Richard Dalstrom, the head pastor at a church in my neighborhood left on sabbatical a few weeks ago. In his sermon right before leaving, Renewing Life by Reducing the Rubbish, he talked about Lewis and Clark’s expedition to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. If you want to listen, search for the title of the talk after clicking the link.

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Photo by J Frasse, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

As the story goes, at one point in the journey Meriwether Lewis climbed what he thought to be a mountain and saw on the other side the enormous peaks of the Rockies. It was nothing like what he expected. He did not have the skills or tools necessary to cross the Rockies. All he knew was that he would need more than a boat. Instead of quitting the expedition, he adapted.

Sometimes we need “new skills, new tools and a new perspective… We need to adapt to the new realities,” says Richard.

So how do we keep going so that we not only start our journey, but finish it as well? What do we do when the journey isn’t taking us where we thought it would? We keep our goal in mind and we adapt and learn the skills and gain the tools necessary to keep making progress. And we maintain the faith that our vision is worth striving for. Even when it feels like it’s too much. We persevere.

I am feeling overwhelmed with this calling to help all of us strengthen the partnership between our bodies and our spirit. But, one place I know I can put effort is in my writing. I am just going to keep making the time to write. Daily. My goal is to have a book for you in the next month.

It’s hard for me to stay focused. I am an idea person. Idea people aren’t often the ones who complete things. But, I am going to hold my course and get this project completed, even when it feels like I can’t. Especially when I feel like I can’t.

Are you being called to step it up a bit (or a lot) in your life? Are you having a hard time continuing what you have started? I would love to hear about it and what you are going to do to step into your more expanded self. Remember, this is the month of the Leo New Moon. You have a lot of support right now for stepping into your life more fully and brightly.

Let me know about your next steps or where you can use support in the comments or send me a note personally and I will energetically add some wind to your sails. A gift from me.

I am cheering for you. You can do it!!

Love,
Teresa

 

I had planned to make you a compote to spoon onto this millet breakfast porridge, but the nectarines were so fresh and lovely, I couldn’t bear to cook them.

So, this is a cinnamon-y millet porridge with nectarine chunks stirred in at the last minute. The fruit cooks slightly and softens into the millet, but still retains that fresh flavor and texture.

Any stone fruit can be substituted here. Plums, apricots or peaches would all be lovely.

Yum! Millet is one of my favorite grains and it really supports our bodies as we head into late summer.

Add some extra sweetness if you desire. Brown rice syrup and maple syrup would both go well here. Or add a dollop of fruit sweetened jam. I’m thinking apricot or sour cherry flavored.

If you decide to make a nectarine compote, I slice the nectarines into thin wedges and cook in a skillet with cinnamon, a little brown rice syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Cook until a little soft and syrupy.IMG_20140802_093039

A gentle reminder:  Don’t forget your vegetable with breakfast! Last year I did 10 days of ideas for how to get those vegetables in right at the beginning of your day. Adding vegetables at breakfast changes the way my body feels the whole day.

Millet Breakfast Porridge with Nectarines

2 cups unsweetened vegan milk (I used oat milk)
2 cups water
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon plus more for sprinkling on top
1 cup millet
brown rice syrup or maple syrup to taste (optional)
2 nectarines, leave skin on and cut into small chunks

1.  In a large saucepan, start heating up the milk, water, sea salt and cinnamon.

2.  Rinse the millet several times until the water runs clear. Toast in a large skillet until dry and starting to smell a little nutty. I start with a higher heat and then lower the heat as the millet dries.

3.  Add the millet to the liquid and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat so millet gently simmers. Cook until the liquid is gone and millet is creamy. This will take about 30 minutes. If your millet seems to run out of liquid before it’s done cooking, add 1/2 cup more liquid and cook for a little longer.

4.  When millet is done, remove from heat and immediately stir in the nectarines and the sweetener if you are using it. You can also just stir in some of the nectarines and leave the rest for sprinkling on top.

5.  Serve with a dash of cinnamon. Splash more vegan milk and sweetener on top if desired.

 

 

 

According to the Five Transformations Theory, there are five seasons. Late Summer is the time of year when there is a slight pause between the expansive energy of Summer and the inward pull of Autumn. The energy of this time of year is starting to come down, but not so much that we are drawn inward yet. It’s actually a very relaxing time. We are out of the frenzy of the height of Summer and can just float and enjoy the warm nourishing sun.

This time of year corresponds to the earth or soil element. Earth element is what brings all the other elements together. Earth is at the center and can also be found during the transitions between all the other seasons and elements. From tree to fire to metal to water back to tree. The earth element can be thought of as home. In this way, it represents our ability to nurture ourselves and others. In our bodies, this correlates to the pancreas and stomach and our ability to bring in nourishment and maintain stability. This is particularly evident in our blood sugar and our ability to maintain a steady, accurate and even rhythm in our daily lives.029

The rush and chaos of our modern society can make it hard to deeply nourish ourselves and maintain stable blood sugar. Irregular meals, stress, lack of predictability in our schedules are main contributing factors. At the root is the extent of our disconnection with nature. Our ability to deeply nourish ourselves will help us maintain our center and not be as swayed by all the forces around us. It helps me to visualize myself at the center of my life. Then I can notice everything swirling around me, but I am not swirling with it.

The main grain and vegetables that support our bodies this time of year are millet and the round vegetables. Round vegetables include winter squash and cabbage. In general, vegetables that have a good mild sweet quality are very good for supporting the pancreas and helping to stabilize blood sugar. Sweetness is the flavor that corresponds to the earth element, but strong sweet can bring this out of balance while mild sweet supports. Creamy puréed soups are a wonderful example. There is also a recipe for Sweet Vegetable Drink which works to relax and soften the organs corresponding to the earth element, can help even out blood sugar and address cravings for sweet.IMG_20130403_155703

Some dishes that are wonderful this time of year:

Millet with Sweet Vegetable
Millet Vegetable Soup
Aduki Beans with Squash and Kombu
Nishime style vegetables
Sweet Vegetable Jam
Creamy Carrot Soup
Creamy Squash Soup
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Pumpkin Seed Dulse Condiment
Sweet Potato Pudding

Other related posts:

Sugar Cravings
More Thoughts on Sugar Cravings

 

Welcome to our New Moon in Leo, 3:41 PST July 26, 2014.

This is a big month for service to self-growth. Leo is about self-love in the highest sense. Loving ourselves so much that we shine brightly for all the world to see. Completely full of ourselves, not in a selfish, prideful way, but really basking in our own beauty and power. When we allow our inner beauty to shine, the world becomes a bright, shining, beautiful powerful place for everyone.IMG_20140313_132629

Allow your creativity to flourish and your vision to expand. Follow your heart. Be courageous. It can take courage to be bold and stand in your power. Sovereignty is a word my friend Brett uses for Leo. He talks about this moon cycle on his page about The Moon Game. Just scroll down until you find Leo. You can also find more information over at Mystic Mama. I know it takes extra time to click over to another site and read more, but I highly encourage you to head on over there. The post about this Leo New Moon is packed with information and insight.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a visiting friend took me on a Flying Trapeze adventure yesterday. We went to Emerald City Trapeze. Holy Moly. There aren’t a whole lot of safe ways to tackle fear, but this is definitely one of them. I was terrified and felt super brave. It’s so great to do things that help us feel courageous. Jumping off a small platform, high up in the air, gave me a taste of the courage I need to tap into in the coming month as I set intentions of really going for it in my life and new business in a big way. I have already given notice at my work and trust that the Universe and my own power are my safety net. Even if I fall I won’t hit the ground.

I will also be tapping into my creativity as I spend more time writing, playing music and creating recipes. I have been inspired, both by a friend’s cookbook writing adventure and recent outings to several fine vegan restaurants in Seattle and Philadelphia. There are many uncharted territories in macrobiotic gourmet cooking.

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Reaching for sun through a crack in the sidewalk.

I started this year of writing about my New Moon intentions back in October with a post called Playing with the Moon. It’s been fabulous. You can join any time. I will just keep recommending it. I love exercises that are simple and powerful and connect me with the cycles of nature. If you have any questions, just let me know. I would love to help you get started.

 

Did you set any goals last January that you forgot about or are still waiting for completion?

One of my goals was to have a table doing readings at a psychic fair. My intention is to follow a similar path my friend Melissa Peil took when she was just getting started in her work as a psychic medium. She did quite a few psychic fairs in the beginning. Her business at Mystical Awakenings is now thriving and she is doing more teaching and has the outline of a book she will be writing.

Some goals seem effortless to bring to fruition. Others take many steps of letting go of limiting beliefs and fears. Most of my fears have to do with becoming a bigger presence in the world, but I keep moving into more of my best self no matter how scared I get.

I have no doubt in my abilities. With each session I do with people, I am struck with how my gifts and training are coming together seamlessly to provide Body Spirit Integration to those wanting deeper connection and healing in their body and spirit. When I bring in an energetic view of our food and lifestyle it adds a very grounded, practical level of healing to support transformation and growth way beyond our sessions.

I will be at the Boeing Conscious Wellness Expo this Saturday, July 26. The event is free and open to the public from 10am-4pm. It is located outside of Seattle at Kent Commons in Kent, WA. Donated gifts and readings from all venders will be drawn every hour. There will be speakers as well.

I will be doing 15 minute combined readings and energy healing so it’s a great place to come and get a taste of my work. If you want some macrobiotic guidance, you can request that as well. Several friends will be there as well. Among them are Susan and Ginny with I AM Spirit Art doing combined readings and a drawing of one of your spirit guides. Todd Rohlsson, Living Light Alchemy Design, will also be there with his Living Light Energy Discs.IMG_20130916_164549

Some of you have a goal you haven’t started bringing to fruition. Right now is actually the best time to take some action on it, no matter how small your first step may seem. The Universe loves when we step forward into the life we are wanting. We’re all cheering you on!

While attending macrobiotic culinary school, I was taught to not blanch onions. Supposedly this was because they lose too much flavor and so they aren’t appropriate for that style of cooking. I was also taught to blanch each vegetable separately. Then I met Jane Stanchich, one chef who taught me that there is more than one way to do things in the macrobiotic world.

I assisted Jane in the kitchen at one of the workshops she runs with her husband, Lino Stanchich. If you have never met Jane, I would seek her out. You can reach her and Lino at Great Life Global. She is one of the most gracious and kind-hearted people I have ever met. I feel blessed to know her and to have cooked with her. Jane is a fabulous chef and makes delicious, satisfying macrobiotic meals. I learned so much in the week I worked with her.IMG_20140706_080117

While this post isn’t about blanching greens, you can learn about that here, this idea can be used for both steaming and blanching. It just involves cooking your greens directly with thinly sliced onion, or in this case leeks.  It’s super simple, yet imparts a lovely flavor to the greens. Sometimes, knowing a simple and fast way to add flavor can make a huge difference.

Steamed Greens with Leeks

4 big leaves kale, collards or other greens
half of a large leek
unseasoned brown rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

1.  Wash the greens. Remove stems and cut the tender parts into thin rounds. Cut leaves into bite size pieces.

2.  Wash the leek and cut some of the leek or all of it into 1/2 inch circles.

3.  Bring a steamer basket and pot with an inch or two of water to a low boil. Place a handful of greens and a few slices of leeks into the steamer and cover. Steam until the leaves just start to wilt. You can taste a bit to see if it seems tender. Just be careful to not let it steam too long. The greens should still be a nice fresh green when you remove them from the steamer basket. You also don’t want to crowd the steamer basket, so do about three batches. You want the steam to be able to reach all the greens evenly so they don’t get overcooked.

4.  Serve the greens as is or with a splash of brown rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice.

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June was a doozy for me. Haven’t heard that word for a while? Well, it’s the only word that fits.

I know that I’m not alone. Many friends and people I have worked with are saying the same thing. It’s been rough out there with our relationships, work and our lives.

Our world is experiencing a huge shift in consciousness. As we transition, the gap between our old and new ways of being can bring up a whole spectrum of emotions including discomfort, pain, heartbreak and sadness. There’s the good stuff, too, like expansive love, deep connection and heightened senses. But, this post is about how to handle the parts of the shift that leave us feeling broken.

I have been through a boatload of change this past month, but it wasn’t until I received some news yesterday that I actually felt broken. I feel a need to get clear about how I am using this term. I am not using it in the sense of broken, never to be fixed again let’s throw it away. I am talking about split open wide, broken and exposed, ready for some serious healing. This is the kind of healing we can only do when it feels like we have gotten completely down to the core and exposed the seed to light.

The news that broke me yesterday is a thread of a generational pattern that has hurt so many people. It’s coming to light. It’s ready for us to heal. But, as a family we are going to need to be brave, hold on to each other, trust in each other’s goodness and our own strength. We are going to need to trust that by facing it head on, we are actually reclaiming more of ourselves and deepening our connections with everything and everyone around us.

I am speaking to all of us when I say these times are not for those who run from discomfort, challenge, pain and healing. We are all facing different challenges as we jump and reach for our best self. My wish for you is to face whatever needs to be faced. Embrace it with love and gratitude. Know that there is a shiny gem to be discovered right in the center of the pain.

So what am I doing to take care of myself?

1.  Stay home. Be willing to miss things, events, time with people. Go to bed early. Take a hot bath. Get some sleep. Hibernate. It’s okay. Sometimes we just need to hang out in our bed, sleep and recharge.

2.  Eat healthy comfort foods. My first inclination when I am in pain or overwhelm is to eat a whole box of cereal. We all have our different comfort foods. Instead, I try to eat some healthy, warm puddings, puréed soups, warm carrot juice. There are a lot of great recipes here at sweetveg and over at littleveg. I have been eating a lot of grain porridge with a spoonful of fruit-sweetened jam (I love the sour cherry) on top.

Make a commitment to find healthy ways to find that comfort rather than mindlessly reaching for cookies or your version of comfort. I think it’s natural to want to find comfort in food. Just try to be mindful about it, so you are still supporting your healing rather than numbing your feelings.

0193.  Time in nature. Do whatever it takes to get outside in a calm peaceful area of your town or city. Listen to the birds or the rush of water. Smell delicious flowers. Let yourself sink in to the earth. Let the trees heal you.

4.  Essential oils, Gems, Healing Energy Discs. Make sure you use high quality essential oils. Michelle Mahler, at Circle of Healing, makes some lovely blends. My friend Todd at Living Light Alchemy Design makes some truly amazing healing, protective, manifesting and strengthening discs. I  love them and sleep with several tucked in under my sheet.

4.  Connection with other people. Seek people who really know how to listen and be present without trying to fix anything. It’s a huge gift. We don’t need fixing, we just need to know someone else is with us and that they care. Foster these relationships. They are golden. I have about eight people I can call when I am feeling like I’m a mess. These are the same people I call when I am elated because I am doing so well. And they call me. If you don’t have at least two people in your life that are the kind I am talking about, then I am giving you an assignment. They’re out there. Go find yours.

5.  Feel what needs to be felt. I know it can feel hard and super painful. But, feeling and letting those feelings out is part of our natural healing process. I think it’s an art to be able to feel and keep our perspective at the same time. It’s possible. Start small. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Feel your feelings as deep as you can go until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, spend time thinking about the good things in your life or the things you are looking forward to. Do this frequently. Even more healing is to do this in the company of a friend, each taking five or ten minutes. It’s powerful and a great method for processing some of those really strong feelings.

Know that you are loved.
Teresa

Second only to berries and cherries, green beans are one of my favorite summer foods. As a child, I could often be found sitting under the pole beans munching away.

My mom canned beans for years, but I wouldn’t touch them. The only way I like them is raw or slightly cooked, so they retain their perfect crunch and slight sweetness.IMG_20140627_150330

This salad uses a quick blanching technique that I use daily to prepare vegetables for a wide variety of salads. Easier on my digestion than raw salads, but lightly cooked so they still retain their crunch and freshness. Blanched salads are a great antidote for cravings for sugar and crunch.

I love this salad naked, but a yummy, sweet dressing is always a fun addition. The dressing makes enough for leftovers and will keep in the fridge for about a week as long as the lemon juice in it stays fresh. Feel free to add a little tahini to the dressing to make it a little creamier.

If you aren’t able to find daikon greens, you can use kale, turnip greens, radish greens.

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Green Bean, Snow Pea and Carrot Salad with Daikon Greens

1 carrot, washed and cut into moons
1 handful snow peas, stem end cut off and sliced in half on a slight diagonal
1 handful green beans, stem end cut off and sliced in half
2 handfuls chopped daikon greens, leaves and tender parts of stems
Lemon Balsamic Dressing (see below)

1.  Bring a medium size pot of water to a low boil on medium heat. You want the water to stop boiling as soon as you put the vegetables in, otherwise the heat is too high.

2.  Starting with the carrot slices, place into the boiling water and leave until just turning bright. Quickly remove from water with a slotted spoon or 6″ strainer like this one. Spread onto a large flat plate so they can cool quickly. Wait for the water to boil again and then continue with the next vegetable, cooking each type of vegetable separately. Cook the strongest tasting vegetable, the daikon greens, last. In general, each vegetable should only take 10-15 seconds. Stand and watch while you are cooking the vegetables, so you can get them out of the water as soon as they are done.

3. Serve with the Lemon Balsamic Dressing. You can also serve these vegetables as is or with a sprinkle of lemon juice or brown rice vinegar.IMG_20140627_150056

Lemon Balsamic Dressing

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown rice syrup
1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp all natural stone-ground mustard
1 Tbsp water

Put all ingredients in a small jar and shake until combined. You may need to use a fork or spoon to help the rice syrup combine. Delicious on blanched vegetables, raw salad or pressed salad.

 

I don’t know about you, but this past month has been exhausting for me. I have been out-of-town for four weekends in a row and will be gone the next two weekends as well. I recharge by getting time alone and this just hasn’t been happening to the extent that I need.

This is particularly important in light of the New Moon in Cancer this Friday morning, June 27 at about 1:09 am PST. I correlate Cancer with nurturing, home and mother and I am in need of all three.

I have been setting intentions with the New Moon for 10 moon cycles. With this New Moon, I set intentions to release the shadow and bring in the light specifically in the astrological sign of Cancer. There are links at the bottom of this post if you would like more information about ways to work with Cancer during this cycle.

A huge part of my exhaustion this past month can be attributed to mothering and nurturing anyone who came across my path who looked like they needed help. This moon cycle is the perfect time to release care-taking patterns that are no longer serving me.

I have intentions to dive more deeply into nurturing my whole being. Not just my physical body, like I did with the Taurus New Moon, but my emotional health as well. It’s clearly not okay for me to put my physical body in danger. But, it’s also not okay for me to put myself in situations where I become emotionally drained, especially not to the point of feeling completely empty.

I commit to only helping people in ways that feel in alignment with my highest good. I am already doing this in many ways and I view this month as one of refinement and integration. See Receiving, Giving and Spilling Over.

Cancer is one of the water signs, so she will also be encouraging us to feel the full range of our feelings. I continue my commitment to allow full expression of my emotions, even when it feels uncomfortable.

What are you being called to release and embrace during this Cancer New Moon cycle?

For more ideas/information, check these out:

Mystic Mamma:  New Moon in Cancer
More Than Astrology:  The Moon Game
Playing with the Moon

 

 

One day, during a visit, my Naturopath said to me:  “Teresa. You don’t always have to choose the hardest path.” 15 years ago, this was a revelation to me and I have never forgotten his wise words.

We all have messages we carry with us. Ones from childhood about what makes a person good, strong and worthy. Ones carried through our ancestry about how to survive.

Two huge ones for me have been that “the journey is only worthwhile if it’s hard” and “if I am afraid it means I am on the right path.” I have always correlated fear with personal growth. If I wasn’t afraid I must not have been pushing myself enough. It’s only recently that I realized that this sets me up to always look for fear.

These messages or patterns of behavior I grew up with have been useful. They have carried me to where I am today. I have achieved a tremendous amount of personal growth over my lifetime.

But, there comes a time when even the most useful beliefs or patterns of behavior have served their time and are holding us back from true authenticity.

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Image courtesy of dan at Free Digital Photos.

How many of us think that something has to be difficult for it to be worthwhile?

In reality, stepping into our full authenticity and walking our divine path is as simple as letting go of whatever is holding us back. It can really be as easy as taking our next breath. It’s only resistance that makes this feel difficult. The process is actually as natural as breathing.

Take a moment today to look at where you can choose an easier path for yourself. This is part of prioritizing your life and your body. Sometimes the easiest path is actually the most powerful and gets us where we are going efficiently and with energy to spare. Then we don’t use valuable time and energy cutting through all the underbrush. We are able to start the next leg of our journey quickly and see more terrain.

I actually can’t imagine my ancestors saying, “There are two ways to cross that river over there. I think I will cross at the deepest, widest spot instead of making use of that sand bar.” They may have chosen the easiest route, too. It may have made sense. It didn’t make them any less strong or courageous. They were actually using their intelligence.

I am not saying that tackling challenging situations isn’t useful. I’m saying don’t choose a path just because it is hard. Choose the path that actually brings you closer to who you truly are. You can feel it. Like in most things, let your heart and your body guide you. Enjoy your journey!