Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Entertainer

Since I was in high school I have dreamt about having a house full of friends having a good time and eating good food.  Of course this house is mine and the food was prepared by me, from the cute appetizers to sweet treats and they are all beautifully arranged on my fun serving wear!  Now added to that dream, is feeding people vegan food, and having them love it while they oooh and ahhh over how good it tastes!  Though this dream will eventually become a reality, I have had a few glimpses this month as I have taken on the roll of hostess!  My sister is getting married in October, and as her matron of honor (I know, sounds so old, but I guess it is better than being a maid, and at least it's in honor right!?) I threw her a bridal shower.  I came up with the food, decorations and games all by myself *pull up 'big girl' panties and cross arms* Okay, I had some help setting up from my mom and some family, but pretty much I tackled it all.  At first I was excited as my dream of hosting danced in my head.  A small get together with some food and games, no big deal.  I was excited as I wrote down all the fun and colorful food I was going to make.  Then after talking with my mom, I realized that the list of food would feed probably 50 plus people and take two days to prepare, oh and didn't really include foods that my some-what-picky sister would eat.  So we reworked the menu to be less time intensive and cater to the Bride-to-Be's pallet.  Nonetheless, as the day approached, I was getting more and more stressed.  I was beginning to wonder if I could pull this all off.  I felt like I was drowning in details even though it was really just a small get together!  How could I go through planning my wedding with out getting so stressed out, and here I was planning a bridal shower for 15 people at a park with mid-afternoon snacks, and I was about ready to pull my hair out!  I was beginning to wonder why I thought this whole party throwing was dreamy and fun.  I was beginning to think that I never wanted to throw a party again!  But, as usual the whole thing turned out perfect (except for the wind that kept blowing the table clothes off the tables).  Tough the menu was not entirely vegan, it was vegetarian.  However, the star of the table were my vegan cupcakes!  My sister asked where I bought them, and everyone raved about how great they tasted.  My uncle even wanted the recipe as he downed two in a row!  Though it was stressful, the end result was worth it as my sister and everyone had a really great time.  I realized that I was just new to the experience and was ready to tackle the next one with my new found "party-throwing" skills!

Food spread, yum!

The pretty pink cupcakes

Though not in quite the same magnitude, last weekend we had some friends over for breakfast, and later that night I had a friend over for dinner.  Now for most people, this may be normal.  But in our small apartment it doesn't happen very often and it kind of a big deal! (We have to re-arrange our 'piles' of 'stuff' so that we can have room to actually sit at our table.)  For breakfast we had lots of delicious fresh fruit and my becoming-famous vegan aebleskivers (Danish pancake balls).  My great-grandparents were from Denmark, so it is a traditional treat we make in our family and fun to show off to others :~)  My blueberry filled aelbskivers were a hit and the berries we had with them were delicious as well!

Finished aebleskivers in the aebleskiver pan

For dinner that night, I was excited to try a recipe I found in a store in Portland called Penzeys Spices for grilled protabella mushrooms with chipotle mayonnaise.  The recipe is inspired by the chipotle powder that I bought in the store that has a wonderful spicy-smokey smell.  I made some modifications to the recipe to make it vegan (mainly changing the mayonnaise to nayonaise), but the results were delicious!  I usually grill my mushroom whole with an Italian dressing marinade, but this recipe used a different marinade and called for protabella slices.  Add the chipotle nayonaise a few avocado slices, a tomato slab and some lettuce, and you have the best burger I have ever tasted!  My friend agreed that they chipotle nayonaise was delicious.  Just enough kick with a little smokey aftertaste!  (If you love to cook and have never been in a Penzeys Spices store, then you are missing out!  A whole store for just spices, who knew!  I was in love at first sight.  They even have a cook book!)


Monday, August 15, 2011

The difference between knowing, and really *knowing* and My Garden!

(In continuation from last post...)  I did get up that morning at 7, but I was so tired and just wanted to take a nap on my yoga mat.  I pushed through, but didn't get much out of it.  Needless to say, I didn't get up at 7 the next day.  I learned that forcing myself to do it because "I know it's good for me" doesn't really work.  Sure there will be days I don't want to work out or eat a salad or do yoga, but it usually just because I am feeling lazy.  There is a difference between "knowing it is good for me" and really actually knowing it is good for me.  There are plenty of tips, tricks and claims out there about feeling great and being happy.  Do all of them work?  Well, I haven't tried them all so I'm not sure.  But have all of them worked for someone, probably.  The trick is finding the right reasons to make changes, and making changes for the right reason.  On days when I don't feel like working out or eating right, I can remember times when I felt good when I did and felt bad when I didn't.  That is usually enough to get my lazy behind in gear.  "I know it is good for me" because science and research tells me, but I also know because I have experienced it.  When it comes to yoga and meditation, the science and research is there.  There have been numerous studies that have shown the positive effects of yoga and mediation on stress and life happiness and I have come across them many times.  Every time I do, I think "I want to have that feeling, I will someday."  When I force myself to the mat because "I know it is good for me" the session turns out as a waste of time because my mind is elsewhere, counting down the minutes until I can sit back down and take a nap.  Instead of feeling refreshed afterward, I feel as though I could have better used my time.  This feeling then gets added to the list of reasons why I don't want to get up early to spend time on my mat.  Have I felt the positive effects of yoga yet?  To some degree I have.  I have felt the connection to breath and movement that calms my breath and mind....usually only for a few seconds at a time though.  I know that it helps calm me down in the morning when I wake up with the anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I also know that it has helped my flexibility and helps to reduce tension in my back.  Though these are all positive attributes, and enough to keep me coming back again and again, I haven't had that epiphany that has led me to my calm, quite and confident self.  I know that practice make better, and I will keep practicing.  I just want to make sure that when I practice, I am in the right mind set.  I don't want my yoga practice to be an item to check off my "To-Do" list for the day.  I want it to be my retreat, my sanctuary my calm in times of stress and anxiety.  I want to really feel the benefits of yoga so that when the times come that I don't want to practice, I can look back and really know that taking some time for myself on the mat will be a good thing :)

(I did get up this morning to do yoga after a relaxing weekend, and I felt good.  I am doing better about focusing my mind on my breathing and movements while I practice rather than coming up with my plan for the day.  Meditation on the other hand is a different story....I'm still working on that one.)

Now on to my garden!  It has been about two months now since my mom and I planted my wonderful produce plot, and it is looking fabulous!  Many people walking by or working in the garden have told me how great it looks!  Not that I am keeping count, but mine looks the best by far!  I also know that the reason it looks so good is because I make sure to get out at lest twice a week to water, and every couple weeks to weed.

This last week I got my first real harvest and made some yummy meals with my produce :)  This week I know that I will have more to harvest and I am excited to try out new recipes with my very own fresh, organic produce!

This was my real "first harvest", but this was all I picked. Ground Cherries!

Harvest one: rainbow chard, basil, ground cherries, and marigolds

My Garden, two months from original planting

Almost ready to pick!  I love broccoli!

My pumpkin is trying to take over my garden!  And starting to put out little pumpkins :)
Amish Gold, I ate this one straight off the plant on Friday and it was tasty!

Pretty purple bean flowers.  A humming bird visited these while I was working!
Beautiful yellow pumpkin flower.

What I made with my rainbow chard: greens and beans
Pesto with the basil
and a fresh tomato and basil pasta salad!

Have a wonderful summer day in the sunshine and enjoy all the fresh produce!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What I've Learned (from the CSD)......finally!

Alright, so like I said, I'm not quite very good at this whole blogging thing yet.  I could come up with lots of excuses: busy, ran out of time, tired, will take to long, not in the mood, etc....but really what it comes down to is life just going on.  There are always things to do, I just have to decide if this is one of them.  I know I want it to be, but I also have all these other things that I want to do as well!

Three weeks of eating lots of veggies, taking time to meditate and do yoga daily, taking care of my body and thinking positive.  What all came out of it?  Well, I felt really good. Even though I was getting up earlier than I wanted, I wasn't exhausted by the end of the day, in fact I wasn't even that tired by the time bed time came around.  But once it was time to sleep, I was out like a light! Overall, my mood and outlook on life improved.  I didn't feel as stressed or anxious about my day or life.  I was enjoying each day and appreciating the little things.  I didn't really have a desire for material things or as many of my comfort foods.  In general, I was starting to feel comfortable in my body and in my life. 

I also noticed that my creative brain really started to become active again.  I used to love to do arts and crafts, even if I wasn't the best at them.  I used to come up with sewing projects, baking and cooking ideas, and just general ideas!  I felt that come back.  I wanted to get out my sewing machine. bake cupcakes and decorate them, play the guitar, scrapbook, you name it crafty-creative type thing sounded fun.  They no longer were things that I enjoyed-doing-once-don't-have-time-for-them, maybe-some-other-time-in-my-life ideas and thoughts.  They were, why don't I work on it now because I do have the time and they make me happy!  I even acted on these thoughts!  I went over to my Mom's house to work on a quilt that my grandma was supposed to make for me for graduation from high school (five years ago).  She has since passed away.  All the fabric is cut out, it is just a matter of laying the pattern out and sewing it together.  Easy enough, but I just never had the time to do it.  I also had the desire to start blogging about and posting more food related topics, like what I made for dinner!  I love making food and making food look good!  And I would love to share it with everyone!  (Not that anyone reads my blog yet, but that shall change in the future, if I keep it up and running that is (: )

My view on time also changed.  I have always been one to wear a watch or know what time it is.  I look at the clock constantly and am very aware of how long it takes me to do things.  I often have a schedule in my head of things that need to get done, be it today, tomorrow, or the rest of my life (yes I know, who knows the schedule for their whole life!?)  with accompanying time allotments.  If the scheduled task doesn't get done in that amount of time, it equals stress and anxiety.  I always felt like I was rushing from one thing to the next.  Always looking for the fastest and quickest way to do things, and often getting frustrated with anyone who was taking longer than I wanted them to.  (Never to their face, but in my head, which just made me even more anxious and stressed!).  Taking the time to slow down and really trying to appreciate the here and now helped me to calm down and do less mind-scheduling.  I looked at the clock less, didn't feel as anxious, didn't get frustrated with people and had more a laid-back, it-will-get-done attitude.  As a result, I felt like I had more time and got more things done!  What a crazy revelation!  Here I was this whole time try to schedule everything out to the minute to try and maximize time to get as much done, and then always ending up disappointed, when all I had to do was NOT schedule.  What I realized was: there will always be things that need to get done.  Once you finish something, there will always be something more.  You can always come up with things that suck away your time or things that didn't' get accomplished, but that just leaves you with an empty feeling of dissapointment.  Rather, shift your thoughts to all the things you get to do today, with no pressure as to when they need to be done (unless they have some outside influencing time-line).  Don't make due dates and deadlines for everything in your life!  The groceries do not need to be gotten and put away in 30 minutes and be done by 4:15!  That is just your over-scheduling-crazy-perfectionist-brain telling you that.  On top of that, no one but yourself is going to be disappointed if you don't meet that time-line.  And most importantly, even if it takes you 10 minutes longer, the world will not end.  I promise.

So what am I saying with all of this?  Well, the main point is that I felt happy and content.  I found time to do the things that I love by adjusting my priorities.  I have always had the time to do them, I just was so stressed and anxious about everything else that I didn't feel like I had time for them.  This journey was all about making time to take care of myself, both my body and my mind, and it had a big effect!  So why is most of this written in past tense?  Well since finishing the CSD, I continued the early morning routine for about a week.  Then we went camping.  Then we came home and I was tired and wanted to sleep in.  Needless to say, I haven't been taking the time to work on my thoughts.  And what da' know, I am feeling stressed and worried about my life and time and getting irritated with people and putting "other peoples negative thoughts in my head".  Well, that's dumb.  What I have to say about all this could take forever.  The main point is that I need to take the time to take care of my mental health as much as I need to watch what I put in my mouth.  I know that eating a bucket of fries and ketchup tastes good, but makes me feel awful an hour later, so I don't do it.  I also know that negative thoughts lead to more and that stress and anxiety lead to more stress and anxiety and more negative thoughts.  I now also know that I can do something about that.  I just make take me several times of the "BIG FAT REMINDER" hammer hitting me on the head when I forget. 

I wanted to follow the CSD not to change my life for three weeks, but for ever.  I want to be happy, positive and creative.  I want to enjoy life for today, and not worry so much about yesterday and tomorrow. 

Tomorrow, I am setting the alarm for 7am and I am meeting my yoga mat for a date.  I want to be happy, and I have the power and the right to make that happen for myself, do I am going to make it happen!

Peace, love and health!

(P.S. I feel better even after writing this....which was kind of the point.  I needed that reminder.....)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CSD - Week 2

I am happy, happy, happy!!  For the first time in a long while, I have been happy, optimistic and pleased with where I am in life for several days in a row without a end-of-the-world crash!  Why you ask?  Well I have to say that I really think I found the motivation and steps to get me to keep going and make a change.  Following a way of eating that is compassionate and about being in tune with my body, cravings and emotions as well as following a plan to turn my negative thoughts to positive ones has really had an effect on how I feel and think!  On top of that, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it might be.  Don't get me wrong it has taken dedication to get up early every morning to do my yoga, affirmations and mediation when my husband is still lying in bed sleeping.  And I have had to make sure I am aware of my thoughts and have had to fight a few nagging negatives away, but it hasn't been a painful journey.  I know that it was probably easier because I was already vegan and have tried several time before to turn my thoughts upside down and be positive all the time, but the way Kris writes has really helped me too.  Her writing is humors and she includes fun words and phrases that make me smile, but she also writes in a way that pushes you to try what she suggests without any judgment; if you fall or falter, just dust yourself off and keep on going because we are all human and NO ONE is perfect :)

Though my intent was to blog everyday and chart my "progress," my daily routine has been pretty much the same (as far as the CSD goes) and what I have learned over the past two weeks can be summed up as well. (Though I do wish there were times I could "download" my thoughts to my blog and expand on them later because I feel that my enlightenment moments happen when I am away from a computer, with no writing instrument or paper and I often just stumble upon them and can't quite remember them later.  This usually happens when I am exercising and it is just me and my thoughts).

  • Wake up around 7ish, give or take a few depending on when I get to bed.  I have been trying to get 8 hours of sleep every night!
  • Drink my glass of water with a little fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • 25 minute morning yoga routine
  • 5-10 minutes of reading the goals for the day and saying the daily prayer and affirmation.  (Though I am not religious, my prayers are to Mother Nature and as I say them I picture myself in a beautiful forest feeling the effects of my prayer).
  • 15 minutes of mediation.  This hasn't really gotten much easier.  My thoughts still wander, but I'm not going to give it up!  I downloaded some guided meditations and have added a candle for me to focus on.  I also would like to make a shrine so that I am not staring at our TV.
  • After waking up my sleeping husband, I make my morning green smoothie to which I have added strawberries and a date and removed celery to make it a little sweeter and less green tasting.  I couldn't down the pure green smoothies any more.  Again, if I had a juicer it may be a different story.  I think the texture would make a difference.
  • I drink my smoothie as I get our lunches ready.  My lunch includes a big salad with lots of goodies on it and lately has also been a sweet potato and black bean burger with cumin avocado spread, both homemade and both delicious!
  • After that, I have found that I need a little more fuel to get through to lunch, especially on the days that I cycle at noon, so I have a small bowl of oatmeal with some dried mango.
  • Then it is off to work or whatever else the day has in store.  My aloe water comes along with me too, and I sip on that until noon or so.
  • Monday and Wednesdays I cycle at noon, so I have a snack before I go and make sure I bring my homemade energy bars for after.  I tried going to a cycling class last week without eating beforehand, and I was zapped 15 minutes in to the 45 minute class.  It was a struggle to keep my legs going for the whole class, so I don't do that anymore :)
  • Other days, I eat my lunch around noon and have a snack around 2 or 3.  When I don't cycle, I usually work out in the afternoon and come home to dinner.
  • Dinner has been lots of different things, but the other night I had orange glazed tempeh with quinoa and steamed veggies which was de-licious!  Tonight I made Indian lentil dalh and had it over the rest of the quinoa!
  • After dinner snack has been vanilla chia seed pudding and sometimes a single square of dark chocolate.  (I went a whole week without chocolate just to prove I didn't need it!)
  • I am trying to be done eating by 7, er 7:30 (sometimes I don't sit down to eat until 7), but I am often hungry before bed and gab a cracker or too to calm the rumbles enough to sleep.
  • The nettimeds!!  The only downside is that I think my jaw forgot what to do when it is closed, so I have found that I hold it funny and it starts to hurt.  I am trying to be more conscious of how my jaw is aligned during the day, but I know when I am not paying attention I hold my bottom jaw jetted slightly forward and to the left.  I am hoping it will fix itself in time.
  • I am also trying to remember to dry brush before a shower, but I often forget.  Even moving the brush to the counter hasn't helped jogged my memory!  I have done it a few times and it feels really good and I can see the dry skin flaking off.  I hope it helps with my unevenly dry skin and brings out the radiantly beautiful me underneath!
  • Bed time come around 10, so that we can be to sleep by 11 to get those 8 hours of beauty sleep in! 
Now what come of all this?  Is it something I feel that I can continue on with, or will it be a 3 week adventure with an end?  How has it helped and what changes have I seen?  Well I want to answer all these questions, and I will, but that clock has crept up on me and it's time to hit the hay!  Tune in tomorrow to hear how my negative Nancy has turned into a positive patty!  And how it has really opened up my mind, my spirit and my heart!

Good night and good health!

CSD - Fasting

When I left off last time, I was excited to try my first fasting day.  That was the weekend before last.  Since then I have completed two fasting days!  My first fasting day started out with a not so tasty green smoothie.  I was at the in-laws with out my vita-mix, but I still had hope, and I put the regular blender up to the test of greens!  After a some changing of speeds and stopping and pushing things down, I had a whirling green concoction.  Knowing that it was better to have juice than a smoothie, I attempted to stain my mix though a sieve, but the holes were too large, and the fiber went right through.  I could tell before drinking it that it was not as smooth as I was used to, but I wasn't going to blow off my first fasting day just because we were away from home!  So I drank it, well I drank 4/5 of it anyway.  When it came down to the last big swig, I couldn't do it anymore.  It was still kind of chunky and fibrous-y, and not very appetizing.  Needless to say, I was feeling quite famished and hungry by the time he headed for home around noon.  So we made a quick stop at the local co-op and I purchased Columbia Gorge's green Vita Seed drink (though Kris says that these are not as good as fresh because they have been sitting on the shelf and flash pasteurized, it had to do) and a small herbal tea.  Neither one tasted that great, but I drank them anyway.  By the time we got home, all I wanted was solid food.  But I held tight and had another green smoothie, which I have to say was hard to choke down.  Having a juicer at this point would have been really nice.  Kris's sample juicing fast day consists of 5-6 juices over the course of the day, one every 2-3 hours.  With the filling nature of the smoothie, there was no way I was going to be able to drink that many.  Plus, I may have been able to change up the flavors enough that it wouldn't have been so monotonous.  Once dinner time hit, I couldn't do it anymore.  Though I was shooting for a whole day, I was hungry and would have rather not eaten than drink another green drink, so I opted for a raw soup and some lightly steamed veggies with some toasted sesame oil and salt to stick with the fasting idea.  The steamed veggies were delicious, but the soup was, well, not.  I am not a big fan of liquid soup and I wasn't crazy about the flavor, but I finished it anyway like a good girl.  Though it wasn't the most fun day, I did learn that I can really control what I eat and I have the power to choose what I put in my body.  I also found that even though I was hungry and wanted something to chew on, I wanted good wholesome food like fruit and veggies or whole grains.  I didn't want sweets and junk, in fact they sounded about as good as another green drink, made in the regular blender!

My second fast day was a little better, but I also cheated at the end. I followed the green smoothie/drink trend until dinner like last time.  I also purchased a large bottle of Bottlehouse Farms Green Goodness to change up the flavors of the day.  Again, I really wished I had a juicer to really try the juice fast, but that will have to wait until we have the budget and counter space to buy one and store one!  For dinner I tried miso soup with kale, carrots, garlic and onion, all minced, thrown in to add some texture, and steamed veggies with toasted sesame oil and salt.  Again the veggies were good (because I like steamed veggies and toasted sesame oil) and the soup was alright.  I don't think I put in enough miso, and it was just too runny for me, but I finished it again like a good girl.  After dinner I took a short walk to get in my "god pod" maintenance (exercise) on which I called some old friends I have been meaning to call for a very long time now and keep putting it off.  Though I wasn't able to chat with anyone, I left messages and felt great afterward! Since, I have had a great conversation with one (my ex-high-school-boyfriend of 6 years who I hadn't talked to in 2 and half years) and scheduled to chat with my former volleyball coach sometime later this week!  When I got back home, I was hungry enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to go to bed, so I had a couple snacks, but I tried to keep them simple and easy to digest.  I had a cup of vanilla chia seed pudding that I had made the day before and a piece of fruit.  Again, the day was not easy, but it was nice to know that I was doing my body good!  And I felt really "cleansed" of the nagging voice in my head telling me "call your friends!"  "get over yourself and call!"

I'm not sure how fasting day # 3 will go, or if I will even do it.  But I know that once I get a juicer I would like to make it part of my routine, weather it is once a week or once a month, I think it does a body good!

Monday, July 18, 2011

On blogging

I have discovered that I do not have the time or desire to blog everyday.  Or maybe that isn't necessarily true.  I would like to blog everyday, and I could make the time for it, but when it comes down to it I haven't been doing it long enough to have worked it into my daily schedule.  I started this blog to help keep me on track and keep me going on my (hopefully final big) weight loss get fit challenge as I explored new ways of eating and exercising.  I figured that if I blogged every night, it would keep me on track.  The truth is I haven't needed the blog to help keep me accountable, so I haven't really stressed it.  Like I said, it's not part of my routine, so often times it gets to the evening time and I a) forget, b) really just want to sit and relax on the couch after cooking and cleaning up dinner, or c) have something else that I want to work on or get done.  I also know that when I sit down to write, it isn't going to be a quick 15 min right before bed type project.  I like to write and I like to explain, so the blog gets longer and times goes by and I have only hit the highlights of the first half of my day, phew!  Though I wish I had blogged everyday, I am not in anyway disappointed that I didn't (or I am trying really hard to convince myself that) or feel that I let my self down (again working on the convincing part, and though I say that, I am actually doing really well (: ) Another point of this blog was to be able to get my thoughts and such written (or typed) down as sort of a journal.  So far, I have been more successful with this than my hand written journal.  Plus I have been a lot more excited for this as well!  I am also excited about the future this blog could have as I start showcasing my yummy cooking, fun crafts or pretty pictures!  I have found that I am getting more in touch, or back in touch rather, with my creative side! (More on that in the next post, hopefully later tonight, but possibly tomorrow!)  I also know that I like to share what I have accomplished with others, and this blog will allow me to do just that!  Even if it is only those closest to me, I still like the idea of sharing!  Any-who-doddles, look for more from me soon on the progress of my Crazy, Sexy Diet!

Peace and health!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CSD - Day 6

I woke up with the sun this morning (well almost), I was up at 7:30 without an alarm.  It was nice to be up earlier on the weekend with nothing that needed to be done!  I could take it easy and go at my own pace.  My "focus" for the day was helpful, but would have been much appreciated a couple days ago!  Kris reminded me that detox may cause emotional symptoms including irritability and depression, especially if you happen to be on your period!  Oh man, that was me a couple days ago!  My affirmation today was also what I needed to help me stay strong: "every step is a victory, every fall a lesson.  Either way I am improving now"which is so true in this journey and in life.

I wasn't able to make to try out the green juice in the blender this morning, but I will try tomorrow because it is my first fasting day!  I got to go to the Newport farmers market today and got some good local produce that I am excited to use this next week in some yummy recipes!  The farmers market trip was followed by a wonderful yoga class that was focusing on clarity, but with playful spin so that we weren't too ridged.  What a wonderful idea for at this point!  I struggle all the time with trying to "do everything right" and not be to uptight about everything at the same time.  The class involved a lot of standing poses which made my legs tired, but was very relaxing at the same time.  I enjoyed it a lot!  I wish I could go to a yoga class everyday!  Like I mentioned yesterday, I enjoy a room full of people doing the same poses with me, especially when we sing or chant like we did today!

We spent the afternoon on the beach at our nephew's pirate birthday party and it was a beautiful day!  It was fun watching the kids run around finding buried treasure and enjoying the sun.  I took the time to walk down to the water and enjoyed a moment by myself.  I let the waves lick my feet as I let my surroundings overtake me.  The sound of the ocean was all I heard, the waves rolling in and out was hypnotic and the sun in the bright blue sky reflecting off the water in sparkles was beautiful.  I could have watched the water for hours.  I took time to appreciate the wonderful day and took the time to realize how lucky I am to be able to do everything that I do and have such a wonderful family.  I though of all the people I think are so happy and tell stories of all the fun things they get to do, and I realized that I am in one of those moments, I just have to chose to see it that way.  I have the choice to see things how I want them. All it is is a mindset.  I can choose to see things in positive light and be happy about what I am doing and choose to remember things how I want to.  I wrote peace, love, and happiness in the sand with accompanying pictures and I thought about good happy thoughts.

The day was great and I am excited about my first fasting day.  I will probably try a raw soup at the end of the day :)

Peace and Love!!!