A little over one year ago I wrote about Sugar Cravings. That post still has a lot of great suggestions, but I have learned a lot in the past year and want to share some more thoughts.

I am noticing a cycle to my behavior around sugar, most noticeably cane sugar. I want to be clear that this is any cane sugar. Organic Evaporated Cane Juice which seems to be showing up in everything is still refined sugar. It still counts. It just has a fancier name.

So, the cycle is that I will dive into cane sugar, swim around a while, drag myself out, stay on dry land for a period of time and then dive back in. I don’t feel good when I’m eating this kind of sugar. I don’t think as clearly and I don’t have as much energy. Plus, a lot of my time is spent thinking about and procuring my next fix.

The reality is that we do need sweet foods in our life. We are biologically wired with a predisposition to the sweet taste. So, how do we honor this without going off the deep end and sabotaging our health?

At this time last year, I really thought that a bowl of creamy, sweet puréed soup was going to cut it. I have since learned that I need more than that to keep myself on dry land.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some suggestions. Incorporate good quality sweet things into your routine every day. This can include dishes like nishime and carrot jam, but many of us need something a little stronger on a regular basis and that’s where this list comes in.

1.  Carrot juice:  Have you ever tried warm carrot juice? Wow! It really brings out the sweetness. Try 1/2 to 1 cup. Just don’t let it boil.

2.  Amasake:  Same as the carrot juice. Try it warm. Add a bit of ginger juice if you want. Try the Grainassance almond flavor or make your own.IMG_20120726_135236

3.  Fresh Vegetable Juice:  Try green apple, beet and carrot.

4.  Puddings:  Lemon Pudding. Amasake Pudding. Sweet Potato Pudding.

5.  Sweet Potato Pie:  Substitute brown rice syrup for the maple syrup for an even more balanced dessert.

6.  Fruit Kanten:  This past weekend, Warren Kramer made us an apple juice kanten with tangerine slices embedded in it. The tangerines were amazingly sweet. It was so delicious!IMG_20120618_151224

7.  Sweet Kuzu Drink:  I hadn’t completely experienced the magic of this drink until a few weeks ago when I wasn’t feeling too great. It was the first day of my period and I was a little headachy. Sweet kuzu drink can be made with brown rice syrup, barley malt or apple juice. I chose the barley malt because barley has a relationship with the liver and liver stagnation or imbalances can lead to discomfort during a woman’s cycle. I felt better almost immediately after drinking it. The right foods or remedy can make a huge difference in how we feel. Recipe is below.

This probably won’t be the last time I write about this topic. I know I am not the only one who dances in and out of life with cane sugar. I hope these suggestions are helpful. There is so much research out there now about the negative health effects of cane sugar and other highly refined sweeteners. It makes sense to get the support and tools we need to eliminate it from our diet. Let me know if you have any questions or would like support.

Sweet Kuzu Drink

1 cup water
1 tsp kuzu root starch
1 Tbsp or a little more brown rice syrup or barley malt (I like Suzanne’s)

1.  In a small saucepan, dissolve the kuzu in cold water. Heat the liquid slowly until it starts to boil. Whisk every once in a while to prevent the kuzu from clumping.

2.  When the mixture comes to a boil, add the sweetener. Stir and remove from heat. Pour into a mug, sit down and drink slowly while still hot. This is great mid-afternoon or in the evening after dinner.

Note:  If making this with apple juice, dilute the apple juice with water to make 1 cup and proceed with recipe. Leave out the other sweeteners.

 

Combine a Caribbean cruise the whole first week of the Pisces New Moon Cycle and a girl with a full Pisces Astrological Chart and what do you get? A floaty, overcommitted mess of a month. Well, not quite that bad, but it was definitely tumultuous.

Thank you dear Sun for moving into Aries last week to give me some hands on my back pushing me forward. I love Pisces dearly, but I was ready for something solid.

So, here we are. At the beginning of the next New Moon Cycle, even though my head still feels like it’s swimming. Our Aries New Moon is at 11:45 am March 30 PST. If you are just joining us for The Moon Game, you can read more here. Basically, we set intentions at the New Moon and follow them through for the whole moon cycle. This month we set Aries intentions.615

Where do you need to take some big, bold courageous steps into being the full, beautiful, bright, authentic and powerful being that you truly are? It’s time. Right now. If you are afraid or need a little boost of confidence, contact me. We are in this together. I’m serious.

By looking at where Mars is in your natal chart, you can get a sense for where your warrior energy lies. Along with Pisces, I also have big Aries energy. For me, this means taking what I need for myself so I can be a strong warrior for myself and my community.609

The Pisces cycle showed me this so clearly. Many times during the past month I was faced with my tendency to nurture others to the point of exhaustion. That’s a great pattern to shift. I am now very clear that I need to keep myself full at all times. So full that I am spilling over. Perfect for moving into this next month of standing strong and full in my power.

This past week, I did a presentation, taught a class and the children of my heart (twins) turned 18. I am organizing a workshop in a few weeks. These are huge endeavors for me. But, I am doing it. I am moving into my calling. I am saying yes even when I am terrified. I am not doing it alone. I have friends who support me. Where are you called to say yes to in the next few months? Do you have your support network in place? You will be so much more powerful with people who are able to think well of you by your side.

If up until now you have been unaware of the incredible energies aligning in our universe, I really want to encourage you to read more about this powerful Aries New Moon here at Mystic Mamma. These times we are living in are amazing for accelerated personal and spiritual growth. Our world is changing. I would love for you to bring your consciousness and awareness into this journey.

My friend Brett Joseph over at More Than Astrology will be in Tubac, AZ celebrating the Lunar Eclipse next month. You can find more information about the Lunar Eclipse Camp here. There will be a campfire, mythical storytelling and a chance to see the eclipse under clear sky. It looks like a really great experience and I wish I could attend.

This same time last year, I was really excited about my business. I had just listened to a series of inspiring women business entrepreneurs. I was getting more clear about what I am passionate about and the skills I have to offer. I was shouting out a big YES to the universe.IMG_20140320_163902

In the course of one week, I was offered the chance to speak on a radio show and to speak in front of a new group I had recently joined. But, I said no to both opportunities. I had many excuses. Being  terrified and not feeling ready were at the top of the list of reasons to let those openings pass. I knew in my heart, though, that the next time those opportunities came around I wouldn’t be able to say no again.

I have known for a while that I was a one foot on the path kind of gal. Or one foot out the door. Does this resonate with any of you? In church on Sunday, my pastor talked about looking at what we are clinging to and having the willingness to open up our hand to both let go and receive.

I have no doubt that my calling is to teach. I have so many things I can teach I sometimes don’t even know where to start. Last summer one of my teachers, Warren Kramer, called me to ask if I would organize a workshop for him in Seattle. I told him I would think about it. I have never organized a workshop. It seemed like too much of an undertaking for me.

But, part of following spirit is being willing to do those things that are the next step on the path, regardless of what we think will come next. By the time he called me a few months later to set a date, I was ready. I didn’t need to know HOW I was going to put this workshop together. All I needed for that first step was to say yes and be willing to let go of my fear and open my hand.

This Monday night at Cosmic Cafe, I will be presenting information about macrobiotic philosophy, energetics of food and their connection to spiritual growth.

Increasingly, I am being offered these opportunities to keep both feet on my path and take the next step forward. I am saying yes to things without having a plan or preparation. I am saying yes to things that last year terrified me to the point of inaction. They still terrify me, but I am walking into my calling because that has become way more important than playing it safe.

So I am going to ask you the same question I was asked on Sunday. What are you clinging to? What do you need to shift to be able to firmly place both feet on your path and trust that the very next step is the only one you need to know?

For some of you, putting both feet on the path and really committing, IS your next step. If this is you, I invite you to make a choice to really be here on this planet, right now, with all of us lovely, shining souls. You won’t be alone.

Love,
TeresaIMG_20140313_132629

I returned home from The Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise over one week ago. However, it has taken me a while to settle in. I had an amazing experience, both lovely and difficult. I will be writing about it in the near future, but first I want to tell you about a class I am teaching in Seattle on Friday, March 28.

One of the things I have been looking at in the past few months are those things that came naturally to me as a child. One of them is the ability to perceive and transfer energy and feelings. So far, I can do this with plants, animals, people, spirits and gems.

I believe that some of these abilities we have from birth are ones we are meant to share with others.

I finally found a teaching space after almost two years of looking. I thought I was looking for a space specific for teaching cooking classes, but what I have come to realize is that I have something bigger to offer than just cooking. I am going to teach how to feel the vibration and health of the foods you choose to bring into your body. The food we consume creates the cells of our body and give us a certain energy for our life. This is very important when we are focusing on moving into a place of increased health, energy, spiritual growth and connection to ourselves, other people and the planet.IMG_20130601_134222

I think a lot of us already know that our food has a life force. Maybe you have even heard that eating root vegetables can make you feel more grounded or have experience with wine making you feel more relaxed. But, many people don’t actually know what a healthy carrot or apple feels like. They are unaware that the contents of a box of cereal is actually pretty dead energetically. Or, they forget to utilize their senses every time they are making choices about what to put in their body.

I am going to help you experience how to choose those foods that have the most life force and that your body is genuinely asking for.

My first class will provide the seeds for getting started. In the coming months, we will also look at how cooking style imparts a specific energy to our meals and how to trace the energy of our food as it goes into and is assimilated into our body. We will also look at the relationship between our health and eating locally and seasonally. As we do this study, we will find that we are increasingly connected to our bodies, nature and the natural rhythms of the seasons.

Details:

Choosing High Vibration Food
March 28
7-8:30 pm
$15

Little Heart Space
4131 Woodland Park Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

Contact:  teresa at sweetveg dot org

Please let me know if you have any questions.

You may also be interested in:
Warren Kramer in Seattle, WA April 10-13

I started playing the Moon Game with the Virgo new moon last September. See my first post Playing with the Moon. Each month of setting intentions specific to the new moon astrological sign has been different. This last month of Aquarian new moon intention was really hard, but I also set my sights high. I set my intention on shifting my own personal patterns of oppression at an even deeper level than I had before.

When I started out, I was thinking this would mean I would continue my work against racism and all the other ways oppression affects my connections to other people. I am a white, U.S. citizen. Except for the fact that I am not male, it doesn’t get much more oppressor than that. The patterns are instilled at an early age, so they can show up in very subtle ways. They can affect our ability to connect deeply with other people and to be able to think clearly and rationally.

So this past month, I started seeing oppression in ways I hadn’t ever seen before. I saw it in my own household, in several different groups I am involved with, in how I relate to children and in my relationship with my body. I also felt oppression directed at me, as a female. Hard things to look at and feel, but I think it’s necessary for me to move myself forward and to be the kind of person who is able to really think well of all life on our planet.

It’s not that I haven’t worked on this in many different ways for a long time, but this month I was able to see how my intention to focus on shifting patterns more deeply created a sweeping movement of change in my life. I am not relating to people the same as I was at the end of January. My relationships with the children I care for has shifted in amazing ways. I am seeing more clearly where I make mistakes in my relationships with people of color and can make steps to apologize when it makes sense to do so.

So, let’s look at the next moon cycle in Pisces. The new moon happens at midnight March 1 PST.

If you would like to get some insight into how to set Pisces intentions, you can find a great post and insights over at Mystic Mamma.

Pisces plays a very big role in my astrological chart, so I have given this cycle quite a bit of thought. I have a tendency to over give to the point of depletion and right now I have been so busy I haven’t had much free time. Tomorrow, I leave for The Taste of Health cruise lovingly paid for by my friend Ann. How fun to be starting my first part of the Pisces moon cycle on the water with the opportunity to soak in healthy food and relaxation. So one of my intentions is to allow myself to fill up more deeply  in the flow of spiritual waters. I talked about it earlier in the year in my post Receiving, Giving and Spilling Over, but some lessons are life-long and I think this is one of those for me.

Image courtesy of Chaiwat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Chaiwat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I will be spending time in meditation first thing in the morning and in the evening right before bed. During these meditation times, my only focus will be on filling up with the highest light from the universe. I want to begin and end my days filled up.

Two other side intentions will be to increase my sea vegetable consumption and spend more time in water.

I hope you are thinking of joining me this month. It’s a wonderful time to start and I love seeing how the game plays out in my life.

If you happen to be going on the Taste of Health cruise, come find me!! Leave a note in the comments or send me a note. I would love to meet you in the sun!

I travel frequently to visit friends and spend time with the macrobiotic community in Portland, OR. A three-hour drive from Seattle puts me right in the middle of an even more vegan-friendly city than Seattle. IMG_20140216_100509

If you are ever in Portland, OR, Blossoming Lotus is one of my favorite restaurants. I tend to like healthy vegan comfort food when I go out to eat, and I especially love brunch. Also, any restaurant that will serve me greens for breakfast makes me smile. On this visit, I even ordered the pumpkin cinnamon roll and it was perfectly soft and not overly sweet  (for a cinnamon roll!). I have been craving a cinnamon roll for months and this one totally satisfied me. Blossoming Lotus is one of many vegan restaurants in Portland and serves both cooked and raw dishes. They also have a variety of gluten-free items. My friend had their gluten-free, vegan biscuits and they were super yummy, rich and “buttery”. IMG_20140216_100457

The Portland Macrobiotic Meetup, organized by my friend Patty, has potlucks once a month. I wish I could join them every month. They are a super warm and friendly group. If you are macrobiotic or macro-curious and traveling through Portland, or happen to be lucky enough to live there, join them for a meal. Yum. This month my friend Sandy made vegan, maple syrup sweetened tiramisu. The tiramisu alone was worth the trip down from Seattle.IMG_20140216_134429

Have I mentioned how much I love Portland? My friend Sandy, the same one who made the tiramisu, owns Cascade Naturals and makes small batches of tempeh sold in many stores in Portland, at farmers markets and is recently being served in a new Portland restaurant as well. She makes sauerkraut and condiments, too, but it was the tempeh I was looking forward to. I brought home five packs and hope it will last me until May when I will be in Portland again for another Warren Kramer Workshop. It feels good to be building our Seattle macrobiotic community together with the Portland one.IMG_20140216_133953

The other food item I traveled home with are the amazing Three Sisters Nixtamal corn tortillas. These tortillas are made in Portland using freshly ground organic corn. I especially love their blue corn tortillas. They also sell fresh masa. Check out their video.

Do you have any favorite macrobiotic recommendations for people visiting or living in Portland?

 

One of my gifts is the ability to see an infinite number of possibilities. Sit with me for a bit, tell me how your life is going and I will start seeing numerous directions you could go from where you are in the present moment. Related to this is that I am also an idea person. I don’t really think of myself as a dreamer. I have a very practical, nuts and bolts side to my being. I do have big visions, though. I hope you do, too.

I am preparing to teach a few classes next month. I already have so much I want to share and teach, but now that I have committed to teaching, it’s like a dam broke loose and even more information is flooding in. It feels so good to be in the flow of creative energy.

One of the ideas that is coming in strongly is how every action we take throughout the day creates our world. This is a big one and it’s important. Pause right now and take a moment or two to really feel what it means. Not just some of our actions. Every action we take creates our world.IMG_20130206_105300

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Please join us as we combine our love and positive healing energy all over the world for World Sound Healing Day. The event takes place at noon your time anywhere on our planet on February 14.

All you need to do is tone the “AH” sound and vibration for 5 minutes creating and projecting this energy with compassion and love. The goal is to send healing energy to our planet and our waters and to raise consciousness. Even if you aren’t available at noon, you can participate at any time Friday, February 14 and you will still add your energy to creating a shift for the planet.

My friend LOLA Singer created a wonderful video demonstrating sounds to activate our chakras. In the video she also talks about this event. “AH” is related to the heart chakra and she demonstrates this in the video.

More details for World Sound Healing Day can be found over at their website and at Healing Sounds.

Thank you for joining us!

XO
Teresa

 

I am super excited to be hosting Warren Kramer in Seattle this April 2014. He is one of my favorite macrobiotic teachers and counselors. Warren is very knowledgeable and compassionate and has a clear way of explaining how to create health and wellness. He has been practicing and teaching macrobiotics for over 25 years, was a personal scribe for Michio Kushi and travels all over the U.S. and to other countries teaching and counseling. You can find more information on his website at Macrobiotics of New England. Here is a short youtube video of part of a lecture he did in Austin, TX. We are fortunate to have him joining us in Seattle, WA.IMG_20121028_114849 Read the rest of this entry »

Turnip and kale soup is a wonderful blend of winter and spring energies perfect for this time of year. The turnips are a tasty winter root vegetable and the leeks and kale add the fresh upward energy of spring. This recipe is an adaptation of one from a favorite cookbook, Fresh Food Fast, by Peter Berley.

I really only have two cookbooks that I use with any regularity. They are both by Peter Berley. For many years he was a chef at Angelica Kitchen, a macrobiotic restaurant in New York City. I am not sure what he is up to now. The last I heard he was a personal chef and culinary instructor at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School in New York. If you decide to make recipes from any of his cookbooks, the only recommendation I have is to use a lot less salt than he calls for and be careful with the amounts of spices. If you are only going to buy one of his books, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is outstanding.IMG_20140130_132257

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