Distressing to De-stressing

As I mentioned in my last post, stress was trying to disturb the peace.

What are ways to combat it? How do you relax?

Here are some of my ideas for de-stressing:

1. Prayer Walks

Part of my stress lately has been that I don’t have time to exercise. I had gotten more regular at running by the end of last semester, but the start of this one has overhauled my past routine. Although you may be able to, I have not mastered being able to run and have focused prayer at the same time. However, I can walk and pray! On days that I don’t have time to exercise, I still won’t give up my concentrated time to pray, so I can at least go for a walk. Though it is not an everyday practice for me, it can be a good way to help me focus on my conversation with the Lord instead of distractions at home and to let out some pent up stress.

2. Yoga

Scott and I have taken our goals for flexibility last year to a new level this year. By his suggestion, we have begun doing yoga (almost) daily. He even got us yoga mats for my birthday, so we’re pretty committed now. It has become a fun thing to do together and it does have a relaxing effect that helps me fall asleep a little faster (especially if I can try to clear my mind at the same time…if that’s even possible?).

3. Cooking

Okay, I understand for some people that cooking is anything but stress relieving, but this soup recipe is super stress free. As I mentioned in the fall, each week we have friends over for soup. I look forward to it all week long, because for me, cooking is an outlet. This past Thursday we had soup called Yoga Pot and I made pretzel rolls. Both were good. The pot of soup was packed full of nutrients, so you may want to give your immune system a boost and give it a try. I made several adjustments to the recipe, so this is my version of the recipe:

Yoga Pot  (serves 4)

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion (chopped) – I left out because Scott’s not an onion eater but they would be great!
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 broccoli (in large pieces)
2 large carrots (in large pieces)
1 small zucchini(in large pieces)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup lentils
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

Directions
Heat oil in a pot, add onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. When soft, add broccoli, carrots, fennel and zucchini and let it saute for around 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and lentils and let it boil for at least 45 minutes. Add beans and let it boil for 5 more minutes. Eat as it is or serve it with brown rice, and top with fresh cilantro if you have it.

The pretzel rolls were easier than expected and quite delicious! I made them with half whole wheat flour. They were a fun way to switch things up too. Get the recipe here: http://une-bonne-vie.blogspot.com/2010/08/pretzel-rolls.html

As the yoga instructors always say at the end, “Namaste!”

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