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


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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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Vegan Blog Overload and favorite products

So I think there are so many vegan blogs in blog world that my mind has officially blown trying to at least glance at all of them.  Even the amount of vegan blogs on wordpress blows me away.  There is so much good stuff out there.  I love and admire these writers plugging away every day churning out new work.  It really is inspirational.  The only struggle I face trying this vegan life is having to cook two meals… one for me, and one for my carnivorous boyfriend.

So I have taken to cooking for him, and eating a lot of salads.  But when I don’t slack, I do attempt to cook two meals that kind of build off of one another.  Basically a vegan meal that I can throw some meat in and satiate the man at the same time.  This works really well with salads, pastas and stir frys.

Through some of my research (taste testing) I would have to say that these are some of my absolute favorite products…

http://www.tofutti.com/  I love cream cheese.  I was a cream cheese addict in a former life (2 years ago).  I used to take cheese its and dunk them in cream cheese and eat handfuls like that.  This is a good substitute.  Actually I really like all of their products.  They are creamy and lovely and I could eat them with cheez its. If I was allowed.

http://www.gomaxgofoods.com/  candy bars are awesome… Thats just it.

http://bragg.com/products/la.html  Super duper soy sauce substitute.  I can put this all over steamed veggies and not even miss soy. Plus you don’t have to worry about the sodium.  Its a win win.

http://almondbreeze.com/ I buy it in the cardboard containers because its the cheapest I can find!!! Plus I can store it in dry storage until I need to use it. AWESOME

http://www.missionfoodservice.com/about/FAQs.aspx  Mission tortillas.  They are my go to tortillas for ALL THINGS! I even wrapped peanut butter and banana in them yesterday.  I love it.  They are perfect.  Albeit a little fattening, but still really awesome.

I also love these vegan meatballs that I find at whole foods… I just cannot find a link to the company.  So I found this yummy recipe that I am going to try right away.  http://www.vegangela.com/2010/10/05/vegan-meat-balls/

Soooo… If you want another more professional looking list check it out here.  This is a fantastic blog I just discovered today… http://conservegan.wordpress.com/best-vegan-products/  I also find an easy way to make quick vegan meals is to keep a ton of frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer…And throw them in everything!   Also invest in a magic bullet, or something of the sort.   I have a faux magic bullet from walmart, and it even chops up large ice chunks.  Love it.  I even make hummus and soup in it.  It makes my life so much easier.  And that is my goal…Always to make life easier.

xoxo


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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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One, two, three…Burrito!!

I think I time traveled on my way to work this morning. Has that ever happened to you? One minute I’m cursing because I spilled tea all over my lap while I was attempting to “car jam out” to Kanye West (I know I’m sorry), and the next minute Im at my exit and almost at my work! And I wasn’t even have asleep today… I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t drag out my morning commute any longer. Anyway, I tossed and turned last night as soon as 4 am hit, and I could not go back to sleep after that, so after a little lazy laying around with my eyes closed, and a few morning sun salutations I was good to go. I even jogged with my dog for a little bit…I probably looked like an idiot flailing down the street in my work uniform and my nurse clogs. But I don’t care, it woke me up a little bit.

Anyway…I have decided that burritos are my PERFECT vegan food. I LOVE burritos. Mission tortillas are lovely and vegan. Some of the larger ones have pretty high calorie counts, so check that out too when you are purchasing and take that into consideration. The good thing about a burrito is that you can put anything in them! I honestly eat them ever day and never get sick of them.

Some of my favorite things to add…Black beans, Jasmine Rice, red and green peppers, red onion, corn, vegetarian chili, salsa, jalapenos, kidney beans, any kind of vegetarian chili, lentils, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, rasins…any vegetable you can think of!

What started me on this kick was Amy’s organic frozen burritos. I was buying them for lunches every day! I fell in love with the indian one, and the black bean option (no cheese). I figure, I can make burritos, freeze them myself, and save a bit o money in the process. I have found a couple tricks to my burrito trade! One is, I start with vegetable stock, and water (about a cup or so of each) and I add my black beans (after they have been soaking all day.) I also add my rice right to the same pot. After I let this come to a boil and then simmer for awhile. After that I just throw everything in! That is minus the veggies you wouldn’t want cooked…lettuce, avocado, tomato etc. After I cook down all of my ingredients, I put about a third of what is in the pot in a blender (I use the magic bullet, but it really doesn’t matter) and pulse it a few times. After it is smoother, add it back to your pot. To me, this just helps blend the ingredients together a little bit for a smoother taste, and basically acts as a glue to hold everything together in the tortilla.

In order to get your tortillas perfect and roll up ready, stick a few of them in your pan or wide pot on top of your ingredients and let them steam for a few minutes. They become stretchy and ready to go! Add a couple spoonfulls of your fav ingredients…top it off with whatever you love and roll up! If you want to freeze these for lunch, I typically use aluminum foil and roll em up… they are good for the work week without getting freezer burn!

Anyway…Those are my burrito tips for the day! I already ate my lunch burrito for breakfast so I am SOL for lunch today. Looks like its gonna have to be a granola bar. Happy day everyone! Try to make it a good one. Yoga tonight so I am getting excited!

Xo

 

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RUNNING OPTIONAL

I hate running.  I want to love running, but I just can’t…I am not sure if its the tiredness that hits me after a couple miles, the pain in my ankles, or the boredom that bothers me the most.  All I know is that it is just not something I look forward to.  The only time I crave running is when I am trying to escape everything and eveyone for a little while.  It is something I turn to if I want to shut my mind off and get away from it all.  That being said, I do not get a thrill out of lacing up my running shoes.  I would much rather be on my yoga mat challenging my body that way.  That being said, I know my body loves cardio.  I get leaner and my legs shape up fast.  But sometimes that is just not enough motivation for me to get my ass movin out the door.  Also I love to carb load…you would think a giant plate of spaghetti would be solid motivation, but no…

That being said, I started to read a book called, Born to Run, which apparently is pretty popular right now to vegans, vegetarians, athletes and my family.  I am not too far into the book yet but I wanted to focus on the magical little seed that they talk about … the “superfood” chia. 

(what is a chia seed?  –> http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html) Now, I buy chia seeds and put them in my oatmeal.  For some reason they add a fluffy texture when I throw in a palmful, and although I do not know too much about their superpowers…I figured it couldn’t hurt.  I have also added them to salads with flax seeds (not sure if you are supposed to do that) and baked goods like muffins and banana bread). Some other ideas of how to use the seeds—> http://www.chiaseedrecipes.com/40-ways-to-use-chia-seeds.php Well the book talks about the slimy drink that these runners make with chia seeds called iskiate.  Basically you dissolve chia seeds in water, add a little lime, some sugar, and chill until cold—> (http://www.nomeatathlete.com/tarahumara-pinole-chia-recipes/)  I haven’t tried it yet, but supposedly you get a pretty significant boost of energy, plus its supposed to be a grand slam of goodness for your body.  It seems a little bit like the consistency of aloe vera, or hand sanitizer…but I imagine it probably tastes like limeaide  But I figure, I am going to try it out.  It can’t hurt, and I want to see what its all about. 

But, trying new things like this means I have to make time to get to the store, and actually put some things in my fridge and in my cupboard other than the tons of dried beans that are already hibernating there.  This week (although I am working 6 out of 7 days) I am going to make time for myself and the things I need to get done for myself and around my home.  This week I am prioritizing myself (as opposed to last week when I prioritized everyone else).  Its difficult, as an adult, trying to be a good friend, family member, and girlfriend…and make time for yourself.  It is hard to find a new balance.  I figure that is why your circle of friends get a bit smaller as you get older.  Or at least a little quieter and more far between.  I figure, I am going to attempt to let things flow and happen naturally instead of trying to force everything and everyone to stay the same. 

Anyway…off to a new week, 3rd full week attempt at my first goal out of 12, and hopefully on to a better body, life, and me. 

Namaste. 

Renee


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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