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Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Newsletter

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.


Soul Food

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

Food Focus: Beans
Beans, or legumes, including peas and lentils, are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Beans are found in most traditional cultures as a staple food, offering grounding and strengthening properties that enhance endurance. They offer a highly usable, highly absorbable source of calcium for the body. A very inexpensive source of high nutrition, beans can be rich, delicious and satisfying,

Lack of sexual energy is often due to overtaxed adrenal glands and kidneys. Beans are known for strengthening these organs (ever noticed the shape of a bean?) and can help restore vital energy as well as sexual energy.

Beans have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but this is usually because they have been undercooked or improperly prepared. To help reduce gas-forming properties, soak beans overnight prior to cooking, increase cooking time, add spices like bay leaf, oregano or cumin, or add kombu (a sea vegetable) when cooking.

Recipe of the Month: Easy Crockpot Beans 
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 5-6 hours
Yield: 4-5 cups

Step 1: Measure out 1 cup of dried beans (I do pinto or black beans)

Step 2: Add the beans to the crockpot and cover with about 2 inches of water. At this point you can add a couple of bay leaves or spices. I sometimes throw in a 1/4 of an onion for flavor. Do not add salt while they are cooking. If you want to salt them, wait until they are done cooking. 

Step 3: Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Drain in a strainer when done. 

Step 4: Enjoy right away or put one cup portions in containers or ziploc bags in the freezer. When you are ready to use the frozen beans, dump them into a strainer and run some warm water over them. They will start to fall apart quickly and then you can heat them in a pan over medium until warm. 

Forward to a Friend
It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.