Here’s the original article for the Bodhi Tree’s January 2011 newsletter.
Each time we step onto our mats we resolve to be steadfast in the present moment. By doing this we bring attention to our breath, to the quality and content of our mind, and to whatever sensation our physical body is experiencing.
New Year’s resolutions can feel counterintuitive to developing compassion for Self and discovering joy in the moment. Determination to start exercising, eat healthy, be positive, be more loving, can lead to a desire to dive right into the deep end, skipping all the baby steps, while expecting immediate mastery. I’ve discovered that when I put too much pressure on myself after setting an intention, I judge myself harshly for falling short and each step forward is met with three steps back!
I can recall numerous times in my yoga practice when the teacher reminds us to be mindful of what our bodies are asking for. I often receive gentle reminders that moving into a posture that doesn’t feel right – skipping all the preparatory work – will not only result in injury, but will deprive my body of the basic alignment and foundation needed to set me up for success.
The same goes for healthy eating. Cravings for those high-in-everything-that’s-bad-for-you things after cutting them out, can get overwhelming. Especially when it’s cold outside and all you want to do is eat comfort food. So start slow and build up a repertoire of foods that are good for you, satisfying and won’t be forgotten by mid-February.
When you spot the chocolate that’s left over from the holidays, try this sweet treat instead.
Chocolate Coconut Balls
3/4 cup milled flax
1/2 cup mixed nuts (optional)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein concentrate
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
2 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Combine flax, nuts, cocoa, whey protein, salt and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, combine almond butter, tahini, honey, coconut oil and vanilla.
Add to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 10-15 mins then shape into 1” balls. Roll in the coconut. Keep refrigerated.
If your sweet tooth is actually salty *raising hand* – and you can’t resist chips, try this great alternative.
Spicy Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
2 tbsp olive oil
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
Remove stems from kale and tear into large pieces. Toss everything in a bowl. Arrange in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake at 325F for 20-25 mins or just until crisp. Be careful not to burn them.