What brings me back to balance

I finally have a stocked kitchen again! YAY!! Who knew just how much I would crave grocery shopping, unloading my bags, and making a mess in the kitchen until I didn't have one to do it in! As you know, I have been in a transition of moving, and so I hadn't really placed myself anywhere until just about a week ago. See post: http://gowiththeglow.net/2013/10/16/are-you-moving-or-escaping/ While it was fun eating out every day, it sure didn't lend a grounding effect for me, as much as I do love all my healthy, vegan restaurants in LA!

Having already lived here, I had my favorite spots to frequent, but in a pinch, I type in 'vegan' in the yelp app search and see what's surrounding me. It's also helpful that you can find a Whole Foods or natural food store pretty much anywhere these days and get something on the run. This all sounds pretty great, huh? Easy to get sucked into this routine, but it doesn't have the grounding effects I need!

All this eating out could quickly become an 'easy' habit, and even if the restaurant choices are the best case scenarios, it will still never compare to my own cooking! Not to say my cooking is nearly as good, but it's my own energy being poured into the food and therefore has healing, and loving benefits that you just can't get from a mass producing kitchen, let's face it!

I was craving the ritual and relationship I have with my cutting board, my knife, my little routine of having some leftovers in the fridge, and planning my day ahead, that I couldn't wait to make a Trader Joe's and Whole Foods grocery run! It's amazing how important this ritual has become for me, now that I've learned how to cook for myself--It grounds me and brings me into harmony! Ideally, I like to cook dinners for myself 4/5 nights a week so that they can turn into lunch leftovers, which then frees me up to enjoy going out the rest of the week--win/win:)!

Just unpacking my grocery bags made me smile! Now, when I open the refrigerator door or the pantry door, I can have freedom to make whatever I feel like! it's so inspiring and exciting to have my vegetable/fruit bowl filled up, my array of leafy greens in the fridge, and tupperware filled containers of leftovers just waiting to be eaten!:)

I'm always brought back to balance when I make my 'go-to' Macrobiotic and Ayurvedic healing dishes: Nishime, Kinpira (see below photo), and Kitchari to name a few.

Just look at how grounding this meal looks!:

Kinpira

Cooking for myself brings me back to balance, into a state of harmony and peace. This is what happiness means to me!

The other 2 most important elements of balance for me are a daily yoga/meditation practice, and daily walks! I'm starting to realize just how important being grounded really is, and how ungrounded I can become! Now that I've adopted this yogic/healthy lifestyle, I'm sensitive to the effects of becoming overly stimulated/scattered.

Computers, iphones, sugar, alcohol, eating out, not moving your body, or cultivating quiet, can really weaken your adrenal glands, your nervous system and your kidneys, which ultimately creates stress and anxiety in the body. Needless to say, unplugging for little periods of the day are so so important for me!

Taking the time to go for a 30 min walk, to include a daily yoga/meditation practice, and to cook a meal for myself are the best ways to bring me back to balance--back to my center. Check out this post on other ways of 'zen-ifying' and how our gadgets are draining our inherent energy source:http://gowiththeglow.net/2012/03/07/zen-ify/.

Being near the ocean, surrounded by palm trees, feeling the breeze and the warm sunshine on my face, I am instantly uplifted and peaceful. Wouldn't you be if you were here:):

Palisades Park Walk

Being able to sneak a walk in is easy, but getting back into a groove of a yoga schedule wasn't quite as seamless. Finally, after two weeks of no yoga, I am back in business! There are so many yoga studios and teachers to choose from in this Santa Monica yoga mecca, that it is easy to pop in for a class, just as easy as it is to pop into a coffee shop--the hard part is just getting it on your schedule!

That's why I have to look at my schedule in the beginning of the week and plug in the times like I would with any appointment--it's a date with myself!:) And O.M.G. it's soooo worth it! Just breathing new life into all the cells of my body, becoming present to my mat, and opening up all the meridians in my body makes me feel oh so good!

So there it is folks, the ways in which I can bring myself back to my happy place, in it's most basic forms: cooking, walking and moving (yoga). If I make it part of my schedule, and stick to it, I've cultivated healthy boundaries and therefore created a grounding effect, anchored in my core values--health and happiness! I hope this inspires you to do the same for you!

Lots of love

In health and happiness,

Kate