Monthly Archives: March 2009


I've been royally uninspired to write as of late.
Not sure why.
There's no drama.
Schedule is wildly busy.
I'm not sitting down here with much to say.

I love March and the days that get longer and provide more room and light to roam and discover.
And the Jasmine, the Jasmine has come out to play. It's everywhere and it's a free fragrance to brighten your day.

Los Angeles doesn't have seasons but my seasons in LA are the Jasmine in March, the bright purple Jacarandas in May, the Santa Anas in late September and October and the rains - sporadic from December through February.

I love LA. I love the seasons when I can tap into them. They are subtle and shy here. Not like the east coast or midwest where seasons bloom voraciously, calling attention to each turn of the calendar like a bull in a china shop. I love that term. It sounds like something my mother would say.

Our bodies have internal seasons. Women can mark this with their cycle. Men have cycles too. It isn't marked with a receipt from CVS but they have em too. I love our bodily seasons and how we react to what's happening in the air.
We have more energy in Spring and Summer, retreat a little in Fall and Winter. Our insides respond too and those responses are harder to gauge and another blog altogether.

When I started personal training over a year ago, I went back into my marathon training mode, lifting, running. I live by the beach too. The beach is my fitness and yoga laboratory. Anyone who ever trains with me or takes my yoga classes and gets to experience the quirky poses that seem like they are coming from out of left field can now come to know they are practiced and inspired by (the years of training and tradition of yoga and...) the playtime I allow myself when I go to the ocean.

Something about it. Once I'm there, with my ipod shuffle filled with inspiring tunes, lightly gripping my waist, I feel free to be me and explore whatever physical movement I decide to explore and share.

During the last year I was 'diagnosed' with elite runners disease. Oh, doc, you do flatter. My personal best marathon time was a bashful 3:46. But alas, I run...a lot. And with that running comes, well a shift in my body. My 'cycles' as they were are not as planned monthly like a normal woman could predict. They are now more like rain in LA, completely unpredictable and even when it is, most likely the rain will pass us by and move east. I feel bad for the weather correspondents here. Traffic is more worthy of an update here than clouds and sun.

I had four 'seasons' in 2008 and 2009 is starting out about the same.

Last week I went on one of my fun and exploratory runs.

I jump a lot, hurdle, play, interval all over the gosh darn sand and esplanade. It's the most fun for me. I feel like I can fly.
I was doing one of my intervals where I jump up on to the curb and butt kick with my opposite leg. Great cardio boost for the heart in between just running or walking.
I did this for a good 1/2 mile. Then I jumped up on the curb and my right foot slipped right off causing me to fall right down on my knees and hands.

It took me about 20 seconds to get up and situate. There was no one around. I don't know how I feel about this. Good 'cause it's embarrassing and yet I wasn't really embarrassed. I got up to make sure everything was still working. It was. I looked down at my knees and there was blood everywhere and a stinging sensation that, after I saw it, resonated through my whole body. It's amazing when you see blood or a cut, that's when it hurts. I continued to hop as opposed to run and went to the nearest bathroom. I rinsed my cuts and began running again. I just wanted to get home.
It was too much to run so I paused and thought to myself that if I pushed myself, it would just be bad.
When I got home, I ran a bath of epsom salts and downed three advil per the advice of my older sis.
I tried to run the following day and my knees just wouldn't make it a mile and my energy was low.

The next day, I had my season.
I can't gauge when it happens now but it makes sense, the pain, the fall, that my body was telling me to prepare, to stop or slow down in a way. It's not so easy for me but I should have tapped into that.
I was also completely hungry for a full week before. Like, I couldn't get enough protein or carbs or cookies.
Signs for the normal woman, I guess, but for me, I don't know what the signs are anymore.
I took a week off of any physical activity. It actually felt good to give my bod a rest.

I look down at my skinned knees, now scabbing and I remember being a kid.
Skinned knees were part of the job, except there is no mom here to blow on the cut and give you a curious george band aid, just a reticent lifeguard on his cell phone handing you a generic bandaid and a wet nap.
Thank you for saving my life. I thought you guys were supposed to be cute and nice like the folks on Baywatch.
Smoke and mirrors.
Sand and sun.
I feel a bit like a kid. I have these two big scabs across my knees, like war wounds of the play ground.
I didn't cry or pout but I actually embraced my wounds.
It was about time, really.
All that stuff I do by the beach, it's rather funny.
I can't tell you how many people, mostly tourists, stop me to ask what I'm doing, give me a thumbs up or tell me they wish they could do what I'm doing.
I usually tell them they can do exactly what I'm doing as long as they don't mind looking a little funny.
It's not normal.

But I went out today, with the Jasmine blowing through my hair, and the sand and the salt. And I didn't fall and the day was long and I was inspired, not to write but to be.

The sun set like it always does every day. It never bores me.
My scabs itch like they always did when I was ten.
And I'm royally inspired.

Let’s talk about health, baby…

Let’s talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let's talk about health!

It's tough. I've been a personal trainer for years now and I know that there is a lot of information from the practical workshops and text studies that I forget. However, I love fitness and I'm all about finding out what one can do to mix up the work out, keep the diet on track and make eating and working out something to live for and have fun doing.

That said, I had a client this week that asked me about plating. I said, I never heard of it. Then I did some research on what's formally called 'Power Plating'. In theory, and you can do your own research, I'm sure the people that made this new exercise a trend, have all the information to back up why this is a good thing to do.
However, if you actually saw me, a very fit person, try to power plate, you might think I was rehearsing a new skit for Saturday Night Live.
I'm not gonna go into it, but I was not, by any means, into it or good at it. It made me laugh hysterically which made my core stronger. I don't know what the power plate did for the rest.
I told my client about the machine and what it did. I said if she wanted to try it, there were some places in Beverly Hills and Culver City that she could take a class.
I like how my clients ask me about new classes and trends. If I haven't heard about it, I will sleuth it out like a PI and report back to them. If possible, I can bring some of these trends into the homes of my busy clients so that they don't have to go to the classes or gyms or studios that offer these new and exciting new workouts.

It got me thinking, though.

I love teaching. I love coming into the homes of my clients or going into the studio that I teach and bringing my students new perspectives on how to see and experience the same old and new.

I also like what works.

I've been doing yoga, running and weight training for more years than I can count.

I also used to be a fat girl.

Information is power and the more information I can ingest, the more I can share.

Here's the deal, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
As long as your workouts are fun and different, they are probably working.
Whether you have a bunch of weight to lose or not, your trainer or teacher should be monitoring your weight, exercises, nutrition and progress. And so should you.
That's what life is all about progressing.
Even if you have a trainer coming into your home several times a week, you should be on point with what you are doing outside of your time together. That is the only way you will make progress.
Most of my clients are at points in their life where they just want the consistency of a different and new workout each time they see me. They want to feel strong, healthy and balanced.
I also have clients that want to lose weight.
They work with me a couple times a week, but they allow their diets and off days to do or not do, whatever they would like.
Progress can't not be made this way.
It's been a long time since I've been overweight, but not too long ago when my weight would shift between 5-10 pounds over a few months depending on my stress level and busyness.
Teaching yoga for as many years as I have has allowed me to explore yoga in more ways than just postures. The awareness it creates in everyday life, the way you interact with others, is priceless.
However, training was what got me into the awareness of diet, nutrition and exercise for health in a way that yoga did not.
Yoga is tremendously healing, strengthening and balancing.
Training afforded me the opportunity to understand how I fueled my body and what was necessary for me to be at peak and on point in my teaching and everyday life.
We are different and require different foods to keep us healthy.
Although I support the vegetarian lifestyle and was a vegetarian for years, I discovered that my own body chemistry and physical health deteriorated when not eating animal products. You can argue with me till the cows come home and I will moo right back.
I eat as much as I can from non-animal products, but it is necessary for me and my on the go all the time lifestyle to eat animal products. When I eat lean, free-range organic turkey, I can actually feel myself get nourished in ways that lentils and tofu cannot.
So, even though I support those people with physical constitutions that can handle the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, I cannot sustain it myself.
I also believe certain 'types' of yoga, like Hot Yoga or Ashtanga yoga are right for certain people and unhealthy for others.
Fasting and cleanses can be liberating for some and absolutely detrimental for others.
That said,
We are all different and all need different prescriptions for how we move our bodies and fuel our bodies.
Which leads me to my topic.
Calorie Cycling and Calorie Counting.
You might think I'm OCD about this and maybe I am, but I count my calories every day. At first it was to help me figure out what was not good for me digestion wise. I had just finished my second master cleanse and was slowly bringing different foods back into my life.
I was interested in the fact that, even though I wasn't heavy, I had lost a considerable amount of weight on the master cleanse. It's not a diet!!!
But I was surprised at just how thin I got. I thought, well, I don't necessarily want to stay this skinny, but what if I managed my weight by looking at my height and 'normal' weight for my height and see if I can maintain it by bringing in foods one at a time and seeing how I respond to it while integrating back my regular work outs. (Fasting for me was very difficult while balancing a very busy lifestyle)

So, I did. I started balancing breakfast (which was new for me), lunch, dinner and snacks. All of my meals were very light. I ate about 6 mini meals a day. I worked out about 4-6 days a week, running, doing yoga, meditating (that's a workout for the mind), and weight training.
It's been a year and a half and I've maintained my master cleanse, 'skinny' weight and yet I never miss the opportunity to over indulge when I want. I just have to reaaaally want it. I eat what I want. I was NEVER able to say that, even as a younger girl. But what I eat is not insane. I'll have a crazy dessert now and then but pretty much every day, I will indulge in a little of the sweet and salty I love so much, it's just not so much!

This diet works, and there ain't a book out there that I know of tellin' you so. Eating a different amount of calories everyday but staying within the range of the calories you need for your weight and height for the week and the month, that's where it's at.
It keeps your metabolism guessing.
It can help you maintain, lose or gain weight accordingly.
Exercising and keeping your body and mind challenged is also necessary with this diet.
Yoga teaches you awareness. Calorie counting increases your awareness and makes you mindful about what you are eating. When you count your calories you take a step back before eating the extra cookie or ordering the 2nd glass of wine. It makes you mindful about what you need and what you want. And let me tell you, want is important too. You should give into your wants, fo sho!! However, be mindful tomorrow when you want because if you give into your wants everyday, you will turn into a big 'ol baked potato in no time.
Need is more important. That 'need' food is the food that keeps you energetic enough to do your daily tasks fully.

What you crave you might just need.

When you are aware of what you are eating, you will appreciate it that much more. How many times do you see people at restaurants just push food into their mouths while speaking or laughing?
Food brings people together but part of that togetherness is experiencing the food you are imbibing, then laughing or telling a story or miring in the miraculousness of a dish together.

I'm not saying you should freak out if the calories aren't listed on the menu. I've done that. That makes meeting someone for a meal a bummer. I'm saying, try counting the calories from what you purchase at grocery stores. It's all listed on the packages. Fruit and veges you don't have to worry about so much but they have calories too.
Go to Calorie King. com and put in the food (fruit, veges, questionables) meals from restaurants. Many of them are listed. If they aren't, put what you had on the restaurant menu into the Calorie King search and make your best guesstimate. Find out how much you weigh, what your height is and what your daily minimum calorie intake should be. Count all the calories you had in a day, a week a month and see if you have maintained your weight, gained a pound or lost. It's math and it ain't that hard. You eat 3500 extra calories a week (seems like a lot but it isn't) and you've gained a pound. Lose a few calories off your total and work out a little more and you've lost or maintained your weight. It's that easy. Make it a habit. If not for a little while.
Chances are, after a few weeks, you will get just how many calories are in your favorite yogurt, burger, salad or latte and you won't need to sleuth it all out, write it all down and micro manage it.
You will get what time of day you tend to over eat or what time of day you feel lethargic and need a snack to maintain your energy. After trial and error, you will find the snacks to maintain your energy (a handful of almonds or an apple with some peanut butter). It will keep you from over indulging in a pinch so you can over indulge later when it really means something, like going out on a date or going out to lunch with a pal. If you grab a smoothie from Jamba or a burger at McDonalds, you will overdo your calories and probably not enjoy it nearly as much 'cause you were starving and needed to eat and didn't have the proper mind set to make the right decision and choose the right nutrients to get you through the next task and to the next meal. Deep breath.

I do this calorie counting thing because it's my job and I like it.
I also had many times during the day when I thought; I'm exhausted and grabbed a cup of coffee to keep me going instead of eating something that kept me calm and focused. I also went through the power bar phase and that over-processed gummy junk just made me constipated and angry that I wasted 200 calories on something to get me through a few hours when I could have enjoyed something bigger, fuller and tastier, if I was wiser about nutrients. I'm wiser now. And you don't have to make the same mistakes as I did.

You will probably only need to do it for a few weeks. It will plant the seed in your head about how many calories are in things and if you really want to spend your calories on what you are eating now or what you might want later, like a cupcake.

In addition, there is something called the thermodynamics of food, meaning what you eat might require the body more energy to digest.
A lot of processed food does not require a lot of energy. In turn, a lot of it turns to fat on the bod if you just sit around all day and aren't active. If you choose whole foods like greens, fruit, things from the earth, animal products, organic of course, the body uses more energy to digest it using it more for fuel as opposed to fun when it's more likely to go from the lips to the hips.

Eat the foods that give you fuel during the day. Add them up. Do the math. You might have some extra to enjoy that bit of chocolate at the end of the day.

Look at the labels in the grocery. The more ingredients, processing, unpronounceable names in a piece of food, the more likely it will do nothing for you.

Look for a balance of protein and carbs. Look for little sugar and if you need a sugar rush, grab an apple, the fiber will fill you up and it will give you the little bit of sugar to stave off the craving...if not until later.

Calories are not free. They are like cash in the bank. Spend it wisely and you will do well in the body economy. Be frivolous with it and you will find yourself on the calorie unemployment line.

Allow yourself all that you want, but keep it in your budget and exercise.

If you crave sweets and salts like I do, keep it naturally sweetened.

There are tons of chocolate bars, ice creme and the like that are sweetened naturally with agave or fruit sugars. You don't need stevia or white sugar to get you the same yummy high.

As for salt, I like baked potato chips. The less preservatives the better. The fewer ingredients I can't pronounce, the better.

I'm not saying this is all good either. Keep these indulgences on the DL.

Stick to fruits for your sweets, if you can and really check yourself before you wreck yourself at the Crispy Creme. The moment is over so fast.

Live your life and if you are like me and enjoy living to eat, make sure what you eat, if it's a nasty indulgence, you are going to appreciate every freekin' second of it.

A calorie is a calorie but also, not so much. Take in what you need and burn off the rest. It will keep your weight manageable and guilt free.

Fuel yourself with foods that keep your body strong and your mind clear.

Indulge yourself mindfully and monitor when you do. Count calories just to see, just for a few weeks. Knowledge is power.

I love when friends quiz me and ask me, ok, how many calories do grapes have, how 'bout the barbeque chicken pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, a gingerbread latte at Starbucks, a cookie from Mrs. Fields, a bowl of soup from Whole Foods, a Panini from Panera. I know the answer. It didn't take me a year. It took me a couple of weeks and that's it.

It makes going out to eat fun, not scary like I know you are thinking. And if you go out for a meal with me, my brows are not furrowed and me speech is not hesitant. No one will EVER say, the girl doesn't eat.
And I feel stronger and fit than ever.
Take that and eat it too.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Time for a snack.
Be good to yourselves.
Drink tons of water and call your mother.


Facebook, MySpace, E-mail, Internet surfing.

They all make me think I'm not doing enough with my life.

If I get one more poke, message or comment showing me photos of you smiling maniacally or telling me how great your life is, I might just… just...
close my account.

I'm so glad you are doing well. I'm glad you let me know. Don't stop. No really, don't stop telling me how great your life is. I'm proud to know you are happy healthy and successful.

I just want to make a point and it's nothing personal. It's just personal. My personal.

I'm guilty too. I have a new video or blog or on line class or show that's on TV and I post it on line.

But why?

Why do we do this?

To keep in touch?

To validate ourselves?

I'm not quite sure. I'm trying to figure it out as I...
am trying to find more time. Time to be quite and still.

See, I can't even spell quiet correctly. And still, you'd have to put me in a straight jacket and plant me in the Himalayan Mountains for that to happen.

We are a culture that on many levels are forced to live in our sympathetic nervous system. The place of fight or flight. We are ready, not for our next combat in nature with an animal that might attack but rather, the next task, goal, duty, accomplishment that takes all of our energy to pursue and then it's on to the next one.

When do we stop to take it all in and observe what is happening?

Maybe you know the answer.

I know that I've had this come up for me for years. I do something I'm happy and proud to do and then it's on to the next thing. Things like facebook actually tell us to take the time out to share our accomplishments and happiness and that is actually quite good.

I know that I rarely understand the value and underestimate living in the present moment consciously without using one moment to springboard to the next until I am home at 10PM, exhausted, trying to wind down for it all to happen again the next day.

If I have down time, I don’t know what to do with myself, On Demand, sleep? The parasympathetic nervous system is now in rest and digest mode. I’m relaxed, eating, sloth like, immobile maybe.

Can I feel in between?

The space between fight and rest?

The balance?



Moment. Just say it. Moment. See what’s around you. Moment. Hear what is around you. Moment. Feel how you are feeling.


You are now present. You are mindful. In fact, you are meditating. You might not be sitting upright in a chair for hours, but you are. You are timeless.

When you find yourself aware of the moment you are in, time isn’t so fleeting and fast. You are, simply between the two
places of doing and not doing. You are being. Everything else just is what it is and where you are is priceless. Like an American Express Card.

Easier said than done.


Here's the deal. I love my job. My job, the one I make a living doing is not the dream I keep pursuing. Although at times, the two cross.
I would love to be one of the rare breeds of animal in Los Angeles that says that she is not an actor and a yoga teacher.

I know I became a yoga teacher before it was 'in' and I became a yoga teacher, kicking and screaming and thinking I could never do such a thing.
But it came to me. Not like a temp agency calling with a job.
It came to me because it had to be. It came to me like I had no other choice. It came to me because the people I loved and admired told me I should be and because of that, I said ok. I did the work, ‘cause I’m good at that. I put in the hours of study and practice and it became me. I can’t see a difference between me and yoga. We are the same.

Now that yoga is so mainstream, its hard, because well, there's a lot of us doing it.

It's like going to Toronto and seeing a little film with 40 people in the audience of a 250 seat theatre and thinking Slumdog Millionaire is this is the best film I've ever seen and then months later, like a virus, it's spread and agreed that it is the best movie of the year.

Listen, I’m happy you all liked it, just like I’m happy that the No Doubt got famous after I pleaded with my editor to interview them and then they became untouchable.

I’m not responsible, I’m part of the big beast that makes things happen because they are great, hence my blog entry today.

What I’m saying is that now, unlike the past, our experiences are out there to be shared, commented on and judged in instant time. Not even human time. Not even in the time we have to actually contemplate what has happened. Everything happens so fast. It’s done before it’s done. It’s said before it’s sent.
It’s solidified. It’s past. The moment is then it’s gone faster than we can feel it.

Yoga and teaching for me is like, breathing, like drinking water or eating food to survive.

I don't know what I would do without it. I don’t know who I am without yoga. It is a part of every fibre of my being. And yet, it is something I am still learning and growing from. It’s like a disease, but a good one. I know, not possible. Yoga is union and for the most part, I feel so out of union but it’s all I can talk about and write about and think about. It’s my life.

And yet, I still have my dreams of being an actor and author and none of those things are completely out of my grasp.

I'm on TV and published as a journalist.

I can't complain.

But I do.


We always wonder.

Is there something more I should be doing, could be doing?

Because there are others out there that are on TV more, teaching more. They might even have a relationship or family and my goodness, I don’t have either of those so there must be something I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m not together enough. Maybe, I should on line.

Don’t go online.

Is just being enough for me to make what I want a reality?

The concept doesn't just fall on to someone living in LA with two passions.

My mother in New York is caring for my ill father and making her living in real estate. When she vents to me about a lost deal or customer or house, I don't feel very different from her.

For anyone who has passion in their life, the next commission, gig, co-star, guest-star, workshop could be just the validation you need to keep doing what you do.

My question is why do we need it?

Isn’t just being enough?

If a tree falls in a forest and you don’t hear it, did it fall? Did it make a noise?
Did it fall on a child and we saw it on the news and we tsk tskd it as we saw it then moved on?

Should we stop watching the news? Especially before we go to bed?
Should we start drinking a glass of wine a night to fight cancer but not more than one glass a night because we could get cancer? Should we stop eating carbs? Should we eat carbs but only in moderation? Should we eat carbs in moderation depending on the amount of exercise we do in a day? Should we get eight hours of sleep? I can’t get eight hours of sleep because I’m thinking about how many glasses of wine or carbs I had and where Matt Lauer is.

Can we stop with this nonsense?

Can we stop with all this interference?

Can we stop?

Do I really have 600 friends on facebook and still feel alone?

We can get the paycheck and eat our meals from Whole Foods or drink our expensive cocktails at swanky haunts, but are we really fulfilled with the time we spend in pursuit and in reflection?

We are bombarded.


Do more, should do more, could do more, be more.

Be better.

Where we are is not enough, because there is always more.
This economy has scared us out of our jobs and security and if we are lucky we still have our jobs and security but are scared that today might be the last day we have it.

So, what do we do with what we have right now?

I, we, live in LA where youth is coveted and eternal if you have the right amount of money.

Our lives move so fast we can hardly understand what is happening.

Youth, freedom, time, is all a matter of perspective and taking a moment to be in the moment.

Being present in where we are, wherever we are in our yoga and meditation practice, the path of our career or family or finances, will provide us with an amount of time we cannot find on a clock or 'what are you doing right now' on face book.

Taking a moment to sit with yourself and look around at what life you have built for yourself, where you live, what is around you, the noises in and outside of yourself, will allow you that pause in time that will give you the perspective you need to keep going in the moment, not in the shoulda.

There is nothing more that needs to be done other than what you are doing. If you find yourself on line and looking at someone else's life, take just as much time to look at your life, not on line and see what you are doing. What you are feeling right now could never be photographed or put in words. Why, because it's gone as soon as you recognize it. Just like those snapshots of happiness you might see on facebook. Once the flash has gone off, you never know what happens after.

To labor minutes, hours, into an abyss of time that slips away from you before you know it, catch yourself and reflect on where you are.

Use the Internet or facebook to connect, share and then let it go. Don't hold onto it once it's on cyberspace and don't haunt the lives of others, because we all want the same thing.

We do. And I'm writing this because I need this and maybe you don't, but if you are reading this, perhaps you do too.

Maybe you can retouch or change a photo from the past but you can't change what is happening now and you can't necessarily control what will happen next. The only thing you can do is be aware of the right now, who you are with, what you are doing and all that is around you. That moment will last forever if you recognize it.

If you look at life like your own personal camera you can put in focus what needs to be and take all the stuff that's blurred and out of focus and Photoshop it out. Do it in your life.

Consistently, be…
with what is absolutely necessary.

I think about when I was living in China and didn't want to bring a lot of 'stuff' with me while living over there. I wore the same thing over and over. Every picture of me looked like the same day even though I knew where and when I was...different.

I was happy with little, clothes, food, internet access. I was alive in the moment. I always think of that girl in Shanghai often. Lola. They couldn’t say Laurie so they called me Lola.

When I get caught up, I think about that girl, with her back pack and ipod with 100 songs only for months to listen and internet access for a few moments a day and the rest of the day was spent just being with where I was, where I was walking, who was around me. China was a scary place for me to be alone and yet I never felt more alive and connected to everything.



It brought me in reunion with some great friends from the past, college, high school and for that I am grateful. What I'm not grateful for is staying on facebook after a brief moment and looking at all my 'friends' real or imagined that make me feel like I'm not doing enough. It's not them. It's me.

Be with the minimum you need. Find your inner Lola.

Take away the things you don't.

Be as much as you can in the moment and if you get carried away with facebook and the lives you lived or the lives of loves or friends, what you think you should or could do better or more, reign yourself back in by simply saying to yourself, "moment." and come back to your reality.

It will last a lot longer and feel so much more in focus than putting your camera on automatic.

Stay eternal, youthful and happy with where you are without the distraction of any blue glow of computer, yellow glow of TV, chatter from voices outside of your own.

There is nothing more.


And be well.
In the moment.

Now turn off your freekin' computer!