Kanye West and Tich Nhat Hanh Collided and Changed My Life

Right now I want you to click this link and have our favorite egotistical semi-maniacal rapper guide you through this blog post.  

I would be lying if I said fitness was something that just started becoming important to me.  I come from a family of athletes, and have always kept pretty active.   I know that it’s obvious from my stature and smooth moves, but I was one hell of a basketball player in my time. Ok so I wasn’t the best basketball player, but I played basketball, on a team, and the team was good.

The life of a first year law student sent me running (literally)  to the gym.  Cue Kanye West and his New Workout Plan, always the first song on my playlist.  I started going 4-5 times a week to help manage my stress, and probably just to take a break from all the reading.  In fact, to all the people who feel I watch too much TV it should be known that I have read enough for an entire lifetime, maybe even 3 people’s lifetimes.  

Fast forward through being a lawyer and three pregnancies and let’s say I was on and off about my gym habit.  I would go when I could squeeze it in.   I’m a big believer in that everything tastes as good as skinny feels, so going to the gym has always been a necessary evil.  I was highly motivated to workout by my jeans.  Jeans are expensive, and when they stop fitting you because you ate too many Oreos, it’s really annoying.  Then you have to buy your “fat jeans” but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on those because they’re going to be “temporary” and you see the dark rabbit hole I’m falling into here. 

About  six months ago I was starting to feel really bad.  My head slowly started to hurt and I was at migraine level pain for almost two weeks.  Obviously this coincided with my children’s winter break. I was having to entertain three tiny circus monkeys all while fighting off a headache that could not be cured with any over the counter, or even prescription medicine.  Things got worse when I realized that I was slowly putting on weight, and my ankles were so swollen they barely fit into my sneakers. I was so miserable, and it reflected on my face and definitely in my parenting.

Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and went to the ER for something to take this headache away, and we found out my blood pressure was 150/100.  This is well above normal, and especially for a young thriving lady such as myself.

Once they were able to shut down my headache, with what must have been a horse tranquilizer, the real work began.  Since December 28,2017  I have done a number of tests to try and figure out what in my body has changed and shifted to the point that my blood pressure cannot be stabilized without intervention.  There is no history of high blood pressure on either side of my family, I am only 34 and relatively good shape.  We still do not have any concrete answers, but the doctors did tell me I needed to change my diet and exercise to do what I could to keep my blood pressure from spiking.  

I felt so out of control.  My body had gone completely rogue.  So I needed to take back the power, and I had to do this through exercise.  Exercise has now taken on a new role in my life.  It is not just my stress relief but a way for me to try to keep my body in line.  A thing I can do every day to make sure I am staying healthy, not just for my jeans, but for me.  

 I had also started going to a therapist to help with my anxiety (more on this another time), and she introduced me to Tich Nhat Hanh.  

Tich is a Buddhist monk, but don’t let me lose you.  Besides being adorable, his approach to life was so simple, yet deep.  To me this simplicity was beautiful. I was really put off by the idea of meditation at first, but have become a firm believer.  I just think everyone needs to find their own way to do it.  

I am not good at the more traditional meditation where you sit down for 10 minutes and clear your mind with an app. This comes easier to my husband. What Tich showed me was that anything can be a meditation, so long as it is done with intention, mindfully.  As my therapist taught me I can just do, “lots of little things- many times.”

 My meditations include eating delicious food, taking a few deep breaths in the shower (between songs), making Chamomile Tea, exercise, and a few more things that I enjoy doing but now I do them with more thought and more gratitude.

So I am bringing you Health and Fitness ideas because I don’t think anyone should wait for something to act.  Not death, not a health scare, nothing. Humor aside, we need to take care of ourselves. The majority of you are moms, and we are most at risk.  Self-care isn’t a trend, well it is a trend right now, but it’s a must. Find the time, even if it’s just twenty minutes. Take control.

I am in no way an authority here.  So I am going to be bringing in some of the best around (in my opinion) to bring you great at home workouts, some great recipes for healthy meals, and I will share some resources that have given me wisdom to deal with the insanity of raising tiny humans and not completely lose your mind.  Namaste!

Cauliflower Fried Rice – By Sally Schimko {@mysexyveggies}

A couple years back, I was at the park with a couple of my favorite mom friends complaining (no surprise) that I needed to switch up my workout routine a bit because I was bored.  Two of these lovely ladies had been going to Barry’s Bootcamp here on Miami Beach for the last couple of weeks, and were convinced I had to come with them.  I gave every excuse I could come up with and the rebuffed each attempt:

Me: “I am not in good enough shape to do weights.”

Them: “You can go at your own pace and do lighter weights.”

Me: “I have to run on a treadmill, fast? What if I fall?”

Them: “You can go at your own pace, and we have never seen anyone fall.”

Me: “I have had three kids, what if I have to pee?”

Them: “You can just go to the bathroom, but I have peed a little in my pants during leg day or a sprint on the treadmill.”

When my amazingly beautiful friend admitted to me that she has peed herself a little on a treadmill at Barry’s, just to get me to come, I knew I had to at least try it.  Well I came to my first Barry’s class and I didn’t fall off the treadmill, did my lighter weights, can proudly say I did not pee myself, and I absolutely loved it.  I loved that you can do the workout at your own pace and work your way up to the people around you doing more advanced instruction.  It kicked my butt and gave me something to aspire to.

Enter Sally Schimko.  I ran into Sally when I had first started working out at Barry’s.  She was in incredible shape, that kind of shape that you think to yourself there is no way she’s had kids yet, but then you find out she has two and you’re like “Sigh.”  Sally was there each day with a smile, and always cheering everyone on.  So when she started her healthy lifestyle blog featuring all of her delicious veggie focused recipes, I knew she would be the perfect contributor for the Health and Fitness section.  For her this is a lifestyle, and I love learning from people who do what they love.  You can learn more about Sally, and see more of her recipes on her Instagram account @mysexyveggies 

For our first recipe we decided to do Fried Cauliflower Rice as a perfect meal, or side to your favorite protein at lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!

Also if you live in Miami Beach area and want a cooking class with Sally for yourself or a group of friends (which I highly recommend SO FUN!) you can email me cristina@survivingcristina.com or email her directly sallyterezi@me.com to arrange your day.  You can customize the menu, bring some wine, and get Sally’s personal tips for living a more healthy lifestyle.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups cauliflower rice ( I use frozen)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/3 cup edamame
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot ( shaved)
  • 2 cups mix mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup liquid aminos
  • 3 Tbs orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbs pb2 ( peanut butter powder or just use your nut butter )
  • 1/2 cup mix chopped green herbs ( dill , cilantro, parsley)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Spicy chili flax ( optional)

Instructions:

1. In a medium high skillet sauté vegetables Starting with the onion and mushrooms until they are golden brown and add all the rest (reserve some carrots, dill, parsley and cilantro to garnish)

2. Sprinkle spices , mix and cover

3. When all the vegetables turned golden brown, simmer down

4. Add liquid amino and orange marmalade and mix well cover for 2-5 minuets and it’s ready to serve

5. Top it up with hempseed and pine nuts.