When You Least Expect
Nope your eyes aren’t deceiving you, I’m actually posting 2 days in a row!
Hope you’re having a great weekend. Mine has been super chill, including a little spa action yesterday courtesy of the sweet folks at Travaasa Austin, a little yoga and a lot of cooking and watching LA Ink. haha.. it’s just too darn hot to entertain myself outside!
One of the many things I love about Yoga is that you always seem to make progress when you very least expect it. Today I didn’t have high hopes when I walked into class. I haven’t practiced since last Wednesday, haven’t eaten particularly great the last couple days, and was just feeling heavy and bleh (ya know what I mean? that blobish feeling?.. anyways..). So while in child’s pose at the beginning of class I set my intention to not focus on feeling icky or get frustrated with myself, but instead focusing on the breath and appreciation for each posture. I just kept telling myself, ‘No negative thoughts!’
It was such a fun class with a great new sequence and music. While just trying to focus on the positive of each posture and enjoying it, I found myself making progress on one series I haven’t been able to do for a couple months and making progress on another posture that I’ve also really been working on (HS Scorpion- the featured image for this post on the NF homepage). It was such a great lesson. Beating myself up for making a bad food choice, or not being able to do a certain posture accomplishes nothing. Instead by removing myself from those thoughts.. ‘ta-da!’ Some things just can’t be forced.
On the Mat = Off the Mat
In yoga, what is talked about a lot, and what always really strikes home for me is the idea that what you do on the mat is practice for the real word. How you handle your movement, breath and challenging postures is so reflective of how you handle difficult situations in life. My teacher often says, if you can control your breath here, you can control it anywhere. When your heart starts to race and you want to give up or fall out, you must focus on your breath, calming your mind, and being only in the present moment.
Of course sometimes that is much easier than other times.. just like in life! All the stress and junk going on in life is still going on when you step onto your yoga mat, but you start to learn to detach from it, if even for only that hour or so. Eventually the ability to do that moves off the mat and into the real world. I’ve started to experience this, though often times I don’t realize it until after the fact. I know I absolutely handle stress and challenges completely different than before yoga. I certainly have a long ways to go, but babysteps.. I know progress will happen when I least expect it
I was starting to write this down in a journal to plan for the week, then figured why not put it on the blog! That always helps me hold to it anyway.
I am an expert at food prep, not so great with meal planning. Basically that means I end up eating the same thing every day. Lately I’ve been getting a little tired with the same ole same and am trying to get better about actually cooking.. chopping, slicing, sauteing.. not just re-heating a piece of boring completely plain roasted chicken or packaged Tempeh on top of a can of Hearts of Palm or Mixed Greens. So this morning I spent the couple hours before yoga going through a couple cookbooks, choosing recipes for the week and making a shopping list.
I ended up with
- Yam and Curry Kale
- Coconut Lime Tofu
- French Basil Chicken
- Southern Shrimp and Sausage (haven’t made yet, but have all the ingredients for later in the week)
- Cauliflower & Kale Salad (recipe from yesterday)
- Spinach Bars (my usual go-to recipe)
What I love about these recipes is that there’s lots of opportunity to mix and match, add a Vegetable or Protein to complete, or throw on top of Mixed Greens or Spinach for a hearty salad.
I spent the afternoon making the first three. Tonight I’ll portion them out into single-serving tupperware, then all I have to do is grab & go for lunch, or reheat for dinner. Seriously, prep is one of the biggest pieces to sticking to a healthy diet. And sorry, there really are no excuses! Spending that extra couple hours on the weekend saves you so much time and crappy food consumption during the week (ok, I realize I’m preaching to the choir.. ya’ll are awesome!).
Yam & Curry Kale (inspired by a recipe from The Accidental Vegan)
2 Yams, diced into cubes
2.5 tsp Curry Seasoning
1 tbsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Salt
~1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (some brands are just called ‘Lite’)
1-2 bunches Kale
~1 cup Water
Spray a large skillet with your favorite cooking oil. Add Yams, Curry, Ginger and Salt. Cook, adding Coconut Milk as needed to keep the Yams from sticking to the bottom, until the Yams start to soften. Rip up Kale bundle into the skillet and add Water. Continue cooking until Kale is soft and water is gone.
I had a few Tomatoes that were about to go bad, which inspired me to find and make the easiest recipe ever! This is also WAY cheaper than getting store-bought!
However many Tomatoes you like, of whatever type you like (I used Roma)
Your favorite spice mix (I used Mediterranean Spice Blend, Salt-Free from Mrs. Dash)
Slice tomatoes (~1/3″ thick). Lay on dehydrator trays. Sprinkle with seasoning. Turn on dehydrator to 140 degrees. After 4 hours, flip over, sprinkle with seasoning again. After 4 more hours, turn off dehydrator and eat.
Holy hottness! Today it was 111 degrees Even after spending a couple years in the freakin dessert of Arizona, by the end of August it just starts getting old. I’m so excited for fall and everything that comes with it.. cooler weather, football, fall flavors, and trips to visit friends and family (September trip to Boulder, Colorado, October trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, Seattle for the holidays, and maybe a couple others).
What’s your favorite part about fall?