Back Sequence- Bridge Pose

Buns of steel can help support your lower back, so let’s give this pose another go.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent onto your mat
  • Bring heels as close to your glutes as possible
  • Press down into your heels and lift your body up through your hips; Knees hip distance apart and toes pointed forward
  • Once up, interlace your hands and shimmy them underneath your hips pressing your hands together, with the edges of your hands pressing into your mat. You may need to shimmy your arms again to ensure your chest is open and arms comfortable

Were you able to feel your glutes work in bridge pose? Did it feel odd to you if you weren’t used to trying to activate your glutes?

Back Sequence – Locust

Last week we focused on cobra pose, today we are going to work on another pose called locust. This pose helps strengthen your entire back body, also known as the posterior chain.

Locust
  • Locust Pose
  • Lie completely flat on your stomach, resting forehead on your mat extending your legs straight behind you with the tops of your feet also on your mat. 
  • Arms are down at your sides, palms facing up.
  • As you inhale, raise your head to look forward and as you exhale lift your chest and arms off the floor. Feel your collarbones widen.
  • And lift your legs up toward the ceiling squeezing your glutes and zippering the feet together. 
  • Then release.

How does your back feel now, after locust pose?

Spinach and Cheese Omelet

Whenever I have time for a hot breakfast I will always try to make it. I could make oatmeal, but I love to create different types of omelets. Omelets are a great way to get in some veggies during breakfast. One of my favorites is my spinach and cheese omelet. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped spinach

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

3 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded

Dash of garlic, onion powder

Pinch of pepper and salt

Directions:

  1. Heat up the pan over medium heat, put in a pat of butter
  2. Crack 2 eggs into a cup and scramble it with a fork.
  3. Shake in the garlic and onion powder, as well as the salt and pepper.
  4. Once the pan is hot, pour the egg into the pan.
  5. Let it cook fully on one side and then flip it to the other side.
  6. As the other side cooks, place the spinach, onion, and cheese on half of the omelet and the fold the other side over so it is covered.
  7. Let it cook for a few minutes and then flip to the other side.
  8. Place on a plate and enjoy.

Back Sequence – Cobra

So how is your back feeling so far? I hope good! Today we have another yoga pose that can help strengthen your back, cobra pose.

Cobra

  • Lie down flat on your stomach
  • Place your palms onto your mat right under your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows, so they are sent directly back behind you and they are close to your ribs
  • Look down onto your mat, neck neutral. Anchor your pubic area to the floor. 
  • As you inhale lift your chest up off the floor while drawing your shoulders back, while keeping your low ribs to the floor. Continue to keep your elbows hugged to your sides.
  • Continue to keep your neck neutral. Keep your gaze on the floor. 

How do you feel? Does your back feel stronger?

Let me know how you feel below.

Done with the story?

Just when you finish typing the last sentence of your story an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction comes over you.

You’re done.

Finished.

Another story in the books… At least that’s what you thought. Just because you wrote the last sentence doesn’t mean you’re actually done.

When I first started writing that’s what I thought. I’m done. I gave it the good college try. I should be good. Right? NO! Now that you are completely done with the story, it’s time to go back, back to the beginning (did you catch the Buffy reference. If not please go watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7).

Once you finish your story, its just the start of another process- editing your story. Very rarely is your first go, a brilliant work of art, although we are each entitled to our own opinions. When I reviewed my story I saw a lot of mistakes. One, I left words out. I’d been typing so fast my brain was filling in the word I’d wanted so I didn’t realize it until later. Two, some of my dialogue just didn’t fit. Three, what happened to this character? They just disappeared. And four, some parts just didn’t seem necessary.

Now, I do not start fixing all of this all in one go. I fill in the words that are missing, then I write down what didn’t work. Next to that I write possible solutions. How could the dialogue be better, more realistic? And how can I incorporate this particular character throughout the entire story? And what do I need to trim to make everything vital into the story?

It usually takes me a month or two to revise a story. I’m still learning my method, but I will tell you that after I finalize the story, I am so sick of looking at it I want to just burn it. Yes I am literally that fed up with it. And then I know I’m done. But remember, use your writing friends. Bounce your ideas off of them.

I just finished a story and I had one of my classmates from my writing class critique it. And she did a wonderful job. She made some suggestions for words and even told me what could be cut out because she knew I was over the word limit. I was very happy with the story once I made those changes. So get to writing and start polishing up those stories.

How do you know when you are done with a story? Let me know, or am I the only one who starts to hate the entire thing towards the end?

Back Sequence – Bridge

Did you know that strong glutes can help support your lower back? So that means we need to work on that peach!

So let’s get to work on building those glutes with bridge pose.

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent onto your mat
  • Bring heels as close to your glutes as possible
  • Press down into your heels and lift your body up through your hips; Knees hip distance apart and toes pointed forward
  • Once up, interlace your hands and shimmy them underneath your hips pressing your hands together, with the edges of your hands pressing into your mat. You may need to shimmy your arms again to ensure your chest is open and arms comfortable

How did bridge pose work for you? Do your glutes feel stronger?

Almond Butter Toast

I love peanut butter. Like LOVE peanut butter, but every once in a while I want a different type of flavor on my toast. When that’s the case I switch on over to almond butter. If you want a change, then try this for your next breakfast.

The perfect Almond English Muffins

Ingredients:

1 English muffin

1-2 Tbsp Almond butter

4-5 strawberries, cut up

Blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Take a fork and plunge it into the English muffin working around the edge until the two halves come apart.
  2. Toast the English muffin in the toaster OR put it in the oven with the broiler setting on (do not leave them unattended, it can burn them)
  3. Once toasted put them on a plate.
  4. Smear almond butter on each half to your liking
  5. Place strawberries on top and sprinkle blueberries as well
  6. Brew a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Energy Ball

If you are on the go like me. It can sometimes be hard to find a tasty, yet nutritious snack. When I need something like that, I always grab these energy balls. For me, 1-2 does the trick. I always try to keep a batch in the freezer waiting for me if I get the chance. Here is hoping that these become a staple for you as well.

1.25 cup oats

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

  1. Pour all ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Stir into well incorporated.
  3. Put in the fridge and allow it to set for 2 hours.
  4. Take a tablespoon and scoop out the mixture and using hands mold it into a ball.
  5. Continue forming the mixture into tablespoon sized balls until the mixture is gone.
  6. Put in a container in the fridge to keep for a week. OR can place in the freezer for a month or two.

Essentials in the Kitchen

    Le Creuset is known for many things, their skillets, silicone utensils, and enamel on steel, and nonstick pans. But their dutch ovens are world renown. Not only are they pretty (have you seen the ombre look of the ovens?), but they can withstand the test of time and whatever home or professional cooks throw at them. There are two pieces that I find are a must in my kitchen- the dutch oven and the braiser.  

               The dutch oven is enamel coated cast iron. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors. When you are choosing a dutch oven you need to keep in mind how many people you are cooking for or if you are batch cooking for yourself. That will determine what size you need to get. If you are starting out then the classic  4.5 quart dutch oven would be a perfect fit. In this particular one you can cook for 3-4 people and you can also bake bread in it as well. I have a 4.5 quart in Caribbean and I love it. But if you like to batch cook your meals for the week, then you may want to consider a the 7.25 quart dutch oven. I use this one to deep fry chicken and also make a weeks worth of egg roll in a bowl. Honestly, I love both. The cast iron evenly heats the pan. They are sturdy and I love the fact that I can start something on the stove top, then pop the entire thing into the oven. I use both of my dutch ovens frequently. 

              The other Le Creuset must, would be a braiser. The braiser, just like their dutch ovens are enamel coated cast iron.  It comes in three different sizes- 2.5, 3.5, and a 5 quart. It’s like a big skillet. Personally, we have a 3.5 quart and we literally use it for everything. We cook eggs and saute veggies. It’s one of the greatest buys we’ve ever gotten. In most cases a 3.5 quart would be a great start, but if you batch cook a lot, consider buying the 5 quart. My biggest regret is not buying the 5 quart, only because we’ve run out of room when cooking in it. But just like the dutch ovens, you can start something on the stove and then pop it in the oven. Its a great buy. 

If you are on the fence about what to buy the dutch oven or the braiser. I would ask myself, what do you want to cook? The dutch oven would be for soups, stews, breads, and also sautéing veggies. The braiser, would be for braising or roasting meats. You could also use it to make cinnamon rolls and eggs.

Time to Write

There are 24 hours in a day. We use 6-8 hours to sleep . Then out of those remaining hours, we have to work. So if I already have a full time job, how am I supposed to find time to write?

Do any of you find it difficult to find free time to write?

I did and on occasion still do. There are a limited number of hours in a day and I want to make the most out of my time. One thing that I had to realize, was that I needed to be realistic about my time. Was I actually going to be able to write every day for an hour? Sometimes yes, other times no. Did I give up or get frustrated because I couldn’t find time to write everyday? No. I had to work with what I had.

Each day we have multiple obstacles that we may have to overcome or roll with. I had to create a plan on how I would overcome those obstacles. Instead of trying to write everyday, I focused on every other day. That worked out better for me. Sometimes when I tried to write everyday, I felt like I was forcing it and the writing that came out of it was purely… garbage! I do not write well under pressure or when forced to. I had to learn to be kind to my mind and myself.

Having a day in between really helped me clear my head and eyes before I got back to it. And in the end it helped me move forward in certain scenes. Now that worked for me, but you may be different. Maybe you want to write everyday, but can’t seem to find an entire hour to dedicate to writing. But do you have 30 minutes free? Who said that when you sit down to do something it had to be a whole hour? Take whatever time you can grab and use it to propel yourself forward in your new story or your revision.

Don’t let your self implemented rules get in the way of your progress. Keep writing with whatever time you have. You will not regret it.

How much time do you devote during the week to writing? Or does it vary? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time- keep reading and writing!