This summer I decided to do more yoga, to discipline myself to get up and do yoga before work. Yes, I teach yoga but teaching and doing yoga are 2 different things, I had gotten away from my own practice and wanted to reconnect with my mat (my sacred space) find more silence and explore my body through new postures and different routines. For the past 3 weeks I have done yoga about 18 mornings, sometimes a simple Hatha practice, other times a more power based yoga practice, I decide what style of yoga to do when I feel how my body responds through the early movements.
A few weeks ago Tom and I did some partner yoga on the dock at Tom’s dad’s place. It was fun to allow him to support me in poses and vice versa. We then jumped (he jumped, I slid in slowly) into the cool spring fed lake and played around. I have found my body tight and sore, perhaps it’s been the running (training for a 50k) or the fact that I had backed off on my yoga practice, maybe it’s lingering stress from the last few crazy years, working; caring for Frank and his subsequent death. Followed by needing to sell my property, move and make several major changes in my life. In a way it’s like I was standing on this rug and it was pulled out from underneath me and I have had to let go of who and what I thought I was. It’s been a powerful time of change for me not only outwardly but inwardly too. I have new priorities, different strengths and a well of gratitude that seems to be pouring from me. So in the end yoga simply done on my back deck with my dog at my side has become a healing experience for my mind, body and soul.
My new committed yoga practice falls in line with my desire to appreciate the simple things in life. I have taken long walks, changed my work schedule a bit and eaten very simple meals. I love simple. If I look back on my life I had a tendency to complicate it and create my own stress, through my desire to have or to be more. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my life and finding ways to cut out the excess and be “simple”. Tom is a simple guy; I learn from him, he is so grateful for all he has, including me. His life philosophy reminds me of the following song;
Simple Man by LYNYRD SKYNYRDhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHQ_aTjXObs
Last week I was talking to a good friend of mine, who recently has made some major changes to simplify his life. When he spoke I could hear in his voice the relief. He shared with me how the changes have allowed him to focus on making the right decisions for his clients and not just worrying about closing business by the end of the day. A few years ago he had a massive house, a huge cottage and all the toys that went with it. These things forced him to work long hours and make decisions based on dollars. Life is simple for him now. I remember a time when I owned tons of things and a big house and cottage and how I became a slave to that lifestyle, always working, always tired and truly never quite satisfied. The wanting of more is like a well that never has a bottom.
One of the cool things I have been doing this summer is teaching yoga in one of my private students pool, I love it. The water is very supportive and allows us to deepen some of our postures, we can use the resistance to find strength. I have included a sample yoga class you can try in your pool or lake, be mindful of how far you stretch, it can be deceiving in the water, I was sore the first couple of times.
I love the following recipes because they are simple, whole foods that are good for your body, not a lot of work to prepare and not a lot of ingredients.I’ve been cooking simple meals all week, loving grilling corn and veggies on the BBQ, last night I tossed some cauliflower in a bit of coconut oil, made a foil paper tray and then grilled it with some corn on the cob and some foil wrapped new baby potato’s. I had a little hummus on the side and really enjoyed a simple meal of grilled veggies and hummus.
This week, time to sit and reflect quietly on your life and see if you can find ways to cut out the excess or simplify it, it may be as easy as taking the Go Train to work so you have time to read. Write down idea and begin to find a way out of “attachment” to more. Gratitude, grace and just being happy with what you have and who you are will go a long way to helping you find true inner happiness. Not the fleeting sensation of elation that comes with a new purchase.
Take 2 dates, remove the pit and cut them down one side. Mix ½ tbsp of almond butter with 1 tsp of shredded coconut. Fill the dates with the mixture. These are a great snack for a hike or run they carry well.
SUPERFOOD OATS & CARAMELIZED BANANA
The perfect post-workout breakfast that will replenish your body with what it needs while filling you up! Oats topped with caramelized bananas. You’ve earned it!
I cup oats (be sure to choose organic)
⅔ cup coconut milk or water
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp (Food Matters Superfood Protein) or any vegan protein powder
1-2 tsp coconut oil
1 banana sliced
1 tsp coconut sugar
Prepare your oats by combining oats, milk and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and stir until cooked to your preferred consistency.
Stir in Food Matters Superfood Protein once cooked.
To caramelize bananas, heat coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat, add bananas and sprinkle with coconut sugar until brown and caramelized.
Top oats with caramelized bananas and a sprinkle of your favorite seeds.
Brown Rice and Lentils
Splash the olive oil into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they just start to turn golden brown.
Add the rice, lentils, chicken broth (or water), bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring everything to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain the simmer. Continue cooking until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
• 2 ½ cups soaked raw cashews (about 1 3/4 – 2 cups before soaking, see note)
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (see note)
• 1 small-medium clove garlic
• 3 – 5 tbsp water (as needed to thin/smooth cheese)
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• Freshly black pepper to taste
• 1 tsp truffle oil (optional, omit for oil-free, see ideas for other flavoring options)
In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth, starting with 3 tbsp of water and adding more as needed to desired consistency. Stop to scrape down sides of processor as needed, and puree until very, very smooth and thick. Refrigerate in airtight containers, or freeze for later use.
Cashews Note: It takes about 3-4 hours to soak cashews, so I typically soak in batches. It’s very handy to do so because you can then measure out what you need for recipes like this. You can refrigerate for use in a couple of days, or freeze for later use. Soak, then rinse and drain well before using in recipe or refrigerating/freezing.
Lemon Note: After pureeing this mixture, test and if you’d like a zingier flavor, add another 1-2 tsp of lemon juice.
Flavoring Options: Try adding fresh herbs (handful of basil leaves, few teaspoons of thyme leaves, or a couple tablespoons of chives), chipotle hot sauce, smoked paprika, kalamata olives or an olive tapenade, or, if you like the flavor of nutritional yeast, add ½ – 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (or more, to taste).
If This Apron Could Talk: This cheese freezes very well. I typically make a double-batch, and freeze smaller portions that can be thawed for using within 3-4 days.