Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Thank You! Thank You!

I just wanted to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has ever read my blog. Even though I am a little intimidated every time I sit down to write, I do love sharing my thoughts and experiences with you and I hope you walk away with something good as well! I am still blown away by the fact that anyone would be interested enough to read my little ramblings and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time and feedback. I love feeling connected to this little community, but it is time for me to shift gears.

From now on, all new blog posts will be on my new website www.empoweredbalanceyoga.com! It's been an exciting experience (and a huge learning curve!) to put this website together, and luckily, I had some amazing help! I hope you'll continue to read and share with me on the new site!

Once again, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Balancing My Many Love Affairs

I have a confession...(unless you know me, then this is more of a known fact), I am not a morning person. Not even a little bit. I relish sleeping in and count down the week days until I get to drift off into the sweet slumber of someone with no alarm in the morning. I have been known to rush through a shower, leave the house with wet hair and skip breakfast just to hit the snooze one more time. It's been a life long love affair between morning sleep and I. Morning sleep is just so much better than evening sleep, where you just go to bed two hours earlier to avoid wanting to sleep two hours more in the morning. This hadn't really been an issue until I began a new love affair. One with a juicer.

Big glasses full of vibrant green juice. Mason jars filled with bright orange juice. The dulcet hum of the motor as entire vegetables are broken down into liquid form. I got a juicer for Christmas, and I admit it, I'm hooked. I had avoided the whole juicing fad all last year, mostly because I saw it as a fad. (I'm also the kind of person who avoided reading "The Da Vinci Code" for over a year just because everyone else loved it.) I read article after article in magazines and online about the benefits of juicing. The joys of juicing. And I thought...."Pssshh. Juicers are expensive. That seems like a lot of work. Why not just eat all those fruits and vegetables instead?" The answer was: because I DON'T eat all those fruits and vegetables. I, like a lot of adults I know, do not get as many fruits and vegetables in my diet as I know I should and juicing is the perfect solution to this problem! I can get multiple servings of the good stuff in one tall, cold glass. As so, a love affair began. But like so many relationships, this one soon began to have problems.

The biggest one being: if I wanted to have my juice first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach so all those amazing vitamins and nutrients can get straight to work), it meant I had to wake up earlier. EARLY. What a terrible word. Juicing requires prep time. Peeling and washing and sometimes even chopping. It requires clean up after. All these things added up to an earlier morning for me, and so, I found my love affair with juicing waning. But then, after a busy few weeks of traveling, a death in the family and the over all stress of a busy life, I found myself missing my juice. I came down with a cold. I felt tired. Now honestly, I don't know if the juice has anything to do with it. But even if it is a placebo effect, I do know I'm getting lots of good things from my juice. So, I started a new routine. To save time in the morning (so I can still get the maximum amount of sleep) I have started prepping my produce the night before. Peeling and washing and chopping, then putting everything in a container in the fridge the night before. I set up my juicer. I put a bag in the pulp container to make clean up in the morning easier. I put my glass under the juice spout so it's one less thing to think about. I've found that just a little time in the evening, makes for a much easier morning! Who would have thought that I, the Queen of Procrastination, would discover the joys and prepping ahead of time?? I love that I can make juicing a little bit quicker and easier. And let's be honest, who doesn't love easier?

Now, I know there are a billion and one juice recipes out there, but I wanted to share two of my favorites that are always in rotation at my house. They both feature vegetables with some sweetness added with fruit, so you don't end up feeling like you're drinking the lawn.

Gorgeous Green Juice:
4 leaves of Kale
1/2 handfull of Parsley
1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 Cucumber
1 Lemon (peeled)

Orange Sunrise:
3 large Carrots
1 Naval Orange (peeled)
1 Lemon (peeled)
1/2 inch Ginger (Play with the amount of ginger to see what you like. It can be a strong taste.)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, New You?

It's that time of year again, when everyone and their uncle is touting diets ("Eat and still shrink!") and exercise ("Just 10 minutes a day for 5 weeks for a bikini body!"). Am I the only one who feels WAY to pressured by all these so called "resolutions"?

My husband jokes all the time that I suffer from O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, it's a real thing!) and when I find my e-mail, magazines and facebook account bombarded with all these "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" I think to myself, "Don't tell me what to do!".

This year, instead of making resolutions to lose weight or exercise more, I'm committing myself to living passionately and fully! This might mean going to CrossFit with my husband more than my usual once a month workout. Is it just me or does it take anyone else a month to recover from those WODs?? But it also means trying new things (painting class anyone?) and doing more of the things I love (cooking and yoga please!).

It's so easy to say, "There's not enough time. I have work to do. I should be doing laundry or bills" (there's that "should" again!). One of the messages I love to bring up in my classes is that yoga practice is a gift to yourself. You are worth the time! It is an hour and a half out of your day when you can fully commit to yourself. You owe it to yourself, really! And it doesn't just have to be yoga. Listen to yourself and follow your passions!

One of our personal "resolutions" for this year is focusing on eating more organic and sustainable food. We've gone back and forth in the past, telling ourselves organic just isn't in the budget this month, but this year we re-assed our priorities. Would we rather cut back on eating out and use those savings towards good, whole foods or save a few pennies by buying foods full of preservatives and ingredients we can't pronounce? When we thought about it this way, the choice was clear. The food we ingest literally becomes the proteins that make our bodies. It's pretty incredible to think about it that way! It may make for a more expensive grocery list, but we are passionate about being healthy, so it makes our resolution list!

I would love to hear how you're planning to live passionately this year!