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A Time to Cleanse

Don’t eat anything after 7pm.

I heard that tip on Oprah. The rationale had something to do with losing weight and the fact that it’s easier to burn calories during the day rather than at night when we’re watching TV, reading, or sitting around talking. Part of it sounded reasonable (I guess), but another part of it sounded like a silly rule or restriction that may or may not be good for a person’s particular body. After the show, I forget the tip completely and ate past 7pm a lot.

When I began Clean Eating, I started thinking about that suggestion again. Gradually, I made dinner my final meal of the day and stopped mindless snacking afterwards. My husband and I usually don’t eat until 8pm anyway, but there was another reason why I stuck to the plan: I finally understood the rationale behind Oprah’s tip. Marilyn Polk sums it up nicely in one of the cookbooks I’m reading:

“Our bodies need a chance to cleanse, heal, and rest. Most Americans are so busy poking food into their mouths throughout the day and night that their bodies do not have a chance to cleanse, heal, or rest.”

It’s like the Eagles song based on the bible verse: There is a time for everything. A time to live and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot. The idea of giving my body a time eat – and then later a time to cleanse – made so much sense. Simple. Good. Common sense. And of course, it’s only a guideline. If I’m ravenous after 8pm by all means I will eat something! That makes sense too. Š

Wasa with Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

¼ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
2 tablespoons goat cheese
2 pieces WASA Hearty Rye (may substitute any WASA variety)

Directions

Sauté zucchini in a non-stick skillet until soft and golden in color.
Spread 1 tablespoon goat cheese on each crispbread.
Top with sliced tomatoes and layer zucchini on top.

TIP: Substitute eggplant or yellow squash for zucchini.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 205
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 260 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Protein 9 g
Calcium 94 mg

Freedom

I was “birthed” into the world of yoga through the Iyengar style where precision and alignment are emphasized. My teacher would adjust our poses starting from our pinky toe (literally – she’d have us lift it up and try to spread it away from our other toes) all the way to the tops of our heads (which, she would tell us, should be lifting toward the ceiling, as if a string was attached to our scalp and someone was pulling).

I’m one of those follow the rules, read the directions, life is in the details type of girls, so I ate Iyengar yoga up. The fact that my hamstrings are tight, my shoulders are scrunched, and my hips are narrow make Iyengar a fitting practice because I benefit so greatly from the blocks and straps and blankets that are generously encouraged in that style of practice to help with proper positioning.

From time to time I’ve experimented with other yoga styles – this article describes various kinds – and recently I found myself in a session where the teacher was leading a flow with pretty much no regard to form whatsoever.

At first I was distraught.

“Beautiful!” the yoga teacher said when I moved into Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II).

“Oh, yeah, right,” I thought to myself.

In an Iyengar class, the instructor is always adjusting my Warrior II pose. I’m like a toy where you push one section in and another section pops out. If she moves my left thigh, my right knee tweaks to a different place. If she tilts my pelvis, my arms plummet. If she tells me where to fix my gaze – whoops – there goes my thigh again.

Anyway, I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to spend the entire practice mentally upset that this yoga teacher wasn’t going to focus on form. Other than calling out the pose, she was giving no instructions, and deep inside I knew that was okay. Because yoga really isn’t about form. Not at its core. It’s about being in a present state of mind. Finding a place where I’m not worrying about the future or obsessing over the past, even if those thoughts relate to yoga itself. As I continued the flow, I let go of the details and the precision and simply enjoyed the movement.

I felt warm and flexible and free.

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