Poolside Yoga

I took my own advice and had a pool side rendezvous with my yoga practice this afternoon. It was nice and hot and sunny. Pictures first and then I led myself through a gentle flow. I really wanted to make a video but my camera batteries were low and my charger is packed away in some random box back in Montpelier.


I really like this pose, but it wasn’t always that way. Whenever I used to see people—okay, mainly girls—do this pose I would roll my eyes and go “stop with the sezzy!” You just cannot help but look like a sexy mermaid. Oh yes, notice our pug Buffy photo bombing.  This isn’t the last time you’ll see her.


Today was not a good day for handstanding, alas. Buffy doesn’t seem impressed


Oh firefly. I remember when I was first learning how to do this posture a few years ago. I wanted it so badly. Now I love settling into it during Primary Series. Someday I want to do the other variation when you drop your butt lower and bring your toes up to the sky.

Living on the edge and upside down! I want that to be the title of my book on arm balances and inversions, and I think this picture captures that idea pretty darn well. Just playing around in full wheel.

I was inspired by Noelle Beaugureau to try this out. And now to work it into a flowing sequence!


Peel Away ❤



Ps: A funny story, because you know I love telling them. Well, my parents opened the pool a few days ago, and the bottom is still a little icky. I was helping my mom prep the brush when she said this:

“hold the head [of the brush] underwater until the bubbles stop.”

“It sounds like we are drowning someone in the backyard!”

“SHHH! You don’t want the neighbors to know were connected to the Mafia.”

“Clearly were getting the low paying jobs since we don’t have a pool boy.”


Gotta love family

Falling in Love

Disclaimer: Sorry if the formating is a little wonky. I’m on my parent’s computer which doesn’t have WORD, so I had to write everything up Note Pad. Fancy, huh?

I wasn’t sure how to break it to you guys. I’m an open book, and it’s not like my Facebook/real friend world doesn’t know what’s going on, but I like to tread lightly with sharing certain things online, especially if the other party will see it and feel

A.) Awkward

B.) Hurt

C.) Confused

D.) Embarrassed

E.) Put off

F.) All of the above

G.) All of the above and then some.

A few weeks ago Chris and I broke up. Well,  to be fair, I broke up with him. A lot of my other break ups back in high school were emotional and volatile. The boys would gang up on me, call me bitch, cunt, whore, and then proceed to make my life at the tiny boarding school a little slice of hell. Yikes! So with this amicable breakup (well, amicable as any break up can really be) I was a bit put off. What do you mean two people can have a fair amount of respect for each other, still cohabit the same place, etc, etc? Geesh, I guess that’s how grown-ups and level minded people do stuff. Weird.

Moving on a little, I kind of rebounded with this guy from work. And it was cool. Splendid. A little weird. Dates over drinks. First silent treatments. First sleepovers. I was moving slowly. And then he told me he was moving to Texas to forge a new life with his best friend. So, I guess you could consider that another mini break up,  which meant  it was time for me to: “Imma do me” for awhile. Sigh. I cried a lot. Moving was stressful.  Saying goodbye to this new boy I had some new feelings for was sad. But I refuse to resign myself to a pints of Ben and Jerry’s, post-breakup(s) depression, and obsessive behavior that only leads to burn out and then, well, a repeating cycle. I’m deciding I need to fall in love again. Not with a person, though, or even really myself, because I certainly love that a lot (mayhaps a little too much– giggle), but with an activity. You know, deepen a hobby.

Naturally, it only made sense to fall more in love with yoga, because frankly I’ve been off the Namaste wagon  due to injury and fear. Why fear, you ask? Well, contrary to prior belief, it is really
hard to block out all thoughts in yoga, and when encouraged to fixate on one thing we (or at least I)
tend to fixate on the most pressing negative thing in life. I was scared to find myself in
Supta Kurmasana *, bound up tightly, while dealing with all the thoughts that have been swirling around in the brain case. Shudder.  Crying in front of everyone wasn’t an option, and crying during self practice seemed even worse. In case you haven’t noticed, I take my pride very seriously.  But this is what you’re supposed to do when your life changes, be it break ups, loss of job, loss of person,  etc, etc. You need to pick yourself up by whatever strands you can and better yourself. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, and hiding from the preconceived “what ifs”, pull on your big kid undies, flounder a little and feel fabulous on the good days.

As tempting as it is to jump into a traditional six-day a week ashtanga practice, I know it’s a recipe
for physical disaster, like when you decide after not running for four months to get up and run 3 miles. So, I’m going to start slow. A little ashtanga here,  a little vinyasa there, some ancient texts and deep study of anatomy, lots of handstands sprinkled in, and many afternoons contemplating life and my center of gravity, while editing away at that yoga book I need to start ASAP.

Not going to lie, people, I’m scared. And I’m scared, because I don’t get scared often. I’m scared
because this is something I’m doing JUST for me. I mean, I eat well mainly for myself, but it makes
me feel good. But work: that pay’s the bills and an inkling of me does it to make my family proud.
No one is really going to care if I fail or succeed at this endeavour expect for me.

Life is changing. I only have myself to answer to, which is both liberating and strange, seeing as
I spent  2 years (yes, two very wonderful years) making decisions with someone else. But I have a year to cement this in my life, so when I graduate and choose someplace to move, I’ll
have something to wakeup to in the morning, to dedicate a part of my life to, and pass on to others. Not as great as a morning romp, but a very, very close second

Thanks for listening to me ramble. I hope everyone is having a lot less to think about in their life!
Peel Away ❤


*Pfft, I wish my Supta Kurm. looked that tight and relaxed. Some day!



Kind readers.

Sorry posts haven’t been as frequent. I’m currently in the process of moving from one apartment to another. Psh, not fun indeed! I probably won’t be posting anything  until Sunday when I get home to Maine  (for a week of poolside action!) Stay happy. Stay healthy. Stay SANEEEEEEE if you are also moving!


Peel Away ❤


Oil Pull Your Way to Pearly Whites (and Healthy Gums)!

I like experimenting with different ways of keeping my body healthy. This is especially true when the practices are cheap and preventative! I learned about this Ayurveda method a few weeks ago after a fitness guru I follow mentioned it in a status update. It’s called oil pulling and it is a great way to increase oral  health, which I definitely need seeing as I have to dish out a lot of money to fix the cavities I developed over the three years of not getting a cleaning! Word to the wise: don’t skip your cleanings!

Oil pulling is something you do right when you get up before eating or drinking, though if you want to you can floss beforehand. Take a tablespoon (or a little less, depending on the size of your mouth and cheek capacity; I have chipmunk cheeks) of sesame oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. You can also use other types of oil, like coconut, but studies have shown that sesame and sunflower are the best. It is also recommended to switch up the oils you use, which will help you figure out what kind works the best for your mouth.

While doing this you’re whitening your teeth, increasing the health of your gums, and essentially flossing on steroids. If you have tendency to get tonsil stones—those absolutely vile, smelly white balls that appear in the back of your throat—they may come free during the swishing. Just spit out the oil in a cup, hock that sucker up, and throw the oil back in your mouth. Mmmm, sometimes being healthy is far from sexy (do you think I look cute washing my face with oatmeal?), but the results are always amazing. Above all else, make sure you don’t swallow the oil, because you would be ingesting all the bacteria in your mouth that you’ve worked to free. Instead spit it out.

Allow me to show you some absolutely sexy photos of me in the morning!

Pondering the meaning of life.


No swallowing that stuff!


Oh so squeaky clean! Ps: I’m a sezzzy mama in the morning!

Some people oil pull because they believe they are “pulling” toxins out from their body, and the method lists tons of diseases, cancers, autoimmune issues (think AIDS) that oil pulling has cured. While many people don’t believe that to be true—there isn’t going to be a magic cure for everything—there are proven benefits (source). It has been a rather nice addition to the morning routine. I use the 15 minutes to check up on my blog, see what other people are doing over on their sites, and sometimes shower. As long as you don’t become fixated on the clock it isn’t nearly that bad. I love the way my gums feel after, and I think I’ve noticed a few teeth getting a little whiter.


A general go to site for information and forums on oil pulling

2 Videos


Have you heard of oiling pulling? Are there any holistic practices you follow?

Peel Away ❤



Waste Not, Want Not: Sangria!

I’m really fond of my little phrases, if you haven’t noticed.

Up there with “God helps those who help themselves,” (say that 10x fast) I’m a big fan of “Waste not, want not.” I employed that ideology this afternoon when I found myself in bed with a mushy peach.

“You might be  a healthy eater if…”

I know, right? How I’ve been sitting in bed with a peach, unbeknownst, since I’ve been home from work is a little concerning, but I showered today, thus the peach made its way back into the kitchen. It was a day past the gushy phase, and I almost threw it into the trashcan when my eyes settled on the bottle of red wine I’d bought the previous night. Makeshift sangria…?Mmm, makeshift sangria!

I sliced off the undesirable bits until I was left with a few peach slivers. I artfully arranged them in the bottom plopped them into a  glass and sufficiently doused them in red wine. The bottom bit was heavenly. Imagine if the poor peach had landed in the trashcan? I would have been stuck with an average glass of Cab. The travesty.

Waste not, want not, I tell ya!

Peel Away<3


Gluten Free Living!

Last week I did a video on gluten free living and forgot to upload it. Go me! Here it is. I’m not a huge fan of gluten free foods. I think if you’re going gluten free you really need to overhaul your entire diet if you aren’t already eating whole foods, or else you might fall into the pit of eating a lot of processed gluten free junk food. However, I don’t stay 100% away from gluten free foods. Here are some products I buy occasionally. I thought I’d share them because gluten free foods are not only expensive but very hit or miss! Nothing is worse than dropping dough (oh, the irony) on some nastiness.

Brands I like!



http://udisglutenfree.com/products My personal favorite! I had their bagel’s last week. Omg. Omg. Omg. I forgot how delish a bagel is.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/03/the-best-and-worst-gluten-free-beers.html Redbridge is #10 for best gluten free beers! St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer is ABSOLUTELY disgusting.  I tried it the other day. $5 for one bottle, and I dumped it all out. Meck!


Peel Away all you gluten free honeys and honitos (honitos?) ❤


Awesome news! Michelob Ultra  as of last week came out with a light cider, which is awesome news because despite how delicious ciders are, they can be a little heavy. I imagine these will be perfect for a day at the beach! I found it at the local Shaw’s and I’m planning on trying it tomorrow!



Simple Salad

Today was an exceptionally naughty 8 hour shift at work. One of my co-workers , Allyn, is a regular Betty Crocker. On a weekly basis he makes cupcakes and brownies for us Goodwillers to gobble up. All except me. Which is good, because I’d totally own that brownie pan! Phew, sometimes being gluten free is a blessing in disguise. Allyn is also known for making some exceptional fudge, so I finally worked up the courage to put in a dietary restriction related request.  I was elated to find a full Tupperware container of chocolate fudge this morning. I had a piece here. I had a piece there. I had several pieces everywhere. End of shift=Commencement of unbuttoning pants.

I was still very full when dinner time rolled around, which worked out perfectly tonight because we were making some salmon with a light accompanying salad. I held off on the salmon—tomorrow, stomach, tomorrow—and ate a large bowl of this simple, cooling, and  soft textured salad.

I got the idea from the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, and she got it from a NY Times article on 101 Simple Salads.  I love these sorts of meals because the measurements don’t have to be exact. You can mix and match whatever you like and tinker with amounts to get the best flavor.


1 Avocado

4 Small Peaches (or 2 big)

1 Roma Tomato

½ Red Onion (I actually had used the red onion for a previous meal, so I went without this time, but I think it’d be an excellent addition)

Splash of Lime Juice (fresh squeezed or bottled. I went with the bottled this time, because I didn’t feel like getting out my juicer)

Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes.

Cut the avocado, peaches, tomato, onion, and put them into a bowl. Because these are soft ingredients, gently mix them together. Pour (or squirt) the lime juice on top and sprinkle on the red pepper flakes. Gently mix again. Savor.

This is a perfect snack (or meal if paired with some added protein like chicken, steak, beef, or vegetarian/vegan substitute) on a hot summer’s day. And, for anyone of you getting your wisdom teeth out in the next few months, since summer seems to be prime removal time, this would be a hearty, yet soft snack for you to eat while you ice your cheeks and dose off in a (RESPONSIBLE) pain killer induced haze.

Peel Away ❤


Dear Snow White: Come Clean My Apartment!

Our kitchen is a disaster zone. Not having a dishwasher makes life extremely difficult, and if we don’t stay on top of the dishes, which we generally don’t, we have an hour’s worth of washing and drying ahead of us. Oh the joys of cooking on a regular basis! There weren’t too many dishes and pots to clean today, but I noticed some fruit stains on the counter top and the microwave was in dire need of a scrubbing. I was totally freaking out over the stains, because Chris and I move out of this apartment in 10 days, and the last thing we want is to get charged for some frivolous stain removable. I’m a big fan of Seventh Generation cleaners, but the stain was unrelenting! I was panicking and in need of a solution. I think we all know what search engine I turned to….

Thankfully I had some baking soda and lemon juice concentrate lying around so I could tackle this raspberry aftermath.

Stain Buster

Pour some lemon juice (fresh or concentrate) on the afflicting section

Let sit for 2 minutes

Sprinkle baking soda on top of the lemon juice; fizzle, fizzle, fizzle

Let sit for 2 minutes

Wipe it all down and be amazed!


Next was the microwave. No one likes cleaning it. I remember a few years ago seeing this cool product that you put in your microwave. It was like a popcorn bag. It would get larger, excrete some sort of cleaning solution that would cling to the walls, and then you’d wipe everything down with ease. Now, I’m no sucker. Generally when there is a really good stain/crust removing cleaning product on T.V. there is a much cheaper, homemade way to take care of the situation. Don’t even try to pander down to my consumer loving soul!

Make My Life 20x Easier Buster

I poured ½ Apple Cider Vinegar into a bowl with ½ a cup of water. I put the bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes. I took out the (extremely hot bowl) and put it in the kitchen sink (don’t pour it down the drain yet!) and used an old shirt to take the old food off the sides and top of the microwave. Easy peasy. The water and cider created a nice film on the surfaces and everything came off without the need of excessive elbow grease. I also used some of the mixture for a final scrub down.

Is there anything unconventional you use when cleaning around the house/apartment/”apartment style dorm” (as Dom Mazzetti would say @ 2:10)

Peel Away ❤



100th Post!


I’m super happy I’ve made it to this point! Thanks to all of you who just pop in to see what’s up and to my devoted followers. You guys (and gals) keep me writing!

I wasn’t sure what to write about for this post, so instead I’ll give you a funny “shit people say” video that relates to me, like, 100%



Peel Away<3



And as always, check out Peel’s Facebook Page for quick up to date comments, recipes, videos, and articles.


Dirty Dozen & Clean 15!

Since produce and farmer’s market season is upon us, I thought I might update people on this year’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list, which is put out by the Environmental Working Group. Simply put, not everyone has the money to buy 100% organic produce. This means shopping can become a pick and choose event as you stumble down the aisles wondering what you can buy conventional and what you should really try to buy organic!


“Here’s the Dirty Dozen list — the most pesticide-laden conventional produce you can buy. Many of these items have thin leaves or skins that make it easy for them to absorb more toxins. You should buy these fruits and vegetables organic whenever possible to minimize toxicity in your diet:






Nectarines (Imported)

Grapes (Imported)

Sweet Bell Peppers


Blueberries (Domestic)


Kale/Collard Greens”

Hmmm, even I need to do some re-evaluating! Recently I’ve switched over to buying organic apples, and since I don’t eat a bunch of them the price change isn’t too dramatic. I’ve always bought organic spinach (I find conventional spinach really tough) and kale. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things on this list that I still buy conventional, like Sweet Bell Peppers. At my grocery store they are $3.49/LB, which is a little pricey, seeing as they are so big, but at the Co-op I remember them being around $6.00/LB! Yikes! In fact, most of these Dirty Dozen fruits are generally pretty expensive to buy conventional. Thankfully I like all the fruits on the Clean 15 list, so maybe I’ll buy those ones more often and splurge once a month on organic  blueberries & strawberries.

“And here is the Clean 15 list — the cleanest conventional produce on the market. Some of these foods had no detectable pesticide residue at all. Note that many of the “clean” fruits and veggies have thick skins that make it harder for pesticides to permeate.

Sweet corn
Sweet peas
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Sweet potatoes

The first list made me want to clutch my throat in fear, but this one makes me breathe a sigh of relief. For one, we generally buy sweet potatoes (yams) more often than regular potatoes. Watermelon is one of my favorite summer treats and who doesn’t love mango and kiwi? I was surprised to see conventional mushroom were fine, which is great because we go through a lot of mushrooms on a weekly basis.

Shopping for food in this big-agricultural world isn’t perfect or easy. You have to take into consideration how far the foods are traveling, the rights of the workers (don’t even get me started on Chiquita Banana, Dole Pineapple, or the United Fruit Company—check out 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez), the environmental impact, or the effect it has on your health! Plus, you may be more interested in supporting a small, local farmer who uses pesticides rather than a large, faceless big-organic company. Sadly, there is a very slim chance you can have it all, so pick what matters to you! For me, I try to eat for the rights of workers and for my own health. Why? Because I realize that a lot of the foods I eat are grown in countries where people may not have as much as we do, including laws and regulations that protect them from being exploited. I of course really care about what goes into (and on) my body! Others might eat for more environmental reasons. Each is valid and good in its own way!

Peel Away ❤


Ps: The Environmental Working Group also has a neat section on their website called Skin Deep, which evaluates the chemical safety of beauty products you might have in your bathroom!