Do you ever have one of those days, or maybe weeks where you're searching for your glasses that are on your face? Or your keys that are in your hands? I know I can't be the only one to have these mental blocks where everything that seems to be so obvious is so much more difficult then usual. I find with myself I love to over complicate things. Life can be pretty simple, I mean just think of the basics. Food, water, sleep and shelter. If you have all four of those things every day, you are pretty well off my friend. But then the first world problems or "Park Ave problems" as my mom would say peeks its little ugly head in. Then comes the "there's nothing GOOD in the refrigerator to eat" because you'd rather chipotle over last night's leftovers. Or "I have nothing GOOD to wear" as you stare into a walk in closet filled of clothing that is more then just good. It is so easy to see your problems as problems because it's your life and their near to your heart. It isn't as easy to see that there are starving children in our own country who sometimes don't have a meal for dinner and don't know when or where the next one will come from.
If you're like me you have to visualize to really make sense of a situation. When I was 13 my family and I took a trip to the Dominican Republic. One day we went on a snorkeling excursion off of the resort. In a small village we traveled to this beautiful beach to start our tour. On our way there, small children in barely any clothing were begging for food and money. At 13 years old I had more then some adults did in this struggling village. It was a horrible sight to see and witness. That has always stuck with me knowing that while I may at times act ungrateful or take things I have for granted, life could always be much harder and much worse.
I recently more then ever felt like my body needed a new challenge. When I first started my fitness journey in 2012 I knew I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. I knew I didn't feel comfortable going into a gym and I wanted something to really help make a difference in my life. I discovered INSANITY by Shaun T and it changed my world. Looking back on pictures from before and after doing these dvd's I saw a huge difference in my body. I recently felt like I wanted that change again. I searched on Groupon, local gyms and asked around for any good group classes. I finally settled on a new spin studio because I knew it would be a great workout. It took a lot for me to actually purchase the package and get my butt up and out of bed at 5:30AM (on a Monday not to mention) but I did it. I went in with an open mind and hoped this would be my new fix. The class was good, the instructor was the least friendly and welcoming person so overall the experience was eh. My second class the instructor was absolutely amazing but the workout was below average. My third experience was a voicemail dealing with cancellations. Being that I had been in the fitness and sales industry already for a long time, I know how these things work. It's funny how a few sentences could completely taint your view on something. I had cancelled a class I suppose too last minute for the business and received a voicemail reprimanding me for not doing it according to their policy. That was it for me. No more spin classes, they were no longer getting my money for services. All I could think to myself was "didn't they know hard it was for me to actually muster up the courage to go there" or "didn't they understand what proper customer service is". The questions in my head were running around in circles
I know and knew (at the time) that it wasn't much more then business. They cared about their money, not their clients and that's fine. That's how some businesses operate and that's why most don't last so long. In an industry like the fitness one, you have to be able to stand out and be unique to truly be successful. So now I was back to square one, struggling looking for something to help me.
I was downloading apps, looking for a fitness coach, a new gym, really anything to help inspire me again. Then it hit me. Like literally hit me in the face. It fell off my shelf and hit me in the head. My INSANITY dvd's. They had been put away for sometime now, probably since I moved home from school. I was looking at the box and thought, "what I have been searching for this whole time, has been right in front of me". I wanted something or someone to inspire me and change the game like how it all started. I didn't need something new though, I needed what got me there to begin with. I realized that while I didn't want to give up my typical gym routine, I just wanted to add something to it. Something that worked with my schedule and on my time. Clearly a class doesn't revolve around my world, unless its at the convenience of my own finger tips!
Meeting Your Idol
I was scrolling through the gram one evening and came across the post. Saturday April 22nd from 2-5PM meet and greet at a NYC GNC. I kept on scrolling, then decided to go back. I stared at the post for a few seconds before changing to my messages app to find someone to join me. No one better then your best friend and boyfriend to tag along. As I got ready that Saturday morning I thought over all the possible things I could say. This wasn't the first time I was meeting someone famous and I know it's usually a quick process after a long line of waiting around. I wanted to be special, maybe even stand out to her. I changed my outfit and hair style over 50 times trying to look just right. I don't think I put this much effort in on my first date with my boyfriend!
The train finally pulled up to the station and we were off to our destination. I was a little jittery and excited, but mostly nervous. No one could understand the feeling because they were just accompanying me. As we approached the somewhat short line I could see her from the distance. Her perfectly tanned LA skin with her blonde hair and muscles. I had somewhat of a girl crush, I think.
We waited around for a couple of hours until it was our time to meet her. Me being me, my anxiety took over and that's all I could remember. I figured a quick picture, a signature and we'd be off to happy hour. Paige stood in front of the GNC banner and welcomed me with a hug. Instead it was a ten minute conversation. How cool! She was actually (or acted) like she cared and was interested in her fans. My anxiety completely left my body. Now I was just happy. For once in my life I overcame a panic and fear that usually makes me forget my own name. We got the pictures and the autographs, but most of all got in some laughs.
That night I laid in bed posting my typical "I just met my favorite fitness model" picture on all my social media. Paige surprisingly liked it. Regardless if it was her assistant or actually her, to me it was still pretty cool to be recognized. The whole thing felt surreal, but the best part was that it was real. She was so down to earth, it was like catching up with an old friend. There is nothing more inspiring then meeting someone you love and they're a good person! The coolest part though, she signed my bicep :D
Paige Hathaway has been one of my favorite fitness guru's for awhile now. When I first started to get involved in working out and taking care of my body, she became my inspiration. She was someone who came from a similar background as myself and made it to LA to do big things in the fitness industry. Her physique alone was inspiring but her training techniques taught you from beginning to pro level. When I began to learn more in depth about supplements Shredz is where I turned to because I trusted her judgement. In life, I find that we need those certain people to help us make a difference and better ourselves. Whether its a celebrity or a friend, a helping hand can come in many forms. Through our journey in life I feel like it's so important to not only thank our idols for being exactly that, but to pass the baton. What would we be in this world without inspiring each other and motivating? My favorite part about meeting Paige in person is that I now know that if she can inspire me, I can help inspire others. At the end of the day, we are all looking for those special connections to help elevate our lives. So my question to you is, who are you helping today?
Finding My Truth
I've always been one to be hungry for education. At a young age I realized to improve myself and become the person I know I'm meant to be would take more then just reading a few books. I started my personal development back in 2012 when I joined into a company called Vemma. Now you can say whatever you'd like about the network marketing company, but what it did for me is something I could never in my life regret. I was able to meet other like minded people, the same age as me, all over the world. While a lot of it had to do with learning the business, there was much emphasis on learning about yourself. In this time I read every book I could get my hands on. This is when I watched The Secret and learned about the law of attraction. I dug deep into my soul to find what my passions were and who I wanted to be as my life progressed.
Now almost 6 years later I am still on the same journey. I recently felt as though my brain was shrinking from lack of reading (as silly as that sounds). But I know that if you're not learning and growing you're dying and that was how I was beginning to feel. I googled "top 10 self help books" and up popped Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini. Besides the fact that her story is motivation in itself, she taught me more in a book then I had learned in a semester at college. Melissa completely blew my mind that a book, nonetheless could make you feel so many emotions at once. There were days that I wanted to jump through the pages and scream at her for making me feel emotions I had tried to long to surpress. While there were other days that I was crying with joy realizing that the bad stuff could finally be put behind me. Regardless of the emotions I felt I could never put the book down.
Melissa speaks a lot about finding your truth and what it is you want out of this big world we live in. She challenged me to take a cold hard look at myself, the people in it and how I currently live my life. I knew that I was sometimes on and off the path I was put on this earth for and it was time to align my thoughts and actions. I talk about this book so much for the mere fact that we all need that nudge whether its from a book, a loved one or a song. There seems to be moments in our lives that if you are not present enough you will miss, and this was a major moment for me.
You may ask, why did I title this finding my truth? Well, because to one extent or another we all have that same feeling. If you are a homeless person or a multi billionaire we are all still human. You could be the richest or the poorest but without pure happiness in your life nothing else matters. There are plenty of wealthy people who are miserable and plenty of less fortunate whom are so happy. I recently watched the documentary Happy on Netflix. Talk about an eye opener. We can become so consumed in our everyday lives and small issues like running late to work because the Starbucks line was too long when there are people living in other countries without plumbing extremely content. Wow. I find as though aligning your life with your truth or your true meaning doesn't always just happen over night. For me it took me Melissa's entire book and active workshops to really understand who I am and what I want. I always knew I wanted to help others live a better life, which is why I became a personal trainer. Although I loved it, it didn't feel exactly in line with my truth. Now that I have switched gears and still able to include fitness (one of my loves) with helping overall lifestyle changes I feel like I am bursting with excitement.
But what if you aren't here just yet? Don't panic, I wasn't either. I still have so much work to do on myself, we all do, because were all a work in progress. My biggest tip is figure out what it is you want in your life that you currently don't see. If it's financial abundance, a new love interest or career imagine it first. If you're like me and sometimes need that extra push in the right direction look into some food for thought. For me it was books, for you it might be documentaries or sitting down with someone you trust like a counselor. Whatever or whomever it is, there is no better time to start then the present!
Now that I can confidently say my truth is to help others grow and learn about their journeys, I'd love to help you! For more information click below;
I'm not usually one for sweet treats, but lately I've had a hankering. While my usual go to is goldfish or some extra salty pretzels, I wanted something to satisfy my sweet tooth. I am not one to ignore a craving because I don't think that depriving my body of anything will help me lose weight. Of course bad foods in moderation, but there are also healthier alternatives where you won't over indulge. SO since I wanted something chocolate-y and sweet, instead of grabbing and Lenny and Larry's chocolate chip cookie (which has more carbs then I wanted to consume) I decided to make something of my own. Its so simple, only 5 ingredients needed and the best part (in my opinion obv.) its dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and paleo friendly. What more could you want?
-2 scoops of vegan chocolate protein
-2 tsp of organic dark cocoa powder
-1 tsp of coconut oil
-1/4 cup of almond butter (you can substitute for any nut butter, and use up to 1/2 cup, I used less since I didn't have much left!)
OPTIONAL: I chopped up 1 boom choco boom bar and sprinkled on top for more sweetness
1. Blend all ingredients together, or mash up in a bowl.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
3. Pour mixture into cupcake pan (I made 12)
*Make sure to put coconut oil down first before mixture to avoid sticking*
4. Sprinkle chopped organic dark boom choco boom on top (OPTIONAL)
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes
Once baked, you have to store them in the refrigerator to keep fresh or even in your freezer. I find that they actually taste better a little frozen. Perfect for a snack or pair with breakfast or as a quick pre-workout meal. But really the best part, THEY'RE SO DELICIOUS!!!! Low carbs, low sugar, low fat, high protein. Boom.
How Green Tea Changed The Game
It is so easy to overcomplicate weight loss. We all know the basics, eat healthy and workout. Stay away from refined sugars, bleached products and sitting on your couch for hours at a time. Then we factor in all the magic. The magical pills, weight loss trends, the fixes and all the exciting and "extra" ways to trick us into thinking we will lose weight. I was and am sometimes still a person that falls into this trap. I have a draw in my room of fit teas, weight loss coffees, pills, powders, waist trainers, gels, lotions and so on. If I could return all of it I'd probably have enough to buy my new pair of Christian Louboutin's. Regardless of how educated you are on the topic (or not) we all have a tendency to at least research the newest trend to see if it really works.
I'd often look for products that helped me deal with bloating and any extra belly fat. Detox teas and pills seemed to be my favorite, but I never saw any real difference (shocking). Then I realized something, why would I pay for a detox tea, when green tea is a natural detox....DUH! In my earlier years of educating myself on health and fitness I didn't realize that the answer was practically right in front of me.
Now an avid green tea drinker, my body responds very differently. I will have a cup of green tea with half a lemon every morning when I first wake up, and usually one a couple of hours before bed. The benefits I have seen are less bloating, caffeine boost, and my favorite, designated me time. We often don't realize that we are going nonstop all day and barely give ourselves time to just sit alone and be. My tea time has given me a piece of mind every day. I will drink my tea and write as my morning ritual. Morning writing pages go hand in hand with decompressing and letting go, as I do with my evening tea. (Read more on morning writing pages)
But for real, what are the benefits of green tea? Here you go:
-Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels. This can slow the rise of blood sugar after eating.
-Green tea increases the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
-Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
-Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
-Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
Did you know?
Green tea is better to have as your morning caffeine, followed by coffee in the early afternoon. Why you may ask? Coffee while having it black has some great benefits (minus all the sugar and dairy add ons) tricks your body. When having a cup in the morning it is essentially dehydrating you and basically sucking the energy out of you giving you that 3pm sluggish feeling. It tricks you into thinking you are getting an rush of energy but its doing the opposite. That is why its recommended to start off with tea, and then coffee. So for all you coffee lovers out there, don't panic! You can still have your cake and eat it too!