Archive | March, 2011

Taking the Practice Off the Mat

27 Mar

It seems like I am always “inquiring”. Asking questions, gathering information and trying to come to a rationale conclusion, is a formula I’ve been administrating in my career for over a decade, but it wasn’t until recently, when I refrained from getting on a boat, did I start to second guess my life.

Coby Kozlowski, M.A., E-RYT
, is a yogi, artist and life coach. At her recent Yoga Leadership class at Hand to Heart Yoga in Buffalo, NY’s Elmwood Village, I was awakened to the fact that I would not fight for my survival. Call it my open and calm energy mixed with a know-it-all sense (a work in progress) or just a resistance to role-playing; my laissez-faire attitude shocked me. It could also be exhaustion from embarking on my 14th move, but energy is life.

I never wanted to move to the “forgotten part” of Massachusetts last year, but I felt that I had to. Ironically, Kozlowski hails from the tiny town in Western Massachusetts where I lived.

Not one to shy away from a challenge or newness, I took the plunge and left New York for an area where I knew no one, but realized it was a mistake from the start. I appreciate the amazing friendships and a love for practicing yoga that came out of my time there, and like so many things in nature I came to the realization that life is self-correcting.

Remove any belief system; what society says and accepting the self-inquisition of what feels correct can be very empowering. Hearing the nay saying demons that creep into our inner thoughts, or those that come from someone else, can take a toll. What is important to recognize is, many times it’s that other person’s “stuff” not yours. But how do you take those thoughts that aren’t your own? We simply recognize this and don’t have to believe them. Certainly if more than one person is giving the same critique, it may be time to pause and take action.

Yoga is the practice tolerating the consequences of being you, according to Kozlowski, and finding that equilibrium is the challenge. While it is also about full expression, with twists and turns, so is life or else it would be a flat line.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony,” Mahatma Gandhi, Indian philosopher and political leader

Knowing when to stay, is when your call to something is that strong. Being authentic and accountable (a process), calm, pausing for the urges, are all going to surround your “calling”.

As humanity evolves, so do our individual lives. So, what are you and what do you want to be? What is the impact you think you have on this world? What is your actual impact?

Coming up with a self-mantra can help one start to answer these questions. It can take time or it can hit you all at once. I would like to leave the world better than how I inherited it. How do I achieve this? No idea, but it’s comforting to know that I have this whole “wild and precious life” to figure it out.

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What would you grow?

21 Mar

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Times; panose-1:2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:SectiIt’s that time of year. Garden stores are bringing out their patio sets and gardeners are plotting their patches for seed planting. Below are some of my favorite container and garden plants to plot for the upcoming season.


HERBS

Most varieties of herbs are practically foolproof and can even be grown in pots. From mint leaves in a thirst-quenching Mint Julep, sage on grilled chicken, to dill on salmon; herbs change the flavor of dishes and drinks.

Sage


BEETS

Of all the root vegetables, beets are my favorite. They are easy-to-grow, sturdy plants and can be stored all winter long in a root cellar or closet. Preparing them is easy as well, they can be pickled or roasted with salt and pepper; the temporary finger stains are worth it.


WILD RASPBERRIES

Picking them brings back childhood memories, and the sweet and tart flavor on a hot summer day is refreshing. Finding them is like discovering a treasure.


PEAS

I love to pick them out of the garden and eat them raw.

Brinner

5 Mar

The hardest part about making breakfast for dinner is the number of options one has to prepare. From bacon to biscuits choices are abundant and tasty.

Bacon and sesame seeds

At the most recent Cooka Nostra cookbook club meeting, the group decided to go with a theme instead of focus on one book. The turnout was sweet, savory and economical.

For a variety of reasons, we loved eating typical morning foods for dinner, aka “Brinner”.

Jennifer said she liked it because it’s a different perspective to a meal.

I like it because it brings back memories of a host family in Dublin, Ireland who used to serve omlettes for dinner; something I occasionally do today.

The turnout was great and the front-runners from our evening were the frittata, fruit and dip, and Bloody Mary’s.

Lynn has been making her non-recorded family frittata for years, but she admitted to using Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe as a guideline and added some of her own blend of ingredients.

“I would normally use asparagus, but I thought spinach and mushrooms would be a good winter alternative and I typically use Romano cheese, but this time I tried Asiago,” Lynn said.

For the special occasion she also added prosciutto!

Julie stuck with a Paula Deen recipe and adjusted the ingredients to make it less fattening. Not only was the fruit tray and dip a great way to start the meal, it was delish to nosh on while playing cards and chatting. For the complete recipe click here.

Chocolate cupcakes with bacon – brilliant!

(Chocolate covered strawberries, not too bad either).

A spicy Bloody Mary is great in the morning or at night, and I like to make them spicy. Starting with the usual serving of vodka (Belvedere or Grey Goose recommended) and fill the glass with Clamato juice and ice. Season with salt, pepper, fresh dill, and four dashes of Tabasco sauce. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.

“The dill makes it!” Laura said.