Sunday, May 30, 2010

Harness YOUR Power!!!

I was inspired to blog about this subject once again because of where I am in my journey and because of some of the struggles some of my friends are dealing with. For those of you that have followed me from the beginning you know that I have shared my beliefs about weight loss.

We can eat all the healthy food we want and exercise until the fat melts off but if we are not mentally strong we will NOT go far. We will NOT achieve long term results. We will NOT achieve a truly balanced life.

There are so many weight loss diets out there. There is so much contradicting information floating around that at times it can become overwhelming. One group of people say that this food is good for you and another says that is good. Others say eat less of this and more of this.

I myself have chosen to follow a plant strong or vegan lifestyle because I believe that this is what God has instructed me to do. My body feels it's best eating this way and I see the manifestation of my obedience coming to pass in my life. It is what my heart is convicted to do.

Is there scientific evidence to show that a plant strong life is one of the best for achieving optimal health? Yes! BUT the key to weight loss and living a healthy life is not ALL in the scientific evidence.

It is not all about what we eat and how much we work out. It is about the total BODY, MIND and SOUL connection. We can't focus on one and neglect the other. We must learn to discipline the mind and surrender to the spirit which in turn brings about change in the body.

If you are carrying stress your body will not shed the unwanted pounds. If you are more focused on losing weight then overall wellness then you will not achieve Optimal Health. The risk that you will gain all of your weight back is HUGE.

You must deal with the key elements of why you have allowed yourself to escalate to 250 lbs. It is not all about the food. You must learn to awaken to the deeper level of your consciousness in order to change the superficial level.

Can you get skinny eating donuts and exercising. Absolutely! But is does NOT mean you are healthy. If you truly reverenced your body you would honor it and respect it. You would not put things in it that would defile it. You would do your best to eat whole foods. You would educate yourself on nutrition and exercise.

Remember being healthy means being disciplined in EVERY area of your life. Discipline is our ability to bring our emotions, minds and weaknesses under subjection. We are not victims of them. We are in total control.

Harness your power through creating a strong disciplined mind and the possibilities are endless.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday/ Saturday

Friday:

Breakfast- 3 pieces of wheat toast w/ Earth Balance

This was not a good breakfast but I was not really in the mood to eat anything. I didn't want oatmeal and I didn't have anything to make a smoothie. I have to find some new things to eat for breakfast.

Lunch- brown rice w/ beans, 2 slices of avocado, and pico de gallo, 1 taquito w/ tofu cream and pico de gallo, a piece of applesauce pineapple cake

I attended a Wellness Open Forum today. We ate lunch and discussed some of our concerns and shared our achievements. I had a great time. I really love spending time with like minded people. It really helps inspire me and keeps me accountable.

Dinner- 3 taquito w/ brown rice and barley

Snack- 2 more taquitos

No workout. I was gone all day and didn't make time to workout.

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Saturday:

Breakfast- 2 oatmeal cookies (oatmeal, banana, applesauce)

Snack- small salad (greens, chickpeas, bell peppers, lemon herb vinaigrette, carrots), a few grapes

Lunch- (Baja Fresh) bare veggie burrito (lettuce, grilled veggies, pinto beans, and lots of salsa). chips. iced tea.

Snack- grapes

Dinner- Indian Mango Dal, pasta salad, water
Dessert- chocolate chip cookie (similar to oatmeal cookies but w/ vegan chocolate chips)

Snack- dried apple slices, 1 tbsp of pasta salad w/ 1 tbsp of mango dal

No Workout. I did a lot of physical activity today while helping my mother in law pack her mom's house.

I had some of my "veggie" friends over for dinner tonight and we took Jazzy to the drive in to see Shrek 4. I won't be doing that again soon. There are too many distractions. I would rather see a movie in the theatre. You also have people smoking and I could smell all of the greasy food from the concession stand. YUCK! Not really a pleasurable experience.

Note: I have noticed some bad things going on with my diet. For one, I make lots of healthy yummy treat and over do it on them. :( I won't be making those as much. I also eat carbs late at night. I am going to try my best to eat more veggie and less carbs. I will only eat carbs for breakfast and for lunch. After 3pm I will stop the carbs. Although I eat good carbs I have to eat my majority of calories from veggies and veggie protein.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- oatmeal w/ cinnamon, banana, water and sprinkle of raw sugar

11:30am Lunch- barley and brown rice w/ sauteed onions and mushrooms, zucchini, black beans, salsa, and guacamole (made with 1 avocado and 2 cups of sweet peas...for less calories)

1:00pm- soy mini ice cream

4:30pm Snack- a few dried mango slices, 1 tbsp trail mix, 1 mini jalapeno bread

6:30pm Dinner- 2 baked taquitos w/ guacamole (mashed avocado and peas), 1/2 c brown rice w/ tamari

Dessert- 2 homemade chocolate chip cookies (I will share recipe with you if you request. I don't want to post it on here.)

9:00pm- 1 taquito w/ guacamole

I felt really sick today. I was extremely nauseous so I tried to eat more. I thought I would feel better. I did feel a little better but I was afraid to workout because I didn't want to get nauseous again.

I tried to just rest today. It was a good day despite feeling a little ill.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday- I DID IT!!!! Wooohooooo!

Food for thought:


You can only go as far as your perception. In order to expand your territory you must expand your vision.

Food Journal:

9:15pm Breakfast- smoothie, 1 oatmeal cookie, water

11:30am snack- 1 oatmeal cookie
I just came home from a run and my head was hurting so I needed to get something in my body quick. These cookies are very clean and have some healthy carbs that my body needed at the time.

12:30pm Lunch- stir fry (broccoli, bok choy, mushrooms w/ tamari), homemade baked tortilla chips and hummus


4:00pm Dinner (part 1)- 1/2 grilled veggie sandwich, soy mini ice cream sandwich


7:30pm Dinner (part 2)- 1/2 grilled veggie sandwich, 1 oatmeal cookie


Workout Journal:


10:30am Workout #1- 2 mile run.


This was a huge challenge I wanted to achieve for many years. I have lived in the same neighborhood for over 17 years. Ever since I became serious about my health (over 3 yrs now) I have wanted to run this long stretch of road. At one point it seemed almost impossible to run the entire road without stopping.


I almost chickened out today. I was more nervous about the traffic but I was determined to accomplish this goal and go against my fears. I first started by driving the street on which I would be running to measure the distance. It was only 2 miles but it seems like an eternity.


So I parked my car at the hospital parking lot at the corner and walked to the beginning of the road and then I took off. My body was like what are you doing? But my mind said "you can do it". I was determined to run and not look up so that I wouldn't get discouraged when I saw the distance I had to travel. The mind is a tricky thing. You have to learn how to tell it to shut up at times. You have to train it to be obedient and disciplined and the body will follow.


So needless to say I did make it down that road without stopping. I felt really good even though I had some slight challenges. It was very windy and the resistance was pushing against me on my way up the road. Since the wind was pushing against me so hard I decided to go a little more then half way down and then turn back, so the wind would be at my back. When I ran back I noticed I had more momentum because I guess I was also going slightly downhill.


So anyways, I am very proud of myself. I can now check that goal of my list. I still would like to be able to run up and back down that road for a total of 4 miles. The only thing is I really hate running around traffic. I witnessed a lady go all the way up on the sidewalk with her car the other day. Thank God that no one was walking on the sidewalk when she did it. She was distracted because she was eating a burrito and driving. That was enough to make me very conscious and a little paranoid. I said a prayer before I started running just to ease my mind. I couldn't let my fear stop me from feeling accomplished.


Now that I think about it I have ran more then 2 miles before but the challenge today was really about tackling something that seemed like a challenge for me. It was about going beyond my perception and having faith in my ability and strength. It was a great feeling to accomplish this goal of mine.


5:00pm Workout #2 - 1/2 mile walk (1/4 mile with 3 lbs dumb bells)

Some circuit training w/ weights and body weight.

I started training my friend Dell today. She did absolutely amazing. I am so proud of her. I can tell she is determined and she will do great. I just pray that she stays committed and starts to eat healthier. She says she skips a lot of meals so we have to nail that down and get her eating more consistantly.


I did a lot of different workouts with her. We alternated between her upper body and lower body as well as engaging the whole body with some moves. She did 10 burpees today with jumps. I was sooooo surprised she did them. I was telling her she was a superstar the whole time. Her weight is going to fly off of her if she stays with it. We are working out again on Friday.

I don't really do much of the workout because I want to focus on her. Once she is a little more confident with the moves I will start to do the whole workout with her. I want to make sure she is doing the moves with proper form since she has never worked out like this before. She is also quite a bit overweight so I want to make sure I monitor her until I know her abilities, strengths, and limits. I don't want her to injure herself.


Today was a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday

Food Journal:
9:30am- smoothie (frozen strawberries, banana, water, Complete powder)

11:00am- Mango Dal w/ brown rice and pico de gallo

1:00pm- 2 small nectarines, granola bar

3:30pm- grilled veggie ciabatta sandwich, fresh fruit and 3 onion rings, water (Mimi's Cafe)

7:00pm- couple sips of a tall double chocolate chip soy frappucino (Starbucks)
Jazzy's grandma bought this for her. I let her enjoy it because she was celebrating her 5th grade graduation today. It wasn't very sweet. It tasted like chocolate water with chocolate chips. :)

8:30pm- very small bowl of mango dal, brown rice and pico de gallo w/ 1/3 tofurky link

10:30pm- 2 homemade oatmeal cookies
I made these cookies really easy today with only 1 1/2 cups of oats, 1 banana, 1/2 c cinnamon applesauce, cinnamon, 1 tsp baking power, and a handful of raisins. I baked them for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Wow! were they so yummy. It amazes me how simple being healthy can be. There is not need for sugar, eggs, flour, oil or butter to make a delicious and healthy oatmeal cookie. I absolutely love making these because they are totally guilt free. They are even great for an on the go breakfast.

Rest day. No workout.

My little princess graduated from 5th grade today. It was bitter sweet for me because I am proud of her but I don't want her to grow up. She is maturing so fast and I just wish time would stop so I can enjoy her being shorter then me a little longer. :) She has always been independent but lately she really is pushing to be grown up. She is also seeking her privacy. I understand but it makes me a little sad. At times I just cry from within because I know she is growing up and each day she needs me less.

For the last 3 years or more I have dreamed of running a long stretch of road in my neighborhood. It always seemed like a challenging goal but I am now confident I can achieve it. Not because I am physically stronger but because I am determined and mentally stronger. I know if I set my mind to something I can achieve it. I also love the feeling of accomplishing something that seems impossible or too challenging.

I will be striving to achieve this goal tomorrow morning. The only thing that concerns me is running in the street. Well it will not be in the literal street but I don't like running around any cars or traffic. It is not a really busy busy street but even a couple cars makes me nervous. I know I will be fine so I am going to put every excuses away and push through my fears. I will update you tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Recipe: Indian Mango Dal


This is what we ate at the Lunch and Movie I went to last week. It was very yummy so I made it today so my family could taste it. I didn't include all the ingredients from the original recipe because I didn't have them. So this is the recipe I made today adapted from the original recipe.


Ingredients:


1 cup yellow lentils (I used green.)

4 cups water

1 tsp salt (divide into 1/2 tsps)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

4 gloves garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (This made it a little spicy. If you don't like such spicy food lessen the amount. I thought it was perfect but I like things a bit spicy.)

1 mango, diced (recipe calls for 2 mangoes. 1 was enough for me.)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

*Prepare some brown rice, follow directions on the package.


- Add lentils, water, 1/2 of the salt, and turmeric in a saucepan and cook for 15 minutes.

- Saute onion in a separate pan until soft, add cumin and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Adding little bits of water to avoid sticking. (remember avoid oil, saute w/ water)

- Add garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 of the salt to the onions, cook for 1 minute.

- Stir mixture and mangoes into the lentils and cook until lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add a little more water if lentils are dry. I added about a cup more. It should be a little soupy and not dry.

- Stir in cilantro. Serve over brown rice and enjoy. (I topped mine with a little homemade pico de gallo for some extra freshness)


I loved this meal. I have never cooked with turmeric before and I really loved the flavor in this dish. The slight sweetness of the mango with the yummy exotic flavor of the turmeric was such a great combo. I hope you make this dish. Let me know what you think.

Monday :)

Food Journal:
9:00am Breakfast- 3 oatmeal cookies, a few tortilla chips with hummus (homemade)
I didn't have any water to make oatmeal or fruit to make a smoothie. I ate 3 cookies that are really not "Cookies" in the sense of a naughty treat. It was just like eating a bowl of oatmeal so I didn't feel guilty. The tortilla chips and hummus are all clean and homemade too so they were okay as well. :)

1:30pm Lunch- Bean and Barley soup w/ broccoli, nectarine

4:00pm Snack- about 1/2 of a soft pretzel with mustard
Jazzy and I shared a soft pretzel while at Target. I know it is not healthy but it was the least naughty thing I could eat off of their menu.

7:30pm Dinner- Indian Mango Dal (Yummmmmmmy!)
I will post the recipe I made today. You have to try it. I so enjoyed this fresh flavorful healthy dish.

Dessert: chocolate chip granola bar (naturally sweetened)

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 1
Oh how I hate this workout. It is super challenging for me. It is harder then level 2. I did it just to change things up.

Today was an awesome day. I shared my exciting news with some of my closest friends and family. I don't want to let everyone know yet until we get closer to the date and I am sure it is all going to happen. Not that I don't think it will but I want to just wait until the day gets closer and everything is confirmed.

All I can say is AMAZING and POWERFUL things are happening. God is definitely manifesting some wonderful things in my life. I know that this time off from work has been a preparation time for me. God has been equipping me to fulfill His destiny for my life. It is so powerful and I am so grateful.

Yesterday I spoke at church and gave a testimony about some of the things God has been doing in my life. I had mentioned how I was unemployed but God was still providing and manifesting some great things in my life. When I was driving home after church God said to me "You are not unemployed. You are working for me." Boy oh boy was that confirmed today with the news I received. All I can say right now is God is simply amazing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday

Remember to treat your body as a sacred temple. You must learn to reverence your body and nourish it as a form of worship.

Food Journal:
10:15am Breakfast- a couple of sips of a smoothie and lots of water (on my way to church)
1:00pm Snack- 1/2 of a granola bar
4:00pm Lunch/ Dinner- (Sweet Tomatoes) large yummy salad, 2 bowls of barley pinto bean soup, 2 bread sticks, 1 blueberry muffin
8:30pm Snack- homemade tortilla chips w/ homemade sun dried tomato & cilantro hummus, a small nectarine

Workout Journal:
No More Trouble Zones DVD

I had a great workout. I really pushed myself to do some moves that I couldn't do before. I have to push myself beyond my comfort zone to really start shedding these extra unwanted pounds. Although my body was screaming (and me too:), I pushed myself to finish strong because I know "no pain, no gain" or shall I say no lose (of lbs.) I was really trying to work on these "trouble zones".

Today was an AMAZING day. I can't even describe in words how awesome I feel inside and out. God is doing some FABULOUS and POWERFUL things in my life. You may not know that I often preach at church and speak words of encouragement when the spirit of God leads me to do so. Well today was one of those days and it felt so wonderful to be used by God the way He did. It is amazing to be on the other side of the struggle.

For so many years I struggled with my identity and so many other issues. I was shy, insecure and so miserable. I desired so badly to be strong and powerful and to walk with confidence knowing my position in the kingdom of God.

God has been opening me up so much lately and it feels so amazing. I now speak with authority and power because I have learned my identity. I know who I am and I am driven with passion to share this wisdom with the world.

I have some amazing plans that God has inspired me to do. I did not share it with anyone but it was confirmed to me today by two people that this is what I should do. I can't share everything right now but when I am ready I will. I can say that it will be a powerful event and I hope you can come share in this vision with me.

I know that the discipline and dedication that I have been seeking and trying my best to walk in has lead me to this place in my life. I have surrendered myself to the possibilities and surrounded myself with those that have fueled me and encouraged me to reach higher and think bigger.

GOD IS SOOOOOO AMAZING!! I GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY!

Updated Pics- NEW JEANS and NEW BICEPS!

THEN: 12/15/2009 Here is a picture of my bicep and my large muffin top...LOL! My arms were not too bad but they were definitely chubby and needed work. My abs were really bad but I was determined to get them slimmed down. My hips were in need of some slimming too. :)

NOW: 5/23/2010 This is me as of today. Not bad huh? Well I still have a ways to go but I feel good. I love seeing these pics because they help me to realize that my hard work is paying off. It keeps me motivated and inspired. :)


NOW: 5/23/2010 Here is my bicep today. They have slimmed down and you can start to see my bicep and triceps muscles more. I still have lots of work to do to get them to where I want them to be but I definitely like the progress.

NOW: These are my new jeans. I actually bought them in December 2009 thinking they would fit BUT they wouldn't even close on me. Then I started slowly getting them closer to closing as the months passed. At one point I kind of thought I would never get in them. Then I was able to close them only by laying on the bed and sucking everything in. That was an accomplishment but I didn't feel comfortable wearing them yet because they were tooooo tight and gave me a muffin top. Today, I wore them proudly and felt great. What do you think? I think I will wear them for about 2 more months and then they will be way too big....LOL!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recipe: Oatmeal Cookies


Yummy Oatmeal Cookies!

Ingredients:

-1 cup rice flour
-1 1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 c. cinnamon applesauce or 1/2 c. plain applesauce and 1 tbsp of cinnamon
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 ripe banana
-1/8 cup apple juice
-1/8 cup water
-handful of raisins

Combine all ingredients except for raisins in the food processor. Transfer mixture into a bowl and stir in raisins. Drop tablespoons of cookie mixture on a cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Saturday- Another Busy Day

Food Journal:
12:00pm Breakfast- couple sips of a smoothie (frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, kale, water, Complete), a few baked chips
3:00pm Lunch- 2 cups of steamed broccoli, 1 oatmeal cookie

4:30pm- a few more sips of my morning smoothie

7:00pm-9:00pm Vegan potluck- I ate a plate full of yummy vegan dishes. I am not sure what most of the foods were but I tried a little bit of everything. Nothing contained oil and it was healthy.

Desserts at potluck- 1 pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, 2 brownie bites


Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 2


I was not hungry all day. I ate just to put some food in my system. I also worked out to see if I would get hungry but it didn't really work. I was a little hungry when I got to the potluck but not too much. I don't know what happen today with my appetite but I ate healthy and I am happy with my choices.




Here is a pic of the food at the potluck. Some of it was wonderful and others well....were nothing to write home about. :) lol!

Friday- Busy day


Food Journal:
9:00am Breakfast- oatmeal w/ fresh strawberries and 1/2 banana
11:30am Lunch- brown rice, mango Indian dish (mango, yellow lentils, turmeric and other spices), 2 oatmeal cookies
5:00pm Dinner- 1/4 c. quinoa, 1/4 c. "meat" mixture, 1 cup steamed broccoli, water
2 oatmeal cookies

No workout.

I went to a Movie and Lunch at my friend Vanessa's house. She made us a yummy lunch and dessert. We also watched a movie called "Making a Killing". It was a powerful movie that I recommend everyone watches. It had to do with Psychiatric drugs. There is so much to say about this movie but it wouldn't even do it justice. The most shocking things I learned was that almost all mental disorders that are diagnosed are fake. The disorders are created just so that the drug industry can create a drug and make BILLIONS of dollars.

Most all suicide and homicides are linked to psychotic drugs that are unnecessary. It is so sad. One story was about a man that had insomnia and was given sleeping medicine and later committed suicide. Another man was given an antidepressant and then killed his wife, daughter, 9 month old granddaughter and then himself. These people were not mentally disabled.....they were out of control and delusional because of these drugs they were given for common issues.

I don't have a lot of time to get into all the details because there are so many but it is truly sad and I believe EVERYONE should see this movie.

I also went salsa dancing tonight with some friends. I only got to dance to one song and I was a little bummed. I had a nice time getting out of my house though so I am grateful.

I made some healthy, low fat oatmeal cookies. I will post the recipe separate later today. I have a very busy day so I have to go now. BYE!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, water, 1/2 scoop Complete, handful of kale)
11:30pm Lunch- 2 tacos (corn tortilla, taco "meat" mixture, lettuce, pico de gallo and tapatio)
4:00pm Snack- a few apple slices, 1/2 small banana, water
5:30pm Dinner- sloppy joe, a few tater tots, 1/2 can natural pomegranite soda
6:30pm Dessert- Soy mini ice cream sandwhich
Lots of water all day long. I drink a gallon or more of water a day. So even though I never mention when I drink it I want to note that I drink it all day long.

Workout Journal:
-40 minutes Zumba
-5 circuits that went like this:
5 girlie pushups into a plank and a side twist (bring opposite knee into opposite armpit while twising your lower body at the waist)
10 alternating punch combos (right jab, left jab, right jab, 2 left knees, left jab, right jab, left jab, 2 right knees and so on)
5 burpees w/ an explosive jump at the top

That is one circuit. Then I rested for 30 seconds and did it all over again. I completed 5. I was so tired but felt so strong all at the same time. I made this circuit up myself to get a good calorie burn and shock my body out of it's comfort zone. :)

Today was a great day. I did a great workout and I ate pretty well. I invited my BFF and her 2 little kids over for dinner tonight. It is so funny because her kids usually eat up my food and never complain but tonight they were a little skeptical. They ate all of their tater tots but didn't really eat the sloppy joe very well.

Everyone in my house has become used to this new way of eating but I respect and understand why others have a little more trouble eating it. :) My sloppy joes are not sweet like Manwich and they have mushrooms in them. I cut them up really tiny but the little boy still found them...LOL! I was not offended though because I totally understand they are used to a different flavor of food and way of eating.

I am just really glad that my baby knows what good whole food tastes like and she is beginning to appreciate it and desire it. Even though I brought her up like my friend's kids, she is adapting to this new lifestyle. I am so grateful that I am preparing her to live a healthy lifestyle and that feels so good.

Oh I know the tater tots weren't healthy but I knew they probably wouldn't eat my sweet potato fries. I had to have one thing I knew they would eat...LOL! I am glad I did. :)

Jennifer Nicole Lee On Oprah

Updated Side View Pics

BEFORE: 10-18-2009 Side View


NOW: 5-19-2010 Side View

Okay, so I have always tried to be in denial of my body and that is why I believe I got to weigh 245lbs. Although, I no longer weigh that I still try to hide the reality of my body so this post is a big step for me. That is why wearing that form fitting black dress last weekend what an amazing feeling as well.
I don't want to be in denial anymore so I am sharing my pics. I took all kinds of pics when I first started by I was embarrassed to share them because I was so big. When my mom saw my before pics she couldn't believe that was me. I did really well at concealing my body in the loose clothing I wore.
Revealing my weight is another issue I have. I am not totally comfortable with sharing that right now. Not many people know how much I weigh. I have to learn to not focus on the numbers as much. They do not define me or even paint a picture of me. I am still working on that.
In the before pic I was far from 245lbs but I was still in the 200's. YEP! I sure was. I had been fighting to get out of the 200's for about 11 years or more. I am soooooo happy to say the 200's are long gone and they will NEVER come back.
I am taking responsibility for where I was and what I did to get there. I now know enough to get health and stay healthy for life. I will never allow myself to become trapped in a shell of insecurities, fears, self loathing, depression or anxiety ever again. I am learning that it is more then okay to feel beautiful, strong and sexy. There is nothing wrong or vain about that.
I am still a work in progress and I am definitely looking forward to the rest of my journey. Stay tuned!

So Contagious

I love to watch JNL (Jennifer Nicole Lee) while she works out because her energy and passion for fitness is so contagious. I am so inspired by her confidence, hardwork and dedication.

Some of you know that my long term goal is to obtain a top of the line physique. Although, I still have a long path to travel I am so inspired. It is important that we keep our eyes on the prize and press forward with determination each and EVERY day.

No matter what today brings you have to keep moving, keep learning, and keep improving. Even if you slip up here and there you can't give up. Like JNL says in the video "fitness is an evolution.......you are not competing with anyone but yourself."

You are so worth the time it takes to achieve your health and fitness goals. Remember to surround yourself around those that are headed in the same direction. Their passion and determination with fuel you to be your best.

Another thing we must remember is that we can't compare ourselves to anyone else. Although I am so inspired by JNL and other fitness models I know that I must strive to be "my best". Some may think it is an impossibility to achieve some of the goals I have but I say "impossible is nothing" or "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE".

Best of fitness to you. Strive to be your best. Go after your goals and NEVER compromise or give up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- steel cup oats w/ agave nectar, cinnamon and 1/2 banana
11:30am Snack- chips w/ salsa
2:00pm Lunch- brown rice, black beans, pico de gallo, and Tapatio
5:00pm Snack- smoothie (frozen strawberries and blueberries, water), 5 veggie purses
6:30pm- piece of dark chocolate w/ almonds and cherries
9:00pm Dinner- soft taco (whole wheat tortilla, taco mixture w/ TVP, lettuce, pico de gallo)

Workout Journal:
40 minutes DVD (Burn Fat Blast Metabolism)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday

Words can't even express how good I feel right now. I am grateful and thankful beyond measure.


Food Journal:

9:30am Breakfast- steel cut oats w/ agave nectar and 1/2 banana

12:00pm Lunch- sweet potato stew w/ pico de gallo and hot sauce, a few pop chips, 1 muffin

4:00pm Dinner- (Sweet Tomatoes) Large salad, cup of pinto bean and barley soup, 2 bread sticks, 1 lemon poppy seed muffin, 1 orange cranberry muffin. water.

9:30pm Snack- Tiny bowl of sweet tater chili and 1 slice of whole wheat bread

Workout Journal:
3o minutes of strength training, abs, and squats

I had a good day today. I was extremely sleepy because I stayed up way too late and had a very hard workout last night. I took an hour nap and still wanted to sleep some more but I forced myself to get up so that I would go to sleep early tonight.

My brother took me to dinner today and I ate pretty well until I ate 2 muffins. Okay they are tiny but they still count as a kind of healthy naughty food.

I kind of have been going over board on the healthy naughty treats. I have said this before but I have to limit those to only once a week. I need to do my best of keeping them out of my house. It is definitely better then refined sugar treats but I can't let that be an excuse to keep eating them as much as I do.

I do notice that I am a lot smaller then I was a month ago. My hips have slimmed down, my stomach is leaner and so are my arms and legs. My stomach still continues to be my problem area and the area I need the most help on. I know that with me ramping up my cardio and limiting my healthy treats it will continue to slim down. That is usually the last place to shed fat and lean up.

I do notice my abs muscles are stronger for sure. I can feel the six pack forming underneath the layers of fat. I like to tense up my stomach muscles throughout the day and feel how strong they are. It keeps me motivated and excited about my progress.

Thanks for reading my blog today. :)

Pam Popper PhD -- Optimizing Health for Women

Thankful

Everything may not be how I desire it to be but I am SO grateful for my life. I have so many reasons to be thankful and joyful. Is everything perfect? What is perfect? I don't live to be perfect. I live to be in the will of God. Everything is as it should be or it wouldn't be. That brings me peace.

I chose to not focus on the lack. I chose to rejoice in what is and how it is. I chose to give thanks for every little and BIG thing that I am blessed with.

Through my journey I have learned that there is nothing GOOD or BAD....everything is PURPOSEFUL. I believe that God is in control of my life and I have learned to trust His decision and plan for me.

Like I have said before.....I don't know ALL things but this one thing I am confident in the same God that started this work in me is the same God that will finish it. I don't have to worry about my future. I just have to stay attached...connected...aligned with the source of all living things.

I make a conscious decision everyday to live my life surrendered to God....surrendered to the unlimited possibilities.....to the endless infinite power that is within me. I refuse to live any other way because then I wouldn't be living true to myself.

Thank you God for all that you are and all that you have given me. The power to create. The strength to overcome. The vision to see past today. The hope to keep pressing no matter the circumstance. The faith to walk with confidence. The peace that cradles my soul. The love that heals my heart. The joy that keeps me smiling from within. God you are the reason I live and breathe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday

Living your life to the fullest is the only way to ensure you live a healthy and productive life. Don't limit yourself. You have so much more to give. Push through your limits and breakthrough to your FULL potential.

Food Journal:

10:30am Breakfast- smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, kale, Complete powder, water and banana)

12:00pm Lunch- black beans, grains, Tapatio, pico de gallo and a whole wheat flour tortilla, 1 small muffin

2:30pm Snack- tiny bowl of grains w/ black beans, pico de gallo and Tapatio

4:30pm Snack- okay so I am addicted to these muffins. OH OH! I had one more. That is all for the day...LOL!

6:00pm- 2 tbsp of sweet potato chili

9:00pm- 1 serving spoon of sweet potato chili

Workout Journal:

50 minutes Zumba (intense cardio)

30 minutes Yoga Meltdown Level 2

My abs got an amazing workout today. Zumba alone did the job but then I added Yoga and attacked them one more time. WOW! I am sure I will be really sore tomorrow. I certainly am tired so I know I will sleep good.

I noticed that as it gets hotter outside I tend to lose my appetite. I try to keep myself fueled though because I know it helps me metabolism. I eat really small portions sometimes just to put something in my body. I usually crave more fruits and salads during the summer. We will see how it goes. :)

Recipe: Sweet Potato Chili


SUPPPPPER YUMMMMERS!


I love to experiment in the kitchen. Here is the healthy, flavorful, delicious meal I created today. It literally only took me 30 minutes, from prep to finish product, to make. I hope you find the time to make this and let me know what you think. You can make a nice pot of brown rice to serve it over but since it already has sweet potato in it, it stands well on it's own. A nice green salad would compliment this meal too. I used black beans in this recipe but feel free to use any bean you would normally use in chili. Such as pinto, kidney or whatever you like.


Ingredients:


2 carrots (finely diced)

2 celery stalks (finely diced)

1 large yellow onion (finely diced)

5 gloves of garlic (finely diced)

1/2 acorn squash (finely diced)

2 1/2 cups sweet potato (peeled and diced in small cubes)

1/2 cup TVP (textured veggie protein)

1 small bunch of cilantro (rinsed and roughly chopped)

1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup cooked black beans, no juice (make sure to rinse beans if you are using them from a can)

1 1/2 cans of water (tomato can:)

1 tbsp chili powder (Chili California Molido, ground California Chili powder)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

6 liberal dashes of Tamari (wheat free soy sauce)


-Saute onion, garlic, carrot, celery and acorn squash in a large pot (using water...no oil needed) for about 5 minutes.

- Add chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to incorporate.

- Add tomatoes, tamari, cilantro, water and bring to a boil.

- Add TVP and sweet potatoes

- Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through but not mushy.

- Add beans and let them warm up for about 3 minutes.

- Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday

Food Journal:
10:30am Breakfast- 2 small nectarines, water (on my way to church)
3:00pm Lunch- (Olive Garden) 2 bowls of minestrone soup, 3 small plates of salad, 1 bread stick, water, 4 mint chocolate candies (I love these darn chocolates. They are my favorite thing at this restaurant..LOL)
7:30pm-9:30pm- 2 muffins (I posted the recipe), 8 veggie purses, 4 brown rice crackers w/ hummus.

No workout today. Rest day.

I had a great day today. I went to church in the morning and then to lunch with some great friends. It was really great to go out and eat and be able to stick to my healthy clean eating without feeling tempted. Having the knowledge I now have really helps me to stay strong. I am grateful. I am also happy to be able to share a lot of the knowledge I now have. I have lots of people asking questions and even considering changing the way they eat. Of course they may not become vegan but even if they make some conscious change it will make a world of difference.

I am going to also start training a friend of mine. She also wants me to give her an eating plan so she can lose weight. Although I am not a certified trainer I do have some basic knowledge. More then anything I have the motivation and passion to help inspire her to make some healthy changes in her life. I am looking forward to working with her. :)

God has given me a new vision for my future and I am excited. I will share more with you in the months to come. This event will most likely happen next year but I have to prepare and plan for it now. I will keep you posted. :))))

Recipe: Applesauce Banana Date Walnut Muffins ;d



I made some yummy healthy muffins from scratch today. Once again I just experimented and threw a bunch of ingredients together. Here is the recipe in case you want to make them. They are so so so good. They are sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free but they are moist and so good for you. (Iris, these are great for your baby)

Applesauce, Banana, Date, Walnut Muffins ;d
(Makes 12 muffins)

2 cups of pitted dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup rolled oats (lightly toasted in a pan...just use a hot pan..no oil needed)
1 cup cinnamon applesauce
2 medium bananas
1/3 cup of rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp of water

Put dates, walnuts and water in the food processor and process until smooth. You might need to add a little more water, consistency should be gummy from dates but not watery. Add toasted oats and pulse until incorporated. Remove mixture and put into a bowl. Add banana, apple sauce, flour, and baking powder to food processor and process until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the date mixture and mix with your hands, consistency will be thick like cookie batter not cake batter. Put mixture into a muffin pan lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy. You can add chocolate chips if you want. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back To The Beginning

For those of you that have been reading this blog from the beginning you know that I have expressed the importance of meditation along my journey. Although I have continued to create space for meditation in my day I have not been as faithful to the practice as I used to be.

I can feel in my spirit when I am unbalanced and disconnected. I know when it is time to focus and get back in line. We all feel that if we are quiet enough and let God speak through the silence. Yet many of us are so busy trying to survive that we never make time for that to take place. We never make room or space for those still moments that help fuel, inspire and create miracles in our lives.

I have gone back to the beginning. Not just with my diet (eating regimen, lifestyle) but with my meditation. Lately while in the shower, which is where I spend most of my quiet time, I envision my body at it's best. I close my eyes and feel my body strong and lean. I start at my feet and navigate my way up my body as I envision each body part being in perfect order...strong, lean and defined.

This may seem silly to some but it helps me not only to stay motivated but to reverence my body. It helps me to stop looking and focusing on my imperfections. I begin to see myself as the strong powerful temple of God that I was created to be.

God's word says : "As a man thinketh in His heart, so is he". I can't keep focusing on my "imperfections". I have to see myself as I desire to be. I have to keep meditating on the vision until it comes to pass. If I think of myself as strong, powerful and lean then I will become a manifestation of that. The inward revelation will become the outward manifestation.

I will become empowered and inspired by the spirit to reach that destination as long as I stay connect and conscious. So for me meditation is key when it comes to creating and manifesting your dreams and goals. You have to stay connected, in balance and perfect alignment with what you are trying to achieve. You have to allow the spirit to navigate your journey.

You have the ability to achieve it. Your job is to awaken your spirit and let it guide you as you surrender yourself to the infinite possibilities.

Remember it doesn't matter where you are right now. All that matters is that your mind is made up and you are willing to keep pressing through every obstacle that tries to come against you.

There is no room for excuses because they don't get you anywhere. If your mind is strong and you are determined to make it, there is nothing you can't do. Never look back. Take one step, one day, one workout, one meal at a time and stay focused.

The best of wellness to you. YOU CAN DO IT! How bad do you want it?

Saturday

Food Journal:

10:30am Breakfast- 1 1/2 of steel cut oats w/ agave nectar, banana and cinnamon

12:30pm Snack- 5 brown rice crackers w/ hummus

3:00pm Lunch- Naked Veggie Burrito (rice, black beans, grilled veggies, pico de gallo, hot sauce...no tortilla:)

8:00pm Snack- 4 brown rice crackers, hummus

9:30pm Dinner- salad w/ steamed and grilled veggies, basil vinaigrette, 5 chips w/ salsa

10:30pm Dessert- soy ice cream with banana


I was very proud of myself at dinner tonight. I ordered a chicken salad and omitted the chicken and added veggies to it. It is hard at times to fit into a world that centers a whole meal around animal protein. You have to ask lots of question and be conscious of how things are cooked. Since I am refraining from oil too it can be extra hard because lots of things are sauteed and fried in oil.

Well I did very well and I also asked the waitress to take the chips from the table. She looked at me crazy but then said "oh to keep you from eating them". I said yes! I did have 5 of them before she removed them from the table though. I was afraid I would unconsciously keep eating them so it was better that they were removed from my sight....LOL!

Workout Journal:

30 minute jog and walk

I went to a wedding today and wore something I had never worn before......a form fitting black dress. I felt great and so proud of myself. I also feel even more motivated to keep my eating clean and my butt active. Not many things feel better then self confidence and being proud of yourself. My hard work is paying off and I am so happy.

It is funny how women don't really compliment you when you look good. Men have no problem letting you know you look good. It is pretty sad because I think we should support one another as women. But I know some are just insecure and jealous when others are doing something they aren't doing.

I felt good anyways so I don't really care...LOL! :)



Excuse my room it was a mess! It was a busy day and I had stuff thrown all over the place..LOL!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (frozen strawberries, banana, blueberries, Complete, water), nectarine

11:30am Lunch- 1 piece of wheat toast w/ sloppy joe mixture, 7 brown rice crackers with tbsp of hummus

4:00pm Snack- 1 small tamale w/ tomatillo sauce, 2 tbsp sloppy joe mixture, 1 tbsp hummus, 6 brown rice crackers

8:00pm Dinner- black bean burger w/ mushrooms, side salad w/ honey mustard dressing (Went to dinner at Chili's w/ my sister in law and our kids....5 of them:)

9:30pm Dessert- soy ice cream w/ banana

Workout Journal:
1 1/2 hrs of Zumba (very high intensity workout)


Please check out my website and let me know what you think.
http://www.monicaptakesjuiceplus.com/

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recipe: Sloppy Joes


This recipe has to be one of my favorite vegan recipes this far. It tastes just like regular sloppy joes. So so so so sooooooo yummy. I got it from the "Skinny Bitch In the Kitch" book.

Serves 4 to 6

1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
2 large onions, finely diced
4 ounces thinly sliced brown mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (I used about 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups of water, plus more for sauteeing veggies (no oil:)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or 8 tsps tamari or soy sauce)
1/4 cup Ketchup ( I used organic Ketchup)
1 1/2 cups textured soy protein (TVP, Textured Veggie Protein)
4 to 6 whole wheat hamburger buns (I used whole wheat toast)

Over medium heat, saute the bell pepper and celery with water, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, chili powder, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Stir in water, tomato sauce, Bragg's Liquid Aminos or tamari or soy sauce, and ketchup.
Stir in TVP, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, split and toast buns. Top the buns with the Sloppy Joe mixture and enjoy.


So amazing. I really hope you try this out and enjoy it. Let me know what you think. I made this exactly by following directions but I added 1 tsp of Agave Nectar to make it sweeter. I like my Sloppy Joe mixture a little sweet. I also added a little more salt. It was perfect. Adjust your seasonings to your likings. I served 3 of us and I still had a lot left over. This will be good for lunch tomorrow.

Oh yay! My little princess loved them. These are kid tested and mother approved...LOL!

Skinny Bitch

I highly recommend buying or checking this book out at the library. It is good enough to spend money on but if you want to check it out first the library is a good source. It is called "Skinny Bitch" by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. They also have a cookbook called "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch", it has so many awesome recipes. I found one for Mac n cheese and Sloppy Joe's that I will be trying today. Jazzy loves Mac n Cheese and I haven't found a recipe that looks good enough to try. I will let you know how it turns out tonight.

This book also has a website you can check out. http://www.skinnybitch.net/.

I wanted to share a really great thing they said in the book because it goes right along with my beliefs and convictions:

"Eating is like a religious experience. And every meal is like an offering to your temple. So like you would for any place of worship, have reverence for your body." "We each get one body to last us an entire lifetime. And more than any other factor, food affects how well and for how long this body will serve us. So if you didn't care before, start caring now."

Some scientifically proven facts about milk taken from the book:

"Researchers at Harvard, Yale, Penn State, and the National Institutes of Health have studied the effects of dairy intake on the bones. Not one of these studies found dairy to be a deterrent to osteoporosis. On the contrary, a study funded by the National Dairy Council itself revealed that the high protein content of milk actually leaches calcium from the body. These findings are consistent with many others that blame milk not only for osteoporosis, but also acne, anemia, anxiety, ADD, allergies, asthma, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, autism, and multiple cancers. We've been duped by the dairy industry and their hundreds of millions of advertising dollars. And now we're are totally addicted to their disease-causing products."

I really hope you go check out this book. Remember "Knowledge is power".

Thursday

Food for thought: If you want to look and feel good then eat good. It's as simple as that.

9:30am Breakfast: smoothie (frozen strawberries and blueberries, banana, water, Complete, spinach)


11:30am Lunch- Not so dirty rice w/ salsa and Tapatio



1:30pm Snack- 1 piece of sourdough toast w/ sundried tomato hummus, 1 tamale w/ tomatillo sauce

4:30pm- Jazz and I shared a dark chocolate bar

5:00pm Snack- brown rice crackers with sundried tomato hummus, a few pop chips

6:00pm Dinner- Sloppy Joe on whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp of mac n cheese (vegan)



I tried some new recipes today and they turned out sooooooooo amazing. I was not hungry at 1:30pm but I wanted to try the food I made. I was just being greedy..LOL! It's okay though it will just keep my metabolism fired up. I have to make sure I am eating and not skipping meals. That will definitely sabotage my weight loss efforts and make me eat more at night. I have to consume most of my calories in the day. I have been doing really well at not eating late at night anymore. I am proud of myself. I will share my new recipes in another post. You have to try them. My mouth rejoiced when they touched my tongue. Wooohoooo! Nothing better then healthy yummy food. God is good.

No workout today. My back and neck hurt really bad today. I am going to relax until tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday

Food Journal:
No breakfast. I knew we were going to be eating a lot in class today.

10:30-11:30am (I ate this during our potluck. Everything was sampled in small portions.)
a slice of mango, 3 little slices of cantaloupe, black bean and avocado salsa, chorizo sweet potatoes, brown rice w/ black beans and salsa, 2 mini apple sauce muffins, 2 mini date lemon balls, 1 corn tamale w/ tomatillo salsa, Indian tomato rice. Lots of water.

2:30pm Snack- 1/2 protein bar, a few chips with salsa

5:30pm Snack- 1 slice of sourdough bread (vegan...no milk), w/ goulash

7:30pm Dinner- 2 tbsp of "Not so dirty rice" (brown rice, spices, seitan, tempeh, tomato sauce, sauteed veggies)

Dessert- 1/2 cup of Chocolate Obsession Soy Ice Cream....yummy!

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 2
I worked out really hard. I was sweating like a little piggy. Phewwww! I am already really sore.

I checked out some more vegan cookbooks at the library today. I made a recipe for a soul food cookbook. It was called "not so dirty rice". I liked it but the next time I make it I will make some variations. I want it to taste a little lighter and fresher so I will add fire roasted tomatoes to it while it cooks and maybe some pico de gallo before I serve it. The rice was also supposed to be soaked overnight and I didn't do that so it was a little undercooked. Next time I will make it with short grain brown rice because it is a little starchier. This will be another dish that I add to my rotation.

New Chapter

Today was my last Wellness 101 class. We had a potluck and I was not prepared. I got home late from Yoga last night and didn't go to the store so I had to just whip something up with the things in my kitchen. I have two huge sweet potatoes that I still have not cooked so I diced one up and steamed it with some chorizo seasoning. Then I added some tofurkey. It was pretty good but I wish I would have been better prepared and really made something that showed my cooking skills...LOL!

Although class is over, a new chapter is opening up in my never ending journey to wellness. I am going to start taking classes so that I can become a Wellness Forum facilitator. Which means I will be able to teach everything that I learned. I am really excited. I am so passionate about nutrition and I have so much to learn so I am ready to soak it all up.

Once I am done with my classes I will be able to teach at the new Wellness center that will be opening up in September. I will also be able to speak at churches, schools and any other place that would like to learn about health and wellness. I am totally excited.

I am also now a JuicePlus distributor and will have my own website so that you can check out what JuicePlus is all about. I hope you take the time to check it out and let me know what you think.

Today was a good day. I also went to my interview . It was a great interview but I will not know anything for a couple of days. Like I have said before...it is in God's hands and He knows what He has for me. Either way I am excited because I know I have new opportunities awaiting me in September.

These next couple months will be about getting prepared for my new journey. I have to get re-certified to teach Zumba, take my wellness classes, and also get in the best shape possible by September. I know I won't get to my particular goal with my physique but I can shed some serious weight and gain some lean muscle in that time if I get serious with my food and exercise.

I am excited for this new chapter in my life. Thank you for sticking with me through it all.

Determination

I am so determined to do this "crow" pose. I thought I was not able to do it because I am still too heavy BUT today I was able to get both feet off the floor for a few seconds. I kept trying over and over but I was really tired. I got one foot off the ground and was able to hold it a few seconds longer so that we could snap this picture. I will keep trying and eventually I WILL DO IT! I am realizing that the only limitations I have are the ones I create in my mind.


Here was one attempt.....LOL! I was cracking up and so was Jazzy.






Here I got one foot of the floor and was able to hold it a little longer.






Here are a few pictures of my little yogi bear doing some yoga moves. I am so proud of her.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday- Yoga, Massage and Smoothie

Food Journal:

9:30am- smoothie (frozen blueberries, strawberries, water, banana, complete powder)

11:30am- 2 sopes with textured veggie meat (leftovers), mango salsa and tapatio. apple slices

2:00pm- a handful of tortilla chips w/ 1/4 c. salsa

4:00pm- 1/2 protein bar

5:00pm- 1/2 tofurky link on 1 slice of sourdough bread w/ sauteed onions and ketchup

7:00pm-9:00pm Snacks- dried apple slices, tortilla chips w/ hummus and avocado pea dip, small smoothie, water, a few almonds, a few pieces of dried veggies and a little tiny piece of a Mother Earth bar.

9:30pm- 1/3 of a tofurky link

Lots of water all day.

Workout Journal:

45 min. Yoga and meditation class

I attended the Yoga, massage and smoothie event this evening. It was amazing and I really enjoyed myself. I brought my good friend Brittany and she signed up for Wellness classes with her fiance and she also bought JuicePlus products. I am so happy that I helped inspire her to make this healthy change in her life.

My massage today was great. Susan Powell was my massage therapist and she really did an awesome job. She helped relieve a lot of the tension at the base of my head (where my head and neck connect). Wow it was great energy. I really enjoy socializing and surrounding myself around positive like minded people.

I truly believe that you must surround yourself around people that are where you want to be or headed in the same direction. It helps inspire you and brings you good positive energy to help fuel your journey.

Today was a great day. I released some tension in more then one area of my life. I am grateful to God for all that He is showing me. I am open and ready for all that He has.

-----------------------------------------

At the Yoga class today we got to sample some nice little healthy snacks. I was excited to try the guacamole of course but even more happy to know it was not just avocados.

I love guacamole but like I have mentioned before avocados are something I have to eat in small amounts since I am trying to lose weight (it has been really hard for me):. Mindi (the yoga instructor) made some guacamole that was really yummy with less calories. The answer to my prayers!!!!...LOL!

Here is the recipe:

1 ripe avocado
2 cups of frozen peas (cooked and cooled)
1/2 a red onion (diced)
2 tomatoes (diced)
cilantro (chopped)
lime juice
salt
pepper
garlic powder

Mash the avocado and cooled peas together. Mix in seasoning to your desired taste and lime juice. Mix in your diced veggies and enjoy.

YUMMMMMMY!!!! Jazzy even loved it and was amazed that there were peas in it. :)

Check Out These Links

http://www.mindiyogi.com/

http://www.nevadawellnessforum.com/

For Your Glory

Walking through this door that at one time felt so far away.

Closing a door that at once caused me so much pain.

Where do I go from here?

What path do I take?

Do I hold on to something that seems to be slipping away?

Do I let it go and hope that it will return?

My eyes are filled with tears?

My heart with joy?

Only you know what my future holds and in you I lose control.

No one else can touch my heart

No one can heal my soul

You have been the constant peace in my life....my source of strength.

To you I lift my hands, surrender my heart and say:

Here I am

Do your will

Use me for your glory

I have been formed before the foundation of this world to tell your story

Use me for your glory

My heart belongs to you

Do your will

Use me for your glory!

Pushing Past The Limitations

Sometimes letting go of things and people has more to do with you then the other person. At times we hold onto emotions, experiences and events and they become all too consuming in our lives. We think that if we release someone that it will help us heal. The opposite can be true at times because it is the thorn in our side that often helps to reveal the beauty deep within.

Many times we reflect our insecurities and fears on other people because we are afraid to look at them in ourselves. We don't want to feel vulnerable or alone. We fail to realize that the biggest most important part of growing and blooming is to push past our limitations.

We have to be willing to push against the resistance in our lives and surrender our hearts to the possibilities. We often close up our hearts because of the fear we have of feeling pain. We don't want to let anyone in. We play the role of having it all together. We paint our pretty face and act like we are happy. When in reality we are falling apart inside and we feel lost and alone.

No one can heal that part within you. No one can make you feel something that you are not willing to feel on your own. You can't love someone else if you don't first love yourself. You can set someone free if you don't first free yourself.

There is so much in my heart right now because I am beginning to bloom. I am beginning to let go of some very painful situations and emotions in my life. I have allowed myself to be attached and defined by these things and they have caused me such pain. They have left me scarred, bruised and so far from my true self.

I have learned to stop blaming others for my life and take responsibility for myself. I may have not caused the events to happen in my life but I have allowed then to control me. I have allowed them to steal my identity and essentially steal my power.

As I step into this new journey of my life I release everything that has held me back. I step out of the shadows of my pain, shame and disappointments. I know that I am much more then the pain and rejection I have experienced. I am strong. I am powerful and I deserve to live my life to the fullest.

I will take God's hand and continue to walk on this path feeling empowered and fearless as I press through every limitation that has tried to define me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday- A New Week

I am more excited and motivated then ever to kick it up a notch. I am going to start running again at least twice a week. I need some more variation in my routine so that my body keeps changing.

I am taking a yoga class tomorrow and I am super excited. I will take pics. I am sure it will be a blast but a tad bit challenging. Although I do "Yoga Meltdown" I know this will be very different. I feel a little more confident knowing that I have some basic knowledge but this class will be a little more one on one. I am sure the instructor will help me perfect some of my poses.

The yoga class includes a chair massage and a smoothie. What can be better and more nourishing then that? I can't wait!!!!!!!

I invited my good friend Brittany to go with me so I don't feel so awkward. The biggest fear is that I will fart..LOL! I am not eating any beans today just to be safe...LOL!

Food Journal: (I need to go grocery shopping)
11:00am Breakfast- Smoothie (water, frozen strawberries and blueberries, banana, fresh spinach and complete protein powder)

11:30am- 2 slices of foccacia bread w/ tomato sauce

3:30pm Lunch- salad (lettuce, garbanzo beans, pico de gallo and mango salsa, lemon and croutons), apple sauce

8:00pm Dinner- barley pearls w/ textured veggie goulash (textured veggie protein w/ fire roasted tomatoes and mix veggies), 1 sope w/ goulash, mango salsa and tapatio

Dessert- grapes

Workout Journal:

30 minutes of jogging

I went running at the park with Jazzy today. I had her do one warm up lap of walking and then she ran one whole lap around the park with me. After that she did 3 more laps with me while following me on her scooter.

I would have liked to run some more but she started feeling a little sick. I think she was hungry and wasn't telling me. She didn't eat much before we went running.

Anyways, it was overall a good workout because I completed 4 laps of running around the park without stopping. I don't think it was very far though in total...maybe a little over 1/2 a mile. What made it a little challenging was that it was very windy and it added resistance to my running.

I felt great for my first day back in about 2 months. I will be going jogging again on Thursday and Friday morning. I have a second interview tomorrow afternoon with the general manager and assistant general manager of a gourmet Italian restaurant. I hope to get this job and maybe get a place of my own in a couple of months.

I would like to save some money up first and then move out. I really pray this happens soon but I know it is all in God's hands so I will just rest in His hands.

Thanks for checking on me. See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday- Happy Mothers' Day and Happy Birthday To My Little Princess

Today was another crazy busy day. I went to church this morning and the men put together a wonderful Mother's Day service. They set everything up like a lounge show and served us lunch while they entertained us with songs, dances and poems. It was really nice.

They served all the mothers food from Jason's Deli and chocolate cake. I knew the food would not be vegan so I prepared snacks to eat. I brought grapes, strawberries, baby carrots and water. I managed to make it through the event without any slip ups. Yay me!

After church I went to visit my grandma and then my mother, Jazzy and I went to eat dinner to celebrate my baby's birthday. She wanted Italian food so we went to Macaroni Grill. Nothing was vegan friendly on that menu except for one dish. I had to order it without any oil. They sang Happy Birthday to Jazzy and brought her a huge piece of (non vegan) chocolate cake. Wow was it good. My mom and I helped her eat some of it. Other then that I ate pretty good.

Food Journal:

Breakfast: Smoothie (water, Complete powder, strawberries, banana)

Snacks: grapes, baby carrots, strawberries, a bite of a white chocolate macadamia cookie, water

Lunch: Farmers Market Salad from Fresh and Easy, sope w/ guacamole, water

Dinner- pasta w/ tomato sauce (no oil), small piece of rosemary bread, water w/ lemon
Dessert- a few bites of chocolate birthday cake

Throughout the day I had about 3 chocolate candies and 1 mini bag of skittles. That darn party bag...LOL!

No workout. We were gone all day and I was extremely tired. I plan on going running tomorrow morning.

Saturday

Today was Jazzy's birthday party. I was preparing all morning, entertaining in the afternoon and cleaning up in the evening. I was so tired. I didn't get to eat all day until I sat down for a little while during the party. I kind of grazed and snacked on some things. I am not sure of the quantities but it wasn't a lot of food.
Here is what I ate. I did manage to make everything vegan so it was all pretty healthy. Everyone loved it...even my non vegan friends and kids. I was so happy about that. Everything turned out wonderful. I think this may have been the best birthday party yet. It was easy, healthy and lots of fun.

Food Journal:

3-4 soy taquitos (soy taco meat and black beans in a clean corn tortilla... baked until crunchy)
corn chips w/ pico de gallo, guacamole and mango salsa
grapes and apples
3 veggie purses (veggies w/ sesame sauce in philo dough purses....yummy. The kids ate these up so fast.)
a few baby carrots
a chocolate vegan cupcake with no frosting
water

Dinner: 3 pieces of homemade pizza (vegan cheese and artichokes)

Girls night out: 2 green apple martinis

After the birthday party my friend invited me to go to a lounge/grill. I ended up going and having 2 drinks. I drank water after that since I was the designated driver.

I did not workout but I did A LOT of cleaning and moving around. I was very active all day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday

Food Journal:

11:30am- spaghetti (left overs from Jazzy's dinner last night) (Tofurky, brown rice pasta, spaghetti squash, marinara, and broccoli), 1 tbsp of soy ice cream

5:00pm- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, water

6:30pm- 3 small sopes (baked sope, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, tapatio, tofu cream)

10:00pm- 1 piece of chocolate cake (no frosting).

Jazzy and I made some healthy cupcakes for her party tomorrow. I had to sample them to see how they turned out. I bought a gluten free, dairy free, vegan cake mix. It called for 1/2 cup oil so I substituted it for 1/2 cup apple sauce. It also required water and vanilla.

They taste yummy but there texture is spongey and dense not light and fluffy like regular cupcakes. They taste similar to the NO PUDGE BROWNIE. We made a frosting for them too but it was nasty. I have to come up with a plan B. I don't want to by a Betty Crocker frosting but I might have to. We will see.

I also prepared my pico de gallo and mango salsa for tomorrow. I made a veggie dip from scratch with tofutti cream cheese, artichokes and spinach. It tastes pretty good. We will see if anyone realizes that everything at the party is vegan.

I am not saying a thing. Some of the parents know I am vegan (my friend is too, so she will appreciate it) but the kids don't know. I wonder what they will think of the food. So far this is what is on the menu:

rolled taquitos
mini (vegan) cheese pizzas
fruit tray (strawberries, kiwi, grapes, and apples)
veggie tray (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) w/ artichoke dip (instead of ranch)
tortilla chips
dijon mustard pretzels
Dips: pico de gallo, mango salsa, guacamole
Apple Juice
Punch (Not healthy but I did it just for the party. Jazzy loves it!)
water (of course:)

Since it is a tea party theme I don't have to offer a meal just little finger foods. I hope the kids enjoy and have a good time. I will let you know how it goes. :)

No workout today. I was gone most of the day for Jazzy's field day at school and shopping for her party. I will workout tomorrow morning because I won't have time in the afternoon or evening. Her party is from 3-6pm and I will be entertaining til about 8pm I am sure. :)

Wish me luck, I have 7 little girls coming over tomorrow. :) Yay! me. I am excited though because I love having parties. All the kids love me because I have lots of fun. They might hate me after they eat the food though...LOL! Just kidding!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Friday

Food Journal:

11:00am- 2 taquitos w/ gucamole, tofu cream and pico de gallo, a couple of sips of a smoothie

4:30pm- protein bar, 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

5:00pm- a small slice of wheat french bread (with nothing on it)

6:30pm- a couple baby bok choy with ume vinegar, 1 small scoop of soy cookie dough ice cream (yummmmmy)

9:00pm- 4 cubes of fresh papaya

9:30pm- a few slices of dried mango

I drank a lot of water today. I was not very hungry today. I don't know what the deal was but I am not complaining. :)

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 2
20 minutes of Zumba

I had an interview today so I didn't have time to eat breakfast. I drank a lot of water today so I think that may have kept me from eating a lot. I mostly ate small snacks. I wasn't really in the mood for meals or "food" today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recipe: Rolled Taquitos

Rolled Taquitos

Ingredients:
15 corn tortillas
1 can of refried beans (or mash up your own beans)
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of dried oregano (crushed finely)
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein)

***Use any of your favorite toppings. I used homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, black olives, and homemade tofu cream.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Put tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, seasoning and water in a small pot to boil.
-Once boiling add TVP, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
-Warm up beans.
-Spread a small layer of beans and TVP mixture down the center of the tortilla, roll up and put on baking sheet, seam side down. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
-Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
-Top with your favorite healthy toppings and enjoy.

Wednesday- Another Yummy Recipe

Food Journal:

9:00am Breakfast- steel cut oats w/ soy milk, agave nectar and 1/2 banana

12:00pm Lunch- (at my Wellness class) veggie soup, 2 rolled taquitos w/ tofu sour cream and guacamole, Mother Earth bar (dates, zucchini, carrots, oats and applesauce)
Snacks(during class) dried apples, 3 homemade red potato chips, 6 glasses of water

Snacks at Fresh and Easy- tiny piece of chocolate chip cookie, 2 pretzels

4:30pm Snack- 1/2 c. southwest spaghetti

6:00pm Dinner- 3 taquitos (homemade and really yummy)

No workout. I was gone all day and didn't have time. I will do a double session tomorrow. :)

I have to confess that I curiously weighed myself today. I wanted to wait until next week (I think) but I was curious. Although I started my cycle today I actually lost 2-3 lbs. My scale is not digitial so I don't know the exact weight. I was shocked and happy though. I will not weigh myself again until next friday. I promise. :)
----------------------------------------------------

Taquitos

Ingredients:
15 corn tortillas
1 can of refried beans (or mash up your own beans)
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of dried oregano (crushed finely)
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein)

***Use any of your favorite toppings. I used homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, black olives, and homemade tofu cream.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, seasoning and water in a small pot to boil. Once boiling add TVP, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Warm up beans.

Spread a small layer of beans and TVP mixture down the center of the tortilla, roll up and put on baking sheet. Continue with the remaining tortillas. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Top with your favorite healthy toppings and enjoy.

Resting In Peace

I don't know everything BUT this one thing I am confident of, the same God that started this work in me will finish it.

Sometimes I am faced with uncertainties. I wonder where I am headed.....have I made some bad decision......am I on the right path? I think about goals I have yet to accomplish and dreams that I have yet to see come to pass.

It is tough to stay positive at times but I must rest in God's hands. I have to remember that each and every day is a day that He has ordained and designed for me. Every adversity, insecurity and fear has a purpose in my life.

I was birthed with a purpose and all I have to do is trust in God's plan. I may not know everything BUT I do know God has called and prepared me. He has good things for me and knowing that brings me peace.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday

You don't have to be "the best".....just be "your best".

Everything you need to accomplish your goals and fulfill your purpose is already within you. Don't try to follow someone else's footsteps. Dig deep within yourself and draw out your gifts. You have so much to contribute to the world. We lose too much energy and time trying to hold ourselves up to someone else's standards when we weren't designed to mimic anyone. We are unique and individual for a reason. Be proud of who you are and be "your best" EVERYDAY!

Food Journal:

9:00am Breakfast- 1 c. steel cut oats w/ soy milk, agave nectar, cinnamon and 1/2 a banana

12:00pm Lunch- 1/2 cup grains, bowl of veggie soup, pear and water

4:30pm Dinner- (Sweet Tomatoes) salad, 2 little bread sticks, baked potato w/ margarine and chives, a couple bites of chocolate lava cake, 2 cups of water

8:00pm Snack- Kashi cinnamon shredded wheat w/ soy milk, a handful of tortilla chips (about 8 chips)

No workout today. My body is extremely sore and I wasn't feeling well. I started my cycle today and was pretty tired.

My hormones were a little wacky today and I felt a little down too. I felt extremely lonely and cried a little bit. I know it is part of the PMS. I got down on myself too about my progress this far. I feel that I workout hard and try my best to eat healthy. I figure I should be further along. I know my body has changed A LOT but I expect more.

My mom told me I looked good but you know how we women get sometimes, especially during that time of the month. I am not going to hold on to those feelings though. I have to release them and give myself praise for how far I have come.

I am not going to weigh myself this week. So far I have been maintaining at the same weight. I know I need to change some things if I want to see the numbers change. Not really sure what but I am going to talk to my Wellness coach tomorrow.

I know I have to eliminate eating so late. I am definitely working on that. I am also trying to eliminate the sugar treats everyday. My mom bought ice cream but that doesn't tempt me since it is dairy. I have managed to not bring sweets into the house but right now there are little mini chocolate bars. I bought some candy for Jazzy's birthday party treat bags. I am trying hard to stay away from them. I already put the bags together so I can avoid touching them....LOL! I did sneak 3 out of the bags over the last 2 days...LOL! Shame on me...*slapping my hand*

We will see what happens. Thanks for checking on me. Love you. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday

Food Journal:

9:30am-10:30am Breakfast- smoothie (frozen fruit, water, Complete), 1 c. steel cut oats w/ honey and soy milk (honey is not vegan but I didn't have any other sweetner)

2:00pm Lunch- veggie soup w/ whole grains and black beans, fruit leather

5:00pm Snack- 1/4 c black beans, pico de gallo and 2 corn tortillas

6:00pm Dinner- southwest spaghetti, pear

7:00pm- 1 minature hersheys candy

9:00pm- 1/2 c. steel cut oats, agave nectar and soy milk

Lots of water all day...of course. :)


Workout Journal:

40 min DVD (Banish Fat Boost Metabolism)

I worked out reallllly hard today. I pushed really hard and noticed how strong I am getting. I was proud of myself!

Today was a good day. I worked out early to see if it helps with my eating late at night. My PMS level was very high today. I even felt a little nauseous after dinner. I think I am tired and drained.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday -Superhero Day

"To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana" - Buddha

Food Journal:
10:30am- Smoothie (frozen fruit, 1/2 banana, Complete powder, and water)

12:30pm Snack- 4 baby bok choy w/ ume vinegar and toasted sesame seeds (my new favoirte)

2:30pm Lunch- veggie soup w/ 1/2 c. brown rice, banana, fruit leather

Snack- 1/4 birote, black beans, pico de gallo

5:00pm- 1 mini PB and cocoa ball w/ honey and toasted sesame seeds (homemade)

6:30pm Dinner- green enchiladas (tomatillo sauce, textured veggie protein (TVP), fresh yellow corn tortillas, vegan cheese)

8:00pm- 2 forks of red velvet cake (not vegan...I know. I just wanted to taste it.)

* I experimented today because my mom and Jazzy wanted something sweet. I pixed PB w/ honey and added u/s cocoa powder, then I rolled the mixture into mini balls and rolled them in toasted sesame seeds. I thought they were okay but I can't eat them. My mom liked them. Jazzy didn't like them. I didn't sweeten them much that is why they weren't so appealing but they are healthy...LOL! :)


Workout Journal:
20 min DVD (30 Day Shred- Level 1) *used weights w/ some exercises that didn't require them for an extra calorie burn. BOY was it hard. :)

40 min DVD (Yoga Meltdown- Level 1)

I am slowly trying to make my mom more healthy. Over 5 yrs ago she had a battle with cancer and she has not worked out since then. Before she got sick she was very active and always worked out. Now she goes to work, comes home and falls asleep most of the time. She eats a lot of processed foods and does no physical activity outside of her daily work routine.

I am beginning to implement some of my knew found knowledge into her life so she can become strong again and start to feel good about herself. She is healed of her cancer so she no longer has an excuse to live weak and defeated.

I took her off of milk products and most of her processed food items. Next I want to take her off of diet pepsi, sugar coffee w/ sugar creamer and instant oatmeal.

Slowly but surely she is learning and adapting to this new lifestyle. I don't expect her to become 100% vegan but since I cook vegan food everyday at home she is forced to eat it anyways...LOL! What she does out of the house is up to her. I just want her strong and healthy. It makes me feel good to have the opportunity to share this life with her.

I saw her struggle and I saw her suffer through her cancer and I don't want that to ever happen again. I told her she was given a chance to live so she has to take care of her body and learn to respect it. She understands and did her best to workout today. She didn't break a sweat but I hope her confidence grows and that will push her to do more.

It makes me feel really good! :)))))

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Recipe: Fettuccine Caulifredo

Ingredients:

1 full head of cauliflower (roughly chopped, washed and rinsed)
1/4 cup of veggie broth (more or less depending on your desired consistancy)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 cup sliced portabello mushrooms
1 tsp fresh italian parsley (finely chopped) *optional
garlic powder (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 lb of fettuccine noodles (cook according to package instructions)

-Boil the pasta while you prepare the sauce. Drain and set aside.

-Steam the cauliflower until it is really soft.

-Sautee garlic and onion in water or Earth Balance until carmelized.

-Sautee mushrooms and set aside

-Drain cauliflower and add to a food processor with sauteed garlic, onion, parsley (if using), and broth. Process until mixture is creamy. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder until you reach your desired taste.

-Pour sauce over the pasta, add mushrooms and mix. Serve and enjoy.

You can sprinkle the top with some shredded vegan cheese.

Saturday- What a deal!!!

Food Journal:
10:00am Breakfast- smoothie (frozen fruit, 1/2 banana, water, Complete powder)
12:00pm- JuicePlus+ supplements, water
1:00pm- banana
2:00pm Lunch- Torta (black beans, avacado, vegan cheese, pico de gallo, romaine lettuce), small piece of sweet bread
7:00pm Dinner- fettucine caulifredo (vegan fettucine alfredo)

No workout.

I had a great day shopping for groceries. I went to a mexican market and bought a lot of produce, a couple of pounds of black beans, fresh corn tortillas, birote and some sweet bread. In total it was 18 bags of groceries and it only cost me $68. That was an awesome deal. I will be going there every week for my groceries.

I made some fettucine alfredo today. It has always been Jazzy's favorite dish but since we have become vegan she hasn't been able to eat any. When I was watching the Dr. Oz show the other day this man made alfredo sauce from cauliflower. I didn't get the recipe but I attempted to make it today from scratch anyways. It turned out wonderful. I am going to share the recipe in a separate post.

I didn't workout today because I was gone most of the day. I am also very sore from yesterdays workout. I also have some cramps so I decided to take today off and rest.

Thanks for reading.