Life Lately

 

This post is a bit all over the place, so please excuse my mess. I’ve been on a roll lately, getting two posts a week out to you guys and last week I left you hanging. I won’t lie, it feels like a failure. The truth is, I sat down to write last week, but I couldn’t gather my thoughts enough to write anything cohesive. I wanted to share about the heartwarming joy I felt watching my god-daughter get baptized…

me and Ava

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Broadway Meets Bikram, Lessons from Yoga

In my last post I mentioned, this past weekend, I took one of the best Bikram (hot yoga) classes I have ever taken. Let’s talk about that…

The guest John Salvatore, is a master Bikram Teacher and Broadway Performer for the show, “Jersey Boys”. If you’re not familiar with Bikram, it is a 90-minute yoga class, with 26 postures in a 110-degree room. The postures and dialogue do not change. It’s up to the teacher to keep things fresh and help the students through the 90-minute torture chamber.

On Saturday, I walked into the studio lost in a whirlwind of my own thoughts. I smiled and introduced myself to the new teacher and retreated into the hot room. I love yoga is because it allows me to retreat into myself, and silently just be.

John entered the class with an overwhelming amount of energy. It  intimidated me at first because it threatened my beloved silence. As people filtered into the room he made a point to ask everyone their names, making each of us feel special. The room became chatty and a bit more intimate.

John started the class repeating the names of all 40-or-so students with perfect accuracy. I thought, “Holy shit, he’s good”. He began to roll into an animated-hilarious version of Bikram dialogue. He stopped between each posture to give useful tips. His energy was infectious and my initial resistance began to ease. I could not help but enjoy the performance. I even noticed a competitive part of me working harder than usual to perfect my practice. I was in awe of his energy and began to recognize his talent for just that, pure utter performing talent. Entranced, I placed him on an above-average pedestal in my mind.

light shine

Despite the wings I silently awarded him, it wasn’t until he opened up about his personal journey that he became a real star. He shared that his love for Bikram yoga grew from a dark period of drug addiction and depression. It was his light in a dark room that allowed him to feel he was finally good enough. Suddenly this superhuman became real and I connected. His passion made sense and his lessons had a foundation rooted in something I could grasp. It also taught me a valuable lesson to always reserve judgment. Everyone has a story, a battle, and a truth.

judgement

Vegan for the Week

As a dietitian I hate the word cleanse, as a hypocrite I am embarking on one. The dietitian in me hears starvation, elimination, and fad diets with the word. Sometimes that’s the case when a person “cleanses” but it doesn’t have to be. According to Google, cleanse means to make something thoroughly clean or to rid a person, place or thing of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted, or defiling. The synonyms include: wash, bathe, rinse, or disinfect. I will choose to consider my 4-day vegan cleanse a long fresh shower for my diet .

I plan to spend 4-days eating like a vegan (no meat or dairy). More specifically, I plan to eat a plant-based diet with nuts, legumes, and whole grains for protein. My reasoning is both mental and physical. After a rough week at work I’ve put my body through havoc, not sleeping enough, and eating too many unplanned convenient foods. I reflected on what I was feeding myself: protein smoothies, protein bars, Greek yogurt, granola, cheese-topped popcorn, fried eggs, chocolate and cheese topped veggies. While these things may sound healthy, my diet was largely unbalanced. Protein bars and shakes should not be staples in anyone’s meal plan and my body was left feeling as crappy as my stressed-out, cranky, mind. Focusing this workweek on whole fruits and vegetables is partly for my body but I am also seeking some mental “soul” cleansing. I am trying to work on trashing some bad habits in my life and I have this notion that if I can make physical changes it will remind me of the more abstract ones I’m working on as well.

do better

The best part of my 4-day vegan adventure is that I’m not doing it alone! After sharing my idea with my cousin Heather, she wanted in. The prospect of doing anything new or scary automatically becomes more comforting when you have a friend with you for the journey. Spending way too much money at Whole Foods makes a vegan week more appealing as well.

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So what exactly am I going to eat? Here’s the results from my indulgent trip to Whole Foods…

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(Bannans, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, avcados, apples, kale, cous cous, almond butter, hummus, almond-coconut milk)

-Not pictured is whole grain rolls, veggie burgers, chickpeas, lentils, edemme, corn on the cob, and brussel sprouts.

The first vegan dinner…

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(Cous cous, kale, chick peas, tomatos and avocado with a side of roasted vegetables)

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Colors make everything better

Basically, I had a little bit of everything because my taste buds were being greedy and indecsive! Stay tuned for more meals and reflections this week.