Well the Cubs won the World Series!!!! My husband is still relishing on his team’s win, clad in his new championship tee and hat! It’s nice to come home in the afternoon to him still singing the Cubs praises even though it’s been more than a week since the victory! And to be quite frank, everywhere I go people are at odds over the election results and families and friends are harassing each other all over social media and it’s sad and disgusting. I can understand differences of opinion but I cannot understand all this hate. This here blog is a politics free zone so don’t worry I’m not gonna get out my soap box! What I will suggest is that everyone take a moment to meditate or take deep breaths before saying or writing something that you can’t take while hurting people’s feelings. Can’t we all just get along?!
Starting a meditation practice is easy; committing to practicing it daily is a different story altogether. You don’t need an hour or a fancy cushion to sit on or a special room to meditate. You may want to find a quiet area so that you’re not distracted too easily but if that’s not an option, just close your eyes and use the technique of visualization. Picture yourself in your favorite place or doing your favorite thing or with your favorite people and right there you’ve created an inner sanctuary for yourself. Not so hard right?! Today I thought I’d introduce a mediation technique called Body Scan. This is by far my favorite way to meditate. Not only am I able to loose track of time but I’m so focused on relaxing my body that I forget I’m actually relaxing my mind too!
For this meditation, choose a comfortable seated position or lie down if necessary and close your eyes. Pick a starting point on your body, either from the bottom (like the tip of the toes) or at the top (like the hair). Once you’ve picked your starting point, concentrate on the sensations you feel in it. Tell that body part to relax and let go, releasing any tension or tightness. Stay as long as you need to at each part and then move on to the next one. You can choose internal organs too. Remember there is no wrong or right way to meditate. Just the fact that you’re trying is simply enough!
Once you have completed scanning the entire body, focus on your body as a whole and notice in general where you feel relaxed and maybe where you don’t. Revisit any body parts until you are satisfied with your practice. I find that 10 minutes is not long enough. Today I had just gotten to the tip of my toe when my timer went off. So I simply turned it off and continued on. I felt so relaxed that I rolled rght into a short pranyama (breathing exercise) and I’m feeling more energized and more at peace than when I first woke up. Have you tried any of the pranayama techniques I’ve talked about on this blog in the past? If not, freshen up here! I’m going to list some of the benefits of a pranayama practice if you haven’t already started. My cycle buddy Panna, from India, swears by her daily practice. It has lowered her blood pressure and helped her husband with his asthma too! So what are you waiting for? Get on board!
1. It helps to relieve the symptoms of asthma.
2. It helps to relieve stress.
3. Regular practice can extend life and enhance ones perception of life.
4. It can change the cardio respiratory system including lowering blood pressure.
5. It’s great for weight loss.
6. It lightens the heart.
7. It helps with purpose, intention and direction.
8. It helps clear your mind and allows you think with clarity.
Okay! Onto food! It feels like a good day to make some lasagna but honestly I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon so I am making my Crock Pot do it for me instead! This is an easy peasy vegetarian recipe that takes just a short time to prepare. Set it and forget it right?!
Crockpot Veggie Lasagna- serves 2-4 people
-8 lasagna noodles, cooked
-4 cups red sauce (I used a garlic blend from Trader Joe’s)
-3 cups cheese (I used a parmigiana and mozzarella blend)
-4 cups spinach
-1 bell pepper, chopped
-1 red onion, chopped
-2 cups mushroom, chopped
-6 cloves of garlic
-thyme (from my garden!)
-red chilli flakes
1. First, boil the lasagna noodles just until they are soft. Try not to fully cook them since the slow-cooker will do the rest.
2. Chop up all your veggies and get your crock pot out!
3. Begin to layer all the ingredients in, one by one. Start with a thin layer of red sauce, then add the pasta. I had to cut my noodles in half in order to fit them in.
4. Next add your cheese, spinach, garlic, veggies and spices.
5. Repeat until your crockpot is filled to the brim.
6. Cook on high for 2 hours unless you need to be somewhere then cook on low for 4 hours.
7. You’ll notice the crockpot won’t look as full after an hour or so of cooking so I added more veggies and red sauce to the top!
8. Slice and enjoy! Mangia!
Don’t forget OM on the Ridge #2 is happening Sunday, November 20 from 9-12 pm! Join me and create community, laugh, and enjoy the beautiful Central Coast in a politics-free zone! Details are here!