Hippie Life: Juice and Meditation

I realize that sometimes this blog makes me seem like a free-loving, bell bottom wearing hippie with all its yoga and veggie talk. This post will do nothing to dissuade you of that assumption. I’ve come to peace with that!

Today’s post is about juice and meditation. Both of which have been pretty non-existent in my life lately.

First, the juice:

I can’t remember the last time I dusted off my juicer. I definitely go in phases with it. Sometimes having 3-4 a week, then waiting weeks before I use it again. This morning I looked in the fridge and realized I had a lot of odds and ends sitting around. This is going to sound ridiculous but I take great pleasure in using up the random broccoli stalks, the last cup of kale or the other half of the pear I didn’t eat with breakfast yesterday. There’s a feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing the food I buy and knowing it won’t go to waste. Sort of like checking off a to-do list.

Luckily, all those bits and pieces ended up making the perfect juice and drinking it out of a wine glass made it all the better.

green juice

Here’s the “recipe”.

1/2 an orange, 1 lemon, 1/2 a pear, 1 big handful of kale, 1 broccoli stalk, 1 cucumber, small knob of ginger, small piece of jalapeno.

Fresh, bright, green goodness. Now, if only I didn’t have to clean the juicer.

Second up, meditation:

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a meditation practice. I want to. I know it would be beneficial but I can’t seem to find the self-discipline, which is incredibly frustrating because I have loads of self-discipline in many other aspects of my life. I have little problem with eating well, exercising often, getting enough sleep. I don’t know why sitting still and clearing out the chatter is so hard for me.

Then, last week, I ran across this on Twitter. A 21-day meditation challenge presented by one of my favs, Oprah! I actually ignored it the first time I saw it, but then it surfaced again two days later elsewhere on the web. It got me thinking that maybe the universe was telling me something. So I signed up and did my first guided practice yesterday.

meditation challenge

The whole meditation took about 15 minutes and wasn’t nearly as hard as it usually is when I go it alone. I’m going to try really hard to complete the whole thing and will report back when I’m through. If you’re interested you can still sign up and start with yesterday’s practice today. If you decide to try, let me know how it goes for you.

With that, this hippie is off the drink her juice, do some yoga and clear her mind. Om shanti.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Celebrating My Birthday Weekend

Oh what a lovely, long birthday weekend. Firstly, thank you for all the texts and comments and phone calls and Facebook posts. You all made this girl feel very, very loved.

This was probably the busiest weekend I’ve had in a really long time so I’ll just start at the beginning.

On Friday night my friend Kristy and her sister Kim hosted a ladies Bunco night. If you don’t know what Bunco is it’s a dice game that requires very little skill besides keeping score but is still super fun. I think there were 16 girls at Kim’s apartment and what started out timid and shy ended up rowdy and loud. It was amazing. I didn’t take any pictures of the ladies but I did take one of my losing score card which earned me a pile of loser gifts including some Mitt Romney toilet paper, a charm necklace from the 90210 era and a pear shaped candle!

Bunco Score Card

Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of the juicer. Michael woke up early to make me breakfast in bed before my classes. He made me a kale, cucumber, apple, carrot, ginger, lemon juice that was SO good. He may be my new official juice maker from here on out. He also made me a bagel with smashed avocado and tea accompanied by red roses. He’s a keeper.

Birthday Breakfast

I also opened one of my gifts that morning. These guys!

Patriots Tickets

I had to rush off to classes soon after presents and right after class I headed over to Back Bay Yoga for a teacher training. The training was a 12-hour workshop on how to teach Hip Hop Yoga. Although I don’t think I’ll be teaching Hip Hop Yoga specifically I learned a lot from the training. We did a lot of teaching with the wireless mic over loud music. It really helped me work on projecting my voice and how to teach with more energy which will be beneficial in my own classes. It’d been a while since I’d taken a training and it got the creative juices flowing again. Reminds me that I can’t get stagnant or complacent in my career, regardless of what that career is.

After training Michael took me out for a birthday dinner at the Top of the Hub. The restaurant is on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building and overlooks all of Boston. We got a great window seat looking south. We ate in the lounge as they have a different, more veg friendly menu that catered better to me.

We started with cocktails. Wine for Michael and a vodka martini for me. I don’t drink a ton of martinis. I sort of burned myself out when living in Sacramento after college. My coworkers at the time were obsessed with them and got me hooked. But, it was a special occasion and I was starving so I wanted to eat the olives as an appetizer while we waited on the food. 🙂

Vodka Martini

My lovely date all dressed up.

Michael

City views.

Top of the Hub

Olives are great and all but our real appetizer was way better. Beet salad!

beet salad

I had the veggie burger with sweet potato fries, so predictable. Michael had a steak of some sort.

After dinner we decided to walk home but there was one more surprise stop. We had dessert at the Wine Cellar this adorable fondue place on Mass Ave. We had three different types of fondue with fruit and brownies and cake pieces for dipping. The perfect dessert.

chocolate fondue

Once home I opened my second gift which will benefit us all. Hello beautiful!

Nikon

Sunday was more training and then we headed to Foxborough for the Pats game. I was so excited that I didn’t even feel the cold until the second half when the Pats decided to stop playing football and let the Ravens run all over them. So depressing. I guess I’ll be a 49ers fan for the Superbowl now.

Pats game

The rest of the weekend isn’t really worth writing about especially since this post is getting wordy as it is.

Hope you all had a great long weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Little Bits of Random

I’ve never been one to take a ton of photos but since starting this blog I realize that that’s what most people want to look at so I should probably get my butt in gear and start taking more pictures.

This all seems like a great idea, but then you end up with 100s of random pictures that don’t fit into a specific blog post. So everyone once in a while I’m just going to post random photos that have no correlation whatsoever.  Hope you don’t mind.

I present you with Little Bits of Random 1!

There’s a cat that lives at the corner store down the street.  Most of the time he’s by the door to greet you when you come in.  The other day we walked in and didn’t see him until he was spotted curled up in a box of candy on the counter.

Eli on a walk.

Morning wake up call.

Guy reading his Kindle. He was reading Before I Go To Sleep which is a weird but really interesting book.

Rainy day farmers market. So many sunflowers.

More fall foliage on my walk to yoga.

Lunch at Life Alive. I had their warrior bowl with red lentil hummus (must re-create soon), tofu, veggies and miso dressing.

Michael had the quinoa, brown rice, kale, avocado bowl with nutritional yeast and some kind of dressing that I can’t remember.

Carrot, fennel, ginger, lemon juice. If you haven’t tried fennel in your juice you should, it gives it a spicy flavor that goes really well with the ginger.

Last night’s pesto put to good use. Gluten-free pasta with pesto, steamed veggies and chickpeas.

Off for a run in the foggy, drizzly weather. Only 5 days until the Tuft’s 10k.

Have a great Wednesday.

A walk, greens and some beets.

Thank you for all of your kind words about my MindBodyGreen article.  Although writing is something I’ve been doing forever, being so public with it is a very new thing.  I appreciate all the support and love.

This morning I got my first taste of autumn.  Eli and I went out for a morning walk around 7 and the sun was just starting to come up.  I don’t think I’m ready for shorter days and I definitely have not prepared myself for snow!  Is there a way to prepare for snow?  If so, can someone give me some pointers?

We walked along Comm Ave and then down to the Charles River.

There were so many people out running. This is a very healthy city; I already feel at home.

This is my favorite picture from the walk, Eli looks to be contemplating the deeper things in life.

When we got home I had a green juice made with swiss chard, lemon, ginger and a Macintosh apple.

I love my juicer.  I got it as a Christmas present a few years ago and although it takes up a ridiculous amount of counter space and sounds like a plane about to take off, it makes the most delicious juices.  So much cheaper than buying them, not that I even know where to get fresh juice right now. Must research.

After playing around with my digital camera trying to get the above picture to look better than some green sludge, I set out to roast some beets.  I picked them up at the farmers market in Copley Square after yoga on Friday.  I intended to juice them but had some fennel to use up and thought they might go well together in this salad:

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Lemon Dressing

5 large golden or red beets, trimmed and washed

1 bulb of fennel, sliced

Juice of a lemon

2 1/2  tablespoons of olive oil; 2 tablespoons for the dressing, 1/2 tablespoon to coat the beets in before roasting

1/2 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt

Preheat the oven to 375.

Trim the stems from your beets, if your beets still have their greens.  Discard or keep for use in your morning juice.

Wash beets well, then coat in olive oil and salt.

Wrap beets in tin foil and place on cookie sheet.

Roast in the oven for 55 minutes.  Once a knife will easily slide through the beets, they’re done.

Let the beets cool.  Once cool, peel the skin from the beets and chop.

Cut the fennel into slices and place in bowl with beets.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!