Letting Go of Busy

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A few weeks ago Jason and I listened to Ted Talks on the way home from the beach. When we came across, In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré I immediately thought, now this is a talk everyone I know needs to hear!

We live in a culture obsessed with being busy. I spent much of my 20’s battling one sickness after the next because I refused to slow down. I was busy to the max all the time because I felt like I had to keep up with our speed crazed culture. On a deeper level I felt that if I wasn’t busy than I wasn’t of value. Oh how misguided I was!

Looking back I see that I was operating from a deficit of self-love. Because I didn’t fully believe there was value in what I was doing I did a ton of it. All the time. I lived in a near constant state of needing approval from outside sources and to say it was exhausting would be an understatement.

I was depleted.

Thankfully I trusted my intuition enough to seek out yoga and meditation which I know saved my life. As I cultivated those practices I was led to new friends, teachers, and ways of taking care of myself that I didn’t think I would ever be able to turn into habits. And here’s the deal… it has taken me years to change and be where I am today. I didn’t learn to eat well in a week and I didn’t learn to love myself in 3 Easy Steps. It has taken courage, dedication, and more willingness than I could muster on my own. Much of my strength in the beginning came from supportive groups, yoga classes, and friends walking a similar path.

Living in a culture obsessed with being busy took such a huge toll on my life. Am I embarrassed by that? Today, no. Collective energy is powerful and seductive. It takes a high level of awareness to recognize when I get hooked into beliefs that no longer serve me, like the one about not being of value and therefore having to be super busy all the time. Or the one about my life not being meaningful because I am too wrapped up in comparing myself to everyone else.

Today I have choices. I can jump on the busy train and rush around trying to get everything done as fast as possible, or I can slow down and as Carl says, connect with my inner tortoise. I’m so down with connecting with my inner tortoise right now. It isn’t always comfortable or easy for me as I tend to be a high vibe kind of person but I fully believe that for long term health, joy, and sanity this is the path.

To shake things up I decided to slow my roll on email this week. My work mantra: I don’t have to email everyone back right away. Yes I know I run my own business and some people expect a speedy response but it’s a personal choice. At the end of the day taking care of myself is number one and if that means not responding emails after 6pm that is what it means. It’s my job to be fully present and available for my life and I cannot do that if I am ungrounded in my self-care.

Carl Honoré’s talks about how we are so caught up in how fast our lives move that we fail to recognize the toll it takes on our health. I know loads of young women with auto immune disorders, many of which stem from chronic exhaustion and stress. This makes me sad on one level but it’s also a great wake up call. If we can let go of being overly busy and expending all of our personal energy we can and will be healthier.

The longer I live the more I understand how precious life is. I want to make each moment count and to be honest I’m over being busy. I am so ready to let it go and make room for more creativity, steadiness, and ease. Of course I know that I have to hustle at times and there are project deadlines to work with, but I can still bring a slowness and peace into everything that I do. That is the practice. Are you willing to let go of being busy and slow down to enjoy the ride?

From my inner tortoise to yours,

xoa

New Moon Morning

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Taking extra time this morning to reflect and write. I love that new moons are a time when the slate is wiped clean and the energy is fresh. Yesterday we had a new moon in Scorpio with a partial solar eclipse. If there was an ideal time to truly let go of what holds us back (especially in the relationship department) now would be the time. The cosmos is supporting you to loosen your grip and start this upcoming year lighter and more open to love.

What’s been coming up for me these last couple of weeks has been very much in alignment with the energies of this new moon. I am opening up to more love in so many ways and it’s a humbling and incredible time to grow.

I met with a new spiritual teacher last week and what came forward was that I need to expand my self-love. This really upset me initially. I was like, me, really? I’ve been moving towards this and working with self-love for over thirteen years, don’t I love myself enough yet? Once I felt my way through that ego driven talk, I recognized it was true, it was possible to love myself so much more. There was greater self-love to be had and enlarging this practice is where it’s at right now. This is clearly the next step on my personal journey.

To practice more self-love this week I committed to deepening my morning rituals to include more self-healing work. This has been very grounding. As many of you know I have been studying and practicing Reiki this year. Using the energy in my hands to self-soothe and restore my emotions is changing my life. Words really cannot do the practice any justice. Learning how to work with my own energy in this healing way has been one of my biggest steps towards more self-love.

Another way I practiced self-love this week was taking risks. I posted about it a couple of days ago on Instagram and the incredible comments were so affirming. The amount I am willing to risk is proportionate to how much I love myself. Within my business I have been called to really step up and have been given loads of opportunities to practice. My teacher shared that we had to be willing to risk everything in order to stand in our truth and do the important spiritual work around working with others for a career.

Today I sent five emails I’d been avoiding for the last couple of days and it’s amazing what happens when I create space for loving myself unconditionally though the fear. Now I feel light, happy and empowered. I just asked for what I’m worth! It’s one of the best feelings in the world to me right now and so tied to self-love and valuing what I offer.

Would love to hear how you are working with the new moon energy and practicing self-love this week.

Wishing you well.

xoa

inspired living // belén vazquez amaro

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Today I am happy to share the third interview in our Inspired Living series. Last year after my interview with FvF was published I received such a kind email from Belén Vazquez Amaro. Right after reading it I went over to her website and was blown away by her photography. We connected pretty quickly over email on multiple levels and I have been inspired by her ever since.

In addition to being a super talented photographer and stylist, Belén also creates her own recipes and is a yoga teacher. Belén is the founder of Yoga & Breakfast, a beautiful event that combines a early morning yoga class with a lovingly prepared breakfast. Belén’s life and work is all about finding beauty in the everyday, creating community with like minded souls, and inspiring the people around her in everything that she does.

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How do you take care of yourself?
Eating a plant based diet, buying as much organic as possible. Having a daily routine of Yoga asana, meditation and Pranayama. Walking in the nature. Creating nice moments in the day, they could be small treats as a smoothie or fresh juice that will recharge my batteries or a nice cup of tea (loving chamomile and fennel infusion). Reminding myself to breathe and slow down.

What inspires you to create?
Anything can inspire me, an article in a magazine or website, a book, a photography, a flower, a trip, a view… and people around me, from someone walking in the street to a close friend. It is all about connecting.

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Name one of favorite meals to prepare.
Love to cook, love to eat!

How to you continue to evolve and grow as a person?
Thinking quite often about this question…observing the actions and reactions toward myself and other people

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The best advice you have ever taken.
You are not your mind, you are bigger than that. From my teacher Ratheesh Mani

What are you committed to?
To the yoga practice.

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Name one of your biggest challenges and how you moved through it.
Still working on that, but something that I am practicing is to be kinder with myself/others and to be more present.

Share three of your heroes and why the mean so much to you.
My boyfriend, he is my life partner and he taught me how it is to be loved. My teacher, he put the light on my way. People who help other people in a selfless- healthy way.

Yoga-&-Breakfast What do you like most about yourself?
That I like to create things.

Name one thing you haven’t done yet that you really want to do.
Travel to a lot of different places in the world, i would like to see more

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Where do you enjoy silence?
In early mornings.

What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for many things in life, but the one that I am most grateful for is to exist.

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If you aren’t already following Belén on Instgram, head over now and see what she’s up to. It’s an endless stream of quiet beauty and I always want to eat everything she makes.

sprouted oat pancakes

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It’s pancake season! Yay! Now that Fall has finally arrived in Los Angeles I’ve ditched my smoothie breakfast and transitioned into warmer foods. I’ve been on a pancake kick the last week and after a few trials have developed a delicious new recipe to share.

I’ve posted a few times about the amazing benefits of sprouting. When whole grains are sprouted their nutrients are easier to absorb and digest. You can sprout oat groats (whole oats) the same as you would buckwheat. Once sprouted you dehydrate the groats then grind them into a flour. This is a fun but time consuming process. You can also buy sprouted flours in many health food stores and online. If you can’t get your hands of sprouted flour, regular oat flour will work just as well!

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Because oats are loaded with protein these pancakes make a filling breakfast. I got ten pancakes out of this recipe using a 1/4 c. measure. This makes each pancake nearly 5 grams of protein. I usually spread almond butter on my pancakes to bump up the protein for a well rounded breakfast. These will usually have me full until lunch. Getting adequate amounts of protein for breakfast is important for so many functions in the body.

This recipe is great for that nearly rotten banana you might have in your kitchen and aren’t sure what to do with. I love using mashed fruit in pancakes for texture, flavor, and as a binder. I only used 1 egg in this recipe because I used the banana. I didn’t add any additional sweetener to the batter as I prefer pancakes that aren’t very sweet because there is a chance I might want to put a little maple syrup on top. And by little I mean 1-2 teaspoons tops! Don’t get crazy with the sugar early in the morning, the last thing you want is a major crash mid-morning ;)

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If you have leftover winter squash or sweet potato on hand that can work well in the recipe too. Here’s an example of an older recipe that uses teff flour and sweet potato. I cringe a little linking to old recipes as my photo skills where not that great back then but the recipe is good! Also, I have fully switched over from making pancakes on a non-stick pan and only use cast iron like my Mom and Grandma taught me. It makes a huge difference in getting a nice browning on the outside and moist inside.

This is the first recipe in 2.5 years of blogging that uses an egg. After nearly five years of making vegan pancakes it was fun to use an egg and taste the results. Please note I use the highest quality local eggs from pasture raised chickens.

If you don’t want to use an egg feel free to sub it out for more banana or a chia/flax egg. To make a mock egg mix 1 tablespoon ground chia/flax with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Stir well and then place in the fridge to set for at least fifteen minutes, a hour is preferable. Once it’s set use it like you would a regular egg. sproutedoatpancakes1

Sprouted Oat Pancakes

Makes about 10 pancakes

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 & 1/2 c. sprouted (or regular) oat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1 & 1/2 c. milk (I used pumpkin seed milk)
  • 1 egg
  • Extra coconut oil for cooking
  • Pomegranate seeds for topping
  • Almond butter
  • Maple syrup

 

Method //

  1. Heat your cast iron pan over low heat.
  2. While the pan is warming mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg in a medium size mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl mash the banana well with a fork. Stir the coconut oil into the banana.
  4. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Fold in the banana and egg.
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to the skillet and bring heat to medium low.
  6. Wait a minute or two for the skillet to get warmer then make the pancakes by using a 1/4 c. measure.
  7. Cook on the first side 2-3 minutes and flip, cook 60-90 seconds on the other side.
  8. Serve warm with pomegranate seeds, almond butter and a bit of maple syrup if desired.
  9. Leftover pancakes can be kept in the fridge for several days. Reheat on a pan.

Enjoy!

xoa

oil pulling

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Today I want to share a practice that has done wonders for my dental and oral health, oil pulling. This ancient Ayurvedic practice known as kavala or gundusha, helps reduce bacteria and plaque in the mouth as well as strengthen teeth. I started oil pulling a few years ago and have been doing it regularly for the last year. My last three dental visits were amazing and my teeth are super sparkly.

Oil pulling is super easy. Swish 1-2 teaspoons of  coconut oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and spit it out. The oil pulls out the toxins stored in your salivary glands. The less toxins you have in our mouth the less bacteria and plaque will accumulate.

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There are many folks out there that make all kinds of claims about oil pulling. Traditionally it was done with sesame oil but I prefer coconut oil as it has so many antibacterial and antiviral properties. Here are two studies one regrading gingivitis and this one on microrganisms that go into more detail. I’ve tired all sorts of seemingly odd health remedies and oil pulling has worked really well for me. Oil pulling along with daily flossing, brushing, and morning tongue scraping has my dentist asking me what I do. I actually educated him on oil pulling a while back and now he’s recommending it to his patients!

The first few times I tried oil pulling I couldn’t do it for more than ten minutes, my jaw was tired and I was scared I was going to swallow all of the toxins back down. Now I can do 20 minutes no problem. It’s totally fine to work your way up. If your jaw is exhausted you are probably swishing too hard, slow and steady here! The oil will get thicker as you swish (it doubles in size) and according to Dr. Bruce Fife it takes about 20 minutes for the plaque in your mouth to breakdown. Not to worry though, that isn’t long enough for the body to reabsorb the toxins.

Some folks prefer to start with melted coconut oil. I use it as-is, it will melt quickly in your mouth. Whatever you decide be sure to purchase high quality, raw organic oil.

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Oil pulling has become part of my morning ritual. I like to do it after I meditate while I am making my breakfast. It’s important to spit out the oil into the trash as it can eventually clog the drain. Afterwards I rinse my mouth well with water and brush my teeth. I oil pull about five times a week and that has worked well for me, it is safe to do everyday if you like.

Have you tired oil pulling? I’d love to hear your experiences below. Wishing you a gorgeous day.

xoa

Autumn Salad

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Hello friends! I hope you are having a great weekend. I came up to Ventura for the weekend to enjoy some ocean air and spend time near Ojai. Yesterday Jason and I went on this incredible herb walk. I’m still editing the photos and will share a post this week, so much to say about it!

I’ve got a new autumn salad recipe that we have enjoyed the last couple of days. It’s easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a few days. It would make an awesome dish to bring to your Thanksgiving dinner too! There are lots of ways to prep the kale and I like it best when the kale is slightly steamed. It makes is much easier to digest and it’s great served warm or at room temperature.

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Butternut squash is the star of this salad and is one of my favorite fall foods. The bright orange color of the squash indicates it is loaded with carotenoids which help fight cancer and beta-carotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A. This is a key vitamin in fetal development and our bodies do much better with getting it from whole food sources than synthetic supplements.

Chinese medicine considers butternut squash a warming food that nourishes the pancreas and spleen. It is said to be a medicinal food for diabetics and people with stomach problems. This amazing squash is also loaded in vitamin C and is a delicious anti inflammatory food.

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Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits. I loved eating them growing up and they are incredibly beautiful to look at! To brighten the salad and add more antioxidants I used pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates boost our immune systems and help reverse damaged blood vessels. In Chinese medicine pomegranates strengthen the blood and heart.

This year I have really into millet as it’s easier for my body to digest than other starches like quinoa and it’s so versatile. More about the health benefits of millet in this recipe. Millet can be cooked like quinoa or rice. I prefer 1 c. millet to 2 c. water for a fluffy texture.

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Winter squash is super economical and if you want to save time you can often find it cubed at your grocery store. I have a bunch of different peelers, lately I’ve been using this one for squash and it has worked beautifully. The blades are super sharp which is exactly what you want when peeling winter squash – much safer to use!

Here is a great video on how to get those magic seeds out of your pomegranate! I learned this trick in culinary school and it really works! If you get a large enough fruit you will have plenty of extra seeds for your morning breakfast. Enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

serves 4

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c. cooked millet
  • 1 large bunch of curly kale, chopped
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeded
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • Celtic flake salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

 

Method //

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cut squash in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the coconut oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Line coated squash on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Roast until the squash is tender about 25 minutes. Flip halfway through and remove from oven when done.
  4. While the squash is roasting lightly steam the chopped kale then place in the large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cooked millet, squash and pomegranate seeds to the kale and toss with your hands.
  6. Next add the juice from 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Toss gently to coat. Add more oil and/or lemon juice of you like. Serve with flaked salt and fresh ground pepper.

 

The salad will keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday!

xoa

 

inspired living // kristen dilley

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I am excited to post the second interview in our Inspired Living series! Last year I stumbled upon Portland Apothecary’s Instagram account and was fascinated by their approach to preventative medicine and desire to share herbalism in their community. Portland Apothecary was founded by herbalists Elie Barausky and Kristen Dilley. They offer some of my favorite wild crafted seasonal remedies and teach seasonal wellness workshops in the Portland area.

When I reached out to Elie and Kristen about interviewing them for the blog they were so warm and engaging. It was clear they love sharing their passion for wellness and that made me want to post them on the blog even more!

In this heartfelt interview Kristen shares how she begins the day with gratitude, the importance of taking walks without her phone, and how she and Elie are creating space for self-care in their community. Be sure to take notes on Kristen’s phenomenal reading list, it’s full of gems!

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What are your self-care musts?
Drinking a daily blend of red clover, nettle, oatstraw and raspberry leaf tea, taking a walk at least once a day without bringing my phone and doing at least three rounds of the qi gong exercise ‘bringing down the heavens’ taught to me by the late (and great) Suzanne Friedman.

Do you have a morning or evening ritual? If so, tell us about it.
With my first couple breaths I make a mental note of what I’m grateful for, this really helps put the rest of the day in perspective. My evening ritual has always been to read, and often I pose a question to my dreams in hopes of an answer!

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How do you stay inspired?
Walking. I walk everywhere, and now I walk even more now that I am a mom. I am inspired by how people live, how they choose to arrange their space, what the cycles of each ecosystem presents. When I am in the city I hardly ever drive, you miss so much that way! Walking has been my daily practice for as long as I can remember. Rebecca Solnit has a great book, Wanderlust: A History of Walking that is really inspiring.

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List a few books that changed your life. * I am very eclectic!
Angela Davis, Women, Race & Class stopped me in my tracks in my early 20s. Not only for the content, but her style of writing. She is so accessible, inclusive and direct. Angela Davis is such an inspiration to me in how she communicates.

Peter Tomkins & Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants. This book blew my mind and really made me see plants in a different way. It might have helped pave the way to my current life that is full of plants in every way!

Lloyd Kahn, Shelter. Endless hours of fascination seeing how many different ways humans can choose to live. So much here to think about.

Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright. The Delicacy and Strength of Lace. A really beautiful exchange between writers. Timeless. Letter writing is a practice that I would like to return to.

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Where do you enjoy silence?
Before having a child I would’ve had a different answer! Now, I take silence and try to really inhabit that space whenever and wherever I can get it!

What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is a balance of physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. It means learning how to be gentle with myself, when to give it my all and when to step back. It’s a real dance, and I’m still such a student.

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How do you create community?
Elie and I have dedicated ourselves to the Community Supported Herbalism model so that of course is the first thing that comes to mind. We are focused on providing for and educating our community about seasonal wellness. We are starting a class series called The Seasons of our Cycle which is focused on women’s health, and now we are beginning to collaborate with Sweedeedee (an amazing local cafe) and Magic Hour Astrology to host a seasonal dinner focused on seasonal foods, herbs and the moon cycles. We are really trying to bring the act of self care into different fun, beautiful and inspired events.

What are you most grateful for?
Air, water, love, the opportunity to live fully. All of nature, really just all of it. I’m so grateful for so much, and even more so right now in this particular time in world politics and unrest. I don’t take the life I am able to live for granted at all.

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For more info on Kristen and her private acupuncture practice in Portland visit Nightengale Acupuncture & Herbs.

Hand and herb photos by Cheryl Juetten, and the rest are by Elie Barausky.

homemade coconut butter

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It’s recipe time! Just as we were settling into cooler weather we’re back in hopefully our final heatwave this year. I’ve been working on new fall recipes but it’s just too hot to turn on the oven today so I’m sharing a superfood staple in my pantry – homemade coconut butter. If you already buy this from the store you’re going to love how easy it is to create at home. If this coconut butter stuff is new to you, welcome, it’s AMAZING!

Coconut butter is the blended fleshy part of the coconut. It can be used just like you would use any nut butter, as a spread, in baking, smoothies, sauces and by the spoonful. Blend a heaping spoonful with filtered water and you have a quick coconut milk! Coconut butter is very versatile, slightly sweet and loaded with healthy saturated fat which gives us energy.

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This incredible superfood supports thyroid function, enhances the liver, soothes anxiety and frazzled nerves. Coconut butter also has high amounts of lauric acid which has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that boost our immune systems. If want to learn even more facts and improve gut health try my coconut yogurt.

You can make coconut butter in a high speed blender or food processor. I prefer using my Vitamix over the food processor because it’s faster, easier, and produces a smoother texture. Be sure to purchase organic, unsweetened coconut flakes and have some melted coconut oil on hand in case you need to adjust the consistency. I usually add 1-3 tsp. of melted coconut oil to get things moving really well in my Vitamix and like very smooth texture.

Once you have the coconut butter base you can add different ingredients for variety. I love it with ground vanilla and/or cardamom. Cinnamon works well, cacao powder, or even a touch of raw honey. Experiment and see what you like best.

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Homemade Coconut Butter

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 lb. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Pinch Celtic sea salt
  • A few teaspoons of melted organic coconut oil

 

Method //

  1. Pour the coconut flakes into your blender or processor. Add the salt.
  2. For the Vitamix use the tamper to push the flakes into the blades, this will speed up the process and make sure the flakes get blended. It will take about 1-2 minutes. Add melted coconut oil by the teaspoon if you want it super smooth.
  3. For the food processor scrape down the sides every few minutes to make sure the flakes get blended. It will take about 10-15 minutes. If you need to add some coconut oil to help smooth out the consistency add it by the teaspoon.
  4. Blend or process until you have a creamy consistency.
  5. Pour out and store in airtight glass containers.
  6. Coconut oil will solidify at 77 degrees. In the cooler months place the jar of coconut butter in a bowl of hot water and let it soften.
  7. It will keep for a couple of months, if it lasts that long! Does not need to be stored in the fridge.

 

What are your favorite uses for coconut butter? I’d love to know!

xoa

end of summer fig smoothie

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Happy Sunday friends! I hope you are having a lovely weekend. We’ve been eating loads of figs from the market even though summer is officially over. I’ve been happy to find the most beautiful figs and enjoy eating them plain or on a bowl of chia pudding. To spice things up I decided to create a smoothie out of them and omg, SO GOOD! Can’t wait for you to try for yourself.

Figs are one of the oldest cultivated plants. They are often thought of as a fruit but botanically they are flowers. The inside of the fig is where the flower blossoms, pretty cool right? Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium. Figs are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. They are one of my favorite prenatal and pregnancy foods to recommend as well.

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Traditional Chinese medicine views figs as having a neutral temperature and as one of the most alkalizing foods. Alkaline foods help balance acidity which is common in diets that rely on processed foods and lots of meat. Figs are great for treating constipation because of their high mucin content and work well to clear coughs and sore throats.

In Ayurveda figs are cooling and sweet. They are a wonderful source of iron and help keep our blood strong. Ayurveda maintains that if you have low digestive fire (agni) you should avoid figs, especially with dairy.

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To really get that amazing fig flavor I used a combination of dried and fresh figs. Soak dried figs for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover to make for smoother blending. If you don’t have access to raw, ground vanilla, scrape out seeds from a vanilla bean! You’re going to want serious vanilla flavor in this, trust me!

I threw in a cardamom pod and a pinch of saffron threads to bump up the earthy flavors. A little saffron goes a long way so stick to a pinch ;) This smoothie is a favorite afternoon pick-me-up.

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End of Summer Fig Smoothie

serves 2

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 c. fresh almond milk
  • 3 large dried figs
  • 3 large fresh figs
  • 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
  • 1 cardamom pod (or 1/8 tsp. ground)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 1 pinch saffron threads

 

Method  //

  1. Add the almond milk and dried figs to a high speed blender. Process until smooth.
  2. Blend the remaining ingredients and blend  until creamy.
  3. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

 

This smoothie will keep for 2 days in the fridge when stored in a glass, airtight container.

xoa

tune in and reflect // first day of fall

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Fall has officially arrived! The equinox took place last night and I am grateful for the transition into one of my most beloved seasons. This time of year always carries a particular excitement about what’s to come. In my school days I remember that feeling of anticipation of the first day back at school. I loved heading back into classes and how fun it was to see how everyone changed over the summer. Even though the seasonal shift felt fast, fall has always been about tuning in and self-reflection.

Living in Los Angeles has required me to tap into a new level of awareness about my surroundings. I’ve become more sensitive to the subtle changes in seasons here that are quite different from other cities I have lived in. During autumn I like to take short trips out of the city to experience trees changing in the way they did where I grew up. Seeing all the shades of orange and red as the leaves turn takes my breath away. I love my neighborhood so much but I miss those epic fall scenes a great deal. The beauty of southern California is that I don’t have to drive too far to get my fill of changing leaves.

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To welcome in the autumn season I spent Sunday with Jason at a beautiful beach just north of Ventura. We looked for shells, watched the surfers, and laughed out loud every time a flock of these teeny white birds scurried by. Their legs looked like the lightest, tiniest sticks I had ever seen. The leaves haven’t begun to change much up there and I wanted to get my feet in the ocean as a reminder that we can always reset and start over.

Fall is the season of abundance and is a wonderful time to practice giving thanks. I took many moments to breathe in the ocean air and give silent thank-yous for all that I have in my life. If you haven’t done so this week, take a few moments to jot down what you are grateful for. Gratitude is such a healing practice and can often help us stay present and joyful. It’s also important to thank Mother Earth for all she gives us on a daily basis. Last night one of my teachers commented on how grateful he was to have as much clean drinking water as he wishes each day. I feel the same. Being appreciative of clean drinking water is one of the ways I ground myself in nature.

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fall5 This time of year can be very busy for us and it’s essential that we practice cultivating balance. It can be easy to get swept away in our daily activities. We need to carve out time for self-care. I find the busier I am the more self-care I need. Thinking I am too busy to meditate, write, or prepare a nourishing meal, are all signals that I need to step up in those areas. Fall is a wonderful season to really tune into ourselves, work with the changing energy of the season, and take some of our focus inward.

Spending more time with myself is one of the ways I honor the autumn season. As the days get shorter it feels natural to go home earlier, read more books, and journal about the past year. With a few months left in 2014 now is a great time to finish up projects and get clear on what we want to manifest in the coming months. Reflection is also a huge part of my self-care. I’m not talking about looking at every little thing that went wrong this year, it’s more expansive than that. Taking inventory of how I lived in alignment with my dreams and values and paying attention to the areas that need more attention and love is the name of the game.

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Now is an ideal time to share with loved ones how we want to engage with the rest of the year and make it a point to move in that direction. Since we are in the season of abundance and a new moon is right around the corner, we have loads of support on many levels.

How do you plan to take care of yourself this season? What are some of your desires for the rest of the year and how can you follow through on them? In what ways are you connecting with nature and giving thanks for all that you have?

Wishing you a beautiful and restorative fall.

xoa