Mirror talk: how yoga can make you feel beautiful

Like most women, I have struggled often with body image. I’ve been through self-hate, eating disorders, obsessive exercise, emotional eating, you name it. It’s been a rough journey back to loving myself and my body. To be honest, I’m definitely not 100% there yet. I have more “fat” days than I care to admit and sometimes, I just can’t stand the girl in the mirror.

But there was one main thing (besides the love of my family) that helped me get to where I am. That helped me realize my body is beautiful and capable.

That thing is YOGA.

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It’s hard to explain the effects of yoga- you just have to experience it for yourself. When you get really into your practice, your mind is completely focused on the movements, the gracefulness, the flow. You stop looking at your body in terms of fat, cellulite, and saddlebags. Instead, you see your body as an amazing thing that has the ability to mold and stretch. You no longer stress about the lack of a gap between your thighs. Instead, you learn to appreciate the muscles in your legs that allow you to hold warrior pose for 10 long breaths. Your body becomes something so incredible.

So for every woman out there who wants to cry when she looks in the mirror, who uses the words “fat” and “ugly” when talking about herself, who thinks life would be so much better 10 pounds lighter… I really encourage you to try yoga. It won’t make you feel like a supermodel over night and it sure isn’t the perfect solution. But, as a girl who has hated her body with a passion for awhile, I can honestly say yoga works. Whenever I’m having a bad day in terms of body image, I always do a short yoga practice and it brings me out of it. Yoga is such a beautiful thing, just like your body. Embrace it : )

 

Lots of love!

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Pineapple upside down oatmeal recipe

I’m not really a cake girl. When I reach for dessert (which is more often than I care to admit), I go for chewy oatmeal raisin cookies or dark chocolate brownies first. But there is one cake that I can’t get enough of: pineapple upside down cake! Obviously I can’t shouldn’t eat that for breakfast every morning. So I came up with this oatmeal recipe that combines all my favorite flavors of pineapple upside down yummyness into a healthy breakfast choice!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats

1 cup water

2-3 pineapple rings or a few chunks of fresh pineapple

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP brown sugar

A pinch of allspice or cinnamon

 

Heat the water on the stove and stir in the oats. Once they are fully cooked, remove from heat. Mix in the vanilla extract, brown sugar, and allspice/cinnamon. Toss in the pineapple rings. Voila! One delicious serving of pineapple upside down oatmeal! No better way to start your day in my book : )

 

photo cred

Avocado chickpea salad recipe

Avocados are like candy to me. Seriously. The other day I read about a company that mails you a monthly stash of those delicious green fruits. How perfect! If I wasn’t a cash-strapped twenty something, I’d sign right up! I eat avocados with, on, and in ANYTHING. I realized the other day that I desperately need to include more protein in my vegan diet. I had a can of chickpeas in the pantry and thought… hey! Avocados + chickpeas + a few other good ingredients could be the recipe for a perfect spring lunch. Hence, the avocado chickpea “salad” was born!

avocado

Ingredients:

*this makes two servings!

1 cup chickpeas

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 red onion, chopped into small pieces

2 TBSP lime juice

Dash of salt and pepper

Fresh cilantro (to your liking)

 

Mash the avocado with the chickpeas. I like to keep it pretty chunky but feel free to use a food processor if you want a smoother texture. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients. I love cilantro so I definitely added quite a bit. Any salsa will do… I personally love the Mateo’s salsa from Costco or the black bean & corn salsa from Target!

Happy Easter!

Just wanted to wish all my vegan friends Happy Easter! Hope you celebrated with an egg hunt, sunrise church services, and mostly happy times with friends & family. (And possibly some vegan chocolate eggs?? : )

My boyfriend and I spent our rainy Easter here in NC snuggling, watching Nicholas Sparks movies, and eating yummy cookies. We also drove down to Lake Brandt yesterday to take advantage of the wonderful, sunny 60 degree weather. Such a beautiful day! I’m SO ready for spring to get here already. Hope you all had happy holiday weekends as well!

Lots of love, Amanda