Week 5 of 10 Weeks of Wellness™ – Yoga & Nutrition on Maiden Lane

Balasana or Child’s Pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, while calming the brain and helping relieve stress and fatigue.

Child’s Pose/ Balasana

Benefits

  • Gently stretches hips, thighs, ankles
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue
  • With variations of the arms extended, it can stretch the shoulders

How to get into the Pose

  1. Kneel on the floor, big toes touch, and sit back on your heels
  2. Place your forehead on the floor and separate your knees wide or keep them together
  3. Extend the arms over the head, palms down or up, or rest the arms by your shins
  4. Hold for 1 – 3 minutes

Turn up the Beets!

Beets

If you know me personally, you know that I love food and have a lot of favorites. Actually, almost anything could be my favorite, to be quite frank.

One of my current favorites are beets, and not only for their exquisite taste. Beets, as it turns out, have many health benefits. Not only do they include vitamins A, B1 – 6, calcium, iron, and potassium, they also have a little something extra that have some people calling beets, “the healthiest food in the world.”

These “extras” come in the form of phytonutrients called betalain and betain. Though betalain is what gives a beet its red pigment, it has also been discovered to be an antioxidant. Betains, on the other hand, have been shown in basic research that they may help protect against liver diseases, specifically those caused by alcohol consumption, protein deficiencies, or diabetes.

Beets are also a natural source of nitrates, which turn into nitric oxide when metabolized by the body. Nitric oxide increases blood flow by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the uptake of oxygen. For these reasons experts think that beets may help with both cardiovascular health and performance.

And, beets are so versatile! You can eat the root and the green tops. There are red beets, golden beets, and striped beets. Any of these can be eaten raw or cooked, and are great juiced. The green tops can be sautéed, braised or steamed. If the beet greens are young, they add a nice bitterness to salads. The beet roots can be boiled, roasted, or pickled. You can do almost anything with them.

The beet tops are easy to prepare, but the roots take a little bit of time. When I get home after work, I like to throw a big pot of water on my stove’s back burner, so I can get some beets boiling while I prepare dinner. The same thing applies to roasting them in the oven – they are always the first food I start to prepare since they need the least amount of attention because of their longer cook time.

I usually make a huge batch at a time because I eat them often and they keep in the fridge for a few days. I cook them with the skin on because after they cool down the skins practically slide off. Since they’re a root, scrub them a bit before cooking them to make sure you’ve cleaned off any remaining dirt. No one (I know) likes the taste of dirt.