Beet/Beat down to your soul

26 Apr

photo (10)Apart from being an incredibly corny title, I’d like to dedicate tonight’s post to being beat/beet (in my case, physically by a strangely intense night of yoga), and, to eating beets by way of cooking them into an amazing quinoa salad. The evening started out simply enough: with me running out of work, dashing down the pavement in high heels in hopes of reaching my car and beating the traffic in time to get to yoga.

Of course, by the time I arrived at yoga, I realized the following: I did not have a hair tie, a sports bra, the yoga pants without a hole in the crotch, or any conceivable way to cleanse my terribly smelly feet (I have decided to wage war against pantyhose in the spring and summer time…I now go commando in my shoes, and I’m not afraid to admit it–unless we are together in yoga class). Rather than turning around and going home, I made the executive decision to attend class despite these minor setbacks. Little did I know that tonight’s session would not be a cool after hours wind-down. What I walked into was full-contact yoga. And, I have the bruises to prove it.

Class started out innocuously enough with the usual suspects: plank, down dog, cobra, etc. What I wasn’t expecting was this:

…the emergence of Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I.

Yah.  The name says it all, right? And from the looks of it, you can clearly see it’s right up there with child’s pose (this is me being facetious in case you can’t tell).

At any rate, I’m pretty good on my hands. Or so I like to think.

I’ve got a pretty good bakasana going on and I can hold my own when it comes to Parsva Bakasana, but as to the image above…I’ve never even tried it. I don’t know if you’re like me but sometimes, I can’t let go of the idea that there’s something out there I can’t accomplish because it’s not in my skill set yet. I’m impatient and I need to do.

While ambition drives me professionally, it is also kind of… well, crazy. And, ambition is how I got beat by yoga tonight. In my desperate attempts to nail this pose the first time, I ended up bearing too much weight on my biceps. I got myself into something that I believe resembled this pose…and even earned some oooo’ing and ahhh’ing among fellow classmates who were struggling to take the first steps toward achieving this strange contortion. Haha! I thought, I got it!  But, I later bore the brunt of my pride.

Less than four hours later and I am already rocking some tres awesome purple blotches on the backs of my arms. Tonight’s lesson: try to be badass in yoga, and you will get your ass kicked. After returning home with some seriously sore muscles, I turned to dinner for solace.

Since I’m training for a half marathon (to be completed, hopefully without as much hubris as my ill-fated yoga class, in two weeks’ time) I have been trying to eat pure, whole foods. I completed a practice half  marathon a week ago after a night filled with white wine, seafood and dairy…and I’ve been traumatized ever since. I did pretty good, but my stomach was in agony afterwards.

In furtherance of my efforts to purify pre-run, I’ve been trying to limit dairy and animal products…and when possible, alcohol : ) Tonight, in celebration of my burgeoning bruises and because I had an uneaten bag of frozen beets in the fridge, I decided upon this ‘Quinoa, Beet and Arugula Salad’  dish, accessible at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-beet-and-arugula-salad/. I liked this recipe because it was really simple. Plus, I saw that some of the ingredients could be easily substituted.

Instead of using olive oil, I used canola oil and I substituted goat cheese with almond cheese (I know it’s not the most appetizing thing, but when heated, it totally does the trick). Also, instead of waiting that hour and a half suggested by the authors of the recipe, I decided to make it a warm salad and made it in about half an hour. This means, I didn’t waste time conserving half of the dressing until after the quinoa had cooled. Instead, I dumped it all together the minute the quinoa had finished. I mixed in some spinach instead of arugula so it would warm up nicely. Additionally, I did not peel and steam the beets myself. Instead, I used some frozen beets, threw them on defrost in the microwave until warm and mixed them into the steaming quinoa. What resulted was a hot, healthy and hearty dinner.

And, if my endorsement isn’t enough, check out this article from the NY Times. Accordingly, beets are a great source of folate and may contain antioxidants that naturally fight cancer. So beet that!

With a little extra cracked pepper on top of my warm salad, I was beet down to my soul, and I think you will be too…

…Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some serious bruises to tend to!

photo (11)

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