Thursday, July 30, 2009


It has been a stressful week for me. I find that as I mature emotion manifests itself differently for me. I feel it in my body so much more and I ache instead of cry it out. Check out this article from The Washington Post on how different parts of our bodies are effected by stress. Tension headaches-oh yes, sounds quite familiar!

All the more reason to embrace exercise is it not? In the spirit of healthy living I will do a little yoga today. Good for my body and my mind.

What's your favorite de-stressing form of exercise?

Monday marks another measurement day, and all the typical thoughts are running through my head. Will I have lost any inches? Will I have gained inches? Will I have hit a plateau? Why won't my darn scale move??

Whew. I definitely need some stretching and breathing!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spread It


I wanted to share with you a delightful addition to my breakfast.

I am not a sweets in the morning kind of girl, but lately I have been craving a little jam with my toast (awesome Today's Temptations Low Carb High Fiber toast-mmm). While a little processed jelly from the jar isn't going to hurt anyone, there is just such a difference in a real fruit spread. Last weekend my mother in law gave me a bit of some homemade raspberry preserves that a friend of hers made. It was so fresh and delicious. Inspired by that, yesterday I turned to the frozen berries I have on hand in my fridge for my daily fruit bowls. I took a little handful of strawberry and dark cherry slices and put them in a small ramekin with some Splenda and popped it in the microwave for a minute or two. I mashed it with a spoon, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down, and then spread it on my toast for the most enjoyable fresh fruit spread ever!!!! I really didn't even need to add any Splenda at all, because the natural fruit juice is sweet enough as it is. This morning I did it again with a few frozen blueberries and blackberries and left out the Splenda. Oh mama! So fruity and fresh and divine and tons healthier for me! Please give it a whirl!

Today I prepped my fruit bowls, this week adding banana slices back in with lots of blackberries. Each week the bowls are a little different based on what I can get at a great price. Variety is key!! I've also prepped some delicious soup to freeze in containers for grab-n-go lunches. My day job office is so cold that hot soup for lunch is perfect. It warms me up and fills me up in a low cal way! Do you do Sunday food prep for your week?

One good thing about Sundays is that it's Ruby day. Do you watch Ruby on the Style Channel? It's the reality show that documents the weight loss journey of southern belle Ruby Gettinger. She started her journey at almost 500lbs (although in the past she has weighed up to 700lbs) and is now at the 350 mark. She is doing it all through diet and exercise (no surgery), and she is so charismatic and lovely. Ruby is someone you just want to be friends with and I admire her for putting herself out there for the world to see!! If you don't get the Style Channel you can watch her on Hulu:


Over the week I did well with my goal of incorporating more core work. I did three good workouts this week-two days including the addition of a full abs workout to my elliptical time and one day doing various crunches on my own after elliptical time. My goal for this week will be to continue to incorporate core work and to lengthen my workouts a bit to start burning more calories and upping my endurance!

I also got some nice news on Friday. I have a new acting gig. I will begin rehearsals in September for a fun original script with some hilarious people. It should be a great time, and I am glad my dry spell is over!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A New Motivation

I have been a woman of my word and have incorporated more core work into my regimen this week. I’m proud about that.
I must again sing the praises of On Demand Fitness, because it gives me the opportunity to test drive a variety of workouts. I get bored easily, and mustering the drive to get up and exercise is tough enough for me as it is, so I don’t want to make it twice as hard by doing the same monotonous thing over and over. (I can stick with the repetitiveness of the elliptical because I am catching up on a variety of DVRd goodness while I do it.) Explore On Demand fitness options if you have them! Try as well! You can actually find my ab workout from yesterday there:

Recently a new motivation to stick with balanced diet and exercise has presented itself. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to audition for a production with a highly regarded company in a show that is so dear to my heart to say the very least. In general this piece requires physical stamina and body confidence, so while my expectations are managed about being cast (as they always must be in show business), I am thrilled that I have advanced notice to push myself a little harder and be ready for anything the audition process throws my way. I want to be as strong and confident as possible so I can walk out feeling wonderful about this audition.
Have you had any new motivations this week?

I also seem to have an insatiable desire for cereal as well as sautéed purple onions. No, I’m not pregnant.

What are your wacky food wants this week?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Open Letter to My Scale

Listen here Taylor Made, I don’t appreciate or condone your stubbornness. I am here to let you know that despite your efforts to hold me back on my fitness quest and upset me with your unchanging number, I am disregarding your tireless labors to make me question the true results that Tape Measure continually presents. As a woman of decorum I feel obligated to forewarn you that I am on the verge of making a break with you completely. A target date for this break has not been established, but trust that it is currently being reviewed and seriously considered. If you continue to be uncooperative, I will terminate your involvement from my get-fit journey and delegate full monthly check-in responsibility to Tape Measure. Inches and clothing fit do not lie friend, and your performance leads me to believe that you are not a qualified judge of progress.

Let this be a warning.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

To the Core

My week was good. I got in two workouts on the elliptical, and on Saturday I met my goal of incorporating some core work when I turned on ExerciseTV and paired a little Pilates Abs workout with revisit of Back 2 Bollywood.

Tuesday I had a good triumph with restaurant dining. My husband and I met at a Turkish restaurant we had been wanting to try and instead of ordering one of the ho-hum vegetarian dinners that would have left me dissatisfied and angry and wishing I'd gotten something better, I used my Naturally Thin tools and opted for a small appetizer and a cup of lentil soup as my meal. Although pan fried, my delicious hot appetizer was just what I wanted (savory zucchini, feta and tomato disks), and it was small so I could have some delectable bites and be completely satisfied without breaking the calorie bank!

Today I made my weekly fruit bowls and instead of banana slices and grapefruit chunks I worked in beautiful dark cherries and grapes for some variety. I cooked up some delicious veggie chili full of healthy squash, zucchini, eggplant, purple onion, and bit of black beans that I put into individual containers and froze as grab-n-go lunch options for this week.

For my Week 12 goal I will continue to incorporate core work into my exercise routine. I liked the pilates workout because it was gentle enough not to cripple me the next day, but powerful enough that I definitely felt it. I think I will go in that direction for now as my core strengthening method.

What are your favorite ab workouts?

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Inspiration

In May I wrote about my love of Tara Costa of The Biggest Loser fame and how her amazing endurance and drive filled me with inspiration to attack my fitness journey. This summer’s inspiration comes from another television show and reminds me of my long term goal of a fit healthy feminine body. Please meet my fitness inspiration of the season Jeanine Mason of So You Think You Can Dance:

Thank you
If you have never watched this show I urge you to tune in on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Other than Jeanine's general adorableness, I find her to be such a lovely physical mix of muscle and strength and womanly curve. My ideal would be to tone up with lean muscle like this while maintaining my curvy shape. Thus, why dance work outs like rad Back to Bollywood and some pilates sessions (Windsor Pilates has a good bun and thigh dvd I enjoyed a few years ago I may try to find) are going to be some of my top ways to tone.

I board my elliptical on Wednesdays and am filled with inspiration by all of the dancers gorgeous physiques and amazing talent. As I watch some of the most moving dancing I have ever seen I am motivated to keep moving on my machine and strengthening my body!

Do you dig dancer bods?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Old Habits Die Hard

Last week I experienced a particularly rough time of the month. I wouldn’t be candid and real if I didn’t address the hardships of trying to be healthy and making positive steps toward fitness whilst your PMS is raging and all you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner is a rock of salt covered in chocolate. Wouldn’t it be blissful if at our time of the month we painfully longed for celery? Alas, this is not the case, especially for me last week. I was in more pain than ever and sweet cravings were high. Overall I survived in an amazingly balanced way. A better than balanced way. I ate the below Oreo sized cookie (that was truly delicious), a brownie square, a couple of spoonfuls of frosting, and a little handful of Skittles. Over one week. With the exception of the Skittles, which were impulsive and consequently an unsatisfying waste of calories in the end, I really enjoyed my indulgences and they are quite few in actuality.
The old habit that won't seem to die is my habitual inability to forgive myself these discrepancies. How, after all of my work with focusing on balance (seriously I think balance is the most frequently used buzz word in this blog) and learning to allow myself small samples of everything to get the food/flavor experience while not overindulging, can I go home last Tuesday and break into tears over a tiny cookie? A percentage of that was hormonal, but a significant percentage of that was residual Self-Destructive BB30 sneaking in, a toxic person I banned from this fitness journey long ago. I feel so silly for investing one tear in being emotional and angry with myself for some reasonable indulgences. I need to forgive myself not for eating any of these things, but forgive myself for being much too tough on me and move on (even though it's hard)!

What old habits are putting up a fight to stay in your life?

Last week my goal was to lay off the peanut butter. I did very well with that. The reason behind that was that I was really eating a little too much of it. While my natural peanut butter is full of protein and healthy nut fat it still packs a caloric punch, and a couple of teaspoons a day can really add up. I wanted to lighten up a bit. Peanut Butter is definitely not banished in anyway-it's too good for me!

This week I am focusing on incorporating a strengthening work out to my exercising. While I am pretty devout to my elliptical, I think I need to begin some good foundation work on my core (cause it's not all about weight loss for sure). Perhaps a pilates or abs workout. Something to tone my middle!

Thank you
What's your goal for this week?

I have also once again stocked my fridge with pre-made frozen fruit bowls to enjoy at work. I've tossed in some new things. Each bowl now has a few banana slices and a little grapefruit. Yum! I am also still on my iced green tea kick. Such a healthy sippable!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let it Steep!

This week I have had a sudden burst of metabolism and have been hungrier than usual. Of course we need different amounts of food each day depending on a number of factors, but in my case could a drinkable be the cause of a rise in metabolism?

Some background: I was never a fan of tea. I used to hate it in fact (except southern iced sweeeeet tea which is arguably worse than soda). Then in the fall of 2007 I was doing a play that pushed me so hard physically that I had a heat stroke and generally felt awful. I noticed some health conscious cast members enjoying tea in rehearsals, so I began taking advantage of the coffee and tea shop near the theatre. Thus, my love affair with green tea began. It suddenly didn't taste awful to me- in fact it felt very healing and comforting to drink (and barely needs any doctoring with sweetener if any at all). I maintain it was what got me through being worn out and brought me back to life. This is my very favorite kind, Tadin Orange Spice Green Tea (it contains caffeine so beware if that effects you):

thank you

Cut to this summer and the beginnings of warm weather. I was craving iced tea last week and made a big pitcher of iced green tea (celestial seasonings brand decaf if you're interested). So blissfully refreshing!!! I have kept a pitcher full in the fridge for a week and it's been such a satisfying calorie free natural beverage to drink while I am at home (and saves me from the bore that is water). I've also been drinking decaf hot green tea at work a lot recently. It helps fill up my belly and keep me from snacking the afternoon away and racking up useless calories.

But could the Green Tea Madness of 2009 actually be revving up my metabolism? Perhaps. Some studies will say yes and that drinking green tea will have you shedding pounds away due to the antioxidants and caffeine (although I drink decaf so hmmm). Some studies say drinking green tea will only aid in burning about 80 calories a day which would only contribute to about a pound of weight loss every two months. Some will say it doesn't really do much for your waistline, but has other healthy properties.

Regardless, I am definitely enjoying every sip and feel like it's helping kick my metabolism into gear. I also think it helped me lick what felt like an approaching summer cold this week and kept me from succumbing to the germies! tells us about even more benefits of this wonder tea:

It is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
It is used for treatment and prevention of cancer.
It is used to stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
It is used to raise the metabolism and increase fat oxidation.
It reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks by reducing the risk of trombosis.
It reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
Drinking green tea inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells,
reduces the level of cholesterol in blood, improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
It is used to treat impaired immune function.
Some researches show that, drinking green tea regularly may help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria which causes the dental plaque.

Are you a Tea-Head? What are your favorites?

PS Guess who is wearing a dress today that she hasn't been able to zip in two years?!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Violet Beauregard Was On To Something

A sunny Sunday walk through a beautiful park with my dog child and my need for a cool treat afterward inspired me to share with you my latest favorite healthy summery low cal snack...frozen blueberries. Freezing blueberries of course prolongs their life in your fridge, but also after a few minutes at room temperature they start to lose there super icy chill and taste like bite size sorbets! Such a treat! While blueberries can typically be an expensive grocery item, right now there have been sales due to the Fourth of July holiday. I happen to be lucky enough to be blessed with a nearby budget friendly produce store (Stanley's on North and Elston for you folks in Chicagoland). A nice 11oz carton is ringing in at a mere $1.49 right now and I am reaping the benefits!

Thank you

Blueberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and according to these are just a handful of the many benefits:

They help to slow the aging process.
They help reduce cell damage that may lead to some forms of cancer.
They help prevent and even cure urinary tract infections.
They help clean our blood vessels, our arteries and veins.
They are proving to be beneficial to folks suffering with arthritis and fibroses myalgia.
They benefit the nervous system and may help to prevent mood swings.
They help you maintain good vision.
They are good for your complexion.
Help you stick to that "diet" and aid in weight control.

Delightful and super good for me?! Yes please!

Of course I haven't passed up the great prices I've found on raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries either! Tossing frozen berries in a plastic container and bringing them with me to work makes for a scrumptious fruity addition to my lunch! By the time the noon hour rolls around the fruit is at a perfect cool and refreshing temperature! Sunday I put together several containers of mixed fruit to grab-n-go all week:

Have you taken advantage of nature's candy this summer?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Date with Jillian and Sarina

I am about to begin getting ready for some Independence Day festivities, but before I do I wanted to share with you the details of a date I had this afternoon with two lovely ladies! I knew I needed to get in a workout today, specifically a non-elliptical based work out per my goal for the week.

I began with some overall strengthening and intensity with Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Jillian (of The Biggest Loser) takes you through a brisk and effective work out that she claims will save you hours half-arsing it in the gym if you give her 20 minutes. I was nervous at first since my arm/neck/shoulder are just now beginning to feel better after the rotator cuff debacle, but I used the skills I learned in physical therapy to be mindful of disengaging my shoulders by not letting them tense up and use the appropriate muscles. I did well. I was even able to do push ups!!! I really thought I may never be able to do them again!

I craved some more sweatin' and turned to Fit TV On Demand for something new and fun that could help me feel the burn. I set my sights on BOLLYWOOD! I have never tried Bollywood dancing before, and I am so glad I did! It was really fun and proved to be a good challenge for my arm/neck/shoulder. The workout uses lots of arms in the air which can possibly be detrimental to folks like me who have the bad habit of tensing up our shoulders. What's great is that the beautiful instructor, Sarina Jain, constantly reminds you to keep your shoulders down! This dance workout was such fun and I loved learning a new form of dance. I can't wait to do it again!

If you want to see a clip of the workout go here:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Here's Lookin' At You Month Two: The Results

I wanted to get this done first thing this morning and put it out there as the holiday weekend begins:

May 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33.5 inches
June 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33 inches
July 3rd Waist (at belly button): 32.5 inches
Down 1/2 an inch! Down 1inch total!

May 3rd Hips: 39 inches
June 3rd Hips: 38 inches
July 3rd Hips: 38 inches
No change. Down 1 inch total!

May 3rd Arm: 11.75 inches
June 3rd Arm: 11.5 inches around
July 3rd Arm: 11.25 inches around
Down 1/4 inch! Down 1/2 inch total!

May 3rd Thigh: 23 inches around
June 3rd Thigh: 22.75 inches around
July 3rd Thigh: 22.5 inches around
Down 1/4 inch! Down 1/2 inch total!

Not too shabby. I am feeling good physically and have started to notice the results.

How are you doing today on your fitness journey?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Thursday Evening Discovery

Today I half heartedly boarded my elliptical. Let's just say it's been quite a week. Despite busy days at work and some auditions, I've had a private issue adding to my stress. Nevertheless, I began pumping away on the machine and something magical was so much easier than it's been lately. I was at a higher level and flying. It felt good. Elle Woods is correct: Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I had an outlet for my tension and stomped out all of my emotion and frustrations from the week. I finished my workout with a sense of lightness and elation. Seriously, exercise is an amazing tonic. It's tough when you've had a rough day to muster the strength to get yourself up and going, but I realized just how healing it was for me today.

Has exercise proved to be the best medicine for you?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Earth Tells Us What To Eat

Someone sent this to me at my day job today, and I just had to share!!! I wish I knew where the email orginated from so I could give credit where credit is due.

God (or whichever Creator you prefer) made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These foods are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...We've been given a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red.The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.
Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.
How rad is all of that?!