Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grilled Spring Salad

I've been neglecting my writing. Ready - go.

We live in an apartment complex. They have a rule of "no grills". Living in Michigan...in the Spring/Summer...not using a grill is sacriledge. I'm trying to get by with my George Foreman but it is not the same. Not even close. I miss the smell of charcoal and trying to grill everything you possibly can before the coals fade (even pineapple!). Some nights after work and exercise, I just want a light dinner and relaxation. This is hard to obtain when you're the one responsible for dinner! Enter the modified dinner salad. Similar to chicken salad but grilled and sans major protein. Bonus points for being cheap! (PS - I added a hard boiled egg for lunch the next day).

Plug in the good ole George Foreman! While it is heating, chop up a head of romaine lettuce. Stick it in a big bowl. Cut some bell peppers into strips. Take a few whole portobella mushroom caps, wash, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Place protobellas and peppers onto grill and cook in batches. Chop up a few sundried tomatoes in olive oil and add to salad in bowl. Chop up the cooked portobella mushrooms and add to bowl. Add cooked pepper strips to bowl. Crumble a handful (generous handful...!!) of blue cheese or Gorgonzola cheese over the salad.

Toss to combine. Devour. Smile.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yoga is Scary: Fear of the Studio

A yoga studio has a sole purpose: yoga classes. There is no browsing like in a coffee shop or a bookstore. I can't just go into a yoga studio and check out the class, look disinterested and then go home. Going to a yoga studio meant intention. Intent to take a yoga class. It took a huge leap of faith to get myself to my first yoga class in Lansing. I was scared. What if they were all really stretchy and flexible and buff and here's me...someone who has been going to the gym for 2 years but has never been athletic and never did a real sport in her life. Would I fit in? Could I really "do yoga"? 

I was unemployed. I had time to waste. There are only X number of job opportunities I could apply to in the area. I could only bake a loaf of bread, make dinner and clean the apartment so many times in one day. I hate sitting down on my couch and holding still (I need to work on that...). I had to find a way to get out. What pushed me was the fact that I knew it would help my hip problems and be a cheap way for me to get out of the apartment for a few hours.

What motivates someone to come check out this thing called yoga?

At Just B Yoga, I meet a lot of folks who are brand new to the idea of coming to a studio to take a class. A friend told them about the studio, they saw a class schedule in the newspaper, they Google'd for yoga in Lansing...however they found it, they jumped and took that leap of faith to come down to the studio or to a free community yoga class around town and check out this yoga thing. That takes bravery.

I tell them that I'm a newbie too. I am. I've only been "doing yoga" since August. I came to yoga through unemployment and boredom and for the health benefits and I am staying for the health benefits and for so much more. I found a pathway to exercise my body, mind and spirit and really knit them all together. I'm pretty sure I'll always be a newbie because there is always something to learn.

Yoga and yoga studios don't have to be scary. I adore the amount of information that is available on yoga studio websites. Some great local examples include Om on the Range and Great Lakes Yoga. Research made me feel more comfortable simply showing up to a yoga class that was directed towards everyone. Good yoga teachers play to their room. Research made yoga less scary for me.

What brings each of us to yoga is simple, complicated and personal. But I'm always curious as to how each person gets into yoga? What brought them to there, now?