Friday, March 13, 2009

Breakfast, lunch, dinner = rockin' the pose

People encouraging you to lose weight often express the notion that food is fuel. Food is many things--love, comfort, fulfillment, and pleasure, but those people are right. It is also fuel. You know how it feels to eat the wrong breakfast and drag through the morning (doughnut, anyone?), or eat a great, nutritious lunch and power through the afternoon. Food affects your mood, your energy, and your performance. But you know all this, so I won't go on. Instead, I'll give you an example of a recent day of happy healthy eating which resulted, to my surprise, in the achievement of a yoga pose I'd been trying to land for a long time.

Yesterday morning, I craved something hearty, so I made this veg-sausage sandwich (Gimme Lean brand) on Ezekiel bread with tomato and a small bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with soy milk and berries. Side of kiwi.

Because of that hearty and filling breakfast, for lunch, all I needed was a little chocolate in the early afternoon. Recently, I received samples of Newman's Own's new organic line of chocolate, and wow, it is amazing (a food-writer perk). I'm a special fan of the Extra Dark, the Espresso Dark, and the Orange Dark. This chocolate is particularly good--not just organic but with a firm bite and deep complex flavor--one of the best chocolate bars I've tried. (Don't let the photo mislead you--I didn't eat it all at once. Just half a bar of the Extra Dark and a glass of soy milk.)

I had been looking for something to do with a head of cauliflower. For dinner, I chopped up the whole head and spread it in a roasting pan. I added sliced onion, turmeric, curry powder, crushed cumin seeds, and hot pepper flakes. Drizzled it all with olive oil, seasoned further with salt and pepper, and tossed to coat everything. this is a picture of the mixture before I put it in the oven. During the last 5 minutes of baking, I added a drained can of chick peas, then served it over brown rice. Utterly delicious--the kind of meal that makes me feel happy.

After digesting my dinner, I headed downstairs to do the laundry and practice yoga. After some vigorous warm-ups, I tried and finally succeeded at a strong, confident Eka Padha Urdhva Danurasana--wheel pose with one leg raised straight up. No shaking, no weakness, just strength and ease.

I credit the food.

I ended the evening with a bowl of Cheerios and soy milk--the perfect end to a perfect day, and the ideal send-off to a deep, refreshing sleep.