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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Check Your Receipts

This is a Public Service Announcement.

But I’ll start it with a confession of sorts- I’m not a penny-pincher. I’m not very frugal. I don’t use coupons, I don’t look for sales. I never have. If I want something, I buy it without usually looking at the price tag or where I can get it for cheaper. That’s not to say that I excessively spend money, but it’s just that I don’t have the time or the care to research prices, deals or check my receipts.

The only thing that I really spend money on without thinking about it is my food. Both my grandmother and my mother taught me that food is your health and life insurance policy, and you can never spend too much money on high quality, organic, healthy foods to nourish your body. That said, I am a self-described Whole Foods snob. I don’t really shop anywhere else unless there is a Sprouts,Trader Joe’s, or farmer’s market in the vicinity (which, side note, the grand opening of a Sprouts just one mile away from my house is happening today, and Trader Joe’s is under construction just another mile away- I die!).

I buy all of my produce, as well as pantry staples (tofu, quinoa, nuts, almond milk, etc) weekly at Whole Foods. And because I’m too lazy to make a separate stop at Target to get other “essentials”- (ie: sponges, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, dog treats, etc), I usually end up buying them at Whole Foods as well- and paying more than I need to simply because it’s convenient. Sometimes I consider if this is really necessary, if I could just save myself some money and make a separate Target run, but then I get lazy reconsider and pay for convenience.

I swear I’m going somewhere with this.

So- I’m a spender, especially when it comes to food. But lately, in the past four months or so, I’ve noticed my grocery bill getting higher and higher every week. High enough that I started checking my receipts.

People, this is big news. I NEVER check my receipts.

But when I did, I started to notice a trend. There was at least one error in each transaction. From being charged twice for a can of coconut oil spray, to not getting the “one day sale!” price of a tub of watermelon, the fact that I was getting ripped off overcharged was glaring me in the face.

I started wondering, “how much money have I lost by trusting Whole Foods?” I started feeling like I had been cheated on. Something that I had put all my trust and love into was screwing me behind my back! OK, perhaps that is a bit dramatic…..

But the reality is that even these mistakes were not enough for me to go BACK into the store and request a refund. I hopped in my car and thought “oh, next time I’ll catch it AS it’s being RUNG UP at the register”. But still, my laziness ensued and I never really made a return trip to the customer service desk.

Except last night. I made an obligatory run to pick up goodies for the rest of the week since my parents are coming (!!!! side note- my parents get here tomorrow and I cannot wait to see them!!!). Somehow a grocery run for snack and fruit turned into a $189 dollar bill. Again, I thought, “wow, that was more than I anticipated”, but I collected my reusable bags and loaded them into my car. I happened to glance down at the receipt in my hand and noticed that I had been charged for 28 POUNDS of avocados- not 2.8 pounds…

28 pounds of avocado? It was 56 dollars!!! That, my friends, would be some expensive guacamole!

And so I marched myself back in there and asked for my $56.00 refund. I applauded myself on the back for catching this mistake (but seriously, how big did the overcharge have to be before I did something about it?) Then I thought to myself, I should blog about this. After all, how much $$$ could I be saving my readers?

So that, my friends,is your public service announcement. Go forth and always check your receipts. Unless you’re into making really expensive guacamole….


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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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Weekend in Pics

First of all, Happy Father’s Day!

Dad and I on the Cape of Good Hope- South Africa- 2012

Dad and I on the Cape of Good Hope- South Africa- 2012

Today we celebrated our dads. My Dad, in fact, kicks some serious ass. He’s a brilliant horticulturalist who has taught me, from day one of my life, to follow my passion and follow my bliss. If you look up “passion-follower” in the dictionary (does that word even exist?), you’ll see this man:

Dad and I in the early 80s- he hasn't changed a bit- but I (and my teeth and hair color) have!

Dad and I in the early 80s- he hasn’t changed a bit- but I (and my teeth and hair color) have!

My father is passionate about nature, about botany, about vegetable gardening and fruit trees. He has embodied the very essence of the life I would like to cultivate for myself- a life based on what makes me tick. My father has taught me that life is too important to just walk through it without direction or purpose- that we all need to find what feeds our interest, our souls, and go forth and leap into that. And for that I am forever grateful to him.

Of course, my father is halfway across the country in western Massachusetts, and I am here in Denver. So alas, while I would have loved to celebrate with him this weekend, I had to make do with my husband and dog. Le sigh. T’was a difficult weekend…..

Saturday we drove north to Fort Collins and hit up a beautiful 13 mile bike ride along the Poudre River. We do this ride once a year and it’s always a winner.

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Along with our annual bike ride tradition, we also follow up said ride with a stop at Coopersmith’s Pub. I got the garden salad, which is more than a typical “garden salad” of boring iceberg lettuce and croutons. This bad boy has mixed greens, sprouts, garbanzo beans, red onion, cucumber and carrots. I always ask them to hold the hard boiled eggs- growing up on a farm with my mom’s chickens has made me a complete snob- in fact, I rarely eat eggs- maybe once or twice a year, and only if I’m back home on the farm.

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In other weekend news, my hair was a COMPLETE mess after wearing a bike helmet in hot weather for an hour and a half. I happened to get bored creative on the drive home and decided to give myself a comical mohawk. At first it was just a joke. Then I was like, “wait, this isn’t that funny, I kinda like this.” And then I thought again and reminded myself I’m 33, not 23. Thoughts?

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We wrapped up Saturday with an evening grilling pizza and playing bocce with some friends. Score!

On Sunday, I hit up a Yoga Sculpt class (our teacher Ben had made an entire playlist by the Rolling Stones in honor of his late father- also awesome!) and we did some necessary household chores. We wrapped up the day with (vegan) sushi and another round of bocce with our friend Dave.

Gus loves Bocce

Gus loves Bocce

We also enjoyed a lovely tour of our new next door neighbor’s vegetable garden. It was a good call moving next door to a vegetable gardener. Once a week, I come home to a bag of homegrown greens on my doorstep. And tonight, we reaped the benefits of his labor.

Home grown radishes!

Home grown radishes!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends. High five to all the Dads out there- you’re awesome!