Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Start of Something New

As I mentioned in my last post, today I practiced with and met the yogi that will be training me to be a RYT (registered yoga teacher). Although I was originally very nervous about meeting her and the other students (especially because of my age), added to which I had never practiced Mysore Ashtanga, everything went amazingly! I immediately felt apart of their little community and had a wonderful practice. Luckily, I knew most of the poses; the only difference was that the sequence was just a lot more specific than I'm used to in vinyasa. Everything just felt right, like that's where I'm meant to be. What's something that immediately felt right to you?

Anyway, these Wednesday night intense practices will now become a part of my routine. The yogi (any name ideas for her? It's going to get weird calling her that every time) and I decided that teacher training is right for me and I will start Sunday (pending on father's day arrangements, of course). She also said that she could "fast track" me so that I can finish by the end of the summer to work in line with my school schedule. It basically means a lot of study, practice, and being mentored. 

I will literally be living and breathing yoga; it will require the utmost dedication, but I'm up for the challenge. It's crazy to think that tonight starts a whole new chapter in my life. Yoga is something I want to do for the rest of my life and this is the groundwork that will allow me to work with others who want to do the same. I think I have finally chosen my path: I want to work with holistic healing through yoga, nutrition, etc. Have you chosen a path or are you taking many while trying to decide? 

With my big day ahead of me, I definitely did not want to start it with something new. When I want a reliable breakfast, oats will always be there for me. Both today and yesterday's breakfasts were berry oats. However, just like a yoga pose, it is different each time you get into it (or eat it, in this case). 

Tuesday's patriotic oats (apparently Gabriela and I were on the same page with this)

Wednesday's quadruple berry oats (fresh raspberries = <3!) 

Although this might seem monotonous, tomorrow I'm planning on starting something in the breakfast department. After hearing back from Angela on the chia/flax seed swap, I'm finally taking the pluge. Can you guess on what? 

Breakfasts' similarities offered up a challenge for something new at lunch. Two days, two new foods. Mission accomplished. 

When I say lunch, however, it isn't really lunch. Again, my odd schedule has messed me up. Accordingly, these were more of snack plates. 

The first featured a romaine salad with carrots and an Ezekiel english muffin (new product) spread with avocado (new, too!).            

Can you believe I've never liked avocados? Even though I've heard people absolutely rave about them and know about how good they are me, I just didn't like them. The more I saw them, though, the more I decided I was going to change my mind. [If you read Amanda's inspiring blog, then you clearly see where I got the Ezekiel english muffin/avocado combo.] 


The Ezekiel english muffins were so dense and chewy--just how I like it!

As for the avocados, I finally took the plunge... 

...and I think I'm warming up to them. It's not love just yet, but at least it's a step. What's your favorite way to eat avocados? Is there a food you tried to make yourself like?   

For "lunch" today, I wanted something that I knew would fuel me through my Ashtanga practice without making me feeld weighed down. Enter Gena's Homemade Sunshine Burgers

I've never tried the frozen Sunshine Burgers, and honestly, I probably never will. These tasted so fresh and amazing that I'd have a hard time shelling out the $$$ and compromising. Gena, I cannot thank you enough. I usually hate freezing things but I know that I'll want to have some of these on hand at all times. 

Just look at that fresh and crispy goodness! [Note: if anyone wants the measurements to make one burger, I'd be glad to give it to you. It's all in grams, but if you have a measuring scale then it'd work well.) 

These burgers definitely delivered in both taste and sustainability! I was perfectly fueled through my practice and more. My teacher and the other students invited me for dinner (which is their tradition after Wednesday practice), but I politely declined. I didn't want to change the atmosphere too much since I'm new but I know I will join them very soon. 

However, I did snag a little piece of roasted broccoli. The yogi (seriously, any name ideas?) made it fresh by putting a little pan of water at the bottom of the oven while roasting to make them juicy. You know how much I like my broccoli and this was no exception. They were sweet and juciy--perfect!

Everyone has been so kind to me and are really taking me under their wing. One of the ladies is actually a teacher that went through my yogi's program and now comes to mentor others and share in the practice. I already feel like she's my big sister because of how kind and helpful she was. Look what she gave me to take home with me: 

Oh my goodness, these were insane! I don't consider cherries to be in my favorite fruits, but I just couldn't resist these. It's hard to tell from the photo, but they were huge! And juicy! Oh my. 

I almost forgot to mention what I brought along to the practice. To thank my yogi for her kindness and show my enthusiasm, I gave her a bouquet of roses

I also made fresh vegan cookies for everyone to enjoy as dessert. However, they all decided to try some before dinner. They were freshly baked; who could blame them? What's your favorite kind of cookie? 

First, I made Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. The chocolate + chili combination is really unique. Cinnamon added to the mix balances everything out and makes the cookies sweet and spicy. My "older sister" even asked me for the recipe! 

Apparently baking not only relieves stress, but it also calms my nerves. Accordingly, I later decided to make oatmeal raisin cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking, too.  Even though oatmeal raisin is such a generic cookie, I always get rave review when I use this recipe. Of course, I add my own spin on it and sometimes even swap out the raisins for chocolate chips, but it's definitely a no-fail recipe. 

All together now!

Lately I've come home craving a simple dinner. Since my fridge is nicely stocked with veggies and tofu, a simple tofu, veggie, and millet din din was in order. Sorry for the simplicity and repetition, but I'm a big believer in enjoying everything you eat, even if it's a few times in a row. Don't mess with a good thing!

That's it for now, folks! I'm currently enjoying the gift from my big sis and some other fruity pleasures. Now that my nerves are gone, I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight, dreaming of my training to come. I'm so excited! This really is the start of something new and unlike anything else. What are you currently looking forward to? 

Have a lovely day! 




  1. Wow this is totally relatable to me right now. i recently signed up for yoga teacher training and i start in september. but i feel like its so right and at times i wish i would have figured it out sooner and gone to school but now it just works and it feels like something that a apart of me versus soemthing i want uno? its awesome! so happy to hear we're doing the same thing!! <3 xoxo

  2. I'm so glad the new yoga went well for oyu! Sounds like a great group of people, too :)
    And I totally hear you on the avocado...I'm not much of a fan, but would try it after thinking I might like it from seeing it on blogs. Now I don't hate it - I can take it or leave it, and if I'm taking it, prefer it to be disguised :P Ah well.
    And are you switching over to chia seeds?! They are love, I promise :) I used to use flax all the time - now I use it for baking and such, but stir chia seeds into oats rather than flax seed :)

  3. wow that sounds really cool! i've contemplated becoming a yoga instructor, it's just a lot of commitment. and i love running so much, sometimes yoga gets sidelined-bad i know! good luck!

  4. Hey, girl! So glad to hear that your yoga training experience is going well :) It's so awesome when we go for something and it just feels right. I'm experiencing the same kind of thing right now with pursuing a career in nutrition and health. It was kind of scary at first, considering my life was going in a completely different direction, but the more time I spent thinking about it, the more convinced I become that health and nutrition is where my passions lie. I'm glad that you're experiencing the same joys of finding your life's calling :D

    And girl you know I love my avocados! My favorite way to eat them is on english muffins or toast, but I really enjoy them on their own as well. It took me a while to warm up to them as well, but I'm so glad I did. Have you ever tried making a chocolate pudding with them? ALl you do is blend avocado, cocoa powder, and some agave syrup together and you have a delicious, raw vegan pudding. It's really quite good...

    And I love how you do so much cookie baking :) My favorite cookie would definitely have to be the good old oatmeal chocolate chip/raisin combo. You just can't go wrong with the tried and true :)

  5. I eat avocado on my ezekiel muffins too!! love it! but i'm an avocado lover! especially in wraps!!!! creamy. :) and good luck persuing your yoga dreams...that's awesome!!!

  6. thats so awesome that you'll be a yoga instructor!
    i'm there with you on the avocados. i used to hate them, they tasted like nothing. and there was no way i'd eat 'em if i tasted nothing but got a bunch of calories and fat (i didn't understand healthy fats!). but i slowly introduced them into my diet more and more and now they're uber tasy on sammiches with hummus and they're also delicious in sushi!

  7. Those burgers look amazing! And my favorite cookie would have to be oatmeal chocolate chip. Made with lots of cinnamon! I am so in awe of your yoga-ing. And you should seriously try that avocado hummus recipe, it's very tasty!

  8. "I want to work with holistic healing through yoga, nutrition, etc. Have you chosen a path or are you taking many while trying to decide? "---CONGRATS!!!

    It took me $100k and 10 yrs of higher education to realize that I didnt want any of my degrees. I wanted to do/teach yoga, be a wife/mother, travel, blog, write, you name it...but not having a "traditional" path. I am sooo happy for you that you've found yours!

    The yogi? Confused but is this your teacher? I can give you names!

    and if you need anything at all, I am a true ashtanga devotee thru and thru. THAT is what i practice. I have a website with pics of me and yoga masters that i dont blog about b/c it's personal but yes, my passion is ashtanga! I am soo happy for you, write me anytime!

  9. Such lovely pics, girl!
    I never tried avocado, too!
    Is it any good?
    Wish you a great weekend!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  10. Oh my gosh, those cookies look crazy good! I LOVE anything spicy, chocolatey, and cinnamony! YUM! What is that book? I must buy it! I want vegan cookies to invade my cookie jar!

    Oh and my favorite way to eat an avo is slathered through out giant salad with tahini dressing... oh man, delicious!

  11. Hi lady lady, that yoga training with the new yogi sounds amazing? Which studio is it? I am trying to find a local one near my place in the D or parents in bham for some serious yoga on the summer weekends. It sounds like you've found some great people and can't wait to hear how things develop for you this summer!

    I do love avocado and actually posted about eating them on toast or english muffins like Amanda after first having it at one of my fave nyc cafes. I wasn't the biggest fan growing up but learned to love them in the last 4 years or so. They are great with all mexican food...salads with corn, tomato, red onion, etc. and with veggie fajitas.

    Oh and your cookies look and sound wonderful! I do love the oatmeal cookies most usually with some chocolate chips and dried cherries. Your cherries look lovely and glad you are hopping on the chia bandwagon!

    What I am looking forward to? Thats a toughy...moving in with my boyf into a two story amazing loft and starting a new film soon. Have a great weekend!

  12. That is so neat that you're becoming a RYT! And congrats on deciding on your path. It's great knowing what you want to do in life! I'm studying to become a nutritionist or registered dietician. :)

    As for avocados, I love them in EVERYTHING! They taste especially good in guacamole or in salsas with mango, tomato and cilantro.

  13. Congratulations, Mandiee! That is so wonderful and I'm really proud of you. You're going to be a great yoga teacher some day. :)

    Ooh ooh! I know! You're gonna take the plunge on vegan overnight oats! I actually typically replace ground flax for chia seeds in my overnight oats a lot. Sometimes I forget to mention it on my blog, but that is what I do. It works great. :)

    Don't feel bad about not liking avocadoes. It took me a looong time to warm up to them, and I still have to be careful about eating them too much. I really like spreading them on crackers, in sandwiches, or even using them to make chocolate pudding. Yum. :)

    I saw that recipe on Gena's blog and I thought it looked incredible. Could you give me the measurements for one burger? I'd really appreciate it. I actually tried the real Sunshine burgers for the first time the other day, and I didn't really like them. They were kinda dry and didn't have much flavor, so I'm excited to give this recipe a shot.

    You are so sweet to bring cookies and roses! I'm sure they really appreciated that. As for my favorite cookie, I'm not really sure. I love any and all kinds. Of course, you know of my intense love for PB, so if I had to pick a FAVORITE, that'd probably be it. :)