Day 5, 6, and 7 update

My daily update is long over due.

Day 5 – I completed an all levels slow flow meditation exercise.  It was very relaxing to slowly move into each position and take a few breaths.  Ending the practice with a long mantra meditation.  When I was finished I truly felt centered and relaxed.  Which is saying a little because I am somewhat high-strung.

Day 6 – I did not manage to get a practice in.  I had an appointment early in the day and the rest of the day was spent visiting with my parents.

Day 7 – I guess I was feeling a little guilty for not practicing on day 6 so I decided to up my practice and get a bit more serious.  So I decided instead of doing a beginner or all levels practice I decided to do a half hour moderate level.  When I had completed this fast fire flow I was a sweaty mess.  It was a rejuvenating practice, I only wished I would have done it earlier in the day instead of at night.  I was so energized that I had problems falling asleep that evening.

Day 4

Day four of my thirty da challenge I might have cheated.  Directly after work a co-worker and I went to a local park and walked.  We did three laps around this surprisingly hilly road.  The best part was we walked at a good enough pace we actually worked up a sweat.  Today my glutes, shins and hips are a bit sore, but otherwise I feel great.

When I got home after 6:30pm it was time to make dinner (Curry!).  After dinner I decided I would go ahead and do my Yoga practice, but an extremely short one since I had already walked.  I ended up doing a 10 minute meditation session and an 8 minute yoga class.

Even though I didn’t get alot of poses in I did get the great feel from the meditation.  So on the days after I over do it, because I know I will, I will do a gentle stretch and meditation.

Day 3 update

Still going strong on day three.  Yesterday was the summer solstice, so I of course lost track to time.  Something about the sun still being up at nearly 10 pm makes it hard to get into an evening routine.  Last night around a quarter til 10 I decided I probably ought to do my workout.  I searched and searched for a video I wanted to do.  I guess I was just in one of those moods.

So instead of doing my typical trick of putting if off for the evening claiming that I will do twice as much the next day (which we all know is a lie) I made up my own routine.  I mixed sun salutations with spinal twists and hip openers.  It was a nice relaxing routine.  I was rather proud of myself for sticking with it!

30 day Yoga Challenge

I decided I was going to commit to 30 days of yoga.  I have my membership at My Yoga Online.  I might as well use it.

Starting this past Monday I started my own personal challenge.  I did a 27-30 minute video on spinal twists and release.  My back felt a little compressed since I hadn’t done e any yoga over the weekend.  I was a bit disappointed in the video, but it was alright.  Needless to say I did not mark it as a favorite.

Last night (Tuesday) I did 20 minute active flow.  I really enjoyed the work out, though the twenty minutes seemed a little short, but we had gone into town and by the time I was ready to start my workout it was after 9:30 and I didn’t want to commit to an hour-long practice.  Since I get up about 5:45am, I go to sleep pretty early.

After two consecutive days of yoga, I feel good.  I have decided to do a different video every night.  The best part about My Yoga Online is not only to they have tons of yoga videos they have varying times from 7 minutes to 108 minutes and varying skill levels.  And there might be longer or shorter times those are just the extremes I noticed.

This evening when I get off work I will put up a page on my before stats, weight, inches, etc. and after the thirty days I will put my after stats.  I will also let you know of other physical activities I have during that timeframe, such as fitness walking, weight lifting, etc.

Delicious Stir-Fry with Tofu

I already know what you are thinking.  “Another vegetarian meal?!  Doesn’t this girl ever eat meat?”  Or “delicious and tofu are two words that have no right to be in the same sentence.

True I used to think the same thing about both those thoughts.  I was raised with the mindset if it doesn’t contain meat it was not a meal.  Growing up there was a lot of meals that contained steak (or some beef) and potatoes.  Now I rarely eat either.  And tofu that disgusting white block of soy with a strange texture and little flavor, why on earth would anyone want to eat that?  Well I will tell you why… tofu when properly made tastes great.  It absorbs the flavor of what you cook it with.  I normally cook it with soy sauce and garlic.

My stir-fry is simple yet it is always satisfying.

Delicious stir-fry with tofu

Ingredients
Oil (canola)
Garlic
Soy sauce
Red pepper paste
Sugar (optional)
1/2 block Tofu cut into thin rectangles
Frozen vegetables
Rice (any variety you like, personally I like Thai rice)

Directions

Cook rice according packaging labels or rice cooker instructions.

Heat a small skillet over a medium heat.  Add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan.  Add approximately a half teaspoon to a whole teaspoon of minced garlic, soy sauce, and a half to whole teaspoon of red pepper paste.  Mix together while the oil is heating.  Add tofu flip when the bottom side starts to brown.  Once tofu is cooked on both sides sprinkle sugar on top and set aside.

While tofu is cooking heat your wok to a medium to medium high temperature with approximately 1 tablespoon oil.  Once oil has been heated add teaspoon of garlic, and vegetables.  Let vegetables cook halfway through and add a splash of soy sauce and red pepper paste to taste.  Finish cooking vegetables and serve over rice.

Time for a makeover

I have spent the majority of the day combing through back issues of magazines, looking for recipes.  The original plan was to cut them out and discard the magazine, but as I started going through them I realized I would like to revisit some of the articles.  So I opened up OneNote and started retyping the recipes.  I have found several that I would love to try.  I even started writing down other DIY recipes, like lip balm, burn remedies and herb bouquets for the bathroom. 

It has been loads of fun, but I am doing this for a reason.  It is time for a kitchen makeover.  Not the typical makeover of replacing the appliances and cabinets, but the actual contents of them.  If we are actually going to commit to this healthier lifestyle we need to change the contents of our cabinets.  I have been writing down the recipes in hopes to find some common ingredients so we can develop a list of new staples.  We already keep quinoa, red pepper paste, soy sauce, curry mixes, and rice in the house at all times, now to find out what else we will need to make the healthier meals.

Blackbean and Quinoa patties

A new habit in our house is to eat meat less than half of our meals. We generally have meat at supper only three or four times a week. Saturday lunch we decided to try a recipe from Whole Living Magazine. I have posted the link below.

 I made a few changes. I cooked two cups of dried quinoa which yielded about two and a half cups when cooked. I substituted black beans for red kidney beans and mashed them into a paste as directed. I used chives and dried parsley flakes and added about a tablespoon of chopped garlic. Since I am not a huge fan of feta cheese, unless it is on a Greek salad, I replaced it with shredded provolone. Added the egg whites.

 I heated my griddle up to a medium heat and sprayed it with Smart Balance cooking spray and made the patties. The texture was almost worse than ground chicken, but it looked great. I am a bit impatient and didn’t refrigerate for 30 mins, after all I was on a deadline, places to be people to see! So my patties fell apart a bit. I think that could have been remedied with one more egg white or two whole eggs or perhaps I did not add enough cheese. But the finished patty topped with a small slice of provolone was delicious. We smeared stone ground mustard over the top of it. It will definitely become one of our go to choices.

 My suggestions for improvement is adding one whole egg and maybe a bit of curry seasoning or one of your favorites.

 http://www.wholeliving.com/178486/quinoa-feta-burgers

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