Monday, June 30, 2008

The upside of a rainy day

It was cloudy yesterday in Brooklyn. And rainy. My Sunday plan of spending some time outdoors was ruined. I was bummed.

Moments later I had a phone session with a client. She had expressed disappointment of being passed over for a promotion. The news happened earlier in the week, and she was still disappointed. I asked her to think "how might this incident be serving you?" At first she was confused, didn't quite get it. So I asked her to consider what comes with a promotion. More compensation, sure. But also more responsibility and stress, which she already had a lot of in her life. I told her that maybe this was an opportunity for her to get a handle on her current workload. You could even call it a gift. She instantly felt more at peace.

So often our disappointment comes from not seeing the bigger picture. I tried to apply this same perspective to my own life. How might my rainy day might be serving me? Well, it gave me the opportunity to take care of some things I had been putting off - phone calls, writing in my blog, reading, etc. But it also would be a benefit to my farm! As a member of the Park Slope CSA, I get a fractional portion of whatever my farm harvests for the season. So perhaps this will lead to more strawberries! Or zucchini! Instantly I too was at peace. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The local season begins!

I'm officially into summer. I just picked up my share of produce from my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This week we were treated to strawberries, red lettuce, bok choy, chard, turnips, radishes, scapes, and parsley.

When you become a member of a CSA you pay upfront for a share of a particular farmer's harvest for the season. The season lasts 22 weeks from now until mid November. Every week is a mystery. You get some familiar items (e.g. strawberries) and some unfamiliar ones (e.g. scapes).

I personally love the challenge of figuring out what to do with my produce. It is also a great way to connect with your fellow CSA members. Gotta good recipe for these turnips? What is the best way to store my bok choy?

And how cool is it to have my very own personal farm? Answer: Super cool!

Recipe: Red Lentil Soup with Mustard Greens and Lime

This recipe is a variation of classical Indian dahl. Red lentils? The bright yellow color of this summery soup comes from turmeric, a great medicinal spice. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups split red lentils, picked over and rinsed several times
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped (or other green vegetable)
Juice of 3 limes or to taste
1 cup cooked rice
4 to 6 tablespoons yogurt

Put the lentils in a soup pot with 2 1/2 quarts water, the turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring:
In a medium skillet over low heat, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter with the cumin and mustard, stirring occasionally. When soft, about the time the lentils are cooked or after 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a minute more.

Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of 2 limes. Taste, then add more if needed to bring up the flavors. The soup should be a tad sour.

Just before serving:
Add then last tablespoon of butter to a wide skillet. When foamy, add the mustard greens and cook just long enough to wilt.

If the rice is warm, place a spoonful in each bowl. If it's leftover rice, add it to the soup and let it heat through for a minute.

Serve the soup, divide the mustard greens among the bowls, and swirl in a spoonful of yogurt.

-Recipe adapted from"Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison

Monday, June 23, 2008

What is holistic health counseling?

Two years ago I became a holistic health counselor. Five years ago I wouldn't have been able to answer this very question.

I thought if someone was physically ill, they went to see a doctor.
If they were mentally ill, they went to see a therapist.
If they needed to lose weight, they went to a nutritionist.
Holistic Health Counselor? That would have drawn a blank.

Sometimes a specialist is necessary. Like a doctor for emergency surgery. Or a therapist, if I'm dealing with the loss of a loved one. Or a nutritionist, if I want to go on a detox or drastically lose weight.

But what about someone who is looking for some healing that is a little more subtle? Someone who is 'fine' but simply doesn't look and feel their best. Someone who wants to get better, but just needs a little support. Someone who knows that something is intuitively 'wrong.'

Those are the individuals I feel are best served by a holistic health counselor (or at least me). These individuals take a long-term perspective and are not just trying to lose weight to get in a swimsuit by summer.

They want to look better, sure. But more than that they want to feel better from the inside-out.

My clients cite more energy, peace and satisfaction with their lives. To learn more visit my website.

My intention

My intention for this blog is to share another perspective about health. To expose others to new ideas, foods, recipes, thoughts, conversations that I have found inspiring in my own journey. I hope to make it accessible and fun, for those who are already passionate about holistic health, and also those who are simply curious.

I've never embarked on anything like this and am not sure where it will lead. I simply feel the need to share what I've learned with the world.

Integrative Nutrition