I’m turning a half year older and I’m celebrating

I had a 40 1/2 birthday party a few years ago and guess what, I’m having another half birthday. I’m grown, I eat my dessert before dinner, I can do whatEVER I want to do. My huzzband on the other hand is so sick of my shenanigans! I’m laughing as I type this because he thinks it’s the lamest thing ever.  Well, he’s not invited!  Ole’ stick in the mud!

Anyway, hot yoga is on the menu. I’m having my party at a hot yoga studio with.. you guessed it, hot yoga on the menu. My favorite studio in Philly, Diamond Hot Yoga is where we’re going to get bendy, detox in the heat and retox after the class is over.  We’re having a meet & greet before the 60 minute class. We’re keeping to 60 minutes for all of the newbies that will be trying hot yoga for the 1st time. We don’t want anyone passing out. Then, on to the retox! Wine, craft beer, exceptional cheeses and olives from DiBruno’s, green juices made by yours truly, healthy salads, hors’ d’oeuvres, cupcakes from the one and only Philly Cupcake and plenty other snacks, drinks and foods to keep the yogis happy!

Supporting local business while having a great time with friends and family!

I can’t wait!

lotus

My Journey to Fitness

Today, I’m especially reflective. I’ve ran into some people that I haven’t seen in over 25-30 years this week and I look at how much we’ve changed. The faces stay the same but sometimes we let our lives get in the way of our health. I don’t claim to know how healthy they are, but for me, I had several ailments that forced me to take a close look in the mirror & reevaluate my lifestyle. My arthritis and other joint issues had me struggling to climb stairs, get out of chairs, comb my hair, put my hands in my pocket, ride my motorcycle, sleep on my side…the list is long.

That wasn’t “normal” for someone in their 30’s. In 2009, after another round of physical therapy for my knees, my therapist said, ” if you lost some weight, your knees would feel so much better.”


Then I looked at myself. I was too heavy (IMO) for my frame and I felt like shit. I ate like shit and at that very moment, I got tired of that shit. That’s when I decided to change some things.

I joined the gym in 2009 and hit the elliptical a few times a week. I didn’t change my diet much, but I lost a few pounds. My friend, Tracy, recommend a book to me called, “The Eat Clean Diet” that showed me how to rethink what I was eating and make some changes. Some were drastic some seemed doable. From 1/2010 to 4/2010, I lost almost 30lbs. During that time, I started lifting weights. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I fooled around on machines, read a few magazines and kept up the cardio. Then, I happened upon another book called, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and that showed me that lifting heavy is OK!

I stayed at it and lost a few more pounds, but I got stronger & stronger. I met a trainer, Dave Miller, on Facebook. He ran a boot camp in the city. He touted lifting heavy, clean eating and staying active. His mantra was just like my own, it was like we were on the same page. In that studio with 15 other people who were working towards the same goals was refreshing. I wasn’t alone. I had my fellow “bombshells” with me every week inspiring me and motivating me to be better.

Iron Sharpens Iron

I hit another wall with my knees and shoulders and had to rehab again. This time, for my knees, my doctor introduced me to Synvisc. I got the injections and slowly but surely, I could move again. Steps were easier, standing was easier and I got back on the elliptical. I was a new person!! I started SPINNING again. The first time I tried it, I hated it. Too fast, too painful and it made my feet and ass hurt like hell. This time, I decided to try it again after the Synvisc & it was better. I actually liked it. So much so, I started teaching it. I get Synvisc injections every 6 months to keep me going and I LOVE it. I couldn’t teach SPINNING, squat, lunge, or run sprints without it. It’s keeping me away from knee replacements and I’m GOOOD with that. However, had it not been for the series of events that lead me to that inventory (and my physical therapist suggesting I lose weight) I’d still be in that body.


 I met another amazing trainer, Charlie Biggs, who helped me keep moving around my injuries. He listened to me. That was the most helpful part of our sessions. He respected my desire to go hard, and helped me around my limitations. We trained together for about 2 years and to this day, I still call him my friend. If I ever became a trainer (and I will this year) I’d like to be like him. He cares about people & it shows.

Best Trainer Ever

This journey wasn’t an easy one, nor is it over.,I started at 210lbs in 2009 and I’m now 156lbs. I’ve been as low as 148lbs, but after a few surgeries in 2013, I’d gained back 20lbs. I’m still working to get my weight back down (to fit all the clothes I’d bought) but as of 2015, I’m back strength training and down 8-10 lbs. lifting makes me happy. It gives me confidence I didn’t have before.
I’m no longer that “thick” girl, I’m the fit girl & I LOVE it.


My next goal it to help others get fit and healthy. I’ll get ACE certified this year and work on developing my own style of training. I’m a motivator & cheerleader so I hope to bring that to my brand of personal training. The past 6 years have been a roller coaster. I have had so many ups & downs & I’m still on my own journey. What always seems to bring me back to a good place is staying active. I want to help people like me, people who are motivated, but need some guidance and a game plan to get their life to where they’d like to be.

Even in my 40s, I’m still on my journey, but isn’t that what life is all about? The road to where we’re trying to be is filled with highs and lows & I embrace them all. Here’s to the next chapter of my life; fitter, happier, healthier & stronger!

How to Care for Your Hair in Braids

scooterphoenix:

So, I’ve tried braids again and this time was successful! I’m looking to use these tips to wash and moisturize my hair. I work out 10 times or more a week so keeping it clean is a MUST. Wiping it with witch hazel is not helping to keep my hair clean. This may work because there is REAL shampoo involved!

I'm loving my new hair style.

I’m loving my new hair style.

Originally posted on :

ImageImageImageImageThere is a tendency to put your hair in a protective style and forget all about it! I do it lot (hides face :))! However, that isn’t very good for our hair, our hair still wants to be moisturised whether or not it in braids, and it will still get dry and break off whether or not it’s in braids. Also, some of the materials used to make our synthetic braids are quite drying to the hair, so to minimize breakage during our braid take-down it’s necessary to keep the hair moisturized and clean. Anyway, my friend asked me how I take of my hair while it’s in braids, so this post is long overdue! Enjoy!

  • Before you braid: I make sure my hair is washed and deep conditioned, so it’s at its strongest state. This way it’s more elastic during the styling process and is less prone to breakage.

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Cranberry Smoothies are Groovy

Cranberries aren’t just for cranberry sauce!

  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups of curly kale
  • 1 peeled lime
  • 2 -2.5 cups of fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups of water

 

Add the kale and water to the blender and blend, blend blend!! I use a Vitamix Blender and it makes quick work of any smoothie.

Drop in the rest of the ingredients and blend. Add ice if desired.
Makes 2 servings.

Voila!

 

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Get your ingredients together and blend.
post smoothie
The finished product.
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Instagram worthy!
Add some sparkling water and turn this bad boy in to a real spritzer! I’m a fan of Pelligrino sparkling water. Once added to the smoothie this is definitely becomes a brunch winner!

 

This wonderful recipe is from the 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge from Simple Green Smoothies. Check these folks out for more great recipes.

 

Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Christmas Cookies in a Mason Jar

I had to come up with a few quick gifts for Christmas and with all the cookies being gifted this time of year, this seems like a super cute gift to DIY.

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Here is where the great recipe came from, the Kansas City Star.

I bought the spatula from A.C. Moore and cut a scrap of fabric and ran it under the serger to clean the edges. Added grosgrain ribbon to top it off. I printed out the recipe from the site and cut it out using my scalloped scissors. Easy Peasy!

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Let me know if you try it and how yours turned out.

Merry Christmas & I hope to have more posts more frequently.

Ethiopian Night

I really enjoy trying out new foods. You learn a lot about people just by the way in which they eat their food and by what type of foods are found in their recipes. My first taste of Ethiopian food was in Washington D.C. with my friend Andrea 10 years ago. She’d taken me to a quaint little spot for an early dinner before my train back home. My most fond memory was the cacophony of smells and flavors I’d never experienced before. Since I didn’t know what to order, I left that to Andrea to order us up a really nice meal. She’s told me about how they’d serve it and some of the ingredients that would be on our plate.

The communal style of sharing the meal was refreshing. I love to share food!! Just ask my Huzzband! The meal was brought out on a large dish with several entrees served up on this spongy flat bread. As the waitress explained the meal, I tried to picture what each dish reminded me of and wondered if it would taste even remotely close. Nothing was as I expected. Bright flavors, wonderful spices, and vividly colored foods really took my breathe away.

As I tore off the injera and tasted each dish, I immediately became a fan of this delectable cuisine. Each bite complementing the other with spicy, flavorful goodness. I knew this wouldn’t be my last taste of Ethiopian fare.

As the years passed, I frequented a few Ethiopian restaurant in my hometown and one day decided to try my hand at some of my favorite dishes. The lentils were my favorite, followed by cabbage and collard greens. I really loved the chicken & beef also, but I stopped eating meat years ago, so I’m not making any of that stuff!

There is an international grocery store that carries flavor-packed berbere  seasoning and iron-rich injera in West Philly. With a quick trip there and to the market for common veggies, dinner was easy.  I’d settled on misir wat (lentils), tikil gomen (cabbage) and beets. added some brown basmati rice (just because) to the meal and we were set. I used these recipes (from the links)as guides to creating my own renditions. I added jalapenos, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, tomato paste, etc to jazz them up a bit.

 

Ethiopian Fare- Misir Wat, Tikil Gomen, Yeqey Sir Qiqqil, Injira

Sunday Dinner

Michelle Obama’s Chic Floral Dress Is Inspiring Our Summer Wardrobes

scooterphoenix:

My day has been made. FLOTUS in this beautiful frock by Tanya Taylor has given me an idea! Time to find a print that I can make into something similar.

 

Michelle Obama in blue and white summer dress

Michelle Obama in a floral number by Tanya Taylor

Originally posted on InStyle:

[tiImage width=”594″ height=”815″ url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2014/WRN/071014-michelle-obama-594.jpg” credit=”UPI/John Angelillo /LANDOV” align=”center” border=”1″ alt=”Michelle Obama in Tanya Taylor” burst=”” burstpos=”top-right” link=”http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20791230_20776440_30184280,00.html” both=”true”]

In her latest show of support for young American designers, Michelle Obama wore a dress by New York-based up-and-comer Tanya Taylor. She chose the white and blue floral print frock for a visit to the headquarters of Global Kids Incorporated in New York City, a non-profit group for global learning and youth development. Obama looked sophisticated in the summery frock, which she paired with metallic silver pumps and her signature wavy tresses.

Shop 38 Pretty Summer Dresses Now

This isn’t her first time in the label—Obama wore a look by Taylor to an event in Washington, D.C. just last month. We’re love Obama’s fresh and polished look so much, we want our own modern floral dress, stat.

For more Michelle Obama, see her best looks ever in our gallery!

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