Hi again! Thank you so much for your support on my last post regarding being personal on the blog. I admit I have been a bit shy about it in the past, hiding behind food (albeit delicious food), so thank you for encouraging me to put myself out there.
Tomorrow I have a question that is actually quite personal. But don’t worry; it’s not too personal, if you know what I mean. Today, however, I have an AP history test to study for so I’m a bit short on time.
There’s never not enough time for a story, right? Back in preschool, I was a big fan of sitting in a circle and listening to lyrical stories about a cat in a hat or even a giving tree. I still cannot understand why I never took to naptime, though. I definitely could use that nowadays!
But back to the story.
Today’s yoga class was definitey an exercise in concentration. With only 2 poses left until our “cool-down” (or stretch, or whatever you would like to call it), a blaring sound rang through the building. “Attention! Attention! A fire has been reported in the building…” It was quite a contrast to the soothing music that was filling my head only moments before. In fact I’m surprised I didn’t fall out of my one-arm side-balance (plank)!
Did I mention I have a pretty big fear of fire? I love candles and cooking on a gas stove but am very weary of fires like this. Something about a childhood car accident will do that to you.
Anyway, my teacher handled the distraction well, chossing to use it as a lesson rather than give in to panic. She told us to remain focused on our practice and draw internal comfort from our strength. While I was surely distracted at first (did I mention I don’t like fires?), I really tried to cultivate inner peace. Somehow as the fire alarm flashed and the buzzer sounded, I actually perservered and found myself going even deeper into the poses. Awesome!
So what did I learn?
Distractions and unforeseen events will pop up in our lives when we least expect it. Sometimes we can’t solve the problem, but we can definitely do our best to just breathe through it.
I should also mention that we had an extra door that led outside if need be. While my teacher was convinced that “there was more “fire” in our room than in the whole building,” I feel that we would have been able to escape had there actually been a fire.
Okay, enough talk. Let’s get to the food!
Last night’s dinner was something new. When I saw Emilia’s Indian food-inspired post a few days ago, I absolutely knew I had to recreate it. I think I’ve been getting into a bit of a food rut lately, so it was especially nice to change things up.
Kale, chickpeas, and cauliflower? Hello, favorite foods!
Shredded coconut on the kale and coconut butter on the “rice” was the perfect way to cool down the pungent spices, especially since I didn’t use the maple syrup called for in the recipe.
Although I love maple syrup (is is my second favorite sweetner—stevia is first), I didn’t use it in this recipe because of my Lenten “self-denial”. This year I decided to give up all added sweeteners, including stevia.
While I am usually very conscious of sweeteners in products and do not use many myself, they really make a difference when I do. Stevia is proving to be very difficult because it is perfect when I want a subtly sweet vanilla taste or have a craving for chocolate. I’ve been experimenting with fruit-sweetening and omitting sweetener all together. One recipe I’m working on right now is a bitter chocolate muffin. It’s actually delicious!
Speaking of chocolate, I miss my big bowls of stevia-sweetened chocolate amaranth.
Luckily, though, breakfast this morning was just as delicious. Can you tell I am becoming a HUGE fan of popped amaranth? Have you tried it yet?
This morning’s combination included strawberries and blackberries, all topped with cold vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla powder. So refreshing!
Unfortunately I think it’s about time I go back to studying. I guess I have a date with this guy tonight.
Questions: what is one of your fears? Are you dependant on sweeteners? What’s your sweetner of choice?
Have a lovely night!