Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Funny tomato ripening reminder for us non-farmers

These are the lovelies from my final CSA pickup yesterday. Ripening nicely, while playing by Julia's (Peasants Plot in downstate Illinois) not so subtle rule:

Place tomatoes on the counter, out of direct sun, with space all around each of them. Do not store them in the refrigerator unless you want to RUIN EVERYTHING.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hummus & Tomato Tartine

juicy tomato + hummus tartines |

How easy is this breakfast (or lunch or snack)? Start with sprouted grain bread (I like trader joe's), add fresh hummus, tomato, salt/pepper, and some basil or mint. Amazing!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mistake or Opportunity??

So, I was out dancing the other night and I ripped one of my favorite pair of jeans!  I was super bummed and then I thought for a minute and was like "Wait, these are going to be the BEST jean shorts!"

The lesson is that no matter what life throws at you how you deal with it defines who you are.  If you take every experience as am opportunity for change and growth you will lead a happy and fulfilled life!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Psoas Major fun facts

Pilates keeps your Psoas Major Healthy!

The psoas major, the body’s main engine of walking, is one of three muscles that make up the iliopsoas muscle group. The psoas major inserts on the back half of the inner thigh, comes forward to cross over the rim of the pelvis and moves backwards again to attach along the lumbar or lower spine.
Psoas major attaches at six points, the back of the inner thigh and then five different points along the spine. The first four vertebrae of the lumbar spine, which is the lower back, and the bottom vertebrae of the thoracic spine; which is anything that includes a rib. (T12). As a result the psoas spans and affects many joints as opposed to the iliacus, for example, which only crosses the one joint where the leg meets the pelvis.
The psoas is unique for many reasons.
• Only two muscles connect the legs to the spine. The psoas major and the piriformis.
• 57 muscles attach on the pelvis. The psoas, which doesn’t attach to the pelvis, is arguably more influential in regards to the pelvis than any of them.
• Your psoas is intimately connected to breathing as the diaphragm muscle, the main muscle of respiration, has ligaments that wrap around the top of the psoas and two long attachments, called crura, that come down to insert on the first three vertebrae of the lower spine. This means that every breath resonates in some way with the psoas and the movement of the psoas can have great influence on the breath.
• The psoas major moves in more than one direction as it comes diagonally forward to cross over the rim of the pelvis and then moves straight up to connect to the lumbar spine. This allows the psoas to work like a pulley system increasing the natural force that it can generate.
• The psoas major is the main muscle of walking. Walking is a full body experience initiated in the trunk and extending out through the extremities. The psoas from the deepest core moves the legs rather than the legs moving the body. In a weird way you can say the leg begins up at the top of the psoas as truly fluid movement in walking is felt as a pendulum like release from the base of the rib cage at T12.
• The psoas major is the body’s main hip flexor which is why it is the main muscle of walking but it plays a deeper maybe more important role as a flexor. Flexion is the one of the ways we manifest our distress, fear and trauma. Our inability to process these experiences and emotions create imbalances that often affect the psoas. For certain extreme cases it is like living in a state of constant flexion.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My favorite lentil soup for Fall

I've had a couple requests for my favorite lentil soup, so here it is in all its glory.  Not only is this soup good for you, but it's inexpensive, delicious, and lasts for days.

Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped
Saffron Yogurt
a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
1 tablespoon boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup 2% Greek Yogurt
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.
Serves 6 to 8.
- You can serve it with a poached egg on top,
- or crunchy, fried shallots,
- with a drizzle of chive infused cream,
- or with chunks of tiny pan-fried butternut squash cubes.
- Make a thicker version by using just a bit of water, and then spoon it over an omelette in the morning.
- Have some cooked farro or wheat berries around? Toss some in. Millet might be good too.
- You can finish the soup by adding your favorite spices or spice blends. Smoked paprika, crushed chiles, toasted cumin, would all work nicely.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014