Friday, February 22, 2013

The Process

"As with any endeavor, all joy and satisfaction comes from the process, not the product"

- the ever inspirational Kendall (from tonight's yoga class)

Along those same lines, this reminded me of something else she said awhile back. It went something like this...."Whatever pose you're working on, remember that its all about the process. You may be working on handstand for 3 months and never quite be able to get it. Then, one day you pop up into handstand and think to yourself, 'well this is cool, but- I was already happy.'"

I always leave her classes inspired!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nashville Via Instagram

Once again, Margaret & I hit the road for a 3-day-weekend mini vacation. As most trips go for us, this one revolved around food and me documenting every little detail of what we ate and where we went. But, a good blog post would not happen without the pictures, right? So here is our trip to Nashville in a nutshell:

On our drive up, I could not get enough of the mountains. Savannah is as flat as it gets, so I was fascinated by all of the ups and downs. SO pretty. I took one picture after another, but the car iPhone photo does not do it justice.  We even drove through snow flurries! I can count on one hand the times I've seen snow, so again, this was a big deal.

We stopped in Chattanooga to break the trip up a bit & ate lunch at Taco Mamacita. Margaret and I were both trying to continue our health kick, so this was just the place. Fresh and delicious! Pictured below is my Taco Soup. The atmosphere was pretty cool too. Despite the fact that it was located in a crappy parking lot, they played up the decor nicely! (note the El Camino)

Once we got to Nashville, we headed over to the Opryland Hotel. That place is like a Disney world resort. You could take a trip there and there alone. Everything you need is right there in the hotel. We shuffled through the masses of people decked out in full camo and quickly found that there was a Wild Turkey convention going on. We sneaked a peek at the itinerary for the convention and someone from Swamp People was listed to give a talk. There was a huge expo with everything from the world of  "turkey hunting."  Many, many turkey calls were being sounded as well. It was a real classy weekend to visit the Opryland Hotel. 

After we had done some shopping and exploring, we decided it was time for dinner. Let me tell you...this may have been my favorite part of the trip. We found the most amazing local restaurant & coffee shop right next door to one another. This was clearly a favorite with all the locals. There was a vintage feel to the place and the crowd was very....hipster. A first date was going on at the table right beside us, so Margaret and I spent more time eavesdropping than we did talking to each other. For the record, I don't think they'll be going out again. It seemed awkward. Anyway, here are a few shots of our dinner experience at The Silly Goose.

Afterwards we went next door to the coffee shop, Ugly Mugs. It just so happened to be acoustic night with a girl named Amy Andrews playing. I decided to be a supporter and help jump start her singing career by buying her CD, which I listened to 3 times on the way home. She has a such a strong and clear voice. Just Amy & her it. Check out their herbal teas.... I got Montana Gold & Margaret had African Skies. The names alone sold me. 

Of course a trip to Nashville would be nothing without a tour of the Grand Ole Opry. (Thank you Margaret for talking me into it.) We got to go backstage and see the dressing rooms, go ON stage and have our pictures made, and hear all kinds of stories about people like Minnie Pearl and Little Jimmy Dickens. I loved the wall of mailboxes. Each star who is a member of the Grand Ole Opry has their own  mailbox there and you can address letters directly to their box. Whenever they visit, they check their mailbox and will get your letters! Some of the boxes had letters in them waiting to be opened. I think a letter from me to Randy Travis is in order. 

Later in the day we drove  downtown, did a little shopping on Broad Street, and went to a Honky Tonk called The Stage for a beer. Even at 3:00 in the afternoon those places were cranked up just like they would be at midnight. Live music everywhere. It felt so strange to walk outside into daylight after being in a dark bar for so long. Just didn't seem right!

 Since we had been going, going, going all day...dinner time came early and we found a place called Feast, then went to another way trendy coffee shop called The Frothy Monkey. Turtle Espresso and Hot Chocolate after dinner. And we were done. 

We took it easy getting out of the hotel yesterday morning, then took off for home. Another lunch pit stop in Chattanooga, then back to Atlanta. Margaret's leg of the trip was done. Me, not so much. Thank goodness for my new Amy Andrews CD, Fresh Market snacks and long phone conversations. Other than being in the car for 9 hours, I had an awesome trip! 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Clean Diet Round 2

The past month of my life has been consumed with which smoothie to make for breakfast and which soup to prepare for dinner. The words "I can't eat that," and answering the question, "What CAN you eat?" have been built into my conversations almost every day for the past 4 weeks. Ingredients like flax, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, cocao, millet, and tahini have become regularly used food items, whereas normal people food such as: bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat, and yogurt have been off my list. 

I've turned into the food snob that I hoped to never be when eating at restaurants. For example, I asked for almond milk in place of regular dairy milk at a 24 -hour diner. I'm not sure the waitress had ever heard of almond milk. At a sushi place, I asked if I could have a bowl of plain soba noodles. Rejected again. This request was far too difficult for the kitchen. Clearly they only serve soba noodles with tempura vegetables smothered over the top. Don't ask them to take off the veggies. Also, avoid ordering real fruit smoothies at an ice cream shop. You will get a raspberry sorbet blended with club soda (but it will be the best and sugariest smoothie you've had in weeks). 

I will spare you the details of The Clean Diet because I'm sure you've heard more than you care to know if you've spoken to me over the past month. BUT, if you are interested....I wrote about my experience last year and you can read it here! 

My favorite part of this diet is finding new recipes. My sister and I did it together so we shared all of our cooking with each other. Some were a hit, others....not so much. We'll start with the biggest winners. 
Black beans & rice with sliced avocado
(they were supposed to be black bean burgers but I added too much rice)

Pineapple, mango, date, spinach smoothie

Roasted Mushroom & White Bean Soup

Chocolate Walnut Scones (they taste much better than the picture- believe me)

I told you I'd show you a big FAIL. It would have to be the Carrot Apple Soup. I could not even force it down. Three bites total. An equally large fail was the Carrot Cake Smoothie. Ugh. The carrot was not my friend this go-round. 

Now that I've powered through the hard part, I am happy to report that I'm 10 lbs lighter with lots of energy, deep sleep, and a clear mind. I think I'll keep this up!