Monday, November 21, 2016


Tis the week of Thanksgiving and I've found myself a bit flustered. Normally the weather kicks me into holiday mode but this season I find myself completely tricked. Not that I'm complaining. Some extra days of warm air and outdoor fun sans heavy snow gear is aways a treat. But the shocking twist in temperatures has my body freaking out a bit.

As the thermometer drops, our bodies tend to curl inward and tighten. Pay attention and you may notice a more pronounced hunkering over - you're body's desperate attempt to keep warm on the inside. Your may become less flexible, more stiff with increased soreness, and really dry. Don't get mad - your body is doing what it's supposed to. Protecting your precious insides.

But there are ways to settle the body and care for it well amidst what can be a pretty tough seasonal transition.

Twists and circular movements in yoga help soften the body and lubricate our joints. Opening in gentle backbends counteracts the tendency to curl forward. Meditation aids the settling of our mind, especially when tucked within busy schedules, parties, and school activities.

Herbs and spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, garlic, rosemary, sage, and nutmeg are all excellent at maintaining and providing a balanced warmth. Apples, pears, and dates help to increase moisture in the body. Cooked grains, ghee and root vegetables give substance and nourishment. It's the season for soups and stews, dal and kitcharirisotto and crisp.

Hydration is really important. Warm or room temperature water is ideal, especially with a small piece of ginger and some lemon juice.

Know that cold doesn't have to be miserable. It just asks us to shift our routines with the seasons. We so naturally change over our closets - trading sandals and shorts for boots, scarves, and fleece-lined leggings. Why not trust the same instinctual desire when it comes to how we care for our bodies?


8 - 10 apples, peeled and cut into thin chunks or slices
1 - 2 cups apple cider or juice
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour [ground fresh if possible]
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teapsoon sea salt
3/4 cup ghee or coconut oil [for vegan]
3/4 cup maple syrup

Spread out prepared apples in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Pour in apple cider or juice so that there is about an inch of liquid along the bottom. Add more if necessary. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine oats, oat flour, sugar, salt and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Warm ghee or oil and syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until completely melted. Pour warmed liquid over oat mixture and stir until oats are completely covered. The consistency should be moist but not wet and fairly crumbly. Add more oil-syrup mixture or oats as needed.

Spread the oat topping evenly over the prepared apples. Loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until liquid is bubbling, approximately 45 minutes. At this point, remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the oat topping just begins to brown in spots.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

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