Thursday, July 8, 2010

59 Strong

Hey there, sugar pies! 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and are soaking up some sun. It is definitely getting hot around here! There are no complaints from me, though; I much prefer hot to cold. Are you a snow bunny or beach baby? What is your favorite thing to do to cool down?

One reason why today's heat was especially amazing was because it made for a special treat at my yoga teacher training. On Wednesday's, we usually practice Mysore style Ashtanga inside, aided by heating lamps. However, today was hot enough that we were able to move outside onto my teacher's new deck instead. Also, it was my teacher's birthday so we decided to honor her with sun salutations in the number of her age. That would be 59 Suryanamaskara As!  We counted together and each said something that we love about our teacher while in down dog. 

All I can say is that the practice was absolutely breathtaking! I felt so honored to be able to partake in a beautiful practice to celebrate an inspiring woman. Just image 10 or so yogis doing sun salutations surrounded by the lush leaves of strong trees. Amazing. Completely amazing. 

This was such a wonderful way to honor my teacher and the beautiful world we live in. 

Another way I have been honoring this beautiful earth is through nourishing my body with the fruits of its labor. 

Bowls of oats adorned with lots of fresh berries always seem to start my day off right. 

Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, oh my!

Apparently I just cannot get enough of this combo. Could it get any better? Yes, my friends; the answer is raspberries

Unfortunately, (as you can probably see,) the sun's bounty outside has not translated into natural lighting inside. It seems that the sun only shines its beauty in random little place in my new house, like a little patch in my step-dad's office. (Yes, we moved! That is how I spent my 4th of July.) Luckily, I found a new spot this morning. 

...And still only a flicker! Sun, I love you; will you please come in to play?

With fresh, local, and sometimes even organic vegetables in large supply at the farmer's market, I cannot help but take advantage of it. Lately I have really enjoyed having big salads for lunch. I feel like I say that a lot on this blog, but the truth is, salads are such a nourishing, energizing, and satisfying meal that it is hard not to enjoy them often.  

I never really understood the appeal until I started to appreciate the natural flavors of produce and seek out good quality. I am now able to play with flavors and textures, confident that if my produce is fresh and of good quality, all will turn out great. 

Oh, and a few Mary's Gone Crackers would not hurt as well. Crunch.

Even though I usually prefer my salads naked, today I felt like something a little bit different. 

I decided for a light sauce to compliment and enhance the flavor of my salad, rather than overwhelm it. 

I simply mixed ~1 tsp of original almond milk with 1/2 tsp of tahini and a pinch or two of cinnamon. I added this to the mixture, minus the romaine lettuce, and tossed. I was surprised by the mild flavor it produced, especially because I am not the hugest fan of tahini by itself. Anyway, it was just what I was looking for. It was simple, light, and creamy; yum!

Dinner has been anything but consistent... except for millet, of course. Not surprisingly, millet is a staple food for me. It is just so versatile and delicious! 

Mexican stir-fry to celebrate July 4th? Why not. 

The big plate was definitely brought out on this occasion. It took me a few stages to finish this plate, but you can bet I did. What can I say, I am a veggie heavy-weight!

Feeling simple? Black beans, millet, and greens (broccoli&&brussels) to the rescue. 

Oh, and cauliflower and nooch sauce were added for good measure. 

Feeling like something completely different on the tofu front? Have 3 jars of more dijon mustard than you know what to do with (thanks to combining households)? Googling recipes will almost always help. 

Not necessarily nice to look at, my lemon dijon tofu was an interesting change from the usual simple Braggs marinating. I mixed 1 tbs Whole Foods dijon mustard, 1.5 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp minced garlic (=1 clove), and ~1tbs water to thin. Next I marinated the tofu for about 15 minutes before baking it in a 400* oven for 30 minutes. 

The resulting tofu was creamy and saucy; it complemented the delicate flavors of the steamed asparagus, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli well. 

While all of these dinners were random but delicious in their own right, last night's stole the show. How could it not when it included kabocha?

I think I finally understand why macrobiotic diets include lots of kabocha and adzuki beans---both are delicious and naturally sweet. Yum! Would you laugh if I told you that I even sprinkled cinnamon on my beans? I am a proud cinnamon lover!

On that note, I want to leave you with a little food for thought. One of my homework assignments for teacher training this week is to write an essay describing happiness. I think this is such an interesting topic to write about because we all use the word "happy" quite a bit. However, I have never really taken the time to figure out what it means to me exactly. What does happiness mean to you? What has recently made you happy? 

Have a lovely day! 



  1. Glad to hear your training is going so well lady! That sounds like a great session celebrating your instructor.

    I actually don't do so well in the extreme heat but prefer the cooler days...not really cold cold though. I guess I just like it pretty mild, not so exciting.

    As a fellow cinnamon lover, I think it sounds pretty good on beans. yum!

    Happiness to me just means being happy in my day to day life and not getting too caught up in the little things. Recently, I am happy because of a new space to live in with a wonderful outdoor space.

  2. I want all your food! Some people may not find all those veggies appealing but they are making my appetite go crazy! I haven't tried kabocha yet but it looks delicious and almost like a sweet potato inside.

    To me, happiness is when I feel on top of the world and like I can do anything. It's when I'm completely and utterly content. Doing the things I love and being with the people I love are what equal happiness. I think that pretty much goes for everyone.. unless you're a sadistic psychopath.

  3. Oh my wow. 59 sun salutations? I truly admire your passion for yoga. And talent and strength, of course! I can only hope to one day be as strong and as passionate as you! I am whooped after 30 minutes of yoga sculpt :P But still enjoy ever minute of it. I love feeling the results.
    I also love your relationship with your teacher and the other teachers in training! Sounds like a great group.
    The eats look fantastic. I can see how that breakfast wouldn't get old :)
    And happiness to me is being healthy, being able to ENJOY the world around me. Time with family and friends - namely, my mother and pets. Helping others. Being independent and content with myself.
    (and I totally just lol'd at highonhealthy's sadistic psychopath comment, haha. so true.)

  4. Your yoga session sounds amazing, girl! I've yet to take a yoga class with others (planning on it soon!) but I can just imagine the amount of peace and tranquility present in that kind of setting. Sounds absolutely heavenly.

    And speaking of heavenly... I am SO in love with your eats! And we definitely have to cook together ;) I've made a similar dijon marinade for my baked tofu quite a few times, and it's so darn good... especially when you pair it with other simple flavors :) Genius, girlie! And I really need to start eating millet more often. There's a bag of it sitting in my pantry, and I've only made it once (!!). I don't know why, as I thought it was delicious, but when it comes time to choose a grain, I usually go for brown rice. I need to make a Post-It...

    What does happiness mean to me? Hmm... well, lately it's meant freedom from fears and restrictions, and feeling content from knowing that your on the path that you're supposed to be on. For the first time in my life, I finally feel like I found my purpose in life, and that makes me super happy :)

  5. I am definitely a beach baby alllll the way. ;) Gimme heat before cold (mostly) any day.

  6. That yoga session sounds amazing! I would love to do yoga outside! I should try that next time (:

    All your eats look SO GOOD. Seriously, girl, I need to learn to make meals as pretty and balanced as yours!

  7. Raspberries really do make things better, I agree! I want aaall of your dinners. Yum!! I have never marinated my own tofu, I need to try that. I am happiest when I'm with my friends and not stressing about silly things like school work/what i'm going to eat next/when i'm going to exercise/etc!

  8. Your stir fry made me go to the kitchen and prepare my lunch :)

    I love every kind of berry!


    im a beach babe 100% i like hot foods in the hot weather ironically but if i need to cool down i go right to the fruit aisle <3