I was at Yoga school today so I didn’t get a chance to test run my thanksgiving recipes, but I have the whole week off from work so I’ll have plenty tomorrow. I know I’ve been doing “thank you” letters this week, but I know how popular “Myth Busting Mondays” are. So, I’ve decided come back to my thank you letters tomorrow and indulge you in some of the restorative yoga poses I learned over the weekend in addition to a fresh batch of myth busting. I also know many of you tend to be ADD when it comes to blogs and dont like reading too much. If thats the case feel free to just go to the section you’d like to indulge in. Or just hit that X at the corner of your screen. I won’t hate you. Ok, maybe I will….
Anyhow, here are your Thanksgiving Myths:
1. The Bigger the Turkey, the Better
When I was a kid, my mom took me to the supermarket a week before Thanksgiving and let me pick out the frozen turkey. I went for the one with the biggest breasts. Done laughing? Here’s the thing, the ones with big breasts don’t have much flavor.I learned in culinary school that larger-breasted turkeys are actually new breeds that were created to produce a larger amount of meat–not a better flavor. The smaller the ratio of breast meat to whole bird, the closer the turkey is to the original model and better the flavor. My advice, go with a proportional, farm fresh turkey.
2. Fresh Pumpkin is Better Than Canned Pumpkin
Repeat after me: “Canned” isn’t a bad word. Canned tuna and canned tomatoes have a place in the pantry of any great cook. The same rule goes for pumpkin. Canned pureed pumpkin from the grocery store often produces a more reliable and consistent result–especially in baking. If you insist on using fresh pumpkin (and, let’s be honest, preventing your guests from enjoying the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving) be sure to use “sugar pumpkins”. The pumpkins you buy to carve at Halloween are watery, mealy, and not great for recipes. If you ask me, get all sorts of different winter squashes like Kabocha (which is actually known as Japanese pumpkin), golden nugget squash, or buttercup squash. And of course, embrace he can, and remember to recycle when you finish.
3) All that turkey will make you fall asleep like Ambien
If you find yourself nodding off on the couch after the Thanksgiving feast, don’t blame the poor old turkey. While it’s true that turkey contains tryptophan–an amino acid that’s a precursor to calming, feel-good serotonin–there’s not enough tryptophan in roasted turkey to tire you out. In fact, there’s more tryptophan in cheese and chicken breast than there is in turkey. The real reason you’re sleepy? It’s likely the stress of the holiday, the hours spent cooking, and the wine outta do it!
And now for the good stuff! Restorative yoga poses! Restoratives are underrated. Although they look peaceful, restoratives can be challenging for beginners. Just because the body rests quietly doesn’t mean the mind will settle into stillness too. Be patient, and be prepared for days when every inch of you rebels. These are NOT about stretching so dont focus on getting a good stretch. These help you quiet the body and most importantly, the mind (note: I took these pictures so I must thank my fellow yoga teacher training classmates for being my models):
This on is called Supta Baddha Konasana. To come into the pose, sit on the floor in Bound Angle pose (souls together knees out to the sides). Lay back on the floor or over a bolster. Allow your knees to open to the side, resting them on blankets for comfort. Stay as long as you are comfortable.
This is a supported childs pose. I find this one is great when I’m really upset or restless. Sit on your shins, knees spread wide around the bolster/pillow-pile in front of you. Lay forward in Child’s Pose resting the body over the bolster. Arms can rest forward or behind, the head should take equal time being turned to each side. Make sure to have enough support under the belly. You don’t want any strain in your back.
This one is great if your having pain in your lower back or kidneys. Sit on the floor with both legs folded to the left side. Rest you whole upper body on the blankets/pillows/bolsters and allow your head to rest on which ever side feels the most comfortable. Repeat on the right side. And once again, stay as long as you are comfortable. Go ahead, stay for an hour if you’d like.
This is just supported down dog. Simply use blocks or blankets as a foundation to lay your head. But just like any downdog, make sure your arms and legs are straight. Don’t worry about you heels touching the mat. Mine won’t and never will.
PS I meant to post this yesterday but I wanted to wish Heather and Andy a very happy birthday (it was on sunday). Heather was one of my first readers and comments on almost every post of mine. Plus, she has the cutest doggies in the world. Andy is one half of one of my favorite blogs and he’s seriously just an awesome person. He and Amanda (his wife) were the only people I met before I went to foodbuzz and I still consider them my “safe” posse. When I got intimidated by a truckload of health or popular bloggers that cringed at the sight of me, I knew Andy would think I was cool. They made me feel “safe”, if that makes any sense. And when Andy thinks your cool, well thats pretty much all the validation you need. Hope you guys had a fun birthday!