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Nothing matters if you don’t have this one thing… | Day 5 of 20

By | challenge, meatless challenge | 13 Comments

This morning as I was scrolling through Instagram, this quote popped up on my feed:

Wow, it was like it was made for me.

Today, by some miracle, I am pretty much healthy again. I was able to go to work, have a few meetings, and even take a Pilates Reformer class with Brittney, the Blogifam graphic designer. I honestly don’t know how I got over a really severe flu in just a few days instead of the 7-10 days it usually takes. But I guess I have my hard working body and my caring hubs to thank for that.

Being really immobile the past few days had made me realize exactly the quote above. Without your health, you have nothing. So don’t ever take your ability to do anything, even the things you hate, for granted. Appreciate your ability to work out, to run, to walk, to dance, to talk, to breathe…one day, we won’t be able to anymore. So seriously, take care of yourself!

Yesterday’s Day 5 Food Log:

Started out the day with some kombucha from Costco! Kinda digging this ginger lemonade flavor!

Sam and I went to one of our fave vegan restaurants called H.O.P.E. Guess what it stands for? Okay I’ll just tell you. Healthy Organic Positive Eating!!! OMG “positive” eating. Love it. Good thing the food is good too! These are the freshy rolls with soy chicken, avocado, lettuce, and no noodles. Hoisin/peanut butter dipping sauce. MY FAVEEEEEE thing ever. LOVE.

I always order the eggplant from any Thai restaurant we eat at. It was superb.

Green papaya salad with green beans, tomatoes, and peanuts, served on some romaine lettuce leaves in vegan fish sauce.

Later that day I tried out some Kite Hill almond greek yogurt and blehhhhhhh it was so bad!!! Just terrible. I mean, yeah, I got “plain unsweetened” BUT STILL!!!!

So I diced up a mango and thew a bunch in but it was STILL BAD!!! So I tried adding a bunch of monk fruit sugar to the yogurt, and guys, it was a struggle to get down. Sad because one of these yogurt containers aint cheap! But oh well, now I know. I actually bought like 4 different brands all in “plain unsweetened” to do a fair test and so far only one was good. It’s the So Delicious brand in plain. Have you tried? Actually SO good.

New concoction. Cauli rice with sauteed mushrooms, tofu, avocado, homemade pickled cucumbers, and sriracha. I was afraid it was going to be weird but it was fantastic! I decided to make it for lunch the next day too.

Grapes for dessert.

So far, being meatless has been pretty painless. I don’t really feel like I am missing out much unless I’m like literally in front of rows and rows of rotisserie chickens and they are staring at me! Ha. But that has only happened once and it was because I was at Costco and they had a bunch lined up fresh, hot, and ready outta the oven!

I am genuinely enjoying my tofu and am really loving going out to try new dishes that will inspire my cooking. Can’t wait to cook more the rest of this week.

Why people can’t stop talking about Adele’s weight | Day 4 of 20

By | challenge, meatless challenge | 32 Comments

Hey guys!

Oh my gosh – today I woke up feeling SO MUCH BETTER!!!! It feels amazing to have my energy almost fully back. I don’t know how I seem to be recovering so quickly from this flu (hopefully I’m not jinxing myself), but I thought I’d be out for another week according to some articles I was reading. Today my temp is down to the 99s! Sam has done such a great job of taking care of me. And I am so so grateful for my health. OMG. I never wanna be sick like this again! Literally was NOT a functioning human!

Okay, I wanna talk about something that has been splashed all over the news in the past 24 hours. Adele’s weight loss. It’s always funny to me how something as frivolous as a celeb losing some weight can make the news cycle when the Australian brush fires are raging and World War 3 is trending on Twitter.

To get you up to speed, some photos were captured of Adele on vacation and it looks like she’s lost a lot of weight:

Different sources say she’s lost anywhere between 20-40 lbs! I’m going to guess it was closer to 40 lbs. And guess what? Emotions on Twitter were all over the place.

The inspired:

I always thought Adele was gorgeous but WOW!!! Her weight loss is so inspiring.”

can adele help a girl out and drop her weight loss plan pls”

The concerned:

these adele pics are so scary :( I wish people would stop praising her for her weight loss, there’s no way she lost that healthily.”

m gonna come out and say it: adele‘s weight loss is so f*cking worrying”

The upset:

Nothing worse than a former fattie flaunting her weight loss on a beach while lots of peeps struggle to stay alive in Australia, jeez, timing beeeeatch”

I am really side eyeing all those congratulating Adele on her weight loss this week without knowing the context, continuing to reinforce that thinness (as opposed to ‘health’) is the ideal.”

Here’s my take, as someone who has recently lost 20 lbs myself with a ton of backlash.

Why the extra attention over Adele’s weight loss?

#1. People don’t like change

Someone’s always going to be upset over change. Whether it’s a change in my content, a chance in my interests, or a change in my look, the change doesn’t sit well with people who are used to seeing me a certain way and now have to re-associate themselves with this “new Cassey”.

#2. People don’t like body positive idols losing weight

To me, Adele has always been an amazing singer first. Her weight made her unique in a sea of thin singers, but it didn’t make me like her more or less. But I think for a lot of women, it was refreshing to see a non traditional body in the lime light. She became a body positive icon for those struggling to accept their bodies, even if she didn’t intend to. So, when Adele suddenly shed weight, she became less relatable to the women looking up to her for body acceptance inspiration, therefore upsetting a very passionate sector of her fan base who loved her for more than her music.

#3. People don’t like the media praising weight loss because it reinforces fatphobia

Okay, this I can stand behind. Literally anytime a female celeb loses weight or gains weight, it makes the news cycle. And it’s not even super crazy drastic. Like really? I don’t see the media doing that for men. I just see the media praising celeb men for getting in tip top shape for their next movie role. The media needs to STOP making women’s appearances such a big deal. Like if you’re gonna write about Adele’s weight loss, then instead of making an article that says “wow look at how skinny Adele looks!” (a gawking type article) maybe add some substance and in there and tell me how she did it so that people can stop assuming she did it in an unhealthy way (an informative type article).

So where do we go from here? We notice Adele’s weight loss, and if she’s happy, then good! We don’t make assumptions. And we wait patiently for her next album:)

Yesterday’s (Day 4) Food Log:

So yesterday was THE WORST in terms of my TNF (tumor necrosis factor) production and my sickness in general. Literally EVERYTHING was bitter. Couldn’t finish these mangos in my sweet, spicy, salty dip because it tasted so bad.

I asked Sam for another Eggo and it did not disappoint. No idea why the TNF does not affect the Eggo. Is it because it’s not a real food? Hahaha.

For lunch, we ordered some vegan summer rolls from a place called Vinh Loi Tofu – a Vegan Vietnamese cafe. This is their ham roll. I asked them to make it with no noodles. Unfortunately, this did not taste good to me – like too sweet and too rancid. But it’s my tastebuds being outta whack. I’m sure that normally, it would taste good as it’s one of their most popular items.

This is the vegan pho. I ordered it with no noodles and subbed with bean sprouts. The hot soup felt great going down my throat, but again everything just tasted kinda off! I couldn’t finish it.

Sam ordered something called the Kevin #1 Soup. Scratching my head trying to figure out what type of Vietnamese soup this is supposed to be, but maybe it’s just their own creation! He said it was good but didn’t like all the fake meats. I agree. A lot of times Asian fake meats are made from wheat gluten so it makes me extremely bloated.

I drank a lot of barley tea throughout the day! The barley tea did not taste as bitter as plain water for some reason.

Fortunately, grapes were okay. They were kinda weird tasting at the end but I persisted because I needed something to cleanse my mouth of this foul taste!

For dinner, we ordered from Veggie Grill. I got a Beyond Burger with a lettuce wrap and a side of mashed cauli/potatoes. Sam also cut up some garlic for me which was so hard for me to take down because of how big the chunks were! I told him to mince them for me and he said “they are minced!!” And I said “no, that’s called slicing into large chunks.” :P

The burger was pretty good. The mash was meh so I didn’t finish that. But I still had this terrible flavor in my mouth so I asked Sam if he could get me a very specific type of dessert. A Japanese cheesecake:

Why a Japanese cheesecake? I will admit this is because of Instagram. I’ve seen people jiggling these Japanese cheesecakes around and I just wanted to try one so bad fro a couple years now. And I thought that since I’m sick, why not try some comfort foods!? So Sam got me one, I tried it, and I am SO SAD to say that I did not like it!!! Didn’t even finish my slice.

Sigh.

Well, that’s what I ate yesterday! Today I feel much better so you’ll see the blog eventually return to it’s normal home cookin’ ways once I am fully recovered.

It’s like I’ve taken an appetite suppressant | Day 3 of 20

By | challenge, meatless challenge | 48 Comments

Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your well wishes on my last post! I am again writing you from bed – I barely got out today. Sam has been delivering everything to my bedside because anywhere else in the house is just too cold.

Also, something weird has happened. My taste buds are all messed up. Suddenly everything that I am eating or drinking (like even water) tastes bitter! I don’t ever remember having this happen as a child. All I remember is that I would lose my appetite. But this time it’s different. I still have an appetite but I don’t want to eat anything because everything tastes terrible! It’s like I’ve taken an appetite suppressant!

I looked this up and apparently, it’s due to an increase in the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which is released by the immune system to help fight off inflammation due to an illness. TNF is also responsible for increasing taste sensitivity, making food taste extra bitter.

Well, good to know that my body is fighting to get better. I just hate that nearly everything I’m eating tastes rancid. It’s really impairing my true judgement for my meatless meals. I hope the TNF production slows down so that things can start tasting normal again! Especially the water…I need to drink more but I have been avoiding because it’s so bitter! Have you ever had this happen?

Yesterday’s Food Log (Day 3):

Sam made me a banana, orange, and strawberry smoothie. Everything was perfect about it, but I couldn’t finish it.

Okay. I know this is not something you’d expect to see here on a healthy food blog but given that I’m not cooking right now and given that everything was tasting bitter, I said screw it I’m sick and I asked Sam to toast me an Eggo waffle. I’ve had a weird craving for one ever since Sam bought himself a pack of 72 Eggos from Costco! And you know what? It actually tasted pretty good.

After this I went to sleep for a long time, and then woke up for dinner.

I was so bored of lying in bed all day that I mustered up enough energy to throw on 2 thick layers of sherpa coats and make it out to Veggie Grill (all vegan). I ordered the paleo zucchini noodles with Beyond Sausage.

Sam ordered the Sonoran Bowl with Crispy Chick’n.

As a side, we shared some buffalo chick’n tenders with celery and vegan ranch.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t really like his meal, so when we got home, I had just enough energy to make him some nachos – which he devoured! I also had a few bites.

For dessert, Sam peeled a mango for me (I’m terrible at peeling) and I had it with my sweet, spicy, salty dip.

I’m sad that I haven’t been able to use any of the ingredients I bought from my most recent grocery trip because I don’t have the energy to cook right now. It’s so weird not being healthy. I take my energy for granted all the time. I just push and push and push – in workouts, in career, in life, in everything. But now, I can barely get up out of bed. The only thing that matters is getting healthier. Everything else can wait.

My temp is still over 102 degrees F and I’m extremely tired. If my normal energy levels are 100%, then my current energy level is about 10%. I’m barely a functioning human.

Anyway, hope you guys are enjoying the meatless journey so far. I’m so lucky to live in LA where there are so many options for vegan and vegetarian restaurants!

I can’t believe I’m sick | Day 2 of 20

By | challenge, meatless challenge | 37 Comments

Guys. I never get sick and I am currently so sick I’m bed-ridden. I had signed up for a hot yoga class yesterday, so I still went this morning so I wouldn’t be charged a penalty fee, but that was a terrible idea. In the hour that we were in that heated room, I didn’t even sweat. I felt so weak that even a down dog was hard for me. I had the chills, goosebumps, and barely any energy to move. Currently, my temp is over 102 degrees F, and I’m freezing.

Anyway, I am blogging from bed. I will make this quick because I am dying. I don’t know how I got this sickness but it’s the most sick I’ve been since childhood.

Day 2 Food Log:

I made myself scrambled eggs with mushrooms and onions, guac, and pico de gallo. As I side, I had butter lettuce with Tessamae’s Jalapeno Ranch dressing and a few sunflower seed and cauliflower bites.

I made Sam 2 tacos! These were tortillas were filled with the same sunflower seed and cauliflower bites, butter lettuce, guac, and pico de gallo. He loved it!

It was after this snack of banana slices and peanut butter that I started to feel my throat hurting. I mean, I’m def not allergic to bananas or peanut butter so not sure what happened here. It was also around this time that I was complaining to Sam that I was really cold, while having a thick sweater and blanket wrapped around me.

For dinner, I made us both Beyond Meat burgers with egg, sauteed mushrooms, butter lettuce, guac, and tomatoes. I ended up throwing a ton of pickles on there as well as some Lemon Oil  dressing from Tessamaes!

After dinner, I went to my heels class (feeling so fatigued, again bad idea but I had already signed up and my friend was meeting me there so I couldn’t bail) and felt like I was gonna die. Sam got a massage while I was in dance, and then he picked me up to go for some boba. He got a matcha green tea smoothie with boba and I got plain black tea.

Ok that is all for now. I need to go rest. I don’t think I will be working out for a while. Ugh. Being sick is the worst!!! But at least Sam is taking care of me, making sure I take my medication and my fluids. He even made me a fresh smoothie! That is a huge deal because he doesn’t ever really cook ;)

Tomorrow’s food log is probably gonna be weird because my appetite is off. I hope you have a much healthier day than I am having and a lovely start to your weekend!

 

 

Going Meatless for 20 Days | Day 1 of 20

By | challenge, meatless challenge | 30 Comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I am so excited to be blogging consistently again for the next 20 days. I guess I need to live my life in challenges so I can keep having something to write about :P

First off, let me show you how fabulous Sam and I looked for New Year’s Eve!

We went to Sam & Casey’s (yes we are friends with a couple named Sam and Casey, you did not read that incorrectly) Roaring 20’s party and got to dress up super Gatsby status! I loooooove costume parties, so I went all out and got an entirely new dress, heels, gloves, pearls, a faux fur shawl, and flapper headband. And Sam wore his coat tails for the occasion.

To get my look, I watched Michelle Phan’s 20s makeup tutorial and for my faux bob, I watched Elanna Pecherle’s hair tutorial. I must say, YouTube tutorials rock!!! I never really ever followed a makeup tutorial until I had to do my “Top 100 influencer” makeup, and that really got me to believe in makeup tutorials! Haha. I know. I know. I am soooo late in the game. But I am here now!!!

Just some friends having a good time :) This makes me wonder what I should do for my bday! Jan 16 is coming up in a couple weeks…should I have a lil shindiggity? I don’t wanna really plan my own party but then again, I kinda do!!?? Ugh. Should I have a party or keep it small? Contemplating.

Next, I wanna say that your enthusiasm for the #2020challenge has been lighting up my life!!! I love seeing your check-ins on Instagram!

If you guys want me to be your accountability partner for the #2020challenge, I will gladly do that! Just text me at 510-692-4556 (US and Canada only) and I will remind you for the next 18 days what moves you have to do for the day.

Click for hi-res printable

Plus I’ll send you pics of what I am eating on my 20 day meatless journey to help inspire your culinary adventure!

Why am I going on a meatless journey?

I watched a documentary called The Game Changers on Netflix and it talked about how plant based athletes have improved performance. It was incredibly well done. As weird as I feel saying this, it inspired me to test out my own meatless challenge to see if my fitness performance would improve. I say I feel weird because I didn’t actually do my own fact checking on the studies presented to me – which I usually do.

There’s been a lot of heated debate over how certain facts were ridiculously cherry picked to prove their point, which is never good because I’m juts ingesting propaganda. I also read that James Cameron (Director of Titanic, Avatar etc.) is an executive producer for The Game Changers and that he has invested “…$140 million in plant-based proteins, including a company that produces pea protein, a key ingredient in Beyond Meat, which is in short supply right now.” – Medium

But I will say is this – personally, I think fruits and veggies are the gems of the earth – nutritionally dense and so healthy. I also think if we can try to eat less meat and still thrive, then we should. Do I think everyone should be vegan? No. Do I think everyone should be a carnivore? No. I think everyone needs to eat what’s right for their bodies, and that we should stop shoving ideologies down each other’s throats.

With that said, I will eventually dig into some fact checking over the documentary! But either way, I am happy it inspired me to go meatless because I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now! And to be clear, I am not going vegan because I tried that for about 6 months once and lost a lot of muscle, bruised constantly, and felt fatigued. So this time around, I’ll be testing out a grain free, dairy free vegetarian diet for 20 days to see how I feel!

Day 1 Food Log:

Mango with sweet, salty, and spicy dip. After coming back from Vietnam and Thailand, I became obsessed with dipping my fruit in a mixture of chili, salt, and sugar – something that Vietnamese and Thai people did for all sorts of fruit! Absolutely geniuus. It elevates the flavors so much! But I wanted to make my own healthy version as soon as I got home. So I mixed 0 calorie monk fruit sugar with Tajin and guys, IT IS BOMB!!! Absolute perfection! You’ll need to test your own monk fruit to Tajin ratios (you can start with 1:1), but seriously, omg, so good. TRY IT.

To celebrate day 1 our meatless journey, Sam and I went out to a vegan restaurant called Follow Your Heart with a few friends! Here’s what we had!

Vegan mac n cheese as an appetizer. I think the cheese was made of cashew nuts and nutritional yeast. No, not low carb – hard to do low carb vegan out at a restaurant – but fun to try!

Vegan nachos as an appetizer. So good. I’m not sure what the sour cream was made of, but it tasted fantastic!

Squash soup. Meh, it was ok. Needed more flavor.

My main dish. Ugh I made a terrible mistake. I tried to go low carb vegan and totally hated my meal! It was supposed to be zucchini noodle spaghetti but I ended up with like no zucchini spirals, a ton of bland kale, a ton of bland broccoli, a ton of beans (not a fan of beans), and marinara sauce that was pretty disappointing. I’m the type of person who needs A LOT of flavor and also I need a protein of some sort to make my meal not feel like a side. Good thing the mac n cheese and the nachos already filled me up!

Some green grapes for dessert! So good!

Okay you guys, well that is day 1 of my meatless journey! Day 2 will be some home cookin’ which I am excited for. Should I show you what Sam is eating as well? He’s doing regular vegetarian and I am doing grain free, dairy free vegetarian. Maybe showing you both our meals will help you and your significant other embark on a meatless challenge of your own! I told Sam…”Hey if for some reason it gets hard while we’re vegetarian, you can always order a Domino’s cheese pizza ok?” I think that made him say yes to my challenge :P

The Blogilates January 2020 Workout Calendar!

By | Calendar | 288 Comments

Hey guys!

Sitting here the eve before a brand new decade at my desk, and I’m thinking about how much has happened over the past 10 years.

In 2009, I graduated from college with a Biology degree, not knowing how my future would look because I didn’t see myself becoming a doctor – a dream my parents had made for me. I cried a lot. I had dark thoughts. I didn’t know what my future was going to look like. One of the only things bringing me peace was my Pilates practice.

At the time, I was the only instructor teaching POP Pilates at 24 Hour Fitness and had to quit because I got an opportunity to move cross country for my first real job out of college. My 40 or so students at the gym were sad because there would be no more POP Pilates. So I had an idea to film a 10 min workout and to put it on YouTube. I told them that anytime they missed me, they could work out with me on the internet. I picked the screen name “Blogilates” because I taught Pilates and I was starting to blog at the time.

Little did I know that 10 years later…Blogilates would amass over 4.7 million subscribers and that POP Pilates would be the official Pilates partner for 24 Hour Fitness – with over 4,000 classes being taught by certified POP Pilates instructors every month! INSANE. Truly insane what can happen in a decade when you follow your passion, work hard and continue to challenge yourself to do better everyday.

The photo above may look like your standard before and after, but to me, it’s a What I Knew Then versus a What I Know Now. I have learned so much about my body, my mind, my limits, my strengths, and my weaknesses over the past 10 years.

22 year old college Cassey had just started dating Sam and they thought it would be fun to drive to every fast food chain nearby and do a “best hamburger” 🍔 taste test, a “best fry” 🍟 taste test, and a “best taco” 🌮 taste test! Haha. It was super fun date idea that lasted us a couple weeks of going out to eat! Not gonna lie, IT WAS DELISH and helped us save money because we weren’t going out to fancy, romantic restaurants. Not great for our bodies but we didn’t know enough to care back then. Plus, we attributed our weight gain to being in love! It was happy weight! 😋

10 years later, I am in the fittest shape of my life – mentally and physically – on my own terms!! I never thought I’d actually be able to be like one of those people on those “as seen on tv” commercials that say they look better than they did in school, but ummm, I LOOK DANG FIONEEEEE AND I AM PROUD OF IT!!! Sam thinks so too 😉

I can’t believe we’re about to embark into a new decade. Who will I be 10 years from now?? I don’t know. But I’m excited to continue to build a better version of me everyday.

Alrighty…are you ready for your first workout calendar of 2020 and of the DECADE!??? I present to you the Blogilates January 2020 Workout Calendar!

Download JPEG | Download PDF

When you download the PDF, you’ll find that each video is linked! Just click and it will take you to the YouTube video listed!

Here’s what you week will look like. Each day of the week has a duo-focus!

SUNDAY: Obliques & Abs
MONDAY: Cardio & Abs
TUESDAY: Total Body & Abs
WEDNESDAY: Butt & Abs
THURSDAY: Arms & Abs
FRIDAY: Recovery Day
SATURDAY: Back & Abs

Do each video once (unless otherwise stated) and check off as you go! Each day will be around 45 min of exercise! If  you want to ease into working out, check out my Beginner’s Calendar. It’s a free 4 week program to get you stronger, so that you can join in on the monthlies when you are ready.

In addition to your workouts, you also have a nice lil #2020challenge to do everyday from January 1st to January 20th! The challenge of the day is just 20 reps of an ab move and 20 reps of another muscle group move, so by the end of the week, you’ll have targeted every single part of your body! Here’s the #2020challenge graphic:

Download hi-res challenge graphic

I will be uploading a few YouTube videos to show you how to do each of these moves, so you’ll know proper form and technique for each exercise! Plus coach you through all 20+20 reps.

If you’re in for the challenge, I want you to comment “I’m in!” in the comments section below!

Here is the first video with Days 1-7!

Then this is what I need you to do next if you want to set yourself up for a successful 20 day challenge:

  1. Save this graphic and post it to Instagram or Facebook and announce that you’re committing to this challenge for the next 20 days. Hashtag #2020Challenge. (This will create accountability.)
  2. Tag 3 friends to do this challenge with you. They could be online friends or POPsters! (This will be your support network!)
  3. Tag me @blogilates. (This is how I will know that you’re in for real.)

ALRIGHTY!!! That’s that for now you guys.

Go enjoy your New Year’s Eve because Jan 1 we are going HARD. I have a super cute Roarin’ 20’s outfit that I am changing into for NYE. Cannot wait to show you!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

The 2020 Challenge. You in?

By | challenge | 55 Comments

Hey guys!

I’ve never been so busy at the end of December ever before! I’ve been working nonstop – photoshoots, design meetings, video shoots, writing, editing – I guess that is what a 2 week vacation does to me hah. But you know what? WORTH IT.

You gotta do what you gotta do because A BRAND NEW DECADE is happening in 5 DAYS!!!! 5!!! WHAT!!!! 2020 is coming!!!

I am really excited to ring in the new year with my friends who are throwing a Roarin’ Twenties themed party! I already got my sequined dress, my flapper headband, my pearls, my gloves, my faux fur shawl, and my glittery gold heels. Now all I need to do is practice how to do that cool wavy thing with my hair. That will totally solidify the look! I soooo need help on that though. Will probably just look up a YouTube video…any suggestions?

Anyway…GUYS.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE #2020Challenge??!!! Before I even say what it is…ARE YOU IN!!???

Good. Thought so.

Here are ALL the details you need to know…

The #2020Challenge:

When: January 1, 2020 to January 20, 2020

What: 20 reps of an ab move a day + 20 reps of a surprise move a day

Why: To CHECK.IT.OFF. and to GET.IT.DONE. because accomplishing something everyday for 20 days will help you build the habit of CONSISTENCY, which is the most important factor when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle. Oh, and to sculpt a strong and toned body while you’re at it!!

I am wearing the Zodiac Bra and the Capricorn Legging from the latest Constellation Collection from POPFLEX.

I am not releasing the challenge graphic to the public just yet. I want to reserve the graphic for those of you in the community who are the most dedicated. To get the graphic before anyone else does, I need you to tell me that you’re in.

But I want you to tell me by…

TEXTING ME THAT YOU ARE IN!!!!

No, this is not a drill. This is real!!! My number is 510-692-4556. Right now I can only text you if you’re in the US or Canada. Sorry. For my international POPsters, you can still sign up for the challenge though. Just go here and give me your name and email and I will send you the graphic early via email.

My text inbox is looking RIDIC right now, but whatever. This is what I want. I want to be your accountability partner and I want to see you through to your success.

Once you text me that you’re in, I will save your phone number to my address book and I will text you the #2020Challenge graphic on Monday December 30th! You will be the first to see it before anyone else.

Plus, the coolest part is – every day of the challenge I will text you a reminder to do your workout of the day! I’ll motivate you to GET.IT.DONE. and CHECK.IT.OFF.

I’ll even send you what I’m eating to inspire you to make healthy choices. Like this!

This is what I ate today! Mushroom egg scramble with pico de gallo and fresh homemade guacamole! I’m testing vegetarian recipes to help me prep for my 20 day meatless experiment beginning on the 1st!

Oh and I am soooooo happy to announce that Sam has AGREED to go meatless with me for 20 days! I watched a documentary called “Game Changers” on Netflix about vegan athletes and how they were able to improve their fitness performance by going plant based. It inspired me to try out a vegetarian diet for a bit to see if I could increase my energy level and my fitness level.

The reason why I am not going vegan is because I did this for 6 months a couple years ago and for some reason I was bruising an abnormally high amount, my energy was low, and I was getting super soft everywhere. It was almost as if I was losing muscle or something. So I went back to eating meat.

I am excited to give this new diet a try and I am even more excited that Sam has officially AGREED to do it with me. This is going to make it so much more fun! I will be posting what I eat everyday for 20 days on this blog, so you guys can see! It’ll be like 90 day journey times…cept…with a 2020 flair!

While you’re waiting for 2020 to begin, I encourage you to step up your water game. I’m picking fresh lemons from our yard (yesssss our tree started fruiting!!!) and cutting them up for my water. Look how beautiful they are!

This is how I make hydration fun and delicious. Water is all good and fine, but lemon water in my opinion is so much easier to take down!

Alright, now who is in for the #2020Challenge!!??? TEXT ME!!! 510-692-4556. And yes, it is free!

The Cutest 2020 Printable Calendars *FREE*

By | Best Of, Calendar | 42 Comments

Hey guys!

I hope you had a lovely holiday with your family. Did you eat all the Christmas cookies and latkes that you wanted!!?? I sure hope so!!

Now, to start prepping for the new year, I made some 2020 printable calendars and phone backgrounds for you! I personally love writing everything down in pen and pencil because it feels more real. Plus, hanging things on my wall makes my goals more visible which makes me think about how to achieve them everyday.

So here you go!

2020 MONTHLY CALENDARS

 Download all the calendars HERE!

January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

 

2020 PHONE BACKGROUNDS

Download all the backgrounds here!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

If you want something that will truly help guide you towards achieving your dreams, then you totally need my 2020 Fit Planner!

I seriously cannot wait to fill this out! I will be doing my goal pages today and tomorrow! I have some goals that are going to take a lot of commitment, so I need to think about how realistic they are so I can set myself up for success.

Here’s a peek inside the goal pages! You can fill all of these pages out before Jan 1, so get your planner now and start PLANNING!

Here’s the monthly spread. I love this year’s spread because it includes a space for measurements on the side. Plus – the boxes are BIGGER!

We brought the weekly spread back because the week-at-a-glance was so helpful to so many of you. The grocery list is also here too! And boxes for some attainable weekly goal planning. I took the time stamps out of this spread so that you could have more flexibility with your schedule. Not everyone works from 9am-6pm, so I hope this change helps!

Here’s a look at your daily page! You’ve got 52 weekly challenges (which can be found every Monday), a roomier to-do list space, and of course your food log, your water log, sleep tracker, workout box, and your *BRAND NEW* MOOD LOG!!!!

Oh and at the beginning of every month, your 2020 Fit Planner features a Habit Tracker!

I’ve got healthy recipes sprinkled throughout the 2020 Fit Planner! These are some of my FAVORITES! each so nourishing and DELISH.

Alright you guys – you have everything you need right in front of you. I’m so pumped for 2020. It’s gonna be a year of CLARITY and SUPER FOCUSED VISION for me. And I am excited to announce the #2020Challenge soon and tell you what my personal goals are.

How are you feeling?

MY LITTLE SISTER GOT ENGAGED!!!!

By | Life | 9 Comments

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!  MY LITTLE SISTER IS ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHATTTT!????

Guys, I just got back from my 2 week vacation in Vietnam and Thailand and it was just INCREDIBLE!!! The first week was kinda rough but I ended up easing into our vacation and ACTUALLY relaxing the final few days. Then…we had to jump back on the plane (26 hrs of travel – BRUTAL) and get back to reality!

Anyway, I want to catch you up on the proposal and how it happened…because it involved me rock climbing for the first time and screaming through a pitch black cave. But it was all worth it because…well, let’s just get into it!

For the surprise engagement, we (me, Sam, Jackelyn, Nick) and went to Railay in Thailand – a popular spot for rock climbers. The idea was that Jackelyn was supposed to think it was just a vacation.

For Sam and I, it was our first time in Thailand ever, and we were taken aback by the beauty of it all. I mean – LOOK AT THOSE ROCKS just jutting out from the ocean. WHAT!

It was SOOOO not easy to sneak past Jackelyn. She is incredibly alert, questions everything, doesn’t let anything slide, plus I’m the worst liar on the entire planet – so pulling off this surprise engagement was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

Nick wanted to surprise Jackelyn by having the entire fam climb high up into a pitch black cave together, then emerging out the other side and proposing on the beach afterwards! The plan was set and solid…until…we saw HOW HIGH THE CLIMB WAS. Sam and I had NEVER EVER climbed in real life before so we were TERRIFIED. Once we saw how high it was, Sam pulled Nick aside and was like “DUDE YOU SAID IT WAS BEGINNER!!!!!”

It was bad. Now Nick was upset, Sam was upset, and the plan was ruined…

…or was it?

I decided to face my fears for true love, so I told Nick and Sam that I would go on the climb and Sam would meet us on the beach later. Plus, that way Jackelyn would never think a proposal was on the cusp since one member of the familia was missing! She had previously emphasized to me that if she were going to get proposed to – all 4 of us needed to be together!

Here’s me climbing outdoors for the very first time with ropes and all that jazz. It’s not scary if you don’t look down!!!! (And I looked down quite a lot.)

The climb was tough and I stopped a bunch of times because I couldn’t figure out how to place my feet and my hands in the right places. Nick was on top pulling the rope and Jackelyn was coaching from below, so eventually, I made it up.

Once all 3 of us were up, this is the cave we had to climb into. Literally pitch black. We had to use actual headlamps. You could even hear bats chirping or squealing or squeaking or whatever bats do. Ugh. The things I do for love.

Yes the climb was nerve-racking but I was way more nervous about TIMING!!!! We needed to get out of the cave on time to catch golden hour, to catch a good tide, to have Nick bend down on one knee in literally the EXACT LOCATION Sam and I scouted the day before so that Sam could secretly film the proposal at the perfect angle without Jackelyn noticing anything!

Someone had put bamboo ladders inside the cave, so that’s how we got through some difficult parts. Very helpful I must say.

Here’s my dirty butt after falling and sliding down a rock. Sister thought it was funny so she took a pic.

Almost out! LOOK at that view!!!

CAVE SELFIE!!!!

This was the location that Sam and I had scouted the day before. Tide looked perfect. Sun looked perfect. Perfect. Just perfect.

I had Nick take pics of me and Jackelyn here so that Jackelyn would be in “picture mode”. Nick and I switched places for photos, and that’s when I saw Sam hiding in the jungle behind a rock. Everything was perfect.

The time was NOW.

Well you guys…WE GOT JACKELYN GOOD. SHE WAS SHOCKED!!! Shocked I tell you!!! When Nick bent down on one knee and asked my sister to marry him with the sunset glowing behind them – IT WAS A MOMENT. Jackelyn started wailing, Nick was smiling ear to ear, Sam was filming AND army crawling out from behind a huge boulder after waiting around in the jungle for my spotty location updates via DM, and I was capturing the entire thing on camera. SUCCESS. WE DID IT.

CONGRATS NICK & JACKELYN!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Jackelyn, I remember when we were kids and you would tear out ring advertisements from the magazines and then cut the edges nicely so you could tape them to your bedroom wall like posters! You’ve waited for this for so long…

A relationship that wouldn’t hold you back – instead one that would push you to your limits.

A love that wouldn’t require sacrificing who you were to make it work – instead one that would require you to be yourself to the fullest to make it thrive.

A partner who wouldn’t put his priorities before yours – instead one who would make YOU his only priority.

My heart is giddy with pure happiness for Jackelyn and Nick! All 4 of us are going to officially be a FAMILIA!!!!!

Also, here’s a closeup shot of Jackelyn’s ring (left) and my ring (right). Nick designed Jackelyn’s ring with an emerald cut diamond and pink cluster diamonds on the side so that we could have sister rings! Ya know, different but the same. I love it!!!!

Hope you guys are having a beautiful holiday season. I will be announcing our new year’s challenge the day after Christmas on December 26th. PREPARE. It’s gonna be GOOD.

Maintaining, gaining, or losing weight after the 90 days?

By | 90 day Journey, Calendar | 39 Comments

Hey guys!

I am currently writing you from Vietnam! I am in a bus (with wifi) on the way to go see my grandparents and my family in the southern part of the country. I have 3 hours to spare, so time to blog!

Many of you have been wondering if I’ve been able to maintain my weight since the end of the 90 day journey. And the answer is – YES! But with fluidity. I’ve lost weight, maintained, and gained – but all within healthy bounds.

Here’s the thing you guys.

The reason why my 90 day journey was successful was because I allowed for flexibility. I learned that I didn’t need to be crazy restrictive with eliminating entire food groups. In the end, it was about not overeating. Simple as that. Logging everything I ate was key.

I’m currently on vacation right now and obviously logging is not easy. Everything I am eating is not being made by me, so I have no idea what’s actually in it. I can only make educated guesses and do the best I can!

Yesterday, I decided I wanted to go hard and try out a highly rated matcha cafe in Ho Chi Minh City called Japanit. Most people were ordering one dessert to share…Sam and I being the Americans that we are, ordered THREE desserts to share! Hahaha.

We got a matcha cheesecake, a matcha crepe cake, and a matcha milkshake boba thing topped with matcha ice cream, corn flakes and a sweet butter wafer. I would love to tell you that this was the best thing I have ever had in my life, but unfortunately, it was meh. SAD TIMES!!!

Look guys – life is fluid, so I like to apply the same philosophy to my food and my workouts. Being too strict will make you break, and will make you want to binge. Being flexible gives you the power to add or subtract a little here or there and not feel bad if something doesn’t go as planned. Why? CUZ YOU’RE EXPERIMENTING!

You’ve got to LISTEN to the signals your body is giving you as you head towards your goals. Remember, absolutely NO JOURNEY goes in a straight line. Ups, downs, and even plateaus are necessary. This is life. This is how it works.

Now, let’s have a look at how I’ve been eating Cassey-style on my trip so far:

This is grilled pork over a bed of salad with peanuts and a side of pickled carrots and daikon. That’s a side of fish sauce. Normally those comes with fried egg rolls and vermicelli noodles, but I omitted that. Good news is that everything still tasted amazing!

These are rice paper rolls stuffed with lettuce, carrots, and beef. I also took out the vermicelli noodles in these.

What’s Vietnam without pho!!?? I ordered Vietnamese beef noodle soup and subbed the noodles for bean sprouts. It was pho-nomenal!!!

I’m a few days into my trip now and will soon be eating grandma’s home cookin’! Excited to see everyone, but I literally do not think they will understand what I am saying AT ALL. My Vietnamese is so bad – it’s like worse than toddler level.

Oh and one more thing before I get off this bus.

Thursday December 5th at 8 AM PST, the new Constellation Collection drops on popflexactive.com!

A little sneak peek for you from my sketch book.

December Workout Calendar + Thanksgiving Recap

By | 90 day Journey, Calendar | 36 Comments

Hey guys!

Happy 1 month til 2020!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Before we get into the December workout calendar, let’s recap Thanksgiving real quick shall we?

Sam and I hosted our first Thanksgiving at our new house for over 20 people! It was a really intense few days leading up to the dinner because I tend to make everything a huge deal, even though Sam said to “keep it casual.” Honestly guys, I don’t know the meaning of casual. Everything must be wedding status, or else, did it even happen!????

The morning started with me working out at 7am and then coming home and cooking from 8:15am to 2:30pm. I pushed myself to make 5 dishes:

  1. Coconut sunflower dessert balls
  2. Green beans with sautéed mushrooms and onions
  3. Cauliflower mash
  4. Classic stuffing
  5. Paleo pumpkin pie

Sam asked me why I was so agitated in the morning. Not agitated I told him, just HYPER FOCUSED CASSEY IN THE KITCHEN.

Thank goodness Jackelyn offered to handle the turkey.

Before guests started arriving Jackelyn and I set up candles and centerpieces and yes I know it sounds super extra but YOU GUYS you saw my wedding right? I AM EXTRA.

Here’s a look at the dessert table that I set up!

I AM OBSESSED with how this table looks. I was so happy to bring out some of the wedding gifts Sam and I received – like the beautiful rose gold silverware and the pink ceramic serving trays. Putting food on a pretty plates elevates the whole eating experience exponentially. If you can afford it, I would highly suggest investing in some dinnerware you’re really into. It makes eating at home feel like eating in a restaurant. Plus, it makes you appreciate your food more, which will help you be more conscious of what you’re eating!

Here are my Coconut Sunflower Dessert Balls! I kind of “made this up” as I went, so I cannot tell you the exact measurements, but I can tell you what’s in it!

  • Sunflower seed butter (you can use any nut butter though)
  • Coconut flour (I mixed it in until the dough felt more cookie dough like – not too try, not too wet)
  • Dried apricot pieces, diced (optional)
  • Raw cane sugar to taste
  • Coconut flakes for outside (optional)

I wasn’t sure if people would dig them, but they were a hit!!! The only constructive criticism I got back was to make my balls a little smaller! But otherwise, people loved em!!!

My new Paleo Pumpkin Pie passed the Sam test this time. He fully approved, and so did the guests! They didn’t know it was paleo. I used this recipe from Elana’s Pantry.

I kind of overfilled my pie, so that’s why you don’t see a crust, but the crust was SPECTACULAR!!!

Instead of traditional green bean casserole, I made steamed green beans topped with sauteéd onions and mushrooms. I seasoned with a little salt and pepper. This super simple dish was almost gone by the end of the night.

Here’s the masterpiece of a turkey that Jackelyn prepared! The meat was moist and the skin was crispy. The best turkey I’ve ever had! She used the Butterflied Big Bird recipe from our friend Michelle over at Nom Nom Paleo!

Interrupting the recipes for a moment of appreciation for the table settings :)

I TOTALLY forgot to take a pic of the stuffing and the cauli mash! The stuffing was standard so not much to say here, but BOY OH BOY the cauli mash fooled people! They thought it was real potatoes!!!! The consistency, the texture and the taste were like real mashed potatoes!

The cauli mash had only 3 ingredients. I used this recipe from Elana’s Pantry. It’s the first time I’ve ever used her recipes, but I like them cuz they’re super simple. For me, the less ingredients, the better.

My plate above features some zucchini noodles in avocado sauce, cabbage salad, spaghetti squash, cauli mash, turkey, green beans with mushrooms and onions, and a cauliflower egg casserole. Oh and I threw sriracha ALL OVER IT after I took this pic :)

The fam after everyone left. I made Jackelyn, Nick, and Sam do a Tik Tok with me and guys – I think they’re hooked.

The next morning, Jackelyn and I went Black Friday shopping. On my computer. We asked George what he thought of these new skinny jeans I wanted to get from Reformation.

He said they looked ok. I bought em anyway :P

SPEAKING of buying things, have you guys gotten your POPFLEX YET!!?? Remember, the entire site is 40% OFF minus the 2020 stationery. So like, this outfit right here that I wore to hot yoga last night – 40% OFF!!!! Use code “gimme40” on popflexactive.com.

OKAY. NOWWWWWW are you ready for your December Workout Calendar!!??? Look how cute it is!!!

Download JPEG | Download PDF

What’s new this time around is that I am providing the LINKED PDF for you! So that means you can download it and click on the videos and it will take you to the YouTube video of the day.

I got rid of the check off feature on the blog because it was making the site run slow, so I hope you don’t miss it too much!

Here’s what you week will look like:

SUNDAY: Unlimited Upper Body
MONDAY: Brilliant Booty
TUESDAY: PIIT Stop!
WEDNESDAY: Absolutely Abs
THURSDAY: Toned Total Body
FRIDAY: Take it Easy!
SATURDAY: Luminous Legs

If you’re new to the monthly calendars, this is how it works!

  1. Click on the hi res link to download the calendar and print it out for your wall or save the PDF so you can click on the videos of the day. It’ll take you directly to the YouTube video!
  2. Do each video once (unless otherwise stated)

If you’re looking for a plan to jumpstart your own 90 day journey, start with this month’s workout calendar! Or if you want to ease into working out, check out my Beginner’s Calendar. It’s a free 4 week program to get you stronger, so that you can join in on the monthlies!

There you have it guys. The FINAL calendar of 2019.

Who’s ready to CRUSH December!!?????

A REALLY GOOD Paleo Pumpkin Muffin Recipe!

By | Food, Next 90 | 13 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Today we are going to have a Friendsgiving at work. Everyone made a dish for our lil Blogifam potluck! Currently salivating as I write this. I CAN’T WAIT TO EATTTTTT.

Also, I am proud to tell you that I totally redeemed muffin making disaster from the other night! Look what I made last night!

Isn’t she a beauty!?

And guess what, it tastes GREAT too. As in Sam-approved! Which means a lot because the other day he tasted my healthy pumpkin pie and told me he didn’t like it – I literally almost cried lol.

So here’s my recipe for…

PALEO PUMPKIN MUFFINS!

INGREDIENTS (makes 12):

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 canned cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Line muffin tin with liners.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  4. Bake for about 30 min or until top looks slightly browned and glazed over.

NUTRITION INFO:

  • 149 calories per muffin
  • 10 g carbs
  • 11 g fat
  • 6 g protein

MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the disaster the other night! See guys, never give up. You’ll get it eventually!

Taste wise, it’s super duper moist and the flavor profile is just right. Not overly sweet at all. In my opinion, my ideal muffin. Plus there’s ZERO added sugar in this recipe, which makes me feel very happy. So, this muffin recipe is perfect for anyone who is paleo, Whole30, gluten free, or dairy free.

My recipe was inspired by Seeded at the Table’s Almond Flour Banana Muffins which uses apple sauce instead of pumpkin puree and cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice. I love looking up recipes, using them as a base, and then giving them my own twist!

To my Americans, are you ready for Thanksgiving? Will you be cooking, hosting, or just eating ;P ?

Also!! Don’t forget, Black Friday is happening RIGHT NOW on POPFLEX! GO CRAY!!!