Archive for February, 2011

Day 75. The Zen Thing


February 26th, 2011

chard rolls
Well, today was day 75 of my BIKRAM YOGA CHALLENGE. It has been a wild ride. But an enlightening one. I’ve been playing this down (mostly out of laziness about posting), but I’ve been doing a raw food challenge too. Not for as long. Just since the first of the year. But the combo has clearly been having an impact on the congestion in my body. This was a swiss chard roll with a little cucumber garnish I made last week. Another recipe from CHARLIE TROTTER’S BOOK.

camel
This is the camel pose. It was my nemesis when I FIRST STARTED taking Bikram Yoga. I talked about it during my 15 seconds of fame (check out my interview). Did I mention that I’m the YOGI OF THE MONTH? Yep. AND I was on the NEWS DOING YOGA too. (I’m the one with the tattoo.)  I’m going global!   :)

cukes
I was telling my friend, WILL (who just finished 60 DAYS YESTERDAY) about this zen thing that kicked in right about the sixty day mark. It’s not that yoga got easier really. But maybe I was more indifferent to it. Or adapted to it. Or something. But it just started whizzing by. Instead of being kind of torturous. Maybe I’ve gotten in the moment? I think it coincides with me being more ‘tuned in’.

savasanaI’ve been starting to have interesting revelations about myself. This is my big one for this week. Bikram class has 26 postures and two breathing exercises. But those postures are broken down into series. There’s a standing series and a floor series. The last posture in the standing series is called Tree Pose. Every time I attempt that pose, I fall. The same way. It’s like I can get down into it, but once I’m there I realize that I’m extremely off kilter. And the inevitable happens. After this pose, we have a reprieve where we go into this pose, savasana (or dead body pose). Seems simple, right? WRONG! After I crashed and burned in tree pose the other day, I was lying there (just like this) thinking to myself, ‘Why does this happen every time? I don’t get it. I wonder if my alignment is messed up. Maybe I’m maligned and I’m not aware of it.’ Just as this thought was running through my mind, my yoga teacher (Martha) walked up to me and started adjusting my alignment!! How freaky is that? She said it’s actually gotten a lot better, and it was 50% worse when I started. I was shocked. My body is still in the shape of the IMPACT, and I was completely unaware. Amazing.

goji maca bars
These GOJI MACA energy bars are great for yogis on the go. Aren’t they pretty? It’s a MATTHEW KENNEY recipe. They went over surprisingly well at the guitar store too. (I get around).

barfer
Last but not least, this is another deceptive pose. You basically lie on your stomach and raise one leg at a time to a 45 degree angle. Seems really straightforward, right? You would think so. But truth be told, I’ve swallowed my own barf TWICE now in this pose. I don’t know why this is, but my theory is that is kinda squishes your LIVER. And I have a BAD LIVER (This band was huge when I lived in Austin. Who knew I would one day be one of them).

That’s my update for now. I’ll check in with you later…

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Nut Milk Cheeses


February 18th, 2011


Well, here it is. My new product. A line of handmade, raw, vegan, NUT MILK CHEESES. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize this product from my days at 105 DEGREES. This was one of the products I developed for my SHOP PROJECT. It’s funny. At the time, I hadn’t even thought of making cheeses for my project. But I was encouraged by my fellow students as I seemed inclined that way (without me noticing). I guess sometimes we’re the last to know. :)

I love these cheeses. I know there’s a big thing in the raw community right now with dairy. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a dairy girl. I love dairy! My mom would be shocked and amazed with me growing up. How can a little girl drink so much milk? I loved it!! But after my exposure, I started developing a number of AUTOIMMUNE issues. Suddenly, I couldn’t tolerate dairy anymore. I would have life threatening ASTHMA attacks. The kind where your whole body just convulses uncontrollably for hours until you collapse from fatigue. It’s the kind of experience that causes a person to rethink their love of dairy, if you know what I mean. So anyway, here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it.

date cheese bites
Also, I should mention that I just posted a new video on PUNK RAWK LABS TV. This video steps you through a very easy recipe for making these beautiful date cheese bites (featuring some of my herb cheese). They were a big hit for me at all my dinner parties this year. Enjoy!

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Day 60. Bikram Yoga Challenge


February 11th, 2011

yoga bag
Well, I reached a big landmark today. It was my 60th day in a row of Bikram Yoga. All I can say is WOW. It’s been an interesting ride. I initally EMBARKED ON THIS ADVENTURE as a means of addressing a number of health issues. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the beginning. I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. I was reluctant to commit to it. The outcome was not at all what I was expecting, but I can say for sure that it has had a positive impact on my issues.

triangle poseThis is triangle pose, and it is my big triumph so far. When I started, I couldn’t do this pose at all. This pose is all about hip muscles for stability. My hip muscles were really weak starting back (as I BROKE MY PELVIS). My physical therapist really worked with me on my hip muscles, and now look! This pose gives me hope that I can resolve all my issues eventually. I have to admit though that the left side is not so pretty. But it’s getting there. My left side sustained most of the impact in the CRASH. So there’s a lot to work out there. But the muscles on both sides get weak when you’re not walking.  So, I couldn’t do it either way at first.  Maybe next time I check in, I’ll have the left side nailed down.

standing head to kneeThis is a pose that I’m still working with. It’s my nemesis right now. It’s standing head to knee pose. I can actually kick my leg out alright, but I don’t have much stamina or stability on one leg. I think a lot of this harkens back to my hip issues. But there’s some wankiness in my lower back too that I haven’t figured out yet. This pose starts out with the extended leg bent. Then, you kick it out (like in this picture). Once you get good there, you touch your forehead to your knee. Obviously, I’m not there yet. The first part of this posture (bent leg) feels really good for my lower back. It’s stretching out something in a good way. This yoga has been stretching out a lot of bad juju in good ways.

magnet Here is sweaty, stinky me with my completely filled in magnet! I’m actually shocked that I made it to this point. It was definitely challenging on a number of levels. The detox is brutal. I’m not going to lie. It’s as hard as it is rewarding. I actually found out I have an ulcer in the middle of this challenge, and I was really tempted to stop. But I didn’t. I thought about it a lot. The main issue motivating me to do this is that I have chronic pain from the impact of the crash. It’s mostly caused by super tweaked muscles. My doctor recommended trigger point injections for the pain. I’m really reluctant to try that though as I have a lot of issues with my LIVER. I mean, I can’t even eat food with additives. So as you might imagine, medicines of any kind are not without unpleasant consequences. I was kind of hoping that I would have worked through the pain and back to normal at the end of sixty days. That may have been an overly optimistic expectation. BUT things are definitely starting to loosen up. The other day, I had my massage therapy, and I cried the whole time. This sounds bad, but it’s actually GREAT. Things are finally starting to break up a bit. In the beginning, my massage therapist said she’d be bearing all her weight into me, and I wouldn’t feel a thing.

At my last appointment, I asked my doctor if the pain was an issue that would go away eventually or if it was permanent. He didn’t really answer. He kind of changed the subject.  I’m interpreting that as meaning that I’m really going to have to work on this. It’s not going to come easy.  But basically, yoga is what is keeping me off pain meds right now.  If I stop, I’ll have to find some other way of managing the pain.  My thought was that whatever that was would be just as stressful to my body (if not more) as yoga.  So, I decided to just stick with it.  Sometimes you have to go through the fire.  There is no other way.  It might hurt.  You might get burned.  But the fire will transform you.  And maybe that’s a beautiful thing.  Not something to be afraid of.  The fire is where all the important lessons are.

That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

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Blackbird Naturals


February 9th, 2011

package
Look what I got in the mail the other day! A beautifully wrapped package from BLACKBIRD NATURALS. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you should definitely check them out. The company was started by Anthony (THE RAW MODEL, I’ve been following his blog for a long time), Alexandra and Andrea Maw.

card
I can’t get over how pretty the package was. Lots of good intentions went into this.

seeds
I won this package of their wild green seeds (lambsquarter, wild spinach, and dandelion) from their forum, REPLANT PARADISE. This is such a beautiful thing. They are building food forests and packaging up wild seeds. With companies like MONSANTO contaminating our food supply with genetically engineered and copyrightable mutant seeds, it’s good to know that there are people out there doing things right. I can’t wait until the snow melts so I can plant these. These wild greens are going to be so good for my ailing LIVER (esp. the dandelion)! It will be interesting to see how this goes over in my community garden. I know at least one gardener is NOT going to be happy about me planting dandelion. :)

Here’s to shaking things up!

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