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September 2013

Healing Happens~ Getting Back into the Water!


The other day I saw the most remarkable thing. Let me digress...When I was young I learned to surf in Hawaii. To be out on the water, just you and a large board and waves that break over you like thunder is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It's pure freedom...everybody should experience it at least once . My son inherited my love of the sea and when he's out here he plays in the waves every chance he can. As I type my husband , son Alex and his girlfriend are out enjoying a particularly amazing set! We've been here in San Diego celebrating the wedding of my nephew and his high school sweetheart and the waves have been fabulous everyday. Pure unadulterated bliss!


When I was out taking a walk on Friday, I saw a large group of surf instructors and a ton of volunteers out on the beach. That's not unusual...what was different were the vast number of completely disabled veterans in wheelchairs. Then, I saw the instructors and volunteers helping them out to the ocean and on to surfboards.They took them way out into the wave sets. Then I watched in amazement as they helped each one have the joy of riding in! I was completely blown away. These guys came in and everyone cheered and clapped. There were double amputees, quadriplegics, PTSD victims..you name it they were out there experiencing the ocean with the help of those dedicated volunteers.


I stood there with tears rolling down my cheeks and then marched off to find out who was in charge. It turns out that the program was sponsored by my favorite surf shop in La Jolla- The Surf Divas www.surfdiva.com  who run the best surfing school in town. I spoke with the owner of the school and told her that over the next year, I'm getting back in the water and I will be there next year ready and willing to assist.


The takeaway? My clients are screwed and I say that lovingly but I really mean it. I'm screwed... No more excuses. So many of us take our bodies for granted. We abuse them, eat the wrong foods, smoke too much, drink too much and have way to many excuses to not exercise. Watching this really drove home to me just how lucky so many of us are. We've got our health...hell most of us have all of our limbs and we don't even try to move them. I hear so many excuses not to and I've used all of the same ones myself. We're too tired , to busy...the list goes on. If you've got all your limbs you've really got no excuse. Believe me...the men and women I just saw would give anything to have theirs back. Given that they lost theirs in service to us  i truly believe that we might owe it to them to make sure that it wasn't in vain.


Here's a link to a wonderful news clip!  http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/09/16/clinic-introduces-wounded-vets-to-adaptive-sports/#axzz2fCig2Ris




Sacred Sexuality: Benwa Balls! I'll bet I've got your attention now !


Warning ~ If you blush easily or are under 18 than this post is not for you! We're going to talk about shhhhh...SEX:)

Benwa balls

I cracked up the other day when I went to the local Ambience store to help one of my clients choose her first vibrator. As we went to the counter I noticed a small package with the words.. "Ben wa Balls just like those used by Christian in 50 Shades of Grey". I was amazed to see these sex toys which have been used happily by women all over the world for centuries being repackaged to suit a newer, less familiar and less experienced American public. I lost it..I didn't know that they'd ever gone out of style:) I bought a pair of them for fun but I  have to say..go to an Oriental shop and get the real thing. These were cheap and unimpressive!

I'm a 50 plus year old woman who cut her teeth on the likes of Colette and Anais Nin so quite frankly I found "50 Shades " as a novel rather silly and slightly boring. My apologies to any and all who loved it. That being said I had to laugh. Ben wa Balls, most commonly called "orgasm balls" , "Geisha Balls" or "Venus Balls" should really be given to a woman as soon as she has her first child right along with a case of wonderful ale..."good for the breast milk" and a gift certificate for babysitting and a night away with her husband! 

I say this because aside from being very successful at creating the desired sexual response , Ben wa balls have the ability to tone the muscles of the vaginal walls. Any woman who has ever had a baby knows just how important this is. There's a reason that our mothers (well at least my mother!) always said to do your Kegal exercises. Ben wa balls can be made of sterling silver, stainless and I've  seen some beautiful ones made of jade. The most important thing is that they are heavy enough to create a feeling of fullness in the vagina so that you involuntarily have to contract your muscles to hold them in. Yes...that feeling inspires almost continual amourousness.

Excuse me..that's the whole point for a guy like Christian Grey.

Yes..if you do this one of the side effects is that you will constantly be dragging your partner into bed but really is that so bad? 

The other side effects of using Ben wa Balls are very important but very very practical. Childbirth really loosens up the muscles of the pelvic floor. Sneezing can bring on bursts of incontinence in even the youngest woman. Instead of worrying about it, buy yourself a pair of Ben wa balls and use them. Regularly. The benefits are amazing. You will be able to control your muscles such that as soon as you begin to sneeze they take over and incontinence is a thing of the past. The other thing that happens is that your muscles become so strong that you can control and contract them easily and that means alot more pleasure for yourself and your partner in bed. 

Ben wa Balls are easy to use. Seriously... Please don't be squeamish! Just google them, buy a pair , some lubricant that you like and practice inserting and removing them a couple of times. Better yet? Let your partner do it!  In case you're wondering, they can't get lost and if you're that worried about it buy a pair with the string attached to both. No..they won't fall out!

Do this for yourself  and your partner !

Trust me. 

Reaping the Harvest ~ Fried Green Tomatoes!


Reaping the Harvest~ Fried Green Tomatoes!

A bumper crop of tomatoes means a lot of things to me. Pasta Sauce,tomato and goat cheese tarts,tomato sandwiches, BLTs AND FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!

If you've never had a fried green tomato then you're missing out on one of lifes greatest treats. This is seasonal food at it finest... FGT's just don't taste right at any other time of the year. I was making a slow cooked garlic chicken for dinner tonight and the dish was just crying for a crunchy fried tomato dipped into a creamy Parmesan Sriracha sauce!

Out into the garden I went and brought in several fine specimens. I sliced them and dipped them into a trio of deliciousness ..first a buttermilk and Sriracha mixture, next a beaten egg and last but not least cornbread mix blended with chili seasoning .

To fry them I filled my cast iron skillet 1/4 of the way full of Canola oil and turned the heat on underneath it. I waited until it was hot enough ( the tomatoes should begin to fry as soon as they hit the oil!) and fried the tomatoes in several batches, flipping them several times until I got the right shad of golden brown. Take them out of the pan and lay them on paper towels to soak up the excess oil .

You could serve them with horseradish sauce but I mixed up a sauce of buttermilk, mayonnaise , garlic, shredded parmesan, cayenne and Sriracha .

Serve these while hot... I promise that there's nothing like the creamy taste of the tomato bursting through underneath the crunchy cornmeal coating. Be sure to make enough... They disappear quickly! A platter of these and a ice cold IPA is a summertime feast!



Reaping the Harvest ~ Fresh Peaches, Barbecued Salmon, Loreena McKennitt & Thou

Sep 4, 2013

I love late night summer porch dinners and last night was no exception. The air was cool (I'm always wondering how a chill just automatically comes to be in the air on those first days of September! ) and the street was beginning to smell of woodsmoke.  There was gorgeous wild salmon on sale at Whole Foods so I bought two pieces.  I then marinated them in a bourbon , maple barbecue sauce ( easy, easy to do.. get your favorite hickory sauce and add bourbon, cinnamon and maple to taste!)   sauteed them until done and set aside.

The white peaches are still lovely so I sliced them and mixed them with some fresh berries, pineapple mint, basil , fresh stevia and then drizzled them with a dressing of agave and honey orange balsamic !

Zucchini steamed and then sautéed in buttermilk then sprinkled with herbs and Parmesan and some end of summer sweet corn completed the meal. Truthfully, this meal took no more than 30 minutes to create from start until finish. Simple ingredients like these prepared without fuss are sometimes the best medicine for a long and drowsy sort of day! A glass of Syrah and some Loreena Mckennit on my jambox made the evening so very sweet, then off to bed , snuggled under the blankets with the windows open wide to let in the cool, sweet autumn air!


Tinctures ,Tonics and Teas: Making the Perfect Iced Matcha Latte'




I've stopped drinking coffee because it does make me very jittery and has a tendency to raise my blood pressure and make my stomach hurt. That being said I wanted to find a drink that tasted great , was white sugar free and was caffeinated so I could have something great to drink in the morning. I stumbled upon the idea of a simple Matcha Latte'.
Beautiful Matcha Tea ~ Image Origin Unknown

Matcha is a delicious powdered Japanese green tea that is usually mixed with hot water to form a frothy ceremonial green tea. Here Nicole from Phoenix Coffee in Cleveland Heights demonstrates the perfect way to make my drink using unsweetened soy milk , Matcha , ice and honey! When I make it at home I shake it with unsweetened coconut or almond milk! It's absolutely delicious and because I'm drinking a tea made from the whole leaf the caffeine assimilated slowly AND I get all of the health benefits of the whole green Matcha tea. Matcha tea has tons of antioxidants and naturally boosts metabolism and burns calories, as well as has been known to aid in lowering cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
All you'll need is ice, 2 and a half cups of almond milk, about 6 scoops of powdered matcha tea and honey. If you can't use honey, you can use agave nectar or stevia. Put it all in a cocktail shaker, shake until frothy and enjoy! Sometimes if I want it to be a bit spicier I add a teaspoon of Penzeys Chinese Five Spice powder! Just delicious!


Reaping the Harvest ~ Fresh Tomatoes & Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing

Sep 1, 2013


Goddess I love tomatoes! I plant way too many .. at least 5 different varieties and they all grow up into a gigantic tomato jungle! I adore the smell of the crushed fresh leaves and I don't think that anyone will disagree with me when I say that a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes , sun warmed and right off of the vine is a better meal than can be found at any fancy restaurant . I feed them, ( organic chicken manure pellets) water them , sing to them and generally forget about them until late August when I suddenly have a bumper crop and it's time to harvest!


The Witches Kitchen~ Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

The Witches Kitchen~ Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Yesterday I was out in the garden and I noticed an enormous heirloom tomato, perfectly ripened and begging for some attention. I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I picked it. Normally I'd just eat it straight off of the vine but this one was literally the size of two fists. So I picked it , brought it into the kitchen , sliced it and put it on a bed of vibrant baby kale . I was out if purple onion or there would have been some of that too!

It was luscious all by itself, but it was begging me for a light dressing. Suddenly, I was seized by the desire for some bleu cheese dressing!

Lately I've been obsessed with buttermilk as an ingredient and I just happened to have some...and I also had some exquisite Rogue Creamery Smokey Bleu cheese! From there it was easy. For one and a half cups of dressing I blended with a fork 1 cup of fresh buttermilk and a half a cup of bleu cheese . ( this would have been just as good with Roquefort !) then I added a couple of teaspoons of chopped pecans, a clove of mashed garlic, literally half a teaspoon of organic ketchup, a dash of cayenne pepper, 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and then seasoned it with salt and pepper.

The result was light, zesty, healthy ,delicious and so much better than you could ever get from a bottle! Just so you know, if you don't have access to the Smokey Bleu cheese you can use regular bleu cheese and add a couple of drops of organic liquid smoke which will provide the same flavor!