Sunday, October 31, 2010

Practice, Patience, and Pumpkins

One more day gone. One more day closer to a whole and healthy foot, or at least I hope so!

Today felt like a banner day. I felt so grateful just to be in the company of fellow practitioners, and to be able to move at all, that it felt like a stellar practice. It is truly amazing how much we take for granted most of our lives. I can remember many a practice when I might have done full 2nd or 3rd series but been disappointed with myself because every entrance and exit wasn't perfect, or some of my binds were difficult. Today I was thrilled to breathe with a group and do the few asanas I could without tweaking the foot. And I was reminded how great yoga makes me feel, regardless of the details. I woke up feeling like i was fighting a cold (and losing) and finished feeling like a million bucks. That is why I continue to practice, despite all the ups and downs.

I was also reminded today to have patience. And this time I don't mean about the foot. Maybe patience isn't the word I'm looking for. I think I was just reminded to pause and breathe in the moment, and it felt like a lesson learned from injury. As the foot heals, I have no recourse other than to wait and be in the moment. In life, it sometimes feels like there is something to be gained by pushing, but very often it's not the case. Today I took the yoga into the world, and at brought a little more peace and ease into my own day than I might have had even a month ago. Vague? You bettcha! I'm still getting used to baring my soul here in cyber space, but I wanted to share the thought.

And, now for the fun part! Pumpkins! I'm addicted to em. My three fave new things are Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, Pumpkin Spiced frothy drinks and Pumpkin Chia pudding. Today I indulged in the chia pudding. Creamy, spicy, and completely satisfying, it's a bowl of superfood with a seasonal twist.

To Do:

Mix 2 tablespoons chia seeds with 3/4 cup water. Stir or shake vigorously, let sit, then repeat. This should take five to ten minutes.

Put in a blender with:

1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1-2 medjool dates and stevia to taste

Blend blend blend away! I Let it go a long time, pausing to scrape the sides a few times. It turned a light orange when it was finally ready, and none of the crunchy seeds were visible.

Sorry folks I didn't take a picture. I was so hungry! But rest assured it was beautiful. I served it in a wine goblet topped with Lydia's raw granola and a few slices of banana. I bet molasses would be great as a drizzle too!

Yum, my new favorite healthy thing

Now on to the pumpkin carving...

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Confession

I am an asana junkie. I am. I always say yoga is more than asana, it is more than just physical, it is not just a workout. And it's true. It's more than all of these things to me. But apparently I am STILL not grown up in my practice. Without the asana I just have a hard time.

For one thing, my energy is different. I never quite get my energy going. I can't fall asleep. I'm not sure when to eat sometimes. I mean, if I don't have to do pashasana Sunday morning, does it matter if dinner doesn't happen till 9 PM? Well, it does, I feel better living a certain way. But without the asana "check in" there is just a little more leeway.

And, I keep saying I will start pranayama, all on my own. But I never do it. I mean, I know WHAT to do, but this is the proof that I am such an ashtangi at heart, I feel I need a teacher to "prescribe" it, to check in with me from time to time, to expect me to do it.

Meditation too. I have mantras of various sorts, but have I used them lately? No, I have not.

But here's what, I need the yoga, I need the pranayama, I need to take care of myself. I just can't go back to sleep the way I was before. And if I know what I should do, and what I need, and then don't do it, then I just feel bad! That's gotta be the definition of insanity. Doing something you know doesn't work, and yet continuing to do it anyway.

So, I've set up a little routine for myself. A milder one than if my foot were not broken (and not just as to poses), but a routine nonetheless. And when I really pay attention, I can almost feel as good as I do when I'm really rocking the asana in the prescribed ashtangi way.

For now, I am practicing every other day. Or, sometimes more, but at least every other day. If I get up, have coffee, and get on the mat, it happens. If I wait and pretend I'll do it later, the day just never materializes, even in other ways. And, each day I add a little something in. A little breath and bandha work before or after. A little philosophical reading. A little extra chanting. A few more modified vinyasas, a posture or two, also modified. And I listen. I don't do anything that hurts the foot. I don't neglect the rest of life for the time on the mat (hence the every other day, as everything takes so much more effort right now). And I take days of early to-bed, early-to-rise sometimes, alternating with late-dinner evenings and movies on the sofa with the night-owl husband.

Whoa, don't tell me this is the balance I always search for! No, I don't think it's likely to last COMPLETELY beyond the broken foot time. But maybe it will help me feel a little more detachment even when I'm back to the normal routine. I mean, I haven't fallen completely apart while being separated from my daily practice, so maybe one day when I'm back to the grind and suddenly have to miss practice to meet some house repair person or go to a job interview I will just get on the mat by myself at home, or let it go without letting it ruin my day.

Well, I don't know, I'm likely to have a hard time when I begin the process of regaining my physical practice, but I am hopeful that by noticing the now, and writing it down here, I will be able to retain some spark of self-knowledge and a teeny bit of detachment along the way.

Of course, all this only comes to me on a day when I actually did get on the mat! Ha.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Brain on Ashtanga

It's a funny thing, ashtanga. It seems to be both good and bad for me at the same time. Like, it makes me feel proud of my body for what it can do, strong, flexible and accomplished. But then, it stirs up my body issues, points out when I haven't treated myself absolutely perfectly, and often makes me feel bad about myself. It helps me treat myself better, as in, if I really want to enjoy my practice I might be more inspired to eat lightly at night, and not overindulge in treats and alcohol. But on the other hand, sometimes indulgence is a good thing, just part of life, and then if I do indulge, and get on the mat anyway, I might be so unhappy that the practice will be miserable, and maybe the entire day. Completely not yogic!

SO, having an injury like a broken foot, one that can't be "muscled through" is an interesting challenge, vacation, and a good time for a little self analysis and "noticing."

Lets start with the good! I am no Polyanna, and believe me I am still all upset about this, but because it can't be helped, I'll start on the positive side.

1. I get to sleep late! Since I have no deadlines, no practice or early teaching to get to, I can just let myself wake up whenever I wake up. Mostly this is about 7:30, but sometimes it's been 8 or 8:30, and really, is that so aweful? Yes, I have a harder time falling asleep when I wake up later and have less activity, but that brings me to point number 2...

2. I can go to bed whenever! This give me the leeway to eat a late meal with the husband, not worry about how it will affect my pashasana or purnamatseyandrasana or lift ups or what have you. And also, if I'm going to bed later, I can eat later and still not have digestion ruin my sleep. My husband loves this! He's a night owl. So just as a side effect, breaking my foot has given me more quality time with the husband. And yes, watching movies on netflix can qualify as "quality time" if normally you'd be snapping at him to turn down the volume so you can sleep. This is better husband time than that.

3. Taking a break from the norm gives me a chance to look at things from a distance. I can see how much I miss it and love it, while also noticing that I am slightly easier on myself when I'm not a slave to the dogma of the practice (as in, I judge myself pretty harshly if I can't do karandavasana, and if I ate too much the night before, I would surely blame it on the celebratory meal with my husband, but if I don't have to do karandavasana at all, who's to judge whether I had too much fun, or whether I was just reasonable?).

4. I have to focus on other parts of the practice. This is a biggie. The breath! The little practice I do is all about the breath. And, without vinyasa to warm me up, I have to really work my ujayii. And bandhas. And gaze. I have to be so so focused and steady just to make it feel like practice at all! This will be great to use when I get back to the regular routine.

5. And finally, it helps me focus on what I CAN do. Every time I get on the mat I think "What can I actually do today?" Rather than, "I'm no good at this. I can't do that. This teacher won't let me...." It starts the practice on a positive note, even though in general I feel bad I can't do the "regular". I am so happy to be beyond the first couple of weeks' trauma and be able to do ANY yoga.

Whoa, I think I just forgot the cons. I guess that'll have to be a separate post. Maybe I'll turn into a Polyanna after all?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Practice and Progress!

Today was my first day practicing again with the Woodstock group! Woo hoo! I wanted to go a week ago, but it was just foolish. I wasn't ready, and neither was my foot. Still, it was great to do it finally today. I did a whole hour, every pose that wouldn't put pressure on the foot from both first and second series, plus a couple of third, a few restorative poses, some inversions and savasana. This may not sound very exciting, but trust me, it was. I even did Kapotasana! I put a pillow under the ankle of the injured leg and just dropped right back. Who knew I could do that with the cast??? Sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity and a leap of faith. Now if only I could bring that to the rest of my life!

I got home to Brooklyn and was immediately overwhelmed by how much I can't do, how much there is to be done, and how tired I am. I didn't sleep well last night and got up early early for the first time in two weeks. Well, I guess every day has its ups and downs.

I guess one lesson from the weekend is that sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do. Sometimes I should just sit down and be still for a while. Whatever I'm trying to figure out will not come clear from "rattling around" like I do. Maybe that's the broken-foot lesson from today. I waited for a while and then was finally able to do some yoga. And If I'd waited a while yesterday before trying to make my day "happen" it might just have come together perfectly on its own.

Do you ever psych yourself out? Second guess your decisions? What techniques work for you to help things "come clear"?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I did it I did it! I spent 20 minutes on the mat. No, it wasn't practice as I may have defined it before the injury, but I did do a focused 20 minutes and used ujayi breathing, so it counts.

Here's what: although I am a very active person, and I am addicted to my practice, I find it hard to get on the mat by myself. More than that, too, the structure of ashtanga is what makes it possible. I know that I practice Sunday through Friday. I do second series on Sunday, Primary on Friday, and Third Series every day in between. Now that it's all figuring it out and seeing what works with the foot in each moment, I'm incredibly unfocused and unmotivated. But because I can feel the difference in my body and energy when I don't practice, I must make it happen!

This is a serious exercise in setting an intention. What I need to do for the next month I think, is clear a space in my head for the yoga. Set it as a time that I just cannot do anything else, just as if I were going to the studio, and whatever I do or do not do on the mat, I will not let myself get up and use the computer and pick up the phone or do the laundry within that window. It's again setting a habit. Just like the 21 day cleanse, I must set a goal for a new kind of yoga habit. It is possible, I saw that today. I feel so much better! So now I know, just like that first time I did Karandavasana or stood up from a backbend, that it is possible. All it takes is a concerted effort to make it happen again.

Is there something in you life that you both love and have a resistance to? What habit would you like to establish this fall?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meatless for-the-Man Day

So, my husband is a carnivore. He just is. And for a while, my vegetarian leanings were a source of strife. But finally, he realized it was good for me in a lot of ways, and we found a measure of peace.

On the other hand, though we sort of live and let live with our diets, he is Greek, and for him food is love. So if I don't cook for him he sometimes feels I don't love him! But that doesn't mean I'm going to make meatballs. That kind of thing is up to him. Also, I worry for his health! And if I'm trying to love him up, I'd rather do it in a healthy way. Enter, "Meatless for-the-Man Days," or days I cook him a veggie meal with no meat on the side. Now, I'm not allowed to tell him "this is vegan!" He doesn't want to know. It makes it sound too healthy and he has no interest in healthy food just for health's sake. Mind you, he'll eat healthy things, and all he wants to know is that it's good.

Last night's meatless meal is an all time favorite for both of us. Inspired by the Millenium cookbook, it combines chickpeas, wine, sun dried tomatoes and apricots in a slightly moroccan stew. The original recipe calls for making chickpea crepes as well, but somehow I never get around to those. Too "puchkey" as my dad would say. So sometimes I serve it with quinoa, sometimes with papadum for dipping, and sometimes just in a bowl. They're incredible all on their own. And pair them with a rich, red wine and it's a gourmet meal to beat any vegetarian restaurant I've ever been to.

This was the first meal I've really cooked since I've broken my foot, by the way, and I found a great way to do it. We got a cheap rolling chair and I put my knee on it and push myself around with my other foot, freeing my hands to carry and chop veggies with. Maybe I should rename myself "the gimpy chef!"

Here are the details:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, white part only, cut into small dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cups Sangiovese or any dry red wine
4 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coarsely choppe sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
Freshly Ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water (optional)

This is me adding the wine. Make sure you use enough!

➢ heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or heavy-bottomed braising pan over medium –high heat.
➢ Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until it just begins to brown.
➢ Add the leeks and carrots, and sauté, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the leeks just start to wilt.

➢ Add the rosemary, cumin seeds, and bay leaf. Sauté for another minute.
➢ Add 1 cup of the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
➢ Add the remaining 1 cup wine and the chickpeas, stock and sun-dried tomatoes, apricots and salt. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by one-half. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is the whole schear pre-simmer, but it cooks down to a much thicker, yummier consistency.

It can be sort of a runny stew or more viscous. I tend to add extra wine, then more chickpeas and leeks, then I have to add more cornstarch, and finally I give up and just serve it in a bowl. The topper is a sprinkling of toasted, slivered almonds for amazing crunch and a really nice extra hit of flavor.

Unfortunately, I can't make the rest of the pictures loads, so you can't see the beautiful presentation with collards from our garden, braised with coconut oil and garlic, and a piece of zucchini bread from a neighbor. Also, there was such a cute photo of the man with his beautiful deep red Nero D'Avola.

I usually use Primitivo or Sangiovese to cook this dish, but this time it was Nero D'Avola, a dark, Italian grape that never fails me. So we also opened another bottle, by Cosumano, for drinking. Dark, pruney, with medium body and just enough tanin to stand up to the stew, this one's an everyday winner. Mind you, if you had to splurge, a Chateauneuf du Pape wouldn't go wrong either!

Next up for "meatless" days, a challenge: vegan, gluten-free, soy and alcohol free cooking for a friend!

What's your favorite fall veggie meal? Will your partner eat it too, or are you on your own?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Technological SNAFU!

I just wrote a long post about my fabulous braised chickpea and red wine stew. Unfortunately, I am much better at yoga and cooking than 'computing' and this post has been refused by the server.

However, in the interest of keeping my (yay!) one follower, I thought I'd publish a short post anyway. Today I managed to do a little yoga, even with a broken foot. Ok, there was no vinyasa, and it was all of 10 minutes, but I feel better for a little paschimottanasana, janu sirsasana, navasana, ustrasana and supported viparita dandasana. I mean, I still want to hang myself with my yoga strap. I miss my yoga, my friends, just walking down the streets of NYC, but it's better than nothing.

Oward! And cross your fingers that I can figure out this posting thing soon, those chickpeas were yummy!

Question of the day: What's your current favorite asana? Before I broke my foot, it was viparita dandasana. I never thought I'd be able to do that back flip and catch the headstand in the middle, but I did! Maybe one day I'll do it again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sad on the Sofa

Ok, so I had a long winded post detailing the ups and downs, the pros and cons of the state of my foot and not doing yoga. But guess what, I am no Pollyanna. At least not today. There are all kinds of projects I can do on the computer. All kinds of posting of recipes (made a killer chickpea stew last night) and many magazines, books and blogs to read. But today I am just not happy about it. And that's that. My friends are all down the hill practicing yoga and I am green like my smoothie with jealousy. Yes, I'll get over it. No, not yet.

I realize this is not much of a post, and there's very little here to interact with, but I just wanted to get my voice out there, and I'm not happy enough to make it a big involved tale.

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Cleanse Nears A Conclusion

Wow, so I haven't really talked much about the cleanse lately, have I? Apparently, it took a back seat to the total upheaval of my life via broken foot!

Here's what: I hardly feel like I've been cleansing, and yet, somehow today I woke up feeling light, clean and balanced. Aha, it's actually done its work! It's funny, even with it not being perfect, (as in I had wine a couple of times this week, accidentally had soy once or twice, was sick on Monday and needed scrambled eggs after), the "slow and steady" approach seems to be working. As I've said before, I am usually an all or nothin' type. I juice, or I feast. Well, not all the time, but it's a tendency I fight. So this particular 21-day plan was actually pretty tough for me at the outset. The idea that I had a long way to go till I felt as good as I want to feel was overwhelming. But sitting here on day 20, and looking back at the three weeks, I have to say it was more wonderful than painful. I think this may actually be what I'd call balance!

Hooray! The nutritionist and I agree, this is almost a great place to just "stay". I don't actually have very far I want to go to change things, coming off the cleanse. What will stay the same, and what will change?

Well, I'd like to keep the idea of one to two smoothie/soup/juice meals a day. I have tricky digestion and these somewhat pre-digested meals are a jump start to getting my nutrition in without too much work. That said, I don't want to make it a rule. I'd rather have some flexibility to go with the flow of what I want in any given situation, and especially to be able to be social when I can get out again!

Also, I'd like to keep the big offenders to a minimum. Even though I am in no way a Celiac case, I feel better off wheat and gluten for the most part. I don't want refined sugar to be part of my daily routine. And I don't think I need to allow much dairy into my life, especially with the recent Osteoporosis research on the subject. Soy? Well, I think miso and tempeh are great, but I'll stay away from the refined stuff/fake meats/additives in processed foods, etc. And corn is highly tampered with, but if I can find good non-gmo sprouted organic products there may be some leeway.

On the other hand, I think I've already hit moderation with alcohol. The idea is not every day, and yet, it's not the devil. I was never a big drinker to begin with, didn't even drink in college to speak of, so maybe there's no need to be a teetotaler now, but resisting a few extra times when I don't really really want it will give me a little more leeway for other indulgences and just make me feel like I'm still "on the path'.

I also think I've made a little peace with desserts. I love dessert! I always want it. And recently my go-to has been super dark chocolate, just because it can be small and generally has little sugar. The organic kind is also dairy and soy free, or the ones I buy are. But still, I had begun to eat too much of it, and often I didn't even want it. One CAN overdo chocolate. But I didn't allow myself other treats, and so I was a little trapped and not satisfied.

Enter almond milk cocoa! A cup of almond milk, some dark cocoa or raw cacao powder, stevia, a pinch of salt, a touch of vanilla, and maybe just a squeeze of agave. A treat I can't begin to feel guilty about! And raw chocolate/coconut pudding! A little denser, so maybe needing more moderate portions, but still a relatively guilt-free treat. That recipe to follow in another post by the way!

What's coming back in? Eggs! I love eggs. I mean, they're easy to digest, densely nutritious, and so malleable. I guess I'll never be vegan. But I don't want or need them all the time. Once or twice a week maybe? And I buy the multicolored free range ones from our local farm in Woodstock, so I feel a little better about that. Can't wait to make a burrito in a sprouted corn tortilla with guac and salsa! That could even be dinner.

So really, maybe not that much is changing. I have flowed almost naturally from cleanse to base-line everyday eating. I like to feel clean most of the time anyway, even among going out to very "regular" restaurants. But here's what, I want the fluidity to have a coffee date with friends and try those amazing pretzel croissants they love so much. I need to be able to enjoy the red wine prunes over mascarpone at Frankie's without feeling so remorseful that I ruin it. And I need to sometimes enjoy just too much of everything, but still get up the next day and feel ok about it. Oh, and all this sitting on the sofa makes me bored, and it will be hard not to just sit around and eat without the ashtanga to sort of be a "check in" for how I'm feeling. Ok, so there are still some challenges ahead. But that's a lot of learning and growing for three weeks if you ask me!

I think tomorrow, as a celebration, I will make my chickpeas braised in red wine with sun dried tomatoes and apricots. And if I can stand on my crutches long enough I'll make chickpea socca crepes too! But for now, back to my regularly scheduled green juice. A great way to start the day.

Questions of the day:

A) Have you ever set yourself a challenge to create new habits? What were they? Did it work?

B) What's your base-line happy-place diet? Do you think mine is crazy? :)

For today, over and out.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No Yoga, No Cooking, No Fun!

Ok, so I know there are things to be learned from this. There are projects to be done. People to talk to on the phone. Lots of blogging to be accomplished. A spiritual path to pursue, asana or no, but as I sit here on the sofa for the fourth full day in a row, I am too mad to be ready yet.

And by the way, I can still put my right leg behind my head, broken left foot or no. In fact, I'm sitting in Eka Pada Sirsasana as I type this. Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad Karma or Just Bad Luck?

I broke my foot! Really, it's incredible, one minute I was feeling great, recovered from illness and doing the best yoga in ages, all by myself, no teachers no buddies no nothing. Just me and the mat. Then I walked down the stairs and broke my foot.

NOW WHAT? Really, I teach yoga, I run around the city, I practice yoga. I am an intensely physical person. I experience the world through my physicality. So now what?

Well, more blogging I guess. And a visit to an Orthopedic Surgeon for starters.


Oh my, this city is not built for the infirm. I needed entertainment and a bottle of wine last night and the husband and I went out for dinner. We went about 6 blocks, and it nearly did me in. That's hard work, crutching around.

The good news is the wine was great! In the spirit of balanced hedonism I ordered a beautiful salad with beets and oranges, a lovely piece of fish with a light tomato sauce and garlicky spinach on the side, had a few bites of his incredible pasta but resisted ordering my own, then got a lovely wine.

Our favorite restaurant, Fragole, offers half price on all premium wine bottles on Tuesday, so we indulged in a $50 bottle without feeling bad. It was a Nebbiolo called Muntaja, but I can't find it anywhere on the internet. In any case, it started off a little tight. It had fruit, but it was sort of covered by layers of tannin and a rather acidic finish. By the time the entrees came however, it had opened up to reveal layers of dark fruit, almost dried and pruney like an Amarone, a nice bite, but more integrated tannins and a smoothish finish. Lovely with red sauce, probably would be great with grilled things like meat (though I don't eat that) and eggplant (which I love) and would have been great with the chocolate we had at home for dessert, though it didn't last that long!

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know yet. But a bottle of Nebbiolo can certainly take the edge off a catastrophic day.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled 21-day cleanse!

Question of the day: What's your favorite red wine match-up for a physical injury? :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sick Day

Well, it's been a few days, so just in the interest of keeping up to date, I thought I'd post this almost nothing message.

I had a sick day. Something hit both the husband and me at the same time. So I have no fun news to share, no food, certainly no yoga. Ah well, sometimes the yoga in the situation is actually NOT to do yoga.

Back to the bed...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Living Room Rainy Day Yoga

I did it I did it! That's right, I got on the mat by myself. I woke up this rainy Friday, and realized there was no way I was getting on the subway, traipsing around Union Square and getting soaked just to do Primary series. Usually this means I don't end up practicing (shock and horror!), but I've been on such a roll with my six and seven day weeks, that I just couldn't stand to break the streak. And Fridays are such a nice easy day to do alone. So I put a cup of coffee in my husband's hand, parked him on the sofa, and hopped on the mat.

Wheeee! I did a sweaty and focused primary, cheated and tacked on half of second and one pose of third, then did long long finishing. Ok, I did the shortest of all savasanas. I had a coconut shake chillin' in the fridge and couldn't wait to get to it, but other than that I stayed pretty true to the program. So, maybe I am growing up a little! If I know I can get some steady instruction many days of the week, one day on my own may actually be nice. I did an hour and a half of practice with no travel time, no flooded F train and no rush hour commute. Now that doesn't suck!

And now a word on coconut smoothies. They are one of the best breakfasts ever. Smooth, creamy, rich, satisfying, and totally healthy. Interestingly, young thai coconuts are totally balanced from an Ayurvedic perspective. The water is cooling and cleansing while the meat is grounding and warming, so together they make a good meal for any dosha. Also, and now I'm just justifying the addiction perhaps, they're said to be amazingly high in potassium and electrolytes, they've got healthy medium chain fatty acids in the meat, and great protein to boot. What can beat that?

To make, shave off the spongy white part on the top of the young coconut. Whack at the thing with a heavy knife, in sort of a square around the top, then turn the knife over and whack really hard with the back of the blade till coconut shavings and water are flying everywhere. Now the top should come off. Pour the water into a blender, scoop out the meat/jelly depending on how old the coconut is. Add vanilla, stevia and sometimes pumpkin pie spice to taste. Blend and slurp!

This is what it will look like after all the work.

Seriously, it may sound like a weird thing, but it is so good I have to hide from the husband while drinking it or it might get usurped!

And speaking of which, if only I could get him moving we could get upstate and get cooking. Literally. We have to take down the garden this weekend and harvest the basil. Pesto time! And I think a blustery fall day in the mountains may call for a batch of my hearty beet borscht with horseradish macadamia cream, a vegetarian dish even my carnivorous husband enjoys. Wonder of wonders.

Question of the day: What's your favorite warming fall dish? Does your whole family love it, or do they just think you're weird?