It is hard to believe it is almost June and the beginning of summer! Thoughts of summer (that magical time in childhood that lasts forever – or so it seemed back then) bring up memories of sleeping in, watching lightning bugs dance around in the night, riding my beloved horse Betsy and spending time with my cats and my dog – a rescue poodle named Muffin. I remember the bountiful fresh fruits and vegetables that came from our gardens and how the taste made all the hard work of gardening worth it. The juicy watermelons and heirloom tomatoes were among my favorites. It was indeed a different time back then. Life was more simplistic and I spent much of my summers outdoors in the woods and on the farm with room to be and to breathe.
I now find that simplicity through my practice of yoga and meditation and through teaching. I find it through connections with others as we all come together to quite the mind, strengthen the body and to connect body, mind, and soul. I joke with my students sometimes about coming to yoga class just for savasana. That magical time at the end of the class, after all the moving, strengthening and stretching is done. That time to just be still, to connect and to be. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just to be with total permission, for just a few minutes. What a difference those few minutes can make in a day and in a life. Learning to let go completely. Letting gravity take over and releasing every muscle in the body. Complete surrender. Ahhhhhhh. I feel relaxed just thinking about it.
I am holding an intention to live more simply this summer off the mat. To take more time to breath, more time in nature, more time with those I care about. One of the ways I am planning on doing that is by eating simply. Honestly I have eaten simply for years. Maybe it was my childhood and all those gardens full of fresh vegetables. Even in the cold of winter we had large freezers and a cellar full of frozen and canned food from the summer gardens. Maybe it was struggles with my health early on that lead me to eat more simply, or maybe just an intuitive knowing of what is best for my body. People have been asking me for recipes for a few decades now, and honestly for the most part I don’t use recipes – which is why you won’t find me baking very often. I did grind wheat and bake bread for years, but my family has moved away from so much gluten. I don’t support any extreme diets in my home. I support healthy foods and knowing our bodies’ cues as to what works and what does not. Of course yoga helps with this because if we are not connected to our bodies in any meaningful way – we can’t know what is working. I believe we are all different genetically and experientially and therefore there are no cookie cutter diets that are one size fits all. I do know this – it is about a lifestyle – not a “diet”.
I have committed to writing down and sharing some of our favorite recipes! Today I am sharing our favorite all time smoothie. I have been making this for over a decade. It is simple in content and preparation, but significant in taste and satisfaction. Nothing beats this on a hot summer day on the beach, by the pool or anywhere you might be! We drink them straight up with no alcohol, but if you would like to add that you will have the best Pina-Colada ever!
Water from Young Coconut (8 ounces) You can scrape out the inside gel or “meat” of the coconut depending on how mature it is and include it. What’s a young coconut and how do I open it? Click Here. If you don’t want to bother with getting your own young coconut you can purchase 100% Raw Coconut Water by Harmless Harvest at Whole Foods Market.
Frozen Pineapple (1 cup)
Frozen Banana (1 medium)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil (optional) – Wait! I thought coconut oil is saturated and bad for you! Click here for the latest information on the health benefits of coconut oil.
Place all ingredients in blender (a vita-mix works best) and blend.
Makes one serving (you can increase or decrease any ingredient to your liking and taste)
Holding the intention to live simply this summer sounds like a wonderful idea. It is my hope that each of you finds the time just “to be” this summer whether with a loved one, with nature, or with your practice and yourself.