There is so much going on, I don't even know where to start! Derek says I should write about completing my yoga challenge, which I'm hesitant to do. There was a huge football game yesterday, which I'm neither qualified nor interested in enough to discuss in any way (but yaaay PNW!). Tomorrow is a day to celebrate ME, and I have a few goals for my next year. Wednesday we head to Utah for some serious powder skiing, if the forecast is correct. WHERE DO I EVEN START!?
We'll start with yoga. I'm hesitant to discuss my yoga practice here because, despite being a very personal experience, I feel like yoga is heavily criticized — even between yogis. I think yoga is something everyone can share, and isn't a competition, so a critical yogi is somewhat of a strange paradox for me to encounter. My journey with yoga started YEARS ago (like, 10 years ago), but has certainly accelerated over the last year. I'm sure, as I continue to dive deeper, I'll discuss more about my personal practice with you all, but I'll keep it simple for now. While I love the physical aspect of yoga, the various poses and physical challenges it presents, I've found so much comfort in the non-physical elements of yoga. I've never considered myself to be particularly "at peace" with myself, but I'm learning how to feel calm, centered, and grateful. And happy! No matter what! It's really quite liberating, to laugh off any attempted attacks on my life and recognize them as simply someone else's lack of peace. My peace can't be shaken by that.
As for the physical side of it, I'm feeling awesome. I'm stronger than ever, more flexible than ever (which is really still not very flexible), and I feel really in shape — despite not having run since October, and doing very little "cardio" activity this month. I do want to add some running back into my routine, but I honestly don't feel like I NEED to in order to be well-rounded. It's really exciting to see my body change and loosen up. I've certainly seen parts of me, mentally and physically, let go as this challenge progressed!
Now that the month is over, I'm sure I'll still go to classes 5+ days per week. I won't worry about making it to the 9:15 class on Saturdays (sooo hard to get out of bed!), but I enjoy the daily routine of going to the studio, unrolling my mat, and letting myself BE for 75 minutes. I'm already freaking out about this week, when I can't go Tuesday-Sunday: HOW WILL I SURVIVE!? But really, I love practicing at home (and am confident/disciplined enough to actually do it), so I'll be fine. It's just so nice to go and have someone else tell you what to do, give you tips, and teach you how to be better. I nearly went through a teacher training three years ago in Boulder, and am really glad I waited. I'm still learning so much just from going to classes here in Bozeman, and feel like I should max out my learning capacity in normal classes before going through a teacher training. Asia: I see you and your teacher trainings, looking at me!
And now I've discussed yoga for an entire post, despite saying I wasn't going to. Shall we discuss polenta? OK! I used to cook myself polenta, in water in the microwave, and douse it in maple syrup. I did this for dinner in college A LOT. Now, I've discovered that it can be AMAZING when you cook it in something other than water: milk and broth! So flavorful! This really is a pretty simple recipe, just polenta cooked in savory goodness, cheese, and roasted veggies. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand, and any other cheese you think would be good. The baking really is optional: you could just cook the polenta and serve it from the stove... but it looks so nice in the pan!Print
- 3 cups assorted vegetables (carrots, zucchini, squash, peppers, onions, etc.)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 4 Tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¾ cup coarse-ground cornmeal (polenta)
- 1 cup shredded fontina
- ½ cup shredded parmesan
- 2 oz cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Cut the vegetables into similarly-sized chunks, and toss in the olive oil with some salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
- At the same time, prepare the polenta. Bring the milk, chicken stock, butter, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Add the cornmeal, whisking to avoid clumping. Whisk until the mixture thickens, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until very thick — about 20 minutes. Add the cheeses and mix until fully melted and incorporated.
- Pour the polenta into a non-stick (or buttered) skillet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake the polenta for 15-20 minutes, until it is beginning to set up. At this point your vegetables will have been done and sitting out for a little while, so add them on top of the polenta and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed.