Sunday, May 27, 2012

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS... AND FLY!


Do you know what is a BEAUTIFUL thought!? That the past is over, you've survived it... the goods, the bads, the ups, the downs... all just stories now. The past is over and in your hands is every hope, dream, and fantastic idea you could possibly imagine... and even some you haven't imagined yet! In your hands, you hold an infinite number of little seeds... as many as you can think of and more... and the MOST BEAUTIFUL THING about this all is that all it takes for one, five, a hundred, ten thousand, or all of them to grow... is a positive intention. The past is gone, the future is unwritten, and all we can control is what we say and do this very moment. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MOMENTS on what you CANNOT control, but instead find in each one an opportunity to water the seeds of tomorrow and allow them to grow, each at its own pace, knowing that in time the Flowers, Fruit, or Beanstalk will be magnificent for not only you but for all to see and admire... to lift them up and inspire them to plant seeds of their own, to set the wheels in motion with one small positive thought.

Ever since I was a little girl, my dream has been to fly. My sankalpah (intention) for the year was to be the truest me I can be... to be honest to myself about what I do or do not like... what I do or do not want... and to make informed decisions accordingly. Not all of them will please every person, but that's not what life is about. Life is about respect, acceptance, and unconditional love for ourselves and for those around us... even those we do not know or like... even those we will never meet. We're all connected... that's the point. What's the point of living a life if it is not to be helpful, useful, and kind? Those are the people I want in my life. That is the kind of person that I want to be. So here's to you, my friends, family, and strangers... a lesson I learned about flying a long time ago... "THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

30 DAY SHRED: DAY 13/30 - SHRED & SHRINK!


WORKOUT EXPERIMENT (CONTINUED) - After a four day hiatus (compliments of some serious allergies and the day-long United We Dance Parade) I have been back on track with the shred for the last three days.  I've managed to shrink my figure down to 36-26-37 which for me is just fine and dandy.  I'm a fan of ladies sporting the hour glass figure so keeping my bust and hips broad while shrinking down my waist with the shred is my personal ideal.  Hooping down Broadway in NYC, I believe, was a fair substitution for the Shred on Saturday and the other days have been dedicated to creating space in my body and mind through yoga... so time has been well spent!

Friday, May 11, 2012

30 DAY SHRED: DAY 4/30 - SHRED PLUS YOGA!

WORKOUT EXPERIMENT (CONTINUED) - It's Day 4 and that means it the time has come to reincorporate yoga into my daily routine.  Pushing through the soreness, I woke up in the early AM hours and drove over to my local yoga studio for practice.  I have to say, after only three days of doing the Shred, I found myself more grounded in poses and stable in my standing postures.  I'd noticed more strength in my arms and shoulders almost immediately on Day 1 when flowing through my vinyasa, but I found lifting my head from the ground in headstand and balancing on my forearms to be shockingly effortless to do and then hold.  I noticed a fair amount of other improvements that shocked me as well, and every opportunity for a stretch was welcomed by my ultra sore quads and hammies.  If I woke up today unsure if I would be strong enough, I left yoga confirming that it was the best decision to go.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

30 DAY SHRED: DAY 3/30

WORKOUT EXPERIMENT (CONTINUED) - Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!  I'm still here and kicking (quite literally) on Day #3!  Even I am surprised at my dedication to this muscular suicide mission since I spent the day closing my eyes and wincing every time I had to bend down and pick something up off the floor or attempt to walk down our escalator.  Luckily my shoulder pain gave me the day off because I definitely worked a very trying and exhausting 8+ hour shift.

Throughout the day I found myself wondering how on earth the contestants on the biggest loser so much as walk after working out on the show because I'm in pretty decent shape and still manage to walk around as if I'm wearing stilts and enormous weighted bell-bottom trousers all at once... you know what I mean... that heavy swinging action your legs make after say, you climb off one of those rapids rides whose big finale is a waterfall pouring over your head and making the rest of your day uncomfortable because you don't like the feeling of your soaking wet pants.  Yeah, that feeling.  You know exactly what I mean.  Despite all the muscular discomfort and their persuasive pleas for mercy, I spent the last 20 minutes challenging Jillian to a duel.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

30 DAY SHRED: DAY 2/30

WORKOUT EXPERIMENT (CONTINUED) - Welcome everyone to Day #2 of THE 30 DAY SHRED CHALLENGE.  That wedding's coming up in five short weeks and I've got a long way to go before I can can properly rock that dress and dance the night away.  Recovery from Day #1 was moderate with a little bit of lower back pain from the stress of lifting weights and skipping yoga practice for the day.  I also experienced some soreness in the back of my thighs while climbing the escalator at work, but that was the good sort of sore.  Throughout the day, I found myself doing a lot of forward bends to stretch my hamstrings and lower back because I am pretty sure that my hammies went into shock after yesterday's workout.  Regardless, I counted down the hours until I could set 20 minutes aside and challenge myself to the workout for a second time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

30 DAY SHRED: DAY 1/30

WORKOUT EXPERIMENT - Another 30 Day Challenge is upon us!  After witnessing for myself the success of the 30 Day Yoga Challenge (which has been repeated now for an eighth consecutive month following the original challenge period) I have decided to jump on the hype and try the STILL bestselling DVD workout from Jillian Michaels called 30 Day Shred.  This workout is designed to combine strength, cardio, and abs through her "3-2-1" system to burn calories, drop weight, and keep the weight off.  The DVD cover boasts that you can "lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days!" so, considering that I have a killer dress to squeeze into for my friends' wedding next month, I figured that now is as good a time as any to try out this little experiment on myself.  All that's required is the DVD, some floor space, a mat, and two weights (I chose 4lb weights)... alongside 20-30 minutes a day for 30 days to dedicate to bettering your body, your health, and ultimately your life.  There is no better gift to your body than exercise.

Now, let's chat about DAY 1...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

CREAMY CARROT PESTO! TRY CARROT PESTO!

RECIPE - If you've been keeping up with my previous pesto recipes or have been spring cleaning detoxing, then all the goodies that you will need to make this wonderful little meal enhancement should be right in your kitchen or pantry.  This recipe was an experiment and an attempt to make some use of the remainder of my pound of fresh carrots that have been hanging out in the fridge... and, like all unintentional findings, turned out to be something worth blogging about!

Oh, and have I mentioned all the health benefits of taking in some extra orange superheros? Full of fiber, half of which is soluble, carrots may help to lower blood-cholesterol and the beta-carotene from their insane amount of vitamin A can help ward off cancers, stroke, night blindness, and heart disease!  Extra Virgin Olive Oil works The broccoli tops you off with some additional beta-carotene and fiber plus the added benefits of vitamin C, calcium, an folic acid which help to lower blood pressure.  Hempseed offers some lovely omega 3 to 6 fats as well as a bit of protein while olive oil helps out the carrots in reducing cholesterol.  You will be warned that this recipe calls for a decent amount of Country Crock (or butter substitute) which probably evens out the score for your cholesterol levels, so if you are watching your weight and your heart, please reduce the amount that you are adding accordingly.  If you are using a bit of this in one meal, you should be fine... but don't make over-buttering a habit!  Health first!