On Changes and Fear

In last week's post and episode we covered the topic of changes and the importance of practicing patience. Something we've lost touch with in this "want it now, get it now" society we live in. Today I thought we'd talk about fear, and the attachments we have to certain ways of living our lives, to eating in a certain way, to cooking in a certain way, and how changes can be scary and how we can move past that.

We'll discuss why lots of people got angry at a hot dog recently, why going against the mainstream can be so tough, and why we ourselves sometimes carry judgements that make changes a bit scarier than they should be. We'll also talk about some simple questions you can ask yourself when the road gets tough, to go from "I'm fearful of this change", to, "this little part actually seems doable!", and we'll talk about how sometimes it's the fear of change in our loved ones and the world around us that keeps us from giving things a try. All of this can apply to so many of the things we discuss in this podcast, including eating in a different way and going vegan, saying goodbye to the dieting and weight centric paradigm, practicing body acceptance and so much more. In the podcast version of this post I'll also answer a great listener question from Sam, on being a new vegan in a non-vegan barbecue, and much more.

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Vegan Cheese Fondue!

If there was one favorite recipe I thought I'd never be able to veganize when I decided to go vegan, it was cheese fondue. I'm not Swiss, and yet, growing up in Venezuela, one of our favorite treats as teens who couldn't cook, was to open a box of vegan cheese fondue, rip the little foil packet open with its wonderful aroma of white wine and all that cheesy goodness, melt it, and dip some bread in it. It was such a huge tradition at my house, and my mother in law who wasn't as lazy as I was when it came to fondue, had the perfect recipe for it, using wine, brandy and a whole bunch of cheeses, garlic and of course, a fondue pot and bread for dipping.

When I decided to go vegan I thought I was saying goodbye to this favorite dish of mine, but as it happened with every other dish I've ever had, there was a vegan version ready to be discovered and made... 

...and so I did, and today I'm teaching you how to do it too!

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On Changes and Patience

After our massive episode all about mindfulness last week, I kept having this thought coming up again and again and again. Carlos and his sister have this incredibly annoying habit of singing the same song for hours if anything during the day reminds them of the lyrics to that song. It drives me absolutely crazy because they just won't quit! Well, this thought was kind of like their endless singing, and it was as follows: "you forgot to talk about patience".

In fact, Out of all the support I've given you on going vegan, cooking more at home, improving your relationship with food, improving your body image and quitting the dieting rollercoaster, along with all the other topics that are regulars in our blog and podcast, we had yet to talk about patience. Especially when it comes to the topic of changes and patience.

In today's episode we'll be talking about two essential steps in making any big change. I'll also be sharing what my favorite part of brownble is, and we talk about how that ties into honesty (the type you need to have with yourself), and the importance of embracing steps back. We'll also talk about why society has forgotten to nurture patience and why people aren't practicing it anymore, along with what children can teach us when it comes to this trait, and the one thought a kid has that we can learn a lot from when facing a challenge. Spoiler alert! It has nothing to do with perfection or with being the very best right off the bat.

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The Mindfulness Episode!

As I mentioned in last week's post and episode, we received a question from one of our reader's about how my mindfulness practice is going. Since we've been talking about lots of great self care habits and tools like reframing our relationship to exercise, cultivating a better body image, etc., I thought it was the perfect time to give you an update on mindfulness and talk about what this practice is really all about.

Because mindfulness is all about presence, moment to moment awareness, and going with the flow, I didn't want today's episode to be scripted, which means you won't get our usual written version for this post, but we'll have a blast together talking about mindfulness in audio! That means you can listen to the full episode by clicking play above, or download or stream through your podcast app via iTunes or Stitcher

In this episode I'll be sharing lots of personal stories including my struggles with anxiety, how I got started with mindfulness, I tell you all about what mindfulness really is, I bust some myths and misconceptions about the practice, and I tell you all about my practice, how mindfulness has changed me and all of the benefits it has brought into my life. I also talk about how to keep up with the practice, the difference between mindfulness and meditation, whether yoga can count as a mindfulness practice, and how to bring this into your day to day life and why that's the goal, not the practice itself. I'll also be sharing some funny stories about my relationship with time, and much more.

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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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