This post is by Coral Rose Taylor, Truckee, CA
I love the outdoors, snowboarding, bikes of all types, hiking, camping, and exploring the Sierras with friends and family. I am also passionate about yoga, and love teaching; it would be an honor to see you on the mat! As an ambassador for the Tahoe Mountain Bike Girls team, I enjoy shredding the trails of Truckee/Tahoe with a group of amazing women.
Best Ways to Celebrate Mom
Mother’s Day is coming up – fast – Sunday May 14, to be exact. My mom is pretty damn awesome and I look forward to celebrating her. I’m also fortunate to have an amazing second mom, mother in law and many others who have mothered me throughout the years. For those of you celebrating the mothers in your life, here are few ideas about ways to enjoy this holiday.
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to give these women in our lives the recognition and gratitude that they so deserve. We can sometimes take them for granted, and while they are busy being super moms, working moms, grandmothers, etc., they can lose touch with their other aspects of being.
You know your mom and the moms in your life (your partner, friends, sisters, self, etc.) better than I do, obviously, so these tips may be 1 million percent worthless to you – regardless, I recommend you use your words, and ask the moms what they want, and how they want to celebrate this day. Maybe they need some time alone, to be with themselves, to shower and use the bathroom without an infant or toddler feeding on them and following their every footstep. Maybe they would like some new clothes that fit and flatter their changed body shape. Maybe they want to just spend time with you. Maybe making them a meal, infused with love, would be right up their alley!
Here are some ways that I’m thinking about celebrating the moms in my life, helping them to de-stress and know how much they are appreciated and loved.
Ok, this might not be your mom’s favorite song (pretty sure my mom isn’t a huge fan), but I like it, and it’s fun to sing along with Glenn. Perhaps it will get you in a creative mindset for having a hell of a time celebrating your mother.
Hike it Out, Mindfully
My mom loves hiking and can outhike me any day of the week. She works as a botanical consultant, and has traversed most of Nevada on foot. She even discovered a new species of Eriogonum, in the Nevada foothills south of the Carson River – what a boss. I love hiking with her, learning about the plants in our area, picking her brain about ethnobotany and edible wild foods, and trying to keep up.
If the moms in your life are interested in hiking, I recommend trying out a more mindful version, paying attention to the details of things around you – noticing just how beautiful this place we live is, from the perspective of all senses! Try hiking in companionable silence for a few minutes, then regroup, sharing what you noticed.
Key items to enjoy your hike: comfy shoes (I like the Merrell Capras, or trail running shoes), extra layers, WATER (I prefer hydrating with a pack, such as the ones Osprey makes), snacks, and NO DEVICES!
Back in the Saddle
Bikes are cool. And fun, and awesome. There are lot of great dirt trails ready to ride in the Reno and Carson area right now (Peavine, Steamboat Ditch – a great beginner double track, Galena, Clear Creek, and Ash Canyon). If the moms are into mountain biking, this is a great time of year to do so! I’ve enjoyed some fun rides with my mom on the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway as well – although you’ll need to be sure to watch out for snakes during the heat of the day! 😊 The Truckee River Legacy Trail in Truckee is also a great place to get on the bike without worries of getting hit by a car.
The freedom of a bike is incomparable and always helps me to de-stress. For the moms around, I hope this activity affords them the same joy and ease. I find that the further out in nature I am, the more relaxed I feel – maybe the moms will feel the same way!
Key tips: Check your tire pressure (I like around 20-30 psi on my mountain bike tires, and I follow the air pressure recommendations for road bikes), check your saddle height (legs should be almost extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke), and bring a small fix it kit with you, just in case. Water is also critical – in a bottle or hydration pack, as well as a helmet to protect that gorgeous brain, and a snack to battle the bonk.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
One of the most soothing activities I’ve recently come to enjoy in nature is stand up paddle boarding. Rhythmic paddling, coupled with the breath, easily translates to a moving meditation. I’ve often found myself on Donner Lake, realizing that the monkey mind has actually quieted its chatter for a few seconds. I recommend this form of de-stressing in nature, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves against the prow of the paddleboard, each stroke matched with your breath.
Key gear/tips: Sunscreen (I love the Joshua Tree sunscreen – made in the USA from organic ingredients, rubs in AND smells fabulous), personal flotation device, sunglasses (polarized are great for the water), hat, and booties if your feet get cold. Generally, the water is calmer in the morning, making for a smoother paddle, and a great way to start off the day!
One of the things my mother loves to do is to garden. If that sounds like a good time for the moms around, this chance to physically connect to nature, by digging in the soil and playing with plants, can be
very fulfilling and literally grounding. I know my mom enjoys when I help her in the garden, whether it involves harvesting a bumper crop of peaches, turning the compost pile, or pruning trees. It’s a nice way to spend time together and to physically contribute to something she cares about. (I’m not entirely altruistic; getting to take home bunches of fresh chard and a giant bag of peaches is definitely rewarding!)
Hot springs are wonderful for physically relaxing the body and for taking the time to just.do.nothing. Living in a geothermally active area has provided us with many opportunities to enjoy hot springs, either in their natural state or a more developed version. For moms that enjoy natural spring, check out a hot spring guide, such as Hot Springs of the Eastern Sierra. For moms that want more amenities, Sierra Hot Springs in Sierraville, Grover Hot Springs near Markleeville, and Wally’s Hot Springs in the oldest town in Nevada (Genoa) are all great options.
Key items: birthday suit, towel, sunscreen, hot spring guide, water, other beverages.
Key tips: many natural hot springs have fluctuating temperatures, so be sure to check them out before getting in and read up on ways to be safe. The access to many springs may have also been affected by our epic winter, so make sure your 4WD is up to the task!
I’m a huge fan of yoga, and really enjoy preaching about sharing it with the people I love. And, in my opinion, it’s even more fun outside; I always feel like there is more of an element of play associated with my practice and many opportunities to test my zen (when the sun is waaaay hotter than expected, or the wind kicks up, or there are insects flying around, or the neighbors are revving up their snowmachine/leafblower/motorcycle/diesel truck). That being said, it’s a great way to not only connect with nature (check out Tadasana “Mountain Pose” while staring at a mountain, or Vrksasana “Tree Pose” while swaying with the trees), but to also move the body.
I have enjoyed sharing this practice with many moms in my life, and really love teaching it to them as well. For a simple practice, try a few sun salutations outside, and enjoy the movement in your body. Stay in each posture as long as you like, and be sure to take time at the end for Savasana “Corpse Pose” (aka laying down on your yoga mat) to absorb all the benefits. 😊
For those of you who are moms to be or new moms, a pre-natal or post-natal practice can be really enjoyable. The many studios in our area offer a lot of options for pre-natal practices, but if the times or locations don’t work for you, I recommend Yogaglo.com. If you already have a yoga practice, attending non pre-natal classes is still an option, provided you don’t squish the baby or cook the baby. It’s also a good idea to chat with your teacher before class, to communicate that you’re growing a human, so that appropriate modifications can be provided for your maximum comfort. For post-natal practices, shortening your stance and minimizing hip opening postures for the first 6 months after giving birth is recommended to allow your hips to come back to their pre-baby position.
Key items: yoga mat, yoga blocks (or books), open mind.
Al Fresco Dining
Maybe mom’s favorite outdoor activity is eating outside? The mornings I’m able to enjoy breakfast on the back deck fill my soul, and growing up in an Italian American family, food was the center of every gathering, so I know how that is! As such, here are some tasty recipes for a lovely Mother’s Day brunch. Mangia!
Almond Drop Scones (Gluten Free!)
1 ½ C white rice flour or 2 C Thai white rice flour
2/3 C almond flour/meal
2 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp xanthum gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C heavy cream
½ C plain yogurt
1 C blackberries
1 Tbsp ground lavender buds
1 C raspberries
1 Tbsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400° F, and place rack in upper third of oven.
Combine all ingredients except berries in mixer and beat with paddle attachment for 2 minutes on low speed; the dough will be very stiff. Gently stir in berries.
Scoop 12 high mounds of batter 2 inches apart on a pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each scone with a small amount of coarse sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until scones are browned on top and bottom. Serve immediately or cool on a rack before serving.
* Adapted from Flavor Flours cookbook.
I love quiche and this recipe is one my mom has passed down to me. It makes for a great brunch, OR for a great camping breakfast (make it before you go and bring it with you for a quick and delicious meal). There are endless variations to the fillings you add – I generally work with what is in the refrigerator and looks tasty!
¾ C milk (or nut milk)
1 C cheese (pepper jack, gruyere, parmesan, cotija, Dubliner, your choice)
2 C cooked vegetables (chard, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, your choice)
1 C cooked meat (bacon, faux bacon, Italian sausage, ham, no meat, your choice)
1/4 C fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, your choice)
1 tsp dried herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram, etc. if you haven’t used the fresh version)
½ tsp cayenne or paprika
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
Make pie crust. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in food processor. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.
Use one of the pie crust dough balls to make a pie crust, rolling it out to fit your pie pan, and place the dough in your pie pan.
Assemble the quiche. Preheat oven to 350° F. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add milk, salt and pepper, and dry spices, and mix well. Add fillings (cheese, cooked veggies, meat, fresh herbs) to bottom of the pie pan, then pour the egg/milk mixture over fillings.
Place quiche on the middle oven rack and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is browned and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.
This is my mom’s favorite cocktail, so if you want to get fancy, or to veer away from the usual delicious sparkling wine, check this out.
2 Tbsp superfine sugar
1 lemon wedge
3 Tbsp (1 ½ oz) cognac (or bourbon)
2 Tbsp (1 oz) Cointreau, Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
1 Tbsp FRESH lemon juice
1 C ice
Spread sugar on small plate. Rub lemon wedge halfway around rim of chilled martini or coupe glass (or rocks glass, if you don’t want to spill this delicious beverage!). Dip moistened side of glass in sugar to lightly coat outside rim of glass.
Combine cognac (or bourbon), Cointreau, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared glass and serve with the lemon twist. Saluti.
* Adapted from epicurious.com.
Have fun with the moms in your life, and let Mother Earth know how much you appreciate her as well – without this lovely planet, we could be cold lonely specks of dust in the Oort Cloud.