Who am I?

My photo
Jefferson, Georgia, United States
Hello everybody, I am Heather. I love yoga, food and loud rock shows. I am here to lead you on a lifestyle that will have your soul shining! P.S. Cancer Sucks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I know you do not want to hear it...

I know, I know...but you really need to read this one.
You do not have to become a vegetarian or start juicing - just start making better choices about your meat and you will feel better and make the world a better place for all of our animal friends, the water, the air YOU breathe and all plant life. Lets get back to eating the way God intended us to eat and I think that our world will be a better place!

Love & Light - Heather

Click the link below for a great article from Time about our food and how its manufactured.
Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Eatin'

I made the best vegetarian stew last night, if I do say so myself. For most of us, vegetarian and stew do not go together, beef and stew - yes, but veggie stew - not so much. Well, let me change your mind with this delicious creation that Mike and I gobbled up last night. Today I ate the rest, now I feel like I am going to explode, but it was so tasty I could not help myself.

Coconut Sweet Potato Stew:

1 baking potato
1 sweet potato
1 can of garbanzo beans
2 cans coconut milk
1 can vegetable broth
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 tsp - 1 tbs of flour
curry powder

Crank up the oven to 400. Dice the potatoes into chunks, bake the chunks on a baking sheet, and put a little oil on the pan so the potatoes do not stick. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.

In an big ol' pot saute for just a minute or two the zucchini, squash and garlic, just to get them a little soft and to bring out the flavor of the garlic.

Drain the can of beans and rinse. Add the beans to the pot, and add the coconut milk and broth.

Now add salt, pepper and curry powder to your taste. Be careful with curry powder, too much can be overpowering. Taste as you go, then see what you need to add.

When the potatoes are finished baking, mash 1/2 of them and keep the other half chunky. Add the potatoes to the pot. Stir to break up any chunks of the mashed taters.

Let it all simmer for a bit on the stove top on medium until its bubbly. Taste for seasoning again and see if you need more salt or curry.

Sift about a tablespoon of flour or nutritional yeast (can be found at health food stores) over the top of the stew and stir like crazy. This will thicken the broth. Turn it down to low and let it simmer for another minute or two.

We had traditional flat bread with this meal, a light salad would have been nice too.


Monday, August 24, 2009

De-mystifying Yoga Styles

Yoga is yoga, right?
Yes and no.
The definition of Yoga means to unite, to tie strands together, to bind, to unite the mind body and spirit. Obviously this theme should reign over all yoga classes and styles. That being said, every yoga class is different and different styles have different approaches. Here is a list of styles and a short description of each.

Viniyoga: This is the type of yoga I have studied for the past 18 months. My instructor, the wonderful Cheryl Zak, also studied Iyengar for years, so I got tastes of Iyengar as well. The practice of Viniyoga is focused on bringing out the best in each individual no matter what your current condition is. If you have old (or new) injuries, Viniyoga may be the best approach for you because this style takes YOUR body into consideration and the teacher does not look at you like member of the heard. Viniyoga is adaptable enough to be a vigirous practice, or a calming practice. Viniyoga gives you the tools to discover more about yourself and enables you to transform through yoga.

Iyengar: Props, props, props. The class I teach on Thrusday evenings, Restorative Yoga, is actually an Iyengar style of yoga. Viniyoga and Iyengar are similar, yet different. In an Iyengar class, you may do more headstands etc...than a Viniyoga class. Iyengar focuses on alignment, the differences in each persons body, and using props like blankets, blocks, straps etc...to correctly align the body and make sure the student is safe in the pose.

Ashtanga: Ashtanga literally means the 8 limbs of yoga. The classes marketed as Ashtanga yoga are a vigorous, athletic style of practice. It appeals to those who like a sense of order and who like to do things independently. There are several different "series" of poses that do not vary from class to class. This style focuses on purification and building stamina.

Bikram's Yoga College: Bikram yoga class is a twenty-six asana series designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons, in the order in which they should be stretched. This style of yoga is also sometimes called "hot yoga" because it is taught in a room that is 95 - 102 degrees. Expect pools of sweat! Due to the sweaty nature of this type of class students usually do not wear much, and Bikram has his own line of clothes to sell for these classes.

Kundalini: This is a more spiritual side of yoga. It is a physical asana practice but it is designed to awaken energy that is trapped a the base of your spine. Awakening this spinal energy is said to awaken your inner knowledge. The path of Kundalini is said to proceed from the Muladhara Chakra at the lower end of the spinal column up to the Sahasara Chakra at the top of the head. But its awakening is not thought to be a physical occurrence; it consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. According to some sources, awakening of kundalini brings with it pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.

CLICK HERE for a cute quiz on which Yoga style is right for you.

There are more styles out there, but this covers the main ones we see today in studios, plus I am running out of time! Hope this helps!

Love and Light,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Juicy Juicers

Many of you have asked what kind of juicer I am using and I am using this one:

This is a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer. It does not have that big of a mouth, you do have to cut an apple in quarters to get it in. Its a cheaper model, only around $75.00 and it has a pretty good rating on amazon, but its not the best by any means.

Drawback = wastes a lot of leafy greens, and some fruit, lots of foam, sounds like a plane taking off in my kitchen

Bonus = I can put a plastic grocery bag in the pulp catcher and it makes clean up much easier, and it was free so I can not complain

Result:it is doing the job right now, but I am planning on upgrading soon

Here is the skinny on juicers, I did the work, so you do not have to.

Juicers come in two types, masticating and centrifugal juicers. The one that I have now is a centrifugal juicer, which means that I turn on a motor, stick the fruit in the feeder and this mesh strainer spins and cuts the veggies then strains the juice out. The masticating juicer is manual, usually cranked by hand, and this screw looking thing inside squeezes the heck out of greens, wheat grass, sprouts etc...until the beneficial juice is extracted. Most serious juicers use the masticating juicer because it does not waste the food, heat up the juice (which can kill some of the enzymes even at a low heat) and you can juice wheat grass, sprouts etc...and actually get juice out of it. Right now when I juice sprouts, I have to use a lot to get anything out of them with the juicer.

If you have a serious disease like cancer, its important to get as much as you can out of the juice. In this case I would recommend that you spend the cashola and get a masticating juicer like this one:

I present to you the Greenstar Juicer recommended and used by Kris Carr and many other health goddesses. It costs around $45o and has very high ratings across the board. You can make nutbutters, raw ice cream and juice wheat grass with this baby. I however do not think this one is for me because of the cost and I think for my relatively healthy God pod, I can do with something more reasonable.

Something like this...

This is the Brevelle Juicer Pro and it goes for about $270.00. It gets awesome 4 - 5 star ratings across the board and Breville also has 2 other models that have variable speeds, pulp baskets, wide mouths etc...all at reasonable prices. The 900 watt one is only $160.00 and the smaller Juice Fountain is only $99.

For a link to juicers on Amazon - click here

Happy juicing y'all xoxoxo

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cucumbers, Kale and an Apple, oh my!

So far juicing has been great! I have not been doing it long enough to see any real results, but what I notice immediately after drinking my fresh juice, I have some pep in my step. I honestly do not feel the need for caffeine like I normally do in the morning. Considering the ingredients sound less than delightful, let me assure you, even Mike liked it. After I forced a sip down his throat and he actually said "not bad!"
Take that into consideration as you read the following recipes. These are the two combos I have been drinking since Sunday.

Green Monster:

1 pear

handful of each:




Green Apple:

1 apple
1 cucumber

handful of each:



Seriously, its good and the fruit takes over the drink. I am going to try beet juice tonight...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crazy, Sexy goddess..

I love this woman. She has been an insperation to my sister through cancer, and I have learned so much from her its amazing.

Time to clean out the pipes...and the blood, and the liver...

I have cleaned out my house and my closet...its time to clean my temple.

After a summer of stress, about 100 Fat Tires (and bud lights), more fast food than I'd like to admit, lack of sleep and lack of a standard yoga routine, its time to cleanse! I am starting a month long cleanse on Sunday. Giddyup!

I have stolen my sister's juicer (insert evil laugh - muahhhaaa) and I will using this sucker every day. I will juice greens, veggies, some fruit, grasses, ginger etc...I will also be eating more "whole" foods and much less processed food.

Juicing has amazing benefits according to those who do it regularly. The enzymes from the raw veggies make your skin glow, remove toxins from your body, give you a "boost" with out caffeine, and totally do a body goooood. The over processed veggie juices in the grocery store are nowhere near the same, they are loaded with sugar, additives etc...to make them taste good. I will hopefully find some combos that do taste good so I can stick to this plan. I will be sure to share recipes and blunders along the way.

On this cleanse I am also giving my poor worn out liver a break, so no alcohol for 30 days, at least. I am also (since I am finally settled in the new casa) going to start practicing yoga asana at least 6 times a week if not every day. Yoga is a lifestyle for me, so I do practice some form of yoga (part of the 8 limbs...another blog for another time) every day - but asana is the fire that gets the toxins OUT of your precious, beautiful body.

Wish me luck, and have you ever cleansed? Tell me about how you cleanse. How do you feel different? What has worked for you? Anything really nasty and stupid that you have tried?

PS. My sister NEVER uses her juicer, if she did I would have never taken it. Maybe if I find some good juicing recipies she will start...

Yoga in the Evening...

Last week I talked about a morning yoga practice and how it can change the whole outlook of your day. A morning yoga practice can really give you extra pep in your step and make you even more pleasant to be around (if that were possible, I know you all are super perky and niceness goddesses at all times!)

So in the effort to balance our lives we would also need to practice some yoga in the evening. I recommend practicing pre-dinner or at least 2 hours after you eat so you don't get nauseous. A gentle approach works best for evening yoga so we do not over excite our systems before we catch some ZZZZZZZZs. Start with some gentle warm ups like Apanasa (knees to your chest), then move to some gentle twists and some more postures that keep you grounded on the floor. You can add a standing asana or two like Uttanasana, but I would not recommend you do anything too energetic like a bunch of Triangle poses or Warriors...remember we are trying to get some good sleep! I highly recommend Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) for a good 5 - 10 minutes. This pose is awesome if you have trouble sleeping, it calms the nervous system, very soothing, and its just an all around great posture. Take your time getting up from this pose especially if you have high blood pressure. Use caution with any inversion if you have high blood pressure or any eye problems. I highly recommend using an eye pillow when in viparita karani and just let yourself MELT into the pose.

Night, night...sweet dreams and don't let the bed bugs bite...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Less is more

Less is more v2
Originally uploaded by gawy.gawy
Less clothes, less space, less stuff = less laundry, less vacuuming, less cleaning = more time, more reading, more yoga, more conversations, more games, more laughter, more rocking on the front porch, less decisions to make and so much more!

Also, not having a dishwasher = less time doing dishes believe it or not...plus I never run out of spoons or mugs. At our old place we ran out of spoons and mugs all the time...now, we just drink, eat, wash and dry...finito!

I never knew I would enjoy less so much.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Be transformed...

Solitude at Iona Abbey
Originally uploaded by VaMedia
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - The Book of Romans

Many people think yoga is just about stretching and practicing headstands, but yoga is not about learning poses, its about learning about ourselves. By learning about ourselves, we can break old habits (patterns) and therefore transform our body, mind and spirit.

Yoga allows us to take time out of our busy schedule that is always screaming GO GO GO and take time to reflect, renew and maybe even begin to see what God's will is in our lives. We can achieve this by practicing asana (the physical part to balance our energy), reading sacred texts and then taking quiet time to reflect. If we do not take time out of this world that is always screaming at us to do something, buy something, invest in something, clean something, eat something, watch something, play something...then how can we hear what God's will is?

How does the passage from the Book of Romans above affect you? How do you think a consistent yoga practice can help us no longer conform to the patterns of this world and help us renew our mind?