Maybe it’s the fact that I woke up at 5am today and need to stay awake but these bright colors from Mamie Ruth make me happy. There’s something about these mismatched vibrant patterns that I can’t seem to get out of my head. They stick with you for days and you find yourself thinking, hey, I could pull that off… Whether or not that’s true, the mexican blanket vest needs to come home with me asap.
So too do these bold, intricately symmetrical patterns that define Clover Canyon. I’m certainly no expert but the moment I discovered them I knew I found true Southern California style. It’s Santa Monica and Downtown LA coming together to find that maybe they like each other after all. It’s the kind of dress you want to put on when you’ve got a bad case of the “fu*kits” and you just wanna feel pretty and bold and have a little something to make you feel like you can pick yourself up and go back to taking over the world… That’s right, babies, all in a dress.
Here are the two most important yoga books I have ever read:
Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings by A.G. Mohan
Four Chapters on Freedom (though any equivalent commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras will do… this book in particular is now quite hard to find for a reasonable price as it is out of print)
If for nothing else, read them to understand what’s working behind this whole yoga craze. If you look for more, you’ll find many wonderful things. In particular, you’ll find that our minds are incredible things, capable of anything. Capable of removing all suffering from the world, if we want it so.
I have always said this during hard times, when I find myself needing to make a choice… I can either wallow in self pity or I can rise above it. When you choose to be happy, you choose yourself. You decide that you are worth taking care of yourself. Choosing to be happy in even the hardest places is the first step in getting out of them.
And holy cow it has been forever. How have you been? Long time no see. Tell me everything…
Well, now I’ll admit I’ve neglected this blog and my endeavors to be more accountable to my life and to healthy and happy living (I won’t tell you how many Mao’s chinese take-out deliveries were made in my absence here). But I’m gonna try once more to get back on track at least for myself (seriously, need to reign in the take-out).
And with that, how about a JUICE CLEANSE!?! Sheesh, go big or go home, I guess.
So I signed up for a 3-day fall juice cleanse with Red Carpet Cleanses through the awesome Gilt.com deal site just before Thanksgiving. The deal is over now but these damn juice fasts are all the rage these days so I’m sure you can find one easily. Before you jump on the bandwagon though, here are my two cents on the process and on good and bad of juicing:
For anyone interested in a juice cleanse, I’d say if your goal is weightloss, then a juice cleanse is probably not for you. Unless you’re eating a healthy level of calories, with the necessary nutrients, you are starving your body. In doing so, you’ll likely slow down your metabolism and end up right back where you started as soon as you start eating foods again.
My 3-day cleanse turned into more of a mental cleanse. I was feeling frustrated and out of control with my recent eating habits and cravings. Too many late nights literally phoning it in with chinese food orders (as referenced above).
As I went through the process of “detoxing” myself of chinese food, I recorded my mental state. Probably not the best idea but it was amazing to see the emotional roller coaster my mind went through on the first day purely based on hunger. Each juice felt like a surge of energy through my body that was shortly lived, like an intense sugar high. In this cleanse, the “nut milks” in particular felt like this (ahem, finishing off each night with the “liquid churro” for example). Now, I will say, thank goodness at least for them as they gave me some of the protein and fat my body needed.
The second day was relatively blissful. I woke up easily and felt light and calm, pleased with my accomplishment of getting through day one. I found myself craving less foods, especially those that were terribly salty or sweet. I went to bed by 10pm as well and felt good! I suddenly felt very yogi-like, with serene clarity. This may have just been me being too hungry to think anymore… but I will say it felt nice to give my overactive, over-stressed mind a rest from my own thoughts.
On day three, I overcame my fear of passing out if I exercised while on a cleanse. I went to my usual class at the gym and it felt great. I realized I probably should have been moving around more and trying to sweat sooner in the past three days rather than thinking I was reserving precious energy. Amazingly, I felt as energetic as any good day. Plus, I didn’t get into that “sleepy slump” that would normally happen after eating my usual breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. A good reality check on what I was eating and how it was affecting my body…
I decided to finish the third day with a glorious vegan feast at California Vegan because my wonderful love, Maxine, was in town. We filled our bellies full and I was grateful for the meal. I said a little prayer under my breath and gave thanks for the fact that I was enjoying the company of a best friend and the reaping benefits of our good health together.
I am still torn on the idea of lengthy juice cleanses. It’s hard on the body and, if used improperly, can mess up your digestive system and metabolism. But I learned a lot from this cleanse and I encourage anyone curious to be thoughtful and exploratory in the relationships we build with our minds, our bodies, and our food.
While maintaining proper sun protection of course, like a sombrero, says Dr. Peyton.
Our close friends’ daughter reminds Dart how fun it is to play in the sun. Not only is it fun to run around outside, but I’m sure you know by now how the sun ups your vitamin D levels like nothin’ else. You’ve been hearing more and more about how everyone is suddenly vitamin D deficient and needs to start taking supplements. Here’s the thing, the body produces its own vitamin D when skin is exposed to UV rays. So how about we do what we did when we were kids? Just ten minutes of direct sunlight on the body can do loads of healthy goodness.
Vitamin D strengthens your immunity, it beats off depression, and may even help you lose weight. That means not having to worry about what we look like in a bikini, as I clearly demonstrated when I was 3.
There are other ways to get your daily dose of D; whole foods like fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms are a few trusty options. But I encourage you to make time for yourself and step out into the sun. And if you can’t do that, allow me to suggest a “crazy idea”… tanning beds.
Now before you stop reading this post entirely, hear me out. We need the sun’s UV rays. Tanning beds provide just that in very specific, controlled, and timed increments. No, I’m not saying you should go everyday and become a piece of leather. In fact, the darker the skin, the harder it is to produce vitamin D. All I’m saying is that, from my own experience, it has been the safer and healthier alternative to laying out in the sun (and often overdoing it). When I would go to tanning beds once a week, I’ve noticed I get sick less, I’m happier and more energetic, my skin feels firmer and my circulation improves, and my face is clearer (thanks to the added bonus of UV rays being naturally antibacterial). My skin is also less sensitive to the sun and heat (read, actually, LESS redness). When I stop, I very quickly notice myself feeling more sluggish, stressed, and just overall bleh.
Now tanning beds may not be for everyone, I know, and I say all of this with a huge emphasis on making sure you don’t overdo it (too much of a good thing is certainly the case in this situation). But I encourage you to at least listen to your body and how it is affected by light (sun or booth, it’s all UV). You may notice you’re getting more than just a tan.
Some quick articles I recommend for reading more on this:
I thought I would start the week off with a more “motivational monday” today, as I have been spending this morning preparing for some potentially important steps forward in my career today. It is scary to embark on new endeavors, but they say that our own fear tells us that we are beginning something really great.
So here’s to starting now and letting ourselves set wonderful, scary, positive goals for our future. In a bit of hopeful foreshadowing, I grabbed this logo from Lululemon, which has a blog full of goal-setting inspirations that I recommend checking out. Imagine what amazing things you could achieve even if you didn’t reach your goals! Of course, with that said, you’ll reach them all, maybe even surpass them, you awesome thing, you.