National Yoga Month

3 Sep

September is National Yoga Month!

I have been doing yoga consistently for a month now. It has probably been the first thing that I have ever stuck with and loved doing it every minute! I was lucky enough to be able to attend a free yoga session, which re-affirmed that I want to continue to do yoga. I have been doing dvd’s (and there are a lot that just don’t hold my attention), doing my reading (which is good for a visual of the pose), and going to classes. I love the classes. The classes you get feedback on what you are doing and how to improve form. Luckily yoga is something you can do everywhere! I usually end up doing yoga in my office twice a day and at home.

 

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Here are so simple yoga poses to start with. Pinterest is a good source for looking into yoga poses. The best part about yoga is you don’t have to be flexible to start it. Eventually you will become more flexible and adapt to the positions. It is important in yoga to never experience pain! If you have pain while doing a position you need to ease back. There is no pain in yoga.

 

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On a personal level this week has been difficult for me. I have been dealing with a lot of grief about missing my mom. The kind of grief where you question if you are strong enough to make it through the day. I was honest when I wrote about it and received kind words from my friends. I didn’t let my grief stop me from living. I followed my hygiene routine and then I did some yoga. The yoga helped me clear my mind and focus on my breathing and movements. It helped me work through some of my issues. Yoga is not a miracle pill that cures everything. I ended up calling my best friend a bawling, but doing the yoga distracted me and gave me purpose at that time.

Italy Part 1- June 2013

28 Aug

I have the heart of a gypsy. No matter how hard I tray to be responsible and make a life in my own country I always go back to Europe. Maybe it is because the amazing experiences I had in my early 20’s when I was really learning who I was. Maybe it is because learning about cultures and differences in people is eye opening. I believe it is mainly because of the people.

This June I once again packed up my bags for a three week vacation. I spent one week with the Spagnolo’s. You may have noticed them before if you are a follower of my blog.

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 I ruffed it in rural Trevenzuolo. If you look in the background the yellow house is where I stay during my visits with my Italian family. The white house(the one immediately beside the yellow one) is where I lived when I first moved to Italy in 2006! (Wow so long ago.)

 Being the bad influence I am, I  brought the ingredients to make smores with me. Simonetta (a typical Italian mother) was not impressed with my sugary treat but it was a hit with Davide.

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As you can tell by Terri’s face this is definitely a American treat.

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No visit to Trevenzuolo is complete without a trip to Verona. Here we are in front of the Arena. Image

With my lovely ladies. We just happen to be standing in the middle of the shopping street in the rain, but we love a group photo op!

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Roshni and I hanging out in Piazza Erb. I love how vacant the streets were at night!

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At the old castle in Verona

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(Teresa, me, Simonetta, Giorgio–Back row. Roshni and Davide–front row.)

Just for good measure, this one was taken in 2007.

I have known the Spagnolo family for 7 years. It amazes me that we have kept in touch through distance and language barriers. They teach me so much about myself every time I visit and I truly consider them to be family. I make yearly visits back to Trevenzuolo. I have missed only one year in 7 years, which I think is pretty amazing. Out of all the places I have been this one really feels like home.

Out of my comfort zone

27 Aug

Sunday when my friend Jessica called me up and invited me to go to the country with her I was apprehensive. I had just got done at the gym and wanted nothing more than to go home and take a nap. I am not an outdoorsy person. I would much rather spend my time shopping than swimming in creeks. But I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone so  I hurried up and packed my bag and headed over…..ok she did bribe me with wine;)

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We class it up with real wine glasses and fruit, no Solo cups for us!

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We went shooting first. I even let Jess shoot my pink one. What you probably can’t see in this picture is what she is shooting at. We have targets, and a scale. Yes a scale. The one that you weigh yourself on. Jess decided to no longer stress herself with her scale and decided to end it once and for all (which she did not do with my little 22, as it only dented it).

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And of course we had the best snack of the day.

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Next on the list was hiking and swimming. We went down to the creek and built a rope swing. It was tons of fun. Normally when I swim it is in highly chlorinated water, but I once again did something that wasn’t my usual and ended up loving it. We were in an isolated area on private land. It was nice to be able to go out in nature and just be with friends.

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By the end of the day I was dying. The hike was steep and on rough ground. I couldn’t breath, but that might have also been from the laughing. I ended up having an amazing time. Sometimes it does pay to go out of your comfort zone and experience new things!

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Looking a hot mess from sweating it up the trail. What you cannot see is that I am covered in mud!

Yoga

20 Aug

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of yoga DVD’s at my library (They have always been there but they have been catching my eye more). A few weeks ago I decided to go for it and do a “light” yoga workout after my gym session.

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I have had The Biggest Loser Yoga dvd for years, I’m talking had it pre-Hungary days. I know this because I tried it out one time in my living room in Hungary. I got five minutes it (actually I think the furthest I got was the warm up!) and didn’t look at it since. Well I finally opened it up after seeing all these yoga Dvd’s (it was a sign). I made it through the workout 1 during my first session.

My arm burned, My legs burned, everything was on fire and I was sweating like crazy. I thought I was going to be doing something “easy.” Yoga had me working muscles that I did not know existed in my body. It was a quick workout that when it was over I couldn’t believe how time had flown. Normally I am counting down the minutes of workouts.

I have been doing variations of workouts on this dvd since my first session. I have successfully completed workouts 1,2, and 3. I can’t believe how much better I feel. They give you the full benefit of a workout and this dvd is so easy for me to use when I don’t feel like driving across town to the gym. In addition there are so many healthy benefits of yoga.

The health benefits of yoga (From the Mayo Clinic)

  • Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
  • Improved fitness. Practicing yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
  • Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.

Who could pass up this workout with such benefits?!

Faux Frosty

9 Jul

I have been rediscovering blogs from my past, back when I had time to browse blogs and was so focused on my own. Recently I re-discovered Moves and Meals( I love this blog so I recommend checking it out!) One recipe I have always wanted to try was Janetha’s faux Wendy’s frosty. The problem was I lived in Hungary and had no idea how to translate Xanthan Gum. So when I found some on sale I knew I had to pick it up and luckily I was able to find the recipe again.

I made some simple tweaks when making mine last night. Janetha’s recipe can be found here: Faux Wendy’s Frosty.

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Here is how I made mine.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) almond milk (or milk of your choice, i use unsweetened vanilla almond breeze by blue diamond)
  • 15 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (100 calorie designer whey)
  • 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/4 tsp xanthan gum (this is the KEY ingredient)
  • 1/2 banana
  • pinch of stevia

directions:

  • blend, blend, blend.

20130709-113004.jpgThe finished product

I found that I made enough for three servings. I froze the remaining two servings. I took one to work today, and it lasted the majority of the day and still was cold 6 hours in. It also helped to curb my appetite all day as a bonus!

Weekend Update

8 Jul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend was uneventful, but that can be a good thing! I have been cleaning up my house, unpacking some things and trying to downsize. I moved into a townhouse from an apartment and while I thought I would have more space that wasn’t the case! So now I’m trying to de-clutter. Which is probably for the best because I have hoarder tendencies!

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I did go out with a friend Sunday evening for froyo and to catch up. This folks is why I can never do Paleo 100%. I love me some froyo. Although my friend did tell me we would have to postpone our froyo and margarita dates because she is going completely natural for the next three month. In case you were wondering I got the pineapple/orange with rasberries and boboa.

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I also came across this saying while procrastinating on pinterest. I thought it was very fitting. It doesn’t matter how many times you stop as long as you pick back up. Your best isn’t going to be someone else’s best. I went to the gym Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (!) and while I only did a light workout Friday I didn’t let it get to me. I went, I got in a good workout and I continued to come back. It is funny how we are often more critical of ourselves than we would be of someone else.

4th of July

5 Jul

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Hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I spent mine in the gym sweating. I completed a solo workout. This was the first solo gym trip in awhile. I have been relying heavily on my gym buddy and personal trainer to keep me motivated at the gym. This solo trip I gave 100% effort. It was amazing. I ended up doing a 30 minute full body circuit, 30 minutes on abs, and cardio. As I was doing my cardio the hot dog eating contest was on….I didn’t feel the need to run out and eat a hot dog after that.

On another note, I hate holidays. I used to love holidays as a kid but now I dread them. I used to spend holidays with my mom, sister, and step father. With my mom being gone, I don’t have special holiday plans. I usually get a pity invite for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve from my extended family, but it isn’t the same. For the 4th I tried to get my extended family or my friends to do something but no plans came. I could have spent the whole day inside wallowing in self pity, but I made the most of it. Life is harder when you have lost the only person you consider your family. But at the end of the day you have to keep on living. Holidays don’t have the same special meaning anymore, but that’s okay. Life is all about what you make it! 

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