It's here! The Spring issue of Naturally magazine has hit the news stands, and below you can see my fitness story that I wrote, modeled, and produced. Check it out and let me know what you think! 5 easy exercises you can do in your hotel/house/room, wherever!
This Winter Naturally Magazine interviewed me to find out how I carry light for other people. I told a personal story about my mother being diagnosed with cancer and leaving a secure job to move home to help her out. Take a look at the article below. Thank you Naturally Magazine for the love. <3
Stretches for people with tight shoulders and chests. Since I've been out in California for a few weeks now, I've been surfing a few times a week, (lucky me!) and have been having some tightness in my shoulders, chest, and back. These stretches will alleviate that discomfort, and help you increase your range of motion for bigger/deeper paddle strokes. And lets be real, its not only surfer's who have tight shoulders. If you sit at a desk, hunched over for most of your day, this will help you too!
- Crescent lunge twist. Repeat on both sides, making sure to breathe and exhale as you twist.
- Thoracic Extension Exercise: let your head hang heavy, and just chill. Breathe.
- Wall Angels: try to keep your back and forearms connected to the wall behind you as you move your arms up and down. Move slowly.
- Supine Twist with arm half circles: Repeat on both sides. Try to keep your finger tips connected to the ground as you move your arms.
For an even deeper chest and shoulder opener, try this advanced move below. Move with caution! It hurts so good.
1. Gardening is hard work. It is fun and beautiful getting to watch flowers grow, but most of the time gardening is: weeding a shell driveway, deadheading everything, watering, and making many trips to the dump. It is not glamorous. It is very humbling. And I have permanent dirt in my finger nails.Read More
Originally published by Jezebel.com
It’s early morning and you’ve already hit the snooze button twice on your phone. Finally, you not-so-gracefully wipe the crust from your dry lips, pick it up, and look at it. The CNN alert says the world is about to end, but you don’t have time for that, so you unlock the screen and immediately check your email. Then you check Instagram. Then Twitter, followed by the 10 other apps you for some reason feel the need to check first thing every morning. Only then do you notice the time. During your three-minute shower, you think about how few likes the photo you posted last night garnered. Dry off, throw on some clothes, grab a big mug of coffee and if you’re lucky you remember to grab a granola bar on your way out. You run out the door already knowing that you’ll be at least five minutes late for work.
Full disclosure: this was my morning, for years. And then I got a much-needed job as a superhero-motivational-high-intensity fitness instructor, so I had to make some changes in order to teach my 6 A.M. classes. I realize I am not totally normal when it comes to this shit, but if my old morning routine sounds at all similar to yours and you’re not happy with your day, I got you. Here are some seemingly-obvious (but worth reiterating) changes you can make to your morning that will increase your chances of being a Do Something Bitch like Ronda Rousey by 50%. (That is not a fact, but probably should be.)
- Use an alarm clock. Do not use your phone as an alarm! The temptation to start browsing through every app as soon as you wake up is too great. Separate from your phone. Really.
- The moment after you wake up is one of the most vulnerable times in your whole day. Start it off by thinking about yourself. You can’t make a difference in anyone else’s world unless you take care of you. So focus on you for a moment, not what other people are doing on social media (because we know it’s all a lie anyway). And don’t think about what other people are thinking about you. YOU think about YOU.
- This is a great time to do some meditation. I know, I know. Even if you don’t know the first thing about meditation, try this: Sit up on your bed, legs crossed, breath in and out slowly counting each inhale and exhale as 1, and then count all the way to 10. That’s it. It helps to reset your mind, calm it down, and organize your thoughts.
- This might sound dumb, but it’s been proven to reduce stress and increase performance: tell yourself one great thing about you, and believe it. You have really great eyebrows.
- Get out of bed. Just do it. Take a quick moment to stretch. Touch your toes. Pop those hips. Move your head side to side.
- Before any other type of food or drink, have a glass of water with a slice of lemon in it. Lemon water gets your metabolism going and gives you nutrients your body needs including, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, to name a few.
- Eat something real, with nutritional value. Try consuming carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Try oatmeal with fruit. Here’s an easy cold oatmeal recipe you can make the day(s) before so it’s ready to go in the morning when you’re still tired. If you have a blender, make a smoothie or juice. You want foods that will keep you feeling full for longer or have high satiating power. Protein, dietary fiber and water have high satiating power, as well as carbs like whole grain bread and oats. (Processed carbs like the ones found in baked goods have a low satiating power.) Eating good carbs and protein will fill you up, and fiber will also help keep your shit regular. Literally.
- Give yourself enough time to get to where you’re going. Try saying “no” to that extra thing you want to cram into your day. Running around and rushing to every place that you go can be exciting, but it also gives you anxiety, and my guess is you probably need less of that.
Doing all of these things at once may seem like too much work, or too much change. But if you do at least one of them at first, and then slowly add them all in, it can be a smooth transition. You, too, were brought into this world to do more than just fuck millionaires. (Not that that’s a bad thing.)
I found this recipe online and made some adjustments, but it is DELICIOUS. I've been trying to eat more vegetarian, and was searching for some ideas when I came across this gem. I often think that eating vegetarian means just being hungry and never getting full, but this dish does the trick. We as humans consume too much meat, for our health, and for our planet. It is much more sustainable to eat a plant based diet, so I'm trying to lean towards that direction. Anyway, enjoy this chili, its so damn good!!
You'll need a slow cooker or crock pot for this recipe!
Butternut Squash Coconut Chili
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium apples, peeled and diced
- 2 cups of peeled + diced butternut squash
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
- 1 medium can of black beans, drained + rinsed
- 1 medium can of chickpeas, drained + rinsed
- 1 can (400ml) of low-fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder (optional; I added this to mine, and thought I made a wise choice.)
- cooked rice or quinoa (optional)
- chopped fresh cilantro, parsley or chives (for garnish)
- shredded unsweetened coconut (for garnish)
- Place all ingredients except the garnishes/rice in a slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours). Add more chili powder as desired. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like chili on the spicy side. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, open the lid to allow the chili to thicken. If the chili looks a bit dry, add a bit more vegetable broth.
- Serve over rice or quinoa. Garnish with fresh herbs and shredded coconut.
This is definitely one of my favorite breakfast foods. Its delicious, and so convenient and easy to make! You can make a bunch of them and save them in the fridge for the whole week, making it super easy to just grab one and head out the door. Here's my recipe:
- 1/2 cup of regular oats
- 1/2 cup of almond/coconut/soy milk
- 2 Tablespoons of yogurt (optional)
- Handful of cut up fruit: blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, anything you want!
- Fun additives as well: honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, flax, hemp seeds, etc.
Mix it all together in a glass mason jar with lid, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. It'll be ready in the morning. That's it. Enjoy!
One of my favorite parts of spring, besides the weather being awesome, are smoothies! I recently bought a Nutri Ninja, which has made smoothie making so much easier, cleaner, and fun. Yes, I said fun. I feel like I could put anything in that thing, and it would taste delicious. But I've narrowed down my technique and this is what I've learned makes a good smoothie:
- You need at least one thing that is sweet. I usually use a banana, or an apple.
- Something creamy. For that I use either yogurt, or an avocado.
- Something frozen. I will use frozen fruit, which is usually my second sweet ingredient (strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, etc.) Or just a few ice cubes.
- Something hearty, fibrous, that thickens. For this I like to use some kind of vegetable: kale, spinach, carrots, but you can also use some oats or almonds.
- You need a form of liquid: soy, almond or coconut milk, orange juice, or coconut water.
- And then for some extra goodness here's a list of things that are great additives that make your smoothie extra special: almond/peanut butter, fresh ginger, fresh mint or basil, cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, goji berries.
- Lastly, a good thing to remember is less is more. Pick a good 5 ingredients with confidence and stick to that. I've gotten weird and tried putting 10 different things in the blender... it didn't taste very good. And now have fun!
I awoke in the morning to the sound of a babbling stream nearby, and some loud frogs that were never seen, only heard. As I open my tent I see the sun rising to my left, warming the rocks and everything in between. Man, it felt good to be there.Read More
My 30 day sugar detox is coming to a close at the end of this week. A lot of people are asking if I feel any different. And I DO. I feel great.
There's a part of me that didn't even know if my willpower was strong enough to do something like this. So the psychological part of this challenge has been rewarding as well. I CAN do something I put my mind towards -- if I want it bad enough, I definitely can.
Physically, I feel great. My energy has been more consistent. Throughout the day I use to crash, and either need more caffeine, or more sugar. Don't get me wrong, I still take naps, but my energy just feels more steady. My skin has cleared up. I believe drinking lots of water and staying hydrated also helps your skin. I haven't been having any weird unexplainable stomach aches. I guess maybe I can explain them now... They are probably from sugar. Duh. And the biggest shocker of all is that I haven't been craving sugar as much as I thought I would. Maybe its because I KNOW I can't have any, so I don't even let me mind go there, or maybe its because my body is feeling so good WITHOUT it. Whatever it is, I now know that if a sugar craving arises, it will pass. And that is wonderful.
Some friends of mine who have also been doing this sugar detox have lost some serious weight as well. 10-15 pounds! In just a few weeks. Its incredible what your body can do and how it can feel if you just give it some love, some nutrition and some attention.
Now, I can not help but think of what the first sugar loaded item of food I will consume, when this detox is done. I'm pretty sure it will make me feel awful. I've already decided that it will give me a stomach ache and a head ache. So it has to be worth it. I'm thinking ice cream.
Do I continue to live a sugar-free life after the 30 days? (After the ice cream that will give me a headache.) I will definitely be limiting the amount of sugar I consume, but I guess we'll see!
SNACKS! I love snacks, and I think that's where most of my sugar addiction comes from. "Oh, I'm a little bit hungry? I'll just stop into Duane Reade and grab a granola bar. Oh! and its around Easter [Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, etc.] and there happens to be holiday candy right in front of me, so I'll just snag one of those delicious peanut butter chocolates shaped like an egg [pumpkin, Christmas tree, heart, etc.]" That was the conversation that I would have with myself. In my head, not out loud, don't worry.
The Whole30 diet suggests that when you are craving a snack in between meals you should think to yourself: "Am I hungry enough to eat a full meal? A protein and a carb?" If the answer is yes, ,then you should eat a meal with a protein and carb. If the answer is no, then you should ignore that craving. (I KNOW, IT'S HARD)
That's what I've been trying to do. Eating a full meal when I'm hungry instead of inhaling 30 clementines. However, there are times when I need a quick bite. For example, right after I teach a fitness class. In those cases here is what I do eat:
Almonds, boiled eggs, carrots and hummus, crackers and cheese with an apple, chia seed pudding, avocado toast. Basically, I think it comes down to being prepared so if you absolutely NEED a snack you aren't just grabbing the first thing you see in the vending machine. But also really asking yourself if you are actually hungry or just bored/craving sugar.
Holidays in convenient stores are hard.
There's been a crockpot (slow cooker) in my kitchen for about 5 years now, covered in dust. I just fell in love with it. Here's why: 1. Its easy. 2. You can make a lot of food at once. 3. Its really hard to screw it up. 4. Its easy.
NOTE: Before you use your crockpot, wash the dust off.
Here's my go-to recipe I've been making for a few weeks now. Its an ever-changing recipe, that just keeps getting better and better.
Sweet shredded chicken w/ T&P (tomatoes and potatoes)
Cooking time: 6hours on low, 4 hours on high.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1-2 lbs)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with green chilis)
- 1 large baking potato and 1 large sweet potato cut into wedges
- medium onion, cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 inch fresh ginger cut into rounds
- 2 tsp ground cumin/ 2 tsp cinnamon/ salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
In large skillet heat cooking oil (olive or coconut oil) on medium/high heat. Coat chicken thighs with cumin, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Cook chicken, until golden, for 3 minutes on each side.
In slow cooker put onions, ginger, garlic, potatoes, (and any other veggie you want to try -- in the photos above I added some baby bell peppers.) Add the chicken. Then top with tomatoes and the liquid. (Don't worry the liquid is not suppose to fully cover the chicken.) Add the raisins. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. When its ready take a fork to the chicken and shred.
Yesterday I had 10 servings of fruit. A few bananas, a couple apples, some clementines, blueberries, more bananas. Fruits are delicious, because they have lots of sugar in them! And they are easy to eat on the go. So it got me thinking: One of the reasons why I'm doing this no-sugar diet is to try and eliminate sugar cravings altogether. If we keep trying to find new sugar-less desserts, and chomping on 10 apples a day, we are possibly still eating the same amount of sugar, it's just all natural. NOW, I know, fruits are OK. But let's think about how much fruit. I'm going to limit myself to 2-3 fruits a day. Focus on eating bigger meals that actually fill us up so we're not looking for snacks throughout the day. Big meals full of savory foods: proteins and vegetables.
Here's a chart of some fruits and their sugar content (Thanks Chef Mike!)
I think I just found my new favorite dessert. My friend Erica gave me this recipe, and I just tried it today. SO DELICIOUS. THANK YOU ERICA!
- 1/2 cup Chia seeds
- 1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 mashed ripe banana
- unsweetened coconut shavings
Mix it all together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes- up to 3 days. So easy. So good.
Last nights dinner! Total cooking time 40 minutes.
- Pan cooked wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon seasoned with pepper, Tumeric, and garlic.
- Sauteed and steamed hericot verts with a shallot, diced ginger and soy sauce
- Brown, Red, and black rice mixture.
Hericot verts: heat a pan or wok on medium heat with coconut oil. Throw in diced shallots and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Put in hericot verts, about a quarter cup of water, and a touch of soy sauce. Cover for 5-10 minutes until they become soft. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
I've been told I eat a lot of sugar. By roommates, boyfriends, friends. And I was pretty defensive at first: "I mean I onlyyyyy eat chocolate when I'm PMSing." Or, "So what if I eat a pint of ice cream at night, I exercise for a living!" (not every night, but ya know...) And then I'd constantly be complaining about having weird stomach aches. My skin was so inconsistent and would break out "randomly." My energy was low. I have serious cravings for chocolate, often. And just weird ailments that doctors or I could never figure out. In my opinion, when a physician doesn't know whats wrong with you, its probably related to diet.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't just eat junk food. I actually eat really well, despite the amount of sugar I consume. I have oatmeal in the morning; However, I dump spoonfuls of brown sugar in it. I drink green tea, but I put 3 Tablespoons of honey in every cup. I snack on granola bars, protein bars, all packed with sugar. I eat a lot of fruit -- sugar. I crave something sweet after dinner: a few cookies, ice cream, maybe a spoonful of Nutella... (Whatever its made with nuts!) Anyway, even writing this now its hard not to get defensive about my sugar eating habits.
What first made me even consider cutting sugar out of my diet was when a friend told me she was trying the Whole30 diet. You basically cut out all sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes, for 30 days. I literally stopped listening to the list of foods she was saying because I was stuck on SUGAR: "You're not eating ALLLLL sugar for 30 days? WHAT?" And then I started doing my research. Sugar causes diseases. Sugar gives you low energy. Sugar is bad for your skin. Sugar is in almost every food, and you aren't even aware that you're eating it. I don't like being fooled, so this started to piss me off.
So I'm cutting out all sugar from my diet. Except for fruit. Because I need fiber, and I'm not trying to torture myself, I'm just trying to be aware of how much sugar I consume. After a few days of not eating any sugar I watched the documentary Fed Up. If you haven't watched it, I strongly encourage you to. Watch it here for free! It talks about the rising obesity problem in children and how food corporations are strategically putting sugar in everything! People are only getting sicker, fatter, unhealthier at younger ages. It was a perfect time to cut out sugar, for me. Enough is enough. I could only imagine how much better I would feel if I cut it out of my diet.
I plan to share some no-sugar recipes and a few updates on how I'm feeling through the next 30 days. Also, there seems to be A LOT of interest from friends and family regarding this decision of mine, and many people are joining me in this 30 day challenge! (Thank you!) So I hope to share lots of recipes from other people who are also cutting sugar out from their diet. We're all in this together, so lets go!
Sidenote: If you're interested in the Whole30 diet, read my friend Amy's blog as she documented her 30 day challenge. http://wholespiely.tumblr.com/