I’m about to fall asleep when my husband, Ron, reaches out and shakes my shoulder.
“Are you awake?” he asks.
“Yes,” I say.
“What do you want for your birthday?”
“Hmmm,” I say. “I don’t know. Let me think about it.”
But I do know. I’m debating between various brands of juicers (Green Star or Omega – any thoughts?). Ron is going to keel over when he hears this. In the six years we’ve been together, I’ve never asked for a single item relating to the kitchen.
Not a pot.
Not a pan.
Not a knife, a spatula, or a whisk.
Growing up, I never learned how to cook. My girlfriends and I — we were women of a new generation. We were going to be doctors, lawyers, and mathematicians (and we are). There would be no time for preparing meals. (I’m not sure what our eating plan was — hired help? fast food? — we didn’t think about that part). I do vaguely recall taking a Home Economics course in high school. Men were required to take it too. We baked a pie. I stared at the aluminum container holding the crust and debated between leaving it or removing it. I wasn’t sure aluminum should go in the oven so I took it off. My pie looked more like a pancake.
People change, though.
Now I see our kitchen in a whole new light. Cooking spinach lasagna the other night, I sipped a glass of wine and turned on some tunes. I had to call my mother — twice — and ask her whether I was supposed to cook the whole wheat lasagna noodles or layer them in the dish uncooked. (The first time she said, “Cook ‘em!” and the second time she said, “Yes, I’m positive. Cook ‘’em!”) I cooked the noodles. The food was delicious. I’m no longer intimidated by the kitchen. Bring on the juicer!
The first time I tried to stop drinking coffee I was working as a lawyer. It was a busy time at the firm, so I honestly don’t know what possessed me to quit cold turkey. I began having headaches on top of the long hours. Six months went by. The headaches stopped (the long hours didn’t). Eventually, I caved. I wanted that energy jolt again. Plus, the taste. Mmmm…the taste.
The second time I tried to stop drinking coffee I was trying to get pregnant. This time I weaned myself slowly. I ordered a small instead of a medium. Then a half regular, half decaf. Finally I made the switch to non-caffeine tea.
After I lost the baby (miscarriage), I was drinking coffee within days.
When I made a commitment to Clean Eating, I thought, Third time’s a charm. But now that I’m well on my way down the path of eating wholesome foods, I’ll say this: drastically reducing my intake of sugar and white flour while drastically increasing my fruit and veggies has been pretty smooth sailing. But the coffee…oh, how I miss it when I don’t drink it.
I just can’t seem to kick it (well, it’s more like I’m unwilling to give it an honest try). I keep reading articles about the benefits of coffee (antioxidants, etc), but really, part of me think that’s like those articles that claim dark chocolate is good for you for the same reasons (antioxidants).
Really, shouldn’t we just eat blueberries?
To make a long story longer, I’m still on the fence about coffee (thus have not given it up). I enjoy the aroma and flavor so much. Plus, unlike sugar which makes me feel bleh inside, coffee makes me feel good (but I know, I know…it increases my blood pressure and doesn’t help with my anxiety issues). So I sit in confusion. I tell myself that out of all the vices in the world caffeine isn’t so bad. (Can you tell I’m piling on the excuses here or what?)
I’d love to hear from others who are dedicated to eating clean, healthy foods. What’s your take on your morning cuppa joe (or lack thereof)?
2 tablespoons goat cheese
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 slices smoked salmon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mixed baby salad greens
2 pieces WASA Light Rye Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)
Sread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each crispbread. Sprinkle each crispbread with 1/2 tablespoon of capers and ½ tablespoon chopped chives. Cover each with thinly sliced salmon.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice together. Sprinkle ½ of the oil mixture on each crispbread. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Top with baby salad greens and sprinkle with remaining olive oil and lemon mixture.
TIP: Substitute cream cheese or low fat cream cheese or feta cheese for goat cheese.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
||3% of daily value
Alone in a cabin in the mountains, I put the kettle on the stove. My husband left yesterday to return to the city, and I have a few days to myself before more relatives arrive. I want to take this time to better develop my “home” yoga practice.
After hot oatmeal, tea, and a refreshing shower, I’m ready. In the past, I would quickly find myself intimidated or overwhelmed at the thought of practicing yoga without a teacher and other students, but I recently read an article that put me at ease. It suggested starting with one pose – just one – and building from there.
Well. In that case, Child’s Pose.
So that is what’s on my agenda as I walk over to the blue mat rolled out on the floor. It seems appropriate to “open” my practice, so I sit with my legs crossed and chant three Oms (can you believe it – no other voices to drown out mine).
Then I got on my hands and knees and folded back into Child’s Pose. I stayed in the active position instead of the passive position.
I’ve always loved this pose. A wonderful stretch. Also – and I’m not sure if the yoga experts would agree here – but to me it feels like a gratitude pose, bowing down and saying Thanks. Finally, it’s a relaxation pose – not just for the body, but for the mind.
I try to let go of my worries. I can hear the fire crackle in the woodstove behind me. I feel it’s warmth on my back. I sink into the Earth as the tops of my feet and the palms of my hands press into the ground. After a few minutes I lift my head. For awhile I turn around and gaze at the yellow flames through the woodstove’s glass door.
Not bad for my first day, I think. Tomorrow I’ll really shake things up with Child’s Pose and Tadasana.