Sunday, July 31, 2011

I needed this

From Momma Bombshell:

Thought of the Dey: So you've got some weight to lose. It doesn't mean you aren't pretty, smart, worthy, sexy, loveable, etc, etc, etc. ALL it means is that you've got some weight to lose! Get the emotion OUT of it and ATTACK it with everything you've got! Get excited for change, get strong, get OVER IT and GO!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


From Erik Ledin of Lean Bodies Consulting:

"You alone can change dieting from being a painful thought, to that of a positive, rewarding one. Just as a sponge absorbs whatever is around it, so does your mind. From a negative attitude to unsuccessful past experiences, each contributes to how you think. And what you think, you become. Create your own mindset. Whether your attitude is positive or negative is up to you; not your friend, family or coach."

Nothing else I can to that!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fitness Models for Breast Cancer Awareness

Saw this pic and thought:
1. Hilarious
2. Hot
3. Glad they chose a good cause.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Success Anyone?

I've been on fire this week. Determined and motivated to stop watching my life go by and actually dig down and LIVE it! I've come to terms with how my body currently processes things I put in my mouth. For right now, beans and quinoa are not good protein sources. I hold on to the carbs and store, store, store. I've built some great muscle over the first part of the year but I am not losing the fat. I know I have the ability to build muscle fairly easy so I am turning to more isolated protein and fats to get the fat off me. I am having my scrumptious oatmeal concoctions in the morning and that's working fine. Everything else after is protein, veggies and fat.
Thant being said, a friend posted this video up on facbeook and I thought it was awesome.

Rare Arnold Motivational Speech - from Allen on Vimeo.

Schwarzenegger’s Six Rules for Success:

1. Trust yourself. Who do you want to be? (not what) Eliminate all distractions to listen to your heart and who YOU want to be. That means turn off the TV, the iPhone, the random chatter and sit still long enough for that voice to become loud. Listen to that voice no matter what others say.
2. Break the rules. Not the law, but the “rules”. Those are the made up beliefs about how things are. Break all the limiting ideas about what is possible. Create a system to break the rules, like training every day, taking classes, learning what it would take to break the limits. Turn your perceived “weaknesses” into advantages.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. Some of his movies were “failures” but he kept on making more. In baseball, a 70% failure rate batting means you are worth MILLIONS a year!
4. Don’t listen to the naysayers. How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? His mother in law started Special Olympics 40 years ago. Everyone said they were handicapped, they can’t do anything, no one will watch it. Thank goodness she didn’t listen to them. They are now in 164 countries! Again, listen to your heart not the outside world.
5. Work your butt off. To the question: "How many sit-ups do you do?"Mohammed Ali answered, "I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts."
6. It’s about giving back. Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


So the PMS monster is full swing... well she was anyway. ;)

I woke up feeling cranky for no real reason at all. I just felt grumpy. So I got up drank a bunch of water, all the while wanting some kind of chocolate to soothe my grumpy self. I've been so mindful about my food this week that I immediately recognized something wasn't right. Now it seems obvious that nothing about diving head first into a vat of chocolate-y goodness is healthy or productive in losing weight. Yet, that was my desire. Give me SOMETHING that is chocolate. I drank a bunch of water hoping the craving would subside. Not this time.

Now I am in tune with myself enough to know that if there is something bad to eat in my house it will get eaten. I may resist for awhile, but in a weakened state I will consume. I am not to a place where I don't crave things. I hope that day will come, but I don't expect it for awhile. I had purchased some things to make a "treat" for myself. Thanks to Chocolate-Covered Katie, I found a decently healthy alternative to the evil girl scout cookies Samoas !
I don't call these things cheats. I'm not cheating. Its a planned treat. Something to calm the inner cry baby who has been fed sugar-laden foods for so long. I intend to make healthy alternative meals once a week so that I don't feel deprived. This keeps me on course without feeling deprivation that leads to a binge. Yeah, I said it. BINGE. I can eat healthy all week and blow it all in one night of crap foods- starting with dinner, followed by desert, drinks and after dinner drinks. The way I see it, a healthy flat bread or pita pizza with salad and a little Samoa cup is much better than a delivery pizza, pop or wine and then a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies. I can try to keep those portion sizes down but usually I feel like a deprived fiend by the time I place that kind of order.

On to my victory.. While in California at Deer Park Monastery, I put Mindful Eating into practice more effectively. I was in a place where there was no hurry to get anywhere and I was surrounded by others who were eating mindfully, too. I also had to let go of any neurosis I had about what to eat. I ate what the nuns prepared. There were choices at each meal, but it was vegan and my fallbacks- protein powder and egg whites weren't on the menu. I enjoyed oatmeal with a variety of "fixins" each morning for breakfast. And it was divine! I let go of my paranoia that I would get huge from carbs and fats. I was thankful for the meal and I enjoyed each and every bite.
Today I called upon those experiences and my commitment to following a healthy eating plan. I made up my oatmeal (without having done a workout prior- *gasp*) and added all sorts of scrumptious ingredients to soothe the PMS Monster. Craisins, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, 14 chocolate chips, and one packet of Justin's Almond Butter. Each thing was in a small portion and my calories are still in line. This was the perfect solution to the clamoring within. I ate slowly, enjoyed each bite, and I am satisfied.
They key lesson I learned about eating while I was  in California was that slow and mindful eating led to much more satisfaction. I honestly did not feel like I lacked for food or felt any cravings. It was such a beautiful thing to not be so focused on food and my feelings. I was able to be reflective rather than longing for something or battling some craving or planning and stressing over meals and timing. I let go and in that letting go I arrived at a deeper level of acceptance and peace. I feel much more ABLE. I am able to approach my eating in a different way. As I became aware today, the cravings didn't magically disappear (darn!) but I have tools and skills to handle them in a healthier way. I could have had plain oatmeal with egg whites and still had cravings to battle the rest of the day. Or worse, I could have had the brownies my mom made (much to my dismay).  Instead, I let go of the rules a bit to find an alternative that was healthier mentally and physically.
I am victorious! And I am at peace. I have no guilt eating carbs without working out first. It would have been wiser perhaps from a micro point of view, but in the overall picture- I did the right thing and I feel so good about that.
For anyone that struggles with eating issues, it is a hard thing to get handle on. Mindful eating in a fast paced, rat race world is hard! But I promise that with some attention and dedication to trying it, the results will come. I'm not saying anyone will lose x amount of weight, but I can say that the satisfaction that is felt and the reduced stress over food  will make a HUGE difference in the long term. I have struggled with meal compliance for .... ever? This week was so much easier than it has EVER been. Really and truly.

Until next time....

Peace and Balance My Friends!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fitness Model??

So I had the pleasure of cheering Stef on at her first Figure Competition and taking some photos for her transformation challenge and some fun fitness stuff. I think she's a fitness model in the making. ;)  Gorgeous smile!

Congrats on a job well done Stef! Your hard work and determination paid off!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Gap

Love this! Definitely working on The Gap for fitness AND my photography gig

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This has made me feel better about myself lately... I wonder why I struggle so much with that...

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
drifting through the wind
wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
like a house of cards,
one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
6 feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, Oh, Oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back from the Arnold

I'm back from the Arnold and I've done all the picture editing I'm going to do for now. I took about 1,000 pictures!

I had a wonderful time meeting up with the Divas. I wish we had more hangout time. I was busy being photographer and didn't get as much quality time. Boo. It was still great to meet everyone new and see some familiar faces too. :)

I realized a few things. First- I MUST get the fat girl mentality out of my head. If I see myself as the fact chic then fat chic I will stay. No more of that.  Second- my passion really is photography. I'm scared of failing. People say I have talent. I might agree I have talent, but my skill set is lacking. I figure things out on the fly. I have adjusted  and learned some things, but major understanding of the craft? Not where I'd like it to be and definitely not a Pro level.
I need to readjust my mindset on things. I am going to be working hard on developing my skills and techniques for my photography. I am also going to push myself nutritionally. Close isn't going to cut it. I need to really stay focused and nourish my body.

For anyone who doesn't have me friended on Facebook and wants to see pictures from the Arnold, you can go to BellaVitaPhotography and see them. I still have more to add but for now I have 58 pictures up.

For now here are a few:

Ava Cowan ( placed 3rd in Figure)
Erin Stern (2nd place Figure)
Nicole Wilkins - Ms. International Figure

Iris Kyle- Ms International Bodybuilding

Adela Garcia - Fitness International Winner

I have photos of every pro competitor. Not all are edited yet, but I think I have almost every fitness athlete done, a good portion of figure and then I am on to bodybuilding. 

Have someone you want me to post? Let me know!

Oh, and I have to post 2 of my favorite people on here...

The Stunning Tara Green (Figure B)

The Amazing Lori Raper (check out that booty definition!)


Monday, February 21, 2011

This is a journey

So this time around on my quest for health and weight loss (fat loss), I am finally realizing that this is a journey, a process. I am not going to accomplish my goals in a few months-- and that is not only okay, but it is great! I am where I am for reasons. I am slowly uncovering the the path that lead me to this point while I make a new path. This journey is about me rising from the ashes like a Phoenix. Every 1000 years, the Phoenix willing burns itself to ash so that it can rise again- new, refreshed and untainted.
 From Jill Brown of

The Phoenix is a Chinese mythological bird that lives for 1,000 years. It is a symbol of opportunity, opulence, and immortality. It is also a symbol of resurrection. For at the end of its 1,000 year life cycle – it builds its own burning funeral pyre and sacrifices itself. The Phoenix is burned to ashes in the fiery flames. But out of ashes arises a new, brilliant incarnation. The newly resurrected bird is then free to fly away for a fresh 1,000 year life cycle.
There are several things I like about this legend that I think we can all learn from:
1)      The Phoenix recognizes when its current incarnation is up. It doesn’t fight to remain the bird it is, resisting the change ahead. No. It openly, happily and in full willingness builds its own pyre to start the transformation process
2)      The Phoenix commits itself fully to the fire. It doesn’t hop in, say “Damn it’s hot!” and then fly back out deformed and on fire. It gives itself fully to the process, trusting that its current incarnation is complete. It trusts itself to the process of being reduced to ashes in order to start fresh
3)      From the ashes, from the most basic state of itself, but still from the core parts of itself – it rises again as a new and beautiful bird

 I love our team name from Lean Eating- Iron Phoenix .

 I am done jumping out of the fire when it gets to hot. I've had to weather some tough heat and pressure so far during this journey. Eating S-L-O-W-L-Y is hard when you are used to inhaling your food. Not making lots of physical progress is hard when you do your best to be compliant on your program. Really, I am just building on a foundation. Layer after layer, strong and positive habits are being built while the old, useless ones crumble away. 

I am so very happy that I have chosen to take this journey and trust my guide. Precision Nutrition and my coach Krista are amazing. They really DO know what they are doing. My lack of trust doesn't mean someone or something isn't right. It just means I am afraid to trust. I am getting better and I haven't taken the wheel back. I have placed my faith in their knowledge and even though I am scared at times, I know I am on the right path.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Drive for Perfection?

I posted this over on the Lean Eating board on Precision Nutrition. I think it has a lot of good thoughts for me to reflect on and I thought it would be good to share on here too...

I have been doing a whole lot of thinking since starting this program. *whew* I have smoke coming out of my ears the wheels are turning so fast in my mind.

I have really been thinking about the "All or Nothing" mindset that I have had in the past. I am working hard to shatter those thought patterns. Not just in Lean Eating, but in all areas in my life. All or nothing thinking is a symptom of Perfectionism. Perfectionism is definitely something I suffer from. All or nothing, do more, be better, HAVE TO, SHOULD... These are the thoughts and words that drive me. I should do X, Y, Z. I have to do A,B,C. I should be better, I need to do more ____. I feel all this external pressure... yet really I think that pressure comes from within! Sure there are definitely outside pressures, but ultimately the driving force is internal. The FEAR of rejection, of being judged as unworthy, of being found unacceptable is what keeps me in the cycle. WHAT IF I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH??? I MUST BE PERFECT. If I am not perfect, then I am a failure. No one will accept me.

These thoughts are something we'd hate to hear from a child or even a dear friend, yet we say them to ourselves in some form. Trying to be perfect and failing at that task is stressful. We can become anxious or depressed. I know I personally have experienced this.
Until these lessons came about I don't think I realized how deep I've been in the cycle. My standards for myself are unrealistic. The first time I had to say "No" I didn't properly do my habit, I almost freaked out. I thought about lying and saying I did. I didn't want to admit I "failed". But checking no and acknowledging that I was still "pretty good" was actually a relief. I knew I could try again the next day and Krista wasn't going to send me an email that said "YOU SUCK. YOU FAIL!" I think somewhere I was judged unfairly and maybe some unfair expectations were set. (Actually I know this to be true). So now, part of my journey is to work on ACCEPTING MYSELF. I am pretty good- and that is just fine! I will always try to be the best I can be, but I can't be perfect. No such thing exists! I can only be me- and I can only do my best. I also accept that not being perfect doesn't mean go to the other end of the line and be lazy.
I also put together a list of quotes to help keep me focused on my new belief system- the one that eliminates the word perfect from my vocabulary.

“Perfectionism may be the ultimate self-defeating behavior. It turns people into slaves of success—but keeps them focused on failure.” --Hara Estroff Marano

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

“The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.”—George F. Will

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” –Pat Riley

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business.” –Michael J. Fox

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” –Ralph Marston

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” --Aristotle

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.” –Dr. David M. Burns

“One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you. Perfection does not exist; you can always do better and you can always grow.” –Les Brown

So from here forward I am doing my best to strive for excellence, not perfection. I am also on the lookout for "All or Nothing" thought patterns that permeate my day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

And what did I just do??

I signed up for the Warrior Dash!!

The Warrior Dash is 3 mile run filled with 14 obstacles!

Wind tunnels, planks, walls, junkyards, mud, fire.... and crazy costumes, fun people, oh.. and beer. LOL

I have 125 days until the race. I can't wait! I'm on Week 5 of my C25K program. After I complete round one I will look at bridging to a 10K. That and all the strength training I am doing should get me decently prepared. I hope. :)

Here's what to look forward to...

Yeah.... I can't wait!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on

Amazing... if you need a little help... if you are wondering about your feelings or how to change or why you haven't changed.. 20 minutes for a little eye opening ;)

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Precision Nutrition, Fish Oils and What's Next?

So I haven't done so well at the Blog once a week thing.... oops. Well I am aiming to correct that. We added a new puppy into our lives so the little cutie has been taking A LOT of extra time. That's the only real reason I have for being a bad blogger.

So if you've been a longer follower of my blog, you've read about my struggle with hormones. Krista Scott-Dixon from Precision Nutrition responded to a member's question about weight gain and HBC this way-
Estradiol alone will have different effects than estrogen-progesterone formulations, and synthetic hormone analogues will have different effects than formulations that are more like your own natural hormones.

I've been on and off various hormone formulations and even as an LE coach I'll tell you -- it DOES affect both weight gain (primarily where your body seems to store any excess) and your appetite... but in different ways.

For instance, estradiol alone actually often suppresses appetite. Progestins, on the other hand, stimulate it. (And how.) Going OFF natural estradiol always makes me retain about 5 lb water... but going ON synthetic progestins did the same.

Your underlying hormonal makeup will also affect what you experience. If you are on hormones because your own hormones are low, that will be a different experience than being on hormones with already-normal (or even high) hormone levels.

Bottom line is that you must stay aware of what you are experiencing, take responsibility for what you can control, and tailor your behaviour accordingly to the best of your ability.

You may have to swim upstream a little harder; you may have to fight some stronger impulses; you may find that at times it seems like your body is possessed... but nobody's body defies the laws of thermodynamics (aka energy in vs energy out) forever.

So it certainly helps me feel like someone really knows at least part of what is happening. The people at Precision Nutrition (PN) are amazing. The amount of knowledge and experience they have collectively is amazing. There is no doubt I am in good hands there. I love that she acknowledged that sometimes it feels like you are possessed.  There are times where I have felt like I was having an out of body experience. LOL The cravings were insane and I felt powerless to stop them. I also like the point she makes about swimming upstream a little harder. It may not seem fair -when is life really fair?- but I can make this work. I just have to work harder. Someone else might be able to do things easier but for me and my situation it requires whatever it requires. I am following my program and coaches exactly as they say. I've tried so many other people's way, my way, a combination of about 10 different ways at once. I love that PN is recognized for the research, the stability, the success rate and the sane approach to lasting health. I know that if I give it up- trust them- that they will get me to where I want to be. It won't happen in 3 months, but in a year's time I will have finally developed the proper habits and coping skills to see success. For the first time I am embarking a weight loss journey and haven't felt anxious. I feel hopeful and ready to make the lasting changes.

Another thing I wanted to blog about was Fish Oil. I'll preface it by saying I am still working on the liquid- going down the hatch. Capsules I do better with for sure. But really I wasn't aware at just how important fish oil was- what the real benefits were. I just thought that flax and other oils were good enough. Not as much! (Algae oil can be used. The fish process the algae and ultimately that's where you get the benefits from). Check this out!

Top 10 Reasons EFA's are Essential

by Charles Poliquin
  1. Fish oils, rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent depression, stabilize the moods of maniac-depressives, and alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia.?
    University of California's Johnsson Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA

  2. Fish oil is one of the few substances known to lower concentrations of triglycerides (fatty substances) that pose a cardiovascular risk, in the blood.?
    J Raloff Science News

  3. Increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids has direct effects on serotonin levels.
    Andrew Stoll M.D.1999 Archives of General Psychiatry

  4. Fish oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help prevent heart disease, depression, and cancer.?
    Hans R. Larsen, Msc chE "Fish Oils: The Essential Nutrients" International Health News
  5. Research has shown that supplementation with fish oils can markedly reduce interlukin-1beta production and results in a significant reduction in morning stiffness and the number of painful joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients.?
    Darlington, L Gail and Stone, Trevor W. Antioxidants and fatty acids in the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders. British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 85, March 2001, pp.251-69.
  6. Several clinical trials have concluded that eating fish regularly or supplementing with fish oils can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death by as much as 50%.
    Bigger,J. Thomas and El-Sherif, Tarek. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular events: a fish tale. Circulation, Vol.103, February 6, 2001, pp623-25 (editorial).

  7. Researchers at Mayo Clinic report that supplementation with fish oils, EPA and DHA is highly effective in slowing down the progression of IgA nephropathy, a common kidney disease.
    Donadio, James V.,et al. A controlled trial of fish oil in IgA nephropathy. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 331 November 3, 1994, pp1194-99?Van Ypersele de Strihou, Charles. Fish oil for IgA nephropathy? New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 331, November 3, 1994, pp 1227-29 (editorial).
  8. Epidemiological studies have shown that populations with a high intake of fish oils have a lower incidence of inflammatory diseases such as asthma.
    Dry J. and Vincent D. Effect of a Fish oil diet on asthma: results of a 1-year double bind study. Int Arch Allerguy Appl Immurol, Vol.95, 1991,pp.156-57.
  9. Researchers at The University of Tromso now report that fish oil supplementation lowers blood pressure significantly in people with hypertension and has no effect on glucose control even in people with mid diabetes.
    Toft, Ingrid, et al. Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on glucose homeostasis and blood pressure in essential hypertension. Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol 123, No 12, December 15, 1995, pp 911-18. Connor, William E. Diabetes, fish oil, and vascular disease. Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol 123, No 12, December 15, 1995, pp950-52.
  10. Medical researchers in New Zealand provide convincing evidence that an increased consumption of fish oils helps reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.?
    Norrish, A,E, et al. Prostate cancer risk and consumption of fish oils: A dietary biomaker-based case-control study. British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 81, No.7, December 1999, pp.1238-42"

Now those are just the top ten reasons in general health. What about for fat loss?

  1. They turn OFF fat storing mechanisms in the body
  2. They turn ON fat burning mechanisms in the body They surround every cell of the body with the best fat possible and thus helps you burn fat
  3. With lots of omega-3s, muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin, while fat cells decrease. This may mean that the body can divert more nutrients to muscle tissue.
  4. Finally, DHA and EPA can increase metabolism by increasing levels of enzymes that boost calorie-burning ability.

 I'm learning so much lately and will continue to share.

My next blog entry will talk about Vitamin D. I have first hand experience in the deficiency department and I am looking forward to test results after being on therapeutic doses.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great Day! Did someone say Mac & Cheese?

Today was a good day. Make that a GREAT day.

I got up and did my C25K program, had a green monster shake and then went off on my first ever trip to Whole Foods. OMG! I'm in love! I wish it was closer. Its about an hour away, but I think I may make it a once a month destination. Great atmosphere, it appears to be decent pricing, lots of organics, and everything a healthy girl could want! :D

I was so excited to make a couple of new recipes that I got from Oh She Glows. If you haven't been to her site, click the link ASAP!  First I got distracted by making my own almond butter. I was able to grind my own at Whole Foods, so then I decided to come home and make more. After making some cocao almond butter I set off to make Vegan Mac & Cheese . I modified the recipe based on what I had on hand. First, it calls for cashews and I only had almonds. I forgot to pick them up at Whole Foods. *doh* They worked great but I highly recommend having a full size food processor. My tiny one made for a lot of extra work and I don't think the almonds were as smooth as they could have been. I used Turtle Mountain SoDelicious UNsweetened coconut milk instead of almond milk and I believe that worked just perfectly. Thick and creamy yet not sweet or coconut-y. I also used 1/2 cup of Nutritional Yeast because I really wanted a "cheesier" flavor and bright color. I'd maybe back down to 1/3 cup but overall I am SOO very pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to try it again with the original ingredients.

Angela's Picture:

My less professional looking one: 

This was my first attempt at baking anything specifically Vegan. I'm SO happy with how it turned out. I am looking forward to trying more recipes soon. Next up is Protein Power Goddess Bowl.  Looks YUMMO!

Can't wait to get my workout on tomorrow and then make a Power Smoothie with another new discovery.... Chia Seeds!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

One of the things I put on my list for 2011 was to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude. Each day I want to be aware of at least one thing to be grateful for. You can't be unhappy and grateful at the same time. ;) I don't think it is just me, but I know I tend to get sucked into the negative downward spiral sometimes. So I intend to create a habit that will help ward that cycle off. It will be so good to focus on my blessing and the positive things in my life. Things won't go perfectly this year- or at least not how I always plan them to go. But life will move forward and 2011 will turn into 2012. Instead of wasting energy focusing on what isn't right, perfect or all the pain and suffering, I will shift my focus to the positive so that I may be lifted up, reminded of how good I do have it, and that I might be truly thankful for my life.

Today, January 1st, 2011, I am thankful for all the positive energy a new year brings. For all the hopes, dreams, wishes and intentions for a great new year all coming together. I am thankful for the feeling of a fresh start- though each day gives us that chance, the energy of a new year is just bigger.

I recently got a book called Attitudes of Gratitude by M.J. Ryan. I'll be reading this and hoping to use it in developing a strong practice. :)