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Learning and Teaching…12 Months. 12 Projects. 365 days


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8 Limbs

Last night in Yoga we studied the 8 limbs of yoga .  For a quick review—> http://www.yogadork.com/news/patanjalis-8-limbs-of-yoga-quick-study-chart/

It is a really interesting… SO I am trying to focus on this path of study in the ways of Non Harming, and Love.  When you think about it, you can attempt to physically practice these ideas and practices a lot more easily than dealing with mental garbage.  How do you get rid of the thoughts and feelings that cross your mind recularly that are harmful spiritually?

It seems that most religions get it right.  They want you to practive love and forgiveness.   But it is WE that twist it and shape religious practive into only what is convenient and easy for us.  We need to fight for our selves spiritually…and many of us are not willing to do that. 

Anyway…Vegan… One of the 8 limbs “Yamas” which is “Ahimsa” presents the act of “non-harming.” This applies to ourselves, animals and other living things.  Non harming actions and thoughts.  Ahimsa was the only thing Ghandi truely focused on throughout his life, and he is one of the most revered yoginis.  And he only focused on this one aspect.  The 8 limbs are not something that you need to choose one aspect to focus on, they are almost supposed to be fluid…if I am correct.  As you practice yoga many of them just happen… Some at the same time as the rest.  It really is a lovely entity of yoga. 

Namaste.


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Exercise and Sexercise (and bananas) HA!

 I know that I am focusing on being vegan this month, but in line with my food intake I also want to be aware of how I am burning off everything I am putting in my body.  I love finding everyday things that burn calories… Because everyday my goal is to burn more calories than I take in…I think…How in the hell do I do that since I love eating? 

So…I know, I know…There are a ton of articles out there telling out what burns calories and how much! But I have compiled this fabulous little list that shows a bunch of different facts about calories burned from a bunch of different articles!

Nerdy fact about me…My graduate degree is in library science and I was really good at research papers.  So I love facts and making lists.  Here ya go…

  • Dusting (30 Minutes)=80 calories
  • House painting (3 hrs)= 1,026 calories
  • Kissing (30 mins)= 36 calories…ok ok its not a lot of calories but its fun!

(These fun facts from http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/information/20-everyday-activities-and-the-calories-they-burn.htm)

  • A fabulous night of dancing (1 hour)= 317 calories
  • Pushing a stroller aroung (1 hour)= 200 calories

(http://www.livestrong.com/article/427093-everyday-things-that-burn-calories-but-dont-feel-like-exercise/)

  • cycling around neighborhood (30 mins)-300 calories
  • yoga (30 mins to 1 hr)- 175 calories (depends on the intensity level)
  • stair climbing (10 minutes) – 84 calories

These seem a little high burning to me so I am not too sure of their accuracy, but I love to believe they are true!!! http://healthmad.com/fitness/10-natural-cheats-to-burn-calories-no-gym-required/

And SEXercising!!!! As per this lovely lady, the calorie count for all things sex…  As provided by…(http://www.evitamins.com/a/sexercising-the-calorie-count-for-all-things-sex-131) click on the link to check out the cals for more sexy activities. 

  • Hardcore making out (1/2 hour)-240 cals…This seems like a lot so I think this may be a stretch… but maybe these people are doing some really creative things.
  • Sex (1/2 hour)- 85 to 150 calories…If you’re you’re really working hard. 

And a sweet lil blog called “Share it Fitness” has a nice list of things to do in under an hour that burn 800 calories! So if you know you are going to eat two hot dogs, a cheese burger, some potato salad, two cupcakes and birthday cake, and your calorie count is off the charts…but you have an extra hour of downtime… here are some ideas http://blog.shareitfitness.com/2012/the-8-fastest-ways-to-burn-800-calories-in-1-hour-or-less/.   Some ideas include treadmill intervals, boxing workouts, and swimming.  I want to box so bad!  I just need a speed bag…

Also…In case anyone out there is interested here is a sweet calorie counter

—>http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

Basically… I need to up the anti (anty?) with exercising, but right now I would rather figure out how to fit activity into my busy everyday life.  Bc honestly, like most of the rest of the world we’re all holding down some major jobs and handling life matters.  I am so wiped by the end of the day, I just don’t have it in me yet to tackle an ultramarathon.

Anyway, awesome breakfast I want to share with you!  I know I have seen similar things to this on other blogs… esp one of my favorite blogs (http://ohsheglows.com/) But I think my recipe may be a little different…If you want to check out some similar recipes, just google “banana ice cream.”

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • granola or (my choice) nature valley oats n honey granola bar

Oh my goodness this was so good.  Just put everything in your blender or magic bullet (love it!) and blend until there is still a little bit of chunk left.  I don’t like mine too smoothie ish.  After you have a nice consistency add a palmful of granola, or crumble your nature valley bar right on top.  Mix and devour.  So good.  Seriously I love love love dessert and this is right up there with my favorites.  The addition of peanut butter and granola is just amazing… You are looking at about 400 calories for this.  In order to cut cals, you could reduce the peanut butter to half, and only use one of the two bars that come with the nature valley.  You can definitely make adjustments to make this work for you.  But honestly… Its just goodness. 

Have a good day! I am still trying to figure out next month…I think I may go with “money matters and organization.”  Sigh…We will see.

Peace


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Beans beans Are good for your heart? And make you do what?

Look… I know beans may be the unsexiest food ever. But for us veggie people they are completely necessary. I got to thinking about beans yesterday because of my best friend. Julie and I have very different ideas of a healthy diet. Basically, while we have a mutual respect for one another’s choices, we both think the other’s diet is a fast disgusting trudge toward death… She basically would jump off a bridge before becoming a veggie. Apparently she and her equally as fabulous boyfriend follow an atkins-esque diet minus the dairy, which is not something that is my cup of tea.

So as we were talking yesterday, she yelled at me for eating so many beans. This took me by surprise… She said something like, “Dude, do you know how many carbs are in beans? Stay far away from them. And seriously….You want to be fartin’ all the time around people? You’re gonna gross out your man. No way.” My response, “Please don’t ruin beans for me too Jul…Im still not over the loss of cheese from my life, I can’t handle losing beans too.” . Anyway…This got me contemplating my beloved bean.

First of all, we all know the saying about beans. Don’t act like you don’t. I am a huge bean fan… But apparently for many people beans tend to make their bellies a little gassy. Personally, I never really knew if it was true, or if we were all experiencing a sort of placebo effect as a result of the bean/gas rumors and songs. I truly was not sure if this mean bean rumor was some what of a legend made up by kids on the playground just so they could sing a song about farts.

Well, in my google research, I stumbled across this fabulous little blog that tells you all about beans, and why they do in fact make you gassy!http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2012/04/13/friday-weird-science-beans-beans-a-magical-fruit/

Hold on to your seats folks, beans can make you stinky…If you hadn’t realized this already. Apparently, the combination of fiber and resistent starches that are difficult to “break down” is what causes your belly problems. But that doesn’t mean you should’nt eat them. Every person is different and every body’s reaction is different. Being a complex carb, they are full of yumminess as well as nutrition…If you really want to know what your talking about, check out these links.

http://fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/food/beans/carbohydrate– for carb info broken down into types of beans

http://www.livestrong.com/article/8776-need-beans-carbohydrates/ Why beans? What do they do exactly?

http://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/539-want-to-live-to-be-100-eat-more-beans.html– live to be 100 with beans!

http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx a sweet lil food pyramid according to Dr. Furhman.

So here is my favorite bean recipe… HUMMUS! And FYI your hummus doesn’t have to be fattening. You CAN make hummus without tahini. It is not a necessary ingredient. And it is so simple.

  • 1 can BPA free garbonzo beans
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil (start w a little and add to your taste)
  • Lots o garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried Dill (add more to taste)
  • garlic powder to taste

Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth. You can add anything you want. If you don’t think it will taste right with the dill, leave that out. Simple, less fattening without the tahini, and you can build on this lil gem. Add red peppers, jalapenos, more garlic…Anything. And so many veggie foods that could be boring you can just slap some hummus on it and it becomes so much better.

Some great bean recipes according to this sweet little blog I stumbled across…http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2011/11/01/4-great-vegetarian-bean-recipes/ The enchiladas look amazing.

As the month is wrapping up, I need to pinpoint what my November goal is going to be…I am proud to be keeping up with my journey. Just over 11 months to go!
Xo


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A grown woman rolled her eyes at me yesterday… Not once…not twice… but three times. All I was doing was trying to help her. Needless to say I needed yoga last night. When I found myself say out loud more than once, “I really wanted to punch her in the face,” I realized that I did NOT have control of myself or my emotions at that point.

SO, that is what I was attempting to get back in check last night. It worked pretty well…I have a sense of peace that I feel through my toes and my fingertips, Last night we were focusing on back bends (I had nightmares of doing a bridge from a standing position like we did when we were little kids??? You know? I dreamt I fell on my head) and it actually was pretty cool. A lot of the positions were geared toward helping the thyroid, which really interests me. Also another super positive effect of yoga is that the practice is geared on keeping the kidneys warm and in fabulous working shape. ( http://suite101.com/article/yoga-for-improving-kidney-function-a144183) This is awesome especially considering many of us will go into renal failure at an older age due to the rough way we treat our kidneys, excessive drugs, drinking, and somewhat poisonous lifestyles. Keep them healthy now!

Anyway…I have been using a lot of Cumin and a lot of Cilantro when I have been cooking lately. I was never big on the fake meat…I may tackle that in upcoming weeks, but I haven’t gotten the guts or urge to go there yet. In addition to my burrito making, I love making a big pot of beans. I thought this was interesting because they are talking about how beneficial beans are in the book I keep talking about Born to Run. My beans as follows:

  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • green and red peppers
  • red onion
  • cumin (to taste)
  • veggie broth (a tiny bit)
  • salsa (fresh or jarred)
  • fresh cilantro (a few leaves)

Throw it all in a pot together and cook down! Depending on how hard your beans are…cook longer or shorter. So Delish!! I don’t know why my taste has been running toward mexican as of late (I am not even sure if Mexican is culturally accurate so please forgive me for my ignorance) and I never get sick of it. A good vegan mexi site–> http://www.veganmexicanfood.com/

I eat this when I think I have eaten too many bready carbs… For example, I ate granola for breakfast this morning, and I know I am having spaghetti tonight, so I made these for lunch and skipped the tortilla. I add a little more goodness by dumping the beans over greens and making sure I eat a huge salad slowly before the spaghetti. This prevents me from shoving so much spaghetti in my face later I’m in a food coma on the couch groaning with my pants unbuttoned. No, I’m serious this actually happens.

So…One last thing I learned. Last night in yoga we chanted… “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om.” I always was petrified to chant. It felt weird . Almost felt like I was praying to God…but maybe that I wasn’t supposed to be doing it that way? Well that is all far behind me. Chanting is such a cool thing to do and be involved in. Its like you are on a different, awesome wavelength. Its not so much the words, but the feelings that come along with them. Its like…the ultimate peace. Its hard to describe, but you really have to just get past your egos and let go. So… “Om” is actually just a noise, or vibration. It actually is the most sacred mantra. It basically is the vibration of life (If I am understanding correctly) It is more of like a wavelength, and apparently is is the only sound you can hear resonating in deep space—> http://hinduism.about.com/od/omaum/a/meaningofom.htm

Shanti means peace. So when you say it three times, then accurate meaning is “peace within ourselves, peace to those we know, and peace to everyone else.” I love the idea of mantra yoga ( http://www.yogaworld.org/mantra.htm) I think it has to be amazing. And actually when I used to pray when I was very young I used to pray for myself first, then my family, and then everyone else. I just thought that was funny that my little girl prayers came back around to me in my yoga class. I have to say that yoga is the most amazing, interesting thing I have ever wanted to learn about.

So to that lady who rolled her eyes at me three times yesterday, I love you, and I don’t want to punch you at all anymore.

Xoxo

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Today I woke up feeling good and HUNGRY!!! 🙂 I wanted peanut butter and jelly on a french toast bagel so bad.  Overall right now, I would say I am pretty happy with my weight and the way I feel with my body.  Let me tell you though, this was NOT always the case.  But, even after 9 days of being vegan, I feel my body changing.  I feel healthy and light, and happy.  Last night, I did a little Christmas shopping with my mom, and for the first time for as long as I remember… almost everything fit me.  I thought I could have cried a little in the dressing room.  It has not been an easy battle.  But that is not what this is about.  This is not what my vegan journey is about.  It is just a positive side effect I think. 
So… I learned about these cool water crystal experiments last night at yoga that were conducted by Masaru Emoto, a Japanese author. I am going to see if I can explain this properly… He claims that he conducted experiments in which positive words, thoughts and prayers have the power to actually change the molecular structure of water, in a beautiful individual manner. Apparently he took jars of water and prayed or mantra’d over them, shared positive thoughts and words, and when he was finishe he froze the water immediately.  He did the same with jars of water that he relayed hate speech upon.  Words like, “I hate you,” “You make me sick, I will kill you,” and “murder” were set upon these jars verbally, and hadwritten and taped on the front. According to Mr. Emoto’s photos and documentation, the crystals with the loving speech and emotions were beautiful crystals that look like snowflakes, and intricate beautiful designs.  On the other hand, the crystals that were produced after the hate speech was put upon them were ugly and cracked and did not form any sort of pattern of beauty.  Now…Is this something you believe?  There are different theories on this.  Some people claim that this is a hoax, some sort of scientific quackery.  Some others are strong believers…Maybe, see what you think?  ——->http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html
Since 1999 Emoto has been producing works called Messages From the Water.  My stance on this?  I am a believer.  I think that positive thoughts,  words, and actions…caring about yourself, and loving and taking care of your body and soul have just as much of a positive impact on your health as does a healthy diet.   It does not surprise me that the emotions and truth we put on words of hate or love would have the power to change water.  Essentially, we are water (at least 75% of us is…) so I think this proves that we should be much more self aware and cautious of the verbage that we put into this world. 
I always think about the different ways people are blessed. I think being grateful for what you have, creating a positive prayer and meditation practice, and developing a love for yourselves and the people in your life is so important.  If that doesn’t work for you, develop something that helps you have a positive outlook with a grateful mind set. Hateful words and thoughts get you no where.  Think of how you feel when you are talking about somebody, or when you say something terrible that may be funny in that moment… More than likely there is a small (or large) part of you that feels guilt. Imagine creating an honest life, where you don’t have to drag around that guilt.  Let yourself feel lightness.  You deserve it. 
On a different note, I visited my local mall yesterday that I used to go to all the time growing up.  I am not sure if that place is going down the tubes, or if getting older my needs have changed.  It seems like there are no good stores left anymore…And Macy’s is just not as good as I remembered it to be! Oh well…I probably do not need to spend the extra money anyway! 
Peace and truth
xoxo 


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Books and Nooks?

I can’t say I am a wealth of knowledge when it comes to anything… I think I am kind of a mini expert at a bunch of things. But I have read my fair share of books about the vegan life.  My lovely sister has been a vegetarian since she was in 3rd grade (approx).  When I was younger I used to make fun of her, and once (the evil child that I was) laughed uncontrollably at her when she ate a beef burrito from taco bell, and thought it was beans.  Now, when I think of that, I feel so sad that I did that!  I think that I was probably just jealous of her, and the fact that she could do something that I couldn’t at the time.   Hopefully I have transformed from the mean child I once was…Not sure if Jenna would agree with that statement, but that’s ok. 

One book I have read that I love is called Eat to Live.  It’s written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and it gives you medically sound facts and information garnished on why the vegan life is the best thing for your body, and ultimate health in the long run.  His ideas and “diet” are “lifestyle changes” (you have heard that term from EVERY woman who has ever been on a diet) that is pretty severe.  He guarantees weight loss, but also guarantees optimum health.  It seems to me that he targets overweight and obese people (been there) with health and heart problems, to get them turned in healthy directions.  Honestly, the book was such an inspiration I have been using it at a guideline for about a year now. To learn more about the book check out –à http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/ETLBook.aspx

His website has some great tips about organic living and alternates and substitutions for everyday food choices.  Although this may be too extreme of a choice for many, its worth a read solely for the medical information and statistics he shares relating to heart disease and cancer which, lets face it, effects all of us somehow.  I also came across this veggie site that outlines some great info about being a vegetarian ——-àhttp://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm  It wasn’t too hard to find this site, it always pops up first when I search “vegan”  in google (lol). 

One other good read I am going to have to check out is a book my family is obsessed with right now.  Its called Born to Run, by Chris Mcdougall, and apparently it is amazing. 

http://www.chrismcdougall.com/book.html.  As inspired as I am by Dr. Fuhrman’s book, I am wondering if this book will encourage me to get out on my two legs more and take a run once in awhile.  Although I am much happier on my yoga mat, I can appreciate a good run once in a blue moon.  A very blue moon.   

If you notice I post about books a lot, its because I am a LIBRARIAN! Well, not in my current life, but in my University life that is what it says on my diploma.  I love books and am sooo close to buying a nook or a kindle fire but I haven’t had the heart to do it yet. 

Yoga tonight, black bean burrito for lunch, and shopping with mama after work. Life is good.  Right now I’m thanking God for giving me an easy path at this point in my life. 

Xoxo


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Can’t stop Won’t stop

Get these brownies away from me! I swear I have been covered in Ghiardelli for like…3 days.  Ever since I made the best black bean brownies ever! If you want to try—–>http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=986481… Vegan and freaking delicious.  My boyfriend, the pickiest eater ever, had no idea there was even a difference between them and the normal brownies that I make.  Plus, the best thing…you can cut them right away and they come clean out of the pan.  Amazing.  So I have been cutting small pieces off for about three days now.  I figure this equals about three brownies a day, which I am absolutely fine with…

Anyway.  Yoga went well last night.  I am a bit sore from the plank position, but thats nothing to complain about because I am getting stronger! So, in addition to my exploration of the vegan lifestyle I figure I would say a few words about yoga, and how I feel it relates to veganism.  First of all, I practice a version of yoga called vinyasa.  There are many different types of yoga, vinyasa by definition basically means moving with the breath, or being one with your breath.  Ashtanga yoga, a different form, actually means non-harming yoga.  This theory can be applied to yoga across the board, as yoga should never hurt.  You should bring your body to the brink of what it is capable of, know your limit and stop there until your limits soften and you can move deeper into a pose.  The idea of “non-harmful” can be applied directly to veganism.  You should not hurt yourself within your practice, but you should also not survive based on the harmful suffering of any other being.  To learn more about the practice of yoga —>http://www.yogajournal.com/ for starters. 

Although I will admit that one of my favorite foods when I was younger was in fact a Burger King whopper, the idea of not eating something that has suffered really resonates with me.  I know that people get annoyed when you talk about being  vegetarian when they do not participate in the lifestyle, and I guess I do not really understand that.  My friend Liz once told me that key to anything is being loving and accepting of anothers lifestyle choice and culture.  Maybe once we can figure that out, we can actually interact peacefully amongst ourselves. 

Sushi tonight.  I’m going to have to resist the lovely Tom C lobster roll I love so much. 

Ciao