Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dr. Dae and Chef Rebecca – Great Food Happens When Healthy Foodies Collide – Catherine’s Magic Green Tea Rice

Brown rice is one of the first alternatives to white rice recommend to my patients.  It takes a little longer to cook brown rice because of its fiber content.   Fiber is one of the benefits of whole grain, making it a healthier alternative to white rice.  Even though I have been preparing brown rice for years, I have to admit it doesn’t turn out very fluffy.  This is disappointing because in preparing a wonderful meal for friends and family my brown rice comes out sticky; stuck to the pot and spoon.  I have found the perfect solution for my sticky brown rice!  Rebecca Katz’s recipe, Catherine’s Magic Green Tea Rice found on page 135 of her cookbook, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. I love this recipe because it is so incredibly easy and your brown rice will come out fluffy rice every time.  This is a healthy twist to preparing brown rice; you use green tea and vegetable broth instead of water.  The green tea is a brilliant way to add antioxidants to brown rice.  You can cook as much as you like and store the leftovers in the freezer, to use later in the week with other meals.  Try this recipe for baked brown rice and you may never go back to cooking rice on the stove!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yoga As a Lifetime Practice

When the mind and the heart are stretched together in expanding self awareness, I assure you, there is instantaneous self transcendence and, therefore, limitless freedom -  SHRI SWAMI NIRMALANANDA Jivamukti

I love the practice of Yoga! I have been consistently practicing for 12 years.  I love everything about yoga – the breathing, the stretching, the chanting, the lessons of life that are shared by the instructor.  Yoga is a way of being not just a form of exercise.  The definition from is A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through the three paths of actions (exercise) and knowledge and devotion.  I came to yoga originally from practicing it with my mom as a child.  I don’t remember much of it then because I was so young.  In fact the only pose I remember is the Lion. It is designed to help clear your sinuses, so whenever we were sick my mom would tell us to get on the floor and launch up like a lion and roar to clear our sinuses.  At the time I thought she made up the pose just being silly when we didn’t feel well. 

Now I know it was yoga she was teaching us to help us heal ourselves.  The next time I came to yoga was during naturopathic medical school. I started taking yoga because it was the “naturopathic thing to do”.  I didn’t enjoy my experience at all.  The class I went to was boring and hard.  I didn’t ever think I would like yoga.  Finally I had the experience of going to a Jivamukti class, a specific form of yoga practice.  Jivamukti classes start with breathing and chanting, then the instructor presents a thought for the day for us to consider as we are practicing the yoga asanas (poses) during the class. Finally we chant again to close our practice for that day.  This form of yoga completely spoke to me.  I love the physical challenge of this form that made me sweat after 90 minutes.  I love the peace of the chanting at the beginning and end of class.  I have deep appreciation of the thought about how to live the life in a loving peaceful way.  I love the reminder to breathe that happens constantly during class.  All of these components create peace and health for my mind and body. 

I realize that when I don’t practice yoga I feel different.  I miss it. It sustains me.  I find I’m not as compassionate, sure of myself or as calm.  I feel less flexible mentally and physically.  It is a practice that I have to do to remain balanced and open to any situation that shows up in my life.  I love going to class but when I can’t I open up my mat in my living room and practice at home.  It is a gift to be able to practice anywhere!

NOTE - There are many forms of yoga and different forms speak to different people.  If you are not familiar with yoga and want to try it, I recommend you try many different forms until you find the one that speaks to you.  When you do you will understand the joy it brings me too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dr. Dae and Chef Rebecca – Great Food Happens When Healthy Foodies Collide

Rebecca Katz is one of my favorite chefs, who happens to also be a friend.  Rebecca is the award winning author of two of my all time favorite books One Bite at a Time and The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. I love to prepare food out of her books.  Several months ago Rebecca contacted me and asked me to work with her on a special project she called Project Yum.  Of course I jumped at the chance to work with her.  It required me to cook several recipes out of Rebecca’s book and I just loved getting to taste and try so many new recipes!  As a result I started taking pictures  (and some video) of the food I prepared from her book. 

This is the first of several blogs that I will title Dr. Dae and Chef Rebecca – Great Food Happens When Healthy Foodies Collide.  It is my spin-off of the movie Julie and Julia but all the recipes are using Whole Foods and are designed to create yum in the taste buds and health in your body.  In these special posts I will share the recipes that cooked from her books.  I decided on this just because I don’t have many good recipes for cauliflower and I wanted to get some new ideas for the future.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, a very healthy family including collard greens, broccoli, kale and cabbage.  Cauliflower has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.  Which make a wonderful addition to almost any type of diet. 

Today’s dish is actually 2 recipes out of Rebecca’s book.  The soup is Curry Cauliflower Soup Page 67 and the dollop of yum on the top is Apricot Pear Chutney page 175 from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Morning Walk Turns Into So Much More

I am a morning person by nature so whenever I go to visit friends or family I have created a morning ritual to get up early before people wake up and to walk around the neighborhood.  It is wonderful way to connect with myself while satisfying my curiosity about my new surroundings.  On this morning I am visiting family in Phoenix and they have moved to a new home since I last visited.  This home is near the foothills of Camelback Mountain. Today I decide to explore the mountain and see what life looks like from the top.  I stroll out of the neighborhood and up to the base of the mountain.  I notice the gravel path and head up it.  As a get about half way up the mountain I start to realize that I can only see the path about 15-20 feet ahead of me as the path is dipping down and around the contours of the mountains. The thought hits me that this path is not so different than my life in general and as a business owner in particular. What I mean by that is that even when I plan for things I’m never really sure what is coming up in front of me.  As a small business owner I have had to learn that there are always unexpected miracles and obstacles ahead and I just have to take the path in front of me and be ready for what comes. I just have to trust that taking one step at a time I will get to my destination.

So I keep walking and I see as I get around the turn that now the path is starting to look overgrown and even more difficult to follow.  So I start looking more closely for signs of where to place my feet.  I realize that every time I look down I find a place to put my foot. Once I have become surefooted with one foot I find the place to put my next foot. This very simple exercise fills me with extreme appreciation and gratitude knowing that there is always somewhere to plant my feet – a path is always being created for me. I see this great metaphor for my life - if I just take one step and trust that I’m headed in the right direction then I will see the next step show itself immediately.

I am basking in this wonderful discovery continuing up the hill until suddenly I see no clear path.   Oh no! I just found this happy moment and now I’m being challenged again. A totally new decision - do I turn around and go back or step off the path and create my own way? I’m stumped and starting to feel momentarily disappointed and then I look out and see the view from the mountainside.  It is lovely and I just breathe and relax exactly where I am.   

I look up the mountain and the way up looks a little dangerous. I pause momentarily and decide to continue up the mountain.  After all, I am a risk taker, so I push up to three quarters to the top.  At this point I don’t feel dressed appropriately to continue. I stop and look down again at the view - even more beautiful.  I just rest, taking deep breaths, and take in the sights. I decide I have reached my limit for today and decide to descend.

On my next visit I will wear better hiking gear and be able to get to the summit, no problem.  I take the triumph and lesson for the day and carefully find my way back to the path and back to my family’s home. Besides, I’ve worked up a an appetite and it’s time to make breakfast.

 Living Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae