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Merry Christmas PYC!

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Almost Christmas! I woke up this morning to beautiful snow covered trees, my adorable puppy waiting to play, and thoughts of surprising my fiancé with breakfast in bed. Christmas is near and thoughts of family and friends quickly overcame me! As I planned my breakfast feast and started a grocery list I thought to myself, “What is the date today?” I looked around my kitchen for my cell phone, a calendar, anything to remind me. Nothing. So I went downstairs and turned on my computer. Ahhh… December 23, 2011.

I caught myself in a state of shock. December 23, 2011!? Christmas Eve is tomorrow?

What have I been doing???? So I reflected. My days recently have been filled with thoughts of my wedding, my wedding, my new house, endless ‘to do lists’ and did I mention my wedding? I knew going into Christmas holidays this year that my work schedule would involve 7 nightshifts in a row, that’s the nature of the job, and I was ok with that. So I threw Christmas to the sidelines!? Somehow along the way I lost myself this holiday season. No Christmas cards, no Christmas decorations. My fiancé and I agreed we were too busy and we would start next year.

As I opened my computer to check the date, my Facebook page automatically loaded and my Aunt Judy’s profile came to light. My Aunt Judy always makes me smile, she is the brightest light in our family at Christmas time! I immediately thought of my cousin Frankie who passed away this year and my family’s deep pain surrounding his death. I took some time to read through his dedication page and the tears started to flow. We miss you and Love you Frankie! I started to message friends and family and reflect on the holiday season. I started to dream about the wonderful Christmas dinner my Step-Mum has probably already started to prepare. I thought about my Fiancé and how I made him discuss wedding invitations last night. (Sorry babe!)

I thought about my family at Power Yoga Canada. This year, PYC taught me it’s ok to get a little off track… no judgement from this gal. Time to recommit!! Time to arrive! It’s December 23, 2011 and never too late to arrive. My holiday season is here and I can’t wait to jump right in. What are you grateful for this holiday season? I’m filled with gratitude for my job(s), my loving family, beautiful friends, my health, and my teachers. Looking forward to another year of growth, love, and light!!!

Merry Christmas!

Life’s too short…. Eat Dessert!

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I have always wanted to start a nutrition blog. I love all things food. The taste, the smell, the excitement of eating! I know, kind of obsessive. The texture, the flavour and the variety… Ahhh so delicious. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

I decided to commit to contributing a nutrition blog last week in the midst of working a set of 4 nightshifts. I teach yoga and also work as a police officer in Mississauga. The practice of yoga has created awareness on how my food choices lend a major impact on my energy level, especially when working a 12 hour rotating shift schedule. In an attempt to feel lighter and create more energy, I decided to commit to eliminating meat, dairy, and gluten while working this specific set of nightshifts. My diet focused on fresh fruits, veggies, and natural proteins ranging from nuts, seeds, quinoa and gluten free brown rice pasta. (Which is incredible by the way!) I was amazed at the outcome! My energy was through the roof and I stayed up the entire night without crashing in a parking lot at 3am. (Yes we do that! When it’s not busy of course) To top it all off when I got home at 7am after a 13 hour shift I started cleaning the house and re-organizing my closet! Who does that!? Normally, I would sink into my bed amidst a series of moans and groans, complaining to my fiancé about how exhausted I was.

I felt great and therefore decided to continue with this strict food plan. I created a food log and posted it inside my kitchen cupboard to keep track of my progress. My intention was to create awareness and continue to monitor how I felt based on the food I was consuming. I used resources such as healthy cookbooks and tested till perfect recipes I had gathered from many hours of getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. This was perfect I thought.  What a great time to start a food blog. So far this week I made quinoa with roasted mushrooms, a broccoli salad with almond butter inspired dressing and my fav – oatmeal walnut cookies with chunks of dark chocolate. I took pictures of the results, dancing and laughing my way around the kitchen brainstorming ideas.

As I drove around today while working dayshift, I started circling the outside of Whole Foods at Square One deciding what I was going to eat for lunch. It was then I realized I was procrastinating writing my first blog post!! I realized it was because I was too busy worrying about ‘the plan’ and what to write. I have so many ideas, so many recipes and so much to share so what was taking so long? I was too busy thinking of the perfect recipe to start off with instead of being present to what was right in front of me!

We all have within us everything we need to know, all the tools we need, to take action and commit to something right now. And at that moment, as I circled Whole Foods, all I could think about was chocolate cake! So I dropped my strict ‘plan’ and inside I went and picked up the most scrumptious looking molten chocolate lava cake I could find, added a small coffee to my order and sat peacefully enjoying every bite.

Sometimes we get so caught up in ‘the plan’ we miss out on the present moment and what our body is really asking from us. As I enjoyed my delicious cake, I took the time to pay close attention to the moistness, the intense chocolate flavour and the sensations that arose in my body. I didn’t end up eating the entire piece of chocolate heaven. A couple bites were all I needed! I was present to the experience in my body and therefore knew when it was time to call it quits before quickly dropping energy from an unnecessary sugar high overload.

We have tons of time to chat about the perfect healthy recipes, why we should eat this or that and what to eat before or after yoga practice. But let’s not take this too seriously and remember that life’s too short to get in our heads and constantly stress about the perfect eating plan or outcome. When you focus on simple body awareness and allow yourself a treat every once in a while… the results are magical.

So go ahead… eat some dessert!! Pay attention and enjoy each and every bite. I promise it will be well worth it!

With Love,