If you know me, you know I get really excited about seasonal foods! Our food is most nutrient dense and tasty when eaten in season, so today I want to celebrate a seasonal fruit that doesn't get quite as much attention as pumpkins and apples do this time of year. Pomegranates!
Here are some quick facts about pomegranates: peak pomegranate season is October-February. Pomegranates grow on short, wide, leafy trees (yup, like the one pictured) and are best picked when red all around, presenting with a rough skin. Pomegranates can be tricky to open (not to mention messy), so it's best to go at them under a bowl of cold water.
Now what about health benefits? Well, not surprisingly, I've got good news for you. Pomegranates are PACKED with nutrients that help to regulate digestion, keep your immune system strong, promote healthy blood clotting, and aid in cell repair. Some of those nutrients are fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Plus, the pomegranate is a highly hydrating fruit, which is fitting for this time of year when the weather begins to dry us out.
Feeling a little stuck on how to start using pomegranates in meal prep? I've got some ideas for you:
-Salads, salads, salads...pomegranates pair so nicely with just about any dark green, nut, and citrus dressing combo.
-Serve sprinkled over roasted butternut squash.
-Make a pomegranate ice ring to rest in a healthy holiday punch recipe.
-Eat them in your morning oatmeal.
-Create a simple winter fruit salad with chopped apples, clementine sections, chopped fuyu persimmons, and pomegranate seeds.
-Infuse your water with them.
-Use the juice to naturally color your sugar for Christmas cookie decorating (wear an apron!).
-Decorate with them!
Cheers to pomegranates.
When I moved to my new neighborhood in Los Angeles, I soon came to figure out that my area is not very walkable. In fact some parts of LA are, but many are not since we're such a commuter-heavy city. Not only that, I moved from a hilly area where I could frequently break into a sweat just by taking a mile-long walk...to a very flat part of town. All that to say, I quickly realized that I was going to have to find a new regular groove for my movement needs.
That's when yoga came on the scene. I've written about my back pain here on the website and have tried many approaches for alleviating the chronic pain I deal with, but hadn't gotten serious about yoga until my move. When I realized that I was going to need to get most of my movement at home (I still supplement with aerobic hikes when I can get to a trail), yoga began to sound appealing. At first, I thought I would try it to just aid in the back pain, but I soon found that it was making me stronger all around!
So here are 10 reasons why I'm loving yoga:
1. I can do it for from home in my pajamas.
2. It eases my anxiety immensely with its focus on the breath.
3. It's causing me to work on different muscle groups every time I try a new sequence...when I do it right, I always wake up the next day sore in a new spot.
4. I don't sweat a ton...which makes me not dread the movement.
5. Yoga begins and ends calmly, usually seated, comfortably standing, or even lying down.
6. My weight is being "effortlessly" maintained...I even lost a couple pounds after starting the practice!
7. Back pain is SO much more manageable when I couple yoga with regular chiropractic adjustments.
8. There are so many amazing and free resources online, like Yoga with Adriene, my preferred channel.
9. Instead of holding a pose for so many seconds, I can hold it for five deep breaths, taking my mind off of the strain.
10. I can (and do!) easily implement the spiritual direction of yoga toward serving God with my body when instructed by the videos to meditate (especially when I'm being instructed to meditate on something that's not true for me)...I feel anyone from any faith background can apply yoga to their personal spiritual practice. This has by far been the most rewarding part of yoga for me!
So if you dread exercise, if you're highly sensitive to intensity, or even if you're just bored with your current rhythms, might I suggest yoga?