Friday, October 12, 2018

Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love your Food Review

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Several weeks ago, I was contacted by the publisher of Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food: A Five-Point Plan for Success written by Arlene B. Englander, a psychotherapist, and asked if I was interested in reviewing the book. Emotional overeating is definitely something I am familiar with so I said yes. And I'm glad I did because the book provides lots of interesting insights and thoughts about emotional overeating as well as concrete strategies that can be used every day to overcome it..

Englander starts off by addressing the apparent contradiction of overcoming overeating and loving your food. She uses the analogy of an alcoholic and a wine connoisseur. It's the wine connoisseur who truly tastes and appreciates all the nuances of a good wine. And it's the same with food. If we overeat, it's about numbing feelings, not enjoying the food, which we must in order to overcome overeating for good.

To make the book relatable and interesting, Englander gives many examples from her own life as well as from her patients. She also provides the reader with several handy acronyms to help practice and remember the strategies she discusses in the book. For example, she gives the ABCD's of stress management:

A = awareness
B = taking a break
C = noticing the change
D = deciding what to do

She devotes an entire chapter to the importance of exercise and gives many suggestions readers can explore. In that chapter she stresses the point that one has to love what one does in order to continue to do it. I couldn't agree more!

She then goes into a very detailed description of how you should enjoy a meal. She gives another acronym to help readers remember the steps, RAFT:

R = relaxation
A = awareness
F = fullness
T = taking charge of the moment

She also has a chapter on the importance of staying adequately hydrated and enjoying healthy foods as well as the minefield evenings can provide when it comes to healthy eating. Again, she always gives concrete tips and examples that are easily followed.

She tells the reader to check in every day with the following question: "Am I doing what's best for my SELF?" SELF is another acronym:

S = Stress
E = Exercise
L = Loving your Food
F = Fluids

Englander also addresses enjoying food with family and friends, how to handle special occasions and gives final tips on how to follow her program for life. I like that Let Go of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food helps readers examine their own relationship with food as well as eating patterns that often developed years if not decades ago. The acronyms and concrete examples help readers to make lasting changes in the way they enjoy food and live life.

Questions: Do you ever struggle with emotional overeating? What strategies do you use to deal with it? 

Be well,

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Black Outfit for TreasureFest on Treasure Island

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Last weekend, we finally checked out TreasureFest on Treasure Island. TreasureFest is a flea market with used and new clothes, jewelry and other goods, food, music and spectacular views of the bay.

I decided to wear my new faux leather leggings with an old fringe asymmetrical top. I'm really impressed by the faux leather leggings. I have another pair that was much more expensive, but I like these even better. They are stretchy and comfortable, and the ponte back is great. It ended up being a bit warmer than I had anticipated, but I was happy with the outfit.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island
Treasure Island
Treasure Island
Outfit Details: Faux Leather Leggings

The views everywhere from TreasureFest are spectacular. 

There are countless vendors with really interesting merchandise. We bought some really good honey.


Several bars throughout the event sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. I got a sangria, and Andy got a beer.


There are so many photo opportunities.


Part of TreasureFest is a huge food truck meetup, and it was hard to choose. I ended up getting a poke bowl by 808 Poke Shack, and it was delicious. In fact, we all agreed that my dish was the favorite of the day, and the boys ate more than their fair share of mine...

Lunch in the shade under the palm tree was really relaxing, especially since there was live music. I could have stayed all afternoon.


One last look at the great view of the Bay Bridge. 


Questions: Do you own faux leather leggings? If yes, how do you like them? What was the last flea market that you visited? 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Sentence a Day: September 2018

Here are my sentences for September 2018. You can read my past sentences on my Sentence a Day Page.

Saturday, September 1, 2018
Andy and I took another barre class together; then we made use of our season passes and went to California's Great America.

Sunday, September 2, 2018
It was on our summer bucket list to catch a San Jose Giants game, and we finally did (with free tickets) - always such a fun time.
Monday, September 3, 2018
Andy and I tried out Orangetheory Fitness for the first time and enjoyed the workout a lot more than we thought we would.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
After quite some time, I went back to my "regular" gym and did a basic weights workout and a little time on the step mill.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
We took another barre class, ran about a million errands, and I worked on my fall classes; at night we went on the first family walk since Saturday when the kid hurt his foot (so glad it is better!).

Thursday, September 6, 2018
I took a 6 a.m. barre class with my favorite instructor; since I hadn't taken his class in about 3 months, it kicked my butt; later in the day Andy and I did a second workout at the gym - I was really exhausted and sore afterward. At night we went to Avaya stadium to watch the Cal vs. Sac State soccer game.

Friday, September 7, 2018
I did work in the working, we ran lots of errands, including annoying car stuff, took a fabulous barre class at labarre and went out to lunch.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
We celebrated the older kid's birthday at Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View.

Sunday, September 9, 2018
I started the day with a barre class, and in the afternoon the kid went to a birthday party and Andy and I used the time to make a Costco run.

Monday, September 10, 2018 
Started the day with a barre class and a green smoothie before getting caught up on work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Talked with the kid a lot about 9/11 and the fact that his brother was about his age when it happened.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
I met my friend Lara in Walnut Creek for a barre class and lunch at True Food Kitchen.

Thursday, September 13, 2018
I studied two semesters of Spanish in college and have always wanted to take another Spanish class (in fact, last quarter there was a Spanish class in the room next to mine, and I really wished I could have joined...); in the meantime, I started playing with the duolingo app.

Friday, September 14, 2018
Andy and I went to a barre class and then ran a couple errands at the mall, where we decided to get some delicious vegan food at the Loving Hut in Valley Fair.

Saturday, September 15, 2018
We drove to Berkeley to catch the Cal Football game. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018
We did a "heavy" weights workout at the gym and went to the Santa Clara Arts and Wine Festival. 

Monday, September 17, 2018
I started the day with a 4.5-mile walk and then got a lot of work done; in the evening we watched the Emmys.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
I got some upsetting news in the morning but remembered that life is really about how we react to things - going on a hike also helped.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Andy and I concluded our summer break with a visit to Picchetti Winery (review).

Thursday, September 20, 2018
I decided to take an Exercise Physiology class and have been dealing with annoying registration issues; hopefully, it'll be fixed soon.

Friday, September 21, 2018
The kid was off from school and we baked banana almond butter muffins (grain/gluten-free).

Saturday, September 22, 2018
I started the day with a barre class in a studio, ran errands and then we were invited to our friends' house for dinner in the evening.

Sunday, September 23, 2018
I woke up not feeling well, got caught up around the house and made it to the gym for a short elliptical workout.

Monday, September 24, 2018
I'm excited to be a student again for the first time in many years.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Lots of dense reading today - the book assumes quite a foundation in biology and kinesiology.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Andy and I got to go to a delicious wine dinner at Il Fornaio Palo Alto, featuring Testarossa Winery - another local winery we haven't visited yet.

Thursday, September 27, 2018
I started the day with a long walk, got work done and read my text book for an hour.

Friday, September 28, 2018
I got a lot of work done first thing in the morning, broke the day up with a "heavy" weights workout at the gym and ran numerous errands in the afternoon.

Saturday, September 29, 2018
I started the day with a barre class, went on a 6-mile walk, and we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday in the afternoon.

Sunday, September 30, 2018
We finally made it to TreasureFest on Treasure Island - a flea market, food truck meet up and all around good time. 

What were some of your highlights in September?

An InLinkz Link-up

Be well,

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10 Things I Learned from Doing a 60-Day Yoga Challenge

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At the end of June, my exercise routine was all of a sudden interrupted, and I decided to make the best of the unexpected situation by starting my own 60-day yoga challenge. I didn't have any complicated rules - the only rule was that I was going to practice yoga every day for the next 60 days. There was no time requirement, but in the end, I practiced for at least 30 minutes on most days, but there were maybe three or so days when I only practiced for about 10 minutes.

The reason I'm proud that I finished the yoga challenge is because I was very busy and also I traveled a lot during the 60 days. I truly made my daily yoga practice a priority and didn't give in to excuses. I also completed the entire yoga challenge outside of a studio with online classes that I bought for $15 (for a year), so money wasn't an excuse either.

Yoga Collective Online Classes via Groupon

I had bought a Groupon for Yoga Collective sometime last year and decided to finally use it. I can honestly say that that Groupon was the best $15 I've ever spent! There is a wide variety of classes on Yoga Collective, including several beginner yoga series. Andy hasn't taken as many yoga classes as I have, and he always felt a bit intimidated in a studio. After completing one of the beginner series, he now feels much more comfortable in a studio. He also finally upgraded to a Manduka yoga mat, and he says it has made a significant difference, especially for his knees.

One of the classes I love is an easy 30-minute morning flow. It's the perfect way to start your day, get centered and do just the right amount of movement. There are also more wonderful and challenging classes as well as relaxing evening flows. Many classes don't require any props (besides a yoga mat), but a few require a yoga block, a strap or a bolster (I usually use a thick pillow when a bolster is required). I accessed the classes at home, while traveling in the US as well as when I spent time with my parents in Germany.

Here is what I learned from doing the 60-day challenge.

  1. If you make it a priority, you will find time every day to practice yoga. 
  2. Oftentimes it's really all about getting started - many days I planned on only doing a short 10- or 15-minute yoga practice, but once I got going I practiced for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  3. Flexibility truly does increase if you work on it every day. 
  4. I completed this yoga challenge during a very challenging time, and starting every day on my mat truly helped me stay calm and centered (most of the time). 
  5. At first, I had to remind myself to practice, but very soon (after a week or so), something was missing if I didn't practice yoga first thing in the morning, and my body walked to my mat almost on autopilot. 
  6. I documented my daily practice via my IG stories, and that accountability really helped.
  7. I loved inspiring others to be more active in general and to practice yoga because of my daily yoga challenge posts. 
  8. Prior to the challenge, I had done almost daily barre classes at a studio, and I'm happy that because of the yoga challenge, I was able to maintain that level of fitness. 
  9. After the challenge ended, I mixed up my exercise routine a bit more by adding gym workouts and barre classes at a studio back into my routine. However, when life threw me a serious curve ball, I went right back to my mat, and it really helped. 
  10. Doing a yoga challenge is addicting. I'm already planning my next yoga challenge. Why don't you join me? 

Questions: Have you ever done an exercise challenge? If so, what was it? How did you like it? If you have done a yoga challenge before, what was your experience like? 

Be well,

Friday, September 21, 2018

Visiting Picchetti Winery in Cupertino

Our summer break came to an end on Wednesday, and Andy and I decided to visit Picchetti Winery in the Cupertino Hills. Picchetti Winery is actually located quite close to where we live, but we had never been. And that's a shame because it's a beautiful, historical winery with amazing grounds.

Even though it was still quite warm - especially in the middle of the day - I decided to give my outfit some more fall touches - leopard flats, a brown slouchy bag, and a bandana with my new striped shirt.

Picchetti is often the venue for weddings or corporate events, and I can see why it's the perfect space for a special occasion.

There is so much space that it would have been a great place to bring the kid when he was younger and let him run around as well as explore the old buildings a bit. But now we can take him to the hiking trails right outside the winery, which is located on the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve. There are numerous signs that tell the history of the grounds and the winery.

The tasting room is spacious and inviting. Since we visited on a Wednesday in the early afternoon, we were the only guests besides a group from Google. We were helped by Cameron Pantling, winery director and son of founder Leslie Pantling. Cameron made our tasting experience extremely enjoyable by sharing interesting tidbits about the wines, how they are made as well as the history of the winery.

We enjoyed all the wines we tasted - you get to choose any five wines from the wine menu. 

One very cool feature of Picchetti wine bottles is the fact that they don't have traditional labels. Rather, Cameron's aunt scripts the labels and they are printed onto the bottles. 

We couldn't leave without our favorite bottles - the white Pavone and the Brut Zinfandel, a unique dry, red sparkling wine that will be perfect for Thanksgiving.

We'll be back soon!

Question: When was the last time you visited a winery?

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.   

Be well,