I got myself into a little fender bender last week. It was completely my fault. I was rushing after work, trying to get through my afternoon checklist so that I could make it to my weekly yoga class. My mind was in a another place, 3 steps ahead of the task at hand, stressing over my to-do list and frustrated that no one was moving as fast as I needed them to be - and then - bam! - smack into the back of the car in front of me. Luckily it wasn't too bad, actually it hardly left a scratch. The girl took my number anyway and I have yet to hear anything from her, but that's not really the point.
I got back into my car, in an even worse state than before and decided that I would write off making it to yoga that week. That I just had too much to do and it wasn't worth rushing there if I wouldn't be able to calm my mind down and relax. But that's the thing - what I needed to do was exactly that - calm my mind down and relax. That's why I go to yoga. And then it just all seemed so backwards to me, stressed and frustrated and obviously a bit out of control - all to make it to yoga. For one hour. And then to return to this state of mind, rushing and fussing? No thanks. That doesn't seem right. Something needed to change. Ya, me.
The minute I allowed myself to believe the reasons not to go to class, I was aware of how much I really wanted/needed to be there. And so I took my frustrated, rushed, fender bender butt to yoga, and just allowed myself to be there - happy. calm. grateful. And right now as I am writing this I can't even remember what was so important that needed to be done so quickly that afternoon. Suprised? Probaply not.
Yoga is a practice, one that I cherish greatly. And this week I realized that I was limiting myself to practicing once a week, with an instructor, in a studio. When really, that's just the start of it, the rest happens when we are living and breathing through our daily lives. When we are caught in situations where the teeny-weeny day to day stressors have got a hold on us and we forget to breathe. REALLY. TRULY. BREATHE. Inhales and exhales, the simplest of acts so easily forgotten. We loose our breath so quickly when we get put off balance, both physically and mentally, when in reality our breath is all we need to get us back on track. Yoga, running, hiking - whatever allows you to seriously slow down and let it all go - whatever allows you to breathe. Whatever it is, I challenge you to make this a part of your everyday, everyday.
Summer is passing by so quickly, I'm scared to blink because before I know it will be all over. The produce this year has been so beautiful, I make my way to the market every Wednesday to pick up supplies for the week. Meals around here have been pretty quick and simple lately. Using the summer vegetables as the star of the plate and then adding some fresh herbs, olive oil and a bit of citrus is all you really need. And preparing dishes like this one allows you to really appreciate all that summer has to offer - fresh, good quality ingredients prepared in the simplest of ways, giving you time to sit, eat and breathe it all in.
Summer Squash Carpaccio Salad
A really simple salad, just a few ingredients and quick to throw together. Perfect to make ahead of time and bring to a bbq or summer gathering. Use whatever squash/zucchini mix you like and whatever is fresh and local near you. If you can get your hands on some pattypan squash, do it - they add such a lovely shape to the salad!
- 1 1/2 pounds / 700g mixed summer squash (zucchinis both round and long, pattypans, yellow summer squash)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Juice of one lemon
- 11/2 teaspoon local honey (something light in taste, I used miel d'acacia)
- Large handful fresh basil leaves (about 1/4 cup)
- Fresh goat cheese to crumble on top (a few tablespoons or more)
What to do
- Using a mandolin (or your expert knife skills) slice the un-peeled squash into thin rounds.
- Lay the sliced squash out into the bottom of your serving tray in a single layer, drizzle over one third the amount of olive oil, lemon and honey. Spread with a third of the basil leaves and sprinkle with a good amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Repeat a layer of squash, and cover with another third of the dressing ingredients, salt, pepper and basil.
- Add a final layer of squash, cover with the remaining dressing ingredients plus salt, pepper and basil, and crumble the fresh goats cheese over everything.
- You can serve it now, or let it rest in the fridge for a few hours. This salad is still great the next day, leftovers can be eaten as is, or in a sandwhich, omelette, etc.