Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hurt! Where does this come from?

Hurt, feeling hurt, dealing with hurt. I suffer from this constant feeling of hurt. It hits me quite frequently, from all directions. Very close friends to complete strangers even dogs. I still feel hurt and have tears in my eyes that Prema left and never looked back. I give in to the feeling of being hurt and lay in its power, feeling helpless, alone and not understood. Addicted to the drama of course, I am directing the best soap opera ever.  Best part is blaming others for "my" feeling of not so great. All the time wasting energy on "How could she do that? I am sooo sad....I don't deserve that at all... Why? why? why? " The evil powers of the universe, working against me..Uffff, life can be tough even in paradise, but it is in these moments we realize what it feels like to be living and discover the beauty of letting go....of me, myself, my life, the toxitiy around me... It never existed anyway...

This article is today from Daily OM, is very well said. I hardly recommend reading it while listening Hurt, from Johnny Cash! Repeat mode of course!

April 30, 2009

Healing with Hurt
Using Your Pain To Help Others

Pain is a fact of being and one that permeates all of our lives to some degree. Since the hurt we feel may be a part of the experiences that have touched us most deeply, we are often loathe to let it go. It is frequently easier to keep our pain at our sides, where it acts as a shield that shelters us from others and gives us an identity—that of victim—from which we can draw bitter strength. However, pain's universality can also empower us to use our hurt to help others heal. Since no pain is any greater or more profound than any other, what you feel can give you the ability to help bring about the recovery of individuals whose hurts are both similar to and vastly different from your own. You can channel your pain into transformative and healing love that aids you in helping individuals on a one-to-one basis and spreading a tide of curative energy throughout the world.

The capacity to heal others evolves naturally within those who are ready to disassociate themselves from their identity as victims. In fact, the simple decision to put aside the pain we have carried is what grants us the strength to redeem that pain through service. There are many ways to use the hurt you feel to help others. Your pain gives you a unique insight into the minds of people who have experienced trauma and heartache. You can draw from the wellspring of strength that allowed you to emerge on the other side of a painful experience and pass that strength to individuals still suffering from their wounds. You may be able to council individuals in need by showing them the coping methods that have helped you survive or simply by offering sympathy. A kinship can develop that allows you to relate more closely with those you are trying to aid and comfort.

Helping others can be a restorative experience that makes your own heart grow stronger. In channeling your pain into compassionate service and watching others successfully recover, you may feel a sense of euphoria that leads to increased feelings of self-worth and optimism. Your courageous decision to reach out to others can be the best way to declare to yourself and the world that your pain didn't defeat you, and in fact it helped you heal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rice Paper Rolls...still

More on rice paper rolls, because i eat them everyday and still love them so much. Please try this home, it is super easy and fun to eat with dripping avocados and sweet thai sauce.

Here are some more pictures on how we make them. The trick is to cover them tight with extra chard or spinach. Then roll super carefully and eat within an hour or so, max. Otherwise they get soggy and not the same thing...Deliciously healthy and crunchy.

Recipe here...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Groovy Grasshopper!

I hate wheat grass juice. I love drinking it, i love what it does to my body, but still I can't get over the taste and I don't like it. We have the shots in the cafe and it is pretty popular. People who know about wheat grass, are happy to get it here and I am amazed to see some people coming back for it. Happy, healthy people or the hangover surfer dudes. Shots are the easiest way to get an ounce of wheat grass to your body, but you need a special juicer.  However, i got this new recipe from Honey, the amazing lady who brings our organic produce and she is also a midwife. She says she drank this grasshopper everyday when she was pregnant. Twice.

1 cup of fresh wheat grass
2 cups of water
2 cups of pineapple
1/2 cups of loose fresh mint

add some agave if you like it sweeter...

Blend the wheat grass with water, strain. Add the pineapple and the mint. Blend again. Pour and start hopping!  Super easy, super sexy!

Now, about wheat grass and why it is good for you:

Dr. Ann Wigmore brought wheatgrass juice into the mainstream many years ago and it is one of the foundations to her healing program. According to 'The Wheatgrass Book' by Ann Wigmore:

Increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. It cleanses the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass also stimulates metabolism and the body's enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.

Stimulates the thyroid gland, correcting obesity, indigestion, and a host of other complaints.

Restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice's abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood.

Is a powerful detoxifier, and liver and blood protector. The enzymes and amino acids found in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants.

Has remarkable similarity to our own blood. Wheatgrass juice is 70% chlorophyll. The second important nutritional aspect of chlorophyll is its remarkable similarity to hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in the blood….when the "blood" of plants is absorbed in humans it is transformed into human blood, which transports nutrients to every cell of the body.

Sweetens the breath and firms up and tightens gums. Just gargle with the juice.

Is a beauty treatment that slows down the aging process when the juice is consumed. Wheatgrass will cleanse your blood and help rejuvenate aging cells, slowing the aging process way down, making you feel more alive right away. It will help tighten loose and sagging skin.

Why are minerals important?

Wheatgrass juice is one of the best sources of minerals. According to natural health expert Dr. John Whitman Ray:

* According to Senate Document No. 264, the official publication, 99 percent of American people are deficient in minerals, and a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease.

* The body is equipped to chelate only a small amount of some inorganic elements from nature. Therefore, the body requires the minerals to come from plants in a chelated form that the minerals may be properly assimilated and utilized. The efficiency of each mineral is enhanced by balanced amounts of the others.

* All nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, oils, etc. require minerals for activity. All bodily processes depend upon the action of minerals.

* Trace chelated minerals are more important in nutrition than vitamins. Vitamins can be synthesized by living matter, minerals cannot.

* Vitamins are required for every biochemical activity of the body. Vitamins cannot function unless minerals are present.

* Minerals are the catalysts that make enzyme functions possible. Chelated minerals combine with enzymes into an alkaline detoxifying agent which neutralizes the acid metabolic by-products of the cells and other toxic conditions within the body and prepares them for elimination.

* Hormonal secretion of glands is dependent upon mineral stimulation.

* The acid-alkaline balance(pH) of the tissue fluid is controlled by minerals.

* All elements work together as a collective whole. If there is a shortage of just one mineral, the balance of the entire bodily activity can be thrown awry. A deficiency of one mineral may disrupt the entire chain of life, rendering other nutrients either useless or inefficient.

Monday, April 20, 2009

wonderful information on superfoods...

Slurpy Miso Soup!

Here is the world's easiest and tastiest miso soup recipe, with amazing avocados and soba noodles! Miso has protein (2grs for 25 calories), vitamin B12, zinc, copper and manganese giving you tons of energy to play!

4 cups of water
1/2 cups of wild seaweed, wakame, arame, hijiki, dry
2 shitake mushrooms, (optional)
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
2 tablespoons of yellow miso
1/2 block of tofu, cubed and marinated in soy sauce for 10 minutes or more if you want
Soba noodles
1/2 avocado, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
sesame seeds, for decoration
optional, green onions

Boil the water in a pot and add the ginger, seaweed, mushrooms and a squirt of soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  Add the soba noodles and cook for another 6 minutes, until the noodles are soft. Turn off the stove and stir in the miso. Do not boil the miso soup as it will kill the enzymes. Taste and add more soy sauce if you like.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds, avocados and the green onions. Listo!!! All you need is a friend or two to share the pot and slurp away!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

killer tofu!

chunky grumpy rolls-long post!

Feeling full and happy. Ahhh, pura vida, the beauty of tasting amazing, fresh, organic food that I got to eat in my own restaurant. Does that sound snobby? I guess a little. but hey I am working long hours, i need to eat well. Finally I figured out a way to make super easy, super tasty, super filling rice paper rolls...

Chunky because they are loaded...Carrots, beets, sprouts, avocado, 3 rice paper rolls, spinach, lettuce, mint, cilantro..These are gigantic, burrito size!

Grumpy because it is so delicious, can't have enough...but then even if you have two, you get full and it is so tasty you want more but don't have any more space in your stomach, so you have to be patient till you get hungry again..

This recipe has been a work in process since 2 years. When Anna from Australia was working at Organico, she made the Vietnamese rolls for us but they were cumbersome. Too much prep work with ingredients we don't use for other dishes so there was always waste. But we sold them a lot and loved to eat the left overs, even after two days. With more work piling up, we retired the recipe.

Last week, Igor from Montreal showed up, a vegan, raw chef and our obsessive food conversation lead to a spontaneous food demo class and we made sushi and rolls. For the rice paper rolls he used carrots, beets, spinach, sprouts, all the ingredients we have ready for almost every dish on the menu. Except for the veggie pate with sunflower seeds that needed some soaking time, tons of veggies, spices, not too difficult but another extra item on the menu...i loved the rolls but not got the clarity to go ahead for a new menu item. Though he taught us the trick to make really stable rolls, using 3 rounds lined up like a Venn diagram and it is so much easier to fill it with tons of veggies and tuck the ends and roll with ease. A trick I have never knew before, makes such a difference. Check out some photos...

Then, two days ago, i searched for raw humus recipes totally unrelated, because I am tired of eating cooked food, hours wasted on energy, taking tons of enzymes, loads of it, to off-set the dead food and trying to take care of myself. So, I found a great recipe with zucchini...It is the same exact humus recipe we use at the cafe, made with zucchini instead o garbanzo beans. I made it today but since zucchini is very liquid, the humus turned out way too wet. Inspired from Igor's veggie pate, I added a cup of sunflower seeds, and it was perfect!

So, here it rolls ever...

3 rice-paper rolls, dipped into hot water for 30 seconds and lined up in a Venn Diagram.

shredded carrots, beets
cilantro, mint
raw hummus made with extra cup of sunflower seeds, 1 cup of parsley and 1 cup of spinach (use 3 tablespoons of humus for one roll)

Pile up all the ingredients in the order above and roll firmly. Serve with your favorite dressing or Thai sweet and chili sauce.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Making Chocolate with Keith

I metKeith 3 years ago when I first came to Montezuma for vacation. He is one of the few people who experienced my move to Costa Rica from the first day, watching Organico and me grow year after year. This week he was here again for a yoga retreat and it was really sentimental to share all the memories and also listen to his beautiful, inspiring real yogi wisdom. It makes all the bad days worth while when there is that one connection that stays forever and grows even without seeing each other...This must be cosmic love.

He invited his yoga group to my chocolate making class and i had one of the best times of my life last night. A full house, total Martha Stewart moment for me.

We tried 5 different flavors, basil, matcha-almond, coconut-curry-ginger, coffee-cardamom-cacao nibs, goji-cacao-spirulina. Then we rated all the flavors and the coffee one was the most popular, followed by coconut and matcha. I love doing these classes, it is so much fun to experiment, create and play with ingredients and share the love with others.

Here is the recipe and my gratitude to Keith, a beautiful angel in my life. I love you!

Fairy Chocolate Bars (70% Dark Chocolate)

1 cup of cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4+1/8 cups of agave nectar If you don't have agave, substitute with maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoon of lecitin
pinch of salt

Blend it all in a high power blender and divide in 5 bowls to experiment with different flavors.

Add 1 tablespoon of chopped basil

Add 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and 2 tsp of curry powder

optional: 2 tsp of candied ginger

Coffee-Cardamom-Cacao Nibs
1 tablespoon of coffee and cacao nibs
1 tsp of cardamom

Add 1 tablespoon of goji and cacao nibs and 1 tsp of spirulina

2 tsp of matcha powder
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of toasted almonds

Once you blend your flavors, wrap them on plastic or use molds and refrigerate over night.

And if you are in San Francisco, go to Keith's class at Laughing Lotus!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

pizza blues...

maybe it is only me but i feel really yucky sucky and not inspired and almost sad after having a delicious pizza...maybe the yeast or the gluten or the fact that I ate it really late, is strangely making me question why I don't listen to my also bothers me why I am so sensitive but I will just accept that as part of me, at least now and deal with the food part. It is lonely to be a vegetarian but at the same time it allows me to have real, deep experience with myself and I like that vegan wanna be, lonely girl:)

I am craving a cleanse but damn scared about commitments and others around me. I promised Ian to start a 30 day raw feast, i think I will do it. Why wouldn't I want to feel happy? Simply because it is harder to be happy than sad and the heavyess of being the victim, the "pitty me now please" syndrome...I don't think so.

Ian is serious about blogging his experience...Here....

I am going to try it, it will be fun....I want it to be fun! this is silly but funny!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

happy chocolate?

I am thinking about chocolate these days..having adult conversations around the subject with friends and talking openly about our love for chocolate. I don't know where all this is going, but I am playing with the idea of making chocolate. So far, we have been testing it in my classes, and people love it, but at the same time I do have a long history of loving and abusing chocolate, all the way to being addicted to it. I also know a lot of friends, especially women, who can't do without chocolate. Is this as bad as any addiction? Sure, especially if you are obsessing over it...Your mind time, if it is spent worrying, planning, thinking, searching, getting frustrated, being happy and all about chocolate, yes it is not fun but you can't stop it, there it is...Being under the influence... Personally, I am totally over the chocoholic days, I have maybe 4 chocolate bars in the fridge, untouched for over 3 months, a case of chocolate greens bars waiting to be packed for picnics and sort...but I am not sure if going back and making chocolate will contribute to other's addictions...Of course not everybody abuses chocolate, so maybe I am just over analyzing this, again, but it sounds like a dangerous love...I don't want to contribute to the weakness of others, i know how hard it would be, bu if i make healthy good chocolate and maybe sneak some greens of some sort, add some inspiring quotes or fun cartoons to the packaging, that might be fun. Afterall, life should be all about fun. We spend too much time worrying and stressing over  So, i guess I know what I want to do, tasty chocolate that is good for you and presented in a fun, inspiring way. It is organic, it is vegan, it is full of hmmm what would be a mood enchancer, happy chocolate?  Will be back on this subject with more ideas, i find this cartoon really funny!