Musings

Hi everyone!  How are you doing?  It turned into winter all of a sudden here & I’m missing the warm weather!  I realized it’s been a while since I posted!  It’s been a busy few days.  I worked at the yoga studio over the weekend and had the opportunity to attend an amazing yoga breath workshop with Katy.  I also had the chance to try my first Kundalini yoga class last Thursday, which was really great.  I want to start getting into a regular yoga routine again.  It’s such an amazing form of exercise and I will love it forever.

I also saw The Hunger Games with Diana and we’re already planning to see it again! Amazing movie that really did the book justice!

I’ve also been busy building up my Beachbody business and yesterday I started my online classes at Institute for Integrative Nutrition!!!  I was so excited that I took out my iPad and started listening & watching the lectures as soon as I was off work.  In fact, I’m listening to my first IIN webinar right now, so I’m going to make this a quick blog post so I can give the webinar my full attention.  😀

What have you been eating lately?  Dinner tonight was brown rice with some wilted kale, spinach, garlic, & red onions.

I’m also super excited because my mom bought me tons of yummy mangoes for my Tropical Vegan Shakeology shakes!

And speaking of Shakeology, my brand new Shakeology t-shirt came in today.  I plan on wearing it on April 14 for Beachbody’s Super Saturday event in Philadelphia, where I’m going to see Beachbody’s CEO Carl Daikeler speak!  It’s going to be an amazing day!!!

All right, I’m off to listen to the rest of the webinar.  Have a great night!

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Spring Motivation

Happy Spring everyone!  I love the warm weather and sunshine.  It instantly puts me in a better mood and gets me dreaming of going to a beach somewhere far off like Cabo San Lucas, the Bahamas, or Santorini.  I’m fortunate enough to have already been to 2 out of those 3 places, but dreaming about it motivates me to work harder to go back again!

It’s only one more week until I get time off for Spring Break & I’m definitely looking forward to it.  I feel like I’ve been running around so much the past several months, that I can’t focus on any one thing and do it well.  I work full-time, work at the yoga studio one to two times a week, stay after school to do clubs twice a week, am working my Beachbody business, am starting classes at Institute for Integrative Nutrition next week, go to the chiropractor once a week, and in between am working on figuring out my health issues, eating as cleanly as possible, and attempting to exercise when I’m not too tired.

I’m super excited because I ordered ChaLEAN Extreme and started it on Monday.  I’ve only done one work out so far, but I can’t wait to see what kind of muscle tone I get out of it.  It’s only about 90 more days until the summer and having the warm weather arrive so early is definitely a motivational factor for me.

I love Beachbody for the mere fact that they’ve managed to produce amazing at home fitness products for a fraction of the cost that I would pay at the gym and for a personal trainer. When I used to go to a gym, nobody was ever there to show me how to use any of the machines or equipment, unless I paid someone.  Beachbody sends all of that to you in one little package for much, much less, and you don’t have to think about what body part to work next.  You already know because you get a full schedule of what to do when.

I paid less than $100 for my ChaLEAN Extreme and the beauty of it is that I can start the program all over again when I’m done, or do a ChaLEAN Extreme & TurboFire Hybrid, which is my goal (and yes, the schedule for that is included already with TurboFire, which I already own).

I used to be one of those people that thought I couldn’t me motivated enough to work out at home, but the truth of it is that if you’re motivated enough for something, you’ll do it no matter what.  I love that I can roll out of bed & press play & I’m done with my work out for the day.  Chalene is also super motivating and gets you wanting to get the amazing results that the program promises to deliver.  I also make an appointment with myself to do the work outs, so that I can’t fail.  You wouldn’t miss an appointment with someone else, so why miss an appointment with yourself, the most important person in your life?

I have also been eating some super yummy raw vegan treats.

I swear that the Cinnamon Raw Maca Almond Butter tastes just like Dulce de Leche.  I couldn’t believe it when I tasted it!

Now I’m off to a Kundalini Yoga class.  Have a great night!

Finding Your Passion

Happy Sunday everyone!  It’s been a gorgeous weekend where the sun has been shining and we’re enjoying the continuation of warm, gorgeous days.  I’m loving this early spring!  It’s times like these when I wished I lived in a climate like this year round.  I feel so much more motivated and lighter when the weather’s like this, don’t you?

Like I said in my last post, I’ve been really into The Hunger Games trilogy and it’s been consuming my life in the past week. I enjoyed the weather yesterday by going to get myself a soy iced chai and reading the book.  I stayed up until 1 am reading it and I’m so glad I did. It’s an amazing book series!  Can’t wait to go see The Hunger Games movie next week.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot how thankful I am to have finally found my passion, especially when I see Facebook posts every Friday of people celebrating the end of the week.  Honestly though, if you spend your weeks waiting for Friday and the weekend to come, you’re wasting your life away.  Wouldn’t you rather love what you do so much that you don’t care what day of the week it is?

It’s taken me nearly 10 years to find my passion, from the time I graduated from college up until now.  In college, I knew I didn’t want to do anything corporate related, so I chose a major that I loved because it allowed me to read and write as much as I wanted – English.  I decided to combine it with a minor in Latin American Studies.  Everyone always asked me if I wanted to become an English teacher, but I’d just stare at them blankly.  Just because I was following what I loved to do didn’t mean that I had to be immediately associated with something that I had no desire of pursuing.  Yet I myself didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.

I eventually ended up in London because I fell in love with that city the first time that I ever went there and I was offered an internship at a tourism company, which eventually turned into a full-time job.  I honestly initially thought that I wanted to do something in tourism. The company that I worked for in London was great, but I wasn’t passionate about it. Eventually I came back to the US and worked at a gluten-free publishing company.  Finally I could apply my English skills towards something fun!  Yet the job wasn’t fun & was more of a drag than anything.  That’s when I decided to look into working with kids, because I’d always loved them and they loved me.

I decided to pursue a Master’s in Elementary Education.  During the time I pursued my Master’s, I worked at a Montessori school as a Teacher’s Assistant.  That is one job that I definitely didn’t see like work.  I got to hang out with the kids all day, but my pay was relatively low, especially since I got paid hourly.  Now that I’m in the public school system, I honestly can’t say that I’m doing anything that I love, yet I’m thankful to have something to lean back on as I start up my own business.  Yes, I do love being with kids, and preschool age kids are my favorite.  I’d go work in a preschool now if I could get the same benefits & pay that I do in the public school system.  Yet the public school system itself reminds me too much of a corporate job in certain respects, and I can’t live the rest of my life working in something that my heart doesn’t believe in.

I’ve always been interested in eating well and nourishing the body with good nutrients, but it wasn’t until I dramatically changed my diet myself last summer as a result of my poor health issues that I discovered my true passion.  I spent hours upon hours poring over websites, books, & watching documentaries on health & eating a well-balanced diet (ok really most of it was about plant-based eating, but still – I learned about why veganism can be beneficial when at first I had serious doubts about such a “dramatic” diet).  People started asking me about what things they could eat to help improve their eating habits & what I’ve been doing to help myself.  I was inspired to start this blog.

I truly believe that the Universe will bring to you what’s in line with your highest desires at the perfect time.  It was back in December that I became friends with a girl on Facebook who introduced me to the Beachbody coaching opportunity.  I am in awe of this business & have learned that there are many other companies that work in a similar fashion, allowing you to create the life of your dreams, when all you have to do is share the products with others & inspire them to want to try them themselves.  Not to make money – the money comes as a result of it afterwards (because yes, you really do get paid for this & as you build up your business, your commissions get higher & higher until you can make a full-time living off of it). It’s really all about helping people.  Even our CEO, Carl Daikeler, will tell you that.  It’s stories like THIS that inspire me to want to push myself to achieve everything that I want to achieve with my Beachbody business.  What is Beachbody coaching exactly?  Watch this video & it’ll help to answer your questions.

About a month later, I found myself enrolling at Institute for Integrative Nutrition so that I could become a certified health coach.  IIN helps to teach me how to share what I’ve learned with others & actually get paid for it.  Sometimes I think, who am I to be able to counsel others when I have my own health issues?  But honestly, I think it’s BECAUSE I’ve suffered so much, that I’ll be better equipped to help others.  I’ll know how to take people to their goals because I’m doing it for myself & I want to help others achieve vibrant health & well-being, the way we were all meant to live.  The quote that inspired me to let go of the fears that my ego was pushing upon me was printed right in the IIN 2012 brochure.

So here I am, learning how to get paid to do things I already like to do.  Getting paid to work out.  Getting paid to drink Shakeology & eat healthy.  Getting paid to counsel others on following the best path to achieve optimal health & wellness.  And these are all these I’d do for free anyway.  It’s my passion in these areas that will allow me to be successful, because I believe in what I’m doing and I believe in myself.  Yes I still have my day job, but eventually, I will be living my passion full-time.

Ask yourself, what would I do if I could not be held back?  If I could achieve my dreams no matter what?  What do I love more than anything else in the world?  Then find a way to make your dreams into a reality.  I guarantee you, you will find a way.  Things will magically seem to fall into place.  And the path will seem clearer than ever before.  If you’re scared, that’s even more of a reason to push forward.  Your fears only highlight that you’re on the path to a great journey.  What would you do if you knew you were taken care of?  Meditate upon it, talk about it, write about, then MAKE IT HAPPEN!  The only person holding you back is yourself.  All you have to do is believe.

 

Health Update

Hello my friends!  How have you been doing?  I’ve been enjoying the gorgeous 70 degree weather that we’ve been having around here lately and munching on yummy vegan snacks, like these yummy bars that I ordered from Two Moms in the Raw.  I can’t believe that it’s still technically winter!  I’m actually sitting outside right now, looking up at the clouds & the stars.

So I haven’t been blogging lately, but that’s partly because I’ve gotten consumed with reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  If you haven’t read it yet, RUN to your nearest bookstore.  I promise that you won’t regret it!  I tried to resist reading them, especially since I got caught up in both Harry Potter & Twilight fandom, but The Hunger Games are on par with Harry Potter in my book.  One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait for The Hunger Games movie to come out on March 23rd!

It’s also time for another health update.  This morning I went to the neurologist upon the recommendation of my chiropractor and because my MRI results showed nothing different than what my chiropractor had found out about me (I have something called subluxation in my neck that’s partially the cause of my pain).

I couldn’t believe it when he actually took the time to listen to me, hear what I’ve already been doing to help myself, and provided me with reasonable recommendations (unlike the GI doctor who wanted me to get a lactose intolerance test.  Really?!  I should’ve told her to look up vegan in the dictionary).

He explained that what I’ve been doing is great, and that he understands that I’ve wanted to avoid traditional medicine, but sometimes you need a little help in that way in order to get things going.  I told him that at this point, I’ll pretty much doing anything to get rid of the pain. I actually burst into tears last week because I was in so much pain & could hardly complete my workout and I haven’t worked out since!  😦

What I have are chronic daily headaches, which are a form of migraines.  The doctor first prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication that they usually give to kids for poison ivy.  However, he said it should help alleviate the pain that I’m feeling, especially because it seems that my brain is firing off all these pain signals that I’m super sensitive to.  After I get through that dosage, which is only meant to last a week, he gave me a prescription for migraine medication that I’m supposed to take whenever I feel the onset of pain come on.  If there is no relief in my pain after the anti-inflammatory medication, he’ll guide me as to what to do next in terms of taking the migraine medicine, because you’re actually supposed to wait until you feel the onset of pain before taking it.  Since I’m in pain 24/7, I’m hoping the anti-inflammatory will finally give me relief!

He also asked me if I’ve ever been tested for Lyme disease.  I said no, but my chiropractor was suspecting that maybe I have it due to all my other medical symptoms and my nutritionist had as well.  So I have a form that authorizes me to get a blood test for Lyme if need be.

The fact that I might have Lyme doesn’t even freak me out.  At this point, all I want is for the pain to go away so that I can tackle my other symptoms (excessive tiredness, bloating, digestive issues, lack of energy, etc.)

I also feel that the fact that I’m starting classes at Institute for Integrative Nutrition will be a HUGE benefit or me.  I’m actually counting down for the start of classes on March 26!  Seriously, I never thought I’d say that in my life, but I’ve found my passion.  I can’t wait to combine health coaching with Beachbody.  The sky’s the limit, that’s for sure!

Balanced

The best way to describe how I feel tonight is balanced.  The Universe is truly marvelous in how it works itself out.  I had originally planned on blogging about something else tonight, but that will have to be saved for tomorrow.

I went to work at East Meets West tonight as I do every other Friday, but I knew it would be busier because famed yoga teacher Max Strom was going to be teaching two workshops back to back there.  I didn’t realize that the other classes for the night were cancelled.  Katy and I had originally looked into attending the workshops, but one was from 4 to 6 and the other was from 7 to 9.  We couldn’t make the first one because of our work schedules and the second one occurred during my regular shift.  So I was considering going to one of his workshops that are taking place on Sunday at another yoga studio in DC.

Well, the yoga studio owner kindly offered me the opportunity to attend the 7 to 9 workshop, which I gratefully accepted.  Max talked to us for a little bit before we started our yoga class with him.  It was most definitely one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever taken.  He’s so calm, gentle, kind, and peaceful.  He really had us focus on our breath and look at new ways of doing poses.  He made us laugh several times & really took the time to help people as they moved through their practice.  All I can say is that I left East Meets West tonight feeling extremely balanced and at peace.

I bought his book and had him sign it for me.  I’d glanced through it a little bit previously, but I can’t wait to read it.  I can honestly say that I have a newfound appreciation for yoga and the way that we breathe.

How do you choose to spend your life?  Make sure to make every minute count!

Veganism

Interested in learning more about veganism and what eating a plant-based diet entails?  It seems like the Universe is sending me messages all over the place for resources to share about what adopting a plant-based diet entails.  I know that I used to think that vegans were really weird and didn’t really understand what they ate.

Now that I am one and I’ve learned A LOT about the reality of the food industry, it seems like the most natural way to eat.  So many documentaries inspired me and helped me on my journey.  I’m so excited because there’s a new one coming out called Hungry for Change, by the same people that created Food, Inc.  You can register now on their website for their free worldwide online premiere, which will take place between March 21 – March 31.  I can’t wait for it to come out!

I also noticed on a friend’s Facebook page today that SparkPeople’s blog has an awesome No-Stress, No-Guilt Approach to Meatless Meals.  I think many people get overwhelmed by changing their diets and don’t even know where to start (I still feel like I don’t know what to make half the time!), so this seems like an extremely valuable resource if you want to try veganism out, but aren’t sure where or how to start.

Finally, my other friend sent me a great 28 Day Vegan Challenge Groupon deal that I’m thinking of taking advantage of for myself!  I love it when other people are involved in something that I’m doing and it’s great to have that extra support, especially since I’m always looking for new recipe ideas and meal suggestions.

Let me know if you decide to try any of these things – I can promise that you won’t regret it! This way of eating has literally saved my life.  🙂

 

Highlights

My day can best be summarized by many wonderful highlights.  It’s always the little things, isn’t it?  I started my day at 6 am with my favorite TurboFire workout and that got me pumped and ready to go!

But first, an update on my raw journey.  I’m not focusing on “oh I’m eating raw so I can’t eat that” or “I’m not eating raw because I feel like something cooked.”  I’m just taking things as they come and seeing what I feel like making.  Shakeology is my breakfast every single day without fail.  For lunch I decided to make myself a raw kale salad with avocado, nutritional yeast, sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds.  Snack was a cherry pie LÄRABAR and since I had to rush off to the chiropractor shortly after getting home, dinner was another Shakeology.

So what exactly were the highlights of my day?  Coming home to find this waiting for me:

I’ve heard so many people now talking about The Hunger Games that I had to order it.  Can’t wait to start reading!  I of course was completely obsessed with Harry Potter and Twilight, so I’m sure the same will happen to me with this series.

Chloe’s Kitchen is by chef Chloe Coscarelli.  She was the first vegan cupcake baker to win Cupcake Wars and now I’m so excited to have her book!  I flipped through it quickly and the recipes look amazing.  Even though it’s not gluten-free, I can easily modify the recipes to make them so.

That wasn’t the only thing waiting for me though.  There was also all of this:

I now have Tropical Shakeology samples to give to people, yay!  I’m also loving my new t-shirt and can’t wait to use my water bottle.  The lanyard is of course going around my neck since I’m a teacher and we have to wear our badge at all times.

That’s not all though!  When I got home from the chiropractor, yet another box was waiting for me!

So now I have chocolate samples of Shakeology to give away too!  If anybody’s seriously interested in trying out this amazing product, message me and I’d be more than happy to send you some to try!  Now you have to believe that I wouldn’t invest this much money in Beachbody products if I didn’t believe in the company.  🙂

I’m now sipping on some green tea kombucha that I found at the health store the other day. It tastes like green tea, but is slightly bubbly like kombucha, I love it!  Have a great night!!!

p.s. I’m sorry for the poor lack of quality on the pictures.  I’ve been relying on my iPhone a little too much lately instead of my camera!

Downward Dog

From the moment I woke up today, my thoughts turned to tonight, because I knew that I’d finally get to go to yoga class!  Katy and I decided to stop by Whole Foods before class to get our delicious food from the food bar and chat.  Even though we work together and see each other everyday, it felt like we hadn’t talked in forever.

Class was amazing.  While I was in Downward Dog, I realized how long it had been since I’d truly stretched out in that pose.  It felt so good to just get back into it and made me think about how much I’ve missed yoga.  I’d gotten into the habit of establishing a regular yoga practice throughout December and January and now I’m so excited to get back into it again. This month my focus is all on working out, eating as best as I can, practicing regular yoga, and meditating, which I’m off to do right now.  Have a great night!

Winter Chill

Considering the winter that we’ve been having, today was pretty windy & cold.  It looks like it’s going to be like this for a few more days before reaching 70 on Thursday, yay!  Even the flowers have started to bloom.

I did work study at East Meets West today and bought one of their brand new turquoise t-shirts.  This picture doesn’t do the color of the t-shirt justice.  Although I’ve been working at East Meets West for the past month, I haven’t taken a class there since January 31, and Katy and I are finally going back to our standard 6 pm vinyasa class tomorrow night, can’t wait!

After work study I met up with Diana for some lunch – it had been forever since we’d seen each other too, so it was great to catch up!  Then I was off to do grocery shopping.  I’m finally committing to eating more raw foods this week, and although I was initially going to go all raw for one week, I decided to slowly incorporate raw with cooked as I get acclimated to it.  I picked up some delicious treats at the store that I can’t wait to try!

Now I’m watching an all vegan episode of Cupcake Wars before prepping my meals for tomorrow, meditating a little bit, then going to sleep so I can be up at 6 am to continue by TurboFire Challenge.  Have a great night!

The Beachbody Challenge

As of March 1st, I officially enrolled myself in the 90 Day Beachbody Challenge (ok well not really, I didn’t sign up on Team Beachbody until today but I mentally enrolled myself on March 1st) :D.  Although I got TurboFire back in December, I haven’t been consistent with working out to the program, even though I love it & Chalene Johnson with all my heart.  The other day I realized that if I’d fully committed myself back in December, I would’ve already had my dream body now in March.  I’m using that realization to fuel me to complete the next 90 days, which will lead me to being in super amazing shape by the end of May, in time for the Beachbody Coach Summit in June and my 30th birthday the week after!

Doing this for myself has been a huge realization for me.  I’ve committed to workout programs in the past and have made huge strides in achieving a healthier body weight, but I’m still not at my target goal.  I yo-yo diet as much as Bridget Jones.  Having PCOS makes it even tougher.  My mom jokes with me all the time that if she ate the way I ate, she’d disappear and likely be a size 0.  Although my goal isn’t to be a size 0, it can get pretty frustrating when you eat nourishing, whole foods 100% of the time and your body doesn’t seem to show much for it.

Beachbody has been my saving grace and it’s for this very reason that I’m in this business so I can help other people achieve their goals.  Putting this out to the world on my blog also means that I’ve made a full commitment to get where I want to be, no matter what I may come across, in terms of my health or anything else.  I also want to show people that I’m living proof of what Beachbody products can do to help you achieve your goals, but most especially if you have PCOS!  I even already decided that my next workout program will be ChaLEAN Extreme.  🙂

Seriously, me getting excited about working out?!  If you’d told me this even 4 months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Now I actually get excited about it and I’m so passionate about what I’m doing!  And I definitely don’t want to hear any excuses about investing in products that will help your health as being too expensive.  I leave you with this video that had my mom and I in tears of laughter the other night because it speaks the truth!