Yoga Wagon

Kerplunk!

I fell off the yoga wagon.

Haven’t been to a class in over two weeks. My life is shifting right now, causing my schedule to bumble around. First, my spouse and I are preparing to move to Virginia. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from where we are now, but we still need to pack up and load every dish, book, and piece of furniture. I’ve been donating stuff and shredding files like crazy. I started playing tennis again, and I’m adding a writing class as well as a writing workshop to my week. Not to mention my freelancing is picking up, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen due to Clean Eating, and my husband and I are dealing with the emotional turmoil of fertility issues as we try to start a family. The yoga studio is a good 30-minute drive from my house. No wonder I haven’t been making it over there lately.

I remember when I was a law student I was particularly stressed out one semester. At the time I was debating adopting a puppy. “Try to minimize the stress in your life,” my parents cautioned. I adopted the puppy anyway, but I thought it was good advice. Even though I’m excited about the events in my life (moving, taking a class, more work assignments), change takes its toll. What can I do to minimize the stress?

I let go of a column that I enjoyed writing but that didn’t pay. I asked my husband to take over some of the dinner duties (grilled salmon, yum!). My parents are going to help with the move. Also, there is a yoga studio that is closer to my current place. I’ll try it out next time. I feel calmer already.Š

Wasa with Ricotta Cheese, Pistachio and Raisin Spread

Ingredients

½ cup skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon raisins
4 teaspoons pistachios, shelled and chopped
½ ounce dark chocolate, grated
3 pieces WASA Light Rye

Directions

Soak raisins in a bowl of boiling water until soft (approximately 10 minutes). Drain and return to bowl.
Add ricotta cheese, honey and pistachio nuts to bowl. Mix well.
Spoon equal amounts of spread on crispbreads and top with grated chocolate.

TIP: Substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese if desired.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 149
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 113 mg
Total Carbohydrate 5 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 7 g
Calcium 13% of required daily value

Do I Knead a Bread Machine?

Bread.

The staple of life.

Now that I’ve gotten used to making my own fresh vegetable juice, I’m thinking of bread. I recall reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few months ago and coming across a passage by the author’s husband (Steven Hopp) who makes a fresh loaf practically everyday.

He says, “I know you’ve got one around somewhere: maybe in the closet. Or on the kitchen counter, so dusty nobody remembers it’s there. A bread machine.”

A bread machine? Nope, don’t have one in the closet or on the counter or anywhere. I’m lucky if I can find a spatula in our kitchen. During a party this spring, I was talking with the host’s mother. She’s in her late 80s and makes her own bread. I told her I wanted to learn so I could make homemade pizza dough, whole wheat, pumpernickel, etc.

“But I don’t have a bread machine,” I said.

She practically fell out of her chair laughing. I guess if you really know how to make bread the old fashioned way, you knead the dough. By hand. For a long time.

“You have to feel the dough to make sure it’s right,” she said.

Call me crazy, but kneading dough by hand actually sounds fun. I think I’ll try it (although I have no idea what it’s supposed to “feel” like, so I’ll have to wing that part). In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out at garage sales for someone else’s barely-used, dusty bread machine.

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Juicer

10. My produce never goes to waste anymore

9. No cooking, baking, stirring, or waiting. Just slice, juice, and drink (well, and clean)

8. Extra veggies, extra veggies, extra veggies – for both me and my spouse

7. My dog likes the scraps (dry pulp) mixed in with her meal

6. I feel clean and healthy and energized

5. The machine also makes baby food, nut butters, and pasta

4. Studies show juicing helps prevents disease

3. Juicing offers a great source of enzymes which are often destroyed by heat in cooked foods

2. It is the only way I’ll incorporate beets into my diet

1. Homemade food is the best. Hands down.

I must admit I was nervous about buying a juicer. They aren’t cheap (around $200 for a good one) and I was afraid I’d find juicing too inconvenient, resulting in a new nice appliance simply gathering dust in the corner of the kitchen. But I can’t emphasize enough how much I love it!