Powerful Thoughts

by Cathy Cassetta, 500 RYT

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never have a negative thought." -- Peace Pilgrim

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far." -- Swami Vivekananda

You know when you’re upset your jaws tense? Or your shoulders hunch up and get tight? Or when you’re dreading a conversation and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Well, that’s the mind talking to you through your body. It’s that mind-body-spirit connection. And that connection happens all the way into our innermost cells. What and how we think truly does influence the health, size, shape, and growth of our cells, among other things.

Curious about all that? Want to know more about how our thoughts can change our cells? Read Dr. Bruce Lipton’s fascinating book The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. It’s a relatively easy-read. Spoiler alert: He does get into a bit of quantum physics. You can always skim through those sections if they're not for you.

Alternatively, another book that is an amazing and astounding true-story account of how our thoughts influence our cells is A Change of Heart: A Memoir by heart and lung transplant recipient and former dancer/yoga teacher Claire Sylvia, written with William Novak. Bruce Lipton references Claire Sylvia’s experiences in Biology of Belief, which is where I heard of it. This one is an easy and very compelling read that is the length of a novella. Both books are eye-openers that have helped me on my journey to heal my body and understand the mind-body-spirit connection. I recommend both books.
If you read either of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please email me at cathy@myyogaplacepalmsprings.com. I also welcome any questions you may have about my journey or about any aspect of yoga or tap, so email me those too! Namaste
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Why do you do yoga?

Why do you do yoga?
by Cathy Cassetta, 500 RYT
For myself, my yoga journey started as a way to heal my body naturally of the osteoporosis I’d developed through sleep deprivation, poor diet, work/life imbalance, and too much sitting! Yoga is, indeed, helping me to heal my body, along with cleaning up my lifestyle. A bonus to all these changes: I’m gaining back some of the height I’ve lost. This August I will gratefully and gladly celebrate being on the planet in this body of mine for 71 years! My goal is to live to 100 in a healthy body that is connected to a vibrant mind and joyful spirit. Yoga is going to help me get there! And so are Dottie’s weekly tap classes (Did you know: bouncing and heel drops encourage bone health? That’s why we offer the tap classes; plus they’re incredibly fun!). It is my joy now to share with others what I’ve learned about the body and how yoga can help us regain and/or retain our health.

Why do you do yoga? I would love to hear from you about your own yoga journey. If you’d like to share with me why you do yoga, please email me at cathy@myyogaplacepalmsprings.com. I also welcome any questions you may have about my journey or about any aspect of yoga or tap, so email me those too!
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Cabbage & Red Apple Slaw

Cabbage and Red Apple Slaw
Serves 6
This simple salad is a favorite for many. The leftovers are equally as delicious.

  • 1 1/2 pounds green and/or red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 red, or other colored, apple, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Quarter the cabbage, remove and discard the central white core.

2. Shred the cabbage by cutting very thin slices along the length of each quarter. You should have about 6 cups. You can use the shredding disk of the food processor for this.

3. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Toss in the carrots and apple

4. In a small jar, combine the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and salt. Shake vigorously and pour over the cabbage. Taste and add more vinegar if desired.

5. Refrigerate for at least half an hour before serving.

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© 2021 by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN. Reprinted with permission.
Adapted from "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow (Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt). Photo by Jill Nussinow.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
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Orange-Scented Beets

Yes, it’s citrus time which is why you will see oranges, and other citrus fruits, featured in my winter recipes. Citrus is high in Vitamin C which helps keep us healthier. It’s not so amazing that Mother Nature has a plan which is offering food that we need when we need it.

I have so been enjoying this recipe that I have made for more than 20 years and still enjoy. I make it in the pressure cooker but it could be made by roasting the beets, or even buying the packages of precooked beets (yes there is such a thing), and then cooking them in the orange vinegar liquid. These beets taste great on top of any salad or eaten as a side dish. Beets provide nitric oxide which is good for your blood and good for your heart. I chose this recipe because it is Valentine’s Day month but I encourage you to open your heart every day of the year.
Serves 4
Cooking beets has never been easier. They become so tender in the pressure cooker that you don’t even need to peel them if you don’t want to. It’s best to use young beets that are no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter as they are most tender and even the skin becomes edible in the pressure cooker.

  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (about 3 to 4 medium)
  • 3 large strips orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sucanat or brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 scallions, sliced
1. Scrub the beets. Remove the stems and tails and cut in half. Lay cut-side down and cut into ¼-inch slices.

2. Combine the orange zest strips, orange juice, and vinegar in a pressure cooker. Add the beets. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 7 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid carefully, tilting it away from you. Insert a knife into the beets to be sure that they are cooked through. (If not, put back on to pressure for another minute or two.)

3. Remove and discard the zest strips. Stir the Sucanat, if desired, and mustard into the beets.

4. Remove the beets from the cooking liquid and transfer to a bowl. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. (At this point, you may chill the beets in their liquid for a day or two; mix in the grated zest and scallions just before serving.)

5. Mix the grated orange zest and scallions into the beets. Pour the liquid from the cooker over the beets.

6. Serve hot, warm or cold.

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© 2021 by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN. Reprinted with permission.
Adapted from "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow (Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt). Photo by Jill Nussinow.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
Follow Jill on social media:
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Orange & Onion Salad on Greens

"In this New Year when things seem to be fresh, and at the time that is often referred to as citrus season, this salad perks up your palate and your plate. May the brightness of this dish bring all good things to you in the same way."

-- Jill Nussinow, "The Veggie Queen"
Serves 4-6

  • 3 cups spinach or mixed baby greens, such as mustard, arugula, dandelion
  • 2 medium to large navel or blood oranges
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Pinch of guar or xanthan gum, if available or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons garlic or regular chives, minced or green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste
Wash greens and dry them in a spinner. Wrap loosely in a damp towel and refrigerate.

Zest oranges, then remove sections from oranges by cutting off the ends. Slice down the sides of the oranges, removing the peel and underlying white pith. With the orange flesh exposed, run the knife inside the membrane on each side of the section. Remove section and put in a non-reactive bowl like glass or stainless steel. Alternatively, you may remove the ends of the oranges and cut the orange crosswise into whole sections. Toss the onion with the rice vinegar to draw out its pink color. Set aside.

Combine ingredients orange zest through black pepper to make the dressing. Put greens in the bottom of a large bowl. Remove onions from vinegar. Toss the oranges with the dressing. Arrange the oranges and onions on top of greens.
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© 2021 by Jill Nussinow.
Taken from Vegetables Get The Royal Treatment" by Jill Nussinow. Photo by Jill Nussinow.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
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A bowl of Smoky Sweet Black Eyed Peas and Greens.

Smoky Sweet Black Eyed Peas & Greens

"I love black-eyed peas and I don’t just reserve them for New Year’s luck. Any day that I can eat them is a lucky day. However, it is said that eating black eyed peas and greens will bring you luck. They might also bring you health. It seems worth a try."

-- Jill Nussinow, "The Veggie Queen"
Serves 4-6

  • 1 teaspoon oil (optional)
  • 1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 small jalapeno or other hot chile, minced
  • 1–2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1–2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 4 dates, chopped fine
  • 3 cups water plus more as needed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Fire Roasted tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups chopped greens such as kale, collards or Swiss chard
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Dry sauté the onion for a few minutes, adding some of the water if the onion starts to stick. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for another minute. Add the smoked paprika and chili powder along with the peas and dates. Stir to coat them and then add the water to cover them. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Put a lid on, keeping it slightly ajar. Cook by simmering, keeping the peas covered with water, for 35–45 minutes until they are cooked through and almost all of the water has been absorbed. Drain any excess water. Add the tomatoes and greens and cook for another 5 minutes or more until the greens are wilted. Add salt to taste.

Note: The pea mixture can be pressure cooked up until the point where you add the tomatoes. It will require 1 1/2 cups water, under pressure for just 3 minutes with a natural pressure release. You can add the tomatoes and greens and pressure cook for 1 more minute, or simmer on the stove top for a few minutes. Or if you buy frozen or canned black eyed peas, use far less water, about 1/2 cup, and all the other ingredients and cook.
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© 2020 by Jill Nussinow.
Adapted from "Nutrition CHAMPS: The Veggie Queen's Guide to Eating and Cooking for Optimum Health, Happiness, Energy & Vitality Cookbook" by Jill Nussinow. Photo by Kathy Hester.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
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Chickpea Broccoli Salad

The book, "Enchanted Broccoli Forest" by Mollie Katzen obviously refers to broccoli as trees. Since this is a time of trees for many, light for others, and general gratitude for all, you will hopefully make your body sing with this easy recipe for Chickpea Broccoli Salad. I don’t know about where you live but the broccoli right now is quite tasty and fresh. I originally wrote this recipe to be made in the Instant Pot (or any) pressure cooker. But to make life simpler for you at this time which is already a bit stressful, I have simplified the recipe to use canned chickpeas. Buy the best organic ones that you can. You can use frozen broccoli if that’s what you have. The joy comes from eating the beans and trees. They boost your immune system while they taste yummy.
This simple, versatile salad can be served warm or chilled. It’s a bright addition to any table but especially in winter when broccoli is in season. If you can find broccolini, or “baby broccoli,” use it whole.

If your broccoli is young and tender, it won’t require any pressure, just a few minutes sitting in the covered cooker. Otherwise, use larger broccoli florets and cook briefly at low pressure. Serves 4

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1/2 pound broccoli florets or broccolini, cooked until crisp tender, or to your liking
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1-to-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
Add the chickpeas and broccoli to a serving bowl or platter.
Combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the beans and broccoli.
Add the onion, parsley, olives, if using, and red pepper flakes and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. If chilling, taste when cold to see if you need to re-adjust the seasonings.
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© 2020 by Jill Nussinow.
Adapted from "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt.
Photo by Lauren Volo.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
Follow Jill on social media:
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Healthy Eating with “The Veggie Queen”!

We're excited to introduce a delicious new addition to our blog: Healthy Eating with Jill Nussinow, aka, "The Veggie Queen!"

I'm certain many of you know Jill as she's been a culinary educator for more than 25 years. Jill's nickname, "The Veggie Queen", tells you everything about her field of expertise: Creating, and teaching others how to make healthy, delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals! We'll be featuring one of Jill's scrumptious recipes here each week.

"... I started making this recipe almost 30 years ago, when I first tasted sweet potato pie that someone else had made. It was a revelation, and it still is, especially for those who love sweet potatoes. That includes me. Here’s a little story about this pie:

When my son was four he was at a friend’s house, and I brought over sweet potato pie to share with the friend’s mom and son. They weren’t so interested but when I said that I let Shane eat it for breakfast, the mom was stunned. “Really?,” she asked. To which I replied, “Why not?” Pie for breakfast sounds decadent and not so much “kid food” but in my family there is no “kid food.”

This pie is perfect for adults and kids of any age, a great way to celebrate and show gratitude toward the bounty from Mother Earth. It’s easy to make and so tasty. Just a note, I no longer eat eggs, but you’re welcome to use them if you do.

This recipe originally appeared in my first “cookbook” Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: Volume 1 from 1993. Note that in the photo, I did a simple dry oat crust." -- Jill Nussinow

  • 1 package graham crackers or gingersnaps
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked well either in the pressure cooker or baked
  • 3/4 cup vanilla plant milk of your choice
  • 2 eggs, 1 egg and 2 egg whites or 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
  • 4 soft Medjool dates, cut into pieces, plus 4 for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead of these 2 spices, to taste
Heat the oven to 350° degrees

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbled. Press into a pie plate of at least 9 inches with damp fingers. Chill for 10 minutes and then prebake in the oven for 4 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before filling.

To make the filling: Peel the sweet potatoes and add them to the food processor. Add all the other ingredients except for the 4 dates for garnish. Process the mixture until it is smooth and the dates are finely chopped. Pour into the prepared pie dish.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Slice the 4 remaining dates in half lengthwise and position on top of the pie, showing you where the 8 servings will be. This pie will last for at least 5 days in the refrigerator -- if you don’t eat it all before then!
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Copyright © 2020 by Jill Nussinow. Used by permission.
Want more great recipes? Visit Jill's website, theveggiequeen.com/
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My Yoga Place on Palm Springs Life Online

Excited to share this breaking news: My Yoga Place Palm Springs is featured on Palm Spring Life online!

Weight Off Your Body:
My Yoga Place in Palm Springs offers online classes to help you relieve some of the stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
From Modernism Week to food and retail establishments to local fundraisers, Coachella Valley businesses are turning to virtual/on-line customer experiences to stay connected to their clientele. My Yoga Place Palm Springs, is no exception.

Studio owner Cathy Cassetta knew she wanted to maintain the space on South Palm Canyon as a place to practice yoga after its previous owner closed at the start of the pandemic. She made a leap of faith and signed a lease for the space, hoping to open in July.

“Back in May, when I made the commitment to keep this lovely space available to practice yoga, I never imagined we’d still be dealing with the impact of the virus to the degree we are now nearly five months later,” says Cassetta. “I had to come up with a way to still maintain that community connection for studio patrons. Offering classes live online was the alternative path I chose, which we started doing mid-September.”  Read More
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Ready. Set. Wait!

There's something lovely, almost magical, about anticipation. While working on staying grounded and living fully in the moment, we sometimes can't ignore anticipation's seductive tingle. The day before that long-planned for vacation. Knowing a loved one will be arriving soon for a visit. Waiting to welcome new life into the world.

Among events from momentus to mild, opening a yoga studio falls squarely in the middle. To say we were excited would be an understatement. If you read my first blog post -- I hope you did! -- you know the space My Yoga Place Palm Springs occupies was the former home of a popular and successful yoga studio. My hope, then as now, was to continue the tradition of support, eduation and healing started by the previous owner. Myself, my amazing hubs, our teacher Karol Trejo; plus, our behind-the-scenes creative, Cosmic Jumper Digital Design, set to the meticulous work of getting everything in readiness. Many late nights, early mornings, and numerous cups of coffee later, we put the finishing touches on our new studio.

We had a "soft" opening to start, with a handful of students (we're limited to 7) eager and willing to work with our new health & safety procedures, giving us feedback on how well we did and where we might improve. Everything went smoothly, and we took that as a sign we were ready to officially open our doors.

We announced the date of our planned opening on social media: Monday, July 13th. That announcement (wonderful and mild in its own way) was met by a (notably momentus) declaration ordering "the closure of all indoor operations at restaurants, bars, gyms, churches, malls and other locaations in 30 counties statewide". We listened as report after report detailed the rise in COVID-19 cases in our state.

"Even the best-laid plans oft go awry." (Apologies to Robert Burns)

There was never a question that we would close. We announced, as many businesses did, that the closure would be temporary and we'd be ready to welcome students back as soon as it's considered safe to do so. So we rolled up our mats, shut off the lights and locked the studio doors for what we hoped wouldn't be the last time.

Like many of you, I rely on my breathwork and meditation practice to help me navigate difficult times. I also read quite a bit -- and that brings me back to the Robert Burns poem I quoted earlier.

The poem, "To a Mouse, on Turning Up Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785" recounts Burns' thoughts on a mouse whose home was destroyed as he ploughed his fields. Reading it again, I find subtle relevance in its verse. Like the mouse, we've each been affected as COVID-19 -- "the cruel plough" -- continues to upend our reality, proving "foresight may be vain". "Still," the poet notes, "you are blessed, compared with me! The present only touches you." Burns goes on to note that, as a human, he casts his eye forward to "guess and fear" a future he cannot see.

At times like this, it's tempting for us to fret and ponder about the future or look wistfully back at the past. Yoga asks that we do neither. It insists our attention and focus remain solidly in the present. We can't escape to a past that no longer exists nor pine for a future that hasn't happened yet. Going back to the mouse in the poem, its only shelter is destroyed just as winter is about to descend. It is vulnerable to predators and prospects for survival seem bleak. Yet if we know anything about Nature, its inhabitants are survivors. While Burns pondered the fate of the mouse, I imagine that, seconds after realizing its home had been destroyed, the resourceful little creature did not worry over the loss but set about finding another to place in which to shelter for the coming winter.

Like the mouse, I've decided to stay firmly in the moment with all of its glorious uncertainty. I can't control when the plough will come, but I can keep strengthening the walls of my inner sanctuary with yoga and meditation to help me survive the storm.
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