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Blog

The blog of Kate Schwabacher, Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic consultant, and a Chinese Medicine student. Healthy recipes, yoga ideas and more. 

FAVORITE COOKED CABBAGE

Kate Schwabacher

There are a myriad of reasons to love cabbage in addition to its beauty. It's hearty, so holds up well texturally when cooked. It's inexpensive and lasts longer than that wilting bunch of lacinto kale. And there are many health benefits!

Cabbage can be used for joint pain, constipation, cough, the common cold, ulcers, healing wounds, irritability, and weight loss too! It's a pretty incredible plant, and its gentle pungency is perfect for improving circulation and mental alertness in Spring. 

I always know when Spring has rolled around because I start craving cabbage in salads and in my sautées. As you may know, cabbage is also known for causing gas, but with the addition of fennel seeds and scallions you'll be in the clear. ;)

Enjoy! 

 

FAVORITE COOKED CABBAGE  

Serves 2 small servings or 1 large.   

  • 1/2 Tbs Coconut oil
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Loosely packed 2 c chopped purple cabbage
  • (Optional) skinned & chopped broccoli stalk
  • Sea salt

In a pan over medium heat, melt oil and stir in scallions and seeds. After two minutes, add the broccoli stalk if using and stir for another minute. Add cabbage and a splash of water. Stir more or less continuously until cabbage is soft outside but still with a bit of bite, about four minutes. Serve warm and chew well. 

*If you don't have a broccoli stalk available, adding a touch of any green vegetable or leafy herb (parsley, cilantro, dill) will make the dish more visually appealing.  

OUT SMART SUGAR CRAVINGS

Kate Schwabacher

image.jpg

You know that feeling when you wake up and you're dreaming of pancakes? Or a donut? Or whatever your sweet teeth craves? Today was that day for me and it was fluffy pancakes.  

Demonizing food is really not my style, and on a usual morning I would make a small batch of multigrain pancakes with extra flax meal, ground sesame seed, ghee, and real maple syrup. But I was out of my pancake mix so I started considering the possibilities, the cafes locally where I knew I could find my beloved pancakes. I waited to make any decisions until I'd finished my morning routine. 

And then some really important stuff happened:  

1. I drank some hot lemon water with raw honey.  

2. I got some cuddles from my husband.  

3. I did some yoga asana, breathing, and intention setting for the day.  

Basically I did three things that align with my deep held values: body nourishment, love, mindfulness, intentionality. 

By the end of all that, did I still want pancakes? Yes. But did I realize I'd feel much better and meet my sweet craving if I roasted a delicious & nutritious yam instead- yes! So I chopped & tossed the yam in the oven and while that was cooking heated some quinoa kitchari, added burdock root, ginger, green beans, and kale. And ta-da! A meal that I feel propels me in the direction to more fully align with my deep heart desires for my life.  

When you get a sugar craving next try these four things and see if the craving shifts: 

TIME  give yourself some time to really consider if your craving is what the deeper parts of you really want.  

DRINK something nourishing, ideally warm and a little sour (like lemon, lime, hibiscus, apple cider vinegar). This will hydrate you, soothe your nerves, and help move any stuck pitta that might be contributing to the craving.  

ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES   of self-love/care with action. Maybe it's asana (including legs-up-the-wall) or mindful breathing, a walk, cuddling with a companion, or maybe just a few jumping jacks. Do something that connects you to a positive rhythm of self-care. Momentum in a healthy direction means you'll be more likely to make healthy choices! 

HONOR the craving. If you're still craving sweet- It's okay! It's important to not ignore cravings because it's a message from your body and sweet foods can be good for you. We can meet a sweet craving in a way that reflects our commitment to to self-care.

Here are a few of my favorite refined-sugar-free sweet treats : 

  • roasted or steamed yam or winter squash
  • fresh fruit  
  • a medjool date  
  • a cup of herbal tea with raw honey  
  • fennel tea or fennel seeds to munch 
  • many herbal tea with licorice  

 Best wishes for balanced cravings! 

 

 

STEWED PEARS PLUS

Kate Schwabacher

stewed pears and apples

'Tis the time for pears! 

Or at least that's what my teachers are saying. I can hear one of them in particular describing a cough that is common this time of year then saying, "If you all have been eating your pears like I've been telling you to, then hopefully you've avoided this." Cue everyone adding pears to their grocery list. 

Me, I'm not a huge pear fan. I like them; I just don't love them. And they tend to not travel well, which in my life sets them farther down the  list. That said, with so many endorsements for pears lately, I was keen to fit them in. 

Stewed fruit is a wonderful and easy to digest way to enjoy fruit for breakfast AND not give yourself a big sugar high and low. Cinnamon, an essential culinary herb, does a number of things like improve circulation & fight off colds, but the special quality it lends here is balancing blood sugar. Eating two pieces of fruit with no spices or fat component would not give me enough energy to make it to lunch, but when stewed with a little ghee and spices, it's statisfying and stabilizing. 

So why pears? Pears are sweet, astringent, and cooling with a pungent post-digestive effect. They're wonderful for these dry and warm times of year to help cool pitta, especially in the lungs. They're a bit of an anomaly: They create moisture in the lungs, are useful in coughs with tough-to-expectorate sputum (the yellow kind or the persistent tickle) but have a diuretic action so they ultimately help reduce kapha dosha. Interesting, no? Those with weak digestion should be sure to have them spiced and stewed so the cooling properties don't further weaken agni. 

This recipe makes one reasonable portion. If you feel you need a heavier breakfast, I recommend eating the stewed fruit, waiting an hour and then eating a handful of soaked & peeled almonds-- another great lung health food. Be sure not to eat the almonds & fruit together or your digestion may suffer (and your co-workers too as it can lead to stinky gas to combine fruit with other foods). 

I hope you enjoy your stewed & spiced fruit! 

 

STEWED PEARS PLUS

Prioritize organic produce: Apples & grapes (a.k.a. not-yet-dried raisins) both made the Dirty Dozen this year

1 pear (I used bartlett here, but my mom used to make it with bosc and it was delicious)

1/2 large red apple

1 tsp ghee or coconut oil (ghee is ideal for this time of year or those with weaker digestion)

1 heaped tablespoon of raisins

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

fresh nutmeg

Chop fruit into spoon-size-friendly pieces. In a medium pot, melt ghee and add apples, pears, and raisins. Stir, then add water to almost cover the fruit. Bring to a simmer then turn the heat to low, cover, and cook at a low simmer until apples & pears start to fall apart. Stir in cinnamon and cook for a minute or two more. The volatile oils in the cinnamon are part of what make it so healing, so it's best not to cook it for long. Turn off heat and let cool a bit. Serve with fresh nutmeg grated on top. 

Happy fall! 

~ Kate 

 


Do you wish you could communicate better? 

Some of you may remember from over two years ago now, when I got married there was this radiant woman, Alejandra Siroka, who officiated Blake's and my vows. We chose Alejandra because of her authenticity, understanding of relationships, values, and the way she walks her talk. I still go to her when I need communication guidance support, and the lessons I've received from her have changed the way I communicate daily

Because clear and effective communication is at the core of any successful relationship, I invite you to join Alejandra Siroka, M.A., Language Alchemist in a free special webinar where she will share three tools to develop successful relationships through authentic communication.

Register for free here. The call takes place on Wednesday, Oct 21st at 5:30pm Pacific Time. 

The webinar will be recorded and everyone who registers will receive the recording.