Recipe: Instant Pot Apple Pie Oats

IMG_1139Lately, I’ve been all about eating oatmeal for breakfast. It’s the perfect easy, healthy and warming food on cold spring mornings. My favorite way to make oatmeal is to use my favorite kitchen gadget – the Instant Pot. I like to use the Instant Pot because 1) I can add my ingredients, set the time and walk away, and 2) it makes the oatmeal super creamy and delicious. In this recipe, the apple cooks and dissolves into the creamy oatmeal.

1 serving

Gather (I never measure, so these are approximate):
1/2 cup oats
1 apple, chopped
1 TBSP almond butter
Cinnamon and cardamom to taste
1 tsp ground flax seeds
Optional: top with more cinnamon, hemp seeds, almond milk, fresh fruit and/or nuts

Make:
Add the oats, apple, spices and almond butter to Instant Pot, and cover with water (approx 1 cup). Set the Instant Pot on manual for 3 minutes. After the oatmeal is done, stir in the ground flax seeds and top with whatever you like and eat!

Advertisements

Where have I been :: India recap

Hello there, it’s been awhile! Where the heck have I been in 2018?

Let’s start with January. During January I led 2 amazing groups of women through my Wholistic Balance Nutrition and Yoga workshops. They were truly awesome women who all experienced their own transformations during the 3 week duration of those workshops. I also led my seasonal guided 7 day detox online and offered a completely new detox e-book – with new recipes – called GLOW Winter Detox.

February was all about nurturing a part of myself that I really hadn’t in a long time – my love of travel. I went on a 4 week yoga cultural immersion tour of India with friend and fellow yogi Blair, our yoga teacher Seane Corn, and am amazing group of men and women. Below is my trip recap. If you don’t want to read the entire thing – know that it was the most amazing and intense travel experience of my life!

design (2)

Blair also lives in Denver, so she was my travel buddy and roomie for the entire trip. To get to India from Denver, we first flew to Munich, then from Munich to Delhi. It was 24 hours of travel, and we were confused about time as we lost a day in travel. We arrived at Delhi in the early hours of the morning – and it felt really surreal. There was smoke in the air, the air smelled like burnt rubber, we were tired and delirious, street dogs were wandering around, the car ride was scary, we had to go through security when we got to our hotel. We made it there fine and recovered  at our hotel in Delhi for a day to help deal with our exhaustion and  jet lag. Oh, and I got the stomach flu.

IMG_0549

Haridwar, India

On the first official day of our tour, we  traveled by bus for a few hours to get to Haridwar. Haridwar is an ancient city that sits on the River Ganga (aka Ganges) and an important Hindu pilgrimage site. Haridwar means “Gateway to the Gods.” We also happened to be there during a festival. The streets are so old, tiny and crowded that the bus dropped us off then we had a short walk to our hotel. I was super tired and weak (see “stomach flu”). My first impressions getting off the bus… sensory overload… horns honking, Bollywood music blaring, tons of people staring at us, people camped out everywhere for the festival, smell of smoke, my first site of the Ganga.

IMG_0576

Tuck tuck stand, Haridwar

IMG_0560

Ganga Aarti, Haridwar

That night in Haridwar we experienced our first Ganga Aarti ceremony. During this ceremony, people gather at the river ghats (steps) for a nightly prayer. The Ganga river is considered sacred and life-giving – and this ritual is meant to give thanks to the Ganga. Offerings are made in the form of fire and flowers (lamps and candles) and hymns are chanted, music is played. We went to several Aarti ceremonies, but this was my favorite as I had no idea what to expect! Also, I should add, it had rained that day, you are not allowed to wear shows on the ghat, so we were walking and standing on slimy marble. I was also left with an impression of how welcoming people in India were – we clearly were foreigners, yet they welcomed and included us in their rituals and ceremonies.

IMG_0573

Statue of Shiva, Haridwar

That night, the festival went on ALL NIGHT. I got very little sleep as there were party trucks (literally) blaring Bollywood music all night long. The next morning, even though I was pretty bleary eyed, we had an amazing morning yoga practice led by Seane right on a balcony overlooking the Ganga. We then headed by bus to Rishikesh – a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas that also sits on the Ganga. This is the area I was most excited to visit, and it didn’t disappoint.

IMG_0609 (1)

Rishikesh, India

IMG_0608

Rishikesh

Rishikesh is basically the center of yoga. It was made famous by the Beatles when they visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram. There are several ashrams there as well as many yoga centers offering yoga retreats and teacher trainings. The air was cleaner, and it was much quieter. There were lots of little bazaars to buy pashimina scarves and beads. Also, I believe Rishikesh may have been the first place we encountered cows wandering the streets. And, monkeys!

IMG_0584.JPG

IMG_0590

Rishikesh

We spent a few days in Rishikesh. Our time was spent practicing yoga with amazing classes led by Seane, visiting temples and walking the bazaars. One day we did an excursion to the Neelgadu waterfall for a swim, another we visited Vashistha meditation caves along the Ganga. We also went to a few Ganga Aarti ceremonies at sunset, the first at the Parmarth Niketan ashram, the second at the Triveni Ghat. During the Aarti at Parmarth Niketain, we offered little packets of flowers, incense and candles to the Ganga.

IMG_0591

Aarti offering, Rishikesh

IMG_0611

Aarti ceremony Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

IMG_0636

Meditation caves, Rishikesh

IMG_0650

Dipping my toes in the Ganga – the water was so clear and clean here!

IMG_0628 (1)

Aarti Ceremony, Triveni ghat, Rishikesh

After a few days in the town of Rishikesh, we headed about an hour into the Himalayas to the Sattva Retreat center. This retreat center was so quiet and peaceful – just what we needed after an intense week of travel and jet lag! At the retreat center we practiced yoga with local teacher Anand Mehrotra, had classes on Ayurveda and the history of yoga and had time to relax, meditate and get Ayurvedic spa treatments. I had my first Ayurvedic spa treatment here called Abhyanga – a massage with warm, scented oils. This place was peaceful.

IMG_0689 (1)

Sattva Retreat Center

IMG_0663 (1)

Sattva retreat center

IMG_0672

Sattva Retreat center

IMG_0708

Sattva Retreat center – loved the use of flowers everywhere!

After our stay at the retreat center, we headed back to the town of Rishikesh. Our group had been invited to stay the night at the Parmarth Niketan Ahsram and attend their Aarti ceremony again. First, we stopped for breakfast at the farm of the ashram – where we were greeted by singing school boys and girls of the ashram. After a short tour of the farm, we were serviced breakfast on the roof of one of their buildings – right on the Ganga. We also learned the art of using a scarf to keep dust out of your eyes and hair on the ride!

IMG_0753

Keeping it real on the drive to Rishikesh – the dust was no joke!

IMG_0700

Mustard field

IMG_0709

Morning on the Ganga

After almost a week in Rishikesh, we spent an entire day traveling to Vrindavan – first a flight to Delhi, then a 3 hour drive to the town, then a short walk to our guest house. It is thought that the Hindi deity Krishna spent his childhood days in Vrindavan, and there are many temples devoted to Krishna worship there. Pilgrims flock here from all over India – and in Hare Krishna community – all over the world.

IMG_0713 (1)

Sandipani Muni School, Vrindavan

IMG_0725 (1)

Learning embroidery at Sandipani Muni school

On our first morning in Vrindavan, after an early morning yoga practice with Seane we visited the Sandipani Muni Charity school. This school provides education for 1,500 needy children from kindergarten through elementary school. The school children are girls only (boys are allowed in kindergarten), they’ve selected girls because in the local culture boys are favored and girls get less food, schooling and opportunities in general. These girls really shined. We attended their opening day ceremony – joining them in singing and dancing. We also toured the school, and one of the yoga classes performed for us. You can get more information on donating to the school or sponsoring a student here. After visiting the school, we took one of the school buses to visit a cow shelter that houses abandoned cows, bulls, retired oxen and orphaned calves. I’m so happy this place exists. More information, and donating here.

IMG_0743 (1)

Cow sanctuary, Vrindavan

IMG_0750 (1)

I loved this gentle giant!

Later that afternoon, we went temple hopping around Vrindavan. (Honestly, looking back, I can’t believe we did all of this in one day – no wonder I was exhausted!) Like bar hopping, but temples with our enthusiastic guide Mike, a Hare Krishna devotee. This was one of the most surreal and unforgettable experiences I had on this trip. The first thing I should explain is that there are monkeys everywhere. Monkeys that apparently will grab the sunglasses off your face and steal them. And, maybe steal your shoes when you enter a temple (shoes are always taken off). Anyhow, I won’t write every detail but the afternoon went like this, walking from temple to temple, receiving flower garlands only to have monkeys rip them off you to eat the flowers, singing, chanting, dancing, walking in bare feet in kind of gross areas, walking around a temple 4 times for a reason I didn’t understand or don’t remember, having marigold flowers dabbed on my forehead. No photos of any of this – too scared a monkey would grab my phone out of my hand!

Ok, I just realized I got pretty far into this post without mentioning the food! A lot of our food was hotel food. Breakfast was usually a spread of tropical fruits (papaya, watermelon, banana, pineapple), toast, granola, and maybe oatmeal. Tea, chai or my favorite hot ginger tea. Lunch and dinner were the same for the most part – chapati or roti flatbreads (so good!), dahl, rice and usually an assortment of other vegetable dishes. In the north, all of the food was vegetarian, but I had to be careful of ghee, yogurt or cheese in some of the dishes. After dinner it was common to eat fennel seeds as a digestive.

IMG_0635 (1)

Typical meal in Northern India – I miss the flatbreads!

From Vrindavan, we bused back to Delhi, and hopped on another airplane to Varanasi. From the airport in Varanasi, we took another bus ride, then a boat ride to our hotel in Varanasi. Varanasi also sits along the bank of the Ganga River. The evening boat ride along the ghats in Varanasi under a clear sky was magical! Varanasi is thought to be one of the oldest living cities in the world. It is a very holy city for Hindus as many come to bath in and perform funeral rites on the Ganga. Oh, and we literally stayed in a palace here.

IMG_0769 (1)

Magical boat ride to our palace in Varanasi

IMG_0789

Sunrise on the Ganga, Varanasi

IMG_0794

IMG_0800

I found Varanasi magical, but also really intense. On our first morning, we took a sunrise boat ride along the ghats that line the Ganga. We again offered little boats of flowers and candles to Mother Ganga. We also saw for the first time the Manikarnika ghat where public cremations are performed – like I said this place is intense. We then parked the boat there and got our first up close view of the fires (we would later get another full tour too)… then walked into the city. Streets were tiny – no cars – but plenty of people, cows, dogs, and honking motorbikes. There were alters everywhere. After wandering along the streets, I broke from the group and wandered home along the various ghats. We also attended our last Aarti ceremony of the trip. This one was huge, like hundreds of people, like being at a concert!

IMG_0802

Varanasi

IMG_0804

Snake Charmers, Varanasi

IMG_0841

Varanasi

IMG_0837

Varanasi

After Varanasi, we said goodbye to Seane and 20 people on the trip, and a group of 10 of us continued on to more adventures in Southern India. But before our group headed south, we had one major tourist attraction to visit – the Taj Mahal. We flew into Agra, and on our first afternoon visited the Agra Red Fort. This huge red sandstone complex was where the Mughals ruled and controlled their empire for centuries.

IMG_0853

Red Fort, Agra

IMG_0878.JPG

IMG_0880

Gold and jewel stone detail, Red Fort, Agra

IMG_0860

Red Fort, Agra

IMG_0864

Holding the Taj Mahal in my hand at the Red Fort, Agra

The next morning, at sunrise, we headed to the Taj Mahal. I’m sure the Taj doesn’t need any explanation – but if you didn’t know – it was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. I’m not big on visiting tourist traps, but this was really a must see. I’ll never forget the awe I felt after passing under the archway to view the immense white monument at sunrise.

IMG_0918.JPG

IMG_0922

Enjoying some mint coolers (mint, lime, sugar) after a long day traveling to Kerala

After spending about an hour wandering around the grounds of the Taj Mahal, as well as the interior, we boarded a bus, drove back to Delhi, and got on an evening flight to Cochin, in the state of Kerala. Kerala was like being in a different country… different climate (tropical), different language and script (Malayalam). Cochin has a post-colonial look to it as it was an important trading post in the spice trade – at various times inhabited by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

IMG_0925

Jewish Synagogue in Cochin

On our first day there, we biked to another hotel and had a memorable yoga class taught by their instructor, Jon Jon. We then wandered around old Cochin… We visited a Jewish Synagogue that dates to the 13th century, saw an amazing South Indian style murals at the Dutch Palace, and then wandered to a beach lined with a bazaar and Chinese fishing nets. As excited I was to get to a beach, I was super disappointed by the amount of trash here on the coast of the Arabian sea. The feel was a lot more relaxed in Southern India – less people, less noise (honking mostly), slower pace and much hotter!

IMG_0956

Cochin

IMG_0959

Spice store, Cochin

IMG_0966

Incense store, Cochin

IMG_0967

Malayalam movie poster

IMG_0957

Fishing boats on the beach, Cochin

While in Cochin, we also saw a performance of the Kathakali dancers. This is Kerala’s classical form of dance and performance that dates back 400 years. The performer’s wear over the top costumes, and paint their faces with pigments derived from local minerals. The performance is accompanied by live drumming and singing. It is hard to describe what the performance is like – it is less like dancing in the Western sense – but the store is told more in the eyes, facial expressions and Mudras (hand movements). One of the weirdest and coolest things I’ve ever seen!

IMG_0965

Kathakali dancer

From Cochin, we drove to Alleppey, then boarded our own house boat. That afternoon and evening was spend along the backwaters were we passed small villages and farms along the way. We made a quick stop at the village of Champakulam where we visited a church that was first established around 500 AD (though rebuilt throughout the years) and purchased wood carvings at a local studio. Back on the boat, dinner was cooked and serviced to us and was so delicious! South Indian food uses more rice, coconut/coconut milk and fresh vegetables. I don’t eat meat, but meat dishes were available at every restaurant we ate at in Kerala.

IMG_1046

Alleppey houseboat

IMG_1007

Sunset on the boat

IMG_1049

Breakfast on the boat (banana leaves with a rice cake inside)

IMG_1048

Kerala village

IMG_1047

Southern India Vibes

After spending a night on the boat, we headed to an Ayurvedic Spa and Resort in Kerala to spend our last two nights. When you get to the spa, you consult with an Ayurvedic doctor – who then makes recommendations for your diet, spa treatments and herbs.   Typically you do 2 spa treatments per day – while I was there I did the Abhyanga oil massage, and Shibodara oil treatment (warm oil poured onto forehead for a set peroiod of time) and an Ayurvedic facial treatment. These 2 days of rest and relaxation were the perfect way to end this amazing trip! Then, it was time to head home. Blair and I had an epic 30 plus hour trip to get from Kerala to Denver.

IMG_1097

Ready for 30 hours of travel to get home!


GLOW Winter Detox starts January 20th

Are you wanting to do a detox or cleanse, but not sure where to start? This month I will be guiding you on a 7 day plant-based whole foods detox.

design (3)

Your body naturally detoxes on a regular basis through the liver, skin, bowels and lungs. But, our bodies may be overwhelmed by the amount of toxins we are exposed to in our modern lifestyle. Doing a detox or cleanse protocol cleanses the blood of toxins and eliminates toxins in a safe way. A good detox protocol flushes impurities from our bodies, boosts our bodily functions, clarifies the mind and frees up energy. Give your digestive system and our bodies a rest for seven days. Foods that are hard on the digestive system will be eliminated from our diets for 7 days. Juices, smoothies and plant-powered meals & snacks will be added into our diets for added nutrients and cleansing properties.

Having a juicer or blender is helpful, but not necessary.

This detox program includes access to a private Facebook group where I will be posting daily encouragement, recipes, advice and more. This is also a forum for Glow detoxer’s to share and connect about their detox experiences.

To join the guided detox, purchase the GLOW healthy detox e-book here.

glowwinterdetoxcoverThe e-book includes:

  • a structured daily meal plan & schedule
  • calendar with daily detox tasks
  • recipes
  • strategies to ease into the detox effectively

Then, request access to the Glow detox facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314645392237352/

We start our 7 day detox on Saturday, January 20th – are you ready?

 


Wholistic Balance Workshop starts January 14th!

IMG_0432

Want to get 2018 off to a great start? Join me for a 21-day Wholistic Balance Boot Camp at a FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa in downtown Littleton, Colorado!

This this nutrition and yoga workshop – we’ll nourish our bodies through optimum nutrition and movement. You will learn all about the importance of eating whole foods, complete a guided 7 day whole foods detox program, and learn how to control cravings and create healthy eating patterns. And, you’ll kickstart your yoga practice for the new year. It takes 21 days to establish new habits, so lets get started!

The workshop will meet three afternoons for 90 minute session. Included are weekly handouts, my custom detox protocol, one complimentary Inhale or Exhale Lounge session per week, one complimentary yoga class per week, access to daily support on a Facebook group, and an awesome goodie bag!

Dates: January 14th, January 21st and January 28th
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Location: FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa, 5602 South Nevada Street, Littleton, CO
Investment: $185
Contact FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa to reserve your spot at 720-283-4025.

Wholistic Balance for the new year

21_day_challenge_foodA new year is approaching, a time to reflect on the past year and consider making intentions for new habits and lifestyle choices. After the indulgences of the holidays, our attentions focus on eating more nutritiously, maybe lose a few pounds, get back into a consistent exercise routine, and bring more healthy habits into our lives. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, usually it’s the simplest actions that bring the greatest results.

Here are some habits to bring into your life for the healthiest you in 2018:

Get enough sleep. Minimum 7-9 hours each night.  It is estimated that as much as 70% of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. Our mental, emotional and physical performance suffer when we don’t get enough sleep. Some resulting problems from lack of sleep include weight gain, diabetes, memory loss and depression.

Stay hydrated. Start by drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. The water rehydrates you after your night’s rest, and the lemon juice alkalizes your body, aids in digestion, and gives you a boost of vitamin C.

Start a daily meditation practice. There is scientific proof that meditation helps with… well pretty much everything! A happy body has a calm, focused mind, and no doubt meditation can help with that. Try taking a meditation class, Yoga Nidra, or Restorative Yoga class here at FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa!

Do a nutrition & yoga reset. Still wanting to really get 2018 off to a great start?Join me for a 21-day Wholistic Balance Boot Camp at a FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa. This this nutrition and yoga workshop – we’ll nourish our bodies through optimum nutrition and movement. You will learn all about the importance of eating whole foods, complete a guided 7 day whole foods detox program, and learn how to control cravings and create healthy eating patterns. And, you’ll kickstart your yoga practice for the new year. It takes 21 days to establish new habits, so lets get started!

Wholistic Balance Workshop

The workshop will meet three afternoons for 90 minute session. Included are weekly handouts, my custom detox protocol, one complimentary Inhale or Exhale Lounge session per week, one complimentary yoga class per week, access to daily support on a Facebook group, and an awesome goodie bag!

Dates: January 14th, January 21st and January 28th
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Location: FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa, 5602 South Nevada Street, Littleton, CO
Investment: Early Bird Registration (through 12/31) $150

Contact FiveWellbeing Studio and Spa to reserve your spot at 720-283-4025


Tips for a Healthy Holistic Holiday

christmas-2930915_640I love this time of the year. But, it sometimes seems like the holiday causes our “to do” list to double! Below are my top five tips to stay healthy in body and mind this holiday season.

Make self-care a priority. With this busy season, make sure to take time for yourself and keep some of your healthy habits going through the holidays. You’ll feel much saner for it! It can be as simple as starting your day with hot water and lemon, or as indulgent as treating yourself to a massage. Or, why not take one of our yoga classes?

Get enough rest. These short days are queues for our bodies that we may need more sleep than usual. Make sure to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

My thoughts on gifting… I love the idea of giving thoughtful gifts. But, I don’t like the idea of adding more clutter into people’s lives OR stressing out over gifting and shopping OR overspending and stressing out about a huge credit card bill later. I prefer to either give an experience (gift card for a massage, mani-pedi, yoga class, cooking class or art class) or a special food item like coffee, tea, dark chocolate or homemade granola.

Have a holiday party strategy! Sure, it’s healthy to indulge a little at holiday parties. Enjoy a great cocktail or glass of wine or a special dessert you don’t get very often. My party strategy is to always eat something beforehand. If I show up hungry, I know I will probably overdue it on rich foods, and not feel so great the next day. This is really important to do if you have a special diet, like vegan or gluten-free. I usually do something easy and quick, like a bowl of quinoa with a little sea salt, or a green smoothie.

Gratitude – This time of year, it’s really about gratitude for all of the abundance in our lives. With the world going crazy lately, let’s take a moment every day to appreciate the good things in our lives. Start a gratitude journal or take a photo every day of something you are grateful for.

 

Holiday Granola Recipe

granolaGranola with almond milk and fresh fruit is one of my favorite breakfast meals in the winter months. Store-bought granola is loaded with sugar and preservatives. Try this easy and recipe – so much more delicious than anything you can buy. This recipe makes 3 quarts of granola.

Gather:
6 cups whole oats
1 cup nuts (almond, walnut, pecan, cashews)
1/2 cup seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
3/4 cup dried fruit (dates, sour cherries, cranberries)
Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Make:
Oven @ 350F.
Mix everything together except for the dried fruit. Spread onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 30 minutes – until it is browned – stirring a few times.
Let cool completely & stir in dried fruit.


Five DYI Recipes to save you Money

IMG_2145Not only is it healthier to make your own food, but it’s usually a lot cheaper too. The idea that eating healthy is expensive is a myth!

When you make your own food and beverages, you eliminate a lot of the added sugar, salt, preservatives, additives, thickeners, food dyes and more. Yes, it does take some time and planning, but once you get into the habit and know the recipes, most of these take 5 minutes or less.

Almond Milk Recipe

Once you make your own almond milk, I promise you will never go back to buying it. It’s so much easier and tastier, and it doesn’t have all of the gross preservatives and thickeners you find in store bought. The nut milk bag is a one time $5 purchase.

1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of filtered water
1 nut milk bag 

Put the almonds into a large bowl, then cover with water by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight. Drain the almonds, add to blender with 4 cups filtered water. Blend until milky.

Place a large bowl in your sink. Pour the milk until the nut bag to filter out the almond meal. Done! This will last in your fridge about 5-6 days.

Optional: Return the milk to the blender and add a pinch of vanilla powder and 2 pitted dates and blend. This makes a sweeter version of almond milk.

 

Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe

Making your own hummus is just a bit cheaper than buying premade – but it tastes so much fresher. And, it won’t have a lot of the preservatives that some people have issues digesting (like me). It’s as easy as dumping the ingredients into a food processor. Try this recipe for a sweet and spicy spin on hummus.

1 sweet potato, diced and roasted (or steamed in your Instant Pot)
1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
1 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Juice from 1 lemon

Put all ingredients into a food processor. Process until pureed/minced. Slowly add water until you have a paste-like consistency. Serve with organic tortilla chips, vegetable sticks (celery, carrot, bell pepper) or sliced cucumber.

 

Vanilla Cashew Creamer Recipe

This is a plant-based substitute for coffee creamer that I use everyday in coffee or green tea. It is creamy with a hint of vanilla. I have tried the store bought plant-based creamers and hated the taste – plus they were loaded with sugar. This will keep for 5 days.

1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked for at least one hour (overnight is fine)
A pinch of vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)

Put these ingredients into your high speed blender. Add water and cover by about 1/2 inch (I’m guessing this is about 3/4 cups of water – but I never measure). Blend until desired consistency. 

 

Kombucha!

Kombucha (fermented tea) typically costs around $4 for a 16 oz bottle. You can make your own for under 50 cents a bottle AND you get to experiment with your own favorite flavors. I’m not currently brewing kombucha at home (though I need to start again), and I wouldn’t call myself an expert. There are tons of great resources for making your own kombucha online, like this one.

 

Kale Chips Recipe

Pre-made kale chips are usually sold in a small plastic container for about $5. For $2, you can buy a bunch of organic kale and make twice the amount! And, your homemade version most likely won’t have the crazy high amount on sodium as store bought. Those of you that grow your own kale, here is a way to use it up during the summer.

2 bunches of kale
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour and drained
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp Sriracha or hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of water

Strip all of the kale leaves from the stems. Discard the stems or save for juicing. Blend all of the other ingredients. Add the kale and the blended sauce into a large bowl and mix with your hands until all of the kale leaves are coated.

Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 115 degrees. You can also dry these in your oven on a large baking sheet at 200 degrees until crisp.


New Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

pumpkinsmoothie

Get your pumpkin fix with this healthy, easy and delicious pumpkin pie smoothie.

Makes 1 serving

Gather:
1-2 frozen bananas
Half a can of organic pumpkin puree
Good sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp blackstrap molasses

Make:
Put everything into your high speed blender and cover with water. Blend & enjoy!


Recipe: Maple-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

thankful-2849300_640

At this time of year, I often get asked about what I eat over the holidays as I eat a plant-based diet. It always surprises me, because most of the traditional side dishes we eat can easily be made plant-based. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing recipes for the dishes that have been a bit hit with my family and friends – and are healthy as well.

Include the following dish in your Thanksgiving feast, and your friends and family will forget all notions of what brussels sprouts used to taste like. These sprouts are roasted at a high temperature to bring out the natural sugars and caramelize the edges. Brussel sprouts, in season now, are also a nutrient dense power-house. Health benefits of eating them include boosting your immune system and supporting with bone and brain health.

Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

IMG_0083Makes about 4 servings
Vegan, Gluten-free

1 lb. of brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and halved
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

img_0085.jpgPreheat oven to 400. Toss the sprouts, oil, salt and pepper. Put onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times, until just starting to brown. Stir in the maple syrup and nuts if using. Roast for another 10 minutes – they will turn dark brown, caramelized and crispy.


Holistic Beauty Rituals – Meet Blair!

design (2)

Welcome to the next installment from my series all about holistic beauty! I’m sharing interviews with a variety of women asking about their holistic beauty rituals. Some are beauty experts, some are just regular gals like you and me. Let the holistic beauty secrets begin!

blairMeet Blair, bad-ass yoga instructor, mom, therapist and friend who practices life with love, perseverance, passion and truth. This busy woman is raising 2 young children, teaching yoga, hosting yoga retreats, and has a private psycho-therapy practice. She connects most to herself when she is in nature snowboarding, mountain biking, slack-lining, dancing at concerts and spending time with her children and boyfriend. I’m so grateful to have Blair in my life as a friend and yoga mentor! I think you will enjoy her simple, holistic approach to beauty and self care.

How do you approach aging and beauty?
Daily mantra of loving myself, especially the places on my body that I use to judge when I was younger. Practicing a consistent bed-time. A daily yoga practice. Mindfulness & conversation around self-care.

tea-1090672_640What are your daily beauty rituals?
Daily affirmations of the awakening to the feminine. Me time with hot decaf tea at night before bed. Love flossing. Face serum with a spritzer as I lay in bed.

What are some rituals that you feel all women should be doing?  
Daily affirmations when looking in the mirror of self-love and self-acceptance. Some yoga and mediation. Listening to music.

22489651_10154897062086156_3393870894292403076_nDo you have any beauty rituals or natural products that you have recently tried and/or incorporated into your routine?
Creme De Jardin Face Serum and Dream Weaver Mist.

How do you eat for beauty?
I eat a vegetarian diet.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?
Sleep more, the face brush, and sun-screen.

What else do you do to support vibrancy and beauty?  
Empower women and teenagers through groups or private therapy sessions. Being present with my children.

If you want to take a yoga class from Blair (and you do for sure), you can find her at Kindness Yoga (Stanley Market Place), Denver Athletic Club, Anschutz Medical Campus Health and Wellness Center, Pura Vida Spa, & corporate yoga.

wordswag_1504030032019

I’m joining Blair at a yoga retreat she is hosting on November 17-19 at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. Space is limited, contact me ASAP if you are interested in attending! For Blair’s private therapy practIce please visit Blairvaughn.com.