Jessica Seinfeld is out with a new cookbook: Deceptively Delicious. Her kids wouldn’t eat veggies and she was trying to figure out how to incorporate the healthful plants into their diets. One day while pureeing butternut squash for her baby she realized it was the same color as the mac & cheese she was making for her older kids. Bingo.
She was on Oprah recently. I missed the show but I laughed when I heard about her clever concept. I sneak veggies into meals all the time…for my husband Ron.
The man hates peppers. Can’t stand beets, doesn’t care for mushrooms, won’t touch tomatoes.
Do you know how many recipes call for tomatoes?
My friend Michelle gave me a recipe for turkey burgers. Ron loves them except for one ingredient – onion – which he picks out with his fork. But one night I chippy-chopped the onion into extra small pieces. He didn’t even notice. Afterwards, he kept saying, “There was onion in the burgers? Really?”
Works great for sauces, meats, pizza, whatever.
Here is the recipe for turkey burgers: Sautee 1/4 cup finely chopped onion in olive oil. In a bowl, combine onion with 1 small apple (grated), 1 T chopped fresh chives, 1 t celery salt, 1/2 t ground sage, 1/8 t pepper. Add 1 pound uncooked turkey and mix well. Form into patties. Sautee in oil (we grill ‘em).
As few weeks ago, we had a substitute teacher in yoga class. He had us do a series of poses where we moved from one warrior position to another to another then back to the first one. And so on.
The Dance of the Warrior, he called it.
The dictionary defines warrior as “one who is engaged in or experienced in battle.”
The battle in yoga, I suppose, is with the anxious, unstable, and not-so-Zen side of myself.
Can I learn to stay centered in the face of fear?
Can I find my balance when life seems to be throwing me in loops?
Can I take action with insight and compassion?
In other words, can I find the way of the peaceful warrior?
As I moved through the series, my muscles trembled, my body wobbled, and my breath labored. At least, part of the time it was like that. At other times, I was calm(er) and stead(ier) and moving in rhythm. Slowly, I’m learning the dance.
When we lived in California my husband and I had two bamboo plants – one on our coffee table and one in our kitchen. We had an indoor ivy plant above a corner piece in the living room. And we had a peace lily in a large flowerpot by our front door.
We enjoyed our plants. They livened up our space and added a splash of color.
We even named them: Lucky, Frogger, Stan and Lily.
But we weren’t very organized about feeding them. Half the time we presumed the other person had watered them when in reality neither of us had (we’d check and then panic because their soil was extra dry). Other times we assumed the other person had forgotten to take care of the plants, so we’d both wind up watering them and then over-saturating their soil.
We had a confusing schedule with our dog too. Some days we decided to give her one scoop of food in the morning and another scoop at night. Other days we decide to give her nothing in the morning and two scoops at night. And everyday we’d have a discussion about who fed her, when we fed her, and whether she needed to be fed again. When we moved from California we gave our plants away but kept the dog. Our daily discussions over the feeding routine of our adorable mutt have continued.
We’ve often said to each other: “We need to come up with one schedule for the plants/pets and stick to it.” But no plan we thought of worked very well. Right about the time I was making the switch to Clean Eating. I read an article that suggested feeding your pets and plants before you prepare your own meals.
In other words, serve others before serving yourself.
What a great idea. After all, when I was growing up the golden rule at the dinner table was Offer the food dishes to others before taking it yourself. One summer I worked at a camp where we actually served the person to our right – I would put a piece of chicken, a spoon of broccoli, and a roll on my neighbor’s plate. Then that person would serve the person to her right, and so on…
Feeding pets and plants before meals would not only keep all the living creatures in our household on a regular schedule, it would help us transition into the intention of mindful eating. By stepping back and taking care of the needs of others first, we are reminded of how much has been given to us: our health, our bodies, and the food we are about to put inside it.
Peace & Blessings.
My car crunches over the gravel as I pull into the parking lot of the yoga studio. Climbing up the rickety stairs of the wood building, I’m filled with hope.
This is the ninth yoga instructor I’ve tried since moving to DC. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to find a teacher that feels like the right fit. In part, I’m grieving the loss of my instructor from Los Angeles whom I adored. And I admit I don’t mind the teachers I’ve practiced with here, but I find yoga easier to maintain when I feel a strong authentic connection.
A few months ago I tried a class where the teacher did seem like a great fit. But when I returned, she was no longer there. I scoured the web searching for her to pop up in another studio around town. I only had a first name to go off of, but I think I might have found her and that’s why I’m here today.
I sign in at the desk and walk into the studio. The teacher is asking the class to get two blocks, a blanket, and a strap. Yep, that’s her. I can tell by the sound of her voice.
She walks by me on her way to close the door of the studio, but she pauses before reaching her destination. She watches me as I pull back my hair back into a loose ponytail.
“Hi. I’m Jenny. I’m a drop-in,” I say.
“I know you,” she says.
I sigh in relief. She remembers me.
“I took a restorative yoga class you taught in another studio a few months ago. I’ve been looking for you ever since. You’re hard to find,” I explain.
“Yes,” she nods, remembering the class. “It’s taken me awhile to get going and figure out where to set up shop.”
Well no wonder I couldn’t find her. She’s a new teacher. Later, I discover that she had a health scare which caused her to re-evaluate her entire career as a molecular biologist. Once she recovered, she decided to become a yoga teacher. Love that (I had a similar experience three years ago and that’s when I began writing).
We open by chanting three Oms. Then she tells us to be sure not to miss class three weeks from now. She’ll be teaching it outside where we will all face the trees so we can experience a “yoga foliage festival.” Oh yeah, she’s my kind of yogi.