Back Sequence – Extended Triangle

Here go continuing some more yoga postures that can help with your back. But like I always say- do what feels good for your body. If it doesn’t feel good, then don’t do it. Remember you know your body, better than I do, so listen to it.

I used to hate extended triangle, but now I really enjoy this pose. And I hope you will too.

  • Extended Triangle Pose
  • Come to the top of your mat
  • Take a really wide step back with your right foot
  • Right foot the outer edge is parallel to the short edge of your mat (coming from W2)
  • Straighten the left leg (front leg) pressing into you foot and lift the kneecap
  • While keeping the leg straight hinge your upper body forward, extending the upper body until you can go no more and place the left hand by your ankle
  • And draw your right arm straight overhead at noon (12 o’clock) 
  • Gaze up to the ceiling

Asian Stir Fry

Simply Asian Stir-fry

Sometimes you just want a meal that fits into a bowl that has it all- carbs, veggies, and salt. This Asian inspired stir-fry hits the spot. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (seasoned with garlic powder, pepper, and salt)
  • 2-3 tbsp of ginger paste
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced OR 5 baby sweet peppers, diced
  • 3 tbsp green onion, sliced for garnish
  • 3-4 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1-2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken breast with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt.
  3. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 mins (first 20 mins with aluminum foil on top and then 20 mins uncovered. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer 165 degrees.
  4. Cook the rice following the instructions from the package. (Start when there is 10 minutes left for the chicken)
  5. While the rice and chicken are cooking, dice up the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and the green onion and set aside.
  6. Take out the chicken and let it cool as well as the rice, once done cooking.
  7. Preheat a large pan with vegetable oil in it. 
  8. While waiting for the pain to heat up, take the cooked chicken and chop it up.
  9. Once the pan is hot, add the ginger paste and garlic cloves.
  10. After ginger paste and garlic cloves have been cooking for about 2-5 minutes, add in the onion, bell peppers and the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft/translucent.
  11. Add in the chopped chicken.
  12. Add in the rice.
  13. Stir until well combined and add in the soy sauce.
  14. Warm everything all the way through and then serve.
  15. Place a tsp or more of the green onions on top of each plate.
  16. Enjoy*. 

*Add more soy sauce if needed

Back Sequence – Down Dog

On occasion a stiff back can get you down. You just don’t feel that great when your back feels like it’s encased in cement. Another move besides cat cow that you can try is Down Dog.

Here is a video below that you can follow along to:

Down Dog

But if you want to read a description, then follow these steps:

  • Begin on all fours – Table top
  • Spread your fingers as wide as you can and dig them into your mat like a rock climber
    • Weight should be evenly distributed into your palm and fingers
  • Lift your hips to the sky
  • Arms shoulder width apart with no tension in the back of the neck
  • Press the mat away for long armpits; keep your spine long
  • Gaze towards your navel
  • Feet are hip width apart
  • And heels are to the ground; if they can’t reach the ground that’s fine- Hammies are too tight
  • Breath your way through the pose

So what did you think? How did you feel in down dog, comment below.

Le Creuset- A favorite piece

I’ve been cooking for a majority of my adult life. It’s something I’m really proud of because I’ve taught myself how to cook a lot of foods from scratch and not prepackaged. Although sometimes you just say, “What the hell! Give me that box!” Well, as I’ve been cooking I have been looking for some cookware that would last me a while. I wanted it to be from a reputable brand that didn’t have nonstick material. One that caught my eye was the brand- Le Creuset.

They are known for their enamel covered dutch ovens with the vivid and beautiful colors. I’ve recently just purchased one of their pristine dutch ovens. I ended up picking a 7.25 quart round dutch oven in the color emerald. I honestly wasn’t in the market to purchase it when I saw it, but the color was calling my name. It really was beautiful with the dark green turning into a dark/black green with the natural ombre. I couldn’t say no to that. So off I walked out with a dutch oven. At first I was like, “Oh no! That was a good chunk of change that I spent.” But then I started to cook with it. And I must say, it’s the best kitchen purchase I’ve made in quite sometime.

The enameled dutch oven is awesome because I don’t have to keep it seasoned. Instead I can pull it out and either cook with it on the stove top or I can stick that bad boy in the oven and know that it’s doing its job, creating a delicious meal all for me. I did learn that you cannot put your dutch oven on the stove and cook it dry, it needs to have an oil/fat in it. And do not use olive oil for cooking in it, it needs to be a high smoke point oil- vegetable oil or corn oil. This product is unlike anything I’ve ever cooked with before, it retains the heat and helps to distribute it evenly all throughout the pot.

Since I’ve gotten the pot, I have made fried chicken in it. And it was literally the best home made fried chicken I’ve ever made (click here for the recipe). And I’ve also made roasted chicken quarters over potatoes, carrots, and onions in it as well. That was an amazing and tasty dish too. Now that I have this dutch oven, I am more excited to cook with it. I typically use it 2-3 x a week.

Another great element to this product is the fact that it’s so pretty you can set it out on your stove and have it be a decorative piece when it’s not in use. And that to me is a win.

I do have to be honest though, I ended up loving the products so much (we also have a braised=r- it’s Ari’s not mine), that I am now a part time employee there. And its so much fun to help people pick their forever kitchen pieces.

But I have a few questions for you. Do you cook in cast iron? If so why? And do you have a Le Creuset dutch oven? If so what color and size? I’d love to learn more about you feel free to comment below.

Back sequence – 1 Cat Cow

Do you have some minor back pain and aches? Sometimes sitting for way too long can just make our backs ache. But is there a solution?

Yes! Let’s try some yoga poses that can help stretch out our back and bring some mobility to our spine!

Join me each Wednesday for a yoga pose that may help your back feel better. Just remember if you already know you have a back condition, be cautious and if it doesn’t feel right for you then don’t do it.

Our first yoga pose is going to be cat/cow.

If you want to follow a video, feel free to follow me:

But if you’d rather read it, follow the instructions below:

  • Purpose- Warm up the spine and front body: chest/abdominals/hip flexors/ and anything running along the front of your body. 
  • Come into table top
    • Inhale into Cow pose
      • Inhaling, lift your head so your gaze is towards the sky; lift tailbone to the sky; 
      • Lengthen you body from tailbone to your chin; Keep your knees and feet hip width apart. 
      • Toes continuing to curl into the mat
      • Maintaining a line among your wrists, elbows, and shoulders
  • Exhale into Cat
    • Come into tabletop
    • Press into your mat (hands and toes)
    • Round your back, tucking your chin towards your chest, and tucking your tailbone in
    • Breathe into the space between your shoulder blades
  • Feel your body start to loosen as you warm up alternating between cat/cow. 
  • Continue to do this for a few breaths alternating between the two asanas at your own pace.

Spring/Summer Frittata

Having a quick and already made breakfast can be the start to a great day. This is one of my go to recipes to make in advance to start my day and week off right. But it also helps you cook any veggies that you need to use up. So feel free to add other veggies then just the ones I added if you have others laying around. 

Breakfast Spring Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Goat kefir
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1-2 cups of spinach, chopped or torn up
  • 10-12 asparagus spears
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Clean the asparagus and tomatoes.
  3. Dry them, and then cut the asparagus into thirds and the tomatoes in half.
  4. Place them on a sheet tray and drizzle olive oil on top of them, stir and then sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt on them. 
  5. Place in the oven and allow them to cook for about 20-30 mins. Check with a fork to see if it goes in the asparagus without any tension. 
  6. While the asparagus and tomatoes are in the oven, chop up the white onion, green onions, and tear up the spinach. 
  7. Place them to the side.
  8. Crack all 12 eggs in a large bowl. 
  9. Add in the goat kefir.
  10. Stir them until well combined.
  11. Add garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. 
  12. Put in onions and spinach.
  13. Add the cooled tomatoes and asparagus into the egg mixture along with the cheese.
  14. Pour entire mixture into a 9×13 inch pyrex and cook at 400 degrees for 30-40 mins.*
  15. When done set on a counter top and allow it to cool.
  16. Serve when ready. 

* Check the frittata at 25 mins, if still jiggly in the middle, keep cooking 🙂

The complete meal

How do you meditate?

Have you ever wanted to meditate, but didn’t know how? If so this post is for you. I never liked to meditate because I hated to sit still. But once I actually made myself sit still all alone, I learned to love it. Learning how to meditate not only helped me focus, but I was finally able to hear God. I learned how to tune everything else around me out.

Watch the video below to learn how to meditate.

And please let me know how this went for you.

Description is hard

When I read, there are a few things that I am looking for in general. Everyone reads for a different reason. These are the reasons I read:

I want to be transported to a land far away from where I currently am.

I want to escape.

I want to be someone else for a while.

I want a new life.

I want adventure.

But in order to get lost in the story, there has to be description. The story has to come alive with every word that I read. Do you feel the same? However, having said all that. I am a person of few words. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I’m not a flowery descriptive person. I wish I was, but that is not the case. I’ve seen some authors drone on and on about an object, while my eyes glaze over because I just want them to move on. Meanwhile, other authors are brief and to the point and I’m wishing they provided more.

One thing that I struggle with as a writer is being descriptive. I usually say a few words about something and then move on. Then when I send in my work for feedback the instructor says – stay in that moment and give more detail. He’s right. I just don’t know how. Do you struggle with this at all?

One thing that I noticed that has helped me see some improvement, is writing something that I know. It really does make a difference because I can actually see the scene in my head and know what I need to write, so you the reader can see it the same way I do.

Now if I’m writing a story about some type of creature in the ocean- shark or mermaid, obviously i have not been around them (wish I had been, though). So I usually watch a few movies to see how the creature moves or observe the scenes around the creature, like the ocean, beach, rocks, etc. It sounds a little much, but those are the things I get hung up on. I’ve even picked up a few books about sharks or mermaids to see how how they were described to see if I was off base at all with any of my descriptions, or were there certain movements that I missed.

Personally, I think there is a fine line between too much description and not enough. I want enough description that you understand what I’m trying to convey and to help you visualize it, but not enough that you start to skip scenes in my story.

How do you know if you have enough detail/description?

Frothy Protein Shake

I like protein shakes. But I love thick frosty protein shakes. If you try to give me a thin shake, I won’t drink it. I like mine icy cold, so I always add frozen fruit to mine. Let me share my recipe.

Ingredients: (Makes 1)

1.25 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 scoop protein powder (Beverly International UMP – graham cracker)

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

  1. Put the banana in the blender.
  2. Pour the almond milk.
  3. Add the protein powder and flax.
  4. Blend until completely mixed.
  5. If you want it thicker then add ice.
  6. Pour into a glass container to go if you are on the run OR enjoy it on the couch.

Which POV to write from?

Staring at a blank page isn’t fun. But neither is writing a story and midway through you realize it’s garbage, because it’s not as good as what you were expecting. All because you need to change your point of view. This happens to me quite often because I like to dabble in third person, but typically write in first person. All of my life when I’ve written a story its always been in first person. This means I make a lot of mistakes along the way while I try to write something new from a different perspective. And for a perfectionist, this is extremely difficult.

I usually always write in first person because it helps me get the reader into the head of my main character. That to me is the most important part. The reader should love my character as much as I do. Or hate another character as much as my main character hates them. You know… solidarity! But I also love the idea that I can grow that one character and have the readers grow with him/her as well. The only issue with this is sometimes I get a little bored writing from the same perspective. So it would be nice to dabble in the third person to expand the story.

I’ve tried doing third person point of view for a story… and apparently I head hop. Like a lot! I didn’t mean to, it kinda just happened. I wanted to explore third person so I could trail multiple characters in my story. It’s always fun to take detours and see what the secondary characters are up to and not just the main one. However, the one story that I tried doing this with, I ended up head hopping. When I say head hop, it means that I kept going into each character’s individual thoughts. This can be confusing at times. I need to work on that. To help better myself, I am trying to read more stories from the third person point of view. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be that difficult to do, but apparently it is. I have a lot of work to do, but I welcome the process because it’ll only make me better in the end.

For now I will continue to write in first person, but I will try to write in third person as I find the time to play around with different points of view.

So what kind of point of view do you write in? First, third? Or is it another type? And why? Do you have a favorite? I’d love to know.