Exercise is Poetry of the Body

Exercise moves your physical body and occupies your human mind for you cannot exercise and think about anything other than what you are doing for fear of injury. Stay focused. Exercise helps you engage all parts of your body and mind and get them working in unison in a way that few other activities can do. Exercise is the execution of God-consciousness. It is poetry of the body just as meditation is poetry of the soul. 

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Frozen Blueberries


Our neighbor brought us two baskets of blueberries. Yum!! And as much as I can eat them by the handful, I like them in my daily protein shakes, and in lieu of ice, I like using frozen berries. Except I don’t like buying them pre-frozen. So I washed them then spread them on a cookie sheet and pop them in my freezer till frozen. Then when you go to transfer them to a freezer bag, they’ll all be individually frozen and will stay that way. Popping frozen blueberries in my mouth is a fun way to handle a sweet tooth craving too!  

Indian Inspired One Pot Quinoa ‘Bhaji’ Veg. 

  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa cooked according to package directions
  • 1T cooking olive oil
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 tsp each of cumin powder and coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp each turmeric and salt
  • 1 small diced sweet potato par-boiled (I add it to a bowl of water and microwave for 3-5min till fork tender)
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Warm oil on medium high heat, add mustard seeds and after 30 seconds add curry leaves (warning: they will sputter). Add sweet potato and sautée till they start to turn brown 4-5min. Add peppers and continue to sauté 2-3min more. Add cooled cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir to combine well. Continue to sauté until quinoa is warm again and everything is well combined. Sprinkle with the juice of one lime, adjust salt and serve with a garnish of chopped coriander leaves. 

I served it in a hollowed out avocado shell with fresh diced avocado on top! Yum! 

Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with an Indian Spice inspired Pasta Sauce

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  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1T evoo
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 2-5 cloves diced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp corriander powder
  • Jar of organic marinara sauce
  • diced fresh cilantro for garnish

Sautee the onion till golden brown, be patient. You don’t want glassy onion.
Add the curry leaves and watch out they will sputter
Add garlic and sautee mix for a minute or two
Add seasoning and stir it till well mixed and starting to smell fragrant; 1-2 min
Add in marinara sauce and mix well, let it simmer for 3-5 minutes
Toss in pasta cooked per package directions, I usually add 1-2T of light olive oil to the water to boil before adding pasta (I like to drain, then rinse and drain the pasta to get rid of the gooey-ness)
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro
Enjoy!
IF you make it, please let me know what you think!

Entering the 4th and final week of the detox challenge!

DETOXTomorrow marks the final week of the detox and I cannot be happier with the results so far! I haven’t lost a lot of weight (4lb – but I only wanted to lose 5 – so I’m on track!) but my body fat has gone down by over 4%! By far the most impressive result for me has been discovering the tremendous will power that I have been able to will myself to have. Which tells me, it was always there – just buried so deep that it had to be excavated by digging through layers and layers of mindless eating. And since I will be 41 in a week – it stands to reason that there were many many years worth of layers to be dug through. Discipline doesn’t stop at just the eating thought – for a long while now, I have wanted to wake up at 5am daily – so I can have that extra time to myself to read, meditate, workout or just BE before the rest of my family and household needed to be woken up. But I couldn’t do it – I always snoozed from 5 – 5:30 – I had nailed down getting up at 5:30am instead of 6am during last year’s 30 day challenge! So this time I was determined…and while I am not at 5am yet – I am easily getting up at 5:15 – so that is a step in the right direction for me. Those 15 minutes made it so that I could enjoy an extra 15 minutes of quiet time, meditation time or running time. I know that in a few more days/weeks I will have no time taking another 15 minutes for myself and reaching my two year goal of getting up at 5am daily.

Sunrise from my backyard
Sunrise from my backyard

There is truly something magical about being up that early. Winter sunrises (and sunsets) are quite spectacular and the ones I get to experience right outside my backyard are no exception. This makes it all worthwhile. Additionally there is something special about the energy just before sunrise.

Another goal for myself that I have really wanted to implement and haven’t been able to, is exercising 5 days in a row consistently. See, for years, I had trained myself and my mind to think that my running days are Tue-Thur-Sat. Tuesday and Thursday were short runs, and Saturday was my long run day — and for years, I never worked out more than that. With my kids getting older and sleeping through the night – I no longer had the excuse that my kids need me first thing in the morning. My husband is more than capable of taking care of the kids first thing in the morning should they wake, and more often than not, I am back from my run before anyone wakes up! So there was no reason NOT to exercise more anymore. Brain training is a powerful thing – it was really hard to break that habit. And I am HAPPY TO REPORT that I did! This week – I worked out 5 consecutive days in a row – for the first time in over 8 years I did that! I ran on the days I run, and I did the bike trainer on the other days and I felt AMAZING! The breakthrough was huge, the fact that I am now rewiring my brain to believe that I have to work out daily except for Sunday is an amazing feeling, because this is a habit that I will keep for life! 

This has been such a successful program for the people that joined us and did it as a Facebook community boot camp of almost 400 people! Our next boot camp starts on February 3, 2014! It’s not too late to jump on board, get Fit for February on the heels of Super Bowl Sunday! Won’t you join us? If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, come out to Lole Atelier (714 State Street) on February 1 at 10am – come get a free workout courtesy IM=X Pilates Studio and learn more about this program. Sample the products that make the basis of this incredible life changing program and enjoy the camaraderie of like minded people! IF you’d like more information about the event on February 1 in beautiful Santa Barbara, use this form to let me know that! 

Days 3, 4 and 5 – there are no shortcuts

RisottoSo ends the first five days of my cleanse. I fared well. I had a couple slips– a bite of bread when we went to Daphne’s Grill for dinner tonight, the most delectable chocolate ball by Lindt… Hazelnut truffle! but other than that I did rather well. I treated myself to a gluten free lemon scented risotto with seared scallops and green beans At the Blue Stove in the Thousand Oaks Nordstrom- possibly my favorite restaurant in the Conejo Valley.

All week I managed to create some rather delicious gluten free dishes for my family, thanks to the amazing support of the Facebook group thats supporting this program. Yesterday I ran out of time to cook, and resorted to an old standard– linguini with vodka cream sauce…something that needs 5 ingredients and can be cooked in 20min. But luckily I had quinoa, sautéed spinach and mushrooms and pan-seared chicken breast finished in the oven- but of course like any cook, I had to taste the food I cooked and holy cow it was delicious! But my meal was awesome too.

Seared Ahi Tuna salad
Seared Ahi Tuna salad

Today my friend Deanne took me to lunch to celebrate my transition from W2 to 1099! I had the most delicious seared Ahi tuna salad with mixed greens, daikon sprouts, carrots and tomatoes. I made sure to eat all the tuna first and sure enough it was so filling that I couldn’t finish the salad. A-ha! My stomach is shrinking already. A week or two ago, I’d have no trouble eating the whole thing. The cleanse is working, my stomach is shrinking.

Today an interesting thing happened — I was on my way to meet with a friend in Malibu at the Starbucks in my old stomping grounds– I got my MBA at Pepperdine 13 years ago. There’s a traffic light by the school entrance where you can take a short cut to the mart by turning left but you can’t do that till after 9am. It was 8:56am, and the memory of the ticket I got for not paying attention to the time as a sleep deprived MBA student is still fresh Even 13 years later. So I crossed the light, and for not taking that shortcut I was rewarded with the beautiful vision of 6-7 deer grazing on the grass at Alumni Park. I was in the wrong lane to pull over, nevertheless I said a silent prayer of gratitude at the vision that started my morning well– my reward today for not taking a shortcut. The entire day went amazingly well. I spent time with good friends, then with my little girl alone, then with both my kids at Daphne’s. We laughed a lot today! Now I’m snuggled near my husband with the fireplace candles, watching a movie with half an eye as I write this. Life is Perfect!

Tonight i send to you my wish — I wish for you the complete peace I felt today. I wish for you the chance to stop and smell the roses or see the deer as the case may be!

Sending you you all love and light from a heart filled with love

Niki

Day 8: 30 days to fit – down 2lb in the first week

I’m concentrating on staying healthy, having peace, being happy, remembering what is important, taking in nature and animals, spending time reading, trying to understand the universe, where science and the spiritual meet. —Joan Jett 

Today’s Tuesday – and I haven’t written about Monday which is technically day 8! So here goes…

Yes, today was the big WEIGH IN day! And considering I had fallen slightly off the wagon on Sunday, I wasn’t looking forward to it…but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am down 2lb! Yup!! 130lb even!!!

I made up for Sunday…

7:30am – Arbonne vanilla protein smoothie with the usual medley of fruit and vegetables – strawberries, blueberries, green beans, kale, carrots, ginger, kiwi, blended with almond milk and ice! YUMMM – had a cup of decaf coffee with 1/2 tsp turbinado and splash of soy creamer – what  I wouldn’t give for a FULL tsp of real sugar and real half n half! mmmmm 

10:00am – small apple and handful of 50% less salt almonds (thank you Trader Joes!)

12:30pm – left over Indian food – without the rice or roti that makes it a perfect meal – think Indian chicken curry soup I guess…because that’s how I was eating it…it does taking getting used to – no Indian worth their salt loving our food the way I do- would eat it the way I did…it’s bordering on blasphemy! The first meal I have after this program is complete in 21 days is an Indian meal (mom’s cooking) eaten the ‘right’ way! yes…with gluten-filled basmati white rice and glutenous whole wheat rotis! YUMMM ok, I digress.

3:00pm – Arbonne chocolate nutrition bar – with only 7g of sugar, this is a really great chocolate treat that fills me up and keeps me going till dinner time!

6:30pm – gringo tacos – no crispy corn tortilla shell for me! sigh!!! ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno slivers, and a healthy dousing of cholula – 

8:30pm – I found these YUMMY dark chocolate nut clusters – cashews, pistachio, sea salt and 60% cacao – one is plenty – yes have you noticed I have a chocolate thing?

Ok, so week one is complete – yes it’s been a bit more challenging than I expected…this is good, because now I can speak intelligently and empathetically to my clients on the program. “Yes of course I know how hard it is Jane…I have been there myself! I promise you it gets easier! How do I know? I did the program just so that I could experience it first hand!” 

It’s 9.50pm right now, and I just want to go get something to eat, instead I will go upstairs, brush my teeth and read – or better yet, sleep while I can, since my toddler is still intent on waking at 2am for me! So I think that’s my distraction technique – go to bed, so I can’t go to the kitchen and eat instead! I also think that I am not drinking enough water – and of course, I haven’t exercised in over a month – life is such— my exercise has to happen at 6am before the house awakens – or else it doesn’t happen. There’s no way to wake up at 5.30am if you’re up at 2am for nearly an hour!

YAWN!!!

 

Day 7: 30 days to fit

There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it. ~Josh Billings

Sunday yesterday and I allowed myself to ‘cheat’ — remember I didn’t drink the day before yesterday– well I was going to a beach party for a 4 year old with some of my closest friends– and the mom– my dear friend is an extraordinary event planner and baker and well pretty much everything– she’d made this incredible granita consistency rum punch that was the perfect addition to surf, sand and sun!

I compensated for my 2-3 drinks by not eating birthday cake! Strawberries, watermelon and 1/3 jersey mikes sandwich with only the bottom half of the bread rounded out my beach experience.

Thereafter we head to Staples Center to see Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus with the kids! $14 cotton candy, $12 popcorn and $10 peanuts!

Dinner after the show was at Lawrys – spicy beef salad!

Yes I need to weigh in- I did– I’m a day behind- I promise to catch up tomorrow! At the moment I have to catch up on much needed sleep!

Bon Nuit

Day 3: 30 days to fit

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson

7:30am- Arbonne vanilla protein smoothie with celery, kale, carrots, almond butter, almond milk, ginger, strawberries, blueberries, and a shot of décaf espresso.

9:30am- small snack size pink lady apple

11:30am- 1 kiwi

1:00pm- poached chicken Asian salad with sesame ginger dressing

3:30pm- trail mix of almonds, cashew and just 4-7 dried cranberries

6:30pm- yesterday’s 1/2 pork chop with maple peppercorn sauce and kale sautéed with garlic and red wine vinegar

8:00pm- Arbonne’s detox tea with one blended strawberry for sweetness.

My trick is to brush teeth right away so that I can’t eat anything more thereafter before bed! Another key is to be in bed no later than 10:30pm so that you don’t get super hungry!

I was more hungry than usual today! It’s typical though– day 3 is hump day! By Friday it should become easy! Also I’m missing my Arbonne vegan chocolate protein powder (no whey, soy, dairy or gluten) which is my absolute favorite!! It’s on back order at the moment and I feel like in having withdrawals from it! I’ve had that as my breakfast for over two years and it is DIVINE!!! I’m going to incorporate the Arbonne chocolate nutrition bars because they really work well as a 3pm snack– and tide me over well for dinner.

And oh– at least 40-50oz of water as well!! Need to keep hydrated especially as temps are rising into the 80s-100s!!