Release Expectations, Increase Capacity to Enjoy Life

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you. ” – Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon


In two days I am about to embark on a whole new chapter/journey in my life. My husband and I are moving to San Francisco! A city where neither of us has ever lived. Looking forward to a new adventure is very exciting with hints of nerves and wonder. As our moving date approaches, I have been thinking more and more about what to expect. Then the little yogi inside me reminds me of how expectations have this tendency to distract a person from enjoying everything around them to the maximum level of possible enjoyment. And who wants that, really?! Seriously though, expectations can be quite damaging to yourself and to those around you. I have been taught this lesson and reminded of it on numerous occasions in my recent years. Yet, somehow I still allow myself to drift back into that old habit of creating expectations. I want to embark on this new chapter with an open heart, fresh eyes and NO expectations. So, I thought, what better way to remind myself than to write it down.

Throughout the last 10 years that I have been studying yoga, I have read and heard from numerous teachers that having fewer expectations for yourself and others creates less opportunity for you to be dissapointed. This is really something to ponder isn’t it? Most of us are taught, our whole lives, to create goals and try to achieve as much as possible. To do well in all of our endeavours. Then we’re told that having expectations is negative? What to make of this…

I am reminded of my first solo travelling adventure. In 2009 I went to India for a yoga teacher training program. Of course, leading up to this trip, I created thousands of expectations in my mind. What I would see and do. Who I would meet. What I would learn. I actually imagined, coming out of the training, knowing everything there is to know about yoga. Ha! Now, five years later, I still feel like I’ve barely acquired a fraction of the knowledge available in this incredibly vast study. The entire (actual) experience was nothing like what I had imagined. The country alone is a hard pill to swallow. It’s hot, dirty, overwhelming and intoxicating all at the same time. If I had arrived there with no expectations, I feel like I would have had my eyes wide open and ready to drink in all there was to see and experience with a fresh open mind, instead of spending time comparing expectations with the reality. This is not to say that I did not enjoy my trip to India. On the contrary. It was Incredible! Luckily I had six weeks there to adjust and eventually release myself from those expectations (a valuable lesson I learned during the training). Once I threw them into the wind, I was able to just take it for what it was, breathe, smile, relax and soak it all in. In fact, by the end of the trip I had opened myself up to head in a completely different direction than I had originally expected. Which I’m convinced to this day was a much better path! I let go of the reins and allowed life to lead me, instead of struggling for control.

India Palace Door

When you have huge expectations for yourself regarding your career, material possessions, achievements etc., it’s easy to fall into feelings of depression or guilt if those expectations aren’t met. The same goes for what you expect of those around you. We often want our loved ones or friends to be or act a certain way or live their lives in a certain manner. When they don’t, we feel frustrated with them which places a huge strain on those relationships. This could easily be avoided by accepting yourself and others just as you/they are. Simply loving people for all their faults and flaws and celebrating their positive attributes.

Having no expectations does not mean having no control. You can still have goals and a general direction you are heading without causing yourself undue stress. In fact, I think goal setting can be a really positive experience. The trick is to take control of what you can and release yourself from worrying about what you can’t. There are many aspects of life in which you have total control. Your attitude, your openness and your day to day activities are all things you can control. The weather, other peoples decisions and the outcome of every situation are things you can’t control. Release yourself from creating expectations around those things you can’t control and I guarantee you will open yourself up to the ability to enjoy life on a whole new level. This is something I have to remind myself of as well. So, I am committing myself to enter into this new journey without expectations, because when you let those go, the most wonderful things can happen.

Taj Mahal


Fluffy Whole Wheat Oat & Banana Pancakes

pancakes 3

I am a pancake fanatic! Actually I just have a crazy sweet tooth so obviously pancakes are hard to resist. However, if you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you might have got the impression that I also care a lot about my health. Truth. Being that I love cooking and eating and health so much, its been my mission to take favourites like pancakes and create a healthy (but still delicious) alternative so we can all still enjoy without the guilt.

In my mission specifically with pancakes, I’ve had a few fails (more than a few actually). When you take away the butter and sugar from anything, you run the risk of creating something flavourless and dry. My husband would never say it in those words but a few of my pancake creations have unfortunately fallen into that category. This recipe though, was an absolute success! Moist, fluffy, and delicious. In his words, “The best pancakes you’ve made!”. That’s a pretty bold statement but I would have to agree! They were delicious. Topped with fresh strawberries and a little pure maple syrup, I could eat these everyday!

Try them for yourself and leave me a comment below with your thoughts or changes!


What you’ll need:

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup Oats

Pinch or Sea Salt

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Ripe Mashed Banana

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (or raw or turbinado sugar)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Coconut oil for cooking

Fruit or topping of your choice.


Pour 1 Cup of milk into a small container and add 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar. Set the mixture aside and let stand for about 5 minutes (this allows the milk to sour slightly making it into a sort of buttermilk). In a small bowl, combine; flour, oats, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine; banana, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture then add the milk/vinegar combination. Try not to over mix the batter. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and grease with a small amount of coconut oil. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to transfer the batter to the skillet. When the pancakes have small bubbles throughout they are ready to flip (1-2 min each side).

pancakes 1

When ready to serve, top with any fruit or topping of your choice!

pancakes 2

You could easily make this a gluten free recipe by switching out the flour for buckwheat or any other gluten free alternative. I would love to hear how they turned out if you try it. Enjoy!


Clean Green Smoothie Recipe

Recently I made a green smoothie that my partner commented, “was not his favourite”. Haha! I have to admit that particular smoothie was not my best work but I think I’ve nailed it with this one! Try the below recipe and let me know what you think!


What you’ll need:

3 Silverbeet Leaves

1/2 Cucumber

1 Kiwifruit (with the skin)

1/2 Banana

1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 Cup Rice Milk


Chuck all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Super Simple!


2 Recipes for “Super Oats” that will power up your morning

Oats. The breakfast staple that your grandmother always told you is healthy. But let’s be honest. Plain oats can be a bit, well, plain. My cupboard is always packed with a bunch of super food stuff that I got excited about at the health food store…. But what do I do with these hemp seeds???

Oats! Put all that healthy-health food store stuff right here in your grandmothers favourite! Whenever I make oats I always load them up with as many healthy ingredients as possible to add flavour and nutrition and to be honest I just get really excited about using goji berries and hemp seeds.

My weirdness aside. These two recipes below have been my favourites lately. They are full of nutrition and both have some healthy fats and antioxidant rich super foods to make you feel like the super goji berry freak that you are! Enjoy!

Goji and Hemp Seed Oats

oats 1

What You’ll Need:

1 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Oats

2 Tablespoons Goji Berries

1 1/2 Tablespoons Raisins

1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Hemp Seeds

Shredded Coconut, Maple Syrup and Non-Dairy Milk to top (all optional)


Bring the water to boil and add oats. Add Goji berries and raisins just before oats are fully cooked to soften. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Top with shredded coconut, maple syrup and non-dairy milk. Makes one serving.

Super Banana Bread Oats

oats 2

What You’ll Need:

1 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Oats

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Handful of Walnuts

1/2 Banana (sliced)

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

Maple Syrup and Non-Dairy Milk to top (optional)


Bring the water to boil and add oats. Cook the oats completely then remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Top with a drizzle of maple syrup and non-dairy milk. Makes one serving.

There you go! Now go get your Super Oats on! Enjoy!

Opinions are like @#$holes

“Opinions are like @#$holes, everybody has one” – Unknown

I absolutely love this quote for two reasons.

1. It’s really F-ing funny!

2. It’s true!

I was inspired to write this post because I have been reading so many (mostly yoga related) opinion articles lately. All of which are very interesting and thought provoking! It seems that whenever a controversial opinion based article comes out, an opposing opinion article on the same topic pops up soon after. Very interesting stuff. All of which also proves that the above quote is, in fact, very true. It seems that everyone does have an opinion, but what’s more interesting is the impact that all of these opinions have on us as people. How do we decide who we agree with and how do the opinions of others affect our actions?

Firstly, let me begin by saying that this is not a negative rant. I’m not upset by other peoples’ opinions. In fact, quite the opposite! I’m inspired. The topics I’ve ran into lately have definitely been thought provoking and help me to see new perspectives from people who come from different situations than my own.

One of the popular topics recently has been peoples varying views on whether or not yogis should be posting so many photos of themselves in impressive yoga poses on social media.

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(a photo I posted recently on instagram @mindfulyogini)

Some people are all for it because it inspires others to practice more often. Opposing people think that it takes away from the true meaning of yoga and may be off-putting to new or aspiring yogis or make yoga seem too difficult.

Another interesting topic was; if inspiring people on the internet should use their popularity to promote other peoples businesses to make money. i.e.; Pushing yoga pants and whatnot…. Some claim that they don’t like to do this because they want to stay authentic to the love of their work. Others promote and share links to their sponsors brands openly. Claiming that they actually use and like the products they are promoting.

So, how do I decide who I think is right? The answer…. I don’t! These are just opinions and that’s the beauty of it! The simple fact that we live in a world where people are allowed to have their own opinions and publish those opinions for the public to read is so incredible. Peoples’ diversity, varying backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and ….. opinions are what make this world such an interesting and beautiful place!

Two people can be from similar upbringings yet lead completely different lives. A fantastic example of this is my brother and myself.

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(my brother and I circa: 1983)

The two of us were raised in the same house by the same parents and somehow turned out to be completely opposite people. He is a gun-slingin’ redneck family man and I’m a world travelin’ peace lovin’ yogi. As you can imagine, we have some very opposing world views and have been known to argue debate about such topics. Does that make either one of us more right than the other in the way we live our lives? No way! Neither one of us are causing anybody any harm. We are both insanely happy with our lives and to be honest our differences really color up our family and make for very entertaining reunions!

So, in my pursuit as a yogi and educator, I will continue to read all of these opinion articles (so keep ’em comin’) to keep my perspective fresh and my mind open. However, I will never allow someone else’s opinion to set standards for the way I lead my life. I will always do what feels right for me and resonates in my heart. People do all sorts of different things in this world for all sorts of different reasons. Whether their motivation is because they think what they are doing is right or it’s just because they need to feed their family. In my opinion (yup, I have one too!) they are all right in their own way. In the end individuals decide what makes them happy and what they want surrounding them daily. If what you are doing truly inspires you and creates joy in your life, then rock on! If it doesn’t, then keep exploring! Be positive, be inspiring and be supportive and all of that love will come back to you ten fold!


Cacao Protein Truffles

Another delicious treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about! Living a healthy lifestyle can be so ‘sweet’!

Cacao truffles

What you’ll need:

1 Cup Date Paste (I made my own from about 2 Cups soaked dates pureed in the food processor)

1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder

1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Pea Protein (I make sure to buy protein powder with no nasties or additives)

1 teaspoon melted Coconut Oil

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 pinch Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut


Place all ingredients (except the shredded coconut) in a food processor. Blend until all ingredients are combined and start to clump together. Measure out heaped 1/2 teaspoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls. Then roll the balls in shredded coconut. Place completed truffles in refrigerator to enjoy later or right away! I couldn’t wait till they were refrigerated to sample the finished product! Yum!!


5 Yoga Poses to Release Tension and Stretch Deeply

Most of us lead very busy lives and its easy to let stress from your day become tension in your body. I am definitely guilty of this sometimes. And, while it may not be possible to be less busy, it is possible to look after your health without taking too much time out of your day. After one of these long days, (or really anytime) practicing these poses is a great way to help you de-stress and release tension. So make it a point to take a few minutes of your day to do something (ahem…. these yoga poses) to help improve your physical and mental health.

Asana #1 – Downward Facing Dog Pose


Sanskrit Name – Adho Mukha Svanasana

How to Get into it – Start by standing at the top of your mat. On an exhale, fold forward at the waist and place your hands on the mat alongside your feet. On an inhale, step both feet to the back of the mat, coming into a high plank position. Be sure that both wrists are stacked below your shoulders and from here lift your hips and lengthen the upper body by pressing the mat away from you with your hands. Engage your abdominal muscles and continue pressing your chest back towards your knees and your heels into the mat. Hold this pose for a few breaths then, to exit, place your knees on the mat and sit the hips back on the heels to rest.

Benefits – This posture relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the brain. It is a very soothing pose and can help with problems such as; headache, insomnia, depression and anxiety. On a more physical level, this pose stretches the arms and legs and can help to relieve pain in the low back.

Asana #2 – Revolved Side Angle Pose (Variation)


Sanskrit Name – Parivritta Parsvakonasana

How to Get into it – Standing at the top of your mat, take a forward fold over the legs. Step the right leg to the back of the mat coming into a high lunge with both hands on the mat beside your left foot. Keeping the right hand on the mat inside of the right foot, stretch the left hand to the sky. For a more intense variation the right hand is placed to the outside of the left foot. This second variation is a much deeper twist through the spine.  Hold this pose for a few breaths then, to exit, take both hands to the floor and step the right foot up to the top of the mat. Take a forward fold for a few breaths then try the other side.

Benefits – As this is a twisting pose, the health of the spine is improved as well as that of the digestive system. The legs, groin and ankles are toned and stretched and the chest and lungs are expanded and stretched as well.

Asana #3 – Dancers Pose


Sanskrit Name – Natarajasana

How to Get into it – Start in a standing position with your weight evenly distributed through both feet, hands resting on your hips. Gently take the weight into your right foot and bend the left leg behind you. Reach down with the left hand and grasp the inside of your left foot. Keeping the hips square, on an exhale start to press the left foot into the hand and stretch it behind you. At the same time, reach your right hand to the sky. If you feel balanced here, then start to lean your chest forward and continue to kick the left leg behind you reaching it hight to the sky. Always keep your abdominal muscles engaged in this pose to protect the health of your low back. Hold for a few breaths then slowly return to a standing position and try the other side.

Benefits – This pose improves your sense of balance and stretches the whole front side of the body. Also, the legs and ankles are toned and stretched.

Asana #4 – Reverse Warrior Pose


Sanskrit Name – Viparita Virabadrasana

How to Get into it – Start in mountain pose (standing) at the top of your mat. Step the left leg to the back of the mat with toes facing to the left and lunge through the right knee. With your chest also facing the left, stretch your arms out in line with the legs, (length wise with the mat) looking over your right middle finger. Gently place your left hand to the left leg, flip your right hand up to face the sky and extend the right arm over head.

Benefits – This is a really great stretch through the side body, chest, legs, groin and ankles. It also strengthens the arms, legs and neck and improves your sense of self esteem.

Asana #5 – Cow Face Pose


Sanskrit Name – Gomukhasana

How to Get into it – Start by sitting on your mat with both legs extended out in front of you. Place your left leg on top of right and bend the left knee. If your hips and knees still feel comfortable here, then bend the right knee as well so the heel of the right foot rests near the left hip. If your hips and knees are not comfortable then keep the right leg straight and extended out in front of you. Once your legs are in place and the hips are both evenly resting on the mat, then extend your right arm to the sky, bend the elbow and rest your right hand between your shoulder blades. With the left arm down by your side, bend the elbow and reach the left hand behind your back to join the right and hook fingers. If the fingers do not meet then just grasp your shirt with your hands and try to move them as close together as possible. Keep the chest lifted and spine straight, then lengthen the back of the neck and close the eyes. Stay here for a few breaths then slowly come back out, arms first then the legs. Rest in a seated position then try the other side.

Benefits – This pose stretches your whole body, including the hips, legs, glutes, shoulders chest and back. It is very soothing for the nervous systems and helps to balance out the left and right brain.

As always, make sure your take care of your body by knowing your limitations and listening to them. After your practice, take a few minutes in Savasana (lying down on your back with eyes closed). You will be amazed at how restful and restorative just a few minutes of quiet can be!