Happy Place

Some Updates on Me


I’ve been spending a lot of time in my head lately, hyper-focused on next moves in every aspect of my life. Improving everything, being stronger, more fit, making more money, and growing into a better person for my loved ones. And of course for myself.

After attending a vision board party, I realized that I have dreams that I’ve been losing sight of, simply because of the flow of life. I need to bring them to the forefront, evaluate them, and put a plan in place so that they don’t just stay dreams. I just know that I can’t ignore the restless feeling that I have. It lets me know that I am not reaching my potential.

Spring Trip Planning

I was careful not to put any destinations on my vision board, considering that I am always changing my mind about where I want to visit. There is so much of the world that I haven’t seen yet, and I feel like I’m unnecessarily in a rush. Well, my girl Nancy put some fire under me, and we are going to the UK! What’s crazy is, London is the only destination I put on my vision board, and that’s where she asked me to go, less than a month after I created that board.

Nancy and Me in Seoul

We decided to see more than just London, so we’ll also see the English countryside, and we’re starting our journey in Dublin. I’m stoked about that portion (all of it really, but Dublin? Be still, my heart). This will be the first time since Montreal (2015) that I’ve traveled with a friend, so pray for me. Luckily, Nancy is who I visited in Seoul, and she and I have great travel chemistry. We have an itinerary mapped out that allows us to experience the history of London, but also the soul. Our Dublin leg is the only part that we will be winging, but we’re both fine with that. It is the shortest part of our trip, so we’ll see where the wind blows us.

Back Injury

I spent my birthday in a terrible amount of pain. I strained my back after lifting something heavy the day before, and I woke up with terrible spasms. The doctor said rest would heal it, but I started moving around too quickly. Well, to be more specific, I forgot about the doctor’s instructions and ran three days after seeing her. My back felt sore, but I was chugging along. I felt so confident that I did a HIIT cardio session that included lots and lots of burpees. No bueno. I ended up having to bench myself from all activity for four days. On the fifth day, I decided to start with yoga at Corepower Yoga.

I enjoyed it so much that I went back everyday last week. I took Corepower 1 and 2, as well as Yoga Sculpt. I intended to wait a week before running, and after Yoga Sculpt on the sixth day, I knew it was time. Yoga Sculpt was like hot yoga on steroids. The room was 95 degrees, and after some work on our mats, we did some cardio. The instructor also added weights. Imagine going from crescent lunges, to warrior 1 and 2, then reverse warrior-all while having weights in hand. I felt a good kind of hurt.

Meat-Free Lent

Every year I usually give up sweets for Lent. I did not feel like that was significant for me this time, considering that I didn’t overdo them from Thanksgiving to my birthday (I usually do). I wanted to give up bread, then gluten, then carbs altogether, but that all felt too harmful. With my activity level, carbs are currently my friend.

The vegan tamale pie I made. It got devoured before I could even take a photo of the inside

Before deciding to give up meat for 40 days, I consulted with a nutritionist. She advised that as long as I am properly substituting the meat in my diet, I should be okay. It has been pretty fun coming up with recipes, but this is definitely not unfamiliar territory. I was a vegetarian for most of my teens into my early 20’s, and my boyfriend is a vegetarian. I made my tamale pie with Morningstar meat crumbles, but you could also make it with black beans.

Here are some ways I’m getting protein:

  • Svelte organic protein shakes. I started drinking these months ago, since I’m not a fan of the taste of most protein powder.

  • Vega vegan protein powder. The only powder that doesn’t leave a strange taste in my smoothies

  • Greek yogurt. I mix 100-calorie Chobani with my cereal in the morning

  • Nuts and nut butter. I eat pecans by the handful, and I put almond butter on pancakes instead of using syrup. I mixed almond butter into my arroz con leche this week. I also veered from the traditional recipe and used almond milk instead of evaporated and condensed.

  • Quinoa. We love quinoa for breakfast in my house. I make it with apples or bananas, and turmeric and cinnamon.

  • Beans. Black, kidney, lentils, baked, you name it. I eat it.

What are some of your favorite alternative ways to get protein?