Archive for March, 2018

Healthy, Easy, Springtime Meal!

Springtime is here! This is a time of year for splashing in puddles and getting fresh air in your home. It is also a time that is vital for good clean eating. In Ayrveda, this is the time of year for cleansing.  Instead of fasting, a great way to support the body is to eat easily digestible nutrient – dense foods.  This is my new favorite meal that fits both those requirements while also being * delicious * and easy to prepare.

Year-round goodness

I’ll admit, that we actually eat this meal about once a week in our home – year round. It’s taken the place of the mac n cheese night.  It is actually just as easy as mac n cheese from a box – but insanely healthier.  This is a mash up of two slightly altered recipes from different Ayurveda cookbooks.  The Kichadi recipie is an amended version of one in A Life of Balance: The Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Nutrition & Body Types With Recipes by Maya Tiwari.  The Pressed Greens and dressing is inspired by The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O’Donnell.  Both amazing books. The first better if you really want to geek out on Ayurveda as a whole.  The second has amazing recipes and great background on why they work.

Parents 

Yes! There is a high chance your kids will eat this!  My daughter loves the kichadi and asks for it all the time. She doesn’t love the texture of the Pressed Greens, so I usually make her a fresh kale salad. You may want to substitute plain butter for ghee if your kids don’t love the taste of ghee. My little one is four and a half (already!) and we have used this meal in particular to talk about nutrient dense foods.  She loved learning the phrase “nutrient dense”.  I told her it was a fancy way of saying healthy.  We then went on a hunt through the kitchen looking for “nutrient dense” foods.  This can be a fun way to teach your kids what foods really feed them and which are empty nutritionally.  Make a pile on the kitchen table of all the “nutrient dense” foods you can find!  Or make a list together! Greens, berries, beans, eggs, nuts, carrots…. delicious!

Kichadi

1 cup rice – basmati is traditionally used, I use an organic white rice that I can get from Costco

1/2 cup – Organic Mung Dhal

5 cups –  water or more as needed

1/2 teaspoon – Turmeric powder

Ghee or butter

Start by rinsing the rice and mung beans till the water runs clear.  I put them all in a strainer and run water through while massaging (and being massaged by) the beans and rice.  Put these in a pot with the water and turmeric bring to a boil.  Bring down to a simmer and wait till rice/beans are tender.  You can add the ghee and butter to your serving once it’s in your bowl.

Pressed Veggies

A mixture of greens

Carrots

Here is what I do.  I buy 2-3 kinds of fresh greens: kale, chard, bok choy, dandelion greens or spinach and I take out the stems if appropriate and chop them up.  The I take however many carrots I’m in the mood for – lets say 1 cup of chopped carrots.  Sometimes I add in Red cabbage. I put about 5 cups of all these veggies in a big pot with 2- 3 Tbs of water over medium heat with a lid on.  I stir every few minutes.  After 10 minutes they are done!

Dressing

1 lemon

Olive or Safflower or Sunflower oil.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a jar, then add that same amount of oil.  Add a little salt, cover and shake.

All together now

In a pretty bowl, spoon out some kichedi, top with veggies, pour some dressing on top, add a dollop of butter or ghee and you have a yummy, nutrient dense, easy to digest meal.  We like to add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, cultured veggies… whatever we can find!

Let me know if you try this out and how you like it!  What are you doing differently?

Posted on: March 27th, 2018 3 Comments

Parents: Your Instruction Booklet Is Here!

Joy!Welcome to the parenting portion of my blog. For years I’ve been planning to write this for you.  I’ve been envisioning a way to connect with other parents, to marvel at this sacred work we are doing, to learn from your experiences and to share what I’ve learned as a Montessori early childhood teacher, yoga teacher, parenting coach and parent.

I think the seeds of my interest in parenting were planted when I was a child. My Mother was fond of telling me that I “didn’t come with an instruction booklet”.  And she was only partly right.  Yes, this work of parenting comes with the steepest learning curve you will ever encounter.  It can be confusing, frustrating, and leave us on our knees – breathless.  This “path” of parenting consciously, is one of the most rigorous spiritual paths I know.  And that is saying something.

 

But fear not.  There is an instruction booklet.  You already own it.  It is a living document, and we all need encouragement, support and companions as we work to access it.

Mama and AriaIt is right inside you

The ultimate guide to doing what is right to help your child thrive and your family live in harmony is right in your own heart.  This doesn’t mean you naturally have all the skills necessary. It doesn’t mean you have all the information you may want along the way.  It doesn’t mean that old ideas and patters won’t need to be updated regularly.

It does mean that you have the knowledge in your own heart to know what is right for your child and family.

This instruction booklet is a living document.  You know your child and family better than anyone else.  That inner knowing can help you pull the information you need, and find the skills you want to learn, from the vast amount of parenting advice offered today.  Imagine this “instructional” as if it were a scrap book and journal combined.  You decide what goes into it.  Some of it is cut and pasted, some of it is of your own brilliant making.  All of it unique to you and your child.

It may take some decoding

Yoga in the OceanYour own personalized “guide to parenting consciously” is written in the language of intuition.  For many of us, we have to learn the language of our own intuition.  At the very least we can all improve our “intuition – comprehension” before we can really access this support.  In order to hear the subtle whisperings of our hearts, we have to learn the ancient practice of listening deeply.  We have to re-learn to honor what we hear there.

Mindfulness practices, like yoga and meditation, can give us huge support to access this work.  I have here a kind of two-in-one blog.  I have yoga posts and parenting posts.  But the secret is that the yoga posts are parenting posts – the yoga gives us support to be at our best with our kids, and to access the intuition we need. Also, the parenting posts are the yoga posts – because parenting is it’s own kind of beautiful yoga.

If you are interested in practicing yoga with me check out my weekly classes and retreats.

How this blog can help

At the wellMy greatest hope is to create spaces where people can learn what they need to be to have more love and harmony in their lives.  We, as parents, can do so much to help promote our children’s’ well being and to build positive relationships with them.  We have the inner guidance that will tell us when that is and isn’t working.

I have benefited from years of learning from children, parents and master teachers about simple ways that can truly help make this path of parenting smoother and more successful.  I am excited to share some of what I’ve learned here.

The image I get, when I think about this blog, is that of a well.  It will be here for you to come to when you need a fresh drink.  And the power of a well, of course, is not just in the water.  It is in the connections that happen around the water.  So as you come with your questions, your insights, and your unique situations – you add to the thirst quenching power of this place.

 

 

 

Posted on: March 14th, 2018 No Comments