Go Heavy or Go Home!

I just had the best workout ever and I can’t get over how amazing it made me feel.  Last week, I went through the same workout, but I could barely do it because the pain from my fibromyalgia was so horrendous.  This week, I powered through it and even though I was sweating buckets, I felt fantastic.  Chalene Johnson even said at the very end “You should feel like a million bucks” and I shouted back at the TV “yes Chalene, I do!!!!”  I can’t wait to work out live with her at Beachbody’s Coach Summit in Vegas in a few more weeks.

I even bought heavier weights last night because 5 pounds just wasn’t cutting it anymore!

Despite the recent weight loss that I’ve had thanks to the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, my weight has stabilized and I’ve been getting frustrated with myself because of the fact that I still have body fat on my body.  Which you might think sounds kind of ridiculous, but as my good friend Katy affectionately says to me, I’m eating “twigs and berries.”  I honestly don’t understand how it’s physiologically possible for me to have fat on my stomach and thighs when I drink a superfoods shake for breakfast everyday, have a salad with fruit for lunch, have another shake as a snack, and then eat vegetables with a whole grain for dinner, practically everyday.

I’d understand if I were eating junk here and there, but I’m honestly not.  There’s nothing that I’m eating that my body can grab onto in order for the fat to be there.  The only thing I can think of is that something strange is going on with my PCOS.  Either I’m not eating enough calories, or I’m eating too much (I don’t ever bother to count calories).  My guess is I’m not eating enough, because I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night starving.  I’ve also been eating higher glycemic fruits, like bananas, so I guess I have to cut back.  I’m still figuring out what works for me, because so many foods still make me so bloated, but it’s just so frustrating because I know that I take care of myself, and although I’m not severely overweight, I’ve got at least 10 to 20 pounds to go.  It’s even more frustrating when I see people shoveling junk into their bodies and they maintain a slim physique.  Trust me, the last thing I want to be doing is shoveling junk into my body, but it’s kind of a pain having to overanalyze every little thing that goes into my mouth.  Ok, rant over.  🙂

The weather’s been gorgeous around here, so today at lunch I sat outside with my IIN Fast Track Workbook and worked on learning on how to market myself while I enjoyed my delicious fruit.

And then when I left work, I couldn’t resist stopping by Starbucks and buying a soy chai (with half the amount of sugar or else it’s way too sweet for me!) and then having some Shakeology “ice cream” as a snack!

I also ordered two new books from Amazon and was excited to see that they were at my door when I arrived.  One’s a brand new vegan cookbook (as if I didn’t have enough already!) and the other one is about, as the title says, healing your headache.  The latest medicine that the neurologist gave me isn’t working, and even though I’m seeing him again next week, this book came recommended to me by another Beachbody coach who has fibromyalgia, and I’d like to see what it says and whether it’ll help me.  Hopefully it’ll tell me something new that I don’t already know.  It also had great reviews on Amazon.

For dinner, I had these amazing Tempeh Taco Lettuce Wraps courtesy of The Fitnessista.  A super easy recipe that only took me a few minutes to make!  Unfortunately I didn’t have mushrooms and I probably would’ve added some more spices next time, but definitely a recipe worth repeating!

Can’t believe it’s already June tomorrow, but I’m ready for it!

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Optimal Nutrition

I’ve been wanting to blog since Wednesday, when I started the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, but of course with my crazy schedule, I haven’t gotten around to it.  I’m looking to cut out several things from my schedule because I’m finding that I don’t have the time to truly focus on my passions, namely Beachbody and Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I’ve spent most of today catching up on my coursework for IIN, which I absolutely love, but I’m really wishing I couldn’ve gotten most of it done during the week.

I’m loving being on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset though!  The meals are so amazing and are making me appreciate food so much more.  Each day I take my supplements before eating my meals & I can tell they’re working because these first few days I’ve been feeling a little tired & sore, like you do after a great workout.  Pilot groups for the Reset reported feeling the same way, because your body is getting an internal workout and cleansing itself of toxins.

I’m currently on Phase 1 of the Reset, so in the next Phase, which will start on Wednesday, a new supplement will be introduced to help my body with the detoxification process.

Check out some of the amazing meals I’ve been eating!

Blueberry oatmeal

Microgreen salad with homemade sesame ginger dressing – btw, I’ve discovered that I’m sensitive to soy AND to sesame, which is a bummer because I LOVE sesame!  😦

Delicious green apple for snack

Black beans over brown rice, kale sprinkled with lemon juice & pine nuts, homemade guacamole, and corn

Greek salad with homemade Greek dressing

Another microgreen salad, this time with Greek dressing

My attempt at Japanese!  Not overly successful, lol.  Nori rolls, Japanese cucumber salad, and miso soup.

Fresh fruit

Nori rolls, microgreen salad, and lentil lime salad.

Another huge benefit?!  I’ve lost 4 pounds!  I’m loving how simple & easy the recipes are to prepare and that I’m learning to make new things.  Can’t wait to see what the next 17 days bring!

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!

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!

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!

Delicious Vegan Treats

I’m so thankful it’s finally the weekend!  My body is badly craving sleep and as soon as I’m done with this blog post, I’m going to bed.  zzzzzz 🙂

Today was a great day for trying out new vegan treats.  Along with the flaxmilk that Whole Foods gave me to try, I was also given a Bananas Foster LÄRABAR über Bar to try and to review.  I actually tried it about a month ago and posted a picture here, but never commented on what I thought about it.

I definitely loved the flavors in this bar.  It’s a perfect delicious sweet treat with all natural ingredients, especially if you’re looking for a delicious dessert but don’t want to indulge in all those extra calories.  I know that these new salty/sweet bars are available in other flavors, but this is my favorite that I’ve tried so far.  The salty and the sweet flavors perfectly complement each other.  Check them out if you get the chance!

Before going off to do my yoga work study, I had this delicious bar, stopped at Starbucks for a soy chai tea latte, and also bought a Two Moms in the Raw Gojiberry Granola Bar.

The texture of the bar kind of surprised me after eating the LÄRABAR über Bar, which was super soft.  The Two Moms in the Raw granola bar was actually relatively hard, but when I actually started chewing, I was surprised by how great the flavor tasted.  I definitely would buy these bars again to have on hand as a quick, healthy snack.  Absolutely loved it and can see these becoming my new favorite treat, especially since I’m looking to go raw and all their products are 100% raw.  YAY!  In fact, I’m looking on their website to see what other delicious treats they have available!

After work study, I was driving to grab some dinner when I remembered that someone had told me about a healthy food market in Vienna.  Sure enough when I looked, there it was, which of course made me super excited.

If you’re from Northern Virginia, it reminded me of a cross between Wegmans and Whole Foods.  I discovered some more delicious goodies there too, including almond coconut plant based milk (I didn’t know that existed either and of course that also got me extremely excited!) and some cranberry nut trail mix.  I’ll definitely be stopping by there more often (sorry Whole Foods – I still love you!)

What’s your favorite vegan treat?  Any awesome new stuff you’ve discovered lately?

Valentine’s Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  How has your day gone so far?!  Even though I’m single, it doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day just like anybody else!  I decided to make it a day about honoring and loving myself.  Who’s going to love me if I don’t love me first?!

I woke up early to do my TurboFire workout and it felt so good to know that I was loving myself enough to get up early & treat myself to a work out.  That’s right, I said treat myself to a work out.  Whenever I exercise, I feel empowered, I feel amazing, and I feel that I’m truly taking the time to love myself by honoring my body.

Breakfast was a Chocolate Shakeology, my favorite way to start the day!  We also had a Valentine’s Day Perk-Up at my school and I grabbed some fruits and veggies for my morning snack.

Since I was still hungry, I decided to squeeze in a clementine too.

Lunch was a salad, again courtesy of my school, and tofu scramble.  I kind of wished I’d mixed the two together after I’d eaten my entire salad.  Oh well, next time!

After lunch, I went to go drop off my Valentine’s Day/100th Day of School project for my 1st grade math group and saw that the kids had brought me Valentine’s Day treats.  I wasn’t expecting anything from them, so it was a nice surprise and the kids were so excited for me to see what they’d brought me.

Inside the envelope I found all of this

I also got a box of chocolate hearts

and I also got a few cupcakes (which I didn’t eat of course, but it’s the thought that counts!)

On my way home from work, I received a surprise phone call that helped to make my Valentine’s Day even more special.  It’s nice to know when people are thinking about you, even if they can’t physically be with you.  🙂

I wasn’t planning on making anything special for my dinner, but I decided to treat myself to food that I normally wouldn’t eat, so I created a date with myself.  I headed to Whole Foods to pick up a few ingredients and attempted making a creamy pasta sauce with noodles.

Was it stellar?  No, but it definitely was worth the effort and I’m already thinking about how I can refine the recipe next time.

For dessert, I already had a chocolate bar that I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday, but was craving something else too.  This chocolate bar was good, but it had a little bit too much of a spicy kick at the end, and I’m not sure I’d buy it again.

So for my alternative dessert, I’d considered making chocolate mousse from scratch, but Whole Foods had some of their vegan chocolate mousse available too (sometimes they don’t), so I decided to pick up some of theirs with some strawberries.  I actually got it for free because it was ringing up as $350 instead of $2.89!

I settled in to watch Cupcake Wars as I ate and all I could think about was how I’d veganize and gluten-free-ize the recipes, lol!  I thought about putting on a romantic comedy, but I’d rather save that for a weekend night.

Of course as I’m writing this blog post, I just found an amazing recipe for raw chocolate ginger cake with cacao frosting!  Definitely next time!

I let the food settle in my stomach for a while and finished watching Cupcake Wars before deciding to finish off my night with more chocolate, in the form of hot chocolate.  I saw this recipe and just couldn’t resist!  After tonight though, I’m done with chocolate for a while (except Shakeology of course)!

Remember love in your daily activities, not just on Valentine’s Day, and love will find you back!

(hearts courtesy of one of my 1st graders)

It’s almost Friday!!!

I’ve been rocking TurboFire

 

Eating yummy vegan food

(Seriously, best bar ever!)

and just scored an awesome deal on Living Social at a cafe in Clarendon that I’ve never even heard about called South Block Smoothie & Wrap Co.  I’m so ridiculously excited that they have things on their menu like Acai Bowls and a Super Green Smoothie.  Plus there are tons of vegan friendly options on the overall menu.

Got lots of exciting things coming up that I can’t wait to post about!

Warmth

It’s been unseasonably warm lately and I’ve been loving it.  I hate winter and I’m happy that this year it hasn’t been that cold.  It also reminds me of my desire to eventually move somewhere like Arizona or southern California.  🙂

In between life, I’ve been cooking delicious new vegan dishes,

trying new snacks,

and today I finished up the Whole Foods 28 Day Healthy Eating Challenge.

The menu.  No chicken for me, but I’m definitely going to attempt making the cilantro-spinach dressing that was on it over a salad or maybe some pasta.  We got a mini-booklet of recipes!  Some tea

Free bag that I won during the raffle at the end.

I unfortunately forgot my camera at home, so had to take the Whole Foods pics on my iPhone.  Even though I didn’t feel like I really needed the Challenge since I already eat plant-based, it was still fun to be a part of the experience and meet so many great people that saw positive changes as a result of modifying their diets.  It was also thanks to the Challenge that I met my chiropractor and was able to finally figure out the cause of my never-ending headaches.  But more on that probably tomorrow.

My mom also bought me a beautiful pair of shoes because I told her I’d finally lost a pound. Despite eating the way I eat and taking care of myself, I struggle with my weight due to my PCOS.  So a pound gone is like a milestone!  I can definitely feel myself getting smaller though as a result of my workouts.

Goodnight!  🙂

Breakfast for Lunch

The weekend’s finally here!  I’m so ready to relax, sleep, take it easy, and plan some amazing meals!

Breakfast today was the green smoothie I made last night with my brand new Vitamix.  Since I wasn’t in the mood to cook and some days I just don’t feel like eating “real food,” I had breakfast for lunch.

Oats soaked overnight with soy milk (though you could also use hemp, almond, rice – whatever works for you), raisins, goji berries, and cinnamon.  I would’ve added dates too if I hadn’t gobbled up the entire bag earlier this week.

Seriously, do NOT waste your calories on a blueberry muffin, which is full of saturated fat and ingredients that are less than stellar for your health.  Buy a Blueberry Pure Bar instead. The second I bite into one of these, I feel like I’m biting straight into a blueberry muffin.  Save yourself the calories and unhealthy factor for this instead!

WILD BLUEBERRY PURE BAR INGREDIENTSOrganic dates, organic wild blueberries (organic wild blueberries, organic apple juice concentrate, organic sunflower oil), organic cashews, organic agave nectar, organic walnuts, organic brown rice Protein, organic almonds, organic unsweetened lemon juice concentrate.

I rest my case.  🙂

When I came home after getting my nails done, I was so excited to see that my latest shipment of Shakeology had arrived!  I was out of this for nearly a week and was going through serious withdrawal symptoms.  If you want to know more about it, contact me, I’d be happy to share!  I will say that I felt like I was losing inches like crazy while I was on it and wasn’t working out that much.  Now that I’m working out a lot to TurboFire AND using this, I’m sure the results will be nothing less than amazing!

I knew I was going to be too lazy to cook, so I followed the advice of a friend and headed to my favorite place to grab a quick meal, Chipotle, for my dinner.

Enjoy the weekend!