Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Classes Starting Soon

Life Yoga will be starting classes again August 23! We will have class every Monday evening at 7:45 p.m., and will possibly be adding another evening during the week.

As an introductory rate, classes held on August 23 andAugust 30 will be a drop-in rate of $5.  All you need to bring is a mat (towel and water optional).  

All classes are beginner to intermediate level and will last one hour.  

Classes will be held at Dance Pointe Studio which is located at 2908 E. 15th Street.

The schedule for September and October will be announced shortly. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.  I look forward to seeing you all again soo

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Yoga Session!

Life Yoga is offering a new yoga session:

7 Weeks Of Classes
Only $60!

Please join us for another session of yoga classes.  Classes will start February 15 and continue through March 29. 

If you choose not to sign up for the session the drop-in fee will be $12 per class. This is a savings of $24!

If you have any questions please contact us at:

Or visit our website at:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Must Read's For 2010

I have battled with reading my entire life.  I love the knowledge that I gain from reading.  I love to learn. I love the idea of curling up on the couch with a nice cup of hot tea and reading an enticing novel.  But that doesn't always happen.  In fact it never happens.  I feel like I never have the time to read.  But since I have graduated college I have found my desire to learn increasing- and I have found book after book that I know that I need to read.  I love recommending books to people, but I have never found myself to be a novel-kind-of-person.  Instead I love to read books about health, cooking, food, nutrition, and all things life.  Non-fiction has always seemed more practical to me than fiction- I am not sure why.  So over the past year I have found many books that I love- and have just bought a few recently that I am beyond excited about starting.

As my devoted readers (and since I have not been as diligent about giving you something to read on here) I am recommending some books that will not only help you take a few minutes for yourself but help you grow in your knowledge of health and living a healthy life.

So here we go:

One of my favorite authors of all time is Michael Pollan.  He a journalist who set out on a journey to find out what has happened to the food system.  He has uncovered so many truths and is just an incredible writer.  Sometimes I find myself going back to reread something because all I am focused on is how great of a writer he is.  So the first three books are all by Michael Pollan.

  • Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  This is a little pamphlet, if you will, about the "rules" of eating. One of which being to "eat food." It is so cheap on Amazon- I think I bought it for $5.  Definitely a must read!
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  This is the broader version of Food Rules, which was written first and then condensed down into a some simple rules.  The entire premise of this book is to "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants."
  • The Omnivore's Delimma by Michael Pollan.  This is all about the journey of our food.  He follows several different meals from the farm or factory to the dinner table.  This is absolutely a fascinating book.
  • enLIGHTened: How I lost 40 pounds with a yoga mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle-Pointer by Jessica Berger Gross.  This is more of a memoir style book that tells of one woman's journey through life and how doing yoga and becoming healthy has transformed her life.  
  • The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.  Everyone remembers Alicia Silverstone as the ditzy girl from Clueless, but she has become quite the animal activist these days.  She is now a vegan and lives almost completely on a macrobiotic diet.  Half of the book is how to live healthier through food and the second half is all delicious recipes. In fact, I have already made a few and they have been showstoppers! 
  • Naturally Thin and also The Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel.  First read Naturally Thin, and I can almost guarantee that it will change your life.  Follow this directly with The Skinnygirl Dish for lessons on how to cook anything and everything and still live healthy and happy!
  • Skinny Bitch and also Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  A very graphic but informative look at what eating meat and dairy does to your body, the planet, and even what it does to the animals.  Absolutely imperative to read before you eat another bite of steak or drink a glass of milk.  
  • Mastering Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels.  We have all seen her work her magic on The Biggest Loser- so she must have something good to say about the metabolism, right? I just received this book in the mail yesterday and cannot wait to get started on it! This was recommended to me by my Master Trainer at my YogaFit Teacher Training, who is also a Personal Trainer.  Between the two of them I think that this will be a very informative book.  Also- if you have Exercise TV on your On Demand, try Jillian Michaels' free workout.  It is unreal!
  • 5 Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused All Day Long.  This seems to be pretty self explanatory- but it is such a wonderful way to start your day out! This just gives you a little meditation practice each morning.  
Hope that these are just a few to help you get started on a healthy and happy New Year! Please feel free to send me your feedback- or please, please, please send me any great books that you have been reading! I love good recommendations!  You can contact me at  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Check This Out!

Every once and a while I like to point out things on the internet that I think would help my readers!  I have found a few other blogs that I like, that pertain to health, that I think everyone should see!

Here they are: 

Some of these Documentaries can be found on  And like I have said before: Watch Food, Inc.

Some of fun, some are funny- but they are all very informative! 

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolutions- Fact or Fiction

Let's face it: we all make a New Year's Resolution to go on a diet, go to the gym, and to lose weight.  And we make this same resolution every year.  Well if we make it every year- why aren't we at the point that we want to be at yet? And why are we making the same resolution every year?  I know that you are wondering why this happens- yet another year gone and still we are unhappy with our weight, our shape, our eating habits.  Well I will tell you why this is: life gets in the way.  

At the beginning of the year we rid our cabinets of all unhealthy food, stock them with fat-free this, and fat-free that, only lean meats and vegetables, buy a gym membership and vow to weigh ten pounds less by March.  Well let me tell you something- this is just unrealistic.  Sometime around mid-to-late January you will start to despise those fat-free cookies, you will start to crave the old food that you used to eat, and you will begin to excuse yourself from the gym.  This is where life comes in.  You will let life's circumstances hold you back.  "Well, we were having a party at work today so I had to eat 4 pieces of pizza." "I had a bad day at work I deserve to get take-out chinese food and eat all of it in one sitting." "I am too busy to go to the gym today, I will go tomorrow."  Trust me- I have made the same excuses myself.  You will continue to do this until one day you wake up and you haven't been to the gym or eaten a home-cooked, healthy meal in three weeks.  And it just becomes a viscous cycle.

But here is the deal- when we make our New Year's Resolutions we use the word "diet."  Let me tell you- I hate the word diet.  It is not even in my vocabulary.  And I can tell you right now this is the only time that you will ever see me use the word diet in any of my blogs.  I do not believe in diets. I believe in changing your lifestyle.  I believe in getting healthy.  I will never tell you to go on a diet.  Because, honestly, when and where does the diet end- and what happens when you quit the diet?  Do you just gain it all back?  And what if your friends decide to go to dinner and you decline the invitation because you are "on a diet" - are you on a diet from fun too?  

Here is my proposition: this year, make your New Year's Resolution to get healthy.  Eat food because it is good for your body and because it tastes good (good in a healthy way).  I promise you- you will get nowhere with 'fat-free' anything.  Instead of buying fat-free, try buying foods that are not processed.  Instead of eating meat for every meal, try something you have never had before.  Make a delicious vegetable and tofu stir-fry with grilled pineapple for desert! 

If you continue to put yourself on a diet you are only restricting yourself from the foods you want, and it will eventually end and you will be right back where you started.  If you are working to get yourself healthy you will want to eat foods that are good for you, you will even want to go to the gym!  Now I am not going to say that some days the easier choice will be to go home after work instead of going to the gym- or to choose a cheeseburger over some brown rice and vegetables, but that is just life.  If you learn to change your lifestyle, you will literally see the pounds fall off- but I promise you- that will not even compare to the way that you will feel inside.  

It is so easy to fall into the "diet craze" because everyone is obsessed with dieting.  But if you are the one to change your lifestyle, get healthy, get fit, and look great- everyone will be asking what you are doing to look so good and you will get to tell them "I vowed to get healthy this year."  You will get to be an inspiration to those around you- and help others get healthy too!  Between the wonderful feeling you get when helping others and your new found health you will have never felt better!

Here are a few tips to live by this New Year:

- Eat the rainbow.  Fill your plate with the brightest colors that you can find.  Spinach, different colors of peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash! This is a fun way for kids to eat healthy too.

- A trip to the gym, even if its for 15 minutes, is better than nothing.  You may not have much time one day- but you will feel so much better if you can go for even 15 minutes just to do a little cardio.  This will keep up your gym consistency.

- If you know that it has no nutritional value- don't eat it.  That's all there is to it. 

- Always allow yourself exceptions.  If I am telling you no fat-free cookies you are probably wondering what you are supposed to do?  Eat a real cookie!!!! It's not going to kill you.  Now I didn't say eat six real cookies- but I promise you, if you sit down and enjoy every bite of your cookie you will love it, and might not even need the entire thing!

- Always know that you have to live your life, and somedays will be better than others.  Each meal is a new start- so if you eat something not very nutritional for lunch that doesn't mean your day is ruined and to eat whatever you want for the rest of the day.  Try to balance it out with a healthy, fulfilling dinner.

If you have any further questions please feel free to email me at  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"You Don't Want No Meats?!?"

A few years ago I was having breakfast with a vegetarian co-worker. Whenever he went to order his breakfast without the usual side of sausage or bacon he was struck with this puzzled, yet typical Southern response, "You mean, you don't want no meats??"  His response was a lot more comical than mine would have been, when he replied, "Ummm... yes.  I don't want- no meats."  

For years we have joked about this- and today I think it is still as funny as it was then.  However, when you are eating at a restaurant and are constantly asked, in one way or another, "you don't want no meats?" the situation becomes less than amusing.  

Now, I hardly ever dedicate any of my blogs to vegetarianism because I try to appeal to a wide variety of readers, and for some reason people get really defensive whenever you talk about taking away their meat.  Now this is fine- I'm not asking anyone else to be a vegetarian, I'm just asking for people to respect my choices and not tell me what to eat... after all- I am not telling you what to eat.  And also- to have a few vegetarian options at a restaurant would be nice too.  

A few weeks ago, at my dismay, I went to a family dinner at a chain restaurant.  Now, usually there is at least something that I can eat.  More times than not- it is a salad- or just pasta with no topping (yuck!).  However, at this particular restaurant even the salads had meat or fish on them... and most of them had more than one meat in them.  Even some of the salad dressings were infused with bacon.  This was almost the last straw for me... but because I realized that this dinner was about more than just food- but about spending time with family- I put on a smile and ordered a salad exactly how I wanted it- even though there was nothing even similar to what I ordered on the menu.  And, OF COURSE, the waitress looked at me like I was insane when I "designed my own salad" and refused to eat the minestrone because it was made with beef broth.  In fact, she even tried to talk me into eating it.  I'm not really sure where she was going with it- but I politely declined pretending that I didn't notice the irritation in her voice as she took down my order.

This is just one of many, MANY issues that I have had eating at restaurants, which is partially why I suggest eating at home most of the time.  BUT, you can't live in a cave, and sometimes you want to get out with your family and friends to enjoy some time together.  

I usually share these stories with my boyfriend and sometimes a friend or family member, but I have decided that complaining about things isn't going to do anything.  I am convincing people who are already convinced.  I am preaching to the wrong people.  So I have decided that I am going to start making a move.  As I have been visiting restaurants I have been jotting down the information of where to e-mail comments to (all restaurants have these, sometimes right there on their menu), and I am going to start e-mailing them comments and suggestions about how to make their menus more vegetarian friendly.

I have left restaurants and vowed to never go back because they do not offer me a variety (2 or 3) HEALTHY vegetarian choices (a vegetarian choice is not onion rings, or fettuccine alfredo). I have lived in other cities that are MUCH more vegetarian friendly than my current city, Tulsa, so I know this is a change these restaurants can make! I have also seen restaurants begin to adapt to a vegetarian lifestyle. As I discussed in my past blog Using Your Vote, your food choices matter to companies, and if we are all just sitting at home wishing something would change- nothing ever will.  So let's do something together!  

Over the next few months I will begin posting different restaurants that I am writing to- and give the information to you, and if this is something that you are interested in, I want you to write them too.  And just as a side note- I want these to be productive, pleasant e-mails that are constructively trying to help these businesses, and us.  Maybe no one will ever even read our e-mails, but maybe someone will, and maybe something will change because of us!  

Remember: We live in a world where we can make anything happen, you just have to stand up for what you believe in.

Monday, December 7, 2009

If Your Body Is A Temple, Do You Really Want To Leave Doritos At The Alter?

I was reading this wonderful book the other day called enLIGHTened and I came across the question,"If your body is a temple, do you really want to leave doritos at the alter?"  Now, take this for what you will- but I thought it was brilliant.  I mean, no matter how you look at it- we put many different things in our bodies that should never pass our lips.  Doritos being one of them.  Or maybe you don't eat doritos- but you do love doughnuts... or cake... or ice cream... or whatever your equivalent is.  But do we really want to be putting those things into our bodies?  

I get asked all of the time by people in my yoga classes, or just people who talk to me about fitness- "What do you eat? Do you eat carbs? Do you eat this or that?"  And when I first started getting this question I was at first baffled that someone wanted to know what I would eat- like I must have some amazing eating regime that is that of a model yogi.  And then whenever I thought like this I got really embarrassed because no, I don't eat like a model yogi.  Or a model anything for that matter.  I just eat what I want to.  Now I didn't say AS MUCH as I wanted to- I said I eat WHAT I want to.  

There are two points that I am trying to make here: 1. Don't put something into your body that you know isn't what your body needs (leaving doritos at the alter) and 2.  Eat what you love to eat.  These two rules seem to be very counteractive.  But I promise- they are not. 

The overall idea is to eat foods that are whole foods- foods from the earth- that are not manufactured in some laboratory in Iowa where they genetically modify everything.  Eat as many REAL foods as you can.  Vegetables, fruits, grains, etc... the more you start to eat whole foods- the more you will crave whole foods.  After awhile you will start to taste how processed some of the foods you have been eating taste- or how oily or greasy restaurant food is. BUT when you do want something- I mean REALLY want it, eat it.  By this I don't mean that one morning someone brings in doughnuts and you all of a sudden want a doughnut.  Eat what you REALLY want- and I promise you, you will be satisfied beyond belief, and eat much less.  

So many times we are told what to eat by nutritionists, magazines, TV shows, friends, coworkers... but who are they to tell us what to eat?  Maybe I don't want 1 cup of broccoli for dinner every night of the week.  Maybe one night I want a baked potato instead- is that so wrong?  (I know that so many of you are thinking 'yes, it is because we were told to not eat carbs and carbs are scary and if I eat one carb I have to eat 1000'.  No, thats not how it works.  Did I say I was going to eat the ENTIRE potato? No.  I'm going to have enough bites to be satisfied, and not a bite more.)  This is why I was baffled that people asked me what I ate- like if they ate what I eat then it will work for them.  Everyone is different! Everyone craves different food- everyone enjoys different food.

Here is the bottom line.  I used to LOVE french fries.  I'm talking love.  This is embarrassing- but I am going to share it so that maybe someone else can make the transition that I did- but I could seriously take down a large french fry from McDonalds without even blinking an eye (I know, I know its painful to even say).  And I would deprive myself of all french fries, always.  But when I did allow myself to eat them I would eat as many as I could because I knew I would not get to eat them for a long time.  But guess what?  The next time would come sooner than I planned- and I would end up eating more than I ever should have.  

But then I decided hey- if I want some french fries I should be able to eat french fries.  And so I started letting myself eat what I wanted- if I felt like ordering french fries with my veggie burger then I ordered french fries.  I ate a few to satisfy my craving- and then stopped eating.  And believe it or not- I got over my french fry craving.  They are just greasy, salty potatoes to me now.  I would much rather have some homemade baked french fries, or a baked potato for that matter- or maybe even a salad or broccoli.  And this all happened because I let myself eat what I wanted to without depriving myself of anything- even if it wasn't that good for me- because eating a few french fries here and there is a lot better than eating a large french fry from McDonalds in one sitting.

So whatever your "french fry" may be start rethinking how good it is for your body.  Is it nutritionally valuable to you?  Will it make you feel light, healthy, and refreshed after you eat it?  Do you REALLY want it?  And if somehow you still want to eat it after asking all of these questions- let yourself eat it.  Only a few bites- until you are satisfied- and then forget about it.  Move on- and make sure that you balance it out with a few more raw vegetables during the day.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yoga For Kids

A few weeks ago I was asked to teach yoga to a class of 4 year olds.  Now, not only do I not have kids- but I am barely even around kids, so I thought how in the world am I going to do this?  And how did I even get myself into this?  

I teach a class once a week at Patrick Henry Elementary for a group of teachers after school.  The teachers seem to really love the class- and so one of the teachers asked me one day if I would like to come in and teach her class a short yoga routine.  I immediately agreed- even though I had no idea how I was going to alter my class to a much younger audience than I was used to.  

After working with some great yoga flash cards called "Yoga Pretzels" I got my class in order, not sure if the children would respond to me at all.  

The morning of the class I showed up with much anticipation, but confident that at least someone might want to do a pose called "Downward Facing Dog" - or maybe even a pose called "Cobra."

The kids immediately got into a circle and took off their socks and shoes.  And, being as quiet as they could for a group of four year olds, they began following me through the motions.  We practiced being mountains, cats, dogs, boats, and even rocks.  A few times I asked the kids to let me hear what sound they thought that particular animal made.  The kids were really good at this- and a few even came charging towards me on their hands and feet barking!  Not to mention, I almost got "attacked" by a "shark."  

At the end of the routine we all laid down and closed our eyes, imagining that we were in our "special place."  We imaged what it looked like around us, maybe we were somewhere we had seen in a picture, or maybe just our room at home.  We imaged who was there with us, and took time just to be quiet.  Everyone did so great at this!

This was such a great experience and I cannot wait to go back and teach another class!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You, Thanksgiving.

Well, it is the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend and I am sure many of your are full of regret and afraid to step on the scale.  I actually heard on the news the other day (brace yourself, this is going to be rough)- that the average person consumed between 4,000-6,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.  Wow.  That is two to three times the recommended daily caloric intake!  What in the world were we eating to consume that many calories... turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, casserole, stuffing, deviled eggs, pie...... more pie...... grazing back through the dishes a few hours later... then more pie.... and to top it off before bed- a little more pie.  At least thats how my day went (minus the turkey, but don't worry I made up for it with a little more of everything else).  

Or maybe you did really good this Thanksgiving.  Maybe you balanced your plate- had only a few bites of everything that you really loved and then quit with your weight and dignity in tact.  

Either way- here we are.  At just the beginning of the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is just a minor speed bump in the road of holiday parties, Christmas dinner, and New Years celebrations.  How are we ever going to get through this time without having to (for the millionth year in a row) make our New Years resolution to lose weight. Don't you think that it's ironic that you have to make your New Years resolution directly after you have done nothing but indulge on delicious meals, pies, and holiday candies?  I have always found that a little odd.  

Not to mention something else that I heard on the news the other day- the average person gains between eight and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.  What in the world are we doing to ourselves???  We don't do this any other time during the year- so why do we just lose all of our inhibitions during the holidays?  

Well guess what?  We are stopping it right now.  All of us.  I'm serious.  The main focus of our holiday should be family and friends- not just the food.  I have come up with a few ideas that will help you to make the holidays a little less about food and a little more about family and friends.

Step 1:  When it's time to eat, eat.  When it's time to stop eating, stop eating.  So many conversations are just a congregation around the dinner table- with all of the food still on it.  This makes it way too easy to just munch away on on the leftovers when you aren't even paying attention.  Clear off the table and bring out the cards, or dominoes,  or whatever game your family likes.  Get a big glass of water and if you must eat- a handful of raw carrots- and enjoy the time with your family! After all, that is what this is really about.

Step 2:  Start new family traditions.  This year my mom and I came up with an idea to start taking a walk every holiday after our meal.  We took an hour long walk a few hours after Thanksgiving lunch.  All the boys were taking a nap anyways- so we didn't miss a thing and got to spend some great time together.  And lets face it- we live in Oklahoma, it's probably going to be 70 on Christmas anyways.  

Step 3:  Don't give up your normal workout routine.  If you run every morning at 7 a.m. then go ahead and run every morning at 7 a.m. (or whatever workout it is that you do).  Lots of gyms stay open (especially the day after the holiday) so take advantage of this and keep to your normal routine.  This is the key to living a balanced life- if you eat a little more- workout a little more and you will be just fine to step on the scale Monday morning without seeing a bit of change.

Step 4:  Don't feel bad if you don't like something on the table. OK- so say you put Aunt Susie's new casserole on your plate and you have one bite and you hate it.  Don't finish it just so you won't hurt her feelings!!!! Listen, I am the pickiest eater in the world and everyone in my family still loves me just the same.  These are your calories to spend- spend them on things that you truly enjoy- otherwise they are just a waste, you won't be satisfied, and you will end up eating more calories in the long run.  Whatever you do- don't do it.  She won't even remember it in an hour.

And finally,

Step 5:  Don't worry about it!  So maybe you are one of the people that I was talking about who overindulged.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  You will know how to make better decisions next time.  It is not the end of the world- this isn't about food anyways- it's about enjoying your time with your family!  If you make things about your family then you will forget all about (ok, almost all about) the food!  

However you choose to spend your holiday just know that it is an excuse to get together with your family and friends- not to eat whatever you want with no consequences.  You will feel much better if you follow these simple steps- and will be able to make a much better New Years resolution than losing weight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Question of the Week

I am constantly being bombarded with questions about fitness, healthy eating, and just health in general, so I have come up with a new segment that I am going to implement into my blog! I will post a question that I receive through e-mail or Facebook along with my answer every Tuesday. So here we go...


I've slowly been changing my eating habits and work out habits, but i've noticed that i gain muscle REALLY fast (i played sports for over 10 years) and if i work out with weights i tend to bulk up really fast. Is there a specific workout or excercise routine you recommend for people, especially girls, who are beginning to work out for the first time in a while?





Thank you for such a great question!  This is something that I get asked all of the time!

My first suggestion would be to increase your cardio. Whenever you increase cardio in your workout you begin to burn more fat without bulking up as much.

Another great workout for maintaining a long, lean muscle is yoga. Yoga is especially important if you are doing a lot of running or exercises that can build a lot of muscles in your lower body. By doing yoga you can begin to lengthen out those muscles that tend to become compact when doing other weight lifting exercises or even cardio (such as running or jumping rope).

I personally like to run and can always tell how tight my muscles become after I run. This is where yoga can come in and stretch them out so that they become less bulky but still just as strong.

In fact, some yoga incorporates cardio into the class so that your heart rate rises while also using your body as your "weight".

As for upper body- most women are worried about having a bulky upper body and don't want to lift weights because they think their arms will get "big.". Yoga is also great for this. By using your own body as your "weights" you begin to become strong without building huge muscles. You can lengthen out your arm muscles so that you have lean, shapely arms without looking like you should be on the cover of muscle mag. :)

Hope that this helps! I would love for you to come to my yoga class on Saturday mornings. This Saturday I am running a special where if you bring 2 friends you will get in free. Let me know if you ever have anymore questions because I love to help! :)



Do you want your question on the Life Yoga blog? E-mail me at or Facebook me your question and look for the answer every Tuesday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where To Go When You're Surfing The Web

Sometimes I sit down at my computer and forget completely what I was going to look up.  I know that there were a million things that I wanted to look at- but for some reason the second I sit down I become overwhelmed and end up just walking away until I can remember.  Although sometimes I will admit that I don't walk away and then I end up mindlessly searching through site after site looking at pointless information. Either way the internet can be a mess when you don't know exactly where you are going and what you are looking for. There are so many websites- and so many contradicting ideas to be found.  So- I am dedicating my entire blog today to sites that I have found (specifically dealing with health and wellness) that can be helpful in doing at-home workouts, finding great recipes, and learning about the latest important health info.

So here we go...

Women's Health Magazine -  This website has everything you could ever want!  Here you can find the latest healthy eating tips, at-home workouts, tips for running, and even different yoga routines.  

Vegetarian Times- For the last time: You do not have to be a vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian dishes.  Veg Times offers lots of veggie recipes that are great for the entire family.  And since you have started trying to eat one (or two) vegetarian meals each week- this would be the perfect place to find some new recipes!

Whole Foods- Everyone knows that I just love love love Whole Foods- but not just the store-  I love the idea of Whole Foods.  I love that Whole Foods is a place that you can find basically everything that you need to live a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle.  However, not only can the store help you with this- but the website can also!  On their website they offer lots of special deals that they are currently having, advice for different diets (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.), and also great recipes!  

And by the way- Whole Foods is running a special right now where if you buy your Thanksgiving turkey from them then you will get a dozen eggs, a package of bacon, a package of English muffins, and a carton of OJ FREE!! Wow!  

Natural Health Magazine- This is a great website for finding lots of natural remedies for aches, pains, or any other health problems that you may be having.  It also lists lots of different products and companies that are natural.  And once again- lots of yummy yummy recipes!

YogaJournal-  I have linked to this website several times.  It is really great resource for yoga poses.  You can actually go to the "pose finder" and set up a sequence of yoga postures and then print them out!  It also has lots of a great articles about yoga and the benefits of yoga.  There are also many links to great websites and blogs that you can find through YogaJournal.    I really like Yoga Buzz- which is under the blogs tab.  It has lots of short little blogs that are a quick read but still very intriguing.  

VegCooking Blog-  This is just a simple little blog with veg recipes on it! It usually includes pictures- that look amazing! Most of the recipes are fairly simple, always healthy, and look delicious!  It also has short little articles and interviews with chefs and other interesting people.

And finally this last website just has to do with life.  It is one of my favorite websites.  It keeps me informed about what is going on with the world and is a great way to stay involved.  There's a little something for everyone on it- and hopefully you all will enjoy it as much as I do.   From animals rights to healthcare this website has everything that you need to know to stay up with what's happening with our world.  There are so many awesome articles that encourage people to not only stay informed- but to get involved and make a difference.  One of the most recent articles that I found shocking was that being a woman is considered a "pre-existing" condition in the eyes of some insurance companies.  Check out the article here at "I Am Not A Pre-Existing Condition".  

I hope that these websites help you to not only become healthier but to help you stay involved and in touch with your food, your body, and your world. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Sugar Tonight

"No Sugar Tonight."  Great song.  The Guess Who.  Fabulous.  Everyone loves The Guess Who.  Everyone loves sugar.  But what kind of sugar are we having?  Is it just plain ole white sugar? Or is it refined sugar.  Processed sugar.  What about High Fructose Corn Syrup- does that count as sugar?  It's what replaced sugar in soft drinks so for our purposes yes, it is sugar.  

But what is it even?  If we drink pop we have it quite a bit- but what else is it in?  And how much is too much?  Is it even safe to drink- or eat?  Oh don't worry- you eat it too... all the time.  Who even knew that?  You would be surprised the list of items that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  

Here let's listen to No Sugar Tonight just in case you still feel like having sugar after you read all of this.  Just click here.  

First of all lets talk about what HFCS is.  I got this definition from

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – called isoglucose in the UK and glucose/fructose in Canada – comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert its glucose into fructose and has then been mixed with pure corn syrup (100%glucose) to produce a desired sweetness. In the United States, HFCS is typically used as a sugar substitute and is ubiquitous in processed foods and beverages, including soft drinksyogurt, industrial bread, cookies, salad dressing, and tomato soup.

Hmmmm... "industrial bread" ... it seems like we've talked about that before.  As well as processed tomato (or any kind of) soup.  OK- so what does this all mean?  Basically HFCS is a genetically engineered sugar substitute.  So what? Whats the big deal- so is Sweet 'N Low. (Which is a whole different topic, as well as all of the other "sugar substitutes.") And not to mention many studies have actually found Mercury in HFCS.  Scary.

So how much of this stuff do we actually make each year? And even more importantly how much do we consume?  According to The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals  is the most valuable food product refined from corn, accounting for 530 million bushels every year (17.5 billion pounds of HFCS).  

Pollan also said that since 1985, an American's annual consumption of HFCS has gone from forty-five pounds to sixty-six pounds.  Now you would think that its only because Americans have stopped consuming less regular sugar and more HFCS.  Wrong.  Pollan went on to say that during the same period our consumption of refined sugar actually went up by five pounds.    In fact, since 1985 our consumption of all added sugars- cane, beet, HFCS, glucose, honey, maple syrup, whatever- has climbed from 128 pounds to 158 pounds per person. Thats a jump of 30 pounds of sugar per person per year!!!!   

So now that we know what it is and how much we take in- lets talk about what it does to our bodies.  Just a few of the side effects linked to HFCS include (but are not limited to): obesity, diabetes, liver problems, cancer...  (and many more).  According to
"When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full." 

Umm I hate to tell you but your soda just ruined your diet.  

So what exactly is HFCS in?  Here's a short list:  
industrial bread 
basically everything made from Kellogg's (yes Special K is included) 
Heinz Ketchup 
Nabisco cookies
Nutri-Grain cereal bars (bummer, I know)
most cough syrups 
(every type of Robitussin)
Vicks Nyquil
Nabisco Ritz crackers
Wheat Thins!
Yoplait Yogurt
some brands of pickles
almost every brand of ice cream
almost every type of sauce including BBQ
Oscar Meyer lunchables
.... I could literally go on forever. 
Oh and soup.  

Here is a site to find HFCS in your favorite fast food restaurants. 

So basically what I am getting at is that HFCS is not something that we should be putting in our bodies- EVER! There is no need for it and there are lots of healthy alternatives.  Take the time to read the labels and find products with no HFCS in them.  It will only make you hungrier sooner- and increase your chances of all of those terrible diseases.  

Also- go through your cabinets right now and I promise you will be shocked at all of the items that contain HFCS.  This decision to eliminate HFCS from our diets is something that we need to do for ourselves and for our families.  Eating less processed foods (which is exactly what HFCS is) should be our first goal in living a healthy lifestyle.  

A great website for more information is

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Good Things In Life Are Free (or almost free)

The good things in life are free.  I mean... almost free.  Friendship, love.... but what about health?  Everyone thinks that being healthy is expensive.  It's so much easier to order off of the dollar menu than to go to Subway with the entire family- or to buy enough groceries to cook a healthy meal at home for that matter. And although we have already talked about "Making the Investment" it is hard to live your life spending every last dime on being healthy.  Trust me- I've seen my last dime time and time again.  So here are a few tips both for eating healthy on a budget and for exercising on a budget!

First, Eating Healthy:

1.  Make a "smart" grocery list and stick to it.  By "smart" grocery list I mean that you eliminate processed foods.  I talked about this some in my blog "Making the Best of What You've Got"- but the main thing that you need to focus on is buying less processed foods and more whole foods.  Whole foods would be the basic food groups: fruit, vegetables, dairy, and grains.  This will immediately eliminate some of the pricier things on your list.

2.  Stock up!  A lot of the reason that people think that cooking healthy meals at home can be so expensive is because every time you want to make something you have to go buy every single item it takes to make it (which can sometimes be 15 or 20 different items.)  However, if you stock up on the basics you will cut your grocery list in half.  Some of these items may include:  spices, herbs (preferably grow your own!), pasta noodles, different seasoning sauces (teriyaki, soy, tamari etc.).  Even potatoes and onions will last quite a while and are always great to have on hand.  If you can get rid of the items that are in many recipes from your grocery list you will be able to cut down on your list immensely.

3.  Make up a weekly grocery list planning out each dinner meal (and even lunch meal).  This is kind of two rules in one.  The first part of it is to make up healthy meals and write them down including every item that it takes to make them.  The second part is to go grocery shopping weekly.  This will do several things for you: 1. cut down on any food going bad before you have a chance to get to it.  2.  Save you money on your grocery list by narrowing down groceries so that you won't be buying unnecessary items.  

Example: I used to go grocery shopping every two week for my boyfriend and I.  I would spend anywhere from $150- $175 every two weeks on groceries (Totaling $300-$350 a month).  However, now I go to the store every Monday with a budget of $50.  At first I thought this was going to be impossible- and $75 was the original budget but I decreased it down to $50 because I wasn't coming anywhere close to spending $75 once I made my weekly meal list.  So now my budget is $50 a week for groceries- and so essentially I have cut our grocery bill down by $100 - $150 a month! And we have not noticed one difference- in fact, when I told my boyfriend that I had saved so much money he was amazed because we eat the exact same! (Just less junk!- but don't tell him because he hasn't noticed the missing junk food yet and it's been 4 months.)

4.  Try to have at least one to two meatless meals a week.  Meat tends to be an expensive part of a grocery bill- so by cutting down on your meat consumption you will not only save $15- $20 a week- you will be helping your waistline (not to mention those adorable little animals!)  If you can do more than good for you! But try for at least one or two meatless meals to start out.

5.  This is my favorite budget trick and my favorite winter time meal: soups, stews, and chilies! Making a big batch of one of these will account for at least two- possibly three- meals a week. It's just like eating leftovers from a restaurant- except that when the soup or chili has sat it has time to absorb more flavor and always ends up tasting better the second or third time!

And duh- don't shop with an empty stomach.  


Now that we have covered the groceries- lets move on to exercising on a budget.  Many people can't afford gym memberships - and thats OK! That does not mean that you have to stop working out all together.  There are lots of things that you can do that will cost you little or no money at all- and will be just as good of a workout!

Here are some tips for staying in shape (or getting in shape) on a budget:

1.  Make use of your surroundings.  Take advantage of parks- use the monkey bars to do some great arm work.  You can also use them to do pull ups or even some ab work.  And while you are at the park you can do some running or bike riding as well.  One of the great things that we have in Tulsa is the bikes at River Parks.  You can rent a bike for free! For FREE! What a great thing to do in the evening before it gets cold- or on a Saturday afternoon even!  There are a ton of opportunities that you can find around different cities that are absolutely free and would be great exercise!

2.  Buy an exercise ball.  I have wanted an exercise ball forever- but never bought one because I thought they were so expensive.  I finally went to Walmart one day and found one for $5.  Thats it?! I couldn't believe it!  You can find lots of a great deals on simple workout equipment (including yoga mats).  Start doing some sun salutations at home- or get online at and find different yoga poses that seem worthwhile.  Or buy a jump rope to do some at-home cardio!  

3.  Find exercise videos for free! On Demand has lots of free workout videos that you can do right in your own living room.  They can just be simple guidelines - follow them for awhile and then go from there! You can do whatever you want.  It's your workout!

4.  Google at home exercises.  There are a million ideas out there of different moves that you can do at home including squats, lunges, pushups and even crunches (on your new workout ball).  Use canned vegetables as small weights to increase your resistance.  

5.  Find little ways to exercise throughout your day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park farther away from a store entrance.  Walk your dog twice a day (or even once).  Make a lap around the grocery store before you start shopping.  Ride your bike to work, or to the store if you have to just get one or two things.  Little things like this will help you to increase the amount of work that you are doing! Just do it! Before long you will feel bad parking too close to the grocery store entrance.  Even when I'm in a hurry I park far away from the door- I always picture this cute little old lady and I think about how she needs the closest spot to the door- so I drive a little farther, walk a little farther, and hope I helped a stranger by giving them the "good" spot!

Hopefully all of these have helped you to save a few dollars on your groceries and your workouts :)  

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Morning Yoga

Life Yoga's Saturday morning yoga classes are going great! This morning was a huge success! We had a great group of girls and even some first timers! Everyone did so amazing at the class (you could not even tell that a few of the girls had never done yoga before!) 

For those of you who have not made it to a Saturday morning yoga class I really encourage you to come try it out!   Sarah Adams of Yellow Chair and Fine Art Boudoir photography blogs about her yoga experiences quite a bit- so if you are ever skeptical read what she has to say and I promise all of your fears will be alleviated.  Her blogs are located at: and

Each class begins with a few minutes of quiet time where we clear our mind and prepare for the class.  We then work through some simple warm-up poses and through our sun salutations (pictured below).

After our bodies are warm we move through our work phase or our Mountain II, which is followed by our balancing poses.  We then move into our Mountain III- progressing into our cool down period.  Eventually we end in our Final Relaxation- where we all take a few minutes to meditate by ourselves.  Keeping our mind present and relaxed.  Ending class in this manner leaves each student feeling energized and invigorated.  

If you have any questions about any of Life Yoga's classes please feel free to e-mail me at or visit my website.

Hope to see everyone next Saturday at 8:30 a.m. for our next yoga session.  Classes are held at Dance Pointe Studio at 2908 E. 15th st.  

Happy Yoga-ing!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

We all know how important our friends are.  We share everything with them: clothes, secrets, birthdays, holidays, spa days... everything! So why not share our FOOD with them??  And I don't just mean share a bite- I mean share a meal.

In America we have the mindset that "bigger is better."  That means cars, dinners, deserts and eventually our waistlines.  Have you ever noticed what the portion sizes are for the meals that you eat whenever you are eating at a restaurant.  Everyone automatically assumes that the meal you are being served is one serving.  Wrong. Do you know how many servings is in an order of Sweet and Sour Chicken from P.F. Changs? Three.  And how many people gobble up the entire serving?  This is the same with Pei Wei- there are two and even possibly three serving sizes in each dish.  If you start checking the nutritional information before you eat at restaurants- or even if you judge it based on the size you would normally (in good health) serve yourself you will be very surprised how much you are overeating at restaurants.

So here is what I am proposing: start sharing food! For example: My boyfriend and I do this a lot at restaurants.  We will pick an appetizer to share (or both get side salads) and then split an entree.  This way we are not only getting to try several things at the restaurant- but we are also saving money! Even if some places (which they will do this sometimes) charge us a fee to split a plate.  We end up not only eating less but are both completely satisfied by the end of the meal.  

You would honestly be surprised what restaurants will do for you.  We went to an Italian restaurant a few weeks ago and split some pasta.  Now, my boyfriend eats meat and I do not- so I asked for extra vegetables on mine and he asked for all the shrimp to be on his.  No problem at all! They even split the salad that came with the meal! 

This is such a great trick that you can do with your girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends- whoever! This will make the experience more intimate and save your wallet and your waistline as well!