Friday, November 28, 2008

Reflecting on Thanksgiving

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Ours was full of friends, fun and food. I am so thankful for all of God's blessings in my life especially my wonderful husband. I started to come to a realization a couple days before Thanksgiving, and now the day after I am reflecting back on how far I have come. Holidays used to cause me stress when it came to all the food. Not a bite could enter my mouth without it being analyzed for all it's nutritional content and then I would be worried that it was already making me fatter. I would tell myself I should have stuck to my diet better so that I was actually thin at this family gathering. Instead I was worried people we're looking down on me because I didn't need to eat that extra cookie. Here is how the transition started:
After getting in better shape and losing weight. I still got hung up on counting numbers, was afraid of magically gaining 15 pounds after one meal, and still kind of kept myself on a restrictive diet. I have always loved cooking and baking, but had a bad relationship when it came to eating.
Gradually over the past couple years as I've learned more and more ways to prepare healthy food. I've changed my tastes. Now I have always liked healthy food, but I didn't know there were so many options, and I've gotten away from many unhealthy choices. Learning to accept myself has helped me to cut down on the emotional eating too.
Eventually I've noticed that I definately stick to eating every 3-4 hours, choose healthy options and portion sizes, and exercise for pleasure instead of pain;) Even without trying after awhile this habit has helped slim me down a little more, and I was finally able to go wow I need to bump up my food. Because I finally raised my metabolism! Yay! My plan has changed to more of a maintenance one, and working out is to make me strong and keep me in shape.
Which brings me to Thanksgiving. This year I did not worry that I was going to look awful(well because I've worked hard to get where I am), I wasn't worried that people would care how much or little I ate, and I also did not worry about gaining weight as I enjoyed my turkey dinner. I've learned to listen to what my body is telling me and when it said you absoulutely can't eat another bit:) I didn't go back for more because this was the only day I can pig out. Nope I tell myself I don't need more right now. If I want more turkey and stuffing I can make it for dinner next week if I want too! Who says cranberry sauce is just a one day a year food!

Monday, November 24, 2008

You can have your potatoes and eat them too!

Potatos have gotten such a bad rap from all these low carb no carb diets. Well guess what? You know they grow in the ground, so that means they are not processed. They are full of potassium and other beneficial minerals. This year when you are making the mashed potatoes try boiling them whole(as opposed to chopping them in little bits), roasting, baking, or microwaving to keep more of those minerals in the potato. If you are curious what foods to eat that are high in potassium, omega 3's or whichever vitamin or mineral you are curious about check out this helpful tool at

Friday, November 21, 2008

Try this for breakfast

Need a new idea for breakfast? Grab some sweet potatos, maple syrup and cinnamon. I like to bake a few sweet potatos and then put them in the fridge. In the morning grab yourself one scoop out the inside and place in a bowl. Add cinnamon(and whatever spices you like-think pumpkin pie) and maple syrup to taste. Mash it up with a fork and heat it up in the microwave. Feel free to add some pecans, dried cranberries, or whatever sounds fabulous to you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So after moving into our house and having fun decorating the upstair(which is not finished yet) it's time to tackle the basement. Why? Because I am going to turn it into my pilates/yoga/personal training studio. I have been acquiring pilates equipment, and the first room I painted when we moved in was the room the reformer went into. I'd love to get up and running with my own business, but since the walls are panel board and the floor will eventually need replaced I haven't done much to decorate. The room has also been the favorite place for boxes that need unpacked. I have now realized that it is going to be a long time before we sheetrock the walls and pick out new flooring. So I am going to paint the panel board for now. I want it to feel warm and relaxing. I found a small can of Laura Ashley paint in the garage that was left from the previous owners. It is a dark sage green and I tested it out on one of the smaller walls. I absolutely loved it! Hopefully I can take it in and get the color matched because I'm sure it was pretty old. I also need to purchase new window treatments. That alone should make it look tons better. Well I'm off to clear some boxes out of there and make way for yoga mats.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Did you know?

Did you know that a pound of fat has about 3500 calories and a pound of muscle has about 2500 calories. So whether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle you may want to analyze your numbers if you aren't achieving your goals. Remember slow and steady is better than extreme.
If you are trying to lose you want to make sure you are burning more than you are taking in. Of course you have heard that before, but one key thing to make sure is that you aren't taking in too little. Then your body may going into starvation mode and hold on to everything you eat. Which could lead to gaining or feeling like you have hit a plateau.
If you are trying to gain it is important to consume more, but make sure that the extra food you are taking in is nutritious so your body has what it needs to repair and build muscle. If you go so extreme that you are eating way more than you need, you do run the risk of storing the excess in your fat cells rather than utilizing it to build muscle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Think positively!

Take a minute right now to think of one or two nice things to tell yourself. Then I want you to repeat them a couple of times so you remember them all day. Next every time you look in a mirror today tell yourself those things and don't let any negative thoughts creep in!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

If you need a good laugh

I'm still laughing at this video. Why are cats so funny? Check out the cat and the box at the Butterfinger Comedy Network.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cranberry Pomegranate Bellini's

Champagne can be your friend this holiday season. With only about 90 calories in 4 oz or 1 glass it is a much smarter choice than the egg nog that has 180 calories per half cup.
When I was visiting back home last month my friend was mixing up these yummy Bellini's: Just pour some cranberry pomegranate juice in your champagne flute and fill the rest up with bubbly goodness. Juice has calories too so try to pick 100% juice with no added sugars or other fillers. Besides the added vitamin C boost you will get your head will be thanking you the next day since you are a little more hydrated from the water in the juice.

The Sound of Silence

After I wrote about how I love music so much. I thought I should discuss silence as well. Silence can be such a powerful thing. I was reminded of this in yoga class last night. A balance of silence in your day is so important. It can let your mind relax, clear your thoughts, help you focus on something deeper. It can also make us grateful for the beautiful sounds in our life that we sometimes take for granted. I am going to work on giving myself more quiet moments in my day. Try it yourself and notice how much better you feel. You may feel calmer, more organized, or just plain relaxed.

Whats your Realage?

If you want to check out a really cool website go to Have you ever seen Dr. Oz on Oprah? If you like him you will love this site. My favorite thing to do is take the real age quiz and find out how old I really am. Are you wondering what I'm talking about:) There is a quiz that asks you all about your daily choices(food, workout, etc) habits(driving with a cell phone, drinking, seatbelt) and tons of other stuff. When you are all finished it tells you your real age, and the goal is to be younger than your calendar age. I need to get back on and retake mine it's been awhile. Currently I am 2.4 years younger than my calendar age, but I've been trying to be good and not text while driving so maybe I got a little younger:) There is also a nutrition quiz that tells you a lot of helpful information too. Once I retake mine I'll post a comment if I got any younger. If you take it post your real age too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Soundtrack to my life

I'm so excited to watch the CMA's tonight! Music is great. Sometimes I wish I could have it playing all the time, kind of like having my own soundtrack. If the perfect song popped up for every moment; how cool would that be? I definately don't confine my favorites to one genre. What I listen to totally depends on my mood. Music motivates me, cheers me up, comforts and relaxes me. Sometimes it takes me back to a memory that seems so vivid just by hearing it. Ok maybe not sometimes more like often:) I associate times and events with songs more often than I probably realize.
I love it when my workout mix is so fabulous I completely forget about time and just sing along. Before I know it I'm sweating like crazy, but it feels effortless.
If you want to know how cheesy romantic I can get:) I made my hubby a cd with all the songs that reminded me of him, kind of like our soundtrack. I'll never forget when he told me there was a song that reminded him of me before we we're even dating. We later danced to that song at our wedding.
A little secret talent I have is playing the piano. Well maybe I should say hobby except I don't have a piano at the moment, so I don't play much at all right now. I'm not great at it for sure, but it's a good time. It's very cool to get totally lost in a song. If I ever get one again I think I'll definitely try to get better at it. For now I'm going to keep my ipod updated with great new songs to workout to!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I enjoy pilates and yoga more and more every day. There is something about feeling taller, stretched, and stronger all at the same time. With the added benefit of feeling relaxed. Which has led me to the decision to write more about all the aspects of health. Pilates and yoga are both considered Mind-Body-Spirit inclusive. So I am going to try to broaden my writing a little to cover all of these aspects. Learning to listen to your body is a wonderful thing, and both methods promote it. Knowing that "I feel strong today" means I can and should push a little harder or "I'm feeling tired or just off today" whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally means it's ok that I back off and do a modification. Learning to do tasks with concentration and control helps in all parts of our lives. We all can agree that doing something well a few times is better than doing lots of something half-assed.(Pardon my french.....which just made me wonder where did we come up with that saying anyways?)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Lol! Ok so I didn't post anything at all during PPS2. I'm actually about to fall asleep right now. It was a great time and I learned a lot about Pilates, teaching and about myself. I'll right more tomorrow, but right now this sleepy girl needs to go to sleep.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am about to start PPS-2 (aka the second level of my pilates training). Which is through Peak Pilates. If you would like to know more go to So starting tomorrow morning I will be engulfed in everything Pilates! I'm excited to start but also nervous. Do I have everything I need? Who will be there? etc! I'm going to try to post everday but I'm not going to make any promises. Just in case I'm exhausted or something:) My training will last for the next four days and then I will have the next couple months to study, practice and teach. Finally in January I will test out. I will be sure to eat a good breakfast and of course a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Cranberries are a great addition to many dishes especially during the fall and winter. The are more prevalent in the stores as soon as Thanksgiving nears. Of course they are always available in juice form and most the time you can buy canned cranberries. I like the fresh cranberries available in the produce section. Last year I made a yummy cranberry orange relish. 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, one orange chopped(whole including peel), 1/4 cup orange liqueur. Blended in a food processor to desired consistancy. The original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar. I don't recall how much I added last year, but you can do it to taste. I liked this relish or (fruit salad) so well I think it could double as a side dish and not just a topping.

One cup of raw cranberries has 46 calories and 5 grams of fiber. It's also a great source of Vitamins E, K, and C as well as manganese.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nasty Little Thoughts Can Go Bye-Bye

As Thumper's mom said in Bambi "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say nothing at all" or something like that..... Stephanie over at Back in Skinny Jeans had a great post today about Self Sabotage. If you would not say it to someone else, why would you say it to yourself? We all need to stop and remember to treat ourselves with the same respect and admiration that we show to others.
I have at times been very guilty of this(most of my life). However over the past year I have made great improvements. It really does help to remind yourself if you wouldn't tell your best friend something negative about her body why would you tell yourself that the stretch marks on your hips look so disgusting you should never be seen in public in a swimsuit. Because you would never say that to someone else and even if they did have stretch marks on their hips and were wearing a bikini you would admire them for wearing it anyways.
When I was back home on vacation I had to go through some of the stuff I had left at my parents house. In one box we're some pictures of myself golfing in college. The first thing I thought to myself was wow I was fatter than I thought. How could anyone want to talk to me without thinking I was gross and disgusting? I just automatically assumed everyone that saw me at that point in my life must have thought I was disgusting. Instead at that moment I should have told myself great job for getting in shape and eating better. Look how much healthier I am now. Or I was still an important person then, weight and looks should not be the only thing determining my importance. Truth is people still cared about me then and I still had friends. All that negativity was so unnecessary.
So even though I went into the fitness industry and I am definitely a lot healthier than I used to be. I still struggle with self acceptance. It really is about learning to love yourself for who you are. Sometimes that takes stepping outside of yourself and looking at yourself through someone else's eyes. If you don't take care of yourself who will? Hop on over to Back in Skinny Jeans and read Self Sabotage. Keep your thoughts positive!

Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Have I ever mentioned that I love Rachael Ray. She basically taught me how to cook via the Food Network, and how to be creative with food and ingredients. It's not that I didn't know how to boil water or anything;) I grew up in the kitchen baking and cooking recipes out of my moms Betty Crocker cookbook. I never really felt I was a great cook though. Don't get me wrong I could follow a recipe and it would turn out, but I never felt I could just throw something together with what I had in the cupboard or know what to do if I was missing an ingredient. Rachael has a simple way of putting together quick recipes which incorporate healthy ingredients for the most part. When I cook I figure the more veggies and fruit I can throw in the better. It's healthier and lighter that way, and you can eat more if you like. So when I find a recipe to try a lot of times I'll double the veggies or throw a little extra this or that in. It's a little easier to do that when you are cooking than when you are baking.Who doesn't want to eat great tasting food. Just because we want to eat healthy doesn't mean we can't enjoy the flavors and dishes we love!
Check out Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup it was in the October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. It has a nice kick to it, so if you aren't' a huge fan of spice go light on the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. I on the other had love spicy stuff, and I only put one pepper in. So that gives you an idea of how spicy they are. I did not have bacon when I made it, but I did have bacon fat. So I used 1 tablespoon of bacon fat instead of 2. You can prob even cut that out if you like. I froze the leftovers and have a had some yummy quick lunches!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy November!

I'm back from my fabulous vacation. My husband and I went back home for about 10 days. It was so much fun! Saw my niece for the first time and she was adorable:) W kept very busy seeing family and friends, eating at all our favorite restuarants, going to hockey games, and just hanging out. Oh and by the way I am very proud of myself for working out while on vacation. After taking a year or so off of hockey I played 3 times while I was home. Yes I still have all my teeth. Playing again reminded me how much fun it was and what a great workout too. One of my friends had a stationary bike in her living room and thankfully I brought my ipod so I had my workout playlist. Throw in a couple days of pilates and I did pretty well I think. Had to burn off that Canadian beer somehow.
Now that I'm back and it's November already, wow when did that happen? I have a lot to do. Like send Christmas cards more than 5 people:) I think my hubby and I need to get a picture taken this year. We don't really have any other than our wedding and Chrismas party pics. Holiday baking projects; which involve me trying to healthify my fave recipes. I also love decorating for the holidays. Working on a Fall tableset at the moment. I have also started the search for great Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. I will try to put a collection of ideas together for you guys. Also keep checking in for recipes. I have a couple sweet potato recipes to post.