Monday, April 11, 2011

Alternative Lifestyles

So, progress is a slow thing. We can see this in our society, our government, our education, and the progress we strive for individually. My own progress with getting back into shape and down to a healthy weight has been just that, a slow thing.

However in recent months I've made changes and decisions everyday to help me achieve my goals, and making those new and different steps towards my goal have actually sped up my progress. Though some days it feels that I'll always be a looming shadow of my former self, recently I've noticed progress!! It's come in a smaller number on the scale (I'm down 17lbs!! 131.6!!), fitting into a pair of pre-pregnancy pants(given they were my fat pants lol), and noticing that once again I'm having to buy a new pair of pants!

These little steps I've taken each day are paying off. In our instant-gratification obsessed world it is easy to hope for quick fixes and short cuts, but delaying gratification to obtain realistic and amazing results with time and hard work feels soo much better in the long run.

Today I'd like to talk about one of my "small steps"; Healthy Alternatives!
There are things you can do each day to reduce your intake of calories and put you on the path to success!!

Eating out:
Eating out can mean a world of pitfalls for people on a diet! Even so called "healthy alternatives" at your local fast food resturants still can mean almost half your daily allowance of calories!!

Here in Oregon one of my partner andmy favorite restaurants is Burgerville;
(sidenote: At the beginning of getting back into shape I decided to return to my former vegetarian lifestyle. This is a demonstration of how even that can have pitfalls!)

Burgerville is WONDERFUL enough to have their nutrition facts included on their website and I recommend that if you know you are going to be eating out please look at the nutrition of their food, what you find might surprise you!

I used to always get the Spicy Blackbean Anazazi Burger. I thought, okay it is a garden burger how could it not be healthy choice? Well here is the breakdown!!

The Colossal Cheeseburger: 540 Calories

Tillamook Cheeseburger: 640 Calories

Spicy Blackbean Anazazi Burger: 680 CALORIES!!!!!!!!!!

When I saw that I about fainted!! So much for eating healthy!! So instead I usually get the Rogue River Blue Cheese salad w/ basalmic (which is INCREDIBLE and filling), but if I do have some extra calories to throw around what I get now is the White Bean basil burger which has only 490 calories. Pheeww!!!

This demonstration shows how important it is to be educated on what you are eating, and seeing through the gimics.

There are small things you can do, for example:

Subway?? how about swapping out the traditional mayo & mustard for the significantly lower calorie honey mustard dressing or even better just a sprinkling of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar.

Where ever you are never be afraid to ask for light amounts of condiments or cheese.

Another helpful tip is to leave off condiments like cheese and sour cream to your favorite Mexican food and add more salsa! Salsa with it's spicyness is low calorie, tasty, and said to help kick start the metabolism anyway!

Teriyaki eaters? How about ditching the sugary sweet teriyaki flavor and going with some low cal tamari or soy sauce with some sriracha? Another way to reduce caloric intake is to ask for less rice or yakisoba noodles and more veggies!

If you are eating pasta at home try swapping out your traditional pasta with whole grain pasta or quinoa pasta, which pack a lot more bang for your calorie-buck! Another absolutely AMAZING pasta alternative is Spaghetti squash!! this recipe is INCREDIBLE! Even my carnivorous boyfriend loves it! .. infact I think I'll make it tonight!!

Love Parmesan cheese? try nutritional yeast which has a nice cheesy flavor for more vitamins and minerals and less cholesterol and calories.

Another one of my favorite alternatives is when eating raw veggies, instead of dipping them in high calorie ranch or another dressing, try just a nice dousing of Balsamic Vinegar!

Balsamic vinegar is also a great alternative for any salad dressing!

and when eating your toast in the morning swap out your traditional butter or margerine for some cream cheese, which usually has a less amount of calories but also has some protein!! Taste great too!!

A scrabbled egg has 75 calories, but you can scramble 2 egg whites for only 50 calories, and no cholesterol!

There are MANY MANY more ways of taking that extra second to think about another healthier option. These are just to get you thinking about what you can do today to help you avoid that demon called "instant gratification" and accomplish those goals!!

One Love my peeps!!


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Worst of All Four Letter Words

Sorry It has taken so long to get another post on here.
School briefly consumed me, but I've managed to tackle it all
and surface back to normalcy! Woohoo!!

This post I want to write about the biggest four letter word:
We've all used this word. We've all heard it. There is nothing more frustrating to me than hearing myself say this, or hearing people say this to themselves. There are always going to be times when we really feel like we can't, but the trick is to ignore that little voice in your head that tells you can't. When we push that little voice aside we will only then realize that we have more strength in ourselves than we ever thought was possible.

I'm going to liken this to childbirth. For my daughter's birth we had an all natural waterbirth, no drugs, no pain relievers. There was that point towards the end when I just hit a wall, and really thought, "oh my god, I can't do this!" The pain was uncomfortable and unyeilding and had gone on for so long.. However, in this moment of intensity I remembered what a friend of mine had told me about her own birthing experience, (3 all natural at home births,) "find that primitive animalistic side of yourself and surrender." When she told me this it kind of made sense, but it was in that final stage of labor that it became so clear to me. Essentially, we are animals. Animals don't tell themselves "I can't", how many times have you seen an animal relentlessly try to do something over and over again. It isn't very often that they just immediately give up. Going back to my labor, that moment I hit the wall and "can't" came out of my mouth, was the moment I turned off my brain and surrendered. Shortly afterward I held this miracle in my arms. I know that for some people relating to this experience may be hard as not all of us have given birth or gone through this experience, but I'm just trying to tell you that you have all the power within yourself to tackle ANYTHING.

The second you surrender to "can" you open up a whole new world. However, when you surrender to "can't" all of your work flies out the window.
When we have made a goal for ourselves this word must be banished from our
vocabulary. Nothing can set you back more than believing than you

Remember that "Can't" can appear in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it appears as
an excuse, or it comes to us through procrastination (I will tomorrow, I will later).

So next time you start to tell yourself, "I can't", ignore that voice, power through it, and allow yourself to really see the full potential you've always had within yourself. That little voice might not go away, but the attention and POWER you give to it will.

So where are you placing your power? In the "can't"s or in the CAN's?? The results of your efforts will show you where your power is, so if you want real results say YES to can!!

Have a great week! and remember, WE CAN DO IT!!

One Love,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yoga Works!!!

When I first started doing Yoga six years ago, I actually took an intensive yoga class at a local community college. I had a phenomenal teacher, and he made yoga at a community college feel like a class at a yoga studio. After two quarters, I got a gym membership that offered yoga classes, however, I felt like their classes were like a "boot-camp" yoga, and for me that wasn't a preferred environment to practice yoga. It is hard to keep your concentration in standing tree with some drill instructor yelling at you to breathe!!

I think that there are different types and levels of yoga and one is bound to fit your style and preference! I'm fortunate that I live in Portland, OR which happens to have an insane amount of yoga studios and classes, but since the birth of my daughter getting out is a bit more difficult. So, I discovered "exerciseTV" on OnDemand from Comcast.

For the first month I did the "10lb Slimdown" yoga with Chris Freytag. Mainly because it was 26 minutes which was about the length of my daughter's afternoon naps, and I was a little intimidated to do a whole hour of Yoga. I enjoyed this, but when the afternoon nap went from 30minutes to an hour I decided it was high time to step it up into high gear. In the Yoga&Pilates section they have a yoga series called "Yogaworks". Since, I've practiced Yoga before I went for the Bodyslim class taught by Jesse Schein.

I have been doing this class for about 3 weeks now, and am loving it. It has 3 cardio sun salute and 3 slow-burn sequences with a great core warm up and a nice cool down in 51 minutes! The instructor, Jesse Schein, is great and breaks down the positions and adds tips for best postures for safety. There are also Modified poses explained and shown for beginners. There are a small number of moments that you might get annoyed at Jesse talking through poses, but I suggest just focusing on what you are doing and tuning out the video for a moment. After two or three times of doing this class those 51 minutes fly by!! Which is great and means I'm building up stamina and strength! YAY!!

One thing I love about yoga is that it brings awareness into your body. It makes you aware of how to engage the muscles in your body and brings balance to your core. The breathing and movement of breath also brings awareness to your breathing through out the day, and teaches you stress and pain relieving techniques that can be applied to so many other areas of your life, including labor and childbirth. I think that for anyone looking to get back into shape, yoga is a great place to start.

Another side effect of yoga is the gaining the value of the moment. Some moments are super hard and those moments make you appreciate the easier moments, and this can be taken into other areas at your life and allow you to enjoy the moment, whether good or bad because we need one to appreciate the other! Please share with me your experiences with yoga, good or bad!! Like I said there are many different types of yoga, so maybe you haven't found one that works best for you!

Soo, how can you do this?
  • Well if you have Comcast digital cable you already have access to this video!
  • >>OnDemand > Sports & Fitness > ExerciseTV > Yoga&Pilates > YogaWorks SlimClass
  • If you don't have Comcast, then you can purchase the DVDs at
  • Target also sells some of the videos from this series as well.
Still not convinced? Then here is some more food for thought:

83yr old yoga super granny!!:

77 Surpising health benefits of Yoga:

One Love,

A New Old Begining

I'm started this blog so that maybe I inspire one other person to enjoy getting fit and being healthier mentally, spiritually, and physically. I strongly feel that fitness and health should be a lifestyle, and a lifestyle should make you happy, so I don't want anyone to do anything that makes them miserable!

So, follow me on my journey to my lighter self. I'll share with you tips and resources on life, happiness, beauty, health, diet, and my own struggles and triumphs. I hope that you'll be inspired to make just one small positive change, and in my own experiences I've found that this leads to more and more positive changes. A better today for a better tomorrow!!

One Love,

"the difference between try and triumph is just a little umph." -Marvin Phillips

I'm including a brief history of my journey so that you'll understand more where I'm coming from. This is my personal story, please feel free to share your own story with me as well!!


Lets back up about 6 years ago, to put it simply I was unhealthy, eating fast food almost everyday, working in an office, and coming home to sit on my couch in front of the TV. Naturally, I was depressed and ready for something big to shake up my world. That was when I met a friend of mine who introduced me to a vegetarian diet. I had experimented with a meat-free diet in high school, and it was something I had always been interested in. His words and lifestyle inspired me, and I was ready to make some big changes. In the next year I would stop eating meat, clean out my diet of high fructose corn syrup, MSG, sugar based treats, and preservatives. Another addition to my life was practicing yoga. Yes, I'm one of those, "yoga changed my life people", and indeed it did. I also joined a gym and after two years had went from 134lbs to 105lbs (I'm 5'1'' so this is an appropriate weight for me). Fast forward to falling head over heels for my current BD, living in Mexico for 3 months, getting pregnant, and consequently packing on the pounds again. Hormones, chronic morning sickness, exhaustion and going to school full-time, and at full term I weighed an incredible 174lb. I hoped I would have a 50lb baby!! On March 13th, 2010 my boyfriend and I became parents to a gorgeous healthy baby girl. We had an all natural waterbirth, and let me tell you my yoga breathing was a lifesaver (it'll change your life!!! haha). However, I left the hospital a depressing 154lbs. OUCH!! Everyone always tells you that with breastfeeding you lose weight quickly, but I didn't.. maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was eating too much, honestly I can't tell you, but 9 months after my daughter was born I had only lost 10lbs. I see all my FB friends and these celebrities lose weight like nothing but not me.

I suppose I could be depressed and frustrated, but I'm deciding to turn to my lighter side!! I'm back to enjoying a mostly vegetarian diet, and practicing yoga 3+ times a week. I also enjoy counting calories on MyFitnessPal app for my smart phone, so this is helping me keep track of my daily intake and output of calories. However, I will share more about this and other things in future posts.

This post is only an introduction so I'll save the rest of my story and ideas as I go along. I can tell you that next week is my daughter's first birthday, and I haven't weighed myself in over a month (I'm okay with this, I'm more about holistic changes than focusing on one number), but I'm see changes in my body and am dropping dress sizes quickly. I also feel really great about the hard work I'm doing, and hope that you'll see that you can get in shape and feel great inside and out!!

** Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, doctor, or fitness instructor. I'm just a regular person working to make my life and my daughter's future better. I hope that you'll be honest with yourself and not do anything that doesn't sit well with you. I also recommend consulting a physician before starting any exercise routine.. you know.. blah, blah, blah