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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sweating it out.

Hot yoga and I have a love/hate relationship.
  • sweating with the music
  • getting deeper into poses
  • removing toxins from my body, bad things I have eaten, drank, or just feelings of sickness that are coming along
  • stretching my muscles in the heat always makes me feel longer, leaner, more in control of my body. 
  • dropping into savansa feeling like I really accomplished something great.
  • knowing i left it all on the mat, pushed through each hard moment, breathed through the tough poses and made the most of the hour I had.
  • all that sweat on my shirt afterwards, feeling of pride when I leave the gym, knowing I am strong, happy, blessed.
  • my cold, wet body afterwards.
So you see, the love outweighs the hate. Lots. I love hot yoga. It is a combination of my favorite things and just right for my Monday nights. I encourage each of you to reach out and try it. It is my favorite form of yoga so far, and I just can't get enough. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


After reading the book "Happy for No Reason", lots of different random thoughts have come to mind and I just wanted to share them all with you. This will be scattered, but I have figured out that in order to come across like my most personable self, I must write like I am. And I am scattered.

-Happiness is something that everyone is capable of, no matter where you are in life. I truly believe that happiness is a choice, one that is sometimes easy, one that is sometimes very hard. It is hardest when you feel low, hardest when we don't get our way or we feel like the world is against us.

... which brings me to my next thought... 

- The world is not against us. The world is for us. Our God is for us. I think that if we all take a step back and look at where we really are in life, we truly got to that moment for a certain reason. It might have been hard as hell to get to, or still be in a really rough place, but he brought you through it so that you can be better, you can be more appreciative of what you do have, what you will have.

 - Sending out happiness brings happiness back to you (this was a point in the book that I truly enjoyed). It really is so true if you think about it. Smiling at someone causes them to smile back at you (usually), there you go. HAPPINESS. It is something so easy, something that literally takes a second and it could change another person's whole outlook that day. Sure it is fine to just go about your daily tasks without a care for anyone else, but what is the point? What is the point of not being nice? ... on to the next thought...

-Be nice. Always choose being nice. Yes, yes, yes... I understand about having differences, not agreeing about things, and having a moment when you let your feelings get the best of you, but if you look back on that moment, how are you truly going to feel about screaming your head off at that lady, or shooting the bird to someone that wasn't driving fast enough... not the greatest (been there, done that). So be nice, kill them with kindness, smile when it is hard, laugh when you want to scream... but be sincere. Being nice helps you to be happy, you are putting out good vibes into this world, and we sure as shootin need those. 

- Be kind to your body and your mind, let go of the negative, take care of your health. You are going to want it one day, maybe even now. But don't wallow in a bad choice, make the best possible choice at the moment, but make it a conscious decision. If you make a decision you regret, do your best to make it better, and if it is as good as it is going to get, let it go. Make a better one next time. Learn from your mistakes.

- Find something you are passionate about and go for it. The happiest people seem to be the most passionate about life when they find something that makes them smile, every single day. This could be a hobby, sport, and if you are really lucky, your day job. This is something I am still working on, but finding my way has been a journey. A journey I am proud of and one that I am happy to still be working on.

-Be grateful. Every. Single. Day. Lately I have made it a point to say it out loud the entire reason I am thankful, either for that particular moment or for a certain thing. Grateful people are happy people and ones that acknowledge their thankfulness are even more fulfilled when it comes back to them again. Noticing even the smallest things can help you be more mindful and in the moment when it comes to your happiness.

Love, Light, Laughter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

a frank look at my eating this weekend

Okay, so here is the real truth about this weekend. I ate. A lot. I ate all the things I shouldn't, I drank all the things I shouldn't, but you know what? I am totally okay with it.

And you know why? Because sometimes you just have to give yourself a break, not be so hard on yourself, because this is your life, and even though we all want to be healthy, we all want to have a good long life, we all want to feel our best, sometimes we just want to eat. That is where I was this weekend.

This diet has been hard, one that I still can't believe I have stuck to as well as I have. Sure I have a nibble every now and then, but for the most part I am really strict throughout the week. It surprises me when I feel bad about taking a nibble, because I want to be proud of myself, proud of how far I have come and how much different I feel since starting yoga and this journey of teacher training. I came home Sunday, and got right back on track, eating great all day yesterday, and starting this Monday off good as well. This week will be a tough one, with tailgating at the Braves game tomorrow and a NASCAR camping weekend coming up, but I have already come up with some great ideas and can't wait to share my healthy eating plans with you all later this week!

So moral of this story is... LIVE! Be okay with a couple choices away from your diet, it will help you stay on track in the long run. Be okay with where you are right now. 
Be in the moment, because these moments are beautiful. 

ps: I am so proud of these guys and all their hard work! Be on the lookout for the next BBQ champions!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Resting seems to be something that I struggle with. Something I am definitely not good at, but is it something you can practice?

This weekend I planned on trying. I don't know what it is, but I am constantly going, from work, to yoga, to blogging, to spending time with those I love, to going somewhere, doing new things, I must stay busy. Always. I have found this to be both a blessing and a curse. I don't know where it comes from, maybe my mother, but I just enjoy life more being busy. I do enjoy watching tv in the evenings or just hanging out, but I need to learn to be quiet in my own stillness, to take a break or a nap instead of cramming in just one more thing.

Because here is the thing about being busy, you eventually get tired. Studies all over are always saying how good rest is for you, how much you need your sleep, and I completely agree. I guess when we just get down to it, I like to be awake more than I like to sleep. I like to do, to go, to be active, both in my mind and with my body.

I am learning that in order to be more productive, I need good rest, not necessarily a nap, but go to bed at a decent time. I just have so much that I want to do and see when I get off work that it doesn't always end up as I had planned. Once I hit the pillow I am always out though, it is on the rare occasion that I don't sleep soundly. That is definitely a blessing. So that is where I am now, working on resting, being more productive with the time that I have and gearing up for warmer weather, later nights outdoors, and really busy weekends.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a vegan dessert

recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
Chilled Double Chocolate Torte

Crust ingredients:
1 cup + 6 tbsp whole grain spelt flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
 1/2 cup sugar + 1/3 cup stevia
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp + 2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk
3 tbsp pure agave syrup

2 cups avocado flesh (approx 4 medium avocados), pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup almond milk (revised amount)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, sift together the dry crust ingredients (spelt, cocoa powder, baking powder, arrowroot powder, sugar and salt). In a medium bowl, whisk the wet crust ingredients (oil, maple syrup, milk). Add wet to dry and stir well.
In a 10 inch springform cake pan, scoop on the crust batter and spread out with a wet spoon or wet hands. The batter will be very sticky so you will have to keep wetting your spoon/hands. Spread out as evenly as possible and bake for 25 minutes at 375F.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by placing all filling ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth.
Once the crust is done baking, remove from oven to slightly cool off for about 5-10 mins. Now melt your chocolate chips in a small bowl and place melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth. Scoop this filling into cake pan on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours to firm up.
Remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before serving chilled. Serves 10-12. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container. I’m not sure how long it lasts in the freezer, but I would guess 1-3 weeks if sealed properly.

I highlighted the things I changed, substituting arrowroot powder for flour, sugar for stevia, maple syrup for agave. All together it turned out pretty well.

This was my first actual attempt at making an all vegan dessert. My diet is also pretty restrictive on the amount of sugar I can have so I probably broke a few rules, but the amount of sugar in this recipe is pretty low, especially depending on the amount you eat. This torte is rich and best served almost frozen. I love cooking and baking when I have had a stressful day and this was just perfect for that. The avocado works wonderful here, creating a creamy filling that is both delicious and good for you. Believe me, I will be looking for and trying out more of these kinds of recipes soon. Can't wait to share! 

Much love to you all! 

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