Easy Healthy Snacks, 1 apple 1 celery 2 dates.

I cannot tell you how easy this is to whip together. Not to mention super fresh tasting, and delightfully sweet.  This is a fantastic snack for the Pitta and Kapha doshas out there, especially on a warm day. Add dairy in if you are a Vata dominant dosha.apple-celery-date.jpg

 

  • 1 Apple
    • Core removed
    • sliced then chunked
    • toss in squeeze of lime juice to prevent browning and preserve.
    • pitta, sweet apples
    • kapha, all apples
    • green to support liver and gall bladder health

 

  • 1 Stalk of celery
    • Cut off nasty bits, slice length-wise, dice
    • pitta- kapha

 

  • 2 dates
    • Pitted
    • Diced, slowly, these are delightfully sticky.
    • pitta-vata
    • kapha use dried figs, or raisens.

 

  • 1 wedge of lime or lemon
    • Squeeze over the apple to keep fresh for 2 days.

 

  • optional cottage cheese -VP, yogurt -V, or goat cheese -K
    • I added this in, as the snack was a little bit dry for my Vata-Pitta taste. This is also a great option to add in for those of you with higher protein needs.

 

  • This recipe was inspired by Anthony William – The Medical Medium.

 

Feng Shui in Summer

When addressing holistic health, we cannot ignore the environment in which we live, work, and play. This article is about addressing the FIRE element in your home.

Do the exercise below if you are looking to switch to a non-toxic home, redecorate, or just refresh the energy. This feng shui article is a great guide for giving some summer love through the home.


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July and August are really the peak of summer. In the elemental philosophy of the seasons, july22- August 21, Fire rules Fire. This is a period of all heart, and extreme Yang conditions. In the home we look to the southern most room, area, or wall.

I like to take my time clearing the energy in my home, taking a whole year to make one lap through the whole house. This involves cleaning, clearing, and decorating my space. It first started out as a way to unpack and create a beautiful space with out loosing my mind. Now this has become a yearly cycle where I slowly move from room to room, refreshing the whole house. Figure out the pace that suits you best. Do one space a month, one a season, or use the holidays as your guide. Heck you can even do one well determined week.


 

Summer, the South, and Fire

Find your south room.

  1. Draw out the floor plan of your home.
  2. Use a compass to line up the space with north, south, east, and west directionals.
  3. Draw a 3×3 grid of squares over top of your plan. Have this grid lined up with NSEW ignoring your walls etc.
  4. Label each section of the grid, based on where it sits.
  5. Focus on the southern wall, room, or area.

NW  |  N  |  NE

W  | center |  E

SW  |  S  |  SE

Fire is expressed and enhanced by…

  • Reds, oranges, pinks, magenta, maroon
  • lighting, candles, fire place, sunlight
  • triangles, pyramids, cones
  • reflective materials, glass and metals
  • imagery of animals and humans in a group or tribe
  • leather, wool, bone, feathers
  • Images of sunrise and sunset.
  • A little bit of wood is good.
  • Metal and earth items are also good.
  • Water will control and decrease fire.
  • Have one feature of each element in every room.

According to Chinese feng shui philosophy The fire sector of the home embodies your leadership, fame, recognition, and emotional interactions with people. If you feel unheard, or unseen, maybe feel a little coldness or disconnect with you community; you may want to consider enhancing your fire sector. If you have impulsive tendencies, impatience, or aggression at home; decrease the amount of fire elements in the room and bring in more water.

Start Fresh

  1. Go to this spot in your home, and empty everything out except for the furniture. Clean, dust, etc. from the top down. Take down photos, paintings, etc. You can even take the furniture out. This is when a garage really comes in handy. Or a back junk room.
    • the junk room will be addressed over the coarse of the year. I like to save this one for last, because in these first few rounds of energy clearing this room gets super useful.
    • Empty all of the drawers. Toss trash and junk. Place unused items in a box to be gifted out, or set aside for an end of the year yard sale.
    • Use only non-toxic cleaning materials. You can message me for my handy cleaning with essential oils recipe book.
    • Remove all chemical air fresheners, and artificially fragranced candles. Throw these out. Buy a diffuser for essential oils.
    • You can use this time to smudge by burning incense or herbs. I often find that cleaning with open windows and breeze also fulfills this purpose.
  2. Hang out in the space. Enjoy a cup of tea or juice while sitting in different spots looking around. Feel the space.
    • What is the purpose of this room in your home?
    • Is this space used heavily? Is it just walked past? Was there too much stuff for you to even enjoy the space?
    • Give the room a name. Give it a purpose.
    • Place seating where you have the best view.
    • Slowly thoughtfully bring items back into the space.
  3. Rearrange the furniture.
    • Have enough room to freely walk around.
    • View the room from all entryways, and seating locations. Is this pleasing to the eye?
    • Make all repairs, and/or remove anything that is damaged or broken.
    • Wash curtains and blinds. Use a fabric that allows in natural light, while also providing desired amount of privacy.
  4. In this stage only bring back pieces and items that fit the newly defined purpose of the space.
    • Anything that is not visually attractive should be placed in concealed storage. Like baskets, cupboards, drawers, bins, boxes. Use materials that accent the space and work towards increasing or decreasing the fire element. Repurpose items from around your home. Pay attention to color and material.
    • Keep all surfaces as clear as possible.
  5. Lighting.
    • Do you get natural sunlight? Add plants to work as air filters providing fresh oxygen into the room.
    • Dark corners? Add floor or table lamps to allow for beautiful task and mood lighting in the evenings. Go ahead and steal these from other areas of the home.
  6. Decorate to enhance the fire in the home, or to decrease the fire in the home.
    • Use the power of 3 to create interesting clusters of items.
    • go around your home and gather up all of the items you own that are made of the above listed attributes or materials. Use these items to decorate the space.
    • Place one fire item in the southern corner of every room in the house.
  7.  Decrease the fire in your southern room by bringing in water elements, colors, and features. Such as circles, imagery of water, a mini fountain, images of the moon, blues, blacks, and purples.
  8. Support your fire with Wooden objects.
  9. Highlight your fire with Metal and earthen objects.
  10. Make a commitment to honor this space by taking care of it, and not filling it with more junk. This is now a junk free zone.

Energy All Summer, seasonal attunement

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Summer is my most difficult season. I love to jump feet first into everything that comes my way, and in summer that means a packed schedule. I also do not do too well in the heat. None of this is surprising. I am Fire and Air dominant, which can easily become a wild fire that burns out just as quickly. What are your dominant elements?

What I do in winter, lays the foundation for the success of my summer, and what I do now will strongly influence next winter.


 

Summer Fire. 

Summer is a time of ultimate expression and luxurious growth. Everything is expanding and reaching up to the sun. To be in the natural rhythms of the day Rise Early and get outside to great the day. Take an afternoon nap at the peak of the heat. Then stay up late and play under the moon within the cool evening breeze.

  • Up Early.
  • Afternoon Naps.
  • Play late into the evening.

Ocean Breath.

Ujjayi Breath in yoga is called Ocean Breathing. It is a way of constricting your throat creating a smaller opening through which you can extend the inhales and exhales. This creates amazing health benefits that truly deserve it’s own article, or even it’s own book. For the purposes here, think about how we can use our breath to blow out a match. OR how breath can be used to stoke some tinder turning a coal into a hearth fire.

Breath can be used to warm the body up, or cool the body down. Use air and breath to stoke the fire or introduce cool air.

Breathing with an open mouth with increase your heart rate and up-regulate stress hormones. Done in rapid quick exhales you can heat the body up, constrict muscles, and cleanse the lungs.

Breathing through the nose up-regulates happy hormones. Doing nice slow rolling breaths will bring the heart into a full steady beat, calming the body down while pushing rich oxygen blood into the deep corners of the body.

  • Play with breath work.
  • Play in the wind to awaken heavy earth and rev up.
  • Stay out of the wind to prevent scattered energy.

Open Your Heart to the Sun.

In summer around 11 Am – 3 Pm our heart chakras are at their fullest expression. Take a least one day a week, every day if you can, to respect these hours and fully 100% give in to doing something that you absolutely love. Go to lunch with friends who fill you up with happiness. Take a snuggle with a puppy and a good book. Go surfing. Take a nap. Love.

Love is the beat of life itself. In a child, love is the assurance of bodily survival. To an Adult, love gives acceptance and invites growth and expression.

Soul practice in summer is all about spreading this love. Open yourself to honor. Develop respect and empathy for yourself and others. Develop service and compassion.

Bring in more Heat to Cool

This really neat thing happens when we introduce lots of rapid heat the body ends up feeling cooler. I notice this mostly with Hot Yoga. Getting a deep sweat in 92 degrees for an hour has trained my body to react to heat differently while waitressing on a busy day. I don’t sweat as much, my cheeks are less flushed, and i don’t really notice the heat. Before I used to get headaches, and have a lot of trouble getting my job done. This concept is further explained in traditional Chinese medicine. They encourage drinking hot hot beverages, getting warm showers, eating spicy pungent foods, and inducing heavy sweating to get the body more in tune with the summer, providing a cooler feeling.

I also highly suggest taking a magnesium supplement, eating foods high in potassium, and natural electrolytes all summer. This will replace minerals and salts that are lost in our sweat.

  • Sweat! Saunas, steam rooms, yoga, run, sweat
  • Drink hot teas.
  • Eat spicy pungent foods
  • Take mineral supplements

Eat Bright Colors

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For all body types, summer is a flourish of expression in the garden, and this should reflect upon our dinner plates.

  • Strive for 4 Colors on your plate.
  • Snacks should be made up of mostly fruit. (based on your type)

Cooking food versus raw food is a very powerful tool. The longer you cook your food the more warming it will be. Raw of coarse being the coldest. If you run chilly like me in the summer it is best to cook with a fast high heat. This brings us more into balance with the fluctuating temperatures of summer, while a slow BBQ or roast may be too warming and leave us over heated in late afternoon.

Raw food is fantastic for the body that is hot and sluggish. Too much raw food can weaken digestion and put our Agni or digestive Fire out. This will leave you weak and easily distracted. Dinner is best even slightly cooked, or with some cooked elements.

Iced drinks and frozen foods are best avoided. These create a constriction in a time of expansion, placing the body at odds with the season bringing a lack of harmony and great discomfort.

The most warming foods are Pork, Red Meat, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, and some grains. These are all best avoided in the heat of the summer. Unless you are feeling very weak and chill easily. Personally my body likes eggs best in the summer. Pair these foods with cooling ingredients to offer some balance.

  • Steam or Sauté, for moist heat.
  • Grill for dry heat.
  • Raw, at room temperature, to cool.
  • Avoid Iced or cold foods and drink.
  • Avoid red meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and heavy grains.
  • Less salt in cooking
  • More water in cooking

 ON The hottest days:

  • salads
  • sprouts
  • fruit
    • apples
    • watermelon
    • lemon
    • lime
  • cucumber
  • tofu
  • flower and leaf teas
    • chrysanthemum
    • mint
    • chamomile
  • Eat Pungent Spice
    • Peppers
    • Cayenne
    • red pepper
    • fresh ginger
    • horse radish
    • black pepper

Why eat Aloe Vera? yeah that spiky thing.

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What is this spiky thing showing up in produce departments everywhere?

That’s Aloe Vera, a potent medicinal wonder plant. We all know and love the healing properties of Aloe when it comes to rubbing it our skin, but what about our insides?

Firstly, Aloe Vera is a succulent grown in arid climates, and prefers soil with poor nutrients. This wonder plant is able to conserve and store water and nutrients for extended periods of time. The secret is in the center, in the gel. This is a mucilaginous gel, that holds onto nutrients and most importantly moisture to keep the plant healthy.

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Health Benefits

  • Gut Health
    • The main power of Aloe is the mucilaginous nature. When digested it soothes the walls of the digestive tract, most notably the small intestine. Aloe also helps to rebuild out own mucosal walls that help protect the digestive organs. I believe that purely by soothing, and healing leaky gut walls, one can see a huge list of health benefits.
  • Deep Hydration
    • In previous articles I have mentioned a deep level of hydration that simply drinking water does not provide. Aloe Vera helps to get in deep a lubricate the ligaments, tendons, organ tissue, and cartilage. As well Aloe moistens dry stuck mucus, while also thinning thick stubborn mucus. Aloe Vera is so hydrating that it actually helps our bodies absorb more water.
  • Blood Cleansing
    • Aloe Vera increases the oxygen levels in the blood, there for brings higher levels of oxygen into every cell of the body. Most modern people are living on low oxygen levels, urban dwellers and smokers suffer the most.
  • Hormone Balancing
    • This gel is very cooling, and can ease all symptoms of the over heated person. Aloe Vera is also one of the top natural foods said to ease the symptoms of Menopause as well as PMS. It increases the response of estrogen receptors in the ovaries and adrenals glands.m
  • Soothes Radiation Sickness
    • Aloe Vera is a wonderful addition to the diet of anyone under going radiation treatment for cancer.
  • Near Complete Protein
    • That’s right, it’s got 9 out of 10 of the essential amino acids.
  • Makes for good bowel movements
    • This gel lubes up the works and deeply hydrates the bowel, allowing for a natural long term relief from constipation due to chronic dehydration.

 

How to enjoy

The best way to play with Aloe as a medicine, is to buy the Whole Leaf and scoop out about a thumb size chunk of gel at a time. The leaf is self healing. I leaf it on the counter at room temperature and simply slice off what I need a little at a time. This plant is used to sitting out in warm weather with no water and plenty of sunshine, so it sits on my counter for weeks with little to no spoil. If it turns brown and soft, it probably is no longer fresh.

The juices in the store are very tasty. Watch the ingredient labels to be sure that you are not just adding in a sugary juice, and are truly getting a healthy supply of aloe.

I love to scoop mine into smoothies. The flavor disappears easily, and adds a little volume to my smoothie.

You can also stir some into a lemon, honey, tea. I have not tried this, so let me know if you do!

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Potential Toxicity

Consuming Aloe can have laxative effects. This is a wonderful natural option for persons struggling with constipation, but terrible for persons with chronic loose stool. If you start to feel cold, weak, or develop diarrhea stop consuming aloe.

There is also a layer of latex on the inside layer of the skin. When preparing do not scrape the knife close to the skin, simply scoop out the middle. There is a layer of gel close to the skin that contains latex and made be difficult to digest. If you have an allergy to latex, Aloe Vera may not be for you.

Links:

Aloe Vera Basics – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

Dr. Whiting’s Oxygen Cleanse – https://www.healingwithnutrition.com/cdisease/chronicfatigue/oxygen.html

“Healing with Whole Foods” Paul Pritchford

Aloe Vera FAQ

http://www.miracle-plant-aloe-vera.com/menopause-treatment.html

 

 

 

 

Ice Box Key Lime Pie

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This is one of those OMG this is so good desserts that satisfy that craving for a dirty filthy sweetness, with zero guilt. That’s right I am talking Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Super healthy in every way, and some how amazingly delicious.

First let me start off by saying that this is not a recipe of my own design. Merely I saw this: http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/creamy-lime-and-avocado-tart-vegan-gluten-free/ and tailored it to deal with a bit of a key lime situation at home. Hey they were on sale, so I bought too many. Totally a typical situation around my house.

Makes 1 standard Pie. Prep 20 mins with a friend.

Tools

  • parchment paper
  • standard size pie pan
  • food processor
  • clean hands
Ingredients
Crust
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut meat. Shredded or Flakes
  • ½ cup pecans, or almonds
  • ½ cup dates (I used about 9)
  • 1-2 TBS key lime zest (or as much as you can stand zesting this tiny buggars.)
  • pinch of sea salt
Tart Filling
  • 2 avocados RIPE (about 1½ cups of avocado puree)
  • ¼ cup of fresh squeezed key lime juice, about 9 key limes and lots of patience
  • ¼ cup honey, pasturized not raw. Use more or less, this makes a sweet treat.
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 TBS key lime zest (again as much as you can stand to zest)
Instructions
  1. Process the crust ingredients (coconut, nuts, dates, key lime zest and sea salt) in a food processor until everything is small and starting to clump into a ball.
  2. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  3. Take mixture out of the processor and press evenly into the parchment paper. Try to squish it out evenly.  Place pan in freezer while you make the filling.
  4. Blend ingredients for the filling (avocados, key lime juice, honey, coconut oil and key lime zest) in the food processor until creamy.
  5. Scoop the avocado filling over the crust into the pan. Use a spoon to make sure the filling is even and smooth.
  6. Place pan in the freezer to set up, at least 2 hours, but can be overnight. Take out of freezer, cut into slices and serve. The longer it sits out, the filling will soften and become more like pudding. It still tastes amazing, but not as firm. Store any leftovers back in the freezer. I slipped the whole pan into a freezer bag.

Coconut Date High Energy Ball Recipe

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Quick, Cheap, Easy, Tasty and Healthy? It’s like a health nut’s white whale. This is one of those thought to be unobtainable, but often rumored of healthy treats that taste good, do not cost a fortune, and are easy to make. The Energy Balls.

Did I mention, Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Vegan, Raw, Paleo, etc.

The basic idea is to throw an awesome trail mix into the food processor, blend in a nut butter of choice and coconut oil, form into balls, and snack away. Feel free to play with the ingredients to find a texture and a flavor that fits your budget and tastes.

Originally I made these as a post workout snack for my intensive yoga training weekends while going through my 200 hr teacher training. I needed something full of good fats, easily digestible, and filled with tons of clean energy. They continue to be a post-workout snack as well as the running late in the morning quick breakfast grab-and-go option.

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Coconut Date, high energy ball recipe.

  • 1 C raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 C unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 C shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes (I lightly toasted mine in the oven on a sil pat)
  • 1 C pitted dates
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbs Nut Butter (I used a walnut almond butter this time, but any will do)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  1. Place seeds and nuts into the food processor and pulse until loosely chopped.
  2. Add dates and coconut flakes. Process on low until all mixed.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and process until a nice fine texture is met, OR you loose your patience and a ball can be formed.
  4. Add more nut butter if the balls are not sticking together.
  5. Sprinkle the tops with a touch of high quality salt for that extra flavor.

Makes about 24 balls!! Store on a parchment paper, in tupperware. I left mine on the counter and they lasted about a week. Only because we ate them all so fast, lol. If you are worried about staying power, they work well refrigerated. Message me if you freeze them, I wanna know how it works out for you!!

Post in the comments! I wanna know what ingredients you are swapping in and out! I will also share more flavor combos.

 

 

Spring, rise early and be outside.

“Rise Early with the sun, and take brisk walks”

“Reflect the ascending and active nature of spring”

– Inner Classic.

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Spring Harmony Exercises.

This is the best time of year to start one of my favorite habits, Outside Every Day. We so need these beautiful moments of warmth from the sun right as the winter begins to fade away. The mornings are the brightest and warmest, peaking usually around 10 am. This is challenge #1, get outside everyday.

In spring, getting outside becomes such a beautiful experience aswe get to witness the whole neighborhood waking up from the winter over the span of a few weeks. Everything brown turns to green, then explodes with color. The hint of green and flowers all start slowly at first. I often hunt around for the little green sprouts of the early season daffodils, just to bring me comfort that winter is indeed almost over. Then the early flowers pop, and BOOM one day every leaf has doubled in size. There is also so much whimsy in the birds fluttering about fighting for seed, sprouts, and worms while flirting and courting their mates. The action really gets silly, and sometimes very noisy. Rabbits and squirrels get more active too this time of year. I started simply by enjoying my morning coffee in solitude watching the birds do their thing. Try for 10 mins every morning.

If you already play outside everyday, challenge #2 is to walk. No need to get fancy, just roll on out of the house and get to know your neighborhood. This clears this mind, gets my blood flowing, and sometimes I get to make new friends along the way! The fresh air clears my nasal passages of any old pollen I picked up the day before. I always want to get that stuff out right away to prevent a build up leading to an infection, or the sneezies. Once starting a morning routine of being outside, and/or going for a walk, it is surprising how much more tolerable work becomes.

Being outside everyday no matter the weather especially makes those grey rainy days feel much better. I actually grew to love these days the most. Looking out and seeing the grey used to make me feel soo blahh. Going out and being in the gross weather makes it so much nicer to be inside and my productivity sky rockets.

Challenge #3 wake up an hour earlier! This is especially nice to do in April. Winter time I sleep and nap often, with no shame. Come spring my ideas and wants and desires go up. I get need to put all of those ideas from the winter revere into action. So much more gets done in the mornings then late at night. Things are easy, that afterwork feel impossible to accomplish. My mind has yet to fill up with stress and distractions from the day, and once out of bed, the doing of things is simple. Just think what you could do with a super productive extra hour everyday!


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“One cannot help but notice plant life pushing upwards after the winter’s slumber. The sight of the green color of tender young plants nourishes the soul throught the eyes. The appetite for food decreases and the body naturally cleanses itself, not only if food residues, but of excessive desire and the accompanying emotions of dissatisfaction, imaptience, and anger as well. … (Spring) is a time for contacting your true nature and giving attention to self-awareness and self-expression.” – Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods