Expect the Unexpected: 5 Tips for Staying Grounded in the Face of Uncertainty

Grounded in Big Sur

The only sure things in life are death and taxes, right?  But seriously? No one even has a good handle on those.  So we're faced with the fact that we live in an existence that is founded on a constant stream of change and groundlessness.

Last year, I threw my career into major upheaval by leaving a situation that was no longer serving me or my family.

This year, just as I got my business rolling, my schedule settled and my social life balanced with my work life... we got a major curve ball in the form of law school in another state with in-state tuition and a free place to live.

JUST when I thought I was about to put down some real roots in a place that I really wanted to live: BAM.  Bitchslapped by a wave.  (Lessons from Dewey Beach, Eastern Seaboard: Never turn your back on the ocean.)  And it's - quite frankly - just another pulse of change and uncertainty in a lot of years of shifting and pitching and rolling with those waves.

So how does a warrior, athlete, yogi, you name it...ground in the face of all that uncertainty life throws at us?

1. Believe in the Certainty of the Uncertainty

Many times, our fears and lack of grounding comes from The Unexpected blindsiding us with a really well placed right hook.  What would it be like if you expected the unexpected?  Believed that all things change and all decisions are fleeting? Consider keeping an eye on the waves and just deciding to leap up and roll with them, rather than looking for the ground under your salty toes.  (You might even hang on to your favorite sunglasses that way.  Humph.)

2. Meditate. Preferably Outside.

You don't have to raise your chakras to the 9th level or even pronounce chakra (shah-kra) to meditate.  Read through this, then go outside to a little patch of sand or grass and try this grounding meditation:

Close your eyes and let your hands relax by your sides, palms facing forward.  Spread your toes wide and feel the edges of your feet in contact with the ground.  Imagine all the energy in your body shifting downward toward your feet, exiting your feed into the ground and creating roots into the ground.  Then imagine those roots growing deeper and deeper.  Continue sending your fears, hopes and energy into your roots as you exhale, then allow energy and a sense of connection to come up those roots as you inhale.  Take 10-20 breaths like this.

3. Pick Up Heavy Things. Then Put Them Down.  Repeat.

It sounds strange - and I'm mentally chewing through a blog post on this - but lifting heavy and meditation go hand in hand for me.  The SFG system of strength is founded in a "ground-up" approach to strength.  If your feet aren't connected and you're not loading downward into the earth, ain't nothing heavy coming up off the earth.  So - for serious - try a workout of heavy deadlifts, squats, pull ups and presses.  Skip the ballistics that day...just slowly grind out some really nice slow lifts and see how much more solid you feel after.  (Please seek out a certified kettlebll or barbell trainer if you don't have the skills to tackle this one.)

4. Eat Healthy Food and Sleep Well!

Sugar, caffeine and processed carbohydrates have a profound effect on the nervous system, sending it into adrenal overdrive and literally sending energy "up."  (Don't believe me?  Have a triple espresso or a chocolate shake, then try that grounding exercise... unless you're a Jedi, it's tough.)  Healthy, whole foods will help calm the body and, in return, promote healthful sleep to keep your mind calm and focused.

Root vegetables, lean happily sourced protein, temperate region fruits, dark leafy greens and plant-based fats such as almonds and avocados  make a great foundation for a grounded meal plan.  (Literally.  Eat stuff that comes out of the ground.)

5. Do Yoga. Just not Power Yoga.

Yes.  I, a power yoga teacher, just told you not to do power yoga.  Instead, opt for a slow hatha practice - just 5-10 min in the morning and evening - that focuses on moving energy downward and settling the mind into a state of calm.  Downward Facing Dog, Standing/Static Warrior Postures, Forward Folds (standing or seated), Pigeon Pose and Child's Pose are great for this.

***

Here's something I can tell you FOR SURE.  With 100% conviction: You'll never get it all figured out.  Life will never quite settle down. Things will always change.  Always.  So take some comfort in the undulation of the waves and practice riding them.  It's scary and absolutely worth it.

Protein Snacks for YOUR Bikini Body

Can I just say how much I love this?  (apologizing now for the swears) bikini body

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU has a bikini body... so love it and rock it!  Here's what I've been snacking on as we head into summer and into my bikini...

Edamame with Sea Salt

The process of shelling before eating will slow you down (it's the pistachio effect!) if you tend to be a mindless snacker, and this protein-filled snack will stave off sugar cravings and is as high in iron as a 4-oz chicken breast!

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 11 grams protein

Roasted Rosemary Almonds with Sea Salt

Rosemary and Sea Salt Almonds

Can I just start with how much I love Pinterest (follow me!) ?  JUST when I think I've seen it all... BAM. Angry cat is having a tryst with the adorable dog from Virgin Airlines.

All that aside, this recipe for sea salt and rosemary almonds is seriously amazing!

  • 117 Calories
  • 2.2 grams Fiber
  • 10.5 grams Fat
  • 3.8 grams Protein
    • (based on 1/4 c serving)

Organic String Cheese

Trader Joe... my dear friend... I could nosh on your organic string cheese along side an apple.  With a sliced pear.  Or sliced with a plate of organic turkey breast, carrots and hummus.

  • 80 Calories
  • 6 g Fat
  • 8 g Protein

Other stuff I chow when no one's looking...

Plain Greek Yogurt with Vanilla Stevia and Slivered Almonds

Small Apple with Chunky Peanut Butter

Brown rice cakes shmeared with avocado and hummus

Turkey Jerky

***

What are your favorite summertime snacks?!

 

 

Prep Cooking : 1 Chicken, 4 Meals

prep cooking

Prep cooking is one of the keys to success for all weight loss and muscle building efforts... probably THE most important thing you can do to ensure your own success.  But how do you turn 1 meal into 4 without a magic wand and some fireworks?  Easy.

Day 1:

Roasted Chicken with Steamed Asparagus and Brown Rice

  • Using this method - I'm gonna recommend olive oil instead of butter - roast a whole, organic chicken.
  • Steam 2 bunches of asparagus.
  • Steam 4 servings of brown rice.
  • Eat up.
  • Pull chicken from bones when cool and store in airtight container in the fridge.

Day 2:

Chicken "Fried" Rice

  • Using your leftover chicken, 1/2 of your leftover brown rice and some chopped asparagus...
  • Follow this recipe for friend rice, substituting your veggies and chicken

Day 3:

Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds

  • Toss some chopped chicken and any remaining asparagus with organic baby spinach, and top with 1 oz goat cheese crumbles and 2 Tbs slivered almonds.
  • Top with this dressing.

Day 4:

Chicken Tacos and Spanish Rice

  • Mix remaining chicken with 1/4 cup organic tomato salsa and reheat in a non-stick skillet.
  • Mix remaining brown rice with 1/4 cup organic tomato salsa and reheat with 1-2 Tbs water in a small saucepan.
  • Heat some organic corn tortillas in a little oil
  • Top with chicken, leftover spinach from salad, salsa and some greek yogurt!

Bam.  4 days of dinner from one chickie.  Just imagine what you could do with a pork tenderloin or a batch of marinated/baked tofu...

What is your favorite way to stretch one day's cooking for a week??

 

PULSE Training Philosophy

I was reminded by an RKC team mate and friend, Trish McCrumb of CrossFit Palo Alto, of the importance of a well developed training philosophy.  As a professional and coach... how can we lead without a mission? As an athlete, how can we improve without a method? This went up in the "ABOUT" section of the PULSE website today, and I think it may be the most important part of my website to anyone looking for training or coaching.  Sometimes we use kettlebells.  Other times, our own body weight.  Sometimes it's about just being still for a bit.  But all of those doings or un-doings boil down to a core belief that we deserve

RKC Kettlebells

a healthy body and mind.

"Training Philosophy

It is my goal to provide each of my clients and students with a program that creates sustainable results while improving their daily lives and sense of well being.  True wellness

is a result of self respect, dedication and grace, honoring the needs of both the body and the mind as they arise.

Flexibility and mobility create the foundation for strength. Strength is the foundation for endurance and power.  And we train as such, using our bodies and appropriate tools to build proficiency in each area before moving on to the next.  That balance of movement and solidity help create a presence of mind and self that carry out into the world.

  1. Mobility and Freedom of Movement
  2. Stability and Flexibility in Joints
  3. STRENGTH
  4. Endurance and Power

May all beings be HAPPY and FREE.  And may my words, thoughts and actions contribute to that cause."

Take some time today - whether you are a teacher, coach, athlete or weekend warrior - and decide : What is my philosophy?  How do I want to accomplish my goals?  And what personal beliefs positively affect my ability to dedicate myself to those goals?

 

Gentle Spring Detox

1162570_teapotSpring is a great time to detox physically and mentally, get rid of old habits (and clothes!) that no longer fit our new lifestyles.  So spend some time cleaning house...and deciding what you want in your life now that there is space!  More strength?  More grace?  Just more space?  Try a 7-10 Detox Period as we step into spring and see just how much is possible when we commit to letting go!

1. Eliminate foods and drinks that are sapping you of energy and clogging up your system.  For most people, this means wheat and processed grains, dairy and dairy products, coffee and energy drinks and all forms of processed sugar and artificial sweeteners.  You may also want to drink detoxifying teas, such as Yogi Detox or Dandelion Root tea, and add an extra fiber supplement to aid in cleansing.

2. Decrease or eliminate sources of toxic stress.  Some forms of stress (such as exercise) can be beneficial.  But there is stress in our life that we choose to include that is draining you, such as toxic relationships, unnecessary deadlines, junky TV, physical clutter and self judgment.  Decide to gently and lovingly cut out what no longer serves you.

3. Twist, Fold and Invert.  A yoga practice that includes lots of standing and supine twists, in conjunction with forward folds and a few inversions will help clear both physical toxins from the internal organs and built up emotional energy locked in the heart and the gut. Try the following yoga series with an appropriate warm up and cool down:

4. Refill the Well.  Identify the nourishing things that you want in your body in your life - and start adding them!  Add brightly colored fruits and vegetables, lots of filtered water and green tea.  Find time for the people that leave you uplifted.  Practice yoga and meditation.  In the weeks and months following your detox, choose one thing at a time to add lovingly to your life.

 

what to do when your goals conflict

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA"Having it all" ... that elusive concept of balance in work, life, romance, fitness etc.  When you want a lean body, fitness takes over.  When you want financial success, work wins out.  When your relationship is most important, waistlines tend to grow and work may play second fiddle. This past summer, I started working with Celeste Walker of For Living Conciously to develop a deeper sense of self awareness and how I reacted to and interacted with the world and the people around me.

(Quick sidebar to tell you: this woman is amazing.  My life has radically changed thanks in large part to her loving and gentle reminders to be loving and gentle.)

Something I learned quickly - was that there are multiple people bonking around in my head.  There's a task master.  A yogi.  A mother and caregiver. An athlete.  A college co-ed who just wants to sleep. and on and on.  The question is: How do you make sure that your "parts" equal a whole?

Tiny Buddha (which I read religiously) hit the nail on the head.  A concept used in neurolinguistic programming, "parts integration" simply means recognizing that all those people in your head have good intentions for you, and that - while they conflict sometimes - they're usually looking out for your best interest.  (The author calls them his " internal family" ... and I love that.) The trick is recognizing that bigger interest.

Whether you have time to read the article or not (and I highly suggest you do!) ... know that when incredibly strong emotions or drives to achieve a certain goal pop up and start to sabotage your hapiness, it's usually one part commandeering the rest.  But the biggest and best interest of most of those parts is success and happiness for YOU.  The whole.

What are your parts?  Who do you most frequently listen to?

3 Top Ways to Fight Obesity in 2013

As you push forward in setting goals and objectives this year... here's something to consider -- California came in 22nd this year in America's Health Rankings and 5th in Obesity Rankings...but the trend is upward, as it is all over the country.

The graph below shows - as we all know - that obesity is on the rise in California and across the nation.  And it's time to take a stand for our health!

The question is - what are we going to do about it?  The answer is simple, but not easy.

As Daniel Duane so eloquently pointed out earlier this month in his article "Everything you know about Fitness is a Lie" -- treadmills and weight machines are making us immobile and bored.

Movies and books such as Hungry For Change, Food Inc. and In Defense of Food are exposing the facts that "low fat" diets, low calorie foods and the diet industry at large are making us fatter and increasingly unhealthy.

So if what the paid media feeds us about the next great workout fad and diet craze that will give you those flat abs is a lie..... then what?

In order to combat obesity, America needs:

1. Body Awareness  Humans, as a species, have shut down our body/mind connection in the name of hard work, efficiency and convenience.  If we're going to take back our health, the first step is to get back into our own skins. Notice that packaged, processed foods and hours on a treadmill make us tired and sluggish.  Be aware of just how good a Yin Yoga class can feel to an immobile, desk-bound body and how much energy an organic, veggie-packed salad brings!

2. Home Cooking A few amazing, healthy restaurants notwithstanding, you are taking your life in your hands by entrusting your nutrition to companies and restaurants that make money by feeding you foods that make you want more.  Learning a few, basic cooking techniques - like roasting a chicken, putting together a salad or making soup! - is what will save our nation's health.  Read a blog, ask for help and make some mistakes.  Health home cooking could save your life!

3. Happy, Natural Movement I choose to use kettlebells and vinyasa yoga to move because they mimic and expound on our most basic movement patterns: pick up a heavy bag or box.  push a child on a swing.  twist around to look at a beautiful sky or roaring ocean.  You out there?  Find something that makes you happy!  Leo Babuta has a beautiful philosophy on fitness -- pure, childlike movement.  Find something that makes you feel that good all the time.

Personally, I spent years trapped in fad diets, on the Stairmill and out of my own body.  My journey to health has been such a blessing, and I truly hope that this year is an amazing step in your own process and progress.  Love the learning! Love the "in-between" times!  Love yourself exactly as you are... and love yourself enough to care for your body for years to come.

Happy New Year!

Yoga for Peace and Holiday Love

We talk about the holidays as a time for giving back, a time for taking in, a time for slowing or speeding up or just breaking down... what if this holiday, season, you dedicated a little time each day to cultivating a peaceful and loving heart?

Yoga Practice and Meditation for the Holidays

Sitting quietly, bring to mind a person or group of people to whom you wish you dedicated your practice.  It may arise as you move and breathe.  Or you may have a family member or cultural group to whom you wish you reach out.

5 Breaths, inhaling and exhaling unconditional love

5 breaths, inhaling and exhaling universal peace

Downward Facing Dog : Silently inhale the word "Love" and exhale "To All"

Cobra : Silently inhale the word "Peace" and exhale "To All"

Low Lunge with Arms and Heart Open : Imagine taking in all the Love you possibly can into your heart center.  Repeat on the other side.

Hero's Pose with Arms Out : Imagine sending out from your palms all that Love to those around the world who feel neglected, unloved or abandoned

Child's Pose with Palms Open : Seeking out and letting go of hurt, resentment and anger

Bridge Pose or Wheel Pose: Picturing the Heart open wide and taking in complete peace

Reclining Bound Angle : Sending out love, hope and even forgiveness if need be

Cradle Rock : Picturing yourself cradled in Love, Acceptance and in complete Peace

Savasana: Take 5-10 breaths, imagining every cell in your body is filled with soft light

Coming back up to sit, place your hands face up on your knees and bring back to mind the person or people who you dedicated your practice to.  Picture their faces and their voices.  Bring them into the room with you.  And with each breath, send them the freedom from fear, complete and perfect love, and an overwhelming sense of peace.

Close with one Om.

Shanti.  Shanti.  Shanti.

Happy Holidays.

Healthy Living eBooks For Less Than $1 Each!

Stumbled across this awesome deal today while perusing blogs (yes, instead of doing my laundry...) and am so excited to share it!!  : )

For $29, Keeper of the Home has bundled 34 Healthy Living eBooks worth over $300!  If you're looking for healthy meals, holistic housekeeping and gardening, beauty and more, don't miss this deal that ends Nov 2nd.  There's also a drawing for killer prizes!

CLICK HERE to buy your eBooks and enter the drawing (or don't.  it will increase my odds... and it's all about me, you know.)

Off to buy mine now!

Halloween Weight Loss Tips

Here's the deal : you're probably going to eat some candy this coming week, right?  (Who me?! Yes. I see you with that mini snicker behind your back...)  And you may go to a party with vampire punch and batty amounts of junk food lying in wait (yes. I went there.) image

Here are a few ways to keep Halloween from breaking the bank while still enjoying the fun season ahead:

1. Buy candy for trick-or-treaters that you don't like.  Much less likely to chow the leftovers if you hate Mars Bars. (Nougat = Ew)

2. Eat protein regularly.  At 3 pm, the candy corn on that Secretary's desk is going to look like the answer to World Hunger if you skipped protein at lunch.  Keep your blood sugar level to keep sugar cravings in check.

3. Eat mindfully. Love Reeses? SLOWLY savor every single peanut buttery bite of the mini cup in your hands and give your brain the chance to register that you enjoyed a treat and don't need another.

4. Freeze it.  Keep candy off the counters and in the freezer.  You'll have to go looking for it specifically and eat it slowly if it's in the Siberia of candy jars.

5. Plan ahead.  Decide now how many drinks and what kind of snacks you'd like to have...enjoy them thoroughly...and have some green  veggie juice first thing tomorrow :)

Life isn't about restrictions or diets - it's about making happy balanced choices that leave your body in harmony and your mind at peace.

Spooky way to plan meals after years of calorie counting, isn't it?

A Quick Gratitude Meditation

I just typed up a big ass paragraph about life that sounded really nice.  But it was kind of boring. Here's the long and short of it:  Get grateful.  Find just a split freakin' second of  unadulterated thanks for the amazing blessings in your life and watch the other stuff get a little less intense.

I often end my yoga classes with this practice and highly recommend it when shit gets sticky :

  • Take a comfortable seated position and place the hands together at the heart.  Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath in.  A long breath out. And picture something you are intensely grateful for.
  • Notice the sensations in the body and the movement of the breath created by that sense of thanks.
  • Take three breaths into the belly, breathing in gratitude and, with the out breath, sending those sensations and feelings to someone who may need it more than you... or just letting go to make room for more.
  • Open the eyes slowly and notice how your outlook may have changed.

Yesterday, I was intensely grateful for a friend and colleague.  Today, I am intensely grateful for my current schedule.

And for this:

V8 Fusion Sparkling

Yes.  That is an Athleta bag, a PIIIIINK glass water bottle to replace the horrid aluminum (I know) one I'm using, some body wash that makes me want to lick the bottle and some GLITTER nail polish along with yummy fruit drinks!  Hi, Lori.  I love you.  (but you knew that)

I am STUPIDLY grateful that I've gotten strong enough to load up and do a workout with double 16 kg kettlebells!  (it's blurry. shut up.  that was swing number one billion and photo #5 and I was TOAST but wanted proof.)  Workout coming soon!

And I am also deliriously grateful to these girls for reminding me that gratitude is always the answer ...

What Runs Lori

http://gravelandstilettos.blogspot.com/

 

What are you grateful for today?

Train to Pass the RKC

I recently completed my RKC Level 1 certification and could not be more proud.  It was truly one of the defining weekends of my life and I cannot speak highly enough of the process, the instructors and the experience itself.

I'll write more about the weekend in another post but I want to address how I trained, because  - 3 days of blistered hands aside - the preparation process was an equally clarifying experience for me.

 

1. Find a Teacher/Yoda/Task Master... that meets your particular weakness.

My biggest weaknesses as an athlete are self doubt and lack of consistency.   And I was lucky enough to find someone who put up with exactly ZERO of my "but I can't because..." bullshit and demand consistent training from me.  When I felt weak, I knew someone else thought I was as strong as I acted... and would expect that.  After a one-on-one training session with Tracy Reifkind , my technique cleaned itself up and after 2 weekends of her classes, my attitude followed suit.

2. Develop Confidence and Consistency

Confidence -- The first day in Tracy's weekend swing/snatch class, I realized that no-way, no-how was self-deprecation gonna fly as a means of addressing difficulty.   I learned to shut up and tackle the workout, which made the RKC weekend much more mentally approachable.  Don't give yourself the benefit of the weakness.  Confidence > Panic

Consistency -- She completely changed how I was planning to approach my last 6 weeks of training, by pulling all my heavy snatch training and having me train lighter faster and for longer.   I did a VO2 Max Speed session each week, ramping up to 40 rounds at an 8 snatch cadence, and an endurance session, working up to 2 minutes of continuous snatching per arm.  When I picked up a heavier bell for shorter and slower... BAM.  I finished the snatch test in 4:30 without even a hitch in my giddyup. Consitency > Brutality.

3. Train Heavy.

While I trained heavy swings and fast/long snatches, I completely neglected my grind training.  I got lucky as this cert was relatively low volume, but in all the effort to train up for the snatch test, don't forget to train HEAVY. SKILLFUL. GRINDS. so that you're ready to refine your skills, instead of battling the snatch weight bell on your Get Ups and Squats.

 4. Fuel Well.  Fuel Often.

Before : I'd been eating pretty clean during my training, but the last two days before RKC, I was a freak about eating every 3 hours and getting rid of any and all inefficient fuel sources.   This was no time to waste time digesting wheat/dairy/sugar etc.

During : I wasn't hungry once all weekend, but I ate every 3 hours, minimum. I kept my bag stocked with Larabars because they're easy energy being mostly sugar and long-lasting energy having lots of fat.  Breakfast was MASSIVE amounts of complex carbs and protein and lunch was fruit/veggies/protein/fat to stave off any afternoon food coma or digestive issues (because, let's face it... who wants fatigue or gas when you're doing countless heavy swings?)  When I got home, I ate a crap ton of protein and went immediately to bed.

5. Don't count on a lot of sleep...

Everyone went home the first day saying "DAYAMN, I'm gonna sleep good tonight."  50% of us came back with bags under our eyes.  Could have been performance anxiety...could have been endorphins...could have been sheer excitement, but I averaged 4-5 hours of sleep each night all weekend.  I was exhausted and I STILL trained more effectively and with more conviction than ever before.   (Gonna admit, though, that I nearly burst into tears on the morning of my snatch test when an instructor asked how I was doing... I was effing tired, kids.)  My new mantra when I don't sleep enough is "I've done more on less.... come ON!"

6. Expect a lot.  Absorb a lot.

It wasn't just about the snatch test.  My gut knew I would pass.  I spent the weekend trying to soak up as much Pavel and as much information as my brain could possibly hold.  I took notes in my manual.  I studied my manual and applied what I was learning.  I probably would have absorbed more if I had known to expect such a HUGE amount of knowledge and information.  Mind = Blown.

Get a Life.

SO.  why I haven't written in a LONG. TIME.  ready?

I love fitness. But it's not my entire life.

I've been threatening to pierce my neck and get an OM symbol tatooed on my forearm, and I'm starting to think I feel the need to prove to myself who I am.  But maybe that doesn't require needles and ink.  Maybe that just means a few more yoga classes and a few more beers alongside my kale and lentils.

Fitness and health are my job and have been - for years - my hobby.  But fitness and the business thereof has slowly become the majority of my social life, my marital conversations and my thinking process.

While I feel blessed to have my passion as my work -- I miss a lot of my old life.

I miss really good music. 

Mason Jennings > Britney Spears 'Spin Remix of World Ends' by an order of 1,000,000,000

I miss dark and microbrew beer. 

seriously... the low cal/low carb stuff is CRAP.

I miss staying out late. 

I love getting my sweat on Saturday mornings..just can't stay up past 11 pm on Fridays...

I miss cute shoooooes. 

my poor feet hate my beautiful beautiful stilettos

Agh! NEEEEEEED

And instead of making fitness goals for April - as was my original plan - I am setting a goal of being me again.  I will wear jeans and concert t-shirts instead of Nike Dri-Fit and New Balance Minimus.  I will hit up Edna's yoga class instead of beating my head against a grind workout I feel like I should tackle.

I'll write up a few workouts.  And blog a few recipes.  But I'll probably talk about MUSIC.  and life. and other stuff that is important to me ...speaking of which...

Looking for some new music?

My friend Korey and I hit up the Independent tonight to see Dry the River

and The Bowerbirds

after I heard Dry the River on NPR and was immediately obsessed.  It was exactly what I've been missing.  Standing, listening to the raw edges of a guitar with a beer in my hand...leaning against the wall because you can feel the bass better.   So I came home, passed up the Michelob Ultra for the Stone Ruination in the fridge... and started writing.

because it's about time I get a life.

re-learning zen

This last week was a doozy. After spending 16 hours on my feet (and hands, and knees, and butt, and back and...) at the EKG Cert Workshop Monday was a rough start.

It went downhill from there... sort of.

On Tuesday, I tripped over my laptop cord and broke the power source connection thingy.  This ensued:

On Wednesday, I was #3 in a 5-Car Pileup on 85 South on my way to work.  Car is reparable.  I am OK.

Smart phone flew up against the dash and the prognosis is NOT so bueno.

Also - in said pile up - a fuse blew, leaving me with no radio and no clock in my car.

I could go on, because the crap stories keep coming (seriously.  worst week ever.  not joking.)

... but that's not the point of this story.

 i've cursed a lot and cried a few times out of sheer frustration.  but I've also gotten a sense of quiet.

  • No Gmail notice on my phone every 5 minutes... so I am able to work. and stop working.
  • No idea what time it is when I'm driving... so no rushing to beat the clock.
  • No one telling me horror stories about the economy on NPR ... so I get to hear my own thoughts.
  • No unlimited laptop access... so I work on Brian's in small amounts, and shut down when I need to.

Despite all the ups and downs of work and life and technology and family and more ... life seems a little calmer.

My laptop is back up and running.

I'm taking my phone to the Sprint store next week.

And I might just wait a while to get the radio and clock fixed in my car.

Fall + Winter 2011 Goals

Summer has come to an end ...

time to set some new goals!

1. Complete EKG Kettlebell Course - November 2011

2. Do some DAMN PULL UPS before 2011 comes to an end! - December 31, 2011

source

3. Lose the last few pounds of excess body fat I've been carrying around  - End of the Year-ish?

 

So far, I hit all my summer goals except for the pull ups, so I'm feeling pretty good!  :)

The Four Hour Body

I started reading Tim Ferris' Four Hour Body after an amazing experience at Girya Kettlebell studios in Palo Alto, CA. Tracy and Mark Reifkind are kind of kettlebell celebrities and I have the amazing opportunity to take classes with them (on the rare Saturday that I'm not teaching boot camp, throwing a baby shower, Yoga-ing for Hope, or out of town... GAH!)

Tracy was featured in the Four Hour Body after losing more than 100 lbs with just 20 min kettlebell workouts a few times per week, paired with a healthy low-glycemic diet and enough wiggle room to keep her sane.  Her workouts are killer and her body is a powerhouse.  She's kinda my hero... right after Jen Meehan.

So after training to run 13.1 miles and gaining 1.5 pounds (LORD HELP ME) I figured it was time for a new approach : Less is more. Less sugar.  Less time in the gym.  Less time in the kitchen.

Enter The Four Hour Body.

Some of this shit is crazy.  Ice baths for fat loss.  Training to live off 2 hours of sleep/day.  A supplement regimen I can't in good faith follow.    But some of it is super applicable and I'm excited!

What I'm taking away from it --

  • Measure your results. I'll be doing weight/body fat percentage + waist / hip measurements each week and (sometimes) doing a photo food journal
  • Remove the Luxury of Choice. I will make huge recipes and eat pretty much the same thing each day to eliminate the chance of an almond butter sandwich for both breakfast and lunch when I'm too tired to think.
  • Eat More Protein. My protein consisted primarily of legumes and nuts - which means that a HUGE portion of my diet was starch and fat.  I'm leaning on eggs, canned salmon and tuna (CHEAP!) and the occasional fish filet for at least 2 meals/day.
  • Limited Grains or Fruit. I'm modifying here.  Tim says no grains or fruit.  I say one bowl of steel cut oats and one piece of fruit per day.
  • Quit Working out So Much. I have dropped my spin + cardio classes and am committing to 3 high-volume swing/snatch workouts = 1 sprint workout per week for cardio, 3 heavy  strength workouts per week and at least 3 yoga sessions.
  • Take a Cheat Day. Based on the concept that no one can eat 100% clean forever and a cheat is going to happen anyway, Tim recommends setting aside one high-calorie "cheat" day to both kick your metabolism up a notch and keep you sane.

So basically, my week will look like this:

Food:

  • breakfast : eggs / beans /greens
  • snack : protein smoothie (sun warrior, berries, flax oil, ice, greens)
  • lunch: fish / veggies
  • snack: protein smoothie (sun warrior, ice, berries, greens)
  • dinner: vegan casserole or stew (e.g. lentil and sweet potato stew) + veggie

Sweat:

  • monday - high volume swing workout + strength day
  • tuesday - power yoga OR functional power workout
  • wednesday - high volume swing workout + strength day
  • thursday - recovery day / power yoga
  • friday - HEAVY strength day
  • saturday - high volume swing workout
  • sunday - rest/recovery day

I'll be sure to report back with results and updates ..  Started following the program half ass the last couple of weeks to see how I felt and my favorite part is the lack of blood sugar swings!  I get hungry - but not shaky, pukey irritated hungry - and I'm not needing naps in the afternoons.

To be  continued...

Stevia Winners, Boot Camp and Needles, Oh My!

Quick post today to announce my winners and some other cool fitness stuff...

Stevia!

Amy and Renee - you guys get free Stevia! Just shoot me your mailing address and I'll get it over to the awesome guys and gals at NuNaturals!

Boot Camp!

Chrome Fit is running at 6-week Saturday Boot Camp in Campbell for wicked cheap!  Sign up with a friend and get 10% off.  Sign up at all and get sweaty.  It's easy, really.

Things I'm Loving

  • This quote from No Meat Athlete: "If you're worried about running into someone you know, for fear that they'll make fun of you, you're probably doing Easy pace just right."

(I'm sort of black and white with exercise.  "Balls to the Wall" or "Recovery Day".  Great for anaerobic work.  Sucky for endurance.)

  • Sweet Potatoes :  Baked.  Mashed.  Microwaved.  Coconut Buttered.
  • Xocai Nuggets. Not sure how I haven't reviewed these guys yet... but they're an anti-inflammatory, chocolate wonder.   Review forthcoming.
  • Google's Priority Inbox. "I will no longer be prey to email overwhelm" ...

What are YOU doing?

This week, I'm officially starting my 12 week 1/2 Marathon Training and seeing an awesome acupuncturist in Willow Glen!

What steps are YOU taking to make your health and fitness goals a reality?

(leave me a comment... there's on Stevia package still available... best answer gets it!)

Crazy Healthy + Control Freak

Hello over from the world of WhatRunsLori! I was blessed to have the opportunity to guest post up today on staying healthy and balance when life gets out of control and crashing and burning doesn't sound like such a bad idea  :)

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Thought for the day before you head over to read my lovely post...

 

Control is fickle.

When you think it's in your grasp - it gets wriggly and escapes.

When you finally admit you DON'T have it - it gets cuddly for a little while.

Your best bet?

Strive for active awareness.

Control limits your options to "in control" or "out of control."

Awareness offers the chance to choose your response...

and your responses can change your world.