Friday, June 29, 2012

Vega Smoothie Review

     When the nice people at Vega offered me a chance to review their new Energizing smoothies I was PUMPED! 

You all know how much I LOVE protein powders- I use them at least once, if not twice a day. Thankfully it only took a few days for these babies to come in, and as soon as they did I ripped right into one! 

       OK- really I had one a day until they were gone! But before we get into my opinions, check out the stellar nutritional stats:

Tropical Tango

       There is a method to my label reading madness- I’ve done it for years out of necessity in my vegan days, searching for animal products, and now just to make sure that there isn’t a bunch of crap in whatever it is I’m going to eat.    
     First thing I noticed right out of the gate was the small ingredient list. I can pronounce and even SPELL everything that goes into this product, which means I’m a happy girl! Beyond that I check the calories, fat, protein and sugar. For around 100 calories (each flavor varies sightly) I’m getting 10g of protein, with the fats and sugars around 1-2g a piece- In addition, I’m also getting 2 full servings of veggies, fiber, omegas, oh my! All of that is fine and great, but taste and texture is a huge part of the “Love a product so much that I buy it over and over” equation. 
       So here’s my thoughts-
    Across the board texture was smooth; they really mixed easily and didn’t have that chalky protein powder taste or texture. (I mixed all of them with water and a splash of milk and berries like I normally do.) 
     I’m HIGHLY recommending Choc-a-lot, Vanilla Almondilla, and Oh Natural. I will ABSOLUTELY be purchasing one of these in the very near future! All 3 of these flavors are brilliant so choosing just one at a time will be a challenge! I especially loved the Vanilla Almondilla for it’s uniqueness (at least in the protein world- it reminded me of almond biscotti!) 
   Personally I didn’t care for the Tropical Tango or the Bodacious Berry. I found the aftertaste that Stevia sometimes has really came through with these two, almost to a sickening degree. Keep in mind that I wouldn’t normally buy a protein in either one of these flavors to begin with because it’s just really not my thing. But looking back, I should have mixed these two with OJ, I think it would have been much better. 
     OVERALL- I think this is a great product and it totally passes the “Love the product, must buy over and over again” test! :)

 Thank you to Vega for sending samples! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eats + Couch + WO, Bike + Low Numbers

       Hope your all enjoying this Thursday, I know I am!  My morning started off with a cup of joe in bed (J has been making the coffee and bringing it upstairs for me for a little over a week- a girl could get used to this!).. Breakfast followed soon after
Sliced strawberries and bananas, topped with 1/4c Chobani plain greek yogurt and a big-ol-blob of homemade almond butter= breakfast of champions..  Instead of my usual gym date, I hung around for a little while- easing into the day, browsing the internet, watching crap TV on Netflix.. After an hour or so I was ready to get my blood pumping and decided that it was about time I tackled Zuzana’s new workout-  ZWOW 23 Burpee Torture- only 20 minutes.. But oh boy, my legs are sore already!
      I’ll be the first one to admit that I love the burpee! I love everything about it.. so I was pretty stoked about giving this workout a go.. I followed right along with Zuzana- I loved this feature BTW and it allowed me to push myself even more! 
   Immediately after completing the workout I sipped on a glass of Chocolate Milk instead of my usual smoothie. (I’m doing a little self experiment to see which I prefer, which gives me better results etc.) I filled up my Camelbak and hopped on my bike to meet up with Paula.. 

    Taking pictures of yourself while riding a bike, not to simple… After the pedal, I shoveled some food and rushed out the door. 
        I’ve eaten tofu, rice and either salad or some kind of green for lunch 3 days in a row.. whatever- I dig simplicity.. (and i really hate throwing food away too)  
    Anyway, as I said, I rushed out the door… to purchase our new couch!
    We have been looking for a LONG time.. but we needed to get something that we could both be comfortable on, and that wasn’t way out of our price range. This wasn’t our first choice actually, the one that I went to purchase had a 23-26 WEEK delivery time.. and there was no way it was worth waiting that long for! So we went with our second choice, and although we could have changed the fabric we stuck with what it was.. it’s a tan and beige stripe and I think it will look pretty awesome against our sage walls. After the 5 year protection plan and the taxes, this came to over $1000! Luckily it is American made and the manufacturer gives a lifetime warranty, so I think we made a good choice.
     By the time we got home from furniture store, it was time for dinner. (These nights seem to be FLYING by lately) and I only had 45 minutes before I had to leave to teach class so tacos for him and a salad for me.
   Totally not an intentional add for Chobani BTW- but I love the stuff on this meal with lots of hot sauce, mmm.
   Now lets talk numbers. 
       The last few weeks have been especially tough for me teaching at the studio.. My class numbers have cut in half, which is really upsetting. I have learned not to take things like this personally, as I realize that people have lives, families, jobs, etc… but man, showing up to teach last night and I had 1 student.. Yes.. ONE. 
    Where I work, I don’t get paid for showing up. I don’t get paid a base rate or anything unless I get students in the class. About a month ago, my classes were going really well. I'd have full rooms and very excited students, which really feeds my ambition to find new things to challenge them and to really push their limits. And just like that, with no rhyme or reason… I am lucky to have a handful, an most times it’s 3 students… or no one at all. 
    Don’t take this the wrong way. I didn’t get into teaching yoga to make a ton of money. I never thought it was going to be easy to stand out among a crowd of millions of teachers. But I did want to share my passion and inspire others to push out of their comfort zones. My classes tend to be unlike a “typical” meditative, quiet and spiritual practice. I try to bring a space that it fun, playful, and challenging because the way I see it, people already take themselves too seriously.
    I’ve talked a lot about my fear of failure, the fear that I just won’t cut it, and I’ll be sentenced to a life of meaningless waitressing jobs. But as I continue to work on myself and notice my patterns of self destruction, I realize that these are just lies I tell myself when things get tough.. because it’s easier to give up and not fail (but also no grow or succeed )… then to give up everything just to go for it 100% without knowing the outcome. 
    I guess I’m just giving myself a pep talk to remind myself that I can do it. That there will always be obstacles that I will have to overcome if I want to grow and succeed. I’m using this as fuel- and I will do it. The only thing standing in my way is myself… 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekend Photo Dump + Going to the gym vs GOING to the gym

Hello Monday!
 This weekend was a couple days of rest workout wise- and I took advantage to the full!
Time to Photo Dump..
Friday night dinner at the Chinese buffet ( totally James idea btw..) There was a surprising amount of stuff for me to eat, including made to order veggie sushi and fresh fruit!

    Afterwards we met up with a bunch of friends at another Chinese restaurant- and my first volcano.. Those things are no joke and the night ended at 10 pm- guess I’m a bit of a light weight!

   Saturday bridal shower for my friend Laura-

   Held at a local vineyard which meant a whole lot of Sangria… apple pie cupcakes and fruit while the gifts were opened.
   Afterwards we met back up with the boys, had pizza, and watched an awful movie- which was still good because I got to get a snuggle session in with the husband.
  Sunday was car shopping nothing fun about that… at all!
Going to the gym vs GOING to the gym
       I love going to the gym more than most people out there; and that is why I peruse a job in fitness. But like everyone, there are times when I drag my ass out of bed and have to pull myself by the hair to get there. Most of the time getting through the gym doors is enough to get myself through the workout.. but then there are those days where walking on the treadmill is a task and lifting anything is out of the question. Those are the days that are the most important. But why?
    As long as I haven’t been neglecting rest days or really over doing it (meaning my body is giving me a red flag), it gives me an opportunity to rise above that little voice in the back of my head that tells me I can’t. I know you know the voice I’m talking about… The one that wants to pull you back into the negative mindset, doubting yourself and your abilities. Lets face it… if being healthy, staying in shape and finding balance were easy; everyone would be doing it effortlessly. Your friends and family would be spending their weekends running races, or working out right along with you…  But we all know it’s not that easy, even when you absolutely love it.
    So the next time that little voice inside your head tries to get you to hit the snooze button, say you’ll go tomorrow, or just allow you to slack off at the gym- tell him to go F off and get to the gym anyway.. even a half-hearted workout is better than none.. and eventually that voice will become softer and softer. Just remember, you tell yourself what you can and can not do!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Reading +WO+ DIY

 Does anyone else out there read multiple books at once? It it something that I’ve always done- blame it on ADHD or the fact that I’m interested in so many things at once.. Either way, at the present moment I am reading more books at once than ever before.
        One of my students is a PE teacher and she brought me a few books that her student teacher left behind for me to check out as well… Look at my desk!
   No wonder I can never get anything done! 

   Besides reading, there has been snacking
   -EAS Chocolate Whey, almond butter, oats and water= fudge sludge 

Dawson’s creek (don’t judge, I rely on Netflix for TV entertainment) salad, water, and un-pictured egg whites.. I’ve been eating A LOT of egg whites lately.. 
    And workouts.. 

A little bit of sparkle makes me feel fancy :)

   And last but not least… some thrifting and DIY

      5 plates, 4 frames, 1 mirror- $16. I’ve been searching for smaller dinner plates for a while and all of the plates were under $3. While I don’t love the blue and white plates they are the perfect size, but I do LOVE the flower plates..

     The  mirror was my best find of the day, and immediately I knew what I wanted to do with it, and where I wanted to put it.. plus it was $1.99!

After a little clean up, sanding, and spray painting… which by the way is one of my favorite things to do… It is so simple and can really make a whole lot of difference..

    I LOVE it! There is still a bit of paint touch ups that need to happen before its hung- but its dramatic and bold. With the purchase of the spray paint, the total cost was $6.
And it’s FRIDAY!!! What are your plans? 
     We will be heading to a party for our friend’s birthday. Have a great night! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


     Hello Tuesday! I don’t know about you guys, but it has been an extremely jam packed and exhausting day- between 5am wake up coffee calls, teaching 2 classes, studying with the second attempt of caffeine pick up...

          There was some time for an attempt at a new hair-do (or not really so new, but an improved version on a classic) And a snack

My new to me bike also came home from a tune-up, meaning there will be some trail rides coming soon! (This bike used to be James’- and he reluctantly is letting me use it, lol)  

 This happened- my first swim practice in 10 years… Did I struggle? Sure did. Did I swim 2600 meters? Sure did. Will I be able to lift my arms in the morning? Probably not..
      Chlorine scented, sore body, and overly starving… and giddy!

  One thing I didn’t miss or appreciate…. swollen eyes from my goggles

How’s that for attractive? Haha..

   All throughout practice I was given a good amount of constructive criticism:
  - Elongate my stroke for distance-  instead of my short sprinter stroke.
  - I’m lifting my head when I breathe
  - Remember to kick from the hip
  - No whipping my arms.. this isn’t a race!
I have a lot to work on, but I loved every single minute.. There is nothing like swimming :)

Tell me about your Tuesday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fitness Bucket List + Swim + Photo Droppings

       If your anything like me, you love a challenge. Some of my better qualities are determination and dedication, of which I seem to have an overabundance of.. so I’m always looking for something new to work towards and keep these things in check. Like a lot of you I have a fitness bucket list and I thought it was about time I shared some of it!
  • Swim once again a 50 meter freestyle in 0:26 secs flat and 100 meter freestyle in 1:01 mins flat- I did this when I was 16 in the best swimming shape of my life
  • Run a 1/2 Marathon 
  • Run a Marathon
  • Triathlon
  • 5 minute plank
  • Hold a freestanding handstand for 3o secs
  • Back handspring
  • Crossfit
  • Tough Mudder

    If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I practiced handstands like it was my job up until a couple months ago when my shoulder started to hate me
 Luckily, my shoulder has been behaving and handstanding is happening once again.. Planks and swimming are happening too.
   A few months ago during my journey through Livefit I got back in the pool for the first time in years- for laps. It was pathetic.. I mean I realize that it was 10 years after my peak swimming years, but wow… Out of swimming shape was an understatement! But it made me remember what I loved so much about the sport.. and it made me determined to get back into it on a more regular basis- just to prove I could do it. But coupled with the daily intense lifting of Livefit and teaching multiple classes a week, swimming only lasted about a month before I had to put it on the back burner, until this last week. 
    Maybe it only makes sense to those of you who are swimmers, but there is something that happens when I put my cap and goggles on and push off that wall, the way my hair and skin feels and smells afterwards, and the endorphin high… like no other! 
   But wait- let me get back to the story.. I went for a super casual swim with a friend who can swim but needed some direction.. for over an hour I taught her about freestyle. We covered breathing, stroke, and even flip turns. She was a great student and so excited which made it so much fun for me as well! Considering I had never taught anyone to swim before- she was doing great so I guess I did a pretty good job too ;) As we were leaving the adult swim group was getting in the water. I had swam with them a few times years ago and the coach still remembered me! After chatting for a few minutes, I got invited to swim with them this week and I’m PUMPED about it!   

   The last week has been filled with workouts from Phase 2 of Livefit trainer, and some cross fit from home:
 “Cindy”- 20 mins AMRAP
     5 pull ups
    10 push ups
    15 squats
I was able to complete 18 full rounds and made it halfway through the 19th.. Holy Guacamole- I was SORE the next day.. and can’t wait to be able to go to a cross fit gym someday so I can get the real experience.. But that will have to wait until I get a real job because man it is expensive around here! 

    Today I did the workout from the Fitnessista’s Summer Shape up. I really loved the workout. It was challenging and pretty speedy- even with 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill I was done in just under an hour- with a sweat halo around my head proving I got a good workout in :) 

Remember this frame? 
I made it into this and hung it up and everything!
                                                                (P is our last name initial)
  Not only was this exciting because I finished something in a timely manner, but it also came out JUST like I had envisioned it! By the way Antique glaze is the most fun, ever! 

    I also got more pictures from the Warrior dash:
The Fire really did seem so much bigger and more scary- especially when you have a tutu made of very flammable materials! 

Dragging out from the mud for the finish
    And my most favorite of them all
  Nothing says a good time like Mud in my mouth and your eyes!

What is something from your Fitness Bucket List?
Happy Monday!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hydro + Training + Warrior Dash

    Right before James and I went away last week, we noticed a lump on Hydro’s underside. It was alarming to say the least- and I totally pulled a freakout crying fit. To think that something could be seriously wrong with my baby boy was my worst nightmare! The vet said it felt like a double herniation.. and that he would need to have exploratory surgery to be sure, fix it up and get him back into action. In the meantime we were to keep him from jumping around or anything strenuous.. Well if you had ever met Hydro you would know that it close to impossible- plus we were headed of town for a week with him driving 14+ hours there and back.. We resorted to drugging him up a little and kept a close eye on his eating and drinking habits- but it was a long week of constant worry.. By the time the surgery date came we were relieved, nervous and very anxious. On the way to the office we tried to keep him in high spirits
   Hydro is seriously the happiest boy in the whole world. He is an amazing soul and I’m so proud to be his mama! Leaving him there was really hard for me, especially knowing that he would have to spend the night there, alone in a crate, in pain and not knowing what happened to him.  After a couple tearful goodbye kisses to his forehead we left him. We called them while he was still in surgery to check on him, so they called us back a few hours later.
    As it turned out, Hydro didn’t have any hernia, or anything wrong with him at all.. Apparently he had some fat deposits and one side just had more than the other.. They checked for any tumors or anything abnormal and there was NOTHING!
   First off I was just happy to hear that he was ok.. but once I knew that he was.. I was furious.. Not only did you put my baby under the knife for nothing (and he now has two 3+ inch incisions) You worried me for at least 2 weeks, and charged me $600! Ugh..  Now he looks like this
    Now he has to wear the cone for 2 weeks, take meds for pain and sedation and again limit his activity.. He is still a happy guy thought and hopefully he heals soon!

    I’ve been hitting the gym consistently, but taking it more slowly. I’m really trying my best to listen to my body when it comes to rest and what it needs. Plus I was on vacation without a gym so I did mostly body weight quickie workouts. I did recently have a little training trail run with the hubby
   You can’t really tell here, but it was down pouring the entire time! I had so much fun though- and I have to say that the messier you get when running, the more fun it is for me- which leads me to the Warrior dash! This was my first race, ever.. and it was so amazingly dirty and fun!

We made Tutu’s!!! I was elbow deep in Tule for hours and it was totally worth it… I was not surprised to see that we weren’t the only people with them- but we were certainly the only one’s to make them ourselves!

Things definitely got more fun as we pulled in

   I was no surprised to see that there were a TON of people all with really great energy
    Once we picked up out packets we watched for a bit- you could see the last 3 obstacles… I was getting more anxious by the minute, I just couldn’t wait to get out there! We weren’t scheduled to run until 5 and it was 2 at the time, but someone next to us said we could go any time- so after checking with someone on staff we did just that (which really made a difference since I skipped going to a wedding to run the race, this allowed me to make it to the reception before cocktail hour even ended!)

    As we were waiting to start, the sun came out in full force, making it a hot, sweaty and muddy race for sure.. I have NEVER been so dirty in my life, it was amazing.. After a hose down from some fireman, a free beer and a banana we headed to the car to peel muddy clothes off
        My Teachers would be proud:
 Even after the hose down I was still completely CAKED with dirt… I literally wrapped a towel around myself and stripped naked before throwing my extra clothes on.
    I still have mud in my necklace and I’m sure other places BTW..  This was the most fun though and I will be doing it every year for sure!  I think it was the perfect race to get me started doing races.. I’m pumped to do many more!! 

    As soon as we got back I went to work scrubbing myself to be presentable for the wedding.. 

   Lots of dancing and some drinks to celebrate! 
   Now to go scrap off the rest of this dirt :)