July 2011


I used to be a vegetarian and it was mainly an excuse to eat all the pasta and bread i could possibly consume.  This is not a good way for me to eat.  Even though that’s what i love to eat, my blood sugar rises and crashes, i get wicked cravings, i never feel satisfied and it makes my ass look like a tortellini.

I’ve discovered that I’m happier eating low glycemic foods like whole grains and making sure I get some protein in every meal.   When i was a veggie I ate tofu regularly but I realized I’d gotten out of the habit.  I don’t want to be a big-time meal eater.  I love the idea of meatless mondays and that other one about not eating meat until 6 pm.

The challenge is that the kids are huge meat eaters.  They have not met a domesticated mammalian food source that they didn’t like.  But you gotta try right?

So at the grocery store i got a couple of packs of tofu (the stuff lasts so long!) and hoped that I could figure out a way to make it so the kids wouldn’t turn up their noses at it.

I cut it into chunks and threw it in a plastic container with a huge dump of teriyaki sauce, some squished garlic, some soy sauce and a bit of mirin sauce to add sweetness.

I shook the container once in a while to make sure the chunks were all coated.  Then at dinnertime i tossed them in a hot frying pan with sesame oil and got them toasty on two sides.  I took them out of the pan and then sauted veggies and did a stir fry thing with peanut sauce (the kids looooove peanut sauce) and noodles.

Honeybunny said excitedly – “look kids!  Mom made Delicious Flavour Chunks!”  Just in case “tofu” sounded weird.  The kids got really excited.

And no, i don’t feel bad about “positively positioning” things with my children in the hopes that they’ll do what i want.  There’s plenty of other times they don’t do a thing i want, i feel like we’re merely trying to address the balance.

It worked, the kids loved the Delicious Flavour Chunks.

In fact, the next day we asked Angus what he wanted for lunch and he said, “can i have some more Delicious Flavour Chunks?  I want all the chunks you can fit on my plate!”

Lucky i had that second package.  But don’t get too excited that I have a veggie in training.  He may hate them next time he sees them.  And thanks to the Parental Zen skills I’ve learned, I’m OK with that.

 

 

I heard a recording from a talk that Danna gave at Kripalu and it was perfect.  She’s thoughtful and grounded and her poetry is amazing.  I really need to get her books, but until then I’ll  share a single poem.

Allow

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado.  Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel.  Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground.  The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

Danna Faulds

Everything in the universe has a purpose.  There are no misfits, there are no freaks, there are no accidents.  There are only things we don’t understand.

Marlo Morgan, Mutant Message Down Under

I was teaching a Power Yoga class the other night and on the fly taught them how to move energy, or prana, through their hands into their body.  It hadn’t ocurred to me to do it until I saw them relaxed in Legs Up The Wall and thought, hey I know what would give them an extra hit of wonderfulness!

Prana is that really cool blissful energy you get when you do yoga.  It’s not pumped up energy, like if you’ve had too much coffee, it’s more of a calm energy that makes you feel more alive and at home in your body.  It’s the way you feel after you’ve done some yoga but lately I’ve been finding that I can also give myself a hit of prana just in a few minutes of sitting and breathing.  It makes me feel calm and centered and ready to face the rest of the day.  Here’s how to do it:

1. Put your hands on your body.  If feeling grounded is my goal, I’ll put my hands on my belly.  But otherwise I’ll put my hands on my thighs, energy will move through your body to where you need it.

2. Close your eyes and establish a deep breath.  A Ujjayi breath is ideal, just relax the back of your throat so your breath moves slower and becomes more windy sounding.

3. Each time you exhale visualize yourself moving energy from your body down your arms, through your hands and into your body.  This can take some practice but don’t stress about it.  If you’re visual, you might work on *seeing* this happen.  If you’re auditory, follow the sound the your breath.  If you’re more of a kinesetic person, then find an accompanying feeling.

Do this for a number of breaths until you feel that expansive calm energy.  When you feel like you’ve gotten plenty of oxygen slow your exhales down a bit more so you can really focus on moving the prana.

If your hands heat up, it’s just the energy warming them as if you rubbed your hands together and got the energy cooking that way.  If you don’t feel like you’re achieving anything, just trust that you are and have patience.  Remember that anything you do with intention will move you toward your goal.

When you feel comfortable with this you can do it anytime.  When you’re stuck in rush hour try it one-handed.  If you’re waiting for an appointment or standing in line try it with your eyes open.   Try a distance prana hit by sending energy from your hands even when they’re not right against your body.  It’s a much better use of your time than stressing out about things you can’t control.

After you’ve had some practice try doing it for someone else.  When my son is unsettled before bed I put my hands on his torso and give him a hit of prana.  It always helps him get a little more calm.  He says when i put my hands over his eyes for the prana hit it makes him feel really tired. But you know what’s really cool?  However I do it, I get a prana hit too.  It makes me feel calmer and then i’m less concerned about whether he’s going to go right to sleep or not.  And I’m sure if I’m calmer, he is too.