Me and My Altar

I’ve had an altar of sorts for many years now but only since last Autumn did I make an effort to build it giving all of my crystals a home to live in. I started small with a couple of my favourite stones. Going thru a tumultuous time in the fall of 2016 I started to lean on the power of crystals to add to my meditation practice.  I bought malachite, and blue calcite as my first 2 rocks and now my collection includes, amythest, smoky, rose and clear quartz, sodalite and many more.  My altar has grown in other ways as well.  Many years ago I went to the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas.  I   bought a 1 inch statue of Ganesha.  He was my first deity.  I called on him in meditations and daily life to help remove obstacles.  I had a great deal of obstacles to get thru…My second statue was of Buddha, because Buddha (for me) stands for peace, resilience, and the path less travelled. My last statue was of Green Tara. Known as the female Buddha she represents (to me) compassion and enlightenment.  Cutting the ties of what no longer serves and issuing in the strength when you need her.  My altar also includes books.  I have been reading Meditations From the Mat by Rolf Gates just after waking to set me for the day.  I have palo Santo, sage, candles and incense to add to my and my partners experience.  

Having an altar is a part of my daily practice.  It will grow with time, it will change as I change.  It always brings a smile to my face even on the harder days and gives me the energy and lift I need when I am depleted.  My spiritual practice is mine and very personal to me however I do enjoy sharing it especially with my partner.  He has cultivated this altar with me.  Very fortunate to have met a open-minded man who is curious about his own spiritual journey. 

I will take a couple pieces of my altar to Mexico to create a little space in my tent.  This idea actually came to me while typing this.  Building a mini altar in my tent will be a good way to connect to my higher self before shutting my eyes.  I can pray, meditate and feel the power of love come thru.

Namaste
 

Dinner Time🌱

Well hello there lovers... here we are full swing into MARCH.... Like how TF did that happen. They say that time moves quicker the older you get which slightly terrifies me cause I REALLY can’t imagine it moving quicker.. Any-hoo..  

In the spirit of moving quickly let’s talk about this here bowl of deliciousness😁 

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Zoooooodles👆🏼👆🏼 

As we all know having meal prep on hand saves a bucket load of time. That really is a no brainer right? So is having plain old leftovers in the freezer. If you’re anything like me you tend to over make. Roasting too many veggies is never an issue in my house. We freeze for later and that’s when dishes like these get made. For this idea I remembered I had frozen roasted cauliflower and then the recipe flowed from there. 

Recipe 

  • 1 1/2c dethawed roaster cauliflower
  • 1c nondairy milk
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1tbsp chilli flakes
  • himalayan sea salt and cracked pepper (to taste) 
  • 1tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 small zucchini zoodled
  • 1/2c frozen peas
  • 1/2c chickpeas  
  • handfull sliced cremini mushrooms  
  • two fistfuls baby spinach
  • mixed greens

>> sauté garlic, chilli flakes, olive oil salt and pepper until fragrant. Add 1tbsp of garlic mix to a high powered blender (I use Blendtec) and add in cauliflower, mylk, nooch and more salt and pepper to taste. Sauce is done>>

>>back to pan add a splash more olive oil and throw in shrooms, chickpeas and peas. Sauté till shrooms are cooked and peas turn bright green💚>>add in zoodles, baby spinach and sauce and toss to combine>>place on top of mixed greens and top with extra chilli flakes(if ya like🔥), more nooch or vegan parm if on hand and some pea shoots (also optional but VERY  instagramable😁). 

Annnnd Voila. This takes literally 20 min from start to finish including the chopping. If it takes you longer..who cares.. enjoy the process!  

 

Back to Life

Have you ever felt jet lag? Like real true blue no fucking around jet lag? I have. I’m still in it as a matter of fact but slowly the fog, the headaches and the nausea is fading away. It might sound severe and I’m sure it’s different for everyone but that is how it manifested for this lil yogi. We left beautiful Ubud last Saturday and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful morning. Woke up at 5, groggily gobbled overnight chia oats as I knew the day of travel was going to leave us two vegans tired and very hungry (more on that in a few). Picked up at 6 to arrive at the airport for 7:30. 

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This🙌🏼

First flight was reasonable from Bali to Hong Kong which takes approximately 5 hours. We had a bit of a delay (as you do😬) so I took advantage of it and practiced a little yoga. One thing I can say for sure is that I am over what people think when I am out in public.  I mean, if it comes down to people staring at me cause I'm stretching my body than really so be it.  I can't begin to describe how different I felt after flowing, practicing handstand and doing some planks.  My body felt energized and my mind felt clearer and calmer which is exactly the desired affect pre 15 hour flight.

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Handstands are ALWAYS a good idea!

Firstly let me say that I love to travel.. I mean I think that's pretty obvious but that doesn't mean I love ALL aspects of travelling.  Who does?  The line ups, the security, the long flights, and the deplorable airplane food is just some of the frustrations you might encounter but if you are a VEGAN who is also GLUTEN FREE (the mister is celiac and I am intolerant) than the latter problem of the food on airlines is just, well, infuriating; forcing you to squirrel away nuts and seeds, fruit and anything else you can get on an international flight.  Airlines will respect if you are a "strict vegetarian" and they will even respect if you eat gluten free but unfortunately they do not recognize the 2 together leaving the 2 of us shit out of luck.  I will give Air Canada's staff credit for "feeling bad" and at least trying, but once the tin air bus is up in the air there isn't anything that anyone can do... 15 hours and scant 6 hours of shite sleep later you  stumble off the plane, thank your lucky stars that you don't have to wait for baggage (carry on rules)and almost cry tears of joy when you see no line up at security (cause when the F does that happen????), you're both stamped and officially welcomed back to Canada by one of the nicest immigration officials ever and you're home free.  Only to get welcomed by freezing rain and -10 weather.  Yup, winter is in full affect.  My Bali soaked skin is nothing but a distant memory as the Canadian weather and the plane ride zaps all moisture from our bodies.  Dehydration is in full swing no matter how much water I drink.   Cranky, exhausted, hungry and cold we finally make it home.  My sneakers take in ALL of the slush post taxi ride but we made it HOME.  I open the door and there he is..the only reason i wanted to come home (That and family, teaching, friends....) SAM. 

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SAM

He makes strange for the first couple of days which breaks my heart but eventually he comes around.  He's a good boy.. I love him to bits but he's still a kitty and I feel terrible that we left so long not to mention I leave again in less than 2 months for another month.  He won't be pleased so please, mum's the word....

Thankfully I have a full day to integrate back but me being me I reply "I can" without missing a beat when a sub request comes thru next morning.  WTF was I thinking?  As my jet lag takes a hold of me I leave to teach in a fog beyond fogs but as soon as we get rolling I am so glad I said yes.  I needed to reintegrate myself into the rooms and what better way to do it.  I love teaching and once the words come I am actually grateful for the jet lag, it's forcing me to slow down and take my time.  Teaching this whole week back has felt more authentic in my body than ever before. Proving that taking this much needed time off was exactly what this lil yogi needed. 

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💕),

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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!!🌦🌦🌦

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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... 

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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

💛💛💛 

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👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 So cute! 

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

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Hello there! With the vow fo keep everything pumpkin I am here again to share some more pumpkin inspiration. Pumpkin is as nutririous as it is delicious. High in fibre, beta carotene, antioxidants and tryptophan it is a wonder veggie! From seeing better to sleeping better😁 So get roasting some pumpkin and eat your way to better health!!

 PUMPKIN PIE GRANOLA 

  • 1/3c pumpkin purée  
  • scant 1/3c pure maple syrup
  • 1/4c coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 cups gf oats
  • 3/4tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 true cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp fine sea salt 
  • 1/3c pumpkin seeds 
  • 1 1/2c walnuts and or pecans

 How to•••

Preheat oven to 340. Mix pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup in small pot until incorporated.  

Mix all other ingredients. Add wet to dry and layer evenly on two baking sheets. Bake for 13 min, check, shake and rotate and bake for 13 more minutes. Keep an eye! Don't want your deliciousness to burn. Let cool and store in mason jars. IF you can wait that long😏 

ENJOY!! 

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Pumpkin Everything

Well well it's been a while hasn't it. The last year of my life has been nothing short of tumultuous, mind-blowing, scary and some of the happiest moments in my life. There's a major blog post coming soon about all of that--- BUT, today's post is about pumpkin.. it's September 27th which means it's Autumn but for the past week my fine city of Toronto has experienced the hottest weather we've had all summer. Better late than never, am I right???

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Last week I came down with a sinus cold that walloped me for two days. I am a bit of a bragger when it comes to how little I get sick so I guess that was the universes way of knocking me down a peg or two😏. Anyhoo--I was craving pumpkin.. and in what was sure to be the whiniest voice ever I asked my wonderful man if he would make muffins. Pumpkin muffins🎃  Which he did. How lucky am I? 

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Wednesdays have become somewhat of a ME day. My man volunteers and I only have one class to teach and work later in the afternoon leaving my morning for me. Meditation, selfpractice and cooking is generally what I get up to. Today, with left over pumpkin I decided to make stuff. Granola for one but the recipe I'm sharing is for this beautiful bowl of pumpkin oats...  

Happy Hump day everyone. 

   PUMPKIN PIE OATS 

  • 1/2c gf oats
  • 1c water
  • 1/4c pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (more for garnish) 
  • 1/2tsp pumpkin spice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch salt  

bring water to a boil, add salt & oats. reduce heat, add pumpkin and spices. simmer until creamy in texture. pour into fave bowl and top as you like! 

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. 

 

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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🎄🎄 

 

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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💗 

  

 

It Works If You Work It

My mother told me when I was about 14 years old that I would have to work for everything I ever got and man was she right. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy but that's just the way it's ended up. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

My journey as I've written before is a long one. I'm on the upswing of my sobriety, albeit one day at a time. The craving to drink still comes and goes. Working at a restaurant, I'm always going to be tested. The restaurant business is where my disease really took hold. I was able to "taste" and "nose" my way into a good drunk every single day without too many sideways glances. Or, so I still tell myself..  

Life gets hard. I'm juggling a few balls right now in the hopes that when they land all my ducks will be in a row and my career as a yoga teacher will be enough to sustain, energize and satisfy me. I love the restaurant industry. I mean, I really love it. It's all I've ever known for work and I'm really really good at it. That counts for a lot in my books. But I feel like something is missing and THAT I guess is the purpose of this/my journey. Isn't that awesome?! The fact that I am on a life journey, with all my faculties in tact is a miracle in of it self. 

5 years ago was an incredibly dark time. The last year of my drinking was the scariest time of my life. I was in such a bad place hurting myself physically and blacking out daily. Waking up in strange places not having any clue how I got there. The sheer terror that I felt after coming to after a black out was enough to make me want to end it all. Shame will do that to you.  That last summer was the downward spiral I needed to say enough was enough. After blacking out and bashing my face in twice in one week I looked at myself in the mirror and I simply couldn't recognize the person staring back at me. My nose was broken, lip split open, eyes bruised and dark. I was bloated, my skin pale and blotchy, eyes bloodshot. I looked like shit. I couldn't believe I had let myself get to that stage. My friendships were strained, my family (especially my poor mom) was terrified and my partner was simply at a loss for what to do. I had hit my bottom. It was undeniable....

Hard to believe how much has changed. How life became so full. How I became so full of life. Getting sober was the best decision I have ever made. Hands down. But there's a caveat here.. I have to work for it.  Life didn't become tulips, enlightenment and rainbows because I put the Chablis down. I have to be present every, single day and work at it. It isn't always easy.. But it's always so worth it. If you had told me I'd be a yoga teacher who has travelled the world 5 years ago I would've laughed in your face but here I am. 

Its worth it. And it works if you work it... Namaste

Peanut butter Cookies

I love peanut butter. I mean, I love ALL nut butters but peanut butter really is the best. Ever since I was a kid I remember my mom making the best peanut butter cookies. I remember asking her if I could help and by help I meant eating the raw cookie dough😏 HER  idea of me helping was doing the heavy stuff like mixing the batter which always felt like I was mixing cement but then again, I've always been a bit of a drama queen☺️ My favourite part tho was definitely making the fork imprint on each cookie. Turns out, that's still my favourite part!

Since becoming vegan and GF baking has become fun. I love creating healthy versions of the original and being able to enjoy them with a relatively clean conscience😜 Here's my version of my Moms old school pb cookies. The recipe is dead simple and is completely vegan and GF. 

GF, Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies 

  •  1c organic pb 
  • scant 1c coconut palm sugar
  • 1tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Aquafaba =1 egg(water from can of chickpeas!)  
  • 2tbsp hemp seeds  
  • 1/2c carob chips
  • course sea salt

method

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. using electric hand mixer combine Aquafaba and sugar. Add in vanilla and combine.  
  3. Addin pb and mix thoroughly. Addin hemp seeds and carob chips. 
  4. Let sit to rest for 10 minutes.  
  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  6. Using 2 teaspoons scoop about a tbsp of dough per each cookie and space accordingly on sheet. Have a glass of cold water handy. Take a fork, dip into cold water and make imprints on each cookie to flatten. Get creative if you want! Create a crisscross pattern on each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with course sea salt 
  7. Bake for about 15 min. Turning pan once in between.   
  8. Keep an eye not to burn. Take out, let rest and devour.  

Happy, healthy baking!!!

TA😍 

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Soup for the Soul

There's nothing better than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. My favourite thing about making soup is that there is ALWAYS left overs making it accessible for me to have multiple easy, fast and healthy meals. 

Said soup on my Instagram feed😊 

Said soup on my Instagram feed😊 

When I eventually open my own little vegan Cafe the goal is to have a hot plate so that I can create my faves like pancakes, oatmeals and of course a soup of the week or day depending on my traffic. This 👆🏼👆🏼beauty will def be making it on the menu.  

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup 

  •  1 large sweet potato diced
  • 1/2 a large red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalk celery chopped
  • 2 carrots choppdx
  • 1 whole can of diced low sodium tomatoes 
  • 1 large can of organic chickpeas rinsed. Or you can cook your own from dried. I just don't have the time usually☺️ 
  • 2 tomato cans of water
  • big fistful of spinach
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder. More to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt and cracked pepper
  • nutrtional yeast  

Method

  1. in a large pot, add coconut or olive oil and chilli flakes 
  2. addin onion and garlic until you can see garlic start to brown. Doesn't take long!! Addin all your spices reserving some the sea salt and pepper. 
  3. Addin carrot and celery and cook for 2-3 min. Then add the sweet potato. Cook another 3,4 min. Adding a touch of water to help in along.   
  4. Once veggies start to soften addin tomato and the desired amount of water. Allow to come to a boil and reduce heat cooking until veggies are fork tender.  
  5. Addin chickpeas and cook for 3 min.
  6. Addin a big handful of spinach just at the end. Check for more seasoning and get your bowls ready!!  

I like to give it about 15 minutes to rest off the heat and then ladle into bowls. Finish with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, olive oil and a pinch more sea salt and cracked pepper. SO GOOD👍🏼👍🏼💛 

Mason Jars and Oats

I just love mason jars, don't you? They are great for just about everything. Around Christmas last year I picked up a case of 12 with the intention of filling them all with my delicious homemade granola to give away as gifts and while I DID bake a batch only 3 mason jars got filled and given away..the rest went into my belly, I'm not going to lie😜 Now, all those spare jars house all my nuts, seeds, grains and flours. My next step is to put up another shelf and organize them a bit better but this will come in time. Of that I'm rather limited right now☺️.. SO, in the meantime I thought I'd share a recipe that I adapted from the Green Kitchen Travels cookbook. It's the perfect way to start your day or as a post workout (in my case yoga) snack. 

Over Night Oats

~1/2c gf oats

~1 tbsp chia seeds

~1/2 tsp pure vanilla

~1 tbsp maple syrup or sweeter of choice

~ handful blueberries

 ~3/4c nut milk (or seed!!)

~pinch of sea salt

*mix thoroughly and put lid on jar to sit overnight. When ready to devour, top with anything you have on hand..granola, seeds, nuts, more fruit..the options are endless!  

 

Blueberry oat and chia pudding! 

Blueberry oat and chia pudding! 

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. 

Panama

So here I am in Panama. First all inclusive experience since 2004 and def the first one since getting sober. My sponsor is getting married and when asked the obvious answer was yes. Middle of January in Toronto isn't the friendliest of weather and I'd never been to Panama so, here I am. A couple of days before the trip I started to have doubts. I mean it's an all-inclusive so that means booze everywhere and lots of it. I started to feel trepidation around not knowing anyone but the bride and wether I was going to have proper food, no yoga... Blah, blah, blah. All fear based excuses to why I was obviously having doubts to this vacation. Well, day 1 is pretty much in the can and I can tell you I'm incredibly glad I said yes to this trip. The food is pretty limited and yes of course the booze flows like water and there's no yoga classes but hell I'm a bloody teacher so I can teach my own damn class☺️ Fact is it's been great. I have met some amazing women (and men) whom I know I will be friends with after this week. One woman in particular who amazingly enough doesn't even drink. How awesome is that? I will be leading us through a class on one of the most beautiful beaches I've been on. The sand is back, grey, white and everything mixed into one. The volcanic sand is just gorgeous. The ocean is stunning and the sun is exactly what this little yogi needs. I'm so glad I said yes. Saying yes to life is what makes life worth living. Having the courage to say yes even if you are nervous with the outcome. Life is too short to say no to amazing experiences. Life is just too damn short period. Say yes... 

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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. 

I turn 4 today

Today marks my 4 year birthday. 4 years ago today I decided to take my life back and quit drinking. So much has changed in these 4 years. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for, that I know for sure. In this past week I also had my actual birthday as well. I turned 41 and while having Christmas, birthday, New Years and my sobriety bday all in one week might seem like a lot (which it actually is-really, it's a lot..), I'm actually grateful for it too. I get it all done in one fell swoop. 

I remember what brought me to my knees as clear as day. I remember the feeling in my stomach. Butterflies with razor wings. I remember the shame, anger and frustration coursing through my veins like a hot toxic liquid. I wanted a different life. A life filled with happiness, clarity and positivity. I wanted to stop the insanity in my brain. I desperately wanted to quit drinking but I truly didn't think I could. At least not on my own.. Turns out, I didn't have to do it on my own. I put myself into rehab for 4 days upon the recommendation of a fellow alcoholic. It was the only way. I needed to be away from the temptation of the liquor store up the street and the bars close to my house. I needed an opportunity to go cold turkey. I had struggled for years with the knowledge I was a full-blown alcoholic. A blackout drinker who obsessed with it every minute of everyday. Even tho the rehab stint was only a matter of days it was exactly what I needed to get me started. I didn't really have any other choice you see. I didn't have the money to go away for a month. I had to work in order to pay my bills and rent. Going away for 28 days wasn't an option so I did what I could. The amount of gratitude I have for those 4 days at that detox centre is beyond words. I know in my guts that had I not gone there that day on January 2nd 2012 I would still be an active drunk today. 

So today is a good day. A great day. An absolutely, positively flipping amazing day. Even tho I'm battling a demon of a head cold I am sober. I am healthy (ish😉), happy and fit. I am writing this as I sit at IAM yoga where I am a teacher and one of the managers. I am so excited for 2016.. So much good is going to happen. I know that for sure too....  

December Madness

I have been stressed a lot this week. I made a mistake at my restaurant job and it threw me into a tizzy that just didn't seem normal.  I am trying to get to the bottom of what is really bothering me. I have been maintaining my routine everyday. Waking up, drinking my lemon water, saying my thank you's, meditating and saying my prayers. So that's not it. December is always a crazy month. I always work more than I should and this year it's different because I have 3 other jobs to add to the list. Firstly, the yoga studio is new. I am managing a couple of nights a week and while you wouldn't think working at a yoga studio would be stressful, it actually is. Teaching is new. I haven't found a regular class that is totally mine as of yet but I have been subbing unexpectedly over the past two weeks, which is also stressing me out cause I feel like I should be teaching regularily by now and I'm not. And finally,  trying to maintain a presence on my new blog/website is also new. It's a lot. I know this and as I type I now realize why my emotions have been getting the better of me. I'm tired. I am very tired. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and saw huge bags under my eyes. I have officially bitten off more than I can chew. 

Why do we do this to ourselves? 

I have done a lot of work personally over the course of the past 4 years not including the therapy I did over 10 years ago. I know my triggers. But 1 thing that I still haven't figured out is that feeling of butterflies with razor wings in my belly. It comes when I get a text from my bosses, or colleagues. It comes when someone doesn't respond right away to a text or message. I know we all have it. We may call it different things but we all get it. I'm still working through my issues. Still wading through the years of crap that I covered up with drugs and alcohol. It's refreshing actually. Knowing that I still have work to do. So many layers to peel back. I'm grateful for it but it sucks ass all the same.  

Back to December... I know what I have to do. First, I have to breathe deeply whenever that feeling comes up. Acknowledge its existence and breathe through it. Secondly, give myself a damn break. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Almost anything is fixable and not as nearly bad as it seems. If anyone out there that is reading this feels any thing like this please know you are not alone. Breathe it out. The universe has got your back and know that this too shall pass.