good weather

The First Fall

Living in Pennsylvania, I am lucky enough to experience all four seasons.  My favorite season is spring because I love to see all of nature waking up and getting ready to grow.  I also love that the weather is typically a light jacket and pants, and when it’s really warm I can break out all of my fun dresses.  I always dread when the chill comes, that bitter cold that comes with winter.  I can appreciate the snow, everyone’s favorite returning friend.

Most people like snow for a variety of reasons.  There’s the hope that school might be cancelled or delayed, which gives you those few extra hours of warm slumber.  There’s the hope that you can use the snow as an excuse to being late for class or work, or perhaps you can just not show up at all.  After all, being on the roads when it’s snowing is dangerous.  There’s playing in the snow, which includes chasing your friends around with snowballs, or maybe watching your dog hop across the white blanket that had yet to be touched.

My love for snow comes from the essence of it.  When it falls on the ground, it starts packing up on roads,  backyards and sidewalks.  I love the crunch of freshly fallen snow under my shoes as I walk over its path.  The sound of snow is so serene.  You would think that a piece of nature like snow wouldn’t have a sound, but give it a listen.  It’s almost like you can’t hear anything, and that is its sound.  There is so much going on around you like cars, people, and busy roads, but when the snow is falling you can block out all of that.  It muffles all the unwanted emptiness and fills it with soft silence.

When the snow first falls, you can see it rising on tree branches and roof tops.  It’s so perfectly white.  You almost want to run your hand along each ledge, each branch, just to see the mounds drift to the ground.  But you don’t mess up the mounds, you instead draw your gloved finger through it, writing out your name.  Or maybe you are glove-less, and instead you dare to drag your finger through the chilly snow.  Afterwards, you shake off the wetness, and blow warm air into your hands, attempting to warm every frozen finger.  It doesn’t matter how cold you are, it was worth it to see your name appear on the snow, only to be covered up by fresh flakes.

Billowy mounds of snow

The snow falls onto everything you are wearing too.  Not just your jacket, where the snow clings to every thread, but to your face.  It falls softly onto your nose, and soon your eyelashes.  Every time you blink little flakes move with you.  They soon melt, only to welcome more onto the little hairs shielding your eyes.  The snow covers all of your hair, lightly resting on it until you decide to shake it out or tousle your locks which only soaks the flakes to the hair even more.

The sad part is when the snow turns to slush, and the roads are a sloppy mess.  The roadsides are piled high with mounds of muddy brown snow.  Everything becomes a little more dirty and less magical.  But, we always can remember that first day when the snow first fell, and everything was a white wonderland.  I think I should stop complaining how the weather is cold when it is snowing, and instead appreciate everything that is wonderful when it falls.

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The Detox Diaries: A Belated Final Entry

Although I have been bad about blogging everyday, I am attempting to redeem myself with one final entry (about the detox).  This past Saturday had it’s ups and downs.  I have to admit, Saturday morning I semi-broke my good streak.  I am so sorry fellow readers, I hope you all are not too upset with me.

I broke it with a cup of coffee.

My famous smoothies

However, I felt no guilt  I’ll get into that in a bit.  After my cup of sins, I headed to my boyfriends house for the day.  It was a beautiful day, and I decided I should make us some delicious smoothies.  It contained a mango, strawberries, oranges, and of course, spinach leaves for nutrients.  What’s even better, we enjoyed them in a hammock!

Stir-fry, sweet potato french fries, brown rice

For dinner, I decided to make us a heaping amount of vegetable stir-fry.  I cut up carrots, colorful peppers, water chestnuts, broccoli, and onion.  I also cut up some sweet potatoes, mixed them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and made french fries.

I made a “sauce” for the stir-fry, which I found to be the secret into making perfect stir-fry.  When you are making a huge amount of stir-fry, I either like a decent amount of oil, or a sauce.  The sauce really isn’t a sauce.  All I used was a little bit of water, little bit of soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper.  I added this sauce when the stir fry was about two-thirds done, and it simmered along with the vegetables, flavoring them all.

I also made brown rice to go alongside of the stir-fry.  Brown rice is very tricky to make, in my opinion.  It cooks differently than white rice, probably because it is healthier for you.  I seasoned the rice with some basil, and served with the fries, and stir-fry.

Needless to say, there were no leftovers.

As for Sunday, technically I should have kept the detox going all day.  However, my family had a big dinner planned that I really wanted to be a part of.  I did make sure I ate some fruit during Sunday, so I did maintain a healthy day.  We also had a salad with dinner, so that made me feel better.

While some may look at me with disappointment, and say how could I not stick with it, I must say several things.  I am content with everything I accomplished during this 5-6 day period.  If you know me, I am not the kind of person to diet, or be overly concerned with eating habits.  I am also not the kind of person to give up the foods I love, because I treat my food like friends.  I respect the way food tastes, looks, and smells.  I appreciate good food.  I am also not the kind of person to give up coffee.  Especially not for that long of a time span (I know it’s only a week….but still).  I have friends whose parents always invite me over for dinner because they know I can devour a huge amount of food.  As a tween, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound.

As I get older, I realize not only can I not eat whatever I want, but it is not healthy to eat whatever I want.  Yes, a slice of cake and ice cream is wonderful, but not everyday.  Yes, sometimes vegetables and fruits are not as tasty as a burger and fries, but they are good for your body.

For all the skeptical folks out there, the detox was not a bunch of “hooey.”  I felt more energized, awake, and experienced no ongoing severe headaches (except the one towards the beginning).  I also felt no pains in my back.  I found getting a decent amount of sleep and exercise greatly added to the effects of the detox.

Overall I can say, this experience may not be for everyone.  It is hard not to fall back into your old habits after the detox.  I thought, “Well I haven’t had cake in four days….one slice won’t hurt.”  This is true, maybe one slice of cake won’t hurt.  But if I say that every time I want something “naughty,” I will fall right back into my old habits.

Throughout this detox, I realized that our bodies should be treated like a fine piece of china.  We are all beautiful and unique in our own ways, but we are not as strong as we think.  If we keep putting processed foods, artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugar and sodium, and fast food into our bodies, we will break.

Cheers to a healthy life!

So, try a body detox if you wish, but just remember a detox will not solve all of your problems.  The body detox can help you realize what you need to do for yourself in the future, and that is all that matters.  Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is truly the key to success.