Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baked Salmon (with Asian spices)

Hello All!

So, tonight's dinner was so successful I wanted to share with everyone the recipe for the salmon in particular.

The Dinner Menu for Tonight:

Baked Sweet Potatoes (Organic, from Trader Joes, $3.49 for a bag with about 10)

Green Beans (Bought at the Gilbert Farmers Market)

Homemade Biscuits (All organic ingredients)

Baked Salmon with Asian Spices (Wild Alaskan Salmon purchased at Whole Foods, ~$10 for 2 fillets)

The Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

1/3 C of honey

2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp minced garlic (I used dry, but for a more powerful kick fresh would work!)

1 tsp minced onions (again, I used dry)

3/4 tsp ground ginger (yum!)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (add more if you like it spicy)

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

There are two ways you could prepare this. You could let this mixture act as a marinade and let it sit at least 30 minutes before cooking. Or you could spoon the mixture over the salmon and pop in the oven.

 I used it as a marinade while the sweet potatoes were baking. It sat for about 40 minutes. Then I put the salmon and marinade into a glass baking dish (never use aluminum) and baked for 20 minutes.

It is seriously delicious.

Today was pretty busy. I was feeling under the weather at first, and just lounged around the house. Then I decided it was time to be productive and went to a yoga class, then spent a few hours at SWIHA's holistic health gathering! It was soooooo fun. Then it was time to go grocery shopping. I only picked up a few items as my funds are running a little low until next pay day. On a side note, my car loan is almost down to $1,000! After next month, it will be under.

Anyways, I decided for convenience sake, I was just going to go to Trader Joes to get the few items I needed. I picked up a package of organic chicken that had two breast and 4 drums for $11! It is so cheap to just buy the packages that still have the fat and trimmings on and just trim it up yourself at home. Plus, I will use the bones to make chicken broth for soup!! I also got organic ground turkey. That was about $5 for a pound. They had Country Pumpkin Granola next to the check out stand that I couldn't simply ignore. I think it will go great with my sweet potato tomorrow morning! Yum.

Then it was back home to complete 5 loads of laundry. No, I'm not joking. That is not a mistake---5 loads. We have a ton of clothing. Next, it was time to clean the bathrooms. Sigh. This may be my least favorite thing to do ever. Cleaning the tub is a pain the butt. And I have to scrub a little harder than normal because the all natural/organic products I use aren't as potent as their chemical counter parts. So more elbow grease is required. At least I won't be breathing in toxins, so it is an even trade.

Finally, it was time to relax. We turned the AC off and opened most of the windows in the house. It smells so fresh in here now. I love fall. As the temperature cools down to the low 90's, high 80's, Arizonians become so much happier. Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING is available (although watch out for GMO's, additives, artificial ingredients, etc). I have opted to just make things at home. Like roasted pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds. Noms. I will share the recipe next time.

What are you favorite things about fall?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Exciting Changes and Updates

Hello All!

I have been so busy with school, that I haven't had much time to blog. However, I am going to be doing some GREAT posts on buying organic/pesticide free produce on a budget, some delicious recipes, and some awesome yoga poses to help ease away stress. So bare with me! I'm updating and changing not only this blog, but myself. 

Namaste my friends!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little Catching Up

Hello All! 

There is much to catch you up on. First, I am in week 3 of my yoga teacher training at SOY (which is a school of SWIHA). I love it there. Talk about being in a place of like-minded people. Everyone there just has this aura of beauty around them. There is so much information to take in and I feel more so now than ever that I am in the right place at the right time. It is awesome.

I started a homeopathy class last Wednesday! I am so intrigued by it. Homeopathy makes so much sense that I can't believe people are still putting their trust in to traditional medicine. While there are cases in which traditional medicine comes in handy (I'm thinking E.R. worthy cases, i.e. stabbing, gun shot, etc) most of our ailments in this world from asthma to cancer to even autism can be treated with homeopathic remedies. Here is a cool website with more information if you are interested. Being as this was my first class, I don't consider myself versed enough to explain it properly yet. By the end of the class, I will be qualified to treat minor, first aid sicknesses! Pretty cool.

I can't wait to start nutrition. There is a rumor going around campus that SWIHA's nutrition program is so good that they are in the process of getting it board certified. Meaning I will have some serious credentials when I finish, not just a diploma. As of now, that is just the rumor, but hopefully I will find out more when I start the program, which will be at the beginning of September. 

In related news, Joe and I started Insanity!

People, this is not joke. It is just as hard as the commercials you have seen for it. Actually harder, because watching people do it from the safety of the couch and doing it yourself is way different. 

I did about 2 weeks of Insanity a couple of months ago but stopped because---well it was hard. When Joe showed the slightest interest in starting it, I jumped on board and we started the next day. I will admit, doing an Insanity workout and then going to yoga class and doing planks, lunges, and warriors was pretty much craptastic. My whole body hurts. But, in the end, I will have an excellent body (while eating nutritious foods of course) and it will be worth it.

Side note: I'm pretty sure our dogs think they are human. But what else is new?

Also, I gave up on being 100% vegan (for the time being). I don't mean this to sound as a cheap way out, but I just don't have the time to be a proper vegan while making sure I have all my nutrients. I don't eat red meat still and I don't eat most dairy (cheese really is the only exception, but I only have that every once in a while). I will still have delicious vegan recipes on here, but I think I will post some non-vegan ones as well. Like tonight, I am making Garlic Crusted Chicken and Spaghetti Squash. YUM! With a salad on le side. Or maybe some kale chips? That just popped into my head...yeah, lets do kale chips. 

Now that you are caught up, if you have any questions, you should message me! Especially on homeopathy. People, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don't just throw garbage into your body because you think you can't afford any other way or that is how you were taught or whatever! We only get one chance on this earth, in the this body, at this time. Make it count. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Treat your body as a temple. Honor it, put good, loving, healthy, nutritious foods in it. Talk nice to it. I heard someone say they would never talk to anyone the way they talk to themselves. That is powerful. People don't often think about how their thoughts manifest things. Our bodies are capable of reaching homeostasis- a place of true health and balance. Allow yourself to have that. To get to that place. 

Again, message me if you have any question-or comment!

~Namaste my friends.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

Summer time always has me craving tart items. Citrus and summer just sound so perfect don't they?

 Today, I was about to make some more banana bread when I decided I wanted something different. Something that would help me enjoy summer (since the 112 degree heat out there won't allow me to leave the house). I wanted lemon something. After some googling and inspiration, I settled on lemons and strawberries! Muffins! YUM.

Here are details:


3/4 C unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 C all purpose flour 

1/4 tspn baking soda

1/2 tspn baking powder

1/4 tspn salt

1/3 C olive oil

1/3 C sugar  

1/2 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

3/4 C of crushed fresh strawberries

lemon zest


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine almond milk, olive oil, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and strawberries. 

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix well! 

Pour batter into your muffin tins! I also had this adorable little bread tin that I couldn't resist using. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (check after 20 minutes and adjust time from there). 

Enjoy! I took mine out way to early (around 20 minute mark) as they were still doughy in the center. The batter is very thick, so don't be afraid to leave them in longer.I also would recommend upping the lemon and strawberry, if your taste buds don't mind. While the flavors are definitely there, I feel like I would have been happy with a bit more of each!

Ignore the Dunkin Donut box back was a moment of weakness okay?? 

-Namaste and good eating friends!!!

The Allure of Junk Food

Hello loves! After a week of bad food choices, I'm deciding that I need to confront my addiction to bad food head on and then make a promise (to all my many readers) to eat better. I've been talking a lot lately about the importance of eating a plant based, whole food diet. However, I can't honestly say I've been keeping up my end of that bargain.

Let me explain. I've always been close to eating a plant based diet, but never 100% on board. I was vegetarian for 5 years and started eating meat again about 6 months after Joe and I started dating. I had evaluated my reasons for being a vegetarian and they didn't seem as convicting any more, so I figured it would just be easier to start eating meat again. Plus, Joe is the kind of guy who enjoys a good steak, so I figured this would take the pressure off of finding a place that I could eat at (back then, not very many places had choices for vegetarians). 

I also LOVE sweets. Halloween has been my favorite holiday for a while! Ice cream and cakes, frosting and cookies, I could enjoy my days eating only these. Well, as I have been trying to change my diet and eat more holistically, it has gotten easier to choose better options, however it is over all still a challenge. Especially when Joe (at first) really had no desire to change his habits. When there is ice cream in the freezer, Oreos in the pantry, and chocolate candy bars in the fridge, suddenly an apple or cup of fruit looks seriously lame. The past week and a half, I've cooked less at home then I'd like to admit. Eating out has been a go to, and besides the calories, fat, and sugar, worries of cheap ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals have kept me up at night. Well that and my tummy rumbling for a sweet treat.

I am grateful I don't crave fast food (unless Chipotle counts :)) but I do crave everything from nachos to pizza late at night. Usually it is something salty followed by something sweet. The allure of junk food is appealing to a lot of people and it makes me wonder why. When I know what I am suppose to eat for my body to function 100%, why do I still cave in to processed, salty foods? It is my belief that food has become less about giving our bodies the nutrients it needs and more about convenience. How many meals do you eat out? How many do you microwave? We have more food options than ever, and yet our bodies are starving.

This obviously has to change. Especially since I will be starting my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program in the next few weeks, and I really want to be eating a diet that allows me to bust out some yoga moves at any time. And we all know pizza just doesn't allow that.

So, while we know that it isn't as simple as swearing off bad food forever, there are many ways to help make changes that allow more nutritious foods in your diet without breaking the bank. Here are some tips I have found useful:
  • UTILIZE FARMERS MARKETS. I can't stress this one enough. Most farmers markets have farmers that are organic or at the very least, pesticide free, and they are local. So you are getting the freshest produce available for a fraction of the price you would pay at the grocery store. Plus, farmers markets give local vendors a place to sell their product! Having fresh fruits and veggies are the BEST way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.
  • DRINK WATER. Most of the time, when we are dehydrated, we feel hungry. Making sure you constantly have a water bottle on you and your sipping away (especially in this AZ heat) will help to quiet any false alarm hunger pains.
  • CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY. Something that isn't there can't tempt you right? Now this doesn't mean you have to swear away all snack foods. I love Trader Joes brand of bbq baked potato chips (and so does Joe)! Just look for whole ingredients (I translate that to you could look at the ingredient list, and not have to google search anything) and moderation. Tortilla chips with salsa is a delicious choice. Keep dried fruits and nuts (both organic, nuts also raw) around to help when the snack bug attacks. Get rid of the "meals in a box". Anything like Hamburger Helper will not benefit your body. 
  • MAKE A MEAL PLANNER. Planning out your meals, to the best of your ability, is really going to help you stick to your health goals. It will make grocery shopping simpler, prep time shorter, and your wallet happier! There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest, here is one in particular that I liked: 
Getting organized is a big step, but don't get overwhelmed. Taking small steps is the best way to ensure a permanent change :)

So, I am going to to commit to something and use my blog as a signature on a contract. I am going to enjoy a green smoothie in the morning. I will enjoy nutritious snacks and healthy salads with different veggies. For dinner, I will make a meal that will satisfy me wanting to have a vegan diet, and Joes need for meat (haha). Basically, I want to keep my end of the bargain. You guys have to deal with me posting links about how the way we eat effects out bodies on Facebook and Twitter, the very least I can do is not to fall off the bandwagon. Not to let junk food tempt me. To ask myself the following question before every food choice, "How will this nourish my body? How will this make me feel?".   Maybe you could join me? I also plan on buying a juicer this week (early bday present!!!) so I will be indulging in the life benefits of juicing soon!

What are your favorite tips to avoid eating junk food?  What are you fave healthy recipes?
-Namaste friends!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Friday

It's Friday, Friday gotta get down on Fridayyyyyy.

....remember that song? You do now. You are welcome.

I used to think Friday's were meh, until I started getting Saturdays off. This is my first Friday to be followed by a free Saturday in a while. My Saturday isn't really free, I am going to the Gilbert Farmers Market at 7am and then meeting with some volunteers for a Mastiff rescue organization at 9 am. I'm pretty stoked.

Did you know there is a cutest dog contest happening at the end of the month at Tempe Market Place? I have to enter Juno and Jedi.

I mean, who could resist these poses:

Juno is pretty adorable.

This was taken about a month and a half ago, but all the recent pictures I have are of him lying on his back and acting like he is dead. Sometimes while he is doing that we will say "hey Jedi, play dead"...then we praise him for not moving. It's pretty amazing.

What do you think? Do they have what it takes to win?

What are your weekend plans?

I should have the post on junk food with helpful tips on fighting cravings up tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, the inspiration to write and the time have been escaping me.

~Namaste friends.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vegan Banana Bread

Hello all! 
So as you all know (or even if you are new to reading this), I'm trying to live a more holistic life. This includes eating a diet that is meant to aid my body in self-healing, maintaining balance and energy, and get rid of toxins. I will go into detail on a later post about what that means for me! 

For now, let us talk about the glorious super food banana bread. Ok, it doesn't really qualify as a super food, BUT banana bread has the potential to be a filling, healthy, delicious food that is great for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast. This particular B-bread happens to be vegan and soy free! Um, noms. So without further ado, here is the recipe:


 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons room temperature water

1/4 C olive oil
1/3 C sugar
2/3 C unsweetened organic applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 C smashed bananas (about)
2 C whole wheat flour

2 scoops of Stevia (I used the little spoon that came in the Stevia bottle)
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts or chocolate chips (or both)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the baking dish. I used two loaf pans since I was making two different loafs. 
Mix the flax seeds and water and set aside.

Combine olive oil, sugar, apple sauce, vanilla extract, and bananas. Mix well. I had a handy helper with strong arms to assist ;)


 Mix the flax seed and water combination (it should be gooey like egg whites) into the wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, Stevia, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Slowly, add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and Making sure all the dry ingredients have been "soaked up" by the wet ingredients. 
Add your chocolate chips!

Or walnuts and cinnamon! 

Pour batters into the loaf pans and put in the oven.

I baked these smaller loafs for about 25 minutes. If you are making one thick loaf, I recommend baking for 45 minutes! Always use a toothpick or butter knife to check the center if you are unsure. As long as it comes out clean (and not gooey) then you are good! 

Let them cool (and let the aroma of delicious banana bread fill the air)

Then dig in! Can you tell which one Joe liked best? He loves chocolate.

  This is so moist and delicious. The chocolate chip one is perfectly sweet while the cinnamon walnut is rich and hearty. I hope you enjoy!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Green Smoothie Recipe

So, I can't express my happiness that I've finally found a green smoothie recipe that is drinkable. After two total misses, I was beginning to lose hope that I would be able to participate in the health benefits of a green smoothie. Thankfully, this morning was a total home run. So without further ado, here is the recipe:

2 giant handfuls of spinach leaves

1 small banana

8 raspberries

5 strawberries

3/4 C of pineapple

1/2 C filtered water 

A few ice cubes

All organic is the way to go if you can! I bought the strawberries and raspberries at Trader Joes and the bananas, spinach, and pineapple at Whole Foods!

Blend and enjoy!

I've had a few questions about body ph balance and why it is important. Just like with any area in your life, maintaining balance is essential to making sure things run efficiently. The foods you eat determine on the PH scale where your body will be. I posted an article a few days ago about how eating dairy totally throws your bodies balance off and makes it more acidic. This can lead to many health problems including dis-ease with the liver and kidneys. 

Here are a few articles that offer great information and more depth reasons as to why eating a balance diet means more than just maintaining your weight!




Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello friends!

I decided it was time to revamp my blog. You see, there are changes on the horizon. As I am preparing to start school at SWIHA (The Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts), I have been flooded with an overwhelming amount of great ideas of what I want my future to be. Deciding to go to school for yoga was literally a last minute decision. I have been working towards ASU for the last 2+ years and to suddenly change my mind seemed ridiculous. However, whenever I thought about going to ASU and my future studies there, something just didn't feel right. It wasn't just nervous butterflies or the thought of experiencing something new, it was anxiety, depression, a feeling of inaccuracy. Like this is not what I am suppose to be doing.

Luckily, I have some really good listeners in my life who were there to offer their support and advice. Joe (the bf to anyone who doesn't know him) was a major source of support. He helped make a pros and cons list of going to school at ASU vs SWIHA. He helped looked at things from the perspective of the future. We examined things from a financial stand point. We looked at when we wanted to have kids and how schooling would fall into place with that. I had made an appointment with SWIHA to speak with an adviser and truthfully, I just wanted to see how the experience went. Did I feel comfortable or was this not the option either.

Well, as many of you know now, SWIHA was the right choice. I was not nervous at all while speaking with the adviser and enrolling in classes (except when I signed the loan papers, but c'mon...I've never had a loan out and I think everyone would be nervous about that). At the end of the day, I became a student of the 800 hour yoga teacher/therapist program. My classes break down like so:

First 200 hours of yoga teaching (after completing this, I can legally teach a yoga class!!!)

Additional 200 hours of advanced yoga classes (this is so important as I can become more versatile and employable as a yoga teacher)

200 hours dedicated to a second certificate (I the Holistic Nutrition)

200 hours towards electives...and I don't mean boring "take a humanities class" electives, I mean awesome things like Aromatherapy Yoga, learning about the chakras, learning how to buy produce/proteins on a budget, and even teaching yoga to kids.

What I love about the classes offered at SWIHA is that there are so many classes you can take that will benefit you towards your career goals. Not like at a traditional university where you have to take certain electives or math classes even if that is the last time you will ever see the material and they aren't part of your degree. SWIHA is an accredited school, but they give you the option to shape how you want your future to go. This was just a better fit for me. that I've probably lost half of the people that started reading and bored the ones continuing to read, here is my point: this blog is here to not only document my journeys through school-I'm sure there will be many awkwardly hilarious moments as I learn yoga-but it is also a place where I can teach, give, accept, and learn things that I can use for my future goals. I want to own a yoga studio and teach people how to eat healthy and holistically on a budget. I want to change the way people feel and open their lives to one of more fulfillment and happiness. This is where I'm hoping to start all those wonderful things.

So, thank you for reading and being part of this journey. I hope you have found the wonderful feeling of peace when you know you are doing what you were put on this earth to do.