Monday, September 30, 2013

PALEO Challenge!

So my box is having a 60 day Paleo Challenge and I'm uber excited!

My first thought was holy shit 60 days?!?, but then thinking about it a bit, I realized that I am about 52 days away from my Cancun vacation, so a 60 challenge will get my butt ready for the beach and a bikini!

So here are the details:
  • Cost: $100 $85 for 2 dunks, remaining $15 goes into the "Paleo Pot".
  • When: October10th- Dec 9th (60 Days)
  • Details: Fitness Wave will be coming out to our box and dunking us before and after.  Winner will be determined based on the following 3 criteria:
    1. body fat percentage
    2. PR percentage increase on 4 lifts. (Front Squat, Dead Lift, Cleans, Snatch)
    3. Before and after pics
  •   Winner takes all.  There's a minimum of 20 so that's at least $300 for the winner

I'm really excited to do the dunk as I talked about Fitness Wave in a previous post about Weight being just a number.  I will get to find out how much of my weight is fat and muscle! 

I have meal plans figured out already thanks to eMeals (amazing recipes and weekly grocery lists) and my amazing coach Michelle will push me and keep me on track at the box!

This is exactly what I need to kick my butt in gear!  I will be posting often to keep you all updated and to share my recipes!

Do any of our AMAZING followers have any tips or tricks to keep me motivated and on track for this challenge? PLEASE SHARE!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Authenticity" or "The Retraction Post" or "Part 2: Goal Setting & Re-Assessing & Wide Open Spaces"

(This is a part two to a blog I wrote several weeks ago.  Visit it here if you haven't read it already.)

I came *this* close to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training….

And I did.

Here’s what happened:

I had focused too much on the teaching aspect.  That is, the stand in front of the room and present my truth so everyone can get to their truth and ultimately the Truth.  This isn’t necessarily bad, but my hard-wired fear-based loop-feed refused to quit and it spun me into circles of not being bendy enough, not knowing enough, not devouring enough, and worse yet…not being authentic enough.

My fear of not being authentic has driven much of my action since I was a small child.  It is the reason that I avoided calling myself a Poet until more recent years. ( I claim that title with honor and great privilege now.)

If you ask a person what it is (s)he does, (s)he will often reply with what (s)he does as a job/career.  I do not make a sustainable income as a Poet, Editor, Freelance Writer, nor a would-be Yogi (see how I still trip up over the language here?).  Because my job history averages 8-9 hour days administrating it in one form or another, I had long-held the similar habit of answering, “I’m a Legal Administrator" or  "I’m an Administrative Assistant.”   Never have I once answered, “I’m a multi-passionate human being simply be-ing.”

What would happen if I said that?  Would it make her/him uncomfortable? Wouldn’t their response be, “Well yes but what do you do for a living?”  Isn’t simply be-ing what we do for a livingNo one ever asks a cat what it does; it is simply a cat.

Money drives our culture and society; easily arguable, the world over.  There is no escaping the need for it as we’ve collectively agreed to impress on it a value that moves  and drives each of us in specific ways, good or bad.  But why should my be-ing root from my method of currency?

THAT feels inauthentic to me.

And having finally recognized where I feel most inauthentic, where I struggle feeling ok with my be-ing as equivocal to my income, is where I can finally interrupt that fear-based loop-feed with honesty and even brand new reason to fear, and say,” Fuck fear.”  Fuck it, because it won’t go away until you’ve seen it through to its end.  Fuck it (literally), because once you’ve intimately and sexually known someone isn’t it more relaxing and fun the next time around?  And Fuck it, because there will always be something uncomfortable and scary.

Again, my authenticity is in my be-ing, not in my do-ing because so long as I am be-ing with intention and conscientiousness, then I cannot help but do.

And that is why I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training through Big Bear Yoga.  And I am still in pursuit of working under Sri Siri Dharma Galliano, my Kundalini teacher.  And, if you remember from my last post, I can already feel the wide open spaces of the universe stretching themselves for me as I am stretching myself for Universe.  See, I am already be-ing, thus I am already do-ing.  I'll leave it to you to figure out what that “really” means.  If you want.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm back & I bring you cookies!

Hello Friends! 

I know, it's been way too long since I have graced this blog. Forgive me & please! Go make these cookies!!! 

I was tinkering with a recipe I found online trying to omit the chocolate. I made a few minor adjustments & stumbled upon this gem! I call them paleo oatmeal cookies, because that's exactly what it taste like to me! 

I'm confident that if you're not a raisin person & prefer to use chocolate, dark chocolate chips would also taste amazing! As always, I encourage you to tinker with my recipes and come up with the next amazing thing ;) 

Melissa's Paleo Oatmeal(less) Cookies

1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1 med/large very ripe banana (smashed)
1 heaping tbsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla
Salt to taste (pinch or two)
1-1.5 handful of raisins
1-1.5 handful of chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350. Mix everything but raisins & pecans in bowl. Be sure banana is smashed up well. Add in pecans & raisins. Dollop tsp size mounds onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet & bake for 12 minutes. ENJOY!! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Ok, not me. I'm talking about Crossfit! I officially drank the kool-aid. Best. Decision. EVER!

My local box offered a six week "Jump Start" program. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get my feet wet. I was a little hesitant to start Crossfit because everyone I know who does it is super athletic and in terrific shape; this is not me! So, this "Jump Start" program is just that, a jump start to fitness. It's also women only, which I think was better for me, personally, as a starting point. This program offers a limited class size, as well, so there is a lot of personal attention.

This blog post is long overdue because I am actually heading in to my last week of the program! But, I am happy to announce that I am officially addicted. I will be switching over to normal Crossfit classes very soon. Our current class is much like regular Crossfit classes, with one exception; there is probably more instruction in the beginning. Other than that, we end up doing the same WODs (workout of the day) the other classes are doing.

We have an AH-mazing coach, Katie, who has been so wonderful for me. She knows we are stronger than we think and she makes us see just that. She's always smiling, always positive and is always believing in us. She relates to us: "When I first started, I had the same problem" or "mine didn't bend that way either at first". This has made such a difference in my journey thus far. I was sad to learn that she will be leaving us shortly. Her hubby's job is causing them to move. I will miss her and all she has done for me (and the other girls) but I am forever greatful!

Crossfit is the PERFECT atmosphere for me. There is so much motivation, mass amounts of comradery, and plenty of competition. They tell us it's not a competition, but I am a very competitive person so I am going to make make everything into a competition! Just for personal motivation, of course.

I've met some amazing people and have pushed myself further than I ever thought I could go. I greatly look forward to the things I will accomplish and the barriers I will obliterate.

See you at the Box!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Goal-Setting & Reassessing & Wide Open Spaces

I was *THIS* close to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training.  [ ] <---this close, I mean

But I didn't.

Let me back up.  I have always felt it in me to teach, but what that setting looks like (and what the subject matter might be) often eludes me.   My MFA in Poetry allows me to teach at the collegiate level, but I'm disillusioned by the adjunct process (I won't go into that long story now).

Enter the realization that a very excellent yoga certification school is right around the corner from me.  Yoga + teaching? Could it be?

I was on the list ready to go.  I felt the pull and voice of something else saying, Do this.  It is right.

Except something happened.


Literally, nothing happened.

My schedule changed and my practice fell short for over 3 weeks.  Life happens and things I'd rather not be doing monopolized the time I'd rather spend doing that which I love.  Guilt wears heavy on my shoulders; I'd argue heavier than most since I wear all my tension in my head, neck, and shoulders. And it was all there, weighing heavy in all the tight tense spots on my body.

But this was the best thing that could happen to me.

I have never wanted to be a teacher of something I wasn't LIVING.  I can't simply instruct and go through motions.  I have always worn my emotion-full (not to be confused with emotional) throbbing heart on my tattoo sleeves.  So to begin to teach something I wasn't breathing seemed fraudulent.

Remember that one teacher or that one friend who just GLOWED when they talked about history/cars/physics/Kerouac/opera/____enter subject here____? That is a real Teacher.  Anyone can stand in front of a room/studio and spout form and rule and concept, but we learn best from those who live it best.

This little break with Yoga was the  best thing that could happen to me.

I realized: I'm not ready to learn to teach others when I wasn't encouraging teaching in myself.

I remembered: My first and richest goals have always been to deepen my own practice and understand Yoga as it truly is--a full immersion of yoking & union, not just the postures on the mat.

And like a serendipitous Angel, there she stood. Sri Siri Dharma Galliano.

Well, she stood as a name on a list of possible classes to take at the Big Bear Yoga Festival.  And the class?  Kundalini Yoga.

I almost cried.  A class that held no reservation about incorporating all the limbs of Yoga and not just the mainstream (P.C. or "safe") ones. 

I took the class, and I felt real and raw.  I was me, tremors and weak atrophied muscles and head noise and bright spirit and emotion-full heart. And I was me, a little awestruck to find out she lives about 5 minutes from me, and would be willing to take me on as a student.  A door blown wide open.

That was over a week ago and we have met once since then, sharing ideas on how to work together and what we could bring to the table for each other, then letting it stew in the mind to later cement details.  How wonderful and realistic.

At the Big Bear Yoga Festival, I rededicated myself to those goals of deepening my own practice in the way I want it to be, not the way a Gaiam video suggests.  That, coupled with moving my body as a vessel of service for the Festival itself, really lent itself to opening up those doors that I might have otherwise been afraid to open.  I tend to shy away from chatting up with teachers after class, but here I was meeting so many wonderful people including two different shaman (one who worked on releasing kundalini on me with no expectation in return and the other a local who would like to meet for tea and discuss writing!).  (Btw, what is the plural of shaman!? Shamans? Shamens?)

Something in the re-dedication process, the acceptance of the body's tightness, moving towards servitude, and the flexibility of decision created all this space inside so fear was third rate to reality and possibility.  I sometimes meditate on images of how I desire  my body-heart to feel: a large rambling farm or expansive beach with nothing but sound and sky and smell and SPACE.  If you've ever felt that space you know what I'm talking about: it comes after meditation, a deep massage, a good run, an orgasm felt on the cellular level.

And there it is, the reassessment: To deepen the practice and create wide open space in myself and around myself. And as other students seek out and explore those spaces, we will inevitably meet and teach each other.

Funny how avoidance can be a beautiful Teacher, too, eh?

 Namaste & Sat Nam, Yoga Junkies <3

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

OMG its a Tuesday Blog....and its a Yummy One

Why hello there, it's been a little while. No hell hasn't frozen over and, well, I may have seen a pig fly earlier today across my yard trying to escape the sudden downpour of rain. (Yes I have a pig, no she is not for eating!!)

I have seriously just found the time to write a little something, and I've missed all of you and wanted to say hello. 

Anyway, here is a YUMMY recipe I stumbled upon on PaleOMG via Facebook. If you haven't liked their page yet, well go do it now! You will NOT be sorry!

Here is the WONDERFUL recipe I made today:


Ohhhhhhh this stuff is to die for. Seriously I want to eat the WHOLE 8 servings I made.....but I have to be good and try to just eat one serving at a time. Yes, it's torture.

I made a few changes and I quadrupled the original recipe so that I could just use up the whole can of Coconut Milk.... and even if you are not a Coconut Milk fan....the chocolate and coffee flavors totally overpower any coconut taste at all.
What you will need........

1 Cup of brewed coffee (Chilled)
I full can of Full FAT Coconut Milk
4 heaping tablespoons of Almond Butter
3 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract (I used a little bit of butter extract and almond extract I was all out of vanilla)
Two scoops of Protein Powder (mine was banana smoothie by 
2 tablespoons of Agave or Maple Syrup (I skipped this and I just added a little agave as needed)
4 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
1 cup of Chia Seeds

So all you do is combine all the ingredients above except the Chia Seeds in a blender and blend until smooth. Then in a big container (I used a big mason jar) put in the liquid chocolate mixture and the cup of Chia seeds and shake until combined. 

Refrigerate for 3 hours and enjoy!!!!!! It is so yummy, add a little bit more agave or sweetener of your choice, I like doing that just so I can control my sugar and I find adding Protein Powder usually sweetens things for me enough without adding more. 

I hope all of you enjoy this tasty little treat. Thank you, Paleo Gods!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weight is just a number!!!

How many of you are OBSESSED with the number that you see on the scale?  I know I have a hard time realizing that the number on the scale is just that, a number.  There are so many factors to consider when analyzing that number, such as how tall you are and how much muscle mass you have.  Below is a great picture of what the difference in height can do to that number you see staring back at you.

Now lets dissect this a little more and compare fat to muscle.  Although one pound of muscle and one pound of fat weigh exactly the same, one pound of fat takes up more space in your body.  So when you get disappointed over only losing ONE POUND, think of how significant that ONE POUND is.
As you work out, you may not be losing weight.  Don't judge your success by the number on a scale, but by how much fat you are losing compared to how much muscle mass you have gained.

If you want to know your actual percentage of fat compared to muscle and want a more accurate method than calculating your BMI, you can have a Hydrostatic Underwater Weighing done that will give you the precise number you are looking for.  There are many companies that provide this service all over the country and some even have mobile testing labs that will come to your gym if enough people sign up.  If you are interested in this service Fitness Wave provides this service for under $60 in the Orange County, CA area. 

So when you look at the scale tomorrow morning and you've only lost one pound, CELEBRATE!!!