Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9 - Listo (Resourcefulness)

Angus MacGyver
Image via Wikipedia
Welcome to my ninth reverb11 post, where Michelle at Yoga Freedom asks "How resourceful were you in 2011? What new ways could you incorporate resourcefulness into 2012?" But wait, there's more! If you keep reading you'll find an unbelievable cat and yogini video. But that's not all. There's also a recipe for an old school backpacking snack that's become my post-workout recovery favorite. So, read on...

Resourcefulness may be a requirement for living in the Adirondacks. Our growing season is two months long. Winter seems to take up the other ten months. It gets cold (really cold) in the middle of those ten months. There aren't many businesses, so folks need to come up with jobs for themselves. Those of us who don't know how to drive a snowplow have to be very resourceful.

My husband is a master of creatively overcoming difficulties. It seems that almost anything can be fixed if you have enough wire coat hangers and duct tape. Resourcefulness doesn't come as naturally to me, but I'm learning.

Money was tight during 2011 and household cleaning supplies were eating into the food budget, so I set out to find homemade replacements. I no longer buy sponges because I knitted a good supply of dishclothes and scrubbies. I've replaced brand-name window cleaner with a combination of white vinegar, cornstarch and water and replaced paper towels with clean rags. My mirrors have never looked better.

During 2012 I plan to look for new ways to use what I already have. I also intend to expand my vegetable garden and make better use of what I grow.

And come up with a really creative way to get a road bike with more than 10 speeds. (Just thought I'd put that out there in case someone has an idea.)

* * * * *

I first saw this video on YogaDork's Facebook page. Watch it, then I'll tell you what happened after I watched it.


Wow, right? I have to admit that the first time that I watched it I focused on the cat, wondering how she made it through a whole Sun Salutation without stopping to remove the cat's claws from the skin on her backside. Because that's where my cats sharp little claws would have been, especially when I started to stand up.

There was something that made me watch it again, and the next time, instead of watching the cat, I watched the yogini. I liked the way she moved through Surya Namaskar, taking her time, coming fully into each asana before moving on. And I started to wonder if I had a different cat (one that was a little calmer and perhaps fully declawed*) if I could keep the cat on my back.

Since seeing the video I have been practicing slow, deliberate Sun Salutations, as if there was a cat on my back. I set the intention to make each movement fluid, without any jerky shifts in weight. I discovered that I could move smoothly from lunge to down dog if I lifted my front foot off the floor before I shifted my weight back and raised my hips. I found I could bend deeper into cobra or upward-facing dog if I moved from the heart. I experienced my deepest forward bend when I lifted my tailbone and brought my weight forward slowly, all to keep the imaginary clawless cat from sliding off.

Yes, a cat video changed my yoga practice. Now where's that Yoga Bear?

* I'm joking here. I would not actually have a cat declawed.

* * * * *

Back to being resourceful. As much as I'd like to buy Luna bars by the case, they are beyond what I can afford on a regular basis. After a workout, when I need a quick hit of protein and calories to help me recover, I've been snacking on an adaptation of a recipe in an old Sierra Club book called Simple Foods for the Pack. The recipe, called "Peanut Butter Fudge," was meant to be eaten to refuel while hiking. I changed the recipe to use up a giant jar of vanilla protein powder that someone gave me because they didn't like it and discovered my new power food.

1 cup peanut butter (you can use crunchy peanut butter and omit the additional peanuts)
1/2 cup of your favorite protein powder (the original recipe calls for powdered milk which you can also use if you have it)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup wheat germ
1/8 cup honey

Mix all the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. It works best if you use your hands.

I press the mix into a square lidded container and break off pieces as needed, but you could also cut it into squares and wrap them individually.

My teenager loves this stuff, but she keeps hinting that chocolate would be a good addition. If you are really fond of chocolate and peanut butter you could use a chocolate-flavored protein powder or add in some chocolate chips. It would make my teenager happy if you did.
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