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Summer Radical Radiance

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Summer is my favorite season. It is when I feel most alive with all the boundless offerings it provides. I love the hot sun on my skin, endless beach days, watching the streets full of people and getting lost in the farm stands in full bloom with flowers, fruits and veggies.

It is the time when I feel most vibrant, energetic and motivated. It is the perfect time to go outside and play, get sun kissed, and enjoy life outdoors. In Ayurverda, it is considered the Pitta season due to its hot, penetrating and sharp qualities...just like the sun. Sound familiar?

When we are in tune with the elements and natural rhythms, our bodies, because they are so incredibly intelligent, will instinctively crave more cooling foods to balance the heat inside and out and avoid rashes and other skin irritations.

One of my favorite things to do this season is explore the local markets for new plant offerings each week and get inspired to create new infusions, meals and my own beauty products. Here are some of my favorite summer tips and recipes to keep you balanced, nourished, radiant and cool this season.

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My 5 top tips and recipes

1. HAIR OILING: After spending lots of time at the beach oiling my hair is number one in my daily rituals to keep my hair hydrated and healthy. Applying oil to the hair and scalp is an ancient and traditional way to improve the quality and strength of hair.

There are two ways to do it: 

                                

Apply a good amount of coconut oil or the oil of your preference to your scalp and give yourself a massage. Wrap your hair in a towel, go to sleep and shampoo the next day. 

 

My favorite way to oil my hair though is micro dosing it with oil daily. I make a hair oil infusion of my own combining different kinds of oils or I just apply a few drops of Argan, jojoba or any other oil I have at hand to the ends of my hair. 

Choose the oil that works best for your type. 

 

2. Cool Rose Quartz Face Rolling:

Put a rose quartz face roller in the fridge and give yourself a face massage! This is a great way to reduce summer inflammation, puffiness, increasing circulation, detoxifying and boosting collagen and elastin in the skin. This ritual does not only relaxes you and feels great but it will cool, tone and reduce fine lines in your skin. 

Use on the face and neck with upward sweeping motions. 

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3. Exfoliation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the summertime pores tend to clog more with sweat, suncreams and dirt so it it very important to scrub our skin to keep it free of breakouts and glowing. This is a deliciously yummy, energizing and refreshing sugar scrub which recovers moisture and provides sun repair.  

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: 1 cup of organic turbinado sugar, 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil, 1 tbs argan oil, 1 tsp. lemon essential oil, 2 tbs, fresh lemon zest, 1 tsp. rose hip oil, 1tbs chia seeds. 

 

 

Mix all the ingredients well and store in a airtight glass container up to 3 months. Great for all the body, avoid the face. 

Infusions & Mocktails for the whole family

I'm obsessed with making solar infusion in the summer with any fresh flowers and herbs I find fresh or dried at the market. My son and my partner love coming home to a big pitcher of this cooling concoctions. I also use this herbal infusions as toners to cool and hydrate my skin with added; Apple cider vinegar, aloe juice or witch hazel. For the summer try a calendula, rose, chamomile or hibiscus toner. 

4. Cucumber KOOLAID Magik : 

 A cooling, anti-inflammatory, refreshing drink for those long summer days. 

Recipe:

  • 1 large cucumber or 4 oz of juice
  • 3 limes or 6 oz of juice 
  • 2 handfuls of fresh mint
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 8 oz Coconut water 
  • 1 oz. aloe juice
  • 1 tbs Blue Magik 
  • 2 tbs local raw honey or maple syrup or any sweetener of your choice

If you don't have a juicer blend the cucumber, with the lime juice and the blue magik. While you are blending steep the fresh mint for 15 min in 1 cup of boiling water. Add the sweetener to this warm mixture. Strain the cucumber juice and combine all ingredients. Place in the fridge to cool and serve cold. 

5. Hibiscus Beauty Punch:

Sour herbs such as hibiscus and rosehips are considered to have a cooling effect in the body in Greek medicine.  This recipe is a house staple, packed with vitamin C which is a vital molecule for skin health and immunity boosting. 

Recipe: 

  • 1 tbs dried hibiscus
  • 1 tsp dried rosehips
  • 1 handful red raspberry leaves
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 32 oz water
  • 2 tbs honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • 1 cup ginger kombucha

Harness the energy of the sun and let it steep in the sun for 30 min. Add your favorite sweetener. Most times I don't even add any. Combine with a cup of ginger Kombucha for an extra refreshing probiotic spritzer! Serve on ice. 

 

NOTE: Remember that if you don't have available any of the ingredients in a recipe you always substitude or ommit. There is no right or wrong answer this is a just guide with some ideas but the plant world is your oyster to play with! Work with whatever is seasonal and available to you.

Cooling foods & herbs to use (use internally and  externally ) : raw foods, fruits, cucumbers, fresh yogurt, coconut, leafy greens, cantaloupe, melon, ghee, cilantro, mint , dill , parsley, alfalfa sprouts, neem, aloe, rose, chamomile, calendula, fennel, fennel, turmeric, lemongrass, cardamom, mint, lemon balm. 


Check out my new YouTube video below for a nourishing dry scalp hair mask recipe and subscribe to my channel for more recipes, yoga and everything holixtic!

SPRING INFUSED MEDICINA

As Mary Poppins would say: "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"

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Finally, it’s starting to feel like spring time in NY, and although I love this time of year with all the bountiful gifts it brings, I hate the seasonal allergies that come with it! I started getting them a few years ago and since then, I've had to incorporate as many natural rituals as I can to get me through without the need for over-the-counter drugs. One thing that helps me? Herbal infusions. As some of you might know, I am obsessed with making them. Whether it’s tinctures, vinegars, teas, milks or honeys, I like to infuse everything!

The Earth provides us with such incredible and powerful medicine through plants. If we learn to work with them and cultivate our ability to communicate with them and access their medicinal properties, we can use them to heal ourselves more effectively and naturally with their help.

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Nettle Astralagus Honey

Infusing honey with herbs is such a delicious, fun and decadent way of getting your herbs in. You can pour it over ice cream, put it in teas, warm milk, over oats, fresh fruits or toast and in salad dressings.

I made this special concoction infused with nettles and astralagus to help fight my seasonal allergies. Both are powerful medicines that reduce inflammation and histamine as well as boost my immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups local raw honey
  • 3 tbs dried nettles
  • 1 tbs astralagus
  • 1 tbs cinnamon

Basic formula: Use about 1-2 tablespoons of dried herbs per 1 cup of honey.

Method:

Method:

  • Place the herbs in any glass jar with a lid
  • Combine the herbs + honey
  • Close with a tight lid
  • Let it infuse for at least a week
  • For more intense flavor and medicinal powers, wait a whole lunar cycle
  • If the herbs go to the top, turn the jar a few times through the cycle
  • Strain the herbs and enjoy!

The possibilities with herbal infused honey are endless so go ahead and have fun with it. Choose the herb that intuitively calls you and create your own. Remember our bodies are incredibly intelligent and if we feel inclined towards a particular herb, it might be an internal sign of a certain need or imbalance. So, always trust your gut, your instinct and your cravings. Start with a single ingredient and go from there.

Other beautiful ingredient combinations you can use:

  • Turmeric + pepper + ashwagandha to create a powerful adaptogenic blend you can spread over toast with banana or simply to make a warm golden milk if you are feeling stressed and depleted

  • Roses petals, lavender or chamomile poured over ice cream or a granola bowl to promote relaxation

  • Sage + garlic to relieve sore throats

Tip: use only dried herbs to prevent from growing bacteria and you can store it for ever!

Rituals me and my family have incorporated to beat seasonal allergies naturally

  • Super Quercitin: I take this supplement daily. It has vitamin C and bromelain which help fight inflammation, control histamine and boost the immune system.

  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar regularly: add 1 tsp of ACV to a glass of water 3 times daily.

  • Eat and drink lots of nettle in infusions, honeys, and meals such as pestos and curries. Nettles, when cooked, have a very mild flavor similar to spinach. My 9yr old son loves a glass of chilled nettle iced tea.

  • Neti pot

  • Reishi & Astralagus: Both known to be powerful immune tonics. I make infusions or even add them soups, bone broths and my morning coffee!

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Wait, one sec.

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about technology and my relationship with it. I recently attended an amazing lecture by Dr. Catherine Steiner about the impact technology is having on our societies, families and especially our children. You see, we didn’t grow up with parents who had smartphones. So, we don’t really know what it’s like to be children growing up in today’s world nor fully grasp its impact on our kids. To me, it’s honestly a bit scary imagining a future where we all walk around aimlessly like zombies glued to our screens. It has already been shocking to see how quickly and widely technology has changed our culture and how we relate and interact with each other and the world around us. More and more we find ourselves moving through our day without paying attention to our surroundings and others and as a result not being fully present in anything we do.

We have become a society obsessed with documenting and sharing everything we do. We all do it. I’m practicing yoga and think “Oh! I should record this. It’s so awesome!“ I’m eating a beautiful and delicious meal with friends and immediately think, “Oh! I need to take a picture of this!” Snap. Share.

We are obsessed with filling every moment and every gap “catching up” or staying up to speed on the continuous messages and information coming our way. I’ll pick up my child from school and say to myself, “Oh! Great time to catch up on a call in the car.” Meanwhile, our kid just sits there patiently while dying to tell us about his day. We’ve all been there. We take the kids to the park and we instinctually just pull out our phones. Perfect time to catch up on emails, right? These stories and scenes go on and on. It’s non-stop.

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These devices, which are undoubtedly convenient, useful and save us so much time if used properly, are also turning us into extremely anxious people. We are in constant competition comparing ourselves and our lives to others and the lives they choose to present to the online world. The devices have created this need in us to always be connected and available. People check their phones an average of 60-200 times a day! Whether unconsciously or consciously, we have developed the feeling of not wanting to miss out (FOMO) and in the process, sadly, completely neglect what is happening right in front of our own eyes. We neglect the people that are right here. Tangible. Real. Not in the screen in some other place.

And then, always on-going, there is our obsession with selfies. What’s it all about and why has it not gone away yet? When will we get sick of taking pictures of ourselves at all times, in every situation and every place? This absurd fascination and feeding of the ego, the “I”, the need to share every moment we live through because we need constant validation. Where is this coming from? We’ve all become professional stalkers, superficial validation-givers and seekers. But why? Why do we need a constant global thumbs up? What are we looking for when we dive into our screens? Is it approval? People to like us? To feel important? Loved? To boost our self-worth, confidence? A soft caress? A warm touch to cover our loneliness?

Just like taking a pill or a shot of liquor, I guess, we are just trying to escape our reality instead of facing it. We as humans have been doing this since the beginning of time. Our smartphones are just another form of distraction. But the screen is so empty. It doesn’t fill any of our voids. It creates more. I am too fouled by this trap. Every time I retreat to it as a way of feeling more connected and loved I feel exactly the opposite. Sure, it sugarcoats my anxiety and loneliness for a little while but then I go back to feeling even emptier. Shallower and bleak. Just how I felt when I used to buy tabloid magazines with their flawless women on the cover, seemingly perfect celebrity lives on the inside and endless list of products I need to buy to be both beautiful and happy. Inside the screen, like in the magazines, there is nothing that I need. Nothing that makes me feel good. I don’t feel a warm hand caressing me, a wet kiss or a good old hug from a friend that will make all my pain go away.

Instead, studies have shown that since 2012, people are feeling more lonely, children feel sadder and angrier and suicide rates in teens have gone up. Much of this is because we don’t feel heard. We feel ignored. There always seems to be something more important on our screens than connecting to the people in our real lives. When I go to my son's basketball game and I look around, I notice how many parents are glued to their screens. Of course! Why wouldn’t they be? It’s the perfect time to catch up on emails and texts, right? In the meantime, they completely ignore what is happening with their children on the court. How do you think that makes our children feel? For them to glance over at the sidelines and see us looking down at our phones? How would you feel if that was you? How would you feel if you looked over at your dad after making a great shot hoping he’d noticed and was proud but instead seeing he was too busy typing to notice?

I remember my basketball games vividly when I was a child. My parents came to every game cheering and shouting at every play. They were completely engaged and gave me their full undivided attention. I loved that. Of course it embarrassed me sometimes but it was a good feeling knowing they cared. I remember that so strongly because it made me feel loved and important. It felt like my life mattered to them. Isn’t that why we have children? To give them attention, to care for them, to make them feel secure and loved? We don’t have children just so we can hand them an iPad to calm them as soon as they get fussy just because we can’t be bothered to soothe them. We don’t have children because we want them to be quiet little robots in the back of the car so we can make an “important call”, check “one last email” when we get home or check our Instagram to see who liked us or how many followers we gained in the last 4 hrs. Is that really all that important? More than our connection with our children, their sense of belonging, of being heard, and soothed?

Of course that’s not why we have children but we are doing this constantly often without realizing anymore. These devices are as addictive as a drug. They are designed to get us hooked. Neurologically speaking, they trigger the same receptors as crack. Much of what we are doing online releases dopamine into the brain’s pleasure centers which in turn feeds us and creates an obsession with instant gratification. It reinforces a pleasure-seeking culture.

So, when we give our child a smartphone or iPad to distract them or quiet them, we are giving our child a stimulant as a coping mechanism as opposed to what they really need which is human soothing and even self-soothing. They need to develop the tools to cope with frustration. They need to develop patience and the ability to calm themselves. They need to be bored so they can develop their imagination and their creativity. They don’t always need to be stimulated. They need the time and opportunity to develop the tools to self-regulate. These are tools they’ll use in their adult life. The same goes for us adults.

We need to be looking out the window and noticing the tree changing leaves, the snow falling, the clouds in the sky, the light pouring through the window warming our bodies, a bird’s song, the mailman or the barista at the coffee shop. We need to be quiet enough so we can listen to our inner voice. So we can find confidence and tap into our own power that lies inside of us, not a power that is built on outside approval and a self-worth based on the number of likes and followers or on a a very shallow, superficial, online, curated, filtered image.

We need to be connecting with one another more and looking into each other’s eyes rather than down. We should be talking to the receptionist, the taxi driver, or the person next to you on the subway. But we are so glued to our devices and lost in our own little worlds that we completely neglect the people we walk by as we move through our lives distracted, absent and numb like zombies.

Yesterday I decided to not check my phone from the evening through the morning until after my classes. That one simple act immediately opened me up to what and who was around me. Almost instantly I had some beautiful encounters. Instead of pulling out my phone the second I got into a cab to catch up with what everyone else is doing, I talked to the taxi driver. He was an African man. Very kind. Beautiful smile. Hates the cold! So do I. We have something in common. How simple, yet how fulfilling. My body relaxed, my heart softened, my anxieties dropped and I felt warm, light and elevated after our simple exchange. Did you know that studies on longevity say that people who live longer are not those who have “perfect” lives, ripped bodies, eat kale and avocado toasts all day, are vegan, gluten-free, healthy, fit people? In fact, the people that live the longest are those who have strong interpersonal relationships and have strong connections with family, community, and friends.

Why am I writing all this? I write it as a personal reflection and to keep myself in check. I write to reevaluate this important element that has permeated our lives so quickly and continues to take us over in ways we’re not completely sure of yet. What we do know is that it is changing the way we act, react and connect with one another. At its worst, it isolates us, affects our mental health and personal relationships with ourselves, our children, friends, family and the whole world around us. If left unchecked, it makes us more self-centered, selfish, egocentric, materialistic, shallow, grumpier, lonelier, unhappy, anxious, depressed, less patient, less present and empathetic and more detached from what is real.

Yes, of course there are so many wonderful things about technology which have only made our lives better but it’s imperative we remain aware of its side effects and approach it with great mindfulness. It has become even more important to stop ourselves frequently and consider how we are using these devices. Are we using them as tools for learning, connecting and growing? Are we using them to be our best selves?

I leave you with a great quote by Martin Luther King:

"You call your thousand material devices labor saving machinery, yet you are forever busy. With the multiplying of your machinery you grow increasingly fatigued, anxious, nervous, dissatisfied. Whatever you have you want more and wherever you are you want to go somewhere else. Your devices are neither time saving nor soul saving machinery. They are so many sharp spurs which urge you on to invent more machinery and to do more business.”

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Some suggestions on controlling technology

Set clear limits on technology for you and your family.

  • Have open an dialogue and communication about technology with your family.

· Perhaps no technology after 5 or 6pm at home on school nights? Instead engage with each other. I know this is case-by-case but find a balance that what works for you and your family. Create a family contract and let everyone in the household add their own rules. You will be surprised with what your kids come up with!

· Absolutely NO technology during meals for everyone. No exceptions!

· Wait until the 8th grade to give children a smartphone.

· No devices in the bedroom (use an alarm clock instead of your phone or keep your phone in airplane mode with no wifi on while sleeping)

· Set limits on your social media engagement per day. Allow yourself an hour a day total. No need to check it every 20 minutes!

· Don’t respond to work emails on the weekend assuming your job allows it. (Most do unless it’s a REAL emergency.)

· Don’t be on the phone when picking up your kids or when it’s your time together.

· Leave the phone behind when you go out to dinner. Try it, it’s liberating!

· Leave the phone behind when you take your kids to the park or zoo. Try being present. You don’t need to document every moment. I’m willing to bet you never look on the thousand pictures you’ve taken. Keep it in your mind. Practice being present, fully.

If you are interested in learning more, here are some great resources:

http://www.janellburleyhofmann.com/irules/

http://catherinesteineradair.com/the-diane-rehm-show-the-big-disconnect/

http://blog.waldorfmoraine.org/2017/07/wait-until-8th/

the magic broth.

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In the winter, we naturally crave warming soups and grounding, nourishing foods. This season, because of some physical challenges, I've personally been craving more medicinal foods.  And nothing is more nourishing and healing than a cup of warm bone broth. I like to create a big powerful batch of it by adding immunizing, adaptogenic and tonic herbs. I either use it as a base for any soups, stews or legume dishes or I simply sip it at any time of day. 

This immune boosting bone broth recipe is rich in minerals like iron and calcium as well as gelatin which improves digestion, nutrient absorption and skin glow. It's also easily digestible, helps heal the gut and reduces inflammation.  And if that wasn't enough, it even contains collagen, making it a radiance beauty food too! 

Ingredients

broth base:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1-2 poultry carcasses or beef
  • 2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar ( to help the breakdown of minerals from the bones)
  • 1/2 celeriac
  • 1 cup carrots ( you can also add celery, garlic and onions - I have not added these to mine because I cannot eat them!)

nutritrive herbs:

  • 1 tbs calendula flowers
  • 1 tb horsetail
  • 1 tbs nettles

immune, adaptongenic and tonic herbs:

  • 1 burdock fresh root
  • 1 slice reishi mushrooms
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup maitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbs ashwagandha

herbs + seasonings

  • a few sprigs of rosemary + thyme
  • 2" fresh turmeric root or 1 tsp powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt + freshly ground pepper

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a large slow cooker. I personally use the Instant Pot Cooker because I can just leave it on and go on with my daily routine without having to think about it. And, by the time I come home, my food is ready.

You can also use a normal pot. Just bring the water to a boil and simmer over low heat up to 3 days for extra medicinal power.

When done, strain and use as desired. I like to freeze it in small batches and use it as stock and base for many of my dishes. I separate them into small containers and I also put some in ice trays.

It's delicious with a splash of ume plum vinegar (one of my pantry staples), a sprinkle of microgreens and some radishes. Or sip it from a cup completely pure with a little salt on a cold winter's day.

You can adapt the recipe to the herbs that you like and what you have at hand. The only purpose of this guide is to make an old traditional healing recipe more current.

If you want a vegan version, just leave the bones out. Although you will miss out on the healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutaminethem. The possibilities really are endless with this recipe!

Other ingredients you can use: Oat straw, seaweed, astralagus root, codonopsis root

I like to get my herbs at the farmer's market at Union Square. There is a beautiful farm that carries wonderful medicinal herbs. If this is not available to you, a great resource for herbs is www.mountainroseherbs.com . They have a huge selection of organic herbs in bulk at really good prices. You won't get the fancy cute packaging that some of the trendy brands have but you will be getting excellent quality.

“So many strong women began as broken girls” r.h.sin

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This story starts like most of these stories do, with a young, innocent girl. I was 17, excited about life and convinced I was invincible. Just like any other teenager out there I thought I could grab the world with my hands and that anything was possible.

It was a night out just like any other night with my closest group of friends, the people I most trusted. Or so I thought. We went dancing and drinking. Some drugs were involved. I was experimenting, but I felt safe. After all, I was with my best friends so what could possibly go wrong?

At the end of the night, we went to my friend’s house to sleep over. Nothing special. It was the four of us: me, my best friend, her boyfriend and another one of our male friends. It was late. I was very tired and didn’t feel so well. Whatever I had had that night was way too strong for me so I decided to go to sleep. My best friend and her boyfriend went to their room as I laid alone in my bed. From this moment on, it is all still a blurred memory.

I woke up suddenly at the feeling I was being touched. My male friend was laying next to me, kissing me and touching me in ways I did not want to be touched. I pushed him away, but I was too tired to move, too confused and too intoxicated. I couldn't quite differentiate dream from reality. Was this really happening? He kept going even as I said “no” over and over again. As I pushed him away, he kept coming. I was too confused to fight. Too weak. I didn’t know what was happening. He finally forced himself into me as I laid there still, somewhere between a dream and my worst nightmare.

When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t tell exactly what had happened. I was so lost and so confused. I thought I’d imagined this. I couldn't tell. It must have been a bad dream I thought. In that moment, I was just too scared to confront it or make sense of it all. So I left. I went home and forgot that it had ever happened.

For years I buried this memory, and every time I thought about it, I told myself I had simply dreamt it. That it was not possible because he was my best friend. Someone I trusted. I oscillated between completely negating what had happened to me, thinking it was just my own imagination to thinking it did actually happen, that it was my fault and that I deserved it because I was intoxicated. Either way, I would not dare talk to anyone about it. Who was ever going to believe me?

But there was something deep inside me that knew the truth all along. That knew exactly what had happened and that it wasn’t my fault. And that knew that shit wasn’t right and that it hurt. So, I suffered in silence, alone.

It took me years to share this story with anyone. I didn’t want to be judged, labeled, or be defined by any of it. I wanted to bury it. But, my pain ran deep that whole time. Until one day I decided that in order to heal, I needed to talk about. I needed to confront my past and not only forgive myself but also forgive him. And so I did, and the healing started.

I’ve been thinking about writing this story for quite some time now. Finally inspired to put it on paper after reading the growing number of stories by other women with similar experiences. All of them brave women who were neither afraid nor ashamed to open up. Empowered by the realization that being vulnerable and sharing our darkest stories only makes us stronger. Unites us. Connects us more with one another and brings out our humanity. But it’s not easy. Big acts of courage never are. But as I write down these words, it’s like medicine cleansing my spirit and healing me. Talking about the experience strips away its power over me.

For years, the only way to survive and make sense of it all was to bury it deep into my unconscious and push it as far away as possible. In that time, I’ve shared my story with only a few although it took years for me to share it with anyone at all. Perhaps because part of me felt ashamed. Perhaps partly guilty. But mostly because I didn’t want to be defined, remembered or identified by it. And also because every time I confront it, the pain and confusion I felt back then as an innocent 17-yr old child, young and naïve, comes rushing back. But I want to share my story now because I’d like you to know that we don’t have to be defined by these past experiences. That we can choose to drop them. That we can overcome them. We can overcome anything. Pain. Harassment. Rape. Abuse. Fear. Heartbreak. Loss. That we are powerful beyond our own imaginations. And it’s in our own hands to decide what we do with what happens to us. We are not victims. I know I’ve never let myself be one. I took what happened to me and turned it into a story of resilience, strength and courage even when I was too young to understand it.

I'm not looking for pity as I write this words. What I want is for you to know what our incredible potential as human beings is. How it is possible to transform our pain and suffering into love and courage. I want you to know that you are not alone and you are not the only one. Us women? We are fucking powerful! We can be feminine, sexual, open, intuitive, smart, sensitive, independent, strong, vulnerable, mothers, sisters, lovers and friends all at once and we do not need to feel ashamed or apologize for it. We don’t have to look down when we walk down the street. We can stand proud, together. And we can transform our old stories. It is possible! It is possible to overcome what feels insurmountable. I did. We are not our past and we are far greater than anyone who has ever tried or tries to break us down!

If you or anyone you know has suffered from sexual assault, there is help. Start here

Fall Radical Radiance Guide

 Photo:: April morlock

Photo:: April morlock

Fall is such a beautiful and transformative time of year. With its kaleidoscope of vibrant colors against clear blue skies and a crisp cool air that greets us every morning, it is a season marked with change. 

In Ayurveda, Fall is the season of Vata which brings with it erratic, windy and dry elements. While these are necessary conditions that shape our landscape dramatically and beautifully as we approach winter, they also create sudden imbalances for both our inner and outer bodies. This is especially true for our skin as it tends to become dry, dull and crocodile-like. 

In order to maintain our balance and help us transition with Radiance into the new season, we must revisit and adapt our daily rituals accordingly. 

Here are 4 of my tips to keep Radically Radiant thru the Fall season:

 

  1. Trade in the raw salads for more warm, grounding, oilier foods. Think more soups, oats, stews, steamed veggies, hearty grains. These are all Vata-balancing foods. Also adding extra oils to your foods. I love flax and ghee.

  2. Use plant oils for the face & body: Oils will not clog your pores. Instead they are incredibly healing and nourishing for the skin; some can even be warming. There are many options to choose from depending on your own skin, preference and budget. One of my favorites is Tamanu Oil. It was used by Polynesian women to promote beautiful clear skin. It’s rich but absorbs very quickly. It also has antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other recommended oils are; Rosehip, Almond, Jojoba, Olive oil. I like to create my own blend of oils as a face serum or infuse them with flowers and spices.

  3. Abhyanga massage: Start a ritual of massaging yourself with a warm oil. This old Ayurvedic practice locks in moisture, calms the nervous system, improves circulation and boosts your immune system. Plus, sesame oil which is traditionally used for this practice is very warming.

  4. DIY your own beauty products with seasonal ingredients. If you don’t know what is in season take a trip to your local farmer's market and get inspired!

 

DIY Fall recipes

 

Nourishing Fall Face Serum:

This fall inspired serum is deliciously rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as being loaded with antioxidants, linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids. These help regenerate skin cells and nourish dry, or dehydrated skin treating wrinkles. It also absorbs very quickly without leaving a greasy residue. It is good for both oily and sensitive skins.

Recipe:

Makes 8 oz: 

  • 3 oz jojoba

  • 2 oz apricot

  • 1 oz rosehip, argan, tamanu oil.

  • Mix all oils. Apply the oil gently with upward strokes.

Infused Sweet Chai oil:
 

  • 8  sweet almond or coconut oil

  • ¼ cup of loose black tea : high in vitamin E and C

  • 1 vainilla split

  • Handful of Whole cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds

  • 1 inch fresh ginger

  • Strainer

  • Air tight container

In a small pan heat the oil gently, add the spices and tea and let it infuse on low for one or two hrs. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain. Keep for several months in a cool dark place. Dark container. You can add some extra seeds, cinnamon sticks and pods as decorations into the final oil.

This oil can be used on the body and face as moisturizer, for massage or even as a make up remover.

Masks:

I like to think that anything we have internally is also beneficial externally on our skins. Our skin being the largest organ in our bodies will absorb all the benefits. And if I can’t eat it, then I don’t want to use it on my skin either!

Clays are one of my favorite ingredients for masks. It is a natural absorbent and contains tons of minerals, they absorb toxins and neutralize heavy metals. I also like to add supplements to the masks such as Vitamin C or E, for and extra punch of concentrated benefits, in form of capsules or crushed tablets. Also, tea infusions are great as base for masks, toners or cleansers.


Detox Pumpkin mask
 

Pumpkin seeds are great for smoothies and salads, and because of their high content of antioxidants, omega fats, vitamins and wide range of vitamins and minerals, they are amazing for the skin! They are also anti-fungal and anti-viral.

Recipe:

Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are great to draw out impurities and detoxify the skin. This mask will pull out dirt, stimulate blood circulation, and with the added honey soften and moisturize the skin.

  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

  • ¼ tbs raw honey

  • ¼ tbs bentonite clay

  • ¼ tsp charcoal

Soak the pumpkin seeds in water overnight. Rinse them and place them in a blender with ½ cup water, or a tea infusion of calendula or green tea. To make a paste blend on high for a few minutes. mix all ingredients well and apply. Leave on the skin for 10-15 min. Wash. Your skin will feel smooth and divine!

 Photo: April Morlock

Photo: April Morlock

Pumpkin Scrub for Sensitive Skin:

This is a yummy anti-aging and brightening scrub. Pumpkins are dense in beta-carotene, vitamin A and zinc, making them specially nourishing for dry, tired skin. Alternatively, you can use sweet potato which is also in season and helps repair damaged cells and improve elasticity!

  • ½ cup mashed pumpkin or sweet potato

  • 2tbs coarse ground oatmeal

  • 1 tbs honey

  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (for extra dry skin use olive oil)

  • ½ tbs vitamin e

  • Pinch cinnamon

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • Bake or boil pumpkin

  • Peel and mash it.  

Stimulating scalp treatment:

Stimulating and nourishing, encourages circulation but is also moisturizing and calming. 

  • 3 tbs olive oil

  • 1ts rosemary

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar ( dry scalp)

Blend all ingredients and shake well. Let the herb infuse the oil for a few days. Apply, massage into wet hair in the shower, leave for 10-15 min. Rinse and shampoo normally.

PLAY ME

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Here's a playlist I created for practicing yoga, dancing, wondering, or for whatever you do when no else is looking ... Enjoy XO.

PLAY ME

Stay Cool

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We all love Summer, but with the intense heat of Grandfather Sun also comes a lot of challenges and imbalances not only energetically but also for our skin.

In the heart of Ayurveda there is the concept of the 3 Doshas; this are the three basic types of human condition. Present in all of us, in nature and everything in the planet. Pitta, Kapha and Vata. Summer is the Pitta month, Pitta means Fire. Therefore the qualities of this season are Pitta qualities, hot, sharp and penetrating! And when too much of this heats occurs our skin freaks out and is more prone to inflammation, flare ups, breakout, acne and many skin imbalances. So in order to cool down our system and bring the balance back we need to adapt our rituals and integrate more cooling plants and herbs both internally and externally. Simple right?

Here are some of my favorites tips, plants and recipes to stay cool, harness the energy of the sun and stay radiant all summer long!

Cooling Sparkling Toner:

This is a wonderful, light, refreshing and cooling toner with a natural Fizz!

  • 2 tsp witch hazel
  • 5 tbs sparkling water

  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

  • 1 tbs aloe juice

 

Cooling Mask:

This mask helps reduce inflammation, blemishes, it's also cooling, anti-aging, anti-bacterial and toning.

  • mix one part turmeric
  • two parts gotu kola
  • aloe water or yogurt

Turmeric: is anti-inflammatory, has vitamin C, is anti-aging, anti-oxidant. 

Gotu Kula: is loved in Ayurveda. Externally it is anti-aging, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, it also heals wounds and cuts, tones and tightens the skin!

Yogurt: Has been used for ever by many cultures in many beauty rituals. It cleanses, tones and firms the skin. Rich in B12.

Mix all the ingredients, put it on your skin, let it dry and was off. 

Yogi Bhajan's Hanuman body mask: 

For luminous skin, smoothes wrinkles, removes dead skin, and clears the pores. 

  • mix turmeric, yogurt, chickpea flour, powder ginger and lemon!
  • Massage it in before having a shower or bath then let it dry on your body. you can also just add a cup of this mixture into the bath.
  • Then, with warm water, wash it off

BEAUTY TONIC

Lunar Herbal Infusion

This a powerful blend of herbs that create a potent tonic to nourish the skin insode out. With time your eyes will become brighter, your skin will glow and your liver will heal. Take it alone or with juice, water or added to soups or smoothies.

RECIPE:

  • 2 parts turmeric ( dry of fresh)
  • 2 parts gotu kula
  • 2 parts burdock
  • 1 part calendula
  • 1 part horsetail
  • 1 part nettle
  • lemon peel ( for an extra antioxidant punch and vitamin C)

TINCTURES:

Tinctures are great because they are potent remedies, very concentrated and can keep for up to 10 yrs. Also they are easy to travel with!

  • Use strong grain alcohol, minimum 50 proof , vodka is the most commonly used and easy to find

  • Use a glass wide mouth mason jar with lid

  • if using fresh herbs cut them finely and top with alcohol

  • with Dry herbs: grind, then top with alcohol

  • Leave in the jar in a dark place for 1 lunar cycle. Then strain with fine mesh or cheesecloth squeezing the herbs dry.

  • A good ratio is having 1-2 inches of alcohol over the top of the herbs or 3/4 of the jar filed with herbs then top with the liquid.

  • Close the lid, but put seran wrap over the lid first to prevent from rusting and close tightly.

  • Store in a cool dark place. Check and mix every once in a while if the herbs look dry top it off with alcohol as needed. no herbs should be left touching air, this will make bacteria to grow.

  • Let it infuse for one Lunar cycle.

  • When ready, staring doubling up a cheesecloth using a funnel into a dark glass drooper.

  • Dose: 1-2 squirts 1x3 times a day as needed

  • Start with single ingredients, then mix as desired , experiment, and enjoy the process, connecting with the wisdom of the plants. The possibilities are endless!!

Sacred Rose

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Floral Waters Infusions :

There are many methods to make rose water. The simplest are simmering and distilling. The best way to source your flowers is to grow and harvest them. This way you are staying connected to the land and knowing where your ingredients are coming from. If this is not availble use a reliable source of organic flowers, make sure they don't use pesticides to spray them as you will be using this on your skin and internally.

Fresh Rose water Recipe - You can also use flowers such as Calendula or Lavender depending on your specific goals and needs.

For example :

Chamomile: is cooling, calms the mind, good for sleep, and internally is good for digestion. Calendula: is anti-inflammatory, heals the gut, master skin regenerator, cell repair, carotenoids and vitamin A. Lavender: is anti- inflammatory, eczema, anti- oxidant, burns, cures insect bites.

Makes 16 oz

  • 1 ½ cups Witch H**azel or Vodka
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 3 cups of fresh rose buds or dry work
  • Mix the water & witch hazel
  • Place wide mouth jar , fill the glass
  • Cover , let it sit for 2-3 weeks in a dark place.
  • Strain and transfer store up to 1 year.

Rose : On the skin it calms the mind, soothes and is heart opening. Internally it cools the body, astringent, ease cramps.

Simmering Method:

  • ¼ cup dried petals or ½ to ¾ cups of fresh
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Cover bring to boil
  • Simmer in the lowest setting until the leaves lose their color. Approx 5-10 min
  • Leave the lid on and cool .
  • Strain
  • Store in the fridge for several weeks

spirit of the Bees

 I love the divine medicine that the bees provide to us. I use honey and bee pollen consistently in my kitchen, teas, salads, beauty care, or I eat it straight out of the jar. Unheated  raw honey  is a powerful superfood. It is full of enzymes to help digest it, contains vitamins A,B,C,D and K, is full of anti-oxidants, and essential minerals. It is anti-bacterial and anti- fungal and can be used topically to heal wounds and hydrate the skin.   Bee pollen  is one of the most nourishing foods, containing 40% protein, and almost all the nutrients human beings need. It is also great for allergies!

I love the divine medicine that the bees provide to us. I use honey and bee pollen consistently in my kitchen, teas, salads, beauty care, or I eat it straight out of the jar. Unheated raw honey is a powerful superfood. It is full of enzymes to help digest it, contains vitamins A,B,C,D and K, is full of anti-oxidants, and essential minerals. It is anti-bacterial and anti- fungal and can be used topically to heal wounds and hydrate the skin.

Bee pollen is one of the most nourishing foods, containing 40% protein, and almost all the nutrients human beings need. It is also great for allergies!

Beauty Mask Recipe:

Manuka honey is one of my best friends and it should be one of yours too. It has incredible healing benefits not only internally but topically on our skin. I use it as a weekly herbal mask, and depending on my skin needs I combine it with different herbal ingredients. Mostly things I can find in my kitchen cabinet.

It is hydrating, anti-imflamatory, so acts to reduce acne and redness, plus it promotes skin regeneration and repairs cellular damage!

Formula for Skin Radiance:

  • 1 tsp Matcha powder
  • 1 tsp Manuka Honey
  • 1 capsule Vitamin C 500 mg

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to create a thick paste. Cleanse your skin first, thenapply the mask evenly. Leave for 20 min and rinse with warm water. This recipe will give your skin a punch of anti-oxidants from the green tea as well as hydrating it, and oxygenating it drawing out bacteria and leaving your skin beautiful, soft and radiant.

Tips: You can change up this recipe and try other ingredients, i also love to use turmeric powder, or baking soda instead of Matcha!

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Sunshine Smoothie

  • 1 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 date
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbs coconut chips or flakes
  • 1 tsp cacao nibs
  • 1 cup of coconut water or nutmilk

Blend it and top it up with a sprinkle of your favorite granola & 1 tsp of bee pollen. Eat with a spoon.

Immune booster and antihistamine shot

  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp raw unfiltered honey
  • 1/4 tsp Astralagus powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder or 1/2 oz. ginger juice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder or 1/2 oz. turmeric juice
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 sprinkle bee pollen

mix well and shoot!

(optional for extra cold fighting benefits add half clove of pressed garlic)

Happy gut = Strong Luminous Body

Life in food gives us life.

Food is information, and the ability to process this information, (good digestion) is the core of our health. It doesn't matter if we have the healthiest of diets, and eat huge amounts of kale if we can't digest it.

Probiotic rich foods feed our gut with good bacteria, (there are about 39 trillion bacteria cells in our body!) which means low immflamation, good digestion, strong immune system and radiant skin.

Fermented foods are not a new fad they have been used for centuries in many cultures all over the world. Think; Yogurt in india, cheeses in France, pickles in Japan, krauts in Eastern Europe and so on. I try to incorporate a little bit of fermeted foods every day. Wether it is on a salad, a smoothie, or staight from the fridge. A little goes a long way.

This recipe is a powerful medicine, used mostly when we are in need for balance. It keeps one month in the fridge and takes very little time to make. It was passed on to me, and passed on to them and now passed on to you. Just like in the old days, knowledge was passed on from generations to generations.

This process of fermentation produces metabolites. Good bugs love this stuff snd so they reproduce wildly! After just two days there will be trillions of bugs in there that will act to rebuild your gut and even remove candida.

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 2 capsules of Saccharomyces boulardii
  • H2O

Process:

  1. Add one cup of water to 2 cups of blueberries and boil it for 20 minutes.
  2. When it becomes like a syrup, cool to room temp.
  3. MAsh the blueberries with a fork
  4. Open the capsules and dissolve them in the syrp , mixing well
  5. Transfer to a glass jar, put the lid on and label with the date
  6. Transfer to the ove and cook for 30 seconds at 150
  7. Keep it in the fridge as is for 2 days
  8. Trasnfer to the fridge and use as need.

Keeps in the fridge for 1 month, most potency the first week. Take 2 spoonfuls a day.

Ingredients 

My 5 Beauty Tips for Spring Radical Radiance

Spring is here and with it a bountiful of gifts from the sacred land. I'm specially excited to start planting new seeds, inside and out. Digging in the dirt for wild flowers and nettles in my garden, leaving the window open and receiving all the new offerings that come with the change of season. 
 

Today the Pink Full Moon rises , it is called pink full moon because of the blossoming pink wild flowers at this particular time which symbolize new beginnings. Perfect time to incorporate new rituals and bloom from the inside out. 

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Here are some of my favorite Beauty Tips for Radical Radiance. These are things that can be easily implemented in your daily rituals at home, with simple ingredients that you mostly will find in your kitchen cabinet. With an exception of a couple must have, amazing staple ingredients that you should always have at hand!

Beauty comes from within. If we give our bodies the right nutrients, enough water, exercise, rest and some loving rituals we can glow from the inside out. These are the most important things to remember when it comes to radiant skin and body: 

  • H2O - Keeping hydrated is essential to help the skin detoxify as well as reducing the appearance of wrinkles and dry skin. You should be drinking half of your weight in pounds, in ounces of water. 
  • Omega 3's, Good fats, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Carotenoids - All of these help in maintaining your skin with moisture, vitality and lubrication. Make sure your diet is full of these things; dark leafy greens, calendula, avocados, cold water fish, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and plenty of sunshine!
  • Silica - Strengthens collagen, keratin, elastin and other forms of connective tissue. Horsetail is rich in silica, have it in capsules, infusions or broths. Also, whole grains and seeds such as flax and oats and nettles provide it. Bone broth is a powerful medicine with supportive nutrients for collagen and overall health.
  • Vitamin C - Enhances the healing of connective tissue while improving absorption of other nutrients. Think citrus, strawberries, hibiscus flowers, tomatoes and bell peppers. 
  • Amino Acids - Are the building blocks for protein, these are essential for your skin. You can find it in leafy greens, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, spinach, oats, lentils and beans.

Radical Radiance Tips  

1. Cold Water Therapy :

This is a ritual that I've had since I was a teenager and I swear by it. I encourage you if its available, to go bathe in the natural cold springs,  fresh waterfalls or even the cold ocean as often as you can. I love going surfing in the winter, It's incredibly rejuvenating!

Otherwise you can adopt this ritual by gently massaging some almond or sesame oil into your skin to facilitate the release of toxins accumulated , and then get in the shower. Finish with a really good cold shower and a patting massage. Trust me this is one of the most powerful anti-aging practices you can implement into your routine.

It not only provides alertness, but it also prevents your skin from being stripped from its natural oils, keeping the pores closed, and keeping the moisture in, meaning shinier, stronger, healthier skin and hair! It increases our immunity as it improves circulation, giving our organs a nice warm love blood massage. Also, it detoxifies the inner organs, reduces wrinkles, fights depression and activates cell renewal. 

2. Longevity Smoothie:

This smoothie is packed with everything you need for inner and outer glow. It provides you with a a boost of anti- oxidants, vitamin C, collagen and good fats! As we age our collagen production decreases. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, it helps give skin strength, plumpness, smoothness and elasticity as well as supporting joint and bone health, strengthening hair and nails. 

RECIPE: 

  • 1 cup of berries  ( i use half blueberries half raspberries)
  • 1 cup nutmilk ( use your favorite, i used almond for this one)
  • 1/2 cup steamed frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tbs cacao power
  • 2 tbs raw almond butter
  • 1 scoop Collagen Powder ( I use vital Proteins)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp rose water 
  • 2 dates

PROCESS:

Blend all ingredients on high. This is a thick creamy smoothie, if you like you can add a little less liquid to make it much thicker into a smoothie bowl, and top it off with granola and fresh fruits and your favorite toppings. I topped mine with it is not too sweet. If you like to add a little sweetener, you can add a little honey or half a banana. Top it off with 1/2 tsp of pistachios, bee pollen, cacao nibs and coconut flakes! 

 

3. Cat Cow : 

This is one of the simplest asanas. Many times because of it's simplicity it is easily dismissed and over looked. But this powerful asana increases vitality and resets our glandular system. The glandular system affects our mood, immunity, aging process, metabolism and how we cope with stress. This asana when done repeatedly helps rebuilds body tissue and bring collagen into your face. Do this exercise everyday for 2 to 5 minutes. It's easy, quick and you can almost do it anywhere.

1. Sit on fours, hands and knees on the floor. 

2. Inhale, arch and puff up your chest towards the sky, lift your head into cow pose.

3. Exhale, curl up your spine pulling your navel towards your spine. Press your hands and knees equally into the earth to curl your spine into cat pose. 

4. Repeat for 2-5 minutes. Start slow and pick up the pace as you feel more comfortable, increasing the energy and the flexibility of your spine. Move with the rhythm of your breath.

5. Finish and rest in child's pose. Observe. 

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4. Vibrancy Infusion : 

Creating nutritive herbal infusions is a great way to support health with our everyday needs. Infusion means to steep, this method is best for delicate parts of the plants such as flowers and leaves. For roots and barks we use other methods like decoctions and tinctures. This collection of nutritive herbs offer potent skin healing properties, they are nourishing, strengthening, circulation enhancing , powerful detoxifiers, anti-inflammatories as well as immune regulators to help you deal with this season allergens. 

RECIPE:

  • 1 tbs burdock root
  • 1 tbs oats straw
  • 1 tbs nettles
  • 1 tsp calendula
  • 1 tsp spearmint or peppermint
  • 1 tbs horsetail 
  • 1 tbs goto kula

PROCESS:

Place all the herbs into a french press with 1 quart of boiling water. Let is steep for at least 4 hours or over night. Press it firmly to extract as much as you can from the herbs. Enjoy cold or hot! Feel free to add or adjust with what you have at hand and your taste preferences. 

5. Teeth Brightening Balm: 

There are too many toxic ingredients in conventional toothpastes. It is very simple to make your own, you only need two ingredients and I promise you after a week of brushing your teeth with this mix your teeth will look radically whiter. The only two ingredients you will need are: coconut oil and baking soda. Coconut oil is an antibacterial, anti fungal and antimicrobial and baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps whiten your teeth and well as cleaning them. Try it for a week and let me know how your teeth look! 

RECIPE:

  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 10 drops of Peppermint oil (optional)
  • Mix the ingredients in a small container until it forms a paste. Add some drops of oil if desired for flavor and aroma. 

Brain, Energy & Mood Booster Superfood Dressing 

This is a delicious , creamy superfood Salad dressing recipe. It is the perfect hearty dressing for these winter days. Warming and enhanced with good fats and Maca which will give you an extra energy and mood boost, radiant skin and balance your winter blues!

Elements:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup White Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Maca
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed Red Pepper

Process:

In a blender combine first the lemon juice, white balsamic, salt, maca and red pepper flakes. Blend. Slowly start adding the Olive oil to emulsify using water to thin out as needed. Use on steamed veggies, raw greens and grains!

Winter Lover Cacao recipe

This Raw Hot Chocolate is a staple in my house in the winter months. Not only does it warms you up on a cold winter night, it also strengthens your immune system with the medicinal powers of mushrooms and enhances your mood. As we all know Cacao is a natural stimulant, it increases circulation and stimulates the brain activity, relaxes your muscles and of course produces that amazing feeling of euphoria that we all LOVE ! 

This mix can be made in a big batch so you can have it at hand and make when ever you need it. It makes around 16 cups.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cacao powder
  • 8 tsp cinnamom
  • 2 tsp chaga mushroom powder
  • 2 tsp cordyceps powder
  • 1 tsp reishi powder
  • 4 tsp Hymalayan salt

(optional 4 tsp cayenne to spice it up! but if you are sharing with your kids i would just add a little bit to your own cup at the end)

Mix all ingredients very well and with a ladle strain so there are no crumbs. If you don't have all the mushrooms just use one, or any of your preference.

Blend one TBS in with a cup of your prefered activated nutmilk , warm up and drink! Your kids will love this one :)

Coconut Matcha

This is one of my favorite, decadent and most delicious treat! Perfect for this winter days because it's filling, full of good fats, chewy, and super sexy!

It has the perfect balance between fats & sugar so you don't get spike in your blood sugar and the great benefits of the magic antioxidant properties of Matcha. Which I have been obsessed way before it was hip!! I used to serve this and matcha lattes at my store 5 years ago when no one else knew what matcha even was :)

Coconut Matcha

  • 1 cups of your favorite activated nutmilk ( i love it with almond or coconut)
  • 1 tsp of high quality matcha ( the brighter green the better!)
  • 1 or 2 dates or figs (dried)
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 1/2 cup young coconut meat

Prepare the matcha with a little bit of hot water to dissolve using a matcha whisk or my tip, is I like to put it on the nespresso frother! Then, combine the ingredients and blend on high, except the coconut milk. Once it it well blended , add the coconut milk and blend on low. The consistensy should be chewy. Enjoy !

Spice up your breakfast

The perfect alchemy between flavor and medicine.

We have a tendency to think that our cravings are our enemies. But cravings are really profound messages to us from the body and if we know how to listen and interpret them, then we can learn a lot about ourselves. They communicate with us the things we are lacking emotionally and physically, our imbalances and our capacity to adapt to our environment.

As we move into the fall and winter seasons our body naturally starts craving warmer, more grounding foods and our cravings for sweeter things increase. By adding sweet vegetables into our diet we help balance that sweet craving and are less likely to choose other not so healthy sweet treats.

There is a lot going on in this recipe in terms of nourishment. We have the soothing rich protein of oats, combined with grounding sweet yams, warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper that promote blood flow and are anti-viral and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric that help strengthen the immune system.

RECIPE:

Ingredients :

(2 servings)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ turmeric powder
  • ¼ cardamom
  • ¼ cup diced sweet potato
  • ¼ cup butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups activated almond milk
  • 1 cup alkaline or purified water
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • Almond butter
  • Raw honey
  • Dash himalayan salt
  • Dash black pepper

Preparation:

  1. 1.Mix all the ingredients in a pot.
  2. 2.Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for approx. 10-15 min. Until vegetables soften and the oats thicken. (Adjust the liquid for desired consistency).
  3. 3.Once the vegetables are soft, serve in a bowl, add 1 tsp of raw almond butter, honey to taste and finish of with a dash of turmeric and cinnamon powder.

Now you know why this is one of my favorite seasonal breakfasts? Once you mastered this recipe, which is super simple, you can adapt the vegetables to what is local and in season.

Are you feeling Overwhelmed?

Here are 4 of my favorite rituals + recipes for stress:

  1. Breath Work or Diaphragmatic Breathing:

This can be done anywhere, laying down or sitting, in the car or at the office. It is a great exercise to encourage the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to activate. The diaphragm is directly below the heart so when we do this breathing technique the diaphhragm gently massages the heart and activates the (PNS).

  1. Place your hands gently on your belly and start breathing with ease.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Take long deep breaths and imagine your belly expanding as you inhale and contracting as you exhale.
  4. Visualize the air coming in and out through your nose and coming down and filling your belly with breath. If you are getting no movement on your belly , gently press with your hands.
  5. Find a rhythm. Inhale and exhale equally. Do this for 5 min.
  6. Observe

2. Drink a cup of warm Golden Milk -

Golden milk has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine in India to promote health and well being. I used to make this at my store 5 years ago when no one knew about it unless you were a yogi. I love that it has become so popular now that I can even find it at my local coffee shop! Turmeric has amazing healing and nourishing properties, it's anti- inflammatory, fights colds and flus,promotes a restful sleep and settles the mind. It is a great ritual to implement before you go to bed.

Golden Milk Recipe:

  1. Add ¼ tsp of turmeric powder , pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper to ¼ cup of water in a pot and heat until it becomes a paste—stirring occasionally to help dissolve the turmeric powder
  2. Add 1 cup milk (traditionally is made with cow’s milk, but I like to make mine vegan with any activated nut milk you prefer) to the turmeric paste
  3. Add 1-2 tsp of either ghee or coconut oil
  4. Add 1 tsp of honey once the milk has cooled enough to touch

You can make a bigger batch of the paste and keep it in your refrigerator for up to a week.

3. Bath Ritual:

Create a sacred space in your bathroom by lighting some candles, burning some sage or Palo santo and immersing yourself in a bath of essential oils and crystals. My pick crystals for stress and relaxation are Clear or Rose quartz, Amethyst and Citrine. You can add some Epsom salts, which helps relax your muscles, rose petals and a few drops of rose, lavender or frankincense essential oil. Turn off and relax.

TIP:

When I take a bath I also like to exfoliate my body with epsom salts by rubbing them over my damp skin. The magnesium not only relaxes the muscles but also removes dead cells, helping your skin look healthier and feel softer. Also I take this opportunity to make a simple facemask while I lay and relax.

Facemask recipe:

1.Mix 1 tablespoon each of Epsom salt, olive oil, and raw honey. 2.Stir in 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. 3.Gently massage into skin, using circular motions. 4.Leave on 15 minutes. 5.Rinse

4. Change your perception of stress

The way we perceive a situation and the story we tell ourselves about it will directly impact the way our body responds to it. So try speaking to yourself with a softer voice. Not projecting into the future, creating anxiety about something that might never even happen.

Try to stay present, flexible, soft, and optimistic and see how your level of stress can just be reduced by only changing your perception of it. Your thinking impacts your behaviors, while your behaviors impact your thinking.

"Stress resides neither in the situation nor in the person, it depends on a transaction between the two." (Dr Richard Lazarus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist )