Filters, perceptions and adulating -- oh my!

"Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more then likely reflect your outcomes." -Sonya Teclai

Adulting can be really confusing sometimes. It's this sweet mix of pain and heartache and surrender, joy and growth.

Growing up I thought stepping into the adult world meant life got easier. I use to look on at all the grown ups in my life and think, "Man, I can't wait to be an adult too. Life looks way more fun when you are older."

I had high hopes, big dreams and lofty aspiration as a kid. I was going to set the world on fire with my badass adutingness (That is a word in my adult world) and I could hardly wait to get there. Being an adult is what dreams were made of, right?  

Okay, so insert scratching record player and every head turning in my direction as if I just stepped into the room wearing nothing but a velvet fedora and a bright pink sash that say, "Look at me! Look at me! I'm a mother fing gangsta!" Stranger things have happened. 

Life, as an adult, is interesting to say the least. Some view it as the most amazing part of the human experience, full of incredible opportunities, exchanges, experiences and so on. Others are practically hammering the nails in their own coffin as they slowly let the days pass them by, loathing every minute,  just waiting for it all to be over. 

The only difference? Filters, perceptions and perspective. 

Right after my divorce I was living with my brother and sister-in-law back in my home town of Issaquah, Washington and my adorably sweet and ridiculously intuitive and smart nephew would often as me out of what felt like out of nowhere, "TT, when am I going to be an adult?" It was always said as if he was missing out on some kind of awesome toy that comes once you enter adulthood. I'm serious, we'd be in the middle of watching a movie or playing with his toys and he'd just pause, look up at me and ask, "TT, when am I going to be and adult?

I always took a long, deep breath, remembering what it felt like to be a kid longing to grow up fast. I'd looked at him, smile and say, "Oh buddy, you have plenty of time to be an adult. Just be happy and have fun being a kid. You'll have plenty of time to adult"

He'd always look back at me with a questioning stare as if I was hiding some big, crazy something from him like, the Easter Bunny was in fact, really a Turtle. Sometimes you can't win with kids. Sometimes kids are way more intuitive then we give them credit for. 

I often wondered how I could persuade him into slowing down a bit and just enjoy being a kid. How, if he was't careful, before he knew it he'd be thirty-six years old, looking back on his life wondering how it went by so fast. I want to tell him that there are some really beautiful things about the naivety of being a kid and you can never go back to that time in your life and so try and drag it out as long as possible.

Sometimes, when he'd ask me, "TT, when AM I going to be an adult?" these words would momentarily flash before me: 

Bud, adulting is scary business. Really friggin' scary. You see, there are all these expectations and responsibilities and one wrong move and you can completely screw everything up. Or at least it feels that way most of the time.  

And the choices. All the friggin' choices. God, are there A LOT of decisions to make. Like, seriously man. I mean, I work way better with multiple choice questions so why can't life work that way too? Just give me a few choices, I'll work my process of elimination and viola, I'll know exactly what to do and life will feel very easy. Instead, life feels like you are constantly writing a twenty-five page abstract essay on a time limit of about five minutes. Cause that's basically how fast life goes by when you reach adulthood bud. 

You think picking out a new toy is overwhelming sweet boy? Well, just wait until you have to pick out a whole friggin' life in a world that is constantly changing full of other adults who are trying to make similar choices. It can feel dark and scary and like there are storms brewing from every directions. 

Then there are experiences that happen that are just out of your control. Heartbreak, betrayal, lies, death, illness, losing jobs, falling in love, falling out of love, realizing the person you are with just can't love you back. Mommy and daddy aren't around twenty-four seven to put a bandaid on your broken heart or hold you when you are scared of the lions under the bed. And sometimes you lie in bed at night and just cry because it all just feels like too much and all you want to do is go back to a time when your biggest worry was how the hell you are going to hide the fact that you spilt milk on the couch from your mom and dad and you come up with the brilliant idea that you'll just simply let the dog lick it up and you are proud of yourself. 

Life works it's way so deep into your cells that you start to feel yourself become jaded and rough. You are constantly in a tug-a-war, an internal battle of staying soft and open verses becoming hard and crusty with every major life experience. 

Then there are these things called responsibilities. If you aren't careful they wills start to weigh you down like a one hundred pound weight that you are required to carry around every day, all day. All a result of some choice you made in the past. Another wrong turn you took when you were merely just trying to make, what you thought, was the best decision at the time. 

Oh, and whoa, I almost forgot, people are mean. And scary. I mean, not all of them, but there are a lot of them that are because most of them are just as scared and tired as you are and they are merely taking their frustrations and fears out on you. Their shoulders are just as heavy from the weight of their own stories. 

And don't get me started on failed dreams. All those things you wanted to do, all those places you wanted to go, the wild, crazy adventures you thought you'd experience on a regular basis, a lot of them probably won't come true and you'll be left feeling disappointed, depressed and wondering if this is really what life is supposed to be about. So, buddy, there is plenty of time to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Just stay a kid as long as you friggin' can, okay? 

I'd come to after a minute, shaking off the remnants of my own fears and instead, I'd smile, take a deep breath and say, "Buddy, you have plenty of time to be an adult. Just try and enjoy being a kid as long as you can, okay?" And he'd give me a confused look as if I just told him the Easter Bunny was, in fact, a Turtle. 

And then others times, quieter, peaceful, more self-reflective and grow-inspired times, I'd look at him and think: 

Buddy, if you can, try to stay young as long as possible but pay attention now because you will learn a lot about yourself, who you are, what you want to do, your gifts to the world. If you start to listen closely now, you'll learn that the voice inside of you is actually the truth. Its like an internal compass, helping you navigate your way through life. Its the way, the truth, and the light. Unfortunately, a lot of us stop listening to it as we get older and let other things guide us.

Adulting is amazing bud. It comes with freedoms you don't have as a kid like being able to make decisions for yourself. There are choices that you GET to make as an adult that mommy and daddy make for you as a kid. You GET to choose what you want to do and who you want to be. Isn't that exciting?   

And this bud, this is very important to remember so listen closely sweet boy; life does not happen TO you but FOR you. It's easy bud, to become a victim of life's circumstances. Believe me, your TT has perfected that. We can become jaded and fearful, afraid to get hurt again, to put yourself out there once more, to be seen, especially for an introverts like us. But just keep going. Keep breaking down walls or better yet, fight hard to never put them up to begin with. No matter how afraid you are just remember that life isn't about staying trapped in a protective bubble. Life is about stepping out of your comfort zone and finding the courage to keep going, despite the disappointments, the set back, the fears, the heartache, the pain and the betrayal.

All of it is for your growth as you move through life as an adult. I'll be honest, it doesn't always feel good. Some of it is heavy stuff and almost all of it is the result of a filter or perception we've taken on, sometimes a long time ago. But you want to know one of the coolest things about being an adult? You GET to change that if you want. You have all the freedom in the world to rewrite whatever story you'e been telling yourself. 

So bud, the hard moments are really the defining moments. They don't always make sense. You may end up going through the same experience many times, that too is intended for your growth. You see, until we learn what we need to learn, until we decide to change, life does that to you. It keeps bringing you the same people (just different faces) the same experience, and the same situation, until you decide to rewrite your story, to go down a different path, and to find the courage to react differently. 

Life can be extremely mesmerizing too bud. It can suck you in like when you stand barefoot on the beach, starring down as your feet sinking into the coolness of the sand. Or like when you stand at the shoreline as the waves lap over your feet and you stare out into the endless ocean horizon and feel so full of possibility. Or maybe like when you feel captivated by the crackling embers of the amber and yellow light from a campfire. Adulting has so many moments like that too. 

Buddy, being an adult is awesome. But so is the simplicity of being a kid. Your only job right now is to have fun and be open to new things. To explore and learn, to make mistakes and learn from them. Try not to carry those mistakes with you because if you aren't careful, they will start to feel really heavy and weigh you down later on in life. Learn from them, then brush them off and let them go. Don't let them become part of your story, don't let the cloud your filters and shape your perceptions. 

There will be seasons of pain and sadness. It will come and go, ebb and flow without any warning. If you can, accept that and ride the wave of feelings that come with it knowing that, as grandma always tells me, "This too will eventually pass and you will feel joy and happiness once again. Just give it time."  

And yes, there will be seasons of joy bud and man does this feel good. It kind of feels like every day for you now, as a kid. You wake up so excited for what the day will bring. You jump out of bed, take a big stretch and wonder what amazing thing you will experience today. You know that feeling bud, when we put on our rain boots and go on a walk and jump in puddle after puddle and we laugh and laugh until our bellies ache and are cheeks hurt from that incredible feeling we feel? Those days feel a lot like that. 

Life is a mix of those seasons little man, but always remember this; without the storms and the rain, there wouldn't be any puddles to jump in. 

Then I'd give him a smile and say, "See bud, there is a lot of great things about being an adult, but if you can, enjoy the experience of being a kid." And he'd still look back at me with his confused and questioning stare as if I told him the Easter Bunny was in fact, a Turtle.   

So which one is the truth? Which filter do you walk around with? The first? The second? A mix of both? I don't know. That isn't for me to decide for you. But I hope you think long and hard about the way you view life, the world around you and realize that perception is everything. And it's okay if sometimes you see the world as both because we all have good days and bad days, joyful seasons and sad ones. We would never fully appreciate the happiness that comes from the good times if we hadn't experience the bad ones. 

And it is ridiculously important to remember this one very things;  our filters create our present reality but what we see isn't always the truth. Sometimes we have to take a deep breath, step back and try to look at each situation, each experience, each person from a different perspective, a different angle, a different lens. We have to remember that life isn't happening TO us but FOR our greatest growth as human beings. 

Our filters and perceptions may not actually be the truth and the reality is, we should all smile at the fact that the Easter Bunny very well may in fact, be a Turtle to someone. 

 

Reflections of My Sugar Habits + Savoury Kale and Onion Waffles

I am on day three of no sugar and so far, things are going great! I think a big part of this has to do with the fact that I don't eat a ton of sugar as it is, but I definitely sneak in more then I am aware of. Last night after a taco salad dinner I was craving something sweet pretty fiercely but I drank some lemon water and it subsided pretty quickly. Yay!I also gently reminded myself why I was doing this. It's not about deprivation or losing weight, it's about doing something kind for myself and my body. It's about feeling healthy and free of any addictive feelings associated with the sweet stuff. It's about better sleep and observing my body and what it needs from me. 

I've always been drawn to sweet over savory and it may have to do with the amount of sugary foods we ate as children. This is not me placing any blame whats so ever towards my parents. I know they did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. And hey, it was the 80's, the era of quick, fast, convent and everything from a box. Can you say hello Hamburger Helper!

I remember fondly going to this adorable little candy store, Sweet Additions, with my mom and brothers and picking out all my favorite treats. It's a memory I hold dear to me however, I think the amount of sugar I ate as a kid is unbelievable now and was probably what left me with my sweet addiction today. However, the memories I will forever hold dear because it was something special that we did with my mom. It was "our" place and I love her for creating something like that for us. 

Today those kinds of sweets just aren't part of my diet. What is however, as I mentioned in this post, are the natural, whole foods variations. Since I am sugar-free for a month I am trying to come up with some creative breakfast, lunch and dinner idea. Most of my breakfasts can be on the sweet side so I'm using Pinterest anything else to gain some inspiration.

I came up with this variation of waffle because it totally satisfies what I'm craving. I think you could eat this one for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Please meet my Savoury Kale and Onion Waffles. They are dreamy...

Savory Waffles 2
Savory Waffles 2

Savoury Kale and Onion WafflesMakes 2 waffles

What you'll need // Waffle Maker * 4 eggs * 2 tbsp coconut flour * 4 tbsp full-fat coconut milk * 1 tbsp coconut oil (for waffle maker) * 2 cups kale (chopped into small bits) * 1 small white or sweet onion * Micro greens for topping * Red Pepper Cashew Cream (recipe below)

How to make // 1. Begin by whisking the eggs in a medium bowl. Add in the coconut flour and full-fat coconut milk and combine thoroughly. 2. In a pan, saute onions until translucent and add kale. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. You don't want to add the hot mixture to the egg mixture as it may begin to cook the eggs. At this time, turn on your waffle maker and allow for it to heat up. 3. Once kale and onion mixture has cooled, add to egg mixture and combine. Use about 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil on the waffle maker and using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the mixture and place in the center of the waffle maker, close lid and allow to cook. (make sure you know how to use your waffle maker :) ) 4. When waffle is ready, place on plate and top with micro greens and red pepper cashew cream (recipe below)5. Enjoy!

Red Pepper Cashew Cream

What you'll need //* 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour up to overnight* 1 tsp rice vinegar* 3/4-1 cup water* 1 small lemon* Pinch of sea salt* Jar of roasted red pepper or I used a jar of roasted red peppers, eggplant and garlic tapenade mixture I found at Trader Joe's. 

How to make // (make this ahead of time)1. Place soaked cashews in blender and begin by adding 1/2 cup water, adding more as necessary. You don't want to add too much because it become too liquified and not creamy. Blend until smooth. 2. Add the rice vinegar, sea salt, and lemon juice and continue to blend for a few seconds. Last, add in the roasted red peppers or the tapenade and combine for about 45 more seconds or until well combined, smooth and creamy. 3. Place in some kind of storage container and store in fridge for up to a 5 days. I always have some kind of cashew cream made and ready in the fridge. 

Savory Waffles
Savory Waffles
Savoury Waffle 3

Carrot Cake Power Balls

Carrot Cake Power Balls

I have this deep love of anything carrot cake which is interesting because I actually don't like cake! Never have, not even as a kid. I know, what kid doesn't like cake? However, put an ice-cream cake in front of me and I was all over it! Every birthday my mom would go to Baskin Robbins and order me whatever flavor was my favorite that year, mint chocolate chip, vanilla, neapolitan (I think I'm the only person I know that liked this flavor) and even bubble gum!

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Stay Committed Even When It Seems No One Supports You

"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach."- Tony Robbins

Stay Committed to Your Wellness Even When it Seems No One Supports You
Stay Committed to Your Wellness Even When it Seems No One Supports You

Any time we try something new it’s always exciting in the beginning. Transitioning to a health-focused, wellness first lifestyle is no different. I get totally excited when I hear of something new that will help reinvigorate my wellness routine. However, staying committed to it isn’t always easy, especially when it feels like you have little or no support. 

We often get on a roll, full speed ahead and at some point, especially if the routine becomes too time consuming or hard or we feel all alone, we loose our steam and eventually let it fall to the wayside. We lose our committed purpose. 

I was lucky enough to transition into a plant-based diet with my husband and because we had each other to hold on to when the naysayers came out swinging, or in the beginning when we were still craving some of our old favorites, it made staying committed in the early days very easy. However, this isn’t always the case. Many people feel the pull to become healthier without having someone to transition into it with and often what they discover is resistance from others.

When we went plant-bases, a lot of people were curious and asked many questions, which we were happy to openly chat about. However, there were definitely those that liked to point out why our decision was flawed, and placed a ton of judgment on us. There were also those that would still try to get us to eat things we no longer wanted to eat or they would tease us about our decision. It hurt and I felt betrayed and in some cases, disrespected.

At times I would get so mad I felt like I was seeing red. I’d roll my eyes (hopefully without them seeing) and go into my long-winded pitch about how if they knew how animals were treated on these factory farms they wouldn’t be able to eat meat either. I had all my defensive points mapped out, ready to use when the moment was right.

Eventually, my husband and I realized that the best way to spread our message was to live it with grace. We had to find a way to be okay with the comments and stay true to what we believed in.

This goes for anything new and unconventional that we do in our lives. Sometimes people, unbeknownst to them, are acting a certain way out of fear. They don’t want you to change because often, when others make positive changes in their lives, it can remind us that we need to change too.

In the end I realized several thing and wanted to share them with you today as a tool for you when things start to feel a little difficult but I want to say this first. You are so much stronger then you realize. The choice you’ve made to be healthier and happier is brave and courageous. The changes you are making in your life, you should be proud. Very proud. And, I am here for you every step of the way.

Tips for Staying Committed to Your Path

Find Your Tribe Any time we try something new it’s really important to find people who are on a similar journey that can support you in yours. It is so much easier to stay committed to change when we know we have a group of like-minded people to talk to, especially in our moment of weakness but also during times of excitement.

Recently I spoke at a 90-day weight lose challenge where a group of about thirty women competed to lose the most weight. Although it was a fun competition what I say was a group of amazing women who came together to support and encourage each other on this journey for better health and happiness. This is a tribe.

You can lean on each other, celebrate your triumphs opening as well as your fears. It’s truly amazing to have people you can turn and talk for hours on end about your mutual interest.

If you feel like Savoury Soul Wellness is part of your tribe I encourage you to reach out to me. Tell me what’s going on and where you need support. That’s why I am here.

Communicate Kindly Other people’s opinions of us can hurt. Especially when it’s someone we love and trust and they aren’t giving us the support we need to succeed. No one likes to feel judged, especially when we are doing something for ourselves that feels authentic and makes us happy and healthy.

However, something I’ve learned is that it’s okay if not everyone agrees with what we are doing and we don’t have to get into a shouting match to prove that we are right. I’ve learned to communicate kindly to them, which may look something like this:

“I know you may not agree with or understand why I am doing ________ but please know that it feels right to me and makes me happy and that’s really what is important, right? I respect you and how you choose to live your life and all I ask is for the same in return.”

People seem to be a lot more curious and understanding when I approach it with love instead of venom and more judgment. Who would have thought? ☺

Stay True to Yourself When it comes down to it, you are the only one you really have to answer to. At the end of the day, are you living your life for you or for someone else?

We live in a world where we are told we have to put everyone else and their needs first, which, to some extent, is a great way to live. However, if it is compromising on what you really, truly want then you have to stay true to yourself and do what makes you happy.

Treat It As An Opportunity Challenging times and situations are a huge opportunity for growth. Never has anything been more true and I believe we are constantly given similar opportunities that challenge our beliefs and create change in order for us become the person we are meant to be. We need these challenges to push and expand us in ways we may not do so otherwise.

Even when something seems hard, try to step back and look at in from a different perspective. How can you approach it differently then you have in the past? Try to see the other person’s perspective and apply compassion towards your response. Maybe they are just scared you are going to change so much they may not connect with you anymore. Even if that is so (and it’s absolutely okay as well), try and see where they are coming from and help them understand your goals.

Hire a Coach One of the best things you can do for yourself is to say yes to a life you love. This involves putting you first and when you don’t have the support in your inner circle, a coach is someone who is kind of like your own personal cheerleader. We hold you accountable with lots of encouragement, and sometimes a little tough love. Most importantly, as a coach myself, my biggest goal and hope is that my clients finds a life they truly love and I will do whatever it takes to help them get there. I help them realize what steps need to be taken to get aligned with that vision then stand by their side as they take each step.

You are on an incredible journey so never lose sight of that.

Photo Credit

Lemon Nana

My first post since returning from our trip! I'm excited to be back but to be honest, it's been hard getting my writing wheels turning again. I want so bad to update you on our trip, what I learned, what I took away from a month venturing around India, Cambodia and Thailand but I just can't seem to find the words, yet. Instead I'm sharing something delicious with you. Something I enjoyed daily while in Hampi and it's cool, refreshing and will be the perfect to sip on during the warmer spring and summer months.

The Lemon Nana.

When I first enjoyed one of these I quickly realized that the drink jacked up with sugar. Well, in all honesty, I was in complete denial and my hubs said 'babe, you know that thing is LOADED with sugar, right?" I replied by saying, (in total denial) "well, I'm sure there is a little but probably not nearly as much as you think."

I started asking for little or no sugar and my hubs was total, 100% right. , Psst! Don't tell him I said that!.)

I knew that this was going to be a new favorite when I returned home and I also knew that sugar wasn't something I was going to be adding either so I had to come up with something that I could add to sweeten things up a bit. When I took away the sweetness from my drink in Hampi it turned into a really tart and mint strong drink and I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I still drank them because it was extremely hot and muggy and they were, depict the lack of sweetness, refreshing. You need that sweetness to take the edge off a bit unless you love very tart and minty. 

When I made this the other day I actually didn't need any sweetener because the lemons that I purchased were more on the sweeter side rather than extremely tart and the mint wasn't overbearing. I added a little ginger and it was perfect for my taste buds. However, I know a lot of people would want to tame the tart beast a little so you can always add a little liquid stevia and that should do the trick without all the added junk. 

(TIP: With liquid stevia you want to start small and add from there. It's very concentrated and can overpower very quickly.)

This juice is quick and easy and totally delicious. Enjoy this refreshing juice traditionally or add a little ginger, either way, it's such a delight. 

Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness
Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness

LEMON NANA

(1-2 glasses)

Lemon (5-6) Mint (1-3 small bunches) Liquid Stevia (start with 1 drop and add more if you want it sweeter) (Optional) Ginger (a small knob)

You will need a juicer to grind and juice the mint. Add all ingredients minus the stevia into your juicer. Pour into a glass and add one drop of liquid stevia, more if you like it sweeter.

Enjoy!

Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness
Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness
Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness
Lemon Nana @savourysoulwellness