It’s the most wonderful time of the Year! Why I love Autumn and my favourite root veggie soup!

I think we can all agree that Fall is the best season right? The beautiful colours, crisp and cool breezes and crunchy leaves under our feet are just some of the reasons why Autumn is my personal favourite season. Environmentally everything is changing all around us and this year I experienced a lot of personal changes moving into and through this season. The beautiful weather and scenery of Zürich helped me through the transition. I’ve been practicing using my breath to stay aware and not let any stunning scene pass me by without full appreciation.IMG_8236

There’s this house across the street from my apartment and it is the most beautiful building in all of Zürich. I might be a little bias because it’s on my street but really it’s extraordinary. A simple, square, four story brick building that is covered in vines. Over the wintertime the building is barren but as the spring arrives so do the little green buds. The leaves grow lush throughout the summer and by August all you can see is a massive green bush with windows. Come fall the leaves change in the most spectacular ombré. Starting from the top with bright yellow, then smooth orange, then deep red hues and slowly the colours creep down to the earth. I am always a little sad when the leaves fall as they always do but I know what next year the magic will happen again and I am truly thankful for that.IMG_8421

Growing up in central Canada we never really had much of a Fall season (and still don’t) so I guess that’s why I try to make the most of it now. In Saskatchewan, my home province, the Summers are hot and the Winters are cold. There is no real Spring or Fall, welcome to the Prairies. You see, the Winters are so cold, average minus 30 degrees Celsius but can be much colder still. The worst I’ve experienced was minus 42 degrees and with the wind chill it felt like minus 62! The air was literally frozen. The winters are not only terribly cold but unforgivably long and this is where Spring and Fall get cut out of the picture. After August ends the cold already begins to creep in on September, freezing the ground and almost immediately killing everything. I remember one day years ago the leaves were starting to change and there was a nice Autumn atmosphere going on. Then suddenly a storm blew in, 60 km winds and a temperature of minus 10. The next morning Fall was over, the leaves were all dead, wet on the ground. That was it.

I suggest too all you Prairie folk out there that you skip the Summer holidays next year and fly on over to Europe in October to experience the true delight that this season has to offer.

Now it’s soup time 🙂 I never cooked much at home in Canada (Momma always had that under control) but now living here in Zürich (most expensive city ever) I’ve had to teach myself to cook and I gotta say it’s gone pretty well!

I am a major soup lover because they’re delicious, cheap, healthy and heart warming.

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In Fall we obviously want to make use of all the hardy root vegetable available to us so this here is quick, easy, healthy, gluten free and vegan Fall Soup recipe that everyone I’ve fed it to loves…You’ll need

  1. 1 small butternut squash (or half of a medium sized butternut squash) – cubed
  2. 1 medium sized sweet potato – cubed
  3. 5 regular sized carrots – cubed
  4. possibly a yellow pepper if you like sweeter soups (optional) – cubed
  5. 1 yellow onion – finely chopped
  6. 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  7. olive oil
  8. white wine (optional)
  9. salt (to your taste)
  10. nutmeg powder (1 tspn)
  11. vegan bouillon
  12. almond milk

Peel and cube butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots (and yellow pepper if you choose to add it for a little sweetness). Place cubed vegetables in a bowl and glaze with olive oil and a bit of salt. Then place on a lined baking sheet and put the in oven on 200 degrees Celsius (390 F) until they are soft, about 20 minutes.IMG_3753

While the root veggies are roasting away warm up the olive oil in a pot on medium heat and add in your finely chopped onions, garlic, nutmeg powder and a splash or two of white wine. I added the white wine just because it was already sitting open in my fridge. It gives the soup a really nice flavour but it’s certainly not necessary to go out and by a bottle just for this.

Cook onions and garlic until they’re translucent and fragrant. Now add in 1 liter of water and bouillon, crank the heat and get boiling!

IMG_8420 Once root veggies are done roasting

add them into the pot as well and let it all cook together for about 10 more minutes. Then turn off the burner and set pot to the side to cool a bit.

We want to cool the soup down before we mix it because a scolding hot soup explosion is never fun.

I only have a hand blender so what I do is ladle cups of soup into a 3 cup measuring cup then I blend by hand, add blended mixture back into the pot and take a new cup of veggies until the entire soup is blended. It can get kinda thick here and hard to blend so feel free to add a little more water.

Finally we stir in a bit of our almond milk for more creaminess! Use your better judgment here and if you really love almond milk use a lot! It’s your soup after all.

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Serve with garlic toast or fresh bread or rice or just eat it alone.

Happy cooking and most importantly happy Autumn! Don’t let any turning leaf or crisp breeze go unappreciated!

Much love,

Katelyn

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28,500 steps, 2,085 meters above sea level, 7 women and 1 amazing day.

When a friend mentions she’s planning a hiking trip to the Bernese Alps, you should always invite yourself along! These stunning mountain peaks and mystical forest trails are something that one can only really appreciate in person, photos just don’t do it justice. It is a place where you feel truly liberated being surrounded by pure, open sky and deep valleys. It’s a place where you feel extremely strong in body and mind because to be up there you kind of have to be.IMG_8351

I met two of my friends and another car full of strangers in Zürich Altstetten at 8:15am on Saturday October 12th. We piled in the car and drove to Interlaken, a stunning town that connects two turquois blue lakes in central Switzerland. The group of seven women (Franzi, Melina, Tu-Anh, Mel, Marina, Maxi and I) first met all together in a parking garage basement in Interlaken. We gathered our things and headed to our starting point, a little chalet called Lombachalp near Habkern. We enjoyed a light lunch and small talk then started the trek up, up and up some more, 800 meters straight up. Out of the seven women we had two pro hikers, four intermediates and one brand new mountain adventurer. We discovered early on that this group was one that belonged together. Everyone was patient, understanding and would do anything to help when they could. There was not one minute of stress, which was almost unbelievable. I’ve been with many groups in many situations and locations and no matter what there is always someone who cannot wait for others or needs to have things exactly their way. But these ladies, oh no!IMG_8388

In the first hour we had already opened up so much talking about our lives, jobs, boyfriends, homes and even ones divorce. We struggled to breath as we made the ascent up to the mountain top, if only we could’ve stopped talking, but I found these women much to interesting to let a minute go by without conversation.IMG_8389

I told Mel about the Eight Limbs of Yoga, about how Yoga is much more than asana. It involved doing no harm, self study, journaling, concentration, meditation, pranayama and so on. In the first few hundred meters up I introduced her to the practice of inhaling deeply through the nose, she noticed the calming effects right away.

Close to the top we saw a herd of mountain goats grazing and napping in the warm October sun. They were so peaceful and I couldn’t help but be grateful for the fact that they let us, all the hikers and tourists, into their home with such grace. They could do a lot of harm to us with those massive, curled horns but they didn’t. They were totally at peace as we respected them and they respected us.IMG_8260

After about two hours walking and talking our way up the mountainside we came to the peak, well the first peak. With panoramic view of the most beautiful scene you’ve ever seen in your whole life. Blue skies but even bluer lakes. Yellow burning sun reflecting off snowy mountain tops. IMG_8285

We had a nice long rest there, a drink and some snacks. This is when we found out that Mel was afraid of heights. The way ahead of us was a walk along a mountain ridge with falling sides straight down. She was not aware of the intensity of the hike as we changed the plan last minute, but she was a trouper and pushed through. Maxi and Marina helped lead Mel for about an hour over the ridge to the next peak where we had reached 2,085 meters. Mel sat down as fast as she could and was an absolute warrior facing her fear of heights at 2,085 m on a literal mountain peak. If you didn’t already know of her fear it would’ve been hard to tell, she really kept her cool.IMG_5852

As we made our slow decent down our new hiker Tu-Anh was having some problems with her feet and hips. The shoes she purchased were not quite the right fit and were causing her a lot of pain especially as she walked down and her toes curled to the end of her boots (lesson here is to always get a professionals advice when buying hiking boots!). Half the group waited at the bottom of the peak while the others continued down. Here some real magic happened. In front of us was another long ridge where both sides seemed to just fall down straight beside you, a nightmare for anyone afraid of heights. IMG_8291Mel stood there and it was obvious in her body language that she was really truly afraid. I asked her if I could give her a hug and she agreed. I gave her the best Burner Hug I could possibly give. Heart to heart, five deep breaths and a real human connection, I felt her tense body melt like butter in my arms. The things that humans can do when we just connect with each other are insurmountable. We left our embrace and she was smiling, a beautiful smile. She told me that the breath I showed her earlier had been helping the whole time but this hug was a game changer. Shortly after this she ran, literally RAN down the mountain ridge, by herself, free as a bird for the best photo op imaginable. I was so proud of her! From then on she was ok. She no longer needed help; she was calm and relaxed and really enjoyed herself. How could you not after conquering a fear like that, she showed her fear whose boss!20181013_161431

At this point we still had two to three hours to go (thinking it was maybe an hour more.) Tu-Anh was struggling but never once stopped smiling. I’m not kidding, she literally always had a smile on her face. Despite the pain and frustration, bucking knees and bleeding feet she pushed on like no one I’ve ever seen. I stayed back with her, walking with her tempo for a while. It gave me time to really slow down and enjoy every breathtaking view, every sappy tree and every beam of light projected through the colourful fall leaves. It gave me time to experience real gratitude. I am usually in a hurry when it comes to walking in general so when I hike I tend to try to get the hard parts over with as soon as possible by sprinting and then taking 5 minutes to regain my breath. Walking with Tu-Anh taught me to slow down in the mountains. It is better to take it easy, sink into the struggle and have the time to enjoy and appreciate it instead of hurrying to the peaks and eventually to the bottom. It’s about the journey not the destination! Life lessons learned in the mountains.IMG_8377

By this time we were on our trek for a good six hours I’d say, all pretty tired and a little confused as we thought the hike only took about four and a half hours. We were descending down through lush, colourful forest and a tremendous view of the sunset reflecting off of the Jungfrau, one of Switzerland’s grandest mountains. IMG_8376We met two young men, Luki and Benny, with a drone who filmed the sunset over the tree line, I joked with them about where I could see the video “Do you have a YouTube channel?” I asked, they said no, so I straight up asked if they would share the video with us and they agreed. I’ve learned in life that you never get anything without straight out asking for it, so they airdropped the stunning video to us, so sweet. The first half of our girl group hiked with them, hurrying our feet as the darkness was quickly approaching. Only one of us girls had brought a light with us because we never imagined we’d still be hiking at 8 o’clock at night, thank god for Luki and Benny. The first group stopped and waited for the rest to catch up, it was literally pitch black and we all had a bad feeling about continuing without the others, even our random new friends. These men could have kept going without us, stuck to their own agenda, but they waited with their lights and calming conversation. They were our guardian angels. I honestly don’t know what would’ve happened if we hadn’t have met them.

After what felt like an eternity hiking in the dark over massive tree roots and loose rocks we made it to our final destination Harderkulm, where we arrived back to civilization, had a delicious mean and of course bought our guardian angels a round of beers.IMG_5905

It was a crazy thing trying to come down from that mountain trek, not just physically but mentally as well. That night I laid in bed unable to fall asleep despite all of the physical activity I’d done that day. I couldn’t stop reliving the day in my head, reflecting on all that had happened, all that I had seen, smelt, heard, and felt.

It’s inspiring to me how much support and love was shared by seven women, friends of friends of friends, who randomly came together for such an intense experience. It just goes to show that you never know what might happen and that you should always invite yourself along to a hiking trip in the Bernese Alps.

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Also all pictures posted here were taken by everyone! Thank you ladies for sharing not only your photos but your hearts with me!

Taking our practice to the next level step by step!hv

Yoga is so much more than just our physical asana (posture) practice. When most people think of yoga they think about the body and making shapes or they just think it means stretching. But it’s So Much More!

I shared in my last post about how last year I was pushing my asana practice for the sake of impressive Instagram posts and how unfulfilling that was. And now that I have a stronger spiritual practice and not as much asana I feel much more grounded and balanced.

Yoga is about wearing your heart on your sleeve and keeping your mind and heart open to the new. Yoga is connection, yoga is listening, yoga is love and kindness. Yoga is being thoughtful and honest to yourself and everyone around you. Yoga is finding calm and peace. I believe it’s incredibly hard to achieve all these things only by using the physical practice therefore I have began to integrate simple practices into my everyday life to help calm the mind and find some peace as I navigate through my busy days.

I’m sharing only 2 for now but there will be more to come in the future!

1.Find Stillness – Stillness, mindfulness, awareness whatever you wanna call it. I’m not even saying meditate. You don’t need a 15 minute block of time to find stillness and calm the mind (although if you do have an extra 15-30 minutes meditation is an amazing practice). But really all you need to begin a mindfulness practice is the moment that you’re in right now. First put your phone down. Then take a deep breath. Feel the air entering through your nose, filling your lungs and belly and then softly exhale. You can close your eyes or gaze softly at any point. I like to look out the window finding a tree, bird, or flower. Something natural. In the time it takes to take this breath let the mind relax. Let go of thoughts and plans, concern and worry just for a second and be with the breath. You will experience an immediate and overwhelming sense of calm. Enjoy it because it won’t last forever. But the more often you practice this breath and this moment to yourself the longer the feeling will last. This is what living in the present moment feels like and I got to say it feels damn good! Now that I have made this a habit its starting to come naturally, without thought. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed even joyful or excited I simply breath and let go. Letting the moment be just as it.

2.Positive Self Talk – Becoming aware of that voice inside of our heads is so important. Unfortunately the voice we hear is most times negative, telling us to do better, that we’re not good enough and judging people and situations negatively. This is normal. We all hate ourselves sometimes because of this nasty voice which sucks! But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I believe the first step to changing the tone of our inner monologue is to simply just hear it without judgment and without trying to change it. Just listen. We can learn so much from listening. Notice what kinds of things the voice says, its tone of voice and when it happens most often. Remember that THIS VOICE ISNT YOU! You are not your negative thoughts.

Now that you have a grasp of what, when and how your inner monologue makes you feel you can begin to use your awareness practice to change the negativity into something positive. So the next time you feel like you failed instead of letting regret and shame overwhelm you take the time to stop, breath deeply and say to yourself “I am enough” or “even though it didn’t work out I am proud of myself for trying” something of the sort. The constant reinforcement of positivity really begins to change the voice over time. It’s like training a dog with treats. The more treats a puppy gets for being a good boy the more he will be a good boy because he knows he will get lots of pets and love and treats if he is. For us the treat is the positive thought instead of the negative. We will therefore begin to feel better about ourselves (like the good boys and girls we are) and then we can actually start to give ourselves the love and kindness we deserve.

You can also use this principle when observing a situation that you’re not directly involved in. Say you’re watching some competition show like American Idol (is this even still a show?) anyway someone goes to sing and they’re really trying and they believe they’re great but actually they sound like a bunch of alley cats fighting over the left over fish bones in the trash… instead of feeling embarrassed and ashamed for this person you can send some kind, loving thoughts. Just putting positive thoughts out into the universe can change everything. Slowly but surely.

In summary: take some time out of your day to look inward and just breath. Allow yourself to let go even just for a second. And take some time to listen to yourself. What are you telling yourself. If it’s not nice then be nicer! Be as nice to yourself as you would be to your best friend. If we all did this the world would be a much happier place.

Much love,

Katelyn

How one year changed me and my Yoga practice.

It’s been a while. My last blog post was about a year ago already. It’s so crazy how fast the time flies even when you’re trying to be mindful of it.

Since then I got married to the man of my dreams and could finally begin to settle down here in Zürich. It’s a long ways from my home in Canada and every transition (especially ones so big) need time. The last year has been filled with personal highs and lows as I’ve worked to find the balance I need not only to achieve my professional goals in a new country, maintain a social life, stay happy but also to keep my own yoga practice strong. There’s a bit about my last year.

The first few months of this big life transition (spring 2017) were pretty easy. I arrived in Zürich fresh from my YTT full of new knowledge and inspiration. I didn’t have a work permit which means I had all the time in the world for my practice. Sometimes I practiced pure asana at home or in the park for 3 hours a day! I felt fantastic in my body and life was good.

After the wedding in May I was able to work so I found a great studio here where I began to teach a weekly yoga class and was able to sub for many different styles including Anusara and even Ariel Yoga. I was feeling so motivated in my own personal asana practice at this time but I also felt like I was lacking on the spiritual side of things. I was all about pushing myself physically to get into a cool pose for an Instagram post which is obviously not what yoga is about. I was feeding my ego, trying to get more followers and that was not satisfying at all. In fact I started to feel insecure because I ended up spending a lot of time on Instagram comparing my practice to others. Not a healthy habit.

In the fall I got myself a position as the English Assistant at a daycare and also got a job working in a small, cozy cafe. Life went from 0 to 100 in no time at all. From April when I had nothing but time to September when i worked more then 100% with my weekly Hatha class on top of it all was an enormous transition. It was honestly too much but it felt good to finally be able to contribute financially to our lives.

My commute each day is looong which makes my work day about 12 hours. Therefore I pretty much said bye–bye to my asana practice. After full days with screaming children that I didn’t understand (Swiss German is a hell of a language) I was exhausted. I had no energy and no motivation for an hour long practice each day. I was lucky when I got on my mat for some gentle stretches. I was generally feeling low, overworked and uninspired. I even stopped teaching for a month because I just didn’t want to. It was rough.

It took me a few month and some honest words from a wise woman at the yoga studio to make me realize that my change of pace from yoga every damn day to almost nothing was completely OK. She simply said to me “life comes in phases“ and with these words all of my guilt about my declining practice disappeared. The ability let go of how things used to be and move with the times is a blessing. To just let yourself go with the flow. Because everything changes all of the time. No moment in time or situation will ever stay the same. I then started to realize that I was progressing in life. It was the first time that I genuinely felt I had moved forward which was kind of exciting! I finally had a real job, a good income, a tight circle of friends (that I didn’t see often enough but still), a beautiful home and most importantly a loving, supportive husband. Things that I never imagined I would have had already 10 years ago. And deep down I was happy. I learnt that not practicing arm balances for a few months doesn’t make me a bad person. It simply maked me a busy person. Which is OK sometimes.

After I was able to accept this change I was ready to get out of my funk. Work a little less and make more time for me. I started to revamp what MY practice looks like and how it feels. I am still working almost full time but I have a stronger, deeper practice now then when I had the time to asana for 3 hours a day because now I have balance. A frequent asana practice paired with daily meditation and mindfulness. It’s taken some time but I feel more connected and happier with myself and my practice then ever before.

If this resonates with you or you’re interested in reading more I’ll be back soon with a couple of ways for you to help your own personal practice suit your lifestyle, so that it’s perfect for you no matter where you are, what you’re doing or how much time you have.

Much love,

Katy

Ayurveda: Kitchari

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In my last post I went through a little bit of what Ayurveda is and why it is important to me! Before continuing to read this blog, please go back and take a look at my post Ayurveda, if you haven’t already!

This post will be about an Ayurvedic dish called Kitchari, its benefits and a how-to-cook!

Kitchari is a dish made with basmati rice and split yellow mung dal beans used in Ayurveda to help cleanse the digestive system because Ayurveda holds the belief that over all physical & mental health starts with a healthy gut! The rice and beans together make a very easy to digest meal and the combined use of many spices gives it a flavour like most Indian food (aka delicious)! This dish can be used as simply a part of a balanced diet or you can use it to cleanse; eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2-5 days. I figure that any cleanse where you’re actually allowed to eat something is pretty awesome and honestly a lot healthier than the ones where you pretty much starve yourself.

A couple reasons why eating Kitchari for breakfast, lunch & dinner is so great for our health:

  • By eating a meal that is so simple and easy for the body to digest we give our organs a much needed break. I mean think about it! Our digestive systems works pretty damn hard digesting 3 different meals a day, plus snacks and whatever else. And everyday we eat something different than the day before! So by eating Kitchari for every meal even just for a few days, it is like sending out digestive system on vacation, & everyone likes vacation time!
  • It is so so easy to make & lets be honest, sometimes we need a mental break from the kitchen as well.
  • The split mung dal beans are high in protein and the combination of the bean and rice provides us with the 10 essential amino acids. And because we are receiving enough protein our blood sugar stays stable and therefore we can remain in a good mood!
  • Because our bodies are not being strained by low blood sugar and its side effects, the body can focus on eliminating toxins and burning fat. Kitchari is also excellent for de-aging of our cells!
  • When the body becomes stressed (for example from low blood sugar caused by strenuous cleansing) it will automatically start to store fat as a survival mechanism. And I am pretty sure that is the opposite of what most people want as they start to cleanse…fat storage. By making life easy on the body (by nourishing it with an easy to digest, well balanced meal) the body is instead able to burn fat! Now that’s better!
  • Kitchari not only cleanses the digestive system but can also heal any damage we have caused to out intestines from lack of a proper diet and stress.
  • It is said that when the metabolism is working to its best and the intestines are healthy it becomes easier to reach a state of deep peace. Therefor Kitchari is also great for spirituality.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you…Kitchari is a one pot, no mess kind of meal! This is the recipe from my second pot and it was damn good! I added a few things and took some things out. Honestly you can customize this dish pretty much to your liking!

You’ll need

  • 1.5 cups split yellow mung dal beans (washed). You can find these in your local Indian or Asian grocery store.
  • 1-cup white basmati rice
  • 1-tablespoon coconut butter (or Ghee, but I couldn’t find that)
  • 1-teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1-teaspoon fennel seeds (which I omitted because I do not like fennel)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Half of a sweet potato cubed
  • 1 carrot cubed
  • 1 zucchini cubed (it is possible to add any seasonal vegetable that strikes your fancy! But I really enjoyed the zucchini)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Avocado garnish (optional)

 

Melt coconut oil is large pot.

Add mustard seeds and chia seeds and brown until they pop.

Add in all other spices. Stir to combine and let cook for a few minutes on low heat.

Add in vegetables (here carrot and sweet potato) cook for 2 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water, 2 cups of coconut milk, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling add in rice and beans and reduce heat to low.

Let cook 10 to 15 minutes or until rice and beans become soft but there is still juice left in the pot.

Combine in zucchini (or any other veggie that doesn’t take long to cook)

Turn off burner, add salt to taste, place lid on pot and wait patiently for about 5 more minutes or until most of the water and coconut milk as cooked into the mixture.

You do not want to over cook this. I did on my first try and although it still tasted delicious it was a little too mushy for my liking.

Garnish with cilantro and enjoy an extremely health, comforting, cleansing, nourishing and detoxifying meal! (Or a few of them if you decide to cleanse 😉 )

 

Hope you enjoyed the read and will give Kitchari a shot!

 

Namaste, Katy

Ayurveda

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What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicine that, instead of focusing on fixing problems/diseases once they have already occurred (like western medicine does) Ayurveda focuses on prevention of problems/diseases before they occur in the body. I think that may just be the most well thought out system in the world! Take care of yourself and don’t become sick. It couldn’t be more obvious right?

I’ve just recently started to dive into Ayurveda. I only know the basics but I am already hooked. Simple things like enjoying a hot cup of water or tea first thing in the morning to help activate your digestive system, self massage at night to release toxins and of course practicing yoga have already made a difference in my over all well being. And it only makes sense. This ancient form of medicine has been in use for over 5000 years so obviously something is working!

One of the main focuses of Ayurveda is that overall good health starts with good digestive health which I believe 100% because I’ve experience both bad and good digestive health and I’m telling you, your body & mind feels so much better when things are running smoothly down there! Because if there is build up of waste in your intestines that for some reason or another isn’t passing though, your body cannot absorb all of the nutrients from the food you consume.

I want to give you a look into my current health situation so you can understand why starting an Ayurvedic diet, focused on good intestinal/digestive health is important to me.

Last year I found out that I have a gluten allergy after quite the process. It started in March 2016. I became very ill with sharp stomach pain, fever and cold sweats. I thought I simply had the flu so I laid in bed for a few days but when my illness got worse on day 4, I mean when I went from being constipated to having diarrhea I knew something much more serious was happening.

But actually this story begins before this occurrence. In September 2015 I made the move from Canada to Switzerland to be with my boyfriend. Everything was going swimmingly until I realized some months later that I hadn’t had a really good poop since I left Canada. I can only attribute this to living in a new place. Different food, different water, things my body wasn’t used to, and not really being in tune with my body. Anyway I would drink a big, strong cup of Italian coffee every morning and hope for the best. The best did not come.

So back to March 2016. I went to a local physician who examined me and told me to go to the hospital immediately because he believed that I had a burst appendix. Awesome. So off I went to the Krankenhaus (Sickhouse when directly translated from German!) and after a very, very long day of being hooked up to machines and tubes and getting an ultrasound and a CAT scan they figured that my appendix was fine but rather I had an infection in my intestine (hello not pooping for 4 months…)

I was sent home with a prescription for 2 WEEKS of antibiotics. 2 weeks! Do you know what 2 weeks of antibiotics will do to you? Not nice stuff. The side efforts were astronomical.

Anyway during and after this time I kept on eating and drinking all the things I usually ate and drank like sandwiches being number one, but of course pizza and pasta and most importantly beer. Gluten city. One Saturday night in April of 2016, just 2 days before I flew home to Canada I got pretty tipsy on beer. Just good old-fashioned beer. Guess what…sick again. Body aches and pains, diarrhea, everything just like the first time. Flying across the world in this condition was not optimal but I wasn’t the sickest one on the plane (a lady puked on me), what a ride!

Anyway before I left Switzerland my boyfriend pointed out the fact that when I drank beer I would have awful hangovers that didn’t happen when I drank only wine or something else. He thought that I might have a gluten allergy.

So back home in Canada my BFF picked me up from the airport at 11pm and we went straight to the emergency room. The Dr. put me back on the same antibiotics for another 2 weeks (kill me) and off I went. Next day I visited my family physician and told him I thought it was gluten. I got a blood test and a few days later we found out for sure that I am indeed allergic to gluten (the ironic thing is that I grew up on a grain farm in middle of nowhere Canada, strange huh?)

But how allergic you ask? Just an allergy or full on celiac? This answer I don’t even know.

Of course after the blood test results came back I began immediately with a GF diet (which isn’t hard by the way if you’re thinking about trying it). For the reason that I was flying back to Zürich in a few weeks I did all I could to get in to see the gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy as soon as possible, which actually worked. Usually people wait months to see a specialist in Canada (free Health Care means waiting) but there was a cancellation and I was in! Because we didn’t have the normal amount of time to prepare for the procedure I was unaware that to really be clear if someone has celiac disease or not from a colonoscopy the patient has to be ON a gluten diet! I had been eating GF for about 2.5 weeks by now and feeling good, but the results of the colonoscopy came back indefinable. I may or may not have celiac disease. A year later I still don’t know for sure. So I stick to my GF diet because I feel better than I have in my entire life! Actually health.

Even going back to being a teenager and young(er) adult I was often very sick. I would have a cold for up to 3 months at a time or just get sick 3-5 times a year. I would also get cold soars about 3 times a year. Now that I keep my intestines healthy by sticking to my gluten free diet I have only been sick once in the last year (common spring cold, can’t really avoid it) and I have had no cold soars at all! Proof right there that good digestive health leads to over all good health!

So to begin my Ayurvedic diet I am starting with the classic Ayurvedic dish called Kitchari. It is actually a cleanse so I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least a few days (we will see how long I can keep it up, hopefully make it a week)!

Seeing as this post is already quite long I will write back tomorrow with more information on Kitchari! Its benefits, recipe and so on!

Thanks for the read 🙂

Namaste, Katy

My first Class as the Teacher

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My beautiful first class ❤

Yesterday I held my very first ever real life YOGA CLASS! It was very exciting for me 🙂

The last few weeks I have been preparing for my first real class by teaching my friend / neighbor (the only reason I put neighbor in there is to demonstrate how easy and convenient it is to teach her!) I walk across the street every morning and we practice either on her sunny balcony or when the sun decides not to shine, we practice in her living room. She wasn’t really a yoga person, she had tried a few classes but never got the feel for it. Now I believe she is hooked! She’s always telling me how much more energy she has and how good she feels, which of course gives me this fuzzy warm feeling inside. I am so happy that I get to help her on her yoga journey everyday but I have to say, there really is something special about having a whole room full of people to lead and help through their practice!

We did a typical Hatha yoga class. Starting with Pranayama (the Full Yogic Breath) moving into the warm up, Sun Salutations, standing sequence and a seated stretching sequence before Savasana. Very simple but perfect because 5 out of the 6 students in my class are new to yoga. I had some great feedback and even a student who has moved around other commitments to come back to class next week 🙂

I am honestly just thrilled that I have the ability and know how to help even just a few people become more centered, calm and fit! I want to thank Powerqi Zürich for providing me with the space I need to do what I love! And of course THANK YOU TO MY CLASS! I love you guys 🙂 see you next week!