New Playlist for the Gym

I have been in desperate need of a new play-list. I think I have still been using the same playlist from when I ran The Run Through Redlands Half-Marathon.

I still have not been running very much, only as much as 3 miles here and there. But, I have been investing a lot more time at the gym and needed a new batch of music to get me motivated.

This list contains 23 songs and is 1 hour 28 minutes.

  • “All About That Bass” Meghan Trainor incredibly infectious
  • “Anaconda” Nicki Minaj I know, I know…but, I just.can’t.stop.listening.
  • “#Beautiful” Mariah Carey I am on a huge Mariah kick, it happens about once per year.
  • “Bindya Chamke Gi” Gunjan I love the international, vibrant flow.
  • “Breath” (Chromeo Mix) Lenny Kravitz Great beats!
  • “Cupid Shuffle” Cupid Classic favorite
  • “Dancing With Myself” The Donnas This version is incredibly energetic 
  • “Doo Wa Ditty” Zapp Classic, classic, classic
  • “Emotions” Mariah Carey Mariah kick, still in effect
  • “Empire” Shakira I love the way this song builds up to an epic level
  • “Hideaway” Kiesza Blogged about this song here 
  • “Hunter” Pharrell Williams Silly, but upbeat
  • “I Like It” Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull I always have to have at least one Pitbull song
  • “Keep It Up” Fannypack Great beats for jumping jacks or jump roping
  • “Let Me Think About It” Ida Corr Makes me feel like dancing!
  • “Put Your Graffiti On Me” Kat Graham An absolutely ridiculous song, but makes you move!
  • “Run The World (Girls)” Beyonce I can do anything Beyonce says I can!
  • “Scream & Shout” Britney Spears & Will.I.Am. Super fun and upbeat
  • “Sweat” Snopp Dogg & David Guetta Good reminder
  • “What Have You Done For Me Lately” Janet Jackson This song always makes me dance
  • “Wiggle” Jason Derulo Pure silliness and fun!
  • “X” Xzibit Makes me feel pretty gangster
  • “You Drive Me Crazy” Britney Spears Always a fun song! I switch off pretending I am Britney and Melissa Joan Hart.

What is on your current running or work out playlist?

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Bacon Kale Salad

Quite often, when people find out I am vegan, they have some sort of response that involves bacon. Even though I get tired of hearing this, I get it. Bacon is good. But, when you really think about it, it’s not necessarily the pig portion of the bacon that makes it good. It’s the wonderful mix of spices and texture that give it it’s appeal. Without the flavorings, it would just be a piece of pig fat and I am doubtful that many people (although there may be some…) are craving that. Fortunately, the flavoring is easy enough to replicate, and it’s accessible to have those components of bacon, without harming any of our animal friends.

I have experimented with creating this version of bacon with shiitake mushrooms, but, when I am feeling lazy, I buy this brand. It has the texture and seasonings I love and adds a nice, smokey component to meals.

I used this bacon in a kale salad for dinner, last week.

I started off by removing 2 bunches of kale from their stems.

15407255965_b26a600367_o I lightly steamed the kale for about two minutes, just to give it a nice, bright color, but not wilt it down.

I also sautéed:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • garlic salt to taste

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I made a quick dressing of the following ingredients, whisked together:

  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • Juice of 1 lemon

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I massaged the dressing into the kale, then topped

  •  chickpea mixture
  • diced strips of 4 pieces of tempeh bacon
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 diced avocado

This salad was amazing! It had a balance of vibrant and smoky notes. The bacon flavor was very prevalent and the smokiness was heightened by the chickpea mixture. The avocado and dressing added a nice, fatty, creamy texture, and the kale kept it all feeling healthy and fresh. The salad is packed with calcium and healthy fats.

This is how vegans still enjoy their bacon.

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2014 in Books: September, the Rainbow Rowell Edition

September was an excellent, but also bittersweet month of reading. I read three Rainbow Rowell books, and now feel despondent that there are no other books left of hers that I have not read.

Rainbow has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I read Eleanor & Park back in April and was struck by how realistic her writing was and how accurately she described the complexities of a relationship between teenagers with varying issues.

The same rang true for the rest of her books. I was impressed that no books were very much alike. She definitely has a witty writing style, yet the plots of her books are all so diverse and unpredictable. I also appreciate the manner in which she writes about love and relationships, without giving into predictable cliches and gag inducing romance.

I read the remaining books in the following order:

1. Attachments: I ordered this book off Paperback Swap shortly after finish Eleanor & Park. However, it got lost in my ever-growing (and slightly shameful) to-read pile, only to be discovered this month and quickly ravaged.

I could not put this book down. It is about an IT guy (Lincoln) who develops a crush on a co-worker (Beth), by reading the emails between Beth and her friend (Jennifer).

I absolutely loved all three main characters. Lincoln is an adorable, likable nerd and I would love to have a friend like either Jennifer or Beth. Their email interactions were hilarious and reminded me of many emails that got me through some tough days, with good friends. (I miss those, by the way. Girls, if you are reading, I could use more!)

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

2. Landline: I still argue with myself about which Rainbow’s books are my favorites (I seriously have spent quite a bit of time lost in this thought), and Landline is definitely one of the top contenders. Just. Wow.

Georgie and Neal are a married couple who have a far from perfect relationship, but lots of love between them. Events transpire that prompt Georgie to reflect on choices she has made throughout their relationship and bring a new perspective to the current day.

I just loved how real the issues in this book are and how Rainbow is able to essentially create a love story that is realistic in today’s society of goal achieving, child rearing and loss of perspective.

3. Fangirl: This book is about a set of twins setting off to their first year of college. They are authors of fan fiction and face the trials of moving away from home, dealing with difficult parents and finding identity individually.

I absolutely loved the fan fiction premise. I am definitely one to obsess over my latest interests and can certainly understand being pulled into a reality that is seemingly better than your own.

I loved how Rainbow describes that oh, so difficult, but exciting time of transition from adolescence to early adulthood. She, once again, does a fantastic job of realistically portraying those awkward, cringe-worthy moments that develop into lessons.

I obviously love Rainbow Rowell and look forward to anything she publishes in the future. Check out her super cute website!

Have you read any Rainbow Rowell books?

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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DIY Projects with Essential Oils

It’s no secret that I am just a wee bit obsessed with essential oils, and finding new uses for them all the time. I use them on a daily basis for one thing or another and my current favorites are Lemongrass, Ylang Ylang and doTerra’s Serenity blend (lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla bean).

I have been doing deep, scholarly research, on Pinterest and have become inspired to try to make more of my own home and bath products. I hoping this is more economically and environmentally friendly, plus it will help justify the amount of money I have been spending on new oils (although a little really does go a long way).

I enlisted my step-son to assist me and we had a potion’s making class. First up was body wash. I just finished my previous body wash, so I rinsed out the container to be re-used.

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Into a mixing bowl went:

All of this was whisked together, then carefully funneled into the container.

14983231169_df5531eef2_o I love the smell of this! It left my skin feeling soft and clean. It will also double as my shaving gel.

Next up was dish soap. Again, I saved our previous dish soap container and gave it a good rinse.

Into the mix bowl went:

  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of Dr Bronners unscented castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil

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The whisking and funneling followed, along with a little bit of fun:

14983240929_7de01cb783_o The dish soap works pretty well and I love the addition of the lemongrass. It has a nice calming effect on me, during a less than calming activity (dish washing, ick).

I decided to soak up my free child labor and go for one more project, a coconut sugar scrub.

Dylan poured about 1.5 cup of coconut sugar in a container (you can also use brown or white sugar, coconut was just what I had on hand. I buy it pretty inexpensively from the bulk bins at Clark’s Nutrition.) He then covered the sugar with almond oil and added 10 drops of Ylang Ylang and 10 drops of the Serenity blend.

14983404167_ea0e0a14ac_o This scrub smells sooooo yummy. It worked wonderful to slough away dead skin. It left my skin feeling so moisturized that I did not need to put on lotion after my shower, as I usually do.

I have more projects on the horizon and will be happy to share more, if you are interested!

Do you make any of your own home or bath products?

 

Raw Vegan Stir Fry

I have been on quite a raw kick, lately. The weather is still pretty hot in sunny Southern California, and the last thing you want to do in 90+ degrees is turn on the stove. I picked up Gena Hamshaw’s new book “Choosing Raw” and have been inspired by her creative, raw spins on traditional dishes.

My husband requested a raw stir fry and it was much easier than I imagined. He sliced up the veggies (since I have not got over my mandolin fear) and I went to work on a sauce. He thinly sliced up the following veggies:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot

We also threw in a handful of edamame and broccoli.

14983394587_92a3df59e4_o The sauce was made by trial and error and adjusting seasonings here and there. The ingredients were:

  • tahini
  • sesame oil
  • tamari
  • sriracha
  • rice vinegar
  • turmeric powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • ginger powder

I used a dash here and a spoonful there. I was constantly tasting and whisking the sauce till I got it just right.

14983234129_6ef1d77a90_o After that, it was simply a matter of pouring the sauce over the veggies and stirring. We served the stir fry topped off with sliced avocado and black sesame seeds.

15169959275_7be81c1a69_o The flavors melded so nicely together and it was much more filling than you would think. I don’t think I can get enough sesame oil in my food lately, and you really cannot go wrong with a dish that contains both sriracha and avocado, right?

What is your favorite raw meal?

Thoughts on “Expanding Your Happiness” Meditations

Last week, I finished The Chopra Meditation Center’s 21 day meditation experience, on expanding your happiness.

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These guided meditations were such a nice way to re-build my meditation practice, and begin to make it a habit, once again, each day.

Some of the meditations struck deeper chords with me than others, although they were all pretty poignant. I blogged about my thoughts on I Am Peace, here, but another topic that really got me to think was Living Kindness.

First off, Oprah started off the meditation with a quote from one of my ultimate inspirations, Dr. Maya Angelou, this instantly made me cry, because I have not even began to process the loss of Dr. Angelou. Her words have had such a profound effect and influence in my life and sparked a deep love of reading and writing. The quote is  “I have found that among it’s other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”

This meditation definitely made me reflect on my own expressions (or lack thereof) of kindness. The work that I do as a counselor and yoga teacher, was inspired and motivated by kindness. I pursued these avenues because I wanted to help others and spread positivity. However, sometimes that all gets lost in day to day stress and exhaustion.

When I really thought about it, I realized that my work has been more motivated by achieving, production and quantity (rather than quality) of service. I have been more motivated to do more things at a faster pace, which leaves me feeling drained and irritable. This is a not a good state of being to help others.

I realized I need to get back in touch with that kindness that motivated me to pursue my career, in the first place. I hope to do more out of kindness, love and compassion. Maybe I will not get as much done, or maybe I will find I get just as much done, but I feel more energized by it, as opposed to drained.

This meditation experience was definitely a positive thing as I started this current school year. I plan to continue my own personal meditation practice each morning, to start my days off in a more focused frame of mind.

I cannot recommend Deepak Chopra’s meditations highly enough. He does these 21 day challenges every so often, and if you “like” The Chopra Meditation Center on Facebook, you can get updates on when the next one will take place.

Did anyone else complete The Expanding Your Happiness experience?