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Repost: Purslane Berry Smoothie

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So, I found some purslane growing in my veggie garden the other day. It reminded me of a blog post I did a couple of years ago about purslane – an edible week. Since, I’m seeing it everywhere, I thought I would repost this recipe, enjoy!

7fcca-image-2Last week, I purchased some purslane at my local farmer’s market. Purslane is something I had seen growing before as a weed! Here in Pennsylvania, it commonly grows along sidewalks & in the sidewalk cracks. It’s a succulent herb that looks like a mini jade plant. It’s also pretty pesky as a weed.

Little did I know that purslane is edible and super nutritious! Purslane contains more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant, and is high in vitamins A, C, B, E and the minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Potassium. It can be eaten raw or cooked and has a peppery-cucumbery taste.

I wasn’t sure what to do with purslane, so I gave it a try in a green smoothie. To my surprise, it was delicious! Look for some purslane in your yard or farmer’s market and give this yummy, nutritious smoothie a try!

Gather:
1 cup of purslane
1 cup of frozen berries
1 large kale leaf
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
Blend!


Chakra Series :: Crown Chakra

 

chakraseriesFor this final post in the chakra series, we will be working our Crown or Sahasrara chakra. The area of this chakra is the crown (or top) of our head. This chakra is our connection and awareness of the divine and our spirituality. It does not have an element as it is pure consciousness, and the color is pure light. It’s symbol is the 1000-petaled lotus. When I think of this chakra I bring up the feeling of being at peace with the universe.

23305640 - mandala the crown chakra

So-ham Meditation
Instead of a series of yoga poses, to finish our chakra series I will leave you with a meditation.

Begin by sitting – on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. If on the floor, place a meditation cushion or blanket under your hips. Sit with a tall spine. Close your eyes and start to bring your focus to the movement of your breath. Start to introduce the silent meditation of so’ham (pronounced so-hum). Hear the sound SOOOOO on the inhale, and the sound HUMMMMM on the exhale. Let your breath be light and easy as you concentrate on this matra. Stay as long as you like, I would recommend at least 10 minutes. To finish the practice, release the mantra and breath for 10 deep breaths. Slowly open your eyes and sit in silence for a minute.

Healing Foods for the 7th Chakra
Nourish your 7th chakra by eating simple whole foods and drinking pure, filtered water. One of my favorite ways to drink plenty of water during the summer is to infuse it with fruit. My favorite combo is mango/mint – try it!

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Holistic Beauty Rituals – Meet Stephanie

wordswag_1499270673972Welcome to the second installment from my new 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!

Meet Stephanie, a Denver native and born ice princess who is working towards her next career adventure as a Medical Esthetician. Stephanie convinced me that I should really be wearing facial sunscreen every day here in sunny Colorado, and gave me my first facial I’ve had in many years (a mud facial which you must try).

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How do you approach aging and beauty?

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Well, at the moment I am going to school to be a medical esthetician and am realizing more and more how important it is to take care of yourself in all aspects of life. I am definitely still learning but not only is eating right and exercising wonderful tools but there are also simple home care regimens of taking care of your outer looks, as in your skin that also need just as much lovin’. So drinking water and using SPF is a simple way to get started.

What are your daily beauty rituals?

I wake up early, take a shower wash and moisturize my skin, using Image products. The Image line is amazing but you can check that out on your own. And I do the same at night. I also have been using the Amor Moor Mud recently and the effects have been very noticeable.

What are some rituals that you feel all women should be doing?

Always use and SPF and enjoy what you eat!

Do you have any beauty rituals or natural products that you have recently tried and/or incorporated into your routine?

I mentioned above Amor Moor Mud above and I must say if you are looking for something natural, then this is one of the most natural products you can find.

mudMoor Mud is a therapy quality peat (PEAT mud bogs of Europe) – an organic substance. This product is a natural decomposition of plants under special conditions. Moor Mud contains organic herbs, flowers and grasses. Over a period of thousands of years, this residue transformed into a fine paste that easily dissolves in water, it has an unusual concentration of bio-minerals, trace elements of vitamins, amino acids, plant hormones and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easy for the human skin to absorb, which the majority of us don’t get on a daily basis.

I take mud baths once every other week to detox my entire body and enjoy mud masks 2 times a week. I have definitely seen a difference in how youthful my skin looks these days.

How do you eat for beauty?

As healthy as possible! I’m only human and right now plenty of fruits and veggies along with yummy proteins and chocolate because I can’t live without chocolate.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?

Sun damage is a real thing. Most people don’t realize that your sunscreen really only lasts for about 2 hours. And hiding in the shade is only 4% coverage. So just try to protect your skin it is one the most important organs of the body.

What else do you do to support vibrancy and beauty?

Investing in ME is the best thing I could do!

Love yourself and treat yourself to things that make you have. Without happiness beauty can’t thrive!


Recipe: Ginger Hibiscus Iced Tea

downloadGinger is a staple in my fridge because it’s tasty and has so many health benefits. At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all used ginger root in some form to combat nausea. My mom used to give me ginger ale whenever I had a sick tummy. Beyond treating an upset stomach, ginger heals many other issues – below are a few.

  • Digestive issues – upset stomach, stomach cramping, gas – yep ginger helps them all.
  • Ginger has a warming effect on the body and improves circulation
  • Soothes your throat
  • Helps relieve tension headaches
  • Promotes a healthy immune system

In the winter time, I enjoy a simple ginger tea, just a slice of fresh ginger root with some lemon juice. But, its hot out and I want a cold beverage… thus this ginger hibiscus tea! You can find dried Hibiscus petals at Natural Grocers or online from Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.

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Gather:
1 TBSP dried Hibiscus petals
2” piece of ginger, sliced
Optional: a few mint leaves, lime juice, raw honey or stevia

This makes 1/2 gallon. If you have a full gallon container simply double the quantities.

Make:
Place the hibiscus and ginger in a 1/2 gallon size mason jar. Fill with filtered water. Let the the tea sit out in the sun for a few hours. Strain, then add any optional ingredients like mint leaves, lime juice or sweetener.


Chakra Series : 6th Chakra : Third Eye

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chakras_map-svgThis month is all about the 6th chakra, our third eye or “Ajna” chakra. The area of this chakra is the center of our forehead. This chakra is all about seeing clearly – seeing things as they really are, awareness, clarity of vision. It’s element is light and its color is violet. It’s sound is a very common chant in yoga classes, “OM.”

thirdeyechakraYoga Poses

Different yoga poses can activate certain chakras. Here a few yoga poses I like to use to activate the third eye chakra:

Child’s Pose:
From a tabletop position, bring your big toes to touch, spread your knees as wide as your mat, and sit back on your heels. Extend your arms forward and press the palms of your hands into the mat. Close your eyes, and place your forehead on the mat. Slowly roll your forehead from side to side to massage your third eye.

Tree Pose:
In tree pose, we work with fixing our gaze, or drishti, to find balance. Bring weight into your right foot. Place the sole of your left foot to your right ankle, shin or inner thigh. Reach up through the inner arches of your right foot, activate your right glutes. Fix your gaze in front of you on something that is not moving – this is called finding your drishti and helps you keep your balance and focus. Bring your hands to meet at your heart center. Five deep breaths, then slowly lower your left foot down. Repeat for other side.

Eagle Pose:
This pose requires you to hug in through your core while keeping your gaze focused. Root down through your right foot, bend both of your knees, and left your left foot off the ground. Cross your left knee over your right, and hug your left foot behind your right calf. “T” out your arms. Then cross your right elbow over your left and bring the palms of your hands to meet. Align your elbows in line with your shoulders. Find your drishti, and hug in through your core, hug your thighs together. Five deep breaths, then repeat on opposite side.


Healing Foods for the 6th Chakra

You can also nourish chakras through the foods you are eating. Foods that nourish your 6th chakra are foods that feed your brain, like cacao! Chocolate helps with mental clarity, depression and helps lower blood pressure. These raw vegan brownies come together in minutes and are sure to make your brain and taste buds happy!

nobakebrownie

Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Gather:
2 cups of chopped dates*
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cacao powder
Pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup peanut butter
*If your dates are pretty dry, soak them for 30 minutes, then drain

Make:
Add the dates and walnuts to a food processor and process until a dough like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor – process until fully combined – a few minutes.

Press the mixture into a baking dish, and put in the refrigerator to set for 30-60 minutes. Then cut to whatever size you like, or make little brownie balls. Done!


Holistic Beauty Rituals – new interview series!

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Welcome to a new series here on my blog all about holistic beauty! I’ll be 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!

DSC_6802 (1)Meet Anne Havens – holistic beauty expert.  I met Anne through a mutual friend and have attended her women’s empowerment group and yoga retreat. Anne glows from the inside out. She is a licensed esthetician and certified yoga teacher with 15 years experience in the holistic wellness industry. She loves working with women to educate and support them on their healing journey through holistic skincare, health & beauty rituals, yoga, and postural alignment classes.

How do you approach aging and beauty?

I am all about prevention!  The more we support our bodies in our 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s the healthier and more vibrant our skin will be as we mature. Diet is very important to me as well. Knowing that our skin is an organ and the 7th channel of detoxification, helps me keep my nutrition in line.  The skin is a wonderful mirror of internal imbalances which most often comes from inflammation and stress in the digestive system.

I was trained on the island of Maui from a holistic spa & wellness school. Here, I gained a foundation of holistic skincare that emphasizes customized nutrition, mind-body practices, meditation, stress reduction, supportive skincare, and cultivating inner fulfillment and happiness.  I strive to create a complete experience for my clients that addresses these areas as well as supporting their connection to nature and spirit.

What are your daily beauty rituals?

IMG_2037*Deep and complete beauty sleep
*Oil pulling first thing with coconut oil and tongue scraper
*Tall glass of lemon water to hydrate the cells and lemon to gently cleanse
*Green drink with green powder (with probiotics), kale and a few blueberries for breakfast. This alkalizes the body and helps flush out toxins.
*Exercise daily either: yoga, hiking, trail running, or dancing
*Dry brushing before I shower to exfoliate and stimulate lymphatic system
*I exfoliate my skin everyday with a gentle facial cleanser, this helps keep my pores clean and prevents breakout
*Antioxidant rich moisturizer for my skin type that prevents moisture loss and feeds my skin
*I use eye cream and lip balm every night before bed

What are some rituals that you feel all women should be doing?

Facials are really amazing to nurture women and help us feel beautiful and cared for. There is something so soothing and pampering about a facial. When someone lovingly caresses, cleans, and massages your face and scalp, mental tension melts away and you connect to your body in a loving way.

Do you have any beauty rituals or natural products that you have recently tried and/or incorporated into your routine?

I am really loving Eminence Organic Skincare’s Lotus Detoxifying Night Treatment. It has a micro green complex from sprouts that detoxes the skin of environmental pollutants, like car exhaust, while you sleep.

How do you eat for beauty?

IMG_2153Lots of greens and veggies, limit sugar, eat healthy fats and protein. I have experienced less breakouts, colds, and fever blisters when I Eat Right for My Blood Type.

I love drinking green tea and when I am done with the tea bag I use it to clean my face and as a toner around my eyes allowing my skin to soak up all the antioxidants.  Night time is the most important time to wash your face and do your skincare ritual.  It cleans all the dirt and toxins off your skin that have collected there throughout the day and helps the skin to naturally cleanse and restore itself while you sleep.  This process can also help you relax and fall asleep faster.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?

I think whenever we are working towards a goal there needs to be a good balance of practical steps i.e.: hydration, nighttime ritual, detoxing, facials, healthy diet etc. as well as spiritual steps i.e.: meditation, soul-searching, forgiveness, getting clear etc. A lot of time the spiritual steps are left out. But knowing who you are and being really comfortable with your true self leads to inner beauty and outer radiance. Embracing the truth of your being, your nature and all of its flaws, letting go of perfectionism and loving yourself fully creates a clarity and beauty in the eyes, radiance in the skin, and magnetism in your energy.  This is a lifelong process of self-discovery and alignment with our soul’s purpose and calling. I’ve seen this time and again, the shift in the eyes and the energy that happens from owning our story and owning our gifts and deeply loving and accepting ourselves no matter what our situation or circumstances are.

What else do you do to support vibrancy and beauty?

We can stabilize the skin for a time with products and treatments but true lasting beauty comes from both the alignment of the inner and outer, the physical body, mind and soul. One of the best beauty rituals we can do is to look inward at our limiting beliefs whenever they arise. Instead of running away from them, dissect them, see where they are coming from and then choose to see them differently. And we do this over and over again until they no longer have a hold over us. We can continue to stay in a vibration of self love and acceptance as much as possible.  This is beauty.

Anne Havens has a holistic skincare and wellness practice in Arvada, CO, Havens Holistic. She teaches yoga in Golden, CO at McIntyre Community Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic and is co-owner of YOLO Yoga Retreats LLC

For information on their upcoming yoga retreat this June please visit yoloyogaretreats.com.


Memorial Day Grillin Roundup – Veg Style

romaine_oneGrilled Caesar Salad

Did you know that I’m a grilling expert? True story. Yes, and I also eat a whole foods plant-based diet and have for many, many years. You see, my dad used to own a grillin’ and bbq’ supply store. Most of the customers were interested in grilling… meat. At the time I was going to nutrition school and knew the consequences of eating a meat heavy diet. At our cooking demos these guys would pile their plates with meat, meat and more meat. So, I made it my mission to educate customers on how to grill vegetables and how yummy it could be! Now none of these guys went vegetarian or anything, but I hope I inspired them to grill some veggies alongside their other (not healthy) stuff.

You can totally have your Memorial Day picnic and eat whole foods, plant-based as well. And, have it be totally yummy. Below is a roundup of my favorite grillin’ recipes. Who knows, now that I’ve relocated to Colorado maybe it will be my mission to educate on healthy grillin’ with plants here too!

beanburgSweet Potato Veggie Burgers

a902e-cauliflower_cilGrilled Cauliflower Steaks

asparagusongrill
Grilled Asparagus

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Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad

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Sesame Sriracha Grilled Tofu

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Grilled Peaches and Cream



New Recipe: No-bake Peanut Butter Brownies

nobakebrownieVegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Gather:
2 cups of chopped dates*
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cacao powder
Pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup peanut butter

*If your dates are pretty dry, soak them for 30 minutes, then drain

Make:
Add the dates and walnuts to a food processor and process until a dough like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor – process until fully combined – a few minutes.

Press the mixture into a baking dish, and put in the refrigerator to set for 30-60 minutes. Then cut to whatever size you like, or make little brownie balls. Done!

You can customize this recipe however you like – omitting the peanut butter, adding different spices (cinnamon, cayenne pepper, etc) and/or top with chocolate chips, cacao nibs, coconut, hemp seeds, etc.