Nourishing your hike

White MountainsSpring means opening windows, cleaning out winter from the pantry and closets, and getting outside. For some, that’s neighborhood walks, composting fall leaves to let spring tendrils shoot forth, and planting flower boxes. Others get into the woods. Whether it’s a local reservation like Blue Hills or Middlesex Fells, or the Skookumchuck Trail in the White Mountains, packing nutrient dense snacks is essential.

Check out these energy-rich ideas for hiking, camping and backpacking. Mix and match per your taste buds.

  • Frozen quinoa
  • Avocado (especially good in the quinoa)
  • Pro Meal Bars and other high carb granola bars (caution inulin, carrageenan and sugar alcohols like sorbitol unless a bathroom nearby)
  • Gorp (trail mix)
  • Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts
  • Cereals in Zip-loc bags
  • Bananas and other lower FODMAP foods, like berries
  • Hummus and white bean dip
  • Cottage cheese, string cheese, Babybel cheese
  • Peanut or almond butters
  • Bagels, bread, English muffins
  • Chocolate (good, expensive chocolate is best)
  • Oatmeal or muesli with dried fruit and high-quality yogurt
  • Jerky, beef or vegan 

 

See Your Story

Kickball Our stories about ourselves say a lot about how we perceive our history and experiences. They highlight our beliefs about who we are and what we think we can become.

I’ve had a belief most of my life that I didn’t belong – either to a group, or ironically, to my biological family – that possibly stemmed from Janis Ian’s similar belief in her song lamenting “Being the last one called for basketball.”

As a child, I placed meaning that I wasn’t liked and no one wanted me on his or her team when I was the last not chosen for kickball. That’s right, not just the last called but the teacher had to make someone take me. That created the belief, while mistaken, that protected me from the shame of not being wanted or liked. That belief hid the fact that I was chosen to be in a play and did have friends who really liked me.

That mistaken belief was a coping mechanism that drew me further toward being a wallflower until I had the capacity to notice it as a mistaken, moral meaning to an experience I had when a child.

That belief was useful, logical and very true at the time it formed. Yet it became a huge limiting factor as I grew older.

Sometimes our beliefs prevent us from establishing healthy, honest relationships with others and even ourselves that say, “Oh, I can’t handle group sports … or conflict … or do any kind of math … or communicate effectively … or be seen as anything but as a confused person.

Events don’t inherently contain meaning. It’s the meaning we give to past experiences that matters because these meanings create the story about us. Our external circumstances almost always reflect our stories about what’s possible.

Guess what? We can recreate an entirely different meaning for our experiences. We can re-write and form new beliefs that support us in personal growth.

Our yoga or meditation practices allow us the opportunity to externalize the parts of us that created our inner stories. To ask them to be outside of us where we can spend time and create space to reflect upon them, to see and acknowledge them. We give permission to see it differently, perhaps in a more positive context.

To continue to overemphasize our perceived failures and traumas, enforces those beliefs and lessens the faith that is there for future capacities.

Open your heart toward the parts of you that have held those mistaken beliefs to create the space for transformation to begin. Extend appreciation to them for how hard they worked to keep you from feeling badly about yourself. Acknowledge their intention for you. Then see if they’d rather go play on that team instead of keeping you pulled in to fear.

 

Umami-based soup soothes your chill

Kale and White Bean SoupIt’s that time of year where winter is holding on with icy talons taunting the warmth of spring and daring her to do her daffodil dance. She’s not shy. She extends her embrace to trees and perennials and the snow is receding from their bases.

Until it’s all gone, until the frigid air settles to a more temperate state, you simply must try this soup. It’s rich, umami-filled broth soothes and satisfies even the coldest bones. Bright, fresh carrot pennies lend an al dente bite with perfectly soft kale. Beans sate even the strongest appetite.

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.

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

 

 

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. The women I work with who struggle 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. 

Good Measures

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