Monday, February 2, 2015

Resolutions (Long Post!)

All my life, I was never one for New Year's resolutions, until last year.

See, back in 2013, I kept track of how many books I read...only 15. I thought that was pretty lame. So in 2014, I resolved to read more. 365 days later...I had read 37 books! So apparently setting a resolution works for me.

So, in 2015, I've set a somewhat loftier try to get in the best shape of my life. Specifically, I've resolved to work out 30 minutes a day (treadmill or stationary bike), followed by at least 10 minutes of yoga. And I am pleased to report, as February begins, I haven't missed a day so far. I've started attending a wonderful weekly hatha class at our neighborhood rec center. (Just $3 a class! I love my community!) The rest of the time I practice at home. Yoga with Adriene is a great YouTube resource for home practice!

Am I seeing results? Yes. Feeling them, too. 

1. My core is getting stronger, and so are my arms and thighs. I don't weigh myself, but my clothes are fitting nicely.

2. I'm becoming more flexible. Hip openers are supposed to be great for those with anxiety, so I focus on them. I am trying to work towards doing the splits, and I can already get closer to the floor than I could when I began.

3. Speaking of anxiety, well, it was my main motivation for setting this particular resolution. I've had lifelong social anxiety, and panic attacks and mild agoraphobia for the past three years or so. I have done therapy as well as medication. This past fall, I felt that my medication was no longer working. When I went to the doctor, she suggested upping my dose. That did not make sense to me. If something isn't working, you should take more of it? But, unsure what else to do, I followed her instructions and increased my dose. Well, I continued having panic attacks when out in crowded places. It was actually getting worse. So I began to research on my own about mindfulness, about meditation, about using yoga as therapy for anxiety. And I resolved that in 2015 I would get in the best shape of my life, physically and mentally.

I won't say yoga is a magical cure, but I am feeling much better than I did a month ago. I am a busy mama, and it means everything to me to be able to take my kids out and about and not be stuck so much inside my own head all the time. I'm excited to see how the rest of the year goes. I think it's going to be a good one.

I didn't make any resolutions about eating healthier, but it seems that once I get a good morning workout, I instinctively make healthier eating choices for the rest of the day. Plus, I received Terry Hope Romero's Salad Samurai for Christmas, so I've been trying out lots of amazing salads.

The Tempeh Reubenesque salad was my first attempt. Cabbage is jazzed up with tempeh bacon and sauerkraut, and doused in "Galapagos Islands" dressing, Terry's take on Thousand Island.

Jackson and Olivia prefer deconstructed salads.

The Klassic Caesar salad was the simplest of the bunch, romaine lettuce and homemade croutons tossed in a Caesar dressing and topped with hempseed parmesan. (My hempseeds seemed to roast quickly and be on the verge of burning, so I only baked them for 15 minutes.)

The Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad was a slight variation, with Red-Hot Saucy Tofu cubes thrown in. The tofu wasn't actually that spicy, but I appreciated the added protein.

The BKT (Bacon, Kale, Tomato) Bowl was my favorite over the Reubenesque by a narrow margin. The massaged kale tasted wonderful all by itself! When you add in two kinds of "bacon" -- coconut and tempeh -- plus juicy tomato and creamy avocado, every mouthful is heaven.

Can't wait to make more salads from this fabulous book.  Some of the recipes are a little fussy, needing to make two or three other recipes first and then incorporating them into the salad, so I'm not sure how practical this book would be for weeknight meals if you work full-time. But for a weekend feast...and yes, salad can be a feast, I've learned! I was a little skeptical that the salads would really constitute a meal for me, let alone for Tony, but we were both full and satisfied after eating all of these salads.

I hope your 2015 is treating you well.


  1. What a great post. It's very inspiring and brave of you to talk so openly, and also work on healing without medication. I have issues with anxiety, and depression, and in the past I have been prescribed pill after pill, after pill. Years ago I said no more, and I have really focused on fitness, and what foods I'm putting in my body. I feel so much better, and more human. Thanks so much for sharing, it's always nice to know that we're not out here fighting our battles alone. The salads look so delicious, by the way!!

    1. *hugs* here's to a healthy year for both of us!

  2. I forgot to sat that I love Yoga with Adriene too!

  3. This a great post and very inspiring. I hope you keep it up. Exercise is also known to help with anxiety.