My Healthy Life: A Manifesto

my healthy life

Before writing this post, I thought I would revisit what I wrote around this time last year. I had just signed up for Weight Watchers again, and had already lost close to 20 lbs since having my baby (she was a month old at the time – crazy to imagine, eh). Since then, I have made some major changes.

While Weight Watchers totally kicked my butt into gear and helped me learn from the food and activity choices I was making, I have opted for a complete lifestyle change and ultimately chose a route where I wouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee to be told how to eat. I also was not completely behind the idea where you get count points based on caloric intake – tricking people into believing that diet food is healthier for you, when it can often be worse.

I don’t want to focus on consuming diet food, but rather consuming food that is real, whole, good for you and delicious. My healthy goals for this year are to: workout for 30 minutes per day, practice yoga for 30 minutes a day and cook all of our meals from scratch. Sure, there will be times where we go out to eat. I am in no way perfect when it comes to my diet, and I think 99% of people can agree with that. But I will be more conscious when I do go out to eat. That’s all you gotta do. Be conscious.

I also want to focus more on remixing recipes by substituting good, healthy ingredients where they are needed and I will continue sharing my concoctions with you.

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In case you are also resolving to get more fitness and healthy food in your life for the next year, here are a few websites that really helped me last year:

  • Greatist: This is one of the first websites I got into when I started this health kick. I attempted many a health challenge through Greatist, and while I barely ever stuck with them – I learned a lot and I love how proactive and fun the writers are. They actually created Renew Year, where they post new challenges each morning and you share on Twitter when you complete the challenge with the hashtag #healthyishappy. I love it!
  • The Gracious Pantry – This is by far one of my favorite sites and has truly motivated me to keep eating real and good food. Her recipes are all clean and she has good ones! My family loves every recipe I make…and that is really saying a lot. Because they hate anything with the word healthy in it.
  • DoYouYoga.com – I love this yoga site, and I love Erin Motz. She always makes yoga practice fun, and they’re always adding new videos. She has really inspired me to pursue a yoga instructor certification, and that is one of my goals now.
  • Fitness Blender – I found this couple through YouTube, and I love their workouts. They’re quick, but get the job done. They also do different challenges that you can join in, and they often post videos talking about nutrition and health – which I love. It’s not about being skinny for them, it’s about being healthy.

While you may not be on your A-game all the time, as long as you are eating good food and remaining active, you’ll be fine. I promise.  Let’s do this not to be skinny – let’s do it to be healthy. Most of all, let’s DO IT.

Have you made a resolution to be more healthy in 2014? Did you write about it? Share your link in the comments and post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google + with the hashtag #myhealthylife. You can also find more healthy inspiration on my Pinterest. Cheers to healthy and happy new year!

Fitness Fest: MyYogaPro

Me and the little one doing our yoga

Me and the little one doing our yoga

Today, I’m taking a little note from Elizabeth on Delightfully Tacky. She shared her experience with yoga on her blog the other day, and it totally rang true with me. I also started taking yoga when I was in College and needed some kind of fitness class. I’ve always been relatively active but unlike Elizabeth, I was never big on doing anything too strenuous. So when I saw that a yoga class was available, I snatched it up immediately.

I went back and forth on taking yoga classes around town but it never really felt right. Since the yoga community in Sacramento is so small, everyone in my classes always knew each other and even if I took beginner classes, they all seemed to be more advanced than I was – which was probably true. I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others – especially in a yoga class – but it’s hard not to do that. So I just stopped going. I wasn’t feeling it anymore.

I started doing yoga on my Wii Fit when I moved to Stockton, but that also just didn’t feel right. Yoga is a lot more than just doing the moves – it’s an experience. A spiritual journey, if you will. So I looked online for yoga classes. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Erin Motz and DoYouYoga.com that I finally felt a connection. That’s why I have always promoted what they are working on, and love what they are doing.

Image belongs to DoYouYoga.com

Image belongs to DoYouYoga.com

Erin is so down-to-earth and does not have that “I’m more in touch with my body” attitude that I get from a lot of yoga teachers. Not to mention, DoYouYoga.com is a really fun site that is user-friendly and also houses articles on yoga and the lifestyle behind it. The articles are all written by normal people, and anyone who has a connection yoga and healthy living in general can sign up as a contributor.

So when I saw that they were launching a Kickstarter for their new site – MyYogaPro – I got on board immediately. I signed up as an Ambassador and started spreading the word. I have been following the journey of Andreas Zolton (DoYouYoga founder) and Erin Motz – and I am excited to announce that the Kickstarter has officially launched!

As I’m typing this, the campaign has only been live for 2 days and they already have 664 backers and have raised an astounding $33.341 of their $20,000 goal. That’s insane! The campaign will be live for 38 more days so there is still time to pledge, and if you pledge $15 or more, you get a sweet soundtrack!

Image belongs to DoYouYoga.com

Image belongs to DoYouYoga.com

My Yoga Pro will the first-ever social online yoga platform that combines online yoga classes with a social network and a video game-like rewarding system. Andreas and Erin are hoping that this new concept will change the way people view at-home yoga sessions – making it fun an rewarding. For some of us, at-home sessions are the only way we can practice.

This idea was born after Andreas and Erin launched the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, which was also backed by Yoga Trail and  had over 20,000 participants in just a few months, myself included. With MyYogaPro, there will be 16 yoga courses and over 200 exclusive HD videos of yoga classes. Yogis can sign up for Challenges with friends and earn badges together, or can update their status to let everyone know that they’ve been practicing for a week straight.

Needless to say, I’m really excited to see what’s to come with MyYogaPro. I’m a huge fan of both DoYouYoga and Erin Motz and I think that the yoga world needs a website like this. If you are looking for a new yoga site and you have not gotten yourself acquainted with DoYouYoga, then I think that you should check it out. You can start the 30 Day Yoga Challenge at any time, and can learn more about MyYogaPro.

Follow DoYouYoga on Facebook and Twitter to get all the scoop and updates as they happen. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy inspiration!

Gettin fit: Old clothes challenge

Do you have a rice cooker? I do. I attempted cooking rice several times before purchasing said rice cooker, and let’s just say it never worked out. On one occasion, I was so afraid to burn the rice that I barely cooked it…and my friend seriously had to ask what exactly I was attempting. Is it rice soup? Were you going for hard rice? The next time, I was a little more relaxed about cooking the rice, and it ended up burnt. Since rice is a staple in my house, I decided it was time to purchase a rice cooker. And since I’m also a fan of multi-purpose appliances, I was happy to find this article by Emily Ho for the Kitchn. (Side note, you should totally check out Emily Ho’s website. She’s awesome).

Image belongs to The Kitchn

Image belongs to The Kitchn

Turns out, you can make steel cut oats, polenta, beans and frittata in the rice cooker! You can click on the photo or on the link above to get directions for making all of this. While we are on the topic of making wonderful food, here’s an awesome recipe for steel cut oats! They’re super good for you, and perfect for the colder weather.

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Pumpkin Oatmeal – If you have ever visited my blog before, you know how deep my obsession with pumpkin runs. I’m also slightly obsessed (ok, maybe a little bit more than slightly) obsessed with The Gracious Pantry. This looks like a wonderful recipe that I have yet to try. It’s something you could also make on a Sunday and finish throughout the week…which is the easiest and best way for me to eat breakfast.

 

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I WAS ABLE TO DO YOGA THIS MORNING! My baby girl has not been sleeping well lately, but she actually slept in her own crib all night long, and slept long enough for me to squeeze in a quick practice this morning! It felt so good and I feel so rejuvenated now. I can seriously take on the world. So, watch out, world.

I also got back into my routine with the Beginner Bodyweight Workout Plan from GB Personal Training. I’m doing Week 1 over again, since I got a little off path last week. I have decided to stick with low-impact workouts and yoga for my fitness needs. I’m more likely to stay on track and it’s kind of hard to carry and play with a baby when your legs feel like jelly and you can barely move. Sure, it’s a sign of a good workout, but it’s kind of pointless if I can’t do anything after.

Image belongs to Greatist

Image belongs to Greatist

Whatever exercise you choose, it does your body good. Check out this article from Greatist to find more unexpected benefits of exercise. Every time I read an article like that, I get more motivated and inspired to continue working out every day. Fitting into my old clothes ain’t too shabby, either 🙂

What are you reasons for getting and staying fit? Do you have a good recipe to workout to share? Post in the comments and share with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #getfit or #oldclotheschallenge. If you hate hashtags, make sure to tag me in the post so I can see and share! You can also find more fitness inspiration on my Pinterest!

Gettin fit: Old Clothes Challenge

Goals: Reach 130 by Nov 12 | Workout 30 min per day | Eat clean, whole foods

Yesterday marked the end of the Real Food Challenge. I didn’t stick to it every day, due to a serious lack of the necessary ingredients. So, I’m going to go through all of the recipes today and make a grocery list. Since we don’t go grocery shopping often, I think it would be best to make a big haul once a month and just get little stuff when we need it. I’m going to use this list and the list from The Gracious Pantry and combine the two. I don’t want to bore everyone with my grocery list, but if you would like to see it for some inspiration, please let me know and I will be happy to share!

I’m sticking to my 30 minute exercise plan. I get plenty of it chasing around the baby, but she’s getting to the point where she would rather just crawl around and do her own thing then hang with her boring ol mom while I work out. While I was on the lookout for an easy 30 minute exercise I can do, I found this:

Image belongs to GB Personal Training

Image belongs to GB Personal Training

Beginner Bodyweight Monthly Workout Plan from GB Personal Training – RAD! Founder Greg Brookes says that this workout is for total beginners, or people who have been out of it for a while (for some reason, I feel like I fit both). And he says that no workout should take longer than 30 minutes! I can get down with that!

Image belongs to Do You Yoga

Image belongs to DoYouYoga.com

Also, in yoga and fitness news….DoYouYoga.com is launching a new yoga project with Erin Motz! They’re launching a Kickstarter campaign in six days for a new MyYogaPro – a new yoga site where “beginner and advanced yogis grow their practice  together with real yoga teachers. Get countless HD streaming videos, workshops, how-tos, articles and expert insights. Ask questions and let Erin Motz and a team of certified yoga instructors help you get the best out of your yoga practice.”

And, check out this article on EatHugger.com:

Image belongs to EatHugger.com

Image belongs to EatHugger.com

5 Real Food Staples to Keep in Your Kitchen, by Erin Motz

(I see an Erin Motz fan club in my future)

I will share more details about this site as I learn them. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty amazing site. So, I’m going to try that Monthly Workout Plan today and I’m compiling a grocery list for some good clean eating ingredients! Again, let me know if you want to see my list for inspiration. I’m also going to work on designing a printable grocery list with all the major food groups listed. What are your fitness and health goals? Share your journey in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! And find more healthy inspiration on my Pinterest!

Gettin fit: Old clothes challenge

After my week-long break from working out (our whole house was sick…it sucked), I’m trying to get back into my routine. My baby was so used to cuddling with me all day long for a week straight, she’s also having a hard time of getting back into the routine of hanging with herself while I try to get some stuff done around here. So, I’ve gotten back into working out with my baby.

I’m still doing the 365 Days of Yoga Challenge and the poses are turning more into a flow, rather than just going from pose to pose. It’s just hard to get in my night yoga, so I need to set aside some time for it. Here is my new fitness routine:

Monday: Baby workout

Tuesday: Resistance band

Wednesday: Kettle bell

Thursday: Wii Fit

Friday: Bodyweight

Saturday: Stroll with the babe

Sunday: Stroll with the babe

Image belongs to The Daily Green

Image belongs to The Daily Green

These mom and baby exercises from The Daily Green are still my favorite mom and baby exercises. Cecilia absolutely loves when I do the Shoulder Press, Glute Lifts and Leg Lifts, which makes it fun to watch her get all excited. Now that she’s a lot more active, she has a harder time just sitting with me, so when I involve her in this stuff, she loves it.

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

I also started the Real Food Challenge, with my favorite yoga instructor, Erin Motz, through Eat Hugger. Since I’ve been following the Clean Eating lifestyle for a while now, this doesn’t look too hard. This is also a good site in general for finding recipes with whole foods in them. My only problem is getting the food for it. I’ll be in Sacramento this weekend so I’m hoping to hit up the farmers markets while I’m there.

They are also open to contributors who want to write articles about healthy food and a healthy lifestyle. So if this is something you are into and you love to write, you should consider checking them out. I don’t think they pay but it’s a good outlet, and a good way to get more traffic to your personal blog.

I have been able to fit into some of my old clothes that weren’t so attractive when I tried to put them on a month ago, so that makes me feel good! I’m waiting until I hit 140 before I do my first closet purge. Only 6 lbs left to go before I do that! I’m feeling a lot better (not so sluggish) and I feel a lot healthier than I did just a little while ago. I’m loving all of these changes!

What are your favorite workouts and/or health food websites? Share them in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #healthyliving. Check out my Pinterest and Tumblr for more healthy inspiration!

Gettin fit: old clothes challenge

IMG_5294To know me is to know that I will plan my birthday months in advance. Normally, it’s because I plan on having a month (or week if I’m poor) long celebration. This time around, I’m planning it because that’s when I plan to meet my goal. Since my birthday is in 3 months, I’m giving myself that amount of time to kick it into high gear. I know, I know…I’ve set goals before and never stuck to them. But hey, maybe it will work this time.

The baby and I are starting to get our schedule down and now that she’s into her walker and playing with all of her toys in her playpen, I have a little more time to work out and practice yoga. I do try to include her in my workouts, but now that she’s mobile, she would rather not. I’ve also started baking all my breads on Saturdays and Sundays when I have more help. Then, I use them all week. And it works!

I have found all of my workouts so far on Fitness Blender. They have quick workouts and I always feel good afterwards. Sore, but good. And of course, for my yoga needs, I stick with Erin Motz and Do You Yoga. I just love her.

Tonight, I’m going to cook my black beans and oatmeal so they are ready for tomorrow. I got my black beans in a bag, so this will be my first time preparing them. We’ll see how it goes! I’m finding it easier to stick to my clean eating lifestyle, and I’m feeling a lot better.

Posting my yoga and workout sessions daily has really helped me stay on track. I just don’t want this blog to be over-saturated with workout stuff. So, I decided to start a healthy blog called too fit to be square. I upload pictures of my workout sessions, good food I made, recipes, workout tutorials and videos I found and just general healthy inspiration.

I will still be updating this blog about my healthy journey every week, but that blog will be updated daily.

Feel free to follow my blog if you are needing a little inspiration, and you can join my old clothes challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find more healthy living inspiration on my Pinterest.

So fresh and so clean

Current weight: 153

Monthly goals: No fast food/ Yoga + Workout daily

So, I’ve decided that instead of calculating and sharing my weight every week, I’m going to do it monthly. In between my monthly check-in’s, I’ll share some food and exercises that I find inspiring and hopefully even profile some inspiring people who have made huge lifestyle changes for the better.

So, to start things off, let’s talk about my most favorite thing ever. FOOD! Yesterday, I wrote about some awesome grapefruit treats that I found. And one of them was grapefruit brulee, which might actually become my new favorite treat. Super easy to do, minimal ingredients, and so very good.

grapefruit-header

Image belongs to Eat & Relish

Feeling inspired (and too tired to make anything strenuous) this morning, I decided to try out this grapefruit brulee, and it was seriously everything I could ask for. The grapefruit was soft and warm and the cinnamon melted so perfectly into every little bite that the grapefruit tasted more sweet and any remnants of bitterness was gone.

IMG_4954And, now for the exercise part, of course. I am still continuing with my 365 days of yoga challenge and I have seen a huge change in how much easier it is for me to do all of the poses now. I also don’t feel as stressed out as I used to and I don’t have as much pain anymore. Of course, I take a couple days off here and there, and I can feel it every time I do. Last week, I injured my knee at my brother’s wedding (long story) so now I’m rockin a knee brace, but I still stick to my practice as much as I can.

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I have to say, my favorite yoga inspiration, by far, has been Erin Motz with Do You Yoga. She’s just so easygoing, and her practices aren’t long at all, which fits in perfectly with my lifestyle. She has really inspired me to look into becoming a trainer, after I get a few more hours under my belt, of course.

And for some more workout inspiration, I found this awesome exercise online.

Image belongs to Women's Health

Image belongs to Women’s Health

This kettlebell workout from Women’s Health doesn’t look like it would be that hard, but man did it make me sweat! This is perfect to do while your little one is crawling around, or something quick while he/she is napping. I would not suggest using your baby as a kettlebell though. That could end badly.

Please share any “clean living” and/or exercise inspirations! Post them in the comments or share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #sofreshsoclean. You can also check out my Pinterest for more clean and fit inspiration.