Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Justified Absence.

Ok lovelies I know I've been gone for a few days- but I promise I have a really good excuse, which I will share with you in it's very own post tomorrow! But first, here are the quotes from the past few days of the 30 Day Challenge...

Day 8

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
-Henry Ford

Day 9

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”
-Mark Twain

Day 10

"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Day 11

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.”
-Ruth Gordon

Day 12

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time”
-Abraham Lincoln

Day 13

"All great achievements require time"
-Maya Angelou

Day 14

“Do or do not. There is no try”

So how have I been feeling the past week? AMAZING. I am thankful each and every day that I decided to do this challenge. I feel more alive than I have in months :)

One my of goals of this challenge has been to lose some of the weight I have put on in the last year. I can already feel my body strengthening and making its way back to it's most healthy place.

What I think is even more amazing though, is that this challenge is helping me accept my body for what it is each and every step along the way. It is really a powerful thing to accept that on a given day your body may be not exactly as you would like it. And beyond that, to accept that each day is an important step in the journey to your healthiest you. My body is not perfect today, and it may very well never be- but my body has worked hard today, and for the past 14 days, and for that, I am proud of my body as it is right now.

I am also trying very hard to appreciate the benefits of poses that may not be my favorite, like this one...

Bow pose, or Dhanurasana, is definitely not one of my favorite poses. In fact there have been days where I have flat out just decided not to do it. But on days when I start to think about how much I don't wanna do it I try to think about all of the benefits my body will receive if I just smile and breath through it.


(taken from the Yoga Journal)
  • Stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat, and deep hip flexors (psoas)
  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Anyway my loves, I am super tired, and am hoping to hit up the 8 am class tomorrow. I'm gonna head to bed, but I'll be back tomorrow with my big news, and the mid-point update!

xo April

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

End of week one :)

Today got off to a bit of a late start- I was a little anxious about the upcoming changes in my life (updates soon I promise)- so I stayed in bed a little longer than usual.

Breakfast was nothing out of the ordinary, but was still pretty tasty.A nice big bowl of Kashi Go Lean, with a sliced banana and a drizzle of raw agave :)

Once I was ready for my day I headed in to the lab to set up for some experiments I am gonna do tomorrow, and to analyze some data I've been putting off for a while.

Since data analysis doesn't really require me to be in the lab, I decided to head over to Just Us! for lunch. I grabbed a paratha and a cup of their "12 Apostles" single origin coffee.

The paratha was just enough, and super delicious (I am addicted to the tamarind sauce they serve it with!). The coffee had a really nice flavor, but I just wasn't feeling coffee like I thought I was so I didn't drink most of it :(

After lunch I decided to stay and do some work at the cafe, after all the view from the window seat is a lot more pleasant than staring at the wall of the student office in the lab.

Plus, there weren't a lot of people upstairs when I was there, so it was really easy to concentrate on my work.

I worked until about 430 then headed back to the lab to set my experiments up before heading home to make supper. I was kind of full cause I had been snacking on fruit all day, so I just made up some brown rice macaroni and stirred in a teaspoon of vegan margarine, some nutritional yeast, sea salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and spinach that I wilted in the microwave first.

It was not fancy by any means, but it was tasty, and the perfect amount to eat before heading to yoga.


I decided to go to a late night class tonight to mix things up a little. Thankfully I registered online, cause by the time I got to the studio there was a line up of people! I forgot how busy classes are in the evening compared to in the morning.

The quote of the day for day 7 is...

"If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

There was a lot of focus on smiling again this evening which I really enjoyed. It can never hurt to be reminded of the many benefits of smiling :D

On my way to yoga I snapped this picture, which I think goes nicely with the peaceful theme of today's quote.

A pretty rainbow over the water behind the supermarket! It's always nice to see a rainbow after a day full of showers. Thankfully it's supposed to be super nice tomorrow, fingers crossed for dress weather!

Night Lovelies, see you tomorrow for the beginning of week 2! xo

Monday, June 6, 2011

20% Down, 80 more to go!

“Do not aim for success. If you want it, just do what you love and believe, and it will come naturally.”

-David Frost

Day 6 was a bit of a struggle today- I'm not sure what it was, maybe I ate too close to class, or didn't have enough water, but I felt really sick today. I spent a good portion of the class in various resting postures- and felt nauseous throughout my practice.

I called in sick to work, and came home and made sure to drink lots of water and have some lunch. I rested for the afternoon and caught up on the last episodes of Greys Anatomy and Private Practice for the season.

At about 2pm I went to help my friend Bhreagh get some last minute things for her upcoming trip to Australia (she leaves Friday!). She is going for two months, and is going to have such an amazing time, I wish I could go with her, but I know she is gonna have so much fun!

Bhreagh and I a year ago at our convocation.

After our little shopping excursion Bhreagh and I went back to her place where her boyfriend made us a delicious stir-fry for supper!

Onions, red and orange peppers, broccoli, asparagus, shanghai bok choy, and peanuts over rice- it was DELICIOUS!

After dinner Bhreagh and I headed across the bridge to coach our special olympics gymnastics team :) I hadn't been in a long time, and it was so good to be back. It was Bhreagh's last day, so we ended a little early and had a special treat that the other coach and her daughter had made (amazing gluten-free brownies that I sadly did not get a picture of).

We do a but of yoga with our girls as well, which is super fun! Here is a picture I took a while ago of the athletes in Childs pose. So awesome!

That's it for Day 6, I'll be back tomorrow with Day 7 updates!!

xo April

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 5!

Today's quote is one I have heard many times over the years, but that certainly does not make it any less true.

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

-Henry Ford

I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, not only in situations like the 30 Day Challenge, but in day to day life as well.

I was skeptical about even doing this challenge, because as I mentioned before, I had a number of reasons why I couldn't make it to yoga everyday. But when I really took a look at everything I have going on this month, and though I can totally do this challenge, it made the world of difference. It is so easy to convince yourself that something is impossible without ever really giving it a chance.

I am so happy that I decided to go ahead and sign up for the challenge, because even though I am only 5 days in it has already been an amazing experience. The simple act of doing something for myself, and doing something I love, after months of ignoring the things in life that make me happy has quite literally been life changing.

The past few days have involved a lot of decisions regarding my future, and as much as I wanna share them, I still have a few things to take care of before I can put it all out into the blog world. Let me just say that exciting things are going down in my life, and I can't wait to share them!

I'm off to bed, Day 6 starts bright and early tomorrow (I'm gonna aim for the 8am class!)

Night Lovelies xo

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend Kickoff

Good morning friends! Happy Saturday :) I hope all of your weekends are off to a great start- mine is looking good so far. I let myself sleep in a bit this morning cause I was up a little late watching movies. Instead of going to the morning yoga class today I decided that I'd go this afternoon and take the morning to get some things done around the house.

First things first I decided to have a real breakfast this morning, as much as I love my pre-yoga banana I've been craving some cereal for days now! So I fed my craving with a bowl of Kashi Go Lean, with a sliced banana, some coconut milk, and a drizzle of raw agave to give it a little sweetness :)

Once again I apologize for the quality of photos- for a phone the iPhone does take pretty good pictures, but it needs better lighting usually, haha.

Now I'm just doing some laundry - 30 consecutive days of hot yoga = frequent washing of yoga clothes and towels haha. I'm about to throw them in the dryer and hit up the market before yoga- it's my first market trip of the summer so I'm super excited!

Before I go, here is the quote for Day 4:

"Smile, breathe and go slowly."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

It's like a little reminder of yesterdays lessons on smiling, haha. I'm gonna try extra hard to apply this one today, on and off the mat.

I'll update on today's class and my market adventures a little later!

xo April

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 3!

I completed Day 3 of the 30 Day Challenge this morning with a 930 class before heading into the lab. I really like going to morning classes- It wakes me up, and gets me pumped up for the rest of the day. Don't get me wrong, it is a great feeling to unwind with a nice 9pm class- but the energy I get from practicing in the morning is really fantastic :)

The instructor this morning kept reminding everybody to smile, especially during the really difficult poses. She told us about a video that she had watched all about the wonderful benefits of smiling- you should definitely check it out!

Before I move on to today's eats- here is the quote for Day 3!

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well. “

-Mohandas Gandhi


The morning was started off with the usual pre-yoga banana, but since I was up for a few hours before class I had a Peanut Butter Lara Bar as well- it was just enough food to get me until the end of class. And of courseI made sure to have a giant glass of water this morning too! After class I went to the little grocery store across the street to pick up something for lunch, and to grab a post class treat :)

I went to the salad bar and got my lunch : spinach, carrot, red cabbage, red and green onions, chick peas, mandarins, craisins, trail mix, and berries with a sesame thai dressing- delicious! (but sadly forgot to snap a picture)

Pete's Power Booster :)

For my post yoga snack I grabbed a Power Booster Juice (apple, carrot, lemon and ginger). This is my favorite juice at the juice bar- really yummy, and a great wake up drink.

I had some experiments to do in the lab today- so I spent most of my day there. I had to be there a little late tonight so I grabbed a snack around supper time to last me until I got home. There is a Starbucks near school ,and even though I don't like to drink coffee from there (I'd rather one of the local cafes) they have a really good salt and pepper popcorn snack that I love!

It's a nice light snack (only 150 calories in the whole bag!) and it has a pretty minimal ingredients list. Plus it's only 1.50$, so it's a win win win snack, haha.

For supper I made some Crispy Tofu from a recipe that the bf's mom gave me. I'm not really sure where it's from, cause I just have the photocopy- I'm pretty sure it's from a magazine but I have no idea which one.

The recipe is super easy though- you just drain some medium firm tofu, cut it into 4 1-inch slices, and dry it on some paper towel for ~20 minutes. Then heat 1/2 cup of peanut oil over medium heat. Just before adding the tofu to the pan, coat the pieces in corn starch and fry them for 8-10 minutes, turning them once. They should be golden brown when they're done:)

On the side I made up some Vegan Yum- Yum's Chili-Almond Asparagus !

For dessert I did up some more Banana soft serve, but this time I added strawberries. The verdict? AMAZING. It is definitely going to be a staple of mine on warm summer days.

Now I am relaxing and watching A League of Their Own before heading off to bed. I think I used to watch this movie once a year when I had cable- so good!

I've got a fun filled morning of yoga and the farmers market tomorrow before one of my very good friends comes into town for the day!

Later lovelies!

xo April

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Staying in the moment.

Good afternoon lovelies! Hope you all had a great morning! I sure did. Today is day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge, so I kicked off my morning with a nice 60 minute yoga class :) Let me share today's quote with you!
"Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment." -Thich Nhat Hanh

I like this quote because it is something I really need to focus on in my practice- staying in the moment. Not thinking about the pose that just happened, or the poses to come, but focusing on my breathing, and how my body feels in the pose I am in in the moment.


I started off my morning with a nice tall glass of water and a banana like yesterday so I wouldn't be too full (or too hungry) before yoga. The banana wasn't quite enough today though, cause about 15 mins into the class I could feel my stomach begging for more food- luckily I packed a ton of snacks so I grabbed a Carrot Cake Clif Bar after class was over.

I picked one up last night on my way home cause it was on sale, and it sounded pretty yummy. It was good- but definitely not my favorite. It did taste surprisingly like carrot cake- but I think it was a bit too sweet for me. Maybe I would like it more as a dessert snack, and not when I'm super hungry like I was this morning.

Anyway, I have some experiments to do this afternoon, so I'm off for now!

xo April