Homemade Pistachio Mylk

pistachio 2This Green Nut, the Pistachio, has soared in popularity in the last few years. There’s been a rise in pistachio-related foods, like Rosa Brothers pistachio ice cream and Fiddyment Farms pistachio butter. As we can attest to, it’s one “green” food that once you start cracking them open, it’s hard to stop! An added bonus if you’re a Californian: they’re right in your backyard with CA being the 2nd largest producer of pistachios in the world. pistachiosThe Many Benefits of Pistachios (source: American Pistachio Growers):

The facts (below) are based on a 1-ounce serving of pistachios. A 1-ounce serving = 49 nuts, more nuts per serving than any other snack nut, so fill that palm up!

heartHealthy snacks are considered to be nutrient-rich foods that contain fiber, lean protein and healthy fat. Pistachios make the ideal snack because they’re a one-stop shop, containing 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 11 grams of heart-healthy fat per serving.

heartContain essential vitamins and minerals like B6, thiamin, copper and phosphorus.

heartLots of potassium – as much a 1/2 a large banana or 1 orange.

heartThey work double time – they are naturally cholesterol-free & also improve heart health by lowering cholesterol.

heartIncrease antioxidants in the blood, which has been suggested to prevent some chronic diseases.

heartContain beneficial anti-inflammatory properties, perhaps helping to balance out what we do to our body with sugar consumption.

Besides eating them by the handful, here’s another delicious way to get your pistachio fix — How-To Make Pistachio Mylk: pistachio mylk 1INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup raw whole pistachio kernels (I used California-grown pistachios from Keenan Farms)
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (depending on your taste, might want to add more)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon

pistachiosStep 1: Soak the pistachio kernels in water overnight. They are a little harder to break down than cashews.

{Steps 2-4 are the same as making homemade cashew mylk. See the pics in link for visual reference}

Step 2: Add cashews & 2 cups water to a blender (I used a Vitamix). Blend on a low setting & increase speed, if necessary, until nuts are pulverized & it looks like liquid. pistachio_ingredientsStep 3: Blend in 2 more cups of water, your sweetener of choice (I used honey), vanilla extract, & cinnamon.

Step 4: Strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. This separates the small nut pieces. Store the milk in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keeps for 3-4 days. pistachio mylk_glassThe taste is a little more potent than other nut mylks because pistachios, in general, have a stronger taste. I’d say the flavor of pistachio mylk is green and deep. Drink by the glass or add to coffee & smoothies + enjoy!
2 glasses pistachio mylkVisit A Lovely Life on Pinterest for more on pistachios –  nutritional facts, recipes + more.

Thanks to Keenan Farms for the delicious pistachios & to our local farmers for growing them!

All photos by Shina Welch Photography for A Lovely Life.

Do you have a favorite kind of nut mylk?

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Legs-Up-the-Wall

Photo Credit: Shina Welch Photography

Photo Credit: Shina Welch Photography

My all-time favorite yoga pose is Legs-Up-the-Wall. I’ve taught this to my mom, husband, friends, & yoga students. They all LOVE it. It’s easy to do, doesn’t take much time, & feels amazing, making it a crowd pleaser.

What is Legs-Up-the-Wall pose? An inversion, which basically means the flow of gravity is reversed & the head is below the heart.

The go-to restorative yoga teacher, Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T., wrote a great book, Relax and Renew. In it, she breaks down yoga poses that can help us relax & restore in the high-stress, fast-moving world we live in. “The antidote to stress is relaxation. To relax is to rest deeply & with Legs-Up-the-Wall that can be done in just 5 minutes”, she says.

The Benefits:

  • The most basic reason – it relieves tired or cramped legs & feet.
  • As humans (not animals hanging from trees), we stand or sit most of the day, causing blood & lymph fluid to accumulate in the lower extremities. By changing the relationship of the legs to gravity, fluids are returned to the upper body & heart function is enhanced.
  • Increases circulation all throughout the body.
  • Beneficial for the endocrine system – helps rebalance the thyroid & can also help with fertility.
  • Calming because it helps the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in (the opposite of fight-or-flight).
  • Decreases blood pressure.
  • Restful, but also recharging.
  • Gently stretches the backs of the legs, front torso, & the back of the neck.

When?

I do Legs-Up-the-Wall, without fail, once a day. Sometimes more, depending on the day & how I feel. I’ve noticed I feel much better when I do it than when I don’t.

  • Any time of the day for 5-15 minutes, especially if your legs feel achy or you feel the need to rest & slow down. Good to do at end of the work day.
  • Great after traveling, to recover from jet lag, & after walking, standing, or sitting for long periods.

Where?

  • Part of the beauty of the pose is that it can be done ANYWHERE – at home, work, in a hotel room, wherever there is a wall! *If you don’t have enough wall space, you can use the back of a closed door or large piece of furniture like an armoire.
  • A comfortable, quiet area is ideal.

Props:

  • A wall.
  • Standard-fold blanket (the firm, wool ones that are typically used in yoga studios) or a thick bath towel folded lengthwise, then in half 2x.
  • Eye pillow (optional) or a folded face cloth.
  • No need for workout clothes. Can wear anything as long as you’re comfortable. foldingbathtowel

How To Do The Pose:

Step 1: Sit on floor with 1 side/shoulder against the wall w/ knees bent, & parallel to the wall. Place your hands on the floor behind you. Step 1-sit@sideofwall

 

Step 2: Using your arms as support, with 1 smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall, gently lower your shoulders & head down onto the floor. Step 2 - swinglesupwall

 

Step 3: Once in position, make sure your tailbone & buttocks are completely on the floor, not rounded. Move as close towards the wall as feels comfortable. *Options:

  • If your lower back rounds, move slightly away from the wall until your lower back is flat on the floor.
  • If you are close to the wall & feel a strain at the back of your knees, bend your knees a few inches. If that doesn’t relieve the strain, move a few inches away from the wall, bend your knees, & rest soles of feet on the wall.

Place folded blanket or towel under your head & neck to support the space (cervical curve) behind your neck. Make sure your chin is slightly lower than your forehead.

Move legs to hip distance apart. Keep knees relaxed & soft with a slight bend (not locked out), just strong enough to hold them vertically in place.Step 3 - lay down, adjust blanket under neck

Step 4: And you’re in the pose! Place your arms out to your sides w/ palms facing up. Gently close your eyes. If you’d like, place the eye pillow over them. Step 4 - lay down

In The Pose:

  • Take long, slow breaths – inhale & exhale gently through your nose with mouth closed.
  • Tune into your legs – feel the fluid moving from your feet, down your legs, all the way to your abdomen. As the blood flows towards your heart, imagine the tension leaving your legs, softening them.
  • Feel your entire spine & body supported by the floor.
  • Allow your head to soften towards the floor, releasing tension in your jaw muscles, eyes, & neck.
  • With your arms spread wide, feel the openness in your chest & heart.
  • Enjoy the feeling & settle into your breathing.

To Come Out Of The Pose:

Step 5: Remove the eye pillow (if using one). Slowly open your eyes.

Step 6: Bend your knees & lower them down the wall towards your chest. Stay here for a few breaths. Step 5 - knees towards chest

Step 7: Roll to 1 side. Stay for a few breaths. *If get up too quickly, can feel light-headed. Step 6 - roll to side

Step 8: Slowly push yourself up to sitting. Step 7 - push yourself up

Step 9: You feel amazing – calm & refreshed.

This is too cute not to share…it’s kid-tested & approved too! He loved it! 🙂 even kids love it!

NOTE: The pose is very safe, but not recommended for those with: a hiatal hernia, serious eye problems, like glaucoma, during menstruation, more than 3 months pregnant, neck problems, migraine headaches, & serious heart problems.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

P.S. This is a repost that I wrote pre-pregnancy. After I was 3 months pregnant, I didn’t do the pose as often and definitely not past 7 months once it became uncomfortable to lay on my back.

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An End of Summer Dinner Party: The Dessert

SR_final cobbler side shotWhen Chef Shayna and I put our heads together to create a simple + seasonal menu for a casual Summer dinner party, one thing instantly on the menu was peach cobbler. To me, peach cobbler has always been the epitome of Summer – fresh, juicy peaches with the most delicious, crumbly topping. Served slightly warm with vanilla ice cream on top and you had the perfect dessert!

There’s so many recipes for peach cobbler, but we chose to make Shayna’s tried-and-true one. Our idea to serve them individually in small ramekins is so it’s easy for guests to grab and mingle. We used peaches grown by Shayna’s grandfather, keeping it very local. 🙂

Hopefully you’ve been following our End of Summer Dinner party posts – each one with a different part of the meal. bruschetta, salad, lemonadeheartTHE MENU

Drink: Refreshing Lemonade with a healthy twist (a cocktail version too!) – coming this week.

Appetizer: Bite-Size Bruschetta Cups

Main Dish: Chicken Summer Salad with strawberries & goat cheese

Dessert: Mini Peach Cobbler

Mini Peach Cobbler: 

adapted from Shia LaBeouf’s recipeSR_whole fresh peaches in bowlservings: 6

Ingredients:

Fruit Mixture:SR_fruit mixture ingredients

  • 5 cups of fresh peach wedges (about 6 peaches)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar

Topping:SR_topping ingredients used in peach cobbler

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 envelopes instant apple cinnamon oatmeal

Prep: SR_kelly + shayna cutting + dicing peaches1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare (6) ramekins with cooking spray. SR_stirring peaches, flour and sugar together 2. In a large bowl, combine the fruit mixture – peach wedges, flour + sugar. Toss to coat. Divide peaches equally in ramekins. SR_adding oatmealSR_adding butter3. In a medium bowl, combine the topping ingredients – flour, brown sugar, melted butter, oatmeal + chopped nuts. The mixture will be lumpy. SR_stir topping mixture together4. Top peaches with this mixture. SR_layer oatmeal mixture on top of peaches5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until fruit mixture is bubbly + topping is slightly browned. SR_cobbler ready to be bakedServe warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. SR_final cobblerAnd you have a delicious, sweet and fresh Summer dessert! SR_cobbler overhead shot with whip on yellow plateWe hope you try these recipes for an End of Summer party and like them as much as we do.

Next up: the drink!

Photos by Photography by MJD for A Lovely Life.

Find out more easy recipes your friends, family + kiddos will love at chefshayna.com.

Do you have a favorite Summer dessert?

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A Superfood, Turmeric

turmeric, pic via well+goodA lovely life is a healthy life. Part of a healthy life is eating/drinking a balanced diet consisting of greens, protein, good fats and complex carbs. If most of what you eat isn’t natural, unprocessed and nutrient-dense, you most likely don’t feel as vibrant and clearheaded as you could and should! One easy way to up the health and wellness of your diet is to add in superfoods, like turmeric.

heartWhat is Turmeric?

The brightly-hued turmeric is a popular culinary spice in Asian and Indian cultures. It’s found in a lot of Indian dishes like curries, but also gives basic American mustard its color.

Turmeric is also a disease-fighter. Curcumin, the compound found in turmeric, has been shown to prevent many illnesses due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. These are some ways it works its magic…

heartThe Health Benefits of Turmeric:  

  • tames heartburn & an upset stomach.
  • prevents heart attacks.
  • delays diabetes for those with pre-diabetes.
  • prevents or helps fight cancer.
  • protects the brain & promotes repair to stem cells in the brain. *great for recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like stroke & Alzheimer’s*
  • curbs joint pain as effectively as ibuprofen.

I heard about and was encouraged to try turmeric by an Ayurvedic practitioner. She’s a big proponent of including it in your diet because of its anti-inflammatory properties. I first started to use it in kitchari, an Indian dish that’s a complete meal.

Lately, I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese, which doesn’t happen often. I was tempted to make homemade macaroni and cheese (the real, cheesy deal) or the store-bought Annie’s. Looking through mac and cheese recipes on Pinterest, I saw this healthy, creamy recipe. Of course, I can’t pass up a healthy twist on a comfort food! mac and cheese via MindBodyGreen

the healthy mac & cheese recipe I made. 

I used fusilli pasta because it reminds me of the Kraft spiral Macaroni and Cheese I absolutely loved as a kid. It turned out well and was easy to make. It’s such a powerhouse meal (healthy fats + complex carbs) that I heated it up for breakfast the next morning.

heartOther Ways to Incorporate it into your Diet: 

Taking a turmeric capsule or tablet is always an option. But, to enjoy its flavor, I found some great, appetizing ways to add it into your diet on one of my go-to health & wellness sites, Well + Goodturmeric milk

hearta warming turmeric milk.

heartstart your morning with Taryn Toomey’s (creator of the class) detoxing turmeric tonic.

heartkosmic kitchari recipe from the yogi behind Santa Monica’s Bhakti Yoga Shala.

heart

be creative and sprinkle it on scrambled eggs, potatoes, roasted veggies or whatever else you can think of.

Sources: Huffington Post and Well + Good articles. Read more in depth about the amazing benefits of turmeric here and here.  

Images by: (1 & 3) Well + Good, (2) mindbodygreen.

I hope you enjoy!

I’d love to know – do you eat turmeric? If so, let me know your favorite recipes!

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A Lovely Body: Congrats Dina Juve!

next fitness starIf you’ve been following my fitness, nutrition and weight loss journey over the past few months, you know that I’ve been working out at FitnessSocial, guided by Dina Juve. She’s played a big role by being very hands-on.

Before beginning, I met with her, talked to her about my primary goals and in her no-nonsense, yet understanding way she’s helped me get there. I credit her for encouraging me and holding me accountable me while doing the Lean Out Cleanse, during workouts and with the weekly measurements. Dina's before + after{Dina’s before + after}

It’s clear she practices what she preaches and it works! I’ve seen the results in my own body, in her clients and in her’s. She was overweight in her early 20’s. Unhappy with the way she looked and felt, she made the commitment to improve her well-being. As a result of making exercise and a clean diet a new part of her lifestyle, she lost a total of 80 pounds. The fact that she has kept the weight off for 20 years has always impressed me. That commitment, determination and goal-setting is what she passes on to her clients.

A reason why I wanted to partner with her is because she encourages you to create a body you love – in complete alignment with creating a life you love! If you follow and commit to the plans she gives you you will lose weight, get in better shape and, most likely, feel more comfortable in your body. Dina_next fitness star{the 5 ladies chosen. Check out Dina front + center}

Because of all of this I’m sooo happy that Dina has been selected out of thousands throughout the country as a top finalist for Women’s Health 2015 Next Fitness Star! She’s 1 of 5 women chosen as “the strongest and most inspirational personal trainers”.

She’s helped so many on their fitness journey, so now’s the chance to follow and support her. Read about Dina, watch her video and learn about the other 4 motivating ladies on thenextfitnessstar.com. You can vote daily with voting ending August 3rd. Tell your friends to vote too!

I’d love to know — what inspires you about Dina’s story?

the next fitness star photos are via Women’s Health.

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A Lovely Body: After the Lean Out Cleanse

FitnessSocial_logo_transparentIt’s been about 6 weeks since I completed FitnessSocial’s Lean Out Cleanse by Dina Juve. If you read the results post, you know I felt fantastic! And that’s the thing – feeling so amazing from the inside-out of course would make me want to continue doing the cleanse. But, cleanses aren’t meant to be a long-term way of eating. Their purpose is to help you reset and maintain a healthy diet. For any of you who have just finished a cleanse or any kind of short-term diet, you’ve probably asked, “What now?”. That’s exactly what I thought after Day 5 of the Lean Out Cleanse. FS_cleanse before + afterBefore (Day 1) + After (Day 5) pictures

Dina recommends immediately transitioning to their Slim Down Plan. New foods, like steel cut oats, will be reintroduced into your diet so you won’t feel like you’re still on a cleanse. The easy-to-follow plan will keep you on your health journey, as well as help you continue to reach your weight-loss goals. It’s a good option for me because I do want to continue to eat healthy and mindfully and keep the bloat away. The cleanse really was proof (see the before & after pics) that diet is as equally important as exercise. I kept up the same fitness schedule while on the cleanse, lost 8″ all over my body and significantly reduced the bloat in my belly. FS_Overhead swings, step 2Another benefit of the cleanse that I just realized the other day is that it helped me get rid of some cravings. On Day 1 of the cleanse, one of the hardest parts was not having a piece of dark chocolate at night. It had become part of my nightly routine, so I was used to it. I was curious to know if I wanted it because it was truly something my body was asking for OR if I was eating it out of “comfort”. My question was answered. Since the cleanse, chocolate doesn’t even sound appetizing and I haven’t had it!

Next week, Dina will tell us about some of her favorite complex carbs and their benefits.

We all have foods we like to indulge in. I’d love to know – what food cravings do you want to kick?

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A Lovely Body: Yoga

yoga_warrior 3Creating a lovely life and a lovely body is about balance. Yes, to lose weight and get in shape, intense workouts are great, but it’s not good to go hard all the time. While working out with FitnessSocial, I’ve seen amazing results from their TRX & Kettlebell classes, but I truly think that what has kept me committed is having a variety of classes to go to. FitnessSocial_logo_transparentThis week I felt like taking it down a notch, so I swapped a Kettlebell class for Lucy Wells’ Express Flow Yoga. Even though I’m a certified yoga instructor and practice at home, I still love to take classes from other teachers (like Kellee’s Yoga Bliss) and try to do so as much as possible. Sometimes it’s nice and necessary to not have to think about what pose you’ll do next and just follow the lead of the instructor.

The class was great! It was an opportunity to connect with my breath and body. A guided reminder to take long, deep inhales and exhales, flooding my entire body with oxygen. We don’t stop breathing during other fitness classes, but any good yoga instructor will encourage you to focus on your breath.

What’s also great about yoga is that you can take it at your own pace. Don’t feel like going into Downward-Facing Dog? Then, do Child’s Pose. And you get a dose of spirituality. It’s an all-around rejuvenating mind and body workout.

I’d love to know – do you do yoga to help you connect with your breath? Or do you have another go-to exercise that helps you do that?

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A Lovely Body: The Lean Out Cleanse Results

FitnessSocial_logo_transparentI began FitnessSocial’s Lean Out Cleanse by Dina Juve last Monday. I’ve been on this fitness + weight loss journey with FitnessSocial since early March. If you’ve been following, you’ve seen my weekly posts documenting my progress with its challenges and successes. FS_Overhead swings, step 2At the beginning, I was mostly focused on the fitness aspect. I, of course (and thankfully!), was seeing results and losing inches since I had pretty significantly stepped up my workout regimen. Dina started having me follow a customized nutrition plan. Then, right before my first goal date I thought about, with Dina’s encouragement, doing her Lean Out Cleanse. Mentally, I wasn’t ready.

After a girl’s trip, other out-of-town trips and just from my regular habits, I wasn’t eating as mindful, smart and clean as I’d like to. Even though the majority of the time I was eating “healthy” foods, I felt bloated. With the cleanse in the back of my mind, I finally felt ready to commit to it because I wanted to feel better. I felt comfortable with the cleanse because I like why she created it. It’s for when you’re craving certain foods, use this 5 day plan to maintain your healthy eating lifestyle without the cravings. fit365_making in shakerDina gave me a pep talk before starting the cleanse. She knows I’ve been hesitant to do it because I don’t like the idea of restriction. For one, she said it’ll be freeing because I won’t have to think about what I’m going to eat. The plan specifies food and drink options for each meal and snack. All you have to do is be prepared by having those foods on hand and ready to go when you want them. It’s like following a script; there’s no second-guessing.

She knows mental + spiritual wellness is important to me, so she said it’ll allow me to really pay attention to my mind + emotions. Before eating, ask myself: Am I really hungry? Or do I just want to eat because of some emotional deficiency? A lot of us don’t ask ourselves those simple, yet loaded questions.

I kept a daily journal while on the cleanse to keep track of what I was eating and how I was feeling. Here’s an inside look:

heartDay 1:

Day 1’s food options are kind of like what I typically eat in a day, with the exception of dark chocolate. I felt good and definitely didn’t feel restricted. I enjoyed dinner, ate slowly and stopped before I was full. The hardest part was not having a piece of dark chocolate at night, which is one of the reasons I’m doing this cleanse – to kick sugar cravings. It made me question, “Am I dependent on chocolate for emotional reasons? Do I eat it out of comfort?” FS_ab work, step 2heartDay 2:

I went about my usual workout schedule, starting the day with Dina’s Kettlebell, TRX & Barre class. During the workout, I thought that it’s nice to know I don’t have to worry about food for the day. For the rest of the day, I tuned into my body, focused on working out, work, meditation and catching up with friends.

heartDay 3:

The first thing I wrote about on Day 3 is that I love not having to think about what I’m going to eat. It frees up so much time and energy! Knowing what my meal is helps me focus on savoring each bite of it. I’m slowing down while eating and even while drinking a green juice or protein shake. Doing this also makes me aware of how my body feels. Overall, the cleanse is improving my relationship with food. FS_increase in KB weightFS_deadlift w- 25 lb weightheartDay 4:

In the morning, I took Dina’s Kettlebell, TRX & Barre class. I felt strong as I’m still increasing the kettlebell weights. The cleanse doesn’t affect me at all in the morning because I’m used to only having a green juice before working out. I talked to Dina about how one of the options was making me bloated so we made some modifications. She also said the 4th day is the most difficult and I have to say it was for me. I’ve been craving wine, cheese and carbs! But, like I’ve mentioned, that’s the point of the cleanse – to get those acidic foods out of your system.

heartDay 5:

The final full day of the cleanse! I’ve felt really good. Yes, I’ve been craving a few foods. But, I’m a little sad to be done with the cleanse. It’s helped me reset my diet and get rid of sugar & carb cravings that weren’t serving me too well. I’m looking forward to making food and eating more about enjoying the experience.

The Results from 5 Full days on the Lean Out Cleanse FS_cleanse before + after{Before pic (taken Monday morning) + After pic (taken Saturday morning)}

Inches Lost:

  • Arm: -1/4″
  • Chest: -3/4″
  • Upper Waist: -3/4″
  • Mid Hips: -2″
  • Lower Hips: -2″
  • Upper Thigh: -3/4″
  • Lower Thigh: -1/2″
  • Calf: -1/4″

Total Inches Lost: -8″

Beyond the Numbers:

  • Feel, look & am less bloated, as you can tell by the before & after pics.
  • Abs have more definition.
  • Feel more confident in my body.
  • More mindful of what I’m eating and the portions.
  • Realize I don’t need to eat as much food as I thought I did.
  • Feel more clearheaded & in touch with my emotions.

I like how I felt and looked while on the cleanse so much that I want to use the plan as a daily guideline. I don’t expect to follow the plan exactly every day, but I’d like to try for the most part. Taking daily pics of my abs helped me be aware of when I was puffy/bloated from the food I ate so I’d like to continue to do that for reference.

I would also like to continue working with Dina on making this more of a lifestyle, if that means adding in some of my favorite foods, etc.

I highly recommend the cleanse. Honestly, it’s the best, most sustainable one I’ve ever done! I was just talking to a friend who recently did it. She agrees with me and said she wants to do it once a month to reset.

If you’re interested in the cleanse, contact Dina or Melissa at FitnessSocial.

Photos by Kelsey Burton Photography for A Lovely Life.

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A Lovely Body: Lean Out Cleanse with FitnessSocial

FitnessSocial_logo_transparentThis Monday I began one of FitnessSocial’s weight loss programs, the 5 day Lean Out Cleanse by Dina Juve. I know “cleansing” isn’t typically associated with fun, but I was really looking forward to this opportunity to reset my mind and body. After lots of traveling and feeling like I was veering away from clean and healthy eating habits (wine + eating out), I wanted to put up a stop sign. The Lean Out cleanse was a way to do that!

Being on a regimented diet, both in the short and long-term, isn’t new to me. I’ve done everything from 3-day juice cleanses, drinking juices, no solids until dinner, protein-focused meals to Ayurvedic diets – all in the name of health + wellness. I was turned off by all of them with the common thread being a lack of balance. And unlike while on other cleanses, I’ve been able to continue working out for 45-60 minutes a day at FitnessSocial. lemon_next to waterWhat I like about the Lean Out cleanse is that Day 1 & Day 5 are about cleaning up your diet by transitioning to whole foods. The days in between are really about  reducing your portion sizes which comes from listening to what your body really needs. fit365_ingredientsMind + Body:

Dina’s intention for the cleanse she created is to “reset your body, remove processed and artificial foods, as well as sugar from your diet and reduce portion sizes. It’s completely natural. There are no pills or supplements, just real, whole food.”

It’s not only beneficial for your body, but equally so, for your mind. When you don’t have to think about what you’ll eat for your next meal or snack (the plan specifies food options), it frees you up to mentally connect with your body and focus on fueling yourself for energy and not your emotions.

I want to update you on my progress on the cleanse as of today. Next week I’ll share more of how I felt throughout the cleanse – emotionally, mentally + physically.

Cleanse Results so far:

heart7 inches down in 4 full days.

I hope you enjoy + I encourage you to try the cleanse!

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A Lovely Body: Staying Committed with FitnessSocial

FitnessSocial_logo_transparent

Once I returned from my trip to Charleston, I looked forward to getting back into my workout schedule at FitnessSocial and on track with my diet. I’m sure most of us feel that way after eating and drinking more than usual!

Last week (the first week back) and even the beginning of this week, I felt pretty lethargic, not as strong and not as focused. Like I’ve mentioned a lot in this series, I made modifications so that I didn’t overwork myself. I really appreciate that the instructors totally support that, which sends me the message to listen to my body – the key to a lovely body and a lovely lifeFS TRX class{TRX class at FitnessSocial}

Near the end of this week, I had more energy so I increased the kettlebell weight for some swings. Yay! Energy level isn’t the only factor though. It’s also staying focused and committed. Of course, when I began this fitness and weight loss journey, I was really excited and into it. But, over time it’s normal to lose momentum. For me, this week has been about getting back into the zone. Listening to the instructors break down the exercises, the parts of the body they work and calling out encouragement was and is incredibly helpful.

I was interested to see what my measurements this week would be. I hoped I hadn’t gone up in inches since I last measured (I didn’t!), but I was happy just to know so I can make adjustments. Here goes:

Total inches lost since vacation (2 weeks ago): -1 3/4″

  • Arm: -1/4″
  • High hips: -1/4″
  • Low hips: -1/4″
  • Bottom: -1/4″
  • Upper thigh: -1/4″
  • Lower thigh: -1/4″
  • Calf: -1/4″

Total results since beginning March 9th (7 weeks): -17 1/4″

To further help me clean up my diet, I’m doing a cleanse next week, Monday-Friday. Check back next week as I write all about it.

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