Hey there!

Welcome to the first Try Something New Tuesday of October! This week I’ve got a non-food new thing to share with you, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, there’s a delicious new recipe of the week that needs to be shouted from the rooftops, so let’s get straight to it!

1. Recipe of the Week. Having spent 5 years growing up in the Middle East (aka the desert), I don’t ‘do’ cold weather well at all. I think at some point in my life, I’ll find myself moving somewhere that is warm year-round, ideally with beaches, running trails, hiking, and plenty of sunshine. Until then, I’m relying on my love for seasonal fall produce to make the chill more bearable.

baked sweet potato

We’ve  been lucky lately with nice sunny days, but I know the cold ones aren’t too far away. Fall-inspired smoothies are already in full swing, as are meals featuring pumpkin, squash, apples and Brussels sprouts. I’ll have plenty of recipes containing these foods coming up over the coming weeks, but today I’m all about the sweet potato. Specifically, Loaded Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

salsa beans and corn

corn bean and pepper mix for sweet potatoes

This recipe is super simple to make, so simple in fact that I had it three times for dinner last week. In the mix here, we’ve got a combo of corn, black beans, peppers, chili powder and lime juice. I lined the inside of my sweet spud with some salsa, then piled in the bean mix and topped it off with some cilantro and avocado.

Loaded Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato 1

Trust me, you’re going to want to try this.

Loaded Southwestern Sweet Potatoes

Head over to Greatist for the recipe!

Loaded Southwestern Sweet Potatoes

2. Some after-work meditation. Ok, so this isn’t a 100% brand new thing because it’s not like I’ve never meditated before. I’ll start by saying that my original plan to try a new fitness class after work yesterday went awry. On Monday, life served me up a bit of a sh*t sandwich which has had my brain running a million miles a minute ever since. On top of that, I’m currently transitioning off of an iron supplement that has been wreaking some major havoc on my digestive system, and if you’ve ever struggled with iron, you likely know what I’m talking about. By the time 5pm rolled around last night, I really didn’t feel the desire to deal with more traffic and crowds of people. (I have no problem getting myself to the gym on autopilot each morning, but after work is another story!) Although I really just wanted to go home, eat dinner, and mindlessly scroll through Pinterest for a while before calling it a night – and let’s face it, sometimes we all just need a little Pinterest time – I knew I was stressed and needed to release it in a more healthy way.

still

So what did I do? A bit of at-home meditation. Specifically, I used the Omvana app for iPhone which I downloaded a couple of months ago but haven’t been using lately. In addition to the regularly-released paid meditation tracks, there are also a bunch of free ones. I picked one that I hadn’t done yet, set up a calm little space in a corner of my living room with cushions and candles, and got my om on. (I know this will sound a bit woo-woo for anyone who hasn’t meditated before, but trust me, every little bit helps.)

omvana screensIt took a while for m my mind to finally shut up, but after what I think was about 10 minutes, I was totally into a meditative state. Meditation is very much an individual thing with no right or wrong way to do it, but for me, guided ones seem to work the best. You’re not left on your own – you’ve got someone telling you what to do, where to focus, etc. One of the very cool things about Omvana is that there’s a mixer feature, so you can mix a spoken meditation with one of the musical/ambient tracks. There’s everything from crickets and rain to ocean waves and instruments, and if you’d rather just have one or the other (spoken or just music), you can do that too.

So did it help? Yep. I sat there for about 20 minutes before getting up, and noticed that my head felt noticeably clearer by the end. Of course, real life was still there to greet me once I got out of my nice zen-like state, but I felt a lot more relaxed and far less on-edge than I had in the car on my way home. I’ve tried to get into the habit of regular meditation before, but the urge to be productive and do other things always seems to get in the way. Having said that, I’m planning to concentrate some effort on regularly practicing over the next couple of weeks as a means of coping with this curveball and the unknowns that come with it.

So tell me…

  • Did you do anything new yesterday?
  • Do you meditate regularly? How have you found that it helps you?
  • Have you signed up for my monthly health coaching newsletter yet? I’ll be sending it out early next week, and you don’t have to be a client of mine to subscribe. This month I’ve got a healthy seasonal recipe for you (think apples and sweet potatoes!), as well as brand new playlist and some life-improvement ideas to ponder over as we head into fall. It’s totally free, and you can get your name on the list by clicking here.

Have a fabulous day, and I’ll see ya back here on Friday!