November 2006


So I discovered that mantra simply means “mind tool” in Sanskrit.  We think of a mantra as some lofty meaningful word to use during meditation but it, or *they*, can have other powerful uses.

We all have internal chat going on in our heads all the time.  How often do you catch it and find that it’s really negative?  Or if you’re in the middle of a really tough time, find that you’re just internally freaking out about the tough time you’re going through.  Like tough times are rare or supposed to happen to the guy down the street.  We *all* have that kind of internal chat, it’s human nature.  But it also isn’t the most helpful thing we can do in our heads.

Mind Tools are a good replacement.  You can’t think about *nothing* when the chips are down, or you’re at the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded.  Insert your favourite metaphor here.  It’s best to replace it.  So how about one of these? 

- It’ll all work out

- This too shall pass

- I can be the EYE of the storm

- It’s always darkest before dawn

- I need to do this in *my* time (I use this when i’m feeling out of control/rushed)

- There is a Plan and I’m being lead

- This person (who’s driving me nuts) is doing the best they can

- It ain’t over til it’s over

You probably have 12 more useful Mind Tools - feel free to share them because I can always use more!

I’m always trolling for yoga downloads and recently found www.yogadownload.com.  They let you  choose your class by time (from 8 minute abs to 90 minute classes), style or focus.  Once you pay you get a link right away, you don’t have to keep checking your email which inevitably comes in when you’re out of time. 

Check out their free 20 minute Power class - it’s a great way to trial it.  I also grabbed a 30 minute class while I was there for all of 3 bucks.  So you wonder about quality right?  No worries there.  It was taught by Dawnelle who provided just the right amount of technical detail and instruction.  She offered a few important points without telling me everything she knows about the pose.  And, some of the flows were really inventive – Airplane with Eagle Arms?  Whoa, my arms are too wrapped up to break my fall.  How fun is that?

I’m going back to fill my shopping cart – see ya’ there :-)

 

 

Breakfast can be challenging on the detox.  I’ve been doing hot cereal in the a.m.’s and when i’m in a rush I take a container of puffed rice cereal and soy milk. 

“Porridge” has such a bad rap.  It seems like those of us were who were forced to eat it as kids remember gluey tasteless stuff and those who weren’t forced felt really lucky. 

But it can be OK.  Here are some suggestions.

Start with 3/4 c of good organic oatmeal.  If you like texture find the big flake stuff or try spelt flakes, they’re a bit more flavourful and keep their texture more than oatmeal.

Throw in some nuts.  The Wild Rose charts don’t go into detail but here’s a list of approved nuts from the Wild Rose cookbook - almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, flaxseeds or flaxmeal.

Add some extra flavour and sweetness by chopping up 3 or 4 dried plums.  They’ll break down a bit when you cook it.  Or try chopping or grating in a small apple.

Add some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg if you like those.

Barely cover the contents with hot water and microwave it for a minute.  Then stir in some soy milk or more water until the consistency is slightly waterier than you’ll want.  Nuke for another 30-45 seconds.  Stir and then let it sit for a bit with the lid on.  Then enjoy with a big mug of coffee or herbal tea.

Post Mortem:

So I’ve finished my detox for another six months.  I haven’t been as hard-core sticking to the diet as I usually am, but it’s been a challenging time and I figure it’s a heck of alot better than how I *could* have been eating.  It’s given me the motivation to try to keep on track as well as I can as we head toward the Holiday season.  We’ll see how long it lasts.  Happy detoxing! 

 

Repeat after me from the Wild Rose food chart that’s probably taped to your fridge “Fish (eat all you want even if over 20% of total diet)”.   I absolutely love salmon so that’s what I used, but these would likely work well on any fish fillets.  Here are three options to keep it interesting.

I usually schmear sweet stuff on my salmon, maple syrup or something like mirin wine if I’m doing an asian version.  The sweet stuff makes a nice glaze on baked salmon and of course it tastes great.  So what can I use while detoxing?  I found dried plums on the list, so I came up with this one and it turned out well:

Glazed

3 T olive oil

3 dried plums cut into pieces

fresh ginger (a slab the size of a quarter, peel and cut into chunks)

1 garlic clove (cut into chunks)

Throw all in blender or processor and blend until smooth.  Goo it onto the fillet.  It’ll go on thick, or cover two fillets so you have one for a friend or lunch the next day.  Bake at 425 for 15 or more minutes depending on how done you like it. 

And spices are our friend on this detox, so try this one for good flavour:

Indian style

2 T olive oil

1/4 t each of cumin, curry, chili powder, tumeric, salt

good shake of pepper

This is actually enough for 2 fillets, but i don’t have a measuring spoon smaller than 1/4 t. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or more depending on how done you like it. 

Keep it simple but tasty with this option:

Simple Asian Style

1 T sesame oil

1 chopped up green onion

 1 garlic clove squeezed through garlic press

1 quarter size slab of ginger squeezed thru garlic press

good shake of sea salt and pepper

Mix and smear over a salmon fillet. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or more depending on how done you like it. 

Go-withs

Baked Potatoes – Since you’ve got the oven heated, it’s a good opportunity for bake potatoes.  I started 4 potatoes in the microwave (5 minutes) and then finished them in the oven with the fish.  Bake extra when you do potatoes, they’re good leftovers.

Millet – Also let’s talk millet.  It’s an odd grain that you don’t see around very often, but if you like a good texture, try it.  It has a mild taste that goes great cooked in organic chicken stock.

Creamy is a texture I miss on this diet, and that’s why I like this soup.  It’s got great flavour and freezes well too. 

Corn Chowder

1 chopped onion

1 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves

3 c organic chicken stock (check the ingredients, but organic brands usually have the ingredients you can eat on the detox)

2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch or so bits

2 c frozen corn

salt and pepper and any other spices you like

Instructions –  fry the onion in the oil for a couple minutes and add the garlic.  Then add the stock and potato bits, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the potatoes are starting to get soft.  Add the corn and other ingredients.  Add any additional seasonings (I like heat so I added alot of pepper and a bit of chipotle).  Simmer for 5 more minutes.  Then throw half of the soup in a food processor or blender and blend it up.  Add it back and check the seasoning.  Makes 4 servings.

Variation: if you’re going for the “eat all the fish you want” challenge in the detox, throw in a fillet of fish cut into pieces and simmer in the last 5 minutes.

 

Here’s a real easy throw-together meal option:

Throw a 14 oz can of rosebud beets into a lunch container.  Cut the big ones in half.  Add 1/2 c of your favourite beans (I used chick peas for crisp texture but might try lentils next time).  Add a cup of chopped up salad veggies (I used cuke, green onion and a bit of lettuce), add 2 Ts of chopped up fresh herbs (I used cilantro).  Slosh a bit of olive oil overtop.  Sprinkle with pepper and sea salt.

The beets are so sweet (and good for you!), I love ‘em.  This recipe has good texture and fillingness. 

Tip: beans are really freezable, so if you open a can for this, throw the rest into a baggie and freeze it flat so that you can just grab a few to add texture to a salad or pasta anytime. 

 

Remember when gym class was fun? When you were running and jumping and playing with your friends? You were moving your body just for the fun of it in your baggy t-shirts and shorts? Before you got self-conscious and started pleading “cramps” to your male gym teacher any chance you could so that you could sit out?

Well I found that kind of class at the Metro Karate Training Center. It’s an hour long workout class at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday. The time is spent doing drills, nothing longer than a minute so it really flies by. You run and jump and toss medicine balls at your buddy. Leave your $500 technically advanced workout gear at home. This is a barefoot low-tech workout that kicks your *butt*. I’m still sore and it’s Wednesday.

Ron Fagan, proprieter and Sensei, told me that it’s in support of their “stay sober Saturday night” efforts. (My friend Jo Ann who took me said “I didn’t know that! And hey it works! I always go easy on Saturday night because I have class the next a.m.!” That sneaky Sensei ;-)). You pay 2 bucks and the money goes to charity, they sponsor a family at Christmas. The people are really down to earth and have alot of fun. I didn’t feel self conscious at all. Ron will never hear me plead cramps for that class.

I normally do this detox in the spring and figure I should eat alot of fresh fruit and salads. And at that time of year – bring it on! But because it’s fall I want food that’s warm and filling. And looking at the food lists, you’re *supposed* to eat lots of onions, garlic etc. etc. So I asked myself – what do I like to fry up with onions? So I made this.

Chick Pea Tomato Stew

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion
3/4 lb of ground turkey or chicken
3 garlic cloves
1 big can of ground tomatoes (28 oz or 796 ml)
2 t of chipotle or a small chopped jalepeno
1 t cumin
1 t rosemary or oregano
1 19 oz (540 ml) can garbanzo beans, then fill the can twice with veggies. I used one of matchstick cut carrots and one of frozen corn.

Fry onion in oil, add ground meat and garlic. Cook until meat is cooked through. Add other ingredients, cover and simmer, stirring once in a while until veggies are cooked to your liking.

This is good by itself or over brown rice. Made about 4 servings.

The key to feeding yourself during this detox is to make brown rice for a couple of meals each time. There are lots of inventive things you can do with the leftovers for your next meal.  Here’s an example:

Salmon Rice Salad

I threw stuff in a container for lunch, so the measurements are rough – be creative and use what you love!

Start with leftover brown rice (around 1 c)

Add:
1/2 c or more of chopped up cuke, tomato, grated carrot or whatever salad veggies you have on hand
1 sliced green onion
a sprinkle of fresh cilantro (2 T)
a handful of arugula torn up (I love that stuff but add any green salad stuff you like)
dump a can of drained salmon over top
slosh some olive oil overtop
squirt some lemon juice over that
sprinkle well with pepper

Mix it up and enjoy.

We all have songs that we could listen to over and over again. My current one is “Offering Chant”, the unplugged version from Jean-Philippe Rykiel and Lama Gyurme on Rain of Blessings. It’s simple and lovely and speaks to me.

I’ve been using it as a pre-Savasana tune, and then using more hummy tracks from these guys for the relaxation itself. It makes the room subtly vibrate.

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