Returning to Fitness

Today was my first day back in the gym after about a 2 week break. The two week break was comprised of a combination of several factors including: work, school, lack of motivation, traveling and getting sick. I woke up today not feeling sick anymore and could NOT wait to get back to the gym. Let’s just say that before I went to the gym I was not being very nice to myself and well, I knew it was time for me to get back in the workout grind. Ended up rock climbing for a little bit then taking my chances on a new spin class.

Sometimes I find it helpful to take a group class when I need a little motivation to push myself or get back in the game. Every bike had a towel on it to reserve spots when I first walked in the class. I decided to hang around in the corner of class to see if maybe someone wouldn’t show up. Within 2 minutes (and not even a word leaving my mouth) there were 3 people in the class helping me find out if all of the reserved bikes were actually taken. Now, at my old gym the bikes were nice and the people were average on the nice scale. At my new gym, the bikes are below average but the people are very high on the nice scale. Needless to say, I found a bike! Nothing like a little bit of patience and/or persistence and/or kindness.

Another interesting aspect of my spinning experience is that there were 2 blind people who took the spin class. It is incredible to see how capable people with disabilities are. Sometimes I think bling people get to enjoy life more with their eyes closed given the judgments that society presents today. There are many times where I feel much more content or relaxed with my eyes closed, especially during times when spin class gets intense. Turning inward and listening to my body, the music and my breath really helps me find comfort in challenging physical situations.

By the time I left the gym I already found that I was being nicer to myself. I was thinking much more positive thoughts.

Did I reach my fitness goals in that single spin class? No. Did I make up for not working out in the past 2 weeks? No. Was I proud of myself that I took the first step in the direction I want to go? YES! Am I motivated to go back for more tomorrow? Well, maybe not another spin class (yet) but, yes you can be sure to find me in the gym switching up my workout tomorrow.


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Perspective on Our Relationship With Food

Each of us has our own unique relationship with food. We all need food to survive. Food can also be used as a form of comfort or a social outlet. There are also many intricate layers within our relationship with food, which include behavioral aspects, physical aspects and emotional aspects. It has been said that changing a person’s eating habits is harder than changing someone’s religion. This sounds absurd yet, take a minute to think about how defensive we are about our favorite foods.

Here is some insight from the book Lost and Found, written by Geneen Roth. Geneen had a very unhealthy relationship with food and dieting for ongoing years. This particular book talks about her relationship with food and money, which have some very fascinating correlations with one-another. She shares her turning point in her relationship with food:

“….Since I was then twenty-eight and had been dieting for more than half my life–seventeen years– the only way I knew to accomplish this was to eat what I hadn’t allowed myself to eat– fattening foods that only men and thin people ate. Chunky cookies and pumpkin ice cream and four-cheese pizza. After a few weeks of vacillating between nausea and giddiness, there was a clunk, a shift in my attitude: I understood that food wasn’t good or bad and eating wasn’t about right or wrong or being loved or rejected. It was only about this body–my body– and figuring out what it needed to move, think, thrive. Removing judgements from food made eating much simpler; it’s not that my crazy eating suddenly disappeared, it’s that my perspective shifted, and my orientation was about what gave my body energy versus what drained it, decisions about cheesecake or ice cream slowly lost their fraught, hysterical quality. Eating became a way to sustain and support my body, not the way I was either trying to prove I was worthy (by denying myself) or rebelling against the internal voice that told me I wasn’t (by bingeing).” p.62

It is very admirable that Geneen is able to open up to other people through her writing in order for others to look into their own relationship with food. Just as s most relationships continuously take some effort and TLC, so does each of our relationships with food. Take some time to delve into your relationship with food. Before you open the fridge or pantry ask yourself “am I truly hungry right now or am I eating for other reasons.” If you are not hungry then find a way to distract yourself until those instincts pass. On the other hand, if you are hungry, you should prepare your food then take a moment to breathe and appreciate the food in front of you before you shovel it in to your mouth. Each bite is a connection between your food and your body. Thus, chew thoughtfully. Work on building your own healthy relationship with food one bite at a time.


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Alternative Outdoor Workout

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I have been busy immersing myself in the food/outdoor culture in Berkeley. My new gym, Ironworks Berkeley, offers a wide range of physical activities including rock climbing, bouldering, yoga, spin classes, kick boxing and weight lifting. Even with all these options I like to step outside to enjoy an outdoor workout at least once a week.  Outdoor workouts call for some creativity.  Here is what I came up with this week.

1. Start with 60 Mountain Climbers (as demonstrated in the video below)

2. 10- 15 Burpees

3. 20 Air Squats

Repeat exercises #1-3 3x

4. 20 Step-Ups with right leg fast pace then switch to 20 left leg. Use a park bench or stairs

5. 12 Tricep Dips holding for 3 seconds at the bottom everytime

6. 12 Single Leg Deadlifts on each leg:

(Don’t need to use bosu ball)

7. 20 Backward lunges each leg

Repeat exercises #4-7 3x

8. 2 one-minute Planks

9. 20 Side Plank Dips (each side): Start in side plank position with elbow & forearm on ground

Repeat exercises # 8 & 9 2xs

5 minutes or more of a full body stretch. Take a deep breath of fresh air!

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How Are We To Live? With Intention..

There are SO many different ways that one can choose to live. While there is no right way to live, I think that we can all agree that there are wrong ways to live. Just to give a few examples; murdering, stealing, lying, cheating etc.

I want to extend this concept of the “wrong way to live” a little further with respect to sustainability. As humans, we can consume what the earth provides to us endlessly without regarding how we dispose of the things we consume. We can throw everything we use into one big landfill without separating it into Trash, Recycling and Compost. Since we are busy worrying about other things in our technologically driven society, we neglect the basics of how our existence can affect the environment. When we throw everything into the trash we are “killing” the earth. Remember, we are only as healthy as our environment can provide for us. If we live in a polluted environment, more people are going to get sick.  This whole concept is directly in line with “living with intention.”

Since I moved to Berkeley, my values for sustainability have been far more than supported. I have learned a ton in the past 4 weeks about the way that I want to live for the rest of my life. The City of Berkeley makes living sustainably a priority. Each house has separate  Trash/ Recycle/ Compost bins for weekly pick up. There is also an excellent public transportation system. I guess my favorite thing about this little funky town is the amount of people who walk/bike as part of their daily commute. The city has designated “biking boulevards” which divert car traffic to different routes in order to make the roads accessible for bike commutes. There are also an indoor complimentary (sponsored by the city !!) bike parking lots located outside of all the main train stations.

So now that you have read this article, what do you do with this inspiration? Even if the city you live in isn’t as sustainably supportive as Berkeley, (which it is most likely not) there are things that you can be doing differently in your daily life.

Recycling is a great first step!

Next, try walking anywhere that is less than 1.5 miles away from you and try biking anywhere that is 3 miles or less away from you. Once you get used to an outdoor commute, you will be able to extended those distances further.

Step three is research a composting option that is viable for your living situation.

While you may not be able to directly see how living sustainably directly affects your life or the life of future generations, you can be 100% sure that there is no flaw in this type of lifestyle. Living with intention is the way to go. You are not harming anyone or the environment by living sustainably, you are simply helping the problem!

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Let’s Talk SEXY

Girls in our society are struggling to be comfortable in their own skin due to a misperception of the term SEXY. The modern day perception of SEXY is Victoria Secret models and skinny girls that are found in magazines, movies and on TV. While we sit here wanting, hoping and wishing to look like 5% of women in the world that are displayed in the media, we will never wake up looking like them.

How many girls do you know who are absolutely drop dead gorgeous and have a banging personality to match? So now we can cut the 5% down to 1% or less. Point being is that our perception of SEXY is completely out of whack now- a-days. There are girls who would do anything to simply look the way that the media portrays SEXY. Unless they add fake things to their bodies or had the ability to change their genetic code, it is impossible to obtain this fantasy look.

Let’s define a more appropriate/ realistic version of SEXY. SEXY= confident. SEXY is being comfortable in one’s own body. This can be achieved by treating your body with respect. When you feel good you radiate with energy which sends the message to people that you interact with.

If we choose to live unhealthy lifestyles in which we drink excessively, eat whatever we feel like and don’t exercise, our bodies and minds will provide a not so pleasant response in return. What seems more appealing, someone who looks at good looking people on TV and wishes that they were that way OR someone who is actively pursuing their own sexy? Each of us have our own version of SEXY, we just have to pursue it.

Some of us may not be realizing the effects of our choices yet. However, we will start to understand the effects as we get older and have children and grandchildren. In reality, we are all going to get old one day. Old and healthy is way more appealing than old and sick.  If you choose to take care of your body now, you may even find yourself the top 10% category when you are older.

This may be a very foreign way of thinking to us in Western Society but there really is no flaw in this mindset. If we choose to be naive we will look back when we are older wanting, hoping and wishing that we made better choices when we were younger.

Go ahead, pursue your own SEXY. I dare you.

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How to Make Pizza A Healthy Option

As we all know, the original form of Pizza is delicious yet quite taxing in the calorie and Nutrient department. Did you know that tomato paste on pizza is approved a serving of veggies for school lunches? (funny, right?) I don’t really want to get started on the politics of pizza in schools however, I do want to provide a healthy option that can be made at home.

The following recipe provides an easy way to make pizza a healthier option while still being able to enjoy the comforting taste.

Zucchini Stuffed Pizza

Honestly don’t worry about measurements on this one. Just choose good ingredients & remember, everything in moderation.. except the veggies!


2 Large Zucchinis

1/3-1/2 cup Tomato Sauce

Grated Mozzarella or Buffalo Mozzarella

Veggies of your choice

1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

12 oz. Ground Beef, Chicken or Tofu


Step 1 & 2: Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Cover baking tray with tinfoil

Step 3: Cook protein of your choice in a skillet. I use ground beef, my friend Lizzy used Tofu

Step 4: Rinse zucchini, cut in half length wise, then carve out center portion


Step 5: Mix seasoning into tomato sauce

Step 6, 7, 8 & 9: Add tomato sauce & your choice of cheese then load on the veggies + protein

ImageStep 10: Add a layer of sauce to keep the veggies from getting dry in the oven


Step 11: Pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Good way to check if they are ready is to poke the lighter green edges of the zucchini with a fork. The fork should slide in easily when your pizza is ready. The crust (aka skin on the zucchini) will be nice and crunchy.

This pizza is gluten-free. It can be made vegetarian or lactose free! It’s a very versatile dish that encompasses the oh-so-comforting flavors of pizza.

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Newest Breakfast Creation aka Breakfast Delight

Being that I love food so much, I sometimes think about my next meal before I am even finished with my current meal. Must be the inner fat kid inside of me 😉

Thought about this healthy concoction last night before I went to sleep. Trust me, I was not disappointed when I created this masterpiece in the morning. Which is why I feel compelled to share!

Crunchy Yogurt Protein Breakfast Delight

3/4 cup plain (unsweetened) low-fat yogurt  (Mountain High Brand)

1 tbsp ground flax seed (Spectrum)

1 tbsp of pecans (or any nut choice you desire)

1-2 scoops of protein powder (Vanilla MRM egg-white is my preference)

1/4 cup of cereal (must have less than 4 grams of sugar per serving!!! I like flakes or puffs for texture)

Add cinnamon.. Mix.. Add as much unsweetened vanilla almond milk as needed to finish mixing the protein powder in. Top with a few blueberries or raspberries.

You now have a quick, delicious, balanced, textured new breakfast option.



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