Get in Shape for Summer – PEAK10


peak flyer

Summer is just around the corner, which means time to pull out that bathing suit from last season and see if it still fits.  Preparing for shorts, sundresses, bikinis, and hot days on the beach we all want to look and feel our best. If you are looking for the perfect “GET READY FOR SUMMER” Workout or just want to take your fitness level up a notch, PEAK 10 is the program for you.

Tomorrow we are starting a 6 week PEAK 10 SUMMER CHALLENGE at Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena, CA. If you don’t live in the area or can’t join us at the gym, Michelle Dozois (the Creator of the Program) has developed an online forum with virtual support so you can follow along at home.

Join the “at home” PEAK 10 SUMMER CHALLENGE on Facebook. And, if you do not already have the full Peak Fit System Kit, you can purchase it at www.peakfitsystem.com. Or buy the lastest DVD’s Michelle just released at www.michelledozois.comThese three DVD’s would be the perfect combination to getting a strong and lean body, feeling sexy, healthy and ready to take on the summer! Click on the images below to order or see previews of the new DVD’s.

Cardio Strength

Peak10 Cardio Strength Remix ~ a metabolism boosting strength training & cardio sequences.

Cardio Interval Burn

CARDIO INTERVAL BURN ~ cardio sequences that use a variety of movements from athletics, kickboxing, calisthenics, and aerobics.

BodyFIT 360

BodyFIT 360 ~ a cutting edge, bodyweight and dance-conditioning workout for those looking for a new and challenging way to feel strong, flexible lean and fit.

Spinach, Black Beans & Seared Tuna Salad

Spring has officially arrived! The beautiful, breezy, warm California weather has inspired me in many ways, especially in the kitchen. This weekend I cleaned out the fridge and the pantry of all of those not so healthy culprits still hanging around from the Holidays, and then went to the Farmer’s Market and stocked up on tons of fresh  fruits and vegetables, bright aromatic herbs, beautiful spring flowers, and enough spinach to feed an army! I am a salad girl…I have some type of salad almost every single day. But to keep myself from getting bored with eating the same old thing, I am constantly changing up the ingredients and utilizing what is fresh and in season to give my taste buds and my body a little healthy variety.

Right now, I am addicted to this delicious Spinach Salad with black beans and Seared Tuna. It’s simple, easy, and fresh but packs huge flavor and spice.

Spring Salad

SPINACH, BLACK BEANS & SEARED TUNA SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 oz fresh ahi tuna (or any fish you prefer)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 jalapeno (optional if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp of non-fat greek yogurt
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

I marinate my tuna for a few hours in the refrigerator if possible with a little olive oil, lemon juice, sprinkle of salt and pepper, and rubbing in 1/2 diced jalapeno and chopped, fresh cilantro. Before cooking the tuna I prepare the salad.  In a bowl, mash ripe avocado with fork. Mix in greek yogurt, diced tomato, 1/2 diced jalapeno and fresh cilantro (tastes just like guacamole with the added benefits of protein, probiotics and calcium). Sear your tuna on high heat for just a few minutes on each side.  Place spinach on large plate, top with cooked black beans. In the center dollop the avocado mixture and place cooked fish in the center. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad….and VOILA!

DESIDERATA “Desired Things”

Castaic, Lake CA

Castaic, Lake CA

Spring is a cherished time of year for so many reasons. There is the anticipated arrival of longer, warmer sunlit days. Easter and Spring signify a fresh start ~ Life, Love and Peace all born anew. And, I always find myself reflecting, taking inventory of what the first part of the year has brought forth, and shedding layers that no longer serve me. It has become a recent tradition of mine to celebrate Easter Sunday hiking, because it is in the midst of nature I feel the closest to God and find my Spirit cleansed and renewed. This Easter I visited Castaic Lake. The views were breathtaking, I took much-needed time for meditation and contemplation, and found my Faith in all things strengthened.  It was what my heart and soul needed.

Castaic Lake, CA

Castaic Lake, CA

And then this morning, I came across this poem; DESIDERATA which in Latin means “Desired Things”, a message about being kind and honest, and to keep FAITH. This weekend was a strong reminder for me to stay Enchanted with the beauty of Life, Love and the Universe…”Because once you have learned to love, you have learned to live.”

DESIDERATA by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all it’s sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Take that FIRST Step

Hello Friends! Can you believe we are already two weeks into the New Year?! I don’t know about you, but I truly needed a FRESH START! A New Year with the opportunity for New Dreams, New Goals, New Beginnings. 2012 was a truly challenging year for me in so many ways. I finally took the risk to change my profession, I had my heart broken, and I lost one of my dearest friends.  But with the challenges, the struggles, the heartache… I learned valuable lessons:  I took time for myself and I began to see things in a new light, with a new appreciation. One of my intentions for the New Year is to put my energy very deliberately into moving forward.  Taking those steps to make the changes, reach the goals, and fulfill the dreams I envision for myself.  And often times, fear of the unknown or of change makes taking that first step scary, difficult, challenging. But as this inspiring quote reminds us, “SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ENDS UP BEING THE BIGGEST STEP OF YOUR LIFE. TIP TOE IF YOU MUST, BUT TAKE THE STEP!”

Take THAT Step

So, regardless of what your goals and visions for this New Year might be: Believe in yourself and TAKE THAT FIRST STEP, even if it is a baby step! Keep your eyes, your heart and your mind open and your feet moving forward AND you will find what you need! Wishing you all a beautiful Monday and a Wonderful Week ahead!

national coffee day

“Coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with.”

images in this post are personal photographs | kindly credit this site if used

Happy National Coffee Day! I have a love for coffee that probably borders on obsession. It is one of  the first things I think about when I wake up.  I luxuriate in that first sip of hot, bold, dark coffee. It gives me a sense of joy, delight, and comfort…ready to take on the day. So, to all you other coffee-lovers out there, enjoy your cup of Joe a little more today….Cheers!

And if you are a nerd like me, and want to read up on some of the benefits of coffee, check out this article from the NY Times.

Fall at the Farmer’s Market

Fall at the Farmer’s Market

I made plans to quickly stop by the Farmer’s Market this afternoon to grab a few essentials. But my quick trip turned into an hour of perusing in pure bliss with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. It is still so hot here in Los Angeles, I had not expected to see all of my favorite fall vegetables…purple potatoes, kale, endive, leeks, and all sorts of delicious root vegetables. I was like a kid in a candy store!

I absolutely adore Autumn. The changing leaves, the over-whelming anticipation of my favorite foodie Holiday – Thanksgiving, the cool crisp air, college football, jeans and comfy sweaters. Fall is also my favorite season for cooking; making huge pots of soup and roasting pans of root vegetables to caramelized perfection. My mind was on overload with ideas and recipes I have been wanting to try. Because it is still warm here in Southern California, I decided to keep it simple and make a veggie soup that would be tasty hot or cold. And, of course had to get spaghetti squash, which I adore.  If you’ve been wanting to prepare spaghetti squash on your own…check out my “how to” post here. It is super easy and delicious! Next week I am going to try a new white bean and mushroom soup…recipe and photos to come!

monday motivation

I am truly blessed to have an amazing group of friends and loved ones who inspire me everyday! Last night one of those dear friends sent me a beautiful message full of hope and encouragement; and so I thought I would share a similar message with all of you!  Don’t you love that Monday holds so much potential? Wishing you a bright and brilliant week!

COURAGE my Love

Our lives are inevitably faced with periods of transition, adversity and challenge…that is what makes Life, Life. It is at these crossroads where you must decide to live your truth, to face your fears, and to create positive change for yourself.  Deciding which path to take on that journey can be extremely difficult and often times feelings of fear, sadness, or uncertainty take hold. I find myself in a transition period professionally, personally and emotionally; and that feeling of “not knowing” can be overwhelmingly scary. Today I am struggling to let go of something that has been a big part of my life recently, but I know in my heart it is not meant to be. So, to all of you who also need a little extra strength today….We are Beautiful Fierce Warriors and we can overcome any adversity. Listen to your heart, follow your truth, fill your soul with courage and you will find the strength to live your dreams… COURAGE MY LOVE!

recipe | cilantro pesto

Hello Loves! I took a bit of an end-of-summer hiatus from blogging recently to get out and enjoy life , but I am back full-force. I woke up this morning and realized how much I missed being in my kitchen, exploring new foods and recipes, and with a yearning and longing to head to the farmers market. So, that is exactly what I did. I got up early, strong cup of coffee in hand and went to a local market and simply luxuriated in all of the gorgeous fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The colors were so vibrant and stunning, the aromas overwhelmingly strong and fresh…I was literally in heaven!  I picked up some beautiful tomatoes, strawberries, peaches and okra (the things I know won’t be around much longer) as well as tons of greens and an enormous amount of cilantro, basil, and mint.  The smell of the herbs was so sweet and strong, I couldn’t resist.  When I got home I immediately wanted to make something  tasty to accompany my eggs, and the cilantro was just speaking to me. So, I decided to make my Green Cilantro Pesto. It is so simple and easy, but with a big punch of flavor and that amazing bright cilantro zing. This stuff is seriously good on everything: Toss it into a pasta dish, add a little to jazz up a sandwich, mix it in with quinoa and veggies, or add it to your morning eggs with a few slices of tomato…DELISH! And of course, I have a few photos to share with you!

CILANTRO PESTO (adapted from Sarah Britton’s recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 bunches fresh cilantro
  • 1 small sweet onion, rough chop
  • 1 shallot, rough chop
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of organic local honey
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Trim ends off cilantro bunches and place them in a large bowl of fresh water, dunking them several times. Drain water and repeat once more to be sure that all of the dirt has been removed. In a blender, puree onion, shallot, and lemon juice. Add cilantro (both leaves and stems), and remaining ingredients to blender and blend until mix is uniformly green and smooth. Add salt to taste, and Voila!

images in this post are personal photographs | kindly credit this site if used

monday motivation

winter storm in NYC | personal photograph, kindly credit this site if used

Today’s post was inspired by my dear friend Mary Catherine and by new beginnings.  She left yesterday to begin a new adventure in New York City, and while I could not be happier for her, it is also very bittersweet to think I won’t be able to run down the street for a chat and a glass of wine, call her up for impromptu dance session, or meet at our favorite coffee shop on Wednesday mornings to catch up. I am so proud of her strength, her drive, and for bravely listening to her heart and following her dreams. As Goethe says, “boldness has a genius and power and magic in it.”  Go forward and be bold sweet friend…You deserve all of the wonderful, magical things that await you in New York.  And as for me, I am already planning my trip to the City to properly celebrate this amazing new chapter in her life!  Wishing you all an inspired Monday full of power, courage and light!