Pepita Pesto and Feel Good Things

pepita pesto a top a mound of "semi cooked" spaghetti squash, I like it on the slightly crunch side!

First of all, I must thank all of you who commented and expressed you support in kindness about my habit changing. Its so tough sometimes to pre-program yourself. I have been going to a bed a wee bit earlier (a whopping 30 min). I’m not waking up earlier, but maybe thats good for now. I wake up usually around 8:00am and I don’t think I’ll aim for the 6am wake up call until I’m in bed MUCH earlier.

Tomorrow I have a challenge in that I’ll basically be in yoga classes from 2:00pm until 9:30pm. Not in a CLASS, but yoga training which is kind of like school only no desks. We sit on bolsters and blankets and begin and end with an “Om”. But other than that it feels like school. from about 5pm until 6:30, I’ll probably be driving. Anyhow, there are very few windows of time to eat and I for one don’t want to go hungry (aka, bitch on wheels) and I don’t want to come home and stuff myself silly from not eating all day.

I could bring bars, but to be honest, they give me tummy aches, and I never liked them all that much. I dont like most dried fruit and I’ll probably bring a bag of nuts, although I always do that and still this does not always satiate me. I was considered some sort of wrap/sandwich, although they’ve turned into soggy, stinky messes in the past. We’ll see, I’ll prep some food tonight and hopefully it will be portable.

Moving on….

I do realize change is hard, not matter what it pertains too. However, if you dont find SOME element of joy in the change, it will never stick. And I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly happy go lucky these days, and I’ve been finding little joy in most things. So I tried really hard this week to take note of moments where I feel comforted and even slightly joyful. Note: I meant to find things that DID NOT involve eating or exercising because I know with my history, those elements can be taken to extreme and possibly damaging. I suggest you come up with a list like this, for when your angry or sad, take one thing from that list and become slightly more joyful. Without further ado, heres what I got:

-Listening to NPR, my favorite shows are “Wait, Wait! Don’t Tell Me” and “Car Talk”. Seriously, if you’ve never heard of these shows, trust me, download a podcast and listen. You’ll crack up within seconds and you feel slightly smarter.

-Watching Entourage, Curb your Enthusiasm, or Family Guy: I dont watch as much TV as I used to, but I love these shows and never feel like I lost brain cells watching them (unlike shows like “Real Housewives” or anything on MTV or VH1)

– creating “feel good” playlists. Sometimes listening to good music changes your mood. I know is cheesy, but I took a yoga class once and the teacher had “Here comes the Sun” on the playlist and I couldn’t help but smile.

-Google-ing cute pictures of animals: my solid heart melts at some of these pics. Especially the puppies. When I lead  a really physically hard yoga class (ie, I hold them in plank for over a minute),  I always say “O think of cute little puppies! And kittens! And bunnies! O puppies!”. It loosens my students up, but seriously, puppies make me happy. BTW, does anybody find this funny that “googleing” is a verb now?

I think this was when I got a blowout in Israel this past winter, I look awful, I took some serious guts for me to post this

-having someone play with my hair or scratch my back. Some people hate this, but I have always loved it. My poor roommate, all those night where I’d lay my head on her lap and beg, “please!!!! play with my hair!!!!”. I love going to the hairdresser, I want a hairdresser that just “plays” with your hair. How twisted is that!

being drowned by stuffed animals at ikea makes me feel good too! did I mention i'm five

What makes you feel good that does NOT involve food or exercise? surely you have something more mature having someone play with your hair.

I took a picture of this bunny at a park by my grandmothers apartment in Belgium, I wonder if he likes waffles? Bunnies make me feel good, especially Belgian ones.

For the record this isnt my cat. I'm not a cat person. But this particular cat thinks he's a dog, so i let him watch me eat and blog. And this cat, as well as blogging, make me feel good!

I have no brilliant transition to the recipe.

I bought a giant bag of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) last week and made pesto out of it and the remains of my fresh basil. Heres what went in (makes 1 serving):

-2 tbs dijon mustard

-4 or five fresh basil leaves

-4 small raw or cooked cauliflower florets

-1tbs nutritional yeast (aka nooch)

-1/8 cup (two tablespoons) of raw pepitas

mix it up in a food processor, blend, bullet, and enjoy!

Curry TVP or Turkey “muffins” and Habit Changes

on a bed of cinnamon riced cauliflower with a little more coconut butter!

I’ve read over the giveaway comments about what you would like me to post about, and many requested a whole archive for the recipes. I’d love to do that, but I’m new to wordpress and can’t figure it out. Did I also mention I’m not very tech savy??? Even my MacDaddy (its the name I’ve given my laptop, yes, I name my possessions. My feet are “bamber” and “basset”) which the most fool proof computer confuses me. So if you want to help me out, shoot me an email: eden.leora@gmail.com

moving on….

I was very tired this weekend. I have no good excuse for it either but I know I only got about five hours of solid sleep a night. I’d go to bed late, wake up early, and now look like a dishevled hot mess of a zombie. I don’t know why all this self sabatoge.I should have taken naps. But I was afraid of not being able to fall asleep at night, and I had stuff I needed to get done. I thought, “O, I don’t want to waste my time with a nap!”. Its strange, but I has the feeling I was treating sleep like I used to treat food.  Having very little, and convincing my self I really don’t need much of it.

But like food, I always loved and still very much adore sleep. My bed is cool, with all white sheets so I feel like I’m sleeping on a cloud. I cherish sleep so much, but it seems I’ve been restricting on it.

Odd concept, no.

NOT my dog, it was my roommates' boss' dog, I am a sucker for doggies so I'll always gladly dog sit, and sleep

I’m currently trying to reprogram my sleeping routine. Ideally, I’d love to get up at the ass crack of dawn, have a nice light breakfast, go to the gym super early before the rush hour, come home, have a second, leisurely refueling brunch, do some work, teach my yoga classes, and hit the sack by ten pm.

Ha….this is SO not what I do.

Its not far off, but I do this all much later. I usually dont get to sleep before one am. I dont find myself eating very much throghout the day cause I get so busy, so when I come home, I basically feel like I’m making up for missed snacks and meals so I end up feeling like I’ve just had Thanksgiving dinner when I do go to sleep.

And dont take any offense other bloggers, but blog surfing definetly keeps me away from hitting the sack earlier.

So I did some research about changing habits and found a wonderful article from zen habits. I encourage all of you who have habits you’d like to change, or goals you’d like to accomplish to try some these out.

I love the Habit Change Cheat Sheet, here are some suggestions I think I’ll use:

1) Write it down. Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. You need to actually write it down, on paper. Write what habit you’re going to change. I will also do this publically, on my blog right now:

“I will change my habit of going to bed late and waking up early, I will go to bed much earlier so that I get a solid 8 hours a night”

There I wrote it out. I’ll do it on paper as well.

2) Make a plan. While you’re writing, also write down a plan. This will ensure you’re really prepared. The plan should include your reasons (motivations) for changing, obstacles, triggers, support buddies, and other ways you’re going to make this a success. More on each of these below.

  1. Know your motivations, and be sure they’re strong. Write them down in your plan. You have to be very clear why you’re doing this, and the benefits of doing it need to be clear in your head. If you’re just doing it for vanity, while that can be a good motivator, it’s not usually enough. We need something stronger. So what’s my motivation? To feel better, more well rested, regulate my eating patterns, and catch the sunrise!

4) Have strategies to defeat the urge. Urges are going to come — they’re inevitable, and they’re strong. But they’re also temporary, and beatable. Urges usually last about a minute or two, and they come in waves of varying strength. You just need to ride out the wave, and the urge will go away. Some strategies for making it through the urge: deep breathing, meditation, a good book, eating someting light but comforting, calling a support buddy, post on the blog. This is applicable I think to most habits, I suggest you try some of them out for your own goals

  1. Prepare for the sabotagers. There will always be people or things that are negative, who try to get you to do your old habit. Be ready for them. Confront them, and be direct: For example, I’ll need to shut off my computer or maybe leave it my car, pack more portable snacks so I’m not ravenous when I get home, and maybe shut my phone off.
  2. If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again. Don’t let failure and guilt stop you. They’re just obstacles, but they can be overcome. In fact, if you learn from each failure, they become stepping stones to your success. Regroup. Let go of guilt. Learn. Plan. And get back on that horse or in my case, get to bed already!

So I’ll keep you updated on my habit changes, hope you try these tips out as well and let me know how they work for you.

So for today’s recipe, I went “Indian” and made curried turkey meatloaf muffins! I also have a vegetarian option for these:

-1.25 lbs of ground turkey or 1 cup TVP granules

-2 large grated zuchinni

-1 egg

-1 tbs coconut butter (the secret to this whole thing! turkey is very lean so this is awesome to give it a nice flavor!)

-curry powder

-onion powder

-salt n peppa

-garlic powder

mix it all up and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min. I added some extra curry powder on top. I like these cause they are individual servings since I used a big muffin tin pan. You could certainly just form them into six little loaves or a big one and just cut it into six slices. Enjoy!

Pad Thai and “What’s in a Name?”

quick, easy, gluten free, not very "traditional" but neither is my name

Its actually kind of mind-boggling to think that your parents have such power when they choose your name. Essentially, you become THAT name, or does you it become YOU?

Of course, you can always choose to change it legally, as my good friend Averie has done.

But most people live our entire lives with it. We respond to it, and it becomes our label.

For the longest time, I hated my name. And before I get into this, I bet your mispronouncing it. You’re probably thinking my name is pronounced, Eee-den.

Nope, its actually pronounced Eh-den.

Do I respond to Ee-den? yea, its the way people say it when they see it spelled out in front of them, and sometimes, I just get too lazy to correct them. I mean at starbucks, I dont even bother, I just say my name is “Snow White” or something.

My mother and father called me Eh-den, and thats my REAL name. Its the Hebrew name of Ee-den, but I also think it sounds softer, nicer, more…me.

I really wanted to change it growing up. No one had weird names on the playground. It was a different time, not like today where people name their kids “Apple” or “Moses”. I wanted to be “Jennifer”, “Mandy”, “Rachel”, anything but my name.

I don’t think my parents thought twice about what would happen when i would go to school with such an unusual name. I’m not sure about the whole story about how they selected it, but all I know is my dad wanted to name me “Zohar” so maybe I got off lucky (incase you’re wondering, “Zohar” is the book of Jewish mysticism, aka Kabbalah, you know that thing Madonna is obsessed with).

However, it was around college where I truly grew to not only like, but LOVE my name. First of all, everyone remembered me. I went to a fairly small high school, and my public university was GIANT. So many names, so many blonde, tanned, girls.

It was actually nice to stand out a bit, and have an unconventional name.

When I went to treatment, I had to give up my other identity, my disorder. It was nice to know that there was a difference between “eating disordered” me, and “Eden”.  Because “Eden” is not disordered. “Eden” is what I like to think of as my healthy self. “Eden” is creative, funny, outgoing, and kind. But “Eden” gets shut out by the the disordered seed within me. I’m not “Eden” when it kicks in. When it kicks in, I’m not that creative, I isolate, I’m harmful to myself.

Anyhow, I think my name is beautiful and I would never want to change it! Call me an egomaniac but I would call me own daughter that if it wasn’t already mine (but sucks for my kids! I got it first!).

I do often sit in traffic when I’m bored and think about what I’d call my own children. I do think I will name one of them after my mother if I have a girl (for those that don’t know, my mother passed away from breast cancer when I was thirteen). Her name was Leora, it means “to light up” in Hebrew, and truly, thats what she did.

So how about you? Do you like your name, did you also go through a period where you wanted it to change? Have a list in your head for your kids’ names?

Today’s recipe is cool. I picked up  bag of lagostino tails at Traders today after yoga training. So I thought I’d make a cool version of pad thai, this is for one serving:

they are so cute in the pan!

-1 large grated or chopped zucchini

-about 20 small lagostino tails

-cooked spaghetti squash

-sliced nappa cabbage or a cole slaw bagged mix

sautee everything and add my almond butter sauce!

mmmm.....almond butter sauce!

almond butter sauce:

-cooked cauliflower (about a handful)

-spoonful of dijon mustard

-1 tsp coconut oil

-1 tbs almond butter (or peanut butter, but I’m lately in love with raw, crunch almond butter!)

puree in a blend or bullet and pour on the pad thai!

Updates, raw almond pesto, and vanity

Atop of spaghetti squash!

So before I get into today’s recipe and other rambling I wanted to update you on a few aspect of my life:

Gym thief: The gym manager does indeed think its her after some investigation, however, we heard from the other member that had 800 bucks stolen from her that

Yoga Teacher Training: going well, still really into the whole Ayurveda thing and want to investigate it more. Tomorrow is my second class assisting, this time, he’s letting me make adjustments on people. This is kinda freaking me out, I’m afraid I’ll adjust wrong and injure someone. I smell a lawsuit

I did something recently very unlike me recently. I flexed in front of the mirror. WTF???

Many people think eating and exercise disorders stem from vanity. I won’t argue that it may be true for some cases, but truly ingrained disorders usually have nothing to do with vanity. At my rock bottom, I wasn’t attractive. In fact, I think I was down right repulsive. A part of me thinks I subconsciously knew that.

I wanted to minimize myself as much as possible. Its such a sad thing but true. I often remind myself that I’m way too awesome to be downsized.

So why the hell was I flexing?

Granted, I was alone (believe me, I would never allow myself to do such a thing in front of a live creature, yep, plants and pets included).  But I’ll tell you what, since becoming a yoga teacher, I feel somewhat responsible to look the part. Not that there is an ideal image of what a yoga teacher should look like, but I would like to appear strong, soft, and powerful. I don’t want them to see a frail, weak, and timid person. I’m not suggesting I’m weak or frail at the moment, but I’d like to appear stronger, inside and out. I don’t have a clear picture of what that strength is, or if it can even be seen through a bicep via flexing, but I do feel there is this inner strength I’m striving for. Maybe I’m being vain by saying this, but I do feel like my workouts have been geared more towards “appearance” rather than mental sanity, like it has been in the past.

Strange.

But if the desire to look strong is whats keeping me away from running 10 miles a day and waking up my exercise addiction from hibernation, than bring on the vanity.

Why do you exercise/eat the way you do? Is it to maintain sanity, “health”, are you a little vain like me?

I have no clever transition to my recipe, so here is is!

I accidentally bought raw CRUNCHY almond butter (when I meant to buy CREAMY) but I though maybe I could turn it into a pesto!

This is so flavorful and super simple:

-a couple of raw cauliflower florets

-about a tablespoon of raw almond butter

-5 or six big basil leaves

-1 garlic clove

pulse in a blender, food processor, or magic bullet, make enough for ONE serving so if your making it for a crowd, quadruple it!

“Cracked” up dessert (or breakfast?) and Pranayama

side "bloobs"....tee hee

So later this evening (although its evening already for all you east coasters, I hate being so behind you!), I continue my 300hr professional yoga Teacher Training with a three hour class about the Bhagavad Gita and pranayama. I dont feel like explaining those to you since:

A) I dont know that much about them yet although I have taken pranayama classes, but hopefully, I’ll know more about them once the training is completed.

B) I’m lazy, so just click on them and you should get wiki to help you out

Anyhow….I read over my last post and I didn’t realize how funny it actually was. I’m still smirking at the fact that Renee saw my side boob. I also think thats a funny word: side boob.

I know, I’m eleven at heart.

Speaking of side boob….has anyone seen that family guy FCC episode? Peter produces his own show called “The Side Boob Hour”. Renee should be a guest, no?

I would love to torture you about what been up in my head lately but I gotta keep this post brief since traffic to get to this yogic philosophy class is gonna a be a pain in almost non-existent ass (I’m workin on it! Lots of glute kickers!).

But I still wanted to share my spectacular and super simple bulgur (aka cracked wheat) recipe. Once again, I’m eleven and the first thing I think about when saying “cracked” wheat is the obvious. So I’ll just refer to it as bulgur. If your not familiar with bulgur, I suggest you try it. Its actually higher in fiber and protein than quinoa! The best part, SO simple to cook and almost impossible to overcook (which I notoriously do with rice, I got a C+ on my first rice pilaf in culinary school!).

With bulgur, its a half/half ratio (ie, if you want 1/2 cup dry serving, boil 1 cup water)

all you do is boil the water and once boil reduce the heat to low, add the bulgur, and let it cook for 10-12 min and then turn it off and cover. You can let sit for as long as you’d like, or eat it right away.

Traditionally, its mixed with parsley and tomatoes, but I’m all about non-tradtion, so I mixed some with fresh peaches, bloobs, and cinnamon. You could bump up the protein factor by adding some greek yogurt or even boiling the bulgur in almond milk (which to me when its plain, taste like water anyhow). I made SO much, so I kept some for some sort of salad later or maybe for breakfast tomorrow.

Ok, off to do some heavy, yogic breathing, and hopefully some eating too!

And if you wanna be “cracked up” a bit, watch this video I did a few months ago mocking Rachel Zoe, i would put it on the blog, but wordpress wants me to pay 59 bucks for a “video” upgrade. I’m a Jew, so that would be a no.