Tag Archives: yoga

Peaceful Planting

We have survived yet another Monday!  Woot woot! 

As usual, this  Monday was h-e-c-t-i-c.  The kiddies were all wound up from their weekend trips to Kings Dominion, Washington, DC, the beach and elsewhere.  They were tired from playing all weekend, and I was tired, too. 

I spent this weekend hanging out with my mom and dad.  Saturday we planted her flower garden, and yesterday we (as in my mom and I) went for manicures and pedicures.  Papa Bush is not down with pretty pampering 😉

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After a long and hectic Monday, I decided to plant the flowers I bought while out this weekend with the madre.  I found the whole planting process to be rather peaceful and relaxing.  I enjoyed myself and felt less stressed after an hour of gardening. 

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I was not surprised to find this claim in an article about the health benefits of gardening. 

“The benefits of gardening are not all in the body; they’re also in the mind. Tending your garden is a real stress buster, helping relieve feelings of anxiety and providing a break from the general rush of life. Because the work involved is mainly physical, gardeners have a chance to think about their concerns, meditate, or just spend a few hours daydreaming. They can also feel a sense of accomplishment in a job well done.” [Source]

I also had a lot of fun unwinding while I took these pictures with my very tiny, very unprofessional Sony Cyber-Shot :

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Not too shabby for a gardening newbie, huh?  Now to see how long they live 😉

Here’s a very interesting article about Gardening Your Way to Peace

And another from CBS Money Watch on the Grace of Gardening.  This one is especially beautifully written.

I’m feeling pretty Zen right now, so I think I’ll forego the heart pumping, bone pounding adrenaline rush of a run and do some yoga instead.

Namaste 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Livin’ la Vida Local

I am still floating on cloud 9 this morning after my long run yesterday.  All I want to do is run, but I know that I need to give my body a little time to rest before I hit the pavement again.  I am feeling the true definition of a “runner’s high.”   

My knees are the only part of my body that is sore today.  I think I owe these limber limbs in part to following  13 Yoga Poses to Help Runners and Other Athletes.  These stretches were great, and they gave me the opportunity to sit quietly with my breath for a few.  Who wouldn’t benefit from that? 😉

Yesterday after my run I stopped by this local legend: Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market.

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Ellwood Thompson’s is a local market that carries local produce and goods for the Richmond area.  It is actually the largest independent natural/organic market in all of Virginia. 

I have lived in this area for almost 5 years now, and yesterday was the first day I visited the market.  I even used to live within walking distance!  However, seeing as how this week is the week of first evers, I thought I’d finally give it a try. 

I’m so glad I did!!!  Here’s a glimpse of my very selective purchases.

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I found chia seeds and nutritional yeast, which I have been searching for since November.  Most (as in I haven’t found a single one) chain grocery stores do not carry these, so you can only imagine how excited I was to see these products casually sitting on the shelf and in the bulk food bins.  Jackpot!     

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I also found Virginia made Twin Oaks Tofu.  You may remember that I had the pleasure of eating Twin Oaks Tofu at Balliceaux back in early March, and it was really out of this world!  I wonder if I can recreate that same delectableness in my own kitchen…  

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The pups got some all natural doggie treats for minty fresh breath.  And boy, do they need it! 

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For lunch I got a Buticha Ethiopian Garbanzo Bean Wrap, and I must try to duplicate this recipe.  It was seriously delicious! 

Anyone know how to make Buticha????   

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I also got a bottle of Annie’s All Natural Goddess Dressing, FAGE Greek Yogurt, an an avocado, because they were all on sale. 🙂

One thing I was super excited to see while at ET’s (other than the chia seeds and nutritional yeast, of course) was that a variety of their produce was supplied by Victory Farms

Last week, I was invited by a friend to share a CSA membership to Victory Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  Each week beginning in mid-April, we get to go to one of their stands at a local Farmer’s Market and select fresh produce that was grown less than 20 miles from our own home! 

There are so many benefits to eating and buying locally. 

    1. You’ll get exceptional taste and freshness.
      Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.
    2. You’ll strengthen your local economy.
      Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.
    3. You’ll support endangered family farms.
      There’s never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbors. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer.
    4. You’ll safeguard your family’s health.
      Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.
    5. You’ll protect the environment.
      Local food doesn’t have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.
    6. When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.  (SOURCE)

I for one can NOT wait to begin picking up my weekly produce.  What a great way to eat close to the source!  Just think of all the clean meals I will be able to create!  I’ve decided to to plan out a week’s meals based on the produce that I get from the Farmer’s Market.  I think this will open a whole new world of recipes for me! 

I also plan on visiting Ellwood Thompson’s more regularly for rarities such as chia seeds, nutritional yeast, local tofu, and other central Virginia goodies 🙂

Have you ever been involved in a CSA?  Do you aim to eat and purchase locally grown produce???  What are your thoughts???

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Taco Pie

After a 90 minute extreme power yoga video, I finally mustered up my remaining strength to make dinner. 

That is after I laughed at the video instructor for ohming way louder than necessary for the last 2 minutes of the video…  in leggings way too tight for ANY man!!!

Dinner Tonight = Taco Pie.

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In college, my aunt made this delish dish full of cheese and pure fattening yumminess.  I quickly learned how to replicate, and it became a most often requested dish for special occasions (Read– super FANCY ZTA date parties 😉 ) 

For the Larry version you need:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package of Mexican or Taco Rice (to be a bit on the healthier side use brown rice)
  • about 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • taco cheese
  • salsa for spreading
  • sour cream

Cook rice according to package.  Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey in a pan.  Add the taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water.  Simmer on low heat until the water is reduced.  Once the rice is done combine and mix it with the ground turkey. 

Spread a thin layer of salsa on the bottom of a square baking dish.  Top with a tortilla, then meat mixture, and cheese.  Repeat until you are all out of meat!

Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted.

Top with sour cream and enjoy! 🙂

Lately, I’ve had to pass up on the dish delicioso, because I wasn’t quite sure how to make it without meat.  Until now…

Remember when I made these babies???

Well, I decided to apply the same principal to the taco pie.

I baked 2 sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes.  The potatoes fell right out of their skin.  I then mixed the SPs with 2 cups of cooked black beans (I forgot to drain and rinse them, so the potato didn’t turn out so orange and pretty this time).  I also combined some leftover chopped red peppers and a few handfuls of spinach.  I then followed the above meat version layering method, but with the sweet potato mixture as the “meat,” and baked it along side Larry’s.  How sweet… 😉

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I’m on a major mango kick, so I used Private Selection Mango Peach salsa. 

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Almost as good as the original, but I highly recommend not forgetting to rinse and drain the beans before making. 

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Next taco pie experiment = black beans and rice taco pie :) 

Enjoy your evening!!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Um. Hello, Snow! Where Did You Come From?

Last night, before going to bed, I chose an easy 22 minute yoga video from Exercise TV On Demand.  Little did I know that the timing was listed wrong on the guide.  I’m no quitter, so I ended up doing a wonderful 45 minute gentle yoga session in the darkness of my bedroom. 

(Just like this lady!  tehehehe!)

You know?  I think I did fall asleep a little easier last night.  My body was stretched and warm.  I felt relaxed and lighter.  This yoga before bed might be the answerAnyone know of a good PM Yoga DVD?

After a rather restful night of sleep, I woke up at 5:45 AM, and peeked out the window to see if the forecasters were right about this “HUGE” snowstorm that was coming.  There was a little snow on the cars, but the roads and sidewalks were clear.  I checked the news, and lo and behold!  My county cancelled school for the day, so it was back under the covers for me!

I then lay in bed anticipating the many activities I wanted to accomplish on yet another snow day.  Go to the gym, stop by the mall and return a sweater, go to Whole Foods and browse the aisles, maybe get a pedicure for my newly healed foot (and the other one too, of course!). 

Larry woke up before his alarm at 6:30 (I don’t know how he does that!), and also did a little peeking out the window.  Not enough snow to keep him out of work, so he went about doing his morning routine.

However, 45 minutes later he came back into the room doing triumphant arm pumps in the air! 

“No work for me!” he declared.

“What?!?!  But there’s no snow on the ground!  How did you manage that???” I wondered aloud.

He opened the shades in the bedroom, and much to my surprise the world is once again covered in white.  In a mere forty-five minutes, snow had blanketed the cars, sidewalks, roads, and trees. 

Yippee!  I love having snow days when Larry gets to stay home with me!

For breakfast, I made a bowl of Blueberry Breakfast Cake inspired by Angela’s 3 Minute Breakfast Carrot Cake.  Larry gave it a try, and gave it a happy head nod.

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1/2 cup toasted almonds

1 cup old-fashioned oats

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 banana

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 scoop Muscle Milk

1 1/4 cup soy milk

1/2 cup apple sauce

2 Tbsp flax seeds

Mix all ingredients in a blender with heavier items at the bottom.  Pour into three microwave safe bowls.  Mix 1/4 cup frozen blueberries into each bowl.  Cook 1 bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Cover other two bowls with plastic wrap and store in the fridge to enjoy another day!

After breakfast, I spent some time transferring my original blog to this new URL https://happyhearthappymind.wordpress.com/

I thought that having the title of the blog in the URL would make it easier to remember and find.  Please update your records if you have the old link saved anywhere! 

I’m still trying to figure out how to remove the “.wordpress” from it, though.  Any one know how?

We are planning to go to the gym and do a leg workout as soon as the roads are cleared.  This translates into: Jen won’t be able to walk for 2 days :)  Larry  loves to torture me with ridiculously intense leg workouts.

I’ll post our leg workout later today 🙂

Peace!  Peace Sign

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

 

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." – Helen Keller

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