In early 2011, I met a friend for dinner and we we talked extensively about our training for an upcoming race. I mentioned that all the running I was doing was making me feel really stiff, and she mentioned that she had started taking yoga classes recently to aid in her recovery time between runs. I always wanted to try yoga, but never knew where to go for a class, and with all the running I was doing, it seemed hard to fit it into my schedule. I was curious though, so I found time to fit in a yoga class the very next day.
On the night of Tuesday, January 18, 2011, I walked into Dana Hot Yoga to practice yoga for the very first time. About half way through class, I remember feeling incredibly challenged. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, it was blazing hot, and I wasn’t as flexible or strong as I had once thought I was. In summary: I was getting my ass totally handed to me!
For the last year and a half, my yoga practice has been almost exclusively Ashtanga. Some days it's feels amazing and other days it's a hot mess! Lately, I have been working into deeper backbends, including dropping back from standing into urdhva dhanurasana (wheel pose) and standing back up.
Although I'm not quite there independently, I am very comfortable doing this with the assistance of my teacher, Caroline. For whatever reason, there is a lot of fear in this movement for me, so it was a pretty big deal when I dropped back to floor all by myself last week! The first time was witnessed by my teacher (yay!) and the second time was during my home practice.
A friend of mine tried this recipe and said it reminded her of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but of course, it's not a sandwich. Ironically, this delicious little treat was created by a peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-loving six year old.
This simple and sweet recipe reminds me to enjoy the little pleasures of life. Enjoy this recipe as a dessert or just a snack in the middle of your day and I promise you that it will bring a smile to your face :)
Ever since I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan, I find myself wanting to recreate some of my favorite non-vegan recipes. Over the years, I have made vegan versions of pizza, mac and cheese, lasagna, buffalo chicken, and even cheesesteaks.
I don't usually like to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT! I feel like a pro at creating vegan versions of non-vegan dishes!
My latest creation is a vegan version of the classic combination of grilled cheese and tomato soup, both of which are usually not vegan.
I've always dreamed of having my own garden. I'm not talking about just a few potted plants. No, I'm talking about several acres of fruits, vegetables, and herbs!
For the time being, I am just dreaming about this fantasy garden, and I've settled for two raised garden beds in my own back yard full of things likes tomatoes, zucchini, a variety of herbs, cauliflower, lettuce, and blueberries. I have to be honest; it doesn't feel like I have settled at all! Fresh grown food in your own back yard, no matter what the quantity, is better than any other food in the whole wide world! It really is the best.
Written By: Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
Last year, I wrote Why I'm going shirtless which details my personal struggle with body image. If you haven't yet read it, start there, then come back and continue reading.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled to accept the way my body looks. Specifically, I struggle with how my stomach looks. Not that I think I am fat (although I previously thought that I was), but that I don't like the way I look or how I feel. As a perfectionist, I never quite feel good enough.
Do you know what I mean?
Over the past few months, I have been listening to The Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast, hosted by Peg Mulqueen. It talks a lot about the practice of Ashtanga Yoga with interviews with different Ashtanga Yoga teachers. I recently listened to the episode with Greg Nardi and it was fantastic. In fact, after hearing him on the podcast, I looked up his workshop schedule and am planning to practice with him in July.
In the podcast. Greg says lots of really inspiring things. I was so inspired that I was taking notes while listening because I didn't want to forget what I heard! He really opens up about his experience with the practice and his honesty is so beautiful. Seriously, please just listen for yourself. I promise it's worth the listen!
It's probably no surprise to hear me say that I love to cook. It's one of my favorite things to do. I love reading cookbooks and food blogs. I love creating new recipes or recreating someone else's recipes. I love food shopping, watching cooking shows, eating, talking about food...the list goes on.
I also love PIZZA. And when I say that I love pizza, I mean that it's real true love.
In fact, for a very long time, if anyone asked me what my favorite food was, I would always say pizza (yes, this is an answer I gave as an adult). My explanation would always be, "because almost everything tastes great on pizza!" And when you think about it, it's true.
I learned how true my theory of "almost everything tastes great on pizza" actually was when I decided to explore a vegan lifestyle. No more cheese??? But how could pizza possibly still taste good?
If you have been following my blog, you have probably noticed that I have developed a real LOVE (or obsession) with Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga has changed the way I practice yoga, and as a result, has changed my life. My intuition was screaming at me to explore this love for Asthanga, so I did, and earlier this month, I completed a 40 hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training with David Swenson.
If you have no idea who David Swenson is, please do yourself a favor and google him. He is an internationally known, incredibly intelligent yoga teacher, and is one of the first American students to practice Ashtanga Yoga. His teacher was the the one and only, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois.