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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oh yeah, I want a puppy.

Andy Cohen Inspired

Who could have thought a diary written by the most awesome man on Bravo television would inspire me to write a blog post today? I sure didn't. After listening to the book, The Andy Cohen Diaries, A Deep Look at a Shallow Year, all day I sat down just wanting to document and here I am.

Lately podcasts and audiobooks have ruled my life. I have especially been drawn to biographies, stories about everyday people who worked their butts off to make it in this world. Of course these people are usually the most interesting to me and I mainly love the easy listens that don't get to deep and keep the mood light. Occasionally I will listen to more of a story but usually they all have an underlying truth to them. I have always loved stories that are more real life than sci-fi.

And isn't that too what this blog is supposed to be for me? A place to read and look back on later so that I remember all these things. The little things, the big things, because lord knows I can't remember them on my own (just ask my sister). It will be pretty cool to see it all again someday. Some sort of online diary where I explain the crazy things that happened or the very boring things that happen. I am writing this for me anyway. I guess it is pretty weird that we just put all this out onto the internet. A big wide world for people to read and judge and wonder why she would even say or think those things. I guess I could just write and keep it to myself, but where is the fun in that?

So today, I drove and drove and drove some more. I actually got a good bit done work wise and came home to finish up my work with hot tea on the back porch in this unusually warm weather. Today has been a good one. I am heading to Awana at church later and I am excited to see those little ones and play some fun Christmas games. Andy is all about some Christmas spirit, and although I do love the idea of Christmas, for some reason this year I just can't wrap my head around it all. I don't even want to put up a tree at this point. Maybe I will cave sooner or later, but right now I feel ok about not having one. I am a summertime girl through and through and something about all the brown surrounding me has me weird about the weather. Maybe it is because I know the cold is coming. Who knows. Maybe my Christmas spirit is failing me because I feel like it got here too quickly. That I didn't get near what I wanted to accomplished this year and now it is all over.

Anyways, I am thankful for these moments to myself this afternoon. These moments to write it all out to whoever might be reading and get it out of my head and onto a screen. Life is good right now, I am blessed beyond what I deserve and happy with where I stand. Thankful. Maybe that is what I should pay the most attention to this season. How thankful I am for all that I have.

Thanks for sticking with the ramble. Maybe one day this blog will be cohesive. Who am I kidding? I am not even cohesive.

xoxo, Montana

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Constant Push for More

Once again, it has been almost an entire month since I came to this little corner of the internet. Life is still busy, but that isn't really what I want to write about today. Today I want to get the following thoughts out of my head.

As of last week I was trying really hard to make it to my yoga class, no I don't get to go very often so when I actually make it, it is something I look forward to. I was excited about being in my quiet place. That place I have found where I always push myself. But then I got there and I started being competitive. Mainly with just myself, but with others also. I would catch myself sneaking a look at the people next to me, wanting to hold the poses just a little while longer, wanting to bend deeper or stretch further. Now don't get me wrong competition is good, healthy even. It is great for encouraging yourself, pushing yourself past your limits, and always improving on the things you do.

But when does it become more than that?

When does the constant pushing of yourself become too much? Does pushing yourself always ever get in the way of just living? I had all intentions of enjoying my yoga practice that night, but instead I got caught up in all of it instead of enjoying myself and making the most of that precious time. I struggle with slowing down, mainly because I feel guilty about not staying busy. Even tonight I felt the need to write instead of just relax. I find it extremely easy to get lost in the hustle of the everyday. I want to succeed, not just in work or play, but in life. I want to figure out my purpose here, and even though I love my job and all that I do, I want to know why I am on this planet. What my soul is pushing me towards. Why do I feel the need to be going, going, going?

I am going to try to find the answer in the slow spots. The quiet moments with just my thoughts, my prayers. I do really well with these moments early in the morning. I always feel so much better when I take the time to have those moments.

That is what I am working on now. Love to you all.
 xoxo, Montana

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Catching up.

It is safe to say I have been literally all over the place the past few months. I mean literally all over the place. Let me get you back up to speed and try again to make this a place that I love coming to.

- I got a promotion. A promotion that came with the cost of losing a really good friend/work buddy, who moved on to another state, but I am so excited about this position and everything that comes with it. 

- It keeps me busy, not just a little busy like I was before, but all out busy. Working all during the week, plus livestock shows, horse shows or other events on the weekends. Life has changed in these parts, but definitely for the better.

- Yoga has taken a backseat. Yes, I said it. My teacher training has come to a grinding halt. I couldn't do it all. It takes a lot for me to say it, but it is true. I am working on my own practice and try to get to local classes as often as possible. I miss it if I am being honest. I am trying to find the best life balance right now, and it is a struggle but something that I am happy to have to struggle for. I hope to pick it up again one day when I can fit it in too, but for now I am happy improving on my own and finding myself in between the madness.

- Eating vegan is no longer something I am striving for. Yes, it did a lot of good for me. Yes, I might try it again for short periods of time to jump start clean eating or just to re-boot, but I still stand firm on my belief of there is nothing wrong with a little meat now and then. There is also nothing wrong with not eating meat. Choices are what make this life interesting and eating as a strict vegan (which only lasted a short time) made me feel awful about myself when I slipped up with my eating or had a glass of wine. I didn't like the guilt that I was feeling towards food and felt myself slipping back into scary habits and thoughts. I still am trying to eat healthy foods mainly during the week and even mostly vegetarian during the week, but the weekends are not going to be restricted. Not large quantities but just not over-thinking every little bite.

- My family and Andy have been so patient with my adjusting. I know that things have been different and I have been MIA lately, but their understanding means the world to me. I know that eventually I will have a better feel for all of my work and my time commitments, this is just the jumping in part. 

All in all, I really couldn't be happier. I am happiest when I am busy. I love my job, the people that I work with and for, and the new people I am meeting every day. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

If you are reading this... thanks for not leaving me. I promise to be better. (or at least try)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Much Needed

via Pinterest

Loving and needing this today. Tuesday Inspiration!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rest Here

I am not going to yoga today... I just don't feel like it. That is the truth. There are no reasons why, and although that is usually the time you need it most, I will probably just do a gentle flow at home by myself. Sometimes it is okay to not push push push. I don't really want to make the hour drive to Athens followed by the 3 hours of yoga and another hour home. Sometimes home yoga is when I really need it the most. That is what I will do. My mind is tired today and I just want to rest and enjoy the evening. Hope you all do too. Give yourself  a break today. It seriously could be the best thing for you.

Don't you worry. I will be back tomorrow and ready to take on the world. :D

Monday, July 14, 2014

Feeling worn out

So here is how the story goes, I want to be more real here. More of myself, which probably means my posts won't be thought out, just happening as they come to me. I am tired today. The weekend was wonderful, just busy. I took an amazing but very hot walk on my lunch break today, and thanks to a good friend I am once again inspired to be back in this space. It will be short and sweet usually but I will be here. 
Looking forward to a relaxing yoga class this afternoon, followed by lots of veggies for dinner and a early night in bed. 

Oh yeah. I ate all the bad things this weekend and I am going to be strict for the next week. Hope you all are having a wonderful day. Thanks for reading. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Other bloggers I love

On those days when I can't find the inspiration to write, to share, or just need some time to read, I have a select few bloggers that I just can't get enough of. Figured if I loved them, my readers would too. If you can't tell I am lacking the inspiration for this space lately. 

OhDearDrea is my source of constant plant-based inspiration, my love of color and the outdoors is always fulfilled when reading the words and seeing the pictures that fill her little space on the internet. She is witty and brave, putting it all out there and I just can't get enough of her pages. Oh and that cute little girl of hers is to die for, she is writing a cookbook and you better believe I will be getting my hands on it.

Because Shanna Said So is my source for all things fashion, she was the very first blogger I started following and introduced me to some pretty awesome other blogs. Her style is impeccable, her work ethic amazing, and her spirit infectious. 

Delightfully Tacky fuels my love of essential oils, home decor, and fashion. Her posts are well written and thought out, always full of beautiful photos that make the beach gal in me want to pick up and move to the Pacific Northwest. I love her style, her big hair, and her that puppy of hers is super cute.

Traveling Triplets make me want to travel the world, their adventures from all over plus the endless number of tips they give about traveling with others, traveling on a budget and making the most out of vacations just make me so excited. I plan on using these tips the more I get to travel in the future. 

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? Who do you always click through to find every day? Please share!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

3 Years Ago.

As much as I love being in this place and sharing with the few readers I have, I realize more and more each day that this is a place for me. A place to share where I am right now, the moods I am in, whats going on in my life, my relationships, mainly so one day I can look back. This will always be here. 

This weekend, 3 years ago, something happened that I know changed my life for the better. I met Andy. 

It was a tractor pull with new friends, a few(or too many) drinks, a two-step lesson, followed by a Facebook message a few days later. Who would have thought that a tag-along like me would have met someone like you? 

So tonight, and pretty much always, I am thankful for you, Andy. Thankful for a chance meeting, thankful for tractor pulls, Texas country music, and new friends.

Life is better since Andy is in it. He is the calm to my crazy, the planner to my "i don't know", one of the best men I have ever known, and a friend that I never knew I could have. He knows when to hug me, when to give me space, and when to push into that space and make me a better person. He forgives me when I mess up, laughs at (with) me when I have a moment, is always down for dancing. He likes to go as much as I do, constantly ready for a road trip, and makes me smile every single day.

Andy has also made my faith stronger each and every day, his relationship with the Lord makes me want mine to be better and better. The good Lord knew what he was doing when he put Andy in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love him and the person he has made me. I know now how relationships should be.

I usually try not to get too sappy on here, and only God knows our future, but I couldn't be more blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life. I can only smile thinking about it. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Working on the Weekend

Lately, I have been getting to head closer home to be with my family, and boy am I loving it! My sweet mama is starting a floral design business and I absolutely love helping her with all aspects. I am really into the promoting of her and her business. The really cool thing about all the flowers used in the wedding pictured below, is that for the most part, the flowers were foraged from local gardens, homes, etc. My mother is creating a flower farm essentially and we can't wait to see it grow! Right now she has some smaller beds but she is expanding constantly and I am so excited about seeing what this could turn into. So enjoy this beautiful landscape in the next few pictures. These are just iPhone quality, so I cannot wait to see the real thing! 

Check out Designs by Ginny on Facebook and follow a beautiful flower story on Instagram.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm Still Here... I Promise

I don't know why I can't get a handle on all this go-go-go stuff. I love it, that's for sure, but I just need to be better about scheduling what free time I do have, and not crashing on the couch to watch trashy television. I need some ideas about what keeps you other bloggers going, how do you get so much done, while still working a full time job? I am wanting to put more effort into this space, to make it something bigger, but it is HARD. 
photo from Aunt Debbie's birthday party. good times.

I won't think about that today... I'll think about it tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Life is Good Today

Just dropping in to share a little tid-bit, I posted the below recently on Instagram and wanted to make sure it was here to so that I can remember these moments. Also, I just love this print above. The more I think about it, the more I just want this space to be filled with things and moments I love, to share items and experiences with the few of you that read this space. I want to be more regular about it, but life gets in the way, and that is okay. My house is practically empty, I am doing a really big sale, and VBS is this week. So I am busy, and busy makes me happy. See ya'll on the flip side. 

So often I hear people say that "yoga" isn't really working out. That it is "just stretching". Part of this is true. Yoga isn't working out. It's working to accept the body you were given, to take care of it, to push yourself beyond your believed limits at times and accept just where you are at others. Yoga has given me the body I never knew I could have. Yes, I have flaws, but who doesn't? Never in a million years would I have ever had the confidence to post a full out picture of myself in a swimsuit, but I did it. I hope to just be able to touch one person, to make them think twice about decisions that could affect their health, and to encourage them to try yoga like Kamala-Anandi encouraged me just over a year ago. This journey just keeps getting better and better and I am so excited to share it all with you! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beach time!

I'm headed out for vacay! Follow me on twitter and Instagram to keep up! 

Happy weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Juice Loves

So far my juicing adventures have been kinda few, I pretty much mix up whatever I have in my fridge, not really planning it out. I have come up with a couple of different ones that have been my favorites so far, so I figured I would share. These juices seem to fill me up, satisfy my sweet tooth, and can even be subbed for a meal. I would love to hear any of your ideas on which combinations are great!

kale: low in calories, has zero fat, vitamin packed, anti-inflamatory, and high in calcium
celery: anti-inflammatory, great for recovery after working out, lowers stress hormones
apples: high in anti-oxidants, can help to lower blood sugar, and add a great taste to the juice
ginger: improves absorption, helps with nausea, can also help with cramps
cucumber: excellent source of silica helps with construction of tissues, high in vitamin C
carrots: lots of Vitamin A, can decrease cancer risk, flushes out toxins, improving hair, skin, & nails
strawberries: high in antioxidants, helps to boost your immune system, great for your vision and eyes
pineapple: helps with intestinal issues, can also reduce water build-up in the body
celery: anti-inflammatory, great for recovery after working out, lowers stress hormones
mint: natural decongestant, calms digestive issues

These are just two of my favorite juice recipes that I have come up with so far, and I look forward to sharing more in the future! They are so bright and pretty and you can't help but love drinking them. I have found that I can't consume too much at once, especially the one that contains pineapple, as it makes my stomach ache a little, probably all the sugar. But I usually make enough to freeze for later too. 

Let me know if you make any of these! Tag me in your pictures on Instagram and be sure to follow me @saramontanasays.

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Be blessed!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Recent Take on Social Media

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to offend anyone, it is just my personal opinion, but it is also something that I am working on and want to improve on as well. Just a few thoughts for a Thursday.

When you have a blog... you are supposed to share it all. Share the good and the bad and happy and the sad. That being said, I feel like the world we are living in is becoming one huge constant share fest. From the many pictures of mundane things in our lives, to moments that are interrupted by the snapping of a camera flash, it seems like more and more we are not living in the present moment, but living for the moment so that we can share it on the never-ending social media.

Social media has gotten to be such a huge part of our lives, that it is hard to see past it. To understand what those before us ever did before they could share. Yes, there are good parts of social media. People can get answers, connect with those that they would never have been able to, and keep up with each other and the big events in our lives. All those things are great, but over-sharing, in my opinion, is something that needs to be dealt with.

shameless selfie
As individuals we start to constantly compare ourselves to others and for the most part social media has started to have a huge impact on this. We only see the good in others, how much they have, how many vacations they are whisked away on and how good their significant other was to them that day. It is a constant bombardment of greatness. I am all for being positive, and I don't expect it to stop, because that is what we as people want to be remembered for. I just think it is important when we sit behind the computer to remember that these people's lives are not perfect. We all have bad days, awful days even, we all argue, mess up our diets, hate our jobs, have weird families, think we are fat, want to scream at those we love, the list goes on and on. But from the outside it is easy to think everyone else is perfect. I want to always share the good, but I want you to know I have bad days too.

So back to the over-sharing. Let us be present in our lives, let us forgo SnapChatting every moment that we love. Let us snap a photo, but maybe wait until later to post. Let us live in the moment, because that moment actually matters most to those around you and will be best remembered in your own mind. It doesn't really matter the amount of "likes" you get online, but the amount of "life" you fully live.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Recipe and Good Wishes

I think it is pretty safe to say I have mastered the one(two) skillet meal. Since becoming a partial vegan, it seems to be the easiest and quickest way to get all the vegetables I am constantly craving into my mouth. This is just a little something I stirred up on a whim the other night and it turned out pretty fantastic. 

Two-Pot Veggie Stir-Fry

vegetable stock
tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1 vidalia onion
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup broccoli florets

Cook lentils according to package using the vegetable stock in one pot, meanwhile sauteing the chopped garlic and onions in coconut oil in a large saute pan. Once the lentils are almost finished, add broccoli and cook until fork tender. Drain lentils and broccoli. Add corn and tomatoes to the saute pan and heat through, allowing them to get a little color from the pan. Once you are satisfied with them add the broccoli and lentils to the large saute pan to combine all the flavors. Allow them to cook together for about 5 minutes before serving. This could be served with rice, toast, or how I had it... all by itself. It makes enough for 2-3 portions depending on how much of each ingredient you add and can be made in advance. Pretty sure my leftovers were even better for lunch the next day.

This meal is all kinds of healthy. Lentils give you great protein, while the coconut oil is a great fat for you to substitute in. You are getting lots of nutrients from the variety of vegetables along with a healthy starch from the corn. It is full of flavor, but you can always add a little sriracha or red pepper flakes for a more spiced up version.

I would love to know if you tried it out. Email me a picture or show me using the hashtag #findinglavana.

Happy Thursday happy people. Smile today. Tell a stranger hello. Live in a good mood. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life Lately - According to my iPhone.

 I totally meant to have this up yesterday, but my internet failed me. Completely failed me. Pray for the people I have to talk to about it. AT&T seriously hates me. My service is always down. #firstworldproblems I know. Just needed to vent. Here are some photos. It's all I got in me today.

flower and a sickly looking arm

outfit with my thrifted purse. (in love)

mothers day arrangements for sale at the farm stand
scary face. (mine of course)

big smiles for a little cutie

flowers by my talented mother. flower photos are my jam

small town festivals with happy friends
graduation parties for a sweet bestie

cattle crossing on a rainy morning
birthday lunch edits with this favorite guy of mine
braves game with the best family ever
and him.
Love you all. Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mother's Love

A mother's love I have come to understand is something that you just don't get unless you are a mother. And my mama is and has always been the most perfect example of a mother and the love that only a mother can have. This post is a tribute to her.

I am blessed to have you, I am blessed to have ever even known you, not only as a mother but as a friend, a confidant, a hero, someone to look up to, someone to trust, someone to laugh with (and sometimes at), someone that fixes the wrong in my world, someone who encourages me, who teaches me, who cries with me, and someone who is one of the very best people I know.

Growing up we didn't ever have it all, but we always had you. You have taught and passed on the true meaning of hard work, your love of the land and all it has to offer. I am constantly amazed at all that you do for each one of us. You encourage us to make good decisions without overpowering us. You support my never ending ideas, are always ready to buy something I make, learn something I am learning, or spend your very rare spare time doing something I love. 

You are my heart Mama, I am who I am today because of the person you have let me become. I am who I am because of your encouragement, your brain when mine isn't working just right, and your never ending faith in the good Lord above. I love you more than I could put into words and I am so thankful God paired us up. He sure knows what he is doing. 

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~I Corinthians 13:4-7

Saturday, May 3, 2014

congrats kelsey!

This is just one of those moments you want to remember. A moment in my storybook of life that I get to share with all of you.
This girl with me above has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. I cherish her and every memory we have ever made. She is graduating Vet School today at UGA. I am so proud of her and all the hard work she has put into the last 7 years. 

Just a little tidbit, make time for those you love, those who mean so much to you, and those who have made a difference in your life. I know Kelsey Savannah Pruitt has in mine. Love you Savene. Love, Montene.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sweating it out.

Hot yoga and I have a love/hate relationship.
  • sweating with the music
  • getting deeper into poses
  • removing toxins from my body, bad things I have eaten, drank, or just feelings of sickness that are coming along
  • stretching my muscles in the heat always makes me feel longer, leaner, more in control of my body. 
  • dropping into savansa feeling like I really accomplished something great.
  • knowing i left it all on the mat, pushed through each hard moment, breathed through the tough poses and made the most of the hour I had.
  • all that sweat on my shirt afterwards, feeling of pride when I leave the gym, knowing I am strong, happy, blessed.
  • my cold, wet body afterwards.
So you see, the love outweighs the hate. Lots. I love hot yoga. It is a combination of my favorite things and just right for my Monday nights. I encourage each of you to reach out and try it. It is my favorite form of yoga so far, and I just can't get enough. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


After reading the book "Happy for No Reason", lots of different random thoughts have come to mind and I just wanted to share them all with you. This will be scattered, but I have figured out that in order to come across like my most personable self, I must write like I am. And I am scattered.

-Happiness is something that everyone is capable of, no matter where you are in life. I truly believe that happiness is a choice, one that is sometimes easy, one that is sometimes very hard. It is hardest when you feel low, hardest when we don't get our way or we feel like the world is against us.

... which brings me to my next thought... 

- The world is not against us. The world is for us. Our God is for us. I think that if we all take a step back and look at where we really are in life, we truly got to that moment for a certain reason. It might have been hard as hell to get to, or still be in a really rough place, but he brought you through it so that you can be better, you can be more appreciative of what you do have, what you will have.

 - Sending out happiness brings happiness back to you (this was a point in the book that I truly enjoyed). It really is so true if you think about it. Smiling at someone causes them to smile back at you (usually), there you go. HAPPINESS. It is something so easy, something that literally takes a second and it could change another person's whole outlook that day. Sure it is fine to just go about your daily tasks without a care for anyone else, but what is the point? What is the point of not being nice? ... on to the next thought...

-Be nice. Always choose being nice. Yes, yes, yes... I understand about having differences, not agreeing about things, and having a moment when you let your feelings get the best of you, but if you look back on that moment, how are you truly going to feel about screaming your head off at that lady, or shooting the bird to someone that wasn't driving fast enough... not the greatest (been there, done that). So be nice, kill them with kindness, smile when it is hard, laugh when you want to scream... but be sincere. Being nice helps you to be happy, you are putting out good vibes into this world, and we sure as shootin need those. 

- Be kind to your body and your mind, let go of the negative, take care of your health. You are going to want it one day, maybe even now. But don't wallow in a bad choice, make the best possible choice at the moment, but make it a conscious decision. If you make a decision you regret, do your best to make it better, and if it is as good as it is going to get, let it go. Make a better one next time. Learn from your mistakes.

- Find something you are passionate about and go for it. The happiest people seem to be the most passionate about life when they find something that makes them smile, every single day. This could be a hobby, sport, and if you are really lucky, your day job. This is something I am still working on, but finding my way has been a journey. A journey I am proud of and one that I am happy to still be working on.

-Be grateful. Every. Single. Day. Lately I have made it a point to say it out loud the entire reason I am thankful, either for that particular moment or for a certain thing. Grateful people are happy people and ones that acknowledge their thankfulness are even more fulfilled when it comes back to them again. Noticing even the smallest things can help you be more mindful and in the moment when it comes to your happiness.

Love, Light, Laughter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

a frank look at my eating this weekend

Okay, so here is the real truth about this weekend. I ate. A lot. I ate all the things I shouldn't, I drank all the things I shouldn't, but you know what? I am totally okay with it.

And you know why? Because sometimes you just have to give yourself a break, not be so hard on yourself, because this is your life, and even though we all want to be healthy, we all want to have a good long life, we all want to feel our best, sometimes we just want to eat. That is where I was this weekend.

This diet has been hard, one that I still can't believe I have stuck to as well as I have. Sure I have a nibble every now and then, but for the most part I am really strict throughout the week. It surprises me when I feel bad about taking a nibble, because I want to be proud of myself, proud of how far I have come and how much different I feel since starting yoga and this journey of teacher training. I came home Sunday, and got right back on track, eating great all day yesterday, and starting this Monday off good as well. This week will be a tough one, with tailgating at the Braves game tomorrow and a NASCAR camping weekend coming up, but I have already come up with some great ideas and can't wait to share my healthy eating plans with you all later this week!

So moral of this story is... LIVE! Be okay with a couple choices away from your diet, it will help you stay on track in the long run. Be okay with where you are right now. 
Be in the moment, because these moments are beautiful. 

ps: I am so proud of these guys and all their hard work! Be on the lookout for the next BBQ champions!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Resting seems to be something that I struggle with. Something I am definitely not good at, but is it something you can practice?

This weekend I planned on trying. I don't know what it is, but I am constantly going, from work, to yoga, to blogging, to spending time with those I love, to going somewhere, doing new things, I must stay busy. Always. I have found this to be both a blessing and a curse. I don't know where it comes from, maybe my mother, but I just enjoy life more being busy. I do enjoy watching tv in the evenings or just hanging out, but I need to learn to be quiet in my own stillness, to take a break or a nap instead of cramming in just one more thing.

Because here is the thing about being busy, you eventually get tired. Studies all over are always saying how good rest is for you, how much you need your sleep, and I completely agree. I guess when we just get down to it, I like to be awake more than I like to sleep. I like to do, to go, to be active, both in my mind and with my body.

I am learning that in order to be more productive, I need good rest, not necessarily a nap, but go to bed at a decent time. I just have so much that I want to do and see when I get off work that it doesn't always end up as I had planned. Once I hit the pillow I am always out though, it is on the rare occasion that I don't sleep soundly. That is definitely a blessing. So that is where I am now, working on resting, being more productive with the time that I have and gearing up for warmer weather, later nights outdoors, and really busy weekends.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a vegan dessert

recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
Chilled Double Chocolate Torte

Crust ingredients:
1 cup + 6 tbsp whole grain spelt flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
 1/2 cup sugar + 1/3 cup stevia
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp + 2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk
3 tbsp pure agave syrup

2 cups avocado flesh (approx 4 medium avocados), pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup almond milk (revised amount)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, sift together the dry crust ingredients (spelt, cocoa powder, baking powder, arrowroot powder, sugar and salt). In a medium bowl, whisk the wet crust ingredients (oil, maple syrup, milk). Add wet to dry and stir well.
In a 10 inch springform cake pan, scoop on the crust batter and spread out with a wet spoon or wet hands. The batter will be very sticky so you will have to keep wetting your spoon/hands. Spread out as evenly as possible and bake for 25 minutes at 375F.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by placing all filling ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth.
Once the crust is done baking, remove from oven to slightly cool off for about 5-10 mins. Now melt your chocolate chips in a small bowl and place melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth. Scoop this filling into cake pan on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 1.5-2 hours to firm up.
Remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before serving chilled. Serves 10-12. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container. I’m not sure how long it lasts in the freezer, but I would guess 1-3 weeks if sealed properly.

I highlighted the things I changed, substituting arrowroot powder for flour, sugar for stevia, maple syrup for agave. All together it turned out pretty well.

This was my first actual attempt at making an all vegan dessert. My diet is also pretty restrictive on the amount of sugar I can have so I probably broke a few rules, but the amount of sugar in this recipe is pretty low, especially depending on the amount you eat. This torte is rich and best served almost frozen. I love cooking and baking when I have had a stressful day and this was just perfect for that. The avocado works wonderful here, creating a creamy filling that is both delicious and good for you. Believe me, I will be looking for and trying out more of these kinds of recipes soon. Can't wait to share! 

Much love to you all! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

eat your vegetables!

Those were the words we always heard at the dinner table. I have always been a big fruit and veggie eater, growing up my grandparents had a produce stand, and there was nothing I loved more than chowing down on a tomato like it was an apple or having fried okra with our dinners. Now that I am out on my own I love finding new ways to eat my vegetables and getting on board with these vegan diet has expanded my love for food even more! Below are some simple ways to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck and eating all the green stuff you can!

1) I stock up on veggies once a week, this ensures they stay fresh and are much better eaten when you can plan ahead. I always pick up tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, broccoli, lettuce, avocado. Most of these can be turned into any kind of meal, my go-to is usually something with a little spice, or a Mexican flavor.

2) If I have a few meals in mind, I will add to that corn, a frozen gumbo mix, brussel sprouts, carrots, squash and zucchini (if they look good and are in season), etc.

3) I love a good salad, especially for a quick and easy lunch. I am still working on planning out salads to bring from home during the week, but it has become so easy to run to the grocery store and fix a salad from their amazing salad bar. Mine usually includes the darkest greens available, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, black beans, almonds, dried cranberries, and some type of vinaigrette. 

4) I try to always buy the tri-colored pasta that has veggies in it. I am not to sure if this is a full serving of vegetables, but I am starting to like it just as much as regular pasta, and it is particularly good if it is cooked in vegetable broth.

5) Pile your veggies on a pizza, I have learned to enjoy them all on there. Sometimes we saute them before to make sure they are cooked, but you just can't beat the taste of vegetables with tomato sauce.

6) I am a one pot wonder kind of girl. I love to just put different veggies together, saute them with a little oil, and then add some type of starch (lentils, pasta, rice). I always add something

These are just a few of the ways I love to add veggies to everything I am cooking! Easy dinners have always been my go-to and I enjoy cooking even if it is just for me! Making an effort to make a home cooked meal always pays off in the long run! Take care of your body now, it will thank you later!

How do you eat your veggies??
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