Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
I've found a new healthy habit and I want to share it with you! Sprouting is nothing new and I can't deny that I'd been told about it before and neglected to try it. Oops. :/
The short explanation is that by sprouting, the nut/legume/seed/grain becomes easier to digest and allows you to absorb more of its nutrients. Turning your seed into a tiny plants neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Phytic acid is not digestible by humans and inhibits absorbption of zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It can also reduce our ability to digest fats, starches, and proteins. (Phytic acid isn't horrible in the right amounts - it binds to heavy metals to prevent their build up in the body and is an antioxidant).
Remember that tune about beans being the magical fruit? Sprouting your legumes breaks down complex sugars, which makes them easier to digest and minimizes intestinal discomfort and magical toots. It also increases the fiber content which binds to fat and toxins as it escorts them out of your body.
Germinating your nut/legume/seed/grain into a tiny plant actually makes them more nutritous as it breaks down the plant wall. Sprouting exponentially increases the amount of Vitamins A, B, and C, to name a few.
There's also talk of sprouts alkalizing the body. That means they reduce excess toxins which are linked to cancer. Always a win there!
HOW TO SPROUT [MUNG BEANS]
You'll need: - mason jar (or other glass container wide enough for the sprous to breathe)
- 3 to 5 TBS dry seeds/nuts/legumes/grains (find them in bulk at Whole Foods or my fav new spot Mom's)
1. Rinse your beans in cool water to clean them.
2. Fill the jar with just enough water to cover the beans. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Soak for 8-12 hours and then rinse and drain twice. Remove any beans that float.
3. Drain the water and place the jar on its side with the breatheable cloth or towel over the top. They need to breathe and have space to grow.
4. Rinse and drain twice a day (every 8-12 hours).
5. After 2-5 days (dependent on what you are sprouting), throughly rinse, drain, and dry the sprouts. Eat them right away or store them dry in the refrigerator.
AFTER YOU'VE SPROUTED
The internet has lots to say on this topic, but my research has revealed the following to be pretty consistent across the board:
1. Refrigerate your sprouts only after they have fully sprouted and are completely dry. Check for specific refrigeration lifespans.
2. Depending on what you've sprouted, it may need to be cooked before eating. Google it to be safe and check cooking times.
HOW SHOULD I EAT THEM?
However you'd like! I've primarily been using my sprouts on salads and sandwiches. With a little salt & pepper or Bragg's, they are poppable like popcorn. Make burgers, hummus, or bread. They work to dress up pasta, stir fry, pizzas, soups, rice dishes... the options are endless.
Let me know what you've sprouted and how you've used them! I'm looking for an awesome recipe using mung or soy beans sprouts!
*I don't claim to have known any of this stuff before hearing it from people wiser than me and the internet. Check out the links in the text above and these sites for more information.
The Nourishing Gourmet
Over the past week I've started 4 blog posts. None of them made it past the first paragraph. I was getting frustrated. It's not like I was uninspired, but the creativity to express myself was dormant and I dismissed everything I wrote as sounding trite and meaningless. I felt like I needed to get something out, but it wasn't coming and it was just filling up inside me making me want to burst. "What is wrong with you, Gina?"
I've felt frustrated and confused about my path, about what I should be doing. I've felt like I was working hard and I had a destination in mind, but my wheels were spinning and landing me nowehere.
On Friday night I went to kirtan, a devotional chanting. This kirtan was hosted by a Hare Krishna group in the city and we chanted Hare Krisha's mantra for 2 full hours. At first I was judging the melody, the percussion, the volume...all of it. I couldnt' get my voice to harmonize with the sounds. My back ached. I just wanted it to jive the way I had anticipated it. I kept singing though and by the end of the evening I felt connected to the group and the mantra's groove. I had finally stopped judging it and just let it be.
Saturday morning I went to teach my Sunrise Vinyasa class at The Yoga Garden and one of the regular walked in totally stressed out. "I think my car battery is going to be dead when I go out to start my car...I should just leave now." After some discussion about jumper cables and car troubles, we agreed that she should stay for the class. The car issues would be there after class and waiting an hour certainly wouldn't make them any worse.
That class was dedicated to being present and allowing the troubles of the world - money troubles, what to cook for dinner, pesky coworkers - to just sit aside while we had our one hour practice. We weren't ignoring the issues, but we were bringing ourselves to the task at hand. There is no other way to move forward other than step by step, so why drive ourselves mad trying to leap ahead?
The very first line of the Yoga Sutras is Atha Yoganusasanam, roughly translated as now we begin the practice of yoga.
Atha implies the beginning of an auspicious undertaking, something requiring commitment from one moment to the next, on and on. In studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we are accepting the teaching from a spiritual master who is saying, "Now you are ready."
So what do all these stories have to do with eachother? I'd been so wrapped up in the hundreds of things I could worry about, all the little annoyances, all the ways I could be mistepping along my path, that I had completely forgotten what my path was all about. I was striving so fiercely that I had run into a brick wall and was trying to force my way through without looking up to see where I was.
I'm on a constant journey towards freedom, love, and inner peace. However, I had become so wrapped up in the end goal that I wasn't even playing the game anymore, which in turn was causing my systems to misfire as they tried to warn me I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Kirtan taught me to let go of the things I can't control; I needed to move with the flow rather than judging it and trying to control it. After all, a river flows where it's going to flow - there's nothing I can do about that and I'll just exhaust myself trying to steer it differently. The Hare Krishnas taught me that just by keeping my goals close to my heart and that by acting out of love for my divine intention, I was innately on my path and closer to the Divine Self. My student's willingness to leave her car troubles outside and set her intentions on the present moment reminded me that we have the choice to live in the now every single moment. (Her car ended up starting :] ). The future and all it brings will just have to wait.
There is no need to stress about the future or about what we have minimal control over. We can work towards an outcome, in fact it's important to set an intention in that sense, but move along acting out of love rather than striving. Whenever you catch yourself judging the situation you are in, take a breath and come back to right NOW. It's really the only moment that matters. The future hasn't happened yet and if you spend your present trying to live in it, you'll be met with anxiety and disappointment.
Stay steady on your path. Take it step by step. Remember that each step starts now, and be ready to commit now. and now. and now.
Ramblings, insights, & motivation