Thursday, February 5, 2015

Shining On

I was going through some files on my computer when I came across this one. I think my daughter downloaded it (so if it is yours, let me know so I can give you credit) around Christmas. There's something about reading (or saying) the word shine that makes me smile, makes me feel radiant. Try it. Go ahead and say shine. You're smiling now, aren't you. See, I told you.
I've been missing around these parts for a few months now due in large part to a little think I call following my bliss. I've sunk all my effort and energy lately into getting my little studio up and running.

And I love it. I am proud and happy and blissful and shiny every time I think about this little corner of my universe. Most of all, I LOVE turning others on to my passion, what keeps me going. And when a client (or friend--most of my clients are also my friends) has that a-ha moment when they "get it," when they notice a change in their physique, when they become more aware of their posture, when the find themselves pulling in their navel and elongating their neck sporadically throughout the day because of what they've learned in my classes--man, that's just the best!

And while all that seems like the best part of what I do, I haven't mentioned the other little perks that have come from devoting my energy to Mix Method for the last three months. Here's the short list:
  • Taken 1/4 inch off each arm
  • Taken 1/2 inch off each thigh
  • Lost 4 pounds (not that I was trying--this one was a surprise)
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Plantar Fasciitis is gone!!! 
The true beauty of Pilates and yoga (the two largest components of Mix Method) is how effective they are for injury prevention. Mix Method just helps me be me--better.

Now I sound like a commercial, and that's not what I intended. I guess I'm just a little excited about this new venture.

Interested in finding out what I'm talking about? You can check out Barre3--not Mix Method, but sorta the same idea.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Honey Curry Chicken

Another gorgeous autumn day is in the books. 10.5 perfect miles left me feeling confident and happy.
I don't know where my niece found this, but it made me smile when she sent it to me. Whenever I want to run long (especially on a Monday) this gets me moving:

After a good run, I'm usually feeling like I deserve a treat. Today I indulged in diet Dr. Pepper and this delicious bread:

It was perfect!

 I After I've spoiled myself, I crave something warm and somewhat spicy to finish filling my belly. A curry dish comes to mind. Tonight it's Honey Curry Chicken.


The recipe is super easy and everyone in the family cleans their plate. What you get is a spicy-sweet chicken with the warm flavors of curry, onion and peppers. And all those peppers and onions give me a chance to use  my new favorite kitchen tool: the Vidalia Chop Wizard (not a paid endorsement). Seriously, the whole family loves chopping fruits and veggies with this tool. And that makes me one happy mother!


Honey Curry Chicken

  • Chicken breast (3 large or 8 tenderloins)

  • 1/2 C chicken broth

  • 1/2 medium onion chopped

  • 1 C chopped sweet bell pepper

  • 1/4 C honey

  • 1/4 C prepared mustard

  • 1 Tbsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but a nice addition)

Combine all ingredients except chicken and mix well. Pour mixture over chicken in either a crock pot or large casserole dish and toss or stir to completely coat chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until chicken is well done and falling apart--OR cook in crock pot on low for eight hours or high for four (preferred method). Serve over rice or quinoa (this recipe tastes great with quinoa so give it a try!), and with a healthy side of green veggies. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let the Sunshine In

We live in a noisy world that constantly sends us messages.
Some messages are good. I mean, just think about all the positive body-image messages that have been produced/released lately. Music lyrics and ad campaigns targeting the worn-down self-esteem of  women and girls, lifting and enlightening. Lots of Girl Power going on lately.
And that is great.
But . . .
there are still plenty of negative messages aimed directly at our hearts, minds and souls. We are bombarded with print ads, radio ads, T.V. and films, even entire cable channels directed at filling our time and minds with junk. And the constant message that we never quite measure up.
We hear do this, be that, get this, buy that. More! More! More of everything! 
I literally battle against 'more' every day.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
You are enough!
Never let anyone tell you that you aren't or that in any way you are lacking.
Yesterday I had the most uplifting conversation with a new friend of mine. She recently had her first baby--an adorable little boy who is smart and full of energy. Her pregnancy was rough, requiring nearly three months bed rest! (I cannot even imagine!) Consequently, she gained quite a bit of weight. Weight that she'd like to lose but the task seems so daunting. She's been working out regularly, eating healthy, and having some success. But some success doesn't quite feel like enough. She feels like she needs to lose more.
Do more! Run more! Sweat more!
The message is overwhelming.
We agreed the word 'more' is the enemy. 
Let's eliminate the word more and watch what happens.
Suddenly things seem doable.
Do! That's it. Don't do more. Just do!
 Run! Sweat! Eat! Pray! Love! Smile!
That's it. 
If by chance you find something within yourself in need of improvement, focus on the little things--baby steps. 
Start by doing the right things--now. One step at a time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If only I had her energy. . .

If you follow me in Instagram (and you should) then you've been introduced to the newest member of our family.
Meet Carly!

We love her; she's totally adorable. But, lets face it, she's a puppy. And puppies are a lot of work. Up all night, busy all day--it's like having a toddler again. If only I had some of her energy. Finding time to blog has been difficult. But I know it will all be worth in the long run--right?

The good news is the weather has been amazing! Gorgeous! Perfect weather for potty training a fur baby. Between the house breaking and running, I've been spending a lot of time outside this past week, soaking up the last of the warm-weather vitamin D. But I still find myself dragging midday (from all the middle-of-the-night potty breaks). It's been important to find healthy, energizing snacks because adult life doesn't offer much nap time, you know what I mean.

So, in the spirit of sharing and passing along anything good and healthy, I will share my new favorite snack:

No-bake Cinnamon Bun Balls
  • 1 C pitted dates
  • 1 C almonds (raw)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional; may reduce or omit)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ C shredded coconut
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a sticky meal forms. Using a small cookie/ice cream scoop or your hands, form 1-inch balls with the sticky meal. Refrigerate and store in an airtight container.
I use almonds for these treats just because I prefer almonds to cashews. That said, you can use cashews and get a doughier mixture that forms well and can be easily made into bars. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Any tips on house breaking a puppy? Please share, I'm desperate.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I had great intentions for a challenging Mix Method class this morning. I had planned, choreographed, and rehearsed a great sweat-inducing flow. I was going to educate the class on the importance of strong pelvic stabilizers. And for the most part it went as planned.

I even got to work on my favorite flow, Dogging Cobra:

We transitioned through the barre segment into the yoga section seamlessly. When we headed in the mat Pilates portion of the class, I noticed a shift. The women started talking. Normally talking during class really irritates me. How on earth are you listening to my cuing and educating if you are chatting it up with the girl on the mat next to you? And, for that matter, how are you focusing on your breath and alignment if you're constantly turning your attention to someone other than your teacher and yourself? But today was different. They weren't talking in a bad, we're-bored-and-you-are-losing-us sort of way. More in a I-feel-I-need-to-speak-now sort of way. 

Recognizing the need for these women (myself included) to just talk, I cut a few moves from the Pilates section and transitioned into the cool down with flowing Mermaid, energizing Rockstar stretches, and a restful Seated Eagle. I didn't even formally close the class, choosing instead to let the women dictate when class was over.

We lingered on our mats, swapping stories, sharing parenting advice, simply talking--slowing down to enjoy a moment of connection. And I noticed as we rolled up our mats, collected our keys and purses and left the room that we were all smiling. Smiling isn't unusual following one of my classes. I mean, I certainly hope you leave my class smiling, uplifted, refreshed. However, I noticed a certain buoyancy as we walked together to the parking lot. There was talk plans for the next class, even lunch dates later in the week. I felt carefree though I was headed back home to take care of a houseful of laundry and dirty floors. 

So this morning's class didn't go exactly as planned. And I'm okay with that because the practice of yoga and Pilates is about making connections, after all. And when our minds and bodies are connected, it's that much easier to complete the equation by reaching out to connect with someone else.

 How do you connect with others?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marathons and a 20-Minute Treadmill Workout

Some days are better than others. And when you wake up to a cat who's been sick all night, all over your floor--Why?--you know it's going to take some serious work to make the sun shine. This bracelet helps a lot.

I got it from The Beaded Butterfly.
And it makes my heart smile.

Yesterday I rocked a 12 miler. But not every day can be a 12-mile day, can it? Nope. Today it's simply not going to happen. I'm too busy cleaning cat sickness off the floor. (Rolls eyes dramatically.) So today I'm going to have to push through and just get a quick run done.
Finish in a Flash!

My sister, Mindy, ran the Top of Utah marathon on Saturday. She's part of at least a half dozen pacing groups (not literally, but she is in a lot of pacing/running groups) and ran this one as a pacer. If you remember, she ran the Big Cottonwood marathon last weekend as a pacer as well. This time she was slated to run the five hour pace. Seriously, five hours of running??? That's a long time to be running/jogging.

To top that off, she's also running the St.George Marathon in less than two weeks! The girl loves her marathons.
Which leads me to ask a question: How much is too much?
It's a hard question to answer. Even experts don't agree. 
The Physiology of Marathon Running: Just What Does Running a Marathon Do to Your Body? by Jake Emmett, Ph.D. both posed and answered questions on what happens to the body during the 26.2 miles of a marathon.
Admittedly, I have never run a marathon (not yet, anyway), but after running two half marathons in one month at PR pace, I can tell you my body felt all of those miles and then some. My muscles were achy and sore following both races despite my training. And today, well today I'm fighting off a cold.
In his article, Dr. Emmett states, "Microscopic damage to the muscles from running a marathon can cause more than soreness. As part of the repair process, cytokines are released from the injured area to promote the influx of white blood cells from the immune system. In particular, neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes are elevated after prolonged endurance events such as a marathon ... The muscle damage incurred from running a marathon can divert some immune cells for muscle repair and weaken others, leaving the immune system less able to protect against upper respiratory tract infections."

To counteract any negative physiological reactions to marathon running, the author gives these recommendations:

  • Keep other life stresses to a minimum.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Obtain adequate sleep.
  • Avoid putting hands to eyes and nose.
  • Avoid sick people and large crowds.
  • Avoid overtraining and rapid weight loss.
  • Use carbohydrate beverages before, during, and after marathon races and long training runs.

  • Seriously, people. I cannot stress enough how valuable a healthy body is. Never, ever take it for granted! In today's culture of ultra-endurance fitness, it's hard to know how much is too much. If running a marathon, ultra, or Ironman is on your bucket list, please do so with smart training, adequate nutrition, and under the care of a physician.

    How much do you think is too much?
    Are you gearing up for a marathon, ultra, or Ironman?

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Good Enough

    I've been riding a roller coaster since last Saturday. One moment pleased with my PR. The next moment questioning if I could have done better; telling myself I should have done better.

    We runners are an interesting lot. We can be so highly competitive with our own selves that we become our own worst enemy.

    Speed is a relative thing. It is highly dependent upon innumerable factors. What one runner considers a slow, easy jog is another person's personal best. We all know and accept that. And for some--for me--running isn't always about competing, improving, or meeting goals. For the most part, running to me is about moving, breathing hard, feeling alive. And that is 100% okay. Or is it? At what point do we feel okay not giving it our all, because, let's face it, we can't give 100% effort every run. That is just ludicrous. Sometimes I need to run long and slow, taking my time to enjoy the feeling of running.

    Just last night I went for a run with my hubby. It was only about 159 degrees outside and I had only eaten about 114 pounds of food. I was sweating before we even hit the road and my gut felt like it had been filled with rocks. At some point though the feeling of air rushing in and out of my lungs and my legs pumping beneath filled me with joy and I forgot about how uncomfortable I felt. That's what keeps me going more than any goals, PR's, or prizes. Sometimes the work is the reward. The key is to keep moving, making the effort every day.

    So there's your pep talk, your daily dose of motivation. Get out, get it done.