Angie Eats Peace has moved!

I finally made the switch over to a self-hosted site. I hope that you will follow me over to angieeatspeace.com!
angieeatspeace.comThere are still some small updates being made, but I am overall excited with the changes. Please check out the new tabs, info and pictures. All new pictures were taken by my talented sister, Marcella!

Please update any bookmarks you may have. I truly hope to see you all over at the new site!

Peace,

~Angie

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My Gratitude Project

One of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Chen has inspired me with her Gratitude Project. Jennifer decided for the month of October, she would send a personal thank-you card to express her gratitude to someone who had made a difference in her world. She did this everyday in the month of October and shared what she learned from it in this post.

Gratitude is something I try to make part of my everyday life. I sometimes speak aloud the things, people or situations I am grateful for, as I drive to work in the morning. I have tried to be intentional about texting or emailing someone as they pop in my head, to let them know I am thinking of them and grateful for their place in my life.

I love the idea of sending a personal thank-you note, by mail. Actual, tangible mail is something to get excited about in the days of social media. I know I love receiving mail and am excited to send some out, to let people who have made a difference in my world know that they are appreciated.

I am not making this a formal challenge for this month and I am not putting pressure on myself to send out a set number of notes, within a set time frame. I just know I want to be more intentional about sending thank-yous out and I hope this is something I continue for a long time.

Would you like to join me? Is there a way you can express more gratitude?

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Healthy Cereal Bars Review-Nakd Natural Balance Food

I was contacted to by Natural Balance Food to try and review their Nakd healthy cereal bars. I am always up for free, vegan goodies and was not disappointed by their product.

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I was pretty stoked when this variety pack arrived in the mail. My step-son started calling dibs on flavors and we dug in. We made it a family tasting event and shared the various flavors, each sampling all the bars. Dylan was thorough and took copious notes to document his impressions. He is pretty adamant about sticking with cursive writing. Long-live cursive!

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These bars are all vegan, gluten-free and made with all natural ingredients. I loved how few ingredients each bar contained. I was thrilled to see there was no added sugar, syrups or sweetners. My favorite aspect was how simply the ingredients were stated on the packaging.

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I was sent the Sampler box and fortunate to try each flavor!

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Cocoa Delight-great for any chocolate-lover, it could cure those cravings for candy!

Cashew Cookie-my absolute favorite. The only ingredients were dates and cashews. A winning combination.

Berry Delight-Dylan loved this one. He is the avid berry lover in our family and this meet his standards.

Cocoa Crunch-reminded me of a healthy Nestle bar!

Pecan Pie-loooooved this flavor. According to Dylan, it “tasted like pumpkin pie.”

Apple Crunch-reminded me of apple pie. YUM.

Caffe Mocha– a little too coffee tasting for me. Dylan loved this one, and I suspect coffee lovers would, as well.

Strawberry Crunch-another of Dylan’s favorites.

Cocoa Orange-I loved the citrusy hints. Orange and chocolate are always combination.

Ginger Bread-I would have loved if this was more ginger-y, but it still has a great flavor, without being too spicy, for those who don’t appreciate that “kick” from ginger.

Rhubard & Custard-this was my husband’s favorite, but Dylan remarked it was “too tangy.”

Cocoa Mint-mint haters beware, this one is pretty minty. I personally loved it, but my husband did not.

Banana Crunch-cashews, bananas and dates harmonize beautifully!

I truly enjoyed all the bars. They were a wonderful snack that could be taken anywhere. They were low enough in calories, but high enough in nutrition to be a small, sustainable snack in between meals.

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Natural Balance Food is a Britain based company, but they have FREE shipping available to the US, until January 15th, 2015. Heck yes! I definitely recommend these bars for anyone looking for a vegan, gluten-free, all natural snack.

Natural Balance Foods provided their product to me free of charge, however, all opinions are words are my own.

Winter 2014 Book Challenge

Megan of Semi-Charmed Kind of Life is hosting a Winter Book Challenge. Nothing goes better than winter to me, than a good book, a warm cup of tea and my hello kitty blanket! I am posting the rules below and the books I am thinking to use, for each prompt. I still need some help in thinking of books for some of the categories, so any feedback is appreciated!

General rules:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2014, to February 28, 2015. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on February 28 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements. Large-print books are also acceptable, as long as the regular-print version exceeds 200 pages in length.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that’s fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads (unless the category explicitly states otherwise, of course)!
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. Good luck!

Which brings us to the exciting part—the challenge categories!

The books I am considering are in BOLD.

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules. The Silkworm

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books. — Submitted by Megan. Pillars of the Earth, because I cannot get enough of Ken Follett, lately.

10 points: Read a book of short stories. — Submitted by Meredith. Couldn’t Keep it to Myself, stories gathered by Wally Lamb.

10 points: Read a book with a food (not a drink!) in the title. — Submitted by Megan. Tortilla Curtain, because it has been sitting in my to-read pile for too long!

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you (so no rereads for this one!). — Submitted by Crystal. A Discovery of Witches, because I have really been wanting to read this!

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language. — Submitted by Belle. I still need help with choosing a book for this category.

15 points: Read a book written by a local author (either an author from your state if you live in the United States, or in your country if you live somewhere else—note: author must be from where you currently live). — Submitted by KatelynI still need help with choosing a book for this category.

20 points: Read a “bookish book” (in which books play an important role, e.g. the setting involves a bookstore or library, a major character is an author, or a book that celebrates reading and books. Examples: The Book ThiefThe Shadow of the WindThe Thirteenth Tale, etc.) — Submitted by Jen. The Uncommon Reader

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title (e.g. north, south, east, west or any combination of those). — Submitted by Donna Eastern Body Western Mind, because I have heard such great things about it!

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don’t usually read. — Submitted by JennI still need help with choosing a book for this category.

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title. Be sure to tell us the song name and artist as well! — Submitted by Daire, who was kind enough to provide several example books, as this challenge is quite tricky! A few possibilities include: Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson (English nursery rhyme of the same name), The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (“Girl You Left Behind,” Pixie Lott), or Somewhere Only We Know by Cheyanne Young (“Somewhere Only We Know,” Keane). I still need help with choosing a book for this category.

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, brunch; update: meals like feast, banquet, picnic will also count, but try not to get too “creative” with your meal words!). — Submitted by AmberI still need help with choosing a book for this category.

 

Any help for the categories that I am stumped on is appreciated! Head over to Megan’s post if you would like to join the challenge.

39 Day Yoga Progress Project: Yoga By Candace

I am participating in the 39 day yoga progress project hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Candace at Yoga By Candace (YBC). The purpose of this challenge is to focus on one pose that you working on gaining more flexibility in and track your progress through the next 39 days.

From the YBC site here are the guidelines:

The Plan

If you choose to participate, here’s how it’ll go down:

  1. Pick a pose, any pose!
  2. Snap a pic of your pose and if you’re not feeling shy, share on instagram with the hashtag  #YBCprogress so you can instantly connect with others who are participating. Continue sharing your photos over the course of the project, every time you practice, or whenever you’re up to it!
  3. Plan a schedule for when you’ll practice. Aim for 4-5 practices per week, 20-60 minutes each practice. But! If you need to do less, or want to do more, that’s totally fine. Above all, honor your body.

Candace also provides an excellent schedule for practices during the 39 days and links to videos to access.

It took me awhile to choose which pose I wanted to focus on. My first thought was crow, since I have been working on holding that pose longer and longer. However, this would be more about working strength then flexibility.

All the poses that kept coming to my head were strength based poses. I realized I prefer working on my strength, rather than flexibility.

If I am really being honest here; I am probably the least flexible yoga teacher.

I struggle A LOT with my flexibility and it was one of the things that brought me to yoga in the first place. Often, when people hear I am a yoga teacher, they ask if I am really flexible.

Errr….I guess compared to how stiff I used to be, I am really flexible, but not as much as you would think, for someone who teaches. I guess this is where my work needs to be.

I thought about which flexibility pose I dread the most and immediately Standing Split came to mind.

I loathe this pose and find myself wishing it was over as soon as I begin. I hate when I hear it cued and I realize I rarely teach it in my own class.

This pose is more difficult for me on my left, than on the right and I am sure that is due to my slight case of scoliosis and the left curvature of my spine (most of my injuries-knee, ankle, etc. have been on my left side).

I generally need to use blocks to support myself in this pose, though not always.

Below are Day 1 pictures on both right and left sides, with and without the block.

15498236297_fc11506f36_o 15497567999_3335b56f4d_o 15498619790_581ba4c21f_o 15685025072_3c864188eb_o….and, my power yoga outfit because MICHAEL JACKSON.

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I am looking forward to see if I make any progress with this pose and if I can work on my relationship with it, and flexibility in general. I would like to have a more positive attitude about flexibility poses and not dread them as much as I have been.

Want to join me in this challenge? Head over to YBC for all the details!

Oprah & Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Experience

It’s time for another one of Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Experiences!

I have done two of their Meditation Experiences before and have loved them! You can sign up for free and each day, you will receive an email with a link to that day’s guided meditation. Oprah generally gives an intro into the day’s theme and Deepak guides you through the meditation, with his soothing voice and pearls of wisdom.

These 21 day experiences are a great way to establish a meditation practice and a great introduction to meditation, for those who may be intimidated by how to even get started. Each meditation is about 20 minutes long and can be done at anytime throughout the day.

I will be starting on November 3rd and would love if you joined me! You can sign up by clicking here.

I think it is such a beautiful thing to have beings meditating all around the world and raising the collective consciousness for love, peace and wisdom. Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you joint me on the meditation cushion!

Hike to Devil’s Chair

This weekend featured a wonderful hike to the Devil’s Chair. I have done this hike a few times before and it is always an enjoyable experience. The trail isn’t too strenuous and the expansive view at the end is a huge payoff.

This time around the added bonus was taking some of my husband’s students from the hiking club he runs at his high school. It is a pretty amazing experience to see students who have not done many outdoor activities before, discover nature through a new lens and feel the accomplishment of a good hike.

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The trail is 7.4 miles total, with a 1,000 ft. elevation gain. It is steep in some parts, but overall, the gain is too slight to even notice. This is an excellent hike for both experienced and newer hikers. Beginners may find it difficult in some spots, but it is still accessible to anyone willing to push through a little incline.

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Fun was had, by all.

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What are some of your favorite hiking spots?

Lately…

I always love posts from some of my favorite bloggers where they just catch readers up on what has been going on with them lately. Here is my version…

1. I have been having so many bursts of creativity. All of a sudden, I just have a plethora of ideas I would love to put into place. I am not sure how good they are or not, but it is pretty amazing that I have been on this streak of ingenuity. I have some new ideas for my current blog design (which is desperate need of a makeover) and ideas are popping up about where to take my other blog Spiritual Bahanas, (check out the premiere of Music Monday: here ).

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I also have tons of thoughts about new things to implement for work, my yoga classes and at home. It is difficult to find the time to put these all in to place, but it sure is nice to know my brain is still flowing.

2. I fear that I constantly smell like garlic and no is telling me. I cook with large amounts of garlic and cannot seem to get enough of it in my food. Yesterday, when I came home, I realized my house really smells like garlic (I used tons in the tagine dish I made. I also included; quinoa, lentils, squash, red bell pepper and carrots + tons of spices).

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This made me question if this is what I smell like and I just no longer notice. I guess I should pay more attention to if people move spots away from me in yoga class or if my students scoot away from my desk, when I am talking to them.

3. I am really, really trying to train my dogs to walk appropriately on a leash (i.e.-not jump and try to bite the leash [PENNY] or pull me down the road with freak-like strength [SUZIE]). I read Cesar Milan’s book over the summer and felt ready to tackle the task ahead of me. I am wondering if he should put a disclaimer on his books: “these methods WORK for all breeds, except bulldogs,…good luck with that.” 

I am still having a very hard time with appropriate walking behaviors. I have seen small (very small) improvements, but Suzie still yanks me down the street if she sees a cat. She pulled me so hard last week, I hurt my neck trying to re-gain control and it threw me into a migraine the next day. I had to leave work early to see my chiropractor, who is well-versed in the damage those dogs have done to both my husband and I . They are lucky they are so dang cute.

15382092575_53fed50c61_oPS-so help the next person who “jokes” “whose walking who? Hahahaha“…just.stop.!!!

4. My next essential oil purchase will be Clary Sage. I have been having worse cramps than usual the last couple of months, and found that this may help. Has anyone else every used it before? I would be interested to hear feed back.

Well, that’s what has been going on in my life. Tell me something that has been going on with you.

 

 

 

Vegan Cheese Spread

My friend Eddie and I got together the other night to discuss and brainstorm ideas for our new blog Spiritual Bahanas. Creativity requires food and wine, so I set about to try this vegan cheese recipe I have had my eye on.

Vegan cheese sounds like such a paradox, so I guess we can call this a delicious spread, and that it is. I was a little nervous, since I had never attempted this type of recipe before (I was particularly intimidated by the Agar. I think it’s the name of it that inspired some fear….like a frightful Game of Thrones character.)

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The recipe I used was from Maple Spice (all things vegan and nice!). Debbie posts three different variations; chive, sun-dried tomato & basil and chili & rosemary. I tried the sun-dried tomato & basil version and doubled the recipe to make an extra large batch.

I question if it’s because I have not had cheese for so long, but this sure did taste like the real thing to me. The texture was solid and spreadable. The olive oil added a nice touch of fattiness and the sun-dried tomatoes and basil added a delicious flavoring. The cheese spread really well and paired perfecto with Kashi crackers.

15159124407_463c208f23_o We needed lots of enforcements to get us through our creativity session. Along with the cheese and crackers, we also had chips + hummus (topped with fresh tomatoes & parsley), sautéed mushrooms, crackers & tomatoes to dip in olive tapenade and sun-dried tomatoes, plus Trader Joe’s amazing peppers stuffed with olives and garlic. And, we cannot forget, delicious vegan cookies from The Loving Hut.

15345347682_1befeebfc1_oThis all paired nicely with red wine and lots of fun conversations and planning. Colored pens were, in fact, necessary.

15315474406_e83ca3cd1e_o Eddie and I have some fun things planned for our new blog, and hope you all will check it out. Stop by Spiritual Bahanas and let us know what you think!

 

New Blog: Spiritual Bahanas (Sisters)

I am branching out a little bit and teaming up with a good friend to start a new blog: Spiritual Bahanas (Sisters). I will still be blogging about veganism, yoga, books, bulldogs, essential oils and whatever else pops into my head here at Angie Eats Peace, but the new blog will be dedicated to the spiritual journey I have been on. It will be a little bit more of a personal space where I share how my journey has changed and evolved over time.

My friend Ed (you can read his blog about his journey as a homosexual Catholic here) and I have discovered that our spiritual paths have had a similar trajectory, and it’s something we have spent a good amount of time discussing in the course of our friendship, which has blossomed into sisterhood.

We have noticed that this topic is not always something people feel comfortable or safe exploring. Is it OK to question, change or challenge beliefs we have once held as true? We will be sharing experiences from our own paths and hopefully, creating a space where the conversation for others to share will flow free.

I hope to see you over at our new space, but if spirituality isn’t your thing, no worries. I am still happy to have you here at Angie Eats Peace.

Love and sisterhood,

Angie

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