Archive for July, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

This is a quick little recipe I whipped up on Friday night to have before my run on Saturday. I knew I wanted a small hit of carb and plenty of good-quality fat. I used virgin coconut oil, natural peanut butter, almonds, flaxseeds, and some additions for deliciousness. I don’t have a photo because I can’t seem to keep my hands off them long enough to photograph them.

They are mildly addicting, so I keep them in the freezer (they melt fairly quickly at room temp) and only eat them one or two at a time.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Melt together:
80g honey
45g peanut butter
25g coconut oil
Add to:
20g cocoa powder
30g ground flaxseeds
75g sliced almonds
27g chopped dark chocolate
1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything together and press into a parchment-lined container. I used a 4″x4″ plastic container. Refrigerate overnight, then cut into 16 pieces. Store uneaten bites in the freezer.

Yoga and the Weekend

Today, my plan was to go downtown to a yoga class, but I decided that I didn’t want to start working the hour-long Metro ride into my weekend schedule. So instead I went for a run in the morning, had a lazy day, and made sure stop eating by 2pm so I could do my yoga practice in the late afternoon.

I’m coming up on a month of doing yoga every day. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my connection to my yoga practice and I’ve decided I’m very attracted by the Ashtanga style of yoga. Unfortunately, there are no Ashtanga teachers outside of downtown DC in my area, so I’m looking at an hour-long Metro ride if I want to go to an Ashtanga studio. That pretty much rules out a Mysore practice, as I cannot commit to riding into DC 3-6 times a week. Sorry. Not going to happen.
But I can use to learn the sequences. I’ve been practicing yoga for years now, so I know the postures; I just need prompting on the vinyasa sequences. I’ve also been looking at getting a primary series DVD. I think for the month of August, I’m going to commit to a full Ashtanga-style practice, practicing 6 days a week, resting on Saturdays and Moon Days. Honoring the moon connects with my own personal spirituality as well.
I’ll log my progress, and hopefully I’ll be able to get part of the way into the primary series by the end of the month. I did a long-ish practice today, doing 5 rounds each of Surya Namaskar A and B, the sequence of fundamental poses, some of the early primary series poses, and the finishing sequence. It felt good, and I can’t wait to continue this practice.

The Wild Woman’s Dilemma

What to eat? Yeah, I’m channeling Michael Pollan and pondering the idea that, because we can eat anything, should we eat everything? In my case, this is a resounding NO. Some foods give me a migraine. No uncertainty about it; there are certain things that make me more likely to get one and certain foods that every time I have them, I end up with a pounding headache by the end of the day. Other foods are shadier. Gluten, for example, doesn’t cause me immediate, acute symptoms, nor do I have any signs of nutrient deficiency due to intestinal damage. But sit me down to a multi-course Italian meal with bread/pasta at every course and I’ve been known to be clutching my aching tummy before dessert.
Which brings me to that to which I alluded yesterday: traditional foods. First of all, yeah, it takes a lot of time to only eat soaked grains and sourdough bread. Plus, all that fat is calorie-dense, and it definitely leads to weight gain (though sugar is an equal culprit) for me. I need to watch how much I’m eating. I’m of the opinion that cultures prized animal foods because they were harder to come by than plant foods. This didn’t make plants any less an integral part of everyday life and diet.

So for now, I’m trying to stick to the simple precept of “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” No, this does not mean going vegan. Or even vegetarian. Or low-fat. It just means that the bulk of my diet, by volume (not calories, necessarily), will be made up of plants. A bit of fruit in the morning with some nuts and seeds, a big salad at lunch, and a dinner that is focused around a giant pile of vegetables, cooked in quality fats, and served with a modest amount of meat.
Also, I’m lazy when it comes to driving to the farm to get beef, and we’re down to 2 or 3 lbs. of ground beef in the freezer.

What this does not mean to me: fake meats, soy, butter substitutes, too many sweets, skinless chicken breast as a main protein source.
What it does mean to me: lots of vegetables, my beloved kale, maybe a bit more fruit, occasional treats, nuts, some grains and beans, broths, small amounts of high-quality meats, lots of dairy, using ghee and coconut oil in modest, controlled amounts.
We’ll see how it goes.

Ye gods, she’s back!

So yeah. It’s been a while. Hi.

Where have I been (besides Rome, but you knew that)? Well, I’ve been playing with other things. Other diet ideas. Neglecting my herbs, but being more diligent about my yoga.
I’ve been exercising. Lifting weights. Running. Jumping and cartwheeling and dodging and bending (seriously). It’s been a wild couple of months.
Which brings me back here. Because I’ll always be a wild woman at heart. Who knows where I’ll go with this, but I think maybe I should try to update here more often. Maybe share some recipes. Some thoughts.
For example: I’ve come to the realization that trying to stick wholly to traditional foods, in the Nourishing Traditions vein, causes me to gain weight. There, I said it. And it’s not friendly, look at my beautiful womanly curves weight, either. I am a small-framed person with a naturally thin body type. Excess weight hangs around my belly and rear like teenagers at the movie theater. And it does nothing for how I feel about myself. So yeah, I’m not going to go vegan and start eating corn-syrup-laden fake foods, but I’m going to start going a little easier on the bread-and-butter and steak. More salads. Fewer desserts.
So, hi. I guess I’m back. Be seeing you.