Author Archives: stephaniespiegel

One Step!

stepping stones

The stepping stones of life

“Courage is nothing more than taking one step more than you think you can.” – David Ingber

This past week was Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. A day of atonement, we are encouraged to reflect on the past year, and look deep inside ourselves. Opening our minds and hearts to growth connects us to a place within that is pure, real and alive. A difficult task, yes. If we can face our deepest selves we will live authentically with our best energy.

For all of us there will be moments that steal our oxygen. It is at these times that we breathe into our pain, facing our troubles with a goal. If we avoid the pain, we can not find resolution and that pain gets stored somewhere within us with no place out…. for the only way out of the door is through the door.

We are all on a journey called life. We walk alone yet we truly are woven together, through time and space, forming community. Let us hold, help, hear, accept, and love one another in a way that shows our goodness and loving kindness.

My rabbi says that big steps are great but small steps are more stable. Whether you use your right or left foot first makes no difference. Just move….I am.

L’Shana Tova

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Gluten Free!

Exciting news!

For many years I have been making an all natural oatmeal cookie with ingredients such as flax seed, all bran, a bit of whole wheat flour, various dried fruits, and almonds. Sometimes I add peanut butter or pumpkin to the base of the cookie. Rather than white sugar, I use honey or applesauce to add sweetness to my recipe. It is a delicious bite and I am thrilled to sell bags daily at our Centerpeace studio and now at Local, a new restaurant in Chappaqua.

Over the course of the past few months, I have been reading about the benefits of removing gluten from our daily diets to reduce inflammation.  A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barleyrye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as “dextrin.” I am hopeful that this connection might be specifically helpful to my goal of reducing my own ever-present inflammation in my right leg causing pain and discomfort.

While I had taken a step years ago by switching from white to whole wheat flour, I now wanted to find ways to continue to bake delicious homemade cookies, breads and muffins using only gluten-free ingredients.  And so I began to expand to the gluten-free aisle of the markets where I found a wonderful product.

I am happy to announce a gluten-free version of my cookie.  Its base is made from an amazing baking and pancake mix made by Pamela’s Products, sold at Whole Foods. It is wheat-free and gluten-free.  I have used this brown rice and natural almond meal mixture in pancakes, pumpkin bread, zucchini muffins and now my cookies with delicious success!

Bon Appetit…..




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Greeting Each Day With an Open Heart

Friends,

It’s been a while.

I do my best in greeting the world and each day with an open heart and soft eyes.

I want to share with you a video that really moved me.

This short film illustrates the wonder of our world, its beauty, its people and how profound living a life with gratitude can be.

After you’ve watched it I hope your hearts too feel open to all of life’s blessings.

Have a peaceful holiday season and may your souls fill with Centerpeace.

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Freshen up your cooking with beautiful homegrown herbs!

Whether you love to garden, have the space to plant or simply just love to cook with Mother Nature’s finest, there is nothing quite like fresh herbs.  This season make a pot full of fresh basil, spearmint, rosemary and chives and don’t forget fresh cilantro.  The combination of all four look gorgeous together and will give you a variety to choose from all summer long.

Fresh basil with tomatoes and cucumbers…yum.  Spearmint sprigs in your favorite iced tea make it a most refreshing afternoon beverage.  Rosemary can be added to most roasted veggies, chicken and fish dishes, and chopped chives are always great to have on hand.  Summertime guacamole is extra special with cilantro.  Not to mention, once all of these are ready to harvest, they look beautiful in a vase (instant centerpiece) adding an aromatic freshness to the air….

Try it — you’ll see just how fulfilling it can be to take ingredients from the earth and bring them directly to your table…..with a bath in the sink first of course. Enjoy!

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Delicious For Spring: Baby Spinach Salad

Spring ahead with lots of exercise and healthy eating – they go hand-in-hand. The energy and stamina we enjoy largely depend on what we put into our bodies. Eating clean with fruits, veggies, fish, beans and nuts provides us with all the essential nutrients necessary for healthy living.

The health benefits of spinach are numerous, and its ability to help prevent disease is well known. Spinach is at the top of many “super food” lists because like other dark leafy greens — kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy — it’s loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids. Eaten raw for a salad, it is truly a nutritional powerhouse. When ordering a salad, I always ask if spinach can be substituted for the lettuce, knowing that spinach far outweighs lettuce’s nutritional benefits.

This is one of my favorite recipes:

Spring Baby Spinach Salad with Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

¼ C orange juice

2 tbls minced shallots

1 tbls fresh thyme

2 tbls grated orange peel

1 tsp honey

½ C olive oil

½ C white wine vinegar

For salad, combine 3 sectioned oranges, fresh baby spinach, ½ C diced green scallions, and 2/3 C walnuts or almonds (optional). Can also add feta or gorgonzola cheese.

Enjoy!

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My Favorite Cookie Recipe

Steph cookiepic

We sell these cookies at Centerpeace. Yummm!!

Perfect for a mid-morning snack for you – and my kids love them when they come home from school.

Enjoy making them yourself!

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup All Bran cereal

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup oat bran

1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato or shredded carrots

1/2 banana

1/4 cup agave nectar or date sugar

5 tbls honey

2 large eggs

1 tbls vanilla

1/2 cup flax seeds

1 cup raisins or dried prunes

1 cup almonds or walnuts (optional)

2 tbls cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup apple juice (to moisten batter if needed)

Mix all ingredients except flour and baking soda together in a large bowl. Add flour and baking soda. Add apple juice to hold batter together.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to place cookies on sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown on top, about 20 mins.

Note: Every time I make these cookies they come out a little bit different – sometimes soft and sometimes hard. I don’t know why, but they’re delicious either way!

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