Saturday, December 22, 2012

Solstice: Creating Change

The solstice presents us with an opportunity for growth and change.  The shortest day of the year ( in the north) beckons us to draw inward and explore our values and purpose in life.  We are about to explode, naturally, toward the Spring which will ask us to begin to manifest what we have internally created during the more yin, winter months.

What does moving inward mean?  For me it is long quiet walks or hikes in the crisp air.  I am fortunate to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I can walk out in the cold night air and view the star show above me, the constellations bright in their orbits.  I inhale the light of the universe and accept my connection to all.

Inward for me means an excellent opportunity to meditate without the pull of a thousand things.  It is dark in the early morning, it gets dark early so my active hours are limited by the availability of sun.

What do I want to manifest in the coming year that I can work with right now?  For each of us it will be different.  Strengthening my macro practice, by working with new clients, teaching myself new recipes and exploring with a deeper understanding the universal truths that Macrobiotics offers.

This year I was fortunate to become certified as a Food For Life Instructor by Dr. Neal Barnard's Physician's Committe for Responsible Medicine.  While very closely aligned with macrobiotic principles, the FFL program has great appeal to professional organizations and their clients/workers/patients using well researched class materials.  I will be delving into all the great materials I was given so that I can take this to a wider audience in 2013.

I have also been preparing to accept the Precepts at the Upaya Zen Center in March.  I have been very busy over the last many months preparing and sewing the elements for this occasion.  I find the Zen practice to be in almost perfect alignment with my macrobiotic practice.  I feel the strands of my life being woven into a coherent pattern,

With gratitude and a deep bow,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Late summer wind down

Ah the late summer here in New Mexico.  The fruit is ripening on the trees and I have already canned some delicious apricots ( ok that was mid-summer).  End of summer is tricky.  The daytime weather is warm, but the evenings cool considerably.  We still feel like eating lightly cooked dishes, but as the evenings cool it is time to fuel the body with warmer dishes.  Since the fruit is ripening enjoy, but do not overindulge.  The sweetness can cause some buildup leading to the end of summer cold and respiratory problems.

The 5th season, which we are in now reflects sweetness and highlights the stomach and pancreas organs.  It is a short season and we will soon barrel into fall, which absolutely governs your intestines and your lungs.  The more gently we make this entry into the shorter days critically affects our strength.  What I mean by more gently is, enjoy the sweet flavors of fruit harvest, but notice that butternut and kabocha squash are making their way back to the stores.  Use sweet vegetables in lightly cooked stews now, in your nishime, in sweet vegetable jam, in teas.

Did you get that last breath of summer congestion.  Try the Black Soybean Tea.  It really works.  Twice a day!   I'll have it posted in the recipe section shortly. You will see your congestion break up and your lungs feel less stressed.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


A break in the summer heat and we have the rains now, cooling everything down quite a bit.  As in many parts of the country Santa Fe has experienced day after day of record heat and no rain.  Dry as a bone here.  I remind myself that I need to adapt my cooking styles for this climate.  I have no interest in cooked cereal in the morning, the thought just does not energize me.  What I am wanting and having are green juices.  Made with spinach and kale and green apple, sometimes beet, sometimes apple, these liquid breakfasts fill me and satisfy me.
I am also eating more raw salads, the thought of turning on the stove burners for every meal just does not suit me at this time.  Grated beets and jicama add color and crunch to salads, as do pan roasted seeds.  Topped off with a homemade vinaigrette it is just the thing to sit with on the porch as the evening cools the air.  Grain and bean salads balance  meals, using our more traditional pressed and blanched salads.  The farmer's market in Santa Fe is just beginning to burgeon with the flavors of Northern New Mexico, so summer soups of corn and yellow squash help keep the digestion running smoothly.
But as I mentioned, the cooling summer rains are here and with that my thoughts turn to some lightly cooked dishes....mmmmm Nishime!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Springtime in New Mexico

Most people really don't understand "true" spring in northern New Mexico. It took me a couple of years to get it. Springtime in Northern NM is bright beautiful days and lovely cool evenings. It is also windy, very windy. Windy beyond belief and lots of blowing dust and dirt. Last Sunday, in Santa Fe, we had gusts over 70 miles per hour. I have been told that after 5 years , many people start to suffer incredible seasonal allergies. The juniper is just about to bloom and you can actually see the yellow pollen blowing in big clouds from the trees.

So far, and most likely due to the Macrobiotic lifestyle, I have avoided the runny nose and headaches and itchy eyes. If our blood gets sticky the allergens stick. Our blood quality suffers when we eat unbalanced, processed foods. Our blood quality suffers when we do not begin to transition to spring cooking until it is late ( well into March!) because no matter where we live the signs of spring may not be obvious. But I am achy from the wind. I didn't connect that symptom until I started to think about wind and Chinese theory. So my remedy is apple juice kuzu drink, warm and flexible. My food plan is to eat more lightly cooked vegetables and to enjoy barley. Barley is the spring grain and a helps dissolve and discharge the heavier winter foods and fats.

In honor of the wind and Santa Fe Spring check out the barley soup recipe in the recipe tab.