SalmonBerry

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

In Nutrition, Recipe, Yoga on August 22, 2013 at 6:01 am

watermelon-cucumber saladI recently returned to hot yoga after swearing it off (for all of eternity) years ago. I optimistically bought a 10-class series (does anyone want to buy the remaining 5 classes?). In August. And I consistently went to late evening classes after long summer days. I honestly don’t remember thinking too deeply when I made these decisions. Shocked, right? After class I would find my dripping wet self, standing at my kitchen counter, chugging water and shoving blue corn chips in my mouth like I’d been lost in the desert for 3 days. And, I thought, there must be a better way to recover from this torture. As opposed to, you must never go back to those classes (for a hilarious account of one’s first hot yoga class, read this).

Anyway, when you sweat to the extent that most people do in hot yoga or football practice in Southern Florida or watermelon juice on beachcinder block-laying in Mainland Mexico you lose a TON of water AND salt! Coconut water and Kombucha will not properly rehydrate you under these circumstances, people. You must drink a lot of plain water and replenish your sodium and chloride stores (with actual salt!) thus rebalancing your electrolytes and your blood pressure. That’s what Gatorade is – salty water with a bunch of sugar to cover the saltwater flavor – and harmful food dyes. Contrary to popular belief, coconut water is not “Nature’s Gatorade” as it lacks (in large enough quantities) the two electrolytes actually lost during sweating – sodium and chloride.

This quick recipe is exactly what you need to rehydrate and refresh after a long day in the sun or an ill-timed, hot yoga class. Watermelon and cucumber are two of the highest water-content fruits and paired with some salt, crunch, and spice…you can’t go wrong.

Combine the following:

1/2 mini watermelon, cubed

1 english cucumber, peeled & cubed

salt and lemon1/2 lemon, juiced

1-2 TBSP olive oil, drizzled

Himalayan salt (pinch or 2)

Pepitas (tamari toasted are even better!), tossed on top

Cayenne (shake or 2)

OR – to simplify and tone it down the heat – substitute Seaweed Gomasio for the salt, pepitas, & cayenne

A little bit of fat and protein but mostly water, sugar, fiber, and salt. Serves 2-4 people depending on dehydration levels!

Opening to Curiosity

In Yoga on August 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

0119_130502_SalmonberryMy journey into a daily, at-home, yoga practice has been long and varied with fits and starts and shifting focus. But all of it has been progress and a continual building on itself even if it didn’t appear that way at the time. Maybe to someone other than myself, it looks like a bunch of detours and u-turns but I’m just following the light that bubbles up inside of me when I practice – when I sit in meditation, when I kick up into a handstand, when I surrender to a forward bend.

Sometimes yoga feels like a struggle both physically and emotionally – but within any struggle there comes that moment of light, that burst of relief from the tension, a softening of the pushing and striving.

Practicing yoga makes you curious. You start to tap into and uncover parts of yourself that you didn’t know were there which then stimulates an interest and yearning to keep exploring and finding things outside yourself that encourage these ‘new’ parts of you. Sometimes you uncover light, sometimes you uncover dark. Either way, if you stay open and curious, it will lead you to miraculous places.

0143_130502_SalmonberryYou can start with any of the eight limbs of yoga or you can start with the most obvious, accessible, and least subtle. The asana or posture practice. For many, the physical practice is the beginning of being curious. The poses move your body in ways that are counter to it’s habits and challenge you to hang in there mentally. This physical opening, or energetic release, of the parts of your body – your hips, upper back, hamstrings, shoulders – that are tight or locked down allows something new to rush in.

A curiosity about your mind, a curiosity about your dominant emotions, a curiosity about the effect of food on your body and mood, a curiosity about the inherent beauty of nature, a curiosity about that neighbor whom you never bothered to speak to, a curiosity about your ancestor’s native country.

These peaks of interest – the places where you never realized the light was shining – lead you to take that belly dancing class or stock your pantry with new foods or pick up a different book or talk to a local artist or read old journals or ask your grandmother about her childhood or take that road trip or apply for that job or walk into that meet-up group.

The light will catch your attention anyway it can. Following your curiosity and consistently stimulating your innate knowing through yoga leads to a flowering of the heart and the realization that life can be, and, actually, always is, joyful.