Sending out my S.O.S.

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Hi everyone!

It’s been a hop and a skip since I last wrote on here, but that’s not say that I haven’t thought about this space frequently… almost daily to be honest. Originally I planned on doing a series on adrenal health, and how I’ve been recovering from fatigue. Well, a lot has happened since then and I think that simply weaving my insights into spontaneous posts will be more effective, for me and for you!!! After all, that’s the spirit of this adventurous blog!

But first thing’s first… I think I owe you guys a recipe! Get excited because I have lots of them to share, and they’re all tasty and vibrant. The kind of recipes that look good and are equally, if not more, delicious!

simple nori wrap with logo_s

FYI: that’s a tub of wheat grass to the right, not photoshopped in!

Inspired by Kasia Hrecka at Nourish Up, this recipe makes an easy snack/mini-meal, and its bold flavors will leave you considering making another one right away! When I first made this I had it as part of my lunch for a week straight.

Instructions

  1. First take out a nori sheet (can be found at Asian markets and most health food stores), and wash and rinse either two large romaine leaves or about 4 small ones. That’s your first layer.
  2. Next up you can choose to layer on a leftover salad… I make this specialty cilantro-garlic sauce that is so delicious in this wrap. Think complementary.
  3. Now it’s time for the kimchi!!! Don’t have kimchi? Never tried kimchi? Well, this is a MUST for these wraps, so get your hands on some. This can also be found at Asian markets, health food stores, and some regular super markets (always feel free to ask about items if they don’t carry them). Layer on about 1/4 cup, more or less (but use a clean, non-silver utensil to keep the beneficial bacterias intact).
  4. Layer on the hummus… I like to use globs of it. This time I used a red-pepper hummus, but garlic hummus is also a favorite.
  5. Sprinkle on some cooked mung beans. Another tasty addition is avocado–seals the deal!
Until next time

Opening the vault!

I’ve also got some exciting things going on in my personal and professional life that I want to share with you all, and I will. I just need to release this post first… like a message in a bottle.

 Are you more of a planner, go with the flow, or somewhere in between? Perhaps on another river?

It looks I’ve got some surprises in store for you my pretties! Please let me know if you’re still listening, I’d love to hear from you all. As always, you can email me if you ever have any questions, or just ask them on here: katharinak@behindfoods.com

By the way, if you have Instagram, follow me on there @mixoparthenos … just in case you’re wondering if I’m alive–I’m alive and well!

Part 1: Trust the Process

Photo from my trip to Northern California last November.

Photo from my trip to Northern California last November

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share first in my series, but as I started thinking over all the possibilities I realized that I could share some insights that everyone can relate to… and a topic that has come up frequently in my conversations: our instincts, those physical impulses we have including that “gut feeling”. I believe there are cues that we, as civilized and modern people, have learned to subdue. They’re still there, but our rational thinking tunes them out. I find that as the demands of the modern day increase, people are building up more and more pressure, more and more rules… to survive. People are told that if they can’t handle it, then they must live in the misery of non-stop stress. Yes, there are moments when we thrive off stress, like when we take a risk. That’s when our adrenaline kicks in. However, if adrenaline is constantly being surged through your body, eventually this chemical becomes depleted. Some people can take it longer than others, but we are all human and no one is invincible. Eventually the price of long-term stress is payed.

That's when immune  boosting foods and habits come to the rescue!

That’s when immune boosting foods and habits come to the rescue!

hand graceIt’s funny though… people living in modern societies are constantly in an effort to prolong life, lose weight, be super healthy! The information is very interesting, but I think many wisdoms can be learned if we just slow down and reconnect. Reconnect to the rhythms and cycles of life that echo through everything in the world around us. The more pressure we build up, the more complicated our situation becomes to get out of. Personally, I’m a “respond to warning signs/flashing sirens” kind of person because deep inside I don’t want to explode. I’ve heard some say “well, I’m so far gone and I simply can’t step out of the life I’m living.” Try taking a step back into reality and living it. That is… to be present. That’s why I decided to become a holistic health coach: so that I can support people to feel whole again, to reignite their human potential by making changes that benefit them in a profound way. Having battled my personal demons through adopting sound behaviors and thoughts, eventually growing to a point where I got back in touch with my essential self, I believe that every person has the ability to do this.

tight rope hand

I often feel like I was given a map when I was born, and I’m–for the most part–following it. My mother would tell me that I was born with a star… whatever it is, I know that I’m making my way towards something–like a monarch butterfly migrating back to where it came from. Sometimes I want to take a shortcut, and there have been times when I didn’t want to go on with the journey. Sometimes I wanted to call it quits and say “game over.” That’s what I find so interesting about the human experience: most of us have some guiding force–something that moves us to keep living. I just hope that people don’t get so overwhelmed with the modern world, that they shut off and become the living dead.

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Preface: Practice Daily Face Lifts

craneAnd I’m back–with a message from the kingdom aka yours truly! As I was writing this post I realized that acts as a preface of my recent journey: regaining myself including my health. Since I started this blog I’ve been told by readers that it has inspired them to honor and learn about themselves, and I hope this blog continues to do that. I think it’s incredible that by sincerely expressing my own experiences and thoughts I can support someone. Even through a basic connection… knowing that we’re all in this together. Funny how we can get so internalized that we forget to simply look out, which heals us in some way.

french classes

While I was in New York my body decided to shine a light for me. Actually, it was more of a blaring siren! It had seemed like all of a sudden I was a stranger in my own body. I would break out in uncomfortable rashes on my face. I was exhausted yet had a hard time sleeping, and the texture of my hair had changed. Not to mention, I had gone up 20 lbs. in 4 months, and a few more things were on my list of “noticeable changes”. An ominous dark gray cloud was hovering over my emotions. I started to think of myself as a curious case… a freak. Why? The first thing I thought was perhaps it is the food I’m eating. But it seemed that no matter what, my symptoms continued to escalate. How much hot air could my balloon take?

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Here’s To Our Well-Being

Lately I ‘ve been reflecting on various things in my life, almost as if I’m finally realizing everything that’s been going on over the past half year. That could also be because the calendar year is ending. Either way, I’ll be going to Florida this week for a bit (but not disappearing) and I’m taking it as time to work on balancing myself as I decided to go off the pill again, and to spend the holidays with my family of course! This time, however, I’m going to incorporate holistic medicine into my life. After all, I am studying to be a holistic health coach! Last time I went off the pill I just went off without doing anything about my hormone levels. I think even just getting them tested would help guide me towards how I should approach my health. So far I’ve been incorporating gentle hatha yoga into my nightly routine to help lower my stress. Since I stopped the pill I’ve been feeling physical anxiety. I remember that happening last time, so I’m trying to manage that and think positive. Think positive.

The other night when I was meditating… laying on the hardwood floor with my eyes closed, emptying my mind, being in that exact moment… and when I disconnected from all the light-speed thoughts that go through my mind, my heart started to open up. I connected with a sense of freedom, potential, breathing out anything holding me back–the unforgiving thoughts that frequent my mind too often.

I came up with a simple pesto recipe awhile ago and it’s a refreshing one… much like my outlook on life right now. Being refreshed is empowering to me. It reminds me that I have the ability to change. With that here’s the recipe:

This particular pesto has parsley, which I’m learning to appreciate. I also used plenty of cracked black pepper and lemon zest.

Parsley, Lemon & Walnuts Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh Italian parsley (the flat-leaf kind)
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black-pepper walnuts, toasted
  • 2-3 tbl nutritional yeast
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1-2 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions
  1. Pulse parsley, garlic, walnuts, nutritional yeast, zest and lemon juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. Drizzle remaining olive oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

To be enjoyed with most things.

Along the lines of personal wellness, I think it’d be great to share this giveaway with you guys!

Robin McGraw, two-time #1 New York Times best-selling author, television personality, wellness enthusiast and wife of talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, has joined OpenSky.com as their newest Insider.  Robin, a powerful advocate for healthy-living for women of all ages, is passionate about living a healthy balanced life full of family, friends, and new adventures.

And the timing to host this giveaway couldn’t be better.

Robin recently launched her healthy living shop on OpenSky offering new tools for health, wellness and beauty to help you live a radiant, meaningful life filled with the things you love and the necessary tools to take care of yourself.  Some of her must-haves include the Rescue Remedy Stress Relief by Bach and the Big Boss Juicer.

Now what’s the giveaway I’m talking about? OpenSky is offering one of my readers a $25 OpenSky credit to shop Robin’s collections.  Here’s a little info about OpenSky if you haven’t heard of it yet.

It is a social shopping site that helps people discover, buy and share unique goods that match their individual taste. Users can connect to friends and industry insiders in Food, Style, Beauty, Healthy Living, Electronics and Home Décor for exclusive information, advice and insider product recommendations.  Insiders include Robin McGraw, Bobby Flay, Molly Sims, Tracy Anderson and Bethenny Frankel.

So they cater to all sorts of interests! Wondering how can you enter?

  1. Well first off, join OpenSky! This is so they can place a credit into the selected winner’s account + the curated shop concept is neat!
  2. Check out Robin’s shop and tell me something you’d like to get (don’t worry you’re not jinxing your chances!).

Also, there is another way to get more than one chance in the drawing hat!

Bonus: tweet “Check out @opensky healthy living giveaway on @BehindFoods blog http://wp.me/p2lrwA-1Tn“, and be sure to share it on here so it gets counted by the random selector.

The contest ends Monday Dec. 17, 2012 so make sure to enter before then.

Best of luck!I’m excited to be sharing this giveaway!

Awareness And Making Connections

Hello, hello! Last week I was in the San Francisco area (for my family’s first home exchange experience) enjoying every bit of its majestic beauty. It made me think of things that demand our attention. I found myself being very present when I was out in Northern California… all of us being pulled away from our devices and not wanting to miss a single piece of it. Being present around untouched nature is not hard to do, but when I’m back in a busy city like New York I feel like I’m making a point not to be staring down at a phone. Should I move to the side for the person too busy texting so they continue not watching their step? Sometimes I’m tempted to just stop in front of a person.

Do you guys find yourself tapping into thoughtless awareness?

I find it difficult to not give my attention to the now, including the details. I know that reflects in my taste and how that is guided by how my body responds to things. Recently, I’ve been noticing how flavors nourish my body. For instance, I found that lots of sugary things keep me in a place where I don’t feel as motivated or dedicated to something, and it’s a difficult habit to break. It’s like a lazy comfort for me. Earthier flavors really heighten my focus, and sour refreshes me. Or for instance… if I have dried fruit I balance the very sweet flavor with a dense nut, or else my thought goes on auto-pilot and I start to get mindless. I’ve also found that I’ve developed a heightened sensor for specific additives, in turn giving my body the chance to communicate clearly. I’m curious to know… what are some things you’ve recently discovered about yourself?

Right now it’s snowing, and this post is going back to the very end of summer in Florida.

1) I packed fresh figs, a salad and smoked salmon for the airplane ride… ended up having it as brunch because of a delay; 2) Beach front apartment in South Beach; 3) Driving over McArthur Causeway at sunset; 4) Having traditional Cuban desserts in the heart of Little Havana; 5) Bird watching in my parents’ back yard; 6) Dinner consisted of summer fruits for one last hurrah!

My parents befriended one of our future home exchangers from Bordeaux, and they’ve been having dinner parties together…

So while I was there we thought it would be nice to invite them over for dinner.

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Blast From The Richmond Past

Today I’m going to push the rewind button and go back to the end of July. With the change of season and the temperature of the air… July seems so far away.

I came to Richmond bearing gifts and matching the Chinatown bus. On my visit I found a handy dandy travel case, and had a Barbie pool day… along with other adventures.

Let’s do the time warp!

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A Westside Institution

Thank you for the well wishes everyone. The area where I’m living in Manhattan didn’t get too badly affected, and I haven’t been by midtown, downtown or the outer boroughs that were more affected. People have to plan a little more right now to get around in the city though because of traffic and the lack of subway transportation. This whole thing has gotten me to observe, more than usual, people’s relationship with nature. Nature is pretty straightforward about its relationship with us… even with basic knowledge of ecology. There’s lots of talk of this storm being a result of climate change, and this is just a taste. Here’s what I wrote on my informal blog:

Strong forces of nature can look very awe-inspiring within nature, but juxtapose its affects with manmade creations and all of a sudden it becomes disaster. Today I walked with Matilda to the park, and people were taking pictures of snapped trees. Maybe they wanted to feel more a part of the damage? I’m not sure, but I have been noticing this energy of attraction.

The attraction is also mixed with those who repel any news of the storm—viewing it as a mockery. Maybe it is silly that people react in this man vs. nature sort of way with their lost possessions, schedules and conveniences. At the same time these moments call for compassion. As a human, I know we interpret things in a spectrum of ways and express however those in our species do. To negate that makes me wonder… why does one care to be alive in their present state… as a human that is?

Fact is, right now, people are a part of it.

If you’re a home cook in the area Mealku is  coordinating delivery of prepared foods (at least 4 portions of a meal) to Red Hook Recovers.

Today’s post features one of the local markets around here: Westside Market. You can tell I appreciate food by the fact that I’m inspired by a grocery store’s trademark selection. Westside Market features an extensive selection (it takes me about 30 minutes to decide what I want to get) of “Made by Maria” dishes and spreads. They even have many vegetarian/vegan options. I always wondered who Maria was. Well, turns out that Maria is real and a part of the Zoitas family, and every family recipe that comes from her kitchen is reinvented. Last item I picked up was a sweet and warming vegetable dish with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, dried fruits, honey, and spices. The ingredient list was simple, and after trying it I attempted to recreate it with my own touch.

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Mother Nature: Providing & Humbling

Some of you may know or be experiencing the storm along the Atlantic, and I hope those of you being affected are staying safe but not feeling too cooped up… dance parties are good for that. Speaking of dance parties, I’ve been going to lots of great music shows and satisfying my soul by dancing and jumping high to fun music.

Last weekend I was wandering around Brooklyn and came across “granola made with greens, not grains” the latest addition to the Kale Factory line. The “greenola” is made from fresh kale, and comes in two flavors: cranberry nut and spirulina crunch. It was the first time (and only time, thus far) that I’ve come across this variation. Maybe that’s because that’s where they’re produced. I thought it was such an interesting idea, and not to mention they were so tasty! I had to pace myself not to eat the whole container at once. I was very intrigued, made note of the ingredients list, and attempted to recreate them.

Grain-free granola using kale as the base

… with my own little spin.

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“Summer Beauty Foods” Release & Perricone MD Giveaway

Hi everyone!

Today I have something special in mind. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been all over the place, mostly in mind… a lot has been going on which is why I haven’t written a post in awhile. I had actually been wanting to write something around the time when I was traveling around, and had finally settled back into New York. Now that I’ve been back, and being the introvert that I am… along with the start of the fall season I’ve been giving myself some extra TLC. Whether it’s an aromatic foot soak for ten minutes, lighting a candle, or swinging my hair around to some music.

This time of year always reminds me of how we pull out vegetables, and that this is also the time we go back to our roots. During these transition times I like to simplify things so I can hear my body better. What’s it trying to say?

Honey is my candy?

Now let’s hop back to Florida… early August.

Remember back when I was instructing a workshop called “Beauty On A Plate”?

That particular afternoon started off with a lovely bouquet of flowers.

And in the spirit of antioxidants we opened a couple bottles of pomegranate wine… made from pomegranates!

A bit of prep work…

For some of them it was their first time cutting asparagus, and as an instructor it always helps when people share things like that. I love helping people learn how to do things, and have them leave feeling more confident. Now what was on this three-course menu?

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