not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Broccoli + Bikram, and I'm feelin' Good...

Damn, I feel really good right now.

  1. Take a deep breath in through your nose, fill up your belly, ribs and chest.
  2. Hold the breath for a second.
  3. Exhale slowly and fully through the mouth, letting the breath touch the back of your throat.
  4. smile.
Doesn't that feel good? Goddamn, that's how I feel right now!

I woke up early, went to yoga...and sweat, alot. I came home and got 3 burners going.

Burner #1: Steamed Broccoli.
Burner #2: Bialetti.
Burner #3: Brown Rice.

When my Bialetti was finished percolating I added a big scoop of sweetened condensed milk and let it sit and cool down. While my coffee was cooling I drained my huge head of steamed broccoli and drizzled it with some fabulous Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Then I sprinkled some salt on top, fresh ground pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper for some "pow". MMMMMM. I love broccoli. Love, love, love's definitely my favorite vegetable and dressed with those simple ingredients I listed above, could you go wrong? So, I was eating my broccoli, letting my coffee cool, and let the rice do it's thing. In a blender I made a super smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • flesh of 1/2 a coconut
  • a dozen raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon raw Maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw Cacao powder
  • a lil bit of almond milk {unsweetened}
  • a lil splash of cranberry juice
  • and a couple goji berries

blend blend blend and mmmmmmmmmm, epic.

When I finished my broccoli and super smoothie, I poured my cooled coffee over lots of ice, shook it like mad, and enjoyed the most delightful Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Stripped down and jumped into the hot tub {104 degrees} and let the jets and hot water work their magic. Upstairs now, I'm listening to my iTunes on shuffle. The first song that played? Nina Simone: Feelin' Good. How appropriate. The lyrics are going to be my mantra for the day:

Birds flying high you know how I feel Sun in the sky you know how I feel Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel (refrain:) It's a new dawn It's a new day It's a new life For me And I'm feeling good Fish in the sea you know how I feel River running free you know how I feel Blossom on the tree you know how I feel (refrain) Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean Sleep in peace when day is done That's what I mean And this old world is a new world And a bold world For me Stars when you shine you know how I feel Scent of the pine you know how I feel Oh freedom is mine And I know how I feel

WIKI SAYS about Broccoli:

Broccoli is high in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium.[9] A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.[10] The 3,3'-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.[11][12] Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled.[7] Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.[13][14] Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family.[15] It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides beta-carotene.[15]

A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.[16] Broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.[17]

The Moral of the Story? When you eat well and treat your body feel pretty damn good!!

BIKRAM: Never Say Never.

My first Bikram Yoga class resulted into an instant hatefest. Yoga is about being one with your body, honoring your body - knowing when to push deeper and knowing when to back off. Bikram clearly doesn't agree with me. The teacher yelled "PUSH PUSH PUSH PUSH!!!", "Find your comfortable edge, and GO DEEPER!!! DEEPER DEEPER DEEPER!!". She was like a friggin drill sergeant. No thank you. I go to Yoga to find some clarity, cleanse my body and to find some peace. Anyways - I swore off Bikram. Never again. Never ever. Well....never say never, I guess. My Lymes Disease has REALLY been flaring up lately. Usually it affects my overall energy level, as well as my knees and wrists. For those of you unfamiliar with this disease, let me put it this way: I'm a 23 year old who somedays feel like an 80 year old woman with awful arthritis. Running is out of the question {thank god, cause I hate that shit anyways, atleast now I have an excuse}, but even walking for a distance is out of the question most days. Cold and/or damp weather also seem to agitate my lymes. It must be flaring up now, because lately the pain has increased, and it has moved into my knuckles, my elbows, my ankles...and the pain in my knees has been severe. The heat definitely helps my condition, and since regular yoga classes have been irritating to my wrists and knees, I decided that the heated room used for Bikram would help. The room is kept @105 degrees. This heat is sometimes stifling, but today I found it feeling great on my body.

Here's the deal with Bikram:

Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

Why 105 degrees?

Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.

Practicing yoga not only increases our supplies of oxygen, but it also teaches us how to use that oxygen properly – we learn to control the breath through pranayama.


Pranayama Series / Standing Deep Breathing

Increasing Circulation to the whole body, waking everything up and preparing the muscles for action.

Ardha Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana / Half Moon Pose with Hands-to-Feet Pose

Helps lower-back pain, constipation, obesity of the stomach, bronchial distress and scoliotic and frozen shoulders. Works the deltoid, trapezius and pecoralis major muscles, and the hamstrings.

Utkatasana / Awkward Pose

Helps to align the entire skeletal system, opens the pelvic area, relieves joint pain, sciatica and arthritis of the knees. Strengthens and shapes the lower body, improves flexibility in the toes and ankles. Works the quadricepts and deltoids.

Garurasana / Eagle Pose

Improves mobility in the pelvic girdle and all 12 major joints. Increases body alignment and function of the central nervous system. Stimulates sexual energies and energises the body.

Dandayamana-Janu Shirasana / Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

Improves concentration and balances mood swings. Stretches the sciatic nerve. Reduces diabetes. Strengthens the back muscles and nerves. Works the muscular, skeletal, reproductive and digestive systems.

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana / Standing Bow Pulling Pose

Increases circulation to the heart and lungs. Improves elasticity of the spine. Helps lower-back pain. Opens the diaphragm and lungs. Tones the arms and legs. Relieves cramps and gives the body grace.

Tuladandasana / Balancing Stick Pose

Bikram calls this “heart attack prevention”. Increases blood flow over the entire body. Clears the arteries. Strengthens the heart, lungs, kidney and spleen. Stretches the spine. Builds the leg muscles. Good for varicose veins. Clears deposits of fat and burns calories.

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimottanasana / Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

Helps constipation, abdominal obesity and hyperacidity. Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands. Improves function of the abdominal organs. Helps to relieve depression.

Trikanasana / Triangle Pose

Helps chemical imbalances in the system, colitis, constipation, hip and back pain, spondylitis, general mobility and menstrual disorder. Good for the heart and kidneys. Cuts calories, stabilizes metabolism. Slims the hips, helps to improve cellulite and chronic obesity.

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushiransana / Standing Separate Leg Head-to-Knee Pose

Helps chemical imbalances in the system, colitis, constipation, hip and back pain, spondylitis, general mobility and menstrual disorder. Good for the heart and kidneys. Cuts calories, stabilizes metabolism. Slims the hips, helps to improve cellulite and chronic obesity.

Tadasana / Tree Pose

Improves posture and balance and increases flexibility of the ankles, knees and hip joints. Strengthens the internal obliques to prevent hernias.

Padangustasana / Toe Stand Pose Creates balance in the body and mind. Strengthens muscles, stomach and weak joints. Helps with arthritis, knee problems and gout pain.
Savasana / Dead Body Pose

Returns blood circulation to normal and teaches complete relaxation.

Pavanamuktasana / Wind Removing Pose

Cures and prevents flatulence. Improves flexibility of the hip joints and firms the abdomen, thighs and hips.

Sit up

Strengthens and tightens the abdomen and increases flexibility of the spine.

Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose

Maintains the body in perfect condition. Increases spinal strength and flexibility. Helps backache, lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis. Strengthens deltoids, trapeziums and triceps.

Salabhasana / Locust Pose

Maintains the body in perfect condition. Increases spinal strength and flexibility. Helps backache, gout, slipped disc, sciatica, lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis. Firms buttocks and hips. Helps tennis elbow.

Poorna-Salabhasana / Full Locust Pose

Has the same therapeutic value as the Cobra pose and the same upper-body benefits as Standing Bow Pulling. Also firms abdominal muscles, upper arms, hips and thighs.

Dhanurasana / Bow Pose

Maintains the body in perfect condition. Increases spinal strength and flexibility. Helps straighten rounded spines. Helps intestines, liver, kidneys, and spleen. Relieves backache.

Supta Vajrasana / Fixed Firm Pose

Strengthens and improves flexibility of the lower spine, knees and ankle joints. Helps to cure sciatica, gout, varicose veins and rheumatism in the legs. Helps to cure and prevent hernias.

Ardha Kurmasana / Half Tortoise Pose

Cures digestion and stretches the lower part of the lungs, increasing blood circulation to the brain. Firms the abdomen and thighs. Increases the flexibility of the hip joints, scapula, deltoids, triceps and latissimus dorsi muscles.

Ustranasana / Camel Posee

Strengthens muscles in the back and shoulders. Produces maximum compression of the spine, stimulating the nervous system. Improves flexibility of the neck and spine. Slims the abdomen and waistline. Relieves backache. Helps kypho-scolitic deformities.

Sasangasana / Rabbit Pose

Stretches the spine. Helps maintain mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles. Nurtures the nervous system and brain. Helps cure depression, diabetes, colds, sinus problems, chronic tonsillitis, sore throats and strep throat. Good for the thyroid, parathyroid and larynx.

Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana / Head-to-Knee Pose with Stretching Pose

Helps to balance the blood sugar level, especially good for diabetes. Good for the immune system, stimulates the thymus, circulation to the liver, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, thymus and intestines. Relieves chronic diarrhea.

Ardha-Matsyendrasana / Spine Twisting Pose

Increases circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, veins and tissues. Helps to cure lumbago and rheumatism of the spine, improves digestion, removes flatulence from the intestines and firms the abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

Khapalbhati / Blowing in Firm Pose

Strengthens all the abdominal organs and increases circulation. Makes the abdominal wall strong and trims the waistline.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanks at Thanksgiving...and every other day too.

Thanksgiving in 2005...

Everyone's been asking about my Dad, so I figure that it's time for a blog. We got some news from the doctors recently...not sure if it's good or bad. It basically went like this:
"Well Paul....after analyzing the biopsy again, we believe that the tumor MAY be sleeping. But, maybe not. We aren't entirely sure. Maybe it will wake up a week from now, or a month from now, or 5 years from now. Maybe you'll die in a few weeks, or maybe in 30 years. We really just can't be entirely sure. So....have a great holiday!! We will see you in January for an MRI, and hopefully that will tell us whats going on."

SO: my parents were celebrating. Hooray!! It's sleeping!! But the last time that they gave us good news like this, I bought a ticket to India, and then a week later they told me that he was going to die in 3 weeks. What a fucking rollercoaster!! SO I am not celebrating yet - I'm optimistic...but realistic. But christ almighty, I hope that there "maybes" are right. This tumor kills people in 6 months. My dad is a medical miracle - walking and talking and functioning {mostly} fine with this tumor in his head. Yes, I believe that the impeccable + healthy diet that my mom has him eating, along with ALL of the MANY supplements have helped. BUT, I really believe that he is alive because of prayer. I'm not religious, not sure if I really believe in God {as in father, son, holy spirit}, but I do believe in a higher power - something bigger than ourselves. I also believe in the power of love...and it's ability to move even the tallest of mountains. I have friends in India who assure me that all 20,000 Hindu dieties are praying for him. I have friends in Israel who pray for him at Temple. I have Native American friends praying to their spiritual ancestors. I have muslims and christians and atheists all sending out an intention for the same thing: my dad. It's pretty powerful shit. So, this thanksgiving I am thankful. Thankful for my Dad...for all of the wonderful days that we've had together these past 23 years, and for each day that we have after. I'm thankful for my wonderful Mama, who has dedicated this past year to one thing and one thing only: my Dad. And I am especially, overwhelmingly thankful for the hundreds of friends that have been did this, and we couldn't have done it without you.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving, surrounded by people that you love. And lets try to express gratitude more than once a year -- every day is blessing, every breath and every memory.

Rumi Agrees With You, Too.

Recognized as perhaps the greatest mystical poet of Islam, Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) communicated something through his writing that has attracted spiritual seekers from almost every religion in the world, for hundreds of years. Even in his day, Rumi was sought out by merchants and kings, devout worshippers and rebellious seekers, famous scholars and common peasants, men and women. At his funeral, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Arabs, Persians, Turks and Romans honored him. Listen to his call for seekers of truth:

Come, come, whoever you are.

Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

It doesn’t matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a hundred times.

Come, yet again, come, come.

Rumi’s love and honor for all religious traditions was not always popular in his day, and often provoked criticism from the more dogmatic. A story is told that one such public challenge came from a Muslim dignitary, Qonavi, who confronted Rumi before an audience. “You claim to be at one with 72 religious sects,” said Qonavi, “but the Jews cannot agree with the Christians, and the Christians cannot agree with Muslims. If they cannot agree with each other, how could you agree with them all?” To this Rumi answered, “Yes, you are right, I agree with you too.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Photo.


My fabulously talented friend Rob Kulisek took this family portrait of us right after Dad's brain biopsy. I love the randomness of it - Mom + Dad in their PJs, the ShopRite Seltzer Water on the table. Rob took this photo with a camera that is older than your Great Grandmother. Badass. We love you Rob. I can't wait to see this blown up so you can see all Dad's staples!!

rob writes: "anyway, heres the photo, i'm pretty pleased with it. but it did turn out a little darker than i had expected.. although when it is blown up, you can count every staple in your dad's head because thats highlighted by the lamp above. i get the chills looking at your mom and him. you can feel the love."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Downstairs Live @ the World Cafe!

I'm rallying the troops!!!

Christian + I are playing @ the World Cafe Live...
opening for Bryan Greenberg.
Some of you may remember Bryan from One Tree Hill, but I loved him alongside Uma Thermon in PRIME. Yep, he's a great musician too!
The doors are at 7:30pm and show is at 8:30 which means...we go on at 7:30pm!! Christian and I will play a 30minute set.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Bryan Greenberg discovered his love of acting at an early age. He took that love and continued to pursue it while earning a degree at New York University. Since 2003 Bryan has also toured all over the country with various musicians, including Gravin DeGraw, Tyler Hilton, Graham Colton, Michael Tolcher, Ari Hest and many more.

In 2007, Greenberg released his debut album, Waiting For Now, and single "Hmm". Bryan recently completed work on his second record, We Don't Have Forever, which is scheduled for release in December of 2010 and features a collaboration with How to Make It In American co-star, Kid Cudi.

Floor/Loge Standing Room: $16 ($12 ticket + $4 processing fee)
Floor/Loge Reserved Seating: $16 ($12 ticket + $4 processing fee)
Mezzanine (Reserved Seating): $21 ($12 + $9 premium service*/processing fee)
*priority seating and VIP amenities/service

Small Coca Cola, Please.

I don't drink soda. I do LOVE seltzer water and club soda - but as far as "soft drinks" are concerned, I do not, do not like. In the past I'd get a hankering for a diet coke, but in time that craving faded. Now, every once in a blue moon, I need a Coca Cola. Not a Pepsi, not an RC Cola, not a Diet Coke...but just a real deal, classic Coca Cola. I prefer Mexican Coca Cola, that's in a glass bottle. They are made with real cane high fructose corn syrup, no aspartame. Damn, when the craving strikes- a good, ice cold coke is just what the doctor ordered.

The NY Times wrote an article about the subject. I loved it, and thought I'd share:

CONSUMED: Cult Classic

by Rob Walker {published: Oct. 8th, 2009}

Spend a few years writing about consumer culture, and you might get a little jaded about products or brands with cult followings. The extreme-loyalist customer always insists that there are perfectly rational reasons for his or her devotion; to the disinterested observer, the reasons seem dubious. This is good news for me, because it assures that I have plenty to write about. But this week, for once, I’m casting myself in the role not of the reasonable observer but of the dubious product-cultist.

The product is Coca-Cola that is made and bottled in Mexico. I’m not the only person who believes that it’s better: there’s a Mexican Coke Facebook page with more than 10,000 fans. “I am a (Mexican) Coke fiend,” wrote Richard Metzger on the Web site Dangerous Minds this past August. “It is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS.” Mexican Coke is “a lot more natural tasting,” another fan recently told a news program in Idaho. “A little less harsh, I would say.”

Mexican Coke cultists of course have a rational explanation: Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico is sweetened with sugar, while the U.S. version is (almost) always made with high-fructose corn syrup. That is so. And it’s surprising, given the degree to which uniformity defines the Coke idea. Who knew the “secret formula” could accommodate ingredient variation? Andy Warhol once suggested that Coke’s sameness united us all: “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the president knows it, the bum knows it and you know it.”

My own induction into this product cult was inadvertent and based on aesthetics. Some years ago I noticed a glass bottle of Coke for sale, and that was something I hadn’t seen in a while. It looked great; I enjoyed drinking it immensely. I didn’t notice the “No Retornable” and “Refresco” phrases on the 12-ounce bottle, or the ingredients. My rational explanation was that Coke tastes better from a glass bottle than from a plastic one or from a can. It happens that Popular Science examined this very contention on its Web site not long ago and allowed that as the “most inert” material in which the cola is packaged, it’s possible that glass results in a subtly more “pure, unaltered” product than plastic or aluminum. Of course a commenter on that site promptly chimed in that glass-bottle Coke often comes from Mexico: “In the United States, Coke is made with CORN SYRUP. . . . It’s disgusting.”

I’ve now heard this contention many times, but never more so than lately, as high-fructose corn syrup has become one of the most demonized ingredients in contemporary food culture. There’s a political angle (corn subsidies), an authenticity angle (it’s processed, very pervasive and just sounds industrial) and a paranoid angle (the entertaining conspiracy theory that the 1985 New Coke fiasco was an intentional failure, orchestrated to distract consumers from an ingredient switch in Coke Classic). The upshot is the curious celebration of sugar as natural and desirable. Pure-sugar soda fans motivate other product cults, including Passover Coke (using sugar instead of not-kosher-for-Passover corn syrup) available only around the Jewish holiday, and Dr Pepper from a particular bottler in Dublin, Tex.; Coke’s biggest rival has put out a product called Pepsi Throwback, “sweetened with natural sugar.” Somehow all the reverence for sugar manages to make high-calorie carbonated drinks sound like health food.

The Coca-Cola Company is by now quite familiar with the Mexican Coke cult. It is true, acknowledges a Coke spokesman, Scott Williamson, that different sweeteners are used by the company’s bottling partners in different parts of the world, for reasons having to do with price and availability. But, he says, “all of our consumer research indicates that from a taste standpoint, the difference is imperceptible.”

The company principally imports the Mexican version to appeal to immigrants who grew up with it and draw nostalgia from the packaging they remember. Online you’ll find Mexican Coke cultists offering tips about tracking down grocers who serve a primarily Latino clientele. Surely this is part of the fun — nobody wants to be a snob on behalf of a product that’s easy to obtain. But Coke is in the business of supply and demand and has seen to it that Mexican Coke has found its way into places like Kroger, Costco and a certain sandwich shop in my not-very-Hispanic neighborhood in Georgia. I have lunch there every week or two, and while it would be cheaper to have a can of American Coke, I always pay extra for the 12-ounce bottle that says it’s “Hecho en Mexico.” I do this because I believe it tastes better, and I really don’t care why. Spend a few years writing a column about consumer culture, and what you learn is that we all think everyone else’s shopping quirks are weird and irrational — but that our own make perfect sense.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Green Eggs + Quinoa Porridge

Heart-Attack In A Skillet AKA "The Kitchen Sink", and Quinoa Porridge
@ Green Eggs Cafe

Drove up to Philly the other day to have brunch @ Green Eggs Cafe {1306 Dickinson Street, Philadelphia, PA}. It was goddamn delicious!! Homemade, amazing ingredients...and cooked with love. My friend, who was hungover, had "The Kitchen Sink" : Two eggs scrambled with cheese, our signature potato, peppers, and onions, topped with homemade jumbo biscuit and country sausage gravy in a cast
iron skillet , and I had the Quinoa Porridge : Agave nectar, cinnamon, cardamom, golden. raisins, cream, and
fresh berries. Everything was perfect. The restaurant is cute to boot, the service was great, and the presentation of the dishes were delightful. I love the idea of porridge, but the consistency of it always throws me off and makes me feel like I'm a senior-citizen who wears dentures. Ew. I loved the earthy texture of the Quinoa amoungst the cream. I loved how the tartness of the fresh berries cut the sweetness of the agave, and my tastebuds danced around to the presence of cardamom + golden raisins {two of my favorite ingredients in Indian cuisine}. I love love loved Green Eggs, and I look forward to a return trip.

I googled quinoa porridge recipes and found one...check it out, try it out, and enjoy!

Benefits of Quinoa:

It is gluten-free, high in calcium, iron, lysine, vitamin E and several B vitamins while also being low in fat and sodium. Not to mention, it is considered by some to be the perfect protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. Other grains can't even boast half of the protein of quinoa! Just four ounces (about 1/2 cup) per day provides a child with all their needed protein intake for one day.

Quinoa tastes great hot or cold. Cooked quinoa is excellent in soups, stews, salads, stir fries or casseroles. This impressive seed brings great texture and a nutty, delicate flavor to any dish. The good news for busy home cooks is that quinoa cooks very quickly, usually in 15 minutes or less, and can be infused with flavor as it cooks just like rice or couscous. Try cooking your quinoa in fruit juice or your favorite stock when serving as a side dish or dry roasting the seeds in the oven when throwing into a cold salad.

Quinoa Porridge

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk (skim or soy preferred)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
Dash of sea salt
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp plain or vanilla yogurt
2 tsp agave nectar plus more to taste
Chopped fruit and nuts if desired

*Serves one hungry person or two people if you add toast and fruit.

Combine quinoa, water, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cardamom, salt and 1/4 cup of the milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, cinnamon, cardamom and the raisins and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until it reaches a thick consistency. Add agave nectar and yogurt; stir to combine. Serve in a bowl or mug with some sliced or whole berries and an extra drizzle of agave nectar on top.