7/25/13

Why I Took a Break From Blogging

A few months ago, i had a very interesting response from someone (a woman I highly respect) in regards to this blog. 
"Well, I enjoyed reading your blog until you started posting pictures of those girls with zero body fat and glorifying them like they are the ideal woman. I doubt most of those girls even have a period." 
Her words were disheartening. My intentions were/are not to make "normal" women feel "bad" about their bodies; only encourage and inspire us to all pursue health and fitness. For me, pictures like this:
 @laurasykora
Don't make me feel bad about my body but motivate me to get to the gym and work it out. hard; and NOT because I want to be skinny but desire to maintain long, lean, defined muscle. In my opinion, muscle says "yeah, I work hard and I care." 
And when I say muscle, I mean this...
 Crossfit

And not this...(even though the dress is fabulous)
Backless

And NOT this.... 

 

When we eat healthfully and exercise 5 days a week, our bodies DO become harder, and more defined, with smaller fat cells. It's just what happens. And while the "perfect" body is 100% unattainable for me, a healthy toned body IS attainable (at least until I have kids! lol.).

And it's really, really not about what is on the exterior. 

Someone who is super health conscious and stressed out about it is most likely doing more harm than good, because of all the horrible things that stress does to the body. A healthy heart and mind is JUST as important as eating consciously and getting that heart rate up. SLEEP is super important too! And probably my biggest weakness. I am addicted to staying up late! It's terrible. 
We all have things we are working on. If the images on my blog cause you to feel insecure, or hateful, or obsessed, please send me an email and I will take the picture down. I don't want to create unhealthy thinking in the pursuit of an "ideal". God created your body to be your body, not Miranda Kerr's. You were created for a specific purpose, and your body was crafted for a specific purpose. 
If you are overweight or feel overweight and hate yourself for it, try to reverse your thinking.
Try to focus on what you are putting inside your body, instead of what the outside looks like. 
You will begin to love your body for what it can do rather than how it attracts people to you. 
You'll begin to love yourself, and instead of eating that piece of celery because it only has like 10 calories a stalk (exaggeration, I know!), you'll be eating it because of it's rich vitamin C content. 
You'll drink a green smoothie and appreciate all of the vitamins and minerals that are nourishing your system, and when you're hungry at 3pm you'll reach for some almond butter and apples, because you'll actually be able to taste the real sugar and enjoy the healthy fat. 
Work on the inside, and the outside will come with time. You won't feed your dog chocolate because it's bad for his digestion, so why do you put processed chemicals inside your stomach when you KNOW it is terrible for you? 
Yo Yo dieting is all because of your MINDSET. I used to do it when I had an eating disorder and STILL feel the temptation to do it, but the mentality is sickening. It's so vain! It's all about losing five pounds here, ten pounds there, and it's not about inner holistic health.
Quit the yoyoing. think about your BODY and what you are putting into it. Think whole foods, ones that aren't processed, ones that have a readable lable. If you can't read the ingredients, don't buy it. Stay away from sugars that will spike your stress levels. Pray. Relax. Go for a walk and enjoy the weather. Read a book. Laugh. Be with people. Make friends. Turn off the TV.
Cultivate a spirit of humility, 
a smile of joy, 
a calm center, 
a servant attitude toward the world around you, 
and you will begin to FEEL amazing. 
You'll be full of energy. 
You will look forward to your day at school, or the office, or your children, because you will soak in every moment and appreciate this beautiful life.
After a couple months contemplating the future of this blog, I will continue to post pics of women doing amazing things like kipping pull ups and handstands, because those women are amazing and they are an inspiration regarding how I want to live my life to the fullest and perform everything to the best of my ability. It's not about how they "look," but about their commitment and resolve to live a passionate life.
Take a deep breath. 
<3 Beth

Holistic Yoga Flow Teacher Training Recap

Holistic Yoga Flow Teacher Training Recap:


This weekend was, to say the least, amazing! Travis Eliot created a powerful, dynamic, and relative yoga experience that pushes the body and mind to the highest limit. I knew a little bit about him because of the popularity of his recent DVD series "The Ultimate Yogi", which comprises of 14 DVD's and is in the similar style of P90X and Insanity. "The Ultimate Yogi" is a 108-day journey that literally transforms the mind and body, and brings it to it's full potential. 
 


Here is a link to his website: 

http://www.traviseliot.com/

 Anyways, because of all the hype that this DVD series is getting, I went into the teacher training this weekend with high expectations. I paid a lot of money for this weekend experience, and I wanted my money's worth :)
 

The weekend began on Friday night, at Purple Yoga in Tustin. I have to give a quick shout out to this studio, because it is my fav! It's such a beautiful space, and I have always had great instructors. About five years ago I went to a hot yoga class and passed out (who goes to a hot yoga class when fasting? Oh yeah, anorexic Beth. Good thing those days are over!), and the instructor Joe (who owns the studio) knew exactly what to do. He was super nice about the whole fiasco, and when the peramedics left he gave me two huge bottles of coconut water. yay. 

Here is a pic of a yoga class at Purple Yoga in Tustin: 

That is the room we practiced in :) 

 
Moving on. 


Friday night, Travis did a Vinyasa flow class that kicked my butt. Seriously. We are talking like SO many vinyasas. Not to mention holding Warrior III for 2 minutes. The Saturday morning flow was centered around twists and backbends, and it was in a vinyasa-power style so I was sweating buckets. Yin yoga in the aftternoon, and I had never done a restoritive class before, so it was very interesting. I didn't sweat at all, but the deep hip stretching felt amazing, especially after the previous crazy-intense classes. Each pose was held for a total of 3 minutes, which made the streches that much deeper and more intense. It was more difficult mentally than physically, because I have a hard time sitting still. The Sunday flow was straight up power yoga, and we held each pose for what felt like ever. My hamstrings were so sore afterwards! Sunday afternoon was a Mountain Pose series, and like the Yin yoga, it wasn't as physically difficult as it was mentally. I became super sleepy and had a difficult time concentrating on the movements. 


Travis also led a meditation class, which was also new to me. He led the meditation by asking us to think of someone in our life that needs help, or is stuck, and then he told us to essentially pray for that person during the meditation. It was so cool! I don't take enough time to pray for people (just being honest), and it was a really cool experience just sitting in one place for 30 minutes praying for this person and thinking about God. 


A few things I love about Travis' classes:

1) Physically exhausting/challenging

2) Mentally challenging

3) I feel amazing afterwards - completely worked, stretched, and relaxed

4) He utilizes hands-on adjustments

5) The way he words things makes you feel confident in your ability to complete what feels like an impossible feat

6) Never once did I feel like he was showing off

7) He genuinely cares 


Lauren Eckstrom also came to assist Travis for the workshops. She is GORGEOUS, and is so so so knowledgeable. I would seriously love to study under her if she didn't live in Santa Monica. Sad face.



http://www.laureneckstrom.com/_/rsrc/1335241277912/home/lauren_yoga_may.jpg



www.laureneckstrom.com

He taught quite a few practicums, but my favorite was on Auyrvedic medicine. It's this whole philosophy based on natural medicine: essentially, you are what you eat, and you are what you do. Auyrvedic medicine aims to find the source of your medical issue instead of treating the symptoms. I think about the times I have been to the doctor (like when I had my knee issue after the 1/2 marathon), and they ask you what's wrong and then say, okay, well, I will write out a prescription for you...blah blah blah. Anitbiotics, pain meds, whatever you want. 


It's actually kind of scare just how easy it is to obtain pills.


I also think it's ironic how doctors will shell out medication but won't put unhealthy people on diets. I understand that you can't force people to eat a certain way, but nutrition is SUCH a huge factor when it comes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, digestive issues, skin issues, etc. And stress has a huge impact on health as well! 


Anyways, what I love about Ayurveda is that the Ayurveda "doctor" asks you tons of questions, like what do you eat, how to do you sleep,where do you work, what shampoo do you use, what kind of car do you drive, etc, and then asks a ton of questions regarding your symptoms. They search for the root cause, and once they find out what that is they will develop a nutritional/herbal/lifestyle change that will heal the root cause of your symptoms. This type of medicine also takes time and sometimes the symptoms dont' go away immediately because the chemical/cellular structure of your body has to change in order for the root cause to be healed. 


This type of medicine really makes sense to me. I understand that medications are important and whatnot, especially if a condition is high risk (like diabetes), but treating symptoms will never make the problem disappear. For example, I have a skin condition called rosacea, and when I go to the doctor they give me antibiotics or birth control to clear my skin...but the rosacea is still there. When I stop taking the medication, the rosacea returns. 


Of course this is all to say that I am definitely buying some books on the subject so that I can learn more and more :) 


This approach to medicine kind of reminds me of Kimberly Snyder and _________ 's approach to healing diseases. Green juice, baby. Green juice. 


Random side note: I LOST MY JUICER!!! How does one lose such a large object? I have NO idea. But I am sad. At least I have an amazing blender to get me through this tough time. And it's a great blender. But still. I don't like to blend celery and cucumbers, you know?


All to say, it was an amazing weekend of yoga.
Now, all I have to do is keep practicing, and hopefully avoid smashing my nose into the ground :)

=<3 Beth

7/17/13

My Yoga Journey: Teacher Training?

I have been doing yoga since I was about thirteen years old. At the time, my sole focus in life was ballet; the second was to be as fit as possible. I took it to an obsessive level. I did Pilates all over the house, when I woke up, before I lay down to sleep at night. The “500” was my go-to when watching a movie. I was constantly moving, always looking to burn five more calories. I was not naturally thin, and I had to compete with my 80 lb friends at the studio for parts.

At some point, my mom brought home a tape (yes, VHS), enclosed in a cover that pictured a pretty blond wearing a turquoise sports bra and matching leggings, eyes closed, in and handstand backbend. She was placed in some kind of tropical location. “Yoga: Vinyasa Flow” showed bright blue above the picture of the girl. I saw the picture, and I wanted to be her. I wanted that beach, her hair, her peaceful aura. 



I pushed the tape into the VHS player, and the next 30 minutes were…difficult. As a dancer/Pilates nut I wasn’t used to holding a position for longer than ten seconds. My arms burned. My legs burned. My patience suffered. Rainbeau Mars had the softest voice; she told me to let go, to relax, to breathe, to think about what was happening inside my body as I lengthened and stretched and poured sweat.

After the 30 minutes were over, I laid in corpse pose for the first time and a warm tingling sensation flowed over my whole body. My muscles were limp, my neck softly sunk into the ground, my feet naturally flopped in some variation of first position. Rainbeau told me to thank God. I said a short prayer, thanking the Trinity for giving me my body and my breath.

And my life was changed.

I would describe a good yoga experience as a good massage, combined with an intense workout, coupled with mindful peace and forced rest. The combination is, to say, 100% blissful. You leave the mat feeling energized, relaxed, alert, and at peace. Because I am a Christian, I also leave the mat with a sense of spiritual renewal as I have learned how to focus on God and pray through my practice. For me, there is nearly nothing like it.

Needless to say, because I love doing yoga so much I naturally gravitate toward teaching it. I have looked into countless teacher training programs (and there are countless programs in Southern California), but never felt like I foudn “the program” for me, until I stumbled upon Purple Yoga in Fullerton about 4 years ago. It had previously been a Bikram Yoga studio, which I liked, but when I took my first Purple Yoga class it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Hot-Power-Vinyasa yoga, in a beautiful studio and the best instructor I had ever come in contact with?

I later found out that they had a teacher training program, and I immediately wanted to do it. At the time, I couldn’t because of college and then getting engaged and then getting married and being poor (lol).

Now, however, I feel pretty ready to take the plunge and become a certified instructor. Because the full program is two months of jam-packed sessions and studying, I decided to take a “mini” teacher training intensive this weekend to see if it’s “for me”.

I begin On Friday. The intensive will be led by Travis Eliot, creator of The Ultimate Yoga series. He’s becoming a bit famous in the yoga world so I am beyond excited to be studying with a renowned teacher. The weekend includes seminars on vinyasa, nutrition, wellness, yoga sequencing, relaxation, and MORE. I seriously can’t wait. 30 hours of YOGA!? Yay.


3/22/13

It fits!!!!

My bridesmaid dress fits!!! Happy wedding day Michelle and Casey :)



3/17/13

St. Pattis Day and How to Stay Healthy on a Business Trip

Okay, so this post will be completely random and weird cause I'm posting from my iPhone. Just FYI.

I tried to honor St. Patrick today, but the best I could come up with was a green necklace...

On another note, as you can see on the picture my hotel dresser is loaded with organic apples, canned unsalted green beans, coconut water, and tuna in water. Not pictured is a bag of almonds, some
Bananas, and some oranges.

All to say, it is HARD to stay healthy when traveling and eating out!!! I stick to veggies and chicken for restaurant dinners and I'm eating what you see on my counter for breakfasts/lunches.

Although I might have snuck in a caramel macchiato somewhere in there ;)

I hope your St Pattis Day is the best ever!!

<3 Beth






3/15/13

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie

Happy Friday!

I don't have much time (I am leaving for a business trip in 20 minutes!) but I wanted to share my delicious and nutritious breakfast with you.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE

Dairy free, gluten free, vegan, paleo...


This smoothie contains: 

1 large frozen banana
Two large handfuls of FROZEN spinach (I buy mine fresh and then freeze it)
Two scoops almond butter (tastes like peanut butter!)
Two large scoops of all natural cocoa powder
1 tsp honey
Almond milk (enough to get everything moving)
Two ice cubes





I promise that you can't taste the spinach AT ALL! It's an amazing thing to get two servings of veggies in when you think you are drinking dessert.

This smoothie is SO SO SO YUMMY. You must try it!



Oh, and don't forget to lick the almond butter spoon :)

 Have a great weekend!

<3 Beth

3/8/13

Update :)




Today is National Women's Day, and I must first tell my beautiful mom thank you for being such an inspiration and positive influence in my life :) 



This week has been insane, to say the least. Cooking and working out takes up so much time!!!! I miss my hubby. I am going to try to steal him for a date next week before I leave for my business trip!



What I really need is another vacation to Paso Robles...




I also need some more Jesus time!!



Last night, I went to the gym at 6:00 pm to sign up for the 6:30 Body Pump class...and it was already completely full! I will have to get there even earlier in the future. Sigh. Instead of the weight lifting class, I did a quick 20 minutes on the stair-elliptical thing (with hard resistance...my whole body was burning!)




Afterwards I did another 20 minutes of HIIT. 

15 Burpees
15 Squat Jumps
15 Mountain Climbers 
Hold plank for 1 minute
50 Squats 

I repeated this three times, totaling about 20 minutes. 

Then, I did a series of Pilates/Core/Leg toning exercises to tighten things up. 

All in all, it was a great workout!!


Dinner was sauteed spinach, mushrooms, sausage, and avocado.