Yo. I had big plans to study tonight but man, I need a break. Today has been a pretty good day (a better day, anyway) and I think that’s because I decided to cut myself a little slack. I’ve been meditating first thing in the morning for five uninterrupted minutes each day, and if you think that’s a super easy task, well… try it. Five minutes can seem like an hour, especially if you’re a GO! GO! GO! kind of person like myself. I took some tips from the Crazy Sexy Diet book (which includes an awesome chapter on the importance of inner well-being) and have found a meditation style that works for me.
Every morning when my alarm goes off I sit up, stretch, open the window and set the timer on my cell phone for five minutes. Then I sit cross-legged on the bed facing the window with my hands loosely placed on my knees, palms up, and close my eyes. I take a deep breath and let my belly round out (apparently chest breathing is bad- so is shallow breathing!) and then let the air out slowly, thinking to myself ‘let’ on the inhale and ‘go’ on the exhale.
Sound like a bunch of nonsense? Man, it really isn’t. I meditated each morning for maybe a month over the summer when I took a stress management class, and it really helped me. Good intentions don’t always mean that habits will magically stick, though, and my practice fizzled out once the class was over. I need something mindful in my life like that, though- this I know. And our minds are supposedly more open first thing in the morning, so it’s the perfect time to reflect and breathe and take a minute to set the tone for your whole day. It really makes a difference. Even five minutes- you’d be amazed. (Or maybe not. Maybe you’re already a prayer or meditation superstar!)
Anyway, I really believe that if I stay committed to my five-minutes-first-thing routine and increase slowly to 10 and maybe even 20 minutes, I can settle my classic type A personality down a little bit. Giving this meditation thing a fair shot is definitely not going to hurt anything. It is the missing piece to my total wellness puzzle, and if I can make meditation and mindfulness a regular habit, I’ll be in much better shape all around.
Friday night I helped M paint her new place. She’s moving from her cozy apartment to an awesome house a few towns over, and while I will miss living five minutes away, I’m very excited for her, too! I usually hate painting but somehow got into a good groove Friday night and actually enjoyed it. We listened to good music, drank adult beverages, and ordered pizza. I opted for a veggie pie on whole-wheat crust, extra sauce, no cheese. The restaurant happily obliged and it was so tasty!
It was a sea of delightful vegetable goodness. I ate the whole thing.
M played bartender and mixed citrus vodka with blood orange Italian soda and a splash of lime juice. It was so good! We also had wine. I managed to hold it together and didn’t drink too much. I was proud of myself, especially considering that I’ve been singin’ the blues lately. It’s always easy for me to overdo the booze when I’m feeling down.
Me, K, M.
Covered in paint, slightly tipsy and exhausted. But happy! Her house is going to be so awesome. I’m helping her move in tomorrow.
Saturday’s breakfast: sprouted grain english muffin, almond butter, sliced banana, cinnamon.
Me and the almond butter are getting kind of serious.
Standard salad for lunch Saturday, this time with lightly sautéed asparagus.
Delish! Asparagus is definitely one of my favorite vegetables.
Dinner last night was leftover Chickpea Wild Rice Soup! I can’t get enough, I tell ya. I’m still looking forward to the leftovers that are in the freezer, too.
I made buckwheat pancakes this morning with the help of my good friend Hodgson Mill…
I’m to the point now where I’m totally comfortable subbing vegan ingredients in for non without worrying that the whole meal will be ruined. This mix called for oil, egg and milk, so I subbed unsweetened applesauce for the oil (not a vegan thang, just a lower fat and calorie option), a flax “egg” for the egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water), and almond milk for the cow juice. They turned out amazingly well, and both kids asked for seconds (always a sign that something is extra tasty).
I layered my stack with pumpkin butter and topped it with pure maple syrup and walnuts. Oooh, it was glorious. The perfect Sunday morning breakfast.
Lunch today was another salad, which I’m sure you’re thrilled to see.
This one had vegetarian refried beans, salsa, avocado, chopped veggies, spinach, and poppy seed dressing. Definitely a weird combination but somehow it really worked. I will do this one again.
Awesome Halloween chocolate that my sis (who works at Godiva) brought home for the boys. Not vegan, but you know the kids loved ‘em. Cute, eh?
For dinner tonight I made Daily Garnish’s amazing Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas! Holy ballz, they were so good. It wasn’t my first time making enchiladas, but it was my first time making homemade enchilada sauce…
So easy, and so good. That store-bought stuff always contains a bunch of crappy additives, and this was so simple and inexpensive to create, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it from the store again. And it tasted a million times better than the canned stuff!
The enchiladas were super easy to make, too. I love the smell of butternut squash roasting in the oven.
Wrapped in my fave tortillas…
All sauced up and ready to bake.
The squash-and-black-bean filling was spiced with cumin, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, and with the fresh garlic-infused enchilada sauce, these babies were perfect.
Total comfort food.
Face: ROCKED. And there are lots of leftovers!
I’m going to curl up with a book and get ready for the week ahead. My school schedule is pure madness, but I’m not going to let it get the best of me. It’s going to be a good week and I’m going to keep my chin up.
I hope your evening rules! What did you do this weekend?
PS- I’m starting the last 4-week cycle of STS this week! It’s all about ultra heavy lifting and strength gains, and I’m pumped. The 12-week program is really flying by! That’s just life, I guess. It’s scary.