Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Healthy Eating on Family vacation

So, we have wrapped up our stay in Houston, TX for the Thayer-Witsell Family Reunion.  And even though it was a family & food filled vacation, I have not forgotten my healthy living lifestyle.

Day 1: Travel Day.
Started super early, with a 2:30 wake up time and a 2 hr drive to Dulles airport.  I started my drive with water, once at the airport I found my darling Starbucks.  Oatmeal, tall iced non-fat vanilla latte, and a bottle of water.  During my flights, my drink of choice is always water (no ice).  We had a lay-over in Atlanta, where D'reardon and I split an A Bon Pain turkey sandwich, and an all-fruit smoothie with us and the girls.  Once we finally arrived in Houston, I snacked on my nut mix until it was time to eat dinner.  For dinner, we headed over to the Galleria mall, I ate a small Greek salad and split a piece of spinach lasagna with my Mother-in-law, and more water!  Traveling always dehydrates me, so water is a must!!

Day 2: Shopping.
I woke up early, ate a mini Cliff bar, then headed to the gym for a workout.  I ran 1 mile, then practiced some yoga with Ab ripper X moves.  After my workout, breakfast was half of a banana and a cup of cheerios, with (of course) Starbucks coffee.  We then walked to the Galleria, where we shopped and walked all day.  Lunch for me & the hubs was a wrap from Great Wraps in the food court.  We shopped some more, then headed back to the hotel to meet up with more arriving family.  Next, was dinner, The Cheesecake Factory... I ordered a small field greens salad, and the Pear & blue cheese flat bread off the SkinnyLicious menu.  I sipped water non-stop all day, this houston heat & humidity is really taking a toll on my body, and it's only day 2!

Day 3: Family Picnic.
Breakfast was a cup of starbucks and a banana, and no workout :-(.  I knew this was going to be a long day, with not much control over what I could eat.  I tried to focus on my water intake vs. my food intake.  We ate lunch in the Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park, which I have to admit, was not healthy.  It was catered by Houston-known Frenchie's Chicken: fried chicken, dinner rolls, dirty rice, and toss salad.  So, I loaded my plate with the salad and a piece of fried chicken.  After lunch I grabbed my 3rd bottle of water, and headed out to explore the park.  My youngest daughter had the desire to ride the train (think slow Disney World train), so we walked a mile in 100+ degree heat to find the train startion.  We rode the train while others, including Hubs, paddled in the paddle boats (a huge workout for him).  After our sweaty rides, we walked a mile back to the garden center, which is why no workout was mandatory today.  To make my unhealthy eating day worse, for dinner after the park, we headed to the Daily Grill, and I had 1/2 of a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries.  Water was consumed a lot today, over 80oz.

Day 4: Family Meeting & Dinner/Dance.
Breakfast was another cup of Starbucks and 1/2 a wheat bagel at the Family meeting.  Lunch was actually back at the Daily Grill, this time I opted for a healthier option mixed field greens salad and pesto pasta.  It was so delicious, and the greens sang as they entered my body!!  With the BBQ-Western themed Dinner/dance that evening, I knew I would loose some of the control of what I could eat.  On the BBQ buffet, was Texas brisket, baked chicken, grilled corn, baked beans, potato salad, mixed field greens salad, coleslaw, and apple cobbler for dessert... You're probably thinking yum, right?!?  With that being said, I chose the grilled corn, 2 small slices of the brisket, 1 small piece of chicken, and a lot of field greens (again). I passed on the apple cobbler.  For a workout, I danced the night away with my two little boogie machines.

Day 5: Lakewood Church.
On Sunday, we all woke up super early to head to Joel Osteen's Lakewood church for some spiritual health.  Breakfast was an apple and a cup of Starbucks.  Joel, his wife Victoria, and the music were very uplifting and inspirational.  Brunch, of course, follows church in my world, and I ate Eggs Benedict with the sauce on the side, hold the potatoes.  After church, we said our good byes, and we headed to the host family's house for swimming and Mexican food.  At Don Pico's Mexican restaurant, I ordered enchiladas suazia (not healthy, but very yummy) and a margarita!  After dinner we swam, and played some intense games of outside ping-pong, in the Houston heat/humidity = workout.

Day 6: Travel Home.
Yay, finally!!  It's time to head home.  Breakfast was a mini cliff bar, 1/2 of a banana, and a iced skinny caramel macciato!  Our flight wasn't until the afternoon, so after packing we all walked back over to the Galleria for one last time.  Quick lunch from Great Wraps, and quick shopping.  Then we walked back, hopped in a cab, then headed to the airport.  Of course, you already know how I feel about water on travel days... I think I actually drank over 90oz of good ol' H2O.  For dinner, mid-flight, Hubs and I split a turkey sandwich.

We didn't arrive home until after midnight, but it was well worth it!  We all had a great, fun-filled trip.  I still tried to eat as healthy as possible, with some splurges, and I will always travel with healthy snacks and water!  No, I didn't workout as much as I had originally planned, P90x was put on hold... but that's ok!  You can't trade the quality family time we had for anything.  Quality family time = true healthy living!!  Thank you Thayer-Witsell family for another great reunion, see you in Miami in 2014!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Health of the Soul 42

Learn to manage your soul; as you manage every task in life.  Your soul embodies the results of every action.  Your will, mind and emotions should be under submission of the Creator.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Health of the Soul 41

Store in your soul the sounds the birds in the early morning and late evening.  The cycle of nature can teach you much about comfort.  Speak words of comfort to your soul in peace.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Health of the Soul 40

Sounds in the ear can create fear or freedom in your soul.  Soul hear sounds to dominate your actions to live a healthy life style.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Health of the Soul 39

Allow the Creator to create images in your soul.  Obey the Spirit and your mind and emotions can move forward by faith. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Health of the Soul 38

Your soul seeks tranquility.  Let the vibration of sound of peace and harmony in your will, mind and emotions agree.  Soul chose to do good and not evil. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Health of the Soul 37

Soul should be stirred everyday.  Stagnation of soul breeds unhealthy thought and actions.  Creator stir fresh thought, goals and determination in your soul today.

Week 2 of P90x Complete

Well, week 2 of Beach body's P90x Lean program is complete... I can't say it was easy... The workouts nor the scheduling.  Kenpo x has become a new favorite... However, I still can't get seem to get 1 stretch in the opening warm-up.  It just doesn't feel right, I actually don't think I'm doing it right, however my uncoordinated self has mastered all of the punching and kicking sequences (if you know me, you know that's a big deal).  Still love Yoga x, Xstretch, and Cardio x!!  My diet has maintained, and I have even doubled up on workouts twice this week.  Week 3 will be even more challenging, because I will be on a family vacation in Houston.  Wish me luck, and send me thoughts of strength to stay way from Texas BBQ!!!
Here's my photo for the week... on to week 3!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Health of the Soul 36

Your soul can be joyful and make music. Your voice and instruments can encourage your soul. Fill your soul with a song of peace.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Health of the Soul 35

The character development of your soul is a life journey.  This development is hidden from the human eye.  Believe by faith your production in life is to bless others.  Soul be faithful to your purpose.

2 weeks of eating on a college campus

For 2 weeks, every summer I work the USDA's Ag Discovery program at Delaware State University.  This program is a residential summer camp designed to teach kids about different aspects of Agriculture.  My Father in Law is the director of the program, which is how I end up working this program.  My biggest challenge for the two weeks, is not being with 16 teenagers 24/7, it's trying to find healthy eating options in a campus dining hall and on the road, then squeezing in my workouts in a schedule jammed packed with field trips, workshops, and road trips.
As far as the workouts go... I have started the P90X Lean program, again.  I will squeeze in runs, whenever the schedule allows.  P90X is a great, all over, cardio workout.  It travels great, because you don't need a lot of equipment or a lot of space.  I travel with resistance bands, because they pack flat, but since this is residential I had more flexibility to bring my yoga mats, and my free weights.  My schedule, on the other hand, is packed with super early mornings, long field trips, all-day workshops, and long evenings.  So, squeezing them in is becoming fun!!
What about the meals... a little more challenging!!
Breakfast: I brought my own oatmeal from home, all I need is hot water. Instant organic with Flax Seeds.  I usually accompany the oatmeal with a cup of Starbucks (thank goodness, they brew it in the cafe), and a slice of toast or a banana.
Snack:  These are my "Healthy Help Me" Snacks... Sweet Potato Chips, Honey Wheat Pretzels, Cliff bars & Cliff bars Mini, Kashi bars, LaraBars, Brown Rice Cakes w/ PB, Unsweetened Dried Mango slices... or a Banana (slipped in my bag from the cafe).
Lunch: Depends on what's being served... If its a lean protein; i.e. Chicken breast, I'll have that with 2 servings of vegetables.  If the hot food options are not looking so hot, I'll have a salad w/ veggies from the salad bar, and a side of the vegetable of the day. Don't forget the water!!
Snack:  Honestly, lunch never fills me up... because DSU cafe food and I don't agree most days, so I reach for another "Healthy Help Me" snack.
Dinner:  Basically, the same as lunch... once in the 2 weeks I splurged, because DSU's fried chicken is yummy... but other than that... lean meat, w/ 2 sides of veggies. 

On the Road:  2 mornings we had breakfast out, at McDonald's (boo), but I opted for the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.  We did eat lunch and dinner out a few times during road trips.  One night we ate at The Cheesecake Factory, I love their new SkinnyLicious menu, so I ordered the Asian Chicken Lettuce tacos, which are under 400 calories and super filling!  I also splurged on a half of a slice of cheesecake, duh, who wouldn't!
My tips for healthy college living...
  1. Sleep
  2. Stay fit, w/ walking to & from class or a fitness routine
  3. Eat plenty of Fruits & Vegetables
  4. Eat good carbs (wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, etc)
  5. Drink lots of water, avoid drinking your calories in soda or juice
  6. Avoid stress, with planning, staying organized, & meditation
  7. 4-6 small meals (including snacks)
  8. Keep healthy snack options in your room
  9. Eat breakfast, even if it's just toast + a piece of fruit, but stay away from sugary cereals & pancakes
  10. Treat yourself every once in a while, sweets, french fries, and pizza are examples of treats
  11. Avoid late night delivery runs, choose a healthy snack instead
  12. If you're of age, limit your alcohol consumption & be smart
  13. When in doubt, Salad bar is your filling friend
  14. Don't over eat, just because it's a buffet doesn't mean you need to stuff yourself
  15. Have fun!!!
Whether you're heading to college or working a summer camp like me, healthy living and eating is easy as long as you keep my tips in mind!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Health of the Soul 34

Your soul should be gentle in communications with the mind and the emotions. Words of gentleness turn away wrath.  Speak gently and softly to your soul.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Health of the Soul 33

Soul comfort your mind and emotions with kindness.  Be kind to others and seek opportunity to will kindness to the next generation.  Your soul is filled with kindness.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Health of the Soul 32

Soul be patient with self.  Self should submit to divine knowledge and understanding.  Self should submit to the will, mind and emotions of the Creator. Patience is a virtue.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 1 of P90X, complete!

So, I have completed my first week of Beach Body's P90x Lean program. It's finally finished, and I'm still alive with smile on my face!! This is my second time though P90x Lean, and I must say... some of the exercises are easier because I know the combinations or the moves. That being said, some parts of this first week have kicked my butt, and it hurts!!  My overall favorite workouts remain Yoga X, Cardio X, and X-Stretch.  My least favorite is the Legs & Back, but mostly the Back portion.  I love the Ab Ripper X at the end of workouts, its that last little burn, when you feel you have nothing left to give.

My workouts have been in a college dorm room, since I am working this 2-week Summer program for the USDA.  You don't need a whole lot of space to do P90x, or a lot of equipment.  It's the perfect workout DVDs to travel with.  I strongly recommend P90x if your looking to boost your fitness ability, loose weight, or tone up.  They have 3 different programs to follow, I am following the Lean program.  Beach Body also offers meal plans and supplements to aid in your healthy living goals.

Try it, you might like it... most importantly, Do your Best, and Forget the Rest!!  On to week 2, only 82 more days to go!

Health of the Soul 31

Your soul should find rest in inner peace.  This peace passes all human understanding. Peace in your soul submitted to the Creator is eternal. Soul be at peace in your space.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Health of the Soul 30

Soul operate in joy. Joy is a state of mind and should come from within self. Soul in joyful gratefulness can keep your mind and spirit in all situations.  Your soul is full of joy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Visualize, Affirm, & Achieve

I am a firm believer in visualization.  If there's something I want I will visualize it, create it in my mind, affirm that it will happen, stay positive and believe until it becomes a reality.  One of my favorite books is called Creative Visualization: Use the Power of your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain.  In this book, he describes how to visualize and set affirmations until your goal or desire becomes a reality.

Here's how...

Set your Goal:   Start with goals that are fairly easy for you to believe in, and that are possible to realize in the near future. By starting with smaller goals, you won't have to deal with too much personal negative resistance, as you become more successful as learning creative visualization.

Create a clear Idea or Picture:  Create a mental picture of the object or situation exactly the way you want it!  Think of it in the present tense, like it already exists the way you want it to be.

Think & Focus on it often:  Bring your idea to your mind often, multiple times a day, during quiet meditations, and casually throughout the day.  Make it a part of your daily life!

Give it Positive Energy:  focus on your goal, and think about it in a positive encouraging way.  See yourself achieving your goal.  Make positive statements, or affirmations, to yourself.

Affirmations are strong positive statements, that something is already so.  It is a way of making your idea firm.  They can be done silently, spoken out loud, written down, or even chanted (like a mantra).
Here are some examples...
Every day in every way I'm getting better and better.
Everything I need is coming to me easily and effortlessly.
Everything I need is already within me.
I love and appreciate myself just as I am.
I am now attracting loving, satisfying relationship into my life.
I now have a perfect, satisfying, well-paying job.
I enjoy relaxing and having fun.
I am always in the right place at the right time.
It's okay for me to have everything I want.
The more I have, the more I have to give.
I am relaxed and centered. I have plenty of time for everything.
I am vibrantly healthy and radiantly beautiful.
I am open to receiving all the blessings of this abundant universe.
I give thanks now for my life of health, happiness, and self-expression.

Keep in mind, goals often change before they are realized, that's a part of growth. Creative visualization only works for good, it's a means of dissolving barriers within ourselves, and create a natural harmonious, loving flow in the universe.  Once you achieve your goal, be sure to acknowledge consciously to yourself that it has been completed, and thank yourself and the universe for fulfilling your requests!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Health of the Soul 29

Your will, will determine the actions of the souls.  Your will operates best in agreement with obedience from divine instruction.  The Creator created you a living soul.  Soul obey and live in love.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Health of the Soul 28

Your soul could be waiting for some instruction.  That is divine directions, which comes from your Creator.  Prayer is good medicine for the soul.  You can pray often and there are no side effects.  Soul receives answers as you listen to your Creator.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Health of the soul 27

Your soul is always thirsting for the Creator. The flesh can alert you when your soul is out of balance.  Water your body in time of heat and dryness.  Emotions get out of balance when you need to drink water. Soul be alert.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Health of the Soul 26

Your soul is as the backside of the skin.  Under the skin there are different organs all having a distinct function.  Your soul can be kind and gentle to the body of rough and cruel.  You get to make the choice. Soul be of good cheer, today begin a new.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Health of the Soul 25

Spirit, soul and body should be in balance.  A satisfied soul is balanced.  The trials, tribulations and temptations in life will not tip your scale.  A three-strand cord is not easily broken; neither is the soul in communication with the Creator.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Health of the Soul 24

The Creator made you a soul.  You learn how to communicate and navigate through life in a process.  Your will, mind and emotions demonstrate the intents of the heart.  Whatever is in your heart will come forth out of your mouth.  Speak life to your soul and live a good life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Health of the Soul 23

Your soul shall be as a watered garden.  Your will should be in harmony the will of your Creator.  Your mind and emotions agree with doing good and not evil.  Your soul should reflect as a garden without weeds, but blooms spinning in harmony with the wind. Your soul can refresh others with words of encouragement.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Health of the Soul 22

The eye is the window of your soul.  You can see light and darkness.  In the morning upon arising you are filled hope and expectations for the brightness of a new day.  The day will go forward you decide the management of the tasks.  A beautiful sunset reminds you that darkness is on the way.  Soul rest in tranquility.

Tuna Florentine

I've got a new recipe for you!!  A while ago, I bought frozen Ahi Tuna steaks from Trader Joe's, and had no idea what to do with them.  All of the yummy sounding recipes I could find involved sesame seeds and/or sesame oil, which is a big allergen in this house, so they were no-no's.  I scoured my cook books one more time, and came across this recipe in the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine Cookbook.  Even though I did not use a Foreman Grill, my Tuna Florentine turned out amazing.  In the words of Mia, my youngest daughter, "I really enjoyed my dinner, Mama. I ate it all! Yuuumm-meee!"

Tuna Florentine
Serves 4, Time: under 30min

1 bunch fresh spinach (I used pre-washed baby spinach)
1 ripe tomato, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (from my organic garden)
1 tbsp cider vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 6-8oz tuna steaks (I used Ahi)
8oz vermicelli pasta, cooked & drained (I used whole wheat thin spaghetti)
nonfat cooking spray

My own personal additions
1 pint fresh grape tomatoes, halved
pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated

Boil water for pasta, cook pasta according to package.  Steam spinach for 5 minutes, on the stove over medium heat.  Cool, then chop finely.
Season tuna steaks with a little salt & pepper.  Preheat & oil (or use cooking spray) grill, or grill pan (which I used).
In a medium sauce pan, combine oil, chopped spinach, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add 1-2 ladles of pasta cooking water to spinach & tomato sauce, stir.
Grill tuna steaks, for 2-3 minutes on each side until, rare to medium rare (depending on your taste).
Divide pasta among 4 plates. Spoon sauce over pasta, sprinkle halved grape tomatoes around pasta.  Top with grilled tuna, and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Enjoy!!