Good news – I’m still making the drive over to the gym every other morning. My heart loves this so much. I find that I’m waking up with a lot less reluctance. The strangest thing happened: One night I dreamed that I was speaking to my husband while getting ready to go work out, and then I kept waking myself up. I asked Will at least two times, “I haven’t slept through the alarm, have I? Is it time to get up yet?” 5:40am and I am fumbling in the dark getting dressed, pulling a sweater around gym clothes and heading out of the front door into the wildly quiet predawn. Outside is wet with dew and again I look at the moon, a mere fingernail of light. I finally start to feel the heat come through the car. I don’t think about listening to the radio.
Some mornings running on the treadmill is harder than others. Sometimes I get so in my mind that I think my heart rate increases merely because I’m thinking too much. Other mornings, running is a thrill and I meet the 20 minute mark spiritedly. I am always excited, though, to roll out my mat and cool down with yoga afterward. I can feel my heart rate slowing down, my body relaxing into itself. I found a quiet place to practice, tucked away from the bustle. I often start out with simple stretches that target my legs, hips, and back, as these are the areas that feel the most tense in the mornings after running (think pigeon, downward facing dog, cat-cow, threading the needle, seated forward fold or seated wide legged forward fold, a gentle tortoise, etc.) Eventually I flow into two or so Surya Namaskar, or sun salutations. I take my time, trying to connect my breath with each asana. When I’m through, I can sense a marked difference in the way my body feels. Everything is peace, stillness, and clarity.
These past few days I have enjoyed cooking from Heidi Swanson’s (of www.101cookbooks.com) books, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Everyday. I have had both for a little over a year now and can say that I have turned to them time and time again for recipes and ideas. Her writing, recipes, and photography exude a certain elegance while still being down to earth. With respect to her recipes in particular, I find myself inspired to cook rather than intimidated by long lists of procedure and ingredients (though there is a time and place for that type of cooking in my life, as well). We baked a batch of her millet muffins and lentil and faro soup. What we didn’t have on hand we easily substituted for what we did, i.e. white sweet potato for regular, nondairy sour cream for yogurt, etc. Other than that, the cold weather brought out my inner Bubbie and I cooked up a pot of matzo ball soup to keep us all warm and cozy. Winter has still been so tricky for me when it comes to healthful eating. I’m still thinking about freshly baked breads and sweets, Irish potato dishes, pancakes, and all the rest. I will commend us for keeping things balanced. Will learned of a recipe from a Bangladeshi woman who cooks her beet greens along with garlic and a small amount of red lentils. We love it!
I hope that your resolutions, if you have made any, are coming along easily. I wish you all a restful evening.