Pink Waffles

I don’t know about you, but I love playing with food. As a child I remember my mom at Christmas or birthdays with food colouring turning white icings pink or blue depending on who’s birthday it was. Food colouring was fun and it still is but that old school stuff has no place in my pantry. INSTEAD, I turn to healthy superfoods for food colouring fun. 

Yesterday was Saturday and I was craving waffles. I have made green waffles using spirulina, chocolate and vanilla using cacao and yesterday my inspiration went toward pink so I used @florafoods beetroot crystals to turn these beauties pink. So much fun! 

After a ton of requests for the recipe I decided to get to work to create one for you and here it is.  Other options for turning food pink would be gorgeous Acai powder, pitaya (pink dragonfruit) powder and I’ve even seen pomegranate powder. I hope you have as much fun making these as I did! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Beetroot waffles💓 

Ingredients

1c oat flour

1c buckwheat flour

1tbsp vanilla protein powder(I love @nuzest)

1tsp baking powder

1/4tsp fine sea salt

1/2tsp ground ginger

1tsp cinnamon

..

1c cashew milk

1tsp apple cider vinegar

1c water (plus more if desired)

3tbsp melted coconut oil

1.5tsp beetroot crystals (@flora)

1tsp vanilla

1 flax egg (or 1 real egg)


Method

*preheat oven to 200*

  1. Prepare flax egg and set aside
  2. Combine milk, water, ACV and Beetroot crystals. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients, whisk, and set aside.
  4. Add flax and wet to dry ingredients and mix gently. The buckwheat flour soaks up ALOT of moisture. At this time you might need to add 1/4c-1/2c more liquid. I added water until I was happy with consistency. Too thin, and it will run, too thick and it won’t spread. 
  5. Heat waffle iron.
  6. Add in a heaping ladle of batter to waffle iron. Once cooked transfer to a wire rack in preheated oven while you make the rest of the waffles. I yielded 4 large round waffles from this recipe.

~Enjoy!!💞💞

 

IMG_2660.JPG

The Work Doesn’t Stop

I will start with this. I am in a very good place. I have love, financial stability, a career I love and friends and family that I adore but I’ve been struggling of late. I get these feelings in the pit of my stomach that the glass is going to crack and my new life that I love is going to decintegrate before my eyes. I know these feelings are irrational and no, they don’t last long but they are my feelings which makes them real. Makes them valid. 

I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for nearly 7 years. The 10 or so years before I stopped was nothing short of hell. I felt constant anxiety, constant worry, a constant feeling of butterflies with razor wings. A feeling like my world would implode at any given moment. If I’m honest with myself I felt that way for way longer then 10 years.. Let’s call it from the age of 4.  I remember those feelings very well and periodically they rear themselves. In the past few months I’ve come to a realization that I may be suffering some of the long term affects. A ptsd of sorts. After nearly 32 years of anxiety, it’s a possibility, right?

As a person who’s been in recovery for nearly 7 years I’ve gone through some pretty significant changes. I ended a ten year relationship with someone I was not in love with anymore, 2 years ago almost to this day. It was hard. Like holy shit hard. Like my alcoholism, I knew that relationship had to end WAY before I got the courage to pull the plug. It was a good 3 years of mulling, complaining, and suffering before I did the deed and within that time I acted out in ways I’m beyond ashamed about. *Just because you put the bottle down, does NOT exempt you from alcoholic behaviour.* At least not alllllll of the time. And that is certainly what happened to me. I started acting out in ways that went against everything I stood for. All of the work I had done spiritually, emotionally and physically kinda went out the window. I started looking for chaos and chaos is exactly what I got. I spoke to my sponsor and she basically told me that even tho I hadn’t taken a drink it was as if I had marched into a bar and downed 10 shots of tequila. Wowza... In that moment I truthfully thought she was exaggerating, going a little over the top for the sake of effect but now 2 1/2 years later I know exactly what she was saying and only now am I starting to feel the effects. Time to do some work. 

My whole life has been a tad dramatic. Childhood wasn’t great, teenage years were shit, full of promiscuity and drama, early-mid 20s were actually awesome because I lived in a haze of ecstasy, MDMA, crystal meth and the longest dance party of my life. I was a successful little drug dealer who was really good at it and made a shit ton of money. Enough to pay off my student debt AND I came out unscathed. Did a TON of stupid irresponsible shit that could have landed me in prison both in the USA and homeland of Canada. I am one lucky yogini. Once the bright and shiny started to wear off and the drugs no longer worked I turned to alcohol and that’s when things went south and went south at a speed that still amazes me. I muddled through a black out haze for the better part of 12 years before I decided to take my life back but it wasn’t easy. These changes never are. Up until Jan 2, 2012 my life was full of drama and anxiety as aforementioned and it had become my normal. NORMAL.. When anxiety is as normal as waiting for a bus it’s got to have an affect. Like long term affect.. which I guess is what brings me here to this post. 

In the past few months I have been processing stuff. I have hurt a few people on my path of sobriety. I’ve made my amends to those I had affected with my years of drinking but this is a whole new thing. Realizing you chose a certain path knowing damn well it was going to hurt another (even though you know in your heart it was the right thing to do) is a tough pill to swallow. I teach self-love, compassion and mindfulness.  I try to live my yoga on the mat but off the mat as well. But I am also human. In all the ways..I’m realizing there is still a shit ton of work to be done in me. If I don’t, I may not pick up the bottle of booze but I will be continuing on the path of active addiction and I am SO not ok with that.

At nearly 7 years of sobriety it’s time to get back to basics. Back to the Big Book, back to the steps, back to meetings. There is always more work to be done. I am worth it. SO, that’s the plan. I have some pretty awesome sober friends and with the help of them I will do another step study, I will comb through the Big Book and I will come to get another evolution of this here sober way of life. Here’s to another sober 24💛

Soup Season!

AAAAANNNND here we are.. we all knew it was coming. Change of season is happening as I type. I teach a 7am class every Tuesday and over the last month it’s gotten darker and darker and then it happened... pitch black AND raining😭 My class was small to say the least so I opted for a nice soothing restorative flow to gently bring in the light. It was lovely... sigh

To the soup! With the season change the sweaters come out, the socks go on and the soups get made. So for the first one of the season I decided to make my Spicy Sweet Potato Curry Tomato Soup🧡 It was spicy as promised and chalk full of legumes, veggies and a boat load of spinach at the end cause I’m forever turning things into a salad🤷‍♀️

This soup is versatile so don’t feel like you need to stick verbatim to the recipe. I have used kale and or Swiss chard instead of spinach, navy beans instead of chickpeas, and I have also thrown in zuchinni, red peppers and a variety of different veggies into the pot. THATS what is so awesome about soup! I have also puréed this soup when I was nursing a soar mouth after dental surgery and it was deeeelish. 

IMG_4216.JPG

RECIPE 

  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 large carrot diced

  • 1 stalk celery diced

  • 1/2 red onion diced

  • 1 large clove garlic minced

  • 2 leeks sliced

  • 1 28oz can diced tomato (I use San Marzano cause they’re THE BEST)

  • 1c green peas (fresh OR frozen)

  • 1 14oz can organic chick peas (rinsed)

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 tsp chilli flakes

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 tomato cans of water

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (a drizz to garnish too🙂)

  • 4c baby spinach

METHOD 

Heat large pot over medium to high heat and add olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic and onion. Sauté until it begins to soften. Add in carrot and celery cook down for a couple of minutes. If mixture feels too dry add in a splash of water. Add in sweet potato and the rest of the spices. Mix well. Again, if mixture seems too dry add a splash of water to get things moving again. Season with salt and pepper.  Once sweet potato starts to soften add in can of diced tomato followed by two cans of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and let it hang out for 20 min or until sweet potato and veggies are cooked thru. I like to add the chickpeas and peas near the end. Check for seasoning.. not spicy enough? Add more spice! At this time add in spinach, allow to wilt. Finish with more sea salt and cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Enjoy!!! Xo

IMG_4141.JPG

Dog Days of Summer

Summer goes fast doesn’t it? Up here in Canada we get approximately 60 solid days of summer give or take a few and if you blink you just might miss them. 

I knew I was going to be working ALOT this summer. I took the better part of the beginning of the year off to travel and train and while I thought I’d prepared myself for the work I guess I wasn’t expecting the repercussions. At the end of December last year I was suffering burnout. Unsure that was actually a thing I did a little research and it turned out yes indeed it was. Exhausted pretty much ALL the time, trouble sleeping, and constantly needing to nap taking the first 6 weeks off in January-February was not only needed it was necessary. Well, here we are again.... Feeling pretty much the same symptoms I went to the doctor last week to find out WTF is going on with me. Waiting on results... I’ll let you know. 

This is actually a good post and I feel GOOD post believe it or not. Presently I am enjoying a full week off. I am in Niagara with my best girlfriends with all our misters and baby Maia at a gorgeous Air BnB. I am tapping away whilst sitting poolside with the mister reading beside me. Le SIGH... My hash tag this week has been #neverleaving🙂  The besties went winery hopping leaving us to relax and make PEACH CRUMBLE. It’s peach season here in Niagara so what better way to show case that.  

IMG_2837.JPG

greasing the vessel😊

 

IMG_2864.JPG

🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Walnuts for crunch (and health) 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Slicing all dem🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

 PEACH CRISP (for 7 people)

Ingredients  

  • 9 large peaches 
  • 2tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2c gf oats
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  •  1/2c almond flour
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • heaping 1/2c chopped walnuts
  • 2tbsp melted vegan butter 
  • 2tbsp melted coconut oil (plus more for greasing pan) 
FullSizeRender.jpg

Dry ingredients🥄🥄 

METHOD 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients together then add melted oil and butter to make the crumb. Slice the peaches and add maple syrup to coat. Spread crumble mixture over peaches evenly and place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 42 minutes. I cranked my oven up to 400 add baked for an additional 15 to ensure the peaches were juicy. Serve with nice cream or coconut whip cream. So good!!! IF you make this recipe, please lmk how it goes! 

Oh and let’s make a pact to try to milk the rest of this summer for all it’s worth. Time waits for no one and we are worth every second💛 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

All ready for the oven☺️ 

FullSizeRender.jpg

She’s just so pretty😍 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Going in🍑🍑🍑 

............. 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Just waiting on vegan ice cream!!!!😁 

Raspberry Chia Jam

Every single time I post anything with raspberry chia jam I tend to get a ton of requests for the how to.. and while this may be a short recipe it doesn’t lack in substance. So by popular demand here ya go. When you see the ingredients and method ya might have a good laugh. It’s really short☺️

Raspberry Chia Jam 

  • 1cup frozen raspberrries 
  • 1 heaping tbsp chia seeds (white or black-try to avoid ground chia.. doesn’t have the same effect) 

Method: 

In a small saucepan heat your frozen raspberries over medium until they start to soften. Add in chia and cook until desired consistency. I don’t use any additional sweetener but if you want a little added sweetness 1tbsp maple syrup would suffice. I love to let the raspberries shine in this one. No need to add sweetener❤️ 

IMG_4673.JPG

raspberry chia jam on toast with some of my homemade granola and almond butter... 🤤

 

You can eat it all at once (teehee) or place whatever is left over in a sealed mason jar. Would last up to a week but in my household it’s GONE in a matter of days. Add it to whatever you want but some suggestions are below... happy jam making!! 

 

IMG_7499.JPG

chia jam added to oats!

 

waffles😋😋   

waffles😋😋

 

IMG_6602.JPG

chia pudding❤️

It’s Raining Again

Good morning from Ubud. My initial plan today started off GREAT. I woke up around 6 and saw the sky was turning a beautiful clear blue and said YES!! Went back to bed for an hour and started planning the day. Our days here don’t differ too much from one another really. Starts with a meditation (truth be told not everyday but we try), lemon water, Bali coffee and a homemade breakfast of fresh fruit (omg the dragon fruit💕),

IMG_3695.JPG

DRAGONFRUIT👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼

and granola or oats or a variation of all the above.. Go to a yoga class at Intuitive Flow and then figure it out from there. We’ve been staying at Pondok Rama #3 or “The Divine Goddess Santuary” (aptly named on Air B&B) which is on a rice field just north of the hustle and bustle of Ubud. It has been lovely. The mister has been a true champion at getting us around on the scooter that was made available to us ($5/day) so it’s been great to get away from the madness. Allowing for real decompression... 

3 weeks on Bali is a good length of time. We’ve been in ubud for 9 days and still have 8 more sleeps to go. Reflecting on our trip we realized that putting Vietnam in for those 8 days at the beginning was probably not the best idea for us. I want to go back to Vietnam when a) the weather is better and b) when we have more time. I am however glad we did it. Anytime spent travelling is never a negative thing.. 

Getting back to today... blue sky didn’t last long. When we looked at coming to Asia I knew the weather was going to be questionable. I watched the weather patterns and decided that it was going to be FINE. And it has been FINE. I will return to  Toronto with a tan to prove I was indeed in a tropical climate but my god it hasn’t been easy. Rain upon rain it has done💦💦☔️☔️ I never knew it could rain so hard! I was in India during monsoon season and I still didn’t experience rain like this. I don’t want to sound like a petulant child so I’ll end with this..  if you don’t mind rain, come to Bali whenever you want, but if you want really nice weather, trust the patterns, and get thee to A dry place. 

oh hey look, the sun is coming out again!!🌦🌦🌦

IMAGE.JPG

Trip with the Mister

Hello again everyone, 

I have been very absent over the past year and for the people that do read this blog I am very sorry about that. I have gone thru some massive changes over the past year and I’d very much like to share some of them... firstly, I have a mister. A wonderful man who loves me dearly (as I do him). We had a very rough start (understatement) with all the odds stacked against us but miraculously we are thriving with a very bright future ahead. Secondly, that said mister and I moved in together. Some naysayers thought it was awfully fast but when you know you know. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out before we committed but I followed my heart and stayed the course and I am very happy I did. You see I have never wanted to get married before. For the people that have known me longest it was a big surprise to hear I had changed my tune. At 42 (now 43!) I had finally met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with so moving in and moving forward was exactly what we were going to do. Naysayers be damned. 

The last big shift was me retiring the restaurant industry. This is rather huge..-Back in 2015 I retired and went on sabbatical to become a yoga teacher. I did my first teacher training with the intention to not go back to managing restaurants. I wanted to be a yoga teacher but after returning to Toronto I realized very quickly that I HAD to go back. Teaching just wasn’t going to pay my bills.

- - -

Fast forward 2 years..

Teaching a very full time schedule and working nights at the restaurant. It’s been exhausting. I always thought the term “burnout” was just something people said when they were tired but now I know it’s an actual thing. I felt like I was in a constant state of jet leg and once the mister and I moved in together he saw the schedule I was trying to maintain and offered me an “out”.  My dear wonderful generous mister offered me my out. So I took it. I gave my beloved restaurant of 7 years 4 months notice and started planning THIS... 

IMAGE.JPG

The entrance to our homestay in Hanoi💛 

With an end in sight we started thinking about where we would go. It started with India, then Sri Lanka... both beautiful destinations which we will DEF get to (I was in southern India for a month in ‘15).  We couldn’t quite wrap our heads around where we would stay and for whatever reason bailed on the idea completely. Which brought me back to BALI. I was also in Bali in 2015 and had a bit of a love hate relationship but really had a calling to return. Travelling alone can be a major bummer when shit goes south and that’s what happened in the last week on that beautiful island. The mister had not been there however and had a keen interest in going. Soooo... 

Here we are in Asia☺️ We started 1 week ago today and have been to Hong Kong and now we’ve been in Hanoi for 4 days. We are in our own little homestay after two nights in hotel and are really laying roots. One thing we were not prepared for.. finding vegan and gluten-free options! We have been blessed to find a wonderful yoga studio and cafe OM STUDIO  who has been feeding us but other than that it’s been a real challenge (the mister is celiac) ... big reco is to get cards made with allergies and restrictions printed (we didn’t do that😑)... We have 5 more days here until we fly to BALI. Please stay tuned for more. I promise to not be so absent. 

Ps, sobriety fucking rocks. If I wasn’t sober NONE of the amazing things that are happening in my life would be happening. Period.  

If you aren’t already following me on Instagram please find me on all of the things @terianncarty

💛💛💛 

IMAGE.JPG

👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 So cute! 

IMAGE.JPG

Om Studio.. formerly Zenith. Don’t let the outside scare you.. head inside and up the stairs. The ladies there are ahhhhhmazing🙏🏼 

GRANOLA

It's been far too long since I've posted.. I promise that I will rectify that situation in 2017. Life gets busy doesn't it? I myself have had an emotional couple of months. I broke up with my partner of 10 years. That in of itself is a blog post which I will definetley get to... 

BUT this post is not about breakups, hardships or massive life changes. THIS blog post is about my kickass granola recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

 

IMG_1263.JPG

I have been working on different variations of the same recipe now for well over a year and this one hits it out of the park. Crunchy, savoury, a hint of sweet and healthy! I plan on filling my house with this smell and giving the gift of food. Really, how great is that?! I might even whip up my cashew milk and give as the pair cause that stuff is bomb diggity as well💛 

granola 

  •  2 1/2 cups gf oats 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts  
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉) 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

method

 Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. 

Mix all dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil and then add room temperature maple syrup (cold syrup will coagulate the coconut oil) and vanilla. Stir to mix and then add to dry ingredients.  Lay out evenly on 1-2 baking sheets and pop it in the oven. After about 20 minutes take a peek. Give a gentle mix to get less cooked granola a chance to be baked and then pop back in for another 10 min. Keep a close watch. You don't want it to burn!
Wait for it to completely cool then put into mason jars. 

cashew milk 

  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (pieces cuts down your soaking time significantly)---cover in filtered water for min 2 hours
  • 1 Medjool date (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt  
  • 3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

method 

 rinse soaked cashews, add to high powered blender. Top with 3 cups filtered water. Add the salt, date, vanilla and blend. I put through the smoothie cycle ( i❤️ my Blendtec) twice and put straight into a litre mason jar. Makes a perfect litre!  

 

Enjoy lovelies~~ and Merry Christmas🎄🎄 

 

E2C5655B-27D0-456B-AB09-86463ECAB9DD.JPG

It has been a while since I have been here and for that, I am very sorry!  This last summer was a busy one... I have been going through some emotional turmoil in the past 6 months and didn't really know what to say. Instead, I worked. I said yes to everything. I subbed and taught as many classes as I could possibly jam in as well as manage a restaurant 4 nights a week. To say it was exhausting is a bit of an understatement but it was exactly what I needed. Truth is, I'm still doing it. My schedule is still nuts and will probably be more so as we near Christmas. That's ok. It's self-induced and happening as it should. 

Today is a good day. They have all been good days. Even when I feel like I'm having a not- so-great-day it's way better than when I was drinking. I'm coming up on a 5 year anniversary and it literally blows my mind. I haven't had a drink in almost 5 years. How unbelievably amazing is that? On top of all the work this summer I also attended a step-study. We are nearing the end of it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work my program with some awesome women. It has helped me beyond measure with my current situation. I am trying. Really hard. But I know I am also avoiding the inevitable to avoid hurt, pain and suffering for all parties. Breaks my heart.. but such is life.  So, my friends this is where I'm at. Over-working, over-tired, but loving life. Staying true to my path and staying sober one day at a time. 

Part of staying healthy in my mind, body and spirit is maintaining a healthy diet. Over night Chia pudding is da bomb!!!! 

recipe below: 

 

Over-night Chia Pudding
  • Over-night Chia Pudding

  chia pudding 

  •   1c hemp seed milk (I make all my own milks... recipes on website)
  • 1/4c chia seeds
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4tsp vanilla
  • Pinch sea salt   

method

stir all ingredients in a bowl, wait 5 minutes, then stir again. Wrap with Saran Wrap and refrigerate over night. Top with berries, granola, seeds and the like! Enjoy💗 

  

 

You get what you Give

 

I've been thinking a lot about karma and loving more lately. It actually started with myself.. I have been teaching pretty regularily and now have 3 whole classes at 2 different studios and it's been going great. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. My classes at the one studio are not very busy and I'm starting to take it personally. I know I shouldn't but it's hard when only 3 people show up to your class. I've also been subbing a great deal for people which has its own set of stress. Trying to be everything to everybody just doesn't work so I decided to just be myself and then my brain got to thinking, what if I'm not good enough?

I've struggled with this concept since I was a child. Maybe it stemmed from Daddy never being around. Maybe I still suffer from abandonment issues. I don't really know, but the feeling is the same. I recognize this sickly feeling in my gut and then it happens. I start to doubt myself. It usually snowballs from there into not being smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough.. Not being enough is the general theme.  And as quickly as I start to feel myself sinking into the soul-crushing puddle of crud I say STOP.. What the fuck! It's a slippery slope as many of you know. It takes diligence and dedication to stay on the path of positivity.  Which brings me back to today's theme. You GET what you GIVE.  There are no freebies here. I have learned and continue to learn that if you want something you have to ask for it. You have to be open to the process and WORK it. So that's what I do. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  Somedays I am far more successful than others. Somedays it comes naturally to say thank you to the universe before I open my eyes and other days I literally have to say my gratitude prayers like I'm reading off a script but I do it anyway. I know I'm enough deep down. All the fear based crap I tell myself is based on years and years of conditioning. If I step back for a moment and look at how far I've come in 4 years it literally astounds me. One day, moment, breath at a time. When I get down, I breathe and say thank you. I try to put out what I wish to receive and it works every, single, time. But it is a constant practice.  I always have to remind myself not to take on other people's moods. Instead, I work on putting out positive vibes even if I feel like screaming. Fake it till you make it as they say. Eventually the mood lifts, the feelings fade and I'm back on track. 

I am constantly evolving. Creating and carving out the person I want to be. I love who I am and am proud of each step I take on this journey of sobriety, health and wellness. In my minds eye I see me teaching to hundreds of people. We all sit and meditate together by the ocean. Basking in each other's light. I'm putting it out there. The universe knows what I want. I just have to be clear with the intentions. Put out what you wish to get back. So far it's working like a charm💗✨✨ 

Today's Thoughts

There's something about going away to really put your current life situation into perspective. I recently had the pleasure of going to Panama for a dear friends wedding. It was exactly what I needed. After losing Hazel so abruptly and working pretty intensely over the course of the last 5 months

Leaving on a jet plane✈️

Leaving on a jet plane✈️

I needed a little restart. A refresh if you will. And while it definetly worked for about a week, the affects of my vacation has started to fade and I feel myself sinking back into this sense of blah, hum drum and awkward complacency.  In other words, I need to get my shit in order and start focusing on me again. 

I started this blog/website just over 4 months ago. I remember that time well. I was filled with a sense of excitement for all the things I was going to create. All the inspirational blogs I was going to pen. All the new followers I was going to incur. And while I do believe I have written a few great blogs and the site is off to a great start, I come back to that..hmmm, not quite satisfied feeling again. Wtf, I say to myself. Back to the proverbial drawing board.  

I've always been hard on myself.  I've also (truth be told) been a bit of a procrastinator. Not exactly the best combo. First, you just don't do what you keep saying you're going to do and then proceed to beat yourself up for it.. I've gotten better over the last 4 years. Sobriety was a game changer but habits formed over a lifetime are very hard to break. 

So here I am feeling like I haven't completed enough, written enough, created or taught enough and decided to put this blog out to share my feelings of inadequacy and garner some sense of relief by producing a piece but the TRUTH is, is that I'm doing EXACTLY what I need to be doing. In the past month I have secured 2 classes a week at IAM yoga. My very own classes and they are going great. I'm on the sub list at my home studio and  I am starting a teacher training on anatomy which I'm super stoked about to further my yoga education. I'm working at the restaurant 3 nights a week, intragramming like its my job and practicing everyday sometimes twice a day. I'm a tad bit busy and loving every minute of it. So why in the world am I feeling like this? Is it because I wasted so much of my life drinking and drugging? Do I feel like I'm too late in the game to be an inspirational teacher with a voice? I guess the answers remain in the journey. I guess I will need to keep asking the questions to keep peeling back the plethora of layers I am still discovering. It's all a process and it's all good. I'm grateful for it all. 

What Yoga Means To Me

 Natarajasana in Krabi, Thailand  

 Natarajasana in Krabi, Thailand  

I have been asked many times how long I've been practicing yoga. Truth is that's a bit of a long answer. I started practicing yoga back in 1997 in my final year of theatre school. My movement teacher incorporated an hour and a half of Bikram yoga every Friday morning. It was my first experience with asana and I fell in love right away. I continued to practice after college. I found a Bikram studio downtown and practiced regularily. I also started to branch out. I started practicing at Downward Dog with Diane Bruni and tried to get to class at least twice a week but something else was brewing in me. Something that at the time I thought was relatively normal. I mean, everyone was partying. Drinking and drugging were part of my social life life like tea and cookies go together. I was a waitress in a fast paced supper club where everyone was drinking and drugging. Cocaine, ecstasy, weed and copious amounts of booze.. It was everywhere and accepted as par for the course. What does this have to do with yoga you might ask? Well for me, it pretty much has everything to do with it. 

As my alcoholism took hold of me my yoga practice dwindled. I thought about it often and the odd time I dragged my hungover ass to a class I spent half the time wondering where I would have "lunch" after class. "Lunch" being code word for: where is there a decent LISCENCED place as close to the studio that I can get a glass of wine with food. Not exactly the thoughts that should be coursing through a yogi's mind while in savasana. But it was what it was. I think I even went to class a few times half in the bag. I mean, who doesn't have a couple glasses of wine after work and go to yoga. I was a smoker at the time too. I seriously apologize to anyone who practiced beside me back then. Who doesn't just love a stale wine and ciggy reeking practitioner? Seriously, I am sorry. 

Needless to say my practice fell into the background of my life. I thought of it often but alcohol and drugs had me in its clutches. Cunning, baffling and powerful. I honestly didn't see it coming and then it was too late. All of a sudden 10years passed and I was full blown. I was a desperate, depressed barely functioning drunk with a very bleak outlook on my future. I knew I needed help. I desperately wanted to stop but I didn't know how. I couldn't see my life without the wine glass in my hand. I had built an identity around wine and as much as I knew I was an alcoholic, I kept thinking that if I REALLY wanted it badly enough that I would be able to stop. But I couldn't. The insanity and obsession was so embedded in me that there was only 1 way out. I had to quit. There wasn't any other way.

I was very fortunate to have met a few alcoholics in the restaurant industry. As you can well imagine there's a few of us in the business and with the help and guidance of one particular friend I found my way to a detox centre and AA. I made a commitment the day I walked through the door of the Glendale House at St Joseph's Hospital. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn't take the stress, the shame and the embarrassment any longer. I was ready to quit and get on with my life. I just had no idea what that looked like or how I was going to get there but the important thing was, that I was ready. 

3 months into my sobriety I decided to give myself a gift. I had been wanting desperately to go on a yoga retreat that my friend Grace Van Berkum was holding out of Nicaragua. I thought, what a better way to kick start the "living" part of my sobriety than getting healthy and start doing yoga again! I went on that retreat and to say it changed the course of my life would be a massive understatement. It changed everything... 

I came back from that trip with a different spring in my step. My body started to change. After all the years of abusing my body with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and poor eating habits, my body, skin and hair started to reflect what was happening to my insides. After that trip, I started to feel stronger and people started to notice weight was falling off of me. My skin started to look brighter, my eyes were clearer. I joined a yoga studio called Kula in the Annex and practiced everyday. I went to the studio with as much fervour as I did when I had done my 90 meetings in 90 days. I couldn't miss a day. Some might say that I became addicted to yoga. In hindsight I would have to agree. But in my opinion, becoming addicted to yoga, health and wellness was a whole hell of a lot better than the alternative. Having an addictive personality like mine, you have to be careful about everything but I truly believe that my crazy attachment to yoga back in the early stages of my sobriety helped catapult me into where I am today. I know that for sure. 

Last year I decided to take my love of yoga to the next level. I had been practicing religiously in between running a restaurant and had come to a point where I wanted more from my practice. I wanted to be a teacher. I was terrified of taking the plunge,  but nobody ever achieved greatness by playing it safe so I did it. I applied to the Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico and after being accepted, started to plan a journey of a lifetime. I decided to take my journey beyond the training to Bali, Thailand, India and London England. A little Eat, Pray, Love if you will. It was amazing. A solo journey that took 5 1/2 months to complete. It was scary, exhilarating, lonely, satisfying and exactly what I needed to put my life into perspective. 

4 months back and I am teaching at IAM Yoga, subbing at Kula and saying yes to as many teaching opportunities as I can. Yoga opened up a world to me I never thought existed or if I did, I didn't think I would be privy to it. I know now that I can do anything I want or set my mind to. I am a strong, beautiful, talented, compassionate woman who has been to hell and back through the world of addiction. Yoga and sobriety has given me a life I only thought other people were allowed to have. I'm excited for my future with all of the unknown possibilities. My head is clear and my heart is open. 

Yoga means the world to me. It saved me during a very dark time. It provided light and breath when I needed it most. I love the fact that I get to share this ancient practice with those that are open to its potential. I believe I have a calling to give back to my AA community by bringing yoga to people who were just like me. I know I am supposed to be on this path. I know God has a plan for me. I am a very grateful sober yogi today. That is what yoga means to me.