Eggplant Hoarding, Giveaway, and Bikram Woes

Ok, as most of you know, I’m doing a six month 300hr Yoga teacher training (adding to my basic 200hr I completed last year). When I meet new people and they get over the fact that I’m a chef (cause seriously, I say I went to culinary school and its like I’m a foodie magnet), I tell them I teach yoga and they say, “O I LOVE YOGA! I do Bikram, its fantastic!”.

If you do Bikram, I respect you, dont kill me, but be warned I will not be kind about this…

So I thought I’d lay it all out on the table. This is how I REALLY feel about Bikram:

Lets start with the myths!

“The hot room is good for my muscles”
Sure, having your muscles warm can make them more flexible, but you can get them warmed up with some Sun Salutations - that’s what Sun Salutations are for, no? There is no evidence that having the entire body get hot, from the outside in, is good for you. In fact just the opposite from what I understand. Countless bad things happen to your body and cells from heat stress. Could it maybe, just maybe, be the case that most sane people find hot stuffy rooms uncomfortable to be in, much less do vigorous exercise in, because your body is telling it’s not good for you?  Personally I think it plays into the American masochistic/Puritanical/efficiency streak. “Exercise can be uncomfortable, so the form of it with the most discomfort possible per hour must be the best for me!” Yick. For those who feel otherwise, who feel that the heat in Bikram makes them more flexible or gives them a better workout, I’d like to see any kind of empirical data for this.

“I’m sweating out the toxins/loosing more weight/burning more calories.”
Excuse me? Show me any studies that show that massive sweating makes you lose anything other than water, salt, and electrolytes. The most weight you’ll be loosing is water weight, and dehydration is definitely not good for you. And if anything you’re burning less calories since your body can’t work as hard under all that heat stress .Besides, calories equal heat, right???

“It’s an ancient and respected tradition so it must be good”.
Really? well so was crucifixions but you dont see people doing that these days! Ok this is easily the most offensive of them all. Bikram – the guy – created Bikram yoga in the late 20th century by taking a bunch of existing yoga positions and taking out a U.S. copyright on their order. He has issued many cease-and-desist letters and lawsuits against studios and instructors that do “Bikram” yoga without having paid to go through his paid-for “certification” program. Mr. Bikram is a businees man, who got rich praying on New Age naivete and being an intellectual property bully> I hear he literally has a “garage stuffed with gleaming Bentleys and Rolls-Royces”. Does that sound like the spirit of yoga to you?

Dont be offended if YOU do LIKE Bikram. To each his own, I just prefer taking a class that doesn’t exactly remind me of a Secret deodorant commercial.

And now onto some food leading towards the giveaway.

Eggplant was on “ridonculous” sale the other day:

I dont know if you can see, but they were 39 cents a pound!

So you know what that means…..I overloaded on eggplant. Overloading isn’t so bad, I just find new things to do with the ingredient. In this case, I thought I’d do a dessert or sweet spin on the eggplant. I saw a cool recipe for an italian eggplant cake called, “Melanzane al cioccolato”. Apparently, there are a lot of variations on it, some with riccotta and obviously, chocolate. But I decided to do this….

ingredients:

-1 peeled eggplant

-peanut flour for coating (or any flour, the original recipe called for AP flour)

-a few squirts of NuNaturals stevia (yes, if you win the giveaway, you’ll get some of it!), but you can use any sweetener of choice. I’m trying to quit splenda (I know, I am a horrible person for liking splenda) so this stevia came at a good time.

-some water (about 1/4 cup but just enough to dampen the eggplants a little bit, but DONT soak them!)

-1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and cocoa powder (I didnt measure, but you get the drift)

1.Peel and thinly slice the eggplants lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick. Heat enough skillet with some oil or spray.

2. Lightly coat the damp eggplant slices in flour/cinnamon/cocoa/stevia mixture and fry until golden on both sides. Remove and place on a platter lined with paper towels. Continue frying until all the eggplant slices have been cooked.

So you can totally smear some ricotta and nutella and go all italian. Me? I smeared it with peanut butter, how american right? And yes, I used Skippy, sorry Traders and Whole Foods, but when it comes to peanut butter, I stick to the no stir kind. I frankly dont care how unnatural it is. Hey, its not like it a chicken “nugget”.

I know, not the prettiest picture, but the yummiest food tend end being a little messy. I chose to roll it up to eat it with my hands, makes for clean up (no utensils0.

The photo at the top of the post is what it traditionally looks like, all layered up with chocolate sauce.

For the giveaway…….

FOUR winners wil get a box of 50 individual NuNaturals Stevia packets PLUS a bottle of liquid stevia. Believe me, I’m no product push and I despise the Trader Joes stevia. But this actually isn’t bitter (and I swore I thought it would be!). Great if your trying to kick the splenda like moi!

To enter:

leave a comment telling me what I should make with my own stevia I just got (and I’l post it on the blog of course to show you the results) OR you may ask me a question about yoga for a future post about FAQ’s (and your question will be addressed in the post!). This next week!

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47 thoughts on “Eggplant Hoarding, Giveaway, and Bikram Woes

  1. I knew hot yoga didn’t *really* offer any benefits beside the fact that it get’s you warmer faster than traditional yoga so you can move into deep stretches earlier..but it’s still something I’d like to try. :) I have a question..how’d you get into yoga? Everybody has their own way..some get right into it while others kind of fall into it. Personally I used to think it was for sissies and just a bunch of stretches..and that Pilates was where all the work was. But um, no..I was wrong. :P

  2. even tho its not a summer recipe, stevia tastes so good when u mix some with almond milk and carob powder and heat together for a hot carob drink. but otherwise stevia works really well in pancakes or when making scones/loaves etc.

    ps. yea starbucks isnt very high quality. i really wanted a frapp to see if the childhood nostalgia was still there. hmm it was a little bit. but yea coffee makes me pee a lot too- its a diuretic so its pretty common to run to the washroom all day hehe. but i love how u steal the sugar packets- me too <3

  3. Hi Eden- love your blog! I am a yoga teacher and also have dealt with all the food issues galore….so we have a lot in common. My question about your yoga is what type are you training to teach? I have been teaching power yoga (vinyasa) for years now, and I love it. When I tried Bikram it smelled like dirty socks and the teacher screamed at us….couldn’t get out of there soon enough! IN what ways do you think your yoga has healed you from compulsive body behaviors?
    Great giveaway, thanks!!

  4. I love eggplant and I love love love the NuNaturals Stevia. So not bitter or chemically tasting like some others are. I don’t have a clue what to tell you to make with it to be honest. You’re creative all on your own ;-) I love using the liquid vanilla in oatmeal, in coffee, to sweeten tea, to make cinnamon apples…I use it all the time basically. I’ve only used the baking one once for some Apple Pie Cookies.

  5. I would love to see stevia in a delicious french toast sandwich. How about that?
    By the way, I feel the same way about bikram. When I talk to most people about yoga, they say that they love hot yoga. And I just say it isn’t my favorite. I like being able to feel good while doing yoga, and the intense sweating and heat takes away from that feeling.

  6. This seriously couldn’t have come at a better time. The contest isn’t whats drawing me to ask (but it is kind of neat that it happened this way. I’ve been wanting to learn yoga for the longest time, and many people have directed me to yogadownload.com. I looked, I’m intimidated by the whole layout, whatever. I want to learn how to do yoga because of many reasons – one is that it was suggested as an alternative to the high-calorie burning cardio I used to do, so that I could exercise and not lose more weight.
    I was going to contact you but I couldn’t find an e-mail on the site, so I figure I’ll just spit it out: How should a complete yoga-noob go about learning how to do it? I want to learn properly so I’m not doing yoga like the guy who goes to the gym and does lifts incorrectly, not only looking like a moron, but hurting himself in the long run. I look forward to and appreciate your help! Thanks :D

  7. Hi I’m a new reader and I love your blog! I think you should make a sweet nut butter spread w/your stevia…that’s what I would do if I won. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. When I first seriously started doing yoga I went to a Bikram studio. I don’t mind the heat. I agree that it probably has become a punishing, look-how-badass-we-are type thing, it started out to mimic the weather in India. That’s why they are aiming for a particular temperature and lots of humidity. (I actually love warm yoga but Bikram is pretty insane.)

    Anyway, the more I learned about Bikram the man, the more disgusted I was. He is such an ass. He screams at people in his classes, sues people constantly. He kicked some woman out of his teacher training because she passed out during class (he claimed it was because she was a vegetarian and he’s super anti-veg). He’s just ridiculous. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I switched to Baptiste which is similar but oh so much better.

  9. Hi Eden

    I don’t do any physical exercise at all now. But I do a daily walk and I do some gentle-yoga stretch occasionally. I only do 15-20 minutes, maybe 3x a week, but that is okay, don’t you think? (I know I have “time’ to do more since I do no cardio, but I can’t force it).
    Anyway, so not a yoga person. I lack the patience and focus. And I can’t even touch my knees (much less my toes). Too true.
    A long time ago I did a bikram class. During it, I did not like it that much – at all. Again, it is the concentration thingy…and sometimes heat pisses me off.
    That was a long time ago though.

    I have never had eggplant before,but really need to pick some up and give it a try. I hear its even good as a topping for pizza…but I also hear it is bitter (?)..not sure.

  10. I don’t want to be entered in the giveaway either, as I don’t use the stuff, but I wondered what you do for work. I know you’re a chef and teach yoga, but where do you do this at? A studio? Are you a private chef? I’m nosy, so tell me to buzz off in a personal email or something if it’s none of my business.

    As for eggplant, I bought one once and it was a very nice decoration in my fridge until it died. Purple is my favorite color, but I had no idea what to do with it.

  11. I have just tried liquid stevia, I think it’s Vanilla Cream flavor? But I’ve been using it instead of my usual artificial sweetener. I didn’t really know if it was better (less unhealthy) but I’d seen it on blogs and wanted to try it.

    I’ve never been too into yoga. I think because I’ve always assumed you have to be SUPER flexible. Or atleast a little flexibe, which I’m soooo not! I can barely touch my toes! I know it atleast helps with that, but I seriously think I’m just genetically not flexible so I never wanted to even try yoga because of it.
    <3 Tori

  12. My favorite way to use stevia is in avocado pudding. I know it sounds weird and maybe a little “health nut” but it actually tastes really good. It’s a combination of avocado, carob or cocoa powder (I use raw but regular would work the same), and stevia…and maybe some cacao nibs, chocolate chips, fruit, or whatever topping you like. For the pudding, most people put things like that in the blender for a smoother consistency. I don’t, but I’m weird. Anyway, you can’t taste the avocado at all…it just tastes like pudding or chocolate frosting or mousse.

  13. I’ve been curious about bikram and thinking that it couldn’t be possible for it to be so much more beneficial than any other type of practice. I’ll try bikram before forming a real opinion but stilll…I’m skeptical.

    That eggplant is such a score! YUM!

  14. You are probably the first person (that I have read, at least) to post a blog mentioning a dislike for Bikram yoga. I have not yet been to a Bikram yoga class (nevermind the fact that I haven’t been to ANY yoga class, haha), but I have had opportunites to go which I declined because I don’t find the idea of doing any kind of physical activity in an intentionally heated space appealing. Just doing yoga in my apartment today sans a/c (and it was only 80 degrees) started to make me feel fatigued quickly. I’m sure I’ll try it eventually, but I’m not drawn the idea.

    I actually have a yoga question for you. I have not been to a yoga class before and am planning on going soon. Do you have any suggestions for someone for their first yoga class? Any tips? I haven’t been yet because the idea intimidates me. Things go through my mind like, “What if I am the only person in the class who can’t do a certain pose?” and, “What if I end up not being strong enough to hold all the downward dogs?” I know it’s dumb to think these things, but it is definitely out of my comfort zone to go to a yoga class instead of just doing yoga at home.

  15. Is there a specific type of yoga that beginners should start with? I’m really interested in trying a class, but I’m a little nervous. What to wear, bring, etc. would be great! Thanks!

  16. Sweet eggplant? That sounds amazing – SO cheap too for 39 cents a pound. I like adding Stevia to my smoothies or anything that involves cocoa powder to sweetened it a bit.

  17. I’ve always kind of wondered what it was that drew people into Bikram yoga… I figured that it was the fact that they thought they were getting a better workout or burning more calories because they were sweating more *shrugs*… I’ve never done it myself because I hate working out in the heat; it just makes me feel like I’m going to faint, and I can’t enjoy myself or get the kind of workout in that I’d like.

    I can’t use stevia because it upsets my stomach, so I don’t want to enter your giveaway, but I am curious about one thing… when you first started yoga, did you find it hard to slow your thoughts and really be able to focus and get in to your poses? Sometimes I find myself unable to get through more than 5 minutes without getting bored…

  18. i want some stevia man!
    yoga question: does yoga really help in recovery from ed?…it seems like lots of ppl use yoga to obtain recovery

  19. Is yoga good for building a little muscle? I strength train on and off all the time, but I just can’t really get into it. I don’t need to do much cardio, because I’m not trying to lose any weight. I get my heart rate up 2-3 times a week with 20-30 walk and count THAT as my cardio. Anyway, I don’t go to a gym anymore, so are there any dvd’s you can recommend if I wanted to try to get into yoga? What about the Jillian Michaels’s Yoga Meltdown? I read that one is pretty good.

    I’ve never tried NuNatural’s stevia. I always want to get it when I see it at the store, but can’t build up the courage to spend so much $$ on it!

  20. Hiya, LOVE your blog BTW!
    Iv never tried stevia because you can’t get it where I stay, but I’d love to try it. I’d maybe use it to make sweet eggs/omlettes or when I bake muffins.

  21. hahahaha can i tell you how much i HOARD eggplant too! seriously that shiz is like breeding off the wagon around these parts as of late and i’ve been gathering that junk up like no other! haha it got to a point where i had so much eggplant that i didn’t even know what to do with it anymore AND they started to go bad!

    mama pea has some fabulous sounding eggplant burger recipe that i totes wanna try when i have the time!

    neeeed your emaaaaail addresssssssssss

  22. Use it to roast veggies! Or sweet eggs for sure. Oh and on peanut flour pancakes!

    The eggplant recipe sounds amazing. Def will try that, as it’s on sale here this week too.

  23. not a fan of bikram either. I tried a few times and actually overstretched my muscles. I do LOVE hot yoga. The hour long flow yoga in in a 98 degree room is much better than in a 106 degree room for 90 minutes. But like you said, to each his own. Whatever floats your boat. So here’s a yoga question, whats the best type of recovery yoga and what the best type of yoga for athletes (cyclist, runners, etc)?

  24. I would love to see more peanut flour recipes using stevia, or even coconut flour. Also some type of cheesecake concoction! The eggplant recipe sounds very interesting – I love to just grill eggplant but may have to try this!

    Love your blog!!!

  25. Bikram yoga is not for me! too smelly (ew), and hot that I get so dizzy it is horrible. I love stevia products and you could use it in yogurt mixed with 2 T peanut flour and stevia, and then topped with banana “soft serve” its delicious!

  26. First off i wanted to say hi *waves*. Im a bit of a lurker, so im coming out of hiding lol. Love your blog and sense of humor. You remind me of Dr. House. In a good way though!

    I, too, am trying to quit splenda. I think their should be a meeting or something people can go to. I love Stevia, and it would be SO MUCH EASIER to quit splenda if stevia wernt so damn expensive! lol But i digress…

    Secondly, i dont get the whole bikram yoga deal either. Maybe its because i cant stand sweating.. i dunno. But it just makes no sense to me. Isnt the main point of yoga to RELAX? I dont get how you can relax when your sweating to death…

    I basically like splenda stevia on everything. Im a huge sweat and salty fan. You should try it on pop corn with onion salt and nutritional yeast. Yummy. Or on steamed broccoli with garlic salt. Sounds weird. Tastes wonderful. Enough said.

    Woah on the long comment, i guess i thought i needed to make my first a good one ha

  27. thats awesome you are almost done with yoru training! I do love bikram, but for me its a once in a while thing. I don’t like to do it THAT often, in the winter maybe once every month or even once every 2 months. I do love the feeling AFTER a good yoga sesh. I bet you are a great instructor!

    hmmm with your stevia i would make my soymazing muffins that are on my blog! they are SO good!!

    the liquid stevia is amazing in oatmeal! i put a few drops and BAM so delicious!

  28. I LOVE you for this post LOL!!!

    First, holy crapola – congrats on doing a 300 hour! I did a 200 – hour before…but honestly I’m not “with it” …at all…I did it more for “me”, but was going through a tough time personally with constant harassment from someone telling me I shouldn’t be doing it, I’m “lucky”, etc…when I felt and FEEL anything but. Anyhow, needless to say, I didn’t get out of it what I could have…:(

    BUT I totally agree with you about Bikram!! I hate when people bring up “detox” and “cleansing the toxins” …give me a freaking break!! Are you kidding me!! If you did the same postures in a non-hot room, you wouldn’t drop a “tear” of sweat…I don’t. So over-rated.

    And, I’m always trying to figure out Eggplant! Every time I get it, I end up throwing it out – horrible I know – because it tastes really bitter…are you supposed to salt it or something?

    As for the contest :) – um, to make with Stevia…maybe some type of pudding? LOL not sure.

    OR Yoga question: (kind of) how did you switch over from being a chef to a yoga teacher?? AND do you feel that yoga helped in your recovery?? I see that in studies and magazines about helping with body image, disorders, etc…but I don’t know, I can’t even get mindful enough to do 10 mins…

  29. I think you should make homemade sugar cookies with a creamy chocolate frosting and of course you gotta have sprinkles…lots of sprinkles….

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  31. Love hearing your thoughts on Bikram! I used to take it in college, and tried it again when I moved out here, and I just CAN’T get into it… but other types of yoga I love!

    For the stevia, you should definitely make some chocolate-avocado pudding! (duh, of course I would say that!) I’ve been wanting to try the NuNaturals brand! The only other brand that I’ve tried and liked so far is KAL, and the liquid version is better than the powder!

  32. My question: how did you get yourself to let go of cardio and fully commit to yoga? When I only have an hour in the day, I always choose cardio, and so have not yet been bitten by the yoga bug.

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  35. i have tons to things to use stevia in, lmk what specifically you are looking for from oats to desserts to dips

    bikram. i hate it too! I have a massive!!! YOGA FAQs post on my site and i talked about it there too. not quite to a super-bashing degree but the point is if you did the poses in your living room at a normal temp, they would not be a big deal. at all. it’s ONLY b/c the room is hot does it feel hard but again, no real work has been done, just water loss is going to result. i could go on and on…

    enter me :)

  36. What is the proper form when doing down dog? I’ve heard some instructors say to look at your knees, your belly, and still another to say to stare at the space between your hands. Also, are your heels supposed to be in contact with the ground or should you just be trying to make contact? This is such a basic position but it seems like there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.

  37. Absolutely LOVE this post! And for several reasons. As a used-to-be-obsessed-with-Bikram-yoga practitioner for over a year, I recently gave up my practice for more weights/cardio/vinyasa yoga. First of all, a monthly package was $150 to Bikram. Seriously? I can get a gym membership for a third of that and get a better well balanced workout. I’ve also practiced yoga in an actual yoga studio (not necessarily the gym’s yoga classes) and noticed a huge difference in the way they taught compared to Bikram’s method. The yoga studio was calmer, nicer, more positive. I felt HAPPY leaving the studio. Bikram’s method was more bootcamp style with yelling, negativity about getting through the heat, etc etc and I would often leave pissed off and annoyed. The sweating did clear my skin which was nice, but I’d rather just pay for a facial every so often then go through class.

    I’m soooo glad someone out there feels much of the same I do about Bikram yoga. I’m much happier practicing at my gym that’s already paid for, and to combine it with weights and spinning. :)

  38. Hahaha, LOVE your honest thoughts on Bikram. Every single day I have to explain the concept of burning calories to clients. People are always saying things like “oh, you must lose a lot of weight in hot yoga from the sweating!” Or, “I hear you can burn 1000 calories an hour doing kettlebells!” It’s all bullshit. Calorie burn is related to heart rate. If you’re heart isn’t thumping in your chest, then you’re not working hard enough to make a difference.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my review – what’s with the instructors and their auctioneer-style talking? Totally cult-like :P

  39. Hey! Hot yoga sounds scaryyy and I’ve yet to try it!

    Sweeten your morning oats or plain yogurt with stevia. That’s how I use it anyway. I’m sure it would work great with savoury-sweet recipes….like terriyaki or something lol.

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