Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Fitness Inspo of the Month

The number one thing that I get emailed about is diet/fitness questions.  It seems that everyone (myself included!) is always looking to add to whatever regime they're currently on.  Since its always fun to mix things up a bit, I thought it would be fun to start a new monthly feature 'Fitness Inspiration of the Month' where you can read about gals who inspire me through their passion for fitness, healthy lifestyles, and amazing bodies. 

For Typical Domestic Babe's first fitness inspo of the month, it was a no brainer that I had to feature my friend Michelle.  I'm constantly amazed by the insane pictures of her on Instagram in yoga positions that would send me straight to my chiropractors office!  Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, she's also super sweet + one of the most down to earth girls I know.  Read more about her and her passion for yoga below.

Give us a brief bio about yourself.

I was born in the Philippines but was raised in the greater Seattle area.  I loved living in Washington and it will always hold a special spot in my heart.  

I think I took my first yoga class when I was 19.  I was never really that athletic.  At that point my exercise consisted of working out at a gym or running maybe once or twice a week.  Afterwards, I rarely stretched like I was suppose to so I naturally became very stiff.  A friend had suggested yoga so I decided to give it a go.  I found a cute little studio and started going once a week.  I can barely remember my first class but I do remember all the props I had to use to be able to get through class.  It wasn't something I kept up regularly but I did always find myself back at the studio.

Then I moved to Miami.  I didn't practice for probably my first year living here.  I had been given a free class pass for Green Monkey and decided to give it another go.  I just jumped into all level classes.  My classes were always on the smaller side so I received a lot help with proper alignment.  I bounced around from different studios but then came back to Green Monkey where I met Paula Walker.  I went to a couple of her classes a week and really started to see my practice advance.  What an amazing transformation I saw my body go through.  After a year or so practicing with Paula she suggested that I do the teacher training they offered that Paul Toliuszis lead.  I put it off the first time because I thought I wasn't ready.  Since I regularly attended Paula's classes I made a yogi friend Julie Valbuena.  Paula suggested that we both should do the teacher training.  I still felt like I wasn't quite ready but decided to do it anyways!

So in the fall of 2012 I started my 200 hour intensive teacher training.  I was blessed with an amazing group of individuals.  We had such a great time learning together.  The 10 week program flew by.  It was such an awesome experience.  I really saw my body, mind, and soul transform.  I became stronger not just physically but mentally.  I saw myself doing things I never thought I could.  I became a certified yoga instructor December 1, 2012.

You're body is unreal!  What does your weekly workout schedule look like?

Thank you for such a great compliment!  Thank goodness something I love so much does my body well.  I take class as much as I can.  Usually anywhere from 4-5 times a week with a couple of 90 minute power yoga classes.  On the days that I don't head to Green Monkey I try to do a short home practice.  I also include running 3-5 miles around the beach a couple of times a week.  Another hobby of mine is paddleboarding. Not only is it an incredible full body workout but it's so much fun and time passes by so quickly.  I recently started doing yoga on the paddleboards - amazing for your core!  I try to do that at least once a week, weather permitting of course.  I only work out in gym once a week cause I would rather be outdoors.  Living in South Beach its very easy to stay active.  If its only a few blocks away I tend to just walk or ride a bike.  

Lets chat about yoga.  Why is it so amazing?
There are so many reasons why yoga is so amazing that I doubt I will be to share every single one of them!  On the physical side, its a no brainer.  You get a nice, lean, toned body while becoming more and more flexible with a consistent practice.  There's so many different styles of yoga to fit your fitness needs.  Your posture slowly starts improving and you start standing and sitting up taller.  It is so necessary if you have to wear high heels regularly.  I use to have the worst back pain when I didn't keep up with my practice.  

The greatest change you will start to notice is with your self, your mind, and your soul.  I started getting this rush of joy and happiness after my classes, a high like no other.  That's what ultimately kept me coming back for more.  I started to really appreciate the smaller things in life.  Simple things like the fresh air early in the mornings, someone opening the door for me, or only hitting a couple of red lights on the way to work.  Everyday I wake up grateful for the people that continue to stay in my life, a healthy mind & body, and for the life I am so blessed to live.   You start to learn how to be mindful instead of having a mind so full that life just zooms past you.  You start to appreciate just being in the moment.  Yoga helped me get through some very hard times in my life.  I fell into a depression from partying and not living a balanced life.  It left me with myself whether I liked it or not.  I had to deal with me and all of my imperfections.  Living in Miami, where everyone seems to be so damn perfect looking, I became very hard on the way I viewed myself.  I wanted bigger boobs, a bigger butt, rock solid abs, oh and to be few inches taller.  Wishing to look like someone else is just no way to live.  With my yoga practice I learned to love my body and my soul the way it is. Of course this all did not happen over night.  You have to learn to be patient and trust the process!

Fave yoga pose and why?

 I have so many! I love to be upside down and you can definitely see that in my pictures.  I'm currently working on my handstands but I do love to pop into headstands.  Headstands can be scary.  You literally are turning your world upside down.  You dance around with fear, courage, and your inner strength.  It always leaves you with wanting more and absolutely boosts your confidence.  There are also so many health benefits of being inverted.  They don't call it the fountain of youth for nothing!  Being upside down reverses the pull of gravity and lets your skin hang in the opposite direction.  It gets fresh nutrients and oxygen to your face which leaves you with a nice glowing face. The reverse pull of gravity also greatly improves your blood circulation and is very cleansing for your insides.  Being upside down also gives your heart a break from constantly fighting gravity to get fresh blood up to your brain.  The pressure is reversed so blood flows to the brain with little work from the heart.  Time spent being upside down is really one of the best things you can do for yourself!

Ok, so I'm basically living in a headstand from now on!! :)  Whats your favorite go-to healthy snack?

KIND bars.  I have a deep love for chocolate.  My favorite bar has dark chocolate, dried cherries, and almonds.  So delicious and not a bad treat to have!   

Any specific diets that you stick to?

 I absolutely love eating.  I've been very fortunate to have a fast metabolism so I've been able to get away with a lot.  With age though, I am able to get away with less and less.  Coming from Seattle, I learned to keep it organic.  I've always shopped that way.  I try to eat as clean as possible.  I read my labels, and if I can't pronounce it I put it back.  I stay away for sodas and juices unless its freshly made.  I really don't eat a lot of meat or very much dairy.  I actually enjoy finding healthy alternatives to my favorite guilty pleasures.  Some of my favorites include zucchini crust pizza that can be made without using an animal products, as well as a vegan "cheesecake" made with just nuts and fruits.  I truly believe that once you put yourself on a "diet" and restrict yourself from certain things, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Know what makes your body feel good and eat that.  If you want to cheat more than once don't beat yourself up for it.  I believe its important to have a healthy relationship with food.  It is meant to be enjoyed!

Whats an all natural beauty product that you can't live without?
Coconut oil!  There are so many countless ways to use coconut oil.  It is an incredible moisturizer for your hair & skin and great for dry lips.  It can also be used to remove makeup and as a natural SPF 4 sunscreen - great for tanning!

Miami girls are known for their teeny bikinis and amazing bods.  Do you have any stay skinny secrets that you care to share?

It's way more simple than people make it out to be.  Know what you are eating.  Stay away from things that are sugar-free, fat free, labeled diet or heavily processed.  All that means is that it is full of chemicals.  Eat things that you can pronounce and that fuels your body. Stay active, try to sweat once a day, and do yoga of course! ;)


Be sure to follow Michelle along on all her yogi adventures on Instagram (@michemichee) by clicking here.  Trust me, her pics are amazing!!  :)

What do you girls think?  Isn't her inspirational story & dedication to living a healthy lifestyle so motivating?  Please comment/leave feedback, and also let me know if there's any particular questions that you'd like to ask for future "inspo of the month's".  xx


  1. Wow Andy, Michelle's body is bangin! Love to hear from others on their routines as well as yours both in the gym and kitchen. Really inspiring to say the least. I thought it was really cool Michelle does paddleboarding to complement her weekly Yoga schedule, with that figure I was sure she had to be in the gym 6 days a week! Only thing I would like to learn more about is her daily diet, maybe a sample day. Awesome post and a big thank you to Michelle, hope you have more like this one.

    1. Hi Alana! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the post, definitely will continue to do this feature monthly. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and also for your suggestions! xx

  2. I love this new feature! Michelle is gorgeous and is definitely inspirational! For future interviews I'd like to know what keeps people motivated. I'm so easily derailed, so hearing what keeps people going could be helpful. Great post!

    1. Great suggestions hunn! I'll definitely use that for next months interview since I'm sure that so many others have the same question. xx

  3. I enjoyed reading this. I am a 60 years young and love to see what you young and beautiful woman are doing these days. I look forward to reading your blog every week. I go for a daily walk every morning. I would like to try Yoga some day and am just so enamored by you and Michelle. I also love baking and hope to try out some of your recipes. You both are so lucky, enjoy that age.

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your kind words! I think that your outlook on age plus your committment to staying active is fantastic and exactly why I choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle today - so that I can enjoy it for years to come. Thanks again!

  4. I love it! Keep up the good work Michelle, you have the gift to inspire!

  5. Great post, thank you Andy!!! I haven't read your blog in over a month and this is exactly what I needed to get motivated to practice yoga again. You and Michelle are an inspiration!!! Thank you for sharing! Will continue to follow you both.

    1. Thank you so much Alison, I so needed to read this exact message first thing when I woke up this morning! Sometimes I feel like I'm blogging away & putting myself out there and no one is reading. Thanks for reminding me why I decided to start this blog! xo Andy

  6. What a beautiful girl and so inspirational!

  7. This is very great thing you have shared with us. Now I found enough resources by your tips about this issue.
    Thank you


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