Let’s Talk: Getting Back on Track

Why is it that setting good habits takes so damn long but losing them takes about a day and a half? The day and a half may be a slight exaggeration but staying on track with good health, choices and habits can be a challenge.

At the beginning of this year, my goal was to have a proper morning routine. I would wake up, get on my mat (even if it were just for 5 minutes), meditate, wash my face, drink lemon water and read before making breakfast. It was only after making breakfast that I would allow myself to check any screens. That meant no TV, phone, computer or tablet for at least an hour and a half after waking up. I had an awesome track record for this routine (and felt amazing) up until the summertime when I started my teacher training, then it all turned sour. You see, I am not naturally an early riser. I love sleep. Love it. No matter what time I go to bed, I find myself sleeping at least 10 hours if I don’t set an alarm. So when I had to be awake at 6.00am in order to have the time to fulfill my routine (even 6 was a time-crunch) and be at the studio by 7.30, I knew I was going to have some problems.

The first day went alright, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I barely slept from anticipation. The second day, I was already exhausted by the full days of training so the rest of the 200hrs I was lucky if I woke up with enough time to make tea and grab a muffin on my way out the door.

The rest of the summer was no better seeing as it was basically a long vacation at the cottage so when we closed up the cottage for the season and came home I felt that fall was when I would finally get back on track, only to find that habits are way harder to make than they are to break.

There’s a study that says it takes 21 days, or 3 weeks to make a habit. I’m here to tell you that’s a lie. There is no way that it’s only 21 days to make an unbreakable habit form in your bones. Maybe a 6 months, maybe even a full year, but 21 days? I dispute!

Nothing would make me happier than to get back into my morning routine but every morning without fail, I somehow reach for my phone, check Instagram, tell myself I’ll meditate when I’m in yoga class, make breakfast and immediately plop myself in front of the TV (Gilmore Girls is calling!).

So here’s the challenge. Did you make yourself a resolution at the beginning of the year? Well it’s New Years isn’t the only time to make resolutions! In fact, we can make them any time we want. Isn’t that a revelation? Therefore, I invite you to revisit any habits you want to change, develop or break and resolve to work on them with me this month. We can do it together and we will definitely feel better once we get back on track. I’ll keep you updated and you can check in with me at any time if you need some support! I’ll be up at 8am, on my mat, meditating, ignoring my phone in no time. Remember, you can get back on track at any point of the day, just cause the morning wasn’t great, doesn’t mean that your afternoon or evening won’t be. Take it day by day! Good luck!

Namaste.

Advertisements

TeaTime Treats: Chocolate Rocket

Chocolate-Rocket

With Module II of my Yoga Teacher Training starting tomorrow, I know that I’ll be heavily reliant on my delicious Chocolate Rocket tea from David’s to help me through! I don’t drink coffee, but waking up at 6am for a 9 hour day of learning and practice can really leave me wanting an energy boost! Normally, I’ll drink green tea, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Chocolate Rocket is a solution to that problem.

David’s Chocolate Rocket tea is a mate tea featuring raspberries, almonds, cocoa and chicory root. Chocolate Rocket is probably one of my all time favourite teas because it smells absolutely divine! Seriously, one whiff and you will fall in love and that’s before even tasting it! Once you do have a taste you’ll love the benefits and boost you’ll get because mate tea is incredible at providing energy to the morning, as it is the most caffeinated tea there is! It gives the jolt of coffee (without the shakes and jitters) combined with the health benefits of your daily tea, in fact mate tea contains more antioxidants than green! Chicory root you may know, is often used as a caffeine substitute for coffee because of it’s taste and odour.  The energy boost combined with the delicious (and my personal favourite) dessert flavour combination of cocoa, almonds and raspberry makes for an extremely satisfying and delicious way to start the day!

Namaste.

(Note: I am not affiliated in any way with David’s Tea. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Daily Morning Routine

Something to know about me; I love reading (or watching, thanks YouTube!) about people’s routines. I have always been an avid magazine reader and would just devour the little blurbs about how people tackled their day to day, what products they used, what they ate… everything! When I was figure skating, I had a definite morning routine that began at 6am so I could be on the ice by 7 and at school by 8:45 (full disclosure, I was often late). But when I became injured and then high school and university happened, that healthy morning routine fell by the wayside.

Around late-July last year, I decided to start my days with a little yoga. I had been regularly practicing at home in the afternoons, but felt that my mornings needed something that didn’t involve immediately turning on something (whether that be the tv, my phone or the computer). With that small daily yoga change, began a full morning routine that makes me start my day on a positive, excited and happy note!

Since beginning this daily routine I have noticed many changes in my life. I strongly feel that starting the day with enough time to spend time in silence, be introspective and un-rushed changes the state-of-mind. I believe in routines, I think they are important to bookend your day with a sense of groundedness and stability. Don’t get me wrong, spontaneity is important too, but being able to really rely on certain aspects of the day makes everything a bit easier. I also think its so important to try and live without constantly focusing on screens! I know that’s a little unreasonable since we live in 2015 and we literally have them strapped to our wrists now, but I always try to turn my phone on silent and keep my iPad and tv off and away from me at least until I am making breakfast. So without further ado, here’s my daily morning routine!

I enjoy waking up with at least two hours before I have to go anywhere or do anything. I don’t have children so I know this is a bit easier for me to do interrupted, but those two plus hours really help me spend quality time with myself. First thing, I wake up and give my partner a kiss, throw on some leggings and a comfy shirt and drink some water. I sleep with a 500mL glass jar beside my bed and down it before my eyes have even rid themselves of sleep. Next, I cut a lemon, put on the kettle for some delicious and beneficial lemon water and while that is boiling I practice some yoga.

Relaxing Morning Child's Pose

Relaxing Morning Child’s Pose

 My morning yoga routine varies but tends to be under 15 mins and extremely relaxing with a focus on flexibility. I enjoy taking my time, breathing into tight spaces and letting my body slowly and patiently wake up. I’ll either create my own practice or follow a quick morning YouTube video if I don’t feel like thinking (hey, we all have those days!). Once I have finished practicing, I grab a couple pillows from my couch and create a little meditation seat. I open my Insight Timer App and sit quietly for 5 mins. I practice mindfulness meditation because it’s just what is suiting me at the moment, but I love constantly being reminded to come back to my breath. I’m hoping that I can slowly work up to 20 mins a morning of meditation but I’m not quiet there yet, but a little goes a long way!

Once I’ve finished on my mat and the kettle has boiled, I run into the bathroom and wash my face. This is another new (but important) daily habit! I finally began washing my face religiously in the summer of last year and it has done wonders for my skin! Especially after I move from chemical-laden products to more natural choices.

Morning Skincare Routine (Lush Eau Roma Water, Lush Fresh Farmacy, Rose Petal Witch Hazel, Sukin Moisturizer)

Morning Skincare Routine (Lush Eau Roma Water, Lush Fresh Farmacy, Rose Petal Witch Hazel, Sukin Moisturizer)

I have already posted a Natural Morning Skincare Routine and my routine now hasn’t differed much since then. I first wash my face with Lush’s Fresh Farmacy cleanser (It. Is. Incredible. Especially for extra-sensitive skin), then follow up with some sort of toner (99% of the time I use witch hazel but I ran out so have been going back to Lush’s Eau Roma Water which I also really love, it’s just not as inexpensive and does contain methylparaben which I don’t love) and finally use the best facial moisturizer from Sukin.

By the time I’ve done all this the boiling water from the kettle has cooled a bit, but I’ll still pop some ice cubes into my mug with lemon before pouring in the hot water. If you don’t already drink warm lemon water in the morning you are seriously missing out! It is so beneficial for your health, your skin and general well-being!

Lemon Water

Lemon Water

I like to enjoy my lemon water in one of two special places; out on the balcony (if it’s nice outside and I can sit in the shade) or in my favourite comfy chair that smells like my cottage. I will sip and savour my warm water while reading my morning meditation. I have talked about Journey to the Heart before (and likely will again) but I just enjoy following her daily thoughts and stories because they help me focus on the positive and change any negative thinking. My bookmark is just a cue card that I have listed my favourite meditations of hers that just resonate so completely with me so that I can go back to them as much as possible.

Journey to the Heart

Journey to the Heart

Once I’ve finished reading and contemplating my meditation, I’ll pick up another book or magazine and just sit and read for a while. I enjoy reading about nutrition or yoga in the mornings for inspiration, or if I’m feeling like something light, I’ll choose a magazine or the book I’m currently reading!

Some Favourite Yoga & Nutrition Books

Some Favourite Yoga & Nutrition Books

Now my lemon water is all gone and I’m likely starting to feel hungry so I’ll prepare a smoothie. I drink a smoothie every single morning! If I know that I have the time and want to eat a real breakfast I’ll make a really simple spinach and berry smoothie to drink beforehand, however, if I’m running late or just don’t feel like cooking, I’ll prepare a real smoothie with avocado, peanut butter and lots of fruits to keep me charged through the day. Usually I opt for the quick smoothie (like today)! It’s seriously super simple, throw some spinach and frozen berries into a blender, add water and go!

Simple Morning Smoothie

Simple Morning Smoothie

The reason for the super simple smoothie is to be able to start the day on a healthy note, to be able to have my fruits before eating solid food (proper food combining) and because it just stars me off on a healthy foot. I find myself making healthier choices throughout the day when the first one I make is a good one or if I do go out for dinner or have something special to eat, there is literally no guilt.

So while I’m drinking my smoothie, I’ll go back to my spot and keep reading! Once I finish my smoothie, I allow for half an hour before preparing more food (on days that I want to actually eat breakfast) so that the fruit can digest so that I’m not creating a problem for my digestion (if you would like to know more about food combining, leave a comment below, I’d love to talk about it!)

Light Morning Reading

Light Morning Reading

Now that my smoothie is done and my stomach is really wanting more food, I’ll make breakfast. Here’s also the time that I put on sunscreen if I know that I’ll be leaving the house shortly after breakfast (it takes about 30 minutes for sunscreen to do it’s job and begin protecting you!) Lately my favourite go-to breakfast has been mashed avocado, red pepper flakes and a fried egg on ezekiel toast but today we didn’t have eggs (sad) so I tried something new!

“French” Toast

Behold my delicious “French” Toast breakfast. This recipe is totally kudos to Tara Stiles and her book “Make Your Own Rules Diet”. It is 2 slices of ezekiel bread, 1 banana smashed with 1/2 unsweetened almond milk, “fried” in coconut oil with a little bit of cinnamon and maple syrup on top. This was incredible and tasted just like real French Toast!

I paired my breakfast with some yummy tea (as always) and today’s was just plain ol’ organic green tea!

Green Tea

Green Tea

 Now’s the time that I’ll probably turn something on to watch (I know you’re not supposed to watch tv while eating, but it’s my weakness!) I’ll usually choose YouTube videos or some trashy reality tv show (another weakness, but they make me happy!)

Lastly, after washing the dishes, I’ll put on some happy music and some makeup! I don’t wear a lot day-to-day but if I’m feeling a pick-me-up or have somewhere (other than the yoga studio) to go, I like makeup! I always wear a BB cream, concealer under my eyes, brow gel, mascara and a lip something and will add blush, bronzer, setting powder and eyeliner if I have somewhere special to be! I finish up with a spritz of Saje Namaste Aromatherapy mist as a setting spray and to give me a little aromatherapy jolt.

Now that I’m done eating, reading, yoga-ing and meditating, my morning routine is over and it’s time to start the day!

The View from My Reading Chair (featuring Princess Peach)

The View from My Reading Chair (featuring Princess Peach)

Now that you know my morning routine, I would absolutely love to hear about yours! Is there something that you swear by in the mornings? Also, if you have any recommendations of all natural makeup and sunscreen brands please let me know! Finally, if there is anything that I mentioned that you would like more information about (ie food combining, etc) please let me know! I would love to make a post for you!

Namaste.

(Note: Nothing in this post was sponsored or asked to be mentioned. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Enjoy!)

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

It’s finally becoming spring here in Toronto, which means naturally we’re craving more and more fresh foods but eating salads day in and day out can get tiring. Enter Summer Rolls! Summer Rolls are delicious way of eating lots of raw veggies and they’re creative because you can always switch up the ingredients that you use based on individual taste and craving! Today I’m sharing with you my personal favourite combination and the best part; the Spicy Peanut Sauce for dipping!

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I love including raw red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, spinach, avocado and seaweed into my Summer Rolls. While vegetables are important to include in your diet regardless if they are cooked or raw, it’s important to have variety. If you eat primarily cooked veggies, it’s even more important to slowly introduce raw back into your diet. Some fruits and veggies (such as asparagus and tomatoes) are excellent cooked, the vitamin C in the peppers featured here actually breaks down once they’re cooked heated over 375 degrees. In the spring and summer while the weather is heating up, it is also great to include raw foods into the diet as they will cool down the body and keep you more hydrated.

As mentioned, peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C is crucial for keeping the immune system healthy, the heart healthy and is excellent for beautiful skin. Spinach is extremely high in calcium, vitamin K, folate, the list goes on and on! Spinach contains dietary fibre that is going to keep your blood sugar regular and hunger in control. Carrots contain beta-carotene an antioxidant and vitamin A. Beta-carotene is essential for optimal eye health and will also give you beautiful skin! Avocado is chock-full of hearth healthy fats, that will keep your skin, hair and nails healthy, beautiful and strong! Seaweed, our final super veggie, is not only delicious but fantastic for your health! Seaweed helps purify the blood, is highly anti-oxidizing and detoxifying, contains more bone-building calcium than milk and on top of all this, seaweed (not surprisingly) alkalizes the body!

Summer Rolls: Raw Veggies

Summer Rolls: Raw Veggies

Now that you know why I like to include these veggies you may want to make similar rolls or choose favourite veggies of you own! All you need to make delicious summer rolls are the veggies of your choosing and rice paper. Rice paper can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores (if not, at health food stores). I found mine in the aisle that also contains Asian condiments which will be helpful to know for the Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Summer Rolls: Rice Paper

Summer Rolls: Rice Paper

To make Summer Rolls you will need; rice paper, veggies and a large bowl of warm water (to soak the rice paper for rolling). That’s it!

1. Cut all your veggies into matchstick pieces.

2. Put one sheet of rice paper into the warm water (read instructions on package for how long rice paper should be immersed). Remove rice paper.

3. Arrange veggies into the centre of the rice paper.

4. Neatly roll veggies into paper (as you would a burrito or wrap).

You’re done!

Summer Rolls: Rolling the Veggies

Summer Rolls: Rolling the Veggies

If I could give a couple hints, they would be to arrange your leafy greens before your peppers and carrots and to not over-stuff your rolls. The more veggies you have loaded up on your rice paper, the harder it’s going to be to neatly keep the rolls together!

Next, let’s learn how to make our Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Ingredients

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Ingredients

Remember that I mentioned the rice paper was found with the Asian condiments? You may want to add these to your grocery list as well if you don’t already have them in your cupboard!

– 1tbsp 100% Pure Sesame Oil

– 1tbsp Rice Vinegar

– 1tbsp Reduced-Sodium Tamari (or Soy Sauce)

– 1tsp Sriracha (or other highly spicy hot sauce)

– 2tbsp 100% Peanuts Peanut Butter

All you need to do is add all these ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. You can add more peanut butter to get a thicker consistency (which is what I like to do) or start with 1tbsp peanut butter and slowly add if you prefer a more watery consistency!

Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Now all you have to do is enjoy! Let me know how you like to prepare your Summer Rolls! Do you have any favourite recipes for spring and summer? Let me know!

Namaste.

Quick Healthy Tip: Soak Your Food

For proper digestion (and easier blending) always remember to soak your nuts before consuming them. Nuts have a high number of enzyme inhibitors making them difficult to digest. Enzyme inhibitors are what allow nuts to remain in your cupboard for months without becoming spoiled, not exactly something you want in your digestive tract. When you soak nuts before eating them, the enzymes become neutralized making them much easier on digestion. Soaking your nuts (or seeds or grains) before eating them will also make their proteins readily available as well as important nutrients and vitamins.

Soaking nuts is extremely simple, you take purified or distilled water, pour it over the nuts (about 2:1 ratio water to nuts) and allow to soak for a few hours to overnight. Cover your class container with cheesecloth and keep at room temperature until you’re ready to use them. Obviously the harder or larger the nut, the longer it will take to soak. Small grains and seeds will take much less time. Once you’re ready to use the nuts, rinse them to assure they are clean and you’re ready to go! You can always buy a dehydrator (unless you have one already) if you want to eat the nuts nice and crispy, instead of blending them.

Another great thing to soak are dates! Many healthy smoothies use dates as sweetener in delicious desserts. I enjoy blending dates with banana, 100% cocoa powder, peanut butter and soaked almonds with water for a delicious dessert smoothie. Without soaking the dates beforehand, they rarely blend unless you have a strong high-speed blender, leaving large date chunks behind.

Quick Healthy Tip: Olive Oil for Eczema

Today’s Quick Healthy Tip comes from a lifetime of sensitive skin issues. I have suffered from eczema, psoriasis, sensitive and chapped skin for as long as I can remember. Regular drugstore lotions rarely work for me, nor do expensive high-end skincare items. When I’m having bad skin outbreaks and rashes, I turn to regular find-in-your-kitchen olive oil. You may have heard about other oils for skincare (coconut oil works fantastically as well and won’t leave you smelling like a salad), but I love olive oil for healing my skin. I heat up a little bit of olive oil by rubbing it between my palms, then generously lather it like a regular body lotion, focusing on dry, red patches. I find that olive oil is so gentle and absorbs more quickly than other oils (admittedly I have only used olive or coconut oils, but I do use coconut oil to remove makeup at night). Olive oil is also great to have as a treatment bath, just pour a small amount of olive oil in a warm bath and soak (just remember to thoroughly rinse out the tub afterwards). Olive oil also tends to be less expensive than fancy body lotions, and lasts longer. All-in-all it is a great choice for sensitive, angry skin and will do wonders for healing skin maladies!

Opening the Heart Chakra: Practicing Back Bends

Backbends; they may seem exclusive to contortionists, but not only can you practice them, you should be practicing them as they’re extremely beneficial! If you’ve read my Welcome page, then you may know I have back problems; six slipped discs to be exact! Because of this, backbends are definitely my weakness in yoga class but instead of avoiding them, I try to practice as much as possible because every backbend brings tons of benefits!

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose) - Om Shanti Life

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose) – Om Shanti Life

There are three types of backbends; traction, contraction and leverage. Traction backbends are when you use gravity to pull you into the bend, your front body remaining active. Ustrasana (camel pose) and urdhva dhanurasana (wheel pose) are great examples of traction backbends. Contraction backbends are the opposite. Usually, contraction backbends occur while you are laying on your stomach, your back body activates pulling you off the ground. Salabhasana (locust pose) is a contraction backbends. Finally we have leverage backbends. Leverage backbends are named so because you use the strength from your limbs to help further pull you into the bend, such as danurasana (bow pose) and bhujangasana (cobra pose).

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) - Om Shanti Life

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – Om Shanti Life

Salabhasana (Locust Pose)  - Om Shanti Life

Salabhasana (Locust Pose) – Om Shanti Life

Now that you know about the different types of backbends, you’ll want to know why you should be practicing them! It’s a fact of life that we spend a lot of time hunching and turning inwards. We’re sitting at our desks looking at screens, craning our neck down to play iPhone games on our daily commutes, curling inwards to avoid the cold winter, most of the day is spent hunched forward! It may seem natural for the spine to move into forward bends, but a daily backbend reverses the effects of this hunching, opening us up and making us available to the world around us. All that hunching means that most of us are walking around with some sort of pain, regularly practicing backbends can alleviate that back pain by bringing a rush of new blood and flexibility to the affected areas. Backbends aren’t only beneficial physically but mentally as well. BKS Iyengar believed back-bending to be a remedy for depression and would recommend them not only as cure for sadness, but also would suggest them to open up the front body and heart. Stretching the heart (as we naturally do in a backbend) releases all kinds of tension and emotion and even releases a flood of natural painkillers into the bloodstream! Backbends not only help to improve posture and ease pain but they build lots of strength in the back body, stretch the hip flexors and chest, build flexibility in the spine, ease symptoms of insomnia to let you sleep and help with mood disorders such as anxiety and stress!

Ustrasana (Camel Pose) - Om Shanti Life

Ustrasana (Camel Pose) – Om Shanti Life

When we bend backwards, we naturally broaden across the chest and open up the heart chakra. The heart chakra (or anahata) is the fourth chakra, located in the middle of the chest. When the heart chakra is blocked you can feel shy, unworthy of love and alone; pretty unpleasant feelings! Opening up the heart chakra opens you up to the idea and possibility of love! Clearly backbends open us up to a flood of emotions. It is not uncommon to find a wild release of anger, frustration, sadness when working within a backbend practice. This is natural and you don’t want those feelings bottled up inside anyhow!

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose) - Om Shanti Life

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose) – Om Shanti Life

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) - Om Shanti Life

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) – Om Shanti Life

Backbends are great to practice because spinal health is such an important thing! Though backbends are an excellent and important addition to your practice, it is always important to work within a pain-free range (especially if you have back problems!) Pushing or pulling or forcing yourself into poses that you aren’t ready for is a recipe for disaster. Be safe! Make sure you are ready to backbend before jumping into them! And speaking from experience, make sure your mat is nice and sticky! (I attempted urdhva dhanurasana while breaking in my new Manduka Pro mat, it was too slippery and I fell on my head!) Always begin a back bending practice after your body is nice and warm! Practice some cat/cows, twists and gentle back bends before trying more advanced poses. Remember also to have fun!

Namaste.

(Note: If you are new to the practice or new to backbends, work with a yoga teacher and check with your doctor. Though I’m starting my teacher training in May [!!] I’m not a professional [yet]. Be safe! Listen to your body! Have fun!)

If 2 ingredients are good, then 3 are better! Delicious, easy-to-make pancakes!

One thing I love to do when I have some time on my hands is search the internet for healthy updates of favourite foods. I have tried everything; chocolate avocado pudding (amazing), cauliflower mac and nutritional yeast “cheese” (decent), banana nice-cream (the best!). If you can name it, I have tried it, which is why 2 ingredient pancakes really piqued my interest! You may have seen this recipe floating around; pancakes made with just one banana and an egg. I tried this recipe multiple times and kept ending up with scrambled banana mush, it was gross. Now I love finding recipes, and then tweaking them to fit my tastes but nothing was working with these darn pancakes! I tried baking powder, adding berries to give more flavour but I kept ending up with an ugly, unappetizing mess. Until now! The key: oats!

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

Oats are great because they provide tons of heart healthy fiber, protein and little fat. They will keep you full for longer, protect from heart disease and keep your blood sugar nice and steady. They cause the pancakes to lightly fluff up, keeping a regular pancake-like consistency and prevent scrambled banana mush from happening.

The recipe itself isn’t much of a recipe!

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

For 4 servings (3 pancakes a serving) you will need:

– 4 eggs

– 4 bananas

– 1 cup oats

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

1) Heat your skillet to medium-high and lightly coat with coconut oil (or non-stick spray).

2) Throw your ingredients into a blender or mash them by hand until there are no lumps.

3) Add in any extras (blueberries, goji berries, cacao nibs, etc).

4) Spoon pancake mixture onto skillet. After a few minutes (3-5mins) the pancakes will be ready to flip. Make sure they’re cooked enough to be flipped in one piece (I have ruined many pancakes by being too eager!)

5) Cook on other side for 2 mins and you’re ready to eat!

3 Ingredient Pancakes - Om Shanti Life

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Om Shanti Life

I love topping my pancakes with a little cinnamon and maple syrup but have been known to put a dollop of organic 100% peanut butter in between the pancakes and let it melt! A delicious combination of salty and sweet!

What are your favourite pancake toppings? Do you like to add blueberries like I do? Let me know how much you enjoy these light, fluffy and healthy 3 Ingredient Pancakes!

Namaste.

Yoga@Home: Lesley Fightmaster Yoga

If you are familiar with my Yoga@Home series or are a regular practicing yogi, then you know sometimes you cannot make it to your studio. Maybe you are having a very busy day, other times you may want to have more control over your practice (What will your peak pose be? How much time do you have to practice?) than you would taking a class in studio. YouTube channels lead by regular yoga teachers are a great way of trying new things and learning more about your practice. You’ll have time to press pause and try poses over and over, and if you fall out of a pose, no sweat! Get back up and try again! Today with Yoga@Home, I’m sharing with you Lesley Fightmaster.

Lesley Fightmaster - Screengrabbed from: Yoga with Contentment (Santosha) Day 73 Yoga Fix 90 with Lesley Fightmaster (https://youtu.be/RlDeut3umos)

Lesley Fightmaster – Screengrabbed from: Yoga with Contentment (Santosha) Day 73 Yoga Fix 90 with Lesley Fightmaster (https://youtu.be/RlDeut3umos)

Lesley Fightmaster’s YouTube channel is incredible, she has numerous different videos broken into well organized playlists so you can find anything you could possibly want! The playlists range from beginner to intermediate with more advanced flows under a full playlist for inversions! So fun! Many YouTube yogis shy away from including headstands, handstands and forearm stands from their practice, but with Lesley Fightmaster’s smart cues and encouragement to begin by a wall, you’ll find yourself upside down in no time!

Lesley Fightmaster is a committed yogi, she is currently finishing up a program called Yoga Fix 90 where she has released a video a day of different yoga routines. There are power yoga routines, fun play-time classes and yin yoga for relaxing! With 90 videos in just one playlist you know that you will not run out of different asanas and flows to practice!

One of my absolute favourite things about Lesley Fightmaster’s videos are her complete post-practice savasana. While other YouTubers guide you into savasana then end their video, Lesley Fightmaster includes a full savasana at the end of each class! These savasanas are accompanied by a quote that pertain to the just finished practice and help you finish feeling refreshed, calm and accomplished! This small detail may be something you didn’t realize you needed, but make what is an online class feel so much more personal!

I encourage you to try Lesley Fightmaster’s online yoga practices at your earliest chance. Try those advanced poses! You may find out that an asana you thought was out of reach is right there. Remember, you can always press pause and play as much as you want!

Do you enjoy practicing yoga on YouTube when you cannot make it to the studio? Which videos do you love?

Namaste.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Stir frys are a delicious, simple, (nearly) one pan dinner. They’re a good way of finishing any vegetables that may be nearing their expiration and piling veggies into a yummy meal. Stir frys are super customizable, you can use any type of protein you like, any vegetables or greens you love and can use any sauce you can think of!

Today I’m sharing with you a super flavourful Sweet & Spicy sauce for your favourite stir fry!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

You only need six ingredients (that you probably already have in your cupboard) for this sauce.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients – Om Shanti Life

– 3 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)

– 3 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

– 2 tsp honey

 – 2 tsp ground ginger

– 1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper (use your best discretion, 1 tsp is spicy)

– 3 cloves crushed garlic

1) Measure out all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until they’re all mixed.

Now, you can marinate your protein or veggies in this sauce and add to your favourite stir fry or you can give this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry a try!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

For two servings you will need;

– 1 large chicken breast

– 1/2 ea red, orange and yellow pepper

– 1/2 red onion

– 1 carrot

– 1/2 cup wild rice (or noodles if you prefer)

– green onion & sesame seeds (optional topping)

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Veggies - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Veggies – Om Shanti Life

1) Bring a wok or large frying pan (coated with a bit of oil) to medium-high heat on the stove.

2) Begin cooking rice or brining a pot of water to boil for noodles. Cook according to box instructions.

3) Cut vegetables into match-stick pieces.

4) Put onions and carrots into the wok. Set peppers aside.

5) Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.

6) Once the onions and carrots have softened (about 5 minutes), add your chicken. You may have to add a bit more oil. Allow chicken to brown on all sides.

7) Add peppers. Cook another 2 minutes.

8) Add your sauce. Stir your stir fry so that everything is evenly coated.

9) Bring the stove down to medium heat and continue cooking until the sauce has been fully absorbed. About 10 minutes. Make sure you are watching your stir fry and continuing to stir so that chicken cooks through and vegetables do not burn.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

10) Once your sauce has been absorbed and your rice (or noodles) are done cooking your dish is ready to serve! Spoon rice into bowls and top with chicken and veggie mixture.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

11) Now you can add any of your favourite toppings. I used chopped green onion and sesame seeds for a little extra flavour.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

Now all there is left to do is enjoy!

This sauce works nicely with a beef, broccoli and snap pea stir fry as well!

Let me know if you enjoy this recipe! What’s your favourite stir fry combination?

Namaste.