Week 6 of 10 Weeks of Wellness™ on Maiden Lane
Vajrasana (Toe Squat Pose) & How to Take Your Food from Bland to WHA-BAM!
Toe Squat Pose or Vajrasana soothes, stretches, and strengthens tired feet and ankles.
Toe Squat Pose/ Vajrasana
- Opens the toes and feet
- Strengthens the ankles
- Helps with releasing fascia (structures of connective tissue that surround muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.)
How to get into the Pose
- Kneel on the floor and tuck your toes under your feet
- Sit on your heels or, if this is too strenuous, lean forward to lessen the weight
- Hold for 1 – 2 minutes
- To get out of the pose, lean forward and gently lift your toes off the floor
How to Take Your Food from Bland to WHA-BAM!
Making food healthy does not mean that it has to be boring. There are countless ways to make food more interesting. The first thing I always recommend is to use the freshest food possible. The fresher the food, the more flavor it’s retained. For more information about this topic, visit my previous article about the farmer’s market.
The next step is to decide what cooking technique you want to use, which can greatly affect the food’s texture and consistency. You can create a crispy texture by means of toasting. Browning and searing food, especially meats, can help seal in flavor. Methods such as braising or poaching help keep foods moist and juicy because they’re cooked with liquid. These techniques can help bring out the food’s best flavors without the addition of a lot of fat.
“Food combining” is the last step. When considering taste, keep in mind the five basic tastes: Salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and savory (umami). Try to incorporate at least a couple of different tastes into your meals and experiment with how they balance out one another.
In my last article about salads, I also went into some detail about texture, like adding crunchy and soft foods together, which can be very appetizing. Another healthy way to add flavor without a lot of calories is by utilizing herbs, spices, salsas, and sauces.
Flavoring food and finding combinations you enjoy is an experiment in trial and error. Be adventurous and have fun with it – you never know what you may end up liking. To get you started, here are five of my top go-to items that I keep on hand for adding that little extra flavor to take any meal up a notch.
1. Garlic Powder: Because sometimes I don’t want to have my fingers smelling of garlic, nor do I always have the time to peel and chop those little cloves.
2. Ground Cumin: This go-to spice is great with both meats and veggies. Cumin adds an earthy and warming feeling to food and can be used in both powder and seed form.
3. Lemon: The acid in lemon juice can add balance to a lot of dishes. The zest also really helps brighten food, and a little goes a long way.
4. Pepper: Black pepper, white pepper, pink pepper, red pepper, ground pepper, and pepper flakes… They are all good! I am personally not one who likes food super spicy, but even the smallest addition can pack enough punch to make food taste better.
5. Anchovy Paste: My secret is out. I love this stuff, the saltiness and the earthy tones really complement many foods, such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts.