Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Open channels and an open heart

Welcome to today. It seems my mind is busy allowing new ideas to flow through. I am so full of intrigue and this funny list of inspiration that keeps loading and loading. It seems I am flowing into a very expressive day. The things that drive me, that resonate with the core being of who I am. I feel the need to celebrate these ideas and I am not sure how to do that all at once but starting at the beginning of my thoughts is a good place. Here goes.

I am passionate about movement. I find expressing my body through yoga, dance, running, drawing, knitting...these things give me a gratifying outlet. There are so many feelings I internalize and I lack the ability to convey them in words. I need to let out the inner beast with a great soaring sense of freedom. I hate holding back. I hold back all the time. That is what this journey is about. Taking the anger, resentment...hidden Katie and destroying any fear. Opening my heart to happiness knowing that hurt is a part of life but I do not need to hide in the shadows for fear of it. I am not fear, I am life. 

Music. I love to sing. I love to play guitar. I have had this vision in my mind of being this grassroots singer. Its funny because singing is about opening up and allowing the human experience to be shared and enjoyed. For years I have been so self conscious about not wanting to share my voice for fear of imperfections or not enough practice or proper training and judgement from others. The irony is that that might be exactly the charm in it. The true vulnerable unfiltered renditions of my experience. The love I am willing to share while I feel true connection from the listener. It fuels me. You do not have to like it. Like a conversation, its my opinion. You can connect with it or not, but the music is in me. Now if we are talking about music that makes me want to move then just add a heavy latin beat and I am ready to roll my hips like wild thunder rushing against the flat desert planes. If I need an inspiring song to connect to I just have to hear the dixie chicks for about 30 seconds and I am wildly enthralled. Now Shania is up there as well. If I need my rocker fix just throw on some Zeppelin and I want to do some crazy ass back bend while throwing my hair around (which I have very little of so I just channel my inner Shakira). 

Love. Dear god I love animals. I love to touch them. I find touching other humans I am not familiar with very strange and am slowly getting into that groove more as I age. Animals I can immediately connect with. The depth of their souls in their eyes. Their ability to communicate without a shared language. Their ability to allow. I have had a long standing dream of being a vet, however I think my efforts would be better served willing the love of people. I do not need to make a lot of money to fund animal sanctuaries (did I mention thats what I wanted to do? Well ok yes that is my dream as well.) I need to find people who can help me and we can help them. People are compassionate. I spoke with my husband about being ashamed to be human sometimes because of the horrific things human kind does to animals. He simply asked why I would be ashamed if another person on earth does something bad. And why would that person do that? It was a long interesting conversation that lead to the ultimate conclusion that no one truly intends to be 'that' person. Its circumstances. The need to feed their family, then need to survive, after all how else would humans be alive today if they did not do the things they have done. But that instinct to survive because misplaced energy and greed is sought. The need to pile 'things' beyond our needs. The need for luxuries like Ivory regardless if that means the death of an incredible gift to Earth, an Elephant. Its this lack of 'we are all one' that misleads us. Because we are all one. At the center of it all, the core of the earth, the tree of life. The shared DNA between you and me and the tree. To harm the creatures of the world is a complicated thing. Survival of the fittest. Yes we all need to eat but where do we draw the line? I watched a show recently about stars and planets and the atmosphere, tides, the moon etc. and the final point was irresistible to me. The Earth has had great sufferings. The extinction of dinosaurs. Huge asteroids. Rains for thousands of years. The Earth remains. People talk about saving the Earth, but what we fail to realize is the Earth will recover. It is the human experience and existence that will suffer.

Do you see what I mean about my channels being open? Ya, I was not lying.

I think thats enough for now.

Just another Tuesday.

Each week, well each day, I am faced with the food issues. I love the way my body feels when I eat my paleo-ish diet. Then I get a taste of something super sweet or gluten chewy goodness and I hear the old Katie telling me to eat eat eat. Its such a slippery slope. Suddenly I am looking in the mirror feeling such anger and judgment of my body. Then I remember its not about the meal, the week or that day, its about moving forward. Stop, eat a damn salad. Ah...much better. Go for a run, ah. Then suddenly I see the confidence restored. It would be so easy to slip into a depression just like that. Its so preventable and thank goodness I am strong enough to come back each time. Then I make a meal like this and think to myself WHY on earth would I not fuel my body and in turn fuel my mind which of course in turn fuels my soul. So cheers to you soul...here is my soul food.

Both pictures are pretty self explanatory but here goes in case they are not! 

Organic Spring salad mix. My go-to from safeway.
Diced tomato
Mexi Rice: Toast your rice with unscented coconut oil, add cumin and garlic powder to taste. Add 1/2 can tomato sauce and chicken stock. Add appropriate amount of water and your golden. 
Mexican beef : Ground beef cooked, drained of fat. Add onions, Chilli powder, garlic powder and cumin, cayenne powder. Add diced fresh jalapeno if you dare.
Garnish with fresh lime wedges and cilantro though I was out of cilantro.

Lime juice.
Organic Spring salad mix. My go-to from safeway.
Grape tomatoes
sundried tomatoes
Mexican chicken (chicken with whatever delicious spices you love. Chilli powder, garlic powder and cumin are an easy go-to)
Lime juice.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Taco Bowl

This is pretty much a staple in my diet. Its easy to omit the rice and corn to make this paleo, however I have no sensitivity to grains and I find my body just loves them. So I have no issues eating any grains, beans or lentils. 

Ground beef cooked fully and drain off fat
Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano and salt if needed. I also like to add cayenne and ancho chili when I need extra kick. I add some water and let it simmer and steam away until it dries out. This just allows the flavor to really sink it, at least thats what I tell myself.

Mexican Rice
First add oil of choice, I like coconut oil. I throw this together approximately so play with it until your happy, I am not much for doing things the same way each time.
Add rice to your pot, I make big batches so about 2-3 cups. Add about 2tbsp oil and cook this on medium until your rice is looking toasted but not brown, just a bit puffed up. 5ish minutes. Add in ground cumin and garlic powder (not garlic salt). Add as much or as little as you want. I typically put 1-2 tsp garlic powder and the same of cumin.
Then add your water with chicken stock added in and about 1/4-1/2 cup of tomato sauce. If you want to use all fresh chicken stock be my guest but I am lazy and use bouillon. Go ahead and judge. I would add the liquid slowly so you cover your rice but about 1". I am strange with rice...I am not afraid to mess with it after I begin cooking with it and honestly if it gets too wet, just open the lid and let it dry up on a low temperature. I am pretty unconventional as I am sure your picking up. I really like a dry rice, no sticking together so I just leave my lid off after all the water is absorbed until I get it just right. Sometimes I get it perfect, other times not so much. 

The green salsa is a favorite of mine that I buy at a local store. I also make a pretty killer salsa but you will need to wait for that recipe because I have an anxious baby crawling all over me.

The rest is pretty standard. Tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro and any other things you might like!

This is inspired by and paleo orange chicken recipe my friend shared with me. I took the idea and ran with it!

Caramelized Pineapple Mandarin Chicken.

1/2 Walla walla onion
1 anaheim pepper
4 mandarin oranges
zest of 1 orange
garlic chili sauce
soya sauce
2 chicken breasts
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
1 romaine lettuce
sesame seeds to garnish
Jasmine rice
Coconut Oil

Begin with cutting your chicken into thin strips that are ideal for cooking quickly. Warm a tbsp of coconut oil in your pan and cook chicken until done but do not overcook. Set aside. this is a good time to start your rice.

Next warm 1 tbsp coconut oil in you pan and add in thingly sliced onion. Cook over medium heat until them are beautifully caramelized. Remove and set aside with your chicken.

In another pan add the juice of 4 mandarin oranges or more depending on how much liquid you want to end up with, it will boil down a lot. Add the zest of 1 orange. Add a squirt of honey if you like sweetness but there will be other sweet things so feel free to skip this, I just had a major sweet tooth today. Add 1 cup of diced fresh pineapple and 1/2 a cup liquid. Add 3 tbsp of soy sauce and 1tbsp of garlic chili paste. Let this all bubble on high for a few minutes then turn down to medium. Add in a full diced anaheim pepper. If you want more spice I would add in a jalapeno here as well thinly sliced. I also think in the fall id love this dish with a bit of cinnamon, so play around. Now let this simmer with the lid on for a few minutes until it looks like bubbly caramel candy and you want to dive in. Add the chicken and caremlized onion now. Let it heat and then take off the stove. 

I was hoping to make this dish into lettuce wraps but my romaine is just a bit too small still so I ate it as pictures. 

Place your lettuce lovingly at the bottom of you dish, add rice, followed by your chicken mixture and garnish with green onions and cilantro fresh from the garden! I found the more cilantro I added the better it was. Also add sesame seeds if you want. Enjoy!
One of my favorite recipes for the sweet cravings.

Paleo chocolate chip cookies with slight modifications. Add 2 tbsp coconut flour and bake 350 for 8-10 minutes. http://thebitesizedbaker.com/2013/01/23/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Another 'The Poach'

All from my garden except the eggs. I plan to get 5 chickens next Spring.
Sugar snow peas, cilantro, lettuce, green onion and dill.

I suppose I will cut to the chase today and add a few food posts, as I know theres a few people waiting to pin my recipes. Many of my recipes are things I have created while others are great recipes I have found so I will do my best to always link to where you can find a recipe other than mine when applicable.  I hope you enjoy these posts. I love eating food that pleases my eyes. If I can inspire others to feed your body to nourish it, then I have fulfilled a goal of mine. Thanks for looking and please share away!

Anytime I eat poached eggs of some sort I call it 'The Poach' thanks for my son and his creative take on my meals.

Enjoying some bounty from my garden : dill, sage, snap peas, lettuce and nasturtiums. Topped with homemade mango salsa ( mango, green pepper, red onion, cilantro and lime juice), and poached eggs.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Welcome to my blog and my first post!

After some requests from friends I finally have decided to start this blog. My intention for this blog is to post about things I am passionate about. I am a yogi, a foodie, a runner and a thinker. My interests shift quickly but my love of yoga is steadfast so it seemed fitting to devote the name of my blog to something I can trust will interests me through the years.

Well, lets get started shall we? Right to the knitty gritty. Oh, I am a knitter so thats another things I will post about. My name is Katie. I am 100% crazy. I love deeply, I feel passionately about many things, I love finding happiness and sharing what I have learned. Happiness has come to me in many ways and through some surprising circumstances.

Since I was 15 I have struggled with being bipolar 1. The difference between bipolar and bipolar one is that I am super lucky and can hallucinate when hitting peaks. So for me my life's peaks and valleys have been, well, extreme.

I have been struggling in my life. I have been filled with anger, self hate, loathing, mistrust, judgement, pain, fatigue and more. I have lacked love for myself and patience for others. For years I looked over my shoulder for fear of some form of attack. And paranoia of the unknown. I spent so much time and energy worrying about things that have no relevance that I was left in despair.

When I had my third and final baby I was blissfully in love with him. Motherhood has blessed me in ways I cannot explain. My children make my heart swell with love. At the same time I was enjoying all the love and snuggles of my baby, I was struggling through marriage problems. I was so disconnected from myself and the connection my husband and I once had. This turmoil of love and hate was filling me and effecting all of my decisions.

With the help of people who care for me and want only good for me, I received valuable advice. In the final moments of deciding whether or not to stay married or leave in a furry, I decided to give love. It was not easy. I gave love to myself. I fed myself to nourish my body, as opposed to my aching heart. I fed my family well. I chose to make changes, like packing lunches with good food for my husband. I chose to love myself and love others around me. Soon my husband felt the benefits of healthy eating and he joined me on my journey to health. Suddenly we were smiling at each other. I would be excited when he got home from work.

We decided to set weight loss goals. We started running together. We were losing weight fast. The strength we gained as a team while reaching goals together naturally connected us. We were friends again.

As Winter neared I decided to go to a free yoga class. I had always loved yoga, but having babies is time consuming. It was time to return to my mat. My happy place. I went to that one class and was hooked. HOW could I have forgotten my love of yoga? How did it fall away into nothing for so long?? Soon I was taking more classes and finding more connections. I was socializing, coming out of hiding. My body transformed more. I was literally following my bliss.

Food, yoga, and family. Not even a year had passed when my life turned around. By my youngest sons first birthday I had lost 80lbs from the last day of pregnancy. The physically transformation pales in comparison to the true change which has come from within.

I have so much to share and I hope that you too, will find your path to joy. I hope that reading my blog will inspire others.