Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Boost In Confidence

So, as we know I am working away at an acting career. Part of not being in the best physical condition possible is that I think know that it's been holding me back in the on-camera world. Well today I was pleased as punch to get a call that I booked a little commercial. I have been feeling a little down about not being able to push hard these past weeks exercise-wise when I am sooo close to my birthday (only about a month!!!) This helps me know that despite my current pause in being a workout queen, I have still made progress! Enough progress to be camera ready. It's such a good feeling to have gotten to a new place with my goals, and all of my hard work and healthy choices have begun to pay off. This nugget has made my day and I feel encouraged to keep on working hard-slow sure will win this life long race!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just Eat It!

Over the weekend I did some experimenting and enjoyed some delicious kitchen creations.


BB30s Easy Mango Wheat Berry Side

You will need:
  • One Mango, chopped in small pieces or about ¾ pack of frozen chopped mango thawed (no added sugars and such-ingredients should just read: mango)
  • A good handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Quarter or a half of a medium red onion, minced
  • Minced garlic (I love garlic so I use 4-6 cloves)
  • One cup of cooked wheat berries (boiled, drained, sea salted with a little Earth Balance)
Combine mango, cilantro, garlic, onion with a little sea salt
Mix it with your cooked wheat berries
(Give it a quick spritz of olive oil with your Misto if you like)
Eat as is for a side, or put a scoop atop some spinach for a delightful salad.
Put on your sparkliest hat, because there is about to be a flavor party in your mouth!
Yes, this is basically mango salsa mixed with grain, but it’s so refreshing and tasty while being clean , kind, and good for you!

If you used the frozen bag of mango, you might be wondering what you are supposed to do with a quarter bag of frozen mango pieces. How about….

 BB30s Mango Smoothie
  • Quarter of a bag of Whole Foods frozen mango (any brand will do as long as there aren’t any additives)
  •  1 cup of Almond Milk
  •  ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  •  Splash of vanilla extract (or pure vanilla beans if you are lucky enough to have them on hand)
  •  1 small scoop of Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
  •  1 ice cube.
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass (a martini glass if you want to feel fancy or in a tumbler with a bendy straw)
So creamy and dreamy! No booties or bellies are made bigger with the consumption of this smoothie!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Hello Gang!

I have a formspring account if there are any questions you would like me to answer.
Click here to ask me a question!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rain Drops on Roses and Soy Butter and Fixin's

How I love a bad play on words! As my journey nears it's eleven month mark, these items have emerged as a few of my favorite things:

Wheat Berries: By far my favorite discovery in the whole grains department. Wheat berries are nutty little bursts of grain and make such a delightful alternative to plain brown rice (zzzzzzz). They are similar to the texture of corn kernels. Wheat berries are the whole grain that is ground to give us whole wheat flour. I get my wheat berries from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (hard red wheat berries), and they aren’t very expensive. Like with many grains, a little goes a long way. They are a delight on their own with a little Earth Balance butter and sea salt, or dressed up with fresh herbs and spices. Throw in some raisins or dried cranberries and get ready to freak out!

Earth Balance Buttery Spread: I was turned on to Earth Balance a while ago after reading Skinny Bitch. It is a soy based, dairy free butter alternative, and it is truly amazing. I can’t taste the difference from real butter. Like dairy butter, it still has calories so you shouldn’t go overboard, but oh how it brings food to life! My husband loves his dairy, but even he enjoys Earth Balance. Now that I am microwave popcorn free- we’ve been making our own popcorn and I melt some Earth Balance with some Tony Cashere’s Original Creole Seasoning and mix it in (we have a perfect tag team method of one pourer and one shaker.) Y-U-M!

Edamame Hummus: I love hummus in general. I love it's creamy texture, I love it's protein, I love making my own. It’s great to pair with carrots for a snack, great for a protein kick on morning toast, and heck, great on a spoon! BUT praise be to my cast mate who came to rehearsal one day with a tub of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus. She gave me a taste and my world changed! It is so flippin’ delicious. Run to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some today. If you do not live near a Trader Joe’s: 1) I'm so sorry and I’ll go get some for you and eat it on your behalf :) 2) Here is a recipe from The Delicious Life that echoes my enthusiasm over how good edamame hummus is! I’m glad to know there are others out there who share my passion for legume puree. Edamame Hummus Recipe.

Red and Green Chard: Bored of spinach? Sautee up some chard and feel the nutrient rush! (But we still love you spinach and all of your healthy irony goodness!) Chard is full of all kinds of wonderful vitamins and minerals. Accoridng to the folks at we score vitamins C, E, and K, potassium, magnesium, iron, and more from eating chard! What I love about good clean whole foods is that they can be so savory on their own but can be dressed up in so many ways! Simple: I give a pan a spritz of heart healthy olive oil, and heat it up with a little Earth Balance, add thoroughly washed and chopped up chard with sea salt and pepper to taste, let it heat for a minute or two, then cover it with the lid, and turn off the heat while you create the rest of your dinner. You’ll have perfectly wilted and delicious chard in no time. Dressed up: Sautee up some red and/or yellow onion and mushrooms first, add chard, then add a splash of lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can work too-remember, a little goes a looong way with vinegar). Throw in some pine nuts and/or raisins if you want to be extra dazzly (and you want me to show up at your door!) So easy! So enjoyable! And if you find the right farmer’s market or produce store (I’m blessed with Stanley’s in Chicago), then it’s very inexpensive!

Olive Oil Sprayer: I mentioned this one long ago, but it is seriously a staple of cooking healthy meals. Before we got our Misto over a year ago, my husband and I went through at least a bottle and half of extra virgin olive oil each month. Now, we buy it maybe once every two months. This is with both of us cooking dinner almost everyday (remember, we cook separate meals from each other so that is two dinners most nights), plus he cooks his breakfast four days a week as well (I usually eat high protein Kashi cereal). Talk about reduction!!! Our meals taste every bit as good, and I maintain that spraying your olive oil gets a better overall coating. You also drastically reduce your calorie consumption! Make the switch!

What are your favorite healthy things?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Kitchen Is A Playground

Even when I am crazy busy I find time to throw together dinner. I love to cook, and feel robbed if I don't get to. It's theraputic for me. It's my play time. Since I've been so pressed for time and exhausted lately I have lost some of my creativity and become a little monotomous in my meals, because it's so much easer to go straight to a 15 minute staple meal than come up with anything new! For example, yesterday I had only 20 minutes to do a weekly food prep, so I went for a good ol' fridge cleaning out vegetable soup with whole wheat soba noodles. It's delicious and fast, but a bit boring. I'm itching to have time to spend on making some great recipes. One great thing about going to a plant based diet is that there is such an exciting world of new dishes to try. It's like a personal challenge, and if you're doing the cooking the food is all so good for you (cause um...Fritos are vegan, but they ain't good for ya!). I've been revisting my awesome cookbook The Urban Vegan (I can't wait to have the time to try some baking-I'm a total Rachael Ray and not a big baker), and I've been enjoying looking at the 21 Day Vegan Kick Start site. It's full of inspiring recipes. Be sure to check the celebrity tips-they share recipes as well. Ginnifer Goodwin's Gramma's Bok Choy (& Chick'n) Salad sounds so delightful, easy to make, and a great way to dress up my bok choy! Take a look and let the mouth watering begin!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pants Dance

Behold: Thursday I put on my old “skinny slacks” and they’re a bit roomier now!



A**Hole Scale-0

The story of my skinny slacks:

Here is a brief BB30 History lesson that I have yet to share and gives you a little insight into my endless struggle to achieve the slim fit body I’ve always wanted. I’ve definitely had some set backs. About 2.5 years ago I randomly decided to start calorie counting (sticking to about 1200 calories a day). I kept an excel spreadsheet at my day job where I logged every calorie I ate. The result was a very rapid weight loss. I had just been eating waaaay too many calories (damn you delicious Cocoa Krispies). I wasn’t fit or firm (I was still all jiggle) but I was slimmer and it stuck for about nine months. That is until I started taking a medicine that threw weight on me until I was up the 25 pounds I had lost. At first it was slow and unnoticeable, but then it started piling on so fast-I had no idea what was happening (I was still eating 1500 calories or less per day-it was like a bad dream! Seriously, I lost a pair of pants in my closet for two weeks and after finding them they couldn’t even button. SCARY.) Another tidbit to point out: My off-the-rack (and stunning) wedding dress was already purchased!!!! So, I stopped taking the medicine (of course) worked with a trainer friend for some sessions, enrolled in dances classes, and got moving so that I could wear my beautiful wedding dress in six months. I did it, and I was lucky, but man oh man-it was scary! Anyway, in those slimmer months I purchased my “skinny slacks.” They were snug and at first I would wear panty hose under them to make them fit better (you know you’ve all done it), and when I ballooned up of course there was no way I could even pull them up over my hips.

So, it was such a nice feeling to put on these slacks and see some results!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Acupuncture: A Follow Up, Heart Rate Monitors: A Hoax

Soooo, I've been told to keep track of changes I notice after having acupuncture on Saturday so I can report them when I go back on Friday. So far I have noticed that I am breathing easier (which I mentioned before), I am not as cold as I typically am (I am always cold and typically don't last long with bare arms unless it's the middle of summer and I am outside), I'm gassy (I'm so dainty I know), and my eye has only twitched once (it barely twitched for a micro second today but that's it). I have no idea what any of that means, but it's all fascinating and good (sans the gassy part). Hopefully I will go Friday, have the acupuncturist work his needle magic on my metabolism, and I will wake up Saturday being able to diet and exercise and actually lose weight like a normal human. (Note: My expectations are managed with that one.) Here's to healin'!

Also, here is what will happen if you purchase a heart rate monitor/calorie counter.
1) You will spend lots of money.
2) It will tell you that you do The Shred without cheating and only burn 80 calories.
3) It will tell you that you do 30 minutes of cardio and only burn 100 calories.
3) You will feel like you have been robbed.
4) You will order a new elliptical machine from Sports Authority to replace your deceased one.

At least this has been my experience thus far with my Polar heart rate monitor. The hubby is going to try to recalibrate it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's That In Your Face?

Why it's an acupuncture needle thank you very much.
I have been so curious about acupuncture for a while now, and I finally found a decently priced well recommended acupuncturist. I went yesterday. After talking with the sweet acupuncturist/owner I was stuck with eight needles: One near the side of my nose, one in part of an ear,  two in one hand, one in the other hand, two in one foot, one in the other foot. I have a slew of emotional/internal things I wanted to address, so for this inagural session he targeted overall energy flow which is mood lifting (because short tempered-ness and mood have been a big issue for me lately). I sat in the chair with my needles for about 30 minutes and somewhere in the middle of it I sort of gasped. A good gasp. All of a sudden I could breathe deeper than I've ever breathed before. It was crazy. I've been breathing so deeply since then and have felt much calmer. When my husband met me in the lobby afterwards he said I looked like I was glowing. How cool is that?! I go back on Friday after work. I am really looking forward to more sessions and ridding myself of what angsty nasty stuff I have clogged up inside and seeing if we can attack my sluggish metabolism (because I truly feel there is something wrong, even if docs say my thyroid is fine. Something is rotten in the state of my Metabolism. I'm toning up inside and out afterall. Mmmm...soul food.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the acupuncturist said that there is something going on in my liver, but I do not have liver fire. He said if my liver was very hot then I wouldn't be cold all of the time. Good to know. He also squeezed my feet and ankles in certain spots and asked if they were tender-they definitely were! All of the point charts I've looked up confuse me so I don't know exactly what's going on down there or what it's connected to, but it's very interesting. I always feel like the bones on my lower legs are sore (although I know bones themselves cannot be sore). Hmmm....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Limb and an Organ Walk Into A Bar…

I wanted to provide you some updates.

First, my problematic liver.

Damn Girl, your liver’s still smokin’!

Way back when I told you all about my hot liver. Well, apparently it’s still hot and could be behind my stubborn belly bulge and a recent eye lid twitch that just won’t go away. I do too much ab work to still have a pooch, and a congested liver can cause all sorts of issues. I'velearned that the liver also effects our eyes. In addition to my eyelid twitching through the day for well over a week, my vision is also blurring in a weird way. At first I chalked it up to teh dry air, but now I think there is more to it. We store anger and resentment in our livers and need to be good to them and good to ourselves to cleanse them. I must admit that lately I have been holding lots of anger been the short temper queen. Do you ever have those waves of time where so many little ridiculous things happen to you that you swear there must be a hidden camera somewhere or like you’re on a terrible sitcom? That’s me lately folks. From my debit card number being stolen resulting in a two month long battle to get a new card (including things like the bank linking my card to the wrong address and zip code) to knocking over and shattering an entire bottle of red wine all over my kitchen, to falling apart most Sundays because I am so unhappy in day job-dom and feel sick at the thought of the approaching week, to simply not feeling fulfilled, I have lots going on inside. Dandelion root is very healing for the liver and I have been drinking lots of dandelion tea since last week. Prior to that I was drinking a liver tea I found at an amazing Asian market. Mostly, to heal my liver it seem that I must de-stress. I have to let things go, take deep breaths, and simply make an active choice to be in a good mood. I really want to see an acupuncturist, but it’s terribly expensive. Ideally I know my health should know no cost, but my insurance (although a major company) does not cover acupuncture and hella expensive.

How’s Your Arm?

Way back when I told you all about my arm woes. Basically until I am not in office day job-dom I will hurt. The hours and hours a day of being unhappily typing away in a cube and such will continue to irritate my rotator cuff, despite all efforts to be ergonomically correct. The good news is that working out and lifting dumbbells has helped me strengthen up. My arms still hurts on certain exercises (like ones with a lot of rapid rotation and doing windmills with my arms and jumping jacks), but for the most part weight lifting has been so good for it. I can hold plank pose and side plank pose without my arm killing me, and I can do pushups without a problem. I can see someone from afar and quickly reach up and wave at them (a luxury I didn’t have for a while without pain). It’s such a great feeling and it’s been a long road!!

How are all of you?
Have any of you healed ailments with acupuncture? Is it worth the cost?
Have you overcome any injuries with strength training?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

...And I Like That

This Lenten season  I have been writing down things I am grateful for each day. To balance my lame trip through Morose-ville from yesterday, I will list some of them here.

I've had some good brave moments: Taking the initiative to speak to my agent about my hair, doing a major hair cut (that's awesome), booking new headshots, speaking up to my boss about additional jobs I am doing that I am not being compensated for and asking for that to be reviewed.

Beautiful Surroundings: There have been some amazingly sunshiney and gorgeous days over the past few weeks and I am happy to get to appreciate them because I sit by a window at my day job. I've also gotten some gorgeous views from the El (Chicago's Elevated Train System) of the lovely Chicago archetecture.

Happy Food: My day job began "Free Fruit Fridays" to promote health so I get to pick a piece of fresh fruit to enjoy each Friday morning. They are also now offering healthier options in our little cafeteria such as a little salad bar and even some vegan friendly entree days-I enjoyed tofu and quinoa one day with my pal Mandy! I typically birng my lunch, but it's so nice to know I have options, especially now that I am super busy and my schedule isn't as open to go grocery shopping. I also have been enjoyiong weekend brunch at a wonderful vegetarian restaurant not far from my apartment...and my husband loves it too. I'm so glad I have this restaurant nearby-I can never decide what I want-I can have almost everything on the menu! It's great and bikini friendly!

Day Job/Life Balance: In February I got to initiate one work from home day a month! (It's a policy many have been enjoying for well over a year, but I was left out-so I spoke up!)

Staying Strong in the Face of Stress: Although yesterday's blues warranted a diet soda, I stayed strong and did not order French Fries ('cause the best Diet Coke comes from Mcdonald's)

Gifts: My bestie sent me The Artist in the Office which is a fun book all about how to survive day job-dom and maintain your creativity while chained to a desk 40 hours a week. It encourages you to list goals and suggests ways to be creative and work on your craft even if it's a short walk outside at lunch, looking up one contact, sending out one manuscript or headshot/resume or making collages from your scratch pad. It inspired me to list out some atristic and personal goals I have for this year so they are now on paper and out in the universe.

Feeding My Creative Soul: I'm back in rehearsals adn working on a show which plumps up my resume, keeps me out there as an ative Chciago artist, and feeds my creative soul!
Lookey there, lots of nice things.

Do you keep a gratitude list or journal?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So We Meet Again 3rd Day of the Month...

Here are my latest measurements:
Feb 3rd Waist (at belly button): 30 inches
Mar 3rd Waist (at belly button): 29.75
Down 1/4 inch! Down 3.75 inches total!

Feb 3rd Hips: 36 inches
Mar 3rd Hips: 36 inches
No Change. Down 3 inches total!

Feb 3rd Arm: 10.75 inches around
Mar 3rd Arm: 10.75 inches around
No Change. Down 1 inch total!

Feb 3rd Thigh: 21.75 inches around
Mar 3rd Thigh: 21.75 inches around
No Change. Down 1.25 inches total!

Honestly, I am really frustrated so I am a Debbie Downer right now and my new found confidence has taken a hit. I have been exercising so much over the past month. I've worked so hard and feel disappointed. There just can't be a way that I'm not losing more inches! I am definitely firmer and more defined which is amazing, but there is superficial part of me that just wants to be smaller and refuses to believe that this is as good as my frame gets!! My clothes are all loose so it's amazing that I've only lost a quarter inch in my waist. It just doesn't make sense or add up. I feel like I am eating well, not getting too many or too few calories, averaging about seven hours of sleep a night (low for my needs, but decent), doing a good variation of cardio/strength training/Pilates,  as well as drinking lots of water. I'm down you guys and definitely didn't feel motivated to work out this morning (I felt gloomy and thought, "why bother-what I am doing is not working"). I think with my busy schedule that I just don't have the time to get in the super long workouts that I need and can't spend the money and don't have time for a trainer and nutrionist. I clearly must be doing something wrong. I am trying to fight the negative and embrace the positive and acknowledge that being less jiggly is wonderful and a huge accomplishment and that I have come far. I am the lightest I have ever been by 2 pounds and have more muscle than I ever have. These are great things and I would be foolish to poo-poo them! I absolutely know that! One of the things that is hard to keep that in mind sometimes is that a slender human and a slender camera-ready actor are two very different things.

My husband met my disappointment with a tough love approach and wouldn't let me just cry it out. It hurt, but I am trying to see that he meant well.

Could gluten be the cuplrit? Perhaps I should test my sensitivity by staying away from wheat.