The Exercise Episode!: #nomiles #notime #noapps #justtunes

Hello my lovelies! Today's episode and post is the exercise episode I had been promising. In today's post I'll be sharing some personal stories on my relationship with exercise, we'll talk about role models, finding your bliss when it comes to exercising, and why my philosophy of #nomiles #notime #noapps #justtunes might help you get back into exercising for true wellness and with a big side serving of joy. It's also going to become a music party, as we get into the just tunes part of that philosophy. 

If you're a long time reader of our blog, you probably know that I went from a kid who hated P.E. at school more than I hated chopped liver (and I HATED chopped liver) to becoming a person who exercises regularly and loves to.

Many moons ago when I was in high school, and I was trying to make up yet another excuse not to play volleyball, my P.E. teacher gave me a life line. He knew the problem wasn't the fact that I was a couch potato (I wasn't, and I've always loved movement and was dancing quite a bit back then), he knew I danced every day, so being active wasn't an issue. Something made him realize that the problem were the sports themselves.

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External Body Image Triggers and Remembering We Have all the Tools

Right around this time last year I felt some familiar pangs of anxiety in my stomach. I knew where they were coming from because I felt the first wave of them when I noticed some guys cleaning out the pool in our building and getting it ready for its grand summer opening. I felt the second pangs a few days later when I saw the calendar and realized what moment of the year it was and that the weather was getting warmer. I felt the third pangs a few days later while scrolling through instagram and seeing the last remnants of my instagram clean up (more on this later), in which someone was getting "bikini body ready".

The biggest pangs came when I remembered what I had been doing to get my "bikini body" ready two years earlier and how I never wanted to be in that place again. So I did what I normally do when I know I can't go back to what I'm triggered to do, but I'm still feeling slightly anxious. 

I sat down to write. 

What came out was our bikini revolution series. Three posts and podcast episodes (links are below) that ended up being one of the most popular series in our podcast.

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Culinary Medley of Weirdness

The other day a friend heard me talking about all the delicious Russian dishes I used to have as a kid, and she asked me: "what exactly is Russian cuisine like?" Whenever old friends hear me talking about food, even if its the friends I grew up with, someone always asks me "what exactly did you eat as a kid?".  I get why they're surprised. I was born and raised in Latin America, but I'm fluent in the art of pancake and Mac and cheese making, I also enjoy the strange flavor combos of Eastern Europe, and I can make an arepa like the best of them, not to mention the best German platter ever, don't even get me started on chupe, a typical Peruvian soup. Did I mention the fact that Spanish paella is a regular at our house? So yes, "culinary medley of weirdness" is what I ate as a kid, and this continues to this day.

Why talk about this in a post and podcast episode? As you know one of my missions at Brownble is to get you back in the kitchen, and today I'm going to tell you some family stories (of the culinary and passport kind) in the hopes that you start finding your very own style of cooking.

I've always told you that even though cooking was one of my biggest passions before going vegan, it was leaving meat and dairy behind that really brought my cooking to a whole new level. I loved the challenge of having to find vegan alternatives, and I think I also loved how freeing it was. There was no risk of undercooking the chicken, and no risk of salmonella when licking the spoon after making a cake. No overcooking steak. Vegan food was all about truly playing around with ingredients and having fun with them.

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In My Cocoon

Hello my lovelies! Today we're having another one of our more informal/personal episodes in the podcast. That means we won't have a fully written version of this one, but you'll of course be able to listen to everything in audio format!

If you've been following us on instagram (we're @brownble in case you're not following yet), you probably know by now that we've been up to something. Something BIG! We also went somewhere special to do it, and I've just come back from the most intense two days in brownble history EVER.

In today's episode I'm telling you all about my cocoon, why I need it, and how I made it in spite of not being a cute caterpillar, I discuss the topic of self care, a bit of what we've been up to, and the huge importance of finding your very own internal rhythm and getting to know yourself.

I also get ooey gooey talking about what it's like to work with my partner in crime and in life, and much more.

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Favorite Spring Vegetables and What to do with Them

When people ask me what my favorite season is, I always have to think about who is asking the question. Are they talking about my favorite season in terms of nature and its beauty? Autumn obviously! Are they asking in terms of my deep pluviophile nature, which loves grey and gloomy days and having any and every excuse to practice Hygge? Winter, of course! Are they talking about relaxing, being playful and enjoying my city's life to the max? Summer, of course! Or are they talking about vegetables? 

When it comes to seasonality, each person is so different! I remember my veggie vendor at the farmer's market once told me: "you are SO not a summer girl. You come in August looking for kale and asking where the heck are all the vegetables, and when I show you my peaches and nectarines you look so unimpressed!". He is so right, as much as I enjoy fruit, vegetables have the key to my heart and summer veggies are just not that abundant.

The fall is great for green leafy vegetables and squashes, and even the winter brings about some of my favorites, but spring has magic in it and it has nothing to do with all the flowers.

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Now Vegan Me, Meet Year One Vegan Me: Lessons Learned through the Years while Being Vegan

Sometimes Carlos and I have these super fun brainstorming sessions over beers or veggie burgers in which we make a list of topics we want to cover in videos, podcast episodes and blog posts. I love getting his perspective because he always gets these awesome ideas that are really helpful and in line with the many questions we get from all our readers and listeners. Today's episode and post is entirely his creative baby. A few weeks ago we were talking about how differently we see things now, a few years into being vegan, as opposed to our first year, and he jumped up and said: "oh my God! You should make a podcast episode where your now vegan self meets your year one vegan self and gives her a slightly different perspective, based on all the lessons learned through the years!".

I know... genius right?

So that's what we're doing today, our current vegan selves are going to share how different things are now, from how we see and understand veganism now, to the kind of content we share, to the way we advocate, to the worries that were eased with time, the social situations that were handled better with time, and how they got so much easier and much more.

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Mindful Eating Basics

You've hear me talk about mindfulness and mindful eating a lot. It's because just as some people always place a pitcher of water or a salt and pepper shaker at the table, mindful eating is always a main character at ours. It wasn't always that way though. For most of my life, and even for most of our marriage we ate full of distractions, many times in front of the TV, and how much we ate depended on how much I, or the person making the meal, would put on our plates. While I was on the many diets I tried, it was the restrictive diet du jour which told me how much I should eat. Making it so that everything that was "allowed" was eaten, no more, and no less, regardless of hunger, of satisfaction, and even regardless of whether the food was enjoyable or not.

You've heard this little dichotomy I was so fond of before, right? If the diet du jour told me 1 cup of this or that, I followed it with rigid perfection. Then, when I couldn't anymore because, well... diets!, I would pile on the food, gobble it up mindlessly, feel overly full, and only if a second helping wasn't offered would I stop there. If seconds were even mentioned, or if it was a particular favorite of mine, or if serving platters were on the table and still had food on them, I would eat until plate, ladle and pot were squeaky clean. Not because I was really hungry, or because the food was giving me so much pleasure I just had to dig in, but because....well, diets. 

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Hummus, Kale, Shiitake and Turmeric Toast

There are many reasons why Carlos thinks I'm a little alien from outer space. One of the biggest reasons is that when he wakes up and is thinking about vegan croissants with jams and jellies, peanut butter, sweet porridges or cereal, he walks into the kitchen, and there I am, spatula in hand, sautéing mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, kale, or getting sauerkraut out of a jar and the hummus out of the fridge. He calls me a breakfast alien. I just call myself a savoury breakfast eater, which is actually more common than you might think!

I love having jams and jellies and croissants as much as the next person, but I always need something savory, and I simply don't think that vegetables and breakfast clash!

"Says who?!" is what I always tell Carlos when he says vegetables and breakfast together define my alien status.

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