Trying Some New Things

You may remember a few weeks ago when I was ranting about feeling like a chubby panda.  Well, I decided to take a positive step towards at least feeling like I’m getting myself back on track, and I bought some protein powder.  Technically speaking, I bought some collagen peptides, but at it’s core, collagen is a protein.  It’s a protein source many people ignore now, because we don’t need to cook and eat every part of an animal anymore.  Modern society has allowed us to pick and choose what we want to eat, but modern choices aren’t necessary what our bodies need or want to function well.  It makes me feel “fitter”, but that might only be because I know lots of cross fitters and fitness bloggers use this particular brand.

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I’m not really living a strict Whole 30 life, I still like a sprinkling of cheese on a taco or an occasional drink, however overall I’m being much more mindful of what I’m putting into my system and the effects my diet has on the way I feel and look.  I do think it’s made a big impact, and if chugging some greens and adding collagen into my coffee helps me be more mindful of everything else, then so be it.

Throwing a scoop of the collagen into my morning coffee, whether it’s hot or cold, with a splash of unsweetened coconut milk has become my daily breakfast.  I might supplement it with some fruit, but I find that the added protein is enough most days.  It’s flavorless, so I’ve tried to convince The Engineer to add some to his Moscow mules….he’s not having it.  I’ve also blended it into smoothies with flax seed, greek yogurt, and whatever frozen fruit has been laying around.  Really, I think you could add it to anything.  I did learn that even though it dissolves in cold solutions, it needs to be stirred quickly.  One morning I threw a scoop with some ice into my travel mug and had the Ninja “Brew Over Ice”.  Since I wasn’t there to stir it, it did start to form a sort of jello-y blob that took quite a bit of vicious stirring to break up.

The Beauty Greens have taken some getting used to, but now I find that I don’t mind them really at all.  First things first, don’t let the “Coconut Vanilla” flavor make you think they are going to taste like anything….because they don’t.  They honestly taste like a bunch of green veggies that have been steamed and pureed with no spices.  Just….greenness….  I don’t recommend smelling them, they smell a bit like pond water.  I promise that they taste much better than they smell, but the smell leaves serious things to be desired.  I usually drink these with lunch every other day.  It’s just become part of my routine.  I’m not sure that they are doing much for me, but it’s not like more veggies and vitamins ever hurt anyone.

I’ve only taken the vitamin pills a few times.  I wasn’t really after more vitamin pills, but it was cheaper to get the bundle pack.  Plus, it’s not like having vitamins around hurts anyone.  I did take them one morning, but like most vitamins do, they sort of made my tummy upset.  I think if I took them at night I would be fine, but I’d also have to remember to take them.

Like I said, I’m not sure that any of these products are helping me slim down.  Granted, protein has been shown to be an important part of weight loss, so that might be helping some.  Mostly, just having a set routine and knowing I’m taking these products has kept me more responsible and thoughtful about what I eat the rest of the day.  Starting off my day with collagen coffee seems silly if I’m just gonna pound down ice cream, snacks, and a burger later in the day.  Not that I always say no to these things, but I’m just getting myself back to a level that feels good and sustainable to me.  Bodies are a constant work in progress, so I’m not sure that the work is ever really done, but I definitely feel like I’m headed down the right path again.

In more fun, and less “diet-y” news….I got my nails done last weekend!  Technically, I got them done for a wedding…..The Engineer wanted to send me for some fancy pampering while he was doing Best Man things for a wedding.  I’ve been having some trouble with getting my regular gel polish nails to stay bonded correctly.  It has it’s pros and cons…..pros being I no longer have to spend anytime soaking off my polish, it just peels right off.  Cons….when I want/need it to stay looking nice it almost never does.  To try and remedy this, I tried a new acrylic/gel system called Slickpour.  You’ve maybe seen the videos of people dipping their nails into colored powders.  It’s the same concept, only at my local salon, they pour the powder onto the nails.

I tried to find a good picture or gif of the process, but I couldn’t really.  I didn’t want to just post the stock videos of the process as that seemed just sorta boring.  Basically it’s a laying process of colored powered and activator polishes.  I did a very light blue, so it needed three coats to cover well, although that apparently isn’t the norm.  My salon topped the whole process with the gel polish top coat, but that isn’t a requirement, it’s just how they do it there.  They are supposed to last 3-4 weeks and wear more like an acrylic set of nails than just a polish.  Once you’re done with them, you’re supposed to just be able to file off the shine and then wrap and soak them off just like regular gel polish.  So far so good I guess, although I did have the corner of one of my longer nails crack yesterday.  However, I was able to file everything down and even it all out and there doesn’t seem to be any lasting bad effects.  They aren’t lifting, and my nails feel much stronger than they normally would at their current length.  I’m only a week in, but so far I like them.  I like them enough that I might even consider buying the products so I can do them at home.  I’m not much for paying people to do what I learn and do myself.  I’ll keep you posted though I’m sure!

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Old Stores and New Favorites

Being gone from home lately has given me the chance to shop at some fun places we don’t have at home.  Lush, which I can order online but that’s less fun because you can’t smell through your computer, and Trader Joe’s are a couple of my favorite shopping destinations when I go to “the big city”.

Since I went to a actual Lush store twice the other week…..maybe we will start there!  My primary motivation at Lush the first time down in Omaha was getting a fun variety of bath time things for Lil B’s birthday present.  It was a super fast power shopping trip because we were on the way to The Engineer’s PE celebration dinner with his family.  Actually, his sister just dropped me off and circled the parking lot…..ain’t nobody have time to find parking at Village Point!  However, they had just released a new body wash scent, and I was super excited to try it.  Mostly because my favorite scent, Lord of Misrule, is a seasonal scent and smells more like fall and winter than it does spring and summer.  Enter…..Plum Rain!

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It’s fruity, but in a dark, adult sorta way.  That probably doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t smell like childish tutti fruity gum.  Not that there is in anyway anything wrong with that tutti fruity Fruit Stripe gum.  Actually, there is something wrong…..it’s nearly impossible to find anymore, and the flavor doesn’t last as long as I want……however I’m getting side tracked.  I find that this fragrance, compared to other Lush body washes I’ve tried, lasts much longer.  I don’t ever remember smelling Lord of Misrule or The Olive Branch on myself post shower, but Plum Rain has a nice light amount of scent that seems to cling to me.  I think this scent has been available for some time in the UK, so I’m glad I can finally get my hands on it.  I think Plum Rain and Lord of Misrule, fingers crossed they bring it back again, will be my all the time go to scents.

The second trip to Lush was more of a casual shopping stop.  A coworker and I were in Minneapolis for a conference, we just got there a little early so we could shop!  She has two little girls who love the Lush bubble bars, so we stopped in so she could restock.  While wandering around the store I found a new body scrub and figured I’d give it a try.

 

I’ve tried the Ocean Salt scrub before, and just thought a change would be nice.  However, I’m not in love with the Rub Rub Rub scent.  I got a little bit of scent overload in the store, but thought that I would like this.  Once I got home, it’s a little too flowery for my liking.  I mean, it’s not bad, just not something I’d choose again.  I defiantly find the Ocean Salt scent to be more refreshing and neutral.  However, I do like that Rub Rub Rub has some bubble to it.  Scrub and body wash in one is a hard combo to beat.  Honestly, if they offered it in another scent I would be all about trying it.

Big city shopping trip number two was Trader Joe’s.  I feel like people who have Trader Joe’s near them don’t appreciate them the way they should….they are amazeballs!  The only down side is that I’m always traveling when I’m at one, so I can’t really explore the frozen or fresh sections of the store.  All that untapped potential!!

Since I have to mostly purchase dry goods…..I stick mostly to snackies.

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So in looking for a picture of my peanut butter pretzels I discovered I just grabbed the wrong color bag.  THE RED BAG IS UNSALTED!  Not that unsalted, peanut butter pretzels are the worst thing, but they certainly aren’t the best thing either.  They will definitely leave you feeling like they are missing something…..SALT…..but are a good snack to have around anyway.  I don’t love peanut butter, and these aren’t over powering…..although next time I will for sure be grabbing the BLUE BAG!

Since The Engineer was home watching the tiny, furry, terrorist, I thought he could use a couple yummy presents.  Since he pretty much eats what I eat, it wasn’t too hard coming up with some must have items.

 

I had previously grabbed a BBQ sauce here in town that’s a little too on the hot side for The Engineer.  We haven’t tried the Kentucky bourbon sauce yet, but reading over the ingredients doesn’t lead one to believe that it will be super hot.  We made some chicken, pepper, and pineapple hobo grill pouches a couple weeks ago and it should go well with that when we make them again.  The ginger beer was a fairly obvious choice.  However, in googling ways to reign in our budgets I was curious about the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale.  Turns out one is brewed and one is not, but all my research seemed to say that if you weren’t buying sorta artisanal, hipster, still cloudy in the bottle ginger beer…..it probably isn’t all that different from ginger ale.  All that is to say that I bought some ginger ale to make mules with….and he hated it.  So, since the Trader Joe’s bottles said “brewed” and it looked a little cloudy I figured it was worth trying.  I haven’t tried it, but The Engineer did.  I’m not sure that he was wowed enough by it for us to stock pile it, but it was probably a nice change from the diet stuff I usually keep in the house.

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Since I was going to be spending long days sitting at a conference with limited and generally crappy coffee, I grabbed a couple of these little guys to get me through the morning.  Plus side, they are small cans so they tucked right into my wristlet.  Down side, they are small…and a small coffee is never super ideal.  Some coffee is always better than no coffee though!

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My last Trader Joe’s purchase was a couple RX bars.  Basically, they are a quick and easy meal or snack bar, but they are are free from any extra junk.  My coworker likes them, and started eating them because most of the flavors are Whole 30 compliant.  So, I decided to give a couple a shot.  It’s always good to have a quick and easy grab and go something laying around the house.  I tried the Coconut Chocolate and the Chocolate Sea Salt.  I was anticipating that the Chocolate Sea Salt would be my least favorite, but I was wrong.  I’m generally not a huge fan of chocolate, but those I would definitely purchase again.  I’m on the fence about the coconut.  It wasn’t good…..but it also wasn’t bad.  The main win about buying these at Trader Joe’s is that they are WAY CHEAPER than I can purchase them here in town.  I believe that the bars were $1.60ish a piece at Joe’s……here at my local grocery store they are ALMOST $4!!!.  Get your crap together Hyvee!!!!

I also picked up a couple staples……the english toffee and the roasted tomatillo and mango salsa…..so good!  I grab them every time I go.  Hopefully, now that I’m headed down to the Omaha area more often with The Engineer, I’ll be able to hit up Lush and Trader Joe’s more often and keep trying some fun new things.  Life is too short to not try new things!