Starting Fresh: Setting Goals

I knew my life would never be the same when I went to New Zealand; I was going to gain new experiences and further develop my perspective on the world.  And don’t get me wrong, all of that happened, but I never realized how far I would stray from my mental and emotional norms.

Though my life was insanely busy and hectic, it never really changed when I was at UVM.  I was always busy, and I loved it: I pretty much embodied the common collegiate advice, “work hard, play hard.”  But, as soon as that fall 2010 semester was over, all of my usual responsibilities and activities–class, FeelGood, work, campus life, friends, Ashtanga–literally vanished.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime break (where I got to explore new hobbies, like blogging!) from the stresses of reality, but I felt a bit depressed since the things that had occupied all my time, and everything that I defined myself by, were thousands of miles away.

I learned how to “cope” and slowed down a lot, but I was always secretly pining for that exhilarating lifestyle and somehow fretting over taking so much “time off”… and I never completely felt like myself.  When I got home for the summer, I was eager to begin transitioning back to normal, but I’ve felt as though I am struggling to climb out of a hole – except I don’t remember which way is up.  I have felt completely overwhelmed by jumping right back into it all, and absolutely blind to any sensible starting point.

Yoga has always been the cure to all my problems, but since what I need is mental clarity and I have fallen so far behind on my meditation, that only perpetuates my confusion.  With the idea of yoga in the back of my mind (isn’t it always) I asked myself what I used to rely on the most to help me manage it all.

My planner!!!!  I need to plan!  While trying to think of a good blueprint, lululemon came to mind.  I remembered discussing goals and visions with an employee there once, and receiving a great layout for goal-setting.  For me, the best way to get a hold on my life is to clarify what I want, and develop manageable steps to get there: starting today until I get what I want.  By creating a plan of action, I feel less stressed about getting things accomplished because I know that I am doing my best to get there.  Most importantly, I will have already decided where to start 🙂

I began to set goals for my classes, my job, FeelGood, my apartment, my health, my finances, and my personal life.  I only managed a rough draft for each, plus some brainstorming, but now I’ve got a game plan for life in the works.  Bring. It. On.

Are you a planner?  Do you set goals?  cuz you should.  it helps.

Namaste.

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Filed under Life, New Zealand, School, Yoga

Emerald Isle, NC: Beach Recap

I love coming to Emerald Isle because we get a house right on the beach.  Optimal comfort and convenience.  Here is our daily schedule:

  1. Wake Up
  2. Go for a run and/or walk and/or do yoga on the beach
  3. Eat breakfast
  4. Go to the beach
  5. Eat lunch
  6. Go back on the beach
  7. Shower
  8. Eat dinner
  9. Play boardgames (like Scategories, Catch Phrase, SkipBo, or Bunco — it’s serious business in our fam)
  10. Go to sleep

The view from our deck

Also, the beaches here are really uncrowded, because the only people on the beach are those staying in the houses!  And the first week in August seemed to be a pretty slow week, there was hardly anyone there at all.

Our family's base camp!

We barely even leave the house!  We do go clamming once or twice.  It’s like redneck strawberry picking.  We go to the bay where the water is really shallow, and all you go is crouch down and dig around with your fingers until you find a clam!  It’s really fun and disgusting all at the same time.  You end up with muck caked around your nails and a digging up a few rotten things, but there is no other feeling like extracting a big “fighter” that’s perfectly smooth and ready to eat!  We have freshly steamed clams that day for lunch–talk about fresh, and local!  My aunt also makes a great chowder.  mmmmmm

Another reason to leave the house is our annual mini golf championship.  We usually make teams by families – the five of us vs. my aunt and her family – and the winner buy Ben and Jerrys for us all.  But this year, with boyfriends and wives, we had too many people for just two teams, so we drew numbers out of a hat to make 3 teams.  I basically had a miserable time.  I didn’t get any holes-in-one AND I lost my ball on the 14th hole in the pond 😦  But I was happy in the end because we tied!  Everyone’s a winner!!!  WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

This was my family’s tenth year, but it was the first time we rented a different house because…

Our house! The side with the towels 🙂 It even had a pool!

we really wanted Ghia to come along!

The new house allowed dogs, and Ghia had so much fun fetching her toy duck in the water.  It was her first time seeing the ocean!  She was a little wary at first, but she quickly got really comfortable.  She really grew to understand the waves!

Big waves make me really anxious, so I don’t spend a whole lot of time in the water.  When I’m on the beach, I like to take read, take walks, read, play Baggo, read, play ladderball, and read.  A LOT of binge reading went on this past week.  Here’s what I read:

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver  This is about a mother whose son commits a Columbine-like massacre at his school.  It tells the story of his childhood and her mothering style.  It was really well written, and I liked its overall message:  sometimes when kids need the most love is when they deserve it the least. 

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler  The title explains it all!  This was really funny and had really nice characters.  Plus lots of fun insights into one of my favorite authors!

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guilliano  This book is about the differences between American and French food cultures.  I devoured this book, and loved all it’s lifestyle tips; I’m really going to try and incorporate them into my own life.  Essentially, French women focus a lot more on fresh, quality ingredients when they eat and cook, and learn to compensate for indulgences.  The moral: eat light, exercise light, be light.  (live in the City of Light lol ;))

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  This is the story of a woman whose life is only hinted at in the bible, Dinah.  It’s a fantastic story about the lives of ancient women and how they coped.  You will really like it if you like biblical stories (though there is nothing really about God) but either way you will love this amazing tale.

Ghia didn’t read, though, she mostly played in the ocean 😉

I did go in the water a few times, when the surf wasn’t too rough.  One day, I was just innocently trying to stay alive in the choppy water, when all of a sudden a perverted silver fish jumps out of the water right next to me, flaps against my boobs, ricochets off my cleavage, and swims away in shame.  I felt violated, but it was also hilarious 🙂

We had perfect weather the whole week, it was VERY sunny and warm.  But don’t worry, I’m almost as afraid of the sun as I am the waves.  I slather on LOTS of sunblock and wear a hat, sunglasses, and a cover-up.  Plus, I sit in the shade.  I rather obsessively move my char along the path of the sun so that I am always completely under an umbrella!  lol

Run, Ghia! Run!

It was so hot, in fact, that I didn’t run quite as much as I would have liked.  The first morning, I went on a 5-mile run with some of my cousins, but I hadn’t run that far in a while and got pretty sore.  I did squeeze in two more 3-ish mile runs, but it was so hot that I didn’t feel like doing it every day.  I did walk with Ghia every morning! Plus, I would lead some yoga on the beach with my parents most mornings.

Do you manage to exercise while on vacation?

Namaste.

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Filed under Fitness, Life, Running, Travel, Yoga

Car Yoga: An attempt to ease carsickness

Greetings from North Carolina!

This morning, we left for our road trip down south.  We had to have our butts in our seats at 6am!  I did a few sun salutes to prepare for hours and hours of sitting in the car.  I could feel the flashbacks to Air New Zealand already!  The drive from Philadelphia to North Carolina is a bit daunting to do all in one day, so we leave a day before and get a hotel for the night.  Plus that way, we can get into our house as soon as it’s ready in the morning!

I am usually a big fan of this arrangement, but for some reason I was feeling really uncomfortable and even a bit carsick during the drive.  Ghia and I were stuck in the back, but we kept our spirits high!

Breakfast didn’t help, though.  I ordered a soy cappuccino, but apparently the “soy” bit got lost in translation, which I didn’t notice until we had driven away.  That gave me a bit of an upset stomach.  To eat, I had one of those Special K bars I hate to love, and the perfect oatmeal from Starbucks. I have to admit, it is indeed quite perfect.  It’s made with water, and you are given brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts to mix in.  I love it!

Ghia and I were stuck in the back, but we kept our spirits high!  I even finished another book while on the road!  It’s called Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella.  It was a scrumptious little chunk of chick lit about a woman who has amnesia.  She just woke up one day and suddenly has her dream life, husband, and job but has no idea how she got there!  Or who she even is anymore!  I felt like I could relate because since I’ve been back from New Zealand, I have felt sort of like I have amnesia – I can barely remember what my normal life used to be.  I felt her pain! 😉

For lunch, we stopped at Wawa for hoagies (can you believe they have Wawa as far south as Virginia??!?!) I got a veggie on a wheat shorti, but I added some buffalo bleu cheese sauce for flava.  It was really tasty, but with spicy peppers, it certainly didn’t help my stomach.  bluugugh

PS – I love buffalo sauce.  I even tried some of my brother’s molten hot wings ruffles chips.  WOW what great flavor!  But I’m pretty certain an entire bag would have killed me.

At some point along the drive, my loving family rearranged the seating so that I could sit in front, to help with the motion sickness.  I was really in shock since I’ve never felt the slightest bit of motion sickness in my life!  I tried some car yoga – I focused on my breathing, then did some neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and seated twists.  I’m not sure if it helped, but it felt a little better to be trying!

But luckily it was a relatively short ride.  We were so ahead of schedule that our room wasn’t ready once we got to the hotel!  So we went to Target to kill time.  I’ve decided that this particular Target is my favorite in all of America.  Can you see why?

THERE IS A STARBUCKS INSIDE!!!!

Once we could check into the hotel and I had been out of the car for a bit, I was feeling a lot better and having some hunger rumbles underneath the nausea.  I had a Walker’s shortbread cookie and some big cheez its as a snack.  While we played the first round of SkipBo of the week, I drank a diet coke to try and settle my tummy, too.  I was feeling back to normal by dinner 🙂

David at the Outback, with a Trifecta of Margaritas!

We walked to the Outback Steakhouse for supper, which was right on the other side of the parking lot.  I was a little nervous about finding something I would like for dinner, but I ended up being really happy with grilled mahi, wild rice, and a side of sweet peas, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini!  It was fantastic!  The fish was nice and light and juicy.  But of course, even before my meal, I enjoyed approximately half of the pumpernickle loaf and a bit of the bloomin’ onion (you can’t go to the Outback Steakhouse and not have some!).  We also got a Mediterranean flatbread as an appetizer, but I wasn’t impressed.  I also enjoyed some of my aunt’s Cesar salad and my mom’s sweet potato fries—they practically forced them on me!  😉  OH!  And David and Sammy made me try some of their sample platter of desserts – carrot cake, hot brownie with ice cream, and cheesecake.

AND NOW I’M STUFFED!

Tomorrow will be another busy day of traveling and unpacking/settling into our beach house, but I’m hoping to squeeze in some AM yoga and a sunset run on the beach!

Do you get motion sickness?

Namaste.

PS – I drafted this post while in the hotel, but the internet wasn’t strong enough to post it!  Then, once we settled into our house, the internet there wasn’t too impressive either.  So I took a break from blogging!  But I will write a recap soon 🙂

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Tree Pose: Root your toesies!

Yesterday afternoon, I enjoyed this beautiful, juicy nectarine while watching Ellen.

They are definitely underrated!  One of my favorite fruits of the summer 🙂

I was in charge of making dinner, but while I was cooking I got a bit snacky.  So I had some sunflower seeds to satisfy that salty snacky feeling

and some semisweet chocolate chips to satisfy that sweet snacky feeling!

Then I got hard to work making garlic sauteed shrimp to go with pasta and marina sauce.  My mom and sister were running late, so my Dad and I had some Cabot cheddar cheese while we waited…

Sam and Mom finally arrived (they were waiting at the doctor’s office for over 1.5 hours!) with Italian bread it tow!  I had a HUGE plate and ended up being waaaaay full!  Gotta love that Italian comfort food 🙂

There are shrimp on that plate somewhere!

Last night, Dominique called me asking if I would come over to keep me company while she packed for her weekend trip to NYC.  When I showed up, she offered me a dark chocolate Ghiardelli square, which is one of my favorite chocolates, as a reward.  Good company and good chocolate!!! xoxo

When I got back home, I finished a fantastic book I have been reading this week, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

I really enjoyed this memoir about a group of young women who read and discuss banned books in Iran.  This book has so many resonant insights into both classic literature and revolutionary Iran.  It was frequently deep and intense, and I really loved how true it was; I learned so much.  I wish that I had read more of the books they studied, like Lolita, but I absolutely gobbled up the portions where they discussed Jane Austen!  “‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Muslim man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a nine-year-old virgin wife.'”  Though that was my favorite bit, the book is full of fascinating parallels between their veiled existence and the lives of so many literary heroines.

Today, I woke up a bit early and scarfed a quick brekkie:

  • coffee with almond milk
  • water
  • sunbutter-stuffed date
  • 1/2 banana
  • strawberry 0% fat chobani greek yogurt

before going to yoga followed by a BodyPump class.  Today I added some more weight onto my bar for each track, so I was really feeling the burn!  But the whole weight system confuses me a bit.  The BodyPump bars measure in kilograms, and 1kg is a lot more than 1lb!  I’m having trouble conceptualizing how much I am increasing my weight by, but either way, I know the more I give, the more I get!  It’s funny though, even after I added on weight, I’m still the wimpiest one in the class!

At lunchtime, I realized I hadn’t had oatmeal in, like, 2 WEEKS!! Who am I?  So I quickly got a nectarine and the rest of my breakfast banana chopped up and in the pot.

Followed by oats, water, almond milk, cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla extract.

Full to the brim!

GOD I missed that stuff!  So delicious and filling.

My brother believes that bagel places spread too much cream cheese on toasted bagels, so when he brought one home for lunch, he scraped the excess cream cheese and set it aside for me!  lol!  So, when my tummy was raging in the mid-afternoon, I toasted myself half of an everything bagel and schlepped it on top.

The cream cheese was FANTASTIC!  It was some kind of tomato and herb blend.  Holy yummykins.

I really missed bagels while I was in New Zealand.  You couldn’t get an authentic one anywhere!

My mom and I made some vegetable stir fry for dinner with tons of different veggies, and some jasmin rice on the side.  To make things more exciting, I made a peanut sauce for on top!  I started with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and 1/4 of a lemon (juiced), but then I adjusted it a bit to taste.  It was the perfect light but satisfying meal that we needed the night before we leave for vacation!

Tomorrow, we are leaving for our yearly week-long family trip to the beach.  We are headed to Emerald Isle, North Carolina for a week of relaxing on the beach.  I’M SO EXCITED!  Though I admit, I won’t be doing anything different down there than I have been doing at home.  Reading, running, cooking, eating, doing yoga, and spending time with my family.  We’ll just be doing it all on the beach!  And with more family members and more BOARD GAMES!

I love doing yoga on the beach.  It’s one of Earth’s best natural yoga studios.  The warmth, the ambiance…you couldn’t ask for anything more perfect!  I’ll be sure to post more about it later…  But for now, I would like to share my favorite pose to do on the beach….tree pose!

Balance poses are extra tricky on the beach.  Sand is hard to balance on!  Heck, a perfectly level studio floor is tricky to balance on!  I always starts by spreading all of my toes apart and rooting them into the ground.  God gave us 5 toes on each foot — use them all to balance!  I bring my foot to the highest point possible on the inside of my thigh, but I always have to guide it there with my hands. Some day I will have the strength and flexibility to just float it into place!  Once I feel grounded, I grow my upper half out of my hips into perfect posture, and I always extend my prayer hands above my head.

It is really challenging to stay balanced while gazing towards your hands, but they say that if you gaze at the floor, that’s where your pose goes.  AKA you fall down lol.  So I always try to bring my gaze as high as possible.  Balance poses are great for the mind and also great for your concentration.  I can always tell if something is distracting me in life because I can never hold my balance poses that day!  Balance poses are great for strengthening your core, but more than anything they teach you to focus.  Having trouble focusing on some task?  Stand on one foot and gaze straight ahead for 30 seconds.  That’ll help ya 😉

PS – for a midnight snack in the middle of a packing frenzy, I had some p’nut m&ms and this chocolate bar that Mrs. Benzio brought for me from Scotland.

It was melted when Dominique delivered it to me, so I’ve been letting it sit the freezer, waiting for the right moment to enjoy it!  Such a great treat.  I need chocolate.  And Cadbury is THE BEST.  It beats gross old m&ms any day 😉

Do you find balance poses more challenging than other yoga poses?

Namaste.

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Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, Yoga

Down with the Dog

I got a hair cut yesterday!

I love how my hairstylist gives me cuts that encourage my natural waves.  It makes styling easy!  AKA – air dry!  I hadn’t had a haircut since January, so I needed to get it cleaned up, desperately.  He barely took anything off, and it feels so light!

Despite the new do, Ghia and I felt like this for most of the day:

Blagh.  Snacking which watching Ellen cheered us up, though!  I had some roasted garlic hummus,  first with a poblano pepper, then with some multigrain club crackers.

Ghia had some crackers, too 😉

But dinner was a huge let-down.  Ew it was so gross.  It was the worst quesadilla ever known to man.  First, I used whole wheat tortillas that got really soggy and from the cooking spray and flimsy because I was too impatient to let it crisp up.  Then, the shredded mozzarella inside didn’t melt because I was too impatient to wait for it to warm up.  The chickpeas were bursting out of every corner of that round tortilla, but I guess chickpeas are a bad idea for a quesadilla anyway.  The only good part was the salsa and chipotle Tabasco sauce I doused it in.  Yum?  Not.

Then for dessert, I had a cheesecake bar that my sister made.  It was REALLY good, but my stomach didn’t think it was that good.  I HAD to get the ghost of the quesadilla out of my mouth, and it was certainly the best option 😉

But I was pleased because I spent the entire day trying to find someone to go on a bike ride with me, and finally my sister agreed!  I love my bike – it’s my mom’s old bike from the ’70s and my parents fixed up for me before I went to school.

However, last fall, someone damaged it and left it in ruins on the bike stand for me to find one morning.  Guess I’m not riding my bike to work today!  I finally had it fixed two weeks ago, and I finally went on a spin last night!

The weather was perfectly cool and breezy.  We we went on a long ride and had funfunfun!

This morning, I really couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, so I had a whole wheat mini bagel with whipped cream cheese on one side and PB&J on the other side.

I also had a p’nut butt- stuffed date, for dessert.

Today’s workout consisted of a spin class and pilates.  We did a lot of sprints today, which I haven’t done in a while, and they totally wiped me out!  Pilates was pretty challenging, too, because we did a lot of new moves!

After my workout, I made lunch.  Again, I couldn’t decide what to have (my appetite is ALL overtheplace) but I decided to make a veggie burger.  It’s always satisfying!

I put the veggie burger on some whole wheat bread (using one end so it was more bunlike) and put some Dijon mustard and chipotle Tabasco sauce on top. Then, I also added an orange poblano pepper, some cherry tomatoes, and roasted garlic hummus on the other side.  I tried that pickle but took one bite and said, “NO!”  Luckily, I can always count on corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob these days.  But yikes!  There is only one left!! dundundun  For dessert, I had a slice of cantaloupe.  Smile!

I had a few chores to do this afternoon, including watering the plants.  Immediately after I finished watering them all, it started to rain.  I hope those greenies were extra thirsty today!  I also picked some fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden.

joy.

I am usually very obsessed with Down Dog, but for some reason I am extra obsessed with it today.

I’ve had many yoga teachers who tell me that Down Dog stretches all of your muscles.

I can personally vouch that it stretches your lower back (as long as you point your tailbone skyward) and your hamstrings (as long as you straighten your legs and work your heels towards the floor).

It can be really tiring on the shoulders, but once you build up that strength, trust me when I say that you could stay there all day.  Today, I might just!

It also helps you pay more attention to your breath.  I always aim for 5 full inhales and exhales at a time.

It also helps to realign your skeletal structure, as long as you have the right alignment.

  1. Hands slightly wider than shoulder width, fingers spread, middle finger parallel with the sides of the mat
  2. Hands and feet are about the same distance apart that they would be in plank.
  3. Shoulder blades sliding down the back and tailbone pointed up in the air
  4. Feet hip width apart, toes facing forward, heels striving to (some day!) reach the mat

I can also vouch that it helps you focus inward and quiet and clear the mind.

Have you learned to love Down Dog yet?

Namaste.

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Legs Up on the Wall

Before we left for Trivia Monday night, I was hit by intense hunger!  So I ate some Big Cheez-Its, which are obviously better than the regular kind, and I also tried some dark chocolate-covered prunes, which are actually really good!

At dinner, my mom and I ended up splitting the vegetarian nachos after some buttered rolls as an appetizer.  Then, we each got a pear salad with walnuts and goat cheese, which is really good!  My favorite thing on the menu; every pub should have it.  My friend Nicole and I went crazy and ordered the warm brownie with ice cream for dessert, which was simply heavenly!  It had whipped cream with chocolate AND vanilla ice cream.  Plus, it was sprinkled with espresso powder.  I told you it was heavenly! Should have photographed it…

As for trivia, we came in third place.  Respectable.

Yesterday, after a very filling breakfast

(of a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and some banana slices) I did a yoga session from Yoga Today.  This week’s free class is a beginner’s class, but I really enjoyed it!  Since I’ve been doing a lot of strength training and intense cardio lately, I am leaning on my yoga practice as more of restoration and meditation than anything.

After yoga, I hit up the Y for a pilates class and a good hard run on the treadmill.  It was actually one of my best runs, ever!  For someone like me who does not own a Garmin watch, I like treadmill runs so that I can really see what I am accomplishing.  Yesterday, I did 3 miles in under 30 minutes, which I have only been able to do a few times!  Yay!

Once back from the gym, I made a wrap with roasted garlic hummus and a little egg frittata with peppers and tomatoes.  Corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob on the side!

As a little lunch “dessert” I had the rest of my banana from breakfast…but with some nutella!

After lunch, I ran many, many errands.  My car does not have working air conditioning so it is very the “h” word.  My cars radio has also recently become posessed by the devil, so it is going a bit haywire.  Result: I was going a bit haywire.

So once I got home, I had another slice of pound cake as a snack 🙂

Then, I made a really easy, delicious, and exciting dinner!!  I made naan pizzas, and all you need is onions,

gouda,

chickpeas,

BBQ sauce,

and whole wheat naan!

These naan pizzas were inspired by this recipe from Eat, Live, Run.  She even baked the dough, but I just topped the naan with some BBQ sauce, shredded gouda, caramelized onions, and some chickpeas.  Then I just popped them in the oven for 8 minutes at 450*!

They were a hit 🙂

After dinner, Dominique and I went to her house for dessert.  We had some digestive biscuits they brought back from Scotland, plus I had a lolly pop we brought back from NZ.  They are called “Starburst Sucks”

HAHAHHA!

Then, Dominique and I proceeded to do even more errands, during which we ate a box of Hello Panda.  Have you ever had them?  They are awesome and currently on sale at Target for a dollar.

(source)

When we came back, she made us a smoothie from frozen berries, almond milk, and protein powder while we watched America’s Got Talent.  Turns out, America doesn’t really have that much talent.

This morning, I played it safe and just went to a yoga class after having a similar breakfast to Monday’s.  It was actually a really great class!  It was relatively challenging while still opening my muscles gently.  This class has an extra half hour of restorative postures at the end, which I LOVE these days.  Everyone should try this today: it’s called “Legs Up on the Wall”

You can even do it in the dorms! He we are before bed at Pitt.

All you do it lay down, scoot your butt against a wall, and straighten your legs up above you.  If your hamstrings are super tight, you can put a pillow or blanket under your bum.  I like to use a strap to pull down your feet for an extra stretch, or you can simple lay your arms comfortably out at a T.  Hold it for at least ten minutes, then do a forward fold afterwards to make sure everything lines back up right.  It’s awesomeness!  It’s great for opening your legs, back, and even your chest!  All in a very gentle, restorative way.  I try to do it every night because you can do it lying on a bed against a wall, too!

After yoga, I made some cinnamon toasted chickpeas!

I pasically sprayed some chickpeas with cooking spray, drizzled them with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg, and then put them in the toaster oven for 10 minutes.  They were a great little snack, but I also had to have one of these Special K bars to curb my hunger.

I love them because they are only 90 calories and they taste like a rice krispy treat, but I also hate them becuase they are highly processed.  I should have just had another serving of the chickpeas!  But I eventually did get that extra serving of chickpeas…on some leftover pizza for lunch!  And of course…corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob.

Try the “Legs Up on the Wall” pose and let me know how you like it!

Namaste.

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Spin, Pump, & Read

I love Mondays!!!!  I made myself a lovely yogurt bowl for brekkie:

  • Strawberry 0% Fat Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Sunbutter

MMMM!  I started my day with a spinning class.  I thought one of my favorite instructors was teaching, but there have been a lot of subs lately since everyone is going on vacay.  But the playlist the sub had rocked my socks off!  It was like a freaking dance party!  Here were my favorite bits:

The “Hellish” Double Feature:

  • “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne
  • followed by…
  • “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects

Also, we did a standing jog to “Dance Part Anthem” by LMFAO–my new favorite song–followed by a hill to “Rolling in the Deep” by ADELE–my other new favorite song.  I love to sing along while I spin.  It’s just plain fun!

After spinning, I went home and snacked on some peach slices and a p’nut butt- stuffed date.  Then, Sammi and I went to get pedicures!  My mom treated us to one so that our feet don’t look so skanky at the beach next week.  I chose this hot pink color.

Tara! Hi! These are my Chacos!

It’s called “Beets Me!”  Did I chose it because the name references food?  Maybe.  Yes.

After we got our nails did, I was ravenous and ate some corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob.

Then, I whipped up a delicious wrap!

On a whole wheat tortilla:  roasted red pepper hummus, feta cheese, grilled asparagus, grilled red bell pepper.  But I felt something was missing, so I added some cherry tomatoes and sweet pickles.

Much better!

After lunch, I decided that I wanted to go to a BodyPump class, so I did!  There was practically no one there, so I enjoyed sprawling out and leisurely choosing whatever weights I wanted.  But it was tough on my pumpin’ body!  I consider myself very “yogicly” strong – meaning I can hold yoga poses forever minutes on end, and I can do approximately 50 vinyasas without needing a break.  Yet I can barely lift the smallest weights for all those reps!  I guess I just need to go more 🙂

My treat for going to BodyPump was aslice of the blueberry pound cake from David’s birthday.   yummyummyummyummy

In other news, I got a big surprise today in the mail today: two new books!  My mom took us kids to Border’s the other day to see if there were any good sales since it’s closing and we are headed to the beach next week (I read an average of 8 books on our week-long beach vacay!).  I picked these two books:

to learn about the vegan lifestyle

and

to learn more vegan recipes

But they weren’t on sale, and David loved to emphasize how you can get them cheaper from Amazon, which is why Border’s is going out of business anyway.  Hmmf.  Regardless, they ended up ordering them for me as a surprise!  Thanks, Mom (and David)!  I’ll cook ya something soon 🙂

Now I can add those books to my birthday present from Dominique,

and start my own vegan book library!  Funny how I have so many aegan books and I’m still not a vegan yet, huh?  In that spirit, I had some cheese and crackers as a snack 🙂

Tonight is Monday, so that means it’s trivia night!  I went to a weekly pub quiz in New Zealand, but that was all inspired by the trivia nights I attend with my parents and their friends when I’m home.  We are getting dinner in the bar beforehand this week, and my mom and I can’t decide whether we want a pear salad….or quesadillas.  Stay tuned to see what we order! 😉

Get any new books lately?

Namaste.

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