Who said that eating healthy can’t feel a little indulgent? One of my favorite desserts is this “banana ice cream.” It goes well accompanied with a Quinoa Salad and Peanut sauce dinner, or as an afternoon treat. Eat with a spoon like soft-serve, or add a little extra almond milk, stick a straw in it, and take it on the go!
2 ripe bananas, chopped and frozen
3/4 to 1 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (optional)
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Place the milk, bananas, peanut butter, and optional protein powder in a blender* or food processor. Blend until very smooth, like soft serve ice cream, adding more milk as necessary. Enjoy!
*High powered blenders work best, but I did make this in a cheap blender during my college years just fine; I had to add more milk to get it to blend, though.
Bonus Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
I love making this single-serve pumpkin bread pudding for breakfast, snacks, dessert…I typically leave out the maple syrup and it tastes just fine. Topping with natural peanut or almond butter is highly recommended!
The gentle giant of our planet is a favorite for many. Elephants have a long history of being known for their intelligence, memory, and adorable behaviors. But a lot can be learned from these loveable creatures. They operate much like how we do and offer lessons we can apply to our mat.
Elephants create community. Built in a matriarchal society elephants hold massive communities of multi-generational families. While the males do leave the family unit at a certain age, the bond is still formed.
Elephants are large graceful creatures, and they trip and fall just like we do! When they fall they get right back up and keep moving. There isn’t drama or deeper frustration, they just do. This is something I have to remind myself when in Half Moon and I fall or even when I get stuck with a flat tire on the side of the road.
Elephants play and create naturally. Elephants love playing in mud, with ribbons and even create art! Elephants enjoy the act of creation and discovery. When on the mat or in the world we should learn that play and creation is essential to learning and fun!
Relying on our community, inspiring curiosity, and allowing ourselves to fail can be challenging. But keeping these lessons simplified by looking at our tusked friends, can make these challenges manageable. Namaste, yogis!
Week One is behind us, and last week we had a recipe for Vegan Chili (did anyone get a chance to try it? Leave a comment about what you experienced!) This week is a Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce (optional). This dish is light and high in protein. Feel free to get creative with this since it is easy to customize.
Quinoa Salad with optional Peanut Sauce
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water (for cooking the quinoa)
1 cup shredded red or green cabbage
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded or finely chopped
2 cups edamame
1/4 – 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Cook the quinoa by placing it in a pot with the water and bringing to a boil; turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl, and combine with the remaining prepared ingredients.
At this point, you can serve as is, or make the peanut dressing from the below recipe to stir in. (If you have a peanut allergy, try almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter!) Enjoy!
Week one of 40 Days to Personal Revolution (40DPR) is here! For many, the most challenging part of 40DPR is sticking with the healthy eating habits. Laura Olinger has taken the time to create some ideas for meals for each week, and she starts us off with some wholesome Vegan Chili to support a heating diet. This chili is great because you can share it with your spouse, kiddos, or save the leftovers for meals throughout the week!
For a heating diet: Vegan Chili
1/2 cup bulgur wheat*
1 cup hot water
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon cayenne
2 bell peppers, chopped
15-ounce can corn, drained
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Place the bulgur and hot water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then turn down low and simmer gently for about ten minutes.
While the bulgur cooks, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. When the onions are soft and a little translucent, stir in the bell peppers and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, corn, and beans into the pot. Stir, and continue to heat thoroughly on low heat.
Taste the bulgur. When it is cooked and chewy, add it to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to meld.
Serve and enjoy!
*Bulgur wheat can be found in the bulk section of many grocery stores; I buy mine at Whole Foods
For a Cooling Diet: Black Bean and Corn Salad
2 15-ounce cans black beans
1 15-ounce can of no-salt added corn
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime juice, to taste
Salad greens, such as romaine or spinach
Combine prepared black beans, corn, avocado, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, and optional cilantro in a large bowl and mix.
When ready to serve, place a bed of salad greens on a plate and spoon mixture on top. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice if desired (or top with another light dressing.)
My hand towel addiction was real. I never entered a class at 502PY without one. Even when we started charging $1 to rent them, I found such joy in asking Kelly to just put another one on my tab (a.k.a card on file). Any time a pose got hard or I wanted to take a break, my towel was there for me, waiting to wipe the sweat from my brow, or nose, or hands, or arms, or well you get where I’m going with this. I had convinced myself that there was no way I could practice without it. You’ll fall. You’ll be so sweaty. What will you do when you need to catch your breath? THE STRUGGLE.
One ambitious afternoon, I decided to see what happened if I didn’t take a towel into class. My water bottle and block looked so lonely at the top of my mat but I powered through that first slippery class like a toddler who has just had their blanket taken away would, with some scowling, regret, and at the end of the day feeling a little bit proud. I found myself looking for it while holding Warrior II as my legs fatigued, when Dancer was called, and before Bridge pose; all of my usual hesitation poses. It wasn’t until that first class without my towel that I realized just how much I used it to cheat myself in class.
Now let me be clear, this is not a post to encourage you to stop using a towel. For me, giving up that 8″x16″ white, cotton crutch was about giving up hesitation, giving up my distraction, and about growing my practice. I had an easily accessible excuse to cheat my way through class and I used it like it was a final exam where the teacher left us in the room with our books. For you, it might be fixing your hair, adjusting your clothes, or getting another drink of water that takes you out of your practice. Believe me, there are many reasons why a towel is helpful during class, and since giving up my hand towel I do occasionally have to use a full mat towel.
The biggest realization for me was how much this applied to my life. I am the queen of procrastination. Seriously, I have been thinking about writing this post for two months. I’m constantly working to catch myself when I start to create distractions when things get hard. There is so much possibility when you can create space by giving up what you must. For me, it was not bringing a towel into class. It opened up being able to hold poses longer, dropping hesitation, and being fully present to the sensations in my body instead of the sweat dripping down my arm. Whatever it is that keeps you from taking yourself to your edge whether in the studio or off the mat, it might be time for that security blanket towel to take a rest. It might be scary, and may take a lot of self-restraint, but you may surprise yourself when you remove hesitation in your life and go for it.