Get Off The Scale!

Hamstring opening classYou are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance.

Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.

It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!”

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Truer words are none. My work with women struggling in their relationship with food also have a scale. It tells them immoral lies about themselves. It sets the precedent for a good or bad day. It binds them with rules that are impossible to follow. It defines them by their weight, which as Steve said is nothing more than a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. Which is more important? Your relationship with gravity or with you?

A lifetime of mistrusting your own inner intelligence is a huge hurdle to jump. Join me and others on the journey toward jumping higher into Self-trust. To go deeper into exploration of the why’s and why not’s and should’s and should nots. It’s not easy, it’s usually not fun, but it reveals relief and healing and physical and emotional happiness as you move through the passage of your history, complex stories, moral meanings and judgments that have been branded into your psyche. Little by little, like an onion, peel back the layers of self-doubt so your inner worth is revealed. Pulse with pleasure as you mindfully explore the body you will have for the rest of your life – come to love it’s strength and finesse through yoga postures, feel your inner body expand with fullness of breath, allowing you to rely on your own intuitive wisdom in making food choices.

Click here to learn more about this process. 

Kale and White Bean Soup (vegan)

Kale and White Bean SoupEver have one of those days? You look outside and the winter sun is almost blinding, the wind blustery, and you can just tell it’s butt-cold out there? And you just want to stay glued to your desk, wrapped in the thickest fleece sweatpants you own, topped with a Wooby, with steaming cups of hot coffee and steamed soy milk flowing through your mug? Then, daydreams of hot brothy soup, savory with umami flavor (you know, the kind of flavor restaurant soups have?) dance in your head?

I do and lucky for me when I Googled white beans and kale (staples in this household), I found a recipe I could adapt. A review said it was bland. So I went to town and slow cooked the onions for a creamy, velvety consistency, added VegeBase instead of watery veggie broth, and swirled in vegan Parmesan cheese. Indeed, one of the best soups ever. Yum!

 

Kale and White Bean Soup (vegan)

Makes 6 main-course servings

Prep time: 1 hour

Total time: 3 hour

Ingredients

1 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound dried white beans (navy, cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed and picked over

5 tablespoons Vogue-brand Instant VegeBase (or other vegetarian broth powder)

2 quarts and 5 cups water

4 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon low sodium Spike seasoning

2 whole bay leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

8 carrots, sliced into pennies

1 pound lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale), de-stemmed and coarsely shredded

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cover beans with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour or more. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
  2. In a large enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven, cook onions in oil over medium or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans, broth powder, water, vegan Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, Spike, bay leaf, and rosemary and carrots, and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 1 hour (if time, 90 minutes).
  3. Stir kale into soup and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Soup is at its premium when made a day ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

makes about 1 cup
  •  1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not salt)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a smooth powder consistency is reached. Note: You can use all cashews if preferred. 

Why are you gluten-free? Tell us in this short and easy research survey!

Caution GF FoodsHi, I’m Hanna and I live in Boston MA. After working as a bartender for several years, I went back to college to pursue a degree in nutrition. When I finished my undergraduate degree, I thought, “Why not continue and get a graduate degree, for after all, what’s a bit more in student loans?” My graduation from Simmons is in May 2015, and I can finally throw in the bar mop!

I have always been fascinated with the connection of food to health, and the correlation of nutrition to health status. I was raised in a holistic household, and have always been fascinated by food choices in other households. I want to have a positive impact on people as they improve their health but not from a medical profession, which usually is more of a treatment modality versus prevention.

An important part of my degree is to conduct a senior research project. I chose to use a survey to ask about the reasons people who do not have Celiac disease choose to eat a gluten-free diet. To date, there is very little published on this topic, and by participating in this survey, you will not only help me complete my research (and graduate) but also help health professionals understand personal reasons behind this decision. Thank you for your time and aiding my research!

Here’s another way to get to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9N35L7B

Disclaimer for my readers: Hanna is a guest blogger who is a graduate student at Simmons. I’m helping her spread the word about her work there. I’m deeply appreciative of any time you can offer to the survey!!

White winter salad

White Winter SaladOk, I totally stole this from Whole Foods. I can’t wait to prep this tonight, toss it all together tomorrow. Thanksgiving dinner foods tend to be carb- and fat-heavy and my palette craves lightness. Add some fiber, flavor and sweet crunch with this winter white deliciousness. Vegan Ranch dressing makes it even better…..

White Winter Salad

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, sliced paper-thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and sliced paper-thin
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, sliced paper-thin
  • 1/4 medium jicama, peeled,halved, sliced paper-thin

For dressing, whisk all ingredients together.

For salad, layer the ingredients on one large plate. Lay down the nicest cauliflower florets first. Sprinkle with salt; drizzle with dressing. Leave a 1-inch border of cauliflower around the edge; continue layering the remaining ingredients in the center, using half of each ingredient per layer, sprinkling each layer with salt and drizzling with dressing. Continue until all ingredients are used. Top with final cauliflower layer and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Serves 4

Per serving: 200 calories, 14 g fat, 3 g protein, 19 g carbs, 572 mg sodium.

 

 

 

 

Graceful change

Ardha ChandrasanaWhat would it be like to embody the gift of embracing and navigating the unexpected with tremendous grace and beauty?

First, consider the unexpected.

  • Were you disappointed because your expectations were not met?
  • Do you feel like everything always goes against you?
  • Are you sad enough about it to give up?

For some of us, it happens like that. Our idea or plan we had in mind doesn’t go the way we dream, it sucks now, or someone got in our way and something unexpected pops into the picture that veers us off course. Others of us flow with the tidal shift and accept change as the one constant in life while some of us rail out against the challenge feeling life should always be stable and status quo.

We either cry and get depressed about it. Or find a solution to the change in plans, using creativity and courage to move forward. If you are at home watching TV and the lightening from the raging storm outside hits a transformer and darkens the room, you can’t see anything for a few moments. Gradually, your eyes adjust to the dark and you can see enough to make your way around. Our bodies are designed for that type of adaptability!

The privilege of this practice is just that – yoga teaches us to apply ourselves to life as water to a vase – no matter the shape of the vase, the water will fill to the edges. We become flexible in thinking, moving, and being. We shift and move into the empty spaces. We fill the containers of adversity and challenge with Grace. We become a conduit of transformation. We flow and ebb and move over and under that which is in our way. We connect to our Inner Harmony and sing.

Good Measures