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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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:

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!


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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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Adventure Cleanse Update- Day 7

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have a lovely Sunday planned ahead.

Confession: I’m actually writing this post Saturday night, watching “Sharknado” (has anyone SEEN this RIDICULOUS movie on SyFy?) Hey, my excuse is my husband is away and I’m “cleansing”, so my usual Saturday evening activities are out of the question.

Anyway, so here I am blogging on technically Day 6 of my Crazy Sexy Adventure cleanse watching a movie about sharks in tornados in Los Angeles. Not sure if this is what Kris Carr had in mind for finding physical and spiritual vitality. But alas…..

Here’s my experience this week on the cleanse: it has been WAY easier than I expected. When I first started the cleanse, I dreaded the caffeine and wine withdrawals and cravings, temptations and hunger that were sure to come…

But after the first day or two, it seemed like I had made a commitment to myself (accountability here on my blog also helped- knowing I’d have to report back to all of you) and there was no turning back.

The caffeine/coffee has been the easiest thing to eliminate. I don’t even miss it and start my day with hot water and lemon, then green tea- a habit I will surely keep up. After drinking my cup o’ hot water (mmmmm sounds appetizing, hmm?), I meditate for 10 minutes, then neti-pot, dry brush, jump in the shower, and make and drink my green juice (usually consisting of romaine, kale, cucumbers, ginger and a grapefruit or apple) while getting ready for work. This juice keeps me actually pretty full until lunchtime- of course I’m sipping loads of water as well. If I get hungry, I snack on some raw nuts, rice cakes or GF vegan crackers. 

Lunch is a huge salad with greens, red onion, sprouts, radishes, peppers, hemp and chia seeds, tomatoes, avocado, chick peas (or some tofu if I’m extra hungry). I’ll grab a serving of low glycemic fruit in the afternoon if I need a snack and dinner consists of whatever vegetable dish I throw together (salad, steamed stir fry) with quinoa or brown rice. And mineral water instead of wine. Boo. Oh, and lots of yoga. Every day. 

What has taken me surprise is how easily and quickly it was to change my habits. And what previous habits I had that were not necessarily mindful or healthy for me. Or that were contributing to my feeling crappy in all ways. duh Lisa. That’s not to say that my diet was bad before I started the cleanse, but based on how I feel NOW as opposed to last week at this time- I was in dire need to a major change.

Of course, there have been some temptations and is hasn’t been all that easy- there were some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (not vegan) and Nutella cupcakes (definitely not vegan or GF) that called my name earlier this week in the staff lounge. This morning after yoga class my teacher I grabbed some tea at the coffee shop across the street and there were some GF and vegan “breakfast cookies” that caught my attention, but I’m pretty sure those weren’t cleanse-friendly. ;). 

I replaced my usual Friday happy hour with a trip to Sprouts to stock up on juicing ingredients for the weekend. I drank some tea tonight when all I really wanted was a giant glass of Zin (it was pouring rain- a strange event in dry Denver- and perfect red wine/couch weather). Ah, sacrifices.

But so far, it’s been worth it. I feel more clear, lighter (mind, body and spirit-wise), and more energetic. I’m actually less hungry than I usually am (not sure if that’s a result of avoiding sugar or gluten?) and my cravings for most “crap” are gone. I even noticed a change/improvement in my yoga practice.

So we’ll see what week two brings. I’m not making any promises. I have a concert at Red Rocks to go to tonight and it will be depressing to tailgate with my sparkling lime water. I have what I anticipate to be an atrocious week at work ahead. There may be a dinner party next Friday night with some really cool friends (hi Melissa) that may involve a cocktail. 

But then again, I anticipated that this week would be awful, so goes to show you never know the road ahead until you actually turn onto it. 

Go ahead and try something new. Break a habit. Pick up a new one. You’ll feel better- I promise. 

 


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Gone Baby Gone

No, I’m not talking about the movie, or even better, the book that lead to the movie.

I’m talking about, oh, 60+ photos in 30+ of my blog posts that I just discovered as missing.

OK, well, they’re not missing. I actually somehow permanently deleted them from my WordPress media library last night. I don’t know how this happened. I’m pretty technologically challenged, and I was attempting to “clear out space” from the media library to upload photos from Sun Valley and- yeah- apparently when you delete them from your library, you delete them from your entire blog. Should I have known that or am I just an idiot?

Don’t answer that.

So last night, when I realized this, I uttered a few violent curse words and then almost broke down into tears, imagining having to spend all weekend uploading the pictures again and editing 30+ posts from over the past four months.

And then a little birdie whispered, “vairagya”…..

Vairagya wha?

Vairagya means “non-attachment” in Sanskrit and is one of the core priciples of yoga as defined by the Yoga Sutras. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can just google it and BAM- you’re inundated with all the info you could possibly want.

But basically, this concept is that part of our suffering as human beings lies in our over-attachment to the material world- possession, people, experiences- ya know, “things”.

So deleting months of my blog pictures could cause me to lose my shit, spend a full 24 hours (or maybe more) uploading everything all over again while ripping my hair out.

Or it could be a good lesson in non-attachment. Because in the big picture, who CARES if they can’t see pictures from my May trip to Santa Fe. The point of power is in the present moment- and you’re reading TODAY’s entry, not one from February 20th.

So I’m choosing Option B. I learned my lesson (oh, WordPress, how you challenge me), I won’t be messing around with my media library any further. But I also won’t cry anymore over deleted photos. Because in the grand scheme of this crazy life, it really doesn’t matter.

What does matter, however, is sharing your life (or yoga!) lessons with others in order to create meaningful change. Today I received this card from a patient at my hospital- not one of my own, but one that does come to my Friday yoga classes. And it made me smile. Because the whole point of becoming a yoga teacher was to share the benefits of the practice with those in need of healing. And my mission looks like it’s slowly being accomplished.

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This particular patient also added that “it is a practice I began here at ____insert hospital name____ and plan to continue at home for my own healing.” Awwwww…..

So come with me on this lesson of non-attachment- what can you let go of that causes suffering, but doesn’t really matter in the big picture? Go ahead, let go- it’s pretty liberating!


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Free Bird

Oh, another Fourth of July post. Yes, it is.

But I’ll keep this short and sweet. Some of us (your truly) have to work tomorrow. No, I’m not bitter :::insert sarcasm::::. The life of a therapist in a private hospital. There are NO holidays for eating disorder patients.

Sigh.

So while I’m feeling sorry for myself, but before I start asking for sympathy….

I actually love the Fourth of July. I think part of this comes from growing up on the East Coast- especially Massachusetts. We’re Boston folk. We’re Patriots- in more ways than one. We New Englanders LOVE the Fourth of July.

If I didn’t live in Colorado and wasn’t working tomorrow, I’d be out on my cousin’s boat, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, drinking white wine, eating flag cake and watching fireworks. I’d be biking along the beach and eating blueberries fresh from my family’s farm. I’d be embracing my family members and a Sam Adams. Damn, this holiday makes me homesick and depressed…..

This is recap of a Fourth of July back in 2008 with my cousins and myself (yes, look closely- that’s me with my “natural color”- everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, agrees that I should embrace my freedom to color my hair- some people are better off blonde)

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Sigh.

However, I’m not back east. I’m working and providing quality care for my patients. If I’m lucky, I’ll grab dinner with a coworker/girlfriend tomorrow night at True Food Kitchen, since I got a 25% off coupon there and my husband is doing what all other Coloradans do for the 4th- camping and fishing.

All that said, this morning’s vinyasa flow class was a reminder of why I love yoga, and why I love freedom. Of course, the theme was “independence”. We did a lot of heart openers, because let’s face it, freedom is all about being true to your heart. My yoga teacher played “Free Bird.” Need I say anything else?

What I love about my favorite yoga teacher is that she shamelessly plays whatever the f she wants to in class. She’s managed to put “Sweet Child of Mine” on a playlist for a 6:30 am Detox Flow class…. who DOES that and makes it WORK? I told her I’m still waiting on some Poison. She told me it’s in the works.

So rock on and be shamelessly free. To play “Free Bird” or whatever else floats your boat and makes your heart sing. Happy Fourth.


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On Being A Yoga Teacher

If you’re at all interested in healthy living, I’m sure you subscribe to Mind Body Green or at least check out their web site daily.

In the past few weeks, they’ve published two separate articles that have caused me to sigh, “where were you 6 months ago when I was contemplating YTT?”

I wish these articles had been around before I signed up for YTT. They wouldn’t have stopped me, per se, but they would have prepared me for a more accurate expectation of teaching yoga.

Ironically, the first article, titled, “What I Wish I’d Known Going into the Yoga Industry,” could have beeen called, “Read This Before You Sign Up for YTT”.

The second article, “7 Truths About Being a Yoga Teacher That No One Will Ever Tell You“, would have been equally helpful pre-YTT, at least for me. Edward Vilga references a statistic that by 2014, over 53% of the women under 35 in NYC will be certified to teach yoga. WHAT????? Well, good thing I live in Denver- although I’m sure the number is equally as mindblowing. This particular article really reinforced my gratitude that, for me, being a yoga teacher is just an addition to my career. It’s my “thing” on the side. It’s something I do to better serve my career and my patients, it’s not JUST my career. Trust me- if I sound like I’m dissing on being a full time yoga teacher, I’m not- I wish had the passion that my FT yoga teachers have, and I wish that lifestyle could work for me. But it doesn’t and it wouldn’t.

Perhaps I’m not just that passionate about teaching yoga to be willing to have a crazy schedule or sporatic income. I need a 9-5 schedule (OK, in my therapy world, it’s more like 8-7- oy). I need paid time off, I need a salary to support all the crazy adventures my husband and I have planned. I need my weekends OFF.

But all that said, of course I’m grateful I went through the YTT experience, because in the end, it has allowed me to connect with my patients on a different level, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to pass along the physical and emotional benefits of a yoga practice to others. I guess I’m including these links in today’s post because I wish I had read them before I started YTT, and maybe they’ll help someone who is contemplating becoming a yoga teacher.

In other news- HAPPY FRIDAY! We are headed out of the Denver heat and up into the mountains- a weekend in Steamboat Springs is just what I need- full report to come on Sunday night!