Be Intended.

It’s the first Monday of 2014 and many of us have probably set (and maybe even fallen off with) New Year’s Resolutions. April shares some interesting insights into New Year’s Resolutions 

The way I see it, at the end of each year, we take a look back on the past twelve months and breakdown our successes and failures. Yes, we like to highlight and maybe even brag about our accomplishments, but we also spend too much time reflecting on the things we didn’t do, or didn’t do well enough. Then we decide to make all sorts of resolutions. Maybe we plan to lose weight, eat better, quit a job or a bad habit, start something new, become more organized. The list is endless. But on January 1st, that’s the day that these changes will go into effect. Now, it’s not that these aren’t good things. It’s just by placing such high demands on ourselves and the year ahead, we also place added stress to our already hectic lives. A few weeks or a month go by and we begin to fall off of the wagon and once again we feel defeated.

New Year's Resolutions

What if we set intentions for the new year rather than making resolutions? According to Merriam-Webster, a resolution is the act of resolving something. Resolving something, as in a past problem perhaps.  Merriam-Webster defines an intention as a determination to act in a certain way. An aim or a purpose. An intention sounds more hopeful, more positive. It doesn’t sound like we’re trying to fix something that is broken. It sounds like we are living in each moment fully and looking toward our future with endless possibilities. In my opinion it’s a pretty awesome way to help guide you through your lifelong journey. And just in case you fall off the wagon, it’s okay. You brush it off, remind yourself that you are in fact human and use it as another great experience and stepping stone for a new beginning. And it doesn’t matter if that new beginning is on January 1 or December 31 or anywhere in between. That’s the best part – every day we wake up we have a chance to do something new and to live our life to it’s fullest potential. In fact, every moment of every day is a brand new moment. Another moment to be more aware, more present, more fulfilled. Maybe a moment to be more mindful of our beautiful planet, more respectful of others and more compassionate of yourself. Another moment to be the very best YOU.


So go ahead, celebrate yourself and ring in 2014! Make it the best year yet for your body, your mind and your spirit. Send those intentions out to the universe and let the universe respond.

Happy New Year!

Namaste.  ~April Pascarelli

Join April for Yoga at A Healthy Balance Tuesdays at 12 noon or Sundays at 9 am.



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Be Well Practiced.

It’s Called A Practice For A Reason…


Have you been thinking of trying out yoga? Are you thinking you’re not flexible or agile enough to partake? Well, not all of those super bendy yogis were just born that way! Time and time again on their yoga mat helped pave the path to where they are today. It’s called a yoga practice for a reason. And there is no “perfect” practice. It’s a journey, an experience and with time, it will unfold. With time, your yoga practice will not only help you gain more flexibility and more strength but a sense of inner peace and a better sense of yourself. Whether you’re a runner, a boot camper, a full on athlete or just needing something to feel more whole in your life, yoga is for you. Don’t judge it until you try it…in fact, leave that judgment behind because there is no judgement in yoga. Come on over to A Healthy Balance and practice with us on Sunday mornings from 9-10am with an open mind and a light heart. You might just see a new side to things!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Michele Week 9.

Making progress in working towards a healthier lifestyle doesn’t always directly translate to pounds lost on a scale, but Michele learns there are other ways to measure progress…

scale-trashWhile I am happy with the progress I am making, I was a little disappointed to see that the numbers on the scale seem to be stuck this week. I’m eating right and exercising A LOT, but I don’t seem to be losing additional weight. On Saturday I had my 8-week check in with Alicia and learned that I’ve lost 8 and a half inches! I am psyched! It’s no wonder my pants aren’t fitting! The more weight and inches I lose, the more motivated I am becoming. I am diligent about my calorie intake and about making sure I drink enough water and continue exercising daily… or almost daily! This is definitely a lifestyle change in that I don’t even have to think about “what’s for dinner?” because I know what my options are – and they are healthy.

Kara is keeping me balanced by giving me recipes, food choices and encouraging me to try new things. I am continuing to try foods that I’ve never tried and never thought I would. This week I was visiting a healthy friend and she encouraged me to try hummus. I liked it so much that on the way home from her house, I stopped and bought some! Not only do I like it, but I’ve introduced my husband and my daughter to it and they like it too. Another healthy option for the whole family.

broccolliWhen I grocery shop, I stick to the outer aisles of the store like I always should have done, but didn’t do. I fill my basket with fruits, vegetables, lean meats and healthy grains. I snack and meal plan so I won’t be caught off guard. I bring water bottles everywhere, along with a baggie of sliced vegetables and an apple or banana. I am truly not hungry because I eat small healthy snacks throughout the day. This is all common knowledge that I have known for years, but I never thought important enough to do in my everyday life. Now that I am doing it, I am not looking back!

I am healthy. And I know I will continue to get healthier.


Leave a comment: How do you measure progress besides the number on the scale?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Michele Week 8.

Michele is at the 2/3 mark for her 12 week program is continuing to see progress and realizes that early morning wake up calls are totally worth the results! 

Remember my new skinny jeans that I was so excited about a few weeks back? Yea, well those jeans no longer fit! I can put them on and take them off without unbottoning or unzipping. I’ve been waiting for this day for years. The saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” finally makes sense. (Not that I’m skinny, but I’m headed there and aiming for “healthy” not “skinny” anyways)

Usually when springtime comes, I change my closets. It’s time to put away the winter clothes and bring out the spring clothes. I have donated my winter clothes and the spring clothes that fit are scarce. Normally I would be frustrated at the lack of outfit options but since the reason my choices are limited is because I’ve lost weight, I don’t mind juggling what I have. It won’t be long before I am at my goal and can go on shopping spree!


8:00 AM?!?! I wish!!! Try 6:00 AM for my Saturday wake up call

People are noticing and that makes me feel good. Getting up early on Saturday mornings when I’d rather sleep in is paying off. I really do not think I am ever going to quit eating healthy and exercising regularly; the benefits are too great.

Weekly meetings with Kara are beneficial in giving me ideas of better food options and meal ideas. I have “homework” which is to try new foods each week. Some foods that I will be adding to my regular grocery list which I had never tried before: mango, asparagus, and quinoa. I tried cauliflower but will NOT be adding that to the list! Three out of four ain’t bad, right?! I feel like such a grown up trying all these new foods!


My grocery list looks very different these days

I’m so appreciative of the time and effort offered to me by Alicia and Kara. I know it’s me doing the work, but without there guidance and support, I’d be lost!


-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Michele Week 7.

Michele continues on her journey with week 7 and accomplishes some pretty awesome healthy lifestyle victories. (And just an FYI, I did not bribe Michele into writing that last sentence in this blog!) 

Every Monday when I write my blog, I reflect on the past seven days, my goals, and my happiness! I think “I could not possibly be happier with my progress” and then I have a week like this week! I have more happy news!


Best report card EVER! 🙂

Last week I went to the doctor for my 8- week check-up and for once, I was not horrified to get on the scale. My doctor was happy when he saw that I was down 15 and a half pounds lighter than I was at my February visit. I believe there may have been a high-five involved! He didn’t believe the nurse’s report that my blood pressure was 116/78 so he did it himself and sure enough – 116/78. I may have received a high five them too! The reason for my follow up appointment was to discuss the high blood pressure I had only 8 weeks ago. I was so happy to know that a weight loss of “only” 15 and a half pounds made such a different in my health. I then scored a “perfect” on my EKG. I was so happy to leave his office without prescriptions that I was not even worried about my stop at the lab for blood work.

A few days after my visit, I got a letter in the mail from my doctor letting me know that not only did my weight and blood pressure go down, but my cholesterol and blood sugars went down too! I am thrilled! It’s been hard work but in a matter of 8 weeks, I have completely changed my health. I don’t think I have ever received a letter from my doctor signed “very good!”

I am more determined now than ever to keep up my healthy lifestyle! I know I’ve said it before but if I can do it, you can do it!I hope all of my friends and readers who want to lose weight and /or get healthy look into coming to A Healthy Balance for nutrition, bootcamp or personal training! It works (and they are so nice!)


Leave a comment: What non-scale victories have you experienced because of adopting a healthier lifestyle?


Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


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Be an AHB Rockstar: Michele Week 6.

Have you ever wanted to run a 5K? Why not sign up for one and give it a shot?! Michele took on a 5K this week! She crushed it and, get this… ENJOYED it!!!

I did it! I completed my first 5K! To those of you who don’t know me, this is a huge deal. Fitness is something I never thought I’d achieve. I’m only halfway through A Healthy Balance’s Rockstar program so I am not there yet but I am moving in the right direction. I am at a point in my life where I know I want to be fit and I am working toward that goal. I feel like everyone has my back: Alicia, Kara, my bootcamp mates, family, friends, coworkers – it’s been awesome support.

I am not a runner but I have been running for the past 5 weeks. I run. I trot. I walk. I jog. I am moving forward (usually). Because this was my first 5K I did not have a baseline race to use when determining my time frame/goal. I do wear a pedometer when I practice so I had a general idea of how much time it would take me to complete a 5K so I set a goal for myself.

Michele charlotte

Post race jubiliation!!! 🙂

Coming up to the finish line, I felt a little emotional after seeing the beautiful face, on the posters of Charlotte, the little girl we were running for. I was also emotional because I couldn’t believe that I accomplished what I thought was the impossible. When my friend Kim, who completed the race before me, yelled out my time, I couldn’t believe it! I exceeded my goal by 11 minutes! I am not a runner (yet!) so I certainly didn’t break any speed records, but I was happy just the same! I now have a baseline and I will beat it in my next 5K! Yes, I believe I am hooked. I was told I would be and it’s true.

Back at home, I took a giant leap and donated the clothes that no longer fit. I am not going back there. At my 4 week check-in, I learned that I had lost 4 inches in addition to 5 more pounds. My clothes are fitting differently and some are not fitting at all! I don’t have much in my closet that fits correctly so I will have to work extra hard at eating right and exercising so I can shop for new clothes. I want to wait until I hit goal to do a big shopping spree so my wardrobe is limited at the moment. I hope my coworkers like my new black dress pants because they will be seeing them a lot of the next few weeks!

Closet clean out time!

Closet clean out time!

This is not a diet; this is a long term lifestyle change. It is amazing to my how quickly pounds add up, but how slowly they come off. There is a lot of exercise involved to lose 1 pound! The nutrition tips I have learned from Kara will stay with me indefinitely. I am already planning healthy menus for summertime pool parties! Maybe I’ll even wear a bathing suit!


Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


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Be an AHB Rockstar: Michele Week 5.

Week 5 and Michele is already taking on some exciting new challenges and adventures…

I believe one of the most surprising emails I have ever received was yesterday’s confirmation of my registration for a 5K! I’ve always said I wanted to do one and now I am going to do one. I don’t expect that I will come in first place, but I do expect that I will finish and I will try my hardest along the way. I plan to participate in upcoming 5K events and I have high hopes that my finishing times will get better with each race. After only 4 weeks of exercise and determination, the athlete in me is coming out. To my amazement, I have exercise gear and running sneakers on my birthday gift wish list.Whimsy_Stamps_Sentiments_Collection_Birthday_Wish_List_Stamps I have never before wanted these things and now I can’t get enough. My after work and weekend wardrobe is changing from comfortable pajamas to yoga pants and sports bras. Who is this woman?!


I don’t dread bootcamp like I did the first two weeks (yes Alicia, I dreaded it although I’m sure my enthusiasm hid it!) but I actually look forward to it now. I feel confident in my abilities and don’t really mind if I’m the least athletic in the room. I am there, I am focused and I am making an effort. Finally. While I certainly don’t find it easy, I do find it easier. When I’m not at an after work bootcamp, I am out running (or attempting to run!) to get ready for the 5K. I wear a pedometer and always try to beat my time from the day before. It’s a challenge that I actually look forward to. The trunk of my car looks like a disorganized aisle of a sporting goods store! I have exercise wear for all types of weather, an iPod, sneakers, socks, etc – I’m always prepared to accept an invitation to workout.



Now that my Rockstar blog is live and “everyone” knows that I’m doing, the comments are coming in and they are positive. I have people telling me “you’re an inspiration” and “you’re motivating me to get fit” and “you look great!” I never thought I’d hear these things directed at me! I know I have a long way to go and I intend on keeping it up!

I can’t wait to share with you how I do on my 5K. If I can do this, you can do this!


Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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