Learning to Retox my life

September is yoga month! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have become a total yoga junkie.  It’s gone beyond just a daily practice. It’s a way of life.  My yoga life as evolved from being able to land some really cool arm balance ( the reason I started ) to learning patience, self control, gratitude and charity. My confidence has soared. My self acceptance, including body image, has changed for the better as well. I could go on and on posting pictures from my journey so far and call it a day. I have shared that stuff in the past and I don’t want you to get bored one paragraph in.

What I do want to share with you is a book that recently picked up on a trip to Barnes & Noble. It is called Retox: Yoga * Food * Attitude – Healthy Solutions For Real Life by Lauren Imparato.  Lauren is the founder of I.Am.You studios in NYC.

(The following review is my own thoughts based on parts of the book. I was not contacted by anyone involved with Retox or I.Am.You. to write this nor am I being compensated in any way. I’m just a girl on this lifestyle journey sharing what I love.) 

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I was on the fence about buying this book at first.  I was worried that it would be another diet book. Or worse, it would be 362 pages of sales pitches as to why you need to buy some on line course or product to see results.  (Yes you can buy the videos for the yoga portion on line but it’s not necessary.)

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That shit really drives me crazy!  I know you feel me too.

After reading about Lauren’s switch from wall street trader to yogi with nutritional science training, I knew I had made the right decision. She really dived deep into training to understand the body. Smart chick.

This actually is NOT a diet book at all. Retox is the opposite of detox. There is no elimination of whole food groups or crazy workout schedules to follow. This book focuses on balance between yoga, food and mindset. This is a plan for general living and how to keep it together on very given day. Lauren calls it LSP, or Life Stability Plan.

As a yoga instructor, Lauren takes you through twenty-one daily life issues and breaks it down into the three LSP’s:

  • Yoga – flows and asanas geared specifically to heal your ailment
  • Nourishment – Think of this as the “eat this not that” section.
  • Mindset – explains the how and whys of what you are feeling and how to bring balance to that through meditation

There is something in here for everyone:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Hangovers
  • Low energy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Back pain

(Just to name a few)

You can run through the book section by section or skip around working on what your body needs most that day. For me, the first step was getting rid of the alien baby that is belly bloat.

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The yoga flow ( shown above ) is designed to focus on core movements and twists that activate your organs helping to release toxins. Each flow takes 20-30 minutes to complete.  There are also quick fixes and desk flows for when you are short on time. Perfect considering I always seem to be running late.

Nourishment tells me about foods that may be causing the bloating such as:

  • Soy (check!)
  • Eggplant / cucumber (check!)
  • Chia / nuts ((check!)(check!)
  • Raw foods  (mmmmm  some )
  • Spicy foods (check!)

You may have issues with all these foods or just a few.  If you notice certain things you eat are making you bloated, avoid them. If you can tolerate them in moderation, go for it. Just don’t over do it.

The retox instant debloaters include:

  • Warm water
  • Rice
  • Cooked foods
  • Some herbal teas like mint or chamomile

The reasons why each of these foods hurt or heal you is explained in the book as well.

Mindset: Your gut is sometimes referred to as your second brain. When faced with uncertainty, your guy can get all funky.  The stress can cause unbalance causing bloat. Sometimes you can’t just “let is go”.  you literally need to learn to trust your gut. The retox goal here is to train your mind to process the events and emotions around you. Write down what is stressing you. How does it make you feel? What are ways you can improve your situation? Then, sit tall, clear your mind and focus on your breath. Follow Lauren’s guided meditation then move on with your day.

After reading through each section in Retox, I had a few ah-ha moments.  Some things were obvious.  But Lauren brings science into her explanations so that it makes more sense. Don’t recoil by that statement.  She doesn’t get all nerdy on you. There is so much information packed into these pages that I find myself going back and reading sections again. I have learned so much about my diet alone that makes this book so worth the purchase. I catch myself asking, “Did I Retox today”?

If you are interested in Retox or I.Am.You studios, I interested links in the top of this post.

Have you read Reotx? If so, tell me your thoughts below. 

Do you have any of your own retox solutions that you incorporate into your day? 

 

 

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What a week!

How is everyone’s June going so far? This has been a week of ups and down. Strange but familiar. Ever have one of those?

I was told what not to wear because I am old. ( not worth linking the actual article but a quick search will give you many other similar fluff pieces )

I say to that:

WearWhateverThe HellYou Want

Give me my leopard print, converse sneakers, bright pink anything and oversized sunglasses. One thing you learn as you get older is to not give a shit what others think, especially about your wardrobe!

I became obsessed with the guilty  verdict,  weak sentencing and public outrage of former Stanford student turned rapist, Brock Tuner.  His name should not even be mentioned again.  I am so blown away by the words of this little dork and his elitist father. What is worth sharing is the letter written by the victim (warning: parts of it are graphic).  WOW.  Her words are powerful.  I got emotional as a mother and got all “Girl Power” as a woman when I read this statement.  Be the beacon of light, dear girl. Be the lighthouse.

A friend received a diagnosis, another leaving her husband, while another friend has an uphill battle of her own. Funny not but funny is that these three women are some of the strongest, toughest chicks I know. I have a gut feeling that they each will come out of their situations even more badass then ever. But still, I send them prayers and good vibes along the way.

I binge watched VEEP S1 & 2 in two days.  Seasons 3 & 4 are not free on Prime yet so they will have to wait. I am not sure if I liked it enough to invest more time on it. Did anyone else see it? Should I keep watching? I have to say I am happy to see Anna Chlumsky in the cast. I have not seen her in anything since My Girl.  I always liked her but did not follow her career. I would say she is one of my favorites on this show.

I was introduced to a new yogi to follow on YouTube – Lesley Fightmaster of Fightmaster Yoga. I did a 30 minute class that focused on a lot of hip opening and flexibility in the back. I am hooked.  I am adding her into my weekend practice from here on out. That is when I have the most time to focus.  During the week, I can add parts that I learn into my personal practice. I am feeling the burn in my sides and core two days later. It’s been a long time since I felt sore from my practice. This new find is just what I needed to move forward where I otherwise felt stuck.

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And can we talk about this amazing weather? Even though we are still having crazy amounts of rain, the humidity has been low and the mornings are spring like cool. I AM IN HEAVEN!  Considering the AC in my house is total crap, I will take the cool temps all summer long if that is possible.  All my runner friends must be in their glory too! am I right?

Tonight, Dan and  I have plans to hang out with our sister and her husband. We are going to see Rubix Cube ,  our favorite 80’s tribute band!  They are so fun to watch with all their (seamless) costume changes and stage show.  It is a fun night and I recommend you check them out if they come to your neck of the woods.  Oh and did I mention some people dress up for the show?  That’s right ladies and gentleman.  People watching is part of the experience so grab out Members Only jacket, Wayfarers and lace gloves and entertain me!

It’s time for me to get ready for night so I gotta run! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  Make memories people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Coffee Date – May

Hello beautifuls! I am teaming up for another coffee date with Deborah, Coco and Lynda.  Thank you for having coffee or tea with me while we chat and catch up.

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you about our weekly visits with Dan’s grandma.  She lives in FL most of time but has been in PA with her one son since late autumn 2015.  Even though they are “close” is was not close enough to see her often.  She is currently floating between rehab facilities within an hour from our home healing from a broken shoulder she suffered in a fall.  It’s unfortunate that this is how we get to see her.  But we are making it a priority to visit 1-2 times a week.  She just got the news that she is healed and can go home real soon. We would like her to stay in PA but she is home sick for FL.   At her age, 96, we just want her to be happy living out the rest of her life where she will be comfortable. She still has a sharp mind and we will miss her stories when she does get to go home. We will just have to make a trip down to visit her someday.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am starting to have food issues ~ Again. I am not sure if it is sugars or gluten. I plan on doing a total detox next week including alcohol. I am hoping the detox will do a few things: Help me feel better, find the trigger foods that are causing the major bloating/stomach pain  and jump start some weight loss. I see my doctor in two weeks and so I hope we can figure this out.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you that I am glad it is May but frustrated with all the rain and cold temps.  Ok, the cold temps.  The constant rain and lack of sun I can deal with.  But come on mother nature! It’s May!  Can we have some days that get above 65?  My feet are rejecting my shoes and are begging to be barefoot…

If we were having coffee… I would tell you that I am happy with my yoga practice right now.  I am taking a step back and really focusing on my breath and movement.  I am not worrying about progress.  The past two weeks I have really taken things back to basics so to speak and have been loving every minute on my mat.

If we were having coffee… I would wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.  I will be having dinner but I am not sure of the plans yet.  I am leaving it all up to my MIL and sister. Whatever they want is cool with me.  Just tell me when and where!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you my job is heading into busy season.  So, if I am suddenly silent, you know why.  Life is good but this time of year does not leave much leisure time for posting, reading or commenting.  You’ll see me around though.  I can’t stay away too long!

If were were having coffee, what would you tell me

 

 

My Happiness Project – April

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April has flown by! Work is starting to get busy again gearing up for summer which is craziness for us.  I had a few posts planned but time got away from me.  Life happens and I have enjoyed every second of it!

I have a baby announcement for this month!

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Jacob Patrick was born on April 16th to our step brother and wife.  I have not met the little guy yet but when I do, there will be pictures galore! This one was taken from my MIL’s IPad.

I have owned my Mindful Yoga Wheel for a month now and am slowly learning ways to use it.  One of my yoga challenges this month is all about using props ( Straps, blocks, wheels…).  This month of poses has helped me refocus and go deeper into my practice. Sometimes I feel stuck after doing the same poses and don’t feel progression in them. Typically, I stop doing them for a while and try new things… then I lose all that work.  This is where the wheel and other props comes in. It is helping me find new ways to do “old” postures.

Spring is finally here!  I love how everything has that new, bright green look to it. My allergies are not liking the pollen too much but it’s not a bother when I can look at the pretty trees in bloom!

 

These pictures were taken on Saturday.  Sunday turned out to be a bright and sunny day.  We managed to get out of the house somewhat early so we started off with a walk by the lake.

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By 11:00AM the park was packed with runners, families on bikes, race teams and people in boats fishing. There was even a local photographer set up with props taking Mother’s Day photos. The little kids all dressed up in their fancy dresses and bow ties were adorable!  It certainly was a good day for people watching.

One last thing I am happy about are my new sunglasses!  This is my first pair of prescription sunnies.  I have always had clip-ons or transition lenses but wanted a larger pair that actually blocks the sun.  These are working out better then I ever imagined!  I wish I had done this years ago.

So tell me….

What are you doing to enjoy this amazing spring weather? I know all you runners are in your glory! Am I right?

The Ultimate Coffee Date – March

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Happy first Saturday of March!! I am linking up with three fabulous women today: Lynda @ Fitness Mom wine Country , Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner and Coco @ Got2Run4Me. You are welcome to link up if you have a blog too.  Grab a seat plus your favorite hot beverage and have a chat with me!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I had a fun time in St. Louis this past weekend. I was there with my boss as exhibitors at the annual UniGroup Learning Conference.  It was great to see and meet friends from the moving industry that I have been talking to over the phone for many years. It’s been about five years since I attended last. The downtown must be on the verge, or in the beginning stages of,  a gentrification because it seems more “alive” since my last visit.  I felt like there are bars/restaurants and let’s not forget Ballpark Village!  Live music, great food, baseball ( if you are a fan anyway)… it is a great place to visit! At the end of our trip, we hosted an appreciation dinner for one of the United moving companies we have a close relationship with.  It was at the top of The Four Seasons. The hotel is beautiful! The food and service was incredible.  I recommend the filet.  Their sorbet is perfection too.  And take a look at this view!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am so happy that it is March!  I know it’s not technically spring yet.  However, it is the start of my favorite season. Soon the crocus, tulips and other spring bulbs will pop up from their winter slumber.  The new grass will give the ground a fresh new look.  This makes my heart sing!

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If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am in a workout slump. My plan of keeping a schedule worked well for January.  However, with all the traveling I did the past few weeks, I got off track. This always happens with me.  The only thing that stayed consistent was my yoga practice.  Even that has been less then stellar though. My plan to start running again this month is out the window after injuring my knee again.  It’s better now. However, bad knees run in the family and this is becoming an issue.  I am worried that running will accelerate any long term issues.  That does make me a little sad. I need a new cardio~  fast walking maybe? Hiking more this year is on the top of the list for sure.  All I know is I am itching to be outside!

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If we were having coffee… I would discuss my frustration with social media creepers and spam that I get hit with more then I would like to deal with. It blows my mind that there are people who will strike up a conversation through your post or direct message, pretend they’re normal then BAM! They hit you with total perversion.  Now, I am not one that offends easy.  However, it takes up so much energy! People have way to much time on their hands.  Those people go straight to the “block party”.   Once there, they meet up with people who do not take no for an answer when trying to sell me their health and fitness services.  Respect goes both ways. Am I right?

If we were having coffee… I would tell you I am on the hunt for a cute kelly green shirt for St. Patrick’s Day.  So far, I have not found one that I like so maybe I will just get a scarf instead ;0)    I like this one.  I am sure Target will have one that would suit my fancy.

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So tell me… If we were having coffee right now, what would you want to tell me? 

 

 

 

 

Live in prAna style

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sweat pink

As an ambassador for the Sweat Pink /Fit Approach community, I get to learn about companies that are pretty darn amazing.  As a self proclaimed yoga junkie, I get giddy when I see a collaboration between our SPA’s (Sweat Pink Ambassador) and paAna. This past week, we had a special “pose of the day” challenge to help kick off prAna’s new spring line. 

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Cali Dress in Azalea Guava

As a SPA, I was chosen to be one of the challenge leaders last week which was an opprtunity I was very grateful for. I was be given the list of daily poses in advance to post a picture of myself doing the pose on my Instagram with special hashtags such as: #poseoftheday #pranaspringstyle and #sweatpink. In return, I was given a list of options to chose one item from prAna’s website.  I picked this cute sundress and I can not wait to receive it! A blog post will follow next month. But until then, let me tell you a little about this fantastic company.

 prAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active and free-spirited living. They create versatile, stylish AND sustainable clothing plus accessories that you can wear during every adventure your life gives you. Their designs are based on their own personal experiences in yoga, climbing and travels.  I don’t know about you but when I travel, I want clothing that I pull from my suitcase and throw on. I don’t have to worry about if I need to iron before heading out the door.  I don’t have time for that.

Having cute, fashionable AND functional pieces of clothing on hand is a must when we plan to hike then get a bite to eat.  Sometimes, a sports bra and tank just doesn’t cut it.

Their designs combine classic style with modern materials.  If you check out their website, you will see a long list of sustainable materials that make up their line: Organic cotton, recycled wool and hemp to name a few.  They are also certified Bluesign which is a manufacturing process that sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production so that the final textile products meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide.  It also provides confidence to the consumer that they are acquiring a sustainable product. prAna has been a proud partner with Bluesign Systems since 2012. Let’s not forget they also donate to Outdoor Outreach which is a non-profit organization transforming lives of underserved youth with the outdoors. As a huge nature lover myself, I love that I can chose from a select group of products that I know help get kids outside and connect with nature! Did I mention they also have a fair trade line as well?

Here are a few more samplings of their Bluesign line:

I am proud to be able to share with you this special promo code PSSS16FHOI to receive 15% off your purchase!

Have you tried prAna before?

What is one item from their site that you would love to own?

 

*this campaign does include compensation and a discount code.  All opinions are my own.

Ending hunger one step at a time

cropcoverHello Everyone!

Sorry I have been absent for a while.  Things have been crazy busy and exciting for me since the end of August! One piece of business that I am currently involved with is our local chapter of Church World Services ( CWS ) Crop hunger Walk.  This is the fourth year Dan and I have been involved, third year on the steering committee.   We had several long time committee members retire this year leaving us without a “true leader” to oversee everything. Between meetings, phone calls and getting things ready for the walk on Oct. 11th, I have become more involved this year taking on a co-chair role of leading along with treasurer.  It was a bit overwhelming and bumpy at first. With the help of our awesome CWS contact, things are back on schedule!

Why am I walking?   Hunger remains one of the world’s most pressing challenges, with almost a billion people – or 1 in 7 worldwide- suffering from chronic hunger. In addition, each year up to 100 million more may face acute hunger brought on by natural disasters and conflicts.  Women and children are disproportionately affected by hunger and malnutrition.

How about here in the U.S.? 20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half the poverty line, our about $10,000 a year for a family of four.

Crop Hunger Walks are community-wide events that bring people together in a common mission: helping hungry people at home and around the world.

You can be a part of it by sponsoring Dan and I on this 5.5 mile walk or come walk with me! Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will stay in my community to support Pennridge Fish, our local food pantry.  Last year we raised $27107. Just under $6780 helped feed and clothe those in need right here at home!

We will be welcoming walkers from a neighboring community that does not have a walk this year to join us.  Together, we hope to raise $45,000! Along with cash donations, we will be collecting canned goods as well on walk day that will be delivered to Pennridge Fish once the walk starts.

If you have any questions about sponsoring us or any other walker, registering on line or finding a walk in your community, please leave a comment below!