Category Archives: Food

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard

It’s just a matter of hours now!

I’ve got everything packed and ready to squeezed into the car…

[not pictured: my desk, dresser, and bike!!!]

Tomorrow morning we are officially moving me into my apartment and I am so excited that I almost feel brain-dead.  It’s all I can think about!

Last night we did one of my favorite Doylestown summer activities……

ONE-DOLLAR ICE CREAM!

The past two weeks I have gotten PEACH flavor.  They make the ice cream at the local creamery, and I can only assume that those peaches are freshly picked from their orchards.  Because it tastes AMAZING.

Ghia usually gets some cone 😉

A few weeks ago, while prowling the town for free roadside furniture, I picked up this beautiful “chalk board.”  I use quotation marks because the board was really just wood painted black.

I decided that I could get some magnetic chalkboard paint and transform it into a functional decoration for my apartment.  Michael’s didn’t carry anything magnetic, so I went to Lowe’s.  The guy at Lowe’s told me there was “no such thing as magnetic chalkboard paint, but there is magnetic primer and chalkboard paint.”  Okay…. He showed them to me (both cost $7) and said that he wasn’t sure the magnetic field would go through the chalkboard.  I had my doubts, but when he walked away, I looked on the side of the magnetic paint and it had a little ad for their chalkboard paint, boasting that they made the perfect pair!  Lowe’s didn’t carry any Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint, but they had valspar!  I made my purchases, excited about the outcome.

First, I cleaned the board and allocated paint stirrers, brushes, and lots of paper towels.  That was a good foresight.  Upon stirring the magnetic primer, I realized they weren’t kidding that separation occurs.  The bottom was basically solidified magnetic fibers, and it took all the strength I had to break them up.  It took so much strength, in fact, that I broke the paint stirrer in half, splattering grayish paint all over me.

After a brief breakdown, I pulled myself together, wiped myself off with those handy paper towels, and resumed stirring (with a new stirrer).  After many many many many many more stirs, it still seemed a bit chunky, but as good as it was going to get without an industrial Kitchen Aid Benjamin Moore mixer.

The instructions recommended 3 thin layers for best results.  They also claimed that it took just 30 minutes to dry.  Liars.  3 + hours later and three thin layers, my tester magnets didn’t stick.  At all.  So I had a hissy fit and stirred until absolutely all clumps were gone.  Not even exaggerating, this took 5 whole minutes.  (Good thing I’m strong! ;))  I had time to add two layers of properly mixed magnetic primer and wash the brushes so they wouldn’t be ruined.  Bent over our utility sink, my hands turned into Peter Pettigrew’s.

source

Now remember that my legs and feet are covered with paint too from the stirrer incident AND Dominique and I had mani-pedi appointments for that evening.  I did manage to rub, scratch, and scrub most of the paint off, losing the top layer of my skin in the process.

The next morning, I tested it with refrigerator magnets and they slid right off.  So I threw in the proverbial towel.  I did add a layer of blackboard paint (using a new brush as I had ruined two others) which went on very smoothly.  It dried in no time, but sadly the surface had become very lumpy from the magnetic primer massacre.  But you know what, it will suffice 🙂

Have you ever worked with magnetic primer or chalkboard paint?  What was your experience?

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Eagle Pose – Many Ways

Last weekend, I went to the Doylestown Farmer’s Market for the first time this year.  It was a generally unpleasant experience, with a winery owner offending me about my age, a pickle man who tried to hide that he sweetens with Spelnda, and a bakery owner who acted offended when I suggested they make granola.  Sigh.  But I did buy a nice yellow squash from a smiling farmer!

(See my mom’s face reflected in the countertop?  Hahah!)

For dinner the other night, I sliced it into thin discs and sauteed it in olive oil and S&P until it was almost translucent.  I added it to some Uncle Ben’s whole-grain medley and festooned it with lemon juice.

It was a lovely yellowy light meal before my mom and I went to the movies and ate our real dinner: popcorn 😉 [PS: Today I topped a veggie burger with some of the sauteed squash–great summer meal!]

We saw The Help and I LOVED it.  I like to pretend that I read the book before it went “mainstream” and it’s absolutely positively the best book I’ve ever read (well, aside from Harry Potter, but that’s in a league of its own ;)).  Naturally, I was nervous about seeing the movie for fear of blasphemy, but I thought they did a really great job with it!  Totally did it justice.  It’s been over a year since I read the book, so I may have forgotten vital details that got lost from print to screen (like how Rachel was biracial), but I really liked some of the things they changed.  For example, Hilly’s mom.  What a freakin’ hoot.  That character wouldn’t have worked in the book, but she was a gem in the movie!

And now for my favorite yoga pose of the moment!

Eagle pose. Garudasana.  By twisting squeezing your arms and legs together, holding and balancing, then releasing, you get a rush of fresh blood throughout your limbs.  It feels like a sigh of relief for your extremities!

Photo borrowed from Yoga Journal's website 🙂

  • Be sure to cross opposites, meaning right arm on top of left arm/left left leg on top of right leg.  Then, work on shifting your torso so that the elbows and knees line up. This is where the balance challenge comes into play.
  • It’s really important to keep your weight over your heel so you don’t hurt your knee or ankle. Bend as low as you can to build up strength and press the legs tighter!
  • It’s also best if you can bring your elbows parallel to your shoulders and try to make a right angle with your forearms.  This gives a great stretch to your shoulders and upper back.

But eagle pose doesn’t always have to be done standing up.  I love doing eagle legs while I am in headstand or shoulderstand, or just randomly doing the arms to give my shoulders a wringout.  Or, like Ghia, I like to do it when I’m laying down.

I lay on my back, bring my arms and legs up above me, eagle-ify them, then do a twist (legs to one side, arms to the other side).  I should say that I used to do that, because I just tried it and I’m way too tight!  I can’t wait to get back into my real practice (attending classes at Yoga Vermont 6 days a week) and get my yoga body back!

Good thing I only have to wait a couple more days!  This is my last week at home for the summer, so I’ve been trying to get in some quality time with all my lovies.  My sister Sam and I went to Chipotle for lunch the other day, and it might be my favorite vegan fast-food spot!  I got a “Vegetarian Bowl” with everything but sour cream and cheese.

It was HUGE! I at half for lunch and the other half for dinner.  If you’ve never ordered this, safely but speedily get to your nearest Chipotle.  The rice was one of my favorite parts: cilantro-lime AND you can choose brown rice!  Don’t be tempted by the pinto beans, they have bacon in them, which the kind lady helping me pointed out.  But that’s OK because you get black beans!!!  Then, of course, sauteed onions and peppers.  I chose all of the salsas AND guacamole.  Dominique heard a rumor that they don’t charge extra for guac in the vegetarian orders, but sometimes she makes things up.  Plus we got some chips on the side, which I happily used as a vessel for eating my bowl.  No side of salsa or guac necessary!

Speaking of Dominique, I’ve been spending a lot of quality time with her, too.  This is what we did yesterday:

  1. Went to Starbucks
  2. Got a mani-pedi
  3. Went on a long walk around the neighborhood
  4. Watched Sex and the City way past our bedtime

We sort of sound like bimbos! Lol!  Do we look like bimbos?

iced coffee with soymilk

iced green tea latte with soymilk

I got a nice bloody red color on my nails, because I love vampires.

Know of any other good vegan fast-food joints?

Namaste.

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High Tea at The Talking Teacup

For my birthday, Mrs. Benzio got me a groupon for High Tea for two at The Talking Teacup!  Dominique and I try to set a date to do this at least once a year, so I was thrilled that we could go this summer (and not have to pay!  She even gave us some cash for a tip!)  We had trouble scheduling a time, but we finally found a day…yesterday!

I told Dominique to "act natural" lol

High tea consists of four courses of delicious teatime food, as well as your own pot of one of their signature teas.

After much deliberation, I chose the “Immunity Booster” herbal infusion: “Rosehips, orange and lemon peels with the immune system enhancing properties of Echinacea. Cinnamon bark and ginger to aid digestion and improve circulation. A fruity taste much like that of a softer, less tart fruit blend with citrus notes. Refreshing and invigorating.”  Indeed it was!  It was craving something light since its summer, but I still wanted something healing, like cinnamon and ginger.  It totally hit the spot!

First course is always scones with Devonshire cream and jam.  Today’s flavors were cinnamon walnut and chocolate chip!

They are always warm and fresh out of the oven!  Since they aren’t huge, you can have two 😉

The next course is a soup course.

Tomato bisque!  We’ve had theirs before; they make a really good one!  It’s not too creamy and really flavorful.

Next course….tea sandwiches!

7 different flavors!  I asked for all vegetarian in my sandwiches.  Here’s what I can remember

  1. cucumber herb mayo on white
  2. Egg salad on wheat
  3. Artichoke on white
  4. Cheddar and jam on cinnamon swirl
  5. Sundried tomato
  6. Pumpernickle swirl with something really delicious I can’t remember!
  7. Apple butter?

teapot sammie!

Last, of course, is DESSERT!

Sugar cookie, white cake with orange marmalade, and chocolate chop blondie.

That’s a lot of food, right?  I had to be really strategic because for dinner my parents said that my sister and I could go out to eat, their treat!  She wanted to go to the local family Italian place, Luberto’s.  So, I just had a banana for breakfast to make sure I was nice and hungry for lunch!  At The Talking Teacup, I ate both the scones (because they are always the best part) and I only had half of the soup.  Then, I just ate a few bites out of each sandwich so that I could try each one, then went back and nibbled on the remnants a bit (pssst I still nearly ate them all :)).  Lastly, I just had half of all the desserts.  And I was still stuffed!!!

We had such a wonderful time at the talking teacup.  We always feel like princesses, and we always gabgabgabgabgab!  Thanks so much, Mrs. B!!! Best present ever!

Eating Vegan at an Italian Restaurant

I ate vegetarian at the Talking Teacup, but I wanted to try and eat vegan at the Italian place.  It wasn’t too hard at all!  They give you bruscetta (just crostinis with an herb tomato topping) and rolls made of pizza dough (that I drizzle with olive oil and pepper), which I ate as we were waiting for our food.  For my meal I ordered a salad made from zucchini, eggplant, kalamata olives, and plum tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and garlic.  I felt good about all my choices, but I still felt like I ate too much.  But I guess sometimes you have to eat like a queen!

How do try to eat well at restaurants?

Namaste.

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Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Recipes

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking the past few days!  And I would like to share a few of the vegan recipes that I created – my whole family enjoyed them!

First,  I have stuffed peppers.  This is really just a Spanish rice recipe stuffed into some green bell peppers 😉

  • First, get some brown rice cooking.
  • Then, chop off the tops and remove the seeds from some bell peppers.  Dice up the pepper caps along with some stewed tomatoes.  Cook up about 3/4 pound mock meat crumbles, like Morningstar brand, in a frying pan.  Add the peppers, tomatoes, and some corn to the pan.  Stir in 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp pepper to the mix.
  • Add the rice to the veggie mix, stuff the peppers and bake until the pepper is softened.

We had these for dinner the other night, and my whole family loved them!! They used ground chicken and added some cheese into their peppers, but they were easily transformed into a full vegan meal.  Just one pepper was so filling, and I especially loved how spicy there were 🙂

The other day I discovered a great vegan Spinach and Artichoke dip!  It’s actually just Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds!  Tastes just like the real, creamy, cheesy thang!

Then, last night I made dinner so that my mom would have time to go to pilates with me!   I served:

Summertime Succotash from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone  (the only change I made: edamame instead of lima beans)

Seared Portobellos from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan  by Dreena Burton (I added some sliced onions to the pan, too)

Emma’s Garlic Bread My creation!  I lined a baking sheet with foil, sliced Italian sesame bread, and arranged it on the pan.  I drizzled olive oil on one side, then flipped them over.  I minced two cloves of garlic and mixed it with some olive oil, then painted the mixture on the other side of the bread with a pastry brush.  (I also drizzled some Parmesan cheese on a few for the cheese-eaters.)  I popped them in the oven on 450* for 10 minutes.  So crunchy and delicious!

All those these recipes were ridiculously delicious and tasty, but I loved them most because my family loved them too!  I hate to be an inconvenience to my family when I eat vegan, but I get such a high off the feeling that my family understands and appreciates the food I like to eat, too!

Are your vegan recipes a hit with the whole family?

Namaste.

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Car Yoga: An attempt to ease carsickness

Greetings from North Carolina!

This morning, we left for our road trip down south.  We had to have our butts in our seats at 6am!  I did a few sun salutes to prepare for hours and hours of sitting in the car.  I could feel the flashbacks to Air New Zealand already!  The drive from Philadelphia to North Carolina is a bit daunting to do all in one day, so we leave a day before and get a hotel for the night.  Plus that way, we can get into our house as soon as it’s ready in the morning!

I am usually a big fan of this arrangement, but for some reason I was feeling really uncomfortable and even a bit carsick during the drive.  Ghia and I were stuck in the back, but we kept our spirits high!

Breakfast didn’t help, though.  I ordered a soy cappuccino, but apparently the “soy” bit got lost in translation, which I didn’t notice until we had driven away.  That gave me a bit of an upset stomach.  To eat, I had one of those Special K bars I hate to love, and the perfect oatmeal from Starbucks. I have to admit, it is indeed quite perfect.  It’s made with water, and you are given brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts to mix in.  I love it!

Ghia and I were stuck in the back, but we kept our spirits high!  I even finished another book while on the road!  It’s called Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella.  It was a scrumptious little chunk of chick lit about a woman who has amnesia.  She just woke up one day and suddenly has her dream life, husband, and job but has no idea how she got there!  Or who she even is anymore!  I felt like I could relate because since I’ve been back from New Zealand, I have felt sort of like I have amnesia – I can barely remember what my normal life used to be.  I felt her pain! 😉

For lunch, we stopped at Wawa for hoagies (can you believe they have Wawa as far south as Virginia??!?!) I got a veggie on a wheat shorti, but I added some buffalo bleu cheese sauce for flava.  It was really tasty, but with spicy peppers, it certainly didn’t help my stomach.  bluugugh

PS – I love buffalo sauce.  I even tried some of my brother’s molten hot wings ruffles chips.  WOW what great flavor!  But I’m pretty certain an entire bag would have killed me.

At some point along the drive, my loving family rearranged the seating so that I could sit in front, to help with the motion sickness.  I was really in shock since I’ve never felt the slightest bit of motion sickness in my life!  I tried some car yoga – I focused on my breathing, then did some neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and seated twists.  I’m not sure if it helped, but it felt a little better to be trying!

But luckily it was a relatively short ride.  We were so ahead of schedule that our room wasn’t ready once we got to the hotel!  So we went to Target to kill time.  I’ve decided that this particular Target is my favorite in all of America.  Can you see why?

THERE IS A STARBUCKS INSIDE!!!!

Once we could check into the hotel and I had been out of the car for a bit, I was feeling a lot better and having some hunger rumbles underneath the nausea.  I had a Walker’s shortbread cookie and some big cheez its as a snack.  While we played the first round of SkipBo of the week, I drank a diet coke to try and settle my tummy, too.  I was feeling back to normal by dinner 🙂

David at the Outback, with a Trifecta of Margaritas!

We walked to the Outback Steakhouse for supper, which was right on the other side of the parking lot.  I was a little nervous about finding something I would like for dinner, but I ended up being really happy with grilled mahi, wild rice, and a side of sweet peas, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini!  It was fantastic!  The fish was nice and light and juicy.  But of course, even before my meal, I enjoyed approximately half of the pumpernickle loaf and a bit of the bloomin’ onion (you can’t go to the Outback Steakhouse and not have some!).  We also got a Mediterranean flatbread as an appetizer, but I wasn’t impressed.  I also enjoyed some of my aunt’s Cesar salad and my mom’s sweet potato fries—they practically forced them on me!  😉  OH!  And David and Sammy made me try some of their sample platter of desserts – carrot cake, hot brownie with ice cream, and cheesecake.

AND NOW I’M STUFFED!

Tomorrow will be another busy day of traveling and unpacking/settling into our beach house, but I’m hoping to squeeze in some AM yoga and a sunset run on the beach!

Do you get motion sickness?

Namaste.

PS – I drafted this post while in the hotel, but the internet wasn’t strong enough to post it!  Then, once we settled into our house, the internet there wasn’t too impressive either.  So I took a break from blogging!  But I will write a recap soon 🙂

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Tree Pose: Root your toesies!

Yesterday afternoon, I enjoyed this beautiful, juicy nectarine while watching Ellen.

They are definitely underrated!  One of my favorite fruits of the summer 🙂

I was in charge of making dinner, but while I was cooking I got a bit snacky.  So I had some sunflower seeds to satisfy that salty snacky feeling

and some semisweet chocolate chips to satisfy that sweet snacky feeling!

Then I got hard to work making garlic sauteed shrimp to go with pasta and marina sauce.  My mom and sister were running late, so my Dad and I had some Cabot cheddar cheese while we waited…

Sam and Mom finally arrived (they were waiting at the doctor’s office for over 1.5 hours!) with Italian bread it tow!  I had a HUGE plate and ended up being waaaaay full!  Gotta love that Italian comfort food 🙂

There are shrimp on that plate somewhere!

Last night, Dominique called me asking if I would come over to keep me company while she packed for her weekend trip to NYC.  When I showed up, she offered me a dark chocolate Ghiardelli square, which is one of my favorite chocolates, as a reward.  Good company and good chocolate!!! xoxo

When I got back home, I finished a fantastic book I have been reading this week, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

I really enjoyed this memoir about a group of young women who read and discuss banned books in Iran.  This book has so many resonant insights into both classic literature and revolutionary Iran.  It was frequently deep and intense, and I really loved how true it was; I learned so much.  I wish that I had read more of the books they studied, like Lolita, but I absolutely gobbled up the portions where they discussed Jane Austen!  “‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Muslim man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a nine-year-old virgin wife.'”  Though that was my favorite bit, the book is full of fascinating parallels between their veiled existence and the lives of so many literary heroines.

Today, I woke up a bit early and scarfed a quick brekkie:

  • coffee with almond milk
  • water
  • sunbutter-stuffed date
  • 1/2 banana
  • strawberry 0% fat chobani greek yogurt

before going to yoga followed by a BodyPump class.  Today I added some more weight onto my bar for each track, so I was really feeling the burn!  But the whole weight system confuses me a bit.  The BodyPump bars measure in kilograms, and 1kg is a lot more than 1lb!  I’m having trouble conceptualizing how much I am increasing my weight by, but either way, I know the more I give, the more I get!  It’s funny though, even after I added on weight, I’m still the wimpiest one in the class!

At lunchtime, I realized I hadn’t had oatmeal in, like, 2 WEEKS!! Who am I?  So I quickly got a nectarine and the rest of my breakfast banana chopped up and in the pot.

Followed by oats, water, almond milk, cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla extract.

Full to the brim!

GOD I missed that stuff!  So delicious and filling.

My brother believes that bagel places spread too much cream cheese on toasted bagels, so when he brought one home for lunch, he scraped the excess cream cheese and set it aside for me!  lol!  So, when my tummy was raging in the mid-afternoon, I toasted myself half of an everything bagel and schlepped it on top.

The cream cheese was FANTASTIC!  It was some kind of tomato and herb blend.  Holy yummykins.

I really missed bagels while I was in New Zealand.  You couldn’t get an authentic one anywhere!

My mom and I made some vegetable stir fry for dinner with tons of different veggies, and some jasmin rice on the side.  To make things more exciting, I made a peanut sauce for on top!  I started with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and 1/4 of a lemon (juiced), but then I adjusted it a bit to taste.  It was the perfect light but satisfying meal that we needed the night before we leave for vacation!

Tomorrow, we are leaving for our yearly week-long family trip to the beach.  We are headed to Emerald Isle, North Carolina for a week of relaxing on the beach.  I’M SO EXCITED!  Though I admit, I won’t be doing anything different down there than I have been doing at home.  Reading, running, cooking, eating, doing yoga, and spending time with my family.  We’ll just be doing it all on the beach!  And with more family members and more BOARD GAMES!

I love doing yoga on the beach.  It’s one of Earth’s best natural yoga studios.  The warmth, the ambiance…you couldn’t ask for anything more perfect!  I’ll be sure to post more about it later…  But for now, I would like to share my favorite pose to do on the beach….tree pose!

Balance poses are extra tricky on the beach.  Sand is hard to balance on!  Heck, a perfectly level studio floor is tricky to balance on!  I always starts by spreading all of my toes apart and rooting them into the ground.  God gave us 5 toes on each foot — use them all to balance!  I bring my foot to the highest point possible on the inside of my thigh, but I always have to guide it there with my hands. Some day I will have the strength and flexibility to just float it into place!  Once I feel grounded, I grow my upper half out of my hips into perfect posture, and I always extend my prayer hands above my head.

It is really challenging to stay balanced while gazing towards your hands, but they say that if you gaze at the floor, that’s where your pose goes.  AKA you fall down lol.  So I always try to bring my gaze as high as possible.  Balance poses are great for the mind and also great for your concentration.  I can always tell if something is distracting me in life because I can never hold my balance poses that day!  Balance poses are great for strengthening your core, but more than anything they teach you to focus.  Having trouble focusing on some task?  Stand on one foot and gaze straight ahead for 30 seconds.  That’ll help ya 😉

PS – for a midnight snack in the middle of a packing frenzy, I had some p’nut m&ms and this chocolate bar that Mrs. Benzio brought for me from Scotland.

It was melted when Dominique delivered it to me, so I’ve been letting it sit the freezer, waiting for the right moment to enjoy it!  Such a great treat.  I need chocolate.  And Cadbury is THE BEST.  It beats gross old m&ms any day 😉

Do you find balance poses more challenging than other yoga poses?

Namaste.

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Down with the Dog

I got a hair cut yesterday!

I love how my hairstylist gives me cuts that encourage my natural waves.  It makes styling easy!  AKA – air dry!  I hadn’t had a haircut since January, so I needed to get it cleaned up, desperately.  He barely took anything off, and it feels so light!

Despite the new do, Ghia and I felt like this for most of the day:

Blagh.  Snacking which watching Ellen cheered us up, though!  I had some roasted garlic hummus,  first with a poblano pepper, then with some multigrain club crackers.

Ghia had some crackers, too 😉

But dinner was a huge let-down.  Ew it was so gross.  It was the worst quesadilla ever known to man.  First, I used whole wheat tortillas that got really soggy and from the cooking spray and flimsy because I was too impatient to let it crisp up.  Then, the shredded mozzarella inside didn’t melt because I was too impatient to wait for it to warm up.  The chickpeas were bursting out of every corner of that round tortilla, but I guess chickpeas are a bad idea for a quesadilla anyway.  The only good part was the salsa and chipotle Tabasco sauce I doused it in.  Yum?  Not.

Then for dessert, I had a cheesecake bar that my sister made.  It was REALLY good, but my stomach didn’t think it was that good.  I HAD to get the ghost of the quesadilla out of my mouth, and it was certainly the best option 😉

But I was pleased because I spent the entire day trying to find someone to go on a bike ride with me, and finally my sister agreed!  I love my bike – it’s my mom’s old bike from the ’70s and my parents fixed up for me before I went to school.

However, last fall, someone damaged it and left it in ruins on the bike stand for me to find one morning.  Guess I’m not riding my bike to work today!  I finally had it fixed two weeks ago, and I finally went on a spin last night!

The weather was perfectly cool and breezy.  We we went on a long ride and had funfunfun!

This morning, I really couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, so I had a whole wheat mini bagel with whipped cream cheese on one side and PB&J on the other side.

I also had a p’nut butt- stuffed date, for dessert.

Today’s workout consisted of a spin class and pilates.  We did a lot of sprints today, which I haven’t done in a while, and they totally wiped me out!  Pilates was pretty challenging, too, because we did a lot of new moves!

After my workout, I made lunch.  Again, I couldn’t decide what to have (my appetite is ALL overtheplace) but I decided to make a veggie burger.  It’s always satisfying!

I put the veggie burger on some whole wheat bread (using one end so it was more bunlike) and put some Dijon mustard and chipotle Tabasco sauce on top. Then, I also added an orange poblano pepper, some cherry tomatoes, and roasted garlic hummus on the other side.  I tried that pickle but took one bite and said, “NO!”  Luckily, I can always count on corn-on-the-cob-off-the-cob these days.  But yikes!  There is only one left!! dundundun  For dessert, I had a slice of cantaloupe.  Smile!

I had a few chores to do this afternoon, including watering the plants.  Immediately after I finished watering them all, it started to rain.  I hope those greenies were extra thirsty today!  I also picked some fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden.

joy.

I am usually very obsessed with Down Dog, but for some reason I am extra obsessed with it today.

I’ve had many yoga teachers who tell me that Down Dog stretches all of your muscles.

I can personally vouch that it stretches your lower back (as long as you point your tailbone skyward) and your hamstrings (as long as you straighten your legs and work your heels towards the floor).

It can be really tiring on the shoulders, but once you build up that strength, trust me when I say that you could stay there all day.  Today, I might just!

It also helps you pay more attention to your breath.  I always aim for 5 full inhales and exhales at a time.

It also helps to realign your skeletal structure, as long as you have the right alignment.

  1. Hands slightly wider than shoulder width, fingers spread, middle finger parallel with the sides of the mat
  2. Hands and feet are about the same distance apart that they would be in plank.
  3. Shoulder blades sliding down the back and tailbone pointed up in the air
  4. Feet hip width apart, toes facing forward, heels striving to (some day!) reach the mat

I can also vouch that it helps you focus inward and quiet and clear the mind.

Have you learned to love Down Dog yet?

Namaste.

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