Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May Greetings

Gosh It's May already! Yikes just where is the Springtime going? It's been downright busy! Time flies when you're having fun! So much to do and lots of activities calling out for attendance and attention. The garden needs energy and thank goodness too because it is so comforting to work in the soil and then admire the work and the beauty of the flowers and veggies you've planted. Besides being such a busy and vibrant time....the Spring offers so much to nourish the senses.....that lush bright green when all the trees are newly leafed out, the sun setting through them and casting the serene shadows you only see at this time of year....the birdsong all around not to mention the farmer's markets are open again. It's so fun to visit with the farmers and the vendors and to buy all the fresh yummy produce again. The abundance of flowers and plants and local produce is almost overwhelming.

Going to my son's lacrosse game last week I was pleasantly surprised to be surrounded by the intoxicating fragrance of the locust trees in full bloom. Another highpoint this Spring was having breakfast with two dear friends at one of their homes. My friend's home was set back through hill and dale on the most lovely piece of land it felt like paradise to be there. We had a delicious breakfast with farmfresh eggs, and her homegrown sauteed garden spinach, simple yet sublime. I noticed my friend had a beautiful bouquet of lilacs on her table....before I left I asked her if I could cut some to take home. Of course she cut me a bunch and the fragrance and beauty of those lilacs fed me on so many levels. It is the simple things that take you the distance through all the busyness of life.

Speaking of farm fresh eggs....We get delicious eggs delivered to us every Wednesday by a local farmer who has lived in these rolling hills of Virginia all her life. Her hens are very happy free- ranging chickens. The yolks are as golden as they get. I've never eaten more delicious eggs in my life. She brings us 8-10 dozen eggs a week and we sell them dirt cheap at $2.50/ doz. It is a service we provide for our patients and we help her out also, it's a nice arrangement. The other nightafter a long workday I had no real idea in my mind for supper so I decided we'd just have egg pancakes. These pancakes were inspired by recipe in a Taoist cookbook but I winged it that night and oh boy were they ever good. My daughter Veronica liked them so much she said "I'm going to be making these alot Mom!"

Egg Pancakes/Eggrolls
These pancakes have no flour in them, just a random mixture of whatever veggies you have on hand and beaten eggs. I used probably 2 0r 3 scallions sliced fine, red cabbage, chopped fine, 1 cup of frozen peas, some minced chives and cilantro and a red pepper, chopped fine and 6 beaten eggs. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper. I heated 2 skillets (we were hungry and wanted to cook them faster)and swirled some extra virgin olive oil in the pans, then dropped spoonfuls of the egg/veggie mixture in the pans. I cooked them on medium to low heat and flipped them when the egg looked set. I removed them to a plate to keep warm till all of the egg mixture was used up. We served these by rolling them up in sheets of toasted nori that's when we call them delicious and nutritous. These can also be served with toast or rice. This recipe fed 3 hearty appetites, just figure about 2 eggs per person and you can put as many veggies as you want in them.

Well I hope all is well with you on your side of the world and I trust that you are enjoying the simple pleasures that bring you joy and peace and a light heart,

May Blessings,


Friday, March 19, 2010


Spring has spruuuuuuuuung and how are you? Obviously we are all so relieved to finally have the lovely warmer weather and the swelling buds and the crocuses and daffodils. The excitement with all the fresh clean energy around us our eyes can't help but simultaneously see the toll that the winter has taken. Taking inventory of our homes and gardens we clear out the gardenbeds, empty the gutters and clean the debris out of the yard. The work now is to clean up to make way for the new growth that is pushing up. Spring energy fills us with fresh ideas and a renewed sense of vitality and so we may start to ask what new growth is springing up within us and at the same time we can't help but take inventory on the toll winter has taken on us.

To begin with ...Does your exercise program need reviewing or even resuscitating?I know my movement plan needed a jumpstart and once again my walks feel appealing as it is a pleasure to be outside in the warm sunshine taking in the sights of the flowers and the lively happy birdsongs. It is especially fun to walk with a friend which has been a great motivation for me.
Perhaps you feel the need to lighten up, drop a few pounds and get moving again. Spring has a way of waking us up and thank goodness for that .....we feel glimmers of hope and the promise of warmer and longer days ahead....Yahooooo!

My eating plan needed adjusting as well and I have taken on my springtime detox by cutting out sugar, wheat, eggs, dairy, and soy....and eating tons of fresh veggies especially of the cruciferous family which to name just a few includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, cabbage, brussel sprouts. I've been eating lots of onions , leeks, garlic, radishes and anything green that I can get my hands on. I've been enjoying the simple flavors of apples and pears and other fruits as well as brown rice and quinoa and healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil. I'm also taking a rice protein based medical food designed to support liver detoxification and give me optimal nutrition. It's amazing how delicious veggies and fruits can taste when you make simple dietary changes....your taste buds really come alive. My energy has been good. The detox has been a good excuse to shift my energy and get focused again. It's a good time to lighten up and do a little bit of spring cleaning and I should be done in time for a nice simple Easter celebration.

I can't seem to grow tired of the lowly cabbage all varieties and colors. I've been roasting wedges of it in the oven with olive oil, seasalt and fresh ground pepper, splashed with a dash of fresh lemon juice. I've been slicing it super fine and making a coleslaw with apples (check out the recipe in a previous post). Making a simple soup with vegetable stock, onions and caraway seeds. The photo below is Simple Sauteed Cabbage. I started by just swirling some olive oil in a pan, then tossed in some finely sliced leeks and very finely sliced red and green cabbage. Stirred and sprinkled with fresh ground seasalt and black pepper and it was done in 5-8 minutes tops. Yummy.....! The idea of this side dish is vibrant color, interesting texture and delicious flavor without much fuss and bother!

And finally.....the fourth and final installment for Handbook 2010:

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change...
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.. The best is yet to come...
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

So there you have it. You should be good to go! Enjoy the Spring and your life!

All my Best,


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waiting for Spring

Wheweeee! This winter sure has been a no other. Lately everyone I talk to is so over the top eager for Spring and why not after all this snow and wind and cold. The good news is Spring is coming it's already here except for the temperatures and the snow that is slooooowly melting. The Lunar calendar ushered in the Spring in early February despite the fact that we were having a very large snow here in Virginia. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to notice the change in the birdsong and their change in behavior. While I was out there hefting the snow shovel the birds truly were singing in that Spring- like tone. I finally saw a few of my bulbs poking through the snow yesterday.....another sure sign. And of course the robins have's only a matter of time before we have some warmer temperatures.
On February 14th the Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year coincided with Valentine's auspicious! And this New Year is the Year of the Tiger. The Tiger being very strong ,unpredictable and courageous....many people have forecasted this year to be one of turmoil, unpredictability and social upheaval....evidence for this already abounds and likewise challenges us to have more patience, calm and adaptability to ride the tiger to a place of equilibrium. Success is assured if we adapt, adjust and accommodate, and continue to strive for yet more inner peace. If you want to read more about the Year of the Tiger go to the following links:

So the challenge as always is maintaining peace under all circumstances.....a somewhat tall order, especially when we're tired and weary. I'm just trying to be patient and hold on until the energy truly shifts and I feel my own sap rising....I know I will have greater energy to carry out all of the new ideas that have been percolating within me and coming to me through my winter dreaming. But for now I will continue to do my best and try to eat well, rest well, exercise as much as possible and nurture myself as I want to be ready when the rest of Spring arrives. I am also trying to get clear on just when to do my Spring Detox....I am so looking forward to getting lighter in body mind and spirit. More on Detoxing in another post.

While the weather is still wintery.....Soups and stews continue to be very satisfying even though I do find myself craving lighter flavors. Tonite in my hurried preparation of dinner I made some Awesome Roasted Veggies (recipe in bold) along with baked sweet potatoes and roasted chicken. I first decided I would roast some chunks of red onion, and decided to throw in some sliced brussel sprouts and then my tastebuds wanted something light and sweet so I threw in some sliced apple, stirred it all up ..... the olive oil got drizzled on and then the salt and pepper and it went into the 400 degree oven and baked for about 40 minutes, stirring every so often. It was yummy and delicious and not much fuss at all!
Remember the Handbook 2010? Here is the third installment, it has to do with how we can relate to society and it seems even more fitting considering the Year of the Tiger!


25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least 3 people smile everyday.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Stay warm, Stay peaceful, Be easeful and useful, Blessings on us one and all,
All Ways, Lisa

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can already feel the vibrancy of this new year and a roaring start to a new decade. Finally we've had some real winter....who can argue with 2 feet of snow, frigid temps and windy days. This winter weather has called me to rest more, eat more and stay indoors more and that has made perfect sense except for the fact that the pace of life has demanded me to work more, think harder, and scurry from place to place. Let's face it Spring weather is at least 8 weeks away and we are in it for the long haul so what are we to do while we wait? Quiet activities like cozying up on the couch with a good book or watching a good movie, going to bed early, spending time indoors, and cooking are some of the things that come to mind. However, the busyness of life with all of its pressing matters has been taking its toll and leaving me feeling somewhat in conflict. So as a result I am looking for ways to calm myself and my spirit while I wait. I've started my meditation practice once again and feel the effects already.

The other day I observed a mother with two young chidren and one child was annoying the other and the mom quietly but firmly reminded the annoying child to take a moment alone to find their center. She instructed the child to sit down and take three breaths. The child did this and became much calmer and stopped the annoying behavior. I thought great that is to get taught this habit at such an early age. This is such a simple tool but one I forget too often. And so a meditation practice can be as simple as this, just concentrating on the flow of breath...nothing fancier than that and it doesn't have to take too much time. One thing I've been doing on a daily basis has been taking an afternoon tea break even if I don't have time to sit and drink it just simply making myself my favorite tea and setting it on my desk while I work allows me to have a moment of warming and comforting stillness with each sip.

Another calming practice for me has been the making and eating of soup. Of course the making of soup takes more time and preparation than the actual eating of it. The creative process however can be very rewarding, the chopping, stirring, simmering and boiling becomes an alchemical process in and of itself and then the by product of your work is pure nourishment on all levels.
The actual eating of soup requires slowing down with each spoonful. You have to sit down when you eat soup and it simply takes more you can use soup time as a time for mindfulness and the partaking of a meditative feast.

Obviously winter time is soup time so it makes perfect sense to transform these ordinary moments into moments to treasure. So honestly now......all I want to eat is soup. Soup for breakfast, soup for lunch, and you guessed it soup for supper! Well maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit. But seriously I'm making soup everyday and sometimes two soups a day! Soup is great because anything goes, it's easy and soothes the palate and the soul. The soup recipe I'm going to share is standard fare, probably everyone has their own version of Minestrone. Well this is mine and it comes out different everytime but always delicious. Feel free to modify the recipe to meet your desires. I usually cook up a small pot of pasta on the side for anyone who wants to add pasta. Cooking the pasta this way instead of in the soup keeps it from getting too mushy and you can also regulate your intake of carbs easier.

Minestrone Soup

2 Tb. olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced in thin rounds
1 cup cabbage, shredded or chopped small
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
2 bouillon cubes
4 cups water
fresh ground black pepper
fresh parsley, minced
fresh garlic, minced
olive oil to drizzle
In a large soup pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil til soft. Add the rest of the veggies and saute for a few minutes. Add the canned beans, tomatoes, bouillon cubes, water, stock and spices except for fresh parsley and garlic. Bring up to a boil then turn down to simmer til all veggies are tender. Right before serving taste for salt and pepper and toss in lots of fresh minced parsley, garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

As I mentioned in my last post....I would be including another installment of Handbook 2010. I don't know who to credit for this it was circulating on the web and came to me via my dear friend here is part two.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

As the card on my desk says.....
" We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star
in our hand
and melting like
a snowflake."

Marie B. Ray

Enjoy the quiet moments while waiting for Spring,

My best to you always..............Lisa