Category Archives: clean eating

On to the next one

Like pretty well everyone else out there, the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 has me reflecting on the past year and looking towards the next.  I’ve never really been one for official new years’ resolutions, but I definitely have some goals for 2015.

A year and a half ago, I made a tough decision to leave what was a pretty good job that I was totally comfortable in to pursue one that I knew would have way more challenges and potential emotional difficulties, but that would help set me up for some future goals.  The most immediate of those was doing yoga teacher training, and I’m so happy that I ticked that one off this year.  Big decisions and changes and new people are hard for me so taking the leap was definitely, well….a leap! Ha.

IMG_5962

Going into the new year, I want to take on a few more private clients and by the summer have my schedule set up so that I can teach in a studio setting too.  I find private clients so fulfilling, and with my erratic schedule it’s much easier to make it work, but I really love the energy of a class and can’t wait to start doing that too!

Hand in hand with the teaching goal….I definitely want to make this the year that I start focusing my energy on what I love doing and start to phase out the things that I don’t.

I also want to organize and beautify my home.  Clutter stresses me out, yet I can’t seem to keep it away.  I feel a big purge coming, and afterwards I want to (finally) do some decorating.  I don’t have the innate eye like some people do, so I’m definitely planning on enlisting some friends’ help with this one!

And it wouldn’t be a new years’ post if I didn’t mention some health goals…..

The past few months haven’t been great for me, fitness and eating-wise.  I’m usually really good at motivating myself and keeping myself on track, but for some reason I’ve just totally gone off the rails this fall.  There are certain truths that I know: I feel best when I’m eating healthfully, staying hydrated, sleeping well and making exercise a priority.  Refined sugars give me an instant headache.  Dairy makes me bloated (aside from the fact that I also really hate supporting the industry as a whole).  Less than 8 hours of sleep makes me really grumpy.  Muscles don’t stick around if you’re not using them.

So for 2015, I’m not hoping to do anything revolutionary, simply go back to what my ideal looks like.  I’ll be tracking my workouts again (which I gave up on because it was getting embarrassing….) and maybe tracking my food for a week or two as well, just to create some accountability.  I may even dust off my fitbit – nothing motivates me like competition!  My plan is to start posting some sort of weekly recap on here.  Someone yell at me if you don’t see one around the 7th!

Oh, and another goal….some more advanced asanas.  I really need to work on both strength and flexibility, and there’s nothing like a little headstart!

IMG_7728

Here’s to 2015!!

Vegan Creamed Cauliflower Soup

This soup.  Damn.

Sometimes I forget how awesome cauliflower is.

I bought a huge head of it at the market the other day, and it’s been sitting in my fridge making me feel guilty ever since.

I’ve been huge into grab-and-go meals lately and I just haven’t been able to be bothered creating something out of the poor cauliflower.

When I bought it, cauliflower crust pizza visions were in my head.  Have you tried it yet? It’s so good!  Last time that I was visiting my parents we had a pizza night and I made one of the pies with cauliflower crust and even my dad thought it was awesome.  I loosely followed The Detoxinista‘s recipe.

Anyway, as I was going to bed last night, I decided that I was going to do a juice and smoothie-only day today.  I used to do this every Monday, and I loved it.  Such a great way to set the tone for the week.  I don’t really know when I fell off the wagon with this habit, but I’d like to reintroduce it.  So today was the day.

I woke up feeling a little on the miserable side.  Achey, stuffy nose, headache.  But, as planned, I drank a beet, carrot, lemon and ginger concoction and went about my day.  To help fend off whatever it is that might be ailing me, I sliced 2 lemons and a bunch of ginger, covered it with water, added a healthy dash of chili peppers, brought the mixture to a boil and have been refilling my mug all day.

IMG_6900

I went to a Yang Yin class with one of my favourite teachers, and then came home to a kale, banana, berries and hemp seed smoothie for lunch.  I pushed on with my day, running errands and doing laundry to prepare for being away for the rest of the week.  And then it started raining.  Like a lot.  And I got cold and wet and all I wanted was a warm and hearty and satisfying meal.  No more stupid juices (have I ever mentioned how cranky I get when I’m hungry??).  So this soup was born.

I cleaned and chopped the entire head of cauliflower and put it in a pot to steam.  Sliced up some onions and garlic and got those sauteeing.  Meanwhile I made a cashew cream to blend in.  After the cauliflower was soft, I pureed it with the garlic and onions in the Vitamix and poured it back into the pot.  I was about to add in the cashew cream when I realized that I absolutely didn’t need it.  The pureed cauliflower was so thick and creamy and….luxurious that it was totally unnecessary.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not someone who thinks we should eat everything fat free, especially when those fats are healthy nut fats, but when it’s just as good without? Why bother.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Vegan and gluten-free

1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets

1 medium sized onion, sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil

Thyme, about 1 tsp, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Nutritional yeast, about 1-2 tbsp, to taste

Directions:

Lightly steam the cauliflower.

While steaming, heat the oil in a pan, and saute the onions and garlic until they are lightly browned and fragrant.

Once cauliflower is fork-tender, run under cold water to cool a bit, then begin to puree with the onion and garlic mixture until very smooth(I did this in 3 smaller batches), transferring pureed soup back into pot as you go.  In the last blender-full, add about 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tsp thyme.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring back to a simmer.

Delicious served immediately, and probably even better the next day.

SBC: Day 7

 

7) Seven things you’d like to work on/improve about yourself

This is a tough one to put out to the internet!

1.  Saying no.  I overcommit myself, and generally make myself miserable, because I have a really hard time saying no to people.  Either because i WANT to do something, but don’t really have the time/energy for it, or because I absolutely DON’T want to do something, but feel guilty saying no.  Example: Oh, you want me to take your shift tomorrow? Well, I’m already working 5 long days this week, and I had hoped to get my laundry done, my dog bathed, groceries bought, have dinner with a friend, and get a good night sleep, but I guess there’s not really any GOOD reason why I can’t…..

2.  Being more positive.  I tend to get into this negative mindset, where everything is terrible and I let every single little thing get to me.  It’s not fun for me or for those around me.  I’d like to get better about taking a step away, taking a breath and turning it around.

3.  Being more organized.  There was a day, not too long ago, that I was soooo organized.  Everything went into the planner, and what was in the planner HAPPENED.  From work to workouts to social calls to cooking and cleaning and errands.  I want to get back to this.  And not just the planner.  The spaces too.  I have the best condo.  Like, ever.  Not only do I have an amazing sunroom/home yoga studio, but I have a huuuuuge (by Toronto standards) pantry.  That I’ve let turn into a “I’ll throw it in here and deal with it later” room.  And I have a shelf full of movies that I will genuinely never watch again.  And a big box of shoes that I haven’t worn in a year.  The physical clutter creates mental clutter for me, and it has to go.

4.  Recommitting to my yoga practice.  I mentioned this in my goals for September SBC post, and so far I’ve had a solid hour-plus practice 5 of 8 days.  Not too shabby.

5.  Eating better.  Most people I know think I’m like the Queen of Healthy Eating.  I think this USED to be the case, but nowadays I’ve definitely fallen out of some good habits.  Too much sugar and caffeine, not enough fresh vegetables.  

6.  Time management.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with being more organized, but I feel like I always think I can do more than I actually acn with the chunks of time that I have, and it makes me late for things.  Like a lot.  I think perpetual lateness is a terrible quality to have and definitely something I’d like to kick.

7.  Detaching from the phone.  I check Instagram wayyyy too many times every day.  Same goes for feedly (<– love this reader) and email.  I’d like to start leaving it at home sometimes, like when I take Kaylee for a walk.  At night I bring it with me for safety reasons, but during broad daylight?  Nothing is so pressing that it can’t wait an hour.  Don’t know how I’ll capture all the random selfies though….

IMG_6799

 

 

5 days in

I can’t believe I’m already on day 5! That’s 1/6th of the way done. For all you math whizzes, that’s 17%! What!!

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you need to. Because I can’t tell you how gorgeous it is here. And I still can’t seem to upload photos. Bali is beautiful in general, but the resort (resort doesn’t feel like the right word, because it’s not like the ones you think of in the Caribbean) is insanely so. It’s an eco-resort, so designed to be as natural and sustainable as possible. Every villa is a bit different and actually each owned by an individual family. The villas are open. Not open concept. Open. As in not 4 walls. There’s a full roof and floor and some half walls, but any little bit of nature that wants to come in can. Lizards, bees, frogs, even monkeys! We haven’t had any monkey visitors yet and I hope it stays that way. Apparently they aren’t very friendly. My shower is in the garden. My villa-mate’s toilet is in another garden. It sounds a bit strange but it’s actually amazing.

Every morning we have a practice for 2 hours, then breakfast, then a workshop for 3 hours. In the afternoons we get a bit of free time to study. Or more often, hang out in the pool or the ocean. Soooo necessary because it is HOT here! Another 2 hour practice in the evening, followed by dinner and a very early bedtime.

I don’t know how much I’ll get into details about classes or workshops on here right now. But tomorrow I have to teach my first sequence to the group so that’s exciting/nerve-racking! Just a round of sun salutations, but I’m not very good at speaking in front of groups. I’m really shy and I get embarrassed ridiculously easily. Then I blush, then I get more embarrassed. It’s a vicious cycle. One of the things that I’m actually hoping to take away from this month is more self-assuredness. Probably a pretty necessary quality if I actually want to make a real go of this teaching thing!

Today roomie and I started a cleanse. One week. Just juices, smoothies, teas and a whoooole lot of water. I’ve done cleanses in the past, but never when I’ve been asking my body to not only practice yoga for at least 4, if not 7, hours a day. When it’s 35 degrees. Although I do still feel like I’m taking a break right now. Working in a restaurant is a pretty physically demanding job. I’m often on my feet running around for 14 straight hours, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

safe and sound

After a rather tumultuous nearly 40 (yes, 40) hours of travelling, I finally landed at Denpasar Airport in Bali. I could not have been more excited to see my destination!
I hardly slept the night before – or the night before that for that matter – and I’m terrible at sleeping on crowded planes. Fortunately (?) in all the chaos of missed connections and extra flights, I wound up on an overnight from Seoul to Singapore that was nearly empty and had an entire row of 4 seats to myself to stretch out and sleep for a glorious 3 hours. Needless to say, my first night in Bali was a bit of a write off as I passed out for about 15 hours.
After the first night spent near the airport I headed to Uluwatu, an area famous for its namesake temple and its surfing. The beaches are beautiful! Photos don’t seem to want to upload over this not-so-fast wifi connection, so you’ll just have to take my word for it until I can get a faster connection (hopefully this won’t be in July when I’m back in Toronto!) or you can check out my Instagram where I’ve managed to get a few photos up.
I stayed at a really lovely spot called Bombora Surf Camp with nice clean rooms and a gorgeous outdoor common area for lounging and swimming. Immediately in front of Bombora I was so pleased to find a restaurant called Buddha Soul that had lots of vegetarian options, and just vegetables in general! Anyone with a restricted diet who’s travelled in less developed countries knows it can be a challenge to eat healthy, so this was such a treat!
I spent some time exploring the different beaches, and doing lots of reading to finish up the required books for YTT! Reading is always better when you’re laying out in the sun near the ocean or a pool.
Last night I went to Uluwatu temple for sunset and to watch a Balinese Kecak and Fire Dance. It’s a traditional performance involving a choir of 70 men who go into a state of trance to channel deities, then use performers as a medium to convey a story. The dance is done every night at sunset and I was fortunate to have a beautiful night for it.
Today I was up early (6am seems to be what my body has settled on the past 3 days) for a morning yoga practice, and am preparing to leave the beach for Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre. If anyone has read Eat, Pray, Love, this is where the “love” portion was set. There’s a yoga studio very close to where I’m staying and I’m excited to practice in a class for the first time in over a week. Solo practices can be beautiful but there’s something to be said for moving and breathing in unison.
Time to pack my enormous backpack
(seriously, it feels like it’s as big as I am) and head into the city! Ill try to check in again from Ubud!

thirty

As I mentioned, I was in this crazy motivated and productive mood yesterday.  I committed myself to a couple more (much smaller) goals.  The first is a 30 day yoga challenge, hosted by Dashama and Vitamix.  Every day a new pose is posted, and everyone participating posts a picture of themselves doing it.  Day 1 was Warrior.

281

I already have a Vitamix, so I’m not really interested in the prize, just in pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

I also committed to Jen’s 30 day green smoothie challenge!

284

As of right now, I’m in a really good habit of having a green smoothie on every “working” day (as a server I definitely do not work a normal or predictable schedule).  My Vitamix has honestly been life-changing when it comes to this.  And no, Vitamix isn’t sponsoring me.  Not that I’d say no.  Heyyyyyy Vitamix.  Anyway, I can throw in pretty much whatever’s in the fridge and call it breakfast (or lunch, or dinner…).  This one contains kale, spinach, cucumber, carrots, frozen mixed berries, a banana, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds and Vega protein powder.  I usually make a big batch in the morning and enjoy it for breakfast plus a snack or 2 throughout the day.  I would like to start doing this EVERY day, not just working days.  Hopefully openly taking on this challenge is just the kick I need!

 

I can’t decide if these challenges are a ramp up to or a distraction from the biggest 30 of April….my 30th birthday!  I’m trying really hard to have a positive attitude about entering a new decade, but it’s a little bit terrifying.  My life is definitely not anything like the way that I thought it would be at this point 15, 10, or even 5 years ago.  That’s not to say that I don’t (mainly) love everything about it.  Just that there are some big goals that I have in mind for the next couple years and that I need to get moving!

You can follow me on Instagram to see all my 30 day challenge pics!