Why I’m Saying No to Diet & Exercise-Related New Year’s Resolutions, and What I’m Going to Do Instead

Happy New Year everyone! ‘Tis the season for getting bombarded with messages about setting our New Year’s resolutions, particularly the ones that focus on getting healthier. And if you’ve ever watched TV or browsed the internet around this time of the year, it seems like our health aspirations will never be complete if we’re not aiming for weight loss. Crash diets and intense 4-week ‘full body transformation’ fitness programs have stuffed the pockets of various health gurus way before we realized that something fishy was going on – that is, those methods didn’t seem to work long-term, or made things even worse for us in the future, both physically and emotionally. To break the vicious cycle of mass media telling you that you’re not good enough unless you’re trying to reshape yourself via drastic diet and exercise routines, I’m inviting you to say no to setting diet and weight loss-related New Year’s resolutions! And since I don’t want to leave … Read the rest of the post

Vegan Fitness for Mortals: a New Book for Health-Conscious Vegans by Ellen Jaffe Jones

Hi all! Today I have a new book review and a giveaway for you: Vegan Fitness for Mortals by Ellen Jaffe Jones. In case you’re aspiring to be more active and get your health in check in the upcoming year, this book may be just what you need 🙂 If you’ve ever tried to research vegan nutrition and fitness tips, you may have experienced confusion since there is so much information out there. Focus on protein or carbs? Go short and fast or long and slow? And what about injury prevention? Navigating through all available information can present a challenge of its own since the more sources you research, the more opinions you will hear. This is where Vegan Fitness for Mortals comes in handy. The book’s author Ellen Jaffe Jones has been a prominent member of vegan community for many years as a vegan fitness coach, book author, vegan cooking instructor, public speaker and an … Read the rest of the post

10 Fitness Tips I Wish I’d Known When I Was 21

As someone who’s been working out for over half of her life, I have to admit that over the years, I’ve made a fair share of mistakes in how I approached fitness. I used to rely on tips from various fitness magazines aimed at women, bits and pieces of information I’d find on the internet, my own experimentation in attempt to defy conventional wisdom – all of this on top of my dietary manipulations (read: working out on an empty stomach, waiting to eat for at least an hour afterwards, and wondering why the heck my muscles weren’t growing). Am I the cluster of fitness wisdom today? Of course not – I still discover new information all the time, which includes learning about things I’ve been doing WRONG since the beginning. I’ve doubled down on my fitness aspirations about ten years ago, so today I’d like to share ten things … Read the rest of the post

Healthy, Skinny, Fit: My Long and Winding Road to Body Acceptance

Ooh, things are about to get real. As I grow more and more dissatisfied with the be-perfect-or-get-out nature of social media presence of countless health and fitness celebrities and #fitspiration gurus, my desire to raise my middle finger to this culture of perfection has grown proportionately. Today I want to talk about the battle that I’ve quietly fought for years, and why the time has come to put an end to it. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar, I hope my message reaches you. If you met me in real life, you would never think that I am one of so many people in our Western society who has had history of struggling with their body image. I’ve never been particularly large, nor have I ever gotten so skinny that it would have invoked concern from friends and family. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia (although today … Read the rest of the post

Vegan Girl Power Series, Episode 1: How Lacy Davis Overcame an Eating Disorder, Gained Strength and Started Helping Others Become Vegan Superheroes

Hi all! It’s been some time since I published a new post here, so I’m glad to break the silence today with a new series of posts that I’m going to call Vegan Girl Power! My last post about my experience with training for a bikini competition resonated quite a bit with you guys, which sparked a thought that it would be great to share stories of other vegan women who embraced lifting weights and shed the pressure of the society to look a certain way. I learned that weightlifting can give us a great boost of confidence while making us legitimately strong – a quite logical connection, in my opinion – so I decided to ask a few prominent vegan women who lift about their take on the subject. My first guest is the wonderful Lacy Davis from Portland, Oregon! I’m excited to have Lacy in the very first … Read the rest of the post

What I’ve Learned from My Attempt to Train for a Bikini Competition, Plus 6 Things an Aspiring Competitor Should Keep in Mind

This post was by no means easy to write. However, I believe that I need to share my experience with training for a bikini competition so that other women in a similar situation could make the right decision. I’ve recently learned a big life lesson: When you’re planning to have your life go in a certain direction for the next few months, life itself won’t necessarily oblige and go that way. Even if it does, it may not necessarily make you as happy in the process as you thought you would be. I know all this sounds vague, but here’s what happened in a nutshell: a few months ago, I announced in this blog post that I wanted to train for a bikini competition (‘bikini’ here is one of the bodybuilding divisions). But as I started training for it following a specially designed diet and workout plan, I realized that the … Read the rest of the post

Post-Marathon Blues, Why Commitment is Liberating, and My Next Big Goal

When I ran my first half marathon in 2011, nobody told me that afterwards I would experience the so-called post-(half)marathon blues. The big race day was over, life was moving on, and all I really wanted was to experience the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment again. I didn’t know what to do with myself – go for my next run? Give myself another day to recover? – so I chose to take it one day at a time. Within a month, I ran another half marathon, and within a year and a half, I did a total of seven half marathons and one full, all because running another race seemed like the next logical step. Here’s the deal: now that I’m done with my 3rd marathon, for the first time in my life I don’t feel that another running race is the next step on my fitness journey. Today I’ve finally … Read the rest of the post

Fitness Update: Things I’ve Been Doing to Stay Fit Without a Gym

Another week has sneaked up on us! I realized that I haven’t written anything workout-related in a while, so today I’m going to tell you about my fitness adventures in the past (roughly) month and a half. Since we moved to Washington state from Alabama a little over a month ago, I’ve enjoyed doing all of my workouts outside. The temperatures are mostly favorable – it’s cooler and way less humid than it is right now in Alabama – plus the rainy days have been falling on the days I’ve wanted to rest anyway. I’ve been trying to exercise most weekdays, alternating days of running with days of doing bodyweight exercises right on my front porch. Of course, there’s been a few lazy days when I didn’t want to do anything, but they only proved that I feel the most energetic, productive and overall positive on days that start with some type … Read the rest of the post

Workout Central Series: Do-Anywhere Vacation Workout, No Equipment Needed

It’s time for another episode of our Workout Central series! Today I’m going to share a simple workout that I did a couple times during our vacation on Marco Island, Fla., last week. The beauty of this workout is that it really gets you going (I probably sweated a bucket!) while not requiring any specific gym equipment, so it can be done anywhere, anytime, even when you’re on vacation! This time around, I got brave enough to demonstrate the workout myself. I originally wanted to ask my husband to take the pictures by the poolside of the house we were staying in during the vacation – that would have been pretty cool, but life interfered, and we never got to do that. Instead, I’m demonstrating the moves at our local gym back home in these pictures. To see other workouts in the Workout Central series, click here. The Vacation Workout Repeat the exercises below … Read the rest of the post