Month: March 2013

Book Review: Quiet

For the season of Lent, I said I would practice speaking up and going after what I want, and read this book in the process.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it at the time, but some how it worked out.

Let’s talk about this book first.  Phenomenal.  I’m no expert at giving a book review, but I know when I’m interested in something, and this book had me opening my eyes a little wider as I read.  It is basically a bunch of stories, mostly of introverts, but some extroverts included for comparison.  It is about how the more quiet people related to others, overcame different obstacles, and succeeded to do what they wanted and worked towards a life that was fit for them.  There is explanations of tests and analyses done to people starting from infancy to adulthood.  Following them as they grew up.  Amazing findings and explanations.

I found this book interesting, maybe because it was easier for me to relate to most.  It helped me learn that it is okay not to want to go out and try mingle with new people every chance I get.  That wanting to stay home and read or watch a movie is just as enticing for me.  It doesn’t mean I’m anti-social or not willing to socialize with the rest of the world.  Parties?  That’s just draining.  Intimacy is what I love.  Small talk?  Hate it. Real conversations of life and beliefs?  That makes my day.

I also learned how sometimes you have to make those extroverted moves or put on that extroverted persona.  Did you know that America is the most extroverted country in the world?  Perfect.  Leaders in America or so different than the ones in other countries.  They aren’t afraid to talk without thinking, be loud, and be heard.  Sometimes if you don’t do that you are seen as not as knowledgeable, ready, or passionate enough about what you do.  I extremely dislike that.

As somebody who is quiet and thinks a lot more than actually speaking, sometimes I feel people don’t think I know as much as I know I do.  My family of course sees it, for I can give a whole presentation on GMOs, subsidies from the government, and global warming from factory farms.  It’s not all about oatmeal and yoga, sometimes I do wish though.  I would love to be able to share this with the world.  Be part of a revolution and really help a nation that is in a crisis.

Well, I am happy to report, small steps have been taken and big dreams are in the making! I’ve been trying to go out once or twice a week.  Nothing crazy, just really catching up with my friends.  Whether old or new, I found that just hanging out one-on-one is all I really need.  It’s my little something so there is no “guilt”.  I’ts also great because I can now openly talk more about what I’m doing and my interests.  Guess who might start having a couple new clients?! Yay!

I also have been putting myself and knowledge out.  I recently started talking about GMO’s and factory farming at work.  Turns out most of them are very interested and want to learn more about it.  Whether they are interested in human rights, from sweat shops to organics, we are able to see how it’s all connected.  It’s truly beautiful.   I am proud to say that is my dream to just go to California and it’s crazy how supportive people are.

This book truly was on point about what may work for you, whether the shy introvert, to the fun-loving extrovert.  We need each other.  We can actually learn to adapt to a different trait, all we need is the true passion and love for what we believe in.

Kind of goes back to my main mantra, by my man, an introvert and true great leader:

Become the change you wish to see ~Mahatma Gandhi

Namaste,

 

yesenia

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Simple and Healthy Meals

Good Morning!!

Hope all of your weeks are going smoothly.  Mine has been actually going really well.  I’ve been keeping track with my planner, both written and iphone.  I think it gives me extra reminding and organization of what I have to do.  Plus, I like the prettiness of my planner and boss status of my phone (I’m trying to seem important, is it working?)

Anyways , for those reasons, the last couple of days of eats have been pretty easy and simple.  At the same time food has been number 1 on my list, it’s also number 10.  Does that makes sense?  I focus on having easy healthy meals to give me time and energy to focus on everything else I have to do through out the day.

Monday

IMG_6074Bread, almond butta, banana, and cinnamon.  Green juice on the side.

IMG_6079Amy’s Organic Low Sodium Chili, avocado, goat cheese, and cilantro.  Tortilla strips on the side.

IMG_6086And a unpictured apple.

Tuesday

IMG_6088Banana Whipped Oats, coconut, coconut sugar, and almond butta.

(Insert Larabar)

IMG_6095Lacinto kale (my new fav), sprouted beans and seeds, quinoa, cilantro, and avocado.  Dressing: Safflower oil, apple cider vinegar, and Himalayan sea salt.

IMG_6099Dinner and Studying

Eating healthy can be easy and accessible.  For some more than others.  I say I fall in between.  I can’t afford to make those lavish lunches like I used to.  Actually I couldn’t really afford to back then either, but I needed that love affair with home-made meals in the winter.  Now, I make sure to put effort and planning into salads, easy snacks, and canned soups.  Even if it does get repetitive,  I really don’t mind.  For me, routine is necessary to stay on track, and if I can’t have a steady work/school schedule, then give me my damn food!  It also helps that the weather is warming up, so less food and no cooking is a little bit easier to accept.

If you do have some 15 minutes to make yourself a semi-hot, semi-homemade meal, I recommend this.

And because I’ve been a good girl lately:

IMG_6101Bread, sunflower seed butter, and apple cranberry butter.

Enjoy this beautiful day lovies,

yesenia

Fried Egg and Goat Cheese Sandwich with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

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Mornin’ ya’ll!!!

Hope you guys had an amazing weekend!!!  Mine was pretty decent.  A little bit of work, play, and of course food.

Which of course brings me to this spectacular meal.

You know those times when you can eat anything even if it tastes like cardboard, just because you’re so damn hungry.  I especially love to hear the stories about cereal or peanut butter sandwich for dinner because you’re too damn tired.  Been there done that.  My hunger and lazy issue was in full gear yesterday.

I was going to do take out, but… I’m cheap.  And that would have taken even MORE time!  So I took matters into my own hands.  I got some of last weeks produce (two weeks old if we are being honest)  and got to using some will-be-going-bad-soon cheese, mixed with a fresh loaf of bread from whole foods and some cilantro.  Local bread, local eggs, local cheese.  BAM!!!

 

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Fried Egg and Goat Cheese Sandwich with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

  • 2 handfuls cremini mushroom, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • oil (safflower is best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 loaf/roll of fresh bread
  • 1 block of fresh goat cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • sea salt (my favorite is himalayan)

Over medium heat, add about a tablespoon or two of oil in the pan.  Place onions first and sweat out for about 3-5 minutes.  While waiting prep your bread on the plate.  Cut in half or break apart.  I love imperfection, so I tear it.  Once soft and translucent add garlic and mushrooms.  Season with salt and transfer on top of the bread when done.  In the same pan, add a bit more oil.  Crack your egg and put right on top.  Let it sizzle and begin to cook and brown around the edges.  Flip over, and let it cook for about 30 seconds.  Transfer onto cooked veggies.  Crumble goat cheese ontop.  Garnish with a plethora of cilantro.  With an helping of sea salt, you’re good to go!

IMG_6070(Instagram may save lives, or just your eyes)

 

Enjoy!

 

yesenia

 

 

Infinite Power

Good morning lovelies!

It’s Friday!!  Any great plans for the weekend?  Well, lucky me I get to work the next couple of days.  I’ll live.  It gives me a chance to do my usual to-do’s in the morning.

Breakfast

Yesterday was pretty good started out with a little of this:

IMG_5970Cloudy weather called for black tea and banana oatmeal with peanut butter.  Too Yummy.

Lunch

After yoga, I got ready to meet up a friend for a late lunch.  I was ready pretty early so I went to Barnes & Nobles for a little tea and reading.  Usually, when I read I have other distractions around, so this was pretty awesome.

IMG_5973This too was pretty awesome.  Avocado and hummus sandwich with greens and more green.  Looked like I licked the plate clean when I was done….  I swear I didn’t though…

 

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I guess you can call this dinner.  Little snack for on the go.  Had a short shift so I knew I wouldn’t even have time for a full meal.  This did the trick.

Infinite Power

So lately, I’ve been questioning my abilities.  I like to believe I live a pretty humble life, and I am grateful for that everyday.  I have bills, part-time job, school, and my  biggest thrills are food and yoga.  I purposely don’t go out as much and make sure I get enough rest, so I am able to put all my energy into my education, readings, and yoga.

I was asked in an email a couple of days ago, “What drives me?  What am I passionate about?  What do I want to do?”  Those are loaded questions!  Especially, for a chance at a job that honestly,  I’m just thinking about for the “9-5” and money.  I answered honestly.  My passion is food, healthy-living, being able to help others, educating myself.  I related the answer to how my passion would fit into any job.  I want to get to know people and help them.  Guide them in the right direction.  Reading, learning, solving problems are all part of any job.  You can make a difference where ever your at really.  If you don’t like what you do, find ways to like it.   The most powerful action someone can do is change their mindset.  To be able to turn negative into positive.  It’s something I learned from The Power of Now.

It made me realize that maybe I do have a chance to make a difference still.  I have dreams of leaving everything and everyone.  I want to experience, be in an awe, I want to say “I was here, I did that”  and be proud.  To be honest, I struggled, battle demons in my mind, lost friends, gained friends, been hurt by others and even hurt myself.  But in the end, I overcame.  Most of us do.  Everyone can!  It’s because we all have infinite power.  We have the power to change our lives.  Our knowledge and capabilities are infinite!  Dream big, but don’t forget to do big.

For myself, I believe that one day I will be out of retail, do what I love by helping others get healthy and happy, travel, and be able to find a different kind of love I’ve never experienced.  All with my own infinite power, combined with the power of my surroundings and universe.  First up, let go of the doubt.  Let go of the negative thoughts.  Let go of sadness.  Have the power to be positive, happy, and driven toward possibilities.  It may seem easier said than done.  It is.  But you know what they say, practice won’t make perfect, but you’ll be pretty damn close 😉

A little inspiration for your weekend.  Something to start it right, with a smile, and light heart.

IMG_5986

Namaste,

 

yesenia

 

 

 

Getting Into The Groove

Good morning!!!

Hope you all had a good night rest.  I really have been loving my new bed, the couch.  Seriously, it’s small, but I love the blankets.  I’m a firm believer in a messy bed makes a comfy bed.  Just pile some blankets on me and I’m good to go.

Anyways… just thought I would go over what I’ve been eating.  After a cleanse to an indulgent weekend, getting somewhat on track was necessary.

Tuesday

Breakfast:  An unpictured banana.  I worked that day and was really in a rush.  Since I really wasn’t hungry from the night before it was a perfect snack till my early lunch.

LunchIMG_5949You’re gonna be seeing this salad a lot for a while.  It’s just too good!  And so filling!  Absolutely Love.  Green Goddess Salad.

DinnerIMG_5954Bollitos de guineo con gondules!  (Plantain dumplings and pigeon peas)  One of my favorite dishes my grandma makes.  She made dinner for the family and I wasn’t too hungry, but best believe I downed a good portion.  Cucumber and tomato salad on the side.

IMG_5955Ice cream for good measure.  Almond mocha and chocolate peanut butter. (Coconut milk)

Wednesday

BreakfastIMG_5959Banana Whipped Oats!  With some coconut shreds and coconut sugar.  Finally bought some raw almond butter.  I absolutely love raw almond butter in the summer with my overnight oats.  Never gets old.

LunchIMG_5963I ran out of apple cider vinegar so I used lemon.  Just as delicious.

DinnerIMG_5968Leftover quinoa pasta and vegetable marinara.  Almost tasted like a ratatouille since it was so hearty.  Twas yummy.  It was pretty late, so I stuck to a little smaller portion (so I tell myself).

Half a mug of Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream unpictured.  Just needed something sweet to cap off the night.  It was lovely.

My only complaint of the last couple of days was the late night eating.  Between eating with the familia or after work, you sometimes can’t help but just eat whenever.  I work nights the rest of the week, so I’m sure that will put me semi on track.  Either way, I still loved being able to enjoy simple warm weeknight dinners.  Not often do I get to do that.

How have you been incorporating some healthy meals or routines back on your schedule?  Ever just let go for a little?  Go with the flow?

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!  A little something for you beauties…

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Peace out peeps,

yesenia

Starting Fresh For Spring

It’s Spring!!!

It actually is somewhat a decent spring day around here.  By that, I clearly mean there is no snow.  Hope you guys are able to enjoy this day!  I’m working all day, but I plan to do what I need a little before and a little after.  

The seasons are changing and I couldn’t be more excited (and exhausted).  As I’ve mentioned before (or maybe not)  as the season’s change our body’s change.  If you are not careful to pay attention and help the process it could be difficult.  For me, sleep and eating habits were getting kind of wacky.  

To start fresh in Spring, I think most people would benefit from some sort of detox.  NOT the same one, but one that works for you.  For me this was kind of an experiment.  I took a slight derail from an Ayurvedic detox and went with a raw food short cleanse.  Here’s how it went down.

The Detox

Fasting.  Probably the hardest part.  I did talk about it before in this post, but I want to say a little more about the juices and why the juices.  These juices were all organic, freshly juiced, must be refrigerated and drank within the week.

IMG_5901

I chose this because I still wanted to get in some nutrients and calories.  It’s all natural sugars, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.  I used to think that juicing was weird,  mostly because I didn’t understand why you would just take the nutrients and not fill yourself with substance and fiber.  I’ve finally educated myself the benefits.  I wanted to give my digestion system a break.   To heal itself from overuse and abuse of toxic foods.  Taking in all the nutrients and making them easily accessible to the body is what juicing does.  From what I’ve been learning in this book, Prakriti, Ayurveda believes that one of the first steps to healing, is fasting.  Digestion is taken very seriously and believed to be the main importance of your health.  So that is what I did.  I thought since I have a pretty active job, and I was still going to yoga, I needed something, and to be honest, I probably needed more.  Just one more juice, to get my sugar and energy up to continue that last day.  I made it, but just as I was advised, 1 to 2 days is enough.  After that it will do the reverse.

Raw Foods.  Prob the easiest and most delicious part of my detox.  Literally, I felt amazing by Friday.  I truly believe that no specific detox is good for everyone.  I chose raw foods, because as someone who leads a high vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, I wanted something that would give my system that extra boost it needed.

Since the winter, most of my foods have been cooked.  They were heavy, warming, and seasonal for the winter months.  For my dosha, that was important.  With the season changing, I wanted to get my body used to the type of eating, that would probably be best for the upcoming months.   When you cook food, you loose nutrients.  No matter what you never get the same amount of nutrients that the food is said to have whether you boil or roast you vegetables.  I wanted to try and get the maximum amount of nutrition out of my meals.  I wanted to let my mouth, saliva, and natural enzymes do the work.

When you chew your food, saliva naturally works with your food to create these enzymes (cellulose for example) that help more nutrients get assimilated into the body and starts digestion sooner  within your system (this is salivary amylase) .  Especially raw foods which need a little extra work.  Chew your food people!

So the kale (a well-known nutrient powerhouse), sprouted legumes (low-fat raw source of protein), spiced sunflower seeds (omegas and protein), coriander (detoxifying herb), and avocado (healthy fats and full of potassium) all helped in keeping me full for hours.  And it tasted amazing.

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When detoxing, I was advised to double the dosage of Triphala, although to be honest, I hadn’t seen any difference while I was honest or after.  I wasn’t really  regular, but I also didn’t feel bloated or uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s from eating less?  To be honest,  I got a little nervous.  I know this is far from a laxative, but I thought I would be going more.  Well, everything ended up normal, which I guess it’s fine since I wasn’t having crazy issues before last week.

Post-Detox

I recommend taking it slow after the detox.  Saturday I only had the Vegetarian Curry which was perfect.  Warming and light.  Sunday was a whole different story.  I ended up feeling crazy full and a bit sluggish through Monday.  Where did all that energy go that I created last week?  When you over eat, you build up Ama in your system, waste product of bad digestion.  I kind of felt guilty about throwing that detox out the window.  But I decided to get myself together and yesterday I ate “normal” to get back on track but slowly.  We can get more into that tomorrow.

 I will say, feeling better didn’t take as long as it used to.  I think the detox cleanse you out enough so that you start new.  There is less ama from the past to deal with, so it’s easier to discard what you just accumulated.

I hope this helps!  This is just my own accounts.  I didn’t follow a specific detox, but rather took a little from each.  Juicing, raw, and Ayurveda.  That is what nutrition is, even more so the future.  No wrong or right.  Some how the healthiest people may range from eating paleo to vegan.  I think it’s a blessing that we are all different like that.

How are we all similar though?  Movement and meditation.  I couldn’t have felt as good as I did without yoga.  To sweat out the toxins was great, keep my body limber, and energized was absolutely perfect.  And the meditation?  Even just focusing on my breath, focusing on the now, that itself detoxes your mind.  Mind and body are one.  How you think affects how you feel and what you do.  Even if you don’t do yoga, any kind of movement and meditation will help your Spring Detox.  It’s just 10 minutes or one hour with only yourself.

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Enjoy this beautiful day lovelies,

yesenia

 

Food Allergies And Intolerances

Hey guys!

Hope you all had a great Monday!  Even more so, a spectacular weekend!  Mine was pretty good and extended till today too.

Quick rundown:

IMG_5907Thai vegetarian red curry takeout!  How I broke my raw food cleanse.  Uh-mazing.

IMG_5908When was the last time you saw this bad boy?  OIAJ!

New York City fun!  Went to an amazing restaurant with the family.  We went to this place Sauce and I was really impressed.  Reason number 1:

IMG_5909Local grass-fed beef.  Pretty awesome.

But I got:IMG_5915Absolutely divine.  Fried crispy egg with potato linguine and fried sage.  Really tasty.

Every one really enjoyed their meal, from the pork to the beef.  I had a fresh squeezed orange juice as well.  So good.

Once we left we went to Whole Foods, where I enjoyed a delicious cappacino

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and then to come home and have some takeout pizza with the familia:

IMG_5925Mushroom and spinach.  Fresh garlic.

IMG_5930Mami’s Birthday Goodies!  Tiramisu and biscottis!  Yummy.

STOP!  This is where the lesson comes in!

I officially have some sort of food allergy.  Lately, when I eat really heavy foods, or have some wine, I get a red face heated face to go with it.  It’s something that has been happening for maybe 4/5 months now.   Definitely happens with the wine.  Food, it can be the spicyness, to the hotness, or even just going out for a hearty meal.  I once had some eggplant parmigian, which ended up with my face flared up!

After yesterday’s meal, I officially had enough.  I looked it up and learned that I may have an alcohol intolerance to an allergy with drinks containing sulfites.   That part is actually hereditary, which both my mom and aunt do have.  Also heavy or high caloric meals may play a role.  I figured that one out myself maybe a couple months ago.  The energy from digesting the food may make the blood rush to the head.  Also any cooking that uses MSG.  Restaurants are something not afraid of that ingredient.

So it’s sad to say, that I can’t take the heavy foods.  I actually broke one of my Weekend Lessons.  Eating out twice probably wasn’t the best choice, but I learned why it wasn’t best for me in this situation.  It may take a little more experimenting, but I’m determined to figure it out.  Hopefully, to even go to some holistic doctor.  Last week this never happened, so we can cross out raw foods and juices as the problem 🙂

As for today, I tried to keep it healthy!

IMG_5932Green Juice

IMG_5937Green Detox Salad

IMG_5943Mid-day Cold Care tea… and some inspiration 😉

IMG_5947Mama’s eggplant mushroom quinoa pasta with bread and butta.

*Forgotten photos of those bad-ass biscottis with almond milk.*

Feeling a little better, but actually having a love-hate debate with the fact of going back to work today.  I got a good amount of work done and a lot of bonding with my family.  I didn’t even leave the house (or my pj’s) all day, so it will be bittersweet going back to work.  Wish me luck!

Have a good night lovies!

yesenia

PS.  If I spelled any of the Italian words wrong, sorry in advance.  Spell check wasn’t up for the challenge…