vitadventure

Vitality, Adventure, Yoga and Fun!


3 Comments

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.

photo

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:

11447921

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

Spooky

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!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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.


2 Comments

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.

Crazy_Sexy_Diet-333x400

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!


Leave a comment

Birthday Fun

Oh Dear.
It’s been too long again. Over a full two weeks since my last post.

I can’t help it- I’ve just been too darn busy having fun. Well, that’s not entirely true- work has made me a stressed-out hot mess, but when I haven’t been working, I’m just having too much darn fun to take the time to post.

But I’m back and I’m making a commitment to get back on a regular posting schedule. You have my word, Vitadventure, you have my word.

So to catch up on the happenings in my world, last weekend I celebrated my 33 birthday. I feel like I should make some joke about, “Oh, look, I turned 25 again!” but frankly, I am loving my life right now and embracing the 30s. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20s. Someone once told me that the 30s were the time when all the insecurities of your 20s are gone and you just ARE who you ARE and it’s fabulous…. and so far, I agree.

Last weekend, my cousin Amanda came to Denver from Cape Cod to visit me for all the birthday festivities. Amanda is like a sister to me, and it was super special that she took time away from her two children and husband to hang out in Colorado for the weekend.

I tried to squeeze in as much “Typical Denver” as I could for her visit. I wanted her to experience what we usually do on weekends, so our days were pretty jam packed.

WE ATE:

I took her to True Food Kitchen, because you all know how much I love that place, and we noshed on some INSANE edamame dumplings.

IMG_0935

We also biked to Watercourse Foods for lunch one day. I figured a trip to Denver wasn’t complete without a visit to this vegetarian/vegan cafe. I got my usual, a frisee and grapefruit salad with herbed seitan, arugula, carrots and red onion- and, as usual, it was divine.

IMG_0927

We also took her to Margs Taco Bistro in Cherry Creek. What I love about Margs is that it’s pretty friendly to all types of eaters. I can order tofu tacos and a huge arugula salad, and my compadres can order their own gluten-free, paleo, omnivorish concotion as well. Add tequila and everyone is happy!

IMG_0912

In other food news, we hosted a birthday BBQ one night.

IMG_0933

We grilled out, played bocce and had a grand old time. I made this vegetarian, gluten-free sweet potato salad, which was a hit and a breeze to make. I also served up Angela’s vegan, gluten free, no bake chocolate torte for dessert.

People, do yourselves a favor. Run, don’t walk, to the grocery store to get the ingredients and make this piece of HEAVEN. It was to die for and frankly, may become a weekly staple in my house.

And when we weren’t eating….
WE MOVED:

We took Amanda up to Evergreen, Colorado, about 40 minutes west of Denver, for one of our favorite hikes called Three Sisters. It’s a lovely series of trails that you can customize to meet whatever hiking desire you have at the time. I think we rolled in a good 3.2 miles, so it was a decent workout with great views.

IMG_0924

IMG_0918

IMG_0921

IMG_0925

IMG_0922

IMG_0920

Of course, the entire weekend made me realize that I am no longer 22. I was completely exhausted after I dropped her off at the airport and any plans we made to go to City Park Jazz that Sunday evening (which is a summer staple for us- more to come on that later) were replaced by this:

IMG_0929

An evening at home on the patio with my husband, Gus and a glass of wine.

It was the perfect weekend to celebrate another year around the sun!

I feel like I have so much other stuff to catch up on, but that’s another post for tomorrow- yup, I’m setting my intention- another post for tomorrow!

Happy Saturday!


2 Comments

Monday (non-YTT) Musings

So it’s Monday night and I am curled up on the couch watching Friends re-runs. This was my first Monday night in three months that I didn’t race straight from work to the yoga studio, cram a Pro Bar down my throat while driving like a maniac across town in rush hour (which defeats the purpose of yoga- hello? Cursing at some idiot in the left lane going the speed limit is not practicing non-judgment or non-violence) and then sit and pretend I’m all Zen-like and learn about yoga for three hours.

[Although I do feel the need to plug the goodness that is Pro Bar. One of the best things to come out of YTT was my meeting of Pro Bars. I’m particularly fond of this flavor. I try not to munch on them as a snack, only a meal substitute when i’m short on time, unless I’m particularly active, as they’re pretty nutritionally dense (ER, high in carbs, sugars and fats) But in a pinch and if you’re active, they’ll make you smile. But maybe that’s just me. Food does make me smile. ]

But I digress….

I’m not going to lie. This first free Monday night was glorious. It had been a particularly rough Monday at work so I grabbed a glass of wine with some coworkers after 5:00. My husband is out of town this week for work, so after said glass of liquid relaxation, I picked up Gus from day care, made myself a ginormous salad for dinner and organized my closet. I believe that if I unpack my sandals and sundresses and store away my boots and leggings, the uncharacteristically Colorado cold spring weather will pass through. Ah, denial. Things aren’t looking optimistic in that end.

I’ve also been thinking about the future of Vitadventure. I considered saying goodbye to my blog, as my YTT is done and I still am at a loss for what I’ll blog about now. Since I have a day job and am not teaching yoga currently (well, outside of work), I worried I’d lose my yoga teacher training or yogi readers if I just stopped blogging about yoga. But then I happened to notice the title of my blog and zeroed in on the “adventure” part.

It’s no secret that I love adventure. I love to travel, I love to just say “yes” to life. That, I know for sure. I can blog about yoga, but I can also blog about healthy living, adventure, marriage, mental health, food, traveling…. You name it! I’ve got a few other blogging themes rolling around in my head but it would probably take some balls to
post them, so for now, I’ll focus on sharing my vision. That life is about experiencing vitality and adventure.

At least it is for me. So I’ll continue to blog… About all the good stuff that makes my world go ’round. And hope that people keep reading.


2 Comments

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.

photo (98)

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).

photo (100)

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.

photo (99)

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.

photo


6 Comments

Don’t Quit Your Day Job- but do hug your yoga teacher

Rose petal carpet upon leaving YTT- surprise!

Rose petal carpet upon leaving YTT- surprise!

When I opened the studio door this evening to leave YTT, I was met by a carpet of roses sprinkled on the street. It was beautiful. And it made me think, “why don’t we sprinkle flower petals all over the sidewalks ALL THE TIME?” Seriously folks, the world would be a much better place if there were flower petals on sidewalks.

All that goodness said, Wednesday night’s YTT lecture was solid proof that it’s a good thing I’m headed back to work on Monday.

Our lecture was titled, “The Business of Yoga” and it was led by the founder and owner of our studio. Now, it was a lot less Business 101 than I expected. I was hoping for a three hour lecture on how you can make money teaching yoga. But basically, for 20 minutes, we discussed taxes, insurance and going rates for teaching.

It was pretty bleak, but not the first time I’ve heard about the trials and tribulations of making a living off of yoga teaching. According to our studio owner, as well as another well-respected teacher I know, the going rate for teaching yoga is $3-$6 a head. That’s right. If you have ten students in your yoga class and you’re a new teacher, you’re making 30 bucks for that class. :::cue doomsday music:::

Now, I don’t mean to be negative, dark or depressing. I’m sure there are phenomenal yoga teachers out there who are making enough to live comfortably and happily. I’m sure there are people making a killing off of hosting weekend retreats, and doing quite well for themselves.

But let’s be honest- yoga teachers, lately, are a dime a dozen. We’re EVERYWHERE. There is stiff competition EVERYWHERE to get a spot at a studio. You’ve got to find a target audience, and self-promote, self-promote, self-promote. And be ready to teach a lot of FREE classes to get the word out there that you rock.

And frankly, I’m relieved I don’t have to deal with that. I never went into YTT to become a full time yoga teacher. And this became apparent to me when we spent the rest of the lecture sitting in a circle, kumbaya-ing and sharing our souls mission, our dharma, our hopes for our future teaching yoga. (Ever seen the movie “Wanderlust” with Jennifer Aniston? It was like a scene out of that).

Everyone had a turn to go around the circle and speak about their future hopes and dreams. Most of them cried. Some it was touching, some of it was serious over-sharing. It went on FOREVER. At one point, even the hippie yoga guru was like, “ok guys, we need to wrap it up, keep it short, just a few words about your hopes for your future.” And still, tears and unnecessary self-disclosure- it was like graduate school all over again (my fellow counseling/social work/psych readers can relate!). I tried not to shift impatiently on my blanket and check my Iphone for the time. And when it came time for me to go, my response was this:

“As for where I go from here, and what my future looks like, I don’t need it to be any different than it is now. I love my life. I’m happy. I’m doing everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I love my job, despite it’s stresses and challenges. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but the present moment. So my hope is that I just have more of the same. I don’t even think I want to teach yoga after this. I want to practice yoga, to be yoga, so that I can take care of myself, in order to provide the best service to my patients.”

Silence.

Yeah, I just said to a roomful of YTT-ers that I didn’t really want to teach.

But I’m OK with that. Because teaching yoga isn’t about teaching asana, pranayama or meditation. It’s just about being an ambassador of love. Seeing people. Letting them know they matter. Spreading love and compassion wherever you go.

So let someone know you love them, you see them. Hug your yoga teacher in particular- their work is a labor of love. They’re not getting paid major bucks to make you feel so blissed out.

Happy Weekend. The Husband and I are off to Vail tomorrow for a little Groupon Getaway at our favorite resort and restaurant. It’s a celebration of all the beautiful things happening in our life- our new home, almost completing my YTT, and the end of my sabbatical. Pics and full report later on to follow.

So go celebrate this weekend. Go spread some love- and in doing so, you can call yourself a yoga teacher.