A Raw Winter?

This morning, I got up in enough time to make a green smoothie this morning!!! FINALLY.
I feel like it's the beginning of more raw for the winter.
I'm noticing a trend. I like raw in the winter. Once the warm weather hit last spring I ate much less raw than I did during the winter. But now that it's getting chilly again I'm looking for feeling better inside.

I think this will work for now... because I used to really over eat and gain wait during the winter, and last winter that didn't happen. So, hopefully it'll be another raw winter for me. I'm really thankful that I have friends around who really care for their bodies, and are choosy about what goes into their bodies. It really helps me to be more aware of what I'm consuming.

If you're curious, here's what I put into the smoothie:
5 mint leaves
3 kale leaves
1/2 banana
1/2 apple
juice of a whole lemon (half probably would have been enough)
a bunch of pineapple
1 wheatgrass shot

I feel SO full of energy and life. My vision seems more clear too for some reason. Like my eyes can open up wider.

I'm going to try to stay raw until noon today.

Rough weekend

So, my mom was in the hospital the past few days and although I KNOW this is a period of time when I should be healthy the MOST, I just don't have the discipline or energy to step away from the comfort foods.

The past few days I must have consumed 1 or 2 whole Green and Blacks milk chocolate bars and 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese. I guess that's not SO bad, but it's the giving in and allowing the desire to run me that bothers me most about having eaten them. I don't generally feel that great afterwards either, so I'm not sure why I still consider them "comfort" foods. They make me feel crummy.

On the other hand I was able to drag my ass to a yoga class this morning. I had the intention of using it as mental strength building for my mom. She and I have always been somewhat psychically connected in ways we could never understand. I've felt sympathy pains from when she has knee pain so it's not hard for me to believe that my going to yoga must be helping her in some way too—whether it's mental or physical or spiritual, I don't know, but it feels good to think it helps. Even if it's not actually helping her, it helps me build mental strength so that I can be there emotionally for her. So, either way it's helpful.

Yoga totally killed me today. I didn't really want to be there but I knew I had to be. There were things that made me go, but the little kid in me was kicking and screaming. Luckily there's an adult in there someplace too who know's what's best. I knew it was going to be a struggle to really give it my all today so I got there early and was the only one in the nice warm room for a little while. So I stretched. I did the warm-up routine on my own so I was partially warmed up before we all did it together. It seemed to help some.

My ego did NOT want me to let go of anything. Of course I didn't realize it at the time. It wasn't until about half-way through the class after the bow pose that it totally checked out. This was actually the first time during a class that I've gotten into a mental space where nothing was going on. My body just MOVED... but it took a lot of kicking and screaming on my ego's part before it left. I just didn't give into it. Kept going—in and out of child's pose—and moving. After the second bow I almost threw up, took a deep breath and reminded myself that "it's for mom" and pulled back into whichever pose was next. From that point on I felt like my body was just doing as instructed without any mind... which was beautiful. Then there was half pigeon. Every class I've had physical issues doing this. This time my ego came back during the quiet peace of the silence in the room, and I started crying. I couldn't totally pull it together again after that, but luckily it's all easy stretches and relaxing poses from then on.

I really feel like the yoga helped me release something mental and it wasn't just physical exercise this time. It did something. I can't wait to go back. I'm wondering if J. might be interested in the Fundamentals class tomorrow night. I'm down.


Class 4

Today's yoga class was the most difficult of them all. I've stopped myself more than once today from over thinking of things that may have caused it. It was just an off day.

Toward the beginning of the class (which was at 6:30 this morning mind you...) in one of our first downward facing dog poses my arms began to shake... Enter "monkey mind": "Uh oh... I'm not feeling very strong today". That set the stage for the rest of the class.

I learned from it though. I learned that the statement above is a broad over-generalization and if I notice it happen in the future that I could use it as a trigger to cultivate strength and energy throughout my body, rather than succumb to it's power over me.

As much as the vigorous part of the class kicked my butt, the stretching and relaxing parts really made up for it. I was finally able to do the half moon pose on my right foot without falling over! That made me happy. And I'm learning how to position my body more in some of the stretching poses; how to open up my hips and heart and just breathe. Ahh...

Anyway. I'm glad I have a few days off before my next "class", however I really want to just run through some of the sun salutations over the next few days. Keep those muscles alive, ya know?

more yoga!

I had my second yoga class this morning. It was bright and early at 6:30 AM. When I left my house it was still dark, which felt somewhat gloomy, but I continued on my way with knots in my stomach filled with a slight anxiety of completely not knowing what I was doing... but doing it anyway.

It didn't take me as long as I expected to get there, so I sat in my car for a little while until others began showing up. I didn't want to be the first one in there... not yet anyway.

This was a small class of only 4 students. My last class had about 8 or 9, so there were more people to look to for what I was supposed to be doing when the instructor says to "find your warrior 1". At least I had learned some in that class so I didn't feel SO dumb in this one. And there was even more that I learned in this one. I learn something new each time, and I'm sure it will continue that way for a long time.

After class I felt like a beautiful, glowing beacon of light—ready to take on the world! And I wasn't very much later to work than I usually am. The glow lasted for the first few hours of the day, but unfortunately we're in the midst of a very hectic time of year and the energy at work is just so tense and fast paced compared to where I was at after class that my glowing, warm fuzzies were quickly squashed and dragged back to reality. At least I started with the fuzzies rather than without—I'm in a much better place now because of them.

I'd love to do this every day, but the 6:30 AM class only runs on Tues, Wed and Thurs. and that's really the only time I have to get there. For now I'll stick to Tues and Thursday mornings, giving my body time to rest on Wednesday—it needs it.

After my first class Monday night I felt great, loose and flowy. It wasn't until mid-day Tuesday that I started feeling sore muscles. Thankfully those were nowhere to be found this morning as I rolled out of bed.

As for my fruit before noon diet thing I've been struggeling the past few days. Today though I just haven't craved any type of food. Woo! I ate an apple when I got to work and when my co-workers began talking about Chinese Thursdays the thought of ordering with them popped up, but I ate a banana instead and that satisfied that urge.

It's now about 12:30 and I'm about ready to go eat my salad for lunch. Yum.
No chocolate cravings today. First day in about 5.

YOGA!!! Wow.

So, I went to my first yoga class last night, and although I can feel every muscle in my body doing something I totally can't wait for my next class. It's incredible!

The room is kept around 90 degrees so we sweat it all out! It also really helps muscles relax so they're more flexible. Makes sense, but I didn't think of it until I experienced it. The warmer I got the easier it was to get into the poses. My body is learning to hold itself differently already—just from that one class. Everything I do I am conscious of how my body is holding itself. That might have something to do with being able to feel practically every muscle in my body... but I dunno. I like it.

I ate my lunch yesterday around 2:30 because they recommend doing yoga on an empty stomach. The class was at 7, so I didn't want to eat anything after 3. After class I just ate an apple and had some water. But other than that I wasn't hungry.

I read on their website that after doing yoga for a while that cravings for food diminish, and you only eat when you're actually hungry, not out of boredom or because of a chocolate craving... so I'm experimenting with that—keeping my eye on it and what not. After my experience last night I'm not doubting that it's true.

This morning I'm craving fruit like crazy. I'll eat an apple or something on my way into work, and my friend M gave us some watermelon that I'm bringing with me. I may eat that later this morning.

I've also really been wanting a smoothie lately, so last night I bought a pineapple to help along the likely-hood of it happening...

Wow, I'm babbeling and I'm late for work... gotta go make a salad.

What a weekend!

Saturday morning my kitty woke me up around 3:30. So I got up without any issues. I wandered through my dark apartment into the living room where I sat and meditated for probably about 20–25 minutes. Then started doing some Kundalini Yoga from memory to wake that body of mine up.

After a few of the "Awakening" techniques I realized I didn't remember it much, so I put in the video. It was mainly to listen to, as I do most of it with my eyes closed anyway, so I put a tapestry over the TV screen so it wasn't so visually jarring.

Sunday I walked quite a bit and ate more healthy than I have in a while. For lunch I made this AWESOME dish that I tried to replicate from a local organic cafe. It came out very similar to what theirs tasted like, and I can now make as much as I want, for much less than $10 a meal! Woo!

Here's what it is (amounts are estimated, please use your own judgement)
Makes 1 large serving.

1 cup uncooked brown rice.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil; put uncooked rice into water, stir once and lower heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 45 minutes. When there are approx 20 minutes remaining, begin to steam the veggies (see below). When rice is done, remove from heat and let sit for a few more minutes.

Cheezy Blend:

1 teaspoon of Hemp oil
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Mix together to form a paste.
Mix paste together with cooked brown rice.

Steamed Veggies:
3 Kale leaves, chopped
1½ heads of broccoli, chopped
Steam until bright green, do not over-steam

Mix together and enjoy!

Fruit in the AM

I've been researching a yoga studio in my area, and it just so happens that the owners (husband and wife) are both raw vegans.
So, in browsing through their website I found a page with a workshop that includes yoga and some eating advice.

While I haven't mustered up the courage to walk into a class yet, I'm really appreciating the knowledge available on their site. So a class visit probably isn't too far away.

What I read on this page is to eat only fruit before noon, as that is a time when our body cleanses, so fruit is optimal for digestion.

Today is day 2 of my "eating only fruit until noon" thing... I'm trying it out. It's a small goal, and as long as I have ample amount of fruit around I should be all set.

I feel like starting small is what I need to do, since whenever I try jumping into things I tend to recoil and jump out of the water.

My friend M has been recently going to this Prana yoga studio. So of course, because she loves it so much, she talks about it often. While I've always been curious about going to yoga classes, there are social anxieties that have prevented me from going thus far.

Since M has been going to this studio, and "testing the water" so to speak I have more confidence in my abilities to let go and just do it. Baby steps—just one class.

Freshly Squeezed OJ

Today started out pretty well. I squeezed 3 oranges into some juice for my breakfast. I swear, there is no better tasting juice on earth! Then I snacked on a banana then some dried cranberries a little while ago... then one of my coworkers wandered into my cube and said they were planning on ordering pizza for lunch, and asked if I'd be interested... "I shouldn't" was my response...

But I did anyway. :( At least they ordered salad to go with it.

I really hate the way I eat on weekends. Last night I was seriously craving something sugary and something carby, so after resisting chocolate and graham crackers I pulled some dates and pecans out of the cabinet. It felt a lot better eating those than if I hadn't resisted the chocolate and graham crackers. To me, that seemed like the beginning of my junk food resistance. I guess it's still baby steps—free pizza's harder to resist.

November 2, 2012 edit: Many of the prior posts have been deleted, as they were mostly written as a journal of what I was eating. I no longer feel it's necessary to have that information available. If the following flow of posts seems choppy, this is why.
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