Category Archives: balance

RDM to CNX = Chasing the Sun

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I woke amidst the black, cold starry night in Central Oregon and spent a day chasing the sun halfway around the world. My body is still not sure if it is today or tomorrow, neither really does my mind. It has become apparent I am in the land of ganesha, venerated for the elephants known to the area in more ways than one.Image

I arrived to a monk-like room at a jungle resort in the middle of the city and realized I could spend the next month drinking pineapple smoothies, writing and hardly speaking to anyone, if I so choose. Such are my simple joys of complete independence. Image

Yesterday, I woke up, my body so grateful for however long I slept in a real bed, rather than the seat of a plane. Two temple visits, a self-guided walking tour, one superb home-made curry and a Thai Massage later my day was complete.

Delicious.

I forgot about bugs in Oregon, or that I can use insect repellent. Besides this minor issue, I wonder if I will ever want to leave?

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Granola!

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I was amazed when a friend said she made her own granola from scratch– it seemed like a magical and mystical accomplishment. I tried it myself and it is SO easy, much less expensive and super satisfying.  I am very picky about extraneous sugar in my life, so I doctored the following recipe to make it high in seeds, nuts and yum, low in sugar/fat. After a couple tries I decided to “go big or go home” when it comes to granola so I can gift some when I make it. I encourage you to use this recipe as a reference, but experiment with your favorite tastes.

Deven’s “Go Big or Go Home” Granola 

All ingredients are local and organic when possible.

1 cup each raw pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews
1/2 cup each sesame seeds, sunflower seeds,pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
2 lbs old-fashioned oats (naturally gluten free, but has to be processed in a gluten free facility if you are super sensitive/celiac)
1 stick butter (or equal amount sunflower oil)
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, I prefer maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup raisins or dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried apples
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon & nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Spread the nuts on 1-2 baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, just lightly browning them. Transfer to a board to cool and chop. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Pour the oats and seeds into a mound in the center of each baking sheet (2).  Melt the butter in a small pan and mix in maple syrup mixing constantly. Add the salt.  Drizzle this into the center of the oat/seed mounds. Stir well and spread in an even layer on each baking sheet. Bake the oat mixture for 30 minutes.  Let cool.
Combine the oats, dates, raisins/dried fruit, reserved nuts and spices in a huge bowl and mix. Eat, enjoy, repeat!

The new green is no green

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I have been an environmental activist since I was nine years old.  I remember writing articles for the elementary school newspaper and letters to my senators and congresspeople about my passion for saving the world– inquiring about their future plans. Looking back I am surprised that I knew who my senators were.  I desperately wanted change everyone around me to save water, save the air, save the dolphins. As I grew older I grew disillusioned with these tactics, then I heard a story.  The gist was a man tried to change the world in every way he could think of and eventually on his death bed he realized he should have started with himself and his actions were really the only thing he could control.  As I look at how the “fad” of green as the new black is taking over the media and the Lorax is approving SUVs and diapers– there is no better time to closely look how I can more harmoniously live with the world around me. Here are some steps I have found helpful:

  • the new green is no green: pick one day a week to not spend any money
  • support local: at leasr once a week, consciously choose to spend money at local establishment 
  • compost!
  • be creative: reuse, reduce, recycle or give away
  • plant seeds: grow your own food! up until the 1950’s Americans grew 25% of everything they ate in their own backyards

What does being green mean to you?