Staying Aligned

Staying Aligned

Inspiration Workshop Yoga

It can be challenging to stay aligned on a path.  Even if you know what you want and where you are heading…there are always distractions…or plans change…or you change. And of course, there is ‘the grass is always greener.’

I’ve always known my greater purpose as a teacher. However, a few years into my teaching I started feeling a little scattered and sometimes lost in where I was heading with my work. I often stumbled with mental distractions.  Either my brain would prematurely jump to get onto what’s next, or the allure of the outside world or social media would pull me into a time-sucking vortex.  Then it was suggested I needed to brand myself. I started questioning what I was doing. Was I doing enough? Was this what I wanted? Was I staying true to my path?

When inside or outside chatter becomes too distracting, particularly to the point where I see what someone else is doing and think, “should I be doing that?” even when the answer is no, I do two things. One is to look at my many notes that evolved from branding/marketing meetings with Robyn Tosick, Marketing Specialist and owner of www.savvyyogi.com.  I don’t consider my work a brand per se, but meeting with Robyn was a wake-up call for me that I needed to refocus on my message and my higher purpose as a teacher. The second thing I do is go back to my teaching journals, which includes my many Break Through and Renew Workshop notes.  I have a little ceremony of mine where I go through what I present to others and explore where I may be stuck for misaligned on my path.  What presents itself isn’t always so simple, for my ‘brand’ is always in progress, but it’s one of the reasons I created this workshop. It speaks true to the real me and is part of my personal work.

If you’re curious about a personal check-in or exploring your path, I’m getting ready for my fourth Break Through and Renew Workshop on October 22nd, 1:15pm-3:45pm, at Union Yoga. This workshop is about creating a ritual with yourself, to unwind and detox physically and mentally, to see if or where you may be off-track or holding you back on your own personal path. It may be just what you need before the holidays and to prepare for the New Year. For more information of this dive into the Svadhyayah, or study of the self, go to my website www.juliewatsonyoga.com or register: http://union.yoga

xo,
Julie

Linguiça and Lentil Stew

Linguiça and Lentil Stew

Mains & Sides Recipe

Stew for a Foggy Summer

If you live in San Francisco, you know that the summer weather is not the same as what most of the country is experiencing. It can be cold, windy and many times foggy. Living here for about 7 years, my mind still craves the raw, crisp and coolness of Summer’s harvest while my body (covered in layers rather than a sundress) needs a warmed, cooked meal.  To balance my wants and needs during this season, I typically eat more raw foods at lunch and a cooked dish with big flavor or lots of spice or fresh herbs that’s filling yet not too heavy. Although typically cooked more in winter, one type of meal that brings me comfort is stew. This is a stew I recently made. A couple things to note: rather than making fresh adobo I used leftovers from a small can of chipotles in adobo, so you may want to use your favorite adobo recipe. Also, you may want to add the chipotle in small quantities to adjust for your heat preference.

  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 small to medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb linguiça, casing removed and sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4-1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • smoky paprika or spicy smoky paprika, depending on preference.
  • stock or water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar (optional)

Cook lentils in 2 cups of water, adding water as need, until cooked slightly al dente. Set aside.

In a large pot, sauté onion in 1 Tbs olive oil until translucent and tender. Add garlic and ¼ tsp of the paprika and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove ingredients with a slotted utensil and set aside. Leave the remaining oil in the pot. Add another 1 Tbs of olive oil and sauté potatoes until golden brown. Add some paprika, salt and pepper to lightly coat the potatoes and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove potatoes from the pot and set aside. Add linguiça to pot, cooking approximately 3 minutes, and then add the tomatoes, onions and garlic, 1 tsp paprika and 1 cup stock (or water). Once tomatoes start to break down, add the chipotle and adobo. (I used ½ chipotle and 1 Tbs adobo.) Next, add kale to wilt. Then, add the lentils and potatoes. Cook for 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. More liquid can be added if a more soupy texture desired. Salt and pepper to taste. When serving, add a splash of white vinegar to the dish.

If you have less cooking time, you can continue to add the ingredients to the pot. I chose sauté the potatoes in the onion and garlic oil for texture and to adhere more flavors onto the potatoes.

Let me know what you think!

xo,

Julie

Yogi Likes to Cook

Yogi Likes to Cook

Inspiration Recipe

I like to cook. When I get or make the time, cooking is a cathartic experience for me. When I’m motivated or inspired, I look in the fridge to see what I have, or think about for what I’m in the mood. Sometimes I follow straight from the recipe; sometimes I change ingredients or steps based on experience; and sometimes I follow a desirable color palette. Grazing through cookbooks or magazines of various cuisines and diets, and even online, I begin to anticipate what may be created next. I also love excursions to the grocery store or farmers market, seeing what’s fresh and in season to determine what colorful dish can be prepared.

I think my cooking interest really began in my early 30’s while living in Seattle. I had a group of friends, some who cooked and some who just enjoyed food. When I met my husband he worked in the service industry and also enjoyed cooking, and the foodie adventures continued. Including the major holidays, dinner parties, barbeques, restaurant excursions and take-away gatherings were the norm. My favorite experiences, and most of the time the dishes, were prepared at each other’s homes. I loved having themes and searching for new things to cook. I even enjoyed the challenge of meeting everyone’s dietary restrictions and preferences. Well, almost always…

Some of my more recent curiosities were inspired by a vegetarian cookbook full of international recipes, which was referenced in a book about Ayurveda. That led me to dig deeper with Sachi Doctor, an Ayurvedic practitioner based in San Francisco. Sachi has taught me to understand how to eat (and live) in a way that is more aligned with my mind-body constitution (dosha) and with the seasons. Thinking about reviving the group meal experience and combining it with my passions for teaching and cooking, Sachi and I collaborated to teach workshops that applied Ayurvedic principles on the mat and in the kitchen. Our next endeavors are in the works, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I plan to share my own experiences in the kitchen. Here’s a tasty salad idea that I created for Summer/Spring.

 

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired,

  • 1 bunch cilantro
, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
, loose
  • 1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon

Mix with the following:

  • 2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
  • small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • generous handful of arugula, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
  • feta, optional

If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.

Enjoy!

xo,

Julie