We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

B is for Berries and Bikram!

I have been wanting to do Bikram Yoga for a long time. I tried a free trial a year ago with my hubby and have done it here and there in the past and LOVED it but it's just too expensive for our budget right now :( My friend Nikki is getting married May 15th and we thought it would be fun to do the 2-week pass at this newish location leading up to her big-day! We kept meaning to do it but we both lead very busy lives...so finally this week we decided that it was now or never! We are both the highly motivated, competitive, determined type and so when we signed up for the 2-week pass we decided to do it everyday for 2 weeks to see what changes and effects it has on our bodies, minds and souls! The only time that worked for both of our schedules was the 6am class!!!! BRUTAL! Especially since Noah has me up throughout the night still....anyways, because we had committed to each other, we didn't back out and yesterday morning we met at the studio at 5:45am! We completed our first class leaving a pool of sweat and feeling energized for the day! I was surprised by how much energy I had despite the lack of sleep I had. I did have a slight headache during the day because of all the water I lost...for those who haven't tried Bikram (aka hot yoga) before, it's a 90 minute class, in which you complete a series of 26 exercises, each of which is performed twice. The room that you perform this type of yoga in is HOT! Ideally it is 105'F with 40% humidity! The first time I tried Hot Yoga, I didn't think that I would like it but I was wrong! So I have completed two 6am Hot Yoga sessions in a row now (yesterday and today), and I am determined to keep up this 2-week trial to really see the full benefits! So far, I am really enjoying the benefits that include, increased flexibility, increased energy and a heightened sense of true appreciation and gratitude! I'll keep you posted about how the rest of this 'journey' goes!
I am writing this journey not to necessarily encourage you to try Hot Yoga specifically...just to try something new that you've been interested in for some time! Following through is something that hasn't always been easy for me and I'm really proud of myself and the commitments I've made and achieved over the past year!
You are the most important person, and when you take care of yourself and your dreams, only then can you fully appreciate, love and take care of everyone around you!

BERRIES! By far, my favorite fruits are berries! I have loved raspberries since I was a child and grew to love blueberries a few years ago...my current love affair with berries is centered around blackberries! OH MY! If you haven't had them heated, dusted with homemade (or Natures Path Hemp Granola), cinnamon, coconut, wheat germ and almond milk....you are missing out!!!! That is my comfort late-night snack!!!! It's almost crisp-like...mmm! Delicious! Right now I buy my blackberries from a local farm which has them frozen from last summer! They are local and not sprayed with pesticides...the added bonus is that they end up being more economical then berries you would buy at a large grocery store (and tastier)...
Since berries are so sweet naturally, you don't need to add any sweeteners to them! One cup makes the perfect snack or dessert! Noah LOVES all berries but especially frozen blueberries when he is teething! They instantly calm him and don't have artificial or high amounts of sugars like popsicles. He also loves the smoothies that Dan and I make!
Making a smoothie is the perfect idea for those picky eaters because you can hide so many amazing superfoods in one cup!!! I add any or a combination of the following to our family's smoothies: spirulina, chlorella, flaxseeds, chia seeds and Udo's 3-6-9 oil.

The following recipe is a fun way to indulge (without the guilt), in a very-berry dessert!

Berry Kanten (recipe from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone):

1 pint fresh or 1 cup of frozen and thawed berries of choice (one or a combination of your favorite berries)
4 cups of apple juice (or any juice you like)
1 tbsp. of fresh orange juice
Pince of sea salt
3 generous tbsp. of agar agar (a sea vegetable which makes liquids set like Jell-o)
A few drops of ginger juice (squeeze the juice from freshly grated ginger)

Slice the berries thinly, and arrange them in an 8"x 8" heatproof glass dish or baking dish.

Combine the apple juice and orange juice in a saucepan over med-heat. Add the salt and agar agar. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often to make sure the agar agar doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Simmer until all the agar agar has dissolved. Stir in the ginger juice and pour over the berries.

Allow the kanten to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled and set, about 2 hours. The kanten is now ready to serve or may be covered and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

*If you would like to turn this into a fruit 'pudding', increase the agar agar to 4 tbsp, let the kanten set completely, and then whiz it all in a blender with 1 tbsp. of tahini.


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