The “Challenge”

"Apples and Carrots and Beets, OH MY!"

It’s been exactly one week since I, along with many others in the city, and Yoga Nirvana community, embarked on the “30 Day Challenge”.  After returning to my home from the holidays, I ate a little healthier, exercised a little more, and drank a little less.  I was feeling the need to do something different, nothing necessary drastic, but just different.

I was contemplating travelling somewhere overseas to Bali or India and visiting a retreat or resort of some sort (my vision for said sojourn was fuzzy at best), to recharge my batteries in preparation for a stellar 2012.  I was checking out flights, and places to stay.  Weighing my options through discussions with friends who had been here and there, and putting my feelers out to find out who was going where in the up and coming months.  Little did I know that such a grandiose voyage was unnecessary… (at least for the time being)!

So…I’m  “creepin'” around on Facebook, as “creepers” often do (I can’t stand that term; I sit here contemplating something more appropriate and much to my dismay…nothing comes to mind), and checked out the Yoga Nirvana group to see what was new and exciting and found the “Challenge” I was searching for, right underneath my nose (pun intended, but maybe not so obvious.. I was on my IPad:):

Dear Yogis,

“The Nirvana 30 Day Challenge” begins Monday January 16th! 

The challenge will run until Valentine’s Day.
We will celebrate the challenge with a private party at Nirvana!
The party will have live music, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and prizes! 

The challenge will entail doing yoga everyday for a month either at: Nirvana, home, or other studios here in Fredericton or abroad.
The challenge will also entail participating in a vegetarian diet, no alcohol, recreational drugs, no coffee, no dairy, and no smoking.

This challenge is an opportunity to truly feel your best!

Wishing you all bliss…

Drop in or call to sign up!

Namaste,

Jonas

This sounded like an invitation to a party I wanted to attend!.  An opportunity to show some restraint, stretch a little more, and give me an excuse to spend extensive amounts of time in the kitchen (I love to cook); all with the support and camaraderie of  my friends and community.  As fantastic as this all sounded, I was still somewhat hesitant to commit.  I was still enjoying a steak off the grill and salmon on a plank, savouring a morning latte, and noshing on “cheese please”, on a somewhat regular basis; substituting all of  these ingredients in my recipe for life seemed somewhat daunting.   I scanned my calendar to check on my travel for business, any up and coming parties or dinner dates, and basically any temptations in general that might throw me off my course and increase my chances for “failure”.  I contemplated, and then I remembered that this year was supposed to be about “balance” for me.  Wasn’t it a better idea to commit to something and give it your best shot, than not to bother at all?  Could I really consider it a “failure” if I missed a day or two of downward dog, or had a sip of wine?  I decided, no, I could not.

So… it’s Monday, day 8.  I haven’t swayed from the “Challenge” for even a fraction of an inch (although I spent a little more time than suggested in “child’s pose” at yesterdays class).  My fridge is full of homemade, organic, vegan goodness that I’ve prepared with the company of countless episodes of Randy Bachmans’ “Vinyl Tap”.  My drawers (including the “junk” drawer) have never been so organized, and I’ve even made headway on preparing income tax “stuff” for my accountant (albeit, it’s for the 2010 tax year… baby steps).  I feel like a million damn dollars, and by the buzz in the air at class each and every day (“love in” breathe, “peace out” breathe via Jonas), I’m not alone!

I’ve come a long way since last Monday (Day 1) when I came home to prepare dinner, took one look at a bowl of soaking beans and opted to save the cooking until the morning and dined on an apple and cashew butter!  Regardless as to whether your on a cleanse or challenge, or maybe just need a little more “chickpea” in your life, here are a few of the recipes I rocked this week for you to try out!

Happily,

Candace

Rocking Roasted Garlic Hummus

This is Martha Stewart’s recipe… I just add a bulb of roasted garlic.  Caramelized onions are amazing as well… you can add them into the hummus, or serve them as a side with it!  Adapted from Homemade Hummus @ www.marthasterwart.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • One bulb of roasted garlic 

Directions

  1. Reserving 1/4 cup liquid, rinse and drain 2 cans chickpeas. Place chickpeas and reserved liquid in a food processor. Add 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini, well stirred, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt. Process until smooth.

…. Homemade Mezza Platter!  Complete with sprout salad, topped with Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing, compliments of “Oh She Glows”

     Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

     Adapted from Tahini-Lemon Dressing.

       yield: about a cup

Ingredients:

  •        1/4 cup Tahini
  •        2 garlic cloves
  •        1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  •        1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste
  •        2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  •        1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  •  Directions:

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

…. If you’re feeling ambitious, try out some Baked Falafel!  You can make a batch and store to crisp up in the oven as part of dinner or for a snack. Check out www.weeatreal.com, for more awesome concoctions!

Last, but most certainly, not least… a treat for your tastebuds (I didn’t believe it til I tried it… Parships?  Really?) …  my favourite juice of the week, as found in the “THE BIG BOOK OF JUICES” by Natalie Savona.

  
"Apples & Neeps"

    APPLES & NEEPS

3 parships

3 apples

1/2 lime (I squeeze it in after the juice is made)

3 sprigs of fresh mint (I wasn’t sure about the mint, but I just threw it in the juice in between the parsnips and apples

   ENJOY!!! 🙂
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