Displaying items by tag: food

West Kentucky Wild: Deer Hunter Support Sought for Charitable Food-Based Ministry

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/5/13)—Wanted: West Kentucky deer hunters’ support for the 2013-2014 "Want Not Waste Not" charitable food campaign.

With the 2013-2014 deer season rapidly approaching (archery season kicks it off on September 7th), local deer hunters’ attentions will be turning to preparation for the upcoming season. The excitement begins to build as the days get shorter, nights get a little cooler, and the leaves begin their changing process. Thoughts of harvesting that trophy buck dominate our dreams. Though the 2013 Kentucky Statewide deer tag allows a hunter to take two deer—one antlered and one antlerless—seldom is that second tag ever used. However, the “Want Not Waste Not" ministry hopes to change that.

Having heard somewhat about the program, I wanted to find out more. So this past Saturday, August 3rd, between weeding flower gardens and the PBS 7pm showing of "Elvis from Hawaii,” my better half and I headed to the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville, KY for a sportsman's bash.

We browsed the many different vendors displaying their wares and services. I enjoyed eating a bagged taco from the Hope2All concession stand. I have to say, those ladies are really good salespeople.

We eventually cornered Chad Browning, founder of "Want Not Waste Not.” Chad was more than happy to talk about this program.

He explained how he and his wife, Tonita, were driving down one of the Peabody coal roads during the opening weekend of the 2011 season and came upon three abandoned camp sites that contained a total of seven complete deer carcasses. As an ethical hunter, this was very disturbing to Chad. To make matters worse, Hope2All community food bank was asking for people to donate any processed deer at the time. This was the birth of the "Want Not Waste Not" ministry God called upon the Brownings to create.

During the 2012 season alone, a total of 61 deer were donated. However, Chad anticipates collecting 150 or more this year.


“By partnering with Hope2All to distribute the processed deer, we can concentrate on collection and raising funds as it takes $60 for each deer processed,” said Chad. “The final product is ground venison mixed with beef fat in two pound bags.”

Want to donate a deer to this worthwhile cause? If so, read up on the following guidelines:

1. Your deer must be field dressed. If the current temperature is 50+ degrees, add a couple of bags of ice to the chest cavity if possible.

2. You must use your tag. Call the tele-check line at 1-800-245-4263 and get your confirmation number before you call.

3. Call Chad Browning at (270) 635-0544. Be prepared to give your name, phone number, area/location, and your confirmation number. Leave a message if necessary.

4. The WNWN ministry also offers deer donation pick up services that cover both Hopkins and Muhlenberg County. They also accept deer from other counties when possible. Call them at the number listed above and they can direct you to where to take it.

“We are currently working with three processors: Livingston Meats in Hopkinsville, KY; Barnes Processing in Beaver Dam, KY; and Yoder’s Custom Meats in Sebree, KY,” says Chad. “They will accept the deer without any issue. Just tell them it’s a donation for the ‘Want Not Waste Not’ program.”

Not a hunter, but still want to show your support of this charitable minsitry? Tax deductible donations are also accepted. In fact, a gift of $60.00 takes the deer from the forest to the dinner table of a local family in need.

Make all checks payable to the following address:

Hope2All
200 North Main Street
Nortonville, KY 42442

If you would like to volunteer your time or donate a deer, please call (270) 635-0544.

To learn more about the WNWN ministry or Hope2ALL, please visit this link: http://www.hope2all.com/. You can also find the WNWN ministry on Facebook by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/WantNotWasteNot.

Additional photos from the outdoors festival held at the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville, KY this past weekend are attached below.

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A former Kentucky State BASS Federation Champ and longtime outdoorsman, Nick Short has spent over five decades learning the ins and outs of the hunting and fishing world. From coon-hunting as a youth, to hanging with fishing pros as an adult, Nick knows a thing or two about how it’s done outdoors. Want to know his secrets? Check out his latest installment of “West Kentucky Wild.”

To read other “West Kentucky Wild” installments, visit Nick’s Sugg Street Post blog page by clicking here: http://www.suggstreetpost.com/index.php/outdoors-west-kentucky-wild

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short
Photos by Nick Short/Want Not Waste Not

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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: Another Visit from the Yogi-Foodie

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/18/13) - Happy summer! This week I’m happy to offer some delicious, nutritious, vegan or vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. Enjoy!

Kale-Quinoa Salad
I originally created this as a way to save time. I was having kale chips and quinoa and I thought "I could mix these together and this whole eating thing would go a lot faster." (Not that you should EVER rush eating, unless you have somewhere to be in 20 minutes and won't get to eat for another eight hours after that. Cut me some slack here!). As it turned out, the crispy kale was a lovely texture to compliment the soft quinoa. An idea was born. Soon thereafter I was making dinner, and decided to get a bit more creative. I roasted cherry tomatoes AND kale, and mixed both with quinoa. It was DELICIOUS served hot alongside poached salmon! Hooray! I had some leftovers and realized it was even good cold the next day, and although the kale was no longer crispy, it did still have a lovely roasted flavor. That led me to try a version intentionally served cold, almost like a pasta salad to have with a cookout. I also played with garlic, herbs, the cooking liquid for the quinoa, adding additional roasted vegetables like beets for color contrast, adding nuts; the possibilities are really endless. Here are two versions I like - one hot and one cold.

Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad
(Serve on its own - quinoa is a complete protein, you know - or as a side dish with fish)

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh kale, de-stemmed, rinsed, and pat dry with paper towels.
1 box (about 1.5 cups?) cherry tomatoes
1 cup quinoa (if it isn't pre-washed, you need to rinse it).
2 cups water or vegetable stock.
2-6 cloves of minced garlic.
1 tsp cumin (or whatever you're in the mood for, honestly. I love cumin).
2 tablespoons olive oil (approximate. You'll roast the kale and cherry tomatoes in it and need some to sauté the garlic for the quinoa. I don't really measure olive oil, normally! Sorry I can't be more precise).
salt to taste (optional)
lemon or vinegar to taste (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toss your kale with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt. On a separate baking sheet, toss your cherry tomatoes (DON'T cut them) with just enough olive oil to lightly coat them and a light sprinkle of salt. Remember when salting the components that they are all going to end up in the same bowl, so you don't want to overdo it! Roast in the 325 degree oven and check every 10 minutes, shaking the tomatoes to roll them around and flipping your kale over. You want the kale to be mostly crisp and not too brown. (The reality is if you put an entire bunch of kale on one baking sheet, it's never going to get perfectly crisp. So if you have two ovens [lucky!] and lots of baking sheets, you can be crazy meticulous about spreading your kale out so it ALL gets perfectly crisp. I don't have the time or the luxury. Alas). The tomatoes will get all nice and wrinkly like they spent too much time in the bathtub. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes, but check back frequently!

Meanwhile, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan (that you have the matching lid for on hand. Not that I have mixed and matched pots and pans in MY house), on medium-high heat. Sauté your garlic and cumin for about a minute, until it just gets golden, and then add the quinoa. Stir, stir, stir, and listen to the lovely sound of the quinoa beginning to roast and pop. (Toasting quinoa DRAMATICALLY improves the flavor, in my opinion. You can (again) be really meticulous (with your 12 ovens) and do this on a cookie sheet so each individual grain turns the same lovely color of brown. I, however, cheat and stir it up in the pot for about a minute. I'm getting really jealous of your 12 ovens, though). You'll start to recognize the SMELL that means it's as toasted as it's going to get without burning. Add the water or vegetable stock, stir, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

Put your quinoa in a big bowl. Add the roasted kale and the roasted cherry tomatoes. Mix it all up and taste it. You might dig the rich, olive oil flavor and be good to go. You might want some acid to balance it and squeeze a lemon into it, or sprinkle some type of vinegar over it - I like red wine or apple cider. Ohhh, but I've not tried balsamic with this... hmm!

EAT IT. Yum.

Cold Kale-Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh kale, de-stemmed, rinsed, and pat dry with paper towels.
1 box (about 1.5 cups?) cherry tomatoes
1 cup quinoa (if it isn't pre-washed, you need to rinse it).
2 cups water or vegetable stock.
2-6 cloves of minced garlic.
1 tsp cumin (or whatever you're in the mood for, honestly. I love cumin).
2 tablespoons olive oil (approximate. You'll roast the kale in it and need some to sauté the garlic for the quinoa. I don't really measure olive oil, normally! Sorry I can't be more precise).
salt to taste (optional)
lemon or vinegar to taste (optional)
1-2 ripe avocados

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toss your kale with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, checking and turning/tossing every 10 minutes or so. I like the kale as crispy as possible for this one, but not burnt. Prepare your quinoa as directed above. Mix it all up and add olive oil and an acid (lemon or vinegar) to taste. Toss the quinoa with the kale and refrigerate. When you are ready to eat it, add the cherry tomatoes (sliced in half) and the avocado (cubed) and toss together. Check for seasonings - add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes - whatever floats your boat. SERVE! Yum.

Poached eggs in Cabbage Nests
Quarter a Savoy cabbage and cut out the core. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour a bit of olive oil (a teaspoon, perhaps) onto each of four squares of aluminum foil. Roll the quarters in the oil so it is covered and season with salt and pepper, then wrap the aluminum foil tightly around the cabbage. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes until they are roasted to your liking.

Serve one or two poached eggs inside each quarter of cabbage. If you really want your eggs to be in a nest, remove a few of the inside leaves (and eat them!) so the eggs have somewhere to go.

It's a weird but super delicious combination, and avocado goes well with poached eggs ALWAYS.

Enjoy!

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Hilary’s website: www.hilarylowbridge.weebly.com 
Connect with Hilary on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HilaryLowbridgeYoga
Hilary in 140 characters or less: www.twitter.com/hilarybreathes  

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Writing/Photos by Hilary Lowbridge 

 

 

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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: Hello, Sun

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/28/13) - “Each morning the sun takes another course into the sky. Light and warmth follow and the day begins, a common event of enormous circumstance. The sunrise informs and actuates the present. Each one is different. And deep within that mystery lies a gift for anyone perceptive enough to notice, anyone willing to accept it. It is the blessing for the day at hand, a fresh chance to create and to connect and to experience what it is that we were born to do.” – Robert William Case

Up until very recently, I was a self-proclaimed night-owl, passionate about how much I loathed the morning. After my first year of college, I (purposefully) never had a class earlier than 10am. Throughout my 10-year career in college admissions I had to be at work at 8:30am, and I was the queen of the snooze button. Every time my alarm went off, a few more minutes of sleep sounded like a better idea than eating breakfast, never mind a morning workout or a yoga and meditation practice. This was partially because of my insomniac tendencies. I rarely went to bed before 2am, oftentimes having caught an unplanned nap on the couch after work, my daily 4pm Starbucks habit getting me through the workday but not keeping me from crashing as soon as I got home.

It was an unexpected bout with anxiety (a story for another column) that inspired me to stop hitting the snooze button and create a morning routine, and now I can’t imagine my life without it. While I’m not sure I’d go as far as to call myself a “morning person,” I have begun to really enjoy the stillness and ease of the early hours. There is something sacred about the morning–a heaviness that lends itself to slowing down and paying attention, peacefulness that promotes deep inner listening, newness that feels like tangible hope and pure potential.

These days I’m almost always in bed before 10:30pm and I’m up long before I have to be anywhere. I have seen positive transformation and improvements in my life that I can only attribute to changing my schedule and using the golden hours of morning to my advantage. This is how I’m currently starting my day.

• 6am – My “Tibetan bell” alarm fades in, slowly nudging me awake. I sit up and notice my body and my breath, and take a moment to just watch my thoughts without engaging. (Try it–those first few thoughts you have can be equally hilarious and crazy!) I head to the kitchen, juice a lemon, add lukewarm water, and step outside and say hello to the sun. I bring myself present by reminding myself of the day and the date. I’m fortunate to live in bucolic splendor; I often walk barefoot into my yard in my pajamas and notice my feet firmly on the soft ground. It is a beautiful reminder of my connection to the earth, an acknowledgement of the support she provides me day after day.

• 6:30am – I’m on my yoga mat. I might do an online practice via Kripalu or YogaGlo, or a practice I have on CD or DVD. I might do my own practice set to music or in silence. But I always practice pranayama (breath work) and asana (yoga postures).

• 7:00am – I light a candle as I set an intention for my day and settle on to my meditation cushion for a minimum of 21 minutes. (I always give myself that one extra minute to settle in and breathe deeply).

• 7:30am – I make breakfast (usually fruit, raw nuts, and chia seeds or flax meal, or a green smoothie, or sautéed greens, poached eggs, and avocado), and an almond milk latte.

• 8:00am – I break a sweat (for the second time if yoga practice was vigorous!) and get outside, heading to the park for a walk. (I find that a walk after breakfast works for me; if I’m doing something more vigorous like a kick-boxing DVD, I do that before I eat breakfast).

• 9:00am – I begin working for the day.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of times that I can’t keep this schedule for one reason or another. There are some days that I make the choice to stay in bed longer, or I go to the diner for breakfast with my boyfriend if he has a rare day off from work, or I listen to my body and choose a gentle yoga practice or skip the walk if I’m feeling truly run down. I have had to learn not to freak out if my routine doesn’t happen exactly as planned. The point is not to accomplish it, but to be present for it, morning after morning after morning.

Your needs – physically and spiritually – are unique to you. Here are few general suggestions that you can mix and match to create a morning routine that works for you.

-  Wake up gently.
Instead of that blaring alarm that rudely jolts you out of sleep, why not experiment with a kinder, gentler alarm? I have an app on my iPhone called “Sleep Machine” that is wonderful for ambient noises to fall asleep to, as well as an alarm that fades in and includes soothing music or a Tibetan bell (my personal favorite).

-  Drink lemon water.
Lemon juice aids digestion, helps to cleanse the body of toxins, and boosts the immune system. Drink the juice of one lemon with 16oz of lukewarm water on an empty stomach and if you can, wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast.

-  Say hello to the sun.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The sun is new each day.” Saying hello to the sun each morning is a lovely way to mark the new day, to acknowledge it, to be present to it for at least a brief moment. Time passes and the days go by, and sometimes we get so busy that we wake up, five years have gone by, and we were too preoccupied to notice. Taking just a moment each day to acknowledge the new day itself helps to counter this.

-  Practice yoga.
After a night of sleep, the body can be stiff and sore. Gentle yoga breath work, movement, and postures can help to wake up the muscles and connective tissues, preparing the body to move with more ease through the tasks of the day.

-  Practice meditation.
Meditation doesn’t have to be scary. Set a timer (that Tibetan bell timer works great for this, too!), sit comfortably, close your eyes, and simply rest your awareness on inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Here is a great illustration that explains the many benefits of meditation.

-  Eat a healthy breakfast
Starting the day with a combination of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and good fat is a great way to ensure good choices for the rest of the day. You are literally breaking a fast, and what you put in your body first can and does set the tone for your entire day.

-  Break a sweat.
There are a lot of reasons to exercise in the morning, but my favorite? To get it over with. Plus, I find I make better food choices over the course of the day if I’ve already got a solid workout under my belt. Win-win.

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Hilary’s website: www.hilarylowbridge.weebly.com 
Connect with Hilary on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HilaryLowbridgeYoga
Hilary in 140 characters or less: www.twitter.com/hilarybreathes  

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Writing/Photos by Hilary Lowbridge 

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  • Published in Music

Clarksville's 'Coup' Brings Progressive Thought Downtown

PHOTO: The Coup's College Street location.

CLARKSVILLE, TN (6/26/13)—Within five minutes of walking into the new location for The Coup, I was horizontal on the venue's floor with Zach Lerman, Matt Watkins, and Josh Williams experiencing how cold tiles can get when air-conditioned.

I was happy to get some relief from the humid, hot weather outside, but I was still fairly surprised by what was going on.

I wasn't surprised by the fact that I was starting an interview with a few small business owners by collectively laying down on their tile floor—The Coup has been hell-bent on breaking conventions for the last five years—it was the room's air conditioning and the floor's cleanliness that surprised me.

The Coup never had much control over the climate of its former College Street location—heat lamps kept people warm in the winter while every set in the summer was punctuated by a mass exodus of people to the fresh air outside—but The Coup's crew has picked up a new set of keys.

And beyond just adding air conditioning and heating, The Coup has taken on a location that will be the biggest step towards engaging the greater Clarksville community that the music venue/community center/restaurant has taken.

With Clarksville’s conservative establishment in their backyard, the new location will likely test the owners of The Coup—their current cash-strapped status won't make it any easier—but the move will also offer big opportunities, both to Clarksville and The Coup.

An Outpost of Progressive Thought

The Coup's movement over the last five years—from the outer fringes of downtown on Crossland Avenue and College Street to the heart of Clarksville on University Avenue—is material evidence of the journey The Coup has taken since it was founded five years ago.

Lerman and the rest of the management had the freedom to be nearly as wild as they wanted when they were running a dirty venue in one of Clarksville's poorer neighborhoods. And that's what it seems like the founders were looking to do: have a place to get weird.

PHOTO: The Coup's first location on Crossland Avenue.

At first, The Coup was strictly a music venue. They hosted shows, but didn't serve food or alcohol. They eventually wanted to get a beer license, but they found out that they would have to get a restaurant license as well in order to keep the venue all ages.

So they went nearly bankrupt getting both licenses.

After three years on Crossland Avenue, they picked up and moved to College Street, a move that told Clarksville they were no longer content being a concealed outpost of progressive thought.

Their new perch on College Street, while not in downtown, was essentially a welcome sign for people heading towards the center of Clarksville. Whether or not they were interested, the average Clarksville resident saw what was going on at The Coup.

When Lerman set up a PA on The Coup's front deck to broadcast his monologues, passing motorists had no choice but to hear diatribes against corporate America. Drivers had no ignore button to press when they saw The Coup's patrons playing with fire or massive hula hoops in the parking lot.

And this third move will bring The Coup and its message even closer to the culture of Clarksville that it so often rails against. For better or worse, Clarksville's finest will now be at The Coup's door faster than ever before and Clarksville's leaders will have a tougher time ignoring what happens at one of the city's only bastions of liberal, progressive thought.

The implications of this move don't seem to be lost on the people behind The Coup.

PHOTO (from left): Matt Watkins, Josh Williams, Xanthi Diamond and Zach Lerman

"Dan Choi [one of The Coup's volunteers/employees] made the comment, 'Oh we're about to move here. Time to make some new friends and some new enemies.' That sounds about right," Lerman said. "Some people will like it and some people will not like it."

Lerman's attitude betrays a confidence that him and the rest of The Coup's owners—Stacy Gazenski, Kory Kyle, and Matt Watkins—have gained since they set up shop five years ago. The Coup is no longer a place to hide out from the establishment—it's becoming an institution that wants to be noticed.

More Than a Venue

The Coup's latest move may be its furthest step towards central Clarksville, but it's also the completion of a circle. Lerman got his start promoting shows at the new University Avenue location when it housed The Icehouse bar.

"I was always trying to book shows and stuff, but it was really stupid because nobody really wanted it," Lerman said. "So this was just a place I already knew. I knew people that worked here. I knew the owner."

But The Coup will look far different when it returns to The Icehouse's former location. Shows will still be put on, but it's more accurate to call The Coup a community center than a venue.

Depending on when you were at The Coup's College Street location, you could see people gardening, doing yoga, reciting poetry, playing trivia, belly dancing, meditating, riding bicycles, falling off unicycles, spinning hula hoops or playing with fire.

And food has moved far from its humble beginnings as an item on a legal checklist.

Some of the best bread in Clarksville comes out of The Coup's kitchen now that Josh Williams has been added to The Coup's management and a constantly shifting menu has given Clarksville its first seasonal, vegetarian-friendly eatery.

Williams brought serious kitchen tools into the College Street location, but, with the addition of a professional gas stove and oven, this move will give The Coup its biggest culinary step up.

And that means that when The Coup opens its University Avenue doors, it won't just be bringing liberal politics and avante-garde music to downtown—it'll be putting quality, handcrafted food in what is nearly a good-food desert.

The Coup's homemade bread will stand out against The Blackhorse's ready-made pizza—downtown's most popular pizza place doesn't make it's own dough—and The Coup's emphasis on real, locally-sourced ingredients will be a stark contrast against The Gilroy's provel-cheese-covered menu.

The Coup has been one of Clarksville's earliest supporters of craft beer, but they won't be alone on University Avenue. Clarksville's most carefully-curated beer menu will be next door at The Pea Patch, and even The Gilroy, with it's penchant for highly-processed cheese and corporate pop music, which has embraced craft beer.

But there's talk of acquiring a wine and liquor license at The Coup—if that happens and The Coup stays to their usual ethos, that will mean that Clarksville will finally have a place to get great quality, local beer, food, wine, and liquor in one place.

And that's something that will stretch The Coup's appeal beyond its usual clientele.

If they can keep their quality up and not scare off University Avenue's foot traffic—and that second point is a fairly big if—The Coup could become the most popular food spot downtown.

PHOTO: A look inside The Coup's new location.

The pieces are there for The Coup to flourish in their new location, but, with money increasingly tight, nothing is guaranteed.

"We don't have any money right now," Lerman said. "We're just throwing every penny and every borrowed penny we have into opening this place in the hopes that it will be successful."

But this isn't the first time that The Coup has been down to their last dollar—family and friend donations have propped the venture up at various points—and money has never really been The Coup's inspiration.

"We were really extensive about our business plan. We did all the numbers and projections and everything... the numbers never ever actually worked out," Lerman said. "We would do the math hundreds of times and it just came up like, this is not going to work."

But five years later, The Coup is still working and the community around it is still growing.

"We get a lot of good reviews from Nashville bands that like to play here, mostly because of the people," Lerman said, "and that has generally been what has kept this place alive—people that actually care and are involved and feel like they belong. And it's not necessarily a certain type of person, but a common theme: open-mindedness."

Liberate Te Ex Jesse Smith, Methdad, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and Little Ruckus are kicking off the new Coup with a $3 show this Thursday, June 27th at 9pm.

Thursday night we'll be the weirdest University Ave has gotten in years—here's to hoping it's only the first of many weird nights.

Sugg Street Post
Writing/Photos by Klaus von Sprekels

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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: A Visit from the Yogi-Foodie

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/18/13)—I have been thinking a lot about attention and empathy as of late. I’ve been thinking about our interconnectedness as human beings; what it means to be wholly alive, entirely present, fully connected to ourselves and to each other; how to live deeply and love completely. I’ve been wondering about the boundaries between me and you, us and them, and what our responsibility to each other is and is not. Mostly, I’ve been realizing that the art of attention is more profound a gift than any other. And I am more and more convinced that until we learn to truly be attentive to ourselves, we can’t give the gift of attentiveness to anyone else.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about food.

But that is nothing new.

Yoga teaches the art of attention. My classes begin with a period of centering, giving students the opportunity to fully transition to a time of practice, to begin the class-long—or, if we’re being honest, life-long—journey of self-observation. It is an opportunity to re-direct awareness from the normal kaleidoscope of fragmented experience into something more mindful, singular, and focused. I joke that the self-awareness that yoga cultivates isn’t always pleasant. If we were comfortable actually being with ourselves, truly aware of ourselves, we wouldn’t constantly numb our personal experience with distraction. But if we can’t be present to ourselves, can we ever be truly be present to anyone else?

In class, as we flow from posture to posture, as we sustain a pose, as we breathe, we keep coming back to this art of attention—the act of noticing. Notice your body. Notice your breath. Notice how you feel. And breathe. And breathe. And breathe.

It’s no surprise that cultivating attentiveness soon impacts life off the mat. Practicing yoga often inspires a shift in eating habits. I’ve started to notice a pattern: a new student comes to class, they start practicing two or three times a week, and two months later they start asking me for recipes, telling me about the green smoothies they are making for breakfast, asking questions about nutrition and supplements and juicing and quinoa. Enter the Yogi-Foodie.

I made this recipe up on the fly the other day. I was having some people over for dinner and wanted to make something healthy and delicious, using only what I had on hand. I knew I had a ton of fish in my freezer, a bunch of mushrooms in the refrigerator, and plenty of random vegetables, so I headed into the kitchen and played one of my favorite games: creative cooking. Ta-da! My soon-to-be famous fish and mushroom stew was born.

This recipe is wheat, gluten, soy, and dairy free. If you left the white potatoes and wine out, and didn’t serve it with rice, it would even be paleo-approved! You could even leave the fish out and have a great vegan mushroom stew. Don’t let any of that scare you. This stew might be exceedingly healthy, but it’s even more delicious. I served it over long grain brown rice, alongside smokey greens (see “A Torrid Love Affair”), a huge salad with balsamic and dijon dressing (courtesy of my dear sister), and naan (Indian flat-bread) for the non gluten-free folks. My sister also made some to-die-for individual gluten-free strawberry and rhubarb pies for dessert, but you’ll have to hound her for that recipe. 

Hilary’s (soon-to-be famous) Fish and Mushroom Stew

For the stew
1-2 tbs. grapeseed oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 stalks of celery, chopped
2-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
5 small or 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into large bite-size pieces
2 cups white button mushrooms, de-stemmed and quartered
2 cups mixed mushrooms (oyster, shitake, Portobello, etc.) cleaned and sliced
2 14.5 oz cans basil, garlic & oregano diced tomatoes
1 tbs. ground thyme
1 tbs. oregano
1 tbs. basil
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
Sriracha (to taste)
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 lemon, juiced
6 cups water
2 lbs. assorted white-fish, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used tilapia and ocean perch. Next time I might add some bay scallops and shrimp and make a seafood stew! Yum!).

For the rice
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups water

In a large cast-iron dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and celery, and continue cooking until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. (Note: this process is extremely forgiving. I had the onions, carrots, and celery in the pot and had to send a few important emails and return a few phone calls, so I turned the heat to medium and left the kitchen for five minutes at a time to take care of things).

Scoot the vegetables to the perimeter of the pot and add a wee bit more grapeseed oil to the center, and then add the thyme, oregano, and basil and sauté for about 20 seconds or until the herbs are aromatic. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and the water, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. (Yet another note: I did everything up to this point in the morning and then put the whole pot in the refrigerator. When I got home from teaching, I just put the pot back on the burner, brought it back to a boil, and continued. I am a big fan of forgiving recipes and doing things ahead of time!).

To make the rice, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir frequently, cooking until the rice is fragrant—about three minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

With the soup simmering, add the fish. Cover the pot and simmer until the fish is cooked through (about 10 minutes). Before serving, add the juice of one lemon (or more if you like!) and salt to taste.

Pour a glass of that dry white wine (if you didn’t drink the rest while cooking, not that I would know anything about that), and serve the stew over the rice and enjoy! nOM nOM nOM!

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New Restaurant Moving into Historic Downtown Madisonville Location

MADISONVILLE, KY (6/13/13)—Over the last year, interest in Madisonville’s downtown district has seen a notable upswing. From renovations and expansions, to the addition of several completely new businesses, it seems as though downtown Madisonville is heading in a truly positive direction. In lending even more steam to this commerce-based momentum, a new, family-owned-and-operated restaurant has announced that they will be both renovating and opening up for business in one of the city’s most well-known locations later this year.

Claiming over a 100 years of existence—16 of which were spent as the host to one of Madisonville’s most memorable restaurants, Bartholomew’s—and sporting the expansive “Montpelier” painting and column/stair set on its southernmost side, the historic edifice at 51 South Main Street is a highly recognizable and unique structure that has, unfortunately, remained all but vacant over the past three-and-a-half years.

However, two ambitious area residents, Terry Green and J.P. Wilson, as well as a silent backer, are currently in the process of renovating the location in order to open a dual-level, family-owned-and-operated restaurant and bar tagged under a straightforward, yet catchy, moniker: 51 On Main Bar & Grill.

With a grand opening slated for August 1st, 2013, as well as a soft opening scheduled several days before, the Sugg Street Post got in contact with co-owner and operatorTerry Green to find out the story behind the business, what kind of food and services they plan to provide, what kind of renovations are underway, how many jobs they look to create, and more.

A longtime Paducah resident and a well-seasoned veteran of the food industry, Green, 34, has been employed in several high-level managerial positions with restaurants such as TGI Friday’s, O’Charley’s, and The Oasis Southwest Grill of Madisonville. Yet, for all his experience in the food world, this will be the first time Green has stepped into the role of co-owner—and it’s a transition he remains both excited and humbled by.

“It was really crazy how this all came together. I came back to Madisonville in April and I walked into [property owner] Joe Thomas’s place, which is where we’re moving in, just to look at some antiques he had for sale,” says Green. “Well, Joe found out what I did and I came in there for the next three months to talk with him. Finally, he asked me if I’d ever considered opening up my own restaurant. I told him that I’d thought about it my whole life. But I come from a family that doesn’t have means. It’s not like I come from a well-to-do family, so it’s kind of like a dream to be opening the large-scale restaurant that we’re working on. It’s all been possible because I found a building partner, J.P., and a silent backer who really believed in what we wanted to do. It’s really the American Dream. It just seems like all the cards have fallen into place. I’m so excited that I can’t see straight. [laughs] Things like this just don’t happen every day. I was jumping up and down in my kitchen last night. [laughs]”

So what kind of food and food-related services can the community expect from 51 On Main? As Green explains, the establishment will offer items like hand-cooked steaks, one to two-inch pork chops, a traditional top-notch lunch menu, a variety of drinks, and much more. Additionally, Green says that they hope to utilize a full-scale smoker, which would simultaneously season and cook ribs, fresh fish, and other dinner specials. Services like carry-out, delivery, and on-location services will also be available through the business.

As far as the new restaurant’s aesthetic goes, Green explains that it will essentially be like two different businesses in one location. As both Green and his fellow co-owner, J.P. Wilson, chose the downtown location partly because of its uniquely historic character and architectural design, many of the building’s original features will be displayed and built upon throughout the ground floor. In addition to removing much of the building’s carpeting, which Green says has revealed a stunning layer of decades-old hard pine flooring, the downstairs dining area will play host to a variety of 100-year-old English made tables and a variety of historic photos linked to our local community’s past. Coupling this atmosphere with what he describes as a high-level of hospitality and a variety of aforementioned entrées, Green says that the restaurant’s services will be somewhat akin to one of our region’s most popular food-related destinations: Patti’s 1880 Settlement in Grand Rivers, KY.

Regarding the second-story, mezzanine-style seating area and bar, Green says that the décor will resemble a more modern and hip lounge, replete with comfy seating and a variety of televised entertainment, such as NFL Sunday Ticket games and UFC matches just to name a few. What’s more, Green says customers wishing to simply dine or hangout on the second floor will be able to do so without any issues thanks to a divider between the bar and the general seating/dining area.

Though Green was reluctant to release the company’s total investment in the downtown district, he did explain that it was “very substantial” and that renovations to the building were reaching over $50,000 in total. Furthermore, Green noted that the restaurant and bar will create between 30 and 40 jobs.

And, truly, the concept of improving upon our community—whether it be creating new commerce or providing a fresh source of entertainment—is what lies at the heart of Green’s vision for the business.

“We really want to be active and engaging when it comes to this community, because we want to be a big part of it,” says Green. “We actually want to have some outdoor events too, like live music and fresh-air dining, which is why we’re currently trying to lease the adjacent, outside portions of the building as well. We’re staying open seven days a week and as late as we can, because we want to be open to the public as much as possible, so on nights that we might find it a little slower we might open things up to more of a ‘night life’ feel upstairs. We’re going to have modern furniture up there, so it will have more of a lounge-style feel, and the second floor is huge. Plus, we want to work with the other restaurants and businesses downtown when we can. We want to collaborate with them as much as possible. You know, at the end of the day, we’re just really happy to be doing this. We love Madisonville. My family loves this town and the people are great here. Now, we have the chance to give that back. That’s something that will make you sleep well at night.”

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Want to try some of 51 On Main’s dishes before the grand opening on August 1st? If so, make sure to check them out at Madisonville’s first Friday Night Live event of the season on June 14th in the downtown district.

Interested in employment with 51 On Main? If so, simply pay the location a visit next week and ask about employment options.

Sugg Street Post
Writing/Photos by Luke Short

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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: The Reality Yogi

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/6/13) - Practicing yoga is an act of self-care. It is a way to take time – ideally, every day – for connecting with body, mind, and spirit. The reality is, however, that it can be really challenging to make the time for this kind of practice. Especially when it becomes one of those things, and you know all about those things. Things that you think you need a very specific set of circumstances to do correctly. If I lived in my perfect yoga world, every day there would be 90 solid, consecutive minutes, falling exactly three hours after I last ate (a light, healthy, organic, free-range, locally-sourced, gluten/soy/wheat/dairy free meal) in a day that I was perfectly hydrated (but for some amazing yogic reason, I wouldn't have to pee during those 90 minutes) and wearing the perfect yoga outfit (and it would have to be Lululemon from head to toe, because what is more ironic than a $300 yoga outfit?) in a room that had been smudged with (organic) white sage approximately 30 minutes before I began my practice, candles (that I made myself) lit, and a perfect playlist cued up. And of course I'd be on my Manduka Black Mat Pro. Duh.

I think those exact circumstances happened once. Well, except for the Lulu outfit. Oh, and I've never made a candle in my life. And I only just got a Manduka Black Mat Pro a year ago as a birthday gift. But yeah, something like that happened one time. In 1999. That's the ticket.

Okay, it never happened.

And let's face it—it probably never will.

Here is the truth: you don't need the perfect amount of time, the perfect space, the expensive mat, and definitely not the $300 yoga outfit to practice yoga. You don’t even have to make it to one of my classes at the YMCA to practice yoga. You can practice yoga anytime, anywhere. You can practice yoga for ten minutes a day with incredibly positive results.

Let's say it is the end of a long day and you finally have a bit of downtime to yourself. And if we are being honest (and we are, or at least, I am about to be), you are probably likely to grab a glass of wine, maybe some chips, (mmm, chips), definitely a lime La Croix, and sneak a moment to catch up on your DVR. Maybe it's Housewives, Parks & Rec, or a Law & Order: SVU marathon. Or you catch up on your internet-world for a minute—Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger. Maybe you attempt to do all of this at the same time. All the while you might be thinking, gosh, maybe I should do a bit of yoga. (By the way, if this is true for you, word for word, it also seems that we are the same person!).

So it feels like a choice, then: yoga or guilty-pleasure decompression. I know what I’m more likely to choose.

But it does not have to be a choice—at least not all of the time. Have your wine, have your chips, watch your reality television. Or listen to your favorite music. And while you do, put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes. Or sit cross-legged on the floor and lengthen your spine as breathe deeply (and sip your wine). Or just sit on the couch, watch your favorite show, and focus on inhaling deep into your belly, flaring your rib cage with the breath, and drawing it up over the collar bones, exhaling from the upper chest, rib cage, and following the breath all the way out with the belly.

I'm not saying this should replace your focused practice of yoga, or that you should never step foot in a yoga studio again. But as an addition to a mindful practice, this is a great way to work some additional yoga, gentle stretching, and deep breathing into the reality of your day.

Today, I did some yoga in my kitchen in between folding laundry and drinking coffee, thinking that I need to start eating more celery because it's supposed to be good for your heart—or at least that's what I read in some magazine yesterday.

Luckily, the beauty of yoga is that I stopped thinking about celery and stressing about heart health for a hot second and had a very fleeting moment of blissful peace and concentration.

You can, too.

• Stand with your feet a little wider than your hip’s width apart.
• Begin to twist, allowing the arms to gain momentum like empty coat sleeves of a trench coat draped over your shoulders. Lift the opposite heel as you look behind you.
• Coordinate it with some strong pranayama (breath work) practice—a sharp inhale through the nose as you come through center, a forceful "HA" breath out the mouth as you twist.
• Let the momentum build and build, and let your hands hit you wherever they may (it's probably somewhere you have a big concentration of lymph nodes, and they need a love tap now and then!)
• Continue for a minute or two, then let the momentum slow down, like the battery in the toy is slowly dying.
• When you are finally still, notice how you feel. Breathe deeply.

This incredibly simple twist is so therapeutic and beneficial. It is a nice squeeze and soak for all of the organs in the abdomen, flooding them with freshly oxygenated blood, and it also keeps the spine supple and creates space for all of the nerves traveling out of the spine to the rest of the body. Hooray!

Or go throw on your Lulu clothes, roll out that Manduka, light the candles, smudge the room and have that perfect, enlightening 90-minute practice. I'm jealous already.

Love,
The Reality Yogi

Hilary’s website: www.hilarylowbridge.weebly.com 
Connect with Hilary on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HilaryLowbridgeYoga
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Written by Hilary Lowbridge
Photos by Hilary Lowbridge

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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: A Torrid Love Affair

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/24/13)—I have been mulling over two quotes for weeks now. Not purposefully, and not with any real intention – they have just been floating around in my head, weaving together, and leaving a soft imprint right beneath my skin.

“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being,” Ram Dass said. I find something about this so profoundly calming. And as that calm washes over me, I remember Annie Dillard saying, “I think the dying pray at the last not please but thank you as a guest thanks his host at the door.” I think she is right.

I do not know exactly why these two quotes have been following me around in the quiet moments, but I wonder if the inquiry of actually being love – embodied love – might be the whole point. And I wonder, too, if love and gratitude aren’t intimately connected. When I catch a fleeting glimpse of the deepest place in my heart, be it during a yoga practice, sitting in meditation, looking into the eyes of someone I care about, or even just noticing something heartbreakingly beautiful in nature, what happens next is always the same. I feel myself melt into a puddle of gratitude, reduced to whispering – crying, almost – “thank you, thank you, thank you”, like a prayer without beginning or end.

With all of this love and gratitude flowing through me, the topic of my column this week is surely very obvious, right?

Yes, I’m going to talk about kale.

I am fairly certain that I never had kale before I went to yoga school. Although I’ve always loved to cook, the only green I made regularly was spinach.

I was really missing out.

During my yoga teacher training, the Kripalu kitchen served kale at almost every meal. And it is hardly a surprise. Kale is a bona fide superfood, chock full of nutritional value. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. It is high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, full of fiber, and one cup has 10% of the recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids. But kale isn’t the only green in town. There are so many delicious leafy green vegetables, each boasting awesome nutritional profiles. The four I eat most often, both because of preference and availability, are kale, collard greens, mustard greens and spinach. (I adore Swiss Chard, but my local grocery stores rarely seem to have it available; I’m hoping my weekly CSA basket this summer is chock full of chard! Turnip greens, Dandelion greens and even beet greens are also fabulous!).

I get a lot of questions from my yoga students and friends about buying, preparing, and cooking greens, so here is some very basic information and a few of helpful hints I’ve learned from years of trial and error.

Buying and Cleaning

Kale:
I prefer fresh kale to the bags of pre-washed kale. It is much easier and less time-consuming to de-stem full kale leaves than to dig through a huge bag of kale pieces attached to thick stems (that are not very appetizing to eat). I soak kale leaves in salt water in the sink, rinse them well, and then de-stem the leaves by holding the stems and pinching the leaves toward one another, pulling them off in bite-size pieces. If I’m sautéing it, I might keep the pieces a bit bigger than if I’m making kale chips.

Collards:
Fresh collard leaves are also much easier to prepare than the bags of pre-washed collards. I de-stem them by pinching the stem where it begins to get thick, and pulling both sides of the leaf down so it ends up still intact just without the stem. Then I stack the de-stemmed leaves on top of one another and roll them tight from the top, and cut strips across like skinny jellyrolls.

Mustard Greens:
I de-stem mustard greens the same way as kale, soaking in salt water and rinsing well, and tearing it into bit size pieces

Spinach:
Spinach is the only green I buy pre-washed. Occasionally I will come across bags of pre-washed curly leaf spinach, and it is my absolute favorite. The baby spinach is also very good. Fresh spinach is delicious, but always full of sand, so the cleaning process takes a bit longer. To prepare it, soak the leaves in water, swish it around, and let it settle. The sand and dirt will drop to the bottom of the sink. Remove the spinach carefully so as not to disturb the debris at the bottom of the sink. Repeat these steps two or three times until the water is clean.

Cooking

Hilary’s Basic Kale or Collard Prep
This also works well with cabbage!

1 tbs. grapeseed oil
2-6 cloves minced garlic or 1-2 heaping spoons of pre-minced garlic
1-2 bunches of kale or collards, de-stemmed, cleaned, and torn, chopped, or shredded*
2-4 cups vegetable stock

Heat the grapeseed oil on medium-high heat for a minute or so. Add the garlic and sauté until it starts to turn slightly golden. Add the greens and toss with the oil and garlic, and sauté for about five minutes, until they start to wilt, stirring often. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. You might prefer your greens very al dente, or you may prefer to cook them longer. Experiment!

Hilary’s Basic Spinach Prep

1 tbs. grapeseed oil
2-6 cloves minced garlic or 1-2 heaping spoons of pre-minced garlic
1-2 bunches of pre-washed spinach

Heat the grapeseed oil on medium-high heat for a minute or so. Add the garlic and sauté until it starts to turn slightly golden. Add the spinach, turn off the heat, cover the pan and toss the spinach in the oil.

Smokey Greens
I like these made with mustard greens the best, and collard greens are a close second. I’ve yet to try this with kale, but I am pretty sure it’s also delicious!

1 tbs. grapeseed oil
1 small red or yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
2-6 cloves minced garlic or 1-2 heaping spoons of pre-minced garlic
2 tsp (or more to taste) smoked paprika
1 bunch mustard greens or collard greens, washed, de-stemmed, and torn
½ cup water
salt and black pepper, to taste
lemon slices (optional)

Heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes. (This is a very forgiving process. You can turn the heat down to medium or even low and caramelize the onions, or you can cook them more quickly on a higher temperature. I’ve made this recipe with crispy onions and with caramelized onions – both turn out delicious). Add the garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Scoot the onions and garlic to the perimeter of the pan and add a bit more oil to the middle, then add the smoked paprika and sauté for 20 seconds or until it is fragrant, and mix it in with the onions and garlic. Add the greens. Sauté for a few minutes. Turn the heat to high and add ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium, and cover the pan. Cook for five minutes. Serve with salt, black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon if desired. (The lemon seems to especially compliment the mustard greens).

Kale Chips

Big bunch o' kale (I’ve seen recipes call for 4 cups of kale, but who measures kale?)
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1-2 tsp sea salt (high quality salt is important here, because you can really taste it!)
Optional: pepper (for salt and pepper kale chips), apple cider vinegar (for salt and vinegar kale chips), parmesan cheese, (for cheesy kale chips), Cajun seasoning (for cajun kale chips), etc. – the options are endless!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wash the kale, pull the leaves off the thick stems, tear into bite size pieces. Pat it dry with paper towels (it's one of those general rules of thumb if you're trying to bake or roast something so that it's crispy: if there is water involved, your food will steam first, making it mushy. The drier, the crispier.) Toss with the oil (and any of the optional seasonings, if you’re using them), and put in the oven. Bake for five minutes, turn over, bake for seven more minutes. I think because I try to make a LOT of kale at once, this timing tends to result in chewy-crunchy goodness. If you use less kale it might be all-out kale chips at this point. With lots of kale on your cookie sheet, you have to bake it for about five more minutes for the kale chip experience. Just keep checking every five minutes and shaking the pan. When it comes out of the oven, immediately sprinkle with sea salt. It cools down really quickly, so if you like it warm (and I do) you have to hurry up and start eating! (Usually not a problem!).

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I would love to hear about your favorite way to eat greens! Drop me a line at www.facebook.com/HilaryLowbridgeYoga!

Hilary’s website: www.hilarylowbridge.weebly.com 
Connect with Hilary on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HilaryLowbridgeYoga
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Written by Hilary Lowbridge
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nOM—Adventures in Yoga & Food: It’s Not Easy Being Green

MADISONVILLE, KY (5/2/13) - Many years ago, a friend of mine went on a diet of solely bagels, fat-free cream cheese, and diet cranberry juice cocktail. “I’m eating exactly 800 calories a day,” she proudly exclaimed, in a simple carbohydrate, artificial sweetener, blood-sugar-roller-coaster induced euphoria. She stuck to it for about 48 hours before she almost passed out during a spinning class we were taking together. So she went back to eating whatever was easiest – fast food, frozen dinners, and stuff out of the office vending machine – and worked out more. “I’m really gonna beat myself up,” she’d say, as we walked into the gym. Later, as we munched on pizza and guzzled Diet Cokes, she stood in front of a full-length mirror and continued the beating: “My stomach is so disgusting. Ugh. Oh, I really hate my thighs. Look at my flabby arms! I am revolting!”

I have seen this same brand of devastation in my own life, and I see it in the lives of people all around me every day: somehow the body has become a thing we have to punish, beat into submission, force into compliance, or just ignore completely. We do this when we don’t consider what we eat at all. We do this when eating calorie-restrictive diets full of processed, nutritionally devoid foods. Or we do this with exercise, as (supposed) fitness experts yell, "Show the body who the boss is! Don't let the body control you! You control the body! No pain, no gain!" Essentially, we are encouraged, in a thousand tiny ways, to disembody ourselves in order to achieve something physical. This is a recipe for misery, illness, injury, and self-loathing. Why? Here is a guess: if I am punishing my body, I am punishing myself. If I hate my body, I hate myself. The body and the mind are not two separate entities; we are whole. Yet, we certainly do not seem to be living that way.

This disconnect is so great that it is hardly a surprise that morbid obesity is a serious and scary epidemic, or that others are starving themselves and over-exercising on a quest to meet some arbitrary standard of physical beauty. It seems that, for many people, the most important accomplishment, or the place in which they feel the deepest sting of failure, is whether or not they are the proud owner of a body that looks a certain way that fits into a specific mold.

My own journey is certainly ongoing, and did include at least 15 years in a similarly constant and cruel battle with my body. What I have learned so far is that true transformation and optimal health is actually dependent upon compassion and integration. Specifically, it is dependent upon non-judgmental, compassionate self-awareness and the understanding that I am not, in fact, a floating head. Whether it involves making better food choices, losing weight, or exercising more, we must shift from doing to our body to working with our body, and stop propagating this mindset in which we live as two separate entities at war with one another.

The truth is, how you move, fuel, and talk to yourself (and others) about your body is an opportunity you have, many times, day after day, to practice self-compassion. When you listen to your body and fuel it with nourishing, real food, it is a small, but profound, gesture toward the self—a message that says you deserve care and comfort. Your desires matter. You are worthy of love.

This is the practice. In yoga, we practice on the mat. And then we step off the mat and continue practicing, perhaps noticing that all of life—including what we eat—is part of the same inquiry. We notice that life starts to get more satisfying when we are living in the fullness of ourselves—our WHOLE selves. We start to notice that when we put delicious, high-quality, nutrient-dense food into our body we feel better. We have more energy, a stronger immune system, less disease, and maintaining a healthy weight becomes an effortless given. And yes, this can include wine and chips, and even the occasional Denny’s burger with egg/hashbrowns/bacon/cheese sauce on top (Not that I’d know anything about that!).

I believe that food can be delicious, beautiful, and profoundly nourishing. Here is a simple and tasty way to practice compassionate eating: the green smoothie.

Leafy greens have more nutrients than any other food group—they are chock full of amino acids, minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and phytochemicals. When you eat them raw, you don’t lose any of their stellar nutritional value, and, when you blend them, all of that nutrition becomes more readily available to your body. And honestly, when you pair them with fruits like bananas, pineapples, berries, grapes, and/or citrus fruits, you really can’t taste them. So if you avoid greens because you don’t like their taste or texture (although I think I could convince you otherwise if I had you over for dinner), this is a great way to sneak them into your diet.

Hilary’s Basic Green Smoothie:

2 cups of raw spinach, washed OR collard greens, washed and de-stemmed (or a combination of both!)
1 cup of plain coconut water (I love ZICO, and both the Kroger’s and Walmart here in Madisonville have started carrying it! Yay!)
1 banana
4 ice cubes

Place the spinach or collards and the coconut water in a blender. Blend until very smooth. Add the banana and ice (or you can freeze the banana ahead of time and skip the ice!). Blend more.

Drink and enjoy!

You might try adding any or all of the following, thinning it out with more coconut water if it gets too thick:

10 green grapes
½ cup fresh pineapple
½ cup fresh mango
1 orange, peeled, seeds removed

Blue-Green Mint Smoothie

2 cups of raw spinach, washed OR collard greens, washed and de-stemmed (or a combination of both!)
1 cup blueberries
handful of fresh mint leaves
juice of a lime
½ banana
¼ avocado
1 cup coconut water

Blend the spinach and/or collards with the coconut water until smooth. Add the mint leaves and blueberries and blend. Add the banana, avocado, and lime juice and blend. Add more coconut water if it is too thick. Yum!

Green Smoothie Tips:

• I swear by my Ninja blender. It is affordable, and it works (but I do long for a Vitamix).

• If you’re new to green smoothies, start with spinach. It blends well and it has practically no discernible taste. Collards are a close second – de-stemmed, they also blend up very smooth. My advice: save the kale for a little bit later, unless you have a really fantastic blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec).

• Bananas and/or avocados are great for texture. They add body and creaminess to your smoothie.

• Always blend your greens with your liquid first, until it is a juice-like consistency. Then add your additional veggies, fruits, and supplements (I love chia seeds and flaxmeal!)

• Speaking of your liquid base: many people are sensitive to dairy and don’t realize it. Try your smoothies with water, coconut water, or nut milks like almond or coconut. I am currently obsessed with Almond Breeze’s Almond/Coconut Blend for both creamy smoothies and lattes.

• Rice protein and hemp protein are great, soy-free, dairy-free ways to boost the protein content in your smoothie.

• Don’t count the calories! This is real, whole, nourishing food that is good for you. Drink up!

Sugg Street Post
Written by Hilary Lowbridge
Photos courtesy of Hilary Lowbridge

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Semi-Homesteading with Mama Cass: Buzz Buzz

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (4/23/13) - Cassie Pendergraff was born into a farming family in the early 1800's but decided to travel to a time period where women were allowed to garden in shorts. She decided to forgo grad school to stay home and try to do things the way her grandmother did. She put her thoughts of a master’s degree on the back burner for chickens and a pile of heirloom seeds. She’s spent the past four years learning how to make her own quilts, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and failing miserably at crocheting. When she’s not wrangling two children, she can be found in the garden trying unsuccessfully to grow tomato plants from seeds or happily obliterating generations of squash bugs.  She enjoys picking strawberries for jam, drowning peaches in alcohol and writing ridiculous bios about herself.

I’m getting closer and closer to realizing my dream of having a superorganism to call my own. A mass colony of fascinating, single-minded, productive females, who I will no doubt be the bane of their existence, as I insist on disrupting their diligence every two weeks to peek inside to see what they are up to. They will revolt and try to drive me away, but I’ll treat them like teenagers who you love despite the fact they want nothing more than for you to leave so they can pretend you don’t exist.

In just a few weeks, I’ll be the proud mama of 25,000 new children and I’m running on that nervous-excited energy that all new mothers have: This is so exciting! Wait, do I know what I’m doing? Am I in over my head? They better not come early because I don’t have their room ready! I hope they don’t get loose in the car on the way home and sting me to death. Well, maybe my concerns aren’t exactly like those of a new mother, but still somewhat similar; maybe a new mother whose children have stingers and make delicious, delicious honey.

Being a beekeeper has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. My grandfather kept bees and so did his brother. I remember growing up and my great-uncle bringing honeycomb on his visits from Mississippi. I can remember my first taste of “real honey” and how it felt to chew the sweet waxy comb and how much better it was compared to those little cute honey bears from the store. As kids, we were always barefooted in the summer, so watching for bees came along with the territory. I was never really afraid of bees; in fact, we would sometimes chase them around the yard trying desperately, but to no avail, to follow them back to their hive. I had heard stories of my grandfather catching wild swarms out of trees and always wanted to see that for myself.

A few years ago, my cousin decided that beekeeping wasn’t for him so he gave me all his equipment. A very, very generous gift. I was (and still am) a nervous wreck about the whole ordeal. Beekeeping has changed a great deal since my grandfather and great-uncle kept bees. There are new, non-native species of insects to contend with, each of which weaken the hive and bring in diseases. A beekeeper has to be knowledgeable of these enemies and assiduous in her inspections if the hive is to survive (not to mention that the solutions and advice on what to do isn’t so cut and dry). It is ridiculous how much information is out there. It is even more ridiculous how much contradictory information is out there.

I spent my birthday this year at a very hands-on bee school where I was able to see the inside of a hive for the first time. Even though I had read a dozen books and watched a million videos, it really cannot compare with the real deal of being in an actual apiary. I was able to gain a better understanding of what some of the things I had been reading about actually were; a queen cup and a swarm cell, the difference between an old forager bee and a new bee. I held a drone bee, which will seem slightly less hardcore when I tell you that they don’t have stingers, and learned how to light a smoker. I’m not embarrassed to say that my excitement was comparable to that of a teenage girl backstage at a Justin Bieber concert (or whoever is the new teenage heartthrob at the moment, I’m a little behind).

So, in a few short weeks, I should have a backyard full of buzzing, busy bees. Even though this is something I have wanted for a long time, I’m still anxious. Seasoned beekeepers say that there are only two guarantees in beekeeping: you are going to get stung and be prepared to lose a few hives. I can deal with being stung. My skin can be tough. It is my heart that I worry about. Call me a softy or a fool, but I don’t know if I can handle all that bee death. For me, this is much more than scoring honey—albeit it is a very tasty motivating factor. It is about fueling my curiosity and gaining a deeper understanding of how nature works. It is about showing my daughters how honey comes into existence and about being responsible for our own food. For me, it is one step closer to self-sufficiency and my desire to play a part in the harmony of nature. I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of responsibility, but I guess I’m about to find out.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Cassie Pendergraff 

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