As we continue to celebrate our birthday, we are highlighting the women who know iGnite better than anyone as they have spent 10 yearsof fun, friendship & fitnesswith this welcoming community. The “Fab 5” were part of Founder Neissa Springmann’s first class in October 2006 and are still here reaping the benefits of the whole-self approach to fitness and life. iGnite is beyond blessed to have them as cheerleaders and mentors for our members!
The Fab 5 (l to r): Kathleen Parker, Cathy Johnson, Becky Heiser, Cindy Haeglin & Louise Pincoffs
Four of these amazing women are passing along some of the inspiration and great times that have come from being apart of the iGnite family…
My earliest memory of iGnite… is of being with Neissa on the trail across from Austin High. We drug our big blue balls everywhere and skipped up and down the trail in the dark. Such fun we had!
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…iGnite has taught me to love where I am in my life. Things are constantly changing. Sometimes I feel good about my body and sometimes I don’t. I no longer hyper focus but instead, just do the best I can and am thankful for all my blessings.
My favorite iGnite classes… are swimming and yoga. Swimming is a great workout when your joints start to get creaky. I think I will be able to do water exercise of some type for the rest of my life. Yoga is so good for stretching my body and calming my mind.
I describe iGnite as…a nice group of women, of various ages, professions and experiences, who like to take care of themselves and enjoy exercising.
My earliest memory of iGnite…is being at the original location, which was beautiful, on Town Lake. All seasons were nice, the leaves in the fall, the steam coming off of the water in the winter and the first hint of green in the spring. It was a wonderful spot to relax after our workout. We also had to bring our own equipment, in an iGnite bag, which included a jump rope, weights and a big red utter ball.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…to keep on moving
My favorite iGnite class… is Betty’s dance class because it’s fun to dance! I love Betty and we all try to keep up with our “Rangerette.”
I describe iGnite as…a positive outdoor fitness and wellness experience for women!! It is relational, uplifting, exciting, comforting, exhilarating, and so so FUN!!
My earliest memory of iGnite… is Neissa describing it when I was at her Westwood Kickboxing class. She was so excited to start a spiritual and positive outdoor experience for women, and all I could say was, “I AM IN!!” Then our first week started Monday, October 3rd, 2006. Our small group met at 6 am in the dark on an old slab down by the 1st st. bridge that was once a bridge barrier. We all had a big utter ball, and the wind would blow and we would run to catch our balls since we were literally located 5 feet from the lake! We used to bounce our big balls down the trail in the dark and people would just stop in amazement and clear the path for us. Then I remember we had a really cold first winter and one of our new participants was told to bring gloves, and she showed up in garden gloves and her fingers pretty much froze. We did not see her back again until Springtime!! For that first year, Neissa would literally hand us this brightly colored sheet of beautiful facts and things for us to think about and fill out for the week!! I read every word of every page and saved every weekly sheet until we moved in 2010!! So many great memories from ’06!!
My favorite iGnite class… is of course, LAKE ESCAPE!! This is where women are transformed into adrenalin rushing kids and have more fun than aloud to have on land!!
My second favorite class is POWER UP! I am so passionate about lifting weights to stay strong and bone healthy!! There is nothing more exhilarating than finishing a challenging weight/sprint workout!!!
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from iGnite… is that RELATIONSHIPS are THE most important thing in life!! They bring you joy, comfort, happiness, warmth, love and a feeling of belonging. As one of our young adults told me, “Kathleen, have you ever seen a hearse with a tailgate hitch”?? I love that–nothing is as important as my relationship with God, my family and my friends. Of course, the number 2 thing I have learned from iGnite is to HAVE FUN EVERY DAY–and get that fun rush of adrenalin in!
I describe iGnite as… an all inclusive health motivator. Mind, body, and spirit!
My earliest memory of iGnite…is meeting at town lake across from Seaholm and playing all along trail with friends.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…stay positive, give it time, and surround yourself with friends who have those priorities!
My favorite iGnite class…Amy’s yoga and Molly’s cardio are in a tie! They are a weekly gift to myself.
My favorite memory of iGnite… Fun social gatherings because we have a chance to get to know each other better!
Let’s be honest, winter weather isn’t always the most inspiring for getting out of the house for a workout. Especially when you’re wanting a solid, heart-pumping workout — going for a long run in the cold isn’t always at the top of your list! That’s why I love Cardio Kickboxing in the winter.
I love Cardio Kickboxing because it is different from any other class I teach, it is constant high-energy, it makes me sore in different areas of my body, and it’s a change! In order to see change in our bodies, it is important to mix things up — and that’s exactly what I like to do with Cardio Kickboxing.
I love that this class incorporates a different style of workout into my weekly routine — it gets my heart rate up, is energetic and allows me to get out any frustrations I have left over from the week. Each class works my full body, using everything from speed bag exercises to jabs and kicks. I love to remind my class participants that just some of the amazing benefits of kickboxing include:
Toning your Entire Body: Kickboxing forces you to engage all the muscle groups in your body, helping you stay injury-free. If you do your punches and kicks correctly (and I help you do that!), they require intense core stability — allowing you to get an amazing core workout throughout the whole class. And as we all know, when you have a strong core (abdominals and lower back), everything in life is easier 🙂
Improved Balance and Coordination: People often forget to practice balance in their workouts, so it’s the first thing to go. In kickboxing, we are oftentimes balancing on one leg when kicking the other in three or more different directions, giving you a constant challenge for your body’s balance and coordination.
Improved Cardio Endurance: Kickboxing keeps your heart rate elevated throughout the entire hour because there are very little breaks!
But what do we do in class exactly? A few of my favorite moves to incorporate are:
Speed bag drills
Punches galore: (with and without weights), including jabs, cross-body jabs, uppercuts and hooks
Around the world kicks
Side shuffle kickboxing combinations… and more!
Getting bored with your routine or just can’t get yourself excited to work out in the cold? Come join me at Cardio Kickboxing and give one of my favorite styles of exercise a try 🙂 You’ll be “hooked!”
I was born in San Angelo, Texas. My family moved to Austin when I was 6, so when people ask where I’m from, I always say Austin. I’ve pretty much been here my whole life!
My parents split up when I was 8 years old, and I have two older brothers and an older sister from my dad’s previous marriage. My brothers and I are very close and hang out often.
I have never married or had any children. To be honest, I was never one of those little girls who dreamed about the perfect wedding or my knight in shining armor riding off into the sunset. I did play with barbies and had a barbie dream house –just in my mind Barbie had bought the house and went on a lot of dates with Ken. My favorite quote…
It would have to be “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare” by Juma Ikangaa. I saw this quote in my early years of boxing on my coach’s wall on a yellow 3M sticky note buried in the collage chaos of boxing posters and photos. I saw it and it stuck. I didn’t always follow it, but I understood it and I try to apply it to other goals I have and want to achieve.
The best advice I’ve ever received… The best advice was something somebody told me when I was young. I had a crush on a cute boy who did not like me the same way. I was really upset that he only wanted to be friends, and my mentor at the time told me that just because you can’t have someone the way you want them doesn’t mean you can’t have them at all. I think people have a tendency to get mad and try to forget about people just because they don’t feel the same way that they do. Really, you could be throwing away a good friendship, but you’ll never know if you kick them to the curb.
My dog Rocco
For fun… When I’m not at work, you can find me hanging out with my dog Rocco, fencing at the fencing club or hanging out with friends. I began fencing at the Texas Fencing Academy because my body wasn’t able to keep up with boxing on a regular basis because of my injuries.
My guilty pleasures…
Pizza, burgers, wine and chocolate.
I’m looking forward to…
I’m looking forward to someday competing in fencing. But that will be a while 🙂
Current Work Life…
I am currently a Receptionist at Sports Performance International with Dr. Ted Spears. We specialize in orthopedics and sports medicine.
MY STORY: Boxing My Way from Self-Destruction to World Champion
When I was very young, I was really shy. When my family moved to Austin things were great until my parents starting fighting a lot and eventually split up. From that moment on, I started acting out. I was getting into trouble in school and having angry outbursts, throwing chairs — the whole bit. I also became very self-destructive and started cutting myself at around age eleven. My behavior got so out of control that I was expelled from school and was sent to a mental hospital.
I was in and out of short-term facilities until I was fifteen, and then was sent to a long-term treatment hospital in Dallas. I spent about 2 & 1/2 years there being pretty self-destructive and very suicidal. I spent a lot of time in restraints… actually, most of my stay was spent in restraints.
At the time I didn’t think anybody would understand what I was going through because I had never heard of anybody doing the kinds of things that I was doing to myself. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t ask for help. I knew it was wrong and messed up, but I couldn’t stop.
When I look back on that time, I don’t even know that person. I just don’t identify with that person anymore. It was me…I was there…it’s just very hard to believe.
I eventually got out when I was seventeen, but my troubles didn’t stop there. My mom kicked me out, and I moved in with my father back in San Angelo. It was then and there that I made up my mind to do something with my life. I didn’t want to be angry anymore. It was killing me… literally, killing me. That’s not to say that I still didn’t have setbacks, but I did continue to move forward.
Saved by Boxing
It wasn’t until I stepped into the boxing gym that I really started to heal and figure things out. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and had a lot of energy. And even though I would be training to fight, at the same time I was also learning how to control myself and to channel all of my energy and hostility into a direction that was positive and constructive for me.
I walked into the boxing gym in January of 1993, after a hard night of partying and bringing in the New Year. I had decided that is was time to get back in shape and maybe not party so much. I could lose a few pounds as well. The previous year I had torn my ACL in my left knee in Tae kwon Do, and had pretty much partied my way through my recovery, had not made the best decisions and I wasn’t really turning into the person I wanted to be.
I had no idea if there would be any women in the boxing gym when I first walked in, but I was completely surprised to see Lori Lord and Amy Simmons (the owner of Austin’s famous Amy’s Ice Cream) finishing their workout. I felt comfortable right off the bat there. I walked into my future coach Richard Lord’s office, signed up and told him I wanted to compete.
In the beginning as an amateur, I couldn’t get any fights. There weren’t a lot of women fighters, especially in my weight class of junior flyweight or flyweight. Women’s fighting wasn’t really accepted and promoters didn’t want anything to do with women fighters. I can remember a lot of the fire behind my training came from wanting them to show that women could do it and we could do it well. It was pretty frustrating back then — training so hard all the time and not being able to compete. In 1995 I actually walked into Richard Lord’s office and told him that if I didn’t get a fight soon that I was going to quit.
Well, be careful for what you ask for, because within a week Richard got a phone call from a promoter in New York who wanted to put on the very first sanctioned women’s boxing match in the state of New York. So, off I went to New York to make my Pro debut and to be a part of the first women’s boxing match in the state of New York. I won that fight and kicked off my professional boxing career with a bang. My boxing was up and down — wins and losses, but I eventually earned the WIBF Junior flyweight world titleand retired with the WIBA flyweight world title.
My boxing career taught me a lot about myself and what makes me tick. I not only learned how to use physical fitness to deal with some of my self-confidence and self-esteem issues, but also how to work through things as they come up in life. I learned that when I’m struggling with something in my personal life, sometimes it takes completelywearing myself out in a workout and after I work out I’ll either have a solution or it just doesn’t seem like the end of the world anymore. That’s not to say that sometimes I didn’t just have to go to bed and wake up the next day and hope it would be a better day, but I guess I learned how to live life.Things are going to happen — they’re gonna happen everyday and you’re gonna have to deal with it, because that’s life. That’s everybody’s life.
Always Moving Forward
What I have learned the most on my journey is how important fitness is. Whether it’s just going for walks or boxing or whatever — it’s important to keep moving.
Fencing with coach Mike at Texas Fencing Academy
Now, I am retired from the fighting world. I suffered a few injuries from boxing that don’t allow me to box all the time, so I have picked up fencing. It’s tough and difficult and has its similarities to boxing, but at the same time is very different.
My fencing coach Mike and I
My outlook on life is pretty positive at this point. I’m still learning and figuring things out. I started a new sport. I’m enjoying meeting new people and really being comfortable in my own skin and feeling good about myself. I don’t compare myself to other people — don’t do that, it will drive you crazy!
I appreciate my life now. Even the not-so-good stuff. It’s made me who I am… and I’m good with that.
Becoming an Author
My book Boxing Shadows came out In 2009. I wanted to help people — I didn’t want anybody to ever feel alone like I did when I was going through my self-destructive phase.
I also wanted to give people hope — hope that you can always change and that things can get better. That it just takes a lot of hard work and you having the want to get better. I went into great detail in my book about some pretty horrific things that I had done to myself, and some people have asked if I really needed to go into that much detail. I felt that it was necessary so that whoever was reading the book could picture how bad things were, and then see that I was able to work through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to want it like you have never wanted anything in your life…and you have to do the work.
Using My Past Struggles to Help Others:
I started speaking to groups about three or four years ago. Professor Anne Martinez’s Mexican American History class at the University of Texas studied my book, and afterwards I would come in and speak to the class.
I was nervous at first and had no idea what to expect, but there is a need for it. Some of the students reached out to me after my talk to let me know that they could relate to my story or that they had a family member that could.
I was always worried about what people would think of me after I had told my story, but each time I hear that I have helped someone by sharing it with them, it makes it all worth it. I would hate for someone to feel alone and think that they’re the only one in their situation, because it’s just not true. People go through many different things, whether it’s cutting, depression or suicidal thoughts — they just don’t talk about it. I’m trying to change that.
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iGnite’s Real Women, Real Stories is a series highlighting the inspiring lives and experiences of women in our community. We hope their stories motivate and inspire you to live your life to the fullest.
Know someone who would be a great candidate for a Real Women, Real Stories feature? Email nominations to email@example.com
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we love finding recipe ideas for adding some new flavors and healthier options to the table. Try out these 4 iGnite leader favorites and leave us a comment to let us know how you enjoy them!
1. Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime & Jalapeño
I found this recipe three years ago in the Austin American Statesman (recipe by Kalyn Denny) and I have made it every year. I love the fresh lime juice and cilantro and it is the perfect combination of tart and sweet. This salsa is wonderful as a Thanksgiving side, and I really enjoy it with leftover turkey or in a sandwich. You won’t miss the gravy at all!
Ingredients: Makes about 2 cups of salsa
1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
3/4 cup Splenda, Stevia in the Raw Granulated or sugar
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Put cranberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until they’re partly chopped.
Add sweetener of your choice and pulse a few times more to combine.
Add green onions, cilantro, jalapeños (1 or 2, depending on your tolerance for heat), olive oil and lime juice and pulse until all ingredients are chopped and mixture is well combined.
Put mixture into a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and chill for several hours or overnight.
This is a favorite in the Springmann household because it’s tasty, healthy and easy!
3. Roasted Green Beans
I know most of you roast vegetables, but not many think to roast fresh green beans! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare green beans — they are delicious and easy, and my family always asks me to bring them to Thanksgiving.
1 large bag fresh French style green beans
1 & 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Roast 20 minutes at 400 degrees (or until tender with dark brown markings)
I have made this a couple times to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and it is amazing! I love interesting salads and I’m always willing to make the extra effort with this one for special occasions because it’s just so tasty 🙂
iGnite leader Amy Younkman shares 4 moves to increase your flexibility to get you on the path to increased mobility, reduced chance of injury and just plain feeling great!
1. Passive Hamstring Stretch
Pretty much all of us could use more flexible hamstrings, right? Who doesn’t want to be closer to touching their toes? This passive stretch is a safe and excellent stretch for the hamstring, best done in a doorway or on a corner where 2 walls meet.
Passive Hamstring Stretch
Lying on your back, lift one leg up the wall, while the other leg stretches out along the ground inside the doorframe.
Settle the pelvis onto the ground and position the upward leg so that you feel a gentle, but not too intense stretch.
Breathe and hold for 3 – 5 minutes.
If you are recuperating from a hamstring tear or strain or need a less intense stretch, move the body further away from the wall so that you do not feel strain in the injured hamstring.
2. Front of Hip/Psoas Stretch
Stretching out the front of the hip/psoas muscle is something not many of us think to do, but it is a crucial area to stretch, especially for runners. Not only does the psoas enable you to walk and run, but it also promotes good posture.
Front of Hip/Psoas Stretch
Come into a low lunge position on your knees, with the right foot in front and both knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
With hands on the hips, lift the hip points up and root the tailbone down as you draw the navel towards the spine (creating a posterior tilt). You will feel a deep stretch in the front of the left hip.
Lift your left arm on the inhale, exhale and side bend over to the right.
Stay here and breathe for 8 breaths as you feel a deep stretch in the front and outer area of the left hip.
Repeat on the other side.
3. Thoracic Spine/Chest Opening Stretch
After long days of hunching forward, sitting at desks, sitting in the car, and on and on, this stretch feels incredible — allowing you to open up your chest and counteract all of that forward bending. Goodbye, hunchback!
Spine Stretch / Chest Opener
Lie back on a foam roller (a rolled up yoga mat can work as well) with the roller just below the shoulder blades.
With knees bent and bottom on the ground, reach fingertips behind your head as you lengthen your neck.
On the inhale, curl back over the the roller
On the exhale, knit the ribs together as you curl up and draw elbows together.
With each successive breath, see if you can find more ease and expansiveness as you coordinate movement with breath.
Repeat 8 – 10 times.
4. Bridge Pose
The perfect pose to tie the first three stretches together!
Lie on your back with knees bent, heels in line with your sit bones, and toes pointed straight ahead.
Root down through all four corners of both feet as you press your arms into the mat and lift your hips.
Lengthen the back of the neck and feel a nice stretch along the sides of the neck.
Firm your glutes, and stretch your knees out over your ankles, as you stretch the front of the hips while strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.
Stay here and breathe for 8 breaths
Slowly lower the hips as you gently lay the spine down, bone by bone.
Day 10! I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Reboot and have loved this process of self-discovery.
Breakfast! My morning breakfast is always the same, flavored differently. Today it was cooked quinoa with almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, protein powder, ground flax, chia, and maca powder
Aspects of the Reboot I’ve found the most difficult:
Throughout the Reboot I committed to trying all of the elements listed in the guide. I’m happy to report that I’ve done them all, at least once! However, the most difficult has been taking time for Epsom salt baths, time outdoors, and a full 8 hours of sleep. To me, these three things all have one thing in common – they take TIME. Seeing how busy I am isn’t a groundbreaking realization, but I do know how nice it has been to actually take time for these things when I have been able to.
Turmeric Tonic tea at work meeting, although caffeine-free, my mind still believes it will help me feel more alert. I love turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory purposes
Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve enjoyed the most:
Technology Turnoff and Breaking from Social Media are two things that I thought would be the most difficult. Not surprisingly, this has been SO refreshing. I’ve noticed my habits throughout the day when I go to switch on my phone and catch myself automatically going into social media. Going into Facebook or Instagram has become such a mindless activity for me, and I’ve been aware that I need to check myself on this for a while, but there was no real motivation to do so. I don’t miss seeing what the world of Facebook is doing, what new recipes or exercises are posted on Instagram, and I’ve found myself being less critical of myself through these two elements of the Reboot.
Lunch consisted of Butternut Squash Mac ‘n “Cheese” with Brown Rice Macaroni, Roasted Broccoli and Kale. This is from Oh She Glows blog. This is a favorite fall recipe!
A couple things I’ve learned about myself over the Reboot: I’ve committed to staying away from social media, and it’s crazy how many times throughout my day I mindlessly turn on my phone and almost open Facebook or Instagram. I’ve enjoyed reading ‘Made to Crave’ which is a highly encouraging book on eating and body image. I’ve been putting off reading this for a while and I am so grateful for more time to read this book and focus on myself.
Secondly, I’ve noticed I CAN abstain from sugar and tortilla chips! My two weaknesses. I can do it in private at home and in public when there is a delicious bowl of guacamole, salsa, and cookies just waiting to be eaten up.
Afternoon snack of apples with cinnamon, drizzled in homemade coconut butter with a tablespoon of freshly ground peanut butter
My personality is to be very self-disciplined, so eating clean and exercise haven’t been a challenge for me. I enjoy prepping ALL my meals for the week on the weekend, so it eliminates any desire to eat outside of what I’ve planned for. I teach RPM spin at the YMCA and have enjoyed several HIIT workouts, as well as a few swims and a yoga class. These two aspects of my self-discipline give my body and mind self-care to help me function the best I can throughout my day.
Evening treat, leftovers from weekend baby shower. My own recipe of Lemon Cashew “Cheesecake” with Blueberries and Mulberries. It’s oil-free, refined sugar free (sweetened with Medjool dates), soy free, dairy-free, all plant-based!
Tips & tricks that have helped me:
Let people around you know what goals you’re working on. Your support system will then avoid innocently tempting you with a glass of wine or checking Facebook for a trivial reason.
Not pictured: My dinner on the run of Wild Rice Pilaf from Forks Over Knives.
One more day, I know we can do this! Day 9 was just like most other days of the Reboot for me. I woke up to my alarm at 5:30am after about 7 hours of sleep. Sleep has not been one of my successes on this Reboot, but it hasn’t kept me down. After pushing snooze a few times, I get up and start off with my hot lemon water and making lunches for the kids. After making lunches for the kids and getting my daughter Sloan out of bed, it is time for breakfast.
Breakfast of Paleonola and Coconut Beverage
My usual breakfast has been egg whites with sausage. I made the recipe of Everyday Sausage last week, but it was time to change things up. I wanted crunchy cereal! So with some help from fellow iGniter Olivia, she introduced me to Paleonola. Palenola with a little coconut beverage and an orange is a perfect breakfast.
After getting both kids out the door to school, it is off to workout. Today’s workout was Dance Fit with Betty. It was a great cardio workout with a little “Whip and Nae Nae.” 🙂
Lunch: a salad of lettuce, avocado, red bell peppers and turkey
During the Reboot, I strangely haven’t felt hungry. As I move along through the day, I have to remember to eat. I don’t feel hungry, but look down and it is coming up on lunch and I haven’t even had a snack. So today, I ate a snack at 12 and had lunch 2. Since I had to go to the grocery store before lunch, I decided to pick up some turkey and have a salad. A thick cut of deli turkey is nice to add to lettuce, avocado and red bell peppers.
Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites
While at the store, I picked up the ingredients to make the Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites from the Reboot recipe book. I was trying to have a healthy snack for this afternoon and for the kids when they get home from school, and I was hoping they would like them… or at least try them. Well, needless to say, they were a big hit!! Not only with my kids, but with some fellow Rebooters (Jamie and Alice)! I texted them and told them they tasted like chocolate and they were by in an instant to taste and see. One small note, when I was purchasing the ingredients I purchased dark chocolate cacao nuts and was supposed to purchase cacao nibs. I don’t know if there was any harm in my mistake, but it sure helped us get through the afternoon and satisfy our sweet tooth!
Dinner: sirloin steak and baby broccoli
My belly would have been satisfied for a little bit, but dinner was around the corner. And my family loves meat! So for dinner, I usually grill something grass-fed and add a vegetable. Tonight was a sirloin steak and baby broccoli.
This is the second time I have done the Reboot with iGnite, and I will say that the second time has been better than the first. This time I took Molly and Catherine’s advice to wean myself early from caffeine. I love to drink ice tea all day long, and I knew getting off of it was going to give me a big headache to start. It was the best decision!This reboot has helped me accomplish my exact goal: to get myself back on track with eating better and taking care of my body.
Day 8. It’s hard to believe that there are only two precious days left of my very first iGnite Re-boot! It has been a great experience so far and I’m already looking forward to incorporating what I’ve learned into my post-reboot life.
After getting a little over 8 glorious hours of sleep, I started my day with hot lemon water and apple cider vinegar while reading my devotional in the peaceful quiet of morning. (Note: Don’t let this fool you. While I earnestly wish that this were how I started each day, most of the time my mornings look nothing like this. Thanks to the Reboot I have been afforded the opportunity to refocus my time and choices and I’ve taken full advantage!
I’ve been so thankful for this time to focus on being intentional with each choice that I make throughout the day. From what I eat and drink and how much time I spend outdoors, to the way that I use my time just before bed and the number of hours I sleep each night — it has been an enlightening experiment!
Breakfast: A parfait of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries & a hard-boiled egg white
I’ll be honest and say that the first five days of the Re-boot did not really affect me. I didn’t feel any different than I typically do during a normal week and I did not know what to make of it. To be fair, my perfectionist personality lends itself to a rather disciplined lifestyle. Given that my regular eating habits and exercise routine tend to fall within the boundaries of the Re-boot already, my primary goal for participating was to learn how different foods affect the way that I feel. I have to confess that I’ve basically failed at this goal.
A delicious snack of almonds/walnuts and a peach while digging through work emails
I have been blessed/cursed with the ability to be completely content eating the same foods repeatedly and it has been more difficult than anticipated for me to branch out. I’m not opposed to trying new things, but I also know what I like and I am not very creative when it comes to food. Plus, I don’t cook. However, rather than beating myself up over not achieving my original goal, I have allowed myself to adapt my focus to varying the way that I eat rather than what I eat. More specifically, I have found that eating more frequently throughout the day and incorporating more protein into each meal has resulted in significant change for me. I still haven’t completely figured this out, but I am enjoying the challenge!
(Late) lunch: Spinach and kale salad with chicken, avocado, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, and a dollop of hummus. Not pictured: an apple.
Most noticeably, I have been finding myself eating at odd hours. I ate lunch at 2:30pm today. That would have never happened pre-Reboot. My only answer for this is that eating more protein throughout the day keeps me fuller longer and that I am learning to nourish my body with wholesome foods when I am hungry rather than when the clock tells me it’s mealtime.
During the opening luncheon, I quickly identified adequate sleep as the Reboot component that would be the most difficult for me to accomplish, so I really shouldn’t be surprised that this has presented itself as another key to my Reboot experience.
Highlight of the day: Spending the evening under the trees at beautiful Pease Park for Metabolic Circuit Training with Kathleen and an amazing group of iGnite women!
During the first half of the Reboot, I found myself struggling to fit in the minimum 7 hours of sleep per night and I was waking up exhausted. I love sleep, but I will admit that it is the first thing that I sacrifice when it comes to free time. I will find things to do around the house until late in the evening or wake up extra early to fit in a run before heading to the office without giving it a second thought. But sleep. Sleep is key. I slept for over 10 hours on Saturday and I woke up feeling like a new person. Since then, all of the other components of the Reboot seem to have been given new life and I have been feeling great! Prioritizing sleep is definitely going to be my number one take-away from this experience.
Post-workout dinner: Quinoa, black beans, and avocado with a side of green beans and asparagus. Another reason that I am thankful for the Reboot is that it has introduced me to quinoa. I know. Where have I been, right? Quinoa has basically been the extent of my branching out, but it just might be my new favorite food!
7: The number of days I’ve successfully completed the Reboot. The same number of days that I’ve felt more clear-headed, more focused, more invigorated by the challenge of treating myself well- body, mind, and soul.
76: Days until my wedding, something that is frequently on my mind. I wanted to participate in the Reboot to detox from the stress of wedding planning and my work travel season and to shift the focus back to feeling my best for these next 76 days.
4: The number of people I’ve raved to about the skin-glowing effects of dry brushing. Seriously, my skin has never looked better.
2: Happy hours that had to be rescheduled, one to Juiceland, one to the week after the Reboot.
83: Cravings for something salty crunchy, something rich and cold, something sweet and warm from the oven.
1: Excruciating visit to Jester King Brewery to celebrate one sister’s birthday. The difficulty of being surrounded by wood-fired pizza and cold beer on a hot day cannot be understated.
2: Trips to the Greenbelt for the silence it offers, the peace, the gratitude for the lush green after a long summer.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Facebook emails begging me to give in and check my Facebook!
8: Emails from Facebook, begging me to come back, to like that photo that someone tagged of me, to respond to the notifications, to spend my time clicking and refreshing and scrolling.
3: Meals at the airport where I said “No bread, thanks” and “What’s in your roasted vegetables?” and “What’s the sauce on the chicken?” and scoured the backs of packages of nuts for one that didn’t include canola oil.
3: Invigorating Ignite classes, in sunshine and in the pre-dawn hours, surrounded by strong women, enthusiastically challenging one another to be their best self, to remember that we are stronger together.
5: Recipes cooked from the Ignite ReBoot cookbook, including some pictured here, like the avocado boat and cilantro rice.
Breakfast: Avocado boat, tomatoes, cantaloupe and lemon water
6: Additional hours of sleep over the week, six more hours for my body to rest, my mind to clear, and to prepare for the next day.
2: Epsom salt baths that soothed aching muscles and offered me a chance to stay still- to pause, to reflect, to light a candle and read a book.
Bath time with an Epsom salt bath!
2: The number of books now on my bedside table with water-wrinkled pages.
Countless: Opportunities to talk about the Reboot, to say why it is important, and to share the community of Ignite with new people that I meet. Thank you, Ignite, for encouraging us all to take 10 days to streamline our focus and renew our commitment to ourselves and our well-being.
Having come off a hectic summer of selling our house then moving to San Diego in August, this Re-boot could not have come at a better time! So many of the healthy habits I have practiced for years have fallen by the wayside, and therefore my body, energy and overall health has suffered. So, re-implementing the Re-boot elements has given me a focus and routine — and I’m feeling great!
What I have enjoyed the most is giving myself permission to get 7-9 hours of sleep, properly hydrating, exercising outdoors and eliminating caffeine. Sleep, hydration, outdoor exercise and not drinking caffeine go hand in hand for me. When I sleep, hydrate and exercise, I make better food choices and I notice a distinct difference in the way I feel and function. Also, I am a caffeine abuser. It gives me a false sense of energy and therefore I don’t get the sleep I need. Then, when I don’t get the sleep I need, the whole vicious cycle of needing more caffeine, not properly hydrating, not making good food choices and then not feeling like exercising starts all over again. So, for me, eliminating caffeine and getting more sleep are the two most important pieces that set me up for feeling great!
Top left: For hydration and extra cleansing I love the SUJA Lemon Love from Costco. I found it in the San Diego Costco and it’s “Master Cleanse-ish” but without the maple syrup and is sweetened with Stevia. Next, is a jug of cranberry water, SUJA Organic Mighty Greens (also found in the San Diego Costco) and Kombucha (also much cheaper when purchased at Costco); Bottom Left: Morning Hot Lemon Water; Right: Numi Organic Chia Hot Caffeine-free tea on page 22 of our Re-Boot Booklet. I steep when I am wanting a warm coffee drink. I usually make it with Coconut Milk but I was out so I made it with Almond Milk.
My 2 favorite cookbooks
I do not enjoy cooking. I am not creative, and I loath the mess I have to clean up afterwards; therefore, too often I stick with the same boring things. However, what I do find most helpful is using two of my favorite cookbooks, Against All Grain and Everyday Detox, and the iGnite Re-Boot Booklet. These two beautifully written cookbooks are loaded with Re-boot friendly recipes. So, last weekend I dog-eared the recipes I wanted to use for the Re-boot, headed to the grocery store and have had a fully-loaded pantry and refrigerator.
Paleo and Re-Boot friendly pancakes from Against All Grain for the family, and a Strawberry Basil Blast from Everyday Detox for me. Bottom Right: Chocolate Chai Smoothie – A delicious meal or snack that is Re-boot Friendly!
Detox Salad from p. 28 of the Re-Boot Booklet with avocado and white fish. Bottom: Veggie and Shrimp Bonsai bowl from Wahoo’s Fish Taco: brown rice, black beans, shrimp and lots of veggies
What has been the most difficult for me is that this Re-Boot has fallen during my husband’s birthday, so I haven’t been perfect. The kids and I made him a delicious cake and rather than not participate in the celebration (that would be terrible!), I enjoyed festivities, devoured my cake, had a class of wine with him and followed up with extra hydration and clean eating. I have found that when I enjoy a splurge or drink alcohol, the best antidote is to follow with extra hydration. It’s cleansing and seems to reverse the often times gross after-effect feelings.
Outdoor Band Exercise with my kids at one of our neighboorhood parks
What I once had to force because I was told I needed them, I am an Epsom salt bath and body-brushing lover. But, unfortuntely and ridicously, I have not made time to do either yet. This is another habit that I have dropped and I am determined to get at least two in by the end of the Re-boot.
All in all, I love the Re-boot! It always seems to come at the perfect time for me, when my good habits have dwindled. What’s always interesting is that on the front end, it seems like it adds an extra layer of complexitiy to my life, but once I’m in it, I consistently realize how it truly simplifies my life. I am more mindful, peaceful and rested. And, I LOVE taking a break from social media. I’m not a huge fan of social media, but when I do sneak a peek, it sucks me in! So, if anyone wants to permantly boycott it with me, let me know. I’ll be happy to be the ring-leader 🙂