Category Archives: food

Day 12: We are the World

When thousands and thousands of people around the earth are celebrating, singing, dancing, ecstatic, drunk with the divine, there is no possibility of any global suicide. With such festivity and with such laughter, with such sanity and health, with such naturalness and spontaneity, how can there be a war?… Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate. When you cry and weep, when you are miserable, you are alone. When you celebrate, the whole existence participates with you. Only in celebration do we meet the ultimate, the eternal. Only in celebration do we go beyond the circle of birth and death.

Osho I Celebrate Myself Chapter 4

Humanity is depicted here as a rainbow of beings, dancing around the mandala of the earth with their hands joined together in joy and gratitude for the gift of life. This card represents a time of communication, of sharing the riches that each of us brings to the whole. There is no clinging here, no grasping. It is a circle without fear of feelings of inferiority and superiority. When we recognize the common source of our humanity, the common origins of our dreams and longings, our hopes and fears, we are able to see that we are all joined together in the great miracle of existence. When we can combine our tremendous inner wealth to create a treasure of love and wisdom that is available to all, we are linked together in the exquisite pattern of eternal creation.

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Well, there’s a humdinger fer ya.  How does the saying go…you’ve got to laugh to keep from crying?  Much like my ongoing motto, this card reminds me to celebrate, honor, and thank the universe for all the things that are – instead of mourn and mope about all of the things that are not.  May I – may we all – maintain the grace, humility and consciousness to be thankful for every blessing and to let go of everything else.

When I turned on my car this morning, the perfect song for such a day started blaring through my speakers: Wild Flag’s “Romance.”  How can you not be totally joyfully giddy and listen to this song?  Seriously.

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Eating through this whole process has been a welcome distraction.  I take to heart those opinions (starting, but certainly not ending with Annie Murphy Paul’s book, Origins) that the nutrients you supply your body with will have a direct impact on the other person living in your belly, so I’ve made a concerted effort to eliminate conventional produce, dairy, and meats; goods containing BPA; and processed and fried foods.  While I haven’t been perfect, I am pleased with the changes I’ve made and can feel a real difference (even if I can’t see a difference).

So, on that note, I had my weekly romp through Whole Foods the other day and so have been as happy as a pig in mud with all of my fresh produce.  I have mastered the fine art of shopping at Whole Foods – I am able to shop for BD and me for a whole week and spend an average of $86.  I seriously deserve a badge or something.

Last night I dug into the food goody sack and made a SUPER easy and fantastic dinner that is definitely going on repeat: pan-fried rainbow trout with lemon and capers, coconut oil-roasted fingerling potatoes, and arugula salad with grapefruit, avocado, and balsamic.  The potatoes were the only time-waster, but once those little suckers were in the oven, I just had to pull together the salad and, when ready to serve, saute the fish and make the pan sauce.  I looked like a superstar and didn’t do diddlysquat, so I’d say that’s a keeper of a meal.  Now, take in mind that I was cooking for two not-super-big eaters, so adjust measurements accordingly…

Rainbow Trout with Lemon, Capers and Brown Butter (from Emeril)

  • I adjusted my recipe to fit what I had in the kitchen, so used only 2 fillets, omitted the parsley, and added a bunch of minced garlic and rosemary.  FYI…Garlic = love.

Coconut Oil-Roasted Fingerlings

  • heat 2 tbs. coconut oil to achieve liquid form and pour into a bowl with a 1/4 lb. potatoes.  Toss with salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet.  Roast at 350 degrees for about an hour, turning them a few times to cook evenly.

Arugula with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Balsamic

  • cut 1/4 of a large grapefruit into bite-sized pieces and make sure to reserve any juices that escape.  Pour all that juice and cut sections into a bowl and mix with 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Slice 1/4 avocado and lay on top of grapfruit; trim arugula , lay on top of fruit, and cover with damp towel to keep crisp until ready to serve.  Toss and voila!  If you’re super-fancy, shave some fresh parmesan onto that bad boy at the end…

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Recap of Day 11: What an excellent day, especially compared to Day 10.  Even the Follistim/Menopur shot was easier.  I even slept through the night again (I think the secret is the two melatonin), although I did wake up at, like, 5:15 a.m.  Oh well.  I’m pretty okay with that.  Today I’m feeling a little funky…like, the beginnings of allergies or sickness or something of that ilk, which I am desperately afraid of, seeing as it could derail the cycle.  Fingers crossed it’s nothing.

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Zen Day 7: Letting Go

In existence there is nobody who is superior and nobody who is inferior. The blade of grass and the great star are absolutely equal…. But man wants to be higher than others, he wants to conquer nature, hence he has to fight continuously. All complexity arises out of this fight. The innocent person is one who has renounced fighting; who is no longer interested in being higher, who is no longer interested in performing, in proving that he is someone special; who has become like a rose flower or like a dewdrop on the lotus leaf; who has become part of this infinity; who has melted, merged and become one with the ocean and is just a wave; who has no idea of the “I”. The disappearance of the ”I” is innocence.

Osho The White Lotus Chapter 6

In this image of lotus leaves in the early morning, we can see in the rippling of the water that one drop has just fallen. It is a precious moment, and one that is full of poignancy. In surrendering to gravity and slipping off the leaf, the drop loses its previous identity and joins the vastness of the water below. We can imagine that it must have trembled before it fell, just on the edge between the known and the unknowable. To choose this card is a recognition that something is finished, something is completing. Whatever it is–a job, a relationship, a home you have loved, anything that might have helped you to define who you are–it is time to let go of it, allowing any sadness but not trying to hold on. Something greater is awaiting you, new dimensions are there to be discovered. You are past the point of no return now, and gravity is doing its work. Go with it–it represents liberation.

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After another sleepless night, I woke up this morning not exactly grumpy, per se, but self-pitying.  Why can’t I sleep another hour?  Why can’t I just relax without thinking about doing anything? It was quite the pity party for a few moments.  But, then I remembered that BD had made me dinner while I napped yesterday afternoon and that he let me choose the movie to watch last night and that he took out the old incontinent dog at 3 a.m.  – and I couldn’t really think of a reason to complain.

There are many things in our shared life that have changed over the past few months.  Priorities have shifted; activities, hobbies, projects, even friends have changed as we’ve gained clarity on our future together.  I can’t speak for BD, but I certainly am overcome with fear and doubts sometimes.  There are times that I miss hanging around with people who are easy and unchallenging, filling my days with so many activities that I don’t have time to breathe, and spending my time and money on having fun rather than planning and saving.  But, then I think of how much more fulfilled, peaceful, and true to my self that I feel now.  Yes, I have shed people and plans, but I have also gained new people and new plans that don’t simply fill my time, they energize and challenge me.

I suppose my point is that I do try to remember the Buddhist water metaphor daily – like Thich Nhat Hahn’s image, the wave is only temporal, it disappears into the tide and always just goes back to the sea.  So is Osho’s droplet of dew or, in reality, our lives.  We have to be okay with letting go of each moment and opening our hearts to the moments to come, whatever those moments may bring.

Who knows what is coming for BD and me.  I have no freaking clue.  I know that I am thankful for whatever it will be and I am ready to embrace it.

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I’ve noticed that I now drink an inordinate amount of tea these days; like, 12-16 cups a day if I’m home all day.  Weirdo.  I think it’s the cold weather combined with my hand-mouth fixation.  I can’t have caffeine anymore, so I’m relegated to herbal teas and my traditional Chinese medicine practitioner suggested that I start drinking lemon tea (supposed to be good for liver meridian imbalances).  I’d never been into citrus teas as I was raised with milk in my black tea (citrus and dairy just don’t sound like a winning combination, if you ask me), but I really dig the stuff.

Well, when I ran out of lemon tea the other day, I turned to my refrigerator to see what I could boil up on my own.  The result: ginger lemon tea (or hot water, depending on how picky you are in terminology).  It is light, peppy, warm, and makes for a great digestive in the evening:

Ginger Lemon Tea

  • 1 big knob of ginger, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 lemon, halved
  • agave syrup or honey to taste
  • pot of water

Put the ginger in the pot and boil; squeeze the lemon into a teapot.  Once the water is boiling, pour into the teapot and let steep for a few minutes before serving.  Add sweetener if desired.  (I personally like the tang alone!)

Tip: I leave the ginger in the pot for a day or two, to let the water really take on the ginger flavor.  mmmmm…..

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Recap of Day 6: I had my first minor heat flashes (I think) and was unusually sluggish, the latter of which I think is the result of poor sleeping.  My feet were still swollen (BD thinks that’s residual Mardi Gras-marching pain, but I disagree).  I noticed that I bruised again in Day 5’s injection site, although it wasn’t nearly as big or bad as the first bruise.  I took a melatonin at 10:00 p.m. to help me sleep; I feel asleep easily within a half-hour, but awoke around 3:00 a.m. to the dogs pestering each other.  From then on, we were all awake on and off.  BD pointed out that we both had horrid dreams – he’s begun to have stress dreams centered around being able to provide for a family and I had a dream about not wanting to rock the boat even though I knew something horrible had happened.  So, that’s to say that there is stress and it is manifesting itself; honestly, I think we are really helping the stress by laying low – no late nights or big parties or engagements.  In a weird way, I think we’re nesting, just preparing for the potential of the new person.

Zen Day 6: Thunderbolt

What meditation does slowly, slowly, a good shout of the master, unexpectedly, in the situation where the disciple was asking some question, and the master jumps and shouts, or hits him, or throws him out of the door, or jumps over him…. 

These methods were never known. It was purely the very creative genius of Ma Tzu, and he made many people enlightened. Sometimes it looks so hilarious: he threw a man from the window, from a two-storey house, and the man had come to ask on what to meditate. And Ma Tzu not only threw him, he jumped after him, fell on him, sat on his chest, and he said, “Got it?!” 

And the poor fellow said, “Yes” – because if you say “No,” he may beat you or do something else! It is enough – his body is fractured, and Ma Tzu, sitting on his chest, says, “Got it?!” And in fact he got it, because it was so sudden, out of the blue – he could never have conceived it.

Osho Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky Chapter 4

The card shows a tower being burned, destroyed, blown apart. A man and a woman are leaping from it not because they want to, but because they have no choice. In the background is a transparent, meditating figure representing the witnessing consciousness. 

You might be feeling pretty shaky right now, as if the earth is rocking beneath your feet. Your sense of security is being challenged, and the natural tendency is to try to hold on to whatever you can. But this inner earthquake is both necessary and tremendously important – if you allow it, you will emerge from the wreckage stronger and more available for new experiences. 

After the fire, the earth is replenished; after the storm the air is clear. Try to watch the destruction with detachment, almost as if it were happening to somebody else. Say yes to the process by meeting it halfway.

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When I pulled this card this morning, my first reaction was to chuckle and then declare sarcastically, “Well, of course!  Why not?”

Upon reading the card’s commentary, however, it became clear very quickly that the thunderbolt theme was, in fact, apropos.  I had just awoken from a rather sleepless night spent repeatedly awakening from a never-ending dream, in which friends and family kept handing me nameless medications and reminding me to take my medications without any explanations; it was a dream of being completely out of control and feeling helpless.  When seen through the lens of the thunderbolt card, though, I began to see that dream as a friendly reminder: first, yes, I am feeling out of control with all of these medications being shoved at me, but, second, if I can acknowledge that lack of control and my discomfort, I can consciously step away from it and learn from it.

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As of yesterday afternoon, the entire IVF cycle *should* be paid for, which is a huge weight off our shoulders.  It took a lot of scrimping and saving and even taking a chunk of change out of my personal savings, but we made it.  Now that we know everything is covered, I think we are both relaxing a little.

That said, once I moved the last of the money into the IVF account, we had absolutely no money for ourselves until this coming Tuesday, save $40.  So, BD went to the corner store and stocked up on his staples (over-sugared cereal, whole milk, beer, ground beef, jalepenos, onion, and green peppers); we then each made our respective huge batches of comfort food: spaghetti with beefy tomato sauce for BD and couscous and beans for me; following that, we made a huge pot of Irish steel-cut oatmeal to be ready for our early morning and called it a night.

It was actually pretty fun getting creative with such sparing ingredients (at least, for me)!  I cooked the beans in my new tagine that my sister bought me and they turned out fabulous; the unglazed tagine gave the beans an earthy taste that was spectacular.  I highly recommend investing in a tagine; they are the low-tech equivalent of the slow-cooker and make such beautiful table presentations.

Moroccan-spiced azuki beans with couscous

  • 1 cup azuki beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1/2 T. cumin
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • salt & pepper
Place the beans, onion, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, and vegetable broth in tagine, cover, and set stove to medium-low.  Leave for 2.5 hours.  If you can’t fit all of the broth in at once, just pour the rest in after an hour or so.
In a separate pot with a lid, boil 2 cups water.  Pour cousous and raisins in and return to a boil.  Once boiling turn off stove, cover pot, and let sit for at least five minutes.  Before serving, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil, and fluff with a fork.
To serve, pile a mound of couscous on a plate and spoon beans over the top.  If you’re like me and love vinegar, serve with a little rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar to brighten the beans.
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Recap of Day 5: my feet continued to feel swollen and I slept horridly, although I’m not sure if that was just due to bad dreams and BD being tossy-turny all night.