Broke-Ass Tag: Flab to Fab


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Way back when, in the early days of BAB, we had a series called Flab to Fab, which chronicled some health and weight loss tips that had worked for us. Those of you paying attention on Instagram a couple weeks ago might have noticed this pop up as a hashtag as I embarked on a three-day juice cleanse. Health, happiness and general badassery have always been a part of the BAB way, but after some time of doing Flab to Fab, we started receiving a fair amount of backlash (this was around the same time that the Wedding Industrial Complex started really beating it into brides’ heads that they should be “sweating for the wedding” or “losing for the dress” or whatever lame crap they came up with). But, many of our real brides have continued to discuss losing weight for the wedding, whether it’s because they want to feel healthier, they want to feel more confident or they just plain need to in order to fit into their frock without extra alterations.

September Reset Undoing Summer Part 1

Since I work full-time for BAB in addition to my other projects, I am prone to spending multiple hours in front of my computer and very often lack any sort of motivation for working out. I don’t have a car and the nearest gym is a bajillion miles away. I’m not much of a runner. I kinda hate yoga (yeah, that’s a thing) and swimming is my preferred form of fitness, but it’s hard to find a pool in the vicinity that isn’t swarming with kids who impede my laps. So, I’m pretty freaking sedentary. I do walk a lot, as that’s the only way for me to get around town to meet up with my peeps, but that’s kind of it. And guys, this summer was a helluva summer — cookouts, tacos, parties, bars, tacos, cocktails, lounging, tacos …

September hit, and so did a whole pile of work. I was feeling sluggish, squishy and just kinda gross in general. My 5’2″ frame was carrying 145 lbs., which is … well, a lot for my size and is considered overweight. I was less than enthralled with the way I looked in photos and most certainly with the way my clothes were fitting — especially exasperating considering I loathe buying clothes that aren’t adorable dresses. I knew that I had to do something to kick my own ass into gear so I’d survive this month-ish of 10+ hour work days and weddings and birthdays and conferences. My system needed a reset.

I started by examining some of the meals we had been making at home. I cook a lot, so it was just a matter of swapping out this for that in many recipes — we had an entire week of meals that pretty much consisted of legumes rather than meats — and working on portion control. I’ve always been good about drinking water (how could one not be when they have the cutest water bottle in the world?), but I made a decision to increase my intake.

And then I was approached by JUS by Julie to see if I would be interested in trying out one of their cleanses. Hesitant — because I love coffee and beer and whiskey and food — but intrigued, I went for it. I figured after all the residual gunk that was likely in my system from a summer’s worth of fun, I could use a little detox and reset. My intention with the cleanse, as should anyone’s intention be, was not to lose weight, but to clear out some of the bullshit and help my body recover a bit.

Guys, it’s hard. But I’m glad I did it.

Defrosting JUSes

JUS by Julie shipped me a box of 18 juices — six per day for three days. The concoctions were numbered to indicate which order they should be consumed in. The instructions indicated I could have coffee sweetened only with stevia, raw or steamed vegetables, egg whites and water. Lots and lots of water … which turned out to be a really good thing for multiple reasons.

I definitely had some juices I preferred over others. I tend to like green juices, like ones by Odwalla or Naked, but the JUS by Julie Morning Glory green juice wasn’t anything like those. While there was a sweet aftertaste, it was definitely a juice you could chew on, and the spinach and kale had their obvious presence. This one was also hardest for me to drink because I’m a very textural eater, and the Morning Glory was a bit chunkier than the rest. Plus, I’m not a morning person and not having my coffee the way I want is just … ugh.

Morning Glory JUS

The second JUS of the day was a spicy lemonade — either standard lemonade or with pomegranate (not a favorite). I dug getting to sip on this after the chewy morning beverage, though the spiciness was palpable. If you’re familiar at all with the Master Cleanse, this beverage was pretty in line with that taste.

The third bottle is Sweet Spin — comprised of kale, spinach, pineapple, banana and mango, the concoction was a solid “lunch” drink. Both sweet and filling, it helped keep the day going and was considerably more delicious than the morning’s mix.

Blended JUS Beverages

Mixture 4 was basically an afternoon smoothie, with acai blend and berries. I love a good smoothie, but this one always had chunks that would get stuck in my teeth. This is where that water came in super handy, though I can’t say I’m not at least mildly entertained when trying to pick strawberry or raspberry seeds out of my teeth.

The fifth bottle — “dinner” — was one of my favorites of the day. With blends like PB & JUS and Choconana, they were a little more milkshake-y and a helluva lot more delicious. Which is good because …

Afternoon Sweet Pick-Me-Up JUS

The final bottle of the day, X-treme Greens, was a tart mix of lots of veggies. Though I understand its purpose was to make me feel a little more full and give me enough nutrients to get through the night without my stomach trying to digest my entire body, it was also a v. strong flavor for a time of the day when I’m usually enjoying a glass of wine (with or without cake). But I did wake up rejuvenated and not starving, which means it did its job.

When the cleanse was finished, yes, I was hungry. But I was also way more hydrated (let’s not even talk about how many damn times I peed over three days. Yeesh.) and I definitely had less unhealthy cravings. I ate about one serving of steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots or spinach) per day and had an egg white or two just to get me by. I didn’t have any hardcore Dorito or cake cravings and I actually found myself steaming some veggies the day afterward, because they sounded better than the other options in the house. But I’ll totally admit to super enjoying that first bourbon after the cleanse.

And DONE with the JUS Cleanse!

While there wasn’t any super noticeable weight loss from the JUS by Julie cleanse, I could see I had shaved off some puffiness / water weight. And there was a definite change in the way I felt — less sluggish, a little more focused. It also definitely lit a fire under my squishy ass to be a bit better to myself health-wise, so I’ve started trying (ish) to workout regularly (ish), but we’ll talk about that in Part 2.

Have you considered doing a juice cleanse? If you’ve done one, what did you learn about yourself and your habits?

  • 11/8

    (are you all, “meatless monday? What? why?” click here to catch up)

    Vegan & Gluten-free Pumpkin Harvest Alfredo!

    That’s right, we’re showing the love for fall by uniting Pumpkin + Alfredo in tasty matrimony and celebrating with a flavor party in your mouth! Adapted from Manifest Vegan‘s pumpkin alfredo recipe, we’ve made some simple alterations that pack a perfect punch. Its super simple and incredibly decadent, even though its healthy. There’s practically no telling its dairy-free! I made it this weekend, and it was a culinary epiphany. We absolutely LOVE IT!


    • A pack of your favorite pasta, 12-16 oz. (We used Trader Joes Brown Rice Pasta Spirals – mmmmm!)
    • 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
    • 1 carton mushrooms (we used crimini), sliced
    • 1/2 bag frozen peas
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
    • Toasted walnuts (optional)

    For the sauce:

    • 1 container (12 oz.) silken tofu, drained
    • 1-1/2 cup pumpkin puree (we roasted/pureed a pumpkin, but you can also use a canned variety)
    • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (find this at natural food stores. Its got a mild nutty, parmesan-like taste and is uber rich in vitamins)
    • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, aka flaxseed meal (find this in the baking section)
    • 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil

    vegan pumpkin alfredoSteps:

    Get your water boiling for the pasta. Always toss a healthy hit of salt into your pasta pot for flavor. Cook the pasta according to the directions. Set aside.

    Meantime, put all sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and incorporated. Try to not eat it all straight out of the mixing bowl!

    vegan pumpkin alfredo
    Sauté mushrooms and peas with garlic until the mushrooms begin to brown…

    vegan pumpkin alfredo
    Then add the sauce from your blender. Gently warm the sauce, but not to boil. Once it’s heated through, fold in the spinach and turn off the burner. The warmth from the sauce will wilt the spinach juuuust right. If the sauce looks too thick, stir in a bit of water until it reaches your preferred consistency.

    Pour the sauce over your pasta in each serving bowl, and top with toasted walnuts, if you like it like that. Oh, we likes it like that! (To toast raw walnuts: spread ’em on a sheet pan and roast at 350 for 8-10 minutes, but watch them closely so they don’t burn! No one likes burned nuts, hehe.) The trick to this one is that the sauce is so creamy and packed with veggies that you really only need a handful of pasta to fill ‘er out. That keeps the carbs and cals lower – cha ching! Double bonus!

    vegan pumpkin alfredo
    Voila! A rich, creamy, and cozy autumn meal that’s way healthier than your average alfredo, and cheaper than dinner out… amped up with the power of pumpkin and fresh veggies! Even our non-vegan pals adore it. Last night, our die-hard carnivore friend said “Dana, whenever you make this, I will come eat it.” ‘Nuff said, yo! So don’t be scurred of something new. Whip up a batch and let me know what you think!

    What do you think? Will you give it a try?

    Got a recipe you want us to try? Hit me up in the comments, and maybe your recipe will be featured on Meatless Mondays!

    {Don’t forget to check out this week’s Bargain Bash! Get a Gobble Green vegan or gluten-free home meal delivery starter kit at 44% off!}

    The Broke-Ass Bride
  • 8/26

    Kicking off month 2, yo! I can't believe its been so long. And its been such a rough month, I kinda feel like I could use a mental makeover more than a body one right now. But that's another post for another day... Weeks 3 & 4 went quite well, I've gotta say! I'm definitely rocking a whittled waist, little by little. Or should I…

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    Oh my... another week gone already?!? I'm seriously concerned over how quickly time is passing. Am I the only one who feels like we're being swept along in the riptide of time? No bueno. I'm feeling much better about progress this week... mainly because I can tell that I've been losing weight! My belly feels flatter, my face is definitely slimmer, and my waistline is…

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    Week one is ovah, m-fers! And, if I'm honest, I pretty much sucked it. GAHHH. The Food: Our Gobble Green meal delivery service is pretty bad-ass so far. We came home to two huuuuge boxes of frozen foods galore last Tuesday night, and had a field day picking through the vacuum sealed baggies and matching meals to our printed menus. We even got T-shirts! I…

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    ....not to be confused with doing the newlywed nasty. Though that might help with my flab issue :) Hokay. I just got back from sticking my ego wayyyy far back in my underwear drawer so I could come write this post. So, where to start? Um. I lost nearly 20lbs before my wedding, with a goal looking good in my dress ('cuz, let's be real)…

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    If you read yesterday's post, you know I'm keen on cutting out processed foods from my diet... but I'm kind of terrified. So I asked a friend who has successfully cleaned up her plate (so to speak) to share her best tips! Meet Penny! Penny over at Pantomime Papers is a blogger/map artist who writes about her newest map projects, cooking, health, and how to…

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    It's a very exciting day here at Broke-Ass Headquarters..... We are begining a new series called Broke-Ass Testing Labs! Here we will test out and review all sorts of products from must have registry items, to Flab to Fab makers and things that, well... just tickle our fancy. Consider this our beta launch, 'cause we've got lots of ideas a-brewin'. But the one thing that…

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    THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!As a floppy fiancee I (literally) worked my ass off to become a buff bride - you can read all about my fitness quest in my (semi) regular Flab to Fab series! Working out isn't only good for your bridal body, but also for your mental health. Its a great stress reliever during those stressful pre-wedding months. I love…

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