I am back home from our trip to California, we landed late last night and I am feeling insanely invigorated. We spent nearly a week out there, exploring neighborhoods and all the different towns, we went to the beach, we celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary at Disneyland and fell even more in love with everything Southern California has to offer! This was the trip we needed to light that fire under our behinds to get the last few things done before we get our house on the market here in Buffalo and move out west! It is looking like our new home is going be in Long Beach, in a quaint little neighborhood by the beach. We cannot wait to start seriously looking for a house and to get this party started!
We are headed back to California in less than 2 short months for our good friends’ Patrick and Summer’s wedding, so who knows, maybe even by then we will have sold the house and be ready to start the whole process. I really hope so.
Ever since we decided to move out there, I told myself that given we would be living somewhere that has beautiful weather all year long, that I was going to be way more active outdoors. I want to get into running and biking as part of my weekly fitness routine, since both feel like a wonderful compliment to my daily yoga practice. Rather than waiting to get out there to start anew with so many things, I decided on the plane ride home that I was going to get started right away, particularly with the running since I have never really given it a serious shot. I have always found running to be painful and not my favorite way to sneak in exercise. But, the more I have read about running and getting started on a serious plan, it is best to ease your body into it and not try to do too much, too soon, which is probably what I have always done. So, I am going to take advantage of the beautiful spring and summer weather here in Western New York and start my training now, so I can hopefully just hit the ground running (pun intended) whenever we finally get out to the west coast.
Tonight is my first run, I have a good pair of Nike+ running shoes that I bought years ago and only ever wore to the gym, I have a couple of iPhone apps downloaded to help me properly ease into running, so they can tell me when and how I should be running and walking and for how long. I even have a running partner, my hubby, who is ready to get back into running himself. Now, the only thing I have to fear is my annoying low back issues. I tend to keep that all at bay with yoga and an incredible chiropractor, but I am a bit concerned on how the running will affect my back. I have a herniated disc in my low back that is known to cause me issues now and again and from what I have read about running, the pressure and the shock from it can sometimes be a bit hard on that type of injury. Here’s hoping I have strengthened my core and stretched my muscles enough from yoga, that my body can handle it. I really want it to work for me since running seems like the perfect compliment to my lifestyle, especially when we will be living so close to the beach.
My plan, if running and my body can agree on it, is to continue with my daily yoga practice, and getting to at least five 90-minute yoga classes a week, and now adding in 3 days of running. So, every day I will have some type of physical activity going on and on only a couple of days will I have to manage getting to the yoga studio and squeezing in a run, too. Even though yoga doesn’t always have to be a 90-minute thing, I really do prefer to have a practice that is that long and I really enjoy going to the studio. I practice at home on occasion, but I find since I work at home, it can be hard to focus on yoga and not get distracted by everything else around me. That is one thing about running I think I am most drawn to, the change of scenery, being outside and engulfed by nature and the elements and being in control of when, where and how it happens. As long as the weather cooperates and there is a safe and somewhat smooth surface, it seems like you can run virtually anywhere.
Do you like running? Have any tips for someone that is just getting started?
OK, so onto the dip… I made this dip this afternoon as a light snack. With us being gone for a week, I couldn’t wait to get home and get back to eating foods that I prepared. The food is the only downside to traveling for me, eating unprocessed foods that are gluten-free and as often as I can find, also vegetarian, can get a bit tricky when you are away. I did the very best I could and found so many great options, but I still ate so much different than I would ever eat at home. I debated doing a juice cleanse for a couple days after returning home, but with me wanting to start training for running, I didn’t think both were such a good idea, so I decided to start the running and just eat extra light this week. Now that our local farmers market is open for the season, I will definitely be stocking up there on Saturday and doing a lot of juices, smoothies and salads this week. This morning, I made a version of my banana almond butter smoothie for breakfast, adding in a scoop of ground flaxseeds and a scoop of cocoa powder and it kept me full all day. About 3:30pm I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since the smoothie and I had cleaned the whole house and totally unpacked my suitcase. I decided I would make a simple mid-afternoon snack and a creamy white bean dip was calling my name. The bold flavors from the Indian spices were so perfect and subtle and the garlic gave it all a great punch. The white beans made for an incredibly smooth and creamy dip that was delicious on some gluten-free crackers. I wish we had some fresh raw veggies, those would also be great in this dip. That is the other bad thing about traveling, coming home to an empty fridge. If you don’t love garam masala, substitute some yellow curry or another one of your favorite spices. If the heat from the garam masala and the raw garlic is enough, skip the chili powder.
I will check back in tomorrow with a new recipe and to let you know how the running went this evening.
[print_this]Creamy Indian-Spiced White Bean Dip – Gluten-free + Vegan
makes about 1 cup of dip
- 1 can white beans
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- dash of chili
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and very roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Add of the ingredients, except the olive oil, to the food processor. Start pureeing and slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is running, until it is all added. Puree the dip until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator and serve chilled. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.