May 8, 2012

Living My Moksha - Week 1 "Be Healthy"

The Living My Moksha Challenge is a 7 week challenge that explores the 7 pillars of the Moksha practice. The first week of the challenge is all about living healthy - eating non-processed foods and reducing toxins in the home. Challenge bonus: practice every day.

Day 1 - Tuesday, May 1
I received my information package yesterday, which was, of course, the busiest day ever. I did a quick scan through the challenge info and realized that I am in no way prepared for this. No processed foods? No toxins in the home? We're already living pretty clean, but I'd need at least a week to eat all of the Crispy Minis in the pantry. (It would be wasteful to throw them out, no?)

As far as my meals were concerned, I think I did pretty well. That said, I have to admit that I didn't change much. Organic oats and a side of melon for breakfast, a heap of steamed veggies with miso sauce and a salad for lunch, a red Thai curry with tofu and veggies for dinner, and a bowl of homemade brown rice pudding for dessert. Overall, not bad, right? I think it just depends on what you consider "processed" food. Was the tofu, miso, curry paste and almond milk processed? Yes. Did I feel any less virtuous for eating them? No. The handful of Hershey's Kisses and Redrageous Mike and Ikes are another story.

I didn't make it to yoga today, but I taught a Group Power class, took an indoor rowing class, and ran 3 miles.

Day 2 - Wednesday, May 2
I ran into my step-sister (and challenge teammate) at the gym today. We both agreed that my meals yesterday were in keeping with the spirit of the challenge and, therefore, perfectly acceptable. I didn't mention the candy.

To satisfy my sweet tooth without dipping into the aforementioned Ikes, I whipped up a batch of Amazeballs! before breakfast. The real challenge this week will be making them last until Monday Sunday Saturday tomorrow.

Completely forgetting about that whole "reduce toxins" business, I recklessly used a Costco cleaning wipe on my stove. D'oh! Maybe my new dye- and phosphate-free dish soap will make up for that gaffe.

No yoga again today. I taught Group Power at 6:15am and then went on my first outside run of 2012, with my fella, no less. We ran an easy 3.5 miles in the glorious, glorious sunshine. Take that, indoors.

What did I eat? Oatmeal and melon for breakfast, steamed artichokes with lemon-tahini sauce for lunch, and spaghetti squash with a tomato and tuna sauce for dinner. And maybe a ball or four.

Day 3 - Thursday, May 3
I think it took me longer to decide what to have for breakfast this morning than it took to eat it. Inspired by the appearance of a very cute bunny in my front yard, I finally settled on one of my favourites - Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

This morning, while the mascot and I were watching TV, we saw a commercial for Nestle Pure Springs bottled water. In it, a father and young son are sitting on the couch drinking cans of soda. The mother looks over, realizes that there is something terribly wrong with this scene, and then replaces their unfinished cans of soda with... two bottles of water. Bottles. I get that the commercial is supposed to be about making healthier choices, but shouldn't that choice have been made at the time the soda was purchased? The fact that she is now creating more packaging waste gets swept up under the rug by her sudden concern for her family's health. It's so downright heartwarming that one almost forgets to point out that she's standing in a room with a TAP and glasses. Oh, advertising.

Anyway, enough about that. I ate 12 vegetables (and a fruit) for lunch. It was the perfect display of my "eat every colour" rule... except I don't usually eat them all at once. Dinner was baked falafel in a pita with lettuce, tomato and homemade tzatziki. The falafel were pre-made, but I checked the ingredient list and they were made of real, pronounceable ingredients.

Also, I drank a beer.

Day 4 - Friday, May 4
I'm starting to think that I am not really challenging myself. So far, the only big changes that I have made are not polishing my nails and not washing my kitchen floor with my favourite (and possibly toxic) floor cleaner. So, now I have boring hands and linoleum that is stretching the limits of the 3-second rule.

My breakfast was the same-old-same-old (I could start the Oatmeal & Melon blog), but my lunch was a surprisingly delicious take on the classic Salad Nicoise. My version was steamed cauliflower, green beans and red peppers, topped with tuna, black olives and a poached egg, dressed with a dash of cava wine vinegar and dijon, and served warm. Do you think I can still get away with the black olives and dijon and still call it eating "clean"? (It was worth it either way.) Dinner was... well... dinner was mushroom and rice burgers from the organic store. So, sue me. It's been a long week. At least the homemade buffalo chips were made from real, free range potatoes.

Still haven't made it to yoga, but I ran a solid 4 miles around the track. If nothing else, it made a good dent in my "50 miles in 30 days" running challenge.

I may or may not have had a Diet Coke.

Day 5 - Saturday, May 5
My teammate/step-sister, Nicole, was in Group Power class with me this morning. We laughed while we were comparing notes about the past 4 days' activities. We both swear to do better next week.

Tonight my fella and I went to Cafe Carlo for dinner. I had the vegetarian "Spag Boo", which was delicious and only a little naughty. The plate of lightly-breaded calamari that we shared, however, was full-on decadent...but so worth it. Plus, I think that the aioli that came with it was homemade; I can't feel that bad about it.

The Milk Duds, Swedish Berries, and Fresca that I had during the movie, on the other hand...

Day 6 - Sunday, May 6
Ok, so unless otherwise noted, breakfast is oatmeal and fruit. Doesn't matter if I am home and have all the time in the world, or if I'm on the run from gym to Costco on a Saturday morning. It's hard to improve on perfection. Unless, of course, you discover, say, a new brand of oven-toasted, organic oats that is so good you are left wondering how you managed to slog through bowl after bowl of inferior, grocery store brand oats for the past 1000 mornings or so (give or take a few).

This morning's Group Power class was especially punishing. I was in the mood to push myself, and push myself I did. I surprised everyone (myself included) by loading my bar with the big-bigs (aka 10kg plates x2) for chest and then by rocking the push-ups off of my toes...even 8/8 and 2/8 of the fancy hand-switchy ones. It was hard, but not that hard. Hooray for progress! After class, I downed an "all-natural" protein shake and went for a run, outside in the pouring rain. To keep myself motivated, I chose R's house as my turn-around point and stopped in to say hi, get a smooch, and dry off my glasses. It was cold and soggy, but not entirely miserable. Plus, it knocked another 3 miles off my 50 mile challenge.

To meet our need for both entertainment and nourishment, the mascot and I drove up to the Red River General Store to buy local organic veggies, fresh baked goods, homemade no-sugar added jams, and a few little treats. When we got home, we feasted on fresh tomato sandwiches and scones, then made our own peanut butter. Because we can.

Dinner was green beans, maple-glazed butternut squash, local butter lettuce and some curried cous cous from the organic grocery store. Convenient, yes. Processed? No.

Still no yoga. I think I have lost sight of my drishti. It was here somewhere...

Day 7 - Monday, May 7
Guess what I had for breakfast! Yeah, don't bother. It was oatmeal. (An insanely good bowl of pumpkin-spice, made with organic pumpkin, but still...)

As I write this, I am still waiting for the details of my Week 2 challenge. All I know is that the theme is "Be Accessible". It might as well be "Be Vague", because I have no idea what is in store for us. I'm assuming that we won't need any special supplies, such as a stocked pantry and a wide assortment of non-toxic household products. Speaking of which, I caved and used nail polish on Saturday night.

I spent the day in a bit of a funk, which was compounded with a nasty headache. It ended up delaying my workout until 7pm and it wasn't until I was on my way home that I realized how dehydrated I was. Usually I'll drink several big bottles of water at the gym in the morning or afternoon; being at home all day totally screwed that up.

And, what did I do all day at home? Well, besides eating an inordinate amount of bread, I finally bit the bullet and tidied up my craft room. It had been ignored for way too long and had become a hazard unto itself. Maybe next week's challenge is about making rooms more accessible...nah, probably not.

No yoga AGAIN, but the tofu and green pea curry that I made for dinner was worthy of a "Namaste".

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