HEALTHY NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE
The kiss right after we said our renewal vows. I love this pic!
My husband and I had the honor to vacation on the fantasy island of Bora Bora this month and we renewed our 10 year wedding vows on the breathtaking turquoise beaches while staying in one of the over the water huts. We lived a 9 day dream come true for both Keith and I. I want to share with you my journey.
Being a hopeless romantic, I wanted to renew our wedding vows for our 10 year. I had been throwing out hints for the past couple years to my hubby that we should go somewhere super romantic like those uber cool Instagram travel accounts that I follow, where I drool over dream vacations from all over the world. (When I dream big, I dream really BIG!) So I scrolled away on dream vacays on IG till I found the perfect places.
Four Season’s Bora Bora, We stayed at the very end bungalow, best view!
We narrowed it down to three locations when we did our search-Bora Bora, Santorini in Greece, and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It was so hard to pick just one because they all looked really dreamy and let’s get real, I could see myself in all these locations saying “I do” again. In the end of our long research, the huts over the water in Bora Bora won!
Now was the fun part, all the planning! I had three friends stay at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora and gave us glowing reviews that we couldn’t say no to those great testimonials. We booked our vacay last year because April is a busy month for weddings, honeymoons, and vacations. Our wedding anniversary date is April 8th. We tried to get that week but it was a popular month. So we went with the last week of April/beginning of May.
Had the best time ever in Bora Bora!
April 29th couldn’t come fast enough this year. It seemed like a long 2016 just waiting for this tropical paradise to come and guess what? It was! Where have you been all my life Bora Bora? A bucket list of dreams I can’t wait to check off! Then the day came and we were more than ready to go. Dreams, romance, adventure, and love awaited us on this dreamy vacation.
The first day we arrived at 11 am and our rooms weren’t ready till 3 pm so we walked around the resort and got a massage. (You will need one after a 12 hour plane ride.) We got a 2 hour couples massage and unwinded from the flight. After our massage, we were so excited to check out our bungalow. Just the walk to the over the bungalow was super exciting! It was the very last one on the end. It was everything we imagined and more! As we wizzed through the room to see the layout, we couldn’t wait to see our balcony, the views just blew us away. Mount Otemanu looked like a back drop to a movie set. It did not seem real. Another thing we couldn’t wait to do was jump off the back of our bungalow first thing in the morning. We had so many things to check off our bucket list, we couldn’t wait to get through the list.
We jumped off the hut every sunset together! And we dived…
The food was amazing! All fresh unprocessed foods! I got fresh pressed juices, fresh fruits, salads, and more. It catered to vegans and gluten-free peeps (like myself) and I was in plant-based heaven! Between the breathtaking nature back drop and the food, I was living it up. They had a great gym too! I jet skied, snorkeled, kayaked, paddle boarded, and swam for the most part everyday. Besides some champagne, wine, and margaritas to toast this festive trip, I did pretty good being healthy. The sun and the beach calls to my soul and fills me up. I just can’t get enough. I love being healthy in a big city, but the beach naturally encourages my soul to do it. The beach grounds me every time I go and makes my heart full.
We danced all over the island!
This was such an amazing trip to reconnect with my husband, re-evaluate our personal/professional goals, and get inspired going forward. I have so much to give and have so much to live for.
Love when he dips me!
At the end of trip waiting at the airport, my husband asked me what my favorite part of our trip was. I answered, “EVERYTHING! Can we live there?” My three favorite things were renewing our vows, swimming with the sharks, and sleeping in the over the water bungalows. All three things were very thrilling for me, so special, and are what dreams are made of. My husband spoils me and I am so grateful to have such a thoughtful loving husband who helps me live out my dreams.
When we renewed our vows on the beach, I couldn’t get past the second line without crying for joy. My heart was happy. I had to bring my vows on paper so I didn’t forget them because I was all nervous. (Love that I still get nervous with him and I have been with him for 13 years!) In this pic, I love the way he looks at me as I am crying saying our new vows for the next 10 years. He was pretty choked up. Shhh!! Don’t tell him I said that. Love, love, love my husband! I said “I still do”! Until the next 10 years Keith!
Love the way he looks at me!
I want to say thank you for all your beautiful comments and post that you guys reached out to me on my social media. I adore them! Thank you for sharing a special moment in my life.
Here are some fun tips if you ever decided to go to Bora Bora!
Fun tips for Bora Bora
- If you get an over the water bungalow, request one at the far end of the dock so you have the best views of Mount Otemanu. It was my favorite view every morning when I woke up and before I went to bed. Did you know that Mount Oteman is 3 million years old and used to be an active volcano? I know! Crazy, huh!?
- You have to do the shark and stingray tour! That was my highlight of the trip (besides renewing my vows). We did the full day and it was AWESOME! We snorkeled at 3 different locations in the lagoon and then they prepared us a traditional Polynesian lunch on a private island.
- There is so much to do there that we didn’t get all that we wanted to do. We did 4 days of water excursions, and the rest on the beach, pool, and spa. It was all necessary on this vacay. I could have stayed another week. I wanted to do the ATV tour on the land, but it was booked. Maybe next time!
- Some people say you must go once in your life, I recommend twice! LOL! We will be going back, it is now my favorite place on earth. Love the Polynesian culture and this island. They make you feel so welcome and it is so special.
Love and lunges,
Photography by Kim Akrich
Ready for perfect nutrition that will Illumin8 your mornings? SunWarrior just came out with a brand new product that has 8 powerful nutrients to get your body supercharged! Check out these AH-MAZING ingredients they have added to this plant-based meal like baobab, chia, flax, whole grain brown rice, kelp, holy basil, guava, and coconut, just to name just a few. Clean protein, the best gluten free carbohydrates from, healthy fats, minerals, fiber, natural vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics, they all come together in Illumin8. Right now they have 30% off if you would like to try!
Shake up a quick snack on the go, add some quality nutrition to any meal, or whip some up before or after a workout to get your cells what they need to fire on all cylinders. Illumin8 can do that and more, and it tastes as amazing as it feels. They have 3 flavors available- Mocha, Aztec Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean.
Here are 2 wake me recipes for you…
Matcha Green Vanilla Bean Smoothie 1 teaspoon Matcha powder
1 scoop SunWarrior Vanilla Bean Illumin8
1 banana frozen chopped up 1 banana fresh 3 kiwi 1 tablespoon chia seeds.
Blend all together and sprinkle some chia seeds and matcha powder on top for garnish.
Cold Brew Mocha Smoothie
1 frozen banana chopped 1 fresh banana 3 Mejool dates no seeds 8 oz. organic cold brew coffee 1 scoop mocha SunWarrior Illumin8 Blend all ingredients together and top with banana slices and coconut flakes.
These are my favorite two superfood smoothies that Illuminate my mornings! More Illumin8ing recipes coming soon!
Get ready to have your taste buds styled! Bye bye hot winter comfort foods and hello fresh fruit bursting with flavor! Now that it is spring time, I like to eat more raw foods. Raw foods in the spring and summer give me more energy not to mention that beautiful natural glow everyone one asks me about. Maybe it’s Maybelline…nope, maybe it’s raw foods! J Lately, my favorite breakfast is a matcha berry bowl. It has tons of antioxidants for anti-aging, hydrates, and nourishes the cells of your body and that kick of energy from the matcha tea is AH-MAZING!
Matcha tea is a delicious green tea from Japan contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. Really great for anti-aging and healing your cells from free radicals. It has 137 more antioxidants than regular green tea. It also has a little bit of caffeine to get your morning started.
What I like about smoothie bowls are that they pretty basic and easy to make. The real fun and flavor comes from the toppings! This way you can have that smooth, creamy smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit and granola or nuts for crunch. There are no rules; you make it up as you go.
My latest go-to favorite bowl has been a matcha berry combo. I wake up craving it!
MATCHA BERRY BOWL
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ingredients for bowl:
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 fresh banana
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1 scoop Vanilla SunWarrior Protein Powder
½ cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup of Hail Merry Granola (the best granola ever and healthiest I have found with nuts and oats)
Make sure when you blend ingredients for bowl it is thick like frozen soft serve. YYou can add as much or little water to it for as thick or thin as you like. After ingredients from bowl are blended, pour ingredients for bowl in a bowl, duh! Then add your favorite ingredients on top.
Baby, it’s cold outside…brrr. I don’t know about you, but there is only so much working out indoors that I can handle during the winter. I usually like to mix my regular gym workouts with some outdoor workouts, but in the cold winter months, not so much fun being outside unless I am snow skiing somewhere. I like to take advantage of the Texas 50-60 degree winter weather. (And yes, you read that right, that is cold to me.) But, lately it has been in the 30-40’s range. I would prefer 70-80’s to workout outside, but if you have enough layers, you will have an AH-MAZING winter workout to feeling energized!
Dress in layers. When you start getting hot, you can peel them off. I like to wear thick workout tights, a zip up jacket, with a long sleeve workout turtleneck shirt under it. Make sure to protect your ears and hands too. This outfit is from Athleta, one of my favorite casual workout brands.
My favorite places to workout outside are parks. They have built in gym equipment like steps and benches you can use. I start off by getting my body warmed up, I will take a brisk walk for about a mile, then I will amp it up with a jog. Sometime I will do HIIT sprints and sometimes I will do a 3-5 miles steady run. Just depends on what my body is feeling.
I love that you can use a park bench as a step up exercise. If the bench is too high for you, find some steps, and use that. I like to time myself for 1 minute on one leg and then switch to the other leg. I will do step ups between push ups off bench and tricep dips. I like to alternate to give the muscles a rest.
Incorporating tricep dips in between steps up will tone the back of the arms up. Do as many as you can in correct form. I usually go until failure.
You can do V crunches off the bench. You will have a seat and hold onto the back of the bench. Keep your legs straight. Try to raise them as high as you can go. Make sure you keep your core tight. Then lower your legs slowly so that they don’t touch the floor. I will do 20 reps.
Park Workout– Start out with brisk walk for 10 minutes or a mile to warm up
Jog/run for 2-3 miles
3-4 sets/20 reps Step ups on bench Push ups on bench or ground Tricep dips V crunch
Repeat from the top
Embrace the winter weather and enjoy!
Love and lunges,
Photographer: Followwell Photography
I am so sad and in disbelief my dear friend and talented artist, Wade Livingston, was taken from us unexpectedly. I debated on whether or not I wanted to write this blog, but I feel like everyone grieves in their own way and this was my way to honor him. After all, 95% of all these images you see on my Healthinista blog were shot by Wade. Whether, I was shooting fitness, family, or something fun, he was my friend and go to photographer for all kinds of projects for 16 years. Remembering the good times with him helps heal the soul.
I first met Wade in the spring of 2001. I was scouted for modeling to shoot a catalog. I was a super shy, nervous wreck and didn’t know what to expect. I remember walking into his beautiful white studio and him greeting me with a smile showing where to put my things and introducing me to the make up artist. After I was all made up and dressed, it was time to shoot. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to pose, Wade had a kind and gentle demeanor to make you feel comfortable and show you how to pose. Next thing you know, I was following Wade’s directions and all the images he shot of me blew me away. Not only could Wade make you feel comfortable, he would capture you in a way you never thought possible.
Some of my work with Wade over the years
Over the years, we became friends and I shot with him pretty consistently. His work never ceased to amaze me. Every time I came to the studio, he would show me some of his latest breath taking work. He told me he liked to work with lighting and he was “old school”, that way he could do minimal post-production. He liked to get it right the first time so he wouldn’t spend hours editing. I have always admired his work and was inspired by him. I fell in love with the art of photography over the years, mainly inspired by him. He told me he was glad he started on film, because you can’t mess up on film. You can always add when it comes to digital, photo shop is your friend these days, but not on film. I started learning photography last year and was asking him questions about settings. I would do a photoshoot and then ask him what I could do to improve. He would always, write me back and help me. Wade was such a humble gentle soul.
LOL! Excuse the typo!
Not only did I love his work, it was behind the scenes that in between takes we would joke around. Just thinking about some of our moments, brings a smile to my face. When I shot with Wade, it was an all day event. Just driving to the shoot made me excited. I would come with bags of healthy food to make sure everyone on the set had their energy levels up. We would put on some music and laugh it up. We would catch up with each other on what was the latest. He would tell me that the Healthy Housewives inspired him to eat healthier and I would tell him that his photography work inspired me. He would tell me what he grew in his garden and different healthy meals he made. He told me he started cycling and fell in love with it. After we shot, I loved how we could see our images right then and there and pick them out on the spot. I always left his studio feeling beautiful!
Good times at Wade Livingston Studios Healthy eats always at the studio for shoots
I got really close to Wade when I shot my Healthy Housewives project. I wanted to keep my brand consistent so he shot all my work during this time. I shot with him once to twice a month for 4 years straight. He helped me create my dream and vision with his art. I had poured my heart and soul in the Healthy Housewives and he helped me create it with his talented eye. He was there through it all. When I reinvented my brand to the Healthinista, he was super supportive to help me create more of a high fashion look so it was a little different from my Healthy Housewives. He always had great input.
Behind the scenes of the Healthy Housewives shoot My first Healthinista photoshoot with Wade
I was going to shoot with Wade this month for another blog entry. I was planning my next shoot. I logged onto FB last Tuesday night, I saw a post that made my heart drop. I knew something was wrong. I immediately text him to ask if everything was ok. I didn’t hear back. Wednesday morning I text two of my favorite MUA and asked if everything was ok with Wade. They both text back that they did not know anything was wrong. It was like I was holding my breath. That whole Wednesday, I was worried. I thought about him all day. Thursday morning, his sister-in-law wrote a post on FB to let everyone know that he had been in an accident with a vehicle while he was cycling and was in ICU. I was heartbroken. I was praying that it was not bad and he would bounce back in no time. We all prayed and sent positive thoughts but God called him to heaven yesterday.
Picking out pics with Wade
A part of me doesn’t believe he is gone and that I won’t get to call or text him again and then another part of me knows he is in a beautiful place. Wade was a kind, generous, loving human being to everyone. He made everyone feel special that crossed his path. He touched my heart and I love him dearly for showing me the world through his eyes. He will be missed dearly by everyone he touched. We will see you again one day…just Wade for it!
Wade taking a self-portrait-love his humor
A friend of Wade’s set up a Go Fund Me account to pay for medical and funeral cost incurred by his family. If you would like to donate and help out, any amount will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Wade loved the beach
Also, here is a beautiful article that was written about Wade and his photography style.
Some of his best work
Thank you for reading how Wade impacted my life. He will always hold a special place in my heart. He was family to me. I could post thousands of photos he took of me, but you get the gist…he captured so many moments of my life and was a big part of my life. You might see a picture of me for my ads and blogs, I see Wade’s style and talent.
Wade shot my family pics
Here is a beautiful news piece of my dear friend Wade:
Rest in paradise,
As I reflect on my 2015 year, I can’t help but think how proud of myself I am. I have accomplished so many goals and then some came up by surprise. I have worked so hard for some dream goals and achieved them and I also worked hard for other goals and failed miserably. But don’t worry, not sad about it. Life is a series of ups and downs. It is all about working hard and trying to achieve the impossible even if it takes a few times to get there. Sometimes one path may work and sometimes you have to find another path to get there. I believe part of it is timing and part of it is meeting the right people. I have had so many great accomplishments for 2015 it would be a very long blog, so I will share the biggest accomplishment from each month. Sometimes my goals aren’t about me, they are about other people, that it enriches me too. Here are my favorite 12 highlights of my 2015 year-end review.
I started the 2015 year by working my second business by slaying it. Yes, I said slayed it. If you didn’t know, I joined It Works in June 2013 to sell their awesome products with my training and nutrition services. The first seven months, I sold only products. Then in Jan 2014, I signed my first distributor and we went to conference to learn the products more in depth, the business, and make new friends. Fast forward to Jan 2015, here I am with 7 of my teammates out of 277 on my team. It was an epic way to start the year. So grateful and blessed these people came into my life. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I got to shoot with one of my old IFBB bikini pro friends, Shelsea Sanchez’s studio, Peachy Keen Studios. We have come along ways since our competing days. We shot in Feb and the ads came out in March. I remember it was super cold that day! Had so much fun getting glammed up that day! Shelsea did my lashes and make up and her business partner did my hair. If you are in need of hair, make up, and lashes, you need to check out Peachy Keen Studios. These ladies rock!
My sponsor SunWarrior came out with the new Classic Plus. It is the Classic protein powder but new and improved! You have got to try this! All SunWarrior ambassadors got to try it first. SunWarrior makes everyone feel super special whether you work there or not. I am blessed to be with a company who is aligned with my core beliefs. Organic, raw, and vegan-three things that are music to my ears. You can try their products here.
This month is a big one for most of my clients. A lot of them have come to me in January after the holidays to do 12 week programs. A lot of them are starting to hit their goals around this time before summer, but for some people it takes longer than 12 weeks, some take 12 months. This was a big moment especially for one of my clients who has been overweight and unhealthy for 16 years. This was her first year to be consistent with exercise and nutrition without being on a fad diet or trying to kill herself and the gym. She did it right for the first time. I am still so proud of her. She used my Healthinista lifestyle program here. I always say, fitness is not a look, it is a lifestyle!
Two epic highlights happened to me this month! One of them is I got to fly to the SunWarrior headquarters in St. George, Utah for the first time and meet everyone. I have been with SunWarrior close to 5 years and it was all via email, phone, and social media. This was the first time I got to meet everyone in person. It was so fun and action packed that I had a blast! I love the SunWarrior culture. Such a strong group that inspired me. Everyone is ready to help you. They say your vibe attracts your tribe and I have found my tribe! They make you feel like an old friend at home. On that trip, I did a yoga headstand on a paddleboard for the very first time! After 9 BIG spills into the lake, I got it the 10th time. If you have never been to St. George, Utah, you have to go. Breathtaking views! Cheers to SunWarrior and their inspirational family.
My Dallas It Works team was getting bigger and bigger, people were promoting left and right so I selected my some of my main leaders to do a photo shoot with me. I love how It Works can connect different people from all over the world. I have made new friends for life, whether we do business or not. It has been a fun year of growing my team and learning new business strategies. I love that I get to help people get both physically, mentally, and financially fit. Can’t wait to see what 2016 hold for my It Works team!
July 2015 Not only do I train people in person at the gym, I train them online as well. Training online is not for the weak, you have to be strong in willpower to follow the workout and nutrition plans on your own. Meet Lys Lacour. The strongest 22 year old I know. She was going to college full time and in her last semester of her senior year and just graduated when she competed. She had a full platter and still made it work with her schedule. This was her first time lifting super heavy in the gym and her first competition. She flew out to see me right before she competed to do some last chance workouts and for posing class. She did sooooooo amazing! I was proud of her placing in the top 5 for her first bikini fitness competition. This year we are training again and so excited to see where her journey will take her. Happy to be a little part of her health journey and even happier for her life transformation. Love you Lys!
I flew out to Vegas for the annual It Works leadership retreat. This retreat is like food for the soul. It not only inspires you to be a better leader in your business, it inspires you be a better person. This was my 2nd year to go on stage in front of thousands of people and talk about how I incorporated It Works in my current fitness business and give them words of encouragement. If you knew back in the day I was super shy and very insecure and still have my moments. I am learning to grow out of this with life experience. This year, I was still terrified but I put my big girl panties on and did it. Cheers to getting out of your comfort zone.
This is a special month for me because it is my birthday month! But this month was extra special because I turned 41, got nominated as Dallas’s Top 10 Most Influential Women in Dallas, and I launched my healthy lifestyle blog. I was honored along with many other special women like Pat Smith, Toni Munoz-Hunt, and Tiffany Hendra to name a few. All of us have inspired so many people in so many different ways. We enjoyed a day of being pampered in a suite with the other ladies snacking fun food and getting to know each other backstage. I had the time of my life. We did a fitness fashion for Brick Betty and it was hosted by Laurie Graham Events. Laurie Graham came into my life in March 2015. I met her at the gym and started training her and we have been friends ever since. I believe she came into my life for a reason. I can’t sing enough praises about this girl, so I will let you read more about her here! She is such an uplifting soul.
I have so many goals and dreams to accomplish in life. One of them was to do photography. Ever since I started fitness modeling 10 years ago, I have fallen in love with the art of photography. I love all the behind the scenes of a shoot. It is hair, make up, wardrobe, collaborating on the theme, where it will be shot, and post-production. There is so much involved. I LOVE different photography styles too! So this year, I told myself to take photography classes to learn my camera and that is what I did. I shot my friend DJ Fugue for my first shot and had a blast. Even though, I made a ton of mistakes, it was a fun shoot. And I am so happy it was him for my first shoot, he was an easy personality to shoot. Plus, I got to meet a new friend in class named Lorrie Followwell and we get to learn together! Cheers to learning something new every year!
I got to fly out to surprise my brother for his 40th birthday. He moved to Oviedo, Orlando after 20 years in the Air Force. Proud of him. He is on his second career and has an amazing family. I felt so blessed to have spent this past 40 years here and there through life with such a cool brother. I learn from him and he learns from me. Cheers to another 40 year little bro! And yes, I will surprise you for your 80th birthday even though you may not remember me. Love you!
Now I couldn’t have made it through this year (or this life) without my rock, my husband Keith. This man has changed my life over the past 12 ½ years. He has watched my journey through good and bad and happy and sad. I am so blessed to go through this life with him. December is my lovers birthday month, Christmas, and then New Years. So we celebrate all month every day because there is so much to celebrate! (Not kidding either.) Happy birthday to the love of my life!
December 31st, 2015
Thank you for reading what makes my life so special. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016! See you next year!
Love and lunges,