2016 Give Me Your Magic

Being that it’s the New Year, I’ve done my fair share of reflecting on the past year and looking towards the future year. As I’ve been thinking about where I am, been and where I want to go, two words that keep coming up for me are adventure and magic.

I’ve realized they are each in their own way, core, guiding values for me. That is, it’s important for me to live life in a way that puts these values as a priority.

For me I practice adventure and magic in these ways:

TRAVEL: To see the world is an important way that I experience the world — to be humbled, to be charmed, to have my horizons broadened both literally and figuratively, to try new things, to meet new people — this is the ultimate adventure in my book, which so often leads to **magic**.

TALK TO STRANGERS: Talking to people when I’m out and about — you find out the most amazing things about people don’t you? I’m not perfect with this, but I try. And being that I’m a natural introvert, for me, trying is part of the way I have an adventure.

TRY NEW FOODS & THINGS: This is something I naturally do and want to do. I will try weird things on a menu, I will try combinations in my kitchen, even if they sound weird to others, if I’m intrigued, I go for it. One example:  brown rice noodles + lemon juice + 1 canof Italian tuna in olive oil drained + mayo + salt + parsley. Now, this isn’t the weirdest combo:  it has it’s roots in Italian cooking, for sure. But you have to admit it’s a little weird — but I made it one evening out of desperation and I love it. It was a magical little culinary adventure! And now it’s one of my favorite go-to dishes on a busy night when I want something relatively healthy and easy-peasy.

Auntie Mame

TRY NEW MOVEMENT: I try new exercises all the time. Just ask my clients that are like “UGH, what’s this new one she’s having us do today?!”. I like to move my kettlbells and weights in new ways, move my body in new ways. It’s exciting to see what it can do! And this upcoming weekend I am going to try snow-shoeing! Wee! To me, new movement, it’s always an adventure. Even if it means falling on my butt. Which I am sure I will do this weekend.

LAUGH: To me, this is a kind of everyday magic. The kind of magic that you can experience anywhere, anytime. No matter how small, how big, it’s special and worth noting in my opinion.

LOVE. Sometimes it’s easy to go along in life and just ho-hum along, but when you stop to realize how much love is in your life, how many people care for you and will help you out? That is a kind of magic that I never want to end.

Why is this relevant? Well, I think it’s hard to feel magic and to be adventurous when you’re not feeling healthy. It’s hard to run, it’s hard to breathe, it’s hard to feel the kind of peace that allows you to feel magic or try new things, when things are weighing you down (both physically and metaphorically).

I have never been healthier in my life or happier than I have been in the last few years. And I can safely say that I’ve had way more adventures and felt an extraordinary amount of magic, too. It’s hard to not see them as intrinsically connected.

I believe that magic is mostly a state of mind, though. It means you are able to see the world through a positive lens. You’re able to see what’s special about people. You’re able to see the little things in life that make this journey that much more special.

So, are you with me? Let’s make 2016 a year of magic and adventure!

 

 

The Importance of Flexibility: Food Choices

There is a popular fitness meme that is often brought up in terms of nutrition:  “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, which I believe is drawn from a popular Benjamin Franklin quote:

I must have first heard this concept back in 2007 or 2008 at the beginning of my BootCamp career and I loved it. It resonated with me and made so much sense:  knowing in advance what you’ll eat is an amazing way to lose weight or to simply eat healthier. It takes the stress off of the everyday because you don’t think, you just pull out the food you prepped on Sunday and eat that. The weeks I planned my meals and prepped food in advance, I ate better, hands down. Keep it simple, right?

Of course maintaining that degree of meticulousness when it comes to food is a challenge for a lot of reasons that I won’t go into now. As such, I can only think of a few distinct periods of time over the last 7 years that I was able to do it religiously. They didn’t last long, but they yielded positive results in terms of weight loss, body fat reduction and general well-being. It works. It just isn’t very sustainable for the long-term.

Continue reading “The Importance of Flexibility: Food Choices”

A Few of my Favorites Things! 1st Edition

It’s officially s-u-m-m-e-r and there are a lot of little things that I wanted to share with y’all, so we’re doing it compilation style instead of parsing it out niblet by niblet.

1. Kettle Guards.

kettleguards

I’m starting my path to the StrongFirst Certification, which means lots and lots of Turkish Get-ups and Kettle bell snatches…hard on the wrists, but much less so with a little cushion, for a little less pushin’.

2. Summer Fruit.

summerfruit

Watermelon, fresh, local strawberries, nectarines, peaches…um, yes please! I can’t get enough. Expect more fruit porn shots all summer long on my Instagram n’ Facebook.

3. Get Sh*% Done mug.

gsdmug

I needed a new mug and who can’t use a little extra kick in the motivation pants with their morning coffee? I know I can! I’m enjoying the mug so much that I keep washing it every morning just so I can use it again. I think my other mugs are going to get lonely.

4. Argus app.
argus

A few weeks back I put my beloved Fitbit through the washing machine. It worked for a day…then it went on the fritz 100%. I was sad to lose it, but didn’t replace it since I don’t need it. While it’s great for providing motivation, I do already, um workout quite a bit. So while it was a nice thing to have, it would be a wasteful for me to buy another. About a week ago, though, I found out about this Argus app, which also tracks your steps! It also allows you to track a bunch of other stuff, like your workouts (duh), water consumption and you can also take pics of your meals (fun, but beware if you are someone that struggles with any sort of eating disorder past or present).

A few other drawbacks are that you have to take your phone with you all the time to get an accurate reading of your steps…which, lets be honest, we do anyway, but sometimes it’s nice to leave the ol’ ball and chain behind. And I also don’t believe it’s available on most phones/platforms…believe it’s just iPhone 5 for now (but don’t quote me on that).

5. Anderson Valley Holy Gose Ale.

goseale

Beer on a fitness blog? Waaaat? Yup, hello and welcome to my world:  I’m a craft beer lover. Many ladies love the wine, I love the high quality beers. Mostly, though, I’m into IPAs, which are higher in alcohol content — it’s seems to be trendy to get as high as possible. So, I just can’t enjoy them as often as I might like. Which is fine, too much alcohol consumption can get in the way of fitness goals…and well, a healthy life in general. Unfortunately, my taste buds think that most lighter beers pretty much taste like, well…crap (think Bud Light). But, this Gose? It’s 4.2% alcohol content! Yay! And it tastes good, it’s a bit tart, citrusy and light. So, it’s much easier to allow this beer as a treat on a random evening. Oh…and? Less alcohol content also means less calories. Lots of win, here.

6. Whole Foods maximum moisture lotion.

wholefoodslotion

So, this is how my hands look from so much kettlebell work this week:

calluses

Not real pretty, right? Well, part of callus management is keeping the hands well hydrated and moisturized. I randomly picked up this lotion this week and was super surprised at how awesome it was. Guessing part of that is the macadamia oil and shea butter. Whatever it is, at $3.99 a pop, I’m pretty sure this will be a staple in my world all summer long.

And…that’s a wrap folks! Favorites list, complete.