Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've decided to move my blog over to Tumblr. I like the lay out and customizing options of blogger but much before the posting capabilities and reblogging from other Tumblr blogs more. I feel like there is more of a community feeling with Tumblr, which is what I wanted.

So I hope my handful of followers will continue to read my posts over at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Svarga Dvidasana - Bird of Paradise

So the other day in class I was led through this pose. It’s something I had never really attempted and didn’t think I could do, but I DID!! It felt so freeing to be able to pop up into this pose. Although, mine looked more like a wilted Bird of Paradise because I was not able to fully extend the leg that is up in the air.

Bird of Paradise is actually considered to be an advanced pose, so I was even more excited about that. My practice seems to be coming along stronger and faster than I think. I keep telling myself that I’m not growing, or can’t do this or that pose, but I seem to keep surprising myself. I have to get out of my head, and into my body so to speak.

Svarga Dvidasana is great as a hip opener, stengthens the standing leg, and helps to calm a scattering mind. And as a pose, it just looks cool to do. Now to find an amazing location to do this pose for a picture to add to Birding Pics

Friday, September 9, 2011

As a Vegan, are you getting enough protein?

This is one of the things I hate the most when people ask me about being Vegan! I often hear things like "How do you get protein?", "You can't be eating enough protein?", etc. Especially from meathead weight lifters that think you can only sustain health, strength and muscle building on JUST protein!! Don't get me wrong, I know how important protein is to all of those things, but the fact is you need far less than everyone thinks you really need.

For instance, take a look at a large muscular animal such as an elephant, who only eats plants. They are able to get all the nutrients they need from a plant based diet to support and maintain their shape and muscular makeup. If you think about it even further, plants (which have all of the important amino acids your body needs) are often eaten by animals, and which in turn humans are eating. So you are essentially get a diluted source of natual amino acids. Why not go right to the source? Plants!!

So how much protein do we really need? The RDA, set by the Food and Nutrition board recommends 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight! I've seen/heard of many bodybuilders eating WAY more than this. Even has an athelete you don't need much more than this! So for me, being 6'4", weighing 205 and being an endurance athelete (of sorts) and training to run long distances, I need to shoot for a daily intake total of 75-130 grams of protein. 75 grams of protein being the bare mininum. You can easily remember this too by thinking that 10% of your daily calories should be protein.

Let's also take into consideration that eating TOO MUCH protein can actually be a bad thing! The more proetin you eat, does not a bigger muscle make! Taking in too much protein can eventually cause stress in your body as it works to break it down. Too much protein causes keytone buildup and the liver and kidneys work to flush those out. This can cause dehydration, and bone calcium loss, as well as further issues with the liver and kidneys in the future.

"How do you get enough protein as a vegan?" Easy!! Your body actually takes something like meat proteins and further works to break them down into the amino acids your body needs. So one step nutrition would be to eat something like a green that is chock full of amino acids and doesn't recquire being broken down further like a meat!

Some of the best sources of Vegan proteins (other than beans, nuts and seeds) is Hemp, Quinoa and Chlorella. Hemp is a complete protein, containing 10 essential amino acids, which aids in muscle and tissure recovery! Hemp is also a complete renewable source (let's save the eco topic of veganism for another blog post) that is raw and keeps all of it's active enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Quinoa is 20% protein and is great to serve with beans for even more protein intake! Chlorella is known as a superfood because it contains 19 essential amino acids making it 65% pure protein!! It also provides tons of essential fats, minerals and vitamins including B12!

As far as the protein you need for an activity like endurance running, you have to remember two simple things: simple carbs for fueling before and during runs, and protein for recovery! It's not great to ingest too much protein prior to your runs. Protein (especially from an animal source) recquires a lot of water to break down, leaving you possibly dehydrated during runs, and can causing cramping. Save the protein to have within 30 minutes after your run to help with recovery and repair of muscles and tissues!

The best source I've found for Vegan nutrition, especially for athletes is Brendan Brazier's "The Thrive Diet"! Check it out!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Are Your Talents?

So during today's meditation, we focused on "What Are Your Talents"? When you think back to when you were a kid, a teen, or a young adult what do you find yourself doing? What kind of activities did you enjoy?

For me, it was writing. I used to write all the time, and for a few years had hopes of being a journalist. When I was a senior in high school, I took journalism classes, wrote for the school newspaper, wrote for a local paper that was geared towards high school students, and wrote and submitted poetry. I even read some poetry at an open mic night once when in high school.

Throughout the years, I always revisit writing. I will come up with an idea for a novel, and start clacking away on the computer. After a few chapters, I either lose interest or don't know how to further the story. I have trouble continuing these projects and seeing them through to the end. So I scrap them. Yes, I actually delete my writing once I lose interest.

I've even joined National Novel Writing Month twice in the past ten years or so, but never complete it. After a month of writing, I just give up. I've joined and wrote articles for two different online magazines, but have publishing two or three articles I just get bored and quit. In my defense though, these were beauty related sites and that gets old really quick. Especially, after I decided to leave the beauty industry and pursue other paths.

The only thing I have been consistent in with my writing is blogging, and now my journaling. Okay, to be completely honest, I have blogged regularly for several years, but after a year or two of doing one blog, I move on to another blog with a different topic!

So now I have this idea for a book, and it is something I am researching, and wanting to bring into my life. So this book could be a great resource not only for the topic itself, but as a tale of my journey into it. Can I keep up with this and finish it? I have gotten some signs lately that I should be a writer. I've seen signs that I am meant to be a teacher, and I can teach through writing. I can write on the topics I'm interested in.

Is part of my path of serving and helping others to be a teacher through my writing? I think that is something I need to explore at least. Look out for my name coming to a book store shelf near you!

P.S. I know you are probably reading this and thinking "How can he be a writer, there are so many grammar and punctiation errors in this journal post?!! Ugghhhhh!!!!" Well, for all you word Nazis, when I journal I tend to not edit myself. I just basically word vomit in my journals, and let the words from freely from my thoughts. I do tend to edit my blog posts though! And certainly any official writing is edited before being submitted! So there!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Guerilla Yoga

 Well if you lived in my town, this is what you might have seen on your way to work yesterday. Our group got together to do Guerilla Yoga on the side of the Mass Pike to gain attention for the upcoming Salutation Nation on 9.10.11

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Abundance and Prosperity Manifestation

I just finished a meditation on Abundance. Abundance can be of a spiritual nature or even a material nature. My focus was to be able to have an abundance of time and money that will allow me to work towards becoming a Reiki and Energy Healer and Yoga Instructor. I have can manifest the time and money to move towards my dream of opening my own Spiritual and Wellness Center that I can share these gifts with others and be of service to others, without fear.

I keep Aventurine on me at times that I wish to focus on manifesting Abundance and Prosperity. Aventurine is great for abundance, good luck, money and prosperity. Keep it with you when interviewing for jobs, working on manifesting abundance and prosperity, or to help you get through financial rough patches.

Since Aventurine is green, it's also great to use for the Heart Chakra to balance any emotional blockages you may have. It will clear the Heart Chakra, balance your emotions, heal the heart, and enhance creativity.

I also meditate on Lakshmi and chant a mantra to her. Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of Abundance and Prosperity. Call upon her when you need an abundance of time, money, or knowledge. Lakshmi works will with Ganesh who is the remover of obstacles!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Providence Rock N' Roll Half Marathon

What a tough race this was! It literally poured the whole time we were running. The start was late as we stood in our corrals packed in like sardines, in the pouring rain, anxious to get started.

Being that this was a Rock N' Roll race, with bands along the course, I opted to not bring my music with me. HUGE mistake! The bands were supposed to be at every mile marker, but you only hear about 10 seconds of music as you run by, leaving you listening to the panting and puffing of the runners next to you, or the guy behind you hacking up a lung, or the annoying girl who whined about her boyfriend the whole 13.1 miles.

Not to mention the fact that due to the constant rain, less than half of the bands were actually out and playing. Reminder for future races, ALWAYS bring music.

Other than the lack of music and the torrential downpour for 13 miles, it was a very well organized race and fun course, even if it was a bit hilly. The biggest hill we had to climb was the run leading up to the finish line. GEEEEZZZZ!!! Talk about a challenge.

It's over though, and we are glad we did it. Today also marks the beginning of training for our first FULL Marathon, the Marine Corp Marathon in DC on October 30!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chakras and Pendulum

So I recently bought a Chakra Pendulum, the idea being that by using the pendulum you would be able to tell which Chakras were out of alignment or had blockages.

Chakras are basically wheels of energy in key points of the body. There are seven major Chakras and each has a pinpointed area in the body, and is responsible for certain organs and areas of our lives.

When a Chakra is fully opened and spinning correctly, it will spin clockwise in a huge circle. So by placing the pendulum over the Chakras, you pay attention to how it spins as well. If the pendulum spins all out of line, or in multiple directions, then that Chakra has a blockage.

I know exactly what Chakra I have blockages in, and have always seemed to have a blockage there. So today, when I used the pendulum it was the only one that didn't spin correctly. Duh!

So my blockage is in the Throat Chakra, which as you would guess it rules our speech, communication etc. The color of the Throat Chakra is blue, which also happens to be my favorite color and I wear a lot of blue. I must be drawn to that color because I know subconsciously that I need help in the communication area of my life.

I do tend to not speak my mind, for fear of irritating others, or turning people off. I'm basically a "Yes" man. I don't voice my opinion, say "Yes" to every demand on me, and basically just go with the flow. Hence, the blockage in my Throat Chakra. Until I learn to say what I'm thinking, speak up/out, and stand up for my own opinions and thoughts, I will probably always have this blockage.

Something I need to work on clearly. So how do we work on the Throat Chakra? Wearing the color blue as I mentioned already is a good way to start. Also, singing and chanting is a good way to use the voice and start to clear the blockages. I often chant mantras when meditating.

Blue gemstones is a great way to help clear the Throat Chakra as well. I have a piece of Angelite that I carry around with sometimes, or even just place on my Throat Chakra when doing a Chakra mediation. Lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise and other blue gemstones will also do the trick. You can even wear a necklace settled at the throat with one of these stones to really help. I'm actually going to try to find a necklace with Angelite today!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marathon Sports 5 Miler in Weston

I ran the Marathon Sports (a local running supply store) 36th Annual 5 Miler Road Race the other day in Weston. The temperature was 96 and humidity was almost 50%. After mile one, I literally thought I was going to die because of the heat.

Firstly, I am a early morning runner and this race was at 7pm. I'm not used to working all day and then going out for a run, so I was already exhausted before the race even began. Also, being an early morning runner, I always beat the heat, and am not used to running in such high temperatures.

I was dreading running this race all day. The course was pretty cool, integrating all types of running into one race. We started at a high school field and the start was Cross Country style, then the major portion of the race was a road race. The list 3/4 mile was through a trail and the very list 1/4- 1/2 mile was on the high school track. Very cool course.

I used the water stops to get water, for the first time ever in a race, but only to dump on my head to keep myself from overheating. A lot of the locals were out in their yard with sprinklers, water guns, cups of water and even garden hoses to water us down as we ran by. The community spirit for this race was absolutely amazing. I would love to run this again next year, and hopefully it won't be in the middle of a heat wave!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Road Ahead

I've only been awake for an hour and have already had a few signs that today starts a week of focusing on the road ahead. Instead of focusing my energy on what others think, I need to focus on what I want to manifest in my life. I need to use all of my energy today, and through the week, to glimpse into the future and focus on what the second half of the year has to offer for me. I need to focus my thoughts, time, and energy into what I want to accomplish by the end of the year, instead of on things that are of no service to my path.

Time to focus on what I feel I'm here to do...which lately has been feeling that I'm on a path to being a "healer". One of those first steps is getting certified to be a Reiki Practitioner, which means I need to take steps this week to making that a reality. The other is going to teacher training to be a Yoga Instructor. This might be the week to do some more research on that, who I want to work with, what studio etc.

I defintely think the tires have hit the pavement, and I need to focus on the road ahead.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goofy Challenge Training

So RunDisney, who helps to organize the Disney Races, just sent out a training plan for those doing the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Technically, this week starts our training for that; but as we are already in training mode for the Providence Rock N Roll Half Marathon at the beginning of August, we are already half way through that training plan.

The exact day of the RnR Half, will be the day we start our training for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. This will also be when we start our fundraising for the MCM, with the donations we receive going to Make A Wish Foundation. More on all of that in time!

We then plan on continuing our Marathon training and doing a few back to back long distance runs on the weekends from the time after the MCM (October) until the day of the Goofy Challenge (January), which will begin to coincide with the plan they sent out to the participants. The plan is a Jeff Galloway training plan, and I've heard good feedback on those who have used it.

But it's really and truly here now, no more putting it off. No more short 4-5 mile runs, it's really time to start focusing on increasing our long runs on the weekend!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


"Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears" - Richard Wilkins

Friday, June 24, 2011

For The Love Of Trail Running

 So I've discovered this little trail not far from my house that runs parellel to my normal running route. Today was the second day I ran on the trail. I ran about three and a half miles on the road and then to the end of the trail. The trail itself is only one mile long, and then finishing some more on the road to round off a 5.5 miler run.

There is definitely something to be said about trail running, and I can see myself getting hooked. First of all, the ground is softer than running on pavement, so it's softer on your legs, knees, etc. Even though you do have to be extra careful about rocks, fallen trees, and roots. Lot's of jumping over things, which is fun as well.

I love that on this trail, I've been the only one. I unplug (turn off my iPod) and just run to the sounds of the Sudbury River running by, the birds chirping, and the wind blowing. Just me and Mother Nature. It's a very magickal moment!

No crazy drivers on their cellphones to avoid, no people with baby carriages to dodge. Just me and the squirrels, chipmunks and (oh yes) snakes that dart acrss the trail as you come hurtling toward them.

Its such a beautiful and peacful thing to just be in tune to your body, as you run completely with Mother Nature.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011


I am without FORM
Without LIMIT
Beyond Space, Beyond Time
I am the BLISS of the Universe,

~ Ram Tirtha

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I've Learned From a Year of Running

 So while I was out running today I started thinking about how I want to do a trail run, but I've been too scared of the unknown to venture out onto a trail. This got me to remember that over a year ago I couldn't even run one minute without giving up, but I set a goal to run at least a 5K. I managed to train not only my body but my mind for that 5K! I started to believe in myself and know that I could accomplish that.

That first year of running I did not just one, but three 5Ks, a 10K and my first HALF Marathon. I have now set a new goal for this year, running my first FULL Marathon. I thought if I could get over the fears that I had with running a year ago, I could certainly get over my fear of doing a trail run. Heck, I don't even know what I'm exactly afraid of.

 This line of thought then had me thinking about all I learned in my first year of running and was able to complete a Half Marathon and improve on my speed as well. This is the main reason why I love running, it gives you time to really think. I like to call it moving meditation!

So here is some of what I learned in my first year of running, and hopefully it will help some other runners that are just starting out!

1. STRETCHING - Stretch BEFORE and AFTER your runs. This will loosen up muscles, etc before your runs so you can run better, faster, and longer. Stretching after runs will help to soothe muscles and prevent cramping. I believe that stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury, inflammation and maintain flexibility. I have found that Yoga and some of the asanas really help muscles that are used during running that we forget to stretch, particularly the IT Band (Pigeon is amazing for this area!!)

2. FUEL - When I first started running I bought into the myth that "running on empty" burned more calories because your body would use fat to fuel itself for your runs. Not true!! Generally, if you are running for 30 minutes or less you just need to bring some water to stay hydrated and maybe something quick to eat before you head out. If you are going to be out for an hour or more, you need to fuel. The best fuel for your body is a simple carb that will digest quickly to supply the body with the fuel/energy it needs. This is wear the gels, GUs and more come in. I have started testing out my Quick Energy Bites and find them a WAY better and healthier option than the commercial gel fuels! Don't forget to eat something when you get back from your runs, I like to have a protein smoothie with lot's of fresh fruit and Vega Whole Food Optimizer!

3. HYDRATION - I get VERY thirsty and dry when I run, so I always carry water with me. I just take sips when I feel I need it, but you can actually become dehydrated before you feel thirsty, so take a sip every minute or so. If you are running with music, take a sip of water at the end of every song. If you prefer you could use Energy Drinks like Gatorade that will hydrate and also replenish electrolytes.

4. SET GOALS - I know this one sounds weird, but I set goals for myself as I run. Especially, if I'm just not feeling the run. If my mind or body wants to stop then I'll set a distance goal like "I'll stop in another quarter of a mile" or "I'll stop for a walk break when I reach that purple mailbox" etc, etc. Then the best way to keep going is to reach that goal, and set another! "Yay, I've reached the purple mailbox, now I'll keep going until I reach that black car parked on the side of the road". Just keep setting and achieving small goals to push yourself.

5. WALK BREAKS - some people say that if you have to stop and take walk breaks while out on a run, or during a race that you are NOT a runner, and you can't say "I ran a Half Marathon" because you took walk breaks. I say to them "Screw you buddy!" I think it's one thing to mentally push yourself but it's another thing to push your body beyond it's limits. Listen to your body and take walks breaks when you need to. The goal is to gradually decrease the time spent walking and increase the time spent running! You can do it! Besides, Ive seen people who take walks breaks beat the jerks who insult them while they ran the whole time. Just do what's best for you and your body! YOU ARE A RUNNER!!!

6. LOOK THE PART - basically what ever it takes to get you out the door and hitting the road is a good thing! If it's that cute running skirt, or the cool run watch that gives you all sorts of data that you don't even know what to do with...USE IT! I use so many things when I run (iPod, hats, running shorts, Nike Sportwatch, really, really, really good running shoes, etc) but it helps me to get out there and do my best! I am definitely NOT a minimalist runner, but I'm still a runner (even with all my gadgets)!!

7. REGISTER FOR A RACE - even if it's a 5K, register for a local race. Having a race on the calendar that you paid for will get you out on a run, to train, and give you something to look forward to. Besides, the excitement and energy at the start line of ANY race increases endorphins which makes the body and mind feel good. I'm always nervous right before a race, but nothing compares to that moment you cross the finish line!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


 I have such a strong affinity lately for Ganesh (or Ganesha) the elephant headed, Hindu God. Ganesh is known as the "Remover of Obstacles", "Destroyer of Evils, and is also worshipped as the God of education, knowledge, wisdom, and wealth.

The story of his origina and how he came to have the head of the elephant is quite a remarkable one. The Goddess Pavarti created a boy out of the dirt from her body to guard her as she lay in the bath. When Pavarti's husband, the God Shiva, returned home, Ganesh would not allow him to enter the room where Pavarti was bathing as he was instructed.

Shiva was so angered and outraged that he chopped off Ganesh's head. When Pavarti saw this, she fell into a great state of grief. Seeing how upset Pavarti was over the death of Ganesh, he instructed his guards to get the head of the first being that was sleeping with thier head facing North. They came back with the head of a baby elephant which was put back onto Ganesh's body and bringing him back to life.

Ganesh is often seen carrying a noose in his left hand which symbolizes how he captures difficulties and the goad in his right hand is how he propels man forward by cutting through obstacles that stand in his way. Ganesh is often seen with a mouse (lower right hand corner of picture) that sometimes he is portrayed as riding. This shows that he is not above riding a mouse, or having it near him.

The symbol Ohm/Om, is often related to Ganesh as a chant to him, to ask for him in prayer, and even seen as a depiction of him, with his trunk and all.

Call upon Ganesh at the start of any new project to have him help you along the way, by removing obstacles and clearing the path set out before you.

You chant this mantra to Ganesh and give him offerings of incense and fruit

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~ Buddha

Monday, May 30, 2011

Boston's Run To Remember

Boston's "Run To Remember" is a half marathon race through downtown Boston in honor of those in the Armed Forces, and Police Officers killed in the line of duty.

We had originally signed up for the Half Marathon portion of the race, but after two weeks of moving and being sick for another two weeks, we were just not feeling ready to run 13.1 miles. We decided to step down to the 5 Miler option of the race instead.

It was a beautiful day for a quick race, and running through downtown Boston was so amazing. We ran through Fanueil Hall, the Theatre District, Downtown Crossing, and the start and finish was at the World Trade Center in the Seaport area. The race had over 9,000 people running and crowds lined most of the race route!

The five miles was easy, breezy, beautiful because we had gotten up to 8 miles in our training for the Half Marathon part we had intended to run.

Next up, the Providence Rock N Roll Half Marathon in August, and training is officially in full swing!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dream Vacation

 I literally mean dream vacation, because I'm dreaming that this is where I am today. I would love to be in a tropical locale, a very quiet and private beach. Where I can sit in a dreamy spot, listening to the sounds of the ocean and meditate.

I'd do a little Yoga on the beach after my meditation, and then find a wonderful little spot like this to take a nap and dream, dream, dream.

The reality of today is that I have back to back things being delivered to the house that I have to be here for, so I'm prisoner in my own house today! I have rooms to paint, electricians in and out all day. I don't even have the time to get out for a Yoga class or a run.

Do daydreaming it is...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Celebrity Yogis: Adam Levine

So that is how Adam Levine from Maroon 5 keeps himself in such GREAT job!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Inspiring Photo of the Day: Meditating on the Beach

Something I hope to do at some point is take a Yoga retreat to a tropical location where I can do Yoga and meditate on the beach. Look how beautiful the spot in this picture is. My idea of heaven, meditating to the sounds of the ocean.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Urdhva Dhanurasana - Upward Bow or Wheel Pose

Another challenging pose for me is Wheel pose! I can spend all day in Bridge Pose and feel wonderful, but I'm lacking the upper body strength to rise up in Wheel (for now!!) I am determined to get into this pose and have been able to at least get up onto the top of my head! Now just a little more practice and I can get up fully in the air!

Urdhva Dhanurasana is great for strengthening the arms, wrists, legs, bum, abs and more. It's an all over workout in one Pose! It's also great for increasing energy, stimulating the thyroid and alleviating back pain!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quick Energy Bites

I made a quick batch of my Energy Bars and thought I would make some smaller bite sized runs that will be great for taking as fuel as long runs!

I typically eat these for breakfast right on days that I'm going to do runs in the morning! The dates give you a quick fuel source that is easy to digest and fuels your body right away, there is plenty of Omega 3s from the Walnuts, Almonds and Sunflower seeds, plus protein from the nuts and hemp protein powder.

I thought these would also be great as a mid run fuel so I rolled them into tiny bite sized balls and rolled them in coconut (great for hydration) and will carry a few on me in a ziploc bag! Way better for you then the junk that is in Gu's and Sportbeans!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brock Cahill Video

I am loving this guy/video! I aspire to be even half this good someday with my yoga!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Paleo Diet Goes Vegan

When one thinks of the Paleo Diet they very rarely think of it relating to a Vegetarian or Vegan. It's not a diet that I agree with one 100% but everyone at work has decided to do a 30 Day Paleo Challenge; I thought it would be great to be a team player and get on board the challenge as well.

The Paleo diet is based on what a caveman would have eaten (as a hunter and gatherer) over 10,000 years ago before agriculture came into existence. The idea is to eat a equal amounts of fat, protein and small amounts of carbs (most from fruits and veggies) . The point of the diet is to keep blood sugar levels from spiking, and the benefits include increased athletic performance, reduction in diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, as well as a decrease in body fat and excess weight.

Here is what is NOT allowed on the diet:
 * Grains - such as rice, pastas, breads, etc
 * Beans and Legumes - such as black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc
 * Dairy - milk, cheese, yogurts, etc
 * Potatoes - except for sweet potatoes
 * Soy - no tofu or edamame
 * Sugar and Salt
 * Alchohol - except for Tequila (as it comes from the Agave plant)

Here is what you ARE allowed to have on the diet:
 * Meat - chicken, fish, beef, etc
 * Eggs
 * Fruits - any and all fruits
 * Veggies - all veggies, especially leafy greens like kale etc that will help to give you calcium, etc
 * Nuts - such as walnuts and almonds (except peanuts and cashews)
 * Berries - strawberries, raspberries, snozeberries (just seeing if you are still paying attention)

I have to be honest that when I first heard of this challenge and the Paleo diet I thought "What a crock of...". Firstly, in order to eat like a caveman, you should really be hunting your own meats (or at least raising and killing it yourself) and growing and harvesting your own fruits and veggies. Maybe start your own little farm? This just seems like another fad diet to me really. But after learning more about the challenge, the diet, and doing some research I thought "What the hell, I'll be a teamplayer and give this a try"

Also, after hearing about it from someone ( a guest speaker at our staff meeting where we kicked off the challenge) who is on the diet, I made some correlations between Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet, which I have been following for some time now (being mostly raw and vegan) and some of his recipes I think will fit into the Paleo diet. Obviously, looking at that the list of YES and NO foods, it seems like it might be impossible for a Vegan to do, especially a Vegan runner who needs to meet certain nutritional requirements for performance and recovery while training for something like a marathon!

So how am I going to make the Paleo diet work for my Vegan lifestyle?

Here's how:
 *Mostly raw fruits and veggies
 *Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and almond butters
 * Cheat by occasionally having quinoa with stirfrys (sweet potato being a great addition to a stirfry). This will be my only cheat
 * Add hemp protein powder to practically everything, or use my Vega Whole Food Optimizer

So a sample day would look like this:
 * Breakfast - smoothie of banana, blueberries, almond butter, almond milk and Vega Whole Food Optimizer
 * Snack - raw fruits and veggies
 * Lunch - salads with tons of greens, veggies, nuts, berries, etc and a dressing based on Hemp Oil
 * Dinner - a stirfry with tons of veggies, nuts etc

I also thought back to a lot of my favorite raw and vegan recipes and can adapt them to fit the Paleo Diet, such as my Blueberry Energy Bars and my Sunflower Seed Pate! AND, I can still have my morning coffee with almond milk and agave nectar as I have always done in the past!

So I will continue to blog during this 30 Day Challenge about how I'm doing as a Vegan-Paleo, Runner, Yogi. Oh boy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vegan Walnut Pate

So I got home late last night from our trip and didn't have the items I needed to begin my juice cleanse, so I'm starting that tomorrow. I decided to eat light and mostly raw today to help my body adjust after eating bad foods at Disney. Ha ha

I didn't have much in the house so I decided to whip up a nut pate and came up with this creation. Basically, I just threw ingredients in the food processor until it tasted right! Which means that my measurements might be off, but this is pretty close and feel free to experiment! Also, I'm not sure about some of the ingredients but I think this pate can be considered raw as well because I used raw and untoasted nuts ( I just don't know about the process to make the hemp oil, if that is heated).

2 Cups of Walnuts
1/2 Cup of Almonds
1/3 Cup of Hemp Oil
1 Small Onion
3 Tablespoons of Ume Plum Vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of  Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
2 small garlic cloves or 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon each of Oregano and Thyme (or whatever herbs/seasonings you would like to add)
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Give the food processor a whirl until all ingredients are blended together and it becomes a creamy like pate. I dipped raw broccoli, carrots and cauliflower into the pate for a light lunch. You could also serve it as spread with pita or flatbread crackers. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning

So, in 48 hours I will be arriving in Florida for my first vacation in almost 4 years. It's just a small, weekend getaway to spend time at Disney. I'm so excited! It's been too long.

Going away on vacation always means one thing to me...FOOD!! Eating all kinds of yummy foods that I don't allow myself to have while at home. And I plan to really enjoy myself this weekend.

So with that being said, I am already planning on what happens when I get back from my trip on Monday! In order to detox from a weekend of bad foods, and probably too much alcohol, I will be doing a juice cleanse. Think of it has a little Spring Cleaning for the body.

I've researched a few cleanses that are offered in my area, some that are even delivered to your door, but I'm thinking I might just buy my own juicer and do my own. It will always be handy to have a juicer anyways and its less than buying the juices from somenone else.

My plan is to have a nutrient rich juice/smoothie for breakfast and lunch, and a raw/vegan meal for dinner. Also, eating has many raw fruits and vegetables as I want throughout the day. The ingriedants that go into the juices are all superfoods and it makes it practically a meal in a bottle; fruits, vegetables, hemp protein, spirulina, etc.

I'm looking forward to my little mini vaca, but looking forward even more to a nice healthy body after doing my detox!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goofy's Challenge

I can totally understand why it's called the Goofy Challenge, but I am joing the crowd of Goofys and registering.

The Goofy Challenge takes place at Walt Disney World during their Marathon Weekend in Janurary. The Goofy Challenge consists of running a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and following it up with a Full Marathon (26.2) miles on Sunday. Yes, you read correctly, that is 39.3 miles in two days!!

What makes me even goofier, is that I have yet to actually complete my first FULL Marathon, and I'm signing up for this! I've been reading a lot of blogs and training posts on the event and how to successfully complete it:

*1 - just focus on completing it!
*2 - don't worry about setting/breaking PRs just take it slow and steady
*3 - include in your training a few back to back long distances to get your body used to that kind of mileage
*4 - HAVE FUN!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Calm in the Eye of the Storm

 My favorite instructor taught me a valuable lesson in class the other day (Monday). After a weekend that was extremely stressful, it was exactly what I needed. After choosing to back out of a house that we had put in an offer because of things that came up in the inspection and not being sure what to do going forward, and a horrible incident that hit very close to home, and the tradgedy of the Japan Hurricane and Tsunami, I was feeling very fragile and overwhelmed.

She reminded us that in the middle of every storm, there is the eye of the storm, that spot of stillness and calm. That the key to surviving any stressful situation is to focus on the calmness, even while the chaos whips around you like hurricane winds.

And this can be true of everything from holding a difficult asana to dealing with stressful events off of the yoga mat. When you are in a difficult asana and every inch of your body seems to be trembling, you have to drop into the eye of the storm, find the calmness in the center of your being, that stillness, and with a deep breath you will find peace.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Celtic 5K

Sunday we ran our first race of the year, the Celtic 5K in Worcester. It was a very cold morning that I was not expecting, even with all of my layers (tights and shorts, and three long sleeve shirts) I was freezing. At least until we started running. I ran with some of the girls from work and we had lunch afterwards, and had a blast!!

The race was along the parade route, so there was already people lined up that cheered us on as we ran the out and back 3.1 miles. It was a beautiful and fun day! I wanted to beat my previous 5K times and get under 30 minutes which I managed to do with a 29:34 time!! I'm still a slow runner, but for me it is more about the excitement of running, finishing the race distance, enjoying the fellow runners and the course, and just improving on my previous times! Which I did on all accounts!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrity Yogis: Sting

Many celebrities claim that Yoga has contributed to keeping their bodies in tip top shape and no one claims this more than Sting and his wife Trudie Styler. Sting has been practicing Yoga since 1990!  I mean the man is in his 60s and still looks amazing!

Sting's wife, Trudie, even has a Yoga DVD out called "Warrior Yoga" with fitness guru James D. Silva. I actually own this DVD and it is a pretty good yoga workout for beginners, set to music by Sting himself. The DVD was filmed at their Tuscan Villa and has stunning background images of course.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Best Thai Peanut Sauce

Here is what I'm calling "The Best Thai Peanut Sauce":

1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter - creamy
1 Tablespoon of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon of Nama Shoyu or Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Curry Powder
Dash of salt to taste

Blend or whisk all ingredients together in a big bowl and serve over steamed veggies and quinoa/brown rice.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rainbow Arabia

I just discovered Rainbow Arabia the other day. I can't find much information on them, but they mix electronica with tribal sounds. Try to find (iTunes has it) their song "Jungle Bear". It's amazing.

Their videos are all pretty strange, but the music makes you feel very happy.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chia Seed Pudding

So recently, a co-worker turned me onto Chia Seeds and Chia Seed Pudding. Chia Seeds are an ancient crop that was harvested by the Mayans, and continues to be a popular crop in Mexico.

Chia seeds are known as a super food because they are extremely high in protein, Omega 3s, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Chia seeds hold over 9 times their weight in water, making them a great supplement for athletes. With this super hydration power, and the Omega 3s to lubricate joints they are perfect for pre and post workouts.

Chia Seeds have a nutty flavor that can be eaten alone or added to salads and smoothies, top yogurt or other snacks. When water, juices or milks are added to Chia Seeds they start to gel up. This gel texture makes them a great pudding with the right flavors that you can have as a healthy snack or breakfast.

Chia Seeds can also be sprouted, and were sprouted in clay pots in Mexico (this is where the Chia Pet came into existence) and are used to top salads and sandwiches similarly to how we use Alfalfa sprouts.

Here is the recipe I use to make Chia Seed pudding that I have being eating for breakfast:

1/4 Cup of Chia Seeds (I found them at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 Cups of Almond Milk
2 Tablespoons of Agave Nectar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
Dash of Sea Salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for about five minutes and stir again. Cover and let sit in refrigerator over night. The mixture will gel up and have the consistency of a pudding or porridge!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anusara Yoga

 I am feeling totally blissed out after my second Anusara class today. There is just something deeply relaxing about being so connected to the breath and the movement that you don't get in other classes like Power Flows or Bikram, where it's about powering through the poses just to feel the burn like any other workout.

Don't get me wrong, I mean Yoga is a great workout, and sometimes (like in the case of Bikram) I do want to power through poses. I remember when I found Yoga again recently I told my husband that I wasn't going to get all spiritual and new agey on him. But there is definitely something to be said about feeling the spiritual connection like you do in Anusara, like you are connecting to something that is bigger than me or you.

 Anusara means "flowing with grace" and was founded by John Friend in 1997 making it a relatively new style of Yoga. The idea behind the style is rooted in traditional Hatha Yoga, but is more aligned with celebrating the heart and the beauty that is within us all.

Classes begin with a centering of your mind and body, and a slow chant and the class ends in a quiet mediation. It is with a deep intention that while practicing Anusara that you align yourself with the Divine, and with your own body. I left more relaxed, more patient, and more aware of the beautiful world we live in.

Flow with GRACE!!