Januar has always been kind of a complicated month for me.
January 7th was the Christmas day according to the Julian Calendar, which most Orthodox churches follow. The first 20 years of my life I spent celebrating January 7th with my family and friends. The last eight years – or since I live in Berlin – I didn’t celebrate this day at all. Of course I didn’t forget it and I still respect my family tradition, but year after year I was soaked in by the enthusiasm of first working week in Germany and you all know how excited Germans can be when it comes to work.
And yet, instead of doing my Ashtanga praxis at 6:30 and start working afterwards, I continuously snooze my alarm until the very last minute and spend my days dreaming about the dream. I am constantly tired. No, I am not depressed, my body doesn’t need extra vitamins and I get enough fresh air… Eight years are less than twenty and my body seems even after almost one decade to be coded with the password: First week of January = holidays!
Not only my inner clock is keeping me from starting the year „properly“, but also my personal aversion against the concept of starting and ending. I refuse thinking in those manipulative arrangements. There is no old and new. There is no bad and good. There is no primitive and modern. There is no begin and no end. All those linear structures are just cultural concepts created by us people. On the other hand I certainly do believe in symbolism and powerful individual meaning we put in things like lighting a candle, sun salutation, dancing in the moonlight, etc. – in rituals.
Today is Sunday. My favorite day of the week. I always asked myself if Sunday is the first or the last day of week. If Wednesday is a middle day in the week, Sunday must be the first one. The Bible teaches us the same. But time and calendar are people’s imaginations which are older than any Christian teachings. After the people have given their awareness to all things they could see, they discovered the time. This was the „measure“ that should connect them with the endless Universe. Between the starting point (their eyes) and the dark sky, they saw seven „lights“ that moved following a certain schema. This were the planets.
The closest to the Earth was the Moon, followed by Mercury and Venus. In the center (in the middle) stood the „daily light“ – the Sun. Then came Mars, Jupiter and at the end the monarch of the time- „Chronos“! (Many years later this planet was renamed into „Saturn“ that is also the root of the English word „Saturday“.) The circle we call today a „week“ was completed this way.
The days were assigned to the gods (day=deus) as a measure for the outside world, and the hours have belong to the humans as a measure for our inner world. Everything got it’s own time; we got a „sense of time“. We started to measure (ourselves), so we forgot being part of the cosmic infinity. But only the awareness of wearing the whole universe in ourselves can prevent us from being limited. And this is the reason why „they“, the new rulers of the time, shifted the days in the week: to be able to control our imagination, to steal our „belief“ in ourselves in order to force „their“ rules on us. (They also stole one hour of the day from us, however, this is a subject for another blog post.)
This is why I don’t believe in calendars.
And I don’t believe in January detox either.
January is a month when every food blogger tries to clean you from the holiday feast. But, to clean you from what? Are you really that dirty, if you allow yourself once in a while a „bigger“ or „fatter“ portion? Detox is a modern word for the feast and if we regularly practice a healthy nutrition, there is no need to subject us to some cleaning programs and diets from TV or internet. January is a cold month. When I wake up at 6:00 in the morning, neither my mind nor my body scream for a spinach-celeriac juice! In January, we should eat warm dishes, drink warm beverage and spend as much time as we can inside our warm home. For all of you who feel the same, here comes the recipe for a warm porridge made from soaked amaranth, almond milk and bananas.
Amaranth is an old plant, or rather a seed of a cereal-like herb. The old Aztecs used this seed not only as a nourishing food but also for their worship rituals. Like quinoa, amaranth became very popular in the last years because of it’s health benefits, especially because it is a gluten-free seed and very easy to combine with other seeds, grains, etc. I don’t use it very much, because it is a imported and not local food, but once in a while I like to „refresh“ my porridge basis usually made with oats.
Amaranth Porridge with Banana
Ingredients (serves 2):
100 g amaranth (soaked over night in a double amount of water)
2 dl almond milk (or any other milk of your choice)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract powder
2-3 Tsp maple syrup or honey
2 bananas, finely sliced
1 Tsp coconut flakes
2 Tsp pistachio, roughly chopped
1. Place the amaranth, milk, lemon juice and vanilla powder into the small pot and put it on the medium heat.
2. While constantly stirring, bring the mixture to boil and then remove from heat.
3. Place the mixture into the two bowls and smooth the surface with the knife.
4. Cover with sliced bananas, pistachio, coconut flakes, lemon zest and generously pour with maple syrup or honey.