Rabu, 18 Juli 2012

Health and Fitness Goals

After setting my new health and fitness goals and losing 2 pounds last week, I'm on a mission to lose 10-12 more pounds in the next 6 weeks, which would put me back to my ideal healthy weight. I read recently that posting my goals online is one good way to keep myself accountable and focused so here we are. :)

A few great sources of fitness information, I've been doing the cardio workouts from the Self Drop 10 Challenge and using Calorie Counter to track the calories of recipes I create. Although, I do read the recipe recommendations of both sites and have tried a few of their recipes with modifications, I tend to cook using my own recipes given I have strict personal dietary requirements/restrictions that their recipes don't always accommodate for. Also, after the last five years of practicing, I've actually become great at creating and making healthy recipes that taste amazing! :)

As part of the process, I created a Health and Fitness page on Pinterest. I've been especially enjoying the workouts labeled Monday - Friday (pictured below) & am pleased with the results so far. I have yet to find/make time each week to do five 1-hour workouts. I am getting in four good 1-hour workouts each week and lengthening the cardio beyond 20 minutes at least twice a week to get more miles in.

Before I started this new routine, I was hiking Runyon Canyon regularly but wasn't weight training and had hit a plateau, not seeing any weight loss results and actually gained a few pounds over the winter. Although I was eating healthy & exercising regularly, I wasn't counting my calorie intake. So as I was discussing this frustration with my lack of results with my good friend (who's in fabulous shape BTW), he suggested added interval running for 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week and weight training to my routine. I agreed to try and see what happened.

When I decided to start incorporating running into my workout routine, I began with interval "jogging" on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I decided to improve and increase my speed each week to build strength without causing self-injury or strain from over-doing it. It has been years since I've been a "runner" and I wasn't sure how my body would react to be honest. I'm now interval jogging/walking between a 20 min mile pace and 11.2 min mile pace for 20 - 30 minutes + doing the weight training routines below and ending with a 10 - 15 minute stretch & yoga session. Last week, I cut my daily calorie intake to 1600 per day and am finally seeing results on the scale. 5.5 weeks to go...

Be Good To You!

~Author Unknown

Minggu, 24 Juni 2012

One Day On Earth - 10/10/10 a.k.a. The Day I Almost Disappeared

Where were you on October 10, 2010?  That was the question I was asked prior to attending an LA Idea Project dinner series that hosted speakers Kyle Ruddick and Cari Ann Shim Sham, the team of One Day On Earth on February 12, 2011. This will be easy to figure out was my immediate thought. After all, among other things, I am a planner, a journalist and a photographer. I document and highlight key life moments daily, taking notes and pictures constantly of anything that intrigues, inspires or interests me. Or so I thought...

The day of the dinner, I searched high and low for evidence of my whereabouts on that day and came up blank. No notes or agenda written on my calendar, no pictures on my camera from that day, no emails written or received, no purchases made on my bank statements. The day was blank.  How was this possible? I wondered... What did I do that day?  I know I existed for here I still am. I didn't disappear. I must have done something?! Dig deeper, I thought.  I must have some record of that day.

As it turns out, in order to detox, remove and release some of the stress and pressure of
 an incredibly full & productive life in the big bustling city that is Los Angeles and to truly relax, maintain balance, stay healthy, focused and grounded, sometimes I decide to simply slow things down and take a day for myself  to just be quiet, rest and reflect.  As I researched further, I realized that Sunday, October 10, 2010 was one of those days. Not yet having discovered One Day On Earth's cause, I thought it was a perfectly auspicious day to do so given it was a Sunday and the date was numerically aligned & significant, a perfect day for silence and reflection.  I did receive two phone calls according to my phone records but other than that, I had nothing physical to contribute to the project.  Still wanting to participate, I submitted a postcard with a 24-hour circular timeline with two small pie pieces marking the time of those phone calls as my contribution to the evening, "The Day I Almost Disappeared".

That evening, I discovered and was in complete awe of clips of this incredible crowd sourced documentary of everything that had been transpiring around me in the universe while I had essentially disconnected. While I was taking a brief and rare moment of silence and reflection, people from every country in the world were participating in the global film experience that is now the film documentary One Day On Earth.

The film is currently screening until June 28th at the Laemmle Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills. After much excitement and anticipation to see the finished film, yesterday I finally experienced the final incredible connected documented journey of that One Day On Earth and highly recommend you experience the beauty of it for yourself. People from every country in the world documented and submitted footage on a variety of beautifully passionate topics from life to death including children, animals, nature, the environment, love, health, war, famine, politics, the economy, music, passion, and more. The film's Director, Kyle Ruddick was at the screening I attended yesterday for a question and answer session.  For more information and to participate in future events, please visit http://www.onedayonearth.org/

So do you know what were you doing on October 10, 2010?  Do your homework to figure it out and then go witness the film and experience all that was simultaneously connecting to you to life on Earth on that one day. It's perspective is collaborative, participatory and inspiring all in one moment.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please also show your support by sharing this information with others. Thank you. :)

Native American Code of Ethics

1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.

2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.

6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth - whether it be people or plant.

7. Honor other people's thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.

8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.

10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.

11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.

12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life's lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.

14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.

15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self - all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others - especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.

18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first. 

19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

This originally appeared in the "Inter-Tribal Times," October, 1994

Minggu, 06 Mei 2012

Baked eggs in a portabello mushroom with fresh herbs.

For brunch, I tried a variation of this recipe by Poor Girl Eats Well today and it was delicious.

The only changes I made was to the choice of herbs. I used fresh organic basil, thyme, cilantro,scallions and parsley. I baked the mixture for 30 minutes. Next time I would bake it for 27 minutes.

Here's a before and after pic. Healthy and delicious. Enjoy.

Senin, 26 Maret 2012

It's A Boy! "Baby Feet" Baby Shower

Baby Feet

On Saturday, I co-hosted a baby shower with four amazing ladies for 30 guests for our friend's first pregnancy/baby.

Our theme was Boy Baby Feet. Our party planning duties included:

  • Decor (Tables / Chairs / Plates / Cups / Napkins / Balloons / Hanging Decor / Signs / Music) 
  • Appetizers (Cheese Platter)
  • Main Course (Tea Sandwiches / Spinach Pesto Salad / Veggie Platter)
  • Desserts (Cake / Cake Pops / Cookies / Mints)
  • Drinks (Cucumber Lemon Water / Lemonade / Champagne Punch / Coffee)
  • Games & Gifts (Advice For Mommy Scrapbook / Baby Gift Bingo / Guess the Jelly Beans / Guess the Baby Animal Name / Gifts for Guests & Game Winners / Guest Sign-In Plate)
I made the Cucumber Lemon Water & the Baby Feet Cheese Platter. Because we love to entertain at home, I have created a great "dinner party" playlist that we used as the background music. 

Cucumber Lemon Water

Recipe for Cucumber Lemon Water
  • 5 quarts of chilled water
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber (5 inches), thinly sliced
  • Ice
Thinly slice lemons & cucumbers and add slices to the pitcher/container. Add water & ice. Stir gently. Let sit for about an hour. Served 30 people (Just add more water to the pitcher as needed).

Baby Feet Cheese Platter

The Baby Feet Cheese Platter (Good rule: 1 oz. cheese per person)
  • 6 blocks of cheese (Havarti with Dill, Gouda, Brie, Blue, Swiss Gruyere, Toscano)
  • 2 packages of Sliced 4-Cheese Variety Party Pack
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes (Red & Green)
  • Walnuts
  • French Baguette
  • Cracker Assortment
I used a footprint cookie cutter to cut the sliced cheese into baby feet as the border of the platter (I'm using the extra cheese bits to make a delicious quesadilla this week). I arranged the cheese on the plate, added the fresh fruit, sprinkled the walnuts into the holes. I made my own cheese labels (wrapped 2 address labels around the top of toothpicks using a pretty blue font) and supplied a separate knife for each cheese.

Gifts for the Mommy-To-Be
Instead of a guest book, the guests signed the baby feet plate. 
The "Advice for Mommy" cards were added to the scrapbook below using baby-themed stickers.

Main Lunch Course
Tea Sandwiches & Spinach Pesto Salad

Dessert / Games
Cake, Cake Pops, Diaper Cake, Guess The Jelly Beans, and Baby Feet Mints

Decor / Gifts
Wrapped potted daisy plants in a diaper were centerpieces (also, a parting table gift for guests). 
Baby Feet Lemon Cookies were a gift for guests.
The Cards on the table were for "Advice for Mommy".

What A Happy Day!!! :D

Senin, 12 Maret 2012

Portabello Mushroom Burger

I haven't eaten beef or chicken in almost 3 weeks. After catching up with my mom on Fat Tuesday and hearing she was eliminating alcohol, sweets AND coffee this year (oh easy, right?), I decided to step it up a notch for lent this year and sacrifice all meat (except fish) and wine. I remember as a child sacrificing things for lent each year that I thought I really cared about (my favorite shoes, soda, desserts). By the time the 40 days of lent passed, I was never interested in them anymore, so I wonder if this will be the case this year as well.  This is truly a lesson in discipline and self-control.

Being that I'm also hoping to see additional positive results in my previously set energy, fitness, skin and overall health goals, practicing 40 days of serious discipline hasn't actually been too much of a chore. I've admittedly missed having a glass of red wine with dinner once in a while. Also, the day we drove by what felt like 10 In-N-Out Burgers heading up from LA to San Luis Obispo, I wanted to stop at each one & grab a animal style protein burger. This is especially bizarre because I don't actually crave In-N-Out often when I CAN HAVE IT ANYTIME I WANT so I don't know why the "YOU CAN'T HAVE IT SO IT'S ALL YOU WANT" gene kicks in NOW.  Other than that, I feel good and am seeing results in my health & fitness goals so it's working!

Since the only meat I've truly craved so far is this In-N-Out burger, last night I made my own version, a portabello mushroom burger. It's true what they say! Portabello mushrooms really are the meat of the vegetable world.

2 Portabello Mushrooms
Cut Scallions
2 slices Jarlsberg low-fat cheese
spicy mustard
whole-weat buns
3 tbs olive oil
2 cloves frozen garlic (Trader Joe's)
1 frozen basil cube (Trader Joe's)
1 frozen parsley cube (Trader Joe's)

Making the Burger:

  • Pre-heated 1.5 tbs olive oil, frozen garlic, basil & parsley from Trader Joe's in grilling pan on medium-high heat.
  • Once herbs melted, added 2 chopped scallions & mushrooms to pan.
  • Grilled on medium-high for 10 minutes flipping every few minutes.
  • Added cheese for last 2 minutes.
  • Served on whole-wheat buns with romaine lettuce and spicy mustard.

Makes 2 Servings. Delicious! Enjoy!

100+ Healthy Vegetarian Recipes by Green Kitchen Stories

Stumbled upon Green Kitchen Stories blog and was so excited to discover a huge variety of healthy vegetarian recipes. After browsing this blog, I feel like trying a new recipe tonight! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)

Sabtu, 10 Maret 2012

Today... smile. :)

I've been busy tackling the heavy duty pre-Spring cleaning home chores (vacuuming under furniture & beds, cleaning the oven, deep cleaning the fridge/microwave, changing air filters, etc.) Tomorrow I'm going to start planting seeds for my patio garden. It's been in the 80's most of the week so my current plants are already blooming and it feels like summer in Los Angeles - NOT COMPLAINING AT ALL.

I love everything about chalkboards (and butterflies of course), so when I saw this at Target for $1, I just had to grab it. I hung it in the kitchen today.

Chalkboard: $1
Box of Chalk: $1.50
Recycled String: Free
Smile: Priceless

Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

The only thing standing between you and your goal

I'm going to post this picture in my bathroom, 
right over the toilet next to the mirror as a "note to self". 

A bit of history on the picture, friends were visiting me while I was living in Ireland in '07 and during our tour of the Ring of Kerry I took this shot right after my car overheated and the engine blew stranding us for several hours. Talk about getting stuck at a crossroads... my car had lost power steering going downhill towards a cliff and this is the spot we safely managed to land. But what started as a mishap ended up being one of the greatest adventures of our trip. The rest of the story can be read on my travel blog.

This image reminds me of a time frame where I continuously pushed and challenged myself and those around me to grow in ways that many questioned as impossible "because it had never been done before". But what kind of excuse is that anyways? So while the naysayers were busy neighing, we gathered the right people (ones that were willing to say yes and just do it), set goals and deadlines, and pushed ahead in leaps and bounds accomplishing things daily that had never been done before. 

What is most great is it's not just true of those experiences but a lesson to be reminded of repeatedly anytime I stop myself from staying on track as it speaks loudly to me, "Nothing is impossible. If I can accomplish "that"-- ie. taking the first step and moving to Ireland alone for 2 years, learning to cross the street by looking right first instead of left and then learning to drive  in the opposite side of the car on the opposite side of the road, eventually stopping that car from driving us off a cliff all while meeting new people, learning a new culture, successfully relocating a company abroad, and most important maintaining a sense of humor and a sense of adventure through all it was & wasn't according to my expectations at step 1 (moving to Ireland) -- I can accomplish anything."

Minggu, 19 Februari 2012

One... ~Author Unknown

One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal,
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam can light a room,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care,
One voice can wake up everybody,
One life can make the difference,
be that one today.
into a new way of thinking.

Sabtu, 18 Februari 2012

43 Rules To Live By ~Author Unknown

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, "I love you", mean it.
5. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Spend some time alone.
23. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
24. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
25. Read more books and watch less TV.
26. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
27. Trust in God but lock your car.
28. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
29. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
30. Read between the lines.
31. Share your knowledge... It's a way to achieve immortality.
32. Be gentle with the earth.
33. Pray. There's immeasurable power in it.
34. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
35. Mind your own business.
36. Don't trust a man/woman who doesn't close his/her eyes when you kiss.
37. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
38. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
39. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck,
40. Learn the rules then break some.
41. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
42. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
43. Remember that your character is your destiny.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2012

Good News from Good.Is

This is so cool!!!  I hope they get it figured out soon since gas prices are ridiculous these days. I could fuel my vehicle the same way I fuel my body... with fruit!

Senin, 13 Februari 2012

Always be yourself...


To be nobody-but-yourself -- 
in a world which is doing its best, night and day, 
to make you everybody else -- 
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; 
and never stop fighting.

~ E.E. Cummings


Sabtu, 04 Februari 2012

2012: The People's Influence on Corporations

Lately, I have been completely fascinated by people's recent use of social media and grand-scale protest to influence corporations to change including the recent examples I've been following: the Occupy Wall Street's 99% Movementthe Blackout in protest of PIPA & SOPAa petition to Obama regarding Monsantoconsumers are considering boycotting Apple after a recent NY Times article highlighted not only their outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China but also exposed the appalling work conditions in their outsourced Chinese manufacturing plantsMcDonald's pulled an offensive local radio ad & issued an apology yesterday when dog lovers united in protestand now today in the fashion world H & M and a street artist collide over the question of international copyright infringement violations.

As people dig deeper into their own value systems, wants & needs, they are no longer waiting for change to happen via government approved authority and as-per-usual methodology, but making their thoughts and viewpoints known by new methods of change including using the power of a common voice via social media and the internet to promote their causes. There has been much loss, tension, fear and sense of instability in the air over the last several years. As we experience this great cosmic shift in values and priorities, people are quickly realizing that as the forces NOW unite, their voices will be heard and the positive changes currently in progress will be swift and immediate. 

On a very personal note, before his untimely death on Independence Day of 2010, my dear friend Kindred Khan Nguyen became a mentor to me. We began discussing the last few years events leading to 2012 right upon my return from Ireland in early 2008 and continued to debate and discuss the matters incessantly until his passing. He was unquestionably enlightened beyond his years. As we discussed my plans to immediately invest in starting the business I'd been planning for the previous 2 years, he warned me in early 2008 to be extremely financially cautious due to the pending disaster that would happen in the years prior to 2012. Within six months, we all began experiencing what ultimately became the worst economic collapse of our lifetime and despite the warnings and over-cautious spending, we were all affected tremendously. He also predicted in his blog post 2012 and the Mayan Calendar and in our many conversations that we would see a major positive paradigm shift happen in 2012. I'm looking forward to it as we enter February 2012, an auspicious year, the year of the Black Water Dragon. I am confident that this already is and will continue to be a year of great positive change for me, both personally and professionally.  I wish the same for you. Each day this year, I've witnessed and observed major signs and evidence of change arising. The people of the world (myself included) have been speaking up and publicly protesting to promote much needed positive change at the local, national, and worldwide levels. Through widespread action, my hope for our future is that we are shifting from an era where corporate power and greed controls the world to an era where peace, unity and love will prevail. 

And by the way, as Tori LaConsay so eloquently put it, "YOU LOOK NICE TODAY. <3" Support her by buying one of her handmade doormats. 

Jumat, 03 Februari 2012

Think About It...

You can’t think your way
into a new way of living…
you have to live your way
into a new way of thinking.

Rabu, 25 Januari 2012


I first met Steve Connell early on a Saturday morning 
when he and Sekou Andrews woke me up with words  
by opening the LA Idea Project Conference with beautiful poetry in 2009. 
I've been enjoying the truth, inspiration and energy of their Spoken Word ever since. 
Steve speaks here about the real meaning of CONNECTION!
Love this!

Technology advancement has provided us with incredible instruments to share, connect and gain knowledge easily accessible at our finger tips. When I saw this I paused, humbly reminded that my grandma never had a cell phone or used a computer and our connection was deep, real and in person. The best and most rewarding & memorable experiences of my life didn't happen while browsing the internet, but while I was out enjoying the moment, fully present. Some of my best and most interesting friends in the world don't participate in online social media or even have Facebook accounts and one of the most important lessons I've discovered from the 140 character limit on Twitter is that brevity is not my forte. I've been procrastinating seeing one of those friends for a while now so this week I'm going to make time for her as well as turn off the distracting background noise for a night and make my playlist of 2011 favorite songs.

Stay connected without getting lost.