How To: The GM Cleanse-Loose 10-17 Lbs

This past week I endured the GM Cleanse phenomenon that is sweeping the Internet. I did this for two reasons, to help my eating habits and to help cleanse my poor digestive system. The weight loss was just an added bonus. I would not have considered myself overweight, I did have a few pounds I wouldn’t mind losing, however. Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. and can lead to numerous health problems.

The GM Cleanse

Okay, so what is it?
The GM Cleanse, or diet, is a week-long meal plan that encourages healthy living, feeling great, and rapid weight loss. Each day you eat certain foods and get certain nutrients to help you feel and look great when you are finished. It says that you can lose from 10-17 pounds during the week.
I chose to try this cleanse over other liquid cleanses, because it seemed like a healthier way to clean your system. I could actually eat!
Does it work?
I had read countless blogs on the subject before I took on the week-long challenge. Every blog seemed to say it worked. They had all lost a few pounds during the week. The problem was that very few of the bloggers had actually finished the week. Some cracked on the second or third day, while others made it all the way to-day six or seven. I also read blogs where they made modificationshere and there and that did not seem to affect the end results.

The Meal Plan

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do drink at least 10 glasses of water.
  • Herbal/black tea and black coffee (no cream or sugar) is okay.
  • Diet may be repeated, but not right away.
    • It is encouraged that you repeat every six months.
  • No alcohol (you are allowed only two glasses of wine or two small beers).
    • No heavy alcohol, mixed drinks, and stick to wine or beer (two throughout the week).
  • Don’t just sit on your ass, you still need to exercise to get the full effect.

Preparation

The day before I started the cleanse I went to the grocery store and planned out my first 3 days. I bought all different kinds of fruits and veggies (that are allowed). I also bought myself a spray I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (very few calories) and a couple different flavors of Mrs. Dash (no sodium). Trust me you are going to need some sort of flavoring and butter.
On day three I went to the store and bought bananas, milk and ingredients to make the “Wonder Soup” (recipe below). I prepared the soup ahead of time, because I work two jobs and go to school.
On day four I went back to the store and bought fresh lean beef, tomatoes, and extra veggies. I also prepared this ahead of time.

Day 1:

Day one is filled with fruits. Only fruits, but as many fruits as you desire. You are not allowed bananas yet. Remember to drink 10 glasses of water, this is important.
Why it works: You are preparing your body for the upcoming week. Fruits are full of nutrients and are considered nature’s perfect food.
My experience:DAY ONE SUCKED! I love fruit, but it is not filling. I ate so much fruit this day and was never full. I also ended up getting a horrid headache towards the end of the day that caused me to throw up a couple of times. It was not fun. I also was craving something salty all day long. I researched this and it is a common side effect, because of the drastic change in diet.

  • Weighed in at 145

Suggestions: It is suggested that you eat a lot of melons and cantaloupes this day. I ate a half of a melon myself. For dinner I baked a peach. It was something warm that I could trick my mind to thinking it was a meal. I also added a small dash of cinnamon. I would also recommend a smoothie for breakfast, it will keep you sort of full for a while.

Day 2:

Day two is all veggies. Eat as many veggies as you please and until you are stuffed. It is encouraged that you begin your day with a big baked potato topped with a “dap” of butter. Again, remember the 10 glasses of water.
Why it works:You are beginning your day with carbs and a small oil dose which will give you energy for the day. The rest of the day is all veggies which, for the most part, are virtually calorie free and provide essential nutrients and fiber.

  • Weighed in at 142

My Experience: I still was not feeling well from day one when I woke up for the day. I was, however, super excited to not have fruit. I started with my baked potato and it was delicious. This is also part of why I bought the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, so I could have a little more than a dap of butter on my food. Today did suck as much. The veggies were filling and I was satisfied. I just wanted something sweet all day, though.
Suggestions:Savor the baked potato because it is the only form of potato you are allowed all week. Eat until you are stuffed with veggies. They are more delicious than you’d think and there are so many options. For dinner I baked an acorn squash.

  • Acorn Squash:
    • Cut in half and pit
    • With light olive oil, lightly brush the halves with oil (or they’ll burn).
    • Finely chop roasted garlic and spread around the halves for flavor.
    • Chop onions (will only need about 1 Tbsp each) and place in the pitted area of the squash for more flavor.
    • Place in an oven safe pan with about a centimeter deep of water.
    • Place in oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until a fork easily punctures the squash).

Day 3:

Day three is all the fruits and veggies you can eat. No more potatoes and no bananas yet. You are allowed balsamic vinegar and a tiny bit of olive oil on a salad. 10 glasses of water.
Why it works: You are getting rid of the potato because you get carbs from the fruits.You body is now prepared to start burning excess pounds. Cravings will still be present, but should diminish.
My Experience: Today was better than the past couple. I was starting to feel much better and I could have an equal balance of salty and sweet. Still, I craved sweets and chips.

  • Weighed in at 142

Suggestions:Start your day off with a smoothie. I made a fruit smoothie with spinach. You don’t taste the spinach it just adds extra nutrients. Eat until you are stuffed with veggies and eat the fruit as a snack. For dinner I made a delicious tomato soup to trick my brain that it is a meal, yet again.

  • Tomato Soup
    • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped.
    • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (for the juices).
    • 1 onion, chopped.
    • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic.
    • 3/4 cups water.
    • 1 tsp chopped basil.
    • pepper to taste.
      • You will be using one pan so make sure it is big enough.
      • In pan saute onions and garlic until nicely caramelized (I did use a tiny bit of olive oil).
      • Add chopped tomatoes and basil and let tomatoes soften. Then add in the canned tomatoes, let cook for about 2 minutes.
      • Add the water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. (add pepper).
      • Once cooled place in food processor or blender until it’s a smooth texture.
      • Return to pan and bring back to a simmer.
      • Let cool and enjoy.

Day 4:

On day four you will eat as many as eight bananas and three glasses of milk. This is also soup day, you are allowed to eat as much soup as you can manage. 10 glasses of water.
Why it works: Even though you may not eat all eight bananas they will give you the potassium and sodium you have lost the past couple days. You should feel a lessening desire for sweets.
My Experience:I was actually surprised by how good this day was. I have never loved a banana so much. I ate my first four bananas by noon. The soup was also good, just a little bland because it is water based. I only was able to manage two bowl fulls. I had decided to eat a few apples as well. I ended up eating my allowed bananas and could bare any more soup so for dinner I decided to add an apple. I drank two glasses of milk.

  • Weighed in at 138

Suggestions:For breakfast there are two different options. First you can make a milk and banana smoothie, this is what I did and it was actually pretty good). Second you can chop your bananas up and put them in a bowl of milk and eat like cereal (you may add a sprinkle of cinnamon). Don’t eat all the bananas in the morning like I did. I was sad I couldn’t have any more by dinner time.

  • Wonder Soup
    • Half of a green cabbage, chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
    • 4 cups of water
    • pepper to taste
      • You will use one pan so make sure it is big enough.
      • Starting with the onion, celery, and pepper let caramelize.
      • Add the tomatoes and let cook about 2-3 minutes, until tomatoes are nice and soft.
      • Add the water and bring to a boil. Then add the cabbage and pepper then reduce heat to medium. Let stew. Once the cabbage is nice and soft and there is a wonderful aroma filling the house.
      • Let cool and enjoy.

Day 5:

On day five you are allowed tomatoes and beef! You can have two 10 oz portions of lean beef, lean hamburger is okay. You are also allowed six tomatoes. You must now increase you water intake by one quart to cleanse your system of the uric acid that is now going to be produced.
Why it works: Beef is for iron and proteins and the tomatoes allow for better digestion.
My Experience: Hallelujah! I was so excited to eat beef! Food! Normal food! I also love tomatoes so this was not a problem for me. Breakfast, however, was non-existent. I did not want beef or tomatoes for breakfast. I was also able to go out with a friend and eat dinner! I had a delicious lean steak (sauce on the side). I also added extra veggies. I ate my allowance in tomatoes and I also needed something else. I made an executive decision to have other veggies this day.

  • Weighed in at 138

Suggestions:I don’t know what to tell you for breakfast. Like I said I went without, as bad as that is. For lunch, however, I grilled a steak with a little pepper and garlic and made a yummy tomato sauce. I did not notice that adding extra veggies for dinner on this day did any harm. I still had amazing results after the week was over.

  • Grilled Steak with Tomato Sauce
    • 1 lean 10oz portion steak.
    • 1 tsp chopped garlic.
    • sprinkle of pepper to taste
      • Lightly brush steak with a little bit of olive oil.
      • Distribute garlic and pepper over raw steak.
      • Grill how desired.
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp onions, chopped
    • 1 tsp basil, chopped
    • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 shake Worcestershire sauce (not actually allowed, but couldn’t hurt too much)
    • pepper to taste
      • In small sauce pan saute onions until nicely caramelized.
      • Add everything else and let simmer.
      • Once everything is soft and a nice smell fills the house it is ready. Cooking time does not matter.
        • If you like more al dente, cook for a little less time.
      • Spoon onto grilled steak and enjoy.

Day Six:

Day six is similar to day five. You may have an unlimited amount of beef and veggies. Don’t forget your water.
My Experience:This day was okay. I was excited about my left overs from dinner the previous night and ate those for lunch. I had an apple for breakfast, couldn’t hurt right? For dinner I grilled another steak and had grilled carrots and onions on the side. I was sick of beef. Another apple for dessert.

  • Weighed in at 137

Suggestions:Don’t limit yourself to steak like I did. I got tired of steak and wished I could eat something else. I added a couple of apples because I couldn’t go without breakfast again and I had a bit of a sweet tooth after dinner (my family was having cake right in front of me).

  • Beef suggestions
    • sirloin steak
    • sirloin steak salad
    • lean hamburger
    • top round roast
    • bottom round roast
    • Cuts labeled “choice” or “select” are usually more lean.

Day Seven:

They end is near! On day seven you can have brown rice, fruit juices, and all the veggies you want. Oh and don’t forget the water!
Why it works: Your system is under control and should be thanking you.
My Experience: I finished off the week on family day. This was a hard day to not crack. It was the last day, however. I had an apple and juice for breakfast. I was so happy about the juice. For lunch I cooked a cup of brown rice and added sautéed onions and garlic as well as a little pepper and a few squirts of my I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. It was delicious. For dinner my mom was kind enough to make Butternut Squash Soup, so I could eat with the family. I am not allowed to give her recipe away, but I posted a link for a similar recipe. I also decided to end a little early and eat dessert with my family. They were having pumpkin chocolate chip cake. I couldn’t pass it up.

  • Weighed in at 135

Suggestions:If you follow that Butternut Squash Soup recipe just make sure to either use water or instead of chicken stock use vegetable stock. My personal suggestion would be to remember that this is your last day. You made it through a hard week, don’t be too hard on yourself today.

You Did It, I Did It, Now What?

You should wake up tomorrow being 10-17 pounds lighter than you were when you started. You should feel great and healthy, have more energy and have better eating habits.
I lost 11 pounds during the week. I am now at 134. I super happy with that. I feel great and look great too. My digestive system seems happy and I have noticed that when I go to grab a snack I grab healthier options. This cleanse was worth it in the end, but I’m not sure I would go through that week of Hell again.
I am not promising that you will lose a lot of weight, you may not lose any for that matter. Like mentioned before you need to exercise a little to get the maximum effect. I didn’t have a lot to lose to begin with so that is most likely why I lost 11. To me 11 pounds is amazing in a weeks time and I am proud of myself for sticking to it. I do not think I need to lose more weight. I love my body and love where I am at. I am healthy and I feel great. That is all that matters. You too, should feel that way, even before you start this. You are a beautiful human being and should be happy with your body.
Let me know your experiences and if you have any doubts or questions!

How To: Make Your Eyes Pop

Photo of one of my best friends, Hailee Heiner.

My most complemented part of my body is my eyes. I have big brown eyes, which I personally think look like pooh. Other people, however, seem to like them. I may have big doe eyes, but I do have to give some credit to my make-up.

I decided to see if the technique that I used to open my eyes works on other people as well. This is where my friend Hailee comes in. She has very pretty blue eyes, but they are narrow and sultry, not big and innocent. I wanted to see if I could open her eyes up, not that she needs it.

Here is a before picture. She does not have an ounce of make-up on and you can see the natural almond shape of her eyes. This brings me to step one.

Step One

Using your everyday light foundation, apply a thin layer under your eye as well as on your eyelid. Blend well. This helps to keep the make up on as well as brighten you eyes. You will then apply a light base color of eye shadow to your eye lid.

You can already tell that her eyes are brighter.

Step Two

Next you will want to apply a thin line of black or brown eyeliner along the top lashes. You will want to drag it a little longer than your lash line and curl it up a tiny bit. That way it mimics your long outer lashes. You will then apply lighter colored eyeshadow that accents your eyes. Every make-up brand has a color palate that complements your certain eye color. Funky colors will make your eyes appear more heavy and tired. They will also distract from the color of your eye. Keep it light with a little bit darker shade in the crease.

Not putting eyeliner on the bottom makes the eye appear more open. Placing eyeliner on the bottom of the eye creates the more sultry look.

Step Three

Using a lengthening mascara apply a thin even layer. You will want to pull towards your nose, not out like normal. Pulling the mascara in towards your nose makes your eyes look open and appear bigger. Then using a light almost white color of eye shadow line the inner part of your eye, near the tear duct. Round the corner and blend with your finger. This wakes you up and instantly brightens your eyes.

The finished product is more awake and bigger looking eyes. Because Hailee has beautiful blue eyes they should be opened and placed more focus onto them. If you compare the before picture to this one her eyes appear more open.

So that is how you can achieve fresh doe eyes. Now that you have pretty big eyes, just bat them a few times and you can get what ever you want…. Or you can give it a good try.

How To: Banana Honey Facial

http://bit.ly/Kz1qHC

This past week I tried out the Banana Honey Facial. Bananas are a natural moisturizer. They replenish skins lost moisture. Honey has been used in beauty products for centuries. It is a natural anti-inflammitory and an anti-bacterial. I have sensitive and oily skin. This is said to help reduce some of that oil.

Concerns

As with any new treatment I had some concerns. I have very sensitive skin, so my first concern was would I break out? Would I get hives? How do I know my skin won’t dry up instead of being moisturizer. I also have oily skin, so I was concerned that it would make it more oily.

Process

Before trying out the facial mask I had done my research. I wanted to make sure that the mixture wouldn’t react with my skin and that I was comfortable with the idea that it most likely would not ruin my skin. 1. Peal half a banana and place in a small sealable bag. 2. Squeeze about a tablespoon of natural honey into the bag. 3. Seal the bag and squeeze mixture in between your hands. Squeeze it until it is a smooth consistency. 4. On a clean face apply mixture evenly all over, avoiding eyes. 5. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Read a book (I suggest How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, Fifty Shades series, or any other girly/raunchy book), take a bubble bath, do some homework, etc. 6. Using cool water rinse face thoroughly, again avoiding eyes. Pat dry with a towel. Your skin should feel soft and smooth.

Results

There were both pros and cons to the Banana Honey Facial.

Pros

-My skin does feel softer. It felt softer from the moment I started rinsing my face.
-My skin appears less oily. It is less oily, but still moisturizer.

Cons

-It was a mess. I had a hard time applying it to my face without it getting everywhere.
-It definitely was not a pleasant smell, which you would think otherwise.

Opinion

The pro’s definitely out weigh the cons on this one. It had surprising results and left my skin looking and feeling great. I would suggest giving it a try, just breathe through your mouth.

How To: Olive Oil Hair Treatment

Fresh and Ageless

This past week I tried out the Olive Oil Hair Treatment for myself. Olive oil is full of vitamins and other nutrients that help to moisturize and nourish hair. It is supposed to be gentle on all varieties of hair. I have normal to fine hair that I do get colored fairly regularly.

Concerns

Before trying out the treatment I had some concerns. Would it make my hair greasy? Would the smell stay on my hair? How would it be on my colored hair? And I was, of course, skeptical about it actually working.

Process

I had done my research before starting. I made sure I was comfortable with the fact that it would not damage my hair. I figured out different methods of how to do it and made sure I actually had olive oil in my house. 1. Depending on your length of hair (I have shoulder length hair and used about 3 Tbsp) pour the olive oil into a bowl.

2. Rub a handful of olive oil in your hands to warm it up a bit and apply evenly through dry (I had 3 day old) hair. Paying special attention to your ends. If you have a dry scalp it is beneficial to massage it into your scalp as well. If you have fine or a naturally oily scalp try and stay about an inch away from your roots.

3. After you have used up your olive oil and it is evenly coated on your hair pull it up into a loose bun. You may want to put a shower cap on over it as well. Let it sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes. I did my nails why I waited.

4. Once the 30 minutes is up wash hair as per usual and rinse thoroughly.

5. Then style like you normally would. You should have shiny, soft hair.

Results

There were both pros and cons to this hair treatment.

Pros

-My hair does definitely feel softer. I noticed it from the second I started rinsing it out of my hair.

-It’s easy. It doesn’t take too much time and doesn’t cost a whole lot (just the olive oil).

-I have received comments on my hair since trying the treatment.

Cons

-It did leave my hair feeling greasy. The top of my hair looks fine, but it is super greasy at the roots of my bottom layers.

-The smell has stayed in my hair. When I styled my hair after using the straightener highlighted the smell.

-My hair was ridiculously hard to style afterwards as well. I normally have an easy time curling my hair.

Opinion

If you are looking to minimize frizz and have soft shiny hair, I would recommend trying it out. Although I had a few problems with it, over all I love how my hair feels and looks. It really does look healthy and shiny. Mission accomplished.

Simply Beautiful You

Have you ever searched the internet for hours on end trying to find an at home recipe for a face mask? Have you gone from blog to blog just to find a few new tips on health? Or have you searched Pinterest for new decoration ideas? If so this blog is for you.

In this blog I will be discussing “how-to” tips and tricks for health, beauty, and DIY projects. Between friends and family asking me how I did this or how I did that and my own wasted hours sitting on the computer looking for beauty recipes and health tips, I have found the inspiration for this blog. I will be posting “how-to” tips about hair and skin to healthy eating tips and lifestyle choices; I will even show you how to do easy decorating ideas. These tips I will personally try out myself. I will post results to the trick I tried and you will get my honest opinion to how it worked and how it made me feel.

I am out to help everyone live a little bit healthier and a little bit happier. You will feel great about yourself inside and out. If you have any “how-to” ideas that you would like me to try out, please share with me. I would love to know what you want to know how to do and I will give it a try.