’tis the season…

The photo text I received from my sister Cindy was one of her oldest daughter, athletic basketball player laying on an exam table in sweats… it’s the flu, pray, this is a BIG week!

As most of you know if you have read this blog for any time, I don’t get the flu shot. (see previous post from 2013) I fought not to for many reasons, but suffice it to say as a medical professional my stance is not popular.  Having said that I am sure that most of you have heard the reports, or felt the pain of taking a flu shot only to get the flu.

‘Tis the season. We are closed in, less time outdoors, “sharing” a little too much personal space and wearing ourselves out with to do list. It could happen to any of us, BUT there is hope.

It’s been awhile since I had the flu… honestly I dig bag into my memory and I think it was before I even started hiding the gray hairs, that I spent a Christmas in a semi zombie state of fog. I know it is quite unpleasant though, and you want it over quick, which for most means they will go to the doc, praying for a pill, shot, antibiotic or something to zip them back into life in the fast lane.

YOUR body is calling a halt, time out, bench sitting for a quarter or two. It’s begging you for some basics, and not a band-aid. YOUR body knows how to heal itself, and yes there are things you can do that will help those aches, pains, fever and nausea. SLEEP, yep, find that comfy blanket, favorite pillow and watch all the Christmas movies in between naps. IMG_0629Plenty of water, not ice water, warm water with lemon and maybe ginger for the queasy stomach.IMG_0626Lemon has Vitamin C and warmed on the stove instead of “nuked” keeps you from killing all the benefits. If you get organic, eat some of the inner peel, or let it soak in the water, this contains quercetin, CoQ10 and hesperdin bioflavoinoids, which are all better than any expensive store-bought vitamin. Adding organic raw honey is also like adding in extra fighters, dark honey has many trace minerals that help fight, and build the immune system.

Raw veggies are best, but may not be tolerated, so if you can juice ‘em up!

green power juice
green power juice

SOUP! not from a can, come on a good veggie broth with onions and garlic, maybe a kick of cayenne (all natural antibiotics and more powerful than the drugs) Check out my post for Flu Shot October 2013!

The finished "dose" of flu medicine
The finished “dose” of flu medicine

This soup will build you up, warm you up and just plain taste good! Don’t forget ginger for its benefit if your stomach is the least bit queasy. Slicing up a few strips of fresh ginger, brewing up your own tea an adding organic honey can give you a boost.

There are some over the counter, homeopathic remedies (some I have used with great results) that I would also suggest to move through this easier, and hopefully quicker. Oscilococcinum, Sambucol (elderberry, which is anti-viral), Emer’gen-C, high dose of Vitamin C, which of course the body likes! Herbal teas, I can’t say enough about good teas. I like the brand Traditional Medicine. I buy their Seasonal pack that has Echinacea, Throat Coat, Breathe easy (peppermint tea) and Gypsy Cold Care. At the slightest bit of feeling off, I start drinking the tea!

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I mentioned sleep, another often over looked flu fighter (really any illness fighter) to healing and surviving the flu… attitude. Thinking positive. I have been in healthcare long enough to know that attitude, is a game changer. Yes you feel miserable, and if you focus only on feeling miserable, that’s all you have. Think this way…I know I am miserable now, but this too will pass, so I’ll just sleep it off, drink like crazy (all the things above) and soon I will be back in the saddle.

Listening to your body and not pushing it beyond its limits is key. We have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” the bodies knows what it needs. At the first sign of a sniffle, cough, or even because we know it ’tis the season, implement your plan of attack. I start my day with a warm cup of lemon water, and in the winter I add the cayenne. I also up my game on tea in the winter with good local honey added. I make up a batch of “Flu soup.” HippocratesQuote

Peace

Wednesday… Wondering and Wandering

First my disclaimer. I have been absent, silent, in my mind I have shared a dozen blogs. Some funny some introspective, all in my head. Today I cut loose!

Recently I found myself reading a book and the guy was talking about some of the reasons we don’t move forward with dreams. One being that we are seeking perfection. The reality being that my perfection doesn’t match yours etc. How true this is when it comes to blogging/writing for me. I ask myself why do I write/blog? Do I do it to entertain? Do I think I have something to say? Well yes, but don’t we all. I think the reason I really write is because “I need to.” Maybe it’s the being single and somewhat of an introvert. Whatever the reason, I need to write and I think I need to be “okay” with the mistakes, yes even the grammar mistakes that make my Mom and sister-in-law cringe. I need not to “self edit” so much, because really aren’t we all looking for a little more honesty and less fluff?

So fueled with this delicious quick-lunch

hummus salad pizza YUM!
humus salad pizza YUM!

I venture into a little of my thoughts of late.

I am no different from many the last few weeks I am sure. Once the first of November hits, the wheels crank up in lives and we get busy, even as the temperature lowers and all of the rest of nature seems to go to rest.

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite times of the year. Being with family, eating, playing cards… just being together. I knew this year would be different. Dad had been gone since August, and well everyone always says the “first” things are always the hardest. Yea, well no. I mean yes it was hard not having Dad make turkey noises, sit in his recliner and watch endless  hours of “A Christmas Story,” share a simple prayer “be with us and guide us”

Last Christmas... in all it's glory!
Last Christmas… in all it’s glory!

but it was more the little things. The first are hard, but it’s the everyday that gets me, or the moments when a light flickers, or some other electrical glitch and you think… “gotta tell Dad … crap, I can’t.” Ya, those moments.

In those moments I remember how great a family I have. How even though we don’t talk about the “absence” we live on in the memories. We try to keep the traditions, and build new ones… and well, we run the race that has been set before us.

My crazy loving, trotting family!
My crazy loving, trotting family!

Sure Christmas will be another hard one… maybe. We will do our thing, the traditional things. We will remember Dad, and miss him wearing the red or green sweater as we head out to Christmas Eve service. I will miss his voice singing, as he holds hands with Momma. We might watch A Christmas Story, laugh, cry and remember. Best of all, we will celebrate the reason for the season. We will celebrate that time long ago when Christ came as a babe, came to save this crazy, ugly, mixed up beautiful world to save us. The best part… because He did that, lived a blameless life, died and rose again, well because of that great gift, I get to see my Dad again. I get to live out with hope, joy and the knowledge that my Dad lived well, believed well and lives on.  So this Christmas, this time of first with an empty spot in our family, I choose joy, peace beyond some people’s understanding.

I hope you too, may know the peace, joy and hope of Christmas

Just Do It! some running ramblings

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I know Nike made this statement big in athletics and exercise years ago. We see the swoop and we automatically get it, and yes today was one of those days that I had to “just do it.”

This past year I have poured a lot of my spare “work out” time to yoga and pursuing my 200 yoga teacher training. I am short 2 hours and a book report to receive that certificate, but I am seeing that finish line this week. In the fall I messed up knee… again. I did a little on-line re-hab, but the budget cut that, so I was on my own. Running was out, but I would walk… sometimes.

The last couple of weeks despite the rising heat, my feet have hit the pavement. My soul longs to run, and yet every step feels heavy, my body feels awkward as I plunge forward, but forward I move.

Today was no exception. I sat groggy at the counter reading mindless facebook (forgive me some of you do share great stuff) and all I could think was I needed to get on with the day. It was only 73 degrees out the sky was clear blue, and a slight breeze was present. I laced up the shoes, turned on mapmyrun aka walk, and was off… walking. As I turned one corner I pushed forward to move a little faster, a jog of sorts. I tried not to think too much about how I was moving and just move. I tried to remember the days when this seemed effortless, well except for the first mile, but today the first block feels weighty, my gate feels uneven, I feel stiff… let it go, my mind says, then the all too familiar tweek of pain in the knee and fear starts  rising up… let it go… but I stop and start walking, and analyzing every last step. I blame it on needing new shoes, don’t push before I have good equipment and yet… let it go, whispers in my ear.

Why do I want to run so bad? Why is this so important for me?  I want to get back to the feet pounding, the feel of loosing myself in the movement. Don’t I get some of that with my yoga? It’s not the same my mind says, and my body tells me to move, to feel the heat, to feel the breeze, to let go!

Hebrews 12:1-2 come to mind as a memory of my Dad floats across my vision, running the race with endurance, forgetting the past, moving forward, “looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”… I know, how cliché to pick a running scripture to talk about the struggles of running, or for that matter, moving forward, moving in life when everything around you feels heavy, when you don’t realize there is a weight on your shoulders until you try to move freely, to shake it loose… to let go.

So I keep moving. Every few blocks I might jog a little, but I keep moving, trying to let go of anything physical (a few extra pounds) but more so mentally anything that is weighing my heart and spirit down to run well the race that was set before me. I don’t run alone, I run with the author and perfect who wrote my story. Who knew that I would struggle with these steps. Who knows that I struggle with the here and now, but to desperately wants to let go of those things that hinder running the good race.

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My Dad was a runner in High School. He never really talked much about it, and I wonder if he was a good runner? My Dad was an emotional runner for a while… tell he let go, and let God. Maybe that’s why Hebrews 12:1-2 was one of his favorite verses, I know it is one of mine for this reason.

So I run, or I strive to run well. It’s not always going to feel right. Sometimes I will walk, who knows there may be days I will have to crawl, but I will move. I will move forward, shedding what no longer serves me and run with endurance… yet another reminder of my Pop’s. Just weeks before Daddy died he was still striving, moving forward. I remember he kept bugging my Mom about making sure someone would take his place delivering bread. I remember the night he passed, he was at the kitchen counter, walking weakly around it, moving, moving his hands as if working on something… never-ceasing to move until the job was done, and then as he said he could lay down.

I will keep lacing up the shoes and getting out there. It helps me to think, to stay balanced to explore the world around me and before me, to run with endurance the race that was set before me…

Just do it!

 

Monday, ooops Tuesday Musings… heating up? cool off with Lemon Cashew Hemp bars

My plan as always was to have this out on Monday.  Alas, sleep and a few computer glitches has left this musing to come out on a Tuesday… say tempting Tuesday!

The heat of summer has hit just as kids are headed back to school and a shift in schedules for many cause a little increase in anxiety. Add to that the fact that while most of us have enjoyed a mild summer the increase in temps and lack of rain can get us a little “hot under the collar” in many ways.

I always try to embrace the heat, and find it ironic that I have started hitting the pavement again… walking not running yet and it is all being done in the heat! I admit I enjoy the occasional afternoon thunderstorm too though!

With all the changes going on of late in life, I find myself seeking those treats and challenges that keep me on an even keel in the mind, body, spirit connection. Getting outside is one of those things that help a lot! Drinking lots of water, and of course daily devo time and time for prayer and reflection often found on my yoga mat.

The other day I helped some friends with some moving. While I knew there would be a lot of people to help and food always motivates people to work (I promised not to subject them to kale smoothies if they showed up) I didn’t however promise I wouldn’t bring a healthy treat. I decided that the a big cooler of water and Raw Cashew, Hemp seed Lemon bars were just the right quick treat, that would give good protein power and a tasty refreshing taste in the heat.  These bars come together so easy and offer a good dose of plant protein, a balance of Omega 3 to 6 fats, contains nine of the essential amino acids the body needs, and oh the slightly nutty flavor is so good! Add to that cashews that while high in fat, it’s good fat and they offer up more protein, essential minerals and are heart healthy.

Now that I have told you how good this are for you, I hope I haven’t discouraged you that they could taste good. Believe me this little powerhouse bites, satisfy your sweet tooth and the added lemon test offers up just enough freshness to send your taste buds soaring.

some of the players
some of the players

Lemon Kissed Cashew Hemp Bars (Raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Makes 12 bars (6 for a more generous snack)

1 cup cashews
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Pinch of sea salt to taste

1) Place the cashews in a food processor and process till ground up.

2) Add the dates and hemp seeds, pinch of salt and pulse repeatedly. Then, add the lemon and lemon zest and leave the motor on until the whole thing has formed a big, uniform, sticky ball.

this is a double batch
this is a double batch

3) Take a large sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper and place it over the bottom of a small baking dish. Press the mixture down into it, till it’s even in thickness.

Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

4) Unwrap the “dough,” lay the rectangle flat on a cutting surface, and cut into 12 bars, or in to bite sized nuggets.

5) Wrap up individually and store in the fridge or freezer till ready to eat. I’m not sure how long they’ll keep, but I suspect up to two weeks is perfectly fine, and longer if you freeze them.

I usually double the batch and use an 8×8 pan, and cut into squares instead of bars. I got the recipe from Choosing Raw. http://www.choosingraw.com/sweet-snacking-lemon-kissed-cashew-hemp-bars/

yummo
yummo

I tell you these things went fast Sunday at the moving party! So while we are in the midst of the dog days of summer, days heating up, and ending sooner mix up a treat of summer freshness with these healthy bites. Add them to school lunches, but don’t forget to save a few for your own midday snack attack! Your taste buds will thank you!

little nuggets of goodness
little nuggets of goodness

Peace

 

Monday Musings… To you Pop’s

Daddy and carrot juice faces!
Daddy and carrot juice faces!

This blog is mostly about food, but the tag line states faith, food, family and fun. Well today it is about family, in particular a little about my Dad, Daddy, Pop’s. Pawpaw to his grandchildren, Jer to my Momma, brother to 11 and friend to many. Pop’s “checked out, went home, the plug was pulled” on August 13 at 3:20 a.m. Those references were phrases Daddy quickly found out he shouldn’t use toward the end of his life around the medical community. In short his failing earthly body ran out of steam and now he lives with no pain, no cancer, two good eyes and the light that was my Dad (pun intended as he was an electrician) shines even brighter as he sees Jesus face to face.

His crazy legacy
His crazy legacy

This picture is from Turkey trot last year. Part of his legacy, these faces, these lives, my brother, sisters, their kids all touched by a life lived simply. He was never what the world would consider a rich man, but oh rich he was. Dad was a worker, but he also liked his naps, his TV time, and he knew trivial facts about a lot of things. He liked to read, and he liked to geocache and be outside. He often said that he wasn’t ready to lay down yet, so why quit doing things. I found out at his visitation and celebration of life service, just how much his life touched other people. He worked with the Montgomery Co. Courts in the Reclaiming futures program, as a mentor, Helping Hands in Miamisburg, worked the prison ministry Kairos, served in the Emmaus community and could be found snow blowing driveways randomly in the neighborhood. He would tell me stories about the young boys at drug court from broken homes, or bad turns and he would say he himself was often probably one step from being in their shoes when he was younger.

I am not saying my Dad was perfect, far from it… but he was redeemed. You see once God got a hold of him, he became a different man, a man on a mission to not waste the gift he was given. I think if he could say one more thing to me, it would be just that; don’t waste what God gave you, use it to show love, to be love… yep that was Pa.

Playing in the rain
Playing in the rain

He would tell me, and you… enjoy the daily little things, look for God in the moment, look for love, look for chance to be the answer to someones need. This picture is from Easter and a spring rain. None of the kids were out there and Pa went out and started splashing.

Live in the moment, the simple everyday moment and make it count.

to you, Pa
Cheers to you, Pa

Pop’s used to say “I drank a lot of cheap beer when I was younger, now I have one or two good beers.” That pretty much sums out how he learned to live life too. He learned to value what mattered in life, to stay alert to the moments that he might be a light and love to someone in need. To him we say thanks for being our light (and fixing the lights) in our life. Thanks for living simply, but oh how rich a man you were/are with all that you have left behind to carry on your legacy.

I love you much Pop’s

Peace

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…

hebrews 12:1

Monday Musings… It’s a little corny

Okay… I thought I was being a somewhat witty and creative with the title of this blog, yet it probably falls a little flat. I am distracted by the bright sun outside calling me to hit the pavement, or just soak in the beauty of the morning.

So much has been going on and I know I have been remiss in blogging, so here I am! I can’t believe it is August, and for many school will be starting up in just a few weeks! I had such plans for summer, I know it’s not over yet. I just knew I would spend some time in Columbus with my brother, just hanging out eating well and sharing a brew or two. I was sure that I would be making many yummy summer fresh dishes with the bounty of the season and my wonderful CSA! Neither of these goals has really happened, but I still have time!

Today I wanted to share with you a recipe for Coconut-ginger corn on the cob! Oh my gosh. I think the Sarno brothers and their Wicked Healthy branding is the bomb! (I should check in with my niece to know whether that term is used anymore) They rock the vegan world with such great stuff and this was a recipe I kept wanting to make. Finally corn season, and this easy twist on corn on the cob was so extremely tasty. So if you are looking for a different way to be a little “corny” this summer try this one out! Oh and the broth that is leftover… don’t throw it out, I think I could have just sipped on this! But I will tell you what I did with it later, first the star dish!

taking a coconut milk bath
taking a coconut milk bath

Coconut-Ginger Corn on the cob

Ingredients:

6 ears, Organic corn, shucked

Water

1 can of Light coconut milk

½ bunch, fresh mint

¼ cup fresh ginger, sliced  no need to peel

5 garlic cloves, sliced

½ tsp. salt

1 lime (optional, but highly suggested)

a dash of ground pepper if you like!

It’s up to you if you want to soak it ahead of time.  It does help with intensifying the flavor, so let the corn take a bath!

  1. Add all ingredients to medium size sauce pot, adding water just to cover the corn.  Save the lime and some mint for garnish.
  2. Heat sauce pot on med-low heat until it comes to a slow simmering boil (the lower and slower the heat = more flavor that the cob with absorb)
  3. Cook for about 15 minutes more and let sit and serve from the pot.
  4. Squeeze lime over the corn and a drizzle of broth in a serving bowl, I do recommend a shallow dish or bowl for serving so you can let the corn swim a little longer between bites!
  5. Strain the broth and save it for soup or something later, the broth is delish!IMG_1659This picture isn’t the best representation of this goodness! All I can say is I grew up slathering on butter, salt and pepper on corn. A good ear of bi-color sweet corn really doesn’t need all that, but I can tell you this little twist doesn’t over power the goodness of the corn but enhances it and makes you want to keep eating for sure!
    the bones!
    the bones!

    Here I must confess. This broth was so good I literally sucked the corn cobs to get all the flavor!! That might be too much info, but I dare you to make this dish and see if you don’t do the same thing!

    Now on to the leftover broth. After straining it I thought I would make soup with it like suggested. Pressed for time and needing something for lunch, I decided to pour it over some chopped up kale and fresh tomato’s and cucumber, with a splash of sriracha sauce! I was so surprised when I ate it the next day. It was a whole new dish and so easy! I think it would be great to use as a corn soup as suggested. Don’t limit your creativity. Or this might just be more proof that I will eat just about any combo of veggies! I would have taken a picture, but I didn’t know it was going to make it to the blog!

So find you some fresh, non GMO, hopefully organic corn and get your shuck on, a little hot bath in coconut milk and enjoy this recipe… and I bit you suck on the cobs! ;)

I hope that you too are enjoying some goodness from the bounty of summer veggies and sharing that and a hug with those you love.

Peace

 

Monday more musings… the rest of the story

It’s July… mid summer, full of sun, thunderstorms and finishing lines for me. I set out over the last year to tackle Yoga teacher training (11 months), and then added in an online Plant Based cooking class (6 months).

The weekend of July 12th was my last yoga teacher training weekend. It was a weekend full of taking classes from each other, laughter, sharing and just celebrating the journey we had all taken together. What a journey it was, and I am still processing all that. Each one of these people impacted my life in ways that are a forever presence… namaste to each one!

Circle of friends, fellow yogis
Circle of friends, fellow yogis

This past weekend, as part of my final work for Rouxbe I hosted a 5 bites party. Hospitality is supposedly a gift of mine, and with my Momma as a guide, it really should be. I am not always so comfortable with being hospitable, I truly think I am an introvert for the most part. However I do enjoy hosting, sharing, honestly I enjoy sharing food, fun and life. Whenever I have opened my home and shared it and myself, it has always been more of a gift to me, than my gift of opening my door to others has been. Friday was a little different in that I shared only plant-based foods, remember, wine comes from grapes, and chocolate is also starts as a bean! lol

The goods!
The goods!

Here are a couple close-ups

vegan sushi, with Asian dipping sauce, the sauce made it a 5 star dish!
vegan sushi, with Asian dipping sauce, the sauce made it a star dish!
Watermelon gazpacho spicy shooters, yes in baby mason jars!
Watermelon gazpacho spicy shooters, yes in baby mason jars!

It really was a fun time. Everyone seem to enjoy the food and I am happy to say that I passed my class and have my official Plant Based Certification from Rouxbe! Ya! now to really hone my skills and keep sharing with all who will listen, how great it is to eat well, and live well… Body, Mind and Spirit.

One of the dishes that I have made twice in the last few weeks is a chocolate torte. Wikipedia describes a torte as: A torte /ˈtɔrt/ or /ˈtɔrtə/[1] is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with whipped cream, buttercreams, mousses, jams, or fruits.[2] Ordinarily, the cooled torte is glazed and garnished. A torte may be made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings.

Well, if you have read any of this blog you realize quickly that I don’t use most of those ingredients. So get ready to be dazzled by an eggless, creamless, jamless… yumminess of chocolate.

I am so grateful that chocolate is plant-based, because truly I don’t think I would give it up. Of course I am talking real chocolate, the dark, rich not “your hershey candy bar.” This ganache torte works with the dark flavor or real chocolate and can be dressed up with some sweet berries on top, or cool ice cream or sorbet (vegan of course!). You won’t be disappointed with trying this treat!

The crust can be used again in many applications (think graham cracker crust) for summer dishes of berries and fruit, but if you use it for those, you may want to omit the chipotle, but I challenge you not to with the chocolate, it adds such a layer of flavor your taste buds will be thanking you.

the mixing of the filling
the mixing of the filling

The Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder

Blend all together in food processor till it becomes crumbly and starts to come together, like gram cracker crust. Press into a 9 inch fluted, or round pan. Let chill out till filling is ready.

The Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/2 cup date paste
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or substitute maple syrup)
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • approx. 1 cup filtered water

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add the water as blending, I didn’t use a whole cup, but maybe 3/4. You can use a high-speed blender, just stop it every once in a while and scrape sides, adding water to again get the smooth consistency, and spare your motor on the blender.

Pour the chocolate filling into the crust. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm, or in the refrigerator for about an hour to fully set. I suggest the freezer, just don’t do like I did the last time I made it for the yoga group and a bag of beans fell in the middle! lol

The finished torte
The finished torte

See, no cream, no eggs, but oooohhh, so much goodness. This piece was finished off with a simple cherry coulis, fancy word for a reduction of fruit into a sauce. If you are a chocolate lover like me, you might not want/need much of an extra touch to this dish, but it is nice to have something to compliment this rich dish! So maybe a coulis, or maybe some simple berries, your choice! I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to Chad Sarno, and all those at Rouxbe for introducing me to all this deliciousness! If you ever decide to try out Rouxbe let me know!

So there you have it my friends. Another recipe, some ramblings of life of late, but I would be remiss to not mention my family in here too. As you know my family is a big deal to me… and one of my favorite spots is my Mom and Pop’s backyard. Yesterday was no different as we celebrates my grand-niece Lilly’s second birthday! We missed the Jones gang, but they are always in our stories and hearts even while creating their memories in TN.

It's a family thing
It’s a family thing

From my favorite back yard to yours, I am sending you thoughts of peace, love and laughter. Choose to enjoy the simple moments in life, for they become your life, making memories to hold in your heart forever…

enjoying the passing of time

peace

 

 

Monday Musings… Chocolate torte, celebration

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

3john2

Hello my friends. So, a week ago I had another birthday. As birthday’s go at my age, it was a good one. Actually it was better than good. I presented my yoga practicum, I toasted with my yogi’s, watched an old movie at Victoria theatre and continued celebrating a little the next day too.
As birthdays go, I am always surprised at the number, because I really don’t know what it means. Should I act different? Change how I dress? I mean some birthdays have there built in rights of passages, but others don’t, and they just are… so there you have it.
What I can say is that when my birthday happens, I often think about the fact that basically half the year is over, and soon we will be in the holiday season. I know! I can hear you all telling me to be quiet.
I hear you telling me there is still summer to be had, and you all are correct, and well living in the moment is what I have been pondering lately.
In my yoga practicum we were to present a theme. Our music and such were to match said theme. I did… I pulled out one of my favorite songs from High School… “The Secret of Life” by James Taylor. It was a special song to me then, and it just keep coming up in my head, so I went with it, he sings about enjoying the passage of time. We often don’t do that. We worry about time, we ask for more time, we regret time, we ponder time, but do we just live?
Live in the moment, that was my theme. To truly be present right were you are, right now.
So easy to say, so hard to do. Why, I wonder?
I am trying to be more present. To savor the moments. Like the laughter of my family, like the vegan shindig I hosted with friends the other night for my Rouxbe cooking class final.
The cool breezes we have had this summer, hugs and words that go deep.
Really savoring all the flavors too of summer. The first berries from Dad’s berry bushes, and strawberry’s. The bite of that first tomato, or corn on the cob.

I hope that you are savoring the flavors and moments of the summer. The everyday, and the not so everyday moments that build a lifetime of memories, that shape us into the people we are.

This is just a quick post, I hope to blog more about my doings of late and share with you all a recipe for chocolate torte! There are so many recipes to share from my Rouxbe journey, but this one is yummy and the one I shared at our last day at Yoga training, creamy goodness and a real treat in summer!

So there you have it friends, 2 post in one day… maybe to make up for the last month of craziness!

Enjoy the moments
Peace
Debbie

Monday Musings… Summer goodness

Two weeks ago craziness was happening at my Mom’s as all the grandkids were around for VBS.  This was one of the little faces that kept us busy, Nova Joy aka Rainbow as she has informed me she likes to be called. Love my family!

Nova Joy... being a unicorn!
Nova Joy… being a unicorn!

There was slip and slide, multiple trips to the store to feed this crew, watching thunderstorms from the garage, playing in the rain, swimming, euchre, uno… well you get the idea. Oh and somebody turned 7, ya Tori!

She likes helping, little sous chef!
She likes helping, little sous chef!

I asked her if she wanted a birthday cake, and she said no, her Mom was going to make her a blue velvet cake, funny, not sure what a blue velvet cake is, and I know my sister likes to stay away from too much sweets and such, and this girl, she’s my veg eater. I had to make her a cake!

Watermelon... as cake!
Watermelon… as cake!

So we had watermelon, as a cake. I was happy with how this turned out and really anyone can do this! just cut off the top and bottom of a watermelon, carve off the sides and add other fruit with toothpicks. I used regular cookie cutters to make the shapes! It was a hit with all, and a lot easier than I thought. This was our 3rd watermelon of the week and it was only Thursday.

Watermelon is definitely a sign of summer, although I miss the little black seeds and having contest to see who could spit said seeds the farthest. Watermelon is a great treat, but also good for you. The water content is great for added summer hydration, not to mention being a wonderful source of Vitamin A, which is good for the skin, eyes and immune system and of course it is low in calories, so don’t worry if you eat a whole one! lol!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this summer treat is making it into a tasty cooling beverage.

the players
the players

It’s best to freeze for a little bit, a bunch of cubes of watermelon, 1 1/2 cups worth or so. Juice of 1 lime, a dash of sea salt and some mint. If your watermelon is lacking enough sweetness for you, you can always add a touch of stevia or honey. Blend this all up, adding a touch of water if needed, but not too much you want it slushy, pour and enjoy!  You can tweek this to your liking, but I am telling you this is one refreshing summer drink! This mix can also be used to make popcicles. Don’t freeze the watermelon first and just blend the ingredients again play with combinations, or add blueberries before pouring into molds, so many healthy options!

yum!
yum!

So this was my cooler, that I sipped on sitting in the sun, while I finished up studying outside this past Saturday when the sun was warm, the breeze was cool and life was good.  I hope you will try drinking some watermelon this week, and enjoy the summer… because guess what the year is half over! In the blink of an eye! Oh and hug someone today, share the love!

Birthday fun
Birthday fun

Peace

Monday Musings… pondering much

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
3john2

IMG_9271

Maybe I am more wiped out from the weekend than I think. I woke up early, but was enjoying the chirping of birds, the cool breeze through the window, that I must have fallen back to sleep thinking it was still May, and spring, and there was still… time.

This past weekend I had my next to last class of yoga teacher training. Saturday was our written final and learning to spell Sanskrit and words like Paschimottanasana, which is basically a seated forward fold, or in English Intense Western Stretch. If you have ever taken a gym class, then you have done this pose, I had 27 to spell… not to mention many other questions, like Pranayama (breath work). We also started our practicums. Each of the students teaches a one hour class in which we all take the class. That’s 7 hours of yoga practice in 2 days… not something westerner’s usually do, and not this chic. So my friends, here’s the question for you today: What are your thoughts on yoga? Do you see it as a physical practice only, a religion, a cult community, crazy hippies lol? Just curious as I finish up the training, and have been teaching some, I wonder what the thoughts are of others, I value your all’s feedback on so many things, so please share.

In my head a lot is swirling around as usual. Much of it isn’t ready to put out there, but I am thinking of the lessons I have learned over the last year taking this class. The changes that have happened in my body and in the way I “view” my body. I have always seen the body as the beautiful, intricate masterpiece that God created it to be, but even more so now. In this fast paced world, yoga has taught me to slow down if only for a few moments a day to really tap into that and be thankful for the gift I have been given. Were I see faults… or should I say what I call imperfections, I now see grace (I am working on this when it comes to cellulite lol). Seriously though, like the scar from my roller blading accident, grace that I wasn’t hurt worse, didn’t poke an eye out, that I fell just right, not to snap my neck. My bum knee… through yoga I feel like I am strengthening that knee, and that twinge of pain if I go to far, reminds me that my physical body might have limits, but not the spirit of God in me, this keeps me humble. I have had the privilege of meeting people from different ages and stages of life who I would have never met, moving me out of my comfort zone. It’s opened my eyes to hearts that are open, hurting, needing, searching, thriving… it’s been cool.
Just a few thoughts.

Could I have done this with some “other” activity? Running group, cycling? Sure I suppose so, and I have in the past some. So where am I going with all this? Get out, step out of your comfort zone, take care of your body by moving it, and don’t always make it an alone journey. Join in with someone, take the journey together and discover new and wonderful things about life and yourself.

No food recipe this week, sorry, I was pretty basic in eating just big old salads, topped with last weeks dressing recipe, which by the way keeps it’s color pretty good for at least 3 days especially with the lemon juice. I have drank lots of green juice and smoothies too for the busy week. Hoping to dig back into Rouxbe this week and sharing with you more from that. If you follow me on FB I have been reposting some of the video clips from some of the doctors that are teaching in this course too.

Give me your feedback on what makes you get out and move? What are your thoughts on yoga? Do you have a good relationship with your body? I know weird question, but seriously if you don’t love your body today where it is, then will you really take care of it? Will you feed it well, or self sabotage? We take care of what we love, love your body imperfections and all, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Peace,
Debbie

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