Halloween

I’m debating what to do about Halloween.

I loved dressing up and collecting candy as a kid. But as an adult – and someone with a growing awareness of our country’s health crisis – I don’t want to encourage the consumption of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings…you get the idea.

I could hand out boxes of raisins, but I hated that as a child.

I could hand out toothbrushes, but again, that’s no fun.

I could bake something – treats using crispy brown rice cereal and natural peanut butter – but I know homemade goods would get thrown out by vigilant parents.

I have a friend who has her kids put their loot in a pile before bed. During the night the Great Pumpkin comes and Poof! their candy is turned into little games and trinkets from the dollar store. I also know a dentist who gives money in exchange for the kids who turn in their candy.

Hmm.

I was reading a recent issue of Body & Soul magazine and saw a small article on fair trade. Most chocolate, the article said, is exported from the Ivory Coast where kids aren’t going to school because they’re working on cocoa farms to help with family income. Buying fair trade products ensures that the money goes directly to the farmers and their communities instead of all the middlemen. And it just so happens that you can buy individually wrapped pieces of fair trade dark chocolate (according to some studies, dark chocolate does have a few health benefits).

Click here for a link to the article and a list of the companies.

Garlic Wasa

Ingredients

5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 pieces WASA Multigrain Crispbread (may substitute any WASA Crispbread flavors)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
Spread 1 heaping teaspoon onto each crispbread.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes and serve warm.

Prep time: 17 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 186
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 2 mg
Sodium 199 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 3 g
Calcium 35 mg

A Meditation Walk

“Let’s take a meditation walk,” my mom suggested when she was visiting earlier this week.

That sounded neat.

“What is it?” I asked.

My mom said it’s when you take a walk in nature while meditating on a word or phrase. As you walk you don’t necessarily seek out specific things, but you do open yourself up to whatever gifts or lessons nature has to teach.

My mom, dad, and I all piled on our coats and boots and headed out into the woods. When we passed the woodshed, we discussed logs. When we passed the garden, we discussed vegetables. We talked about family and food and the gorgeous day. Before long we had finished the loop. Not exactly meditative. Oh, well. We still enjoyed each other’s company and the crisp air of nightfall. That’s priceless in itself.

Meditation walks are probably best when each individual wanders off on his or her own path. This morning I threw on sweatpants and headed outside. I was still wearing my pajama top. I had yet to comb my hair or eat. But I wanted to be outdoors first thing.

I choose to meditate on the words: “I will rejoice and be glad in this day.” The wind brushed against me with affection. The pines played a rustling tune. The sky offered colors of deep blue. The sun poured forth armfuls of warmth. I don’t know what this day will bring, but good or bad, happy or sad, easy or tough, I rejoice in its beauty.Š

Internet Yoga

Yoga has gone high tech.

In the last few weeks I’ve come across three different websites offering “online” yoga classes.

Core Power Yoga (click “yoga on demand”)

Yoga Today (offering “outdoor” yoga classes)

&

Jiva Diva (scroll down to “live classes”)

All three sites give free classes or trial runs. I’m seriously considering trying one out because I’m about to head to Colorado for a mountain retreat for two weeks. The last time I was on retreat I found a gem of a yoga teacher who gave 90 minute private lessons out of her home for $25 (talk about a deal!). But she’s now home-schooling her kids and doesn’t have time for another student (me).

So…I’m thinking of logging on to my computer for Downward-Facing Dog time. But after debating which site to try, I actually decided that instead of Internet classes, I am going to take this time to better develop my own home practice. Tune-in next week to see if I can recall the sequence for Sun Salutations and figure out how to move into Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) without my yoga teacher prodding me to firm my thighs. I’m looking forward to rolling out my mat by my bedside and trusting myself and my practice (okay, I might bring a book of poses for a little cheat sheet, but mostly I’ll be on my own).Š

Deceptively Delicious

Jessica Seinfeld is out with a new cookbook: Deceptively Delicious. Her kids wouldn’t eat veggies and she was trying to figure out how to incorporate the healthful plants into their diets. One day while pureeing butternut squash for her baby she realized it was the same color as the mac & cheese she was making for her older kids. Bingo.

She was on Oprah recently. I missed the show but I laughed when I heard about her clever concept. I sneak veggies into meals all the time…for my husband Ron.

The man hates peppers. Can’t stand beets, doesn’t care for mushrooms, won’t touch tomatoes.

Do you know how many recipes call for tomatoes?

My friend Michelle gave me a recipe for turkey burgers. Ron loves them except for one ingredient – onion – which he picks out with his fork. But one night I chippy-chopped the onion into extra small pieces. He didn’t even notice. Afterwards, he kept saying, “There was onion in the burgers? Really?”

Really.

Works great for sauces, meats, pizza, whatever.

Here is the recipe for turkey burgers: Sautee 1/4 cup finely chopped onion in olive oil. In a bowl, combine onion with 1 small apple (grated), 1 T chopped fresh chives, 1 t celery salt, 1/2 t ground sage, 1/8 t pepper. Add 1 pound uncooked turkey and mix well. Form into patties. Sautee in oil (we grill ‘em).