The Chip Experiement

vegetable-chips

“The English contribution to world cuisine – the chip.”–John Cleese

Yes, I am on a cleanse, but I had a crunchy craving so I figured if I can’t have store bought chips, I will make my own. The results were AWESOME! So awesome, I didn’t get a chance to take photos before eating them. However, I figured I would tell you the recipe anyway in case you wanted to try it out!

Veggie Chips Of AWESOME

You will need: 1-2 lbs of root vegetables of choice, olive oil, salt and pepper and or other seasonings,a mandolin slicer/ vegetable peeler, a few cookie sheets, tongs and an oven.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Slice your veggies using a mandolin or veggie peeler. You want them to be thin enough that they crisp up while baking. I used sweet potatoes and carrots, but you can use any root vegetable or hardy vegetable of your choosing. Eggplant,¬† beets, acorn squash, ect. No need to peel either if you don’t want to.
  • In a bowl, toss slices with a drizzle of olive oil. You want enough to slightly coat them, not be smothered in it so use it lightly. A little goes a long way.
  • Lay out on cookie sheet evenly as possible. They will shrink up while baking so if they are touching it isn’t a big deal.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add any other seasoning at this point too. Nutritional yeast would be great for a cheesy flavor packed full of vitamins.
  • Put in oven and let cook for 8-10 mins, take them out and turn them over and cook for another 5-10 mins. My sweet potatoes took about 25 mins in my oven, but my carrots only took about 15 so just watch it. You don’t want them to get burnt.
  • Once done, remove from cookie sheet and let cool in a small bowl. Then dig in! They will last about a week, but I doubt they will last that long because they are so yummy!

The best thing about these chips is the fact they are healthy for you. Yes, I said it. The reason why is because you are not using nearly the amount of oil that goes into deep frying and you can control how much you use. Plus, olive oil is great for your heart. Also using root vegetables gives you more nutrients than just plain old potato chips. So you can rest at ease knowing that all that yumminess isn’t going to go straight to your butt.

Oh, and here is a little tiddly-bit. I used a quote about chips above. The British slang term for chips is actually crisps. They call French Fries chips. Might seem a bit confusing since I used that quote in here, but it is one of my favorites and it seems appropriate. And they both are tasty none the less. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy and Namaste!

 

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Cleansing

PranaCleanse.meditation

“So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.”–Antonin Artaud

So every spring, I tend to do a cleanse. With Seasonal changes, our bodies change and must adapt to the new things around it. That is why it is important to eat with the seasons, and take time to listen to our bodies instead of forcing it to be a certain way. It always is telling us something; physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, what better way to kick off Spring than to pump it full of nutrients from fruits and veggies? No to mention ramping up my yoga routine and spending more time outside. With warm weather comes bike rides, picnics and being one with nature. Who doesn’t love that?

So, that is the reason for not posting yesterday. I had to take a bit to regroup and let go of some stuff. Plus, being super grumpy and detoxing is no fun. Just trying to get through a yoga routine without crying was hard enough, plus headaches and body aches…it was a nightmare. But, with lots of sleep and sticking to things, I was able to get through it and I am a lot better now. ūüôā I’ll be doing this for a few weeks. No gluten. no sugar unless from agave, maple or stevia. Staying the heck away from corn if I can at all help it. Bye bye junk food… I will make my own. (poor Oreos…)

So, what’s on todays menu? Lot’s of herbal and green tea, fresh made juice, and stir fried veggies. Oh, and a handful of nuts and seeds for snack. I might take a crack at making veggie chips this weekend for an extra treat. That will be interesting since I will have hit the one month marker with Bryce on Saturday. I shall post a few recipes of the things I make and let you all know how they turn out. Now, off to go and do yoga at the park! Namaste!

Eating Vegan on the Road

Vegan Indian food in DC

Vegan Indian food in DC

So this is what I had at the restaurant Rasika. The server was very helpful and told me everything I could have on the menu and even said they would modify some of the dishes if I chose to have them instead. He was kind, caring, courteous, and above all helpful. Needless to say, if you pick a restaurant in DC then go there and not just because of the service, but for the food too!

We had a chickpea pattie with onions and tomato chutney on top for our appetizer,along with some Truffle Naan (yes, it had truffle oil in it. It was delicious!!!). Then for our entree we had an eggplant and potato stew in a tomato sauce, some pan fried okra with mango powder and then a vegetable rice. It all was fantastic! The okra was my favorite part besides the naan. Also the presentation was divine!

So, besides this meal, I also ate on the road. Now, as most of us know, fast food usually means meat along with grease and fat and other nasty stuff. BUT…you can eat vegan on the road if you try. I packed snacks so I wasn’t as tempted to eat fast food. Gogi berries, seaweed chips, fruit, and small veggies and all great to take with you. Not to mention home made trail mix! But, if you have to eat a big meal, then here are a few pointers.

  1. If you aren’t sure what is in it, then just ask. If you don’t ask, then you don’t know. Most restaurants have a nutrition chart and list of ingredients that are in their food now. So it is better to eat at sit down places because you have more options, but fast food chains will do what they can with what they got. French Fries are usually a safe bet.
  2. A salad isn’t always safe. Again, you have to read what is in it. You can ask for no cheese and make sure your dressing doesn’t have anything in it that is dairy or egg based. If you need a bit of flavor, then vinegar or lemon juice makes a great dressing.
  3. Mexican food is your friend. Most burrito places and even taco bell have a bean option and you can just ask for no cheese and load up on the veggies. Just make sure they don’t use re-fried beans. It’s filling, healthy and quite yummy.
  4. Plan ahead. Snack foods are great and having a sandwich in the car just in case is always better than going hungry. It is also easier on the wallet.
  5. Did I mention read your labels? I can not stress enough all the gross things that come in most packaged food. milk powders, egg derivatives, loads of sugar and salt, ect. Most local gas stations aren’t going to carry natural products, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So, those are my tips and tricks for you. I hope this helps out some of you. ūüôā Enjoy!

The Meaning of Classical Art

Van Gogh Roses

‚ÄúPainting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.‚ÄĚ‚Äē Leonardo da Vinci

 

So, being able to see artistic work by some of the absolute greatest artists of all time was so moving to me. I could have stayed in that museum for hours and would not have cared one bit. Monet, Van Gough, Toulouse Lautrec, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Cassatt, Picasso, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli,  Titian, Bellini, Lippi, and so many more. To be able to see every emotion and detail and not be moved is just asinine. Not to mention the gilded work from the Byzantine period. Or even the mosaics that were plopped into the  floor as if it was nothing.

So, the artists accomplished exactly what they were suppose to do. They moved me, created emotion, left me breathless, amazed and astounded me, made me study their work, and left me with a memory I will never forget. The original plan for this road trip was to go and see a Lichtenstein exhibit.¬† It was one of the last days we could go and see it before it was moved to a different location. Now, I like pop art, but it is no where near the shock value of classical art. I could not see any brushstrokes in Botticelli’s work. It literally looked like he took a buffer and made everything the same texture and evenness. Compare that to a painting of a hotdog or Donald duck… it’s just not the same. Those pieces are so old and valuable…that was the oldest damn thing I have ever stood in front of!

Needless to say it was the best day ever. I can die happy now, my life is complete. I will NEVER forget that day as long as I live. I did also take some mindfulness from this experience. Too often in life do we try and stick to the plan and stay on track. Not to deviate or let things stand in the way. But, sometimes it is best to get off track, slow down and just smell the roses (or oil paints in this case). Surprises are all around you, don’t be too busy to take them in or appreciate them. Appreciate your surroundings and put love into all that you do. Life is truly amazing.

Another cool thing that I did was get to see an albino squirrel in the wild (if you consider city is “the wild”), have some awesome Indian food, walk around DC and take in some of the sites and learn a lot from a really good friend. Life is full of wonders and taking it all in is just wonderful. I will be planning to go back hopefully next month at some point for a full weekend and not just a day. It will be amazing. ūüôā But for now, I will enjoy my art high and be content in my memories. Namaste!

Status Report

What I look like after 1 week of going vegan

What I look like after 1 week of going vegan

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.–Ernest Hemingway

So, I promised a status report and here you go! This is Day 8 of my vegan adventure and so far so good. I have gone through the cravings and lived, started to sleep better and have been inspired to organize my environment. Not to mention the motivation to actually want to move around and exercise. I have also successfully cooked a few vegan meals this week, started meditating and last but not least I have lost 5 lbs.

Yes, I have lost 5 lbs which in a week is amazing. I have not really changed my routine much except for sleeping deeper, drinking a little more water and being vegan. My yoga routines have not been very strenuous so it is not like I am exerting more energy than normal either. My guess is some of it was water weight. I am not as puffy looking as I was and I don’t have the little extra pudge underneath my chin that plagues oh so many people.

My dark circles are also going away, my skin isn’t as itchy as it was, I have more energy and I am also calmer. The biggest thing I had to deal with was craving sugar and caffeine, as well as the smell of dairy products (grilled cheeses still smell amazing might I add). Thankfully fruit has helped alleviate this issue as well as cacao nibs with coconut milk. It’s a lot better for you than plain old hot chocolate and it tastes just as yummy I might add. As for cheese, well I have just had to grin and bare it.

This next week I am planning on cooking more, upping my exercise and yoga routine, and trying to go to bed earlier. Not to mention making meals ahead so I can take them with me to work so I don’t have to rely on peanut butter all the time. Oh, here is a note. DO NOT BUY NONDAIRY SPREAD FROM TRADER JOES!!!!! I really wanted cream cheese for bagels so I thought it was a good idea…no. It’s awful and tastes like watery sadness with a bitter taste. If you really need a cream cheese substitute, buy Tofuti. I know that it’s at my local Whole Foods and comes in a few flavors. My favorite is the onion.

Also, on another note, when you ask a server if you can get something made without butter or dairy in The South, you get very strange looks. I went out with a good friend of mine to a fairly nice restaurant here in Winston Salem. I ordered a portobello wrap and a side of sweet potato fries. I asked them to not use butter with the veggies and not to add cheese. The waiter got a glazed look on his face, then our food took forever for it to come out and then to top it all off, they brought me a big blob of butter on my plate to go with my fries. WHO IN GODS NAME WANTS CINNAMON BUTTER ON SWEET POTATO FRIES?!?!?! And at the very end, he even asked if I wanted dessert. I was quite irritated. Needless to say I will not be eating there again. This is why I like Mediterranean and Asian food. I do not have to worry about butter for the most part.

So, that is what is up for now, I will have another status report next week. I hope you all enjoy and namaste!

Moving with Purpose

yoga-art-8

So, today I woke up with the¬†urge to “exercise”.¬†¬†Now, I do practice yoga on a daily basis and that is a form of exercise in some sense, but this is more like a “I want to go run on a treadmill and lift weights” kind of feeling. It boggles my mind a bit to be honest. I don’t really like to run unless its in a game of soccer, so the fact that I even want to do so is a bit strange. However, I will be¬†honoring¬†what my body is asking of me. If it wants me to run, then by golly I am going to do so!

Too often we ignore what our inner voice is telling us to do. This can be through cravings and feeding ourselves the wrong food, ignoring the need for movement and becoming a couch potato, drinking in excess after getting to the point where our body is telling us to stop, or even not speaking up in a conversation where you feel it is important for your feelings to be heard. We have been taught that we should have self control, not speak out of turn, not to break tradition and generally don’t rock the boat. Sometimes though rules ARE meant to be broken. We are moving from an “industrial society” into a more liberal one. More people are able to communicate their feelings and thoughts in this age of technology. We don’t have to rely on getting our news just from word of mouth, one news paper or what our preacher told us. All we have to do is go to any number of bookstores or libraries or even just look at the internet and do our own research.

This is wonderful, but also incredibly scary at the same time. Do we choose to stay with tradition and rely on what our¬†forefathers¬†have done, or do we break out into this new world and become a¬†independent¬†being? Most of the time, we just stay quite and try not to step on any toes instead of listening to that inner voice¬†that’s¬†telling you to bust out of your rut and be the amazing being that you are. We don’t want to step out into the unfamiliar and then get burned. Taking chances are wrong and we just need to stay the course and hope for the best. Well, this is where the “moving with purpose” comes in.

Take the time to examine your day to day routine. Are you repeating the same thing over and over again and not¬†branching¬†out into new¬†territory? Have you become a creature of¬†habit? Do you feel like you are lacking in some areas and not feeling whole? Do you eat the same general things all the time? When is the last time you tried something new or went on vacation? All of these things are important for our general health. It¬†doesn’t¬†just relate to keeping active,¬†¬†but also to our inner¬†well-being. So, try something new!

Instead of sitting down all day, make an effort to walk more. Change up your exercise routine and maybe try a¬†different¬†class. Read an author¬†you’re¬†not quite familiar with and expand your perspectives. Talk to that person you see all the time at the coffee shop. Try a new recipe or a¬†restaurant¬†you’ve¬†never been to before. Just listen to what your inner voice is telling you to do.

“But Michelle, what if I can’t hear my inner voice? I have a disconnect with my heart and my brain. They don’t speak to one another.” Well, my best advice is to sit and listen instead of clouding your thoughts with random noise of everyday life. This means TV, cellphones, computers, video games, and the like. Sit in a comfortable place in a quite room and just listen. Breath deeply and slowly, and ask yourself what it is that you need. Eventually,¬†you’ll¬†start to hear what it is that your body wants. By slowing down, we are able to understand more. Thus, moving with purpose. If sitting isn’t your thing, then doing the same thing while taking a walk in nature will¬†archive¬†the same affects. The point is to move with purpose and not rush yourself.

So, now I am going to go strap on my running shoes and hit the gym. I am thinking this will be a regular thing from now on. I am going to shoot for 3 days a week and the rest of the time I will still be doing my daily practice. What will you do that is new today?

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”–Buddha¬†