Pajama Yoga 6 pm January 2, 2023

Help us kick off our first class of the new year from the comfort of your own home in your jammies!

Join us Monday January 2nd at 6 pm on Zoom for an hour of stretching and mobility work. You are welcome to wear your p.j.’s (or other comfy clothes) and tune in with your video on or off.

Please email me for the zoom code.

Anne@FluidPortland.com

Body Butter To Soothe Dry Winter Skin

Tis the season for dry, cracked hands.

Here’s a simple recipe for home made body butter.

If you don’t have time to make it yourself, give me a call, as I do have a few jars available.

I’ve been using some variation of this butter in my massage practice for years.

In the winter I often add peppermint oil. I also like to blend scents like orange and clove, or clary sage and lavender. Feel free to omit the essential oils if you have sensitive skin, or prefer unscented products.

The main ingredients are shea butter, jojoba, and coconut oil.

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. It can be used to heal minor cuts and abrasions. It is solid at room temperature. It’s often used in soaps and cosmetics.

Jojoba “oil” is actually a liquid plant ester, or wax extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It typically is found in the deserts of Arizona, California and Mexico (the photo above is yours truly in Joshua Tree National Park where I stumbled up on a few jojoba plants growing wild).

Jojoba has the consistency of olive oil at room temperature, but unlike olive oil it has a long shelf life, and is able to withstand high heat without going rancid.

I was first introduced to this product when I was a wee massage therapist in Florida in the 90’s. I have oily and sensitive skin, and traditional massage oils caused me to break out if I did not immediately wash my skin. I once found myself having to go back to work after receiving a massage from a massage therapist who used jojoba. I thought, “oh man my neck and back are going to be so broken out tomorrow”. Instead, the jojoba absorbed into my skin, and I had no issues. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Here’s my favorite brand.

Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat. It has microbial effects, boosts the moisture content in skin and hair, and contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower inflammation, and boost brain health. I put a spoonful in my coffee every morning. You can also use it as a substitute for butter in baked goods (I used some in a recent banana bread recipe). If you’re not a fan of the coconutty scent and taste, look for refined coconut oil.

While the ingredients in this body butter are “all natural” please do not eat it. Jojoba is not meant to be consumed.

Spread this on your hands, not on your toast :).

Having said that, your skin is highly absorptive. As with what I put in my body, I try to stick to skin care products that have a short list of easily pronounceable ingredients.

Ok on to the recipe…

Body Butter Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Shea butter
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Jojoba
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (optional – I used peppermint for my latest batch)

Directions:

  1. Melt shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil in a double boiler. If you do not have one of these you can nest a glass bowl over a saucepan. Start with about an inch or two of water in the bottom pan, so that it comes close to the bottom of the bowl without spilling over the sides.
  2. Whisk the first three ingredients together over medium heat until they are combined. No need to boil them, just give enough to heat so that they melt.
  3. Turn off the heat, and whisk in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or until white and solid.
  5. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the oils until they are fluffy like whipped cream.
  6. Fill glass jars body butter, seal them, and refrigerate another hour.

A note on storage: Depending on the temperature in your house (and the time of year) you may want to keep these babies in the fridge. If you leave them in a warm room, they won’t go bad, they just might melt and lose the whipped texture.

Happy Holidays!

xoxo

Anne

Creamy Broccoli And Potato Soup with a Light Roux

One of my ladies shared this delicious broccoli soup recipe (thanks Kathleen). It’s nice and light, and since were heading into a season of heavy foods, I wanted to share this with you.

While you do make a light roux, it’s just enough flour to thicken the soup. Most of the body of the soup comes from the potatoes. As with most soups its fairly forgiving so feel free to experiment with the proportions of potatoes to broccoli, add cheese, or use a milk substitute.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ lbs broccoli
  • 3 onions (1 ½ lbs)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ½ Tbs. butter
  • 3 russet potatoes (approx. 1 lb)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ Tbs. flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • generous pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Trim the broccoli, peel the stems and chop them coarsely, and break the heads into small florets. You should have about 6 cups of broccoli pieces.
  2. Coarsely chop the onions.
  3. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large non stick pan, and sauté the onions until golden.
  4. Peel and dice the potatoes and chop the celery. Place them in a soup pot with the water and vegetable broth, and about ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli pieces and the sautéed onions and simmer another 8-10 minutes, until everything is tender. If you like, you can reserve a cup or two of the broccoli florets to steam separately and use as a garnish, or to stir into the soup at the end for greater texture.
  5. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the lemon juice, and then puree the soup in batches in a blender (I use an immersion blender). Don’t over process: the texture should be somewhat rough.
  6. Melt the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet and stir in the flour. Cook this roux for a few minutes, stirring, until it has a pale-gold color. Whisk in the hot milk, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring or whisking until it thickens. Whisk in the mustard and the cayenne, and mix the white sauce into the soup.
  7. Bring the soup back to a simmer, taste, and correct the seasoning with more salt, mustard, or cayenne if needed.

“Anne saved my life!” How I got unstuck out in the middle of nowhere.

“Anne, you saved my life!” This was the first thing one of my clients said at the start or our Monday 6 pm yoga class.

He told a story about being out in the middle of nowhere, falling and not being able to get up. I believe his exact words were, “I’m screwed.” He then remembered some of the ways we have practiced going from the floor to standing, and was able to regain his composure, and figure out how to stand up (and not be bear food).

I know the old commercials where the little old lady says “I’ve fallen and I cant get up” were funny, but seriously, unless you have fallen and not been able to get up off the floor, you may not realize how terrifying this is, especially if you are alone.

My client is active, he loves to be outdoors, fishing and golfing. He’s been coming to our yoga class for several years. Occasionally his low back flares up and he does a few one-on-ones with me. He sees the value in strengthening, stretching, and mobilizing his spine, as this helps him stay out of pain, and allows him to do the things he loves.

After class I asked him if I could write a post about his story and he sent this email along with some photos from his trip:

“Hey Anne; A little story about my fall fishing trip:

My favorite fly fishing spot is the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

This September I was fishing on kind of marshy, soft and mucky ground. Standing half in the water and half on the land tying on a new fly I lost footing and fell onto the bank. Initially on my back and side I could not get up, and after a number of minutes felt I might be screwed. Then a vision crossed my mind of Anne demonstrating a yoga standing move, butt in the air walking one’s hands towards ones feet. I managed to get on all fours, walked my hands backward and I stood upright.

Funny how things intersect and of course Anne is a hero.”

If you struggle with your balance or mobility, or feel you’re no longer able to do the things you used to do, our Monday yoga class is for you! We start with mobility work, incorporate a few standing strength and balance exercises, then the last half of the class is devoted to stretching. This is a great stress reducer, and a fantastic start to your week.

Still not sure if this is for you? Reach out to me and I’ll send you the code to try your first class for free.

xoxo

Anne

(503) 705-4762

Corn, Peach, And Tomato Salad With Feta

I know y’all are all getting your sweaters out, and making pumpkin spice everything, but please let me enjoy my last few weeks of summer! Its going to be in the 80’s, maybe even 90 this week, so I’m going to get one more paddle board day in on Sunday, and I will be wearing shorts til October!

I found some delicious corn, heirloom tomatoes, and local peaches at the market this week and put together this quick and easy summer salad. You basically chop all your ingredients, make a quick dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, and that’s it!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Corn, Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Make dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the juice from 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed (I really like lemon, so start with half, then add more if you like).

2. Add corn, tomatoes, peaches, feta and basil to the dressing. Toss to combine.

3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers this recipe to tickle your taste buds. Please see your medical professional for specific dietary advice.