Push Yourself

Vegan spicy Thai coconut soup at Amelie's

This is not the best use of my time.

It’s 1:30am. I have a 10-page paper due at 10am. I have zero pages written.

It’s ok.

I’ve decided it wouldn’t be the last 48 hours of my Masters degree if I weren’t awake for every second of it, right? Sure. Out with a bang! (Or something.)

I’m so tired.

I got up around 5a today, did all my paper research from bed until about 7:30a, popped over to Y2 to teach the 8:10a hot class, hightailed it down to SC for class from 10-12, ran by the gym on the way home for a little biceps/triceps action, worked on yoga and paper research over lunch at Crisp (so standard), shot an episode of A Healthier Charlotte at 4p, hauled ass across town to teach tantra vinyasa at 5:30p at Yoga Shala, went back to Y2 to take Adam’s late class, settled in at Amelie’s around 10:30p for dinner and paper writing and am passing out now around 2a. The highlight of my day was finding dark chocolate-covered graham crackers in my purse at midnight.

Greens, chickpeas, carrots, walnuts, olives, red peppers, tofu

A Healthier Charlotte

Hooray

Fellow CLT blogger Dominique came to my first class at Shala and wrote about it here. She’s on a “try something new” kick that I can totally get behind.

“This year I am trying very hard to embrace new experiences and put myself out there. I am very fortunate to have a great support network of people to challenge me and give me the encouragement to push myself.”

Amen. The support system is so very important, and I am personally so unbelievably grateful for the people here in Charlotte who have pushed me way outside my comfort zone by putting their faith in me when I had none. I feel like I’m at a point where discomfort is the new norm, where I have nothing to lose (literally no money, no relationship, no job) but everything to prove, and where rising to the occasion is really the only option.

Onward.

So about that paper… It’s on food addiction and it’s a damn fascinating topic. If it’s not too horrendously written, I will share it manana.

Svadharma

Get an office.

There are moments in life when you kind of want to just hang your head in shame.

Receiving my Starbucks Gold Card last week was one such moment. (After squealing with glee, of course.)

Look. I “go local” as much as the next liberal hipster (I am calling myself this; do not get ruffled) but I simply cannot pass up an opportunity for free refills. Of anything, really, but especially coffee. (Remember that time I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee? So dumb.) When will someone start offering free refills of gasoline, I wonder… Or bottomless boxes of Lemonheads. Unlimited falafel balls. ALL THE KITTENS YOU CAN HOLD.

The point I’m trying to make is that unlimited coffee is an offer I simply cannot refuse. I would argue that I am not a total sell out because I at least stick it to the man by drinking my free tainted coffee from a real damn mug. Let me have my moment, please. This is clearly the only gold card I will ever acquire.

Today was so good. It went like this:

6am Tantra vinyasa at Yoga Shala Charlotte (practiced)

Yoga Shala CLT

8a-10a Freelance writing and breakfast at Earth Fare (Check and CHECK)

10a-1p Nutrition seminar (no, thank you)

1:30p-2:30p Laundry and lunch

3p Weightlifting (I’m back on Livefit because I got squishy)

Get big.

4p-7p Starbucks (for shame) for mail, email, email, freelance, yoga class planning, Facebook, email, memorizing yoga classes

7:15p Hot class at Y2 (taught)

8:30p Hot vinyasa at Y2 (taught)

10pm Harris Teeter for a watermelon and Baked Kettle Chips (THE BEST)

11:49pm Blogging and PB chocolate pretzels in bed (If you do not know how to eat PB pretzels in bed, this simple how-to video will perhaps be of interest. That’s from last September, PS.)

Duh.

Non-traditional? You betcha. (But still a full eight hours of work if anyone’s counting, and I know you are.) Not the best use of my education? Maybe. Kinda intense? Yup. Little bit flighty? No doubt. But you know what? I’m really, really happy. I haven’t said that in a very long time.

I do what I want, I'm afraid.

Here’s a funny story… Tomorrow I’m teaching my first tantra vinyasa class. If you’re thinking: “WHAAAAT is tantra vinyasa?” rest assured that I kind of am, too. I can tell you with absolute certainty, however, that there will be no sex. At all. Sorry. (If you actually want to know, the practice is this.) Also no music and no mirrors. Pretty much way outside my comfort zone. This is a good thing.

One of my favorite things I’ve learned in studying tantra the last, uh, 24 hours (always the procrastinator…) is the concept of svadharma, translated literally to mean: one’s own destiny or one’s duty.

More specifically:

In the Hindu Shastras, the word “Svadharma” is used to define one’s vocation or calling. The word literally means “what is right for an individual” or “”One’s own way.” Personal law, or svadharma, is our own perfect individual pattern in life. It is the sum of our accumulated seed karmas. Svadharma, “one’s own law,” is molded by our background and experiences, tendencies and desires-indicated by astrology-all of which determine our personality, profession and associations.”

MMM. I like.

The thing about svadharma is that it’s all about finding your duty and giving it your all. That it’s better to fail following your own individual path than to succeed filling someone else’s shoes.

Sometimes it takes a long time (and a couple degrees and an empty bank account and lots of vodka), but rest assured that not all who wander are lost, my friends. We find our way, eventually.

“Follow your longing and swallow your feeling. Cuz when you’re young you’ve got to obey your guns. Cuz when you’re old it’ll all be done.” – Matrimony

(If I haven’t made you want to move to Charlotte yet, this video will sway you.)

Do Not Freak Out

Tofu & tater salad at Flying Biscuit

Adam: “Do not freak out.”

Me: “What am I not supposed to freak out about?”

Adam: “I don’t know. I feel like you’re borderline right now…”

Me: “Very intuitive.”

I actually feel pretty ok. Scattered, yes. Overwhelmed, a little. Grateful, definitely. It’s kind of a big, fat, crazy week for me. But what else is new, right? This is exactly what I wanted. Ask and it is given, and given it was. I’m teaching six classes this week, shooting another spot for A Healthier Charlotte, writing the final 10-pager to (officially) finish my MF Masters, maybe sleeping sometimes and all the while trying to convince myself I’ve got it all figured out.

My horoscope is such an appropriately cruel joke today:

“Oddly enough, hardly anyone knows how scattered you feel now, even though your thoughts may be bouncing all over the place. Fortunately, you can keep your mental meanderings to yourself by remaining closemouthed. Other people might believe that you’re a bastion of common sense, even if you realize that your desire for acceptance is what enables you to appear so grounded. Limit what you say today to what’s absolutely necessary so you don’t give away your secret.”

 So perhaps I should shut up and just talk about food.

You know the biggest lie the world ever told? That if something is green it must be good for you. Take, for example, this green candy bar masquerading as an “energy bar.”

BEHOLD

Do work.

Listen. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck… it’s a duck. If it’s dipped in chocolate it’s a candy bar. You can still eat it for breakfast but let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? You had a candy bar for breakfast. Own it, you rebel. Speaking of ducks… they are my favorite metaphor for frantic moments in life. From the shore ducks look cool and collected but just below the surface their little legs are paddling like hell to stay afloat.

Though chocolate-dipped, this bar actually isn’t as offensive as some. At around 300 calories, 14g fat and 12g protein, I think it’s a decent enough post-yoga breakfast to hold me over until mid-lecture snack time. My eating habits are so jacked right now…

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday but in a good way. Go get it.

“Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.” – Florida Scott-Maxwell

Ice Cream Sandwiches, Yo.

No, Weaz. Absolutely not.

I’ve never met an ice cream sandwich I didn’t like. I do, however, tend to forget they exist.

My mom used to have ice cream sandwiches in the house all.the.time. And I’m talking the old school, stick-to-your-fingers, cemented-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind you’d never willingly purchase but would graciously accept because who wouldn’t graciously accept an ice cream sandwich offering? (Communists.)

Exhibit A.

Turns out you can make an ice cream sandwich out of just about anything–brownies, blondies, cookies… slices of pie. I mean, anything you can sandwich, right?

RIGHT.

I was the lucky recipient of two leftover chocolate chip cookies last night but I agreed to take them only if I could also stuff them with ice cream. My counter offer was accepted and I came home with this beauty:

YAY.

In honor of the start of summer and my renewed love of ice cream sandwiches, I present to you a collection of things I want to eat:

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches – This Rawsome Vegan Life

Raw vegan ice cream sandwiches

Smores Cupcake Ice Cream Sandwiches – 52 Kitchen Adventures

Smores cupcake ice cream sandwiches

Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Sandwiches – Cheese and Chocolate

Strawberry ice cream brownie sandwiches

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Sorbet Sandwiches – Lisa is Cooking

Chocolate dipped ice cream sorbet sandwiches

Butterbeer Ice Cream Sandwiches – Cherry Tea Cakes

Butterbeer ice cream sandwiches

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches – Chow

Snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches – Manifest Vegan

Vegan peanut butter ice cream sandwiches

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches – VK Rees

Strawberry coconut ice cream sandwich (vegan)

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches – Triple Scoop Desserts

 

Salted caramel cheesecake ice cream sandwiches

Rice Crispy Treat Ice Cream Sandwiches – Make and Takes

Rice crispy ice cream sandwich

(I typed ice cram no fewer than 10 times making this post. I hope a missed a few of them.)

Hootie. Blowfish. Boat.

Muffins, PB, melon.

My older brother has this terrible habit of not telling me when cool things are happening or telling me approximately 30 seconds before cool things are about to happen so that I don’t have time to get ready for them. Today was no exception. I’ve been hounding him for months–months, I tell you–about taking me out on his boat. I mean, it’s been summer in the Carolinas since February and this stomach’s not gonna turn the same shade as my exposed limbs under the glow of fluorescent lights. Right? Right.

So there I am at 10:15 this morning, minding my own business, eating muffins and plotting out a day full of nothing when I receive a text that says simply, “Boat. 11.”

COME ON, BEN.

I rush around like an idiot, throw some things in a bag and bolt to the state border. I made a gas station pit stop for peanut butter crackers (duh), a detour that pushed me a whopping four minutes behind schedule and was apparently enough to push my brother’s patience right over the ledge of tolerance because when I got there his ass was pulling away with the boat… without me.

COME ON, BEN.

I did manage to fling my body into the moving vehicle and eventually onto the boat, as well. We spent a full eight hours on the water watching the idiot below drop his boat off the ramp (whoops), listening to Hootie & The Blowfish, avoiding water moccasins and working on making my body one solid color all over.

Good work, buddy.

Burn, baby.

The whole tanning thing did not work in my favor and I ended up just getting really awkwardly burned on my thighs and stomach. VERY WELL.

Other than that the day was a smashing success up until the final 15 minutes when we were attacked by a water moccasin (YES THEY ARE POISONOUS, ADAM) and Cornwell shredded his knee open making a far from graceful dive into the boat. (You made the blog, Matt. Take a bow.)

I came home, picked up my favorite salad combo from Crisp (mixed greens, chickpeas, carrots, walnuts, olives, red peppers, grilled tofu, balsamic) and busted up in Adam’s place to do my laundry and eat all of his ice cream.

crispy.

Good day.