OPPORTUNITY LOOKS A LOT LIKE HARD WORK

I didn’t coin this saying. And even though Ashton “Chris” Kutcher moved millions, including myself with these words, it was actually Thomas Edison. One of my favorite things about exercise is the way it tests you. How badass are you? Can you overcome obstacles? When things get hard, do you take of the resistance, do you wuss out or do you add more?

There is always a point in an intense workout where you feel like you’re completely gassed. And you think to yourself, there is no freaking way I can keep going. You see your mind quits on you before your body does. Your mind puts limits on what you can accomplish and it’s in these moments were you find out how badass you really are. Exercise pulls greatness out of you if you let it and so opportunity looks a lot like work.

I’m an endorphin junkie and one of my favorite ways to get my fix is spinning. I started cycling this past May at Shift and I was instantly hooked. I love spinning because it makes me feel badass, but more importantly because it helps overcome obstacles outside of the studio. Every single day you show up and climb into the saddle, challenges you, inspires you and pushes you to be MORE. Challenges are opportunities to grow. If you don’t test your limits, nothing changes. 

And so when I feel like I’ve reached a hill I can’t climb, I remind myself of all the hills behind me and I make that hill, for lack of better words, my b*tch. And so opportunity looks a lot like hard work.

   

BUFFALO CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE

  
Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash ( or 2 Small )
  • Franks Hot Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 2 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Organic American Cheese Slices (I used Trader Joe’s brand) Or Mozzarella
  • 1 Large and 1 Small Bowl
  • Baking Dish
  • Aluminum Foil (Optional)
  • Nonstick Coconut Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and stab to allow air to vent. I cook my spaghetti squash in the microwave because it cuts the cooking time in half! Typically 5 minutes of each side does the trick.
  2. Carefully remove squash with an oven mitt and let sit to cool (it will be hot!!).
  3. Marinate chicken in hot sauce and grill until desired. Do not over cook chicken because it will be going in the oven later!   
  4. Once squash is cool enough, cut in half and scoop seeds.
  5. Rake squash with a fork in a large bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and garlic powder.   
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking dish with aluminum foil and/or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Dice chicken breasts and toss with hot sauce in small bowl (hot sauce amount as desired).
  8. Add chicken to the large bowl of spaghetti squash and drizzle with hot sauce.
  9. Pour into baking dish and bake on 350 for 15 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove dish from oven and top with 1 slice of sliced cheese.
  11.  Broil until cheese melts and bubbles. 
  12. Remove from oven. Let sit to cool and serve!     

 

Serving 2-3

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO START DOING-TODAY

5 Things You Need To Start Doing—Today

• Consume complex carbohydrates throughout the day. Our bodies are extremely efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates for energy. Thus, it makes sense to consume complex carbohydrates (fiber and starches) throughout the day so that we have the energy we need to perform optimally as opposed to at night when we are most sedentary.

• Plan, plan, plan. Whether it’s planning and preparing meals ahead of time or planning workouts, planning is KEY to achieving our health goals. When we don’t plan, we set ourselves up to fail. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School and author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently emphasizes focusing on what you will do rather than what you will not. Rather than focusing on what behavior needs to change, create a plan to replace that behavior.

• Choose whole foods. Avoid consuming processed foods whenever possible. Processed foods are packed with manmade chemicals and preservatives that are not natural to our body’s digestive and metabolic systems. Many digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowl Syndromes, can be treated simply by consuming a whole foods diet.

• Avoid labeling foods as good or bad. Are you really going to never eat a slice of pizza again or be the person who refuses to eat their own birthday cake? Rather than putting foods off limit, consider what they do for your body. If they don’t do much aside from pleasuring the taste buds, limit them. Moderation is key. In fact, restrictive dieters are more at risk to develop binging habits.

• Reward yourself (but not with food, you aren’t a dog). Rewarding yourself for your accomplishments, big or small, helps to reinforce positive behavior. However, those rewards should not involve food which can counteract hard work. Treat yourself to a new workout shirt, a pair of dope kicks, a magazine subscription, etc. 

 

AM I ENOUGH?

What would you say if I asked you to name one thing you do better than anyone else? This was a question a friend asked me a few weeks ago and it left me rather stumped. I could easily compile a long list of things that I excel at, but “better than anyone else?”

Crickets.

At 24, I am beginning to enter the “quarter life crisis” that plagues my generation. Am I working for the right company? Am I making enough money? Have I traveled enough? Have I lived enough? Do I have enough friends? Do I have the right friends? Do I live in the right city? Is my youth running out? Am I enough?

I am constantly working to deepen my self-awareness. Thus, for the last few weeks I have begun studying myself in various situations. It is so important to get to know yourself. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that my life is only just beginning. And yet, like the rest of my generation, I am suffocated by the notion that I must have it all figured out. Right now. Today.

The truth is that while I still cannot tell you what I do better than anyone else, I am getting there. I am very much lost in the right direction. I know what exhilarates me. I know who and what is toxic to my life and have begun making adjustments accordingly. Do not be afraid to ask yourself what you want and use tunnel vision to get there.

“The more you let go, the higher you rise.” -Yasmin Mogahed  

THE SKINNY ON SUSHI

Decided to broaden my sushi horizons and I am absolutely obsessed. 

 Post 3 Eel and Avocado Rolls (aka 1,000 calories, 50g Fat, 60g Protein, & 93g of Carbs) Luckily I am an athlete! 
Here is the skinny:

Sushi can be a very healthy balanced meal rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein . However, what you order and how much determine whether you consume a 300 calorie or 1000 calorie meal. Three rules: 1. Use sauces sparingly. They pack on extra calories, sodium, and fat. 2. The words spicy, crispy, and tempura are not a friend to your waistline. Spicy usually means chili sauce and mayo, crispy and tempura indicate frying in fattening oils.  3. Limit yourself to 2-4 rolls.

1. Cucumber Roll: 135 calories F0 P6 C30

2. California Roll: 225 calories F7 P9 C38  (ehhhhh)

3. Avocado Roll: 140 calories F8 P2 C28 (low calorie/healthy fat)

4. Eel and Avocado Roll: 372 calories F17 P C31 P20 (Of course this is my favorite roll! Trim the fat and up the nutrients by opting for brown rice and no sugary sauce)

5. Spicy Tuna Roll: 290 calories F11 P24 C27 (again ask for no sauce)

6. Shrimp Tempura Roll : 508 calories F21 P20 C64 (Tempura= deep fried)

7. Sashimi Roll: 35 calories F1.5 P6 C0

Life is short. If you love the Shrimp Tempura Roll, order 1 and then pick 2-3 healthier options. OR order 2 and work them off. Practice balance every single day!

HOW WELL DO YOU DO YOU? 

We are told over and over gain how important it is to become a person comfortable in our own skin. The reality is however, that we live in a society that makes this extremely difficult. Social media facilitates feelings of inadequacy and lowered self-esteem.  i.e. If Tom can afford to take his family to an all inclusive in the Caribbean, then I am not making enough. I’m not a good husband. I’m failing as a Dad. I’m not enough. These are real thoughts that cross our minds as we click through our friends most recent posts. But what if Tom and his wife sleep in separate rooms and barely speak? What if Tom is away on business more than he is home? In that case, are their children really happier?

Similarly, clients are constantly telling me they want to lose weight but when I ask them why-superficial reasons aside- they can’t always tell me. They’re going to a high school reunion or a wedding and so and so will be there. Who says there is something wrong with the way we look now? Side note: Americans are sick, and they are often sick because they are overweight. I wouldn’t be in the career I was if this was not the case. However, most of our concerns have very little to do with health until our health is compromised. We are consumed by this need to be enough. We constantly compare ourselves to others and guess what, people who appear to “have it all” usually do not.

Instead of focusing on looking like someone else, working a job you hate, or staying in a toxic relationship, get to know your body (what nourishes it, what doesn’t), take a painting class (if you like to paint), and if someone isn’t a contemporary mirror of yourself, let them go.

How well do you know YOU? Even more importantly, how well do you DO you? I work at this every single day. My career is not typical, neither are my priorities. This means that my life is going to look A LOT different from most of my generation’s. I have to constantly remind myself of this. However…over the last few years, I have gotten to know myself enough to know what my ambitions are and that if I am not pursuing them, I’m not truly happy. Stop looking to other people to make you feel whole and look within.

LUNCHBOX WORKSHOPS

Hosted my first lunchbox workshop tonight with the help of a fellow health enthusiast who has two of her own munchkins that she aims to constantly nourish. More recently I have begun combining my two biggest passions-children and holistic health! I could not be more excited to share the projects I am working on as I strive to create my brand, Lean Life Inspire. 

Parents and caregivers are invited to come assemble balanced, wholesome and creative lunches once a month at Holisitcally Well in Guilford, CT. Packing healthful foods for fussy eaters is not an easy task. We offer tips and tricks to energize your child(ren) through their summer activities and conintue building healthy habits!

Register for the next workshop by emailing info@leanlifeinspire.com!