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Cuenca Ecuador Yoga in the Park with Olesya (Episode 78)

Before we share our Cuenca Ecuador Yoga In The Park experience, we just passed 500 subscribers on our Amelia And JP YouTube Channel! Thank you all for subscribing and continuing to watch our videos! They’re quite the labor of love so knowing so many people enjoy them makes it all worthwhile!

We also celebrated our 3-Year Veganversary over the weekend! We went vegan on March 8th, 2016 and haven’t looked back! We did several fun things to celebrate our compassionate, environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle, and we share a couple of them with you in this video.

Cuenca Ecuador Yoga in the Park with Olesya

You may recognize Olesya from this Food With Friends video or the 2nd Food With Friends video, but she’s also an amazing yoga instructor. In fact, Amelia says she’s the best she’s ever had!

Olesya Amelia

The yoga style in this video was relaxing and restorative, but she also teaches much more difficult Cuenca Ecuador Yoga In The Park class that gets the heart pumping and the sweat rolling. It all depends on which class you attend.

You can visit her facebook page at Yoga con Olesya en Cuenca for her schedule or to contact her about her upcoming classes or private training.

See More: Cuenca Health & Beauty Services, Cuenca Parks

3-Year Veganversary Dinner at Fratello Vegan

After Amelia’s Cuenca Ecuador Yoga In The Park with Olesya, we thought celebrating our 3-Year Veganversary at Fratello with our good vegan friend, Rosy, was apropos.

Fratello Sign

Amelia Rosy

Rosy was our very first vegan friend in Ecuador, and our VERY FIRST subscriber on our Amelia And JP YouTube Channel! She subscribed before we even launched our channel and now we just passed 500 subscribers! It’s really hard to believe!

Our dinner at Fratello Vegan was delicious as usual. We hung out with Rosy and ate her brother’s amazing vegan food for almost 3 hours! I messaged Rene on Facebook the day before to order a small vegan chocolate cake for our Veganversary.

Fratello normally has a cake on-hand, but Amelia really wanted our own oil-free chocolate cake. If you want something special, it’s best to message Rene a day in advance. This cake was moist, decacadent and utterly delicious!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

The Impact of Veganism on Our Lives

We didn’t go vegan on a whim. We spent several months researching the diet aspects because we were raised to believe humans would die without eating meat, dairy and eggs. It took a lot of documentaries and reading to reverse a lifetime of beliefs that were based almost entirely on marketing messages. Sometimes, I’m still shocked that we haven’t died of some nutrient deficiency yet!

Here are the Best Food Documentaries and Other Mind Altering Films that we recommend. And here are the Best Plant-Based Books for a Longer, More Vibrant Life that we recommend.

While veganism isn’t a diet, food is a really big part of being vegan. We don’t buy shoes or coats or cosmetics every day, but we do eat food every day so it’s always on the top of our mind.

We choose to eat a vegan Whole-Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet, a term coined by Dr. T. Colin Campbell back in the early 1980’s. We eat NO animal products of any kind, and we avoid all processed foods, including oil, which is a processed, refined fat just like sugar is a processed refined carb. This way of eating has dramatically improved our health while leading to significant weight loss.

JP’s Weight Loss as a Vegan & WFPB

Before we went vegan, I weighed in at 197 pounds! At 5’10”, that’s borderline obese.

JP Before Vegan

After 3 years of being vegan, I’m down to 164 pounds and a size 30 jeans! I haven’t been this thin since before I graduated college in my early 20’s! Taking all that weight off my spine has also enabled me to be more mobile while reducing the level of pain I feel on a daily basis.

JP 3 Years Vegan

Amelia’s Weight Loss as a Vegan & WFPB

Amelia has seen a similar transformation. She weighed 130 pounds before we went vegan and WFPB. At 5 feet tall, that’s considered overweight.

Amelia Before Vegan

After 3 years of being vegan, Amelia has lost 25 pounds and now weighs only 105 pounds! She hasn’t been this thin since her early twenties, as well!

Amelia 3 Years Vegan

We’ve lost the weight slowly over the last 3 years, and we’ve kept it off because our diet is ideal for both losing weight and keeping it off. Combined with our “big why” to reduce animal suffering and protect our planet from environmental destruction, it has been very easy to stick with this way of eating (WOE).

Like I said before, veganism isn’t a diet (even though food is a big part of it). Rather, veganism is an ethical stance to cause the least amount of harm, as is practicable and possible, to innocent animals and our environment. Therefore, we don’t have “cheat days” because that would mean we would be violating our own ethical and moral standards.

By not having cheat days on our ethics, we also don’t have cheat days on our diet. The worst things we consume are oil (sometimes when we eat out) and beer/wine. Those are the only two things we consume that are unhealthy, and we try to avoid them as much as possible.

Improved Cholesterol Numbers

It’s not just about the weight loss, though. Our total cholesterol levels are under 200 without a statin. I have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol and have been battling it most of my adult life. The only time it went below 200 before going vegan was thanks to a high dose of Simvastatin, a drug that I NEVER want to take again! The side effects were horrible!

Despite what the dairy, beef and egg industries would have you believe, we’ve known for 80 years that high blood serum cholesterol leads to cardiovascular disease. And since the 1960’s, we’ve known that dietary cholesterol, and especially saturated fat, increases blood serum cholesterol.

The blockages present in the vast majority of Americans is literally made of oxidized cholesterol, which can be cleaned out by eating a WFPB diet that’s free of cholesterol laden animal foods and low in saturated fat.

Heart disease kills over 600,000 Americans each year, but you don’t have to be one of them. We recommend reading Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book, Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease for details about how to prevent, arrest and reverse the number one killer of people eating the Standard American Diet.

The Impact of Our Veganism on Our Planet

During our 3 years of being vegan, we have dramatically reduced our environmental footprint on this tiny blue and green planet. In 3 years, Amelia and I have saved:

3 Year Vegan Stats

These numbers come from The Vegan Calculator, which is based on stats from the documentary, Cowspiracy. If you’re skeptical about these numbers, great! We encourage you to do some independent, unbiased research. These numbers are corroborated by countless scientists and international organizations much to the chagrin of animal ag, which has paid for their own biased research.

When doing your research, please consider the source. Industry funded research is seldom reliable, whether it relates to plants or animals. We recommend reading Unsavory Truth by Marion Nestle to better understand how insidious corporate junk science has become. You simply can’t trust anything until you understand the study methodology and conclusions.

Vegans for Life

After 3 years of being vegan, our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner. Both Amelia and I considered going vegan many years ago, but never pulled the trigger. We were too afraid of the unknown.

But once we realized how horribly the animals suffer, how destructive animal ag is to our environment, and how unhealthy animal products are for human health, adopting a vegan lifestyle became unavoidable. We just couldn’t continue living as hypocrites once we knew better.

This brings us to a quote by Maya Angelou that I mentioned at the end of the video, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” We try to live our lives by this guiding principal. We’re far from perfect, but we’re doing the best we can. And each day, we try to do a little better. That’s all any of us can do.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Cuenca Ecuador Fitness: Aerial & Pole Fitness w/ Fit Alliance + Panda Cakes Cuenca & Doggie B-Day! (Episode 64)

On this Day In The Life, Fit Alliance held their open house at JungleGym so we got a firsthand look at Cuenca Ecuador Fitness. What a beautiful and fun way to exercise! We also talked to Paola from Panda Cakes Cuenca, had Thai food for lunch and went to a doggie birthday party!

Cuenca Ecuador Fitness with Fit Alliance

We were lucky enough to get special aerial and pole dance performances from two of the Fit Alliance instructors! Wow! What a fun way to burn calories!

Aerial Dance Cuenca

Of the two, aerial dance looked more difficult than pole dance. However, they cater to all levels so almost anyone can do some basic moves and work up from there.

Cuenca Ecuador Fitness Aerial Dance

Cuenca Ecuador Fitness Aerial Dance 2

Pole Dance Cuenca

Amelia did pole fitness for several years back in Denver, Colorado so she was really excited to see it here in Cuenca. She went to several classes and really enjoyed it. However, she prefers her Tribal Fusion belly dancing and there isn’t enough time in the week to do both. It was a tough decision, but she opted to stick with belly dancing for now. She may go back to pole dancing later.

Cuenca Ecuador Fitness Pole Dance

Aerial fitness and pole fitness are growing in popularity here in Cuenca. Fit Alliance offers classes for all levels so even if you’ve never done them before, you can still do this Cuenca Ecuador Fitness.

Panda Cakes Cuenca Ecuador

We also talked to Paola from Panda Cakes Cuenca who was selling delicious desserts and protein bars that she and Pietro make. Be sure to check them out if you’re in Cuenca. You can contact them on their Facebook page.

Panda Cakes Cuenca

A Pedir de Boca Cuenca Ecuador

After the Fit Alliance open house, we had a delicious lunch at A Pedir de Boca. We love their Thai Veggie Bowl with More Veggies!

A Pedir de Boca Thai Veggie Bowl

Maxi’s Doggie Birthday Party in Parque Paraíso

We started our day at a doggie birthday party for a tiny Chihuahua named Maxi who just turned 5 years old. Daisy was invited to the birthday party by Maxi’s mom, Jessica. She runs Maxi’s Pet Care and watches our girls when we’re out of town. Daisy had a BLAST at the party and slept the rest of the afternoon!

See More: Cuenca Parks

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Best FREE Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador: The Stairs to Turi (Episode 18)

The Best FREE Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador is just a few steps away! We hike up to the Turi Church at least once per week, but usually 2 or 3 times per week.

Turi Stairs – Best Free Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador

There are 439 stairs leading up to Turi, but the shortcut we take adds another 126 stairs plus some steep hills. It really gets your blood pumping!

Best Free Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador JP Turi Stairs

Getting to the top is a real sense of accomplishment. Amelia usually leaves me in the dust because she’s in much better shape than I am, and because my spinal cord injury slows me down. She comes back down to meet me, then walks ahead again so she gets an extra workout.

Best Free Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador Amelia Rocky

Once you reach the top of the Turi Stairs, you are rewarded with beautiful views of Cuenca Ecuador.

Free Cardio Cuenca Ecuador Turi Church

Free Cardio Cuenca Ecuador Turi View 1

Free Cardio Cuenca Ecuador Turi View 2

Amelia And JP Turi Ecuador

Cuenca Ecuador Park Cardio

On our way back home, we stopped to play in a park for awhile. Cuenca has LOTS of parks like this one, with free circuit cardio equipment, ziplines, swings and walking trails.

Cuenca Ecuador Park Amelia Exercise

Cuenca Ecuador Park Amelia Zipline

Easy Garden Salad Recipe

Then we came home and I prepared my Easy Garden Salad that makes enough for several days of hearty, nutritious salads.

We hope you enjoy seeing the beautiful scenery on our hike up to Turi here in Cuenca, Ecuador. And we hope you enjoy our Easy Garden Salad recipe.

Please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this video, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel.