June Challenge: Pre-Shower Meditative Planking

I don't know about you, but with summer in the air, my mind and body are buzzin'. My winter yoga and meditation routines have been completely replaced by ripping around town on my bike like Joseph Gordon Levitt and running by the river as fast as I can; activities to help push out some of my inner energy and excitement. Basically, I have no attention span right now.

This month, I am giving myself a very small challenge to stay just a tiny bit grounded: I'm inventing this kind of mini yoga/meditation to be done daily before I hop in the shower, and you're welcome to join in. Here is the dealio:

Hop down on those forearms, back straight and rigid, head relaxed, and hang out for as long as you can/want. No timers, no personal bests, this could be for ten seconds or a full-minute. Keep the mind on the body, thank it for doing all the shit it does for me/you, or simply let it chill out while it holds you up. When it's time to stop, stretch back into a child's pose or downward dog, and boom, it's shower time.

 
 

Lil bit of fitness and a lil chunk of mindfulness for those of us who are having trouble slowing down this month. You get two birds stoned at once. Planking is great for core strength, metabolism, balance, and posture. Feel free to join in, or check in next month to see what kinda challenge I cook up based on things that aren't really balanced in my life. :)

Oh, and PS: Last month, I challenged myself to stop telling stories the same way all the time. I have to say that I wasn't sure how it would go, but it really did affect me and the way I reported the happenings of my life to my people. I even felt less boring to myself. I hope that one sticks with me for a while.

 

Freezer Chocolate

Alright, let's make some goddamn chocolate, shall we?

This recipe is easy as heck and there's a good chance you already have all the ingredients and you can make a zillion variations and it's pretty impossible to screw up.

Essentially, it's melted coconut oil and cocoa powder with some fun additions that you freeze, and voila, in mere minutes your chocolate is ready to eat. Oh baby! Syrup or something to sweeten it is good, peppermint oil, sea salt, cocoa nibs, cereal, nuts or seeds will add flavour and crunch, and anything like nut butter will give it a fudge-like texture. The only schtick is you can't take this on a picnic - this puppy's gotta be eaten right out of the freezer. 

Here's my recipe for a really creamy, cozy, fudgy freezer chocolate, but I make different ones all the time. I never really measure the ingredients out, so just eyeball and see what happens. It'll be ok. Enjoy experimenting, and I hope this deeply affects your life too.

 

Julia's creamy, cozy, fudgy freezer chocolate

Ingredients

  • Macadamia Cashew Butter (big spoonful)
  • Sunflower Seeds (big handful)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cocoa Powder (coupl'a big spoonfuls)
  • Coconut Oil (coupl'a big spoonfuls)

1. Whisk it all together on low-ish heat until it's nice and melty

Save some sunflower seeds for the top later.

2. Pour it into a container for freezing

If you're using nut butter, something like the metal thing is cool, but if you're not using nut butter your chocolate will be more brittle and you'll want it to be flatter and thinner than this, so try something bendable like the plastic lid from a takeout container or a tupperware lid, or just waxed paper on a tray works too.

3. go nuts, Decorate, freeze for 10-15 minutes, and eat

 

Yep, that's it. Your friends will be crazy impressed. At 10:30 on a Friday night, splayed out on your couch, when the Cheetos have been eaten, and the store feels so far away, you will always have this trick up your sleeve. And you will clasp your hands in prayer thanking yourself for reading this blog.

Okay but seriously, now that I'm really deep in my freezer chocolate game, I can honestly say that I like it even more than regular chocolate: It's not that bad for you, it doesn't give me tummy aches, and the flavour/crunch/texture possibilities are endless. 

I hope this chocolate will change your life too, or at least make bad periods/dark days/stoner laziness/whatever a little bit less awful for you. 

It's a freezer chocolate revolution!

 

 

(P.S. Thanks to ohsheglows.com for teaching me.)

 

Creative Profile: Kate

Kate Reid 

of

Goonhouse

Vancouver, BC

I AM a seller of GOONHOUSE vintage clothes, an enamel pin collaborator, an event-putter-on-er of Black Market pop-ups

I MAKE rad enamel pins with big boss lady makers

I LOVE my fat old dog, road trips, library books (yay, free!), vegan corndogs, keeping it local

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Magida El-Kassis

Ottawa, Ontario

I AM supposed to be an "artist" photographer, but lately I have been fighting for inspiration... M$N3Y be on my mind lately.

I MAKE photographs of the things that surround me.

I LOVE food.

www.magidaelkassis.com

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Challenge of the Month: May

Back in February, I challenged myself to do a 'Challenge of the Month' post on Spoiled Rotten every month for a year. Well, mega challenge fail. My life got a bit bananas there for a sec, which perhaps I'll get into another time. But for today, I'm going to present a challenge for the month of May which honours the moment when the adventures and predicaments of our lives wind down, and are transformed into tales over beer with friends, or on the phone with our siblings, or texting with our moms:

Revise the retelling of stories every single time.  

Cool, bad, exciting things are happening all the time, and when I'm relaying that information, I have a tendency to repeat myself. Originally I wanted the goal to be to not tell the same story twice, but I actually think that would be impossible for me.

So this is about:

  • Being present in the moment with people we care about
  • Genuinely expressing how something felt or looked or went down
  • Not being boring as fuck
  • Make your brain chug along in a different way
  • Stop cementing memories into memorized sentences

Often I can tell when I'm hearing a crafted, pre-packaged story vs. someone just telling me whassup. I definitely love well-told, classic tales, but without question, I drift away more during them, I feel the stress of the teller to hold my attention and the pressure for a mind-blowing conclusion.

So for now, my goal is to try to simple be with the people I'm with, and let them know about the kooky/bat shit crazy things that have been happening in as organic a way as I can. 

Oh, and if you're wondering about how February's challenge to not watch TV on school nights went, well, it was super dope, not that hard, and maybe changed my life forever. 

May your day be filled with lovely, honest conversations with good people.