Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preparing to Cleanse...

Here's another update on the Live Lean program...1.5 wks in and going strong! The morning workouts are still going well, though we're not quite as animated in the morning anymore and I'm sticking with the afternoon workout. I've never been a big bath person...but Jen suggested soaking in Epson Salts, and I gotta say I am a convert.For our group session yesterday evening we had a guest speaker...a nutritionist who specializes in digestion and sub-specializes in enzymes. (She is currently working on her website, but you can sign up for news letters on her website). It was super interesting.

First - when you hear "cleanse" you may (like me) think "no food, only lemon/cayenne/maple drinks." Not the case for us...we eat. Basically the same foods we have been eating but no soy, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, oil (except flax), and limited dairy. Instead of our snacks, we will be having a cleanse shake which is a powder packed with tons of nutrients. The only thing I am bummed about is the chocolate...not because I am a choc-o-holic, but because I am running the Hot Chocolate 15K during the cleanse so no Ghiradelli at the end for me :-(
Here are some of the things I learned last night -
  • Our bodies remake themselves (cells replace themselves) every 4 months. Our cells use 6 things: proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. We literally are what we eat.
  • So many health problems (allergies, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, etc) can be drawn back to poor digestion and being deficient at a cellular level.
  • Just eating the food does not mean your body is absorbing it (i.e. you can be cellulary protein deficient while still eating a lot of protein).
  • Foods in their raw, organic state have the enzymes necessary to break themselves down completely (like how an apple starts getting brown after it drops from the is digesting itself). Cooking over 108 degrees kills enzymes, freezing and drying out do not. If you are removing the enzymes from what you are eating then your body has to work extra hard and use it's own enzymes to digest. Most of us can't eat a completely raw diet, but we all can do things like having a salad first (lots of enzymes) to get our digestion going before a main course.
I learned lots more great stuff...but those were the highlights. The 10 day cleanse starts Sunday...more posts to come!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cooking Fools!

For Mom's birthday (which was in August), Kelly had the stellar idea of a cooking class. Cooking Fools, was pretty booked up, so last night was the first time our schedules meshed. Here we are before the madness began (for your Live Leaners...please note that I only had 1 glass of red wine the entire evening!!)
Mom got to help make the vodka tomato sauce - YUM!
Beginning to roll out the pasta...
Kel was VERY focused...
My raviolis all lined up!
The feast!
I highly recommend Cooking Fools for those Chicagoans...they were excellent, super fun evening!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bon Appetit!

Once a month some great friends and I get together for "Cooking Club." The host picks the theme and cooks the main dish. The inaugural CC was last month - Italian and Gayle's, unfortunately I don't have too many pictures. Last night was French at Molly's. Her appartment was perfect - felt like we were in Paris! She did a wonderful job with the table...
I won the award for "most French" - not bad considering I am 0% French!
Molly made Julia Child's Beef Bourgenaise and Rice - TRE BON!!!
Lynne made Baked Brie, Ashley brought the French Bread, I made Green Beans, Chi Chi brought the wine (Beaujolais and Bordeaux), and Gayle made a strawberry raspberry tart.
We had a great time...especially deciding who would play us in the movie they will surely make int a few years...and who would play our love interest ;-)
Can't wait for Harvest Feast @ Ashley's!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reception Numero Dos!

I was lucky enough to attend Stephanie and Jason's first reception in Puerto Vallarta last month, so of course I was thrilled to attend their local reception! Also in attendance were Alan, Emmy, and Zoey who was about 5wks old - adorable.
Here you can actually see lovely Zoey Faith..
(2nd) First Dance
The reception was great - just like a "normal" post wedding reception and they even played the video of the wedding for everyone to watch. The only difference was no cutting of the cake...instead a delicious cupcake tower!!
Loved celebrating with you again Stephanie and Jason!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've been playing basketball on Friday nights for the past year and a half (in the fall and winter) at Willow Creek. I can't even tell you how much I love it - love being out there playing basketball with a great group of girls!

I finally brought my camera last night and had our injured captain Kim take some pictures. Obviously Melissa was really excited to sign in...
We got crushed last night - the other team was incredible and we had some players missing and our shots weren't falling...but still SUPER FUN!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Live Lean Update!

As promised earlier this week, here is an update on how the Live Lean program is going....
After orientation on Saturday and Sunday, we started into our "routine." 6am group workouts M-F, 7am on Saturday, plus a second workout of choice later in the day. The group workouts alternate between Circuit Training and Strength Training - they are tough, but it helps that we're all in it together with coaches cheering us on and correcting form the whole way.
On Wednesdays we also have a group yoga class in the evening followed by group and small group discussions. This time we focused on Satya (Truth) and goal setting.

I'm loving the program so far...despite the fact that my shoulders are burning as I sit her right now (but heck, it it can get me arms like our lovely coach Megan then I can deal!). One thing that I wasn't necessarily expecting was how much energy and support comes from the other women involved in the program. Of course in the group exercise you push a little harder because everyone around you is pushing so hard....but also there are a lot of people going through similar challenges in life and have been able to bond and gain strength from each other.

Good work ladies! See you tomorrow morning :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pot Pie!

After 5hrs of orientation at Live Lean it was wonderful to come home to a great afternoon/evening with Kelly and Dan. We watched football, played Wii, munched on Kel's great app spread, and then enjoyed a delicious chicken pot pie dinner made by Chef Kel.

Beginning of the Transformation

Today was Day 1 of 33 days of Core Power Yoga's Live Lean program. As I said before, I've been looking forward to the program for awhile now. It certainly did not disappoint.
There are 18 of us in the program, 4 coaches, a program leader, and a program director. This weekend is orientation so we learned about the program, about each other, and what we were in for for the next 33 days. If you're wondering what LiveLean will help me do...
We've got group exercise together Mon-Sat from 6-7am (yoga, boot camp, strength work) and are expected to do another workout in the I am off for a run to train for the upcoming Hot Chocolate 15K!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1515 Ladies Night!

Lynne had the great idea of having a regular roommate dinner since we are all pretty busy and don't really dine together much. Kelly had the great idea of going to Mt Everest for Ladies Night (first drink free) for our first such dinner. I guess I had the great idea of housing such wonderful girls!
We got the VIP treatment because Dan sells wine to this place...delicious!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Too Busy for Pictures!

My friend Liz...who I worked with in Copenhagen...came to Chicago for a few days en route back to Oz (her homeland of Australia). We were quite busy and only managed one picture at dinner.Had a great time...Chicago History Museum (really well done museum), a walk through Lincoln Park and the Zoo, plenty of shopping, Core Power Yoga, dinner at Sapori, and then more shopping on the Magnificent Mile (or Magic Mile as Liz calls it) - whew!

Best of luck back in the land down under Liz!!! Hope to visit soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Picking

Melissa and I headed up to Northern Illinois for some nice fall Apple Picking...never mind that it was 87 degrees out...yes 87 on Oct 10!
Sadly there were no apples on the trees...
But there were pumpkins!
Happy with her donut and apples!
Cider Cheers!
Can't wait to start baking :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I love that Kristen comes up to Chicago so much for work/fun. We had a great breakfast this morning before heading out to cheer on the marathoners.
Today thousands of people ran the Chicago Marathon...and Mile 10 went right by my condo! Had a great time cheering these runners on.
Lots of people running with American flags (and a bunch of Brazilian flags too I might add)...I was too slow to pull out my camera, but there was a guy running with a 6 foot replica of the Eiffel Tower - crazy!
Way to go runners!!!!

Happy 35th Willow!

Willow Creek Community Church celebrated its 35th Anniversary this weekend and boy do they know how to celebrate! They held an all-campus (there are 5 in addition to the main campus) celebration with great worship, a wonderful message, and a huge party afterwards.As part of the message Bill Hybels spoke about the visions for each of the campuses. Northshore is building a church building (they are currently in a high school), McHenry is launching another church in Huntley, Chicago is looking at leasing a building across from the Auditorium Theater where we hold services, DuPage is looking at building their own church, and Casa de Luz is going to better market the Spanish speaking congregation they have. South Barrington (the main campus) is going to move their Food Panty (the largest in Chicago) and their Cars Ministry (where they fix and donate cars) to the main campus. Whew - a busy 2011 for sure!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Toe Clips!

About a year after getting my bike, I finally took the plunge and got toe clips/bike shoes. LOVE THEM!Paulo is sure I will fall...but I don't believe it, I got a lesson from the bike shop and am cautious in traffic (only one clip in) - but we'll see...

This morning I went for a great ride along the lake!Next up a trainer so I can ride inside in the winter...I've already gotten quite a lesson from Paulo about types of trainers and how to buy, so I just have to do it...but I think I will enjoy high 70s in mid Oct in Chicago for now!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ode to Melissa

I have an amazing friend Melissa. She recently pointed out that I have gotten many shout outs on her blog but she hasn't gotten any on mine....which is partially true (she forgot about this one), mostly because I sadly don't get to see her much since she lives on the West Coast. So...this is my ode to Melissa!

Melissa and I met in Sevilla, Spain in the Fall on 1999 when we were both studying abroad. This was pre Snapfish/Kodak gallery thus I have no pictures to post. One of my favorite memories is when we were in Cadiz and got yelled at by the hostel owner for giggling too much in bed.

Melissa went to grad school in San Diego...which meant many fun visits to Southern California for me. Favorite memory from those times is the early morning before Daron's graduation when Dom suffered the night of no sleep due to a late afternoon coffee in La funny!

Melissa is super crafty! She makes fabulous jewelery and scarves...she taught me how to make the jewelery when I visited her in Namibia and knit me a fabulous red scarf one year!

Before Melissa went to the Namibia for her Peace Corps assignment we went to my parent's place in Mexico for some R&R.
I was lucky enough to visit Melissa in Namibia for 2 weeks!
After summiting Dune 45!
Melissa will recall my perfect sand boarding form - that was for the single runs, but we did a double once!
Entrance to Ethosha National Park.
In the countryside near where Melissa lived.Hopefully I will make it out to Portland soon to visit!!!!