Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quinoa is Quooolll!

Well this self healing is quite the process. The entire office smells of coffee and I'm twitching. I want coffee! Haven't had coffee in a while.....

Coffee is an expanding food. It makes me expand so much that I feel like I grow wings. I guess its the caffeine. Reminds me of the Red Bull commercials. Clever marketing. Since caffeine literally does expand you. You feel like you're gonna fly..

Foods help us expand and contract. The world runs on a cycle of growth and death. Open and close. In and out. So, it is no surprise that food will do the same. Some foods such as alcohol, coffee, sugar, fruits, and even tomato and potato are incredibly expanding. They are the foods you want to eat on a hot summer day to expand out into the sunshine.

Then on the other end of the 180 degree scale you've got contracting foods. The foods you want to eat on a cold winter day. Beef, eggs, oil. Salt. Miso, even. But like any scale, some foods expand and contract your chi/energy more than others. A big burger is going to be more contracting than a plate of eggs. And a plate of eggs will be more contracting than a bowl of miso soup.

So. You can guess the same will apply to the expanding side. Alcohol will expand you into a million tiny pieces. Coffee does a nice job of it too. So does sugar.
So our life is about balance. The balance of the happiness with the pain. The confusion with the clarity and the expanding with the contracting. So, when we eat a big burger we crave a nice shake or coke to balance us out.

If I eat a huge plate of chicken with all sorts of salt and pasta and then wake up the next morning with an uncontrollable urge for coffee or sugar, no wonder. My body is craving balance.

The problem with eating at these extremes (contracting meat and expanding sugar) is that it creates of lot of work for our body. Our body is working to balance back and forth back and forth. Imagine one of those metronomes on high. Tick tock tick tock. Rapidly flying back and forth. Its crazy hard to keep up. But if we continue to eat lots of red meat and oils, then its only natural our body will crave the sugar and alcohol. It needs to feel balance. Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

The Self Healing Cookbook is introducing new recipes that allow us to live and eat away from the edges of the scale. It's an education on the old phrase: "We are what we eat" We start to tick tock, to balance out on a more simple rhythym. You have some contracting whole grains and tofu and balance it with some expanding fruits.

So, I've been feeling great. And its definitely an adjustment as well. But rather than saying, "I'm not going to have coffee because I think it's bad for me" I say, "I'm not going to have coffee because I dont want to move too far to the edge of the scale. I dont need to expand out that far. I feel just great right here."
After a while, the chi that is generated by living in the middle begins to grow and grow. It feels great....

And in this snack saturated consumer market, its not easy. And it doesn't mean I'm not still eating sugar, meat, alcohol, oil, and dairy. I am.
But they do not make up my life. They are treats. I am living in the middle scale area and every time I choose to eat a high stress food, I do it intentionally and understanding what it is.

Anyway, the point of this post was to share a Quinoa Salad recipe my dear friend Lisa and I came up with the other night. It's good!!

Quinoa is Qool

Cup of Quinoa
Handful of chopped cashews
Handful of chopped raisans
Two green onions
Lemon Juice
Salt and Peppah.
So, for every one cup of Quinoa, you need 2.25 cups of water. Let the water boil, toast the quinoa in a seperate pan. Just roll the quinoa around on med high heat for about five to seven minutes till it gets toasted. Yummy.
Once the water boils throw the quinoa in there. Cook on low, covered for twenty.
Chop up nuts and fruit and green onion. Toss it all together.
Add salt and pepper and lemon.

The thing that turned this salad from tasty treat to heavenly was a recipe we got from the Self Healing Cookbook. It's a Tahini Dressing.
Let's see if I can remember the recipe..

3 Tblspn Tahini
1 Tblspn Olive Oil
2 Tblspn White Miso
1.5 Tblspns of Lemon Juice
1/2 cup of water
Handful of chopped basil (parsley or cilantro would work too)
Salt and pepper.

Drizzle that dressing on the Quinoa salad. omg. yum.
Top it with sprouts. Why not?

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