My 365 Day Challenge

Look at these beauties. This purchase marks the end, no, the beginning of a BIG challenge that I’m about to start. No shopping for 365 days. 365 whole days. One full year. No new clothes until September 1, 2016. ¬†Yeeeps!

365 Day Challenge

This is big for me. I love shopping. Shopping is one of my coping mechanisms. When life gets tough, I head to the mall. I kind of knew this my whole life, but it really came in to light for me last weekend during a 3 day intensive workshop (more on that later). “Looking put-together” is one of my main forms of armour. A part of me wants to intimidate others so they don’t approach me. That was a hard realization to swallow! This is part of why I decided to take this challenge.

Part 2 came from recently watching this video:

You can live without producing trash

It awoke something inside of me. I finally realize what a throw-away philosophy I’ve been living… and I don’t want to live it anymore. I want to see what it feels like to cherish what I have, to take care of what I love, and to be more mindful. I believe that if I start small, with my clothes, these feelings will spill over into other aspects of my life.

Finally, part 3 is simple… I want to save money. Money feels like water slipping through my hands lately. When I was walking home on Saturday I was suddenly struck by this idea (no shopping for 365 days) and it felt like a weight was lifted off me. I find myself often dreaming of what to buy next… to the point where I’ve mentally spent all of my spending money before it’s payday. No more! Well… at least not for the next 365 days ūüėČ

The Challenge: No clothes shopping for 365 days (from September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2016)

The Rules
*Disclaimer – these rules are 100% made up by me, for me. If they don’t suit you, you can pick your own rules!

  1. I can purchase new bras and underwear. Because bras and underwear that are piling, have holes, and are falling apart are just ew. I want to feel good in my undergarments all the time.
  2. I can purchase new socks. Have you ever tried working out wearing socks with holes? Hello blisters. No thanks.
  3. Over the course of the year I can purchase 1 new pair of pajamas. My current pair of PJ pants have a small hole in them that is slowly increasing in size. It’s only a matter of time before they are no longer wearable in front of friends. And I like sleepovers. So, new PJ’s are okay.
  4. I can purchase some accessories; (1) tights (2) jewellery (3) the occasional scarf. Accessories are a great way to revamp an outfit! However, I do have that video in the back of my mind, so it will only be pieces that I absolutely love and will keep for a long time.
  5. I can purchase an everyday tank top (your basic tank in white/black/grey) I did a complete assessment of my wardrobe when I got home on Saturday and tops are the only area I feel concerned about. I have about 3 tank tops, and my go to outfit is jeans and a tank top with a sweater. And I just shrunk my favourite tank last week… so I’m giving myself one small pass here.
  6. NO purchasing new shoes, dresses, skirts, shorts, pants, blouses, robes, kimonos, heels, booties, rain coats, winter coats, gym clothes, runners, gum boots, hats, purses, backpacks… you get the drift.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever wanted to try your own personal challenge? What would it be? Go do it! I believe in you.

Daily Affirmation: “I am capable of great things”¬†

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Setting Intentions

Yesterday I had the pleasure of realizing that our days can be transformed with one little thought, an intention.

I started my morning on my yoga mat and set the intention to commit. I intended to commit to spending time in nature and to visiting the cemetery where my best friend is laid to rest. I felt like lately I had been acting like a leaf, floating through the winds of life, changing course with each new gust. This can be fabulous, when the time is right, but I felt disconnected and deeply wanted to commit to these two actions. Boy, was I put to the test! It was serene to be so mindful of the tests, and it was all because of the intention I had set that morning. I had planned a hike that evening with two friends, one cancelled early in the day as she had an appointment that she forgot about. The second cancelled in the afternoon as she was not feeling well. No problem, I thought! I still had my best hiking buddy, my dog Kobe. When I arrived home from work, Matt had taken Kobe with him, forgetting that I was hiking that afternoon. Now, normally at this point I would throw the cards in and call it a day. But no, I had set the intention to commit to a hike and to visiting Kel. I was driven to accomplish these two things. I got the car, picked up Kobe, and went on a beautiful hike on the North Shore. When I arrived at one of my favourite trails, I had to laugh as the city was doing construction and the main trail entrance was 100% closed. I even tried to see if I could sneak in somewhere but it was fully gated. Another test! I took it in stride and we explored the river and had a blast. After reconnecting with nature, I took a moment to upload a photo of my dog on instagram. As the photo was uploading the number 21 dashed across my screen, a lovely reminder from my angel to not forget my second commitment. I headed to the cemetery and, you guessed it, they were closed! I was determined at this point, so I took my flowers, tarot cards, and blanket and found a beaten side trail that led me to her resting place. It was a beautiful day. Due to one small intention to commit, set early that morning, I was able to connect with my dog, spend time with the sun, the trees, the river, visit Kelly and have a really special, uplifting card reading. I felt proud of myself for committing. As I went to bed that night, I was awed by the power of intention and it’s ability to shape our days.

I challenge you to set an intention for your day tomorrow. Watch your day unfold around your intention, and let me know what you notice in the comments below.

Xo

Daily Affirmation: “I choose love”¬†

Kobe in the river bed

Strawberry Banana Coconut Smoothie

This smoothie is a doozie, it’s so scrumptious you’ll think you’re eating dessert. The best part is you can have it for breakfast and it’s super healthy!

Strawberry Banana Coconut Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana (tip: frozen bananas make for a much smoother, ice-cream like consistency)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (tip: If you live in Vancouver, Choices Market has the BEST coconut flakes. They are thick chunks of organic coconut with no additives, and so much tastier than the common¬†desiccated coconut which tastes like wax I.M.O.)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried goji berries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • nut milk to preference depending on how thick you prefer your smoothie. Start with 1/2 cup and go up from there.

Blend all ingredients together to delicious perfection and enjoy!

Flax seeds are a GREAT source of fibre, and by blending them you will also benefit from essential fatty acids. Don’t buy pre-ground flax seeds as they go bad very quickly. It’s always best to grind them yourself, either in a smoothie/blender, or in a coffee grinder. These little seeds will keep you feeling full all morning.

Goji berries are one of my favourite SUPER foods, bursting with antioxidants to help repair oxidative damage in our bodies.

Xo

Daily Affirmation: “I honour myself by¬†eating foods that nourish and replenish my body”¬†

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Arugula Flatbread

I have been loving flatbreads lately! I think it’s actually the balsamic reduction mixed with the caramelized onions that I can’t get enough of. In any case this flatbread delivers and will satisfy for lunch or dinner (or both!).

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Arugula Flatbread

flatbread

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • Sweet Onion
  • Mushrooms (I prefer a variety of local wild mushrooms – your local farmers market is the best place to find these bad boys)
  • Arugula
  • Pea Shoots (optional)
  • Balsamin Reduction
  • Goat Cheese
  • Honey (Try to find local honey if you can! My absolute favourite Vancouver honey is from Hives for Humanity)
  • Flatbread

Recipe

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Heat a frying plan with EVOO
  3. Chop sweet onion and add to pan, cooking until caramelized (20 minutes at least)
  4. Heat a second pan with EVOO
  5. Slice mushrooms and add to second pan, cooking until browned (around 10 minutes)
  6. Warm flatbread in the oven for 5-7 minutes
  7. Remove flatbread; drizzle with balsamic reduction and honey
  8. Top flatbread with caramelized onions, cooked mushrooms and goat cheese
  9. Top with arugula and pea shoots
  10. Drizzle a final layer of balsamic reduction on top of the greens
  11. Slice and enjoy!

 

Daily Affirmation:¬†“A universal love runs through me”

Fibre-Packed Raspberry Ginger Smoothie

As I was digging through my cupboards this morning, trying to pair ingredients together to make my morning smoothie, I stumbled across a new recipe! This smoothie is delicious, full of fibre and antioxidants, and is the most beautiful light pink shade. The undercurrent of maca and the kick from the ginger give it a full bodied flavour profile.

Fibre-Packed Raspberry Ginger Smoothie

Blend the following ingredients together until smooth. Add ice as needed to thicken.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup nut mylk
  • 1/2 cup frozen (organic) raspberries
  • 2 dried figs
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp of maca powder
  • 1 tsp of cacao nibs
  • 1/2 thumb of ginger

Tip: wait until your bananas are over-ripe then peel them and freeze them. A frozen banana will create the most velvety smoothie texture; almost like yogurt or ice-cream.

Daily Affirmation: “I am nourished”

How To Stop a Shame Storm

I woke up feeling quite ashamed this morning! Those familiar old feelings of guilt, worry, unworthiness and just an all around question of WHY?! The worst part was I hadn’t actually done anything to be ashamed of. But I had wanted to, and that was enough to send me into a shame spiral. Shame is a funny friend (yes, a friend) that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. The worst part for me is that when I feel shame it is compiled – shame on shame – past shame seems to always come with present shame.

So what happened? Last night I was in a situation that my old party girl self would have looooved – drinks, drugs, and lots of men. While that may not sound like a worst case scenario for you, it was for me. For starters, I was with my fianc√©, this amazing man who forever has a part of my soul, and a teeny tiny part of me didn’t want to go home with him; not that I wanted to be with anyone else, rather something else – I wanted to continue the party and find my fix. Addiction is a tough game, and for me being in the same room as drugs is not easy. I went in totally unprepared. My solution to deal with my anxiety was to drink… smart move, right? Obviously not, but it was the easy fix. I didn’t get drunk, but I absolutely drank to the point of losing most of my inhibitions and consequently my desire to stay away from the drugs. Luckily when Matt asked me to go home, I willingly went. As soon as we pulled up in front of our house a huge wave of THANK GOD washed over me. I was home, with the man I love, far away from the party. Still the shame storm still came this morning. But luckily, it pushed me to grow and I found some new tools to deal with shame:

How to stop a shame storm:

  1. Get Outside; fresh air and watching the community around you will get you out of your head.
  2. Spend Time With Animals; our pets offer this beautiful unconditional love – no matter what you’re feeling they will always find you worthy of love. (Which you are by the way!)
  3. Sit With Your Thoughts; once you’ve had a chance to get out of your head, I recommend coming back to your thoughts and rely pin-pointing what’s going on. Where is the shame originating from? Until I sat with my thoughts I didn’t realize that 80% of the shame I was feeling this morning was really past shame from similar scenarios.
  4. Focus On The Positive; often when we’re in a shame storm all we can see are the negative choices we made, or wanted to make. It’s easy to lose site of the positive choices you also made. Find the positive. It might be as simple as finding gratitude for the shame you’re feeling as now you know exactly what you don’t want.
  5. Prepare; inevitably you will be in a similar situation again – this is a great time to create simple strategies to better prepare you for next time. For instance, I see a few options for myself:
    • (1) Decline the invitation next time.
    • (2) Go sober. I’ll either offer to be the designated drive or plan something for the next morning so that I don’t drink.
    • (3) Set an intention before the event. Meditate on how to you want show up and act in the situation.

Remember, you are in control of the thoughts that you’re thinking. You have to actively choose to stop the shame storm. Be responsible for your thoughts and actions. And most of all, remember that you are worthy of love and self-compassion.

Daily Affirmation:¬†“a Universal love is always running through me, strengthening¬†me and supporting me”¬†

Healthy Chocolate “Mylk”-Shake

Ready to fool your taste buds? This healthy, whole-food smoothie tastes just like a chocolate milkshake (I.M.O.) and it’s dairy-free! Not to mention it’s bursting with minerals like magnesium, iron, chromium, zinc, and potassium; vitamins like B1, B6, and C; omega-3 healthy fats, and loads of fibre.

bananas and dates

Photo c/o morerawfood.com

Chocolate Mylk-Shake

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup almond mylk (or your favourite nut mylk)
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter (or your favourite nut butter)
  • 1 tbsp. flax seeds
  • Ice, to preference

Blend all ingredients until a smooth, frothy consistency is achieved. My banana wasn’t frozen so I used about 8 ice cubes. Adjust to your preference – I prefer mine a little thicker.

Enjoy!

Daily Affirmation: “I am loved unconditionally”¬†