Leg Day Motherf**kers!

Instead of a run, I did a leg day today. Although I quit coaching, this is a beachbody workout, from the 21 Day Fix Extreme. The leg and booty workouts from that program are insanely effective. I then did a couple core strengthening exercises, and ended with some stretches (not shown).

There are 12 exercises here, plus 2 core exercises. Do each one for 30 seconds with 15 seconds off in between. I used 5 lb weights. Don’t overdo it. You want to be able to walk tomorrow. Notice that I put the weights down for the jumping exercises.

Here they are, numbered for your convenience.

  1. Squats
  2. Jumping Squats
  3. Weighted Lunges
  4. Lunge High Kicks
  5. One Leg Squats
  6. Jumping One Leg Squats
  7. Side Lunges
  8. Side Lunge Kicks
  9. Plié Squats
  10. Plié Jumps
  11. Backward Lunge
  12. Plyo Lunge
  13. Core Exercises
  14. Plank Steps
  15. Dolphin Planks

(This post is from yesterday. I never uploaded because we were evacuated due to wildfire on the ridge behind our house. OMG, right? Well, fire is still going but it seems to be under control today.)

Post Run Yoga 

Early morning post run yoga. I’m doing the Couch to 5k running program, not because I’m actually a couch potato, but because I’m NOT a runner. I’ve already made it through the first 3 weeks and I’m up to 9 minutes of running—amazing if you consider that I have a bad knee which I’ve managed to overcome by strengthening it VERY slowly. 🏃🏻‍♀️🤸🏻‍♀️ For this one, I was following a YouTube video by Yoga With Adriene. She has a whole playlist for runners, as she is a runner herself. 

The Truth About Shakeology

I’ve been a pretty die hard fan of chocolate vegan Shakeology since I tasted my first delicious mouthful of brownie batter flavored yumminess in September 2016.

Sure, it costs $129/month for non-members and $103 for coaches, but it’s worth it right? You get what you pay for! It replaces your prenatal vitamin AND your probiotics! I had my first serious doubts when I needed to re-order my prenatals and I remembered my coach telling me that Shakeology replaced them. So I read the label. I was drinking Chocolate Vegan so I cannot vouch for the nutritional content of other flavors, but here is what I found on the bag of my $3.57/serving Shakeology:

Sure, it’s great for what it is—a super tasty smoothie booster high in iron, fiber and protein. This shake will give you the most satisfying poops in the world. But that’s where it ends. It has virtually no vitamins to speak of. Only 4% of the daily calcium needs of a regular woman, nevermind a pregnant or lactating woman. This could in NO WAY replace prenatal vitamins. And at $4.30/serving for regular customers, shouldn’t there be a literal f**kton of nutrients in there?

I’ll tell you the never-discussed truth about the price: you are paying for your “free” coach through Shakeology. As a former Beachbody coach, the money mostly comes from Shakeology subscriptions, not the Beachbody on Demand membership. No matter how big your “downline” is (because it’s a multilevel marketing company), your money is still coming from Shakeology.

(I am not trying to badmouth Beachbody coaches. I had an amazing upline. My coach was great and she taught me a lot of valuable things. I learned a lot from my 10 months as a Beachbody coach, but the bottom line is that it’s not for me. This, however, could be a whole separate post. I just want to be clear that I’m simply comparing costs and benefits of a few different high quality supplement shakes, and the fact of the matter IS that the cost of Shakeology isn’t because of all the “superfoods” in there (the cheaper brands have almost identical ingredients)—it’s because you’re paying your coach to run your challenge groups and spend 90% of their lives on social media marketing themselves.)

So, for comparison, I went out and bought a couple other types of shakes for the taste test, and I then searched these brands to figure out their prices on Amazon and broke it down to price per serving. I tried Amazing Grass Protein Superfood, Garden of Light Raw Organic Meal, and Vega One All In One. All chocolate flavor. I scrapped the Amazing Grass from the comparison because it has almost no nutritional value outside of being a protein supplement. I then tried the same ingredients I use with my Chocolate Vegan Shakeology—a healthy couple handfuls of spinach, almond milk, banana, and frozen strawberries. The Garden of Light honestly didn’t cover the flavor (or the color) of the spinach at all. Sure, this isn’t a big problem, but the thing with Shakeology is you get your chocolate fix. While green smoothies can also be delicious, for a sugar addict like me, it’s not gonna give me a chocolate fix. This one also had the texture of sawdust. Grainy, rough sawdust. I also tried the vanilla and it didn’t taste much different. The only “flavor” I could recognize was the Stevia. Yuck.

On top of the shi**y taste/texture, this one also has almost no calcium, which as a lactating female, is kinda important to me. So I scrapped this one from the comparison as well.

The only one left was Vega One. At this point, I figured I would just stick with Shakeology. At least it’s INCREDIBLY delicious (because it really is). Then I mixed up the Vega One with the spinach and the other ingredients I just mentioned, and I could already tell by the color that it was going to be better than the Garden of Light sawdust.

And it was. Smooth and creamy chocolate. A little more Stevia flavor than I like, but sugar isn’t exactly healthy anyway. All the vitamins in this shake make it worth it. It has around the same amount of protein, iron, and fiber as Shakeology….but then it has a buttload of other stuff as well. It could almost….. replace a prenatal!

And at $2.27/serving, I’m willing to take something that tastes a little less like brownie batter and has a ton MORE nutrients than Shakeology (which was costing me about $1.20 more per serving. F that.

So there you have it. My honest, and freshly unbiased opinion on Shakeology (I officially canceled my coach account today).

Why even drink a supplement shake, you may be wondering? Well, it provides a nutritional boost and fills in the gaps in my daily diet, which isn’t always perfect (far from it). It’s also a healthy, organic way to disguise things like probiotic (or other) pills for my toddler. And sometimes it’s the only way I can get a serving of something besides pasta or mac n cheese into her mouth!

I just want to reiterate however—I met some amazing ladies in the Beachbody community, and there IS unlimited earning potential with the company. I learned a lot about personal development, read some great books, did some awesome workouts, and plan to continue my Beachbody on Demand membership because I LIKE it, and because it’s a great deal at $99/year. But the Beachbody coach thing isn’t for me, and neither is Shakeology. I hope someone found value in this post, and I hope I have not hurt any feelings in the process of posting it. Comment below or send me a message if you want to know more about any of this.

Sunset Twist Yoga

Just a little sunset twist yoga to relax before getting Mia down to bed. I needed a good stretch because I did a pretty big run (for me) this morning. I’m trying to be as active as possible these last couple weeks before I start my new job and get sucked into the whole life-change process for a while.

​I am following a 45 minute video here that I found on YouTube. It’s by Yoga with Kassandra, my go-to yoga channel. It is my absolute favorite yoga video. The poses are absolutely delicious and satisfying.

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to do a hike, like really early morning style and then maybe jump in the river after. What are you all up to lately? Leave a comment! I love to hear from my readers so I know I’m not talking to myself. 😂

Exercise the Demons

For me, getting my heart pumping every day is more than just a way to maintain my physical fitness level. It’s a way to keep my sanity. It’s hard to fall into depression or negativity when you’re maxing out your heart and muscles every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Anyway, I always know the depression is creeping back in when I find myself slipping into negativity. My thoughts MAKE my world. They are the lens that I see EVERYTHING through. Whenever this happens, I know I need more exercise. Some people workout to look good. Well, I workout TO STAY SANE.

My eating is also a huge deal. I’m a sugar addict. Not only is this unhealthy, it causes mood swings which, you guessed it, I’m already prone to. So eating fresh veggies and fruit and getting enough protein every day is super important for me. Drinking my daily superfood / vitamin / protein shake shake helps me with curbing the junk food binges and it also fills in the nutritional gaps when I get lazy. But the rest of my diet is up to me and it’s hard.

My biggest motivator, however, is my little girl. I had her when I was 38 years old and realized quickly that I could take one of two paths. I could let myself go‒using the baby as an excuse‒or tone back up and make my health and fitness a priority over the long haul‒making the baby my REASON. As any new mom knows, caring for a baby is a 24/7 job and it is easy to lose yourself in the process. I have always been an avid outdoor enthusiast, from hiking and surfing to camping and biking, but all these things fell to the wayside when I had my baby. I started to see myself moving in a direction I didn’t like and recently I decided to take action. I want to be healthy and active when my daughter is older….I will be 60 years old when she graduates college so I have a very important motivator for staying healthy.

Last fall I took the first step in getting my fitness back on track and I started running online motivation groups to help other ladies get into a healthy lifestyle. More recently, I made it a goal to get certified in nutrition and as a personal trainer because I am in the process of starting my own online (and in-person) fitness and nutrition consulting service. I want to help older mamas like myself (and non-mamas too!) stay healthy and vibrant as we go through our forties and beyond.

I love being active in many different forms because it makes me FEEL GOOD for the rest of the day and curbs the negative feelings and thoughts. I want to share my enthusiasm for active pursuits and the health benefits they confer.

Now it’s your turn! What kind of fitness program do you most enjoy? What areas of your life (cardio, nutrition, mindset, motivation, flexibility, some other area) do you most want to work on? What kind of at-home / online program would you be most likely to join? Comment below or shoot me an email!

Law of Attraction

A couple weeks ago, an old friend of mine snapped on me (long story) and told me to “Go on pretending to be someone you’re not.”

I thought that was ugly. Of course, there are all the obvious arguments, like I haven’t seen him in 12 years, and I was still drinking (and blacking out) intensely when he last saw me, but that’s not even what bothered me about his comment.

The thing that got to me was this: how exactly am I supposed to CHANGE and GROW into a better person without first starting to ACT like the person I want to become? It took me a long time for this idea to click for me….39 years to be exact. I always believed that I was a certain way because that’s the way I had always been. But that’s not true. That’s just the STORY I was telling myself.

Last fall, I joined an online community that really emphasizes personal growth, both physical and mental; immersing myself in the ideas of this community has really changed my thinking.

I don’t want to be the rage-filled, negative Nancy that I’ve been for most of my life. As anyone who has followed me online for more than a few years knows, my posts were anything but sunny a couple years ago. So I’m trying to project positivity now in hopes that my life will change. I have a daughter now. I want to be a good role model for her, not the angry asshole I’ve always been.

So this is why I guess it appears that I’m “pretending to be someone I’m not.” Because I’m in the process of becoming that person. I’m trying a send out positive vibrations rather than negativity in hopes it will come back to me and heal my f-ed up life.

It’s Never Too Late

I saw this quote somewhere on the internets the other day. It really resonated with me, as I’m nearing my 40th birthday with no career to speak of. Maybe it gave me hope. It definitely motivated me. Because it never is too late. I’ll never be as young as I am today so why give up hope? In ten years from now, I’ll be glad I didn’t.

truthful tuesday

When faced with a choice between all or nothing, I will nearly always choose all. High risk may be scary but in the end it means high payoff and creates a life of passion, adventure and intensity. It is not for everyone but it is the only thing that makes sense to me and the only way I ever want to live.

My Purpose in Life

It seems that my purpose in life is simply determining my purpose in life. At least that’s what it feels like lately.

Could it be my age? I am about to turn 40 (in less than 3 months), and I feel like I’m entering some sort of midlife crisis. It could be because I just became a mother for the first time in 2016. Maybe it stems from leaving my baby’s father in Hawai’i to move back home to Colorado with the baby. Or maybe it has something to do with the untouched master’s degree sitting in my closet (Literally, my degree is in the hall closet and my thesis is in my bedroom closet.)

Then I remember: I’ve always been this way. A few weeks ago, my mother handed me a stack of papers she had found in the basement when she sold her house several years back. It was a bunch of writing I had done in high school about, you guessed it, the meaning of life. My life in particular.

I thought I’d found my calling when I spent $80k on two degrees in the botanical and evolutionary sciences. I thought I was going to get a job working in the field, researching arcane facets of biology until the day I died. Well, it didn’t work out that way. I got out of grad school and found myself getting a job serving in a restaurant because it was the only way to survive. Botany jobs were few and far between and most didn’t pay enough to feed myself in Honolulu…. or anywhere else for that matter.

So here I am, about to turn 40, racking my brain and my heart and god and the universe for some direction, please. I’ve tried doing worksheets, making vision boards, and listening to personal development audiobooks every time I get in my car, but I still am unsure. So I’m just going to go with it, and try to start my own little online fit club for the over 35 mama demographic. Worst case scenario, I just end up getting really in shape all by my damn self. Best case… I get fit with like 3 billion older mamas following in my footsteps.

I haven’t laid out all the plans yet but my brilliantly talented sister is going to make the meal plans, and I am going to create the e-course / e-book / book, and monthly / weekly / annually / whatever fitness challenges. There will also be a blog. This blog. Maybe some recipes. In any case, I’m motivated AF right now so if you’re interested, hit me up and we’ll talk.