Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Becoming The Stair Master...

Over my lifetime I've had three Personal Trainers and would always move through whatever paces they put me through without question or complaint. Alot of sweat, a few grunts, but never any complaint except when it came to the stairmaster. I DON'T LIKE THAT MACHINE! which my trainers immediately found out when they each told me to hop on. 'Did you just say no?' was typically the next thing they said. 'Yes, I just said no. I don't like that machine. It puts me in a pissy mood so it's best if I stay off. Otherwise, this is gonna be a wasted session!'

Why do I despise that machine so? It's tough no question. But I have an extremely hard time constantly pulling myself up to nowhere. Having to expend energy on talking myself through every step?? No thanks. 'Watch tv to take your mind off of it' they say. I don't watch television as I workout and I definitely don't want to take my mind off of it. Being aware of what my body is doing, feeling my strength, is actually kinda sexy to me. I won't dismiss myself just to walk on a stairmaster.

I don't get along with the machine but I'm surely a fan of the sculpted derriere. And to be completely honest, I've lost a bit of mine. My sister likes to say that I'm shaped like a fine white girl. Oh don't be offended. Of course there's nothing shabby about being a fine white girl but I'm not white and I do miss my booty so it's back to the stairs except this time... I AM the stairmaster!

I'm lucky enough the live next to a park with a nice set of wooden stairs. Most everyone knows I have back issues so I am extremely careful of the surfaces I workout on and the wooden stairs are soft so they have some bounce and give to them. Very back friendly. Being outside in a park setting is absolutely beautiful, and each step I climb actually gets me somewhere - to the top. Could just be a mental thing but hey, works for me.

And that's the point. Whatever works for you... do that!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I will never buy pasta sauce again!

I’m hungry and my cupboard is bare except for some pasta and tomatoes. Ummm… I wonder how my own sauce would taste?

I just started growing basil and Cuban oregano in my kitchen window and I’ve never cooked with them so I’m excited to see how this turns out. I find a simple recipe for tomato sauce and begin to improvise. I believe that recipes are merely guides anyway, unless of course you’re baking, which calls for precision. But tonight, it’s a simple pasta sauce so why not play around.

I only have 4 small tomatoes which I assume won’t yield that much sauce but still plenty for me. Since the recipe I find will yield 7 pints of sauce, I eyeball what looks like enough of each ingredient, taking into account the way I like to eat.

What I used:
Onions, chopped big
Basil, I used about 6 leaves of varying sizes, coarsely chopped
Oregano, 3 large leaves, coarsely chopped
Sugar, truly just a sprinkle
Sundried tomatoes, which I tossed on top of the finished dish

After sautéing the onions until they’re soft, peeling the tomatoes and squeezing out all the water & seeds, toss all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer down until the consistency is perfect for you. There’s no way I can describe the smells coming from my kitchen other than incredibly beautiful!

Prego®, Ragu®, Barilla®… I really don’t mean to sound boastful but, I’ve never bought a sauce that tasted as good as what I made tonight. The next time I’ll try different tomatoes.

Mom you’d be proud. I’ll make it for you and daddy the next time I’m home.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What do you want to be?

Fit.. Radiant.. Daring.. Strong.. Powerful.. Courageous.. Healthy.. Energetic.. Passionate.. Wise.. Resilient.. Authentic.. Bold.. Patient.. Great.. Fast.. Independent.. Open.. Boundless.. Magical.. Present.. Friendly.. Outrageous.. Loving.. Warm.. Free.. Brave.. True.. Lively.. Funny.. Sensational.. Better..

Here's the thing, you are entirely up to you and you can make yourself whatever you want. Repeat after me, 'I am in charge of this. No one else. Just me'. Now, get busy being yourself girls and whomever that is, respect her, make her happy, like her, and use all of her gifts and resources because you.. her.. she, is something quite extraordinary!


The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Natural Rhythm Strength Camp
Wake up to greet the day with reverence and to strengthen your strengths.

Girls, we rock! I don’t know if you’ve fully accepted that yet but, we kick ass! When we get hurt, our bodies heal themselves. That’s amazing! Yes, I know, the boys too. Without our help or understanding, our heart beats. Yes, I know, the boys too. But the fact that our bodies are designed to carry a life for nine months before opening up, helping it out, then given charge of nurturing that life, means that our base, us, truly must be strong because we have so much to give.

Physically, every inch of us is covered in muscles and I think you will agree that it’s the muscle that gets us around this place. So, being that the strength of your muscles affect your way of giving I ask, how strong are you?

I want you to fall in love with your design so you will discover that confidence in your body’s ability to do is intoxicating. I think I speak for us all when I say strength is sexy. Yes dear, it’s ok to be turned on by yourself. It starts with you anyway, remember that.

Come out to play and learn:
• To push yourself using the best tool ever, your own body.
• That it really doesn’t take much to be in the shape YOU want to be in.
• That it simply requires your honesty. Only you know what you’re doing 100% of the time and whatever that something is will have a positive or negative effect on you… truly your choice.

The next camp starts Aug. 22nd – Sept. 16th
Each 4 week camp is only $300 and groups will always be small so that you receive the guidance and personal touch that is needed.

Groups Meet in Dana Point:
Monday – Friday
6am & 7:15am

6am, 7:15am, 8:30am

Contact me for more details!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today's catch...

This is my ‘go-to’ plate – fish, sautéed veggies, and some type of salad or side, in this case, tomatoes. I never get tired of eating this dish, and for the record, it’s never really the same dish. The fish varies, the veggies change, and the side could be anything from a salad, rice, or avocado. There’s so much food to choose from. It’s simply a matter of going to the market to select what you want.

The best food for you will always be what’s grown near you. Most cities have weekend farmer’s markets so find one in your area and hit it this Saturday. Grab a couple of these, maybe one of those, and experiment. Don’t know how to cook something? Buy a few cook books. It’s not about being a master chef. It’s about discovery. But, if you are a master chef or simply a good cook, then develop a cooking class in your neighborhood. What’s your gift for other than to use it right?

Today my ‘go-to’ plate featured sole which is a really light white fish that melts in your mouth. It’s very thin but holds up amazingly well no matter your cooking method. Here’s all it takes for a quick & easy lunch:

• Fish of your choice seasoned with sea salt and fresh pepper
• Leek leaves
• 2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
• Olive oil
• About 3 spears of broccolini
• Big handful of beet leaves
• Red bell pepper (I used ¼ of a medium pepper)

Let’s cook.
Preheat oven to 375⁰. Place leeks in pan with garlic, drizzle with oil, and season with salt & pepper. Cook about 5 minutes then layer fish over leeks. This will only take about 7 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan and sauté broccolini for 2 minutes. Add beet leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add bell pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.

That’s it. A couple slices of tomato and you’re done. A simple, easy, quick lunch. Don’t worry if you have veggies left over. They’ll make a great addition to eggs in the morning!

**You can find lots of information at http://www.localharvest.org/ about farms and markets. You may also want to check out CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), where your support gets you a weekly basket of seasonal produce.

Find a market this weekend and discover all the great foods produced in your own backyard and maybe I'll see you in the cookbook aisle.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One piece of red snapper... two great plates!

Today I made a sandwich with the second half of the red snapper I cooked last night. (A Perfect Summer Plate post) Yeah, you might want to try this one. Incredible! The lemon and garlic and leeks had married into the fish and each other just a bit more overnight and made for really great flavors in every single bite. Oh, I rhymed!

I drizzled a pan with olive oil to reheat my fish. I always use a stove top to reheat. Personally, I don't like microwaves. They dry your food out and the food doesn't retain the heat as long. I used naan for my bread which I toasted. I like having the soft and the crunch, then I don't have to have chips! See, you gotta think all the time. A little bit of mustard, tomato & avocado, both seasoned with sea salt & cracked pepper, about three large beet leaves that I threw into the pan while the fish was warming, just to soften the veins a bit. (I bought beets on my last trip to the farmer's market)

I made a small salad with purple bibb lettuce, avocado, and cucumbers. The avocado puts a wonderful oil in the salad so I just squeeze some lemon on top and it's perfect. A couple slices of an heirloom tomato and I'm done.

How much more simple can you get.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Perfect Summer Dinner..

I bought some black lava sea salt last week and I've been dying to try it. So I headed to the fish market to see what they had. Red snapper. Perfect.

A stop at a local farm yielded purple tipped butter lettuce and yellow cucumbers for my salad, green beans for my side dish (I have broccolini already so I'm tossing a couple spears in with the green beans), and leeks for flavor. I also bought beets and used a few of the greens in my salad. I'm cooking the beets for later.

As much as I love great food, simplicity is key for me. Fish is always easy. Sautéing green beans takes minutes. And what could be easier than tossing a great dressing over some bright greens and voila, salad! The longest preparation is the rice which takes 45 minutes to cook. I used a long grain, black wild rice because I love the smoky flavor.

Here's all it takes:

  • olive oil
  • red snapper (I bought 1lb, 2 fillets, which equal 4 meals for me!)
  • leeks (I used the whole bulb of 1 leek)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • purple tipped butter lettuce (choose any you like. I like the added color which is why I threw in some of the beet leaves)
  • 2 yellow cucumbers (much smaller than the typical green cucumber and sweeter too!)
  • lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 3 - 4 cups of chicken stock (according to rice you choose, the package will say how much)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped (I love onions so I tend to use more)
  • green beans (depends on how many your cooking for. 1 handful is plenty for me)
  • broccolini (I simply threw in 2 spears for an added layer)
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
Let's Cook..
Start the rice first since it takes the longest. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the chicken stock and the rice. Cook for about 45 minutes and most of the stock has been absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 400⁰F. In a large roasting pan, toss the leeks, lemons, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt & pepper. Roast until the leeks begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes. Some of mine always char just a bit and I like that. We'll use some of this as topping for our veggies.

Season the snapper with salt & pepper and nestle in the leeks. Roast until the snapper is opaque, 10-12 minutes. (Roasting the fish is almost your last step since it only takes about 12 minutes. Time it close with the rice). Be careful with salting the fish. We will sprinkle on a bit of the black salt once it's done for a bit of drama!

To sauté the veggies, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the green beans, broccolini, salt & pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. It should be bright and crunchy.

The salad is just torn greens and yellow cucumbers, sliced.

To make the dressing:
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin into a bowl and mash into a paste. Squeeze the
roasted lemon pulp and juice into the bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped rosemary, and salt. Toss with the greens.

That's it. A perfect summer plate. Light, healthy, and healing. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's Been 7 Days...

It’s been 7 days since I started my Fortune Mantra and quite a bit has happened.
One, I’ve had a few people ‘discover’ my blog and give me amazing feedback and encouragement. Thank you!

Two, I was recognized from one of my guest spots on E!, which I did over a year ago. I was having my morning tea at Peet’s when a woman walked up to me and called me by my name and said ‘thank you’. She told me she’d already implemented some of the health tips I shared and was looking forward to having her own ‘play dates’ with her friends which was something I spoke about. I’m sure I glided out of the coffee shop because that felt really good. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch.

Three, I decided to re-do my bedroom and in the process discovered two things. One, I love to paint and how perfect that right now Aaron Bros. is having their ‘buy one canvas get one for a penny’ sale. Let’s see what happens with a bottle of wine and some paint brushes. I’ll keep you posted.

The second discovery has to do with two pieces of artwork, each given to me by an artist friend. Howard Martin http://howardmartinart.com/, gave me a piece entitled ‘Exhale’ in which you see a beautiful woman jumping, almost flying through the air with orange, gold, purple and white flames dancing around her. Howard uses a digital medium and then embellishes the pieces with paint. Leroy Campbell, http://leroycampbelloriginals.com/, gave me a piece entitled ‘A Lot of Learning’ which depicts a woman standing over her students because he says he’s always seen me as a teacher. Mr. Campbell uses a three dimensional method by infusing his pieces with actual newspaper articles, stones, even pieces of quilt to tell his stories.

So in deciding to paint my room, I really focus on these two pieces and begin to notice all the similarities between them. The most noticeable being their primary colors are the same - oranges, golds, yellows. Then I realize that the floor in Howard’s piece is the exact same pattern & color as one of the girl’s dresses in Mr. Campbell’s piece. And lastly, there are purple flecks in the flames dancing around the woman in ‘Exhale’ that are a perfect match for the purple details in one of the student’s dresses. And that’s the color I chose as my accent wall. Purple – a beautiful, rich, dark plum purple which is known to stimulate intuition, to soothe, and to pamper. How befitting for my bedroom.

I’m not sure yet what it all means but I’m watching and I'm listening …

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day...

What better time to start my 40 Day Fortune Mantra since I am ready to be just that, independent.

Now, though it's called the 'fortune' mantra, you have to realize that fortune is not simply a category of money. Do I want more money? Uh... yeah. But I also want an insanely, magical relationship with a man that feeds me, blooming friendships, and a life that allows ME to take care of my family. So, in this time if re-invention, my yoga teacher gave me a set of kriyas, or chants, to help me create what I want.

There’s something deeper here than simply sitting on the floor, waving my hands in the air, and repeating OM until the Publisher’s Clearing House shows up at my door. This is about discipline and focus. Keeping what I want in the forefront of my thoughts, seeking advice from intelligent people, being willing to make necessary changes, and remaining in constant contact with God. It’s about relinquishing my pride-filled power to the one and only being that has the true power to accomplish incredible things. That one is God and that God is in me. I am simply seeking to become one with that creative energy.

Here we go. Day one...