{inspiration} Yoga by Equinox

This is not a new video (it was released about 2 months ago, but has over 3 million views!).  When I originally saw it I was inspired to work harder in my yoga practice.  The teacher, Briohny Smith, was actually one of the yoga teachers at my local Equinox, so it’s really exciting to see how viral her video is!  Anyway, for those who love yoga (or just really hot fit girls) and want to be inspired… enjoy!

Paleo Chocolate “Elvis” Protein Smoothie

Elvis Presley made the grilled sandwich with peanut butter, sliced banana and bacon famous.

“The Elvis” is not paleo approved; however, I do love the flavor of peanut butter & banana, so here is my version of “the Elvis” in a paleo-ish approved smoothie.  I don’t know if you can call this breakfast, but it sure helped curb my cravings for a milkshake!

{photo credit: 1 | 2}

Paleo Chocolate "Elvis" Protein Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The famous "Elvis" sandwich in a smoothie & modified for the paleo diet.
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 sliced banana, frozen {if not frozen, add in 4 ice cubes}
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-canned coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 scoop Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Raw Plant-Based Complete Protein Powder {chocolate or vanilla}
  • 1 tbs dark chocolate chips {optional}
  • 1 slice of bacon, crumbled {optional}
Instructions
  1. Place all items in blender (in the order listed above) or rocket blender
  2. Blend until smooth & enjoy!

 

Please Note

In this recipe I used Trader Joe’s new unsweetened coconut milk, which tastes a lot different than normal canned coconut milk. It’s less dense, less creamy and it doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor. I don’t suggest using canned coconut milk in this recipe if that’s all you have. Use almond milk instead.

The original Elvis does not use any chocolate, so if you don’t want to “cheat” with some dark chocolate chunks (I get the 70% cacao ones from Whole Foods) or chocolate protein powder, then feel free to omit.  You can use vanilla protein powder too.

Lastly, bacon is optional (but it makes it a true Elvis with it!).

2012 Paleo Community Survey

Did you know that in 2011, blogs were the #1 source of information and education for the paleo diet and nutrition?  Blogs were also the #1 answer to “where did you learn about the paleo diet?”

According to the 2011 Paleo Community Survey (by Naturally Engineered), in which 6,104 people participated in, the paleo diet was most popular among 21-30 years (37%) with 31-40 year olds in a close second at 33%.  The majority of the respondents had no children and had at least a bachelor (43%) to graduate or professional degree (29%).  It also showed that in the number of people who learned about the paleo diet increased significantly from 2009 to 2010 (obviously showing a growing trend).

Beyond the basic data, it was interesting to learn about the lifestyle habits, shopping/cooking trends and health benefits among those who eat paleo.  According to the survey, 87% of the respondents had an improved overall health while on the diet whereas only .5% claimed a worst overall health and 80% had improved energy levels.

Because I was a math major in undergrad (yes, I was a nerd), I LOVE NUMBERS.  Seeing this data only helps reinforce why I am trying this diet and why I think it’s a great health choice for me (personally).  If you are interested in more results from last year’s Paleo Community Survey, download it HERE.

The reason I bring up this data is that the 2012 Paleo Community Survey has been released, so if you are on the paleo diet PLEASE FILL IT OUT.  It only took about 5 minutes and in the end you get a free electronic copy of this month’s Paleo Magazine!  This information will be very helpful in the years to come to understand the paleo movement!

Please take the 2012 PALEO COMMUNITY SURVEY!

Sitting is Killing You {infographic}

The other night after working out I was having problems every time I sat down and stood up.  When I would sit down for more than 30 minutes at my desk, my legs wouldn’t function when I stood up.  My calves cramped, my abs hurt when I stood up straight and it was like my body just collapsed while I was sitting at my computer.

When I walked into the living room, I noticed that Mike was standing up at our bar counter on his computer (not sitting).  He’s always convincing me that sitting is awful and that I should stand or sit on an excersize ball (I always thought he did it just because Tim Ferriss said to).

Anyway, it’s ironic that I came across this old infographic today (or it’s just reticular activation) because it pretty much sums up why sitting is killing you.  Apparently, if you sit more than 6+ hours a day, it increases your risk of death by 40% and each extra hour you watch TV increases your chance of death by 11%.  Guess I shouldn’t watch 4 hours of DVR after sitting in front of my computer all day!

Sitting is Killing You {via MedicalBillingandCoding.org}

{Inspiration} Be Fit & Try Hard

On my other blog, The Preppy Chic Blog {about weddings, lifestyle & girly stuff} I have a section every Wednesday called “Wednesday Words” that contains inspirational quotes on life, business & creativity.  I always love inspirational quotes & photos, so thought I’d start putting some “fitness & health” related inspiration on this blog because sometimes we all need a little push to get us going and motivated.

Today I’ll start with a couple of my favorites…

{via}
{via}

Dining Out {on Paleo} with Friends

During the first 30 days of eating Paleo, I tried to cook every meal at home (literally).  Before I started the diet I ate out or got take out almost every day, so I was extremely nervous and did not trust myself to face my “usual” restaurant spots.  I might have ended up with this…

{yes, this is real circa 3 months ago!}

How was I supposed to walk into a sushi restaurant and not order rice? Or Italian and no lasagna, garlic bread or flat bread?  Or Mexican without beans, cheese and tortilla chips? The list continued until I scared myself into only staying at home and cooking everything.

Finally, after being anti-social I decided to venture out and “experiment.” While not completely perfect, here are 3 places I went out to and what I ate…

Order: Burrito Bowl with double veggies (I love the fajita mix), no rice, no beans, half chicken, half barbacoa (it’s all fresh and here are the ingredients), double pico de gallo, guacamole and lettuce.

They do however cook the meats in soybean oil, so that’s a negative, but everything else is wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free (see diet information).

Order: 1/3 lb beef burger, in a bowl with organic mixed greens, no cheese, grilled onions, sprouts, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, avocado, dijon balsamic dressing.

Order: Lobster Salad (with heirloom tomato, green onion, cucumber, corn, kiwi, pistachio, orange muscat vinaigrette, butter lettuce, bib lettuce, mixed greens – I forgot to ask for no corn so I picked it out and I didn’t eat the bread) and Sweet Potato Fries (with coconut crema). I also sampled a couple of the street tacos, but I only ate the meat inside.

I Heart Lululemon & Reebok

I have a slight shopping addiction.  I guess you can call me a mild shopaholic :)  Whether it’s for the newest J.Crew collection or for the cutest new Lululemon patterns (especially this season’s bright bold colors), I have a weakness for fashion.

Recently, I’ve been on the search for new running/work-out shoes because my old Asics ones were too clunky and heavy for my Crossfit workouts.  I kept tripping over myself!  Since I’m a beginner I didn’t think the “official” Reebok CrossFit shoes were necessary, but Reebok fits me the best.  So, I found a pair of Reebok YourFlex Run (similar) shoes that I loved!  They’re even my favorite colors: hot pink, grey & orange!  We’ll see how they work in class this week!

The best part, they match with all my new Lululemon gear!!!  Over the past month I’ve decided to “revamp” my fitness wardrobe.  Since I’ve started working out almost daily AND I re-joined YogaWorks South Bay (side note: Whole Foods, Lululemon, Dick’s Sporting Good AND J.Crew are all in the same shopping center… great real estate positioning for a sucker like me), I tend to “window shop” (a.k.a. go in and accidentally come out with a least 2 items) weekly.  Bad Stephanie.

Anyway, since it’s almost summer, I thought I’d share some of my new workout clothes because I’m in love with everything that I’ve purchased.  If you love yoga, pilates, running or CrossFit, all these items are PERFECT for all and any of the above! {a snapshot of a few items}

In more detail…

Pranayama Bra

Great for a hot yoga class or under a tank at the gym (I love all the details!). It’s super comfortable & allows for a lot of movement.

Run: Back-on-Track Tank

I’m obsessed with nautical things, so I loved the colors.  The tank is also very supportive, breathes well and the cinchable drawcords make the bottom adjustable.

Stride Jacket & Boogie Short

The jacket is perfect for cold mornings or even with jeans.  I have the dancer jacket also, but this one is more versatile.  I have yet to wear the boogie shorts as it’s been cold & I’m still a little self-conscious about spandex short shorts, but I will wear them (eventually).

The Bike Om Bag (in Violet)

I love this bag!  Apparently it was sold out online, but I bought it in the store and they had plenty of both colors.  I don’t ride a bike to yoga, but it’s way bigger than the Namaste tote, which is great for a water bottle, wallet, cell phone, keys, even my running shoes fit!  It’s seriously the BEST yoga mat carry-all you can buy.

 {detail photos via Lululemon}

Why You Need More Sleep {infographic}

I love sleeping and napping.  Sometimes Mike likes to compare me to an infant because I can sleep and nap all day, but yet I’m an insomniac at night!

Did you know reducing your nighttime sleep time by 1.5 hours can impair your alertness by 32%!  And for those who get just 6 hours of sleep increases the risk of being overweight by 27%!  (I feel bad for my doctor friends, especially the interns)

Because I also like learning by photos, here is a great infographic from the MBACC that I saw via Mind Body Green.

You Need More Sleep  Created by: MedicalBillingAndCodingCertification.net

30 Days of Paleo & Crossfit Elements Completed!

I want to take a side step for a moment to state how incredibly proud I am of myself that I have officially completed 30 days of Paleo and a full 2-week introduction to Crossfit (aka on-ramp / elements)!!!

Where it all began…

I began my journey in the beginning of February after being extremely sick for 2 weeks straight.  At one point, I was so sick that I thought I was having a heart attack, but it was just severe heartburn.  I had GI problems like no other (my gastroenterologist told me I was “too young” to be in his office) and constant headaches and migraines (I had almost convinced myself to get a head CT or MRI to make sure I didn’t have a tumor!).  I was extremely lethargic and I hadn’t done any physical activity besides yoga in a long time!  My parents have been telling me for years how unhealthy my lifestyle is, but of course I never listened.  However, hitting my low in the beginning of 2012 and realizing I was turning 30 really put things into perspective.  I realized I needed a change and the only one who could do that was ME.

All my friends thought I was crazy to start eating Paleo and doing Crossfit because they thought I would either lose too much weight or become manly looking!  To paint the picture this is me 1-week before I started everything (amidst being sick I managed to bust out a smile):

I was in no way shape or form doing this because I wanted to lose weight (I was only 105 lbs and 5’4″)!  Instead, I wanted to get rid of all the toxins in my body causing GI problems and to convert my fat into muscle in order to gain weight.  I was looking for more of a long term solution rather than a quick detox (because personally, I think those weird lemon juice and honey detox plans are horrible for your body).  Strong is the new skinny right?

The Journey…

Week One didn’t seem too bad (minus the coffee withdrawals and attending one of my bride’s tastings that included lobster corn dogs and truffle mac n cheese!).  I stayed strong.  It was so exciting and new that it didn’t seem real yet.  My grocery bill, however, was a little steep (thank you TJs, Sprouts and WF) and I think I went overboard with cleaning out the kitchen pantry and buying new appliances & cooking ingredients, but at least I was prepared!  No temptations allowed!

Also, for those who know me, I don’t cook, but I love to bake.  It’s not that I don’t know how to cook, I just prefer going out to new restaurants or ordering take-out over sitting in the kitchen for an hour.  So, this whole “cooking” for every meal was a whole new experience in itself!  Good thing we bought a slow cooker… that thing has saved my life!

Week Two I was already feeling 100% better as the headaches had subsided and I hadn’t had gas every minute (yes, overshare, but GI problems suck!); however, it was Valentine’s Day and I had to work an event.  Good thing the boyfriend and I were both on Paleo so we stayed strong and resisted all the Funfetti cupcakes and an amazing dessert bar (sigh).

Week Three I started Crossfit.  In my entire life I don’t think I have ever touched a barbell.  Scared, nervous and nauseous were only mild understatements on my first day of class.  I literally tried not to throw up during the last 350m run… good thing I had an awesome coach (Jenny at Crossfit South Bay) who never judged me for my ridiculously girly attempt at Crossfit.  She definitely had to put up with a lot of complaining and whining!  By session 3 I already felt stronger… but maybe too strong that after a couple gin on the rocks and demonstrating wall balls on the dance floor, I ended up ripping a hole in my favorite skinny jeans (whoops)!  This week I also discovered Coconut Bliss “ice cream”… delicious!

Week Four I spent too much money at Lululemon (j/k… well sort of).  Working out 4-5 times a week requires a whole new wardrobe!  Anyway, by last week the diet was a no brainer although I still haven’t fully figured out how to eat out at restaurants.  I’ve become “anti-social” apparently.  Not only did I have to attend a wedding event in which mini sliders and lots of non-Paleo things were tempting me, but it was also my mom’s birthday and we went out for traditional Japanese food.  Sadly, I could only get sashimi while watching them devour tempura and soba noodles :(  Then my friends decided to re-live college and have an “Edward 40-hands” night in which I drank water and a glass of red wine.

{if you couldn’t tell I love Instagram}

 

Where I am 30 days later…

Besides being done with 30 days of Paleo, I just finished my 2-weeks of Crossfit “introduction” training so it’s now time to join the big kids in class!

I have decided to continue eating Paleo, but I will allow myself a cheat here and there for In n Out (they have gluten-free & dairy-free options), Yogurtland, and sushi (with rice).  During the 30 days I tried to be super strict, but I did make exceptions on occasion for some red wine, a little gin, 73% dark chocolate (but with no milk, sugar or bad ingredients) and gluten-free soy sauce (aka Tamari).

People ask me how I feel now and to be honest, FANTASTIC.  For some people (like the boyfriend), a change in diet barely affects the way he operates, but for me it was life-changing.  I feel more energetic, stronger, healthier, and most of all… my tummy doesn’t hurt anymore!!!  And to those who wonder if I lost any weight, I actually gained a couple pounds, but in a good way.  My tummy is flatter, my waist is more defined and my butt is perkier :)

Stay tuned for more personal updates in the upcoming months!

Crossfit vs. Zumba {video}

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but it was so funny I just had to share. I was literally crying by the end of the video. I have a best friend who LOVES Zumba and I always give her a hard time about it so when I saw this I just had to share.

{Disclaimer: I have done Zumba in the past and I do think it is fun.  The “best friend” is getting Zumba for XBOX and I promised I would try it out.  I also wear Lululemon from head to toe, on the paleo lifestyle, but I don’t wear vibrams or Chuck Taylors.  Crossfit is not a cult, but this video is still amusing}

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