April 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

Left: today Right: a year ago. The right was when I was at my healthiest. The left, while I’m not in bad shape, is a reminder I’m not at my healthiest like I was.

Today for the first time in about a week, I did yoga. It wasn’t super flowy or beautiful, it wasn’t very vinyasa-y either. I literally did what felt good. While I did yoga, I listened to some playlists I haven’t heard in years. And then I took some pictures. I compared these pictures to similar ones from a year ago. Where I saw improvement I also saw room for improvement. The truth is, I can easily be honest with those around me. I’m too good at calling others out on their shit. I’m too aware of them and not aware enough of myself.

I say this because while I truly do love myself, I need a reality check. I need tough love.

Since our road trip in July, I’ve been beating myself up. I’ve been frustrated, irritated and confused. I gained weight (and fatigue and a bad mood) and I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how I got out of shape and why it was so hard to get back in. My self esteem had been great before and ever since it’s been a struggle. A struggle to feel good in my own skin. To make matters worse, I didn’t see how I could be a good yoga teacher if I couldn’t even take care of myself right. You’re supposed to practice what you preach, right?

So today, I studied this picture comparison. I picked out the pros and cons. I thought of what I was doing then with everything and what I’m doing now. The changes I’ve made in the past year whether it’s food, exercise, environment. What I’ve realized is ALL of it has changed. Every single part. A year ago, we’d walk up to our local coffee shop which was at least 6 blocks (something we wouldn’t do now…thanks california). I drank a lot of water. A lot. We ate breakfast at home and our breakfast was nutritious but minimal. Our lunches were made at home and were pretty minimal as well. Gluten free sandwiches, leftovers, salads. Dinners were stir fry, seafood, everything cooked in coconut oil. I didn’t even realize just how healthy we ate until today. We ate so many veggies!! So what happened?? Where did all that healthy eating go??

Well we went on a road trip. We ate road food and vacation food. That was the first health destroyer. Then we moved to California where everything you need is one block over and all of a sudden you’re too lazy to make a healthy meal so your constantly treating life like it’s one long vacation. Hey let’s go to that burger place across the street and clog our arteries! or lets just get a nice gluten filled breakfast at the coffee shop because it’s too convenient. OR how about we order two pizzas and we can just tell ourselves it’s ok because we’re gonna walk across the street to pick it up? Slowly but surely, gluten made it’s way back into our daily intake. Sugar started to ease it’s way back into my cravings. I started eating HUGE portions instead of portions that my body was happy with and even started eating more dairy. I became less mindful. I stopped running. I stopped working out. I started lying to myself. I LOVE yoga. I love, love, love it. But I told myself it was all I needed. That I could half ass my self care and that I could stay healthy and in shape because of it.

I was so wrong and this is my truth. I fell of my good health wagon hard.

I was in denial and my denial resulted in frustration, irritation, and confusion. But I see it now and I get it now. There’s no easy way out of this. Once you’re at the bottom you restart at the bottom. And guess what? That’s ok.

California is beautiful and lovely but it doesn’t mean I’m on an endless vacation. It means I enjoy the sunshine with nutritious food in hand. It means I walk more because the weather is always nice. It means when I go to the beach, I don’t go crazy in the junk food department. It means I run more because I have the wonderful opportunity and weather to do so. No more half assing my life. No more half assing my health. This is a reminder of why I’m doing 100 days of Self Love. Sometimes you need a reality check. Time for some balance and a reboot on this temple of mine.

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar


Up until recently, I’ve tried telling myself that yoga was all I needed when it came to physical activity. I swore up and down that I could stay fit and strong via vinyasas and downward facing dogs. As much as I wanted that to be true, it wasn’t. I needed to be moving more than that throughout the day, which brings me to this post.

Brittany on one of our walks

As of last week I started walking Brittany a mile a day. She missed one day because of being under the weather but it’s been pretty consistent. Also, I started running again. Yep! but this time I put the ego aside and started doing it for other reasons. For strength. For health. For a good mood. For self love. Instead of attempting to jump back in to the deep end where I left off a few months ago, I humbled myself and started back at the beginning. First day I ran 1.86 miles and walked two with Brittany. Even with what my former self would have called ‘the beginning’, I was SOOOO sore the next day. Granted I did do a few work outs like reverse sit ups and whatnot after my run but technically that’s what I’ve always done after any runs, including when I first started. I’ve started by just running Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays about 1.86 to 2.86 miles followed by reverse sit ups, crunches, one legged squats, and donkey kicks. Afterwards, I drink this nice, rewarding protein shake blended with frozen banana, almond milk, chia seeds, almonds and plant based chocolate protein powder. I suggest you try it :)

The protein shake I mentioned above… BEST EVER

See here’s the thing, and I’ve said it before: last summer by the end of my yoga training, I was the healthiest and strongest I’ve ever been. I’ve wanted to get back to that ever since. But last time I tried to get that back, I went about it wrong. I made it about my ego rather than my health. I was too stubborn to see that you can’t jump from the frying pan into the fire. My body couldn’t handle the sudden, extreme pressure. Before I knew it, the muscles in my legs were twitching for days straight. I broke out into a rash. My body ached, my knees were in pain and my ankles constantly swollen. I was so tired, I couldn’t get anything done. I gave up after just a couple weeks. But I’ve rekindled my determination. I’ve gained an appreciation and truth for the right reasons to go at this once again. I’ve put my ego aside and taken my health into account. When you stop for months, you ease back in. If you’ve never tried to better your body, now is especially the time to ease in. So I started by eating healthy again. We had gotten into this bad habit of eating out a LOT. For the past two weeks we’ve managed to make a majority of our meals at home all being healthy and gluten free as well as most of them even being vegetarian. Once I got that down a little and I felt the change it did on my body and mind, I decided to start running again. And finally, FINALLY it feels right again. It feels like it felt in Colorado. The scenery is different but the movement is back to where I like it. I haven’t gotten back to the mileage or pace that I was at, but I don’t even care. I am just so happy to be running again in a way that feels good!

dog walking treasures

Now that I’ve gotten my personal experience on here, let me tell you why I think YOU should start moving too:

1) Even if your just walking a mile a day with your dog, it’s really good for your heart. 1 mile. That’s it. Not only are you making your heart happy and your dog happy, but your dog is almost like an accountability buddy. They get used to having a mile walk everyday and next thing you know, you want to just sit back and kick your feet up but no… Fido wants his exercise and he’s not letting you live it down until you take him for a walk (obviously resulting in you getting exercise too; win/win).

2) It releases happy hormones. We’ve all been there; whether you have a fight with your honey, you burn something in the oven, your car dies on you. Whatever it may be, put on your running shoes or pull out that yoga mat and get moving. When you’re done you will feel LOADS better. Promise.

3) You’ll have more energy. Obviously after the first day of moving however you choose to, you’re not going to notice that. It’s inevitably going to take time. Everything does. But once that extra energy kicks in, you’ll want to move more and do more fun things that don’t require sitting on the couch drinking milk shakes and eating jalapeno chips.

4) To add to the happy hormones thing, you’ll be in a better mood making you more enjoyable to be around. It’ll be easier to let things slide off your shoulder too. Yay for good moods!

5) It’s a metabolism boost. A more smooth running metabolism is always a good thing, no matter what way you look at it. Go metabolism!

6) strong/toned muscles. While having toned muscles is more along the lines of feeding the ego, it can also be an indicator you’re doing something right. You’ve gained muscle, you’re growing stronger. Strength is good.

7) Adding to toned muscles, it’s a confidence boost. I’ll admit there’s some people in this world who don’t need a confidence boost. But for at least a lot of people I know especially women, they could use it. Moving more over time will cause your muscles to strengthen and tone and you can’t help but be proud of yourself and feel good about that.

8) You’re clothes will start to fit better. At least that’s how it’s worked for me in my experience.

I could probably keep going for forever, but I’ll leave it at 8. So whether it’s yoga, running, walking your dog or even just swinging a kettle bell around in your kitchen, get moving! You don’t have to have a gym membership. You could even just start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. All it takes is a little inspiration and a little action. Find something that inspires you. A picture, a quote, a mantra. Let it inspire you to get moving. You’re body will thank you for it :)

P.S. my sweet little ginger bee Jacie has started her own blog full of motivation, positivity, and pretty much changing your life for the better. Check it out here :)

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. ~ Aldous Huxley


I’m just gonna say it like it is: feet are the most under-appreciated part of the body. You always hear people say, “I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders”. I call bull. I get it though. Your tension goes to your shoulders. Most people hunch over a computer or desk all day resulting in pain filled, hard-as-a-rock shoulders. Truth is though, your feet carry EVERYTHING including the world. Your spine holds your shoulders, your hips hold your spine, your legs hold your hips and guess what? your feet hold all of the above, including those knotted shoulders. So naturally with that being my belief (and obviously a total fact), I decided to give myself a foot scrub. Those little nubs of mine don’t get enough love from me. They carry me wherever I want to go, keep me standing when all I want to do is sit, they hold me up and push me through all my asanas. They DESERVE that TLC. Whip out these ingredients friends, your feet will love you for it!

carrier oil (I use apricot, but there’s also jajoba and almond)
Tea tree oil
Peppermint oil
a jar

I was low on sugar so if you want to use more I’d actually highly suggest it. This could be more than a foot scrub (as you see here, I couldn’t stop myself from rubbing some of that love all over my calves) just be aware of any sensitivity you may have towards the peppermint or tea tree.

Put the amount of sugar you want inside the jar and poor the carrier oil over it. You want the oil to just cover the sugar so make sure you keep an eye on it…I didn’t. I totally went to town till I realized there was a bit more oil than sugar in there. Still works though.

Add 5-10 drops of peppermint and tea tree. The amount of the essential oils you put in depend on your sensitivity and how much sugar and carrier you put in there.

Stir it up and slather it on. Feel free to go crazy. Scrub it in, rub it in, let it sit. Your feet (and legs) will love you for it. I let mine sit for about 10 minutes, but as long as your mindful I’m sure you can gage on how long is good for you and your skin. Expect soft, smooth feet and legs when its all cleaned off! Namaste my loves!

P.S. I found the original recipe here but did mine a little differently. Thank you, Kate! :)

Love your body, the whole thing. ~ Stephanie Mansour