Friday, January 24, 2014
Friday Fodder…Refocusing and Finding Inner Peace

Well friends, it's Friday. I'm not gonna lie, the past two weeks have been less than kind to me. A little over dramatic…probably, but perspective is everything and well, right now, I'm pretty drained. I will warn you, this is a mental cleansing post. I have been thinking a lot lately and I really just needed to journal my thoughts so I can get them out and move forward. I completely understand if you need a fun post to read on a Friday, so by all means, come back on Monday. I promise to move past this and get myself mentally back on track…

I turned another year older last Tuesday. I was actually doing really well with that thought. I was still feeling fresh and ready to tackle 2014 head on. Me and my purposeful action year, we were on a roll. 

Photo: Helen C. Wilson, my beautiful mother
(Grandmama was 13 or 14 here)

Sadly, on that day, I got word that my beautiful grandmother was dying. I was beyond crushed by this news. At first, I was coping with it understanding that she was 82 years old and had suffered from horrible dementia for years. It was her time. I felt an odd sense of calm for her. I focused on her beautiful smile and always happy demeanor. She was an amazing cook that always made the best Sunday dinners for us. I like to think I got that from her. I remember her pork roasts (with mustard sauce), lima beans, coleslaw (with Dukes mayonnaise), rolls and either German Chocolate Cake (the best in the world) or pecan pies. She and my grandfather had huge pecan trees in their yard. My cousin, Michael, my sister, Tara, and I would spend hours picking up pecans for our treats. Definitely a delicious rewards! Grandmama was the type of person that always made you feel happy because she was so incredibly happy. She never met a stranger. You instantly felt like she was a long time friend. She was simply amazing. I will forever miss her laugh and the Southern way she said my name.

I got a call that Thursday evening letting me know that she had passed away. I fell apart. I was completely irrational and angry…mostly at myself. I had let way too many years get between she and I. For that, I will forever feel guilt. My feelings grew sadder as I realized how far gone my youth really is. Not about my age or getting older, but that time has gone and it's going fast (if that makes sense). Driving to South Carolina for her services gave me plenty of time to reflect on things. I have never done so much meditative breathing in my life. My thoughts were all over the place from regret, to sadness, to missing my cousins (whom I hadn't seen in far too long), to missing my grandfather, to not understanding relationships that have gone bad…I was beyond sad.

My expectations of life are not what I thought they would be. I'm guessing most people struggle with this. I should preface this with saying that I am in the most amazing marriage with my best friend. That will forever be true, but there are relationships in my life that I just don't understand and probably will never understand. I'm coming to grips with the reality that we are responsible for who we are. I can't control the people around me or make them see what I see. I really need to move in a direction that makes me happier with me. I need to find inner peace with who I am and where I am (in life and in relationships). I did not take any time off from work this past week. Starting two weeks ago, I went from a crazy work week, to a horribly sad weekend with a lot of stress saying final goodbyes to my grandmother, to driving home at 11pm on Sunday night after her funeral service, to getting up at 4:15am Monday to train clients and then working my butt off this week. Emotionally, mentally and physically I am drained. So, this weekend, I am taking time to regroup and refocus. Two things I will definitely be doing…running and cooking. I have done neither this week and those are both things that I love to do for me. Hopefully I will be catching up on some rest too. I want to start next week on a positive note with positive affirmations.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and definitely tell your loved ones that you love them (hug them if you have the chance). While true friendship and love always know, it's always nice to hear it too.


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:56 AM   16 comments
Monday, January 13, 2014
Muddy Running, Peanut Butter Oatmeal Waffles and Jammin To The 80s!
Oh Monday, we meet again…

MiMM MIMM #77 A Very Grateful Thanksgiving <3

I can't complain at all though, I am coming off of an amazing weekend with my men so I'm gonna have to say this is a pretty Marvelous Monday! Tony and I spent most of the day jamming to 80s jams on cassette.

Yeah, we're that old. I'm impressed that my boom box still worked! Tony's parents sent some tupperwares of his stuff (and some of mine from college) back with us at Christmas and with the power being out most of the day due to HEAVY storms, we made the best of it. It was a blast! We drove the kids crazy. We are now those parents. :)

Tony and I got an extremely muddy run in on our favorite trail. 

My poor new running shoes are a mess now. I let them dry and now I need to really try to clean them up some. UGH, they were so pretty! Oh well, hopefully I can get them presentable again. Thank goodness for sunny skies though. I needed the fresh air, vitamin D and some time with my running buddy. Made for a perfect Sunday followed by us bringing gluten free pizza home for the boys. Lucky for them, the pizza place is at the end of the greenway.

I have a busy week ahead of me (and so does Tony), but that's a good thing. Can't complain about having work. I'm so excited things are moving in that direction for me! I need to finish up my studying so I can take my exam soon, but I'm really loving everything about my yoga teacher training.

I'm really learning so much about myself through this. It feels amazing.

I also had to share this picture from dinner last night. We had a little dinner geography lesson. It cracked me up…gosh how I love these men!

I'm also really excited that Meatless Mondays are back!

Meatless Mondays from A-Z: January

Today is all about oatmeal! My favorite food ever! I have written many posts on how much I love oatmeal, but today, I'm going to share an absolute favorite! I LOVE waffles and pancakes, so of course I'm going to put oatmeal in them to make them even better!

This recipe works as pancakes or waffles, so don't worry if you don't have a waffle iron. Also, this recipe works as breakfast, lunch, brinner and dessert! A la mode is recommended!

It's dense, rich, thick, crunchy and delicious! Can you tell I like them?

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Waffles
(makes one)

1/2 cup quick oats (or process whole oats just a little)
2 TBSP peanut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBSP sweetener of your choice (I used NuNaturals Baking Blend)
6 TBSP water

Mix everything together and cook in a waffle iron (or cook as pancakes).

I hope you all have an amazing week!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:38 AM   15 comments
Monday, January 6, 2014
My New Years Intention...
(Tony's parents' place…my favorite place)

Well, 2014 is here! Yes, I realize it's been here for a few days. Are you tired of New Years posts yet?I'm still basking in the glory of a new year with new possibilities. I never wish time away, but to be completely honest, while 2013 ended well, the scars and skeletons in the beginning really overshadowed the good. I'm happy to begin 2014 with a feeling of hope and optimism. Good things are on the horizon!

I don't do resolutions. I never have. I feel like they set me up for failure and start things off with a negative connotation. I don't want to resolve to do anything because that's saying I have a problem that needs to be fixed. (I hope Tony is not reading this, because I know he's thinking my organizational skills need a little work. ;) I'm not perfect and I'm ok with that. I do want better though or at least I strive to be better in general. I've thought a lot about this and I want to start this year with intensions.

It's the way I start each yoga practice and I like that it sets a positive tone for me so…this year I have an intension. I'm not gonna get all crazy and make a list of things that will overwhelm me though. The ever encouraging Lindsay wrote last week about picking a word for the year that centered around her focus and it got me thinking. What is the word I will focus my year around? I thought about it and I really want to live purposefully. I want everything I do this year to have a positive impact on mine and my family's lives. With the craziness that is life, I can let things get out of hand around here. I don't want to waste time on a broken heart or on lost hope, I want to use my lessons learned and move forward with a renewed sense of being the best me I can be. I realize this is general and kind of corny, but well, I have also realized that you can easily let the hardships in life take over and I don't want to do that anymore. I want to live a positive purposeful life. I do choose happiness in life. It's all about how you deal with things that happen good or bad.

So, with a renewed since of hope and optimism, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Things will be changing around here for me. I've thought a lot about starting a new blog since I have changed so much, but I just don't want to do that. I am the Non-Dairy Queen. :) (though I now can't have soy or gluten…I know, good times) I will be sharing more of my life journey with work (personal training & recipe development), life, fitness (running, lifting, HIIT, yoga), health (I may actually work up the nerve to share my story some day) and cooking (feeding our family with multiple food intolerances and allergies). This is who I am. I hope you all come along on the journey. I love this community and the friendships I have made here. Thank you all for sticking around these past couple of crazy years. Cheers to a new year!

MiMM MIMM #77 A Very Grateful Thanksgiving <3

I hope everyone has a Marvelous Monday and stay warm!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:00 AM   12 comments

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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