Saturday, January 9, 2016

An Opinion Piece...Thoughts on Guilt, Self-Sabotage etc

This post was inspired by a couple things, but what brought the topic of guilt to the forefront of my mind was a Yoga class I attended this morning at Solefire in Sacramento.

Near the end of the class the instructor was speaking about the feeling of guilt, how it comes about, and strategies to change the way we handle ourselves when we feel guilty. If you're familiar with the Serenity Prayer or you've attended a meeting for addiction, eating disorders etc than you've probably heard of the concepts of serenity, courage, and wisdom. In my mind I connect the resolution of guilt with the Serenity Prayer.

The Serenity Prayer evokes a sense of peace and calmness with things "just as they are," but it also requires understanding the difference between serenity and surrender. Serenity is about accepting the condition or situation and learning to work with it. On the otherhand surrender is like waving the white flag or giving in to the condition or disease. For example, I've struggled with eating disorders since I was 11, but I've accepted that there's a part of my brain that will always think and feel certain way. Through education, time and awareness I've learned to live with my eating disorders and use my knowledge and energy in a positive way. Unfortunately, living out the Serenity Prayer is not as easy as it might seem because acceptance is hard and accepting that there are somethings we can not change is even harder.

Living out the Serenity Prayer as a way of life requires letting go of guilt, accepting what has happened and learning to live with the outcomes. I believe that holding on to guilt is a fatal flaw in recovery from any addiction, disease, or traumatic life event. When we hold on to guilt it's like carrying a heavy weight on our shoulders, it causes us to dwell on the past and set parameters for the life we think we deserve rather than living the life of our dreams.

Letting go of guilt and moving forward starts by saying sorry for wrong doings to friends, family members, coworkers, or even ourselves. After apologies have been made all we can do is wipe the slate clean and start our life fresh to best of our abilities. Holding on to guilt can lead to self destructive or self sabotaging behaviors when it comes to weight loss and wellness endeavors.

I've taking the long route in making my point here, but what I'm getting at is that everything we think, feel or do impacts our quality life and well we live. If you're holding onto guilt, shame or embarrassment take the time to learn to let to go and allow yourself to forgive and start fresh. No matter how serious or minor you feel your guilt is, it is worth every minute of your time to resolve it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meat Free Monday Spaghetti Casserole

Seth loves pasta. Any kind really, but his favorite is lasagna. I love making it for him, but in it's traditional form it's not so healthy as an everyday meal. I've been experimenting with different ways make both of us happy at dinner time and here's what I've been cooking.

In exploring creative ways to consume generous amounts of protein without being too hard on our bodies I've been cooking with vegetarian proteins every now and then. High protein diets are touted for weight loss, but they can be hard on our liver and kidneys over time. Click here to learn more. To add variety to our diet and keep our bodies functioning optimally I believe that using vegetarian sources of protein sporadically can be beneficial. Meaning that I don't think meat is bad, but sometimes I think it's appropriate to less meat and more veggies and legumes (don't get crazy my meat loving friends.)! But if you really want some "vegucation" check out this video. Without further ado...

8 oz Spaghetti or noodle shape of choice
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce (no corn syrup or weird stuff and homemade is even better!)
1 carton sliced baby bella mushrooms (or about 15 sliced mushrooms)
20 cherry tomatoes
1 sliced white onion
1 head of  chopped broccoli
1 sliced zucchini
1 can garbanzo beans
2 Tbsp Oil ( I used MCT, you'll want one that can sustain high heat)

2+ oz of Mozzarella Cheese and or parmesan
Red Pepper flakes
Crushed Garlic


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cook spaghetti, drain, place back in pot and pour sauce on top. Mix together and set aside. (while pasta is cooking it's a good time to chop veggies.)

3. Once your veggies are chopped place them on baking sheet and season with sea salt, pepper and toss with oil. Place in oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

 4. While the veggies are cooking spread the spaghetti in bottom of a large glass baking dish as pictured below.

5. Place the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans on top in an even fashion.

6. If using cheese place a light layer of cheese top of the garbanzo beans and spaghetti.

7. When the veggies are done place them on top of the spaghetti, garbanzos and cheese.

8. Add more cheese if desired and place place oven at 450 degrees or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

9. Remove from oven and let rest before serving. Enjoy!

Before it goes in the oven for it's final melt.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quinoa Pasta Salad

Hi All-

Since grad school started I've done very little blogging and posting of recipes, but I tried to take as many pictures as possible and keep creating new tasty things so that I'd have many recipes to share when grad school ends. And guess what?! I graduate in 5 weeks! Right now instead of doing homework (as I should be) I'm writing and sharing this yummy meal. It's a just a little taste of what I hope to spend my free time doing after graduation.

This has been a go-to meal for my hubby and I because I can prep it ahead of time and it keeps for several days (in fact I think it tastes better after a day in the fridge). This recipe has a lot of room to be creative and add vegetables of your choosing, these are just some of my favorites!

Quinoa Pasta Salad


1 box quinoa pasta (8oz) (I use ancient harvest brand) Cooked and drained
2 small cucumbers diced
2 bell peppers diced
3 cups chopped raw broccoli
1/3 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (seasoned, fat free or your choice)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 can garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can smoked sockeye salmon in EVOO (remove skin and drain oil)

Dressing: 1 tsp ground sea salt, 1 Tbsp minced tried onion, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 cup EVOO

Mix all ingredients together with dressing & enjoy! It keeps in the fridge 4-5 days and is great served on a bed of lettuce and topped with cherry tomatoes like in the picture below!

Lunches packed and full of good nutrition!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Next Month!

Hi All!

Grad school, work, home ownership and wedding planning has taking me away from writing. As they say, "something has to give." BUT... Next month I have 30 days off school starting 5/8. I intend to paint the inside of our house rearrange our furniture, work in the backyard, cook, bake, and blog! And my favorite pastimes, working out outside and spending time with friends!!! Until then, here's some new ideas I'm working on...

1. More Small Group Yoga Classes

2. Meal Prep Meet Ups

3. Women on Weights (an educational series)

4. 30 Minute Outdoor Small Group Cardio Meet Ups!

Do you see something you like or have thoughts about? Other ideas? Let me know!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Now Offering E-programs!

The new year brings new offerings! The first program I'm offering builds cardiovascular endurance and core strength; each day has specified objectives and designated exercises, sets and reps as well a recommended weekend flexibility training practice.

I'd suggest repeating this weekly plan for 2 consecutive weeks or more depending on how quickly your body adapts and where you're starting from (keep thorough notes and measure your progress). This can serve as your weekly routine or compliment your existing exercise practices, but having visible abdominal muscles takes healthy eating & exercising. This program is just one piece of the puzzle so I'll be publishing an accompanying "Meal Plan" and "Next Level" programs soon! Click the "Buy Now" button at the right to get started with this program for a STRONG foundation! 

**After your purchase on PayPal click on return to E.S. Fitness to retrieve downloadable link.**

Hopefully at this point in your exercise journey you've learned the names of several exercises and you're pretty confident in your ability to navigate the gym (if not, YouTube will be very helpful in identifying exercise names). On the other-hand, if you're feeling entirely overwhelmed, contact me directly and let's chat!

In Health,

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Years Resolutions and Exercise as Punishment...

While working on a discussion question for school, a classmate and I started chatting about self awareness and really thinking about what your body needs. It made me think about this study I saw not too long ago which I don't have a citation for at this time. To sum it up, it concluded that if personal trainers can re-frame the way their client views exercise (specifically making it enjoyable) the client would be less likely to consume excess calories post workout. An example could be running around playing Frisbee verses running on the treadmill. If the client burned the same amount of calories in both activities they were less likely to consume extra calories after playing Frisbee verse running on the treadmill. Sounds crazy, right?! But it makes perfect sense to me because I've seen and experienced it. 

Many people exercise because they don’t like the way their body looks. They see exercise as punishment (not a healthy perspective because they're so many great reasons to exercise). Then, they’ll eat badly as a reward for surviving the so called punishment or vice-a versa (think New Years Resolutions, eat bad through the holidays and then beat yourself for it). In some cases this becomes a vicious cycle; eating poorly, and exercising too much to make up for it....repeat, repeat, repeat. In the end, the person becomes over trained, exhausted and frustrated. Be cautious because if you're thinking this sounds like a eating disorder, you're right. 

If you've been in this trap maybe next time take a rest day, sleep in, and relax. What if we could view exercise as a means of rewarding ourselves for taking care and listening to our body? If we can change the way we think about and exercise, we can change the way we view our health and wellness disposition. I like to remind my clients to exercise and eat well because you love your body and take care of it because you only get one.

If you find yourself in this vicious cycle don't be afraid to ask for help, but feel free to try some of these tips too:

1. Drink lots of water and throw some sliced lemon and cucumber in there too for their cleansing properties

2. Focus on green vegetables in your diet (especially at holiday meals). Load up on filling fibrous veggies, like broccoli and brussel sprouts.

3. Limit exercise in duration or intensity or take time completely off if that's what your body needs. Get outside for a walk or play in the park with friends or kids. Just be active without thinking about intentional exercise. 

4. Spend quality time with family and friends (it's amazing how powerful this in almost every situation).

5. Finally.... Don't look in the mirror naked and set short term goals this New Years. Instead, look in the mirror fully clothed and set long term, meaningful goals. Get my drift? Short term vanity based goals don't last, dig deep and think big picture so you don't fall in the "New Years Resolution"  or " Exercise as Punishment" trap.

Happy Holidays! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015!