Hello Ibiza, Goodbye Amsterdam (EuroTour 2015)

The last leg of our EuroTrip ended in Ibiza, a small island off the coast of Spain. I was looking forward to this beach getaway the most. I love the beach, the lazy time just enjoying the sun, the breeze, and the water.

We took a local train from Amsterdam to the airport. Since I hadn’t gotten a chance to take a photo at the Amsterdam sign at the main train station, after we checked in and went thru airport security I left my carry-on bag with my friends and went outside the airport to capture a few flicks with the Amsterdam sign at the airport.

Of course our flight was delayed, but once we landed in Ibiza we took a cab to our AirBnb, grabbed food nearby, and walked around along the beach. We met a woman, Alesandra, who was about our age dancing in the street to a live band, her mother and grandmother sitting nearby encouraged me to dance with her, so I did. Afterwards she offered us free tickets to the club she worked at and told us to text her beforehand to confirm if she was working.

We woke up the next morning and walked a bit to find tickets to do excursions etc. we got the information we needed but didn’t book anything. We found a place nearby to get breakfast right on the beach complete with delicious mimosas. Let the fun begin!

After breakfast was the designated time for sun & sand. But before we could get our relaxation on we were intrigued by a speed boat pulling a group in a what can only really be described as a huge inflatable circular water raft.  Instant fun and we signed up immediately!

The four of us dropped our belongings, grabbed the life vests and hopped into the raft holding on to ropes on either side of us.  The ride was quite bumpy and a few of us fell off the inflatable benches onto the raft floor with the velocity of the boat making it pretty difficult to gain composure.  I’m pretty sure a few of us sustained a bruise or two, but it was so worth it.  It was unexpected fun, especially since the boat driver was deliberately maneuvering the raft to keep us from gaining composure and getting drenched in the process. 11907760_10153585525919190_1803335373055328077_n I don’t remember the cost and unfortunately (or fortunately) it wasn’t captured on any camera. But here’s a shot of the boat and raft in the water.

 

We made it back to the beach where we rented an umbrella and chairs.  A few of us went to a nearby shop to purchase some libations.

Luckily we happened to find a store with an ice bucket special that included a bottle of alcohol, ice, water, cups and juice.  I did a bit of negotiating for the price since we wanted to swap out the type and brand of alcohol pre-designated for the deal but the liquor bucket ultimately made for a great beach trip.

After a quick photo shoot we went back to relaxing on the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paris 2015 (EuroTour Leg 2)

We took a taxi from Charles de Gaulle airport to our AirBnB.  Which was nice and in a great location. Check in went very smoothly and after changing clothes we were out the door to site see the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower etc.11807733_10153563176729190_4788113633193727604_o 11807321_10153563169679190_2758840853483044888_o

 

We grabbed lunch and tried to get tickets for a dinner show, but the two shows we had interest in seeing were sold out for that night.

Although it was something we discussed doing weeks in advance we hadn’t actually purchased the tickets. (Lesson Learned: Book ahead, next time).

11822392_10153563167269190_3817035091518645833_nAfter site seeing, we returned to the apartment to figure out our next move.  This took awhile but eventually found a place to have a really nice dinner.  Santa Carne, an Argentinean steakhouse.

Our party of four had an amazing time at Santa Carne. 3 of us ordered the L’assiette du chef (Chef’s choice) which is essentially 3 different types of steak with potatoes and salad. The couple at the table next to us had gotten the same dish and it looked amazing. He also said he had ordered it medium well which is normally how I take my steak, but it was a bit too red for me so when I ordered mine I got it well done and was more than satisfied.

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The fourth person in our party ordered the La Brochette (steak skewer) and she also was happy but for only 10 Euro more why not get the Chef’s choice? We also ordered a rose wine which was okay.

The service was amazing! Our Argentinean server, Ariel was a bit shy about speaking English to us and communication was a small challenge but he gladly grabbed a chef from the kitchen, Lara/Laura to interpret for us all and she was awesome as well. It was a great time and made my second time in Paris a thousand times better than my first trip to Paris.11813429_10153563168969190_6516908020220582999_n

We had a mini photo shoot while waiting outside to be seated for dinner…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was wearing a silver and custom made center pearl ring on my left ring finger.  A 28-year old Ariel grabbed my left hand and noted the ring. I quickly switched the ring to my middle finger to indicate that I was not indeed engaged or married, as he continued to flirt.  We all had a laugh about that.



After dinner we stopped for me to get my favorite European treat, a crepe!  It was a delicious Nutella and banana crepe.
Magic in the making
Magic in the making
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Someone wanted to be in the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

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England 2015 (EuroTour Leg 1)

The three of us arrived in London, Heathrow on a Wednesday morning and awaited our fourth party’s arrival flight.  Luckily after an hour we realized her flight was delayed several hours.  We went to our day room not too far from the airport and waited for her to arrive.

My Godbrother picked us up from the hotel and we went back to his house about 2-hours away not too far from Cambridge, UK.  Although the original plan was for us to stay with him, we ultimately got two rooms at nearby hotel (Worlington Hall Country House Hotel).

 
The room I stayed in was a suite, a 2-level apartment almost, looked as though it hadn’t been rented out in months, had a slight smell of mildew/mold and it was outside of the rest of the hotel.  It was sooo cold we slept in our clothes but because we were unsure of the cleanliness we slept on top of the sheets.  Man I almost froze that night. I woke up congested and irritated.

He came to get us after we ate the traditional English Breakfast at the hotel and we went back to his house to shower and get dressed. There was no way I could shower in a room that cold.


After 4 women got dressed we were off to Cambridge to sight see. We visited a museum had lunch at Revolution Bar and took a ton of selfies and usies. Here are some pictures of our afternoon.

The next day my bro grilled the best chicken wings and later we roasted marshmallows and s’mores on the fire pit at his house. We booked a different hotel for that night.  After chatting with the manager we thought that it was 2 double beds and because the price was so high we agreed to make it work (2 in each bed). But when we later got to the room, we realized it was actually two twin beds pushed together.  They had given us the keys earlier in the day but told us the room would not be ready until much later.   Four women in what is essentially a queen size bed was NOT fun!  I didn’t sleep much at all.On the third day we went to London and got another hotel.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel before heading out to sight see.  We saw Big Ben, London Bridge, and Buckingham Palace.  We followed that with dinner at an Irish Pub where most of us got the Fish and Chips, which was much better than the first time I had tried it years ago in another England Pub.


  

We had planned to go out to the club scene that night but were pretty tired by the end of the day so we just headed back to our hotel for the evening.

The next day we would be leaving for Paris but that didn’t go quite as planned…

 

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Why The Cheesecake Factory Should Banish the White Bread from their Tables.

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The Cheesecake Factory should probably just ban the white dinner bread from their restaurant. I mean seriously the wheat bread is what everyone at the table always reaches for.

I must admit that I was prejudice against the brown bread for years until that was all that was left on the table and I tried it. This probably stems from being a kid and going to grandma’s house where they only had the healthiest, i.e. the nastiest brown wheat bread. So i was conditioned to dislike any bread brown in color and not chocked full of bananas and nuts

I was so upset with myself that I had gone so long neglecting this seemingly hidden gem.  But you know what they say… “Once you go brown”… you never frown?

Who knows what they say I just know they should just never bring me the white bread again.

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I Broke My Fast on Day 6 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

I woke up knowing that I was in no mood to juice a truckload of fruits and veggies.  For several reasons I knew that I would be breaking my fast today, on Day 6.

  • I just was no longer motivated to spend the time required each morning to juice.
  • I was almost out of the fruits and veggies I needed to make a decent juice.
  • But lastly and most importantly my stomach was not dealing well with all the roughage.

I’ve had stomach issues since high school, when I swore I had a stomach ulcer, but later found out it was gastrointestinal issues.  Nevertheless, after a few years of suffering I finally got diagnosed and got educated about triggers and foods to avoid or minimize the intake.

Those foods include broccoli and excessive leafy greens.  I don’t normally have issues eating salads or broccoli, but when I’ve consumed those foods on a consistent daily basis, it has never ended well. Luckily I’ve been successful at monitoring my diet to ensure I don’t have to take pills to help with symptoms etc.

Anyway, I say all of this to say that I think that juicing is good, but for me I’ll need to incorporate it into my diet in a more moderate way.  One juice daily, vice all juice. One thing is for certain, you will definitely consume more veggies by juicing them, than it would be comfortable to eat normally.

Also, it takes time to find the right balance of tastiness while maintaining a healthy balance of fruit to vegetable ratio.  The sugar consumption from the fruit for me, is likely part of the reason why I don’t think the pounds dropped as fast as I had anticipated.  In addition, I’m not quite sure how many calories I consumed during the days that I juiced as compared to my normal diet. So that could also be a contributing factor.

Anyway, I ate an apple in the morning. In the afternoon after finishing some errands I was hungry but wanted to eat something not too heavy or greasy and still veggie-based. I decided on Thai food.

Since I found myself in Annapolis, Maryland. I decided to stop at Lemongrass (on West Street) and ordered the Green Curry with a bit more coconut milk to dial-down the heat/spice.  It’s a green curry sauce with coconut milk, eggplant, which I love, bamboo shoots, basil and I ordered it with chicken. It comes with white rice. I felt fuller quicker, so I imagine my stomach shrunk a bit over the last week.

Green curry

So that was how I broke my fast. Not sure if that was the best thing to eat to break my fast since my stomach still needed to adjust but that was my choice in that moment.

Lessons learned from juicing:

  • Juice in moderation
  • Vary the fruits and veggies
  • Monitor the caloric intake if hoping to lose weight.

Ultimately, I lost no inches on my waist, but I did loose 4 pounds.

Were you on this journey with me? How has it gone for you? How have/will you break your fast? Share your thoughts with me below.

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Day 5 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

Sorry for the delay.

I had 3 juices on day 5. I had some of the green detox soup and an apple in the afternoon.

I went to a friend’s birthday party and was hungry, so I ordered the only pseudo healthy thing on the menu…Glazed carrots.
I’m not sure what it was glazed with but it looked and tasted like grease. So I limited my intake of those carrots.

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Day 4 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

 

Day 4 was… Bananas!!

I started my day with a whole banana. Not necessarily on the meal plan, but I didn’t think it could hurt.

bananas

For a bit of a change, I found a few new recipes on this website and tried those today.  I altered some of the recipes based on the ingredients I had and my taste buds.

 

 

 

My first juice of the day was my take on the Pineapple Cloud:

  • 1/2 a pineapple
  • 1 head of romaine
  • 1 zucchini

I liked this juice, it was a slight twist from the Mean Green Juice.

My second juice of the day was the Funky Monkey:

  • 2 pears
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 inch of ginger

This juice wasn’t too bad, but I definitely could taste the cabbage and that ‘dirt’ taste, but it wasn’t overwhelming so I was able to finish it.

The last juice I made was my take on the Sweet Spice Cider:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/4 a head of red cabbage
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 inch of ginger

 

I don’t know if it made a difference that I didn’t start drinking this juice until after 3pm, but it was not as tasty as it had been when I sipped it in the morning as I bottled it.  It tasted like baby food.  The sweet potato taste was so thick.  I drank maybe a 3rd of this, before gagging and throwing it out.

We had a going away lunch for a few co-workers today at Mission BBQ and I had to attend since one of the guys, works for me.  But I was strong, and just drank my Funky Monkey and suffered in silence while pulled pork and bbq trays floated around me.

Since I didn’t finish the last juice I was a little hungry by the time I got home from work.  I ate two bananas.  Shortly after eating the second banana, I could literally feel the banana digesting.  And about an hour later decided to make the Green Detox Soup. I followed the recipe below minus the broccoli.

Green Detox Soup
Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves
1 leek
small head of broccoli
6 kale leaves (Tuscan cabbage)
1 zucchini
2 celery sticks
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups (1 liter/32 oz) vegetable stock
handful of parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. Chop the garlic and all the veggies.
2. Warm the oil on low heat, then add the leek and garlic and cook slowly for 3–5 minutes.
3. Add the stock and the remaining vegetables and bring slowly to a boil. Cook for just
a few minutes, until the zucchini is soft. The less you cook the vegetables, the better.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, then blend or process the soup to the desired
consistency, from smooth to chunky.
5. Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
Note: You can make your own veggie stock using leftover pulp from your juicer.
Visit the soup recipe section of our website (rebootwithjoe.com) to find instructions.

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Day 3 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

I tried a new recipe today, it is called Fog Cutter:

Apples – 2 medium

Cabbage (red) – 1/4 head, small

Carrots – 4 medium

Ginger Root – 1/2 thumb

Lemon – 1 fruit

Spinach – 4 handful

I really loved the Fog Cutter recipe.

It was hard today, coworkers brought in donuts.  But luckily I resisted all day. And I had a strong craving for chocolate…Still I rose above the temptation.

This morning I weighed myself and I’m only down 3.2 pounds.

Dinner I ate another salad, kale, spinach, avocado, lemon, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, and red onions.

No headaches.

Stay tuned for day 4, it’s a bit more interesting…

Additional Information:

  • https://juicerecipes.com/
  • http://eatdrinkandbeskinny.com/30-day-juicing-challenge/
  • http://foodbabe.com/2013/08/05/juicing-mistakes/
  • http://thejuicenut.com/sweet_potato_juice__the_juice_nut.aspx
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Day 2 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

I woke up quite early, not feeling groggy, but still not ready to get out of bed quite yet, so I tried to sleep for another few hours.  I finally got up and weighed myself, only down one full pound.  A little disappointed in that number since I tend to loose weight quickly when trying. But I started making my juices for the day.  I made 2- 16oz (mason jars) of the “orange juice” and 1 -16oz of the Mean Green Juice (MGJ). I also added a scoop of flavorless organic whey protein.

I also measured my stomach.

I had a few ounces of the Lemon/Ginger hot water and upon arriving at work I had my first ‘Orange” juice.

I drank about 25 ounces of water throughout the work day and had my second juice, the MGJ for lunch.

I felt my headache from yesterday just waiting to return.

I also had a another repeat salad for dinner.

 

 

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Day 1 of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Reboot

Day 1 (January 5) of the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead program was not too bad, except that I had a really bad headache by the time I got home from work.

I weighed myself and after I woke up and then had a half cup of the ginger/lemon hot water.

I made my juices for the work day.

Upon my arrival at work I had my first juice, the Mean Green Juice (MGJ):

Joe’s Mean Green (Green Juice)
Makes 2 servings
Nutrition per serving: 251 kCal; 1049 kJ; 6 g protein; 54 g carbohydrates;
1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 2 g fiber; 30 g sugar; 128 mg salt
Ingredients:
16 kale leaves (Tuscan cabbage)
2 cucumbers
8 celery sticks
4 apples
1 lemon
2 in (5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger

Throughout the day I sipped my water probably only consuming 40 ounces for the day.

I had my next morning snack of my take on the Berry-Apple-Cinnamon Bake, which was basically just blueberries and raisins.  I saved the uncooked apples for my afternoon snack.

In the afternoon I had my second MGJ and later ate the whole sliced apple.

By the time I got home I was so hungry.  I couldn’t even wait to make another juice for dinner. Instead I had a salad pictured below, made with Kale, Spinach, broccoli, grape tomatoes, avocado, and some cilantro. My dressing was the juice from half a lemon and a little virgin coconut oil.

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I followed the salad with a few ounces of the “orange juice”:

Carrot-Apple-Lemon (Orange Juice)
Makes 2 servings
Nutrition per serving: 188 kCal; 786 kJ; 2 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates;
1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 3 g fiber; 29 g sugar; 58 mg salt
Ingredients:
4 apples
4 carrots
2 lemons

I only used a half of a lemon.  And I only made a few ounces to taste it and confirm that I liked the recipe so that I use that recipe in the next mornings’ juice.

My headache didn’t seem to go away and in addition that evening I felt super nauseated.  So I went to bed a little earlier than normal.

Are you juicing, or doing a raw food regimen?  I’d like to hear your thoughts, and recommendations below.

 

See Related Articles:

  • Fitcrazed: https://fitcrazed.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/juicing-shopping/
  • The Banded Vegan: https://bandedvegan.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/5-days-of-juicing/
  • Diary of Little Foodie: https://littlefoodiediaries.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/mean-green-juice-and-the-pre-wedding-tone-up/
  • Two Girls Blog:http://twogirlsblog.com/2015/01/12/my-juice-fast-a-full-report/
  • The Tilly Vanilly:http://thetillyvanilly.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/juice-as-i-expected/
  • The Tartan Doe: http://thetartandoe.com/2015/01/05/3-day-cleanse/
  • Coltons Juice Journey: https://coltonsjuicejourney.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/day-one/

 

 

 

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