Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pasta: YUM!

I love pasta. I try not to eat it *too* much, but I don't cut it out completely.  When I do serve up some yummy pasta concoction, I always opt for a healthier pasta. Instead of using your traditional white pasta I always choose a whole wheat form of pasta. Once you put a sauce on it, you really can't tell the difference! 90% of the time, I go one step farther than whole wheat pasta and choose brown rice pasta. I stumbled across this one day and it was love at first taste! The best part? This pasta has TWO ingredients: Brown rice and water. That's it! When I understand and recognize all the ingredients on a package I am definitely a happy camper. If you haven't tried it yet, go pick up a package and try it out. I'm pretty sure you can find this at most grocery stores. I know I've even found it at Walmart.

Once you find said pasta, come home and make this recipe:

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Recipe for your Skin That's Good Enough to Eat! (I just wouldn't recommend it)

Even though it's spring, my skin is still battling winter dryness.  I live in the dry mountains so even if the days are warm, the evenings and mornings are still cool.  My showers have not lessened in intensity of their boiling temperatures.  Because of the hot-cold-hot-cold game, my skin is dry and actually crackly.

To combat icky dry crackling skin and get supple, smooth, and silky, here's a DIY skin scrub I ADORE.  I only need to use it 1-2 times a week for long-lasting results.

*1 part oil (olive, safflower, grapeseed; if using olive oil use 1-2 tblspoons of vanilla to mask the smell of the olive oil)
*1 part brown sugar (you can use coarse/kosher salt, but if you have cracking skin I would stick to sugar)
*1.5 parts oatmeal

Mix dry ingredients then stir in oil.  You can add scented essential oils in lieu of the vanilla; eucalyptus, lavender, and sweet orange are fantastic options or you can add a drop or two of clove oil for a more musky "masculine" smell (ew, did I really just gender-ize a smell????).

Rub onto skin in a circular motion on affected areas (back, elbows, legs, etc.) either before showering or even inside the shower, prior to shaving.

Warning: your lover may be compelled to uncontrollably nibble on your skin. Proceed with caution and much debauchery. 

Also, here are some other amazing oatmeal options for amazing skin from The Daily Green.

What are some of your homemade DIY skin-recipes? Share them with us in the comments section!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Motivation...Part 2

As I sit here typing, I am already exhausted thinking about my week to come. Starting tomorrow I will be going to either crossfit or yoga every day during the week, taking only Saturdays off (and one Thursday to go out with the girls!).  I know some of you may say that I might be starting off with too much all at once, but I think that if I don't go all in, I will end up not going at all.

For the next three weeks, Crossfit will be Tuesdays and Thursdays and yoga will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I currently have sessions left for yoga on a Living Social deal that I bought and they expire on June 16.  The Groupon I bought for Crossfit Riot in Brea still has 16 days on it as well.  After the 16th, Crossfit will jump to 3 days a week.  HOPEFULLY at that point in time I will be as in love with it as I was a few months ago and have no hesitation in going all the time.

I will also be eating stricter Paleo with the help of eMeals which I have mentioned in a previous post.  My plan with this is to go shopping every Sunday night for meals for the upcoming week. 

I am overwhelmed and nervous, but I think with the help of all those that read this, I can push through and overcome my own demons.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Andrea's method of making Yummy Protein Bars

Soooo.... Melissa has talked about NEVER measuring things out before...yeah, well I'm totally guilty of this as well. So here is a recipe for all of you who don't like measuring cups, spoons or anything that takes thought.

I call this my Handful Protein Bar method.

So what does that mean you ask? I honestly grab all my ingredients that I want to make into a protein bar and throw them into a food processor to grind them down, stir them together and make some really-good-for-you stuff!

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The Disease of Busy-ness (that is not a typo) & How There is No Such Thing as Multi-Tasking (nor Santa)

Chances are that you are probably reading this blog post on your Iphone while standing in line at the grocery store half-chatting with the checkout clerk and half-yelling at the kids NO, you cannot have a candy bar.  That's ok with me, as I don't presume to be sharing any earth-shattering ground-breaking news.

But maybe that's a small part of the bigger problem.  My lack of confidence that says, "Go ahead and be distracted." And the other part being, you, on your Iphone.

Now, before you send me any "Looky here, bitch" messages, think about it.  We are busy ALL THE TIME.  We think we're the kings and queens of multi-tasking....but are we?

Truth is, there is no such thing as being a master of multi-tasking (except maybe Santa who delivers all those toys at the same time, but he doesn't really exist).  You are either exceptional at doing several things terribly to moderately ok all at the same time, OR you are exceptional at doing one thing fantastically well at a single time.  There is no such thing as being able to give 100% and being able to multi-task, but the corporate world and necessity of a double income home and the modern (in)conveniences all say that we can.

During a recent interview, I was asked how well am I able to multi-task.  I gave the usual exceptional response and gave examples from both my subbing and administrative/legal background.  But the truth is, I am terrible at it, and for them to ask me shows me that they are terrible at it, too.  Scientific studies have proven time and time again how we are incapable of performing several tasks at one time.  Otherwise, parents would not feel so frazzled when trying to simultaneously cook dinner and feed the baby and answer the phone.  The receptionist in your office typically isn't given high-priority/detail-oriented tasks because (s)he experiences too many interruptions. Realistically, successful multi-tasking is the ability to properly prioritize several tasks demanded upon you at any given time.  The problem is, that we are all so busy and pumped full of a "I-have-to" mentality that we fail to prioritize things properly. 

This can be related to doing work (of course, by this I mean hitting the gym).  Some of you needed that initial motivator of a buddy to get your workouts going, but when you decided to hit it hard and go deeper, chances are you went your separate ways.  You both needed to focus, with nothing but music as your metronome and cold steel as your sparring partner.  The initial days of chatting while jogging on the track or in the neighborhood were long gone when you decided to sign up for your second 5- or 10k marathon.  That buddy system wasn't wrong, in fact, it was brilliant!  It was the entryway for you to develop a deeper practice.  But there came a time when you realized that you couldn't run your goal time or hit your legs quite as hard when you kept rehashing last night's episode of Sons of Anarchy.

So why multi-task at all? Because there is a societal guilt that if we can't do all the things we basically suck at life.  Which is why in the middle of my breast exam yesterday, my ob-gyn thought it was ok to pick up her cell phone even when she did not recognize the number.

But, of course that's not true (I mean the-suck-at-life-if-we-can't-do-it-all part, not the mid-booby-massage-cell-phone-pick-up which totally happened). Think about it: there isn't a single one X-Men character that can do everything.  Instead, they are each specialized in one area of awesome. You don't see them boo-hooing that they can't fly and transform and burn shit all the same time.  Instead, they're like, hey I'll just use this one awesome way of saving the world or killing you instead of trying to be all busy with too many powers to use at one time.

So, don't be a douchebag.  Get off your Iphone, firmly tell your kid to pipe down with the diabetes, and smile and engage with your checkout clerk. Chances are (s)he isn't impressed with how busy and multi-tasky you are and guess what?  Since you took that little extra moment to be present, to use gym-like focus and be all X-Men awesome in this now, you won't drive like a distracted jerk on your way home. I'll be sure to honk and wave in appreciation when I see you.

Oh, and PS:  I was kidding.  There is a Santa.  He's an X-Men, too.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Motivation comes in many different forms. It could be the picture of a hot body builder with a six pack or it could be a before and after picture of an amazing success story of weight loss. Some people get motivation from their significant other who pushes them to exercise and eat healthy. Others need an army like drill sergeant in a bootcamp to maintain their exercise regiment. 
I'm having a difficult time in finding my motivation.  Ever since my wedding, I've avoided exercising at nearly all costs. About a week after my wedding, I was in a car accident and had lower back pain because of it. I went to a wonderful chiropractor to get all fixed up and now I'm procrastinating in returning to some form of exercise. 
I'm not one to completely sit on my ass; I visit Disneyland where I walk for miles and lift many boxes in the warehouse at my office. I know it's not enough, but at least I'm not 100% sedentary. 
I'm at a point where I need to "shit or get off the pot" however I'm at a loss of where to start. 
What do you do for motivation?  What inspires you to get yourself to the gym? What tips and tricks have helped you to get off your butt and get in gear?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Welcome to The Wolf Pit

Ages ago, in San Diego, I used to frequent the local 24 Hr Fitness. You know, one of those big, fancy gyms! Now, there's nothing wrong with your usual 24 Hr/LA Fitness/InsertOtherHugeNameHere gym. But, for me, that particular gym was SO ego-laden that I found it hard to work out. I was intimidated. All the girls had full on make-up going and perfect hair. I did not fit this image. It really drove me away. Again, if you can block all of that out, then great (these really are fine gyms).

Then we moved to Arizona. A small(ish) area with no big name gyms and the gym we chose was Anytime Fitness (which has since definitely made a name for itself). LOVED that place. The best part, the hubby and I worked the same schedule and went to the gym at about 1:00am-3:00am. This was the dream hour. We had the gym pretty much to ourselves. No waiting for machines or benches, no waiting to get our cardio on, no people hoarding the weights I wanted to use, no annoying gym personalities, it was all ours!

Then our schedules switched and we no longer had the luxury of hitting the gym at the same time. My current schedule would put me at the gym at peak gymming (love making up words) times; either 5:00am or 5:00pm. These are the nightmare times at the gym. It's pure misery.

Then The Wolf Pit was born. We are now the proud owners of our very OWN gym! A garage gym, which we have built from the ground up. That's right. 24/7 access, no fighting for weights/benches, no annoying gym personalities (except our own) and best of all, NO FEES! Okay, okay, yes, the equipment we purchase costs money, but in the long run, with both of us working out, it's much cheaper building a garage gym than belonging to a traditional gym.

Here are some of the things you will find at The Wolf Pit:

Flat Bench
Incline/Decline Bench
Squat/Press Stand
Pull Up Bar w/Rings
Olympic Bar
Bumper Plates
Kettle Bells
Medicine Balls
Battle Rope
Giganto Tires
Jump Ropes
Custom White Board
Loud Music
Bad Ass Guard Dog

Check it out!

 Half the Garage = The Wolf Pit Strength & Conditioning Center!

Your pick of tires!

TONS of workouts at your fingertips and new ones being added daily!

Best Guard Dog in town (or worst since he'll probably just lick you to death)!

So, if you're ever in town, stop by for a visit. We'll put ya to work and make you sweat!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The (Not-So-)Gentle Art of the Workout Hairstyle: A Guide for Long Hair

 My hair has gotten pretty long over the last few years. In 2009 I cut it all off leaving only some long chops, but it’s now grown to what I call “stripper-length” and measures almost 3 feet in length from root to tip. It’s soft and medium thickness and has a slight natural wave that straightens out the longer it gets.

Sounds all wonderful and magical and unicorn-status, right? 

Wrong. It’s a pain in my ass, really. 

Every night, I have to gently tie it up with a snag-free hairband and keep it to the side that I’m not sleeping on, otherwise a single-restless night of sleep will have me ripping at tumbleweeds (my hair) in the morning. I have to lean into the center of the car if I roll the window up while driving or risk my hair getting sucked up and out the window (it’s been caught in the car door and seat belt, also). I can’t sit back against chairs without lowering my head first to my chin (so as to allow some give in my hair) otherwise it has me pinned. My dog will chew and swallow my hair (while it’s still attached to my head and yes I have to PULL IT FROM HIS THROAT) and it always manages to shake loose in my shift for an unreachable itch that lasts all day.

But the worst of it is when I am working out. While most women can put their hair into a ponytail, a bun or pig tails, my workout determines which hair style I rock. For those of you with long locks, hopefully this blog will help shed some light on a hairy situation.

Jogging, Running, Weight-lifting 
Chosen hairstyle: The high ponytail.
Details: It has to be tied using at least two snag-free bands otherwise the softness and weight of my hair pulls the ponytail down from the top to the bottom. I’ve tried the bun and it inevitably flops over and smacks me in the head. Pigtails are more like a whipping when they aren’t rubbing against my arms or getting caught in my armpits (particularly when doing overhead hangs or pull-ups).

Chosen hairstyle: The single side braid or pigtails*. 
Details: This hairstyle comes with an asterisk as a warning, because even with the hair loosely tied up, I still find a way of stepping on it (Down-dog) or eating it (Triangle poses). But it’s better than the alternatives: The pony tail pulls the scalp too much for me to feel connected in my asanas and gets in the way of the any supine poses, whereas the bun is bothersome in Down-dog and, particularly, Dolphin pose. I’ve tried leaving my hair down and completely untied as if it were some loose flowing tapestry where every fiber serves as some energetic antennae connecting with the Divine & Great Universe, but that graceful image only serves well in photos as I trip over my own hair and have ripped chunks out during even the most relaxing and cooling of sequences.

Chosen hairstyle: The bun. 
Details: Not just any bun, the messy bun. The messier the better, because for me my hair has a hard time holding what I call the “blogger bun” (because all those fashion bloggers rocked it for a long time, but most of you may know it as the “sock bun”). My hair being so soft requires some funk and texture for it to hold a bun. While hiking, hair in or on my face, neck ,or arms drives me absolutely insane. I work up more of a sweat hiking then I do most anything else and the combination of heat and sweat and hair is enough for me to kick a deer if one were to come along my hike. Oh, and did I add that I use at 3 snag-free hair ties for the bun?

Reading a book,  Drinking Wine (Shut up. I swear, these are workouts.)
Chosen Hairstyle: Loose & down. 
Details: When reading a book, I get antsy during the intense parts and start to fidget. I use my hair to shield my eyes or to pull on when I’m anxious to see what happens next or even as a bookmark in a pinch. Also, everyone knows that leaving hair loose while drinking wine is a quick resource for mopping up spills. But it does end up getting tangled or whipped around into my glass.

So why the long hair?
Because with short hair (or a mustache), I look EXACTLY like my Dad (See Exhibit A). And it’s one thing to look like my Dad, and another to be stopped along the street and asked how much I’m selling my Ranchero for (I don't have a Ranchero; he does) and would I work a deal for a small pick-up (the answer would be no, so stop asking me). So there it is.

Exhibit A.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Truth: I eat cabbage almost every day. Seriously.....I LOVE CABBAGE (and I'm not afraid to admit it.)
Here are some cabbage facts I found today and a little info on how good it is for you!  I have a couple  yummy recipes  using this amazing Super Food--one is even served at the famous and amazing Northwoods Inn restaurant!  So come on give cabbage a chance to make you feel alive from the inside out.

Health benefits of cabbage (Seriously EAT IT):

  • Fiber: Cabbage is a stomach's best friend. Like its trendier cousins brussel sprouts, broccoli, and kale, cabbage is an amazing source of fiber. Raw cabbage has also been shown to help cure stomach ulcers.
  • Antioxidants: Red cabbage is chock full of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant commonly found in blue, purple, and red plants. Studies show antioxidants can reduce inflammation, provide cancer protection, and boost brain function.
  • Lowers cholesterol: Look to this superfood for a natural and effective cholesterol reducer. Cabbage prevents bile from absorbing fat after a meal, which lowers the overall amount of cholesterol in the body.
  • Glucosinolates: Cabbage contains sulfur-based compounds called glucosinolates that have anti-carcinogenic properties. In the body, glucosinolates become compounds called isothiocyanates, which some studies suggest inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

(info above courtesy of and there are more amazing recipes if you check out their site by following the link)

And of course when you consume cabbage raw the health benefits are the strongest. I do this--I EAT IT RAW most of the time. I love the angle hair shredded cabbage that you can find in the coleslaw area of your local grocery store, or you can shred it yourself (yes sometimes I'm super lazy and I buy it pre-shredded, that way I'm sure to eat it because its ready for me.)

I eat so much cabbage I have totally replaced lettuce in my diet with it. 

I use it in taco salads. I add it to chili, soups, any kind of cooked chicken! Almost anything I eat, I add cabbage to. It's super crunchy and just soooooo yummy, and it fills you up so you eat less.

HELLOOOOOO! High nutritional value and it helps you eat less?! no wonder its a SUPER FOOD.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cheat Day: Yea or Nay??

I want to start this post by saying we are not on a "diet" in the short-term-yo-yo sense. "Diet" merely means: "The foods eaten, as by a particular person or group." It's just our lifestyle (as you hear us say often on MMM)!

That being said, cheat days are still in question. I hate the word "cheat" because it sounds like I deprive myself of things on a daily basis. This could not be farther from the truth. I do not deprive myself, I just choose not to eat certain things, that I know are bad for me, on the reg. BUT, I am only human. I still get cravings. Sometimes they are very hard to ignore. I know there are a lot of suggestions to help curb cravings, specifically sweet cravings. While they are all fine and dandy, sometimes an apple just doesn't fulfill my deepest desires for  chocolate cake.

Another question for "cheating" is: Cheat day or cheat meal? A whole day seems a bit overkill, but at the same time, it sounds like a stressless day where you don't have to worry about reading any labels. Eating merely one meal sounds like it would do much less damage to all the hard work you've put in.

There are conflicting views on cheat days. Some people think you should never eat fried, highly processed and/or sugar laden foods. Others will argue that throwing in a "cheat day" every now and then is good for you. I believe this would be more of a mentally-good-for-you kind of thing as opposed to a has-excellent-health-benefits sort of thing. I can see where this would be true. If you allow yourself the things you normally don't consume, you may feel better that you allowed yourself the treat. Which in turn may make it easier for you to stick to your good eating habits, knowing that next week you will allow yourself one more indulgence.

Let me tell you why I think "cheats" are a good thing. When the hub and I do indulge, no matter how good it may taste at the time, we immediately regret ever putting that fried/greasy/sickeningly sweet food bit in our mouths and bodies. We never feel good afterwards! Sluggish, stuffed, and often nauseous. These "cheats" ALWAYS remind us why we do not consume these junky foods any more!! After we eat whatever it may be, our craving is gone and it's usually quite some time before our brains tell us they want that crap again.

I'm not going to tell you that you should have a cheat day/meal in your diet. But for us, it's always that reminder that the good foods we put in our bodies fuel us and our bodies crave those proper nutrients.

Either way, a cheat day/meal/falling off the wagon is not the end of the world! If/when they do happen, just get up, dust yourself off and get back on track.

One of my favorite quotes, that really hits home is, "You don't know how bad you feel, until you don't". This is 1000% true. I am living proof.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I thought today was Thursday...

...and thus did not write a blog since I'm the Wednesday blogger! So, here is a picture of a buff puppy. 

Worth the wait, right? You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Juice Please!

Recently I have been obsessed with juicing. I even bought a new Breville juicer, and I already owned a juicer (it defiantly was not as nice or easy as the Breville so I HAD to upgrade..and I had a coupon.) I have juiced for years but haven't been consistent with it. Well that has changed and I'm seriously feeling the benefits of the nutrients I am getting. Yay juice

So some may say "juicing takes all the fiber out of these fruits and veggies, what a waste." But honestly that couldn't be further from the truth. Yes there is fibrous waste from juicing, but you can use some of this in recipies, in a compost, or my favorite thing to do with's a yummy treat for my animals.
After watching the documentary "Fat, sick and Nearly Dead" (it's a fantastic information packed documentary) I got on the juice wagon. One quote from the movie really struck home with me. I'm not sure if I'm quoting this exact, but well you will get the point. "We are all eating so much junk and processed foods our bodies are lacking proper nutrients, and in turn this makes us even more hungry and even though we are consuming thousands of calories our bodies are still starving. This is where juicing comes in. When you juice the cells get those nutrients faster and more of's like a turbo charge of vitamins."
That made so much since to me. Starving cells = hungry bodies looking for nutrients. How could that not make since? Most people don't sit down and eat 6 raw carrots, a bunch of kale, a whole cucumber and a beet and an apple in one sitting...let alone over the course of the day. I down all that in one juice sitting. Even better it is ALL RAW so you are getting every bit of amazing energizing nutrients that fruit or veggie has to offer. So for me Juicing just makes since. I'm gonna share a few of my favorite juices, the first one my Mom made up and it tastes just like an Orange Julius. I am obsessed with it for breakfast, and with the added protein you are getting a double dose of goodness!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Apps that make life easy

There are ALL kinds of smartphone apps that help you keep track of your fitness.  Everything from running apps for beginners like Couch to 5k, My Fitness Pal that helps to keep track of your daily intake and exercise and one of my favorites is Nike Training Club, an app that times your exercises, walks you through each workout pulls music from your own library to workout to and gives you all the info on how many calories you burned.

With all these apps available, it is hard to decipher which are beneficial and which are just a waste of your money.  My newest download is the eMeals app.  So far, this app is AWESOME! So great in fact that I bought a subscription to the service.  What's the service you ask? It's a complete meal plan with an automatically generated shopping list.  Now I know there are apps out there that may provide this service for free, however, this one actually includes a PALEO meal plan! EEEK

For those of you who have other dietary lifestyles, there are 11 different meal plans to choose from including Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Clean Eating and Slow Cooker. (sorry there's no Vegan option)

This app includes all the recipes and shopping list for a week's worth of dinners.  You can also buy a subscription for Breakfasts and lunches as well.  The retail price is a little expensive for the average consumer, HOWEVER I am the queen of shopping and found a Groupon for 3 different subscription options - 12 Months of Dinner Planning ($29 regularly $58), 12 Months of Lunch and Dinner Planning ($39 regularly $106) or 12 Months of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner planning ($49 regularly $142). But hurry as I don't know when the Groupon will expire!

The recipes sound amazing and the website that goes with the app allows you to download the meal plans which includes the shopping list!

I'm in love with how easy this will be to eat Paleo.  Maybe I wont be 100% Paleo 80% of the time anymore!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go-to Veggies

I realized that in my lifetime I have been OBSESSED with:

- kale
- asparagus
- cabbage
- red/green lettuces
- spinach
- mushrooms
- sweet potatoes
- avocado (isn't this technically a fruit?)
- eggplant

By obsessed I mean, having to eat at least 4 times or more during the week so as to avoid/give into cravings. Mostly, I end up adding a little olive oil and (if quick pan frying/searing) garlic salt. (I *may* have added a little butter to mushrooms at one time; don't judge--it could have been a cheat day.) 

I noticed that most of my favorite veggies tend to be green (kale, spinach, lettuces, green onion, etc.).

What are your go-to veggies? How do you cook them up? Inspire me so my family can have some variety in their diets! ;-)