It’s More than just Physical

Throughout my life I have struggled with accepting my own accomplishment and have even found it difficult at times to graciously accept a complement. Over the past few years this has been something I have really worked on about myself. Through my regular yoga practice, my running and my lifting I have found small and some not so small portions of my life that I was able to find tangible accomplishments as a way of practicing my gratitude.

Being able to assign a number, measurement or flexibility range to “progress” made it easier for me to physically observe and enjoy my accomplishments. Yet over time of doing this type if physical life based accomplishment/reward system I began to notice I was  obsessively tracking and I was missing out on all that my accomplishments could be.

20140420-100840.jpgI think for me when I began to go deeper into my yoga practice I started peeling off the superficial layers of my accomplishments and my view of them started to shift.  Sure it feels great to do a yoga pose I have always found challenging and adding another 20-50 pounds to a lift doesn’t feel so shabby either, but I began to realize it was more than just the physical. Yes, of course all my yoga practice is making my shoulders look great and those dead lifts are providing some perkiness to my butt, but this whole journey/ adventure has become so much more.

Over the past two years I have done detox diets, juice cleanses, insane workouts, yoga teacher training, etc. etc. But what really came out of all of this has been an incredible sense of self and confidence, something I had believed to be lost not too long ago.

20140716-080300-28980516.jpgIt has been through my exploration of my physical changes that I have learnt how to stop and take it all in and to at times turn inwards.  Sometimes these little journeys inward aren’t always the most fun thing in the world and this is likely why it has taken me so long to open up to the idea of self exploration in more than just a physical sense.

I think as humans it is easy for us to sit there looking at our external appearances and to judge (ourselves and others). I believe it takes some time to feel comfortable and confidence enough to stop and look at our person not as someone with a long yoga body or a six pack or a perfectly balanced macro diet, but as the sum of that and our nature, love and humanness.

Although my realization of this has not make the struggle to acknowledge this in myself much easier, it does provide me with the comfort of knowing there is much more than just my physical accomplishments.

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All of this to say it is important for all of us where ever we are in our lives to take a second  to honour who we are, what we have accomplished and all the good that we can do for others. Although our physical accomplishments demonstrate amazing resolve and determination they are not the sum of all of your parts.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Juice Cleanse – What I have Learnt

As some of you may know this past weekend with the support of my husband and a good friend and running buddy of mine I decided to give a three day juice cleanse a go.

I did my research, looked in my school books, on the all reliable Internet and read testimonial after ridiculous testimonial and figured I would toss my own experience into the ring.IMG_0632.JPGSo first I will explain why I thought this would be a good idea. There are two reasons really the first being that it is supposed to make you feel better and more energized so why the heck no. The second being I am studying to become a holistic nutritionist and I figured if I may one day recommend someone do this I should have an idea of what they will be experiencing.

Once I had it in my mind that I would be doing this I started looking up smart ways to go about it. I am still training for a half and practice yoga regularly so I wanted to make sure that I would be absorbing benefits not hindering my progress in any area. So the first thing I did for the cleanse was to take a step back from too much activity, no biking or rollerblading and I stuck to Yin/ Restorative yoga.

IMG_0630.JPGThen it was all about figuring out what to drink. I decided after my research that aiming for 4-6 juices a day and more if I was still hungry would be a good amount. I wanted to be sure to get my protein in and seeing how I am allergic to nuts I used a vegan protein powder instead of the recommended cashew nut “juice”. Then I went grocery shopping and stocked up on organic produce from both my grocery store and local farmers market. Then came the easy part of drinking the fruits of my labour.

IMG_0640.JPGDay 1:

The first day of the juice cleanse wasn’t so bad. Still all pumped up with motivation and determination the first two juices were no big deal. I am pretty used to starting my day with a protein shake or something of the sort it wasn’t such a huge change from my norm.  However, by the third and fourth juice I was pretty much ready to sink my teeth into something.

It wasn’t that I was hungry per say but I was definitely feeling unfulfilled from not being able to actually chew my food. On top of the insatiable urge to chew something I had been nursing a ridiculous headache for most of the day, which was most likely a symptom of detox or due to lack of calories could be either or.

After I drank down my protein shake and put a different program on the TV so I wouldn’t have to watch others eat, I soon decided it was time for bed so I wouldn’t have to be awake and thinking about all the food I would much prefer to drink than to eat.

Day 2:

I woke up in the morning pretty jazzed up, my headache was gone and I was feeling pretty energized after having slept about 11 hours (which is completely unlike me).  It was farmer’s market day (which is always a good time) and I had one day under my belt so I was feeling pretty confident.

Everything I had read said that day 2 would be the most challenging, that when stuff starts to move through your body, you really feel the detox and it is when the hunger really hits.  Well to keep this polite things didn’t start to “move for me” which is quite unnatural for me, My hunger and desire to chew wasn’t worse than it was on day 1 and my headache had left me so I kind of felt like I was ahead of the game.

However, by the time juice 3 rolled around my body wasn’t havin’ none of it! I started to feel a little nauseous, light head and all around disgusting. I texted my girlfriend and husband who kindly reminded me that it was my idea to do this and to keep powering through.   Their love and support worked until my body completely rejected that last juice.

IMG_0660.JPGAfter losing my lunch (literally) I decided that I had put in a valiant effort and there was no shame or embarrassment in having to break the fast. I emailed my husband a grocery list of items to pick up from the store so we could eat solids (and yes meat was on this list), and then laid myself down on the couch to relax, drink some water and love my body.

Now through my research it was also strongly recommended not to eat meat or dairy for at least three days after such a cleanse because your body might have a hard time processing it. So sure I was a little weary of chowing down on some red meat, but when it came down to it, but this wasn’t the case for me and my body.

Day 3:

I had already broken the cleanse and eaten food, however when I woke up on what would have been day 3 of the cleanse I was actually craving a juice.  My body welcomed the delicious strawberry, beet and carrot beverage.   The rest of my day was spent normally having solid meals, lots of veggies and fruits and being all around satisfied with my meals.

What I learn:

I learnt that juice cleanses are bananas.  I mean I was coming from a place of curiosity and wanting to do good for my body and I honestly think I did.  Although I didn’t finish my cleanse I did come out of it with a renewed sense of mindfulness when it comes to what I put into my body.

I will continue to include homemade veggie juices in my life and was grateful to have the opportunity to find out what it would be like, however I don’t think I would ever attempt a 100% juice all day every day cleanse again it didn’t work so great for me any my personal body make up.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse or something of the sort?  How did it pan out for you?

 

Getting Ready for Success

This summer has turned into a bit of a write off.  Yoga challenge and half marathon training aside I have allowed myself to indulge maybe a bit too much.

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I normally fluctuate a couple of pounds depending on the time of month, the time of day, how much water I have had, etc.  But this summer one too many pizzas or BBQ style foods has made its way into my body.

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Seeing how my foot is out of commission and I recently did a number on my wrist I am limited in what I can do physically right now.  So in order to get myself back on track I have contacted some friends that are also fans of fitness for some tips and tricks on how to stay active and I have piggy backed on my girlfriend’s 3 day juice cleanse.

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After doing some research I am actually starting to get excited about this little nutrition restart and cleanse.  So this week I have started to charge up my diet with my veggies and salads in order to get my digestive system ready for 3 days worth of liquid nutrients.

I hope to share my juicing recipes with you after the fact to be sure that they are not only nutritious but also tasty.

So here’s to leaving the past behind me and moving forward and getting back on track when it comes to health and fitness. Sometimes it takes step backs like this to remind yourself of your priorities and your goals. So instead of sitting here and dwelling on what I have done wrong I have decided to start taking the appropriate steps to move forward and get back to a more positive healthy place.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Top 10 – Running Thoughts

Yesterday I went on a LSD run as a part of my half marathon training.  These runs average from an hour and a half to two and a half hours so I end up spending a lot of time with my thoughts.  While on my run yesterday there were several reoccurring thoughts that came to mind so I figured it would make for a fun light hearted post.   Perhaps you are a runner and you can relate.

20140415-091529.jpgTop 10 – Running Thoughts:

  1. I am so fast like the wind! I could keep the pace up forever!
  2. Why in the world didn’t I pace myself at the beginning I knew I had 22 km to run right?
  3. Look at that guy/gal running so fast! Whatever they are probably only out for 5k
  4. Finally someone waved back!
  5. This song is my JAM! wait I am singing out loud, how many people have I run by?
  6. Why am I doing this again?
  7. It doesn’t matter if you want to you already paid to.
  8. Everything hurts, if a cab comes by you better believe I am hailing it!
  9. You are half way just 12 more kilometers
  10. Thank god it’s over!

What are some thoughts that cross your mind when you are running?

Summer Time!

This summer seems like it is really trying to wrap itself up. I am definitely not ready for the warm weather and sun to be over though so hopefully time starts to slow down a little bit, so I can add in some more relaxing and outdoor time.   In the mean time this summer has been a super exciting one for me. I have wrapped up a handful of challenges and started new ones.

My goal this summer was to start getting myself out there and working a bit more to achieving my goals of teaching yoga in an established yoga studio.  I have been class time from a local studio since I received my yoga teacher certification but there is something comforting and encouraging about having the opportunity to be apart of a yoga studio and the yoga community in your hometown.

I am proud to say that this past month has brought with it many successes, one of which is having the opportunity to sub at a studio in our Byward Market here in Ottawa and another one happened this morning.  I had the opportunity today to be on a live news broadcast to tell everyone who was awake and tuned in this morning about my Rock n’ Roll yoga class.   It is something that I came up with before even heading off to Costa Rica for YTT and I am so happy I have the opportunity to share what it is all about with people through a new medium.

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A huge thank you to CTV Morning News Live and to Studio X Ottawa for giving me this fantastic opportunity to talk about something I love, and love to share with others. If you want to see the whole little segment click on the link (News Clip)

I also have one more surprise, but I am waiting for it to be announced officially before I share it with everyone here on my blog.  So stay tuned to find out what my other big adventure/opportunity is!

blissI am so excited and feeling so blessed and lucky for all these positive and awesome things that are seemingly happening all at once. Thank you for all the support from you my readers and from my friends and family.

Hope you are all having a glorious Tuesday!

 

Food Fridays Have Returned!

Food Fridays are finally back because I finally have some time to get in the kitchen and play with foods again and I couldn’t not possibly be more excited about that.  I really truly love cooking and not having the time to be creative in the kitchen on a regular basis bums me out so I am excited that I am able to share with you again.

So this week’s recipe is a ravioli.  I originally started to think about making something pasty like because I have about a million beets hanging out in my fridge, so I figured I would make myself some beet ravioli, then when it all came down to it all I could think was “I don’t feel like having red hands right now” so I put a full stop on the idea of beets and went into the fridge to see what I had to work with.  What happened was incredibly delicious and I am so happy I wrote down the recipe.

Kale, Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli

Serving: 4-5 ravioli pieces.

20140717-081731-29851195.jpg3/4 cup diced Onion
1 cup diced Kale
2 cup diced Mushroom
5-6 chopped Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 tsp fresh chopped Rosemary
1/2 cup light Ricotta Cheese
2 tbsp Goat Cheese (optional)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pkg Won-Ton Wrappers 1 tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

20140717-081731-29851657.jpg1. Heat a large frying pan to medium/low, and add half of the butter/oil.  Once warm add in onions and cook until they soften and start turning clear, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add sun dried tomatoes and kale and cook for another 3 minutes, then add in mushrooms.  Cook until everything is soft approximately 5 minutes.

2. Once everything is cooked remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. While vegetable mixture is cooling mix together ricotta, goat and Parmesan cheeses with fresh rosemary in a large bowl. I added coarsely ground black pepper at this stage to be sure there was a nice peppery flavour.

4. Once vegetable mixture is cooled mix it together with the cheese mix, blend well making sure everything is mixed together.

5. To make a ravioli fill a small bowl with water for your fingers.  Take one won-ton wrapper and wet all the way around the edge of the paper.  Place 1-2 tsp of the filling in the center, fold the wrapper in half making a triangle and press the sides together.  The water makes the wrapper stick together without it the seams won’t stay closed.

6. Place the remaining 1 tsp of butter/oil into a pan, flavor with a couple pinches of fresh rosemary and bring to medium heat.  Place the ravioli in and cook.  Should take about 3-5 minutes per side.

Note: to cook the ravioli you can also place them in boiling water for approximately 5 minutes, or dry fry them without any oil or butter.   All three methods work it just depends on the type of flavour you are going for.  In the future I would probably omit the butter and just dry fry, the additional fat didn’t add to the flavour much so I don’t feel that it is necessary.

20140717-081732-29852033.jpgServe and enjoy.   We didn’t put any sauce on ours and found that you really don’t need anything the flavours really speak for themselves.

 

Back Again – Recap

I have been dormant for a while and for that I apologize but I am back and trying to get back into the swing of blogging. The school year had been coming to a close which meant lots of reading and writing and studying. Now after a week of recovery and relaxation I am back to give you all a fun recap of the past little while.

20140716-080301-28981438.jpgBack in March I started school again, heading back with the goal of becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, since finishing my university degree years ago, heading back to school has been an interesting experience. I forgot just how exhausting using your brain on a regular basis could be, the program I am enrolled in is also a one year intensive so it is exactly that, intense.  But enough about school. I don’t have to think about that for another 10 weeks or so.

What have I been up to.  Well quite honestly school has taken up about 80% of my time, but in the mist of all that craziness I have managed to complete the 101 day Digestive Detox I started in the spring and I just wrapped up a 30 day yoga challenge with my yoga studio, so I thought figure I would do a little recap, and then I am hoping to start bringing you delicious recipes and fun workouts again really soon.

So the 101 days of clean eating is over and thank goodness.  It was great to know that I was able to remain 100% committed for the majority of the experiment, however it is even more fantastic to know that it is over!  I have discovered that I have a pretty good 80/20 balance and I am keen on committing to that.  I found that the full on 100% clean eating, no drinking etc. was a little too extreme and made me dig my heels in at some points.  But it is always great to push your boundaries to get to places that make you feel a little uncomfortable.  Now it is over and I am back to a nice balanced diet of healthy, live, fresh foods with the occasional glass of wine while sitting on my patio.

20140716-080301-28981108.jpgThe clean eating challenge wasn’t the only thing I was challenging myself with this spring, I also signed up for a 30 day detox yoga challenge.   Now this was an incredible experience.  After returning from my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica and enrolling in school I was finding it challenging to attend more than one or two yoga classes a week.  I realized that I wasn’t committing to myself, my personal development and my practice.   The 30 day challenge really helped me to refocus and to make my practice a priority.

20140716-080300-28980516.jpgMaking my own yoga practice a priority allowed me to be more creative with the classes I was creating for others and helped me to find a little clarity in the midst of school, training, half marathon training, my part-time jobs, family and friends.   This challenge also provided me a way to start becoming a part of the yoga community.   The studio I frequent here in Ottawa has a great yoga community but I always felt like I was in a rush so I never took the time to say hello and speak with others.  This challenge showed me that I have the time to say hello and make new friends.  I strongly recommend if your local yoga studio does a challenge like this you make the commitment to yourself and try it out.

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Now that all of the challenges are over I am settling back into my regular gym, running and yoga routine and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.   I have also started teaching my first outdoor fitness class and it has to date been a complete blast!

All in all I am happy to say it is officially summer for me. I get some time to relax and rest before school starts up again in September, I get to do some yoga outside on Parliament hill and in my yoga studio and I have a half marathon to look forward to in August.  In the mean time I am going to be spending time catching up on my personal reading and spending time in the sun.

20140716-080301-28981809.jpgHappy Humpday everyone!

Question:  What types of recipes and workouts would you like to see in the future?