Saturday, June 22, 2013

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Cleanser, Toner, Cream, and Vegan Lip Balm Review

I have always tried to find the best skincare products for my face. I have always had sensitive/acne prone skin and a lot of stronger products have left me with red blotchy dry skin or more breakouts then normal.

One major change in my skin was becoming a vegan, my acne disappeared. I still get an occasional breakout but it's nothing compared to my teenage through early 30's. I am now 36 and only break out once or twice a month so to me that is nothing.

For 3 years I had been using DDF products. I used the DDF Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash, DDF Glycolic Toning Complex ,DDF Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Moisturizer. When I first started using them, my skin had a glow that I knew was from the products because for a few months in between I stopped using them and felt like my face looked dull and dry. After doing a lot of research on the products, I found out they are owned by Proctor and Gamble and are tested on animals. This alone made me stop using them. Also there are so many ingredients that I don't know what they are in the products.

So I searched and researched so many products trying to find the one for me. I kept reading about S.W. Basics of Brooklyn and how everything is organic and there are only a few ingredients in each product, all natural and vegan also! I couldn't wait to try them. I bought the 1 oz cleanser, 1 oz toner, mini cream and vegan lipbalm. They accidently forgot my lip balm so shipped me out the full flight of 4 of them. I was thrilled!

I finished all of my old products before starting the new ones. I have used the S.W. Basics of Brooklyn products for almost 2 weeks now before reviewing them.

When I use cleansers I am used to a lot of suds and foam, so this cleanser is a lot different, it doesn't have any foaming. I think we all have been grown to believe that foaming and suds mean more clean, for instance shampoos, toothpastes, soaps, etc. But that is not the case at all. This cleanser makes my face so soft and clean. You put a little on a cotton ball and wipe your face and neck. Then rinse with cool water. The ingredients in the cleanser are
  • Rosewater*
  • Vegetable glycerin*
  • Tea tree oil*

After I dry my face, I put a little toner on a cotton ball and repeat on my face and neck. The ingredients for the toner are
  • Water
  • Raw apple cider vinegar*
  • Witch hazel from Wild Crops Farm, MO
  • Essential oils of clary sage* and sandalwood*
Then I take a very tiny amount of cream and put it all over my face. A tiny amount less than a pea size will be more than enough for your face and neck. The cream smells very good. The ingredients for the cream are
  • Wildcrafted unrefined shea butter°
  • Extra-virgin coconut oil*
  • Extra-virgin olive oil*
°Fair Trade

I then put a little lip balm on and my lips feel incredible. I love the lip balms, the Citrus one is my favorite, but they are all yummy scented! The lip balm ingredients are
  • Candelilla wax
  • Extra-virgin coconut oil*
  • Cocoa butter*°
  • Essential oils* (In citrus, cinnamon, and peppermint options.)
There is NO buildup of any product on my face or lips. My face has a nice glow to it and feels very soft. I did not breakout at all from using these products. Normally when I try a new product I break out until I get used to them, but not in this case. I am extremely happy and plan on buying a few other products from them such as the body scrub and exfoliant. They provide wonderful customer service and great products! I highly recommend them!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blueprint Cleanse Day 6 Last Day Review

Today is the last day and I feel VERY good! I know I ate some raw food on day 5, but I should probably have just started out with a 3 day cleanse. It was tough, I had said I was feeling some regret on Day 3 but now I look back and it wasn't that bad, the juices were VERY good so it wasn't like I was making myself drink something that tasted awful. It's funny because now I am not craving all of the stuff I was before, so I guess that's a good thing!

 I will miss the Cashew Milk for sure! My skin has a very nice glow, my body looks good, I didn't need to lose weight but I lose any bloating I might have had and a few pounds on top of that. I have felt alert all week with NO caffeine. I feel light, clear minded, in a great mood but that's my normal nature anyways.

Overall I think this has been a great experience and will get me back on track of eating more raw foods.

I would recommend anyone try a 3 day BluePrint Cleanse before doing it any longer.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

BluePrint Cleanse Day 4-5 Review and Raw Zucchini Spaghetti

Today is day 5 of juicing and I have tomorrow left and that is it. I feel incredible today, so energetic. I did lose another pound so that is a total of 8lbs in 7 days (started prep 1 week ago today). I think I feel incredible because I added some raw food a long with drinking the juice. I had 1 apple this morning and then came home and had some pistachios and then my husband made me Raw Zucchini Spaghetti and it was incredible. I now feel like I have more energy because I am getting more calories and some solids that I truly believe we need.

Don't get me wrong, the juices from BluePrint are incredible and their customer service is great, I just don't think juicing is for me but adding it to my daily meals is a great way to get a lot of nutrients and it tastes very good.

Here are a few pictures of Norman and one of Haystack tonight :) ( As you can see I allow my cats on the kitchen table)  I need to get more pictures of my other kitties, Norman steals the show!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

BluePrint Cleanse Review Day 3 of 6 - Can't wait for this to be over

Today has been really tough, I feel like I regret doing this. I have lost 7lbs since last Thursday when I started the prep, so that's 6 days I have lost 7lbs and I really didn't need to lose any weight. My husband looks sickly and he is a big guy, under 1000 calories for him just does not seem right. He has lost 10lbs already.

We received our 2nd batch of juice today for the next 3 days. I really can't wait until they are gone lol. I miss food! My husband completed day 2 since he is on midnight shift he is a little behind me on this, he just got up and ate a handful of cashews and felt so much better. He is going to finish the juices with some raw veggies to help increase some of his calories.

So far the Pro's of this are

The juice is organic and full of really good stuff
The juices are VERY good! 
I feel very alert at times and I haven't had any caffeine
My skin has a glow and my hair is shinier
My stomach is very flat
I don't feel hungry 

The Cons are
Not enough calories a day
Very pricey
Losing too much weight too fast
My mouth is very dry all the time even if I drink a lot of water
I have headaches on and off
My eyes feel different, almost like they are starving for food
Even though I don't feel hungry my mind wants food

Overall this just isn't for me. I am a vegan so I already eat healthy, maybe this is for someone who wants to lose weight fast and also for people who don't eat healthy to get back on track.

Monday, June 3, 2013

BluePrint Cleanse Day 2 of 6 Review

I haven't had caffeine since Saturday and I feel a lot better than I thought I would. When I started juicing Sunday I just didn't have the cup of green tea and even though I was drained, I related that to the juicing. Today was much better, I felt a lot better, more alert and my face has a glow to it. I swear my hair looks more shiny also. I have lost 6lbs already, I really don't want to lose anymore weight. I need to make myself drink more water, I haven't been drinking the 12 oz between every juice, I do drink water just not enough. I noticed I am very thirsty all of the time between the juices.

I was fine at work with the juices, I drank juice #1 at 6 am this morning before I left for work, then I took #2-#4 with me in the cooler that they provided with 5 ice packs that came with it. My juice was VERY cold. I drank Juice #2 at 9 am, Juice #3 at noon and then #4 at 1:30. When I came home I had #5 then went for a walk for an hour.  I noticed on my walk it was a little harder walking up the hill that I have no problem with any other time. My body isn't getting enough calories I can tell so I can't wait until this is over with so I can eat more.

Even though I don't feel hungry while drinking the juices and even between them, the smell of food is driving me crazy! On our walk we smelled someone cooking on the grill and then in the park we could smell the food coming from the country club. Our sense of smell is crazy right now and that's what makes it so hard, smelling food. It doesn't help either that my husband and I talk about all kinds of food when we walk. He has so many things he wants to cook for me, I can't wait!

When I came home I had #6 which is my absolute favorite the Cashew Milk. The Cashew milk has little chunks that didn't mix up well even though I shake it but the chunks are SO good, since there is no chewing going on, I chew those little pieces and pretend I am eating something and the taste is creamy and YUMMY. It's very sweet like melted ice-cream. I felt very good after having it.

One thing I knew before but know even more now is that my husband and I both are obsessed with food and love to talk about it, eat it, take pictures of it, talk about it some more, and of course cook and bake and experiment with it, so this has been VERY hard for us.

Tomorrow my 2nd and last shipment arrives, I have 4 more days to go :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

BluePrint Cleanse - Day 1 of 6 Review

Well it's 9:17 pm and I made it through the first day of juicing and let's just say the only thing that made this day better was the last drink #6 Cashew Milk. Today was VERY hard and very depressing. I miss food so much and the smell of everything that my kids are eating is driving me crazy lol. I came upstairs to get water and my oldest son was eating some spicy french fries and the smell of the spices was so intense. My sense of smell is so strong, it was after being vegan but I swear the 3 day prep and today juicing made it even stronger.

I honestly felt like I wanted to give up after today, drinking only liquid is crazy to me now and then I wonder what is the point if I am going to go back to eating the way I was before which was very good but I did eat vegan burgers, vegan sausage, etc. I guess I am resetting my body and cleansing out everything bad that is still in there. I feel very good right now but I did feel so drained today. I could barely lift my dumbells and do my lunges, my legs felt so weak.

I went out to my mom's house tonight to help her with her garden and I just felt very drained. My husband and I both joked with each other today about how crazy we were to do this and that we had to finish since we spent a lot of money on it, if it wasn't for the money I might stop because I miss food that much.

There are 4 green juices, 1 spicy lemonade and the cashew (dream) milk. The green juice is tolerable, it's not horrible and it's not great, it's ok. I got it down easy and was thankful there was some sweetness from the apple in it. The lemonade was very good and a nice change. The cashew milk was SO good and tasty! It fulfilled everything and made it all better. Tomorrow is Monday so the rest of the week I will be at work for most of the day so hopefully keeping very busy will keep my mind away from this and hopefully the week goes fast.

I am down 5lbs already from the 3 day prep and today. I know it's water weight though. I will let you know how the rest of the week goes! Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

BluePrint Cleanse - 3 days of Prep before starting our 6 day Cleanse

My husband and I have always wanted to do a juice cleanse together, ever since we watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We went out and bought a Breville Juice, all the ingredients to make a green juice, then literally that was it, we made the juice, drank it and we were done. It wasn't that we didn't like it, we did, just the time and effort to do it, we lacked.

I have read so many reviews online about the BluePrint Cleanse. This seems to be the highest rated one, but the price is what really kept me away from it. Then it went on sale on Gilt City, the biggest percentage off was for the 12 day cleanse that was $585 which is 25% off. This does not include the shipping. Shipping overnight with a cooler is $10 per day per person. It does say on the Gilt City site description that it can be split into 4 - 3 day cleanses. I still made a phone call to BluePrint to make sure that my husband and I both would be able to do a 6 day cleanse with this 12 day package. The guy assured me that yes, the way the voucher codes work with this, is you have to enter them in 4 times, 1 for each order. He also told me that when BluePrint offers a discount that it's usually 10-15% off, so I knew I was getting a deal. I was in the car on our way to Whole Foods in Wexford, I didn't want to wait any longer because some of the packages were already sold out, so I completed the order and then said OMG I just spent all this money on juice, it was hard to justify that much money for a total of 72 plastic bottles of juice. My husband and I decided to do the Excavation Cleanse which is the highest level one, because we both are vegans so we have already detoxed a lot of the bad stuff out by changing the way we eat.

When I got to Whole Foods, I went straight to the juices and sure enough there was BluePrint Cleanse Juices,

 I got really upset because I knew right then, if I had waited until I got there, I would save the $120 in shipping. I sat there with my phone calculating how much I would spend at WholeFoods vs. Gilt City + Shipping. I figured out that I would need 4 cases of the green juice which would give me 10% off each case, 1 case of the lemonade, and 1 case of the cashew milk. This would bring my total now to $616 vs. $705 ($585+$120 shipping). I then assured myself that:

#1. Whole Foods probably didn't carry that many cases of juice since it expires within 6 days, so we would either not have enough juice, or we would have to drive back down 1 hour and 10 minutes one way to get the 2nd batch of our juice supply.
#2. We were not ready at that moment to start juicing, you have to prepare 3 days before and we had not.
#3. We were going to be getting our juices freshly made at our doorstep along with emails supporting and tips included during our first juicing cleanse.

I got home and saw in my email that Ebates had already applied the 4% cashback award to my account for linking to Gilt City, so that was $23.40 off bringing my total now to $681.60 which is $56.80 per person per day. This sounded a little better :)

Day 1 of Prep- May 30th, 2013

I normally only have 1 cup of coffee every morning and that is my only caffiene for the day, I drink water with lemon in it the rest of the day. So today I woke up and made green tea instead. I put 2 tea bags with 12 oz of water and brought it to work. I packed my lunch with fruits and veggies like I normally do, just leaving out the Clif Crunch bar and nuts that I usually include. I finished my green tea in the morning when I got to work and felt a little tired. Around 9:00 am I snacked on my organic cucumbers and really enjoyed them, it's amazing how much better organic foods taste, the flavor is so much more defined.

Snacks for work- Organic Celery, Cucumbers, Red Grapes, Clementine and Red Delicious Apple

Steamed Broccoli and Mixed Greens covered with Guacamole

Within another hour I ate my organic red grapes, then went for a walk at lunch time. I could tell I felt alittle less energetic than I normally do. I came in from my walk and ate a clementine. When I got home I ate my apple and never did eat the celery. I felt very tired when I got home from work but I didn't take a nap.

For dinner Tom made me steamed organic broccoli with organic mixed greens covered in the guacamole he had made the day before, it tasted so good! I still felt very tired after supper, so I drank another cup of green tea.

After dinner, we went for a walk in the park, I started to feel a little more energetic. I came home and had a small cup of orange juice and then I felt great.

2nd Day Prep-May 31, 2013

I was wide awake at 3 am and had a hard time falling back asleep. I finally did and then didn't want to get up at 4:30 when my alarm went off. I got up and had a banana and orange juice and felt great. Even before my green tea, I felt very good. I made a 12 oz cup of green tea to take to work with me and I sipped on it all morning. I had to make myself eat my grapes and cucumbers before noon, usually I am always snacking away but this time I had no appetite. I went for my afternoon walk during my lunch break and couldn't believe how good I felt.

In the afternoon I ate 2 clementines and then for supper I had steamed broccoli, edamame, and mixed green salad with only orange zest and pieces of orange, this was incredible! I never had orange on my salad and it was very tasty! I got a lot of my housework done also, so my energy level is a lot more than it has been in the past when I tried to give up coffee.

Our juices arrived today a little after 10:30 and my husband just got home so they didn't sit outside, thankfully because it's almost 90 here. When he opened them they were still very cold, and he put them all in the refridgerator. He texted me at work asking me if we want to start tomorrow instead of Sunday and drive to Whole Foods to buy the juices we would need for Tuesday since our next delivery is Tuesday, I told him no, we need to do our 3 day prep. That cashew milk is going to get me through everyday, looking forward to it so much!

3rd day of Prep - June 1st, 2013 (Juicing Starts tomorrow)

I woke up at 3 am this morning again, wide awake, I finally fell back asleep until a little after 5. Even on the weekends, I don't sleep in. Sleeping in for me would be 7 am lol. This morning I had a banana and orange juice again with a cup of green tea. I did a lot of cleaning and laundry. I thought about food a lot today, I love my husband's cooking so much and it feels like I will never eat it again but it's only 9 more days to go not counting today. You have to slowly eat other foods after juicing, you pretty much have to do the prep after juicing to get your body used to solids again. I am just day dreaming about his homemade chili and cornbread, biscuits, my lemon cookies, his deep dish vegan pizza, omg I am hungry. I just nibbled on some celery right now and for lunch it will be steamed broccoli.

I did weigh myself today and I have lost 4lbs already just from 2 days of prepping, I wasn't doing the juicing for weight loss more of a detox and cleansing. I don't think it's healthy to lose weight really fast so I hope I don't lose too much more when juicing.

For lunch I had steamed broccoli, then we went to the store and bought stuff to make salads. We also bought some more organic red grapes. Nothing seems to be satisfying me today.

-this afternoon my husband and I admitted that we regret doing this, what did we get ourselves into, we spent so much money on this and now we wish we wouldn't have. We have been so tired and hungry today, today has been the worst. I had a few teaspoons of Earth Balance Peanut Butter, it was like a little happy party in my mouth. The taste was so incredible. I miss food so much, yes I am still eating food and haven't even started the juicing but I already miss all the meals that Tom would make me. This feels like torture, hopefully it gets better after we start to juice..why did I pick 6 days again? lol

Tom opened up a bag of almonds and cashews, these are raw right? I had a small amount, I feel like I cheated on the prep but it doesn't say you can't have those, I really wish they would have given a lot more foods that you can eat. I think the main thing is to cut out processed foods, dairy and meat (which we don't eat anyways), sugar and coffee.

Today we took a break from working out, we workout 6 days a week so it was our normal day off.

Looking forward to starting the juicing tomorrow!