vitadventure

Vitality, Adventure, Yoga and Fun!


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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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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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Inspiration… And Imperfection

Oh hey there and Happy Friday! I hope you all have had a lovely week.

Here in Colorado, the state of burning wildfires, it has looked like this all week in my car :

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That’s right. Above 100 degrees. It finally cooled off today to a whopping 90 degrees, but hey, I’m a pitta- I cannot deal with anything pretty much over 70 degrees. My body temperature and personality just burn FIRE all the time- not in a good way. I have fantasies of living in Iceland or Alaska and being quite happy- how I ended up here in Colorado? Not sure.

But alas, things are cooling back into the 80s this weekend, which hopefully helps our brave firefighters contain the fires ravaging our state. MAD.PROPS, firefighters, MAD.PROPS.

To counteract the summer heat this week, I made Angela’s “Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad” this week- I just added some avocado and greens to make it more of a salad. It was pretty ridiculously amazing, but that’s not a surprise- she’s a genius. I’ve said that a few times.

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I’ll get better at food photography at some point, I swear. Please hang in there with me until that magical day.

In other food news, after a LOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG day at work today, I stumbled into the house exhausted and mentally drained. Fabulous husband prepared some amazing vegan, gluten-free tacos while I decompressed with an organic cucumber vodka/soda drink (what? it’s ORGANIC and it’s CUCUMBER? It’s practically health food)……. We played a round of camping bocce for Happy Hour…. You know it’s the ultimate in laziness/decompression when it’s too much to actually play bocce ball with anything other than your “camping set” from REI.

Gus loves Bocce

Gus loves Bocce

Anyhoo, these tacos made by said husband were bomb and consisted of grilled portobella mushrooms, zuchinni and green and red onions, as well as salsa, tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro and sliced avocado- all on a corn tortilla. Nom. Nom.

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And FINALLY, when I wasn’t stuffing my face with goodness and cucumber vodka, I was working my ass off. And it was worth it- because at the end of the week, I received this handmade painting from a patient who was discharging today.

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Gifts like this make my entire world worthwhile. I’ve said it before and will never stop saying it- my job is hard, heart-wrenching at times, and almost always stressful. But when I am met with such gratitude and appreciation, as well as the acknowledgement that I may have helped someone in their lifelong journey… well, that’s all I need…. Of course, I always throw things like this back on my patients, because it is truly THEM doing the work- there is nothing special about me or the work I do with them- they possess their own magic, I simply help hold up the mirror so that they may see their inner light. My patients inspire ME, not the other way around.

In other news, I also have been settling into my role as “yoga teacher” on Fridays from 4-5… and I gotta say, I am LOVING IT. Today I prepped for and taught a class that I was super excited for- we did a ton of shoulder and hip opening. Most of it was seated, most of it was very little movement in general. Think basic eagle arms, neck rolls, pigeon and side bends. Frankly, I couldn’t have gotten MORE basic. But I loved what I was teaching. I had over 15 patients in my class today, which is a success considering it’s Friday night and many patients either a: have passes for the weekend or b: have no interest in doing yoga on a Friday before dinner and would rather attend a different group scheduled at the same time.

Hey, 15 yogis/yoginis? I’ll take it! And afterwards, I received a lot of positive feedback. They were all swarming around, discussing how GREAT it felt to open up their rhomboids, or how they felt rejuvenated, etc. It was my first time feeling like a “real yoga teacher”. I guess I’m starting to embrace this new part of my professional identity. Yeah, I teach yoga. That’s a weird thing to own, because I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.

But the best part of teaching at my workplace is that we’re constantly preaching about the virtue of IMPERFECTION. And part of our role as staff is to model this. So I am constantly screwing up in my cueing. Especially when I try to mirror eagle or cowface pose (side note- not a good idea to say, out loud, any word containing “cow” when dealing with eating disorder patients)- but instead, when I realize I’m on the completely different leg than the rest of them, I laugh it off, say “oh crap, whatever leg you are on is fine”, and keep moving.

Because that’s the ultimate lesson. It’s just yoga, and it’s not to be taken too seriously.

Have a grand weekend, dear friends.


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Southwestern Delight

Ah, we’re back at home in Denver relaxing after our lovely vacation down to Santa Fe. Well, I wouldn’t really call it a “vacation”, it really just seemed like a long weekend away, but by all intents (relaxation) and purposes (relaxation), it was a vacation.

As I stated a few posts ago, we travel down to Santa Fe several times a year. It’s only a 5.5 hour drive (if I’m driving- you can’t take the Masshole out of the girl) from Denver, and it’s such a lovely city for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. Check and check.

I’m not very good at relaxing on vacation. I don’t really do the lazy beach bum thing, but oh how I wish I did. Vacations, for me, have to be packed with adventure, exploration, movement and food. And repeat. So Santa Fe offers all of the above- but while still giving me peace of mind and plenty of time for my kind of relaxation.

We headed down there on Friday night with Gus in tow and met our friends Dan and Melissa, their baby and dogs at the vacation house that their family owns. As we didn’t arrive until 11:00 pm, we hit the hay immediately and rested up for the weekend ahead.

Saturday morning we awoke to uncharacteristically cloudy weather but braved a stormy Mother Nature and hit up the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market.

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By the time we got there, most of the goodies were gone, but there were still lots of fresh spring greens and sprouts, so we stocked up on those and made our way over to The Shed, a Santa Fe classic and old stand by, for lunch.
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Later in the afternoon, while everyone else napped, I took Gus for a great 3 mile hike along the Dale Ball Trail System. We’ve hiked this numerous times in our past visits and it’s always a winner.

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We ventured downtown in the early evening to check out Happy Hour at La Boca, where we enjoyed several tapas and a round of cocktails. Tim and I discovered La Boca during our last trip down to Santa Fe and their daily Happy Hour is a great way to take advantage of a super trendy restaurant at reasonable prices. We stuffed ourselves just enough to have room for a huge salad for dinner involving the fresh arugula, radishes and pea shoots that we got earlier in the day at the Farmer’s Market.

La Boca Kale Salad with fried garbanzos and garlic

La Boca Kale Salad with fried garbanzos and garlic

More greens for dinner

More greens for dinner

Sunday morning we left Dan and Melissa to enjoy their first Mother’s Day as a family of three. Their little boy was born in October, and we figured she might enjoy a morning with her husband and the new addition. We traveled 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe to hit up Tent Rocks National Park. We enjoyed a killer 3.7 mile hike at the park with stunning views.

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Upon returning to the house Sunday afternoon, we balanced all of that activity with afternoon cocktails relaxation on the porch.

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It was such a gorgeous day in a gorgeous location that we just parked ourselves on the porch the rest of the evening, cooked up mole with grilled vegetables (and chicken for them) for dinner. There may have been more cocktails involved later in the evening as well.

Makin' Mole

Makin’ Mole

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Monday morning we did another hike on the Dale Ball trail system and then hit up lunch at the Coyote Cafe’s rooftop cantina. This is another example of being a money-savvy visitor in Santa Fe. Normally the Coyote Cafe is a bit on the pricey side, but if you grab lunch at their rooftop cantina, you can enjoy their cuisine at cheaper prices. I ordered the grilled vegetable tacos with a pesto sauce that was TO DIE FOR. Nom Nom.

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We parted ways with our friends so they could let the baby nap and took off on foot to do some shopping and gallery-exploring. Santa Fe, in addition to being a foodie city, is also known as an artist’s playground, and there are beautiful galleries throughout the city.

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We arrived back at the house several hours later for more relaxation on the porch.

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Cocktails and another dinner at home ensued. It was a beautiful, peaceful night that showed us a gorgeous southwestern sunset. The perfect way to end our last evening in Santa Fe.

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So that wraps up our three days of southwestern delight. One of the best things about traveling is that, while it is so enjoyable, I’m happy to return home and back to my life and my career. That, to me, is a sign that I’m “livin the dream.” That I have a life and a job I WANT to return back to. That I don’t rely on one weekend or two weeks a year for my ultimate travel/excitement/relaxation. I’m already living life in the way that I want to.

I don’t need an ‘escape’.Three days in Santa Fe is just the icing on the cake. Yay Life!


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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.


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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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Dharma Sharing

Well, I’m just sitting here licking my lips after consuming this insane salad from Angela over at Oh She Glows. Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free goodness…. with all my favorite spring goodies: asparagus, leeks, strawberries? Yes please. She’s a genius over there on Oh She Glows, I tell you.

So, it’s been a busy few days for me over here in Vitadventure-land. It’s been back to work. And I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. It hasn’t been nearly as overwhelming or stressful as I had anticipated. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’ve been ENJOYING being back. It’s been confirmation that I do love my work. It gives me pleasure and purpose, as well as stress and heartache. But I’ll take it- for now.

Yesterday, we had our last Monday evening YTT class. It was titled, “Dharma Sharing” on the syllabus. Dharma, in the Hindu world, is basically the moral foundation of life. If you GTS that (that means “Google That Shit”, Mom, in case you’re wondering), you’ll get an array of the following descriptions

natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy

the moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one’s life.

“that which holds” the people of this world and the whole creation.

an individual’s duty fulfilled by observance of custom or law.

Basically, if you’ve ever been to a yoga class and the teacher gives a nice little inspirational talk at the beginning, that’s their “Dharma Talk”.

So I envisioned that “Dharma Sharing” would be a lecture on accessing your true nature, what moves you, what you love and how you share that with your students. Sounds reasonable, right? How to share your inspiration?

Nope, my friends. It was another “Sit Around in a Circle and Share Your Feelings” session. What? We JUST HAD THIS last week?

Our teacher told us to each simply share, for 3-5 minutes, whatever words or emotions presented themselves to us. And our only job was to listen.

I won’t lie. I thought, “Listen? I have been doing this for 8 HOURS TODAY!!! I don’t want to listen to anyone else!!!”

Ah, the life of a therapist. Sometimes, we just have to stop LISTENING to preserve our own sanity.

But alas, I took a deep breath and tested my patience. I listened. For 2.5 hours.

For 2.5 hours, people cried. People laughed. People took a lot longer than 5 minutes each. People overshared. People talked about their early childhood trauma, their relationship issues, their depression, their lack of self-confidence, their love of one another, their abandonment issues, their rejection from their father. I considered giving out my business card. I could have made a KILLING.

But I get the program’s point. They want us to be aware of our own shit before we start helping other’s on their spiritual journey. That makes sense. We need to be comfortable sharing our emotions and thoughts with our students. But, it was all a little too “kumbaya” for me. Everyone else went out afterwards for smoothies and tea, and all I wanted to do was go home, watch some E! and hang out with my husband and my dog.

Which makes me feel guilty, in a way. I wonder if I picked the wrong YTT program. I’m not all “kumbaya” and I never really connected with any of my fellow students. I keep thinking, “Did I miss the boat here? Am I missing something? Why does everyone love this program except for me?”

And then I realize that I am truly living my own yoga in my own way- and sharing that in my own way. I didn’t need a YTT program to prove this to me, or to become BFF with a bunch of yoga teacher trainees to become “enlightened” or access my dharma. And that’s not to discount the friendships that my fellow trainees have made with each other.

It’s just that, for me, I already have love and meaning in my life, through my marriage and through my family and friends. I chose a career that makes me an agent for meaningful change in people’s life. And being back at work this week is the reminder that I’m already living my dharma. I’m happy. I’m content. I’m creating meaningful change and helping people to heal in a small way. My way.

And that, my friends, is all I can ask for. Well, that and red wine and chocolate.