Holiday Helper – week five

just a note…somehow this never went out last week…..ahhhh…technology…..

Yesterday was Black Friday and the malls were packed, the newspaper was stuffed with sale circulars, and my inbox was jammed with emails offering me sales, sales, sales.

For some people, all of the hustle and bustle and stimulation is FUN. If you are one of them, now is the time to charge full steam ahead into the holidays.

If you are like me, all of the fervor makes me want to take a long nap and wake up sometime in January.

Breathing in and out helps. (Exformation)

Slowing down and focusing on people more than things helps. (Easy Focus)

Making lists and not packing too much into the day helps. (Body Wisdom)

Letting go of having to get it all done perfectly helps. (Get on it. off it. over it)

scout holds it all loosely and lightly!

scout holds it all loosely and lightly!

And

Holiday Helper number five can help with its InterPlay wisdom:

Hold it Loosely and Lightly

Life doesn’t have to be so hard!

Today you are invited to hold things loosely and lightly.

Soften your grip and relax.

Use this FREE PASS to let everyone around you know

that you are moving from fixation to exhalation!

This week, find

your happy place, take a family member or friend along for the ride, and together we will make it to 2014 with more EASE, FLOW, and LOVE!

Holiday Helper – week four

The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

Well, the first holiday is almost upon us and I am feeling the ‘heat”. How about you?

Seemed like an excellent time to bring in Holiday Helper number four : Body Wisdom.

Over the course of our lives we accumulate lots of information and collect details and data about our lives: what we like and dislike, and what is expected of us versus what we want to do.

Much of the information that is stored in our bodies comes from outside sources: family, religion, society, etc.

It is our individual Body Wisdom, if we give ourselves a chance to access it, that can help us to discern what we truly want, need, and desire. We can separate from outside influences and begin to listen to the voice of our Body Wisdom.

In InterPlay we teach people to access their Body Wisdom and invite them to honor the truth the lives inside of them instead of constantly making decisions from old patterned responses and behaviors.

Try this:

See if you can notice what is giving you energy or joy these days. See if you can do a little more of that today.

Also notice the things that are draining your energy. Is there any way to shift those things or make a small change so that there is less stress and tension today?

Small steps are the way to handle anything!

We are in this together, so let’s bring in more JOY.

Holiday Helper – week three

Stop and take a breath. Look at the water, soften your gaze, and take an Easy Focus.

NJ shore

NJ shore

List in your mind, out loud, or on a piece of paper the top three things that are bothering you in this moment. These can be little or big; important or not; things that you would tell everyone or tell no one. There is no judgement or need to change or fix anything. You are just Exforming what is keeping you from being calm in this moment.

NJ Shore

NJ Shore

Does the water look different now?

If not…

InterPlay offers another tool in case you are struggling with the letting go part:

Get on it. Get off it. Get over it.
 
The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

The message:

Have fun today as you watch yourself get on it, get off it, and get over it! Use this FREE PASS to let go of over thinking, holding on, and taking yourself and others too seriously. Now is the time to practice letting things flow in and out of your body and mind.

 
 

Holiday Helper ~ week two

Exformation

Exformation is an InterPlay practice that helps us move information out of our bodies. We are flooded with information on a daily basis: phones, internet, newspapers, family, friends, and even the weather bombard us with so many sensations.

exformation from The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

Exformation from The InterPlay Inspiration Deck

During stressful times of the year (the holidays are big ones for most of us), this can escalate to proportions that are difficult for most bodies to process.

Simple ways to “EXFORM” are:

  • sighing (or exhaling out loud)
  • shaking (any body part will do)
  • breathing (seems to be a theme emerging here)

Try this Holiday Helper exercise (do it a few times in the next eight weeks!):

On a piece of paper number 1-10.

At the top of the column write,

“I release _____.”

Now list, without thinking too hard, the things you want to release. Remember don’t think about it too much and do not judge what comes out. It is all valid and real for you in this moment. If you write it down, you needed to release it. Trust. Your body will not lie to you.

Exformation feels so good!

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Kitchen Experiment – Lentil Loaf with Zucchini Latkes

I love it when you forget about something that you used to cook all the time and it suddenly pops into your head again! That is what happened the other night. We are still doing a 4 day rotation for the ALCAT diet and it was lentil night. Suddenly, lentil loaf popped into my head! I used to make it all of the time and it works for day 2 of my rotation. It is so easy to make and you can vary it depending upon which vegetables you have on hand. On our diet, day 2 is celery, scallions, and beet greens – so that is what I used. Prior to the diet I may have added onions or carrots and often spinach. I am not good at measuring so it is a recipe that you just have to eye. I used 1 cup of dry lentils and cooked them with 2 cups of water, oregano and a bay leaf. I often would could the vegetables right in with the lentils but I was running behind so I quickly threw the lentils in the pot and while they were cooking, sautéed the scallions, celery and beet greens in a separate pan. Once the lentils were cooked, I combined the lentils and vegetables in a large bowl and added rolled oats, 2 eggs, grated almond cheese and salt and pepper. I mix it all together and cooked it in my cast iron skillet. Usually, as the name implies, I would have cooked it in a bread pan, but I was in a rush and wanted it to cook a little faster. I placed it in a preheated 375 degree oven and baked it for about 30 minutes. In a loaf pan it probably would have taken about 45 minutes.

While that was cooking in the oven, I moved onto the zucchini latkes. I shredded 1 potato and 2 small zucchini and added them to a small colander. I added a little salt and let them sit for about 15 minutes. I squeezed out as much of the liquid as I could and then placed them in a bowl. I added 2 tablespoons of oat flour, 3 tablespoons of oat bran, along with salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 2 eggs. I mixed it all together and heated my skillet over medium heat. I dropped the batter by the spoonfuls and cooked them for about 8-10 minutes, flipping them after about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, I quickly sautéed some shiitake mushrooms in a pan with some olive oil and added a little tamari for salt. I had a gravy in the freezer that I had defrosted and added to the shiitake mushrooms. And there was dinner!

lentil loaf Lentil Loaf with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

latkes Zucchini Latkes

lentil and latkesDinner!

It was quite tasty! Until next time … Good Eating!

Kitchen Experiment – Gluten Free Pizza

I am always on the look out for a good gluten-free pizza dough recipe.  I have been making homemade pizza since I was young.  My Mom would make her own dough and then set us up to make our own pizzas.  We would have friends over so that we could “teach” them how to make pizza the right way!  Pizzeria pizza is good, but I am very picky.  There is nothing like making it yourself.  Since starting the ALCAT diet, we have not been able to make pizza dough because my husband has a severe intolerance to yeast. Gluten-free is hard enough, but without the yeast, it is even more complicated. When I saw this new recipe made with Arborio rice, I knew I had to give it a try!

I like easy recipes and this was definitely easy.  Basically it was cooked Arborio rice, some parmesan cheese and an egg.  You mixed all of that together and then pressed it into a pan.  The recipe said that you could use the back of a fork to spread it out in the pan, but I found that wet hands worked much better.  When I usually make pizza, I like to use my cast iron skillet and a stone cookie sheet so I decided to use the same thing.

before crustpizza crust

You cook the crust first at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes before adding the toppings.

baked crustThe idea is to crisp is up first before you add the wet toppings.  So, as I said before, my Mom has been making pizza since I was little and I just love to make traditional pizza with tomato sauce and cheese.  My Mom would line up the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parmesan cheese, olive oil and mozzarella cheese and show us just the right amount of each to put on the pizza crust.  I of course have to do it just the same way.

plain pizzaI also made one with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and artichokes hearts …

pizzaI had some pesto that needed to be used so I made one more with pesto and sheep feta …

pestoSo, how did they turn out?  They were delicious, but I think that the crust could be crisper!  The next time I will cook them a little longer before putting the toppings on and I will put the pans closer to the bottom element in the oven before and after the toppings.  It seemed like if you kept the pizza in the pans, they stayed a little crisper than trying to take them out to cool on the cutting board.

Final say:  give it a try if you need an easy gluten-free pizza crust!