November 21, 2013
Lately I’ve been favoring a simpler style. One that is comfortable yet intelligently put together. Like this gal pictured above. I can’t get over how effortless and minimal her outfit is and yet it looks incredible! I’ve always loved the process of finding my own personal style that fits my personality, tastes and the things I value. Taking pride in what I put on my body gives me pride in myself. It’s a powerful thing! So right now I’m in the middle of a style transformation of sorts. I’m gutting my closet to only the essential pieces that I love and getting rid of superfluous, trendy, ill-fitting and poorly made pieces. I now value more expensive pieces not because they are expensive but because they are well made. Pieces made in the USA, that are cut and designed flawlessly and given beautiful details that were intentional and functional to the piece have a certain level of sophistication to them that I adore. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Crossroads, Marshall’s and Target buys, but I can see a shift in the way I want to spend my money. I want pieces in my closet or my home that I absolutely love and that will last for a long, long time. I’d rather have a few really well made pieces of clothing in my closet than 30 cheap buys from Target that will just be given away in a year or two. And those well made pieces that were created with purpose and intention transfer into the way I wear them. It’s an interesting ripple effect. I want to wear my special pieces with some of my best clothing! Now onto getting a job so I can self-actualize my style transformation:)
Posted in: Style
November 18, 2013
This past week I did an Ayurveda inspired cleanse that I thought I’d share with you. I call it “Ayurveda inspired” because although I mostly followed Ayurvedic principles, I was not seeing an Ayurveda specialist who was monitoring my detox. I set out to do a gentle cleanse for 7 days mainly to get rid of most of the toxins in body from all of the stress and bad eating during our big move and to give my body and mind a much needed break in preparation for the holidays. I’ve never done a juice cleanse before and considered doing one this time, but ultimately decided that a juice cleanse would best suit me for the summer months as cold liquids would further irritate my already cold body in the fall and winter seasons. To prepare for my cleanse, I took what I learned from my first experience with an Ayurveda specialist, which I briefly mentioned here, and took some great detox info and a couple of recipes from Anjum Anand’s cookbook Eat Right For Your Body Type and made my own set of guidelines which proved to be effective for me:
-Give myself lots of love and patience. An important thing for me everyday, but especially while my body is working hard to get rid of toxins.
-Start the day with hot water and lemon, a whole body sesame oil massage and a shower.
-Drink lots of warm water, hot tea and Anand’s recipe for detox tea throughout the day.
-My super tasty steel cut oatmeal recipe for breakfast. Bring steel cut oatmeal to a boil and let it simmer. I chop up a 1/4 of an apple, 2 dates and mix in with the simmering oatmeal. At the end add some cinnamon, cardamom and a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter; it’s easy to digest and helps calm nervous energy or the vata dosha, which is associated with the windy fall season).
-Brown basmati rice, lentils or quinoa with roasted veggies for lunch.
-My recipe for Mung Bean Soup for dinner.
-Dates or pomegranate seeds for a snack, only if I was genuinely hungry.
-Short, slow and thoughtful sessions of yoga. And lots of time to rest and relax.
-Easy-to-digest foods is crucial to Ayurvedic cleanses. This means all food should be warm and freshly cooked. So no leftovers or processed foods. I used mostly organic ingredients and avoided dairy (except ghee) wheat and meat.
Ultimately this was a great cleanse for me. It turned out to be a 5 day cleanse instead of 7 days, which I am more than happy with (by day 5 I was getting a bit too crazy mentally with trying to do everything perfect so I thought it was a good time to slowly end it and calm my mind). But overall my body feels refreshed and healthy and my mind feels like it got a good stretch of relaxation. I’m really happy with the results and will definitely be doing some version of this gentle cleanse again.
P.S. Once my body gets used to dairy again, I’m excited to drink this tasty shake.
Photo Source here.
Posted in: Health
November 15, 2013
-A family of orange mushrooms in our backyard-
I often forget that I have other people in my life that can help me. I get in this lone-wolf mentality where I feel I need to figure everything out by myself, with no one else’s help–which is ridiculous! I can’t do everything by myself! So after a meltdown this week, I learned that I have a strong, loving and cushiony support system of people in my life, especially Sam, that I need to rely on more often when I’m in total freak-out mode. That is what families and communities do; they help each other, especially when someone is having a hard time. The concept of community has been resonating with me recently. Our big move to Portland helped me truly grasp the concept, as our family and friends really pulled together to help us with our journey. It was such a nice feeling knowing we did’t have to have every aspect of our move all figured out because our people had our back. Knowing that I have my own community to rely on is such a relief. The trick for me is to remember that I’m allowed to let go and to rely on those people that want to help me.
After my meltdown this week, Sam simply told me “Do what makes you happy” and I realized I could do more things in my day that make me happy and not things that I bullied myself into doing. Happy things like taking pictures, going for a walk in my neighborhood and reading a book with a cup of tea all make me want to do a joyful, silly little dance. Life is way too short to be doing things you don’t want to do! There is a way to go about my days with softness and ease. It’ll take time to know how to get to that place but that’s ok because I’m still learning. I’ve come to the conclusion that life is a very long course in learning who we are and how to live with ourselves and others. And I’m ok with that; I enjoy life schooling me on a constant basis.
Posted in: Family, Life Lessons
November 6, 2013
When the year starts to wind down to the last couple of months, I always notice my body wanting to rest a bit more and my mind wanting to delve deeper inward. Things just naturally get a little more introspective during the winter months. It’s a time to give ourselves the utmost attention and love. But often the holidays want to tug me away from that slow change of pace in my body and it becomes harder to allow myself to relax. Now after having moved and trying to acclimate to a whole new routine in a new city, and with the added stress of the upcoming holidays, I need to make the choice to slow things down. Long holds in child’s pose and forward bends have been my go-to poses in order to surrender into the moment, away from the chaos of life. There’s a wonderful grounding-down feeling in child’s pose, as most of my body makes contact with the earth. Just me, my breath and the ground beneath me. It is all that matters in that moment.
Photo by Chloe Crespi, found here.
Posted in: Yoga
November 4, 2013
I learned something new about myself recently and I find it quite interesting. My creativity seems to shine the brightest when the sun sets. When night falls and I’m cozied up in my house, or wherever I’m at, my imagination starts to wander and roam where it wants to and exciting ideas start to manifest through sketches, poetry, random writings, etc. It’s fascinating to me that it hits at that time of day. The explanation that I’ve come up with is that my brain is tuckered out from all of the thinking and worrying from my day that by night my mind is nice and relaxed and at its creative peak. It makes me think that if I worked a bit more on relaxing and softening my mind throughout the day, that I could tap into that kind of free-thinking whenever I’d like to. Have you guys noticed if your creativity or good ideas come up at certain times of the day? I’d love to hear!
Posted in: Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Writing