vitadventure

Vitality, Adventure, Yoga and Fun!


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Distraction

One of my favorite ways to distract myself from my own insanity busy mind is reading. There is nothing I love better than getting sucked into a good book. I have spent entire weekends and 13 hour plane rides to South Africa wrapped up in a novel, only to cry when there are no more pages to turn.

For awhile there, it seemed as though I had forgotten my love affair with reading. I attribute this disconnection to the purchase of my Nook- which, while a lovely thoughtful gift from my husband a few years ago, also meant I spent LESS time in bookstores. Sure sure, I was saving trees, downloading Ebooks instead, but without a weekly or monthly stop at a bookstore, I just didn’t have the stimulation and excitement that arises from the smell and atmosphere of a really good bookstore. So I’ve decided to save my Nook for convenience during long vacations, and return to my love affair with bookstores and novels…. and I don’t have to walk much further than my neighbors’ yard.

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Have you been introduced to the Little Free Library movement? These adorable little “libraries” are popping up in yards left and right here in Denver. What a great concept! I pass by two of them in the morning when I’m walking Gus and feel inspired by the sense of community and neighborliness (is that even a word? It is now) in sharing the gift of reading.

And speaking of reading, I just finished up this book:

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I absolutely loved it and it was a great summer read. Upon finishing it, I then promptly started this one:

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Spooky

I love Jennifer McMahon’s mysteries- they haunt you just enough to keep you up at night.

Both books have been keeping me distracted during my Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse. After all, if I’m not drinking wine or meeting friends for Happy Hour, what the Hell else am I supposed to do with my time? Reading was a lifesaver last weekend when I was trying to distract myself from all the fun food/wine-related activities I would have otherwise been doing.

And speaking of the cleanse, I’ll keep this update brief. I just finished up Day 11, just over halfway done…and I’m hitting the “I’m done” mark. This week I’ve continued to struggle with fatigue, sluggishness and an overall sense of weakness. I’m tired during yoga. I’m tired at work. I’ve bumped up my food intake to try to get some more energy, but I think my body is just trying to tap into all of its reserves to keep me going. I’m sure this is all part of the detox. But it sucks and I don’t want to feel this way anymore. Blech.

The good news is that the only cravings I am having are for a good old fashioned latte- no sugar cravings, no wine cravings (shockingly), no dairy cravings. I really feel that I have reset my eating habits in a way that is sustainable. And even though I’m tired and crabby, I actually feel better in spirit and in my body. So I’ll keep trying to push through- although at this point, 21 days seems like a LONG TIME for a cleanse. I’m considering wrapping it up for the most part this weekend- and by wrapping it up, I mean keeping up with my juicing/vegan diet, but if I want a fucking cup of coffee or a glass of wine this weekend, I’m going to have it.

Shoot- is dropping F bombs part of the cleanse? Eh, I’m human. I’ll do my best this weekend. But my resolve is weakening… Guess I should go pick up my book and distract myself from the naughty voices in my head ;).

Happy (almost) Friday!

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Reality

Breakfast Every Morning- pre-juicing

Breakfast Every Morning- pre-juicing

Well, the honeymoon with the Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse is officially over.

In my last post, I gushed about how amazing I felt after a full week of the CSD Adventure Cleanse. I was fully expecting for the energy and excitement around my newfound vitality to pour into Week 2.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Week Two has found me bitchy, crabby, and craving a Starbucks soy latte like no other. I was not expecting nasty cravings to come up in the second week of the cleanse. I was fully expecting that week 1 would be the hard part, and after that, everything else would be a piece of gluten-free, vegan, no sugar cake (does that item even exist?).

Nope. For the past two days, I have felt a bit depleted, I’m tired and hungry all the time, I’m not feeling as strong in my yoga practice, my skin is breaking out and my digestion sucks.

Good times, good times.

I’m sure I’m just detoxing. I’m sure these are all normal symptoms of detoxing (although the lack of, um, well, proper digestion has thrown me for a loop- isn’t that supposed to IMPROVE with the elimination of dairy and animal products? Geesh). I’m sure my body is just CONFUSED and in a few days, this mess that is my body will pass and morph into a shining, vital being… Hey, one can dream.

But I’m plodding along. I’m making my juice, eating my fruits and veggies, continuing to practice yoga like crazy. I’m dry brushing, I’m meditation, I’m using my neti pot. I’m trading hot water for coffee, sparkling water for wine (people, day 9 without alcohol for me is the biggest deal of them all!). I’m avoiding gluten, dairy, meat and processed sugar. And I’m pissy because of it all.

But tomorrow is a big deal- I hit the double digits- Day 10 and almost halfway through. I’m hoping the double digits bring about a magical shift… I’ll keep my fingers crossed until then… except when I’m cleaning my juicer….because that’s hard to do even without fingers crossed.


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The Adventure Begins

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

OK- so I’m putting it out there- I started my Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse today. All 21 days of it. I’ll be blogging about it here in order to keep myself accountable when the need for a Starbucks soy latte/ glass of red wine/hunk of brie on gluten-full bread arises. Hang in there with me, peeps, I may get crabby….

So here we are- Day One of the cleanse. So far, so good. Granted, it’s only 1:17, so there hasn’t been that much to go wrong…..But still, I went to Sprouts yesterday after we got back from Sun Valley and stocked up, washed and prepped all veggies and fruit so they were easy to use/grab this week.

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I woke up this morning and made myself some hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper to drink. Check.

I used my neti pot. Check.

I hit my yoga mat for 10 minutes of meditation. Check.

I made myself a green juice consisting of romaine, kale, cucumber, ginger and one grapefruit. Check.

I put it in a giant frosty beer mug because I didn’t have a glass big enough for this bad boy. Double check (right?).

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I prepped a lunchtime salad of greens, radishes, onions, peppers, parsley, hemp seeds and a glop of hummus on top. Check.

I’ve been drinking water and noshed on a few raw nuts and gluten-free crackers when my stomach started grumbling at work (yeah, not a good idea to have a grumbling stomach when you work at an eating disorder hospital). Later today, I’m going to hit up a yoga sculpt class after work (check) and made a giant salad for dinner. And replace my usual glass of wine with some mineral water. :::cues scary music:::

So there we go. Stay tuned for all the gory details that I expect to come- crabbiness, complaining, detox symptoms- you know, all the fun stuff!

In other news, we had a LOVELY time in Sun Valley this past weekend for our friends’ wedding- pictures and a full recap to come soon!


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Adventure + Cleanse?

Confession:

I am thisclose to “archiving” this post and not ever publishing it. The following is one of those things that, once I put out there, I’ve got to be accountable for and stand with integrity about. Simply put, there’s no backing out.

Which is partially while I’m going to blog about it. There’s no easy exit once you put something on your blog. “Just kidding” you say, and you look like a shmuck.

So that said, I’m thinking about doing a cleanse.

Let me follow that up with my acknowledgement that it’s not really THAT big of a deal to some people. But to people like me, who like to eat and drink wine, it’s a HUGE deal.

I’ve never had any desire to do a cleanse before. In fact, for the most part, I think they’re complete malarky. I believe that if, in general, you’re fueling your body with healthy foods, it does a pretty good job of detoxing on its own. I also work daily with dieticians and know all the side effects of restricting your food intake, depriving yourself, etc- the list could go on and on about why we don’t really “need” to cleanse or detox.

HOWEVER.

I have been feeling like CRAP lately. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally- a flaming pile of shit. I’m a pretty happy and energetic person by nature, but lately I just feel run down and sluggish. I haven’t been happy with how I feel nor how I look. And if I’m really going to be honest with myself, I have to admit that I just haven’t been all that healthy when it comes to nourishment.

OK, OK- that’s being a bit hard on myself. In general, I eat pretty well. I follow a plant-based, vegetarian diet. I drink loads of water. I am physically active. But I also “treat” myself a lot. I enjoy way too much red wine. And while I try to follow a guideline of 80/20 (80 percent of the time eating clean, 20 percent indulgence/treats), lately it’s probably been more like 60/40. And it’s catching up with me.

Frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of complaining to my husband about how gross, tired, sluggish or bloated I feel. I’m getting sick of feeling self-conscious about how I look- and yes, this is hard for an eating disorder therapist to admit- or having a less-than enthusiastic body image. Sure, due to my profession I’d like to say I feel great about my body and in my own skin all the time, but hey, therapists are people, too, and sometimes our body image sucks.

So I think it’s time to hit the “reset” button and kick start my way back into taking control of my physical and emotional health. And I *think* I have a plan to do it.

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Ta-Da! I’ve been a fan of Kris Carr for many years now, after watching her documentary “Crazy Sexy Cancer” and then getting hooked into her website, My Crazy Sexy Life. Several years ago, I downloaded a copy of her book, “Crazy Sexy Diet,” and absolutely loved it. It’s not a “diet” per se, but more a way of life- with an emphasis on eating a vegetarian (or vegan) diet, juicing a shitton of green vegetables, consuming whole grains/whole foods, and avoiding caffeine, gluten (if you’re gluten sensitive), alcohol, meat and dairy…. all the while meditation, exercising, dry brushing and using your neti pop like a champ.

If I’m honest, I pretty much do all of this stuff, minus the caffeine, alcohol and occasional dairy. But as I said before, I could certainly use a tune up.

At the end of the “Crazy Sexy Diet” book, there is an optional 21 day “Adventure Cleanse”. When I started thinking about doing a cleanse, I remembered this cleanse from Kris’ book and went back to research it. Once I saw that it was titled the “Adventure” cleanse, I thought, “well, there I go…. my own vitADVENTURE cleanse.”

So the Adventure cleanse is a 21 day journey that entails the following:
-Following a vegan diet and abstaining from any animal product or processed foods (check, this won’t be a problem for me)
-Replacing coffee with hot water with lemon, and then a morning green juice- in fact, drinking fresh pressed juice until lunch time. (this may be a problem for me, I get HUNGRY)
-No caffeine, no gluten, no alcohol…..eek
– Lots of fresh, raw (or lightly steamed) vegetables, beans, low glycemic fruits, grains
– Daily meditation, dry brushing and use of the neti pot…..

It obviously entails more, but that’s the jist… And I think I’m going to give it a shot come Monday… Hey, at the very least, it will give me something to blog about.We’ll see- I could still chicken out, but my husband told me to fake out my mind and tell myself I’ll try it for a week and see how I feel… Or I could just man up, drop the drama and just do it.

But that said, I’m posting from a hotel room in Boise, Idaho, and we’re heading to Sun Valley for a friend’s wedding this weekend, where there will probably be all things non-cleanse available and enjoyed…. Fun times and a phot recap to come!

Have a great weekend!


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Steamboat Fun Part 1

Hey there and happy Sunday.
Oh lordy, where do I begin? I have an hour to kill before the season premiere of “Dexter” (any other Dexter fans out there?) so truly, where do I begin?

We are back from our fantastic adventure in Steamboat Springs. We hadn’t been to Steamboat in over 7 years so it was a long overdue trip.

We left early Saturday morning and it took us about 2.5 hours to get there ( it should take 3 minimum if there’s no traffic, but I was driving and eh, I’m a bit of a heavy foot). We rolled into town greeted by this lovely view.

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Not bad.

We drove immediately to the trailhead of Fish Creek Falls, a popular Steamboat destination. There is a short 1/4 mile hike down to the falls that is pretty much a tourist attraction (and therefore, usually would be a deterrent for us, as we prefer things off the beaten path)- HOWEVER, I had done some research and knew that there was another hike just past the lower falls that climbs 2,000 feet in elevation to the Upper Fish Creek Falls and knew that it would not be busy due to the difficulty of the hike. So we pushed past the crowds and began our ascent.

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Lower Fish Creek Falls

Lower Fish Creek Falls

After a nice photo op at Lower Fish Creek Falls, we began a pretty strenuous 2 mile ascent up. We were, however, rewarded for our efforts with glorious shade for most of the hike, wildflowers and a stunning view from the top.

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Almost to the top

Almost to the top

Wildflowers Galore

Wildflowers Galore

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Finally, about an hour into the hike, we made it!

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Glorious views from the top

Glorious views from the top

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Cooling Off with the waterfall spray

Cooling Off with the waterfall spray

We spent about 10 minutes at the top just enjoying the views before we headed back down- oh, glorious DOWN!

All in all, the hike was around 5 miles and we did it under two hours- pretty average when you include stops, elevation gain, and the heat. Of course, we were starving when we reached the car and immediately headed into downtown Steamboat Springs for lunch at Sweet Pea Market and Restaurant.

I had found Sweet Pea after doing a Yelp search for “Steamboat Vegetarian” (what did we do without Yelp?) and I’m glad I didn’t let a few of the “poor service” reviews deter me. Yes, they were busy and yes, service was a little slow, but I’d gladly wait for the deliciousness that was Sweet Pea.

At first, glance, it looks like a little market with some locally grown produce, honey, lavender and other herbs.

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Combining beer advertising and basil- LOVE

Combining beer advertising and basil- LOVE

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Such Farmer’s Market Fun! But an even better surprise happened when we walked around the corner and found a back patio on the Yampa River with beautiful outdoor dining.

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We grabbed a table in the shade and reviewed the menu. I was in heaven looking at the salad entrees.

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What to choose? I ended up with the Trifecta salad- basically I opted for a sampling of all three- I ordered the kale and quinoa, snap pea and the olive and cucumber with local feta and yogurt dressing.

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It. Was. Divine.

Tim opted for the Brie and Bacon on whole grain with a side of garlic fries (of which I helped myself to!)

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We toasted to our hard hike with some champagne, noshed on our lunch and watched people tubing down the river. It was absolutely lovely….

And this seems a perfect place to end tonight’s post…. With a full belly and aching quads…. More to come on the rest of our trip tomorrow!


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Choose Your Words

I’m on a high today. And it’s not because it’s Friday and we have a fun filled weekend ahead of us- although that doesn’t hurt.

I’ve had a great week at work. The kind of week that makes you want to dance on a table, sing out loud to the world, “I LOVE MY JOB!”

In the mental health field, this doesn’t happen often. Actually, I find that, as a therapist, my week is either REALLY bad or REALLY good. There’s never any gray area. It’s black or white.

So it’s been a really good week. And I’m enjoying these flowers and card in my office today as a gift from a patient who finally discharged from treatment.

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This week, this particular patient taught me an important lesson about words. Yup, words.

Yeah, yeah, we know that what we say and how we say it is important. But often times, in my job/career, I wonder if any of my patients are actually listening to me. While 90% of my job requires me to listen and be empathic and all that jazz, the other 10% requires me to give guidance, words of wisdom and support and at times, advice.

There are times (more often than not) that I wonder if anyone hears me or takes anything I have to say to heart. When I see my patients repeating the same behaviors, habits and attitudes that are keeping them miserable and stuck in the first place, it can be frustrating. One of those “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” things.

But this week, as one of my patient’s was discharging from our program, she shared with the community her own type of graduation speech- she titled it, “52 Things I Learned in Treatment”.

When she read them aloud, I recognized many of them to be things I had said to her throughout the course of her treatment. “Leap and the net will appear”, “you’re uncomfortable? do it anyway”,”does this relationship brighten or dim you?”,”your body is just a vessel for your soul.” There were sweet moments when she paused, looked at me with tears in her eyes and we smiled at each other, silently remembering when we had had that particular conversation. These were words and lessons that I had shared with her for many months and frankly, questioned myself how much was really sinking in.

But something did sink in for her. And I’m not egotistical or self-absorbed enough to think that I really had anything to do with it. It had a lot less to do with me and more to do with her.. When she was finally ready to let her guard down and open up to the beauty and wisdom that was already around her, she began healing.

My point is this- choose your words carefully. Make sure they reflect your intentions. Because people will listen and receive them. So make your words count. And at the same time, open your ears and your heart. Someone might be speaking to you, and you never know what you’ll learn about yourself in the process.

But that’s enough intense sappiness for the day. It’s Friday, people. Kick back, grab a drink and plan your weekend fun.


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Pomp & Circumstance

So it’s been just over 24 hours since I graduated from yoga teacher training. It’s actually a bit surreal and emotional, which surprises me. The level of emotion I experienced yesterday (and today) didn’t match up with my overall lackluster attitude throughout the past 3 months of training. I’m not really sure what all the emotion is about. After all, I tended to downplay the entire YTT experience. It really was just “meh.” And at some point soon, I’m going to post my reflections from YTT, and the entire experience from my perspective. But I haven’t been all that inspired or pensive. I just can’t bring myself to wrap my head around it and start typing. So I’ll just save it for “someday soon.”

But what I can share is what the last day of YTT was like. Basically, all 22 of us had 10 minutes each to present our final “Yoga and Your Life” projects. Overall, it was pretty cool. Some people shared art work, others shared their research about yoga and you-name-it. A few people presented on their “self-studies.” I didn’t get this. It felt like code for “I didn’t really prepare for anything so instead I’ll just share my life story.” One girl made ghee and gave us all little mason jars filled with buttery goodness that I can’t wait to try. My presentation on “Yoga and Eating Disorders” went really well. I finally felt like I had the opportunity to really speak about what I love, what I know, what I am passionate about. It was cool to share with my trainees what I actually do all day. Afterwards in the bathroom, one of my fellow students came up to me and said, “Wow, I had no idea that you were so bad ass and did all that all day long!” It was frankly, nice validation. But moreso, I was happy for the opportunity to share my
passion and life work with others.

But I digress.

After all of our presentations, friends and family arrived and we thanked them for putting up with not having their loved ones around for 3 months. We were presented with our diplomas, and a gift of mala beads and a scarf.

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Everyone else stayed afterwards for a pot luck. I high tailed it out of there, feeling only slightly guilty about my lack of desire to kumbaya with everyone. I wanted to head home to my husband and my dog. And when I arrived home, my husband had flowers, a balloon and a card waiting for me. Husband score! (actually, he ALWAYS does stuff like this. Don’t be too jealous, but it’s true).

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I showed him my “diploma”. I actually was super proud and beaming. My excitement really surprised me, since I never really loved my YTT experience.

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But even though I’m still “meh” about my YTT experience, what I’ve thought about is this- I had been talking about doing my yoga teacher training for 11 YEARS. Even if I never teach a yoga class ever, I can say that I did it. I accomplished something. I never have to think, “what if?” And this experience, on some level, makes me a better therapist. And hopefully a better wife, friend and human. And those are the things that are important to me.

Something really cool happens the moment you say, “I’m a yoga teacher.”
I’ve been rolling those words around my tongue all day. “I’m a yoga teacher.”

And what that means to me is this- it’s my responsibility to bring more LOVE and LIGHT into the world. That’s it. More love and light to share with the world. That is my message, that is my motivation, that is my purpose.

And starting with love, I need to thank my husband and my dog, who have both, in their own ways, been the most constant source of support and encouragement throughout this process. I share this accomplishment with them, because I couldn’t have done it any other way.

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