EATING OUR WAY THROUGH THE ZODIAC PISCES 2019
Pisces season started with a boom! Right out of the gate we had the full moon in Virgo, which got a loving kick from Mars and Uranus. But the real signature of this moon was that she shone big, beautiful and bright conjoined the fixed star Regulus – the ‘king maker,’ most benefic star in the sky. In these first few hours of Pisces, with the full moon conjunct this royal star, I was to speak on Nutrition and Mental Health for an organization called Street Health. Street Health is a community agency that provides a safe space and access to basic needs for the homeless and under housed peoples in Toronto. They provide overdose prevention sites, harm reduction programs, medical assistance and advocacy for an under-represented populous of our city. I was so pumped to be speaking on this day! I felt the call of this regal moon, to do my duty of service – to participate in the education for change, for those with mental health struggles. I was not given any guidelines for the talk, only that I was presenting to a group of newly trained recruits who now represented Street Health. And so I prepared, with the purpose of offering useful tools and guidelines. I wanted to educate these workers so they could be mentally fortified... so they could grasp what nutritional supports are needed to change the state of mental health for a homeless demographic. I showed up at Street Health with my PowerPoint and my handouts. Before I got through the door, a very impassioned woman lunged at me only to offer a hug. It caught me totally off guard and all of a sudden I found myself in an environment that was not familiar... somewhat like falling down the rabbit hole. I made my way in and I found myself mesmerized as I watched the stream of characters arrive for their guest speaker. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not this..... The Street Health crew had a check in with each other. They discussed the three overdose deaths of people they knew, asked how they could create a better communication network on the street, and they offered words on their own daily struggles and some of their amazing successes. These newly trained recruits were from the street. They were the under housed. They were the people who struggle with substance use, poverty, trauma and layers of complicated issues. With a smack in the face I realized the material I had prepared was useless. It was a bridge, but I was in the river.... with all the other fishes. The PowerPoint went out the window and the afternoon turned into a lively discussion. They led me with intelligent questions and engaged in creative solutions. I thought I was going to be speaking with social workers, and healthcare workers but instead it was the warriors and guards of the street. Each one trained by life to survive the adverse and sometimes hostile surroundings and each knowing an intimate experience of trauma. Some were still entangled with their own substance use and all were juggling to make ends meet...but every one of them was there because they want to help and be a part of a resolution. I was truly humbled. It was a perfect Piscean day (yes I cried) where the illusions were shattered instead of formed. At a time when the whole world is lacking of human kindness and human rights...I saw healing and strength in a community, and compassion ruled! I believe in healing times for this planet and its people. May Regulus in Virgo bring power to the common woman and man! Sometimes in health and healing we need to strip down the facade. Life is much simpler than we make it out to be. Sometimes in health and healing we simply need to be heard, we need a strong hug, and we need a big bowl of lentil (or chicken) soup! It was pretty easy to figure out my Pisces meal. I prepared a spread for the people that drop into Street Health. Nutritious and delicious brain food was the days theme. The spread consisted of mini frittatas and crudite, blueberries, apples, apricots, figs, cashews, pumpkin seeds, celery and almond butter and a chocolate seed bars. It was a joy to make and a greater joy to drop it off.
Mini Frittatas (makes 60)
Ingredients 20 large eggs ½ cup almond milk (it is what I had on hand... you can use any kind of milk or omit altogether) 1 Tbsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp butter 2 onions finely chopped 2 small bell peppers finely chopped 2 tsp dried oregano 1 small bag or 4 packed handfuls of baby kale, coarsely chopped ½ cup parsley finely chopped 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 mini muffin tins (each with 12 cups). In a large bowl whisk eggs and milk ( I did this 10 eggs and a ¼ cup milk at a time). Transfer to measuring cup as it is easier to pour into the mini muffin tins. In large skillet, melt oil and butter over medium/low heat. Add onion, bell peppers and oregano. Cook until soften. Add kale and parsley and continue to cook until kale is wilted. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper and set aside. Put a dollop of the pepper/kale mixture into each muffin tin and cover each with the whisked eggs. Fill to just below the top. Transfer to oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before removing the mini frittatas from the pans. They should come out easily with small spatula or knife. Regrease the muffin tins and repeat. I had enough for 5 mini muffin tins (60 frittatas)
These taste great straight out of the oven or at room temperature.