I like to work hard. I like to relax hard (if that’s a thing… I mean ‘power naps’ are a thing so relaxing hard can be a thing too, right?) I generally don’t like long-term routines, so my workout regime changes at least once or twice a year. For awhile recently it was bodyweight exercises in my room plus dancing really sporadically to music. Things have changed. Now, most days I do P90X (and my workouts are always in the morning by the way). For those of you who don’t know P90X: I will direct you to the wikipedia page on it. Basically it’s an awesome program of videos that focus on different muscle groups (biceps, back, legs, chest, etc.) and there’s a few that are high intensity cardio workouts as well (lots of jump squats, oh mama). There’s also one for yoga, which is like an hour of warrior poses (feel da buuuurn) and then another 30 minutes of less challenging yoga moves. The program is technically designed to be 90 days long, and you’re supposed to do a certain workout each day of the week, but I don’t like following rules so I just do what I feel like. I usually do one workout (they’re all about an hour) every morning, but they’re tough and every few days or once a week I need a break, so I use those days for stretching, because there’s a DVD for that too. It’s an hour of taking care of yourself, and it feels so good. Tony Horton, the guy who designed the program, is really into yoga – and he was actually vegan for a little while; there’s a part in one of the videos when he talks about making non-dairy corn chowder! – so there’s a lot of yoga in the stretching video too.
Anyways, my point is that after I have worked my muscles and cardiovascular system a LOT all week, it feels amazing and so right to just spend an hour calmly stretching out my limbs and doing some light yoga. Work hard, relax hard – get it? (“Oooooooh, now I get it!”) Afterwards, my body usually wants just one thing: homemade almond milk! So today I share a drink that is perfect for post-yoga nutrition. It’s full of spices that are detoxifying digestive aids and blood cleansers. Besides, it tastes amazing. I need something more substantial pretty soon after drinking this but it’s dreamy on its own right after I roll up the yoga mat. Ideas: add it to a smoothie… okay that’s the only idea I have.
A note about the soaked almonds: I suggest buying raw organic almonds in bulk or in a large amount, soaking them all at once, then storing them in the freezer in ziploc bags or air tight glass containers. This is what I do in any case, and it works great for me. A note about the vanilla: try to get whole vanilla beans, then chop off a small segment and throw in the blender. It adds a really fresh flavour that you can’t get from vanilla extract or even vanilla powder. I love getting my vanilla beans from Nature’s Happiness; they are organic, fair trade, raw and pretty inexpensive.
WARMING CHAI ALMOND MILK
1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8-12 hours in water then drained
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon segment of vanilla bean
4 cardamon pods
3 Medjool dates
1 1/2 cups hot water
Throw it all in the blender until smooth. Strain with a nut milk bag, sieve or cheese cloth, and sip it up. Great after yoga and before or after meals. Add 2 frozen bananas to make it a chai milkshake. Life is good.