Tag Archives: flax seed

Winging It: How I Threw Planning out the Window

A fellow organic living blogger, Dana, and I had a mini discussion on instagram about the concept of “winging it.” She and I were using it in reference to not using recipes when making homemade deodorant. For the record, she is a phenomenal & helpful lady and you should check out her blog titled Organic Eater.

My style is to “wing it”. Not referring to a recipe, not getting wrapped up in precise measurements and not having any expectations. Just do it. (Thanks Nike).

Disclaimer: If your style is not to wing it, I do not mean to offend. Praise to those who have the patience for recipes, journals, and planners 🙂

That conversation with Dana sparked a moment of realization:

I wing most things in my life. Workouts, meals, future plans, blog posts, conversations–I do very little planning ahead of time.

From my experience so far in life, especially in college, the common response to this is something to the affect of: “You don’t plan? That’s irresponsible. You have to put time and thought into these things in order to be successful. You should have your plans set out for the future, write down your goals, keep a food journal, write down your exercises.” Blah, blah, blah.

It seems that to a lot of people, a lack of planning is regarded as flippantirresponsible, and careless.

The reason this hits home for me is because I believe my successes have been a direct result of not planning.

This doesn’t mean I did not imagine myself where I wanted to be in the future: happy, fulfilled, blissful. Rather, I let it happen, versus planning it out.

“Winging it” is liberating to me. It also feels natural, like there’s an innate behavior in me that already knows how to do that. Sometimes, “winging it” puts you in the “rogue” category to others. I’m okay with that. Rogue is good. Weird is good. Different is good. 🙂

I am currently spending time with my family (I was away from them throughout all of college–about 5 years). The idea of “winging it” reminds me a lot of my Dad, who I think very highly of (I think highly of my Mom too :)). Dad’s experience in this story, I believe, was a turning point for him mentally, and seeing it happen from the outside has helped my mentality also.

This is the short version: Dad, who is an absolute motorcycle enthusiast, had a dream to ride his motorcycle to Alaska (from Fort Worth, Texas). This would be a long trek, so he bought all kinds of equipment, planned routes, looked up places along the way, etc.–months and months of planning and preparing for this trip. He finally felt equipped and took off on this trip (on a 6-month old motorcycle). When he made it to Wyoming, his motorcycle’s engine failed. He could not ride any farther with his bike in the present condition. The part in the engine of his bike ended up being deemed an assembly line error–a malfunction that was completely unexpected and demoralizing to his psyche.

What I take from that is, Dad put so much time and energy into this trip, all for his bike to fail and cut the trip short. He invested so much time and effort and in the end, his big plan did not work out. Dad says that experience was life changing and it led him to “abandon planning.”

Investing so much in the plan can be a little backwards in my mind. Our lives have an incredible way of surprising us with positive things/adventures/experiences–so why do we forget that and try to plan it all out bit by bit?

Maybe it’s baggage, maybe it’s purely out of fear and stress. It seems clear to me that it is not productive.

I do not suggest that we disconnect ourselves completely from what could happen in the future. Instead, I think it may be much more helpful to live in the present moment and experience it, embrace it, love it, cherish it, let it happen like it will with no expectations.

Planning, to me, is worrying’s cousin. Most of the time it is done because we are fearful, stressed, or intimidated.

All of these ramblings are relevant because I get frequently asked questions like, “How much do you run?” or “Do you run everyday?” or “How much do you eat?”

This is no exaggeration: every single day when I leave the house to run, I truly and absolutely have no expectations or goals set for that run. I don’t have a running log where it says, “Today run this amount.” I just run. It’s simple. Running is not a calculated science for me. It’s an experience, a feeling, a challenging adventure.

That’s worth saying again, running is an adventure! It should be invigorating and stimulating.

I acknowledge that some people relate to goals and they want a target mileage, pace, amount of reps, etc. But, my advice will always be: WING IT! I find that goals limit me more than they help me. The sky is the limit. I will run for as long as I can stand it today; every day that amount is different.

Laird Hamilton says this in his book: “Why not let it rip, at least a little bit? Everyone I know who’s really stoked about getting out of bed in the morning does that to some extent.”

and this,

“I don’t have a set routine. To my mind, thats the quickest route to burnout (and it’s deeply unimaginative besides). To be healthy, to sleep well, to eat well. These things are essential every day…My activities vary daily, weekly, seasonally, geographically, psychologically, depending on who’s in town–you name it. The best way to maximize what a day has to offer is to look outside your window that morning, and then look inside yourself.” -Laird Hamilton

Maybe I should just ask Laird to write my blog, then it would be clear, succinct, concise and poised. 🙂

Here’s another pretty extravagant random fact: all of these inventions were created accidentally, without planning: Penicillin, the pacemaker and vulcanized rubber. 

Pretty cool. Pretty rad things can happen and will happen when you aren’t planning for it.

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” -Joseph Campbell

My Dad is going to laugh when he reads this because he has said this to me numerous times (while I had an uninterested look on my face), but I find this quote/phrase so powerful: “Follow Your Bliss.”

Here’s the complete quote from Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

(I will not do Joseph Campbell justice if I attempt to describe who he is, so if you’re interested, it would be better and perhaps more accurate for you to look him up).

This post meanders a bit, but I enjoyed writing these thoughts.

I wrote this while hanging out by the window at Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse (my favorite coffee shop in Bloomington, IN) and the combination of the coffee and the ambiance apparently allowed me to speak openly and freely and tap into relating stories and quotes.

Hope everyone has a phenomenal day! 🙂

What is your “style” (to wing it or not to wing it)? What seems to work for you?

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Organic Coconut “Oatmeal” with Stevia & PB2

After a run last night I was craving something filling, but didn’t want to stray from clean eating. So, I created this treat off the top of my head! The picture might not do the recipe justice.

This warm bowl of

Organic Coconut “Oatmeal”

is delicious and decadent! As you might have guessed, there is no actual oatmeal in this bowl. Instead, there are several delicious substitutes. I will break down the process of making this to make it simple and understandable (these measurements are not exact because I eye-balled them until the concoction was the desired texture):

Start with a bowl

Put about half a cup of almond milk into the bottom of the bowl

Add a few tablespoons of PB2 (powdered peanut butter–85% less calories than peanut butter)

Add a few tablespoons of coconut flour

Add a sprinkling of both chia and flax seeds

Add a half scoop of Jay Robb’s protein

Add half a banana (sliced up)

Add 2 drops of stevia

Mix all of these ingredients together and add more almond milk or more coconut flour as needed (the consistency should be like pancake batter)

Next, since I’m not a fan of microwaving foods, I put this mixture in a skillet that has coconut oil in it (on medium heat).

I simply heat the mixture through until it is similar to warm oatmeal (stir it around often) and then put the cooked mixture in a bowl and enjoy with a spoon! Add cinnamon on top for extra richness and flavor.

Tropical Smoothie created by Jesica

I recently bought and sliced up a pineapple, so I’ve been using alot of it in my smoothies. It adds the yummiest sweet flavor. I’ve found that pineapple gets along really well with papaya. So, this morning for breakfast, I put the two together (along with a few other ingredients), and voila!

What’s In It (exact measurements are not important):

Fresh Pineapple (fresh takes more time to slice up, but you can’t beat fresh pineapple–it’s worth the extra effort)

Fresh Papaya (seeds removed)

1 white nectarine (my local grocery store had them on sale)

Almond Milk (unsweetened)

Whey Protein Powder (vanilla)

Flax seed

Chia Seed

Blend, and slurp! Although this recipe is very similar to my other pineapple smoothie recipe, I really advocate incorporating the flavors you love and using them in different ways with different combinations of fruit. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment! 🙂

 

   

Pineapple Paradise Smoothie created by Jesica

I love tropical flavors (pineapple, coconut, papaya, etc.). Thus, I really enjoy putting these fruits in my smoothies. Try this smoothie for a filling, satisfying, and incredibly delicious smoothie if you like these flavors, too!

What’s In It (exact measurements are not important):

Fresh Pineapple (fresh takes more time to slice up, but you can’t beat fresh pineapple–it’s worth the extra effort)

Almond Milk (unsweetened)

Whey Protein Powder (vanilla)

Splash of water

Flax seed

Chia Seed

Blend it together, and the result is an extremely tasty, yet healthy smoothie. The benefit of using pineapple in this smoothie, besides the fact that it’s delicious, is that it contains a powerful digestive enzyme called bromelain, which helps heal bruising and contusions. Pineapple is loaded with antioxidants and a trace mineral called manganese, which is crucial in building bone and connective tissue. This goes for both pineapple and papayas; the riper the fruit, the more nutrients it contains. Enjoy! 🙂

Side Note: I’ve learned this neat nutritional information specific to pineapples from Laird Hamilton’s book “Force of Nature.” I highly recommend investing in this book–as it is full of incredibly eye-opening information and products.