Tag Archives: Exercise

Exercise and Motivation: Get Back on That Mat!

03 April

I wanted to start a brand new blog site dedicated to excuses I come up every day when is time to exercise. It would be call 365 reasons to not exercise and it would be one per day so you would have an excuse for each day of the year! But I figured why spend all that energy that goes into creating a new site/blog and instead sit and blog about why I choose to be lazy instead when I can actually put that energy into the exercise itself.

One of my biggest problems is that I need motivation and discipline and/or consequences if I don’t exercise. For example, when I was paying for a gym membership I was going at least three days a week and taking the classes offered to get my money’s worth. That motivated me to go and workout because it would be lost money from my bank account making some corporation rich!  

So on the Blue Moon I decided I was going to sign up for a bunch of classes to get me going again. I signed up for a weight lifting class and Anusara yoga class. I was also planning to take Belly Dance classes again, but found that my favorite teacher had moved and was unable to find another class that would fit into my new tight schedule. The weight lifting class was two days a week, yoga was two days a week as well, and that left me with only Friday night free. My weekends are pretty busy as it is with all the socializing I do at the farmer’s markets and raw foodist hang-outs so weekend classes were out of the question.

The first week of classes everything went great. I was feeling great and both classes seem to be working in sync with each other. Almost as if both instructors had called up each other and agreed on what they were going to be teacher me. I was flying and very happy! My yoga practice (after 8 years) was improving and I was getting strong enough to do hand stands. My arms and my breathing in weight lifting improved so much that my coach was very proud that in such a short time he could see great progress.

At the start of the 4th week, I began feeling the pressure. I was getting stressed out by my busy exercise schedule. So I started skipping class and coming up with all sort of new excuses. I debated and concluded I had gotten my money’s worth for both classes and that I needed more time to concentrate in work and my blog. And I quit both classes and stopped exercising completely.

After about a month, my size 4 jeans were not fitting anymore. I knew it was not the food because I was not eating differently. That motivated me to begin exercising again and I signed for iyengar yoga and even began an online 100 pushup challenge.

Once I got back on the horse, or better yet, on the yoga mat again, I felt so much better. Even though I’m not using financial reasons to get me motivated this time around, the size 4 jeans are. I also decided to keep my weights around my very small living room so that while I take breaks from my busy “online life“, I can workout. In fact, Denis and I made a pact, if we want to watch TV (which is one of my worst addictions), then we will workout while we watch TV.

I’m loving it now, but I know eventually (probably once the challange is completed) I will be bored again and will have to find a new way to motivate myself to get back to exercising. But for now I won’t stress about it and keep going.

Photo by cowbite

Schedule me in, please!

29 March

Every month I find myself complaining that I don’t have enough time to take care of myself. Every weekend I make a promise to spend time on me… what that means is: no cleaning, no chores, no Facebook or twitter, no reading… just a little girl time for me.

In a perfect world, I would enjoy to be able to get a massage, manicure, pedicure, wax, etc weekely. However, I cannot only afford it, but also I can’t find the time to drop everything else I do on weekends (or week nights for that matter) to take care of me and do those things.

I watch Oprah shows about women who let themselves go over the years because of children and other things in their lives, and I always wonder how they got there. But I find myself doing things for everyone else, working from home, preparing food for Denis, Facebooking, and doing chores and no time to take care of me.

At the beginning of the year, I had decided to start doing more for me. I took a weight training class, went back to yoga, and started a Full Moon Liquid Fast. Well it didn’t work out. It made me more stressed than relaxed because I had to leave work on time (yes, I’m not those people who “clocks out” at 5pm, I’m a workaholic and so is Denis) and I still didn’t have time to remove my nail polish at the end of the week! How sad is that? So I decided to quit the classes and concentrate in one thing at the time. But I still didn’t know how to manage my home time.

If you think about it, this is how much time we really have:

Work – 8 hours (but if you are me or Denis 9 to 10 hours), sleep 8 hours (if you are lucky!), commute to work 1 to 2 hours round trip (1 hour for me), time getting ready in the morning – 2 hours (1 hour for me,  I’m quick!). If my math is correct, that leaves us with an average of 4 hours every night. That’s not counting making dinner and getting ready for the next day… and forget it if you have kids! I’m single and only have a cat so I’m lucky I get about 2 hours every night after making dinner and other chores… and that’s with a helpful partner!

A few weeks ago, Denis was listening to the WISH Summit and related some of the information to me, because I myself didn’t find time to listen to the talks. He heard from one of the speakers (sorry I can’t give proper credit, we don’t remember the speaker!) that women should schedule time in their routines or busy lives to themselves. That was my aha moment! So immediately I decided to block two hours a week to do my own version of spa time.

So after careful consideration on what day would work out best for me and moved things around, I squeezed myself in for two hours every Thursday night. So Thursday night came and went and I only managed to get 1 hour to myself. So today I was able to get another hour squeezed in. Got my nails done and other things that I don’t need to share here *wink*. But the point is that it was a great effort in my part to get it going.

I hope I can continue to do this every week and will soon become part of my routine and at least get my nails done! But I hope that by sharing this, you can also find a way to schedule yourself in for time for you alone.


Picture by Nick J Webb

Blue Zones: Communities that Live a Longer and Blissful Life

12 January

I love Ted Talks and this video summarizes what I believe we all are capable of doing to live a healthier and joyful life.

I strongly believe that there are several areas in one’s existence to live a happy life, and they all connect and interact with each other. It’s not just about the food and/or exercise. Or if we are wealthy and have no financial worries, we are going to be happier. I think we all fall into a trap of thinking that if we change our eating habits, work out more, and have money all of the sudden our lives are much more contented.

Dan Buettner shows in this video what it’s been proven to work in these “Blue Zones” or communities around the world. A “Blue Zone” is an area where the population lives pass 100 years old. Dan and his team summarize 9 lifestyle tips that these communities practice to live a longer and blissful life.

I hope this video inspires you to find the path to your higher self.


9 Fun Ideas to “Spice Up” your Exercise Routine

10 January


One of the most common New Year resolutions is to exercise more often, sign up for the gym, or loose weight. But after the second week or even a month it is very hard to stay motivated. I can actually write a list of my top 20 excuses to not exercise. However, I know that exercising helps me not only to stay healthy but also be happy. Once I get myself going, I enjoy whatever physical activity I’m doing.

Another reason I tend to loose focus on my exercise routines is that I don’t enjoy doing the same type of exercise over and over. I don’t like to just go to the gym, or be outdoors or just do cardio or take classes. So here are some of types of activities that I do to stay motivated to exercise daily.

Free Activities

Since I moved closer to the beach and the ocean, I’m now able to exercise for free. Here are some of the free alternatives to exercise and keep it interesting.

Walking & Running

I used to run at the gym on a machine. Now, I try walking and running on the sand or by the ocean on the paved road around my house. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation, I just put my shoes and go out for 15 minutes and done! No need get the gym bag, get in the car and drive, check in, etc.

Bicycle & Rollerblading

I’ve been rollerblading since I was six years old. And now that I’m by the beach is very easy to get the rollerblades and head out and exercise. I also was given a bicycle years ago and never used it. Now, I have two bikes and go almost every other day so that I exercise different muscles I don’t get to exercise doing other physical activities.



Being by the ocean helps immensely, specially living in Florida since the temperature of the ocean is almost always warm. But years ago I had a pool in the house I lived, and I used it every day for months until after a year I got bored. When I had a membership at the gym, they had a pool too and was swimming at least two or three times a month so that I wouldn’t get bored just working on machines.


This is new to me. I started hiking in 2008 right before I went to Sedona. I had done some “mild” hiking when I was in high school but nothing like the rocks in Sedona. In Florida is hard since there are no rocks or mountains, but we have trails.

Home activities

Activities like bouncing, watching workout videos, etc help to keep exercising fun. Especially in the winter when one can’t get out and do free outdoor activities. I have Netflix and often will add work out videos, Belly dance, yoga, etc and watch them at home and exercise. But I’m quite shy, so I wait until my hubby is out or sleeping to do it.

Paid Activities

A few years back, the only way I could stay motivated to exercise was knowing that I was paying money and that if I missed a day, that way money lost. So if you are like me (years ago), these are some of the paid activities you can do to keep you motivated and not bored with the same type of activity.

Sign up for a Gym

I had a subscription for many years and I truly enjoyed it until I was not able to afford it anymore. I went three or four times a week and took advantage of everything they provided from the machines to classes, the pool, the trainers, everything. That helped me enjoy exercising.

Take a Class

Whether is a yoga class or a dance class, sometimes if one lacks the discipline to stick with something, it helps to have an instructor that will keep you focused. I strongly recommend belly dance classes for women and yoga for men.

Winter Sports


Not everyone lives in sunny Florida where even in the coldest night we can still go out for a run. So if you live near a mountain or even a hill, paid winter sports such as skiing or snow shoeing is fun and keeps the diversity on physical activities during the winter.

Water Sports

Canoeing & snorkeling are a few that are fun to try at least once in a life time and can get your heart rate going.

So hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading this blog you have new ideas for fun physical activities that you can do to keep yourself motivated in exercising.


Hiking and doing yoga in Mt. Shasta, CA.

Blue Moon – Set Your Intentions

30 December
Cathedral Rock - Sedona, AZ

Cathedral Rock - Sedona, AZ

Last Blue Moon we had, I was in Sedona, AZ on the top of Cathedral Rock at a drum circle I was invited to celebrate the blue moon. Earlier that day I was told that it was a good idea to set your intentions or goals for your life on the night of the blue moon. So I grabbed a writing pad with the hotel stationary and wrote my intentions at the top of Cathedral Rock while the drums played.

I came home and put the list in my night stand drawer. Months later I looked at my list and found I had accomplished many items from it. A year later I found the list while I was cleaning my drawer and read it again this time crossing every item I had accomplished. When I was done, all of the items had been crossed. So without pressuring myself or recalling the list everyday, I was able to accomplish all the things I had set that night at the drumming circle on the Blue Moon.

This year, the Blue Moon falls New Years Eve and therefore making it more interesting as many people use this time to set their intensions, goals, or resolutions for the New Year.

I invite you to take this opportunity to sit down and write a list of the things you want to accomplish in your life. I’ve created a template here to help you putting down your thoughts.

I would also recommend being honest with yourself as you set your intentions on the Blue Moon. I know I can be honest with others but lie to myself when it comes to knowing my limitations. For example, deadlines; I can tell someone if I can complete a task in certain time, but I lie when I tell myself “Oh! I can write this blog in 20 minutes!” when I know it really takes me 2 hours or more. So, know your limitations and don’t stress about what your goals are. When I wrote my first list, one of the items was to clean my garage and un-clutter my entire house. I started with one closet at a time, one box in the garage, a couple of drawers here and there, and three months later I had completed that item.

Have a Happy Blue Moon, the next one is 2012!

Download Template

Download Template

The City of Smokers and the Best Food Ever!

07 September

My best friend lives in Washington DC, the city of smokers. Well, at least in my opinion DC is the city of smokers. Every where we went, there were people smoking outside! Anyways, it took 5 years, the Russian Embassy, and the Raw Spirit Fest for me to finally go visit her in DC.

The White House Organic Garden

The White House Organic Garden

We were excited and looking forward to the festival and visiting all the historical places in DC. We first went to the Russian Embassy, which was the main purpose of the trip, to run some errands there. After a few hours there, we went to the White House of course and took pictures like every other tourist there. I even got a picture of the organic garden! We then went to the Sewall-Belmont House and the Library of Congress. We had a lot of fun at both places. We stopped at Java Green for lunch and had some raw goodies! The raw shakes were unbelievably delicious!

The next day we headed to the Raw Spirit Fest for two days and started the morning with Kirtan by Kamaniya & Keshavacharya Das. We then saw many speakers including Dr. Brian Clement, Philip McCluskey, Viktoras Kulvinskas as well as many food demos including Lynda Carter, Rawdawg Rory, Raw Spirit Divas Christina and Kashi, and my favorite Khepra Anu of Senbeb Café in D.C. Music included Here II Here, Singing Bear, Raw Spirit RawK Stars, Brother Northstar and more.



We were glad this year they had green smoothies, salads, and less free chocolate. Last year in Sedona we overdose in all the free samples of chocolate! The vendors had great prices and a wide variety of products. As far as the food at the event, my favorite, and probably the best raw food I’ve had so far, was by Khepra Anu of Senbeb Café. For $12 we got a big plate of kale salad, a sandwich, and a seaweed side dish. Khepra made a spicy sauce for the sandwich that was to die for! I would move to DC just to eat at his café everyday! The food was so good I didn’t even take a picture because by the time I realized, we had inhaled every crumb in the plate! The next day after the festival we went to his café to get some more food and this time we had his lasagna with two salad dishes and it was heaven!

The last day in DC we pretty much avoided the smokers in every building and headed to Capitol Hill for a tour of the Senate and House chambers. We also visited Union Station and did a little shopping there.

Overall we enjoyed DC, the Festival, and visiting my friend. It was a nice busy quick trip. We were able to exercise, learn history, and eat healthy food all in the city of smokers.

At the White House

At the White House

10 Tips to Begin Transitioning to a Healthier Lifestyle

16 August


I believe health has many meanings and we all have a different definition of what being healthy is. At every stage of my journey I felt I was healthier than before. I believe that being healthy is a cycle of different parts of one’s lifestyle. I believe it’s not just about food and exercise, but also about state of mind and the environment we live in. However, food and exercise have a huge impact on the other elements of one’s lifestyle.

Therefore, I will start with answering one of the most common questions I get asked, what are some of the things a person can begin to do to change their lifestyle to a healthier one? I’ve summarized what I believe are the top 10 first steps to start transitioning.


I read and did tons of research when I started my journey. I began by eliminating the following from my diet and lifestyle.

High Fructose corn Syrup

It’s almost in everything! Reading labels is very important and you will find that high fructose corn syrup is in everything you are used to eating and drinking. Why is it bad for you? Well I will need almost another page to write about that, but instead, I would suggest to read Dr. Andrew Weil’s explanation

Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oils

Once again, reading labels is very important. Even though some packaged foods may say “No Trans Fats,” they may have hydrogenated oils. They are not the same, and I will let Dr. Weil explain that in his article.


I loved coffee! It took me two weeks to quit. I replaced it with black tea, green tea, and white tea. These teas have caffeine but lack the toxins that coffee has and will help you begin the transition from coffee. How is that something so tasty can be bad for you? Well the studies conducted recently contradict each other leaving us with only the side effects to judge. Side effects according to Dr. Weil may include “anxiety, insomnia, tremor, irregular heartbeat, irritate the digestive system, bladder and prostate.”

Junk and Fast Food

Have you ever wondered why fast food is so inexpensive? Why junk food is so addicting? Well if you read the labels you can see the answers to those questions. Most contain trans fats, hydrogenated oil, and high fructose corn syrup. If you eat it everyday, start small by cutting any fast and junk food two days a week the first week, three days the next week and so forth.


Why is TV bad for you? Well not all shows are bad, but the more time we spend on the couch watching TV, the more time we loose on other activities that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. I would suggest cutting down the amount of time spent on the couch watching TV and playing games to 30 to 45 minutes a day and begin replacing that with other activities. This is one addiction I’m still battling.

Add to your Lifestyle

So we remove bad things and replace them with good things. Here is a list of things one can begin to add to help the transition.

Whole Grains and Foods

Replace white rice, white bread, white pasta, with whole grains and foods such as brown rice, whole wheat breads and pasta. I developed a love for Soba noodles, rice noodles and past as well as long brown rice and whole grains.  Most grocery stores carry these nowadays and have reasonable prices.

Vegetables and Fruits

Organic Vegetables

Organic Vegetables

Probably one of the most important things to add to one’s new healthier lifestyle. At the beginning I would recommend to start with frozen vegetables that way you can experiment and find what you like and then replace them with fresh vegetables. Many times, if one is not used to eating certain veggies, buying fresh and not using them in time can be discouraging. Replace the afternoon snack-machine-candy-bar for a fruit or the morning on-the-go frozen-breakfast for a fresh fruit smoothie. You will be adding tons of vitamins to your diet without having to spend money on additional vitamins.


Drinking Delicious Ionized Water from Reusable Bottle

Drinking Delicious Ionized Water from Reusable Bottle

Drinking water is very important to help the body eliminate toxins. Start small if you are not used to drinking water. Replace two of your preferred drinks with a bottle of water everyday until you are able to drink water without thinking. I prefer Essentia water because it has the highest pH available in bottled water, but I also rather carry my reusable bottle and fill it up with water from my own filtered kitchen sink. I later bought a water Ionizer which I prefer.

Spending Time with Nature and Doing Outdoor Activities

So even though I’m a TV addict and can spend up to 6 hours straight in front of the TV without even blinking, I feel much better when I go outside and spend time with nature. I don’t pay for being outdoors; I find activities or recreational sites that are free. For example, going to the beach, taking a walk in a park, hiking in local parks, going for a car ride, riding a bicycle around the block, or simply sitting in my backyard reading. Even if you live in a city, there are parks and sites. If not, use your balcony or roof to spend time outside your living area away from the TV.

Exercise for 30 minutes three times a week

I know… I know… this is the hardest thing to do! I love and hate exercise. I love it when I’m doing it, and I hate it before I begin. I can come up with all sorts of excuses to getting out of exercising. So I’ve decided now that as creative as I get with the excuses, I can be creative on how I get my 30 minutes of exercise a week. I recently started going to the beach and swimming in the ocean three times a week after work and swimming for 30 to 45 minutes a day. I also have a rebounder that I moved near my computer and started to jump for 15 minutes before I begin to check my email or go on Facebook, etc. While Denis works on the computer I may do some yoga poses while I wait for the computer or lift some weights. I belonged to a gym and loved it, but we had to cut out our budget for the gym to save money. Now, I look for ways to exercise for free.

Walk on the Beach

Walk on the Beach

Every person is different and I suggest beginning very small. Pick one thing from each list to begin with and see how it works for you. It also helps to have the support of others or people who can do it with you. I’ve read many books and done research before I started. I also do a general check up every year and get my blood work done too.

It’s important to have the help of a doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.

Here are some of the books I would recommend reading before getting started:

8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body’s Natural Healing Power by Dr. Andrew Weil

Eating Well For Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating By Dr. Andrew Weil

The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Robert O. Young
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman

For more books on health, food, and exercise, visit the Books Tab.