Yoga

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She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.  ~ Ariana Dancu

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Yoga and stuff

Thoughts, poses, and quotes that have gotten me thru this week…

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. ~ Buddha

 
At the end of the day you are your longest commitment ~ Meagan 
  

I am most at peace when my vision is blurred

When my heart is my guide and my mind is free

When my eyes leave out prejudgment

and only God speaks ~ Andrea H. (Me)
Love and light y’all.

21 Day Vegan Challenge (Day 3)

Every now and again, I decide to do something crazy. A few years ago, I decided to go gluten free. I made the choice to go gluten free because I read that it would help in my thyroid function or rather slow down my immune system attacking my thyroid. It actually helped, but my thyroid was removed anyway. Going gluten free led me to the Paleo diet. The paleo diet was a drastic change, but I felt good on it. I was strictly paleo for about 18 months and then went on to eating paleo 80 percent of the time. I did a few stints of the Whole 30 diet. Actually, I did a Whole 90 while my husband was deployed and the results were amazing. If you have no idea what the hell I’m writing about, then consider yourself lucky or unlucky if you have a few issues with your health. I’ll just put this in the universe…the majority of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so your diet has a ton to do with your health. That’s it. I’m getting off my soap box.

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Breakfast (Tropical Green Smoothie)

Anywho, one weekend while I was in Los Angeles visiting family, I went to this vegan restaurant and the food was amazing. I also had the chance to meet the chef/owner and she looked amazing. Okay, this may sound a bit vain, but I was looking at her like what do I need to do to look like her when I’m 65 years old. Like, really she defied time. Her name is Chef Babette (google her!) and I spoke with her briefly and learned a little about the vegan diet. I’ve never wanted to go vegan. Oh, I forgot to mention in the beginning of this post that I use to be vegetarian too before I went into the Army. I know what being a vegetarian is like. I’ve even considered going back to being a vegetarian, but veganism has always seemed extreme to me. Like, no honey! NO HONEY! That’s just odd. Let’s not mention the whole cheese thing. It’s not normal for people not to eat cheese. I just never considered it and let’s not mention the fact that I think we are meant to eat meat. When I was a vegetarian, I never thought of eating meat as wrong. I just thought people ate too much of it.

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Lunch (Fried Plantains, Avocado, Veggie Quesadilla Filing, and Green Smoothie)

So, here I am on my third day of being a vegan and I must say it’s going quite well. I decided to take this plunge because of Chef Babette, but also because I really do feel like people eat too much meat. When I was paleo, I thought that it was a bit extreme to eat that much meat. Realistically, cavemen probably didn’t eat meat every single day. I’m going off topic. Okay, I’m also trying this vegan thing out because my heart has changed. Last year, I stopped preparing meat in our meals 4 days out of the week. The whole practicing of yoga and ahimsa makes you look at things differently. When you think about what you’re eating, what the animal is injected with, what they go through while they are being housed and slaughtered, and then the sheer waste of all this life without honoring it, it becomes a bit excessive. I couldn’t justify eating meat so often. My family usually eats halal, but even then we learned that kosher and halal markets aren’t keeping up to standards with some markets carrying the same practices as big grocery stores.

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Dinner (Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad)

My husband thinks I’m crazy. The kids are being patient and are happy I’m not pulling them in. My cousin decided to do it with me and me and my toilet have become fast friends. The plus is that I’ve noticed I’m less tired and I feel light. It’s only day 3! Let’s see how this goes. So far, I start my day with oatmeal or a smoothie. For lunch, I have a salad or leftovers from the previous night and dinner is usually a salad of some type or meal that has quinoa or black beans. Once again, I’m not against eating meat, but I recognize that there is a problem with how things are being done. Wish me luck because I’m going to need it. I think I’ll start a Pinterest page for anyone who may want to jump in with me or do it later.

Love and light y’all.

Work it Out Wednesday

Let me start this post by writing that I am NOT a workout evangelist.  I do not go around preaching the gospel of exercising. I believe that organized exercising is a personal choice.  I also don’t (these are just my opinions) think that exercising is the key to losing weight.  I believe that working out plays a part in weight loss, a small part and diet is what one should concentrate on if he or she wants to lose weight.

With that said, I really like to workout. I am one of those weird people who use exercise as an antidepressant.  In the  past, I used working out a little too much as an antidepressant because I ended up hurting myself and stressing my body out.  Back then, I didn’t know I was using exercise as a pick me up and not until I was hit with some thyroid issues along with my hips going out on me, did I realize how dependent I was on exercise.  At that point in my life I was working out 5 to 6 days a week and training for races.  I sometimes ran twice a day for about 6 to 7 miles.  Let’s keep in mind that when I was doing all of that, I was also pushing a double jogging stroller with one of the children in that stroller being under the age of 2.  Looking back I was a maniac, but you can be a maniac when you surround yourself with other “fit moms”.

Before my son turned 2, I hit 2 very big walls.  First, I was told by an orthopedic doctor that if I didn’t stop doing what I was doing, then I would need a full hip replacement by the time I was 40 years old. He told me not to run, bike, or even take long walks. Next, I had my thyroid removed the day before my son’s 2nd birthday, which left me depressed and fatigued most of the time. I was no longer that “fit mom” and only a few friends remained out of that circle. I remember during that time, the fitness evangelists would tell me just to get up and beat all that was bothering me. If it was as simple as getting up and getting it done, then I would have done it. The whole situation made me so angry. I made a promise to myself that I would never do that to another person because you never know what a person is going through.  If I could have worked out during that time, I would have, but I just couldn’t.  The whole situation made me feel robbed of my normal.

I put on a considerable amount of weight during this time, but the funny thing that happened was I also learned to love me during that time.  I figured out a number of things, like my happiness was not conducive to a size and neither was my marriage. My husband never once looked at me differently. I came to realize that I had to make some changes in order to get back to who I use to be or the new me, I changed my diet to get my thyroid issues under control and began to meditate.  I realized that I needed to stop “running” from stressful situations and toxic people and deal with my issues head on.  I ended up beginning therapy, cutting some people out of my life, adding good people into my life and I started doing this little known thing called Yoga.

Yoga has healed me in ways I cannot begin to describe.  It brought back something to me that gave me so much joy.  I can exercise again without pain.  Movement, is a gift.  People don’t realize how blessed they are to move without pain.  I know what it feels like to feel pain with each step and when I started yoga, that all but went away.  Honestly, I still have pain in my hips when it is too cold or when I push too hard, but I have learned through practicing yoga that in all things there must be a balance and one must always honor his or her body. When I don’t feel well, I don’t do anything and that is just fine with me.

Soooo…I’m one of those lame people who post pictures on Instagram of my yoga poses.  I got into the yoga challenges by accident really.  My cousin suggested one and because I have some body image issues, I enjoyed seeing myself doing something in a different light.  The yoga community on Instagram is also one of the most positive social media communities I have ever come across.  I just finished a challenge called #iam_ where the hosts gave a word and we were to state a positive affirmation along with a pose that we felt expressed the word given.  It’s actually pretty cool.  I will attach a link to a slideshow I made at the bottom of this post.

Next week, I plan to share what websites I use and the workout challenges I am doing currently.  I don’t go to a gym.  All of my workouts are done at home.  Also, my workouts are separate from my yoga practice because to me, yoga is not exercising.  Anywho, just wanted to give some background and hopefully you like the slideshow.