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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lentil Burgers Do Life

What kind of title is that?  Lentil Burgers Do Life.  Bear with me.

I have been on a bit of a personal wellness journey for the last.... seven years!  Lol!!  Sweet lord, it's been seven years since I left my job, traveled the world, had a baby, moved back home, got married, started a business, completed yoga teacher, coaching, and mindfulness training (and an HR professional designation), and struggled with my health much of that time.

Tired of 'struggling', I decided to be with whatever was present in a different way.

My husband will tell you it's a process :)

I just read back on a few blog posts and realized some things have changed quite a bit and some things have not.  Mostly, my mind has shifted and I have become much stronger mentally and emotionally.  My body is still pretty much falling apart.  Lol!  That said, I am grateful for what I CAN do and working on it all.

Anyway... I digress....

I decided to really commit to my wellness on a new level and share it with others.  Eeek!

In this decision I needed to be accountable.  But I did not want to join another group that just did not meet my 'holistic in nature' needs.  My needs are mental as much as they are physical. They are emotional and social.  They are spiritual.  I have never really been wholly satisfied with any group except yoga teacher training... which wasn't a 'support' group.  But it certainly served me well.

I decided to start my own group.  Take my destiny into my own hands.  Take control.  Even if nobody joined, I would post in that group about this adventure.  (You can join here: Tina's Journey Through the Koshas.  You can read more about what it's about in my last blog post: I have a Bathing Suit and I'm Going to Wear It.)

This group and my journey itself is humorous.  I find some things hilarious.  You may not.  Lol!  It is all me.  I'm not hiding anything or trying to be a certain way.  It's as authentic as you get.  I have had successes and challenges.  I've expressed them honestly.  The intention is not to give anything any more weight than the other... to proceed as is.... to accept what comes... to observe as it passes. That's not easy.  When my shoulder gave out after a yoga class, I was not happy. When I awoke exhausted one morning, I was frustrated that after all these years, I'm still experiencing fatigue. (*insert swear word*)  I share these things in my group.  And I share how I move through them.  It's not about perfection.  It's about real living.

And it lifts me.  I think it's because I allow it to be there... just like I talk about in my mindfulness & yoga classes.  What we resist persists.  I often resist my un-wellness.  I fight it.  I have fought it.  At times over the last several years, I have accepted it, and used it to fuel action.  But, I'm still learning.

So the group is about accepting where I am and still doing my best to be holistically healthy and well. As much as I need this for me, I do hope others are inspired to radically accept themselves too.

FINALLY I'm going to tell you about the lentil burgers!

The other day, I made lentil burgers as part of my commitment to cook more.  You can find the recipe here: Vegan Lentil Burgers.  This was a new recipe for me... supposed to take 25 minutes.

It took me 2 hours.

Thankfully, my six year old colored and played while I cooked, and messed up, and laughed and finally served lunch at 2:30 p.m.

I was pretty excited to make these burgers.  I had a bit of time.  I had started my day tired but took some actions to increase my energy so felt great.

I am a bit of a Julia Child rather than Martha Stewart in the kitchen.  Sometimes I really do love cooking.  I like the idea of cooking with reckless abandon.  But I have resisted cooking for YEARS. Ever since my oldest was a young child.  I resisted any type of domestication, actually.  I was a successful, educated, corporate woman and awesome single super mom.  I did not want to spend time in the kitchen.  I am woman, hear me roar!

Phew!  I have since shed many of those layers of identity :)  Maybe that's why I'm so exhausted - that's a lot of expectation.  Lol!  And I'm learning how to embrace cooking.... it has not happened quickly.

So... I get the recipe on my iPad and proceed to gather ingredients.  Naturally, I have music playing. For some reason, when I have Pinterest AND Spotify open on my iPad, one or both keep shutting down.  Grrrrr!  So I shut down the music.  And reopen Pinterest.  And proceed to gather the ingredients.

About 10 minutes has passed and I'm not even started.

I notice I have two bags and two bottles of curry.  So in my distraction, I decide to combine them.  Of course, I make a mess.  You know how curry is.

I return to the recipe.  I realize I have to blend some ingredients, but my blender never seems to work so well unless there is liquid.  My Nutri-bullet is better, but similar for recipes with this consistency. So I decide to haul out my food processor!  Yahoo!!  I have had this for only TWO YEARS!  And I have never used it.  My husband purchased it for me as a surprise because I kept saying how I absolutely NEEDED a food processor... two years later......

I get out all of the parts and realize I have no clue how to use it.

I go to You Tube.  Because You Tube has all the answers for everything.  This takes another 15 minutes or more since I have to find the RIGHT video... and I am missing parts and have to look for them.  In the end, I figure it all out.  Yipppeee!

Back to the recipe.... it calls for bread crumbs... I don't want to use bread crumbs so I decide to blend oats instead....

I have to get out yet another appliance.  I end up with oat flour... totally not the same consistency as bread crumbs.  But I use it anyway.

I carry on.... and when I get it all mixed up I'm struggling to get the mixture out of the food processor because the blade is in the way.  

I must have been at this for 3 minutes before I remembered the blade can be removed!

When the burgers were cooked, I used a pita and topped them with alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and mustard sauce.  Voila!  The most delicious lentil burger.  It took only two hours.

I also substituted dates for raisins because I did not have enough raisins in the house.

My oldest said they taste like cookies.

Why is this about life?

Well, there are ups and downs, changes, unexpected challenges, solutions, and lessons.  And I had the choice to laugh through it or struggle through it.  In the end, I got the same result - sweet lentil burgers.

My journey has taught me to become aware of when I'm struggling... when I'm resisting... and ease up on it.  Perceived perfection is overrated.  The sweet life IS perfection.

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