She’s Back!

Wow!  Cannot believe how much time has passed since my last post!  So much has happened, many changes and wonderful experiences to catch you up on 🙂  One thing that has remained constant is my passion for yoga, good clean food and living a balanced life.  Better get busy prepping for tonight’s Yoga Groove class but I’ll do a “real” post soon.

Week of RAW!

Last night I made some cabbage rolls to take to a dinner party and I wasn’t too thrilled with how they came out but tonight for dinner I heated up some of the leftover filling, added extra mushroom and some fresh spinach and loved the combination!

I wish I would have just brought this to the get-together.  Next time 🙂

So tomorrow I begin a week of raw food only.  I’m excited because I know how great I felt after a week of eating only raw when I tried it out before, but I’m also anticipating spending lots of time in the kitchen prepping my meals.  Like tonight I made a big bottle of fresh juice for first thing in the morning. 

And no, I didn’t add it to any Kombucha… I just like to wash and reuse the bottles.  This juice was a combo of beautiful beets…

carrots, celery, ginger and orange.  Um, um good!  I know that fresh juice like this should be enjoyed right away before the enzymes break down but it is a little time-consuming and I’ll be getting up early to head to the gym for a Buns & Abs class.  I also preped a salad to take with me for lunch.

Chopped hearts of romaine, sliced banana, sliced avocado, sprinkle of shredded coconut and a lemon honey drizzle. 

I don’t think eating a raw diet all the time is right for most people and it can be spendy and effortful but for me it’s a beneficial way to get more creative with my meals and get in the habit of eating lots of produce.  I’m also not a big supporter of drastic cleanses where you severely restrict your calories so a temporary raw diet is a healthy alternative where you can rid the body of excess toxins without being hungry. 

Anybody want to join me in my week of raw? 🙂

Green Goodness

I’ve been really good about eating “clean” this month which includes lots of green 🙂  Today I made the best Green Monster with something new…

Zucchini!  Into the blender went 1 frozen banana, 1 juicy date, cinnamon, vanilla, 1/3 of a zucchini, a big handful of spinach, flax meal and coconut milk.  The result:  DELISH!

I’m thinking about doing just a week of raw food starting Wednesday so there will be more of these for sure.  Last spring I did a whole month of only raw food.  It got me eating so much more produce as well as healthy fats from avocado and nuts but I felt that my body needs more protein than I was able to get from just raw food so… to get back in the habit loading up on veggies I’m gonna do a week at a time. 

Before I temporarily ban baked goods I got busy in the kitchen with a little vegan cupcake experiment.

I’m calling these Vegan Vanilla Poppy Seed Cupcakes and once they cool I’ll top ’em with yet another invention… Vegan Maple Chestnut Frosting!


Now it’s time to unwind with a little yoga and  Michael Franti tunes 🙂 

Yoga Pose of the Day:  Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)


I love doing this pose to calm down after a long day, especially if I’ve been on my feet a lot.  If you suffer from backaches, insomnia or anxiety this is a good pose to try.

“Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” ~Ymber Delecto

Happy New Year!

Wow- time flys!  How is it possible that an entire year can flash by in the blink of an eye?  I guess that’s what happens when you’re having fun, right 🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot about setting some resolutions for the new year and one that I’m dead set on achieving is to run two half-marathons this year.  It’s something I wanted to do last year, but I always let something else take priority over running.  Not this year!  I’m gonna do it 🙂 

A few other goals are to try new things and keep experimenting in the kitchen.  So far I’m doing good with those goals like yesterday when the husband took me out for a little hockey lesson.

I’ve only been ice skating about five times in my entire life so it was more me just skating around holding a hockey stick, but I had so much fun!  What a great way to get outside even on chilly days (it was only about 15°F).

Then to warm up I started on a cooking experiment:  African Cashew Stew

I based this recipe off of one for African Peanut Stew.  It called for lentils but I was all out so I substituted yellow split peas and cashew butter since I’m allergic to peanuts.  After you make one change you might as well just get creative right?  I thought, “why not add some shallots and quinoa while I’m at it”.  The result was sooooo good!

I enjoyed a piping hot bowl of my new stew creation and of course a salad.

African Cashew Stew

1  sweet potato cubed

1 can chickpeas

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

2 tsp curry powder

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp minced ginger

3 cloves minced garlic

1 diced shallot

dash of cinnamon

1 can light coconut milk

2 cups vegetable stock

2 1/2 Tbsp cashew butter

dash of salt

sprinkle of stevia or brown sugar

1/2 cup yellow split peas

1/4 cup quinoa

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for 1 1/2 hrs.  Turn to low for 1-2 hrs till potatoes and peas are cooked.  *Would be tasty garnished with roasted cashews, or greek yogurt

Is your new year off to a good start?

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

– William Arthur Ward



I had big plans to stack firewood outside after work today but it’s snowing like crazy so instead I’m staying in where it’s warm, enjoying a really random snack:

Wasabi peas and a little popcorn 🙂  I love these spicy peas!  And to make myself feel somewhat useful I finally found a spot to keep all my teas organized.

And decided to brew up some peppermint green tea and licorice tea.  This blend is the perfect level of sweet. 

So I really talked up my “December to Remember” goals but then got so busy with fulfilling them and livin’ life that I haven’t posted much lately.  Let me just say that it was a great month!  I did pretty good with most of my goals but there’s aways room for improvement, right 😉  Since there are only two days left of this year I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and came across this great website called Reverb 10.  It’s a  list of prompts to follow each day of December to inspire reflection of the past year.  I know I’m letting you in on this a little late but you can still check it out for a little food for thought.

Did you reach any specials goals this year?  Are there any great moments that really stand out from 2010?

Yoga Pose of the Day:  Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose) 



This pose is ideal for opening tight hamstrings and any forward folding pose is great for helping us look within and reflect.

No Guilt

I don’t know about all of you but I sure had fun over the past few days and certainly had my fair share of delicious, decadent food and drink!  The pants may be fitting just a little more snug today.  Oh well, that’s what new year’s resolutions are for right? 

I actually don’t mean that.  There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence now and then.  There is something wrong with feeling guilty over it though.  I decided at the start of the month that I would enjoy my family, friends and food without hesitation and without guilt.  Last night I watched Eat, Pray, Love (the book is better 🙂 ) and loved the part where she’s in Italy enjoying some authentic pizza and announces that she’s not interested in becoming obese but she is just done with the guilt around food; next she goes shopping for bigger jeans.  Love it!

I too am completely done with the guilt but fully believe health comes from balance so tonight instead of more prime rib and roasted potatoes I had this…

a BIG salad with adzuki bean and chicken for added protein and fiber.   So good!

“I don’t believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don’t judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.” Angelina Jolie

Did you enjoy all of your favorite holiday foods this year or did you hold back?  Are you able to indulge free from guilt?

What a Week!

I had the greatest time hanging out with family and friends the past week!  Holidays are wonderful aren’t they?!  I am happy to be home and back to my usual routines though.  Like a quiet morning yoga practice and a big bowl of granola while I blog 😉

Now I’ve just got to wait for the sun to come out then I’m off for a run! 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Heat’n Up

Wow!  A roaring fire and the oven going for an hour sure gets my little house warm!  I’ve been busy all morning making treats to gift. 

First up:  Dark Chocolate Coconut Fudge Truffles

Then I brewed a pot of java and stayed with that theme for some Mocha Truffles!

These are my all time fav!  I’m not that good at writing down exact ingredients when I experiment so they come out a little different every time; always delish though 😉 

And for a new concoction, how ’bout Gingersnap Truffles?!

These have great flavor but I’ve decided I really don’t like dealing with pecans even though they taste so good.  They’re just really greasy and made it tough to make these hold together. 

After all that I made a Chocolate Cobbler with Dark Chocolate Kahlua sauce to take to a Christmas party tonight. 

This is just step #1 of the dessert.  The end result doesn’t look very pretty- let’s hope it tastes good!  I hate making anything for other people that I can’t taste first, just in case.  Well, I know the sauce will be a hit 🙂  Now for some major kitchen clean-up! 

I’m really happy to say that I’ve got all my Christmas shopping done!  Now I just have to contain my excitement and wait till the 25th to watch them be opened (that’s my favorite part).  I really love giving gifts, I wish I had a bigger budget and could give people gifts all the time!  I also think that spending time with the people you love can be a far more meaningful gift than any object-  it’s still fun though ;-).

Do you exchange gifts?  If so, do you enjoy or dred holiday shopping? 

“When asked what gift he wanted for his birthday, the yogi replied: “I wish no gifts, only presence.” ~Author Unknown

Cough, Sniffle, Cough

I was right… I was coming down with something and felt pretty terrible yesterday but I’m already feeling quite a bit better.  Lots of rest, fresh pineapple and hot tea 🙂

With nothing but rest on the agenda yesterday I finally finished Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi. 

Overall the book was pretty good.  There were parts that brought some serious tears to my eyes.  I couldn’t believe how much she really hated herself and her appearance at times.  I don’t think anyone is immune to issues with body image from time to time  but to constantly be critiquing yourself would be so exhausting.  The book got me examining my own self perceptions and although I consider myself a fairly confident person I started to realize how often what I see isn’t what’s really there.  A blemish on my chin looks huge and disgusting to me while I’d be willing to be most people don’t even notice it.  Some days my thighs look like giant tree trunks even though I’m wearing a size 2.  It’s all sooooo stupid! 

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of Operation Beautiful, but if not you should check out the website and maybe do a little note writing of your own even if it’s just for you to see.  The goal with Operation Beautiful is to change the way we see ourselves and stop negative self-talk.  We’re all going to have a bad day here and there but it’s so important to be able to like what you see and like who you are.  “WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!”  

The Kitchen (aka my favorite room)

It feels like I’ve been spending a lot of time in my kitchen lately- baking, cooking then cleaning up my messes.  Good thing it’s my favorite room in the house 😉  Really, it is.  Not just because I love to cook but also because out of all the rooms in my tiny house it’s the biggest and the brightest.  When the husband and I were house hunting we saw a picture of this one online and one look at the kitchen picture made me want to gag!  It looked like an explosion of brightly colored tiles.  Well, I am so thankful that our realtor took us here to see it in person.  It was love at first sight- so cheery and spacious!  Anyways, I had my fair share of kitchen time today making two batches of granola and a big pot of soup.

I made two versions of my Pumpkin Spice Granola.  One I kept pretty simple with pumpkin puree, spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon and some chopped cashews but the other one I got a little creative.  In with the pumpkin I added some fresh made almond pecan butter and spiced it up with some ginger.

 For dinner I decided to try a recipe for Chickpea Chicken Soup I recently saw on another blog.  I’m a big fan of smokey flavors and this soup has smoked paprika and a little bacon- yum!

I of course also had to add a few generous dashed of Chipotle Smoked Tabasco too 😉  This turned out really good.  Lots of veggies which I love!  I only used about 15 oz of chickpeas and 32 oz of chicken broth but I bet it would be equally as good if I followed the recipe.  I think next time I’ll try a vegetarian version with half black beans, half chickpeas instead of chicken and sub veggie broth.  Now that I think of it some grilled corn would taste amazing in here too!

I really didn’t need one more thing to clean but I was having a major craving for some fresh juice (and sparkly nails) tonight.

Into the juicer went pineapple, grapes, celery, carrots and a big chunk of ginger.  This hit the spot!  My throat has been a little scratchy and sore today (better not be getting sick!) but this really soothed it and tasted so good!

It seems like everyone I know is getting sick lately and I really don’t want to catch anything!  Maybe my vitamin loaded juice will help fend off any illness 😉 

What steps do you take to stay healthy during cold and flu season?  If you do come down with something, what’s your go-to remedy?

My husband likes to joke that I say yoga cures anything so I’ll leave you with a pose that could help keep colds and flu away.

Yoga Pose of the Day:  Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)


Chest openers like this pose can active the thymus gland which is the primary organ of the immune system.  It’s also a great heart, chest and shoulder opener.

“My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.”  ~Terri Guillemets