Thursday, December 27, 2012

5 Ways to Welcome the New Age & New Year

Have you heard?!
An incredible time in history is upon us.

As of December 21, 2012, we have experienced a shift from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. Whether you're a yogi or not, the widespread thoughts and proposed significance pertaining to a shift like this, which occurs only once every 2,150 years, are pretty interesting. The more I've been learning about the shift, the more thrilled and motivated I've become. Finally, we have moved from an age marked by money, power and control to one full of love, unity, brotherhood and integrity. While we should be thankful for the influential events that happened in the Age of Pisces, such as the rise of religion and the Industrial Revolution, we should also look forward to the possibilities and focuses of the Age of Aquarius. This new age is anticipated to bring growth and healing to our increasingly abused and damaged environment, unity and comradery amongst those who have previously found no common ground, and a universal shift of mentality to more open and positive thinking. If you ask me, that's pretty freaking sweet... and it's about damn time!

 Since the start of a new year is fast approaching as well, this is an extra special opportunity to reflect, re-balance, and reach for a more prosperous path to move forward. Here are 5 things I'm doing to take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity...

1. Journal
Spending time writing down your thoughts and reflections can be very powerful. Whether you write 2 sentences or 200 pages, what matters is getting out what's on your mind and making room for positive new experiences. Think of writing in a journal as an opportunity to say all the things you've needed to say, but just couldn't for whatever reason. Although most of us have friends and family we can vent to, there's always something we haven't been able to say out loud to anyone. Your journal is your most trusted friend and wants nothing more than to be your venting buddy!

2. Meditate & Breathe
Yes, you breathe all day to stay alive, but few of us actually just sit and BREATHE! If you're familiar with meditating, set some time aside to do just that! If you're not familiar with meditating... no, it's not this scary stupid thing that you shouldn't try. It's actually the exact opposite! You'll be shocked by what (even just) 5 minutes of sitting down with your eyes closed and focusing only on your breathing can do. Find a quiet spot (or put in headphones to drown out the kids in the background), close your eyes and breathe...
inhale, 2, 3, 4.... exhale, 2, 3, 4...
inhale, 2, 3, 4.... exhale, 2, 3, 4...
If thoughts or to-do list items enter your mind, acknowledge that you're having that thought and allow it to pass - refocus on your breathing...
inhale, 2, 3, 4.... exhale, 2, 3, 4...
inhale, 2, 3, 4.... exhale, 2, 3, 4...

3. Set Clear Goals
Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish and make them very clear. This process can be done any way you choose that is most effective for yourself. For me, I start with the general/big picture goals because those are what I instantly think of. Then, I spend time to make them more specific. Sometimes, making my goals clear is easy and I know how to go about doing so. Other times, I have to sit on it a few days.
General Goal: "Take better care of my teeth"
 Make It Clear: "Floss once a day (everyday) in addition to brushing morning & night"

4. Discard Excess Baggage
Excess baggage can and probably is an assortment of things, ranging from unhealthy relationships (romantic and otherwise) to disputes and drama. This is the time to clear the air and move forward. If you've had that one friend forever, but they always let you down and don't add anything positive to your life, do yourself a favor and discard it. Be honest too. There's nothing more respectful than saying, "Every time we make plans, you bail, and it makes me upset and hurt. I don't want to feel that way anymore. I love and appreciate the friendship we've had, but it's time for me to move forward." Or, maybe it's the boyfriend or girlfriend you've been putting up with for way too long. Stop settling for anything less than you deserve. Right now.

Yes, cutting ties and discarding excess baggage can be very challenging and painful at times, but it's a necessary step for making yourself a priority and moving in the right direction. During one of my recent encounters with this, I was not surprisingly met with hostility and angry words. I kindly held my position and expressed that my well being, happiness and feelings are my priority. A few weeks later I received an apology that explained the hostility and angry words were simply a product of sadness and disagreement. The feelings I had expressed were not reciprocated, but my needs were understood and my honesty was respected. In the end, the situation was no more dramatic or earth shattering than I originally expressed... my well being, happiness and feelings are my priority... and now, I must move forward.

5. Address Unresolved Issues
More often than not, we have unresolved issues.... mommy issues, daddy issues, sibling issues, general family issues, past relationship/ex issues, weight issues, work issues, substance abuse issues, traumatic experience issues and the list goes on and on. Ever since I acknowledged that I am a product of my past and I must respond accordingly, I've been able to address my unresolved issues in a way like never before. No one is telling you to "be a man" and forget about it - Not at all. What I AM telling you though, is to reflect and address it as best as possible... process what happened, how it made you feel then and now, how you act or behave as a result, how you can work towards overcoming it and growing stronger, why it's important to you and why it has had the impact is has. One of my biggest personal accomplishments has been reflecting about my relationship with my dad and how it's translated into the way I approach men and romance. With these realizations and acceptances at the forefront of my mind, I'm more prepared for future encounters and controlling my personal behaviors that I don't particularly favor. As a result, I feel stronger, more at peace and excited about what my unknown future may bring.

Your time is here.
Your moment is now.
Take it and thrive! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gifting Health & Happiness

The holidays are upon us and if you're anything like me, you've just barely begun shopping for gifts. Not to fear, Love Fit Life is here!

Passing on the gift of health, fitness and general wellness is something I love... obviously. However, one of the reasons I love it so much is because of the happiness these gifts have brought me as a recipient! Don't be afraid to use gifting as a way to encourage and motivate both yourself and the people you love. Making good choices and prioritizing health is a group effort, so jump up and lead the way. Here are some of my favorites - they range from inexpensive to a bit more costly, because we all know that wallet size and wish lists vary!
Massages & Spa Treatments

If there's one thing I've always known, it's that massages and spa treatments are the bees knees. Gifting these things doesn't have to be insanely expensive either. Check out Groupon and Living Social for specials or go straight to a no nonsense massage spot like one of these for a great gift certificate:
Some ideas of places to Yelp or look up in your area are reflexology (which is basically like a massage where you keep your clothes on and have your feet in a nice bath of warm water), blow out salons (where there just wash and blow dry/style your hair - great for women to use for a special event or party), manicures & pedicures, facials, and the list goes on!
The Happiness Project Journals
I received The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal as a gift this year and oh my goodness I want everyone in the world to have it. It's perfect for ANYONE (especially people on the go) and it's literally the only way I've consistently been able to journal ever in my life. Each day of the year has its own page, outfitted with an inspirational quote and a space for one sentence, five years in a row. One sentence a day is a piece of cake, and as each year progresses, you can read what you wrote for that day the year before (or 4 years before by the time you're done). To top it off, it sells for $10-20 depending where you buy it (check out Amazon for great online deals) - Awesome, right?!
Also check out the Q & A a Day journal (versions available for both adults and children) if you can't get enough or want more things like this!

Want to see a bunch of great versions and so much more in person?
Find a Paper Source near you and enjoy!
Exercise Classes & Equipment

Last year, my incredible friend Emily handed me a card and wouldn't let go until explaining that she was really excited about doing this gift together and hoped I didn't take it the wrong way. I was a little uneasy after hearing such a disclaimer, but opened the card to find the perfect gift! She had purchased a Groupon for me as a gift, and another for herself so we could take 10 Cardio Barre classes together. We had such a great time going to classes together and trying out something new. Not only that, but it heightened my interest in barre style classes which has led me to Pure Barre!

At my home studio, Pure Barre Pasadena, there are a plethora of holiday deals, gifts and class packages that are perfect for gifting to anyone and everyone! Even clients who want studio merchandise can create a wish list that will be emailed to their family and friends. Easy, breezy, beautiful! The Pure Barre Pasadena Facebook page is a great place to keep up with all the holiday excitement going on now. 

Juicers, Blenders & Beyond

Don't ever hesitate to give the gift of home appliances that will allow your loved ones to make healthier choices. Since I actively advocate and enjoy smoothies and fresh fruit & vegetable juices, I love buying people the tools to join me and make their own! Even though you don't necessarily blend or juice together, that doesn't mean it's not an exciting group project. I love texting my friends what's in my juice or smoothie for the day and planning out what the rest of the week will entail. Not surprisingly, it keeps all of us more accountable and eager to set positive goals that will be more easily fulfilled.

The other great thing about gifting a blender or juicer is they come in all different price ranges and quality levels. You don't need to give the best of the best of the best (SIR!) - just focus on getting them started and the thought that counts. My first blender was a piece of crap, but it got me hooked and I eventually did my own research and told all my family and friends exactly which one I wanted for an upcoming holiday.

Another great home appliance that comes in all shapes and sizes?! George Foreman grills! These handy dandy cooking machines are great for anyone trying to make healthier eating choices. They cook a LOT of different foods, they cook everything quickly and require little clean up. Not quite sure what a George Foreman grill is?? It's ok... we all have to start somewhere - Wikipedia to the rescue! 

This holiday season, I wish you...
the gift of peace from within, the courage to make the healthier choice, the calming effect of 3 deep breaths, the reward of practicing patience, the priority of self worth and personal commitment, the relief of a wonderful workout, the joy and laughter from enjoying irreplaceable company and loved ones, the power of a positive attitude and the awareness that this moment and the lifetime that follows is meant to be lived and loved, forever!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rearrange for Productive Change - No Cost Required

No matter what time of year it is or what's going on in life, there's one thing I know I can always do that will revitalize my perspective and give me that needed boost to make productive and positive changes...immediately.

It doesn't cost anything.
It's not a gimmick or a shortcut.
It's simple and shockingly effective.
I rearrange my furniture.

Growing up, my mom used to rearrange the living room furniture when she was stressed. We found it hilarious when we woke up in the morning and everything would be different. Looking back now though, it made complete sense - with one swift rearrangement, her mentality made a clear shift from overwhelmed to at ease.

After moving into my cottage for one, I came home one day, irritated, upset and unsure how I should sort out the plethora of challenges filling up my plate. Before I knew it, 2 hours had passed and my cottage was completely cleaned and almost every piece of furniture had a new place. I stood there, in silence, exhausted from moving everything around, and it clicked... holy shit, rearranging is the perfect solution! This process of cleaning and physically shifting my surroundings allowed me to sort all of clutter filling up my mind and literally put me in a new found state of peace.

Since that first rearrangement, I've become addicted to the process. Every few months, I rearrange and find myself instantly revitalized. My cottage is small and my funds are limited, so I'm forced to be creative. When I feel the need to add a new item like a table or cabinet, I ask friends and family if they have anything to donate. The majority of the time though, I just work with what I have.

Above all else though, my process of rearranging taught me something that I hadn't given much attention to in the past. So often, we move into a new space and set everything up based on what furniture and space we have, but then we actually start living in it. For me, I found that the way I had initially set things up wasn't ideal. Instead of acknowledging this reality, I'd adapt... I'd leave clothes laying around because my closet wasn't set up in a way that was effective for me to put things away... I'd acquire stacks of paper and clutter because my filing boxes were tucked away... I'd eat out more often than I wanted because my kitchen counter space was taken up by appliances.

As it's turned out, healthy choices and better living began falling into place when I started arranging my mental and physical space accordingly. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kung POW to the Common Cold

Hey, cold symptoms... yah, you... clogging up my head, scratching up my throat, messing up my nose and making me feel like I'm on the brink of explosion... you are so unwelcome here!
Feeling the symptoms creep up or in the midst of a full blown attack?! Don't worry friends, we've all been there/might be there currently, and I think I speak for all of us when I say I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS NONSENSE!
Act NOW.
Fill up on these natural remedies to kick your cold in the butt!
Hydration is an essential part of getting over whatever ailment you're experiencing. Too much of the time, our bodies become sick and don't recover quickly enough because we're not properly hydrated. At a minimum, you should be drinking 64 ounces of water every single day, but when you're sick or consuming caffeine and/or alcohol, that amount should increase. Try drinking room temperature water to promote more rapid hydration as well - by drinking water that isn't too cold or too hot, your body doesn't have to put in any extra work cooling it down or heating it up. This is also a great hangover tip - your hangover is really just another way of your body saying you're dehydrated after getting wastey-face... room temp water homie.
Yup, you've heard this one before but never seem to make it happen which is probably why you're still sick. MAKE TIME TO SLEEP so your body can use all available resources to fight off the yuckies, in turn allowing you to get back to 100% in the blink of an eye. Swear you don't have any extra time to sleep? I think you're full of it.... Here's a solution list for some common excuses:
- Record your favorite show (or catch it later on Hulu) so you don't stay up watching TV.
- Unplug the TV if you're that person who watches filler shows all night long.
- Read a book or do some sleep promoting yoga poses if you have trouble falling asleep.
- Grab some ready made soup at the grocery store so you don't have to make dinner.
- Tell your current text or phone buddies that you're taking the night off to rest. Also be sure to text plenty of Emoji's that emphasize how sad this makes you, but that you really have no choice...
- Make a to-do list so you can go to bed with the peace of mind that you won't forget anything that still needs to get done when you wake up.
- Make arrangements for the little kiddles, spouse or YOURSELF to sleep elsewhere for the night to ensure you get a good night sleep. Loved ones should be promoting your recovery, not complaining about it. Send them my way if that's a problem... I workkouuuutttt....
**Extra Sleep Tip**
Sleep with an extra pillow under your head to allow your nasal passages to drain more easily. Yes, that's gross and slightly uncomfortable, but do you want to get better or not?!

I know, I know... it's the century of social networking and we're all slightly to severely addicted to our cell phones, computers, televisions, and any other gadgets lying around. The reality is, you should unplug as much as possible during your recovery time. The more you unplug, the more sleep you'll get and the less your eyes/mind/body will strain to concentrate on electronics, which ultimately means you'll focus more on practicing healing remedies and you'll feel more relaxed. Seriously, your Facebook notifications won't go anywhere for one night while you rest and if that guy/girl likes you enough, they'll respect that you need to get better and encourage you to heal so they can make out with your sexy self again soon!

Get your mind out of the gutter... I'm talking about breathing in some steam to loosen up all the yucky business going on in your head and body. Take a hot bath or shower, sip on hot soup and drink warm liquids. The more the merrier since it'll really help clear you out!
Not only does green tea fall into the get steamy category above, but it also helps rid your body of unwanted toxins! The list of green tea healing benefits goes on and on so this one should be a no brainer. Plus, is tastes delicious...
Thought garlic was just a tasty addition to your meal? Think again! Garlic has a ton of great antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, which means it will give you a great boost to get better fast! Grab some garlic pills or some extra garlic cloves to add to your meals and take advantage of this incredible ancient healer. Plus, this item also tastes delicious...
In addition to relieving stomach aches and tummy problems, ginger is great at making you sweat! That's right, add some ginger to your tea to help you sweat out more toxins while calming down your stomach. Not only that, but ginger also contains particles active against a common group of cold viruses. Triple score!
That old wives' tale about eating chicken noodle soup when you have a cold is actually pretty accurate. Not only does chicken noodle soup contain mucus fighting elements, but it also provides good steam to loosen up congestion, carbohydrates to give you energy and protein and veggies to give your body nutrients. Aim for low sodium versions though, since salt will play a role in dehydration... remember, we're trying to hydrate, not dehydrate!
Don't worry, drinking some Apple Cider Vinegar isn't nearly as disgusting as you look in this state of illness... Combine 2 tablespoons in hot water and drink like tea (add honey if you want). Apple Cider Vinegar will help relieve joint pain and stiffness and improve your bowel movements (aka: you will poop out toxins more quickly).
Gargling about 1-2 teaspoons of salt in warm water 3-4 times per day will dramatically help moisten your throat and heal your symptoms of throat soreness and irritation!

(1) Wash your hands thoroughly and often - use warm water and soap to keep yourself bacteria free as much as possible.
(2) Keep your freshly washed hands, and all hands for that matter, away from your face. We are trying to get rid of the yuckies, not welcome more in!
May you be blessed with plenty of tissue and a speedy recovery!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Best New Thanksgiving Tradition

First and foremost, happy fat turkeys everyone and cheers to the best f*ck my diet holiday!

Every Thanksgiving, my family gathers in the beautiful South Pasadena, California to eat, drink and be merry with family and friends. My wonderful Mom often uses Thanksgiving to prove she does, in fact, know how to cook and has always taken a strong stance that anyone we care about who doesn't have a place to go on this special day will be at our table.
You rock, Mom - I love you!

The result of a table and (mostly) potluck style spread that changes shape every year has resulted in traditions that grow and adapt with each passing turkey day. The most noticeable changes have developed from our family wide adoption of healthier lifestyles. Our food selection has increasingly involved more vegetables and less fatty fillers, more water and iced tea and less soda, and best of all, more activity!

As our family of 4 "little women" started allowing men to enjoy our incredibly desirable company, our traditions were subject to immediately adjustments - watching football, beer in addition to wine, more meat options and sexy school girl outfits in the kitchen were all required.... you guys wish on that last one *wink*

One year after the men started molding themselves into the picture, us busy body women (mostly me) demanded that if there was so much football going on, we better be actually playing some outside instead of just dreaming we were all famous athletes on TV. Sadly, the game ended with a bad knee injury and commitments that future activities would be a little less intense. 

That next year, we began The Best New Thanksgiving Tradition
It was so simple, yet so magnificent. It allowed us to talk and laugh and find out things about each other that we never knew before. It made us all feel phenomenally better after stuffing our faces with full plates of deliciousness. It was something we decided we'd keep doing every year that followed, regardless of how many people joined or how much cooking there was to do.
We went on a walk.

Since that year, our walks have changed just like our group and our potluck spread. Some family and friends can or want to join our adventure, some don't... and that's ok. Some years are larger hikes and others are quick walks around the neighborhood... and that's ok. Every year though, the walk is fantastically memorable and provides a much needed breath of fresh air before the holiday festivities officially begin... and that's most certainly ok!

This year, I don't know where our walk will be, or who I'll get to know better along the way, but I do know that it'll be beyond enjoyable, it'll make me feel better, and most importantly... 
it'll be a tradition that I want each and everyone of you to try!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Room Service Workout

Greetings from Orlando, Florida!
My two weeks are officially up and I'm excited to report that Chanel and I have made it safely across the country to our port destination. Before we board the Bud Light cruise tomorrow morning, we'll be spending the night in the snazzy Marriott Hotel with some other cruise passengers (from what we hear).
As with most vacations I go on, the last few days leading up to my departure have been a blur of errands, work, tying up loose ends and packing. To my dismay, I didn't get a workout in yesterday, which left me feeling hungry for the burn today before spending hours on end prancing around in my bikini... Not surprisingly though, a workout didn't seem to be in the cards today. Between leaving the house at 5:30 a.m., traveling all day in a squished airplane (with my abs contracted as much as possible of course), getting to our hotel destination and resting up before setting sail, my options for fitting in a workout were limited to borderline non-existent. Luckily, Chanel and I are motivated and we are most certainly not traveling to the land of complaints, sad faces and excuses... On the contrary, we are heading to the sea of incredible "spring break" madness, bikini babes, musical inspiration and endless great times.
So, let's freaking WORKOUT!
We don't have workout clothes because our bikinis obviously take up a lot of space and we're staying in your standard 'ol hotel room, so it's time to get creative. Here's a special little clip to show you some options you probably have in YOUR hotel room too :)

 Here's what we chose to do with some of the options you just saw:
(perform 3 rounds)
1 round equals:
5 leg lifts & lowers
5 leg in & outs
5 crunches
5 reverse crunches
5 scissor kicks
(perform 3 rounds)
1 round equals:
10 squats
5 right leg squats
5 left leg squats
10 sumo squats
Arms & Full Body
(perform 3 rounds)
1 round equals:
10 dips
10 push-ups
20 second plank
The moral of the story??
Next time you find yourself in a hotel room with no workout clothes and limited resources, remember that determination, creativity and your own body weight is all you really need!
Until next week...BON VOYAGE!

Monday, November 5, 2012

2 Week Bikini Body Makeover

In 2 weeks, I'll be setting sail on my very 1st cruise... and that's not even the most exciting part! Believe it or not, I was invited by my incredible friend Chanel. We'll be going to the Bud Light Port Paradise Festival that she WON tickets for through Young the Giant... her favorite band... and now mine! With such short notice for a once in a lifetime adventure, I had to get my shit together! Between making sure I have enough wife beaters and cut off shorts to fit in on a Bud Light sponsored cruise (I kid, I kid) and all the millions of other things on my plate, the thought of getting bikini ready seemed daunting. BUT, I'd be lying if I didn't say I want to look picture perfect and feel jiggle free in my bikini when we we're living it up on the boat, listening to great live music, and winking at our (hopefully) sexy Captain. Thus, the preparation must commence.

For me, the 2 Week Bikini Body Makeover isn't about losing weight, it's about looking great and feeling my best. At the same time, it's also about staying healthy. I know there's a lot of people out there who go on extreme diets and workout plans to prepare for big events and vacations, but that's not me.

YES, getting your ass in gear to feel like the most confident you possible in a mere 2 weeks will be challenging and will certainly require changes to your daily routine.
NO, I won't lie to you like most magazines and pretend you can do this super amazing awesome quick 10 minute workout 3 times a week and all of a sudden look totally different.
YES, you will have to dramatically change what you're eating and how you're exercising to see rapid results.
NO, it's not impossible to make visible changes in 2 weeks.
YES, if you really want it, you will do it.
YES, you sound stupid when you complain about it.
YES, you should suck it up and get your best bikini body ever.... starting now.

**If you can't pick it or kill it, don't eat it**
- Eliminate all processed foods. Yes, that's probably most of what you eat on a daily basis... you will live, I promise.
- Drink as close to NO alcohol as possible.
- No carbs after 5:00 p.m.
- Drink a full glass of water before every meal.

Feel like "what the hell am I going to eat?!?" after reading that? Don't worry, there's plenty to eat and I'm sure you'll be surprised about how full you stay when you're filling your body with wonderfully nutritious foods! Here's some of the foods I focus on eating to stay within the guidelines above:

- Fruit (don't forget there are lots of great carbs in fruit!)
- Veggies
- Lean Meats (i.e. chicken, turkey, lean ham, lean beef, etc...)
- Beans & Legumes
- Chickpeas
- Fish
- Nuts
- Whole Grains (i.e. quinoa, brown rice, farro, etc...)
- Tofu & Soy products

**Sweat Every Day**
(as Under Armour would say)

My 2 weeks are FULL of exercise. I'm not going to give you a special science for exercising... the bottom line is, YOU MUST EXERCISE - cardio, toning, stretching, the whole deal! Don't overdo it, but also remember we're doing a hardcore 2 weeks and aiming for visible results. Whether you have a gym membership, a great fitness studio in town, a workout class you love, a friend who can help you train, YouTube or Hulu videos to do at home workouts, magazine cut outs of workout routines, the great outdoors and your own body weight, or anything else in between, it's all good in the hood!

Here's my week of planned exercise in case you need a sample:

Pure Barre class (55 minutes) & Crossfit style workout with the amazing Pasadena Fire Department

3 mile run with the Dog Haus Running Club

Pure Barre class (55 minutes)

Elliptical intervals & treadmill jog @ LA Fitness (45-60 minutes)

Pure Barre class (55 minutes)


Yoga (60-90 minutes)

Oh and before you even say you don't have time for an exercise schedule like this... YOU DO! My schedule is literally overflowing with work, commitments and obligations - not excuses. Your 2 weeks starts now, get going girlfriend!

I can do it, you can do it, and we're going to look DAMN FINE in our bikinis in 2 weeks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Fast Food Break-Up

Fast food is like a bad boyfriend/girlfriend. No matter how much you try to justify to yourself and the world around you that it's SOOO GOOOD.... it still leaves you unhappy, out of shape, exhausted and broke. Not to mention that you're certainly not the only one in town allowed to drive-thru, if you get my drift ;)
For as long as I can remember, I've had an unhealthy relationship with fast food. I love french fries, cheeseburgers, Jack in the Box breakfast sandwiches, hash browns, chicken nuggets, and so much more.... but you know what, fast food is a bitch that doesn't love me back.
Why? Because... You're just not that tight and you're definitely NOT the best I've ever had!
Also like any bad boyfriend/girlfriend though, it's hard to just walk away happy as a clam and move on. Thus, I've been putting together a game plan that goes something like this:
Be Prepared
The first step in my fast food break-up process is putting some serious thought into when I hit the drive-thru and why. My main reasons?
(1) I feel too hungry and too busy for any alternatives.
(2) I've been drinking alcohol and greasy food sounds so damn delicious.
(3) I'm emotional and feel like stuffing my face to smother my feelings. 
Well, that's all fine and dandy, except, oh wait... it's NOT! Here are some solutions I've been working on to address the 3 main reason I figured out for myself:
Keep something quick and easy on hand at all times - when I'm on the road, that could be one of my 5 On-The-Go Food Favorites or when I'm home (or heading home) with no desire to cook, that could be one of my favorite Lean Cuisines or Smart Ones frozen dinners that takes a whole 4 minutes to microwave. For all the Captain Obviouses (yes, I probably made up the word obviouses) out there who are about to tell me frozen meals aren't a healthy choice... YES, you are right that they are not the ideal healthy choice. However, my point is to ease my fast food break-up and making the decision to eat a Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones is definitely better and more health conscious than the drive-thru.

The obvious remedy would be don't drink as much alcohol.... but let's not get crazy... I'm a 20-something single lady which means I shall continue sipping cocktails as I so please. Thus, my alternative remedies include eating a substantial meal before drinking, consistently drinking water while I consume alcohol, and having a buddy on-call to help remind me that I don't really want fast food at the end of the night.

Emotional eating and dealing with stress in unhealthy ways is such a bigger issue than I can address in a few sentences. My personal experience has taught me that acknowledging how I feel and that it's OK is a huge part of dealing with things. I've also tried to spend a lot of time finding ways to release this emotional energy in more effective ways, like exercising, writing in a journal, talking to family & friends, trying something new that will take my mind off of it (i.e. crafting, gardening, visiting a new place, cooking a healthy meal, etc...), and reflecting on the origin of my emotional issues. The more I stay away from emotional unhealthy eating, the better I feel too, which helps me build a stronger and stronger case to say no when I want to give in!
Break-Up Reminders
By reminding myself WHY I broke up with fast food in the first place, I can more effectively stop and really discourage myself from going back.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

5 On-The-Go Food Favorites

Yah, me too bro... it happens, but we can get through it together. For me, that feeling typically leads to unhealthy habits, eating out and feeling yucky. Keeping good snacks in mind and on hand have proven to be successful tools for me to be healthy on the go and under pressure. 

Snacking is a good thing too - it helps prevent overeating, stabilizes our blood sugar levels throughout the day and keeps our metabolism up. The trick is snacking on the right foods. The more we snack on unhealthy processed foods, the less likely we are to stay energized and fit. Here are 5 of my on-the-go favorites:

Hard boil these protein packed little suckers and you're ready for any snooze morning or otherwise! Not quite sure how to make them? It's cool, they're super easy to do and they perfectly accompany a night watching T.V. or working on your computer. Here's how you do it:

Put as many eggs as you want in the bottom of a saucepan. I like to make a full single layer on the bottom of the pan - it's usually about 8-9 eggs.

Fill the saucepan with water - fill it just about half and inch above the eggs. Add a bit of salt (to help the water boil faster) and put the filled saucepan on the stove at medium/high heat.

Go do your thing while keeping an eye on the pan - you're waiting for it to boil. 

After the water boils for about 2 minutes, turn off the heat and cover it with a top... and don't even give me those dumb excuses about not having a saucepan lid that fits - use your head dude, grab a plate, a baking sheet, a larger lid if you have it, etc... Anything that will trap the heat as much possible.

Set your phone timer for 15 minutes and go back to doing your thing. Timer goes off, you carefully pour the water out, run your little egg friends through cold water for a minute before drying and putting them into the fridge. 

Not sure what kind of container to store them in? I like to boil an even number of eggs so I can just cut the carton in 2 pieces (1 that will be labeled as "hard boiled" and the other that will continue holding the raw eggs).

Muscle Milk Light Chocolate
I like grabbing these 4 packs of protein shakes at the grocery store because they're perfect on the way out the door and give me a great boost before or after a workout. Plus, they don't taste nearly as bad compared to most protein shakes (in my opinion).

Cheese Single Portion Squares
I love these little portion sized cheese squares that are sold at most grocery stores. They usually come in a bag with lots of individually wrapped squares and are available in several varieties. The creamy texture of the cheese really helps me feel full and energized too - into it.

Apples & Bananas
We all know we're supposed to eat more fruits and veggies, but that can be challenging sometimes. Luckily, apples and bananas are among the bunch that are perfect snack buddies. The thing I love about apples and bananas is that they're always available, filling and fantastic for taking on the road. Even better, they're typically the only fruit or veggie option available at places that make healthy eating very difficult, like MacDonalds, gas station & convenience stores, hotels, etc...  

Campbell's Classic Tomato Soup on the Go
As we start cozying up to fall and winter, soup is a must for me. While I prefer making it from scratch at home, these classic tomato soup cups are awesome. They're perfect for lunch or dinner on the go when I have less than 5 minutes to find food and eat! 

 Get It?
Got It?
Go Snacking!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The 12 Best Foods for Your Abs

One of my favorite fit life tools is easy to read go to guides for healthy eating and fitness, like this one on the 12 Best Foods For Your Abs by Women's Health Magazine! Just because summer is ending doesn't mean we need to build up our bulges... The year is 2012, people, put a sweater on or turn up the heater instead of packing on the blubber this coming fall & winter!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Positive Minds Lead to Powerful Places

This year has been one of many triumphs and challenges in my life. I've learned more about myself than ever before and I've started blossoming into the grown woman that I want to be and am proud to present to the world. Not surprisingly, a huge part of that has been redefining my outlook and attitude. This week, my new and improved state of mind was really tested... to the max. After waking up to incredibly undeserving, unwelcome and berating drunk text messages early in the week to getting my parked car crashed into at the end of the week, I am exhausted and totally warn out, to say the least! What once would have been a "WHAT THE F*CK GOD" response was an odd sense of calm and appreciation for all the wonderful things in my life aside from the not so ideal obstacles.
We must constantly bear in mind that we all have bad days and shit is always bound to happen... Unfortunately, we can't control these things. The real question is, what CAN we control? The answer is simple and it's something I'm sure you already know deep down inside...

We control our own outlook.
We control our own attitude.

The way we choose to react and respond to our surroundings and situations is incredibly powerful and can often lead you in the right or wrong direction in life. Far too often we bury ourselves in a pile of complaints, catastrophe and victimization rather than standing atop our mountain of adversity with the mindset designed to conquer.
People get sick.
People we love pass away.
Jobs are lost.
Days become unrealistically overwhelming.
Kids don't behave.
Friends fail us.
We fall off the wagon.
The wagon breaks altogether. 
Cars crash.
Catastrophe happens.
Things are stolen.
Things get lost.
We say the wrong things.
We date the wrong people.
We make bad choices.

These things will never change.
Regardless of what's thrown our way, we must rise above and remember the good things that bless us and our lives each and everyday. We must take a deep breath and process the facts, consequences and path that should be travelled to move forward. We must not ruminate in the depths of sorrow and darkness. There is a light, but your eyes most be open to see it shining.

Next time you feel a sad face approaching, remind yourself to smile. Tell yourself three things that make you wonderful and reasons why should feel thankful. Above all, proceed with a positive mind so you may be lead to powerful places.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gladiator Training Part 3: THE RACE!

Yesterday, on Saturday, October 6, 2012 I crossed the Gladiator Rock'n Run finish line. A goal I once thought to be impossible is now an accomplishment I'm immensely proud of and look forward to tackling again!

I could go on and on about the total insanity of the run and all 14 obstacles, and how most of it was surprisingly fun... I could tell you all about how my fellow Gladiator Goddess, Chanel and I made all the macho men look like sissy girls... I could tell you how I am SOOOO PROUD OF MYSELF I CAN HARDLY STAND IT.... but Chanel already took all the words out of my mouth!

Check out Chanel's incredible recap of the big event and our outstanding accomplishments in Officially a Gladiator on Photography + Science = Chanel.


Anxiously waiting...


Almost to the end and still going strong!

Pumping ourselves up after freezing to death in the Polar Plunge.

Barbed wire mud pit?? Piece of cake... piece of crumb cake!

Mud Pit Masters!

Just doing a little dumpster diving...

Turns out hay really helps with slippery hands... who knew?!

Cargo net wall - this was the obstacle I was looking forward to the most and it was all I hoped it would be and more!

Pink Flamingo Chanel handling major business on the slippery wall!

Black Swan Rachel reaching the top on try #1 - like a BOSS!
Gladiator Goddesses enjoying our free cold beers after crossing the finish line!
Gladiator Training Team Nicole, Chanel, Rachel & Nick - WE ROCK!


I ran, I climbed, I crawled, I conquered.