Meditation is Not Easy. But Do it Anyway!

Let’s face it, meditation is not easy. In fact, it’s downright uncomfortable! Trying to meditate can leave you feeling more like a stressed out New Yorker than a peaceful Buddha.  Isn’t that creating the opposite effect???

The mind is one of the hardest things to discipline so it’s normal to feel impatient and antsy when trying to conquer it. But, this is a good indication that your “thinking” has run amok  So why, with all this discomfort, should you meditate?

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Volunteering with Elephants in Thailand at The Elephant Nature Park

elephant-nature-park

I had two reactions when I first arrived at the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary in Thailand that rescues and rehabilitates overworked elephants. Part of me was giddy with excitement to see such amazing animals up close but I also felt a deep sadness in the pit of my stomach when I learned what they had suffered prior to their arrival.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Being Vegan

Avo toast
Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are making veganism more popular. And as it becomes more mainstream, “vegan friendly” options are increasingly available.  Countries and restaurants that were traditionally “meat based” are trending towards plant based selections free of meat and dairy. This makes me happy! I’ve recently had several friends proudly prepare vegan dishes or want to come over for an “all vegan” meal. I am grateful for their enthusiasm.

But veganism is still new, and I’ve met curious people who want to learn more about it. In this post, I respond to the top 10 frequently asked questions I get about being vegan. I hope my answers help anyone who is thinking about becoming vegan or knows someone who already is.

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What I’ve Learned as a Vegan Over 10+Years

raspberries

I never planned on being vegan. But as a young girl, I loved animals and ate like a rabbit so I naturally gravitated towards a vegetarian diet. By the end of college, I completely stopped eating meat, chicken and fish. That was 26 + years ago when my journey with a plant based diet began.

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Shy or Insecure? Try Steamed Asparagus

“Asparagus is a very helpful food if you struggle with shyness, self-consciousness, concern over what others think of you, fear of breaking out of your shell and exposing yourself, or dread of venturing out in public. If you truly need help in these areas (as opposed to if you’re just a natural introvert who’s comfortable with who are are despite other’s misguided opinions that you should act more like an extrovert), asparagus will come to your aid and give you the confidence to rise up and claim your place in the world.” — Anthony William 

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Uncooking and The Raw Diet

raspberries

What is uncooking??? The term comes from the “raw” diet but I’ve adopted it to mean something slightly different. To me, uncooking defines those times when I’ve lost my motivation to cook and instead of eating proper meals at set times, I allow my body to “decide” what it wants when it’s hungry. In some ways this is a more “reckless” approach to eating but I love that it allows me to break out of fixed patterns, routines, and food ruts. It’s a “re-set” for my body.

During this time, I usually crave healthy fruits and vegetables that I eat “raw” and why I’ve adopted the uncooking definition. I’ll make crazy salads with lots of red cabbage and raw broccoli or enjoy a bowl of fruit and seeds for dinner.

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Half Marathon, Self-Discipline and Training Tips for Vegans

Vegan half marathon
If you enjoy running, then entering a race, especially a half or full marathon, is a worthwhile endeavor. The discipline, the energy, the mind/body connection, and the accomplishment are all excellent rewards. I love to run causally but occasionally I enter races for the increased self-discipline, the joy of getting into shape, and the rush of being with other runners.

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Vegan Restaurants in Cusco, Peru

peru

Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a fun, energetic city that sits 11,200 ft. in the Peruvian Andes. It’s old world charm, hospitable locals, and delicious restaurants attract a variety of visitors. Budget conscious backpackers stay at inexpensive youth hostels while older folk opt for boutique hotels and fine restaurants. Even though meat dishes such as lomo saltado (beef stir fry) or guinea pig (cuy) are traditional cuisine, Cusco is one of the most vegan friendly places I’ve ever been to.

Traveling as a vegan is not always easy but I was excited to find so many restaurants with vegan friendly options labeled clearly on their menu. My Green Point Vegan Restaurant is 100% vegan and has excellent, organic cuisine. I found the food in Cusco to be light and healthy. They have a variety of beautiful produce.

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