Category Archives: McKenzie Attempts

McKenzie Attempts: The 11-Day Isagenix Cleanse!!!!

I’m sorry but doing a juice cleanse is just not gonna work for me. Drinking just a few juices a day will turn me into The Hulk and make everyone around me unhappy. In fact it did a few years ago when a friend told me I had to stop because I was so crazy from not eating. And so when a friend told me about a cleanse she and her sister had done that was healthy for you and reasonable, I had to check it out as I wanted to try something to get my body back to square one.


The program, Isagenix, is a weight loss and cleansing system that helps you cleanse the healthy way. You are given five stimulant-free nutritional components that infuse your body with nutrients for optimum health and safe weight loss over eleven (or thirty if you wanna go radical) days. I wasn’t gonna kid myself and go whole hog so I opted for the eleven-day and was given the following to achieve my goals:


1) Cleanse For Life: a powder or liquid that nourishes and feeds your whole body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and botanicals, not through the use of diuretics or laxatives.

2) IsaLean Shakes: a powder (in chocolate or vanilla) that you blend with water and ice that helps maximize the absorption of key nutrients. A meal replacement, they are only 240 calories!

3) Natural Accelerator: A small pill that is full of cayenne, green tea, cinnamon, and ginseng that helps your liver metabolize fat quickly and does so without potentially harmful stimulants including, caffeine, ephedra or ma huang.

4) Isagenix Snacks: Little Chocolate Pellets that contain high-quality whey and casein protein, healthy fats and energy-boosting carbohydrates to help curb appetite and avoid eating unhealthy snack foods.

5) IsaFlush: A pill to help you safely improve digestion, encourage regularity and soothe internal discomfort (if any) as you cleanse. Not a harsh laxative!


In the eleven day program you have seven shake days and four cleanse days where you drink or eat certain things. But the constant was the massive amounts of water you are supposed to drink, which was basically half your body weight in ounces. I took one look at what I could eat (on shake days: one healthy meal of 400-600 calories each day and one organic apple/one hard-boiled egg/or one small green salad with lemon and olive oil) and all of the liquid I would be consuming I thought to myself THIS IS CRAZY. I can’t do this!

The kit came with so much information I was overwhelmed a bit at first, but quickly figured out how it all worked and portioned out each day into Ziploc sandwich bags with the times I had to drink/eat certain things and additional information (yep, I am a little OCD).

When I first told people I was doing this thing, everyone thought I looked “just fine”, was “normal looking”, and certainly”didn’t have to lose any weight”. Well thank you friends but I’ve been battling ten pesky pounds for the past few years and well wanted/needed to try something new.

So how do I feel? Well I’m on Day eight and feel amazing. I have already lost one full inch in my abdomen and lost close to 5 lbs! And while I love those numbers, the most surprising results have come from how I really feel, not how I look. My digestion is more balanced, I have reduced cravings to basically nothing, and have seen a huge energy boost. Day one wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I mean ya, it sucks to see food you can’t eat but I had to remind myself that I am on a journey and need to be true to myself and stick with this thing to the end.

Isagenix has definitely helped me realize that I a) eat for no reason… whether I am bored, see something I wanna eat, or think I am hungry but I’m not and my mind is just telling me that and b) need to make healthier eating decisions. Take for example yesterday’s “healthy lunch” I had at Life Thyme Market in Greenwich Village. I went to their salad bar and created a balanced meal of salad and protein, something I would have never done 8 days ago! And just as I was tempted to add one of the eggplant rolatinis (filled with mozzarella cheese) I reminded myself that I didn’t need it and managed to get the best of my momentary weakness and set the serving spoon down! My internal cheerleader was going crazy and I had a smile on my face for a good five minutes!

I’m quite anxious to see how Day twelve (my first day off the program) goes. I mean I’ve been telling myself that if I completed the entire program without cheating (which I have so far) that I would treat myself to a juicy burger, fries and milkshake from my beloved 67 Burger but at this moment I don’t know if I event want to!

At the end of the day Isagenix has given me exactly what I wanted….It has helped me change the bad eating habits I previously had, increased my energy levels, cleansed my body by bringing it to an alkaline state, and weirdly made my skin glow as if I were pregnant or something (for the record I am NOT). But Isagenix has also made me become a much better feeling ME and that’s all that matters.

I don’t wanna sound too preachy but it works! If you are interested in learning more about this program, just send me an email at mckenzie.mahoney (at) gmail (dot) com and I will hook you up with my Isagenix rep/coach Jess.



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McKenzie Attempts: The BAD Rule

I am VERY aware of what I eat.¬† And although it may not seem like it, what with all the food I stuff in my mouth, I think very carefully about literally everything I put into my mouth. As a “foodie,” I get a lot of feedback on how good I look considering my job and all (I also work in the industry as a brand manager for restaurants and chefs) and so I have to be very careful to not balloon up!

In my never-ending quest to balance my love of food and looking good, I’ve recently adopted the following mantra….when eating, it’s either Bread, Alcohol or Dessert. My boyfriend coined it the “BAD rule” and he follows it strictly. At first it seemed obvious, but it was tough at first, and now it’s essential to my daily life. I usually look at the menu before I eat at a restaurant and so I already know what I’m in for in looking at both the cocktail and dessert menus. Now bread, there is no issue here. Even when I wasn’t on my gluten-free diet (which I may extend after the November 1st end date), I didn’t like the complimentary bread basket or eating bread-heavy meals. So the only decision I have to make when dining, is whether I want to drink or end my meal with a sweet treat.

We all strive to be healthy and as such… so I suggest you try out this mantra for yourself. It may not be easy at first but it will certainly help you out. Best of luck!

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Bon Voyage!!!!

As I begin to write this I still can’t believe it’s actually here! For the past few months my boyfriend and I have been anxiously awaiting our end of summer trip to France with a few of our friends. And now it’s finally here! This morning I may have woken up in Brooklyn, but tomorrow I wake up in Paris!


Over the course of the next two weeks, I’ll be strolling the streets of Paris, sipping wine and biking through the lush vineyards of Provence, partying day and night in Saint-Tropez, and frolicking around Cannes, Monaco, Antibes and Eze.


I’ve been to Paris many times (studying abroad, family trips, etc) and spent my 21st birthday in The French Riviera but something tells me that this trip will be much, MUCH different. Not only do three of my traveling companions speak fluent french (one being my boyfriend), but we’ve also rented a car to “road trip” throughout the southern region, and made plans to stay at some of the most amazing hotels (Paris: Le Bristol, Provence: Four Seasons Terre Blanche, Saint-Tropez: Byblos & Cannes: The Carlton). And not surprisingly, I’ve crafted a pretty impressive regional “must eat” list for myself as I saved up $$ not for shopping, but for eating ūüėČ

*The French Riviera*

If you’d like to follow my adventures and scope some serious food porn….follow me on Twitter @mmmguide or Instagram @mckenziemahoney

I’ll be back to posting after the Labor Day holiday…hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!

Au revoir!



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McKenzie Attempts: Going Gluten-Free…till April!

January 1st brings a wave of New Year’s resolutions that will undoubtedly cease to exist a few days or weeks in so¬†I waited a week and made mine on Sunday,¬†January 8th.¬†See, I wanted to sort out what I really wanted to work on, change, or amend and found that my recurring hope was to keep healthy and lose a few this year.

I basically eat for a living and when I tell people what I do the most common response is “wow you don’t look like a porker” or something to that effect! Even with all of the running I do, I find that it is a constant struggle to keep fit and eat like I do in this city. So I gave myself a goal…. to lose 15 lbs by March 31st. To do this I am mounting a¬†campaign that includes daily exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) and the removal of a few things from my daily diet.

The most difficult restriction of my new diet will surely be my decision to go gluten-free until March 31st. For someone who loves nothing more than a fresh-baked baguette with a side of salted butter, this is going to be a challenge. Yesterday wasn’t too terrible, but I did wake up craving a bagel and cream cheese! But when I put my mind to something I do it (example: the nyc marathon I ran two months ago), and gosh darnit…I am going to do this! ***Full Disclsoure….It does help to know that I have support in my boyfriend who has been gluten-free for almost ten years (due to a gluten allergy) so at least I have him ūüėČ

My other diet no-nos? Well, my most beloved food item, dumplings, is going straight out the window as they are a) chock full of gluten and b) not the healthiest food item you can ingest. Others include limiting my alcohol intake and what I call “non-essential desserts,” which basically means I am going to be super critical of dessert menus asking myself whether or not I really need or want it!

So while I know many consider going “gluten-free” to be a trend or fad diet…you have to remember that celiac disease is real and that a wheat allergy is serious. So my quest may be superficial (trying to lose weight) but I am determined to keep this up! Besides, how AWESOME is my first dumpling going to be come April 1st!?

Wish Me Luck!


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McKenzie Attempts: The Egg Cream.

Last night was my third night of class at NYU and I thought I would share my writing assignment and first egg cream experience. Each week my instructor, Marge Perry, assigns us a writing assignment to share with the class the next week. Last nights assignment was to describe an experience with a new food and I chose to write about the egg cream.

My biggest problem in this class is going to be my long and never-ending run-on sentences. Since I write like I talk, I need to edit myself ¬†which I do¬†on the regular now.¬†So this post is two-fold; you get to see my “homework” and hear about my first experience with the egg cream!

NYU Food Writing Assignment: The Egg Cream

It’s been said that anyone living in or traveling to New York City must consume the following whilst in the city: a Bagel, Black and White Cookie, Deli Sandwich of some sort, Cheesecake, and an Egg Cream. Having conquered the first four in the first month of living in New York, only the egg cream was left.

Dating back to the late 1800s in a Brooklyn candy shop, the Egg Cream has a storied history. After the creator of the beverage turned down a national ice cream chain’s offer to buy the rights to his formula for a fairly small sum, he swore to never sell it and
took the recipe to his grave.  But despite his deathbed secrecy the immense popularity of the egg cream begat similar versions in soda fountains all across the city.

So in my quest to try a new food item I took to Twitter and got a consensus as to where I could find New York‚Äôs best Egg Cream. All tweets pointed to Gem Spa, a newspaper stand in the East Village. Nearly 140 years of history and the best one can be found inside an unassuming bodega? Skepticism aside I ventured in and found a sign with ‚Äúegg cream at its best‚ÄĚ pinned beside rows of cigarettes, over the counter medicines and batteries.

Hundreds of magazines lined the walls and I grew concerned when the entire soda fountain operation unfolded right next to the cash register.  What sort of rogue beverage operation is this? Is this even safe? Surely inspectors from the New York State Department of Health would deem the inhospitable environment to be unsanitary at the very least right? Nevertheless I pushed through; tonight I would try my first Egg Cream.

This beverage masquerades as something it is not containing neither eggs nor cream. Despite my confusion, I stayed true to my mission and ordered one vanilla and one chocolate.  I watched intently as the entire process went down; a few squirts of flavoring, a generous serving of cold milk poured halfway up the cup and a high pressurized jolt of seltzer from the siphon nozzle to just touch the rim. After a few aggressive stirs with a cocktail spoon the man delivered two plastic cups overflowing with a creamy head.

A self-proclaimed¬†seltzer-holic, I no joke drink a liter or two a day. So imagine my surprise when I found that it bore little trace of the ‚Äúbite‚ÄĚ I crave when I imbibe my favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Neither an ice cream soda nor a milkshake, it was in its own little world.

Was an Egg Cream supposed to taste like carbonated, uber-watered-down chocolate milkshakes? YooHoo immediately came to mind but then left as I took another sip. There seemed to be an incorrect balance of flavor between the three components of the drink and I ingested it if only to keep up appearances with my friend who too was having his first Egg Cream experience.

I concluded almost immediately that this was more a poor man’s soda than anything else and I would not be having another one anytime soon. Gem Spa may be the place for authentic New York Egg Creams but I think I’ll stick to purchasing gum, magazines and
non-flavored seltzer on my next visit.

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Death to Delicious.

A few days ago I began a food writing¬†class at NYU that will hopefully¬†beef up my writing skills and¬†get¬†my creative juices flowing. One one of¬†the first things to come out of my instructors mouth was that the word “delicious” would not be written or spoken during the entirety of the session.

Immediately I gasped because I use delicious almost as frequently as I eat! I mean sure its a useless word when you actually describe an experience of eating something or eating somewhere but how on earth am I going to give up the word completely cold turkey??? Well being the good student that I am I pledge to abide by her rules and take it one step further by extending it to my life outside of the classroom as well.

So you will see that I am filing this post under the “McKenzie Attempts” category as I am doing just that; I am attempting to put an end to¬†this word in all of my writing because¬†when you think about it….the word¬†has no real meaning behind it other than to evoke a positive or pleasant reaction without really describing it to the intended recipient.

Starting today¬†I will be¬†removing¬†the word “delicious” from¬†any upcoming¬†posts and my¬†vernacular (ok that might be a tough one but I will try). If it just so happens that the word is used in any descriptive way, please point it out and who knows as a thank you for keeping me on track¬†I may¬†send you some baked goodies ūüôā



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McKenzie Attempts: Food Takeover of Charleston!!!!!!

Dear Readers…. this post is to let you know that I will be taking¬†a few days off to celebrate the wedding of my dear friends Matthew Allman and Caroline Collins this weekend in lovely Charleston, South Carolina!

Funny story actually, the three of us met on a cold wintry afternoon in 2007 at The White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street when they were visiting-NYC for the weekend and I was indulging in some good old-fashioned day=drinking with my friend Tyson.¬†Fourteen hours later we found ourselves at Panchito’s on MacDougal¬†Street drinking seriously strong margaritas and daring each other to eat sour cream by the spoonfuls. Since¬†then¬†we have¬†found ways to¬† see eachother¬† in varied places such as baseball games at Yankees Stadium, Easter¬†weekends in Atlanta,¬†“black-out” football games¬†in Athens, Georgia¬†and many many more. My life is simply empty without them and I am thrilled to be celebrating their special day in one of the most fabulous cities in America!

*Flanked by Caroline and Matt at the infamous Georgia/Alabama game of 2009*

Joining me in this riotous weekend is Hayes Thompson, my best friend since childhood, for what will surely be a weekend for the record books. Always the party king, Matt has brought 25 of his nearest and dearest together to bunk at Casa Margarita, a bright green eleven bedroom mansion right on the beach of The Isle of Palms. While most of our time outside of the wedding festivities will be spent here on the beach and in the pool (see below), Hayes and I are determined to see experience Charleston!

*This is where the party’s at*

What is on my list?¬†In addition to the Spoleto¬†Festival (a¬†17 day¬†performing arts festival),¬†I will obviously eat¬†my¬†around the city because¬†I’ve been told that Charleston is the mecca¬†for¬†great Southern food. ¬†Rich in tradition and history, the city has made quite a name for itself as a culinary destination and I fpr one plan to take full advantage! First up will be 17 North Roadside Kitchen tonight with the happy couple and our friends followed by¬†dinner at Husk¬†on Friday, charcuterie at Cypress, fresh seafood at 82 Queen, and¬†creative weiners¬†at Jacks Cosmic Dogs! Yes I know it is¬†ambitious to think that I can cram all of this into a five day trip with¬†thirty-six hours taken out for wedding festivities (rehearsal dinner and wedding)¬†but I am determined¬†and I know I will be victorious!

So wish us luck and if any of you know of some places I just cannot miss, please let me know!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


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