40 Days Blog

SHPY 40 Days To Personal Revolution - Blog

40 Days Blog: Four Fun Fruit Feast Recipes

Two Great Recipes from Lisa Dharwadkar: 

1. Butternut Squash Soup

Peel and clean 1/2 a butternut squash

Roast squash in a shallow pan at 400 degrees until well cooked. Put the squash in your vitamix or blender and blend the heck out of it with 1-2 cups water until smooth and velvety (add less water if you like it thicker, and more if you want it diluted).

(I also added 1 full chili pepper because I felt It was a fruit.)

Pour contents into sauce pan over low heat and add some olive oil, salt, and pepper until well heated. 

2. Salad in a Snap

I'm craving salt! This has been one of my favorite fruit feast meals. I'm not sure how compliant it is but I did read that snap peas are fruit so I'm rolling with it. 

1 cucumber well washed with skin, dice in 1 inch cubes
2 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas (including pods) chopped coarsely
Juice of 1 lemon
Oil of your choice (I used grape seed and it was fantastic)
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

Combine the salad and enjoy.

Hope you like these!

My avocados are slowly and painfully ripening and they taunt me when I walk by our fruit bowl.  With my luck they will be ripe after the fruit feast. I will love them just as much then. :)

Two More Great Recipes from Jami Senchesen : 

Here are a couple of recipes I made during my fruit feast:

3. Pina Colada 'Hold the Rum' Smoothie

1 cup orange juice (Trader Joe's sells already fresh squeezed unpasteurized OJ)
1 medium banana sliced and previously frozen
3-4 small pineapple chunks
1 tsp coconut flakes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It tastes a lot like a pina colada but without the rum!!

4. Tomato Red Pepper Soup

Makes two large bowls

4-5 small-medium sized tomatoes (I used vine-ripened)
2 Red Bell Peppers - diced
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: diced avocado

In a large pot, pour olive oil and coat bottom of pot. Add red pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes to slightly brown over medium to medium high heat. Throw in tomatoes and cook for about 10 more minutes or until tomatoes and peppers are soft and tomatoes have cooked down. Stir in lemon juice at end of cooking. Turn off heat. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or allow to cool slightly and blend in a standard blender. To remove some of the tomato seeds, you can run soup through a strainer or flour sifter. When you are ready to serve dice half of an avocado and place on top of soup to add a bit of creaminess.

Hope you enjoy!! If I come up with anything else, I'll be sure to pass them along!

40 Days Blog: Fruit Feast Recipe #1

Avocado, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

1 Large Avocado, diced
1 Medium Cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into half-moons
1 Handful of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved  
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place fruit into bowl. Top with olive oil, salt & pepper, if using. Stir. 

Sit down and enjoy. 

(Makes one serving.)

40 Days Blog: I Am…

Allow the thoughts to come to the surface, then let them go. 

I've been thinking about blogging. Just like I was thinking about raising my hand in the 40 days group last week. When Stacey said "I feel like there is someone else who wants to share but isn't putting their hand up." I felt like she was speaking directly to me. I didn't have the guts then but after this week, I do. I have a sense of empowerment today.  

I got out of restorative yoga with Holly and I thought "wow this was just what I needed." It's so unlike me to take a "restorative" anything in my life. I don't stop. "Go hard or go home" has been my mantra for a long time. 

So last week was so hard because all the guilt and anxiety I've had in my life came to the surface. I was mad, enraged even, and really rotten to be around last week. I was hoping that this practice would make me so much softer and sweeter but it really burned me. I didn't even want to be around myself for most of last week! Then this week came along I learned to just let go. 

I'm being open (with myself, most importantly). I have spent my entire life competing with me--- just myself. Sure I've compared myself to others but I've spent a lot of time comparing myself to my ideal self mostly. I never was beautiful enough, smart enough, kind enough, strong enough-- the list goes on. All the being "not enough" led me to so much guilt in who I am. Eventually I did something constructive about it after years and years of tearing myself down. I turned to running. I found refuge in the meditative state I could be in when I hit the pavement. Feet turned to miles. One mile, a 5k, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, so much training-- then my joints started to break down. "Worthless, again." I would literally run 10 miles and feel guilty that it wasn't 11. "I'm better than this. I can do better." I ran through pain, tears, and when I was done- HA I SHOWED YOU!  I competed with no one but myself and my ego. I called it "drive" or "commitment". It's a positive way to be- until you abuse yourself over every little thing. Then I found power yoga thanks to my friend Sam. She said it was challenging. Yoga? I run marathons (talk about arrogance for someone who had little self worth). Child's pose in the middle of practice? Not an option for this girl. Get my drift? But I fell in love with yoga and then I hurt my wrist and had to take nearly a year off. The fact that I couldn't get through a class really bruised my idea of who I was. "Still weak". Slowly I introduced yoga practice back into my life and HAD to take it easy. I was forced to and it made me learn. BUT- I have to say-these 2 weeks-they made me really open my eyes and heart. Doing the 40 days has already transformed me (in such a brief time) to actually start thinking: I am strong, I am kind, I am a good nurse, a good daughter, a good friend, a good wife. I am successful and driven (in that positive way). I am committed. I am worthy. It's speaking into all aspects of my life not just my physical being. 

So all that to say, even when the guilt I have for the things I've done or have not done creep up, and I think "I'm not enough" I come back to my breath and I remember I don't need to compete with myself anymore. I am enough. 

Kari Kriger
SHPY 40 Days Participant - Winter 2016


40 Day Blog: I Am Capable Of Being Present

This challenge so far has been filled with many ups and downs. But I finally had a breakthrough.

Tuesday, after an interview, which brought to the surface much anxiety, I went to Deb's yoga class. I had so much mental exhaustion and emotion that I sweat it all out. I breathed into the poses and I was able to chill the hell out and enjoy the stretches. It felt amazing shutting my mind down for a change. I walked into that class feeling like crap, and I walked away from the class feeling like I could take on the world- that I was fully capable of solving my silly problems. So thank you, Deb.  

I am going to be completely honest and admit the first week, (and maybe even this week) I have half assed the work. I committed to the challenge to have accountability for my yoga practice.  I knew I needed some change. I felt emptiness in my life and I thought spiritual fulfillment might fill the void. To force myself after a stressful day to go to yoga instead of going to negative coping mechanisms, that in itself is success. Everything prior to this is side noise, mindless brain chatter to my point.  So I shall continue...

I hated the mediation part. My mind never stops. I put a wall up because I believed I would never be able to meditate. Many times the first week, when I tried to meditate my mind wandered, I fell asleep, or I didn't give it my all. I just did it to get the chore done. To cross it off my to-do list. No rhythm, rhyme or meaning.  Not finding any value in it other than a waste of time.  On Wednesday morning, I sat down to meditate before my most hated day of the week. And that is when I noticed the change.

I normally sat there in a different world with my thoughts, usually focusing my mind towards the future responsibilities of the day. Also (at night)  I would focus on the responsibilities that I didn't complete, or things I wish I would have done differently.  That morning, I heard Jen Lee's voice from the recording say "acknowledge the pattern of your thoughts." I noticed that my thoughts were no longer full of anxiety or planning, or any other nonsense. Of course, there was a lot of mind chatter. But it was mindless mind chatter. Thoughts that did not evoke negative emotion in me.

After a day of work, in which I felt many different emotions, but mainly drained and exhausted.  (I work with special needs individuals as their mentor, and I am constantly driving and traffic and constantly on the go.)  My mind said, meditate. I went to my quiet spot, and I meditated. That was when it clicked. I felt still. I felt calm. I felt nothing other than my breath, and my body. For the first time, I was able to sit in silence, and think of NOTHING. After the ten minutes, I opened my eyes, and I felt like I was brand new. I realized I enjoy my meditation time. I realized I AM capable of calming my mind. I am capable of being present. I did it.

Jamie Kern
SHPY 40 Days Participant - Winter 2016

40 Days Blog: Weighing The Changes

Before 40 days, I would hop on the scale every morning, thinking that something would happen.  Waiting for some sort of confirmation or number to tell me that I was moving in the right direction.  I would do this every morning regardless if I was working out or sticking to a diet.  I am not sure exactly what I was looking for.  All I know is that I did it every morning and sometimes that number would dictate my mood and my actions.

Something is happening now that I have been part of this 40 days journey.  I notice that I am not stepping on the scale each morning looking for something.  I don't feel the need to.  Changes are happening and I like them.

Wishing everyone some positive thoughts today.

Kathryn Cerminara
SHPY 40 Days Participant - Winter 2016

40 Days Blog: Frog Hops

I admit it.  I HATE Frog Hops.  If any of you have been in one of Stacey’s classes in the last two months then you have experienced the phenomenon of the Frog Hop.  It is like she is obsessed with them and now other teachers (thanks Darcy) have caught on to this new trend and are incorporating them in their classes too!  So I decided to confront my dislike of this particular yoga pose knowing that I would soon be starting the 40 Days to Personal Revolution and needed to explore the “nuances” of my yoga practice.  So why did I hate them so much?  Was it the fact that they are challenging and require a lot of shoulder stability, which is one of my weak areas?  Is it the fear of going upside down?  Is it the loss of control as my feet leave the ground and I picture myself somersaulting over onto my back?  Or maybe it is an innate phobia of amphibians??   Probably not the last one.  So what would Baron Baptiste do?   He would do more of them of course- practice outside of my comfort zone and challenge my edge.  So that is what I did.  I started doing sets of five Frog Hops a couple times a day- before I took a shower, while I was waiting for the pasta water to boil, during commercials while binge-watching Netflix….etc.  And guess what- I got better.  I felt more confident and stronger.  I might have even begun to like them (a little). 

 So, as I was flowing through the yoga practice during Stacey’s Power 60 class I knew the Frog Hops were coming.  And here were the cues: hands flat as pancakes shoulder width apart; big toes and heels glued together; inhale and bend knees; exhale and jump!  And she starts counting: 10 (OK I am doing them), 9 (hmmm… not as bad as last class), 8 (hey- I am getting a little air time), 7 (ohh…that was a good one), 6….. And then Stacey was next to me cueing me to go up. Not having a moment to second guess the decision, I was in a handstand!  At first, she was supporting me and then she told me to tuck my pelvis and extend my legs back and she LET GO.  I let out an audible “Oh my gosh!!” and was able to maintain the handstand for a couple of moments on my own before bringing my feet back to earth.   I was thinking while resting in child’s pose, “What just happened?” 

Suffice to say, I had one of those moments that yoga teachers are always talking about.  I was in the moment 100%, not forcing the pose, but allowing it to unfold organically with the help of the right cues from a teacher.  This is why we keep coming back to our mats.  This is why we meditate and bring our thoughts back to our breath.  This is why we committed to 40 Days of Personal Revolution.  And this is why I am grateful to my body and my mind for enabling me to practice yoga. 

And I guess that extra work at home doing sets of Frog Hops might have had something to do with my successful moment. So next time a teacher cues Frog Hops, I won’t inwardly groan..…maybe :)

Have a great week!

~Christine McGee
SHPY 40 Days Participant - Winter 2016

40 Days Blog: Start where you are–– right now, this minute–– and move from there.

I left after a LONG day at work, looking at more work to do once I was home. How was I going to fit in a yoga practice? Maybe Monday should be my rest day? Maybe I could just skip? I mean I'm sick after all. No one would fault me. 

I checked my email after dinner and saw "Start where you are–– right now, this minute–– and move from there." So I did. I didn't have the energy for any thing that resembled a power yoga practice so I did a 20 minute restorative one. Still took me about 15 minutes from rolling out my mat, to actually getting on it, but I completed Day 2. Now meditation before bed. 


Full disclosure... I fell asleep before I meditated last night. 

I almost dropped out of the 40 days because of all that has gone on in my life the past two weeks.  I decided to stick it out, even if I can't complete it to "perfection."  In staying with it, I'm leaving my comfort zone.  In some ways I'm very type A: Do everything exactly how it's expected.  Check things off the list. Work harder to get better results. Go Big or Go Home.  In spite of the chaos happening in my life, I decided to stay in 40 days.  To see where this leads me.  To be gentler and more forgiving with myself when I don't do everything "perfectly."  To just try to do the best that I can everyday.  Some days that's going to be less, or more, than I think can do.  And some days it's going to look different what I expect I "should" be doing.  

~Michelle McSwigan
SHPY 40 Days Participant - Winter 2016