Shake of the Gods

Inside this awesome Bob Marley glass is what I’m now referring to as “Shake of the Gods.” The ingredients are as follows:

1/2 small ripe avocado

1 ripe banana

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Splash of vanilla extract

Ice

1/2 cup FAGE greek yogurt

1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

It’s truly a decadent taste sensation and has the potential to keep you full well past lunch (or at least that was my experience, and I’m an every-few-hours eater typically!). Try it if you’d like and please feel free to recommend substitutions or other recipes, I’m really bonding with my blender lately.

There’s Always a Bright Side

Lately I’ve been significantly more optimistic than usual, and I would ordinarily rate myself a pretty optimistic person, so that’s saying something. I can’t put my finger on one particular event that has shifted my gears of optimism into overdrive, I can take a few wild guesses, but it doesn’t really matter now does it? What matters is that this present moment continues to be one of positive, calm, and restored spirits. How could one argue with that?

I have been “triggered” several times over the past few days – that’s my favorite word to describe that moment when someone in your life does something that pushes just the right button, whether it’s anger or OCD, and your initial reaction is to respond negatively – and somehow just felt that rise of emotion, and then it falls just like waves crashing. I would like to say it’s been a great conscious effort and a successful attempt to reign in my emotions and have control over my own feelings. Instead, as I mentioned, it’s just sort of become my natural state over the past few days. This leads me to the most important part: how do we hold onto this state of calm that so infrequently finds us and sanctifies us with its presence for any short length of time?

Now, some of you reading this might be naturally calm and unaffected folks, which is divine. I am quite emotional, however, which is not to be confused with dramatic. I crave calm, I do consider myself easygoing, yet I am a person who feels so passionately about so many things that I find myself reacting with bursting laughter, tears, soliloquies and theories to events others might just shrug and turn away from. People like me need the mellow types to surround us and draw the peaceful calm and tolerance from our being, while we offer them enchanting energy and ignite the slightest of sparks within their peaceful spirits.

I’m sounding a little “out there” to you right now, perhaps, but I’m truly intrigued by this state I’ve found and managed to remain in for several days. I have the type of mind I’ve grown up referring to as the “worry wart” brain. The term is gross and the existence of such a mindset is equally upsetting. I try constantly with my yoga practice, by taking long walks, and regularly journaling to combat the “worry wart” within me, and I’m usually quite successful. I suppose I’ve just become accustomed to my brain trying to sabotage feelings of calm with the little stresses of life that hide out in the back of my mind, like bills and obligations and things I can’t seem to figure out. While this is natural, I find my sense of calm can easily be shattered by outside concerns that have little to nothing to do with the present moment.

This morning I encountered two thoughts/events within thirty minutes of waking that threatened to burst through my pristine morning calm, and somehow I managed to meet them with “well, look at the bright side” alternatives.

This shocked me, a bit.

I don’t mean to paint a picture of myself as someone so emotional I cannot control the affect the world has on me, but surely some of you are reading this and thinking, “I am just like that too!” 

So I suppose my thoughts this morning are revolving around my appreciation for this optimistic veil that has fallen over my eyes. I admire people who can encounter a frustrating situation, or even have something negative happen to them, and while acknowledging the feelings they immediately flip the coin and acknowledge the bright side. It somehow negates the gloomy feelings with the attitude that outside events cannot chip away at a resolve that there is always a bright side.

I’ve written before about the negative affect stress and worry have on the brain, body and spirit. Whether it’s this physical reaction you wish to avoid, or this overwhelming sense of self-control in being able to maintain a positive outlook despite personal “triggers” (it is both, for me), perhaps you will be able to find the same type of unwavering calm I have discovered and share your experience.

Happy Friday to all 🙂

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Want a filling breakfast?

I was reading Gwyneth Paltrow’s “GOOP” blog one day and saw an article she posted about breakfast ideas and how to have a more filling morning meal.

Essentially, cereal turns straight to sugar giving you more of a crash. I love some granola or healthy whole grain cereal in the morning, it does fill me up. Variety is the spice of life, however, and so I have created some hearty smoothie shakes in the past week.

This morning I am enjoying a particularly delicious blend, including the following variety of ingredients:

One banana

1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Ice

1-1/4 Cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 Cup FAGE Greek Yogurt (0% or 2% doesn’t matter, protein packed ingredient either way)

1 TBSP unsalted peanut butter

Pinch of cinammon

 

Result…OHMYGODAMAZINGNESS. Or, “amazeballs” as my mom and I would say 😉 try it out sometime! Also try adding and substituting ingredients such as avocado, coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond butter, etc. But if you use FAGE greek yogurt you don’t need protein powder, you get it in natural form! 

 As I would say at age 4, “Ch ch ch ch CHECK IT OUT!” 🙂 Happy Hump Day!

Earth Day Gourmet

On Earth Day my best friend drove out to spend the day with me. We are self-professed “Earth Muffins” which is just basically an endearing euphemism for hippie-dippie that Meg picked up.

We spent the morning roaming my local Farmer’s Market where we gathered organic strawberries, skinny asparagus, and some local East West Gourmet Afghan Bolani sauces.

After going for a nice long walk on the bike path we returned home to prepare our feast. Pictured here is:

Quinoa, cooked with water, topped with crimini mushrooms sauteed in a very little bit of extra virgin olive oil and steamed, chopped asparagus. Atop that are the two Bolani sauces, both vegan and delightful, one is basil pesto (without cheese or nuts so very easy on the digestive system!) and the other is a yogurt based “garlic mint cheese” sauce which is light and tangy.
Beside that is our salad which consists of spinach leaves, cara cara orange, organic strawberries, a drizzle of Bolani red pepper jalapeno jelly, and some evoo/balsamic dressing with pepper and salt.

DELIGHTFUL! Super gourmet, super filling, and SUPER fresh. In our glasses is some green tea with blueberry and pomegranate, this stuff is not homemade but I will be setting out my sun tea tomorrow morning when we’re due for a bright and hot day!

A few quotes on body image for your Wednesday.

“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.” ~Simone de Beauvoir

 

“Women should be measured by the lives we lead, not by the size we wear!” ~Elizabeth Patch

 

“Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.” ~Cheri K. Erdman.

 

 

I hope everyone out in the world is having a beautiful Wednesday and and enlightening afternoon. Life is beautiful.