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The Power is in the Protein

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The Power is in the Protein

THE POWER IS IN THE PROTEIN

 

I learned this the HAAAARRRRDDD way.

The ‘dream machine’ – I've had it since the 5th grade – would chime, and I would quickly roll over in my bed to push the dream bar (aka the snooze button) so I could fall back into a sleepy slumber for just a few more minutes.

From there, with hair in a high ponytail, Birkenstocks on, and a little lip gloss, out the door I would race.

Leaving NO time on my side, I would run to my early morning genetics class all the away across the UBC campus.  If I was lucky, I would shimmy into the SUB (student union building) to grab a coffee and a banana nut muffin to bring with me to class.

 

It was a blood sugar disaster.

 

By the time I could fin my next snack – somewhere on campus – I would be bonking big time.  

Protein was NOT on my radar, especially in the morning.

We have all been this person – our mornings a little crazy – neglecting how our metabolisms are CRAVING the building blocks for energy and vitality and feeling the impact of mindless choices in feeding our bodies based solely on convenience within our busy schedules.

 

Don't worry, I've got your back

 

For the past few weeks I have been steeped in exploring my own morning rituals getting ready for the Green Smoothie Challenge.

In the designing phase of this summery breakfast bliss, I have also taken some time to put together a guide to help you find the PROTEIN POWER that best suits YOU.

Today, not only do I have a few important keys to kick starting your metabolism each day, but I also crafted a little extra hand holding for you when choosing how to stay masterly in your mornings.

 

The POWER is in the PROTEIN (powder) 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips

 

Increased intake of morning smoothies made with protein powder has become like a trendy love affair for individuals seeking to build lean body muscle mass, increase the feel good health vibe and loose excess weight – especially around the mid-section – while still getting out the door on time.

Not only is this convenient breakfast (or meal) trend working well for people on the go, but when given the best versions of protein powder, morning smoothies can also deliver a ton of nutrient density and energy to our bodies.

If you want to build muscle and burn fat to transform your body, there’s no getting around it, you need to eat more protein. Not only is protein required to repair and rebuild your muscles, but it’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer so you can curb your cravings and find your flow.

As with anything, there is a gigantic range of quality that not only presents confusion and overwhelm, but can also take something good, and turn it awry.

 

 

Check out these 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips to choosing your protein powder wisely.

 

 

1. The Secret is in the Source

The most common question is about WHERE the protein comes from. Before you get drawn into the whole whey, hemp, rice, pea, soy debate – STOP.

There are many great protein sources.

When it comes to protein powder, whey is the most complete protein source, and has the highest protein density.

Whey, when it is organic and un-denatured, is highly absorbable and is optimal for muscle protein synthesis.

Many people have dairy allergies or dairy intolerances. If this is the case for you, or you want a little variety, try some other great options such as hemp, pea or rice protein.

When exploring vegan protein powders, favor those that have been designed with a full amino acid profile – complete proteins – in mind. This helps to build muscle and strengthen your metabolism.

Beware of soy: Research suggests that soy can increase levels of the female sex hormone estrogen (which encourages fat storage), and the plant is often genetically modified to boost crop yields.

 

 

2. Quality Matters

As I mentioned above, not only is the type of protein important, but the quality of that protein as well. When buying any kind of protein powder, be sure to get grass fed, organic, non-GMO, whole food based protein powders that have full amino acid profiles (found in the ingredient list) and are LOW in SUGARS making them low glycemic.

Read the ingredient lists. Many of the available protein powders (including Whey) are chock full of additives, preservatives, sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

Keeping the sugars low will ensure that you are satiated, and you remain in the fat burning zone free from the repercussions of extra toxins, additives and artificial ingredients.

 

 

3. Look at the Macro Nutrients

Macronutrients — carbs-protein-fat — are calorie-containing nutrients that fuel the many functions of the body. A good meal replacement protein powder will have a healthy balance of these. Look for macro-nutrients somewhere in the range of 45%-25%-30%.

While there is no magic ratio that fits everyone, you will likely find that making these changes in your ratios will help you with long term body composition, cravings, energy, mental clarity, sleep and a more balanced mood.

A low-glycemic meal-replacement smoothie that allows for steady blood sugar control and staying fuller between meals is your ticket to both satiation and your super powers.

What I have found is that health seekers all over the planet love to drink morning smoothies because they can easily add a variety superfoods, proteins, good fats, greens, and adaptogens to create a powerful start to the day.

Above all, the key to a great breakfast smoothie really lies in a good balance of protein, along with healthy and nutritious ingredients to create something yummy that you'll look forward to drinking.

Photo Credit:  Chef Bailey Jean Ruskus

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A BRAND NEW Year

  After sleeping in and slumbering around for the 5th morning in a row, I was reflecting on how I had barely checked my email all week.

I have enjoyed some of these darkest (and coldest) nights so far by cooking yummy winter meals, snuggling up by the fireplace, sharing in heartwarming conversation and reflection of the past year, and visiting with friends and loved ones.

These dark wintery nights around the holidays are a time I gift myself this slow and peaceful pace.

Long winter walks and snowshoes under the blue bird sky, personal reflection, and this slow revealing of what my visions are for the coming New Year feel like an appropriate focus.

This week's Dark Night Delicacy (week #3) is coming to you from my pajama palace, where much creativity and care has been born.

From my restful slumber, much clarity and cuddled-up contemplation emerges in this week's dark night delights.

Dark Night Delicacy #3 is HERE for you
Want PEACE?  Live PEACE
.

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.

 

Want Peace?  Live Peace.

 

Each year around the New Year many of us contemplate what we are striving for in our lives, how we want to achieve certain goals, amend bad behaviors with resolutions, and turn over a new leaf.  It is natural for the mind to crave a fresh start.  The gyms get busier, diets or cleanses become all the rage, and often we focus on the bad habits that we hope to no longer do.

This year when you are contemplating what it is you are wanting, I invite you to join me in the remembering that in creating our NEW YEAR as we wish for it to be does not come from self criticism, chance, or something outside of you.

This year as we contemplate what it is we are yearning for in our hearts and minds, try to imagine how we can align both our thoughts and our actions with this desire.

If you are wanting PEACE, begin by focussing on your thoughts being more peaceful.  See if you can find more peace in your actions, in your way of relating to others and in your way of loving yourself.

If you want more prosperity, try practicing abundant thoughts, giving more to others, and finding gratitude for what you have.

If you want more happiness, keep choosing unconditional happiness that is not based only on certain circumstances lining up just right, but rather seeing happiness and joy in how you think and how you move through the world.  Try spreading more happiness in your interactions with others. 

 

Wintery Wise Recipes

 

Roasted Spagetti Squash with Wild Mushrooms, Savory Chicken and Kale

spaghettisquash-mushroom

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, roasted

2 TBS olive oil

6 large gloves of garlic, minced

3 cups baby portabello mushrooms, chopped small

2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped

1 or 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into strips

4 cups dino kale leaves, packed

¼ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:

Roast the spaghetti squash and set aside for later use.

In a medium-sized skillet, add the oil and heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms have browned.

Add the chicken strips, and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chopped kale. Cook 3-5minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Add the lemon zest, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.

Strip the spaghetti squash into spaghetti strands and place in a medium-sized serving bowl.

Add the chicken/mushroom/kale mixture and toss together.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan and enjoy.

 

New Years YOGA Pose

anahatasana-guide

 

Open your heart and free your mind this New Year.

 

  • Anahatasana (heart chakra pose) is a nice opening for the upper and middle back
  • Release tension in your neck and shoulders
  • Softens your heart.

 

Find your way into Anahatasana

  • On your hands and knees, walk your hands forward, allowing your heart to drop toward the floor. Keep your hips right above your knees. If possible, keep your hands shoulder width apart.  Bring either your chin or forehead to the floor and breath into both the front and back of your heart.

 


 

Sign Up for the Eat.Pray.Yoga 2016 online Course and Community Right HERE

We begin January 18th, 2016.Become a VIP early bird and sign up before January 1st.  You will receive these delightful extras to explore until our circle of women meets officially on January 18th.

Set your SANKALPA:  A virtual intention setting workshop with Sue for the New Year (January 1st, 2016). Join me for this special bonus 1 hour virtual workshop where I will share with you some of the most potent and powerful yogic practices around setting clear and precise intentions for your upcoming year.

       

Sync up with the seasons: with the Winter-Wise Whole food purification program.  With each season come unique currents and energetic rhythms that we can specifically tap into with our eating and our self-care.

Health Wise:  A hard (and signed) copy of my most recent book to offer you just a few more supportive strategies for a healthy, happy and whole living.

Eat.Pray.Yoga BALI 2016:  Take an additional $200 dollars off of our magical women's week in Bali this spring. Check out all of the details HERE.

EARLY access to Module 1:  Right off the bat, you can log in to the first Module of Eat.Pray.Yoga.  Early access is only offered to the VIP early registrants.

 

If you missed any of the previous Dark Night Delicacies, you can check them out HERE.

 

 

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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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Begin your Descent

  The Tugboats crashing upon the waves as they crossed through the city was the perfect backdrop for a festive dinner out in the city of Williamstead, on the island of Curacao.

 

This particular night was even more significant for the townspeople (and lucky for us) as it was the night (December 1st) when Williamstead lit their holiday lights on the floating bridge that so beautifully lit up the water with its colorful reflections.

 

Dark nights and winter holidays are celebrated worldwide.

 

Sun kissed after a glorious Caribbean vacation with my sweetie, we are returning home to embrace the dark nights before us, and the holiday festivities to be had.

 

When the dark nights come each year, I have finally begun to look forward to my personal descent into the darkness. What I used to consider cold, stressful and tender has now become a time I cherish each year.

 

When I say descent, what I mean is my descent into my inner landscape - through all her peaks and valleys – where the darkest nights of the year have become a great teacher and revealer of my own insight and vision.

 

Some would say this descent is known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld. Others see it as the most potent nights to pray. Many share insights on how to vision with clarity and precision for the upcoming New Year. The dark nights expand to cultures worldwide with unique and diverse wintery wisdoms and rituals.

 

For the next 5 weeks the Dark Night Delicacies are designed to share with you some of my most favorite winter recipes, rituals, and ways to reset and replenish.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1 is here for you.

Solace and Self Care

 

darknightdelicacies

 

 

  • Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
  • Three ways to begin your own dark night descent embracing winters wisdom.
  • How to restore your life force and your energy easily.

 

This is my holiday treat for you this year. A candle lit 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.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1

 

 

Have you been busy bustling and hustling to get ready for your holidays? Amidst all of the gift buying, holiday parties and decorating things can get pretty zany out there.

 

I hear about it all the time from my clients, my friends, and my family. The most common complaints we all know: tired, drained, doing too much, over extended, and trying to please everyone else.

 

This is the # 1 challenge women face each holiday season.

 

The energetics of winter remind us to hunker down, slow down, and restore our prana (life force). We benefit from cooking our food slow and long, finding coziness and warmth together in our families and communities, while warming our hearts with connection to ourselves and others we love.

 

RESTORE

 

This year, turn over a new “snow flake” and give to yourself first. You will have plenty more to give to those you love when you do.

 

How you might ask?

 

That is exactly what The Dark Night Delicacies are for. Little winter weekly wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own winter warrioress.

 

Spend some quiet time each day.

 

This commitment to yourself  is simple yet totally profound. Quiet time does not involve the TV or computer. It does involve a long cozy walks in nature, a warm ritual bath, a quiet place to meditate or journal, or your favorite juicy novel and a bowl of sumptuous organic popcorn.

or...

Join us this weekend: The annual Women’s Winter Wanderlust Day Retreat right in downtown Boulder CO.  

Come and join us as we retreat for a day nourishing ourselves, indulging in a women’s circle of intention, connection, and practice as we find our clarity, grace and power within - at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place.

winterwanderlust 

 

 

REJUVENATE

 

Our mats and our practice can act as a perfect reflection for the inner witness. It is helpful to come to your mat with a specific intention that will customize your practice. Allow your focus to turn inward with every breath tuning into the subtle body and the inner observer. Listen for intuition, insight, physical cues, and sensation that are rich with information and winter’s wisdom.

 

Pose of the week

Malasana

 

malasana-guide

 

 

 

Malasana has a descending and grounding quality and is a good pose to practice whenever you need to foster a focus of inner listening and serenity. Try B position: reach your palms back behind you, palms to the mat, with your upper arms in between your legs. Drop your chin to your chest and focus your breath on your back body. As you turn your gaze inward and calm your nervous system, begin to listen inward to the messages of intuition that come through your awareness.

 

 

REPLENISH

 

Winter eating entails preparing seasonal whole foods that can be stored, canned, or kept for the colder days of winter. Emphasize warming foods that stimulate digestion, circulation, and immunity.

 

Soups and stews

Root vegetables

Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)

Miso and seaweed

Garlic and ginger

 

 Thai Carrot Soup

carrot-thai-soup

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb carrots (approx 4 cups)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups veggie stock + 2 cups water
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp chili sauce or sriracha
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Coconut oil to sauté

Heat in a large pot over medium heat

Dice onion, garlic and carrot. Saute veggies with coconut oil. Add veggie stock and water. Season the pot with salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 min or until veggies are soft.

Transfer to blender, or use submersion blender. Add almond butter and chili paste/sriracha and blend until smooth. Sitr in coconut milk. Optional – add a smidge of honey.

 

 

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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?  

Come with us on a goddess journey to Bali.  We have a few spots left. Click here for details.

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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Tips from a Travelling Yogini

Yoga mat in toe, organic plane snacks along side...uplift your health and happiness this summer while you hit the road for some final adventures before the back to school, fall routine, and change of weather creeps in.

hippyvan2

Weather you are the classic ROAD TRIPPER or more of the INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURER you will find these tips help you fine tune your travel.

Personally, I get so full and inspired in my day-to-day life, that sometimes the thought of a vacation intimidates me.  Because I love my HOME life so much, infused with daily practice, good food, and SUE time each and every week, sometimes I forget about how great a vacation can be for the soul.

Loving life is a wonderful gift, but taking a break is still a great health prescription.  Walking away from the computer, the daily pulls of life and officially unplugging, and exploring my more adventurous side is one essential ingredient to my health plan.

I sent my retreat team a little bon voyage text this morning, my international travel buddies, as most often they sit next to me on these big trips to our annual women’s health + yoga retreat.  We have our routine down.  Who brings the avocado, the dark chocolate, the almond butter packets, green drinks, and the nori?

tropicalplane2

This time, it’s just me.   Some may think I go over board with the super food lunches I pack for ski trips, or the elaborate snacks I take on the plane, but I am always thankful I did.  The truth is, I enjoy the ability to make trips easeful, pleasurable and healthy.

Yes, I am bringing my yoga mat, my own personal stash of melatonin to help with the jet lag (it is a winner), some soothing essential oils, and some raw whey protein shakes incase I get hungry later.

What do you do when you travel? I have some great YOGINI travel tips for you below.  These TRAVEL EASY tips that will enhance the rest of your summer and beyond.

This is my personal variation of a famous John Kabat Zinn quote:

Wherever you go ...there you are, so make the WHERE YOU ARE part great.  It’s the only place you will ever be!! 


SUMMER'S Travel Easy tips for Health and Happiness

FOODIE SNACKS

Fueling yourself in a satiating and grounding way when you travel will not only enhance your health, but it will also keep your energy good and keep the cranky traveler at bay.

  • Bring Food. Take a special trip to the store for travel snacks.  Stock up on easy, portable and nutrient dense foods that you enjoy.  Food such as nuts, dried fruit, avocado, nori, and Justin’s almond butter packs are foodie fuel and an asset for your travels.
  • Do a little research.  If you are travelling to a new city or a new country, there is plenty of info online.  Eating more locally and healthful in a new place can be very exciting!  Talk to the fisherman, the restaurant owners, and the local farmers and get the SCOOP.  Tantalize your taste buds with new combinations and ideas with what is available in the area.

 


 

DIGESTION DELIGHTS

 Worried about your digestion?  Many complain about their digestion when on the road, or traveling about.  Don’t despair.  Your digestion CAN adjust.  Try this:

  • Hydrating is the number 1 travel tip.   If there is anything that does not agree with you, drinking plenty of water will help flush it out, while also keeping your body hydrated.  Many airports now have purified water refill stations so you do not have to keep using the plastic bottles.  Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after you cross security.
  • Try some flax seed, probiotics, or chia seeds .  Each of these supports your digestion in a different way.  The flax and chia keep you from being constipated, while the probiotics protect your from foreign flora and boost your immunity.  These can all be mixed with water, and taken easily on the road.
  • Many essential oils really help with indigestion, and IBS symptoms.  I use the DigestZen from DOTERRA.  DOTERRA makes therapeutic grade oil that is both safe for topical and internal use.  It is soothing and comforting for your traveling belly.

 


 

TENSION TAMERS

Many folks experience plenty of travel tension.  From planning logistics, to leaving home, to lifting off land for air travel, tension unfortunately can create some dis-ease in your travels.  Many of us are uncomfortable getting out of our comfort zones.  Here are a few of my favorite tension tamers for your travel.

  • Load up your IPOD with some good relaxing music, chanting, or even guided meditations.  Watch your nervous system unwind as you connect mind and body.
  • If you often get nervous or anxious on any particular leg of your trip, pick up some GABA at the local health food store.  GABA is a natural amino acid that feed the GABA neurotransmitter, turning down the stressful anxious part of your nervous system.  For faster relief, purchase the sublingual type.  GABA can be used to help with sleep, stress and even a panic or anxiety attack.  It works within about 20 minutes of taking and is totally safe with any medications.
  • Writing about your tension can offer a deeper relationship to “what it is really about”.  So often the first emotion we feel is disguising the deeper emotion.  Journaling can start to unravel the situation and support you in a more fulfilling inquiry into yourself and your stress.

 


 

ADVENTURE ADVOCATES

 When in Rome…” Going somewhere brings adventure, new ways of being and doing.  Often we are pushed out of our comfort zone and into something that can open our minds into seeing new possibilities.  We may never be the same again.

  • Take time each day to pause and check in.  What are you learning from being in this new place.  How can you absorb your surrounding, culture, people through the witness mind?
  • Stay centered.  Being centered while on the move is not easy.  Set aside a few minutes a day to focus on your breath and body.  TUNE IN.  A simple practice can go a long way.
  • Remember to LET GO.  Travel adventures are unpredictable, spontaneous, and exciting.  The beauty is in the mystery.  The more you can LET GO of expectation, the more you can roll with the adventures completely and have a blast.

 

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Sweet like HONEY

Ahhh, the sweetness of summer… The warm sun waking us up to frolic outside in the early morning warmth, the expansiveness we find in our hearts as we enjoy the outdoors, the community and fun in the sun.

 There are many ways to sweeten things up in both our lives and in our foods.  Sweet is the flavor of the heart and reminds us of the sweetness of life.

During the summer the sweeter fruits ripen, and the sweetness of summer is all around. Here are some tips to keep your sweetening in balance while still expanding into the flavor of summer.

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 5 Health Tips to Sweetening Things Up:

 1.     Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Due to the many health risks associated with too much sugar, many folks have tried to take short cuts using artificial sweeteners in place of the natural sweet.  The media has enforced this gives the taste buds and the body the message that we are enjoying the sweet flavor without the cost.  Unfortunately this is a short cut NOT worth taking.  Many artificial sweeteners create addictive patterns, cravings, and serious withdrawal symptoms.

Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. While the mechanisms of harm may differ, they’re ALL harmful in one way or another. This includes aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), sucralose (Splenda) and any other artificial sweeteners.

  • Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) contains high amounts of phenylalanine and aspartic acid.  While these amino acids are found naturally in the body when they are combined out of there natural ratio they can cause many side effects such as headaches, mental confusion, dizziness and seizures.  As these amino acids break down in this out of balance combination, they can literally break down into a form of formaldehyde which is toxic to the body.
  • Splenda is the artificial sweetener other wise known as sucralose.  This sweetener has received a ton of press in the past few years, leading us down the road to discovering not only is this sweetener made up of a high percentage of chlorine, but now recent studies show that sucralose may raise bloods sugar insulin levels, kill of good bacteria in the GI tract, and in long term exposure damage DNA permanently.

2.     Get Back to Basics

Eat a whole food diet to reset your taste buds.  The body thrives when we eat our foods close to nature, whole, simple, clean and alive.  These ancient principles of eating are great guidelines to how to grocery shop, cook and feed our bodies nourishing foods.  The palate can transform back to its original and intended tasting organ as we purify our diets.

When we are competing with really strong enhanced flavors found in mainstream processed foods, such as super salty foods or overly sweet sodas, we become so over stimulated by our taste buds that something like an apple or a carrot looses it appeal.

Coming back to the basics with whole food eating will recalibrate your taste buds and a lot of those strong flavors (especially sugar) will vanish from your cravings.

3.     Use Natural Sweeteners

Sweetening your food is something many of us seek in our day-to-day meals, healthy deserts and snacks.  With the whole food eating in mind, you will notice that your palate adjusts and what used to taste pleasantly sweet (like a soda) may now be too sweet to drink.

Finding natural sweeteners to use in your baking, sauces and creations in the kitchen is a great option to enhance your flavors while still keeping your flavors in balance.  Here are some of my favorites.

  • Raw honey is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  It is a pure source of sweet and even though it is fairly high on the glycemic index scale, a little goes a very long way.  The health benefits of local raw honey include naturally suppressing the common cough, aiding in a good nights sleep (by facilitating typtophan), and boosting immunity to name a few.
  • Coconut sugar, made from the sap of the coconut palm, doesn't put stress on your blood sugar levels the same way that white sugar does. Because coconut sugar is unrefined, it retains all of its natural minerals and vitamins so it has a higher nutrient density.  Coconut sugar is easy to cook with and can be substituted 1:1 in recipes.
  • Maple syrup, made by boiling sap from the maple tree, contains compounds that could help manage Type 2 diabetes, as well as acting as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.  Maple is full of many anti-oxidants, full of a wide range of vitamins and minerals especially zinc and manganese.  Many health experts are now calling pure maple syrup a champion food.
  • Xylitol is pure, natural with essentially no blood sugar response. Xylitol also comes with some benefits such as fighting tooth decay. Xylitol is safe, and a beneficial sweetener.

4.     Eat a Low Glycemic Diet.

If you an stick to a low glycemic diet you will not only see benefits in almost every area of your health, energy, sleep and metabolism, but you will also see your sugar cravings diminish before your eyes.    

The glycemic index of a particular food rates the food on how quickly it turns to sugar in your blood stream.  Processed carbohydrates and refined sugars are always going to rate very high on the spectrum where as proteins, fats, whole grains and some fruits will be low or moderate.

There are some added tricks to lowering the glycemic index of your meal.

  • First, you can add more protein – have some nuts with our dried fruit.
  • Second, you can add high quality fat – put a little olive oil on that piece of bread.
  • Third, you can add fiber or choose a high fiber version of the food – cook brown rice instead of white.

Eating a low glycemic diet is one of the quickest way to see your health and vitality turn around.  It is fairly simple and incredibly effective

5.     Sweeten Up Your Life

The sweet flavor has often been linked to love, pleasure, comfort and many other soothing qualities we all yearn for in our humanness.  Often, when we are not getting enough of these in our lives, we crave more sugar and overly self- soothe with the sweetness in food.

Try enhancing your life with the sweetness you can find in your daily down time, in the way that you exercise, the practices you do that activate your senses in a positive way, and especially the way you love yourself.  This is where the true sweetness is found.

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Get Your Spring Fever ON

As we emerge from the winter months, we wake up to the early morning sunlight returning and the smell of blooming flowers poking their heads through to warming earth.

Given the energetics of spring we often feel the urge to cleanse our lives, our bodies, and our beings for a clearer and energized new season of living life to the fullest.

As you read through the following tips, take a moment to ponder what needs cleansing in your life.  What do you seek to shed this spring to “lighten” up and access the inner freedom we all yearn for?

So often when we think of cleansing, we see visions of ancient yogi’s fasting, or modern health food junkies checking out the newest cleansing trends.

Don't fret, this year let's clean out and cleanse what is not serving us in our lives.  Let us use the energy of the season of spring to enhance the journey to more radiance and vitality from the inside out.

Your Spring Sparkle comes from a combination of so many components, some of which include of your inner health, your thoughts, how you move your body each day, and your sacred space or home.

1.  Body Bliss

Can you access the bliss your physical body is designed to feel?  When you wake up each day are you ready to conquer your life with energy and vitality?  If you feel like many people do these days, a little tired, a little sluggish try these health secrets to enhance your energy.

Eat with the season – As the leafy greens spring up, and the dandelions fill your yard, try finding some ways to cleanse your diet with some of natures spring gifts.

In the spring we are designed to eat lighter, darker and leafier greens, and oh those dandelions do wonders for cleansing the liver. (be sure they are pesticide free before you eat, or buy at your local health food store)

Juice – Juicing daily blesses the body with a huge amount of extra nutrients that are easily absorbed.  As you pulverize and strain those veggies in the juicer, you do a huge favor to your digestion. You pour liquid nutrients into your system for a fountain of amazing energy and purification.

Reset your energy with a Whole Food lifestyle – This spring try to eat only WHOLE FOODS for one whole week.  Whole food eating means eating food found in its whole form.  Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates and foods that have an ingredient list.

2.  Flip your Script

If you are someone who hears your own self-critic loud and clear all day long, full of shame, blame and self sabotage…it is time to “clean” up your self-talk.  Flipping your script means giving your that common mental script an overhaul.  What are the most common thoughts that bring you down?  Are they about your body, your past decisions, your bad habits?

Whenever you hear the negative thoughts try to take note, then flip them around in to a positive affirmation as often as you can to practice unconditional happiness and self-love.

3.  Move it and Shake it

One of most effective ways to your energize your life is through daily movement.  How is your MOJO?  Practices such as YOGA, BRISK WALKING/HIKING and DANCE can move energy in big ways.  Get yourself out of inertia this spring and MOVE IT SHAKE IT GROOVE IT.  Enliven your spirit and up your MOJO with some juicy movement of your own.

Take walk in the beautiful spring air,  inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher or make yourself a new playlist to inspire your daily run. Learn to feel good in your body through movement you love.

4.  Clear out your Space

Spring-cleaning is not a made up phenomenon.  We naturally cleanse during the spring season because it feels so therapeutic to climb out of the winter hibernation into a fresh and clear environment.

Getting rid of the old and making room for the new is an important energizer for your space and your experience this spring.

But in addition to aesthetics, there are proven health reasons for steam-cleaning carpets, airing out curtains and the like noting that the benefits include preventing the spread of germs and keeping allergy symptoms at bay.

Clearing out clutter also helps make your environment a happier as well as a healthier place.  For a little spring cleaning joy, add some essential oils to your eco-friendly cleaning supplies.  Try rearranging and reorganize your sacred space.

You are off to a great start for some revitalization and renewal this year.  Spring is always an exciting time to start anew, plant our seeds of intention and watch, tend, and nurture them as the season unfolds.  Let’s make it a beauty!  Happy Spring.

It is the time for revitalization and renewal.  Spring is always an exciting time to start anew, plant our seeds of intention and watch, tend, and nurture them as the season unfolds.  Let’s make it a beauty.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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.

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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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Launch your Localicious Summer + Colorado Localicious Summer Guide

....and Learn 3 secrets that will change your relationship to food for good!

I know many of you have heard the term "localicious" before, the term referring to eating local + delicious.  Some of you may have even explored eating local, buying organic and upgrading your diet to a more healthful, and nutrient dense style.  What you may NOT have heard is how eating local can change your relationship to food and your body.

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Here are a few specialized BOULDER NUTRITION secrets that will transform how you THINK about your food from here forward.

These 3 small do-able TWEAKS will transform your summer.

Start now...  REClAIM your health once and for all.

 

PLUS, click here and --> download your free LOCALICIOUS guide today and you will be ready to ROCK your summer ASAP!

1.  The Secret is in the SOURCE

Have you ever tried a recipe passed down from your mother's Italian grandmother, or made yourself a garden salad that you and your children planted seeds for on mothers day?  Better yet, have you ever watched your child pick carrots from the local community garden and then smack their lips and open their hearts in joy?  There is something very magical that happens when we connect with our food, the places it grows, and the love that goes into it.

There is no mistaking that a current lack of connection is a primary root cause to our countries health and obesity issues.  When we buy the majority of our food in vacuum sealed bags, large wholesale quantities, or eat fast food on the run - we lose the connection.

The food-heart connection is one secret that permeates many layers into your relationship with food.  This connection literally can shift OVER EATING, BINGING, and EMOTIONAL EATING patterns.  Eating local is a wonderful place to start.  When you sit down to a meal full of a heart connection to your plate, a totally different savoring occurs.  Just like the age old Italian grandmother's recipe, eating local allows us to treasure, enjoy and feel the love being passed down from our forks to our fondness.

2.  LOVE your Farmer, LOVE your self

The organic farmers of today remind me of good kings (or queens).  They rule the land with care, they nourish the people of the kingdom (community) and they ensure good health for all. Good kings ward off the evil villains (a.k.a. Monsanto) while protecting the lineage and age old traditions for generations to come.  Sound familiar?

Loving your farmer provides a vital link between eaters and the importance of protecting our precious farmland.  Loving your farmer directly translates into self love with every bite of fresh local food that nourishes you directly down to a cellular level.  Famers love support from the local community and YOU feel supported by your own health choices.

3.  Eating for a GREATER CAUSE

Just like anything we do, when we do it in service, it juices us up and raises our vibration.  Running a race for a cause, buying concert tickets to raise money for a global mission, or eating to support the health of our communities raises the COLLECTIVE vibration.  When every bite has meaning and passion, we then have more pleasure and gusto with our food.  Truthfully, it is more ETHICAL to eat locally.  In addition to being fresher and riper, the food hasn’t cost an ecological fortune in fossil fuels coming across the continent.  We are making an impact with our food choice for a happier planet.  Eating for a greater cause changes the dynamic between you and your plate.

YOU can do this!  The Free Download-localicious summer guide will help you to navigate your recipe book, cruise your kitchen, the local section of the grocery store and local farmers' markets with confidence.  Make this summer a localicious movement that changes your health and relationship to every bite.

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