Posted tagged ‘Wellness Coaching’

Catching Up, Eagle Sighting and Raw Cashew Cream

November 4, 2014

Blogging has taken a backseat these days—there have been a myriad of changes in my life and I have been busy focused on adjusting to divorce, moving, a new relationship, and a significantly greater workload.  No complaints here, though.  Life is good.  My ex and I have remained friends, my new relationship is a blessing I was not expecting, and work is physical and fun.  I am still teaching vegan cooking in a group setting on a monthly basis, as well as in private settings for individuals.  I am still running!  Definitely not the 50+ miles each week like last year, as I am doing a lot more personal training and wellness coaching for work, as well as teaching group fitness three times each week for the Recreation Department of my town.

This morning I had the opportunity for a long run.  My early client cancelled last minute and I found myself racing through Halibut Point State Park, enjoying the late fall scenery with it’s nearly-bare trees, glass-surfaced quarry and vast expanse of ocean view.  With the hours of cross-training I have been logging with work, running feels easier than ever.  This was one of those days where breath, legs and mind were all on board from the moment I stepped out the door.  I felt as though my feet barely touched the ground and I don’t think I heard a single song on my playlist after the first mile.  Running is meditation just as much as it is physical exercise, maybe even more than ever before. I did get to see an eagle perched on a treetop as I ran home. Not that I noticed it myself—a pram-pushing mama pointed it out for me. Magnificent.

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Teaching vegan cooking is a joyful experience.  The people who come to my classes are enthusiastic, open-minded, and excited to learn each month.  My amazing photographer has been recovering from a broken ankle, so I am sorry to say I have none of her beautiful pictures to share in this post.  She is coming along nicely in her healing so am hoping to she will be back soon to take photos and notes for me.  It makes me realize how fortunate I am. It’s amazing how good people are to me and how much I depend on the kindness, generosity and skills of those around me to help me get through and be successful in this life.

In the meantime, I want to share a very easy cashew cream recipe.  I posted earlier about cashew cream and the recipe called for roasting the cashews first.  That recipe is delicious!  This recipe is even creamier than the first, and without the roasted flavor, it is even more versatile.  Used in vegan chowders, cream soups and cream sauces, the rich, thick texture lends a sensual mouth-feel and no one ever misses the dairy.

Raw Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

1 c whole raw cashews

filtered water

Method:

Rinse the cashews in cold filtered water and drain.  Place the cashews in a medium sized bowl and cover with filtered water.  Soak for at least 20 minutes, but overnight is a great choice.  Without soaking, the cashew cream will not be as creamy.

Drain and rinse the cashews after they have soaked.  Place in high-powered blender and add 1 c filtered water.  Blend on low until the cashews start to move around easily.  Turn blender speed to high and blend until completely smooth.

I always double this recipe and freeze what I don’t use.  It’s great to have a stock of some basics ready to go when I find myself standing in the kitchen, pondering what to make for dinner.  Consider pasta primavera, pasta al invierno, sweet potato and corn chowder, creamy tomato soup, creamed spinach with cumin, cayenne and cubed tofu—bring it on, winter!  Hearty food awaits!  More to come…

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Running with Eric

September 28, 2011

I am running late this morning.  An early client with a pretty intense session focused on the Wellness Coaching aspect of what I do as a trainer finishes with a good core workout and a long low-body stretch sequence. Wellness Coaching requires quite a lot of focus, listening, and thoughtful questioning.  I am eager to hit the street and shake out my mind and my muscles.  I call my mom first, because I know she waits for my call and I don’t like lugging that feeling with me on a run.  I listen to her morning stories, missing her, but also itching to get outside.  I don’t hurry her, though.  I pace around my kitchen, thinking about how hard it is for her to take care of my dad, and wish they lived closer so I could be more helpful to them.  She lets me go after a little while, knowing I am waiting to run.   I fill a water bottle, double-knot my Nike Free sneakers (still the same pair!) and turn on my iPod.  I ease down Atlantic Ave., letting my body settle into motion and try to stop thinking.

I run along Beach Road, not really hearing my music so much as using it as a tool to zone out.  I reach Granite Street and press up the hill.  I look up to see a man in a bright green tee shirt barreling toward me and as I open my mouth to say good morning, I realize that it’s my friend Eric. I stop and reach out to him and he just about jumps out of his skin.  He regroups,  smiles and puts his arm around my shoulder, trying to cover the fact that I have just startled him, then, giving up, he confesses that he is already so in the zone that he did not even recognize me.  We chat for a few seconds, then I ask him if he wants to run together.

“Sure.  Yeah, sure.”

I cannot decide if I have overstepped a boundary by cornering him into running with me, but to be honest, he is a good friend, a fairly new runner, and I have been itching to run with him.  We are both the kind of people who are good at pushing ourselves; he’s also a bit competitive.  I am not very competitive with anyone except for myself, but I know he’s fast and I am interested to see if I am able to keep up with him.  He lets me choose the route, different than his, and we trot off together up the hill.

Eric is slender and quite strong.  The muscles and tendons in his legs visibly flex with each step and he tells me he has read the book Chi Running and is really trying to focus on his form.  I, too, have read this book and have been working to incorporate the postures and techniques recommended to prevent running injuries and make the running experience even better that it is.  (There have been days when I have chanted “needle in cotton” to myself, mile after mile after mile, attempting to lean forward just a little and keep my spine straight yet arms and legs soft.  It’s work.)  We both remove our ear buds and fall into a rhythm, his stride long and relaxed, mine easily matching his.  After a couple of miles, it becomes clear that his pace is faster than mine, but also that I can keep up if I push.  I am able to sprint ahead on the return of the loop as we take turns fartleking the telephone poles that are planted in the sidewalk.  By the time we finish the last big hill we are running together, I know I am at my limit and curl around the internal gratitude I feel, knowing he is headed off to his own house and my last mile will be leisurely.

When we part, he thanks me for bringing him out of his comfort zone—taking an unexpected and unplanned route was good for him.  I thank him, too, for his good company and for the chance to finally get to run with him.

I stop running when I reach my front walk, but take a stroll down my street to cool down and let my heart rate ease back to normal.  I am exhilarated from today’s run.  I am happy my early client went over time, that I called my mom before I ran.  The timing turned out to be perfect for me.  Running into and then with Eric cleared my mind better than anything else could have today, and keeping up with him reminded me that it’s good to push a little harder once in a while.