Tag Archives: books

Monday Updates!

Happy Monday! I first want to thank you all for following MoonFitness. I love each and every one of my readers and the messages I receive from you guys. I’ve had one of those weeks were SO many great things are happening, as well as some rough things. Every time one of you guys message me with a question or comment, I remember that I’m getting to do what I love and that feels absolutely fantastic. This post is a little short and sweet, but here are a few things going on with myself, as well as Moonfitness.

1. One of my awesome clients is a really great photographer and we had a whimsical photo shoot planned for a few months now and finally made it happen yesterday. Our “costumes” were seriously awesome and I’m pretty sure the pictures are going to come out great. No this was not a fitness shoot! Something more along the lines of Alice in Wonderland….and I’ll let you guess which character I am:)

976332_599281960082023_340959130_o2. I am reading two great books right now that I want to recommend. One is called Lights Out by T.S. Wiley and the other is called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.. You can buy these here and here. Lights Out is really enlightening on the subjects of sugar, sleep and health concerns. We eat more sugar because we have less sleep. We have abandoned nature’s natural clocks by tricking our bodies into thinking the extra sunlight is summer, and as we all know, most animals eat a lot of food in the summer so that they can hibernate safely in the winter when food is scarce. Our ability to produce artificial light at 2:00 in the morning tricks our bodies into thinking it’s just summer time, which means the more food the better. This is obviously not the case for us human folks. I hope I’ve caught your attention on the subject, and you’ll look into reading it yourself so that you can learn how to adopt nature’s natural cycles once more. The other book, The Four Agreements, is really short but also powerful. It’s about finding freedom from the world and other people’s words. One of the best things I’ve learned so far in this novel is to not take others’ seriously. Whatever cruel things they say are said because of THEM not me. Everybody speaks out of their own personal experiences and it has nothing to do with anybody else. I already feel a little bit more free from others.

3. I don’t have a lot of physical possessions that I really “love” but the few things I do, are all breaking. The things I care for the most are related to the kitchen and the gym, obviously. My phone broke last week, my ridiculously expensive headphones broke, a piece of my crock pot broke, my favourite purple water bottle that I carry everywhere with me broke, my gym iphone arm band broke and my only good knife broke. Am I stressed about this?! Yes, I’m human. But it’s a good reminder that things are just that, things. I can have a moment of self-pity and then move on because everything will be okay. I just have to make-do with what I have and focus on the things in life that are eternal:) Cause those won’t break on me! (oh and in case you follow me on facebook, this indeed doubled as a status update….I wrote it while I was slightly flustered).

4. My health coaching program has changed. I want to develop more personal relationships with my clients and really help them create life-long habits. One month is not nearly enough to do that, so I will now only have 3 and 6 month programs. A lot of communication will be involved in these programs, as well as individualized meal plans based on your schedule and personal needs/habits. Message me at madelynvmoon@gmail.com if you’re interested! The 3 month runs at $150/month and the 6 month program is $125/month.

5. I’m making bone broth for the first time right now and I’m super nervous and excited. I’ve never had to buy beef knuckles before, so that was fun. But I am cooking it in my crock pot, which is a lot smaller than the normal ones that are used to make broth so I don’t know if my water to knuckle ratio is spot on. I’ll keep you updated!

6. I’m writing my first article for Paleo Magazine and I recently wrote one for Austin Fit Magazine. Yay for writing for awesome companies!

7. Last week, I started writing about my obsessive tendencies in regards to health and fitness and how I’ve finally come to find balance in this lovely world of ours. I have covered a lot about my own past and where I am now, hoping that it will really help some others who have struggled to live in “moderation” instead of 100% all day every day about ONE thing. I love living a balanced lifestyle. I’ve stopped putting emphasis on having the perfect body and have started focus on having the perfect relationship with my body. If you have any concerns or personal issues you would like my to talk about, I’m open to suggestions. We all have a different story but we can still learn from others’ experiences.

8. Watch this for a laugh.

9. And click here to watch Ellen Degeneres stick up for women and put down Abercrombie and Fitch for their terrible tactics. (if you don’t know about the Abercrombie and Fitch controversy yet, this will be a good place to be enlightened).

10. In regards to the group I have been trying to put together for my What’s Beautiful campaign, there have been a lot of technical difficulties going on and I still have yet to be able to make one. Nonetheless, all of the goals I talked about in this post are still going strong! All of my chest exercises have been increasing and I feel major progression in my arms, even after a few weeks. Make a goal for yourself and join in on the fun! Let me know what yours is and we can keep each other updated on our progress:)

11. Last but not least, curry and cinnamon make an awesome combination, not to mention they both have insane health benefits. Try these two together on your yams, it’s awesome! Or maybe I’m just so super weird. Or possibly both? I don’t know but this is definitely a new obsession of mine.

Hope you’ve had a great start to your week!

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PaleoFX 2013 Recap

Wow. I just had an absolutely amazing weekend. In case you haven’t been keeping up with my posts on Facebook and Twitter, I just spent the past 3 days meeting some of the best and the brightest in the paleo community. I was a volunteer for the wonderful event and I was fortunate enough to be able to reap all the benefits of the events by attending lectures, watching cooking demonstrates, meeting extremely awesome vendors and of course, oogling all of my favourite paleo bloggers. If you know me, you know I love bloggers. Paleo food+ authors+bloggers+cooks+workouts+awesome people= the most perfect convention ever.

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The Paleo book station.image-47

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Ummmm yes. That’s Robb Wolf and Sarah Fragoso.

305247_10200980854784596_1865714654_n  Yup. Juli Bauer from paleomg.com…..I really embarrassed myself by bombarding her right as she was signing in but I was just so EXCITED. She’s one of my top favourite bloggers and I really couldn’t believe that I got to meet her. Such an amazing woman and really down to earth.

Little did I know at the time, standing next to her was the amazing George Bryant from Civilized Caveman. I had seen his pictures a few times but I didn’t even recognize him until I stared down his name tag. I got to listen to his transformation story and watch him and Juli do a cooking demo later in the weekend. Probably my two favourite parts of PaleoFX!883394_574156929270030_833520195_o

Also Nora Gedgaudas! Another amazing woman.

And then Thursday night, I got to attend the PaleoFX Hangout dinner, where we saw…

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Some white peacocks. And ate some…image-45

CRAZY DELICIOUS FOOD. This isn’t the best picture (I blame the dim lighting) but I had grass-fed lamb, kale, sauteed broccoli, parsnips-carrots-beets-in-ginger salad and roasted sweet potatoes. Basically, Thanksgiving for the health-conscious.

Day 2 I met Nell Stephenson, also known as the Paleoista….so incredibly nice. And girl’s got some guns.

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Saturday I heard an amazing panel about transformations.

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This one was definitely my favourite. They shared their stories and talked about some of the challenges they have had to face throughout their journeys. Most people probably think they have everything altogether but they definitely had to fight through some hard times and doubts to get where they are today. I was really glad to be in that room because it really inspired me and helped me to love my body every day, no matter if I’m at 10 % body fat, 6%, 17% or whatever.  Heck these guys don’t give a crap about body fat. They care about their health on the inside as well as the outside. They are mentally healthy and have their priorities right in life. Really awesome.

I also met some other really incredible people, including Jimmy More, DH Keifer, Able James Bascom, James Fitzgerald, Dr. Lauren Noel, Amy Kubal, Todd Dosenberry, Keith and Michelle Norris, attendees, and of course the other volunteers on my team. Overall I would say it was an incredible time and I’d love to help out again next year. If you want to read up on the speakers and visit their websites, click here.

So what else have I been up to? Well, a lot of homework, cooking, eating, working out, reading, writing and researching. That’s what. I’m not with my family for Easter which is a major bummer. Holidays just aren’t the same without family:(

At least I was a little productive though. I cooked up 20 lbs of chicken, a few sweet potatoes and I’m ready to hit the week. And GAME OF THRONES is tonight!!! Happy Easter everybody!

Things I’m Loving These Days

1. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa

539522_556463104372746_582619322_nOhhh sweet heavens. This stuff is a miracle. Have a serious love for dark chocolate but don’t want to eat it regularly? By this baby. It’s low calorie and just one tablespoon is enough for almost any recipe. I’ve been using it in my preworkout shakes and in my protein pancakes to satisfy my sweet tooth:)

2. Coconut Macadamia Herbal Teaphoto-33

I have a wonderful cousin who lives in Hawaii and she sent me this tea along with a bunch of new running/workout shorts and the next two Games of Thrones books! It was an awesome little care package to receive because if I remember correctly I was having a fairly rotten day. This tea is UHMAZING. It’s really tropical and fresh, definitely different from my normal green/peppermint/chamomile teas:)

3. Pyramid Sets
Y’all I feel like my legs are FINALLY growing after incorporating more pyramid sets. Like I said, I’m lifting heavier now and emphasizing on completing every rep extremely slow. It’s crazy what a different such a small change can make but since I’ve been making EVERY rep count, it’s started to speed up my progress BIG time. This goes for every body part but especially my legs. So far I’ve been doing pyramid sets mainly with squats, hack squats, leg presses and lying leg curls. Give it a go! (I’m doing 20, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3, 1)…by the last rep you should be lifting pretty freaking heavy!!

4. “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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Nerd alert. I’m in a Russian Science Fiction class this year and right now we’re reading this book. It’s the first dystopian novel ever written, even before Brave New World and 1984. You English majors out there (and hopefully non-english majors…) know what books I’m talking about and even though those are GREAT books, this one is pretty close up there. I’m halfway in (we only get 2 class periods to read it) so I’m rushing to hurry up and prepare for whatever paper I’m going to have to write over it shortly. Anyways, if you have some free time. Pick it up, you may just like it.

5. Applegate products
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OH my gosh. For all of you that include these products in your recipes, and I overlooked them I AM SORRY. This stuff is the bomb. Nitrate-free, all natural, no preservative turkey bacon and chicken and maple sausage. I have yet to venture into the world of real bacon but slowly and surely I’ll make my way there. I’m eating yolks now, so at least that’s progress! The more I study the paleo lifestyle, the more fats are becoming my friends. But for now, these turkey bacon strips seriously make my day. I have yet to try the sausage but I’ve always chosen sausage over bacon so I’m sure I’m going to love it just as much, if not more!

6. Grapefruit
grapefruit-6249Okay, I’ve hated grapefruit my ENTIRE life. Anybody in my family can vouch for this statement. While my sister would start her school mornings off by munching on a grapefruit, I demanded nothing but Raisin Bran. Healthy little child I was! But the key to anybody who doesn’t like grapefruit is to peel off the skin entirely. It takes time, but I’ve started a peaceful little morning ritual where I eat my grapefruit before my workout or class and slowly peel off the skin and listen to the some music or watch the Today Show. It’s really relaxing and has helped me to slow down and appreciate the start of a new day. Ironically, He and She Eat Clean just wrote a post about the health benefits of grapefruit and you can read it here!

7. Identity Thief
Identity-Thief-585x370You already know what it’s about- SO JUST GO SEE IT!

That’s all for now:) Stay tuned for a product review coming up soon. It’s an amazing new PROTEIN product that’s going to help a ton of you with your love for coffee creamer!!

Stuff I’m Loving Lately

1. Girls
girls-show-hbo-comedy-Okay. This show. Is great. If you’re a girl and find humor in the every day awkward moments of life and are cool with being uncomfortable 90% of the show, than you’re gunna love it. After watching the Golden Globes, I was intrigued by how much recognition this show got and decided to give it a try. The only bummer is that there’s only one season released and I can’t spend hours on end watching it cooped up in my bedroom.

2. Parenthood
parenthoodSecond best show in my life. I had heard some pretty great things about Parenthood and after just two episodes, I was hooked. Just like Girls, there’s so much truth and reality grounded in this show that I can see why it’s so popular. Every day for this huge family is full of coming-of-age challenges, sass-mouthing kids, parenting lessons and sibling chaos, all while making you laugh, cry and want to pull out your hair at the same time:) I love everything about it.

3. ACV Detox Morning Drink
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This is pretty much the ultimate metabolism-boosting-detox-digestion-helping drink ever. 1 packet of green tea, 1.5 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 packet of stevia, 1 tsp l-glutamine and a dash of lemon all in a warm mug of water. I’ve started drinking this in the morning with breakfast and I feel like it’s been doing wonders for me. Love it.

4. Pure Austin Fitness
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This ATX Gym is freaking amazing. Kayaking, rock climbing, pool, towel service, and then the only area that I will most likely be using- an awesome weight room. For me, a fresh start means a new gym. Typical Maddy Moon.

5. Game of Thrones books
Game-Of-Thrones-Season-1-602x602Love the show but the books are, of course, even better. I started reading the first one over winter break and I loved it but of course once school started I had to put it on the back burner and I haven’t been able to pick it back up. Once some more free time comes around, I’ll be finishing this one first and then devour the rest of the series.

6. Live Like A Warrior- Matisyahu Gatsby REMIX

It’s a little techno-ish but it’s a good workout song and I really love the lyrics. It’s one of those songs that says the exact thing you need to hear at that moment. The world often tries to distract you from what you really want in life and you just have to stay true to yourself and live like a warrior.

It Starts With Food

Listen up people. It’s a new year, it’s a new day and if you’re looking to change anything about your health you have to realize- it starts with food. 2013-01-03 00.39.29

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog and Facebook for a while, you probably know that I love to lift weights. I love to pick up heavy things and put them down. That’s just good ole fun! But when it comes to revealing your hard earned muscle, you’ve got to fuel your body correctly. Good, whole, clean food will trim your waist and bring definition to your muscles. Lifting weights will SHAPE your muscles but clean eating reveals them.
I was sent this book about a month ago in order to read and review it. I’ve been so busy with finals, family, workouts and holidays lately that I haven’t had much time to sit down and read. Two days ago I finally decided to dedicate a lazy day to reading this book and wow, I’m pretty sure I’ve never gobbled up a book so fast in my entire life. I’m an English major, so obviously I love to read, but unfortunately I’m a sloooowwwwwwwww reader and it can take me up to a month to get through some books. Sad:( But I’m already done with this book and even more impressively- it seriously impacted me. It made some amazing sense and if you’re into fitness, health and always striving to achieve optimum health, I recommend you pick this one up.
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It Starts With Food is about adopting a paleo lifestyle for 30 days to reset your body, mind, digestive track, taste buds and energy levels. For one month, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig suggest you cut out all dairy, alcohol, grains, legumes and sugars (no not fruit- the fake, artificial and processed junk!) By doing this, you will promote a healthy gut, psychological response, hormonal response and develop a better immune function and minimize inflammation. Now doesn’t that sound fantastic? For so long, people have been including crappy processed foods in their daily diets, inhaling sugars first thing in the morning, binging on beers to “relieve” stress, and relying on coffee to get through their typical work days. These same people face daily migraines, energy slumps, interrupted sleeps, cravings, bloating and digestive problems and probably poor immune systems. These poor people probably don’t realize anymore that these symptoms are not normal or natural. They have become so accustomed to tossing and turning at 3:00 a.m and their afternoon headaches that they don’t even think about finding a way to fix it.

What adopting a paleo lifestyle will do for you goes beyond losing weight. It will increase your energy as well as promote muscle growth (given that you continue to eat plenty of veggies and proteins). What I really like about this book is how they give you scientific backup to why cutting out certain foods would be beneficial to your health. There are reasons why legumes, grains, dairy and alcohol (duh) aren’t good for you but it’s not always obvious. Each chapter has a “summary” so you can recall everything you read about, they give you a list of “forbidden” foods and “acceptable” foods and provide a lot of information to help you make the transition. Of course, going cold turkey for a whole 30 days isn’t much of what most people would call a “transition”…so let me elaborate on what they want you to do exactly.
For 30 days you cut out those foods from your diet…completely. No cheats and no “slips” or else it won’t work. After the 30 days are over, you reintroduce one type of food at a time to see how your body reacts…if you even want to. So on day 31 you may include some milk, Greek yogurt and cheese into your diet and see how you feel. If you feel fine, you can continue to eat diary sparingly…if you don’t feel great, you cut it out altogether and live happily ever after. This program is all about finding your perfect balance. If you had more energy than you’ve ever had in your whole life, better sleep, and no more bloat than stick to the paleo diet- it’s obviously for you! If you miss peanut butter (no legumes, remember! peanuts are a legume!) too much and can’t handle the minor switch to almond butter, than maybe add it back in your diet. Either way, you’re learning about your body.
2013-01-03 00.40.33So now that I’ve received proper information on what the paleo diet means and how it can personally benefit me…I’m going to give it a try! In fact, we’re reaching the end of day 2 for me. I’m hoping that within the next month I’m going to see improvement with my digestion and muscles. If I don’t think I can lift the weigh I want to lift with this kind of diet than so be it…but I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case considering most crossfitters eat paleo because it supports their gains more than any other diet. The only thing I’m not 100% on board with is the amount of fat that’s recommended…. 1-2 servings per meal. I’m going to start cooking with olive oil and eating more avocados though, because without my oatmeal and brown rice my calories will be much, much lower and I need them high in order to put on some more muscle. So even though I love both peanut butter and oatmeal, I know cutting them out won’t be a problem if the benefits are great!
I hope this book looks interesting to you and you’ll do some research on your own to see if paleo may be for you:)

Some other good sites for information on going paleo are-

http://www.whole9life.com
http://www.paleomg.com
http://beta.primal-palate.com

Favourite Books of 2012

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a huge reader. I have a goodreads account, I go to the bookstore at least twice a week, I’m an English major and book signings are how I would prefer to spend my Saturday evenings. Being an English major is great fun but it also has its downsides. I was in three upper division English courses this semester, so each class had me reading several books at the same time. These aren’t exactly 21st century novels either. Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Matthew Lewis, Jane Austen and a lot of great classics. Though they’re all great, reading these “heavy” novels take up a lot of time and analyzing, which can leave me with no extra time to do pleasure reading. Since I have 20 something days till my next semester starts, I’m hoping to get in a few good books that I’ve been waiting to read. But, with that said, there were some GREAT books I read this year that I want to share with you. They weren’t all written in 2012 but they’re books I read in the year that I would definitely recommend.

Madelyn’s 2012 Book List:
1. A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of WitchesThis book. Right here. Was amazing. I cannot even begin to stress how great this novel is. The sequel, Shadow of the Night, is already out and book three of the trilogy is currently in the works. Basically, a witch who has “neglected” her abilities comes to a time in her life where she can no longer ignore them. She falls in love with a vampire (of course) and together they must find a valuable manuscript in the depths of the Oxford Bodlein Library amongst other witches, vampires and not-so-friendly daemons. It’s not a Twilight book, I promise. It’s much more mature and well-written with a terrific plot and the characters never cease to surprise you.

2. The Help
4667024This one has been around for awhile but I didn’t get a chance to read it until this June when we went to the beach. It was a great summer read and completely inspiring, eye-opening and even funny. If you’ve seen the movie already, don’t let that keep you back from reading the book. Like always, the book is better than the movie;)

3. Gone Girl
0806_gone_425Description from Goodreads:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

4. Sense and Sensibility
sense-and-sensibilityAhh the neoclassics vs. romantics. The sensible vs. the sense-filled. Esther and Marriane portray two very different ladies, one of which can easily be wooed and swayed by the most eligible of bachelors without much knowledge on him and the other who cannot let herself feel anything physically without being mentally attracted and secure in her faith of her potential partner. I love this novel because it’s the exact definition of a well-written love story. No fluff stuff, just great writing and a good plot.
5. White Jacket Required
UnknownMore than anything, this book was very inspiring to me. I love coming across real stories, about real people with real dreams and passions. Especially when they’re clean cut, sweet and generous. I got to meet Jenna at her book signing and she just gave me the extra boost I needed to get blogging and try to make it as fulfilling as possible. Her book describes her journey in cooking school, the death of her brother, a breakup, a new love, finding a job and multiple great recipes. I definitely recommend this book to any foodie, blogger or both! Jenna is the author of the blog Eat, Live, Run

Of course there are tons of books I wish I could have gotten to this year but with my school work piled high, I didn’t get around to as much pleasure reading as I would have liked. Maybe that can be a resolution for me this year! What books did you enjoy in 2012??

Saucony ProGrid Guide Shoe Review

These past few weeks I’ve been getting a little bored and tired of the same ole running, sprinting and “stepmilling” routine so I was extremely please to find out that Fitfluential picked me to campaign and review Saucony‘s new ProGrid Guide running shoes! They arrived in the mail after a particularly stressful midterm so coming home to these puppies cheered me right up. Sometimes a new pair of fitness gear is exactly what the doctor ordered when you’re getting bored of your routine….there’s something about new shoes that makes running that much better.

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So what do I think about these new shoes? Would I recommend them to the frequent runner? My answer is a completely confident, in-your-face YES. After putting them on for the first time, I immediately fell in love. You know when you find a pair of running shoes that look awesome but feel heavy on your feet and so you’re stuck in a situation where you have to put looks over agility?? Well that’s definitely not the case with the Progrid Guide. They are extremely light on your feet, they don’t weigh you down and they’ve got a very edgy look to them (being a Longhorn…I love the bright orange!)
The shoes will be released in stores November 11th, so set aside some dough for your fall shoe fund and get on these fun running shoes! I promise you’ll love em!

On another note, something fun I did this past week was see Louis Lowry speak at a book signing at a local independent bookstore in Austin, TX! The author of The Giver discussed how she gets her inspiration for her books and characters. Apparently, she said that whenever she is writing a book and thinking about characters, a face will pop into her head that she has never seen before and a name will come with it. Every single one of her main characters have bee conjured in her head, with a name, and zero effort is required on her part to think up the characters. I thought that was so interesting! She also went on to describe how ridiculous and made-up “writer’s block” is because writing is a job, just like plumbing or dentistry. Dentists don’t get “dentist block” and surgeons don’t get “surgeon’s block” so why should writers have an excuse?

Fun fact about me: I love to write and read and I’m currently working on my first children’s book series! I love hearing authors and their perspective on finding creativity. What one of your favourite things to do outside of the gym?