Yoga Journal Blog: Peace and Carrots

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Spice up your practice with these yogi-chefs.

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Samin Nosrat Samin Nosrat
A professional cook, freelance writer, and teacher, Samin looks to tradition, culture and history for inspiration for her creations. She lives in Berkeley, California.
Aaron Hyman Aaron Hyman
Ivy League chef and yogi has the recipe for practice.

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Try It, You Might Like It

peaceandcarrots.jpg

I don't know about you, but once I form an opinion about something, it's basically impossible to get me to change my mind about it. What can I say? I'm a stubborn one.


Never in my life did I think I'd take up a meditation practice. I was so resistant to the idea, in fact, that even the mere thought of Savasana (which hardly counts as meditation) was enough to send me deep into denial. Things got so bad, in fact, that Aaron and I instituted talk-asana when we practiced together, so that we could avoid the dreaded Corpse Pose at all costs.  


But if there's one thing that can get me to try anything, it's being assigned to do it as homework. When I took a yoga immersion last year and found myself assigned to meditate for first 5, then 10, then 25 minutes a day, I actually developed a practice. And looking back, I doubt I could have made it through that crazed, hectic year without the gift of sitting in non-judgmental awareness for just a few minutes each day.  


It's obvious, of course, that the reason I was so resistant to it was because I feared I wouldn't "excel" at it because my mind is too all over the place, juggling 30 million things all at the same time. But that's why I needed to start meditating so badly.


Analogous to my resistance to meditation, I've always been averse to eating foods that we eat for health-related reasons only. I think everything we consume should impart us at least a tiny bit of pleasure. I also firmly believe that when purchased and cooked with care, all ingredients have the potential to be delicious.  


So when Aaron, upon observing how frantic and erratic my eating patterns had become last year, suggested that I start making green vegetable juices each morning to ensure that I get a healthy dose of nutrients at the start of the day, my immediate reaction was, "Yuck!" Green vegetable juices reminded me of the hippie food co-ops where my mom shopped for organic produce, and those taste memories didn't have anything to do with pleasure or deliciousness.  


It wasn't until Aaron came to my house and made me incredibly bright, flavorful juice one summer morning that I accepted that this healthy thing could also be incredibly tasty. During his visit in August, we frequented the farmer's market looking for candidates for our morning juices, and though we loaded up on carrots, greens, cucumbers, and herbs from all of our favorite farms (and foraged for lemons and oranges from neighbors' trees), I continued to insist that he add more melon, more peaches, or more grapes to the juice each morning, to make it sweeter and tastier.  


As winter approached and my life grew busier (and without Aaron to motivate me to juice each morning), my juicing practices fell to the wayside (actually, so did my meditation practice). Then my friend returned for a winter visit, and deprived of fresh produce on the East Coast, he was eager to re-institute the morning juice ritual. So we went back to the market, returning with greens, vegetables, and herbs. I was convinced there was no way I'd enjoy the juice without all of those sweet summer fruits to lighten it up. Aaron conceded, adding an apple to the juice to make it friendlier for me, and I found myself looking forward to that glass of green, living elixir each gray morning.


Since Aaron left in early January, I've managed to continue my morning juice ritual (and reinstate my meditation practice, too), and I pretty much stick to the same recipe with little variation. When one morning last week I found myself out of apples, I went ahead and made the juice anyway, just to see what it'd taste like. I could hardly believe it, but I preferred the less sweet juice!  


I'm noticing this trend in my life, and trying to soften to the things I'm so resistant to. If juice is the last thing you think you could ever like, you should try it. Who knows? Maybe you'll like it...



Green vegetable juice

Makes about 4 cups


1 large or 2 medium carrots

2 ribs celery

1/2 bunch parsley

1/2 bunch spinach

1/2 inch piece fresh ginger

1 lemon, zest removed

5 outer leaves of romaine or other crisp lettuce

1 apple

few drops extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil


Wash all of the fruits and vegetables to remove dirt. Juice in a juicer according to manufacturer's directions. Add a few drops of oil and drink immediately.

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Comments

Nicely said: we shouldn't ever disregard something in life because we 'think' and 'assume' we won't like it. It's not always easy, but being constantly open to new things has the potential to change your universe every second of the day. And that's exciting!

Namaste
StudioLiveTV.com

I love the way you presented your post above. It was really very clear and very informative.



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