White Cheddar, Green Onion Pimento Cheese

I made this delicious pimento cheese over the weekend and posted a photo on the social medias, and several people asked for the recipe — so here you go!

I finally read my July issue of Southern Living and this is what happens. Since I couldn’t eat all of the watermelon, peach or cucumber recipes (since it’s almost October now), I opted for the year-round, ever-enjoyable cheese.

Disclaimer – this recipe is adapted from Southern Living’s. I say adapted, because I accidentally grabbed green onions from the store instead of chives. Win.

But I thoroughly enjoy green onions, so I’d do it again. If you want chives though, do 1/3 cup of chives instead of the 1/4 cup green onions.

cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12-oz.) block aged sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Grate half of cheese using the large holes of a box grater; grate remaining half of cheese using the small holes of box grater. Stir together mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients. Stir in Cheddar cheese until well blended. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 3 days.

XOXO,
Jenn

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My Juice Cleanse Experience — The Juice is Loose!

juice. Nashville

**I preface this post by saying, I am not a doctor. What works for me may not work for you. This is my opinion and backed by no professional or medical knowledge about basically anything, ever.**

Several weeks ago I got serious about researching a juice cleanse. I don’t really know why – it was a combination of things probably. I have been really serious about trying to eat healthier foods, watch my calories and overall be healthier since the new year rolled around. I also read about it on Beth’s blog when she did it last year – and I pretty much trust that anything she says is awesome, will be awesome. The day I picked up my juice, she was there picking hers up too – for her third cleanse in six months.

Since it seemed to be the best around, I settled on Juice Nashville – a local company who does not have a brick and mortar storefront – they are a mobile, family-owned, cold-press juicery. That means no preservatives are added, no sugar, no nothing. The juice has a shelf-life of 3 days, so you get it and use it – or freeze it immediately. And if you open a bottle, you drink it within 8 hours. All this to say, it’s fresh, y’all.

So I placed my order for a the 3 day cleanse and was ready to pick it up on Saturday morning. I made sure I had no dinners planned, no fun events, etc. I was just going to hibernate all weekend with my juice and wrap it up on Monday at work.

I went to pick the juice up at the Nashville West Farmer’s Market where Wes (the husband half of the Juice team) sells on Saturdays. As he sifted through paperwork to locate my order, my juicy heart sank. He didn’t have it. Even though I had my confirmation email, something happened and my order was missing. I left thinking I might not be juicing after all – but Stephanie (the wife half of the team) called me as soon as I got to my car and said they were trying to figure out what happened to my order – not to give up yet. I went home and put on my PJs and Tweeted my feelings – and in true 2013 customer service style, Stephanie replied to my tweet in about two minutes and said that she was moving heaven and earth to find my juice.

WOW – customer service gold star for you ma’am. About 45 minutes to an hour later I got a tweet that said “found your juice! Calling you now.” And my cell rang. (I did drink a Naked fruit juice in the meantime that I had in the fridge because I was getting hangry = hungry + angry).

I zipped back down West and got my juice. I could have hugged Wes. I couldn’t believe they were so responsive to my juicing woes and were just so, so nice. Turns out, they had my order all along and the paperwork had just been misplaced so the two couldn’t be matched up.

So, let’s Juice.

The Juice Cleanse includes NO food. No drinking ANYTHING other than water or green tea. (I missed coffee dearly). You drink 5 juices a day (the same 5) and one almond milk a day.

The juices are:

 the cleanse 5 juices

I’ll be honest – I liked some of these more than others, but I hated none. I LOVED the C Ya – orange, apple, grapefruit and ginger. OMG. Snap – apple, carrot, ginger. Delish. But I think, crazy enough, the almond milk might have been my favorite. I love almond milk.

The Whoa (apple, beet, kale and ginger) was a bit harder to swallow. The Oh Yeah (apple, kale, collard and lemon) got old by the third day. But again, none were terrible. And the nutrients they clearly contain kept me chugging!

The experience:

Were you hungry? Not really. To know me is to know how much I love food. I love to eat. Food = love, to me. If you love me, cook me dinner. Buy me dinner. I love to eat. I exercise so I can enjoy food. Some people eat to live – I live to eat.

So a liquid diet with no chewing and salty food was a real challenge. But was I hungry? Not really. I did yoga Sunday night (day 2), and the calorie burn made me momentarily starve, so I ate a cutie (one of those tiny mandarin oranges). Juice Nashville says if you are desperate, you can have a raw fruit or vegetable.

By the third day I had a screaming headache, but I still think that may have been from three days with no coffee more than anything. I don’t think it was from no food as much as it was caffeine withdrawal. Although I will say, when that last juice was gone, I ate a spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar. Sorry I’m not sorry.

How did you feel? I felt detoxed, just like they promised. I felt pumped full of vitamins and nutrients and I felt healthy.

Why did you do it? To detox. To cleanse the system. To purge the crap. I did NOT do it to lose weight.

But did you lose weight? Yes. I lost 4 pounds. It was an added bonus – yes. AND, it did jumpstart my fitness this week when I finished the juice. I wanted to keep that four pounds off. I worked out twice a couple days this week. I was determined. But I also ate pizza, which I did crave while I was abstaining from solid foods during the cleanse! Ha.

Let the record show – I just weighed myself this morning and gained every bit of those four pounds back this week. Even with two-a-day workouts and overall watching what I ate, I gained it back. So it’s my advice not to do this cleanse for that reason. Or any cleanse. Clearly.

How did it work for you and would you do it again? I think it totally purged my system. I was drinking a huge glass or two of water between each juice and I was peeing every half hour. My system was cleansed. I was so hydrated – TMI, but my pee was so clear you couldn’t tell I’d peed at all. It was insane. SO I would venture to say that a lot of the weight I lost was water weight and as soon as I started consuming regular food and salt again, it just came right back. I’m not near as hydrated as I was.

Would I do it again – yes. I would definitely buy their juice again and incorporate it into my regular diet, probably before I would juice again. They have lots of other flavors I want to try! But I would juice again if I started feeling sluggish and full of crappy crap. I’d do it again.

Can you work out during the cleanse? I’m no doctor, so I say just do whatever you feel like. I went to power yoga on Sunday evening, two days into the cleanse. This is a 400+ calorie burn class, so it’s intense, and I was totally fine. Again, you aren’t starving yourself – this isn’t a lemon juice and cayenne pepper cleanse. You HAVE nutrients in your system, so just do what you feel like.

How much is it? Lots of people asked me this. It’s not cheap – but when you realize how much fruits and veggies are crammed into every bottle, they can’t be marking it up that much, y’all. It’s quality product, so you pay for it. The three day cleanse was $123 with tax and the refrigerated tote that the juice comes in (which I’ll definitely be using again!). Full disclosure, in the name of stellar customer service, Stephanie gave me half off my juice cleanse because they misplaced my order. Thanks gurl!

So there you have it. Oh – one more thing. Again in the spirit of full disclosure, this juice cleanse did things to my bowels that you would not believe. And the worst day was on the third day when I was back at work. (You’re welcome, coworkers!) I mean, when you’re stockpiling fruits and green veggies in your system and they are in liquid form, there are going to be some touch and go situations. So, that’s all I’ll say about that. Just be prepared, if you do the cleanse.

Huge thanks to Juice Nashville for being overall awesome and wonderful to work with. I can’t say enough good things about Stephanie and Wes, how adorable they are, the customer service they provide and the product they deliver. They truly have it figured out. Nashville needs you – so thanks for being here.

XOXO,
Jenn

New Year–New Habits

If you read my last blog post, and if you know me at all, you know that in (at least the second half of) 2012 I was happy. Happier than I’ve been in a long while. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. However, I would trade the “eh – it’s ok – I’ll deal with it later” attitude I took toward eating that also came along with this happiness.

It’s something I only realized in hindsight, but I was just shoving whatever tasted good into my mouth and not thinking about the consequences. Whew. It added up in a big way. I also blame the amazing cooks at my office who brought in goodies during the holidays, but that’s neither here nor there. 😉

So on Jan. 3ish I got serious about keeping up with my Fitness Pal again on my iPhone and have a fitness goal (we’ll call it that, instead of weight loss goal) by May – our family beach trip.

I call it a fitness goal, because I know I’ll never be the skinny-mini I was in college and don’t really want to be – but I do want to go to work without the zipper on my skirts pinching my muffin top. There I said it.

And I want to just feel good when I look in the mirror.

The first serious week was this week – and I lost 2.8 pounds. We’ll go ahead and call that THREE pounds! I know it just gets harder, but damn – that was a boost I needed to stay on the program.

I’m sticking to 1400 calories a day and trying to work out at least every other day. I’ve also cut back on my wine intake, but still indulged a few nights this week if I had some calories to spare.

If you’re on Fitness Pal – add me and let’s encourage each other. I also love to see what other healthy things people are eating so I don’t get in a rut.

Speaking of – I made a delicious recipe last night from HandletheHeat.com. Curried Lentil Soup. Note – as Tessa did, I did not use the chutney either. I also didn’t find red lentils in the grocery store, so I just used regular dry lentils – Publix brand. Y’all – this dish was so good. It definitely has a lot of Indian flavors in it – obviously, curry – and was really, really good. And low calorie.

Here’s to a continued healthy 2013!

XOXO,
Jenn

It’s Cool — I’ll Just Sleep Here, Too

If you’ve read the blog for long you know my love hate relationship with running. Some days I love it and some days I’d rather bang my face against the wall than run. Several months ago I started switching up my workout routine to try and come out of my “I hate running, especially in the summer” funk. I did a couple of bootcamps, which I loved, got addicted to BarreAmped, which I cannot afford, and bought a couple of random Groupons here and there.

Speaking of – if you are in the Nashville area, I have about 15 day-passes to the Delta gym if you’d like them. Lemme know.

I told myself that as soon as I sold my house I’d get a YMCA membership. All my friends (i.e. all the cool kids) are members and I wanted to be too – but just needed to wait until the damn house sold before incurring any extra expenses. (That’s what grown-ups do…ahem ahem).

Anywho…

So I joined the Y a little over a month ago and HOLY gym rat, Batman. I am one of them. I am LOVING the Y and all the options I have now. I’ve gotten totally addicted to yoga, circuit blast, swimming and am dabbling in cycling, now. I just took my first cycling class last night and can barely sit down today. You know – in the crotch area. Wow.

But I LOVED cycling! I had no idea. Riding a bike up pretend hills while listening to rap music as someone yells at you to “BREAK AWAY FROM THE PACK!! You’ll come in last if you don’t KICK IT!” through a microphone? What’s not to love?

So, here’s what a typical week looks like for me now – of course, meetings and happy hours occasionally drop in there on the evenings, but if I had NO obligations, this is how I’d roll.

Monday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile downtown (indoors, friends)
5:30 p.m. – yoga with Debbie downtown. She rocks!

Tuesday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast (in East Nash.) with Nikole, my Hungarian beauty. This is 50% of why I joined the Y. (No, not to meet hot girls). My friends are in this class and (rightly so) talk about Nikole non-stop. She seriously is amazing. She’s so encouraging, puts so much thought into planning workouts for us and pushes us till we about die every time. YES! We fondly call it “hell class.” The folks in our class recently raised over $2,000 to send her and her daughter back to Hungary for a visit since she pines for it regularly and hasn’t been in many, many years – so that should tell you what an impact she has on her classes.

Evening – rest

Wednesday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile or run 2-3 miles, depending on how I feel
5:30 p.m. – cycling downtown

Thursday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast with Nikole again
5:30 p.m. – rest or yoga downtown (am trying this class tonight for the first time). How well I like the instructor totally makes or breaks yoga for me.

Friday
5:30 a.m. – Pancake Run! 3 miles.
6:00 p.m. – Yoga with Gina in Green Hills (Nashville peeps. Have you been to Gina’s class yet? Lawd. She about killed me. It is hardcore, but awesome. Come with me if you’re here!)

Saturday
REST! Eat and drink. It is football season, after all.

Although…there is a spin class at 8:45 a.m. that I’m checking out this Saturday. 🙂 I’m addicted.

Sunday
4:30 p.m. – power yoga with Ed. Again – quite the challenging class.

Start it all over again.

So, you’re probably wondering how in-shape I am and how much weight I’ve lost after doing this routine for a little over a month, now? Well, first thing first….I’ve GAINED a couple pounds. UGH! Dang it. It sucks being a woman. I workout like crazy and eat mostly healthy and I GAIN weight because my body is all like “OH NO! Reserve the fat! What if we want to have babies one day?! Must.hold.onto.fat.” DUMB.

In other news though, I know some of the weight gain is from muscle strength. I have lost inches, I can tell, and am much stronger than I was when I first started Nikole’s class, for example. So, I’m not too mad about the scale. So long as my pants continue fitting and I don’t bust out of them like the Incredible Hulk when I walk, I won’t worry about it.

I don’t have a recent picture of me in a sports bra to show you my workout bod progress — but this one looks pretty much just like me, so it’ll work.

source

Ha.

Are any of you members at the Y and have a class that you just love? Tell me! As you can see, I like to try new things. 🙂

XOXO,
Jenn