My Blueprint Cleanse

In October 2013 I joined a gym… well more of a club.  I can eat, drink, shower, work out, swim, watch TV, shop, get my hair done, get a massage or a wax – even a makeup application.  I can play racquetball or tennis, sit in front of the fire (life is good), take Tango lessons, yoga (among other things), go to one of the many drinking and eating social functions offered and have a gourmet meal in the cafe.

In January 2014 I went back to eating healthy and counting every damn calorie I stick in my mouth.  I lost 11 pounds in January and 3 so far this month.  Not bad, but my goal is 10 pounds per month so I can actually go out in public in a bathing suit.

I gained about 30 pounds in 3 months – I am an expert gainer.

So the other day I was in Whole Foods on one of my many visits to the Middletown store, when I discovered a box of juices made to cleanse your body.  Manufactured by Blueprint, the 6 juice cleanse cost $55 for a one-day cleanse.

After researching the product at home Blueprint Cleanse offers a 1, 3 or 6 day cleanse of 6 100% organic, raw juices.  renovation-cleanse-bottles

I didn’t know if I could do a 3-day but I was sure I could juice for 1 full day.  I chose the Renovation Cleanse.

I started out and ended the day with a hot water and lemon.

For breakfast I had to consume 1 GREEN JUICE containing 110 calories of juice from organic romaine, organic apple, organic celery, organic cucumber, organic spinach, organic kale, organic parsley, organic lemon.

First impressions:

Color:  Bile

Smell:  Celery

Taste:  Celery and lettuce

Opinion:  I hate the taste and smell of celery and the taste of the green juice was hard to get down.  It took me from 8 am to 9:30 am to finish the 16 oz bottle.  I’ve had worse things in my mouth, but I eat for enjoyment not necessity.  If I can do it, anyone can.

Next my mid-morning snack called P.A.M.  was 210 calories of juice from organic pineapple, organic apple, organic mint, filtered water.

This was yummy!  What a lovely taste!


Color:  Bright yellow or the color of strong pee

Smell:  Pineapple

Taste:  Sweet and easy going down

Opinion:  This was a great juice!  It was a must-need after nursing that vile green bile juice.

Lunch.  Dammit!  Another green juice!  No explanation needed.  But by this time I couldn’t get it all down and left 1/3 of the bottle in its coagulated mess.

My afternoon snack was Spicy Lemonade.  Its 120 calories of filtered water, juice from organic lemon, organic agave nectar, cayenne extract (Mexican Habanero, jalapeño, African, Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Japanese peppers) was pretty good.


Color:  Light-colored Lemonade

Smell:  Lemony

Taste:  Lemonade with a hint of spice

Opinion: This was a good juice.  It felt clean and fresh.  I wish there was a little more spice but I guess it has to appeal to a broader audience and not just a spice-addict like myself.  The hotter the better.

Dinner.  Ugh!  Little did I know that I had to drink beets!  I hate beets!  I hate the texture, the color, the taste.  C.A.B. is 190 calories of juice from organic apple, organic carrot, organic beet, filtered water, organic lemon and organic ginger.


Color:  Deep Red

What's left...

What’s left…

Smell:  Earthy

Taste:  Beets and dirt

Opinion:  This wasn’t as bad as the green juice but because of my massive dislike of beets, I couldn’t drink the whole thing and left about 1/2 inch in the bottle.

Dessert.  My last juice was 300 calories of Cashew Milk (they have alternatives for people with nut allergies) including filtered water, organic cashew, organic agave nectar, organic cinnamon, organic vanilla extract and organic vanilla specks.


Color:  Thick Whitish Almond Milk

Smell:  Nutty Vanilla

Taste:  Nutty but light

Opinion: I thought it would taste better but it was pretty good.  Filling.  I could taste the cashew and vanilla flavors.

Is it worth it?

Yes.  I thinks so.

I felt clean.  My urine was completely clear and healthy looking.  I lost 1 pound but I didn’t expect to really lose any because the calorie count was my normal intake.

I was not hungry at all.  Psychologically I craved food – especially when my husband brought home KFC for himself – but I really had no desire for solid food.

I did have a headache but I think it was a sinus headache and not a food headache.

I felt light-headed in the morning and then throughout the day but was still able to function normally.

I didn’t go to the gym because I felt weak – probably NOT from the cleanse since I woke up in the middle of the night with my period (usually makes me weak – damn 40’s).  Fun stuff.

In any case, it’s worth a try.  I felt really good the next day.  There was no pooping involved – in case any of you are worried about that but I did pee a lot.

I think I might be ready for a 3-day cleanse.  I bought a juicer – we’ll see how that works out.  I may try Suja Fresh Start as well.  It’s worth a shot.

I will add that I was miserable all day – cranky, irritable… but I had other things going on.  As the night progressed I did feel less grumpy… but it was my first cleanse!  I think that might be normal.

Well, I’ll be ready for another – many next month… I’ll keep you posted.

If you have tried Blueprint or another brand – or even your own – I’d like to hear about it.

Good luck and happy cleansing!

© 2014 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

Take My Poll

As I am always working on a new endeavor, I need your help.

Please take my poll and help me pick a great name to reach out to women over 40.

Suggestions are welcomed!


© 2013 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

I know, I know… it’s been a while

I know, I know… it’s been a while.  I’ve been sick – damn sinuses.  I’ve been depressed – damn Hurricane Sandy.  I’ve been extremely busy – damn job.

I can never seem to just sit down and write anymore.

My husband is needy.  I have 3 of the neediest cats on the planet – with all their meowing, and following me around incessantly – you would think I had kids!

Well, tonight is my attempt to get back into the swing of things – a.k.a. BLOGGING.

I’m on yet another diet – or should I say… healthy eating regime… and all I can think about is food.  Healthy and unhealthy.  I lost 16 pounds so far and I started January 15th but I have a bit to go.

Yesterday, I was driving by the diner and had a sudden urge for French Fries and Gravy – known as “Disco Fries” sans fromage to some.  It was hard to keep driving, but I did.

Then I thought about the meal I made Saturday night.  It was so yummy!  So good that my husband and I ate an entire pound of spaghetti.  Yes, you heard that right.  The whole pound!

That was a cheat if I do say.

So since that damn Pasta al Pomodoro taunted me with its goodness, I figured I would share the Bon Appétit recipe with all of you – hoping my weight loss group will read this, cook it and gain weight so I will win the challenge yet again!  LOL!




Pasta al Pomodoro – via Bon Appétit



  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs
  • 12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino


  • Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.
serves 4
  • Nutritional Information

    One serving contains: 
    Calories (kcal) 560.4 
    %Calories from Fat 34.5 
    Fat (g) 21.5 
    Saturated Fat (g) 5.8 
    Cholesterol (mg) 15.0 
    Carbohydrates (g) 76.2 
    Dietary Fiber (g) 6.2 
    Total Sugars (g) 8.3 
    Net Carbs (g) 70.0 
    Protein (g) 14.1 
    Sodium (mg) 426.8

By the way, I made a pound of macaroni.  Screw that 12 oz crap!


© 2013 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

A New Year… A New Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese!

Living in New Jersey, a pork roll egg and cheese is a necessary evil.  Evil – because of its deliciousness and high calorie content and necessary because… well it’s just “Jersey”.

English: A package of Taylor pork roll (Taylor...

People in North Jersey call it Taylor Ham (the best brand) and people in South Jersey call it Pork Roll.  The fight is almost as passionate as “sauce” vs. “gravy”.  Gravy wins hands down – but that’s another blog.

After having one of the shittiest years and the shittiest New Year’s Eves (yet another blog), I decided to treat myself to a twist on the normal, well-known PEG.  Maybe I’d feel better about “stuff” – and I do!

My original blog about the wonderful PEG can be found HERE – and nothing can mess with perfection.

I don’t want to mess with the crème de la crème of NJ breakfast sandwiches, but I do want to offer you a gourmet alternative.

My Gourmet Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese – Is There such a thing?

2 slices of long-sliced Italian bread (I used Paramount sliced semolina)
1 tbsp apricot fruit spread
3-4 slices of cooked pork roll  (you can use pancetta instead)
1 egg – fried (I like my yolk cooked)
1/4 c crumbled Gorgonzola
3 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

Tools needed:  a panini press or something heavy to weigh down the bread (I used the latter)

Cook pork roll in some Pam until browned and cooked through.  Set aside.

Cook egg in the same pan to desired doneness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  The flavor of the pork roll will permeate the egg – yum!

Assemble sandwich:  Spread fruit spread on bottom half of the bread.  Add pork roll, egg and crumbled Gorgonzola.  Melt butter in a clean pan and add sandwich – presentation side down. Press with something heavy.  Cook until golden brown, flip and do the same to the other side.

Cheese with be melted and the sandwich with be delish!

Serves 1.

Try it out and let me know if you like it.  It mixes the saltiness of the Taylor Ham and the sweetness of the fruit.

And for all you Jersey guys and gals – let me know how it compares to the original!

© 2013 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


My Manhattan Clam Chowder

With the advent of the cold weather, soup is always a good idea.

It warms you up from the inside out and makes you feel all cozy and content.

After Thanksgiving was over I thought I’d make some turkey soup – but alas – Tom Turkey had none to give so I opted for a giant can of clams from Costco and made some Manhattan Clam Chowder.

I love the New England version I make, but since my dad was over, and hates the creamy version, I whipped up my spicy version of Manhattan.

Now I never write down recipes – but I’m making a valiant effort to recreate it!

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • a few good shakes of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 giant 3 lb can of clams from Costco
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 link chorizo, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds – optional – I only use it if I have it in the fridge
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 handfuls of potatoes – cut into small cubes
  • 1 lg can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions

Drain clams through strainer and reserve broth.

In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the meat beginning to crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pot and reserve.

Melt the butter in olive oil in a the same pot over a medium flame. Add the onion, celery, garlic, 1/2 to 1 tbsp red pepper flakes and chorizo (optional) and cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the flour into the pot. Cook the onion and flour mixture for several minutes then add the potatoes and add the wine and stir.  Add clam broth and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth. Add the tomatoes and sugar, stir well to incorporate, then toss in the pepper flakes, thyme, and parsley. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook at a low simmer until the broth is flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes.

Add clams.  Stir well, season again, if needed, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately


© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Hurricane Sandy’s Lost Pets

Please share this Facebook page.


The east coast needs you!


Shoes Shock 166!

FALL Back into Healthy Eating Habits


When I think of Fall, I think about 1.  Back to School (back to work for me), 2.  the Fall collections and how I can integrate the new trends into my wardrobe without draining my bank account and 3. going back on my damn diet!

I’ve eaten to excesses this summer with no exercise, except for an occasional tennis game, and I know I gained weight.

Now it’s time to buckle down so I can get into my single-digit sizes again and Clean Eating Magazine is one of my favorites to get me motivated.  It has great recipes that will put you on the right eating path and make you stay there.

Last night I made Spicy Red Quinoa Jambalaya from Clean Eating’s March 2012 issue.  I’ve made it before and it was delicious.  This time I made a few modifications because I didn’t want to go to the store yet again – and it was still delicious!

Spicy Red Quinoa Jambalaya

  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 lb low-fat spicy turkey sausage, cut into half-inch pieces, casings removed  I used 3 links of smoked chorizo
  • 2 plum tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch strips  I subbed some Italian peppers and a jalapeno from the garden
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Add sausage and saute stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bell peppers and saute for 2 minutes.

Stir in broth and pepper flakes and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Distribute shrimp evenly over the top of sausage-pepper mixture.  Cover and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, until shrimp are firm and pink.

Season quinoa with salt and pepper, transfer to a large serving dish and top with sausage mixture.

Serves 4.       1  3/4 cups of sausage mix and 1/2 cup quinoa.  Calories 335.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

© 2012 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Recipe courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine.


Pop Art: Raspberry Icebox Cake

Pop Art: Raspberry Icebox Cake.