Summer Manifesto

So happy June is finally here.  Such a great feeling of possibility and sunny days ahead.  I decided to follow on Ali's wonderful post about creating a Summer Manifesto.  What a great idea!  I already have a 2012 Manifesto that I love dearly, but making one for Summer only, allows me to focus on small details and things I'd like to accomplish during my favorite season of the year.
Little House on the Suburbs also had a post on how to live seasonally in June and it definitely fired up my inspiration as well.

I didn't spend much time in the design, just wanted to get it out into the universe.  So go on, write it on a napkin, send yourself an email or write it on a post-it and stick it on your computer screen.  It'll be a reminder to live with intention this summer!

What are you looking forward to this summer? Please share!

Still here

I've been MIA from this space for a while now but I'm still here, I'm still actively trying to craft, to cook and move around and keep healthy.  I still have some Body By Design posts I have yet to publish (they will come) but I  thought I could give you a report of my experience:

The program consisted of three phases, the last one going on for three weeks.  We didn't finish the last phase but completed phases I & II.  I lost 10 lbs total and I also won the Biggest Looser competition at work!

I could focus on why we didn't complete the program or what made us ultimately stop but I will focus on the positive aspects of the experiment.  I believe if I do this, it'll be easier to build on those skills and habits we formed during those 9 weeks and  keep implementing them into our daily lives. 

#1  We shared something healthy and different  as a couple and made exercise a priority:   The fact that we were doing this together, made it more doable.  We had a commitment with each other and when the time to hit the gym came, (sometimes 9:30-9:45 pm...) we just went even if we were tired.  

#2 We started drinking a supplementary drink for workouts:  The program really emphasized the need to give our bodies enough fuel before and after our intense workouts. I wanted to find a protein shake which didn't contain any milk (trying to limit my milk intake to only cheese) and no sugar or anything artificial.  I was so happy to find VEGA products and decided to try their Whole Food Optimizer, which they recently replaced with VEGA ONE.  I must confess, it takes some time getting used to it, but just knowing that your body is getting all those benefits, (chlorella, spirulina, minerals, vitamins and only stevia as sweetener) made it easier to drink and ultimately we just loved how we felt more energy and stamina. 

#3 We started eating more frequently:  The program is designed to keep your metabolism active all day by eating small meals every 3 hrs.  This was hard at first because I had to plan and take all those meals to work.  But we did it!

#4 We ate homemade meals 100% of the time:  I had to include cooking into my daily routine.  No matter how much I wanted to just watch "24" all night or do anything else, I had to allocate the time to cook fresh meals everyday.

#5 We felt proud:  Everyone knew we were doing this and we felt SO PROUD about it.  People would say "wow I could never o that!" or, "that's so committed!"  and we just smiled and eventhough we weren't sure how we were making it happen, it was happening!

So that's my report on Body By Design.It felt good to write this down because as I mentioned, it would be more natural for me to focus on how I "only" lost 10 lbs or how we didn't finish the program or how on earth I would be able to do it again.  By writing the positive, I can see how those 5 points are so doable even if I'm not in the program.  I will follow through on my decision to take care of my health and be more active and those 5 points are 5 lessons that I am sure work, and make me feel good.

Thank you for accompanying me in this journey and I will keep you posted.  Keep looking uner the "Health and Wellbeing" category for upcoming posts on health.

Now back to regular programming....


Body By Design Day #62

On Saturday we did our last workout of Phase II.  Very tough as always and we were very tired afterwards.  Did some grocery shopping to get ready for the week and succeeded to buy all the ingredients for my first weekly menu ever! Whoo hoo!  I decided to follow a weekly menu to use the food we have more efficiently, plan ahead and therefore, eat better and more varied meals!

This week's menu included:
  • Cauliflower Soup
  • Carrot Cake
  • Quinoa & Black Beans
  • Stuffed Cabbage (trying to eat more cabagge.  I love it but don't know how to cook it!)
  • Minced broccoli, carrot & kidney bean salad (from Stephanie @ The New Healthy)
  • Cabbage, potato and Tempeh hash (looking forward to this one! yum!)
  • Chili Bean Burgers 
Very excited about the menu and eating the same things but in different ways.  We'll see how it goes!

We had dinner at Villa Antonio, an italian restaurant.  Our friend Kelly gave us a voucher for $50 and we had the most delicious dinner.  Don't even want to think about the calories...yikes! But the service was amazing and they had live music and the piano player played "How sweet it is" which is our wedding song :-)

Excellent food, ambiance and service!

We only ate half...I promise!

Body By Design Day #61

I was really good on Friday and went for a walk @ lunchtime and then to the gym after work!  Very proud.  Tired, but proud and ready for the weekend!!!

Lunchtime walk findings

Hello gym...again...


Body By Design Day #60

Thursday is Day #60 but to celebrate, I watched like 4 episodes of "24"....Arrrghghghg I have to go to the gym straight from work or else I just won't make it.  When I get home, my favorite spot in the house just looks so comfy all bathed in natural light and warmth, it's so hard to resist sitting there to read or watch something good.  Friday will be cardio day and I'll go for a walk at lunchtime!

Celebrating Simplicity

Saw this video today and totally inspired me.  Beauty, simplicity, balance...  Those are my wishes to you today.  Enjoy and Happy Friday!

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.


Body By Design Day #59

On Wednesday I did not cook anything to have for lunch so I went out and got some tofu and vegetables at the Asian Market.

It wasn't good.  At all. It felt so greasy and just not fresh.  I've noticed that since I'm eating home cooked meals 95% of the time, whenever I eat out, if it's not at least fresh, my stomach will reject it.  It was so bad that I couldn't have dinner and just had my VEGA shake before we went to the gym.

The asian market is really cool because they have fresh fish and all the Asian products I love but I'm not eating there again!

I went home and make a chickpeas and vegetable stew. There is such power in cooking your own meals.  You know exactly what's in it, you can customize it according to whatever you feel like eating and most of all, it will be fresh and it won't be overcooked when overcooking will decrease the amount of nutrients that will end up in your body.  Also, as I said in my manifesto at the beginning of the year: