I ate Vegan and Survived! YTT Part 2

When I started getting more into yoga, I started to follow a lot of yogis on IG. I quickly noticed that a good number of them were vegan but I never understood why. I thought it was kind of like Crossfit and Paleo, they just go together. It sort of is that way but there is a little more to it. I didn’t understand it until I went to the ashram.

When I found out that I was going to be eating vegan for about a month during my yoga teaching training I was super excited. I’ve never gone that long without eating meat or dairy and I was very interested in what it would do for my body. I suffer from acne so I thought this would be an awesome test to see if that would change. I normally eat a LOT of chicken so I wondered what would happen if I stopped eating it. And then just in general, how would I feel?

The first 2 days I was gone I had terrible headaches. That was the detox period. After that, smooth sailing, easy peasy! The easiest part was that someone was cooking for me and I didn’t have a choice in what I was eating. But if I had to say anything negative, and believe me this isn’t even really negative but I figure I have to have a down with my ups, it would be that I didn’t have a choice, LOL! There were a handful of days that we had the same food and that just got a little boring. But I ate it, and I was never hungry, so really not so much negative, just something that wasn’t 100% positive.

The acne didn’t go away. Actually, it got worse. This could be for a couple of reasons. One, I was surrounded by women the entire time and that meant hormone disruption the entire time I was gone. That said, I was getting zits in places on my face I don’t usually get them, so I don’t think it was all hormonal. Two, it could have been detoxing, stuff coming out, but I don’t think it should have lasted the whole time I was gone. So I am going to say that dairy does not have an effect on my skin. I think it’s time to see a dermatologist.

When I would tell people I was going to eat vegan, the number one response was, “You’re going to lose weight.” I sure didn’t want to. But I was interested to see what would happen so I took some measurements before I left. The only thing to really note here is that the two weeks before I was at the ashram were go crazy eating weeks. I was in California, I went to Disneyland where they have the best churros ever, and I wasn’t eating as clean as I normally do. So I started out about 5-7 pounds heavier than normal. So when I got home from the ashram here’s what happened weight/size/feeling wise. I felt bigger. I felt bloated the whole time I was gone. My clothes (yoga pants) still fit for the most part, but you could see it in my face. I actually had a friend tell me she’s never seen my face that round before. I did lose weight though, sort of. I lost the extra weight I had gained prior to going but nothing more. I was eating fabulous food, but I was eating a SHIT LOAD of carbs. My body is not used to that. So I think that is where the “side effects” came from. When I got home and went back to eating less carbs, the weight in my face fell off! The same friend who saw me and said my face was round saw me only a week later and said I was back to usual. Other people who see me regularly said I didn’t look like I had lost weight but I looked more toned. That surprised me because I wasn’t exercising like I usually do.

So to sum up, I learned that my brand of acne is not from food, and I should continue eating minimal carbs so I don’t feel bloated. But other than that, vegan eating was awesome! Oh, and the part about yogis being vegan? It all comes back to Ahimsa, non-harming/non-violence, the first of the Yamas and Niyamas, aka Yoga Rules. To sum that up without going into great detail. don’t kill anything, which would include animals for your food. Pretty basic stuff.

You’re probably waiting for some photos. So here are a couple of my favorite meals!!

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On the left is a frittata made with chickpea flour. Soooooooooo effing delicious!! On the right is a 3-bean salad. Also major yum! But really, that frittata!

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I have absolutely no idea what is in that patty, but it tasted like a burger and was amazing!

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Quinoa stuffed zucchini! This is something I would normally do at home already so it was great!

 

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MEXICAN FOOD!!!! Beans and spanish quinoa! YASSSSSS!!!!!

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Something I NEVER thought I would eat…palm hearts and okra with green beans. Delicious! Just weird because it was very new.

The next photo is the thing we ate, in my opinion, too often. Mung beans in various forms. If I never eat this yellow bean again I will be okay. I get it, it’s quick and it can be mass produced for a large group, but it wasn’t my favorite.

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The day I rebelled and decided to eat whatever I wanted was day 21. It wasn’t because I missed meat, it wasn’t because I was craving meat or dairy, I was just wanting something different. And so breakfast at a diner was the way to go! And I did it right! Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, and pancakes. And I ate it all!!!!!

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Since being home, a couple things have happened. At first, I went back to eating like I normally did. Clean and healthy, meat, low carb. And I felt just fine. No adverse effects from adding meat back into my diet. But as of a little over a week ago, my family and I are now vegan/vegetarian. It wasn’t just the ashram that made us make the change, I will blog about all that separately, but living it for a month helped sway me for sure. #ChangeIsGood!

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A Month of Firsts: YTT Part 1

It’s official! I am a 200 hour yoga teacher training graduate!! HEYO!!!!

I spent a month living at an ashram, a”forest school”, learning everything that is YOGA! I slept in a dorm with other yogi ladies, ate vegan food, chanted, and walked away with so much more than a certificate.

I have a ton to write about but it would be a gazillion pages long so I am going to try to break it up into categories the best I can. I’ll start with this one, a list of my “firsts” from this trip. Being in my 30’s it kind of seems weird to be experiencing things for the first time, but there is definitely a list so here goes…

My first time graduating after high school. After I graduated high school I started at San Diego State. I was a year in when my boyfriend joined the Army. So I quit school, started working full time to save money, got married, and never went back. I am not at all sad about it. I wouldn’t ever take any of it back.

Since then I have always had people wonder if I’d ever go back to school. My answer has always been no, I don’t want to have to go through all that, but if I ever did it would be for something specific. I guess I lived up to that. I went back to “school” to be a yoga teacher.

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My first time to Pennsylvania. After getting married I have frequently traveled along the southern states. For quite a few years, the DC area was the farthest north I had ever been. Now I can add Pennsylvania to my list of states visited.

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My first time to New Jersey. Sure I only visited the edge of Jersey that borders Pennsylvania, but I was still there. One of the last evenings at the ashram a group of us drove to an amphitheater in Jersey to see Alice Cooper and Deep Purple.

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My first time walking through a river. This one might surprise you. It sure surprised my friend who watched me walk in the water like it was normal. Sure I’ve swam in lakes but only ones that were highly populated for recreational purposes. This river was not one of those types.

On our first day off, a new friend and I ventured into town to do laundry, eat lunch, and go on a hike. We happened upon this great river area that had a walking trail, a giant covered bridge, and just all around great scenery. My friend is a seasoned river-goer so in we went. Of course I did yoga!

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Sticking to the theme here… First time jumping in a swimmin’ hole via a rope swing. On another day off we ventured to this great little town called St. Peters that sits along French Creek State Park. We nicknamed it the “Spirit Village” because it was just that; a quaint little village with yoga classes, a gem shop, and all around spirit, nuzzled up next to hiking trails and a river. I came here twice, the first time just for hiking, but found that this spot in the photo is where all the families hang out to swim and swing. So the second time we went I knew I had to get in and see what the fuss was all about. I guess you could say I am kind of adventurous. What an exhilarating experience! And yes, the water was cold.

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First time eating (almost) all vegan. I came into this really eager to see what eating vegan was all about. Having someone else cook it for me was definitely a plus! I plan to write a whole post just about this so I won’t say much but I will say this… I survived! LOL! I ate vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a total of 20ish days. I even stuck to it when I went out in the real world. It was pretty great! I didn’t miss meat or cheese. I now have quite a few ideas to incorporate into my regular life. But around day 20 I was tired of eating the same thing everyday so I staged a revolt and went out to eat breakfast complete with eggs, bacon, and pancakes. I am not sorry!!

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This is a tough one… First time dealing with the loss of a pet. About half way through my time away, my husband had to make the choice to put down our boy Simon. It was a bit easier for me because I wasn’t around to witness it and I am also a bit more level-headed in situations like this. But that may be what made it harder for me; I couldn’t be there for my husband when he needed someone. I had the support of my new “family” while he only had the support of one of his best friends. Thank goodness for that one friend.

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Simon smiling on his last day.

Last but not least..My first time doing something totally alone, for myself. I got married when I was 19 and since then have been doing EVERYTHING with my husband. I have a 9 year old daughter, so the last 9 years have been spent doing almost everything with her as well. For me, doing things all alone involve me being alone at home or going grocery shopping. This was yet another road on my journey that I never expected.

I spent 24 days without my husband or daughter. I spent them in a “foreign” place. I shacked up with 7 other ladies in a dorm. I lived with 15-20 strangers for 24 days. I drove 6 hours in the truck to and from the ashram (I think I’ve topped out at 3 hour drives). I lived and survived on my own for the month. That’s the gist of it really. I elected to live away from my family and go on this crazy journey and I had to problem with it. I jumped in head first and it was AMAZING! I could easily say that being a military kid and wife prepared me for such a road, but I like to think that I am just awesome to be able to handle this kind of thing. 😉

What a trip!!

Stay tuned for more exciting posts coming soon!!

From Guide to Teacher #NamasteTuesday

I became a yoga teacher a little over a year ago. And I know that even though I am not certified, I am still a teacher. But when I tell people that I teach I sometimes use the word “guide” rather than teacher because I am not certified. I tend to get self-conscious about using the word “teacher” because I have never been formally trained. I have attended classes, but I am mostly self-taught. I have never been taught how to teach, I just gave it a try and found out I am pretty darn good at it. And while I feel confident as a teacher/guide, there are still some aspects of teaching a class that I could use a bit more confidence. Well…the time has finally arrived.

I am going to officially get my 200 hour yoga certification next month! WOOO!!!!

I have been talking about doing it for a while. Not only to be more confident when I teach, but mostly for myself. There is only so much that you can teach yourself. And there is sooooooo much more that I have to learn. But there have always been obstacles. First of course is money. It ain’t cheap to get your certification. The second obstacle has been scheduling. Although I don’t work and you would think I have all the time in the world, I don’t. Especially on the weekends. And yoga cert classes are not on YOUR schedule. Most of them are only one weekend a month; Friday evening, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. Even though that’s only one weekend a month we have to work around, that’s a lot of work. And we only have one car and a kid. So making sure my husband is going to be home on time for me to drive for an hour and make it to class, and then if my daughter had somewhere to be on the weekend…you get it. One weekend can really mess things up. We were, of course, going to make it work, but it was going to be tough. Until the Kula Kamala Foundation popped up on our search.

One other quick thing that was going to be tough with the other classes, a lot of them required that you go to their studios at least once a week to attend a class. Again, I would have to really rework my schedule to be able to do this. Oh, another thing, it seemed to me that a lot of the classes are also geared towards getting your certification so you can turn around the find a job as a teacher. I don’t need that. Sure, in the future my certification will make it easier to get a job, but at this point I am not looking for ways to market myself. So….

There were a couple classes that I was going to settle for. We were going to make it work. And then Kula Kamala came up. I don’t even know how my husband found it because it isn’t local. But this was THE one. This one has everything I was looking for and more. First, it’s not as expensive, and let’s be honest, that is always a plus. Second, it’s all done in one month. One super long, intense month, but no big schedule changes. Including not having to find child care because my daughter is on her own vacation until school starts. Double win! Third, and this is the pretty cool part, I am going to live and be fed at the school for the entire time, and that’s part of the tuition. And four, this class seems to be more about the spiritual side of yoga, while also teaching you how to guide others. This is going to be so crazy and awesome!

I have never done something like this. I have never lived on my own. I have never done something like this where I leave the family for an extended period of time. And I’ve never imagined I’d go off to live in Pennsylvania with a bunch of other yogi weirdos (I’m definitely one of those so I am not making fun of anyone) for a month. It’s going to be fantastic. I am going to be mingling with my people. I am going to be completely immersed in yoga for a month. And I get to experience a ton of things I have never had the chance to before.

I am also going to be vegan for the month. The food served is all local or homegrown at the school and it’s all vegan or vegetarian. I am honestly not sure what there will be that is vegetarian, (milk?) so I am going to assume that it will be almost 100% vegan. I am pretty excited about this too. When I think about eating a vegan diet I always say, “That would be great…if someone else made the food for me.” You want to cook vegan for me? Perfect. I have to prepare everything and buy new things and learn new recipes? No thanks. So the fact that I will be eating this way because it’s what is being put in front of me is going to make it a helluva lot easier to try. Not like I’ll have a choice, LOL! But I am honestly excited. I have not, until now, realized that most of the yogis I know or follow online are all vegan. So it will be interesting to see what it does for my mind. I am very eager to see what it does for my skin, if anything. I suffer from acne and cannot figure out what the hell causes it. Maybe it is something in animal products. I have read about it being caused by dairy but I do not eat a ton of dairy. But you never know.

You won’t see a blog from me in a while since I’ll be very busy, but I will definitely find time to journal and blog when I return.

The next time you see me, I should will be able to say with confidence, “I am a yoga TEACHER.”

And for fun, here’s me smiling while inverted. 🙂

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Summer Farmin’ #FarmlifeFriday

Happy Friday, everyone! Since my last post a lot has changed. Let’s start with Frenchie.

She was our hen that was broody, a.k.a got baby fever. Well, her attempt at motherhood failed. It could have been a number of things. It could have been that the garage was too cool. It could have been the fact that only 2 of the 5 eggs were actually fertilized. Or it could have just been how nature intended. She sat diligently on those eggs but in the end, 1 burst, 2 got stinky, the other 2 never hatched, and she ended up abandoning the nest. The good thing is that she was welcomed back into the flock just fine. And she got over the broodiness even though she never actually hatched any eggs.

And now Hagrid is broody!! I have read that it can be contagious. I don’t know if that is the case here because Frenchie wasn’t around the other birds, but in any case, Hagrid is trying her hand at motherhood now. But this time we are not going to move her. We are going to let her do her thing in the coop and hope for the best. She still comes out in the morning to eat and dust bathe, and then goes back and sits on her potential babies. She has 3 eggs, 1 is hers and the other 2 were laid the day after she turned broody, so I put them under her.

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We think she’ll be a great mama so hopefully nature works in our favor this time.

Here’s a couple of the other birds this morning lounging in the tall grass…

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And Carl. He is still such a purdy bird!!

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I didn’t realize until just now that the last post also included a snake. Funny, this one will also include a new snake story.

I’m becoming quite the serpent master around here. And I have to do most of this on my own because my husband is constantly gone for work. Side note, he thinks it’s hot that I can handle this kind of stuff on my own, LOL! Especially because he will admit, he is not “wildery” and doesn’t care for snakes or spiders. Anyway, I was out to dinner with friends and came home around 10pm. I went to the coop to close it up and count the birds. I counted all 8 birds and 1 non-bird.

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I wasn’t quite panicking, but I wasn’t very calm either. The main thing was that I was alone, it was dark, and I only have so many hands. I managed to get the snake towards outside the coop, but then I kind of stopped because one, I didn’t have my boots on, it was dark, and I didn’t have a real idea of what I was going to do after I got him out. I kept scooting him around with the rake and then he slithered out of the door towards outside. Again, no real shoes on, so I was tip-toeing around with the rake and fighting with this snake; he was pretty strong. I have a tarp around the bottom of the coop and he ended up going inside there. At this point I went inside to get my boots and reassess. It’s getting closer to 11, should I just leave him? Should I shoot him? No, not at 11pm. What to do? I got my boots on and went back out. I used the rake and felt around the tarp and realized he was inside the bottom, stuck. PERFECT! I unhooked the tarp from the coop and used the rake to drag him, inside the tarp, all the way to the other side of the yard, still holding my cell phone as a flashlight. I would just have to figure out my next course of action in the daylight.

The next morning I did not have time to deal with snake shenanigans before Reining Hope, so I made sure he wasn’t in the coop and took off. When I came back in the afternoon he was back in the coop, already digesting an egg. I started to attempt to get him out again and realized that unless I planned on grabbing him with my hand I wasn’t going to be able to hold the coop door open and get him out with the rake without another pair of hands. Luckily my friends were coming over. So I waited. When they arrived, my friend held the coop door open while I found the snake’s head. I pushed it down with the rake, switched to me holding the door, and my friend grabbed his tail and pulled him out of the coop. Once he was out of the coop, we switched it up where he held his head with the rake and I took a hold of the snake. This was intense but so awesome at the same time.  All my dreams of being like Steve Irwin came true!!

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I did not plan to kill the snake for a few reasons. These guys aren’t bad. They are non-venemous, good for rodent control, and since snakes are territorial they will deter other snakes, like bad ones. But he couldn’t stay close and threaten the flock and continue to eat eggs. So my friend and I walked him about 2 acres away and set him free. He slithered in the opposite direction of the house so that’s a plus. But if/when he or one of this friends comes back, I’ll be ready!

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The garden is growing like crazy! I haven’t had to buy vegetables in forever and I am giving so much away because I just can’t eat this much. If you follow my Instagram (there’s a link on the right side of the page) you’ve seen all my zucchini selfies. They are HUGE!! And so are the cucumbers. I’ve had to start to enjoy cucumbers. I was never a fan but they aren’t that terrible. They are even better with ranch dip. They just aren’t my favorite but I love eating something that I grew.

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Here’s today’s harvest. I put the cherry maters and eggs next to everything for scale. The maters are just now starting to ripen here and there. But all my plants have green tomatoes. I see a lot of salsa and sketti sauce in my future because again, I am not a mater fan. My husband is though, so as long as he is around, those will be eaten.

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A friend of mine let me borrow a zucchini cookbook, so I found some recipes to try. I REALLY need to because this is getting crazy! I am very happy to share though and promote farm to table.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Happy Summer!!!!

 

A Mama & A Serpent #FarmlifeFriday

Since my last farming post, we have had a couple big events happen over here. The first, Frenchie is still sitting on eggs. By the time you read this, she will be on her 22nd day of laying on the eggs. We never candled them, checked for life, we decided to just let her do her thing and let nature do it’s thing. So it will be interesting to see exactly what happens. So far we haven’t heard any cheeping out there but we still have time.

I caught this photo earlier this week. Frenchie was getting a drink. She was there for a second and then right back on her eggs. We get nervous that she isn’t doing well but when I check on her I’ll notice that she’ll be looking one way and then the next day she’ll be facing the other way. And I know she knows what she’s doing so I shouldn’t worry. But that mama thing kicks in and I want to make sure she’s all good. 20170606_122754

Next up on the farm update…I went to get eggs out of the nesting box the other day and had an unexpected visitor.

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Not a super dangerous little guy, but he was eating my breakfast!! I always go in the yard expecting a snake because I know they are out there, but it is always so startling when you actually see one. This guy was about 4 feet long.

Took the girls about a week to start laying in the nesting box again. We thought they had either given up or started laying somewhere else in our five-ish acres. So I went on an egg hunt the other day with no luck. Then for some reason I was looking in the bottom of the coop and in the way back corner that we can’t see, a huge pile of eggs!! Luckily they’ve gone back to laying in their designated spots now.

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Here’s a picture of all the birds on the porch, just for fun.

And in other ranch/farm type news, I am getting more acquainted with the horses at Reining Hope. (I am linking you to the newsletter page so you can check out the Spring 2017 one if you so wish. Might see a familiar face in one of the articles) I think I’ve said before that I did not grow up around horses and I do not know much about them. But I was around them a couple weekends ago and this particular one, Beau, was very affectionate most the day. Yes, he’s nibbling on my shoulder.

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Hopefully my next post will be about new baby chicks!! Happy Friday!!

 

The Purge! #JTM

I know I already had a Volume 1 of the purge post but this really should have been the first one. The other one I wrote was more spontaneous while this one was more thought out.

As I mentioned, we are slowly working on our journey towards minimalism. As soon as I watched that documentary I immediately started looking around the house at things I didn’t need. The first purge was clothes.

I purge my clothes pretty often. I used to be a clothes hoarder. I would keep ALLLLLL my t-shirts from forever ago because at one point I loved them. Then I got pregnant and most of my clothes never fit me again. Purge. Then I started losing weight and clothes didn’t fit. Purge. But I would still keep a lot. WHY?!? One day I read something about cleaning out your closet and it stuck, and it’s what I ask myself whenever I clean my closet. “Weather dependent, would I put this on today and wear it?” If the answer is no, it goes. It’s really that simple. And you know what? I don’t miss any of those things I got rid of. Another rule someone mentioned that is a good one: if you buy something new, something old needs to go. It really keeps you from frivolous buying. I purge my clothes seasonally and it seems to be working for me.

But I was not the only one purging this time. My husband purged his clothes and I think he had 3 times as many bags as me. While I hoard shirts, he hoards pants. He had stacks of jeans that he never wears. Why? Because he might wear them someday. Would he put them on that day and wear them out? NO? Out they go!!

Here’s our SHARED closet after we were done. Most of our clothes are foldable and are in cube-type storage (Ikea stuff) but this is all that hangs.

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You can see my husbands current pile of pants, lol. He is rotating his clothes so only shorts are out for wearing now. I have to cut him some slack though because he needs more clothes for his job. He can’t just dump everything when he has uniforms and certain clothes for certain jobs.

Next was the craft closet. I say craft because it’s in our craft room but really it’s the “catch-all” closet. The place you put everything you don’t really have a place for. Also where you throw everything you don’t want to see. I wish I took before photos. Grrr! But still, it’s a thousand times cleaner and more organized than it was.

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That white hanging compartment was full of shoes. I think I kept one pair. I even went through all those plastic drawers and organized them. I was putting in work.

Next was the kitchen. This was the next biggest purge after the clothes as far as how much I got rid of. Why did I need 14 dinner plates when we are a family of 3? Why did I need 44,000 plastic cups? Why did I need to start collecting mugs when I only drink out of one? And why did I keep things just for the sake of keeping them? Do you have an answer because I sure don’t.

I kept our one set of 8 dishes; large plates, small plates, bowls, and mugs. I got rid of all the other dishes. If we happen to have a party or something I’ll buy paper plates. It’s really that easy. I kept about 10 mugs that meant something to me. I kept about 10 drinking glasses and a few plastic ones for the child. I went through all the plastic tumbler-type cups and matched them with their lids. No match, why do I have you!?! The biggest part of this purge was getting rid of glasses and cups we NEVER EVER use. The ones you get when you buy the special drink at a restaurant but you never use the cup again. The flasks that were a fun gift because they had a mustache on them but have never been used because we don’t drink liquor from a flask, lol. All gone!! And now I have empty shelves. WHOA!

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I also went through the drawers. Why was I hoarding steak knives when we only use the 4 new ones?

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The top left photo is all the silverware that WAS mixed in in the drawer. I had wayyyy too much. The photo on the right of the drawers is great because previously you could not see the bottom of either of those drawers.

So what did I do with all the other dishes and stuff? Well, I’ll tell you. A lot I put in that huge pile for a yard sale. And some of it I wrapped up nicely and put in boxes for my daughter when she moves out (she’s 9 now). I had a set of China that my abuelos gave to me when I got married. It used to be our normal dishes until I bought something new. It’s a great set with dinner plates, small plates, tea cups, saucers, a platter, a huge bowl, tea pot, and sugar container. It’s really a perfect set of dishes that was collecting dust in my cabinet. So that will be given to my daughter. Basically, my daughter’s kitchen will be fully equipped. She will have all the dishes, glasses, mugs, and utensils. But only the things she will use. And the cool part is that they will all mean something to her. The mugs I chose to give her, rather than sell, are all from places she’s been as well. And if she decides she doesn’t want all that stuff at some point, it will be hers to decide.

Not pictured but another big purge was our movies. Sure we love movies, especially without cable, but there were so many we never watch and probably won’t ever again. I have a giant black garbage bag full of movies to sell. Also not pictured, on Easter my daughter and I purged her room. She’s really good at it. She is a small time hoarder of things “she might play with later” but she still understands and is willing to part with a lot.

I think the craziest part so far is seeing how much shit we had upstairs with us that wasn’t bringing any meaning to our life. I’ll show you this photo again…

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ALL of this stuff for the yard sale was upstairs. I can’t. I don’t even get it.

So now the storage purge continues. After my last post we stopped going through everything because we were headed to a friend’s house, but we emptied 4 boxes. We have a pile set aside to keep, a pile to burn/toss, and then we’ll add to the yard sale pile. It’s a good time going through the stuff because I do keep some really cool things that mean things to my husband even though he had no idea they did. I kept a box full of the letters he received when he was in basic training and overseas. He didn’t know they were still around and he really enjoyed reading some, especially the ones from family members who have passed away. So really it always comes down to that question…”Does this bring me happiness?” Sometimes you find things that truly do make you happy and those are the thing we won’t ever get rid of. But if we have no connection to items anymore, out they go.

Winner! Winner!!

I didn’t eat my chicken for dinner!!! LOL!!! This is not a farm post; it’s a yoga post! I am a yoga winner!!

You know how I am always blogging about the yoga challenges on Instagram? Previously I always thought that the point of these challenges was just to promote, network, and work on yoga. I think I even wrote once that there was really no end game, this was just a way for me to practice poses I may not usually do. And I’ve made a lot of new “friends” and learned a lot from watching all kinds of different people do their own variations of the poses. Anyway…turns out there are winner of these challenges! What?! And guess who won? Yours truly!! Gah!! It was so awesome!

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That’s me up there in the right hand corner!!! Of course as soon as I won I text Isis! Then my husband! I was happy with just being recognized! How awesome! Out of however many different people from all over the world who participated, they chose me as a winner! Awesome!! Then it got better. I learned that I would get a prize! I was totally expecting a gift certificate or a coupon. But no. I won a yoga wheel! No questions asked. (Well, they asked for my address. LOL!!) WHAT?!?!

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This thing is awesome! I had never tried a wheel but had seen them used in various ways. This one is from https://www.shaktiyogawheel.com/ and it’s amazeballs! It’s super strong and durable and has yoga mat all the way around for comfort and stability.

I didn’t even warm up before I used it. I just hopped right into a backbend and ohhhh emmmmm geeee!! It felt soooooooo good! I sighed the longest sigh of comfort!! I never knew I needed this wheel until today.

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Currently doing two more yoga challenges this month. It’s making for a very well-rounded practice having to try all new things. And again, it is so rewarding just to participate, try new things, push myself, and have a blast with other yogis.

And I totally forgot,  I was gifted a new shirt yesterday.  It’s kinda the most perfect shirt ever. #hippiesoul

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Purging Volume 1 #JTM

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I am currently in my basement going through storage stuff and thought I’d share a couple pictures.  This is what the purge looks like.  The photo above is my current garage sale pile.  I’ll post a more in depth post at a later time about exactly what’s in the photo, but that’s just the start.

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This is the side of storage boxes we are currently going through.  So far we’ve gone through about 4 boxes,  made a small keep pile, a huge trash pile, and a burn pile.

Asking ourselves these questions… Does this make me happy?  Is this thing in a box bringing meaning to my life? Will our daughter care about this when she’s older? If the answer is no,  to the trash it goes.

 

p.s. I might be a bit of a hoarder

Zucchini Pizza

I have not posted about zucchini pizza boats and that makes me sad. I posted a photo of the boats on my Facebook once and wrote, “When you bout that healthy life but pizza is life.” Seriously, if I could never eat some form of pizza again I might just die. And the best part about eating different versions of pizza is the fact that you start to realize that it isn’t (always) about the bread, it’s about the toppings. So you can eat the cauliflower crust or these boats and still love them and feel like you’re eating pizza.

But this blog is not just about the recipe. The main idea of this post is to boast about how proud I am about this particular meal today for lunch. The first thing… look at the size of this zucchini!!!

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That’s a trenta cup! It was my daughter’s idea to take this next one…. a fun perspective photo.

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And guess where I got this beauty! MY GARDEN! It’s the first harvested crop from this years’ garden! I am beyond excited! I cannot wait to taste this thing. And just to add to my excitement, this meal will be enough to feed both my husband and I. I alone usually eat at least 1 and a half zucchinis because the store-bought ones are so small.

So here’s what I do. You’ll need a couple zucchini’s cut in half, olive oil, pizza or spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, mini pepperonis, s&p and garlic. You can always add other pizza things but these are my go-to.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchinis in half and scoop out the insides. I cut the insides a bit so that I scoop square-ish pieces out. You don’t have to get all the middle out, just make a little divot like a boat. Put the insides in a fry pan and add some olive oil with a bit of s&p and garlic. Cook on medium. While that’s cooking, put your boats on a foil-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with s&p and garlic, and put them in the oven while it’s heating up. You’re just cooking these a little so they are beginning to get soft. Stir your pan full of zucchini pieces until they start to get soft. Add about a cup of sauce and stir. Once everything is heated, remove the boats from the oven. Pour your pan contents into each boat. Top with mini ronis and cheese.

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I also added fresh basil from the garden!!

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Then broil for about 3 minutes just to really crisp up the cheese. ENJOY!!

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Why Minimalism? #JTM

Not related to this blog, but today is my 6 year anniversary of signing up with WordPress and creating this blog! HEYO!! Okay, done celebrating, onto business.

Just like the title, why minimalism? Why would my husband and I decide this was something we wanted to work towards? Like I’ve said in previous blogs about myself and us as a couple, I think so much of what we are working towards today was always buried somewhere inside us. We have only now been given the tools to really embrace the lifestyle we ultimately want. So why do we want to dump everything in our house and move into a tiny house in the middle of no where and live like weirdos? Well, we aren’t quite there yet. And I don’t know if we’ll ever actually be at that point. But we are well on our way to downsizing and living happier with less stuff.

About a month ago we watched “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” on Netflix. Man, was it eye opening. It was one of those movies that makes you question everything you’re doing in your life. When I was finished watching the movie, I literally sat and looked around the room taking inventory of all the things I didn’t need. And it isn’t just about not needing things. It’s about not needing things because they don’t bring any value to my life.

I’ve mentioned before that we grew up in the gigantic city of San Diego, where “stuff” is important. I’m not saying that we were super spoiled assholes, but we grew up with a decent amount of stuff. And once we were on our own we were definitely in that mindset that the more stuff we had the better off we were. TV’s in each room, kitchen gadgets, and a new stereo, not because ours was broken but because we wanted one. There’s only thing that lead to, and it wasn’t happiness. It was debt.

Over the years we have been making a lot of changes. First we dumped cable. Then we didn’t unpack the TV for our bedroom. Do you know how nice it is not to have a TV in your bedroom? We also stopped frivolous purchases. We stopped going shopping for the sake of buying something because we were bored. Most of the time we didn’t have money to spend anyway, but we thought buying something new would make us happier. We’ve started to learn how to live off the land. Of course we still go grocery shopping and buy food, but we have chickens so we don’t buy eggs, and we have a super awesome garden started so we will be buying less produce. It’s all part of living happier and living within our means. Oh, did I mention we are also credit card debt free? Yeah, that’s huge.

I am not going to go into all of it just yet, but the next couple posts will be about the purging stage. Dumping the stuff that doesn’t have any meaning to me anymore. The purge is strong! And it feels sooooooo good!!

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