Estonian Summer Magic
Are you reading too fast?
You have heard me talk/write about the importance of slowing down in the winter to restore and preserve life force, how it is OK and in fact beneficial to sleep more and to really hone your favorite way of chilling.
The other day I stumbled upon an interesting article on the merits of reading novels. As it turns out, there is a Slow Reading Movement going on out there. And SLOW READING is defined by “uninterrupted reading for 30 minutes or more”. SLOW READING reduces stress, improves concentration, boosts memory and deepens your ability to think, listen and empathize.
Reading novels as opposed to reading non-fiction books can help you become more compassionate by better understanding the emotional patterns, mental states and belief systems of your fellow human beings and might make you a better listener as well.
This is sharply contrasted with reading short bits and pieces as in SMSs, tweets, FB posts and constantly switching from one medium to another, even reading a webpage were you need to move your eyes around pictures, watch short videos or listen to sound snippets. Apparently, all this has been found to lower comprehension and cognitive function.
While the fast and short ways of communication have their place and will not go away, how about balancing off their detrimental mental affects by settling in with a good book or two this winter season? Set yourself up with a cozy cup of tea and lose yourself in the mystery of a different time period, the lifestyles of citizens in far away places or the intricacies of human interactions in a foreign culture. I hope you will heed my advice and truly enjoy reading your next book! And it will be an even better experience now that you know that it is most beneficial for your mind. Never again will you think of reading as a waste of time or an indulgence you cannot afford because of your busy schedule.
A book that I just finished reading and totally loved is Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things”
Energize your body and mind by making smart food choices
Discover the 7 principles of how to
· use food to support your daily activities
· prevent dips in energy and concentration
· boost motivation and clarity of mind
· eat for blood sugar balance and weight loss and
· make food your friend and not your foe.
The complete schedule of FREE kick-off lectures in the Hudson Valley:
Sunday, January 11 @ 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm @ BEACON FARMERS MARKET
Red Barn, second floor, Long Dock Drive
Beacon, NY 12508
Wednesday, January 14 @ 6:00 – 7:30 @ pm INNER BEAUTY SALON & SPA
460 Freedom Plains Road (Route 55)
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Thursday, January 15 @ 1:00 – 2:30 pm @ NATURE’S PANTRY
436 Blooming Grove Turnpike
New Windsor, NY 12553
Saturday, January 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm @ HEART AND SOUL
500 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508
Wednesday, January 21 @ 6:00 – 7:30 pm @ BUTTERFIELD LIBRARY
10 Morris Avenue
Cold Spring, NY 10516
THE NEW YEAR, NEW YOU WELLNESS WORKSHOP
begins January 29
The workshop is for you if you have any of the following questions:
How can I balance my blood sugar so that I do not gain weight and set myself up for diabetes?
Which oils and fats are best to use for which cooking techniques? Which should be avoided all together?
What are the best food choices for my body type?
What can I do about my fluctuations in mood and concentration?
What does it mean to balance the acid/alkaline reading in the blood and why is that important?
Is soy a health food?
What to eat for energy?
What can I do to improve my digestion?
How can a boost my sluggish metabolism?
How can get my body back in shape?
What can I do to reduce the stress in my life?
Should I be taking supplements?
The workshop is for you, if you would like to
· lose weight and keep it off … without dieting
· know the foods to eat for sustained energy, vitality and rejuvenation
· prevent dips in concentration, mood swings and diabetes
· support your daily activities by eating with awareness and intention
· protect your heart and live an active life for years to come
· learn to nourish yourself with easy to make delicious wholesome meals
The workshop is for you, if you would like to
· understand how food and lifestyle affect every aspect of your being
· boost your health, vitality, energy & overall happiness
· intentionally, mindfully and pleasurably use food to your personal advantage
· feel confident about making good food choices
· be empowered to take charge of your own health and well-being
Find all the juicy details here.
Book the workshop here.
Please feel free to ask me about payment plans. I am most happy to accommodate you by offering monthly payments that fit your budget!
Call 646-241-8478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn Detox FAQ
If you are still on the fence about joining our group of international detoxers, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have at email@example.com.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
How long is the detox?
We will start going into the detox on September 16 and start the actual detox on September 18. I recommend to do the detox for at least 5 or up to 8 days. Then is takes about 5 days to come out of the detox.
Why does it take so long to come out of the detox?
While you are on the detox you get to eat very clean and easily digestible food. It’s kind of a vacation for your intestinal tract, so that it can heal and rejuvenate itself. It is very important to slowly get your gut used to more complicated foods so that there will be no digestive upset as you return to your regular diet. Secondly, by adding one food group at a time per day, you get to really experience the effect each new food has on your digestive system and will be able to pinpoint which foods, if any, are giving you trouble.
Will it be difficult to find the foods needed for the detox?
Not at all. All foods on the detox are quite ordinary: lemons, bananas, berries, avocados, leafy greens, lettuces, root vegetables, brown rice, mung beans, spices, raw apple cider vinegar ... mung beans and raw apple cider vinegar you will find in a health food store.
Do I need special equipment for the detox?
You do need access to a kitchen, a stove top and a blender. But even if you do not have a blender, I can provide an alternative way of making that dish.
What if I can’t start the detox on September 18?
You can always start the cleanse a little later and do it on your own timing. You could even start earlier, as I will be emailing all the instructions on September 9. The online forum will be active from September 14 - 28, but you will have access to all the communications even beyond September 28. I just will not be monitoring it any more. Should there be any questions that have not been answered on the online forum, feel free to contact me directly by email, so that I can support you.
Is it safe to continue with regular exercise routines during the detox?
Yes, especially if you have a regular routine that your body is used to. I do not recommend to do very strenuous exercises unless you do that on a daily basis anyway. Walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi are good ways to keep your body moving during the detox.
Will it take a lot of time to prepare the meals?
No. The meals are very easy to make. Being on the detox will simplify your life substantially, allowing you and your body more rest and leisurely down time. It truly is a gift to your body.
How is the Autumn Detox different from the Easy Breezy Spring Cleanse?
The food on the Autumn Detox is a little more substantial than on the Spring Cleanse, as we are moving into the colder months of the year. Besides vegetables, greens, lettuces, fruits and berries you will also be eating glutenfree grains and legumes.
I have never detoxed before – will it be difficult to do?
No. There is nothing complicated about the detox and it is suitable for novices as well. The food is very tasty and satisfying, so you will not feel deprived at all. You can eat as much as you like and you will never go hungry while on the detox.
To book the Autumn Detox click here.
Introduction Chapter for my new Book
The book you are holding in your hands is second in a series of books that provide information and inspiration on eating, cooking and vibrant living. I consider my first book, Essential Nourishment: Recipes from My Estonian Farm, a fundamental education in self-care and nourishment. It is a cookbook and nutrition guide all in one, a holistic feel-good companion for living well, one delicious meal at a time, one nurturing action at a time. Topics include the benefits of natural whole foods, adequate hydration and balanced blood sugar levels, the energies of food, the food/mood connection, super foods, understanding the acid and alkaline balance of our blood, deconstructing cravings and living in harmony with the seasons. The nutrition and lifestyle chapters are followed by mostly plant-based recipes for delicious, whole-food meals. A summary of the chapters from my first book are provided on page x for your information.
My second book delves a little deeper. It explains how to maintain digestive health, strengthen the immune system, cleanse the body and mind, prevent inflammation and achieve weight loss—not by counting calories or dieting, but simply by eating great-tasting, nourishing foods.
You will learn about the profound effects of breathing, awareness and pleasure—and how to use them consciously to counterbalance stress, weight gain and digestive distress. Nutrition and lifestyle chapters are followed by healthful, easy-to-prepare recipes that will expand your kitchen vocabulary. You will learn to include lacto-fermented vegetables, sourdough breads and alternative flours for baking. My recipes are always based on natural whole foods and call for just a few lovable ingredients. No complicated food preparation techniques are involved because fresh, seasonal, quality produce is all you need. No external magic is required to make it taste wonderful. And once you get a taste for natural whole foods, you will never want to go back to eating mass-produced, factory-processed, overly sweet or salty foods. And you will not find any refined sweeteners, white flour or questionable oils in this book.
My food philosophy is very simple: Choose foods that are as close as possible to what Mother Earth provides. These natural foods offer the most energy, life force and nutrients. They are the best nourishment for you and your family, and their impact on the planet is minimal. Natural whole foods are a win-win.
My approach to nutrition is integrative, incorporating the wisdom of ancient oriental philosophies with the science of cutting-edge research. There is nothing extreme about it. My recommendations are down to earth and gentle. I believe that we can’t help but be happy and healthy when our lives are well nourished by non-food as well as food sources: enjoyable exercise, satisfying work, harmonious relationships, fulfilling spiritual practices and a varied diet of mostly plant foods, with or without some products from humanely raised animals.
So often we reach for food to compensate, console or numb us when our non-food nourishment is lacking or out of balance. But food will never be able to fill that gap, to even out imbalances or undo inadequacies in these vital areas of lives. That is simply not food’s job.
Food can sustain and regenerate our bodies, creating a solid base for our health and well-being. But it can never solve the shortcomings in our relationships, our work situation, our physical activity level or our spiritual life.
However, a nourishing, satisfying and grounding diet can provide just the right amount of support and stability we need to resolve imbalances in these fundamental areas.
We all have different food requirements. In this book I serve up a healthy portion of information seasoned with a dash of inspiration to help you make smart food choices and design your own way of eating—one that fits your body and your lifestyle. You will come to understand how food works in your body and be able to embrace a healthy way of sustaining yourself that feels natural, without strict rules or regulations.
In fact, I’d like to share with you my 80/20 rule. Even if you have fine-tuned your personal food philosophy and figured out a way to eat that truly works like a charm—if you try to maintain your regimen 100 percent of the time, you may start to feel a little boxed in and develop a little resistance against it. And shortly thereafter you may just decide to abandon your wonderful food philosophy altogether. That would be such a shame!
I therefore recommend eating wisely 80 percent of the time. For the remaining 20 percent, let life happen, go with the flow and feel free to indulge in foods that are not on your list. A fling will not kill you, because you have the solid 80 percent backing you. Sometimes it is more important to go out with friends, have a good time and forget about your precious food philosophy. These times provide nourishment of a different kind: human connection, laughter, fun, social interaction and a carefree feeling—benefits that can easily outweigh the nutritional shortcomings. When you are invited to a friend’s home and the food offered is not as healthful as you would want it to be, avoid being judgmental. Enjoy it as is, accept it gratefully, relax and trust that it will not do you any harm. Most likely it was prepared with love, which outweighs any possible lack of vitamins, minerals or fiber.
There is no need to become a health-food fanatic or the food police. After all, we are only human and need a little room for play, even naughtiness. We are not perfect, and that makes us so charming! If you become a health-food fanatic, you might find yourself cooking by yourself, eating by yourself, chewing very well by yourself, and feeling quite alone, isolated and glum.
At the core of my teachings is the understanding that the best way to nourish yourself is to listen to your body and heed its messages. You can be your own health specialist. By having an ongoing dialogue with your body, you can make connections between the food you ate and the way you feel. You can recognize your body’s needs, know which foods and drinks will make it run smoothly, offer it the right kind of physical activity and sense when it needs to rest.
By listening, you can create a loving relationship with your body—and that is the cornerstone of your health. But as in any relationship where one partner is doing all the giving and the other is doing all the receiving, something is not right and the relationship is not mutually beneficial.
Your body always wants to return to a place of harmony and balance within as it strives to create a happy and healthy home for you. When you eat junk food, your body attempts to digest it for you. When you drink too much alcohol, your body does its best to flush the excess out of your system. When you deprive your body of sleep, it still gets up for you in the morning. So for a more reciprocal and rewarding relationship with your body, listen to and heed its messages. When you work with your body rather than against it, you can create abundant energy, vitality and ease instead of tiredness, depletion and disease.
Awareness is the number one ingredient for a healthy and happy body and life. Our fast pace these days is not exactly conducive to being present in the moment. Too often we rush through the day’s activities without slowing down once in a while to focus on our bodily and spiritual needs. By the end of the day, we are simply exhausted and have no sense of joy or satisfaction. We turn toward sugar to energize us, toward caffeine to wake us up and toward alcohol to relax us. These are short-term quick fixes, and they throw both body and mind out of balance. Quick fixes do not nurture the body. In the long run, they deplete us of minerals and vitamins and set us up for silent inflammation, weight gain, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
My books are meant to nourish the mind and the belly, but also to nourish the eyes. Each recipe is accompanied by gorgeous full-page photographs taken at my farm and wellness center in Estonia, my birth country. My intention is to inspire you to start cooking right away, to seduce you into healthier eating and living.
When I cook, all senses are involved. I love the look of the food, its flavor, its scent, the sounds of cooking and the feel of holding, washing and cutting vegetables or tearing lettuces. It often occurs to me that the vocabulary of our hands is diminishing in this automated and virtual century. So many people handle only the mouse and the keyboard these days. Who does intricate handwork anymore? It has become a thing of the past. So making home-cooked meals is extremely important—because of the superior quality of the food, because it tastes so much better, because the action of cooking your own food allows you to put your energy and love into it, and also because it is a sensual, dexterous experience for your hands and fingers.
By handling the food ourselves and being fully present when we chop, stir and knead, we just might spontaneously feel a sense of gratitude, wonder and joy for the gifts of Mother Nature. We become a part of life’s cycles and feel connected, at one with life. Preparing food can be a most beautiful moving meditation.
May this book inspire you to try out new foods, recipes and techniques, to be fully present and enjoy the time you spend in your kitchen, to open up to your senses and to take in the beauty all around you, to be grateful to your body and attentive to its needs, to nourish your soul on a daily basis, and to walk a path paved with awareness, acceptance and appreciation.
May this book encourage you to take charge of your own health and well-being, to make any necessary changes in food and lifestyle, to let go of habits that no longer serve you, to trust your intuition and to create the life of your most daring dreams.
To cleanse or not to cleanse? FAQ
If you are still on the fence about joining our group of international cleansers, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
How long is the cleanse?
We will start transitioning into the cleanse on April 10 and start the actual cleanse on April 12. I recommend to do the cleanse for at least 5 or up to 8 days. Then it takes about 5 days to come out of the cleanse.
Why does it take so long to come out of the cleanse?
While you are on the cleanse you get to eat very clean and easily digestible food. It’s kind of a vacation for your intestinal tract, so that it can heal and rejuvenate itself. It is very important to slowly get your gut used to more complicated foods so that there will be no digestive upset as you return to your regular diet. Secondly, by adding one food group at a time per day, you get to really experience the effect each new food has on your digestive system and will be able to pinpoint which foods, if any, are giving you trouble.
Will it be difficult to find the foods needed for the cleanse?
Not at all. All foods on the cleanse are quite ordinary: lemons, bananas, berries, avocados, leafy greens, lettuces, root vegetables ...
Do I need special equipment for the cleanse?
You do need access to a kitchen, a stove top and a blender. But even if you do not have a blender, I can provide an alternative way of making that dish.
What if I can’t start the cleanse on April 12?
You can always start the cleanse a little later and do it on your own timing. You could even start earlier, as I will be emailing all the instructions on April 4. The online forum will be active from April 8 - 22, but you will have access to all the communications even beyond April 22. I just will not be monitoring it any more. Should there be any questions that have not been answered on the online forum, then you may contact me directly by email, so that I can support you.
Is it safe to continue with regular exercise routines during the cleanse?
Yes, especially if you have a regular routine that your body is used to. I do not recommend to do very strenuous exercises unless you do that on a daily basis anyway. Walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi are good ways to keep your body moving during the cleanse.
Will it take a lot of time to prepare the meals?
No. The meals are very easy to make. Being on the cleanse will simplify your life substantially, allowing you and your body more rest and leisurely down time. It truly is a gift to your body.
I have never cleansed before – will it be difficult to do?
No. There is nothing complicated about the cleanse and it is suitable for novices as well. The food is very tasty and satisfying, so you will not feel deprived at all. You can eat as much as you like and you will never go hungry while on the cleanse.
For cleanse details click here
To book the cleanse click here
Happy Spring and happy Cleansing!
Seven simple ways to honor your body
- Accept your body just the way it is
- Feed your body nourishing food
- Hydrate your body with plenty of fresh water
- Move your body regularly
- Every so often take a few deep breaths in and out
- Allow your body ample time to rest
… and once or twice a year give your body a special gift,
- Spend time in nature
like a cleanse. Spring is the perfect time for that. Give your body a chance to gently detox, eliminate sluggishness and reset its metabolism. My guided online Easy Breezy Spring Cleanse
with whole foods will help you to
- boost your energy and mental clarity
- jump-start your weight loss efforts
- end sugar cravings
- have glowing, gorgeous skin
- reduce congestion and inflammation
- feel light and clean
- establish new healthy eating patterns
- release the old and welcome the new.
The cleanse starts March 30
and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. If you have allergies or sensitivities to wheat, gluten, lactose, casein, soy or nuts – rest assured - the cleanse will be free of all common trigger foods.
Here are the Details:
When you sign up for the cleanse you will receive step-by-step instructions on
You will also get:
- Exactly what to do (there will be no confusion)
- What to eat (clear guidelines and explanations)
- How to prepare your food (easy recipes and instructions)
- How to enhance your cleanse with non-food activities (pleasurable self-care tips and techniques)
- How to effortlessly transition into the cleanse (preparing body and mind)
- How to smoothly transition out of the cleanse (so you can retain the benefits)
- Access to a Private Online Forum moderated by me for two weeks - a place where you can ask questions and feel fully supported
Investment in your health: $ 97
By booking the cleanse before March 20
you are eligible for Early Bird pricing at $ 67
For more information click here.
To book now and save click here
“Marika is a God sent…an absolute caring and interested woman helping me to benefit from participating in her cleanse.
The cleanse was a complete change in my eating habits and choice of foods…I must say I was not a junk food eater but I did love my sweets and carbs (cake, cookies, bread & pastas).
Now, I no longer have that need
to eat sweets and I am going to continue in that direction. I learned how foods work in my system and what I should eat and not eat.
I was so happy to lose 11 pounds and am eager to continue in that way.
Thank You Marika, and I look forward to doing this again!”
To read more testimonials from last year’s Easy Breezy Spring Cleanse
For my European readers:
European credit cards do not work with my US online store. You may transfer the cleanse fee to my Estonian bank account. If booking the cleanse by March 20 you pay Euro 49, after March 20 the fee goes up to Euro 70.
Account holder’s name: Marika Blossfeldt
Address of account holder: 90127 Rame küla, Hanila vald, Estonia
International Account number IBAN: EE33 2200 0011 0224 7265
Swift code/BIC/BLZ/ABA/FW: HABAEE2X
Address of Bank: Liivalaia 8, 15040 Tallinn, Estonia
Please confirm your transfer by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
, so that I know where to send the cleanse instructions.
I am thrilled to announce
The Essential Nourishment Group Program
If you would like to
- Eat for sustained energy, vitality, and rejuvenation
- Stabilize your blood sugar levels
- Prevent mood swings, brain fog, weight gain, and Diabetes II in the future
- Achieve weight loss naturally – without dieting or counting calories
- Make food your friend and not your foe
... then I invite you to Beacon this fall for my private coaching program, redesigned for a group setting at half the price
of my one-on-one programs. I’ll share the principles of natural nourishment and loving self-care essential to an energized and fulfilling life as discussed in my book Essential Nourishment
This is your opportunity to substantially improve your well-being, quality of life, and the way you feel in your body.
With my seven-years of experience guiding wellness retreats at my farm in Estonia, I have come to understand that group settings are a wonderful way to learn, integrate, share, and support each other.
We will start November 17, 2012 and meet every two weeks for 12 sessions total. The last session will take place on March 30, 2013
We will meet every other Saturday from 11 am - 12:30 pm at the Beacon Art Emporium
on 500 Main Street in Beacon, NY.
As your Holistic Health Coach, I will gently guide and inspire you to make small shifts in your daily habits relating to food, physical activity, and lifestyle.
Gradually healthy habits will become an integral part of your life and unhealthy habits will subside effortlessly. You will find this process truly delightful! There will be no need for discipline or deprivation. We will move forward step-by-step. The program is doable, even if you have a very busy life.
At the end of the 12 sessions, all the small changes done on a regular basis will amount to an amazing transformation. Not only will you feel great in your body, you will have all the energy you need to do the things you love. Plus, you’ll have a much more positive outlook on life.
Each session includes a nourishing food and lifestyle lesson complete with concrete action steps, homework, suggestions for improving any areas of your health and life that you might be struggling with, as well as a celebration of your victories and progress.
You will also be provided with practical hand-outs, easy to make delicious recipes, food samples, and other health-enhancing materials and resources to inspire you to move forward.
Between sessions, you will have email access to ask me any questions that arise while working on your own at home.
I will also create an email group so that you can share observations, questions, and successes with the other participants. You will be amazed how much you can learn from each other. And we’ll have a lovely, supportive camaraderie among the group members. Before you know it, you’ll be best friends.
One of the sessions will take place in the health food store where I will offer detailed explanations of all food categories and what to look out for when you shop for healthy ingredients.
Another session will be a hands-on cooking class in my home kitchen in Beacon – we will prepare a three-course delicious lunch together, (including dessert!) using fresh, organic local ingredients.
The cost for the entire program is $137 per month (for 5 months) – a total of $ 685.
You may pay in monthly installments of $137, or pay for the entire program upfront and save 10%, bringing your total down to $ 615.50.
Early Bird Sign Up ends Nov 9
. Register by Nov 9 and receive an additional 10% off total – Investment in your health: $ 548.00
Book the Essential Nourishment Group Program now.
“The program transformed my life as well as the way I eat.” Margaret
“I feel more stable and grounded in my food practices, which affects my emotional and physical health positively and allows more creativity in my life.” Michelle
“I have lost several pounds; have more even, sustained energy through the day.” Aime
“A friend gave me Marika Blossfeldt's "Essential Nourishment" at a critical, life-changing moment. I had just suffered a mild heart attack and realized that it was time for a lifestyle change. Many people equate "diet" with "deprivation," when in fact diet really means how we eat, not just what we eat. Look at it this way: automobile-loving Americans would not intentionally put lousy, harmful gas in their gas tanks. Yet we readily fuel our bodies with food that destroys them. "Essential Nourishment" provides a healthy and enjoyable alternative. The recipes are simple, straightforward and delicious, using readily available ingredients. From roasted green beans in a little olive oil and salt (addictive), to zucchini and tomato casserole (earthy and Mediterranean) to amazing brownies made with black beans and a hint of cayenne (surprisingly superb), the food in this book makes eating well the true pleasure it should be. In addition, Blossfeldt provides detailed sections on the science of food which makes for fascinating reading, alongside pages of her own, abstract artwork. By making some simple adjustments (much simpler than I thought they would be) to my eating habits, enhanced by "Essential Nourishment", and by adding exercise to my daily routine, I have dropped more than 30 pounds, my blood pressure is percolating along at a normal level, my (bad) cholesterol level has dropped dramatically, I am sleeping well, feeling better and, in short, feel like I have been given a second chance at life -- not something that comes along too often.” Tom
Book the Essential Nourishment Group Program now.
As an extra bonus, I will guide you through a whole foods cleanse in the spring. This includes precise instructions on preparing for the cleanse and coming out of the cleanse, guidelines for the cleanse itself, recipes, shopping lists, and email support throughout. You will come out of the cleanse rejuvenated and glowing.
Nov 17, Dec 1, Dec 15, 3-week Christmas break, Jan 5, Jan 19, Feb 2, Feb 16, March 2, March 16, March 30
Book the Essential Nourishment Group Program now.
FOR MORE INFO
Please contact me with any questions you might have at email@example.com
or call 646-241-8478. I’ll happily answer any questions and respond to your concerns, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether the program is right for you.
Let me support you in your journey towards a healthier, slimmer and vibrant you!
Off to Estonia, my summer paradise
where we conduct yoga, dance, tai chi, wellness and cooking retreats
Check out the Passion, Purpose and Pleasure Wellness Retreat package here
See entire summer schedule here
Hope to welcome you at Polli Talu Arts and Wellness Center this summer!
Paris, March 7, 2012
Cloudy descent into Paris airport – a little bumpy this landing in the city of haute cuisine.
The taxi ride to my first accommodation in the 19th
arrondissement goes smoothly: beautiful older apartment building with worn out wooden stairs and a sign to please wipe your feet. My friend is not home but his wife Paula and lovely 3 year old daughter Olivia are – she speaks Spanish, French and English – what a way to grow up. My bed is made in the office – there are big glass doors with a French balcony overlooking the court yard.
The next day the driver from the Estonian Embassy picks me up and we deliver two cases of books to the Paris Cookbook Fair grounds – nobody is there to receive the books but we leave them where the bookstore will be set up and hope for the best.
In the afternoon I check out the vegetable and health food store nearby to see whether they carry all ingredients I will need for my cooking demo on Sunday – for the most I can find everything except beets – the only beets I can find are pre-cooked. But Paula is able to get me some from another market.
First ride on the metro – everything goes well, except I don’t know that you have to push a button for the door to open – I just stand there and wait – luckily others want to get out as well and push the button for me.
In the evening I meet the Estonian Ambassador and his wife at the Folies Bergere theater for the Awards Gala. There are many categories of wine and cookbooks – many emotional, some funny, some witty responses to winning the first price. I am thinking and rethinking my acceptance speech – you only get 30 sec to say something. My book Essential Nourishment is a finalist in the health and nutrition category – 2 hours go by – and then the moment of truth arrives – I am nervous, excited, hopeful – but when Mr. Edouard Cointreau mentions my book second in, I know that I am not the winner of the first place. He says however “… a book that everyone should read” – and my book lands on third place. I will not deny that I was disappointed. C’est la vie …
It’s Wednesday, the first day of the book fair – I take the bus but halfway to where I am going the driver makes an announcement that I do not fully understand – however I get that there will be a rerouting – I stay on and hope that this rerouting will happen before we get to where I need to go. I follow the moves the bus makes on my map only to find out that it goes further and further in the wrong direction and instead of stopping every couple of blocks as he had done before there seems to be no stop in sight, I bravely walk up to the driver and ask what ever happened to rue Riquet? When he finally stops he points me towards another bus stop and tells me to take that bus back. So it is the same bus number but going the opposite direction and it will take me to where I have to go – go figure.
I arrive at the Paris cookbook fair. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. I go to the Gourmand office to pick up my certificate. It says Best Nutrition Book in the World, Third – I like how that sounds.
I get the catalog and rip out the pages that have the layout and a list of all presenters with stands on it. I start marking up who I want to speak to and approach them one by one. Everybody is so nice and almost apologetic, when they have to tell me that my book is not for them. Sometimes they recommend other publishers who might be a better fit for my book. My goal here is to find foreign publishers who would like to translate my book and publish it in their country. When I introduce my book I tell them that it won third place the day before in the healthy cookbook category and it really does not sound so bad. And they happily congratulate me. I have some promising exchanges with several German publishers and a Brasilian publisher. Lunchtime approaches and I am in the mood for a hearty lunch, knowing that dinner will be on the light side. There is a French café/restaurant in another part of the building. I study the menu but do not understand most of it. Luckily the waiter does speak English. There is a lunch deal where you get a discount if you order an appetizer and a main dish. My body tells me, go for it! My cravings for vegetables I quench with a cauliflower soup and for the main dish I order the one thing I recognize as a French classic thanks to the movie Julie and Julia – it is Boeuf Bourguignon – or something like it. I must admit that I am quite ignorant when it comes to French cuisine but am an eager student. I am not a big meat eater either but will try to eat like a Parisienne when in Paris. And again a flashback to the movie – I was tempted to make loud moaning noises just like Merryl Streep as Julia Child always did, when she dined with her husband - that expression of utter surprise and unexpected pleasure – but I controlled myself – however I must report that that beef was the most tender and juicy I have ever encountered – it literally melted in my mouth – I mean it was truly incredible – wow!
In the evening there was a party for all professional guests of the cookbook fair. A Swedish chef prepared 8 dishes for 300 people with the help of some 20 students of the Cordon Blue Culinary School. It took place in the International Show Kitchen, so we all could watch if we were so inclined. I stayed for the beginning, as it was interesting for me to see how he organizes his work and how he gives instructions to the students.
Age Defying Passion
I must admit that I had a really wonderful time performing last weekend in TREE - A DANCE, Susan Osberg’s beautiful meditative dance honoring, celebrating and being with trees.
There is the magic that always happens in theater when after a long rehearsal process in the studio everything comes together and you finally see the dance in the performance venue with images of trees and gorgeous stage lights.
The other amazing thing is that although my 53 year old body feels very different from a 35 year old body, once the performance starts all that is forgotten and you just go with the flow and with the spirit of the show. You go into performance mode, you take the stage, you go into your power. Your body feels totally connected, grounded and able.
Any hint of stiffness or restriction in range of movement dissipates and the creative juices carry you on. It is exhilarating. I am very grateful to Susan for occasionally pulling me back on stage to experience this age defying thing called dance, delicious movement, being in the moment, stretching beyond your preconceived limitations, heightened awareness,
living fully, exploration, passion …
Afterwards I feel a little more tired than I used to when I performed back in the 80s and 90s in NYC. I know I need to take good care of my body – my body is asking for it – so I take a relaxing hot shower before going to bed to soothe my muscles, I make sure I get enough sleep, I eat nutritious food …
The older I get the more I realize my body is one of the most precious possessions I have, deserving of the best loving care I can provide.
Why am I writing this?
Because I want you to pay attention to your body as well, to treat it with respect, to honor it for all it does for you, to love it just the way it is – unconditionally – to feed it appropriate foods, to hydrate it with fresh water, to allow for play and downtime, to take it outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine …
But also because I want you to identify what you are passionate about. What gets your creative juices flowing? What excites you? And encourage you to do more of that. Life is too short to be doing things you do not enjoy.
And if you are nearby, please come see these last three magic performances of TREE or join me in Estonia
for a life changing Passion Purpose and Pleasure Wellness Retreat
in August, both transformational experiences.
Starting the day right … with breakfast
Breakfast is a very important meal, and it really should not be missed. Because breakfast revs up your metabolism and ensures that it performs efficiently throughout the day, working at tasks such as proper absorption of nutrients, accelerated brain power and optimal calorie-burning capacity. What you eat for breakfast sets the tone for the day. When you eat a meal that balances your blood sugar, chances are that all day long you will have sustained energy and stable moods.
Porridge is one great way to start the day. It provides complex carbohydrates that promote blood sugar balance and produce a gentle energy curve, delivering sustained energy for many hours. And it feels so good to have something warm in the morning, when the weather is still cold outside. By the way – it’s snowing in Beacon today.
Steel-cut oats … the over-night method
Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats – about twenty minutes – and they like to splash a lot. So to avoid the wait and the morning cleanup, I start them in the evening. Bring the water and oats to a boil, add salt and butter or oil and then turn the heat off completely. Cover the porridge and let it sit on the stove overnight. At breakfast time, simply add a little water, stir and reheat. Steel-cut oats taste great served with whole milk yogurt. If you like it sweet, add raisins or other dried fruit. Or spice it up with cinnamon or cardamom.
For 2 servings use 2/3 cup steel-cut oats, 2 cups of water, 2 pinches of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of butter. So satisfying!
A cold-climate grain,
oats are a staple food in Ireland, Scotland and England, arriving there about AD 100 from Central Asia and Russia. For steel-cut oats, which were popularized by the Irish and Scotsmen, the oat kernel is cut into two or three pieces. Oats have high protein content and are most widely used as a breakfast food. It is said that oats are a male aphrodisiac as well as an adaptogen – a food that helps the body adapt to new conditions. Oats strengthen nerves and reduce addictive cravings. Their soluble fiber helps to lower high cholesterol.
Meet, Eat and Greet with holistic health coach Marika Blossfeldt
Please join me this Saturday at 11 am at the Beacon Art Emporium at 500 Main Street in Beacon for the kick-off event for my upcoming lecture series.
Enjoy a sampling of healthy and delicious dishes from my book. I will be making the polenta with roasted sunflower seeds p 112 for sure and surprise you with a few other delectable dishes.
I will share my down-to-earth food philosophy with you and tips on how to keep up energy, balance blood sugar levels and manage weight this winter season. Eating well does not have to be complicated – let me take the mystery out of eating healthy.
Books will be for sale and I will be happy to sign one for you.
RSVP Leah Quinn 845- 765-1535
About those New Year resolutions
Sometimes I wonder whether all this goal oriented living is the way to go. Some healthy goal setting is useful for sure, don’t get me wrong. However, if we constantly live for something that will happen in the future, we might be in danger of not living in the present. If we are so fixated on the goal we might not be aware of the process. We might not be fully present to what is happing right now. By chasing the rainbow we miss being still. Without being still we cannot open up to allow things to come to us, to receive.
So I came up with a different set of resolutions this year. Maybe you’d like to add one or two to your list as well:
1. Trust the process of life
2. Listen to my inner voice and act on it
3. Consult my heart first when making decisions
4. Create moments of stillness throughout the day
5. Use every chance to appreciate beauty
6. Release the need to be perfect
7. Find pleasure in all that I do
Are you seeing the signs? Are you noticing that it is
getting colder and darker? For nature this means a period of time when things
slow down, almost come to a halt. It is a time to go inward, to recharge your
batteries, to replenish your reserves, to reflect on the year past and to dream
of what the New Year will bring; to tend to your spiritual needs. Nights are
longer, days are shorter – signaling that indeed it is a time for rest, a time
of less activity. Please, please allow yourself to slow down. It is the right
thing to do in the winter season. You will feel more harmonious in your body
and within your environment. It is not only OK to sleep longer, it is the right
thing to do! Your soul is longing for it. Give in. Sweet surrender.
There is something
I really like about men
I have noticed that men
are much calmer than women and we women could really learn from them. Men take
their time to think things through, they don’t seem to worry so much and do not
rush things. Even in the midst of crisis they keep a level head. I have come to
admire this ability and am working on integrating it into my life as well. And
it seems to be working. As a result I find myself enjoying the process of doing
any kind of work or chore so much more - which makes me think of a statement I
once read by a Buddhist monk: “If you rush while doing the dishes to then sit
down and have a cup of tea – chances are that you will rush through drinking
your tea as well.” All moments of life are just that: moments that make up our
lives – why not savor them all and bring mindfulness and care to all of them –
no matter how mundane?
Enjoy some sunshine
One of the things I really look forward to each spring is to be able to
take a sun bath on my back porch. On some days around noon, even if the temperature is merely 60 F and
there isn’t too much wind, I will lie down on my yoga mat and it will be just
perfect. The sun is warm enough in the middle of the day to deeply penetrate
and warm my body. And if I were a cat I would be purring from pleasure. One of
the pluses of working from home is that I can choose to spend a part of my
lunch hour basking in the sun. And I love it! As a northerner I revere the sun.
But there is more to it than pure pleasure. It is actually very important to
spend some time in the sun - without sun screen. You might be surprised that a
health conscious person like myself would say a thing like that, but unless you
get some unfiltered sun your skin will not be able to produce Vitamin D, a
crucial vitamin to help keep you healthy and young.
A sun screen factor of 8 or
more will not allow the rays of the sun to turn the cholesterol in your skin
into Vitamin D, which technically is not a vitamin but a prohormon. 20 min at a
time is a good amount of time to be out in the sun to produce Vitamin D.
Sufficient amounts of Vitamin D in the body can prevent a host of illnesses,
from hypertension, cancers, diabetes and heart disease to multiple sclerosis,
osteoporosis and psoriasis.
Take your time getting used to the sun, start with 5 - 10 minutes per
day and gradually increase until 20 minutes. When the weather gets warmer,
spend mornings in the sun, before it gets too strong at midday. After 3pm is also a good time to be out in the sun. But
use common sense and avoid getting sun burnt.