So it is no secret that I am a big supporter of local shopping (and not just because I sell there). Last week I scored some major finds at our Terre Haute Farmer’s Market. I graciously decided to take the LAST watermelon off of the Bush’s hands next to me. While I was at it I figured I’d better grab some cucumbers from the Hale’s table on the south side of my booth. Hmm… as I looked in my shopping basket a Pinterest memory was sparked. I remembered seeing a salad with them together. I can do that. I should do that. I will do that. Stop and get some feta on your way home.
And now I am going to share my creation with you. I have to confess I do not like cooking in the summer when it is hot. I want fresh. Juicy. Cold yumminess. I do not want to be slaving away over an oven or stove top. Give me salads. This was easy to assemble too. Once you get past the watermelon cutting the assembly was a breeze.
It’s a seasonal dish. It’s colorful. It’s got a wonderful combination of flavors. Go to the market and give it a whirl.
So today is a bit of a bonus blog to start/end (however you look at it) the week. Thursday I did a lovely little bit on why to work on your sleep habits.Yesterday I had a pretty rad conversation with one of my market friends about sleep, sleep routines, and patterns.
I mentioned to her that I read a piece by Gabby Bernstein about doing shoulder stands. A 15 minute shoulder stand could correlate to 2 hours of sleep? Pretty freaking cool right? Now I wouldn’t use it in place of actually sleep every night, but if you skimp a few hours one night, what is 15 minutes on your shoulders?
While searching for a pic of shoulder stands (props to Yogabycandace.com for this pic on doing it correctly), I found some other benefits associated with shoulder stands:
It is a complete movements, that’s right, your whole body can feel the benefits
Heart health. While you’re up it takes some of the strain off the heart. Helping with the blood flow in that region. They say as a result, those with asthma and bronchitis may experience some relief.
Relieves and feels good on your nerves. Chill out pose
5th chakra work (creativity and such). A few weeks ago we talked meditation and chakras, doing some shoulder stands can help open up that 5th chakra
Better complexion, help out with wrinkles because of the increased blood flow to the face
Sleep is something I have studied, read, and practiced a lot of. I mean it is something we must do on the daily, why not give it a little love and attention? And let me tell you there is some cool stuff out there on the topic.
I feel a big take-away of my living primitively in a shed, was my adventures into the world of quality sleep. Racking up hours of slumber in the winter, the dark, quiet world of my shed provided a nearly perfect environment for sleep. Why? Why do I rave about sleep so much? When people ask about health, I always pop it in. The body is a complex system. It’s an intricate system of checks and balances. Health to me is super dynamic. There are a whole lot of variables to consider when something is out of whack in your body, it is never just one thing. Sleep, stress, eating habits, exercise, and more. They all effect us.
HORMONES. Hormones are key players in your health.They dictate a lot and hormone issues are on the rise. My sister for instance has issues with her thyroid and has Addison’s disease, both effected by hormones. Sleep is vital to hormone health. They’re restored at night. And skimping on a good night sleep could effect us in so many ways. For instance, it can even effect our hunger levels. That’s right, things like ghrelin are restored to glory at night. Ghrelin plays a role in satiety, hunger, and energy distribution. This is just one small for instance.
I think one of the most interesting health books I have read was about the correlation between light and sleep. In a nut shell it was saying many of our health issues and weight gain are due to light. We live in a perpetual summer. Light is always available to us. Heating and cooling keep us nice and comfortable. Once upon a time summers were when we bulked up. Food and forage were plentiful. The sunlight hours longer. We spent summers eating and partying. Preparing ourselves for winter and times of scarcity, plus longer hours of darkness and more time for sleep. To me it makes since. Continue reading “Hit the Sheets: why to get more sleep”→
So I have this wonderfully giving and attentive boyfriend. He loves to take care of me and shower me with gifts. He pops up frequently with surprises.I can’t tell you how many times I have opened the door to him declaring, “close your eyes.”
A few weeks ago one of these encounters brought about a set of tortilla bowl pans. Finally weeks later I have been put them to good use. Yesterday was a wonderfully beautiful day in Terre Haute. When I hit the trail I was struck with inspiration. In my head I began building and envisioning a taco. Once I straddled my bike and hit the trail again, I biked straight to the store to grab a plantain. Shot a text to the man friend while I was checking out to let him know he should probably come to dinner at my apartment.
Excitement. There is something absolutely blissful about thinking something up and then creating it. I think that is why I love baking so much. It is like a supreme high to me. An electric energy that has me brimming to create MORE (for instance after this I sketched a design for a Never Never Land wall mural and a Yogi Baker logo for a back drop). Continue reading “Taco Tortilla Bowls”→
I have been thinking lately about the delicacies of life. Yesterday I was surrounded by my family at Sonkas, united celebrate the life of a beloved aunt. And as often happens, it got me delving deeper. The past few weeks I have been feeling and harnessing some major gratitude. I write often about how being grateful has saved me. Saved me from sinking. Saved me from darkness or despair. It’s brought me back up in times when I’ve wanted to feel sorry for myself, or feel defeated. It’s what has gotten me back up every time I have been knocked down. Even a few years ago when I felt like I was taking hit after hit. I stay grounded and rooted because I felt blessed in spite of it all. Because I looked for silver linings and allowed myself to value life’s little moments. Love where you are. Coincidentally as I was writing this post, this song by Allen Stone (a tremendous soul singer if you haven’t heard of him), popped up on my playlist, “Where You’re At.”
Last week I sat outside under a canopy of trees cut off from the always busy Wabash Avenue. Cut off from the constant shouldness of the world. The bullshit dulled down and put on silent. Darkness surrounding me. A little candle casting a small light by my side. Knees tucked in to my chest. A hot mug of tea nestled in my hands. Sip. Listen. Pause. Reflect. Conversation flowing with my dear, beautiful mother sitting next to me. A soul-warming awareness descending upon me as I realized that the simplicity of this moment is so perfect and magical. This is what I seek in life. These small moments. For they are what make up a majority of life. How often do we get lost in a future trip and the next BIG moment, that we overlook the small moment we are in?
As we sit talking effortlessly back and forth, we dive deeper and deeper. For the delicacy of life is a constant in my life. In all our lives. It is all our fates that we will die. As we sit there my mother recounts her memories of her younger cousins final days. His friend looks at him after he has been given days to live, “I’d give anything to know what is going on in that head of yours.” Tim looks up at him, “None of this matters.” Boom. Truth. We create all THIS. Stress.Bullshit. Drama. Unhappiness. Busyness. Discontentment. Distractions. Numbness. Addiction. Life devoid of passion, purpose and drive. We are status seekers. Especially in adulthood. We lose our contentness with life’s true joy. We live life as we feel we ‘should’. How often do we feel truly present in life? How often do we step back? Look at the bigger picture? Appreciate all we have? All we have worked for. We are busy creating something and working towards something right. What is it all for? How often do we take in the moment with our families, instead of focusig on what drives us nuts? How often do we enjoy the pleasure of our children, rather than focusing solely on raising them ‘right’? How often do we let go? How often do we stop trying to control everything. How often do we accept life in it’s imperfect beauty? How often do we forgive ourselves for our past blunders and mistakes? How often do we forgive others? How often do we say how we feel? How often do we say I love you? How often are we open to love? How often are we vulnerable? How often do we allow ourselves to accept life and the magic of this moment in time? Are we so busy that we forget to actually live our lives? What holds us back from fully embracing life? Our dreams? Love? Connection? Continue reading “Collecting Magic Moments”→
Last week (and a lot lately) I talked about my quest to let go a little bit more, allow for help, and to collaborate with some truly rad individuals. I have been on a roll! I painted another canvas with my artsy soul-sister Julie. I got invited to contribute some art to an adult coloring book. My sister-in-law booked me for a Neverland mural in the twins’ bedroom. Opportunities and collaboration are in the works and it makes me excited to just think about the potential.
Sunday I met with the Yogi baker Cathy again so we could work on some more pies for our Farmer’s Market Farm-to-Fork Dinner coming up next week. Last week we met at her house to work on a chocolate avocado pie and the gem featured in today’s post, Carrot Cake Pie. And the past week she came over so we could experiment with a Fig Pistachio Goat Cheese Pie. Yumminess.
Now, however, I have a confession: last week when I went to Cathy’s, my first attempt at this pie was a complete flop. I walked away flustered, embarrassed that me (a baker) made it, and ready to try again. Not doing me best is not an option for me. And what I looked at in the skillet was a chalky mess. Something expected when people think gluten-free. It was not a representation of what I do or how my food taste. I was on a mission. A mission for redemption. When I gave round #2 a go, I could FEEL the difference. What I was creating was going to be drool-worthy. The texture I nailed. The smell while it baked, was divine. And then the ecstasy on my taste-testers faces told me I totally succeeded in my mission. Not to mention, my two-year-old twin nephews couldn’t eat it fast enough either. Continue reading “Carrot Cake Pie”→
Tuesday I dished out some info on why to meditate. Why I do it. Why you should consider doing it. Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, where do you begin? Today I will recount my own personal experiences with meditation.
Let’s me begin with the intention. When I go to yoga classes, the teacher often leads class with a prompt: what is your intention for this practice? Same with meditation. Before I hit my pillow I will ask: what is my intention with this practice? It can be to let go. Or for love. Or compassion. Or connection. The list is ongoing and we’ll get more into it. For me it is about creating a peaceful state. For bringing awareness to my body, mind, and soul. It is not about not thinking. I think while I meditate. It happens, thoughts will pop up. For me it is about being aware of my thoughts. I detach from them. I watch them. I have learned that I don’t always have to give power to what I am thinking. I am better at catching myself take something personally for instance or making an assumption or going along with something. Then I will ask myself: is that what I really believe. Or if someone says something to me: do I want to take offense to that? I am in charge of what thoughts I give power to: negative or positive. If I dwell on something I am giving it energy. Where do I want to put my energy?
Where do you begin then? Begin with a space. Find a quiet peaceful place away from distraction. Relax. Find a position that is comfortable to you. I like to sit with my legs crossed, hands in my lap, head up, eyes closed. Sometimes I will place my hands in a pray position at my chest. Breathe. It always go back to your breath. Focus on it. Inhale in the nose. Exhale. Pay attention to how your diaphragm moves. How your belly fills with each inhalation. How it sinks in with each exhalation. You can simple count your breath if you want. Sometimes I will have a thought with each breath. In: I am being taken care of. Out: Everything I need is already on its way. Usually I think this when I am trying to create abundance or achieve a goal. If you get distracted during your practice, go back to your breath or a mantra. What is a mantra you ask? Often I will think of a mantra in my mind or say it aloud. I’ve done some guided meditations (Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day challenges are my favorite). They lead you into the practice, give you a mantra to focus on. Om for instance is the universal sound. They will play music as you settle into your meditation, repeating om as you breathe and sink in. Grab a hold of that bigger cosmic picture and allow yourself to let go. My best practice ever was at a zen meditation group while I was in Colorado Springs. We sat for 25 minutes. Sank into a quiet silence for 25 minutes. Walked and took another 25 minutes. When I stood up, I felt as if I had showered. Fresh. Light. Clean. Radiant. Light-filled. Last week while I was at the market, my dear friend Dr. Tank sent me: Om Shanti an invocation for peace. Find a mantra. Put it in your head. When your brain starts to wander, go back to your breath and mantra. Continue reading “Hit the Pillow: Tips for Starting a Meditation Practice”→