motivation mondays: week 28
yesterday was my last day of yoga teacher training. talk about bittersweet. i woke up this morning feeling a little weird. not sure what comes next, not sure what i’m going to do with all of this extra time, not sure what my yoga practice will look like now. motivation mondays is something i started as a way to keep all of you [and myself!] inspired to always stay positive and look at the bright side each week. i’m definitely in need of this today, and this quote really did it for me:
even though I’m pretty effing sad, i’m ready to see what happens next. so many times what we view as an end is really just the beginning of something new… maybe even something better than what came before it. i’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I keep a positive spin on this… pratipaksha bhavanam in action… right, yogis?!
a few [other] things:
1) attention new yorkers: eat at egg shop. immediately.
2) i loved this article from zosia mamet on glamour.com about why you don’t have to be the c.e.o. of a multi-million dollar company to be considered successful. you define your own success.
3) i was published on thought catalog last week. if you haven’t seen my article yet, check it out!
have an amazing week… also… is it spring yet?
image courtesy of free people blog
the yoga diaries: pt. iv
well, this is it. my final weekend of yoga teacher training is here! tomorrow, i will take my final exam and teach my final pose to my classmates, and sunday, we’ll be celebrating with yoga, food and champagne… and probably a beer or two, as well… because we seriously all deserve it at this point. i’ve even purchased a new outfit for the occasion… because why wouldn’t i?
i’ve spent the last 12 weeks with some pretty incredible people. i couldn’t have asked for more inspirational and amazing teachers to learn from or have been a part of a more caring, open, honest and just generally effing awesome group of people to go through this training with. yoga teacher training has been something I have wanted to do for several years now, and i used to feel like i was losing out by not having the time for it rightthissecond… i sort of felt like i was putting off where i was headed/what i was doing with my life. looking back, i feel like there’s a reason this whole group was brought together and i owe the universe a major thank you for making sure i was too busy to commit to this until now.
as this 12 weeks wraps up, i’m feeling a couple of different ways. first and foremost, i’m nervous for the final exams… but i’m also pretty confident that we’re all gonna absolutely kill it. i’m beyond ready to have a weekend to myself. i love yoga and everything… but a girl needs a break every so often! i’m excited to be able to start auditioning for teaching positions so i can spread the yoga love and see where this takes me, but I’m also pretty sad to not have this happy, safe place to go to every weekend. on top of all that, i’m seriously confused about what i’m going to do with all of my free time! this has become my routine… a routine i’ve seriously loved… and it’s going to take some serious getting used to not being in it.
one the first day of training, our teachers asked all of us to set a sankulpa, which means “intention” in sanskrit, for the training. my sankulpa has been to be okay with where i am. let go of where i think i should be or where i am in comparison to anyone else. while this started as a teacher training specific intention, i’ve made an effort to apply this to all aspects of my life. and i’m so happy that i did.
i’m feeling like a new person these days. i’m more confident. i’m nicer to myself. i don’t feel as if i need to be in control of every aspect of my life or have every little detail figured out, and i do feel more comfortable going with the flow. while i would never have considered myself an uptight control freak, i do have some type a tendencies that show up here and there. i’ve always been an over-thinker and i’ve slowly learned that there is just no point in going through life fighting with myself to try to reach a certain outcome or make decisions immediately. i’m learning to be perfectly happy with the now, and i think half the fun in life comes from the unknown… not knowing what’s next… going with the flow… and being fully present in the moment.
a lot of people might appear to have it all together. even more people pretend to have it all figured out. and yes, some people do have every aspect of the next 10 years of their lives mapped out to a tee, but honestly, to me, that just seems kinda boring and quite frankly, a little bit sad. who knows what could happen tomorrow? next week? next year? no one.
with all of that being said, i’ve also found a new sense of motivation and with all of the free time i’ll have very, very soon, i’m ready to start putting some of the ideas that have been swirling around in my head into action [but not after a week or so of a little vino, netflix and brunch… god i’ve missed brunch… first]. i have a few trips planned in the coming months [weekends in philly, boston and l.a.], my birthday is at the beginning of may and in june, i’m off to australia [!!!!!!!] for a couple of weeks, so i do have a lot to look forward to. i’m promising myself that i will make an honest effort to remain present enough to enjoy life in the moment, while still having all of these fun things on the horizon.
originally, this series was supposed to last for the duration of my teacher training. one thing i have learned is that going through this training is only the beginning. i will forever be a student of this whole yoga thing, so the yoga diaries will continue. and i also want to continue writing these posts because i’ve really loved translating the yoga philosophies into my own words, applying them to my life and sharing them here.
so, until next time… namaste!
motivation mondays: week 27
hey everyone! i hope you all had a great weekend are feeling rejuvenated and ready for the first full week of spring [even though it still feels like winter… minor details]. spring is a time of the year [along with the actual new year] that just feels appropriate for new beginnings. it’s not called “spring cleaning” for just any reason right? after months [and months… and months] of staying inside and hibernating to avoid the cold, spring is the perfect time to get into a new routine, start working out again and maybe even re-evaluate where you are with everything in your life and start figuring out what the next step is. and with that, comes today’s motivation mondays!
the first step in starting anything new… a workout regimen, a clean eating plan, a career or job, a move to a new city or state [or country], a hobby, a project, a relationship… is letting all the sh*t that you’re carrying around with you from the past go. it can be pretty freakin’ hard to start something new in the first place, but bringing along baggage from our past only makes it harder. just because you tried losing 10 pounds and failed before, doesn’t mean you will fail this time, so stop thinking that way! last attempt at dating didn’t go so well? who cares?! let that sh*t go and start with a clean slate.
there’s nothing we can do to change the past. we can certainly learn from it, but trying to project past situations onto what’s happening now will only get you so far and in many cases, will end up holding you back rather than helping you move forward.
nn honor of spring, set some goals. clean your apartment. do a cleanse. get moving again. and let whatever it is that you’re carrying around with you go. you’ll be amazed at how much ease letting go brings to your life and how much easier it will be to move forward when you aren’t being held back by sh*t that you can’t change. if you have to take it one step at a time – do it! start by letting go of the clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in six months. clean your apartment. go for a run one day a week. re-vamp your refrigerator and cupboards with high quality, whole foods so that eating healthy will be easier. it all has to start somewhere, and letting go is as good a place as any to begin.
start your week off with some fun stuff…
1) last week, an article of mine was published on elite daily… this is one of my favorite websites that i read literally every single day, so to have an article on their site is pretty exciting… hopefully you’ll be seeing more from me on elite daily in the future!
2) speaking of spring and new habits, i often find that I’m much more motivated to get moving when i have cute clothes to get moving in. i’m now an ambassador for altar ego apparel and if you use the code bandb15 you can save 15% on any purchase! happy shopping!
3) and finally, my main man jon stewart keepin’ it real about the food industry. i love him more every day.
what are you going to let go of this season so that you can spring forward towards your goals? [see what i did there?]
image courtesy of slightly distressed damsel
healthy lifestyle staples: detoxifying lemon water
one of my favorite, cannot live without healthy lifestyle staples is kinda weird [but that should be no surprise at this point]. i was introduced to this little concoction in college and would occasionally throw it into my routine here and there over the years, but only in the past year or so has it become a staple in my regimen.
hot lemon water. with apple cider vinegar. and turmeric. and cayenne pepper. every morning. before breakfast.
i knowwww what you’re thinking: no. but let me explain.
first, hot water with a little bit of lemon is a great way to wake up your digestive system and detoxify your body from the day before…essentially, you’re starting the day with a clean slate.
second, the apple cider vinegar will balance your pH levels aiding digestion, improving immunity and helping to clear up your skin.
finally, the turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the body, and the cayenne pepper gives your digestive system one last little boost.
now we’re talkin’, right? for this detoxifying lemon water elixir all you’ll need is:
- 8 oz. of water, brought to a boil
- the juice from half of a lemon
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- cayenne pepper to taste
all you need to do is boil the water, pour it into a mug and stir in the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and cayenne pepper. drink this in the mornings before you eat or drink anything else and try to make this a daily habit if at all possible… that’s how you’ll reap the most benefits!
vegan chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins
alright, i knowww that i just posted a banana bread recipe last week, but i whipped these muffins up over the weekend and they turned out so well that I felt obligated to share the recipe, especially after a few of my coworkers asked for it as well. these chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins can be made using one bowl, so clean up is super quick and easy and they’re vegan, low sugar and made with coconut oil and whole wheat flour, essentially making them equivalent to salad. this recipe makes about 12 medium sized muffins.
you will need:
- 1/4 c. cane sugar
- 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 c. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. mashed bananas [about 2-3 medium ripe bananas]
- 1 1/4 c. [loosely packed] shredded zucchini [i shredded mine with a veggetti]
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour [i like bob’s red mill]
- 1 tbs. baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 c. vegan dark chocolate chips [optional]
preheat the oven to 400° and grease a muffin/cupcake tray with coconut oil [liners are not required for this recipe].
- whisk together the first 6 ingredients [sugars, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon] in a large bowl.
- add the mashed bananas and whisk together.
- take the shredded zucchini and place it on a paper towel. place a second paper towel on top of the zucchini and press [with some muscle!] to draw out the excess water.
- add the zucchini to the bowl and mix together.
- throw in the flour [in 1/2 cup increments], baking powder and sea salt and mix with a wooden spoon, but be sure not to mix it too well.
- add chocolate chips [if using] and stir until evenly distributed.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop batter into muffin tray, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- bake at 400° for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350° for 8 minutes, or until you can stick a fork into the center of a muffin and pull it out clean.
- remove from the oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes, remove muffins from tray and enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 26
the minor quarter-life crisis i feel like i’ve been going through over the past month or so is finally winding down. i’m starting to feel the anxiety i’ve been having over various things leaving my body and my brain is starting to slow down a little bit.
i think that part of the reason this is happening is because last week i sort of gave myself permission to just kind of let go. i realized that i desperately needed to stop worrying about making major decisions right this second, breathe and just focus on the present, do what i have to do and let the answers come when they want to. i tend to put a lot of pressure on myself in basically every situation i find myself in, so the act of letting go can be difficult for me, but i’m definitely getting better at it… i’m sure i can thank yoga teacher training in part for this!
as much as i have talked about listening to yourself, following your gut and not putting things off, i do think that you have to find the balance between listening to yourself and moving forward but not pressuring something to happen right now. things take time to work themselves out and i’m a big believer in the universe aligning the way it’s supposed to when it’s supposed to.
no matter what you’re up to, what you have planned, what you’re dealing with or going through, don’t forget that this is it. right now is all you have. we aren’t guaranteed next week, next month, next year [and i mean this in a totally non-morbid way], so we should prioritize living in the moment over anything else. this doesn’t mean you should become complacent or sit around waiting for something to happen… go out there and make it happen for yourself, but at the same time, if you’re unsure or things are just not clear right now, don’t pressure yourself and destroy the now with worrying about what you’re next move is. there is a fine line between not giving a sh*t about anything and having too much control. you want to be moving forward, but not at the expense of losing sight of what’s most important… and what’s most important is right now.
if you have something you’re struggling with, something that’s bugging the sh*t out of you that you can’t seem to make a decision about, give yourself permission to just let it effing go for a day, a week, whatever you need. stop pressuring yourself to have everything figured out. you’ll never have everything figured out and sometimes not thinking about things is the best way to get clear about what you want.
links for the week!
1) i loved this list of “48 things i know for sure”. so accurate.
2) athleta released their list of the 100 most inspiring women in health and wellness. it’s safe to say that i admire a large percentage of the ladies on this list.
3) and you know… just some #justiceforbrowneyes… because they seriously aren’t given enough credit, like, ever.
have an amazing week everyone… what are you going to let go of?
image courtesy of raquel alexandra
the yoga diaries: pt. iii
as of this week, i’m in the final three weeks of yoga teacher training. we’re down to just a few days at this point… and i’m kinda freaking out! t the beginning, 12 weeks sounded like an eternity and now, i’m not ready for it to be over.
spending my weekends immersed in the physical and philosophical practice of yoga has quickly become a part of my routine. it happened so organically and naturally that i’m not even sure how i was spending my time before this. it wasn’t as difficult to fit into my schedule as i thought it would be… i’m not exhausted [well, i’m not exhausted most of the time], i’m still able to do just about everything that I want to do… it seems like i’ve only enhanced my life and elevated my sense of being… definitely an unexpected [but welcome!] benefit of this entire process.
i realized exactly how much this has become a part of my life when i was away and missed training while in miami. yoga has been a huge part of my life for quite some time now, but teacher training has taken it to a new level. it felt weird to be out of my routine. i needed some down time and the opportunity to let loose desperately, but it also showed me how much i also need yoga in my life. i’ve benefited from it in so many ways over the past several years and it continues to change my life in ways i could never have imagined back when i showed up to my first yoga class six/seven years ago.
training has been pretty transformational for me. and not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. i knew heading into this that my life was going to change, but i wasn’t exactly sure how. i walked into the studio on january 10th with an open mind and just have kind of let things come and go and manifest themselves on their own. i honestly haven’t had much time to think too in depth about much of anything else, so that mindset has definitely helped me make it through this entire process. i’ve been trying to listen to my gut a lot more and act on feelings rather than thoughts. our brain can sometimes talk us out of going with our feelings, using ration to talk us into or out of something. while making smart decisions is something we need to do, when our mind overpowers our gut it can lead us into sticky situations.
having a weekend off and not practicing yoga while i was away kind of sent me into a tailspin. all of these things that have been in the back of my mind decided to all of a sudden show up front and center. i have so many things that i want to do, but making the decision to go forward with them isn’t exactly easy and i’ve been struggling with that a bit. i’m trying really hard to listen to my gut. i want to make the right decision, but when i try to look ahead… i worry about the “what ifs”… and there are so many of them!
at this point, i’m telling myself “one thing at a time”. i don’t have to make any major, life-altering decisions today, tomorrow or even next week, and i’m just going to continue to try to let everything flow, let the answers come to me when they’re ready to. that’s really all i can do for now.
before i sign off, i wanted to let everyone know that between now and graduation [march 29th], i’m offering free yoga classes to anyone who might be interested. all levels, all class sizes. so, if you’re in the new york area and wanna do some yoga, send me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] and let’s figure something out!
dairy-free banana nut bread
who doesn’t love a good banana nut bread? i took this old favorite and made it a little bit healthier, without damaging the taste or quality… and it was actually super easy to do. i replaced the butter with applesauce, used less sugar than most traditional recipes typically call for and replaced white flour with whole wheat flour.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. palm sugar
- 1/3 c. applesauce
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts + extra for topping
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 4×8 bread pan with coconut oil.
- peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
- add the sugar, applesauce, egg, vanilla and baking soda to the bowl and combine well with the mashed bananas.
- fold in the flour 1/2 c. at a time until a thick batter has formed.
- add the walnuts, making sure they are evenly distributed in the batter.
- pour the batter into the bread pan and sprinkle the extra walnuts on top.
- bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until you can stick a fork into the center of the bread and it comes out clean.
- let cool, slice and serve with a side of coffee, tea or almond milk… enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 25
wow. i can’t believe i’ve already been back from miami for a week… it’s honestly taken me much longer to get back on track with my routine than i expected, but after the weekend i’m feeling focused, rested and almost back to what i consider “normal”. i got back to my yoga mat [this really turned around my week], saw the theory of everything [quite the emotional roller coaster] and had dinner with a friend at peacefood café [so effing good]. i feasted on the grilled oyster mushrooms served over parnship paté, chickpeas and a bed of kale [pictured here] and for dessert we went h.a.m. on the raw cashew cream cheesecake… seriously, un. real. the service was fast and friendly and the tea list is also worth mentioning… i had the tibetan tiger tea in an effort to fuel my recent india withdrawals. add this place to your “list” immediately.
last week, i talked about change and how taking a chance on anything can be difficult, but that ultimately we have the choice to make it… whatever that is for you… happen. today, for the 25th installment of motivation mondays, i only want to remind you of one thing:
if you feel lost, like you’re on the brink of a breakdown, confused or unsure if the decisions you’ve made/want to make are the right ones, just remember that your soul is rooting for you. it doesn’t matter what the chatter in your brain is telling you or what other people think of what you’re doing. all that matters is that it makes you…y our soul… feel good.
your soul, your gut, your intuition… whatever you wanna call it… is always on your side. there’s a reason we get “gut feelings” and that’s because sometimes our brain is trying to make the logical decision for us… the safe decision. when your gut is telling you something different than your brain, listen to it. it’s usually right.
a few more inspirational things for today:
1) this list of motivational quotes via buzzfeed was great for getting my butt off the couch and back to the gym this week.
2) a great reminder that love is love. I’ve seriously watched this video 10 times since i first came across it.
3) last year, i traveled to India in march to celebrate holi in mathura. it was such an amazing experience that i hope to relive some day in the future. these images from holi 2015 are igniting some serious #fomo.
coming up this week: a new recipe on wednesday and the third part of the yoga diaries series on friday… can’t wait to share more about my journey [which is quickly coming to end!] with you all.
what are your plans?!
image courtesy of women’s health
mint chocolate chip smoothie
smoothies are one of my favorite ways to replenish my body after a workout. and this one is so creamy and decadent that it’s almost more like a milkshake than a smoothie [which is never a bad thing]. this mint chocolate chip smoothie is also perfect post [or even pre] sweat-session because it’s packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and potassium.
ingredients for 1 smoothie:
- 2 handfuls of fresh spinach or kale
- 1 banana
- 1/4 of an avocado
- 3/4 c. chocolate almond milk [I love califa farms]
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. pure peppermint extract
- cacao nibs [optional]
- coconut flakes [optional]
- chia seeds [optional]
to whip this baby up:
- in a blender, combine the almond milk and greens first.
- add banana, avocado, almond butter and peppermint to the almond milk/greens mixture and blend until well-combined [this smoothie will be a little thicker than most].
- pour into a glass and [optional] garnish with cacao nibs, coconut flakes and chia seeds [and a fun paper straw].
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