As the days become shorter, wetter and colder, we have turn to slowing down a bit and taking better care of ourselves. With daylight savings time underway, we shift our energy towards resetting ourselves in mind and spirit.
Less sunlight signals more time indoors and with it more time to cook and bake. Sweet and savory smells waft through the house as we become inspired with comfort food. And Fall brings the ideal time to experiment with new baking recipes. We made wonderfully moist date nut bread and carrot raisin muffins for breakfast. For dinner we experimented with feta, spinach and pumpkin muffins – a perfect complement for homemade squash soup! And our latest dessert was black bean raspberry brownies. You made think like we did – are you serious – which was our response to our daughter/sister Erin when she raved about the brownies concoction she made. So we figured we might as well try! Wow they were good – we served them to Casey (son and brother) and Fred (husband and father), without telling them about the black beans. They thoroughly enjoyed brownies – who knew brownies could be so healthy! Of course Casey enjoyed his with a little vanilla ice cream.
Along with trying new combinations of healthy foods we also enjoy tea. In mid-October we hit up the Northwest Tea Festival at the Seattle Center. Everything you might possibly want to learn about tea, and more. Learn we did! Pur-erh tea was a new discovery. The tea is a fermented dark tea produced in the Yunnan Province in China. Pur-erh tea is a dark tea but with less caffeine than black tea. The purported health benefits of pur-erh tea are that it may help in reducing bad cholesterol and also has blood cleansing properties. Another added benefit bonus is pur-erh can aid in weight loss. Besides learning about some lesser known teas, we were able to taste a lot of great teas. Maia was so inspired she bought a sencha green tea plant!
We have tried yoga in different modalities this month. Julie received a yoga-glo subscription for her birthday from Erin. We have enjoyed trying out the many classes offered online. Depending on our mood and available time we have tried different mediation classes, yin, and restorative and vinyasa yoga classes. There are even specific yoga classes like a 30 min sesh for shoulders and back. Yoga glo has been great when short on time and we can still find a sesh to fit our mood! We also went back to Levitas Yoga Studio in Fremont for some more anti-gravity yoga – definitely a different experience and perspective! One evening Levitas partnered with Seattle Acupuncture and Coaching for a flow class followed by a short acupuncture session. Ben Dorfman administered some needles to students as we lied in savansa. Great way to end yoga! We both see Ben for acupuncture and he has done wonders on Julie’s messed up knee and Achilles. Maia has just started to see Ben, and is helping her find balance in her body. Ben is amazing, compassionate and professional.
One of the big highlights of the Fall for us has been coaching the Bright Street Running Group. We run a six week session in Fall and Spring for girls at Pacific Crest. The girls have been so much fun and all became quite accomplished runners! Our six week session ended the end of October with a celebration run around Greenlake. Lulu Hayes, one of the Jasyoga coaches ran a pre run functional yoga warm-up so the girls could get their breath and legs in sync for the almost 3 mile run. The girls were accompanied by a running partner as fun was had by all in addition to the great sense of accomplishment.
Our Pacific Northwest weather is growing cold and the holidays are upon us. There are so many healthy options for delicious and body – warming comfort food to keep you fueled in this season. We are constantly trying new recipes from food blogs. Some of our favorite food blogs are Cookie and Kate and Sprouted Kitchen.
Get creative in your workouts – with shorter days there are quick workouts of many intensities you can do at home. We like the 7 minute workout app for a quick and dirty workout when you are crunched for time or just not that movitated!
Julie & Maia