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Happy Solstice Weekend

  It was just a few days ago when Ari, my 15 year old son, eagerly hopped in the car after school.

 

He is my spirited Solstice tree elf.  We always pick out a tree together, and proceed to bring it home to have a overwhelming time getting it to stand straight in the tree stand.

 

As we looked through all the different kinds of trees, I found myself asking a fellow customer which kind she thought "smelled" the best.  She ironically looked at me like I was a little crazy.

 

"Which one SMELLS the best?" she asked.

 

I quickly realized not everyone is going for the best smelling tree.

 

After some crazy sawing and a few too many pine needles on the floor, we managed pretty well this year.

 

My favorite part of the solstice is sitting in the dark with my very fragrant tree, it's white lights twinkling in my living room creating that oh so sweet glow.

 

I love the Winter Solstice.  It always feels so mystical to me.  The darkest night of the year, the most inward introspective time, the returning of the light, and a sense of holiday shimmer in the air.

 

This year, take the journey with me in these dark nights, and let's find some magic to enjoy in our lives together and some ritual to ignite our hearts.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #2 is here for you.

Solstice Rituals and Relvelry

solstice-ritual-candle**

 

  • Learn WHY rituals are so potent in our lives
  • Check out some of my favorite Solstice rituals
  • Enjoy some new wintery recipes over the holidays.

 

The Dark Night Delicacies are my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

 

 

Winter Solstice Rituals and Revelry

Ritual is one way the soul often craves connection, presence and sweetness. We have been doing ritual in so many realms throughout time to fulfill this part of our souls desire.

 

Cultures far and wide have included rituals for centuries and now much research is showing that the human ENJOYMENT and CONNECTION is heightened through ritual.

 

Some rituals are small - like lighting a candle before a meal.

 

Some rituals are super involved like a Japanese Tea ceremony, or a pagan May day Beltane celebration.

 

We are going to start with just a few of my favorites for the darkest night of the year.  Feel free to customize these ideas into rituals that work for you and your family.

  1. Solstice lantern lighting: Embrace the dark by leaving lights off + lighting lanterns or candles at dusk. Decorate mason jars and place a small candle inside OR try the shimmery candles that clip onto your holiday tree and safely light them. As you sit by candle light, set your intentions for the returning of the light.  You can find the clip on candles HERE
  2. Create a fire releasing ceremony: Write down what you wish to release. One by one, as you write each one down, burn them in the fire.  You can use a fire place, wood stove, or outdoor bonfire.  I have done variations of this over the years with my women's programs and retreats.
  3. Commune in nature: Take a long walk in the woods, and consider bringing a headlamp if you wish to explore the dusk or dark.  Leave an offering of seeds (such as sunflowers), flowers or herbs out for the birds and other wild creatures.
  4. With the returning of the light it is often said to be a powerful time to set new intentions, goals, or put visions into motion.  Some consider this time to be the true New Year.  Write a list of all or your burning desires, and visions for the upcoming year and the returning of the light.  Meditate on the clearest path to see them come to fruition.

 

Wintery Wise Recipes

Butternut and Buffalo Paleo Stew

buffalo-butternut-stew

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 lb buffalo cubes for stewing
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced;
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz. spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken/beef/mushroom stock
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano or 2 drops oregano essential
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Warm up a skillet over a medium-high heat. Brown the buffalo cubes in the skillet for about 1 minute per side. Transfer the meat to a crock pot. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach and the mushrooms, to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. Add in the mushrooms 30 minutes before the stew is done. Add the spinach just before serving.

 

 

Yoga Pose of the Week

agnistambhasana-guide

Light your hips on fire with this yummy hip opener this week. No matter how flexible your hips are, you can find some sensation in your body and warm your entire hip socket and pelvis up with a little Solstice warming fire.

A few things to remember about Fire log (or double pigeon):

  • Sitting up on a blanket can help. Propping a block under your top knee will give you some extra support.
  • Flexing your feet will help to protect your knee joint.
  • As you inhale let your torso rise and expand your chest. As you exhale let the knees become a bit heavier and draw more sensation into your hips.
  • Bow forward if your hip flexibility allows. Remember to breath and track the warmth and sensation in your body.

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Successful Seasonal Immunity

The other night, I was walking down Pearl street here in downtown Boulder after a yummy birthday dinner  for my son (Happy Birthday Ari!!), and I found myself shivery cold as we walked back to our car. This week the weather really shifted here in Colorado.  There has been gusting wind, snow, and some super chilly nights.

I have heard of many lingering coughs, flus, and cold season symptoms sneaking up as we make the transition to colder days, and darker nights.

 

The seasonal transition towards winter is surely before us (if you are in the northern hemisphere that is) and with that comes a big shift for the body and our delicate (yet resilient) immune systems.

 

Synching up with the season is a safe status to secure.

 

With the holidays right around the corner AND the weather changing, a little extra self care could be just what you need to stay strong, vital and in good shape for the weeks to come.

 

We have the remarkable capability to heal ourselves. The winter dry climate presents us many challenges in keeping our immune system strong, therefore is important to make choices in the way of health to give ourselves the chance to thrive through every season especially winter.

 

The body is a wise immunity warrior.

 

Building our immunity or Protective Qi, wards off either diseases from viruses and weather influences. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, protective qi is derived from essential substances in food and inhaled air quality.

 

Here are a few tips for a successful immune system as the seasons change.

 

  1. Synch UP: Take the time to prepare whole foods seasonal foods, rich in all the essential nutrients to give yourself a strong foundation that will benefit you for every season.

 

Highly refined foods lack most minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and much of the protein required for proper immune function. Avoid refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, pasteurized dairy products, white sugar, and meats containing nitrates and replace with seasonal whole foods high in protein, natural fat, that are perfectly matched for the season’s health challenges.  

 

Stick to a diet high in whole foods such as organic veggies and fruits, natural meats and fish, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Eating in tune with the seasons will naturally tune your body to the seasonal challenges and strengthen accordingly.

 

  1. Oil Up: Omega-3 oils are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega three oils in the form of either DHA/EPA, which are available in cold- water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine; or alpha-linoliec acid, which is the fatty acid found in certain plants, such as flax seed, pumpkin seed, soy bean products and walnuts. They are some of the “good” fat that is necessary for healthy development and immunity. For many, a nutritional supplement may be the best option. Not only do we need omega-3 three oils, but also the essential vitamins and mineral for their absorption. Fresh vegetables, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds come rich in these vitamins B6, A, E as well as minerals magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

 

A Study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AUG 2002) recommends the use of Omega-3 oils therapeutically for activating immune response. . EFA’s also give the added insulation that keeps the tissues moist, the nervous system strong and the body full of energy and insulation.

 

  1. Herb UP: Another study published spring of 2004 in the Journal of Internal Medical Research indicating black Elderberry extract (sambucus nigra L.) reduces flu symptoms and shortens the duration by more than 50%. Due to the challenge of the increasing flu risk in that we have experienced nation wide, this may be one of the keys to staying healthy through the winter.

 

  1. Tune UP: The benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs are priceless when it comes to building immunity. They have the incredible ability to be adaptogenic, which will either tonify or strengthen the system. They treat the individual not just the symptom and have a very efficacious quality that works quickly and effectively.

 

This is similar with other ancient medicines such as homeopathic medicine and ayurvedic medicine. Find out who your local practitioners are and lean on them during these times when our immune systems are challenged.

 

 

  1. Warm UP: Lastly, remember the harsh weather conditions are a challenge to the system. The Chinese believe that all the major pathogens enter the body born on wind. The line of points across the back of the neck is the weak spot known as the wind gate. Covering this area in times of harsh weather, such as wind and cold will help to prevent illness. Wearing turtlenecks, scarves and many warm layers made of natural fibers is not just and old wives tale. “Dress for the season not the day” is a well-known approach to keeping your body warm, and strong.

 

We have at our fingertips so many of nature’s gifts that work well in our bodies to protect, and strengthen.

Nature’s pharmacy and menu is endless.

Connecting back to the basics, the simplicity, and the wisdom that our own planet has to offer is truly a beautiful path to overall health, vitality, and immunity.

Keep cozy and stay healthy.

 


 

 

 

 

EPY-Bali-2016

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Sync up with the SEASON

I sat in bed Sunday morning drinking tea, reading, and savoring the coziness of my down comforter.  

I made soup.

 

I took a long walk in the woods to see the brilliant trees changing to vibrant oranges and reds.

 

falltreeamber

 

I adore AUTUMN.

 

You may feel the desire to pull inwards and reflect, rest, and restore a bit more as well.

 

You may have noticed that urge for more warming fall foods to nourish your body as well.

 

Now that another fall season is upon us, you may feel ready to let go, forgive, and heal as you watch the leaves fall to the ground yet again.

 

All of these intuitive knowings are exactly why SYNCHING up with the SEASON is a brilliant practice.  When we SYNC up with nature we also maximize our MOJO.

 

Our life force lights up.

 

Each season in Traditional Chinese Medicine is linked to a specific energy, organ, color, sense and element.

 

Fall is the season of downward and inward energy, lungs and large intestine, letting go of sadness and grief, the metal element, our sense of smell, and the color white.

 

As we descend this fall, we have the opportunity to both let go and purify physically and energetically for the rest of the season to bring us more vibrant health and radiance.

 

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

 

Here are my favorite 5 HEALTH HABITS to SYNC up with the SEASON to make a magnificent impact on your health, harmony and happiness.

Warm

 

Keep you lungs and chest warm (and the rest of your body). You can try:

 

Warming foods: Foods that are slow cooked, root veggies that carry the downward and inward energy such as ginger, onion, leak, garlic and beats.

Herbal Teas: Many herbal teas are good for their lung support, immunity and warming qualities. (ginger, nettles, cinnamon spice, chai, osha root, spiced mate, or mullein)

Essential oils:  Oils are great to use during the fall season. You can difuse the oils, use topically, or even in your cooking: Frankinsence, vitiver, cedarwood, sage, fennel, or oregano oil

Wear Warm clothing: To insulate and nourish the lungs we must be warm. Even if the weather is warmer than an average fall day, stay attentive to the season, the cooler nights, and the need to take deep care with warming up the core.  Your immune system will thank you.

 

 

Breathe

 

As I mentioned, fall is known as the season associated with the lungs in Chinese medicine. It is often a time when children come home from school with upper respiratory coughs and weakness as the weather changes. It is important to strengthen the lungs in the fall. This can be done in a variety of ways but here are a few of my favorites:

Make sure you and your family exercise regularly. Pump the lungs often so they are strong and cleansed with rigorous life-giving breath.

 

Many foods in the fall are known to support the lungs. Root vegetables such as onions, leeks, and ginger are supportive to the lungs. Fruits such as apples and pears care for the lung tissue as well. Eating with the season is the perfect way to maintain healthy lungs.

 

 

Detox

 

The season of fall is the perfect time to gently detoxify and cleanse our bodies, our homes and our minds.

We all come across toxicity each day in our foods, in our environment, and with our daily stresses.

When we cleanse our body, you strengthen your immune system for a healthier fall and winter season.  (Check out the Fall seasonal SYNC up here)

 

When we cleanse our homes and our environment by cleaning with natural cleaners, letting go of old clutter and creating a sacred space in our home, we have the perfect place to rest and restore as the season often pulls us to spending more time at home resting and restoring.

 

When we cleanse our minds through meditation and mindfulness practices, we create a healthier and more calm relationship to daily stressors that can throw us off balance. We deepen our connection to ourselves, and we stay more centered in our lives.

 

 

Ground

 

As you watch the leaves falling from the trees and becoming the earth‘s nutrients for next year’s planting, it becomes obvious that fall has an energy that flows downward and inward (as opposed the upward and outward energetics in the spring). What are the aspects of your life that ground you? Make a list and practice these grounding activities regularly in the fall.

 

It is a nice time to take long walks in the colorful forest and feel the leaves crunching under your feet. Consider collecting nuts, pinecones and fall treasures for an altar or a fairy garden with your children. These small autumn rituals and habits help us harmonize ourselves with autumn. It is natural to sleep more, rest more and begin to turn inward towards introspection and healing.

 

 

Gratitude

 

Lush sunflowers, tucked in with the plump orange pumpkins, are an abundance to celebrate. The colors, foods and celebrations of fall are profuse. Feel gratitude for the beauty of the harvest. Set a seasonal outdoor table rich with a cornucopia of color and nature’s gifts to warm the heart for any celebration. Share a gratitude blessing before your meals, as it promotes health and happiness.

Light a bonfire to take away the chill of the evening and join in a circle of friends celebrating fall in its glory.

Take it in! The abundance is around you and within you. Your only job is to notice and appreciate its radiance.  Remember all you need exists within. You are the strength, you are the love.


Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

 Check out the FALL COZY Seasonal Sync up (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin on your own, just let me know, we have you covered.


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FALL COZY Breakfast Breakthroughs

 

Good Morning Sunshine.

 

If you have been a Boulder Nutrition reader for a while, you probably already know how I feel about breakfast.

 

This summer I published a summertime breakfast blog called Breakfast Bliss and Blood Sugar that became the most read blog in the history of Boulder Nutrition. I am so glad you all liked it!

 

What I am really interested in is WHY? 

 

I have a good hypothesis as to WHY for you today, and an even more exciting breakfast menu for you to explore this fall.

 

Listen, I would be surprised if your mornings are totally serene, peaceful, and quiet.

 

I know some of you are the exception and have your morning routine down, but if you are like most of us, mornings can be hectic, scattered, and rushed .I have focused my attention on my morning routine for years.

 

As I have shared before, the mornings when I am on my game I am good at giving myself at least 30 minutes to rise and shine before my kids, to have some time to meditate, practice, and nourish myself well.

I have found mindful mornings tend to make ALL the difference.

 

The truth is, sometimes it just doesn't go that way.  Did you forget you were out of milk?  Push the alarm one extra time? Have a teenager whose hair just wasn't working out? Or forget about that extra stop  you have to make for gas on the way to work or school?  All it takes is something small to throw our mornings into a tail spin.

 

Can you relate?

 

These reasons (plus many more) might be why breakfast is the most challenging, rushed and stressful meal of the day.

 

So with the idea of giving you more of what you seem to really like reading, here are my 5 favorite FALL COZY breakfasts to settle into this fall.

 

Each of these breakfasts have a little flavor of the weather changing, fall seasonal energetics, and of course you can trust me to keep the glycemic index LOW and your blood sugar BALANCE and BLISS in mind.

 

 

Quinoa Apple Pie Bowl

Health Nugget:  What I love most about quinoa (pronounced KEEN WOA) is that it is a complete protein and the highest protein content of any grain.  It is also known to dry up dampness in the body according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  What does that mean?  Well, dampness is like a code word for inflammation or phlegm.  The less we have of this during the fall season - the season with the most coughs and colds - the better.

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (easiest if cooked ahead of time for morning efficiency)

1 Steamed apple warmed with cinnamon

1 Tsp butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup pecans

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp maple syrup or raw honey (optional)

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

apple-pie-quinoa-bowl-

 

 

Chai Chia smoothie

Health Nugget: Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to pack your breakfast of all the food groups and super foods you want to add to your breakfast.  Smoothies are also easy to transport to your office.  My favorite feature in this smoothie is that it is not frozen but rather warming as the weather changes those brisker fall mornings.  The warm chai tea and warming spices are perfect to synch up with the fall season.

2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce

1 TBSP Chia seeds

1 fleshy fruit of choice (i.e. 1/2 banana)

6-8 cups Herbal Spice Chai tea (warm)

Vanilla protein powder or raw egg

1 T chopped ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom (optional)

1 T fresh grated ginger

Place ingredients in the blender and mix well.

chaichiacinnsmoothie

 

Paleo Zucchini Muffins

Health Nugget:  These high protein muffins, disguised as a carb, are a quick and easy breakfast for on the go mornings.  Spread with some organic butter or almond butter for another boost in good protein and fat and you will notice that your energy is even keeled all day.  Pack all of that nutrient dense zucchini in there and get an extra couple servings of veggies.  Prepare them ahead of time, freeze if you like, and enjoy.

1 cup of garden fresh zucchini

3 organic eggs

1 1/2 cups almond flower

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 organic chocolate chips (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup raw honey or coconut sugar

Mix ingredients and bake at 375 for about 45 min or until golden brown.

 

paleozuchinni

 

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Health Nugget: These pancakes are a great way to get a sweet breakfast without sacrificing your blood sugar in the process.  Adding in the scoop of protein powder is a trick I have been using with my kids for years to ensure pancake breakfasts still include a healthy dose of protein.  Along with the yummy seasonal pumpkin, a great source of vitamin A and beta carotene, full of fiber, and potent antioxidants, these make for a great fall breakfast.

2 cups gluten free pancake mix

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 organic eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cups liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut milk or water)

pinch of salt

1 TBSP maple syrup (for top)

Mix together ingredients and fry up in your ideal pancake size in a cast iron pan until golden brown.  Top with organic butter and maple syrup.

PumpkinPancakes1

 

Caprese Scramble

Health Nugget:  Organic eggs are chock full of the amino acid, tryptophan, which is a key player in a good mood and inner calm.  The protein in eggs is one that will not only satiate your blood sugar due to its delicate balance of protein and fat, but will also keep you feeling brighter and cheerier all day long.

 

1 small organic tomato

1 3-5 basil leaves chopped fine

3-4 slices of raw mozzarella cheese

2-3 organic eggs

Pinch of salt

Saute the tomato and basil in a pan in butter or olive oil.  Stir in the eggs to scramble.  Toss in raw mozzarella at the end until it begins to melt slightly.  Serve up.

capresescramble

 


Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

Check out the FALL COZY Cleanse Program (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin, you can start anytime you are ready.

Check out the details HERE


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Crazy for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become all the rage.  I am sure you have seen, read, or even dove into your own jar of coconut oil by now.There is a lot of press promising you elaborate healing with this divine substance, so I am going to name just a few that I find to be TRUE.

My jars of coconut oil have multiple locations around my house - in the kitchen, in the bathroom and beside my bed (ooh la la)

 

While the dry weather of fall (in Colorado for sure) comes with the need for a little beauty and skin attention, there are many brilliant and simple uses for this super food that I want to share with you that you can use all year long. 

First, before we get to the miracle makings of my favorite of natures remedies, I want to be sure we clarify just a bit on the confuse about coconut oil:

  • YES, coconut oil is a saturated fat.  Studies now have shown that our bodies need saturated fat to burn fat, to keep our metabolism strong, and to keep our blood sugar balanced.

 

  • Although coconut oil is all the rage, coconut oil is nothing new.  Coconut oil has been used for centuries in tropical climates in a variety of health remedies, foods, and skin care. This age old super food has a health history far and beyond most trendy health foods.

 

  •  There are plenty of studies on coconut oil in native populations showing that this saturated fat has never been proven to cause heart disease. Sadly, the heart disease myth that has been around a long time and still persists today, even though it is scientifically proven to be untrue! You can trust coconut oil for your health.
Let's get onto the captivating coconut concoctions next and explore how you can enhance your health, and a few other goodies that you don't want to miss.
 
7 Crazy Cool Uses for Coconut Oil (I like number 5 the best)
  1. Cooking

Cooking with coconut oil is safe, nutrient rich and tasty. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, making it very stable to light and heat. Use coconut oil in your sauté, stir fry or baking.

Additionally, coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium chain fatty acids.  These fatty acids go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies and provide a quick source of energy.

  1. Skin Care

Coconut oil has many health benefits when used on the outside of the body as well. Known for it skin repair qualities, as well as its perfectly balanced PH naturally, coconut oil is a wonderful addition to your skin care regiment.

High in both vitamin E and medium chain fatty acids, your skin will thank you for the moisture, softenss and long term wrinkle control. I use coconut oil regularly on my skin especially during the warmer and dryer months of the year.

  1. Smoothies

Put a dollup of coconut oil right into your morning smoothie, and you will notice your blood sugar remain stable for longer, a boost in your energy, and a nice smooth texture and flavor. If you have a blood sugar related health issue such as hypoglyciema, diabetes, PCOS, or acid reflux, coconut oil might be just the right addition to your morning smoothie.

Coconut oil in your breakfast is a great way to increase brain function, minimize sugar cravings, and keep your digestion healthy and strong.

  1. Oil Pulling

 Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

For now take about 1-2 tsp on a spoon and place into mouth. Swish for about 20 min. You will want to find something to occupy you like a meditation, folding some laundry or getting dressed. After about 20 min, spit oil into the sink ridding your mouth of toxins and bacteria. ** DO NOT SWALLOW.

  1. Sensual Massage and lubrication

YES! Coconut oil is great for your YONI ...and beyond. Coconut oil is by far the most natural, the most effective, and the most safe for lubrication and we know how good it is for your skin.

Keep a jar on your night stand for sensual massage, lubrication, tasty fun and delights to the senses. Bonus: because coconut oil is also an antibacterial remedy, you will find it helps with candida, yeast infections and other bothersome imbalances in the body.

  1. Coffee it up!

I was never much of a coffee drinker, because coffee would  mess up my blood sugar and leave me feeling wired, hyper and slightly ADD. The recent trend of bullet proof coffee (adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee + a few other goodies) has made my weekend coffee ritual very exciting.

Adding coconut oil to your coffee (or tea) will sustain your blood sugar and your energy much more effectively, while also boosting up the nutrient density of your favorite morning beverage.

  1. Wound Healing

Coconut oil is known to effectively support wound healing due to its medicinal antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing properties. Coconut oil can also keep infections at bay and prevent scarring with its perfectly balanced and moisturizing qualities.

Be sure to clean the would thoroughly first.

  • Apply coconut oil on the wounded area.
  • Place a eco friendly bandage over it to seal in the moisture.
  • Reapply coconut oil 2-3 times per day.
  • Follow this regiment for several days to prevent scarring and encourage healing.

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Calling Aphrodite

5 Springtime Aphrodisiacs to Master your MOJO

Aphrodite, known as the Greek Goddess of love, pleasure, sensuality and beauty, is one of my favorite of the Goddesses to invoke. Can you see why?

In the stories of Aphrodite, she has the magical ability to compel anyone to desire her.

 

aphrodite_9

 

Aphrodite is said to be born from the foam of the sea. She is revered, cherished, and known for her sensual allure, her delicate beauty and her ability to activate the sensuality of her lovers. This spring you too can invoke her into your pleasure practices, and into the art of sensual eating so that you can explore a more mystical in your body and your bliss.

The sensual art of eating is a journey deep into your relationship with your own sensuality, pleasure stimuli through the senses, and a celebration of food and sensuality that has been present in cultures far and wide throughout history. Sensuality happens with cooking, preparing, presenting and opening are hearts through our meals, just as it does when we prepare, adorn ourselves and wake up our senses to make love to our beloved. This art is as delicate, smooth, succulent and artistic as a love poem or as crazy and free as an artist’s eccentric expression.

The sensual art of eating combines our love for ourselves and those we cook for along with our inseparable senses, especially smell and taste.

Let’s start with the olfactory orgasm…

It is said the olfactory sense, our sense of smell is our oldest sense from the viewpoint of evolution. Our sense of smell creates strong memories with its powerful, swift and precise presence. The sense of smell is more developed in a woman than it is in a man. Our sense of smell is deeply connected to our sensual relationship to food, to a woman's eroticism, and to our intuition. Just as we can be enticed by the smell of our lover, we can be excited by the lure of fresh prepared foods, conscious cooking and the throb of desire and erotism that food can evoke in us as woman and as Goddess. It is not unusual for a mouth watering dish to evoke nostalgia and pleasure waking up our emotions and creating a spiritual + sensual experience with our food.

 

On to our TANTALIZING taste buds…

It is said in the world of senses, taste is the QUEEN. It is a pleasure, but also a protection that can tell the difference between what's good to eat and what could be harmful. The taste buds activate relating to 5 different flavors, according to Chinese Medicine: Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour and Pungent. Each flavor represents a different quality of emotion and energy that we can use to balance ourselves out and heighten our experience around taste. UMAMI is the ultimate taste sensation that brings us the most tantalizing taste experience in just one bite. It is most like a food orgasm that activates all 5 tastes and increases pleasure exponentially. APHRODISIACS

An aphrodisiac is a substance known to increase sexual desire and sexual pleasure. The word APHRODISIAC throughout history has pertained to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, passion and pleasure. There have been many foods considered aphrodisiacs throughout time, and the thing that they all have in common is that they ALL fully engage the senses. Aphrodisiacs are sensual foods create a heightened pleasure experience related both to eating and to our own sensuality. We can make love to ourselves through our food, and we can use food as foreplay for ourselves or with our beloved, a practice written about for centuries in almost every culture known to humankind. 5 SPRINGTIME Aphrodisiacs For you to EXPLORE

Asparagus

This lily plant derivative is known to stir up lust for both woman and man. They are known to boost histamine production known to boost orgasm in both male and female.

Asparagus

 

 

Watermelon

Known as natures VIAGRA due to 2 compounds. First watermelon has high levels of citrulline (found in highest concentration in the white of the melon rind) has the power to dilate blood vessels and support erection in a man. Second, the high amounts of lycopene are known to balance and support a healthy prostate. This may be the perfect sensual fruit to entice your lover

watermelon-

 

Maca

This peruvian wonder has proven to have a number of health benefits. Some of these include increasing energy and stamina, balancing hormones for both PMS and menopause, repairing adrenal function and enhancing sexual function and libido. Ooh la la! Maca is available in a powdered form and can be added to smoothies or yogurt, or you can buy maca in a capsule to take a more concentrated dosage.

Maca-powder-and-root

 

Artichoke

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that artichokes had such a strong aphrodisiac effect that women were prohibited from eating them as they were said to make women more desirable.

artichokes

 

Chocolate

The aphrodisiac quality of chocolate is nothing new…but rather something that is embedded in history of the western civilization. The great Aztec ruler Montezuma, one of the first red hot lovers to tap into chocolate’s strengths, was said to have consumed as much as fifty cups of chocolate elixir before heading off to his harem. In the late 20th century it was proven that the phenylethylamine (PEA) in chocolate releases the same hormone as does sexual intercourse. The compounds in chocolate are also known to raise dopamine and seratonin levels offering energy, mood enhancement and pleasure to the body.

cacao_beans

 

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Eat for the SEASON not the DAY

Is WINTER faking you out? This morning I was driving my son to school on the icy roads and he said:

"Sheesh, really Boulder? "

These crazy weather patterns we experience here in Boulder are a little hard on the system and hard to predict at this time of year.

One day it is springy and warm and I feel my spring fever bubbling up, and the next we are shoveling 2 feet of snow off of our driveway and I am back in hibernation mode.

Even though my son was born and raised here in Colorado, it still boggles his mind to witness the Colorado weather patterns.  

It is a confusing time of year for the body and immune system and so many people have been struggling with cold and flu this year.

vinter5

There is a saying in Chinese Medicine that says:

"Dress for the season, not the day."

I have adopted this moto and added my own little spin:

"Eat for the season, not the day."

It is still winter for most of us, and although I am excited about the upcoming spring season and enjoying the occasional warmer day, it is still helpful to stay warm and well nourished for the remaining days of winter.

February and March are often the months with the most irratic weather.  Our bodies are going through a lot to keep ourselves strong and healthy.

We have to be sure to stay AHEAD of the weather.

How you may ask?

When we stay in the season with our eating, our self care, body care, we will naturally be more attuned to the season, and strengthen our immune systems for this final push of winter.

Want a few immune boosting tips?

Keep reading...

Just tired of Winter?  

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Winter Immunity Insights

1.  Stay warm.

Keep your kidneys and bladder warm (and the rest of your body as well).  You can use warming foods, teas, topical essential oils, sesame oil, and warm clothing to insulate and nourish the your core.  Scarves are a nice addition to protect the windgate – the space at the back of your neck – where pathogens can enter.

Even if the weather is warmer than an average winter day, which often happens in my home state COLORADO, be sure to “DRESS FOR THE SEASON, NOT THE DAY”.   Stay insulated to keep the immunity strong.

colorado-nature

2.  Oil of Oregano

Are you fighting the common winter cold, or flu this winter?  Oil of Oregano is one of my favorite treatments for both immune boosting and anti-bacterial and anti-viral support.

Did you know just a few drops of Oregano Oil in the diffuser or vaporizer can give you some relief?

Even better – add a few drops to your cooking and enjoy the delicious flavor and immune boosting qualities with your dinner.

Because this potent oil is so strong, make sure you dilute it substantially or take it in a protective capsule.  With my big pot of homemade chicken soup I only use 2 drops…3 is too many, and too strong.  (See recipe below)

(avoid if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding or an infant)

 

doTERRA-oregano-oil

 

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3.  Ritual Baths

There are many many benefits to baths at this time of year.  Aside from the warming and relaxing qualities there are also deeper support from certain types of baths.  You can always resort to the simple Epson salts bath if you like, but here I am going to provide you with some specific and unique baths to use to synch up with winter – mind, body and soul.

  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for a warm and insulating
  • Add some chunks of fresh ginger.  Ginger is a natural immune booster and when you soak in a ginger tea bath you absorb the ginger and allow the body to purify and release the pathogens.  Stay warm and get right in bed after.
  • Feeling a little down in the cold days of winter?  Sweeten up your mood with a "sweet like honey" bath.  Add a cup of raw honey to your bath and watch your seasonal funk slip away.  Honey baths remind us of the sweetness of life.

spa-bathroom

 

 

 

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What's in your LUNCH BOX?

The stores are shouting back to school, the air starts to have a slight nip in its evening breeze and the yearning for a life with some sense of structure and rhythm is before us. Summer is fleeting.  The long days at the pool and late night BBQ’s drift into our memories and come to an end for another year.  We feel the little twinge of letting go as we settle back into another school year.

 

ari-backtoschool

 

I always think of the new school year as a new beginning.  Many people consider this a time to revamp, recharge and get in gear for a great year with their families, and themselves.  Upping the anti in the area of health is a big focus for many families as we start anew.

One of the biggest challenges I hear from parents as we settle back into the fall is:  How do I create the every day SCHOOL LUNCH keeping kids happy, healthy and strong?

Don’t fret.  It is possible to make lunch box ingredients enticing, nutrient dense and yummy for your kids.  You can find your groove; it just might take a little shift in your thinking and a little preparation in your life for the ease to flow this fall.

Your school lunches are never going to be easier, tastier, and more efficient than if you follow these tips below, and, you will also see some great lunch ideas to get you started.  You are off to a GREAT start.

 

lunchbox

 

1.  GO CONTAINER SHOPPING:  I know it sounds simple, but having the appropriate carrier makes all the difference in your ease and efficiency.

  • The BENTO LUNCH BOX is the perfect set up.  It has all the compartments and containers you could want, plus an insulated chiller bag to keep your munchkins lunch fresh.
  • OR Buy a variety of small containers that have good lids and fit together well.  Those little fingers will be so excited and amazed at what they find inside.
  • A WIDE MOUTH THERMOS will save the day.  We use it almost daily for leftovers, soups and stews that will nourish the little buddies when they need something warm.  They make little mini versions perfect for a young one and easy to manage.

 

2.  CREATE YOUR MENU: I always think in terms of having some easy default plans.  You know, the ones where you have to think very little.  Find 3 top lunches (check out the list below) that work for you and your kiddo and try to keep as much of that around for a quick and stress free assembly.  It does not have to be gourmet, complicated or require a lot of time to be healthy and for your kids to love lunching.

 

 3.  THINK IN TERMS OF FOOD GROUPS: A balanced meal is made of 4 building blocks.  A protein, a fat, a carbohydrate (in its whole form is best – includes fruit) and a veggie of some kind.    If you can think in this formula you will be golden.  Need an example?  No problem.

  • A hard boiled egg of dish of egg salad = protein + fat

(Feel free to include some flax crackers or carrot sticks for dipping)

  • A container of strawberries = Carbohydrate
  • Left over steamed broccoli = veggie
  • BONUS – some nuts and dried fruit for a snack.

 

4.  MAKE A LIST:  Being prepared is ALWAYS the best road to success.  This is also true in the world of school lunches. Once you get your GO-TO lunches down it is easy breezy, you’ve just got to be prepared.  Go to the store EVERY SUNDAY to gather what you need for the week.  Then it is a SURE THING.  Make your list for the week and don’t forget to include enough ingredients for dinner leftovers – they make the best school lunches.

 

5.  LOVE YOUR LITTLE GUY/GAL:  This year, amidst a cold winter dark morning when I had just about had it with school lunches all together, I stood in my kitchen in my cozy bathrobe with my hot cup of morning tea.  I stood there blank, empty, and done.  “I can’t make another lunch.  I am fried.”  It took a few mystical moments but soon after my first thought I was flooded with love.  Love for my kids, and love and passion for health.

Every school lunch is like a daily practice for me, loving my kids through food and nourishment.  So when I totally dry up in the world of creativity, I can dig deep into that well of love, and there it is.

I have made thousands of school lunches at this point.  My kids are 17 and 13.  They have never eaten lunch from the cafeteria regularly, always homemade. You can do it.  Do it for love.

 

6.  TAKE CARE OF SELF:  I know we hear it all the time, but sometimes we NEVER REALLY hear it!  You have to take care of yourself first.  Parenting will drain you.  It is joyful and magical, and it is challenging and hard.   The only way out of this is to feed yourself, love yourself, and give as much attention to your lunch as you do to theirs.

Keep your cup filled up and you will have more to give.  Food is such a primary way we show love to others, and food is such an important way we nourish ourselves.

 

I have many ideas to share with you.  Some have been my go-to’s for years:

  • Beef and veggie stew – we pre-make in the crock pot all day on Sundays.  Grass fed beef, red potato (or various root veggies), celery, carrot, onion, with beef broth for flavor and spiced + salted to taste. We top it off with kale at the end. Ari takes this in his thermos for days.
  • Organic chicken sausage pan-fried with rice, a small container of sauerkraut, and seaweed.

 

Some favorite lunches are gathered from a potpourri of the other health practitioners in this community.  When asked what their kids favorite lunches are here is what they said:

  • Black beans and brown rice with chopped veggies simmered in with the beans. Organic corn chips with goat cheese wedges, baby tomatoes and sliced apples! Always a winner w Jackson :)  – Erika Anderson, Licensed Acupuncturist, Boulder Sports Acupuncture

 

  • Avocado and tomato salad with olive oil and sea salt. Chicken salad with dried cherries and cashews with flax crackers. Squash fries with dipping sauce. Sofie eats it up every time.– Jessica Emich, Executive chef and co-owner of Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place

 

  • For Sam- a thermos of beans & rice, seaweed, organic apple, a raw red peppers. – Kim Millison, Licensed Acupuncturist.

 

  • Tess loves quinoa, broccoli and crumbled goat cheese. I add cashews, a side of avocado slices and seaweed. – Deb Rubin, Licensed Social Worker (Couples and Parenting specialist)

 

  • Nora's favorite lunches are California rolls- we pre-make rice for the week, add carrots and cucumbers and lots of gomasio, and wrap it up in nori- she loves them. – Kristin Savory, Licensed Acupuncturist, Grow Vibrant.

Twitter_logo_blue “The practice of doing more than necessary works best when packing lunch boxes” ― Josh Stern

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHES?  SHARE WITH US BELOW AND LET'S MAKE LUNCH TIME LOVABLE...

 

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Winter Myths Exposed

  How are you feeling??  As we make the official descent into the darkest nights for the next couple weeks, we are also wrought with holiday shopping, family in town, colder weather, and even what some consider the toughest time of year on the immune system.  

I thought it would be a good time to EXPOSE some winter MYTHS for you so you can enhance your darkest days with wisdom and wellness.    Do we REALLY need to worry about our WINTER WELL BEING?  Or our we designed perfectly to match up with the season and its energetics?

Here are some of the TOP winter wellness MYTHS to explore, and then move into the season with GUSTO feeling better than ever.

candlesinarow

 

Myth #1:  Can you catch a cold by getting cold?

FALSE ~ A famous Chinese Medicine saying, "Dress for the season, not the day.", has always been my rule of thumb.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for a long time and it definitely provides some brilliant wisdom.  

Being in the elements poses no problems directly to our health, in fact it is invigorating and energizing to be outside even during the winter.  The only concern is if we are exposed to cold and wind, especially in a few target areas, we are weakened to on coming pathogens.

 

The wind gate it is often used to talk about the entire back of the neck and upper back. Accord­ing to TCM, exter­nal pathogens enter the body through the wind gate. In other words, we are most sus­cep­ti­ble to envi­ron­men­tal forces such as wind when our necks are exposed to the elements.

 

Inva­sion by wind can lead to those all-too-familiar cold and flu symp­toms — chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, con­ges­tion, and cough. This vul­ner­a­bil­ity is increased if we also go out­side with damp hair or do other things to impair our immune sys­tem responses (poor diet, inad­e­quate rest, lack of exer­cise, drink too much alco­hol, etc…).

**Cover the back of your neck, find some cozy scarfs to accent your outfits and stay protected!

 


Myth #2:  How is your mood?  Are folks sinking into the deep dark depression of winter more than ever?

TRUE ~ It is true that people have a harder time with depression in the colder and darker days, but it doesn't have to be the case for you!  WIth just some simple tweeks  you can improve your mood during the winter months!  

The holiday blues or SAD (seasonal affective disorder)?  Does this sound like you?  Try some light therapy, a heavy does of vitamin D, and if it gets unbearable, amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and glutamine to the rescue to boost up your brain chemistry.

Be sure you eat a protein rich diet to build your seratonin, and get enough rest to rebuild and regenerate your energy.  

Find some magic in the darker nights by lighting a fire, slow cooking your dinner, cozying up with your favorite book and tapping into your creative side with your favorite art project.

 

Myth #3:  Does grandma's chicken soup and homemade ginger tea really do the trick??

TRUE ~ The old wives tales usually have a good story behind them.  This is one of those.  Warm soups and liquids have a direct impact on your immune system by creating a bringing the white blood cells (aggregation) together to fight off infection and help you feel better faster.

These warm fluids can soothe a sore throat, nourish a cold or flu, and warm you up from the inside out!!

Need a recipe?  Click here for the best 24 hour ginger chicken soup this winter...

 

Myth #4:  Do you really need more sleep during the winter?

TRUE ~ Tired?  The bears like to hibernate at this time of year, and so should you!  You may still have to live out your daily obligations, but it is natural to curl up and snuggle up earlier than in the long summer days.  It is organic during winter to rest more and rejuvenate your life force so you are ready for a zestful spring and summer season.  

Weather or not you NEED more hours of sleep is questionable, but most of us enjoy earlier quiet winter nights and more down time to connect inward.

 

Myth #5:  Do we have to gain those extra few pounds in the winter?

TRUE ~ It is true that this is a common phenomenon.  We may not get outside as much, or move our bodies as often.  We tend to whole up at home more with food a plenty especially over the holidays.  Is that what you want for yourself?

TRUE.... but not necessary.  Following your hunger cues attentively, doing a New Years cleanse, and being sure to move your body regularly will prevent those winter pounds from creeping on.  

It takes a plan, some good routines, and personal commitment to health and radiance!  You CAN do it.

 

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Harvest Time

I love this time of year!  As we notice the hot days cool off, the winds change and the leaves beginning to rustle beneath our feet we begin to root down and pull inward.  This inward and downward movement comes with more cozy nights, more time to reflect and more time to notice the warm aromas coming from everyones crock pots, as we fully endulge in the abundance of natures harvest time.   This year we are blessed with an incredible harvest.

As we enter the fall season, we encounter many changes in the weather, in our bodies, and in our lives.  Fall is a time for letting go, and for shedding unwanted layers that do not serve our greater purpose.  Cleansing is an incredibly beneficial way to release layers, both physically and emotionally, by detoxifying harmful toxins, resetting the digestive tract, increasing energy and vitality and connecting to natures organic rythms of the harvest.

Fall is the time to purify the lungs in the traditional Chinese medicine system.  This years Fall Harvest Cleanse is designed to work with the season, as we dive deep into tonifying the lung chi and increasing immunity for the winter.  The lungs are a vital elimination organ, as they facilitate the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood, which is then carried through the cells to be used as fuel.

With fall being the time of the harvest, we incorporate warming seasonal foods, recipes, menu plans, lung tonics, and yogic lung strengthening breathing into our program.  Some of the most extraordinary benefits of fall lung cleansing include increased lung chi and strength, deeper sleep, increased immunity, increased energy, radiant skin, a grounded mind and heart, and overall holistic fortitude for the whole being.  For more information and registration, visit please contact sue@bouldernutrition.com.

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