Melissa and Joey TV workout

M&JI love Netflix! You can sit and watch an entire 10 seasons of a TV show in one weekend (with no sleep of course!) The problem with this is vegging on the couch for an entire weekend doesn’t line up with my fitness goals, so I love TV workouts because I still get to watch my marathons and still get in some workout time. Currently I’m hooked on this show (and couldn’t find a workout for Melissa and Joey on Pinterest), so I created my own.

Everytime:

-Joe compliments himself: 10 pushups (to look like Joe!)

-Joe cooks: wall sit the entire time

-Mel compliments herself: 10 Russian twists

-Mel or Joe make fun of one another: 10 leg lifts on each side

-Lennox compliments herself (lots of egos in this show):10 triceps dips

-Ryder is lacking self confidence/is awkward: 10 bicycles

-Someone mentions the scandal with Ryder and Lennox’s dad and Joe’s old company: superman (whatever level, length, and repetitions you want, but I like doing 15 reps on each side)

-Anytime all four of them are in the room: plank the entire time

Obviously this can be easily adjusted by adding length of time and counts. I’ve tried hard to make sure this targets the different areas of the body – legs, abs, back, and arms. Now back to my marathon! :))

Yoga on Coco Beach

Since I’ve been back in the States I can’t stop thinking about opening up a yoga studio on Coco Beach in Costa Rica. This goes right in line with the Pura Vida concept I’ve been working on. Granted there are some technicalities that need to be worked out, but the thought alone calms me.

Doing yoga on the beach, at 6am with the sun rising and the sounds of nature in the background; well could anything be more relaxing?! I don’t think so. I feel like tourists and locals alike would be on board with this business, because who couldn’t use a little more relaxation in their life? I feel like most people, myself included, get so bogged down in the hustle and bustle of life that we all forget to stop and smell the roses or listen to bird. In reflecting on my life, the most at ease I’ve ever been was when I was able to disconnect and spend some time in nature. Sounds cheesy but until you’ve done this it’s hard to understand.

Granted I’m not certified in yoga, nor do I have any business background, but it’s still a dream that can be attained. Many people have opened businesses with no experience and only passion, sometimes that’s more than enough. There’s a local yoga studio that does a 10 week, 200 hour certification program that costs as much as one graduate class. The cost might seem pretty pricey, but at the end of the program I would be a certified yoga instructor and could run my own classes at the studio that taught me. I like this practical application of knowledge and skills.

Even if I never make it back to Coco Beach, I still see many benefits of having my yoga certification. Especially since I’ve been going to yoga classes for a few years, I already have some basic knowledge. Yoga has many benefits including increased flexibility, strength, and balance, as well as improved posture, better sleep, and an overall sense of calmness and relaxation. This calmness is what I remember most about my yoga experiences and would be something I would like to pass on to tourists and locals in Coco Beach.

3 Months (and Counting) as a Vegetarian

Back in April I made the life choice to become a vegetarian. I did so by reducing the amount of meat I ate each week until the end of April when I finally quit eating meat altogether. I finally did so because I couldn’t stand the thought of animals being abused, neglected, and forced to spend their lives in a crate or confined area, Fast Food Nation certainly helped with this visual! But I also realized that being an environmentalist and a meat-eater was kind of a contradiction. Eating meat contributes to rainforests being cut down, particularly in the Amazon; it’s also a waste of freshwater resources, and contributes to increased greenhouse gases emissions = yikes! I’ve also learned about the different animals that I was consuming and how intelligent they are! Cows grieve, experience stress, and can be happy.  Same with chickens and sheep. My dog has these same experiences, and I would never think about eating her, so how could I justify eating a cow or chicken that experiences the same emotions that I do!

This last 3 months have been both a struggle and a blessing. Here’s my small list of Pros and Cons.

Cons

-I’ve had to plan and think out more of what I eat

-I don’t always get to participate in family dinners because they contain meat

-Ignorant people asking me where I get my protein from. Trust me there is plenty of other food that has more protein per ounce than meat does!!

-Sometimes it would be nice to have a steak

Pros

-I’ve had to spend more time planning my meals and thinking about what goes into my body. (YES, I realize I also listed this as a con, but it’s also a pro too). I spend more time thinking about my food and things I’m consuming. I think I know more about what goes into my body before I became a vegetarian.

-I’ve discovered a ton of new food that I love! Asparagus, zucchini, brussel sprouts, different types of onions, peppers, soy milk, almond milk, and so on. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more open minded about the foods i’m trying or what, but all the healthy stuff tastes sooooo good lately. I’ve also been cooking food that I may not have thought about before, such as avocado dark chocolate brownies.

-When our family goes out to eat for dinner at place that are dominate by meat (such as Outback) I’ve been able to try new foods that I may not have tried otherwise

-I know i’m making a positive difference and every time I crave a steak I just remember the good thing i’m doing

-I get to educate people on their choices too. For example, my family has not yet moved to the vegetarian side (yet), but they did buy half a cow from a local farmer that only slaughters one cow a month, that’s only 12 cows a year compared to the mass meat and dairy industry! So in my mind, that’s still a huge improvement.

I still have a lot to learn and am still growing, but I still feel like i’m making a positive impact and doing the right thing.

Let’s Jump!

So today I had the pleasure of participating in this event held by National Geographic and First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign Let’s Move. Hundreds of National Geographic employees gathered in the cafeteria to jump for one minute. There was food, prizes, games, and of course friendly faces. Hopefully we will set a Guinness World Record by having the  most people jumping – which has to be at least over 20,000 something people!!! Michelle Obama kicked off Let’s Jump at the White House yesterday with about 500 other people. I believe we can hit this record, I’ve seen and heard of the amazing responses we have been getting nationally and internationally. It’s been truly amazing watch this come together in the short time I’ve been in Nat Geo. It is so cool that people all over the world can come together for a common goal… which gets me to thinking… If we can unite over something like health and fitness, why can’t we all unite over other issues too?!

Alex and I had a discussion on our walk last night about whether or not people should care about such things as the Ethiopian Wolf or the Blue Fin Tuna going extinct. My reaction, hell yes!! Alex played devil’s advocate and said no, people are more concerned with just feeding themselves, as they should be, especially in under-developed countries. But after seeing the positive reaction of so many people from around the world coming to together for the Let’s Jump cause, I have no doubt that we could prevent species from being extinct in the same fashion and starting greater conservation movements. It’s about education, conservation, understanding, and possibly an incentive… For Maasai ranchers in Kenya and Tanzania, that incentive could simply be keeping their cattle free from lions, for Americans that could be the warm fuzzies of knowing that they contributed to a greater cause. I think education is the biggest piece in conservation is educating people! Perhaps that is because i’m going into the education field, but I do think people want to help make a difference in the world!!

Anyways, Let’s Jump was amazing and events like these are always enough to get my butt in gear and get off the couch, at least for this week. We will see what next week brings.