From This to That

Last week’s cold temperatures brought mumblings of winter storms. The seven degree wind chill and falling snowflakes did not come until this morning. I was quite surprised to find DC a winter wonderland as I headed to spin class before work.

This:

Salted sidewalks in  preparation

Salted sidewalks in preparation

BUNDLED

BUNDLED

That:

Fresh snow

Fresh snow

Copenhagen style

Copenhagen style

 

I’ve brought back my morning juice. As of recent, I have been making a concerted effort to either leave time for prep, juicing, cleaning, and packing in the mornings or to make the concoction the night before. My new project team is all a bunch of health nut guys funnily enough, so they love my juices of the day. I tend to stick to a variance of kale, celery, carrot, parsley, lemon, apple or orange. But yesterday, (dun dun dun) I added a huge beet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love beets but the beet flavor was a little too predominant for my morning imbibing, though the color was nice.

This:

WSJ musings

WSJ musings

That:

BEEETiful

BEEETiful

From student to seat of the teacher, all in blue. Wonderful moment
This:
Class time

Class time

That:

Post-teaching....peer reviews

Post-teaching...Peer reviews
Pardon the tears

 

Brace yourselves. Grocery stores are no longer selling canned pumpkin. This anguish is not to be taken lightly. Luckily enough, I had a spare can from my protein pancake addiction, and I got to baking for my Teacher Training graduation. Every celebration needs Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies right? Here’s my PRIZED recipe–you’ll make a lot of friends with this one, I promise

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe source Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

This:

IMG_2194

Oh, yes

Oh, yes

That:
IMG_2196

Pumpkin fest Pumpkin fest

 

A perfect complement to yoga certificates, food, and meditative states–the construction of our vision boards. For those of you who are reading this puzzled, it’s a photo collage to inspire, drive, and remind you of your goals.

This:

DSC03747

We like magazines

We like magazines

That:

Finished.

Finished.

Tell me a this to that?

From Zero to Eighty

My 21 day cleanse came to an abrupt halt this weekend.

Well, it wasn’t a kale cleanse (though I have that Eat More Kale shirt) ha.

A few friends from TT suggested an alkaline leveling diet they had read about. I adjusted the cleanse to my work schedule and nutrition needs–but I did the full three weeks. Basically, I tried to primarily eat fruits and vegetables with limited processed food. Though I did continue to eat eggs because I know from experience that my body does poorly without protein. When I wasn’t traveling for work, juicing was a refreshing and convenient option. Sure, sure it was challenging but did I mention that the cleanse cut out CAFFEINE and ALCOHOL from my diet?

The first week was a challenge. Despite my proclivity for half caff–the headaches and grogginess came on with a vengeance. I supplemented my morning java with green tea, and of course I discovered the other day that it was decaffeinated (unintentional cold turkey move). My cravings for a steaming mug of joe in the mornings and a bold glass of wine after a  long day were insipid. But honestly, I feel incredible and more refreshed without that constant dependency on caffeine. You’ll catch me with an occasional half caff with steamed almond milk but not on the regular. It just feels right.

There was an inconceivable amount of laughing, reminiscing, and imbibing this weekend. Let’s just say our boozy brunch, four hours at a biergarden, and tequila rounds were not fluid reintroductions of alcohol and processed foods. Moderation is the answer, but not when you’re in New York visiting some of your best friends 🙂

Despite my not having been home in DC for literally more than 12 hours in the past two weeks, another Monday bares 5am wake up calls, morning airport lines, and hopes of remembering my toothbrush. If you find any rogue plums on your next US Airways flight, don’t be alarmed, the fruit basket that is my purse may have fallen over during boarding. I’m going to attribute that incident to my mammoth laptop rather tan my lack of caffeine. It’s been a long morning.

Things I Never Thought I’d Do

I’m a planner, always have been. Mapping out the agenda for my day keeps me sane. I like to know when I’ll be waking up, how long I’ll be at work for, what my dinner plans are, etc. My iPhone calendar provides a helpful glimpse at my month, but my moleskin notebook provides me ease of mind with my daily tasks. Life has changed immensely since graduating college and launching into a life in the real world. Over the past four years, there have been numerous changes in my personal life but let’s stick to the healthy living ones:

  • Doing laundry primarily because I’m out of sports bras and socks
  • Calling myself a Marathoner (or do I have to run more than one)
  • Going to the grocery store solely for grapes
  • Choosing an early run over sleep
  • Double-fisting green juice and Kombucha
  • Wondering if my yoga mat is so sweaty, it’s on the verge of dangerous
  • Baking a vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (Warning: bake another pie for upset male family members)
  • Having more running shoes than high heels
  • Cursing the world when I run out of Greek yogurt
  • Starting sentences with, “So this one time in yoga class…”
  • Receiving a yoga mat for my 20th birthday and a GPS running watch for my 22nd
  • Contemplating what flavor animal crackers are in the waiting room of my yoga studio
  • Budgeting for that pair of spinning shoes I’ve needed
  • Realizing the liquids I consumed that day were coconut water and lots of Pinot Noir

I’m traveling for work this week and next, which gives me little independence and control over my schedule. But I’m making peace with it. Don’t get me wrong, my to-do list is still going strong and my early rising ensues; however, I’m going with the motions of my team each day. After this week of Kentucky Fried Chicken eating out, a little appliance is calling my name…

What are some of your idiosyncrasies?

Sunday Funday

There’s just something about Sundays…

Peaceful, buoyant, and uplifting. Or at least that’s how my Sunday was today. Usually Sundays are filled with the dread of school, looming homework, or an ominous work week. Today was an aberration but hopefully not in the subsequent weeks. Yesterday I set an intention of Positivity for the day and that is just what happened. I went into the day with a specific mindset, cultivating that intent in every action, thought, and word of mine. I’m a believer in the process of “like attracts like” in our lives; a corresponding frequency results from how we think and feel. The Law of Attraction makes sense to me but that’s just me. We can all use a little more positivity in our lives, so why not try it?

My Sunday began as most do:

12:45AM- Being kicked out of my boyfriend’s party by the police due to a noise complaint. Are we 18 or 23? I think the Georgetown police thought the former. No big deal–I got to head home to sleep after an eight hour day of Yoga TT

7AM: Feeling like I should get up. Nope. Daylight savings 🙂 Time to catch up on some sleep debt

9AM: Refreshed and rejuvenated. Ready for my Sunday

10:15AM: Wonderful Rocket Yoga class. I go to this teacher often but today she had a certain gleam of happiness and spirit. Her music was on cue, her instructions were engaging, and her assists were purposeful. I also applied some techniques I learned the day prior

Our teacher training on Saturday was amazing, and sometimes instructions resonate and the slightest adjustments can completely alter a pose for you. By firmly pressing down my forefingers while in downdog, I released an immense amount of pressure from my wrists and shoulders. Downdog felt good again. And then hearing the instruction to place our hands three inches in front before launching into chaturanga was game changing for me

11:45AM: Peek next door to see if the running store carries my shoes. It’s been a year since my last pair. Bad Grace. They had my Asics in hot pink…yes please

12PM: Stroll through the Dupont farmer’s market, enjoying the cold temperatures, lively ambiance, and many familiar faces. Must.restrain.from.purchasing.going.out.of.town.

1PM: Juice up everything that lay fresh and idle in my fridge. Perfect way to use up produce before going out of town

2PM: Yoga TT. There are days when I can’t fathom sitting on the floor for eight hours, inside for my entire day. But what makes Sundays like these great are the days when I cannot wait to reconvene with my friends, discussing topics we are passionately united by. It’s the aura of learning that I really love–the structured curriculum, peers, studying, tests, and quest for knowledge. We can discuss a concept for the majority of the day’s training session, and I can still leave with unanswered questions, seeking a more lucid understanding like my teachers have. There’s an air of excitement and love when we convene each week–definitely the energy and people  I want to be surrounding myself with

4:45PM: Say goodbyes and plan to meet with some other yogis while in NYC next weekend

4:55PM: Whole Foods pitstop before my work trip Monday. Stockpile bars and trailmix. Learned the hard way a few weeks ago traveling for work at 5AM and not being able to break from my team for food until 4PM. Hungry, irritable Grace is not a sight to be seen. Crisis averted this week

5:15PM: Cram cold weather, business casual into carry-on and hope that I haven’t forgotten anything. Sad sight when 1/4 of my suitcase is filled with a hodgepodge of snacks

6PM: Wait for boyfriend to come over to visit

6:25PM: Continue waiting

6:55PM: Receive text that he’s leaving in three minutes

7:40PM: Receive another text that he’s on his way. Practice being a very patient girlfriend 🙂

9:50PM: Bedtime for early risers. 7AM flight. Zzzzzzzzzz

As Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Beautiful thought. Small acts with ardent intent . We have no control over the universe but we do have authority over our thoughts and emotions. Our mindful intentions mean everything.

We have the ability to make all our Sunday great

J is For Juice

I finally bit the bullet. Yes, the”J” word—a Breville RM-BJE510XL to be exact. Over the past few weekends, I’ve been sitting in Sukhasana during Yoga Teacher Training (TT) with numerous bottles barricading me and my mat.

Source

We like to believe that our myriad of healthy beverages energizes us as our Sanskrit echoes throughout the room. Cups of tea, Kombucha, coconut water of every brand, and green juices.

Oh, the green juices. After spending many a pretty penny on cold-pressed green juice from the next door Whole Foods, I took the plunge and bought my own juicer. Much to Whole Food’s chagrin, I will no longer be buying $10 bottles of deliciousness (though I will assuredly patronize them in other departments).

After a lunchtime 4-miler with a friend (hi Courtney), I broke open my recent delivery and tested out my juicing skills.

Into the ravenous machine went celery, kale, spinach, apple, carrot, and lemon. I made a Trader Joe’s run just for the occasion 🙂

With lots and lots of pulp came the juice

And voila! Perfect energy-boost to get me through the rest of the workday.

Do you like green juice?

Do you prefer store bought or your own?