Ceremony of the Soul

I usually spend winter solstice reflecting and once the New Years bell rings I’m refocusing. I’ll ask myself…

  • What do I want to create?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • How do I want to SHOW UP in this new year?
  • How will I improve?
  • Why is this important to me?

December in the PNW is a combination of chill and rain, lots of rain. I’ve grown accustomed to the clouds and learned to stick to my plans regardless of the liquid sunshine. On this particular day the sun made it through. Which is perfect because every year during winter solstice we join the Nisqually Tribe to welcome the change. [Scroll down and watch part of the ceremony.]

It’s a two day celebration called Winter Moon and the McCloud Ohana have been the caretakers of this ceremony for many years.

Solstice

A time just before great change, for example summer solstice is the longest day in the northern hemisphere signifying abundance, harvest and beauty. Meanwhile winter solstice is the catalyst to regeneration, self-reflection and rejuvenation. It’s also the shortest day of the year.

Our inner being understands solstice and change which is why we look at the new year as a chance to regenerate and start over. We’re wired to do this.

During this time the Elders share their wisdom and we reflect on their words.

Success

Good things come to those who pay attention to their inner voice. If you remove the distractions, blinking lights and phone chimes to focus on…

What do you desire in the new year?

What do you need to make it happen?

When will you start?

Mack and Joyce McCloud have been hosting this for generations and taught their children to carry on. The two pictures above are the two of them.

Healthy body comes from a healthy mind.

Start by taking time to nurture and listen to the cravings of your soul. Then make a food and fitness plan for the coming year. Don’t spend a dime on workout equipment or nutritional products until you answer the questions I posted above.

After everything is done the children hang god’s eyes in the trees to decorate them for the new year.

Commit to a plan once you’ve

  1. Completed a self-reflection session. (Basically answer the questions above.)
  2. Designate time towards intentional movement.
  3. Assign someone to be your accountability partner.

Above all keep your word! Do not break the promise you make to yourself. Whatever you choose to do in the near future be consistent to show-up for yourself, even when the going gets tough and you want to give up.

Generational

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to all of you beautiful MANA Wahine out there! Just keep moving.

https://youtu.be/pBzh6v9ChjY

Hacking Holidays

So I’ve been MIA but with legitimate reasons, listed below, but what brought me back to the game (so to speak) is my Luv of food and sharing. In fact I’ve involved my children on this quest to fight the COVID bulge and hack the holiday eating frenzy. It’s back to food, fitness and family on MANA WAHINE FITNESS.

Here goes my, “Where I’ve been” and “What’s happening” list.

1. I didn’t know if I had anything left to share in this space.

2. Started working at a school creating, developing and co-hearting a program for preK-12th. (I’ll share a video below.)

3. Wrote an E-Book and didn’t know what to do with it after publishing. Walk Inn Beauty

4. Played around with a podcast Walk Inn Beauty and haven’t touched it in awhile.

5. Raising 7 children (4 are teens) and co-homeschooling with my husband.

It’s my WELCOME BACK 🥳 to blogging, which I missed.

I’m still teaching Zumba and my online classes are so much fun. I even bought new gear to celebrate the new sessions.

I started LUNCH & LEARN sessions via Facebook group. Keep reading, I have a simple wild rice 🌾 recipe.

Good Vibes

Tried VLOGMAS for a couple of days and it turned out pretty good. (pictures below) I talked my teenagers into joining me and they did a fantastic job. Speaking of youth, they currently join me during my online sessions since we turned our Ohana living room into a dance studio. Lol.

Christmas Vibes (Part 1)

Christmas Vibes (Part 2)

How to make a Kanakaloka

How to make a Ninja Elf


Fit Foodie

The BEST holiday hack is to meal prep because the goal is to jump into 2021… seriously! The sweet temptations are everywhere so you have to arm yourself with good food. So add that extra fiber and plant based proteins because the more you prep the easier it will be to say no.

Wild rice with greens and salmon.

It’s literally the same three ingredients styled differently. I adore these containers from ELLO and bought several at Costco.

Wild Rice: A mix of protein and fiber, low in calories. Contains Manganese an antioxidant, it aids in keeping the mitochondria in your cells healthy.

Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Broccoli & Purple Cabbage: You’ve seen those salad bag mixes at Costco and Cash & Carry. They’re time savers because one bag can do so much!

I added can salmon, not my usual choice but I was trying to create from a menu that could live in your pantry. Everything except the salad could keep for months. Video tutorial on the link below. Enjoy

https://youtu.be/l_ivTRRszQQ


Teaching

This picture is in the gym at Chief Leschi Schools of the Puyallup Tribe, a PreK to 12th grade establishment.

I started fitness sessions back in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit. It was a way for teachers to keep moving and stay positive. My initial goal was to remain active until the students returned… but that didn’t happen. (Yet)

So far several of us have continued but I’m really concerned about the students. Every time I see them on screen 👩🏻‍💻 sitting back, sedentary and aloof I get worried.

If you have any ideas please comment.

3 Changes 2 Better


I’m always learning and processing. Especially when confronting uncomfortable change. When I first started teaching STRONG By Zumba® I was way out of my league, but I wanted change. 

Being a mother of seven [7] I didn’t want to look like I gave birth to seven. I wanted to be healthy enough to play soccer ⚽️ with them.  Hike and create an active lifestyle. 

My goal was to embrace where I was and suffer through the workout, to be STRONG. Happily, I no longer suffer through the workout because my body is conditioned to flow with it. 

Here’s what I did in info-pic form…

[PS: Comment if you want to dive into a life changing experience of your own.]


Get my post: How to get over a fear-of-success. You can expect a questionnaire and resources. Start living your fit life today. 

Hula Fitness: Old School


There’s no school like old-school! Especially with all the fitness trends that are spinning out of control. When I run into a new dance fit craze I check to see…

  1. Who’s culture has this evolved from?
  2. What is their claim to fame?
  3. How can the average person benefit from it?

However there’s one dance style, that in it’s OG form, you would have to be at the peak of your game. In other words are you physically, mentally and emotionally ready to take on Hula? [OG: slang for original gangster.]

In it’s original form you were expected to devote your life to memorize song genealogy. Talk about fitness for the mind. And practice for hours on the sand in the heat of the day. Truly physical and grueling. Finally, portray the story through facial expressions which connects the viewer to the soul of that particular Hula. Fitness for the mind, body and soul. 


A typical practice might be an hour of basic steps followed by learning or perfecting a song. Each step has an origin and each Kumu [teacher] has their preference. Basically it’s similar to martial arts. Each form has a purpose and you can add them together to create fight sequences. But in this case it’s choreography.


Speaking of martial arts there was a time when a student devoted their life to the craft. Yet, today I see 3 year olds with black belts. The practice became diluted with the lure of quick and easy. Form, history and protocol went right out of the window. This is what I see happening to Hula, but it can be so much more.


This past weekend I taught a session during 3 DAYS OF ALOHA in Vancouver, WA. The participants danced their muscles into a tired and happy frenzy. The Na Kumu [teachers] are some of Hawaii’s finest. 


If  your Kumu tells you to hold a position you don’t ask, “How long?” You just do it. And heaven forbid you have to do the Hula sequence over and over again. But if you do make sure you’re smiling. 😅😃


Why do we torture ourselves? For the Love of Hula and the gift of storytelling. If you truly want to challenge your fitness levels while maintaining grace and finesse learn to Hula. Seek out a Kumu with an amazing history and genealogy. 

Hula is fitness when taught by a master and practiced daily. It doesn’t need to be diluted or modernized to techno-beats. Hula is both art and fitness uniting. This is MANA: strength that is generational. PEACE Be the Journey 🙏🏽

3 Fit Summer 💦 activities you can do.

I have an active household and majority of what we do is accomplished together. My husband and I talked about sports and extracurricular activities and how it would affect our family. In the end we didn’t want to be too busy being busy. The thought of driving around hysterically trying to make practices, events & meetings would drive me crazy.  Then I had a brilliant idea 💡…

I’m a fitness professional, I should just host events that they can participate in! 


So I worked with my STSTAHZ (also fitness instructors) and coordinated a summer Sistahz Session. Here’s three (3) other types of fitness events you can host. (Remember to keep it simple, the goal is to promote healthy movement.)

  1. BBQ & Basketball 🏀 Host a mini-basketball tournament. Maybe a 3:3 session for 15min spurts. Everyone brings meat to grill and choose a grill-master. While the meat is grilling everyone else plays. WINNERS get to make their plates 1st and go to the front of the line. [Parks are perfect for this event.]
  2. Field Day & Fiesta 🏆 Set up mini-obstacle courses & games in your backyard. Then invite your guest to bring fiesta type foods. Ingredients to build-a-burrito, nachos or tacos. 🌮  It’s basically a potluck with a purpose. You play than you eat.
  3. Splash & Subs 🌯 Basically its similar to #2 except everyone is bringing ingredients to create their own sub-sandwich or meat wrap. However the activities are water associated. Games like water-balloon-toss or dodge-ball with water balloons. Maybe add a sprinkler obstacle course. 


For my event I used the studio on a normally closed day, Sunday. It was a 90-minute workout and potluck. This was my third Sistahz Session and each time I see new faces. I introduced STRONG By Zumba and ran a full set. It was fun. In the end we sweated and smiled! It was worth the planning!!! 

If you need help scheduling things out start the free course BALANCED BABE on my holistic fit website.


Above is the digital flier I created to promote my STRONG class. Find a STRONG class near you. Click here.

Beautiful Body – Day 5 & 6

Eating clean, going organic, meal prep are examples of lifestyle choices. They say that much of our diseases today are preventable. If that’s the case then what are we doing to add vitality, energy & beauty?

Side note: I use to work as a chiropractic assistant and noticed that over time a person could change the health of their body. After awhile I catagorized the patients into two groups the Doers and Do Not.

Doers: took the advice given, made changes, finished their treatment & I never saw them back. They often looked at their situation as a wake-up call and made some drastic changes. They only returned if they wanted maintenance care.

Do Not: crew wanted the doctor to fix them, didn’t know how they became unhealthy, didn’t change their lifestyle and wanted a perscription instead of adopting healthy habits. Even after the doctor tried 1:1 coaching.

If you’re reading this then you are a Doer. We are walking this path together and you have arrived just in time. 💙

Make space for your healthy habits to thrive. Much like the food board you created on DAY 3 & 4 you will need a visual reminder of your choices.

  • A basket or bin in the fridge or pantry makes it easy.
  • Prevents you from grazing into other foods that are on the no list.
  • Trains our brains to stay focused.
  • Works well in shared spaces.

Sabotage yourself into success! Minimize obstacles or remove them.

Foodie Fit: pasta alternatives while shopping at a local Korean store.

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Dance Fit: I like how Zumba brings people together from all over the world.

You’re not alone. Comment if you want feedback during your journey. 😃

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Beautiful Mind – Day 25, 26, 27

    
Desire is just the start but we all need motivation outside of our circle of friends. (Why?) Because a persons feelings for you can often cloud sound advice. Most times our friends don’t want to offend us since they have to live with us but a coach or mentor has nothing to loose. So what’s the difference between a mentor, coach & program?

Mentor is a wise advisor who can choose to take you under their wings in which case you become their protégé. They’ll mold and shape you into their version of a mini-me and you benefit from their years of experience, connections & unlimited wisdom. The downside is that you become their footstool for awhile but the upside is that you usually don’t have to pay for their assistance.

Coach is a person who will train you and provide motivation to get you to perform at your best. Often you will create such a strong bond that the choices you make will be based off your feelings of not letting them down.  You trust them and in return they will help you reach your goal. The downside is that you have to pay for their professional teaching and better coaches have a higher rate. The upside is their consistency and passion that drives us to the finish line.

Program is a Do-It-Yourself or DIY type of self motivated session. It’s often cheaper (or free) and can consist of worksheets, specific blogpost, monthly challenges, journal entries, app or private web pages for accountability. There’s little to no conversation unless you initiate a discussion. The downside is that you can feel alone in the process but the upside is that you might not want someone up in your business and you want to take your time.

You get what you pay for.

How to choose? Time is money, you’re paying for their time and attention. The difference is similar to private school vs public school and the outcome depends on your participation. (Private school classrooms aren’t as crowded yet public schools are often over-crowded.) Another comparison is personal trainer vs fitness app where both are helping you stick to your plan but the greatest difference is the accountability. It really is based off of how much attention do you want and are you willing to pay for it. 

  • Write down your big goal.
  • Research options according to price point.
  • Choose one that fits your budget, lifestyle & goal setting.
  • Enroll and get started.

Use your gut or intuition when choosing a mentor, coach or program. 

When is it too much? If the trainer is making you feel uncomfortable or incompetent then pull the plug. If you’re putting in all the effort and are lacking results. If they constantly are adding new fees or additional charges and you feel like their ATM. If you notice a characteristic that offends you. (Always looking at your… earlobes. Lol)  Reconsider this transaction and find a better fit for you.

Foodie Fit: I LIKE 💜 making sushi & kawaii bento boxes for my Ohana (family) this is one of the people I subscribe to. (Japanese have amazing way of making lunch fun.)

Dance Fit: Gina (Grant) Wonder is a Zumba fave 💚

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Beautiful Mind – Day 22

  
Tiding up that busy mind takes practice but with this simple exercise you’ll make it happen. You can do this on a regular basis to help you plan out your activities from most important to least. You can post your feedback in the comments.

  1. This is also known as a brain dump and the idea is to make a list of everything that you need to do.
  2. Then grab a marker for each category and circle the word that corresponds.
  3. Finally, rewrite that list but in columns: Self-care, Family, Work, Fun, Give.
  4. If there are words left without a category you can decide to trash it (because that thought doesn’t serve you) or release it (there might be things on your list that isn’t your responsibility.
  5. What category has the most? Least? Which one would you like to do more in? Least? Are you surprised by your list?

From the new list, step 3, you can create a schedule around that things that matter most. However, be careful of the rabbit holes or the thoughts that take you away from your purpose. I truly hope that fitness is on your list.

Foodie Fit: oh yum it’s curry!

Dance Fit: one of our fave Zumba educators. Follow him on Instagram and see the world.

Become a catalyst for positive change.


As always I hope you like, subscribe & share this months BEAITIFUL MIND challenge. PEACE be the Journey.


Sharing something I did with a few friends this weekend.

Beautiful Mind – Day 21

  
Our mind is like a garage because we can stuff it with anything. What do you contain? Are you organized with shelves or renovated into a home gym? Are there boxes from 1975 stacked beneath 2013? 

Take a few minutes and start to empty things out through your writing. The purpose of this exercise is to notice what’s there and eventually organize it. (Organizing will happen tomorrow so don’t loose your paper.)

Dance Fit: I remember learning this routine at a Zumba Convention. 

Foodie Fit: ever wondered about squash and how to cook it?

  
You can make a difference, start sharing this BEAUTIFUL MIND challenge with a friend or loved one. Setup a specific time to work on it or to checkin with each other. Maybe organize a girl group and use the daily prompts as guide. 

You can also post in the comments to make your thoughts known in the universe. And thank you for joining this journey. 

Peace be the journey.

Remember to like, subscribe & share.

Beautiful Mind – Day 17, 18, 19

  
Originally I planned to have these three prompts delivered on separate days but that didn’t flow right. Since one thought is the momentum into the next. Do your best to complete it in one sitting or all together. 

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

I would prefer Be the change that you WANT to see in your life. If we all start small & within ourselves what an amazing world we will (eventually) create. When you look at the word “world” it may seem overwhelming but when you think about “my life” that feels doable.

You can’t change anyone’s habits, personalities or life-style but you can change yours. I’ve noticed that people who take responsibility for their current situations are able to be the change they desire to see. 

Foodie Fit: did you say cucumber?

Dance Fit: this is old school but still a fave.