Gathering with people whom I consider to be part of my heart family, my soul family, my tribe, tend to be near and dear to me. They speak to a part of my heart and soul on a level beyond which I am capable of fully expressing using written language. One way I choose to express myself is through the food I bring and what I feel called to make.
I hadn’t planned on making this dish, in particular, but something resonated inside me that said “yes.” Fragrant, sensual, appealing to not only the palate but something deep inside us…
Fragrant Rice Pudding (serves a lot)
Ingredients:3 c. uncooked, rinsed Jasmine Rice
2 c. water
4 c. coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
handful of cardamom seeds/pods
1 TB fennel seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
2 pinches of lavender
zest of 1 orange
8 oz. golden raisins
maple whiskey (enough to cover the raisins)
chopped pistachios (to taste)
- Soak the golden raisins in enough maple whiskey to cover them.
- Place the rice, water, and coconut milk in a large non-stick pan.
- Add the fennel, sea salt, lavender and stir.
- Wrap the cinnamon sticks and cardamom in cheesecloth. Place the bundle in with the rice.
- Cook over medium to low heat, stirring frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice becomes tender. This took ~45min – 1 hr. Think “dessert risotto.”
- Strain the raisins and add them to the cooked rice mixture. Add the chopped pistachios and top with orange zest. Stir.
- Place in a bowl for family style serving, or in individual bowls for an added touch. Edible flowers, if you have access to them, would elevate the dish even more.
This can be served warm or cool.
You know what to do. 😉
“This river has ancestral and spiritual importance to the Lenca people because it’s inhabited by the female spirits. These female spirits guard the rivers. The [River] is also used for growing food and for gathering medicinal plants and is vital to the entire population downstream. I believe it signifies life.” ~Berta Caceres
I saw this video on a friend’s FB page the other day and was moved to tears by it. Why, you may ask?
We, as a society at large, have come to value things more than experiences, certain ancestral traditions, lives, or the earth. In so doing, we at times have chosen to turn our backs on, commit atrocities to, and destroy an incredible lineage of wisdom, of knowledge, of connection that is, in my opinion, absolutely paramount to maintain, to honor, and to continue to pass on to future generations.
It is our elders, all of our elders, who often hold the keys to immense wisdom, knowledge of and connection to the land far beyond what most of us even fathom on a “good day”. I, personally, would love to spend some time in the presence of these incredibly beautiful and inspired people. Allowing space for the preservation and continued practice of indigenous cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles, has become a huge passion of mine and one that I find challenging to discuss without feeling emotional about.
We are so incredibly blessed that there are people who are waking up. There are people who see the value in the old ways, who feel it within their very hearts. There are people who are choosing to walk a warrior path honoring all life here on earth and honoring our Mother.
Why does it matter?
– respect for all living creatures
– stewardship of the earth — Do you want to eat money, coal, and oil; or would you prefer to eat food? Do you want to have clean water to drink? Clean air to breathe? Or, water that’s so polluted nothing lives in it? Air that’s so rife with chemicals and pollution that it’s challenging to breathe?
What can you do about it?
Educate yourself. Live a life that you are passionate about and share it with the world. Embrace your warrior heart and start taking care of yourself if you are not already doing so. Eat locally. Drink clean, spring water. Recycle and reduce your waste. Dance the dance that only you are capable of dancing. Be willing to see what the eyes cannot. Stand up for what you believe in, not from the mind, but from the sacred heart.
I learned, the day after watching this video, that Berta Caceres was murdered. May her legacy light the way to all she has left behind.
I recently shared a photo of a green drink I’ve been incorporating into my biology on a daily basis. Many of you asked “what’s in it?”. I’m excited to share with you the incredible recipe that has numerous health benefits, including:
- building the blood and yin
- harmonizing the liver
- lubricating the intestines
- beautifies the skin
- reducing heat and moistening dryness
- aiding digestion
- assisting with heavy metal removal
- immune enhancing activity
- balancing blood sugar imbalances
Serves 1. All ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted.
2 granny smith apples
1-2″ piece of ginger
1/3 – 1/2 bunch of red kale
1 c. chopped pineapple
1 TB chlorella powder
- Juice the apples, ginger, and kale.
- Place in a blender: the juice, avocado, pineapple, and chlorella powder.
- Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy. To aid digestion, assimilation, and absorption, chew the smoothie (or swish it around your mouth a few times) before swallowing.
Why have we become so disconnected when we’re seemingly more connected than ever? I share my perspective here as well as 4 tips to help you reconnect.
How do we go about surviving the holidays? Are holidays even meant to be survived? Or, are they something that should be enjoyed? Chances are you may be stretching yourself thin — financially, physically, emotionally — by over-committing yourself this holiday season. What does that lead to?
- a run down immune system
- emotional eating
- over eating…
Does this resemble your experience of the holidays? If so, welcome to “Your Brutally Honest, and Somewhat Hedonistic, Holiday Survival Guide.” Without further adieu, here are some tips to help you not only survive the holiday season, but thrive this holiday season.
- Be honest with yourself.
If you’re dreading that visit with Aunt Jane, buying John Doe a gift because he always buys you one and you feel it’s something you have to do, or feel like you have to attend all of the holiday parties you’ve been invited to…Stop. Listen to yourself and what your body-heart-mind is telling you. If you really do not want to visit Aunt Jane, buy John Doe a gift, or attend every holiday party, admit it to yourself.
Now that you’ve sat down and gotten real with yourself, you can make a choice as to what you want to do. What is going to serve you most? What is going to make you happy and healthy? What will allow you to honor your truth? If that means not buying John Doe a gift, don’t buy one. If it means only attending three parties instead of twenty, just attend three. If you really don’t want to visit Aunt Jane, don’t visit her. Might there be backlash from this? Sure, but you can approach it from the perspective of honoring yourself, your time, your health, and your energy. What people think of you has nothing to do with you.
- Be willing to accept your decision.
If you feel the consequences of not visiting Aunt Jane over shadow the benefits of staying home, for example, then I would encourage you to accept it and realize that you have made the conscious decision to visit her. It is your choice. Man up or woman up. When we consciously choose to do, or not do, something, we become accountable for our own actions, the obligatory becomes a decision, and we may become less likely to project resentment and anger towards others.
- Embrace the overindulging.
How many times have you heard people beat themselves up, call themselves fat, disgusting, and other derogatory terms for overindulging on Grandma’s rum-soaked fruit cake, or Ma’s tiramisu, or the roast beast? Probably quite a bit. If you choose to overindulge, embrace it, bless it, enjoy it, and move on. Beating yourself up like Mike Tyson or Conor McGregor is in the boxing ring with you isn’t going to do you any favors. Accept your overindulgence. Enjoy it. Start clean tomorrow.
- Ask for what you really want.
Oftentimes, people are afraid to voice their heart’s desires out of fear of being judged by others around them. If you don’t say what is on your heart-mind, if you don’t express yourself and what it is you want — whether it’s a date night out, a massage, that ring you’ve been eyeing at the jewelers, or something that was made from nature, from the heart — chances are, you’re pretty unlikely to receive it. You may wind up like this poor girl:
Exercise, particularly in the form of working-in, can be a fantastic way to relieve stress, increase energy, and stave off some of those holiday pounds. Find something you enjoy doing and go do it. Taking an hour everyday to get out in nature is a great way to ground yourself. If you’re too busy for an hour in nature, then I’d recommend spending two hours in nature.
All those late nights will catch up with you. Set a limit for yourself, honor your biological circadian rhythm and get thy arse to bed at a reasonable hour. You cannot make-up sleep or get caught up on sleep. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Want to have the energy for those parties? Do you want to remain grounded during your visit with Aunt Jane or calm, cool, and collected whilst all around you are playing parking wars at the nearest mall or Whole Foods? Sleep. Seriously. It will help your ability to remain emotionally centered during emotionally charged times.
- Receive a massage or draw a bath…or both!
Yes, de-stress. It’s vitally important to your sanity and your health. Treat yourself to at least 60 minutes on the table while your highly qualified and exceptionally talented massage therapist works out the stresses of your day. Draw a bath, scent it with your favorite essential oils, add some Epsom salts, close your eyes and allow yourself to drift away.
- Intimately connect with your partner or yourself.
In other words, have sex or make love, practice tantra, with your partner or yourself. Mmhmm. Yep, I went there. We were given bodies to experience all that human life has to offer — including pleasure. Not only does it feel great, it also relieves stress, burns calories, can boost your mood, increase circulation and give you a natural glow, help you fall asleep, and develop a more intimate relationship with yourself and your partner. Psst — it’s also an opportunity to ask for and show your partner what you like or explore yourself and what you like.
Before your panties get all in a wad, herbs can mean many things. Some days, there’s nothing more relaxing than coming home, slipping into your favorite pair of pjs, plopping thy wonderful self upon the couch and enjoying a cup of tea. For immune-fortification effects, add some reishi, chaga, astragalus, or he shou wu to your cuppa or your smoothie. Check out one of my favorite recipes – Winter Wonderland. Likewise, if ganja is up your alley and helps to take the edge off, among numerous other benefits, by all means enjoy.
- Bonus. Drink and spread the holiday cheer.
If drinking water and green smoothies isn’t up your alley, or your friends and family’s alley, then check out this amazing holiday beverage from Meaghan Sinclair, owner and alchemist of Boston-based Booze Epoque.
2 ounces rye
1 ounce Ancho Reyes (ancho chili liqueur)
1 ounce honey syrup (one part honey to one part water)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cut fresh apple
1 slice lemon peel
1 lemon slice
2.5 ounces dry hard cider
Muddle fresh apple, lemon peel, lemon juice and honey syrup in bottom of cocktail shaker. Add rye and Ancho Reyes and shake over ice. Strain into highball glass with fresh ice. Add lemon slice and top with dry hard cider.
1 ounce honey
2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce lemon juice
pinch: cinnamon, cayenne powder, clove, allspice, brown sugar
lemon and apple slice to garnish
Add honey, apple cider, lemon juice, brown sugar and spices to a highball glass, stir together. Add ice. Top with club soda and stir once more. Garnish with lemon and apple slice.
Who doesn’t love a little music to dance to accompanied by some killer fig goodies that are too good to not dance about while eating?!
These delectable little figgy balls of chocolate covered heaven hit up both the sweet and savory sides at the same time. Did I mention they’re covered in chocolate? No?
Psst…they’re covered in chocolate!
While I wouldn’t recommend over-indulging, you can definitely allow yourself to indulge. These Getting Figgy with it treats are all organic, all non-GMO, all natural, preservative-free, superfood goodness.
Are you drooling yet? I am.
10 oz of dried Turkish figs
11 oz of dried back mission figs
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
a few pinches of sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan)
dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
5 TB Purium’s organic coconut oil (melted)
4 TB Ojio’s raw cacao powder
1 tsp. lucuma powder
Remove the stems from the figs. Place the figs in a food processor and process until you have a mass of sticky, ooey-gooey, fig newton-like yumminess. Add the curry power, cardamom, and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse to incorporate the spices throughout.
Slightly wet your hands and roll the mixture into approximately 30 balls. You can then roll the balls in the coconut flakes.
To make the chocolate sauce:
Combine the coconut oil, cacao powder, lucuma powder, and remaining 2 pinches of sea salt in a bowl. Gently whisk until well combined.
Dip/roll the fig balls into the chocolate sauce and place on wax or parchment paper. Allow to set in the fridge for approximately 1 hr.
Then, put on some tunes and Get Figgy with it!
PS – You can also change the spices to incorporate what suits your taste buds and mood.
How are you at taking care of, well, you? Are you caring for yourself as well as you could be or should be? I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I fall short of nourishing myself. After mildly injuring myself last week, I found myself asking myself those questions.
If we have a bit too much go-go and do-do in our lives, then we may find ourselves setting ourselves up for the opportunity for a bit of doodoo to land in our face, our lap, or on the bottom of our shoes. When that happens, life can become rather stinky. To help keep the roses smelling rosy and the air fresh and crisp (Don’t you just love autumn?), to find more balance and nourish yourself, check out these 10 tips:
1. Drink quality water.
A lot of seemingly unconnected symptoms may be connected to dehydration. Drink water and you may find yourself feeling better. A good rule of thumb, and this is just a guideline mind you, everyone has their own unique needs, is to drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water. This is different for those who use kg for bodyweight…in that case it’s closer to a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs, a guideline is to drink 90 ounces water. Again, this is just a rough guideline. You may need more or less depending on your body and its needs. By the way, if it’s not clear, it’s not water, it’s food.
2. Eat quality, wholesome food from healthy plants and animals.
You are what you eat. If you eat diseased animal, you get diseased animal. If you eat diseased plants, you get diseased animal. If you eat pesticide laden food, you get a toxic animal. If you eat crap, well, you get crap. Got it? It’s not necessary to be perfect all the time. Who doesn’t enjoy a treat every now and then? I’d recommend aiming to eat well and healthy 80% of the time.
Three of our favorite nourishing foods (note, foods, not meals) are the following:
- Cate Stillman‘s Boo Candy to help ward off colds and mucous
- Turmeric Milk
- Beef Bone Broth. Although I usually keep mine to the bare basics, here’s a “recipe” from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Not only are they nourishing from a nutritional standpoint, they are also what I would consider “soul food.”
3. Develop a relationship with your food.
Turn the TV off. Set the computer and iThingys aside. Put the newspaper, magazine, or book down. Disconnect from your disconnections and connect with your food and the people who may be sitting in front of or next to you. You may find yourself chewing your food more thoroughly, tasting what you are eating, getting more full sooner, and maybe, just maybe sharing a conversation. I would invite you to consider chewing your food until it is liquid or nearly so. As Paul Chek says, “Drink your food. Chew your water.”
That’s a shocker! Yes, we need sleep. Quality sleep. How well and how long you sleep for you (everyone has their individual needs), will impact your health and well-being. If you’ve been experiencing yourself short of temper, prone to emotional outbursts, facing difficultly thinking clearly, feeling sluggish in the gym…sleep, or lack thereof, may be a contributing factor.
In my opinion, don’t just move. Ask yourself why you are moving your body. What are you moving for? What are you hoping to get out of moving your body? Are you beating yourself up in the gym or doing endless hours of cardio? Are you burning yourself out? Maybe you need to slow down and invite more yin-like movements into your day. High intensity go-go, more, more, harder, harder, and faster, faster isn’t often what our bodies need. They need balance. If your life and job are super stressful, maybe stressing yourself physiologically is pushing you over the edge. Check out these videos by my dear teacher and friend Benny Fergusson of Cohesion Gym for a quick glimpse into this topic. Although I see it far less often, maybe you need to move more. If you’re finding difficultly finding balance, I invite you to reach out to a holistic movement specialist who can guide you to bring balance back into your movement and your life.
Click here for Part 2, after you watch the videos.