Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Right Place

Before we came to CT, we were living in the Boston area, renting an apartment from a friend.  The property was for sale - it had been for the few years we'd been living there. And the time came when the place sold and we had a couple months to find a new place to live.

It was the middle of winter & there weren't alot of apartments on the market.  At that time, we had two big dogs & a baby.  It became apparent pretty quickly that it would be challenging to find an apartment that would take all of us, that worked for us & that we could afford.

My yoga practice had taught me not to worry.  Why waste energy worrying?  Instead, I focused my energy on finding a place that was just right for us.  I believed it was out there, that we'd know it when we found it & that everything would work out in time.

I made alot of phone calls about apartments.  I'd start each call by saying "let me tell you first that we have two dogs & a baby".  At which point, there would usually be a pause on the other end of the line. Followed by an apology.  Either because they didn't take dogs or kids (because it wasn't lead-free).

We still managed to look at alot of apartments - probably close to 30.  And at one point we found two places that we liked & would work for us & we could afford.  In both cases, as I was driving to the realtor's office to place a deposit, I got a call that the landlord had independently found a renter & signed a lease that day.  Back to the drawing board for us.

It was discouraging.  It was challenging not to worry.  But our back up plan was to put everything in storage & stay with my Mother in CT until we found a place.  I knew we would find a place, but I began to wonder when.

About a week before our move out date, my Mother actually rented us a storage pod & had it delivered because she was so worried we wouldn't find a place.

It was around that point I remember having a conversation with my husband. I had been so sure that when we found the right place, I would know.  I would just be able to tell.  It would feel right.  It would be just right for us...all of us.

My husband suggested that I might need to let go of that belief.  That it was much more likely that we would have settle for any available apartment that would take us.  That we would have to make some compromises.

I had the same conversation with a good friend who was also a yoga teacher.  She said to keep the faith.  Keep believing, visualizing & asking the Universe for what I wanted.  She said I wound know the right place when we found it.

In the end, we found a place that wasn't perfect but worked for us.  I succumbed to practicality & settled & we placed a deposit.  The catch was, we still had to put everything in storage & move to CT for a couple months because the apartment wasn't immediately available.

It was once that we were here, in CT, that I stumbled across the space that is now Sanctuary Power Yoga.  And as soon as I walked into the space, I felt it.  It was perfect.  It felt like home. It was exactly what I had been asking the Universe for.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things....Part 1

 Kale is one of my favorite things.  Raw.  Baked.  Steamed.  You name it - I love it.

I don't think that was always the case.  I'm sure I haven't always liked it.  But through the practice of yoga & wanting to feel better, I began eating kale more.  And the more I eat it, the more I like it. 

Recently I've begun noticing the lines at the drive-thru when I drive by fast food restaurants.  I'm repeatedly stunned...there are almost always lines.  I get it - it's fast, it's easy, it's cheap....and yes, I have been there myself.

But, it's definitely not good for you.  It seems like a good idea at the time, but I never feel good afterwards.  And one of the problems with eating fast food consistently is that you forget what it feels like to feel good...really good.  You get used to feeling tired & heavy & foggy & cranky.

It can be a big leap to stop eating fast food.  One of the things that helps is easy, good for you food.  Kale has become one of my most favorite, if not my favorite, vegetable.  Especially this time of year.  You can get good, fresh kale - cheap!  At farmer's markets & far stands, and even in the grocery store.

These are three easy, great tasting recipes that are regulars in our house.  If the thought of kale makes you cringe - try the smoothie or the cooked kale first.  You may not be ready to take that leap of giving up fast food, but maybe you can bring some balance into your diet (and into your life) by incorporating these recipes into your routine.  And maybe you'll notice that you feel better when you eat better.  And that's how the shift begins.

Raw Kale Salad
1 bunch, fresh kale
1 lemon
1-2 cloves garlic
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

Pull kale leaves from stem, rip into bite size pieces, rinse & place in bowl.
Finely chop garlic & add to kale
Squeeze juice from lemon onto kale
Drizzle olive oil over kale
Toss kale, evenly coating it with lemon juice & oil.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

This tastes best when left to marinate for a few hours.  The lemon juice softens the kale & the kale picks up the flavor of the garlic.  But in our house, it usually lasts only for minutes! 

Fruit & Kale Smoothie
3-4 kales leaves
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup pineapple
1 small banana
1/2 lime
1 cup water
agave (if desired)
additional fruit, if desired

Pull kale leaves from stem, rinse & put in blender
Add banana, blueberries, pineapple,  water & juice from lime.  If you like your smoothies sweet, add 1 tablespoon agave.
Blend until smooth.
This is great for kids who don't like greens - because of the blueberries, you can't see that there is kale in this (don't let them see you make it!).  The kale adds some texture, so start with just a couple leaves & then increase the amount of kale as you like.  You can use fresh blueberries - but I like to add ice when I do, for that icy consistency.

Cooked Kale
1 bunch, fresh kale
1-2 cloves garlic
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
salt & pepper

Pull kale leaves from stem, rip into bite size pieces & rinse.
Finely chop garlic.
Add oil & kale & garlic to saute pan.  Toss the kale as it cooks & cook until just wilted - add maple syrup.

**If you're feeling crazy...save the kale stems & use them for green juice!  Recipe for that will be in "A few of My Favorite Things - Part 2**

So, "when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when your feeling SAD" (standard american diet).  Simply remember one of my favorite things...and then you won't feel so bad.

You can now find my blog at the Register Citizen: http:http://www.registercitizen.com/blogs/life/