Breaking Free of Patterns

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Our lives are a series of patterns. Everything in nature goes through life in patterns, including humans. When we encounter obstacles, we have to learn to adapt to our new reality, or maneuver around it to continue to progress.

I have a really colorful past. I come from a very conservative christian background in a very small town in west Texas. I grew up believing untrue stories about magic beings in the sky that watched and judged my every move. I also grew up accepting sexism, racism, and classism as normal. Yet I had no idea, nor did my peers/relatives, that we were actually living in this strange reality. Most of the people from my past are still stuck there, but I have (thankfully) expanded my world view and understanding of different schools of thought. I can still recall some comments I made when I was growing up…slurs that were tossed around like standard adverbs. I had no idea who I was or how I was representing myself and my community. It’s painful to look back and remember the person I was before, but it’s also inspiring to know how far I’ve come.

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I know I’ve always struggled with feelings of unworthiness. I constantly tried to find love and acceptance by putting on a new mask in every crowd I surrounded myself with. I slept with people out of sheer craving for connection. I didn’t know who I was, I just knew who I thought everyone wanted me to be. This included everything from language I used, to clothes I wore, and even art I appreciated. It wasn’t until I was entering my mid twenties that I actually started getting a handle on who Brittany REALLY was.

I started experimenting with different substances to alter my perception, though I can’t fully attribute all my life changes to them. They were an important part of my growth on my path, though. I remember feeling like I had so many “a-ha!” moments and knowing such clarity around what I was understanding in those moments. I did my best to integrate the “downloads” I had received and worked on improving the areas that exposed themselves to me while I was under the influence.

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Eventually I found myself in the midst of heartbreak, defeat, and hopelessness – as is the case for many people. Hating my job, not caring for my body, and caught up in a whirlwind of useless connections with toxic people. Something had to change. I started reading books on philosophy, spirituality, self improvement etc. and ultimately signed up for yoga teacher training. During my 200hr training I had my world ROCKED. We were diving so deep into yogic philosophy and how it relates to the world around us all. I quickly learned that there was more to yoga than just stretching or exercise. This was a whole practice based around being mindful on your mat, so that you could bring that same mindfulness out into the rest of the world. Practicing things like compassion, patience, understanding, and acceptance are what always shows up for me on my yoga mat. The practice was some sort of salvation that I didn’t even know I was searching for. It drew me in and changed my life. From the fire that was lit inside me through yoga, my whole world went ablaze. I started caring more about my relationships, most importantly the one with myself – internally and externally. I started wanting to pursue a life of freedom, contentment, and happiness. Anything that didn’t allow for me to feel inspired and happy was immediately cut out of my life. I didn’t have time for anything that wasn’t serving my greater good. I was starting to gather momentum! I began surrounding myself with people who were knowledgable about movement, nutrition, and healthy life practices. I kept getting serious downloads from people I admired, read a bunch of books, journaled my heart out, and kept putting myself in uncomfortable situations that forced me to grow. All of a sudden I had ROOTS. I had security in who and how I was. I found love in my community, my relationships, and within myself. I thought this place was something that everyone else talked about but that I’d never experience…until I did. It lasted for a while, feelings of being inspired…like I was learning life all over again…but eventually, the patterns kept repeating themselves. I found myself in a loop. I was still progressing in minor ways, but I could feel that change was necessary and crucial to my continued development.

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Fast forward, and now I live in Denver. A whole new world! I was introduced to a new line of work that kept my pockets comfortable and allowed me to indulge in my favorite foods and activities. I was spending time with people who were fun and with whom I had enough in common to have a good time. We had great conversations about oneness and love and positivity. I felt inspired again by people and all that they had accomplished. This lasted for about a year before I noticed I was stuck in a loop again. I was having the same conversations with the same people…doing the same things…feeling greatly uninspired by the lack of progress I was witnessing all around me, and also within myself. Words are only a small part of progress…action is what I was looking for. I started trying to align myself with people and places that were more on the page I was hoping to be on. I wanted to be more active, I wanted to be doing what I loved and not just what was easy, I wanted to keep GROWING without feeling held back. So, on I went.

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Today, and for the past month, I have found myself in Costa Rica. I’m cooking regularly for yoga and wellness retreats. I am in bed early, and awake before the sun. I’m nourishing my body with nutritious foods and movement, I’m nourishing my mind with stimulating conversations and enlightening books, and I’m making connections with people who are inspiring me to do better…to BE better. Constantly. This is all that I could have ever hoped for when I first started my journey to become the best version of myself that I could be. Am I done? No. Am I still growing and progressing? FUCK yes! I’m learning so much about myself here and being challenged in ways I didn’t think were possible even just one year ago. I’ve broken free of another cycle of unhelpful patterns and relationships and feel like I’ve leveled up again. I can’t begin to imagine what life will look like in a year from now, but if I’ve found my way this far…I’m sure what’s in store is going to be exactly what I need.

I share this story because I hope to inspire people to keep moving forward. To keep following their hearts. To keep pushing through uncomfortable change until you find yourself in exactly the place you want to be. Recognize patterns, question everything, and keep trying to do better. There’s beauty in being content, and a balance between  that contentment and the desire to constantly improve. You’ve got this!

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Gluten & Grain Free Sweet Potato Toast!

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I love avocado toast. A lot. I love breakfast sandwiches served open-faced on a delicious slice of bread. My body, however, doesn’t particularly love bread as much as my mouth does. I have tried different gluten free breads here and there, some of them are great compromises, some of them aren’t. BUT – sweet potato?? I think so.

Sweet potatos are one of my favorite foods. Although I’ve significantly decreased my sweet potato consumption from once/day to a few times a month, I’m still a sucker for roasted sweet potatoes. This time, I decided to make 1/4 inch thick slices for a few different varieties of sweet potato toast!

You can literally top these suckers with anything you like, these are just what I happened to make today. 🙂

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You’ll need:

1-2 Large Sweet Potatoes – 1/4in thick, sliced lengthways

3tbsp Avocado Oil

1tsp Sea salt

1 Avocado mashed or sliced

Cream cheese spread – I like to use Kite Hill’s Plain almond “cream cheese”

Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, or sesame seeds – the choice is yours!

Bacon, eggs, greens – again, choose your own adventure!

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375. Brush avocado oil on either side of the sliced potatos and place them on a baking sheet evenly spaced apart, sprinkling the top with a little salt. Bake for 6-8 min before flipping the potato slices over, while they continue to bake for another 6-8 min. You can flip them a few times if you need to, pulling them out when they’re just starting to get some nice brown colored spots on the top.

Once the potatos are done cooking, you can begin to assemble your toast! Today I mad three different slices. One had mashed avocado, hemp seeds, baby kale, and bacon. Another had almond cream cheese, cinnamon, black sesame seeds, and a little drizzle of local honey. The third one was a classic bacon, fried egg, and kale. Other good toppings could be sliced tomato, strawberry, goat cheese, radishes, or bell peppers. Have fun with it!

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Avocado Key Lime Pie – Vegan Options!

Woah you guys. Woah. I found this gem of a recipe while flipping through a magazine and cutting out words/images for my vision board…and I’m SO happy I tried it! This is the perfect summer dessert. Light, creamy, and refreshing. The original recipe calls for spirulina to give it that bright green color, but I used hemp protein and matcha and it still turned out pretty 🙂 I also forgot to put the sesame seeds in my crust, so I used them as decoration instead. SO choose your own adventure! Let me know how it goes!

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You’ll need….

1 C Raw cashews

½ C Raw almonds

½ C Shredded unsweetened coconut plus more for decorating (optional)

¼ tsp sea salt plus more for seasoning

6 dates pitted and roughly chopped

1tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)

1tbsp chia seeds

¾ C canned coconut milk

3tbsp honey (or agave if you’re vegan, but I wouldn’t recommend it from a nutrition standpoint)

1tsp pure vanilla extract

½ large firm avocado

⅓ C fresh lime juice (preferably from key limes) and ½ tsp zest, plus sliced lime for garnish (optional)

¼ tsp spirulina (optional) <–I subbed ¼ tsp matcha and ¼ tsp hemp protein powder

⅔ C plus 4tbsp coconut oil, melted

¼ C very ripe strawberries or raspberries

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  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Rinse.
  2. Add almonds, shredded coconut, ¼ tsp salt and half the dates to a food processor and process until almonds are mostly broken down, about 45 sec. Add remaining dates, chia seeds, 2tbsp coconut oil and the sesame seeds if using, and process another 30-45 sec until mixture is uniform.
  3. Press mixture into the bottom and along the sides of a 6-inch springform or round baking pan, so that the edge of the tart is about 1in higher than the bottom and sides are about ¼ in thick. Place crust in freezer.
  4. In a blender, combine cashews, coconut milk, 2tbsp honey, a pinch of salt, and vanilla. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  5. Set aside ⅓ C of the mixture. Add avocado, lime juice and zest, spirulina (or hemp/matcha) if using, and remaining tbsp honey to the blender and process until fully incorporated. Add ⅔ C coconut oil and blend. Pour mixture into crust and return to freezer.
  6. Rinse blender and add reserved creamy mixture, remaining 2 tbsp coconut oil, and berries & blend. Place in freezer
  7. After an hour, pop tart out of pan. Transfer pink frosting to a pastry bag or a ziplock plastic bag with corner cut off. Decorate tart with frosting, adding additional coconut and sliced lime if desired. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve and enjoy the same day!

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