Sometimes, in the dead of winter when I least expect it, a truly inspirational and wonderful weekend rolls around that just puts me in a singsongy mood and dormant ideas can flow freely...unencumbered by the normal, sluggish doubts surrounding winter time. I picture it sort of like all of the streams and rivers thawing in Narnia when spring starts to come around. My frozen over ideas and projects start to break free and suddenly look possible. It's been one of those weekends so far, and Sunday afternoon is proving to be a nice roundup of ideas - past, present and future. 

We spent the bulk of the weekend cooking - making lemon blueberry pancakes and black bean burgers and heaping pots of Kitchari and extra servings of fresh green broccoli and spanakopita. It was a gloomy Saturday, all rainy and gray here in Richmond. We had the lanterns lit in the house and the kitty and pup were curled up asleep most of the day in their usual cozy spots. It was the perfect day to clean out the old office and get paperwork out of the way (oh, taxes...). Keep what I need, get rid of the stuff taking up space. In the next month, Idea No. 1 is to re-design my office upstairs and make it a space I want to actually use. I'm making a giant chalk board to hang on the wall to keep track of past and future financials, and list the current and new ideas in full fledged view all the time (thanks to the lovely gals at Braid for that idea). We're building bookshelves out in the wood shop for my increasing collection of books, and collecting plants to turn the space into a room that encourages inspiration and hard/fun work. I think we're almost there. 

Idea No. 2 is setting up a legit weekly schedule. It's been a long time goal of mine to have a 4 day work week plus 1 extra day for office work, patient charting, email returns, idea formulating, odds and end round up and workshop planning. Starting February 1st, this will actually happen and I can hardly contain how exhilarating that prospect have time to finish and follow up with things and devote 100% of my creative and work energy to my business and things that bring me joy. I have never ever liked the feeling of being under the wire, crunched for time or juggling too many things. I like to have just enough on my plate to keep me busy and also allow lots of time for sleeping (a speciality of mine) and reading and play time and rest time. Having weekends and evenings to do that feels like a solid YES. This also means that I'll have a little extra time to play with new ideas that have been dormant for years. So with some recent encouragement from friends, colleagues and even strangers, this leads me to:

Idea No. 3 which is tea formulations. For sale. To anyone who wants 'em. (!!!!!). Sure, I put herbal formulas together all day long for people who come to see me at my office, and these formulas are hardly EVER the same twice. Everyone gets something different depending on what they come in with. But I've had a few herbal formulas floating around in my personal tea arsenal for a long time that I always go back to for myself and to give away as gifts. With some tweaking and professionally rustic/badass packaging, they might just find themselves to a wider audience, but still keeping it on a relatively small scale. So I spent some time this weekend playing with formulas and packaging ideas. There's still a long way to go until perfection, but the ideas (and flavors!!) feel amazing. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and morning is my favorite time of day. It's always a part of my daily ritual to allow some time to prepare and eat a pretty hefty breakfast, and if that time gets skipped or crunched I feel like my whole day is a little bit off after that. 

Granted, there are some random days when I don't make time for a grand and glorious breakfast, and that's OK too. On those mornings I may grab that extra batch of oatmeal I made the day before or even the leftover soup from the other night. But it makes me extra happy when I have leftover pancake batter...because pancakes are my favorite. 

These pancakes have been a staple since my childhood and I've tweaked them along the way by adding in some honey or ghee or nutmeg and, most recently, GINGER (because obviously I have a thing for ginger). This makes these pancakes extra good in the winter months for a nice punch of warmth, and then adding the blueberry honey ginger compote = sweet and warm and savory all at the same time!

Clearly, these are not Pintrest perfect pancakes - they're hearty and thick and hefty pancakes that will fill you up with just one or two .These are quick to prepare and make great leftovers if you have extra batter. (Also, FYI - replace all the ginger with lemon zest in the summer it's is a heavenly seasonal replacement for the ginger.) 

For the Pancakes:

1 egg
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup plain, full fat yogurt
1 c whole wheat or spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
1 tbsp honey
1 inch fresh grated ginger
2-4 tbsp coconut milk

In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg with a fork, then add the yogurt and melted ghee. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a fork. The batter will be thick (and you can add 2-4 tbsp of coconut milk if you would like a thinner consistency). In a large skillet, melt some ghee to coat the bottom, and cook each pancake about 4-5 minutes on each side. When tiny bubbles form in the batter, it's time to flip 'em!). Serve warm and smothered in blueberry compote.

For the Compote
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 inch fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup honey

Put all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Drizzle over hot pancakes and make sure to sop up all the good stuff with those last few bites!

The beginning of this year feels so exciting for me. I've established this year as "The Year of Improvement", and my mind is abuzz with new and exciting projects, collaborations and goals. One of the (many) things that keeps me continually inspired and on track with my business vision and daily practice is filling my shelves with amazing books that feed my body, mind and soul. Every month I add new ones and sometimes come back to the old tried and true ones. Here's what's in my book nook this month:

For the Body:
A Life of Balance by Maya Tiwari | Maya and her books are always on my radar and I always go back to them when I need some grounding in my nutrition and Ayurvedic practice. Her recipes are amazingly therapeutic and refreshing in their simplicity. This particular book is the ultimate reference for following an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle practice that's ideal for the novice to the seasoned practitioner. I often utilize her recipes and dosha menus for my own patients in their treatment plans and haven't had a single person yet dislike any of the recommendations.

GATHER Journal (fall/winter 2015) | I was introduced to this journal over the holiday and it's so adorably perfect I can't stop looking at it. Filled with "seasonal recipes and exceptional ideas" (and beautiful photos), it's bountiful with new food ideas for January that I'm already drooling over, like Magical Mushroom Risotto and Smoky Lentil Soup with Pumpkin. Yes. 

For the Mind:
Sacred Commerce by Matthew & Terces Engelhart | This book was recommended to me by a friend a couple of months ago and over the holidays was gifted to me (thank you, Universe) by my Mom. I read through it in a single day, and will continue to read it over and over to let all of the gems sink in as I start this new year for my business and personal growth. It feels so right to embark on a business venture with a foundation based in gratitude and open communication - two principles that made into into my yearly ideal wheel for my daily living. 

For the Soul:
Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince | Because I hopped on the Harry Potter fan wagon way late...and was apparently too busy being a die hard Lord of the Rings fan. I tore through the first five HP books in the past three months and....this one is nearly done already. Not that I imagine any of you have neglected to read these in the past 10 years, but if you haven't, just mosey on down to the bookstore and seriously get started. So much adventuring. 

What's in your book nook this month that's keeping you inspired?

Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.


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The Book Bindery Building
2201 West Broad Street. Suite 107
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 977-2634