Happy Anniversary to ME!

Today I have been married to my best friend for TWO YEARS!

So to commemorate the happy day, here is a glimpse into Rhed and Schofie’s happiest day of their lives:

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And just because it makes me happy, here’s a photo I took of some incense we purchased at Earthbound Trading Comp. (happiest place in the world!) while we were celebrating this weekend.

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Peace and much Love!
Rhed

WE’RE STARTIN’ TO SMOLDER – RENOVATION STYLE!

Sometimes, you just need a little lift. 

Something that pushes you. Excites you. 

It’s like when I was a kid and my mom would re-paint her bedroom, and re-tile her bathroom, and  re-decorate every month… or when she’d hold out for the Estee Lauder deal where she buys foundation and gets the extra crap included. Sometimes, we all need to feel a little extra sparkle. So, welcome to the new Incense and Sounds. It’s sharper, hopefully a little more organized, and quite frankly, I love it.

What do you think? 

Like the layout? Hate it? Comment below. 

Got a new Vegan/Vegetarian recipe you want to share? Hit me up! Rhed’s got her renovatin’ pants on and things are gonna get interesting…We’re about to make some changes around here folks, so stay tuned!

PEACE, LOVE, and of course, Estee Lauder freebees.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend…

I am becoming a consistent writer.

There. I put that positive statement out into the universe, so it must come to pass eventually… right? I haven’t  posted anything in quite a while due to the flooding of my apartment resulting in a dead laptop. (May he rest in peace.) I am typing this on my husbands laptop that I was able to snag some time with. Bloggers, please tell me I’m not the only one who gets to the computer and thinks, Man. I’m boring. I have nothing to write about except how my fish’s eye is cloudy , and though he’s on meds he keeps running into the tank wall ’cause he can’t see. And though I really feel bad for him….it is kind of a little funny…Then I contemplate what a terrible person I am, and search for a new subject, Well, this is mainly a health and fitness blog now, so I could talk about my new Orange Julius protein shake I concocted…Naaaa…. Today it’s all about the MUSIC.

That’s right folks, welcome to the newest segment of Incense and Sounds:

Sonance Moments

“Sonance” as in “a sound”. Pretty catchy eh? It is here that I shall dissect gorgeous (and not-so-gorgeous) sounds and give you my thoughts on such. We’ll talk about artists, lyrics, redeeming qualities, and why I think a song could perhaps be improved (or just why I flat out hate it haha).  So, without further adieu, I give you:

Simon & Garfunkel- Sound of Silence

Ahhh, this should be on the favorites list of every free-spirit out there. This beautiful classic was written in 1964 by Paul Simon in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The raw beauty of these two gentlemen never gets old. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are excellent storytellers, and in this tribute, they do not disappoint. Every time I hear this song I cannot help but get quiet and simply listen. I didn’t always grow up appreciating folk music, but as time went on, I couldn’t help but fall in love with modern Rock & Roll’s roots. The acoustic guitar gives such a raw, earthy quality to this song, mixed with Paul’s raspy, vulnerable voice and Arts incredible harmonizing, it’s no wonder this song helped propel them to international stardom.

I leave you, dear ones, with this quote by Simon after it was mentioned he had some difficulty writing the lyrics, “The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run — I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me — and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again’.”

Resolve: Stop Being So Critical of Ourselves

I find this absolutely breath-taking. Acknowledge today just how lovely your body truly is.

Deana O'Hara - Speaker, Comedian, Author

This video was shared on Tulsa Diva’s today — I have to share it with you guys. As women we are sometimes our own worst critics. I love this.

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Get Up and Off Your You-Know-What! 10 Tips to Help You Find Your Motivation

Today I did NOT want to work out. At all.

Where I live it was raining, and cold, and I just wanted to cuddle with a blanket, eat some Endangered Species chocolate and watch Mad Men.

We all have those days though, don’t we? Those days when we can come up with every excuse not to eat healthy/exercise/ clean our temple. (Or clean the house for that matter.) I have been rather discouraged about my fitness goals this last week, and lacking motivation in general. Here are some tips that helped me to get up off my you-know-what, when everything else was telling me not to. Maybe we can motivate each other?

1.MUSIC

Turn it up! Blast that stereo with some beats. I know that when I pop in some good tunes,within seconds my foot’s tappin’ the beat, and the rest of me is wanting to move along. I always run harder, and push farther when there’s a great song playing.

2. PHOTOS

There are tons of motivational pictures of fit people out there. Every time I look at a really fit body it reminds me of the beauty of health and wellness.  

3. FRIEND

Grab a friend and get moving. Whenever I exercise with my husband (or anyone really) I get competitive and want to keep up with, or surpass him. I find myself smashin’ out that extra rep when I probably otherwise wouldn’t have.

4. GOAL

Don’t have a fitness goal? Get one! (Yeah,that’s right. I said that in my Woody from Toy Story voice.)

Focus on that goal, because the only one who can keep you from it is yourself.

5. STRESS

So many times I come home from work and I’ve had a stressful day and don’t feel like working out. Instead of sitting on the couch with potato chips, do some High Intensity Interval Training and punch your imaginary foes in the face. Or chill out with some yoga that will calm your mind.

6. FUN

Find something you enjoy. My husband and I have taken up hiking as our hobby and “connecting time”. We don’t even notice that we are burning calories when we’re chatting and just loving being in nature alone together.

7. ENCOURAGE

Encourage yourself. Give yourself a pep-talk. Deep down, you know that you can do this. You know that you have the inner strength to push through the pain. Tell yourself that, over and over if you have to. (I know I do.)

8. REWARD

Use fitness as a reward. I didn’t start to really love fitness until I saw it as a reward for my body, instead of a punishment. Now all day long I try to remind myself that when I get home I get the reward of a good endorphin rush after a sweat session.

9. NETWORK

Get online and check out fitness sites like this or this. They’re free, and full of people who want to encourage you to get fit and healthy.

10. LOVE

If you love others, and if you love yourself, you’ll want to be the best you that you can be. Think of your significant other, your kids, your family and friends, and be selfless. Give them, and yourself, the gift of a healthy you.

Annnd just because I love you, here’s one more tip…

11. ZOMBIE

Yeah, you heard me. They’re coming. Run.

Going…Raw Vegan? Day Four

Day Four:

So… here we are. Day Four…

Just got back from singing my heart out at rehearsal at my church, which is always awesome. Today has been good. Challenging, but good. I am running out of fruit, and that is leaving me a little desperate. I didn’t eat much today, mainly because I didn’t apparently buy enough fruit on my last grocery trip. Which brings my to the main point of this short post.

Preparation is key. If you are looking to go Raw Vegan, please do your research, and prepare your meals ahead of time. I didn’t realize how much fruit I would need, and truthfully, I should be eating far more. However, I have lost four lbs, in four days! I am super excited about breaking my plateau! Only one more day to go, as I’m doing one full work week, and I’ve run out of fruit anyway. I’m excited to share with you my assessment of this lifestyle, and the conclusion I’ve come too. Stay tuned!

Breakfast:

Apple

Lunch:

Apple

Peach

Kiwi

Supper:

Pineapple

Almonds

 

Peace dear ones, and may you always be full of fiber. 😉

Going…Raw Vegan? Day Three

Day Three:

Whoa Bananas. Seriously. May I never eat such things again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love nanners. I wish I could eat them all the time. Today I just made a STUPID choice.

I came to the conclusion a few months ago that I am allergic to bananas. I never was officially checked with a doctor, I just knew that every time I ate one, I got sick and lost my cookies, well… you-know-what. I would get racked with pain, the sweats, the whole nine yards. I just thought that maybe I got sick because I was eating more fiber than my body was used to. Then when I went to Whole Foods this last weekend and was skimming the produce section, my eyes came upon the golden bunches of joy. I thought, “Surely I will have a ton of fiber this week, and my body will be fine!”

Not the case.

How I felt after a few bites.

How I felt after a few bites.

Soooooooo yeah. Here’s the synopsis:

Breakfast:

Apple

Mid-morning Snack:

Banana (and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth)

Lunch:

2 apples

peanut butter

almonds

Supper:

Pineapple

There was quite a significant time gap between the banana and lunch. I actually had to leave work it was so bad. But… lesson learned I guess. Everything else was delicious. The pineapple especially was quite tasty, but my teeth and for whatever reason my tongue (???), were really sensitive afterwards. As the week progresses, I feel like going vegan officially would be rather easy. Its going 100% raw I am finding difficult. I just really miss hot food, especially in the evenings. I think its because I have a habit formed where I eat a salad for lunch, and the evening meal is always cooked. And when I find something I like, I like it and I don’t like to change. On the plus side, I have reached a huge personal accomplishment this week! I had been at a plateau in my weight-loss where I would gravitate between a couple pounds, and now I have broken the plateau and I’m losing again! I sort of feel like I’ve been on a juicing cleanse, I guess. I’m sure it’s water-weight I’m losing, but hey, the hydration this week has been great.

Peace, and may your bananas always agree with you.

You’re Not a Trash Can. Lose It For Good!

Choices.

Life’s made up of them. And hey, variety is the spice of life, after all. But sometimes, they make my life difficult. If you know me personally, you know I’m indecisive. Lord of the Rings Extended Version, or the original? Don’t even get me started on which Harry Potter… Soy pasta,or Black Bean Taco? Should my salad have almonds, or edamame? Should I get original almond milk?? Or vanilla??? UGH!!!

The great thing about choices, is that I have them. The bad thing about choices, is that I am the one making them. When it comes to health, I’ve haven’t always been very wise with my choices. There was a time when I was making the choice to eat Little Caesars Italian Cheesy Bread every other night. Now, that was a poor health choice. A delicious one? Yes. But not a healthy one. Dang it, now I want cheesy bread. I digress.

The key to being successful in your weight-loss, is preparation. You’ve probably heard it before, but “failure to plan, is planning to fail”. Thankfully somebody smart said that and not me. I have learned to plan every meal in advance, and take joy in every victory, no matter how small. The other day my husband made me a gorgeous salad for lunch, while I was getting ready for work. Any you know what? It kind of hit me, just how far we’ve come over the last year. We’ve made some good, often challenging, choices over the last year and I couldn’t have done it without his support! Because on the days when I really want to eat like my temple’s a trash can, he makes me this:

Finding a support system to help you make healthy choices in your life is wonderful, and can be really helpful when you need to be held accountable. However, at the end of the day, this is your body, not anyone else’s. It is a temple, not a trash can, and deserves to be treated as such. My husband can make all the salad in the world for me, but I’m the one raising the fork to my mouth. Take responsibility for your body, because it’s beautiful, and you’re worth it. Now go out there, give a shout out to all the wonderful people in your life, make a good choice for your body, and have a great day!!

Peace and Love!

Rhed

Healthy Temple: Vegetarian Pizza!

Pizza and pasta are my favorite foods. Of all time. Ever.

However, they are not always conducive to weight-loss, nor are they generally ‘low cal’. So, when I was was 40+ pounds heavier, I thought, “How the heck am I going to be able to lose weight?! Pizza is too good!”

But determined I was, and after a bit of experimenting, this recipe is what I managed to come up with. It’s low cal, incredibly delicious, and super fast to put together! Also, my “meat eater” husband says this is his favorite meal I cook!

Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist, I am not a certified fitness instructor or anything of the sort. I’m a normal, everyday person, and this is just what helped me to feel I was indulging, and still being healthy at the same time.

Here are the ingredients I used. You can switch it up and use whatever vegetables you love most!

Don't these look delicious?

Don’t these look delicious?

1 cup Spinach

3 Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

3/4 of a bell pepper, diced (I used Red, Green, and Yellow)

1/4 cup Red Onion

2 Tbls Basil Pesto (or enough to spread as a sauce)

1/2 cup cheese ( I used Colby-Jack)

1 Tortilla

1 serving = 1/2 – 1 full tortilla pizza

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Take out the Tortilla, this will be your crust.

I used Mission Wraps Sun-Dried Tomato Basil.

Get out a knife and open up the Basil Pesto.

This is freakin' ambrosia, I swear. I use this all the time!

This is freakin’ ambrosia, I swear. I use this stuff all the time!

Spread the 2 Tbls pesto onto the tortilla. Make sure you don’t use too much or it will soak the crust, and won’t be as tasty.

Dice up all your preferred veggies. I find it works best to put the spinach on the bottom, and layer the veggies on top. This might seem like a lot of veggies, but it will really make you feel full, for a small amount of calories.

Oops! Almost forgot the onions! I threw them on with the cheese.

Now put it onto a pizza pan, and put it in your oven for 5-7 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer it.

And, voilà! A gourmet, delicious, healthy pizza to satisfy your craving!

(The shadow is me ready to chow down! lol)

(The shadow is me ready to chow down! lol)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, guys. Let me know what you think!

Peace and Love!

Rhed

Healthy Temple: Learning to Listen

Hey Friends!

It is ironic that I am writing about nutrition and a Healthy Temple while on “Day 6 of Influenza”. More than anything I am cherishing the brilliant person who thought to put lotion in these stupid tissues. I had been in the middle of a 30 day challenge to eat ‘one ingredient’ foods (such as a salad comprised of spinach, almonds, carrots, etc. no dressing) and really give my max effort on workouts, and was doing fabulous… until this week. Workouts ceased, and my body went into starvation mode as I only was taking in fluids. However, today is a new day!

No matter where you are in your health journey, remember that you can always start over fresh.

I have found that often the biggest “bully” in my life is me. When I beat myself down and tell myself, “You’re never going get this right. Why even bother?” I am only setting myself up for failure. We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for! Have you been on a lot of crash diets in the past? I certainly have. Have you never been able to do a pushup? That’s ok, same here. Are you sick with the flu? lol ME TOO. That’s alright though. Pick yourself up and listen to what your body is telling you it needs today. The way to change is by making realistic, small changes so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I tend to make big commitments, that are generally unrealistic, and then I kick myself for failing later. Instead, take baby steps. Make the choice to pack some veggies or fruit to snack on at work instead of going to the vending machine. Put down the energy drink, and see how many pushups you can do today, you’ll be surprised the energy you’ll have after you’re finished. If you are sick, and unable to work out, pay attention to what your body is saying. Maybe your body really needs to sleep and reboot. Be proud of yourself for beginning to listen to your temple, because not everyone does. You are taking responsibility to care for the body God gave you, and that is a beautiful thing! I am right here doing this with you, guys. We got this.

If you have any specific questions, comment below. I’d love your feedback!

Peace and Love!

Rhed