Healthy Sides Coming Right Up

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I am not a "low carb" - "no carb" kind of girl. However, I am always looking for quick and easy ways to get a few veggies into my meal. I also happen to have a serious obsession with cook books. The books are so pretty (HELLO marketing!) and I just want everything in them to appear at night on my dinner table. Preferably without the mess of dishes that comes with cooking. I feel so accomplished after cooking a great healthy meal for my daughter. Then I see the counter tops and wish I had Door Dashed my most recent craving, setting aside any judgement on all the extra fat, sugar, etc. that come in restaurant cooked meals. That's a story for another day.

Recently I purchased a book at the end of The Whole Foods checkout called Keto Slow Cooker & One Pot Meals. (Another great marketing tactic!) Inside there were three different recipes for cauliflower rice. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off in the 15 prep time they gave or if I could actually get my 16 year old food processor to work.  Both were a success!

Now I am obsessed. You can make extra servings and use the next couple days. The flavors (Masala, Lemon & Herb, Spanish) go with an array of meals. It takes just a few moments to chop in the processor and cook on low heat for 5-7 min.  I can use it as a side, or mix in my protein and other vegetables and make a bowl (tomatoes, beans, edamame, cucumber etc.). You can buy the book or go online and find plenty of cauliflower rice recipes.

Bottom line: Don't look at cauliflower rice as a carb replacement, but an excellent way of adding more real / less processed food into your meal. Go on, give it a shot!

Moderation in Moderation

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One of my favorite podcasts is Oprah's "SuperSoul Conversations".  In a recent episode Oprah takes us back to a conversation with the late Dr. Maya Angelou.  I was laughing so hard as Dr. Angelou answers Oprah when she asks her what she thinks of the age 85. "Oh my goodness, do it if you can... if you have the choice choose the 80's."  I just loved it! She explains that if you are lucky enough and choose everything in moderation, actually moderation in moderation, choose the 80's. "Don't get to much moderation," Dr. Angelou says. I am a huge believer in moderation. Hence the above impromptu donut purchase for dessert at Blue Star in Manhattan Beach. Oh, and let's not forget Valentine's Day?! Chocolate anyone? Moderation in moderation is the way to go. 

Official 1st Assignment

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Balancing entrepreneurship with motherhood is always tricky. Above was my first assignment for Teagen's preschool. They wanted a poster of her milestones (there are so many at 3 years old!) for her birthday celebration. They also needed 26 muffins and a wrapped book for T to present during the festifities. Needless to say,  I crushed it. 

It's Spring Already?

Listen. Here's the thing. There is no other time during the year when you lose an hour. So if you are happy the sky is nice and bright at 6p and your rolling around summer vacation possibilities but you still can't shake the feeling something isn't right your NOT alone. 

There is all kinds of research that says the time change is archaic. I don't need the research. I can feel it. But for now there isn't a whole lot I can do about it. Here are the things I choose to focus on.

1.) Meet ups. Spring is full of growth and it can leave you feeling like you need a change. Maybe a new hobby. Maybe a new job. Either way meeting up with colleagues and friends that are in similar areas of life (for me that would be in a relationship starting a family) and just throwing around your thoughts can lead to some great take aways. Relaying thoughts with those who understand you can lead to new questions or solid answers. It helps me choose a direction for my path. An idea or thought that I can follow, focus on, and develop. I can set intentions and see where it leads me.

2.) My garden. You might have a green thumb or like me you might kill almost everything in sight. I still choose to clean up the yard and plant something new. I add a few succulentsin the living room and a little pot with my favorite herb (basil!) in the kitchen. Growth feels good.

3.) Sleep. I know some of you can't nap. Sometimes you can't even fall asleep early even if you are incredibly tired. But TRY. Even if it is just getting in bed 30 minutes early, do it. Let you brain unwind. Put the phone away and really allow your body and mind settle in for the evening. If you can nap or go to bed early then make it happen. This is a time where the loss of an hour can really drain you and allowing your body to catch up is incredibly beneficial.  

When all is said and done spring is truly a beautiful time. Create space to enjoy it!

Pilates Is For Life, Not Just January.

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How are those resolutions going? As a mom, wife, and business owner I haven't accomplished even the smallest of resolutions in over a decade. I try. Boy do I try. However, at the end of the day all of my "wants" fall to the wayside and I am happy if I can get dinner ready in time for my two year old, keep food in the fridge, insulin in my dog etc.  I know everyone out there must feel the same way even if your life doesn't have the same layout as mine. 

Realizing that if I don't create a pattern or some how make it part of my routine any new resolution isn't going to happen. Sure, I might get to the gym once a month but why not just grab ice-cream at that point. Am I right? So this year if you start to feel like the resolution list is weighing you down just pick one item from the list and put it into your routine. Make a path for it. Then stick to it. In a few months (or more likely next year) choose another item and make room.  This way you don't continue to feel defeated by a simple mental list you created before toasting the night away with champagne. You can feel accomplished.

Family Reunion in Pine Mountain, GA

I think as we get older we are drawn back to our family. Living in Los Angeles the last 17 years I haven't always felt this way. Sometimes life was busy and time flew buy and there wasn't a need to book a flight home to see family. Of course, and as most people will tell you, once you lose a family member or have kids of your own, there is a pull from deep within to spend time with loved ones. This month we spent time with my husbands side of the family in a few cabins in Pine Mountain, GA. His family (5 sisters and mother) tend to spend most of the time around the kitchen cooking, eating, drinking and telling stories. However, with many of us now having little ones we made a few plans to day trip to the local safari and Butterfly Day Center at Callaway Gardens.  This time we shared and the memories made is just what the heart wanted.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

I thank my lucky stars for this place. My husband and I finally got away for the first time since T was born - a year and a half ago! Cabo is such an easy direct flight with only an hour difference once you have landed. I missed her but made every second count. As you know I LOVE travel and many of my favorite memories are out and about while traveling the world. From Hilton Head Island, GA (my fav in the US) to Seminyak, Bali (my international fav) I absolutely cannot get enough travel in each year. Now with baby the time set aside for traveling has become even less. However, the sparks flew as I landed in Cabo thinking this should be my next planned retreat.  When your there you must try:

- The Sand Bar - 1 hour massage for $30

- Attitude Restaurant Bar - Drinks on Swings

- Edith's Restaurant - Wonderful ambiance and amazing desserts

 - El Farallon - The Resort at Pedgral (Restaurant built in the rocks!!)

- Water Taxi through the Marina Cabo San Lucas at sunset

Summer of Mom

This summer has been all about balance. The season gives off a feeling of "school's out" and "time off" even though I am still working my same hours. Usually the fitness industry slows during summer because of travel and vacations. However, this year we have been busier than ever.  Still, the feeling of things slowing and the heat taking a hold of my body left me wanting to spend time away from work with my little one. Even though we both didn't have the summer off it was all about scheduling the little things. Here were my fav's so far:

Water Play in the Metlox Center, Manhattan Beach

Summer Concerts at Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach

Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach

Sidewalk Chalk

Homemade Ice cream & Popsicles 

Tis' the Season for Gifts

As usual the holidays are flying by! Before you know it the old trees will be out on the sidewalk, lights will be coming down, and you will be looking at your resolution list realizing you have the same three things listed from last year. The hardest part is remembering shipping times, delivery delays, and gift ideas to get your list completed on time.  Here are my top 3 go to gifts:

1.) Tickets to a play or performance: Last year we took my mother-in-law to see The Nutcracker (pictured above) at The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. I love this gift for two reasons. One, I always by a ticket to go with ;-) and two.. this makes for a great night of memories. Check your local cities for Performing Arts Centers or small Playhouses. Usually tickets are much less than a larger show but the talent is just as good.

2.) T-shirts: There are a few shops online that offer awesome gift t-shirts.  This gift is great for my staff at the Pilates studio, my sister, or brothers girlfriends. Check out Sweet Ts Design Shoppe, Super Love Tees, or Splendid (for plain t's).

3.) Grocery gift cards:  Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, or Bristol Farms attached to that stores re-usable shopping bag. See last years little package for Trader Joe's below.

2015 PMA Conference

PMA Conference

3 things I would like to share from the 2015 Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) conference in Denver:

1.) Pilates is true "movement therapy".  We need to remember and embody this when teaching our clientele. We often get caught up in the standard exercise and don't take a step back and look at the total body in front of us. There is not an exact point of interest when teaching a client to perform a Pilates exercise but a pathology that leads us to everything we need to know when advancing a client.

2.)  The more you know, the less you know. Keep researching and never stop learning. It is imperative that we continue to grow as a community and stay on the cutting edge of research and science. The PMA supports ongoing research and you can find a great list of PMA Pilates references here!

3.) Pilates is still growing as an industry even though it's been mistakenly reported to be loosing momentum with the main stream population. The PMA is continuing its own studies to give realistic statistics on the presence and growth of the Pilates industry. If you own a Pilates studio or are just a very passionate teacher this study will help you understand the dynamic of this amazing industry. Stay tuned for reports of findings.

To get involved or become a PMA member or take the certification test go to the PMA website!

Cabbage Fried Rice

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As the weather starts to get cooler I am loving this recipe! 

1 Large onion

3 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

5 Tbs Tamari Soy Sauce

First sauté onion (diced) in olive oil. Then add two packages of cole slaw (pre-packages cut cabbage mix works great). Add soy sauce after 2-3 min.  Continue to cook in pan until cabbage is soft. Then push to side of pan to make room for eggs. Cook 4 eggs into side of pan then fold over into the cabbage.

Cauliflower Pizza Night

It's Friday! What healthy yet satisfying meal can you make??

Pizza Crust:

1 Head Cauliflower

1⁄2 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese


2 Tb brown rice flour (you can substitute almond flour)

1 egg

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Dried onion to taste

Sauce:

Rao’s tomato sauce

Toppings of your choice:

Onions, peppers, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella etc.

Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the cauliflower florets until you remove big pieces in a food processor.

Place the processed cauliflower

in the middle of a clean dishtowel or linen napkin. Wrap it up and squeeze as much moisture out of it as possible. Then, open the towel and place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl with Parmesan, brown rice flour, egg, spices and mix together. Make a huge ball. With your hands, flatten into an even crust on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 min (depending on your oven), until it starts to brown.

Remove from heat, add your sauce and toppings (pre-cooked), and place back in the oven until done (approximately 7 minutes).

My favorite healthy sites

I have been asked so many times about what places I visit online to find great healthy idea's for meals and snacks.  I'll be honest… I am a total sucker for great "pictures" of food so I am drawn to Instagram as well as blogs and other websites. Check out these below and follow their counter parts on Instagram. Yum!

Slime Pudding

Okay, so the name doesn't do it justice. However, there is a good reason this was the nickname we came up with after the first round of the "morning breakfast cereal" was created! The chia seeds created the "slime" that both my husband and I hadn't yet experienced. This was the best creation this year for a morning meal. It tastes like a mix between cereal and oatmeal packed with more protein and nutrients than both of those put together!

1 cup of milk (almond or soy)

1 teaspoon chia seeds

5 teaspoons of hemp seeds

1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon of flax seeds

1 teaspoon of sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

dash of ground cinnamon 

Add raisins or sweetener (agave, stevia etc.)  if you would like.

Let sit in the fridge 5-6 hours, best if left over night!

Book Store Hop!

Enjoy books? Love to Read? Love to Browse?

My hubby thought this was a great plan for someone like me! He surprised me with a book store hop (rather than a bar hop) this past weekend. I allowed myself one book purchase per store. Those of you that know me understand this was quite a difficult task!

May I suggest:

Start with "Dave's Olde Book Shop" in Redondo Beach.  Search for some great "oldies" but "newbies" to add to your collection :-)

Then head over to "Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore" and search the best sellers that just hit the stands! When cafe is open grab a coffee or glass of wine while enjoying this stop on your hop.

Last, check out "Pages: A Book Store" in Manhattan Beach.  Pick a good night from their calendar.  You can find amazing authors, writers, book clubs at their store almost every night of the week!