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:)