Is there really such a thing as too much pumpkin?

It’s Thanksgiving and for the first time, perhaps ever, I found myself with a first world problem this month…Too many cans of pumpkin puree! What to do?

Pumpkin Puree

I know some might say, really can one have to many cans of pumpkin? They somehow multipled in my cupboard, I don’t recall purchasing quite so many. Fall is an especially important time in a pumpkins life. They get the opportunity to shine in countless dishes savory or sweet. Some are even decorated or carved for Halloween. In order to use up said cans of pumpkin puree and fulfill my desires [read obsession] for my quest to consume pumpkiny goodness, I made quite a few pumpkin dishes or drinks this month. Its pretty remarkable how many things you can make by adding one of the autumn seasons key players.

The pumpkin in all his glory

The ones I made that I liked best were:

  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones
  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Pumpkin Crumble
  • Pumpkin Coffee
  • Dark Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Wheat Farina Breakfast Cereal
  • Pumpkin Curry Soup
  • Pumpkin Cookies

Fresh from the oven: pumpkin muffins with Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips

I think my husband will be happy when fall is over, as I’m pretty much sure he is tired of pumpkin everything. I think I’ve just about had my fill of pumpkins, hard to believe isn’t it?  I know those words will most surely make him happy.  I have 1/2 a can left that will most likely be consumed in the form of pumpkin coffee or pumpkin wheat farina, and then the pumpkin will be done for the year in my house. There’s still more items to try / be had, however I think they may just have to wait until next year for a fair assessment. This will prevent becoming burnt out on pumpkin, which I can have a tendency to do.

Trader Joe’s fearless flyer

Some store-bought pumpkin themed items that have proven to be tasty great purchases:

  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Rooibos Tea
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese
  • Pumpkin Cheese Cake
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Pumpkin Ravioli
  • Pumpkin Truffles
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin
  • Pumpkin Beer
  • Pumpkin Seeds [both pepita and cooked]
  • Pumpkin Pancakes or Waffles
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal

Fearless Flyer

So So Purchases:

  • Pumpkin Granola
  • Pumpkin Smoothie

I’ve tried most pumpkin items out there, which I am sure does not surprise you if you’ve read this far. Perhaps this post will inspire you to do some holiday baking, or even stop by a cafe to try a new scrumptious treat. You don’t have to feel as guilty consuming said treat if you keep in mind that pumpkin has numerous health benefits. Pumpkins have some of the essential things we need in our diets

More Health Benefits Of Our Friend The Pumpkin:

  • Keeps our eyesight sharp
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Pumpkin Seeds are good for the heart
  • Linked to reducing cancer
  • Protect the skin
  • Boost your mood
  • Help after a hard workout
  • Boost your immune system

What’s your favorite pumpkin themed food?
Sources:
http://nakedtruthnutritionist.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/oragnic-pumpkin.jpg
http://sheality.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/trader-joes.png
http://api.ning.com/files/3qHlAnbvmIxn9OQzQsVTW1*uL9YVBX9mgbqxqhf0FSGMZhIYq4-rRwJmu3tvf0549TzmHzBn0KJzSPGMhQ8b8*4eMaRy05Lj/homecenterLtimagepumpkin.png
http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/60e1f3de-9022-4822-b04f-6e65a57f5d12/b173eee3-a702-490a-8971-f0479199b78f/Image/ac6c9f3d70cd99cf17e00e0bc56ef9b0/pumpkins_3_test.jpg

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Yoga, Chia Seeds, and that Core Vinyasa Flow

Yogaverse

Since this blog is also record of my spiritual journey practicing yoga, and life in my yogaverse, I thought I would start this post off with how I am feeling, and boy am I feeling in a funk today! I don’t know what happened, maybe I “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” as they say, or perhaps my working life is causing me not to get enough sleep, or perhaps my hormones are out of whack, but I just couldn’t shake it. Whatever the case may be as the day progressed on I found myself more and more irritated with the people around me at work. I wanted to escape to seek tranquility, peace and solitude elsewhere. Regrettably that was not in today’s cards.

Everyone that I try to avoid in the office for a myriad of reasons was seeking me out today. They were in full force! Not to mention they were really trying my patience. I dug deep and tried hard not to let my emotions get the best of me but try as I might I think they could tell something was up by the questions of “oh are you okay” that came my way. As much as I wanted to say the naughty [read not nice] thoughts from my mind I refrained and just said “oh I’m tired”. Well that didn’t get them to leave me alone either! My word people, then they started asking me more questions and making recommendations of things to try when all I wanted was to just get my cuppa tea from the kitchen and be on my less than merry way. I was easily annoyed today.  I have to remind myself that I have plenty to be grateful for and these people keep me in a job.

I must admit I was surprised I was feeling so moody today, especially after a 40 min core strength vinyasa flow this morning, and a 30 min vinyasa flow yesterday morning. I can only guess that perhaps as can sometimes happen with yoga, that sometimes our deep emotions are brought to the surface and we have to let go, to release them. Tonight [or what’s left of it] I am trying to center and ground myself. I’m trying to clear my head and find peace within the chaos. I am looking forward to an upcoming trip to one of my favorite spiritual places, Sedona [Arizona] next month. I’m looking forward to warm weather and waking up with the sun for a sunrise yoga practice.

Chia Seeds

I decided to jump on the chia seeds band wagon and give them a try. I’m eagerly awaiting their arrival to my door this week but anticipate that they will help me feel full and add to the vitality of feeling healthy. I suspect they are similar to the seeds found in falooda [a basil seed].They are supposed to help balance blood sugar levels, add omega 3 to the diet, sustainable energy all day long, cut out food cravings [my sweet tooth has been rampant lately] . They are a good source of fiber.

Core Vinyasa Flow

The flow series I did today was quite a work out, but definitely in a good way. In case you are interested in trying I am posting the video below.

Sources:

http://www.turmerichealthbenefits.net/2011/10/chia-seeds-benefits-and-side-effects/

Yoga and Your Diet

Before I jump in and talk about the topic of yoga and the diet connection, I want to apologize for the lack of posting and being a bit behind. Since this blog is a also record of my spiritual journey practicing yoga, and life in my yogaverse, I thought I would add a few personal notes to make up for it. Sometimes life takes over and there’s not enough hours in the day, let alone the week. Like most of you I become busy with work, family obligations and those responsibilities that niggle at us as adults. I’m nearly finished going thru my photos from my trip to India, and about 1/2 the way done digitizing my travel journal.

Land Puja I participated in. Mysore, India.

I started this blog because I enjoy yoga and all that it has to offer me. I wanted [and now feel blessed to have] a place where I can talk about yoga. I am humbled and thrilled any time I see someone like or follow me. Thank you dear readers. You make my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside. Today is mother’s Day and I find myself missing my own mother. She thankfully is still alive but is on the other side of the continent. A 6.5 hr plane ride from where I currently stay, which may as well be the other side of the world, since that’s what it feels like. Wishing you all a happy mother’s day out there.

Bright blessings,

Namaste.

Vegetarianism and Yoga

We all have to eat to survive. The reason most of us yogis and yoginis partake in a vegetarian diet while practicing the ancient discipline of yoga is that we feel like it enhances our practice. We feel cleaner, healthier, and more motivated.  We feel like the prana flows more freely. Everyone has their own path and experiences, their own reasons for doing what it is they do.

I personally follow a vegetarian diet like many yoga practitioners however that was not the main reason why I started this “vegetable diet” as my grandmother calls it. I don’t preach that all yoga practitioners need to follow a vegetarian diet, sure its recommend, but above all do what works for you. This is not a place to judge and therefore it does not bother me that I am the only vegetarian in my side of the family. I began a vegetarian diet as part of a cleaner lifestyle and diet when I decided I did not want to be on anti-depressants any longer and took the plunge to stop them all “cold turkey”.  It’s not recommended for individuals to stop medicines like that, but somehow I just knew I would be okay. I guess a week-long session with your spiritual Gurus will do that for you.

I found the internal strength that I needed to survive without all those anti-depressant toxins in my system and thus began my vigorous Art of Living  classes  combined with my own personal vital self-discipline. This was 6 yrs ago and I am still a vegetarian today. I look back with a smile on my face and have no regrets in  my heart on that decision. I feel the healthiest I have been, I have more energy and feel so much more alive. I feel more in-tune with my body like never before. That is why I am a vegetarian. I feel lighter and more energetic and want food that I feel enhances my journey.

Now that I am more in tune with my body, I can tell what I need when I have certain cravings or certain aches or pains. For example those leg cramps, yah I need more potassium. Bananas and coconut water sort that out for me. I have to make sure that I drink plenty of water, exercise, and have plenty of fiber in my diet. I can’t stress enough the importance of fiber and water in ones diet.  Being a vegetarian I found my most favorite type of food to eat has been Indian food. There are just so many more tasty and flavorful  possibilities in my eyes. When I became a vegetarian I wanted to learn how to cook Indian food. It seemed so daunting to me before learning. In my head I kept thinking it would be quite difficult. Along the way I learned  how to cook some Indian food dishes. I learned how to take other dishes or recipes and “Indianised” them and also give them my own spin or flair if you will. I don’t necessarily even follow all Indian food recipes to a “T” anymore. I haven’t taken any such cooking classes, this is just me experimenting on my own.

One thing I have learned is with Indian cooking, you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to measure exactly the amounts of spices for example, the way you would in say baking those American cakes or cookies. This keen observation I learned makes it that much easier for me to cook my favorite foreign foods and worth a share.

Yesterday I found that in my normal routine of  preparing dishes to have for my weeks lunches at work, I had a craving for Vegetarian Shahi Biryani. I scoured the interwebs and found a recipe that I adapted and made my own. One change to the recipe for today that provided some extra protein was to swap out the rice for quinoa [“keen-wah“]. As a side salad I also made a cucumber dill raita.

My Lunch: Quinoa Vegetarian Shahi Biryani + Cucumber Dill Raita