  I’ve also been researching the benefits of a raw food diet.  I don’t think I’ll ever be vegan or vegetarian, but I do believe that adapting a couple of my meals to that lifestyle will go a long way towards improving my health.  I’ve also continued with the supplements and the Epsom salt bath, if only to be more relaxed and take some more time for myself.

If you want to read more about the 3 day cleanse, I suggest reading My Thoughts-Uninterrupted.  She has some great tips and you can get a feel for how all three days will go.

My Favorite Skincare Products of the Moment: Winter Edition

Like most women, I tend to be very loyal to my skincare products, especially facial products.  Sometimes though I just need a change of pace.  This usually happens when one season ends and another begins.  B.C. (before cancer), my skin was very oily, which is good for wrinkles, but hell on makeup, acne, and any weather warmer than 60 degrees.  Now, almost five years later, my skin has become a lot calmer.  It’s a lot more forgiving and the oiliness has reduced drastically.  Because of that, I’ve now started using products that are creamier and more nourishing to my skin.  On that same token, my body care has changed as well.  I use a lot more body butters that are richer in texture.  I’ve also noticed that my taste in scents has changed.  For as long as I can remember, I loved a clean, fresh scent.  I couldn’t wear anything that had a little musk or vanilla.  Anything spicy just wasn’t for me.  I’ve noticed lately that I’m gravitating towards more warm and inviting scents.  Especially for the winter.  Now, let’s jump into what I’m loving and using at the moment!

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Bioderma Créaline H2O

I couldn’t do this post without including Bioderma.  I heard about Bioderma from the Pixiwoo sisters on YT.  It’s a cleansing water from France that’s full of vitamins and minerals.  They have a few different versions and I just recently found they have a cleansing water for those with oily skin.  I use it as a makeup remover on nights when I’m too tired to do my full skin care regimen and I also use it to cleanse my skin of most of my makeup before doing the big cleanse.  When I first started using Bioderma, it was easily available through Amazon at a pretty decent price.  As it’s now time to restock, I’ve noticed the price has gone up drastically.  So unfortunately, I may be in the market for a new cleansing water.  I’ll have to definitely shop around!

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Embryolisse Lait Creme Moussant & Lait Creme Concentré

This was another recommendation from the Pixiwoo sisters.  I hadn’t planned on purchasing it, but it ended up on Hautelook one day and I had to take advantage of low prices.  I was attracted to the fact that the cleanser is soap free.  It’s a gentle and moisturizing cleanser that leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft.  It contains shea butter and almond oil.  It also contains glycerin and doesn’t specify whether it’s vegetable or animal glycerin, so if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you may have to do some more research to see if this product is for you.  The moisturizer (Lait Creme Concentre) is thick, but not heavy.  It glides easily over the skin and soaks in quickly.  I love this stuff!

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

For years, the only primer I used before putting on makeup was the Avon Magix Face Perfecter primer.  I swore by it and it continues to be one of my holy grail products.  However, This Smashbox primer is about to blow the Avon one out of the water.  I got this at Ulta when I purchased their foundation and I’m so impressed.  I’ve noticed, over the years, that my taste in products is getting more expensive.  Great for my skin.  Not so great for my wallet.  It’s not always true that with price comes quality, but in this case, spending the extra dollars is worth it for me.  This primer is great for people with oily skin.  It’s oil free and water based, so it’s less likely to clog pores.  The consistency is gel like and it blends easily.  Since it’s winter time, I can’t test it out in the heat just yet.  That will definitely be the true test.  I do like that my skin looks just as good at the end of the day as it did in the beginning.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Cetaphil’s been around forever and I always see the commercials, but never tried it.  I’d gone to my dermatologist a while back and she suggested using it to soothe my dry skin during the winter months.  It’s one of the best things I’ve purchased.  It’s incredibly thick, but is easy to rub in with the warmth of your hands.  I only need to apply it once and my skin is good for the day.

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter

I don’t know why this is called Ginger Sparkle because it has no sparkle in it whatsoever, but who knows how people come up with names?  I didn’t expect to like this scent at all.  I purchased it in Body Shop’s sampler pack during the holidays when I was purchasing some other gifts.  The first time I put it on, I immediately noticed that it smelled spicy like cinnamon.  Underneath that spice was a mellow ginger scent, with something clean and light.  I used up the sample pot in no time and purchased a full size during their holiday sale.  This and the Cranberry Joy Body Butter are my favorite of their winter/holiday scents.

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The Body Shop White Musk Body Oil

This was an impulse buy.  I usually never buy any perfume or fragrance without first smelling it in person, but this body oil had so many rave reviews and it was a small, travel size bottle, so I included when I was shopping The Body Shop sale.  I have to say, I love this stuff!!  It’s a musk scent, but it’s so light and slightly powdery so it’s not overwhelming.  The oil lasts on your skin all day and I usually layer it with the Ginger Sparkle Body Butter.  I get so many compliments on this combination.  I’ve had the body oil for a couple of months now and it’s barely gone down.  I will definitely purchase this again!

Manicure of the Week: Galaxy Nails

I haven’t done galaxy nails in a year or so and thought it was time to revisit!  The scary thing about galaxy nails is that while you’re doing it, the colors on your nails look like a hot mess, then at some point, the stars align, you add your glitter nail polish and maybe a few stars, and it turns into something magical.  This is by far one of my favorite manicures and I’ve received so many compliments.  My friends said that this was their favorite of the manicures I’ve worn.  You can find several videos on YT teaching the technique.  Happy painting!

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Products Used:

- OPI Ridge Filler Base Coat
– OPI Nail Polish in My Private Jet (This I painted across the whole nail to use as the background)
– Zoya Nail Polish in Purity
– China Glaze Nail Polish in Lemon Fizz
– Essie Nail Polish in Turquoise & Caicos
– Julep Nail Polish in Kristy
– OPI Nail Polish in Next Stop…The Bikini Zone
– Black Cat Lacquer Nail Polish in Cancer

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Fun and Sun in Playa del Carmen

Last week, about 30 of us from my full time job hopped on a plane to sunny Playa del Carmen.  I’ve been there a few times and have never taken advantage of all of the spa treatments they have.  This time my friend, Lorie, and I decided that we were going to do nothing but relax for four days.  What that means is that I scrambled on the last day to take pictures of everything :).

The breakfast area

The breakfast area

 

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Our spa weekend included pedicures and a hot stone massage.  With each spa treatment, you also have access to the Jacuzzi and sauna.  I think I was in a daze the whole time!  I’ve never been a fan of massages (I know, I’m the only one on the planet who says that), but if you ever have the chance, I highly recommend the hot stone massage.  Your whole body feels like melted honey after…smooth, soft, and liquidy.

I wish I'd had a chance to take advantage of the hammocks!

I wish I’d had a chance to take advantage of the hammocks!

 

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The resort we stayed at was Azul Fives.  It was all inclusive and we definitely made good use of that.  The drinks were flowing every day and the food was great.  After that four days, we all came back to snow, snow, and more snow.  I decided, as I was shoveling 12 inches of snow from the driveway, that I was going to treat myself to a massage once a month in 2014.  Every month I want to be able to recreate the experience I had in Playa and remember to relax and take a minute to myself.

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My island manicure

My island manicure

Starfish

Starfish

 

Manicure of the Week: Love Letter

In my quest to get inspired, I often look at YT videos, go on Pinterest, or search Facebook.  I knew that this year, I wanted to do a few Valentine’s Day inspired manicures.  The nail art below is inspired by a tutorial from CutePolish and elleandish, both on YT.  I’ve linked CutePolish’s channel so that you can check her out, however, the tutorial I watched is no longer available.  She basically, painted her whole nail white, painted on the envelope lines and added hearts.  Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete this on my left hand without it looking like chicken scratch, I decided I would take a page from elleandish and create my own stickers.  As you can tell, the lines are still kind of shaky, but I’m happy with how it turned out.  All products used are listed below!

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Products Used:

- OPI Ridge Filler Base Coat
– OPI Nail Polish in Koala Bear-y
– OPI Nail Polish in Love.Angel.Music.Baby.
– OPI Nail Polish in 4 in the Morning
– Zoya Nail Polish in Purity (for envelope)
– Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat
– Metallic Pink Baby Hearts (from DollarNailArt.com)
– Neon Magenta Baby Hearts (from DollarNailArt.com)

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My Warby Parker Experience

I’ve been in the market for new glasses for a while now, but I kept putting it off because the glasses I had were fine (kinda), they were just old.  Well, glasses old.  I got them in 2010, meaning they were ancient and the design on the side had worn off.  A coworker suggested that I try Warby Parker.  I’d never heard of the company, but he gave them a rave review and I liked his glasses, so I started doing a little research.

You can read more about their history on the Warby Parker website, but basically two friends were tired of the high cost of glasses and decided to start their own company.  What drew me to them, besides the recommendation, was the fact that they donate a pair of glasses for every pair purchased.  I sometimes forget how important my glasses are.  We always hear about countries needing access to water, food, medicine, etc. that it’s hard to forget about those other “little things” that are needed too…like glasses.

So, let’s get down to the specifics.  All glasses are $95, including lenses (you can get high index lenses for an additional $30), anti-scratch and anti-glare, and 100% UV protection.  If you’re like me, then you know that trying on glasses at the eye doctor is not a pleasant experience.  Your eyes are dilated, you can’t see, and they guide you over to walls and walls of glasses that you’re supposed to try on.  You squint and squirm, pick a pair, and hope for the best.  Or is it just me??  With Warby Parker, you can search the site, add five pairs of glasses to your cart and then send them to you to try on at home.  You keep the pairs for five days and then send them back.  That gives you a chance to try them on, take pictures, get used to the feel and fit, ask your friends how good (or crazy) you look, and make a final decision.  I also found that by doing it from home, I was more bold in my choices.  I went outside of my comfort zone because I wasn’t being rushed and because I knew I would be in the comfort of my own home.  If you’re having trouble narrowing down your five choices, WP has a virtual try on option so you can get a feel for how to glasses will look once you get them home.

Now, for the pictures!

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From left to right, the styles are Miles (in Revolver Black), Baxter (in Pinot Noir), Sibley (in Revolver Black), and Linwood (in Revolver Black)

Which one did I pick??  None of them!  My fifth choice in the bunch was the “out of my comfort zone” pick and I initially put them to the side, knowing that I wasn’t going to pick them.  Over the few days that I had the glasses, I kept going back to that fifth choice.  I ended up taking a picture of it, comparing them all, and then jumped in with both feet.

I picked…the Ainsworth in Elderberry!

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It wasn’t my usual black at all.  The frame portion is a purple color and the ear pieces are a forest/grassy green.  I am in love with them!!  I definitely want to get another pair, either sunglasses or one of the other styles I tried on.  The glasses came packaged very well.  They were inside a glasses case, that was inside a box, that was inside a shipping box.  Very secure and very sturdy.  They also come with a little cloth bag that goes inside the case to prevent dust and scratches.

I have to say that my experience with WP was amazing!  The have a good selection of frames to choose from, but it’s not so overwhelming that you get lost and can’t make a decision.  Their customer service is amazing as well.  I ended up having to contact them because I hadn’t received a confirmation email that my at home try on glasses had been returned.  They assured me that sometimes it takes a few extra days for the glasses to be returned and processed and also let me know that they’re working on a faster system of returns for future orders/customers.

I recommend Warby Parker to anyone even considering getting new glasses.  I’ll definitely be using them again!!

The Rookie Guru Reviews: Push & Shove

I believe that Push & Shove was the most anticipated polish to come out of the Gwen Stefani OPI Collection.  It’s described as a chrome finish and comes with a sample of Lay Down That Base, a base coat that’s supposed to help with application.  I swatched the silver color on a nail wheel first to see how it would work.  First without the base and again with.  I was very happy with the results and couldn’t wait to see how it would work on my nails.  Again, I tested it with the base coat and without.  I also tested it with top coat and without.  This polish is meant to be worn without a top coat, which significantly reduces it’s wear time.  As we speak, I’ve had it on for an hour and I can already see some wear around the edges.

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Also, as other reviewers have said, this polish is not very forgiving.  It shows every nook and cranny and any imperfections in your nails.  It’s also a pain in the butt to photograph! :)  I do have to say that I don’t feel the base helped all that much in the application process, but if you’re someone that has a lot of ridges or an uneven nail surface, you may have better results.

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At the end of the day, I love this color and the finish!  I already have ideas running through my head of how I’ll experiment with it.  I’m not a big fan of no top coat because I use and wash my hands a lot, but after more testing, I’ll be able to give a more accurate review on it’s wear time.  If you can get your hands on Push & Shove, I highly recommend it!

**Update – I wore this with my Seche Vite topcoat and it extended the wear from a couple of hours to a couple of days.  Where usually, my manicure lasts for seven days, this lasted four and that was a stretch.  I didn’t put my usual two coats of Seche Vite.  I only used one because I didn’t know if it would make the polish shrink or ripple.