Beyond Fear

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If it scares you, it might be a good thing. As I’m planning for my future, I realize the things that will make me happiest have the most unknown factors. It’s time to go beyond your fear and live without regret.

It took a lot for me to apply to Kripalu’s 200-hour yoga certification. I was terrified: would I be good enough to get in? Am I going to be a good teacher? Is it practical to spend my money on this when graduate school is on my radar?

Despite all of these questions, the two most important ones were: “What will you regret NOT doing at the age of 80?” And “what will make you happy?”

Go beyond fear, take a chance, and great things will come.

BC Approved: Oh She Glows Soft & Chewy Sugar-Free Granola Bars

If you haven’t checked out Oh She Glows you’re definitely missing out. According to Angela, the creator of OSG:

My goal is to inspire others to embrace more plant-based foods in their diet without feeling deprived. And yes, my recipes are great for meat-eaters and picky kids too. Most of my recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly.

Anyway, I tried her Soft & Chewy Sugar-Free Granola Bars and was pleasantly surprised. Although they are nut-free, gluten-free and vegan, they are packed with beautiful textures and flavors. The only thing is that the bars are more of a bread-like texture than a crispy granola bar-like texture. Otherwise I definitely recommend making these portable, snacks!

Here’s her recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
  3. Add water and pitted dates into blender. Allow the dates to soak for 30 minutes if they are a bit firm or your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth. Once they are soft, blend the dates and water until super smooth.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
  5. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.
  6. Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
  7. I suggest freezing leftovers to preserve freshness.

Fall Goal: Back to my former self

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My abs circa 2012. Comparing myself to other fitspo images creates unrealistic, unattainable goals. So what better way to get back at it than to look at a place I know I have been before, and know that I can get to again?

As you can read in my last post, I hope to be a yoga instructor one day. This image exemplifies the core strength and abdomen definition I had when I diligently practiced.

What are your goals for the new season?

One Tequila, Two Tequila…

This weekend I went up to my friend’s lake house with the intention of making smart food choices to negate the fact that I would most likely drink my weight in alcohol. However, that wasn’t exactly the case. I brought my vitamins and green tea bags, but otherwise I had little control over the available sustenance. I ate a generous share of non-organic beef burgers, inflammatory gluten-laden treats, and depressive-inducing alcohol.

I need to reset my body to say the least. I plan on doing a Whole 30 in July, but today I’m getting over this beer fog and planning out a healthy meal plan for the week. Might post later if I have time!

Moral of the weekend: day drinking is not worth off-roading the path to my goals

Weigh-in Procrastination

According to my Six Month Plan I should’ve weighed myself on June 1st.

But, I didn’t.

It was very fitting that my life coach spoke about my fear of failure last week. Although we spoke about this fear in another context, it’s absolutely relevant to my hesitation to step on that scale. The scale is daunting to anyone. But if I feel happy, healthy and energized then see a number that doesn’t validate this feeling of accomplishment – then I’d feel disheartened. Weight quantifies your hard work, your little cheats, your activity or lack of activity; numbers don’t lie.

However, I need to face that truth and understand where my weight loss journey is heading. I need to overcome that fear and understand that FAILURE IS OKAY. It would be a jumping off point that ignites the need to reassess my routine.

FAILURE does not mean that I am not progressing in other ways. I ran an 8 minute 15 second mile the other day! A month ago I was running a ten minute mile. This in itself should give me the validation I need: that I AM getting stronger, faster and better despite what a number on the scale says.

Next weigh in: June 15th

Liebster Award!

I am super appreciative and grateful that the wonderful Sandy of The Fit Foodie Eats nominated me for a Liebster Award! Please go and check out her awesome blog!!

The Liebster is an award given from one blogger to another, usually with under 200 followers! It helps blogs discover each other, connect, and share some love!

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The rules are simple:

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award.
4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.
5. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees.

 

  1. How did you become interested in your fitness and health?

 

As you can read in my about me section, I struggled with anorexia in high school and couldn’t pull myself out of that depressive mindset until I found group exercise classes. The instructors at my college were approachable, inspiring, strong and beautiful. They inspired me to embark on my own fitness journey, and here I am!

 

  1. How do you stay motivated when you just don’t feel like doing exercise?

 

I imagine the euphoric feeling during and after a hard workout. I envision my feelings of accomplishment; one more workout means I’m one step closer to my goals. I just KNOW working out makes me happy, so I get off my butt and never regret it.

 

  1. What are your blogging ambitions?

 

Initially I started blogging for myself. However, after a breakup I decided to share my story and my journey with others to hopefully have a more impactful effect and better myself. Hopefully, my openness with overcoming an eating disorder will inspire others to use exercise as a means to feel strong, learn to love themselves at any size and to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to help others!

 

  1. What is the best piece of health/fitness advice you have ever been given?

 

Just go for it. Like a lot of people, I’m afraid of failure. That was my approach with running; I used to run a 7 minute mile with ease so anything slower would be seen as a “failure” to me. However, now that I have the Nike mindset of “just do it” I realize you have to start somewhere and I feel better knowing that I’m striving for something! No thinking, just doing.

 

  1. What’s your favourite sport/fitness activity?

 

Yoga and zumba! Yoga reminds me of dance (I always wanted to be a dancer!) – vinyasa yoga is all about methodic, graceful movements guided by your breath. It makes you appreciate your body. Meanwhile, zumba is just so fun! I’m Colombian, so the Latin songs give me an excuse to use my hips while getting my heart rate up. I’m all about having fun while working out!

 

  1. How much of an impact has your health and fitness journey had on your life overall?

 

Oh man. It’s almost indescribable. In high school, when I had my anorexia I was diagnosed with Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. However, when I discovered fitness and learned how to fuel my body for my workouts, those diagnoses dissipated. I just feel so genuinely happy. I learned to love myself through my health journey.

 

  1. What is your favourite clean food?

 

It’s a toss up between arugula and roasted brussels sprouts. I love bitter, crunchy things; arugula with goat cheese and vinegar? Perfection! And brussels sprouts’ outer leaves get super crisp when roasted. I’m literally salivating just thinking about it.

 

  1. What single exercise do you feel you have seen the most benefits from?

 

Running. Although I have a love-hate relationship with running, when I do run consistently my belly flattens, I get a nice little quad pump and my posture is on point all day.

 

  1. What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food?

 

Cookies! On late drunken nights through Grand Central I need to buy one huge, gooey chocolate chip cookie from my favorite bakery. It gives me a bellyache, but it’s so worth it – and happens seldom.

 

  1. How do you like to spend you rest days?

 

Blogging or going for a walk on the dirt paths near my house. I love being outside so I’ll find any excuse to still be active while enjoying the sunshine.

Alright, so here are the ten questions for my nominees:
1. What inspired you to start a blog?
2. What’s your favorite thing to write about (recipes, fitness programs, opinions)?
3. What do you think is the most effective exercise?
4. What inspired your interest in health/food/fitness?
5. What’s your favorite recipe?
6. What’s your healthy living philosophy?
7. coffee, tea, wine or beer?
8. What do you think is you’re greatest accomplishment?
9. If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
10. What’s your perfect cheat meal?

Here are the ten bloggers that I nominate, please look at their amazing blog posts!

Cassy @ On The Inside

Nick @ Stronger Golf

Kelly @ The Kelly Struggle

Sam @ Sweat Like A Girl

Celeste @ Honk if You’re Vegan

Kailee @ Yoga Across the Country

Sarah @ Strong Fit Beautiful

Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower

Eveline @ Fashion, Food and Flirts

Maria @ Dinner Bank

Vanilla Ginger Protein Smoothie

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Ingredients

3 cups greens (spinach, kale, watercress etc)
1/2 seedless cucumber
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 scoop vanilla whey (About Time is the cleanest, but can leave a bitter aftertaste)
1″ knob of ginger, peeled
Water

Directions

Place washed greens into high speed blender with 1/2 cup water. Blend until all green bits are broken down into a smooth liquid. Add cucumber, pineapple, mango and whey. Pour more water as needed. Grate ginger and discard big, stringy bits. Add grated pieces to smoothie, blend and enjoy!

Tip: peel ginger and freeze for easy, clean grating for another smoothie or stir fry!

 

 

 

 

My Goals – Six Month Plan

My Goals - Six Month Plan

With the help from my life coach (did I mention I might want to be a life coach?), we created this feasible weight loss guideline. With my knowledge for fitness and nutrition, combined with her goal-setting techniques, I KNOW I will achieve these goals.

As my little super girlie chart shows, I will lose about a pound a week. Upon achieving the two-week weight goal, I will receive a reward. For you psych majors out there – this may ring some bells… maybe Pavolv’s bells? Sorry I had to.

Positive reinforcement is a part of behavioral modification and the applied behavioral analysis model of conditioning. I took several ABA classes in college and saw how effective it really was!

CW: 165 lbs
GW: 130 lbs
Current waist: 30”
Goal Waist: 26”
Current Mile Time: 9”00’
Goal Mile Time: 8”00’

How will I accomplish this?

– yoga everyday
– run 2x a week
– gym 6x / week (which I already do)
– eat every 4 hours
– track food everyday (myfitnesspal username: ActiveYogi)
– aim for 8 hours of sleep

*Only issue? I lift. Muscle absolutely weighs more than fat. The scale may not correlate to my progress. So I’ll also be looking at my performance and waist circumference goals

Oh. bonus. today two co-workers said I looked thinner. SCORE.

Run Sam Run.

Running gives me anxiety. Although I’m not super competitive with others, I can’t help but compare my present self to my past self. Back in 2011 I ran three times a week before breakfast. However, even as my mile-time dwindled to 6 minutes the repetitive movement of jogging was SO BORING. The only thing motivating me was the quantitative evidence that I was progressing. On the off chance that I would run a few miles after a stressful day I could surprisingly run a 5k in 23 minutes with ease. Now? Add seven or eight minutes to that 5k time.

So today was the day; the day I conquered my runner’s anxiety alongside my coworker (WUDDUP SASHA). We dominated those treadmills (workout below!).

I usually go to the gym alone and avoid the ‘mill like the plague. Running symbolizes my leanest, fittest, strongest self from 2011 and elicits feelings of frustration and nostalgia. However, with a plan and my friend by my side I felt inspired and ready to tackle this demon. I was surprised by how easily I completed our workout (although my purple, sweat-drenched face would tell you otherwise) and any anxiety or fear of failing dissipated.

Cheesy moral of the story: sometimes you need a friend to show you what you can REALLY accomplish.

time speed (mph)) incline
0:00-3:00 3.5 0
3:00-5:00 8 0
5:00-8:00 4 15
8:00-10:00 8 0
10:00-13:00 4 15
13:00-15:00 8 0
15:00-18:00 4 15
18:00-20:00 8 0
20:00-23:00 4 15
23:00-24:00 8 0
24:00-25:00 10 0
25:00-28:00 4 15
28:00-30:00 3.5 0

The Physical.

Alarm goes off at 7:00 AM. Starving.

Fasting for a physical is never the most pleasant experience. Not only am I cranky, hungry and sleep deprived during my doctor’s appointment, but I need to be mentally prepared for his condescending opinions about my body. I’ve avoided the scale like the plague since I’ve started lifting. Muscle weighs more than fat, and my waist circumference is decreasing so I’m in the clear right?

My last doctor accused me of lying when I said I only eat whole foods and exercise 6 days a week. He went even further to suggest that my last blood test was improperly conducted since it indicated that my thyroid was fine and dandy. “If what you’re telling me is true, and you eat right, and don’t have a thyroid condition… then why do you weigh so much?”

That was it.

I needed to switch physicians ASAP.  I picked some Columbia University grad – probably another guy who will quantitatively value my worth, health and honesty. As we went through the awkward motions of him touching my boobs and seeing me half naked, he rattled off some stats. “Samantha. 5’3″. 160 lbs. Hormones look fine…” What? No pause? No judgement? No lecture? He must not comprehend that according to the BMI chart he is expected to be concerned.

“So do you lift?” These words made me swoon. A wave of relief washed over me and my mental wall protecting my self confidence vanished. He explained that although my weight is high, my body composition looks evenly and healthily distributed. Thank. God.