Soul Food

Avocado on toast

avocadoontoast-225x300So simple, so yummy, so perfect on a blustery March morning. I’ll never forget how I was introduced to this breakfast. It was the fall of 2001 and Jerome and I were in New York City to practice Ashtanga yoga with K. Pattabhi Jois for a couple of weeks. It was just post 9/11 and the city was in a fragile, traumatized state but there we were, devoted yogis getting up at 4am to sweat and wiggle our legs behind our heads. By 8am we were done for the day and ravenous. One morning, wandering around the Puck Building looking for more than green juice, we stumbled on a little French café with white and blue-checkered tablecloths. And that is how I came to love avocado on toast. An entire avocado mounded up on two pieces of toast with coarse sea salt and black pepper sprinkled on top.

Every time I eat avocado on toast

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This photo was taken the day that I fell in love with avocados on toast. What a difference 12 years and 500 avocados can make!

I am reminded of that clear, blue fall morning. The ashes of the World Trade Center mixing with the incense at Eddie Stern’s purification ceremony. Well-intentioned, narcissistic yogis polishing their bodies with castor oil and sandal wood powder, chanting Vedic prayers, honoring the burned bodies, the families, the entire community’s losses.

Food that Balances

I usually ended the Ashtanga second series feeling jittery and wired, so I remember how that cool, oily avocado left me feeling unusually grounded and content.  This might be my first memory of food as medicine in the way that I have come to know it through Ayurveda.

Now, as we pass from winter to spring through the windy, wet, vata-aggravating month of March, the unctuous, sweet avocado is just what I need before my longer runs. Add in a hot cup of earl grey for the bitter and astringent taste and I’m feeling close to perfect. (And yes, more than a little creative in my application of Ayurveda.)

Passing it on

My daughters know nothing of my memories or dietetic logic, but have happily joined me in my love for avocado on toast. And not just because it means they get to eat toast.  They also report that their friends think that the idea of avocado on toast is “soooo gross”.

Someday I will take them to a little French café in New York City, and I won’t make them do the primary or second series first . . .

[Discover more about your own relationship to food and how to nourish yourself in line with the seasons by joining my upcoming Spring Cleanse].

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