Friday, February 27, 2009

new source for healthy recipes

My lunch

Fettuccini alfredo banana muffin, pear roobios tea and my ipod playing

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Banana muffins

Place 4 ripe bananas in the bowl of an electric mixer, add in 1/2 c sugar and 1T vanilla, three good glugs of maple syrup, 1/2 c melted butter. Mix well, add in 2 eggs and mix until blended. Place 2C flour in a bowl and blend with the following 1/3 c wheat germ, 1/3 c flaxseed meal, 1/2 c sweet dairy whey, 2t baking powder, 1t soda, 2t cinnamon, 1/2 c oats. Add the wet into the dry and mix just until blended. Scoop into lined muffin tins, sprinkle with crumb topping and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Crumb topping mix 3T flour, 3T butter and 3 t sugar until blended into little grainy bits.

You are welcome to sub egg substitute, oil and leave out the dairy whey if you are vegan.

.....cold.....cold.....icy cold...bleak....gray....go away

I am really, really tired of this weather. I am not loving the frigid bleakness. We went to Deanna's today and had lunch. I made homemade banana muffins, they were good:) She bought a ton of my favorite cookies and of course I had like 5! We enjoyed some really good tea, I think it was called something moon or the other. It was from Tranquilitea. We (2 moms and 6 kids) took a walk to downtown Plymouth (a few blocks from her house). I was frostbitten by the time we made it to the bead store. I had such a nice time with her, she is one of my favorite people to spend time with. She is always nice, funny and just really good to be with. She is getting the yoga bug, and has been practicing consistently until she got sick. It seems that everyone has this two week cough with complete exhaustion. I literally have grown roots into my sofa! I hate to crawl out from under my pink wool blanket, unless I absolutely have to. I recharge enough to teach my classes, cook for the family and tidy up the house. Then I crash again! Vic is convinced that it is the cold. I think I am using too much energy just staying warm. I'm craving chocolate like a fiend. I ate two Cadbury bars since yesterday. I need to lay on a warm, sandy beach. Hmmm... I'll meditate on that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Competetive Edge Skating Family Yoga Week 5

I had a great time conversing with everyone after class. I had an idea to share an office yoga site to allow you to do some stretches while at work, or at the computer.

There is such a beautiful sense of energy and dedication from all of you. I am so thrilled to hear that so many of you are noticing a difference after such a brief time practicing. Keep up the great work!

The beginning of Lent

Today signifies the beginning of Lent. It is a time of penance and almsgiving. It serves as a opportunity to cleanse ourselves prior to the celebration of Easter. Making a "sacrifice" during lent might include "giving up" some favorite vice (video games, chocolate or basically anything that one would miss). I fast a lot during the normal seasons and a lot more during Lent. It is a very disciplined way to avoid excess. Try to fast during the Lent season regardless of your religious persuasion.

For a little more info on the history of Ash Wednesday, check out this info from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Ash Wednesday

The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday, which is the first day of the Lenten fast.
The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead -- or in case of clerics upon the place of the tonsure -- of each the sign of the cross, saying the words: "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." The ashes used in this ceremony are made by burning the remains of the palms blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. In the blessing of the ashes four prayers are used, all of them ancient. The ashes are sprinkled with holy water and fumigated with incense. The celebrant himself, be he bishop or cardinal, receives, either standing or seated, the ashes from some other priest, usually the highest in dignity of those present. In earlier ages a penitential procession often followed the rite of the distribution of the ashes, but this is not now prescribed.
There can be no doubt that the custom of distributing the ashes to all the faithful arose from a devotional imitation of the practice observed in the case of public penitents. But this devotional usage, the reception of a sacramental which is full of the symbolism of penance (cf. the cor contritum quasi cinis of the "Dies Irae") is of earlier date than was formerly supposed. It is mentioned as of general observance for both clerics and faithful in the Synod of Beneventum, 1091 (Mansi, XX, 739), but nearly a hundred years earlier than this the Anglo-Saxon homilist Ælfric assumes that it applies to all classes of men. "We read", he says,
in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hummus Wrap Sandwich

Years ago at the Plymouth Coffee Bean, they served a Hummus Wrap sandwich. I used to get them all the time. I saw a similar recipe in the Gorgeously Green book and have been making them almost daily. The whole family loves them!

Heat a whole wheat tortilla in some olive oil, smear a good amount of hummus to cover the wrap. Smash in some avacado and a little olive oil. Layer on shreadded carrott, olives (if you like them), lettuce, tomatoes, and some feta cheese or not depending on your taste preference. Roll it up and really enjoy the veggie goodness!

I use homemade organic hummus as it doesn't contain preservatives. It s really easy to make and tastes so much better that the stuff in tubs. I soak and boil organic beans but if you are in a pinch, pick up a can of organic beans, they are good as well and nutritionally sound.

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
3T tahini (sesame seed paste in the Mediterranean food section)
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c olive oil
you may need some water to make the consistency creamy.

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz for a while, you can add in sun dried tomatoes ( I did today) roasted red pepper or scallions.

I made beet soup for myself as my family doesn't like beets. I had the organic beet tops (green leafy part) left over and usually toss them into the compost pile. While on Facebook, I saw that Sherri from TT sauteed them for a meal. I decided to try them. I added them to ricotta stuffed manicotti. They were really good! I washed them well and chopped them finely, added onion and sauteed them with olive oil. I mixed in ricotta cheese and put the mixture in my large piping bag and stuffed the pasta. I put a good layer of Muri Glen organic pasta sauce and some mozzarella cheese on top and into the oven they went. They disappeared pretty quickly, although Vic had to comment that the cheese was pink. I told him that it was the beet greens, he was like "You know I hate beets, not so much because of the taste but the color." My reply was " close your eyes and have a yoga meal."

I stopped into the Red Pepper Deli in Northville to pick up a menu to figure out what to try when I'm there. It smelled really good and the food looked awesome so I can't wait to try it! It is all organic and vegan. It should prove to be an interesting meal.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunny day, peaceful mind, meditation

Meditative prayer and the power of finding the goodness and God within. That was the message at church yesterday. A little while ago it was the God is bigger than religion. Wow!!! I'm really loving this fresh infusion of truth! I just smiled and tapped Vic, as we just discussed this earlier that day. The sun is shining, I'm so grateful for the goodness in my life. God loves us and wants us to be happy. We have to ask for what we want and believe that it is here already. Feel the joy of that blessing to the fullest extent. We watched a ton of Naked Archaeologist episodes that I recorded the other day and time after time he mentioned biblical figures that prayed and asked for something and received it. All weekend long I have been reminded of this. I even watched some Joel Osteen last night and his message was that when you ask and believe you receive. My greatest wish and desire is to bring as much goodness to the world as possible. What is your highest aim?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Long week

I had an awesome Monday, it started out with a Vinyasa class with Johnny, then Nikki and I had lunch here and registered for the Midwest Yoga Conference. I can't wait to go, and take all those classes, rest and not have to take care of the house! I then taught three classes and didn't make it home until 9. Tuesday was a little slower, allowing me to get caught up with some rest. My classes are going so well , and the students are so nice! I am so grateful for having so many good people to share yoga with! I went on a cooking bender and made tons of good food. My favorite snack was the roasted sweet potato with lemon juice, and pepper and a little honey, YUM!! Today was fun with two classes and another busy afternoon, Alex is now studying Greek culture and mythology. We had fun researching the root meaning of words from Greek mythology that are used in modern times. My friend Ann got me a book called Gorgeously Green for my birthday back in September. I had a few chances to thumb through it but due the heavy reading load during teacher training, I am now actually delving into it. It is a really good guide to finding healthy alternatives to everyday products and fashion. is the website that you can find info as well. I am still reading the How to be happy all the time book as well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Much ado about nothing.

Hmmmmmmm...the luxury of an un-rushed morning! The sun tried to fight it's way into my room through my curtains, but I kept my eyes closed. I rolled over to spy the time and could not believe that it was 10:15. I lingered for a few more minutes, just looking at the ceiling; feeling my soft covers and enjoying the ability to not have to do anything or be anywhere, I just was, present, still and peaceful. We didn't have to be at Alex's game until 12:30, so I got to sleep in. What a nice treat after being so busy and up so early lately. On the way to his game, and to Ann Arbor there is a house on the side of Plymouth Road that always catches my eye. It is old, perhaps from 1850 or so, a Greek Revival with the stone dairy house, and out buildings intact. It has been vacant for as long as I can remember. I first noticed it when I worked at U of M, as I passed it every day on my way to work. It was white, but has turned grey with age and neglect. I used to imagine the mother on the porch watching her children playing, the happiness they felt as they ran around the farm. It is an eerie looking place now but surely was loved and cared for a long time ago. It is boarded up, so it looks really bad now. I always look at it, not sure why but it calls out to me. I feel sad for it, it could be a beautiful home if restored. I would love to build a home like it in the future. The How to be Happy All The Time book is exactly what I thought it would be, so true! It is all about how to be present, free of attachment and full of joy. I feel a little restless though, I really need to go to the beach! I love the ocean, how it smells, how the sand feels and how the heat is so concentrated and warms you to the bone. Vic wants to move somewhere warm, I languish at the thought. I think it would get old after a while, I do love the seasons, and's the best! Pretty soon my tulips and daffodils will be peeking up out of the soil and Spring will be here. I'm going to make Dal for dinner (Lentils, tomatoes and potatoes, with onions and spices). I'm running up to the store to find a paper filing nemesis is paperwork that floats around the house from the buffet, to the place by the phone to my desk. I want to handle things once then be done with it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oatmeal cookies

1/3 c butter
1/2 c applesauce
1/3 c honey or low sugar maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 t vanilla

Beat in electric mixer bowl until all ingredients are blended and the color is light and creamy.

Sift together the following:
2 c rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 c 50/50 flour (half whole wheat and half all purpose)
1/3 c wheat germ
1/2 c flax seeds
1 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon

Add this dry to the wet mix in the mixer bowl, mix until blended. Fold in the following:

1 c raw sunflower seeds
1 c crasins (sweetened cranberries)

Scoop up tablespoons and press into rounds on parchment lined pan, bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

These have a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, comples carbs and are a great snack to satiate hunger without filling up on empty calories.

Blueberry Muffins

Sift together in a large bowl:
3 c flour ( I use 1 1/2 c whole wheat and 1 1/2 c unbleached all purpose).
1T and 1t baking powder
1/3 c ground flaxseed meal
2t cinnamon
grated peel of 1 lemon
13oz frozen or fresh blueberries
make a well in the center

In blender, blend together:
1 1/2 c skim milk
1 big handful of prunes
1/3 c oil
1/3 c orange juice
1 banana

Crumb topping:
1/2c flour, 1/2 c sugar, cut in 1/4 c butter until crumbly

Pour the wet mix into the well and mix just until moistened. Scoop batter into 18 muffin tins and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

I ran out of eggs so I subbed in the prunes and banana, I like them better this way. Necessity is the mother of invention:)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Presence presence presence

That is what it is all about! Attending to the present, engulfing oneself into the activity, freeing oneself from distractions. Tune in to what you are doing, tune out distractions. Mind matters most, The Buddha.

To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable
Helen Keller quotes

Monday, February 9, 2009

class schedule

Monday 7:45 Northville gentle yoga contact Miss Harriett's Dance Studio for info 248-349-1111.
Tuesday 4:45 Wayne County Health and Wellness (private), more privates
Wednesday 11:15 Commerce Lifetime Fitness
Thursday private class
Friday 11:00 Commerce Lifetime Fitness
Every other Saturday 12:15 Commerce Lifetime Fitness
Saturday 9:00 Competitive Edge Family yoga, can be open to new students
Saturday workshops at the Life Studio in Commerce, varying themes.

I may be adding 8 week sessions to this schedule, maybe during the week at the Life studio.

My new nephew Ashton

Welcome to the world little one! 5. lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long! He is the first child for my brother in law Chris and his wife Maggie. I'm sad that they are so far away, and that we can't hug them and hold him. Maggie's family is all in Hong Kong and Northern China, so they get to spoil them! He looks like Alex my oldest when he was born. What a happy day!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Busy days, sick yogini

My week from Thursday has been almost non-stop. I now have the sore throat and heaviness in my chest that Garrett has, go figure. I feel awful. Vic bought me a book "How to be happy all the time," by Paramhansa Yogananda. He saw it a Borders and thought I would enjoy it. I'll read it and let you know how it is.

Competetive Edge Skating Family Yoga Week 4

Beautiful practice everyone! Energy and presence, breath and movement all linked and harmonious. Try to eat one yoga meal a day, with special consideration to the following guidelines that my teacher gave to us:


Date: __________________Place: _________________________________

Time begun: ________Time ended: _______Who with: ___________________________________

1. Remained seated. Yes ______ No ______

2. Refrained from conversation while chewing. Yes ____ No ____ (if no, % of meal _____)

3. Refrained from any external distractions: Yes _____ No ______

4. Waited until food was completely chewed and swallowed before picking up my next bite. Yes _____ No ______ (if no, % of meal _______)

5. Refrained from putting more than two handfuls of food on my plate at any one time. Finished eating my two handfuls, then waited 3-5 minutes before taking more food. Yes ______ No ______

6. Waited 2-6 hours before taking my next meal. Yes _____ No _____

Comments: (How did you enjoy your meal? What were you thinking and feeling while you ate? What was difficult? What are you learning about yourself?)

It was interesting to jot down my response to these questions and to look back at how my awareness and appreciation grew.

Remember to take those 15 minutes a day to focus on your breath and to connect with it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just a little encouragment

I remember warm days, filled with buzzing bees and birds. The sun shining and the kids laughing and playing. They really existed, although it seems so long ago!

270 posts

Wow, I was excited when I hit 100 posts. Time and life keep coming at me and I'm just soaking it all in. I am really pleased with the energy I feel in my classes (the ones I teach and take). I really connect with this healing, restorative quality that we generate in our practice. We use it to connect at a deeper level, I think this quality is really lacking in modern day society. Years ago we hung out at mall all day on Saturday. We interacted with other people on a face to face basis. Kids today text and im each other in cryptic abbreviations. People plug their ears with their earbuds and ignore everyone around them, all sounds and signs of life. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my IPod, but never wear it like an invisible shield to interaction. Make a point of making eye contact with as many people as you can, smile and acknowledge them. Lessen your attachment to seclusion and reach out to share more happiness with others.


Presence is the focus of my daily existence, the depth to which I am able to really connect to what I am doing. I feel a deeper connection to everything I do, from eating (yoga meals of course), to petting my dogs. I feel free from distractions, like a veil has been lifted so I can see clearly. A calm peaceful existence and an attachment to freedom are my tools to living my happiest life.

How does one find presence? Meditation...either a silent breath focused sit or a calming tea sipping 15 minutes of quite contemplation. Shut off the TV, the Ipod and the phone. Just settle in with yourself. Allow yourself to sink into a comfortable awareness of the breath as it enters your nose. Allow feelings and thoughts to gravitate to the surface and exhale them away. Emotions that surface are not responded to, physical pain and discomfort are not registered as being yours. Let them exist as a separate sensation that you do not respond to.

Today my students thanked me for bring so patient with them. I said "Of course I am patient, what kind of yoga teacher would I be if I were impatient?" They laughed, and smiled as we recalled how little they could so prior to their yoga experience. They have come so far and are okay with having a long way to go still. Its all about being present, appreciating the moment we have right now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Good day!

Despite my husband's pay cut (25% until August), I am very happy today! I am so grateful for the sunshine, my children's health and how much fun I am having with my yoga odyssey.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I attended Johnnie's Vinyasa today, he shared a student's experience with the class. She told him that she experienced the best class ever. What made it so wonderful was that she was completely present. It didn't matter what the flow was, or the music nor the teacher's words. Just the sense of being completely present led her to open a new level to explore. I listened and let go. I let myself completely sink into the practice, I shed the apprehension that I may have a hard time (right knee is still not strong as the left). I connected to my breath and to the flow so deeply, I have a hard time remembering exactly what we did. I try to remember flows to incorporate new moves in my classes, but this class was different. During teacher training he would call me out to teach sun A or B to the class, that led to a kind of "oh no, what is he going to do today?" feeling, kind of uneasy. I felt safe and relaxed and decided that if he called on me, i would ignore him....he he he. Just kidding. It felt that he was right next to me the entire class, when I stumbled in the extended hand to big toe pose, he was there and caught me. It was so hard at times, but I didn't want it to end. It was a good sense of difficulty and presence.

Presence is a state of mind, an attitude and a priceless ability. It can be thought of as an ability to focus on what is happening right at that moment. Not the past or future, just that second. Free from distractions, obsessive thoughts and insecurities one is free to immerse themselves into their lives, instead of being a spectator.

Find a new, deeper sense of presence in your life.

I taught a slow flow feedback session to Corrine and Nicole. I am so grateful for their time and guidance.

I went to Whole Foods and got some Aurvedic soap, incense, lentils (French green and red), and lots of fruit and vegetables. I made vegetarian burritos and a huge salad for dinner, it was so good especially after the junk food party we had yesterday for the Superbowl. I yelled at the TV so much I am hoarse today. Especially when the Cardinal goofed that last throw, what was that? Ahh, impermanence.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Frugal Revolution

I stand vindicated! Being a “stay at home mom” for 10 years along with half of my fellow mom friends, one learns to live frugally. We have cooked our meals from scratch, washed our husband’s shirts instead of sending them out and learned to sew so we could make pillows and curtains. We have gone berry picking and have made to most mouthwatering homemade jams and have raised ecologically aware children. We have shopped at our local farmer’s markets and clipped coupons (my friends give me their Better Health coupons, seriously). Those accustomed to lavish spending habits are almost apologetically admitting that they are cutting back. Stand up and shout people! It is a great freedom to learn that “stuff” doesn’t make you happy. It is just more to clean, store and worry about. The definition of Frugal is not wasteful. As a kid I grew up watching The Frugal Gourmet on PBS, it was one of my favorite shows. He highlighted waste-less cooking that was beautiful and delicious. I am not cheap and do not like the personality construct of cheap. Cheap implies unworthiness. Frugal is conservation mindedness. Conserving, recycling and making ecologically conscious purchases are just coming “into vogue.” Any Frugal Mom can tell you how to save money and the planet in all sorts of ways.
So, for the last 10 years most of the World has “spent money like there was no tomorrow” (to quote my mother and father) and we’re feeling the hangover now. It is well past time to get back to basics (I have a book by that title) and to really enjoy the free and simple pleasures in life. “We’re Cutting Back” is a frequently spoken phrase lately, but don’t despair! A little creativity and an appreciation for the comforts of home are a sense of community are within reach of all. So what can a guy or gal do for some fun during these times of renewed appreciation for “responsible monetary management?”
1) Volunteer your time to a local charity, The Salvation Army or join a group that serves the poor. Out church has a group of people who make PB& J sandwiches and serves them to the homeless in the Cass Corridor every Saturday morning. Giving a little to those who have less is the ultimate way to reconnect with humanity.
2) Attend your family and friend’s children’s school sports games. Basketball and Hockey are very easy to come by this time of year. We went to two high school hockey games to cheer on players that we know; they were relatively inexpensive for a family of 4 to attend ($12.00 for the first game and $20.00 for the second). Plus this is beneficial in two if not more ways; you support local school sports programs with your admission and you show the child in your life that you care and that is PRICELESS!
3) Check out your local library for DVDs, CDs, books, discussion groups and free lectures. This is such an underutilized resource. Plymouth just announced that in 2008 it loaned out items one million times. Wow, that is a lot of resource utilization without shelling out any cash (unless of course you’re late with returns).
4) Check out a play by a local theatre company, Plymouth has Barefoot Productions. If you live near a University there are always good local theatre and symphony performances to experience at an affordable price.
5) Check out a free yoga class at your local studio. A good idea is to check out their class schedule online and call to inquire about freebies. Some studios give one class, three classes and even an entire week free.
6) Visit ITunes for a free song of the week, and there is also a free download too from a different genre. I noticed a card at Starbucks for a free download on Tuesday. They are not the same song.
7) If your friend belongs to a gym ask them to take you as a guest. Check out the family swim time schedule and take the kids for a splash. What a great way to have some fun in the dead of winter. Consider joining when you look at the cost for the whole family to use the facility, it comes down to a few dollars a day.
8) Take you sweetie or kids camping in the living room! Seriously, pop some popcorn and pull out the sleeping bags. Cuddle up and really enjoy spend some quality time telling stories, playing games or just sacking out and watching a movie (that was free from the library).
9) Make dinner in, set the table with “fancy” glasses as my kids call them and eat by candlelight. Include the kids in menu planning, meal prep and setting the table. If you are part of a couple without children at home, surprise your partner with a romantic dinner. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
10) Get free recipes from I love this site; it has all the recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines. Many are simple and require minimal ingredients. What is cool is that you can enter a few items and it will pull up recipes to match.
11) Go to the mall and people watch, play ISPY, and get a small treat like a big cookie from Mrs. Fields.
12) While you are at the mall, check out free samples of cosmetics and lotions before you buy them. All stores will give you samples. This really came in handy when I got an Origins sample and could not stand the smell. I literally choked due to the intensity of the scent. I’m so glad I did not buy the product. This reminds me of the character that Jennifer Aniston played in the movie “Friends with Money.”
13) Visit a festival, street fair or art fair. There are loads of opportunities to be social, learn what is going on in your community and to connect with the world around you.

Many of these activities include spending more time with our loved ones and becoming more connected to our local communities. These small simple pleasures which occur more frequently will become cherished memories that mean more than a big trip once a year. I honestly can’t remember our many trips to Disney that we took when I was a child. I can however easily recall gardening with my mom, apple picking, baking together and our weekly trips to the library.

Ooh, a second follower!

Welcome Jen! Wow, I feel the pressure to put the good stuff out now! I blog as a way to clear my mind of thoughts, and to have a productive outlet to experiences I have had. When I blog, I try to stay positive, a little irreverent and always with a sense of humility. Thank you for sharing your time with me:)