Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Behind the Scenes"

I love to write. Writing is nice because you can take your time to think about what you're going to say, then say it. Messed up? Delete it. It's that simple. Do I always love what I write? I guess not. But sometimes putting a pen to paper (or fingers to a keypad) is the best thing to do when you just can't shake a feeling, a thought.. or a recipe.
When I first started the blog, I wasn't sure if I had the type of writing style that would engage readers and make them wish to read more. I was scared, because at the time, that was what mattered to me. But the more I've written in the blog, the more I've realized that I am simply sharing my here and my now - it's not about what others think. 

I hope you all are having an eventful week. I know I am so far, as I have finally resumed working in the music building at my university (after an AMAZING trip to Mammoth with my cousins from Chicago). 

Today, I simply wish to share with you my thanks and the joy that I get with my passion for healthy living. For those of you who follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you know that I told you about my blog's one year birthday. Let me tell you, this first year has included my highest highs and my lowest lows in my life so far. It has been quite a journey. Though I would NEVER wish to repeat it, I would NEVER wish to change it. Each and every part of my health journey so far has helped shape me to be the person I am today and for the future potential I hold. 

The craziest part of this journey is how people have been so inspired by the blog and by my lifestyle. I didn't expect the amount of feedback, love, and support I received from my family, friends, and readers, especially since I was constantly changing my views, my diet, my lifestyle, my worries, my hopes, my dreams... 
I want to thank you for letting me know that this blog has contributed to your journey or perhaps has inspired you to live healthier and happier. But I also want to let you know that this is none of my doing.  I'm simply sharing the blessings God has given me and you. This blog is simply what one may consider a work of art from a broken painter, a beautiful ray of history from an old, jagged piece of pottery. 

So, I have a page on my blog called "About". But honestly, it's hard to put everything about yourself plus what you love all in one page, you know what I mean? Plus, my About page does not yet have a "behind the scenes" section to it yet. 

Behind the scenes makes a work more exciting and genuine, am I correct?

The everyday Natalyn is like a fruit salad or a box of handcrafted raw vegan organic chocolates. You really will never know what you get, but it's usually pretty sweet and sometimes a little nuts. I know, pretty silly of an explanation, but pretty accurate. Hey, I'm trying to be genuine! Cut me some slack! What I'm trying to say is that I'm a very random person. <-- simple wording 

The everyday Natalyn's mind is constantly thinking of food. Sometimes I consider this a curse, other times I consider it one of the biggest blessings of my life. But yes, I'm the girl who, when kneeling by her bed at night, catches herself accidentally praying a mealtime prayer instead of a nighttime one. 

I'm serious! Ever since I was born, food has meant a lot to me. I even associate memories with food. Sometimes I even remember the clothes people were wearing, the food they ate, what people said, and what music we were all listening to - all because of the food I ate at the specific event. I know, pretty bad, right?? 

Did I mention that in my toddler years, I would eat anything in sight?

Oh, I don't do that anymore, what are you talking about??? ;)

*side note: Seriously, I promise I did not eat that tree. I'm not THAT crazy* 

As a kid, I would steal food from kids' lunch boxes. I would push kids who were in my way so I could get that ice cream sandwich. I was quite the mean little hippo. I was also what my parents like to call a "food magnet". When we went to visit someone's house, I would somehow find the hidden stash of candy in the underwear drawer. *blush* Yes, the underwear drawer. As a kid, I would be awkward like that sometimes. Thank GOODNESS I'm not awkward anymore! I do everything with the highest amount of elegance and grace, wouldn't you agree?

Surprisingly, my food-loving self didn't get into making her own recipes until the teen years. Before this, my favorites to make were scrambled eggs, microwave popcorn, packaged mac n' cheese, and tortilla pizzas. Oh, and nachos. 
When I began my journey of changing my lifestyle, I had already been dabbling a bit more in making my own recipes, so thankfully, I had some experience under my belt. 
Raw Chocolate Sauce
Some recipes would turn out great, others would be flops, and some would propel me to a new level of experience (I guess I'll call it a chef's "level up). When I first became a mostly plant-based eater, my favorites for a long time were sweets. I LOVE sweets, and used to have the biggest sweet tooth (still do at times). 

Organic Vegan "Oreo" Cake - will add this one soon, hopefully!
After a tough set of experiences, I finally realized that I needed to broaden my palate or else things wouldn't be too pretty in the future. I also removed processed sugars from my everyday diet, so that helped a lot. 

I started experimenting with new grains, different fruits and veggies, and a variety of nuts, seeds, powders, salts, extracts, you name it! And, long story short, making diverse dishes finally became a bit easier for me! 

At this point of my life, making a dish is easy as pie compared to the difficulty I had before. Sometimes it can even be second nature. 

Working out, however, is not second nature for me. It can be quite tough. Now let me tell you something: I'm no athlete. I was the girl in P.E. who would always get picked last for sports, and the one who would lag behind when running laps. To this day, I still don't understand the rules to football, even after countless times where the coach would try to explain it to me. I was never "good" at exercise, and didn't want a part of it (unless it involved harvesting fruit, chasing chickens, or making mud pies outside). At times, I still don't want a part of it.

However, a month or three ago, I was reminded in many ways (harsh ways included) that exercise needed to be a bigger part of my life. 
Currently, my journey is mostly focused on broadening my perspective of what health truly means - I especially aim to expand my understanding and appreciation of exercise. Whether we like it or not, physical activity is an important part of a truly healthy and wholesome lifestyle. 

So here I am right now, the everyday Natalyn with a love-hate relationship with exercise. My favorites as of late? Tabata timer training, hiking, and rock-climbing. 

And for those of you who have followed my blog faithfully from the beginning, you may remember the posts I did on running..

Yeah. Running is definitely a love-hate relationship for me. 

Besides searching for health and wellness in my life, I also have other things I enjoy. 

I have an obsession with my cat, Sabrina. 

She is the cutest thing. I love her so much. If you looked on my phone, you would see pictures of 1) food and 2) my cat. Pretty much it. ;) With the occasional smattering of pictures of my friends and family. 

I also have a deep passion for music. Ever since I was a kid, I was deeply involved in music. My parents are both musicians, so, naturally, they put me in piano lessons since the age of six. I loved the lessons at first, then I hated them, and then I loved them again. I also took music theory, which is pretty much like musical algebra. 

Thanks to the music training, I now am a music major at the university I attend. I also enjoy composing. I am currently learning how to actually write down what I compose. It's rather tough to do at times - it takes a lot of patience, as it can be rather tedious. 

The last random fact you may not know about me... I LOVE OKRA!!! Really. I eat it like popcorn sometimes. 

~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed my giant plant rant today. Pretty random, but nice to put together. I think all these plant rant posts are a sign! Maybe I need to start writing my first book soon. That may or may not include a section with recipes. ;)  

Much love,

~ Natalyn

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