Monthly Archives: January 2013

One of MY favorite blogs is posting a giveaway for a tofu press. I love my TofuXPress…now I’m curious about this one. Maybe I need to do a comparison! Anyway, here’s the post if you want a recipe or want to throw your hat in the ring for the giveaway.

BALANCED GRETTIE

Fried Tofu

I have been making this well-loved tofu dish for years, however due to my hypothyroid issues (click HERE for more details) I have avoided soy for a while now.  If it weren’t for my thyroid issues, I would include tofu, tempeh, and edamame in my diet…I don’t think there is any harm (actually there are benefits) to including unprocessed soy items in your diet rotation.  Having said that, I would avoid the processed soy foods that are über plentiful in the market today.

The creator of the EZ Tofu Press ($26.99) recently contacted me and offered to send me a free sample of his product to test and review.  I own the TofuXpress which retails for $39.95 now, but I paid nearly $50 for it when I purchased it…ouch!!!

I was curious to see how the two tofu presses compared.  While I like the fact that the TofuXpress I already own…

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Eat Like a Tree

monica
My wonderful, talented and amazing friend Monica Breen owns and is an instructor at Be Nice Yoga in Detroit (that’s her in her beautiful midtown studio). She sent this message out to the Be Nice mailing list the other day and I wanted to share her wise words.


Thought is supplied to us by food; if the food is pure our thoughts will also be pure.
~Swami Vibhooti Saraswati

Food can be complicated, so I keep it simple: I do my best to eat things that don’t come from a box and are still alive. I do this as often as possible. I don’t find this too difficult to do. In fact, I really enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables. I also love juicing and have found that it has reduced my cravings for the kinds of food that masquerade as the fulfilling nutrients my body really needs.

Over the holiday, with all the party food and leftovers in the fridge, my relationship to food momentarily shifted. I found myself eating food because it tasted good. I ate when I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t discriminate much. Suddenly the impetus to eat wasn’t driven by my quest for physical, mental, or spiritual health. Instead, I was eating from my emotions. I was able to identify and categorize my pattern of unconscious consumption quite easily, because I spent many years doing this. It was familiar and interesting, not troubling. However, what I did find it disturbing was the heavy and melancholy mornings, the lack of motivation in all areas of my life, the feeling of sometimes being sad or depressed. Food had become a barrier between me and my state of happiness, or Ananda if you want a sanskirt term.



Food is very powerful.

Yoga is not a dogmatic practice. It doesn’t tell you what you can or can’t do. I think of it as an endless number of suggestions to try. But these suggestions are not soundbites. They aren’t Groupons, Lululemon clothing, or a party. They are ancient methods that manifest into a life worth living. Sometimes it takes days, months, years – some say lifetimes of practice. But don’t let that last thought discourage you, because the formula is easy: all you have to do is unroll your mat and practice.

After over thirteen years of practice, I find I spend more time wondering if I’m hungry, than eating. In other words, I am able to access my body’s information with more precision and clarity. That’s a sign that the boundary between my practice and my lifestyle is disappearing. I like that very much.

 Consider taking a step back from what you eat and instead, spend time considering how you eat. Let it unfold like the yogasana you do when you come to your mat. Be curious, rather than judgmental. Loose the expectations, and build your greater awareness. Let this be a chance for discovery. Keep in mind, nothing is permanent.

Use the yoga tools to unearth the perfection inside of you. Lay down your mat, practice, and let the rest take care of itself.

Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Chili

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A few weeks ago I came across a recipe online for a pumpkin lentil chili and I finally made it last night! It was supposed to be beef-based, so of course I axed that. You can find the original recipe HERE. I tweaked a few things based on what I had on hand (I can’t find the jalapenos I KNOW I bought for the life of me, I wanted a few more lentils since there was no other protein, etc. in it). So, the following is what I did.

The pumpkin flavor is hidden and it makes the chili thicker and creamier. If your kiddos (or perhaps a picky spouse!) like chili you could take the spice down a bit and this is a way you can hide some extra veggies in there. Pumpkin does add a little protein as we as several vitamins.

I think you could just as easily throw all the ingredients into a crock pot for a couple of hours too. Either way, give yourself a little time. This needs to simmer for an hour or two.

Ingredients
• 2/3 small can pumpkin
• 1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
• 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (any variety will do)
• 1 c. dried lentils (I used brown lentils)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 c. vegetable broth
• 1 green pepper, diced
• 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and diced, some adobo sauce added.
• 3 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
• 1 tsp. oregano
• 1 1/2 tsp.  chili powder
• olive oil

Garnishes: I garnished with Daiya cheddar flavor vegan cheese, Tofutti sour cream and sliced green onions

1. Saute onion, garlic and green pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven. I used my new favorite, the amazing Calphalon Dutch Oven I got as a wedding gift this summer. I use it for everything. If you are using fresh jalapenos, I’d add them now too.

2. Once the onions, etc. are softened add everything else! Let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. I had some after 1 1/2 hours and there was still a little “bite” to the lentils, but it was 9:30 p.m. and I was hungry! Round two is going to be delicious (and probably spicier!) tonight. Enjoy!