June 13, 2015

Compassion, Mindfulness, and True Nourishment

We practice many things in our lives. From brushing teeth ans driving cars 
to getting dressed and feeding ourselves, life is a practice.

Some practices feel more practical. Others, like dance, music, meditation, photography, or art, feel more creative.
A practice starts with internal motivation to achieve excellence both for oneself and for the well-being of others. At its best, a practice generates compassion, love, healing and nourishment.

Choosing, cooking, eating, and appreciating food are deeply emotional practices. Be present with them to honor your heart.

Even masters who practice every day can gain new skills to engage with sources of nourishment and deepen their connection to present moment awareness and the satisfaction that arises from it.

How much time do you devote each day to taking care of yourself and accepting yourself, just as you are, without judgement?

What are the daily practices to which you devote your energy? 

I encourage you to lean into your daily practices with present moment awareness. 

When brushing teeth, be with that practice. You can even say internally, "I am brushing my teeth". This mindfulness practice settles the mind, lets thoughts be at rest, and helps us see that we are not actually more effective when we rush or multi-task.

When cooking, be with your ingredient. Appreciate it. Notice its qualities.
As you eat, pause between bites. Take a breath in and out.

Allow space to be curious about your experience. This inquiry will allow you to develop awareness and compassion for others, their mindsets, and their experiences.

It's a simple practice that can take you far in your own self-care.
Be well and stay in touch.

June 9, 2015

Defining a Healthy, Resilient Food System

This is my definition:

Health is a changing state of balance.

A healthy food system is a living network, non-hierarchical and springing from mutual agreements to cultivate health, diversity, equity, and economic balance.

Because everyone must eat to live, it must adapt to environmental, social, and political changes while stewarding the well-being of land, workers, production, and eaters. This food system is grounded in gastronomic traditions, small-scale farming practices, and the need to provide for future generations. 

Its respect for diversity of people, eco-systems, and choices ensures the best practices for cultivation and production in accordance with local need and capacity.

Connected enough to sustain local bio-diversity, cultural identity, nourishment, and sense of purpose, this system provides equal access to whole, contaminant-free ingredients.

When change occurs, the community-minded system, where everyone has a voice, can collaborate to make decisions based on the health of people and planet. 

How does the media define a healthy, resilient food system?

Mother Earth News shapes its definition around goals:
  1. Focus on community empowerment to grow food and seek out natural remedies to heal friends and family;
  2. Promote research in the field of agro-ecology in order to influence congressional farm policy;
  3. Sell publications and subscriptions to educate privileged members of the food system about gardening, natural health, and consumption.
Through their primary strategy of publishing research and education, this media outlet works to catalyze change among its readers.

I will be working to shape this definition for the Northeast bioregion during the upcoming Food Solutions New England Summit. Follow the efforts at #fsne2015

How do you define a healthy food system?

Please leave your comments here.

June 5, 2015

Cooling Desserts for Lingering Evenings

June is here. Firefly season in Vermont. Lupines blooming blue next to ox-eye daisies.
The angelica, black cohosh and feverfew plants tower over the garden, delighted to be its protectors.
Last fall's potatoes are sprouting: it's time to plant them.
The soil is warm enough for winter squash seeds to sprout and peas are almost a foot tall.

At our homestead on Sparrow Farm Road, this is the time we await with delight. 
Whatever summer looks like for you, soak in it.
Sit with the evening and let yourself become absorbed in the pink light as it slowly gives way stars.

Find local raspberries ans strawberries to make an amazing topping for this vegan cheesecake.

Hawai'i Inspiration: Vegan Cheesecake

Recipe by Ani Phyo - courtesy of Alessandra Jann-Jordan

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (or almonds)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 shredded coconut

Chop nuts and dates into small pieces.
Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
'Flour' bottom of 9 inch spring form pan with shredded coconut. 
Press crust evenly on bottom.

For the filling:
3 cups cashews
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup honey (or pitted dates)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Water as needed

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a smooth cream.
Add water as needed to make a smooth, thick batter - like pancake batter.

Smooth into pan and place into freezer until firm - about 12 hours. 
Before serving, defrost on a plate 1/2 hour.

Top with fresh, chopped raspberries and strawberries.

June 3, 2015

Food Photos

Feast your eyes and indulge your senses with these images.
Try to make some of these dishes at home.
Be in touch with questions. Your inquiries are the best way for me to learn! I enjoy trying to answer them.

Tahini Apricot Cookies

India-Inspired Feast: turmeric-roasted potatoes, cauliflower and peas with chicken, coconut cilantro chutney

Lentil Walnut Loaf with Parsley Pesto

Borscht with Horseradish and Oat Dumplings

Healthy Eating Program

Need to detox, uncover food allergies, feel nourished & satisfied?

I will tailor your Program to your dietary needs and health goals. Programs include shopping lists, prep/menu plans, recipes, mindfulness, & nutritional recommendations.

Click here to try a FREE sample of the Healthy Eating Program.

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