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. 🙂 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!

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Trial and error

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese. –Luis Bunuel
So I did have some cheese on Friday and I am utterly regretting it. It was just a little goat cheese on my salad, I figured it couldn’t hurt and well…now I am sick. I feel like I have a cold, my sinuses are horrible, and my body is soar. So yes…no more cheese ever ever ever again. I will admit it tasted absolutely divine, but I am NOT going to eat it since it made me feel this dreadful.
Trial and error is utterly important for me right now. The fact of me trying that smidgin of cheese does not make me a bad person or a horrible vegan, but it did remind me why I use to feel like total poo before. So, all in all it makes me much stronger in my diet choices now. I can really look at that piece of cheese and go, “Screw you, you make me feel like crap. BE GONE FOUL ONE!” (so punny, I know. it was too easy).
On that note, today was my juice day. I did have soup and a salad, (partly because the local smoothie place was closed when I was in town and I was starved) but they were raw veggies and a coconut based veggie soup so I will let it slide. Again, no one is perfect. I did have 2 green drinks before I left the house though so all in all I think i did fairly well. Still feel a bit crudy but hopefully that will pass in the next few days.
So here is the recipe for one of my favorite juices. I call it “The Cremecicle” because it is orange and it tastes a lot like one, only its healthy!!!! Juice 1 large sweet potato, 2 oranges, and 3 carrots. The sweet potato makes it creamy and the carrots and oranges make it really sweet. Its delicious and a great way to start out your day. Plus it is chocked full of vitamins and minerals like beta carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium.
So, there you go! New recipe, how much I hate cheese and, and a fairly well done juice day. I hope you all enjoy and Namaste!

Confessions of a Juicaholic

“If life gives you lemons, make some kind of fruity juice.”–Conan O’Brien

In my last update on how my vegan diet is going, I decided that I was going to start juice fasting one day a week. Reasons being are…well I love juicing! I have been doing it for awhile and I tend to get strange comments when I just have juice. People get very worried that I am not having solid food or I am not getting all the needed nutrients in my body since it is liquids. Truth is I get more nutrients than most people in America on a daily basis.

With juicing, what you are doing is breaking down the food in a manner that your body can easily absorb into the body quickly. All the vitamins and minerals are still there and it gives your body a break from processing food and is a good restart. Plus it is great for people who just don’t like salads and just want to get it out of the way and say “down the hatch” and still be fairly healthy. I am sure there are some of you who are still skeptical though.

You are not starving your body, you are just having liquids. It is the same when you decide you are going to have soup or things of that nature when you are sick. When I am sick, I don’t really like eating much of anything and liquids tend to go down easier. You are still feeding your body, you just aren’t shewing and that is something you have to get use to. It is a mental thing where you just have this urge to “chew” and be “normal”, but it passes.

You aren’t filling up on sugars either. Most of my juices are veggies with some fruit mixed in. Like an apple or a pear to sweeten it just a bit. When people think juice, they think that bottled stuff on the store shelves that are all fruit and have been processed into sugars and just gives your body a huge sugar rush! This is not the case. It is fresh, it is quick and all the nutrients are still intact. I will admit that a fresh fruit juice is just as yummy as my veggie ones, but I like having more greens. Plus you can also juice sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots which are also super sweet and delicious.

You also don’t have to waste the fiber. If you are using a traditional juicer you will notice a little bucket that has all the pulp in it from what you just juiced. You can put that back through and get a 2nd batch, but it wont be as much as the first. You can also make what is called “pulp bread” and add some yummy fiber to a sweet/savory treat. I make a cocoa zucchini bread (vegan of course) and tend to put my juice pulp in there. Turns out fantastic and you cant even tell that it is in there! If you don’t want to make the bread, then you can also make it into fruit/veggie leathers via dehydration. Or you can make a smoothie instead if you want the extra fiber. This tends to work better for greens anyway because they are so delicate. They also tend to be more filling so you don’t feel like you are starving. Plus most people have a blender and you can use it for more than just smoothies if you go out and buy one.

Now, I have done fasts where I juice for 10-14 days straight and that does take quite a bit of will power. It is great for your body to give it a reboot and you can still incorporate the juice into your daily diet once you go back to solids. However, I think for my lifestyle right now it is better to just incorporate a fasting day every week so I have a fresh start. It is also great for my spiritual practice. I think most people can manage to do just one day of juice and be able to tell a difference. Give it a shot if you don’t believe me. 🙂

So what I have been “feasting” on today has been kale, spinach, arugula, Bartlet pear, cucumber and celery with a little lime and grapefruit. It looks very green ans smells bitter but it is quite delicious. I think this evening though I will break it up and add in some carrots too. I hope you all enjoy and 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. 🙂 Enjoy!

The Meaning of Classical Art

Van Gogh Roses

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”― 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. 🙂 But for now, I will enjoy my art high and be content in my memories. Namaste!

ROAD TRIP!!!!

The after affect of seeing beautiful classic art.  <3

The after affect of seeing beautiful classic art. ❤

So I went on Road Trip to Washington DC yesterday. Because of that (and the lack of a proper tablet device like an ipad) I was not able to post. I apologize for the inconvenience. However, I do have photos and such that I have uploaded here on my facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.589824711035037.161885.100000225393483&type=1&l=e24cc85e12

I will be posting later today about how the artwork actually made me feel (life long dream accomplished and yes, I did cry) and then tomorrow I will be putting another installment about eating vegan on the road. I know it plagues a lot of people who try to eat healthy, let alone have special diet needs, when traveling. So, for now please check out my pictures and leave a comment or 2. I hope you all enjoy and stay tuned!

Do not tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled–Mohammed

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!