Yoga and Chocolate

I haven’t stepped foot on my mat in months. Literally, it has been months. In the midst of giant life changes, I put my health on the back burner. Working long hours means any spare second I have is spent with my hound dog, meandering my new neighborhood.

At the age of 27, I finally live alone. To say I enjoy it is an understatement. To say it has turned me into a hermit is even more of an understatement. A little apartment, all my own. This means I can wander around naked and take my time in the morning… yeah, it’s like a piece of heaven.

And yes, it adds to the loneliness that has become my late 20s, but a sweet kind of lonely. The drink-tea-all-day, listen-to-podcasts, spend-5-hours-in-my-kitchen-in-silence kind of loneliness.

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Solitude is such a breathtaking thing.

So now that I’m settled into an apartment that smells like chocolate and is a block from my favorite bakery, I can address my needs. I can apologize to my aching back that is threatening to give out any day now. I can lace up my abandoned running shoes and start back at square one. I can dust off Gertrude and get back to exploring the streets through the eyes of a red bicycle.

I need to practice patience and start slow. Yesterday I found a yoga studio tucked behind the statue of Lenin and a dumpling shop (have I mentioned how magical my neighborhood is?) I felt my hips questioning my decision to throw them into a hot hatha class, but by the end they were smiling gratefully at me, thanking me for finally giving them some love. Like beating a rug after a long winter, I felt my bones again. I felt my skin sweat and stretch. I congratulated my slumbering muscles on their attempt to wake up. I said hello to my body, greeted it like a dear friend. Kissed my kneecaps and promised to be a little more considerate.

It’s good to be back.

Chocolate Buckwheat Granola

Yeah, yeah… I know. I JUST posted a granola recipe. But you know what? Some days my meals are granola for breakfast, dried mango and random office snacks for lunch and popcorn for dinner. And that’s okay. We can’t always have and make three amazing meals each day. That’s how life is, you know?

Also, this granola is MIND BLOWING, which is to be expected, as I found it on My New Roots, a blog that is nothing short of divine. I like this granola over some coconut milk yogurt with some strawberries on top, but let’s be real… It’s good by the handful.

  •       3 cups rolled oats
  •       1 cup buckwheat
  •       1.5 coconut flakes
  •       1 cup walnuts
  •       ¼ cup chia seeds
  •       ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  •       ¼ cup coconut sugar
  •       1/3 cup maple syrup
  •       1/3 cup coconut oil
  •       1 tsp vanilla extract
  •       ½ cup cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, chia seeds and coconut sugar. Roughly chop nuts and add them to the mix. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add honey or maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine until smooth. Pour liquid ingredients over dry and fold to coat.

Spread the mixture out in an even layer on a lined baking sheet and press firmly with the back of a spatula—you want to make sure it’s compact. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven, flip the granola and mix it around and then pop back in to make for another 10 minutes.

Your entire apartment/house will smell amazing—I recommend listening to Ella Fitzgerald and possibly sipping on some licorice tea while you bake. Because, why not?

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