Hello Beautiful People!
Oh the joys of being human. Speaking of one or two of those joy’s Making and Eating, I am excited to share a super yummy yet still healthy recipe for Moroccan Date Cake that would be perfect for Mother’s Day.
From a Yogic perspective, the sense of taste is related to the sacral chakra- Svadhisthana (sweetness) and it is located approximately two fingers width below the navel in the pelvic region.
“The gift of this chakra is experiencing our lives through feelings and sensations. The second chakra is the centre of feeling, emotion, pleasure, sensuality, intimacy, and connection.”
Other correspondences include the element water and the color orange. According to the folks at Yoga Journal, in working with this chakra, “you will address your relationship with both others and yourself. Personally, you’ll discover you have unlimited creative power; you’ll learn how to cultivate a healthy relationship to pleasure; and you’ll gain insight into your default reactions and deepest emotions, learn how to express yourself more skillfully and how to begin setting healthy boundaries.”
Physically, chronic low back pain, ovarian cysts and other reproductive issues, urinary tract infections, impotence, pain during intercourse, complications with the bladder and kidneys, and other pelvic–lower abdominal issues can result from an imbalance of this energy center. “Mentally, blocked sacral energy can be associated with addiction, repressed emotions, and lack of creative energy.”
“The good news is that “when the sacral chakra is in healthy alignment, you will be able to source energy for creativity, movement, procreation, desire, pleasure, and relationships.” Yah!! I’ll take second helpings of all of those (save procreation) please. In fact, my sense of taste and relationship to food and life itself has been challenged by an on again, off again, on again ulcer that originated in hospital a few years ago when my stomach was kept empty for a several days after surgery. Food and the act of eating is supposed to be a source of sustenance for body, senses and soul. Not a source of pain…
I could have called this post “How to Develop a Taste for Health instead of a Taste for _____ . In my case the blank space would be replaced by eating way to many tamari roasted almonds, popcorn or hot chips before bed. Or by waiting until I am already “starving” to eat. Even though I know only to well how likely this is to trigger or aggravate digestive and blood sugar problems.
Not too smart, and yet terribly humanly predictable. Seriously though regaining my health is no picnic and that is part of the inherent problem. You know what they say about all work and no play. I am willing to do what it takes –even if that means giving up tastes I love and associate with comfort. Ultimately I need to develop and cultivate a taste for feeling good inside and out that is stronger than my aversion to unnecessary stress and taste for baked macaroni and cheese.
The irony that trying to escape my feelings by stuffing them leaves me feeling even more empty is not lost on me. It also means that whatever needs attention becomes even more deeply embedded in darkness and the opportunity to get free (to escape if you like with my life and my health restored) is missed again. And so my suffering continues and is joined by shame. As Erlich Bachman says in a recent episode of Silicon Valley, the fact is that like most animals when “cornered” by stress we tend to act irrationally and lash out at any and everything around us. Ourselves included. Add lashings of guilt and shame to those fries. Bad girl!! Talk about indigestion. The (sad?) fact is that when things are already hard it is often harder to consistently engage in practices that nourish us body mind and soul.
How about a little bit of salt – pink, sea, kosher or otherwise, on that wound? Pass the pretzels please… So if berating myself for my poor choices won’t help me do better, what will? A non-toxic, quick acting, long-lasting, slow release of sweet, sensory-medicine that comes in as many different tastes, textures, styles, sounds and sizes as there are ways in which we unwittingly, and willingly hurt ourselves!
Since Love (in all its Beautiful forms) is the answer, I need to ask the right questions of myself and learn to discern between my real needs and my wants which are by nature often fickle and fleeting. Recognizing, identifying and meeting these authentic needs are a recipe and the choices I make to meet them are the ingredients for creating peace, passion, health and happiness.
- I want to sit and write and create without stopping for hours on end.
- I need to pace myself so that I don’t develop carpal tunnel or tendonitis again.
- I want to crunch away my feelings of frustration by eating the aforementioned popcorn before bed.
- I need to write down my feelings of frustration and irritation and then tear the page up without reading it so that I am not full of irritation and frustration and am able to get a good night’s rest.
- I want to run away from home and or spend several weeks at a spa or traveling.
- I need to make small easily available doses of fun a regular gig and not something that happens when everything else is ticked off the endless to do list.
- I want it whatever it is immediately.
- I need to be patient and to know (and feel) deep inside that I am worthy of love and give myself the love and beauty I need to thrive.
I am going to end this post with two poems and the promised recipe and look forward to sharing more tasty recipes next week! Engagingly yours, Sabrina xoxoxox<3
– Jack Kerouac
I stretch out
in bed alone
the taste of moonlight
What tastier way to help balance your second chakra the energy center associated with our sense of taste than by eating. “Any orange-colored food -think sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, curry and carrots is perfect to balance and nourish this center. Sweet fruits such as mangos, oranges, nectarines and peaches” are also great for balancing this chakra.
Speaking of peaches this week our good life organics farm box included the first local peaches of the season! They are a perfect addition to Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic chef Meredith Klein‘s Moroccan Date Cake! Perfected over several trips to the fabled country that has attracted so many artists and writers including Paul Bowls, Henri Mattisse, Anais Nin, and Tennessee Williams. It is so good I wasn’t sure if Meredith would be willing to share the recipe. Thanks Meredith, you’re the best! Check out more of Meredith’s recipes and other services at Pranaful.
Moroccan Date Cake Recipe
- 1/2 pound medjool dates (pitted and roughly chopped)
- 1 c. water
- 1 t. baking soda
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 stick regular or vegan butter (1/4 lb.), softened
- 2 eggs*
- Zest of one orange
- 1-1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
- 1/2 t. ground clove (optional)
- 2 t. baking powder
- 3/4 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform pan with parchment.
- In a small saucepan, bring dates and water to a boil over high heat. Once rapidly boiling add baking soda (mixture will foam) and reduce heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat and let the date mixture cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together coconut sugar and butter; then, beat in eggs and orange zest. Add dates and cooking liquid to the bowl, and mix well. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in nuts, if using.
- Place batter in the prepared Springform pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let cake cool at least 20 minutes before releasing Springform ring.
- * for vegan option, substitute 2 T. ground flaxseed mixed with 4 T. water, chilled in refrigerator for 25-30 minutes