Clapping On The Down Beat

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Im no vegan…… February 17, 2016

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning,Sharing and Caring,Step by step,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 1:23 PM

I am not vegan by any stretch.  I have been a vegetarian.  I consider myself a possibiltarian.    What?  I am open to trying possibilites.  I know what I like and I usually stick to that (never have been a steak fan), but I also don’t turn my nose up at trying something.

There is a coffee shop that sells a zucchini muffin that I adore.  It just happens to be a vegan prodcut.  I am attempting to replicate it.

Vegan baking can be tricky.  No dairy.  No eggs.  Lots of substitutes.

These muffins are pretty tasty and approved by my family.

For the egg replacement:

Soak 6 Tbsp ground flaxseed in 1/2 c. hot water.  Set aside


In a large bowl mix 1/2 c. melted coconut oil, 2 c. raw sugar (turbinado) or light brown sugar, 1/2 c. applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla.  Mix well.  Shred 1 large zucchini (for about 2 cups).  Mix into wet ingredients.  Add flaxseed- should be like a paste.  In another bowl mix dry ingredients- 2c. flour, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt.  Add dry to wet and stir just till combined.  It will be lumpy.


Spoon into muffin tins- this made 20 muffins for me.  I sprinkled a little raw sugar over the tops of the muffins ( I like the crunch).  Then bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes.


Yum!  I plan to freeze some to save for later in the week.


Just let things happen January 14, 2015

Filed under: Sharing and Caring,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 5:32 PM

I started back at work this week teaching yoga.  The nice thing is that at the club I have been teaching at for almost 12 years, has us teach verbally without modeling, so I don’t practice with the class.  Tomorrow, I get my stitches out.  I am excited and yet nervous.

My class theme today was on breathing.  Breathe is what yoga is about, so we talk about it, practice it and constantly work on it.  I know, I know, your thinking, “but my body breathes automatically for me….”  Yes, and that is a very shallow breath.  When breathing becomes deeper, longer, and slower, it lowers the heart rate, calms the body (and mind), reduces stress hormones, cleanses the lungs, oxygenates the body more fully…..I could go on and on.

So here is the thought for today:

How do we bring our attention to breathing without controlling it?  The breath must be effortless, not forced.  Breathing without effort is made more difficult because you are slowing the breath down, pausing at the end of the exhalation and pausing at the top of the inhalation.  Just as in life there is so much to do, we are always doing.  In yoga, the relationship to breathing is about nondoing in doing, inaction in action.  Bringing attention to the breath is the difference between intention and control, follow instead of lead.  We learn to ride the breath, and experience the breath- learn to let things happen.


YogaUP: yoga tricks workshop    December 2014

IMG_0985 IMG_0986


Resolution 2015: write more posts…….. January 5, 2015

Filed under: Interests,Organization,Parenthood,Sharing and Caring,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 8:48 PM

Monday: 1/5/2015   7:42pm

I took my last shower of the week tonight.

It’s not like I am drastically conserving water and giving up personal hygiene.  I’ll go back to the fall……

I started having pain in my shoulder when doing chaturanga in yoga class.  So I cut back on the push-ups.  Then I tweaked my shoulder lifting a basket at work.  After some muscle relaxers, a cortisone shot and an MRI later, I found out Christmas Eve that I had a tear in my rotator cuff.  Merry Christmas to me.

Well, we had a ski trip planned and I decided to have the surgery when we came back.  I took it easy, and we all had a great time.  Kids were up and skiing down the mountain in a day and a half.


So getting back to the shower.  I had my pre-op appointment today to go over the details.  It became a quality of life issues.  I really don’t like to live in pain, so I’d rather have this fixed.  Plus I have 4 classes this semester and it will be difficult trying to cook with one arm in a sling.  The sooner the better.

As I am tying up loose ends for the family- checking that everyone has rides arranged to get where they need to go, the pantry is stocked, I take my shower of the week- I begin to get a little excited.  Last time I had surgery, to remove my tonsils ( I wrote a post on the nasty tonsils and sickness that lead to that surgery……) I had a week of rest time.  I am actually looking forward to a week of no work, no responsibilities, just rest time.  Which of course I will need for good healing.

I prepared 2 soups for the week to have on hand.  I especially love soup.  Here is one of the recipes:

Greek Bean Stew

In a little olive oil sauté 1 diced onion till soft.  Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and 1 tsp salt.  Stir and sauté about 3 minutes.  Add 1 Tbs tomato paste, 1 Tbs greek seasoning (oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme), a few dashes of pepper and either 4-5 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, 4 cups chick peas ( 2 drained and rinsed cans).  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Take out half the soup and puree.  Add puree back to soup and squeeze in the juice of 1-2 lemons based on your taste.  Enjoy!


I’ll post how the surgery went tomorrow!


A social experiment August 27, 2013

Filed under: Interests,Parenthood,Sharing and Caring,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 3:50 PM

Over the weekend I had my hair cut and highlighted.  I usually don’t highlight it, I just cover over the grays or touch up the roots.  However, I was really in the mood for something different, a little edgy.  I gave the hairstylist creative license.  I mean, it’s just hair.

0-6  0-14

Yes, that is fire engine red.  There is more in the back but is was hard to take a picture.  I really love it.  And the best part, it some of the stares or looks I get.    It is really fun to watch people’s reactions.  I have noticed three:

(1) They come right out and say ” I like your hair”  or ” what made you go bold?”  Fun hair.

(2) They say nothing, even though there is a big change  (then again, if you have nothing nice to say, better to say nothing at all, I guess)

(3) Their body language gives it away.  Their eyes move all over the place, their eyebrows squish together, their nose wrinkles.  It is almost as if I have made them uncomfortable.

My kids like it.  The funny thing about kids, is most of them don’t say anything.  I am not sure if they even notice.

In yoga training about 6 years ago, they had us go through a compassion assignment.  We were to choose a Dr. written diet and stay with it for a month.  THe purpose was to build compassion for people who were making a lifestyle change to get off the couch, try yoga, lose weight, ect.  Some did very drastic diets, some not too much.  Either way we all learned a lot.

Coloring my hair is a change I chose and can easily grow out, cut out or dye back.  But for many, something that sets them apart from the “norm” often is not so easily changed or concealed.  A woman who has lost her hair to chemo, a prosthetic limb, hearing aids, wheel chair, ect.

When I walk around and notice people making strange faces, or commenting on my hair, I am forced to think  “when will we be able to move beyond what we see and judge?”  It happens all the time, and I am no exception.  But this is a great reminder to myself to build compassion and love for others.

How often do people cloak and hide the “ugly” so they can appear “normal”?  Do we really know the baggage others are carrying around?

As I was working on my yoga themes for class, I have one coming up on LIFE.  I thought it would make a great conclusion for this blog.

Rules for being human:

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
Five (5) Simple Rules to be Happy
1- Free your heart from hatred.
2- Free your mind from worries.
3- Live simply.
4- Give more than expected.
5- Expect less.

Yogi on the Road July 28, 2013

Filed under: Interests,travel,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 10:25 PM

Well, we have been a-traveling this summer……here are a few highlights:

IMG_20130719_111057  hiking


DSC06985 Brian’s 20th HS reunion


IMG_20130721_165205 hiking


DSC06999  on top of The Mesa


DSC07032 hiking to Hanging Lake   DSC07037

0-12  where Brian proposed 14 years ago

DSC07011 Dinosaur museum


DSC07055   Cadillac Ranch   DSC07050



What’s for dinner? February 7, 2013

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 6:13 PM

Ratatouille was on the other day.



My youngest and I watched some of it before I had to leave for class.  I was trying to explain to him that, that’s what I did when I went to class.  But there was no rat.

So that brings my to tonight.  I opened up the fridge and saw all the vegetables I had bought this week ( I am eating vegan due to the detox yoga class I am leading for 4 weeks) and decided I was in the mood for Asian.  In culinary class we have been making a lot of sauces with our dishes, so I thought I would start there.  I made a marinade for my tofu, and then figured I could use the savoy cabbage for a “lettuce wrap”.  Here’s what I came up with:

Vegan Cabbage Wraps

1 tablespoon oil
1 package firm tofu, cubed
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 package button mushrooms, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper diced

3 tablespoons chopped green onions
4 cloves minced garlic

1 head savoy cabbage (steamed whole) or  iceberg lettuce leaves

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

“Special Sauce”

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons Amino Braggs or soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon  red chile paste (siracha)
Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

If using cabbage, place head of cabbage in a large pot with a 1″ of boiling water.  Cover and steam cabbage till leaves are soft (about 5 minutes).  If using lettuce, just wash and peel leaves off and separate.
Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.

Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.

Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready to serve.

Wisk together ingredients for “special sauce”. This you can use to pour over filling in wraps.

Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.

Saute tofu till golden. (You can also sub beef or chicken if you are inclined)

Remove tofu from the pan and cool.

Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.

Add  garlic, onions, water chestnuts, pepper and mushrooms to the pan.  Add stir fry sauce and heat till moisture has evaporated/cooked out.  The mushrooms will give off a lot of water.  Then add the tofu and toss.  Heat through.  Serve in lettuce/cabbage cups with the “special sauce”.


Here’s your yoga flow for tonight/tomorrow:

Belly Down 3-5 minutes


Forearm Plank 3-5 breaths

Down Dog

Take legs wide and walk to back of mat (straddle stance)

Twist (right leg, right arm up, left leg left arm up)

Chest expansion in straddle

Bend knees, squat

Plank 3-5 breaths

Down Dog

Warrior 1 (Right Leg)

Warrior 2

Interlace fingers behind head

Side crunches (left elbow left hip, right elbow right knee)

Reverse Warrior


Cartwheel and pivot to back

Revolving Triangle


Standing Splits

Tree- hold


Down Dog

Warrior 1 (Left leg)

Warrior 2

Interlace fingers behind head

Side crunches 4-6x

Reverse Warrior


Cartwheel and pivot to front

Revolving Triangle


Standing Splits




Boat   to canoe  4x holding for 3 breaths each




Evolve/detox meal plan February 1, 2013

Filed under: Meal Planning,Yoga — clappingonthedownbeat @ 4:54 PM

Evolve: e·volve

v. e·volvede·volv·inge·volves

a. To develop or achieve gradually: evolve a style of one’s own.
b. To work (something) out; devise
c. To undergo gradual change; develop
I am teaching a 21 day yoga detox cleanse were we abstain from consuming caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten and animal products (dairy and meat).  It’s essentially a restricted vegan diet.  WHY?
To evolve.
Through this process, hopefully, we will learn how our bodies react to what we put into them.  So even if it’s just for 21 days, or maybe we take away something more and gradually change and develop our own personal eating style, we connect to our energy source.
SO why those specific types of food?  Here are a few reasons:

Alcohol can interfere with the brain’s chemical messengers, specifically the neurotransmitters serotonin, and dopamine.  Neurotransmitters will either encourage and quicken or slow down and cease, impulses between neurons in the brain, dramatically affecting our moods, our ability to think clearly, and the signals the brain sends to the body.  Because out bodies treat alcohol as a toxin, a poison to be purged, it is detoxified and removed from the blood through the process of oxidation- the liver is where most of the metabolism takes place.  Alcohol does not raise your blood sugar level, it actually lowers it, however the carbohydrates in he drink are changed into glucose and that raises out blood sugar.  Most alcoholic drinks have high simple carbohydrate contents due to the sugars in them (grapes, malt, juice) and this floods the system with glucose.  Alcohol also depletes the body of B vitamins.

Caffeine is a central-nervous-system stimulant, which earns it the distinction of being classified as a psychoactice drug.  Caffeine raises the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which temporarily increases feelings of pleasure.  The central nervous system can mistake caffeine for adenosine, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is linked to calming and sleep.  Caffeine binds to the receptors blocking their effect and in the short-term makes you feel more alert.  Overtime you need more for the stimulating effect.  It also exhausts the body by stimulating the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol.  Overtime and overuse can contribute to fatigue, lower thyroid functions, decreased bone density, and higher blood pressure.

Sugar acts like a cement to our joints over time.  Sugar, certain medications, meat and processed foods disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria to unfriendly bacteria in our intestines.  This shift results in increased risk for diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and increase risk overall of heart disease.

Wheat, barley and rye- its what makes baked goods fluffy.  Discovered by a monk looking for a meat replacement.  Made from wheat flour and water with starch removed,  it is high in protein.  It’s an additive in many foods.  Since it is not a naturally occurring protein in the body, it can cause inflammation in the body, bloating, headaches, and hives.

Animal protein is mass-produced, overuse of antibiotics, growth hormones, harbors and spreads bacteria.  It is also high in cholesterol, where plants have no cholesterol.

DO you know there are many professional VEGAN athletes?

Arian Foster NFL running back for the Houston Texans

Carl Lewis

Mike Mahler strength trainer

Pat Neschek MN Twins pitcher

Martina Navratilova

Starting tomorrow I am theming my Hot Vinyasa classes on the 9 secrets to longevity.  Guess what?  Most of the “secrets” studied by National Geographic are associated to diet and lifestyle!



  • 1 (12 ounce) packagevegetarian burger crumbles
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can black beans rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans rinsed
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. In a large pot combine crumbles, tomato sauce, water, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beans, liquid smoke, chili powder, black pepper, mustard, salt and pepper flakes. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, or until heated through.



  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) cangarbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) cancoconut milk
  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger, and salt; cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) package gluten free lasagna noodles
  •  2 pounds firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 (10 ounce) packagesfrozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  1. Make the sauce: In a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Place the onions in the saucepan and saute them until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 5 minutes more.
  2. Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and parsley in the saucepan. Stir well, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer covered for 1 hour. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. While the sauce is cooking bring a large kettle of salted water to a boil. Boil the lasagna noodles for 9 minutes, then drain and rinse well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F .
  5. Place the tofu blocks in a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper, and mash all the ingredients together by squeezing pieces of tofu through your fingers. Mix well.
  6. Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole pan. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles, sprinkle one-third of the tofu mixture over the noodles. Distribute the spinach evenly over the tofu. Next ladle 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the tofu, and top it with another layer of the noodles. Then sprinkle another 1/3 of the tofu mixture over the noodles, top the tofu with 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, and place a final layer of noodles over the tomato sauce. Finally, top the noodles with the final 1/3 of the tofu, and spread the remaining tomato sauce over everything.
  7. Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.