Clay Bowl Meals


Simple meals most of the time: I think that’s my answer to living high and feeling fine! If the food isn’t in the clay bowl, I don’t need it. This really cuts down on snacking, and this combo leaves me feeling great!

Here’s my formula: Leafy greens, veggies, fermented foods, some protein and a little starch with the occasional sea vegetable. Winner! Winner!

When making a shift the simpler you can make it, the better. You have a combo that works for you? Share it!

Clay Bowl Meal

Greens (Kale, lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens)
Steamed vegetable
Miso (I like chickpea)
Protein (chicken, fish, hemp, eggs)
Legume (black beans, peas, garbanzos)
Maybe a sea vegetable like hijiki or nori
Maybe a 1/4 cup quinoa or millet (or a little yam)
Sriracha sauce

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A Toast to Big, Brave Love in the face of loneliness

Zion 2010 109

To that one, who feels alone with the one who lays beside him, whose hunger goes unmatched, who loves his children, who thinks there’s no way out.


To you: Wishing you life giving connection, courage and truth, and brave, creative, flowing love, in which there exists no place such as “Stasis” or “Setting aside” or life sapping resentment, or blaming her.

Your deep integrity; your commitment to your family; your acknowledgement of your own aliveness; guiding you to places you can’t, at least so far, imagine. These all collide, conflict with one another–I know. Just trust, let all these seemingly disparate elements meld, impart their individual flavors and nuances.

Go ahead and move to your edges: Experiment.

Then… choose love any way, in whatever the form.

Wishing you a deep and beautiful journey dear one.

Love (and lettuce) Kathryn

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Just Two Healthy Waffles


Just Two Healthy Waffles

2 Tablespoon Vegan Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax
1 Tablespoon Ground Amaranth
1/4 Cup Ground Oats
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon melted Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Kombucha (strong/real)
Enough Rice Milk (2T-1/4C?)

Heat iron 10 minutes. Ladle batter in, to cover 2/3 of surface. Cook until there’s little steam and smells like you’re making waffle ice cream cones.


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Hooked on My Physical Practice

Kathryn Smiling 2014

So a while back I asked my soulful, super-fit friend how he stayed motivated in his physical practices, working out hours every day, creating a muscled body, that performs well for him on the disc golf course, on a mountain bike, and eh hem, in more leisurely activities as well. In short, it looks fun to be him, which I think is the whole point of working out, at least from where I’m standing… or lifting, or riding or doing yoga.

He answered simply, “Well, I just like it, moving, sweating, grunting, exerting–it feels fantastic to me.” Astounded by the simplicity of his motivation, I asked for more.

“Really? How’s that look for you?”

“Well, the whole thing gives me joy, and it’s one thing I can control. It’s what I take for myself. I actually feel out of balance when I don’t get in my workout.” Hmmm, okay, I do live in fit-freak-land over here in Central Oregon, where we mountain bike on Thanksgiving, rather than watch football; where when I sit in coffee houses eavesdropping, every other Joe (and nearly every Lecia) looks like they’re training for a triathlon: lean, muscular, donning expensive, neon running shoes and the latest tech gear, still…

“So, you not only like to work out, but it’s balance for you, even your joy?”

“Yeah, I’m kind of hooked actually.” Hooked on the joy of being physical? Okay, I’m warming up to this. I’ll say I’ve definitely caught glimpses of this, like this morning while moving through my home yoga practice. As I sank deeper into each asana, I started verbalizing my thoughts as I breathed, as I relaxed my shoulders, as I tucked my sacrum, and as I subtly adjusted my alignment.

“Curve softly your sacrum… breathe … soften your face as your trapezium melts towards your middle back… listen… remember what you dedicated your practice to… can you see your toes?… in Dancer, keep tension in your shoulder and arm as you push your foot into your palm… you’re a writer… you’re taking care…providing safety…for you… for Sarah… I love you… bound now in Eagle… What binds you?… now letting go… just open to the possibility of freedom… what’s really true even if it isn’t pretty?…” And on it goes. My church. I am my own Reverend, as we each can be.

What are the lessons today?

My nine year-old daughter, who was playing quietly on her iPad, looks up at me.

“Mommy are you talking to your imaginary yoga class again?” I thought for a minute, then smiled and nodded.

“Why, yes I am Sweetie.” This morning, sinking into joy, grounded in my body, and talking to my pretend students, I went deeper, happier and even found inspiration to write, then unearthed surplus energy to walk up Pilot Butte and get in a relaxing, little soak later.

A toast beauties, to rolling around, to sinking deeper, to finding what’s true, to living in joyful physical practice.


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Fudgy Mint Chip Cookies with Protein Powder

Fudgy Mint Chip  Cookies

Looking for a healthy, super easy to prepare, crowd-pleasing treat to bring to your holiday gathering? This one is absolute chocolate decadence, with a fudgy texture and a minty crunch–and get this: lots of protein and fiber! What more could you ask for?

1/2 Cup Veggie Protein Powder, vanilla flavor
1/4 Cup Almond Butter, freshly ground
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, softened
1/2 Cup Fair-trade Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Flax or Chia, ground
1/4-1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1-2 Crushed Candy Canes (plastic bag and hammer)

Mix first seven ingredients in a bowl and form into balls, then roll each in crushed candy cane. Store in fridge and bring out thirty minutes before serving.

Note: Roll in crushed candy cane not more than a day before serving. The cookie’s moisture dissolves the candy cane and the red and white candy shards get absorbed into the cookie and they don’t look quite as pretty.

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A Bowl


Rugged, deep red
A color somewhere
Between blood and chocolate
Imprinted with native stone
To hold whatever arises
Never turning away
It will contain
The fears
The doubts
The need to take care
To self-care
A curious deep love

We say to ourselves
I’m always here for you
Or maybe
I’ll be right back
It’s all good
Hold it
Go ahead and look
Unconditional acceptance
Of whatever arises
Whatever mangled thing the cat drags in
To the door of our brave, brave hearts
Or whatever floats up
In the irrigation pond
Of our supposed guilty past
Accept it all
Love it all
Nod and shrug
Gaze and whisper
Hello old friend or
I knew I’d see you again
Hold it
Contain it
Accept it
Not enough?
Maybe. Or just enough
Or more than enough
Too much?
Or just the right amount
Or at least…

I am me
I am this
This is an illusion
A breath
A whisper
A thought
A dream…
Then we’re gone…
Or is it eternal?
With all that is
Deep peace
Deep red
Blood and chocolate
Ever holding
All that I am
I am
Great I am (HP)
We are one.

All that I am
All that you are
Loves anyway
Loves boldly

Always, k.

December 2014

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Mountain headwaters
Course through spaces
Over rocks and roots
and dirt.
Pull at me
Sweet gravity.
Dilute away
Milky clouds of
Surplus elements.
As liquid,
Shaped by environs.
Draw me
To that other place
of origin -
as white, turbulent currents,
Acrid with runoff.
Other times
as dissolved particles
Diluted into
Sweet water
cleaned with
Lessening of concentration.
Ever ebb and flow.
into smaller banks.
In the dry expanse,
Meander past
Tan dry grasses
Pungent sage
Warm pumice dirt
of busy beings.
Then expand
Into the immense fluidity and
The westward drive
a merging.
Just be:
Not resist.
the cooler place
the potent place
the older place.
Then suddenly
More buoyant
In immense amniotic salt and sand.
Teems with danger and peace.
Tastes of salt and life.
And Returning
To this communion
To this solitude.
I am this.
I am home.

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Meditations on Hope and Hopelessness

Acorns in the Morning_edited-1

Hope: It’s a good thing, right? Necessary even. To have hope, is to not be discouraged, to imagine something better, to be continually improving personally and imagining better days for others, maybe even for our country. Hope sounds noble. What a worthy endeavor—to create hope, to hold a hopeful place for others. That’s all good, right?

The cancer patient believes, as New Age ideals suggest, that he’s going to live. He just has to desire and believe ENOUGH, say his positive aphorism “I’m getting healthier every day” and voila—he’s a magnet for all his desires to be cancer free. He might even be healed, all via his belief and desire and hope. If healing doesn’t happen, we move on to some other route, but only after the battle and hope is “lost.” Hope is the supposed lifeline we spiritual ones cling to. Then, there’s the woman whose husband is lost at sea. The hours turn into days. The days turn into weeks. Still, she has “hope” and that hope proves she’s a good woman and that she loves her husband, right? We’re taught to hope, and that hope is our salvation and that having hope speaks of our goodness, but is that really true?

Some of us want God to save us, or some substance to ease the pain, or someone to tell us it’s going to be alright. Is it possible we cling to hope, to anesthetize ourselves from our life? Buddhist nun Pema Chodron suggests just that, in her classic book “When Things Fall Apart.”

What is hope really? I wonder if hope is simply imagining some future outcome. It seems hope resides in some other time than now, sometime in the future. Hope is somewhere that is not here, but out there. We believe God will save us; and we try to find rest in an imagined future, which we can never know.

We applaud those who never “lose hope” like hope is something that can be misplaced, then later found under a couch cushion, like loose coins that fell from our pockets.

What if being without hope—say, hope-LESS—was the way to enlightenment and being fully in the present moment, which would allow us to be fully engaged with the person in front of us—and be more fully ourselves. What if being without hope added immeasurably to our joy? Sounds crazy, right? It’s not how we normally think of hope. What if embracing the heart breaking truth of: There is no hope, was actually the path to a more starkly beautiful life—a life that actually exists, rather than one simply wished for?

That cancer patient needs to believe he won’t die—and we need to agree with him. The woman with the missing husband needs to believe he will eventually be found—and we nod in agreement with her too. What would happen if we didn’t agree? What if instead of giving a platitudinous pat, and saying “it’ll all work out,” we helped our dear ones explore the present moment and their own unique, sometimes heart breaking experience, in order to live a deeper, more meaningful experience?

Here’s one for you: If we believe that there is nothing but now, as many us say we do—does hope even exist?

We are all going to die—some sooner than later. Some will not be found—not ever. Everything is NOT going to be okay. There is only NOW.

We are all taught at an early age to crave hope, to believe in the doctrine of hope. We were steeped in it, like soggy tea bags in amber colored hot water, by our families, our society and our religion. Add to that “hope” sounds so enlightened, so positive, so loving and kind. We have to have hope, right? Where would we be without hope?

So, one day I “lost hope.” Like a tub of soapy bath water, it all just drained away, and I sat there in the filmy, emptiness, seeing what I really had—which was still a life, I decided—cold and water logged, but life. I shivered and cried. I pounded my fists like a baby. Then, I stood up, rinsed myself off, and… I started laughing—suddenly grateful. I hadn’t really lost anything after all, I thought. Whatever I had, I still had. Whatever I was afraid of losing, was already gone.

It’s different than cancer, right? Different than being lost at sea. Maybe. All of us hold onto “hope,” a hope that things could be other than what they are; a hope that our salvation resides in a future time, when the other person changes; when circumstances shift; when a health condition is cured. When times get tough, is hope really a lifeline we can to cling to, or be saved by?

What if “abandoning hope” is a good thing? What if instead of “losing the battle” we lay down the sword of our own resistance and pick up instead our glasses—to better see what’s really in front of us? What if by refusing to hope, we gain life, and with it we experience more fully whatever arises—the joy and the pain; the coming together and the ripping apart; the delicious and the distasteful. What if in the process, we learn to love it all?

Maybe tuning into experience and the present moment, or the present person, or the present sensation, and abandoning hope might be the way to become the gift we were created to be, or might be the path to experience the life we didn’t even know we were missing.

Maybe there is no hope. Maybe there is only NOW.

Hopeless in Bend… and loving it all,

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A Prayer to a Friend


In my mind’s eye I’m imagining.

I imagine you walking and working in peace, growing stronger every day, finding your voice, refining your focus, and working your way towards you own unique balance. Even though your grateful heart naturally flows with gratitude, which is a major part of your strength and your success, your heart is now opening and curious to another type of abundance: margin and steadiness.

I see you standing ready on resilient legs, bare feet grounded on Mother Earth, while your outstretched hands open to receive from your Higher Power. You’re noticing what is for you and what isn’t. Obsolete ideas and deep-rooted perceptions just fall away, like dried mud from your work boots. Stomp your feet. Take a long-bristled scrub brush and whisk away brown, crusty debris. Look! You’ve come so far. Kick up your clean boots, and notice the new lighter way you’re walking in the world. You are free, sweetheart.

What used to make sense, you’re questioning now, and parts of your life that seemed immovable are starting slowly to dislodge, like a spring thaw has brought a warm and gentle wind through your life. You’re now viewing what’s been obscured from your vision—maybe for a long time. You’re sizing up the situation, pondering, then nodding, saying to yourself, “yeah, I’ve got this.”

In spite of it all, you’re embracing all that life is and moving forward: The big wisdom of no way out. You have grown beyond the need for simple comfort and survival—a way out. Instead you reach for the truth of your existence. You know why you’re here, on THIS earth, in THIS place, with THOSE particular beautiful and complicated souls. With open-eyed acceptance, you see all there is to see, in your immediate world, in those around you and in yourself, and again you nod: “yeah, I’ve got this.”

In this life, we rejoice and we grieve. We love and we let go. Sometimes we even momentarily turn away, then with brave hearts, we COULD boldly take another look—humbly view with unwavering directness whatever presents. Baby, it’s like that for all of us. You DO have what it takes. Simply move forward into inspired action, or do it even if you aren’t. You know what you need to do.

To looking anyway. To deep creativity. To inspired action. To doing the right thing even if we don’t feel like it.

A toast: to the days we know why, and to the days we don’t.

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Chop Wood, Carry Water

Zion 2010 159

The slider is open and the yellow-white sun is warming my back and a soft breeze gently rustles my dark, rumpled, half-pinned hair. Sarah’s still asleep in her bed, mouth open, arm flopped over her face. Birds chirp and flutter in the junipers outside my living room window. The big white refrigerator clackety-hums, like it’s not quite as young as it used to be. Cars and planes whoosh and sing their engine noises, like their drivers really do have somewhere they need to be. Maybe they do.

Today, I am looking towards content, and fully into the grateful territory. I have all I need. I have all the kombucha and kimchee I desire. All my body’s parts seems to be in working order. I am as free, as anyone I know. I am loved by a couple of super choice people, and I completely dig them right back. And, here it is: I have been granted THIS day. THIS day seems to matter. Do you ever think, yeah, today is THE day?

I think there’s a discovery to be made… somewhere around here. I know it. All I have to do is find it. First, I have to put on my big girl pants, pat my brave and faltering heart and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep earning my stay. Keep tying down those un-tethered, flapping in the wind, ends of… whatever they are ends of. Keep mapping it out. Keep learning. And, keep an eagle eye out, scanning the horizon for what is actually for me.

I think it was the Buddha who said: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. So, whether it was the Buddha or not, and while I’ve got my eagle eyes scanning the horizon, I will keep getting it ‘going on’ over here–getting the wood stacked for the winter, which I know will come, and hand over hand, drawing up clear, cold water up from my deep, pure well.

Wood and Water,
Love and Lettuce,

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