Cilantro & Asparagus: Delightful or Devious Summer Foods

In the winter we rarely want to get out of our beds to walk or drive to our respective day responsibilities, so the idea of pot lucks is basically out of the question. Yes, in the winter I like to cuddle under a blanket, sip hot tea with honey, and stare angrily out the window, wondering (for the umpteenth time) why I didn’t attend college out of state. Aside from Thanksgiving (and for some people Chrismahanakwanzica) the colder months means cooking for me, myself, and I. But summer, for obvious reasons, is much different. We drink a bit more, we eat a bit more, we want to share the bounties from our community gardens, etc, etc. Coming together to eat is excellent. However, as we all congregate together to eat food and roast marshmallows over a fire, we should take into consideration summer dining etiquette.

Aside from asking about food alleriges people may have, I have come up with two common foods that are often over looked by food lovers. This post won’t be entirely bitter (if you pardon the pun, which will make sense in a few moments), as I get to tackle it from two sides!

The first food, related to the pun, is cilantro. Cilantro, also known as coriander,  is this green herb, similar to parsley, that is often sprinkled liberally in fresh salsa, on tacos, and used to intensify dishes. It truly is a love/hate thing. My friend and I hate cilantro. On our high school dinner dates out to Margaritas (oh, what a classy, true Mexican food establishment) we would sneer at the pretty green flakes floating around in our perfectly decent salsa. Oh, the travesty. Scientists have tried to figure out why some people absolutely abhor the taste and smell (I find it to be terribly bitter and many say it tastes like soap) and have figured out it comes down to genetics. So, if you are so inclined to make a dish with cilantro and bring it to a gathering (large or small) please be a dear and make 2 batches, or leave some cilantro leaves in another bowl for people to add (source) (source2).

On the flip side, I adore asparagus. When I had my small stint at High Point University, I dined at their 5-Star Steak House (so amazing) and was told by the waiter that Asparagus was a perfectly acceptable finger food. Just pick it up—perhaps hold up the pinky?—and crunch away in a respectable manner. It’s deliciously-simple with olive oil, pepper, and a hint of salt. Its great hot or cold. Even if you over cook it all is not lost. But some people hate it. Chris was one such person. I always wanted to incorporate it into our meals; you know a little change from the green beans! He was adamant we never add it to the list. When I finally asked why he was so against it, he sheepishly said it made his pee smell. And then I remembered hearing my Aunt talk about it in a very lewd way during my impressionable teen years—I blame my father’s side for the occasional crass comments I make. So, what’s the deal? Well, apparently people have talked about the horrific smell of urine after eating asparagus for ages. I felt superior, knowing my pee was putrid free…until I found out that ALL urine smells when you eat asparagus, but only 25% of the population takes note of it (source). Geesh, that’s enough to make an asparagus loving girl self conscious. Note to self: no going to the bathroom in a group after indulging in the green stalks. So, again, if you are in charge of bringing the vegetables to the gathering, and happen to know a fair amount of the people, ask around to gauge the general consensus. Green beans might be the way to go!

Most people have food ailments. It is impossible to be the perfect host. I would never expect someone to go overly out of their way to tend to my gluten issues. In fact, I tell them about my condition and offer to bring something gluten-free that everyone can eat, or I fill up beforehand. I mean, heaven forbid we go a few hours without eating. However, with sneaky foods like asparagus and cilantro, that people are genetically predisposed to either liking or disliking, it’s best to air on the side of caution, or else we’ll have people spitting out the salsa or running away from the bathroom!

Peel Away ❤

Home Sweet Home

We’re now 99.999% moved in. Besides the few condiments Chris left at his house (you know, the condiments we HAD to take from the old kitchen…sigh) and a box of books we forgot, everything is pretty much in place.  There was also a bed fiasco which resulted in me having to drop a cool $260 for a new twin bed, box spring, and platform (grumble, grumble) and a horrible mess up with the internet service at Comcast (oh, someone is getting a new booty hole when I go in there!), but besides that were feeling good. I admit, the first night when I was on the dreaded old futon mattress on the floor, behind our living room chairs, looking up the ceiling, I felt incredibly anxious. That anxiety started to subside the next day, and now I’m truly falling in love with the apartment. It’s fun to creep out the window, our upstairs neighbors seem like nice guys (third time is a charm!), and free hot water + the washer and dryer combo is, as the college students say, pretty clutch.

Here are some photos of the place. When the living room is looking photo shoot ready—my bike is squashed rather unfortunately and precariously between the coffee table and wall—I’ll try to take a full on shot. In the mean time imagine this: you walk into the door. Straight ahead is a corner section that has 2 chairs, a futon couch against the wall, a coffee table in the center, and a liquor cabinet/side table (more on that!) in between the 2 chairs. On the backside of one of the chairs is my little sleeping area. As the break up initiator I thought it was only decent of me to leave Chris with the bedroom and humbly call the living room my bed space.  It’s not that bad at all, seeing as our living room is pretty beastly. There is even a large open area where a bookshelf will go and where I can practice some yoga and even hold some private sessions. Pretty exciting!

 

My morning view! The other day was exceptionally grey, but normally the light streams in so beautifully. The sound of the passing cars drowns out most of the drunk passer-byers. Unlike our old place, people are generally hightailing it down to the bar and not congregating outside for 30 minutes. Honestly, can you tell how excited I am to never have to hear the majority of those people screaming again! Hallelujah!

A cool little tea light wall accent I got at Walmart. They don’t provide a huge amount of light, but they give a relaxing ambience to the living room.

Today both the internet and bed people were in the apartment. It was very convenient that just as the internet dudes were leaving the mattress boys were coming in. I won’t bother going into the full story about the internet fiasco—just know it involves me getting magically “upgraded” to a new package that cost $50 more without my consent—but Chris spent an hour on the phone with a Tech guy from Texas after I spent an hour calling the company back until I could get a competent aid. Word to the wise: if you feel like you’re being duped push back! I work at the Enrollment Service Office, so I knew that screaming wouldn’t help, but I started being a lot more firm when I felt like people were taking the easy way out on the phone. Assertiveness gets results!

 

My little decorating project, inspired by some intense Pinteresting. Obviously, I just found a bunch of frames and arranged them on the wall. I didn’t get all fancy with a leveler or anything, but I got pretty good at finding the softer spots in the wall to hammer into. My favorite part of this wall section is the wrought iron frame I got. The stand that would hold it up on a table wouldn’t come off, but I realized I could leave the frame upside-down and use it as mail holder. If Chris comes back and finds a bill for me in the mailbox he can stick it in there instead of on a table, which naturally becomes Clutter Island. Over time I’m hoping to add some more frames to the collection. Fingers crossed for my circular beauties!

 

I took the photos off my old wall and threw them out, but the record art is going to make a second appearance! Again, records are a cheap and easy way to take up wall space in your apartment.

Peep the duct tape job. Notttt the cutest, but it works to hold the curtains over during the daytime!

 

As seen above, I got this awesome three tier “thing” to hold all my jewelry for $1.75. It’s so cool! I feel so sumptuous, so Marie Antoinette! Now I no longer have all my things in three different jewelry boxes.

Earrings are going on the bottom.

The kitchen! It’s so sunny. We face the lake so we actually have sunlight all day, which is great from a food photography perspective. I don’t have to make all my dinner dishes during the daytime, in order to harness the power of natural light. Our kitchen countertops and sinks also don’t really allow for dish clutter, so it looks like we’ll never have those 1 hour dish cleaning sessions again. So far it seems to be a good thing!

I have enough counter space for all my appliances! I put the juicer next to the sink for easy, excuse free cleaning. And look, Woodchuck cider now comes in a can. How fun! Looks like I might have to shot gun one sometime. Hey, when you go gluten free and cannot find anything that isn’t in a glass bottle you don’t take simplicity, silence (no clink, clink, clink), and chin-drippin’ guzzling for granted *wink*

A nice hallway closet was a savior! No need to buy a bureau for the living room, phew.

 

Light show! I got some cute little jars to hold the tea lights. I even tried this thing I found on Pinterest. You fill a little bowl with coffee beans and put a tea light in the middle. The warmth from the light makes the coffee beans smell. Sadly, it doesn’t actually work, but it looks pretty darn cute! Maybe I need to grind them?

 

The most awesome fruit basket ever! I loved the fruit bowl at my old place, but I found it to be constantly over flowing. With the different levels I have more room for fruits and can keep certain items away from each other—apples release gases and can make other fruits ripen too quickly.  This was a Goodwill purchase I was totally cheesing over.

 

Something Chris and I talked about wanting was a liquor cabinet. And then we looked online and saw that liquor cabinets can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. And even the wire/wood rolling carts were pretty pricey. Thankfully, we found this unique cabinet at the Goodwill for $5.50. Chevron print has been all over the internet, so maybe next month I’ll give it a paint job. The sliding doors have a touch of decades past and we cannot wait to fill it with wine and booze. Come over, friends, if you want a well mixed drink.

I also found this pretty canister and some fake flowers to put in it. Faux-bouquets have really come a long way since the 90’s when people used clear dots of glue on rose petals to give the appearance of dew; shudder. The best part is I’ll never have to water them and they’ll never look dull.

 

 

Thanks for taking a look at my new place. I’m in absolute love, thus far. And now that I have the internet back you can expect usual posting for me!  I’ve missed writing to ya’ll!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

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?

So,
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 ❤

Jocellyn

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

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://www.againstthegraingourmet.com/products/

http://www.quinoa.net/145/163.html

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?) ❤

Jocellyn

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.

Recipe

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 ❤

Jocellyn

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 ❤

Jocellyn

 

100th Post!

Wow!

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

Jocellyn

Ps:

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!

(Source)

“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:

Apples

Celery

Strawberries

Peaches

Spinach

Nectarines (Imported)

Grapes (Imported)

Sweet Bell Peppers

Potatoes

Blueberries (Domestic)

Lettuce

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.

Onions
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Asparagus
Sweet peas
Mangoes
Eggplant
Cantaloupe (domestic)
Kiwi
Cabbage
Watermelon
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Mushrooms”

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 ❤

Jocellyn

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!

I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl. I’ve Been Careless With My Delicate Body

The thing about living a healthy lifestyle that revolves around eating well and exercising is that unless you’re being paid for it (i.e fitness models, competitors, athletes, endorsers, etc.)  you’re probably going to slip up every so often. I’m well aware that breaks are prime time for slippage. You are no longer beholden to your usual schedule, meaning you have more free time. I typically go into these periods thinking of all the time I’ll have to work out, try new foods, etc, but, being honest, I really just sleep more, watch Netflix, and keep pushing my workouts back.

Sooner or later you’re going to start to feel bad physically and emotionally. If you have gone back to eating less than healthy foods (or you find yourself going to the bar more often…) you’re body is going to start throwing little temper tantrums as it attempts to process all the unsavoriness you’re feeding it.  You’ll also start to feel emotionally crappy. You might not be sleeping as well, you might notice certain areas of your body becoming softer, and you might be upset because you know it’s wrong. Good. You should. And I don’t mean this in a horrible way. I’m a firm believer that you should fuel the body as well as feed the soul. Without both, life would be pretty boring, however going out to the bar all the time and eating takeout on the regs is not feeding the soul: it’s feeding some void. One takeout order: acceptable. Just don’t let it become a habit! And don’t go on an emotional down spin where you restrict everything and start working out an unsustainable level. Use that motivation to humbly get back on the wagon.

One of the first things I needed to start dialing back on was the drinking. Going out 3x a week and having 2 drinks at the bar doesn’t necessarily equal getting plastered, but it does equal a lot of money and empty calories that start to compound. I’m normally pretty good with my finances, but getting $100 less in a paycheck than usual because of exam’s week and going out drinking like I had been meant having the call dad with my tail between my legs. Not going to happen again!  Plus moving into my new, cheaper apartment  means I need to start being a little more militant about my drinking, lest I want to call daddy-o again!

The second thing I needed to get back in my life is yoga. For the past month and a half I haven’t been going to glasses due to a yoga related shoulder injury that just wouldn’t quit. I kept my sanity by making those YOGA MANIA videos (I should start that up again, right?) and working on my handstands at home.  I’d occasionally take some muscle relaxers and bum around about how I did this to myself f. This week, I finally decided I needed to get back on the yoga horse. The night before I went to an ashtanga class my shoulder started acting up again, which made no sense because I hadn’t been going to yoga in ages! And then it all made sense! Chris and I had recently changed our beds around again, and I was back to sleeping on my basic futon mattress instead of a futon mattress on top of a regular mattress. So all along it was my pesky bed that had weakened my right shoulder (I’m rather partial to sleeping on my right side), not my yoga practice. I practically floated to class with joy and had one of the best 90 minute practices in a really, really long time. Time for a new bed! Oh, daddy! Just kidding…But really.

On top of yoga, I’ve started exercising again. I know, sigh, moan, roll your eyes. I’m that girl that constantly talks about how she is going to exercise and never follows through. I know, unappealing, but I’ve been looking back at the women in Oxygen magazine and remembering how much I appreciate a well sculpted body. Plus, I think as humans we need to sweat it out and push ourselves, and since the majority of us no longer have fields to toil in, working out is the next best thing. Yesterday I did a Zuzana Light video that took 25:27! I thought I was going to die. I followed it up with a clean lunch (haddock and corn) and a protein shake. I’m still pretty sore from it all, but I slept like an absolute baby and feel amazingly refreshed this morning. It feels 100% better to be back on the good food, exercise, and healthy mind set.

Workout

10 reps Dive Bombers
5 Burpees
20/20 (right/left) Squat Leg Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Side Plank Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Pistol Squats (w/ the help of a chair)
5 Burpees

It took all my energy to muster this “flex”

Our life has ups and downs, and I like to think that we learn a lot from our ‘down’ moments. We learn how to get back on our feet and we start to appreciate how awesome the ‘ups’ really are. So if you are like me and have been slipping for a little bit then pinch yourself on the cheekies and wake up. You don’t have to wait till Monday to shake off your bad habits and start back over again!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Ps: Check out my friend Jillian over at Zest&Honey: She is going through the same sort of business I am and combating it with some tasty Avocados!

Kanye West Better Not Blow Up My Award Moment!

Okay, so this is a few days overdue, but at the end of April (during exam week) I was given a Liebster award from the ladies over at TriAnythingFitness. I was grinning from ear to ear when it happened.

1. Choose 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blog so they know about the award.

4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don’t know about you

So, we all know I’m kind of WordPress slow, so I apologize if anyone of you great people has more than 200 followers. I wasn’t sure how to check (insert angel face emoticon.)

In no particular order

Ms. Emily over at The Smile Loft. So, I go to school with Emily. She is a pretty quiet girl…or so I thought! There is lots of scheming behind that silence, I can tell. Her posts are funny, informative, and I love that there is so much to look at on the site, along with lots of photos. Check her out, people!

Mr. Justin over at WALK & TALK.  When I think of blogging I tend to think ladies, ladies, ladies. Have no fear, this is one dude that blogs like a maniac. I love his site! There is food, there is travel, there is fashion, and it is all so elegant for a college student but incredibly unpretentious. For one, I love that his favorite movie list features flicks like: Toy Story, Sweeny Todd, and Terminator.

Ms. Jillian over at Zest & Honey. Okay, so this is another lady I happen to personally know. Jillian is effervescent, lovely, and really into healthy living and cooking. She puts me to shame, really. You should all be over on her site. Unfollow me! Jk. Don’t do that, but her site is really great and she is so down with making complex recipes that I pretend to not have the time to undertake. Her photos are elegant with a homey feel. It’s a perfect blog to read anytime, but most excellent on dreary days with a cup of tea and a warm blanket.

Ms. Sophie over at the Feel Good Tribe. The site is so professional looking, there are cute printables, there is a good mixture of in-depth and quick-read posts, and I think we could all benefit from taking a few short minutes to read her stuff before we take on the day! Don’t forget to take a look at those “pump-you-up” quote photos!

That’s it! I only have 4 blogs to post. I really don’t follow a lot of people because I love to be able to check up on everyone on a regular basis. The other people I do follow have a ton of followers as well, but I think four is a good starting place.

5 Random Facts

Okay, so when I was little I sneezed and farted at the same time. I was so embarrassed because the other kids heard and made fun of me. In fact, I was soooo embarrassed that I went home “sick” that day. To make sure it never happened again, I started developing this whole cough-sneeze hybrid to ensure I never tooted again. To this day, as a 21 year old, it is very rare that I do a full on sneeze and I live in fear that one will slip out at inopportune moment!

I thought I was going to be executed when I was 7 because I stole some Hello Kitty gum from a store (the only thing I ever stole!) For some reasons the death penalty was being hotly debated on the news that summer, and one person said “No matter the crime, and no matter the age, you will find yourself on this gurney.” To compound the stress level, there were a lot of helicopters flying over our town that summer, and I thought they were looking for me. One evening I finally broke down and told my mom, telling her I didn’t want to end up on death row. Oi-friggin-vey, right?

I have really terrible oral hygiene habits. Like, really bad. It’s embarrassing. I’m all metal mouth!

If I could choose to have mind blowing sex every day for the rest of my life or be able to eat Reese’s every day for the rest of my life without getting sick of them or gaining weight…I’d choose the Reese’s; hands down!

I have to smell everything I eat, even if I’ve had it before. It’s a sniff I’ve subtly perfected over the decades.

Peel Away<3

Jocellyn