Monday Motivation: The sky’s not the limit.

"The limit is not in the sky. The limit is in the mind." Unknown(Image Source: ProGood)

This seems like a harmless feel-good quote at first glance.

And then, BOOM.

It’s all up in your face. Deep and piercing.

The only thing that’s holding us back…is us. The things we tell ourselves. The thoughts that swirl through our brains. The chatter and mental clutter that is just taking up space.

Feeling stuck? Take a look at your thoughts, and the kind of things you’ve been telling yourself. You just may be surprised.

Everyday Heroes: Courtney Violet Bentley

Everyday Heroes

I’m supremely excited to share the loveliness that is Courtney Bentley—this week’s Everyday Hero—with you.

Courtney is living it up in Bangkok, Thailand and sharing her wisdom on fitness and nutrition with the locals. She also happens to share it with the world via her website and YouTube channel (just to name a few).

We spent most of our time chatting about travel, culture shock, and the ups and downs of starting a business in a foreign country.

All in all, I walked away from our conversation feeling inspired, upbeat, and utterly impressed by Courtney’s outlook on life.

And I hope you will too!

X+O

Courtney Bentley

Name: Courtney Violet Bentley
Job/Title: Personal Trainer, Motivator and Nutrition Expert
Where you call home: Bangkok, Thailand
Website: courtneyvioletbentley.com
Twitter: @CBentleyFit
Facebook: fb.com/courtneyvioletbentley
YouTube: starsystemzchannel
Instagram: courtney_bentley_fitness

Where are you from, where are you located now, and what led you there?
Born in Orange County Florida, raised in Orange County, California and now located in Bangkok, Thailand. My husband’s investments have brought us to our new adventure and with it have come challenge, culture shock and huge breakthroughs for myself.

If we really knew you, what would we know?
I am the definition of ADD. I care, I give and then give some more. I love helping other women shine with confidence! I am obsessed with my two Shih-Tzu’s. Give my husband all I can give. Love with all that I am. And am always self-improving.

Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from within, and the drive comes from my mindset of “If they can do it, so can I and BETTER.”

What “rules” do you live by?
Let the universe guide you and believe in all that it offers you.

Challenges are meant to be. Overcome them, learn from them, and teach others how to do the same.

What three things, people, or roles have contributed most to your success?

  1. My husband. He lets me be myself, supports me in all my wild antics, and encourages me to do more and become the best ME I can be.
  2. Giving back to my community through hosting a boot camp for charity. I started the boot camp to empower other women who have no choice but to sell their bodies to support their families. I empower women through movement, and now am happy to say I empower women through education. The girls who come out every Sunday in 90°+ weather to sweat it out and give back, these girls keep me going.
  3. My dogs. I know that sounds crazy but my two baby shih-tzus remind me to play, they remind me to laugh, be silly and be childish sometimes. Without my two babies I would be a hot strict mess. Life is best lived with laughter and through joyous events!

What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Sit back and let the universe unfold. I believe the universe is in control, but the idea of sitting down and watching the clock tick is not my idea of getting things done.

I have always been open to letting the universe present me with ideas but the effort, hard work and dedication I put towards each and every one of my blessings is what makes me successful.

What women inspire you?
Chalene Johnson, Tracy Anderson, and Jamie Eason. Not only are they celebrity trainers who have broken the glass ceiling, but they stay strong and back their views. All three of these women stick to their beliefs and values and do not let money change their fitness methods.

Many fitness professionals say they back a certain fitness product because of money. If I have to see another Quest Bar campaign I might scream. I am tired of fitness gurus who preach eating clean show that food bars filled with artificial chemicals are the best things to grace the supplement aisle.

What books are sitting on your nightstand or are currently on your must-read list?
I am in a dry spell with reading. Switching roles and becoming Fitness Editor of a local magazine entitled Expat Ladies has eaten at my reading time. Instead of reading books I have been reading magazines to gather ideas and improve my editorial skills. I am looking forward to reading some Gabby Bernstein when I take my next vacation to Phuket in May.

If there’s one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
Give back. If there is one lesson I learned this year, it is to give back to your community. As human beings it is natural for us to take and take some more, but when you get the chance to give back to someone you barely know, it is life changing. In the past I donated my clothes to Goodwill, texted to donate $10.00 when crisis occurred, but actually giving my time, sweat and money to a cause that I hold dear to my heart has changed me and the way I live my day to day life.

Famous last words:
“Live every moment, Laugh Every Day, Love Beyond Words”

I say this to myself on the daily, living a loving and playful lifestyle is a choice and I do my best to do so on the daily.

Recipe: Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Onions | Emily Levenson

Whenever I’m looking for a quick and easy dinner that’s sure to fill The Hubster to capacity, I reach for a flank steak.

He has a favorite marinade (aptly named Meat Marinade by McCormick*), but I like to switch it up.

Which is where this recipe came from. MY need to switch things up.

Crushed Garlic | Trader Joe's

The inspiration for this beauty of a recipe came from Pinterest (I’m addicted, what can I say).

I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the ingredients, as well as the richness of the flavor.

And seriously, how can you go wrong with roasted tomatoes and onions?

White Wine Vinegar

I was also pleasantly surprised that I could use the vinegars I had on hand. Including the Italian White Wine Vinegar (above) that has been sitting in my cabinet for, oh…3 different houses.

Yeah. I know.

Apparently I hoard vinegar.

tomatoes

Onions

This would make for a great summertime meal—cooking the steak on the grill with a pan full of tomatoes and onions simmering alongside it.

And the cornucopia of fresh herbs.

Gah. Just saying that makes me wish it were mid-July already.

Marinading the steak

Marinading the steak

The original recipe called for a 4-6 hour marinade. Which, I’m sure only adds to the intensity of the flavor.

I, on the other hand, only had 30 minutes. So, I pierced the meat with a fork and hoped for the best.

It turned out amazingly, if I do say so myself.

Roasted tomatoes and Onions

I will also say that the roasted tomatoes and onions were divine on their own.

So, for those that aren’t the biggest meat eaters or are just looking for a delicious topping for that crusty bread you just bought…THIS. IS. IT.

Totally made the dish, if you ask me.

Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Onions | Emily Levenson

Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Onions
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients:
For the steak:
  • 1.5 lbs flank steak
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced OR ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the tomatoes and onions:
  • 2 cups grape (or cherry, or heirloom) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
For the steak:
  1. Pierce flank steak with a fork.
  2. Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Pour over steak (either in a large caserole dish or ziploc bag) and marinade for at MINIMUM 30 minutes. For a stronger flavor, marinade 4-6 hours.
For the tomatoes and onions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (or broil on high).
  2. Place tomatoes and onions into a bowl (or straight onto the baking sheet).
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk.
  4. Pour mixture over tomatoes and onions and toss to coat.
  5. Transfer to baking sheet if mixing in a bowl and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until starting to char.
Putting it all together:
  1. Place flank steak on a roasting pan.
  2. Turn oven to broil (hi) and cook 7 minutes on each side. (I always have better luck cooking flank steak in middle of oven vs. on top rack).
  3. Cover and let steak rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Slice into thin strips (against the grain of the beef).
  5. Cover with tomatoes and onions.
  6. Devour.
Allergen Information:
Dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, soy free, egg free, corn free.

*This is an affiliate link.

Monday Motivation: Inspire Someone Today.

Love this sentiment today from Lena Hanzel.

Makes me wonder how differently I would go about my day if this thought were at the forefront.

Would I behave differently?

Would I treat people differently?

Would I have more patience, love, and kindness to dole out with each interaction?

Or, would I simply continue to do what I do?

How would you act if your goal each and every day was to inspire someone?

The end is near…

36weekbellyshot

In less than 4 weeks…

That little baby that’s been growing on the inside will be making her way into this world.

(It’s a bit surreal to type that.)

April 27th has always seemed so far away. And now? It’s a mere 25 days away. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!

In any case, the point here is to remind you one final time that I am wrapping up all food sensitivity testing on April 11th.

That means you have precisely 3 chances to get on the schedule.

After that, you’re going to have to wait until July, when I return from maternity leave. Please don’t wait until the last minute to schedule. Once these appointments are gone, they are gone. I can’t open up any more days or times.

There are three ways to get scheduled:

  1. You can book online by clicking here.
  2. You can also schedule by phone: (412) 321-3231
  3. And, if you’re not 100% sure what any of this is, or have a few questions to ask before getting scheduled, you can always set up a free consult.

I do the food testing on Wednesday evenings and Fridays through Wellspring Whole Health. And it can be done in person (you come to the office), or remotely (if you can’t).

X+O,
Emily

PS—Here is a great recap of what the testing is like from Caroline of Sincerely, Caroline. AND my pal Lindsey Smith of Food Mood Girl did a little write up / feature on the Food Sensitivity Testing.

PPS—In addition to Caroline’s post, I’ve been featured on some pretty cool websites this week:

  1. I did an interview with Laura Yamin (a fab Lifestyle Coach) over on her blog. She totally made me sound brilliant.
  2. I did a post for Erin over at Don’t Forget to Eat as part of a blog swap for April Fool’s Day. I shared a how-to guide for making refrigerator oats.
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