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Monday, April 30, 2012

Vacation Time!

Hi all!
I know its been a minute since I've been on here . . . . AGAIN. 

Phil and I decided to go on a much needed vacation last week and I've been pretty much working and getting ready for the trip, which was wonderful by the way (I'll post pics later this week)

We spent 6 days and 5 nights in sunny and beautiful Puerto Rico!  But now that I've returned, I'm back on the grind and getting myself back into tip top shape!  Stay tuned because I've got lots of information to share.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Movie Monday: The Beaver (2011)

As some of you can already tell, my movie choices are rarely the ones that are block buster hits and widely released.  In keeping with that theme, I saw a brilliant movie over the weekend . . . . "The Beaver" (2011).  Thank God for Netflix :-)

 Director: Jodie Foster ("Little Man Tate")
Mel Gibson ("Signs", "Edge of Darkness" & "Lethal Weapon"), plays Walter Black
Jodie Foster ("Inside Man", "Flight Plan" & "Panic Room"), plays Meredith Black
Anton Yelchin ("Terminator: Salvation" & "Star Trek"), plays Porter Black
Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger" & "X-Men: First Class"), plays Norah
What It's About:  Walter Black was a successful executive, father and husband until he's hit with depression.  After a failed suicide attempt he develops an alter ego, the Beaver, as his form of recovery and sole means of communicating with everyone.
Why I Watched It: First of all, regardless of Mel Gibson's recent PR problems, I'm a huge fan of his acting and his movies.  Second, I loved Jodie Foster's motion picture directorial debut, "Little Man Tate" and wanted to see how her directing style had changed, if at all.  And finally, movies dealing with mental illness always fascinate me.

Why This Film Rocks: The acting is wonderful, but then again, we're talking about Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson.  Gibson is fantastic as Walter and his British alter ego, the Beaver.  The scene where we're introduced to the Beaver is disturbing and comical at the same time.  Disturbing because you realize how desperate and dire Walter's mental state has become.  Comical because. . . . well a grown man is talking to a stuffed animal.

Foster is convincing as Walter's wife, Meredith.  Meredith is desperate to keep her family together and goes along with the "Beaver Treatment" with the hopes that Walter will be cured and everything can go back to being normal again. Things don't necessarily work out that way.

Anton Yelchin is also great as Porter, Meredith and Walter's older son.  From the start of the movie you already know that Porter wants nothing to do with his father and prays he doesn't end up like him.  Ironically though, it's Porter who saves Walter's life AND it's the final scene between Porter and Walter that gives the movie it's much needed closure and "happy ending".

My favorite scene is when Meredith takes Walter out for dinner to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.  The Beaver treatment seems to be working but Meredith is put off at the idea of Walter wanting to bring the Beaver along to dinner.  She politely asks that the Beaver not be there.  Unfortunately, by the time they arrive at the restaurant you can instantly see Walter regressing back to his old ways because he can't use the Beaver.  The dinner winds up being a disaster with Walter storming out of the restaurant, right as they're notified that Porter's been picked up by the police.  Great scene.
Why This Film Sucks: I can't really think of a negative.  However, if you're not into dramas or movies about human behavior, you might wanna pass. 
Would I Recommend It: Absolutely.  Superb acting + a great story = Awesome movie.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

R.I.P: Robert Kennedy 1938-2012

Morning everyone.
I saw this sitting in my inbox and just had to share.
If any of you are readers or subscribers to publications such as "Clean Eating", "Oxygen", "MuscleMag" or the "The Eat Clean Diet" series of books, you have Robert Kennedy to thank.  This man's enthusiasm for healthy living has inspired many.  The fitness industry has definitely suffered a loss.  R.I.P Robert Kennedy.

This was posted on the Robert Kennedy Publishing site:

Robert Kennedy
It is with great sadness that we, the staff of Robert Kennedy Publications, announce the passing of Robert Kennedy, our company’s founder and inspirational leader. Bob passed away on April 12, at home after losing his heroic battle with cancer. He was 73 years old. Bob was surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his beloved wife, Tosca Reno and his four daughters, Chelsea Kennedy, 19, Rachel Corradetti, 27, Kiersten Corradetti, 24 and Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti, 20. Bob’s only son, Braden Robert James Kennedy passed away last March, at the tender age of 23.
    Bob’s life work, dedication and impact on bodybuilding, health and fitness has been a source of inspiration to tens of millions of people and his legacy as a pioneer in this field will continue.
    If you would like to leave a comment, please do so at:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sweet Potato: Super Food of the Week

Hey guys!

Now here's a vegetable that DOES NOT get enough recognition as it should.  Sweet potatoes, or Yams, are an excellent addition to any healthy nutrition plan and let me tell you why.  For starters, you get an abundance of nutrients in a reasonable amount of calories.  What's even better is that this starchy vegetable can be prepared in a variety of ways (ex. baked, grilled,  pureed, etc.) and you can add them to soups, stews or even throw them into smoothies.

But if you're still not convinced, here are 4 reasons I like adding Sweet Potatoes to my Daily Menus:
1. VITAMINS!!!!!! - Sweet Potatoes are packed with Vitamins B6, C & D.  Homosysteines are chemicals in our bodies that are linked to diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer's.  B6 helps reduce homosysteines in the body.  Vitamin C helps the body fight against the flu and colds but it also may be linked to fighting toxins that may be linked to cancer.  And finally, Vitamin D.  This vitamin and hormone plays an important role in energy level, our mood and building healthy skin, bones and teeth.

2. Antioxidants - You already know that Sweet Potatoes contain Vitamin C.  But when you combine that with the fact that they're also high in beta-carotene, you've got an awesome combination that's responsible for ridding your body of cancer-friendly free radicals.

3. Relaxation Baby - Because they're an excellent source of Potassium, our heartbeats and  nerve signals are regulated due to this very important electrolyte.  Plus, it also contains magnesium which is an anti-stress and relaxation mineral.

4. Fiber - For those of you interested in weight loss, Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of this awesome nutrient.  Fiber contributes to that full feeling when you're done eating.  But not only that it lowers blood cholesterol levels and promotes healthy digestion.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tunes To Keep You Moving: Inception Soundtrack

Hey guys!
Today's selection is not what you would consider "typical" if you're familiar with the choices I usually make. . . .

Over the weekend, I saw "Inception" for like the one hundredth time and I realized that one of the reasons I love this movie so much is the music.  I'm not a fan of movie soundtracks in general but this one is definitely an exception.  The music is incredibly powerful and enhances the experience of watching the film so much I had to purchase it on iTUNES.  To boot, I was not surprised to see that Hans Zimmer was the composer because he's done the music for several other films that I've enjoyed (ex. "Sherlock Holmes", "The Dark Knight", Gladiator" & "It's Complicated").

So now let's fast forward to yesterday morning . . . . when I was done with my Leg routine I decided to go for a power walk through one of Forest Park's trails.  I remembered that I purchased the Inception soundtrack and decided to listen to it on my hike.  What a cool and interesting experience.  I enjoyed every song and got in a 50 minute cardio workout :-) 

Orchestral music isn't for everyone but if you're looking for music to literally move you, in every sense of the word, then you might want to give the "Inception" soundtrack a listen . . . . especially if you're outdoors.  My favorite song . . . . "Dream Within a Dream".

Weekend Hair: Twists

Hey guys!
So, as most of you know, for the last few months I've been trying to get better acquainted with my hair.  Part of the process is me documenting my hair care and regimen as often as possible so I can keep track of progress and products that work and those that might not work.  This past Sunday was wash day.  Unfortunately, since I was pressed for time I had to settle for a co-wash.  Here's a look at my hair after twisting it.

What I Did:                                                                                                                              
  1. Applied Olive Oil to my hair and finger detangled
  2. Sectioned hair into 4 parts
  3. Jumped into the shower and co-washed with Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner
  4. Dried hair with a cotton t-shirt
  5. Sprayed hair with Jane Carter's Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner (Review to come)
  6. Twisted hair and sealed with Jane Carter's Nourish and Shine (Review to come)
It's taken me time, but I'm starting to get the hang of this Natural Hair thing :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Words of Wisdom. . .April 2012

Hey guys!
If you haven't already done so, go and check out Pinterest.   Pinterest is a photo sharing/social networking site that allows its users to "pin up" content and create theme based photo collections, called boards. 

I love, love, love this site.  My sister-in-law told me about it over the Christmas holidays and I've been hooked ever since (here's my page).  It's a great place to stay motivated and focused on any goal you've set forth.  And speaking of staying motivated here's a few quotes I've collected that I thought would be great for this month's Words of Wisdom . . . . Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monthly Hair Porn: April 2012

Hey guys!
I'm so excited that it's April.  Now that the winter has officially called it quits and Spring has settled in, I'm looking forward to sunny, longer days and spending more time outdoors.  One thing I especially love about this time of year is the addition of scarves to funky up dos.  Check out these lovely ladies and how they step up their looks with this simple accessory . . . . ENJOY!

All photos are courtesy of Hi-Im Currently Obsessed tumblr page.