Uncategorized Archive

Update, PiYo, & Apera Bag Winner

Posted July 15, 2014 By electrafi

There are so many posts in the works! I cannot wait to get home from work and start publishing them so ya’ll can read ‘em! In the meantime, here is a look at some of what I’ve been doing lately. Each week I have been doing a combination of 1-2 days of weight lifting, 1 run, and 3-4 days of PiYo. What is PiYo you ask!? One of the most amazing workouts I have done in my ENTIRE LIFE. I am not a yoga girl. I’ve tried. I’ve tried SO hard. It’s just SOOOOOO SLOOOOWW. I can’t get into it. But I know I need the benefits. Enter Chalene Johnson and PiYo. HOLY AWESOME. I am so loving this. I’m also doing challenge groups and all my challengers are ROCKING IT. Who else wants in!?!?!?! I know you do. Email me at electraliontis@gmail.com for more info or comment here with your email and I’ll send you all the deets! We took a trip out west which was AMAZING, and my eats have been SO much healthier the last few weeks. I feel so. much. better. than when I wasn’t paying as much attention to what I was eating. Food is truly fuel and can heal your body. It amazes me. Balance also heals and I feel so lucky to have realized this. More to come on all of this. Do ya’ll want to see more of exactly what I’m doing in the gym/at home to work out and what exactly I’m eating? Let me know…!

Instagram picture update of my life:

^Out west. Devil’s tower.

Running with my pup near a lake and mountain background? Sign. Me. Up. :)


^I am so thankful for the brave that fight for our freedom. Thank you to the past, present & future soldiers. God Bless America. I am honored to be an American. I hope your Independence Day was amazing.

^Workout with my brother + Shakeology – my new ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE SHAKE EVER. HANDS. DOWN. I’ll be writing about that soon too!! ;)

^Me & PiYo at home. Hardcore results. It’s not kidding. I’m in workout love. Endorphin release PLUS feeling stretched and peaceful when I’m done. Heck. Yes.

^Me during my leg workout yesterday. I didn’t realize how much of an introvert I was until about a year or so ago. I need alone time to reacharge and be the best person I can be. My favorite alone time (my workout time) was coupled with a COMPLETELY EMPTY GYM yesterday. How can a girl get so lucky? I’m counting every single blessing I have.

^Truth. I am so grateful.

So much goodness in my life and I am so thankful. Having the ability to work hard, sweat, eat healthy, treat my body right, and remembering what a difference a positive mindset makes … truly makes all the difference in the world. Don’t forget to count your blessings. I am working on remembering to count each little blessing as it comes to me, every. single. day.


As for the Apera Sports Bag Winner …. drumroll …

Allison is the winner – this is what she said: “That bag looks amazing!!! I have heard other friends talk about Apera bags before and have only heard amazing things!
As far as what I’d like to see more of on your site, just more of YOU! I’d love to hear more about how you balance life, being an ER nurse and managing a healthy lifestyle. Recipes are always a plus!”

She is right. The bag IS amazing. I hope you enjoy your prize pack, Allison! Email me at electraliontis@gmail.com with your full name and address so I can have Apera send you your winnings asap!


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Tell me…

  • What have YOU been up to?
  • Do you workout at home, outside, the gym?
3 Comments so far. Join the Conversation


Posted July 13, 2013 By electrafi

My assumption is that all of you perceptive people have realized that my site has changed. Change can be hard, but is so necessary sometimes, and this change is good! Promise!! I hearby announce that  ElectraFi is here!

I have written about my story, the real story behind Electra. The story of learning to love myself one day at a time, through lots of sweat, a lot of trial and error, and a whole lot of patience.

My original blog and site http://vanillabeanlean.com is near and dear to my heart. It’s hard to not see that address in my posts anymore. But truthfully, I had outgrown the name. Will it still be around, potentially for recipes and such? Yes, as far as I know. Is it going to be my primary “web residence” as it once was? No, not anymore.

I began blogging when my takeaway was about “abs abs abs” and that is no longer my focus. ABS ALONE ARE NO LONGER YOUR FOCUS!? Blasphemy. But it’s the truth!

What is the focus?

  • Is being fit a focus? Yes. Strong? Yes. Working out? Yes. Sweating? My GOSH, YES! Along with health, nutrition, creating a balanced life, self-love, success.

Is it hard to talk about what I used to focus on?

  • I never thought I’d ever in a million years share my entire story. It was TERRIFYING the first time. It gets easier every time I write about it. Does it make me feel ashamed? No, I just pray that no one was trying too hard to get to that point that my being too lean pushed them too far, exactly what had happened to me. The hardest part for me was that people praised me for what I looked like, how “dedicated” I was. Truth is, I was unhealthy. I was too lean, and I was not dedicated – I was obsessed. In an ugly way. Vanilla Bean Lean ended up being a platform for that. And for that exact reason, and the way I have grown out of caring about abs like I once did, I grew out of the name Vanilla Bean Lean. Lean was my primary focus. Lean is great if done in a healthy manner, but lean alone is no longer a trap I am captive in, and therefore, it was very important to me to provide myself a platform to reach all of you for exactly the reasons I want to.

ElectraFi. To me it’s all about helping others to electrafi their lives through happiness in many ways. One way is obviously through sweat.

New name. Same me. Same fun. Same workouts. Same inspiration.

On that note, here’s a fun, quick workout that will get your shoulders burning!

[5x through: 10 squats (bodyweight) & 10 shoulder pushups with one leg raised! They don’t look all that hard but I promise you’ll be feelin’ the shoulder burn! ;-) I absolutely LOVE outdoor workouts!]

The beauty of connecting your body through moving and sweating with how you feel about yourself is a gift, and it takes practice. I promise I’ll be here every step of the way.

I’m Electra, the woman that was behind Vanilla Bean Lean who has had to work really hard to learn to love myself the way that I should have all along. I’m Electra, the woman behind ElectraFi who loves herself unconditionally and will teach you how to empower yourself in the same way. I’m is no longer as lean as I once was. But I am much more powerful, stronger, happier, and beautiful. I now work out and fuel my body with healthy foods because I love my body, no longer because I think there’s something wrong with it.

I’m so excited you’re here – http://electra-fi.com & I’m so excited to have all of you on board, and cannot wait for everyone else that joins. No matter where you are in your journey, I promise that you are worth it. You are enough, yet can still be better, and I’ll teach you how to be happy in that. I will encourage you and show you how to be the best you while I share me, working on being the best me I can be. Our work isn’t ever done. But there’s a happy place where being happy with yourself and bettering yourself can come together and can both occur at the same time. And when it does, it is a beautiful thing.

Since undergoing some changes, I’d really love y0ur support here as well as around the social media webworld! Let’s be friends! :-D

(P.S. Those of you who are on twitter and IG, I will be using the hashtag #electrafiyourlife and I’d LOVE if you get in on the fun so we can all find each other and support each others’ goals!)

And last but not least – THE UNDER ARMOUR GIVEAWAY WINNER IS …

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah Jordan! Congratulations! We’re all a bit jealous of you right now ;-) Please email me at ielectrafi@gmail.com within 48 hours with your top size, bottom size, shoe size and address so we can get your killer UA swag out to you!


  • What do you think of electra-fi.com vs vanillabeanlean.com?
  • What are some of your goals for yourself and things you’re working on right now?
  • What are some things you love about yourself?
  • What big news is going on in your life?
29 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Under Armour Giveaway

Posted July 7, 2013 By electrafi

The Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign is near and dear to my heart. Why? Because it’s what originally catapulted me to share ALL of my story with you.

It started with my first post last year: What’s Beautiful

Then continued with:

The third round of competition to win become a finalist and possibly win a trip to Costa Rica has ended.

BUT, that doesn’t mean the fun has! And to prove it, I have an AWESOME Under Armour giveaway for all of you!

(I have a firm disclosure policy. I received no payment for this giveaway post, but Under Armour will provide the winner with the prize. Every single opinion in this post is all my own.)

One lucky winner will receive all of the following:

An Under Armour Stretch Mesh Top (unsure of color):

A pair of Under Armour StudioLux Tight Capris:

Toxic line Under Armour SHOES! (unsure of color):

I mean c’mon … who wouldn’t want to win that! Besides the fact that that’s a whole lotta dough you’d have to shell out in order to buy that full outfit, it’s darn cute and functional to boot! ;-)

How to Win (use the rafflecopter box below):

And although not mandatory at all – in order for me to continue providing these killer giveaways with all of you, if you could show me some support and like and follow me below it’d mean THE WORLD to me! :-D

Instagram Follow Me!

Tweet with Me!

Facebook with Me!

Watch me work it out & chat it up on YouTube!

Pin with Me!

Follow My What’s Beautiful Athlete Page!

Sneak Me into your Blog Reader!

LinkedIn connect with Me!

Tumblr Follow Me!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway starts on Sunday, July 7th and will end at midnight CST on Saturday, July 13th. A winner will be announced the week of Monday, July 14th. There will only be one winner. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their color preference and size and shipping information, otherwise I reserve the right to pick a new winner.



Coffee talk today is suspended for comments for the giveaway .. that is unless you’d like to chat me up, and I’m definitely listening. So shoot!

  • Such as … do you have any under armour clothes?
  • Do you ever win any giveaways?
67 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Hot For Handstands

Posted July 2, 2013 By electrafi

Most of the challenges I have put together or been a part of have been completely workout or nutrition related. I have very rarely done anything regarding poses, yoga, or any of the works. Doing the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign has connected me with some awesome ladies with really cool talents and abilities. And holy moly – some of these poses REALLY take a good amount of strength. I did gymnastics back in the day and this is reminding me of those fun days in the gymnastics gym! I have talked often about how I feel that versatility, functionality, and being ready for anything is so important. I have been stretching more often and have it has made a huge difference in how I feel for the better. I am really looking forward to this challenge that Farrah & I put together – #HotForHandstands Handstand challenge this July! (Get it?? It’s hot in july – and handstands are hot ;-)) I hope you’re all as excited as I am. You don’t have to be able to do a handstand at all to participate. The point of this is to be able to LEARN and prep to be able to do handstands, or if you can do them – to get better! No intimidation I promise – I can’t do all of the poses and I’ll be working through them all with you as well!

^The top two pictures are of me, and the bottom two of Farrah. WOOT!


^To follow along, there are each of the poses and we’ll both be posting. We can’t wait to see YOUR handstands! Tag @electrafi (my new name – more on that to come soon!) & @fairyhealthylife with the hashtag #hotforhandstands and we’ll be sure to follow along!

 This was my Day 2 – handstand prep! Come join me!! I’m having SO. MUCH. FUN!


Want to see more of me? Clickkk click below!

Follow My What’s Beautiful Athlete Page!

Instagram Follow Me!

Tweet with Me!

Facebook with Me!

Watch me work it out & chat it up on YouTube!

Pin with Me!

Sneak Me into your Blog Reader!

LinkedIn connect with Me!

Tumblr Follow Me!

I’ll like, tweet, comment, IG, pin & chat back!


  • Can you do a handstand?
  • What do you think of yoga?
  • How often do you stretch?
2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Blogger Friendships & Birthday Shoutout!

Posted September 1, 2012 By electrafi

You all know I LOVE my FitFluential family & being an ambassador.

I’ve talked about how some friendships formed through blogging and FitFluential are just natural…

One of my favorite fit friends I’ve made is the Athletarian, Christina!


How can you not love that face?

I want to wish you the HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY EVER lady.

Christina is a FitFluential ambassador, total rockstar, au natural sweetheart and I am honored to know her.

She’s hosting a Sugar Strike – go check it out! Go show her some birthday love today!


  • Coffee Talk!
    Who are some bloggers you’ve met that you totally connect with?
  • Who are some of your fav fitfluential ambassadors or bloggers?
6 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Although I am a huge proponent of quality over quantity when it comes to the food you eat, the amount of food you take in does still matter. If you expend more energy than you take in, and you’re eating quality calories at the right times of day, your body will use stored fat as the rest of the energy it needs to function during daily activities and your intense workouts.

The amazing people over at BodyMedia sent me a CORE armband and display to use and check out. I told them that regardless of how I felt about it, anything I wrote about it would be COMPLETELY honest. Lucky for them, their product is seriously AMAZING. Holy cow. I am a major fan. I would recommend this to just about ANYONE!

It measures your body temperature, sleep cycles, calories burned, steps taken, amount of both moderate and intense exercise you do a day, and puts it into these killer charts when you upload everything to your computer.

Although there are some great calorie calculators out there, like this one Jamie Eason recommends in her LiveFit trainer, there isn’t any calculator that basically works on human averages, that can individualize numbers for you. The BodyMedia armband can tell you EXACTLY what is going on in your body and can really help you tailor your programs (both workout out and eating) to reap the most benefit you can from them.

I have talked about how many people will under-eat, and that it is important to fuel your body with enough food to keep it from going into I-am-terrified-you’re-starving-me-so-I’m-going-into-fat-storage-starvation-mode. Even after using calculators, and having as much experience and knowledge as I do in this field, even I had underestimated the amount of calories I burn daily. A lot of it has to do with whether I am in the ER or not, because days I work 12 hour shifts, my calorie burn is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Using the BodyMedia armband has helped me increase my calories, allowing me to really individualize and tailor my plans to myself even more than before.


This is the armband I got, since it’s the slimmest. It says to wear it on your left arm for it to be most accurate, and I do 90% of the time. There are some days where I have to look professional, and I took a tip from Monika over at Fit Foodies and use it on my left calf under pants when it being on my arm isn’t feasible.


Me with my BodyMedia armband at the gym! Please excuse the booty sweat Winking smile


And again!

The body temperature gauge is awesome, and can help if anyone is wondering about thyroid issues. The sleep cycle information is AWESOME, and what’s great is that is keeps a record of how long I’m sleeping – telling me whether I need to focus on that more, because I’ve admitted that I’m a do-do-do-er and chick on the go-go-go and sleep sometimes gets shorted in the mix. Cutting on sleep can keep you from your fitness goals and this is a great reminder to stay on top of that!

The display is great and I’d highly recommend getting either that or the band that connects to a smart phone, because it allows you to see where you’re at all day long as opposed to only when you’re plugging it into your computer.

What’s wonderful is that I LOVE the BodyMedia Core armband, and their company ideals are very similar to my own. Check them out!

“We are driven by the belief that our work helps people change their lives for the better.”

“We do our best work when we are surrounded by diverse people who share our passion.”

“We believe in approaching every situation with a philosophy of continuous invention.”

“We don’t shy away from obstacles.”

“We take our work seriously, but not ourselves.”

What a great company with an awesome armband. If you’re thinking about getting one, Do it. It’s SO worth it! Open-mouthed smile And once you do, come tell me how much you LOVE it!


Coffee Talk!

  • Have you ever used a BodyMedia armband or anything similar?
  • LOVE my BodyMedia Core armband!
  • Do you count calories?
  • I have a rough idea of where I am daily, and it fluctuates based on my goals.
  • Do do focus on quality or quantity of food?
  • Quality!!
15 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

DA Active Meet Up

Posted May 17, 2012 By electrafi

Can you say LONG OVERDUE recap!?! Alex of DA Active came into Chicago the other week and I was lucky enough to catch up with her at one of her demos at Equinox Gym & have lunch with her as well!




Some of the displays …


And Alex’s head + fit body mannequin with DA Active clothing = Fun meet up! Open-mouthed smile


Alex & I!

I have been rocking some new pieces… this top & these capris!

Here’s me in the capris!


DA Active is one of my favorite brands of workout clothes, as I’ve told you before; as I’m now a workout clothes convert! Smile with tongue out


Can’t wait to get back into regular posting … went to two Cubs games last week and have been KILLING it in the gym, so I can’t wait to share all of that with you!

Although I’ve been somewhat MIA, I have been on Twitter (@vblean) & Instagram (vblean) all the time since I can do that pretty simply on my phone. Come join the fun and get all my crazy sweaty gym updates and instagram pics over there (What was I missing out on!?!? Why didn’t I join instagram like twelve years ago!?!?!) Talk about new addiction … Smile with tongue out


Coffee Talk!

  • What is new and exciting in YOUR life?
  • What is your favorite brand of workout clothes?
  • Do you have instagram? What’s your username so I can find you? I’m vblean Open-mouthed smile
18 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Twinkle Toes

Posted May 6, 2012 By electrafi

Who officially loves the most fun shoes I have ever owned!?!?!

Yep. If you guessed me, you’re right!







Muscle building baby! Loving my toe shoes for leg day!


Coffee Talk!

What are your fav workout shoes?

13 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

FitFluential Dinner!

Posted February 3, 2012 By electrafi

Yep, that’s right. Sushi for dinner with the wonderful Kelly Olexa. Fitfluential is not only an AMAZING company to be a part of, but the CEO, Kelly Olexa has to be one of the sweetest, most hard-working people I have ever met. We had SUCH a good time!


Rainbow roll rolled with cucumber instead of rice!


And a plate of sashimi, which is a bunch of pieces of raw fish (the white tuna was my ABSOLUTE favorite! It’s the white one with the black sesame seeds on top.) on top of spiralized radish.

Neither of us could pull up in our minds what a radish looked like. That’s totally normal, right? Winking smile

For all of you out there like us … this is what a radish looks like…


Tastes what “refreshing” would taste like if it were a flavor. Pretty mild, and actually something that would complement a light salad very well!


Get ready for…

  • Some awesome recipes coming up – think chia!!
  • And some amazing workouts..
  • And some fun Q&A vlogs..

Next week in the world of Vanilla Bean Lean is going to ROCKKK!


Coffee Talk!

  • Who here likes & uses radish? What do you do with it??
  • What do you get when you go out for sushi?
2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

2012 Challenge Crazy!

Posted January 4, 2012 By electrafi

AHH! Post # 100! WOO HOO! Smile

The New Year always is a time to bring new resolutions, and desires to change our behaviors.


2012 is bringing multiple challenges throughout the fitness and nutrition industry as well as the blog world that would be perfect catalysts to your new journey.

Here are some that I think are definitely worth looking into if you’re up for a challenge and looking to form some fun, hard-earned, good-for-you habits!



  • Your Inner Skinny is hosting the No Excuses 30 Day Burpee Challenge
    • Burpees? Yes please! He’s doing this to show there’s no excuse to take care of your health and fitness. Tailor it to your own fitness level too, he gives beginner, intermediate, and advanced options. He even is selling burpee challenge shirts for a great cause!
  • BodyRock.Tv is hosting the 30 day Challenge
    • This is a 30 day challenge starts with a fit test and mixes cardio and strength training and can all be done in your living room in a short amount of time. There’s a full schedule M-F with active rest days Sat & Sun. They’re pushing to the max and turning couch potatoes living rooms into Bodyrocking gyms daily!
  • There was also a running challenge to run at least 1 mile every day of 2012, starting with January, but I can’t find the link. If I do, I’ll edit this and post it up!

Fitness & Nutrition Focused:

Figured I’d try to put a bunch of motivating challenges together that every one of you can take a look at and decide if you’re up for any of them! Challenges, a little friendly competition, and sometimes rewards beyond the physical you’re already reaping the benefits of (um… hellooooo $100,000!) are always good fun! Smile


Coffee Talk!

  • I can’t wait to hear what YOU are up to!
  • Are you taking on any of these challenges?
  • Are you taking on any other challenges?
  • Which of these sound most interesting to you?
18 Comments so far. Join the Conversation