The Kitchen Yogini

In this issue
Upcoming Events
Personal Services
Recipe: Guilt-Free White Chocolate
Finding the Thanks to Give.

I've started this article three times now and stopped in frustration and confusion each time. Starting with how hard it can be to eat healthily during the holidays. How bad sugar is for us, and how ubiquitous during the holidays. That staying on an even keel this time of year requires us to radically take responsibility for our lives. How we can feel out of sync with the culture when we change how we eat to take better care of our health.

All of which is true. But it was all coming through my head, and my heart wants to write this one.

What can help us survive the holidays with our mental and physical health intact?

Really celebrating the HolyDays, rather than the holi-daze.

Let's remember what we're here for. The year is winding down into the dark times. Our bodies are asking for more sleep, warm food, cuddling with our loved ones. Can you feel it? As Mary Oliver puts it '... let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.'

Sometimes we can interpret that as certain types of food or other comforts, but what are these comforts representing? Often they are replacing more basic needs that we may have lost touch with. The need for touch. The need for story time with our community. The need for quiet and reverence. The need for  intimacy. Not sex. Intimacy. The need to cry and laugh as a release for the tensions built up in this stressful world we live in.

The constant focus on food and drink at gatherings and giftings this time of year is natural. We break bread together.

Those of us who get sick when we eat bread need to find a different way of celebrating the Holy times with our communities. The rituals themselves are not important, rather the intention that they serve.

Love. Gratitude. Light. Inclusion. Warmth. Reverence. Gifting. Sharing. Reconnecting. Honoring endings. Celebrating beginnings.

Nowhere in there is food per se. The food was always just a means to an end. A breaking of bread as a metaphor for partaking of nourishment with loved ones. The real nourishment? Love. Gratitude. Light. Inclusion. Warmth. Reverence. Gifting. Sharing. Reconnecting. Honoring endings. Celebrating beginnings.

As you approach the various celebrations you choose to attend this season, ask yourself if they nourish you. If the answer is no, ask yourself what you could do to find the nourishment that is there for you? Where are the deeper threads of meaning in your community gatherings? Find those threads. Hold them gently and firmly.

If you find you are not attending celebrations, and feeling isolated, find a public celebration or two. Go. Be with people, and know you are human. We are tribal.

And when you are alone, which we all are from time to time, let yourself come to quiet. Allow the busy-ness to subside for awhile. Light a candle. Seek the deeper thrum of the chords of your life.

As these threads of meaning become more important in your world, the gluten, dairy, or desserts may become less important. See what it's like to keep your attention on connection with people and meaning, and let the food be an enjoyable after thought. Consciously and wisely approached.

Because I love it, I leave you with the whole poem.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver

For more ideas of how to make your celebrations meaningful, please read my dear friend LaSara's post on ways to be with the consumerism that represents much of the holidays these days.
Upcoming Events:

Guided meditation and discussion
From the Practical to the Mystical
Learning to trust intuitive knowing about our lives and our bodies
Finding our depth in the holidays: can we stay grounded and healthy in the midst of the mad rush?
Sunday, December 5th, 4 - 5:30 pm
Fee: by donation
This is a first Sundays monthly event

Community Event
Finally, a holiday party where you can eat and enjoy the food without paying for it later!
Bring your favorite low carb, grain-free dish.
Sunday, December 12th, 11 am - 2 pm
Fee: one potluck dish to share
RSVP for location, space limited

Please note, there will be no Second Saturdays class offered in December

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at
Be Nourished, 3719 N. Williams, Portland, OR

For more information contact

Healing the Body One Meal at a Time

Personal Services:

The Cook Awakening offers a range of personal services to help you connect more fully with your life and your health. Full descriptions of all offerings listed below.

Coaching and Consulting:

Health and Nourishment Integration Package

Complete Nutrition Profile Package


In-home kitchen intensives
In-home 'What's for Dinner?' classes
Grocery shopping tutorials with an eye for health and/or allergen foods

Private coaching is about you and your household, with all your sensitivities and your personal situation taken into account. Integrate real food and traditional food preparation techniques into your life, your way.

Our cooking classes are all gluten and dairy free, using ancient techniques that will make your food a source of healing and deep nourishment. Recipe conversion basics are covered so you can take these concepts and RUN with them - to your own kitchen using your own favorite recipes!


Coaching and Consulting

Health and Nourishment Integration Package:
This three month coaching program, customized for you and your needs, will get you on the path to lasting, sustainable, life affirming transformation. We'll create long and short term goals for diet and lifestyle change, identify blocks that prevent that change, and together set you on the course to achieving those goals. You will gain a deeper understanding of your relationship to food and health, and develop concrete strategies to work effectively with self sabotaging patterns.

Complete Nutrition Profile Package:
All of the Health and Nourishment Integration package, plus a full diagnostic assessment of blood work and nutritional status in consultation with one of the best nutritionists in the Portland area.

Get ready for change - get ready for healing!


Kitchen Intensives
2 - 4 hours of intensive cooking and organization to get you oriented in the kitchen. Designed for those that need a jump start. YOU decide which areas you'd like to work in, we roll up our sleeves and dive in! Any combination of - hands on cooking instruction; refrigerator and cupboard clean out; learning to interpret food labels; creating menu plans and shopping lists; shopping expeditions with a concentration on comparing nutritional values, allergen and health ingredients, and prices.... or other specific areas you need help with. Gain confidence with food and in your kitchen, and have fun doing it!

'What's for Dinner?'
1 - 2 hour meal creations in your kitchen! You choose the menu, I send you the shopping list, and we make the meal together. With step by step instruction and recipes to use again, you'll expand your repertoire of culinary skills and gain more confidence in caring for your body and taste buds.

I offer a complimentary telephone consult to find out how my services can best address your needs.

Don't see what you need?
Customized programs can be designed!

Contact me for current pricing.

Recipe: Guilt-Free White Chocolate

This is the white version of the Chocolate 'Ice Cubes' from last month. Gluten and dairy-free, and low carb. Appropriate for candida, diabetes and GAPS diet protocols.

  • 3/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa butter, gently melted (if cocoa butter is not available, ghee, butter, coconut oil, or a mixture of these may be substituted. Keep refrigerated if using these ingredients.)
  • 15 - 30 drops alcohol-free stevia extract, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • a pinch of good quality sea salt

Add all the other ingredients and pulse the food processor until well incorporated.

Spread the mixture into ice cube trays, and place into the freezer until solid. Pop out and enjoy!

These should stay solid at room temperature, unless the weather is warm. Keep refrigerated on hot summer days.
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