Yoga Mania: Shoulder Squeeze

Allow me to introduce shoulder squeeze. This is one of my favorite arm balances. Some days it is off. Some days it has a fire that would rival Katniss Everdeen (hehe). I’m always finding ways to grow in this perch like posture. And, with a bit of practice, so can you! I have big hopes for this bundle of joy. Perhaps someday it’ll look like this. Until then: practice, practice, practice.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Yoga Mania: Hips Don’t Lie

Hey everyone!

After a sufficient stay in time out, my batteries were feeling revitalized enough to make this video. Hip opening can be very frustrating for people with tight hips. If you run, bike, ellipitcal (yup, I’m making it a verb), or even walk a lot, your hips will slowly start to tighten up. Just take it slowly, breath deeply, and give your body time to open up. Your stretch should feel good and have a little ‘bite’ to it. The kind of bite, like, when you’re kissing someone and they gently bite your lip, type of bite. But don’t let the bite progress to the level of gnawing. It ain’t hot in kissing, and it definitely isn’t hot or good for your yoga practice.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

So Juicy I’m Making Couture Jealous

This baby is older than me!

After working at Goodwill for 15 months, I’ve come up with a  sound theory on donated items. If someone has donated an appliance that is very old (from the early 90’s or 80’s and back) one can assume two things.

1 The item at hand was really amazing, but the person/family decided to upgrade after 10-20 years to the newer version of the appliance.

2 The item at hand had been stowed away for years, and the person/family had decided to donate it  because it had been collecting dust for 10-20 years.

One should always be weary of more recent or seemingly brand spankin’ new appliances that have been donated. For example, several months ago I bought a Sharper Image juicer at said store. I was beyond miffed to find out how inefficient it was (I could practically drink the left over pulp that should have been dry!) Thus, I realized the excited person/family must have used it once after the 30 days they had bought it, been unable to return it, and had driven to the Goodwill in anger and donated it. My Kitchen Aid mixer from the 60’s has proven to be an absolute tank, so when my eyes settled upon the Tefal Juicer from 1989, my heart fluttered like a twitterpated song bird.

Note: The day I left early to buy the juicer was the day I was forced to block one of my neighbors in…oh the drama, but it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been into green smoothies for more than a year. In fact, they were what catapulted me into a more sound and healthy diet. However, I’ve always been intrigued by juicers, as it’s nice to add something new to the mix. Unfortunately, you are way more likely to find affordable  blenders than you are affordable juicers. The cheapest, reputable one is Jack Lalanne’s at $100, and most others can cost around $200 and up. Sadly, $200 was something I was unable to magically pull out of thin air, so I jumped when I saw the juicer at GW for $12.99 (they rarely come in.)

Juicing is great because it allows you to liquefy vegetables for easy consumption. My blender is not super powerful, so when I make green smoothies I can really only incorporate greens like spinach, collard greens, and the occasional Swiss chard. There was a whole land of carrot, beet, celery, and apple juice that I was not privy to, sigh. Plus, when you make your own juice there aren’t any added sugars and chemicals that are found in store bought juices. Yup, you heard me, this is juice you can actually drink on a regular basis!

When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down and your body has a far easier job of digesting them. With smoothies (which I will be writing a post on), since you don’t strain anything you are able to maintain the fiber. With juicing, the fiber is removed in the form of pulp and you are left with what I like to call: the essence. I don’t think one is significantly better than the other, though, I will admit that smoothie-ing is less of a process than juicing—there are so many parts of a juicer to clean! However, I think you do miss out if you are only able to do one. So, if your finances allow you, buy both!

So far I’ve made three awesome juices with my juicer (which has yet to be named!) I made a lot of stinker green smoothies at the beginning, so perhaps this learning curve is a lot better.

Recipe #1- I decided to try out a really simple juice so I could acclimate my taste-y buds

4 Oranges

2 Carrots

Teeeeny, weeeeny piece of ginger

I bought some Valencia juicing oranges at my local co-op for 30 cents a piece! Carrots are great because they do yield a large amount of juice and oranges are a sweet punch of vitamin c. The ginger was for some pizzazz and to make me feel a little hard-core.

Recipe #2- Getting a little green!

3 Oranges

3 Carrots

2 Kale Leaves + Tiny bit of spinach

I was really excited to use kale, because it doesn’t blend so well in my little Proctor Silex Blender. I first put in the carrots, then the kale, and finally the oranges. If you decide to use greens make sure you have something to add afterward to push through any leftover pieces and juice that might be sitting in the spout! I’ve noticed that when adding greens you can definitely taste them initially, but if you have something sweet in the drink (like the oranges) that is the taste you’ll be left with.

Recipe #3- Just Beet It

2 Beets

3 Carrots

2 Oranges

Chris and I don’t get many things at the co-op (wayyyy outside our budget for a full trip), but when I saw a bunch of 4 beets for $2.99 I had to get them.  This definitely wasn’t as sweet as the other juices, but still palatable. Because of that, I wasn’t able to slurp it down as fast as the other recipes and the rest is in my fridge for tomorrow morning. Here are some ones to tips, recipes, and nutritional facts on this voluptuous purple root veggie.

When you are showering, making breakfast, or have a few spare minutes, listen to this video on juicing. You’ll pick up great tips on what fruits/vegetables will fill your cup up and what greens won’t leave you feeling like you bought a bunch for nothing.

Some things to remember with green juices:

If you aren’t used to eating fruits and vegetables tread lightly into the realm for the first week or two. Most of these recipes have topped off my 12 oz mason jars. That’s a lot of fruits and vegetables to be drinking in one sitting and can cause what is kindly called “runny tummy.”  Your body will soon adjust, trust me, but you might find yourself having to go to the bathroom if you sip it down with the same amount of ease as Tropicana Orange Juice.  Finally, freshly prepared juices start to lose nutrients quickly. It’s advisable to drink them immediately or within 24 hours. As the video above mentions, grapefruit and orange juice can last up to two days if properly stored.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Be ready for a delicious hip opening sequence tomorrow!!!

Yoga Mania

The first sequence is here!!!

I hope you all enjoy. I give an explanation at the beginning on things to watch out for and what to do before this sequence to warm ya body up.

Ps: check out those Shakti shorts!!! Is that coverage, or is that coverage? I strongly encourage you to consider getting at least one pair 🙂

 

Namaste & Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Yoga Mania: Clothing

Here’s the clothing video! Since I didn’t have them when I was shooting, I forgot to mention the infamous pants

I didn’t like. They’re from the GAP, which stunk because I’m normally so in love with that store. Some of the reviewers seemed to have the same issue as me. The pants didn’t sit high enough and I was constantly pulling them up. I’m super sorry to the people in the yoga class I taught who had to stare at my red thong for an hour. And to my teacher Ashley who assisted me in many butt-crack revealing forward bends.

 

 

Some yoga-spiration. My old RA Brooke was doing a photo shoot and asked me to “model” for her. When I was born everyone thought I was going to be six feet. That clearly didn’t happen, but I always jump at the opportunity only afforded to long-legged ladies.

A rather ambitious early morning back-bend. But it felt ohhh so good. Hey, those are the pants! They look quite deceiving, right? Ps: when will they invent deodorant that blends into black skin?

When all else fails do everything but straight up! It’s much easier to balance your body when you have weight on both sides. It also adds some pizzazz.

I’ve moved on from crow to crane, which was only natural because crow encourages you to keep your butt low, and I’ve always been a fan of showing it off 😉 I admit, in the beginning it was sooo painful to press my knees into my arms, but that pain passed. If there is any posture I’ve been working with forever, it has been this one. I’m always finding ways to get stronger. Ohh, you can see the tell-tale gap in my pants; troubled waters be ahead!

 

Peel Away<3

Jocellyn

 

Okay. It’s here: YOGA MANIA!

Hello!

In the last few posts I’ve been hinting at something really big hitting this blog, and today I drop bombs. Please, join me in a round of enthusiastic OMing to announce Yoga Mania! My junior portfolio class is doing a social media contest to see who can drive the most traffic to their blog and get people to stay tuned in. I really wanted to build up the yoga section of this site and thought this would be a perfect push in the right direction. I explain what this whole thing will be in the video above, but basically there will be a yoga video posted Monday-Friday. The video might be of a short sequence (less than 10 minutes!), a tutorial on inversions or arm balances, or a yoga chat ranging from pranayama to yoga clothing.

I’m really excited to see this all come together! Tomorrow and Friday I’ll be posting a video on yoga gear, which will be really helpful for beginners or people wanting to expand their clothing repertoire, and Friday I’ll be doing a post on breathing and ‘locks’ you can do with your body in order to settle your mind during practice.

Please, please, please check in daily and share this information with your friends of all ages, majors, athletic abilities, levels of flexibility, yoga styles, etc, etc.

Namaste & Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Are You Ready For The Summer? Are You Ready For The Goodtimes?

Guilty Pleasure Song. This Is So Summer Material.

 

Suns out Buns out:  a cute, kitschy phrase I’ve put on Facebook the past few years come the first reallllll nice day of spring. This past weekend I hit up Lake Champlain with some friends to bake in the sun. Clearly, I’m the pastiest of the bunch and was in dire need of some vitamin D 😉 Jokes, jokes.  Looking back at the photos, I realized how relaxed I was compared to every prior summer when it was time to don a bathing suit. I wouldn’t say I’m a girl who’s in constant battle with her body, but the few insecurities I used to have are beginning to fade away. In the past I used to rely on ‘the girls’ to get me through the summer afternoons. However, boobies are all genetics and nothing to be terribly proud of; it’s not like you gain any size by logging in hours at the gym (if so then I must be getting slipped some mean ‘roids.) Instead, I was confident in my arm muscles that I can thank yoga and sporadic push-ups for. My legs I owe to the beastly hill I have to climb every day, and the many hours a week I spend scurrying around at the Goodwill. And even though my stomach isn’t rock solid, being forced to rid myself of gluten (and with that a lot of processed foods) has eliminated the bloat that used to plague me. It’s a great feeling to see yourself heading in a positive, physical direction because of the work you’ve put in. Your mamma and daddy’s genes will only get you so far.

Remember that "creepy" pic of Madonna's arm muscles? I'm channeling it! It's the angle; I got your back 'Madge'

 

Ohkay. So, maybe mine aren’t as intense!

 

Lets see. Peace sign. Duck lips. Soooo stereotypical college girl 😦

 

"What a beautiful sunny day....omg...what happened to the sun?"- White Chicks

And with this change I’ve noticed, I also look at other women in a healthier manner. Instead of being jealous of someone with a naturally thin waist, I’m more apt to go “damnnnnn” when I see a girl who has powerful, sculpted thighs from running up all the hills Burlington has to offer. Or I admire the woman I see in yoga class who has insane back muscles from years of a dedicated Ashtanga practice. That’s not to say it’s bad to be born naturally thin, or naturally flexible, or naturally whatever, but I think there is a lot to be admired about someone who has made changes ranging from minor edits to massive transformation in a healthy and practical way.

The first sunny days are when people start to realize they’ll be spending ample time in minimal clothing—no more winter boots and layers to cover yourself up in– and  lot of magazines will be pumping out “Best Summer Body EVER!!!!” articles.  Unfortunately, it can be very hard to summon up a healthy mindset in 2 months that will carry you through the summer. A lot of people will immediately try to go from a pizza lifestyle to no refined this, no sugar that, no white anything in one day and burn themselves out before the end of May.  Truthfully, this process should take months to let your body slowly adjust to the changes of diet and the added stress of exercising, which will help keep you from falling back into your old habits; I often have to remind myself that it has taken me nearly 15 months to reach this diet high in fruits, vegetables, some meats, and minimally processed foods. However, there are some steps you can take.  They might not get your dream body, or best body EVERRR by June, but you’ll be much healthier and you will see changes.

Diet: You know I’m a firm believer in the importance of diet when it comes to how your outsides look.

1.)    Start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your life.

2.)    Start a eating a HEALTHY salad 3-5 days out of the week. Check out this older post on the art of salad making.

3.)    Start to limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinkers will be surprised how much weight they’ll lose if they stop hitting the bottle hard on a regular basis

4.)    Drink more water! For the most part we’re always in a constant state of dehydration, and we’ll often mistake thirst for hunger!

5.)    Limit fruit juice intake, unless it’s freshly squeezed from a juicer. As delicious as fruit juices are, they’re generally packed with lots of added sugars.

 

Exercise:

1.)    If you haven’t exercised in awhile, build up slowly!!!

2.)    Start by working out 2-3 times a week. It may seem “pathetic” to not be in the gym ever day, but it will disheartening if you start out saying you’ll go 5 days a week and never making  it there.

3.)    For the college student, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a great method because it doesn’t take hours. It involves a mixture of cardio and weight bearing routines, so you’ll be doing double duty.

4.)    Make sure you’re giving your muscles adequate time to rest! Aka: don’t do sit ups every day.

5.)    Here are some of my favorite sites: Blogilates, ZuzkaLight (I’ve moved on from Body Rock, since I didn’t like the direction it was going, but the BR website does still feature Zuzana’s older videos), and Random Abs.

 

These habits shouldn’t just be whipped out when you have to pull on a pair of swim trunks or bikini bottoms. They should be with you during fall and winter as well.  And remember, even if you had the hottest body in the world, there are still going to be people who’ll find something negative to point out, so get healthy for yourself. And to be honest, not everyone is going to be looking at you at the beach. They’ll be playing football, and reading magazines, and trying to get all their bits back into their bathing suits when a big wave totally owns them out of nowhere. Your confidence is what will shine through, and you’ll be able to spend the day actually having fun instead of worrying about your body.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

I had a hangover wahhh-ohhhhhh!

 

This past Saturday I celebrated the 21st anniversary of my mother pushing me out of her womb.  The build up, however, was not without some stress and finger wringing. A few days before my birthday I was contemplating what I wanted to do. Would I have a wild night reminiscent of my freshman year, or would I be reserved, mature, and have a glass of red wine at a swanky bar? I married the two and decided to be a reserved shit-show. Voila.  For someone who doesn’t drink often, I approached the day with gusto. I spent the first half of the afternoon drinking a six pack of Angry Orchard cider (1140 calories and 174 grams of sugar, oii vey!) and around eight I hit the rum bottle hard and made it a little more than half way through. All in all I consumed nearly 2,000 calories in alcohol and an unknown amount of sugar. Needless to say, I didn’t feel solid again until 6pm the next evening. I don’t plan on drinking that much again for a very, very long time. However, I fully encourage people who are turning 21 to show their wild side. It’s the one day where it’s 100% socially acceptable to be a little drunk, so take advantage. I think I would have been bummed having a ‘classy’ night.

Now on to the less sexy side of drinking: the hangover, or as my mother loves to say ‘Paying the Piper.’ Around 1pm I was able to stay up long enough for a delivery order of Chicken Charlie’s ribs and fries. I initially had these rather sanctimonious plans of curing my hangover through natural ways.

Obviously, those were thrown out the window, making way for grease, Advil, and Netflix. Dutiful Chris propped me up, and I decided he deserved many bites for dealing with my drunken antics when I had arrived home. Satisfied, and still a little woozy, I went back to bed.

For the next few days I went on an unusual binge of junk food. I got an iced coffee (no lie, though, it is the best when hung-over), and took several trips to McDonalds for their fries, which I’m convinced they fry in liquid crack. I hit rock bottom the night I got the femme-fatale of drinks:  Shamrock Shake.  Worst stomach cramps ever.  I realized I needed to get back on the green smoothies, baggies of vegetables, and glasses of water. What had brought me down this path?

My theory: the initial hangover.  I’m someone who’s always dehydrated after a night of drinking, and, stupidly enough, I hate drinking water when my tummy is doing the wAvE. However, when you’re really hung-over you need more than water. You need to replace your electrolyte imbalance which has been altered due to all  the time you’ve spent peeing.  Coincidentally, most easy to reach for junk foods are packed with sodium, so it’s almost like we’re naturally drawn to them as we mutter to ourselves ‘never again.’

My theory continues.  You all know how addictive junky, sugary, and salty foods are. Unfortunately, it can only take a few days of this style of eating for our bodies to start craving these foods. Yikes! This makes it additionally harder to eat healthy as a college student if you’re the type who drinks Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and, just for kicks, once during the week. Not only are you probably living in a constant hangover, which doesn’t seem like a very fun or healthy existence, but to handle that hangover you’re probably filling yourself with junk food because it feels good.

Now is the time for tough decisions. If you truly want to live a healthier life you are going to have to cut down on the drinking. Heavy drinking wears on your liver, your organs, and can even make you look a few years older than you are. It’s nice to go out for a drink with a meal. It’s relaxing to have some friends over for movies a few glasses of wine. Here and there won’t have a huge affect, but habitual binge drinking (yeah, admit it, its binge drinking—I did it all freshman year!) isn’t doing your organs, your waist, and possibly your friendships any favors. You really can go out and have fun without being obscenely plastered.  And finally, if you are going to drink please suck it up and pay the few extra dollars for higher quality. That $5 plastic handle of (insert Russian name) is a financial plus, but you’ll definitely feel it more the next day.  (source).

 

Check out these links to learn the science behind hangovers and ways to lessen the pain.

http://www.stateuniversity.com/blog/permalink/Surviving-a-Hangover.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_1953_care-hangover.html

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Sun Salutations + A Video

Yoga is a big part of my life. I hope yoga continues to be a big part of my life. Thus, it wouldn’t be fair for me to not include yoga on this blog. Practicing yoga was what helped me start eating better. Learning difficult yoga postures is what taught me patience.

“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind.”

Yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga.

Disclaimers

One: Ignore the fact that it looks like I’m wearing zero bottoms. Trust me: I am!

Two: Ignore the mess. I’m a poet. The chaotic workplace is what fuels me.

Three: I’m training to be a licensed yoga teacher. This video is a guide, not the word of the almighty. Now, I’m not expecting you to go call your doctor and slap down a $20 co-pay to make sure you’re fit for yoga, but use common sense.

Technical stuff I’ve learned: In making the video, you feel like you’re going so slowly, but when you decided to do a voice over it feels like you’re talking 100 miles per hour (and this is coming from a girl who was constantly told to slow down.)

 

Let’s cut to the chase!!!

Here’s a video of me narrating Sun Salutation A with various modifications for all levels.

 

 

This the breath count for people who are not as familiar.  When you are first starting out it’s common to feel like you’re exhaling when the teacher is telling you to inhale. Don’t worry. The most important part is to just breatheeeeee.  Over time, when you become more comfortable, your breath will start synching up with your teacher’s breath.

Inhale  arms above your head touch at the top. You can look straight ahead or up at your hands. I’m currently working through a neck irritation, so I’m trying not to crane my neck to much.

Exhale  fold.

Inhale straighten your arms and lengthen your back to prepare.

Exhale (a big one)  walk or hop back, go to plank, lower down through Chaturanga dandasana.

Inhale Up dog

Exhale Down Dog.

“Active Break” : Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe. In Ashtanga we do a 5 count. Do whatever you want.

Inhale move forward.

Exhale fold.

Inhale raiiiiiiiise up. Touch at the top.

And do it all over again.

Peel away and namasteeee, hey, heyyy ❤

Jocellyn