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Oct 25th
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Mind & Body

Blogs - Mind & Body

The Midwestern Health Diet

The Midwestern Health Diet

I grew up in the heart of the Midwest and so did my taste buds.  Church potlucks with scalloped potatoes, tuna casserole, and jello salad were my idea of a good time.  My mom was an excellent (and healthy) cook, but leading the charge in the snack food category was my unreasonably thin father.  He followed the farming tradition of eating a big lunch (called “dinner”) and having a light “supper” or, his preference, none at all.  To this day his favorite meal in the evening consists of popcorn--and I’m talking GALLONS of it—popped, these days, in canola oil with plenty of salt and sliced apples and cheddar cheese neatly arranged on top.  He should be a representative for the Stir Crazy corporation as he has run through probably thirty of their poppers in his lifetime.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

The Original Karma and the Moving Tale

The Original Karma and the Moving Tale

I didn't go out again yesterday, even though I was game to give it another try, but Mom was still jittery from the nasty "almost lost in a hole" incident.  We got a good night's sleep, after Mom took a Valium. At 5:30 a.m. this morning, the garbage behemoths rounded the corner of Jordan Street and just about flipped off my tight pink collar. I shivered under the bed.  This guttural jolt amped my nerves, and thus the day began.

Mom had some water with her vitamins .. note to Mom: don't forget the hair vitamins today.  I know you're bored with taking the fallen hair out of the tiny drain in that wacky tub.  Then came her chai, after waiting a bit too long for the pan to heat on that flimsy stovetop. Stage three of the collar controversy began, especially after Mom cut off the harness with scissors, as I growled and held back my attack instincts because my Mama is the best, just a little misguided right now. So, this morning, Mom decided to take me out on the leash while she fetched her New York Times.  Seeing the paper on the front stoop was nostalgic and familiar for her. I shivered again, in the lovely cool Santa Cruz ocean air, still tense from the garbage trucks.  I could hear their growl in the distance.

I couldn't walk down the steps ... Those growls were still scaring me, and then the head popped ... there "it" was: Killer Cat is how the neighbors refer to this Manx creature.  He found me.  I ran in the house, freaked ... then, after a few moments of shivering, I perched myself at the front studio window ... to be continued

 

Blogs - Mind & Body

Get Motivated

Get Motivated

It’s June. Six months ago, some of us made commitments at the beginning of the year to start living a healthier lifestyle. For some, it was to quit smoking; for others, become active and eat healthier. For some, we didn't even start for fear of failing in the first place, so we quit before we even started. In January, my personal commitment was to run a 10K this year. I have had some major setbacks though: hip and joint issues that made it so I couldn't run during the month of March; an incredibly strong cold and flu season knocked me off my feet for another month and then last month, knee pain made it so I could barely run two miles. Not even half way to a 10K. I became discouraged and thought to myself maybe I wasn’t made to be a runner and I will never reach my goal of making it through a 10K.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Kitchari

Kitchari

I heated up the kitchari today and savored the warm spices infused into the lentils, brown rice, barley and quinoa. Cumin, garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry combined to warm my insides through this cool spring rain.  A number of weeks ago, Shasta Tierra held a gathering at Village Yoga explaining benefits of the kitchari cleanse.  I was unable to attend, but was lucky enough to snag the recipe and a little information.   This Indian comfort food is now part of my diet, as I experimented with the recipe, spicing it up to suit my palette. The combination of grains and rice are sweet and cooling, creating a balanced Ayurvedic meal, and cleansing! The idea is to have a cup of this great stuff every day for 30 days. It is solid nourishment Sure, you can have other healthy food, but the 30 days of Kitchari is the base. Throughout Indian philosophy, food is considered a high principle, and is defined as divine material.  Food is the source and substance of all things  “I am the first-born of the divine essence.” (Upanisads) .

Check out this Kitchari recipe, and try this 30 day cleanse. ayurvedahealthretreat.com/recipes.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogs - Mind & Body

Love Handles

Love Handles

Reader’s Request: I have a little jiggle around the middle. Can you suggest some exercises that I could do to tone up my abs?

Ah, yes, the love handles. I think most people feel as though they could tighten and tone that area. And as we gain weight around our middle, our rate for type 2 diabetes and other weight-onset diseases increase. It’s important to work on this area for our health reasons alone, not including the “muffin-top” that can pop up over our jeans.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Did you miss the Bash?

Did you miss the Bash?If you missed the opening at StudioSC, 1010 Fair Street, last Friday, you’ll want to be sure to keep your ears open for the next one.  It was part of the successful “First Friday Series,” Santa Cruz’s homegrown art crawl.  1010 Fair is a ways from the downtown scene, but with a modern edgy space, photography of five local photographers, each with their individual posse, the chemistry was right, and the people found their way.  DJ Fox mixed a sonic backdrop of funky down-tempo grooves. Good fashion, food, and drinks. 
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Blogs - Mind & Body

Palace Notes/Landlords

Palace Notes/Landlords

The woodpeckers are the true owners of this property and structure, and they make this fact clear on a daily basis.  I try to respect them as my landlords, for they are clearly the lords of my land.  This colony flies between three trees, one a totem that I created, as the tree was dead and needed to come down.  My reasoning for this was strictly practical as these fiends peck on my wooden palace.  They seem to mistake my home for a tree, boring holes to stuff with acorns from the many oaks that populate this property.  After re-installing two sides of the house, stapling ribbons to the exterior, and listening to the jolt of the maddening pecks on the house, I am giving in and giving this land and house back to them.  They win, as I begin to think about packing and as I cleave to nature, practicing non-harming in the Buddhist tradition.

Blogs - Mind & Body

Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge

Thoughts on preventing weight gain
When I was a teen, I could have eaten anything and not gained weight. I loved food. I could eat seven to eight pieces of pizza in just one sitting (I read that now and feel sick to my stomach). But 15 years ago, food + me = best friends. This is usually how it is for most teens. But once I hit about 21, my metabolism shifted. I couldn't just eat anything I wanted anymore. I was less active than in my teens, so I wasn't burning the calories. And slowly but surely, I gained 10 pounds. I wasn't upset by those 10 pounds—they were just there. But after I got married and realizing I had sub-par cooking skills, the pounds continued to pack on. I was one year into marriage and 10 pounds heavier.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Who Are These People?

Who Are These People?

I look around at Village Yoga and see fewer familiar faces, proportionately, as the room fills with new ones.  I guess yoga is catching on.  Most studios I frequent are filled, and I have many theories why this may be happening … Mostly I think that people have more time, with less work ... and are opting to “exercise,” with the added feature of an emerging connection to the self, or Self. Yoga is a meditation and through this meditation a connection emerges.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Morning in the Soul’s Night

Morning in the Soul’s Night

That line from David Foster Wallace hits me, especially as I rise at my preferred time of 5:00AM for meditation with the intent of feeling my spirit and essence before all others rise.  There generally seems to be a truth to my thoughts at this time.  The habit began when my children were small and I just needed some silence for thinking and planning before jumping into my day.

What is the soul?  As I child, I had an image of the soul as a wrapped heart with wings, flying in the sky.  Trying to capture this flying heart has been my task, in this lifetime. What is meditation?  After a bit of research and lots of experience, I have come up with my own definition. Meditation is sitting still and trying calm the race of the brain. I search for that wise truthful part of me … the one who knows the real answers to the questions.  With the calmness comes the truth of that flying heart that I capture for a few moments. I emerge with a base of strength and might, and leap into the day.

 
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