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I always find it so crazy how every yoga class I go to seems to tap into exactly what I needed to go to class for. Yesterday, I said I was having a bad couple of days with my sciatica in my hips and my feet, from flip flops. The instructor announced “we are going to send some juice into those hips and do some foot stretches since it is flip flop season.” How do they know?? There was only a couple of us in the class, the smallest class I’ve ever been in. The extra attention was awesome. I still consider myself pretty new to yoga and any extra help is greatly appreciated.

After class, I went and did my new favorite leisure activity. Coffee + Reading outside at 71 Irving.

Irving has to be one of my favorite little streets in NY. It is right off the upscale neighborhood of Gramercy Park. It is a really nice side street and that is pretty quiet by NYC standards. So, it is pretty relaxing to sit outside and enjoy the weather. I keep finding myself here in the afternoons 1-2 a week lately. Bonus – it is in walking distance from my apartment. Double bonus – the coffee/baked goods are delicious!

Then, I spent 2 hours attempting to chicken out of going to the Lululemon Soho running club. I sucked it up and went. I told myself now or never. I am so glad I did! Best decision I’ve made in awhile. I got to meet Caitlin, from caitlinliveswell.com, and she was totally right – it is chill and everyone is awesome. I always thought I worked out better on my own, but I ran farther than I have in awhile with this group. And I feel great! My legs were definitely tight today, but that is to be expected. As far as my joint pain – I seem to be holding up fine after the ~4.5 mile run. I’m pretty pumped about this. I was wrong; a group workout definitely allows you to challenge yourself more. It is too easy to play it safe when you are by yourself. I think I going to make this a regular Wednesday night run. I’m hooked after just one session. They might have even convinced me to go for the Staten Island Half Marathon in October. We shall see…..

The moral to the story – face your fears. If there is something you want to try, just go for it! It will probably be great.

I will leave you with some of today’s eats.

My favorite muffin mash: About 6 oz of TJ’s 0% plain greek yogurt with 1/2 a crumbled blueberry flax muffin (advertised to be only 80 calories) and 5 raspberries + TJ’s Bay Blend coffee. This coffee is good. It is ultra dark roast. Flavor is bold and definitely hits the spot. Not too acidic or bitter at all.

For dinner, we had coconut curry marinated tempeh from Turtle Island, steamed broccoli with a little Parmesan cheese, and spiced cousous with chickpeas.  Bryan and I had this chickpea dish at a New Year’s Party where everyone there was middle eastern. The food was incredible and all homemade. It was actually my mom’s boyfriend’s family. I’ve been asking for the recipe since January. Still don’t have it so I just tried to wing it with what I know of middle eastern cuisine. Here is what I did. Sorry there are no measurements for the spices.

Middle Eastern Spiced Pearl Couscous w/ Chickpeas

  1. Cook 1 cup whole wheat large pearl couscous in 1 1/4 cup of water
  2. Rinse and Drain 1 can of chickpeas
  3. Add these spices to taste (or smell – it is so fragrant!) : cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, salt, pepper, and a little onion powder.
  4. Add chickpeas at the end and stir.

It was pretty damn close. I think cooking the couscous in broth (veg or chicken) would add more flavor, which I think is what they probably did. I liked this the way it was though. Other spices possible added: all spice or cloves.

So tell me –

Are you part of an exercise group? Or have you tried something new lately that you were nervous about? I am a bit nervous about the upcoming Healthy Living Summit. But I am confident it is going to be awesome and a truly great experience.