healing broth

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Good morning friends! I’ve been up in Ventura this weekend to relax and rest. I am so grateful Jason’s family has a nice place up here by the ocean where we can slow down and unwind. It’s amazing what a couple of days away from bustling Los Angeles can do for my energy, health, and over all outlook on life!

I got up early to cruise around the Ojai farmers market while Jason worked with a patient. The drive from the house to Ojai is so beautiful and the air always smells sweet. I hit up my favorite stands for leafy greens, herbs, fruits, and veggies. The Ojai market is hands down one of my favorites. It’s small but everything is local and the farmers are so cool. I love being able to talk for twenty minutes for someone about purslane!

For the last eleven days Jason and I have been on a pretty intense cleanse. To keep our electrolytes and mineral levels in balance and stay hydrated, I’ve been making some version of this healing broth for us to drink throughout the day. It really makes a huge difference in how we feel and I wanted to share the recipe with you. The healing broth can be consumed warm like a tea or you can use it as a base for soups or to cook beans/grains in.

Healing broth helps to alkalize our bodies and provides key nutrients that we need to detoxify and restore our bodies. As we begin transitioning into fall, drinking a small portion (1/2-1 c. is all that is needed) of broth daily is a great way to keep our immune systems strong. At the first sign of a cold drink as much of this as you can and take a ginger detox bath. These two home remedies never let me down! I cook a very large quantity so it will last a long time. I figure if I’m going through the process of making it, might as well have it last!

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I like to use a wide range of plants in this broth to give it layered flavor and as many nutrients as possible. Not all broths are created equal and this one is truly therapeutic. I love using medicinal mushrooms in broths for their adaptogenic compounds and immune strengthening capabilities. Fresh ginger and turmeric are a staple in my fall and winter soups to bring down inflammation and keep digestive fire strong. Using a combination of root vegetables gives the broth a sweet flavor and when paired with the kombu (a seaweed) makes this a mineral power broth.

I use a large quantity of ingredients than most recipes out there to ensure this broth has grounding and restorative properties. If you have a crockpot that is large enough that works great. You can also cut the recipe in half for a smaller slow cooker. The longer the broth cooks the richer it will become. Like most good broths, the flavor gets better with time and I don’t even use salt with this one! If you want to use salt, I suggest adding it at the end to individual servings. A small squeeze of lemon juice is wonderful right before consuming as well for brightness and intensify the flavors. My healing broth is so calming and I can’t wait for you to feel the benefits for yourself!

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Healing Broth

makes about 6 quarts

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 small celery root with stalks
  • 1 medium fennel with stalks
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 medium purple onion
  • 4 small new potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 medium daikon with leaves
  • 4 large leaves of curly kale
  • 3 small zucchini
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 6 inch piece of ginger
  • 6 inch piece of turmeric
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large dried maitake mushroom
  • 1 handful dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1, 6 inch strip of kombu
  • 5 springs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 3 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 24 c. water

 

Method //

  1. Prep all the vegetables! Wash the fresh vegetables well. Cut the celery root, fennel, rutabaga, and onion into chunks and add to a large stock pot. Rough chop the carrots, leek, daikon, kale, and zucchini. Add them to the pot.
  2. Peel and smash the garlic and add it.  Slice the ginger and turmeric lengthwise and combine the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Fill with 24 c. of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for at least 2 hours.
  5. Strain the broth and let cool to room temperature before storing. Strained ingredients can go right into the compost.
  6. Keep in glass containers in the fridge for up to a week and appropriate containers in the freezer for 3-4 months.

 

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Here’s to drinking to our health this season! Enjoy!

xoa

Inspired Living: Erin Scott

ErinScott15 For a long time I’ve wanted to start an interview series on my blog. I am so happy that it’s finally happening! I love learning how women take care of themselves, create meaning, grow through challenges, and show up in their communities. The Inspired Living series comes from my desire to connect around what’s really important in our lives with the people I admire.

The women I feature will be family members, friends, and women I’ve worked with or dream of meeting one day. My wish is that these incredible souls will touch your life as well and that you will find wisdom in what they have to offer.

To kick off this series I am thrilled to share an interview with my dear cousin Erin Scott, creator of the gorgeous blog Yummy Supper. Erin is an amazing author, home cook, and photographer based in Berkeley, California. She creates beautiful, seasonal recipes that are accessible and fun to make.

Last month Erin’s first cookbook was published and everyone that I recommended it to is raving about it! She’s got a genuine spirit that comes through so clearly in our interview. I can’t wait for you to get to know her!

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How do you take care of yourself?
I try to take a walk every day. I’ve never been someone who has craved exercise per se, but a daily walk is good medicine for me in so many ways – from clearing my mind, to restoring my often-achy shoulders, to reminding me to breathe deeply. Plus walking around my neighborhood keeps me connected with the seasons and I get a little thrill watching nature’s magnificent show, like that first burst of cherry blossoms in spring time or the yellowing gingko leaves in fall. There’s so much beauty out there.

Name a favorite seasonal meal.
Oh it’s so hard to choose just one! Whatever season I’m in, that’s the one I’m in love with, those are the foods that call to me. It’s starting to feel a little cool and fall-like here in Berkeley, so my cravings are autumnal this morning. I can’t wait for Warren Pears to come into season – I like serving the juicy beauties with Stilton, Honeycomb, and Smokey Pecans. I’m not sure that counts as a meal – but I could easily dig into a platter like that for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Parmesan Polenta with Garlicky Rapini and Black Olives is also sounding really good right now – that creamy, comforting polenta goes so well with a zesty pile of rapini. You can even toss a poached egg on top, if you’re so inclined. Yum!

Best advice you’ve ever taken.
Don’t hold back. When I was about 6 months into my blog, I was so excited and inspired, but I had no idea that this hobby would lead me into a new career. I had outgrown the point-and-shoot camera I’d been using and I knew I needed a new camera. I was afraid to spend money on my hobby, as that felt too self-indulgent and decadent. A wise friend said, “Erin, don’t hold back. Really let yourself go for it and see where it takes you.” I was scared to invest in myself in that way, but I didn’t hold back, and now 5 years later, I’ve used that camera to shoot 3 cookbooks, including my own!

ErinScott9 Share a couple of your heroes and why the mean so much to you.
My mom. Really, my mom was the one to introduce me to the pleasures of real, healthy food. Back in the 70s when I was a kid, mom shopped at the coop in Seattle and always made sure to feed me really well. She was committed to organic well before the days of Whole Foods. There was no white bread or sugary cereals in our kitchen. Mom made foods lovingly from-scratch and when she could, she grew her own food: first in a little community garden in the city, and eventually she built an incredible one acre organic vegetable garden in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Mom never sacrificed taste for health – she’s always been a passionate eater and her food is delicious! I grew up cooking alongside my mom, licking my fingers and enjoying the whole experience.

Alice Waters. She is incredible. I have so much respect for Alice and all she’s done to support organic farming, healthy eating, and edible education. First, she created Chez Panisse, a magical restaurant (and my favorite place to eat on this planet), which is infused with deliciousness, beauty and warmth. Second, she has written cookbooks that have changed my life. If you don’t own Chez Panisse Vegetables, run and get it now. It’s brilliant – simple, seasonal and so so good. Third, instead of selling out and marketing her name to the food industry, Alice started the Edible Schoolyard Project, where she has devoted her time and effort to educating kids (and families) about where food comes from and how to turn that food into a nourishing meal. Her advocacy work is tireless and endlessly inspiring to me.

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How do you connect to nature?
5 years ago we tore out our back lawn and filled our little backyard with veggies, herbs and fruit trees. It’s a small space, but it’s so packed with beauty, deliciousness and life! Whenever I can I love to be out there, even just to snip some fresh herbs. Our kitchen overlooks the garden, so when I’m cooking I can watch the birds picking up little tufts of dry grass for their nests, the occasional hummingbird pausing at the lavender patch, or the squirrels enjoying a fig or two from our massive tree. The garden always makes me smile.

I do like to get further out into nature with my family. We are all beach people and try to get our dose of the ocean whenever we can. My mom lives in a sleepy beach town north of SF and that’s one of our favorite spots. We also have friends who live in Santa Barbara and we get some really good beach time there too. I recently tried paddle boarding for the first time and I think I’m hooked! Being able to be out in the ocean without much gear, just enjoying the experience… I can’t wait to do it again!

ErinScott3 What motivates you to create?
Honestly, sometimes I’m really unmotivated. Right now for example. It took so much creative juice for me to create my cookbook – from the recipes to the writing to the cooking to the photography. It was an incredible experience and I put everything I had into that project. Now, I find myself a little tired, a little spent. I know once this whirlwind of the book tour is over, I’ll need to find quiet time, time to rest and refuel. I know I’ll need to find enough quiet space so my natural desire to create can find room to play, to explore and dabble without pressure. Some people are motivated to create when they have a deadline, but I’m the opposite. I need room to be slow, to make mistakes, to explore without expectation.

Where do you find inspiration?
In our little garden, at the farmers’ market, in nature.

ErinScott13 How do you continue to evolve and grow as a person?
Since hitting my 40th birthday, I see more and more just how little I know, and how much more learning and growing there is to do in all areas of my life! Once I got over the notion that I had to have everything figured out (something I believed in my teens, 20s and 30s), I started to really have fun, and out of that fun has come all sorts of rewarding work that I never expected.

I think the potential for evolving comes from letting go, but also from a curiosity to learn and grow. I try to be open to new things, to surrender to the things I have no control over (I guess that would be most things, right?), and to fully embrace the scary and wonderful unknown.

What are you committed to?
Loving up my family and friends, and do doing work that brings joy, beauty and deliciousness into other people’s lives.

ErinScott11 List a few books that changed your life.
Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude, Patti Smith’s Just Kids, and Frances Hodgson’s The Secret Garden.

What are you most grateful for?
My kiddos, my husband Paul, my larger family, and friends. For finding work I love. I’m grateful for it all!

 

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Isn’t Erin wonderful?! Be sure to check out her recipes below and her colorful Instagram account! xo

Recipes for the photos I used in this post (from top to bottom):

Quick Homemade Ricotta + Lemony Garden Pasta

Quinoa + Kale Patties

Phyllis’s Raw Asparagus + Fennel Salad

Autumn Breakfast Porridge

A Salad For The Edible Schoolyard

A Simple Zuni Dessert

my food journey

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For starters I’m not vegan. Phew! Now that I got that out of the way I’m pretty much done with this post right?! Kidding! Trying to crack a joke because to be honest I am a little uncomfortable writing this. There is so much going on in the media right now around veganism. I felt it was important to share my experiences and professional opinions with you. I often get asked many questions about what I eat and also figured it was about time for this type of post. With the exception of honey all of the recipes I’ve shared here are whole food and vegan. That is going to begin to shift a little here and there. I wanted to address it upfront before I just throw in a recipe with eggs or ghee and you’re like wait, what?!

I want thank you for the support over the last 2.5 years. It’s truly been incredible. I’ve grown a great deal since the blog started and my life has blossomed in amazing ways. When I began this blog I was living in a motel on the Pacific Coast Highway in a tiny town in Northern California. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed when I finished the plant-based culinary program I was in. When a friend reached out and said she had a place for me in Los Angeles I figured that was a good city to begin the next chapter of my life. Looking back I am aware that nothing happens by mistake, this is totally where I am supposed to be right now.

Before I dive into my food journey I need to say that food choices are intensely personal and political. They are steeped in our different cultures and family values. Writing about food and having access to the kinds of fresh foods and medicinal herbs that I do is a huge privilege. I have always recognized and been very grateful for that. I am sensitive to the reality that not everyone gets to go the organic farmers market or spend time debating what they are going to have for dinner. It is a luxury.

Coming from this place of reverence for my life and the way I get to live it has always kept me from being preachy about food. I’ve also had health issues over the years that have been healed by foods and herbs, some of which people in the vegan community would frown upon. My goal is to create an inclusive community around nourishment and making conscious choices about what and how we eat. I’ve had the privilege of working with many people over these last years and none of them were alike. There are similarities and threads that connect us together, but we all have different nutritional requirements that are based on many factors.

I refrain from judging peoples food choices in life and on the blog because it isn’t helpful for anyone. I’m much less interested in labeling myself vegan or paleo or anything like that. I am much more interested in the feelings that come up for us around food and how we take care of ourselves through conscious eating, but you knew that already ;)

I often tell my clients that what we eat is just as important (in some ways more so) as how and why we eat. Eating a specific way doesn’t equate to wellness. Feeding ourselves is the most basic form of self-care and in my experience and practice that is an area in many of us that needs some deep healing. Learning to take care of ourselves by consuming local organic produce is incredible. Healing our bodies with small amounts of ghee can be equally as valid and deeply healing. There isn’t a right way and I like to remain open to the truth that wellness is non-linear and ever changing.

Ultimately you don’t even need to read the rest of this post. I mean of course I want you to as I’ve been working on it for what seems like for ever, but really this big topic of eating animals boils down to learning to listen to our bodies and live in alignment with the universe. When I’m living in agreement with my purpose and feeling connected to the planet I want to eat in a way that supports my community, the earth and all sentient beings as often as possible.

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Nearly five years ago I stopped consuming animal products, gluten, refined sugar (yes even honey and maple syrup) and processed foods. Even though I wasn’t eating animals, calling myself vegan felt weird because I wore leather and to be honest was never much of an activist. I stopped eating those foods because I was constantly sick and I hoped changing my diet would help.

From the time I was in high school until my late 20′s I had major problems with sinus infections and digestion. I had taken loads of antibiotics over the years but never found a solution. As I got older my sinus problems got worse. I was also chronically fatigued from overworking myself and generally felt some sort of ill feeling the majority of the time. In 2009, after my sixth sinus infection that year I made my first appointment to see a Naturopath.

My boyfriend at the time knew a lot about holistic health and all sorts of stuff that was new to me. He told me the Naturopath would ask about my diet and my poop and that is pretty much what happened during our first session. After my appointment I bought a book about cleansing at the recommendation of a friend. I trusted her and went for it. That 21 day cleanse changed my life.

What I loved most about that cleanse was that it was food-based, holistic, and didn’t ask me to give up too many things. For me it was the refined, processed breads and loads of cheese that was hard. That cleanse is not vegan but I decided to make my 21 days vegan just to see what that was like. I’d had a fantasy about not eating animals and thought this was a good time to try it out.

About 10 days in I experienced a terrible healing crisis. A healing crisis is basically a deep detox with uncomfortable symptoms. If I knew then what I know today I would have done things much differently but I’m glad I went through all of that. After the 21 days I felt the best that I had in years. I decided I was done with the refined grain products, sugar, and animal products and never really looked back.

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Shortly after adopting this new way of eating I spent over half a year living in Berlin, Germany. At the time there wasn’t much happening in way of plant-based, local food but I knew how to cook so I got really into hanging out at the local markets, chatting with the few organic farmers and spending time eating in a way that was quite new to me.  I cooked about 90% of all my food while overseas. I started my first blog about self-love and began seeing the deep connections between food, nourishment, and self-care.

Up until that summer my life moved pretty fast. My time in Berlin was slow. I had few obligations and spent most of my days practicing yoga, hanging with friends, and making simple, healthy plant-based meals. I felt lighter and happier than I had in ages. I practiced yoga six days a week, a very rigorous practice that made me feel balanced, strong and more emotionally open than I can ever remember being.

I was so happy and at peace during my time in Berlin that it was rare that I ate my feelings. I also didn’t eat on the go or in the car and made it a real point to enjoy my meals at the table, outside, or with friends. Eating in this way made me see how I often ate out of sadness back home or ate in a rush. It’s hard to enjoy food and truly nourish yourself when you’re in a hurry or stuffing yourself to the point you are beyond full to not feel uncomfortable emotions.

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Flash forward a year and I’m in Puerto Rico for a few weeks at the Ann Wigmore Institute experiencing a very intense cleanse. I was there participating in their certification program and to say my experience was life changing would be an understatement. I happened to be there at a very special time when the institute was quiet and our group was very small. During my time there I learned more about my digestion than I ever imagined possible and how to prepare the cleanest, most nutrient rich healing raw and fermented foods. It was such a gift to learn from the teachers. I cherish my time there so much. It’s where I learned how to grow wheat grass, what the setiva plant looked like and how to guide others through safe cleanses. I owe a great deal to this magical place.

When I came back from Puerto Rico I decided to leave Portland to attend a plant-based culinary school and enroll in a holistic nutrition course. I had been on so many adventures since I changed my diet and lifestyle and I was passionate about learning more and sharing what I learned with others.

The little tumblr blog I started gained some traction and people started to email me about their health. People who had known me back in my Tuna Helper (not even kidding) and cigarette (crazy right?) days were amazed that I was preparing all of this colorful food and writing about how taking care of myself was a huge priority in my life. They wanted to know how, why, and if I could help them.

Without even labeling what I was doing or charging for it I became a nutrition and wellness coach. By the time I finished culinary school and moved to L.A. life was in full swing. I set out to work as a personal chef. That lasted all of six months as it wasn’t for me but I learned a ton and met some interesting people along the way. I also saw firsthand how little attention people paid to how they eat. I can talk for hours about the healing properties of such and such food but lately I’m more interested in the how and why pieces. How do we incorporate healing foods into our lives? What gets in the way of us being able to nourish our bodies?

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Shortly after moving to L.A. I started working with a Naturopath to help balance my hormones. Before moving here I was diagnosed with PCOS. I later learned this is a common diagnosis for women who took birth control pills for years and consumed large quantities of sugar and refined grains growing up. I read so many books and tried vegan diets for hormone balancing but in my case it was not successful.

My period had been gone for months, I had painful cystic acne on my face and was really afraid of what was happening. I tried a number of other alternative healing modalities and nothing helped. A few months before moving to L.A. I started taking western medication for PCOS because I was in so much pain and wanted relief. When my Naturopath suggested a non-vegan supplement to not just mask my symptoms but heal my body I said I’d try it. In weighing the balance of western drugs or herbs and an animal-based supplement, I went the natural route.

I’ve struggled for years with the moral dilemma of consuming animals and foods made from animals. Making the decision to take this supplement weighed heavy on my heart but it was so much better for my body than the synthetic drugs. The medication I took for the PCOS depleted my vitamin and mineral levels and gave me the most intense sugar cravings I ever had. Coming off of the medication, healing myself with herbs, supplements and foods was the second time in my life my body responded well to natural treatment. It was nothing short of a miracle to me.

Getting the PCOS diagnosis was really hard for me. Sitting in a doctors office discussing the possibility of freezing my eggs at thirty-one was a really hard conversation to have. At the time I had no idea if I wanted kids and couldn’t believe I was having to even think about this stuff. Coming to terms with re-introducing animals into my diet after years of not eating them was something I thought about, meditated on, and wrote about at length.

Today my hormones are in much better shape. I feel healthy and strong. I have an immense gratitude for Mother Nature and all of the ways she feeds and nourishes me. I bring so much awareness, gratitude, and mindfulness into my food choices. I spend lots of time connecting to Mother Earth and believe it has a huge impact on what I eat and how I live. And the icing on the cake, my cysts are gone and have regular periods!

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The power we have to inspire and influence the people around us is not lost on me. Through every step of this journey I have seen the impact of simply showing up with a delicious home cooked meal. Sure it was challenging in the beginning, especially while traveling, but not impossible. Living in Europe after changing my eating habits in such major ways was a really good test. It also gave me a new found appreciation for the abundance of fresh food that is in my life on a daily basis.

My food journey has shown me that healing is a process and that our bodies know what is best for us. It can take time and work to connect to them and learn the subtle (and often not so subtle) signals they send. The more we practice the more fluid it becomes. We live in such a fascinating time. We can find books and research on every diet that proves why that one is the best. Ultimately though we have to do the footwork and soul searching ourselves. We must learn to hone and trust our intuition, be brave and willing to take care of ourselves no matter what.

So what do I eat? Mostly plants. Loads of them. I love to sprout and ferment because it helps my digestion and it’s super fun to watch things grow. I love medicinal herbs and enjoy talking to the farmers at the market. Occasionally I eat eggs, grass fed raw butter and meat and sometimes fish. Eating locally is important to me though I also eat select foods from around the world. I steer clear of refined sugar and every once in a while savor a delicious artisan bread. Above all its about balance and nourishment. I pay attention to the signals my body sends and I feed it accordingly.

Over the last six years I have developed a relationship with nourishment that I never imagined possible. Everyday I prepare a meal I say thank you to everyone and everything that came together to make it possible. So much has to happen to get food on my plate and I could (and have) meditated on that for hours. Food is energy and we can work with its energy to create health in ourselves and each other. The more I infuse my meals with intention and love the more my heart, mind, and body come into balance.

I try to eat at least one meal in silence everyday. Eating without distractions is a meditation for me and has been one of the most powerful practices in my life over the last years. I also share meals with loved ones as often as possible. When we eat in community and give in that way we restore our bodies and each other. Food has the ability to bring us together so that we can heal and enjoy life as one.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my post and be part of my journey. The amount of gratitude and love I have for all of you is endless. Wishing you well at whatever stage of your journey you are in right now. Know that you have support and don’t have to do this alone.

xoa

sprouted seed breakfast bowl

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It’s Friday! I can’t believe it’s already the 12th of the month! We’re coming into yet another heat wave in Los Angeles (it’s supposed to get up to 105 degrees this weekend, omg) so it’s back to cooling breakfasts for me. I was eating my staple porridge but it’s really unpleasant to break a sweat while eating it!

Eating sprouted seeds is an easy way to unlock their dormant life force and make their nutrients more bio-available. Here is a detailed post highlighting the major reasons I love to sprout. Nourishing breakfasts that don’t take a long time are a favorite in my house. With just a little bit of planning you can create a simple breakfast that can feed you for days as these sprouted will keep for several days in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are a great source of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B, C and E. In traditional Chinese medicine these seeds are considered tonics and help regulate our digestive system. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are said to pacify vata constitutions in Ayurveda and are considered an important staple in a well rounded diet. These seeds are also two of my favorites for pregnancy.

You can easily make this with whatever fruits you have on hand. I like to soak dried fruit to increase the water content and make it easier to chew. When purchasing dried fruit be sure it has no added sugar, oil, sulfur or any things else. You want the cleanest dried fruit and if you have a dehydrator you could even make it yourself!

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This is a very light breakfast. I suggest having it with 8-16 oz. of carrot juice for sustained energy and nourishment. The addition of cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and gives it a yummy flavor.

*If you haven’t sprouted before read this post for details and see my set up at home. I suggest beginning the soaking process in the morning and the sprouting before you go to bed that night. That way your seeds will be activated and ready to go the next day. You can sprout these seeds for 1-2 days. Note that these seeds don’t sprout like green alfalfa or clover.

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Sprouted Seed Breakfast Bowl

serves 2

 

Ingredients //

  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. goji berries
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. raspberries
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Method //

  1. Rinse the seeds well and remove any debris.
  2. Put the seeds in a mason jar and cover with water. Cover with a jar and screen. Let soak 8 hours on the counter.
  3. In the evening drain the seeds and rinse in a few changes of water. Set jar at an angle to drain remaining water and let stand over night.
  4. Place the raisins and goji berries in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit over night on the counter.
  5. In the morning rinse the seeds in several changes of water and let drain.
  6. Drain the raisins and goji berries.
  7. Slice the bananas and strawberries and divide evenly among 2 bowls.
  8. Add 1/2 of the raspberries, raisins and goji berries to each bowl.
  9. Next add 2-3 Tbsp. of the sprouted seeds.
  10. Top with cinnamon and enjoy!
  11. The leftover seeds and soaked fruit will keep for several days in an airtight container in the fridge.

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There you have it! This is what we have been eating for breakfast (with the carrot juice) for the last few days. It’s cooling, light and perfect for this heat wave. This is also a great choice if you’re on a cleanse.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and see you back here soon!

xoa

supermoon and clearing energy

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Phew! Did anyone else feel the emotional intensity over the weekend? It was such a healing ride. As I sit here typing this post I am still in awe of everything that transpired in the last few days.

Today we have a Supermoon which is really exciting. A Supermoon is when the Moon is closer to the Earth than it is at other times and is in direct alignment with the Earth and Sun. The Moon has a tremendous power over the Earth and is greatly connected to our oceans. On Saturday morning I heard on the radio how good the surf was going to be this weekend as a result of this Supermoon.

When we tune in and pay attention to these major changes in our environment we will probably notice a big difference in our emotional state. This is especially true for women since we are already linked to the Moon’s energies. Because this Supermoon is in Pisces we are even more sensitive and it is one of the most cleansing Moons of the year.

If you have felt like this is a good time to let go of old beliefs or pain that isn’t serving you today your intuition is right on. This is an ideal time to move in that direction. Supermoons are incredibly supportive in clearing those energies, especially in our hearts, to make room for how we want to live today.

I spent the last three days in a breathwork healer training so you can imagine a ton of emotions and pain surfaced. It was such an intense weekend in the best way possible. I was called to this training to connect with a new community and dive deeper into some places in my life that I am ready for the next level of healing. One thing that fascinates me about healing is how layered it is. I’ve been on this path for a long time and have done a great deal of work on myself and my past. I’ve been in and out of therapy for what seems like forever, had a yoga and meditation practice for over a decade and take really good care of myself. Lately I have been aware that I am ready to move deeper into the energy layer and let it go.

I went to this healer training because I am ready to release the old energy from past pain that I still carry with me. As a long time student and teacher of Hatha yoga I have experienced firsthand the energetic releases that can come from a deep and consistent practice. These days my asana and pranayama (breathwork) practice have been more about daily maintenance because it takes so much energy to live in Los Angeles. Even though I am clear about that and set boundaries when needed, I still take a lot of the cities energy with me. It’s the nature of living here. These practices help me release that collective energy on a daily basis.

There is only so much that I can do with the physical aspect of yoga. In order to shift and clear the old pain and beliefs that continue to linger in me I need some type of pranayama in my life to assist in releasing those blockages. Learning how to breathe in a way that allows for such release is transformative.

Nothing happens in this life by mistake. We are all guided, even if we aren’t aware of it. One of the biggest takeaways from the weekend was the quote I posted above:

Our future does not have to be determined by our past.

I have never felt more sure about this than I do in this moment.

Our past makes us who we are. It can be a powerful tool for connection and a way to learn about our behaviors, beliefs and patterns. Our past does not define our true essence and we don’t have to operate from a place of making decisions based on past experiences. This is such a timeless and powerful teaching.

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Anytime we release old pain we feel it again and each time we feel it the pain lessens a little bit. I am a very empathetic and sensitive person. Always have been. It doesn’t take much to get me to feel deeply and sadness is something that is easy for me to access. What was wonderful about this weekend was that I made a decision to not live in the sadness that resurfaced. I felt it, allowed it to move through me, talked about it and said goodbye to it.

This was life changing for me. Because sadness is something that is easy for me to tap into and feels so familiar it can be tempting to want to hang onto it when it comes back up in the clearing. If I don’t detach from it and really let it go, the energy can take hold and I start moving forward from a past pain. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, it was part of my journey and it’s taken time to understand all of these pieces and learn that I really do have choices. I might not have had them when I was younger but I do today.

When we commit to our spiritual growth which basically means showing up and facing ourselves with courage no matter what, we practice the teaching that we don’t have to live in the past. We can, from this day forward choose to create and manifest a future that is beyond what we think is possible. This is where the magic is. This is where life gets juicy and interesting. We are much braver, intuitive and resilient than we know.

On the eve of this Supermoon I send gratitude to everyone that helped shape me and held space for me to let go and be witnessed this weekend. I am also sending love and gratitude to all of you who connect with me here and who inspire me to keep sharing. Thank you for being such an important part of my life.

xoa

healing heart elixir

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Good afternoon friends! I hope this finds you well. Today I want to share a very simple yet powerful elixir that I have been drinking on and off of the last several years. I brought it back into my daily life a few months ago and figured it was time to share! Plus it made for such ethereal photos. I waited until I had an afternoon where I could snap some pretty photos in the light. It reminds me of being in art school when I was really into gouache and watercolors.

My Healing Heart Elixir is a mixture of filtered water and liquid chlorophyll. Green plants have been used throughout history for their incredible healing properties. Chlorophyll is the substance in all green plants that gives them their green color. All plants contain some amount of this amazing material. The darker the green the higher the levels of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll offers a wide range of benefits and is known for its ability to cleanse, reduce inflammation, renew and restore. One of the most fascinating aspects of chlorophyll to me is that its molecular structure is almost exactly the same as hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen in our red blood cells. Um…what?! How crazy is that right?

Ok, so there is a little difference, the center of the hemoglobin atom is iron and in chlorophyll it is magnesium. All of their other molecules are idential except for this. I know I’m getting all nutrition nerd on you but I just think it’s super cool. So what does this mean for us? Chlorophyll enhances our blood and is often used to treat anemia. Drinking it helps to restore our red blood cells, increases energy and calms anxiety.

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Here are some of the other major benefits of this healing liquid:

  • Has the ability to remove heavy metals and drug deposits effectively and safely from our bodies.
  • Counteracts all toxins and protects against a wide range of carcinogens.
  • Helps fight candida and promotes happy intestinal flora.
  • Reduces inflammation in arthritis, gingivitis, sore throats, the skin, intestinal and stomach inflammation, and pancreatitis.
  • Builds blood, replenishes and strengthens tissues.
  • Treats bad breath.
  • Loaded with magnesium which most people don’t get enough of.
  • Heals wounds by stopping the growth of bacteria.
  • Enhances liver function.
  • Alkalizes the body.
  • Boosts the immune system with vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and calcium.

Here are some sources with high concentrations of chlorophyll:

  • Chlorella
  • Liquid chlorophyll
  • Spirulina
  • Wild Blue-Green Algae
  • Wheat & Barley Grass

These typically come in a range of options from pressed pills to powders. If you are going to purchase the liquid this is the one that I’ve been using. Whatever one you buy make sure it is made from alfalfa, that is the most potent.

Unbelievable right? I know, it’s just awesome. Now you know why I’m so into this drink. I have it once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It’s part of my self-care practice.

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So why am I calling this elixir Healing Heart? As some of you know I am a confessed yoga nerd and love studying ancient teachings. I’ve also been learning and practicing Reiki this year which has tied in very nicely with my life and practice. It’s been an amazing and deep adventure that I will be sharing with you soon. It has still felt too new and precious to start writing about if that makes sense. I’m enjoying keeping it to myself, my teacher and the few circles I share it with.

Old yoga teachings and some of the newer Reiki teachings work from the chakra system, which is a energy system made up of seven centers in the body. The fourth primary chakra, Anahata, is often referred to as the Heart Chakra because it is located at the center of the chest. This chakra is often represented by green rays of light and it symbolizes our ability to love, devotion, empathy and selflessness.

When I prepare this drink everyday the color really resonates with me. I looks different depending on the way the light hits the glass. With each sip I know I am nourishing myself at the energetic and cellular level. It helps ground me in the moment and keeps me focused on continuing to open my heart no matter what.

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Healing Heart Elixir

serves 1

 

Ingredients //

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid chlorophyll

 

Method //

  1. Mix the water and chlorophyll and drink slowly.
  2. Can be taken once or twice a day.

 

There you have it! Have you tried this before? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

xoa

strawberry salad with tangerine vinaigrette

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Happy Friday! I’ve got a super simple and delicious new recipe for you. It’s been hot in Los Angeles so we’re enjoying more salads at meal time. Have you ever experienced that kind of heat where you almost don’t want to eat? It’s been that way for me the last few days. I had like ten bites of dinner last night and was done. Even with the fan on we were sweaty!

As some of you know we had an epic photo and video shoot this past Monday and this was the salad I made for the shoot. It was fresh, tasty and a hit with everyone that tried it. For the vinaigrette I just squeezed the tangerine over the salad bowl and poured the oil on top. This is usually how I make salads at home when I’m keeping the dressing light. Saves me time and having to wash another dish.

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Strawberries are cooling by nature making them an awesome summer food. Their high vitamin C content boosts our absorption of iron from the other foods that we eat. In Chinese medicine strawberries keep the lungs moist and promote fluid production in the body. They are used to treat coughs, sore throats, and loss of appetite. In Ayurveda strawberries are liver and blood tonics which can decrease symptoms of overheating in the summer.

You can use whatever lettuce you like here. I chose an spring organic mix from the market. I like the darker, bitter lettuce in the mix to balance the sweetness of the berries. I tossed in raw pistachios for extra healthy fat and protein and finished it off with a heaping scoop of local bee pollen. I can’t get enough bee pollen these days. It’s a true wholefood power house. Bee pollen supports fertility, radiant skin, relieves seasonal allergies and is an excellent strength builder if you’re physically active. The taste can be off putting at first. Try it in my coconut yogurt or toss in a smoothie to start.

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Strawberry Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

serves 2

 

Ingredients //

  • 4 c. mixed greens
  • 1  & 1/2 c. strawberries, sliced
  • 4 or 5 mint leaves, torn in to small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. raw pistachios
  • 1-2 Tbsp. raw bee pollen
  • 1/2 large tangerine, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. flax oil
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Celtic sea salt

 

Method //

  1. Wash the greens and dry in a salad spinner. Add them to a medium serving bowl.
  2. Toss in the strawberries, mint, pistachios and bee pollen.
  3. Pour on tangerine juice and oil.
  4. Add a couple pinches of salt.
  5. Toss and season to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

 

There you have it. This salad doesn’t keep well but it’s so easy to make you can pull it together in minutes. I suggest eating salads as close to room temperature as possible for optimal digestion and health benefits.

Wishing you a gorgeous weekend.

xoa

Relationship Realness: Baby Talk Part III

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And we’re back! It’s been a couple of months since my last baby post and quite a bit has changed. Processing though my feelings in public around the baby conversation has been such a gratifying and healing experience. I’ve connected in new ways with my Mom, cousins, friends and you. I am humbled by everyone’s generosity and honesty. Thank you hearing me out and sharing your feelings and experiences. Once again I am reminded that it really does take a village.

So the news is….. I’m in. Yup. The girl who never saw herself as a Mother and couldn’t imagine settling down long enough to have a family of her own is open and willing to go for it. After tons of writing, meditating, listening, and talking I came to realize that I’ll never be 100% ready for something like this and the only thing standing in my way is fear. Today that isn’t a good enough reason to not create a family with a person that I love so dearly and see myself growing old with.

And when I’m really honest here like I was with my friend on the phone the other day, I want a family with a child. It took me a while to get to the truth as there were years and years of emotional build up. So much clearing has taken place over these last months. I’ve had many Reiki treatments, burned loads of sage, taken more heart-centered herbs, and done breathwork like my life depends upon it and here we are. I’m standing in the clarity that is here in this moment. I will never be more ready or more sure than I am right now.

Everyone tells me you can’t have it all figure out beforehand and the folks that think they do are the ones that need to loosen their grip! I’ve learned a great deal from my parents and my community and I won’t be doing this alone. Jason is an equal participant and I can’t think of anything more amazing and terrifying than creating a life with him.

Honestly I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Jason has been so patient with me since we had our first baby talk over a year ago. That’s real right? I remember calling a friend being like god it was so much easier in my 20′s when nobody talked about babies! When we revisited the baby conversation in the beginning of this year I realized that I needed to sort this out for myself because Jason knew he wanted a child and I didn’t. Having that big unknown baby shadow in my corner was scary until I started walking over to it and seeing it was just a shadow and I didn’t have to keep living in my past.

This process of answering the question do I want to have a baby? has been a deeply healing and spiritual quest. I’ve been able to see how much healing has already taken place inside of me, all I’ve need to do is to be willing to let go of that shadow. Stepping into this new space with myself and with Jason feels sacred.

Even though we aren’t starting today in one sense, in other ways we are. We’re taking steps to move-in together. I’m going to start eating differently to prepare my body. It’s all very real and it’s all very wonderful. I realize that it takes more than willingness to create a life and that there are many pieces that need to come together. We aren’t in a rush. Right now we are simply enjoying walking hand in hand towards the beauty and mystery of the unknown.

Thank you again for holding space for me on this journey. I am deeply grateful for each of you.

xoa

roasted cherry tomato sauce

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Greetings friends! I am really happy to share a new recipe with you today. Tomato season is in full swing right now and I could not be happier about it. I LOVE tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and when they are in season like this is just awesome.

When I first started getting into seasonal eating years ago it changed my life. I remember biting into an apple I had just picked on a farm in Washington and thinking, omg, this is the best apple I’ve ever tasted! I’ve never forgotten that moment. From that point on I became fascinated with eating locally and seasonally. It was just mind blowing how much better everything tasted when it was in season.

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Tomatoes are in the nightshade family with bell peppers, eggplant and potatoes. Tomatoes are often referred to as vegetables but in botanical terms they are a fruit and if you want to get really technical they are more like berries. They are acidic when consumed but after they have been digested they actually alkalize blood.

Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy vision and can be protective against breast and colon cancers. To get the highest lycopene content look to the color of the skin, the reddest varieties have the highest quantities of this health promoting carotene. Lycopene is also a great deal higher in cooked tomatoes.

Vine-ripened tomatoes are great sources of vitamins C, A and B complex and folic acid. The most nutrient dense tomatoes are purchased when they are in season. When they are shipped they are picked before they are ripe and then ripened with gas. Tomatoes are one of the foods that was on the Dirty Dozen list for years because it’s easy for pesticides to seep through their skin. It’s always best to buy them organic.

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In Chinese medicine tomatoes are considered a cold food that can clear heat, encourage body fluids, and cool down and detoxify the blood. They are also a yin tonic meaning they are sweet, sour and  good to consume in small amounts on a regular basis versus a large amount infrequently.

The Ayurveda system tomatoes are avoided except in small quantities. Practitioners advise not to consume tomatoes with starch such as pasta. Tomatoes are rajastic which is associated with aggression and outward motion. They are also vipak which is part of their sourness that can irritate the gut lining if over consumed. Personally I enjoy a tomato sauce and starch occasionally and don’t have issues with it. I know that I could not eat it more regularly though as it would bother my system.

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Tomatoes are often associated with allergies. They can disrupt our bodies calcium balance and have been known to aggravate arthritis symptoms. Tomatoes also contain small amount of oxalate and if you have a history of kidney stones should not eat them.

This recipe comes together quickly and will keep for several days in the fridge. When coming to the end of tomato season it’s nice to make a huge batch and freeze it. The flavors in this sauce are classic and delicious. Serve with zucchini noodles, as a sauce for pizza, in chili, rataouille, or my famous Greek Green Beans.

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

serves 6

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, un-peeled
  • A few springs of fresh thyme
  • Small bunch of fresh basil
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

 

Method //

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Wash and dry tomatoes. Place in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Toss tomatoes with olive oil.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and a few twists of fresh pepper.
  5. Spread out on baking sheet evenly.
  6. Add the garlic and thyme on top.
  7. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the skin is blistered and golden brown. Check after 20 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool until you can safely handle them.
  9. Peel garlic and put it into a food processor fitted with the S-blade.
  10. Pick out thyme stems and put in compost bin.
  11. Put the tomatoes in the food processor add 1/2 c. packed fresh basil leaves.
  12. Process until you have a chunky sauce.
  13. Adjust seasonings.
  14. Pour into a glass container and store until ready to use.
  15. Will keep 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

There you go! I hope you enjoy this. See you back here soon.

xoa

late summer slow down (& playlist)

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I’ve been pretty tired the past week and have needed to step back from the blog a bit hence no recipe on Friday. It’s hard for me sometimes. There are so many exciting things I’ve been working on for the blog but these last two weeks I’ve been drained and I want to show up here with something useful. Blogging has always been a form of creative expression for me and a way to make connections. These days I have needed more time to connect with myself.

Unplugging a bit from the blog is scary for me. I hear all these stories that if I don’t post all the time people will stop reading the blog. When I am super honest with myself it’s all really okay with me. Everything changes. People come and go. Inspiration waxes and wanes. It is the nature of life to ebb and flow not to charge full speed ahead into the internet 24/7.

Slowing down, taking on less work, reading more books, meditating and just staring out the window has been so good for me. Life moves so fast these days and I don’t want to miss it because I’m worried about the blog or posting another photo on Instagram.

I want to feel the humidity on my face. I want to spend more time with Jason and the cat and myself. I want to visit my parents and friends and create more space for what feeds me.

Today I fed my spirit by making a non-yoga playlist. That is seriously no small feat for me these days! For the last year I’ve pretty much only made playlists for yoga classes. Lots of chanting and meditation music. I decided to step away from the yoga music today and create a summer playlist for fun. One day I might even share a yoga playlist here. Maybe.

If you want to listen you can on Spotify here.

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Adanowsky // Dancing on the Radio
Grouplove // Ways To Go
Spoon // Do You
Yalls // Weave It
Gardens & Villa // Gypsy
Mr. Little Jeans //Oh Sailor feat. The Silverlake Conservatory of Music
Howls // No Man
Sébastien Tellier //  Divine
Summer Heat // I Wanna Go
Highs Highs // Bridge
Coldplay // Midnight
Houses // Soak It Up

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Wishing you all a peaceful evening and wonderful week ahead. I’ll see you sometime soon this week. <3

xoa