Friday, November 30, 2007

Just sigh!

It's been one of those days when you just have to sigh and carry on. People are becoming irritated about the impending Holidays, cold weather and lack of peace. This is the season of Joy! We need to focus our energy on quality interactions and spending time not just money on those we love. Take an elderly family member out to lunch, spend time really talking to them. Shut off the TV and enjoy some quiet time with your family doing something meaningful. Look for ways to share joy and peace with others. Set a good example and others will be inspired.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

crackling bread

I made a loaf of no-knead bread (DIVINELY soft and spongy inside and super crunchy on the outside). When I put it on a plate, it started to crackle, loudly and for a long time! It is so good! I made a huge pot of tomato cabbage soup with a homemade beef base. It goes so well with the bread!
I can post the directions if interested.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


While not claiming to be a vegetarian, I don't really eat much meat. I cook (white)meat or fish with veggies and a starch, or vegetarian recipes (once a week) for dinner. I usually end up eating only a 3 ounce portion of meat at best. Last night I made baked potatoes, green beans and a big chunk of red meat. I'm still feeling pretty bad so I figured a heavy, fattening dinner was justifiable! I browned a 2 pound blade roast with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. I put in the oven at 325 on convection roast for 1 1/2 hours, I flipped the meat once and put more salt and pepper on. It was so good, we couldn't stop eating it. The outside was almost crisp but the meat underneath was juicy and tender. No regrets and 3 tablespoons of sour cream on my spud later, I felt really good. Vic said he's sick of chicken, I agree. I think I'll pick up a leg of lamb soon. Tonight we're having Italian sasuage (with peppers and onions in it) with a salad, sauteed zucchini and yellow squash and rice pilaf on the side. My friend Ann and I went through the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and chose 14 entrees and put together a "menu" to help plan shopping and cooking better. It worked well for a few weeks but I get bored and like new recipes for dinner so I have to expand my menus.

Thankfulness part 2

I am always so thankful for living in this time, and for where I live. I got sick last week and by Saturday night I could not breathe. My asthma acted up and I have a bad case of bronchitis. I went to the doctor and got my asthma medicine (I haven't used it for 18 months) and two other medicines. I feel way better and can breath a little better! I think about how life must have been for people along time ago, and how it still is for so many who live in poverty and underdeveloped countries. I am so thankful for being able to go to the doctor, for having medications that treat my illness and for having access to good hospitals. We all have so many great things in our lives that we take for granted. Find something to be thankful for today! I'm so thankful for good friends and their support!

Peace and Light~ Tricia

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pumpkins and Angels

I had a laugh with my friend Peggy that I still have my vampire house on my foyer table as Vic and the kids are bringing up Christmas decorations! Where did the Fall go? I'm sick again with a bad cough so I have no interest in decorating. Hopefully I'll be better soon. I'm not teaching until Friday this week so I can try to recover. Enjoy the snow!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Another beautiful day!

Take a look outside! It's gorgeous! Take a walk and smell the fresh, fall air.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

office yoga

Visit enter office yoga. You can download, for free yoga poses for limited spaces. While seated you could do eagle arms, gentle spinal twist, swan dive forward to gentle forward fold. Reverse the swan dive and put arms as if in chair pose. Remember that all yoga is breathing!! Pull your breath deep to the navel, through the nose, exhale slowly through the nose (to keep heat and moisture in the body).


Monday, November 19, 2007

Finding little bits of joy

A little, seemingly ubiquitous occurrance can be viewed as special and worth savoring. This is especailly true if you open your awareness to experience them. Simple pleasures as one could call them. These events occur much more frequently than a big trip or a date with your spouse sans children. I mean really small things, like a hot bath after the kids go to bed. Candles, scented bath salts and a fluffy warm robe waiting for you. Try to find a little bit of bliss for yourself everyday.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


As I prepare to teach my first class in Plymouth tomorrow, I'm struck with an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for finding yoga. I'm, still in a state of disbelief that I'm teaching former most intensely inflexible person in the world! It's been such an incredible blessing, always around but never appreciated until 2 years ago. It makes me feel like I may be missing out on so many wonderful things, people and places because I've not had the chance to meet them, or experience it. I resolved to live life to the fullest a long time ago. I've just got to make an effort not to dismiss something as uninteresting or irrelevant until I experience it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dragon Fruit and Rambutan

We went to Hillers on 14 and Haggerty after my class at Commerce. We found one of our favorite fruits and a new one too. The Dragon Fruit is like a cross between kiwi, strawberry and a melon. You can slice it in half then peel off the skin. The rambutan is like a lychee but very mild and . You can peel off the funky, hairy skin and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. There is a pit in the middle, so be careful not to swallow it. I tried to cut it in half but the flesh doesn't cut easily and the pit is stubborn to remove.

Have fun with your fruit! Surprise your family with a funky fruit salad.
Peace and Light~

Two noteworthy new teas

I got a new Chai from Whole Foods the other day. The brand is called Tulsi Tea, it's a Chai Masala "an exotic blend of Tulsi (Holy Basil),black tea & classic chai spices." It's certified organic and a nice blend of spices. Tazo is also good, but Stash Chai tea is way too strong and the spices overpower the tea.

My next new tea is from Yogi Tea, it is a Joint Comfort tea. It combines herbs and spices to promote joint health and circulation and tastes good. I got it at Better Health.

Next time you're at the store checkout the health food section of teas, you'll be surprised at how many there are!

Peace in a cup ~


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Morning yoga in Plymouth

Hi friends, I'm beginning a morning yoga class in Plymouth. Doors open at 8:00, class begins at 8:15 it will run for 60 minutes. It's a drop in basis so there is no pressure to sign up, and no contracts. Classes run $8 for PAC members and $10 if you're not. This is for all fitness levels, and modifications are avaialble for all poses so you can work out at your level. Please comment or call with any questions.

Peace and Light~ Tricia

Random acts of kindness, sensless acts of beauty.

I always tell my kids that God works through people. People recognize the needs of others and offer help. We make choices to sometimes walk past, and look away rather than extend kindness.
I went to Borders this morning to get more books on yoga, and one for Alex's class project. The girl behind the counter was in training. She smiled and said "This is historic! You are my first customer!" She was genuinely excited and friendly! I smiled and congratulated her on her first sale. I carry a little Japanese note pad in my purse, it's tiny (2.5 x 2.5 inches) it has two different scenes of a smiling pig and (in Japanese and English) the words in small print "warm hearted piggie." I wrote a note "Happy First Day on the Job!" and gave it to her. She smiled and said "oh my gosh! You made my day!" and gave me the hugest smile, twice. She placed it on her computer/register and said "I'm keeping this here so I can see it all day!" I'm kind of dorky in that sense, I don't care if people think I'm weird, I know I am. I pride myself on my eccentricities and my humble ability to reach out and help others in whatever little way I can.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My favorite cheese is Manchego. I don't know why I'm telling you this, except to encourage you to try it. It's from Spain and made from Ewe's milk; it's about the consistency of parmesian. It is rich, nutty and so excellent when shaved in a pan and allowed to crisp up, then place a slice of good french bread on top and flip the bread so the other side soaks up the cheese and browns slightly (The ultimate grilled cheese!). The best price is at Costco $6.99 a pound, in the middle is Trader Joe's is $9.99 a pound, and the worst place for price is Whole Foods $14.99 a pound. It is the same cheese at all three places! It is also excellent served at room temperature with good crispy bread and a glass of robust red wine (Sirah is great with this). You'll have to cut off the waxy rind before eating it. My sisiter and her husband were making fun of me for getting really excited when I saw it at J.R. Hurt (Cheese shop in Eastern Market) years ago when it was really hard to find. We went back to my house and I made them some grilled cheese on bread....they were speechless!

Enjoy a new food today!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A good cuppa tea

Everyone who knows me can vouch that I'm a tea-aholic. I love tea, and have at lease 25 varieties.
The caffeine in teas is different than coffee and not nearly as strong. Herbal is tea leaf free and caffeine free, black has 1/2 the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Green has 1/3 the amount of caffeine. White has the least amount of caffeine (1/5)and it's compromised of the top 2 leaves of each tea leaf shrub. White and green teas are much more delicate than black tea and can scald if boiling water is poured on the leaves (destroys the antioxidants). I boil water then pour it into the teapot or cup and wait a 1/2 minute then add the tea leaves or bag in. Let the tea steep for 2 minutes, squeeze the extra water out of the bag with the back of a spoon or lift the strainer if you're using one and enjoy with a little Agave nectar of honey.

My favorite at night is organic mint and for a pick up I can't survive without a good cup of medium bodied black tea with milk and a little sugar. Chai is another favorite, Celestial Seasons is the best mix of spices, not too strong. It's naturally sweet from the cardamon, so I just add milk (soy, hazelnut and almond milks work good too). I love the varieties available now, there is a store called Tranquilitea in Plymouth. They have a fruit herbal tea that is so rich it looks more like trail mix! Give yourself a break from coffee or soda and warm up with a nice, mellow cup of peace.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Luxury of time

My class in Novi was wonderful today, such a nice group with so much positive energy.

We had a wonderful dinner with close friends on Saturday night. We made a huge lasagna, the kids played and the wine and conversations flowed. My friend and I concluded that our "free" time is so precious, it's not something to be squandered. As I grow wiser (never older mind you) I'm becoming better at realizing what I really want to do; and becoming more comfortable with not trying to please everyone else. I've identified my weakness of trying to please everyone and never saying no, despite the fact that volunteering for one more project just might kill me. As the hectic bustle of the holiday season is upon us, remember to take time for your family and yourself. It's okay to limit your holiday visits to a manageable amount. Indulge in a guilty pleasure; our favorite is visiting the puppy store at the mall and playing with the babies (that's how we ended up with 2 dog children). Another is going to a gourmet food store (Whole Foods or Papa Joes) and buying a really unique ingredient to base a meal on, a chunk of cheese we've never tried and a bottle of wine or ale that is new to us and having a feast. Find your bliss!

Peace and Light~ Tricia

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chicken Soup 101

It's cold and flu season again and that calls for an awesome bowl of homemade chicken soup. Everyone asks for the recipe when I serve so here it is:

1 large chicken cut up into 8 pieces (Costco sells organic chickens, Hillers sells Bell and Evans (not organic but good)
1 large onion chopped in 1" chunks
6 large carrots, scrubbed clean and sliced in small rounds
6 stalks of celery chopped in 1/2 inch chunks
all the inside leafy parts of the celery, chopped
Parsnips peeled and diced if desired
5-10 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 bunch flat parsley, leafy parts chopped finely
Enough water to fill large pot and to cover all items.
1 T kosher salt
lots of fresh cracked black pepper

Wash everything very well, set aside veggies. Rinse chicken parts several times until water is clear. Place in large stock pot and bring to simmer, don't boil. Cook, skimming top to remove"scum" that forms on top. Add in all veggies and savory items. Cook on low simmer for 2-3 hours and remove meat carefully. Using fingers, separate meat from skin and bone, place in separate glass container. Don't store chicken meat in soup. Make a batch of rice, noodles or my mom's favorite boiled potatoes and serve in soup (add some meat to each bowl). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Find inspiration.

Set a goal and look for either inspiration or desperation to meet the challenge. If a goal is fitness or health oriented, a hard look at ones diet is in order. Eating poorly and working out will lead to dissapointment. Once a healtheir diet is attempted, the body will feel better and eventually,at least for me the cravings for bad foods faded away.
Peace, love and light~ Tricia

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Winter is upon us.

Just when I thought life would get easier now that football is over, it's basketball season! We're back to running to practices 5 times a week. We'll be eating lots of chicken soup with tons of garlic to stay healthy! I told some friends about Yeast Cleanse from Solaray, it helps you banish sugar cravings by destroying the yeast that craves sugar. I'm talking it again after Halloween. I've been on a two week chocolate bender and I feel terrible! Better Health and almost any health food store carries it. My husband is very skeptical about supplements, but he even agreed that it really works. Think about trying to eat a little healthier,maybe adding some vegetable soups and whole grains into your daily routine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mental homework

At the end of of each class during final relaxation, we focus our minds on keeping our consciousness clear. We imagine a blank disk, our challenge is to maintain this state of mind. We disallow interruptions, any thought or perception is pushed away. Allow yourself the time to find some relaxation at home. Turn off the electronics and just be. You will be so refreshed, and able to think clearer. Be okay with being quiet, still and alone.

I sometimes think people are running away from something in their minds as they flip through their Ipods and blackberries, even worse the constant chatter of cell phone conversations. Do we really need to be so available, so connected? One literally puts their quality of life at the mercy of every ones need to have an immediate response.

Ask yourself the question.. when is the last time I sat down and wrote a card or letter to someone? Make a point of sending one this week.

As always, with love, peace and light~ Tricia

Monday, November 5, 2007

Great Holiday Gift Ideas

I got a catalog from Seva. It is an international organization based in California that gives gifts of health, sight and education to needy people in the USA and the world. St. Jude Children's Hospital is another great organization that you can give a gift "donation ' in some one's honor. I made a donation in memory of a family friend in lieu of sending flowers to his funeral in Idaho. Giving the gift of health and life to a child would have made him happy. Let them know it's a gift donation in some one's honor and they will send them a card. I'll post the websites.

Peace and Light~ Tricia

Vita Brevis

Life is short, enjoy it! I planted 130 bulbs (cream and assorted pinks daffodils and amethyst tulips). I dreaded the task because I waited so long. In the peace of the moment, I really enjoyed the connection to the bulbs and the dirt, the wind blowing, the leaves rustling, the peace and quiet. I haven't been the best flower mommy lately, my yoga has taken over my yin for gardening. I can't wait for Spring, I'll be pleased that I took the time to plant them now.

Take time to do something that you've been putting off, get it off your mind. I'm off to teach again in Ann Arbor.~ Namaste

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Foods we eat

I'm re-posting this list with some updates. We eat lots of different things. I make almost everything.

For snacks we have organic apple slices with peanut butter or sunbutter, cheese sticks, trail mix, pumpkin muffins (I've posted the recipe), cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, potato chips (I buy ones with expeller pressed oil), cheesy spinach bars (I've posted the recipe), granola bars, quesadillas, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. Nature Path makes "poptart" like pastries, they aren't as gooey in the middle but they are good (Pomegranate frosted are my favorite at Meijer). Trader Joe's has 2 varieties 6 to a box and Costco has a megabox. I make a mean chocolate chip cookie and yes I add flax seed meal to them as well. I basically put flax seed meal in almost everything I bake. It's a great source of omega oils. My friend Nicole subs 1/2 c of flax meal in her chocolate chip cookies for 1 stick of the butter. Super Food is a juice drink from Odwalla, it has tons of good veggies and fruits. It looks like swamp water but tastes like strawberry mango juice. The boys love it.

For dinner I make burritos with chicken or turkey, beans, veggies, cheese and salsa on top. Roasted pork loin with thyme Dijon mustard marinade, with green beans and potatoes.
Quiche with a fresh salad or bowl of soup, spaghetti, meatballs and mashed potatoes,
chicken soup, hummus and pita with filafels, chicken breast with mushroom sauce over pasta, beef stew once in a while. Tonight we had broiled salmon, green peas and garlic bread.

Whole Foods website has a link to a healthy pantry, this really helped me when I got started eating healthier. I'll post more when I think of them. Have a great day!!

Favorite Quote

"We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing." Maria Mitchell

This is so true of life, just when you think you know something another opportunity to see it differently arises. Sharing and learning are the greatest gifts that we can give and receive.

Form and function

I taught an intro to yoga class today. The students asked to have help with learning how to position the poses properly. It was so nice to have time to really practice the right way to hold a pose and to teach them how it should feel. Form in yoga is so important, you move from doing a pose to being the pose when you align yourself properly right away. Strive to achieve your best pose every time.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Recipe for kid friendly food 1

I had a request from a reader to share what kinds of foods our family eats. I responded in the comment section of the helpful websites post from Sunday. I mentioned a few favorites that I will give recipes for. Here is one for my pumpkin muffins. I developed this recipe when I was pregnant with Alex 11 years ago. I called them sunshine muffins when they were little, now they call them yum!

I refer to expeller pressed oil. Most commercailly produced oil is derived by soaking the vegetable or grain in a chemical to separate the oil from the food. Expeller pressing is just what it sounds like. Crushed food is placed in a bag, weighed down and pressed to expel the oil. This is much healthier and as close to nature as possible.

Our palets have been accustomed to low sugar foods for a while, so I barely use any sugar. An old friend told me that they needed more sugar, my response was "my kids eat them without it, so why should I add it in?" You may want to increase the amount of sugar to 1/2 c otherwise they may not taste good to you. Eventually if you reduce the sugar in your diet, you won't miss it. Yesterday I made these with a 1/3 c of brown rice syrup instead of sugar. They were moist and delicious.

I use almost all organic ingredients, but these work fine with conventional foods as well.

Sunshine Muffins
preheat oven to 400 degrees

1/2 c oats pulverized in blender
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/3 c sugar
2t baking powder (rumford brand)
1/2 t salt
1 egg beaten
3/4 c milk
1/3 c oil (expeller pressed if possible) I use sunflower, safflower, olive or canola.
3 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t vanilla
1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin- not pumpkin pie filling

Optional crumb topping to be sprinkled over tops before baking
4 T butter
6T flour
1/2 t cinnamon
3 T sugar
Mix until crumbly.

Mix all wet in 1bowl, mix all dry in another. Dump dry into wet, mix until just blended. Line muffin tin with liners, add a scoop in each . Makes 24 muffin. Bake 400 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe for kid friendly food that celebrates veggies!

My kids love cheesy spinach bars (it is basically a crustless quiche), here is the recipe: Everything is organic, it will work fine with conventional foods. Kids will learn to love veggies if they taste good.

preheat oven to 350
1 16oz bag frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze to drain excess
1 large onion, finely minced
1 red pepper finely minced
4 cloves garlic finely minced
5 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
3T melted butter
1 cup all purpose, unbleached flour (may use 1/2 cup ap and 1/2 c whole wheat)
1t baking powder (Rumford brand)
2c shreadded cheese (cheddar works best)
1t salt
1/2 t black pepper

Mix all dry in 1 bowl, mix all wet in another. Grease 9x13 glass pan dump dry into wet and mix. Spread in pan and bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.**It must be golden brown on top for it to taste good**. This is so good in the morning for breakfast, it reheats well.

You may alter the amount of garlic to your taste. Enjoy!

Dealing with annoying people

Please comment on your best techniques for dealing with annoying people (share your favorite story too). Is passive aggressive your style or do you confront them directly? Many times people mistake kindness for weakness and overstep others boundaries. I'm finding that as I encounter rude, pushy and obnoxious people, I'm leaning toward avoiding them. I try not to let them get to me, because it's a waste of my energy becoming stressed over their actions. It's also not worth the confrontation.

Peace and Light~

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Places of interest

I've added pictures of my places of religious interest travels. I am fascinated by religion, it's effect on people and how yoga and my faith have made me grow. During the Litany of Saints at mass today, I became very emotional. I almost cried. I had to bite my tongue to keep from losing it. The only way I could describe it is that I felt so connected, it was so beautiful. Yoga has helped me attain such a deep level of disconnection from the world around me that I can truly stay on one thought without being distracted. Life is fast and hectic, I'm always multitasking. I'm so relieved to have the opportunity to settle my thoughts and really feel what I am doing. Allow yourself the luxury to enjoy a quiet, nurturing escape.

Peace and Light~ Tricia