Meditation in Motion: The Exercise & Art of Flowing

Flow art: a term used to describe a variety of movement-based disciplines including fire dancing, juggling, fire spinning, object manipulation, hula hooping, yoga, martial arts and more. Common forms include spinning, hooping, juggling, sphere manipulation and fan dance.


It’s Saturday night at Mad Hatters, a small ethnobotanical tea bar in North St. Petersburg, FL. Patrons of the bar sit in clusters under the night stars on the concrete curb. Multiple vendors line the parking lot, selling various art and crystals.
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Easy recipes on the go

After my father passed away from heart failure, I broke up with processed meats and fast food and decided to live a healthier lifestyle. Now, I camp, box, practice yoga, and eat organic foods.

I want to share with you a few recipes that have SERIOUSLY helped me stabilize my diet and live a better life. Here’s 2 recipes you can make in 60 minutes or less for under $20:


  1. Gluten-Free Organic Lasagna—no unhealthy carbs!

What You’ll Need:

1 box of quinoa lasagna pasta

3 whole organic tomatoes

99% lean, 1% fat ground turkey

2 serrano peppers

1 organic zucchini

1 organic squash

1 onion, chopped

2 containers (15 oz) of Organic Valley Ricotta Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With your stove top on high, empty the ground turkey into a frying pan, browning it on all sides for 5 minutes. Chop up and add zucchini, onion, squash, tomatoes and peppers. Add a dash of sea salt. Once they start to render—after 10 minutes or so—that part is done.

Boil water in a large oven pot on your stove. I add onions, garlic and sea salt to my water. Once the water is at a good rolling boil, add the box of gluten-free lasagna pasta.

While that is cooking, drain the mixture of beef and veggies. Lightly coat a pan with olive oil.

Once your pasta is soft enough, you can begin to layer your lasagna. Assemble the meal, my friends!

Layer pasta, cheese, meat, veggies and then repeat. Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on the top for some extra flair. Cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it sit for 30 minutes before serving to friends and family!


For real, this lasagna recipe is perfect for a food prepper. It’s fast to make, requires minimal preparation and keeps for days. BEWARE though…the serrano pepper’s flavor only gets hotter with time. So if you bake it on a Sunday, you may be dying on a Wednesday :)


  1. Organic Spinach, Strawberry & Mandarin Orange Salad

What You’ll Need:

11 oz baby spinach
1 cup strawberries, sliced
¾ cup almonds, sliced and toasted
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
¾ cup blue or goat cheese, crumbled
¾ cup red onion, thinly sliced
Homemade salad dressing (directions below)

To make the salad dressing, you’ll need:

  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or a more neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable)
  2. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or balsamic, apple cider, rice, sherry, or other wine vinegar)
  3. Pinch of kosher salt.
  4. A turn of freshly ground black pepper.


Mix all ingredients well immediately before serving. Add dressing to taste. Enjoy!


So there you have it! Those two recipes alone have saved me countless dollars, wasted on fast food in a previous life. Remember, your body isn’t going to take care of you if you don’t take care of it! These are both quick and simple recipes you can make for your family—that don’t cost a lot AND provide a lot of leftovers if you’re single and lonely like me LOL


Any recipes worked out well for you? Shoot me an email or a comment below and let me know your favorites!

The Best Non-Traditional Workouts

There’s been some questions and comments about non-traditional workouts, so I wanted to review a few with you.

Sledgehammer Workouts

One of my good friends introduced me to this. He works for Newark Roofing Service (fun fact, also the same guys that re-did my roof last summer) and they do a lot of physical labor. He stays in shape for his job by doing sledgehammer workouts. Another fun fact: there exists no business that focuses exclusively on this type of training. He’s writing a book about it actually. A superhero who trains this way. The graphics are amazing because as most comic books go, every muscle and area is over-emphasized. It’s gonna be big. Watch for it.

Anyway, the best reason to try sledgehammer workouts is a no-brainer: it works out your entire body all at once. The sledgehammer has been a conditioning tool amongst fighters since the inception of combat sports. It is certainly not a new tool in the arsenal of combat athletes. It is however an inexpensive and excellent conditioning device. You use your own body weight and movement to strengthen your arms, legs, core, glutes and back.

Competitive Dragon Boat Racing

When you think of cardio, what’s the first workout that comes to your mind? Probably running or something similar, right? What about strength training? Weight lifting, am I right?

Well, if you like a challenge, I suggest you try competitive dragon boat racing. Holy f*** it will blow your mind. Not only does it combine cardiovascular and strength training, you’re also stretching at the same time.

I’ve done this for a summer—and let me tell you, it kicked my ass hard. It dates back to ancient Asian traditions. During the inaugural ceremony of a dragon boat race, a Taoist priest is usually called upon to dot the dragon eyes with red paint—a symbolic gesture to bring the dragon to life. Neat, huh?


Now here’s an odd one—hula hooping. You remember. You did it when you were a kid. And if you were anything like me, you sucked miserably at it. Epic fails in the hula hoop department right here. I have no style apparently. But, someone wiser and more coordinated than myself decided to capitalize on their skill and teach others how to be bombass at hooping as well. This is perfect for people who want a fun, low-impact workout that’s portable.

I must admit, I am not very good at this. The first time I spun the hoop around my waist, it fell. But then I started watching DVDs and practicing, and now I can not only keep it up, I can walk around and turn. With continued practice, I foresee myself becoming better and better. It will get your heart rate up, build up a healthy sweat, and give you some sexy moves that your significant other will love watching!

Types of Yoga—Yes, the Boxer Does Yoga

Yoga originated in ancient India as a spiritual tenet of Eastern Hindu philosophy. The early form of the word literally means to attach, join, or unite. Yoga is increasing in popularity due to its benefits which range from improved balance, sexual health, coordination, mental health, joint flexibility, cardiovascular health, muscular strength and more! Adding Yoga into your life holds a number of benefits, as I have said earlier. These include:

  • Develop spiritual & mental strength
  • Improve strength & muscular endurance
  • Engage every muscle in the body
  • Make new friends in group classes

Many types of yoga exist and which type you choose determines what benefits you will reap from that activity. Each type is an art form, a respected field and not to be entered into lightly. This is not Pilates for the weak. This is an ancient meditation, exercise and spiritual dance…respect it, and you will benefit greatly. The types of yoga include:

  • Chanting
  • Fast-Paced
  • Weight Loss
  • Traditional
  • Flexibility
  • Stress Relief
  • Injury Related
  • Meticulous
  • Post-Natal
  • Pre-Natal
  • Relaxing
  • Self-Motivated
  • Spiritual

I want to focus on 5 of these: traditional, pre-natal, spiritual, flexibility and weight loss.


Traditional yoga or classical yoga encompasses a wide variety of techniques. It follows the ancient methods of Swami Sivinanda.


What a great workout for mommys-to-be! Originally developed to help during the birthing process, now the focus has shifted to keep an expectant mother limber and toned during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and want to start yoga, consult your doctor before beginning as each woman’s body requires different care.


By far the most appealing method of yoga for me is the spiritual style. One must adhere to the laws and tenets set forth by ancient teachers in order to free their mind and achieve transcendence.


This goes without saying. The purpose of Flexibility Yoga is to make you more flexible. I took flexibility yoga so that I could raise my agility in the boxing ring, making strength training and cardio easier and safer. This is the main reason most people participate in yoga.

Weight Loss

Ding! Ding! Ding! Another weight loss tip—yoga! Yoga helps the body develop muscles, build strength and increase flexibility. However, there are other forms of yoga that will raise your heart rate level enough for yoga to be enough exercise by itself. These are called Ashtanga and Hot. Hot yoga studios are popping up left and right in most cities. It’s awful—I hated it. That’s all I can say.


So there you have it, as many types of yoga as I can think of or have participated in. Let me know what your favorite type of yoga is in the comment’s section!

How to Build a Home Fitness Center

Like many Americans, you may be feeling the weight (no pun intended) of the cost of a gym membership. Being healthy is NOT cheap. From supplements to gym memberships to trainers to organic foods, it’s exhausting being healthy. Good thing all those green veggies are giving you the boost you need to keep up with it.

I want to share a money-saving tip with you that I put into practice this past year. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars in gas money, membership fees and general effort. I built a home gym. Exhibit A.



The benefits of working out in my own home were four-fold. To be fun, I call it the 4 Ss: Stretchiness, Solitude, Savings & Simplicity.


Stretchiness: Work out when you want—no dealing with hours of operation

Solitude: Exercise at your own pace in your own personal sanctuary

Savings: Pay no membership fees—seriously, this is a big deal

Simplicity: Don’t struggle with machines or cables—choose equipment that’s right for you.


Building a home gym is easy on a budget. Think of it this way: you’re getting buff, not broke. Here’s how I set mine up:

I made a visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased a heavy bag. Then I went on Craigslist and searched for used weights and PowerRacks, a medicine ball, and bomb-ass speakers for ambiance. I bought all of this for around $558.

Yes, yes, I know that sounds like a lot of money initially. But think logistically. Any gym that’s actually worth your time (and doesn’t rely on you to self motivate) is going to cost you a good $30–$150 a month or more. Let’s average that to say $90 a month. You just bought yourself a home gym for around 6 months worth of a gym membership. And guess what? YOU OWN IT. No one else gets to use it. You can freely move around and work out.

Now, one thing I need to point out is cardio. DON’T SKIP YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT! My gym looks very weight-centered. But you can still get your cardio in without owning a treadmill or an elliptical. For me, my cardio consists of a mile-long run to which I amp myself up by listening to Eye of the Tiger. Then I get back to my swag home gym and do boxing combinations for another 45 minutes. It equals out to about a good 60 minutes of cardio.


Figure out what “big ticket items” you want to spend money on. These are items you probably don’t want to buy used. Maybe think about buying a Bowflex? You can make installments on them and they work out SO many muscles all at once.


Remember, a poor man’s gym works just as well as a rich man’s gym if you put in the same amount of effort. Customize your gym to meet your specific fitness personality. If you’re rough and tough and aggressive like I am, try boxing! I’m a big advocate if you haven’t noticed already. But if you prefer something more relaxing, get an elliptical or pimp out your garage into a zen yoga studio. Do you, boo boo.


Best Gyms in Columbus, Ohio

Finding a good gym is about chemistry and goals. Not every gym is for every person, and not every person wants to go to a typical gym. For me personally, I don’t like the usual treadmill/weight gyms. I like somewhere where I can have more focus individually and kick things into high gear. So I choose to box.


Gregory’s Corner

This gym is run by Steve Gregory, a world-class boxing coach who has trained fighters that went on to defeat champions like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. He’s also trained 1 world champion, 1 UFC world champion and 37 Golden Glove champions.

He uses old-school techniques with new-school vigor to teach students the basics of boxing: how to stand, how to throw a punch, how to kick with proper technique, how to handle yourself in the ring for the first time.


Beyond Limits Training

Open 24 hours a day, Beyond Limits Training really does take things beyond what you’re used to. Forget everything you knew about weightlifting—for me this wasn’t very difficult a task. Owner Rich Lauro brings together both the novice and advanced bodybuilder for an enthusiastic workout that’s sure to kick your ass. I loved my time at this gym—and no, it’s not because the owner is especially sexy. Okay, yes it is. But seriously, people. Let’s not get too immature.

I found the environment at BLT to be very supportive and upbeat—where many other gyms didn’t make me feel welcome, they did.


The Fitness Loft

TONS OF EQUIPMENT! This always bothers me at other gyms when I want to use a machine and have to wait in the unspoken line that we all understand. They have a variety of options designed to target your muscles and give you a high-impact workout that will make you feel invigorated.

But, the great thing about The Fitness Loft is that it incorporates more than just weights and working out. They also have a corporate wellness program, individual and group training, and an exciting array of different classes!


Cycle 614

Get ready to be addicted to cycling. Usually when businesses advertise that they’re the “only” one of something, I grimace. I don’t like being told I have to attend a place just because it’s the only option I have for that type of workout. So if you’re thinking the same thing, I’ll stop you there. This is the ONLY gym in Columbus that has its main focus on fitness cycling. The motto rings true when you go for a workout: You Spin and You Win!

I felt great working out here. The space is a little tight, but I found myself conversing with other people and meeting new friends. Not usually a great experience for the novice-gym-goer, but for me, it was wonderful!

So there you have it. My favorite gyms in Columbus, Ohio. They are all very different from one another, so you can absolutely customize your workout for what you like to do. Get ready to rock, sweat, punch, run, dance and bike your way to the best body you’ve ever had!

Starting HCG Diet

So you’ve decided to start taking HCG? Well good on ya. Now you need to make sure you’re prepared.

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone naturally produced by the placenta in pregnant women that almost completely controls the metabolic function through the hypothalamus throughout the pregnancy.

So it’s natural. It can be used by both men and women for weight loss too! The key to HCG is that it tricks your hypothalamus into burning fat from your fat stores, not the food you’re consuming.

Another reason HCG works is because of the low-calorie diet that goes alongside it. Many doctors and blogs will suggest you only eat 500 calories a day. Fine, if you want to do that. Personally, I ate 750 and still lost weight.

Granted, results vary from person to person. So make sure you consult your doctor before taking my advice. Doctors first, always. My doctors at Diet Doc have helped me immensely by regulating my diet, reducing my risk for heart disease, lowering my cholesterol, prescribing natural hormones, and staying up-to-date with my journey. Every week I would go in and weigh in on this cool, body scanner thing. It would tell me exactly how much fat I lost vs. how much muscle I lost/gained, what my body fat percentage and fluid levels were. I also got a weekly vitamin shot full of Vitamin D, C, B6, B12, Chromium, Methionine, Inositol, and Choline which strengthened my immune system, lowered my blood pressure and regulated the amount of lead in my blood stream.

The HCG dieting method is associated with extreme weight loss. So I would also not recommend it unless you’re prepared to lose up to a pound or two per day for 42 straight days.


The HCG diet has 3 phases:

Phase 1: Fat Loading

This only lasts the first 2 days of your injections. The HCG needs to know what cells to target, so your goal is to eat as much fat, oil, starch and butter as humanly possible. If you have a food that you really love, now’s the time to say your proper goodbyes. Eat your face off. Go ham. Literally, eat a ton of fatty ham. This will help you in phase 2.


Phase 2: Low-Calorie

This is where the misery begins. Okay, not that bad, but usually low calorie diets mean misery. To be honest with you, I wasn’t hungry on this after day 5. Really. I’m not getting paid to say that. My brain just didn’t get overwhelmed with that “hunger” feeling that accompanies most diets. My advice to you as a beginner or someone thinking about starting this diet, is to stock up on organic turkey or chicken in the deli food section. A slice of this when you feel like you need a snack is life-saving.


This was my usual grocery list:


Lean Ground Beef (cooked with mustard, made me feel like I was eating a burger)


Chicken (holy hell, yes, lawd)

Baby Spinach (very good when mixed with spicy meats)


Diced Tomatoes

Clementine Oranges (just right when you need a little something sweet to satisfy a sweet craving)




Coffee (mother of God, this saved my ass. Coffee is a natural diuretic and fills you up as well. So it will help you clear out your intestines…and make you feel full.)

Pomegranate Tea (add a little honey for an extra kick)


You can find a TON of recipes on Pinterest and HCG Plan.

Phase 3: Stabilization & Maintenance

Finally! You’re done and you need to bring your body back to reality—careful though! You don’t wanna go crazy. That’s how you gained the weight in the first place. To be honest with you, after going through this diet, my body changed. My tastes changed. I no longer found myself craving the foods I had before. I actually liked eating healthy and I could taste pesticides on my foods. That’s no fun. But, you will be able to eat somewhat normally now that you’re finished. Your calorie intake will go up and you can eat starches, dairy and sugar again—in moderation.


So there you have it. That’s the very, very shortened synopsis of my experience doing the HCG diet. I hope if you have any questions, you ask me. And good luck!


Check back over the next few days. I’ll make my first official post soon!