Friday, April 5, 2013

Landing In The Weeds

Dear Diary,
I'm so glad to be juicing again. I simply couldn't resist the lure of fresh juice any longer. Earlier this week, I moved my juicer from the pantry to my counter and put it back into service. I'm getting reacquainted with my favorite combinations. Romaine/apple/lemon/ginger and carrot/ginger/grapefruit/beet are just a couple that I love. (I got to cry over spilled juice enjoy a little extra clean-up this morning, having knocked over my glass, spilling half of my carrot/ginger/grapefruit/beet juice over the counter. Such sadness, but mostly because I didn't feel like cleaning the juicer a second time to make more.)

I love juicing, but the thing that I'm feeling even better about is my new yoga practice. Yes, I'm practicing yoga. And it's more amazing than I ever imagined. I began back in January and since then, there's not been a single Saturday when I've not popped out of bed with the sun to shower, dress, and make it across town to class before 8 a.m. I know, kind of early for a Saturday, but it's worth every moment of sleep sacrificed to spend an hour on my mat with my instructor and classmates.

Path rush
We move through the asanas, and many of them are super challenging, or at least they are for me, but in the process of trying, I learn so much about myself - like trusting the strength I don't know I have, and respecting my current limits as I learn where they are. Here's an example: During one of our early classes, we were in wide-legged forward fold, or Prasarita Padottanasana, and I fell over. Yeah, I don't know how, I just fell over - and it made me laugh. My wonderful instructor announced that I'd just "found the weeds", which caused me to laugh even more, along with everyone else. It was just joyful. 

As we moved through the asanas, I considered what she had said, that in falling over, in going too far, I'd found the weeds. No mistakes, no worries, I'd just been exploring my limits, exploring the boundaries of balance. And isn't that what life calls us to do, to explore our limits, to see just how far we can go before we just fall over? And then to laugh about it afterwards?

I can't say that I won't be landing in the weeds again. I'm sure my practice will find me picking rye seed out of my hair again and again, but I hope it also finds me laughing, and getting back into position to see just how far I can go without falling over.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Second Thyme Around

I made pasta with shrimp and fish last night. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad for a first try. I'd love to include a picture, but it really wasn't all that much to look at, besides which, we were so hungry, it didn't stick around long. So, anyway, I was thinking this morning about that pasta, and about how I used a jarred sauce and how it really could have benefited from the addition of a few more things - like maybe mushrooms, and onions, maybe a fresh herb or two ... Then I started thinking about those lovely little grape tomatoes I've been roasting lately and how those would be a nice addition. Then I thought, Wait a minute. Why do I need to add those to a jarred sauce? Why can't they be the sauce? Yeah, why not? 

Oven-Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Thyme - A Food Centric Life
So, here's what I'm thinking. Why not pile the grape tomatoes alongside a piece of halibut onto a rimmed baking sheet (I like to use parchment paper, too) with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh thyme and roast them together in the oven. (Okay, I guess the tomatoes would be roasting, but the fish would be baking, right?) Then, if I'm really feeling ambitious, while the fish and tomatoes are in the oven, I could prepare shrimp on the cooktop the way my mom does. She makes the absolute most delicious shrimp with olive oil, white wine, garlic and fresh parsley. I'm not kidding, her recipe is the best I've ever tasted. Once the shrimp and fish and tomatoes are done, I could just toss the mixture with fettuccine and how wonderful would that be? 

I might have to try this again and soon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Carrots Gone Topless: Juicy Tidbits I Bet You Never Even Knew

Dear Diary,

I just realized I haven't written anything to you in months.  My, how rude I've been!  I am sorry to have neglected you.  You see, I've been so busy creating, planting - and now, harvesting - my first garden that I haven't had an extra minute to tell you about it.

Not to mention, I now have ALL FOUR kids at home.  No school for them means never a dull moment for me.  And I'll admit all the chaos around here has led to more slip-ups with healthy eating than we'd experienced during the more regimented school year, but it's nothing I'm too concerned about.  While we haven't been perfect with our healthy eating goals, we're still going strong.  I feel proud of the food I feed my kids most of the time - and of the fact that when they help themselves, that can sometimes mean yanking a carrot out of the garden, rinsing it in the hose, chomping it down...and back to playing.

As for me, I rarely miss a morning with my Green Lemonade.  I get up really early to run (and the baby is still waking up to nurse in the night) so it can be tough to resist the urge to put on a cup of coffee when I get back, but I feel so awful when I start my day that way, I almost always choose the juice.  So...first I make and guzzle down the green juice.  Then I make the coffee.  Come on, I never said I wanted to be perfect!

But enough of that little catch-up session, let's get right to what I was excited to share: carrots gone wild!  Carrots with their tops off, that's what I'm talking about.  So, I recently pulled up the last of my purple carrots in order to make more room for the tomato plants that are growing like mad.  And what I got was a nice little bowl full of lovely, multi-colored carrots...and a double sink full of carrot greens.  What was I to do with all those greens?

I hesitated to throw them away.  As you well know this pure, organic lifestyle isn't cheap.  Well worth it but expensive.  So one of the ways I've tried to mitigate the expense is to buy into a CSA (crop share) this summer.  Another is to plant as many of my own vegetables as possible in my urban backyard - and then to keep them alive.  I'm a notorious black thumb but maybe the daily green juice has helped grant me some favor with the Gardening Gods as I've had tremendous luck with my garden this year.  And I certainly don't want to repay this benevolence by filling my trash bin with loads of beautiful, chlorophyll-filled potential, but who's ever heard of eating the carrot tops?  Certainly not black-thumb me.  So, I did a little research and it turn out there's plenty of carrot-top potential.

The obvious is to juice them.  Rather than using carrots for the Tingly Juice (carrot-grapefruit-ginger), I used carrot tops (adding an orange, lemon and apple to up the sweet quotient) and it was delicious!  Then I juiced another big batch of green tops, added ginger, olive oil, lemon juice and honey and made a lovely salad dressing.

Some of the best ideas I found were on  Check it out!

That's it for now, but I promise I'll check in soon.

Happy juicing!