Happy pre-Thanksgiving week! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; seriously, no other holiday comes close. I LOVE this time of year – the colors of fall painted on the trees, the food (yes, I am one of those people that loves pumpkin and apple everything...typical). What I love most about this holiday, in particular, is that that it doesn't involve gifts and feeding consumerism, it's about family, friends, and gratitude.
After the horrific events of last week, I can't help but think it is SO important to remember what we ARE grateful for in this world, instead of feeding the hate and horror. Scrolling through my Facebook feed this week has made me feel so, so sad. The response to hate and fear is MORE hate and fear. You may be wondering...is there ANYTHING I can do about it? Absolutely.
We can start with ourselves. The Dalia Lama, Ghandi and Mother Teresa sprinkle their teachings with this message. The journey of peace begins within. It seems so small and so insignificant, but could you imagine what the result would be if everyone aimed to attain their own inner peace? Inner peace is not something you can achieve in an hour, a day, a week or even a year(s). There is no end goal...it is constant. In spite of sounding completely "new-agey," it is the journey. Just like your health and fitness, it is not something that you get once and can keep for the remainder of your days. It truly has to become part of your lifestyle, part of who you are. Now, I don't have a grandiose solution for inner peace (or world peace for that matter), but I do know something that can help...smiling. Yes, you read that correctly – I said SMILING. Am I asking you to walk around with a crazy stupid grin spread across your face??? No, although that would probably make a lot of other people smile...or walk quickly in the opposite direction of you... A smile has SO much power. Not only can it make others feel better, it will make you feel better, too! For those of you who have taken a Pilates class with me before, you know all too well that I recommend "breathing" and "smiling" through the uncomfortable exercises. It sounds absolutely ridiculous...but it works! I see it every day, once a client can get out of their own thoughts of discomfort (and possibly hate for their amazing Pilates instructor) during an exercise and can smile and breathe, their bodies completely release all of the built up tension, and they begin to truly feel the exercise – allowing it to work its magic. (As instructors, we call this "relaxing into the exercise").
I challenge you to smile this week...among the chaos, the hustle-bustle and, perhaps, even the discomfort. Sending you lots of light, love, warmth and, of course, a smile.
P.S. Here is your something sweet!
B and I will be bringing baked apples to share for the Friendsgiving we are attending. Enjoy!
Healthified Baked Apples
Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
6 Fiji apples (or any medium/large organic apples of your choosing)
¼ c crushed walnuts
¼ c crushed pecans
¼ c dried cranberries (we used apple juice sweetened ones)
½ Tbsp apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
½ Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or brown sugar if prefer) ***Note brown sugar would need to be added to the dry ingredients.
1 pinch sea salt
Heat the oven to 350ºF.
Use a small sharp knife or corer to remove the core from the apple, leaving about an inch at the bottom so the filling won't fall out.
Fill a baking pan with 1 inch water and place cored apples inside. (Hollow side facing up)
Mix all of the dry ingredients into a small bowl.
Put just a touch of coconut oil into each cored apple.
Fill each apple with equal amounts of dry ingredients.
Top the apples with equal parts maple syrup.
Add remaining coconut oil to the top of each apple to prevent burning.
Bake for 30-35 minutes (depending on your desired texture).
After your apples are finished baking, let cool for 5 minutes and you can eat them as is or top with your favorite dairy free icecream or cool greek yogurt. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving day filled with love and sweetness! xo