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!