10 June 2011
Started the day with some Iyengar Yoga. This was my second class and for people who are looking to seriously enter the yoga world – I highly recommend doing this class at least once a week. It isn’t a flow class, so you won’t get an amazing workout, but you will learn invaluable tips that ensure injury prevention while you do your normal Vinyasa flow.
This time we focused on the activation of quad muscles. I’ve never really focused on them before, and I found their activation extremely difficult. I learned later that this was because of my flexible hamstrings (which, turns out to be a “curse” in this scenario) – I end up relaxing the quad muscles in things like forward folds or balance poses, thus taking the strain in my lower back (REVELATION! I have always had deep lower back pain.)
So for any yoga-ers out there:
- if doing uttanasana, ardha uttanasana (standing forward bend), or prasarita padottanasana (wide-legged forward bend) feel as though you’re falling forward, because that will help activate the lazy quad muscles
- for any balance poses and forward bends, bend the knees slightly to activate the quads, then re-straighten
Afterwards Caitlin and I headed off to Culinary Adventures Part Two, which took place in Berkeley. We basically had three lunches split between the two of us.
First stop: Café Gratitude
Consumption: I am Nourished (a.k.a. almond pate, carrot, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy mustard sauce on a apple curry bread)
Notable was the freshness of the food (I felt damn healthy afterwards) and the apple curry wrap. Other than that, it was definitely a tasty dish, maybe a bit heavy on the mustard, but I don’t know how much I would die to try it again.
What went down: Why hello, affirmations, positive thoughts, and energy shots. If you thought you knew what optimism is about, think again. I heard about this infamous 100% Vegan Cafe from Miss Susan herself, who told me stories about communal sitting, the names of the dishes (i.e.: “I am pure” – Market Salad; “I am Comforted” – Raw Mac ‘N’ Cheese; “I am effervescent” – Ginger & Lemon Juice), and gratitude card games. Caitlin and I had desperately wanted to go to the one in The Mission, but realized the timing didn’t work out.
But hey, you get what you ask the universe for, right? During our search for The Cheeseboard Collective, we found this place along the way. Law of Attraction in the works. And we were not dissapointed.
We didn’t have communal seating, but what we did have was a lady who offered to do an Angel Reading out of love. That definitely made our experience (I won’t tell you the cards I got – only C.Lewis knows my darkest secrets).
Stop Two: The Cheeseboard Collective
Talk about it’s all in the ingredients – to have only one dish means you have no excuse not to perfect it. The basil and tomato was so fresh, and the melted cheese on the thin crust was dramatically good. I mean, it’s next to a cheese store. How could it not be?
What went down: Caitlin found the love of her life (a sexy man with sexy glasses feeding his young boy), I found the love of mine (the pizza slice). We sat outside under the beautiful Californian sun while a small jazz band swooned to the dance of the saxophone.
Stop Three: Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe
Consumption: Pedro’s Tri-Tip Steak Sandwich (cilantro-garlic sauce, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, no pineapple since Cait doesn’t like it) & a mango smoothie
What went down: This adorable little street vendor is what foodie’s live for. Energetic, down to earth, notes of family, irresistible smells, a handful of reggae…the moment Cait and I got our hands on our food we ran off to the nearest grassy hill and devoured it.
May I note that Caitlin, who has been a vegetarian for 8 years, has started to slowly tiptoe her way into the meat world. She’s teaching in Poland in a week and realizes that meat-eating is unavoidable. And what a great way to start. She even admitted to saying that this was one hella good steak sandwich. That’s a pretty serious statement coming from a vegetarian. #pedrowin
We finish our story at Brewed Awakening. After being newly initiated into the Yelp App Blackberry Club, I was intrigued by the name of this coffee shop (also, we just really wanted some iced coffee after gloriously baking in the sun for an hour.) We went in and got ourselves an iced mocha and a thai condensed milk iced tea. Both were delish and hit the spot. There was a funny sign that read: “Abandoned children will be given a free espresso and a puppy.” I don’t know which part of the sign I should be more concerned about.
More interestingly, Caitlin found a gem on her way back from the restrooms: a poster featuring around forty coffee shops some professor did his writing in. Titled “Places that are good to think”. Darwin’s in Boston is featured in it, as well as People’s Cafe (a Communist propaganda adorned retreat) from HOME! No shame in saying I am proud that my 852 island is featured. The owner of the store came across both of us staring at the poster and ended up offering his spare copy to us. That was pretty sweet.
And so we finish our story here. Caitlin had to depart to meet some fabulous people, while I headed off to begin my 30+ hour production weekend (who would you rather be?) More to come on that later…
PS: stay tuned for a short clip of Cait trying some olive oil chocolate (miss you girl come back!!)