"Bringing peace to the world... one cup at a time"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Six Ways to Honor Earth Day and Your Body

Ancient Rivers dwell within our souls. Our bodies are our temples of Bliss   Spring is definitely here and the Official Earth Day is this Sunday. In my mind, Earth Day should be everyday along with valentines day and any other holiday or reason to celebrate caring and nurturing. The best ways to celebrate our blessed Earth is to honor our bodies as we would a temple. Here are some ideas. 1)Being green is easy. Keep it simple. Drink green tea. It is full of ani-oxidants,it raises the metabolism, helps keep blood sugars level. There are plenty of high quality delicious types to choose from.2) Eat lots of leafy greens. They can provide all the basic nutrients you need. There is kale, chard, spinach, cabbage, and bok choy to name a few. You can eat them raw, cooked, or blended in the blender to make green drinks. These little jewels are anti- inflammatory. They also help block bad sugars and fats from getting back into the blood stream. They also are very low in calories so you can fill up on them instead of those heavier carbohydrates and fats. 3) Take a walk through your local farmers market and buy local fruits and veggies and prepare them simply. This does several things to help mother Earth. You are supporting farmers who are taking care of her the best way they can. You are You are helping the local economy by keeping the money here. And best of all you are out in the sunshine getting vitamin D and getting some exercise and fresh air. And I invite you to talk to the farmers, get to know them. Who knows you may also make some new friends. 4) Get a massage. Everyone needs to be touched in this way. Massage moves all those toxins that are stored in your fat cells into the blood stream so that your liver can filter them out.5) Take a class. Learn something new. Keeping the mind strong and challenged keeps us young. 6) Eat with a friend or family member. Eat sitting at a table. Hold hands. Give and receive love. I believe that healthy food is only half the story. We humans in at our best are living full well rounded lives. We are not sitting alone all the time (alone time is good but in balance )eating in our cars, watching TV while we eat, working inside with no sunshine and fresh air. Life can be simple and beautiful and green. If everyone were to follow these few simple ideas just imagine what could change. Imagine.............

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Mouth is more than just for spouting off

Mouth Hunger Is the Mouth's desire for Pleasure. What constitutes pleasure sensations is different from one person to another. Some like it hot and spicy. Some like it cool as a cucumber. The experience of the mouth sensation is not only taste but the feel of food in the mouth. Does your palette desire smooth creamy feeling food or crunchy, or maybe a fleshy texture is more your style? Do you like to lick things, like your fingers after something sticky and sweet? We are entering into sensual territory here. Many cultures are very sensual in the way they approach food. Some eat with their fingers. Where your ancestry origins come from may play into how your mouth feels about tastes and textures. My ancestors were from Scotland/Ireland and Portugal. I love yams, fresh baked breads (though I only eat sprouted grains), greens, both cooked and raw. But I also love creamy things like avocado, papaya, then there is rice and oatmeal and seeds and nuts. And seaweed I love fried seaweed. These things are not all that I eat but they are really Parties in my mouth. To some people what goes in the mouth goes right to the brain and manifests in emotional experiences. Have you ever seen or heard the advertisements that profess that "Party in the mouth" blast of exciting amped up food sensation. That is a ploy for an emotional mouth response.Most of the time it is items laden with more salt, sugar, fat, and artificial spice or other flavorings. But it is an emotional call to the taste buds and their brain contact that tells the body it is having pleasure. Americans have been fooled into buying unripe fruit, over done products, over fatted, over salted, over sweetened, to the point that many people don't know what a normal ripe piece of fruit tastes like or food that is prepared in it's normal state. The mouth is very connected to awareness. It is not enough to stick food in your mouth chew it up and eat it. The mouth and mind want intelligence. If you want to feel satisfied, truly satisfied when you eat, the mind wants to be invited to the party. Mindless eating is very much part of eating disorders and overeating. Often times the problems lie in not paying attention to what is going on in the mouth that gets us into trouble more so than the actual diet we subscribe to. I am not advocating a junk food plan here but it is important to eat mindfully foremost.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Knowing of the Nose

"And when you crush an apple with your teeth,say to it in your heart,
"Your seeds shall live in my body,and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath, and together we shall rejoice through all the seasons" Kahllil Gibran
How was Thanksgiving? This is the beginning of the Holiday challenge. We so often feel guilty if we overdo but don't. Life is so much about the lessons we are willing to learn. What was the experience around the feast. Did your eyes get the satisfaction they needed? I made food preparing a high priority. I wanted everyone to see all of the beautiful colors of the harvest feast. And to whiff the aromas coming from the kitchen to set their pallets. We lit an old fashioned kerosene lantern on the table and built a fire in the fireplace. The mix of the roasting bird, (we have family members that are not vegetarian) with spiced yams, sage stuffing, all accented with the raw cranberry relish made for a heavenly, tantalizing nose experience. The hunger for loved ones was definitely satisfied by having all the people around me that I love deeply. Seeing their faces glow at the table, and as we sat by the fire watching a movie with laughter thrown in to balance the whole occasion. Have you ever had one of those exasperating days where it seems nothing is going the way you planned? Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and the aroma of something fantastically delicious smelling triggers every cell in your body to seek comfort in that food? We see that happen pretty regularly in our teahouse. Good food smells wafting out from the kitchen into the entryway seem to set people up for the comforting experience for the wholesome meals they are about to receive.  I have had it happen to me. Sometimes it is for the right food but sometimes people get hung up. Their  nose is triggering a response to the emotion which then sends them spiraling into poor food choices for comfort(the drive through at Kentucky Fried Chicken). More evidence that the disharmony with food begins with lack of awareness within the body, heart and mind.
What we call taste or flavor of a food is almost entirely smell. Our tongue is only able to taste five flavors. These are sweet, salty, bitter,and amino-acid/protein. If you have ever lost your sense of smell for any reason such as colds or sinus issues, it can be quite distressing. When we can't smell food properly, food seems to be rather tasteless and bland. So if you experience lack of taste it most likely has something to do with sinuses.

BECOMING Mindful of Nose Hunger: Before you start to eat a meal, sit up straight, smell the food you are about to eat by lifting the plate or bowl to your nose and inhale deeply. Try to detect as many components of the smells as you can. Close your eyes and imagine that you are doing an investigation of the ingredients. As you take the first bite, continue to smell or be aware of the smells. Chew and chew, notice whether the tastes get stronger on the in-breath or the out-breath. Try not to take another bite until you can no longer taste the last bite you swallowed, in your mouth. This could mean sitting between bites. How does this make you feel? What emotions if any are recalled?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Feast For The Eyes

Raw pasta with Raw Alfredo at Shangri-La
November is the beginning of the feast season. We tend to go internal, light candles more or linger near a fire. As the darkness outside begins to consume more of the daylight it is important to feast with the eyes. Create a feast once a week for yourself. Treat yourself as a most treasured guest to the banquet. Flowers or greens on the table, tablecloth, nice dishes and flatware, candles, these will set the stage for your eye feast. Plan and prepare a nutritious beautiful meal for yourself. Remember that this is a meditation. Start with an exotic tea in a favorite teapot and cup. Notice the simplicity of this practice. How do you feel just watching the steam rise from the cup. Keep your meal simple and small and elegantly arranged. Remember that your stomach when empty is only as large as your closed fist. how do you feel hunger. Sit before your table and let your eyes be filled. rate your eye satisfaction from1-10. Be thankful for the gift you have given yourself. If you need help get yourself a book on Japanese food and flower arranging. Even if you don't particularly care for Asian cuisine the Japanese know how to present food and flowers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are The Eyes Hungry?

So, when are you hungry? Is it satisfaction of a beautifully presented plate of food that brings you to eating? It should play a very large part in the nurturing process. There are different reasons we eat. There are actually 7 senses that come into play when hunger strikes. It is important to come to terms with these. Sometimes one sense is much stronger than the others. Here they are: Eye hunger, Nose hunger, Mouth hunger, Stomach hunger, Cellular hunger, Mind hunger. I know it seems too confusing but lets just take one at a time and try some exercises.
Shangri-La 1/2 salad with Fried Dulse added

First, just take a minute before eating whatever you are planning to eat at your next meal and do a baseline observation. How hungry are you really? 1-10. Where is the first place your mind goes? Did you really take time to plan this meal? if not what has driven you to eat right at that moment? Lets pretend you are an investigative reporter from another galaxy. You have never seen Earth food before. What would you report back about the food in front of you? As an earthling would this morsel of food be an embarrassment as an example of what earthlings live on or would it be alive and a source of pride to share with other beings? Just with the eyes notice the color, shape and texture of this morsel of food. How alive does it look? Practice this for a few meals and take note of what might change in how you pick your meals.

Friday, October 28, 2011

OOPS! Wrong Button, I Guess.

        Well due to an unfortunate mishap, I have lost my past blogs. I am sorry for the inconvenience. I think I will try to just move on from here. I was working through some thoughts on Mindful eating. Nose Hunger is where I was when the program failed. I am sad but I will try to recap. This project is about establishing a healthier relationship with food. And perhaps discovering what mindfulness really means. Not as a concept, but a learned powerful tool to help us awaken to the full potential of our lives. What is Mindfulness? Simply put, it is deliberately paying attention and being fully aware of what is happening. This means inside your body, heart,and mind and outside yourself, in your environment. Mindfulness is awareness without judgment or criticism. My first thoughts are the joy that can be claimed if we can release ourselves from the bondage of eating disorders and create self-nurturing. The science of eating says that whether we know it or not, all parts of our body are engaged in the eating experience. When we get our eating into a mindful state great healing can take place.