Month: October 2012

Checking In

Sooo, I hope everyone is doing alright!!!

I know things got pretty bad on around the northeast coast.  So many areas destroyed and without power, I really do hope everyone just made it out ok, and was smart to stay home safe!

This is the first time I’m able to get power/connection after the hurricane.  I’m actually at my local target to charge the necessities.  Who knows when I can have some power and heat again!  Of course, when I go to charge my stuff, I leave my phone charger at home… typical.  Which means I can’t transfer my pictures on the computer 😦 I have a yummy recipe that is just going to have to wait.

I haven’t been keeping up with my ayurvedic lifestyle like I wanted to.  Being home has made me want to eat, a lot.  With no heat or light,  I’m going to bed earlier, waking up later, and  eating to clean out the fridge.  It’s so upsetting having to throw out so much food.  I’m not going to lie, in a way, I look at this as a way of starting a new.  I have a new appreciation for technology and heat.

I hope everyone keeps warm and drives safe! Keep yo head up peeps!

 

Yesenia

PS.  Somehow enjoy your Halloween.  I’m kinda bummed about no pumpkin cookies.  Guess I’ll just start prepping for Thanksgiving!

Ayurveda

Hello  everyone!

How was your weekend? I hope you made the most out of it!  I did a little bit of everything, from yoga, friends, family, and tv-movies.  It was pretty awesome   I know that most of you guys are off to day (Hey Sandy!) and may be stranded inside, so I thought I keep you occupied with this post.  It’s a little different, as is no pictures of food (maybe….), recipes, or weekend updates.

Ayurveda (sanskrit) – knowledge of life

A little back-round information:  Ayurveda has been practiced for thousands of years through sanskrit texts and Indian Culture.  It’s about living in balance within the main forces of nature; air, earth, fire, water, space.  It is about being in harmony with the universe.  The way to do that is to always try to keep in balance your physical, emotional, and mental state.  For everyone, this is different.  Each person has there own constitution, from the forces of nature.  They are vata – air, pitta – fire, and kapha – earth.  Now this is just a quick overview of basics.  Different ways of balancing your constitution is through diet and practice.

This is something I started coming across while reading articles and blogs, yoga, and now even through my program!  It was something that without even knowing it, I had started to follow and believe in within my own life.

Yoga has become a very important part of my life.  It taught me about love, balance, living in the present, and ujayi breath.  My mom was the first person to teach me about breath.  One can calm the mind by listening to your own deep inhales and long exhales.  Spirituality now plays a bigger part of my life because of that.  I started becoming more interested in a holistic way of living.  Natural foods, farmers market, organics, and fair-trade all became important.  I was interested in where my food was coming from, and with that came seasonal and local foods.  I started listening to what my body was craving and what it needed.  My digestion has become the most important body function that I tend to everyday, and now understand how important it is in ridding toxins; physically and mentally.  Did you know I drink warm water with lemon EVERY MORNING?  Something my mom taught me a few years ago and turns out it is one of the best things you can do for yourself (didn’t read this article till a couple of months ago!)

I am all about listening to my body.  Through years of trial and error, learning and integrating, I want to just do what is best for my body and beliefs.  I’ve done my research AND school work, so I am embarking on a journey towards Ayurveda.

Facts about me

  • I’m a cold person.  My hands are naturally always cold and in the winter they may turn blue if unattended.  I’ve been checked.  It’s just poor circulation in the hands
  • I’m a morning person.  Always have been.  I noticed that 5am – 6am wake up calls, fit me best.  Although, I have my days…
  • I have a medium body type.  Easy to gain, easy to lose.
  • I am not competitive
  • I do not like strenuous activity.  When I was little I did dance and soccer.  Eventually, I chose dance.  When I ran (never great at it) and did p90x, I noticed how excited I was to do the yoga tape.  P90x yoga actually ignited my passion
  • Poop is important to me.  Everyone who knows me, knows my issue with digestion.  And now I guess you do to.
  • I don’t like to be hungry.  I must eat, if not I will create drama.
  • I have a fleeting mind.  I change my mind a lot, and don’t like to focus on one thing.

So  my dosha is Vata-Pitta (mostly Vata).  What are you?  This means I will be working on balancing my constitution  during this Vata Winter. Not only will this affect my lifestyle and diet, but I hope to sense a difference in  my lymphatic system (the largest and biggest drainage system in the body.  Controls everything from PMS, digestion, to weight control) and ability to control my hormones.

How?

  • I will be using this seasonal winter guide to help with meal planning.  This isn’t so far from what I’m used to, as I’ve been well aware of the importance of eating local and seasonal foods for a while.
  • Eating 2 meals a day with a snack or “supplement” (soup ) for dinner.  Lunch will be my biggest meal of the day.
  • A lot of warm water and tea throughout the day
  • Mostly cooked foods.  (Noticed not many salads on the blog?)  During the summer, I eat mostly raw (I am a bit of Pitta!), so this will definitely be my main transition.
  • A lot more fats and grains – Winter is a dormant season for nature!
  • I will still practice yoga, but also take Bikram more seriously.  The strength gained in Bikram (I’ve noticed a great difference already) will help ground me.
  • Will try to work out every morning, even if it’s 10 min sun salutations!
  • Early bed-time and early rise.  Duh.

I hope this will help me stay grounded… and warm.  Winter is always the hardest for me between the cold weather, shorter days, and sugar cravings.  I will still be following a plant-based diet though.  The Ayurvedic diet actually includes a lot of dairy and some meat.  But right now, I know that my 4 main-food groups (fruits, veggies, grains, and fats), fill me just fine.  Who knows what the future holds though!

If you made it this far… damn, you’re good.  I might even do another detox before Thanksgiving, since I feel it may be a little easier now!  I’m really excited to start this out!  This weekend, I had a taste of it, and it seems doable.  If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please let me know!  This is going to be a work in progress, but I hopefully I’ll keep it going!  Wanna know what makes it a little easier?…

My love for Indian food

and Pumpkin Oatmeal 🙂

Namaste Peeps!

 

Yesenia 

Turning Point

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all are are excited for the weekend as I am!  I can’t help it.  Lately, I’ ve been making my weekends a little more enjoyable since working and studying are my focuses during the week.  I actually have plans to get pretty, go out, and do groceries!  We’ll see how it all pans out though.

Yesterday

I did school work for 3 hours straight yesterday.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I cared about what we were learning, I can’t guarantee I would have made it.  It was actually so interesting that I can’t wait to share it with you!  It’s a lifestyle that I have been really interested in and curious about that I think I am ready to try it out for myself.  A little hint on what it is…. check out this post.

Anyways I decided to eat a big lunch again since I was starving and I didn’t feel like bringing anything to work.  Keepin it simple, peeps.

Sometimes I like to present my food, just because.

I roasted some carrots and celery, with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt, best part of the meal!  I also did this rice and lentil dish that ended up tasting like the detox dish I once made.  Not what I was going for, but it worked.  With a little tweaking and measurements, I would like to share it because it’s soooo nourishing!  For the kale, I just steamed it, but with a secret ingredient…

Seaweed!!!

I actually would have used this on on the rice and lentil dish, but it didn’t cross my mind then.  Just a quick preview Kombu is a type of kelp, rich in nutrients and amino acids.  It’s great to help in digestion, which is why if you boil your beans, it’s a great to put a few pieces in there so it will aid in the digestion (should eliminate bloating).

Since I had that awesome lunch, dinner was a chai tea latte from starbucks.  I just wanted something in my stomach so I didn’t go too long without anything.  Plus, I spent forever trying to pick out a little something…

My new planner!!

I haven’t had one of these for like 4 years (after my 2nd yr of college I thought scrap paper was efficient enough lol).  After a little help and admittance, this busy bee caved.  I need to get organized and get going with what I’m trying to do with my life.  Not to sound dramatic, but my laid back attitude is only good when you’re getting things accomplished, important things.  So to help me out, hopefully this will keep me going to cross off my little life events, to then help me out with the big picture.  Plus, isn’t it cute?!?!?!

I can’t wait to start writing in it! Doesn’t everybody like fresh new notebooks?  It’s like a fresh start.

Well, that’s it for today.  Hopefully your weekend starts out fun.  If not, at least make your breakfast a good time 😉

Banana whipped oats topped with cacao nibs and almond butta!

 

Enjoy!

 

Yesenia

Single Girl Pasta

Good morning everyone!

So it’s almost the weekend and I couldn’t be happier.  I just have to make it at work today and tomorrow night and I am golden for the weekend.  Hollaaaa!

Yesterday, I thought was pretty productive.  Cleaned, read, ate, and stayed in sweats all day.  I didn’t even make it to yoga.  I figured I was going the next morning anyway, early, so I didn’t want to push myself so late at night.  The vinyasa class wasn’t until 7:30 and after in being in sweats all day, yoga pants wasn’t going to cut it.

After cleaning yesterday, I worked up a Big appetite for lunch.  Technically, it was pretty late, so I treated it as dinner.  I had already picked up the kitchen, so I wanted something quick, easy, and clean.  I had an open box of pasta in the cupboard, opened jar of sauce in the fridge, and mushrooms that were begging to be used (they looked on the brink of death).  Sweet!

Pasta with Mushrooms and Red Sauce

  • about 1 cup of quinoa pasta (i may have used more 🙂
  • about 1 cup of jarred marinara sauce
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast

Boil pasta as directed.  Once pasta is cooked drain, but save some of the liquid!  Set to the side.

Over medium heat, put in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Let heat up for a minute, until you add the garlic.  Sautee garlic in the pan, lowering heat if necessary to ensure it does not burn.  Once it looks golden, add in the mushrooms.  Stir the ingredients, set stove on medium heat, and cover the pan to keep in moisture and let the mushrooms cook.

Love mushrooms!

Add in the tomato sauce and let simmer to reduce it to your desired consistency.  Add in pasta and some of the liquid from the pasta.  The starch of the pasta water, can help make for a thicker sauce.  Mix in the nutritional yeast which will help give it that slightly creamy, cheesy taste.  Pasta is ready!

Gorgeous, no?

This made quiet a bit, so I ended up only having prob 2/3 of it.  I steamed some kale on the side to up the volume and nutrition a bit.  A touch of salt and you are good to go! It made for pretty colors too 🙂

Pretty Pasta!

I hope you enjoy this if you try it!  Between the quinoa pasta and mushrooms it made the right balance of carbs and protein.  Added veggies always help with portion control and added nutrients too!

Since I ate a big earlier, I had a couple of snacks to last me till bedtime.

Sprouted toast with sunflower seed butter and pear. Excuse the lighting lol

Little bit of leftovers.

I ended the night being able to watch Hocus Pocus finally!  A week till Halloween, so I had to start it off right!  Then some homework of course.

Favorite Halloween movie

Today

Homework, Homework, Homework!  I fueled my morning with a great 6am vinyasa flow and oatmeal, so hopefully I can keep going till 11pm tonight!

 

Have a great day peoples!

Yesenia

Curious?

Good morning everyone!

So today I have a day off! Yay!  I have quite an agenda too!  Between school work, cleaning, and running some errands, I hope to get it all done before yoga tonight.

So, to start off this post of curiosity, here is a catch up of my eats, as I know you are all curious lol

Breakfast before work. Banana whipped oats and green tea.

Morning Motivation (compliments to yogi tea)

Leftover kale soup.

Grandma’s Kitchen. Brown rice, red beans, peppers and onion, avocado. Soo good!

Today I awoke to a great quote!

This is just a snapshot of my retweet.  You must follow @disneywords and Me @yeseniaetez 🙂

Anyway, I always try to check twitter in the morning.  While most people are just starting off their day, they have more positive affirmations to share.  It’s a great way to motivate yourself and others!  This quote is especially awesome!

I find myself to be a very curious person.  I love to learn!  Of course mostly about nutrition, wholesome foods, physical nourishment, mental nourishment, and even spirituality.  I love yoga and find myself learning more about the teachings and language (Sanskrit)  of this ancient practice.  I’m curious about people.  People I’m surrounded by and also those who live across the world.  With that, I love to find ways to interact and help others.

Because of all this, I use up a lot of time.  Whether I like to admit it or not, I really do like to keep busy.  And it’s mostly of things I love and am curious about.  I was curious about health, and holistic nutrition.  Because of that, I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  If I am going to fill up my time reading articles, learning about food, diets, spirituality, why not have something to show for it?  It took me awhile to let go of that fear, but it has helped so much!

If I’m not working or doing school work, I love to read.  I read articles on the internet, books about food, spirituality, or life in general, and of course blogs.  Reading about other peoples lives and doings, has inspired me so much, because like most, they started out as somebody who was curious and eager to find out more.  It’s a way to get yourself out there and pick up more ideas about different topics.

Living a vegan lifestyle, was inspired by curiosity as well.  I learned about the great impacts of a plant-based diet within the environment and people.  Then,  I was curious to retry and see the impacts with in my body.

My favorite vegan meal! 

What my problem has mostly been is putting my curiosity to effect.  So far, the improvements have been showing, and I know my family and friends see it too.  I’ve finally learned how to use my curiosity and make it effective, but trust me, I still have a long way to go.

I hope that curiosity keeps you alive.  To have the passion to learn, help, and improve the life and happiness of yourself and others.  Keep busy.  Learn. Work.  Volunteer.  Exercise.  Meet people.  Maybe you’re curious on how to relax.  Do it! There is always something to do! And it’s always important!

 

Till next time!

 

Yesenia

Short and Sweet

Hey Peeps!

Monday is practically over and I am so thankful!  Seriously, I never feel as if a new start is here until Tuesday  where I get everything settled.

I was kind of slacking on the picture department today, so this post is definitely going to be short in length.  I also happen to be extremely tired, so there won’t be much to say either.  But I’m going to still try and keep it informative!

Breakfast

Since I may have indulged quite a bit over the weekend, I wanted to keep my eats light and simple for today.  I had my quinoa parfait, nixed the almond butter though because I was actually trying to keep it light.  I knew I would be eating in a couple of hours anyways for lunch.  I was at work, so breaks are at there mercy.

Lunch

Yummy!

For a last minute meal, I was pretty impressed with myself.  I put my sprouted toast and sunshine burger in the toaster, and while that was happening I shopped up some carrots and celery.  I topped my burger with some tomato, tahini, and lemon as a dressing.  It was soo good.  An apple to round out the meal, and I felt like I was back in grade school.  Pretty cute, huh?

After work there was an unaccounted for cliff bar.  Maple Oatmeal to be exact.  I was kind of hungry after work so it held me over till I was ready for dinner.

Dinner

Momma’s Kale Soup!

Oh lawd!  Love my mom’s soups.  That’s one dish that kind of intimidates me.  I know it can be so easy, but somehow, I know that I can never get it like my mom.  Maybe it’s one of those heart-warming dishes that just taste better when other’s make it for you.  With love of course!  Anyway’s dinner was very light.  Some kale, carrots, and celery, with some cannellini beans tossed it, I felt myself detoxifying just looking at it!

Dinner was accompanied with school work.  I’m actually a little behind, so I’m making sure to be extra diligent about it this week.  A larabar (gingersnap) as a little dessert while I studied, was also consumed.  I always love to end the night on a sweet note 🙂

That’s it for today!  Just finished my ginger tea and now my bed it just feeling extra comfy.

 

Enjoy your night lovies!

 

Yesenia

 

Live it. Enjoy it.

Hellloooo lovelies!!

I hope you are all winding down from you’re weekend!  And if you’re still going, good for you!

My weekend was pretty good.  I got to enjoy my time with leisure which was awesome   Saturday, I was lucky enough to take a drive to see one of my friends from work.  The drive was relaxing, and my time there was even better.  I love being able to not worry about what I have to do, what time, and how everything is happening.

The Philadelphia Zoo

Louis, the gorilla

One of the girls and I have been saying we wanted to go to the zoo for the longest.  We finally made it happen when I came down on Saturday.  The Philadelphia Zoo seemed like a very family friendly place.  It was big, friendly, and was generally a nice environment to be in.  It was great to be so close to the animals.  Even though they are in cages, I tried to think of the positive side of things.  At first, I was kind of in shock.  That we looked at these creatures in awe, and wondered how happy they were in there.  I’ve been wanting to visit a animal sanctuary for awhile now, to reconnect with life and nature in another way.  The zoo helped me with that in another way.  Kids loved it, even adults!  To see different life-forms can be astonishing.  I see it as beautiful as well.  I tried not to look at it like the animals were caged in, but rather, most were rescued and kept safe from extinction.  I forget how some species are depleting.  I guess, being that I try to live a life a compassion and non-violence, especially with animals, this can be an over analization   But, I couldn’t help looking into a Gorilla’s eyes and seeing sadness, beauty, and hope.  They are the species most like us, humans.  It is crazy how sometimes we forget what else is out there.  If you’re looking to be amazed, and feel a little something, I wouldn’t rule the zoo as a bad place to start.  Plus you may even get to snag a healthy snack!

Red pepper hummus, pita bread, and apple. Not too bad!

The Dandelion

After the zoo, we decided drinks or food was in order.  Since we were already in Philly, we took advantage of ample nice, trendy, upscale bars.  The Dandelion was no exception.

Fall 2012!

Any place that offers a seasonal menu, is ok with me!  I loved being able to see ample choices filled with seasonal produce, free range meat, and mouth-watering plates.

 Caution:  Not the most vegan place, but I made do.  I learned that there can always be an appetizer or salad you may choose from, or even make a meal out of side dishes!  Always full of veggies.  Regardless, what I had was amazing!

House Cabernet. My go-to drank

Complimentary stout bread accompanied with olive oil and sea salt. Too adorable!

Dressed up beets in a jar, olive tapanade, and baguettes  Flavors were amazing!

Butter lettuce, dandelions, avocado, lemon vinaigrette. Light and yummy.

Vegan and Gluten Free! Coconut rice pudding, mango slices, and lime sherbet. O mah gawd!

Seriously, this place was great.  The food, atmosphere, and people are great.  Can’t wait to try other places in Philly.  They all looked poppin’!

Sunday

Very chill, and very needed.  Woke up to do a quick conference call in the morning.

Simple breakfast. Toast and apple jelly (x2). Black coffee.

We watched Eat, Pray, Love.  I forgot how amazing, the book was.  The movie reminded me how I feel about my values.  Company, food, and peace is what I always strive to have the best of.  I might just have to pick up that book once more.

I came home to end the night with my family.  My mommy made dinner.

Butternut squash and sweet potato soup. Bread dipping was involved of course!

Serious brownie craving

If you’re ever in a dessert, I need something sweet now, bind.  This is your go to recipe.  Topped with coconut ice cream, it’s dangerous.

 

It is way past my bedtime.  Loved my weekend of friends, food, and family.  Honestly, that’s really all you need to relax and enjoy life for a little.

Hasta Manana!!

 

Yesenia

ps.  if there are typos, sorry! Too tired to read anything else!