Queen of the Jungle Gym

I have been insanely busy and sick, however I had the pleasure of writing a guest post for A Breakfast Serial about life lessons after college. I feel this post is a pretty thorough explanation as to why I haven’t been posting. I am can not wait until June 7th when I am working only one full time job!

Full post: Queen of the Jungle Gym.

In my post I mention Lean In.  I have wanted to write a post on this book for a while. I am not going to attempt this now, but I will leave you with Sheryl Sandberg’s TEDTalks. This talk is only a snippet of the entire conversation that we must have about women in leadership roles.

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Quinoa Kale Salad

Detoxing is amazing. It is so wonderful to have your body love and thank you for providing it with good nutrients. Additionally I am back at the studio and all is right with the world. It is so critical to consistenly remind ourselves to turn inward and take care of ourselves. When we forget this we loose balance which puts others out of balance as well. I want to create peace for those around me and for myself. Yoga is an essential piece to this peaceful puzzle.

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I have had made detox kale salads for dinner and they have been filling and packed with goodness. This recipe is light and wholesome. I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I have.

Bluberry and Kale Quinoa Salad

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Ingredients:

dressing:
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 c lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp chopped ginger

salad:
1 c tri color quinoa
1.5 c chopped kale
.5 grated carrot
1 c blueberries
10 almonds chopped

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wholesome ingredients

For complete instructions click here.

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Mix salad ingredients in a separate bowl while quinoa is cooking. Keep dressing separate.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

The Shirley

I have ALWAYS loved interior design. For a hot minute before college I seriously considered going to school for interior design. I did not follow that path, however, I still enjoy design.

I ADORE our new apartment. Its in the heart of Andersonville and has a lot of vintage quirk and charm. We have windows (oh how I love sunlight), a fire place, and beautiful vintage built ins. I  am smitten by  our new home because its our first apartment as a married partnership.

Our apartment is turning out lovely and I am so excited to see our vision come to fruition.

My first priority was our kitchen. I needed some semblance of normalcy and unpacked it immediately. Stephen is a rad dude and was totally cool with a retro pink wall and installed beautiful shelves for me. Cooking in a clean and cute kitchen changes the experience for me, I am so excited for our new home!

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Throughout this moving process I have really tried to practice a yoga mindset and be mindful of non-hoarding and contentment. I often lack patience and struggle with not having things done (i.e. completely unpacked in one day) immediately. However I continually reminded myself to live in the moment and tackle what I could. This was a tremendous help in keeping me sane.

Settled

When I think of the perfect morning it goes a little something like this: I wake up and sun is shining in my window. My beautiful husband is by my side. I quietly slide out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, nudge my beautiful husband to wake and then we enjoy our cups of joe at the table by the window. The sun continues to shine in and the record player turns.

I have had many of these mornings, however they have been absent in the recent weeks.

Over the course of the past two weeks I have: graduated yoga school, visited NYC, visited Florida, moved, worked two full time positions, and watched my students compete in a city competition. In the midst of moving and travelling my peaceful idea of a morning has disappeared and healthy eating has fallen to the way side.

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

So honored to be part of such a wonderful non profit. Check out NFTE!

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Yoga graduation. Amazing people

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

Enjoying sunny Florida with my love

This week is a step towards normalcy. I need to detox to get back on track. So this week all recipes will be detox focused! With a detox and clean house my perfect morning is almost here!

Luckily good ol’ Doctor Oz is also all about detoxing. I used his detox water recipe and its refreshing and is definitely helpful for removing the toxins.

 Fruit Water

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Ingredients:

  • .25 small watermelon
  • 4 frozen blackberries
  • 2 lime slices
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 12 oz. filtered water

Image (63)Place all slides ingredients in a mason jar with water and let sit over night.

ENJOY!

Ahimsa & Aparigraha

Non Violence and Non Hoarding

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Ahimsa and Aparigraha

These two yamas have been driving me as of late. I have been working to shift my mindset in these two because I feel I struggle the most with holding onto thoughts, which ultimately lead to self- harm. This past Wednesday night I went to a lecture on the yamas and niyamas and have been inspired to target specific areas so that I can grow and move closet to bliss (isn’t that the dream?).

While driving to work this morning I heard this amazing story of using yoga in Kenya to bring peace to those who have encountered violence through social struggles. Check out this amazing story: http://www.npr.org/2013/04/12/177004536/yoga-project-changes-lives-in-nairobis-slums

Happy Friday!

She is such a Pitta

Balance. I need it, I want it, Im going to get it! I feel balanced in my mind, however my body has been a bit out of whack. I have been consistently practicing yoga and doing cardio but my digestive system and at times sinuses aren’t liking me very much. Recently I went to an ayruvedic lecture and it was incredibly interesting.

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What is an ayruvedic diet?

“Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state.” To find that balance you first identify which dosha aligns to you and then work to balance that dosha so that you feel great!  There are certain foods and activites that help to balance each dosha and should be exercised when a dosha becomes imbalanced. We each have a body and mind dosha, which can often be different.

I am bi-dosha, with a natural tendency towards Pitta. Inherently my genetic blue print is Pitta and I generally do align with this dosha. I am fire-y, passionate, aggressive  and medium build. However, my mind tends to align with the Vata dosha, in that I am always: go go go.

The Pita Diet

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I have been looking for the right motivation and plan to get my body back into alignment. I haven’t gained weight (in fact Ive added muscle) or anything drastic, but I feel YUCK inside. I know I am imbalanced and I yearn to feel clean inside. Its super interesting to read which foods cause imbalance in a Pitta because guess what… its the majority of what I consume. There was a week or two recently where I lived like a small squirrel and survived on nuts. Pitta’s are supposed to avoid all nuts which the exception of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, go figure!

What to avoid: 

Fried & steaming hot foods, salty, fatty, or sour foods (pickles, yogurt, sour cream, sour fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, and anything fermented). Avoid condiments and hot spices like mustard, cayenne, chillies, ginger, black pepper, and clove.

Avoid also hot drinks, yeast bread, aged cheese, red meat, potatoes, and reduce “heating” grains like brown rice and corn, and “warming” vegetables like carrots, beets, spinach, eggplant, onion, and garlic.

Stay away from honey and protein powder drinks, as they create hyperacidity. Pass up all nuts except coconut (shredded) and almonds (in small amounts). Any processed & fast foods are completely out of question, as they contain bad fats that create huge amounts of stomach acid and throw your Pitta dosha completely out of balance.

Gluten Free Oats with Apple, Cinnamon and Flax

I am going to try and maintain a pitta diet (I am up for the challenge) and try to track my results. My recipes for the next few weeks will align to the Pitta diet, enjoy!

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Spring has Sprung

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The best spot in the world.

Spring has finally made its way to Chicago. The sun shimmered this week and the air has begun to warm. Flowers have started to bloom and blossoms are budding, it is a great time to be in the city.

This past week in one of my yoga classes my instructor used Spring to guide our class. She made a wonderful point about the changes in the air. Spring is a new beginning, an opportunity to find balance in your life, a time to reflect and make changes. Our sequence incorporated a lot of balance asanas, all were a great reminder of the surrender and strength it takes to find balance.

I have been working to find balance in my life. It is a struggle to differentiate between work and relationships especially when your work is driven by passion, but my relationships fuel my ability to work towards my passions. I am using this new beginning, Spring, to remind myself of this balance.

Eating healthy is a big part of balance for me. I found this great blog Eating Bird Food and I highly recommend it. I recently tried their “Easy Strawberry Chia Jam” and I must say it was incredibly easy and great! Try it out!

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Strawberry Chia Jam

Protein Pancakes

April is here! I thought about taking a month hiatus from the ol’ blog because of the craziness that will ensue this month, however I just can’t leave! My posts won’t be as consistent this month but I will try my best. Posting recipes keeps me grounded as weird as that may seem. It motivates me to prepare fresh foods which ultimately makes me feel great inside 🙂

This month our business Smarty Pants Yoga Inc. launches, I graduate from yoga school, I am being honored in NYC, and we go to Florida for my sister’s wedding. The day we return we move and my students are competing in a city-wide competition. I am SO excited for all of the madness, and am trying to take each day as it comes.

My month in pictures:

Dottie - Basic Logo

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To get me through I need to make sure I maintain a healthy diet. I am not eating any processed food or sugar and am making meals instead of snacking on nuts or dried fruit (a deliciously bad habit). To kick off the month of healthy everything I present protein pancakes (my new obsession). They are packed with healthy ingredients and super easy to make. Plus they are gluten free! Yay for pancakes!

Protein Pancakes

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2.5 tbsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
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packed with protein

Toppings: So many options!

  • Berries
  • PB2
  • Sugar Free Syrup

Image (51)Directions:

1. Mash banana in bowl.

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Leave no lumps

2. Place all ingredients in shaker cup. Place banana last.

best cup ever.

best cup ever.

3. Shake ingredients until evenly distributed.

4. Grease (coconut oil, PAM) non stick pan on medium heat. Pour mixture into pan. When it begins to bubble flip.

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5. Cook thoroughly and serve!

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For Real the Best Smoothie…EVER

I know each time I post I set up the recipe with “This is the best!” For real though, this smoothie is the best.

I ADORE my fellow yogis. Two weeks ago we had “Smoothie Sunday.” Smoothie Sunday was a magical affair that involved smoothie samples. A few of us brought our favorite shake to share! The combo that won my heart involved cinnamon. Two classmates used cinnamon in their shakes and my world changed.

One of my classmates brought an amazing smoothie that combined dates, cinnamon, and banana. That’s right… heaven. I’m sharing this recipe with the world because WORLD YOU DESERVE IT. Thank you Marvin for enlightening my taste buds. I of course changed it up to make a green smoothie, got to get that spinach in!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Cinnamon Date Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

Plus spinach

Plus spinach

1 tsp cinnamon
8 ice cubes
1.25 c of vanilla almond milk
1 banana
3 dates (pitted)
1.4 c of cold water
2 c of spinach

Directions:

Place ice in blender and pulse.
Remove pits from dates

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Place liquids in blender and then pile greens on top.

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Set to liquefy and blend until smooth.

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Pulsing the ice before helps with texture

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Looks scary, tastes amazing!