Thursday, December 25, 2014

"She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten."

The saying goes-- "When life gives you lemons, you make...lemonade?" Hmmmf, something like that. Well, I guess you could say that life definitely gave me a couple of lemons this past year which led me to change my life course. Reevaluate things. Center my focus. Stop that stagnant feeling and/or the same mistakes. My own form of making lemonade, if you will!

So I changed things. My first step? I decided that I was going to leave Los Angeles and head back to where I feel the most immense amount of love: Florida, where my family is. It all seemed to make sense and fall into place-- my lease was running up, I received a job opportunity to teach English through theatre to children in Italy for 6 months, and I desperately needed time for myself in order to reset.

With a little help from my fantastic friends, I had the most amazing going away party in the history of man prior to my departure;)

The party was initially meant to be a small, calm get-together...HAH... well, it turned out to be quite the opposite. We had a blast. I felt so much love and am so grateful for everyone who came. I'm not going to lie, I felt very sad. I had to constantly remind myself of why I was leaving in the first place.

Immediately following the party-- my brother (who came out to help me move), myself, and my cat grabbed all our bags and hopped on a plane back to Tampa, Florida.

The transition was weird. I loved being around my family-- but I couldn't help but question whether or not I made the right decision. After about a week, however, I began to shift my focus and was actually able to think more clearly. I began having epiphanies like:  'I'm glad I came home because I feel more at peace... I'm remembering what is actually important in my life... Although I had many amazing relationships in Los Angeles, there were a couple that were very toxic to my growth and well-being, and with that being said, I am glad to have left.' I felt a complete feeling of relief come over me :)

I then began the process of attaining my EU Passport in order to take the job offer in Italy. When I called the Embassy, the earliest appointment they had was in A YEAR AND A HALF. That was obviously an issue because Teatrino (theatre company), needed me in San Remo on January 6, 2015. I decided that this job did not sit right in my gut...At least not right now. The main reason why I decided to come home was to balance myself. The thought of running away to Italy for 6 months sounds amazing, but it will just distract me further. In the end, I went ahead and made my appointment to attain my EU Passport in a year and a half anyways. This is for my own personal benefit and hey, maybe I'll reapply later in life. Noting that this decision did not upset me in any way, I realized that this was the right thing to do.

So, I stepped up. For those of you who know me (or if you simply take a look at my previous blog posts), I am a yoga instructor. I love teaching and that will always be a part of me. So I decided to shift my focus directly into the field of health & wellness-- I want to go to grad school. Where? Uh, not Florida lol. I was really thinking and hoping to go up north. NYC, perhaps? :)

With my new found decision of going back to school, I also realized that I still have about 6 months of hang out time until the Fall 2015 semester starts (gotta get on all my applications). So, I began to keep myself busy. Quite busy. I've been catching up with old friends, taking class, eating, drinking, and just loving life.

I now teach yoga at a gorgeous studio in South Tampa called, Bella Prana. I am also starting an intense LAgree training at the end of January for a brand new studio called, Mantra Fitness. I also transferred on over to the LA Fitness gyms in the area. I'm not going to lie though-- working there really isn't a priority to me but if it happens to work within my schedule, then why not.

In other job news, I am currently on my 3rd interview as a full-time Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods. This upcoming interview sounds slightly intense-- I have to have a 10 minute presentation prepared for a panel of regional managers yikes. Guess we will see what happens.

Oh and don't assume that I've completely forgotten about my love for acting and theater. I've actually been pushing myself to audition regardless of the fact that I am no longer living on the west coast. One of my auditions went surprisingly well and I am currently working on a live show and will be performing this Saturday, the 27th at the Venue Orlando. I'm very excited! Check out our press release here:

Remember when I turned down the job offer in Italy? Well, the stars must have aligned because I received a phone call from my very good friend, Jessica Clark, informing me that she was just accepted to host a yoga retreat in Italy-- and that I could co-host with her!! Jess owns her own yoga studio in North Hollywood, California called The Soul Shack. I was teaching there with her up until I left for Tampa. Check out her beautiful studio & class schedule:

I immediately followed up with the retreat company and it looks as though the two of us are planning a 5-7 day retreat in Umbertide, Italy. How amazing, right?!! The details aren't completely sifted out yet but I will definitely be keeping everyone updated. So, if you are interested in joining us, please let me know!

This holiday season has been pretty incredible. A few nights ago, I went to the 93.3 Jingle Ball with my sister and three other close friends. Christmas Eve & day were equally awesome. We ate and drank many things-- and went into sugar overload. As for presents? Perfection. I landed the Vitamix blender I've wanted for YEARS, a ticket to EDC Las Vegas, Tibetan Singing Bowl, gift cards, workout plan, and a spirit animal hood. #winning

Now, it is currently 2:30 in the morning and I am watching 'New Girl' with my siblings. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Tomorrow, I am Orlando-bound to spend time with two of my best friends.

Life is good.

I think I am heading in the right direction. Practicing awareness and being present in everything that I do definitely helps.

Until next time. Sweet dreams world

<3 Kimmy

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Eating mindfully is an important practice of meditation." -Thich Nhat Hanh

I think that the term "snacking" has been given the wrong connotation. Sure, if you perceive snacking as indulging in processed foods high in fat and caloric value, then of course it isn't healthy. If you swap the chips for some veggies and hummus, then snacking can be a positive thing. According to studies, eating snacks rich in nutrients and under 200 calories will keep your body energized and healthy. The combination of protein, plus exercise, fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which then boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Another important factor is fiber, which helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars.

I don't know about you guys, but I tend to get bored with my snacks. I need a little creativity when it comes to healthy eating. So, if you are like me, take a look at the following chart for a variety of options:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“No one is wise by birth, for wisdom results from one own’s efforts” -Krishnamacharya

Wow, it feels really good to actually sit down and write at my computer again. It's definitely been a while and so much has happened since my last entry.

They say that life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans. 

I couldn't agree more. For example, just a couple of weeks ago, I knew that there was something missing. I began to realize that I was constantly trying to "plan" out my life without stopping to smell the roses. I became attached to things that no longer served me. I let negative emotions get to me, which created a sense of imbalance within my life. It was unsettling and made me feel uneasy. I held on to things that no longer served me with the hopes that they would bring me eventual happiness.

These excuses seemed to resonate more and more each day. Over time, I could feel myself becoming increasingly bitter. 

Okay, so anyone who personally knows me is well aware that I love preaching about the importance of living a happy life. I mean, that's pretty much what this entire blog is about!

So, what do we do when things no longer serve us? We change them. We create our own happiness. We learn from ourselves and other people... and that's exactly what I did.

On January 6th, I began a new adventure:
YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training Intensive.

I finally decided that it was time to let my inner yogi out, learn a few things about myself, and share what I learn with others.

Before I began my training, I felt all sorts of nervousness and excitement. I honestly had no idea what to expect except for the fact that I was about to get my ass royally kicked.

Well, we are officially a week and a half into our month intensive and I was completely right regarding the ass kicking part (but not in a bad way). To me, this training is not simply about physically challenging yourself. It is also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually demanding as well.

Let's break down the typical 8 hour day:
7:30-9:30am: 2 hour Asana practice
9:45-noon: discussions/posture labs/teaching assignments/etc.
1:00-4:30pm: discussions/teaching labs/etc.

Our discussions range from yoga philosophy, anatomy, modifications, variations, specialty topics.

With the amount of reading, homework, quizzes, and prep for our 4 part final exam... it definitely feels like I am back in school. Only difference? I actually love what I'm studying.

The group of women above have influenced me in the most positive ways. It has only been a week and a half and I already feel like I have known them for years. The amount of support, love, and wisdom I have received from each of them has helped me realize what we are all capable of doing: as women, friends, and teachers of our craft.

I feel more clear minded, calmer, happier, and healthier. I have a better idea of who I want to surround myself with and what it is that I want to do in my life. 

From tadasana, to supta padangustasana...from the philosophy of the yoga sutras, to the history of the Brahminical period... from the serratus anterior, to the femur bone... from samskara, to samadhi... from Patanjali, to Krishnamacharya.... from counteraction, to complementary action... from the differences between Ashtanga and Iyengar....

I have only begun learning what will be a permanent life journey for me...and I couldn't be more thankful.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Don't let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace." -Dalai Lama

So, it has definitely been a hot minute since my last post. Not really my style but let's just say that I've been MIA due to juggling two jobs while trying to maintain somewhat of a social yet healthy lifestyle (hahh).
Did I mention I'm also moving in two weeks?
Regardless, let's get down to business.


What does that word mean exactly? You might be thinking: "Um, it means you're not sick...duh Kimmy." Well, yes it does... but have you ever taken a second to really think about the way you feel on the inside? Health is not just defined as being free of physical pain or sickness. It is also the way your mind works and the way you live your everyday life. I don't know if you took a look at the quote at the top of this post, but it is about maintaining inner peace

Whenever I feel peaceful, it is when I have freed myself of things that I find toxic within my life. It can be anything from unhealthy food items, to a crazy schedule, to actual people who create an imbalance or unhappiness within my life. 

I know this sounds a little cliche, but I cannot emphasize how important it is to recognize the negative things in your life in order to revamp and live the way you are meant to be: happy.

Now, I have to get ready to leave for work but I wanted to sign off with this message: This is your life. You make your own decisions and determine how you want to live it. Don't let the influence of others affect the way you want to spend your time. Do things and spend time with people who make you happy. Take an extra 10 minutes out of your day to appreciate all the wonderful things this world ha to offer that aren't typically apparent. Make yourself happy and healthy.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"The stronger you are, the better you feel. -Unknown

Ever wonder what sorts of snacks you should indulge in pre-workout? I know I do. So, I decided to do a little research to find out what sorts of snacks will help give that extra boost of energy right before some intense training. I found this list on Check it out :)


Pre-Workout Snacks

The body works to build muscle and recover 24 hours a day, not just during that one-hour session at the gym. Luckily, smartly timed snacks can give the body the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can. Pre-workout, that usually means grabbing a snack about 30-60 minutes in advance, depending on its size and contents, and how much that stomach’s actually grumbling. All ready to go? Check out these 25 options to start things right:
1. Protein Creamcicle: Put a twist on the classic kids’ treat by blending 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice.
2. Fruitsation shake: Blend 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein flavor with ½ cup ice, and 1 cup frozen berries for a sweet energy boost.
3. Cha-Cha coconut shake: Infuse 1 scoop chocolate whey protein with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil.
4. Star-buffs shake: Need a pre-workout pick-me-up?  Blend 1 cup iced coffee (keep the ice) with 1 scoop chocolate whey protein.
5. Dressed up oats: Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup topped with 1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon shaved almonds.
6. Perfect yogurt parfait: Feeling fancy, huh? Top ¼ cup nonfat yogurt with ½ cup whole grain cereal and ½ cup fresh strawberries.
7. Yoberries a-go-go: For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt — which often packs more protein and probiotics than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
8. Eggs n’ toast: Have a heartier appetite? Try 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast.
9. Fruit and Cottage: Top ½ cup cottage cheese — a low calorie and higher protein option — with ½ cup fresh pineapple, berries, or melon. And voila!
10. PB Apple: For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter.
11. Classic fruit cup: Prefer to keep it sweet but simple? Combine 1 cup berries, melon, banana, and oranges — oh my!
12. Dried fruit: For a quick pre-workout fix, try ¼ cup serving of dried berries, apricots, and pineapple.
13. Fruit leather: Need something light that makes you feel like a kid again? Try 1 single serving of fruit leather. Have a little extra time? Roll some out in the kitchen.
14. Energy in a bar: With so many options in the aisle, try opting for a bar with the most natural ingredients. While protein count is key, also check the sugar content (it shouldn’t rival what’s found in the candy aisle!).
15. Chicken n’ sweets: For a fast bite, grab 2-4 ounces (or a palm-sized amount) of sliced chicken with an equal portion size of sweet potatoes.
16. Oats n’ eggs: Not just for breakfast, try ½ cup cooked oatmeal and 2 whole eggs seasoned with salt and pepper.
17. PB & B toast: Fuel up with 1-2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter and half a sliced banana on whole-wheat toast.
18. Turk-cado pasta: Add 2-4 ounces (or a palm-sized amount) of roasted turkey and 3-4 avocado slices to ½ cup cooked whole-wheat pasta for some enviable eats.
19.  Wafflewich: Spruce up this classic by combining 1 frozen Kashi waffle with 2 teaspoons of almond butter and 1 teaspoon of jam.
20. Better than a PB Cup: A half-cup cooked oats with 1 teaspoon defatted peanut flour, a dash of stevia, and a sprinkling of cocoa powder on top.
21. Veggie omelet: Add a little more color to your diet by combining 2 whole eggs shaken with 1 teaspoon of water cooked with 1 cup sautéed seasonal veggies.
22. Rice con leche: Got a long way to run? Fuel up with ½ cup cooked rice, covered with ½ cup milk, a scatter of raisins, and a dash of cinnamon on top.
23. Sports drink: An 8-ounce low sugar sports drink (keep it under 10 grams of sugar) will do the trick if you’re in a crunch. For a little more fuel, add a scoop of BCAA powder.
24.  Hearty salad: Need some greens? Try 1 cup of salad greens with assorted veggies, 1 hardboiled egg, and a drizzle of EVOO and vinegar, or your favorite low-fat dressing.
25. Energy gel: Got a long way to go? Slurp down a energy gel (like Gu) prior to an endurance workout.

Monday, August 19, 2013

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

The multiple colors in the delicious salad signal its nutritional value. It's loaded with vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals. The quinoa and black beans gives this dish a protein pack that will fill you up pre or post-workout. Not to mention all the essential amino acids it provides. You can either make it entirely of quinoa or you can blend a bed of organic lettuce of your choice underneath.

Servings:Serving Size: 1 cup Calories: 164

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup optional organic lettuce (kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, etc) 

 Step 1:
If you haven't done so already, go ahead and chop up your garlic, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and mango. Separate the garlic because you'll be adding it alone before you combine with the rest of the veggies/fruit.

Step 2:

In a separate skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add your minced garlic and let the oil soak up the flavor for a few minutes. Do not forget to occasionally stir so your garlic doesn't burn. After a few, grab your veggie mango mix and add it to the skillet. Keeping it on medium heat, stir it a bit so that everything is lightly covered in the oil. Then cover the skillet and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Step 3:
Once the red onion seems to become a little softer and translucent, grab your cup of cooked quinoa and toss it into the pan. Let it sit over medium heat for a few minutes as you stir with a wooden spoon. 

Step 4:
 Easiest step. Add everything else! I like to start out with the black beans so it can heat up and the flavors can really mix into the quinoa. Then add the lemon, cumin, and turmeric. Stir it for about 3-5 minutes on medium heat and then you can begin serving! If you wanted to add lettuce to your dish, prepare a bowl and cover the bottom with a layer of greens. Add the mango salsa quinoa mixture on top...and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." Jim Ryun

Can you pass the Barre?

Okay, so what's up with this whole new "barre" class trend? It seems to be a form of fitness that blew up over night. No dance experience required, a barre class ultimately combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates to give you a stronger, longer, and leaner body.
As soon as I heard about it, I simply had to test it out. 

While I was in Florida, I decided to give barre a try. I found the most adorable studio in Winter Park called Barre 3

One of the many reasons why I loved taking a class from Barre 3 is the combination of dance and yoga. There is a constant focus on the breath (very helpful) and plyometric exercises that literally make your muscles shake (sounds scary but it's an INCREDIBLE feeling). What are plyometrics you ask? These are exercises based around having your muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible.

As soon as I entered the studio, I instantly loved it. Not only was it aesthetically pleasing and clean, but the staff was super friendly as well! Danielle (see below), was our instructor that day and she was inspiring and motivating. Thank you for an amazing workout!

Barre 3's motto is to provide classes that are designed to transform the body to one of equal balance, strength, and flexibility. The studio offers multiple classes that cater to women of every age and lifestyle. They even have a childcare facility for the wonderful mothers who need a little "me" time!

The studio owner, Ashley Dishman, was so hospitable during my visit. It is quite obvious that she puts forth 100% of love and effort into the studio. Although we did not get the chance to meet in person, she left me a little gift. Thank you so much for the tumbler and tote bag! I literally use the two every time I go to the gym.

A typical Barre 3 class would begin with finding yourself in the vibrant locker area where you can safely stow away your belongings. It is spacious so you have plenty of room to sit and prepare for class. It is encouraged that new clients arrive 15 minutes early in order to sign a waiver, meet the instructor, and get a little tour in before class. 

Next, you'll walk into the studio and set yourself up. You'll want to grab a strap and core ball. Light weights are optional. Your instructor will grab a Pilates mat for you when it's time to get on the floor!
 The ballet barre is set all along the sides of the classroom. The front mirror is a great assistance when you are making minor adjustments to your body during an exercise. 

Your class is set to 60 minutes of small isometric movements utilizing the ballet barre. The upbeat music helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the class time. Not to mention the instructor's positivity and energy! 

What I absolutely loved about Barre 3 were the modifications and adjustments that our instructor, Danielle, provided for us. It made me feel that I was really pushing myself while keeping my body safe from injury. 


What should I wear to a barre 3 class?
It is recommended to wear yoga attire. For example, I wore tight yoga pants, a sports bra, and a loose fitted top. You can take the class barefoot or with socks. I prefer socks that have a sticky silicone bottom. That way my feet do not side. You can purchase them at places like Target, TJ Maxx, and even right there within the studio! Any other items will be provided to you during class: yoga strap, Pilates mat, ballet barre, light weights, and a core ball.

Do I have to have prior experience before taking a barre class?
Absolutely not! Like I mentioned before, Barre 3 caters to all age groups and walks of life. You definitely do not have to be a dancer or yogi to take a class here. Barre 3 makes sure that all their classes are designed to make everyone welcome and successful.

What kinds of results can I expect from taking Barre 3 classes? How long until I begin to see results?
From doing research, it seems that students typically begin seeing results after about 10 classes. Do not forget to eat a clean diet as well and the you will see results faster. I mean, even after taking just one class my body felt different! Want to know all the benefits of Barre 3? Take a look at the list below that comes directly from their website:
  • Builds long, lean muscles and a strong core.
  • Fast body shaping results and long term postural benefits.
  • Energizes and increases stamina.
  • Develops muscle balance leading to a well-proportioned body with less risk for injury.
  • Increases flexibility and creates a natural flow to the body.
  • Precise instruction for each client improves results (without the cost of a personal trainer).
  • Motivating group environment builds connections and community, both important in making exercise a regular part of life.
  • Efficient 60-minute total body workout with play lounge makes it easy to fit into a busy schedule.
  • Connects mind, body and breath and relieves stress.

Think that Barre 3 could be a great option for you? Awesome. You won't regret it. Go ahead and check out their website to find a location near you!