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The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.
I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.
My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.
“What’s for dinner?” he asks.
“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.
He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.
“Almost all veggies,” I point out.
Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.
But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.
So perfect timing.
I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.
It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.
“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.
He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.
“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.
“Nothing,” I say.
“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.
Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.
½ teaspoon chopped basil
¼ teaspoon chopped marjoram
¼ teaspoon chopped thyme
½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pieces WASA Oat Crispbread (may substitute WASA Multigrain, Sourdough rye or Hearty Rye Crispbread)
Preheat oven to 350º
Mix herbs and oil in small bowl. Brush mixture onto crispbread.
Mix parmesan cheese with salt and pepper to taste in a separate small bowl. Sprinkle parmesan cheese mixture on crispbread.
Place crispbread on baking sheet line with parchment and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
Prep time: 10 minutes
|Total Fat||7 g|
|Saturated Fat||1.2 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||20 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|
During yoga class the teacher, Tina, tells me to lift up a bit. I’m squatting in a pose (it’s sort of this made up pose that I’ve dubbed the Tinasana) and Tina says my middle is sagging.
“The muscles in your body will automatically revert to being lazy if given the chance,” she says.
Lazy? But I’m working so hard, I think.
Later, in Warrior II I’m concentrating on my arms when Tina reminds me to firm my thighs. If I don’t pay attention, they become lazy.
Yet another pose and my feet are splaying instead of pointing in the right direction. Guess why?
Really. Out of all the things in the world, I don’t consider myself lazy. But apparently even when I’m truly working on my alignment there are parts of my body that are secretly trying to get away with as little as possible.
After class I start thinking . . . does that apply to other areas of my life?
No way. I’m motivated! Diligent!Relentless in my pursuits!
Except in the mornings. I like to linger in bed. It’s warm and cozy. Plus I’m still sleepy. By the time I do get up, shower, and eat breakfast, I’m always surprised at how much of the day has gotten away from me before I make it to my home office.
And walking. I love my afternoon walks. Love them. Then why do I skip them from time to time, opting instead to sit and work a little longer?
Speaking of work, I realized something as I began investigating this whole laziness issue. If I have ten things on my “To Do” list, I tend to opt for the easiest projects first. When I do start working on a hard topic (say an article that requires a lot of research or possibly a personal essay that forces me to do some inner work), I will drop it as soon as I feel stuck. I tell myself I’ll get back to it and turn my attention to the easier assignments again.
Isn’t it funny the insights yoga gives us into our lives? So if you’ll excuse me, I have an article I’ve put off. I’d better get working on it.