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    6 years ago

Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween!

This week's post is mainly food related, now that the New Year is just around the corner, I decided to take the last 8 weeks of the year and fully commit to my next program, picking an 8 week program I love and committing to the nutrition aspect (goal: 90% with exceptions on actual holidays, but not the slippery slide between).

After a week I am already feeling amazing!

We even lost power on the start of my newest accountability group, so I wasn't able to do my 5:30am workout (I was confused, and not so sure I could shower).    Then once I got up, I got creative about where I'd shower and enlisted this guy to come do a workout in the dark by lantern with me!!

And now for the FOOD!

Here is a treat that I plan to bring to my Pilates classes this week - pumpkin cookies!  Complete with lots of real pumpkin and no refined sugar (and trust me...they get devoured!).

And my 'chicken' salad - with just mayo (vegan mayo),and chickpeas to make a vegan alternative!

This is something I have often, with various variations. I always keep veggies, a variety of frozen veggie burgers, and wraps on hand.  So I can easily put hummus/avocado on a wrap, toss on a frozen veggie burger (it thaws by the time I eat it later in the day, and a variety of whatever veggies I have (peppers, cucumbers, carrots)'s delish!

Another use for the same wraps...cut them up and toast them with pam and pink salt for 'chips' that can be used with peanut butter or fresh salsa!

Here's a basic meal, chickpea tofu, broccoli and cheese!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • carrot, diced
  • celery stalk, diced
  • onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions

Heat oil in a large soup pot
Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. 
Stir in butternut squash, thyme, broth, salt and pepper. 
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. 
Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender.

Monday, October 23, 2017


I wanted to open this entry with a photo many people have seen before, the old woman/young woman.   

I first saw this as a child, but as I look at it now it holds an entirely different meaning.  


We all have challenges, some bigger than others, but what we also all have is a choice on how to view life, a choice on how we perceive our life despite our challenges. 

I have always been a half glass full type of person, but recently it’s been more of a struggle.  As I was doing my workout the other day, the trainer said something so important that resonated with me.  The importance of bringing it back to why I started.    It’s so easy to lose sight of when you are feeling frustrated. 

With that, I got this week kicked off with a fresh start on nutrition with my neeest fitness program.  I feel amazing and satisfied and more importantly, empowered. 

I also made some changes to my hair.  This was hard since the last time I went I was 9 months pregnant.  But it was also very helpful, another ‘first’ Iade it through. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Grand Canyon

Well here it is, a week long hike - carried my entire food, housing and clothing in a 45lb sack and had zero access to the outside world! It was phenomenal. 

This blog post is specifically dedicated to my trip, which was a very cleansing and much needed adventure.  We traveled with 11 people, most of whom I'd never met.

Here I am on the last day of the trek!

This is what my hair looks like after I take out my "hiking braids" (a little trick I came up with as a work around with the no showering).

This is the top of the South Rim, our final destination.

One of my favorite people from the trip was a woman (below) named Thea from Orange County.  She has an amazing life story, but the fun part about her is she hiked the whole thing barefoot!

So what do you eat in the Grand Canyon?  A lot of freeze dried food!! Some meals were better than others, top on my list were the curry and masala dishes.

A lot of the weight in our packs had to do with our water - I drink a ton so I carried a ton.

One of of the many photos from our trip!

In the group of 11, was my dad, me and my two cousins (17 and 14 years old).  It was a great way to spend time with them over the week.

I did this same hike back in 2010, and for 7 years dreamed of many parts of the hike, specifically the waterfalls and the dry heat.  Here is one of my favorites!

Pretty early on in the hike I realized that my shoes were giving me blisters so I traded out my boots for Keen sandals, they did the trick and let me walk in the water easily!

Here's a better shot of the four of us.

As many know, my absolute favorite food is bananas, but since bananas don't travel well, I dehydrated my own in anticipation, it was a perfect snack during our 5 hour days of hiking!

Here is another favorite, I added Chia seeds to an oats/blueberry mix we had - it made it thick and yummy and more satisfying!

One of my other favorite parts of this hike is the ability to swim in the Colorado River at the middle of it, it was actually warmer than I remembered!

Here's a close up of my hiking 'shoes' - they did the trick!

Going back to the beginning of the hike, here I am just a few days in.

Another favorite part of the trip - Ribbon Falls!  Check out that greenery.

We have this same photo going back to 2010, at the bottom of the falls is a really cook cave you can get into.

It's hard to see, but check out the scenery in the background.  By far the most beautiful hike I've ever done.

Having not backpacked since our oldest son was born (over 5 years ago since I got pregnant!), it was fun to try to remember what to pack.   One of my most useful indulgences was having a lantern to hang in my tent.

See that brown cloth? That was my 'shower' for the week (did the trick!)

A few photos from the start of our hike - it's nuts you can pack your whole week into one little backpack and carry it.

The campsite before I packed...

A few other favorites of the scenery.

And one last one - here I am on day 1 before we left!

Monday, October 9, 2017


An exciting part of this week: My gym space now has mirrors! 

I dreamed of this basement gym for years, probably 10 years, as I look back at where it all started.  It actually started with a little blue ball that I got with a DVD I had ordered off an infomercial in 2007.

At the time, I was working out at the gym, and living in a 700sqft apartment.  I was far from owning a house, but I knew I wanted a basement gym and hso I started collecting.

Weights, bosu, fitness bands, you name it.  

Once we moved into our current house, mubhsuand chiseled our a small area in the basement for me to call my own.  I lined the floor with yoga mats and propped a tv on my childhood nightstand.

For a mirror, I used my cell phone.

Until recently.  Recently I saw a friend post mirrors for sale on a local tag sale sight.  This is it! My final big addition to my space.  

It may not look like much,  but this lottle space is my abyss, my sanctuary, my me zone. 

I typically use my camera on reverse (below) to check my form,  but now with the mirrors I can see even better. 

Here is a favorite photo from my Mommy & Me Boot Camp class.  My 4 year old insisted on pulling the cart... the cart full of 75lb weights.  While he didn’t make it far, it makes me happy he likes being included in my classes.

His week also was the first week I made it back to teaching at the gym.  Truthfully I was nervous.  I started teaching here in 2007, it has a lot of wonderful memories.  But the last time I taught there was in April.  I was 8 months pregnant, and excited to come back post partum sharing all about the ‘new baby boy’. 

I requested that word be spread to my classes about Thomas, and I am happy that no one asked me how he was, making me think they all did know.  One woman who I usually don’t talk to, but who always comes to class, came up and gave me a giant hug, that meant a lot.  

In addition to being emtionally worried, I was a big physically worried as well.  So I did what I always do before teaching... I practiced.  I always rehearse my classes, check my form, see how things feel.  I was pleasantly surprised that I could do the Pilates Pike, despite not having done it in probably 8 months as I stopped doing pikes mid pregnancy.

This week is also a big week for me, I’ll be going back to the Grand Canyon for the first time since 2010.  I had the opportunity to hone it again in 2014, but I was too overweight and unfit.  At the last minute I backed out of the trip.  I was 12 months post partum.

Here I am, 2017, 4 months post partum and after suffering the loss of my child, and I’m doing it! This is a huge non scale success for me. I may not be where I ‘wanted’ or ‘planned’ but I am able to do the things in life I love which is why i initially started this journey back in 2014.

Here’s my pre hike workout - at 2:30am!

And now time for food news!!  I continue to drink my super food smoothie daily, it’s full of nutrients that I know will help me with recovery from my c-section, energy, anxiety and the ability to get pregnant again. 

Here’s a fun food photo from the week! Bananas 😍. I put 1/4-1/2 of a frozen banana in my smoothies for consistency, so when my freezer stash is down, I buy bananas and cut them up for freezing!