Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blog is moving!

Hello all,

This will be the last post on this blog page. I have a blog live on my website! I hope you'll check it out, and visit often. You can find me here.

Many blessings,

Durga Fuller, Kitchen Yogini

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Human Beings

Recipe: Holy Mole!

It's cold and damp here in Portland. I keep hearing about sunshine and warm weather in California. While I love our new house, the fact is, it's not insulated. On particularly cold nights the kids come down and sleep on the main floor with us - it's just too hard to heat the upper floor.

We had plans to get our house clean on Saturday, a couple folks were coming for dinner - and the sun came out. I sat on the front doorstep, the sponge of my heart soaking, and soaking. My skin in love. Mind drowsy. So needing the relaxation and the experience of being a flower opening.

"You have to clean the house," said the Critic that lives in my mind.

"Go away," I said.

"No, you have to clean the house. People will know what a slob you are," he said again. (Strange how my critic is male.)

"I will in a minute. I haven't seen the sun in weeks. Let me enjoy it!"

But it's not the Critic's job to let me enjoy things. It's his job to get me to succeed in some way.

While 'getting stuff done' is important, it's not the only important thing in life. We all have an internal Critic. (Most of us also have a few external Judges around that chime in and reinforce our internal Critics, but I'll explore that another time.) That Critic's job is to evaluate us all the time, and make sure we know when we're 'not doing something right'.

But there's that doing word again. The Critic doesn't know much about not doing.

And sometimes we just need to be human beings. Sometimes we need to take advantage of what is happening now, because it's happening now, and might not be continuing to happen once the work is done.

Like sunshine in Portland.

What does this have to do with food and cooking? Perhaps not much. But it has everything to do with nourishment. And being present. And true health can't happen unless we're not only eating well, but also resting, playing, snuggling, meaningfully working, moving our bodies, ... our entire range of humanness needs exercise.

Are you paying attention to your humanness? If not, don't let your Critic know, he'll use it to beat you up. But do shine a light on it. For your health and happiness.

So, how to deal with the Critic skillfully?

Agree with him. "You're right. I'm not getting anything done. Thank you for doing what you know how to do to take care of me." And check in with the other parts of yourself that understand something about balance. Listen to their advice, too.

And, after listening to everyone's input, you decide.

Holy Mole!

Okay, bad joke. But it tasted really good. Low carb, and without the chili powder it's low salicylate. Any excuse for chocolate!


* 1 pound ground grass fed beef
* beef lard or other fat for sauteing
* 1/4 pound finely chopped liver (I used chicken liver, I'm not a purist)
* 1 diced yellow onion
* Celtic sea salt to taste
* 1/2 Tbsp Ancho chili powder, if available (I used Indian chili, not as spicy as cayenne)
* 1 Tbsp ground cumin
* 1 Tbsp oregano
* 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
* 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (I used raw cacao, because it's what I have on hand. It's not important, though, as it gets cooked.)
* 2 minced garlic cloves
* 1+ cups bone broth, beef if available, but any bone broth will do


In a small stock pot cook the beef and liver in fat of choice over medium to high heat until barely done. Remove to a bowl.

Saute onion in the same pot, adding fat if needed. Sprinkle salt on the onions, and cook until softened and slightly browned. Add the spices and continue to stir and saute for another five minutes until the spices have had a chance to thoroughly cook and meld with the oil and the onions.

Add the broth and meat to the onion/spice mixture. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, with the lid off. Add more broth if needed to keep from drying out. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.

Serve over rice if you must, but by itself in a bowl with some veggies and salad on the side is a great dinner, and so much better for you.

Serves 4

Proud to be a part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sage Olive Oil Cake

Just a food post - when was the last time I did that?

I was curious about Rosemary Olive Oil Cake when I first heard about it from Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have. It looked like it would translate well to a gluten-free almond flour based cake. And, boy did it! I didn't have any rosemary when I went to make it, but I have a great bush of culinary sage in my back yard, which traveled all the way from California with us a couple years ago when we moved here, so the queen of substitutions made the switcheroo. People were asking for the recipe, and they weren't even gluten-free folks!

I'm planning on making one with stevia and rosemary soon, but thought I wouldn't make my husband live through the uncertainties of baking with stevia for his birthday cake. I'll post that soon if it ends up working well.

* 4 eggs
* 2/3 cup coconut sugar
* 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 2 Tbsp lemon juice
* 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
* 1 1/2 cups almond flour
* 1 Tbsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt


Mix the almond flour, sage, baking soda and salt together, and set aside.

With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix the eggs on high for a half a minute.

Add the sugar and mix on high until the color lightens and the mixture gets very frothy.

Add lemon juice. Drizzle olive oil in slowly while the mixer is still on. (You may have to turn the speed down a bit, or you'll get splashed!)

Mix the almond flour mixture into the egg mixture at low speed. Pour into an olive oil greased 10 inch loaf pan or an 8 inch cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, turning halfway through for even browning.

Cake is done when it springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack for a few minutes, and loosen from the edges of the pan with a thin knife. It will be puffy when it comes out of the oven, and will deflate as it cools. Not to worry.

Tip out onto your serving tray to continue cooling. Serve with a light dusting of organic powdered sugar if you want a finished look, but your body will thank you if you serve as is.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's the time for setting intentions.

Recipe: Rockin' Paleo Nog

I prefer the description 'setting intentions' to the more common 'making resolutions'. You can make or break a resolution, but intending toward something is much less black and white. It allows for the possibility that while you may not always be perfect at what you're intending toward, heading in the direction of the change you desire is enough. It feels kinder to me. If you break a resolution, the temptation can be to give up, to think you've failed.

I realize most of you may have already made your resolutions by the time you read this. I encourage you to check in with how you've framed the changes you'd like to make. Are you being kind to yourself with them? Are they realistic? Are they really what you want to do, or are they what you think you should be doing? Perhaps what someone else thinks you should be doing?

Are you getting support in making these changes, either within your community or professionally? There is no shame in asking for help.

Whatever your intentions, may they truly support you in moving toward health and happiness. May you learn from the process of working and playing with them. May you experience deep transformation.

And may you feel the Love.

Rockin' Paleo Nog

Low Carb, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and GAPS friendly

I realize it's a little late in the season, but folks, this is worth making anytime in the winter. It's a great breakfast (yes, you read that correctly) with no sugar, eggs, and coconut milk. What could be better for you?

* 4 egg yolks from pastured eggs
* 2 1/2 tsp Stevita brand stevia extract - if using a glycerite, you will probably need less
* 1 cup coconut yogurt
* 2 cups coconut milk
* (or use 3 cups coconut milk and 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
* 1 tsp alcohol free vanilla
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 4 egg whites from pastured eggs


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and stevia until they lighten in color. Add the coconut milk, yogurt and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Loving all of yourself

Recipe: Chocolate 'Ice Cubes'

Remember our exploration of how to approach change effectively? I began this here, writing about taking some time to allow the habits we want to change to just be present for a time, in our loving attention; and continued it here with a way of viewing these challenging habits, by inquiring into 'who' in our psyche carries the habit, which part of our personality enacts the behavior, that we've deemed needs to change.

Having done this investigative work, we now have a felt sense of 'who' needs to eat that second piece of sugar laden pie, 'who' is reaching for the third or fourth glass of wine on the fourth or fifth day in a row. Perhaps it feels like a frightened child, or an angry teenager.

Now, what do we do about it? Weren't we talking about making change?

These inner 'personalities' have reasons for doing what they do, and wanting what they want. I'm not talking about the story from your childhood; how your mother spoke to you (or didn't), or how your father hit you, or left you without warning. The story is important. But it's not the crux of the matter.

We need to acknowledge the story, certainly. We carry these wounds with us like an oyster carries an intrusion of sand. And, like the pearl the oyster develops to protect itself, we develop kernels of personality, ways of being and acting in the world that protect that memory of pain, of lack and need that wasn't fulfilled.

I'll make a leap here. The crux of the matter is often about survival.

That may sound overly dramatic. But remember, we're not talking about rational parts of our minds. We're talking about primal, vulnerable parts of our psyche. If they were rational, they wouldn't do things that hurt our health!

The personality that feels it has to drink to be in a social situation usually feels it will fail, perhaps not know what to say, or make a fool of itself, without a little 'social lubrication'. If there's a child at the root of that, or a teenager, succeeding socially is vitally important. Being ostracized or laughed at certainly feels like a kind of death to a vulnerable youth.

At the root of difficulty exercising may be not wanting to feel the body too intimately. Often during or after exercise, we experience our bodies more fully, we feel our life force, our own personal power. For many of us that was dangerous territory. How many of us have been accused of being 'too much' - too strong, too loud, even too loving when we were feeling our bodies fully? And if this message came as a child, with a feeling that a parent will withdraw love - again, our very survival can feel at risk. A child without a parent's love is a very frightened child. Or if we were sexually abused as children, experiencing the body at all can bring up very difficult feelings. Better to just let it lie mostly unused, a vehicle for our head to get where it wants to go. Often a sexual experience to a child carries a strong feeling of being annihilated. That's another word for death.

For those of us with even more extreme examples of outright abuse, that fear can be even easier to identify. And many of our self destructive behaviors developed to numb, or at least cushion, that fear that we were indeed, going to die. Or that we wished we would. If we numb that feeling - then we feel like we'll live.

We need to honor those tender parts of our psyche. We need to honor the strong reactive personalities that we developed to protect the tender frightened parts, too. They had a job to do, and in a very real way they helped us get through times we were afraid we wouldn't survive.

So, how do we change? We need to find ways to help these parts of ourselves know that they are no longer responsible for our survival. That there is an adult in charge now that really has our best interests at heart. That they did a hard job, and they did it well, the proof being that we survived! Now, they get to rest.

Next post I'll explore some ways we can take radical responsibility for our actions, and allow these wounded parts of our personalities to relax.

And, as we're contemplating these challenging aspects of change, a little chocolate that we can feel good about eating can soften the harder edges.

Chocolate 'Ice Cubes'

Gluten and dairy-free, and low carb. Appropriate for candida, diabetes and GAPS diet protocols.

3/4 cup nuts of choice - hazelnuts or pecans are my favorites, preferably soaked and dehydrated
3/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup raw cacoa powder if possible, or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup cocoa butter, gently melted
30 drops alcohol-free stevia extract, or to taste
1/2 tsp of alcohol-free vanilla extract
a pinch of good quality sea salt

Grind the nuts in a food processor until fairly fine, but not until they're nut butter.

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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Food Sensitivities to Go!

Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

I know it's late in the summer season, but it's always helpful to have some helpful hints on traveling with diets outside the cultural norm. A little planning can go a LONG way.

Here are some things that work for my family when we’re traveling.

Supplements - If they're part of your regimen, don’t forget them! A day or two off your regular doses of vitamins and other helpful nutritional powerhouses might be okay, but I find if we try to go too long without we get into trouble. If your bottles are too bulky, count out what you need into snack sized ziplocks and label them with permanent markers.

Air travel - If you’re flying, the snacks offered will not be health friendly. We don’t even look at the packages anymore, just say a polite ‘no thank you’, and ask for a glass of sparkling water or acceptable juice. It’s a good idea to ask to look at a can before it’s served, sometimes there are strange additives in canned juices. For longer flights, you can order special meals, but they will not cover cross sensitivities. Bring what you can to supplement what your obviously can’t eat on the tray.

Remember - no pastes or liquids are permitted on airplanes! Fresh veggies and fruit, boiled eggs, whole avocadoes, some acceptable crackers, cheese if you tolerate it, nut butter, hummus or healthy meat sandwiches are all things that work for us.

Road trips and car camping
- Bring your cooler and pack it with the things you usually eat. Make double meals for a week or two prior to your trip and freeze the second half. You can use the frozen meals to supplement the ice in your cooler for a couple of days, and once thawed, they’ll be good for a few days after that.

Back packing - This will take more planning. Most prepackaged dehydrated foods are packed with hidden additives that will ruin your day. Rice pasta packs well, and all other permitted grains, and you can buy plain dehydrated vegetables or make them yourself to make into soups. Bring some coconut butter or cream in a plastic bag for added richness and energy. Healthy meat jerky and nuts are good protein options.

Hotels - Look for places with at least a refrigerator. If you can afford a place with a kitchenette, go for it! The money and headache you’ll save yourself in having to negotiate restaurants for every meal, or trying to create meals without access to any equipment will be worth it.

Staying with family - Ironically, this can be the most challenging situation we deal with when traveling. One would think it should be the easiest - you’ll have a kitchen available to you, people you’re looking forward to seeing will be there to take care of you, usually a familiar environment you’ll be settling into.

But let’s face it, most of us didn’t grow up knowing about our food intolerances, or how to eat healthily. And most of our, or our spouses family members haven’t gone through this nutritional process of change with us. If you’re lucky your family wants to help and understands the importance of the changes you’ve gone through. But many of us have families that don’t understand, and think you’re making much ado about nothing. That ‘a little cookie won’t hurt, how can you deprive your child of treats. It’s vacation time!’ can undermine months of work you’ve done with your family.

Not to mention that we’re entering the zone of firmly entrenched family patterns here. It’s not just about food, it’s about your relationship with your or your spouses family members, and their spouses, their children.... These can be complex waters to negotiate. You’re introducing a change in the current, and the water will resist, will keep wanting to revert back to it’s original pathway.

This takes planning and sensitivity. Call ahead and explain clearly that things have changed, that you or your child(ren) are sick in various ways, or have been dignosed with allergies. That you’re feeling so much better since you’ve made the changes that your health care professionals have recommended. Keep it simple and matter of fact. Ask for support.

Offer to cook for yourselves. At the very least request an area in the refrigerator and pantry to keep safe products for your family to supplement meals that contain items that are off limits. Because I have cooking skills, a tack I have taken is to offer to shop for and cook dinners for the whole family. It has ruffled feathers a few times, but when I’ve explained how complex our family’s needs are, often people are happier handing the reigns over to me.

If these kinds of requests meet strong resistance, and you can afford it, you may want to consider staying in a hotel and keeping your visits with family more in your control. Keep time spent together around meal times to a minimum, and plan your time together during the days.

And pack your own lunches.

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

I have yet to find a commercial mayonnaise with ingredients I consider healthy. The oils are usually poly-unsaturated and fragile, there's sugar, soy, or ingredients our bodies do not recognize as food. Learning to make your own mayonnaise is simple, and once you get into the rhythm of it, you won't feel the need to compromise your health with expensive packaged products.

1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp live sauerkraut juice (optional)
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 - 3 drops stevia extract (optional)
1 1/2 - 2 cups mono-unsaturated oil of choice, sunflower, safflower, or almond recommended, olive will give a stronger flavor

Place all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor. Mix well in the processor, then add the oil slowly in a steady stream with the processor running the whole time, until the mayonnaise in the desired thickness.

If using the sauerkraut juice, leave the mayonnaise on the counter for 6 - 8 hours to culture before putting in the refrigerator. If not using sauerkraut juice, place in fridge immediately.

The mayonnaise will last 2 - 3 weeks if cultured. If not cultured, discard after one to one and a half weeks.

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Am I Now?

We began examining the process of change in my last blog post, and I'd like to continue to explore that. If you missed that post, you can read it here. I'm breaking this down to minutia, in the hopes that by really looking closely at some aspects of what goes into our choices, we'll enhance our chances of success.

In that last post I wrote about stopping and spending some time with what we're actually doing that we may want to change, becoming intimate with it, what the pattern is, before thinking about making a change.

Let's explore one way to hold this examination.

There are a number of different traditions that describe inner personalities that all of us encompass. Carl Jung worked with the 'Archetypes' to access universal inner identities, Hal and Sidra Stone continued that work by developing a modality they call 'Voice Dialogue', a related coaching technique is called 'Inner Family', and some deep method acting classes utilize 'Sub-personalities' to achieve dramatic changes in affect on the stage or in front of the camera.

These models posit that we are not simple beings. If we were, it would be easy to make a decision to change something for the better in our lives, and then we'd just DO IT! Right?

But it often doesn't work that way. What's better for one 'self' might be worse for another. Using these kinds of techniques to explore who is 'in charge' of our actions at any given time can be immensely valuable.

Some of the inner personalities we're talking about developed in childhood. Some are from some more mysterious level of being, simply intrinsic to being human. Perhaps they're closer to our basic instincts, perhaps they come from some mystical realm. We can think of them as habits of thinking and feeling, that have very distinct structures.

However it makes sense to you, using these kinds of techniques can be valuable when approaching change. When contemplating the behavior you're addressing, ask yourself -

Which 'self' commits the behavior?  Who's wanting too much sugar, or the fifth beer? Who's saying 'I don't feel like going to the gym!'

You can sense the feeling tone of that mind set. Does it feel like a child? A teenager? A wild animal? Let your associations roam freely as you explore this. You may want to write about it or talk from that place with a friend or counselor. Let it express itself fully.

It might be saying  'I'm scared!', or 'I'm mad!' Perhaps 'I don't want to work so hard, you're trying to make me do stuff I don't want to do!', 'I feel cornered!', 'I'm just so tired'. Perhaps even 'I hate you!'

And in response you can ask that 'self':  'what are you afraid of?', 'what are you angry about?', or 'how can I help you feel safe and heard?'.

Really listen to the responses. Try not to jump ahead to how you're going to fix this, how you're going to convince this part of yourself it has to change. Just listen to it's story.

Sometimes just giving this part of your psyche all your loving attention will be enough for things to shift. It may have just been seeking attention. Let this 'self' rest gently in your awareness right when you're in the craving or pushing away moment.

This is an experiment, just to see what will happen. It may shift the behavior, or it may not. In my next post I'll explore some more possibilities of how we can work with these inner 'selves' in a skillful, loving manner.

Low Carb Almond Flour Muffins
2 cups almond flour (almond meal)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grassfed ghee or coconut oil, gently melted
4 eggs
1/3 cup coconut yogurt or 4 Tbsp coconut milk mixed with 2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract, alcohol free preferred
Alcohol free stevia to taste - about 1 - 2 droppers full
Optional: Add a handful of berries of choice.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a muffin tin.

Mix dry ingredients together well.

Add wet ingredients and mix.

Put in muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for about 15 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes in the tins, then gently remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Serve with plenty of grassfed ghee.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Proud to be posting in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday!