Trips

Traveling is food for the soul

On my way back to Chicago, summing up another trip filled with positive energy, sun, friends, training and meditation time to clear my mind about indecisions that were laying still and weighting heavily in my head. I consider myself a "go-getter", I believe in fate but I don't rely my life on it, I think when there is a will there is a way, action planning and hard work are the keys. I like to travel because I find it very stimulating, every trip leaves me with bigger motivation and desire of optimizing my time and life. I hate to waste time or spending it complaining or feeling unhappy. I like to find solutions. Traveling is really food for the soul, like a good book, it's nourishment for the mind. Being from Italy and been traveling since little, made me very interested in different cultures and habits, it got me more open-minded and willing to learn from others lifestyle, like kids at Halloween fill up their bags with the candy they like, I do the same with the things I learn, I put them in my own "experience bag" and with every travel, I do an estimate of where I am with my life, future plans, job, goals, where can I make improvement, what is lacking attention etc. You need to revision and update. Your life is never the same, it changes slowly but constantly, so it's good to take a moment sometimes and look at it objectively and ask yourself, am I happy? What can I do to improve my life? Are the people close to me happy? Do I have direct influence on their life? If so, you have to include them into your decisions and thoughts. So my soul feels full and smiling, like a fat Buddha ;)

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Think simple, think now

When I was little I remember having a view on life extremely simple (of course!) where my parents basically were everything for me and all I wanted to do was play with what was around (sand, trees, rivers, grass... everything was so interesting!), then growing up year by year I discovered more things and meet more people, found new interests, fell in love, travelled, learned more about myself and what I wanted to do as an independent adult. The beautiful thing of it all is that I never forgot that long time ago I was a little girl with a very simple view on the world and a great curiosity. Now when I see a picture of me at 6, 10, 16 yo, it amazes me that I still remember how I was FEELING and THINkiNG at that age. Growing up I discovered that life wasn't always simple and easy, problems, stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, those were the new feelings I was encountering, along with passion, motivation, satisfaction, freedom; like a scale, life was putting on the plates equal good and bad things, but now I can say mostly good :) While I approach my thirties (next year!) I'm realizing every day more how much I like my life better as I get older. I have no desire to get old in my body, but my mind get wiser and I'm more confident with my life choices. I still have in the back of my mind that little me, when I feel down I listen to her. She still sees life in a very simple way and remind me that most of my worries are not big deals, if there is a problem there is also a solution. When I try to keep that outlook on life, I'm more positive and focused in the present. Present time is what really matters, because the past is gone and the future is not here yet. So while sometimes we let ourselves get lost into negative emotions, make an effort to shake them off and think as you did when you were a child. That child in you has the best outlook on life!

Btw, I just got to Vegas, will post more about my visit in the next days ;)

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Bathroom art... and burgers

During my stay in Chicago I got to eat at this super cool place with my hubby called Kuma's Corner, it looked like a punk bar with really loud rock music, famous for burgers... I never had a real good burger beside one time in Miami when I was 13 (my first cheeseburger!) and I was curious to try one here. It was LEGENDARY... big thick meaty burger with onions, mushrooms and avocado. I ate only one part of the bun which was insanely good (pretzel bun!) and I thought I was going to explode. How delicious!!! Here's a picture of one of their famous burgers

how the hell can you eat THAT??

But one of the things that caught my attention the most was... the bathroom lol.

I couldn't help it but taking some pictures of it... tell me if this is not artistic!

Leaving Miami

I started packing this morning, and I couldn't help it but feeling a big knot in my stomach. Leaving Miami has always been impossible for me. Since the moment I got here in February 2006 I felt a magic connection with this place, like I had found where I needed to be. I experienced my personal growth, learned to live by myself, fulfilled my desire of adventure, discovered what I love to do. I left Miami only twice: one time because I wanted to see California and how was living there- after few months though I was missing Miami so badly I came back. The other time I left Miami and I moved to Las Vegas. Not only it was too crazy for me, but also I couldn't stand to live in the desert surrounded my nothing.

Next week I'm moving again to Vegas. Lol!

So of course you might be asking yourself, "why the hell??"... Well this time is different. If before my travels were dictated by a deep desire of adventure and new, now it's more because of someone I met. Yes, this mysterious someone lives in Vegas and I usually would NEVER just LEAVE and GO like this, but I spent a pretty good amount of time with him and we get along very much. I felt sick of Miami and being by myself all the time, so I decided it was worth the risk: I want to see if I can live with another person in a crazy place like Vegas.

I know what Miami can give me: FREEDOM (which is what I love the most about it) a car-free life, nature, ocean, sun, awesome weather, amazing places- and closer than any other US place to my Italy. But that's just about it. I didn't find love or job opportunities or any other chances to grow. I think Miami gave me a lot, but its time to let it go. I have the feeling I kept "pushing" to be here lately, but I wasn't that happy as before. I need to leave this paradise and keep growing somewhere else. And it looks like it will be Vegas with a new guy :)

I know one day I will be back. I love you Miami!!!!!!

 sunset on the bay

 happy me in 2008 :)

Olympia and happy times in Vegas

Once again I found myself in Vegas, I lost the count of how many times I came here this year, for a reason or another... Olympia weekend is happening now, this is my third time and I'm finding it less and less appealing... even if I always enjoy the Expo crowd and excitement you feel in the air, it's the same thing each time. I have similar feelings about competing, I did it in the past (Model, Figure), it's fun at first but it gets old, unless you're making a career out of it. I guess I'm moving on with my life and my concept of fitness is evolving into something not just physical but spiritual, I feel the urge to be confortable in my skin as in peace with my thoughts and include variety in my days and future prospectives. I'm not saying I'm growing apart from loving training, clean eating, modeling etc, I'd never be bored of them especially the first two because they made me who I am. I will always train and eat clean to support my health and training results, I just want to implement, add, enrich my life with experiences beside fitness.

I feel bad because I haven't been blogging for long, but so many things are happening in my life and I couldn't find some quiet time to just sit and write it out, all I can say for now is that I'm HAPPY.

It's funny how sometimes you spend months or years doing same things day in day out, then in a matter of few days/weeks everything gets switched up! But only if you are open to life and willing to give opportunities a try ;)

I promise I'll post more about my staying in Vegas, now I just wanna share this funny pic I took today, I was racing in the parking lot of the grocery store like a maniac lol

I get content with little... just take me grocery shopping ahah

Talk soon!

Trip to Toronto, Overxxxposed and back to Miami

I just got back from my 4 days trip to Canada, and I gotta say I didn't want to leave. I've really grown closer to my Canadian friends and it made me think quite a bit about Miami and the people I know here. I consider myself attached to very FEW ones, and after 5 years this seems little weird. But living in South Beach is like this, you enjoy the weather, nature, beach and overall environment the most, when it comes to people though it's pretty shallow. Some are tourists, some just come and go, some are superficial, selfish, money oriented, the rest are good people who seem always too busy for anything out of their routine... eventually I fell in that category I think! Anyway, going back to my Canadian time, I had a blast spending time before, during and after the Overxxxposed show, the main reason of my trip. I could see what it means to organize from scratch an event, set up an art gallery, stage, lights, bar, food, licenses, invitations and all the thousands details a show requires. Its a LOT of work. And I was glad to be there and help a little :)

The Overxxxposed show, for those who don't know it, is an event where fashion (ligerie/bikini), erotic photography and sexy art meet, I suggest you to check out the website :) Each Overxxxposed differs one from another, this one was definitely more focused on the art and exposition, more intimate with a smaller crowd, yet another success. The one before in February looked more like "Vegas Rehab", ahah crazier for sure. I didn't miss a chance to jump on the pole this time as well, you might have seen some pics on my facebook page lol

     

I was very happy to see friends like Vasko Obscura, Randal Martin, Jeremy Shortt and all the other great photographers who were there.

As in any GOOD party, someone at a certain point started to throw up, and it sounds odd but the scene inspired a drawing I did on the plane on my way home lol

There will be more footage of the event coming up. You definitely should attend the next one!

Lastly, a funny pic Paul Buceta took one morning while I was attacking the fridge... what a b...reakfast ;)

Now I'm gonna be in Miami for the rest of summer, I have friends and my mom visiting, I'll spend my time as tour guide lol, between beach and local attractions :) my training instead will be mostly weights, some cardio, pole dancing and floor work, stretching and foam rolling.

Hope u having a great summer!

Time away

I've been neglecting my blog for the last two weeks and I feel awful about it, I was away from my routine and traveling much that it has been almost impossible to find some quiet time for me to gather my thoughts and blog.  I adapted my training to traveling schedule so I kept the most important sessions of cardio and weights for a total of six sessions a week (treadmill sprints, stepmill sprints and outside run + back, shoulders and legs training). I had to modify my diet as well and the end result has been lots of salads, raw veggies, chicken, fish, egg whites, cottage cheese 0% and a shit load of rice cakes and peanut butter LOL. Also my Recipes e-book #2 is on hold and I promised myself to finish it ASAP. Just wanted to do a quick update so you know I'm still alive ahah...

Talk soon, this weekend!

 

 

Know your "stabilizing food"

I've been writing training and diet journals since 2004. I almost never read them back and sometimes I ask myself what's the point of keep writing tons of diaries which are then stored and never opened. But yesterday I wanted to go through some of them to analyze my "diet patterns". I switched diet throughout the years, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worst (getting too skinny or eating too randomly or too much of certain things), but I found that, in times where I felt great mentally and physically, there were some food as "constants", which I was eating daily and they were "stabilizing" my mood, cravings and overall hunger. It looks like they are: Some sort of starchy vegetables, like winter squashes or sweet potatoes

Anything nut butter (but NOT peanut butter)

Oatmeal

And veggies, of course, but not lots of them.

Whenever I tried to diet without those, in a matter of days I was craving all sort of things, especially sweets. The interest thing is that I don't need like 2 cups of oatmeal or 3 sweet potatoes or a half jar of almod butter... I noticed that even a normal amount, like half cup or half potato or a tsp of nut butter, trigger a response in my brain, which says like "thanks, got it, I feel good even if its little". Call it sensory satisfaction, portion control went well lol... But it works. Yesterday I had the proof of it, had them all in right amounts, and felt SATISFIED. Its been so long I haven't feel constantly hungry, wanting to stuff myself. And I felt so good, much lighter and alert. Even when I used to fill my belly with fibers and vegetables, I wasn't satisfied, almost noxious at times. I'm not suggesting find a food you like and have a little (ah ah! Too easy ;) no cookies, ice cream or fries my friends) but find those two or three healthy items that you know you CAN control (I can't control peanut butter, so that's out) and have them daily. They should come from carbs or fat, nutrients we tend to avoid, which on the long run we inevitably crave for. Even when I was leaning out to the extreme, I NEVER had to renounce to my half cup oats or tsp of nut butter.

On a side note, reading my old diaries was quite interesting. The weirdest thing is, depending on what I was eating during a certain time of my life, I can recall all sort of memories-totally not related with food. For example, if you ask me "what were you doing May 2006, from the 10th to the 20th?" I can give you a pretty good idea of my mood, feelings, who I was seeing etc. Just by reading my diet!

This tells you how much mind and food are connected. I think in the future I see myself not only as a personal trainer but a psychologist or life coach lol. If you make peace with your mind, everything else follows. If your mind is stuck, undernourished, constantly deprived, stressed, get ready to crash, soon or later.

I'm halfway my recipe ebook, I'm making sure it will be special and with not the same old "you find it everywhere online" stuff. Ok done for now, talk soon!

PS: attaching some fun shots from 23rd May at Rehab, Vegas... party hardy!!! :P

           

Family and trees

I had a great 1h run this morning, I went first to the park, did 3 laps and then kept running through Milan's main streets. Once home I got ready to go visit my dad and Grandma, but first I had my breakfast: cooked oats and wheat bran on a bed of egg whites, a green apple

My dad and my Grandma live a little outside Milan, close to Lecco's lake. We went out for lunch, the day was beautiful

I'm getting so spoiled with the food... I'm not "cheating", I don't really need or want actually, because look at this, so delicious and healthy... who needs to cheat?

After lunch we went to my Grandma's home and since she got a real big cherry tree, me and my mom started picking up some cherries

... and I couldn't help myself but playing the "Cherry Goddess"

and best, the "Ass Tree"

LOL

I laughed a lot, had such a relaxing time... I already know I will miss all this. When I'm away I kinda get used to not see my family, but once I'm with them, it feels like I "never left", I realize what an unbreakable bond we have... nothing ever will set us apart. Family is one of the strongest forces that exist, the purest, unconditional love :)

"What sport do you play?"

This morning I gave myself another day to rest and went for a walk with my mom. I already miss my training, but I know I had a lot going on in my routine lately with my diet changes and travels, so I guess I can benefit from two days off. I like how in Italy we don't have big stores to buy everything, but tiny little shops, like the bakery, butcher, newsstand, stationery store etc. Here I'm at the newsstand, we buy everyday the news magazine, no matter internet etc we like to "hold the paper"!

We checked out some shops and I feel weird to walk around because I have so much more muscles comparing to ANYONE here, and it's not unusual to be asked if I'm a professional athlete or something. Well it happens in Miami too lol, but less often. Sometimes I say Volleyball, Tennis, or just the truth, I LOVE to workout...next time I'll say I play SUMO wanna see the reaction. LOL

Then I really wanted to check out some MAC products so we went and bought some stuff. I love MAC!

Once we got home I couldn't help myself but take a picture of the elevator...it's such an OLD, SLOW, SMALL one you wont believe it. It comes down with ROPES and looks like a CAGE...lol

For lunch I had two whole wheat friselle ( sort of wheat cakes), bresaola (a lean type of ham), a taste of mozzarella (fuck it! So amazing), salad with basil and my favorite tomatoes :)

our basil

Mr Tomato!

I just had a tea and my mom has this fantastic thing which filters the water and boils it afterwards... super cool. How comes I never seen it in US?

Talk soon... now going out with my city bicycle... I have one in any part of the planet ahahah!

A casa mia

Finally! After 10 hrs flight and other several ones of waiting... I got in Milan. My mom knows how to make me happy! She bought me egg whites, fresh tomatoes, songino salad, grilled chicken with curry salt... oh and my favorite tuna!!!

I fasted while on the plane, ate at home and all I could do after lunch was this

that's our dog Rocky :) wondering who's that girl?? (With DAT A**?Lol)

I was so exhausted but excited at the same time, everything is so different, feels like Miami is Wonderland and here is so much more "real"... real city life, busy, traffic, old buildings, streets, every corner reminds me a piece of my past, I really LIVED every part of this city.

A friend of mine came for dinner, my mom prepared a delicious shrimp salad

Today I think I'll just go around do some grocery, getting used to jet lag, see my dad and maybe other friends. Tomorrow I wanna go run for cardio and train!!!

Cheers for now, just had my oats, green apple and eggwhites. I suspended carb cycling for now. I will still be low carb and low fat, but not so low on carbs as I was doing with cycling. Here's the breakfast table, look at my special "cow cup" :)

Vegas wrap up: REHAB survival and day 10, 11, 12

My Vegas week ended and I'm on my way back to Miami, it has been a crazy, fun, memorable time... Feels like a day ago that I got here and did this video! Friday I got to train legs in the morning and had another LATE night out clubbing...till 9.30 am lol (It's Vegas baby!) and since I wanted to go to Paul's pool party I thought I could just go straight there, if I was gonna rest a bit home I doubt I'd ever woke up... Thankfully was my HIGH CARB day! So on my way to the pool party I stopped to a grocery store and grabbed breakfast: multigrain bread, sugar free jelly and greek yogurt. You have NO IDEA how hungry I was, how much I enjoyed it! With a cup of coffee of course ;)

"the morning after" face

I was so tired but I really wanted to go to Wet Republic (MGM Hotel), where the party was held. My friend Claudio (my angel!) came get me at the store like a package lol, and took me there. Unfortunately though I had forgotten my ID at home, so I went back to get it, by the time I got to the party there was a huge line already... So I decided to go home take a nap and try later in the afternoon. I had lunch at Peppermill, a famous Vegas breakfast spot, where I got an egg whites omelette and a plain old-fashioned waffle. More carby!

I got home at 2 pm, sore in my bones and joints... and it's funny because I fell asleep with a song from the club in my mind, the title totally fit the situation lol

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzvGKas5RsU]

Needless to say I never made it to the party! Slept forever. I can keep up with heavy training, but I'm a sucker at staying up all night... I had a lot of fun though ;)

Sunday morning, after almost 14 hrs sleep, I was fresh and ready for REHAB! Second pool party, at Hard Rock Hotel... I wasn't gonna miss this one. Had my low carb breakfast (back again on the low plan) which consisted of a green apple, cooked wheat bran and fat free cottage cheese. Shortly after I was out of the house hopping on a cab.

Rehab is the name of Hard Rock's pool, and it has quite a reputation. Basically if you make it till the end of the day, you officially survived the Rehab experience immune, that is not so easy as you might think lol. When I told a friend of mine I was going there, he warned me: "Rehab? Watch out you can get pregnant just by swimming in the water"...oooooh got it!!!!

Anyway I met Paul and Kim and we start the process of checking in the pool (worst then the airport! Lot of things aren't allowed). We get in at 10.30ish, waiting for the rest of the group to join us. Some people, knowing how crazy the line would have gotten, were smart enough to DRAG themselves from wherever they were and collapse few hrs on the floor before the party started, like this guy

you made it, buddy.

As more people were getting in, the music started pounding and eventually the place got super crowded...it was INSANE! Something I'd never attend on a regular basis, since I don't party hard, drink etc, but why not for once, if you are  in Vegas, with super cool friends? :) We were such a kick ass group (Paul and Kim Buceta, Pat Ness, Fawnia Dietrich, Ashley Marie, Gianni Nicassio from Walk of the Earth Band and so many other which I apologize I can't name all)... Many "outsiders" joined our bed-spot, which became the loudest and with the most action above all :P

with Kim

welcome to the jungle

More pics to come!!!

The party didn't end till 7 pm... I had dinner with my girlfriend Ana in Planet Hollywood at Oyster Bay, where Claudio works and then went straight to bed.

Today off to the airport at 4 am! I feel dead tired, but very HAPPY, like my heart is filled with beautiful memories and people I love. I can't stress enough how important it is to have good people in your life, they really make a whole difference... It's ok to be by yourself but never forget the value of love and friendship, its the life's "juice".

Looking forward to the next trips!!!

Nightlife has a price!

I'm writing this post from a laying down-coma position and its 3pm...Let me state this first: I'm NOT a party person. You won't believe it but I almost NEVER go out in Miami, I'm too much into my routine of training and diet and as you know sleeping plays an essential role which can't be underestimated when following this lifestyle. So yeah, I'm one of those people who doesn't give a damn to go sleep at 9pm on Saturday night.

BUT

I also agree on having exceptions, those "let yourself go/live your life" situations. Which doesn't mean to get drunk, have random sex, pig out on diet, do drugs and such (at least IMO). I'm still trying to figure what "let yourself go" means, but I think to me is having few occasions out of the ordinary, like nights out, with good music, people, laughter and such... Which other place better than Vegas for this? As long as you know how to handle it ;)

Yes my first night out was definitely a good one- my lovely body didn't see a mattress untill 6.30am, had some vodka & sugar free Red bull on empty stomach which I decided to consider a meal (was all ice!!! lol), I danced and laughed... My friend Claudio can testimony I was having a good time lol. I'm so NOT used to alcohol- even a tiny bit- so it was pretty funny ...this is Vegas from the hill before sunrise

Anyway, I'm paying the price of my fun today. Which consist of: Being hungry as hell Feeling like a truck run me over twice Knowing I'm wasting a day in bed, couch etc (but I made it out for a quick bike ride out!) Having to deal with a sore, angry, bloated body and sausage feet. But its all good! I'm happy. I'm holding tight on my diet (day 9!) And just taking it easy today. Tomorrow is training and God knows what Friday night holds ;)

a meal of today here

and an updated pic from yesterday-post high carb day. Notice i cut my hair!

Red eyes and day 7, 8

So I got to Las Vegas last night, and no matter how many times I've seen the "Strip" (the main long street aka Las Vegas Blvd, if you didn't know), its always breathtaking... The lights, the hotels, the atmosphere, the excitement you can feel in the air.

I'm here to visit friends and be at the famous Paul Buceta summer party :) I just think that "anything Buceta" can't be missed lol, from the Overxxxposed show, the parties, shooting, blogging, videos etc... he's a charismatic, fun, down-to-earth, creative person with talent, skills and surrounds himself with people just like him. So whatever he does, I support, lol big fan here!

My friend Claudio picked me up at the airport with flowers (aww!) and took me to my girlfriend Ana's place...its so nice to stay with her, we know each other since two years almost and spent lots of good time together when I used to live here. We even got sick together last New Year's Eve spending the time in bed lol!!!

As far as my diet experiment, all under control. Yesterday I had a moment I was gonna blow it, tired, waiting for my flight, hungry etc... But I sucked it up, ate my food, had some diet coke and a gum to calm the hunger. Other 3 days low carbs and cals done! But not 1000 cals this time, I trained more and had on average 1350.

Today I woke up pretty tight and I got in another high carb day, to give you an idea, that's what I ate: egg whites, oat bran and an apple. Then about 300gr whole wheat bread with raisins, turkey ham. Cup of brown rice with brussels sprouts, boy choy and chicken, 1 oz carrot cake (no icing, butter or bad stuff in it). A piece of watermelon and pineapple. I'll have another meal with carbs and that's it. As far as exercise, foam rolling, stretching and some light cardio outside.

Now trying to make up the 4 hrs of sleeping of yesterday, that was me little bit ago to fight "Las Vegas red eyes" lol