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Easy and Delicious Resolutions

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Are you someone who has struggled keeping annual resolutions regarding healthy eating or weight loss? If so, I’d like to offer you some hope and encouragement as you contemplate your resolutions for 2021. And if you want some personalized support, I have an announcement to make at the end!

When embarking on a healthy lifestyle for the first time, consider these small, easy steps that you can take to ease toward vibrant health.

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Some Much-Needed Luck for 2021

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Today I offer you a different twist on a must-have traditional dish for January 1: Curried Black-Eyed Peas. In the Southern United States, to eat black-eyed peas with greens on New Year’s Day is considered a culinary talisman to bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Sadly, the dish is thought to have been brought to the US from West Africa through the slave trade, but it survives today as a symbol of hoped-for fortune and abundance to come—and because it’s delicious.

Although my previous black-eyed pea recipes reflect Southern cooking, I decided to add a new twist to this celebratory dish and offer you a version that reflects traditional Ayurvedic cooking through a mélange of spices. You can decide whether the dish packs a hot punch or is simply flavorful with the artful use of spices.

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Chasing Perfectionism with a Cookie Update

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Perhaps I’ve mentioned that I have a tendency to chase perfectionism. For this very reason, I’m updating my OMG Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make it easier for vegans and anyone who avoids eggs.

Just to be clear, this recipe is different from the one I first published during this blog’s infancy in February 2015. Ever since, I’ve played with the ingredients, revising it more than once. You’ll find a slightly different version in my 2018 book, Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook. Then, just last week, I was baking and packing thank-you cookies for several amazing healthcare practitioners who are helping bring my injured hand back to life. I decided the recipe needed one more tweak to make it more accessible for readers.

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Sweet Potato Latkes for the Season of Light

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When we were children, my brother and I looked forward to Hanukkah with great anticipation. The excitement was all about opening gifts, because Hanukkah had become the gift-giving time of year for modern Jewish families—likely because, falling as it did sometime in December, this Jewish holiday always had proximity on the calendar to Christmas. Rick recalls sneaking into the den closet to examine the wrapped presents hidden there. I fondly remember the Hanukkah when I was given my first

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Sacred & Delicious Update

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Dear Friends,

 

In case you’re wondering if I fell off the planet, I’m writing with a quick update to explain why you haven’t heard from me.

While on a beach vacation with my husband and step-daughter in July—totally social distanced, of course—I took a bad fall and fractured my wrist. It was a major big OWIE! Happily, the fracture healed, but it triggered a rare response known as complex regional pain syndrome and, alternatively, reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Medical experts believe that this is a response from the sympathetic nervous system.

I’m still unable to use my left hand, which has become quite stiff, particularly in the fingers. So, rather than dreaming up and testing new recipes, I’m focused for hours a day on rehabilitating my hand. This was a real surprise for me, as I had not intended to be gone for such a long time.

Before I disappear again, for whatever length of time it takes to restore the functions of my hand, I’d like to remind readers that you’ll find three fabulous pumpkin recipes on my blog: Puréed Pumpkin Soup, Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake, and Pumpkin Spice Cookies—all gluten-free.

Sometime after this momentous election, I will share the ways I’ve adapted in the kitchen so that I’m still able to cook fresh food six days a week. (Like our Creator, I rest from cooking on the Sabbath!)

During this extraordinary moment in history, with all its inherent anxiety, we especially need to eat well. Cooking delicious healthy food can definitely bring joy to ourselves and to our loved ones. I wish you and yours good health and a beautiful autumn. Stay well! Stay safe.

With love,

PS For those of you who may have CRPS, or know someone who does, please reach out if you’d like to hear about my approach to healing with the help of several complementary therapies—and of course, an anti-inflammatory diet. You can leave a private note here.

 

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Sweet Relief for the Blues 

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Photos by Ingrid Beckman

 

I’ve come out of hiding today to share a blueberry cobbler recipe that is simply too delicious to keep to myself! In keeping with my 2020 theme of healthy comfort food, this is scrumptious enough to chase your blues away. I’ve found cooking delicious food to be a respite from the anxieties of these perilous and sometimes lonely times. On the other hand, if you’re feeling hopeful, as I am, then a dessert that’s made with fresh berries and unrefined sugar can offer guilt-free pleasure that reminds us of life’s inherent sweetness.

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Notice to Readers: Taking a Hiatus

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Photo by Roger Winstead

 

Dear readers:

Have you ever felt so off kilter that you had to put your foot on the brake to stop the world from spinning so fast? I’m in the middle of just this kind of experience, making a conscious effort to SLOW down and unwind from my habitual hectic pace.

As I begin my period of unwinding, I want to check in with loyal fans and new readers to explain why I won’t be generating new content for Sacred & Delicious for the next… let’s say several months. I feel that I need to take a hiatus.

My mother died recently, and the years leading up to her death were challenging for me, as well as for her. Mom had profound dementia along with numerous other health conditions that demanded medical attention and required my support for more than a decade.

Of course, my situation is commonplace. Millions of others around the globe help loved ones as they age.

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Healthy Comfort Food

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Comfort food was definitely going to be on our table one night last week, when I was in a bit of a funk. These easy Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes were calling my name!

Truth be told, I was in a funk after meeting my 93-year-old mother at the emergency room because she had gashed a leg during a fall. I dreaded being in a hospital ER during the Covid-19 outbreak here in North Carolina, but no way was I going to let her be in that situation alone. So, I went, wearing a mask and repeating my mantra. Ten days later, her leg is mending well and, happily, I’m still symptom free. I count both of us as among the lucky ones that day.

These are certainly perilous time we are living in. No one is immune from the cascading impact of Covid-19, and this is a time for us to be kind to ourselves. I am not suggesting that we stuff our feelings with comfort food. Not at all. I am, however, acknowledging that, besides providing sustenance, food brings us comfort. And, I’m using this recipe today to demonstrate at least one way to succumb to your comfort food cravings deliciously—without undermining your precious health.

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