RSS Feed

Category Archives: Life

Things I’m Digging Right Now

Posted on

So it’s Monday… Yup, the beginning of  a new work week, so I thought I’d kick it off with a list of Things I’m Digging right now.  I may bring this back every so often as I discover new things, or re-discover oldies but goodies!  🙂

1. Frankie!! This is my current Theme Song (I tend to attach theme songs to whatever is currently going on in my life, and this one is, as always, dead on!)

2. Rich Roll! This man is a beast! And my current role model.  He is a plant based ultra athlete.  He has a book which I just read on vacation and I highly suggest you go get it and read it yourself!  It’s super inspiring and a great fast read 🙂

120606050451-finding-ultra-story-top

3. Raw Brownies!  As I have been transitioning back into full veganism and converting over to a completely whole foods based diet (aka no more protein bars and processed foods!) I’m playing around again with making raw foods.  I strayed from this for a while during my temporary housing situations over the past year.  But I’m back!  I found a great recipe over at My New Roots it’s pretty amazing!  Just be sure to not over process, I made that mistake and the oils from the walnuts come FLOODING out.   If the mixture is blended for too long, this apparently happens.  Oops! Rookie mistake :-/

rawbrownie

4. Sun Warrior Protein powder.  I add this to my daily smoothie for an extra protein kick!  It’s a clean, raw, sprouted whole grain protein.  Which means it breaks down very easily in your body and it’s hypo-allergenic. It’s also got all essential and non essential amino acids!  There are no added chemicals, it’s simple, and tastes delicious!

sunwarriornewxl1

5.  Etsy Home and Living section.  Oh.My.GOD!!!! Having just moved into my new apartment, I’m obsessed with all the ideas they have!!! I am such a nester, and love setting up my personal living space to be completely and totally reflective of myself and my personality.   Currently I am aiming to set my place up in a very simplistic and zen style.  I have a studio, so maximizing my space and not having it appear cluttered is really important.  If the space appears to look overwhelmed, then that will transition to my mood.  So therefore having a clean and tranquil environment is crucial!  I suggest you check it out too, so many beautiful vintage and zen ideas!

Oh and in addition to that… one word. Terrariums.  Obsessed!

il_570xN.439076797_1goy

So that is all for today!  What are you currently into these days?

Spirit Junkie

This past Saturday, September 24th, I drove down to San Francisco to attend a lecture and book signing by the amazing and glorious Gabrielle Bernstein!!   She just came out with her new book Spirit Junkie.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to be able to meet her!

I discovered her by discovering her book Add More ~ing To Your Life a couple years ago, and totally fell in love with her and her whole philosophy on life.  She implements lots of meditations and small steps towards forgiving yourself and loving yourself to get passed all the s#!t that’s blocking you from doing what you love.  It was so great to hear her speak in person, and I was definitely a bit star struck, which always seems to happen when I meet someone I admire.  So much so that I totally froze when I got up to the table and all I could say was “I think you are amazing, and thank you so much!” then sheepishly walked away… totally forgetting to ask if I could take a picture with her! DOH!

I got so inspired hearing her speak, it totally made me want to re-evaluate myself and my priorities with everything that’s going on, as well as my attitude towards them.  Since moving to Northern California and into an extremely rural teeny tiny town, where I am living for the next ten months, I have found it to be a bit more of a challenge then I had anticipated.  I knew it would be hard adjusting to a much much slower pace of life, but I didn’t think it would be quite as difficult as I am finding it to be.  Coming from a busy, political, fast paced city such as Washington DC I have found myself getting bored really easily and frustrated with how slow things were evolving at work.  Things have picked up a lot though in the past week so I’m much happier with that, I work much better when really busy!  But overall, hearing Gabrielle speak, and hearing her confidence in who she was and how far she had come from the old her, which part of me related a great deal to, I decided to get my own spirit junkie on, and deal with a few of my own demons that were beginning to bubble up again.

I am so excited to dive into this new book!!  I’m sure I will be posting more about it as I get further into the book, spouting her words of wisdom.

I encourage you to check out her website which I attached a link to up above over here name.   She “Vlogs” which means she blogs via video, which is really awesome if you want a dose of inspiration for your day but don’t feel like reading!  Here is the link again:  Gabrielle Bernstein’s Webpage

Finding You

**We’re gonna get a lil personal today, just a warning!**

I’m alive!! I know its been quite some time since I last wrote.  But quite a lot has happened since I last posted.  I am now living in Northern California!  I made my trip across the country which was amazing, I highly recommend that you do a self exploration trip like that at some point in your life.  Although I wish I had a bit more time so that I could have explored a bit more.  I had exactly a week to do my trip so that I could get to my orientation (with AmeriCorps) on time.

2011 has been a year which I have dedicated to taking a deeper look into my soul to find who I truly am, what I want out of life, and what makes me truly happy.  I have had quite some trial and error which is to be expected, and I have had some revelations.  All in all I am still in my process of figuring out who and what I’m all about.  And to be quite honest, I don’t think we ever really stop that exploration.   We are constantly evolving.

What I have figured out so far:

1) When I truly want something, and I get that thing stuck in my brain, I go for it with all my might until I get it!  A great example would be (as I shared in a post earlier this year) back in January of this year (2011) I decided that I wanted to move to California.  Here it is now September, and I am living here!  No its not the exact location I had wanted, but I am a hell of a lot closer then I was before!!

2) I need to have a job where I am not stuck at a desk and computer all day.  I am NOT happy at all doing that.  I need to be outdoors, doing hands on things, helping people achieve their fitness goals and being healthy!

3) I am happiest when I am working out daily, eating clean and busy busy!!  I do not do very well when I have nothing to do.

4) I love sleep.  Seriously, my body apparently needs like 8-10 hours of sleep or else I don’t function well.

5) I love being in the kitchen, creating healthy recipes!  But it’s hard for me to re-create them because I never measure anything.  I would love to learn how to create baking recipes though, that is something that requires science and chemistry! ugghh….

6) I come alive when I can take dance classes on a regular basis.  Before I left for the west coast I had found a hip hop class that I fell in love with, I was able to just let loose!! I will definitely be back taking it (I hope!) when I go home for Christmas.  Lets hope they are open!

7) I am way more outgoing then I realized.  When I finally stepped away from the area where I grew up, which had become a suffocating bubble, I totally blossomed so to speak.  I had a gut feeling that would happen too. When I arrived in town, where I am living now, I totally got myself out and about in the community and instantly made friends.  I remember this was a big part of my personality when I was younger.  I guess when we need to we can conjure up all kinds of things!

8.) I am quite innovative.  I have a ton of awesome ideas just waiting to burst out!  I just need to figure out how to put them into action.  Money would be the biggest hindrance right now.

9) I am my own person.  This may sound weird or odd, but it is one thing (out of a few particular ones) that I have had the hardest time with this year in figuring myself out.  As most of us do when growing up, we like to put ourselves into a category or try and fit the mold.  For me I always looked up to certain people who seemed to have it all “figured out”.  I, however, have not once done things the way they are “supposed” to be done.  Maybe it’s because of this that I have this strange desire to have a 9-5 type job, in a manner of speaking, but thats just not how I roll.  It never will be.  I like doing things my way, I like changing my look up to keep things interesting, I like cheesy disney shows and I like adventure, I love dancing like a total idiot in my room blasting pop songs or Baba O’Riley, I love running & yoga, I am a vegan, I love fashion and athletic clothing, I enjoy me time as long as I’m around people, I’m not perfect, I believe in fate.  I won’t change for anyone.  That’s just who I am, take it or leave it.

There is a lot more to figure out I’m sure, and I’m loving this whole “re-discovering myself” adventure I’m on.  It’s fun and refreshing!  And much needed after having spent almost a decade working on finishing up my degree and feeling stuck in a rut.

Here is to new beginnings!


Before I’m 30 List

Posted on

Last year on my birthday it all of a sudden hit me that… “oh my god! I’m going to be 30 in 3 years!!!”  I then felt this overwhelming urge to make a list of things I want to do before I hit the big 3-0!

** The funny thing abut that picture above is that shortly after I made my list of things I wanted to accomplish before I’m 30 I entered my first 10k race (one of the first things on my list) and look what my race number was!!!!! Totally weird but awesome huh?!?!

Call it a Bucket List before 30 if you will…. regardless, it gives me a sense of purpose and gives me some motivation to accomplish some fun goals.  I work well with lists and goals, they are my best friends Lol

So what’s on my list you ask?? Well here ya go…

Before I’m 30 I want to…

1. Run a 10k

2. Run a Half Marathon

3. Run a Marathon

4. Half Triathlon

5. Triathlon

6. Muddy Buddy

7. Learn French

8. Become more fluent in Spanish

9. Learn Guitar

10. Move to California

11. Learn to Break-dance

12. Take a cooking class

13. Take an art class

14. Start dancing again

15. Visit 5 Countries I’ve never been before

16. Take a long road trip and sight-see

 


As you can clearly see, I tend to be overly ambitious.  But my philosophy on these types of lists is, realistically I know I’m not going to be able to do everything on the list.  But I’d rather make a big list of things I want to do to build excitement and do as many things on there as possible, as opposed to only having like 5 things, and feeling like “ehh I’ve got time, there’s no rush…” that just seems boring.

My ultimate goal is to see things in a new light… to view the world differently, as if there were no boundaries!!  I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and see what all I am truly capable of!! 🙂

Have you made any Bucket Lists??  Or any 5 or 10 year goals??  If so what are they?


My Story

So this entry has taken me a while to write.  It is a rather intimate and personal entry, but given the content of my blog and my need to both help myself and hopefully help others I want to share.  Also, since it is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I feel that this is the right time to begin to share my story.

Over time I will break up my story into parts and share more about my struggles and my recovery, since I don’t want this blog post to be too long.  But for now I am going to tell you an abridged version of my story.

I know there are quite a few blogs out there which are based around the same concepts as mine; health, body image etc…  And I know for me when I stumbled across a particular blog back in January (2010) it honestly had a HUGE impact on me.  It was almost like an “ah-ha” moment.  Reading someones own personal story which was just like mine made me feel not quiet so alone.  It gave me comfort to know that its ok to still have these struggles from time to time, that there is no such thing as being “perfectly recovered.”   I guess that’s also part of the whole mindset that goes along with having an Eating Disorder, the constant need for own self perfection and control.   There is only so much one can do, but whats more is how you deal with the struggles.  I can choose to sulk and think I’m doomed for life with this disease or I can choose to accept who I am and use that pain to motivate me to work that much harder and use my own experience as an educational tool to help others.

Ironically my Eating Disorder manifested itself right after I decided to quit dance.  I grew up dancing, starting at the age of 3 with ballet, then I moved over to Jazz, then Modern and stuck with that through my first year of college.  After my first year of college I decided to quit dance.  My life long dream was to dance in New York.  I finally made it to New York for a summer dance intensive in 2002.   Finally! the dream I had, had throughout all my years of dance, there I was! But I was still unhappy.  I began to notice that I was quite different from everyone else there, meaning that everyone else had this drive and passion for dance.  Whereas I did not.  Don’t get me wrong I love dance, but there was a major difference between my love for it and everyone else’s.  I didn’t want to fight my way to the top, I just wanted to dance, perform, and have fun.  So I quit.  Now after years away from that world I can now finally appreciate it and go back and take classes and be in love with it in a whole new way which makes me happy.

After I stepped away from that world I moved onto a few other trial and errors as a major.  I tried photography, that was just too much work and I was way behind where everyone else was with all the art classes, I felt so lost!!  A few months into this new semester at college I grew into a deep depression and decided the best thing for me to do at that time was to move home and take some time off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  So I moved home and back into my moms house.  I got a job at a gym as well as a serving position at a coffee bar/cafe at night.  Over that next year I spiraled downward very quickly.  I got sucked into the party scene that comes with working at bar/restaurants.  I had no idea who I really was at the time so of course I followed what everyone else was doing just for the need to feel accepted.   Even though I had lots of so called “friends” I ultimately felt very alone, and the further I went into my disease.  It’s difficult to truly explain just how isolated one can get while deep into the disease.  But like any other addiction, the deeper and lower one gets with the depression and obsessive acts the bigger the blinders become.  You stop caring or noticing the people around you, and the more you become focused on “getting your next fix” or “perfecting yourself”.  I say “perfecting yourself” in quotes because often the major misconception of eating disorders is that it is all about vanity.  It soooo is not.  Granted yes part of it is, but that is not the overall driving force that gets you to the disease part.  It ultimately has to do with control.  It all begins when something in your life is out of balance and the person feels like they have no control over their life, or that something isn’t good enough.  Or if they have suffered from physical, sexual or verbal abuse as a child making them feel as though they are not good enough or that they are worthless.  This ends up making the person feel that the only way for them to regain any control is by what they put in or don’t put into their own body.  You have the control with what you do or do not eat.  The same can go with any addiction.  All of this has now grown to my major fascination with psychology and addiction (another passion of mine along with nutrition).

Moving onto the present time.  Stemming from all of this has of course led to me having to re-learn how to love myself and the body I was born with.  I have been recovered now from the depths of my eating disorder for quite some time thankfully.  But the “evil thoughts” aka negative self image bashing that goes on in my head, are still around.   For the most part I am able to keep them quiet, but I am only capable of so much and every so often, like when I am tired, or had a bad day or something to that effect they creep up on me and they can be oh so relentless.

That’s the thing with the disease of an eating disorder.  With all other addictions, you can step away from the thing that harms you; alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping etc…. but an eating disorder you can’t really abstain from food…. you need food to live!! So that makes it just that much harder to fully recover.  The thoughts and obsession will forever be there.  It’s needing to get to that point of learning how to accept yourself and how to manage your thoughts about how you view food.  For me, as I stated before, I still struggle.  I consider myself midway recovered.  For a while I thought I was fully recovered, but realized I was more in denial.  I slipped back a bit about a year ago when I had a rude awakening about where I really truly was in my recovery.  So for the past year I have been doing a really deep internal look into myself and have been trying new healing methods to get myself to a point of full acceptance.

It is really brutal work, but in order to get to where I want to be, which is happy with myself, like really TRULY happy.  I know that I need to do some hard work before I can get to that point and STAY at the point.

What I am doing now, is lots of honest journaling, this blog, changing my diet (which is HARD!!!) by eating whole foods which nourish my body and provide it with lots of amazing nutrients that do wonderful things for every single part of me – especially the brain!.  I also do a lot of positive self talk.   And the hardest thing of all, is getting myself to take these steps S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I had gotten myself so accustomed to jumping head first into things and thinking I had to do them all at full blast and perfectly (that would be the competitive part of the disease) that I’d totally brainwashed myself.  In order to get something to really stick and become a habit, I need to take it slow.  So while I love to exercise and I know it’s good for me and keeps me level, I am making myself do things one step at a time.  Right now I am focusing on my diet, because ultimately, that is the key that is going to keep my body and mind strong.  The rest will just fall into place after that.

I recently had an epiphany – in order to achieve happiness with myself I have to treat it right.  It’s like being in a relationship, if you want a positive outcome with your partner you have to put into it what you want out of it.  Meaning, if you treat your partner like crap or skimp on loving them then the relationship will soon fall apart.  The same goes for you and you.  If you want yourself to be happy and strong you need to feed it right and treat it right, otherwise you will get sick, become unhappy and fall apart.

So that is my story in a nutshell.  Thank you for reading and allowing me to share with you some very personal intimate stuff.  I truly hope that with my story, and future stories, that I can help some other people out there who may be struggling themselves.   There is hope out there, and you CAN do it.

If anyone is in need of talking please do not hesitate to contact me and share your own struggles, story or concerns.  Elw.brown@gmail.com or if you need professional help please contact the National Eating Disorders Association for hotlines or information.

Tattoo on my left foot of the National Eating Disorders Association recovery symbol. Surrounded by butterfly's to symbolize "stomping out my eating disorder and being set free"


Mission Possible – California Bound

My theme song these days:

I have had this long life dream of ending up in California.  I have always felt that I was really supposed to have been born there.  Everything about my personality and interests are oh so California.

In any case, I made the decision this week that this would be the year I made the big move.  I set an official date of September 1st to set “sail” for the sunny beaches of California!!! annnnnd then I preceded to get sick Lol  I’m thinking that I got sick because my body finally let go of all the stress it’s been holding in of living in this area.   That’s my theory and I’m stickin to it! hahah

Anyway, I am so beyond ecstatic about this news.  I plan to do a whole road trip over there and the theme of this road trip is going to be checking out all of the famous vegan/raw restaurants and sites along the way!!! How cool is that going to be!?!?

So here is my request to you all out there.  Any awesome places you know along the way from here to California let me know!!  I have not picked a route yet, but I do know that I want to hit up Graceland and New Orleans.  Ironically both of those are so not known for their vegan fare, but you never know.  There are some places that you wouldn’t ever expect to be vegan friendly which in fact are!

So please to all of you out there who may read but never comment, please share your suggestions!  I can’t wait to document my trip to you all and share with you all of my vegan/raw experiences!  I honestly think that the best road trips are those that are focused on finding the best food in each state you hit.  My older brother and his now wife did that a few years ago, however they did an all BBQ trip, clearly I will not be going that route Lol but same basic idea.

Thank you in advance for all of your wonderful suggestions!! 🙂

MY NEWEST TOY!

Well not really a toy, but my newest most prized possession!!

MY JUICER!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a Waring Health Juice Extractor and it is faaaaaaaabulous.  You have no idea just how excited I was to finally be able to get one and start juicing!!!

When I was in India this past summer I fell totally head over heels in love with drinking fresh juices everyday.  So many wonderful combination’s of juices and all so fresh and tasty!! (only got sick once and it was after drinking a mango smoothie from a 5 star restaurant! Lol).

Anyway, I’ve been reading Crazy, Sexy, Diet by Kris Carr and she talks a lot about the amazing benefits of Green Juices.  So I’ve been playing around a bit with those, I haven’t quite yet found my favorite combo yet, but I can assure you, in the near future you can fully expect to be bombarded by juicing recipes once I get the hang of it all.

 

Happy Juicing!