More Things Beginning With [P]

IMG_0215I wanted to experiment with a very special pumpkin recipe for you. I wanted to practice with Tim Miller last weekend. I wanted to do a [P]anchakarma with Kate O’Donnel and the Boston yogis this week. But I didn’t do any of those things.

For one, I love yoga. I love Tim Miller, but I had to stretch myself in other ways last weekend. There was a workshop in food [P]hotography that was also kind of a “once in a very great while offering” and it’s time I started making those food photos sing! Also, I love the seasonal cleansing of body and spirit to prepare for the new weather and such, but I think my body is pretty cleansed just now, and it just didn’t feel right.

And so, this week I actually stopped to pay attention to what I really needed. As a good friend said to me, in total shock, “I am so f***ing impressed!” Me too. 

Right now I have a lot of things going on. I have various teaching gigs and copywriting jobs. I am (of course) deeply engrossed in my yoga. And, as I may have mentioned, I am in the first few weeks of my Culinary Nutrition Expert program which will engage me almost until the new year. It’s super exciting, and I do believe YOU will reap the delicious rewards, but it’s a lot on top of everything else. We have recipe creations due every Tuesday, class watching and quizzes due every Thursday, research and writing due every Friday, and some longer-term assignments due at the end.

So suddenly the [P]anchakarma just seemed like a bad idea. Intense cleansing with intense work plus intense new endeavors? Hmmm. Don’t think so this week. But what I did do was take the soul of Ayurveda and the cleanse to heart. Almost by accident.

After the workshop I stayed upstate one extra day and night, just because I could. And, I intended to do my homework that very minute, I really did, but instead I took time to walk around and look at fall leaves. Reconnect with good friends. Ignore my homework. And, I did the Abhyanga (oil massage) prescribed in the cleanse, began working on the [P]ranayama I’ve been avoiding and worrying about. And finally, I stopped doing anything, for just a little while.

And maybe I got into the spirit of the cleanse even more than if I’d done it in my normal over-achieving way. I eventually got to my homework, and it turned out to be…ta tada!…kichari. What Meghan Telpner calls Indian One Pot Stew is in fact the nourishing, healing, cleansing mono-meal of Ayurveda. So, I added beets and garnet yams, to make it all seasonal like. Plus swiss chard from our garden. Talk about local! And I ate it three times in a row, almost as if I were doing the mono diet, without quite as many rules.

And, I managed to bring the season into my diet with a [p]umpkin butter smoothie too, which was ok, but not fit to post (yet!).
So all in all it was a great weekend. Despite my Tim Miller FOMO.  I had a great practice at my Woodstock home with good friends, and I left the weekend feeling accomplished and more nourished and [P]eaceful than when I started. And today I am on day 5 of The Pranayama Project. Woot!

So, for now, I leave you with an easy as-[p]umpkin-[p]ie recipe to welcome the season, and I’ll return soon with an extra special [P]umpkin recipe later this week. Inspired by the season, dedicated to a friend who asked for healthy comfort food. Just give me a minute to [P]erfect it.

What ways did you stretch yourself this week? Give me a shout in the comments section! Also, what recipes are you missing in your current rotation?


Pumpkin Pie Latte

Pumpkin Pie Latte 3 Ways

I’ve made this latte with coffee as the base, with chai as the base, and my favorite, with homemade nutmilk as the base. This last is super rich, extra creamy, and totally dessert like. Even the skeptical BHH says so.

Serves 2


Liquid: 3 Cups homemade nutmilk (ok, you can use store bought, but it’s more watery) OR 2 ½ cups coffee or brewed chai tea plus ½ cup milk or creamer of choice.

Rounded 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or your fave combo of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Try the lesser amount first then add. It depends on your blend.

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (can sub agave or honey)

1 Tsp pure vanilla extract

Splash of stevia (or more maple, but try to be light on the sugary stuff!) for extra sweetness if needed


Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until just beginning to bubble. Froth with an immersion blender or throw it all into the Vitamix/Blender for extra frothiness. Sprinkle with more cinnamon or nutmeg to serve. Breathe a big sigh of relief and enjoy without doing any work for the time it takes to drink it.