We’re about to leave for day 2, so I’ll be brief:-)
Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my kids to love on the homeless around New Orleans. We met several people, but 2 men really stood out and were happy to have us pray over them. Rick had a heart attack years ago, lost his job and ended up living in New Orleans. He was forced out onto the street after being robbed while looking for work. Yesterday was Rick’s 55th birthday so we got to sing happy birthday to him and hug on him…..that simple act that many of us take for granted brought tears to his eyes. It was an act of love, plain and simple.
Michael had a story, but wasn’t too keen on sharing. You could tell he was untrusting, probably due to the treatment he had received. He did allow us to pray for him, specifically that he could find a job and get off the streets. He just wanted to live a better life and be a contributing citizen.
So why do I tell you this?
These people that we so often turn our nose to and utter “Get a job” are still one very important thing: people. They crave human interaction, not just money. I encourage you to live a life less ordinary and strike up a conversation. Buy them a meal, then do more than pass it out of the car window. Show a shining light where darkness lingers.
As far as the kids….some are getting there. My note of encouragement to the parents is this: if you sent your kid to camp hoping they would “be changed”, realize that change begins at home first. Don’t wait for your kids to spark a change…be the example of life.
We’re about to leave for day 2, so I’ll be brief:-)
Today’s post will be short and sweet, but extremely helpful.
Winter has been hitting hard this side of the world, and since I’m not so used to it my skin has suffered greatly!
Well, there is a great tool you can use to get your skin (and even your hair) into shape during the cold months…or if you happen to live in a low-humidity climate.
So, without wasting too much time, here’s what you need:
Coconut oil (preferably organic)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Peppermint oil (or the scent of your choice)
Boar’s head bristle brush (optional)
Here’s what I do to get my skin back in check…and if you’re wanting to keep/get your skin tight, this is a GREAT regimen to have for beauty purposes.
Dry brushing. Basically, you get all kinds of naked, start with short strokes of the bristle brush from the feet up the legs completely. Then from the fingers into the arms. Torso is last and the brush moves in a clockwise motion at the abdomen. You can skip this step, but I highly recommend it. Dry brushing helps to remove toxins, get the lymphatic system roaring like it should, and tighten the skin by stimulating collagen production.
Warm the oils in a coffee cup (or bowl, if you’re anti-cup).
Grab some oil with your hands and apply to the whole body, starting with the feet. You can even get your scalp and it feels AWESOME! This is safe for the face as well.
You can sit on a towel and read a magazine for a few minutes, or do some stretches (that’s what I do) to further stimulate the lymph flow. Then, hop in a warm (not super hot) shower and rinse away. Don’t scrub with a washcloth or use loads of chemical laden soap here! Allow some of the oil to adhere to the skin to help provide moisture and protection.
You can do this everyday if you want. I do it a couple of times a week now. During the winter, I prefer doing it during the day, but when it gets warm I do it right before bed. Your skin will be ever so grateful, and will even tighten up some for you (like always, THAT takes time).
So, feel free to go get the quick results of oil bathing for pennies per use. Have fun and enjoy your super soft skin
Happy Monday fit people!
Today is exciting (and COLD!) as I get to review one of my very favorite workouts of all time: Les Mill’s Combat. I’ll try to do it justice
So, let’s start by setting a little foundation. Les Mills originated in Auckland, New Zealand, where Les Mills himself was one of the country’s greatest track and field athletes. He and his wife Colleen opened the very first health club in Auckland in 1968. Their son went to UCLA on a track and field scholarship and took over the business in the 80′s. Les Mills programs have changed the way people work out for the better with program like Body Pump, Body Step, Shabam, RPM, Body Attack, Body Vibe and, of course, Body Combat. ALL of these programs take the VERY best of exercise programming (which is what gets you results) and blends them with a party atmosphere (which increases compliance). Les Mills leads in the pack in programming and design all over the world.
Now, Beachbody (those people who brought you P90X and Insanity) have teamed up with Les Mills to make compliance even simpler…you can have the workout of your life right in your living room. Beachbody acquired the Body Pump program (complete with weights and steps) and rolled it into a doable package to help shape your body and earn strength. While in New Zealand, the founder of Beachbody noticed a large line forming for the next class…that huge line formed everyday for Body Combat. So, naturally Beachbody wanted to make such a great program available to everybody.
So, what can you expect from Body Combat?
The workouts are efficient. What I mean by that is that the workouts are designed to work FOR you, not against you. The secret behind such efficient workouts is fast twitch integration training. Body Combat is a beautiful mixed martial arts blended and inspired workout to help you feel more powerful AND get the results you want. These different forms of martial arts training (Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu) are sequenced according to how the body if forced to adapt to each move. The means that safety and fluidity of motion are insured throughout your workout. The sequences are escalating with varying speeds. This way you play on the differing heart rates to really blast fat AND shape lean muscle.
The best part is that these trainers really know what they’re doing.
Dan Cohen has competed in just about every discipline and has a black belt in Kickboxing and Karate. His form is killer and his humor will keep you going when you’re tired.
Rachael Newsham has trained in many of the forms and is proficient in Muay Thai, boxing and Kickboxing. If her abs don’t keep you motivated then her tough-love-trainer style is bound to keep you on your toes.
Though Combat is created for maximum results and serious athletes, there are PLENTY of modifications to make it safe for ANY and ALL fitness levels. If you’re like me and suffer from knee issues and arthritis, then follow the modifier so you can crank out the needed intensity without the added impact. Combat is a program that doesn’t exacerbate my injuries any further
In the Combat Challenge Pack, you get the DVD’s (7 workouts total), a nutrition guide with recipes like Mediterranean eggs, roast beef sandwich and grilled steak, plus a guide to building your workouts with 3 different options depending on your fitness level and goals. And don’t forget, you also get Shakeology in the challenge pack, which helps to regulate the digestive system and blood sugar while promoting weight loss. BONUS? Yep, this particular challenge pack is on sale this month: YOU save $70 of the whole kit, so it’s a little more than just buying the Shakeology and you get an entire program to help you get in the best shape of your life.
Bottom line, Les Mill’s Combat will help you shed excess weight, gain self-confidence and lose the junk that’s holding you back. All you have to do is push play
Want the pack? Grab it in the CHALLENGE section right now!
Some like it hot and some like it cold, but when it comes to protein there is no need to let it get old….did you see what I did there? So full of talent
Adding protein into your diet in the form of powder is one of the most efficient ways to get the protein your muscles need without all the excess fat and calories. However, a scoop of protein in water can get a little boring. HERE are my 2 latest obsessions to go with whatever mood you may be in today:
I could drink this ALL day as it makes my coffee super creamy. Plus, I don’t need to use any sweetener or cream (yeah, I dig that stuff) and it tastes better than any Starbucks. AND…it’s super simple.
Brew 1 cup coffee of choice and pour into shaker cup
Add in 1 scoop whey protein of choice (I am actually OBSESSED with BSN Syntha-6 blend in chocolate peanut butter right now)
Shake the heck out of it
Pour back into your mug and add a little hot water
Sip while reading up on the latest research! Oh, wait that may just be me…sip while doing what you do best!
Protein Ice Cream Dream:
This is great for post-workout on a super hot day, OR for you weirdos who enjoy ice cream on cold nights
6 oz low-sugar almond milk
4 oz non-fat Greek yogurt
1 scoop casein protein (again, I am obsessed with BSN Syntha-6 blend in peanut butter cookie for this one)
1 tablespoon all natural peanut or almond butter
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped (yeah, just do it)
Mix it all in a blender
Transfer to your ice cream machine and let it whirl around for about 15 minutes.
Don’t have an ice cream machine?
Place it in a tight closing container and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
YUM! BTW, this is 2 servings….or 1 on leg day
So, there’s 2 ways to get your muscle on without the BULK you don’t want. Remember, eat clean, keep your proteins lean, and train mean….then return the favor by being kind to others!
Peace, Love and Lunges,
Hello Fit people!
February is nearly closed out and by now we have realized a few things right? First, that fad diet really doesn’t work. Second, maybe we were over-ambitious with our goals. Third, time really does fly by quickly
Don’t write off those health and fitness goals yet! You can still reach them with a little tweaking (not twerking) and some added motivation.
Here are my top tips for getting back on track:
- Find your inspiration…and make it good. If you’re waking up at 4 a.m. every morning just to hit the gym to your butt looks better, you’ll be amazed how quickly your butt starts to look “good enough”. Physical goals can take us off the couch, but we need more inspirational goals to keep us going. So, consider who or what you really are working for. Take an example: I work out to be healthy for my family. My kids can relax knowing that I take care of myself and my hubby can show off the rewards. They are way bigger than me and that is my inspiration.
- Think less about calories and more about nutrition. Anybody can drop weight by changing up their workout and moving more. You want to drop fat. Dropping fat isn’t a numbers game. Calorie counting is old school. Think in terms of nutrition to help get your food on track with your goals. For example, Oreo cookies may fall into my calories, but are they as good for me as a large mixed green salad? No. And all that excess sugar leads to lose skin…so choose your foods wisely.
- Reverse engineer those goals! I cannot stress this enough. You have to walk backwards from your overall goal and set small, attainable goals. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds in 1 year, you need to know what that will take. So, that would mean losing a little over 4 pounds per month…which takes a little over 1 pound per week. A pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. In order to lose that pound, you have to consistently burn that amount of calories. So what does it take? Consistent clean eating and moving at 6 days per week. Knowing what it takes to reach your goal is half the battle.
- Enlist a support team. Find a person that will NOT baby you! You feel a little dumpy so you don’t want to work out? You need a true friend who reminds you that working out has nothing to do with your “feelings”. Lean on them when you can’t kick your own butt. Expect them to be your realistic radar and not feed the flames of excuses that you try to come up with each week.
- Try something new. 2 months into the new year your body is ready for something different. That’s exactly why I don’t offer the same classes all the time…they become ineffective. Are you always kickboxing? Lift some weights. Yoga everyday? Try adding Pilates or barre work. If you run everyday, consider taking on some bodyweight strength training. Think outside the box to create a more functional body.
Your results are there for the taking, but you have to move towards them every day. Don’t give up now! There’s still work to do
This morning as I ambled onto my yoga mat set up in my bedroom, I decided to do things a little different. I threw away any pre-conceived “stuff” that had to be accomplished during this time and I threw on some Lorde (always good for yoga, in my opinion). Then, I just let go. I began to move through the stiff joints and muscles caused by teaching high impact classes and I began to feel invigorated and much freer than if I had just focused on flattening my abs or burning what I was about to eat for breakfast. There was an element of play involved in the process.
Yoga helps many athletes to find balance within life. While life will never be completely balanced, yoga helps us find that internal balance that can lead to more focus and less freaking out. I find that this is better accomplished through a sense of play. In the world of fitness that I reside in (that would be weight loss), there seem to be more rules than actual fact. There are always new diets promising big results, but only if you follow their rules. There are workouts promising the body you always wanted, but only if you follow their rules. It gets to the point where many seeking weight loss do begin to take things too seriously and feel as though they must be told how to eat and move on a daily basis. Welcome to the land of crazy…
Without an element of play, we can begin to feel stifled by the very thing that we are working so very hard to obtain. If we feel as though it is always against the “rules” to eat the cake, then we feel guilty if we eat our own birthday cake. Life itself demands a certain amount of enjoyment and rules for the sake of rules can leach that enjoyment away over time. Then we are left with possibly smaller waistlines and a feeling of want all over.
So now you’re probably thinking, “Cool, so I need to add yoga to my list of things I must do right?”
Well, personally I think we could all benefit from a bit more yoga I know my family enjoys it when I’m doing a lot of yoga, as it calms me down quite a bit. The Super Bowl XLVIII Champs the Seattle Seahawks incorporate it into their training regimen. So yes, if you want to be a winner, do more yoga…. I kid! What I do suggest is finding the fun in life again. The worst feeling in the world is to be so very devoted to your workouts that you don’t have the time and energy left over to play. So, in the spirit of play, try a lightening up a little with these ideas:
- Host a fitness party. These can be super cheap or super expensive and it’s really your call. You can hire a personal trainer to come put you and your friends through your paces, but make sure they know it’s in good fun. My favorite way to have some fitness fun? Have everybody bring a healthy dish and an exercise DVD. Then pick 1-2 from the pile to do together (clear the living room!). When it’s time to go home, have a DVD exchange so people can leave with a new workout…bonus points if people bring Tae Bo
- Get off the track. If you meet for walks or runs at the same track everyday, switch it up. Walk in the grass sometimes, head to your local beach or take a hike. A change of scenery is good for the senses.
- Try a new class. We are now in an age where there is almost no limit to workout classes. We have pole dancing classes, hip hop, salsa, kickboxing blended with Pilates, Pilates blended with yoga and yoga blended with cycling….and that’s just the short list. Contact your local gym or studio and see if they’ll let you try one on for free.
- Get out of your food rut. Are you tired of chicken, tuna and green beans yet? As Winter gives way to Spring, more brightly colored food is becoming available in the grocers produce section and NOW is a great time to take advantage of it. The brighter the food, the more vitamins and minerals available for you. Play around with salad ingredients: try adding berries to your salads and topping it off with the juice of an orange mixed with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (CRAZY! I know, but so very good). Try lightening up your meats in favor of fish that you can either grill, skewer or make into yummy tacos. Ask your fit friends for ideas on new recipes or host a recipe swap to get you over your food rut.
- Ditch sugars for a while. Over time, too much of a good thing leaves us feeling foggy and constantly craving more of that good thing. Sugar is one of those “foods” that causes more and more cravings as we take it in. So, ditch the sugars (both real and fake) for a week to reset your system back to normal. Need more of a challenge? Ditch it for a month then but 1 week has been shown to suffice in breaking the sugar cycle.
- Do a gut check. Make sure your intestines are running smoothly as we enter into a new season. How is this playing? Oh, it’s not. I don’t play around with gut health But really, the healthier the gut, the healthier you will be and the more attuned you’ll be to playing, PLUS you’ll be able to handle stress better.
- Get away. It doesn’t have to take all of your savings to get away from it all for a while. In today’s world, you may suffice by taking a staycation that involves turning off the ringer and NOT checking statuses on Facebook. Choose a weekend to chill out and turn off. Tell everybody you’re going away and be unattainable for a weekend. Take a long soak in the tub, do a sugar scrub, relax, etc. Hey, you could even rub on a little tanner so they think you really did go somewhere Often times what we need to get away from is our own expectations of life, so chill and let it go.
These should get you started towards a more playful time. Remember, you can’t control everything…most of the time you can only control your reaction to things
Lots of peace and playful thoughts,
Well, it’s Friday people! It’s also Valentine’s Day and for some that causes great excitement while others seem to fight not to crawl back into bed and sleep through it No matter which end of the spectrum you fall into, this post is sure to brighten your Friday and get you ready for a great weekend.
As I sit here in my sick bed (yes, even those who try to be super human get sick), I can’t help but chuckle at the limited Valentine’s celebration in our home. I mean, my poor hubby is a little limited as far as gifts go: I’m allergic to flowers, I try not to keep candy in the house, and I truly do not appreciate extravagant gifts…I feel that money could be made far more useful in missions . So, he woke me this morning to see how I was feeling (not a sexy sight) and placed a small bag of chocolate covered goji berries at my bedside. I’m a lucky girl
These past few sick days have blessed me with time to think about the things that can hinder us from reaching our goals, be they in life or weight loss. So, as you move through your day consider these healthy habits of success driven people:
- It’s the overall picture. Don’t be too harsh on yourself for one misstep. Maybe you overindulged in the office candy jar, or perhaps you called in fake sick just to get a little respite from the office drama…Consider the 80/20 rule: stay on course 80% of the time and you will reach your goal. The other 20% is to compensate for the fact that we are all human.
- Don’t let your “feelings” dictate your actions. Much of life is based on our reaction to life. So, if we react based on feelings, which can change due to lack of sleep or feeling like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck, then we will find ourselves in a constant state of overreacting. Take a breath and count to 10 (or 100) before sending that harshly worded email, letting that biting remark slip, or even calling it quits on your workout.
- Celebrate the small things. Far too many of us think that we have nothing to celebrate until we’ve completely met every single goal we have set for ourselves. The big goals are great, but what about the small accomplishments along the way? Take a moment now to think about the small accomplishments you’ve had throughout this week. Maybe you made 3 workouts, or perhaps you stayed organized all week. Maybe you were able to eliminate some clutter in your life or resist a temptation you’ve been struggling with. We all have small accomplishments each week, so take a moment to be thankful for yours.
Well, I’m off to heal a little more (LOTS of green juice!) and I hope that you too will find healing in your Valentine’s Day.
With much love and many lunges,
We all know that chocolate gets bad rep just because it’s so good right? Chocolate doesn’t have to ruin your attempts at health. As a matter of fact, THESE chocolate truffles will propel you to good health, one delicious bite at a time.
You need a big bowl! Take your jewelry off and prepare to get nasty….hey, it’s for chocolate
1 cup whole grain minute oats
1 cup PB2 (or Just Good Stuff). You can find it online here.
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup natural peanut butter OR almond butter if you prefer
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
8 squares dove dark chocolate
about 1/4 cup almond or cow’s milk (I use almond)
Um, wash your hands please….
OK, NOW you dive in with 2 hands. Squeeze, squish and tell your family there is no way you can help them right now because you’re covered in chocolate…legitimate excuse.
Once ingredients are combined (but not over worked) form into whatever sized truffles your heart desires. Mine are HUGE, cause that’s how I roll.
Wash your hands again. OR you can sit on the couch and nibble the paste off your hands for a few minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over LOW heat (who would want to waste chocolate by burning it?) then add in milk to your desired consistency.
Let the melted chocolate cool a bit, just to where you can stick your finger in without burning yourself.
Roll truffles in chocolate and place on plate with light spritz of non-stick spray.
Now, you may have chocolate sauce left over and you may do what you like…I chose to pour it over the truffles.
Pop it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, then ENJOY! 3 of these gives you about 200 cals of whole foods energy, craving buster deliciousness without the sugar, AND a FULL SERVING of fruits and vegetables for your day…in a truffle people! Genius
Let’s discuss the common excuses (OH…I meant questions) with the shake:
Can I just use any protein powder?
NO. Shakeology is not a protein powder. It is a nutritional power house with protein in it. You cannot cook with it or it will break down all the good stuff you’re trying to get in.
Why does it cost so much?
The ingredients are not cheap to get, nor are they cheap to harvest. We try to keep it super natural as Shakeology was invented to offset the horrible diets we have (don’t deny it, you know you still sneak your kids fries).
What if I don’t like it?
Send it back! Shako comes with a BOTTOM OF THE BAG guarantee, so you’re covered.
How can I make the bag last longer?
Read the recipe above. I made 12 HUGE truffles with only 1 scoop of shako. Money saver right there
Until next time,
I’ll be doing another Shakeology Cleanse SOON! Want it? Hit me up. I’ll have special cleanse packages available if you’re just looking to shed some extra weight and get your nutrition in order. Mine will be at the very beginning of March to coincide with my mission trip…cause you know, I like to travel light
Shakeology Cleanse Basics:
Meal 1: Drink 1 scoop of your choice Shako in 8 oz water with 1/2 a banana if needed
Meal 2: Drink 1 scoop shako in 8 oz water
Meal 3: 2 cups mixed green salad with 5 oz grilled chicken breast
Meal 4 (optional): 1 scoop Shako in 8 oz water
If you are truly starving during the day, 1st make sure you’re getting enough water and 2nd feel free to have a piece of fruit.
Disclaimer: This cleanse is not to last more than 3 days. Check out the video to see how I modified it for my lifestyle. Feel free to comment on how great my hair looks
Peace, Love and Lunges!
So, I totally understand that every year many Americans gather around their television screen to watch seasoned athletes fight it out for one of the highest honors in sports. The problem is that we sit and watch while they actually DO. Not only are we on our rear end defenses most of the game, but we spend several hours stuffing our mouths with tasty, yet coronary-inducing treats. What to do, what to do???
The Solution: Enjoy the game, but make small tweaks to the menu to lighten the load of fats and increase nutrient density. In short…make healthier eats.
Your Game Day Menu
1 pound lean ground turkey breast (you can use ground bison if preferred)
1 whole egg
2 ribs chopped celery
1 chopped poblano
1/3 chopped onion
2 teaspoons (or to taste) Ms. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning mix
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
small whole grain buns (found at Whole Foods) OR simply use romaine or bib lettuce, or make them small enough to eat along or stack between sweet potato slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Put everything in a bowl and mix just until combined.
Form small patties that fit neatly into the palm of your hand. Place on baking sheet or indoor grill.
Cook until done (usually about 20-25 mins)
Sweet Potato Chips
4-5 large sweet potatoes, washed and sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
dash of black pepper
Toss together in LARGE bowl, then spread out on baking sheet
Bake on 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, toss and bake for another 10-12 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
3-4 large avocados
1 plum tomato, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 green onions, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
pinch of cayenne
pinch of Ms. Dash Southwest Chipotle (optional)
2 jalapenos, diced (seeded if you want less heat)
Put in bowl and mash just until combined. Serve with sliced cucumbers, gluten-free or whole grain crackers, OR all natural tortilla chips
1 cucumber, sliced
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Black or green olives
Stack veggies, starting with cucumber, one on top of the other. Add any sliced veggies you want, but make them bite-sized. End with cheese and olive, then top with a sprinkle of salt.
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 cup non-fat ricotta cheese
juice of 1 lemon
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
Blend and serve with veggies, gluten-free or whole grain crackers, or natural tortilla chips
Even better version:
1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 cup non-fat ricotta cheese
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
black pepper to taste
Blend and serve chilled.
1 can no salt added black beans
1 chicken breast, grilled
1 bag natural tortilla chips
1/2 bag all-natural shredded cheese
chili powder, cayenne and salsa to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place 1 layer of tortilla chips in casserole dish
Top with chicken, beans, salsa and spice mixture (add jalapenos for more kick)
Sprinkle on 1/2 the cheese
Do another layer the same way.
Cook until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve warm.
These are a few healthy options to add to your party.
Remember that portion control is key. Drink PLENTY of water! If you’re a beer drinker, opt for darker brews as they have more antioxidants and health benefits. Note, these health benefits begin to diminish after 2-3 beers. Skip the mixed drinks and head for red wine cut with cranberry or cherry juice. Leave the nasty cheese ball on the table. Literally. Leave it there for a few days and tell me if you would ever touch it again….
Keep it healthy! Monday is right after the Super Bowl people