Posts tagged ‘power’

June 25, 2013

Little Fighters

Hello regret. Hello defeat. Some days, my mind plays tricks on me and tries to convince me that I’ve got it all wrong. My outfit doesn’t match, I’m out dated and fatigued, and I surely won’t hit my goal by my deadline. What a beat down! Before you start to hear violins in your head, Pollyana is on mission with this blog, so you’re in for a treat. So, chin up rock star, and read on…

My husband and I are different. I’ll pause for your shock and amazement over that statement. We actively try to get on the same playing field before throwing any balls; however, I’ve been known to try to shoot a football on the 7th hole with a baseball bat, and he’s still on third base waiting to bring it all home for us both.

With music, I prefer pop hits to contemporary Christian artists, and he will sing every word (with a complimentary air guitar) of songs by hair bands with albums spanning from 1982 to 1995. (For the younger readers, album = CD.) We come together on good ol’ country music. On a recent road trip, he shared a favorite gem from the band, White Lion, called Little Fighter. He mentioned that this was a “grab the world by the… hand, kind of song.” I appreciate a good motivational speech, so I listened.

Has anyone heard the tales you tell?

Or the scars you wear?

I don’t think we do a good job of sharing our stories with others. They get the insta-photo or under 130 letters status update, but so much gets left up to interpretation. I can’t help but think that if we took the time to genuinely share more often, our relationships would be more meaningful and misunderstandings would subside. It makes me want to bring back afternoon tea, or slumber parties! I know nobody has time for that, but could we say some guiltless no’s to make room for some good story time and relationship building?

One of a kind, one who would never give in;

Even when they put a price on your head.

It stinks being the recipient of gossip, judgment, or slander, doesn’t it? It leaves you angry, sad, or bitter, and none of the three uplift your spirit or promote inner-peace. People can say, “oh what do they know?” but you’re still tender. At one time or another, we all have a target on our head that says, “attack!” Be prepared by remembering you are an original, and it’s okay if someone doesn’t understand. You’re not in charge of their education, nor will you change them. You’ll never know what road they are on, so love them from a far and move on being you’re one-of-a-kind self. I do know this… you are the expert at being you. Nobody can do it better, so own your role as boss.

Rise again little fighter and let the world know the reasons why

Shine again, little fighter, and don’t let them end the things you do.

You were born for a time such as this. Seize the day, and carry on your mission. Don’t let circumstance steal your joy. They are as fleeting as human emotion and the weather. Find the goodness in every situation, in every person… even if you can’t see too far past your current circumstance due to fear, pain, or anxiety. Be still and get lost in your own glorious, powerful soul. Believe in your unique self and get to know that fabulous being—you are so interesting. Everything that happens to you, glorifies your purpose, whether or not you are clear about what it is. You’ll know soon enough. Nobody can take your purpose, your skill, and your character from you—unless you let them. Don’t.

Without a weapon in your hand, you came to fight a war.

They took your life but didn’t know that you’d never die.

Tough days will happen, and you’ll feel hurt, pain, and other sadness. Remember, Pat Benatar told us that love is a battlefield. Though this is a given, seek out the joy and find strength in knowing that the pain is temporary. The sun will rise again; a smile awaits you not too far away. You just have to get up and let yourself be seen and heard.

You and I may have different specifics with our life story; however, I hope you give Little Fighters a listen and remember that you’re one of a kind, a shiny, precious gem, and a fighter! Nobody can take that away… it’s your inheritance from someone who loves you bunches. If you don’t feel so loved, message me and I’ll tell you where to find such unconditional love.

For me, I’m going to start listening to my husband more. He may be more of a conversationalist than I think. Or, he just may have great taste in music. Either way, I have to run… he’s home.

http://youtu.be/DaT8is6b3QA

Here’s a blast back to the ’80s hair band days when you were rockin’ your way to who you planned to be. Enjoy and cheers to you, friends!

–Lacey

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March 9, 2013

Feed Your Mind

green apple and books

Hi, there! It’s Brooke. As you know, wellness comes in many forms. When we think of health, we usually jump straight to the physical (regular exercise, good nutrition, and abundant sleep). But total wellness involves a balance of all aspects of our lives—physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, and vocational. By balance, I mean the correct combination of each of these things that results in an authentic life. You know how good it feels when you’re firing on all these cylinders? I recall these groovy times, and I try to return to them again and again, like a homing pigeon. One of my very favorite ways to find my center is to retreat to a quiet place and break out a book. My love of reading fulfills almost every form of wellness, and I’m betting that it does for many of you. For me, reading fills me up when I am low. It fires my creative spirit and feeds my hungry brain. Reading helps me find myself, to discover clues to who I really am. I usually have about 4 books going at a time, which could signal an active, curious mind or ongoing mental illness. But it’s just how I roll! I’d love to share several of my current favorites with you, and if you have any fabulous books to recommend, please share! FYI: Links to each of these books are at the bottom.

Power Eating Cover

1. Power Eating (3rd edition) by Susan Kleiner: I discovered this book several years ago when I was just beginning to learn about clean eating and strength training. It absolutely blew my mind! It taught me that food is much more than just something you eat or share with loved ones—it’s fuel for the strong, powerful machine that is your body. And for a skinny gal like me aspiring to pack on beautiful muscles and curves, finding this treasure was indeed a giddy experience. Even better, Dr. Kleiner includes a whole section on sports nutrition for vegetarian athletes. I actually felt like my lifestyle was understood and respected rather than just shoved behind the typical information on how to be a healthy carnivore. Like a baby duckling that imprints on the first creature she sees, I base my love of sports nutrition and the science of bodybuilding on this book, and I will be forever grateful to Susan Kleiner for inspiring me and changing my world.

Crazy Sexy diet

2. Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr: This book came out almost 2 years ago, and I’d been flirting with it on and off for a while now. I admit, the title intrigued me—who doesn’t want to be crazy sexy?!? I’d pick it up in the bookstore, page through it, think about it, and then set it down again. Recently, I picked it up again and this time it really spoke to me. It had always been the same packet of awesomeness, but now I was ready to hear its message. Ten years ago, Kris Carr was a 31-year-old actress who discovered after months of feeling bad that no, she did not a have a typical hangover, but a rare, incurable liver cancer! So, she took this devastating news and became her own health advocate, learning everything she could about healing her life, body, and soul. She directed and starred in Crazy Sexy Cancer, a documentary of how she searched for a cure but instead found a resplendent life. Ten years later, she has created a global wellness revolution that advocates health and healing through a vegetarian, low-glycemic lifestyle; compassionate, mindful eating (involving lots of green juices and smoothies); and care of the soul through journaling, meditation, and prayer. But what I love the most is Kris Carr’s spirit and passion to inspire people by positivity, joy, humor, and power. This book virtually pulses with it. Just look at the title! I’m thrilled to be a new member of her tribe.

Expecting adam

3. Expecting Adam by Martha Beck: Now, this book is very special. How many of you have ever finished a book, and then immediately started it over again? That’s exactly what happened to me here, and I’m not even kidding. I’m actually on Read #3 now! Martha Beck is a celebrated therapist, life coach, best-selling author, and one of my very favorite “she-roes.” I absolutely adore her humor and eloquence and honesty. This magical, mystical book launched Martha’s career as a passionate advocate of healing the world, one person at a time. More than 20 years ago, Martha and her husband were extremely intelligent, high-achieving, hard-driving perfectionists pursuing their PhD’s after surviving both their undergraduate and master’s programs—all at Harvard. Human frailty and lives guided by passion and spirit were not well received by the logic-driven intellegencia, and that was just fine by the Becks. Then they found out that their second baby was going to have Down syndrome, and their expectations for the “perfect” family were turned upside down. And what blessing that became. This book is a beautifully written, intimate walk through Martha’s life during this time as she discovers that we are surrounded by angels seen and unseen every day; that a powerful, loving force connects us all and has a sharp sense of humor; and that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. I highly recommend all of her books, especially if you are a seeker and a healer.

My year with eleanor

4. My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock: This one is a charmer, and dare I admit it again, another book I finished and immediately began again. I couldn’t help myself. After an unexpected downsizing, Noelle Hancock (a Texas girl like myself who I’m convinced I’d be friends with if we ever met!) takes the opportunity of a jobless year to live her Year of Fear. Inspired by her personal heroine, Eleanor Roosevelt, and her famous quote “Do one thing every day that scares you,” Noelle faces down the many things that give her pause, cause concern, or scare her witless. Her account is hysterical, genuine, poignant, and delightful as she weaves Eleanor’s own story throughout her own adventures. Could you do one thing every day that frightens you? Yikes! I still don’t have a good answer for this, but I truly loved going along for the ride.

Power Eating: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-eating-3rd-edition-susan-kleiner/1101445870?ean=9780736066983

Crazy Sexy Diet: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crazy-sexy-diet-kris-carr/1100038563?ean=9780762777938

Expecting Adam: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/expecting-adam-martha-beck/1103141176?ean=9780307719645

My Year With Eleanor: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-year-with-eleanor-noelle-hancock/1100567891?ean=9780061875014

I hope these lovely books inspire you as they did me, and I’d love to hear about your favorites. Have a great weekend!

~ Brooke

February 19, 2013

Snack Time!

hummus and veggies

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. Let’s talk about something fun . . . snacks! Now, before we go too far, let’s demystify something. Food and nutrition can be loaded topics—some people have a great relationship with food, while others may think of eating as a confusing, guilt-ridden, boring, or necessary evil. Then we throw in snacks, and craziness breaks out! Snacks are often given a bad rap, mainly because many people choose munchies that are WAAAAY too full of calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Think of those tasty treats in vending machines and gas stations (not to mention your local grocery store, Aisle 17). We’ve all been there. I’m not proud of how much I love the taste of a kosher dill potato chip, but hey, I’m human. I avoid the siren song of this devilish dill delight because I know better—and my body deserves better, as does yours. Snacks will save your rear, in more ways than one.

apple hearts

Healthy gals and guys know one of the most important ways to reach their fitness goals is to eat 5-6 small meals a day, including snacks. Your body is an amazing machine, and it needs to burn quality fuel regularly throughout the day to keep you going strong. If you start thinking of food as fuel instead of something you have to deal with just to survive, your world will be rocked and you’ll become your body’s most powerful ally. Think of your nutrition schedule like this:

Meal 1: Breakfast

Meal 2: Mid-morning snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Mid-afternoon snack (or pre-workout snack)

Meal 5: Dinner (or post-workout snack)

Meal 6: Snack (or dinner)

Notice how you can incorporate pre- and post-workout snacks into your daily plan. You can also shift this structure to the morning if you like your workouts early. To keep your fire burning bright, eat every 2.5-3 hours. For your snacks, try to shoot for at least 10 grams of protein and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates by including 1 or 2 complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, most fruits, beans, brown rice, or oatmeal) and a little healthy fat (nuts, seeds, almond butter, low-fat dairy, or avocado). High-quality protein, carbs, and fats are going to keep you feeling satisfied and give you energy.

Nutritious Nibbles

  • 1 c. raspberries with ½ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 small apple with 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • ½ c. cottage cheese with ½ c. mixed berries
  • 1 or 2 eggs (hard-boiled) with 2 whole-grain flatbreads
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter spread on 2-4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot sticks with 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 4 natural whole-wheat honey graham crackers with 10 red or green grapes
  • 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with 1 scoop chocolate (or other flavor) protein powder (can be whey or plant-based protein powder), along with a banana
  • Quick Basic Smoothie: 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with ¼ c. frozen or fresh berries with ½ fresh or frozen banana (Hint: Frozen fruit makes the smoothie thick and icy!)
  • 3 c. air-popped (or unsalted and unbuttered!) popcorn drizzled with 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and dash of cayenne pepper, along with 1 apple
  • 6-10 veggie pieces: celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash dipped in 2 Tbsp hummus or low-fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Homemade Trail Mix: 2 Tbsp dried fruit, 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp unsalted nuts, and a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes

If you need a basic snack, an apple and some nuts or maybe even a protein shake and a banana are great options. However, if you are headed to the gym, be sure to grab something rich in slow-burning carbs and lean protein (like oatmeal and scrambled egg whites) to fuel your efforts. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to fix before working out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Yum!

Yum!

Banana Blueberry Power Snack

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • ½ banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • ½-1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Small drizzle of honey

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on each half of the muffin. Slice the banana into small slices, and then arrange the slices flat on each half. Place the blueberries around and in between banana slices (the berries tend to roll off—trust me!). Sprinkle ground flaxseed across each muffin half, and then drizzle each half with a little honey. Yum!!

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Keep fueling that beautiful body of yours, and have a super week!

~Brooke