The Four Leaf Clover
A symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. A symbol of anticipation of Spring to come. Each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
Benefits of Fermented Foods &
Maple Balsamic Tempeh Recipe
by Julie Albert
You may have heard about the importance of incorporating fermented foods into your diet but you may not know why. Fermented foods provide beneficial gut bacteria, improve immune function, makes nutrients more available to the body, and makes foods less likely to cause digestive problems. Some methods of preserving foods affect the nutritional profile of foods negatively. Canning, for instance, involves high heat in the processing and then there is exposure to BPA in the lining of the can that can leach into food. Fermentation, because it does not involve high heat and is typically packed in glass jars, preserves the natural vitamins and enzymes present in foods. The process of fermentation can actually create new vitamins, specifically B vitamins and vitamin K.
Some of my favorite fermented foods:
Kefir: If you consume dairy, kefir is an excellent option. It’s a fermented yogurt drink found in the dairy case of most supermarkets. Just one cup per day will improve digestion and contribute to healthy gut microflora balance.
Kombucha: A fermented drink made of brewed tea and sugar and a colony of bacteria or yeast known as a scoby. Once fermented it becomes carbonated and contains B-vitamins, enzymes, and a high concentration of acids (acetic, gluconic, and lactic). Kombucha is great for weight loss and improves digestion, reduces joint pain, and it’s very detoxifying to the body.
Sauerkraut: Made from cabbage, it contains B vitamins and vitamins C, A, and K. It boosts digestive health, is great for circulation, fights inflammation and reduces cholesterol levels.
Kimchi: One of my favorite fermented foods, kimchi is a Korean dish usually made from cabbage mixed with other vegetables, garlic and spices. It is perfect as a condiment to compliment a meal.
Tempeh: Tempeh is fermented soybeans made into a cake. It is a great source of non meat protein and contains B vitamins. It is great for muscle recovery, reduces cholesterol, and increases bone density. Tempeh comes in many varieties. It can be just fermented soybeans or some varieties contain added grains. I prefer just the soybean variety.
Generally I try to avoid excessive amounts of soy but I love the added health benefits of tempeh because it is fermented. Today I’d like to share one of my favorite tempeh recipes. Some recipes call for boiling or steaming the tempeh before cooking (to remove bitterness and make it softer) but this recipe is great because you can skip that step. The vinegar breaks down the tempeh and acts as a tenderizer.
Maple Balsamic Tempeh
2 (16oz) packages tempeh
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 -4 cloves garlic
Remove tempeh from the package and cut in half lengthwise and then into triangles. Place in a shallow glass baking dish. Combine all ingredients and pour over the tempeh. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and allow tempeh to marinate 1-2 days tossing once or twice a day to coat.
Once you’re ready to prepare the tempeh, heat a nonstick skillet on the stove with olive oil and saute the tempeh until browned well before turning over to brown the other side. Transfer to a plate.
I love to serve this with fresh steamed rice and steamed broccoli. Enjoy!
Teacher Spotlight: Regina Rosenthal
Have you taken a class with our very own Regina Rosenthal? Regina is a physical therapist with an extensive background in holistic healing and pain reduction/relief. She’s the author of “The Heart of Healing: Discovering the Secrets of Self-Care”, and she brings the treasures of her knowledge to the mat. As an active advocate for health and well-being in her community, Regina recently brought Move Today! to local seniors. Breathe Life Sangha was honored to offer a space for this free program which serves to promote healthy and mindful movement for everyday use. Regina teaches a beautiful Foundations I class on Tuesday afternoons at 4:30…Come and spend an afternoon with her in this gentle class, and let Regina’s healing heart meet yours.
Be Your Own Teacher
by Regina Pietersen
We all want that instant gratification. The easiest answer to a solution … and the quickest. Our world has now taught us to expect that. A way to grow is to break out of that mold and expect more of yourself. Like that old saying… Seek and you shall find.
I have been taking this online course on Principles of Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff who studied extensively with master teachers in particular Krishnamacharya’s son, T. K. V. Desikachar. The one thing he always seems to impart in his online lectures is how Desikachar and others influenced his teaching in the most powerful way, not so much by what they said but by what they didn’t do and didn’t say. What they refrained from saying. The information that they refrained from putting into the process. Which would have been someone else’s answer, not his own. That is often what is under appreciated in these master teachers. People become enthralled and hang on every word and the teachings and the beauty of them.. which is certainly something that you gain knowledge from and grow from, but there is a more subtle beauty at work here. They may say some pretty general things but it is how we each relate it to our own lives and experiences, and are able to take individually something a little different away from it than others in how we apply it in our own lives.
It can be frustrating when they are asked a direct question! Oh master.. what is the meaning of life?? … and they don’t answer. They leave it to you to figure out because, guess what? We all have the ANSWERS INSIDE US. And there is also the fact that one answer doesn’t solve it for everyone. A master teacher will often insist that the practitioner find the answers themselves.
And that is what we explore in Yoga. An instructor may give you instruction in a pose but you have to determine how if feels in your body, how it makes YOU feel inside and what is it doing for you. And more than the pose and what it is doing for you physically, can you examine what you are learning about yourself from it? How can you personally take what you do in a yoga class and bring it into your life.
In one of the Bhagavad Gita’s more well known passages, it basically says if we are unattached to results, this will allow us to focus implicitly on our efforts. It is here, in that special place between ignorance and knowledge, that we are rewarded with something much better than the end goal or accomplishment. In yoga and in life, when we undertake anything without expectation of reward or anything in return, we are rewarded with something much better; personal growth, knowledge, and a bright burning light in our soul that reaches out and touches everyone we come in contact with.
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||
Vegan Green Tea Matcha Cupcakes
These are super scrumptious! Come in and take a class on March 17 for St. Patrick’s Day and try one for yourself!
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp matcha green tea powder
1 cup soy milk or non dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup vegan margarine
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1. Pre heat oven to 350° F
2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and matcha.
3. In a separate smaller bowl mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit for a minute or two to allow the milk to curdle
4. Add the oil and vanilla to the milk. Mix into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir the batter until just combined
5. Line cupcake tray with cupcake cases and fill with batter 3/4 of a way up.
6. Bake 16-18 minutes, until golden. Poke with toothpick, if comes out clean they are ready
7. Cool completely before icing
For the frosting:
1. Place butter in a large bowl and cream with an electric whisk.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating and combining until frosting is thick and creamy. Mix in vanilla and Matcha Green Tea Powder until well mixed.