Spirals

Happy Sunday Friends!

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As always, life is getting in the way of finding space to write – it’s hard to get into a routine with all the changes. I try to be the most positive version of myself at all times but it has been really hard as of late. Before the move, before the new job, & before my recent diagnosis (which I will get into), I was in a healthy & comfortable routine which now is slipping through my fingers. I’m reminded of how stressful it felt to commute over an hour each way and how resentful it feels to loose that time. More than that, I’m feeling like there is no time for me & the things I love: cooking, writing, running, meditating, personal practice, & being with my fur baby. I thought I could handle everything and just take it in stride, but sometimes, it feels like I’m spiraling.

To backtrack a bit, I was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis at the end of June. I have long suspected I had the genetic disorder – when I was about eleven my parents were told I likely I had the disease but the diagnosis didn’t come until two decades later. So now, I have to figure out what’s going on with my body and what it means for my future offspring. I apparently can’t have children naturally & can only go the IVF route if I want to carry my own. Not to sound insensitive to mothers everywhere who’ve gone that route but I never thought it would be me – to be more specific, I’d rather adopt than put myself through the emotional and financial hardship. I’m trying my best not to worry before there is something to worry about but the brain is spiraling.IMG_1592I’m not sharing any of this to garner sympathy, in fact, that is exactly what I don’t want. I am sharing because I feel like we all keep too much shit to ourselves in an effort avoid shame and judgement. I spend a lot of my time trying to put on the face that everyone else wants to see. It is so much easier to disappoint myself than to let others down or make them feel uncomfortable.

What if we all were just a little more honest about everything we’re going through and have had to handle? What if we took down the veil and were vulnerable? It may scare the shit out of me but the more honest I am, the more I can connect with others and feel like I’m not alone.

IMG_1612.jpgBefore the pity party pours in, I had a wonderful time cooking & spending time with friends yesterday (Paella curtesy of my amazing friend Alvaro). I’m reading a bit on the train when I was able to get a seat, & I keep a gratitude journal in an effort to stay grounded and be reminded of the positives. Life can sometimes be a struggle but I am confident the moments of pain, fear, and hardship make the shining moments that much brighter. I don’t want to sugar coat my life, not anymore: I haven’t been lying or sharing ‘alternative facts’ but I don’t share the not so sunny stuff – I won’t do that anymore. Life is messy and I hope y’all are ready for it!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

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Foodie Friday & The Move

So what has it been, two weeks? Maybe 3…I’m not sure, but it certainly has been a minute. With the craziness of the move, and a lot of other things going on, I couldn’t find the time to write. Well, I have been writing – journaling, and snippets of inspiration for a book in chewing on – but not here.

ANYWAY, we survived the move! It’s officially been a week and we’re nearly unpacked. When I say nearly, I mean we still have about 10 boxes sitting in the corner and a bunch of stuff strewn all over the place, but we’re settling in. I have been enjoying all the trails right outside my door, our beautiful pool, and A LOT more space.

Since I haven’t really had time to organize the kitchen and cook many proper meals, this week Foodie Friday is a salad – but a really AWESOME one! I made falafel the other night and put together this salad to go with it. If you’re saying to yourself ‘share your falafel recipe‘ Here it is, haha, you just add water.IMG_1357So back to the salad…I am mildly obsessed with feta cheese – it goes on nearly every salad I make, & this one is no exception.

Weeknight Salad

  • Mixed Greens
  • Pine Nuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs (cilantro, parsley, & dill)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Shallot
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper

IMG_1336I am pretty confident most of you know how to put together a salad but it’s all about the little things. For example, I buy raw nuts & toast them myself – TRUST, it makes a difference. Also, I don’t buy bottled dressing – get yourself some good EVOO and balsamic and just mixed them half & half. Last, add herbs to your salads to bump up the flavor profile – I always keep cilantro, parsley, and dill in my fridge but you can do whatever you want. Last, last, thing…just because its a salad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add salt (salt literally brings out flavor in food). Generously salt and pepper your greens before you dress them. Now that you’re in the know, you’re ready to go!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

OH BOY, it’s back! I don’t know how long it’s been since my last Foodie Friday but it is way overdue. I’m keeping it simple and sharing my favorite avocado toast! This tasty, trendy, and expensive plate has been popping up on menus all over the place; so naturally I had to put my own spin on it.

avacadosFirst, why is everyone so obsessed with avocado?? Deliciousness aside, this creamy green fruit has 20 vitamins & minerals with only 80 calories. In 1/3 an avocado you get a nutrient dense treat that can be used to make brownies, ice cream, pesto, etc… and this awesome toast!IMG_1089I love herbs & think they’re a great way to add a lot of flavor. When playing around with this recipe I tried a few different combos but consistently came back to dill, cilantro, & parsley. If you prefer something else – go for that!

Avocado Toast (4 servings)

  • 4 slices of multigrain bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1-3 sprigs of parsley, cilantro and dill (stemmed and rough chopped)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

The hard part of this recipe is picking a good avocado, and the harder part is poaching the eggs. If you’re not into that sort of thing you can soft boil, fry, or even scramble your eggs but I find it really simple. Add water and vinegar to a pan and set your stovetop to medium heat. Let the water come to a soft simmer (no hard bubbles) & crack in the eggs. Allow eggs to cook for 3-4 minutes (white fully cooked) and turn off the heat. The vinegar should keep the egg from sticking to the pan & you just remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. While all that exciting stuff is happening you can pop your toast in the oven, slice open your avocado, & combine it with the remaining ingredients listed. Spread your avocado mixture on the toast, top with your perfectly poached egg, & enjoy!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

The BEST Weekend

IMG_0177Every couple years my Birthday falls on Mother’s Day! Talk about an incredible gift – I got to celebrate my birth on the day we all celebrate the women who gave us life. I was so thrilled when my mother told me she and Dad would be coming out here for the long weekend,  I totally over-planned and obsessed over their visit! IMG_0147It was such a great trip – we tried new vineyards and regions that we typically don’t venture & shared some of our favorite spots too. It was nice to spend time, just the four of us, and be in such a beautiful region! I can’t even believe the weather stayed as nice as it did and everything turned out perfectly.IMG_0141Now, as if I were some sort of jet setter, I’m heading to Alaska! This means I have traveled to Tahoe, Sonoma, Napa, Palm Springs, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, & Ketchikan all before the 6 month mark. I am so lucky to have a partner who likes to travel & explore as much as I do! IMG_6343In other news, I am going to start announcing my departure from the city to the students at the studio & my clients this week. I feel foolish leaving a place I am finally establishing a following, but it’s for the best. We’re embarking on a brand new chapter & it’s going to be amazing!!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Meditation Basics

Happy Hump Day friends! I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday – having Monday off is making this week fly by. It has only been a few days but I am happy to report I’ve been sticking to my resolutions…I napped more than I wanted to yesterday but that’s okay. I’m working on giving myself a break; in fact, that is the focus of my meditation.

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For me, meditation is best kept simple: commit to a time of day & a length of time that work, find a comfortable seat, and breathe. To settle in I focus on my breathing, and once I’m comfortable I typically allow my mind to wander. This year I’m trying something new. I thought about something I really need to work on & kept coming back to the fact I’ve always been my worst critic.

I’m taking this first quarter to focus my meditation on being kind to myself, having a little more compassion, & giving myself a break. It takes just 20-30 minutes a day for 16-18 weeks to begin to notice change.

If you’re new to meditation even 5 minutes daily can make a real difference. Simply find a time during your day (in the morning, right before returning to work during your lunch hour, after your shower, before bed…) and sit quietly with your thoughts for 5 minutes. Try to just be an observer, allowing whatever thoughts that pop into your head to exist without judgement, and repeat that everyday for a month. After a month try 7 minutes, then 10, then 15…you get the idea!!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Did you guys think I was going to leave you hanging again?!?!

Happy Friday! This week’s Foodie Friday is dedicated to one of Phil’s lunchtime favorites – chicken stir fry! Now I am fully aware that there isn’t anything fancy about stir fry but there are little things you can do so your veggies aren’t soggy & the sauce packs a punch without  the calories. IMG_0962One of the first things I do is season the chicken (little bit of EVOO and seasonings of your choice). Get your skillet really hot and sear the chicken on both sides to seal in the flavor…once you sear things on both sides turn the heat down to med/low and cook the chicken almost all the way through. While the chicken cooks, slice the veggies & onions, and mince the garlic. Once the chicken is done remove it from the skillet and let it rest, throw the onion into the skillet with a little bit of EVOO. Allow the onions to cook down, add garlic, and toss in the veggies…seasoning with salt/pepper, the dry spices you like. Chunk the chicken and add it back to your skillet, tossing together with the veggies. Turn the heat off before the veggies are finished cooking and let everything cool. Make a pot of brown rice w/veggie stock & a bay leaf in the pot to add a more robust flavor.

I make this on the weekend for Phil to enjoy during the week for lunch. Stir fry is one of those awesome things that can be made from anything you have lying around in your refrigerator, so get creative!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Motivation Monday #16

Wow, what a weekend!

IMG_1392Phil and I had such an amazing close to our first official ski season in Tahoe – perfect weather, great snow, and even better friends to share the fun. Doubly exciting is the official wrap up of the 16wks of 2016 Motivational Mondays! Phil and I have loved and are going to continue to work on making healthier choices, taking better care of ourselves, and nourishing our bodies. I’ve personally been able to maintain my goal weight & lose 5% body fat, while Phil lost 15 lbs and gained more noticeable muscular definition. We’re continuing with our healthy eating & regular exercise routine…if we make any major changes or decide to experiment with something new, I’ll be sure to share, but for now, Monday’s will sift – I’m calling this 16 wk series Meditation Monday…I’ll be getting started May 2 & am really looking forward to the opportunity to dive a little deeper.IMG_1413This week I have 4 private client sessions, 14 studio classes, a social media challenge to prep, and quarterly goals/projections to complete – no one ever said going after your dreams was easy but when you love what you do I guess you can’t exactly call it hard either. I constantly catch myself in moments of self doubt, fear, etc… regarding the career/life choices I’ve made & in the blink of an eye something or someone snaps things back in perspective. As long as I keep walking my talk & offering up the truest version of myself, I can’t go wrong.

Week 16

“All differences in this world are of a degree because oneness if the secret to everything”

Diet & Exercise Routine – same as always – make the right choices for you!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂