Saturday, January 31

Celebrity Part 2

Back in early January I did a post on the everyday "celebrities" we have in our lives.
My mom is one of those celebrities. This summer when I was on bed rest with my 4th baby she came to live with us for 9 weeks. She did everything for us and nothing for herself. She is certainly a HERO.

This blog is about becoming a leading lady ... although mostly it's been about food and weight loss I wanted to get back to the roots of why I thought my sisters idea for this blog was so GREAT!
Someone who becomes a leading lady is someone who feels good about herself. One way to fast track those good feelings is to do something good for someone else. Don't wait to be asked, don't wait to be told, be observant to those around you and find some way, small or not, to make them feel good, or ease their burdens.
Let me know how your service of luck!!!

Love Affair

Part of my monday weigh in downfalls have been directly related to my new cookie recipe! I would hate to even post the recipe on here as it may bring about your LOVE Affair with this sinful cookie! It bakes perfect, stays perfect, tastes perfect, and doesn't talk back. It my world that is bliss! The recipe makes 8 dozen cookies.........hence the weigh in woes!

Friday, January 30

"The Downfall of Juicing"

Sorry I left the blog on that negative note for a few days! I got a cold and a MAJOR case of carb cravings- but I'm feeling all better now!

So here's why juicing sucks:
- You have to really force yourself to drink enough calories so that you don't get lightheaded and nauseous. If you DON'T force yourself then you end up wanting less and less juice and feeling crappier and crappier and get a headache and sick tummy. That was one of my biggest problems I think. Since I wasn't feeling hungry I didn't drink, but that just made it worse.
- You know how they always so to not do deprivation diets and to always include small treats or else you'll break one day and totally over do it? Well, I never believed that until this week! When I finally stopped juicing I was DIEING for some bread and fat! And I over did it.

Here's what I learned from juicing:
- I learned that I really don't need as much food as I sometimes think I do. I really RARELY felt hungry doing this and it helped me to realize that I often eat because "it's time" or for other non-fuel related reasons. Juicing will help me to stop that, I think, and eat when I'm hungry.
- Drinking fresh juice is good when included in a healthy diet! Concentrated nutrients are what you get when you make juice at home and I could definitely use some more of that in my life. Some of you have wondered about how much juice is leftover and what I'll do with it. Well, I'm freezing it all up into ice cubes and I'll be using them in my morning smoothies for an added boost of nutrients.
- SERIOUSLY! Never do deprivation diets! They set you up for failure and feeling bad about yourself AND overeating when they're done. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and you'll be 10 times better off!

I feel like I learned some other things too, but I can't remember them right now- maybe later!

Anyways, for now, I'm happy to say that I have recovered from juicing and ...
DALE COMES HOME TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited- what a sap I am!

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, January 27

uh huh

yeah, so, the juicing is OVER! And I feel good- I learned, I lost, I did some internal cleansing and I really do feel pretty good. Except being a little lonely.

Tune in for the full story of "The Downfall of Juicing." Haha!


P.S. California Pizza Kitchen is so good!


Oh, and I also really miss Dale. I've already called him twice today and the only stopping me from calling more is that he's in meetings with the heads of the California analysts office and accounting office, so um, I guess that's more important than me wanting Lentil Tacos and our broken heater/frozen house.

not feeling so great.

Juice Fast Day 3

This sucks.

Sunday I felt great- wonderful even!- and light. Not even very hungry.
Monday I felt okay- mostly just energy-less and about 3 I developed a light headache that has persisted even until now.
Tuesday- I want to stop this. I'm cold (my heater is broken...again!) I'm still not hungry (weird) and that headache is still here. I'm trying to study and I just CAN'T concentrate- everything keeps seeming to long so I just skim and don't remember anything I just read. I HATE feeling unproductive. I feel like I'm on the verge of tears and I really want to eat something.

Thy Upside? I don't want to eat crap! I'm really craving a recipe from the newest issue of SELF magazine for Spiced Lentil Tacos- burgers and fries (except for sweet potato fries!) are the furthest thing from my mind. Even my quintessential comfort food the holy "bean burrito" doesn't sound appealing to me. This may be because I also feel slightly nauseous, but I think this juice thing has helped with my cravings for all things cheesy and sugary. I haven't truly "given up" on it yet, but I just mixed some protein powder into my pineapple juice and am having a bit of cooked cabbage right now, but I don't expect to hold out for much longer....

Love, Lis

P.S. I still don't think I'll regret trying this, I just should have planned to do it for a shorter period of time.

Monday, January 26

Monday Weigh in #4 Leiah

Sorry - I've only got a brief second to leave a post - 128 even. The weekends are a vicious cycle of eating for me. I've got to break it!

Monday Weigh in #4

So, my weight is (obviously) quite a bit lower this week because of my 1 1/2 days of juicing so far- the real trick is going to be seeing if I can maintain whatever amount of weight I lose when this is all over!

Starting Weight: 150

Weight this morning: 144!!!

Cool that's six pounds and about 2 I think for this week- awesome!

I'm gonna go call Leiah and pressure her into posting her weigh in (and other stuff) 'cuz I think she's going to need a little motivation. She wants me to call her and giver her a food pep talk today- maybe I'll just do a post? Or both? Who knows, I've got so much time on my hands now that Dale is gone until Friday. I'm proud that I didn't cry at all this morning when I dropped him off, but I miss him already. We really depend on each other a lot.

Anyways- the juice fast/feast continues and I'm feeling fine!


Sunday, January 25

It's been a while!

Wow- I haven't posted since Wednesday, but I have been up to SO much it seems like!

I made homemade Pear Pie Granola-

And had some with some vanilla almond milk!
It had dried pears and dates, oats, flaxseed, almonds, cinnamon,brown sugar, applesauce, Smart Balance oil and probably more things too, but I can't remember- I just made the recipe up! It is so good!

I also made meringues for the first time since I was a teenager! They were like little clouds and tasted like perfectly toasted marshmallows!
I made banana sushi with my 4H kids- they all loved it!

This is a great recipe for kids, so I'll include it:

4 flour tortillas
1/4 - 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (depending on how much you want on each one)
4 bananas
4 tbs raisins
1 apple thinly sliced

Directions: Put the tortillas on their own paper towel or plate and divide the peanut butter evenly among them. Spread the pb all over the tortilla. Peel the banana (kids will probably need help with this part) and break the banana a little bit so that it will lie flat. Place the banana in the middle of the pb and top with raisins and apple slices. Roll up VERY TIGHTLY and then slice just like sushi!

This was a HUGE hit!

The other thing that I've been working on is prep for a juice feast which I started today. I know that there is a lot of controversy about cleanses and juices fasting/feasting and that sort of "detoxy" sort of thing, so before you all tell me how horibble this is let me tell you some reasons why I'm doing this as well as some "Not!" reasons for doing this..

Reasons Why:
I sometimes find (as many people do) that I am ruled by cravings. I plan a lovely meal at home only to have a craving for a bean burrito and so we go to a Mexican Restaurant instead. This wastes money and makes my waist get bigger- I know this! Juice Fasts/Feasts are said to help reduce cravings even after they are over.

Maybe this is TMI but Waste Removal is a big reason why as well. I have aome problems with that and can tell that my system is backed up- I get tummy aches and other things that tell me this is probably so. Juice Feasting is said to help alleviate many minor health issues that I suffer from- Migraines, constipation, horrible cramps and others.

I've wanted to do this for a while and my husband is leaving on a trip early Monday morning for the rest of the week so this is the perfect time! No dishes, no cooking for him and being tempted by his food or anything like that. Just me and my juice and NO DISHES!

One of this biggest reasons is just plain old EXPERIMENTATION! I've heard so much about it and really have no way of actually knowing what it's like and what it does and how it feels unless I do it for myself. I'm intensely curious about the process.

"Not!" Reasons Why:
Because cleanses and detoxes are "popular" with celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow who are STICK skinny- she looks like she might need a little MORE food in my opinion!

Because I think I'll lose tons of fat and keep it all off. I do think I'll lose some weight and I will try to keep it off, but weight loss is not the main motivation for me, health and reduced cravings are!

Because I plan on doing this over and over for prolonged periods of time. I have heard of many people to 100+ day juice feasts and I definitely think that that is EXTREME. I'm sure a lot of you think that any amount of time without chewing is extreme and I can understand that, but I think that 6 days of drinking fresh homemade juice will be perfectly healthy and fine.

Anyways, now that I've explained myself, let the comments fly- feel free to tell why you think juice feasting is bad or good- just keep it polite!

Here are some pictures from my Juicing Prep:
My shopping cart!
My bounty- nothing but fruit, veggies, green tea and dark chocolate (not giving that up even for six days!)
I got two new kinds of chocolate- the Lindt chili flavored kind is actually super tasty! (haven't tried the other one yet)
More ginger than most people probably buy in a year! Ginger makes a great addition to juices.
Lemons and limes for my Lemon Limeade (with ginger juice!). Surprisingly easy to peel.
And the end product above!

I've got:
2 gallons of green juice (cucumber, celery and cilantro)
1 gallon orange carrot ginger juice
1 gallon of (very strong) lemon limeade with ginger
1 gallon delicious fresh pineapple juice
1/2 a gallon of apple juice
1 gallon green tea

They all actually taste pretty good, too! I've been practicing making yummy juice (as opposed to gaggy juice- been there done that!)

We'll see how it all goes!


Wednesday, January 21

Changes are never easy

Changes are never easy- that's a pretty indisputable fact, I think.

Whether you're trying to lose weight (as Leiah and I are) change bad habits, begin good habits, or- as is the theme of this blog- trying to treat yourself the best you can, change takes great effort and concentration. Sometimes even when we know we are making changes for the better, we still miss our old days of deviance. Why is that?

I think there is a part of human nature- particularly for women- that feels we deserve less than the best. Again, why is that?!? That's probably one of the most destructive thoughts we can have, but I know that I am guilty of it sometimes. If I feel I haven't done "enough" one day then I sometimes feel that I don't deserve good things- love from my husband, a trip to the movies, or things like that. Funnily enough I never feel I don't deserve an ice cream sundae or a chocolate chip cookie.

Something inside us seems to resist our success, our changes for the better. I think this is part of the reason changes are never easy.

Ok, so this post has taken a different direction than I'd planned, but I mentioned the other day that this blog was taking a "food and exercise" direction and that that was okay by me. Leiah got a little worked up about that, but I think that was because I didn't explain myself well enough.

This blog is about learning to be good to ourselves and learn to really act like leading ladies, in charge of and loving our lives. I think two of the best things we can give ourselves is good food and time to exercise!

Food soothes and nourishes our bodies and souls and exercise gives us endorhpins, helps us sleep better and helps us adopt a better body image. Not mention lengthening our lives.

That's what I meant about the blog taking a food and exercise direction- all with the intention of helping me to become a better, happier person! I'll still post about other things, but I think many of my posts will be about those subjects.

Anyways, maybe that was a boring post (no pictures!) but I think it was important- and good!


P.S. What sorts of things do you think help you become a better, happier person? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, January 20

Monday Weigh in #3 Leiah

Can I opt out?
128.5 right back to starting. I ate a LOT of fun stuff this week! - time to get serious!

Monday, January 19

The Big Decision

So, I wanted to wait until I told my parents and Leiah about this before I posted, but Leiah is in Tucson (I called and said, "Hi! It's me!" to her babysitter on accident) so I didn't want to bother her. I just told my parents and I'll call Leiah tomorrow to discuss it.

The Decision
I'm getting certified as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and (eventually) yoga instructor!

This is a crazy decision for me- I struggle with science (though I love biology) and I was a Lit/Folklore major, but I've been thinking, researching and praying about it a lot for the past month and I really feel that this is a good choice for me and my future.

My first step will be to get certified to be a group fitness instructor and my course (through ACE) is already in the mail! I can't wait to get started!

My inspirations are:

The Fitnessista (there's a link to her blog in my blog list)

Jillian Michaels (from the Biggest Loser- love that show!)

And my Aunt Doreen

I'll do a post in the future about my Aunt Doreen and what she has done lately to inspire me and our family- she is a leading lady for sure!

So, wish me good luck and I'll keep you updated on how the studying and training are going!

Love and best wishes,

Monday Weigh in #3

It's that time time again!

Starting weight: 150.8
weight today: 146 !

I was dreading weigh in all weekend, but was pleasantly surprised this morning when the scale said I was down by 1.6 pounds! I'll take it!

I know I said I'd do another post yesterday, but things have been a little intense around here- decisions being made and emotions getting out and all that jazz. Later today, after I talk with some more people, I'll do a post about the big decision I made- it's pretty big and exciting (at least for me) but I'm nervous to reveal it for some reason.

Wow, what a teaser that is! You'll just have to wait until tonight to hear about the decision!


Sunday, January 18

Wraps and Green...Milkshakes?

I just got these new wraps this week and boy are they tasty! They only have 90 calories a piece plus they have like 9 grams of fiber a piece too! They are very soft and pliable, yet they hold together well when you wrap things up in them. Here are two of the wraps I've had this week:

I know you can't see the inside, but this had deli roast beef and romaine lettuce and I made a greek salad on the side with our homemade cheese. This was a great meal, though it did feel a little too summery for all the snow outside!

Mmmmmmmmmm! This one was really good! Broiled salmon, shredded cabbage, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese and jalapenos. This hit the spot and tasted like it came from a restaurant!

So, next time you see these wraps in the store (I got mine at Wal-mart) you should definitely check them out!

In other news, I have discovered a new and wonderful breakfast/dessert! Just add 1 tablespoon of fat free sugar free instant pudding mix to you smoothie and it tastes like a milkshake! Even with greens in it! This was white chocolate berry with blueberries and blackberries and ff/sf white chocolate jello pudding mix plus a ton of spinach. It tasted thick and creamy like a real milkshake.



P.S. I realize that this is sort of turning into a food and exercise blog (I'm sure Leiah's noticed too), but I'm okay with that and I'll do a post later today about why that's okay by me. Off to church now!

Thursday, January 15

Green Smoothies in The Magic Bullet

Okay, so a while back my sister made a post about green smoothies. It looked gross. I however was curious and decided to go for it. I already drink a smoothie every morning for breakfast, why not give it a try. I however, have to keep things more simple than she does. Here's what I did.

1 cup water (you could do milk - but this saves on calories)
1 scoop of my spiru-tein vanilla protein powder
1 banana
1 cup of kale

If you read her recipe you'll see what I mean about keeping it simple! This smoothie has 250 calories and about 20 grams of protien. I'm not sure on the fiber because I'm not that savvy yet about kale. Using water shaves off anywhere from 50 - 200 calories depending on what kind you use. The banana makes it creamy so I don't miss the milk. I made it once without the banana and it wasn't as good.

The verdict: Delicious! Keeps me very full!

She was right the kale really didn't change the flavor at all - and I felt great knowing how good it was for me.

Now, this is my magic bullet. I make my smoothies (along with lots of other things) in here. It is the single most fantastic thing to have in your kitchen! When your done clean up is SO easy and you just drink it right out of the cup you mixed it in. You can buy them lots of places, but mine I got for Christmas and I think it came from Walmart.
I have made chicken salad, sauces, baby food, milk shakes and the fastest ever whipped cream in the magic bullet. I strongly suggest you check it out! While your at it make a kale smoothie, you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Wednesday, January 14

Restaurant Review and Yoga Burns!

Happy Wednesday! Man, I am having a good week- it's probably all that exercise plus the start of 4H.

Guru's Restaurant Review
So on Saturday after our workouts, Dale and I decided to go to our favorite place for brunch- Guru's!
Guru's is a hippie/funky/ethnic little place in downtown Provo, UT with great food- Thai, Mexican and Italian- all with a distinctly American twist.
Some of my favorite include the Grilled Salmon Salad which has sugar snap peas, edamame, red peppers and tons of other interestingly cut veggies and the Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl which also has tons of veggies cut up like pasta and mixed in with the rest of the noodles. (I also love the blue cheese and steak quesadilla- but we won't go there, 'cuz it makes me feel all heavy and sick afterward).

Though there are many wonderful things at Guru's NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compares to the two ways they prepare the lowly (but nutritious) sweet potato. Therefore my entire reason for going there on Saturday rested in the hands of their talented sweet potato chef (what a great job to have!)

I got two eggs (poached medium), two slices of whole wheat bread and SWEET POTATO HOME FRIES which are sauteed with green and red peppers and onions. Mmmmmm...a little ketchup and I was in heaven (until Dale somehow got ketchup into my blackberry jam- don't ask).

Dale got his favorite breakfast ever (done Guru's style of course): Biscuits and Gravy.
They call the The Cowboy Benny at Guru's- not sure why but it does have poached eggs on top of the biscuits. Yes a heart attack waiting to happen, but it made his mouth and tummy so happy- with a side of sweet potato home fries, of course.

The other way they prepare sweet potatoes are the most magnificent potato french fries with a chipotle dipping sauce. They are so good that I really never eat french fries unless I eat them there. So maybe this is one time where eating french fries actually helps your diet- nothing else compares!

All in all Guru's is a great place- friendly people, funky decor and chilled out music and Fabulous Food with two capital F's.

Yoga Burns
So, I am fairly new to the whole yoga thing, but I really, really like it. Two of the funniest/helpful things that yoga teachers have said to me in class are:
"Just breathe through any pain or discomfort you might be feeling."
"Feel the fire building in that muscle."

Somehow yoga teachers can turn a "HOLY HECK! MY MUSCLE IS GOING TO SPLIT OPEN!" moment into a peaceful, relaxing, empowering moment. How do they do that?

Next time you're working out and feel like you can't possibly go any longer or harder just remember to "Breathe through any pain or discomfort you feel" and to "feel the fire building in your muscles." (not to the point of injury, of course- do listen to your body and stop if you feel you might injure yourself.)

My Pilates Teacher gives us a challenge at the end of every class. Today's was to be cheerful and I pass the same challenge along to you. In every situation today do your best to be genuinely cheerful and happy. I promise to try it too!


P.S. I love my sister. She's great!

Monday, January 12

Monday Weigh in Leiah #2

So this morning as I got on the scale I was totally prepared to have to lie on the blog about loosing weight. My husband was gone most of the week and I ate great while he was gone. But when he got home we ate out about 3 times and I put all guilt aside and ate what I pleased. However, somewhere I must have worked hard because the scale was good to me and I won't be telling any lies today!

Previous weight - 128.5
Todays weight - 127.0

WOO HOO! Down 1 1/2 lbs! I'll try not to go overboard this weekend and blow all my hard work. That's my goal for this week! I also learned something new this week. For every pound you loose you burn 20 calories less. ( I don't remember if it was per hour or day) However, bummer - the thinner you get the less you burn. That encourages me to build more muscle. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn! Good luck with your goals!

Monday Weigh in #2

Alright, time for another Monday Weigh in- Oh Joy of Joys.

Starting Weight- 150.8
Last Weigh in- 148.2
Weight today- 147.4
Body Fat%- 31%
Water%- 50.4%
Muscle %- 35.9%
Bone% (which I'm still not sure I understand what that means- can anyone enlighten me?)- 3.1%

So, down a pound- I can live with that, but I know that I can eat a LITTLE bit better and exercise a LITTLE bit more this week to see it come down even more!

Remember (as I am trying to do) that little steps forward can add up to BIG successes- it just takes patience!

Sorry for the three day hiatus from posting. My internet was doing funky things so I am posting from campus with Dale doing his homework next to me. We're changing our internet provider sometime next week so hurray for that!

Here are some random photos taken this week for a little visual stimulation:
A delicious homemade meal of grilled chicken breast, salad with homemade orange balsamic vinagrette, and (the star of the show) homemade vegetarian (vegan) barbecued beans with lima beans and black eye peas. Oh, this was SO good. I believe we had some San Pellegrino with this too.
A new find! Chicken Jalapeno Sausages from my favorite store ever, Sunflower Farmer's Market. Spicy and juicy.
The same sausage chopped up and topping a wonderful bowl of greens and goodies along with crock pot pinto beans and spinach- no dressing needed. (this was my lunch one day this week.)
And, last but not least, a Russian tortoise (or something- it was just cute) that was in one of the classrooms I subbed for this week. These little guys apparently LOVE lettuce! They were totally going to town on it.

Workout Plan for the week:
Monday- already did it! Pilates class, weight lifting and elliptical for 30 minutes.
Tuesday- yoga class, running for 30 minutes plus stretching
Wednesday- Pilates class, weight lifting, cardio machine mix 30 minutes
Thursday- yoga class, running for 30 minutes plus stretching
Friday- sprints for 30 minutes, weight lifting
Saturday- yoga class, jog for 30 minutes- maybe sledding or to Jump On It (a cool place FILLED with trampolines for adults!)
Sunday- rest! Maybe a walk or some light yoga

Well, that's all for now, but I'll leave you with a teaser for an upcoming post- a RESTAURANT REVIEW!

Looks delicious, huh?


P.S. What are your goals/plans for this week?

Thursday, January 8


A couple months ago I was asked to attend a night at our church for the young women ages 12 - 18. The night was about celebrities, however, not the ones in Hollywood. Each of the girls had been asked to pick someone they admired and wanted to be like. They then wrote a letter why they chose them as their "celebrity". Then each "celebrity" was invited to attend that night, hence the reason I was there.

I felt honored to have been chosen by a beautiful sweet girl. However, humbled by the thought that we truly are always being watched. I was also even more impressed by the girls who had not chosen women who were necessarily fashionable, slim, or gorgeous by the standards of the world. Some had chosen women who were crippled but still kept their happy attitudes and worked hard to be independent. Others chose women who had simply lived a very hard life and worked hard all their days.

It made me think of the wonderful women in my own life. Women who are strong, work hard, serve others, are kind, have a happy attitude, and are giving. Most of all the evening presented me with a desire to be a better person. I've been watching people more now and learning from them the skills and attributes that I think would make me an even better person!
Who are your celebrities?
Until next time,

Who is Leiah.....

Hi there! I'm Lis' big sister - big by almost 5 years, and about 6 inches! We live in different states so this is a fun way to keep up with eachother and feel connected. Our lives couldn't be more different!

I am a stay at home mom mother of 4. I've been married for 7 + years and my oldest just turned 6 yesterday! I have two girls ages 6 and 4, and two boys, ages 2 and 4 months. They are of course adorable, and fun, but they keep me super busy! I'm married to a fantastic guy who makes this life a fun and enjoyable journey!

I've lived a lot of places, including China, gone to college, and owned a business. I've learned a lot but nothing has taught me more about myself than being a wife and mother. The struggle to keep yourself afloat through all the ups and downs and not get lost in everyone elses needs!

With Alyssa I hope to help us all remember who we are and discover more who we can become. There's always room for improvment!

Until next time,

The Best Sub Job Ever and Something to Learn from it

Ok, so I mentioned that I'm a substitute teacher and that I really love it. Well, today I had the Best sub job ever!

Today I subbed for a music ed. teacher at an elementary school and we played games about musical styles and musical instruments and that was cool, but the BEST part was a game called "Freeze Dancing."

For this game I played a song from one of the different music styles we learned about (reggae, rock, hip hop, country, classical and jazz) and all the kids just went crazy dancing! (me too, I confess!) Then I pressed the pause button and they all froze where they were. They loved it and were such great dancers!

The tip I have for today comes from Freeze Dancing! I guess I forgot how much fun dancing can be, but seeing those kids with huge smiles on their faces and just GOING TO TOWN bustin' moves right and left made me remember that dancing is GREAT fun- not to mention a great way to get moving and lift your mood and metabolism.

If you've got kids, try playing "Freeze Dancing" with them, or if you're alone just put on some rockin' tunes and set the timer for 15 minutes and dance your heart out. Some of my favorite songs to bust a move to are: "Why Should I worry" by Billy Joel. "Beautiful Liar" by Beyonce and Shakira "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
Have fun rockin' out!


P.S. What are your favorite songs to rock out (or work out) to?

First Yoga Class!

Wow! I just got back from my first real yoga class and it was great! Maybe this sound cliche but my arms were killing me during all those downward dogs...but I held out and never took the "child's pose" option. My teacher was great, not too out there but she still had some great things to say besides describing poses and form.

And amazingly... wasn't that hard for me to get up at 5:15 am this morning to get going! That was certainly surprising, but I guess I was excited!

My next class is Saturday morning and I can't wait (though I know I'll be sore from this class)!


P.S. Jenna over a (you can find the link to her blog in my blog list) was one of the main things that encouraged me to try out a yoga class. She is very into yoga and has often written about how good it makes her feel- I'm starting to figure out what she means! You feel strong, but light and powerful, but peaceful. And just plain good. Thanks Jenna!

Wednesday, January 7

Pilates and Yoga

I've signed up for two new classes to help feed my new obsession!

Pilates CoreMax
Using the Joseph Pilates Method tone your core to the Max!
Power Yoga
A vigorous and powerful approach to Yoga, using Ashtanga, Anusara and Hatha styles of yoga.

As the spouse of a student I can sign up for "aerobics" classes on campus! (I also get free access to the University's Gyms and track) And so I signed up for these two classes. They are at 6:00 am!!! except for the yoga class on Saturdays which is at 8:30am, so that's a lot better.

I'm excited for several reasons:
A) One of my goals is to exercise regularly!
B) Another of my goals is to get in the habit of waking up early!
C) And ever since the summer (when I had some private yoga lessons) I have wanted to get better at yoga and this yoga class sounds like it will definitely be a CHALLENGE!
(This is where I lived over the summer where I took my yoga lessons- Bellyacres in Hawaii!)

My first class is yoga tomorrow- wish me luck!


P.S. I said I would update you about how I was exercising- I did yoga last night for about 20 minutes (a little wimpy, I know, but I got my brother-in-law Quinn to do it with me! Shocking!) and this morning I did Pilates (with my workout tape) for only a little while.

P.P.S. I bought cute new workout clothes today- to help me feel a little more confident and motivated for my classes!

Tuesday, January 6

My New Obsession...Hopefully

So, I mentioned my obsession with books, but I have another obsession I guess (according to Leiah...and my husband....and my mom and dad...and others).

I really like food!

Not necessarily eating it, though I like that too. I love cooking, reading about cooking, reading about eating, daydreaming about food, planning menus and really anything else food related. I even teach two kids cooking classes and one healthy living class where we learn about the food pyramid and healthy eating habits. I think food is super cool.

They say that getting a fit and toned physique with a healthy body weight and all that jazz is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise and 10% genes. I'm doing alright with the 80% (though I know I eat a little too much to be losing weight- healthy foods though!). The part where I have trouble is with exercising.

It's not that I don't enjoy exercising- because I do! I just never do it. When I actually get myself out there and get moving I love it and almost always feel fit and happy when I'm done. The problem is that I keep telling myself the same phrase over and over each day "I'll do it later."

This is such a destructive phrase! If you keep saying it over and over you'll end up NEVER doing anything. So one of my goals is to develop an exercise plan and STICK TO IT! Say "I'll do it now" instead of "I'll do it later."

Leiah is really much better at exercising than I am and she has some great tips on revving your metabolism up into high gear. Hopefully she'll enlighten us in a future post about how she finds time to boost her metabolism even with four little kids running around!

In the meantime, here's my exercise plan for the rest of the week:
Tuesday- 30 minutes of yoga
Wednesday- Pilates class (at 6am- jeez!)
Thursday- Yoga class (6am again)
Friday- elliptical machine for 30 minutes
Saturday- sledding with Dale and some yoga
Sunday- rest and easy yoga

Can you tell I like yoga? I'm still a beginner, but am trying to get better at it- feels so good.

From now on I'll be doing this post on Sundays- announcing what my exercise plan for the week is and, periodically, reporting on how that's all going. Keep me accountable! Pretty soon I'll be looking like her
Jillian Michaels- one of the trainers from "The Biggest Loser." Hey it could happen!

I'm making exercise my new obsession (hopefully) while still eating healthy.

What are your healthy obsessions? (like me and kale, I guess)


Monday, January 5

My Sister!

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to announce that my sister Leiah is going to be my partner in blogging crime from now on!

She's a great girl- so smart and put together- and whenever we chat on the phone (for hours, sometimes) she always has tons of advice for me. She recently gave birth to her fourth kid! (she's got good tips for losing the baby weight)

She'll do an introductory post in the next few days, but I just wanted to announce the happy news beforehand.


Monday Weigh In For Leiah

Hey, this is Leading Lady Lis' older sister. I'm going to be a contributing author on this blog. I'll do an introduction later, but for now here is my Monday weigh in information. I don't have a fancy scale like my sis - mine only tells me how much I weigh, which I'm grateful for because I'm sure I don't want to know what my body fat is!

As of Monday January 5, 2009 I weigh 128.5. lbs

Goal - 120 lbs

I haven't lost a pound since Thankgiving, but I haven't gained a pound either, which must be a feat in itself all things considered!

Monday Weigh in #1

So, Mondays are going to be weigh in days. I debated about whether to put this on the blog because it's so personal and...jeez...what if I mess up!

But I figure, if I know that anyone who reads this blog is going to see how much I lose (or gain) each week then I will definitely feel more accountable for what I eat and how I exercise during the week, which is a good thing. So I'll swallow my pride and every Monday there'll be a short weigh in post.

Starting weight (from last week): 150.8
weight- 148.4
body fat- 31.2% (yikes!)
water- 50.4%
muscle- 35.7%
bone- 3.1%

Okay, I'm off to make a green smoothie with oatmeal in it instead of psillium husk per my Dad's suggestion.
See ya!

Sunday, January 4

Green Smoothies!

Did you know that Kale is one of the most nutrition-packed foods- especially dollar for dollar- that you can buy? Here's a condensed list of Kale's many wonderful qualities:

- helps prevent Cancer, especially Ovarian Cancer
- Optimizes your cell's natural ability to detoxify and cleanse themselves
- Lowers cataract risk
- helps prevent cell damage from free-radicals
- promotes lung health (do you get a lot of second-hand smoke? This could save your life!)
- Vitamin C for improved skin and boosted immunity
- Helps prevent rheumatoid arthritis (which runs in my family- yikes!)
- Manganese for energy production and antioxidant protection
- Great source of dietary fiber
- Great source of calcium with fewer calories and non of the fat in milk
- Vitamin E for improved skin and mental function
- Super Heart Healthy
- Kale's also a great source of copper, Vitamin B6 and potassium!
(I got all my information from -- it has EVEN MORE fabulous information on kale, if you're interested in the un-condensed version)

Isn't that amazing?!? Seriously go out and buy yourself some kale right now!

I used to be a little afraid of greens because my grandmother used to make mustard greens for us and I HATED them. You know what I found out though? Not all greens taste alike! I still don't like mustard greens but I really enjoy collards and spinach and, of course, kale.

Here's my favorite way to eat my greens: Green Smoothies!

Green Smoothie Recipe
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp raw cacao
1 tsp whole brown flaxseeds
1 tsp psillium husk powder
1/2 a scoop vanilla protein powder
1 vitamin C fizzy packet (this one's cranberry flavored)
1 1/2 cups fresh kale, stem removed
1 cup frozen orange slices
1/2 a banana
2 cups ice cubes
(makes enough for two people or one VERY hungry Leading Lady)

In pictures:Put the milk in the blender then add the dry ingredients

and blend for about a minute until everything is very smooth. Then add the

KALE! you can add as much or as little as you want. If you're worried about the taste (which is incredibly unnoticeable) then start with just a half a cup and work you're way up slowly. I do about 1-2 cups. Blend that until the smoothie is completely smooth and green then add your fruit and ice cubes.
Beautiful! The perfect breakfast even on a snowy day like today.

Try it out!

Leading Lady Lis

P.S. This is the kind of raw cacao I use:Raw cacao is seriously the food of the gods- so good for your heart and your mood and so many other wonderful things. Go antioxidants!

P.P.S. Are you going to give kale a try? You know you should!

What is a Leading Lady?

I've been getting a lot of questions from friends and family members (who are really the only people reading this blog right now- thanks guys!) about the title and theme of this blog. "What," they ask, "do you mean by 'Leading Lady'?"

To me a Leading Lady is someone who is Conscious and Proactive- who really takes part in life- someone who has a lot of self-esteem (but not cockiness), self-respect and self-confidence. Strong but feminine. Happy but not careless.

(Kate Hudson)...and...
(Jane Austen)...and...
(J.K. Rowling)...and maybe! Or you!

My Leading Lady goal for this week is to be Proactive. I can admit (and my Mother will be happy to tell you) that I do have a tendency to be LAZY. Well LAZY is my new four letter word! Now, don't worry, I'm not going to run myself ragged or anything, but I know that some of the happiest, most satisfying memories I have are of times when I was PROACTIVE- doing lots of things, checking off my to-do list and making things happen. I slept well those nights and felt good about the time I spent on those days. So this week I'm focusing and developing the proactive side of Leading Lady Lis.
My big To-Do's:
- do all the paperwork to start subbing with another school district
- turn in all of my 4H paperwork (LOVE 4H!)
- Go grocery shopping and stay UNDER budget!
- write a product review for my new favorite beverage- so tasty!
- make an exercise plan for this week and stick to it
- do something I really love to do (as opposed to being lazy and doing nothing)
- spend time with my loved ones (husband and in-laws)

Ok, so that's one for every day this week. I'll check in and report each time I accomplish one of my goals and tell ya'll how my proactive week is going!

Leading Lady Lis

Saturday, January 3

The Last of the Info...

So far I've confessed to you certain things about me- 1) How I have been acting like "the best friend" in my own life and 2) How I've made a "New Year's Revolution" to begin acting like a Leading Lady.

Today I present you with more information about myself, my havits and my plans for this blog. Maybe some of you find this uninteresting- maybe others find it fascinating. regardless of whether you skip this part or read ravenously, I feel this is important infor, so here it is.

A) Who is Leading Lady Lis?
Glad you asked! Well, I am a born and raised Californian, but I am living in Utah right now as my dear husband, Dale, is doing his graduate studies. I graduated back in April with a BA in English. In conjunction with that fact you should know that I have a sad and appalling addiction to reading. I LOVE books! I am a speed reader extraordinaire!
Another think I love? Cooking! Cooking is my passion, my pastime and my favorite subject of daydreams. Other things I like are hiking and doing crafty things. I am a substitute teacher and, though it's not the most glamorous of jobs, I really love it! I also do 4H after school clubs at one of my local elementary schools about cooking and healthy living. I live in a old apartment that my husband and I have turned into a warm and comfortable home. I hate the snow (except when sledding!) and love animals. And goat cheese. And did I mention books?

B) The Regulars- So there are several "regulars" that you will see on the blog (foodwise) pretty often. Here's an explanation:
1) Green Smoothies- this is the way I start most of my days. I began drinking Green Smoothies over the summer living on a farm in Hawaii where we had kale and papayas coming out of our ears to I started blending them tegether for a smoothie and it was delicious! A nutritious way to get in a full serving each of fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning! The original green smoothies of cold green tea, Hawaiian papaya and kale has morphed into my current day green smoothie with consists of:
a) 1/2 a scoop vanilla whey protein
b)1 tsp: raw cacao, flaxseed and psillium husk (did I spell that right?)
c) about a cup of unsweetened almond milk plus some water and ide
d) fruit
e) about a cup and a half of fresh kale
f) sometimes green tea- but not very often
It may sound strange but don't knock it until you've tried it. This is my favorite way to start the day. It's filling and energizing and boy does it start you up for success!
2)Raw Almonds- I do not like all of the oil and salt they add to roasted almonds- both for taste adn for health- so I nearly always eat my almonds raw. I am allergic to raw walnuts, pecans and pumpkin seeds though so I usually toast or roast most of my other nuts when I have them. But, honestly you're mostly going to see Almonds and occassionaly pistachios or peanuts on this blog. I'm kind of scared to eat the rest.
3) Greens and Goodies- this is what I call salad.

I am a firm believer in greens! I think they have such huge health benefits that they should be included in every diet every day (hence the kale in my breakfast). Sadly, most Americans do not get nearly as many greens in their diets as they should and iceberg lettuce is much too popular for my liking. I love to eat dark green or red leafy goodies like baby spinach, radicchio, romaine and spring mixes not to mention TONS of kale in my smoothies, collard greens and other stuff. Everybody need GREENS! (And not boring ones either, hence the "goodies" added on- salads should never be boring!)

Ok, that's the last of the boring information. Tomorrow is Sunday and we'll start the blog for realsies. Keep reading! And don't forget to comment and let me know you're out there reading this!

Leading Lady Lis

P.S. What are some of your "regulars"?