11/2/2017 0 Comments
Self Care for Autumn
In Chinese Medicine and Five Element Acupuncture, the season of Autumn corresponds to the element of Metal and the energies of the Lungs and Large Intestine organs. Major organs have not only extremely important physical functions in our bodies, but also their own energy, or Qi, that allows them to transform and process our food, water, blood, body fluids, thoughts and experiences. Here are some of the attributes of the Lungs and Large Intestine:
Lungs: Yin; Inhalation; Inspiration; Taking In
Large Intestine: Yang, Exhalation, Expiration, Letting Go
These organs are symbolic of the cycle of birth and death, and the rhythm of life. Our first breath was an inhale, and our last will be an exhale. The Lungs govern the breath, which is rhythmic. The Large Intestine excretes waste that is not needed, but not before extracting the last bit of pureness that the body needs before letting the rest go.
Today I’m sharing some things that you can do to nourish yourself in Autumn, and to strengthen your Metal element, Lungs and Large Intestine organs. Many of these ideas lend from ancient traditions like Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine philosophy.
Let It Go!
It’s natural in Autumn that you might feel like cleaning, clearing out your house, getting rid of old clothes and other items, and getting rid of what you don’t need. We will have less energy come Winter, and there is no need to hold onto anything that is a burden. This is a wonderful time to release old habits, mindsets, ideas about ourselves and others that do not serve us, and stagnant emotions that we’ve been processing over and over. A primary emotion we can feel in Autumn is grief, which is a natural human emotion. Allowing ourselves to feel our emotions deeply helps us with our ability to release them.
The Lungs govern the skin and Wei Qi, or protective Qi, both of which are part of the immune system protecting your body from pathogens. This is the time of year when illnesses are going around, and lots of people are getting sick. Protect yourself from the climate – it’s very windy and it’s starting to get colder this season. Your grandmother was right – wear a scarf and protect your head and neck! In Chinese Medicine, evil Qi or pathogens can enter into the neck. It’s as simple as wearing appropriate clothing for the weather. Wind itself can be a pathogen, but it can also carry other climates that can become pathogenic, such as cold and dampness. These illnesses show up as colds and sinus infections, with any of the following symptoms: itchy or sore throat, fever, sneezing, cough, runny nose, and body aches. Interestingly, in Ayurveda, the element associated with this season is Vata, or Wind/Air, which can also turn pathogenic.
Build Up Your Wei Qi.
Diet can also strengthen your immune system. Eating foods with spices and that have a spicy or pungent flavor will be strengthening. Foods like cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, clove, sage, basil, chilies, garlic, and onion are good additions to meals like soups and stews. These are warming, and open up the nasal passages, aiding respiration/breathing. Cooked foods, especially those which grow from the Earth like dark greens, root vegetables and squashes, are beautiful this time of year. Click here for one of my favorite fall recipes - Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas & Tahini Dressing. Avoid raw or cold foods or ice cold water, this is a time to warm the body and prepare for the cold months ahead. Damp-causing foods like dairy, gluten and fried foods can actually increase phlegm and sinus congestion.
Take several minutes a day to sit, close your eyes, breathe deeply and pay attention to how you feel. In Autumn, we are on a decline of Qi energy both in nature and our bodies, and Winter will be an even more Yin time of stillness. However, in our culture, there is an excess of Yang (or active) energy right now. Autumn is full of fall festivals and outdoor activities. Then as the holidays approach, things begin to get crazy just as Winter is beginning, with the shopping, parties and feasts. This can deplete our Qi, our natural resources, burn us out and tire us. In the past, I have personally been sick around Christmas because it can all be very overwhelming! I encourage you to take a few deep breaths every day, and ask yourself, “How do I feel right now? Do I really need to go/do this extra errand/chore/task/party/obligation?” If the answer is no, do something comforting for yourself, like simply sit with a cup of tea and watch the fall foliage outside.
Reflect on what you find sacred and beautiful in the world and in your life, and take up a practice that supports that. For example, go out for a walk or sit outside among the trees, hike a day in the woods, start a meditation or yoga practice, make more time for loved ones, or do something else that makes your soul sing. Once you identify what is most sacred and beautiful to you, make a list of things you could let go of in your life. A habit, something that doesn’t bring you joy or meaning, something or someone that is toxic for you, or something you are only doing out of obligation, are some ideas to help you get started. You can then symbolically tear up or burn the list to make it official!
Acupuncture is a highly effective way to strengthen the immune system and protective Qi, and help with colds, sinus infections, and seasonal allergies, as well as any issues with the Lungs, Large Intestine and skin! It is also a great idea to come get acupuncture at least seasonally to allow your body, mind and spirit to adjust to the changes occurring both outside and within. We currently are running a special of 35% off your first Initial Intake appointment at the Natural Care Center! This offer expires November 17th. I currently have an opening in my schedule on Wednesday evenings. To schedule an acupuncture appointment with me, or if you have any questions, email me at email@example.com.
Yoga for Autumn.
The Lungs and Large Intestine meridians run through the arms, chest and back of the shoulders. You can physically stimulate these meridians through Yin Yoga by breathing deeply in the poses while relaxing the muscles. This is a practice of quiet and inner stillness. We are able to influence and restore our Qi while physically nourishing the joints, fascia and connective tissues. Come experience Yin Yoga with me at Prana Studio at 6:00pm on Thursdays. I also teach Vin Yin on Saturdays at 11:30am, which is a Vinyasa and Yin hybrid class. Click here for my full schedule. Below are two poses you can try.
10/18/2017 0 Comments
Now Scheduling Acupuncture Patients!
Hi friends! :) I am officially starting my journey treating patients as a Clinical Acupuncture Intern in the Natural Care Center at Maryland University of Integrative Health as I work toward my Masters degree. I am starting on Wednesday evenings, and soon will be able to treat other days of the week. Today I’m sharing with you some of the issues that acupuncture has personally helped me with since I received my first treatment in 2008:
☯️Mental health: increased mental clarity, help with depression, sadness, anxiety; increased self compassion and open-heartedness
☯️Chronic physical issues: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); fatigue; lower back pain and general back tension/aches and pains
☯️Injury: recovery from severe lower back pain and sciatica; sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction; healing when I rolled my ankle
☯️Appetite and body image: regulation of appetite, feeling more satisfied and nourished by food and life, no more “emotional eating”
☯️Menstrual issues: no more PMS (irritability, mood swings, constipation, bloating) and significant reduction in fatigue, lower back pain and menstrual cramps
☯️Seasonal support: colds; allergies; sinus infections; stomach bugs
☯️Random life issues that come up: nosebleeds; frustration; career support; nervousness; heart palpitations; any bodily pain or discomfort
Acupuncture can help with many more issues, illnesses and injuries. Please message me or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you or anyone you know is interested in experiencing the benefits of this powerful (and empowering) medicine. Have a beautiful day, and hope to see you in the clinic or at at the yoga studio soon <3
4/19/2017 0 Comments
Spring Into Yin ~ Yoga Workshop
Sunday, April 30, 2017 • 1:00-3:00pm • $30.00
Prana Studio • 2049 West St. Annapolis, MD • (410) 266-3401
In the Spring, Qi rises in ourselves the way seeds burst out of the Earth, become new plants and grow toward the Sun. Spring is a time of more energy and birthing new ideas and projects. But first, we must release old ways and create space for growth. Calm the rising Spring energy while releasing the body’s tissues in this luxurious practice. Clean house…learn techniques for relaxing the mind, and releasing emotions and stagnation in the body.
Yin Yoga is an experience of holding poses while relaxing superficial Yang muscular tissues, therefore accessing the deep Yin connective tissues—fascia, ligaments, joints, and bones. This releases built-up tension from our lifestyles (standing, sitting, working, sports), helps our bodies feel less stiff and more fluid, counters the effects of aging, helps injuries heal, and improves range of motion.
Yin Yoga practice affects the Meridian system that runs through the fascia, as studied in Chinese Medicine. By affecting the meridians with intention and awareness, we can cultivate long term physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and compassionate acceptance of the self and others. This workshop includes meditation, pranayama (breathing), relaxation, and modifications for all levels of practice including beginners.
“This outward spring and garden are a reflection of the inward garden.” ~Rumi
About the Instructor
Adele Muir has 200 hours of Yin Yang Yoga Training with Tina Lanzoni plus 100 hours of Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Biff Mithoefer, and hundreds of teaching hours. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance. Adele is earning a Master of Acupuncture degree, studying Chinese Medicine and Five Element Theory at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Contact: email@example.com
Yin Yoga practice is an experience of holding poses while non-striving and cultivating compassionate acceptance. While relaxing superficial Yang muscular tissues, we are able to access the deep Yin connective tissues—fascia, ligaments, joints, and bones. This releases built-up tension from our lifestyles (standing, sitting, working, sports), helps our bodies feel less stiff and more fluid, counters the effects of aging, helps injuries heal, and improves range of motion of the joints.
This practice affects the Meridian system that runs through the fascia, as studied in Chinese Medicine. By affecting these meridians with intention and awareness, we can learn to sense the flow of Qi within us, promoting long term physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This workshop’s focus is on the experience of the Yin Yoga practice and awareness of the Qi flowing within our bodies and nature. Autumn has its own sensation of Qi; there is a taking in of the crisp air and a letting go of leaves that have long held onto branches. We will become aware of the Lung and Large Intestine organ pairing and stimulate these meridians. The poses selected can help with back, neck, and shoulder tension, respiratory issues, immune function, and releasing long-held emotions.
TO REGISTER: Call (410) 266-3401
Or stop by PRANA STUDIO
About the Instructor
Adele Muir has 200 hours of Yin Yang Yoga Training with Tina Lanzoni plus 100 hours of Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Biff Mithoefer, and hundreds of teaching hours. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance. Adele studies Chinese Medicine and Five Element Acupuncture at the Maryland University of Integrative Health
9/18/2015 0 Comments
Yin Yang Yoga at Prana Studio
Yin and Yang are an ancient Taoist concept which pervades all aspects of our lives and the Universe. They are opposites yet one cannot exist without the other.
Yang: Hot, Active, Day, Light, Sky, Sun, Striving to Change, Masculine Principle
Yin: Cool, Passive, Night, Dark, Earth, Moon, Acceptance, Feminine Principle
In our bodies, our muscles are Yang tissue—they love to contract and be warmed and worked. Active styles of Yoga such as Vinyasa, Rocket, and Hot Power, are all Yang, as are physical activities where we contract our muscles and sweat, such as weight lifting and running. Our Yin tissues are hidden below the Yang layer—our connective tissues, joints, and bones. Yin tissues need to be stretched in a passive, cooling (slow and still) way.
Yin Yoga is a practice of holding a pose in stillness for several minutes while relaxing muscles to bring energy and nourishing blood and fluids to the connective tissues, joints, and bones. This counters the effects of aging (drying up and tightening of our connective tissues and joints). Other benefits include healing and preventing injury, eliminating stiffness and pain in the joints, countering fatigue and burnout, and feeling a general sense of well-being and balanced energy. Additionally, the practice is based on the Chinese Medicine meridian system. Similar to acupuncture and acupressure, it can help with organ function as well as physical, mental and emotional imbalances.
Contrary to the societal belief of “no pain, no gain”—that we always need to be doing more and being better, it is actually just as important to take rest as it is to be active. Burnout, injury, pain, stress, and fatigue occur when we push too hard and try to do too much. Both activity (Yang) and rest (Yin) are equally important to the overall well-being of our bodies, thoughts and emotions. In the practice of Yin Yoga, we learn about the self and tune in to our intuition. We learn how to tell when to push harder and do more, and when to take rest and slow down without guilt.
Yin Yoga is also a mindfulness meditation practice where we bring an attitude of compassionate acceptance to the self. Holding a pose allows us to tune in to intense physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise without needing to solve anything or react. This helps us realize that we are okay just the way we are and we can be in an intense situation and breathe through it while processing and letting go of old emotions (anxiety, fear, grief, etc.) held deep within our bodies.
Weekly Classes with Adele Muir:
Yin Yoga: Thursdays 6:00-7:15pm
Yin Yang: Saturdays 11:30am-1:00pm
See you on your mat :)
2049 G West St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Sunday, June 7
2:00-4:00pm at Prana Studio in Annapolis, MD
$25 per person
Experience how the practices of Yin Yoga and Mindfulness improve the health of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the Self. This workshop will include a guided Mindfulness Meditation and a deep Yin Yoga practice. During our Yin practice we will learn how different postures affect the health of the internal organ systems, connective tissues, and joints. The mental and emotional health is connected to these organs, and we will identify how to calm the mind and release emotions. We will also explore ways to feel, gather and hold Chi (Prana) energy in the body. Come practice total compassionate acceptance of the Self, and in turn you will feel more peaceful and more able to take care of others and the Earth. All levels of experience are welcome.
Give yourself the gift of Yin Yoga. We are entering the busy Holiday season, and many feel constant pressure to do more and be better. It is time to go inward, practice total acceptance, and re-connect with the Earth. Yin Yoga is a practice of holding postures for a period of time while cultivating an attitude of compassion to awaken the more Yin parts of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves.
During this practice, we relax the superficial muscular layer (Yang tissue) in our bodies and are able to affect the deeper bones, joints, and connective tissues (Yin tissues). This allows us to release built up tension resulting from our lifestyles (standing, sitting, working, sports, etc.), helps our bodies become healthy and more flexible, and counters the affects of aging. By holding the postures for several minutes and then letting go, fresh blood, fluids and nutrients flood the areas worked, allowing the body to heal on a physical level.
Energetically, we promote the flow of energy (Qi) through channels (Meridians) in the body, as studied in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoist tradition. Emotionally, as we go to our Edge in the postures, we face ourselves in the present moment, release long-held emotions, and learn to view ourselves and all beings with total acceptance. In this workshop, we will explore the Meridians of Chinese Medicine and their relationship to Yogic Chakra Theory. The workshop also includes Meditation, Pranayama, a long, luxurious Yin Yoga practice and deep relaxation, silent reflection, and information on how to start a home practice. It is suitable for All Levels of experience.
Location: Prana Studio
Cost: $25.00 Per Person
Registration: Click HERE under Workshops, sign up at Prana Studio, or call (410) 266-3401
Questions: Contact Adele Muir at (540) 220-6563 or firstname.lastname@example.org
10/10/2014 0 Comments
Yin Yoga For All
The concept of Yin and Yang has been around for thousands of years, and one cannot exist without the other. It appears everywhere, including in nature, the cosmos, our society, and within our own bodies. Yin is the feminine element that exists in us all and includes cold, night, the Moon, the Earth, and is passive and accepting. Yang is masculine, hot, the Sun, the Sky, and is active and striving. Within our bodies, we have Yang tissue - the muscles, and Yin tissue, the joints, bones, and web of connective tissue that holds us together. Also, our lower body is more Yin (closer to the Earth) and our upper body is more Yang (closer to the Sky).
Yang Yoga involves contracting and working the body on a muscular level. Think Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Hot Power, and postures (or exercise in general) where we contract our muscles, including standing poses, warriors, backbends, and anything where we strive. In Yin Yoga, we relax the superficial layers of our muscles and are able to affect the bones, joints and connective tissues. By holding passive postures on the mat in stillness for several minutes, the muscles begin to let go and these deep Yin tissues are reached. On a physical level, this practice releases built up tension that results from our lifestyles (standing, sitting, working, sports, etc), and helps our bodies stay healthy and flexible as we age. By holding the postures and then releasing, fresh blood, fluids and nutrients flood the areas worked on, and we are able to heal the body and counter aging and what we put the body through in daily life.
In Yin Yoga, we go to our Edge in the pose, and stay there for a period of time. It is different from Restorative Yoga, where the goal is to relax, and you are supported comfortably in the pose by props. In Yin Yoga, sometimes our edge can be intense or a bit uncomfortable. We use props in this practice for support and to be sure we are not using Yang energy to hold ourselves out of the pose (for example, in our arms and shoulders in a forward bend). We breathe and our bodies go deeper as we continue to let go. This is a meditative practice where we need to be mindful, feel each moment, and realize when we might need to back off or release deeper. This practice helps us off the mat as well, with mindfulness, facing and accepting uncomfortable situations, accepting ourselves the way we are in each moment, and helping us realize when we need to go inward, take rest, and take care of ourselves.
On an energetic level, this practice affects the Chi (or Prana ) energy in the body similar to acupuncture. In Chinese Medicine, the Meridian system runs through the connective tissues of the body. Chi can become stagnant (stuck) and cause dis-e. When we hold a Yin pose and then release, we invite a free flow of Chi through our bodies and the areas worked. We also hold emotions and trauma within the body, and the Karma of our ancestors and our past lives. This Yin Yoga practice can provide intense emotional releases, sometimes we are not even sure what is being released, but we feel each moment of it and feel better and lighter afterwards. If the feelings in the postures become too much, you always have the choice to back off, or you can choose to stay for a few more breaths.
So, Yin Yoga is not simply for beginners or those with injuries, although it is certainly wonderful for healing the spine, hips, and shoulders, and it can help those who work while sitting or standing, those who drive, and anyone who is tired or very active, and anyone with issues of the spine, posture, bones and joints. And similar to acupuncture, it can help work on and heal many physical, emotional, or mental ailments.
Lastly, Yin Yoga is for anyone having a human experience. We live in a society that is always pressuring us to do more, be better, be more active, and be something different than we are. It is Yang - striving for change. And there is certainly a time for Yang - when we are working, when we need to build and work our muscles, when something does need to change. But we all need Yin too. We need total acceptance of ourselves as we are and know that sometimes we need to slow down and take rest, and that we are exactly where we need to be in life. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world. We need to return to the Mother Earth and take care of her right now. In Yin Yoga, we are literally going deeper into the Earth as we breathe and let go in the postures. This practice helps us go inward, re-connect with the Earth, realize the connection that we all share, and care for each other. The world needs it.
Experience Yin Yoga with Adele
Classes at Prana Studio
Yin Yoga Class: Thursdays, Weekly, 8:00pm-9:15pm
Vin Yin Class: Saturdays, Weekly, 11:30am-1:00pm
Yin Yoga Workshop: Sunday November 16, 2:00-4:00pm
Yin Winter Solstice Community Class: Sunday December 21, 5:00pm-6:15pm
I am also available for Private Instruction, one on one or group sessions.
I have received Yin Yoga training from Tina Lanzoni and Biff Mithoefer, two amazingly beautiful teachers who have influenced my life and teaching in more ways that I can express, and I am so grateful to them for this gift of Yin Yoga.
Today is the last day of our 10 day detox. I have to say that I have been feeling really great physically, as long as I have had enough to eat. I feel lighter and slimmer, and my mood has been stable and positive (I was feeling overly emotional and overwhelmed before the detox began). I am more present and focused while teaching my yoga classes and I feel stronger and more energetic while taking yoga classes (especially not getting lightheaded in hot yoga). Overall I have found this experience to be a wonderful way to get back into healthful eating patterns and most of all, to observe how I feel and notice how I ate before and to see what positive changes I can make to my diet to carry on after the detox is over.
Examples of What We Ate
Breakfasts: Oatmeal/cinnamon/almond milk/sunflower seeds; rice noodle soup; quinoa with nuts
Lunches: Dinner leftovers, gluten/dairy/meat-free soups - think lentils or other bean soups, vegetarian chili, etc.
Snacks: Quinoa; rice; fruit; nuts and raisins; falafel chips with hummus, guacamole, or salsa
Dinners: Balsamic roasted broccoli/grilled salmon/quinoa
-Brown rice pasta/tomato sauce/green pepper/spinach/roasted garlic (pictured)
-Cajun spiced shrimp with lime juice/black forbidden -rice/steamed green beans
-Spaghetti squash topped with black beans, green peppers and salsa
-Roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa cooked with garlic and shallot in a miso broth, chopped mushrooms, spinach and pecans
-Southwestern style veggie burger with portobello mushroom “bun” topped with salsa and guacamole and sweet potato fries on the side (roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme)
-Out to dinner at Viet Thai Paradise: tofu vegetable pho soup; tofu coconut curry with rice
Observations, Realizations & Notes
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your feedback on detoxing, nutrition, food and meal suggestions, or any questions or answers you might have for me about any health related topic. You can leave a comment below or email me: email@example.com
Fall is a wonderful time to do a detox and let go of the energy of summer and to rid the body of all those fun summer indulgences. People have been detoxing for thousands of years, and by doing a seasonal detox, you can become more in tune with nature and your body. This article from Yoga Journal is a really nice one that explains the concept of detoxing through the Ayurvedic method.
For me personally, the detox isn’t about deprivation or doing a juice fast or anything like that. I decided to use the knowledge of nutrition that I have compiled mentally through the years and do a seasonal detox. There are hundreds of detox plans out there, so even if you don’t have a health background you can research and come up with a similar plan if you so desire, or you could see a nutritionist, Ayurvedic specialist, acupuncturist, or visit a local wellness center for more information on tailoring a plan that works for you.
For me the concept of “seasonal” is very important. I don’t follow a strict Ayurvedic diet, but I have studied many of the principles and I do agree with the concept that there are certain foods that are a good idea to eat during certain times of the year. If you aren’t sure, just Google what produce is seasonal in your area of the country (or world). And fall is such a wonderful season - think pumpkin, butternut squash (acorn squash, the list goes on), dark greens, root vegetables, hearty soups and stews, for example. When I learned this simple concept of eating seasonally, I realized why I crave soups in the fall and winter and hate eating cold salads during those seasons. I recently started making green smoothies and while I really enjoyed them and love the energy and health benefits that they bring, I have realized that this is not something that I can keep up with during the fall and winter months. However, when I do a detox in the spring, I will definitely incorporate green smoothies. And if you are a green juicer or smoothie-maker, and still enjoy them in the fall and winter, more power to you!
Detoxing is something personal to you; your body, food preferences, and the season should be considered. The reason I am doing mine is to feel lighter (both physically and mentally), to have more energy, and to just see how I feel after it is all done. Not that I don't normally eat or feel healthy, but we all have indulgences and I am a human being who enjoys cheese, chocolate, wine, etc., and I would like to give my system a break. Thankfully, my husband is very open minded when it comes to foods and health, so he is doing the detox with me. It is so great to have the support and to have someone go through it with you. We have not done a real detox in quite awhile, so we decided that we are going to do this for just a week to 10 days. If we feel wonderful and amazing at the week mark then we will probably continue for the 10 days. When planning your detox, I think it is so important to not build it up so much in your mind, and to start with something that is manageable, so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. Maybe just try 3 or 4 days, then a week or maybe 2 weeks. Any more than that can be stressful. Meal and recipe planning is also very important, so you know you will be satisfied and not give up.
Our Detox Plan
No gluten. No dairy, except small amounts of Greek yogurt for health benefits. No meat. No sugar. Stevia and fruit are fine, but nothing with added sugar like dried cranberries, and no honey or agave. No processed foods except all natural packaged or canned soup is okay. Of course no drugs and alcohol. Limited amounts of caffeine - black coffee on a very tired day is fine. Fish and maybe an egg or two are fine. Our detox is pretty simple, and the fact that I designed it to not be so rigid (the black coffee for example) means we will stick to it. There are so many wonderful things we can have, like fruits, vegetables, rice, noodles that are not made out of wheat, quiona, beans, herbs, spices, healthy oils, nuts, almond milk, coconut milk, and much more!
Roasted Butternut Squash Curry with Garbanzo Beans and Coconut Milk
I made this for dinner for the first night of our detox. It is seasonal and hearty, and the butternut squash adds a natural sweetness that goes very nicely with the spices. I served this with black Forbidden Rice, a beautiful aromatic rice, and a small scoop of Greek yogurt on top.
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for sauteeing
sea salt and ground pepper
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Small green pepper, jalapeno, or any you prefer, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger root, freshly grated
1 tbsp garam masala (dried curry spice)
1 can lite coconut milk
½ to 1 can tomato paste (of a 6 oz. can)
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
Chopped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel the butternut squash, discard seeds and membranes, and chop into small cubes. In a bowl or right on the baking sheet, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Bake on a baking sheet in oven for 20 minutes.
2. While the squash is baking, Add olive oil to large saucepan or pot and heat to medium high. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes or until they start to sweat. Add the peppers, garlic, and ginger, and saute for another 3 minutes or so, until the peppers start getting soft. Add the garam masala and mix in. Pour in coconut milk and garbanzo beans. You can add the tomato paste to your taste preference, it's more for the color and thickness of the sauce than adding too much tomato flavor. Stir completely and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer on low.
3. Once the squash is done, mix the pieces right into the curry. You can add any more of the spices, salt, pepper, ginger, and or tomato paste to your taste preference.
4. Serve (over rice and add Greek yogurt if you prefer) and enjoy!