It was somewhere between the opening ‘hug your neighbour’ and closing group savasana of last night’s epic, Signal Hill yoga class that something clicked. I moved in time with 200+ yogis of various levels of practice with confidence and good humour. I say good humour simply because the joy of yoga is really accepting where your body is on that given day rather than asking it to continuously give. What clicked?, you ask. Well, sitting in the open, sea air with a group of similarly-minded peeps was…amazing. The air was *buzzing*. People were happy. They each took the time for themselves to practice the joy of moving the body. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
It wasn’t just that feeling we all shared. It was letting go of the constant, hesitant voice in the back of my head that questions are you ready to do this? are you here yet? isn’t this too hard? That voice has chased me for months; nipping at my heels. And know what? My body had all the answers. I moved in time with the poses, accepted where I was, and expressed the movements with certainty and confidence. All those days of yoga were working on healing my body even while my mind railed against the ease of it. (Yeah, I’m that person. Yoga is easy and therefore not a workout. Jerk). Errant thoughts aside, my body moved and twisted and held poses regardless of what that mean old brain of mine came up with. My body reminded me that it has been there waiting for me all along and in the magic of twilight, mind and body clicked.
I think this is similar to what I have been experiencing with my return to running. I ran two, 4km runs last week and felt strong. I definitely pushed myself enough, but was conscious of my speed and my distance. While I had little to no muscle pains in the following days, I did struggle a bit with my breathing (insert: sucked air, loudly and obnoxiously the entire way!). But, again, my body just seemed to be there…waiting for me to take it out and give it a go.
So, now, that leaves me with another week stretching out ahead of me, all full of opportunity and whatnot. I’m keeping my daily yoga practice in the 30-40min range and really working on different expressions of poses. Working on alignment is a good place to be, I think. I recall my complete and total devotion to bakasana (crow pose) in August 2013 whereby I worked on the pose every single day. This time, I’m going to look for the strength in variety. The meditation on that alone will be good for both my ego and strong desire to control all of the outcomes. To add to my week, I have spoken with my former Running Room boss (Scott, if you ever read this “You’re not the boss of me!!”) and he graciously offered to give me another coaching group. The grin bubbled out of me when I heard that and I suddenly became the biggest, goofiest person in the room. I blushed and everything. It went a little over the top when he said that they’ve missed me. Truly, I almost cried. There’s a strong temptation to jump on a certain bandwagon and to say that things are lining up for me, but I think it is more the case of me being in the right mindset and more willing to take the opportunities given. That darn yoga creeping in and making me all relaxed and stuff. With yoga a given and running about to become a bit more permanent, there is only one thing left to think about: FOOD.
Ah yea. Food. Damn that stuff is good. As a vegan, people often comment to me that I must feel so deprived. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I LOVE fruit and vegetables and legumes and whole grains and bread and nachos and sausages and pizza and chips and …wait. What just happened? Jokes about the downward spiral into a bag of Lays aside, I keep a pretty constant stream of healthful foods on my Instagram and 80% of the time, that’s all I eat. But, man. Don’t I love a good chip. Or French fries. So. Good. And while I am not someone to limit myself from tasting the yummy rainbow of food that is out there, I often am pretty flip about what quality of food I am eating. I admit to thinking that if I eat reaaaaaallllllllly ‘good’ I can have whatever the heck I want even if it almost an entire bag of organic tortilla chips (this may or may not have happened post-yogic bliss last night). The ‘good vs bad’ food mentality is just dangerous for those like me who have struggled with ED. Instead, I am going to focus on taste and nutrient quality to fulfil my desire for yumminess and my need to fuel the activities I enjoy.
In that vein, I made myself a slimmer Matcha-Mint smoothie this morning and, after taking a look at what my CSA, Seed to Spoon, organic fruit basket from Real Food Market, and pantry had to offer, I decided to make up this lovely and filling lunch. I don’t really have a name for it, and have never posted a personal recipe before, but here it is. Hope you enjoy!
Mango-Lime Quinoa Black Bean Salad (2 servings)
juice of 1 lime, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tbsp oil of choice (I used Udo’s Oil 3-6-9), 1/4 tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (don’t skip!!)
1 can of black beans, rinsed; 1 cup of cooked quinoa; 1/2 a mango, chopped; 1/2 – 1 jalapeño chopped in small dice, avoiding the seeds
Cook quinoa. I use a rice cooker; it’s fast and easy to clean up. Chop cilantro and whisk into the rest of the dressing ingredients and let sit. Chop mango (save the other half for a smoothie!) into ‘bean sized’ pieces; it will just mix better. Dice jalapeño using all of the pepper or just half; it really depends on how hot you want it. Open can of beans and rinse well. Dump beans into a medium sized bowl and toss in dressing to coat. I find the quinoa will immediately soak up the dressing, so it’s best to add it AFTER beans meet the sauce. Add quinoa (I added hot quinoa because I am impatient, so it is totally okay to follow suit!) and enjoy 🙂