Project: Food Budget, Week 30

Welcome back to another edition of what I ate, what I bought, what I spent, and how much I saved!   Tehehe

Let’s get right to it then.  🙂

Tip of the Week

Don’t discount big box stores…just keep your list out and don’t waver from it!  Head straight to the section where you can find the things you need and keep blinders on the rest of the tie.  😉  The beau and I ventured in to activate my two month free trial (random mail offer) and only spent a total of $31…on whole foods + trash bags.  I’m pretty sure we were as atypical as a couple can be in a big box store considering we also had a coupon for almost everything in our cart!  Getting a bunch of bananas for less than $2 and a 2lb carton of cherry tomatoes for around $4 kind of rocked.

Weekly Menu

I had a great meal plan this week…which never happened as I strove to use up leftovers and pantry staples.  I got a bit creative and my tastebuds thanked me many times over. Don’t you just love when clean-out-my-fridge meals end up being delicious?

Takeout – Baked Avocado Tuscany from Evo

Chipotle Salsa Lentils over a bed or arugula and leftover pasta

“Sausage,” peppers, and onions over more leftover pasta

Salsa Lentils over Brown Rice + topped with Hummus

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions (vegan, goitrogen-free)

Serves 1

High-heat cooking spray (e.g. Canola) to coat pan
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 Tofurky Beer Brat. diced
2 TBSP Frank’s Red Hot
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat cooking spray + garlic over medium heat.  When garlic turns golden and is fragrant, add peppers and onions.  Cook for a couple of minutes until onions are almost transparent and peppers are  beginning to turn bright green.  Add sausage and continue cooking until everything is heated through.  Remove from heat.  Mix in hot sauce and pepper.  Serve over cooked pasta or brown rice. Do not skip the hot sauce.  It totally made the dish.

I also made quinoa using Kath’s Oatmeal method and OMG was it delicious.  Also, if you haven’t added pasta to salad before, I highly suggest it.  🙂

Spending Savings

BJs: $9.55
Wegmans: $12.44
Trader’s: $15.88

Total: $37.87

Under budget! <–its about time, right?!  😉

BJs: $1.60
Wegmans: $4.10
Total: $5.70 (15%)

I really can’t complain since I bought almost exclusively organic, fresh foods.  I love buying less  but higher quality food and staying on budget while still using coupons (for 2 lb cartons of tomatoes and 5lb bags of onions).

Congratulations to Heather B for winning last week’s Alter Eco giveaway! I’ve e-mailed you to get your address.

That’s all folks.  Don’t forget to show some $$$ saving love to my fellow P:FB bloggers.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

The Big Bday Recap, Pt 1

Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you spent your weekend being productive, relaxing, and spending time with the ones you love.  🙂

For those who missed it, I turned 24 last week (Tuesday, to be exact)!  I spent the entire week celebrating, starting with Worcester VegFest and ending with a night out with my girls.  I can hands down say that this was the best birthday ever!  Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and for coming out and celebrating with me.  🙂

Last Sunday (April 15) was the Worcester VegFest.  Think great food, great company, and an absolutely awesome photographer. 

I should be professional photographed all the time, no?  😉

I met T. Colin Campbell, bought some awesome gear, saw old friends, made new ones, and ran into this other (awesome) girl named Kaitlyn who also lives in Worcester.  The beau enjoyed every second and there was lively conversation all around.  I, admittedly, was a bad food blogger and have no pictures but will happily fill you in on my newly discovered obsessions.

I have a confession to make: I think Daiya tastes like plastic.  These Shreds on the other hand…to-die-for.  You can bet I’ll be doing a giveaway with those soon!  I’ve sent e-mails to all my local natural grocers (and by local I mean those local to me currently in MA, those soon-to-be-local to me in CT, and those kinda-soon-to-be-local to me in Baltimore).  They are the closest thing to real cheese that I have ever tried and I am so excited to make Averie’s Mango Basil Personal-Sized Tortilla Pizzas.  Especially since this guy was one of my bday gifts:

Yes that is pizza stone you see…

My love for Theo runs so obviously deeply that they asked me to be the rep at the CT VegFest this upcoming weekend.  Unfortunately, I’m a busy Passion Diva and have not one but two parties to do.  <–Like that’s a bad thing?!  Plus there’s that pesky little thing called moving.  Ugh.  Anyway this is new bar and it was outstanding!  Nice and dark with a little saltiness to calm even the most angry/tearful/frustrated/etc/etc/etc PMS-er.

Ok so I admit: these kind of suck.  They don’t do a good job of grabbing on to things but at the end of the day I’m still happy I invested in them.  Its an easy and cute solution to remaining sustainable while eating on the go.  And it comes with chop sticks.  Need I say more?

Monday was Patriot’s Day aka Marathon Monday aka a day off.  <–I’m going to miss this random MA holiday!  It also happened to be warm (hot?) and sunny and perfect.  I relaxed and cooked and started packing and went to yoga and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Continue reading

Brain Dumps and Permission Statements!

Happy Friday everyone and thanks for the Alter Eco Giveaway entries! <–I promise not to be offended if you just scroll to the bottom.  😉

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve briefly mentioned my coaching program.  Today I want to talk a little bit more about it plus provide insight into two more of the activities I’ve been doing to make huge changes in my life + psyche.

At the end February I signed up for Hillary Rubin’s group coaching program, Your Soul’s University.  I had been wanting to work with Hillary for quite some time, having met her last June at the Kripalu Center.  The price was always a bit out of my reach, especially in the thick of me being injured and riddled with medical bills.  But now it was spring and I had been discharged from hand therapy and planning to quit my job and work my biz full time andthe timing just felt right.  So I said, count me in girlfriend.

In addition to being a part of the group YSU program, I’m also working with Hillary one-on-one through 12 weeks worth of coaching calls.  I’ve completed five of these so far and after each I feel inspired, grounded, energized, and clear.  I sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and ready to take on my day.  I’ve gotten more work done at my day job, my profits have practically doubled with the biz, my relationships have improved, and overall I’m feeling more confident and more ready to take whatever is coming next.

That being said, the whole experience has been a frigging roller coaster ride.  I know, I know…everyone speaks so highly about coaching programs.  Because they work.  But they also require you to experience some pretty big growing pains.  As Hillary said, “Waking up is hard to do.”  In any given day I’ll experience the full range of human emotion.  Some days I feel downright schizophrenic, going from pure joy to raging anger to sobbing-in-the-shower sadness.

Luckily, this is part of the process and I’m not going through it alone: Hillary and my YSU sisters are right there with me.  Besides trying to live in and fully embody each emotion as it passes through, I’ve experienced a ton of success using the tools Hillary gives just to me during each of our coaching sessions.  My pie chart was one of these.  Today I’m introducing you to two more: brain dumps and permission statements.

Brain Dump

The idea behind the brain dump is to literally empty your brain of every single thing you have to do.  Its like a to-do list on steroids.  Don’t believe me?  Check out mine for this weekend:

See?  What’s good about this is that it follows Parkinson’s Law which states that we will finish tasks in the amount of time we give them.  So if I say, “I’m going to be done with this in one hour,” more than likely I’ll finish it in one hour.   I’ve very clearly specified the time frame for this Dump.  It isn’t a big picture to-do list, but rather my weekend one.  And yes celebrating totally counts.  🙂

Now I’m a big list person but honestly, a lot of times its more for show than actual usefulness.  What’s different about the brain dump?  It includes everything.  I break each bigger task, like “Pack,” into its smaller components and include those too.  Rather than just having loose goals, I have each one visually represented with all of its parts.  I can’t wait to share a snapshot of it after this weekend is over!

I did this last night right before bed in lieu of my regular to-do list creation.  Once it was done, my brain felt totally empty and open.  <–that’s the point right?  And while it looks like a lot, much of it is already scheduled.  Momma is coming up today and we’re doing a lot of the packing so she can take a carload home this evening.  When we break for lunch I plan on stopping at the post office en-route to the restaurant.  All the reservations for my bday celebration are already booked.  I have to complete my grocery shopping done before my friend arrives on the commuter rail at 3:15 tomorrow which means I have to have my coupons organized, meals planned, and grocery list made tonight before bed.  Etc, etc, etc. 

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed or like you just aren’t making progress on your to-do list, I highly suggest trying this exercise.  Make it fun…draw bubbles and stars, use pretty paper or colored pens, make it something you want to look at.  And then, just do it!

Permission Statements

This was one of the very first exercises Hillary had me do.  She describes them as a surfboard to hold me up and steady me as I go through this period of tidal wave change and shifting.  And that is exactly what they have been.  Whenever I feel myself getting overly anxious or distracted I can use these as a way to get back on track.  I know that simply by giving myself permission to let go, to feel through it, to be in the moment, to be committed…I’m lifting my vibration to a higher level and shifting the focus from positive to negative.

“I give myself permission to be committed to myself and whatever I am doing no matter what.”  This was a huge one for me so one morning, post-meditation, I grabbed an old eyeliner pencil and went to town.  Around my mirror are pictures of family and friends as well as some other mementos that have special meaning to me.  Its my upright altar and I can’t wait to transfer it to Baltimore with me.  I start each morning with this image and end each day with it.  I have a list of other statements written down that I can consult any time I need.  And when necessary, I make a new one.

I encourage you to give yourself permission to do something today.  Maybe its to be healthy or to be committed or to relax.  Whatever it is, say it out loud.  Stand up.  Dance.  Stretch.  Shake it out.  Lift up your spirit.  Recommit and restart.  Post it somewhere you’ll see it regularly.  Make it fun. Make it your own.

What are you giving yourself permission to do today?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

PS If you are interested in working with Hillary you can check out her website at HillaryRubin.com. Be sure to mention I sent you her way!   If you want to know more about my experiences, don’t hesitate to contact my using the Contact page above or shooting me an e-mail at kscalisi88{at}hotmail{dot}com.  xo

 

Project: Food Budget, Week 29 + a Giveaway!

Tip of the Week

A little PSA today.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed some things getting a little *ahem* tight.  And not in the “Hello Sexy” way!  There are numerous factors which played a role in this situation, couponing included.  So today’s tip is a bit of a lesson and a bit of a cautionary tale.

Repeat after me: just because you can buy something and have a coupon for it doesn’t mean you should buy it.  That Dagoba chocolate bar..those packets of Justin’s…all that Nature’s Path <–too many links to share you get the picture.  But wait, you say, you only use healthy coupons!  Yea…I know.  Nutbutter is healthy…in small amount.  So is cereal…when I’m not eating it by the (several) box-fuls.  Again, I’m not blaming couponing entirely, but it certainly played a role.  Here’s the thing, it is way easier to snack when you know you’ve got a stockpile of your drug of choice or coupons for to get it for cheap or free.  Want to know how I know?  My last bag of Udi’s is still sitting in my pantry.  That definitely did not happen with bags 1 or 2 (I had three free product coupons)!

I’m not being too hard on myself (most days…) because I know right now things in my life are absolutely crazy.  In fact, a part of me is happy that this occurred because now that I’m aware of this “trigger” so-to-speak, I can take the steps to change it and not accidentally fall into this pattern again. Use coupons to fuel a healthier lifestyle, not the opposite!

Weekly Menu

Asparagus Caesar Salad

Bday oats and mango + coconut

The Morning After

I also made…

  • Dijon Rice with Broccoli (EHH I added Tofurkey beer brats…delish!)
  • Crazy Good Hummus (P&TY)
  • Lots of green smoothies and arugula salad

This week and last week I’m eating out a ton between bday and farewell dinners + luncheons.  Its awesome and sad all at once…

Spending Savings

Wegmans: $28.13
Trader’s: $12.08
Total: $40.21 <– w00t!  🙂

Eligible Spending: $28.13
Savings: $11.97 (43%)

*whew* and I’m back.  I’m also happy to report that my entire cart was fresh foods…except for the Tofurkey Beer Brats I got for $0.99.  Here’s to recommitting to my healthy lifestyle.  Also, since I didn’t have to buy as much as usual (see above note re: eating out), I was able to splurge on some things I wouldn’t normally get.  You’ll have to check my next Adventurous April post for that!

Company of the Week

Source

Man-oh-man am I excited to share this company with you.  I discovered their products on accident and have become obsessed.  I honestly love everything about this company, especially their Mission Statement:

We are a team of fair trade visionaries and food-loving explorers on a mission to connect you to our farmers and their honest foods. When you taste the sweet justice of our mission you will understand our persistence, and our invitation to join us in finding your Alter Eco.

Seriously, that makes me want to get up and dance.  Or run off into battle.  Same difference, right?  I love me a company that is 100% committed to animal, human, and environmental rights and activism.  Now onto the food!  Their 16 gourmet products come from small farmers all over the world and include things like sugar, rice, quinoa, and chocolate.  YUM. I’ve only had the quinoa but it is by far the best I’ve ever tried.  With some coupons I found on Common Kindness, I’ve been getting it for the same price as the Trader Joe’s version.  For all the reasons I mentioned, Alter Eco won.

Anyway, last week Chelsey reviewed some awesome products that Alter Eco sent her.  Now I’m not quite on the up-and-up as these longer-established folks so I hadn’t been contacted.  No biggie…I did what any good food blogger in desire of products does: e-mail the company and ask.  What a response I got…

Now this is their picture…my box is waiting in CT at Mom’s house for when I move home for the month.  You can bet a full review will take place once I get there.  For now though, I’ll have to be content drooling with my imagination.

Not you though.  No no, I wouldn’t tease like that.  <–at least not with food!  Tehe 😉  I know you’re salivating on your side of the screen.  Seriously, don’t try and deny it.  Wouldn’t you just love a gift basket like the one above?  Yea I thought so.  That’s why I e-mailed Alter Eco to see if they would sponsor a giveaway.  The box of goodies they sent me was just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like to win your own basket of Alter Eco heaven goodies, leave a comment below:

1. Which Alter Eco product would you like to try the most?

2. For extra entries do any of the following (you must leave a separate comment for each):

Contest ends Wednesday, April 26, 2012 and winner will be chosen randomly. Open to continental U.S. residents only.

That’s it for this week folks!  Don’t forget to check out my fellow P:FB bloggers!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Disclaimer: AlterEco provided product for giveaway.  I am not affiliated with Alter Eco and all opinions expressed are my own.

Notes on Wellness, Part 6: Nutrition and Healthcare with T. Colin Campbell

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This past Sunday was the annual Worcester VegFest.  It was my first year attending but from what I saw and what others told me, it was the best yet.  There were over 50 vendors, tons of food to both sample and purchase, a great play area for families coming with little ones, and an outstanding lineup of speakers, including the one and only Dr. T. Colin Campbell.

True story: I swooned when I saw him.  Think Bradley Cooper-worthy swooning.  The beau didn’t know what happened because one minute we were walking in the front doors and the next minute I was full blown freaking out.  I could barely stand after I shook his hand because I was so excited/inspired/in awe.  It was amazing and fantastical and all things good.  *sigh*

Now that I’m done rhapsodizing, lets get on with the notes, eh?!  The good doctor’s lecture was on the healthcare crisis in the US and what nutrition’s got to do with it!  He summarized a lot of his own work as it related.  All in all, it was wonderful and I definitely learned a ton.  I have a handful of critiques that I think only a scientist would have picked up on, the largest of which was that some of his conclusions and analyses were given in a vacuum despite his encouragements to not look at nutrition that way.  I think its a fallacy we all fall into when choosing data to present.

With that being said, here are some direct quotes and jotted notes, provided with limited commentary.

Related to Supplementation

“Nutrients out of context don’t work [but] nutrition works spectacularly when nutrients are consumed as food.”
Supplements are not nutrition, they are pharmacology.  <–so obvious but I feel this often goes ignored!

Related to Cancer Development

“The thing that leads to cancer is what you do with these seeds [the wonky genes] once they’re planted […] You have to fertilize them.
Cancer growth is controlled by nutrition because nutrition controls gene expression.

On Nutrition

“Nutrition acts not by one, but by a symphony of mechanisms.
“Nutrients act phenomenally well wi
thin whole, plant-based foods.”
“The vast majority of hypothetical cause-effect associations favoring less disease reflect the nutrient composition of plant-based foods.”

The ideal percentage of fat and protein intake is between 9 and 11% each.  This happens to be the precise percentages found in most plants (exceptions include things like coconut, avocado, nuts, and seeds).  In animal models, higher percentages of protein intake actually are associated with increased risk of cancer.  However, when these percentages are adjusted, the gene expression changes to prohibit cancer growth.  Seriously, how effing cool is that?!

The Benefit of Treating Illness Using a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet

  1. Broad effects (can prevent, suspend or cure most diseases <–not 100% sure I agree with this)
  2. Quick acting (effects are seen within a couple days to a couple of weeks)
  3. Vital (deaths are prevented)
  4. No known side effects <–w00t!

And my favorite quote from the entire presentation: “This body has an amazing wisdom.” Cheers to that!

All in all, Vegfest was the perfect way to kick-off my birthday week.  Oh yea, did I forget to tell you that on this day 24 years ago I came into the world?   Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!!  Legend has it I was so eager to shine that a) it was too late for any pain meds (love you Mom!), b) I came fast, and c) the doctor almost dropped me because of b.  Not too much has changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

short hair circa May 2010

Yoga/beauty/celebrations,

Kait xo

PS Keep your eyes peeled for a fantastic foodie giveaway later this week.  For reals…you won’t want to miss this.  xo

The Best Sauce Ever.

Look at me, blogging on a Monday!  Tehe Actually I wrote this last Thursday, the night this most amazingly delicious, want to eat it by the spoonful sauce came into existence.

Clearly there is a pattern with my recipe creations: salad dressings, sauces, creamed dishes, and salads.  Aka nothing that a) can’t be saved fairly easily or b) requires a ton of ingredients.  Simplicity is one of my highest values, but this, my friends, come from a place of fear and lack surrounding food and the thought of throwing it out.

Yes, I admit, I’m still a work in progress.  And greatly admire all food bloggers.

So anyway, as I mentioned last week, I’m getting ready to move for about 1 month before making a bigger move in June.  So I’m trying to use up food I have a lot of.  Like pasta.  And pasta sauce.  And frozen veggiess.  Hence last Thursday’s combination.  I’m definitely being forced to become more creative with my food choices but I view this as a good thing.  Especially when I get delicious results!

Be forewarned, all  measurements are approximate because,  in true traditional Italian cooking style, I didn’t measure a darn thing. I’m anal about following a recipe but when creating, its anything goes!

Smoky Tomato Cream Sauce (gf, vegan, goitrogen-free)

Inspired by Happy Herbivore’s Sun Dried Tomato Basil Cream Sauce.  Serves 1.

1/4 c tomato sauce
<1/4 c nondairy milk + more to thin out as necessary
2.5 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powders
1 tsp Cajun spice seasoning
1-2 drops liquid smoke
dash chipotle powder

Whisk together all ingredients together, adjusting spices accordingly.  Heat on stovetop or microwave.  Or keep reading and do what I did (hint: it involves one pot and one pot only).

My roomie is always making this pasta dish with pasta, peas, and a sauce that’s half alfredo, half tomato.  HH’s recipe is pretty close but I didn’t feel like blending anything.  The liquid smoke and chipotle powder seem like odd choices but they added this smoky (duh) warmth and depth of flavor.  And remember with both of those…a little goes a LONG way! Seriously, do not skip the chipotle.  It makes all the difference.

I cooked up some corn pasta, tossed in frozen peas with 30 seconds to go, and drained everything.  Then I tossed the pasta + peas back into the warm pot, put it on low heat, and mixed in the sauce and some leftover baked tofu, stirring constantly until everything was heated through.  And  of course, no pasta dish is complete without some freshly ground black pepper on top.

nom nom nom

Do you ever combine spices from different cuisines?  What are your “rules” when doing so?

I think lots of people do…this is what “fusion” cuisine is based on, right?  I oftentimes stick to “traditional” flavor profiles.  But when I throw something together and it just seems to be missing something…I let inspiration and smell take over.  Usually I grab whatever I’m first drawn to on my spice rack and then sniff the item I’m trying to jazz up plus the spice.  Believe me, you’ll know whether it goes together or not.  My past roomie/physics tutor/friend extraordinaire taught me this trick and it has been oh-so-useful.

I’m going to go thank her for that now!

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

April Adventures, Weeks 1 and 2

adventurous april
You might have noticed a new addition to the sidebar.  No, not yet?  That’s ok, I can wait while you peek.
What the heck are Adventurous April pants?  Well let me tell you!  Back at the beginning of the month, the lovely Janetha challenged us to go out of our comfort zones and get Adventurous in April by trying at least one new thing every week.  I read her post after returning from Baltimore and discovered that I had already started down this path with a number of my food purchases. Like two pounds of Brussels Sprouts…

 

…and these awesome products:

 

Clockwise from top left: Trader Joe’s corn pasta, Zima Tomatoes, lots of beer samples the night before Easter, my new fave drink, and my first attempt at growing my own food.  Not pictured: Justin’s Chocolate PB and Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas <–obsessed!

In addition, after three years, I finally signed up for Zumba teacher training.  I tried new recipes, as always, and started taking probiotics.  I reunited with my long-lost love, overnight oats, which served as the perfect vehicle to spoonanother new food into my mouth:

Nutella…its been nice knowing you.  But its officially over.  No no…its not you, its me.  I swear.  😉 
I have a couple of big adventures coming up this week in honor of my birthday week.  <–yes I’m that friend of yours who spends the week celebrating.  I frigging LOVE my bday!  You’ll have to wait to hear about those, but I promise they’ll be juicy.  Tehehe
Have you had any new Adventures recently? Do you enjoy going out of your comfort zone?
Have a wonderful weekend.
Yoga/beauty/life,
Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 28

Hi there!  My name is Kait and I’m the, once again, long-lost blogger here at y/b/l.  Its a pleasure!  😉

For real…I’ve been a bad blogger (or bad bear as one of my friend quips).  At first I was feeling guilty about my lack of posts but then I realized that, right now, my focus is just slightly shifted to move number 1 (home to momma’s house in CT for 4-6 weeks).  I’m finishing up one job, trying to pack up (hahaha), focus on my biz, maintain a healthful and budget-friendly lifestyle, committing myself to my coaching program, and get in quality time with my loved ones around here.  *Whew*  So yes…this wonderful child of mine will be slightly on the back burner for a couple more weeks.  Thank for understanding!

Now that we’re reacquainted…

Weekly Menu

Featuring meals from the past several weeks!  🙂

Spending Savings

Whole Foods: $26.45
Trader’s: $7.84
The Living Earth: $6.27
New Morning: $9.99

Total: $50.55

Eligible Spending: $36.44
Savings: $22.92 (63%)

Here I go again going over…and that doesn’t even include the additional $ I spent on food for Easter!  *sigh*  I’m past being down and out about going over but I do recognize the need to get my spending back in control.  Since I am moving in two weeks, my goal is to cook primarily from my pantry and only purchase fresh foods.  Here’s to creativity!

Steals and Deals

Ongoing deals are marked with an asterisk*. 

Whole Foods

Asparagus: $2.99/lb (save $1/lb)
Vine-Ripened Tomatoes: $2.99/lb (save $1/lb)
*Ataulfo/Champagne Mangoes: 5/$5 (save $0.99 each)
Raw Cashews (bulk): $9.49/lb (regular price)

*Food Should Taste Good Kettlecorn Tortilla Chips: 3/$7 (reg $3.19)
$1.00 FSTG coupon
Total Price = $1.33

New Morning <–a new natural & organic grocery store in Woodbury, CT!

Justin’s Nut Butter Packets: 2/$1

Yogi Tea: 2/$6
$1.00 Yogi Tea coupon (no longer available)
Total Price = $2.00

Nature’s Path EcoPacs: $5.99 (reg. $7.49)
$1.00 Nature’s Path coupon
Total Price = $4.99

Woodstock Organic Raw Walnuts (4.5 oz): $4.99
$1.00 Woodstock Coupon (no longer available)
Total Price: $3.99 <–in hindsight, not the best deal!

Trader Joe’s
These are everyday prices from the Shrewsbury, MA store.

Avocados (4-count): $3.49 = $0.87 ea
Organic Romaine Hearts: $2.99
Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flax: $2.69
Ground Cinnamon (my fave!) = $1.99
Alcohol-free Vanilla Extract (4oz) = $3.99

Check out my other budget friends!  We have all different budgets, eating styles, and family sizes so there is something for everyone.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

On Values, Balance, and Alignment

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I’m happy to report that my tummy troubles are mostly cleaned out.  I guess I just felt the need to take spring cleaning to another level!

Ok…the sometimes-witty-sometimes-awful poop jokes will stop now, promise!  😉

All-in-all, I am super proud of myself for stopping to recognize and honor that my body needed a rest.   This is a lesson that definitely grew out of my injury as I learned to ask for what I need, even of myself.

Anyway, today I want to talk a bit more about values, something, quite frankly, I don’t think about very often.  On my weekly coaching call last night, I mentioned my tummy troubles to Hillary and she basically stopped me right then and there and was like, “WHOA girl…tummy stuff is always emotional.”

HUH?!  I thought this was just about the fiber…  what the hell is she talking about?

So we worked through it and chatted and went over by close to 30 minutes and it was wonderful and beautiful and she gave me new exercises to put into practice to address these issues and so on.  At the end, she asked if there was anything I needed…I brought up balance, something I struggle with in a mental and emotional sense albeit not physically.  <–I find it fascinating when there is a discrepancy between my physical and energetic states!  And she said one sentence that blew my mind with its simplicity and raw truth: Balance comes from alignment.

Source

It is easy to see how this manifests physically, especially if you’ve ever attempted something like Warrior III.  But I didn’t see how it manifested energetically in other areas of our lives.  Hillary mentioned something about values but until this morning, I could not grasp the lesson.

I began the day with one of the exercises Hillary asked me to complete: drawing a pie chart of my life.  I drew the circle, listed the ten things to put it in and got to work divvying it up.  I let my heart guide the pen rather than my hand.  At the end I looked down, feeling proud of my work, only to realize that not only was it severely out of balance, I had not made room for everything on my list.  Things like future tripping and reading blogs have a huge chunk of my time while family and friends barely have slivers.  My Passion biz didn’t even make it on the chart.  This both broke my heart and showed me how accurate the chart reflected my current state.  As I focused my attention and awareness on this chart and how I could bring it into more balance (dare I say, “fix it”?), the word values rose from my heart.  So many lessons that I have heard and read and so many things I’ve been told bubbled to the surface as the lesson became clear.

Our lives are in alignment not when everything is going perfectly, but when we are living in accordance with our deepest values.  And so it is true that from this alignment and this alignment only, can we find balance.

I turned inward to examine my values and from this examination I drew a new pie chart, one that put no one person or activity above the other, recognizing and acknowledging the Tantric/Spirit Junkie teaching that we are all one. I grabbed markers and highlighters and colorful pens and let creativity and the Universe flow through me.  Encircling the circle are my most important values, things like simplicity, integrity, willingness, love, and peace.  I left two areas free, designating them “Miscellaneous” in recognition of the fact that this pie chart is not a static drawing, but rather a living, breathing, changing force.

The new chart looks less like the pie from your family dinner, where everyone chaotically asks for different size pieces, and more like a wheel, a hot pink,  functional wheel that has the power and the know-how to keep the bike steady.  Surrounded by the things I need and respect the most, this is a wheel that will never let me down.  It will keep moving forward, it will hold me up, and it will allow me to find balance.

This is the wheel of my life.  I cannot control everything, but I can control my mind and how I react and where I place my energy. I cannot control those or the world around me, but I can make a commitment to living in alignment with these values, knowing that they may change over time as I myself grow and change and learn and continue awakening.  This is not a static image–what circle ever is?–but rather one that will flow and grow and shrink and rotate and dance along with the ebbs and flows of my life.

Life is a journey and this is vehicle I’m choosing to travel it on.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Out sick / uber brief P:FB

Between travelling, starting my coaching session, and the general transitional period I’m currently in, my body is taking a beating!  After my trip to Vegas, I was holding so much tension/stress/worry/overwhelm in my upper back that I could barely move my neck for days.  This time, I’ve been experiencing a whole lotta gastric distress (to use the clinical term).

Lessons learned. I need to focus more while travelling on eating my usual diet, even if it means going out of my way or spending more $.  I also need to ease back into eating clean if I haven’t for a while.  Trying to jump back into a 1 week Crazy/Sexy Cleanse after weeks of abusing my body with travel, inconsistent workouts, sugar, bits of dairy, and just not fresh foods was not ideal.  Got it body.  And I’m sorry I took you for granted.

My mantra the past two days has been: “I give myself permission to let go with ease.”  And yes, I mean this both figuratively and literally.  <–couldn’t resist!  😉  I’ve been on mostly liquid foods diet with the addition of some soluble fiber (read: half a box of cereal) and some “gentle” fresh foods (green smoothie + apple with peanut butter).  I’ve been rocking supported bridge pose and various hip openers for minutes at a time.  They haven’t done a ton to resolve the issue but I can literally feel stuff (I shan’t say “shit” I shan’t say shit) moving around.  And, after much research, I went and bought myself some of this stuff.

That’s right folks…15 billion bacterial cultures, twice a day (per the recommendation of the health food store lady).  My real-life go-to guru for all things holistic, Sarah, suggested this brand and, luckily, my local health food store had it.  *whew*  I’ve taken two doses so far and am happy to report that I am, in fact, starting to *ahem* let go with ease.  In plainer terms, I can fit into jeans again, a feat which was not even close to possible yesterday when I looked at least four  months pregnant (I’m not at all) and couldn’t even squeeze into leggings!

As part of my let my body rest and heal and rejuvenate, you are getting a very quick P:FB post today.

Tip of the Week

Shop around!  Don’t go out of your way and waste excessive amounts of gas and and time and energy, but see if you can combine trips in a way that allows you to get the most stuff for your buck!  For example, this week we needed TP.  So I picked it up at Wegmans after doing the math out.  I wasn’t super happy with the $10 purchase but it was later on Sunday and I just wanted to get my goodies and go.  On the way home I stopped at CVS to pick up some new wrist braces and figured I’d check out their TP prices on a whim.  I ended up saving a close to $6 on TP just by taking those couple of minutes to walk across the store.  So if there are other places you pass en route to your “main” store, check their circulars.  If you pick up prescriptions at a pharmacy rather than your grocery store, check their prices while you are there.  If you purchase two of the same item, no worries…return the other (obviously this depends on your store’s return policy) and enjoy your savings!

Meal Plan

This, this (I used the whole sprout), this (basically the best mac & cheese ever), and this plus lots of green smoothies, tea, and cereal!

Spending Savings

Wegmans: $22.66
Trader’s: $15.42
CVS: $2.25

Total: $40.33 🙂

I’m back in the game!  woot

Total Elgibile Spending: $24.91
Total Savings: $16.26 (65%)

That’s all for today folks…gotta get back to nourishing and healing my God Pod.

Yoga/beauty/healing/savings,

Kait xo

PS Give my fellow budgeteers some loving!