Wisdom from Sunday morning yoga

Thanks to Beth, my Sunday morning yoga teacher for sharing this meditation…

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I be safe

May I be free

May I be at peace

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you be free

May you be at peace

May all beings be happy

May all beings be healthy

May all beings be safe

May all beings be free

May all beings be at peace

Namaste.

XO

CB

SALAD SOUP– food that takes really REALLY good care of you!

I have the privilege of hosting a wonderful women’s group called Women On a Mission and this month the theme is “taking really REALLY good care of yourself”.  It’s a peel-the- onion concept, but nutrition is often one of the first responses. Eating WELL is a critical component of self care!  To me,  eating WELL means eating tasty, nutritious food and that can be a bit of a struggle.  I try to make good choices when eating out, but I often get tricked (I ordered a cobb salad the other day thinking I was eating WELL and it came with a deep fried soft boiled egg–yuck and YUCK!).  And I try to make GOOD food when we’re eating in but that has its challenges as well.

 If you know me, you know I’m no chef.  The only food I’m good at making is salad, but I get sick of salad and tend to fall into the trap of thinking of it as diet food which equates to deprivation.  So I invented SALAD SOUP.  Soup is comfort food.  Soup is warm and nurturing.  And when you include lots of vegetables (nature’s candy), some beans/legumes/ whole grains, and even toss in a little bit of lean, well tended protein (you know, grain fed, antibiotic free, weekly manis and pedis provided), you’ve whipped up a delicious concoction sure to nourish the body and spirit! 

The other thing I like about SALAD SOUP is that there is no way to screw it up!  There’s no “right amount”, there’s no “wrong vegetable”.  It’s always delicious, but never comes out exactly the same way twice.

Here’s my “recipe” for salad soup…

1.       I hate watery broth, but a creamy broth does nothing for my girlish figure or cholesterol level so I had to figure out an alternative.  I wanted to create a rich, healthy base that was both yummy and vitamin-y.  The secret?  Boil some combination of crazy healthy veggies—you know the ones too healthy to actually eat—kale, chard, spinach, parsley, etc., then put them (and the water you boiled them in) in the blender.  Add to vegetable broth and voila!  Yummy base.
2.       No veggie is a bad veggie!  Be creative!  Combine fresh, frozen, canned… all good! Sometimes I challenge myself to see how many different veggies I can get in one soup.
3.       That being said—veggie soup is BoRing!  And… like a garden salad, leaves one feeling hungry just minutes after consumption so I like including some combinations of beans/ rice/ meat protein.  I like great northern beans, black beans, brown rice, and chicken or fish (I pre-cook it, but not sure you need to if you just boil it with the rest of the ingredients.)
4.       I’m a big fan of sea salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper!
5.       I also really like a little ZING in my soup.  If you do too, try fresh jalapeno peppers, chili seasoning in a tube (in the produce section), and fresh pico de gallo!
 
So here’s the shopping list…
 
Vegetable or chicken broth
Vegetable bouillon
Veggie selection for broth

  • Kale 
  • Chard
     Parsley
     Spinach
    Greens
  • Fresh herbs
  • Vegetable selection
    Asparagus
  • Diced tomatoes (canned)           
  • Green beans
    Corn
    Peas
  • Peppers… green, red, yellow, jalapeño, etc.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
     Etc….

Other

Great northern beans (white), navy beans, butter beans
Black beans
Brown rice
Chicken or fish
Pico de gallo
Chili sauce (in a tube—produce section)
Sea Salt
Seasoned salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper

Start by putting the broth and broth- augmenting concoction in a big pot, then start chopping and dicing!
 
I don’t think there is any way to make this soup in small quantities so I recommend freezing.
  
Happy souping!  Let us know how it goes.
XO
CB

Amazing Grace

My beloved brother passed away recently and at his memorial service my sister and I sang… you guessed it… Amazing Grace.  While I agree with my uncle who says he never wants to admit out loud to being a “wretch”, there is something about the words and the tune that bring me great peace.  “Was blind, but now I see” (meant to be sung)… somehow my brother was blind to the overwhelming number of people who loved him and the vast numbers for whom being loved by him was life affirming and life changing.  He died alone, yet nearly 350 people attended his funeral including folks who flew in from all over the country like Tim, who was one of  his best friends since 4th grade.  We had 12 honorary pallbearers because it was so difficult to narrow down the list of “Chris’s boyz”– those friends who had weathered thick and thin with him, celebrated many of his 39 birthdays with him, pontificated about the meaning life and the mysteries of women with him, and watched many a football game with him.  And then there were his “girlz” (sorry to the feminists among us, but I don’t think the wonderful women in this category would mind the title under these special circumstances)… a handful of deep, meaningful romantic relationships… none of which got the fairy tale ending of “happily ever after”, but all of whom expressed their gratitude for the time they got with him in spite of the ensuing heartbreak, and for being able to hold a piece of him in their hearts forever. 

I pray that “now he sees”.

In the spring my brother’s ashes will be buried under a tree we’ll plant for him in the yard of our family home, the place where he grew up.  Below the grass he mowed, and next to the sidewalk he was supposed to shovel, but usually talked me into liberating from snow.  And again I’ll sing Amazing Grace (and  hope that Chris appreciates the heartfelt nature of the gesture and again overlooks the “pitchy” notes and the general void of any musical talent whatsoever on my part).  “…and grace will lead me home.” (be sure to sing in your head or out loud).  I’ll sing those words and hope with my whole heart that my dearly departed brother who struggled on this earthly plane, finally feels “at home” and at peace.

Thank you to his dear friend, Phil who posted this on Wednesday, the day that would have been his 40th birthday…

Chris,
I meant to say this at your service but just did not have it in me to do so.

–Christopher David Bennett born into life February 1, 1972 born into eternal life January 21, 2012. I am the gentle autumns rain, do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain I am the gentle autumns rain. When you awaken in the mornings hush I am the sweet uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night. So do not stand at my grave and cry I am not there I do not die. (Anonymous) Happy Birthday my friend!

Notes from the Universe…

The trick to blending work and play, Cindy, lies not in what you do, but in how you view what you do.

See work as play and see play as important – super, very.

Super, very important –
    The Universe

This was my note from “The Universe” today.  Check out  www.tut.com if you’d like to get your own daily inspiration!