Cleanse Diary: Day 2

Dear Diary,

I want food. I want food all the time. If there’s one thing I’m taking from this cleanse, I’ve realized that when I’m bored, my first thought is “EAT SOMETHING!” I’m not hungry, I just want to munch. I’ve been thinking about food, pinning food, hell I smelled candles today at Bath and Body Works that smelled like food. Sea Salt Maple Popcorn? Be still my beating heart.

What it boils down to is that I’m sick of drinking juices and I’ve still got another day. Ugh. The juices all taste good but I’m bored. I want crunchy. I want chewy. I want savory, salty, sweet and everything in between. I really want to go to Dizengoff.

To be honest, I’m not getting the huge craze over cleanses. I don’t feel any different other than my extremely overactive bladder. No flat stomach, no flushed out digestive track, no internal “lightness.” The only thing I’ve been pleasantly surprised about is how well I’m surviving and recovering from my barre classes.

So….would I be the biggest failure in the world if I stopped tonight? See, I’m going to North Bowl and I’d LOVE some tots. I don’t think I’m strong enough to be in the presence of tots and not eat them. Napoleon Dynamite much? Regardless, Bonnie, make a strong mental note that if you ever have the glorious idea to cleanse again, that you should just do it for a day…. or a meal.

-B

Bon Weekend

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Bar prep got REAL this week. The amount of hours I’m dedicating daily has seemingly gone through the roof now that we are on state specific topics. T-32. Aside from studying, I finally made it over to the new vegan bar in the Gayborhood, Charlie was a sinner. (yes, the name includes punctuation). I was really impressed, although not surprised, by how Nicole Marquis (owner of HipCityVeg) upped her game from vegan “fast food.” The vegan ricotta spread was one of the most delicious iterations of tofu I’ve ever had (read: not like tofu at all!).

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The BF and I both got the mango lassi mocktails which were more like a mango lassi cocktail than the smoothie like texture of a normal lassi. Delicious nonetheless and I can’t wait to try the non-alcoholic version! The rest of the cocktail list looked incredible. As I was reading through the menu, I found myself saying “Ooh! This looks good!” to just about every drink. I’m so glad the vegan scene in Philly is ever expanding!

Here’s a bit of what else on my radar this weekend:

+   Save 20% during the summer sale at BaubleBar! I’m obsessed with the brand new BAUBLEBAR x STRIPES & SEQUINS collaboration which is included in the sale. I may or may not have already purchased the Crystal Mason Ring. The Mason ring is such a stunner (and only $28)! Most of the collaboration can be seen in the top image!

+   Speaking of sales, I don’t know what’s going on at Piperlime nearly the entire site including tons vegan leather apparel is on sale. Happy shopping!

+   Behold: the complete Philly guide to outdoor movies this summer. I’m all about seeing one of my favorite movies, Ratatouille, on August 9!

+   There is a new free yoga class being offered in Bella Vista (8th and Fitzwater). It will be held on Monday nights at 6 pm. Just bring your own mat!

+   J.Lo is creating a new line of vegan supplements, according to Philly.com, following her 22-day vegan cleanse. I’m really curious to see what this line is going to look like! Vitamins? Protein Powder? I’m hoping lots of B-12!

+   Cue the tissues. These pictures of humans saving animals are beyond heartwarming. I love my puppy to the moon and back and feel that all animals are deserving of that compassion. These images struck a chord with me because it was posted by a friend who frequently posts her fantastic meal-filled dishes and reminded me of the disconnect I had with food.

-B

Image via

Video Review of the Vegan Cuts June Box!

Vegan Cuts sent me their June Snack box to review for you all. I have to say, I’m impressed! Vegan Cuts is a monthly subscription service where you get boxes of vegan snacks, vegan fashion, or vegan beauty products sent right to your door each month. The snack box, at $19.95/month, is a great way to try out new products that you may have never heard of before or may not be stocked in your local grocer. Find something you like? You can buy it over at the Vegan Cuts shop! So easy!

I recorded this video about a week ago and couldn’t decide if I wanted to upload it because I felt so awkward, but I figured what the hell, this is my first one. Once I got over seeing myself on screen, I realized I actually had a ton of fun making this video and definitely plan on making more video posts in the future. You can subscribe to my new youtube channel here.

There were 10 products included in the June box, which I describe in my full glory in the video. I was really surprised by the amount of snacks included. 10 snacks is good for 2 weeks of packed lunches for work! As a newbie to a plant-based diet, I LOVED this because 9/10 items were things I never had or even heard of before. I also really appreciated that the snacks were all from small producers, you aren’t going to find vegan products from say… Kashi in their boxes. I haven’t had a chance to try the all of products yet but I will post again when I do.

P.S. I found video blogging to be a great way to work on my presentation skills. I definitely talk way too much with my hands #jerseyproblems and say “and” as a mental tick. I’m glad blogging has a side benefit for this future attorney! If you have any other constructive feedback I’d love to hear it!

– B

Disclosure: I received a free Vegan Cuts box from Vegan Cuts in exchange for writing a review on the blog but all reviews are honest and my own.

Bon Weekend

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One week of bar prep = COMPLETE. It’s horrible because I’m cooped up studying inside all day now that it’s finally starting to be consistently nice outside. Realistically however, it’s manageable. I start around 8 am and finish around 6 or so (with a 1 hour lunch break, and 10 min brain breaks here and there.) I’ve been able to cook, clean, go to yoga everyday, and even go bowling last night. It’s not how I’d like to spend my summer but I know I’ll survive. Here’s a bit of what’s on my mind that has nothing to do with the bar exam:

+   I’m not really sure what I just watched here but it’s definitely in a whole different league from the typical dance performances you see on Sou You Think You Can Dance or America’s Got Talent. It’s light and human form mixed into one. While the dancing is impressive, I think the light effect people deserve the real credit.

+   America’s Next Top Model casted a young woman with vitiligo to be a contestant. Personally, I love this. I started developing vitiligo when I was about 10 years old. Even though I’m fair skinned (something that minimizes the contrast), my vitiligo is something I am still self-conscious about, especially in summer months. It took many years before I could walk out of my house and forget about the appearance of the skin on my feet, knees, and neck. I applaud Tyra and the other producers for casting beyond the typical beauty norms. If it gives young girls with skin imperfections – be it acne, psoriasis, or vitiligo a little extra confidence then bravo!

+   I’ve increased my yoga practice A LOT since beginning to study for the bar. It really is the only thing that keeps me sane and my stress in line. I have the tendency to hold tension in my shoulders, especially when sitting for 8+hours a day studying. I can’t even begin to tell you what chaturanga and wheel pose has done for my back. This Buzzfeed post with more appropriate yoga pose names made me LOL. I’ve definitely thought some of these things while getting my yoga on.

+   I LOVE High Street on Market. After brunching there, I knew it had something special going on. Upping its awesome rating, High Street on Market will be hosting a series with Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars fame. The first dinner on June 3 will  feature spring produce like ramps, rhubarb, and strawberries. The other dinners will be on July 22nd and September 30th. According to Philly Mag, “McClellan will speak briefly before each meal about the process of preserving and since the events are spaced throughout the growing season you can expect to see real diversity in each menu.” Reservations are suggested. $25/person.

+   I didn’t make the switch to a (almost entirely… more on that eventually) vegan diet to lose weight but I found that I naturally lost about 5 pounds in the first few months of eating vegan. This study speculates that part of the common vegan weight loss may have to do with how a plant-based diet affects metabolism.

-B

Original Image via

Brunching at High Street on Market

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Last weekend, I went out for brunch before picking up my Broad Street Run bib. I met up with my roommate, Victoria, from a leadership conference way back during my junior year of high school. We had kept in touch over Facebook, but we finally made time to meet up in person after all these years. Victoria went to L.A. for college to study at USC but moved back to the area after graduation. I remembered her as a big runner, she was that girl who got up an extra hour early to sneak in a run before the day’s activities. Overachiever! Now that she’s (finally) passed all the sections of the CPA exam, she’s excited to get back to running. I really enjoyed talking about running with her now that it’s something that I love too!

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Anyways… onto the good stuff! The food!! Let me tell you High Street on Market [308 Market St.], did not disappoint! We dined at the semi-awkward time of 2pm, but that meant we had both the breakfast and lunch menu to choose from! Also, no waiting for a table! It just so happened that we both ordered from the lunch menu. I got the ancient grains salad sans goat cheese. It was phenomenal. Ancient Grains Salad included farro, puffed rice, cider pickled cranberries, celery root, arugula, seeded toasts and topped with maple mustard vinaigrette. I’d get it over and over again if I could.  Don’t be deceived by the picture, the salad was HUGE and very filling!

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.17.30 PMVictoria got the eggplant sandwich which came on the most beautiful bread. By removing the cheddar, that dish could easily become vegan too! Speaking of bread, we ordered the daily bread selection to split. (p.s. I have a carb problem… acknowledgement is the first step right?) So freaking good. I didn’t even mind skipping the homemade butter and eating the bread plain! I would definitely recommend the bread no matter what you order. You can even order loaves to go!

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Seeing that High Street is owned by the same people as Fork, I had high expectations. They were vastly exceeded. The interior was quaint and the food presentation was beautiful. Between the chef, Eli Kulp, being named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine and Craig LaBan (who I follow religiously) giving it a very respectable 3 Bells (out of 4), you know this place is onto something!  I love this short video showing the creation of the restaurant.

Final word: if you haven’t been to High Street on Market yet, GO! If you have and want to go back, call me!

-B

Images 1, 2, & 4 + video via