Dental Work

Teeth floating is a bit of a sensitive topic in my household. The hubby has very strong opinions on the subject which is odd since he does his best to have no opinions when it comes to the horses having long ago decided equine medicine was not his thing.

I have very strong opinions based on…nothing really but I can still have them. 

We tend to go round and round on the subject and have come to the compromise of every other year to avoid my anxiety about being a bad horse mom yet taking his experience and education, which has taught him that the vast majority of horses are over floated thus resulting in senior horses with no teeth and no way to eat, into consideration. He has shown me numerous articles and has had his educated opinion substantiated by every single vet we have had out for the horses the last 7 years. 

This just looks wrong. Poor Petey.

What this means in real life is that we don’t float our horse’s teeth very often. In fact, it has been three years since they were last attended to. I’m comfortable at every other year and felt three was pushing it. 

In any event, we finally came to an agreement and the vet came out to do them. I was very worried that we would be yelled at and that their mouths would be full of waves, hooks and bad ulcerations. 

Why hello there Gemmie. Feeling the good drugs, are you?

The reality? The vet said they looked fantastic and that they were happy to see us not floating any more often than every two years. Gem had some very minor hooks and Pete had two superficial ulcers just starting to form. 

I was a happy owner until they added that they were both very fat and needed a diet. I knew Pete was fat. We have safely gotten about 100 lbs off him since we moved him from two barns ago. But Gem? I didn’t think she was that bad. Rose colored glasses and all. 

I’m sure I will pay for this the next time I ride

I should have taken her off her competition feed when I stopped competing her last summer. It wasn’t such a big deal where we boarded last because there wasn’t really any grass. The Duo is out on a ton of grass now though and it is showing in thier expanding girths. 

So Gem is now officially taken off her snickers bar equivalent competition feed until such a time as I amp up her training again. Now it’s kale: Triple Crown Lite with only 9.3% NSC to help offset the rich grass and 3 flakes of hay at night to keep them eating. 

Waddling off into the sunset

She won’t be happy with the change, but it is for her own good. Once I start riding her more regularly again, hopefully later this month once things settle again at home and work, and the grass burns out in the summer heat she can have her feed back. 


Things I Learned Travelling as a Mom

I’ve traveled a lot in my life both within and outside the US. I love to travel although I also love returning home. Anyone who is Type A could use a little travel in their life to learn to let go. So much is out of your control when you travel and if you don’t learn to loosen up a little, you’ll end up having a stroke.

Travelling alone is great. Nobody to worry about but yourself, you can get the prime territory everywhere you go. Taking a trip with your four year old son changes things.

  1. The window seat no longer exists. Or rather it no longer exists without a big blonde head in the way. This is true on the airplane, trolley, busses and pretty much anywhere a view is possible.
  2. You will spend only fleeting moments doing what you find interesting. The aviary, pretty vistas, bookshops and the like will all be looked at wistfully as you walk on by. Seriously the pleasure in getting to see or do what you want is completely overshadowed by the constant nagging of the bored toddler attached to you. The times you deem it worthwhile enough to still do will be seldom and carefully doled out.
  3. On the other hand, be prepared to spend inordinate amounts of time looking at things that you have no interest in. The amphibian and reptile house, play grounds and candy stores will all become time vortexes.
  4. No decent restaurant posts their kids menu online. Choosing a place to eat becomes a battle of finding food you want to spend your vacation money on while not wasting it with things your toddler won’t eat. Researching online is useless as most of the better places don’t post the kid options. This is likely in an attempt to discourage families from dining, but you have to eat somewhere. When I travel, I try my best to avoid any restaurant I can eat at at home which means trying new things and places.
  5. Everything is more expensive. Keeping the kiddo entertained costs money. He isn’t appeased by a day sitting reading a book and waking around town looking at buildings isn’t going to last for long. Thankfully the park and beach are free, so we only actually bought entry to the zoo and amusement park.
  6. Tired is no longer a strong enough adjective. Exhausted is better, but still falls short of how bone achingly worn out you become not only being out and about, but having to carry the toddler and all the gear that goes along with him. Relaxing, taking a nap and zoning out in the hotel to TV are things you only can dream about.
  7. If you think you have packed enough, you are wrong. Traveling with a small suitcase and a carry on used to be sufficient for a week long excursion. Not any more. Not only did the kiddo have his on suitcase, but he took up my entire carry on bag and part of my suitcase as well. For as small as they are, they sure do require a lot of stuff.
  8. You will go home and thank your parents.  Remember when your mom and dad took you to an amusement park and watched while you rode the same ride 30 times in a row? Back before there were smartphones and Facebook? Yeah, well they were really excited and filled with joy to see how happy you were the first 6 times. After that? They were bored. Very, very bored. Thank them. Thank them a lot.

But you know what else I learned on my first trip as a mom?

It was more fun, I smiled bigger and felt happier and more filled with joy watching Wyatt explore the city, ride the same ride 30 times in a row and say hello to a Komodo Dragon than I’ve had out there on my own.

Having a kid means that the world no longer revolves around you. It isn’t about you any more. It’s a about them. It’s about opening their eyes to the world and the people/animals/plants that inhabit it. It doesn’t matter if I get a window seat because watching his amazement at being above the clouds is so much better. The aviary? It will still exist once he is grown and showing his own kids the world. For now, I’m happy to watch the light dance in his eyes as he spies a bright blue frog behind the glass.



Farm Sitting Heartbreak

All my animals are alive and as well as they were before I left which is fantastic. Unfortunately that isn’t the end of the story. 

When M came over to meet everyone I mentioned that while the entire property is fenced that there are two side that are barbed wire. Einstein has run under it, cutting his head badly in the process, and has been found on the busy road much to our annoyance. He hasn’t done it in over a month but the fact is that he could. I told her that his harness and leash would be on the kitchen table in case she felt safer putting him on it. He has a great recall which is part of the problem. If you call him over when he crosses the street he will come immediately – right through traffic. It’s the leaving when not being paid attention to that is the problem. 

As we were finishing up her mother called in a panic. Her dog had run away and was no where to be found. We hastily said goodbye so she could go help. Apparently it wasn’t uncommon as she didn’t seem overly surprised that her dog had gotten away. 

I received a text on day one asking if she could bring her dog over to play. Einstein loves to play and would be missing his day care day, so I agreed. Later that day she texted that her dog had ducked under the barbed wire and nearly got hit by a car on the road. She was losing her off leash privileges. Thankfully Einstein didn’t follow. 

All was then quiet except for some pictures she sent me and a text asking if she could have friends over for a fire in the back yard fire pit. 

That is until the last day. 

When we got off the plane in Texas and I turned my phone off airplane mode I got blasted with texts. Her dog had been off leash again and ran out in the road and was hit by a car. She was leaving the house immediately and had not fed or cleaned anything up.

I texted her that I understood and hoped it was only minor. 

By the time we got on the next flight and home she had returned to strip the bed and finish things up and her dog was being stabilized and prepared for surgery. 

Sadly, her dog passed away on Tuesday. 

It breaks my heart. She loved that dog. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 and all that but it doesn’t change the ending and only makes the loss that much worse for her. She was her best friend and now she is gone. 

For my part I feel partly responsible although I know it wasn’t my fault. I should have said no when she asked to bring her over. In the future, I’ll make it a rule that no personal animals are allowed on my property when I’m away. I know. It should have been that way any way. 

Hug your fur babies close. Make responsible choices at all times. Safety before all else. They are with us for such a short time and their entire lives are lessons to be learned. M is heartbroken and it will take a long time for her to heal. Hugs to her and rest easy puppy. 


San Diego Day #5

One last day. Saturday was really full at the conference and so I sent the boys on their way at 7:30 am. They went to Balboa Park to hunt Pokémon and then spent more time at the zoo. I sat and learned and then explored the massive vendor area and fell in love. I adore vendor areas. So much free stuff. So much in fact that my suitcase weighed 3 pounds overweight at the airport Sunday morning! Oops.

Early morning reading material. At least they served a good breakfast along with it.
The late afternoon was light so I met up with the boys at the trolley then caught a bus to Pacific Beach. I was optimistic and changed into my bathing suit.
The Atlantic along the coast of SC was 86F last June when we went to the beach. It was deliciously warm and I spent the entire day in the water. I was a bit worried when I was full of goosebumps just walking to the waters edge that things would be very different here and so early in the year.
That little running shadow is Wyatt. One foot in the water and I learned my lesson. The Pacific is ice cold as water feeds into it from Alaska. No way was I going in. But the scenery was gorgeous, the waves large and the kiddo was having a blast. No complaints from me.
After the beach we walked over to a Denny’s restaurant for dinner. Wyatt snuggled up on Dusty and told us he wanted to go home. He was homesick and missed his guinea pig.
When we got off the bus at the beach there was a custom ice cream sandwich shop. The line for it was halfway down the block. I told Dusty I wanted to go after dinner. After all, my diet had been blown long before on this trip. Why not finish it off? The place did not disappoint. Everything was custom order from the cookies or brownies to the ice cream flavor and added toppings. It did not dissappoint.
We were right in L’s neighborhood and I had texted her that we were at the beach. She was unable to meet us there but she and her SO met up with us at dinner and then for ice cream after. I didn’t completely fail this time and got a picture. Well, technically she took it but it was on my phone, so that counts for something! I left wishing we lived closer. They are great people and a lot of fun. Her SO has some competition though. During ice cream Wyatt looked over at L and said “I can show you my bedroom” 4 is a little too young for pick up lines!!

After that it was time to grab the bus then the trolley and pack up. Given a choice I always pick the earliest flight and this time was no exception. Another 6 am flight for us meant a 3:30 am wake up. Wyatt was ready to head home which was a relief. I was a little concerned there would be some tantrums involved in the leaving process.

All in all it was an amazing trip. I hadn’t been on a real vacation in 5 years when we went to Rolex for my 30th birthday. This trip was mixed with work which was the only way I could convince myself to take the time off. It was so nice to travel and explore once again.


San Diego Day #4

Everyone woke up tired this morning but at least the clock said 6 am which was the latest to date. The conference schedule was heavier in the morning and late afternoon, but had a big break in the late morning/early afternoon which allowed for some family time. 

Breakfast was no where near as good today as yesterday which was a bummer. The talk was equally as poor which made the early hour seem even more cruel.
Turns out today was also opening day for the Padres. They were playing the Giants. I announced to Wyatt that they were playing the New York Giants which garnered odd looks from everyone near me. Turns out it was the San Francisco Giants. Seriously? Come up with a more original name if you don’t want to be mistaken.
Wyatt came on this trip with three goals: go to the zoo, play in the ocean and ride a roller coaster. We checked off the others already so today was off to Belmont Park. He was too small for the roller coaster, but there were other rides he could have fun on
Belmont Park was a total flashback in time. Small community park teeming with teenagers and early college students on dates and causing minor trouble. Small kids enjoying the rides and fair food.
No trip to the amusement park is without overly priced cotton candy. Wyatt spied it immediately upon entering and choked down
He was not impressed with the dinky train ride.
The race car ride which in my hometown amusement park was called the whip was a big hit. It went slow on the long sides and then sped around the turns.
He laughed and laughed going around the turns. He was pretending to be Gizmo from the Gremlins movie at the end when he drives the pink car and kills Stripe
Watching his little face light up with glee made my day. He was having so much fun that I didn’t mind him riding it again and again.
The carousel was another big hit although he was super serious the entire ride
This is a kids version of the popular tower of terror type ride. He was happy to get on it but had no real clue what it was going to do. He looked so tiny in the seat.
It went up and he looked an it scared for the moment it stayed still. When it dropped he laughed so loud it rang throughout the park. The ride went up and down a dozen times and he was giggling I much he could barely breathe
It’s a good thing I adore rollercoasters and thrill rides. This guy is going to be my partner in crime. Dusty hates them so he will be the old we then holding the drinks and taking pictures.
The last ride he was big enough to ride was a version of bumper cars. I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to work it cuz you had to move the shifters forward and back and if you did one more than the other you’d go in a circle. He surprised the crap out of me by rocking it. He thought it was hilarious to hit others and could make that thing go anywhere he wanted it to
Unfortunately the afternoon came to and end I needed to get back for more lectures on wound care. Wyatt and Dusty took a nap while I learned about all the wonderful new mandates that the government is putting on doctors next year such as reported Yelp reviews to determine your reimbursement. My blood pressure was through the roof by the end of it. Then the next lecture was on a new drug coming out that will create the physiologic responses that exercise does without having to you know exert yourself. The human race never ceases to amaze me.
Petco Park was breaking at the seems with opening day. The Padres ended up winning 7-6
So the night before I may have had a temper tantrum when I got done with lectures and Dusty had me make all the dinner plans after making all their day time plans for them as well. I’m the social planner for our family and always have been. Typically I don’t mind but when I’m tired and hungry it would be nice if he just said “we are going here and this is how we will get there” instead of making me do it. When I got done today Dusty informed me he had made reservations. I didn’t know it was at Flemings.
One look at the menu prices and I needed a glass of wine to be able to enjoy it without having an aneurysm. The wine was fantabulous. I’m not a big alcohol drinker but when I do enjoy of good Chardonnay Sauvignon. This was the best I had ever had. Smooth and full bodied. It went right to my head and by the time it was 3/4 gone my nose was numb.
Since Dusty and I got special drinks, Wyatt got one too. This was actually really good.
Dinner was amazing. Simply amazing.
We ended it with a stamp at Ghirardelli for ice cream. The walk back was littered with all the people coming out of the game. I missed the nearly empty streets from the week days as it made the city seem nearly private.


San Diego Day #3

Unfortunately my conference started today, so I had to part ways and attend lectures for most of the day. 

Nothing makes a 7:30am lecture a good experience except when it is paired with free food. It made the discussion much more enjoyable.
There was a huge break after breakfast which I used to have a blogger meet up!!! I was so excited to meet with the author of Viva Carlos. She is AMAZING and I only wish I lived close enough to get to know her better. I’m sure we could be friends in real life. Anyway…I grabbed my first ever Lyft ride out to her place and then hoped in her car for a drive out to her barn and local tack shop before hitting up lunch. The drive was gorgeous.
Wild flowers were in abundance along the roadside. Apparently the region has gotten its fair share of rain and the flowers were in full bloom. It was gorgeous!
You would think that being so close to the Tryon International Equestrian Center, home of the 2016/2017 AECs and the 2018 WEG, would mean we have good tack stores. Reality is there aren’t any worth their salt. I just had to get inside a real tack store and drool all over everything. I nearly bought a red and black dressage quilted pad, but realized I had no room in my suitcase to get it back home and sadly put it back.
Beautiful leather everywhere. Just breathing in the scent was enough to satiate me.
Next she took me off to her barn. I was really interested to see how things were done on the West coast. It’s so different than back east. Her barn is massive!! Seeing it in person brought it into perspective for me. Dante is going to have a wonderful home. I also got to meet her trainer too.
More wild flowers on the drive back from the barn. Of course I failed to take any pictures of her or myself. My picture game is lacking.
Then it was time. TACO TIME. I had mentioned to L that I had only had crap tacos, Toxic Hell or homemade kit ones, and I didn’t really get the whole taco addiction. She took me to her favorite spot and I ordered “what she’s having”. It was delicious! Nothing like anything I’d ever called a taco before. So. Good. In fact good enough for me to break my no good picture rule for the second time of the day.
Wyatt and Dusty got off the bus a few blocks away and met us briefly before L took me back to the conference center. We walked down to the ocean overlook then parted ways wth my boys.
Following the blue carpet to my lecture. There are some amazing things being done that can change lives. Currently there is a trial being started on a procedure to CURE spina bifida in utero and erase all neurological defects. A mini trial of four patients was performed with excellent results. It’s simply amazing.
Waiting for the next lecture to start. Apparently all alone but it did fill
Wyatt building a sand castle. The boys went to Pacific Beach and met up with me in passing as we finished eating lunch. I have them a hug and told them to have fun while I was taken back to the conference center for the afternoon of lectures.
Wyatt enjoying the beach to its max. The boy LOVES everything about the beach: waves, water, sand, sun. I was sorry to miss it but I needed to attend the conference.


San Diego Day #2

Day 2 started at 4:00 am. Neither Wyatt nor Ingot used to the 3 hour time difference and it made for a long, but fun, day. Here it is in pictures:

The day started with my conference which after all was the entire reason for me being in San Diego. Work before play
Once that was taken care of we hit the public transportation to head to the San Diego Zoo. Two trains and a city bus. All firsts for Wyatt.
Train family selfie
San Diego Zoo. Bring it!!
Komodo Dragon. Wyatt loved this guy! He waved, said hello, and had to be dragged away. I’ll admit to be equally enthralled. He was really active
Galapagos tortoise.
I adored the aviary sections. Reminded me of the Pittsburgh Aviary where I grew up. Wyatt was not interested in the bird areas at all which was a shame. I could have sat watching the birds all day
He was so cute walking around. He did great all day walking up all the hills during all over the place
The bears are always my favorite. I was disappointed that they were all napping
The pandas were choking down. I’ve never seen them before and this made the day at the zoo. They were so cute!
After eating he went for a stroll then hit his pool. So cute!
Lunch break!
It was lunch time all over the zoo. The giraffes were choking down on the foliage placed up high for their comfort.
We hopped on a double decker bus for a short break. Wyatt got bored super fast so we got off two stops into it which forced us to have to back track in foot quite a bit.
I enjoyed the few minutes of sitting. The weather was perfect for a day outside. The sun was a bit hotter than the day before and there was a slight breeze. Compared to the severe storms and tornados back home this was perfect.
Spring is my favorite time of year. Everything about it is wonderful. The flowers were out in full force and the world was just ablaze in color.
Playing around near the polar bears.
Baby ducks!!!!
No clue what this animal is but I found it fascinating. Zebra striped legs, antelope like body and huge ears. The mere fact that there is an animal walking the earth that looks like this makes me believe in magic all over again
They looked so cuddly and soft. I stopped myself from reaching out a hand to run the fuzzy nose.
I nearly walked right past this enclosure with the female wart hog looking thing in it. Then I saw the cute little baby and fell in love
We ended the zoo outing with a face painting. They did a great job. Wyatt adored it and it was worth every penny

Dinner was at The New Yorker. The pizza was fantastic. SC can not make a pizza for their life. It was nice to eat a good tasting pizza for the first time in 4 years!

After dinner the boys went back to the pool. I was exhausted and stayed in zoning out to Food Network and writing up this post. 


San Diego Day #1

A super excited Wyatt waiting to board his first airplane.
Our first flight
Sitting in his first plane. The kid was nearly crapping himself with excitement.
Rising sun. Worth waking up at 3:30 am
Second flight. We were supposed to have 1 hour 10 min layover but that ended up being only 20 minutes. Running from concourse E through all of D, a mall and halfway through C with a 4 year old is awful. We made it with 3 minutes to spare.
Wyatt and I on the plane. Insanely early but excited!
With 2 hours 45 minutes still to go inflight, I convinced him to lay down and nap. He slept for nearly an hour and it made the remaining part much better.
Wyatt insisted on pulling his own suitcase around. It was adorable
Had to make a stop at In N Out Burger.
Our hotel room looked directly at Petco Park. Sad that all the ball fields are now named after corporate America but still cool nonetheless
Our hotel was also right next to the Gaslamp District. It was really neat to walk around. A lot of restaurants but some cool shops mixed in too.
Looking out into the harbor. We had to walk up about a thousand steps to get there but it was well worth it. I didn’t get a picture but there was a multi million dollar yacht in the harbor.
Wyatt thought the sail boat looked like a pirate ship
Family selfie overlooking the harbor
We walked around the small marina park trying to get our bearings. Wyatt really wanted to go to the beach and we were told Coranado was the closest. We could look across the bay and see it but it wasn’t the type of beach we wanted. I wanted the Pacific Ocean full on with ocean waves and all.
More boats in the marina.
This is why we need Dusty around. I was completely terrified he was going to fall into the bay and drown. I never would have let him climb but he did fine and had fun.
I’m sure this bridge as a famous name. I just don’t know it. Had we chosen to go to Coronado we would have had to take an expensive ferry ($20 a person) or a cab over the bridge
Walking around the Gaslamp Quarter we found a candy store. I had promised Wyatt candy during the layover we never had, so taking him here was a big deal. He was in Heaven
The biggest sucker he had ever seen. He promptly dropped it and it shattered but he was okay with that as it was on a table and even easier to eat
An ice cream selfie.
Decadent drinking chocolate. I’ve been searching for this for 12 years. We drank pure molten chocolate for breakfast every day during our honeymoon in France. America can’t get it right but this was pretty close and the best to date.
Neither of us knew there was a Ghirardelli store. We are at one in Vega and San Francisco. My diet went completely out the window. These calories were worth every pound.
My own Heaven. I love socks. Very much.
I’m sure this bridge has a name. We were told it takes you to Coronado. The other option was a $20/person ferry. We chose neither and instead to go to the coast.

After a short break in the room we headed to the pool. The fancy couches and jacuzzi were wonderful. The water was a bit chilly and I found it interesting how much cooler the sun is here than at home. Back in SC a sunny, cloudless day has the sun boring deep into your bones. Here it was much milder in the same conditions and similar air temp. The sun is just really strong in SC. They also had poolside food and drink service that we did not partake in
Dinner was at the Old Spaghetti Factory. I personally get grossed out by food pictures, so instead you get my handsome boys.

Health and Fitness

My Experience on the Arbonne 28 Day Detox/Healthy Eating Diet

A friend of mine is a consultant for Arbonne and had been trying to get me to do their fancy 30 day detox/healthy eating diet for a long time. I finally caved in March and forked over my $290. I was extremely skeptical with the entire thing and it was a lot of money to spend. I asked a million questions about what was to be expected, what the benefits were and what I would feel. It began on March 6th and is now completed and I have a lot of thoughts on it to share.

To begin with, lets go over the claims the program made:

  • Weight loss of with some people losing up to 25 pounds in 4 weeks
  • Clearer skin including acne, psoriasis etc
  • Regular bowels
  • Improved hydration
  • Improved energy, no more after lunch fatigue
  • Complete loss of any cravings for sugary or high carb foods
  • Expanded palate
  • Decreased grocery bill that not only covers the cost of the program but goes in excess of it
  • No hunger

I will get into how each of those applied to me in a bit, but I want to first fill you in on what the program actually was.

For $290 I received the following:

  1. Two large bags of protein powder, one vanilla and one chocolate
  2. Two boxes of detox hot tea bags
  3. Two boxes of “fizz sticks” a non caffeinated, no sugar added powder to flavor water
  4. One box of digestion plus, a probiotic formula
  5. One bag of fiber powder
  6. Seven packets of a cleanse agent
  7. A free gift – they recommend a greens balancing powder so that is what I did
  8. Access to a closed Facebook group with pointers, education and weekly meal plans

So what exactly is the plan?

Morning: hot cup of detox tea

Breakfast: protein shake. They recommend you add the probiotic, the greens and the fiber in the morning. They provide several recipes for different shake flavors and you have freedom to make your own.

Lunch: protein shake. You can also eat real food as long as you follow the dietary restrictions.

Snacks: permitted and include choice of a handful of almonds, an apple with almond butter, a single hard boiled egg.

Beverages: use of the fizz stick once or twice a day. It has vitamins in and they claim an energy boost

Dinner: A meal from their menu. You may eat out as long as you follow the dietary restrictions

Before bed: hot cup of detox tea

The third week: add the body cleanse liquid to 32 oz of water daily for 7 days and drink slowly during the day.

Restrictions: no dairy, gluten, caffeine, coffee, tea besides theirs, sugar, alcohol.

So how did I do?

I’m a rule follower to a fault, so things like this are actually pretty easy for me to do. If it says not to eat something, I won’t. I already didn’t do alcohol, coffee or dairy besides cheese. The gluten, sugar and caffeine would be the hard part in all of this. Plus I hate cooking, so there was that. Going into it I had a few concerns: the cost, being hungry and cravings. I was assured none of those would be an issue.

I was very diligent and followed all the rules: I made my breakfast shake with the chocolate powder and added frozen strawberries, lunch was a vanilla and strawberry shake. I found early on that if I didn’t eat real food for lunch, I was weak, irritable and too starving to think clearly in the afternoon so I began to eat leftovers or a salad for lunch specifically on days I went to the gym or for a ride after work. I drank my two hot teas, my one fizz stick and avoided everything it said to avoid. Even when a drug rep brought me Jimmy Johns and when we took Wyatt out for frozen yogurt. I didn’t even taste it. I was good and didn’t cheat one single time.

Ease of use: 5/5

How did everything taste?

Honestly, I didn’t mind the taste of anything. The tea is a minty flavor and was a good wake up in the morning and let down before bed. Adding frozen strawberries and ice to the shake actually made it taste like a milkshake even though I was using unsweetened almond milk. The greens powder did taste a little like grass, but added to the chocolate and strawberries it was barely noticeable. The fizz sticks were great. The fiber and probiotic were tasteless. Even the cleansing liquid was ok. It had a weird taste almost like a powdered ice tea drink without sugar added. My biggest complaint with taste was the dinner menu. Every single recipe used garlic, cumin and chili powder. Really by the end of week two I was tired of the combination and aching for some variety. All in all the recipes were really bland too. I made a turkey chili and Wyatt took a big spoonful then asked “Mom, where is the flavor?” You know it is bland when a 4 year old is asking for it to be spiced up.

As far as taste goes, I’d say it was all pretty good and definitely doable without any gagging, suffering through or forcing myself to stay on track.

Taste: 4/5


Now for the real deal. Did the program, even when followed completely to the letter without any cheating at all, live up to its claims?

  • Weight loss
    • My initial weigh in was 134.4 lbs. I’m 5’4″, so that puts me at a normal BMI. To be fair, I didn’t have a ton to lose, but I wanted to get back to 130 lbs by the end.
    • I weighed myself at the same time and on the same scale wearing the same clothes each week. Its easy to do when you wear scrubs and weigh in at work.
    • Week 2 – 134.2
    • Week 3 -134.0
    • Week 4 – 132.8 (after a week of colon cleansing)
  • Clearer skin
    • I saw no difference in any aspect at all. Again, I wasn’t fighting much of anything major. I do have rough pathes on my arms which a lot of people claim is secondary to gluten, but after a month on this diet, I saw no change for better or worse
  • Regular bowels
    • Got worse. I tend towards slower than normal and was looking forward to more regularity. Even with the added fiber, probiotic and drinking a ton of water each day, my bowels were slower and worse at the end of the month
  • Improved hydration
    • This did occur. I was happy with the forced water intake as I am bad at this on my own.
  • Improved energy, no more after lunch fatigue
    • I will say that I never had a crash after lunch, but by 4:30 pm I was done. I was hungry, weak and tired. It made working out really difficult because I was just too energy depleted to do it.
  • Complete loss of any cravings for sugary or high carb foods
    • I missed bread the entire time. Sugar and caffeine not so much, but I missed eating sandwiches and never found myself happy to not indulge.
  • Expanded palate
    • 50/50 on this one. Eating out became a challenge on finding what fit the rules, so it did expand my palate in that I ate things I typically wouldn’t have otherwise. I didn’t enjoy them any more at the end versus the beginning and I certainly wouldn’t go around claiming they were my favorite foods.
  • Decreased grocery bill that not only covers the cost of the program but goes in excess of it
    • Big fat NO. In fact, not even including the initial $290 out lay for the program, my grocery bill went up for the month nearly double. I was buying foods I wouldn’t typically buy, produce is always more expensive than not and I couldn’t sale shop and plan my menu around what was on sale. Instead I had to buy what was on the list. While I didn’t buy any junk foods, lunch meat, bread or pop, the offset was not enough.
  • You won’t be hungry
    • I was starving. The entire month. No addition of different fats, fruits or veggies to my shakes made a difference. I was even hungry after eating dinner. Healthy foods just don’t stick with you, or at least not the ones in this program, and I was so hungry on many days I felt nauseous.

In addition, the dinner menu was not varied. As I mentioned above, the same spices were used in every single dish. Quinoa was used in almost every dish as well. It just got a little old eating the same flavors and most things were under spiced. I learned quickly to double the recipe in terms of amounts of spices called for and it improved.

Claims met: 1.5/9

Concluding thoughts:

So, I’m torn.

I didn’t lose weight real weight as I don’t consider the 1lb 4 oz during the cleanse weight loss since it was all water loss and pretty much found every claim to be false, for me anyway. Why? I think part of it is that I already ate pretty well to begin with. The only restricted items I had to eliminate were cheese and gluten. I’m sure someone who had to radically change their diet would see a much more radical change in body form and function. I also think that I ended up consuming more calories on a daily basis than before although they were healthier and more nutrient dense calories.

Beyond that, what I missed the most was convenience. I had to cook pretty much every night since the food did not allow much for left overs and eating out was expensive and took longer since I couldn’t go to a fast food place. No breakfast for dinner or throwing in a frozen pizza. Healthier? Probably although that depends on how you determine that since I weighed and felt the exact same at the end as in the beginning, but more stressed for sure.


I enjoyed the products quite a bit. Everything tasted really good and helped solve some of my diet issues: what to drink that isn’t sugar loaded but better tasting than water, what to eat for breakfast that isn’t loaded in carbs or sugar.

I had the ability to get a refund of all but shipping costs – somewhere around $270. All you have to do is ship back all part used and empty containers of the product. I could have, but I chose not to. I want to continue drinking the fizz drink, tea and shakes until they are all gone.

Would I recommend it? It depends. I do believe it opens your eyes to your own eating habits and where you can improve. If your current diet includes everything on the elimination diet and you can stick to the plan, I believe you could see some fantastic results with it. I was really disappointed at the end when I looked, felt and weighed no different than had I ate pizza and sandwiches instead, but I did enjoy eating everything and the most surprising thing….I learned to like cooking by the end. I even researched and made my own honey mustard dressing to replace the extremely fattening ranch I typically use with my frozen chicken nuggets (which I found gluten free ones I like better than the regular ones too).

I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t tell someone to absolutely not as long as they didn’t buy into the claims so much and did it more for education than anything else. I don’t plan to add gluten back to my diet either, well at least not when able to substitute it out. Cheese, though. Cheese is right back on the menu!








Farm Sitting Nerves

The biggest issue with having the horses home is what to do when we are away. In the last four years I have traveled all of zero times and even if I had been traveling, it would have been a non issue with the horses boarded. I suddenly found myself with travel plans and a problem on my hands.

The dogwood tree in the backyard is in bloom. I adore spring 🙂

Farm sitting for us isn’t really a big deal. There are no stalls to clean, no horses to catch and bring in or put back out. Just fill the feed pans and toss hay twice a day plus keep an eye on the water trough.

The bigger issue is the dogs, three cats one of which is in kidney failure and is special needs, fish and guinea pig. Its a zoo, I tell you.

When I made plans to go to this work conference (not a true vacation, I seem to be unable to take one of those), I immediately became concerned on what to do with our horde. Finding someone to house sit isn’t so easy. Thankfully I came into contact with the exact right person: a young college student who has a part time job working at a local barn. She can drive, is mature, doesn’t drink or smoke and wants a week out of her parent’s house. Perfection.

The trees bordering the property are also starting to fill out with leaves. It feels like a totally private little world out back. 

I had her come over on Saturday to take the tour. She was really nice and seemed to take everyone in their stride. I had already typed out a semi anal retentive list of instructions and plan to create a more general “how to work the house” type list as well. I’m generally not very concerned about our pets when we leave, but this time I find myself being very, very nervous. Mostly because my wonder cat, Scrabble, is really, really sick and I am worried something will happen when we are both out of town.

My darling Scrabble. Being spoiled by having an extra chair to see better out the window and over the shrubs. 

We debated all week about saying goodbye to him before Dusty left town on Saturday, but it didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t time. Scrabble will tell us when it is time and just because we were leaving doesn’t mean it was his time as well. So, I am going to hope for the best while we are gone and plan to see my main guy greeting me at the door upon my return.

Before he got sick. So handsome.