Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The best thing I've ever done for my health

I know you think it's the yogasana practice, and yes, that's a close second.  But nutrition is paramount when it comes to health.  Signing up for a CSA year-round is the VERY BEST THING I have ever done for my health.  Eating locally is a hobby and a chore without a regular delivery of fresh produce to either your door or your neighborhood.  There is no local exclusive grocery store that I have found, including New Seasons.  They will all taunt you with veggies and fruit that are 'in season' like strawberries in April...from California.  There are busy times in my life that the farmers' market schedule doesn't jive with my own and what would I eat that week then? 
There is a not-so-subtle nudge to eat fresh fruits and veggies when you have a regularly scheduled influx.  Last night I was on my way home thinking, 'maybe I'll just stop for a pizza'; that idea was instantly shot down by the fact that I have greens in the fridge and I need to eat them by Thursday when the next delivery comes.  So instead I sauteed a huge amount of collards and kale and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
What's for lunch today...and most days this spring a take your own salad of lettuce, pea shoots, spinach, mustard greens, arugula, perhaps some fresh chives, radishes, home pickled beets, homemade dill pickles, and either cheese, egg or beans.  Because if I have a PB&J or go out...the food in the fridge will either go bad or I will not have room for the next shipment.
Yes, forced produce consumption has sustained me in the hardest of times.  I wouldn't do it ALL THE TIME if it weren't for the CSA.  So thank you Philly Winter Harvest for supporting me in Philadelphia, and thank you Hood River Organics for getting me through chiropractic school and my first year of doctoring.
Do something that you'll never regret and join a CSA, I promise your body will thank you and you won't miss the pizza.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The 'perfect yogini' trap

I have a confession to make, lately I have found my self in the 'perfect yogini' trap.  I think this problem stems from too much exposure to yoga 'rules'.  There are a lot of rules out there about when is appropriate to practice, and I with my slightly strange 2nd shift-ish work schedule, have been trying to adhere to:
  • Practice in the morning is best, evening second best but not starting practice past 6:30 pm.
  • Practice on an empty stomach.
  • Don't practice during your period.
  • Don't practice on moon days.
  • Don't practice on Saturdays.
  • Skip supper, go to bed early, to rise early and practice.
I have followed all of those 'don't practice' rules and always plan to practice at the appropriate times, but it just ends up being a rushed surya A and short savasana.  It seems that I have forgotten the number one rule:
and the number 2 rule:
I have grown so attached to 'the rules' that I was half-assing my actual practice!  

Inspirations led me to this understanding:
  • Halley- a friend of mine who has committed to exercising daily, even if that means heading to the gym at 11 pm on a full stomach.
  • Christina from prescribing yoga- she rolls out her mat in the on-call room at midnight.
  • TM, my patient- a beginner yogi in her 50s, she goes to yoga class 2-5x/wk every week since the week before Thanksgiving 2012, it is making EVERYTHING so much better.

After hearing from them, I resolved to ignore the rules, starting TODAY!  I remember back in graduate school I practiced 5-6 days a week at all hours of the day, period or not, and I didn't even know what a moon day was.  I had been known to occasionally roll out my yoga mat in our office a little after lunch.  That was a stressful time of my life and I got through it healthy and happy.  Now that my practice is weak I am weaker and less happy.

Today, I slept through my early alarm yet again and didn't have time to practice, again.  But today, instead of a hasty sun salutation in my pjs, I opted to skip out on morning practice.  I left work early(!), only to get stuck in rush hour that I forgot existed and got home way past 6:30pm.  What did I do?  Changed into a yoga outfit and rolled out the mat.  And do you know what, I felt better about myself and the whole world around me.  I am going back to the days before I even knew about the 'rules' and just knew that practice makes everything in life better, so make it a priority to practice more!

I am sure that these rules work well for many people, they just don't work for me right now.  Sure, I'll likely skip inverting during my period, wait a little before practicing after a big meal, and perhaps even rest on moon days...but the cardinal rule of yoga is to PRACTICE and that is the only rule that I need to adhere to.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The fruits of spring

There is nothing sweeter or more looked forward to than the first strawberry of the season.  I tasted my first while walking my dog earlier this week around the neighborhood.  One neighbor grows strawberries all through her front yard...which I could not resist when I noticed they were red and ripe!

This weekend I headed straight to Sauvie Island Farms and picked up a flat of strawberries and to Kruger's for some rhubarb.

Every year I break out the canner I fall in love with it.  I think that I have missed canning...but come tomato season I get very bitter about it, the only thing that makes me do it is that home canned tomatoes are completely unmatched by their commercial counterparts and you NEED canned tomatoes to survive winter!

So, while I'm still in love with canning, I made a small batch of rhubarb-strawberry jam.  I can never predict how much my recipe will produce, it is anywhere from 4-8 jars depending on the year.  This year the rhubarb-strawberry jam will be extra precious; I only produced 6 half-pints.

In addition I sweet-talked Dan into freezing a gallon of berries, so I am prepped for smoothies!

2013 Preservation Tally:
6 half-pints rhubarb strawberry jam
1 gallon frozen strawberries