My Real Body. Juice. Autumn. and so on…

I can’t believe it has been a month since I last updated my blog. Time flies. Life is hectic. I’m sort of, in between, living situations. I moved in with a good friend of mine and it just isn’t working out as I hoped it would. Kind of a bummer, but that is life! So, I’m in the process of moving back into my parents house for awhile, until I figure out where I want to be. Do you actually ever figure this out? I’m not sure.

So, over the past month, I’ve enjoyed the bounty of the harvest – fresh food from all around! My mom has been getting some venison from a friend of hers, so we’ve been enjoying roasts, meat loafs, kabobs, and what nots, all made with locally shot deer meat! I didn’t know there would be anything more tasty than a good, grass-fed beef steak, but man, was I wrong. The vegetable and fruit harvests are coming to an end in Michigan – so enjoy while you can! I’ve been loving the hell out of the locally grown peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Not to mention the APPLES!!!!!!!! Apple season in Michigan is spectacular. You can go to a farmer’s market and choose from 10 different varieties, all described as “juicy” and another mouthwatering adjective that really is true. You can’t go wrong!

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Another wonderful specialty crop in Michigan is the grape. Local vineyards produce delicious grapes to snack on or to juice…and this past weekend, I juiced some grapes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a fancy-dancy juicer, so I have to do what works…a food mill with a hand crank. Sure, it takes a bit of time…but it made some grape juice fit for kings and queens!

IMG_6481Hand-crank food mill. The old school way of making juice. Not to mention, my arms get a well needed workout!

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And the delicious grape juice. Even better if you add some sparkling water and create a fizzy!

The next thing I want to talk about is inspired by yoga_girl on Instagram, also known as Rachel Brathen, a yoga superstar based out of Aruba. She is candid, funny, loving, and carefree as she shares her life with her Instagram followers. I’ve been following her for a year now, and she’s truly an inspiration. Yesterday, she posted the most beautiful picture and caption of her belly rolls. I quote:

“It folds. It moves. It jiggles, bounces, flows, and allows for grabbing a handful of when needed. It’s strong and soft. Graceful and clumsy. Built by yoga and handstands and red wine and chocolate. And you know what the best part is? It’s all mine! Our insecurities and our confidence go hand in hand. When we hide certain aspects of our bodies we accentuate them as “flaws” in our minds… When fact of the matter is that by shying away we create the very same insecurity we are trying to get away from. By embracing everything about ourselves without hiding our “flaws” we create confidence, strength, power. It’s time to celebrate our bodies – every single inch. You’ll find that no one judges you more harshly than yourself. And that thing about your body you’ve been so hung up on? 99% of people out there are too preoccupied with their own insecuities to give a rats ass about yours. Half of the time our insecurities are imagined and distorted. For instance – I wanted to post a picture of the stretch marks I have on my upper things just now…Only to find that the camera couldn’t even capture them. That’s how invisible they are. Who knew?!? Not me, that’s for sure! So listen carefully: THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF IS YOU. Treat yourself nicely. You deserve a good life and happiness and beach days that center around sunshine and ocean – not sit ups and counting calories.”

Thank you, Rachel. You inspired me. Over the past 6 months, I’ve gained weight. I’ve gained about 20 pounds. How? No clue. Not exercising enough. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Over eating. Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. A little more alcohol than normal. A few late night trips for chicken fingers and french fries. A second serving of ice cream. Stress. Changes in my life. Being happy? All these things can contribute to putting on a few extra pounds…and when you’re barely five foot two, those pounds come quickly. Sure, I still feel great. I still think I’m sexy. Most of my friends can’t believe it when I tell them and respond with something along the lines of, “where did it go? I wish I could put on pounds like you!”, because, luckily, I gain weight in my hips/thighs/ass, so it isn’t hideous weight, but it gives you something to hold on to (now if only someone was). So, well, as I started to get down on myself because I can’t fit into my size 0s anymore, I don’t like wearing tight t-shirts, blah blah blah, I realized, FUCK IT. I love myself.

Here is my stomach, sitting down:
IMG_6568Here are my love handles. Here is my little rolls. Right under my boobs, I’ve always had these little parts of fat (I can pretend and call them my abs!) and they have made me self conscious in the past…but not anymore. I love my body. Sure, I need to exercise a bit more. I need to get back in the yoga studio more often. I need to do a little bit of cardio after sitting at a desk for 45 hours a week. But even more important is that I need to look into the mirror and say that I love myself, because I do. I do I do I do. Do you?

Inspiration. Invitation. Dig it.

The Invitation by Oriah:
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

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Survey Thursday – Learn About Me!

Today I’ll be taking part in Survey Thursday. After getting some more followers – THANK YOU – I felt it may be helpful to answer some basic questions about me…so tune in (or tune out) for some things about me!

A is for Age: I’m 23 – Born January 3rd – proud Capricorn!IMG_4357

B is for Breakfast: I had a bowl of oatmeal (soaked overnight in greek yogurt) with chia and flax seeds, some raisins, and a little maple syrup. I also had a kiwi, strawberry, blueberry, kale, and banana smoothie with a scoop of Universal Greens.

C is for Current Craving: Sleep…I had a little too much wine last night. Umm, but I think that some Mac & Cheese sounds really good!

D is for Dinner Tonight: I’m going on a father-daughter date tonight, but planning on cooking up some chia seed noodles with asparagus and zucchini.

E is for Favorite Type of Exercise: Adventure sports – I like to play outside – hiking, biking, swimming…just get me outdoors! But I also love yoga and I’m starting to get into running.

F is for Irrational Fear: Someone slicing my Achilles’ tendon when I’m walking down stairs that are open (especially in apartment complexes) or from underneath my car…

G is for Gross Food: Mushrooms, olives, artichokes. I tryyyyyy but they are just so mushy. I also dislike artificial sweeteners, artificial fruit flavors, and ribs.

H is for Hometown: Washington, D.C. – best city in the USA!

I is for Something Important: My family <3 They are my rocks.

J is for Current Jam:  Wild Child – The Doors

K is for Kids: I don’t have any, but am looking forward to a few little rug-rats in the future.

L is for Current Location: At work, in Kalamazoo, MI.

M is for the Most Recent Way you Spent Your Money: A nice dinner out with a lovely lady friend of mine…had two bottles of wine, an antipasto platter, and a delicious chop salad…high price, but higher quality – so it was worth it.

N is for Something You Need: A good yoga session.

O is for Occupation: Communication and Operations Specialist at an herbal supplement company called Universal Formulas.

P is for Pet Peeve: I don’t really have many pet peeves…nothing seriously bothers me…but I guess…I get really irritated when people make an ad hominem argument…discuss the issue, not the person.

Q is for Quote: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

R is for Random Fact About You: I am not a Democrat…despite what everyone presumes when they meet me. I do not identify with any political party.

S is for Favorite Healthy Snack: Cashews with dried cherries

T is for Favorite Treat: Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Health Bar Crunch

U is for something that makes you Unique: My upbringing…from a very diverse religious background and I’ve seen a lot, but never left the country. I feel cultured, yet there is so much more for me to explore and experience.

V is for Favorite Vegetable: Peppers…especially bell.

W is for Workout: I ran 3 miles yesterday, did some kettle bell exercises, and cooled down with some restorative yoga poses (should have done more).

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Ankle, back/neck/spine, brain (CT/MRI) scans.

Y is for Yesterday’s Highlight: So many highlights – great networking opportunity with the MISBTDC, met some awesome people and learned a lot about social media…cleaned my apartment after work…went for a run (first time in two weeks, so that was great!)…walked to dinner with my girlfriend. It was a great day…but they all are!

Z is for Time Zone: Eastern StandardIMG_3931

What do you do if you are craving sweets? Watch this video.

Need a good way to ensure that you won’t be eating sugar later today, tomorrow, next week, next year? Here ya go! This is a little clip from an awesome UK show “Supersize vs. Superskinny”.

Last semester, I worked on a project that would help curb childhood obesity in Michigan. One of the points I brought up was skinny-fat people (especially kids) because although they appear to be “healthy” (aka, less fat) they are not healthy on the inside. Internal organs coated with fat is not healthy.

Next time you feel like eating some gummies, or a fruit roll up, or a slushy – think about this. Remember what all those ingredients really are…not REAL food.

Don’t starve your body from nutrients. Don’t overfeed your body crap. Be pure, Be healthy, & Always eat real food.