Advice books are written by self-righteous assholes

and I can never be one…

I made it. I’m officially 30. As soon as the clock past 10pm on the night of the 19th it had been 30 years since my presence has graced the world. Thank you, bowing out.

Not so fast!

I wish I could tell you that everything magically occurred to make me wiser and fulfill every aspect of my dreams but nope, it was another day when I awoke in Brooklyn. I negotiated with myself on strapping up my New Balance 890s to get out of the door to run in what felt like 6 degrees at 6 am to run 6 chilly miles. I was successful around 6:30. I was going to change the distance to time on my feet (at least 30 minutes) and realized that I could make it to 6 when I was well on my way. I spent the rest of the day in jury duty, like a good citizen, and ending with an incredible dinner (main course with dessert) cooked by an addition to my life who helped me wrap up my day. The 30 years that took to get there was worth it and I felt incredibly blessed.

This is 30
During the day I had a great deal of reflection, as per usual. It started over my morning coffee.

1. Adults that I had looked up to when they were my age are still trying to figure it out.
It’s a misconception that adults know so much to children. It’s quite the epiphany when we realize that they are full of shit, ourselves included. We are also no longer children.

2. Advice books are written by self-righteous imbeciles who assume they know it all based off their successful experiences that can only pertain to themselves. I don’t think I could write an advice book even if I’m now 30. I don’t think anyone under 30 ever should. However, I wouldn’t put it past the idea to write one that sells if it motivate people to improve their lives. I’m still taking myself on that journey. My rules are simple… There are some things that I promised myself when I was younger and I tried to stick to it. One of them is to avoid being completely jaded.

3. Getting older can be an enriching experience and all of a sudden you can fall into the don’t give a fuck about offending people. Well, that was incredibly harsh but, I’m fortunate to have reached a point that I chose my happiness above everything. That has actually made me a better person. Being uber sensitive is dangerous and I remember having almost everything bother me. Some things, and even some people, just don’t matter.

4. Doing something completely crazy out of my norm was the best thing I could have ever done! I’ll write about that once the trip is over. There’s positive and negative that came out of this trip. Also, some uncertainty, I do know it’s a trip that I will always remember and appreciate for as long as I live.

That’s not all I thought about but, I’ve only got a limited time for this entry. The final thought is where I am right now.

On the 20th, I didn’t go to bed after my company’s gala. In fact, I packed as quickly as I could to head out the door at after 3am… stuff made for movies. This is the craziest trip ever. I’ll take you on a journey with me when I recap over the next few entries.

Doing your duty

SpeakNoEvilI’ll have jury duty for two weeks and unfortunately I can’t discuss what cases I’ve heard on social media. However, they didn’t mention discussing how I felt about the ordeal. Believe me, it’s so frustrating that I can’t share details of certain cases because it’s so fascinating—not so much the cases themselves, but the some cases that actually are heard daily!

I became a U. S. citizen a few years ago, in college. I remembered debating whether I should have become one or not. I realized later that I had come to love the country I resided in and had no plans of actually leaving. Jury duty is just part of the services required of you as a citizen.

I knew I would have been called for jury duty eventually, but it had been a matter of when and where (I’ve moved so much). Last year I selected in April but had to postpone since my marathon was coming up. However, a few weeks ago I got summoned once again.

A Grand Juror.

Grand jurors don’t work on trials. In fact, I won’t experience what you see in the courtroom on tv shows like Law and Order. Grand Jurors decide whether someone is indicted or not. They don’t determine guilt. They ponder upon the evidence provided by witnesses about whether someone could be guilty. This is determined if there’s reasonable evidence. After this experience I’ll have a better understanding of how the law works on that.

In fact, prior to this, my ignorance about the justice system hadn’t made me realize that there’s actually a peer group who determines whether a case makes it to trial. Now I know, if I ever have to sue someone. No wonder years ago my lawyer found it easier to settle out of court instead of suing a company for me (oh, you don’t know this story?—One I’m not allowed to share.)

The idea that more than 12 out of 23 people have to vote on a case, or not, is interesting to me. We don’t deliberate in front of the prosecutor to come up with a decision. We can create a true bill or dismiss the case entirely. What could have been or what the person did prior has nothing to do with it. For example, if someone stole your property, the fact that he was a career criminal might not be a factor in the deciding whether he is indicted—that’s for the trial. However, if your wallet was missing and there’s footage, as long as he was arrested and positively identified in the footage, he will be indicted. This is also done by our memory or evidence marshalled from the prosecutor’s notes. So, imagine relying on memory if days went by!

Anyway, back to the example: He could also be dismissed if more than 12 jurors don’t think there’s enough evidence. It’s quite troubling that there’s a possibility that it could happen despite there being no reasonable doubt that he had done it.

That’s the system. We were given juror handbooks that you can read here. Was quite the wakeup call to me. I’ll have to say, I’m happy that I hadn’t decided to study law but don’t be surprised if I have some sort of intrigue for the next few weeks/months. I lucked out because if I had been called 2 weeks prior, I would have been there for 3 months! So, for the next week I’ll be at court. There’s also a very high stakes case going on with trial jurors that I’m super curious about but haven’t visited. However, I see people with signs outside about cops. It’s very disheartening.

Have you ever served on a jury?

Juice in, Juice out

What is juicing?

juiceBy extracting juices from vegetables and fruits in their raw form, juicing can give the body quick access to all their nutritional benefits. This process is best for people who don’t already add fruits and vegetables to their diet so this might be one of the reasons why I might not have been an ideal candidate. However, I did promise to write about this and this is my experience.

Why I did it?

I’m anti-fad of any diet—except Paleo. That diet definitely works for me. However, the Paleo that I get on board with is actually foods that are close to what I grew up on in the Caribbean. I have strong opinions that foods are best with your genes that are unprocessed and close to clean as possible. Also, I believe in sustainable dieting where you can eat without going out of your way to change your lifestyle—unless you have allergies. So, I did this to be proven wrong, or right, or see if I learned something new. Read on…

Which did I choose?

bottleI chose the blueprint cleanse. I was told that it was the best one and I had been eyeing it for awhile. Daniil (teammate on the Dashing Whippets Running Team) mentioned this particular cleanse to me and he told me how amazing he felt. I’m always up to trying something new that won’t hurt me physically so I did some research instead of completely shutting it off.  The cost would have been $260 (I paid a super discounted price) for 4 days. So if you get this at full price, you’d be paying ~$10.84 per bottle or ~$65 a day on meals.
There are 3 types of cleanses on Blue Print. There’s Renovation, Foundation and Excavation. Renovation was too simple, I didn’t consider myself a middle-of-the-road eater like Foundation and Excavation seemed like it would be worth the experience. I definitely fit the description of it which was: “when I eat wisely, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.”
Excavation, the cleanest way of juicing, also promised to “take you much deeper, dig down to a cellular level, and leaves you feeling brand spanking new.” Who doesn’t want to feel that way? 
There’s little fruit, infact none with a high glycemic index, and only cayenne as spices—unless you want to count ginger. So essentially the least amount of anything.
There’s Green Juice (110 cal) x4, Spicy Lemonade (120 cal) x1 and Cashew Milk (300 cal)x1—a total of 6 bottles. So I was pretty much on ~860 calories for 4 days which was a scary thought when I calculated it.

How it went?

feet

The box was delivered to my office in Chelsea. I didn’t think about how I would take it home unfortunately so I had to carry the 3 days worth (the last day is delivered during the 3rd day) with me on the train and walk another 1/2 mile to my door. So if you try this, please be aware that you might have to carry bottles of liquid, which can be heavier than you assume. I think it could have been about 25lbs which do get heavy if you’re carrying other bags.

Unboxing

The 18 bottles were in a box with ice packs which kept them really cold until I was able to take them home. The juices were cold press and fresh so it made sense that they gave you 3 days at a time.

Excavation day 0

Prior to Excavation day 1, I’ve been training for an ultramarathon. I do want to lose about 20 lbs total before my 50-mile ultramarathon. The weight is crucial because I don’t want to carry this weight for 50 miles. I altered my food and exercise regiment before this cleanse so the weightloss from this definitely didn’t come from just the cleanse (please make note of that).

Excavation day 1 (Saturday)

I started this process on Superbowl XLIX weekend because I love torture apparently, you know, much like how I started the 30-day-challenge of complete sobriety during the month of July.
What I regret was not taking my measurements on day 1. However I weighed myself as soon as I woke up to see if there were any changes (I certainly anticipated weight loss from the lack of calories and deficit). I made a plan of how I’d schedule the juices when I woke up and figured that it was practical to have the juice not too early since I’m usually up for very long. They gauged at least an hour between juices so I decided to push it to 2 hours apart so I could be in bed by 11pm-ish (I have terrible sleeping habits). I had the first juice at 11:10am and set my alarm for 1:10, 3:10, 5:10, 7:10, 9:10pm (those 6 bottles needed to last). It mentioned I was allowed coffee (although you really shouldn’t) so I figured why not. I’m not there to remove all habits. So, I had coffee every morning of this cleanse—probably would have been best without. I also had a substantial amount of water (I drink at least 1/2 my weight in ounces always).
I had concerns on my mind of how this would go because many people who have tried it, or hadn’t tried it, had their opinions so here’s where I address them.
Headaches: You might get a headache if you ever change any eating habits. I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I eat close that I can to healthy with some cheats here and there. My body also let’s me know when I need something (Can you see why clean eating is important?).
I did feel dips in energy which actually correlated to the time that I had to take the other juice. So, once I started feeling hungry my alarm was actually about to go off in the next few minutes. When I felt like I should be eating, I made some decaf tea and that made me feel good.
Cravings: I had none but it’s because I’m a weird foraging dieter. I grew up poor, and by habit, I eat what’s available to me so food and taste were always less important than giving me energy to do what I needed to do. I’m uncertain whether this is behavior-base. However, my friends kept posting some delicious looking food and I really wished I could have sampled them—Oh well, next time.
That evening I took the last two juices with me when I went to see a play and had them on scheduled with decaf tea in between.
I did urinate a great deal from drinking mostly juices, water and tea.  I did find it odd that I didn’t defecate because I usually do a number 2 on schedule daily (sorry for the TMI but I did say I’d be honest in this review).

Excavation day 2 (Sunday)

Super Bowl 49 was spent indoors by myself with my juices. I actually woke up, drank coffee and ran 2 miles on empty. I ran because of being antsy. They actually advise not to workout but I figured 2 miles would be fine if I didn’t exert myself. I’m also pretty good at checking my energy levels.
While running I actually sustained a nice 8’40 pace with what the snow allowed me to and I took it home once I felt a little dip in energy (sort of like how you feel when you are close to completing a race). I decided 20 minutes of running was appropriate for the day so I stretched and had my juice. I also hadn’t wanted to run much more because protein is necessary for muscle repair and I didn’t want to injure myself.
I set the same schedule, like the previous day, all until evening and felt pretty much the same. I did notice I had 2 cups of coffee instead of just 1. I didn’t care.

Excavation day 3 (Monday)

I was so curious about how this would affect me at work. So I brought all 6 bottles with me. I didn’t become grumpy so that was a very good sign! The last day’s bottles were supposed to be delivered that day and the cut off was at 5:30PM so I was very surprised that I got it at 5:28PM (Believe me I was sort of excited about getting out of it a day early—definitely took discipline to get through this).

Excavation day 4 (Tuesday)

I weighed myself and realized that I dropped 12 lbs. It was definitely 12 lbs from all the steps that I took. However by this day I also realized that I hadn’t done a number 2 in 4 days! Then I read something super important: I should have taken a laxative. They suggested other things like colon cleanses but since I’ve never ever done one, again sorry for the tmi, I wasn’t going to start. Laxative was the proper alternative. If you really need to know: not much comes out.

Transitioning day 1 (Wednesday)

You pretty much feel like an empty vessel by this day and although you might think you could just start eating regularly again, you can’t. I had fruit and salad. The salad couldn’t include nuts. By this day, I had been craving nuts because I usually have almonds at my desk as a snack. I also met with a past coworker for dinner and although I was worried about the restrictions with my diet, I realized that I could have vegan options at the restaurant and be fine. The taste of the food was incredible! I had a salad, soup and vegan chocolate mousse.

Transitioning day 2 (Thursday)

I ran 6 miles in the morning—6 miles of freedom! I also included nuts! I was super excited about that. Then at work, since the client came in we were asked to come for drinks at the bar. There was no way that I was going to sabotage my process, so I had cranberry (fruit right?) and seltzer water. I have no idea about the authenticity of the juice and whether there were added sugars but I figured that’d be the best option. My energy levels were fine and I didn’t crave drinking.

Transitioning day 3 (Friday)

That day I had jury duty so I kept things light (had fruit and coffee to start the day). Then I settled on choosing sofritas for my lunch from Chipotle. I liked it so much that I decided to also have it for dinner. I called it carb loading. I had a scoop of ice-cream for dessert.

weightlossTransitioning day 4 (Saturday)

I woke up, had generation ucan as fuel (110 calories) ran 18 miles adding another serving (110 calories) then came back to have a bean meal I made with additional veggies and I added a sausage. Since I had torched over 2000 calories that day my body was craving calories so I had lots of water. I allowed myself hot chocolate with marshmallow as a cheat.

Transitioning day 5 (Sunday)

I weighed myself. I’m pretty much down about 10lbs (could be adding the 2 lbs from water weight). I have no idea how the upcoming weeks are going to be. I’ve heard that many people yoyo when they go on these. From the sketch above, that’s basically how I lost the weight. The key area was above my stomach (kind of wished it was my stomach haha). I had 1 mimosa at brunch and it’s funny how I didn’t crave having more. I also had smoked salmon instead of any real meat.

What I concluded?

  • If you’re going to do juicing please do it the right way. I strongly believe that combining bad practices along with juicing doesn’t allow your body great benefits.
  • This cleanse could help you jump-start your clean eating habits and 4 rigorous days probably isn’t necessary. By habit, when I stick strictly to Paleo, I get leaner in a manageable process but this does it very quickly. It’s worth it if you allow the time to slowly incorporate things back into your diet (I didn’t know I would need an extra 5 days to transition off). So I guess it would be perfect if you want to fit a dress for an event.
  • Personally it wasn’t worth it for me to lose out on training to try this but I’m happy that I did to form an opinion.
  • It’s costly and an alternative could be used for the average user (i. e. eat clean, eat clean, eat clean). The juices also aren’t very difficult to make, so I don’t see why making a few of these to replace a meal couldn’t be an option.
  • Excavation was certainly perfect for me since I do fit the target: “I eat what I want, when I want it. I don’t consider choosing my food wisely, ‘missing out.’ My only rule is: If it doesn’t make me feel healthy and zaps my energy, I don’t eat it.”

I hope this review helped. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer!

Cheers!

Out of my comfort zone update

Milestone birthday!

So I’m partially there! Raised ~$745 on the gofund me website where I will be documenting this trip!

To recap:

travelThe week after my birthday (my birthday is 02/19), I plan to head to the airport take a trip within budget to a place that I’ve never been. I’m figuring out logistics as to where I’ll stay at the time that I purchase the ticket.

• Will have to be a country that I’ve never been to out of 3-5 options.
• Decision will have to be within 2-3 hours just in case I have to go through security.
• Flight’s duration can be up to 8 hours if necessary.
• I’m packing my bikini and running shoes just in case in my carry on.
• I’ll have my passport (but can’t go somewhere where a visa is required)
• Will have my chargers, sketchbook and camera to document.
• Will book hotel on my way before flight takes off.

I’m not much of a drinker so, I know most of my friends love to celebrate by purchasing me drinks on my birthday. So, I’d prefer if that money goes to this trip.

So, cocktails/beer/etc in NYC could run anywhere from $5 to $20. So, pretend you’re purchasing one.

I’m pretty frugal so whatever isn’t spent is going straight to my charity of choice (Girls on the Run).

After or during the trip, I’ll document how it went.

I thanked some folks in my last entry update so I’d like to thank these new people! I’m only mentioning those who weren’t listed anonymously!

Thank you Richard, Angie, Stalina, Corey Mack, Janel Thomas, Emily and Jerliebeanz! Almost halfway there!

Sex tips for straight women from a gay man

I don’t get the chance to go to plays with my schedule however as soon as I received an email from Arianna to partner with my blog I was very interested. I made the time. She gave me two tickets to see the off broadway hit comedy, “Sex Tips for Straight Women From A Gay Man.” So, I reached out to my coworker to go with me because I knew he’d enjoy it!

sextipsplay

Here’s an honest recount of the night:
We went to the show at 8pm at the 777 theatre near Times Square where I picked up the tickets.

It was a few flights up if you didn’t take the elevator. Without this perk, I would have had to pay $99. I noticed people receiving free drinks with their tickets so we went in line (for my coworker because I’m juicing—post to follow). However, I didn’t notice that my free tickets didn’t allow a drink. That was unfortunate because we soon discovered that the drinks normally would be $8 (we got a glass of wine in an itty bitty glass, pic to follow). If you get the Valentine’s Day offer I bet it’ll be included!

We also got a $6 bag of popcorn, unfortunately $4 worth of it made its way to the floor when Jacri knocked it over haha.

The play started with the intro of the 3 characters who are actually going over a book, titled the same as the play. There’s a straight woman, a gay man and a really in shape guy (he’s straight… I think). You can read more of the play here.

The show was pretty interactive so lots of audience participation, I believe that’s what brought this play together in its entirety. They engaged the crowd before and even had a few people brought to the stage. One of the women who was brought to the stage was celebrating her birthday so she was in an exceptionally great mood and had the crowd laughing non-stop for minutes!

The ending is pretty colossal and I really want to mention what happens but you’d have to see it yourself! I won’t get into details about the tips (it’s really for people who aren’t very self-aware), but if you don’t know, you do learn how to better please your mate or potential mates: Up, Over… teeheehee

(Read more after the photos)

Succinctly, it was hilarious! You’ll certainly be entertained if you go. It’s really the ideal play to see for a girls night out or bachelorette party.