November 26, 2010
Are you looking for recipes full of flavour, nutrients, and relatively easy to prepare – here you go. These tips and recipes from our members will set you up for a full day of meals, plus leftovers
- Cheryl, who handles all our registration, sent her smoothie tips, I added my comments. Elation Centre always recommends a nutrient-filled smoothie as the perfect way to start your day.
- Robin brought her Muhammara Dip to our running wrap-up party last week and it was a huge hit. It is very easy to make, serve it with whole-wheat pita wedges and lots of veggies for dipping, this makes a complete lunch
- And Paula shared a recipe for a Buddha Bowl, this is usually rice or rice noodles, piled high with lightly cooked veggies and a sauce. Paula’s recipe is adapted from Food and Drink magazine all the ingredients are easy to find at a well-stocked grocery store (yes even lemon grass). Pour a cup of tea or a nice glass of wine, get into the meditative groove of chopping and in 45 minutes or less you have an amazing meal
Do you have a favourite vegetarian week-night meal? Let us know about it!
Smoothie Tips from Cheryl
- Raw cacao nibs – I’ve been adding them to my smoothie for a little crunch and yumminess!! Full of anti-oxidants, cacao is unroasted chocolate, the nibs are available at all health food stores
- Cayenne pepper – I don’t love smoothies in the fall and winter…they make me cold!! So I’ve been adding a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper…it spices them up nicely and adds some warmth.
- Kale – I’m not always sure what to do with it. I usually add it to spaghetti sauce. But, lately I’ve been adding it to my smoothies…I can’t really taste it and it stays raw!! Kale is anti-inflammatory and full of calcium
- Organic molasses – I’ve been adding a teaspoon to my smoothies as a sweetener…adds a bit of iron too. Great source of iron, make sure to buy organic Blackstap Molasses
Muhammara (Middle Eastern roasted pepper and walnut dip)
This popular Middle Eastern purée made from roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate syrup, a nice alternative to hummus. If pomegranate syrup is unavailable, reduced pomegranate juice may be substituted. Simply simmer 2 cups pomegranate juice uncovered in a small saucepan over low heat until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.
- ¾ cup bread crumbs, toasted
- ¾ cup ground walnuts or pistachios
- 1-300ml jar roasted red pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper paste (can substitute with 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped, or 1/8 to ¼ cayenne pepper)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons pomegranate syrup (see top notes)
- 1-2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked hot paprika or Hungarian hot paprika
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pita bread or vegetable crudités to serve
1.Toast bread crumbs in a dry skillet until golden.
2.Put the nuts in a food processor and whiz until finely ground. Set a side.
3. Put roasted red peppers in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add pepper and bread crumbs to ground nuts. Add remaining ingredients except the olive oil to the nut mixture and mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the olive oil and mix well.
Miso Buddha Dragon Bowl with Lemon Grass & Rice Noodles
Thick, salty paste made by cooking and fermenting soybeans and grains is called miso. Like fine wines, each miso has its own distinct flavour, colour and aroma. They can be used with nut butters, tapenade and even pesto. Lemon grass, similar in shape to a scallion but longer, imparts a rich, ethereal lemon flavour not mimicked by lemon zest. Trim to the lower third, strip away the tough outer leaves and chop the softer inner core. Dried thin rice noodles are very easy to use. They readily take on the taste of the foods with which they are cooked. Stored in a dry, cool place they will last indefinitely. Recipe from Food and Drink magazine
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup (250 mL) red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (125 mL) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (250 mL) sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) finely chopped lemon grass, white parts only, about 3 stalks
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 can (398 mL) coconut milk
- ½ cup (125 mL) unpasteurized miso (Tradition Miso is our favourite local brand)
- 6 cups (1.5 L) cold water
- 12 oz (375 g) thin dry rice noodles
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped cashews
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 cilantro sprigs
- ¼ cup (50 mL) sweet chili hot sauce (optional)
1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add red onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and red peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Add carrot and celery; continue cooking for 4 minutes or until softened.
2. Add lemon grass, garlic and ginger; stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, miso and water. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered.
3. Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles. Pour boiling water over noodles in a bowl until totally covered; let stand for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Then drain in a colander.
4. Divide noodles, heaping in centre of each soup bowl. Ladle stock over noodles. Garnish to taste with peanuts, green onions, cilantro and chili sauce.
Serves 4 to 6
November 25, 2010
Sunday December 5th, 10:00AM-11:00AM enjoy Holiday Family Yoga with Elation Centre Yoginis Sue Ducros and Penny Pelton, experienced and dedicated children’s yoga teachers.
If you are between 3 and 6 years old, bring your mom, dad, or grandparents and come to have lots of fun stretching, singing, and sharing the adventurous yoga story of a child (just like you!) who is searching for “The Perfect Gift”.
Pre-Registration is required: Please sign up at the Centre or send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: is $15 per family.
November 23, 2010
Robyn Daigle, teacher of Elation Centre’s new Yoga for Fertility class, is on her own personal journey towards conception. In this post, she talks about how yoga can support women in their desire to conceive.
The journey towards conception can be wrought with a great deal of stress, one can wonder what comes first: Is it stress that contributes to fertility challenges or is it these challenges that create the stress? Regardless of where the stress is initiated, there is an impact on the body as it remains in a state of “fight or flight”. This can impact the hormone balance in the body during a time when you are trying to regulate and stimulate optimal hormone levels for conception. Practicing yoga can help you to promote mind and body relaxation, by allowing you to access the parasympathetic nervous system- a state of rest and relaxation. Be aware of your stress triggers and when you observe yourself moving into this state, take some time for yourself, whether it be reading a book, taking a bath, doing a couple of yoga poses before bed or doing some meditation.
Take some time everyday to focus on your breath. During stressful periods, it is common to hold the breath or breathe in a manner that constricts the breath in the body. Start by focusing on inhaling and exhaling through the nose for approximately 4-5 counts on both the inhale and the exhale. Be aware of your body and where it is that you hold stress or tension; send your breath to these areas. On the inhale image life flowing into the body and on the exhale visualize your obstacles to conception falling away. Bring awareness to the abdominal area and use your breath to invite openness, softening the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The most suitable poses to assist with fertility are those that increase blood flow and energy to the reproductive area. Your practice should include restorative and supportive poses which focus on the reproductive area, the pelvis, the hips, the abdomen and the lower back. Some poses that are accessible and easy to include at home are:
- Wide-Legged Child’s pose (Balasana)
- Bound Angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
- Legs-Up-The-Wall pose (Viparita Karani)
- Reclining Bound Angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
When you’re in these poses, bring your mental focus to the reproductive area to improve the flow of blood and energy to this area, ask yourself whether there is tension that you can release from this area.
Fuel your body with nutritious whole foods and avoid foods high in preservatives, refined sugars and processed food. Connect with your emotional relationship to food. Before you take eat, ask yourself why you are eating. Are you hungry or are you trying to fill an emotional void?
Focus on Positive Thinking
Use tools such as meditation or visualization to promote positive thinking in the body. Start with 5 minutes a day. Invite positive and affirmative thoughts such as “I am strong”, “I am fertile”, or “I am relaxed”. Visualize a healthy reproductive system: the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. Notice how your body reacts to these thoughts and images. Practice mindful meditation in your day, whether it be while walking or eating, try and practice being present. This will help you to focus on the present rather than on what appointments or tests you might have coming or where you might be in your menstrual cycle.
Finally, the fertility journey can be a time for you to look inwards. Are there old wounds that need to be healed so that you can move forward? How can you find more balance in your life (mind, body, and spirit)? Sit with your emotions and allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you need to feel. Choose to nurture yourself from the inside out during this journey.
November 17, 2010
We enjoyed an inspiring and uplifting evening this past Friday at our Master Class with 22 of the most amazing women. The theme for the evening was Balance, and this guest blog post from Paula Pyne, Principal Uplift Consulting and graduate of Elation Centre Yoga Teacher Training, beautifully highlights some of the insights from the evening.
“Despite my seeming success, something was wrong. I couldn’t seem to juggle my life so that I could not only get everything done, but also get it done well.”
Judith goes on to say that, “sometimes, I don’t think we stop and recognize that: ‘Life is difficult’” (ah, sigh of relief, now take some weight of your shoulders; liberating). Key learning and this certainly resonated with yours truly: we sometimes make our life ‘more’ difficult. She goes onto to say that, “for many years, I spent my days with a series of ‘have-to’s’ and the discipline to get everything done. People always commented on how well I was organized – my attachment to this drove me to work constantly. It was all about getting things done.” Sound familiar?
Although life is difficult, personally, I too, realized that I didn’t have to approach life by becoming difficult myself. Quite frankly, it takes up way too much energy. So, I simplified things, I dropped things not aligned with my values, got out of my way (listened to my heart, not my ego) and softened my attitude.
Here’s another liberating moment – we have choices, so before jumping into the next great thing or I have got to do this now, I have no time tailspin, think about this: are your short-term actions supporting and feeding your longer term goals and objectives. By simplifying things, and getting clear about who you are and what’s important in life, you can accomplish more and do less, check out wise words from Marc Lesser, of DoingLess.net. Personally, I am more creative and productive than ever before in my life, love what I do and things move with ease and flow.
But here’s something else to ponder and the paradox that goes hand in hand: “the more we try to control our own world, the less control we have. The more, we are willing to let go of control and simply stay present with what is, the more control we have.” The art & science underlying these concepts is ‘balance’ and operating from a place of love vs fear. Watch the quality of your thoughts, as things continue to evolve and enjoy the moment.
As I reflect on this book and study the Yoga Sutras (ancient yoga philosophy), and thankfully Judith makes it accessible, I thought these excerpts are lovely reminders and refreshing lessons on ways to achieve the ‘elusive’ balance. Bottom line – we’re accountable and we all have the ability to tap into it by creating awareness around ‘what is, accepting it, and moving forward in a mindful positive way’.
As productivity and engagement continue to decline, the world around us moving at warp speeds and stress is at and all time high – it’s time to do things differently.
Take a few minutes out of the day – breathe, be in the moment and reflect. As the old saying goes: “Go with the flow”.
Paula is fueled by ideas and people, likes to connect the dots, relate and inspire others. Having been through the rigour of corporate life, MBA training, start-ups, career transition and the rawness of self development work– she gets it. Her website is UpliftConsulting.com
November 10, 2010
Jennifer brought this soup to our teachers party in October and it was a big hit.
Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash is a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid.
One of the most abundant nutrients in winter squash, beta-carotene, has been shown to have very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making this soup a powerhouse to help speed recovery after your run and for an overall boost of your immune system.
Jennifer’s Butternut Squash Soup
- One medium butternut squash (approx. 2 1/4 lbs)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- olive oil
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Spread olive oil on the flesh.
- Place squash flesh-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft all the way through.
- While the squash cools, chop onions and mince ginger. Saute them in soup pot with a bit of olive oil until onions are translucent
- Add vegetable broth and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Scrape out squash flesh and add it, and its juices, to broth. Blend with hand blender until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with a touch of nutmeg if you like.
November 9, 2010
Here is a 10km/14km route through the neighbourhoods around the studio.
November 1, 2010
Thank you to everyone who helped create our first TV commercial which aired Thanksgiving Monday on /A Channel. This 15 second commercial actually took about 30 minutes to shoot and it could have taken much longer if not for the professionalism and the amazing energy of everyone involved. Elation at it’s best!
Check it out- the first ever Elation You Tube video:
We extend a huge thank you to Sylvie Lapointe owner of Facial Angle, who took time out of her busy schedule to do our makeup for the commercial. Also thank you to the 15 or so people in the video doing sun salutations who also took time to support us. What an amazing Elation community
Here are a few pictures of us getting ready for filming. Play slideshow