Since the weather is getting warmer (yay!), I’ll soon be spending more time outside wandering around Colorado’s countless paths, trails, and lakes. Which means it’s time for a new workout playlist! If you’re also looking to mix things up, here’s what you’ll probably find me listening to these next few months.
I generally try to stick to the Michael Pollan “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” philosophy, however there is one food I just can’t let go of: protein powder. Yes, I know, it was made in a plant and is not, in fact, a plant, but I really feel that adding a scoop of protein to my shake in the morning keeps me more full and adds some extra nutrients that I might not get otherwise. As an added bonus, it also adds a light, fluffy texture to my smoothies that I love. Plus, science has come a long way and there are some pretty amazing products out there now! (Check out my previous recommendations here.)
Today was my first time trying it and I must say, I’m impressed! Here’s why Steven recommended this particular formula for me:
While you might like some of the others as well, Promasil is a time release formula, where you’ll get the fast acting protein to help you recover quickly and also casein for a slow release over hours and hours for better recovery and repair.
I mean, how can you argue with that? Each scoop has 120 calories, 24g of protein, and only 3g of carbs. I also love that it’s naturally sweetened with stevia! I haven’t tried it plain or simply shaken with water yet (since I don’t typically drink my protein that way), but I can tell you that in my usual morning blend of almond milk, frozen berries, banana, and spinach it tastes wonderful!
The other amazing thing is that with Steven’s discount code, my total came to just $35, which is amazing fora 2lb container of super high quality protein (under $1.17 per serving). They also sent a FULL SIZE bottle of their men’s multi-vitamin for Josh and a sample of their cookies and cream flavored why protein which I’m excited to try. Two thumbs up on the customer service!
If you want to try Rivalus yourself, you can use Steven’s code too! Just use “606FIT” at checkout to get free shipping and a 15% discount. (PS make sure to capitalize the code and that you are on the US site, not the Canadian site. Not that I’ve done either of those things…)
(“Protein protein-y protein” reference here. Good marketing, Yoplait. I now say this every time I talk about protein.)
Before I even knew calling Lagree Method workouts “Pilates on crack” was a thing, I referred to it as “Pilates on crack.” Why? Because it’s honestly the best way to describe the torturous 40-45min sessions of burning, shaking, and praying oh-please-make-this-stop. But I’m saying that… in a good way? I love a good challenge and have seen the best results in the shortest period of time from Lagree classes. So maybe describing the workout as torturous is a perfect example of the type of person who will like this class. But on the other hand, maybe not, because we all have our own perception of what “torturous”means and where we are willing to push our bodies on any given day; that malleable level of torture is one of the best things about Pilates Evolution. (Don’t know what Lagree is? Read more about it in my review of Fierce45 from a while back.)
Stout explains that most resolutions centered around giving something up are destined for failure because the psyche is not bound by deadlines and doesn’t work on shortcuts. The process of quitting needs to be a long game, he says, one best approached with self-love as opposed to self-loathing.
We’re already aware that what we put in our bodies affects our skin as much as the products we put on it. This knowledge often puts us on the defensive—we know to avoid certain aggravators like alcohol and sugar, for example, since they can contribute to acne and dullness.
For one, she posits that while we tend to fixate as a culture on flight-or-flight, there are actually three other beneficial and physiologically positive types of stress; and that harnessing stress to work for you is as simple as changing your mindset, i.e. choosing to believe that your body is simply revving up in support.
(☝🏻 this one is super exciting because it features one of my favorite Stanford professors, Kelly McGonigal! I actually used to take yoga classes from her while on campus.)
Not how much is in your 401(k). Not how many conferences you spoke at–or keynoted. Not how many blog posts you wrote or how many followers you had or how many tech companies you worked for or how much power you wielded there or how much you vested at each.
No, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.
Whoa, it’s been eight months since I last posted?! I swear, time seems to go by more quickly the older I get. Is that a normal thing? I don’t know, but I’m going to chalk it up to being busy instead of getting old. From traveling both domestically and internationally (Arizona, California, New York, Korea, Dubai…) to helping friends and family (and myself) usher in some new and exciting changes for 2017, I’ve felt like the chaos of 2016 required down time that was truly down time. Like, literally lots of laying down. On the couch watching movies, in savasana at yoga class, in bed for naps. Yes, NAPS! I took a few naps! As a classic A-type overachiever, it’s not always easy to give myself permission to just BE, but that’s what I’ve been challenging myself to do these past couple of months. I feel like I’ve finally reached a great work-life balance, yet I still need to fight against filling in that “life” section with even more over-achiever-y type things. I’ve had the tendency to fill my quiet free time with activity ever since I was a little kid (sorry, parents!), but as I got older the constant need to be active in one way or another became less energizing and more draining. Plus, life is an ever-changing flow of needs, wants, desires, aspirations. So what used to be fulfilling and motivating one day isn’t necessarily the same thing that will make you happy the next. And it’s different for every person, which is why the temptation to compare and compete isn’t always productive. (Thanks social media for making it even harder to resist comparison.)
I really started thinking about this again during a yoga class I had last week. The instructor started off by having us set an intention for the practice, framing it as possibly an intention that we may have set for 2017 as a whole. Which made me start thinking: what WAS my intention for 2017? And to get a little contradictory to the whole “ever-changing flow” bit, for 2017, I’d really just like to feel settled. Just for once, for a little while, I’d like to feel like I’m in a routine, that I know what I’m doing, where there are challenges but they’re somewhat predictable challenges. The 30 minute sitcom type challenges vs. the ongoing horribly stressful Breaking Bad type challenges. Over the past 5 years I’ve been pushing and pushing and stretching and trying new things and reaching and thinking so much about setting myself up for the future that I’ve never really felt like I’ve gotten to sit back and enjoy everything I’ve achieved so far. And part of that is because, like I said, ever since I was a little kid I’ve always liked being busy. I’ve more than a few times asked myself why I continually find myself diving head first into uncomfortable challenges. But this year I want to feel what it feels like to be settled. Comfortable. In a routine. Maybe this desire for chaos and challenge is what really makes me happy, but that’s something I’d like to find out through, frankly, maybe being kind of bored for a while. Right now I’m pretty sure I still have enough challenges and projects in my daily life to feel engaged and mentally stimulated, but not so many where I feel overwhelmed and like I need to work 16 hours per day. I like that. It feels nice. And just for once, I’d like to settle into something that feels nice. I want to know what it’s like to be truly present in how things are now, instead of always looking towards what they could be in the future.
So for now, for this year, I’m going to be settling. In a good way. Settling into my current workstreams. Getting comfortable in my regular workout schedule. Finding peace in the routine of cooking dinner every night. Knowing that chaos and busyness do not make me a better, more successful person (note that I even started this post by saying how busy I’ve been; an interesting read on that here from the Wash Post). Maybe I’ll get bored and feel unfulfilled, who knows. But for now I’m going to listen to that intuition that is telling me to settle. To sit still. To just be.
One thing I’ve realized about myself over the years is that, despite my best efforts, I am indeed very influenced by other people. Whether that’s someone else’s bad mood killing my good mood, a negative comment on social media setting off a flood of anger, or a criticism from a coworker cutting into my confidence, there are far too many times where I make choices and feel feelings based on someone else’s energy.
It’s been something I’ve been working on especially hard since entering the working world, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt like I made any great headway (even though there’s still progress to be made). I’m currently entering a time of great transition in my life. A career transition that has set off something inside of me that’s made me realize what’s truly important in life, and has forced me to reevaluate my hopes, dreams, goals… My purpose. To get there, I’ve been spending a lot of time brushing off the pressures and expectations of the outside world, and that effort has started to pay off.
Having a case of the Mondays? Or maybe you’ve just been doing some thinking on how you can be happier. Feeling unfulfilled, lonely, stressed out? You need to watch this TED Talk.
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.
We’re now at the end of February (!) which means that those New Year’s Resolutions have probably fallen by the wayside. About 66% of people break their resolutions in a month or less, while 80% of people don’t make it longer than 3 months. But never fear! The good thing about resolutions is that you can always start them back up again! While the first of the year is a great jumpstart, any day is the perfect day to start marching towards your dreams.
But what if you need a little kick in the pants? Luckily, there are some very smart people out there in the world who have written amazing books to get you out of your funk.
Here are a few recommendations, ranging from practical to spiritual approaches, for every type of person and goal.
One of the best things about ClassPass is that I can finally afford to do Pilates! Frequently touted by supermodels as the way to get long, lean limbs, I had always wanted to make reformer classes a part of my routine (if you don’t know what that is, check out this post for a little run down), but didn’t want to spend the extra $$$ required. Advocates of Pilates include Karlie Kloss, Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Izabel Goulart, and countless others.
But why is this workout so great for getting that model body?