Monday, February 4, 2013

DAY TWENTY- EIGHT- Once Upon a Time

 Alternate Title: Happily Ever After
Once upon a time, long, long ago (about 28 days to be exact), 
there lived a 40-ish year old Princess who had grown into somewhat of a blubber butt. Now this Princess had good intentions about her food and exercise, but let’s face it, the choices she had made in the prior year had come back to haunt her like the ghost of Christmas past. She tried to pretend like everything was fine, but her talking jeans told a painfully different tale, it was really more of a horror story.

Jeans: Oh Princess, why do you continue to eat so?  Can’t you see you’re having difficulty getting the zipper all the way to the top?  At this rate you won't be able to get your right leg in by the end of next week!  Have mercy and step away from the peanut butter cups!!!

The Princess banished her talking jeans to the dungeon for 28 days.

Our troubled Princess thought about trying the same old things she had in the past, like, the liquid diet (wine is liquid - right?), the cabbage soup diet (lost a few friends over that one) and even the Dinosaur diet (this one annoyingly worked wonders on her husband and brother), but sadly it only made the beautiful Princess crabby and bloated. She was unwilling to go to a smelly gym where someone would scream at her to do 5000 squats in ten seconds while techno music blared.
Running? Out of the question!  Unless of course a dragon was chasing her.

The Princess wondered if all hope was lost, when she got a message from her good friend from the neighboring kingdom, the gorgeous, Princess Christy. 

This is the two actual princesses at Halloween this year.
Princess Christy told Princess Missy about a good and beautiful fairy named Sadie. She was in fact the queen fairy of a bunch of other really glowy and toned fairies named, Candace, Kait, Viva la Viva, Bonney and many, many more. These fairies, were kind, non-judgemental and had a magical workout that you could do right in your own home, even if your children were dangling from your extremities like Christmas ornaments!  The other great thing about these Barre3  fairies, was that their plan included delicious recipes that were adjustable any kind of lifestyle or dietary needs. Well except the need for wine, but you can’t win em all if you want to lose it all, so the Princess found herself at a bit of an impasse, if you will.

The 39-ish (what??)-year old Princess decided she had nothing to lose but her muffin top, so she and Princess Christy decided to go for it!

During the 28 days she had many new adventures with the fairies, some that made her poor body so sore, that she had to pay her indentured servants (also known as children) to tie her shoes.  To make matters worse, there were many many nights that she really wanted a glass of wine, but she remained steadfast and her resilience only grew stronger.

Every time the disgruntled Princess was on the verge of quitting, the barre3 fairies or one of the many princess who joined her on the journey would encourage her to keep going. Yes, the community is that good!!! This is not to say that she didn’t ever fall off the royal wagon, after all, the beautiful Princess was only human.  But she picked her royal arse up off the ground and kept on going.

The tale of our Princess is one with a happy ending. After all, today is day 29. The jeans are out of the dungeon and lo’ and behold, not only do they fit, but they are actually baggy in spots (EEEEEEEEK!). But far more importantly our now 29-ish (I’m telling you this program works wonders) year old princess, has learned that it is possible to take better care of her royal body and to not feel miserable while doing so. She learned that when you eat enough of the good foods, you will find that you have no room left for the evil foods. This was a little principle called “crowding out”, and it worked for everything except coffee, every time the new green tea tried to crowd out the coffee, the coffee just crowded it right back into the cupboard - oh well.

So Princess Missy and Princess Christy decided to formally adopt this new lifestyle in the hopes of flaunting themselves in their royal bikinis just a few short months from now. Hope springs eternal - right?

I believe they will all live glowily and rock solid core-illy ever after.



Friday, February 1, 2013

DAY TWENTY-FIVE - The Beginning of the End (but really the beginning of the beginning)

Alternate Title: Thigh Master

Day 25. Day twenty-five. As in... three days left. What the WHAT?? How can this be?

As per usual. I am going to be totally honest with you guys. I mean, let’s face it. You’ve seen the last 24 days of my life. We have few secrets. I am really on no pedestal. I am just another flawed person doing 28 to Great.

I’m not exactly doing “everything” that Sadie might have hoped during these last days. BUT, I am also not treating this as the last few days of this challenge. I’m treating it as something that is becoming a part of the new me.  I am still eating grains. (quinoa, a little brown rice), I am still doing between 30-40 min of workout a day. AND... wait for it...

I do not feel like a failure. Because (and Christy and I both talked about this earlier today) that’s what is so freaking great about Sadie and the team at Barre3. They are encouraging- not judgemental. They want this to be possible for all of us, in all of our different lives and worlds.

Right now I am crazy stressed and holding on by a thread, but the program Sadie offers, doesn’t make me feel like I’m not good enough or committed enough. Instead, it makes me feel like whatever good I can do is worth a lot. It’s exactly why I’m I believe in this and it’s why I’ve decided I’m not going anywhere.

I have two pieces of news to share with you that are really exciting.

The first one involves my newly super powered inner thighs. Today I was driving and multitasking.  I keep my phone between my legs so I can grab it during extra long red lights (NEVER TEXT WHILST DRIVING!). Suddenly, a yellow light appears out of nowhere - and I’m forced to rely on my catlike instincts and hit the brakes.  My phone starts to shoot towards the floor, but my NEW super powered Barre3 inner thighs grab onto the wayward iphone and SAVE the day. I’m serious, this really happened! :) (it’s a pretty inspiring story is it not?)

Second. I finally found a decent barre3 friendly take out dinner and it’s at California Pizza Kitchen. If there is not one by you, then move here and let’s be friends!  The friendly dinner in question is the Quinoa Arugula Salad. I just asked them to omit the feta and the red onion. And then I added shrimp and bacon. And it was SOOOOOO good. Like, someone petting me on the head, telling me everything’s going to be okay, kinda good.  

For exercise today, I did Regan’s 10-minute Ski class, the NY workout and Viva la Viva’s Yoga stretch. Tomorrow if I have more energy I will do the same but add Candace’s ten min ballet sculpt.

One really encouraging thing. This morning my husband said. "Are you going to keep doing this after the 28th day, because you are looking gooooood." :)

How are you all feeling? Is the end a sprint for you?


Thursday, January 31, 2013

DAY TWENTY - FOUR - In The Most Shocking Rose Ceremony EVER...

 Alternate Title: Staying Awake is Hard To Do

I had a very good night’s sleep and this time I was ready for the day. While I appear to still be invincible, my poor 8-year old, Vivi, is not. But she’s a social butterfly and therefore was determined to go back to school yesterday, so I went against my better judgement and let her.

When I picked her up, she looked a little out of it - and when we got home she wanted to get right to work on all of her homework. After about ten minutes I found her like this:

And the Parent of the Year award goes to... 

(not me)

It’s also putting my, “most dilligent barre3 participant ever” award at risk too because I’ve had to skip my brisk walks to take care of my sick little girl.  This saddens me deeply.

In an effort to make up brownie points with the “awards committee,” I walked as fast as I could around my house while doing all of my chores and jobs. Violet finds this very funny and and copies me and often crashes into to me and walls and furniture. It makes life that much more exciting.

This week Sadie gave us a little article on meditation. You can read it here: I liked it and I liked hearing about her inner voices. And I’m REALLY happy she watches The Bachelor. It’s just another thread of kindredness between us.

Speaking of The Bachelor, did I ever tell you guys that my brother was once asked to be on The Bachelorette? It was like a dream come true for me. I was very excited. But he made it clear that it was a no-go from the very beginning. He said, and I quote: “Uh, there is no way in (BLEEP) that I am ever going on that (BLEEPING) show”. I even told him how great he would be, that he didn't even have to like the girl, he could just go be his funny self and become "America's favorite bachelor ever".  He was like "Uh... no, I would be the guy talking into the camera after getting sent home the first night, in the limo... "my sister said I wouldn’t fall in love..." (hysterical sobbing) "She said I woudn't fall in loooooove!" He lunges for the camera-man, "turn that *&^# camera off!!"

Anyway, I am a fan of meditating, only I like to meditate on scriptures from the Bible. Like if my mind is running wild when I’m trying to go to sleep, I just try to clear my mind and slowly recite Psalm 23. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the one about God being our shepherd and making us lie down in beautiful pastures by still waters. It’s very soothing.

My problem when I’m meditating, is not keeping my mind still. It’s really more about staying awake. In fact for the sake of the challenge, I tried meditating several times today. I fell asleep at the dining room table, in my car waiting to pick up Ava from soccer practice and ahem, in the bathroom...  They need to write a book called, “Meditating for a mother with three unruly prisoners.”

Food was pretty usual.

7:00am - Coffee (I thought about not having coffee just for this last week, but then I slapped myself and came to my senses).

9:30am - Poached eggs over spinach with Avocado on the side

1:30pm - Greek yogurt, pomegranate seeds, and coconut chips

For dinner I made ginger broiled fish:

Serves 2
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil (but the coconut oil is really amazing!)
1/4 cup hot water
4 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 (6-ounce) halibut or cod fillets
1. Make marinade by combining oil, water, ginger and vinegar.
2. Place fish in a shallow baking dish, cover with marinade, and let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler and set rack about 3 inches from broiler.
4. Broil fish for 10-12 minutes—the rule of thumb is to cook each inch of fish for 10 minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on your oven as the broiler can quickly burn the top of fish.
5. Baste with remaining marinade once or twice while broiling.
6. Use any remaining marinade as a sauce and serve.

Thanks to Julia Sarver who contributed the recipe to Replenish PDX for the program.

It was very delicious. See you tomorrow!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


 Alternate Title: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans. -Woody Allen

Today is day twenty-three. Crazy. We are sooooo close to the end.  Of course I mean the end of the 28 to Great challenge. Definitely not the end of this new lifestyle, because it seems like a good way to just live. EXCEPT for the ban on wine (how does my favorite cocktail get hurt in all this?). Wine called and told me it’s about to make a big comeback. In fact, it even suggested throwing itself a welcome home party  ;)

Today was tricky. I overcommitted myself and I’m choosing to blame it on my gorgeous friend, Margret, who works at HBO and who is also the womb behind Abel, the superbaby.  Although you would not guess by looking at her that she’s had a baby at all, let alone one the size of a Thanksgiving turkey.

Anyhoo, she asked me if I could watch Abel for the day and of course I jumped at the chance. You’ve seen him so I’m sure you would’ve done the same thing.  Plus, it’s been a few years since I’ve actually had one of my own. I somehow figured it would be really easy to snuggle a perfect, sweet smelling baby, do a few online classes, and keep up with everything else.  Keeping consistent with my current string of miscalculations, I figured wrong.

In case you don’t already know where this is headed, let me go ahead and tell you...


There were no classes. There were no new Barre3 recipes. There were no brisk walks.

In fact, there wasn’t much of anything.  Except for a whole lotta upper body strength training as I was lugging that little freeloader around from room to room like an 85-lb starving, boneless orangutan.
To be fair, he wasn't having the best day either.

Why didn’t I just set him down you ask?  Because every time I tried he would let out a sound similar to that deafening, high-pitched microphone feedback that makes you wish you were never born in the first place.

So naturally I would like to offer a little shout out to ALL the mothers of tiny (or just very young but heavy as an anvil) babies. If any of you are doing this challenge, I am literally begging you to give us all some tips and maybe share how it’s even possible.

For meals, I mostly grazed on the Barre3 "barre" and I grabbed some pieces of turkey along with a few carrots and sugar snap peas. I drank water. I also drank kombucha. I did not drink wine. Or a gin and tonic. Or sangria.  

For dinner I had take-out, which consisted of chicken breast and some broccoli. It was not my roasted broccoli and therefore it was not very good.

But tomorrow is a new day and hope springs eternal.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day TWENTY-TWO - Viva la Viva

Alternate Title: Hell hath no fury like a 3-year old scorned...

Day 22 was largely spent dealing with the backlash from cutting my daughter Violet’s bangs.  It’s almost like she knew I posted pictures of her online, and as payback, she decided to take naughtiness to a whole new level.

How mad can a 3-year old be? Pretty mad. I don't know why. I think it's already starting to grow out really nicely...

How does a 3-year old take her revenge?

Well, pretty much everything I did.... she undid.  From unfolding my folded laundry, to uncleaning my clean kitchen.  In record time she untidied up the living room I had just spent 45-minutes tidying.  She’s THREE - and after just ten minutes it looked like Def Leppard had spent the night partying and trashing my living room.

Right now as I type this, my right eye still has an uncontrollably twitch.

But here’s one thing that was good about today:  My Workouts.

Sadie challenged me to “up my game” this past week, so in the morning I began the day with Candace’s, “40-minute ballet sculpt.”  After nearly three weeks of barre3 it is still one of my favorite workouts.  

Before dinner, I decided since we were in the theme of upping our game, that I would sneak in Regan’s 10-minute, “Ski workout.”

Right before bedtime I wanted something soothing (YES, I said before bedtime!) so I did Viva’s 10-minute, “Yoga Stretch.”

I knew Viva was a barre3 trainer, but up until this point I wasn’t aware that she had a video. She was actually one of the first people I met through this blog and is by far one of my favorites.  She is SO encouraging and I have a feeling that everyone who knows her feels this way.

Like, if my facebook status says, “I’m thinking about running away to join the circus!” Viva’s always the first one to “like” it.  In fact, I’d even be willing to bet that she’s one of those people where if you killed someone she’d be the first to tell you it was totally the right thing to do, regardless, and then would help you hide the body (I love you Viva!).

Viva’s 10-minute workout was a good reflection of all of this.  With my two prior workouts that day, Viva’s yoga stretch was the perfect closing to a seemingly imperfect day.  It felt so good and her instruction was clear and soothing.

As far as my meals go, I am determined to try at least one new Barre3 recipe each day for this final week.  

-I started with the usual coffee at 7am.

-For breakfast, I had Greek yogurt with blueberries and almonds around 10:00am.

-For lunch, I made the Italian Chickpea Salad. It was, in one-word: YUM. But it would be fair to warn your significant other that they are going to want to eat some garlic if they don’t want to be offended by you.

The recipe makes quite a bit, which is a bonus for me as my husband worked late, so I just had it again for dinner and it was just as good the second time, if not, better.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 8.5 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (keep the tomatoes and the olive oil)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1. Stir vinegar, herbs, garlic, and olive oil (from tomato jar) together in a large bowl.
2. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, and olives, and toss well. Add salt and pepper and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Serve plain or with some mixed greens and/or a grain like quinoa or millet.

SIX more days people.

Are any of you doing anything different this last week?

Monday, January 28, 2013

DAY TWENTY-ONE - Day of "Rest"

 Alternate Title: Idle Hands are the Devil's Playthings

Day 21

It’s supposed to be my “day of rest” - Biblically and Sadielly speaking. But not much about today has been restful. I won’t bore you with the impressively long list of things I accomplished today, but I will tell you about one. And I’m not sure it even fits in the accomplishment category. Its probably really more in the disaster category.

I cut my 3-year old, Violet’s, bangs.

It started off innocently enough, I suppose, but don’t all things that end badly?  I sat my unsuspecting little girl up on the stool and assessed what needed to be done and how I was going to go about it.  I’d seen my dearest friend, Amy*, do it countless times, and besides, how hard can it really be to cut a straight line across a small wiggly person's forehead?  


My friends all know that I am a self-haircutter.  They also know that I’m a blamer, which I find to be terribly convenient. 

As Violet quizzically gazed in the mirror at her reflection I came clean saying that Auntie Amy did this to her by selfishly choosing to live in Seattle instead of LA.  She understood. 

Every cloud has a silver lining and in this case it's that Violet now looks like a celebrity. The downside, is which celebrity she looks like.


Oh well. She’s young. She’ll bounce back.

The one restful thing about today was that I was able to sleep in. When I got up, I had coffee for breakfast. For lunch I had poached eggs over spinach (fyi, I enjoyed Friday’s eggs with squash a lot more). 

For dinner I had grilled steak and roasted broccoli. If you have not had roasted broccoli, then you MUST.  Like, tonight. It’s going to become your new favorite thing. Even my kids request it several times a week.

Here’s what you need: 

-Broccoli Florets
- garlic (the more the merrier, however much you use, you’ll wish it was more)
- Ghee
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes

First, preheat the oven to 425
Slice the garlic into thin little slices. Then melt a tablespoon of Ghee in a big frying pan. Toss in the garlic and let it cook on medium high until it’s lightly golden.

Next scoop the garlic onto a little bowl or plate. Next add more Ghee to the pan and toss your broccoli in it. Adding your sea salt and red pepper flakes. When its all covered and starting to get a little brighter green, lay it out on a big cookie sheet with the “tree” sides up. Then sprinkle the toasted garlic pieces back on and roast in the oven for 20-25 min.

It may seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s totally worth it!

Are we ready for our last week?  EEEEEEEK!!!!!

*All if my new Oregonean friends and in fact any of you who live in the PNW should make a weekend of going to Seattle and have Amy cut your hair, because she is nothing short of a genius. She’s also super funny, which is always a bonus while you’re sitting in the chair.  Here’s her info: (Adele Salon)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DAY NINETEEN- Invincible

 Alternate Title: Germ Warfare

Day Nineteen. Wow. Can there really be less than ten days left? Impossible. I’ve been too tired to try on “the jeans” because I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off - dealing with this totally awesome cold and flu season.  My house is currently a cesspool of every known malady to mankind.  Which brings me to my good news:

28 to Great has made me (drumroll please)...


Yep, you read it right. It’s a borderline superpower.

My brother is sick and from the sounds of him you’d think it’s the dengue fever. My daughter Vivi is sick, coughing and sneezing over every single thing in the house. Even many of my friends are sick. In fact, the other day I went to drop something off for my friend, Ben. Let’s be honest it was really just an excuse to see Abel. You might remember him from Day Three. But if not here’s a pic:

Still no sign of his neck.

 Anyway, when I got there I reached for Abel, before I would’ve needed a weight belt, but as you know Barre3 is very intentional and my training is useful for things like picking up fat babies. So I lifted him up over my head and said. “Oh hello you cute cute little man!! Did you miss me? Did you? Did you?!

At this point Abel sneezed right at me. A big juicy sneeze. And little germy droplets flew into all of my facial orifices, including my open mouth. I hope I’m not being too graphic here, but I could feel the little germs dancing on my face like a bunch of little American Bandstanders from the 80’s. Normally, I would’ve immediately succumbed to the sickness and retreated to my room waiting for the angel of death.

But guess what?

Still not sick. All those diseasie germs just keep knocking and knocking on the door of my immune system, but it  just rolled it eyes and kept watching the Bachelor. (What? Please tell me your immune systems watches the Bachelor too!)

You’re thinking, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! And that I’d better not jinx myself. Thankfully, I’m not at all superstitious. In fact I don’t believe in it. I believe in destiny. And I was destined to do 28 to Great and Sadie was destined to create a plan that would make me invincible.

Therefore I’m going to go on record and say it.  “I will not be getting sick this year.”

Today (Friday) was a good day. Busy as usual but I am definitely in a new rhythm. Coffee first. Then around 9:00am I have some kind of eggs and veggies. Today I had poached eggs on top of butternut squash and arugula. It was yummy. I actually got the idea from A Farmer in a Dell. She does hers with sweet potato, but I don’t like sweet potato so I modified it using squash. It is seriously good. Try it.

Around 1:30pm I had the yogurt, sliced almonds and some blueberries. I just love it because of how quick it is.

For dinner I made a pretty basic taco salad that was delicious.   

-saute 2-3 cloves of garlic until lightly browned (you can add onion, but my house is an onion free zone!)
-1 pound, grass fed beef.
-1/2 tablespoon of cumin.
-a few dashes of ancho chili powder.
-salt and pepper to taste.

Served over a bed of chopped romaine lettuce with tomatoes.  I was a little worried it would be a bummer without the cheese, but the guacamole totally did the trick. It’s that whole fat/protein/veggie ratio they keep talking about, if you are lost read this:
Portion Prescription

As far as my workouts go, it’s totally working for me to do three or four ten minute workouts. Something about knowing that no matter how hard it is, it will end in ten minutes, really does the trick for me. I keep telling myself, I can do anything for ten minutes!  Ten minutes is like my Dumbo feather that keeps me from crashing down to the ground.

Today I tried Regan’s Ski Conditioning Workout. Oh my word, it is SO hard but at the same time, so so awesome. I was sweating - in TEN minutes people. And Regan’s so cute and encouraging. Her story is inspiring you can read it here.  I’m not a skier, though I used to be nearly unbeatable on the Wii Fit Ski Jump but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I highly highly recommend it. I also did the NYC workout and a Core workout, which I’ve discussed in previous blogs.

Remember... just ten days.