I’ve discovered the most brilliant show EVER. I’ve never been huge on the food programs on television. When I watch them, I just get immensely hungry, and disappointed by whatever my next meal is actually going to be; or I feel gross and bloated just from looking at all the fatty and grotesque amount of foods being displayed on my television.
The other night though, I discovered “The Supersizers Go…” a British program, which follows restaurant critic Giles Coren, and writer and comedian Sue Perkins, as they travel through time and spend a week at a time, living and eating through different eras in history. The program is HILARIOUS. I can’t tell you how much I laughed out loud and even uncontrollably whilst watching these two time travel. They’re both really funny, and Sue is like the British Ellen Degeneres. And when I say that they live and eat through these different eras, I mean, they dress, behave, take up gender roles, common cultural activities, and entertain as they did through these periods. It’s marvelous. It’s brilliant. It’s even educational. It’s lessons on history, culture, lifestyles, as well as health and fitness. Each week, Giles and Sue get a fitness and health test done before they begin their week, and again at the end of their week to see what their period diet has done to them.
I have to say I never realized how common oysters are in British cuisine. Oysters existed in Britain even before tea did. Although, it does make sense since Britain is essentially an island. For fitness and health reasons, I probably wouldn’t have minded the food rationing days of wartime. In fact, I’m thinking maybe we should go back to some sort of food rationing program, just for health and fitness purposes, minus the powdered eggs and spam. While some people might think that drinking ales and wines all day long would be a magnificent idea, I couldn’t imagine not being able to drink water during the Restoration period—during that period the water was undrinkable. I would not have survived that period. I’d either die early of starvation from not being able to ingest any of the period delicacies, or I’d die of alcohol poisoning. I probably would have preferred eating as a regular civilian in Ancient Rome, too, as opposed to an aristocrat, because I’m not sure I could even go near testicles, womb, or door mice. In fact, through many of the eras before the 19th century, I’d probably be really thin, because I couldn’t handle the many animal delicacies—although, I wouldn’t have minded eating like Marie Antoinette. The 1970’s proved the importance of being active throughout the day. My favorite is the 1970’s alarm clock that brews tea while you sleep, so that you have hot tea ready for you as soon as you wake up. I think we need to bring that back! I also love the live frogs jumping out of the pie just for fun and entertainment during the Elizabethan era. That certainly would be entertaining, if you thought you were receiving a pie, and then frogs started jumping out of it. I must say, I have a whole new respect for chefs, whose cooking begins with the skinning, deboning, and de-organing of animals. It’s quite a job!
The funny thing, is that after traveling through all these different time periods, the general lesson about health and fitness, is what we all know—what you eat and what you physically do matters! It matters not just for your physique, but also for your hygiene, your mood, and your life expectancy rate.
Tune into the first two seasons on Hulu, and travel with these two through wartime (WWII), the Restoration period (1660’s), the Victorian era, the 1970’s, Shakespearean times (aka the Elizabethan era), the Regency years (1789-1821), the 1980’s, Medieval Times, the 50’s, the French Revolution, the 1920’s, and Ancient Rome. It’s fantastic, it really is! Giles and Sue are a riot!
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Yoga Booty Ballet (YBB) was the second Beachbody workout I ever bought, and I still love it. It’s just fun. Everyone’s in bright colors, Teigh and Gillian (the trainers) are full of positive energy, and you get to dance! I have to admit though, sometimes I prefer to skip over the hippie zen parts; but other days, I find it’s probably the most necessary part of the workout.
I have the Ab & Butt Makeover set, and there are 6 different routines (Light & Easy, Cardio Cabaret, Latin Flavor, Hip-Hop, Bollywood, and Go-Go), each of which has a different theme and contains a different ballet portion to help tone and shape body. There are also two bonus workouts in this set. Each workout is between 35 and 45 minutes, and it’s a nice way to shake up your cardio. I typically do these when I need to take my workouts down a notch, but that doesn’t mean I'm not getting a great workout. These easier on your joints workouts are still a great workout, especially if you give it your all. Not to mention, the ballet parts will really get your muscles working. A lot of times I even double up, or I combine a YBB workout with a HIIT, or some extra cardio/strength training, and “10-Minute Booty Blaster” on top of that. “10-Minute Booty Blaster,” is a bonus workout that I use ALL the time for keeping my butt lifted and my legs toned, and it’s one of the best 10-minutes you could add onto any workout.
These ladies have a studio in Los Angeles, but if you can’t make it to their studio, they have a plethora of home workout sets you can purchase. In fact you can purchase them in “The Well,” of this site. They even have workouts for expecting mothers.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Today I found a brilliant new app to help me change up my workouts, and after trying it out I was massively impressed. The Nike Training Club App (NTC) is like having a personal trainer on your smart phone, and it’s FREE.
I started out by browsing the impressive lists of workouts that are organized based on goals—“Get Lean,” “Get Toned,” “Get Strong,” and “Get Focused.” Within those goals, they have beginners, intermediate, and advanced level workouts. Basically, their workouts consis of HIITs and circuit training, and are anywhere from 15-45 minutes. After saving a bunch of different workouts into “My Workouts,” I decided I was going to test this out.
Oh wait, I almost forgot the best part—you can add a playlist to play while you’re working out. So, after I assembled a sizeable playlist, I started out with a 30-minute HIIT-like workout called the “Shakedown,” followed by two 15-minute circuits—one focused on lean legs, and the other on your core.
It was incredible. Each move is between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and like a real life trainer, someone talks to you. The voice is a woman’s voice, and she reminds you of time, posture, and makes encouraging comments. Anytime you don’t know what a particular move is, you can play a short demo that shows you how to do it. And just like the GPS in your car, when she talks, the volume of the music is lowered so you can hear her talk.
When I finished, NTC rewarded me with 10 bonus workouts created by 10 different Olympic athletes. These workouts are no joke—not even the 15-minute ones. They’re the kind of workouts that make me thankful I workout at home and alone, it saves me from pulling the Rachel and Phoebe, if you know what I’m talking about.
I expect I’ll be aching in a most enjoyable way tomorrow :). Go ahead, and give it a shot. Here’s one more thing that gives you NO excuse not to workout, no matter where you are in the world. The only downside of this app I could find thus far, is the fact that you can’t shuffle your playlist—or if you can, I haven’t figured it out.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Despite the fact that I’m always saying how much I hate running, every now and then I get the urge to give my cross-trainers a break and strap on my running shoes. Yesterday I got one of those urges and it hasn’t left.
I was really surprised, actually. Usually when I decide to jump on the treadmill after a VERY long break, over a year in this case, I struggle at first. This time though, it felt like I hadn’t ever stopped running. Not to mention, I felt like a champion—totally empowered. In fact, today, after I warmed up with a 15-minute straight run, I did a half-hour HIIT on the treadmill. It was awesome—thanks to my regular fitness regiment, I’m sure! Yes, I actually enjoyed running.
Staying in shape is so important. It goes beyond wanting to fit into the Roberto Cavalli dress you’ve been lusting after, to really just making the most out of your life and getting to enjoy it—being happy.
You also have to enjoy your workouts, if you want to make the most out of it. Find workouts that kick your ass and give you a sense of self-empowerment. Additionally, fitness is as much mental, as it is physical. Having a healthy mental fitness while you physically train yourself, translates into other areas of your life. How you speak to yourself, matters. Maintain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle, and you’ll find yourself not only taking on challenges without so much as blink, but also constantly finding new ways to challenge yourself.
The point is, get in shape, stay in shape, and be unstoppable. Not to mention, by taking care of your fitness and health, you save yourself avoidable trips to the doctor’s office, and hundreds of dollars on antibiotics and whatnot. If you want to do it all, and have it all, you’re going to have to ;).
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I don’t believe in stressing out for exams, because I think stressing out just makes you do worse—plus, it’s no bueno for your health. And while some people say they work better under pressure, I still think there’s a difference between pressure and excessive stress. So, I’m going to share with you my test day regiment, plus a few things to keep in mind leading up to test day—or any big day really.
On the day of the test
Wake up: first, drink a glass of water. Then get in at least 30 minutes of exercise—it’s good to get your adrenalin and endorphins going. Exercise wakes you up, energizes you, and puts you in a happy mindset.
Eat a healthy breakfast with protein: it’s not fun trying to contain the volume on a grumbling stomach in a silent room; but you don’t want to eat so much that you’re fighting your brain from going into a food coma during your test.
Tune out EVERYONE: It’s really annoying listening to everyone’s stress and feeling their negative vibes creeping in on you. I like to put in my earphones for as long as possible, and play music that’s not going to distract me during the test by getting stuck in my head. Sometimes it helps to find one song that brings you to a perfect level of oomph, and just have it on repeat. That way by the time it’s test time, you’ve heard it so many times that if it does get stuck in your head, it becomes white noise. Of course, this is something I do for myself, and may not work for everyone. So feel free to try it out if you need help finding your own way to get into the proper test taking kick ass zone
*Important note: Get good sleep at least the two nights before your test, if you can’t get good sleep the whole week before. If you feel it absolutely necessary to pull an all nighter, do it the night before, and get good sleep two nights before the test. For example, if your test is on a Saturday, get good sleep Thursday night, and then pull an all nighter Friday night instead of the other way around because you don’t want to crash during your test. Crashing from lack of sleep tends to hit you two days after instead of the very next day, at least in my experience.
Leading up to test day
It’s important to maintain your health and fitness. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day makes all the difference in your energy level, which you’ll need plenty of whether you’re taking a 3-hour test, or a 3 day test (ahem, CA Bar!). Fatty, unclean foods also make you feel sluggish, so make sure you’re nourishing your body with plenty of nutrients.
Also, stay organized. If you’ve got multiple tests you’re preparing for, create a schedule of subjects and practice tests to do, as well as when to squeeze in a workout, meals, and even your shower. Yes, even your shower. It sounds crazy, but organization and time-management is half the battle.
Lastly, stay hydrated—drink lots of water and STAY AWAY from energy drinks. Energy drinks are cans of disgusting poison. I do not condone them.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
When I came home Friday, I found a big box of wine and a bigger box containing my new Balance Ball Chair at the front door. Can you guess which I was more excited about? I opened up the box with my Balance Ball Chair and tackled it like a fun sized IKEA puzzle ;).
This may be the best purchase I’ve made all year. It’s fun, it’s fitness, and I don’t think I’ve ever sat so diligently at a table or desk studying. It’s FANTASTIC. It’s a smart way to keep someone like me in one spot. I just sit there with my laptop open, my books and study materials all laid out, and I sit there bouncing for hours just studying and working...not to mention getting a nice little ab work out.
On top of that, it’s structured in such a way that it is remarkably comfortable, and incredible for your posture. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I’ve been dealing with some shoulder/neck pain. Physical therapy and acupuncture have helped some, but have mostly just shifted or spread out the pain. Some days the pain is so severe my headaches are searing. While it’s only been a couple days since I’ve had the Balance Ball Chair, I’ve had minimal pain and discomfort in my shoulder/neck area, and no headaches. Before the chair, even on my best days, there was still an annoying soreness. However, I intensified my workout this morning, to progressively get back to my normal pace of working out, and I’m happy to report that the sun is starting to go down and I am still pain free. I swear, it’s the magic of this Balance Ball Chair!
I LOOOOOVVVEEEE it. Seriously, it’s a must have. It even comes with a booklet of exercise moves you can do with the chair. If for no other reason, get it for your posture. So many of us spend so many hours sitting because our work requires us to, which is quite hard on our health in various ways—posture, and restraining us to minimal movement. Bottom line, this chair is a great investment for your health.
I ordered mine from www.gaiam.com, but you can also find it on Amazon.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I’ve never had a fear of needles. In fact, when I was a kid I always got really excited going to visit the doctor whenever it was time to get a shot. I also quite enjoy donating blood every chance I get, although, that pleasure is derived solely from the goodwill of donating.
Acupuncture though, has never intrigued me in the least bit, and I was surprised when my doctor recommended it, along with physical therapy, to help me with my neck and shoulder. I think my vivid imagination was not keen on the image of multiple needles sticking out of my body.
So, I went in for my first session this morning, and my body and mind seemed to be in disagreement. While my mind was curiously apathetic, my body was slightly nervous as I lay on my side awaiting each minute prick. Although, I suppose that means subconsciously my mind was more nervous than I realized.
The needle pricks along my neck and shoulder, and even the one at the top of my head were virtuously painless. The electrolytes attached to the needles created a strange sensation, but once the infrared light was shined on my back, I was quite comfy. The warmth of the light and the soothing spa music nearly put me to sleep. I probably would have fallen asleep if the specialist and her assistant didn’t keep coming in to check on me.
After twenty-five minutes of laying there in relative peace, they came in to remove the needles and rub a mixture of Chinese herbs on me. This concoction of herbs is the most sensational thing I’ve ever felt on my body. The aroma of it immediately pierces your nostrils like a blend of Tiger Balm and flowers, and it feels like what I imagine the spring Arctic air feels like—cool, fresh, light, and clean. I was told not to wash it off for a couple hours, but I don’t think I want to wash it off at all.
Alas, the magic Chinese art was an overall delightful experience. I think it would be even more wonderful if it were in more of a spa setting, and less of a doctor’s office setting, but either way it is all the same.
I scheduled a few more appointments to go along with my physical therapy, and I think after I take care of my neck/shoulder area, I may consider exploring the many other benefits that acupuncture has to offer.
If you have any issues with allergies, addiction, injuries, PMS, headaches, asthma, stress ,or weight control, just to name a few, I encourage you to check it out.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Unlike a lot of people I know—especially guys, for some men are from Mars reason—I’m such a morning person. I LOVE mornings. The smell of fresh, clean morning air and a brand new day just makes me happy. Even when I’m so tired, I want to stay in bed all day, once I finally do get up I feel great, peppy even. So, despite the horrible sleep I got last night, I was really excited when it came time to wake up.
My alarm went off at 7:13 (I just like having my alarm at an odd time like that, weird I know), and I got up and got dressed for a beautiful Southern California autumn morning. I walked to my local farmer’s market, which is about a mile and a half away, to meet up with an old friend. I want to say I’ve known her since I was about ten or eleven, when she was my tutor. It’s funny how some of my former teachers have come back into my life and have become great friends. I will never forget people who have been great influences on me, because kids really need that. Having great teachers who inspire in others a love for learning and growing, and to always strive to be the best person they can be, is an incredible blessing. These teachers can be found in the classroom, in an out of school activity, or amongst peers—I was very blessed to find them in more than once place J.
Anyways, we met up to catch up, because it had been such a LONG time since we had talked face to face. Facebook definitely has its perks ;). That’s how we initially reconnected, and eventually I had inspired her to get on the Shakeology train, through all my health and fitness posts. We also, talked about my new program T.A.L.K. (Talking About Love Kindly), which I will be bringing to her seventh and eighth grade classes in a couple weeks. They will be my first audience, and I am so excited, because the program is talk to students about dating abuse and bullying. At that age, they are starting to get into dating, and it’s important to recognize what is and what isn’t a healthy relationship. It’s also important to know how to help a friend out, and to know how to T.A.L.K., whether you or your friend is the victim of abuse. Break the silence to end the violence.
We had such a great time catching up we did four laps around the park, which is almost four miles. And we even stopped in the farmer’s market for some cucumber lemonade, and walk through the hustle bustle of everyone doing their Saturday morning farmer’s market trip.
I think it’s such a beautiful blessing, the way some people come into our lives, and stay, even through an extended physical absence. People like this friend of mine, never truly leave my life, because the value they’ve added to my life always remains. I’m so happy we’ve reconnected, and it’s because of her that I get to put feet to a certain dream, by allowing me to bring T.A.L.K. to her students.
BIG LOVE & BIG HUGS
I don’t know what it is about certain doctor’s appointments, but they sure have a way of making me vulnerable. It turns out I didn’t need someone to dig into my muscles to bring back trauma to me. (See http://www.lovejustine.com/4/post/2012/10/o-me-o-my-you.html).
I went to get a second opinion on my shoulder today, and even though I was reluctant to because Integrated Bodywork just sounded so intriguing to me, I’m really glad I did. So, I’ll have to retract a statement from my previous post regarding my shoulder—x-rays show that my first rib is not out, and I am not going to argue with an x-ray. I still need an MRI, but the doctor prescribed acupuncture and 2-3 times/week of physical therapy. I’d tell you the diagnosis of today’s appointment, but I can’t read his writing haha. Although, both the doctor and the assistant were really impressed with my strength :) I’m actually quite relieved, because at least insurance will cover both of these prescriptions. There’s no way a law student like me could afford the Integrated Bodyworks sessions.
Back to the trauma part though. I was totally fine in the waiting room, I even laughed while filling out the forms. I think I started to get a little emotional when went to go take the x-ray, but it wasn’t until I was brought to the room where the doctor would see me, that I kind of just fell apart. I didn’t start bawling or anything, but as the assistant questioned me I started fighting back tears as I was to tell him that I was formerly in an abusive relationship. Then the doctor came in, and I had a to let a few fall. I just couldn’t hold them back anymore.
I always feel embarrassed when this happens, because it totally catches me off-guard. This never happens to me when I see my girl doctor. It didn’t happen to me when I saw the Integrated Bodyworks specialist, or the iridologist. It doesn’t even happen to me when I talk to my friends, or strangers, IN DETAIL about what happened. I’m really not sure what sets off this kind of emotional reaction, because it’s not like suddenly memories are resurfacing. The memories are there…everyday.
It’s funny though, when I saw the Integrated Bodyworks specialist she said, “we never completely heal.” When she said that to me, I didn’t know if I agreed with her. I felt like I’ve healed quite well and in all the important ways. I still think that, but after today I think I can agree with her statement. And even though she was wrong about my rib, there’s still a benefit to Integrated Bodyworks if you’re interested, and if you truly are the kind of patient who will benefit from it. After all, she has pro-athlete clients, so I’m sure it’s good in a lot of ways.
Lesson of the day: second opinions are always worth it, gives you a better second option or reaffirms your first opinion.
Reminder of the day: I’m not invincible. (…but I’m still fabulous! Ha)
Bonus lesson and reminder of the day: PMS can turn me into a baby. I really think PMS enhanced my emotional reaction. Still, there’s something about particular doctor’s appointments…
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I was looking for some new workouts to mix into my weekly routine that would add more ballet and Pilates to my workouts, when I came across Pop Physique. If you need a serious ass whoopin’, this is for you. Pop Physique is a blend of ballet barre inspired exercises, Pilates, and light weight work that will hand you your ass, but leave you feeling strong, long, and lean, and ready to take on the world.
Pop Physique has five studios in Southern California, and one in West Palm Beach. If you know me though, unless I’m doing Bikram yoga or going for a walk with friends, I prefer to workout at home and on my own. It saves me the time to commute, and it’s a good use of “me” time. So, for $29.95, I bought a set of 3 DVD workouts—Original Butt, Cardio Butt School, and Hardcore (as if they’re not all hardcore). Yes, you work your butt out a lot, but each of these workouts is an incredible total body workout. Your body will shake from the intensity, your muscles will burn, and you will sweat so much you can’t wipe away sweat fast enough. You might even cry a little, or at least want to.
Original Butt, and Hardcore are each an hour, and Cardio Butt School is 40 minutes. I did Original Butt first, and surprisingly, the hour went by pretty fast. And even when you’re holding a position and it feels like you’re standing in a fire and can’t get out fast enough, in the grand scheme of things you know you’re not holding each position for that long, so you just have to breathe and push through.
I’m sore in places I didn’t know I could be sore, but I feel fantastic. I can even feel my posture getting better. I’ve never had such a sense of strength after a workout. I mean, Turbo Fire makes me fee like a badass, and Brazil Butt Lift makes me feel sassy. Pop Physique makes me feel like a completely empowered woman. So put them all together, and you won't want to mess me with.
Basically, if you want flat, rock hard abs, long lean legs, a nice butt, great flexibility, and outstanding posture, go get yourself into one of these classes or buy the at-home workouts. If you workout at home, all you need is a yoga mat, a chair, and some light weights….oh, and probably a towel and LOTS of water.
Happy body, happy minds, happy hearts, and happy souls!
BIG LOVE & HUGS