Want Less, Give More

As the day dedicated to the act of giving thanks approaches, I’m moved by this inspirational video put together by Team Yoga Slackers. I love the music and the seven and ½ minutes left me feeling in sync with the truths that they present.

I hope their message reaches more people. If you want to see change in the world, be that change.

If that video doesn’t stir a little feeling within you, maybe it’s a peace offering that’s in order.

Or maybe it’s just a great day to joyfully dance some time away!

If you’re not feeling that athletic, maybe a soulful melody will help you simply open your heart and be.

Remember to be gentle with others. If someone opens up to you, treasure and protect that gift. It doesn’t cost anything to give a hug or speak a few comforting words.

Serving the Spirit of the Mountain

Every once in a while I stumble across a video from Lilou (of Juicy Living) where she’s interviewing someone regarding what they do as part of her life’s journey. This time, I came across an interview with Michel Domit the creator and visionary of the El Santurario near Mexico City. His words and spirit touched me through this video, which is a good enough reason to share.

Event thought it’s more than seventy minutes long (and has slow parts) there is a genuine truthfulness that is shared in the conversation. It took me a couple days to get through it, but I’m glad that I did!

Here is the interview:

It wasn’t until the video was nearly over that I realized why I felt compelled to watch. Just after sixty minutes into the interview Michel shares tips regarding “what is your mission in life”. For, he states, everyone has a mission in life. And that’s where I started to listen a little closer for the feeling that I have with my own life is that my true mission in life is just now starting to take root and grow. The time spent at my job has been great at providing for raising a family, but it does nothing to grow the soul.

I think it was the very last story in the interview is where things came together for me. That story starts just over 65 minutes into the interview. This is where Michel talks about how the stain glass room came into being. The video cuts to showing the ceiling of the great room and it made me think of what I’d been meditating on creating. It was at that point that the feeling in my meditations came to surface. The woodwork, glass work and openness of the environment all fits with what I’ve been visualizing. Just like Michel sees the location as a sanctuary for the soul, so to have I been envisioning a place where I can live and work that matches the location that he’s developed. The spirit of his intent seems to match my visions.

But I have no desire to run a hotel or resort on that type of scale. There is a difference between working and living or doing something because you get paid verses doing something because you love doing it. I don’t mind hard work as long as it’s something that I enjoy doing. The key part is it has to be something that I’m passionate about and that it fits into the life mission part of things.

When Michel talks about having an open heart, or analyzing the virtues of your heroes for in that is the seed of your mission in life, or don’t wait – start practicing now or perform little acts of compassion on a regular basis, well, these are all things that I have passion for. There is much more to life than keeping the corporate wheel turning.

People blossom when the soul is allowed to shine through. We get a glimpse of that in this interview between Lilou and Michel. That can happen between anyone anywhere when you are committed to having an open heart and allowing the spirit to shine through.

Either I’ve got a trip coming my way, or the vision that I’ve put forth is starting to manifest in more physical terms.

Enjoy the video (if you have time) and perform acts of kindness on a regular basis!

Cranberry Grape Cheesecake (by Sweetly Raw)

A couple weeks ago when browsing the web I came across a recipe posted on Heather Pace’s website Sweetly Raw that caught my eye. She called it Cranberry Grape Cheesecake. Her beautiful pictures and recipe can be found here.

Did you look at her pictures?  Can you imagine making a cheesecake out of cranberries? 

Well, even though the thought of eating a hand full of cranberries makes my mouth pucker, I still felt attracted to the idea of creating and consuming this pink confection. Thus, yesterday (& two days ago) I put some time in to see if I could duplicate what she created and, more importantly, see if it was something that could be served on thanksgiving. Well….

It turned out! I was pretty shocked for I’m not the best chef and I almost always stray from the main recipe. I’d say that I replicated that pink color to the T.

Would you like a slice?

There are two key differences that I’d like to share with you – if you haven’t already noticed.

First off, look at the crust. What Heather put together has stuck together. Most of my pie crusts ‘perform’ this way (lol – Ha! That might come across like a comment from an armchair quarterback for I would definitely not call myself a Raw Food Chef and I’m just in it for the eating!). I would imagine that when she blanched her almonds they might have picked up some of the water. Even when I go and put what I think is the driest crust together water seeps down making it doughy rather than flaky.

Well, … I improvised a little here. One thing was that I did not blanch my almonds. Another is that I used ½ cup ground flax seed rather than oat groats. I don’t know if that really makes a difference, but look at my flakey crust! Well, ok, crumbly crust. But it reminded me of the old gram cracker crust that you would see on a standard cheesecake.  

The second one is that she had a bag of fresh concord grapes that she was working with (See her post from a few days earlier). I had simple red ones that I could find at the grocery store. I would have loved to have some deep blue fresh off the vine berries, but, such is life. I got what I got and, well, I’m pretty darn happy with it!

So now that it’s been cut, I’ve only got ½ the pie left. That might say something about how it tastes. It is surprisingly good! The crust carries a candy bar crunch with just a hint of vanilla. The body is firm and neutral. It doesn’t contain too much cranberry or nuts. It provides the full texture of cheesecake – just like what you’d expect from the dairy versions. And then there’s the topping. It’s tangy and sweet at the same time. Together the three textures mix together perfectly.

A couple hours after I got to enjoy a slice a good friend and her son stopped by on their way home.  She loved every bit (which doesn’t really say much for she would go out of her way to not hurt my feelings). Yet her eight year old son just says it like it is. When I offered him a small slice I got the classic “I’m going to get a candy-bar tasting slice of cheesecake” facial expression. Well, he took the first bite and I could read that he was undecided. He took a few more and figured out that it wasn’t like candy. At the half way point he laid the slice over and ate all the crust. Then he took a couple more bites of the body and didn’t know what to do with the topping. Normally, if he doesn’t like something he’ll take one bite and find something else to do. Today, he got through more than ¾’s the slice and didn’t have a bad word to say about it. When I asked how the crust was he said that it was really good.

I take that experience as a definite acceptance of this desert. I really don’t like things too sweet and this one turned mildly sweet.

Overall, I think I’ve found a new way to enjoy cranberries! I would like to send a warm (pink) thank you to Heather for sharing her creation for the world and encourage you to give it a try.


PS. After looking the recipe over closer, I’ve noticed that I did change things up a bit more than I listed above.

Crust – I used Flax rather than oat groats. I used maple syrup (not agave). I also used ½ teaspoon vanilla powder (not liquid).

Filling – I did not use stevia or the orange essential oil.

Topping – I used orange zest and a little more than 3 tablespoons grape juice (note that this was just juiced grape juice!).

A little Flowmotion?

How does she do this? Well, ok, so she might have made this routine up, but how is anyone else going to be able to do this? I challenge you to watch the video a couple times and see if you can describe the leg movements at the start and transition point!

I get – up and out (like the splits form three legged dog) – down and under (for a two limb balance) – up and over (three legged dog with hip opener) – with leg bent circle the leg down and circle around (and up) to end up back in the three legged dog with hip opener – knee down to chest only to swing up almost to splits – circle down nearly to the flow only to swing up to three legged dog – and then swing down to a lunge with the foot outside the hands. … I still don’t think I’ve got this motion down!  I’ve watched the first 20 seconds about 10 times!  Dang. 

Now, your turn!  Here is Sarah Tomson Beyer instructing her flowmotion in San Diego last month.

I love this little flow routine!

I love the way she flips her dog! It’s both artsy and athletic at the same time. Taking that to swing into side plank is a nice transition. She makes it look so easy. And then at the end she hops back to Chaturanga Dandasana. That’s a nice touch to the artistic routine.

I’m going to have to learn this. I wonder if there is a place (near home) where people practice yoga like this? Maybe she’ll come out with a DVD. That will bring it home!

Hey, I did a little searching on the web and I can’t help but wonder if this next video has the second part of the routine that seemed to end in the first video. You think?

I can’t imagine the class actually being able to get this routine in one take like this. … Unless those students are REALY good! I’d have to do it over and over before it would start to sink in. It’s too bad that the video is cut off just after Sarah’s performance (instruction) for it would be nice to see how well the students picked it up.

Just had a thought. J  If you teach longer flow moves like this chances are the students are going to come back for class after class in order to learn the routine. I wouldn’t expect anyone to get it in the first class. Maybe that’s job security for her. Lol.

Ok. One more. This one is more like a commercial, but check out the setting! Wow! I would love to go to a yoga studio that looked like that!

Yoga in the Gallery! I love all the art on the walls and the big open setting! I could do without the white floors (prefer wood), but I love the modern look of the place. I love the energy of this place – and look at all the students!  I wonder if that’s what yoga is like in the big city?

Ok. Tomorrow I’m going to give the little routine in the top video a try. Hopefully, I’ll be able to remember the leg movements.

If you give it a try let me know!

Orange Mango Strawberry Parsley Smoothie

Add another worthwhile smoothie to the collection. This one gets its flavor from the strawberries, sweetness from the dates and creaminess from the mango. Parsley comes along to sweeten the breath and sharpen the eye-sight!

It’s the middle of November and I’m now getting down to the last of the greens from the garden. Event thought we’ve had a frost and more than half the leaves have fallen off the trees, the parsley’s strong enough to endure. What a great plant. Even though I’ve still got Collard Greens and kale, the parsley still tastes fresh and healthy! The Collard Greens turned peppery and that it’s too really not something I can stomach. The kale, well, no longer tastes all that flavorful, it’s kind of old.

So, using what’s offered, parsley’s on the menu!


  • 2 oranges
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 10 frozen strawberries
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 fresh bunch parsley

The work comes pealing and removing the seeds. I like to buy oranges that have seeds for the fruit tastes better. Add the fruit to the blender and liquefy.

Once it’s liquid, press in the parsley.

Plan on having enough for breakfast and half a lunch! This combination yields about 6 cups.

I love these small mouth quart jars! This one is an old honey jar that I’ve been recycling for months now. As long as you promptly wash it out before the residue dries, the lid will not corrode very fast. When the lids ware out, it turns out that the jar doesn’t hold my interest much longer. Fortunately, I can still find great raw honey in quart jars so my source doesn’t run dry.

Have a great day!