Tuesday

Just STOP and SMELL the FLOWERS

(Just updated below on 6/3/2012)

Do you ever just stop and think?  We, as a society, are constantly in a rush, stressed out, and have no time for anything. Everyone is chasing their dreams and going full force. I need to make more money, I need to lose weight, I need to do this and that..... It really never ends.

One of the main problems our society is dealing with is over doing it, which causes adrenal burn out.  More and more people are suffering from insomnia and chronic health problems just from the burden they put on themselves. You have to ask yourself, why are you doing all of this?  Why do you need to work 60 hours a week?  Why do you need to kill yourself and exercise 2-3 hours a day? All of that puts too much stress on your body in conjunction with all the other demands life has to offer.  Isn't the point of life to take a minute and enjoy the people you love and things you love to do?  If I die extremely rich, but didn't make time for my family, and do the things I love most, what was the point of working so hard??


Today I put Chloe, my 4 month old, in the stroller.  She faces towards me so I can see her.  I went outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather and gaze at my beautiful baby girl.  Yes I was getting a little exercise in, but most importantly I was talking and singing to her. Watching her smile and coo at me was worth more to me than any money in the world.  It really hit home that I too am so guilty of living the "rat race".  So busy I forget why I'm doing it all. And today as I was walking, I was admiring the beauty that surrounded me.  Smelling the fresh air and thinking of how much love I have for my family and friends. How lucky I am to have a career that changes peoples lives for the better. I am already living the dream. 

It's always important to have goals and dreams. That's what keeps us driven and motivated. But there needs to be a balance between focus and obsession.  When you are passionate about something it can easily become an obsession.  The outcome can turn in to not giving time or energy to the people who matter most to you. Not stopping and telling someone how much you appreciate, respect, or love them.  I am guilty of all of this! I am so busy answering my emails, giving advice to people, many I don't even know, and yet fail to tell the closest people in my life how much they mean to me.  The best gift you can possibly give someone is time.  No matter how much money you have, you can never buy back time that has passed.  

Speaking of things I appreciate, today represents 6 months of my husband being out of the hospital.  For those who have been following me for several years, know that my husband has been to the Emergency Room over 50 times.  Suffering from pain so unbearable that at times he could not walk and I needed to call an ambulance. Not having to visit the emergency room for 6 months has been so wonderful.  There have been lots of changes in his eating habits and lifestyle which play a huge part of what has kept him at home. 

Back to the point of this whole blog post. With everyone constantly overloading themselves and stressing over everything possible, that alone can cause MAJOR hormone imbalances and kill you. Even if you are eating very healthy and exercising, you may not lose weight just because of stress. I highly recommend finding some way to meditate or slow down. Trying a yoga class, Tai Chi, watching the sunset, Qi Gong, slow walk with a friend or spouse, sitting down for tea etc... Something that allows you to just BE.  That alone can lower stress levels.  If you really want to learn more about hormone optimization Mike Mahler has dedicated the past several years of his life to this. You can check out more info about balancing sex hormones right here.

We never know when our time is up.  So instead of putting in those extra hours at work, stressing about weight loss, or playing with your iphone, think about what is most important.  I'm not saying just quit your job and forget about being successful and having a nice income. We all have bills to pay and things we need to do to feel worthy!  Let's just remember why we work or why we want to lose weight. It's time to WAKE UP, take a deep breath, and cherish what's truly important.



JUNE 3, 2012  (3 years later update)





Well it's been almost 3 years now since I wrote this blog post.  It's amazing what kind of changes have been made since then.  My youngest is now 3 and my oldest is 5 years old.  Any time I take a walk with them, they stop at almost every flower and will smell it and ask if they can pick it for me.  It would take us forever to get anywhere, but eventually I just allowed it to happen since I saw the value in it.   I never taught them to stop and smell the flowers.  This is something that they naturally started doing since they started walking.  Time isn't of an essence for them, so why would they feel they have to rush when walking to a park to play?  I wonder when they will stop picking leaves off the ground to give to me as gifts or when they will stop collecting sticks or smelling flowers.   One of the reasons why it's so great to be a kid, is due to the fact that they don't stress over time.  They also appreciate the beauty that this earth has provided us right beneath our eyes.  Many kids are able to observe nature in a different lens.  I watch my two girls go in the backyard and lose themselves for hours.  Playing with sticks, collecting rocks, eating the honey suckle, and holding the rolley polley's.  They will find leaves and discuss the beauty in them. In a sense they have taught me how to reconnect with nature and become a kid again.   Today there was a gorgeous butterfly that allowed us to be very close to her and take multiple pictures.  The kids learned how to be gentle and quiet so she wouldn't fly away.  The experience was beautiful.  The butterfly eventually flew away but came back and brushed my arm several times.  It was pretty awesome!



In the last several months I've made some major life changes.  Now more than ever, I am really living!  I am looking through life through a whole new lens.  Nature, laughter, sunshine, playing, and connecting with good people is a beautiful thing.

I'm working on turning off my phone and getting away from all technology for at least 1-2 hours a day and get back in to living the moment.  Whether it's playing with my kids, taking a walk, going for a surf, a meditative crystal bowl class, or a picnic with a friend, I will be making it a priority to just slow down and enjoy the little moments that life has to offer.  May you all be able to do the same!









Thursday

Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins - Gluten Free, Wheat Free, and easy to make


This is the perfect fall treat around halloween and Thanksgiving.  In fact, I love pumpkin all year around!  With kids around it's essential to have some healthy goodies available. I also like to reward myself from time to time with a good muffin. The beauty of this muffin is it's made of almond flour and uses a little honey for the sweetener.  I don't feel so guilty after having one of these low carb muffins. With no refined flours, low sugar, and being Paleo friendly, it's hard to resist. Lyla and I made these together yesterday. I did one of my best workouts in a long time after having one of these dense muffins. No bloating or tiredness afterwards!

I took this recipe from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet website. I made some slight changes below. View the recipe here  Pumpkin Muffins - made with Almond Flour


You can substitute honey with agave syrup to lower the GI even more.  I left out the raisins and walnuts as well to lower the sugar a bit and caloric content. I also used organic pumpkin and organic butter with no salt.  I plan on trying this recipe with bananas and even just an apple muffin too.  Of course I will only have one batch in my house per month! Neighbors if you are reading this in time, feel free to come over and try one. 

If you are vegan I am sure you can replace the egg with some coconut oil, but I'm not positive! Let me know if you try it. 




Wednesday

Chloe is 4 months today! My postpartum update.

Here is Chloe at 4 months old. Things are going great! Nursing is going well, although I find when my weight falls under 115, my milk supply drops dramatically! It's strange that as long as I am between 115-117 I am able to keep up a healthy supply. I would love to be able to drop about 5 more pounds, but I will have to hold off until it's time to introduce solid foods to Chloe. Which will be 2 more months.








In the meantime I am really enjoying getting my strength back.  Yesterday I picked up a bell to do some snatches thinking it was the 16kg (35lb) and realized that I had by accidently snatched the 20kg (44 lb)! Successfully achieved it but definitely felt HEAVY!  Oh well, glad I can do it, but my joints are not ready for it for at least several more weeks.  8-)

My friend and client, Robin Duncan (in my first DVD), has really inspired me to try some hot yoga.  I have been meaning to give it a try after I was done with the pregnancy, but like everything I was too busy.  So I had to shift my schedule around. It's tough to get there but I have managed to do 2 weeks so far.  I have tried yoga in the past, but never hot yoga.  I have to say, it is the best compliment to kettlebell training I have ever found. I am already getting more flexible and my body feels fresh for every kettlebell workout I do. Each hot yoga class makes me feel like I am detoxing and washing out all the negative impurities in my mind and body.  Just thought I'd share my new addition to fitness. 


Core muscles are still not fully functioning from C-section but working on it with rehab exercises right now.

Here is a pic of me Four months postpartum.





 I'm off to my hot yoga class and really looking forward to it!!!