Dear (Yoga) Diary, Part 3

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Days 19-24

Forgive me if I jumble this whole week’s worth of experiences into one big blob of words.  I had a really busy week this past week at work.  Does anyone remember their elementary school book fair?  Well, that’s what we had happening in the library!  Fun times, but tiring as well.  And Carie, you are an amazing sport to be Clifford- thank you!!!

As a bonus for his week, my dad came to visit!  He retired 4 years ago and now enjoys telling everyone that he has Saturday every day.  He reads a lot, takes the dog for lots of walks, and also hunts for abandoned golf balls on the golf course right next to their house.  When he’s not doing those fun things, he helps my brother and I with projects and last week was my turn!  He replaced the door knobs and hinges on all of our upstairs doors, repaired my son’s closet door, repainted our baseboards in the kitchen and sanded and painted all of the window sills downstairs.  He also re-stained our deck as it was fading and needed a touch up from last year.  It looks great!  Thanks, Dad!  And my mom deserves the mother of the year award because she did 500 loads of my laundry when I went to see her.  Thanks, Mom!  ❤  I had fun with you this weekend!

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So after the crazy book fair days and parenting a teenager, I got to visit and catch up with my dad in the evenings.  It was so much fun and I can’t wait until we live closer.  What did all that activity mean for my yoga practice?  Well, I’m happy to say I did yoga every day except for one.  I find it easier after these 3 weeks to settle my mind and focus just on the mat.

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Sometimes I still whine in my head about “having” to do my yoga before I pull my mat out.  But I kind of think that’s just how I am about any kind of exercise.  The neat thing is, doing yoga has taught me that I can breath through discomfort and still move with (some) grace and a smile.  So I’m learning to notice those thoughts, recognize them for what they are, and then let them go and move on.

Okay!  So one more yoga update next week and then we will be back to the regularly scheduled kitchen updates!  Several things are brewing in the kitchen and I can’t wait to share them.

Namaste,

Keri

Dear (Yoga) Diary, Part 3

Day 12.pngDay 12– Another day of outdoor yoga at the campsite!  I still felt really strange doing yoga in “public” but I persevered, ha!   I keep thinking of what Adriene said at the end of day 6:  May we see the truth, speak the truth, and feel the truth.  Those words are still working in my head.

Day 13– Today was a very relaxing day at the campsite.  I spent a lot of time napping in the hammock and reading my book.  We had our friends out and they fed us a lovely dinner of chicken and potatoes in foil packets with lemon and rosemary.  Yes, I have friends who bring gourmet food out to the campsite and they even bring pie for dessert!  Isn’t that the best?  Thanks, Charity!  We bribed the teenager to play a board game with us after dinner and Stephen even hauled out his massive telescope so we could see some stars.  It was a great day, and the yoga for the day consisted of Charity and I taking a deep breath before dinner and saying Namaste to each other.  Ha!  I felt guilty over missing a day of yoga, but then decided to just roll with it.

Day 14– Wow, the goddess pose is fun but man, taking it so low was hard!  My legs felt shaky and I for sure worked up a sweat today.  And am I the only one who has a hard time hiking my leg up from down dog to a lunge position?  I can never smoothly bring my foot up under my chest without several readjustments and sometimes literally grabbing my leg and pulling it where it should be.  Sigh.

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Day 15– I really needed today’s yoga practice called listen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s vigorous practice of strength and harmony.  Even bending over my outstretched leg is a challenge.  I can do it, but certainly am not able to wrap my hands around my foot at the same time.  I definitely have a ways to go there.  But I really enjoyed the pretzel like pose where we were balancing on our bottom and afterwards where we rotated one leg around and massaged the glutes- amazing!

Day 16– Today Adriene talked about self-love on and off the yoga mat.  I really craved today’s yoga session and it didn’t fail.  I love taking the time to stretch and move my body.  It seems so weird that I didn’t do this before at all.  How was I even connected to my body before?  I was mostly just a floating head.  But with yoga, I feel like I give myself just a half and hour each day to honor the fact that I have a body and to care for it, to move it, stretch it, love it, and relish the fact that I am able.

Day 17– Today’s yoga was just what the doctor ordered.  I spent all morning cleaning out the flower beds in the front yard, and I have to say, I can really tell a difference in the awareness that I had in my body.  Not only did I feel stronger and move easier, but I actually enjoyed the bending and stretching and I found myself being aware of my breathing and integrating that awareness in to each movement.

Day 18- My dad is here today for the rest of the week!  While dinner was in the oven, I managed to sneak in yoga.  It actually ended up being perfectly timed!  I really enjoyed the stretches today, since I had a bit of stiffness after the garden work yesterday.  It felt really great to work some more of that out.

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How is your yoga practice progressing this month?  It’s never to late to jump in!  This challenge is NOT about perfection.  So what are you waiting for?

Namaste,

Keri

Instant Pot Molasses Oatmeal

As most of you know, I really strive to avoid processed food in my diet and that includes white sugar.  When I was reading Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, I noticed that several recipes use molasses as a sweetener rather than honey or maple syrup.  That sent me in a research frenzy about what molasses actually even is, and then I had to add some to my HEB cart and experiment with it!  Come to find out, molasses is actually the byproduct of boiling down the sugar cane and extracting the sweetness out of it.  The result is a thick syrup rich with all the nutrients from the cane, minus the white sugar extracted.

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This is what I bought- make sure whatever you choose is unsulphured blackstrap molasses, as it is the highest quality.

Since you guys know I’m obsessed with Oatmeal and Raisins (see Oatmeal Raisin Balls here), I decided to make my favorite combination with molasses as the sweetener.  WOW.  It was so good, and a little bit really does go a long way.

IP Molasses Oatmeal


Instant Pot Molasses Oatmeal

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt for the pot and for the finished product


To each serving of oatmeal, add the following:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses
  • 1 T. raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T. walnut pieces
  • 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. milk of your choice
  • Drizzle of cream
  • Optional: 1/2 t of chia seeds (not pictured)

Directions

  1. Prepare oatmeal in the instant pot. Place dry steel cut oats, water, and a pinch of salt in the instant pot and set on manual for 10 minutes with sealed pressure.
  2. Release pressure right away or let it naturally release. I’ve done either way!
  3. Divide the oatmeal into 4 servings. To each serving, stir in the molasses and top with raisins, cinnamon and walnut pieces. Serve with milk, chia seeds and cream, if desired.

I hope where you are that the snow is melting and spring is coming!  But if not, this will hopefully get you through.

Cheers,

Keri

 

Dear (Yoga) Diary, Part 2

Day 6– True confession:  I watch the Bachelor every time it airs.  It’s kind of a ritual now between my mom and our friend, Traci.  We watch live and text each other the whole time- usually about how short the dresses are or how much cleavage the girls are showing.  In case you are wondering, it’s always too much cleavage, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion!  Ha!  Because I worked late and had the Bachelor, I only had one hour from arrival at home to eat and do yoga and all the other getting home kind of things like playing with Charlie.  So, tonight I cued up a quick 5 minute morning yoga video on Adriene’s channel.  I’m glad I adapted the challenge to suit my schedule and pulled out the mat, even if it was only a few minutes.  Also, I noticed soreness in my abs from the previous planks, so yay!

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Day 7– After only doing 5 minutes of yoga yesterday, I wanted to catch up with the challenge, so I did day 6&7 in a row.  It was so energizing!  Day six was Kindle and I loved the breathing technique of audibly using the “sh” sound during exhale.  At the end, she said, “May we always see the truth, speak the truth, and feel the truth.”  Wow.  It almost brought me to tears.  I have loved how this journey has been so enriching to my body and my soul.

Day 8– I was feeling very tired after work today.  We are on the downhill slide to spring break and man.  Everyone is feeling it.  I’m not going to lie, I was dreading taking the time to do yoga today as I just wanted to veg on the couch.  But once again, I was so glad I did it, because today’s video with Adriene was perfect and restful.  Just what I needed!  I love the feeling my body has when I’m done- all energized and relaxed and centered at the same time.

Day 9– Today I was in a funk even though it was the last day of work before the break.  Hubby had to switch around some time and is not able to take off this week, so I was feeling disappointed, but I understood.  It was not the start to spring break that I had imagined in my head.  But yoga felt good and Adriene’s encouragement was just what I needed.  At the beginning, she said, “Day Nine, you are killing it!”  Even though I know she’s speaking broadly to everyone,  a part of me felt cheered inside at hearing her acknowledge that I was doing something right.  You never know when someone needs that small word of encouragement, so don’t hold back!

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View from our campsite- classic Texas.  It was a lovely setting for my first time at outdoor yoga!

Day 10– So, today was our first of several days at the campsite.  The weather was so warm and beautiful!  It was a joy to do yoga outside during such a sunny, gorgeous day.  But, I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little silly knowing that others in the campground could see me.  Oh well!  Oh, it was the first time my heels both touched the ground in downward dog, too!  That was an amazing feeling of progress.  I was sweaty when I finished but felt great.

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Moonlight Yoga!

Day 11– Tonight I did yoga in the dark at our campsite around 8:30 pm.  The good news is, nobody could see me!  I was grateful that it was one of the shorter sessions, at only 17 minutes because it was cold outside.  The wind was stirring and it was chilly, but even though I had bare feet they didn’t feel cold until the end.  I was very grateful that I made time today to continue my yoga journey.

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Charlie and Tim test driving our new hammock!  It is fabulous- thanks Mom and Dad!

How is your yoga journey doing?  I’d love to hear from some of you who are participating in this challenge as well!  Let’s encourage each other!

Namaste,

Keri

Dear (Yoga) Diary

Day 1:  I’ll be honest, a midweek start feels awkward, shouldn’t this start on Monday?! But on the other hand, I’m relieved I had some time to mentally prepare for the challenge earlier in the week, as I decided to jump in fairly impulsively. I have loved connecting with you all over Instagram, by text, and here.  Please reach out, it does make a difference.  Day one was fun because SURPRISE!  Adriene has a 30 day challenge already lined up that she started on January 2nd!  I had planned to do the beginner yoga series, but this already crafted 30 day challenge sounds perfect.  Day one was also fun because my friend Charity and I face timed while we did our yoga together!  Ha!  It was funny to see how her cat and my dog were both curious about what we were doing on the ground.

Day 2:  I had the day off, so yay!  Extra time!  That was a huge bonus and allowed me to do my yoga during the day when I would normally be working.  I continued in the same series with Adriene.  I have to admit that sometimes the plank (and other poses) made my legs tremble with effort.  But I absolutely love the way I feel after doing the yoga.  I became very aware and had to struggle with judgemental feelings toward my body today.  When we started with hands over heart, my boobs felt like they were in the way. When I was in child’s pose, my legs felt thick and I wasn’t laying as flat as someone thinner than I would.  I had to remind myself that yoga is for all body types and remind myself to be kind and loving.  Funnily enough, when I went to get my hair cut that same day, my friend and hair stylist, Sarah (Hi, Sarah! <3) commented that I looked like I was thinner, so there ya go.  We are always our worst critics, right?

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Day 3: I was feeling frustrated and hungry right before doing yoga today.  I also saw that today’s yoga workout was 34 minutes, which is one of the longer ones.  Surprisingly, though, time went very quickly.  I noticed tightness in my lower back again today and it feelt so good to spend some time working that out a bit.  I sit on a wobble stool at work, and I think my posture is not always the best, which is affecting my lower back.  The happy baby pose and rocking up and down felt so good!  Also, the breathing and just moving my body really helped with my frustration.  When I was done, I felt light and happy and so glad I started this challenge.  Yoga gives so much back!

Day 4:  Even though this was one of the longest sessions today, the time went so fast.  My mantra for these 30 days is simply 3 words:  Strength, Balance, Flexibility.  I want to increase all of these aspects of my body.  Being 42, I’m feeling conscious of the fact that I’m getting older every day!  I mean, I’ve got an almost 16 year old son and inside I still think “How is he 16 already, wasn’t I just in high school?!”  A few years ago, I lost my grandmother and it was very hard to see her decline as she aged.  My dad’s mom is in her 90s and still doing so incredibly well.  She’s my role model for aging well, because she is active and so mentally with it.  So these thoughts are in the back of my mind all the time.  What kind of an old person do I want to be?

Day 5:  Today’s yoga was so good!  I loved the emphasis today on connecting breathing to movement.  I got to Face Time with Charity and her little 3 year old tonight, it was so unbelievably adorable.  Already I feel myself being looser and more comfortable on the mat, so I’m excited to see what the rest of this challenge brings.  I struggle a little bit to make sure that I’m doing the poses correctly.  I find the breathing and the rhythm of yoga to be very grounding and stress relieving.

It’s not too late to join in if you want to join in!  Simply comment on any of my Instagram posts expressing interest and I’ll add you to each yoga related post to keep you motivated throughout the month.  See you on the mat!

Namaste,

Keri