Love with Food by G-Free Foodie Box Review and GIVEAWAY

Happy Friday, guys! I’m stoked to be hosting my very first giveaway on this this ‘lil old blog–especially because I’m giving away such an awesome prize.foodie box 1

I was recently asked to review the G-Free Foodie Box from Love with Food–and I could not have been more excited. As they say on their website: “Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes. For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!” Delicious snacks AND you get to contribute to a good cause? Sold.

The background: Love with Food’s gluten free box comes with 8-12 snacks that are “totally gluten-free and also organic or all-natural, with no artificial junk.”

The money: The gluten-free box runs you $24.50 a month.

foodie 2The goods: Here’s a shot of everything I got in my box. My favorite item was definitely the Key Lime White Chocolate Cookies from WOW Baking Company. These were some of the most moist, tasty GF cookies I’ve ever had! The flavor is distinct but not overpowering, and the cookies are small enough you can have one or two without feeling super guilty.

I also loved this new-to-me pancake mix from Cup4Cup–the pancakes were incredibly fluffy and just the right amount of sweet!  The sample package made three generous servings of pancakes.

The Baked Mac n’ Cheese Puffs from Snikiddy were also great–I have a real weakness for Cheetos, and these took care of the salty craving without the scary orange coloring and all of those pesky chemicals. The only “meh” for me was the pancakessunflower butter cup from Sun Cups–the flavor was pretty bland and the chocolate was a little bit on the bitter side.

The verdict: The price tag is a little bit high, but you absolutely get your money’s worth of snacks in the box. While I generally try to avoid buying processed baked goods and salty snack foods, I loved that the box came with plenty of relatively healthy options from small companies I might not find at the grocery story. I think this box is perfect for those of you who are on-the-go snackers, and especially anyone with kids at home. If you’re new to eating gluten free, this would also be a great introductory subscription (and a FAB gift if you have Celiac friends/family!)

Are you interested in trying out your own G-Free Foodie Box? Love with Food has graciously offered to give away TWO boxes to MyGFBoston readers! Enter below!

Click here to enter!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a G-Free Foodie Box to review. All opinions are my own.

Leah

How to stay active in Boston in the winter

Hey fellow frozen Bostonians! I hope you’re all surviving this crazy snowy winter we’ve been having. As someone who has always lived in a cold/snowy place, I am a firm believer that everyone should have at least one fun activity to look forward to in the winter. Here are my favorite ways to stay active in the winter, both indoors and outdoors. We have all this snow–let’s get out there and enjoy it!!

Ice skating with the fam
Ice skating with the fam

Ice skating

If you haven’t gone ice skating since you were a kid, now is the time to give it a second try. There are tons of places to check out in the city, many of which are cheap or free. So skip the touristy frog pond and give them a go! We love the Kelly Rink in Jamaica Plain (free skating and $2 rentals) and you can check out this list from mass.gov for other ideas.

Downhill skiing

Bluebird day at Cannon Mountain
Bluebird day at Cannon Mountain

I’m actually a born and bred cross-country skier (varsity high school team captain–yes, competitive x-c skiing is a thing), but J is a huge snowboarder and I have really come to love downhill skiing over the past few years. It’s definitely a pricey hobby, but if you keep an eye on liftopia you can get some good deals. Plus, if you’re a student, the multi-mountain passes are super affordable! We got this one, but there are a bunch more out there.

Nordic skiing

If downhill isn’t your thing, which I totally get, absolutely consider giving x-c (or nordic) skiing a try.

Uphill skiing
Uphill skiing. Hi J!

It’s a low-impact, super effective aerobic workout and a wonderful way to get outside with family and friends. I highly recommend taking a lesson at the fabulous Weston Ski Track or checking out the conservation land in Lincoln if you have your own equipment. If you’re able to venture a bit further afield, Windblown in New Ipswich, NH is a great option.

Winter hiking

I actually tried this for my first time this year and surprisingly really loved it! J and I went up Mt. Avalon and Field earlier this season and the views were just spectacular. Make sure you’ve got the right gear for this–warm boots with traction, poles, and lots of layers are a must.

How can you go wrong with views like this?
How can you go wrong with views like this?

This might be a better bet when there isn’t quite as much snow, but it’s a wonderful way to take in some of the best mountain views in New England without all those pesky leaves getting in the way.

Hot yoga

Ok, ok–I get it that not everyone sees the snow and immediately wants to run outside and and play in it. Winter is also a fantastic time to try out a new indoor fitness activity! Over my break from school, I check out Corepower Yoga’s new studio on Comm Ave in Allston. I was stoked to try YogaSculpt for the first time–it’s a fast-paced, heated class that combines free weights with a vinyasa flow. The classes kicked.my.butt. I definitely don’t put this in the category of healing, grounding yoga practice, but it was really fun to try something new. Plus, the first week is free!

Flying trapeze

They also take pictures of you looking super badass--worth the $ ;)
With the greatest of ease….

While we’re talking indoor activities, I’m going to get about as epic as as it gets and tell you about my first class at Trapeze School New York’s new Boston location. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie, and I was stoked to take my second TSNY class close to home. My friend S and I had a wonderful time learning a knee hang and getting to practice doing a catch! Also, turns out dangling from a flying trapeze is a pretty intense upper body workout–I could barely move my arms the next day. The instructors are super professional and reassuring (as is the harness), so I highly recommend giving flying a try 🙂

How do you get out and get moving in the winter? (Shoveling your car out doesn’t count–that’s not fun for anyone. Ohh #bosnow…)

Leah

Work it: dealing with food allergies at the office

The hardest moments for a Celiac are the ones when we can’t control our own food prep. You usually read about this in terms of travel, eating at restaurants, or eating at other peoples’ homes. But here’s something most of us do every day and don’t talk about: we go to work. And we eat at work.

The toaster at my work, covered in gluten. Danger zone!
The office toaster = perpetually covered in gluten. Danger zone!

I have navigated my way through plenty of 9-5 office jobs and learned some lessons along the way. Here are my two cents on how to stay safe, happy, and healthy at the office:

Speak up, early and often: I’ve written about this before, but I don’t like to make a big deal about my food needs–especially with people I don’t know well. However, I’ve realized your best bet in an office environment is to let your colleagues know super early on that you have a food allergy. Food is a huge part of office culture–from birthday cakes to bagel Fridays to holiday treats, it’s hard to escape gluten at work. If you communicate your needs up front, your coworkers will be able to cater to them or at least be aware of them from the get-go.

Talk to the right people: We gluten free folk ALWAYS need to be cautious and take care of ourselves! Even if you mention things up front, your boss probably won’t remember to tell event and retreat organizers about your food needs. So be polite and courteous, but don’t be afraid to request a special meal or ask what’s on the menu. You may need to bring your own food, but at least you’ll know ahead of time!

Fully stocked. Yes those Yorks are imperative to my job #sorrynotsorry
Fully stocked. Yes those Yorks are imperative to my job #sorrynotsorry

BYO food: This one actually extends beyond just food–I keep a set of my own utensils, sponges, mugs, and bowls at my desk–along with a dish towel and a roll of tin foil. I usually bring my breakfast and lunch with me in tupperware containers, but it’s super nice to be able to warm things up in a mug or bowl, which you know you’ll then be able to wash safely. Plus, this lets me be green AND have a happy tummy 🙂

Ask questions: Sometimes the most well-meaning coworkers make the silliest mistakes. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions–people have no idea how tricky it can be to avoid gluten! You are your own best advocate, and you’re doing a solid for the rest of us by spreading the good gluten free word.

Find a friend: While you won’t always be this lucky, eating gluten free is SO much more fun when you’re not the only one! I don’t work with any other gf folks at my current job, but I have had the most wonderful fellow gluten free coworkers in my time (hi Lex, Rina, and Kaitlin!)

Thanks, lovely colleagues!
Thanks, lovely colleagues!

Band together and you might even get your HR department to have gluten free cookies at staff meetings! #winning

I hope these tips are helpful! How do you deal with gluten or other food issues at work? Shout out your comments below!

Leah

 

My favorite blogs, part two: the best gluten free food blogs

Hey friends–in the midst of all of this snow, has anyone else been doing a ton of cooking and baking? I know I have! In that vein, I’m thrilled to be sharing the second installment of my favorite blogs series. Today I’m going all GF and sharing the best gluten free blogs with all of you. There are many more out there that are worth reading, but these ones are by far and away my favorites to read and to cook from. I hope you enjoy!

LCK's Pumpkin Biscuits!Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Lexi is a local gal who posts all kinds of delicious gluten free/paleo recipes. While I don’t generally jump on board with the paleo trend, the recipes on LCK are simple, foolproof, and actually healthy–they don’t fall into the paleo trap of always being centered around bacon fat and unusual, hard to find ingredients. Don’t miss out on these incredibly easy paleo pumpkin biscuits–they’re moist and delicious! I also highly recommend following Lexi on Instagram so that you can see pictures of her adorable new dog.

Fit Foodie Finds and The Healthy Maven

10624611_10100241095599318_3611018261325638305_nThese ladies are buddies in real life, so I’m listing them together. They’re young, fit gals who blog prolifically and post creative, gluten free recipes along with some fun extras on fitness and fashion. Definitely pay attention to the comments to see how people play around and make these recipes work best. I love this duo and can’t wait to read more from them! I especially love Lee at FFF’s easy homemade marinara sauce (pictured here) and Davida at THM’s no-bake cinnamon roll protein bars!

Iowa Girl Eats

This one is an all-around solid food blog with yummy, well-tested recipes that are relatively simple and family-friendly. Kristin also posts just the right amount of adorable baby photos without turning her food blog into a baby blog. While some food bloggers can get a little bit too “out there” with their recipe creation, the food on IGE always looks like what I would want waiting for me when I get home from a long day at work. I’ve made this creamy garlic parmesan quinoa more times than I can count–it’s the perfect side dish!

Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Gluten Hates Me

April was one of the first gluten free bloggers I happened upon. She has been blogging for years and provides wonderful gluten free lifestyle tips and links to fabulous recipes she and her adorable hubby have tried and loved. GHM is not a “food blog” per se, but more of a chronicle of one gal’s efforts to manage her Celiac disease, stay healthy, and enjoy life (complete with puppies and a brand new baby! Congrats April!!) Do not miss these quinoa cakes or this spaghetti squash carbonara–both are fabulous.

So… Let’s Hang Out

Even if you never make a single one of her recipes (which you totally should)–you MUST follow Gina just to read her hilarious posts. This girl is just so dang funny! You won’t be able to get through a post without cracking a smile. On top of that, her recipes are healthy (but not too healthy), interesting (but not too complicated), and dang frigging delish. Don’t miss her maple sriracha Brussels sprouts–nomnomnom.

If you want to follow my adventures as I explore the gluten free blogosphere, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter! Keep an eye out for more blogs to follow as the series continues.

Leah

Brazilian Cheese Bread–naturally gluten free

Happy snow storm to all of my fellow Bostonians! I for one am THRILLED about all of the snow–in addition to the skiing I plan to do this weekend, the snow day gave me a chance to try out some new recipes. I’m so excited to share my favorite one with you today. I have been seeing recipes for Brazilian cheese bread or pao de queijo all over the gluten free interwebs for a while now, and was jazzed to try it myself. I made some adjustments to this recipe from Bewitching Kitchen, and the result was fantastic and super easy. These little popover-like muffins are gooey, chewy, and cheesy–we ate them fresh out of the oven and I had to stop myself from nomming on the whole tray.

breads

Notes: The original recipe calls for farmer’s cheese, but I had cottage on hand and it worked perfectly. Also, you can use a mini muffin tin if you have one and make twice as many teeny tiny breads.

Brazilian Cheese Bread
Adapted from Bewitching Kitchen!
Yield: 10 breads (you could probably made 12 slightly smaller breads)

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cottage cheese, with the liquid drained off
1 tbsp. grated parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tin and set aside. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender to incorporate all of the tapioca starch. Fill the muffin cups ⅔ to ¾ of the way, and then bake for 20-22 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Enjoy the snow and all of the comfort food!

Leah

My favorite blogs, part one: who to read and what to make!

There are several reasons I decided to start this blog. First and foremost, I get a ton of questions about being gluten free. Sometimes they’re related to which ingredients are/aren’t ok, sometimes it’s an overall curiosity because a friend/family member just got diagnosed, or sometimes people want to be able to bring a gf-friendly item to a party (you people are awesome, btw). The blog posts were basically writing themselves in the form of emails I kept sending and resending. So I figured, why not formalize this thing?

I’m also very, very familiar the number of gluten free food blogs that are already out there. If you want to make a gf version of your favorite baked good, type that into google or Pinterest and you’ll be stunned with how many gorgeous photos and fantastic recipes you come up with. What you won’t find a ton of, however, are real-life down-and-dirty accounts of just how plain hard it is to balance a gf lifestyle with other stuff. Just the usual: a demanding job, grad school, a tight budget, an exercise schedule, a social life, and a relationship. Phew! I’m super inspired by my voracious blog reading, and wanted to add my voice to the handful of awesome folks doing the same. I hope to be able to make the path towards a healthy, happy, gluten free Boston lifestyle a little bit easier for everyone out there. In that vein, I’m going to kick off a mini series sharing my favorite blogs, bloggers, and the recipes I’ve discovered in the blogosphere. Today I’m going to start with my top gluten friendly blogs–they’re not 100% gf, but they’re really wonderful and highly recommended. More to come in this series soon!

Chocolate Covered Katie

Katie is one of the most prolific bloggers out there–and you’ve got to hand it to her, her recipes are amazing. She specializes in “healthy” desserts, but branches out into breakfast and other meals too. I was officially a convert when I first made her chickpea blondies–which have a whole can of chickpeas in them and actually taste good! Give them a whirl and don’t tell your family they’re healthy–they’ll never know 😉

Secret chickpea blondies!
Secret chickpea blondies!

Chocolate and Carrots

Caroline is a master baker–her treats always look like they came out of a professional bakery. While her blog isn’t specifically gluten free, she makes a number of gluten friendly recipes that run the gamut from mains to desserts to smoothies. She has some great little tutorials, too, on things like tempering chocolate and decorating cupcakes. Don’t miss her cookie dough truffles!

Every day I’m truffling.

Kath Eats Real Food

Full disclosure: this is actually a blog I stopped following recently. It felt like it was veering more towards a baby blog than what I’m interested in. However, Kath is a registered dietitian and her site is a treasure trove of wonderful breakfast recipes. She and I share a mutual obsession with oats, and I discovered both baked and overnight oats through her blog. I ate this baked pumpkin oatmeal every. single. morning. for about two straight months this fall. #sorrynotsorry

Overnight oats! I added pumpkin. Because YUM.
Overnight oats! I added pumpkin. Because YUM.

Pinch of Yum

I have definitely plugged Lindsay’s blog before, and I’ll do it again–this lady does it all. Gorgeous photography, unique and tasty recipes, and a silly, irreverent tone you can’t help but love. A friend recently told me Lindsay writes the way that I speak–what a compliment!! But seriously, Pinch of Yum is the gold standard. The recipes aren’t specifically GF but many are easily adaptable. Don’t miss her spicy peanut chicken soba noodle salad (sub in rice noodles!)

OSG

Oh She Glows is another really popular (for good reason), top notch food blog. It’s actually vegan, which is usually not my thing, but dang can Angela make vegan food look friggin delish! Her recipes are very gf friendly and relatively simple–no crazy ingredients or epically complicated recipes up in here! On the same note about my love for oatmeal, her carrot cake oatmeal is as heavenly as the title says. Can’t wait to dive into this lady’s cookbook ASAP!

Carrot cake baked oatmeal
Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Hope this post was helpful! What are you favorite gluten friendly blogs to follow?

Being grateful for the little things

Living a gluten free lifestyle can get mega frustrating sometimes. Like when I order something that looks totally safe from a menu and it comes out with a big crumbly cookie shoved into it (be careful at Max Brenner!) Or when my friend’s college buddies use up my entire bag of GF bread to make sandwiches during a ski weekend. Or when I walk into the office kitchen to find every single surface covered in crumbs.

But sometimes, life throws you a really awesome gluten free surprise. So in the spirit of the new year, here are a few amazing things to be thankful for every time they come your way.

  1. A bread basket surprise: one of the toughest things about eating out GF is when you’re super hungry and the bread basket comes out. Commence hanger. Restaurants who have a GF bread option? #winning!

    Was served this delish focaccia at Elixir in White River Junction, Vermont--they're fabulous.
    Was served this delish focaccia at Elixir in White River Junction, Vermont–they’re fabulous.
  1. A just because surprise: you happened to be driving by a gluten free bakery and bought me a cookie?? You have won my undying love and affection forever.

    Thanks, coworkers :)
    Thanks, coworkers 🙂
  1. A dinner party surprise: I don’t like to make a huge deal about my dietary restrictions in groups. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. But I have some amazing friends who totally get it, and will make sure that some or all of the meal is GF/tell me exactly what I can or can’t eat without me having to describe my digestive function to all the other dinner party attendees. You guys are the best.
  1. A fellow Celiac surprise: Not being the only Celiac in the room is always lovely. Big ups to my GF besties (old and new)–thanks for being there and making me feel like I’m not alone!

    My GFF E and I went to Costa Rica and it was awesome. We ate all of the gluten free things.
  1. A restaurant surprise: I have occasionally stumbled upon a restaurant or bakery that unbeknownst to me has a huge GF menu and/or totally understands how to prepare delicious food without cross contamination. Like when my favorite brunch places (The Friendly Toast and Sound Bites) first casually offered to serve gluten free toast with my omelette and potatoes. Um, yes please!

    You and your pancakes forever have my heart, Friendly Toast
    You and your pancakes forever have my heart, Friendly Toast

I want to hear from you! What gluten free surprises make you the happiest? What are the little things you’re feeling most grateful for?

Gluten free chili

Ok, Boston–I’m finally giving up the ghost and admitting that winter is around the corner. Cold weather always makes me crave one thing: a big, heaping bowl of chili. Chili is the ultimate comfort food for me since it was one of our go-to recipes growing up. The thing I love most about chili is just how dang versatile it is–we used to eat ours vegetarian so that we could have cheese on top (ah the joys of keeping kosher) but now I love my chili with some lean ground meat or turkey. I’ll share the basic recipe we’ve used for years, and then offer up some ways to alter it.

DSC_1018

Note: I like my chili to be pretty thick–there will be no watery or soupy chili up in my house. This recipe makes a sturdy, hearty chili, but if you like a thinner/more soup-like texture, feel free to cut down on the rice (or quinoa, whatever floats your boat).

The easiest chili ingredients!
The easiest chili ingredients!

Chili a la David (this is what my mom’s recipe card says)

1/2 cup rice, 1 cup water

1 tbsp. oil

1 onion, sliced

2 tbsp. chili powder (for medium, 1.5 for mild or 3 for hot)

1 dash garlic powder

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans including the liquid

2 tbsp. white vinegar

Directions

Cook rice. Saute onions in oil and stir in cooked rice. Add spices and then beans and sauce. Put over low heat for 45 min or so, til it thickens up. Makes 3 small servings (we usually double it).

IMG_2950

How easy AND affordable is that?? I bet you have most of the ingredients sitting in your pantry! This is the basic, vegetarian (and incidentally also free of gluten and dairy) version. Here are my tips, tricks, and additions if you want to get all fancy with it:

  1. Dress it up! Serve with chips, cornbread, or a green salad. My favorite toppings are cheddar cheese (family favorite: Cabot seriously sharp), chopped scallions/chives, greek yogurt, or sour cream. The sky’s the limit–go crazy here!!

    Topped with cheese and avo, and accompanied by cornbread, because YUM.
    Topped with cheese and avo, and accompanied by cornbread, because YUM.
  2. Add it in! If you’re cooking for kids or picky grown-ups, chili is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies. I’ve added sweet potato (pre-cooked), kale, peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, and spinach, but pretty much anything would work. Add them in close to the end of the cooking time so they don’t get too mushy.

    Sneaking some extra tomatoes in (shh don't tell)
    Sneaking some extra tomatoes in (shh don’t tell)
  3. Get spicy! The basic recipe tastes amazing, but I’ve tweaked it over the years to increase the depth of flavor and spice. I like to add a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes (perhaps my all-time favorite spice) while the onions are sauteeing. One of my GFFs suggested adding a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder–a definite “wow” factor if mole is your thing. Also, the brand of chili powder you use makes a big difference. To really treat yo self, try Penzey’s.
  4. Pump up the protein! Adding meat into the recipe is a great way to switch things up. I recommend half a pound or so of ground meat of your choice. You vegetarians can also use fake meat crumbles and never know the difference, but keep in mind most brands are not gluten free. Curse you, Morningstar!
  5. Get creative! Pretty much everything in this recipe is super replaceable. I’ve subbed the rice for brown rice or quinoa (or a mix) and used black beans, lentils, white beans, or light kidney beans as substitutes for the kidney beans.

Happy chili eating!

– Leah

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Tufts 10K for Women Race Recap

I know what you’re thinking–really, your weekly treat was a 10k?? Nope! I’m not that crazy–races are tough, but this one was filled with new-to-me before and after treats I’m psyched to share. Here’s a recap of my treatful race day! (And click here to read Becky’s fabulous blog and learn more about #treatyourselftuesday.)

  • 9:00 a.m. Wake up. A race that doesn’t start before 8:00am? HURRAH!
  • 9:30 a.m. Make pancakes. I tried this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and they were amazing! Cakey, not too sweet–yum. Excuse the weird color due to the fact that I used frozen blueberries. Do not excuse the banana slices and generous maple syrup drizzle. Yum!image (3)
  • 11:15 a.m. Arrive at my friend R’s apartment to pin on bib numbers and tag team over to the race. In-depth discussion of outfit options. Change into tank top.
  • 11:50 a.m. Wedge my way into the crowd at the 8:00 min/mile corral. Figure I can drop back when I need to.
  • 12:00 p.m. We’re off!! Pass lots of people at the beginning and wonder whether they quite understand what the 8:00 min/mile corral means.
  • 12:15 p.m. Feeling good, feeling speedy! I don’t have any timing devices on but I’m pushing a medium hard pace.
  • 12:20 p.m. Someone is yelling my name. Clearly there must be another Leah. Someone yells my name again. My brother came over from his office and is cheering me on! Well, by cheering, he’s mostly just yelling at me to go faster.
  • 12:20-12:30 p.m. More “encouragement”–he paces me around the halfway mark (in jeans, mind you) and points out girls I should try to pass. Lots of cell phone pictures ensue. Take down a couple of speedy ladies. Peer pressure FTW.

    Oh hey Boston!
    Oh hey Boston!
  • 12:30 p.m. Damn you side cramp! SO close to finishing! Take teeny tiny walk break and attempt to breathe.
  • 12:40 p.m. Pick it back up and haul it on home. High five Joan Benoit Samuelson! Finish in 49:46 with an average pace of 7:51–my fastest average in a race ever, by 8 seconds!!

    Stolen photo alert.
    Stolen photo alert. My favorite part is the girl giving me the stank eye.
  • 1:00 p.m. Load up on free treats which are ALL GLUTEN FREE. I was so happy I had to arrange them into a smiley face when I got home 🙂

image (5)

  • 1:30 p.m. Find my speedy friends.
  • 2:00 p.m. Wrap it up with a Sweetgreen salad. I was too hungry to stop for a pic, but their new menu is fabulous. I had the Harvest Bowl with added brussels sprouts… om nom.

Overall, this was a great race! It attracts a nice range of runners, so there’s a spot for everyone. The course is flat and fast, and the event is well organized–nice t-shirts, lots of water stops, good food at the end, etc. If you’re looking for a challenge beyond a 5k, this is a great one to start with. Keep an eye out for next year’s race at here!

10350523_10100381244624518_7335028303524707023_n
PRs all around for these gals! Fun fact: I am the only person in this photo who is not a future doctor.

Have you ever run a 10k? Or an all-women’s race? Hope you had some great treats this week!

Leah

My first #thinkingoutloud Thursday: why I love yoga!

Happy Thursday to all! I’m super pumped to be linking up with Amanda for my very first #thinkingoutloud Thursday.

Thinking-Out-Loud2
Check out Amanda’s awesome blog at http://www.runningwithspoons.com/!

I want take a minute to tell you about my yoga class last week. It was one of the best I’ve ever been to.

It was, at times, gut-wrenching (both literally and figuratively), volatile, joyful, insurmountably difficult, and supremely tranquil.

In the course of 90 minutes, I felt:

  • Strong and confident: I got this, easy peasy lemon sqeezy. I’m the queen of the yoga mat and quite possibly also the entire world. Almost immediately followed by…
  • Humble: I’m trying to do something I never in a million years thought I could even attempt. I’m no where near being able to do it. But then I was…
  • Elated: I just did something incredibly challenging for the first time. It was terrifying, but I overcame my own fear. And I never could have done it if I wasn’t…
  • Utterly supported: I don’t just mean supported by my teacher’s hands, I mean supported by a room full of people who want each other to succeed. Strangers and friends alike. Even though at times I couldn’t help but be…
  • Disappointed: There are things that just weren’t going to happen yesterday. I couldn’t be more proud that I tried them, but they weren’t in the cards. So I had to practice some…
  • Acceptance and forgiveness: Which led me to the end of class. An extra long shavasana, during which I felt…
  • At peace: Utterly, totally, and completely. With myself–what I did, what I didn’t do, and the limitless bounty that is what I have yet to learn.

    Doing mountain post on a mountain! Ommm.
    Doing mountain pose on a mountain! Ommm.

I have a lot of competing demands in my life right now, and every day is a little obstacle course of challenges. I have moments when I feel (and swing wildly between) these emotions every single day. And that, ladies and gents, is why I love yoga. It teaches me to feel deeply, forgive readily, and move forward with courage and resolve.

What makes you love (or hate) yoga? Does your exercise routine help keep the rest of your routine in check? As always, I would love your thoughts and feedback!

Namaste,

Leah