Archive for May, 2013

May 31, 2013

What Is Your Why?

 Have you ever thought about what your true motivation in life is? What is the fire that gets you up out of bed every morning? I was introduced to a preacher named Eric Thomas and I listened to one of the motivational talks he gave to a professional sports team. I have watched several of his You Tube videos and he gets me really fired up.  He really challenges people to dig deep, find their fire, and to use that fire to accomplish their goals and live a more fulfilling life.

 Why do I work hard from sun up to sundown to be my best? For me it’s two-fold. Number one, why am I driven to go to work everyday? And then secondly, why am I driven to work so hard with The Healthy Housewives. Yes, I love my job. Yes, I am passionate about health and fitness. But what REALLY drives me to wake up at 5:30 and not hit the snooze button? I am motivated to provide the best life I can for my daughter and my family. I am motivated to give her a better childhood than I had. I am also driven to motivate and empower as many people as possible to believe in themselves and live their best life. I am inspired to share my learnings in health and fitness to help people implement the right fitness plans into their life and feel their best.

A life-changing event in my life is when my parent’s got a divorce when I was eight. That was the point when I realized how stressful money burdens could be on a family. At that point, my mom was a substitute schoolteacher and was going to school at night to get her Master’s degree.  My father had just lost his job. They did their best to keep our lives “normal” and shield my brothers and I from the financial stress. However, we knew money was tight and a constant stress and I felt terrible that my activities added to that pressure.  At the time of the divorce, I was on the competitive team at gymnastics. That meant I was at the gym five days a week, which was pretty pricey. Of course gymnastics was a financial cut that my parents had to make. I was devastated at the thought. Athletics were my passion and my escape from my ever-changing family dynamics. I was fortunate enough that my coaches and gym offered to work with my parents through that difficult point. I don’t know what they worked out financially. However, I will forever be grateful to my coaches and all that were involved for caring enough about me to help my family and I through that time.  So at eight years old, I remember standing in front of the uneven bars one night at workout, asking my coach what it took to get a college scholarship. I hated feeling like I was being a financial burden on any one.  At that point, I told myself that if I wanted to go to college and follow my dreams that I was going to have to work hard and do it myself. Through hard work and some amazing people in my life, I ended up accomplishing my childhood dream of obtaining a full college scholarship and competing at a high level. I have achieved things in track and field, as well as life, that I never could have imagined.  And from that time is where I find a lot of daily my motivation. So many people have helped me through my journey. I want to give back and help people find their own strength and believe in themselves. I also am driven to provide the best life I can for my daughter and family, where finances aren’t a burden. Whether Landry wants to go to Harvard and become a doctor or if she even wants to be a professional ballerina, I want her to know that she can accomplish anything she wants. I am determined to provide the best life for her that I possibly can.

No, I don’t get rich doing The Healthy Housewives, nor do I do it because I just think I’m going to be on tv. Don’t get me wrong all of that would be a cool added bonus. Yes, I love the other ladies and have fun with them and all of the exciting things we do.  But what fuels me to help grow this brand? What drives me is helping people believe in themselves and helping them have the courage to go for their dreams. Through my unique journey I have learned so much.  I now have been so blessed with an opportunity and a platform that I am so passionate about. Through my athletics and passion for health, I have seen first hand how much better I feel and function when I eat right and workout regularly.  I am inspired daily to be my best self, so I in turn I can better help and empower other people.

I have told you my motivation. That is one of the moments in my life that drives me to get up every single day and be my best self.  So what is your why? What’s your motivation to do what you do?  And where does that motivation come from?  You have to have a greater motivation than to just be rich or skinny.  Dig deep and find your own true motive. Channel your own defining moments and use them to achieve your dreams and live a fulfilled life.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Loren Silas

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May 30, 2013

Greek Yogurt Parfaits – Sweet Summer Treat

Greek Yogurt Parfaits

Parfaits are cool and refreshing and the perfect summer treat for breakfast, snack time or dessert.  Not only at parfaits delightful to look at, they are also a great way to get added protein, fresh fruit and nuts in your daily diet.  The are super simple to make with 3 ingredients and 3 steps! And since they are so simple to make you have no excuse in buying the artificial fruit flavored varieties loaded in sugars and preservatives.  🙂

3 Ingredient Parfaits

  • 3 cups of fresh fruit
  • 1 cup of something crunchy for texture and taste!
  • 3 cups of Greek yogurt ( but if you are making a snack or dessert you can use whipped cream, ice cream or custard)

3 Steps

  1. Choose 4 glass serving dishes (wine glasses for an elegant touch, Mason jars or just a regular tumbler)
  2. Alternate layers of fruit with crunchy and yogurt layer.
  3. Top with a garnish of fruit and crunch and serve!

The great thing about these yummy healthy treats is that you can assemble a Greek yogurt parfait a day or two ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it. Just sprinkle the granola over the top right before you are ready to eat or serve the parfait so it will be nice and crunchy in contrast to the creamy yogurt. Also they are so easy to make, its a great way to get your kids in the kitchen and they love putting together their own concoctions.

Check out this slide show of 9 healthy delicious yogurt parfaits. I want to try them all!

http://www.wholeliving.com/155723/healthy-yogurt-and-parfaits/@center/155850/healthy-breakfasts#144896

And here are some more great recipes using Greek yogurt!

http://www.leanitup.com/14-incredible-greek-yogurt-parfait-ideas-to-shrink-your-belly-boost-your-health/

Kathy

 

May 29, 2013

Time to Detox?

It's not a glamorous topic, but it'll make your health shine!

It’s not a glamorous topic, but it’ll make your health shine!

Hello friends… it’s your personal Detoxing Diva here, eager to help you move quickly from some not-so-great food and beverage choices this past weekend. I’ll start by professing: You didn’t do as much damage as you think, and it IS reversible. (Repeat often the next few days.) That said; let’s get to the good stuff.

Amazingly, I received an increase in orders for our Herbal Cleanse Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The fact this time period is right as folks are winding down there holiday weekend celebrations or making the challenging transition from “weekend mode” to “work mode,” leads me to think that lots of you are trying to un-do the weekend and get back on track with your clean eating and mean training. Let me help!

The reason I said our Herbal Cleanse is because I have a long-standing relationship with Advocare nutritional products, and the Herbal Cleanse product is an all-inclusive herbal detoxification system to “right-set” your body to cleanse itself of unnecessary toxins and to welcome the nourishing attributes of your diet and supplement choices. Good fats, bad fats; wholesome carbs, simple/bad carbs… who cares if it all gets stuck in your gut and intestines to rot?

The 10-day detox system comes in two flavors--citrus and peach.

The 10-day detox system comes in two flavors–citrus and peach.

Advocare’s WELL, TRIM, and ACTIVE lines helped me move from a flabby, skinny chick to a lean, mean, competitive machine. Okay, I’m not a machine, but I was a pretty good pageant competitor for several years, dropped 10 pounds of fat and gained muscle strength, completed two marathons and 12 half-marathons, and excelled in the corporate world for 12 years fueled with Advocare—and I’m not done yet! I retired my corporate heels to focus full-time on helping others find, create, and live their healthiest life. It’s now my job to make you aware of how important it is to detox your body regularly (among how to implement other healthy habits.)

Becoming an informed nutritional enthusiast, and an Advocare Advisor, helped me represent myself well whether I was on the marathon trail, the corporate stage, or the pageant stage—and everywhere in between. Advocare is one of several great supplement companies available to you, but I can only speak to the scientific research, NCAA-approved, athlete-endorsed attributes of Advocare’s products. For these reasons and more, I trust Advocare for myself, my family, and my clients.

        If an all-inclusive detoxification system isn’t your thing, here are some helpful tips to help your body rid itself of unnecessary toxins you may be carrying around. As for that over-indulging that may have occurred (you don’t have to tell me), don’t beat yourself up. Part of living life is enjoying the moment and not worrying about occasional slip ups. Dust yourself off and get back on the healthy road.Implement positive talk ASAP! Do not let one bad meal (or one day of forgetting you’re a health god or goddess) send you spiraling into a well of woes. Accept the past and fill your week with good, clean decisions.

Essentia Water Water for blog Sweat is fat crying

      Pick up some Essentia Water and chug-a-lug. People under-estimate the power of good clean, high-pH water and its ability to flush toxins quickly through your systems. Water is fuel for your digestive system. Don’t ever let your tank register empty!

      Put on your favorite workout attire and get moving. Exercise and sweating are both excellent detoxification strategies. This is the week to challenge yourself. Get after it!

      Detox your mind. When cravings hit, and you recall some of the treats you consumed over the weekend and start to miss the tastes—STOP! Food is not anyone’s true source of emotion. Something else is making you happy, sad, joyful, somber… figure out what it is and get to know yourself a little better. Consider jotting down some of your thoughts.

      Be fiber-friendly. Most Americans do not get enough fiber. Make it your mission to consume more fiber this week. An added perk will be speeding up the detoxification process for your body. Yay!

To check out Advocare’s Herbal Cleanse product, go to: www.fitandfunlifestyle.com. You can learn more about the system, ingredients, and what makes it so great for your body. As a treat for you, here’s one of my favorite fiber-friendly recipes using Advocare’s fiber drink powder. (You can also substitute your own favorite powdered fiber.)

A yummy way to get your fiber!

A yummy way to get your fiber!

Fiber Muffin Recipe

DRY INGREDIENTS

6 packages Fiber drink

1 3/4 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

DIRECTIONS

Mix dry ingredients together. Then add the following ingredients:

1/3 cup honey

1 cup applesauce- the kind without sugar added

2 egg whites

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk

Fold in one large chopped apple.

Spoon into a non-stick muffin pan or use paper muffin cups in your pan. This makes 12 muffins, and you may pile the batter up as they do not raise much. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.

Happy detoxing, friends!  — Lacey

May 28, 2013

Solo, partner, or in a group….what’s your workout MO!

ImageFor years I was a solo workout kind of gal. I did not want a workout partner…they “got in the way” in my opinion. I wanted to get in the gym, get done what I needed to get done, and get out. I would see other people working out in pairs and think it looked like they were having fun, but I wasn’t there for fun, I was there to train. Until one of my girlfriends from work (this was back when I was an elementary school teacher) asked me if I would “train” her at the gym. I thought, okay, she wants to do this, she will take it seriously. So we started working out together…we would run on the treadmill go down to the free weight area…we would lift, and talk , and laugh, and going to the gym with her became my favorite part of the day. When she couldn’t go to the gym with me I found myself no longer wanting to go. The self proclaimed lone warrior now indeed loved working out with a friend. We would see all the people going into the group fitness classes and we thought, that looks fun, but there is no way we would do that. We could really only see the back of the class sometimes and it didn’t look like they were working very hard. UNTIL…I decided maybe I would teach a group exercise class. So after a few trainings I got hired on by my gym to teach class….and wow, it was like a drug. The energy in the room of everyone working out together made it hard for me to set foot on the gym floor at all, whether alone or with a partner. I thought, this is where the magic is. A room full of strangers at the beginning of the hour become friends by the end of the hour all through the power of blood, sweat, and tears. 

Your style is up to you. I just want you to keep movement in your life. But don’t be afraid to workout with a partner or with a group. You may find that your results and your effort far exceed that if you had worked out solo. 

 

I would love for you to comment below with your current workout preference. 

 

May 27, 2013

Green Energy—Yum!

green scene

Happy Memorial Day, Friends! It’s Brooke here with a few questions for you: Do ever have those days (or weeks) that you feel tired and sluggish, even after getting a good night’s sleep? Do you wish you had more pep in your step after lunch?  No, the solution’s not caffeine, although it does make my world go ‘round. Answer: Time to load up on the veggies and fruit! There are lots of ways to add green goodness to your life—you can grab some produce and munch away, create some amazing salads, throw some greens into your cooked dishes, or juice that precious goodness into a glass. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of the earth is to make green smoothies.

The USDA’s recommended daily amount varies for each person according to caloric intake, metabolism, and physiology, but a good standard for someone consuming 2,000 calories a day would be at the very least 2-3 servings of vegetables (more if possible!) and about 1.5-2 servings of fruit per day. The average American gets only 1.5-3 servings of veggies and fruit—total!—a day.

pretty veggies

When you realize all of the amazing ways that fruits and vegetables can help you live a healthier, longer, more vibrant life, you will run—not walk—to your nearest grocery store or farmer’s market. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and energy from the sun. Studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy diet low in saturated fat, high in whole grains, lean proteins, veggies, and fruit reduces the risk of most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on. Consuming the abundant vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruit helps improve our mood; boost energy; enhance immune function; maintain efficient digestion; impart radiant skin and hair; and reduce risk of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases. This is great news!

I love green smoothies for several reasons:

1) They appeal to my lazy side—with just a little prep work, I can throw everything into my blender and within 30 seconds, I have a pitcher full of happiness that supplies about 3 or 4 glasses throughout the day.

2) They are fun to drink—as I live my fit life, salads make up a good portion of my diet. But sometimes I get tired of dealing with all the fixings (my salads are always full of crunchy, tasty veggies, nuts, and fruit) and coming up with new ideas all the time. Smoothies are a nice change of pace.

3) They make me feel good—this can also be said of dark, green leafy salads as well as freshly juiced produce. I’m slightly embarrassed to say this, but when I first cleaned up my eating, this fresh energy from the abundance of raw vegetables was a new experience. I noticed this after eating a lunch of quinoa, black beans, avocado, and then a big salad (spinach, chard, arugula, etc. plus celery, carrots, green onions, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and almonds). I didn’t get the charge of caffeinated energy I knew so well, but my insides felt so light and clean, not heavy and bogged down.

heart veggies distressed

Digestion is the most energy-consuming function that the body carries out. That’s why you are so sleepy after stuffing yourself on a large meal—your body uses much of its available fuel to process what you just ate. Let me put it this way: meat can take 2-3 days to completely pass through your system (yikes!), a regular full meal can take 6-8 hours to digest, and most fruits and vegetables are out of your system in 2-3 hours. By consuming green salads or (especially) smoothies and juices, you are able to bypass much of this effort because the produce is mechanically broken down into smaller, more bioavailable parts. Almost immediately, your body begins to utilize the vitamins and minerals to repair and renew your body. This is why you feel so much better and full of energy within a day or two of adding dark green salads, juices, and smoothies to your menu.

cute vegetables

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. The fun part about smoothies is that the sky’s the limit on what ingredients you decide to use. A good rule of thumb when you are starting out is 1:1—1 green vegetable to 1 fruit. Ideally, you want to use more veggies than fruit. Green vegetables are virtually dripping with nutrients that you need for a radiant glow and optimum health. Also, fruit does contain sugar, even though it’s natural—so just be mindful of those luscious gems, especially if you are tightening up your sexy body. You’ll see, however, in my recipe below that I used more fruits than vegetables, mainly because I was out of more vegetables and my peaches were very ripe and had to go!

Sweet Greens

Note: Use organic produce when possible.

 smoothie ingredients_corrected

  • 2 c. spinach, raw
  • 1.5 c. water
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 peaches, small
  • 1 pear
  • mint, small handful
  • 1 banana (optional)

Add spinach and water to the blender and blend on medium speed. Add celery in handfuls as it is incorporated with the spinach and water, increasing speed to high. Add peaches, pear, mint, and banana. Add some ice to add thickness if you like. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 10-oz. glasses

Here’s to your brighter, healthier day—drink up!

Brooke

green smoothie_corrected

Lovely and tasty!

 

May 24, 2013

Get bikini ready the healthy way

I took the hard road but years later I have finally learned how to get bikini ready the healthy way.

I took the hard road but years later I have finally learned how to get bikini ready the healthy way.

We all want to look and feel our best this summer. I know that many people still think that by skipping meals, you are doing a good thing. It’s always a hard concept to grasp that eating more and more often can actually help you lose weight. Only eating lunch all day is not a good thing.  I think that’s just unfortunately a mentality many of us women have had since our youth.  We often equate no eating to weight loss.  Yes, of course you can lose weight if you don’t eat, but you feel terrible and you’re not setting yourself up for success long term. Trust me I know this all too well, I had an eating disorder in college.

I was a National Champion track and field athlete at LSU and the pressures to have my body a certain way for competition were fierce. If you weren’t performing as well as you were expected to, losing weight was usually one of the first things that was said needed to change.  For example, “she’s not running fast enough I think she needs to drop some weight”.  Problem is that when you’re training and competing at such a high level, you are hungry non-stop and your body needs so much fuel.   I would of course try not to eat much, which in turn would typically set me up for a binging episode later on that day.  I used to have four hour workouts in the middle of the day, and was being to only eat a couple of fruits for lunch, to try and help me drop the pounds.  I look back now and wonder how I allowed myself to take that direction seriously.  During our extensive warm-up routine one day I was doing walk over hurdle drills and can vividly remember having to stop because I was having such bad hunger pains. When I expressed out loud why I stopped, I was told that it was normal and that my stomach was just shrinking and that it would eventually go away when my body would got used to it.  WHAT?  Why did I actually try to do this? This is when my unhealthy relationship with food started.  I was trying so hard not to eat that all I could think about was food. I am that person who never gives up to a fault and I tried that mentality even with my “not-eating”.  I wanted so badly to excel at the highest level and any direction I was given I took to heart and tried to 100% implement. However, even at that time I couldn’t stop myself from my binging ways. I was hungry and my body screaming for energy.  Therefore this started an unhealthy bulimic struggle for me, which I did a lot of work on then to overcome. The beauty of going through something like that is taught me some valuable lessons and since learned so much that I don’t struggle with that disorder anymore.  I also learned the right ways to keep my body healthy and looking/feeling its best. Am I sometimes still guilty of mindlessly eating? Yes. However, when I find myself getting in that emotional-eating place, I work really hard to stay present while eating; instead of trying to solve my emotions while binging on comfort foods.  In case you have never experienced it, eating basically a whole tub of ice cream does not make you feel better.

With all that being said I understand, all too well, the pressures of trying to obtain the ideal body and how the pressures of trying to do so can often times can create us to have unhealthy relationships with food. Bulimia didn’t do anything except for make me look bloated and feel terrible. I also saw first hand how not eating enough caused me to lose that precious muscle that I had worked so hard to build.  I needed my muscle to compete my best.  Even if you’re not a hard core athlete, muscle not only makes your body look healthier and pretty, but also the more muscle you have the more your metabolism increases.  I could talk about this subject for hours. However, to get back to the main reason I started this blog; in order to lose weight, you need to snack regularly to keep your metabolism up.  I’m not talking about any snack but healthy snacks. My go-to’s used to basically consist of a protein shake or almonds, and occasionally fruit. Marzia has a helped me to really expand my snack options, along with my own research and experimenting.Remember that in order to keep the muscle you’re working to gain, it is important to combine a lean protein with a clean carb together at each meal.

I often get asked what some good, quick snack options are and here are some of my favorites. I am on the go a lot because I am in sales, so I pack my snack in the morning and then keep in my car.  With my protein shake I will put the powder separated out in one of those kid snack containers. The one I use is perfect for carrying the protein powder. It has three compartments and an opening that makes it easy to pour out the powder. I am a picky eater so keep that in mind as you read my top five favorites options:

images

  1. A piece of fruit and a kind bar
  2. Green drink (my juicing mix of fruit and veggies) and almonds
  3. Almond butter (I like Justin’s and it comes in travel packs) with celery or apple slices
  4. Whey protein shake and a handful of almonds
  5. Turkey slices (not packaged of course) and carrots (or any veggie)

Looking at different snack options always helps give me ideas that I then tweak and make my own.  I hope you enjoy a great, long holiday weekend.  Remember that planning ahead so you don’t skip meals is key.

Loren Silas

May 22, 2013

3-Steps to a Healthy and Delicious Summer Treat – Popsicles

Well summer is right around the corner and it’s going to heat up fast especially here in Dallas! My favorite go to treat in summer time is homemade popsicles.  My daughter absolutely loves them and I love not filling her full of artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup.  They are so easy to make and you can be super creative. A true popsicle mixologist! Here I’ve laid out popsicle making in 3 easy steps!

STEP 1: Choose Your Mold

Popsicle making is fun! But even more fun is enjoying a delicious healthy treat in the shape of a ladybug, rocket or even a jewel pop.  Tovolo has some of the most amazing and cutest popsicle molds on the market.  Another plus is that they are made of silicone and completely reusable. No need to worry about splinters in little fingers!

Tovolo

http://www.tovolo.com

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tovolo+popsicle

STEP 2: The Recipe

Super Simple Fruit and Yogurt Pops

Makes 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh (organic) blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and sliced bananas, mixed (or any fruit of your choice)
  • 1-1/2 cups (organic) plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
  • Popsicle molds but a dixie cup and popsicle stick will work in a pinch.

Directions

  1. Place the mixed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, yogurt, and honey into a blender. Blend to desired thickness chunky or smooth.
  2. Fill molds as directed or if using paper cups fill 3/4 full cover with foil and push stick through center.
  3. Freeze 3 hours

For more how to and some phenomenal beautiful recipes. See TheSlowRoastedItalian.com

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/03/Best-Ever-Simple-Easy-Healthy-Frozen-Treats.html

And 100daysofrealfood.com

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/07/cool-summer-treat-makeover/

STEP 3: Enjoy!

Its that simple! Now I mentioned above becoming a true mixologist when making these summer delights because you can use whatever ingredients you have in your refrigerator.  Another one of my favorites is coconut water and chunks of pineapple and kiwi and mint! So refreshing!! And there is such a thing called Poptails for us grownups but I’ll let you Google that one on your own!

Kathy

May 22, 2013

Coffee Chats and Simple Facts

Morning-Routine

Stretching is best when muscles are warm, so consider jogging or jumping in place to wake up and get blood flowing to muscles.

morning-routine1 MorningRoutineCards1You know the drill… alarm goes off, you hit the snooze. Alarm goes off again, and you realize you’re ten minutes late and start brainstorming up-dos to compliment the “casual, professional outfit” you’re now putting together in your head. You run upstairs and start doing jumping jacks before you’re even completely awake. It doesn’t matter though–jumping actually masks the pounding in your head. After a set of fifty, you stop, grab a drink of water–rather chug as much as you can, not realizing the depth of your thirst. Okay, you’re awake. After you select your “upbeat” playlist, you hit the weights for today’s workout. An hour later, you’re in the shower, trying to not get your hair any wetter than it is. You justify not shaving because you’re wearing leggings today (part of the casual professional look you’ve designed in your head.) You complete a few deep breaths and realize today’s a pretty busy day. All good–you got your workout in, you feel stronger, and you can do everything! I love that feeling post-workout shower.

After packaging yourself into a sassy, just put together, yet stylish attire and putting the last hair pin into your up-do (just as the YouTube tutorial instructs,) you check your iPhone calendar to see what’s on tap for the day. A few meetings, a few errands, and a few reports needed by dinner time, which will be spent entertaining clients, so you better eat a snack before hand, so you don’t overindulged. This is truly the snapshot of the type of morning which usually fills my work-week. I’ve heard folklore about women waking up to quiet time, a reading nook of their home, and to a ceramic coffee mug full of a fine Cinnamon roast. Who are these women? I’d love to meet one some day. Meanwhile, a congested trail of thought continues to run through my mind as my Doberman jumps onto my lap to plant a wet one on my face. I can’t be mad. Besides my step-children, my fur-babies ( a word I swore I’d never use which taught me I should never again swear) are my only children. Unconditional love runs rampant among my Doberman, Maximus, and my Dachshund, Samson.
I immediately begin talking to my pups as I rub out the paw marks on my leggings and reapply my powder, and gloss. We have several songs we sing in the morning, but I’ll spare you for now, as I have another point to make with this blog. As I serve breakfast to the pups and to myself, I jot down notes for my day and sing one of our jingles. After we complete our morning routine, it’s time for me to trade my “pup-mom” hat in for my “business-woman” driving glasses. And I’m off to my first meeting of the day. Fast-forward five hours later, I’m “meeting fatigued” and returning to my home office for some reporting, blogging, and editing before sprucing up for the evening’s dinner. Alas, I am greeted by the most-grateful and loving pups that ever lived. I’m “guilted” into playing with them outside for a bit, ignoring my phone, emails, and followup items. Once we give adequate attention to each other, I hit the keyboard to close out my day and become entertaining again. The evening goes on without a hitch. Excellent conversation, new connections, amusing stories and ideas. Driving home, I start to replay the day, what I accomplished, and what will need to be tackled tomorrow.
As my head hits the pillow, I review my agenda book and see a note that is repeated several times throughout my agenda book. “Call Grandma Lucy.” I look over at the clock and it is 10:08 p.m. Grandma Lucy is a morning person, and probably half way into her second dream by now. Darn it. Another day lost, another conversation missed. I go to sleep, disappointed because I know I missed out. Grandma has the best stories. Her perspective is a refreshing change from the world my generation created, knows, and lives. She’s pretty funny too. She thinks everyone is too busy. “Too busy to talk on the phone,” she says. “I don’t like texting and emails. Oh but I do like that Facebook thing for the photos.”
On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a “thought hangover” about Grandma Lucy and my missed call. I decided to forgo my usual routine, grab a cup of coffee (in a ceramic mug) and dial Grandma’s number. She’s a morning person, and is probably up having her second cup of coffee at this point.
I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

But what about my morning workout? My morning appointments? My obligations? They all got done… just a little later than usual. I brushed aside thoughts of being behind and late all day long, because I know I made Grandma Lucy’s day. I learned how attached to my routine I was, and it worried me a bit. It made me think about other missed opportunities I’ve had  because I was running through my day; hurried through my routine. My challenge for this summer is to implement: Summer of Daily Simplicity. A simple phone call. A simple cup of coffee. A simple hair-do. A simple kiss for my husband. A simple (and nourishing) breakfast. A simple prayer. The concept is that we overdo ourselves with schedule, routine, obligations, and eventual stress and health risks. With creativity and flexibility, I’ll get up earlier and slow down my morning routine . “But I have obligations, Lacey!” Indeed, and you can’t ignore obligations. But you can be creative, rearrange, and be kind to yourself when you don’t get it all done one day. If you just don’t see how, let’s chat. I have some suggestions. Be kind to yourself–you’re the only YOU we have. Grandma Lucy reminded me of that!
Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.

Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.

May 21, 2013

Bathing Suit Season

Finding the right suit for you body can be a nightmare. I know a lot of women who dread going shopping for swimsuits because instead of making them feel beautiful and empowered about their body it makes them feel worse. The problem is that not all swimsuits were created equal. You have to know the best cut and style for you body type that will accentuate your assets not enlighten your flaws. Feeling good in your own skin is important, but certainly the right swimsuit can aid in the process of you looking in the mirror and loving the woman staring back at you. 

Know what your body type is first. Do you have bigger hips? Are you very chesty? Do you have an athletic build? No curves? Too many curves? We are all created differently, and so knowing a little bit about your body will help you find the perfect suit for you. For example, I have an athletic build. I have no waist really and am pretty flat chested. I wear a triangle top with strings which creates the illusion of cleavage. If I were to wear a bandeau top I would look even flatter than I already am. 

I want you to feel comfortable and sexy this swimsuit season…so follow the links below to see what swimsuit type might work best for you and then get to shopping! 

http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2010/05/how-to-find-the-sexiest-swimsuit-for-your-body-shape

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20365622,00.html

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/beauty/guides/summer-beauty/best-swimsuits-for-your-body-type/Image

May 20, 2013

Vegetarian Meal Planning: Compassion and Convenience

hugged veggie

Hello, and Happy Monday! It’s Brooke here. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time now (more than 15 years), and I love that there’s a way I can still be healthy while respecting the creatures in our world. Now, I am certainly not an expert by any means, and when it comes to balancing my life with proper (sufficient) nutrition in a timely manner, I am NOT always successful. But every day I try to make my fuel a priority, and some days are better than others. But I keep aspiring to live up to my best intentions, in and out of the kitchen.

I came to this lifestyle in a meandering fashion. For years, I was the “picky” eater in the house. You may be familiar with the line from A Christmas Story, “Every family has a kid who won’t eat.” I was that kid! My sister and I had to eat three bites of everything on our plate before we could be excused from dinner. Many meals ended with my family bustling around the kitchen, putting their dishes away while I sat by myself at the table, looking at my half-finished plate, usually with meat or a few veggies remaining forlornly around the edges. Now, I didn’t single out meat purposely back then, but I just wasn’t its biggest fan. I managed to stay plenty nourished, however, and made my way to college. About this time, I started learning about the vegetarian life and what it felt like to make decisions that went against my social conditioning and what I’d always taken for granted. I grew up in Texas, after all—barbeque was always the first thing that was catered in for any kind of occasion. Definitely a challenge!

why love one

I love animals desperately, as you probably know by now. Also, one of the strongest drivers of human behavior is to live in a way that is consistent with what you believe. This is why what you tell yourself is so freakin’ important! You become what you believe or say you will be. So, your self-talk better be purposeful, supportive, and meaningful if you want that kind of life. Well, my turning point came when I realized that how I felt about animals didn’t square with my eating them. Here was another significant moment measured by a quotation, this time from Chrissie Hynde: “Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends.” This changed my whole life!

cow hug

I was a freshman and living in a dorm with no kitchen when I declared to my family I would no longer eat meat, much to my mother’s consternation. This time was a blur, but I do remember eating a lot of pasta and pizza and waffles (!)—no coincidence that I put on some weight. I called my extra layer my winter padding, like a seal has—what was I thinking? The ways you justify things to yourself! Well, I managed to screw up my digestive system in the process—I felt bloated and yucky constantly, lost my appetite, was malnourished, and didn’t even realize it. So, I went back to how I ate the last time I felt good, in high school in the cafeteria—a meat, two vegetables, a roll, a small dessert, and a carton of milk. I began feeling better, all while learning more about how to eat more healthfully. Eventually, I incorporated more grains and vegetables and got rid of the meat again. I wish I could say it was all pretty, but I was a college student on a budget, and there were a LOT of peanut butter and honey sandwiches involved. One particular shining moment was the day I fixed couscous from a box with canned carrots and canned green beans. Happiness!!

As time has passed, I’ve gained a few more kitchen skills, I’ve learned a lot more about nutrition, and although I have spent years pulling out recipes and squirreling them away to use someday, my vision of kitchen nirvana involving both the immaculate white kitchen and the va-va-voom of Giada De Laurentiis have not materialized. But I do have a basic plan that I follow that gives me a little bit of structure as I navigate my day.

Breakfast

lean protein, complex carb, simple carb, healthy fat

First: multivitamin + calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement + vegetarian omega-3s THEN breakfast

(Examples: protein breakfast smoothie [banana, strawberries, whey protein, almond milk, olive oil or flaxseeds, and nuts] OR scrambled eggs/egg whites and oatmeal with coconut oil, berries, walnuts, cinnamon, and Truvia)

Morning Snack

lean protein, complex or simple carbs

(Example: protein shake with a banana or ½ cup berries OR a green smoothie with power greens blend [arugula, chard, or kale], spinach, water, celery, pear, apple, and a banana)

Lunch

lean protein, complex carbs, simple carb , healthy fat

(Example: spicy black bean patty, couscous or rice, ½ avocado with lemon juice and sea salt AND a big, dark-green salad full of veggies, a bit of fruit and light shredded cheese [maybe], and nuts)

Pre-Workout Snack

lean protein, complex carbs, simple carb , healthy fat

(Example: leftover or extra scrambled eggs and oatmeal from the morning OR whole wheat English muffin, almond butter, ½ banana, few blueberries, flaxseeds, and drizzle of honey) + BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)

Post-Workout Snack

lean protein, simple carb

BCAAs + glutamine + creatine (optional) THEN whey protein with almond milk and 1 cup grape juice or fruit

Dinner

lean protein, complex carbs, healthy fat (sometimes)

(Example: beans or bean or lentil soup, couscous or rice, green vegetables or large salad, ½ avocado with lemon juice and sea salt)

Bedtime Snack (if needed, usually yes!)

lean protein, healthy fat

(Example: protein shake (casein and whey) with almond milk OR Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, berries, and nuts)

Now, you’ll notice that I try to eat a good amount of complex, starchy carbs. Currently, my training goals include adding curves and weight by building lean muscle and lifting heavy, and I need fuel (probably still more than I’m getting) to do this. But if you’re trying to tighten up, you can dial back on the complex carbs and a little of the healthy fats at lunch and later in the day. This is just a plan that works for me. Vegetarian options abound these days, and I’ll share some more recipes as I find time to try them. Wish me luck! I can’t wait to hear about what works for you. So, let me know if you have some great ideas for strong, sexy, cruelty-free curves—I’m always listening.

Have a super week!

Brooke

compassion is the new sexy