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

Monday Musings… I choose

It’s been a little bit since I have taken time to write. I miss it. I don’t know if anyone in cyber space misses hearing from me but I won’t dwell there :)

It’s June! I am really trying not to feel overwhelmed with that thought. June means that soon it will be July, which means 2 things that I have been heavily committed to, and  will be wrapping up 2 classes I have been taking. This weekend I will take my final written test for my Yoga teacher training. July I will do my practicum, and Lord willing turn in all my homework!1796666_669435899766066_1977222720_nWow, really? But I’m not there yet, and, this post isn’t about those accomplishments… yet. My online cooking class at Rouxbe also ends the middle of July, about 70% done there. I am excited and nervous, and left wondering what will I do with my newly discovered and honed skills and knowledge! Lord only knows, seriously!

I want to share with you all a recent discovery while working on Rouxbe stuff. By choice I have not eaten bread/pasta made with white flour or even wheat in a long time, only whole grain. Pretty much gluten free, again by choice. Recently I have had a few episodes where I have had such “food” only to notice some allergy like issues. The worst being when I was making seitan for my class (this is made with vital wheat gluten and it is a meat substitute). I had hives while making it-stopped to take some Benadryl and only tasted one bite. I was miserable and itchy. Since I know I had yeast rolls at Thanksgiving and even probably pizza with gluten crust since, this made me wonder if it was just the level of gluten. On I went with life, without gluten.

This past week I decided to tackle the making of manicotti, this task centered around learning the process of homemade pasta. I was a little nervous for lots of reasons, but as I was working with the dough I didn’t experience any issues.IMG_9585See how nice and not evil at all it looks… and believe me since it took 2 tries to get the dough right (this was vegan/no egg pasta), I was getting hungry. So when this came out of the oven I knew I would eat some.

the finished product
the finished product

And eat I did, not a lot, but a serving. It was yummy. The noodles were just right, and the tofu “ricotta” spinach stuffing was so good. I opted for my spicy marinara… oh ya!

Well I was having trouble sleeping so I took a Benadryl tablet, just one and tried to sleep. Friday morning I woke feeling yuk, but I had to go to work… get up I kept saying. I walked into the bathroom having trouble getting my eyes open, but was thinking I was just tired, when I looked in the mirror I had a freak out moment! My eyes, really my face were so swollen (I will spare the picture I took). I have to laugh because I thought if I wore my glasses no one would notice! Needless to say I called into work lest I freak people out. The only time I ever remember having a food reaction like this was back in college after eating Chinese for the first time, I almost went to the ER with that event, when you start wheezing you know its bad.  I decided it was MSG, and never had any problems… until the last few months. Of course I have tried to research it a little and haven’t gotten far. I think it is strange that I would develop an “allergy” after all these years. The other thing is that by choice I have eliminated these things, but now it’s not a choice, it’s a need to stay away. So for now I will be sticking to what my body seems to like, veggies, fruit, whole foods and foods as close to original as possible :)

So now that I have shared my horror story of food lol, let me get on with sharing a recipe that I made on Rouxbe that is NOT made with noodles. It’s a creamy dressing that can be used for dipping or drizzling over a summer salad. Made with avocado, this dressing has no oil in it! Yes avocado has fat, monounsaturated fat. An average avocado has about 4 grams of protein in it too! Not to mention essential vitamins and potassium. Mix you up some and enjoy the benefits and taste. There is a little chiptole in here for kick so if you don’t like spicy you can nix it, but I suggest trying a little first.

Avocado Ranch dressing/dip

  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup plain Non–Dairy Milk (ie. almond)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and flesh removed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 of garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder, or more to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 3 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced (optional, but highly reccommend)

Place all ingredients, except the chives into blender and combine until smooth, adding only 1 cup of non-dairy milk at first. Depending on whether you are making as a dip or dressing will depend on how much liquid you will want. Once blended, add additional milk as needed. The dressing should be thick but still somewhat pourable if using as a dressing, thicker for dip.

Taste for seasoning, add more salt and/or pepper as needed. Stir in chives. If desired, add fresh lemon juice. ( I say yes add the lemon juice it adds another layer of wonderful flavor)

Fresh herbs are best, but I did use dried dill as I didn’t have any in the garden. Just remember dried herbs are concentrated so use less, and always taste!

ready for lunch!
ready for lunch!

I usually don’t add dressings to my salads, just a squeeze of lemon juice/splash of balsamic, pinch of salt, but so many people do use dressings and bottled dressings are not always what they appear. It’s so easy to whip up your own so I really encourage you to make this good choice and give this recipe a go!

Peace

Monday Musings… dipping is a sweet thing!

beautiful... and no beer for this girl... being goofy!
beautiful… and no beer for this girl… being goofy!

I am a little late in posting my blog this Monday. Speaking of the blog, I suppose I should have done a drum roll about a month ago as I have posted over 100 times here. I know, doesn’t sound like much to some bloggers, but for this recovering, well trying to, procrastinator that is something to celebrate!

Speaking of celebration… today is my niece Olivia’s birthday, sweet 16! This is the most recent pic I have here on the computer! This girl is like any growing teen, although she eats her fair share of fruits and veggies, she likes sweets and MEATS! ahhh lol, I love her anyway and one day I may win her over. She once blogged for me, and if you go back, you may enjoy her wit!

May kicks in birthday’s for me, and in the next couple of months I will also celebrate finishing my yoga teacher training and my classes on Rouxbe! Lot’s going on, but all good. At training this weekend, we did a little vision boarding, aka cut and paste therapy, dreaming. Influenced by the magazines on hand this was my vision board:

Vision board!
Vision board!

Not quite sure what it says about me, but I am pretty sure no one else had as much food, or a picture of a dark beer being poured into a mason jelly jar!

Okay, enough of the family and update on the weekend, let’s get to the sweet stuff! As I shared last week a friend of mine had asked me to help make some snacks for an open house she had a couple of weeks ago. She told me about a 2 ingredient sweet fruit dip her daughter- in- law had made. That sounded great to me, so I made it… well, that and I increased the dip ingredients by a couple. Still super easy, and has been a huge hit… so much so that I have failed to take a picture!! Needless to say as spring moves into summer and things heat up we all need a quick recipe for picnics and what better way to get more fruit eaten than serving up a dip with those apples!

Coconut Date Dip

1 can full fat coconut milk

8 oz. package of dates pitted

1/4 – 1/2 teas almond extract (can sub vanilla)

pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in food processor or high speed blender and mix till desired consistency.

I told you it was easy! This makes a lot, but will keep well for about a week in the fridge. I was thinking that if you froze it, it might be like an ice cream treat. Worth a try!

So there you have it a no excuse to I don’t have time for a little extra to put with that fruit. You could even use it to make a parfait! Use your imagination and get dipping!

Peace

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