Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Make SMART goals for the New Year

It's that time of the year that we start to look forward to the next year and think about what we want to accomplish! We set New Year's Resolutions and make plans for what we want to do or achieve in this New Year. Some of us are very successful in achieving these set goals, and some of us fail miserably. I am happy to say that I achieved my goals for 2010 and am ready to branch out and make some pretty lofty goals for 2011.

I've found that making SMART goals definitely keep you on track to successfully accomplishing your goals. Make your goals:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic/Relevant
T - Time sensitive

I won't go into detail on each "level" of a SMART goal because I feel it's pretty self explanatory, and I think you can get the idea. The thing I do want to mention is that it's very important to use positive language and have a "By When" when creating your goals.

For instance it's very easy to just say "My New Year's Resolution is to exercise more this year (or lose weight or whatever)" but you have not been very specific or set a "By When" in creating this goal. I find it more successful to be specific, so figure out what kind of exercise you would like to do and create a goal around that instead of just saying "exercise more". Also, keep it future positive by saying "I will..."

An example would be one of my goals for 2011 which is "I will run two Half Marathons by August of 2011" So I've set a specific exercise that will allow me to achieve my exercise goals through training. These are measurable because once Ive completed them, I will have achieved the goal, as well as I can track my exercise online while training for these races. This goal is both attainable and realistic as I have already run one Half Marathon before, so I know I can do it, and giving myself the "By When" of August allows me plenty of time to train for these, as well as being Time Sensitive. I plan on running the first Half Marathon in May so that gives me from May until August to complete the second one.

I have so many goals planned for 2011, that I won't get into all of them now, but you will be hearing about them throughout the year. I hope you can set some realistic goals that are achievable and I would love to hear about them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Easy Energy Bars

 Eventually, I will need to branch out from the recipes I've been using out of Brendan Brazier's "Thrive Diet" book. Here is another great and easy recipe to make these incredible vegan and raw Energy Bars. These call for adding in frozen blueberries at the final kneading stage before cutting it up into bars, but I forgot that part this time. Oppsssieee.

1 cup fresh or soaked dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Blend all ingrds together in a food processor. Pour mixture (it's pretty thick and similar to a cookie dough texture) onto a large sheet of waxed paper. I pat mine out until I get the desired thickness and then form into a more square shape as shown in the first picture.

Using a knife ( you can add oil or a cooking spray to knife to keep it from sticking to the mixture) cut into the desired shaped bars and wrap each one individually in wax paper and place in freezer. These do not get super hard when in the freezer so you can eat them right away or let them come to room tempature and they will be a little more gooey. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipse Occurring on the Winter Solstice

This is a very rare occurrence today (Monday, December 20th 2010) as the Lunar Eclipse occurs on the Winter Solstice! It's going to be a magical day! This has not happened in over 370 years and will not happen again for another 80 something into the future!

This is the time to reflect on the past year, and let go of all of the negative energies, patterns, habits etc that you wish to release and focus on the upcoming year, full of love and light! As we move into the period of the year where the days grow longer, it's time to focus on the positive, and what you what to manifest in the upcoming year!

For me, this is focusing on being as healthy as I can be in with Mind*Body*Soul! I have so many health goals for 2011 as well as spiritual, personal, and career goals. I really do believe that 2011 will be a year of LIGHT, with a lot of positivity and wonderful things manifesting.

I started this blog and Nourish Mind*Body*Soul as a way to express and journal everything I want to manifest in 2011. Also, as a way to meet and network with like minded individuals to create a community where we can support one another on achieving our goals. I really feel like today could be a great starting point!

What are your goals for 2011?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gonna Make You Sweat: Bikram Yoga

I did my first Bikram Hot Yoga class yesterday and it was AWESOME! I was really nervous about being in a room that was heated to over a 100 degrees, not to mention then doing movement that also generated heat. I managed to do every pose and stay moving during the 90 minute class. Okay, okay, so I didn't hold some of the poses very long, but I still managed to get into every single one!

Bikram Yoga was founded in the early 70s by Bikram Choudhury. It consists of two sets of 26 poses and some breathing exercises that are performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and with 40% humidity. The heated room allows the muscles to relax more letting you stretch deeper into the poses. Not only that, but the heat allows you to sweat out impurities and toxins.

It was the most amazing feeling, and if you get the chance take a Bikram Hot Yoga class soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vegan Pizza

I attempted a Vegan Pizza from the Thrive Diet book recipe section. These are not your typical pizza, as in it's not a doughy crust that one can pick up a slice and eat. This is more of a meatier type texture that one eats with fork in hand.

The sauce recipe was very good, and I would love to use for other dishes as the flavor was great and would pair nicely with veggies, etc.

I'm going to list the recipe with the variations I had made instead of how it was originally listed. If you would like to see the original recipe, you will need to buy Brendan Brazier's book The Thrive Diet.

For the crust:

1 cup soaked or cooked adzuki beans
1 cup soaked or cooked quinoa
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of Hemp Oil
1 Tbsp of chopped Garlic
1 Tsp of Sea Salt
1 Tbsp of Hemp Protein Powder

Blend all ingrds in a food processor until the texture is dough like and starts to firm up. Smooth the mixture out onto a oil coated pan. Make it as thick or thin as you want! Preheat oven to 300. While oven is heating up, make the sauce and prepare pizza toppings.

Sauce:

1 Cup of soaked sundried tomatoes
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of chopped onion
1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp of hemp oil
1 Tbsp of chopped garlic
1 Tbsp or so of fresh Rosemary
1 Tbsp or so of fresh Oregano
1 Tsp of Sea Salt

The original recipe calls for a cup of water, but I left that out because I felt it would make for a watery sauce. Blend all ingrds in the food processor lightly. I wanted a  thicker sauce so I didn't blend too much. Spoon the sauce onto the pizza "crust" and spread evenly out. I then topped the pizza with mushrooms, broccoli, and Nutritional Yeast as the "cheese"

Bake for 45 minutes at 300. In the book Brendan makes recs on how to bake this at a lower heat for a longer period to make it a raw option.

We cut this, and moved it to a plate. It doesn't really hold the shape very well, like a traditional meal, but it was a satisfying dish that was full of healthy ingrds and ended up being super delicious!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Boston's Run To Remember

So we've selected our first race for 2011, Boston's Run to Remember. I plan on creating or running as part of a DertermiNation team to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The Half Marathon, 13.1 miles starts at the Boston Seaport, runs out to Harvard, around the Boston Common and Public Garden and back to the Seaport area.

I haven't decided yet if I'm setting up my own team, and having people join to run with us, or if I will be part of a team through work. I'm not sure if our region will have a team up or not. I'm excited though, should be a fun run through beautifl and historic Boston!

We've also selected one more Half Marathon and our FIRST FULL Marathon to run in 2011. Details to come on those!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Thrive Diet"

I just finished reading Brendan Brazier's "Thrive: The Vegan Nurtitional Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life". Brendan is a professional Ironman Triathlete who fuels his body with a 100% plant based diet for training and competing.

Brendan relates that our bodies are affected by several types of stress, be that environmental, physical activity, and the foods we eat. The typical American diet of processed, low nutrient foods actually causes the body stress as it uses all of it's resources and energy to break down these complex foods. Instead of fueling the body for repair and recovery, it is working on digesting foods that give us very little to no nutrition at all.

The Thrive Diet consists of eating clean, whole foods that are nutrionally high/dense that the body can easily breakdown, absorb the needed nutrients, and properly fuel the body. Brendan has spent many years researching and perfecting the Thrive Diet, and the book contains all of the information he has gained on nutrition over the years.

I can't wait to get started on some of the recipes included in the book and the Thrive Diet Meal Plan. I will be posting the recipes and pictures here on the Nourish blog and the Nourish Facebook page. Check out the book if you can!