Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yoga Teacher Training

Today I find myself thinking a lot about yoga, what it means to me and how it has a way of inserting itself into every part of my life. I'm likely so reflective because I start my 200 hour yoga teacher training this Saturday. I am so excited for my continued yoga journey, and my opportunity to train & learn from my yoga teacher Suzanne who I respect and admire for her dedication to the practice, and to the greater good

I am also looking forward to meeting the rest of the class. So much of these experiences are determined by the people who you share them with. I am told we will have a couple veterans in our midst, from the Veteran's Yoga Project - and I look forward to learning from their experiences with the practice. 

Yoga is a great physical challenge, but it also has a lot of benefits that are more subtle than toned shoulders and a good butt. For me, it brings me a peace of mind that I don't naturally possess. I am at my core, a hyper, fast thinking, fast talking, frenetic type of person. I can be quick witted, or quickly angered depending on the day (or sometimes what I've had for lunch...eek!).

Yoga is my permission to slow down, breathe deeply, and connect with my innermost true-self. When I am actively practicing I let go of the need to have all the answers, or finish the test first....and become someone who wants to be nice to other people, be helpful, and be happy with all the blessings that she possesses.

So, for me, yoga isn't all about the stretching and the good butt (though, lululemon crops help in that department...something about that fabric is magic for the buns). Yoga is my *me* time and my reminder to cool it, and not feel the need to do everything PERFECTLY....and beat myself up when I get something wrong.

It's about acceptance of a lot...but first, of myself. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I haven't really made a New Year's resolution in ages....
I figure if its already socially acceptable to never follow-through on them, then I have no accountability to maintain them, and they never get off the ground.

However, I feel like blogging these things make them a little more tangible - so I will share.

Today starts my 'watch-it' - which is like a diet but not, because my other New Year's resolution is to be less uptight, and a little nicer to myself. 

A 'watch-it' means that I am going to try and be more mindful when eating and be a bit more kind to my body with what I put into it. The last couple months and holidays have taken their toll - and I want to scale back my portions - and my cheese plates :).

Also, Rafe and I are going on our much anticipated honeymoon at the end of the month - to Hawaii!!!!!

So for all of you who are all "you look great", and "you don't need a diet or a watch-it or whatever" - well, then you have never had to wear a post-Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year's bathing suit at the point in the year when even the memory of a summer glow has gone the way of the Twinkie....

Christ, even my metaphors have junk food in them......

send your healthy tips, meal plans, recipes, and hunger reducing mantra's my way!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!!

I hope you all are enjoying a good start to your new year!!

Rafe and I celebrated with friends yesterday and hosted a dinner - it was a lot of fun, and a great way to celebrate with some of our favorites, while also avoiding the crowds.

I love staying in on New Years and cooking a really special meal, rather than braving a restaurant or a club and paying a huge cover or having to endure an overpriced, and often disappointing prix-fixe menu.

Last nights menu was a simple cheese plate (supplemented by tons of delicious appetizers that our friends brought), a delicious dinner of beef tenderloin, a potato gratin, and a large green salad with grapefruit, avocado, and red onion. Dessert was provided in part by my friend Kaitlin - she makes the best baked treats - and brought some yummy chocolate cookies (and then left them here and I shamefully ate one with my coffee this morning) and the other half featured a boozy hot cocoa spiked with Godiva liquor, and my first attempt at homemade marshmallows.

In addition to the rich meal, you can assume that I imbibed more than my usual polite two-glass wine limit, and you make for a very groggy, clumsy morning for me. (Rafe had the good sense to sleep late.)

For the past two days, my refrigerator has been entirely consumed with housing the ingredients for our big meal - so when I woke up this morning we didn't have anything special for breakfast. So New Year's Eve dinner morphed into this mornings breakfast.

The aged Gouda from the cheese plate is inside the omelet, the toast is some of the leftover baguette and is smeared with another batch of pesto butter (Rafe's special request) and since I had no omelet appropriate veggies I added a little bit of the salad leftovers to my plate. I decided that if a fancy french bistro brunch can serve eggs with a side of salad at then I can do the same. Anyway, it has grapefruit -that is super breakfast-y. 

Not pictured but very much enjoyed was the cup of coffee mixed with 1/2 a cup of last nights cocoa (minus the liquor). That was intended to be my last bit of sugar for the new year....but I think that resolution will have to wait until tomorrow when I can bring the rest of Kaitlin's cookies into work with me....if they last until then....

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Little Comfort Food

Last Saturday's dinner date was planned before I knew what Friday would bring. Friday was an absolute slog at work, busy and frustrating. I was stressed out an aggravated about something that seems just silly now. Then I started hearing little news blurbs out of Newtown.

When I finally got into my car at 6pm, I closed the door and began sobbing on my whole drive home. Newtown in not far from us - and more so than any other shooting, it really confused and affected me.

So Saturday when I woke up still upset I went to yoga. There it seemed that others had the same thing in mind. It was so nice to be in a room with other people just moving and breathing as one. You could just feel the positive energy in the room and I needed that. I needed to feel like there was still good in this world. There is still good, and there is a lot of it - that reminder Saturday morning helped a lot.

Saturday evening we had planned on having Rafe's father and stepmother over for dinner. Part of me wanted to cancel and hide in my room. The other part of me wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate.

Not a party or anything. But an everyday celebration of the luck and love in our lives. I wanted to spend my day making a delicious meal for my family, putting love into my food, and thinking of how grateful we are to have SO many positive and good people in our lives.

Comfort food was on the menu.

Grass fed beef and ground white meat turkey meatloaf - I used a recipe builder from Fine Cooking. I chose to deglaze the aromatics with dry sherry. It was delicious, though a very involved recipe for something as humble as meatloaf - it was just the ticket for this meal, and very well received.

The meatloaf was accompanied by Rafe's famous mashed potatoes (butter, half&half, raw chopped garlic and roasted garlic) and these roasted Brussels sprouts.

Rafe also makes terrific salads with lots of 'stuff' this had strawberries, feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and pecans.

 This is butter. Once I got into the kitchen, put on some Paul Simon Pandora, and started prepping...I didn't want to leave. I wanted to play. I made some flavored butter for our delicious loaf of french peasant bread from Hartford Baking Company. The first is a pesto butter, the second a honey butter. These were really easy, and VERY well received. I might try making a grilled cheese with the pesto.

Our lovely guests brought wine - so we sipped this Apothic Red while we dined.

And Rafe requested his favorite, first eaten when Megan gifted us with a loaf, Grapefruit Greek Yogurt cakes.

This was a simple and humble meal, but it did feel so much better to share this night with family. This day, this meal, was my reminder to take it a little slower. Not sweat the small stuff, and have a little more gratitude for the everyday blessings in my life.

It's easy to get caught up in the little nothings of life. Recognize the things in your life that truly matter, and be kind to one another....that is what its all about.