vitadventure

Vitality, Adventure, Yoga and Fun!


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Blogger Fail

Blogger Fail.

That is all.

It has been two weeks since my last confession post.

Oh boy, still can’t get the Catholic guilt out of the girl.

WTF happened to Vitadventure? I have asked myself that numerous times over the last two weeks. I had been going strong. I was all about my cleanse, I had some momentum going…. and then….nothing.

Well, I’ve decided to catch you all up in pictures.

After two weeks out of my three week cleanse, this happened on a Friday night:

I'm human. I like wine.

I’m human. I like wine.

I made it a full 12 out of 21 days on my cleanse before I succumbed to this perfection in a glass. Was it worth it? Yes. I guess you could say I slipped. I didn’t officially “finish” my cleanse, because after that glass of wine, the rest of the weekend and the remaining last week of cleansing entailed some food truck festival and camping fun.

Love Denver Festivals!

Love Denver Festivals!

Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Said weekend also involved biking to City Park Jazz in Denver… while I stayed gluten-free and vegan, there was wine…and biking…well, not at the same time.

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After my weekend of non-cleanse worthy fun, I hit the reset button for another 5 days- this meant green juice, vegan and plant-based deliciousness, seltzer instead of wine, lots of yoga, dry brushing, neti-potting and meditating. I didn’t beat myself up too much about my “lapse of judgement”. Because as Kris Carr states in her plant-powered cookbook “Crazy Sexy Kitchen“:

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If the worst thing I did during my cleanse was drink some wine and have one latte (which, actually, the latte made me feel worse than the wine did! Score!), then I can easily forgive myself and get back on the train. I pretty much ended my cleanse early and took some valuable lessons from it… which I will share in another post to come soon.

So- that said, where else have I been- when I haven’t been reading or cleansing? Well, after my 21 12 day cleanse, the husband and I went camping for a weekend. We did a deliciously challenging 5 mile hike with Gus to start the trip off.

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Campsite

Campsite

Too much hiking for Gus

Too much hiking for Gus

Sage Brush Field next to the Campsite

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Yoga Time-

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Lovebirds

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Campsite Serenity

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Yes, while I brought some wine camping, I also brought a shit-ton of kale

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I was pretty proud of my vegan, plant powered campsite dinner. All you need is a camp stove and some veggies and pasta and you’ve got yourself a date with nature.

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So that’s where I’ve been the last two weeks. Camping, (semi-)cleansing, reading, hiking, planning our October trip to Italy (OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG! more to come on that too!!!), taking an Italian class, yoga-ing like crazy, teaching yoga (I had 17 students in my last class- people, this is a huge deal!)… oh, and my full time job… whaaaa? Oh, and in between it all, figuring out what the hell to do with all of the veggies that my lovely neighbor has been leaving us…

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I’ll give you one guess- most of this shit has ended up in my juicer. I’m an addict.

So that’s the LONG story in one post. This week, I plan to give you all my thoughts on my Adventure Cleanse, what I’d like to take from it, and what I’d like to leave behind… as well as some other interesting musings on current events…so stay tuned… I promise, there’s more to come- and it will happen in less than two weeks….


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Travel Fun

Hey there-
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. My parents were in town, visiting from the East Coast, and it was a treat. In fact, we were having so much fun that I barely took any photos. We ate (a lot!), enjoyed plenty of wine, and did some hiking near Boulder, as well as general fun exploration of Denver.

Husband and Dad (and Gus!) hiking

Husband and Dad (and Gus!) hiking

We sent them on their way yesterday to enjoy Aspen and Crested Butte while we worked this week. Lame.

Later on this week, my husband and I are headed to Sun Valley, Idaho for our friend’s wedding. I have never been to Idaho before, so I’m really looking forward to the trip- however, whirlwind and brief it will be!

Also- speaking of travel plans- I’m super excited to announce that Tim and I are officially going to Italy in October! I have been wanting to travel to Italy for years and life just kept getting in the way. Finally, now that YTT is done and we are settled in our new home, we can start planning the trips we have been dreaming about. We’ll be booking our plane tickets this week and starting to plan out the details of the trip. We only have 8 days there, so we have to narrow it down to a specific area of Italy- which, frankly, is pretty challenging. Especially when everyone we know who has been to Italy interjects with, “you have to go HERE _____________”

So basically we have narrowed it down based on the best airport to fly into from Denver (price and flight time), and are making our decisions based from there. So, Milan it is. And from Milan, who knows? Well, I kind of know, but I’ll save that for a later post. ­čśë But if anyone has any suggestions for both Sun Valley or Italy, feel free to chime in!

Portofino, Italy- our first stop

Portofino, Italy- our first stop

Happy Monday- have a great week!


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Steamboat Fun Part 2

Alright- picking up from where we left off….

After a morning of hiking in Steamboat and lunch at Sweet Pea’s, we walked around town for awhile and did some shopping.

One of my favorite bookstores of all time!

One of my favorite bookstores of all time!

I encountered the World’s Largest Fire Hydrant.

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Ok, I don’t know if it is the World’s Largest Hydrant, I’m sure it’s not, but I was impressed!

After some money was sufficiently spent, we headed to our hotel on the mountain, The Steamboat Grand.

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Frankly, I’m not including a link here because I didn’t think it was all that “grand” and I wouldn’t waste your money. We’ve stayed at the Sheraton Steamboat before which is across the street and lovelier (in my opinion).

Overall I thought the Grand was a pretty expensive hotel for being the off-season and I found it pretty outdated- but luckily, we didn’t spend too much time there. We did pay for location, however, so I guess I can rationalize that.

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After checking in, we promptly went to the pool for some R&R.

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Catching up on my mags

Catching up on my mags

Unfortunately, the pool area was swarming with screaming jovial children- swarming to the point where it was extremely difficult to relax or hear each other- and every ounce of my being was cringing (hey, not all women yoga teachers love children, but that’s another post for another day)- my husband and I don’t have kids and aren’t used to being around them, so we decided to move on to a Happy Hour snack at the hotel bar.

Roasted chick peas with cayenne, lime and sea salt

Roasted chick peas with cayenne, lime and sea salt

The Steamboat Grand does get an A+ for having vegetarian-friendly bar apps!

Later in the afternoon, we took another stroll around the ski village before getting ready for dinner.

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Now dinner was a whole other story. We had dinner reservations at Cafe Diva (www.cafediva.com) We hadn’t been there in over 7 years, since our last trip to Steamboat, but I remembered it being elegant, unique and vegetarian-friendly.

Well, I shall make this short. It was, by far, the best meal I have EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. In fact, there are NO pictures of this experience because Tim and I were both enjoying ourselves SO MUCH that I couldn’t be bothered to take out my phone and snap away. It was THAT GOOD. You know it’s a grand meal when you don’t want any distractions from your taste buds.

We had exceptional service, exceptional Pinot Noir, and exceptional food from their summer menu. At Cafe Diva, they start you with some exceptional french bread, warm extra virgin olive oil with herbs, and Spanish olives. Usually all three of those in high-quality form is enough to make me happy. We also noshed on the corn falafel pockets, avocado watermelon green gazpacho and a Fattoush salad. I thought it was a bit risky, choosing the Fattoush salad, seeing as I’m Lebanese and a bit biased, but turns out the chef also comes from a Lebanese salad and let me just say, she NAILED IT. Even my grandmother would have been impressed. Tim also got the duck which was “oooohhhhhmmmmmmgggooooodd” (his words).

Overall, if you are ever in Steamboat Springs, you must call Cafe Diva, make a reservation and treat yourselves. You cannot go wrong.

The next day, we woke up STILL talking about the previous evening’s dinner and decided to hit the Yampa Core Bike Trail to work off the glorious indulgences of yesterday.

The Yampa Core Bike Trail is pretty much a 7 mile bike trail (one way, we doubled back to add more mileage) along the Yampa River. It’s an easy, relaxing ride and a popular route without too many hills, so it’s perfect for a Sunday “tootle”.

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The paved trail crosses over bridges, where you can get a view of the tubers going down the river, and past the botanical gardens before bringing you into downtown- where, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that we ended up back at Sweet Pea for one last lunch before hitting the road back to Denver.

Overall, it was a glorious weekend in Steamboat that included all our requirements for weekend/vacation fun: good food, great activities, and just a bit of R&R. Of course, we did hit some gnarly weather on the drive back, as well as horrific traffic, but hey, it was worth it.

Hail!

Hail!


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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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Yoga Update: aka “Meh….Yoga”

I hope you all had a great weekend. We wrapped up our Sunday by attending City Park Jazz. Every Sunday night in Denver, there is a free jazz concert in City Park. Granted, this was A LOT more fun 10 years ago when I was young and could handle multiple bottles of wine, dancing, picnicing and overall Sunday merriment. I find that now I’m the ripe ol’ age of 33, I usually need my Sunday nights to chill out before the beginning of the work week. It’s either “too hot”, “too far” (not- it is literally a 20 minute bike ride away), “too crowded”, or I’m “too tired”.

Seriously? “Too crowded”? When did I get THAT old? But that said, I sucked it up yesterday and Tim and I biked over with some Pinot Noir and Whole Foods sandwiches strapped to our bikes and enjoyed a nice picnic with some friends. Of course, in typical Old Married Couple style, we only stayed for an hour before we deemed it “too hot” and ourselves “too tired”. But it was a lovely hour, so A for Effort.

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In other news, I thought I’d share an update on what’s happening in my yoga world.

I am teaching yoga at work on Fridays, which I can say I am LOVING. Now that the pressure of teacher training and HAVING to teach is worn off, I can just enjoy teaching for the sake of sharing yoga with our patients. I am actually having FUN teaching them, and I find it interesting that while I was in YTT, I didn’t actually look forward to teaching, nor did I actually ENJOY teaching. I’m not sure if that was just a result of the stress of feeling that I “had to” or what…. but regardless, it’s nice to do it for the sheer fun and enjoyment of sharing the benefits of yoga with our patients.

Unfortunately, at the same time, I’ve felt a little lackluster (ie: “meh”) about my own asana practice. This is a bizarre feeling- I have been a rabid yogini with a ferocious appetite for yoga for years- practicing daily and getting bitchy when I don’t get my asana in. However, upon completion of YTT, I was just a bit sick of yoga. I needed a yoga break. I didn’t want to do one more freakin sun salutation. I was over it.

That was just over a month ago, and I’m still feeling pretty “meh” about my own practice. I actually cancelled my monthly membership to my yoga studio because I just wasn’t going all that often. #yogiguilt

I am hoping that some of this “meh” can be attributed to the arrival of summer. I’d simply prefer to be outside- walking, running, hiking, biking, etc and enjoying all the outdoor beauty that Colorado has to offer. It’s a hard time of year to stay inside, especially in Denver.

They say (not sure who “they” are, but they apparently do say) that if you’re feeling uninspired with your yoga practice, switch things up. So I’ve been connecting more with a personal home practice. After a morning jog or afternoon bike ride, I enjoy a more yin-like 30 minute home practice to stretch and balance my more vigorous cardio exercise. I’m also going to give a few Yoga Sculpt classes a shot. I went to one on Sunday morning and was pleasantly surprised. I’m not usually a “yoga sculpt kind-of girl”, as it reminds me too much of the gym- but this particular teacher and this particular class was just enough of a combo of a great workout with a “yoga benefit” that I think I’ll give it a whirl.

So I’m struggling a bit with feeling like a yoga teacher fail. I’m supposed to be hopelessly devoted to my yoga practice, right? How can I be a yoga teacher when I don’t really want to practice 7 days a week, for 90 minutes? At least, that is what I thought I’d be doing post-training.

Then again, after everything I’ve learned from YTT, asana is just one small part of yoga. And right now, in the spirit of listening to my body, I’m honoring what it needs- a break, and a temporary change of pace.


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Firsts and Lasts

Oh hey there. It’s been a few days since my last post- I feel somewhat bad about that, but I’ve just been having too much darn fun!

I had an off weekend from YTT. There was another guest teacher doing workshops all weekend, and frankly, I was yoga-d out, so I opted instead for weekend fun.

Friday the husband and I headed up to Vail for a night away. We got in a nice 4 mile hike on the way up there, and spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool. Yeah, you know you live in Colorado when you’re able to lay out and soak up the super strong sun’s rays when there’s still snow on the ground. It was surreal. 45 degrees, but we were perfectly comfortable in the lush hotel robes. I even got a sunburn.

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Chillaxin

Chillaxin

Saturday morning we hit the road early to come back to Denver. After all, it was 75 degrees down in Denver, and we were ready to get back into the city and soak up the spring-like weather. We puttered around the new house and did some more “settling in”- more boxes unpacked, random crap sold on Craiglist, etc. Saturday night we went to a Birthday BBQ for a friend from back in Boston. It was lovely to be back in the company of some East Coasters, who are still experiencing high emotions after the Marathon Bombings. If I didn’t see the mountains from the backyard, I could have sworn we were back East by all the Red Sox hats and accents.

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This party was a solid reminder that I’m not 21 anymore, and have no desire to be ever again. I was solidly impressed by the ability of this crew to party, but that’s not my scene anymore. I feel so old. We left at 8:30 and called it a night. #lameoldmarriedcouple.

Sunday I woke up bright and early, did my obligatory run to Whole Foods to stock up for the week, and then the husband and I met some friends and did a nice bike ride downtown on the Cherry Creek Trail. We grabbed some lunch, biked back home and played a round of Bocce. There were more sunburns involved, at least for me.

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Now I’m relaxing on the couch and collecting my thoughts about the week ahead.

I start work again tomorrow. My first week back to work since my personal leave. I’ve got a whole lovely mix of emotions going on. It’s like the first day of school, but double the performance anxiety.

It’s also my LAST week of YTT. We have sessions on Monday and Wednesday, and that’s it. Graduation Day in Saturday and then we’ve wrapped it up and I’m a yoga teacher. Crazy.

And so I think- “Now what? Do I keep blogging? This was just going to be a blog about YTT. I’m done on Saturday. Then what the heck do I talk about?”

But in the spirit of yoga, I’ll take it one moment at a time. And right now, I’m just in a moment of Firsts and Lasts.

Have a beautiful week!


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Furniture and Food

Well, my Sunday was a mixed bag.

For YTT, we had to teach a class while being videotaped. Basically, each student had a series of postures they had to teach and we linked them together to create one 1.5 hour class. Then, our instructors played back the video critiquing giving constructive feedback to each of us regarding our teaching.

I did not like this one bit. I’m overly sensitive, and even though the feedback I received was mostly positive, the concept of having a videotape of you watched and discussed in front of 25 people was enough to turn me as bright pink as my Lululemon top.

However, all things come to an end, and before I knew it, class was over and I headed out to meet Tim and our realtor to do a final walk through of our new home! Exciting stuff.

We grabbed lunch afterwards at North, one of my new favorite restaurants in Denver (well, it’s not really new, but new to me). Love their menu and they always have great Happy Hours specials. I ordered the Farmers Market salad and we started with some amazing zucchini chips.

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Zucca Chips with Organic Sea Salt

Zucca Chips with Organic Sea Salt

Afterwards, we ventured over to Crate & Barrel and explored new furniture possibilities. I could spend FOREVER in that store. All things spring were out and I had visions of backyard BBQs dancing in my head.

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We think we found a desk for Tim, who works from home and needs a large but classy desk for dual monitors. Frankly, it’s been hard to find one up until now.

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I fell in love with a coffee table. Who knew it was possible to fall in love with a piece of furniture? What I loved about this piece is that it has multiple purposes. Our new home is ├╝ber tiny and we need to make the best use of space- this serves as a coffee table AND a bench for entertaining guests.

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We wrapped up the day by making a delicious grilled shrimp salad with butter lettuce, grapefruit, avocado and basil. I threw together a dressing with coconut oil, lime juice, agave and rice vinegar.

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The springlike weather called for something light, fresh and healthy. Of course, that said, we are supposed to get hit with a snowstorm tomorrow. Time to roast some sweet potatoes and curl up with a blanket and fleece socks! I’ve actually got my work cut out for me. I need to sequence my next community class. This time, I’ll be teaching to “normal” people (ie- friends, not patients) who don’t have as many contraindications as my patients- so I can get creative. I’m thinking a spring detox flow.

Happy Monday!