Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Confessions of a Chocolate Eating "Vegan"

OK, maybe if I write about this, I'll realize that there is MILK that comes from COWS in chocolate (well, at least the kind that I've been eating). Its like I think that if I don't look at the ingredient list, the milk doesn't exist. Being out of my comfort zone and without my lovely vegan friends has led me into a black sugar addiction hole. Ugh! I've also been terrible about exercising. Blah, blah, blah...

That's enough with the self degradation and pity though. I have dusted off my juicer (which I lugged back to my in-laws house for the holidays) and I've been juicing for the past three days. My morning bagel (that I was becoming quite accustomed to) has been pried from my hands and I'm sticking to juice only until noon. Baby steps.

The chocolate is everywhere. Those shiny green and red wrappers cry out from their ceramic Santa bowls and glass Christmas tree dishes. Its like I become temporarily insane every time the thought of a dark chocolate covered pistachio nuts cross my mind. I really need a slap in the face. Get it together woman! Not only does the sugar make me feel like complete crap (plus my skin is freaking out and my pants aren't getting any looser), I feel like a hypocrite wearing my "Make the Connection" sweatshirt. Hello! Make the connection! Anybody in there?!

Here is the plan for tomorrow (I've said this to myself the past five nights, but maybe if I write it here I will finally follow through): Juice in the morning, salad for lunch, as much fruit as I want, and salad with Amy's vegan pizza for dinner. I'll report back on New Years Day. Wish me luck.

ps-I LOVE Lori's Natural Foods Market in Rochester, NY. All this city needs now is a juice bar and some vegan restaurants (not to mention a vegetarian restaurant).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Freeminer Birds

I had the pleasure of attending a Freeminer Birds show at Boulder Coffeehouse in Rochester, NY this past week.
Here is a picture of my and my hubby (the singer/guitar player) recording some guest viola for the new album!
You can listen to their first album, see pics of their shows, and buy your own copy of Model Cities at their website:) There is another show this Saturday at Potential Life Studios (I'll be joining them on stage for guest vocals for The Auctioneer!).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crazy Sexy Life's T-Shirts Now Available!!

I'm so excited to announce Crazy Sexy Life's T-Shirts! Check them out here.

Crazy Sexy Cancer Goddess

If you haven't already, check out our online community, Crazy Sexy Life!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I passed this sign in my neighborhood today. It made me smile. Vote people.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Its been almost 2 months! Here is what I've been up to...mostly in pictures

It all started with a three week Cleansing Adventure with my Green Goddess Guru...

I've been experimenting a lot in the kitchen (Green Smoothies, Raw Food dinners and desserts-yum!)

Took a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine with my Hubby and In-Laws

Took a trip to LA with my fabulous boss-lady

Where we ate a lot of yummy raw food (bruschetta from Euphoria!)

Soon I'm off to NYC for the fabulous NYC Crazy Sexy Posse Meetup!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recent Blog Posts from Bloggers I love!

I found this post to be very inspiring!

Allie's Answers: Tip of the Day - Remember the Power of Your Voice

Bueller recently wrote about a couple things I'm very excited about:

Food Matters

Kris Carr in Scientific American!

If you haven't checked out Bueller's Kitchen or Allie's Answers yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Must Visit this Website!! DH LOVE LIFE

Darryl Hannah has traded acting for activism! Her website: DH Love Life is packed with fun, entertaining, and INFORMATIVE videos documenting her exploration of environmental movements around the world. She personally visits organizations and individuals who are making a positive impact on our planet in innovative ways. Her store is really cool too! I can't stop watching her 5 minute mini-episodes on everything from worm poop to bio diesel.

Check out the first of her mini episodes:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crazy Sexy Cancer Boot Camp at Omega!

This past weekend I was blessed to assist Kris Carr, Beth Villandry, and Terri Cole at the Omega Institute for the Crazy Sexy Cancer Bootcamp. Twenty-three beautiful and inspiring women joined us to participate in workshops, share their journey, support each other, drink some green juice, and fly through the air! The weekend was filled with healing circles, loads of nutrition and lifestyle knowledge, the purging of fears and manifestation of desires, and lots and lots of love. Did I mention the tears? I did my share of crying (but also a lot of laughing). You can read about the weekend at Kris' blog here. Here I am taking a leap...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Public Transit and Re-joining the Gym

Lately I've felt the need to sweat (and not only as I walk from my car to the house), so I joined the gym (this is the same gym I left about 18 months ago). I used to be an obsessive gym member. I would go every day for at least an hour (usually two!). I appeared to be in great shape on the outside, but inside I was a mess. It didn't matter how much fat I lost and muscle I gained, it was never enough and I started to hate the gym. After leaving the gym, I went through a lot of failed attempts at physical exercise, DVDs, books, magazines, you name it, I tried it, but nothing stuck. Finally, about a year ago, I found Sivananda yoga. It hit a chord with me and within three months, I quit my job and started yoga teacher training. I loved shifting my focus from purely physical exercise to a practice that integrated the body and mind.

After a year of practicing yoga on a regular basis, something has reawakened in me. I want to run, lift weights, take exercise classes, and SWEAT. There is a summer special at Meadow Mill right now, so I was even more motivated to take the leap and I joined last week. The gym is only a few blocks from my house too! Its heaven so far. I don't feel rushed, judgemental, or negative like I used to. Its more of an enjoyable and relaxing experience. My routine is shaping up to look like this: 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine, 6-7 of the weight lifting machines, and then 20 minutes of yoga (on my own). After the workout, I sit in the sauna for about 10 minutes, rinse off, and walk home! I love it. I don't even have to drive there.

Speaking of driving, I am switching to public transit to get to my day job. There is a light rail station a few blocks from my house and the ride is only 20 minutes (same as driving). The walk from the station to work is about a mile. I'm not promising anything, but I am going to give it a try!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Vegan Birthday

I realized (once again) how lucky I am to have such loving friends and family this past weekend. My husband and I went to our hometown for my birthday and we had a fantastic time! First of all, my always considerate father-in-law emailed me ahead of time for a vegan birthday cake recipe. My sis-in-law planned a picnic (really a bbq, but I think picnic sounded more vegan-friendly to everyone) with a ton of animal-free dishes! We gathered on her back deck and enjoyed a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

The cake was phenomenal. I heard a lot of people saying that it was better than any non-vegan cake they'd ever had. This was exactly what I wanted: for everyone to have a positive experience while enjoying vegan foods and realizing that it isn't a big deal!! Best birthday present ever. Plus, the menu sparked a lot of great conversations and over the course of the weekend I shared the many health benefits of juicing, eating a vegan diet, and other fun wellness habits that I adore.

I'm also happy to say that I received a subscription to Get Fresh! Magazine, a Kleen Kanteen, a salad spinner (love this! saves lots of paper towels), and many other thoughtful gifts:) I can hear my new chime dangling on my back porch.

I had some fresh young coconut water from Zia's today! They opened up a little hole at the top and I brought it home with me. There is a lot of water in one of those coconuts! Over a pint. Later, I scooped out the coconut meat for a smoothie, yum! I also had the pleasure of visiting Liquid Earth this evening with another birthday girl. We brought our hubbies along and enjoyed a delicious meal. I had the raw tacos again, they are so good:)

Tomorrow morning its off to Waverly's Farmer's Market. Time for bed, so that we can get there bright and early.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baltimore's Vegan and Raw Food Stores and Restaurants

I haven't been updating as often lately because I've been exploring the wonderful vegan, raw, organic stores and restaurants in Baltimore and enjoying the outdoors! Here are a few of my newest discoveries:

The Health Concern is a small independent store in Towson. Many of the vegan, raw, and organic goodies that are difficult to find, even at Whole Foods, can be found at this little jewel! The vibe here is fantastic, please support this store:)

Zia's Cafe is also in Towson and is filled with healthy goodies: fresh coconut water, spelt/vegan pizza, fresh juices and smoothies, wheatgrass shots, and much more! Zia's is also hosting a Raw Dinner Event on June 28th! Make reservations soon:)

I have also made a habit (with my hubby) of visiting Waverly's Farmer's Market on Saturdays and Jones Falls Farmer's Market on Sundays. Waverly has a wheatgrass juice vendor (B-More Alive!) and Don & Renee Gorman at Harmony's stand offer lots of vegan treats! Jones Falls has many organic farmers (its where I get my kale and romaine) and a fresh juice/smoothie stand!

I have also visited Liquid Earth twice in the past week:) Liquid Earth offers a large raw food menu, fresh juices/smoothies, and wheatgrass shots! Almost the entire menu is vegan too.

My next stop is Yabba Pot...I've visited Yabba before, but not since beginning my juicing, mostly raw diet! I'll report back soon.


Video of Kris Carr Speaking at a Book Tour Event

Here is a fantastic 50 minute video of Kris at one of her book tour events! Check it out!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Watch, Be Inspired!

I know, I know, you've all heard it before, but this trailer inspired me once again this morning! If you haven't seen the documentary (which comes in an eco-friendly case), you can order it here. Take a few minutes to watch the trailer here:

Have an inspiring Saturday:)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Green Smoothies, Woodstock, Skinny Bitch

An angel brought me a VitaMix and I am now living in the land of Green Smoothies!

My first Smoothie included:
1 Bag of Spinach
4 Strawberries
1 Banana
1/3 Bag of Frozen Organic Tropical Fruit
1 Cup of Filtered Water

I am a sissy right now when it comes to the ratio of greens to fruit, but it works for now (I can't even taste the spinach!).

Soooo yummy. Here is what it looks like blended up and ready to enjoy. I drink my smoothies in a pint glass, in honor of my beer drinking days:)

I have continued with my food journal over the past 17 days and have found it to be a helpful resource and touchstone. It keeps me honest and in connection with my body, mind, and diet.

I spent some time recently in Woodstock, NY and there were so many health and earth conscious businesses to enjoy! Here are a few that I loved:
I read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
yesterday and it was filled with eye-opening knowledge. It was difficult to read about the practices of the meat industry, but these atrocities cannot be ignored. The tone of the book can be abrasive, but its meant to wake up readers who shove chemical-filled, processed foods into their mouths daily without a second thought. Although I don't agree with a few of their dietary recommendations, as a whole I think that it is fantastic! The authors also uncover the brainwashing that has been carried out for decades by the media, government, and corporate worlds. Unfortunately, we cannot trust these sources and we have to do our own research if we want to be conscious consumers for our own health and the health of the planet. Start reading people!

My birthday is coming up and I'll be in Rochester, NY. I can't find a vegan bakery, so my hubby is ordering a vegan cake from Baby Cakes in NYC. It a little pricey, but its my bday! Plus, I've heard rave reviews on this place:)

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Battle Between Body and Mind...is Juice Feasting an Answer?

Its funny that my body is smarter than my mind sometimes, especially when it comes to eating habits. My body is saying: "you're full, you don't want that!". But my mind is saying: "just eat it anyway, it'll make you happy!". These are the same battles I went through two years ago when I quit smoking (actually, this battle was quite long-it lasted seven years).

I've been reading a lot of juice feasting blogs lately and I feel drawn to this challenge because I want to break my mental addiction to food. I am very happy with the shifts that I have made to a healthier diet through juicing, eating primarily raw, and choosing a vegan diet. At the same time, I know that there are issues I have not overcome in terms of my relationship with food. I want to look at food as nourishment, not as comfort. Maybe a juice feast would help me make this transition...If you are interested in learning about the life of a juice feaster, check out these blogs:

Philip at Loving Raw
Angela at Raw Reform
David and Katrina at Juice Feasting
Penni at Real Juice Daily
Courtney at Radical Radiance

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ups and Downs...

I've been journaling my mood/food journey over the past six days. Its pretty eye opening. I lost count of the number of jelly beans and chips I consumed at our bbq yesterday. At least I resisted the ice cream sandwiches and cake...it wasn't easy, but I'm dedicated to staying vegan:) I got back on track today, but I am feeling tired and a little frustrated with my attachment to food. I feel full, but still unsatisfied.

On a lighter note, my hubby and I had a wonderful afternoon. We went for a walk at 10am, not knowing where we were going. We ended up at One World Cafe for brunch (carrot-spinach-ginger-apple juice and vegan pancakes!). Then we wandered through the John Hopkins University campus and ended up at Baltimore Museum of Art. Here is a picture of Steve in the Modern Art Exhibit:

Friday, May 23, 2008

My One Hundredth Post! Happy Birthday Veggies:)

This is my one hundredth post at Baltimore Bliss. It was around this time last year that I became a vegetarian. Its funny that I took a step further recently by transitioning into a vegan diet. I am dedicated to continuing this journey. Next year, I'll be writing my 200th post and remarking upon the new healthy lifestyle choices I've discovered. It just keeps getting better.

Thank god for blogs. Sometimes I get a little blue, unmotivated, blah, whatever you want to call it. After reading a few entries by bloggers like Kris Carr, Bueller, LolaBloom, Bunny Berry, the crew at We Like It Raw, and many many more, my mood lifts and I feel motivated to get off my butt and do something productive (or at least be more positive and thankful)!

I think there is a Vitamix in my future...My hubby knows that it is at the top of my birthday wish list, so I'll let you know in a few weeks if he delivers! Hopefully, I'll be in Green Smoothie heaven soon:)

It is my fourth day on Natalia Rose's 21 day Life Force Energy Plan. So far, so good. I am keeping a food/mood journal and I hope that this exercise will help me realize patterns in eating and how certain foods and habits effect my well being. I am sticking to Rose's food combining guidelines, which has helped with digestion and general comfort throughout the day. Although breathing exercises are something that I became familiar with through yoga, the fact that these exercises are part of her plan help me to make time for them throughout the day. I am also paying special attention to my sleeping patterns and the amount of time between meals. Overall, my diet has become more raw and vegan over the past few days. I have integrated 70% organic dark chocolate into my diet because Rose states that 50 grams per day is ok...we'll see. Its difficult for me to stop at 50g! I am eating more fruit in the morning also.

Its too soon to tell how this new lifestyle has effected me, but I'll let you know over the coming weeks!

ps- Oprah is doing a 21-day vegan cleanse, check it out!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Weekend in Asheville

This past weekend was wonderful! My hubby and I drove to visit our dear friend Pepper (aka Jed) in Asheville, NC. Asheville is a GREEN city:) Lots of juice, vegan cuisine, earth-friendly businesses, and hippies! I enjoyed fresh veggie juice at the Green Sage, raw food and the Laughing Seed Cafe, UliMana's Raw Dark Cacao Truffles at the Grove Corner Market, and vegan cake at Rosetta's Kitchen! We watched lots of movies, walked around for hours, took a nap in the park, and spent time browsing local bookstores and shops. It was fantastic!

I picked up Natalia Rose's book: Raw Food Life Force Energy at Malaprop's Bookstore. The whole weekend supercharged my motivation to move forward with a healthier lifestyle. I started Natalia's 21 Day Program today. My favorite part was dinner, which was so simple and easy! I picked up organic tomato sauce (ingredients limited to organic tomatoes, spices, and olive oil) at Whole Foods today along with an organic zucchini. I heated up the sauce and used a peeler to slice the zucchini into linguine-like strips. I topped my pseudo-linguine with the sauce and added a few ak-mak crackers and voila! It was delicious:) today was about 90% raw. I feel great. I'm going to end the day with a hot, Epsom Salt bath. I'm documenting my progress in a journal, noting my diet, moods, exercise, etc. I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lovely Saturday at Roots Market and The Great Sage!

This morning, I slept until I could no longer sleep and it felt fantastic. Usually I feel guilty about sleeping in on the weekends, but this morning it just felt plain good. My hubby and I decided to take a trip to The Great Sage and Roots Market, which is in Clarksville's Conscious Corner:) I had "A bowl of body-and-soul-warming three bean chili served with brown rice, vegan lime sour cream drizzle and vegan corn bread," and "Green peppers, plum tomatoes, red onion and cucumber tossed in lemon herb vinaigrette over romaine lettuce with kalamata olives and lemon wedge". My hubby had a "Down-home" vegan version of your favorite meatloaf: seasoned lentils, walnuts and grains baked with and apple-barbecue sauce and topped with onion gravy. Served with roasted potatoes and vegetable of the day". We both loved every bite.

Afterward, we visited Roots Market. It is a raw vegan's paradise! I could have stayed there all day, but Steve dragged me out after I walked around starry eyed for at least a half hour. I did manage to buy some goodies and I'll be back soon! They have all of the hard to find ingredients that can make a raw vegan's life much easier (not that I am 100% raw vegan, but this place will help me get there!).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Articles in Smart Woman Magazine: Ashram Visit and Swimming!

The May/June issue of Smart Woman is out! I have a couple articles in this issue:

Something New: A Weekend at an Ashram

This past winter I spent a weekend at an ashram nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The Sivananda Yoga Ranch is a spiritual community that teaches meditation and yoga to everyone, from beginners to experienced practitioners. Guests ranged in age from 18 to 70 and came from all over the United States and Canada. Ours was a diverse group: fashion designers, writers, business people, college students, teachers and retirees...read more.

Learning: Swim School

As a frequent visitor to Soup’s On in Hampden, I have often marveled at the energy of owner and chef Cynthia Shea. It was she who told me about Masters swim classes...read more.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The First Crazy Sexy Meetup in NYC (plus some reflections on raw vs. cooked food)!

The first Crazy Sexy Posse Meetup was in NYC this past weekend! On Saturday afternoon, 60 Crazy Sexy Lifers met up at Bonobo's:) You can read all about it and see some pictures at Kris Carr's blog. The conversation, community, support, and food were fantastic. It is so exciting to think of events like this popping up all over the country and spreading wellness to so many more people! If you haven't already, check out the Crazy Sexy Life forum!

I missed my juice this weekend. I loved making the trip to Whole Foods this morning to pick up my veggies (I picked up some Tom's of Maine mouthwash and Nutiva Coconut Oil too!). Switching between mostly raw to mostly cooked days, helps me realize how much cooked food slows me down! I had a very large cooked meal for dinner tonight and I feel tired, unmotivated, and a little down-in-the-dumps. Its a learning experience. Tomorrow will be all 80% raw and then maybe a fast on Wednesday to wipe the slate clean.

I've also been trying to switch to 100% vegan (probably 90% now). Its not so easy at restaurants! I'm going to continue to work towards this goal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If you were on the fence about becoming a vegan, here are a few more reasons...

I just read an amazing blog post by Dan Paul at Kris Carr's blog. I wanted to email it to every person I know, but thought it might be better to post it here. I touched upon the issue of animal treatment in this post concerning a Human Society video released in February. Although I am probably 80-90% vegan (ice cream always gets me!), this post has inspired me to take the 100% vegan plunge.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wayne Dyer on Generosity

Giving more and expecting nothing in return is not the easiest thing to do. I used to believe that kindness was something to be tallied up. I thought that if someone did something nice for me that I was indebted to them and vice versa. I thought that every act of kindness needed to be recognized and "paid back". It is freeing to understand that kindness and love are not scarce and there is no limit to how much you can give and receive.

I try each day to incorporate this principle into my daily life. The more I give, the more I receive and the more people I meet who are filled with love and kindness. Wayne Dyer has helped me understand generosity. He writes about it in Manifest Your Destiny:

"Practice giving just a bit more than you think you can, and a bit more than your comfort level allows. Increase your patience with a child, hold your spouse in a passionate embrace for just a bit longer than a superficial squeeze, give an extra dollar or two to the maid who took care of you during a hotel visit...Whatever you have convinced yourself is the limit of your generosity, try going beyond it, knowing full well that it is not going to cause any great hardship in your life. Know too, that it will give you that sense of spiritual fulfillment..."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Randy Pausch: A message on living

I just watched this 11 minute video on Raw Model's website and I wanted to share it here. Randy Pausch is living with pancreatic cancer and has been told by doctor's that he has only a few months to live. He shines with more light and life than most people I know and he has blessed us by sharing his wisdom and courage. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this short clip of his talk on Oprah.

Friday, April 25, 2008

NYC Vegan Restaurants and Raw Vegan Chocolate

I had the pleasure of visiting two raw vegan restaurants earlier this week in NYC. The first was Bonobos at 18 E. 23rd Street. Bonobos is named after the Great Ape that lives in Africa. We share 99% of this ape's DNA. Bonobos website explains:

"Wild bonobos are happy pleasure loving creatures whose lifestyle is dictated by instinct and Mother Nature. They are very healthy and live long lives, dying from old age, accidents or predators. There is no evidence of degenerative disease like there is with their human relatives. Instinct is responsible for their diets instead of social custom and food manufacturers. Their diet is predominantly raw, wild and plant based: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Since there is so much discussion about the correct diet for humans, bonobos can give us tremendous insight into what we are meant to eat and what kind of lifestyle we should have."

The food was fantastic! I enjoyed coconut water with my meal of a big green salad, lots of raw veggies and a yummy nut meat pattie:) I felt wonderful after my meal. There are so many tasty options for raw vegans that are packed with the good stuff we need to be healthy and vibrant. Check out Bonobos' menu here. If you live in NYC, be sure to stop in! I'll be back at Bonobos for the first Crazy Sexy Posse Meetup on May 3. Check out the Crazy Sexy Life forum here, you may want to join us!

The second restaurant I visited was Pure Food and Wine at54 Irving Place. This restaurant is the creation of Sarma Melngailis who wrote Raw Food Real World (a raw cookbook that I've mentioned in previous posts). The restaurant was a cozy and inviting place to settle in for a 3 hour meal! We enjoyed: Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps with Tamarind Chile Sauce, Marinated Shitake and Avocado Sushi Rolls, and Rawviolis for starters. For the main dish, I ordered the Zucchini and Roma Tomato Lasagna with Basil-Pistachio Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, and Pignoli Ricotta (picture from flickr.com). Last, but NOT least, I savored a raw mint ice cream sundae, topped with unbelievably rich cacao truffles. To die for. I also enjoyed coconut water with my meal:) Its a good thing that I do not live in NYC, because I would want to eat there every night!

I had a wonderful conversation with a new friend that evening about raw vegan food. I've struggled with following a mostly raw, vegan diet in social situations, especially with family. My wise new friend helped me regain my confidence in my choice to follow this path. She helped me turn my insecurity into pride! Next time I feel like compromising my diet to "fit in", I am going to bring a delicious raw food dish to share with friends and family.

Lastly, I was just at Whole Foods picking up some greens for the weekend, when I got a hankering for chocolate. I'm not someone who can have a bar of chocolate hanging out in my cupboard without devouring it in one sitting, so I was looking for a single serving, organic dark chocolate treat. I was pleasantly surprised to find 100% Organic Vegan Raw (single serving) Chocolate bar! The chocolate (70% cacoa) is made by Love Street Living Foods. You can read an article about this company here. The article explains:

"The chocolate, made with a low-temperature (melted below 108 degrees) process, contains no processed sugar or hydrogenated fats or chemicals. The ingredients list starts with organic raw cacao (70 percent), which they source from Ecuador (cacao typically is roasted for chocolate). The rest: Organic raw cacao butter, organic raw coconut oil, organic raw agave nectar (the sweetener), organic raw whole vanilla bean, organic raw maca (powdered South American root vegetable), organic raw cayenne (a subtle touch of it) and Himalayan crystal salt."

The texture is more gritty than traditional chocolate, but it is still delicious, rich, and flavorful. Not to mention very satisfying:)

I am more and more motivated each day to continue on a (mostly) raw vegan path...people keep telling me I'm getting "the glow". Its not just the food, its part of a lifestyle, which I discovered through Crazy Sexy Life (CSL), Sivananda Yoga, and numerous spiritual teachers. Since returning from NYC, three friends have approached me on how to start on the CSL path and I love sharing my knowledge and resources. Thanks CSL!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

p.s.-I picked up Alba's Body Sunscreen (30 S.P.F) today at Whole Foods! I'm ready to enjoy the sun (safely).


Thursday, April 24, 2008


Good Morning Sunshine:)

Its official, sunscreen has become a part of my morning routine. I could beat myself up about not integrating it into my regimen sooner, but whats the use in that? I've spent a lot of time in the sun lately, walking around NYC, DC, and Baltimore and I've picked up more color than I would like. Although I am fair skinned and it is obvious that I need to wear sunscreen because I turn into a lobster at the beach, EVERYONE needs to wear sunscreen. It doesn't matter if your skin turns a lovely brown or already is a lovely brown, the sun is not our friend UNLESS we protect ourselves from harmful rays.

I picked up Alba's Botanica's SUN Facial Sunscreen at Whole Foods yesterday. I don't put makeup, lotion, or anything else on my face other than a couple sprays of Burt Bee's Carrot Seed Oil Complexion Mist, so I was reluctant to use the sunscreen, but it is not an option to ignore this necessity! I am happy to report that I can barely tell that it is on my face:) My skin doesn't feel oily or look greasy. My skin feels and looks the same as it would any other day, except now I am protected and I can enjoy the sun. Within the next couple days, I will be purchasing Alba's Sunscreen for the whole body and adding it to my morning routine!

And now its time to make some Green Juice!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thanks Allie's Answers!

Thanks Allie's Answers for honoring Baltimore Bliss with the Blog of Distinction Award! I would like to share the love by honoring my favorite blogs (Allie's Answers would be one of my honorees, if she hadn't already received it!):

Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer blog is filled with information on caring for your mind, body, and the planet! Her writing is fun and inspiring to read and she has interesting guest bloggers!

Debbie Does Raw gives readers a first hand look at the raw food experience. Debbie writes about her journey with raw foods, organic products, current issues effecting our food, recipes, and more!

Radical Radiance is filled with information on juice feasting and raw foods. Courtney also talks about positive thinking and spirituality. She lives at the Tree of Life and writes about the latest happenings at this phenomenal place!

We Like It Raw is chock full of support and resources for raw food living. If you are interested in the leaders of the raw food world, many of them blog here and share their experiences and tips!

Here is my menu so far today:
6:30am-Water, lemon, stevia
Fasting Yogi Tea
10:00am-Green Juice (same as yesterday afternoon's juice:))

Last night's meditation:
Jon Kabat-Zinn's Body Scan Meditation
This morning's meditation:
Wayne Dyer's Morning Meditation

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today's Menu

7am-Water, lemon, stevia
11:00am-Green Juice:
1/2 cucumber
3 handfuls of baby greens
celery stalks
2:00pm-Veggie "Soup":
The following were blended in a food processor and warmed slightly on the stove:
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 head of broccoli
cayenne pepper
celtic sea salt
1 clove of ginger
fresh dill
olive oil
3:00pm- Green Juice:
1/2 cucumber
3 handfuls of baby greens
broccoli stems
9:00pm-Veggie "Soup":
The following were blended in a food processor and warmed slightly on the stove:
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
1 head of broccoli
cayenne pepper
celtic sea salt
1 clove of ginger
1 juiced lemon
olive oil

Lots of herbal tea and filtered water too!

I taught two yoga classes this evening. I felt clear headed, calm, and energetic. Its amazing how much easier it is to feel peaceful when your body is at peace. Its not so fun teaching yoga when you feel bloated and full. I'm very happy that I have integrated this practice into my weekly regimen. Time for my nightly meditation. I've been downloading different guided meditations onto my iPod. Tonight's selection: TBA:)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Time for the weekly fast

Today, I will be joining the CSL crew for a 1-2 day juice fast (feast). Last week's fast was incredible. I felt like I had wiped the slate clean. My cravings were drastically reduced, I even resisted dessert on my husband's birthday (I watched everyone eat hot fudge sundaes)! Friends and family were in Baltimore this past weekend and it was tough sticking to a healthy diet while eating at restaurants for almost every meal. I wasn't perfect, but I managed to eat vegan the entire weekend and properly combine foods most of the time.

Sometimes the only vegetarian option on a menu includes cheese. In the past, I would have probably just eaten the cheese so that I didn't seem fussy. This weekend I realized that its silly to compromise the diet that works best for me just because I think others will judge me. Surprise! The world doesn't revolve around me and it was no big deal to ask for what I wanted! Glad I'm over that now:)

Last week, I was focused on fasting as a "reset" for my body and mind. This week, I feel like its more of a "tweaking" that needs to be done to get me back on track:) I hope that with each week, my fast will be less and less of a major overhaul and more of a time to just give my body and mind a rest.

I've integrated wheat grass powder into my daily regimen and its taking me a little while to get used to the taste. The powder is much more palatable than the real deal, but I think its going to take a few days (or weeks) to love my wheat grass. Adding lemon juice helps! I order it from Debbie at CSL. Its very affordable and Debbie can answer any of your questions about wheat grass (and much more!). I've mentioned her blog in the past-Debbie Does Raw. You can contact her through CSL or her blog.

My husband and I recently renovated a room in our basement that walks out to the backyard. I've designated a little nook in the room as my sacred space:) I have a small table with pictures of Swami Vishnu and Swami Sivananda, a picture of Durga, a candle, incense, and a few other items that symbolize people that I love and things I am thankful for. This morning, I meditated for thirty minutes (listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn's Sitting Meditation on my iPod).

I will always have this safe haven to retreat to when I need clarity and peace. I have made the commitment to meditate for 30 minutes in the morning and evening in my new sacred space. It only took a few minutes to arrange and it is so powerful! I'll be checking in to let you know how this new space has effected my meditation practice and my everyday life. Reading Deepak Chopra's Seven Spritual Laws of Success, Wayne Dyer's Manifest Your Destiny, and being involved with the Manifesting and Yoga groups at CSL has given me the support and encouragement to make these steps. I am happy and grateful that these things have come into my life.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fasting, Day 2

Good Morning!

I feel fantastic today:) Last night was pretty sweaty, but I assume that this is a sign that my body is detoxing. I had a cup of tea before bed and I fell asleep easily (no hunger). I had very vivid dreams last night, which weren't pleasant, but I'm not going to analyze it. This morning I got up at 6am to teach yoga. I went through my regular morning routine and had a big glass of water with lemon juice. I took a cup of Fasting Yogi Tea with me to the studio. I was pretty hungry when I got back home, but I went on a walk with my husband before juicing:)

This morning's juice included:
6 stalks celery
1 lemon
1 lime
3 big handfuls of greens
1/2 cucumber
1 inch ginger
Coconut water

I just finished my juice and I feel content, alert, and positive. Terri (crazy sexy life coach) was a guest blogger at Kris Carr's blog this morning. She wrote about the power and benefits of meditation. The post is packed with tips, motivation, and wisdom. It has inspired me to kick my meditation practice up a notch. I am going to buy a timer today so that I can meditate peacefully without looking up every few minutes at the clock!

I am thinking about breaking my fast today, but we shall see!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fasting Part III

After my last post, I had another cup of tea and took some coconut water mixed with fresh lime juice on the road. It wasn't until 6 o'clock that I became hungry and drinking water helped to calm my stomach until I got home at 9. I taught two yoga classes and felt high in energy and had a clear mind the whole time. Right now, I'm sipping 20 oz. of juice:)

My Second Juice of the Day:

3 Carrots
2 big handfuls of Baby Greens
3 Broccoli Stalks
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1 inch of Ginger

I didn't have to add Stevia because the carrots and broccoli add sweetness:) The ginger makes the juice nice and spicy! I am very pleased with this juice and I'm glad that I used some different veggies. Its nice to branch out! I feel very calm. I don't know if I will break the fast tomorrow, I'll just see how I feel.


Fasting Part II: Blended Soup!

I got hungry mid-afternoon and decided to try my first Blended Soup. Zero cooking involved because heating food over 118 degrees destroys enzymes. Here is what I threw into the food processor (my substitute for a Vita Mix):

1 Avocado
3 stalks celery
1/2 Cucumber
1 Carrot
2 handfuls of Baby Greens
A few shakes of Celtic Sea Salt
1 Squeezed Lemon

The lemon and salt helps to make the soup much more appetizing. I did heat the soup minimally to take the chill out, but I made sure that it was only luke warm:) Next time, I am going to add garlic and cayenne. It's three o'clock and I feel great!

Adventures in Fasting, Coconut Water, and Stevia

There has been a lot of discussion about fasting at the CSL forum and Kris Carr's Blog. These resources have come at the perfect time (as they always do). As I've integrated more healthy eating habits into my life, the unhealthy ones have naturally become more apparent. My mind and body are more connected, which makes me more sensitive to foods that are energy depleting and toxic.

During the weekends, I often fall off the bandwagon and eat refined sugars and grains. The following day I feel down in the dumps and tired. In addition, I crave these foods more, which makes me feel worse and encourages this unhealthy cycle. These foods also make me feel bloated and uncomfortable. There are many excuses that I could make for choosing these foods, but the bottom line is that I am responsible for my health and happiness.

I'm hitting the reset button today, in hopes that I can reduce my cravings and boost my energy. So far, I've had a big glass of water with lemon, a cup of tea, and green juice. I've eliminated apples from my green juice because of the sugar content and as Kris Carr wrote in the comment section of her blog, "fruit cleanses faster than veggies so you may experience more detox effects with fruit".

Today's Green Juice:
2 large handfuls of Baby Greens
6 Stalks of Celery
1/2 Cucumber
1/4 inch Ginger
1 Lemon
1 Lime
Coconut Water (O.N.E. brand)
1 packet of Stevia (an herb-very sweet!)

I was afraid that I would dislike the juice without the apple, but I can't tell the difference:) I feel great so far today. If you haven't tried Stevia as a sugar substitute, I highly recommend it! Also, O.N.E. Coconut Water can be found at Whole Foods, in case you don't feel like cutting open a coconut yourself. Here is some info on the benefits of Coconut Water. Here is some information on Stevia in case your are curious.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Taking it Easy

I've noticed a pattern in my thinking during the weekends. I wake up and immediately a "things I should do today" list begins to grow out of control. I should...juice, do yoga, dry brush, neti, take a walk, clean the house, garden, finish some home improvements, read a book, get a head start on work due this week, meditate, grocery shop, and the list goes on. At least I am concious about the fact that I do this, but its difficult at times to fight feelings of guilt and disappointment that crop up because I can't get all of these things done in one day. Plus, when do you fit in spending time with friends and family or "relaxing" with all these things to do?

I hope that eventually, I will break this cycle, but in the meantime here are a few things that help me come back to earth. I try to shift my focus from my to-do list, to my "I am happy and grateful" list. Debbie, from Debbie Does Raw, mentioned this practice and I've integrated it into my daily life. Every morning and before I got to bed, I list the reasons I am happy and grateful. I also use this opportunity to manifest my desire for the future.

Staying present! This is the ultimate tool for beating the blues. It helps to ask these simple questions when trying to be more present: "At this moment, what do I see, feel, smell, hear, and taste?" Answering these questions automatically shifts my consciousness to the present moment and give me a sense of peace.

Pushing my pride to the side. Often, I get on a high horse about all these things I have to do. In other words, I take myself too seriously. My husband helps me laugh, let go, and chill out, but only if I let my guard down. He is pretty persistent, so usually it works.

The shower can be a place of peace or chaos inside my head. When I feel like the events of the day are like gray clouds over my head, I remind myself that if I change my perspective, these things could be fun. I can make them enjoyable if I let go of my preconceived notions.

I am still reading Wayne Dyer's book, Manifesting Your Destiny, and I've already seen the benefits of this different way of thinking. I'm still working on my vision board and it continues to be a source of motivation and clarity. I'm off to visit CSL and check out the Crazy Sexy Manifesting Maniacs group. Its filled with support and knowledge, so if you are interested (or curious), check it out!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kris Carr's Advice On Fasting...

I've wanted to begin fasting once per week since I learned that it was a beneficial break for your digestive system and the rest of your body. Kris Carr wrote a fantastic post at her blog today that outlines her approach to fasting. There are many different fasting practices, but this is the one that I recommend:) I will be fasting on Friday and I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Manifesting Your Destiny

Last night, I began reading Manifest Your Destiny by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. I underlined the following passage because it brought such clarity:

Whenever you are about to act, ask yourself this question: "Is what I am about to say or do going to bring me peace?" If the answer is yes, then go with it and you will be allowing yourself the wisdom of your highest self. If the answer is no, then remind yourself that it is your ego at work.

I've been asking myself that question today and it has reminded me to live consciously. By respecting my own inner peace, I automatically respect others, and the earth. Its such a simple concept, but it is so powerful. What if everyone asked themselves this question before acting and speaking?

This book is a continuation of my exploration of manifestation, which began with reading Abraham-Hicks' book Ask And It Is Given (Law of Attraction) about a year ago (you can read the post here). The vision board has taken me a step further. I picked up Dyer's book because of a recommendation at CSL. I have already experienced life unfolding in more positive and natural ways since shifting my way of thinking and creating the board. I am amazed at how quickly things that I put on the board, which at the time seemed like a long-shot, are becoming a reality. I am learning to trust that things will work out rather than constantly being on the defensive and trying to be prepared for every possible way the sky could fall. The words: surrender, allow, and let go, all come to mind.

More on this later!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tongue Cleaner

One more item to list for my daily morning regimen! Behold, the tongue cleaner:

This is an Ayurvedic practice. Tongue cleaners help to reduce bad breath (brushing your tongue is not very effective!), activate digestion, improve the detox process through the tongue, and decrease plaque. They are very cheap too!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Neti Pot

A few posts ago, I listed my ideal morning routine and I forgot to mention one of the most important parts! The Neti Pot! I love my neti. The Neti Pot is an Ayurvedic cleansing tool that is easy to use and very affordable. All you need is a plastic or ceramic neti pot (can be found in pharmacies, health food stores, and spiritual/new age bookstores/gift shops), warm water, and sea salts.

This You Tube video shows you exactly how to use the Neti:

It may feel funny at first, but it will become second nature. It is not painful at all and should only take a few minutes. I always feel refreshed afterward. This cleansing method allows you to breathe more deeply, it awakens your senses, and helps to clear your mind. Make sure that you use non-iodized salt (not table salt!) and the water should be body temperature. If you have any questions, let me know!

Be Well,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Vision Board In-Progress

I had so much fun yesterday creating my vision board. Its not done yet, but it has already helped me work through some questions that I've had recently. Although I didn't know exactly why I chose some of the images, it all came together when I sat down to organize the board. Every time I look up from my computer, I am reminded of the strong women entrepreneurs that I am striving to join! Their journeys help me keep a positive attitude that I can make a difference if I stay positive and focused. The board also reminds me to have patience for certain things in my life (ex. writing a book, planting a garden) because these things take time and I shouldn't give up! The vision board also reminds me to focus on my own wellness and the wellness of our planet. I'll post another picture when the board is further along. I hope that others will start thier own vision board! It will help you manifest your dreams by focusing your attention and energy on your desires.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Vision Board

I've been thinking about creating a vision board for many months and today is the day I will begin. Although there are countless reasons to make a vision board, I am focused on developing a clearer understanding of my purpose: how can I focus my strengths and contribute in a greater way to the universe (the whole, or whatever you want to call it)? Although I am doing many things that make me happy (yoga, teaching, writing, etc.), I feel scattered and at times, isolated. I know that I want to continue my focus on mind and body wellness, but I hope to find a way to do this on a deeper level through more education and collaboration. How will this happen? I have faith that if I stay focused, motivated, and present that I don't have to have an exact plan. The vision board (hopefully) will help me cultivate these goals. Here are some resources that I found:

How To Make A Vision Board by Christine Kane
How To Use A Vision Board To Activate The Law Of Attraction by Tristan Loo

Anyone out there have experience making a vision board?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wheat Grass Powder

I had my first wheat grass shot at Liquid Earth a couple weeks ago and I'm not going to pretend that it was easy getting it down. Regardless of the taste (which really wasn't that bad), I know how wonderful it is for you and I would like to integrate wheat grass juice into my diet. So, when I saw a packet of Amazing Grass Wheat Grass Powder at Whole Foods yesterday, I decided to pick it up. I've been making a smoothie everyday a few hours after juicing, so I decided to add the powder while blending my daily smoothie. The end product is pictured above. I could taste the difference in the smoothie, but it was still enjoyable (I am trying to develop a wheat grass palette).

I have decided to move away from fruit smoothies. They appeal too much to my affinity for sugar and I find myself becoming addicted to them. Until I get my Vitamix and start blending some serious veggie smoothies, I think I'll stick to my green juice:) I'm learning about how my mind reacts to my diet and I can recognize when I'm developing an unhealthy relationship with certain foods. Too much of anything isn't a good thing. I am committed to developing a diet that consists of foods that I enjoy consuming in moderation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Officially Begins In Two Days!

Spring is almost officially here, although you wouldn't know it by looking at my backyard:

I am determined to transform this wasteland into a veggie garden. But where to begin? Here are some resources that I've found through the Gardening Group at the Crazy Sexy Life Forum:

You Grow Girl Website
You Grow Girl Book
University of Florida Organic Gardening Guide

Anyone out there getting started with their gardens?

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Peak Into India

A yogi/photographer friend of mine, Ana Grillo, is on a journey in India. She is documenting her travels through a blog and photo-journal. It is very inspiring to read about her experiences! Check them out here. She is traveling with Uli, who is also chronicling their journey through a blog hosted by Baltimore City Paper. You can check out her blog here. I have never visited India, but the words and photos of these women are bringing the country alive for me! I hope you'll take a peak:)

*This is not one of their photos, it is from flickr.com