Category Archives: yoga

This Week’s Workouts

Look at me keeping up with my resolution for the first half week!

I haven’t started wearing my fitbit yet (it’s charging as I type…), so look for step counts and stuff next week, but I’ll just give a quick recap for this week.

Monday – a double at work, which is kind of a workout in and of itself, but I don’t count it, so REST.

Tuesday – a quick 2 mile run, weights and then a 75 minute hot class

Wednesday – 45 minute spin class and 30 minutes of home practice

Thursday – ummm… I was a lazy bum and barely got out of bed all day.  REST, REST, REST.

Friday – 60 minute hot class plus another 60 of home practice

Saturday – 3.5 hours of rock climbing! My shoulders and back are SORE today!

Sunday – 3 mile run, weights and 90 minute yin class

I’m also going to start tracking food this coming week. This past week wasn’t terrible, but between New Year’s Eve and a friend’s birthday party last night there was definitely more bubbly liquids consumed than usual…..I’ll never complain about an excuse to drink champagne though! (Or, one that’s more legit than my usual “It’s Tuesday….or Wednesday….or Thursday….”)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 10

10) A day in your life

My days are sooooo all over the place.  I happened to be off this day (last Wednesday….just a tad late).

7:30am – Kaylee wakes me up.  She needs to go outside like NOW.  I was at work until after 1am the night before so I’m less than impressed.  We quickly go out, and initially I planned on going back to bed for another hour or so but I happened to look at the schedule for my yoga studio and decide to go to an early class instead.  We come back upstairs, and eat breakfast (a smoothie bowl for me, the usual for her) and then head to the dog park.

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9:15 – get back home, grab my mat and head to the 9:30 Level 2 class at moksha.

11:15 – grab a quick shower, chug a bunch of water and eat a banana with peanut butter then quickly bike to an appointment

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I stop off at Bunner’s, a local Toronto vegan and gluten-free bakery, on the way home for a couple cupcakes to share with a friend later.

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(I was so excited to eat them that I forgot to take a before picture, but there was carrot-coconut and marble with strawberry frosting)

1:30 – my friend comes by for a private yoga session.  He’s training for his third marathon and I’ve finally convinced him that some flexibility and body work would do him wonders.  We spend one hour doing asanas followed by an hour of Thai yoga massage.  And then obviously eat cupcakes (apparently this was my lunch that day? Less than nutritionally sound).  Lucky guy!

4:00 – walk Kaylee over to a nearby pet shop that has a DIY dog wash.  This girl haaaaates baths, but she waded into a creek a couple days prior and needs it badly.

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5:30 – get home and quickly get cleaned up to go meet a friend for dinner.  It’s raining, but we meet at our usual corner and walk anyway.

6:30 – arrive at Bent.  It’s a little early for dinner for me, but my lovely friend has to be up at 6am for work these days so I’m happy to adjust to her schedule.  We’re at Bent for their special Veggielicious menu that.  It’s a 5 course seasonal tasting menu that I’m beyond excited about because there are NEVER SPECIAL VEGETARIAN MENUS.

Everything is delicious.  I was going to write “in particular the…” but then I realized that really just everything was super good.  Even my carnivorous friend gave it two thumbs up.

10:00 – arrive home, full and happy.  I’m supposed to go meet a bunch of my coworkers to celebrate someone’s last day at work, but they’re not quite done shift yet so I take Kaylee for her nighttime walk, then make the mistake of sitting down on the couch.  By the time I get the call to go to the pub at 11, I’ve changed into pyjamas and am reading the latest Yoga Journal in bed.

12:30 – lights out.  This is a pretty early bedtime for me, but it was so necessary after getting so little sleep the night before and a busy 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….

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SBC: Days 5 and 6

I’ve decided that I’m definitely giving myself a pass on the blog every day thing on days that I work a double shift.    Something about 14 straight hours at work makes me feel pretty entitled to taking a pass on pretty much everything else that day.

5) Top five highlights from summer

1. Bali.  Duh.

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2.  Weekly roadtrips to visit someone awesome.

3.  Sunday morning yoga in the park.

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4.  Cottage visits with amazing friends.

5.  Realizing I can pop up into headstand every.single.time.I.try now (this used to feel soooo unachievable)

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6) Six things about fall you’re looking forward to

1.  A trip out east to visit one of my dearest friends.

2.  Starting to work with my very first private yoga client – so exciting!

3.  Hikes through High Park with Kaylee.

4.  Mocassins.  Boots.  Warm socks.  I loooooove being barefoot most of all, but something about fall footwear makes me super happy.

5.  Crisp fall nights.

6.  Cozy comfort foods.  Soups, stews, roasted veggies, pumpkin everything.

SBC: Day 4

4) Thankful Thursday

Today I woke up verrrrrry tired.  So thankful for coffee.

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For balance.  Vegan donuts // Smoothie bowls

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For a strong and able body, that can power through runs and ease into asanas

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(gratuitous Bali memory)

For finally keeping a scoby alive and nailing a new kombucha recipe

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For making the best of things with silly friends

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For these two

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