Friday, January 25, 2013

My First Book!!!

Well, it's official...


I started writing my first book about 2 years ago, and it finally all came together.  When I started this process, I began writing short stories to go along with some Medieval recipes that I had found.  Next thing I knew, I was cooking those recipes and taking pictures of them to put in the book.  Finally, a title.  For any of you who have written a story/book/paper before, you know that a title is definitely not the easiest thing to come up with; at least for me.

I can't believe I actually did it!  I self-published through Create Space and once I turned it in, the book was on sale at Amazon for $10 in just 2 days! Wow!

This is just so exciting for me, so please stop in here and take a look at my brand new book.  It would be a wonderful gift for a loved one (even a child!).  The stories are short and geared towards a younger crowd, but so far, all of my adult friends have loved them too.

If you are so kind to buy one, please leave a comment and rate the book; this will help me so much with publicity.

Thank you so much!

My Book about Me: By Me, Myself by Dr Seuss/ McKie, Roy [Hardcover] (Google Affiliate Ad)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thoughts on Food

After reading many books and learning a lot about myself during this past year, I have come to find that really being thoughtful and caring in what I eat has really helped me through struggles.  While reading The Blue Zones (I finished and will be posting the helpful hints of longevity soon...), I came to find that part of each area's lifestyle included a form of self-moderation through all aspects of life, including eating.  More detail about that to come...

Reading this book has inspired me to come up with a little routine of my own.  I personally feel that self-reflection can hone you in to a deeper level so you can truly connect with yourself.  This is especially important in eating.  Why should we feed ourselves if it is our mind talking and not our stomach?  By becoming centered/mindful before eating a meal, you will be allowing your body to be heard; letting your mind calm so you can decide if you are truly hungry or just bored/tired/aggravated/stressed/excited/all the other reasons we may eat when we are not truly hungry.

Before eating, I will ask myself:
     How will this meal affect my health?

Through my answer, I will be able to gauge whether or not that specific food is what I should be eating.  If I am not confident that it will help keep me healthy, do I really want to put it in my body?

I wrote the beginning of this post last week and after reading it again, I realized that I have been doing a really good job at this task.  Without even knowing it, or even being super-conscious about it, I have been putting deep thoughts into my food and random snacking has been greatly reduced.  For me, personally, I have a harder time being mindful in my eating when I am home all day or late at night (after a night class or something along those lines).  That being said, I am so thankful for my schedule!  But, I have noticed that within this past week, I have been finding other things to do besides eating and have felt very accomplished at the end of the day.

Some of the things I do to distract thoughts of food:
-sip very flavorful tea (maybe even with some stevia if a sweet tooth is calling)
-sip kombucha (always calms my sugar cravings)
-do a couple yoga vinyasas
-move around to get the blood flowing better

These are just a few of the many ways to stave cravings, what are some of your ways?

Luana ola!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Longevity in the Blue Zones

     As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received The Blue Zones as a Christmas present this year.  I am so excited to have started reading it; although I am only through the first 2 chapters, I am already enthralled in this research on how to live long and healthy.  At the end of each chapter, there are short reminders of the longevity lessons that each blue zone has to offer.  In this post, I will sum up those lessons for you.  I do recommend that you get this book for your self or a loved one as well because it is just one of those books that I believe to be very important to have in your personal library.

Sardinian Blue Zone:
1. Eat a plant-based diet accented with meat
2. Put family first
3. Drink goat's milk
4. Celebrate elders
5. Take a walk
6. Drink a glass or two of red wine daily
7. Laugh with friends

Okinawan Blue Zone:
1. Embrace an ikigai (a reason to get up in the morning)
2. Rely on a plant-based diet
3. Get gardening
4. Eat more soy
5. Maintain a moai (secure social networks)
6. Enjoy the sunshine
7. Stay active
8. Plant a medicinal garden
9. Have an attitude (let a difficult years remain in the past and enjoy today's simple pleasures)

American Blue Zone:
1. Find a sanctuary in time
2. Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI)
3. Get regular, moderate exercise
4. Spend time with like-minded friends
5. Snack on nuts
6. Give something back
7. Eat meat in moderation
8. Eat an early, light dinner
9. Put more plants in your diet
10. Drink plenty of water

Costa Rican Blue Zone:
1. Have a plan de vita (sense of purpose)
2. Drink hard water
3. Keep a focus on family
4. Eat a light dinner
5. Maintain social networks
6. Keep hard at work
7. Get some sensible sun
8. Embrace a common history

After reading the entire book in just a couple of days, I have learned so much about being healthy.  Some of the most common factors are drinking plenty of water, eating lots of vegetables, and having a good social life.  Life is all about a balance.  We are constantly searching for homeostasis.  Keep searching and finding new/exciting things about life everyday, it's what will keep you young.

Luana ola!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Renaissance "Meat" Pie

I am almost finished with my children's cookbook!!!  With one more recipe down and one to go, I have set the deadline for February 14th (aka Valentine's Day...).  I will be self-publishing through Create Space and will definitely be letting you all know how it goes; and hopefully, the book will be up for sale!

What a great Valentine's gift or the little one's in your life (or adults who like simple recipes and cute me!)

Today's recipe was the vegetarian version of a Medieval Meat Pie.  Meat pies were very common in the middle ages and Renaissance because they were filling, easy to make, and you could put practically anything in it (kind of like pottage, now that I think of it...).  I can not give out the recipe on my blog, because then I would have no reason to sell the book, but I can give you pictures and tell you how scrumptious it was!

 I had some left over crust, so instead of wasting perfectly good food, I rolled it out, cut some strips, and popped them in the oven alongside the pie.  Let it be noted, that the little strips were baked for only 20 minutes while the pie was in for about 40.
 MMM filled with beans and other goodies in replacing meat!

Have you ever had a savory pie?  If so, what's your favorite?

King Arthur Flour Perfect Pastry Flour, 3 lbs. (Google Affiliate Ad)Luana ola!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Strength in Curry

I don't know about you, but I have been so nervous to adventure into making curries.  Andrew absolutely adores curry and I am quite fond of it myself, there are just so many spices to worry about!  Now, I am definitely good at mixing spices, but my spice palate usually tends to stick towards Italian/Mediterranean, or Southern as those food cultures are what I grew up with.  Indian and other Asian spices are a whole new world for me that I have finally embraced and stepped into.

It has taken me a full year (maybe 2) to actually make my own curry.  I got 2 recipe books loaded with "simple" and healthy curries, but as soon as I looked at the ingredient list, my heart would sink, the book would close, and I would go on to make a soup or stew.

I got the courage to make a curry when I saw all these fresh veggies in my fridge that I wanted to consume but my palate was craving something new.  I went to my room, grabbed the curry books and started to skim the pages.  Kale and cauliflower were the two veggies that I chose to work with.  I ended up finding kale curries, cauliflower curries, and potato curries.  Between the mass of recipes I had to choose from, my instincts told me to combine all of them.  First, I took the base of the potato curry because I actually had all the ingredients (luckily, I knew I wanted to make curry so I bought coconut milk last week while grocery shopping...nothing helps get you motivated more than actually having the ingredients already!).  Next, I used kale and cauliflower to replace the potatoes.  Note:  I love potatoes and there are so many wonderful health benefits to them, I just did not want them this time.  Finally, I started to measure, mix, and cook all of the ingredients until the warm and slightly spicy curry was complete.

The final product:
 Sorry about the fuzzy picture, the lighting is just not great in the winter...Oh well, it tasted so good though!  This piping hot bowl was consumed with a slice of my fresh gluten free sourdough bread!

I hope this recipe inspires you to take courage in yourself in cooking or any aspect of your life.   All you need are the right ingredients/tools, a little motivation, and some time to experiment and you will surpass all of your own expectations and conquer all of your dreams!

Luana ola!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites

We all have new years resolutions, right?  Well, mine includes enhancing my yoga practice and including it everyday in my life.  When life gets very busy and we have (what feels like) absolutely no time for anything, that is the perfect time to practice yoga.  When you take the time to calm down, relax, and even do a couple asanas, your body finds a way of piecing all the trouble pieces together to help you make the time for everything around you.

One way of getting in a quick, but effective bout of yoga asanas is by practicing the 5 Tibetan rites.  This flow was created by Tibetan monks as a morning routine to balance the chakras.  If you are new to yoga or have not tried these postures before, start with simply doing 5 of each posture.  As an ultimate goal, 21 of each should eventually be performed.  Let it be noted here that even completing all 21 rounds, this will only take about 15 minutes.

All of the information listed below can be found at:

1. Clockwise SpinningStand upright with your head up, extend your arms at shoulder level away from your body, palms facing down.
Start spinning clockwise (to the right) while breathing deeply.

To avoid getting dizzy, keep your eyes fixed on one point, for example your right hand’s little finger.

Stop when you’ve completed 21 turns of the first exercise of the 5 Tibetan Rites.
Allow your muscles to relax a few seconds while breathing deeply a couple of times before moving to the second Rite.

 2. Head and Leg Raise- Lay down on your back with your legs straight and your arms to your side, palms down.
While inhaling, raise off the floor simultaneously your legs and head, tucking your chin into your chest.
Keep your legs straight and try to extend them towards your head.
While exhaling, slowly lower the legs and head returning to the initial position of laying flat on the floor.
Allow your muscles to relax a few seconds while breathing deeply a couple of times before moving to the third Rite.
 3. Kneeling Back bendKneel with your legs together, your toes curled, placing your hands on the backs of your thighs and holding your chin into your chest.
While inhaling, raise your head and lean back bringing your shoulder blades together craning your head and neck backwards as far as you comfortably can, relaxing your lower spine and supporting your weight with your hands braced against your thighs.
While exhaling, start to come forward back to your initial position with your chin back to your chest position.
Allow your muscles to relax a few seconds while breathing deeply a couple of times before moving to the fourth Rite.
 4. Table TopSit on the floor, legs straight, a little less than shoulder-width apart, arms to your side, palms down, chin tucked against your chest.
While inhaling, raise your buttocks off the floor while bending your knees, shifting your weight to your arms and legs, continuing to raise your buttocks until your trunk and thighs are straight and parallel to the floor, letting your head fall back, as far as you comfortably can.
While exhaling, return to your initial sitting position with your head dropped forward.
Allow your muscles to relax a few seconds while breathing deeply a couple of times before moving to the fifth Rite.
 5. PendulumGet down on the floor on your hands and knees (in push-up position) with hands and legs a little less than shoulder-width apart.
While inhaling, come up on your toes shifting your weight in your arms, straighten your legs, arch your spine, bend your head back. Do not let any of your body touch the ground except for your curled toes and hands during the last exercise of the 5 Tibetan Rites.
While exhaling, bend at the hips, push your buttocks up into the air making an inverted V-shape with your legs and arms straight, while tucking your chin toward your chest and trying to put your feet flat on the ground.
Starting position

Finishing position
Now that you have gone through all 5 rites, lay down flat on either your back or stomach and focus on your breathing.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Nice and slow.  Feel how relaxed your body is becoming and try to stay in this position for 5-10 minutes to reap all the benefits from the exercises you just performed.

What's your new years resolution?

Luana ola!