Overwhelm City: When Self Care Goes Out the Window and How to Bring it Back

Hey my lovelies! Today we have a very special episode that came straight from the heart early this morning. I thought we’d have a conversation about self care and those moments in life in which we feel so overwhelmed. I wanted to make it an informal, off the cuff chat, so today’s episode won’t have our traditional written format but you can of course join in by clicking play above or listening to the episode through your favorite podcast app.

In today’s episode I talk about:

  • Those moments of absolute overwhelm and stress that just sneak up on us.

  • How self care starts leaving us in stages when we’ve entered overwhelm city.

  • The many aspects of self care that we often forget are important to keep as a precious part of our routine.

  • How things like our eating, joyful movement and our relationship with others gets affected when self care seems to have left the building.

  • and the different stages to bring it back into the picture again, making sure we’re prioritizing our own well being and care.

  • I also give you my favorite 1 minute emergency visualization that helps us step out of a very anxious space and get some breathing room, and much more.

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Lessons Learned in Parks Part 2: On Body Image and Body Diversity

If you read or listened to last week’s episode you probably heard all about the happy-go-lucky dog and the fountain kids that taught me a big lesson when it comes to going vegan. In today’s episode and post on lessons learned in parks this summer, I’m going to share what happened when I was surrounded by hundreds of people, within an enclosure, and everyone was wearing swimming attire and having fun in the sun. It of course has to do with body image, and so much of the content we’ve already talked about here, in series like our Bikini Revolution Series (part 1, part 2 and part 3), and our Body Image Series (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4).

One thing you need to know about me is that although I love the fun of a theme or amusement park, and especially the childlike vibes I get from being in a place like that, I also have a severe dislike of rollercoasters, seemingly scary or dangerous rides, or anything that is meant to trick me into believing I’m about to plummet to my death. Carlos on the other hand, loves this! He loves the adrenaline, he loves the paralyzing fear beforehand, he loves the seconds on the top of a rollercoaster and that 3 second linger before the fall. He’s a weirdo. I’m more like a dog, if I see a glass floor with a ravine underneath I ‘aint stepping on that thing!

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Lessons Learned in Parks Part 1: On Going Vegan with a New Frame of Mind

If you've listened to our mindfulness episode you know I'm a firm believer in it as a regular practice. It has changed so much of my daily life, not to mention the fact that it has been my number one tool to improve my anxiety. It has brought me all sorts of superpowers including the odd feeling of the stretching of time, finding more joy and fun in the simplest of activities, the ability to go with the flow more, it has sparked my creativity, improved my cooking, made my yoga practice and my exercise routine better and more fun, but there's one super power that has skyrocketed and it has happened in a very strange and funny way, I've become an avid "noticer". By that I mean I now notice, all sorts of things, from internal mood changes and things that were triggering (meaning I can pause and think before reacting), things that caused me a ton of happiness that were seemingly unimportant before, to little tiny things like some brambles near my house that produce tiny orange flowers. I've noticed habits, preferences and adorable quirks I had never seen before in Carlos and the dogs, and I've found beautiful sentences in the books I'm reading and love, which I would have skimmed through before and that now make me think annoying Pollyanna thoughts in my head that sound like: "what a pretty sentence this is". It makes me laugh just thinking about it, but the truth is there's so much beauty in the simple details! Coming from someone who was always lost in thought and anxiety, this is like re-discovering the world, which is why I now sound like an excited five year old. 

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"Othered" and "Othering": Feeling Separate, Distant or Isolated When Going Vegan

After the long and way too fun post and episode we had last week in which I answered a great listener question, we talked all about my favorite books, the three books that have changed my life and our vegan library of resources, I thought today we needed a shorter but inspirational episode. Today we're going to talk about something that's behind so many of our readers' and listeners' concerns or feelings of sadness, anxiety and loneliness some people experience when going vegan. When we get your lovely questions and comments that have to do with the social side of going vegan, we tend to focus on the habits and external tips and tricks (and I sure have many of those to help you with), when it comes to sharing your life with people who aren't vegan. Today however, we're diving in deeper, because the truth is sometimes we need to go below surface level, go deep into the dark waters and shine a little light on what's really going on so we can enjoy the views of the reef down below right?

We've talked about having a non-vegan partner before, and we've covered so many of the social aspects of going vegan, as well as some of the physical and emotional changes we might go through when we go vegan. We haven't talked about how veganism in a way draws an invisible line in the sand. One that is sometimes reaffirmed and dug into deeper, when we look into the ethical aspects of making this change, or we read certain books or listen to certain advocates. This is the line that separates us as vegans from people who aren't vegan, especially our friends and family who haven't decided to join us. 

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Summer Bookworm: Some of My Favorite Books on Veganism, Food, Life, and Pure Reading Fun Just Because

If there's something I've long associated with the summer it's hanging around in my terrace with the dogs, by the lake shore or the beach with an amazing book. I blame my awesome English Literature teacher Lisette for this, since summer reading was mandatory at my school. At the end of the school year, she would give us a list of classic must-read books that ranged from classic to contemporary fiction, and we had to pick a minimum of two or three books to read over the summer, handing of course a less intimidating version of a book report on it when we came back. The book report part I hated, but it was the great push I needed to create an absolute love of reading books and especially of summer reading! This tradition is still alive for me to this day, as soon as I feel the weather turning, I get into full research mode and start getting my new books in a row.

This week I thought I'd share my love of books with you, and give you a little insight into what some of my favorites have been, on the topics of fiction, non-fiction, veganism, cooking, food, life, self-improvement, and more. It's also a perfect moment to give you a little surprise! Some of you might know that we have a super cool library of resources at Brownble where you can find our go-to books, films, podcasts, courses, online videos, and other inspiration and resources to help you go vegan. Well... we've given it the most awesome makeover and gave it a delicious update! It's now so much easier and more fun to browse, we've made it colourful, added handy menus to help you find what you're looking for and so much more. You'll of course find it, as a pretty big extension to this list, by clicking the button at the end of this post.

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First Sneak Peek of "The Roadmap: Going Vegan Made Simple" (The secret project we've been working on!)

Boy are we excited about what we have to show you today.

You're about to get one of the very first sneak peeks into The Roadmap, the vegan online course we've been working on for the past year and which, as you've probably already heard, goes live this fall (2018)!

This has been a wild ride, and we wanted to take you along some behind the scenes footage we shot while filming on location. This is just the first of many little glimpses that you'll get to enjoy while you wait for the launch of the course.

Enjoy a little sneak peek below, and then sign up to make sure you're on the list to be notified as soon as the course is live and receive our early bird special deal!

Ok, now I'm nervous / excited / giddy like a little kid. Here we go!

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Banana Nut Bread

Whenever I want to make something really simple, that is sweet but not overly sweet, which means it would be perfect for both dessert and breakfast or brunch, I think of banana bread.

I grew up on this stuff because at my house, my mom always overestimated the number of bananas we could actually eat, which meant many were overly brown by the end of the week. This meant two things, over the weekend we would have our fair share of my mom's famous bananas foster, and the smell of homemade banana bread (which in my house was served with salted butter and jam on the side... go figure!) would fill every corner of the house. It's the perfect use for bananas that have gone over to the dark side.

What's not to love about banana bread? It's moist, dense, sweet, and with that perfect pairing of banana, walnuts and cinnamon that go together so well.

Today we're teaching you how to make this baby thanks to our partnership with our lovely friends at Vegan Outreach who we made this video for. Make sure to follow them through their blog and youtube channel, they produce so much great content for new vegans and seasoned vegans alike, and we just love the work they're doing to help animals!

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Vegan on the Go: Simple, Delicious Vegan meals for Taking to School, Work, Picnics or Travelling

There's something about the summer that always makes me think of potlucks and picnics on the beach or by the lake. We don't have an ocean near where we live but we love taking the dogs to a beautiful reservoir nearby, where they get to swim, roll around in the sand, and we all get that change of scenery we need sometimes. As you know by now, my favorite thing to do is spending time in nature with Carlos and the dogs, and this little reservoir is one of my favorite places ever. It's surrounded by the most beautiful rocks and mountains that look almost Pre-Historic, but then you look out into the sand and water and you see families eating together, or people paddle boarding or sailing in the water, and of course, no one is having more fun than the dogs (by dogs I of course mean me).

When we go there, we always know that there will be a delicious picnic in the itinerary, including doggie treats of course, and there's something so exciting about eating a picnic near the water that I think although neither of us wants to admit it, we secretly want to dig in and start eating it the minute we arrive, even though we've just had breakfast. For this reason, our picnic usually includes several stages, the first one usually involving watermelon or cherries to help cool us off in the summer, some chips and guacamole for a bit later, delicious sandwiches for the main event and sometimes that includes a a container filled with my potato salad on the side. Then of course, something sweet for dessert which can either be more fruit, cookies or energy balls (chocolate melts so sadly that one's a no-no). As you can probably tell, picnics are one of my favorite things to do, and in today's post and episode I'm going to explain where that tradition got started, and I'm giving you tons of simple delicious vegan meals you can take on picnics or to the beach, but that are equally as portable, practical and yummy to take to work, school or when you're traveling or going on a road trip.

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