FITNESS-FLAWLESS,100lbs & FLAWLESS

From 140lbs-284lbs (maybe more) to 170lbs, my life has been an up and down rollercoaster of losing and gaining weight, mainly from having three kids.

Weight is a topic that no one but everyone likes to discuss. Fat and weight has a love hate relationship with people especially women. We strive for this idea of “perfection” wrapped in desirability from other women and men. Just the mere fact of being over weight makes a woman feel like they’re not desirable, like they’re not beautiful because the perception of others has allowed us to believe that the weight we have carried determines our value and beauty in life.

But what determines beauty? What determines your value? Weight only has value when you are a diamond. The value I carry is not weighed by the fat that’s on my body yet the wealth of knowledge that I carry, the way I uphold my values, the way I enlighten my children, the way I infuse my spirituality with growing and nurturing life, the way I open my mind to “endless” thoughts, goals, dreams and possibilities.

My battle with weight and confidence began after having my first son because I gained 80lbs. I didn’t like the weight I had become. My reflection in the mirror was not that of a young and confident 140lb woman.My luster buried itself within me, and my ideas became dull and blunt on the outside covered with makeup to shield the inner yet outer layer of thoughts about who I was, based on what beauty was thought to be.

I remember trying every pill, diet, fad, and weight loss program I could think of. All of them were temporary fixes with a short gain without long term substance. Losing weight was stressful and at times, it felt like a full time job. Although, I began to lose some of the weight but once I came off the pills or diet, it didn’t sustain me, so my weight continued to fluctuate.

IT wasn’t until I tried something different!

ENOUTH ABOUT THE PAST! LET’S FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT!

Once, I had my daughter, I became intrigued with gardening and finding natural remedies for everything. It took me on a journey from gardening to natural hair, to completely changing my eating habits. I knew that I wasn’t at a stage where I could quit eating everything cold turkey, so I stopped eating beef and substituted everything that was beef with lean turkey as I had already given up pork 6 years prior. I eventually started to get comfortable with slowly changing my diet and stopped eating chicken altogether. It was tough at first but once I got through it week by week, I started to feel natural, lighter, and healthier.

DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT! Just look at my pictures. The majority of my weight loss came from change of diet. Transitioning from eating unhealthy to eating like I was naked.

STAY TUNED for tips on ways to transition to a better YOU!

Grounded by Yoga

Let’s just say that we have all wondered what is the humdrum of yoga.  Don’t fret because you have the rest of your lifetime to figure it out.

“For those who have an intense urge for Spirit and wisdom, it sits near them, waiting.” ― Patañjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

When I was thirteen years old, I bought my first yoga book.  I trained as a gymnast but was never on the competitive team.  Reminiscing on the book cover, I saw a body that  can be strong and flexible beyond teenage years.  Of course, at the time, I had no access to yoga classes but knew that in my adult life, yoga would be an integral part of it.

 

Long story short, loneliness and depression pushed me into yoga teacher training.  I remember feeling so crippled but knew that there was a deeper issue to heal.  I found Purusha Yoga in San Francisco and signed up for the weekend training program.  This was my catalyst for change.  Yeah, the perks of a fit body was appealing, but I knew a good soul searching will make you shine just as brightly.

 

Here’s a seed: I found peace and mind control in meditation.  Even if I could not get to practice, I can at least sit with myself for five to 15 minutes daily.  I charge you as a reader to try this:  fix your posture, set your timer, and focus on your breathe.  If your easily distracted, just ground yourself back in the rhythm of your breathe, mentally visualizing “Breathe in, I am breathing in.  Breath out, I am breathing out”.  Now, notice how grounded you are in your body.

 

Share your thoughts below.  Until next time…

Godspeed,

Lauren

Fashion & The Academy

Tonight was the night of Art, fashion and gorgeous coats. From 3D coats to flowy dresses, the Academy of Art University displayed their talented students on a pedestal for other brands to reach.

From the music to the hair and the garments. Personally, I enjoyed the artistic direction and structure of inspiration. Favorite student designers include Ghazaleh Khalifeh, Christian Willman, Tam Nguyen, and Farnaz Golnam.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD, FASHION & ORGIES

[Today is the day we celebrate a naked child shooting an arrow into our hearts and fall in love.  From romance to the sheets, couples share this stressful idea of having to shower their mate with gifts and candy.  Don’t fret dear valentine, this holiday may not be for you if you’re not into submitting to traditional gender roles, orgies or if you don’t know to act unless directed.

From February 13th-15th, Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, which was a ritual where men sacrificed a dog and a goat and whipped the women with the hides of their slain skin to invoke fertility. Women participated in this ritual thinking it would make them fertile but the Catholic church didn’t agree with this so they attempted to Christianize the tradition by linking it to St. Valentine.

So if you’re single, you should not be ashamed that you are happy without a partner. Expectations are high but you don’t have to submit to the societal demands of a manufactured  day that tells you to shower your partner with gifts on one day out of the entire year.

Just a little information on how we spend on this “holiday”, here are some stats from 2013.

In 2013, Americans spent $1.6 billion on candy, 1.9 billion on flowers and 4.4 billion on gold, diamonds, and silver. Source:CNN

Kale Salad

Salads are boring and just about everyone who’s new to making healthier choices dread preparing and eating them. So here’s an easy prep Kale salad that you don’t want to miss out on.

ENJOY! Happy eating!

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INGREDIENTS:

Salad

1 Large handful of Kale greens-chopped

4 Brussel Sprouts broiled/grilled/pan-seared

1 Medium Carrot-sliced

1 Radish-sliced

1 Lime-juice

1/4 cucumber-sliced

1/8 cup craisins

DRESSING:

Avocado Dressing

1/2 avocado

1/8 cup Tahini

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Garlic Cloves

3 Tbls Onion

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup Red bell Pepper


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place kale on plate and top with all vegetable ingredients
  2. Blend the remaining ingredients for dressing in a blender/Food Processor except Red Bell Pepper
  3. Blend for approx. 1-2 minutes
  4. Add Red Pepper in blender last and pulse for 30 seconds.

Use Avocado dressing to top your salad.

BIRYANI Vegetable Rice

What an Experiment with all the spices I use on a regular basis combined into one dish.

Biryani is an Indian rice used in fancy or special occasion dishes. Because I wanted to try something new, I combined the idea of stew without the sauce into the rice for an easy bake vegetable rice. Although, this meal tastes better with Jasmine Thai Rice, Biryani was the rice of choice for this meal

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil rice as instructed and add turmeric, cinnamon stick, & bay leaf
  2. While rice is boiling, Sautee Onions in Coconut oil
  3. Place spices in a bowl
  4. Add minced garlic and ginger with onions
  5. Add cubed potatoes and sautee until slightly golden
  6. Add carrots and peas,  and cook approx. 2 minutes
  7. Add Broccoli  and cook an additional minute
  8. Add water and cook until it slightly simmers down
  9. As Rice is done, add half as the first layer in a glass pan
  10. Than add all of the vegetable mix
  11. Add last half of rice layer
  12. (Be sure to remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf)
  13. Then add another 1/2 cup of hot water to dish, cover, and bake for 10 minutes

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ALL ABOUT FALAFAL

I’ve fallen in LOVE and FALAFAL is my new favorite vegan food to indulge. Just the smell of fresh soaked chickpeas and cilantro, garlic cloves, and parsley chopped invigorates my senses, bringing a sense of satisfaction to my tongue. Combining fresh herbs and spices to the chickpeas while grinding them in a food processor enhances the flavor and color of Falafal and MMMMMmmmmmm, they are delicious bites of goodness.

Falafal can be wrapped in a warm pita bread, in a salad, a burrito or simply eaten by themselves. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

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Here’s the recipe I made using Chickpeas for a Falafal Pita sandwich. ENJOY!


INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw chickpeas/Garbanzo beans soaked overnight (optional Fava beans)

3 cups water

1 Small chopped Onion

3 garlic cloves minced

1 Tbls Organic Flour

1/2 bunch of cilantro

1/2 bunch of parsley

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Coriander

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

4 cups vegetable oil (sunflower seed oil or coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil,

Add hot water to dried, raw beans in a bowl and allow to soak over night for at least 12 hours

CAUTION: DO NOT USE CANNED BEANS

Drain water and add beans to food processor, Pulse for about 30 seconds

Add all remaining ingredients into food processor and blend for about 1 minute.

(Mixture should a bit grainy but moist with ability to form a ball)

Heat oil in a skillet on Med/High heat and place falafel balls in oil once hot

Cook about 30 sec on each side or until dark golden brown

Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain oil

Walah! Falafal is done! Now they’re ready to eat. But when added in a salad it’s satiating and healthy.

Falafel is a Middle Eastern food however it was initially created by ancient “Egyptians” KMT