Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hi Friends :)
Anyone been on any vacations lately??  I have!  And it's been fabulous to spend time with some wonderful and inspiring ladies along the way.  Just a shout out to all the hardworking career women and moms I've been privileged to spend time with over the last couple months.
**Palm Springs was gorgeous, even in the rain, and I found lots of restaurants, waiters, and cooks who were willing to cooperate with all my special foodie needs.  They don't know what it means to me to be able to eat food and not stress about the content.  Thank you!!  My teacher friends and I had fun as we hit up the local shopping and nightlife. 

**Santa Barbara was just so wonderful... more rain - what is up?- but the shops, wine tasting, sights, sounds and food of SB make me want to get back there asap!  I've never spent time there and it's such a great place.  Props to my friend Tanya for planning the whole thing.  The combination of women included teachers, a fashion designer, a marketing guru, and others involved in making the world a better place in various ways.  With all our combined powers, we could probably take over the world ;) 

**My mom was in town!  So more Palm Springs and fun times showing her around.  I feel so lucky to have the time to explore and discover all the cool things to be found in SoCal.  We had mom-daughter time by the pool and sunny warm weather.  Can't ask for much more :)

With all these good times and fine wines... it's really time to hit the gym.  I've been lifting and hiking lately, but it's also time to clean up my diet.  If you haven't checked out Tosca Reno and her Eating Clean revolution, you gotta check her out!  She's such inspiration, and her website is FULL of great advice and recipes.
Tosca Reno

Another lady who has really been inspiring to me is Katie Halchishick.  She founded "Healthy is the New Skinny".
What a positive message!  I love it. She is truly a beautiful woman and promoting such a valuable lesson.  Read about her in Teen Vogue:

Another shout out to my book club :)  We call it "BINE" night, and truly, more wine than book... but nevermind - we have a good time!  Ah.... to be a fly on THAT wall.  You all wish ;)  We are a combined force to reckon with!

And isn't this a GREAT pic of what supermodels look like in real life?!?  I'm in LOVE with it.  We all know that Photoshop is a reality in magazines and publications, but it's fun to see these ladies in all their un-retouched glory ;)

Another lovely lady is my Boston Terrier Porkchop. Here she is - wishing you all a Happy Easter!  She's still finding eggs around the house :) 
 So there's some fun happenings and lots of stories of women being awesome and making a difference.  Enjoy your day and stay balanced!  Don't forget to make time to spend with those who inspire and energize you.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Sobering Obesity Reports - And Some Positive Solutions!

(Reuters) - The number of obese U.S. adults rose in 16 states in the last year, helping to push obesity rates in a dozen states above 30 percent, according to a report released on Thursday.
Today, the state with the lowest adult obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health.
What the hell is happening in America?  We are slowly but surely killing ourselves with processed foods, and waaay too much of them.  It's only been 16 years, and already, look at how far we've gone down the road to destroying our health.
Please don't fool yourself into thinking that you HAVE to be saddled with chronic health or joint problems. 

While I applaud Ms. Obama's efforts to create awareness and spread the word for health... Obviously it takes more than information and encouragement to make a meaningful change.  It takes... Wait for it!

Look, I don't have kids, but I can tell you that as a kid - I ate what Moms dropped on the table.  No questions asked.  Cause if I DID ask a question... my ass was grass!  Eat it or be hungry.  Starving kids in Africa, etc., etc.
Mom put it on the table = I ate it!

So we have family support as a huge factor in health.  Kids do as they see, and sometimes as they're told.  The temptation is to buy frozen, tasty, quick meals and throw them in the microwave or oven.  Kids might even stay skinny eating it... for awhile.  The temptation is to give them the Hot Cheetos, Doritos and soda they want at the grocery store.  It tastes so good, it's so convenient, and it shuts them up.  But it's not right. 

So now that I'm a full time worker, varsity high school basketball coach, wife, pet owner, family member, occasional online grader and sometimes a model ;)  I know a thing or two about being busy, even without kids.  And I can't imagine how hard it is to juggle parenthood with everything else.  So I am amazed by moms and dads everywhere who pull it together.  Hugs to you... I know it must be so hard to balance it all.

If you've read  my blogs, you know this past year I had to start cooking most of my own food due to health issues. 
But hey... I had to do it.  No question about it.  And I lost 20lbs.  And my knees don't hurt anymore.  Although I'm a huge proponent of exercise, this weight loss had little or nothing to do with exercise.  Much of the time I was too sick to work out.  For the first time in my life I truly realized that my diet had more to do with my size than exercise or "genes".  It was eye-opening!

So then, kids who are active must be doing better, right?  Even if they're eating junk? Sometimes they are, and thank goodness for sports.  But like I said, the food and drink have a huge affect here as well...

Here's a scenario: I'm coaching a practice, my girls break for a drink.  About 60% are reaching for a Powerade, Gatorade, or some other unnecessary sports (sugar) drink.  NOT NEEDED!  Unless you're practicing/conditioning for multiple hours a day (think basketball camp, daily doubles, tournaments), you DON'T need to ingest hundreds of calories of sugar to "replenish" yourself.  Stop it already!

Get Started Today!  Don't wait until you have a serious health problem to make a change
-Start reading labels

-Stop eating sh** from the freezer or can that has dyes, preservatives and tons of sugar or sodium

-Go to Costco or another warehouse store and stock up on lean meats (freeze them), frozen and fresh veggies, brown rice, and a crock pot.

-Use cheese as a small garnish, not a main ingredient

-Look at your meal: Protein, veggies (cooked and UNcooked), WHOLE grain carbohydrates.  Often our meals are heavy on simple carbs (white rice or pasta), fat (non-lean meats and cheese), and things out of a can. 

-Don't get canned soups unless you are fully aware of the sodium content!  One can of Progresso Light, which I used to eat for lunch at work, has around 900 mg of sodium.  900!!!!!  I try to eat less than that all day now...

-If you truly won't take the time to make a salad, buy it in a bag.  NOT iceberg lettuce.  I used to think I was being lazy, but salad from a bag is better than no veggies just cause I'm tired. 

-Choose some good dressings - vinaigrette, oil and vinegar, etc.  Add almonds, beans, corn (you can find non-sodium versions of these in a can), lean ground beef or turkey for a taco salad...

-A salad doesn't need bacon bits, cheese, loads of croutons and a mountain of ranch dressing.  You may as well eat a hamburger.

-If you have kids... Please don't let them eat school lunches.  I'm a teacher.  Trust me.  Chocolate muffins and chocolate milk for breakfast, processed meats/pizza/nuggets, one apple and sugary juice does not a happy and healthy child make.  It makes them cranky, chubby and lethargic. 

It's time to ask yourself some difficult questions:
  • Do you drink soda?
  • Do you eat frozen or processed foods several times a day/week?
  • Do you eat fresh vegetables every single day?
  • Do you drink hundreds of calories a day (sugary coffee, fruit juice, smoothies, icees, mixed drinks, wine or beer)?
  • Do you eat chips or cookies with dyes and preservatives on a regular basis?
  • Do you eat past the point of fullness frequently?
  • Do you eat greasy or deep fried foods several times a week?
  • Do you often have dessert after dinner?
  • Do you eat candy bars?

Think about these questions. 
You have EVERY RIGHT to continue to eat as much and whenever you please.  But take ownership of it.  Understand that if you're consistently eating unhealthy food, your size and your health are not due to your "genes".  They are due to your choices.

If you know that your day is filled with lean protein, veggies, fruit and whole grains... you probably feel pretty good.

But if you know what you're really putting in your mouth isn't the best choice, if you are brave enough to have SELF-AWARENESS, please be honest and take an inventory of your health. 

My family members who eat poorly break my heart, because I know they won't be around as long, or enjoy life as fully.  How do I know this?  They are already sick, or dealing with chronic issues.  That's no way to live.

Whatcha gonna do??
So, the obesity report is depressing.  But the best way to combat feeling the funk is to DO something about it.  Go throw away ONE thing from your pantry that you KNOW you shouldn't eat.  Make a big pot of brown rice, some lean chicken and veggies and dig in.  You'll feel better just knowing you did something healthy today.  And after dinner, maybe a walk would be nice ;) 

I'm pulling for you... and for me!  Let's prove that report wrong and start working toward a healthier future.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Are you a Talker or a Doer?

How do you know if someone you're relying on is a Talker or a Doer?
How many times have you been let down by someone who promised BIG but their delivery was weak ?
How can you discern the difference?
Watch their actions, ignore their words... WAIT and be patient until they prove their worth.

When someone tells me all about what they believe, what their goals are, how hard they're willing to work... Call me cynical, (I say realistic!) but I usually nod politely, keep my mouth shut, and bide my time.
Cause I won't know if it's true till they ACT
and their ACTIONS will tell me 10x more than all those empty words
Good news: if the words match the actions, I earn a lil faith in mankind  :) 
Bad news: Nah... I'm already holding judgment till the actions come down.  No worries! 

And now... Gotta take a quick self inventory.  Am I doing everything I can to reach my goals?  Am I fooling myself with big promises, but weak delivery?  I hope not!  I'm gonna go think about life for awhile :) 

Be loving, kind, but still cautious.  Show caring and compassion, but don't be foolish.
Don't make the world teach you a hard lesson twice! 


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eating Cheap, Eating Smart, DIY Refried Beans and Acupuncture

Have you ever looked at the sodium content in refried beans???  Well, I have, and I can't eat 'em, but I miss my mexican food!
Here's something I came up with recently...

1 bag of pinto beans
Soak in water overnight
Cook the next day in a pot, simmer with a lid for about 2 hrs
If you can tolerate salt, add to taste
BOMB salsa... of all place, WALMART?!?!

I can't tolerate the sodium, and at first I was super disappointed in the bland taste but I added some other fab ingredients and spiced it right up!
Refried Beans

Heat the beans in a pot.  Add a couple big scoops of sour cream and some low sodium salsa to taste.
YUM!  So serious. Even my family who can eat "normal food" likes this dip!  I eat it with no-salt tortilla chips from Henry's.  I WISH we had Trader Joe's out here.  Anybody listening?  I think it's time to start a petition.

Another tip: Salt-free Kettle Chips with your own seasonings added in.  How nice is it to know you aren't eating all those chemicals and weird ingredients?!  I like to know what I'm eating... being able to read the ingredients is a plus!
My fave seasoning right now: Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime

Now I'm last minute planning for my trip to Cabo.  I'm a lil nervous about eating away from home because of my sodium limitations, so I'm packing a suitcase of food.  No joke :)  My hubby can eat all kinds of anything he wants, so he gets some ramen noodles, mac and cheese and chips for snacks.  Plus tons of bottled water!  I'm not spending $14 a bottle, I'll tell you right now!  I also found brown rice in microwavable containers for me, granola bars, almonds, cashews, cereal, microwave popcorn, and noodles.  Yay!  Still looking forward to some nice dinners out, but not every meal.  Gotta keep the sodium intake in check

Have any of you tried acupuncture?  I just did today!  My Meniere's/vertigo issues have been on high alert this summer.  I'm pretty sure the heat is ruining me.  Since the last two days I've been about 50% functional with a couple dizzy driving scares, enough is enough!  I went to the acupuncturist today!  Exciting!  It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but then I ended up falling asleep on the table :)  
When I come back from Cabo I'm going to be back every other day for awhile.  Fingers crossed it solves some of my issues! 

Cheers my summer friends :)  Take a nice long walk, cook something healthy, and relax on your porch with a glass of wine.  Ahhhhh... summer


How Do You Get Cute For Summer??

I love summer... cute dresses, breezy evenings on the back porch with  glass of wine and the occasional tanning and beach action
Plus I'm a teacher so HAYYYY I'm off work lol  Can't complain!
I'm off to Cabo tomorrow, so besides buying several new swimsuits this year and overflowing my bikini drawer, I've put a little thought into what makes up my summer cuteness routine.
Yup...I'm wearing this in Cabo!
If you're anything like me, days off mean grubby workout clothes, messy hair, no makeup and dirt under my fingernails from yardwork. 
And that's just not cute.  It's Anti-Cute

So what's a girl to do when there's a trip just around the corner and her scraggly hair, jacked up nails and grubby clothes just won't cut it?

Quick Fixes to the rescue!!! 

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush

Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Steel Grey on mah toes!

Lightening my hair and getting a trim - Yup DIY job on that one.  I used a dye specially formulated for dark hair so I wouldn't end up with bright orange hair.  I recommend it!  Although I have gold tones, it's not clown looking.  Always a danger for us brunettes! 
Garnier Nutrisse B3 Cafe con Leche
Product Image Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color: Cafe con Leche - Golden Brown

Lots of thrift store shopping and the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon - if you haven't been there, GO NOW! 
Get on the 10 East from LA and watch for it.  On the way to Palm Springs... Totally worth the drive.  Check out the selection of stores here: 

And what about exercise?  All those little outfits you want to wear this summer?
My word for the summer is STRUCTURE - Every morning I'm getting up and walking my doggies before is gets hot, then working on my yard a bit.  It keeps me active and stops me from lounging around in bed all morning and being completely de-motivated for the day.  So far so good! 

Do you have a schedule?  Workout time won't appear out of thin air.  Find something you like to do... How about a fun dance class?  My friend Tanya got back into working out by going to a Richard Simmons aerobics class!  It inspired her to try yoga, dance, weights and hiking!  So keep it interesting and just DO SOMETHING.  You'll be so proud of yourself!


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nina Fleurina

Nina Fleurina - the cutest little Claremont boutique :)  I was going through some of my pics and I realized I haven't shared these yet!  I've been enjoying the spring weather and I'm really in the shopping mood.  Watch out world - I'm on the loose!  I'm getting ready for a girl's weekend and planning my outfits... so fun and a nice diversion from all this work that's been keeping a stranglehold on me.

Nina Fleurina has fabulous soaps, chocolates, candles and perfume

Fabulous candles

Cute clothes, too!
And in other unrelated shopping news..

More J.Crew


Hmmm.... Can't remember where I got this :) 

That's all the excitement for now... Latersssss

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Fitness

Spring forward for the time change!  Ummm, heck YES!  One of my favorite things in the world is the spring time change... Long evenings, walking the dogs, warm sunsets at 7pm :)  FAVE

Hope you're using the daylight savings as an excuse to get outside in the evenings and be active.  Although I really struggle during the winter months to move my butt off the couch during the dark evenings, somehow spring motivates me to get back on track.  It seems easier this time of year, and not only because of the threat of shorts and swimsuits!

So enjoy the sunshine and use this opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors :)  Get out of your gym rut and mix up your routine.  Remember you can mix up your walks with short jog intervals, lunges, stretching, a few pushups thrown in to jumpstart that heart rate and boost your calorie burn.

Get after it!
XOXO Andrea