Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Another Indian Meal and First Yoga Class

Sorry it’s Indian food again, but I promise they aren’t repeats!

As of the last post, Chase and I were in for a long, miserable weekend. He had no a/c in his apartment and his car was in the shop. We got the car back Sunday afternoon and the air conditioning was fixed on Monday evening. Chase and Smokey both came over to stay with me as long as they needed. I made Smokey a place in a bedroom closet. Chase read his textbook to him while I started our Indian dinner.

It was 94 degrees out. We were hot, hungry, tired, and short on time since we didn’t get Chase’s car picked up until around 4:00. I looked through my cookbooks for dishes to fix that required few ingredients and little prep time. I liked most of what I picked out. Chase loved everything and ate like a champ. The entrée was Madhur Jaffrey’s Aloo Gobi. And just like Bazu said, no onions or garlic in this dish.

For the sides, Indian Veggie Salad from Vegetarian Cuisine from South India – carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, and green pepper, and all the usual spices. This would have been great if the bell pepper hadn’t been bitter. I added balsamic vinegar to the leftovers to made them edible.

Tomato Rice with Spinach from Rice and Spice – Basmati rice with diced tomatoes, onions, and fresh spinach – very yummy.

Peas Poriyal from Vegetarian Cuisine from South India – “Poriyal” is a dry curry, so this is just peas, spices, and toasted coconut. This dish was nice on its own, and really good when eaten with the aloo gobi and rice.

We also got some naan bread from “Curry in a Hurry.”

I must admit dessert was my favorite part of this meal – Oatmeal-Peanut Bars from Peanut Butter Planet. I had leftover ground chocolate chips to sprinkle on top.

These bars were moist and peanutty, and if I had made a nice chocolate glaze for the top, they would have been perfection.

Finally, I have to tell you that I had my first yoga class Monday night! I was really looking forward to it after my not so productive or relaxing weekend. I absolutely loved it. I’m taking the Beginner’s Series, and I’ll be going on Monday and Wednesday nights for 4 weeks. I’m still going to my trainer on Tuesday evenings too. At Monday’s class I learned that I am a very tense person and my sister may be right when she says I have ADD. I have such trouble being still. When learning poses, I would get bored and begin to fidget because I was ready to move on. I got really mad at the end of class when we were supposed to be totally relaxed and I realized how tense my face was. I was mad that I had to be told to relax my jaws and my eyes, because I thought they were relaxed. I began to think about all the things I needed to do when I got home at 9:30. I was finally able to relax again, and I promise you I felt my sinuses drain out of their cavities and what seemed like out of the back of my head and right onto the mat. But then I got in traffic on the way home and I was all tense again.

I’m not quite adjusted to getting home late Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I promise to visit you all soon!



Anonymous said...

the food looks good! so you are having hot weather too! here the temp is pretty high too!.

well maybe you will learn with time in the class how to relax more.

Harmonia said...

Everything looks wonderful as usual!!! I don't have a very good attention span either...but did a little better than I thought I would. We started out with a relaxation (which wasn't very relaxing for me) and ended with one (which was beyond relaxing for me!!!). I will be going on Mondays for 6 weeks.

Is your sister going with you? Mine is...it's nice to be doing stuff with her again.

Thanks for your comments on my blog...I replied to them! I will be linking you tonight so I don't lose your URL again...sorry!!!

I ditched bloglines and am just going off of my sidebar these days!

Best of luck with the yoga (and other exercises/activities) I'll be thinking of ya!

Amey said...

Hi Diann!
First of all, I have to say that the Indian Veggie Salad looks really great.

Secondly! Congrats on starting your yoga class! I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying it.

Yoga is so interesting, because it teaches us a lot about ourselves - the good things we didn't know about ourselves, and the less glorious things too. The good thing is that once you've realized that you are tense, you can start to change that! That part is really exciting.

It's also interesting that you got mad about having trouble relaxing. Some people might get sad or fussy or just feel like quitting. A long time ago, I realized that one of the most amazing things about yoga is that it gives us a chance to observe how we respond to challenging situations - whether it's trying to relax, trying to do a pose that's too hard or uncomfortable, or just trying to stay focused. The best thing is, we can observe it in yoga without harming anyone else... and then over time we can start to experiment with other ways of responding, both in class and outside of class.

As a teacher, it's really interesting to watch how people respond to the relaxation at the end of class. The vast majority of people just fall asleep. Some are actually able to stay alert, but be very relaxed. Another group of people can't keep their eyes closed and are very fidgeting. Sounds like you are one of those!

The best ways to help the body relax are to breath through the nose whenever possible, make your exhale longer than the inhale, and concentrate your awareness on the BACK of your body (rather than the front). These are all things that activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System... which is responsible for keeping us calm and relaxed.

Anyhow, it's just fun to discover things about yourself, isn't it? And don't worry - we all start off as stressed out spazzes! But over time, yoga really can help change that... I'm living proof!

Also, there are lots of styles of yoga... and they all suit people differently. It might be worthwhile to try a few different styles after this course is finished - to make sure that you are doing a style of yoga that compliments you best.

Sorry... I could sit here and type about yoga all night long!!
xo Amey

Judy said...

Don't apologize for Indian food - it all looks fantastic. Those bars too - what is better than chocolate and peanut butter?

Vegan_Noodle said...

Indian food looks great! Hope you enjoy the yoga class. I have been considering taking one myself but usually just do it on my own at home. Excited to hear more about it and whether or not it helps you ease your tension.

erica said...

I love it, I'm going twice a week. Then again, it helps a lot with what's left of my pain, so going more often = better feeling body. I don't know if it's the ujai (sp?) breathing, which took me months to figure out, or that it gets the blood and Qi flowing, or if it's the stretching, or the relaxing, or the awesome feeling I get from mastering a pose, or not feeling self conscious about my body. I think it's all of that stuff.

The food looks lovely! I love indian food. The nan is very thin, I haven't seen it so thin before.

laura k said...

The Indian food looks great, especially that veggie salad! And maybe dessert would have been my favorite part of the meal too, mmm....

How exciting that you are taking a yoga class! I haven't done yoga, but my Pilates instructor incorporated a lot of yoga into our Pilates routine and it made me interested... I hope to try it out some this summer. And what you said about difficulty relaxing applies to me too--it was just something I had to get used to, letting myself just cease thinking about what I had to do next, and just *be* for a few moments. I am sure you will find that it gets easier with practice. I look forward to hearing more about it!


Sheree' said...

Chase and Smokey look so cute. I am glad they have air conditioning again. I need to get Madhur Jaffrey’s book back from the library. Your meal looks super. OH and the rice and dessert. Once again you have me drooling!

Carrie™ said...

PB & chocolate are awesome together. The meal you made looks very delicious.
I feel tense quite a lot, but I think I hold myself in unnatural positions to compensate for pain in other parts (if that makes sense) Keep working on it. I'm sure you'll succeed!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I also had trouble getting used to yoga. I was used to fast-paced gym classes and at first, I would be thinking in my head, come on, come on, lets go faster! It gets easier and you stop thinking about anything other than the position you are in! I always come out of yoga very calm & and peace with the world!
I have been going for 3 years now and it definitely spills out into your everyday life. It makes you think about how to tackle situations differently and is very good for calming down if you are worked up!

scottishvegan said...

That looks so delicious! I am always so impressed by the number of dishes you make for just one meal! I used to do yoga for a while and my favourite part was the relaxing bit at the end…I would always be ready to drop off when the instructor would tell us to get up! I am sure you will find it easier after a few more lessons :)

Carolann said...

Everything looks super good. I'm addicted to Indian food! Congrats on your yoga class! I find it to be one of the most enjoyable things you can do :)

bazu said...

I love that picture of Chase and Smoky! They've really bonded, it seems. All your indian food looks so great, as usual the salad looks especially bright and appetizing. That's so cool about your yoga class! One of the biggest things I've taken away from yoga is realizing the amount of tension I constantly carry in my neck and shoulders. It takes a lot of concentration to consciously let it go and allow my shoulders to relax. It's a learning curve for me!

KleoPatra said...

Diann... i am so excited for you with the yoga classes! i have yet to try them myself but one of my sisters takes 'em regularly and she raves about them. i'll be anxious to hear your thoughts and how you are feeling as you keep doing this for your body and spirit! Relaxation comes easy for me 'cause i'm a lazy girl!! :0)

Your food looks scrumptious as always, and the oatmeal peanut chocolate bars must be like a little piece of heaven on earth!

Cute photo of your son and furkid in the closet. I smiled!!!

urban vegan said...

your blog always makes me hungry. stay cool!

Mikaela said...

How fun - a Chase and Smokey camp out :) Enjoy your yoga studies!

Kati said...

Aww little Smokey is such a cutie!

All your food looks delicious - nothing new there. I'm intrigued by this combination of peas and coconut that keeps popping up on different blogs - I will have to try something similar.

I'm so excited about your yoga class! It's amazing what we can learn when we are forced to slow down a bit - stick with it.

Stay cool and have a good weekend!

MeloMeals said...

Yoga will be SOO good for you, as it was for me when I did it. I am like you, I really don't like to relax.. in fact, I hate it. Yoga helped me so much with that, because you can't get anywhere with the poses until you figure out how to relax into them.

I am a HUGE fan of Bikrams Yoga.

Not that I am doing it lately.. but I should be. oy vey.

Food looks awesome! Indian is the best!

JENNA said...

indian looks great.

yoga was such a stress cure for me a few years ago when i was suffering from a very stressful job which turned me into a monster...i went to a yoga class not believing that it would help..i had the same reaction as you: tense face, angry that i was being told to relax when i thought i was relaxed..but after a few classes i totally got it and it basically without me realizing it cured me of all my stress related problems and such..so keep it up it's great exercise.


Nikk said...

Smokey is adorable. What a cuddly little darling.

Your food looks wonderful as always, but boy do I want to rip into one of those bars! Yum!

Good luck ith the yoga! I've heard many good things, though I'm too set in my ways right now to try it!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about yoga. I did a beginners series also and couldn't focus. I often found my mind wandering and boredom quickly set it. I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who are able to do yoga. I just don't think I'm one of them. After the yoga I tried taekwondo. It's fun, fast, a great workout, and a good mental challenge. Way more my styls. When I get home from taekwondo I feel both refreshed and relaxed at the same time. If you don't have luck with yoga you might want to try martial arts (find one where the instructor is kind and friendly - not militant).

Douglas said...

finally i get to see some of the artwork on Chase.

if you have any pictures that you can share withme i would love to see them