Keeping Your Zen While the City Cleans Up…(Slowly)

We hope all our FIT readers survived the snowfall of the century! Is there anyone still waiting to get plowed out?

Assuming you have been freed, you will need to practice patience out there on the roads as the entire DMV area is still quite the mess. Three lane roads down to one, icy conditions, road closures…the list of traffic headaches goes on and on.

As a mobile training company, our trainers spend a lot of time in the car so they have picked up a few tips on avoiding road rage and driving in sub-optimal conditions.

Need some zen in the car? Make sure you have something to listen to that interests you – be it music, a good podcast, the news, etc. Won’t seem so bad to be “stuck in the car” if you feel engaged and interested.

Also, remember that other drivers are HUMAN BEINGS. Louis C.K. puts it best…(WARNING: may not be safe for work or with young kiddos around…)

Still need a good laugh/some real advice? Read these tips on how to drive your car in the snow…I think people in this area need this little lesson.

If none of these tips work, try to relax and unwind with a delicious, nutritious and hearty meal after a frustrating day on the road. Spring can’t be that far away…can it?

In honor of soup-week for all of the East Coast, check out this recipe:

Spicy Grain Soup (courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine)

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  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 3 ancho or dried mulato chiles—stemmed, seeded and broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 6 cilantro sprigs, plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover. In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.
  2. In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
  3. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
  4. Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.