The Four Agreements

  1. Be Impeccable with your words

  2. Don’t take anything personally

  3. Don’t make assumptions

  4. Always do your best

 

The four agreements are from Don Miguel Ruiz and I have them posted on the side of my refrigerator. I read them every day.

How many days do I actually live them? You know how you can say something over and over again, have it totally memorized (any other Catholics out there?), and still living it daily eludes you?

Like the Ten Commandments (OK, I already mentioned the Catholic thing!), these life tenets can just become nice fluff for your internal landscape, or something to pull out in conversation to make us look better than we are.

Today’s challenge: pick one of the above and do it all day.

Get in touch and let me know how it goes, what you experienced, what you noticed. It is so powerful to share the process with one another. I promise to do the same. I will post again and let you know how I lived into “Don’t make assumptions.”

I think I might need more than one day though.

 

Kitchen Experiments – Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

I love soup! I love soup in the winter, spring, summer or fall. I love soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Any time of day, any time of year! I love brothy soups, creamy soups, or loaded with stuff soup. I just plain love soup! I am usually not a follow the recipe kind of a soup maker, I am usually just a throw it in the pot and see what happens kind of a soup maker. However, there are several recipes that have made it into my repertoire when I am in the mood to follow a recipe. The “Creamy Broccoli Soup” by Cynthia Lair from her Feeding the Whole Family cookbook has been one of my favorites since I had Cynthia as a teacher at Bastyr University while getting my masters in nutrition. The only problem that I had with this recipe was that it did not have a significant amount of protein in it. As I said, I like to have soup for breakfast, especially when I am working, but I like it to have protein so that it holds me over for the morning and I don’t spike my blood sugar. So, I decided to tweak the recipe just a little.

soup

Creamy Beany Broccoli Soup

2 large stems of broccoli with flowerets

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 leeks, white part mainly with 1 inch of green top, cleaned and chopped

1/2 t. sea salt

1 tsp. coriander

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 celery stalks, chopped

4 – 4 ½ c. water

2 Tbs. cashew butter

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Cut off the broccoli flowerets, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place flowerets in small saucepan with a little water on the bottom. Steam for 5 minutes, until the color just starts to change. Peel the broccoli stems and dice into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a 3-quart pot. Add onions, leeks, salt, and coriander. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion/leek mixture cooks down to a nice mush (10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Add the broccoli stem pieces, potatoes, cannellini beans, celery, and water to the onion mush; cover and simmer until the potatoes are soft (15 to 20 minutes).
  4. Put the soup mixture in a blender, or use a hand blender, with cashew butter and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings

I hope that you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Happy cooking!

Kitchen Experiments – Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Happy Birthday to me!  Yes, it was my birthday this past week, plus father’s day, plus my nephew’s graduation from high school, plus my niece’s graduation from 8th grade.  This gave me the perfect excuse to bake the carrot cake that I had made for my sister’s birthday. I told you about it in my last post, but I don’t think I mentioned how delicious it was!

If you know me at all, you can imagine how picky I am when it comes to my birthday dessert.  I think that I have been baking my own birthday desserts for years now, and actually I would not have it any other way!  You know, it has to be gluten-free, no white sugar, nothing too sweet, and it has to be healthy enough that I can eat it for breakfast!  I think that this carrot cake fits that description. Gluten free – yep, it is made with almond flour.  No white sugar – yep, I use the coconut nectar which has a very low glycemic load ( which basically means that the sugar is not absorbed quickly into your blood stream making it a good choice for pre-diabetics or diabetics).

cake2

It is definitely not too sweet and with the addition of carrots and pecans, plus the almond flour and eggs, it is packed with protein plus it has some vegetables, which fits my description for a healthy breakfast! OK, not everyday, but on my birthday – you bet!

f5

Carrot Cake

3 c. almond flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbs. cinnamon

¾ tsp. nutmeg

5 eggs

½ c. coconut nectar

¼ c. sunflower oil

2 c. grated carrots (about 3 medium carrots)

1 c. pecan pieces

1.       Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare either 2 9” round cake pans or a 13”X9” baking pan with cooking spray.

2.       In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.       In a separate bowl, beat eggs, coconut nectar, and oil.

4.       Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined.

5.       Add the carrots and pecan pieces to the batter and mix together.

cake4

6.       Pour batter into pan(s).

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7.       Bake for 40 minutes.

8.       Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing.

carrot cake

9.       Cool to room temperature and spread with Coconut Cream Frosting.

10.   Serve and enjoy!

Coconut Cream Frosting

1 can Coconut Cream

2

2 tsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Empty contents of coconut cream into a mixing bowl.

frosting1

2. Beat on high slowly adding the maple syrup and vanilla.

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3.  Beat for 2-3 minutes.  It should be light and fluffy at the end.

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Now, the best part … Slice the cake and enjoy!

cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.

~ John Steinbeck

lower gardenI will have to agree that there is something so satisfying to me to be able to put my hands into the dirt.  This is the photo that I sent out awhile ago in the beginning of spring.  This was my garden before I got it planted.  Even though there is still a small section of my garden that is filled with weeds and yet unplanted, I wanted to share with you what I have growing.

bottom

In this row I have peas towards the back with some kale and arugula growing in front of them.  There are some onions left over from last year and some lettuce.  Under the ladder there are two winter squash plants of unknown variety.  It is a wait and see what grows!

middleIn this middle row I have zucchini and yellow squash towards the fence and the some pole beans next to them.  I have lots of basil so that I can make pesto for the freezer.  There are tomatoes, peppers and more lettuce towards the front.

topIn the top row I have lots of herbs and then below  I have potatoes, string beans and more onions that I just planted.

This is my spring garden because once the end of June comes and the sun starts dipping down, the trees start to shade this garden and it gets very little sun.  I hope that I will have some things to eat out of here soon!

On the side of my house where I keep thinking there is more sun, I have my other garden.If I am truly honest with myself, there is not much more sun on this side of the house.  I live in a beautiful spot, but those big trees are just getting in my way!

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Lots and lots of greens in this part of my garden – kale, collards, tatsoi, spinach, endive, escarole and cress.  Yummy!  We have already been eating out of this side.

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More peas on this side along with beets, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, radishes and chard.  Radishes are amazing!  They grow so quickly.  We have already eaten many of those.  There are some strawberries in the back but I transplanted them so they are still trying to find their roots.

blueberries

Hard to tell in this photo, but these are blueberry plants that I just bought this year and they are loaded!  I hope they make it!

Thanks for taking the tour of my garden!  I will keep you posted as I harvest my goodies!  Happy gardening!

Feel your Feelings

It is amazing how many times I ask a patient to tell me how they feel and they answer with what they think. Feelings can be overwhelming and scary to many people. Thinking is actually safer and makes people feel more secure. Here is an example of a conversation I had the other day with someone.

Mary (name changed for privacy purposes), “At the party the kids were all coming to sit with me and even the kids of my siblings and friends were coming to sit with me.”

Me, “How did that make you feel?”

Mary, “I wondered why they were not sitting with their own parents and wondered if I had coddled my own kids too much.”

Me, “Do you realize that you have not named your feelings, just what you were thinking about?”

Mary, “No, hmmm, what was I feeling? Pride, Yes, that is it. I felt proud.”

Her face was lighting up now and tears were forming in her eyes. That quickly faded as she said, “That is not good, is it? I shouldn’t feel proud.”

I watched her shoulders tighten, her breathing became shallow, and she looked distracted.

There is more to this story but let’s stop here and look at a few things.

Feelings make us feel.

In this case Mary was moving more blood and oxygen through her body which was making her more relaxed. Her face was flushed and she was about to cry. She stopped the process by allowing her brain to take over. Many of us judge that feelings are messy. Messy means we are somehow out of control which can make us uncomfortable. Thinking gives us the illusion that we are in touch with what is going on in our bodies.  Our brain (even though it is housed in the body), does not want us to feel uncomfortable. The mind wants to keep us from feeling anything that “it” judges is a threat to “its” survival. You see, as soon as you are feeling, you are not thinking and the mind (or ego) is threatened.

This is clearly a very huge topic that requires a much deeper look and yet just for today, let’s stop and just try one experiment.

Today, name a feeling that you are having especially one that is causing you discomfort, and just stay with it. When the thoughts start, acknowledge that you are thinking and then just go right back to feeling.

There is nothing to fix. There is nothing to change. Feelings and emotions are just energy in motion. They want to move. Let them.

If you want help, I am happy to assist. Write or call me and we can book a session. Sometimes it is helpful to have a guide for the journey.

anitab@anitabondidesigns or 570-421-3708

 

 

 

 

stop seeking

“You obviously seek in order to avoid the present and yet the present alone holds the answer. To seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are enlightened Spirit and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. You can no more attain Spirit than you can acquire your lungs or attain your feet.” – Ken Wilber

i am enough. /abdesigns
i am enough. /abdesigns

Kitchen Experiments – Pancakes anyone?

I must say that being grain free has presented a challenge for breakfast if you are thinking about typical breakfast foods.  Most mornings when I am ready for breakfast I end up staring at the refrigerator thinking about what I can eat. Cereal? Out! Rice cake with nut butter? Out! Oatmeal? Out!  Oh boy!  What else is there? Hmm, how about pancakes?  No, not your typical pancake made with flour but pancakes made with nut flour!  Oh yes!  Thank goodness!  I love soup and I can eat it anytime of day all year round, but sometimes you just want something else.  It’s actually pretty amazing all of the things that you can make with nut flour.  The only stipulation is that most recipes call for eggs and lots of them!  As you might imagine, nut flours are a lot heavier than grain flours and therefore need something to give them a little lift.  I have made pancakes with and without eggs and while both of them are good, the egg free pancakes are just a tad denser than the ones made with eggs.  My new favorite egg replacement is 2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water.  That equals one egg.

Keep checking back for more grain free recipes because I found a delicious carrot cake recipe made with almond flour that I would love to share with you.  It made the perfect birthday cake for Anita!

pancakes

Hazelnut Flour Pancakes

1 1/2 cups hazelnut flour (I made my own in my vitamix but you can use the nut flour variety of your choice)

1 tsp. arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp. vanilla

  • In a small bowl, mix applesauce, non-dairy milk, vanilla and eggs and set aside.
  • Mix hazelnut flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.  Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Mix together.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat.  Lightly coat with cooking spray or oil of your choice. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into pan and spread out slightly for each pancake.  Cook pancakes 3-4 minutes, until bottoms have browned, then flip and cook 1-3 minutes more.  (Note: Do not wait for bubbles to appear on top of the pancake like you do when cooking regular pancakes.)
  • Spray the pan again and repeat with remaining batter.  Top with your favorite fruit, nuts and syrup and enjoy!