March 21, 2021
First Day of Spring - Benefits of Twisting – Green Soup
As we move into Spring (yay) you may feel a sense of excitement, hope (especially this year) and anticipation of all that the season brings: growing plants, emerging wildlife from hibernation. I begin to glance at my flower beds, even when there is still snow, seeing if my snowdrops or crocus are beginning to poke through the soil. Nothing foretells the coming of warmer months to me more than the sounds of the peeper frogs early in the season and I leave my windows open, no matter how cold it is, to hear them. This brings me much joy and this year I am determined to acknowledge that gratitude more fully.
These newsletters can now be found on my website https://www.rockbriarfarm.com/blog
Additionally, the recipes are there in the recipe tab complete with pictures! https://www.rockbriarfarm.com/recipes
You Tube Channel for videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC67u8onU56Mrs1ARWoK81lQ/search
Our Practice – Twisting
In our yoga practice we can celebrate this rebirth and transition of seasons by engaging in more twisting poses. Twisting helps us wring out the old and make space for the new, simultaneously cleansing and detoxifying our minds and bodies. Twisting also aids digestion and helps relieve lower back pain and promotes a healthy spine. Iyengar called twists a “squeeze and soak” action, meaning that we compress organs during a twist pushing out blood filled with toxins and when we release the fresh blood flows in carrying oxygen and healing properties for tissue healing. You may read articles that debunk the detoxifying properties of twists, however, ancient Auryvedic and yoga teaching practiced over the centuries believes otherwise. My suggestion incorporates a twist or two each day this spring and see how you feel!
Two new twisting videos will be posted on my YouTube Channel this week, links will be on social media, or click the link to my channel above.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” - Charles Dickens from Great Expectations.
Did you know that Dickens, perhaps regarded as the greatest Victorian author, unlike many of his peers, enjoyed immense fame during his lifetime?
My Dad was a Victorian literature scholar (Thomas Carlyle was his specialty). I think of my Dad often as spring approaches, he would have large boxes of organic seeds arriving at the house and would have hundreds of seedlings planted in his little greenhouse. This simple act of planting seedlings brought with it a mood of anticipation. We kids would incessantly check on the seedlings, alerting Dad that they “magically” popped up. Spring can be so deceiving as Dickens implies, we are so busily anticipating and hoping for warm weather, we may not notice that there is still frost on the windshield, snow on the ground or that our heat is still cranked up! We pull-out spring clothes only to begin rooting for the mittens. I invite you to reflect on spring – enjoy it for what it brings: hope, anticipation, a time for cleansing and resetting; do not rush it, summer will be here soon enough!
Nurturing With Food – Green Soup
Opening my freezer, the other day I was still facing a large supply of frozen shredded zucchini. I looked at several recipes and can up with my version of green soup with the “big green” being zucchini in my version. I believe you can use broccoli, spinach, and a combination of almost any green vegetables added to the base of onions, potatoes, celery, and dried green peas. My version follows, at least the one I made this time! I doubled the recipe because I wanted to be able to share; half to make 6-8 servings. Remember, play around with the ingredients, and use what you have, you really cannot mess it up.
1-2 onions chopped.
4 stalks celery chopped.
4 potatoes diced.
1.5 cups of dried green split peas
3 bay leaves
12 cups vegetable broth (or broth and water mixed)
Green Vegetables: Chopped zucchini (probably about 4 medium-1 used 2 bags of frozen shreds) and a head of broccoli or cabbage or cauliflower)
Teaspoon dried or fresh basil chopped.
Depending on how many green vegetables you have above you can also add chopped spinach or kale (you could also use frozen) later (see below)
Ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients up through vegetable broth into large pot, bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Take out the bay leaves and then add the green vegetables chopped up and the salt and pepper and basil and simmer another 20 minutes or so. Finally add the spinach or kale or other greens and let it wilt. (Full disclosure, I didn’t have any greens, so I skipped this step this time but have done it before and it really brightens the color and of course adds even more dark green leafy things to your magic elixir!)
Process in food processor, blender, or immersion blender till smooth. You can also add some cream but it is not necessary, I sometimes add a splash of cashew milk if it seems too thick.
Adjust the seasonings, enjoy!