Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mexican Night on Halloween

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Hola Bloggies,

How was your weekend?
My weekend’s excitement was limited to a get together with our friends on Saturday night. Obviously you would think that there is going to be some sort of the Halloween party but instead we had Mexican night. My first thought was: that’s gonna be bad for my tummy. I can’t eat main Mexican ingredients, such as corn, beans. My body doesn’t tolerate this well so I got anxious just from thinking about it.

Note here: my circle of friends are not vegan, neither vegetarians. Some of them are more health conscious, some less. Parties that we have are loaded with snacks and food and at the beginning I felt really limited with my food choices. It took a lot of explanation why I am so picky about it. But it gets better now. No more eye rollings and they try to accommodate my habits into theirs by asking in which restaurant I would be able to find something for myself or even offered me to prepare a separate dish that would not include some of the ingredient. So we are half way now;). I am very thankful for that! Being alone on this kind of “food journey” is not always easy..

We shared dishes between us, everyone brought one Mexican dish. All the interesting choices were taken so I ended up with making Mango Salsa and a cake- Flan. (I got a recipe a few years ago from a Mexican friend so I figured that’s what I will make). Salad is extra easy, healthy and you can use it as a side dish or on top of your crackers:

Mango Salsa:

1 ripe mango (peeled and diced),1/2 Jalapeño pepper (if you like it
spicy , decrease the amount to make it mild), ½ red onion, cucumber,
fresh cilantro, 3 tbsp. of lime juice and salt&pepper to taste*
You can also include avocado if you feel like it.

*I am not good at writing the proportion, experiment with your own
taste and preferences. Just mix all the ingredients.

About the Cake- it was not a healthy dessert although delicious so if you feel like cheating your diet sometime you can definitely go for it. I am sure there is a way to figure out how to substitute the ingredients with healthy options but simply I just didn’t have time for it. I had a piece and I think from time to time it’s not bad thing to do. Overall the table was full of snack, nachos, guacamole, salsa dips and crackers, even fruits so they were options…and the rest is your “willpower”. We had lots of fun yesterday. So no matter how you call it I am thankful for the relaxing time with my friends without compromising my life style. On Sunday I was resting tho;)

And how you handle a social occasion, do you find it difficult to keep up with your diet? Please share.

Izabela

Don’t make your Friday stressful!!!

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Hey Guys,

Impossible… it’s already Friday and I guess I slept through Monday&Tuesday. I can’t even recall what I was doing  these past few days. Anyway since we are here: Happy Friday!!!
First morning observation that I want to share is that apparently my dog is VEGAN. Her bowl is full with her breakfast but, no, she is not interested in eating it. Instead she grabbed half of Tom’s sandwich that was in his pocket from yesterday – Seitan avocado sandwich and seriously she almost bit my fingers off. I told him it’s delicious! At least Sophie can appreciate my efforts here;)

Other thing that I catch myself today is that I am very good at making my life hectic and stressful. Friday is one of the not many days in my week when I have half day off, so obviously I want to make use of that. I was planning to hit the gym and afterwords do groceries and then go to the hot yoga class. Hmm…Quite a lot to do in the morning especially that I know I have to work in the afternoon, make dinner in between and so on…I was debating on this plan for a while, probably took me longer then just to do it. Somehow I felt stressed that I need to rush to make it happen. And then I heard: “Don’t make your Friday stressful”.
So true…why anyone would do it to themselves if there is no real point. No one is forcing me to do both things in one morning. Just, I guess my mind is playing guilt trips on me…After wasting my morning stressing out I am just going to the gym and after coming back to do my home practice if I feel like it… Yeah, that’s the plan.

Do I always need to have a plan for every day in my week? My advice: think twice
if it’s worth it to stress out.
Do you have similar experiences that you want to do everything at a time?
Let me know.

And Have a Happy free of stress Friday!

Izabela

Partner Yoga on the weekend

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Wow, that was a very exciting weekend. As I promised I am sharing what has happen.

Saturday morning was busy. I woke up very early and headed to my Viynasa class which was not too bad at all. Depressing weather didn’t stop us from turning upside down and got playful with tripod stand.

Later on I went to an open house of one of the studios I teach in. This time I taught a Partner yoga class with a co-worker.

So what is Partner Yoga all about?

It involves two (or more) people joining together to transform traditional yoga asana and create new version of it. Partner yoga allows to open the body more deeply that we can not do it on our own, keep correct alignment, balance and focus. Because you support each other in a specific posture it helps with increasing the stretch and the impact of yoga on your posture. It’s mutually beneficial for both. You can do the same pose with your partner or interwind a pose and create a new one.

Partner yoga connects you with your partner not only on physical level but also emotional. Since it involves the yoga asana, conscious breath but also touch – you will touch and you will be touched by other people – Be prepared;).

Finally Partner yoga offers a unique way to build trust and gain sensitivity to your partner’s needs. It can be intimate and help with fortifying communication in an relationship and bring you closer with your partner. Having said that you can practice with anyone you want: your spouse of course but also with a friend, a co-worker, a stranger, a fitness buddy. Most important it’s a playful way to have fun and laugh together.

Until now I was practicing all the Partner yoga classes with my friend. Somehow we built this connection and trust to the level where I was not afraid to “fly” above her, balancing my body only on her feet. And maybe I didn’t even realize how important it was. For those who are new to this practice my advice is to keep eye contact all the time and continuously check with your partner what they need or how much longer they can hold you, how much deeper you can push them etc.

Julie is in a Child pose and I am stretching in a backbend- felt awesome!

Overall the whole event was fun. The class went well. Not everyone came in with their partner so we matched people up and also practiced with them. Later on I hang out there a bit, met people from my training. It was great to see my old friends.

The excitement of Saturday didn’t end there. I managed to convince my “dancing buddy” to go out to a night to the club. Tom was not thrilled – he just hates clubbing…I needed to dance so my friend’s husband and Tom went to the bar and we both went a club. It felt extremely good to get crazy on the dance floor after so long (too long). Although I need to admit that I couldn’t feel my toes at the end of the night and on Sunday I was extremely tired all day. Well… I am not getting younger and I guess now I need my time to recover the next day.

The last exciting news from my weekend is that I found out that I won a prize from the draw that took place at the studio’s open house. Which is: Chef of the local vegan restaurant is coming to my house to prepare me dinner (vegan dinner of course). This is very exciting although I wonder what Tom will eat 😉
I am not sure how it all works yet, but surly I will share my experiences from it.
And now… we shall start the work week.
Xoxo

Izabela

Rainy days

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It’s raining cats and dogs for the past week and I think the beautiful part of the Fall season it’s over;( The only advantage is that I can finally use my rain boots while walking with Sofie.

Rainy weather makes me feel yaky and kind of.. off the balance. I would love to just slip under a warm blanket with the good book and coffee (maybe Latte?).

Unfortunately I still need to go out; At least the hot room is filled with lots of sweaty bodies and we can create heat and positive vibes from the inside out.

The only exciting news for me is that I was asked to co-teach a partner yoga workshop on Saturday. I took a few partner yoga classes and I love it, but I have never taught one so I am off to meet with my partner Julie today to practice flying in the air.

After I am teaching 2 classes tonight: Sculpt and Groovy Yoga. Should be fun.
Stay tuned.

love

Izabela

Crackers cravings and photo shoot

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Hi Bloggies,

How is your week so far? I’m still in recovery mode after last week’s events and Thanksgiving food.

I am back to my routines and I am hitting the gym every morning to give myself a boost of energy for the rest of the day. I continue to teach yoga every night and during some days …so life is pretty busy. So no complains.

Tom is on the afternoon shift this week which again gives me evenings to myself = creative time in the kitchen. With my work schedule planning meals is pretty tough and since I am very active now I got cravings for carbs. Even though I always have a small breakfast before I go to the gym or to a morning class when I come home I am always super hungry. I can not have a huge lunch since I am still going to the teach yoga a few hours. My stomach just doesn’t have enough time to digest it. Simple salad is not enough to satisfy me. Crackers are a great addition to my lunches and you know what’s in them!

I bought a dehydrator a while ago – mostly because I want to help my digestion consume life food that is rich in nutrients and enzymes. Dehydrating is a great way to support Raw diet and also storing produce without loosing nutrients. Almost all of the nutrients are preserved in dehydrated food and you can still have a cooked taste to your meal. I really like dried fruits but crackers are a winner so far. I didn’t explore all the options that you can try but I ‘ve already had a few attempts with making the crackers. I love them. You can experiment with mixing all kinds of herbs and veggies together with flax seeds. You can also make it as a sweet treat. A great source of recipes is the rawmazing.com website.

Carrot Flax seed Crackers

1 c. of flax seed

1 c. of water

2-3 peeled carrots

½ c.of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

1 tbsp of BRAGG Liquid Soy Seasoning

1 tbsp of Chili Powder/Cayenne Powder

1 tbsp of Mustard (optional)

½ c. of basil leaves

squeeze of lemon

Mix flax seeds with water and let it hydrate for a few hours. After you have a thick consistency just add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and spread onto the dehydrator tray (you can use a parchment paper to support the mixture). If you wish to have smooth texture-blend everything in a food processor. I prefer crunchiness. Dehydrate overnight at 135F.

They tasted great with my Vegan Taco Salad today.

Mix greens, smashed avocado, tomato, vegan Taco Nut “Meat” and vegan Parmesan or vegan soy based melted cheese on top. Yummi!!!

Vegan Taco Nut “Meat”

I used Averie’s recipes

½ cup of Almonds and Walnuts

½ cup Sun Dried tomatoes

2 tbsp of Olive Oil

½ tbsp of Chili Powder and Cayenne Powder

As a sweet addition to your coffee or breakfast I made delicious Cinnamon Almond Crackers

I had them in the morning with my overnight oats.

1 c. Almond

handful of Hazelnuts

1-2 tsp of Cinnamon

¼ c. of Maple Syrup

1-2 tbsp of Almond Butter

These crackers are a bit tricky. The consistency is not sticking together so see how much Almond butter you need to get the right consistency.

Process nuts in the food processor. In a big bowl mash it with the rest of the ingredients. Spread onto a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate overnight in 135F.

Finally I got the pictures from the yoga studio that I am working with. They hired a professional photographer to take pictures of the staff for the website and marketing materials etc. So here they are:

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Have a wonderful weekend.

Izabela

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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After ten phone calls back and forth with Tom’s family regarding Thanksgiving get together finally we ended up doing the dinner at our house on Sunday afternoon. I am not a meat eater and if I have a choice I won’t eat at all but since everyone else does we had to spend the day shopping for “The Bird”.

I went on to several blogs and recipes pages to see what I can add to this dinner so I will actually enjoy eating. Finally I decided to roast some veggies and make a green salad. I don’t mind preparing the already chopped up meat but the whole “naked” turkey with his organs inside made me disgusted. So… Tom took over this part:

Then I marinated it in herbs, EVO overnight. I had classes on Sunday morning and I had to make everything ahead of time. The Thanksgiving Menu was:

Main Course

The Turkey

Sweet potato

Mushroom sauce

Cranberries and Vegetable Salad from Tom’s mom

Roasted veggies

Green Salad with pecans, pears and cranberries ( from Angela OhSheGlows)

Dessert (No bake, inspired by Angela’s recipe)

Vegan Chocolate Mouse Cake

Ingredients:

Small portion 1-2 people. Double ingredients for more people

¼ cup of dates, pecans/or walnuts, almonds

¼ c maple syrup

¼ c. coconut oil

Chop in the food processor until you will get a crust (not to fine, rather coarse). Press down in to the form. Put in the freezer.

Blend:1 ripe avocado, 1-2 tbsp almond butter, 1-3 tbsp cocoa powder, ¼ c maple syrup until smooth. Melt ½ cup of chocolate chips in ¼ c almond milk. Add to the avocado mixture. Pour the mouse on top of the crust, freeze for 1-2 hours. Enjoy!!!

After the party was over we spent the rest of the night catching on our TV Shows (Dexter & Breaking Bad – oh yeah!!!)

Official Thanksgiving Day was Lazy!!!No complains. The only activity we managed to do was taking a morning walk with Sophie in a nearby valley to check out Fall colours.

Since I had my first day off in a last two weeks I obliviously ran to the yoga class to enjoy my time off…

And how was your long weekend?

xoxo

 

Izabela

 

 

 

Thank you for the memories…

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After coming back from an amazing (mini) vacation it is so hard to accept the reality as is. Even harder to face it. I didn’t intend to
write about this here but since I am not a robot I can not resist it and maybe this is the place where I can relive (somehow) my feelings now. It is a diary after all…

If you remember my previous post from a week or two ago you would know that I was dealing with very difficult times. My God-Mother experienced a desegregation in her health conditions. She was fighting cancer for the past 5 years and we all had hoped that one day she could be cured. After we came back from vacation my mom told me that it’s just a matter of time now… I didn’t accept this reality – I saw her 3 months ago in good condition. I talked to her, everything seems to be under control.

It was eating me for the entire week. I couldn’t hide it. I was trying to find something different to think about, write about it here but this was just not who I am. Hiding my feeling is not my strong side. I felt it in my body. And as professional as I am in my job my positive energy that I am trying to create in the classes was lower than usual. I was just holding onto the fear on picking up each phone call.

My family experience a terrible loss this week. My aunt didn’t survive this battle. I can’t tell you how painful it feels…

I will keep in my heart all the beautiful memories. She had the most astonishing smile in the world. Always elegant, sophisticated, often with a hat, petite woman. Talented musician who played on the piano to accompany any family gatherings. She was the only one who called me by my full name.

Do you have those moments after a hard day when you are standing in the shower hoping the water will wash all your worries away? Like nothing happened,,,I am finding myself taking long long hot showers every night now…

I was going over my “daily meditation” book (“Journey to the
Heart” by Medoldy Beattie) to clear my mind before I fall asleep. Ironically on the Oct.4th I read:

We may search for miracles that change our situation so we don’t have
to deal with the loss or feel the pain (…) If the situation is too
difficult, the loss to painful to accept in one leap, take smaller
steps. (…)
Let the simple, quite, daily miracle of acceptance find you…

I hope my family and I can find acceptance of what just happened and keep all the beautiful memories in our hearts.

This song reminds me about you. Your didn’t have a chance to open the email that I sent but I know you would enjoy it.

Izabela