Thursday, May 23, 2013

There's Hope For Me After All, Buddha!

Remember I said I was going to sign up for a Mindful Meditation class? Well I did! I searched for one in Fresno and it just so happens that the 'Center for Mindfulness' in practically right across the street from my house, and they meet on Wednesday evenings. Talk about fate! I went for the first time last night and it was pretty awesome.

I wouldn't consider myself to be one of those new age gurus by any stretch of the imagination, but I figure if half the world is out there meditating on a regular basis, maybe there's something to it. I go in (late, as usual), and there are about 20 people sitting around this room being all still and quiet. the atmosphere is so soothing...dim lights, candles, warm colors....there was even a pleasant but not overpowering scent of incense. I decided then and there that I was going to convert my living room to look just like this because it would make me eternally happy.

So I sit down, close my eyes and start breathing. The lady heading the meditation's voice was calming and she gave tips and tricks on how to get your mind to focus on your breath instead of everything else that's going on in your brain. This was very helpful, because I really suck at meditating. It's so hard to concentrate. But she kept saying not to judge ourselves if we can't stay focused and just try again with the next breath. I guess you're not born with the ability to meditate and you only become good at it after a lot of practice. That makes me feel better.

We did sitting, standing and walking meditations. I have tried meditating before but only while sitting or lying down. The standing was okay but the walking was really challenging. You are supposed to look at the ground, walk ridiculously slow, try not to crash into the person in front of you, hold your hands a certain way, and try not to fall over from being unbalanced. And while you're doing all of this, you're only supposed to be thinking about your steps. Pffft. Much easier said than done.

All in all, it was a very positive experience. The things the leader was saying made me think she was reading my mind. She made me feel better about a lot of the things I've been struggling with lately and it was exactly what I needed. If for no other reason, it was just nice to sit in a calm environment and relax for an hour, not worrying about what was outside the room waiting for me when the hour was over. But it was much more than that. I think this class is a keeper.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Congratulations! Here's Your Reward!

Yay me! This week I reached a milestone in my diet and weight loss program! I have now lost a total of 11 pounds. I was so excited to track my progress in MyFitnessPal, and when I did they told me that since my weight has significantly changed and I should recalculate my goals to ensure I continue to lose. No problem! So I did. And you know the thanks I get? I am now allowed to eat even LESS calories than I was to lose the first 11 pounds. I get to eat a whopping 1580 calories a day, and that's only if I stick to my promise of exercising 3 times a week (which I haven't been doing). Do you know how hard that is? Hell, the creamer I put in my coffee every morning takes up about half of it!

This is just SO unfair!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Buddha is Looking Down on Me and Shaking His Head.

This weekend wasn't a complete and total waste like last weekend was....I managed to get some stuff done like laundry and chopping up a million pounds of fruits and vegetables that I bought the other day. I'm hoping that in this state they will be easier to throw in the blender or juicer and I might be more motivated to do so. I also recently invested in a new frying/sautee pan which I put to use tonight to prepare most of my meals for the upcoming week. I breaded chicken breasts in breadcrumbs mixed with ground chia and flax seeds and fried them in coconut oil, which is supposed to be the new best thing for you. I made some egg white and turkey sausage McMuffins on whole grain muffins, and the most delicious sauteed swiss chard you could ever imagine (see below).

I cleaned the kitchen (and messed it up again), did laundry, caught up on my DVR shows, and art journaled a little while basking in the amazing weather we were surprised with over the weekend. I cleaned up dog poop and tended to my garden (which consists of 5 plants, but I'm thinking of expanding because I hooked up the watering hose and potentially might be able to keep something alive).

I also slept. A lot. Like a stupid amount. I don't know what my problem is. I still have that weird vertigo thing going on and I have a doctor appointment on Tuesday, so hopefully it will get fixed soon. I also realized that my addiction to Bejeweled Blitz is becoming a real problem. I can drain my entire phone battery playing that stupid thing, then charge it and do it all over again. I was sitting outside intending to enjoy the weather, but the whole time I had my phone in my hand wasting my day away. At one point I put it down and attempted to be mindful of what was going on around me; living in the moment like they always say you should. That didn't work out very well. I tried to concentrate but the squeaky noise the neighbor's gate was making was driving me insane, as were Peabrain and George barking at every little noise they heard. I tried to focus on the sun hitting the green trees and the ripples in the pool, how good the warm breeze felt around me. I tried to take deep, cleansing breaths. It worked for about 30 seconds, then I started thinking about what I was going to make for dinner, about all the projects I have to make to sell at an upcoming event, and how I had to go in and fold laundry. I saw a plane fly overhead and wondered where the people were going, which made me think about my recent trips for work. Then I started thinking about work. At this point I probably stopped breathing all together and started trembling because I missed having my phone in my hand SO much.

I think I need to take a Buddha or meditation class. I'm going to look for one tomorrow.

Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese from

I am not lying when I say this is the best vegetable dish I have ever tasted. I skipped the butter and didn't have wine so I substituted chicken broth instead. Oh yeah, my onions were the dried up kind and I used shaved parmasean which melted a little and made it extra delicious.


Original recipe makes 2 cups Change Servings


  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good Times, Bad Times.....

I feel good today. It's Friday, my fun ghetto Zumba class is tonight, the weather is beautiful and the sun is warm and bright. It's a productive day at work, I have a fridge full of healthy food options for the weekend from my recent trip to Sprouts Farmers Market, and I had a fun evening out with two of my favorite gal pals last night. I have a head full of projects I want to make over the weekend to earn some extra money on the side. I'm wearing my favorite Cedar Heights Salt Lick Stoneware Clay shirt and comfy tie dye hoodie, and today is Bagel Friday, which means I had a most delicious cinnamon french toast bagel waiting for me when I got to work this morning. I successfully convinced my three legged cat Gimpy to come back home last night so I'm no longer worrying about him getting run over by a car. My pool is crystal clear and perfectly clean for the first time EVER because I hired a new pool service that totally kicks ass over my old guy. I gots to is good!

I am incredibly happy that I feel this way. Last weekend I wasn't so sure I would. I woke up last Saturday with absolutely no energy or motivation to do anything. It was horrible. I was depressed, I guess. Besides it being Mother's Day weekend (which is never exactly a happy time for me), it was 101 degrees and I felt like the life had been sucked out of me. I always get depressed when it gets hot and I expect it to happen again this year, but I didn't think it would be this early. I also have had some really strange allergy symptoms lately which include a bit of vertigo, so I kind of felt a little drunk on top of everything. Not the nice buzz of your first drink, but the feeling that your head is spinning a little too fast and you might vomit. Not cool.

As if I weren't already lying around begging for the weekend to end so at least I could go back to work and be a functional part of society again, I also got reminded on Sunday that people aren't always what they seem to be, and just because someone claims to be your friend doesn't mean they really are. It was time to cut the ties with someone who fits this description, and I really thought I'd have a hard time doing so. In reality, I feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I readjusted in no time. I back to my old self again, I feel more focused, inspired and motivated, and I am ready to tear up this weekend!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Obsession with my Bathroom Scale.

Yesterday I bought a new digital scale. I was holding out until I found my old one which has been packed away somewhere in my disaster of a garage since November of 2011, but finally realized that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm really excited about my new purchase because I can obsessively compulsively weigh myself several times a day and drive myself crazy!

This scale is fantastic. According to it, I lost 3 pounds overnight! But when I weighed myself about 5 minutes later, I had gained a pound so my net loss is only 2. I'll take it! Had I known that getting this scale would help me lose 2 pounds a day, I would have bought it a long time ago. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

I know they say you should only weigh yourself once a week, but who has that kind of willpower? I want to weigh myself before and after I eat dinner, before and after I get the picture. If I only wanted to weigh myself once a week, I'd do it at the ghetto gym and I could have saved myself $20. I almost splurged on the $25 one which remembers how much you weighed last time and calculates the difference, but then realized that I am still capable of doing first grade math on my own and I could save $5.

I think my new scale and I will be very happy together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning in La La Land...

I'll admit it. I'm a dreamer. I have pictures in my head of how I believe things should be, and I have a hard time accepting it when people tell me I'm being unrealistic. Call me spiteful, but when someone tells me that I can't do something, I will do everything in my power to prove them wrong. Maybe it's a little sick and twisted, but I really enjoy proving people wrong.

This quality has served me well in the past. When I started my quest to become an artist, some people who supposedly 'loved' me laughed at me and told me that I was an idiot. Instead of believing and giving up on my dreams, I made the conscious decision to remove these toxic people from my life and surround myself with people who encouraged and believed in me. It took a while, but today I have a great job doing what I love and what I'm good at. I've had this job for more than a year now, and I still have to pinch myself now and then to make sure I'm not dreaming. I get to make a good living by surrounding myself with art and ceramics all day. In my opinion, things can't get any better than that!

A few months ago, someone told me that I was trying to change the world and that it was never going to happen. Of course, my response was 'why not?' Surely I can if I try hard enough, right? Well, I am starting to realize that maybe he had a point. I recently gave a lot of time and energy to trying to make a good situation out of a bad one. I allowed it to consume most of my free time and I was sure that if I gave it my all and had faith that things would change for the better. Unfortunately, my plan failed. Luckily, the whole experience taught me something very important so I don't regret any of it. I learned that even though I might not be able to change somebody else's world, I still have all the power to change mine.  

All of this prompted me to take a look at how my life is today. All is well, but somehow I've allowed some toxicity to creep its way back in. For the most part, I have amazing friends who are encouraging and want the best for me and I appreciate them more than they can ever imagine. There are a few people, though, that have been bringing me down with their negative energy and I'm getting tired of letting that happen. Life is too short to be anything but happy, and if that means distancing myself from the people that are trying to prevent my happiness, then that's what I need to do.

Consider it done. Here's to moving forward and never looking back! And to never giving up on your dreams.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thank God Fresno is Finally Sprouting.

Wow, have I really ignored my blog for over a month? I am so ashamed.

The good news is that I haven't abandoned my resolution as well. At the very least, I think about what I'm eating each and every day and at least TRY to be good. It doesn't always work but at least I'm mindful about it. And the one day last week when I really blew it by going to Chevy's with my BFF Erika, where we had margaritas, shrimp and crab quesadillas, tons of chips and salsa and shared this mind blowing toasted coconut and caramel ice cream thing for dessert, I didn't hate myself because the bonding and chatting we did over dinner was just what I needed to soothe my soul. Of course, when I tried to log calories for the meal on My Fitness Pal the next day, I realized that the quesadilla alone was 1,700 calories, so I stopped logging and dragged my fat ass to Zumba that evening. The great thing is that somehow I managed to lose about 2 pounds last week anyway so now my total loss for the year is 10 pounds. Ten pounds in 5 1/2 the fat is just MELTING off! In my defense I was traveling for most of March and April for work and it's almost impossible for me to make smart decisions when I'm away from home. There's just too much temptation. So I've probably lost those 10 pounds and gained them back again about 3 times since I started in January. The good news is that I'm home for awhile so I can fully concentrate on eating healthy and exercising at my ghetto gym. And the better news is that they are finally opening a Sprouts Farmer's Market in Fresno (grand opening is tomorrow....oh happy day!) so I have absolutely NO excuse why I should be consuming anything but healthy foods from now on. I have been begging them on their Facebook page to open up a store here because that is one of the things I miss most about Phoenix, and they finally listened to me. You're welcome, Fresno! You won't be disappointed.