Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 14, Doshas , Root Vegetable Lasagna

Starting our third week of quarantine and I'm called to return to root veggies. Ayurvedic medicine will say that root veggies address balance in your root chakra, makes sense, right? So what resides in our root chakra, well it is what we are all feeling right now, our sense of fundamental security. Root chakra governs our feeling of stability in life, our basic needs of food, water, shelter and safety. If we are secure in our basic needs then generally our root chakra is balanced and we feel grounded. Because our very basic needs are being threatened almost daily, no matter who you are it will take some serious discipline working with those things that would help to balance our root chakra. Through diet this means root veggies, warm milks, porridges, grounding foods. Now might not be the time to do a juice cleanse, but rather to allow yourself the physical grounding of the aforementioned foods.
I've made various versions of veggie lasagnas in my day, not being able to eat eggplant is such a bummer as it makes for a perfect veggie lasagna, zucchini is a little watery for my tastes in a layered dish and they are not in season locally anyway. Remember, for so many reasons, eat seasonally and locally. Fruits and veggies that don't have to travel and are local are of a much higher vibration and therefore assimilated by the body better.
Root veggies like sweet potatoes, rutabagas and parsnips are high Vitamin A, K and C boosting immunity and are super anti oxidant.

In Ayurveda one aspect of looking at wellness involves knowing your specific dosha or breakdown of doshic dominance. Translated literally,  the word dosha means, that which can cause imbalance, therefore we are clued into the fact that balancing our doshas is a lifelong journey. Each of the three doshas are comprised of a combination of each of the five elements ( ether, air, fire, water and earth)
Vata governs air and space, Pitta, fire and water and Kapha,  water and earth. So what does all this mean? The answer is, like so many answers in eastern medicine, "it depends".  All of us have each of the doshas within us, but primarily one and secondarily another.  Once you know which one is your primary and secondary you can really begin to holistically look at how you function based on this information. To find out take this free quiz. You will have to put in your email, sort of annoying but, it's a very well done test with a ton of information for your specific doshic distribution. 



I am mainly Vata mind / Pitta body, when I feel things spinning for me I do two things, I eat something grounding and I put on a hat, yes, a hat. There are doshic balancing postures in yoga too, this week at Balanced Planet Yoga I am teaching a Vata balancing gentle vinyasa...feel free to join me. Thursday morning at 9:30am. Follow the link below and set up your mind body account if you don't already have one. If you do, find Balanced Planet Yoga in Marlton and sign up for my class, an email will be sent to you on what to do next.

Have fun with your quiz and feel free to ask as many questions in my comments section as I love love talking specifically about balancing doshas and keeping them from derangement.


Root Veggie Lasagna
350F    




1 Japanese white sweet potato
1 sweet potato
1 rutabaga
1 turnip
2 potatoes
1 can peeled tomatoes
fresh basil
1 white onion
extra virgin olive oil
Vegan version ( silken tofu, soy milk, garlic, basil, salt, pepper)
dairy version ( goat cheese, parmiggiano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper)


I used my mandolin component to my cuisinart, it is key to slice your root veggies exactly the same widths so they cook evenly, attempting to thinly slice a raw rutabaga or sweet potato by hand is not easy.  Place sliced root veggies in water and put aside.
saute' 1/4 of the white onion chopped in a little olive oil in a small pot until translucent, add crushed peeled tomatoes, torn basil leaves to taste, salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer 15 min longer. 
Meanwhile, if you are preparing the vegan version put in a blender about 3 oz. silken tofu, 1/2 cup of soy milk, 1 garlic clove, basil and salt and pepper) blend into a "cream sauce" put aside.
Otherwise once the sauce has simmered you are ready to layer, using one layer of goat cheese and parmiggiano in between alternating layers of sauce and veggie "pasta" sheets.
Layer until finished. If using the vegan cream sauce layer that in place of the goat cheese.
cook at 350F for 2 hours covered with foil. 
Take out and garnish with fresh herbs of your choice!!



Monday, March 30, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 13, Resourcefulness




We are adaptable creatures, humans, and this global time out was what we had been screaming for actually. As a yoga teacher I can't tell you how many times I heard people silently screaming for down time. This forced down time has seen many faces, I revisited  a passage recently that I thought really talked about this well. Christopher Sartain in his book,  The Sacred Science of Yoga and the Five Koshas, poses this:
"It is imbalance, chaos, and disharmony that causes creation. It is the universe's ebb and flow and search for harmony and order out of chaos that allows all to exist and evolve. " 
Necessity is the mother of invention. Though this period seems outrageously oppressive and disconnected, literally isolating, it has also brought about creation in areas that may not have been explored by individuals looking to reach a new normal within this chaos.
I am watching and listening to those I know and love talk about deeper connections with family, making bread and milks at home, going inward and discovering that landscape. I love these aspects of this time. It is a rare and amazing, looking at this helps to balance the onslaught minute by minute news reports, I implore you to turn off your televisions and bake bread, make almond or cashew milk.
My daughter called me and excitedly shared she was making a variety of nut milks and wanted to share, have a tasting... like mother like daughter I suppose. She walked out to me, silver tray in hand, 5 crystal shot glasses filled with variations in sweetness, additions of espresso and a beautifully whipped espresso cream to add as the "crema" atop any of the 4 versions. I've made this the subject of today's recipe. I will say I preferred the cashew milk which surprised me. I was also amazingly surprised at the

Almond or Cashew Milk 






1cup raw nuts (almonds or cashews) 
4 cups filtered water
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
cheese cloth
blender
mason jar for storage


soak nuts overnight, or 6 hours in hot water if you're impatient
drain nuts, blend with 4 cups of filtered water blend on medium, add maple syrup, vanilla and salt, blend another minute. Strain through cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze as much out as you can, you could double strain but she doesn't. 


Another friend I'll pass along found a foolproof no knead bread recipe for those of you out there who are eating wheat products... looks good, keep up the kitchen love.



I have stalled on this post for one reason, I recorded a good vigorous vinyasa flow of 1:15 minutes but I totally screwed up a posture name and decided I would cut it and be able to edit later... I'm stumped, no go, can't edit it out who knows, but excuse the blip and enjoy the class!!


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day ?, An Apple a Day...

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
—Mary Oliver
I may have lost track of time, I know I've skipped a day of journaling online and making videos for classes and swinging wooden spoons in my kitchen, whirling fragrant spices and vibrant veggies into edible art, I know I have. Yesterday brought me to a screeching halt. I have been quarantined with my partner, as many of you have, I consider this a gift, our dance of the day is not tethered to expectation but rather has a beautiful flow of weaving in and out of each other's presence and honoring each other's independent rhythms as well. So yesterday as I laid out my mat to practice with one of the teachers from the yoga community I call home at Balanced Planet Yoga, he decided to take a run. The class felt good, often as a teacher following classes gives us the permission to turn off and turn inward, at least that is what happens for me and so I am a fan. I release all control of the sequence of shapes, of speaking and making words find the right amount of time to occupy with the right amount of meaning, I love releasing all of that and just absorbing and moving into the physical and breath filled practice designed by someone else. I am a forever student, what is hard is finding the teacher that opens the mind of the student, that is hard, but when you find the one or few that do, the studentship of life, or the yoga class, is blissful.  
The hour flew by, I was peacefully resting in shavasana when my dog, Chloe, decided it was time to go out, barking and jumping near me, duty called. It was still ok, I live on the edge of a golf course now all but closed, and so I roam the greens with her off leash once we get deep into the woods. These daily walks have been a walking meditation, forest bathing so it was all still ok, in fact it was perfect. I wondered where Justin was and decided to return to greet him with my sunbeam of feelings that I had absorbed from the last hour and a half of the morning. As I walked in with Chloe I noticed he had made a smoothie and I began drinking when he turned and said he was having difficulty speaking. He looked ok, he's young and lithe and one would never think he had anything, but his heart used to beat out of his chest when he was little, they discovered an arithmia and at 17 he was having heart surgery. It's been years and years since he has been checked, being a yoga teacher does not allow for health insurance in this country easily. We talk about it from time to time, he should get checked, he had felt  his heart do what it used to when he was a teenager, but it would resolve itself and we would move on with our day. 
I sat with him, had him try to repeat words to me, tried to decide what to do, his legs were twitching as if electrified too and I had no idea what that could mean. I laid his head in my lap and held him, did what I knew, was drawn to hold his head. You see issues in the heart, left intreated I learned, irregular beating over time can lead to stroke. Living in America, uninsured and in the middle of this pandemic made going to the ER a complicated decision for an unknown, bizarre set of symptoms. So you see, I wasn't cooking, or thinking about food yesterday, what I was thinking about was all of this. I unbelievably am friends with a neurologist, turned yoga instructor, we did our training together and have stayed in contact. I called both her and another friend and yoga student who is a nurse, they both answered almost immediately and if it weren't for them I'm quite sure the day would've looked completely different. The neurologist put Justin through a battery of tests over the phone, and I was buying health insurance pretending with the agent that it just occurred to me, given the virus looming that Justin should be insured, the other ear listening to Justin explain how words were feeling stuck in his mouth, how his brain knew the words but his mouth felt stuck.  
Today I know we made an ok decision, yesterday my thoughts swirled with doubt. I can't thank those two women enough for all the information and help they gave, we felt held by them. I remembered a day last year when, though they never met each other they shared a yoga class that I taught,  that day was shortly after the great modern poet Mary Oliver had passed on and I read one of her poems.  The world goes on, without our control and all we can do is return to love. The events of our life will bring us around and around again to this simple state of being, big openhearted, unconditional love. I could never have known that this poem was perfect to read. These two played such beautiful roles in our lives yesterday, their life's work of open hearted service and our lives of service as yoga teachers in this beautiful dance of giving with a full heart makes me even more committed to the belief that love is service and service is joy.  

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

—Mary Oliver


I did actually cook yesterday, in the evening I made one of my favorite salads, inspired by my Aunt, as part of being a conscious chef, aware of medicinal properties of live foods I threw the kitchen sink of them so to speak at our weakened physical and emotional states. Herbs. Fresh herbs have been used for their medicinal properties in many cultures, eastern and western alike for centuries, properties including anti oxidant, anti inflammatory, and anti bacterial to name a few. They are packed with polyphenols and have high contents of vitamin A, C and K, making them a perfect way to neutralize acidity in the body and protect it from free radicals. Pairing this with probiotic yogurt and cashews which are known heart helpers preventing the coagulation of blood. 

Herb Salad, An Apple a Day 


Ingredients:

Fresh organic or homegrown herbs:
1 handful each :Dill, Parsley, Cilantro, Mint, Basil
1 handful baby lettuces, spring mix 
1 handful blueberries
1 Pink Lady apple
1 tbsp plain yogurt or Skyr per plate
1 tbsp drizzled tahini per plate
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt, cracked pepper

Arrange a light fluffy swish of the yogurt on the side of your plate, fan out apple slices and mound lightly your greens atop both, place lightly toasted cashews and blueberries on top sprinkle salt, pepper and if you have it for contrasting color I sprinkled beet powder, lightly drizzle tahini and a few drops of olive oil and enjoy!

Notions on holistic  awareness and reading of Mary Oliver
Notions




Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 9, Make it Matcha




In love with  the healing hue of Green and my thoughts turned to all things Matcha. It has phenomenal healing properties, super antioxidant, immunity building ,  free radical reducing, neuron firing stimulator, it's potent medicine and it's the focus of today's recipe. 

Vegan Matcha Cake with Coconut Milk Matcha Whip Cream



Way better, day two after being refrigerated.



  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (if you use cane sugar the color of your cake is outstanding green, you could substitute some stevia, NOT 1/2 cup, do it to taste)
  • 1/2 package silken tofu (3.5 oz, it varies, but mine was about 7 oz.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 3/4 cup almond milk

Matcha Coconut Milk Whip Cream

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp cooking grade Matcha
1 - 2 tsp stevia
black sesame seed garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the coconut oil and cane sugar on medium until fairly smooth. Add the tofu and vanilla extract and continue to mix until tofu is incorporated. Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and matcha green tea powder, mix until incorporated. Add in the almond milk and mix until batter looks smooth. Transfer batter to the greased loaf pan and bake for 45 mins to an hour. Check after 45 mins, if a knife comes out of the middle clean, it’s done!If not, keep going!


It's super sunny today,  I taught my first Zoom yoga class, my mom attended, it was super sweet! It's going on Day 10 today and I am really feeling the sense of others anxiety, friends and family affected. I worked on sending Reiki to all this afternoon, blanketing the fears of those I love with love and light. I am brought to the thought that our only control is our ability to measure our reactions and responses to things. Last night I couldn't sleep, I wasn't tired, was restless and so I turned to my phone which ended up filling my head with salacious words to really sell the story of what is happening. I watched and noticed the visceral effect this had on my body of feeling ungrounded, and fearful and I closed my phone and consciously took myself outside my thoughts, wrapped all those I love and myself in giant bubbles of white light. I used this visual from an animated movie I saw years ago depicting emotions as people called Inside Out. I made these emotions in me like little people, I know it sounds funny, this is a great visualization for kids so even if it doesn't work for you try a meditation like this for them. You ask them to imagine, embody their fear, happy, envy, anger and sad into actual people, what would they look like: One by one you ask them to let go of them and just be with who they are without each of these emotions taking up residence. So I did, just that and then surrounded myself in white light. I choose to have slow reactions, measured responses. My mom used to say to me, the dramatic child and young adult that I was, "not too high with the highs, not to low with the lows." I think about this simple statement now as the middle way.




Loving the new playlist I found, enjoy!



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 8, Kung Fu Panda Dumplings



" Your mind is like water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear. " 
- Kung Fu Panda


Our sacral chakra is known as the watery place, situated in the lower abdomen it is our place of emotion, creativity, fertility, intimacy, empathy and where we feel change. When we experience dramatic change in our lives, or if we do not feel secure in sharing our emotions our sacral chakra is out of balance. Many of us have been told not to cry, or not to express excitement as it looks like hysteria, that we do too much of something, or too little in our personalities. Take these thoughts, any of the thoughts that have made you feel like you could not or should not express emotionally and hold them for a simple meditation. Put on our playlist (link below) and for 3-5min focus on the breath, inhale and exhale, notice if one is shorter than the other. Place your hand above the pubic bone, your sacral chakra and breath into your hand. Visualize a body of water, whatever comes to you, imagine it rough and cloudy and recall these thoughts inhibiting your emotional, creative or intimate expression. Take your hand and physically pull these blockages from this space, removing the emotional debris, in your mind visualize a pristine calm and transparent body of water in your mind's eye.

I love the image of water as my emotional life, ebbing and flowing, never static, allowing for moments of wellbeing and moments of stress with the knowledge that nothing stays the same, that change is inevitable and the real key to it all is being able to see the emotions, acknowledge them and not hold onto them, but rather to try and see them outside of yourself, as an observer.
Think for a moment about how we can see others struggles and why they struggle so much easier than we can see our own. It is because we are not attached to their struggles as we are ours. We have a broader perspective without a personal attachment. So this is a choice we can make for ourselves as well but it takes discipline, every moment.  I choose to allow myself to feel and hold a feeling when it is good sweet feeling but somehow I choose to hold thoughts and feelings that are negative with even a tighter grip, why is that? That is my daily work, moment to moment discipline, to let go of not only the negative thoughts that like to linger longer but also the sweet ones, seeing them as the same thing.  In yoga we talk about finding that sweet spot between effort and ease, sthira and sukha, in our holding of emotions we can apply the same teaching. Harmony. Things are not just easy, and they are also not just hard either but being the observer and letting each thing come in and leave without disrupting your deeper sense of calm and rather only seeing surface ripples is the harmony found in  sthira and sukha.



Kung Fu Panda Dumplings
makes 30-40 dumplings


1/2 lb ground pork ( if you want to make these without meat substitute mushrooms here) 

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves grated fresh garlic
1/2 tbsp soy sauce or aminos
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch ( binding)
1/2 tsp sesame oil 

40 wonton wrappers

Dumpling Dipping Sauce:

2tbsp mirin
2tbsp soy sauce or  aminos
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp grated garlic
to add heat 1/4 tsp chili oil

mix all ingredients together. So I made both veggie version and pork version. They were both amazing.  Place a small amount of raw filling in each wonton wrapper, wet two sides and fold over into a triangle, pressing firmly along the sides. Gently flip over and stick two corners together. 
see pic!! You can make these either in a broth like a simple chicken or veggie broth, add in a few mushrooms and scallions, or you can saute´ in a shallow pan with a little sesame and olive oils until lightly browning on one side, add 1/2 cup of water cover and steam through. When the water is evaporated the dumplings are done. serve with a dumpling sauce.
















Sweet and Spicy Deep Greens



1 Bunch Red Kale
1 clove grated fresh garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Soy sauce or aminos
1/4 cup veggie stock
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili oil

Saute´ garlic, ginger and torn,  de-spined,  kale in sesame oil and olive oil, on medium to high flame, add soy sauce and mirin, it should sizzle, toss a bit and then add stock and cover 5 min. 
Done. add a few drops of chili oil of you like it spicy. 


Mediation water journey playlist 



Join me on Zoom tomorrow at 9:30am for a gentle Vinyasa class 10$ drop in with yoga studio Balanced Planet, link on how to :



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 7, Buddha Bowl, Gentle Qi Gong



It's raining today in New Jersey, bringing to mind my favorite word, petrichor. Have you ever had someone who has been running outside walk past you when they come in? If you close your eyes, fresh cut grass, ozone and damp stone, that's what petrichor smells like. I take a deep inhale, expanding through the ribs and savor the cool, musky scent it feels almost as if it were waking up each cell of my body so, I don't mind the rain. I can remember sitting in a yoga class years and years ago, before I taught, and heard the word Santosha it is the sanskrit word for contentment. I always connect the rain with this word, funny how our brains make connections. The yoga teacher was describing one of the Niyamas or daily practices of Yoga, these are laid out as daily habits or duties for proper living in the world. Right about now to kick the corona virus's ass and stay woke while doing it this ancient list of practices is what we need on our fridges. Santosha is described as the finding of contentment within each moment.  My memory of the first time I heard this word was on a similar rainy day to this one.  I had rolled out of bed, left unhappily crying children and brought my sleep deprived achy body to the mat. I cursed the rain, the cold, the lack of sleep, my loss of identity, the loss of my former physique, I was a bag of squirrels filled with discontent uncomfortable in my own body and mind, but I had the discipline to get to my mat and sit down and shut up. He went on about how beautiful the rain was, the appreciation of the sun because of the rain, the blooms and lush green of the mosses and grasses because of the rain. I began to feel a shift then and it has never left me, this being in WONDER of the present moment. It is also a discipline to do this, it becomes easier and easier with practice and more awareness. 
I am struck by my calm in this time of complete uncertainty we collectively face but I attribute this to Santosha. I am in WONDER  of what I am witnessing in the human race, resilience, community, creativity,  oneness.  I am in WONDER and awe at the transformation in the physical planet, clearer waters, dolphins in Venice, pollution clearing, fashion brands making scrubs and masks, LVMH making hand sanitizer instead of Channel No.5 parfum. 
It's worth reminding ourselves of the very basic daily duties we have to ourselves both individually and collectively. 


Decided to make a Buddha Bowl today. Not exactly sure how this term came into use but I use it to mean a warm bowl of grains and greens and a protein with a hearty dose of fragrant flavor. After having spent a week in St. Maarten just before we were all quarantined I picked up island spices for a good dry rub. But if you have a cabinet full of spices I encourage you to make your own, chili pepper flakes, lemon rind, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, maybe a little cumin. 

Deep Green Salmon Buddha Bowl

Ingredients:

1 lb  Whole Foods Atlantic Salmon
dy rub of your choice,  paprika, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, cumin
1 avocado
1 butternut squash cubed
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 broth ( chicken or veggie)
1 head lacinato kale
1 cup quinoa white and red
2 tblsp pesto (make or buy) 

Rub spice mixture along the length of the filet and oil a cookie sheet and place the filet on it.

Pesto:

one bunch basil
1 garlic clove ( medium to big)
1/ 4 cup dry toasted pine nuts 
1/4  parmigiano grated
salt 
olive oil drizzle
The kety to making a good pesto is a small food processor for these quantities and adding olive oil last to "wet" the ingredients amking a thick paste not an oily mess.  The way pesto expands over pasta or any thing is with the addition of the cooking water of your pasta or quinoa in our case. 


saute´ butternut squash in olive oil salt,  pepper , I love using umami spice ( Trader Joe's) and garlic, browning a little before adding broth, cover and set to medium heat to cook through 10 min. 
wash and take the spine out of each of the kale leaves, roughly chop and place atop the butternut squash, don't mix in. re cover and let "steam" five minutes. uncover and toss together.

Meanwhile cook quinoa according to directions, and the last 10 min of cooking time for both squash and quinoa ( reserve a 1/2 cup of the water once it has been salted and is boiling), place the salmon under the broiler. 
In a large metal bowl combine all ingredients should you wish to make this a Buddha bowl and not a separated Poke Bowl. 
adding the pesto in really thickens the ingredients so don't be afraid to add some of the reserved quinoa water. 

top with slices of avocado and enjoy!


I have been offering movement daily and at various levels, today's offering is something anyone and everyone can do. It is movement that will assist in lymphatic drainage, boost the immune system, build blood flow and recharge your body and mind gently. 
Qi gong movements are gentle and intentional for medicinal purposes. 
Please enjoy 15 minutes or so daily.


movement



And if you like the music  you can listen to this playlist on Spotify



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 6, Immunity Building Blocks

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
-Suzuki






I’ve been asked by a few of you, to share my alkalizing diet. I often do this in the form of smoothies and juices early in my day. I find I can get the majority of my antioxidants and adaptogens in a smoothie or juice.
The weather has turned cold again and though I am making smoothies I am drinking them fireside. Feeling warmth be it a fire, warm bath or physical movement it always makes me feel filled, nothing like a chill to make you feel alone. So whatever you have available, use it, create heat. Self- care Sunday, right?
I like to make juices with my veggies and smoothies with my fruits, generally speaking.
Here are my two favorite recipes for immunity building of both.




Sunshine juice:

Serves 2
3 Carrots ( ocular function)
2 Celery stalks ( anti inflammatory)
An apple or orange ( vitamin c in the orange and pectin from the apple which is a prebiotic )
A knob of turmeric root ( anti inflammatory )
A good knob of ginger root ( adaptogen, immunity booster)
If you have a lemon add half a lemon too ( I didn’t and added cranberries for their anti oxidant properties)

Use a decent juicer ! Add a dash of pepper on top to activate the turmeric. If you have an MCT oil or cold pressed coconut oil add 1/2 tsp. too.










Chocolate Cherry Chaga
serves 2

handful Frozen cherries (anti oxidant, blood building)
2 tbsp raw cacao ( anti oxidant, blood building, anti inflammatory)
2 opened capsules mushroom elixir, or a chaga powder if you have, if not get it, Om makes one sold at Whole Foods and Four Sigmatic makes a good blend as well.
1 tsp Ashwaganda ( anti anxiety adaptogen)
1 1/2 cup milk alternative ( I prefer oat)

You may want to add a little maple syrup and or Almond butter if it is a meal replacement, to add protein.
blend and sprinkle a little cayenne on top
If you like that, I do!








I was thinking a lot about discipline and habit. As an empath I can easily and , especially now, get wrapped into the feelings of others and my only way out of this cycle is my own discipline a structure to each day. There is a form of meditation called Zazen meditation, a
Buddhist form of zen meditation whose goal is only that of itself, the discipline of keeping an empty mind, a beginner’s mind.
To do this in the easiest description possible is with practice. Everyday start with an empty mind, hah try and see if you can I dare you. Imagine what it is like to be a beginner at something, not knowing, without judgement and with no goal other than the sheer openness and discipline of learning, now do that in every aspect of your day, in every thought you encounter, in every conversation.
Let me know how that goes for you and how often you catch yourself as I do throughout a day relying on habitual behaviors and thought patterns. The key is to notice it. The next thing to do is ask if these patterns are serving you, are adding to joy in your life, or if they are destructive.
Once you have noticed, you have become the observer, it’s called witness consciousness. Hang out there for as long as you can, noticing and noticing. You will soon, after taking all the time you need noticing, start asking yourself what is serving you and what can be released as not useful. When that happens, get back to your mat, meditate on nothing. Just sit in stillness and empty your mind. The discipline is this, over and over and over again.
I’ve included another offering of movement link here as well, stoke the fire!


With Justin Marx 


43°F Cloudy
 Marlton, New Jersey, United States