Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fall-spiced Water in My Eco-Jarz

Once it gets colder we forget that we need to keep drinking water to stay hydrated. Love my ecojarz lid - enjoying my fall-spiced water today.  Filtered water with sliced apple, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Homemade spiced hot chocolate to end the day with.

About 2 cups almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cinnamon, nutmeg, & cardamom

Heat milk and chocolate on low heat over the stove until hot. Stir in maple syrup and spices and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We're Homeowners!

Life has been a rollercoaster the past 2 years...but I've been LOVING the ride! Lammer and I closed on our NEW home today and I couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter of our lives. Even though this has been an uber-stressful few months getting this to fall into place, it's all really great stress to have. I'm ever-so grateful and because of that, I'm able to really enjoy all that's happening. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Contrast Shower

In the colder months I love taking contrast showers to improve circulation.  My showers are super hot then I'll turn the dial to freezing cold for at least 20 seconds! It's sooo invigorating and such a silly way to start the day.  I always giggle and squeal from how crazy it feels!! It can help reduce muscle soreness by moving lactic acid out of the muscles so I love it for my sore neck and shoulders or after a hard workout. Some people also think this type of shower can help detoxify the body and improve the immune system. Either way it's energizing and gets my blood flowing, let me know if you give it a try!   

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cereal, jacked up.

 Every so often I like to treat myself to a bowl of cereal but when I do I love doctoring it up! 
I blend half a banana, a tablespoon of maple syrup, chia seeds, maca powder & raw cacao powder with almond (or coconut) milk. I love gluten free Puffins so I pour the sweet, frothy milk-mixture on top of them. My fav!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homemade Granola

One of my favorite things to throw in the oven is a fresh batch of granola. It warms the house up with such a delicious scent and leaves you with handfuls of sweet treats for days to come.  It's best to use raw, organic ingredients whenever possible.  These measurements are flexible; don't worry too much about being exact. Get creative and use any combination of healthy ingredients to make your own flavor. *If you're grain-free, feel free to follow this recipe without the rolled oats but load up on more nuts/seeds & dried fruits!

2 cups rolled oats, aka old fashion oats (gluten free oats if GF)
1 cup raw nuts, chopped (I love sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc.)
1/2 cup raw seeds (I love sunflower, pumpkin, chia, etc.)
1/4 cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional, I love dried apple during the fall!)
3 tablespoons grade-B maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-2 egg whites (optional, but if you want a chunkier granola go for it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large pinch sea salt
sprinkle of cinnamon
handful of raisins

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients (except raisins) into a mixing bowl, using your hands to toss and coat.  The coconut oil may be solid, but your hands should warm it up so that there aren't any chunks left in the mixture.  Things will get sticky and messy, but that's the fun part about it!  Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted.  Give the mixture a stir and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes, stirring another time.  When the granola starts to brown a bit, it's ready.  Toss raisins into the granola and let cool before serving or storing.  This will keep in an airtight container in a dry place for up to 2 weeks.  I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator.   ENJOY!

I'm psyched to have recently added goat and sheep milk's yogurt into my diet (with NO negative dairy side effects!), so I treated myself to a lovely parfait with the granola I made, as you can see above!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Naps are Nice

Even though we gained an hour with day light savings recently, I'm all thrown off.  I've been getting to bed even earlier than usual (my bed time is a strict 10pm, no questions!), and have been napping as often as I can.  Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of napping for long periods of time each day, so even as little as a 15-minute snooze during my day has been a blessing.  I can't believe how invigorated I feel after getting a little shut-eye.  Honor your body this fall.  When it's tired, give it rest.  It's darker our earlier so that we head to bed earlier.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Faux Candy Apples

Candy apples...sigh.  So good!  Here is a much healthier version of these sweet treats:

6 crispy organic apples

1/2 cup well-stirred smooth natural peanut butter, at room temperature 
1/2 cup brown rice syrup, at room temperature 
6 skewers 
Parchment or wax paper 

 Stick skewers in the bottoms of the apples. Place a piece of parchment paper over a cutting board. Stir peanut butter and brown rice syrup together in a small sauce pan. Gently heat over low heat, stirring constantly with a fork, just until smooth and heated through. If it seems stiff, turn the heat off immediately and add a little extra brown rice syrup, until it’s fluid again. Use a spoon to spread peanut butter caramel over the entire apple. Place apple on the parchment or wax paper and place in fridge.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What Makes Me Happy Right Now: Random acts of kindness, Hanumen album & mushroom risotto.

Today, my lovely wellness coordinator, Jamilia, hosted her own seminar, Random Acts of Kindness.  I am SO proud of her and her amazing efforts.  The seminar has me bursting with gratitude and anxious to spread kindness throughout my life.

1.  Random Acts of Kindness.  Jamilia's presentation made me want to practice kindness a heck of a lot more than I already am.  Not only to others, but also to myself.  I am excited to think of different ways that I can practice more kindness in my everyday routine.

2.  The last two tracks on The Hanumen album.  The last two tracks on the Hanumen album have been on repeat on my phone for the past 3 days...and I'm still not sick of it.  It's so gosh darn beautiful.  Going to see Jai Uttal & Gaura Vani tonight for a kirtan, eeeeee!!!

3.  Mushroom risotto.  Growing up Italian, you'd think I would have eaten loads of risotto.  Nope.  Not in my family.  Weird, ey?  I've been recently experimenting with this creamy goodness in my kitchen and came up with a yummy shiitake risotto.  I think it still has some work but in the meantime I'm totally enjoying every delicious bite.

4.  This inspiring thought:  Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life. 

5.  The leaves changing.  The fall foliage is as it's best like, right now at this very moment. As an artist I can't get enough of some of the brilliant colors that are all around!  Such a treat to the eyes!

Back in March of 2012 I decided to do these posts because it's really easy to be suckered into negative thoughts when we're surrounded by stressful media, unhappy people and whining Facebook status updates. My guru, Swami Vishnudevananda says that for every negative thought you have, replace it with 2-3 positive ones. I love this concept and practice it regularly. I usually find the most effective way of climbing out of a negative attitude is to think about something that I'm grateful for. Feelings of gratitude really lift you up. In honor of this concept, I'm starting a post with this same theme and will blog it regularly. I'll list a few things that make me happy, lift me up and keep me smiling! Let's face it, world peace is something that will never happen. However, I can create my own little world of peace and happiness in my mind through my thoughts! Please give it a try as well and share how it affects you.