Say No to Diets!

The pitfalls of dieting.
The pitfalls of dieting.

One day, at the tender age of fifteen, I noticed my growing belly and announced to my mom that I was going on a diet. By the end of the first day I had managed to devour an entire  banana cream pie!  Just the mention of going on a diet can inspire us to binge.  There was the time my sister went on The Watermelon Diet. It ended with us devouring a gallon of Dryer’s Rocky Road Ice cream. I still remember the feel of the spongy, sweet marshmallows and the creamy dark chocolate on my tongue.

Why is there such a strong tendency to binge when we deprive ourselves of the things we love? What you resist, persists and sure enough as soon as I declared my weight a problem, it became one.  What finally cured me of this debilitating pattern? Moderation and self acceptance. This small shift from fixating on my problem to focusing on balance and well being, liberated me from the constant worry about my weight.

As I’ve aged my metabolism has slowed down and again I had to shift my eating patterns.  Over the years I have slowly and so almost effortlessly eliminated some of my worst food addictions starting with white sugar and white flour. So many of our food choices are habitual and surprisingly some of the healthier alternatives are more delicious than the traditional desserts.

Interested? Read on….

Rich, creamy & delicious.
Rich, creamy & delicious.

Coconut Ice Cream

1 can coconut cream

1 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbs raw cocoa

1/4 c  Xylitol

1 tsp vanilla

2 bananas

2 tsp chopped walnut

Blend all the ingredients together except the walnuts. I use a Cusinart but a blender would work too. Freeze for 2-3 hours and serve with sprinkled walnuts.

If you are unfamiliar with Xylitol it is a natural sweetener made from the Birch tree. It has the lowest glycemic index of any natural sweetener and is one third of the calories of white sugar.

Dance, dance, dance!

Dance Solo

I discovered Soul Motion Dance at Esalen last February. For me it was a life transforming experience.  This is a free flow class with few guidelines but what emerges is a spiritual practice which is deeply self nurturing.

Arjuna, the founder of Soul Motion is a remarkable teacher who drops golden messages throughout the dance that evoke both tears and laughter. The practice itself is such a heart opener and a fun way to strengthen the body. I have never walked so tall and am so pleased to find myself leading with my heart instead of my head.

There seems to be a global dance explosion and between Monterey and Santa Cruz County there is lots to choose from. In addition to Soul Motion there is also Gabriel Roth’s 5 Rhythms. I am currently taking a class from Rachael Jordan in Santa Cruz who is a student of Gabriel Roth. Gabriel Roth taught that there were 5 natural rhythms to our dance; flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. The dancer moves through a musical “wave” that explores all 5 rhythms. The practice of these rhythms become a metaphor for one’s life and is a powerful way to heal old emotional wounds or discover aspects of oneself that may otherwise  remain dormant.

The dance environment is completely non judgmental and there is an emphasis on play and making connections on the dance floor which create friendships and camaraderie among the dancers. Arjuna encourages these connections through simple techniques such as corridor dancing whereby students dance through the corridors of the dance circle. Each taking the limelight in the center of the dance briefly and moving with each other in and out of the corridors. The effect is a sensation of wholeness on the dance floor. We all become each other’s dance. It was wonderful! GO…..

Links to local dance:

Soul Motion Video

Corridors of Dance