Well, today is day seven of the 21 day meditation challenge put on by Deepak Chopra and I am telling you I feel amazing. I decided to embark on this 21 day journey to challenge myself, to allow myself extra reasoning to be quiet and to find my inner quiet. As if we should need a reason or an excuse to take time for ourselves, but with the go go go of every day life this does just that – gives good reason to relax and go within. I – like most people I know – love “me” time. I am very careful to make sure I have ample time for myself, whether its to take a bath, listen to music, read a book, think up a new recipe or write a posting for the blog – I am familiar with what happens when I do not allow myself this cherished time. I become irritable, grumpy, unmotivated. No one likes feeling like that…
I have been feeling sore and achy lately, foggy, disconnected even. I have been planning to do a gentle cleanse, adding extra fresh juice and smoothies each day and cutting out as much cheese as possible. Have I mentioned I love cheese? I do. I really do. I know that this doesn’t seem like a very difficult cleanse, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s more of a conditioning… helping my body to crave the best possible things at all times, that way when I start to feel disconnected I know that I will always turn to the right fueling options.
It’s about being present, caring even more about what goes into my system. With that I don’t mean just food.. I mean thoughts, feelings, everything. The meditation challenge is about abundance, and over the past seven days I have been faced with centering myself over what type of abundance I would like to manifest. Allowing thoughts and emotions to pass through without needing to over analyze where they are coming from or what they might mean. Simplifying. Cleaner thoughts just seem to fit nicely with ultra clean foods. Might I just add, clean food (for me anyway) is much easier to accomplish than quieting my mind! The meditation itself is under 15 minutes and yet I still find myself slipping away, indulging in thoughts about sushi… work… traffic… the snowy outdoors. I have recommended to a few friends and family members to embark on this abundance challenge with me, those who have signed up completely agree that it couldn’t have come to them at a better time. That it is just what they need right now. I am joyous to be reunited with myself and with these loving people. It seems simplicity and silence are needed by many in this world, all we have to do is be willing to take a step back and allow ourselves some much deserved me time.
One of my favorite meals over the course of this week has been what I loosely named my “Buddha Bowl”. It seemed to fit…. a new path full of totally sensational thoughts and wonderfully healthy foods, not to mention the added benefit of a daily meditation. Buddha bowl? Why not!
In the spring I spotted these little pots in Chapters, they actually came in a kit. Sprout kits! Herb kits! I bought them all. So easy to do…. soak coconut husks in water until they quadruple, sprinkle seeds, water, nurture, love, and voila! Now that I am living in a much darker apartment, these little pots are a wonderful addition to my kitchen. Alfalfa, clover, lentil, basil, mustard, cilantro, and my beloved chia to name a few. They make for a perfect addition to any salad, sandwich, smoothie, anything!
1/2 Cup of Jade Pearl rice (Any rice will do, brown would be lovely. I used Jade because it’s green with bamboo)
Splash of rice vinegar
Drizzle of honey
Snipping of each: Alfalfa, pea, chia, basil, lentil and mustard sprouts
Handful of sprouted whole lentils
1 Avocado – sliced
Couple pieces of smoked salmon (optional)
Sea Vegetable Cashew Cheese (recipe below)
Cook rice according to package directions (or following the typical 1:2 ratio and boiling for 10 minutes. Keep in mind you’ll need to boil much longer if using brown rice), adding a splash of rice vinegar and a drizzle of honey if desired. Fill the bottom of a deep bowl with the rice. Snip your sprouts (or prepare and wash if using store bought ones) and layer on top, following with the remaining ingredients. Totally simple! Right?
Sea Vegetable Cashew Cheese
Mixed, shredded and dried sea vegetables (I used nori and wakame)
1/2 Cup of cashews – soaked over night
Splash of almond milk
1/2 Tsp of nutirtional yeast
Freshly ground Szechuan peppercorns
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You may add salt if you wish, but I find the sea veg adds enough flavor! I find the easiest way to use the cashew cheese in is to roll it into a log shape (then it is super easy to just break off a couple pieces and toss into a salad or spread on a cracker) and wrap it with saran. It will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge for about 5 days.
* Just a side note, it is not too late to join up and start the meditation challenge! It’s free and comes straight to your email every day. Here’s the link for any interested participants! www.chopracentermeditation.com