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COCONUT {GRAIN FREE} SHORTBREADS

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COCONUT {GRAIN FREE} SHORTBREADS

I am a big fan of baking with alternative flours. These coconut flour treats topped with oh-so-yummy coconut butter are the perfect variation for the healthy and balanced sweet flavor. 

Plus, coconut! Health benefits galore! These healthy treats are rich in coconut and coconut oil.

There are few substances on the planet that stand up to coconut. This versatile superfood has beneficial uses that span skin care, hair health, and anti-inflammatory properties—benefitting you inside and out. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial, making it a wonderful addition to your menu (and to your bathroom cabinet).

Notably, research shows  that eating coconut oil regularly can support and heal your digestion as it positively influences the delicate balance of good and bad flora, making the plethora of antioxidant-rich foods you eat easier to absorb.

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5 Home Brews for your Health

  One early morning last week as the sun came up, I was sitting drinking my morning brew, when I heard "the cough" from the bathroom shower, and instantly felt a shot of adrenaline rush through my body.

If you have known me for a while, you would know that I have made a few trips to the ER in an ambulance with my son who often would get croup as a young child.

He has mostly outgrown the "croup crisis" these days, but the sound of that barking cough coming from the shower last week reminded me that I surely haven't outgrown my stress response.

I instantly got up and began to grate up some ginger in my kitchen, filled up a pot of purified water and started brewing a soothing pot of ginger lemon tea. He decided to go back to bed with his warming tea by his bedside.

There is nothing like a warm cup of ginger lemon tea to console the lungs.

 

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Using herbal teas for your health and well being is something I stand behind 100%.  They are inexpensive, easy to make, and most often super effective in soothing your symptoms.

 

Check out my 5  Favorite Home Brews for your Health 

  1.  Ginger Lemon Tea

 

Ginger tea is an easy one to make at home and is phenomenal support for inflammation/irritability in the lungs. Simply grate about a ¼ cup of ginger and simmer in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes. Add raw honey and a squeeze of lemon for a warming lung and throat soother.

 

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  1. Wild Passion Flower Tea

I have tried tinctures and tea bags of passionflower before and they are a great start, but nothing beats the fresh flowers or roots and stems. If you check out your local herb shop (I use Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary), you can find the most fresh and potent flowers. Passionflower is a remedy used to treat anxiety and sleep (or both).

Simply steep one flower in a boiling cup of water (or roots and stems) for about 15 minutes, drink, and then eat the flower.

 

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  1. Peaceful Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is a very popular herbal tea, but when used in a therapeutic dose (ie fresh or it’s oil form), it does wonders for the digestion due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Finding fresh peppermint in the spring is pretty easy, or you can use 2 drops of food grade peppermint essential oil.   Simply steep in a pot of purified boiled water for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

 

 

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  1. Dandelion Detox Tea

Those “pesky” dandelions must be good for something right? Other than the delicious dandelion pesto recipe that I shared a few weeks ago using dandelion greens, dandelion root makes for a powerful detoxifying tonic. Since spring is the season of the liver, dandelion tea is a welcome homebrew for a reliable cleansing effect.

 

Boil the roots in a pot of purified water for 20-30 minutes, strain and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Nettles Tea

Oh yeah, Nettles sting, but only when raw. If you can find your way to some fresh nettles be sure to protect your fingers and wear some gloves. Once they hit the boiling water, the sting dissolves and the nettles tea is wonderful to boost the immune system, a helpful aid in clearing up seasonal allergies, and a big boost for your energy. It can also be sautéed, juiced, or pulverized into a pesto.

 

If you can’t find fresh nettles, check out the dried version to make your homebrew.

 

Nettles tea is one of my favorites to use for a cooling iced tea during the summer months.

 

Steep in a pot of boiled water for 5-10 minutes, strain and enjoy.

 

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6 Sweet + Sensual Secrets of Spring

   

I've got a few spring secrets for you.

 

We picked an aromatically pleasing purple lilac and carried it with us along the creek path, taking turns inhaling its sweet spring scent all the way through our evening walk.

Walking on my neighborhood creek path is my favorite way to unwind at the end of the day. I find solace in listening to the creek ripple by, and witnessing nature’s articulation as everything comes to life for a long awaited spring.

 

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Something as simple as the sweet scent of a lilac activates the senses, and connects us to the deeper currents of spring.

The 8 limbs of yoga are steeped with teachings and guidance to uplift the heart and mind.

Some of these 8 limbs are very well known amongst the most common yoga practices – for example, the physical practice of ASANA: the practice of the holding yoga postures – whilst others are less trendy and even thought of as the forgotten limbs of yoga.

 

Pratyahara is one of my favorite limbs of the yoga practice.

This particular limb is defined as the practice of refining of the senses.

Pratyahara includes both the discernment of gaining mastery over the senses in the face of distraction, as well as the refinement of the senses through a heightened awareness.

When we refine, heighten, and savor the sensory experience, we become more present – the senses can only be experienced in the present moment – and we heighten our experience of the world around us – more pleasure, more bliss and more embodiment in all the things we do.

I will tell you how this applies directly to our eating, our bodies, and the beauty all around us in

 

 

The 6 Sweet + Sensual secrets of SPRING  

 

You are a pleasure based being. You are designed to feel pleasure, enjoy pleasure, and embody pleasure through your senses. With just a little attention on this and some tips to cleanse your sensory palate, you too can refine your sensory experience and enjoy the ride just a little bit more.

 

  1. Slow down

 

We all know today’s world is fast paced and full. We can’t really change that in the big picture. What we can do each day is gift ourselves the time to slow down. Slow down when we eat, slow down when we walk in nature or slow down when we do our self care practices.

 

Take a deep breath. It sounds simple but something as simple as a few deep breaths allows us to be in the moment, get centered, and relax our minds.

 

 

  1. Cut back on overly sweet or salty foods

 

One major downside of eating highly refined and processed foods is that our palates become less sensitive to the subtle flavors of natural food.

 

Choose foods that are made from nature’s naturally sweet flavors or natural mineral rich salt.

 

When the flavors are varietal and pure, they not only heighten our sense of taste, but they also energetically attune us into more inner balance and harmony.

 

Sweet – Nourishment and love

Salty –   Courage and fearlessness

Bitter – Purification and detoxification

Spicy – Passion and excitement

Sour – Spiritual fire and passion for life

 

 

  1. Engage all of the senses in your eating

 

Watch the chocolate meditation here

 

Bringing all of my senses into my eating is on of my favorite exercises. I filmed this video with the release of my book, Health Wise, in 2014. You can apply the concepts of the Chocolate Meditation to any eating you do.

 

Make your eating more sensual.

 

  1. Do a little screen time cleanse

 

When we spend all of our time looking at our devices, our Facebook page, our Instagram account and the latest HBO series, it becomes less likely we are going to notice the sensory experience of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a purring kitty, or the crackling of a warm fire.

 

Give yourself some screen free, device free, electronic free time each day.

 

  1. Touch yourself (yes, you read that correctly)

 

As we know, there are many ways to touch ourselves. Some are more arousing and sexual then others. What I am talking about here is waking up our bodies to sensual touch.

 

You can practice this with gentle coconut oil self massage. You can practice this with self-pleasuring. You can practice this with warm comforting aromatherapy baths.

 

You choose.

 

  1. Practice Scent Therapy

 

One therapeutic practice to try is to up your sensory experience in your sense of smell.

It is said that 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.

Cool fact ** The sense of smell is even 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.

Some doctors call this "scent therapy". This can engage new receptors in your nose, improving your sense of smell over time.

Scent therapy infuses your olfactory system with delightful, potent scents, refining your sense of smell while enjoying benefits of the aromas on your entire body, mind and spirit.

Some scents are more therapeutic than others, while others are more pleasure based as well.

Try essential oils, strong smelling flowers or raw foods that when lightly cooked emit a strong aroma – such as garlic, ginger, tumeric.

 

Spring is the most sensual and lush time of the year. We can open the spring nuances more fully as sensual sensory beings through all things food, body, sensuality, and self-love with the activation of our senses - pratyahara.

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3 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU

  Last night I spent Boulder's snowy evening with the CU women's group called FEEDING FEARLESSNESS.  These amazing young women are dedicated to healing their relationship to food and body with their whole hearts.

 

As the falling Colorado snow flakes began to cover the roof tops and tree tops around time, our heart opening conversation led us to our vulnerability and our depths.

 

One aspect of our conversation determined how, almost always, these unique struggles many women experience come from bigger root issues that are unresolved, overwhelming or scary to feel.

 

Most of us don't like discomfort.

Loneliness, guilt, heartbreak, shame, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger and sometimes even joy can feel like too much for us to hold.

 

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This week I want to share with you 3 ways to say I LOVE YOU (to yourself) so that you can cultivate more SELF LOVE and SELF CARE while expanding your ability to feel and accept all that you are.

 

1.  Equanimity:  Often referred to as being in balance, there is actually a little more to the true definition of equanimity.

The fullest expression of the word includes the ability to be at peace and remain calm in the face of uncertainty or a difficult situation.

The human psyche doesn't normally like uncertainty or difficulty.  This is a practice where, over time, we can build our fortitude.

Start with baby steps, start where you are, and remember...

 

This too shall pass

2.  Compassion:  Being self-compassionate means that whether you win or lose, or surpass your sky-high goals, you still extend the same kindness and sympathy toward yourself, just like you would a good friend or a child.

 



Compassion towards the self is a deep breath, a self-care practice, or a positive affirmation that fills up your self love cup.

 
 

How you speak to yourself changes everything.  Embrace your imperfect self.

3.  Acceptance:  According to the work of Byron Katie, learning to LOVE WHAT IS, is about dismantling our current state with the exercise of revealing how our deepest beliefs are often based in misunderstandings with ourselves.

It takes courage to face reality without telling ourselves a story that things should be different. Ultimately, it means living in a state of love — a lot more of the time.

Be sure to check out the 3 offerings I have for you below,  so you can continue to build your SELF LOVE and your PLEASURE POWER this month.

 

 


 

The FREE #7 DAY SELF LOVE CHALLENGE starts Monday!

Join the #7 day Self-Love Challenge: Online FREE Course We begin February 8th. Have a love affair with yourself.

Through daily efforts learn to forgive yourself, put yourself first, recognize your strengths and do something you love each and every day!

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Eat Clean ~ Talk Dirty Online Workshop February 12th!

The Power of Pleasure Explore your relationship with food, pleasure and SEX. With Sue Van Raes, Costen Aytes and Leslie Jones.

Eat Clean Talk Dirty


Care for a little Bali MAGIC?

When going away is the first step towards coming home...

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

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Feeding Fearlessness

  Some inspiration for you today:

 

Over the past few months I have been a busy bee restructuring a lot of my business so I can better serve you.

 

This process has led me to finding new partnerships and collaborations that feed MY inspiration, match my mission, and better fuel my TRIBE mentality. It has left me feeling so powerful and uplifted.

 

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This past month in particular, I have really been diving into this idea of collaboration, cooperation and win-win type relationships that can create an energy and support system like never before.

 

You see, I am a gal who has leaned towards (over) independence, always doing things all by myself.   My asking for help felt like a burden.

 

WHOA was I wrong...

 

What I am realizing is that most of my life I have forged ahead without the TRIBE mentality.

 

Having spent a lot of time on this lately (personally and professionally). I am realizing that not only can we be more supported in collaborations and cooperative efforts, we can also be more powerful in our own lives.

 

My mantra lately has been ..."Lean In"

 

Thanks to my awesome business coach, this month I have hired an assistant (go Ashley!) a new (bookkeeper (thank you Bettsee), and kindled some amazing partnerships with awesome organizations such as LuLulemon, Isagenix, and Radiance Power Yoga.

 

(p.s.  This has also been very good for my relationship.)

 

Today with that in mind, I am going to share with you a very special collaboration I am working on because this one really pulls at my heart strings, fires me up, and leaves me so excited and energized at the powerful work people are doing in the world.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is just that.  

 

This week I chatted over tea with one of the founders of Feeding Fearlessness, Kaitlin Mulligan.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is a student run support group at CU that aims to both provide a safe space for open conversation regarding eating disorders and body image, as well as help educate the surrounding community about the prevalence of these problems.

 

These women are extremely passionate about personal transformation, the TRIBE mentality, and women finding their power with eating and body!

 

Last week they were on the front page of the Daily Camera!

Here is all the details:

Feeding Fearlessness is open to both men and women, and isn’t exclusive to just those struggling with defined “eating disorders,” but to anyone who may be struggling with food, weight, body image, etc.

FF holds weekly support meetings, where members are encouraged but not required to share a bit about their successes and setbacks.

FF maintains an atmosphere of positivity, as we are all striving to achieve better health and happiness.

Feeding Fearlessness also participates in fundraising events, such as walks for the National Eating Disorder Association, and helps to raise awareness throughout Boulder by participating in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and the like.

Unhealthy relationships with food, weight, and exercise are often overlooked, especially in the Boulder Colorado community, and we aim to bring more attention to these relationships, and support each other in bettering them.

You can find them on Facebook HERE, email the leaders HERE, and read the exciting article from the Daily Camera HERE.

 

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Rachael Quirke, left, and Kaitlin Mulligan, have started a new club at the University of Colorado that focuses on eating disorders. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

 

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me ...

 

Stay tuned over the next few months, and I will share with you some stories of other amazing TRIBES that may also stoke your inner passions. I am so excited.

 


Join Us This Spring in BALI

EPY-Bali-2016

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The Art (and science) of Curbing your Cravings

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The Art (and science) of Curbing your Cravings

THE ART (AND SCIENCE) OF CURBING YOUR CRAVINGS

 

Like you, I’m no stranger to cravings. I know how they can feel overwhelming, out of control, and truly crazy, when it comes down to it. I’ve been there. I spent years living off coffee and carbs.  My cravings were running the show, all day every day.  Not only did I not feel satiated, energized or content, but I also had intense bouts of hypoglycemia, migraine headaches and brain fog. I learned some important strategies for more success and now I can authentically say “It doesn’t have to be this way.”  

 

Are you also stuck in sweet seductions, carbohydrate coddlings, and bread-y binges? We often feel stuck thinking our personal will should be strong enough to battle the craziness of these common cravings. The reality is that most of our cravings have nothing to do with our personal weaknesses, our emotional favoring or even our habitual madness. What’s really going on has much more to do with our biochemistry.

 

Check out the most important things to know about cravings, and free yourself from the craving craziness once and for all with these six steps below.
 

 

1.     How LOW can you go?
If you can start off the day with a low glycemic breakfast you will conquer your cravings much quicker.  One particular study showed when you eat a low glycemic breakfast, you crave less food in the form of carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day (Ball et al.). Your steady insulin and blood sugar will insure your cravings are calm throughout the rest of the day. It is not really magic at all, but it does feel like a miracle.

 

2.     Smart Snacking 
When snacking, try eating foods high in protein and fat instead of carbohydrate heavy on-the-run snacks. Foods like nuts, avocado, whole milk unsweetened yogurt, organic meats, cheeses, and protein shakes will keep your insulin so happy in between meals.

 

3.     Healthy, Happy, WHOLE
Carbohydrate quality is a big culprit in how our cravings unfold. The more processed the food, usually the more of a blood sugar bomb. If we can eat carbohydrates in their whole form (such as brown rice, sweet potato, steel cut oats, quinoa, or a tart apple) we will find these whole carbohydrates are much more gentle on our blood sugar. Cleaning up our carbs makes all the difference. Go for the good stuff.

 

4.     Consistency is KEY
When we wait too long between meals, we are taking an insulin risk that usually ends up in us getting too hungry, and making a choice that is more impulsive. Planning on little dense snack bites often will keep you satiated and satisfied and beyond the crazy cravings. Eating regularly throughout the day creates a healthy metabolism, and happier hormones (aka Insulin).

 

5.     Intuition Is More Powerful Than Intellect.
The body is wise. We inherently know what we need and by taking just a few seconds to listen, check in, and inquire as to what would be the next best food move. As we start to balance out and fine tune, we will notice we can trust our food intuition more and more. Try to take a few moments to slow down, take space, and check in. Make your plate your practice.

 

6.     The Flavors Create the Fervor
In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda there is a distinctive art and science to balancing the 5 flavors. Each flavor is known to bring a different quality and energy to your body and mind. We so commonly find our plates are full of sweet flavors swinging the balance of flavors way off center. Check in with each plate of food, and see if you can find a representation of the majority of these flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and spicy (pungent). In the intricacy of balance of flavors, your palate will be pleased.

 

Works Cited

Ball, S.D., K.R. Keller, L. J. Moyer-Mileur, Y.W. Ding, D. Donaldson, and W.D. Jackson. “Prolongation of Satiety After Low Versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents.” Pediatrics 111. 3 (2003): 488-94. Web. 22 Feb. 17. 

 

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Mystical Magical Mornings

   

Waking up this week in the darkness of the late fall mornings, I have had a few moments where it feels just too dark to get out of my cozy bed.  That little bit of full moon light peaking through my bamboo shades hasn't been enough to wake me up before my 6:30 alarm.

 

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I have been rolling over and pulling my big purple comforter over my head to hide, not quite ready to get up in the darkness.

 

When I finally gather my energy, I creep downstairs to make my morning tea - and see if my teen has stirred yet in time for high school - I have been so lucky to watch the full moon still shining bright as the sun comes up, lighting a burning fiery red in the sky that turns glorious pinks, purples and oranges.

 

When my warm tea is steeped and ready, I head up to my sacred space, the one I call home for these early mornings.

 

The mornings are magical to me.

 

For years I have said that getting up before my kids and taking some space for myself, has been my secret to parenting.

 

My morning routine is my favorite part of my day.  I guard it fiercely, I revel in it, and I watch it transform with what I am going through, what the season is doing and how I am connecting with my INNER world.

 

Having time for just ME before I start my day is (what I think of as) essential.  At times I have only been able to squeeze out 5-15 minutes before getting both kids up and out the door to school.

 

Lately, I have had more time.  My kids are getting older, and this is the FIRST time in 18 years that I don't have to drive across town to drop them off at school.

 

In many yogic traditions the 2 1/2 hours before and up to sunrise are known to be the most potent time to connect to the higher realms.

 

This time is known as the Amrit Vela, or the time of day when the veil is the thinnest to the Divine.  Anything you do during this early morning time is considered to be 40x more powerful.

 

I have some special morning magic secrets to share with you this week + a free recording for you.  AAANNND…I would love to hear how your morning magic metamorphosizes your life.

 

 

MORNING MEDITATION

 

There are many, many styles and traditions around how to meditate. I appreciate and honor each of them. Some are very simple and some much more elaborate.

 

For the sake of reaching out to all of you, I am going to tell you about a very simple style of meditation that anyone can try at any level of experience, and that is not related to any particular lineage.

 

SoHum meditation

 

 

If you want to check out a recorded audio version sample of this meditation, you can listen HERE. This is a recording from my online program.

 

 

MORNING PAGES (journaling)

 

I adopted the morning pages practice back in the late 90’s when I first go to Boulder, from Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way Morning pages are the practice of writing for approximately 10-20 minutes, stream of consciousness, first thing in the morning.

 

There is no way to do morning pages wrong. Morning pages are designed to be a way to cleanse our minds (conscious and subconscious) just like we would take a shower to cleanse our bodies first thing in the morning.

 

There is no need to worry about structure, grammar, or how it would read back to you at a later date. Morning pages are like a chance to purge whatever is on your mind. Be sure to not over think it, just get it out, on paper and feel yourself lighten in the process.

 

 

CONSULT YOUR ORACLES

 

Often in the early mornings, either before or after I meditate or journal, I consult my oracles – AKA my Tarot deck.

 

I have carried around one of my favorite Tarot decks since the days of backpacking though Central America in my early 20’s. I acquired this particular deck on the beaches of Guatemala in 1993. Since then I have gathered some other oracle type decks and I play with each of them regularly.

 

Each morning I pull a card and receive a divine message to work with for the day. This helps me to tap into some intentions, some personal inquiry, and some mystical insights that keep things interesting and inspiring. At times I will expand my readings to longer more multi card spreads with more time and ritual involved, especially on certain holidays, solstices, full moons, birthdays etc.

 

I always appreciate the little (or big) messages I receive this way.

 

 

MEDITATIVE WALKING

 

One of my favorite morning practices is to take my warm cup of tea, bundle up (depending on the time of year) and take a silent walk on the creek path next to my house. The early morning sun is so special, the outdoors is so peaceful, and the movement through the often brisk air, is a good way to wake up my senses.

 

If taking a walk is part of my morning practice I will usually stay quiet, inward, and focused on my breath, intention, and connection to nature.

 

I love to hike with my kids, friends or my sweetie, but I do reserve this sacred magical morning time just for me.

 

 

Now it’s your turn…

What mystical magical morning practice speaks to you?

If you have your own, I would love to hear about it so I can give it a try.

You can share you favorites and your morning intentions in the comments below.

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Nobody Loves me, I hate my body...

   

If you are like most women, you have heard a similar voice in your head before.  The one that looks in the mirror and cringes, or the voice who tells you you are UNLOVABLE because of your many imperfections.

 

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This type of internal dialogue might drag you down.  Some days it’s likely louder than others, some days it runs the show, and some days it may even have you in tears on the phone talking to your best friend, your sister or your mother saying “What is wrong with me???”

 

MOST women struggle with this voice at least some of the time.  Feeling less than, not pretty enough, not fit enough, not good enough, and ... unlovable.  This is an epidemic of our time, our culture, and women everywhere.

 

I have been there plenty.  An off day, a rough night of sleep, PMS, or one of the many triggers that can pop up in my day-to-day.

What has changed for me is not making the voice go away entirely, but rather my relationship to my self sabotaging voice.

 

Do I give it POWER?

 

Do I BELIEVE it?

 

Do I spend the day LISTENING to it?

 

Can I TURN IT AROUND, change my reaction to it, or even love it as part of being a woman?

 

I have a few favorite FEMALE FRIENDLY ways to fine tune - from the inside out - that have been working for me.  I find these important to share, perhaps they can help you too.

 

It is never totally EASY, but with consistency and practice it is surly EFFECTIVE and ENGAGING.

 

YES, this CAN mean your  voice QUIETS.

 

Don’t miss this.

 

These simple yet profound tools may be just your ticket to more inner freedom and self LOVE.

 

 

 

MOJO MOVEMENT

 

One of most effective ways to connect with your beautiful body is through energizing 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 and MOVE IT, SHAKE IT, GROOVE IT. Enliven your spirit and up your MOJO with some juicy movement of your own.

 

“Daily practice becomes more and more relevant for the modern woman as she sits at a tiny desk, eating food on the run, all the while performing the dance of mother, sister, lover, wife, and many more roles. Now we reclaim the feminine by running in nature, nourishing by a satiating meal, sitting on our meditation cushions and dancing our bodies to our hearts content. ”

Angela Grace

~Eat Pray Yoga Guest Teacher

 

Have your own private dance party, take a walk in the beautiful fall leaves, or inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher. Learn to FEEL good in your body to then LOVE your body.

 

 

 

EMPOWERED EATING

 

Feeling empowered around food is almost every woman’s dream. We are so often known to take everything out on our relationship to food: the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

Empowered eating means we clean up our relationship with food and who we are as the EATER using mindful practices such as making your eating an awareness art of it’s own. We STOP abusing our bodies with food, and START loving ourselves with every bite.

 

Food is a faithful resource for love, but things become problematic when we expect food to compensate for a lack of love.”

Marc David

~ Psychology of Eating

and Eat.Pray.Yoga Guest Teacher

 

 

ATTENTIVE ADORNMENT

 

How do you feel when you take a little time to adorn your goddess self? What is it like to tend to yourself in attentive beauty and reverence? The practice of adorning yourself daily can dramatically change how you feel in your body and about your body.

 

“Where we're at with who we are, is how we dress. How we dress is a direct reflection of our multi-faceted inner landscape . . . This beauty has the power to heal, balance and renew.  Cultivate the qualities of beauty in your thoughts and actions. “      

Colleen Vistara ~

Vistara Designer

Whether this means putting on a special necklace as a meaningful ritual, buying a sexy new pair of panties or rubbing some of your favorite lotion or essential oil all over your skin – attentive adornment brings you closer to the beautiful body that is yours. Sacred ritual and loving touch for your body is breakthrough material.

 

 

 

FEMININE FELLOWSHIP

 

Do you have a supportive group of women in your life? Are you able to find connection, like mind, and the art of the feminine healing in your circle?

 

When we are able to connect outside of our marriage, relationship and family to women of like mind we begin notice our needs being met in a whole new deep and fulfilling way.

 

“As women begin to find our way back home to each other ­– to the divine feminine, and to our sisters ­– things begin to align all around us. Energy shifts in large waves, and we find ourselves with more courage, more trust, and more support to do what it is we are called to do here on the planet.”                                                      

Sue Van Raes~

Quote from Health WIse

 

No other support can replace the way that women tend to each other. You don’t have to do this alone. You can give, you can receive and you can bask in the beauty of women coming together in support of each other in pure radiant living. Check out our upcoming online program:

Eat.Pray.Yoga HERE.

 

 

 

GIRLY GUSTO

 

Did you know there is no faster way to restore vitality to the body then some healthy sustainable pleasure. You can call this joy, laughter, GUSTO, or inspiration.   Many women do not know how to find enough pleasure in their lives. Is that you?? If you are stuck, restrictive, blah, or feeling uninspired, this may be the perfect remedy for you.

 

Pleasure is the way we thank the universe for what we are grateful for. Pleasure is the expression of self-love.

 

 

Sex, chocolate, shoes, laughter, tea dates, time in nature, and meditation are just of few of the infinite ways we can find pleasure. RECEIVE, ENJOY, and REVEL in your own personal pleasures.

 

 

“I want you to know that it is pleasure, not pain, that is your birthright.” 

 

Dr. Christiane Northrup

~ Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom; Goddesses Never Age ; The Wisdom of Menopause 


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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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I cried at the airport...

bali-bow I am known to cry quite frequently, some say I am a deep feeler.  We were pulling up in the taxi departing from the magical island of Bali, and I felt my tears beginning to well up.

As I got out of the car and walked into the airport, it was clearly one of those uncontrollable cries, and I thought I should probably wait to go through security. I had to sit down on a bench and wait it out.

It's not that I didn't want to come home, I love my Boulder life. The tears were more about my Bail experience having had an impact on me that was so profound it was hard to let go.  Bali's vibration had so gracefully met me exactly where I needed to be, in order to SEE and EXPAND.

Upon returning to Boulder after my 2-week inner pilgrimage,  amidst the excitement of spring, seeing my kids, friends, and those I love, there has been an uncomfortable feeling of being stuck, stagnant and outdated with how things used to be done in my life.  In the past we have called this a retreat hangover or re-integration process.  This one kicked my yogini butt.

Something HAS to change for my inner and outer alignment to occur.  Anything that isn't feeling aligned energetically seems be giving me a terrible headache.

Since being back, I have been sitting with this... waiting, listening, hoping for what needs to shift to become obvious - and if you know me, you know this waiting is not my favorite pastime.

I crave for this beautiful multidimensional insight that came to me in Bali to now emerge and apply to how I live each day, personally and professionally.

I have tried to sit down to write about it so many times...but nothing was coming...until today.

All my personal inquiry, hours of meditation, powerful kundalini sessions, and time with myself, has finally moved some energy and created some clarity.  I have been recalibrating my Bali bliss into my new Boulder buzz.

It turns out … something in me has expired.

It is perspective, and the old ways of approaching life, business and health.  It is the muscling through life to make things work, burning myself out in a desperate attempt to keep all the balls in the air, and still be able to smile as I pass you by in the grocery store.

I am so passionate about what I do every day, and how I live this blessed life, but it is time for the feminine to guide me, to take over, and to provide a flow and a grace that eases my system so that I get filled back up instead of drained by my day-to-day.

I live at one with my mind, body and spirit connection.  I have to listen to my wisdom, and the ever present goddess guiding me.  Any place where I am not LISTENING has become so loud I can barely stand it.

I see how my outdated and limiting beliefs can keep me stuck, and that nothing can change without the power of my thoughts and the divine feminine supporting me.

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I see how it is time for a new paradigm that outdates SO many of the myths about food, women, and pleasure so that we can individually find our pathway to THRIVE in a mind-body-spirit approach to both health and living.  It can be felt as subtle yet profound and magnificent.

Over the coming weeks, you will notice some changes with the way I do business, what I am putting forth, and what I really hope to bring into the world.  It is energetic and gentle...I am still in the process of unfolding how this will look to the outside world.

I know for my work to be as potent and as powerful as I need it to be for my own fulfillment, my clarity of heart and grace has to be 100%.

Thankfully, I have some amazing people coaching and guiding me on this incredible journey of discovering what is coming next.  I promise to keep you posted.

With spring in full force, expansion happening all around us, I feel more than ready to step forward into my own creative potential and stay in synch with what is blooming all around us.

Care to step into the current with me? Let's expand, widen, create and live our best lives together!

The best is yet to come.

 

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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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Tired, Stressed, Overwhelmed?

 5 Simple Steps to Bringing Back YOUR  Balance.

 

Yes, it is true.  Yes to all of the above.  I know these feelings inside and out.

It can happen so easily with just one little thing that throws me off balance, or it can just BE the way I see everything about life sometimes.

Busy, Stressed, Overwhelmed used to be my middle name.

I feel it, I know it well and boy does it know me.

Back in the day, when my kids wee little tikes, I was still figuring out single parenting and my business was just launching (2003) - I was ALWAYS overwhelmed.

Not only was I overwhelmed in my life, but I am pretty sure I talked about, complained about, and lived OVERWHELM in every part of my being.

Looking back, I was complaining about this, crying about this, and wishing things were different for quite some time.  I was a mess.

I was constantly juggling 2 small kids, child care, logistics, making food, cleaning up the constant mess, and trying desperately to take care of myself while still giving everything else I had to my business and my vision.

sue+ari

Why am I telling you this?

Well, the one thing I know is that if I can find balance, so can you.

It is not always easy, and sometimes I had to truly dig deep, cry it out and ask for help (not easy for me), but taking care of ourselves, feeding ourselves (and our families) and fitting in the things that make life flow a little smoother are totally possible, even if you can't imagine how.

Today I am going to share with you just a few things I learned (the hard way) so that you can find your own balance, radiance, health and ease in this life - with maybe less bumps in the road then I had.

In fact, what I truly want for you is GRACE, HARMONY and JOY in your life especially in your relationship with food and your body so that you have the energy and passion to share all the gifts you have in all aspects of your life.

 

I am going to spend my next 5 posts diving into each one of these in depth, BUT for now a little sneak preview of what is coming and what works.  If you need more info, just simply stay tuned and by the end of the next 5 weeks, you will be feeling inspired and ready to conquer your life with a fresh perspective.
 

1.  Create your DREAM calendar.  Now this is NOT a calendar that will SOMEDAY be yours - like a dream house. This IS a calendar that reflects what you want RIGHT NOW.  Include your intentions, your work schedule, your self care, all into your ideal week.

I do this every season.  I change some things based on the weather, my kids schedule and what I am currently working on.

THIS is the NUMBER 1 thing that took me out of everyday OVERWHELM.  I am attaching my Ideal calendar - Fall 2014 here (I just finished it last week for the fall quarter) and I hope you sit with what yours might look like.  We will dig in to this more next week so get ready to create the life you love.

 

 

2. Get some SLEEP.  So often we are exhausted.   Fatigue contributes to the overwhelm like nothing else.  Sleep is the one things that raises our tolerance for life and all the tasks at hand.  Shoot for 8 hours minimum - no I am not kidding.  Even if you think that is impossible, you will find that you can get WAY more done during the day and handle all the curve balls that come your way when you are well rested.

**There is one exception.  If you are a new mom, and you cannot get anywhere close to that amount of sleep, know that you are not alone.  I honestly did not sleep through the night for almost 6 years.  I know fatigue well.  I also know that we have to get the most sleep we can and that this phase passes. I highly encourage NAPPING, asking for support, and giving yourself a break in the first year of mothering (or fathering) any chance you get.  (I just didn't want to trigger you if you who have no control over your sleep.)

 

 

 

3.  Eat HIGH VIBRATIONAL FOODS - Quick, easy and HEALTHY meals are totally possible.  As I said above, we are going to dive into this one full on in 3 weeks, BUT It is so important to know that YOU can eat healthily EVEN if you are busy.  If you want to live a high vibrational life, you need to feed your body just that.  High vibrational food.  In fact, it is how you are going to get through the business like a superstar.  If BUSY is your primary excuse, get ready to let it go.

Food can be prepared in big batches, used as left overs for lunches, frozen in the freezer for those long days when you don't have time to cook, and can still TOTALLY fit into your budget.  I will show you how I PROMISE.

 

 

4.  SIMPLIFY.  Are lives are so full of STUFF, EMAILS, PHONE CALLS. and CLUTTER.  It is WAY over the top.  There are so many wonderful ways to have BOUNDARIES around this, while still getting things done, keeping things tidy (less overwhelm) and deciding when we are available to our electronic communications.

Try cleaning up your space, getting rid of the old, and making room for the new.  FALL is a great time for a fresh start so clean our the pantry, give away some old clothes, or de-clutter your living room.  Then take a big EXHALE.  Clutter is a HUGE contributor to overwhelm.

One of my favorite practices is turning off electronics for a one or two hours every evening.  Take an official BREAK.  Turn OFF your phone, SHUT down your computer, and simply live in the spaciousness of your freedom to relax your nervous system.   Pick your times and then close up shop for just a bit.

 

 

5.  Find some STILLNESS - Daily meditation for me is like my daily shower.  I cleanse my body in the shower, and I cleanse my mind in my morning meditation.  I shoot for 15 minutes each morning.  Sometimes I can do 30, but other days I squeeze in just 5-10 minutes.  I am so committed to this practice.  Every morning I wake up (30 min at least before my children), take a shower, make some tea, and head to the cushion for a few minutes to find the inner stillness and connection that fuels me through the day.

This one often intimidates people, especially if you have not practiced mediation before, but I know you can find 5 minutes in the morning to begin this practice.  In the upcoming weeks I will share with your some brilliant meditation tips to get you started, and a starter guided meditation.  For now, just sit, turn on your timer, and breath.  That is it.  5 minutes a day will change your life.

 

 

This is what I did, and that does not mean it is going to work 100% for you, so if you get an absolute "NO" when you read this, it's okay, we all have our own path to health and happiness.

AND...

there ARE also some universal truths to gain from this.  You can distill what sounds like the right place for you to start.  I will be cheering you on.

I will be sending you major kudos and knowing that you can find the eye of your hurricane, the inner peace even amongst the chaos and most of all the ability to take care of YOU first and foremost.

We live super busy lives these days, and it takes practice figuring out how to navigate the overwhelm.  In just a few short steps and a few extra minutes per day you can create the life you LOVE and find some peace in the process.

Also, if you have any challenges to acknowledge, stories to share, and of course success to celebrate please post them here, share the wealth of your knowledge and wisdom with us.

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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.

 

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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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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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The ONE and ONLY YOU

  One of the most frustrating, confusing, and most common health situations is when we can't find evidence or cause for our imbalances, symptoms or health complaints. Have you ever been there before?

In the world of natural health and wellness, we are so often looking for root causes to understand the big WHY.

Many of us can even get a little obsessive or extreme with this intent. We want to understand whats up and feel better. I have surely been there. Have you?

Have you ever gone from one healer to another looking for answers no one seems to have?

Sometimes, we are even told after various testing, multiple opinions, and even our own research that it must be "in our heads".

We so often are robbed of our power in the understanding and trusting of our intuition that there really is something out of alignment, not working, or simply imbalanced.

How often are our unexplained ailments and health issues real, and how often are they figments of our imagination?

If the scientific testing fails to pick up the problem, does that mean it does not exist?

I know, so many questions...

The good news is that natural medicine, and specifically Metabolic Typing, is designed to understand the subtleties and nutritional status to effectively see where we are in balance and where we are out.

As most of you know, I love science, medicine, scientific testing and diagnostics AND I also love understanding the body's messages that are of a more subtle nature.

Sometimes, with the right diet, we can fix the imbalances without even knowing exactly where they lie.

foodietable

"One of the fundamental benefits of metabolic typing is that it provides a context or frame of reference through which nutrient deficiencies or excesses can be accurately understood and identified." Dr. William Wolcott

Welcome to this profound and revolutionary approach to feeding your body EXACTLY what you need to be at your best.

Customized for the ONE AND ONLY YOU...

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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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How to live a FUNK Free February

Last week I felt the February FUNK hit me like a ton of bricks. I was blah, bored, uninspired, and I would have chosen to lay in bed all day watching Netflix if I had had the choice.  Who is this person I thought to myself?  I usually hop out of bed and feel so fired up for the day.  Then I realized, it's February!! Until this week, it has been a remarkably cold winter here in Boulder.  I have to admit, I have been hibernating more than ever.  I enjoy quiet nights by the fire with my book, long tea dates, and early nights to bed most of the time.  It just started to get a bit BORING....ZZZZ.  Sound familiar?

After a particularly blah night, I went to bed with one of those uncomfortable pits in my stomach.  Am I burnt out?  Depressed? Will winter ever end?  Is my entire purpose a joke? How am I going to make it through the FUNK?

I woke up that night about 3 am.  I couldn't fall back to sleep with my mind racing and my body unsettled.  I finally I reached for my journal.  How do I turn this around?

It took a bit of soul searching, but eventually I made a breakthrough.  With my pen to paper and some other forces at play in the depths of the dark night, I wrote about so many different parts of my life that feed me.  My time outside, my relationship, my daily practices, laughter...  had they all just been forgotten?  How did this happen?

WIthin my witching hour moment of breakthrough something very simple happened...I REMEMBERED!

I made a promise to myself. I HAVE to do these simple practices EVERYDAY.

My inner fire began to return with just the recognition of my personal recipe.  Although your recipe for living FUNK FREE  is likely different than mine, they probably have something in common.

Here's a little glimpse into my FUNK FREE formula....

NATURE HEALS

Especially when it is cold and yucky out, it can require some serious motivation to bundle up and go outside. Once I do, though, the fresh air will gets my blood moving and helps me gain some perspective. Whether it is taking a short walk or going on a run or a hike, everything counts! We’ve all heard it before, but it is true - being outside in the sun provides us with our healthy daily intake of vitamin D, which we need to maintain well-being, so I make sure I am taking care of myself. Exposure to the sun also helps our bodies regulate our sleep, our appetites, and our hormonal functions, which can get out of whack during these months.

Make an effort to be outside a little bit every day to soak up some sunshine, or some fresh air and to connect with the nature around you.  Find the winter activities that work in your area and for your passion.  Try more skiing, snowshoeing, dog walking, sitting on a sunny porch, or even shoveling the drive.

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EMPOWERED EATING

When I say empowered, what I mean is I call the shots.  I enjoy having all the information I need to make an informed decision about how to fuel my body.  It does take practice but with just a little trial and error (and as much support as you need) you can learn how to feel radiant in your own skin via the food you eat.

Think of the most vital foods on the planet.  Imagine the most potent foods that nature has to offer.  I consciously eat more of those.  I purify my body as a temple.  I eat super foods like they are going out of style (see a recent post:  Super foods for Super Heroes) and embody the energy that our planet has to offer.

I juice, blend, steam, chop and create the most colorful, fresh, vibrant meals I can imagine and then feel how grateful my body is for this foodie fuel.

superfoods

Want a little UPLIFT?  This year (February 9th, 2015) we are joining in our seasonal whole food purification to honor the season and the self care this season loves for us to embody.  Check out all the details here.

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MOJO MOVEMENT

One of most effective ways to connect with your body’s natural energy is through energizing movement.  How is your MOJO?  Practices such as YOGA, BRISK WALKING/HIKING and DANCE can move energy in big ways.  I get myself out of inertia and MOVE IT, SHAKE IT, GROOVE IT.  I enliven my spirit and up my MOJO with some juicy movement of my own.  I SWEAT out the FUNK!!

Have your own private dance party, take a walk in the woods, or inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher.  Learn to FEEL good in your body to reconnect with your RADIANCE.

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CREATE COMMUNITY

If you are like many of us, the energy of winter might have slowed down your social life. Think about the people and places that make you the happiest. Could you incorporate more of those things into your life again? It is important for our health and vitality to stay connected to the people and communities we love.  When I put effort into my friendships and connections, I feel supported by them in return. By showing up authentically and with an open heart, I see my friends and community will be receptive to me.

This can be one of the most rewarding efforts in pulling ourselves out of a funk: remembering we are a part of something greater and that we are loved. Becoming more involved in community also helps to take the focus off of ourselves and can re-inspire us to consider issues and opportunities beyond our normal scope of thinking. "Giving is the new getting."  What you give is what you get, so give it up!

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CONSCIOUS CREATIVITY

It can be difficult to get the juices flowing when we are beginning from a place that is stagnant, down, or stuck. This is just it: be where you are, and go from there. There is no wrong time or space to begin creative expression. Whatever your outlet, honor where you are NOW first, and begin gently. One way to begin that I find helpful is to practice silent sitting meditation for a few minutes – the longer I can sit, the quieter my mind becomes, and the freer I am to express myself. Making time for creativity is an incredible way to express yourself and to move your energy around. Whether it is singing, playing an instrument, chanting, dancing, drawing, painting, crafting, cooking, or anything else that brings you joy – make time in your life to be creative. It will do WONDERS for your mood and your heart!

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GET OUT OF DODGE

When all else fails, I change my perspective.  It is AMAZING what a weekend road trip or a tropical yoga retreat can do for the soul.  Often when we take a break from the day-to-day, if we are so fortunate, we can gain a new view of things.  We go from the worms eye view to the eagle eye view.

Just a simple shift in my environment brings me so much clarity.  This is why we plan our ALL WOMEN's International yoga + health retreats each year!  They have a positive impact on my life, and on our participants lives that last.  This year I am off to Bali for some culture and some clarity.  Thank Goddess!!  Want to join us?  All the details are HERE.

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Keep up with tweeking and fine tuning your personal recipe.  It will serve you in the long run.  Come next February, you may also forget, but you can always come back and REMEMBER.

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AN ENCHANTED WINTER SOLSTICE

The WINTER SOLSTICE is one of my favorite days of the year. WHY?  Why is the darkest day of the year so enchanting you ask? I have been resisting the cold and dark this year,  like never before. This resistance to the natural ebb and flow of the season is new for me.  The returning of the light is a comfort to me, knowing it will start tomorrow eases my mind and heart.
I decided in the past few weeks, after a few ENCHANTING moments with myself - one in front of the fire place listening to Van Morrison on one of the coldest nights I can remember, and a few sitting in front of my sweet sparkly holiday tree in the early early morning - that I would find the MAGIC in the moments of the cold and dark winter nights.
We are on the FINAL descent into the darkest night, tomorrow, and I am READY to birth the sun both around me and within me.  Will you join me??

I often think of the idea of LIGHTING myself up at this time of year, and that is where the work ENCHANTMENT comes in.  How can you be ENCHANTED in your own life.  As the light returns, what do you YEARN for in your life?  How do you want to FEEL in the upcoming year? What are the core desires that you seek to fulfill in yourself?

I invite you to go inward and sit with these questions. Ponder what your heart is desiring and honor both where you are now, where you have been in the past year.  Be sure to include your successes, your completions, and all you have accomplished, as well as the direction you seek in your feeling body.  How do you want to feel?

The magic is always there to keep life full of ENCHANTMENT. The beauty and gratitude we focus on in our lives GROWS the more we focus on it.

May your darkest nights be full of MAGIC, SPARKLE, and WISDOM.  May the rebirth of the sun in your HEART guide you HOME.

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