Tag Archives: vacation

Detoxing After Ranch Attack

After the crazy week of vacation and adjusting to being back at home and work, I needed a detox.  And, I usually do this when my eating and exercising have not been up to par.  I mean come on, I just told you about my ranch and hot sauce covered cheese steak sandwich and my love of french fries at every meal.

Detoxing is in order.  After eating all those heavy meals, I don’t just naturally go back to eating healthy.  It takes time and it takes a plan.

I have been using Amazing Grass products for a while.  When, I read about and had the opportunity to participate in the 2 Week Challenge, I jumped at the chance. When, I heard about the different Amazing Meal flavors, specifically the Pomegranate Mango Infusion, I did a cart-wheel in my head.

Once you sign up for the 2 Week Challenge, you get a daily inspirational email (for two weeks) and then a meal plan.  The meal plan starts out each day with a smoothie.

And, I wouldn’t want to start it any other way these hot summer days.

I have to say this was by far the prettiest smoothie bowl I have ever made.  It was just as delicious.

In the Mix:

  • 1 scoop Amazing Meal Pomegranate Mango Infusion
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

On Top:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Blueberry granola

I enjoyed every bite.

Obviously.

What do you do to detox?  When do you usually do it?  Have you tried the Amazing Grass challenge?  Notice any changes?

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Filed under Breakfast, Favorites, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mumbai Revisited

During my trip to Kerala, I stopped off in Mumbai for a couple of days on my way back to the states – I have family there.  Of all places I have been in my life, my trip to Mumbai was the most interesting, eye-opening and fun!

I’m sure many of you have seen Slumdog Millionaire as I have.  The actual living conditions of everyday people did not hit me in the movie until I actually saw it for myself.  And, it then hit me like a ton of bricks.  Just my first day there I saw people living in ‘homes’ made of branches and the shirt off their back.  I saw people eat OFF the street while traffic is going in full volume – and there is some mayjah traffic issues there.  There are slums galore.

But, the moment of truth only came when we were driving down a busy intersection and I saw a 2-year-old kid walking through the intersection between the lanes in his diapers.  This baby was covered in dust and seemed like he was not bothered in the least.

Mind you I had every opportunity to take his picture to show you but for some reason I felt it not right.  So, I don’t know if you will feel what I felt, but all I know is that I won’t ever forget.

Lesson No. 1:  I am really lucky and blessed to have everything I have.  Lesson No. 2:  You make it work.

So, without further ado, here are the highlights from my trip to Mumbai:

Binks insisted on getting a samosa at the airport before arriving in Mumbai.

Then we arrived.

We were immediately greeted by a street vendor attempting to sell us re-printed/copied books.

He stayed for a long time because again he knew we were Americans.

I must say the traffic was the worst I’ve seen in any city.  There are so many people living in Mumbai that it’s unbelievable just how they live.  For instance, for a 750 sq ft. apartment, there may be 5-7 families living in one apartment so that they can afford a space.  Or, you have situations where someone has a three bedroom home and 3-4 families live in one room while renting the other space out to make income.

And did I mention they have corruption issues with the government?

I think the sign is problem No. 1.  Did you “sspot” it?    🙂

We started the day with a tour of the areas that were hit by the 2008 terrorist attacks, including the Gateway of India, Taj Hotel and Leopold Cafe (for lunch).

Then came Leopold Cafe.  Let me preface this by saying that Binks is not a foodie.  At all.  How we get along is beyond me! 🙂  But, to this day – he cannot stop talking about Leopold Cafe.  You again have to take my word on it – it was THAT good!

Leopold Cafe was another site of the terrorist attacks.  The attackers actually had lunch in the cafe before they began their tirade on restaurant, killing at least 10 people.  The windows where the bullets went through still remain.

The menu was thorough and had plenty of cuisines.

The drinks were offered in volumes.  I think this was the pitcher – of Kingfisher, nonetheless.

I swear it was full prior to this picture.  *burp* *hiccup*

The service – awesome and attentive without being pushy!

The food?  There are no words.

And, obviously there is no food – thanks a bunches Binks!

Then we took time to go to Juhu beach, the most famous beach in Mumbai.  Now, Juhu is a suburb of Bombay – and let me tell ya – rich to say the least.  The movie stars live here, but unfortunately I didn’t see any.

And no, it isn’t the cleanest beach.  But it is crowded – as are most things in Mumbai.  We of course made sure to hit up the vendors at the beach.

Enter the recent favorite – the gola!  Gola is the Indian version of a slush/sno-cone.  It’s ice that’s slushed and smushed on a stick, which pretty much looks like a Popsicle.  Then, the Gola wala pours any flavor of syrup (pictured above) onto the ice and you slurp on the flavored ice.  I got the chocolate flavor.  I still dream about this.

Then the classic lemon soda.  Simple lemon juice, soda water, and chaat masala.  Yum!

My cousins ordered more but I could only handle so much.

Binks and I was really fortunate to have family here to stay with and show us the lay of the land.  After the snacks, we were on our way home.

So, goodbye Mumbai with your gritty exterior and soulful interior.  One thing I know for a fact is that I’m coming back – even if it’s just to eat at the Leopold Cafe and try the chocolate gola at Juhu Beach.

If you want to get the real feel of India with tons to do, go to Mumbai.  I heart it.

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Filed under Indian, Vacation

The American Tax in India and the Best Meal EVER!

Almost everything in India is negotiable.  If you don’t want to pay full price on that ice cream, just tell them what you want to pay and most likely, (if the amount is reasonable) you get your ice cream!

I of course paid full price for that ice cream because I really wanted to try delicious Indian mango ice cream.  Take my word – it was delicious!

Like I said – all things are negotiable save oneThe American. Whether you’re white, black, brown, orange, green or blue, once the Indians get a whiff that you are from the states, it’s over.

Case and point – Binks and I wanted to mozy along on a houseboat for a long afternoon.  My aunt and some family wanted to join.  So, we all went to the houseboat office to ask for the price.  Despite the fact I’m dressed in a salwar and am not talking, there is something that caused the manager to stare at me and Binks, and tell my aunt: “‘The price for everyone is 18,000 rupees.”  (Approx. $400!)  Ridonkulous!

There were about 5 of us, and my aunt had gone previously for less than half that price with more people nonetheless.  And for once, no one was willing to negotiate.  Everyone thinks, the Americans have dollars and it rains money there.  (A post on this later.)

Needless to say, Binks and I high-tailed it out of there.  We went to Alleppey beach instead.

After being in the sun, I needed a refreshing snack.  Enter the orange:

It looks monstrous but if I told you that these pruney wrinkly things uncover the most delicious orangey orange you have ever eaten, would you believe me?  You must! I think I had one-a-day.  They were that delicious and because I like oranges! 🙂

Now for the kicker, after the beach, we drove about 3 hours to the shopping city – Ernakulam/Cochin.  Upon arrival, everyone was hungry and my aunt suggested lunch at the Grand Hotel.  It has of the best and most reputable restaurants in the city, I dare say the state.

First, the fabulous and lengthy menu:

It has everything you could want and more.  Indian and not.  I went for the usual/classic – The Meal and The Fish.  At first, I had no idea what that meant, but I was all in.

We were started off with light airy papads.

Then arrived The Fish.  It arrived wrapped in banana leaf, which the waiter carefully opened.

I don’t think you can imagine all the steam that came out after they unwrapped.  This was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten to date.  Believe me because I ate the whole thing myself.  And, I have no regrets.

Turns out my meal was the traditional thali, which consists of rice and several Indian side dishes, including but not limited to the following:

different vegetable thorans, fish curry (not pictured),

and different chutneys.

My aunt ordered the mutton biryani.

All of the food was so delicious and totally makes me want to come back!  Such great service and a great presentation.  I will definitely make the 3 hour trip back when I go again to visit (post coming soon).

We went shopping galore.  Spent way too much money for pretty things, and finally made our long  journey back to the house.

After that big meal, an evening snack was sufficient.

That looks like an unripe banana, but it was wonderfully ripe on the inside.  You have to trust me on that.

I’m an American, and it’s non-negotiable.

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Filed under Favorites, Vacation

Hello from India!

Well turns out there is a computer in my family’s house, so I’m not technologically deprived.  Nonetheless, as I don’t have a way to upload my pics, I am not appropriately blog-ready.

But, I have been having a fabulous time in India, and I can’t wait to properly blog about it!

So far, here are the 10 important lessons I have learned thus far:

1.  Hand sanitizer has become my best friend.

2.  Mosquitoes have not.

3.  Clean is subjective.

4.  Squatting requires skill and leg muscles, but desperation works just the same.

5. Check all bottled water to make sure it’s not re-bottled water.

6.  The food is AMAZING!

7.  I am in fruit and veggie heaven.

8.  Munnar must be the most beautiful place on Earth.

9.  Pot holes are an understatement.

10.  Toilet paper is a now a purse necessity.

This has probably been the best trip of my life.  I have been able to reconnect with my family and be around my grandfather.  To top it all off – Binks is loving it, which makes me love it even more!

Life is good.

🙂

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Filed under Favorites

It’s On Like Donkey Kong

Okay, so remember when I said I’m a hot mess?  I really am.  More so now than ever!

I’m actually taking a vacation December 1 – 15th to a place soon to be revealed – perhaps with my very first giveaway! Let’s hold our breath, shall we?

So, between now and December 1 is a rush like you would not believe.  T-8 days as of today! (I’m not very good at math – don’t judge me.)

Here is a list of things I have to get done:

1.  Work related:  3 Motions, 2 discovery responses (just assume is a ginormous task – it is!), and the usual slew of letters to courts, clients and a-hole defense attorneys (if you’re a defense attorney, it’s not you – it’s the ones on I deal with!  Again, don’t judge), accounts payable, accounts receivable, administrative things to make sure the office can function to the best of its ability while we are gone.

2.  House related:  clean the house (I hate coming back to a messy house), clean the tub – it needed to be done 2 weeks ago (whoops!), clean the fridge (get rid of everything that will spoil in 2 weeks – It’s time for food hand-me-downs, mom!), pack, buy traveling supplies (because where I’m going – I’ll need all the hand sanitizer I can get), pick up adequate luggage from my parents’ house, go shopping for vacation clothes (you know it’s a necessity!), make sure my cell phone works on the trip and to sign up for whatever plan that won’t charge me $24,000 in roaming charges.

3.  Thanksgiving related: go grocery shopping, coordinate with other family members on food and time, make the following: pie crust, apple pie, strawberry pie, rolls, salad and cornbread (Why the hell did I sign up for all of this?!  Oh yes – because I’m crazy!  It’s time to delegate to other family members!).

While this may sound easy to so many of you super women out there, please keep in mind that I’m balancing all this with a 12-hour work day.  I think this calls for a “GAH!”

Since, I’m being honest – while managing these days – my good eating habits have gone down the pooper.  Since Shreveport, we have on-the-go everyday and let me tell you – take-out salads (Jason’s Deli & Chik-fil-A)and soups (Jason’s Deli & pho) have been my friend.  While I want to make excuses, I really don’t have a valid reason.

For instance, I have one my favorite quick meals in my house – the Boca!  I am a HUGE burger fan – I could eat burgers and fries at least 3 times per week – and I’m sure in college I did that.  (Let’s say Wendy’s and I were pretty much sisters.)

Then, Binks introduced me to the Boca burger – flame grilled, of course.  After this, I never looked back.  I do not have a craving for a burger that cannot be satisfied with this.  I sound like a commercial, but I swear it’s fantastic.  (I’m probably going to find something about it saying it’s bad in some way shape or form – but for now, it’s delicious.)

I had it for lunch yesterday:

That’s my husband’s burger – not mine!  (To be fair, mine were just missing the habaneros).  I used his picture for two reasons: (1) he insisted for whatever reason and (2) I wanted to show you just how insane he is with the heat!  I asked him how it tasted and he said: “It tastes like burning….a good burning.”

If you look carefully at the picture, underneath all those veggies, you can see a burger (on the right bun).  It’s delicious, filling and I never look back when it comes to burgers.  Does this mean I give up all ground beef burgers?  No.  But, this reminds me that when I go through the fast-food window that I have better and just-as-easy options at home.

And then I had a couple of these:

Dark chocolate covered raisins!

So, again, I ask for help! 

Any of you know a good recipe for the following: salad (really I’m looking for a mix – pref. with nuts and fruit – and dressing) and cornbread?

How do you cope with stress and a huge to-do list?

Happy Glee Day!  🙂

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Filed under Favorites, Uncategorized