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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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Welcome to the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont!  We loved it so much we ended up extending our stay.  Although, that doesn't mean it didn't come with its ups and downs.  We had our fair share of wind and rain and a visit from a black and white kitty (aka skunk). 

 

When the weather was nice we made the most of it!  Multiple people along the way told us Lake Willoughby was a must see.  We made our way there and it did not disappoint.

 

It is a beautiful glacial lake right between two mountains.  These mountains that were once one, split by a glacier to create Mt. Hor (across the lake) and Mt. Pisgah (the one I'm standing on).  

 

Yoga on a mountain just never gets old!

 

It's no wonder why Vermont is called the Green Mountain State.

 

This stop I only have yoga and hiking to share with you but a new recipe is coming soon!

 

Even the clouds are photogenic in Vermont!

 

Yoga isn't always easy in jeans... but if there is a will there is a way!

 

  

 

 

Playing among the clouds!

 

Hudson doesn't seem to mind his new skunky smell but I will be happy whenever (if ever) it goes away!

  

Not a bad place to spend some time on a boat.

 

Post sunset colors at our camp spot on Island Pond in Brighton State Park.

 

We found pickled fiddlehead ferns at this adorable little market.  They are pretty much a local delicacy!

 

When one of the best breweries in the world is nearby, we must stop in.  In this case not once, but twice and totally worth it.  Delicious brews with amazing views of the Green Mountains, plus there is plenty of outdoor space for the husky to hang with us!  That's all I have for you this week.  Check back soon to see our adventures in New Hampshire and to see what I am cooking up with all the local asparagus and fiddlehead ferns!

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Last week I started my personal 30 Days of Meditation Challenge and I would love to have you join me! I plan on starting small (today is only 60 seconds!) and building up slowly to add this to my daily routine.

There are many benefits to meditation. Here are a few: reduces stress, improves brain function, helps you stay more present, better sleep, improves metabolism, increases immune function, helps you stay focused, reduces anxiety, can lower blood pressure, decreases tension in the body, gain clarity and peace of mind, increased energy levels and can even make you happier. Sounds too good to be true, right? But it is not. And all you have to do is take a few quite moments each day to breath.

For my practice I am working up to 30 minutes. This is not necessary. You are welcome to set a different 30 day goal for yourself and build up accordingly. Maybe 20 seems more manageable or 10 or even just 5 minutes a day and you will still see the benefits.

To start: come to a comfortable seated position on the ground or a pillow (getting your hips above the knees helps open up the hips!), sit up a straight as possible keeping the vertebrae stacked (we have a tendency to lean forward so hinge back slightly), close your eyes and start to bring your awareness to the breath while trying to clear the mind. Now remember, this is a practice. We do not need to be masters on day one but with consistent practice, keeping the mind clear becomes a little easier. As thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them without forming an attachment and then gently wish it on it's way. I've heard many approaches with this, you can imagine them as a leaf blowing away or a bubble floating out of sight or even just gently fading away. Try them all out and see what works best for you!

Days 1 through 5 we are only adding a minute a day. There are other ways to meditate but for the first 5 days just focus on the breath and clearing the mind. I will introduce you to another method after that.

Downloads for Challenge:

30 Days of Meditation- Guided (with suggested minutes of meditation daily)

30 Days of Meditation (you fill in the times you want)

Please let me know if you will be joining me on this challenge or if you have any questions!

Love and light,

Crystal

P.S. If you would like to share any part of this challenge with me on instagram, use the hashtag #RW30daysofmeditation!

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Jun 15, 2016

 

Welcome to Burlington, Vermont!  I have to say, this is one of my favorite US cities so far.  It is absolutely beautiful on the shore of Lake Champlain and with the Adirondacks to the West and the Green Mountains to the East.  Burlington is a very clean city, the people are as friendly as I've ever met, wonderful restaurants with plenty of veg options, with the lake and the mountains there is never a lack of something to do and there are plenty of breweries to keep my husband, Dallas, happy.

We were lucky enough to find a campground right on the lake and only minutes from downtown.  Our first morning there, we walked down to the lake and had a family yoga session (see Hudson in the back, napping through the asanas).  What made this practice even more special was that Dallas taught me!  Such a treat and I'm very impressed.

 

A little inversion therapy...

 

Beautiful locally grown shiitake mushrooms. 

I was hoping to share a recipe with you this week but the variations I made to cook this dish in my traveling kitchen still need a little tweaking.

 

I love cooking my mushrooms in a little sesame oil and tamari.  They turn out delicious every time!

 

Picnic in the park!

 

This is one of my favorite lentil recipes (even if it didn't turn out super pretty this time).  It's a Lentil, Shiitake and Arugula Salad with a Lemon Truffle vinaigrette.  I promise you, it is so good!  It is best to add the green after the others have cooled but sometimes, I'm just not that patient.

 

Time to hike off that picnic!

 

Ferns are my favorite... and Hudson's too!

 

My guys :)

 

Hudson is always ready for an adventure!  Especially if water is involved.

 

Our last morning in Burlington, I woke up early and decided to have a little solo practice by the lake. 

I've found it's hard to schedule in my daily practice on the road because you never know how the weather will behave.  I'm working on fitting them in when I can.

 

While Dallas was packing up camp, I snuck off to the farmers market to load up on produce for the next leg of our journey.  If you know me very well, you know I absolutely LOVE farmers markets.  They are my happy place.  And just check out how cute this little stand is.

Our last sunset.  Bye Burlington!!

Love and adventure,

Crystal

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.