Jane Arie Baldwin

Personal Tools and Techniques for Unwinding

Month: September, 2015

The Virgin and the Wind

La Virgen

La Virgen de Guadalupe

My first-ever blogpost. First posted April 2009.

The wind whipped upriver all week. Chairs lost their footing, a screen door twisted off it’s hinges, and the prayer hands of La Virgen broke off when she fell to the ground. I’m sensitive to the wind. In Ayurveda, those of us with a prana imbalance are labeled vata. People ask, “What dosha are you?” these days just like the old pick up line in the 1970’s, “What’s your sign?” But that’s really not necessarily the best question to ask. You really don’t want to be identified by your dosha because your dosha signifies your imbalance or what your physical body lacks, not what you ARE. Vata (air) doshas like myself have to work to be grounded – food is very grounding, as is rest. Think of marathon runners, of type – A personalities; people who are generally very thin because they go-go-go, forget to eat, and easily deplete themselves. Another way to say it is that I do not have a symbiotic relationship with wind, I do not naturally know how to regulate or nuture myself but have to have constant reminders all around me. I set the alarm on my phone to go off for my pre-lunch breathing time which segways nicely into lunch. I set my alarm for afternoon gardening and morning Kaya Sampat Kriya. Without this schedule my entire day would be a whirlwind of activity yet I would end overwhelmed and under nourished. In a sense I’d feel like La Virgen outside my mudroom looks — knocked to the ground with a big hole where her hands once held the Anjali mudra.

Thirteen of the Best Quotes that will Inspire Your Heart in the Kitchen

Food has always been thought of as fuel. Now it’s being thought of as something that lifts our spirits.” Alice Waters

Food has always been thought of as fuel. Now it’s being thought of as something that lifts our spirits.” Alice Waters


Growing up I often heard the saying, “I feed to fuel, not to fill.” At the time the idea was somewhat revolutionary, the thought that a banana might actually be a better choice than than a Snicker’s bar offered a shift of perspective.

I recently heard an interview with Alice Waters, the sui generis chef that originated the farm to table idea nearly 50 years ago. In it she remarked that food does more than simply feed us, food lifts our spirits. At that moment I realized that ideas once thought fringe are entering the mainstream. We are in the midst of an evolution from viewing eating as a function that fuels us to eating as an experience that can enhance our spirit. The more awareness and attention we give to how food is grown, where and how we buy it and how we prepare it, and what is our mental-emotional state when we prepare it, the more we understand exactly how food can lift our spirits. There is a difference in food that comes from soil full of wonderful earth minerals that mixes with sunlight and then is harvested and made with love by hands that love to eat it. In this way food does lift our spirits, we can taste it and we can feel it. And as you can see from these quotes below others have felt it too.

We are currently experiencing an evolution

from eating for mere sustenance — to fill and fuel us — to

eating as an experience that enhances our spirit.


Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements. -Marcel Boulestin

When we acknowledge, as we must, that there is no such thing called perfect food, just the idea of it, then the real purpose of cooking becomes clear: To make people happy. –The French Laundry Cookbook, Thomas Keller


James Beard photo by Paul Child

James Beard photo by Paul Child

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. –James Beard

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.     M.F.K. Fisher

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. _ Harriet Van Horne

Gastronomy is the greatest form of therapy that anyone can be exposed to. – Marco Pierre White

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.                                                         — Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own


Photo of juliachildfoundation.org

Photo          juliachildfoundation.org

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients. – Julia Child

The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system. – Robert C. Peale

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha

Real food doesn’t have ingredients. Real food is ingredients. – Jamie Oliver

Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea. –Pythagoras

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”                       – Ayurvedic proverb

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