Happy Weekend!

Happy WeekendAshley is sick this weekend so sorry if this quote is a little late. We’ll add more to it later…

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Goddess Bowl

This recipe is sooooo delicious! It’s vegan, gluten-free, creamy and full of bright flavors.

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This bowl is a mixture of lentils, brown rice, bell peppers, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, kale and parsley covered in a creamy lemony tahini sauce. It does not disappoint.

Click here for the full recipe! This is my new favorite blog for recipes!

We followed the recipe completely but we’ll post some of our pics from the process anyways.

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Kale, lemons, garlic, red onion, tomatoes, garlic, tahini dressing and parsley ( I forgot about the bell pepper until later)

I like to pop the brown rice into a rice cooker and cook the lentils ahead of time. That way when we get home from PM yoga the most time-consuming parts of the recipe are done.

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You can make the dressing ahead of time as well and put it in the fridge. This dressing would be good on salads or as a dip. It really brightens up everything.

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The final product. This is after you’ve added the brown rice, lentils and dumped the ENTIRE container of sauce in.

I’m definitely having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and for dessert we are having our vegan, gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies (recipe can be found here)

Happy Weekend!

And….

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If you’re a yogi, you’ve probably heard this line many, many times. If you’re a Bikram yogi, I know you’ve heard this line many, many, many times. Our teachers begin each class with this line. Let go of that which doesn’t serve you. Sounds easy right? It’s not. The mind loves to hold onto that which doesn’t serve us. Anger, greed, fear, excuses. Some days in yoga my mind fights me the entire time focusing on the heat, on what I’m going to cook for dinner, or what I still need to get done for my behavioral health class (I’m currently earning my master’s degree in social work). Do these thoughts serve me? Absolutely not. Negative thoughts, negative emotions, and focus on the past or future are characteristics of the human mind. Rarely do these things serve us, and yet we can not escape them. If you are human, regardless of how enlightened you are, you still have a human brain, and the human brain is constantly playing a tug of war between peace and human drama. Next time you find yourself resenting, fearing, or feeling angry, stop, bring your awareness to this feeling or bundle of negative thoughts and ask yourself “does this serve me”. If the answer is “no” let it go.

You may even be able to expand this to other parts of your life. Are you trying to simplify your life, or clean out your closets? Ask yourself, does this thing, commitment, etc. really serve me? Think about it. If the answer is “no” get rid of it or let it go. Often we go through life without asking ourselves this question. We bussy our lives with obligations, we hold onto negative emotions or we hold ourselves back because of fear and never ask ourselves this question. How much more intention would we live with if we asked ourselves this question regularly? How much happier could we be if this question was a deciding factor in the majority of our activities? Try using this philosophy for this weekend only and see if you notice any positive changes….”Let go of that which doesn’t serve you” and have a happy weekend!

Homemade Granola

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Granola With Oats, Almonds, Walnuts and Sunflower seeds fresh out of the oven!

Okay, this stuff is SOOOO easy to make that it’s almost a sin not to do it yourself. It’s hard to find gluten free granola and making it yourself solves this problem quickly. You can whip this stuff up in under 30 minutes and make any variation you want based upon what’s in your cupboard. There are some ingredients that are non-negotiable, however such as oats (we used gluten free oats), some type of nut or seed and something to moisten the mixture (I used almond oil and maple syrup). Bake in an oven at 350 degrees F until the mixture is golden brown. If you want big chunks of granola just let it set after taking the pan out of the oven. If you want your granola to be broken up then mix it when you get it straight out of the oven to prevent it from sticking together. Here’s how I made this batch

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Ingredients:

2 1/2C gluten free oats

1/4 C chopped almonds

1/4 C chopped walnuts

1/4 C sunflower seeds (pumpkin seeds or chia seeds are great too!)

1/4/C Almond Oil

1/3 C maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs Honey

1 tsp cinnamon

A few shakes of nutmeg

Directions: In a bowl mix dry ingredients (e.g. nuts, oats, seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg). In a separate bowl mix maple syrup, oil, vanilla and honey and then add to the dry mixture. Mix dry and wet ingredients together until everything is evenly coated and then spread on a non-stick baking sheet or parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 10-20 minutes  (until golden brown). If you want to add raisins, dried cherries, or shredded coconut wait until the last 5-10 minutes to add them because you don’t want dried fruit baking as long as the oats/nuts are.

Warning: Your house will smell AMAZING from the vanilla and cinnamon in the oven so beware if you have small children or hungry boyfriends nearby they will want some immediately

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Happy Weekend!

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Lover’s Point Pacific Grove, CA

Discomfort, failure, and adversity are all ways in which the universe helps us to grow. A traveling yoga teacher once said “If you feel discomfort, this is good. This means that you are changing your body. If you feel sharp pain…back off”. This is true, not only for yoga, but also for life. If you’ve ever stretched, or exercised you know that there is a certain level of discomfort needed in order to change your body.

Now, I strive for this discomfort in life because I know it means I’m growing, learning, and becoming polished : ) I was watching an interview with Jay-Z one day (he’s actually very intelligent) and he said “I haven’t figured out how to learn from success yet. I know how to learn from failure.” How we think about failure, adversity, and discomfort is very important because, often in our society, we view failure as negative. Failure isn’t a bad thing, or it doesn’t have to be. Often times “failure” is the catalyst that propels us to the next level. If you are afraid to fail, you will never do anything innovative or creative. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes. Kindergarteners typically test at genius level for divergent thinking, however just a few years later their aptitude for divergent thinking greatly declines. This is because when we are small, we haven’t learned to be afraid of failure, of making mistakes yet, but as we grow, we learn that there is one right answer (which is not true at all).

Don’t be afraid of failure, or of making mistakes, because failures and mistakes are signs that we have learned something, that we have tried something, and that we have grown. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. In fact, strive for discomfort. If you look at discomfort as a positive thing, it won’t be so uncomfortable.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?

The Perfect cup of Coffee

Chemex and ACME

There are forms of awakenings in life such as spiritual, physical, mental, social. But more importantly in my life I would like to talk about a coffeecal. A coffeecal awakening is when you realize that pretty much your whole life you have been drinking mediocre crap coffee and finally are awoken to the blissful experience of having local, fresh, perfectly roasted coffee beans (also brewed in a Chemex!) The experience is unparalleled. It’s like I dont’ know where I have been for the last 15 years?! In my life I have noticed that the most enjoyable things seem to be the simple pleasures. For as long as I have know I’ve been brewing not so fresh corporate coffee beans in an automatic coffee machine and living happily with it…until I discovered the Chemex, and ACME coffee. To me when you purchase a Chemex you don’t want to do yourself a disservice by using months or perhaps year-old coffee. You want to find freshly roasted beans and, for most, to do that you need to look locally. Initially, when I purchased a Chemex I was trying to get away from brewing coffee through plastic but after I did some research on it I was inspired to look for a fresher roasted coffee, and luckily I did. There are no words to describe the difference it makes brewing with a Chemex. It’s somewhat of a beautifully romantic process. First you wet the filter, pour in the grounds, add the water, and my favorite part, stir the grounds while it drips through the plain white filter. You really get to control the whole process, and to me, it makes it that much more special! After that you get a bold, bitterless, beautiful cup of coffee that makes the little extra effort well worth it. Now people have their preferences especially when it comes to coffee but if you want to make a quality cup  in an aesthetically pleasing device, I would highly recommend the Chemex. My only wish is that they wouldn’t have named it a Chemex….. sounds like a cleaning spray. So if  you’re looking to expand your coffee horizons definitely try this device and also check out the coffee geek website. This place has all the information you could want regarding coffee as well as product ratings. Interestingly, the Chemex costs $40 but is rated (as of the present) as highly as $300 coffee units…this makes us feel very happy.

If you all want us to post a tutorial on using this baby, please let us know : )

That first cup of coffee after morning yoga : )

That first cup of coffee after morning yoga : )

Intention

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In my yoga classes the teachers often talk about letting go of your attachment to the result of the postures. They say that falling out of an asana (or yoga pose) is human, to get back into it after you’ve fallen out is yogi, and to not be attached to the result of the asana is enlightenment. I thought, hmmm, what would my yoga practice be like if I didn’t worry about how deep into an asana I could go or if I didn’t judge “how right” my pose was. When we are attached to the result can we truly be in the moment? Also, would yoga be more enjoyable if I could focus only on the process of movement?

I was watching this interview with Seane Corn the other day and I thought about this subject again (for those of you who don’t know who Seane Corn is, she’s well-known yoga teacher with amazing curly hair who does a lot of charity work and outreach in other countries through an organization she started called Off The Mat. She also seems pretty cool and often shares a lot of the same perspectives that I do on life, love, intention, etc). Anyways she talked about an experience she had working with an organization in Cambodia where she visited an 11-Acre garbage dump where families live in horrendous conditions. She described a scene where children were gathering around her gesturing for food or water because these children are starving and she felt this overwhelming feeling of helplessness and wondered how she could do any good. You should watch the video if this sounds interesting to you but in that moment something amazing happened and she had this realization that the point wasn’t the result. She said she realized that what mattered was that she was there with love and with that intention. The overwhelming feeling left her upon realizing that the point was the intention and after yoga yesterday, for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about this topic.

How much more relaxed would we feel if we could let go of the result and realize that the intention is what really matters in yoga, and in life? If the result is the end of the process, then when we focus on the result, we are not being in the present (which is the only time that is real). In Bikram yoga there is a saying that your body will change slowly “like ripping a page from a phone book everyday” meaning that the process is soooo slow, but if you continue to show up, it will happen. Your body will become stronger and more flexible, and it will happen simply by your continuing to show up with the intention of doing the asanas, whether you worry about it or not. I think that the same is true for life. Although the process is slow, the intention is what will determine “where” you go, and so if you could stop worrying about the result the “how” you get there will be improved. You can enjoy the ride a little more and hopefully live in the present more often. The human mind likes to fight the present moment and so I propose a simple exercise that when you find your mind in the future, just bring your focus back to the intention and allow yourself to trust that the intention is what really matters.

Happy Weekend!

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I think that, too often, our reason and our judgements can manifest themselves into barriers we create within us. Our quest for financial success can often silence our passion and our appetite. What is celebrated in our society is often the external measures of success rather than the internal measures. The things we own, our external accomplishments, and how much money we make each year often become the factors weighed when others judge how successful we are. The internal accomplishments of passion, fulfillment, joy, and appetite for life often go unacknowledged and thus we forget that these internal factors are the most valuable. Remaining true to my Self and my passions while drowning out external judgements/dogma has been the greatest challenge but also the accomplishment that has given me the most happiness thus far. This is a battle that is never won, but must be attended to always. As Paulo Coelho put it “the simple things in life are the most extraordinary and only the wise can see them”

Goat Cheese, Lentil, and Brown Rice Wraps!

These are delicious, gluten free, healthy, and will last you for a few meals so I like to make them on a Sunday and enjoy them throughout the week. I cannot take credit for this recipe so please look it up here. I will post pictures of the process, however because the process of wrapping the filling in the swiss chard leaves can be a bit confusing.

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A filling of goat cheese, green lentils, brown rice, garlic, mint and arugula wrapped in swiss chard and then topped with marinara and mozzarella cheese.

You will need to gather the ingredients and leave the goat cheese out so that it comes up to room temperature.

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salt, pepper, green lentils, goat cheese, marinara sauce and fresh mint.

You can make up the lentils and the brown rice ahead of time if you want to make this recipe quickly. Assemble the filling. It should look like this.

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The filling of goat cheese, brown rice, lentils, chopped mint, chopped arugula, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

You want to take the swiss chard leaves and dip them in a pot of boiling, salted water to soften the leaves and make them more pliable. Then you cut the stems out cutting the leaf in half basically so that each side will make two rolls.

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Be careful not to burn your fingers. Yes we have an apartment-sized oven/stove : (

Place a spoonful of filling at the wide end of the leaf and then roll, and place into a marinara’d baking dish.

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Line up the wraps and then cover with marinara sauce and cheese, bake, and enjoy…

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Natural Deodorant

So Matt likes to go through phases where he obsesses about various things. For a while it was Apple products (he still loves them but doesn’t research and read about them constantly like he used to). Right now he is into finding natural products to replace our unnatural ones (like deodorant). Being the artist that he is, Matt can be a bit intense and recently he admitted to me that when he stops by Whole Foods to “pick something up” he actually stays in there for an hour perusing the natural body/skin care section. He has also been doing a ton of research online.

So recently Matt has been into learning about deodorant, and a little over a week ago he insisted that I switch to the natural stuff arguing “I don’t want you to get breast cancer hun”. Well I don’t want to get it either, so I took the plunge. I actually ended up getting the exact same kind that Matt had been using for a few days but I got my own container because who wants long manly armpit hairs in their deodorant? Not me.

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I placed the bottle in front of our LOVE print because we do…love it that is.

Matt has had trouble with rashes caused by natural deodorants, but so far the CLAYDRY hasn’t given him any issues. Also, the original scent is citrusy, and it smells a bit like tangerines which I think is a wonderful scent for man or woman. I actually HATE the musky, scents of drugstore deodorants designed for men. Yuck. I personally don’t want my boyfriend smelling like a wet shag carpet, and the smell of CLAYDRY original is awesome. This deodorant works better than our chemical-laden drugstore deodorants as well, so that is definitely a plus for me because Matt can get a little ripe by the end of the day. I also want to say that we have test driven this deodorant in our Bikram yoga classes (for those of you who don’t know what Bikram yoga is it’s yoga done in a room heated to 100 + degrees F with a high humidity level and by the end of class you are literally soaked in your own sweat) and it held up nicely. I mean we didn’t smell great afterwards, but if I wanted to prevent myself from smelling after a Bikram class I would have to rub deodorant literally over my entire body.

Anyways We bought ours at Whole Foods, but if you don’t have access to one you can also purchase it here. It contains no aluminum, no propylene glycol and it has a short list of ingredients, some of which include chamomile extract, grapefruit seed extract, witch hazel and calendula extract. If you’ve tried this please let us know what you think and if anybody gets a rash from this please let us know so we can update our review.