Ch-ch-ch-chia!

My new favourite breakfast: chia seed pudding! Why, you ask? Because it’s vegan! No, I’m not becoming a vegan, but I often have to pursue vegan alternatives to dairy due to my lactose intolerance (but I can still eat butter and cheddar cheese, thanktheheavensabove!) I hated having to admit to myself that I couldn’t eat Greek yogurt anymore since it’s the greatest thing since scliced bread, so finding out about chia seed pudding was a great discovery.

Yes, I’m talking about the same chia seeds that are used in everyone’s fave 80’s kitsch product, Chia Pets! But they aren’t just for your fuzzy green terracotta friends anymore. Chia seeds are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, minerals, antioxidants, calcium, and other super things (hence it being dubbed the new superfood.) By combining them with nut milk and fruit, I’ve been able to find a worthwhile substitute for yogurt or cottage cheese, and the extra bonus is that they contain so much more good stuff than either of those dairy products!

In case you’re curious, here’s my basic chia seed pudding recipe:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup fruit (I prefer berries, peaches, or mango)

Stir all ingredients together and leave for at least 10 mins, but overnight is best. You need to let the seeds soak the liquid in to reach their gelatinous state, which thickens the mixture. My rule of thumb is to use a 1 tbsp seeds to 1/2 cup liquid ratio.

I also put a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds in my green smoothies. They add a nice textural element to the smooviness.

So easy, so yummy, and so good for you!

Devotion.

This week I participated in a summer sadhana (sadhana is said to be a means of accomplishing something) with my favourite sangha, where we channeled the Hindu god Hanuman. All week, we learned all about Hanuman and his loyal, devoted ways.

All the talk about devotion in our practice brought me back to when I was in the church choir (I know, those of you who’ve heard me sing are wondering “What the frack?!” The secret to singing in a choir is blending your voice in with those of people with actual talent.) One of our duties was to attend devotional prayers, which were held every night for a week leading up to a significant event. Back then, I was just going through the motions. Ever the rule-keeper, I never missed a night, even if my intentions were the furthest thing from “devotional.”

After all these years, I’m finally understanding true devotion. My intention for this week was to bring devotion to an aspect of my life where I’ve been feeling unsure of myself. I’ve had barriers, both real and imagined, that, like any rocks along the road, have made my journey difficult. But how do you know how strong you are unless you actually use your strength? Moving these barriers has made me stronger. There’ll be more rocks, requiring more strength, and more devotion.

Today we learned that in our devotion we are the ones doing the work, but we are not the ones to realize the fruits of our labour. I immediately recognized how this particular journey of mine serves a force bigger than myself. Nothing has humbled me more. By renewing my faith and devotion in to what I’m doing (and how I’m doing it), I’ve been able to cultivate the strength that I’ve felt waning and continue to make these (sometimes difficult) steps further down my path.

Hot, fancy sweating.

Apparently I’ve finally become acclimated to hot yoga??! Was it yoga in the park last week in 29 degree weather, under a bright sun and clear skies?? That practice totally felt like hot yoga, what with all the sweating.

Or maybe it was practicing in one of the newest, state-of-the-art studios our fine city has to offer? Today I went to a hot flow class at Yoga Public that I was a little nervous about beforehand, as I am before any hot class, but I was totally fine! It helped that it was only an hour long. It was an ashtanga-ish class, which was nice to do after not having practiced ashtanga for a few years.

But as for the fancy-ness, I’m sure I will get very spoiled with this 2-week unlimited intro pass I’ve signed up for. It’s a beautiful facility. With high fees to pay for it all! Thankfully, they have class passes so I can visit it occassionaly to get my hot, fancy yoga on.

PS: TRX is awesome there too! Since all they have are the TRX bands and no other equipment (other than the stairs outside the door. OH, THE STAIRS!), the exercises felt a lot more focused. You know, when I’m not falling out of side plank.