At the beginning of the summer I did yoga everyday. The publisher had sent a book called Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover and despite my extreme skepticism of self help and made up words and glowingly fit women in very small pants, I read the book and I liked it.
It's broken down day by day so you can wedge it into your daily life, helping you to turn exercise and self care into a habit. There's the basic yoga routine that's made up of fourteen poses and accompanying toner exercises, and then daily variations. There's an additional pose of the day and a cardio option like taking a thirty minute walk or a twenty minute swim or just dancing around your living room for a bit. Both the variety and the regularness team up to make the whole thing totally doable.
The author...you know, the glowingly fit woman in very small pants...Mandy Ingber...I grudgingly like her. Her copious inspirational, often personal, sometimes name-droppy (she was Jennifer Anniston's trainer) prose is often, you know, inspirational. She compares exercise to a shower for your insides - you wouldn't go days or weeks or months without taking a shower, she challenges. Well, she doesn't have small children, but still I get her point. And I find it helpful to think of exercise that way - something that you make part of your daily routine, or at least almost daily routine, or aspire to be part of your daily routine, maybe, when your kids are older. (Totally kidding. Take a shower. And get some some exercise.)
The book includes three food plans and one of them is healthy vegan - full of veggies and beans and nuts and whole grains. While I didn't at all strictly adhere to her daily food plan (I naively figured I sort of already was - oops. Booze. oops. Sugar.), I loved the daily recipes that came at the end of each day's instruction.
Paul and I both dug her kale salad, crunchy with thinly sliced fennel, and her banana coco cookies to share were a hit with everyone. While she instructs you to eat one cookie and share the rest, I felt that sneaking a couple for breakfast while standing at the kitchen counter with my illicit cup of coffee (totally not part of the yogalosophy) was legitimate as the cookies are sweetened with banana and chock full of oats and almond meal.
Next up, I'm going to tell you about how my daily yoga practice got replaced by a daily pie making practice that was then fairly rapidly replaced by another daily practice that has become pretty all-consuming. I can't wait to tell you about it. I'm almost ready. Now, I should probably squeeze some yoga back into my day. I'm going to start by rereading the section on balance.
In the meantime, let's have a cookie.
Banana Coco Cookies (to Share!)
Adapted from Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. She calls for 6 to 7 ounces of chocolate, which I think is too much. Up it though if you want.
- 3 large, ripe well-mashed bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2/3 cups almond meal
- 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded and unsweetened
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 ounces dairy-free, grain- or agave-sweetened chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350.
Place rack in the top third of the oven.
In a large bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. In another large bowl, whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks. Drop dollops (about 2 teaspoons each) of the dough onto a baking sheet, an inch apart. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.