Adventure doesn’t need excessive money, time or planning. Adventure can be as simple as jumping in the car, or in Saturday’s case, hopping on a ferry.

FerryHopping

Saturday was a race cheering, hand holding, vegan feasting, ferry riding kind of day—one that took very little preparation and effort. And it all started with race cheering.

Continue Reading…

Last week I found myself up against a creative wall, riding waves of self-doubt, and needing much more positive affirmation than usual. I caught myself asking Andrew for feedback countless times, and spent an equal amount of time picking up the phone to call my mom for her words of wisdom. Rather than an “I can” attitude, “Can I?” was a question that played on repeat in my head. I felt far more inadequate than I did renewed. 

The thing about opportunity finding its way onto your lap, is that no matter how wonderful it is, it often takes much more energy than we can possibly predict. For the entirety of last week, I spent the bulk of my waking hours glued to the computer screen, pouring my energy into new projects, on top of those already existing.

Despite my enthusiasm about the projects that have come my way lately, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated that this particular week was supposed to be a big running week for me. While struggling to focus on the work in front of me, I found myself daydreaming about the PR (personal record) I had hoped to achieve at the rapidly approaching New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, while feeling as though I was watching it drift out of reach.

In the evening hours, I had high hopes of switching gears to do “me” writing, some yoga, reading ,or maybe even finally unpacking from my holiday trip. Instead, I sat glued to the TV, watching episodes of “Cutthroat Kitchen.” My brain was all but mush.

Aside from an afternoon out and about on assignment, I rocked the same black on black attire the majority of the week, and barely left the house.

BlackonBlack

Something Andrew and I have discussed at length lately, is the fact that we human beings tend to only showcase the high points in our lives, not the ups, downs and everything in between. Intentionally or not, we show the parts of ourselves we are proud of and comfortable with, and much of the rest goes unseen.

Continue Reading…

New Year, Renewed You

January 5, 2015 — 4 Comments

IMG_0198

While running along the St. Augustine bayfront yesterday afternoon, I took some time to reflect upon the changing of seasons, and the beginning of another year. I must say, I have a bit of a problem with the whole “New Year, New You” mentality. Whenever I see this phrase [over]used as a headline, I can’t help but sigh. I have to ask, what does it even mean? While I appreciate the encouragement to be a better version of myself than last year, I think holding ourselves to a good, better and best ranking system urges us to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves.

Although I will continue to strive to make positive changes, learn from my experiences, invite healing into my life, and let go of mental roadblocks holding me back, I’m not sure I will ever be the best version of myself. And I’m not sure I want to be either. After I’m the best me, then what? Sounds like even more self-induced pressure. 

Continue Reading…

TentCamping1

As I carried a pile of sticks back over to our campsite in the dark Tuesday evening, I took a deep breath and looked over at Andrew who was building a fire, and then paused to look up to the sky with a sense of acknowledgement and reflection.

As I stared up into the night sky, I was reminded this is it. This is life and these are the moments I live for. I’m not living out any sort of dream. I’m living out the miracle that is the human experience—an up and down, sometimes sideways, tossed and turned, back and forth, brutal and beautiful experience. One that is anything but ordinary.

The last morning of 2014, I woke up in a tent freezing my buns off, happy to be alive. I woke up in a tent with everything I could ever need.

Truthfully, I want to live every single day of my life like I’m in a tent—finding the deepest level of comfort and satisfaction within my own soul, alongside the one I love, and amidst the most minimal of lifestyles. A “tent life” is one that might not appeal to everyone, but it’s one that feels most uncomfortably comfortable to me, and is one that makes me feel most alive.

Today marks not a clean slate, or a new start for a new Sarah, but rather the continuation of a life I’m thankful to be living. As I continue on my journey, I’m eager to greet the opportunities and challenges that await me. But more than anything, I hope to remember that it’s not about what I’m doing in this vast universe, but instead, how I’m living this life I’ve been graciously given.

My hope is that I may live more by having less, doing less and putting my all into the moments that make up each step of the journey. And when I get overwhelmed, might I take a step back and remember that all I really need in life can fit within the confines of a tent.

As if Vega wasn’t already number one in my book when it comes to clean, plant-based nutrition products, they’ve found a way to make their signature Vega One, All-In-One Nutritional Shake, even better.

141016_VEGA_230-2

Why Vega? 

There are nutritional shakes and dietary supplements of all shapes and sizes out there on the market. Some are part of larger pyramid schemes, while others claim to offer a “get fit quick” fix. The first thing I love about Vega is there’s no scheming involved, nor does Vega offer empty promises of an overnight transformation of any kind.

Vega was founded by Brendan Brazier, a vegan, and former professional Ironman triathlete, who was driven by the desire for complete plant-based nutrition. As a result, Vega products are formulated with health and performance in mind. With Vega you get the real deal, absent of suspicious ingredients. You also get what you pay for—high quality products that go a long way. As someone who is anti-artificial and doesn’t buy into gimmicks, I consider these factors to be of the utmost importance.

Continue Reading…

If it seems like there has been a two week delay in my delivering a Thanksgiving (or as I prefer, Thanksliving) followup, it’s because there certainly has been.

Let me explain. Immediately upon arriving home for Thanksgiving, Andrew and I were both hit hard with the sinus infections we had been fighting for days. It’s as if our bodies were saying, “Hey, we know we carried you through an art show and half marathon, but now, it’s time to slow down, rest and repair.”

Naturally, the combination of being home and being sick meant that every plan I thought I had for our trip fell through. Beyond that, it turned into a life lesson (our plans always fail us). It also meant extended family time, with both of our families. Above all, it left me with several valuable reminders:

  • Being able to taste and enjoy food is truly such a blessing that should never be taken for granted.
  • Snotty tissues are disgusting, but dogs still love to rip them up and chew on them.
  • No matter how bad I feel, being at home and curling up on my mom’s couch watching HGTV makes me feel leaps and bounds better.
  • Sometimes my body demands a level of rest and recovery that doesn’t include running.
  • My flesh is impermanent, but my spirit is everlasting.

Ultimately, it reminded me—”We have food on the table and we are together. That’s really all that matters.”

Cuddlecouch

Thanksliving Feasting

Speaking of food, despite the circumstances, we were able to have two feasts—one with Andrew’s family on Thursday, and one with my mom on Friday. Here is a look at Friday’s Thanksliving feast showcasing the plant-based creations Andrew and I prepared.

Before departing from St. Augustine, I stopped by the produce stand to pick up all the veggies we would need for our menu, including sweet potatoes, onions, green beans, broccoli, and yellow squash. As a bonus, the produce man gave me an acorn squash I decided to turn into a hummus-filled appetizer.

HummusSquash

To prepare, I boiled the squash for about 15 minutes to cook and soften, then sliced it in half, scooped out the gooey portion of the innards with a spoon, added a little vegan buttery spread to the rims, and placed it face down on a pan in the oven to bake for just a few minutes. The only thing that would have made this appetizer better was if I’d made my own hummus. In this case, my mom had some Sabra Spinach and Artichoke hummus on hand. Each bite of hummus was paired with warm, sweet buttery squash.

As for the the main features of our Thanksliving feast, I present to you our vegan spread.

ThanksgivingFeast3

Continue Reading…

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014 — 2 Comments

Dear Fellow Herbivore,

I get it. Trust me. Having specific dietary preferences can be unnecessarily anxiety-inducing, and even leave you feeling on the defensive, especially during the holiday season.

Guess what? I’m here to tell you, being vegan during the holidays doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Instead, it can be downright delicious and simply amazing (just like any other time of year). All it takes is a bit of preparedness.

With Thanksgiving upon us this week, I thought now would be a fine time to offer you some suggestions on how to enjoy your Thanksgiving, vegan-style, and maybe even plant some seeds of compassion along the way.

ThanksgivingPlate

First, here’s a low quality look at my Thanksgiving dinner plate last year, featuring ToFurky, a broccoli-infused gravy of sorts, sweet potato mash, spinach and artichoke dip, stuffed acorn squash and cranberry.

Whether you are a vegan veteran responsible for all the cooking (no pressure, right?), or a plant-based newbie sitting down at someone else’s table this year, here are a few Thanksgiving recommendations.

Continue Reading…