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Homemade Chai Concentrate

29 Jun

Here’s the latest from the Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter.

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It seems this Summer is off to a much wetter and cooler start than usual in Calgary. It seems a bit odd to be thinking of ways to keep warm, but alas, that’s what I’m doing! If you are too, here’s a little something (besides hot yoga!) to do just that. It also aids digestion (fennel and ginger) and maintains balance of the doshas.

Happy Cooking!
Jacinthe
Yoga teacher & kitchen advocate


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Buckwheat & Tuna Salad

29 Mar

Here’s the latest from the Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter.

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I had a student ask me about gluten-free lunch ideas and as it turns out, I’ve been formulating an article to address just such a thing.

One of the most challenging things about going gluten-free is trying to recreate foods – breads, pastries, pastas – exactly how you remember them to be. It doesn’t help that the mind tends to embellish fond memories, especially when it comes to food. This presents the perfect opportunity to practice aprigraha or non-attachment. An exact replica of your favourite gluten-y food may never exist. Practice letting go, accepting what is, and move forward, in this case to other recipes (of which there are many!) that are still delicious, nutritious, and satisfying.  To read the rest of this article and see the recipe for Buckwheat and Tuna Salad, take the leap to Bodhi Tree’s blog…

Click here for my summary of gluten-free grains and how to use them.

Frittata to boost your morning!

6 Mar

Here’s the latest article from the Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter.

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Rise and shine! With the light returning minutes earlier every day, now’s a good time to start getting activity in at the very beginning of the day. Not only does exercise (mental and physical) do great things for your body, but it increases overall productivity, aids with sleep and will help you tidy up other areas of life once you see what you can accomplish.

Whether it’s yoga, the gym, or morning meditation, you may notice a voice inside your head, called the witness, that has a way of talking you out of things – a devil’s advocate, in a sense. I find the witness easiest to ignore if I hop right out of bed, throw on my clothes, and head out the door. If that doesn’t work, visualizing how I’ll feel during my chosen activity usually does the trick.

This month’s recipe is a perfect post-activity breakfast that you can double or triple, then package in smaller containers to have ready at your finger tips. So, make a promise to yourself, pick a day and before you know it, you’ll be catching the early morning Sun every day!

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Spiced Maple Pecans

4 Feb

I forgot to post my Om Cooking article from the Bodhi Tree’s December 2011 Breathing Room Newsletter. Even though it was aimed at Christmas giving, the same principals can be applied throughout the year!

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Gift giving is something I like to do all year round, but of course, more so around the holidays. However, I’m not your typical gift-giver. My attitude around gifts changed the year I started making my own Christmas cards, writing a message to each of about 50 friends. The process was special to me, methodical and meditative. I was proud of what I made and the time I put into them; what I gave and to whom didn’t matter so much anymore – I was happy knowing that each person who received a card would be beaming with joy when they got something in the mail besides a bill.

What can you make that will bring you joy first? What skill can you showcase? Contemplate these questions this year and you might find that it brings a renewed excitement to what can be a stressful and frantic time-of-year. Anything you make yourself that brings you joy will bring others joy.

If you need an idea to get started, try this month’s recipe. Packaged in mason jars or bags tied with ribbon, this is one gift that will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

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Chia Smoothies

2 Jan

Here’s the latest article from the Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter.

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A few months ago I wrote about incorporating a new ingredient into your repertoire. What better time to revisit this concept than January, I say!

In the last few months I’ve been experimenting with chia and at the same time experimenting with bringing headstand and forearm stand back into my yoga practice – a little sprinkle here and there. You may have a yoga pose that you tried once, twice or many times, that has fallen out of your regular practice. Or perhaps you have a pose that you’ve always wanted to try but aren’t quite sure you’re able to. Well, this month it’s time to take the plunge!

Take a moment to think of that elusive pose you’d like to work on, then make a commitment to yourself to make slight modifications in your practice to accommodate that pose. Every little opening of the body is reaching that goal, no matter how long it takes to actually get into the shape.

I’ve been making an effort to do dolphin pose instead of downward dog and warrior pose with cactus arms to gradually ready my body for my goal pose of forearm stand. In the kitchen, I’ve been adding a tablespoon of chia into my baked oatmeal or a smoothie, experimenting with the texture and flavor of chia.

To help you along your way, try this Chia Smoothie recipe. One thing to note about chia is that it raises energy levels, which makes it a good substitute for coffee and not so great to ingest at night.

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Roasted Parsnip Soup

29 Nov

Here’s the November article from Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter. I also made this soup for a recent Monday Night Supper Club potluck. It worked very well as an amuse-bouche garnished with a little thyme and a baby parsnip. Delish!

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Yoga, in its purest form, is about being present and aware in every moment of your life. We are all built with five tools that act as a gateway to this present moment awareness: the senses. Some moments your senses may be engaged with perfect clarity; you are aware that you feel the body you’re in, see the colours around you, hear the sounds in your environment, taste each morsel you eat and smell every aroma that wafts your way. Other moments, due to stress, routine or the mind’s games, your senses may be clouded, or on auto-pilot.

Along with the senses, asana, meditation and pranayama use drishti (focal point), intention (love!) and mantra (om) to help you focus, calm the mind and bring about present moment awareness, if only just for a second. What’s great about these techniques is that they can be applied outside of yoga as well, to work, relationships and even cooking.

This month’s recipe stars parsnips, which are abundant at farmers’ markets as Autumn matures. Using a recipe that focuses on one ingredient will help you engage your five senses, becoming present and aware as you’re cooking. Pay particular attention to how the parsnip’s aroma changes from raw to cooked. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

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Roasted Parsnip Soup

1 kg/2.2 lbs. parsnips, cut in half
1 large onion, sliced
1 head garlic, top ¼” cut off
2 carrots, cut in half
2 stalks celery, cut in half
2 Tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 L/4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Arrange all vegetables on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive
oil and toss with salt and pepper. Bake 40 minutes, until vegetables are soft and garlic is golden.

In a large pot, squeeze garlic out of its peel, combine with roasted vegetables and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor. Add ginger, thyme, nutmeg and season to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme and roasted baby parsnips.

Serves 4-6.

Happy Cooking!
Jacinthe

Baked Crabapples with Onion and Sage

14 Oct

Here’s the latest article from the Bodhi Tree’s October 2011 newsletter.

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Many times in yoga class we are asked to set an intention for our practice. It could be anything from courage or strength, to softness or vulnerability. Setting an intention helps us move from just making shapes with our bodies to watching what comes up during our practice and working with the energy in our subtle bodies to deepen our understanding of ourselves.

Recently as I’ve come to my mat, I’ve found that “love” is the intention that pops into my head first. Sending love out into your everyday life not only benefits you, but also strengthens your relationships with the people around you and the earth. You might recall a time when “love” was the intention for your asana practice as well. That day, maybe you left that love intention on the mat, carried a little into the next activity you did, or perhaps you made love your highest purpose in life!

You can express love for yourself and for others in many ways: smiling at a stranger on the sidewalk, sending a note to a dear friend out-of-the-blue, expressing gratitude, or doing something by yourself just for the fun of it. Another great way to share this intention is through food. Cooking for those you love, bringing baked goods to friends or coworkers, is enough to let anyone know that they are loved!

Crabapples are ripe all over the city, just waiting to be used in this month’s recipe. Try it for upcoming holiday meals, because food made with love always tastes better! Continue reading

Fruit Pies and Pie Crust – deconstructed.

9 Sep Berry Pies in the oven.

Here’s the latest Om Cooking article from Bodhi Tree’s September 2011 Newsletter.

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September has always meant new beginnings to me. There’s something about the fall air, the leaves turning and the back to school signs that signal the turning of another year, even more so than our calendar new year in January. The city is starting to bustle again and you begin to notice fresh haircuts, new outfits, and a renewed sense of determination to get down to business. You yourself may be getting back into your daily routine, starting a new job, or going back to school.

Changes to our familiar routine can sometimes be uncomfortable. During these times it’s good to remember the practice of non-attachment that we learn in yoga class. Take deep breaths, take everything in stride and remember that at many points in our lives, we started new; from our first breath, our first step, our first day of school, first yoga class, first job…the list could go on. Especially when we were young, our parents were there with open arms to comfort us when new experiences overwhelmed us. Now, those comforts could be a hug from a good friend, our yoga practice, exercise, or any number of other things.

To me, the ultimate comfort food is pie. If you’re a pie lover already, this recipe’s for you. If not, this might become the quintessential dessert to make when you want something familiar. Try combining apples with cranberries, rhubarb, or other berries for something a little different. Continue reading

Hearty Chili

30 Jun

Here’s the original article in the Bodhi Tree’s July 2011 Newsletter.

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Summer is on its way and it’s a beautiful time of year to switch up your practice a little. With the short amount of warm weather Calgary gets, remember your present-moment thinking and get outdoors whenever you can. Getting out into Mother Nature will serve to purify your body and mind from the chaos of the city.

If you like hiking, focus on walking consciously, counting your steps; take a break in a serene spot to spend some time in seated contemplation; or strike one of your favourite poses in a beautiful setting, getting someone to capture it on camera so you can post a picture somewhere that’ll inspire you day-to-day. Continue reading

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