Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I was on the way home from teaching my last class of the evening when I realised that I hadn't updated this blog.


This day was a mix of lazy/busy, so I don't really have an excuse (except for the 'lazy'). I spent a lot of time on Twitter, picking the Cybershala's collective brain about soy-free, vegan protein sources. Protein sources that aren't beans (because I may be allergic to them *sigh*).

Yeah, it's tough to be me. I've spent the last two months trying to put a finger on this weird allergy/systemic reaction. It's thrown my entire diet into chaos, but I think I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

And at least I've established that I'm NOT gluten intolerant. *bigsighofrelief* Not that I'm going to go on a 'bread binge' any time soon, but it's nice to know that the occasional multi-grain-roll-with-almond-butter-schmeer is an option for me.

Today I discovered that I'm apparently the last vegan on the planet to properly appreciate Vega. I thought the stuff had soy in it, so I had been steering clear. It's also pricey, but I'm desperate. I'll investigate tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'd like to know how a city that serves dinner at all hours of the night and caters to every possible international cuisine could be so empty of something as simple as seitan. No one carries it! Not even the usual suspects, Health Food Store #1 and Health Food Store #2. I'll check #3 tomorrow, but seriously!?

Oh yeah, and my practice: It was okay. I felt tired and there was some MAJOR futzing happening right around Laghu Vajrasana. In yesterday's post, I think I was 'bad ladying' myself a little bit. It kinda worked. I did 6 Urdhva Dhanurasana and I worked hard in them.

Something interesting: During the workshops, D taught a shoulder alignment trick coming into UD. Today, I realised that I was doing something similar on my own long before the workshops, something that just 'felt right.' Making that identification helped me to understand D's approach better and it was a sweet moment. It was nice to have a 'backbending thing' make sense for a change!

Also, something that J helped me with (in Pasana) is carrying over into almost every pose I do including my backbending. It was a simple adjustment and instruction, so simple, it's difficult to convey. Basically, I need to relax and not tense up my shoulders when I'm trying to bind. When I can do this properly, the shoulder joint has more mobility and space and I'm able to reach deeper.

I'm not sure that really made sense, but I'll leave it be.

It's starting to get dark at night as I'm coming home from teaching my classes. I love living in the city! Magic :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Helen said...

Hi kai, glad to hear practice is moving on. I love it when you continue to learn from a workshop way after the event. It can inject a lot into a home practice.

I have not tried vega but have read the guy who created it's book, the thrive diet, it's good, he is a vegan triathlete. Anyway have you thought about hemp protein?

Rand(Om) Bites said...

Hmm, what's vega? I'll probably just go google it in a sec. We probably don't get it in Australia, I wonder. Good to hear you're finally working out what's going on with your diet too. It can be tricky but once you know what you can/can't have...freedom. Loving the new look blog too :-)

rebecca said...

not sure if you already covered it in stores #1 & 2 but i think Qi on Roncesvalles carries seitan. happy hunting :)

stephanie said...

There's a health food store on Roncie called Qi that has the best prices I've seen on Vega, AND they sell seitan.

Ditto on the hemp protein -- I sprinkle that stuff on *everything.* It tastes pretty good, and you can get it powdered (which is nice on porridge or in smoothies) or just hulled seeds (which is nice sprinkled in salads.)

Quinoa, spirulina, amaranth are other good complete proteins...

Can you describe the shoulder alignment trick of D's? I'm curious... I've been working reaaaaaallly slowly on Urdhva Dhanurasana lately, because the pose is a bit painful if the alignment is off. One thing that helps is to focus on bringing the elbows together as I come into it, so that they're parallel, shoulder width apart. It's difficult! When not at Shala North I use a strap :o but it really allows me to feel comfort in the pose. I feel like I can hold it for hours! Or maybe just minutes. ;)

I had a funny 'adjustment' from D when I was in Montreal, in parsvotanasana. He watched me creak my arms back into the hand position, and shimmy them up the back, then said no no no, come out of that. Then he held my forearms and swung my arms back and forth, jiggling them a bit, quite dramatically. Out of nowhere he just blasted them back into the final arm position... just by loosening up my shoulders he showed me that they could just pop into place, no prob! It was great. So now I try to jiggle my arms while coming into the pose... Probably looking a little silly! My struggles nowadays in standing poses are all about how to relax at the hips and shoulders!

Loo said...

The quest for protein is endless. I have trouble with pea proteins (gassy!) so I break with the vegan thing to use whey, which works best for me (no lactose).

I find that as I sort it out veganism for me was less about not eating anything animal than not eating actual animals.

oh and I take a B-12 supplement and that made a HUGE difference in how I feel.

my 2¢.

Oh and making seitan isn't very hard so you can try that perhaps...

Helen said...

I found that when I started taking b12 supplement too, think I must have been low on it for a while, whoops! Spirulina is also fab as someone else mentioned source of protein and many other things, a superfood. Tofu and avacado are also great. Gosh you have got a lot of people helping you out haven't you. Hope practice is going well.

(0v0) said...

Vega? Never heard of it.

Kai, have you gotten in to sprouting at all? I sprout a lot of quinoa. Somehow the sprouted stuff has much more of a protein-y effect on me than does the cooked version, which tends to leave me feeling somewhat unsatisfied unless I combine it with quite a bit of olive oil.

Hempseed also feels especially nourishing in my body.

And I agree that hemp powder is excellent. In the US, Trader Joe's has a VERY cheap version that has a bit of sweetener in it. Not terrible. But the best hemp powders I've found anywhere are the organic ones grown in Manitoba.

Also, starting my day with a big old gulp of chia seed does good things for my blood sugar and seems to provide some substance. Sometimes what feels like a protein craving subsides when I up my EFAs like that.