Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 30!!

One more day of the challenge!! I cannot believe how quickly the month just flew by! It's been a busy whirlwind for me, but I loved it.

This afternoon Mirza treated me to a late lunch at the Red Mesa Cantina. That was around 4pm and it is now 11:30pm. Let's just say I am still full. I wish I would have taken advantage of the setting and gotten something more unique, but unfortunately, the unhealthy food was calling me! I ended up getting the blackened chicken. ugh, it was a lot. However, the yucca fries were awesome! I've never had them before. Still, I should have ordered something more...mexican or something, you know? Oh well.

Best part of the night? Mirza and I did yoga!! Yes!
I downloaded an Intro to Yoga podcast for us (since he is new) and it was nice. About 28 minutes. Afterwards, he was dead and I was just kind of bored since it was the bare minimum. I then downloaded an advanced power yoga podcast. It was 23 minutes, but I could only do about 12. All that damn food in my body, blaaaaaa. I just want to eat vegetables and fruits forever when I eat something like that. What the hell was I thinking!!? hahahah

We spent the rest of the night inside watching movies.

I love Bill Maher.

CCIP Graduation

Today I "graduated" from CCIP!

I got a cool pin:

And a certificate that needs framing.

And also a goody-bag full of hospital logo things, like a calculator, note pads, pens, etc. and candy.

does this mean I can "officially" call myself a Critical Care RN and not feel like a poser?;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 29: yoga, sleep, bake

Day 29, can anyone else believe it? The end has been the most difficult for me. Not because I don't want to do yoga, but because of my schedule. I am exhausted after work; it's ridiculous! Yesterday I ended up doing a 15 minute podcast.
This afternoon I completed a 25 minute podcast.
Someone asked me what my favorite podcasts are for yoga, and I honestly do not have any yet since I just bought my new MacBook Pro last week! My previous computer was a piece of crap and I couldn't download anything! Argh!!
I am enjoying 20 minute yoga download, though. I really prefer videos, so if someone has any suggestions for yoga download VIDEOS then hit me up.

After yoga, I had every intention of going food shopping, but sleep overcame me! I ended up napping for 3.5 hours. um, oops?
Right now my egg-free and dairy-free banana bread is baking away (-free because I didn't make it to the store). I hope it turns out good. I'm not too worried. I also grated in 1/2 of a honeycrisp apple (am enjoying the other half as I write this).

Lately, I'm been enjoying a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals. Sometimes I just cannot eat any meat or animal products; I feel like crap after...toxic-like? I do not like to label myself as vegetarian or vegan, but I'd say right now my diet is 85% vegetarian. Still love my cow's milk yogurt and cheese, but I did venture out the other night and try one of Amy's frozen pizzas that had no dairy. Pizza with no cheese! And I was pleasantly surprise!

It will be interesting to see how my diet changes over the next few months to accommodate to my CSA. And even more importantly, how it changes when I start to work nights--PS: terrified. If anyone has any tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially eating when working three 12 hour night shifts, hit me up. Right now, I am tentatively beginning November 16th. My manager is well-aware that I am not wanting to work nights and says, "it won't be for long." I think she might know something, but cannot say for sure. I'm all for working nights at the moment though, since I need to pay off this lovely laptop. I'll be making about an extra $400 per paycheck. Sweet! I'm trying to look on the bright side.

Here are some pictures from last weekend. We went to International Mall to get Mirza's MacBook fixed and ended up at a delicious restaurant, which I have no idea the name!! aah. It was something "bistro." Inside was quite aesthetically pleasing. They had a variety of options and it was not expensive at all.

I had the vegetable wrap with house salad:

Mirza had the coconut curry shrimp with jasmine rice and "vegetables."

Dessert was a Creme Brule cheesecake. Sorry, no picture:(

Tomorrow is my CCIP graduation!! I will post pictures of my pin and certificate.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

day 28

I'm so tired. 3 days in a row is too much for me even if the 3rd is only an 8 hour day. I'm gonna go sit in the bath and put on a guided meditation and perhaps do a podcast...or not. Hope I don't fall asleep in the tub!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 27

I am tiiiiired. I don't know if I can do yoga today:( I might do a guided meditation before bed and YES, I do consider that as part of the challenge. I am actually going into work for 8 hours tomorrow. I never work 3 days in a row, so I am pooped.
I just want to go to bed and cry from exhaustion. is that bad?
I need motivation!!!!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 26

This will be brief. Only for documentation purposes because I am exhausted and I work again tomorrow.

Day 26: 15 minute yoga podcasts, mainly Stiles. Like her.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 25: Ohm?

I just found out about a giveaway that is meant for me. Seriously...

Just wanted to tell you all about a contest we have going for any of you out there that might have a blog (or have friends that do). If you enter and your post wins, you and a friend will relax and revitalize during a weekend yoga retreat at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. You will enjoy two days and two nights of rest and renewal for your body, mind and spirit. This prize includes:

Transportation and accomodations at the Kripalu Center, a premier yoga retreat located in Lenox, MA
Accommodations at Kripalu in a Standard Plus Room with delicious all-natural meals
Daily experiential workshops and guided outdoor activities
Daily yoga and YogaDance™ classes
Evening events

How to Enter? It's easy - simply create a blog post on your blog about one of the following:

1. Share an original story about why you need to say “Ohm”
2. Post a photo of you doing yoga in a toga (Oikos is Greek yogurt after all!)
3. Share a recipe you created using Oikos yogurt as an ingredient

Then, let us know that you posted it. You can find full details of entry and contacting us here: One winner from all eligible entries will be selected at random. Randomly selected entries will be posted on the Oikos Facebook wall throughout the contest.

All links to entry posts must be received by November 30, 2009, and the winner will be announced on on or before December 15, 2009.
Please visit here for more info:

I've been drooling over my recent Kripalu catalog, so this contest comes at the perfect time! Not to mention the 31-Day Yoga Challenge.

Why I need to say "Ohm"...

In all honesty, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the word "Om." Whenever I attend a yoga class where they begin the practice with chanting, I always feel awkward. My judgmental mind kind of rolls it's eyes and thinks, "Okay, we're not monks," and I feel a bit like a...poser? As if I am trying to be someone or something I'm not. However, for the month of October, I've been completing a 31-Day Yoga Challenge. Everyday, for 31 days, I am practicing yoga and inviting all things positive into my life. During this time, I have come to a new conclusion on the "ommers" in the universe! And I now consider myself one, too. But in a different sense of the word...

As a critical care Registered Nurse, everyday at work I experience a wide array of emotions from myself, but even more so from my patients and families. Often times, patients do not live or the road to recovery is long and painful. We try to give them a death with dignity, but it can be difficult when one is literally hooked up to a breathing machine with tubes going into every orifice and even man-made holes through flesh for extra lines. Many times, it is the family who needs the most support as the patient is generally sedated or unconscious. In a position such as mine, I need to encompass as much compassion and empathy that one can muster up. During the dark early morning hours, I make my walk through the streets to the hospital entrance. The world is still. I am quiet. And my thoughts are racing..."what will happen today? will someone code? will we be able to save them? Will I know what to do?!" Even though I'm well-equiped with a brilliant team of nurses and doctors, as well as my own education and knowledge, I feel scared. It is during this walk that I remember to breathe and truly understand the meaning of "Om." Keeping my mind quiet and realizing I am part of the universe. I need this...I need OM to continue to provide great care to sick patients. I need to experience OM to experience deeper compassion for myself, others, and the universe!

So, even though the actual chanting of "Om" can sometimes make me cringe, I use OM in my everyday life; during those quiet times when no one is aware, and it is completely necessary.


For the challenge today, I completed about 15 minutes of random video podcasts. I went on a good 30 minute walk this morning, so I skipped my 11:30 class and opted for "bedtime yoga." I did a "Couch yoga," "Yoga for stress," and "Yoga for Facebook addicts" by Tara Stiles. These are short, about 5 minute videos. They sounded amusing, anyway. I enjoyed them!

On my way this morning, I snapped this photo of another bunny:

And for dinner, I wanted something CLEAN. I think this meal is actually completely vegan. Pictured is an acorn squash (I bake it at 425 with lots of garlic, evoo, and brown sugar), seven whole grain pilaf blend from Seeds of Change, and whole hearts of romaine with evoo and red wine vinegar!

I work the next two days, so it's time to hit the sack!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 24: power yoga podcast

Good morning bloggers and readers!

As I said last night, I am loving my new MaBook Pro. I'm still learning since I've only had a PC (and shitty ones at that), but I am getting the hang of it. I absolutely love the podcasts--free yoga ones!!

I just completed a 25 minute power yoga session and boy, was it difficult! I definitely worked up a sweat, but I now feel great. I couldn't stand to drive all the way to the gym to sit in this one particular class because it is and weird, as I said in previous posts. Yoga in the comforts of your own home is so wonderful at times.

We are now on Day 24. I was completely determined that I would not miss any days EVER, but as you've seen, day 22 was the "fail." At first, I was pretty upset about this, as if I let myself down (and maybe even readers??), but then I realized that if I did the yoga on that day, it would just be pointless movements with no meaning or intention other than to say, "Yes, I did yoga today." And for me, what is the point in that? I had worked 12.5 hours taking care of a patient on the vent, on the verge of dying, who is probably gone now since the family debated taking her off the vent and letting her die....and then I bought a new computer! I mean, that is an eventful day. I was exhausted physically and emotionally.

So, I am happy with the challenge!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 23


I had a wonderful Friday off with Mirza. How 'bout you?
I am absolutely loving my new laptop. For the past year and a half, I had been using Mirza's uncles old e-machine laptop, which was quite literally falling apart. Some of the keys were falling off or missing completely, I had no sound at all, and whenever I uploaded photos, the computer shut down. Also, I could not use any sort of java because it was too much memory for the computer and it would shut off.

I am now the proud owner of this awesome MacBook Pro. Perfect match!!

Mine, Mirza's.

For Day 23, I downloaded some yoga podcasts (woo). I did a "peaceful pranayama" video from "Yoga Today", which is basically breathing techniques. I feel like I do not have very good lung capacity when I do this! Perhaps with time? After that, I worked on "Shoulder Therapy." So, not a whole lot of yoga for today, but it's the intention of sitting and working on myself that matters.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 22: yoga fail. computer upgrade

Well, it looks like day 22 is the fail of the 31-Day Challenge. BUT, that's okay because today I worked 12.5 hours and I also made a very awesome purchase:

I'm a pc...but I guess now I'm a mac!
I bought a brand new MacBook Pro. Oh man.

So sleepy! update in the am.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 21

Today I took care of the sweetest woman who unfortunately had a left occipital infarct and a right parietal hemorrhage, which left her right side with diminished sensation/usage and a left sided hemianopsia.

I can't even imagine how confusing it all must have felt. But we had a good laugh together and did enjoy the day. She did not need to be in the unit; I had a transfer order, but she never got a bed during my shift.

For yoga, I completed 30 minutes using page 61 of the November issue of Yoga Journal. This was the home practice sequence from Ross Rayburn called, "Grounded Traveler." Granted, I haven't been traveling, but it looked fun, nonetheless!!
There are 9 asanas: lung pose, extended-side angle pose, downhill skier, downhill skier twist, wide-legged standing forward fold, intense side stretch, sphinx pose with bent knees, pigeon pose--variation, reclining hand-to-Big-Toe pose.
Don't ask me to type out all of the sanskrit names because I just worked 12 hours and I am waaaaaaay too tired for that.
I thought this sequence was difficult, but I think most of it is related to work. I definitely do not think that I will be doing yoga on my days of work when the challenge is over. It would be different if I worked 8 or even 10 hour shifts, but 12.5? I do not see it happening. I feel like my arms and legs will not even move after work!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 20

Good evening, folks!

Today was good, but I suppose all good things must come to an end (I work the next two days), right? haha!

I began the day with a walk through Lake Seminole Park, which is definitely my new favorite place to walk now.

I love the way the sun glistens off the water in this picture.

Bird basking in the sun!

My favorite photo.

Sans makeup...aah


I'll post more pictures of the park later in the week...

I spent the rest of the day cleaning, shopping, and making dinner.

I also bought myself flowers! I wanted a fall-feel for the dining area.

Dinner was Carrot Ginger soup with baked sesame pita from CLEAN FOOD.


And for dessert, we had a slice of cheesecake at the bookstore.


For yoga, I did about 20-25 minutes. I was feeling anxious and hyper and had difficulty getting into it. I also had food in my stomach and drank some OJ right before, so yeah...don't do that, people!
Sometimes I think the amount of minutes practiced do not matter so much as the thought and intention/purpose that goes into the practice. For instance, I could have days when I do 90 minutes and am totally not with it. And others when 15 just blows my mind because I am completely one with everything. The fact that I am taking any time out of my day to do something intentionally good is all that matters to me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 19

Just completed a good 30 minutes of yoga at home. I lit candles and put on my music and it felt great. I'm actually liking home practice a lot more than I had originally anticipated.

This morning we had our last lecture for CCIP. It was on shock and sepsis. I also finished all of my ECCO MODULES!! Amazing. 50 online modules of all the body systems. Each body system broken down into anatomy and physiology, tests and procedures, pathologic conditions, nursing care, etc! Next Friday is our graduation and I guess that means I will officially be a "Critical care nurse," although I already feel like one now. Well, maybe an impostor since I'm still learning, but I'm not a new nurse, sooooo...

Class ended for me at 10:15 because I'm already ACLS certified and didn't need to take the exam/mock code. I hung around the house for a bit and then it felt like a brick wall of exhaustion hit me around 12:30. I tried to stay awake, but gave in to the sleepiness. I unrolled the covers and slept until almost 4pm! What the heck!?

Mirza stopped by after school and we went for a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. I'm absolutely loving the weather and walks and will be incredibly saddened when the heat returns.

Lately, my neck and shoulders have been killing me. They don't hurt like muscle aches from physical activity, they just feel strained like I've been holding my body the wrong way. I'm conscious of when my shoulders come up to my ears, so I'm not quite sure the culprit.
I think I'll go look for some yoga poses to release neck and shoulders.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 18

It's almost time for bed, but I did not want to miss documenting Day 18!

The weather has been amazing! I know the word 'amazing' is completely over-used, but I cannot find another word to describe it, except for maybe: awesome, perfect, delicious, hmmmm?

I slept with the A.C. off (for the first time in over 6 months) and the windows OPEN. I definitely slept the entire night through. I was in some sort of peaceful trance. I think I often wake up in the middle of the night because when my AC kicks on it is super loud. I even slept until almost 9, which is late for me!

I enjoyed another beautiful walk on the trail, but went further down this time by parking at Target instead. I walked across the long bridge over the gulf and the wind was fierce! It was actually hurting my ear and my hands were numb from the cold. LOVED IT!

After, I went to 11:30 yoga and the instructor was back from her yoga philosophy course, which made me incredibly happy because she rocks!
Honestly, I am finding my forward folds becoming deeper! I never thought it could happen for me, but in staff pose when we forward fold, I am not just a hunched over freak anymore! And the more important part: it is actually starting to feel good to forward fold since I am getting the stretch out of it!! I love progress.

I was feeling so great mid-afternoon because I had successfully gone on a nice, cool walk, completed an hour of satisfying yoga, and THEN a repeat of Kris Carr's Crazy, Sexy, Cancer was on TLC! I own the DVD and have seen it numerous times, but I had to watch! She is a complete inspiration and whenever I watch it, I feel inspired to be great. And she is just gorgeous in all aspects. I love her message for life. I think everyone should watch her documentary.

Around 2, the sun was shining, but the temperature was in the 60's, so I literally just sat in the middle of my balcony/porch and painted my toes...

It was just that kind of day...


On Friday, my brother turned 30! In celebration, we got together at my Mom and step-dad's temporary apartment (long story) for dinner and cake!

Pretty much one of the only pictures of my brother and I in existence as adults. We're not very touchy-feely kind of siblings. I think we've probably hugged twice in our entire lives! hahah

For tomorrow, there is a lecture on sepsis...!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 17

As the morning began, I almost felt hey, I could live here if the weather was like this, I could tolerate everything else...

...until I stepped out of my car and onto the Pinellas Trail where I was met with a schizophrenic homeless woman babbling on about just getting out of one of the local psych hospitals! I gave her $5 and begged that she please go to Walmart and buy some new pants, as hers were covered with blood. I'm kind of sickened that the psych hospital would let her leave while on her period and not give her anything! Disgusting failure.

So that kind of shattered my heart-warming feelings towards living here, to say the least. But my walk was nice after! *sigh*

Yoga was an 11:30 class at the gym. It was okay. The instructor gets a little floozy and new-age-y for me, if that makes sense. We actually did some tai chi type moves, but she had on this horrible music where the singer kept repeating (for a freakin' hour) something about "honoring the mother in us all." It was too cheesy for my tastes.
I'm getting a bit sick of the gym yoga classes. They try to make it a "yoga environment," but there is no question we're in the gym since the lights shine in and you cannot drown out the upbeat music outside and clanging weights. Very distracting.
But, I cannot afford to keep going to studios and although I love home practice, there is nothing like having a teacher.

After class, I enjoyed a nice, warm cup of Yogi Detox tea with the sliding glass door open and cool breeze blowing through. Max is loving the cooler weather. He was acting quite frisky, running back and forth from the bedroom to the balcony like a wild beast!

The rest of my day was spent with Mirza, which included: fixing a piece of his guitar in Tampa, searching for his vehicle registration/insurance that was misplaced, eating brownies from his mom, and then finding old songs on youtube for him to play by ear on guitar! I love 90's music, like "Brick" by Bens Folds Five and Counting Crows. Fun times!