Simple Solstice Sweet

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IMG_0726

Gluten-free

Dairy-free

Raw

Super-simple

5-ingredient, no cook cookies.

 

~ 1 cup almond meal (or grind your own)

~ 1 tbsp honey

~ 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

~ zest of 1 large orange

~ 2 tbsp juice of the orange

 

some additional options:

1/2 tsp camu camu berry powder

pinch of sea or himalayan salt

1 tbsp cacao powder

Goji berries or incan golden berries

 

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until mixed.

Press into bite-sized balls or coins and refrigerate leftovers (if there are any :)

This recipe makes 12-15 bite-sized cookies.

 

Get creative and make cookie sandwiches with apricot or raspberry jam filling or a homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread!

From Injury to Opportunity: The Wisdom of Your Injuries

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Once again nursing an injury, I’m contemplating the nature of injury to alter our course in life.

It was my spinal injury years ago that moved me from my career as a personal trainer, into the wild and wonderful realm of complementary alternative medicine, plants, yoga, meditation, Reiki, and Qigong.

Needing the help of a chiropractor yesterday to gently encourage my ribs back into alignment, I had the pleasure of hearing the practitioner’s story of injury.

Prior to beginning his planned journey into pharmacy, he had experienced a compression fracture in his neck. Told surgery was his best option, he had decided to visit a chiropractor instead, hoping for a non-surgical solution. He found relief in his chosen method of care.

His injury, and the issues that came with it, altered his path from pharmacist to chiropractor; a chiropractor who is compassionate to the discomfort and struggle of his clients.

“Emergence through emergency,” Dr. Jean Houston calls it. Often these emergencies wake us up to a higher calling, a spiritual path, our life’s work, or simply a change in perspective or lifestyle.

Sometimes my injuries give me a gentle nudge when I’ve wandered off course. I had a deadline a few weeks ago to prepare my second book for submission to agents. There were revisions to attend to and a couple missing chapters. I committed to write every day until it was complete.

I was on track beautifully and then suddenly I was tugged away by my desire to do more yoga, work out, plan the upcoming detox program for my clients, write articles – everything but book 2. I returned home one Sunday morning after a nice long 2-hour weight and cardio session at the local Y, followed by a satisfying trip to the organic grocery store. I made it through weights, cardio, a little post-workout yoga stretch, and groceries no problem, only to collapse on my front step from back pain.

It had been a long time since back pain had put me on the ground. When I asked, “Why now?” The answer was immediate and obvious: I had a deadline. I stayed put the following week, writing and resting, and my back healed quicker than ever. Though still not complete on my chapters – hence the ribs – I am laser-focused now!

We often see our injuries as set-backs, they slow us down. We fail to see that is the gift: to slow down, consider other options, possibilities, directions, or simply rest and be still.

Pay attention to your injuries. Give them the care they require and see if perhaps there isn’t a course-change in your immediate future.

Rather than curse the injury and struggle against it, be open to what is happening and what is possible; be open to what comes. Chances are, something is about to shift in your life.

 

 

The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Restoring balance naturally

Restoring balance naturally

 

Yogi Bhajan once said, “Some people ask me, “You are a Master, why do you do Sadhana?” I said, “To remain a Master!”

 

I experienced 2 injuries in the last few weeks. One left me in a heap on the floor and the other challenged each breath I took. I spent 3 minutes just trying to blow my nose this morning.

I was staggered at the events and my physical state with all my years of healthful practices: yoga, nutritious food and herbs, daily meditation. I had, however, neglected the healing practices that had helped me recover from a similar injury years ago. I’ve been in a great place for a long time and slowly let my practice go.

A client came to see me last week. I hadn’t see her in a while and she was not doing particularly well. I asked if she was doing any of her practices. She replied no.

We spend time finding and creating the practices that help us feel nourished and vibrant and whole, yet often when we get busy or feel good, we drop those very practices.

If something brings us such radiant well-being, why would we not make that the most central focus of each day. Why would we let those practices slip away until our state – mental, emotional, or physical – deteriorates enough for us to need to return to those practices?

The majority of female clients that I see share a common intention: self care. But we wait until we are struggling before we seek out methods of practice.

Don’t wait. Choose your form of self-care – whether it’s yoga, qigong, meditation, salt baths, aromatherapy, dance, singing, tea, the great outdoors, writing, painting, cooking, or self-massage – and make it your daily ritual.

Choose your practice. Make space for it. And allow it to nourish you everyday, as the most important meal of the day.

Earl Grey Massage Balm

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I love the smell of freshly steeped earl grey tea. How delicious a balm would that make?

Very.

I crafted a simple version:

1 cup refined coconut oil (solid at room temperature)

several tea bags of earl grey tea or 1/4 cup loose tea

*essential oil of bergamot

containers with lids

(refined coconut oil has the coconutty scent removed, allowing a cleaner earl grey scent. If you don’t have refined coconut oil you can use regular coconut oil… it will be exotic, like earl grey went to Tahiti!)

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melt the oil in a double boiler set-up

add the tea bags or loose tea

stir and heat for 30 minutes or so (the oil should change colour and take on the aroma of the tea)

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remove from heat and allow to cool

drain the loose tea using cheesecloth or a thin cloth

or squeeze the tea bags to remove excess oil

 

(Reserve the tea bags and tie the cloth ends together to create a tea pouch for the bath. Drop in your evening tub for a therapeutic soak).

Add essential oil of bergamot to the strained oil. 30-40 drops or to your liking. (Add the essential oil, then drip a drop of the mixture on your skin for an aroma test. If you’d like it stronger, add more essential oil).

Pour the blend into containers and allow to cool completely before capping.P1160250

Overnight the oil should return to solid form. You can speed this process along by using the fridge or placing them outdoors in cooler weather.

This is a simple, infused coconut oil massage balm. It will remain solid at 72 degrees and below. Above that temperature, it will begin to liquify. Popping it in the fridge will return it to its solid form.

Rub between the palms and massage where desired. A great bedtime massage oil.P1160253

 

Bergamot is known to be analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, and assists with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

*Bergamot may cause a reaction known as photosensitivity in certain individuals. It is advisable not to expose areas of skin with bergamot oil to direct sunlight.

 

If you want to make a lip or body balm:

infuse your tea in sweet almond oil and after draining the tea, add beeswax to the heated oil and melt.

Use this recipe for vanilla bean-infused balm as a guide.

 

This creates a silky smooth balm that will keep its consistency in warm weather and makes a delicious lip balm.

Enjoy!

Post-Workout Remineralizing Elixir

Post-workout remineralizing elixir
Post-workout remineralizing elixir

Post-workout remineralizing elixir

 

This is my go-to creation after I’ve had my daily dose of sweat.

Elixir base:

1/4 cup mixture of nettle, horsetail, oat straw, alfalfa (I use Silica Tea Blend from the Light Cellar)

1 tsp dried goji berries

1/2 tbsp juniper berries*

1 tbsp chaga mushroom

decoct in 2 cups of water over low to medium heat (gentle simmer) for at least 20 minutes

remove from heat and allow to cool a bit

 

Add to blender:

1 tsp cacao paste

1/2 tsp cacao butter

1/2 tsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp shilajit powder

a pinch of sea salt

1/2 – 1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Add 1 cup of decoction from above to the blender and blend until all ingredients are melted.

Enjoy!

Chill leftover decoction for use in your morning smoothie or reheat for your next elixir.

For a cold weather or kapha-pacifying version: add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper powder to the blender ingredients

 

*Always consult your physician before trying new herbs, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not recommended to take juniper berries.

 

 

Rise and Shine Smoothie

Rise and Shine Smoothie
Rise and Shine Smoothie

Rise and Shine Smoothie

 

A nutritious way to greet the day.

Blend:

1 cup orange or mango juice

1 small handful of raspberries

1-2 tbsp sea buckthorn purée (I use solberry)*

Enjoy!

 

Replace raspberries with 1/4 tsp vanilla powder and a little honey for a sweet twist.

 

*As well as being high in vitamin C, sea buckthorn contains vitamins E, A, B1, B2, B5, D, P, K, and a number of minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols (known for their cholesterol-lowering properties).

Chocolate Almond Blueberry Oat Parfait

Chocolate almond blueberry parfait
Chocolate almond blueberry parfait

Chocolate almond blueberry oat parfait

… or as I like to call it… breakfast!

The kids love this one.

Soak 1 cup of organic quick-cooking steel cut oats in 1 cup chocolate almond beverage (use plain or vanilla almond milk, nut milk or coconut milk of choice)

Stir in 1 tsp vanilla powder

Let soak at least 30min

Layer blueberries (or fruit of choice) on the bottom of your dish

Spoon a layer of oat mixture

Add another layer of fruit

Another layer of oat mixture

Top with slivered almonds or more fruit (I drizzled raspberry syrup on top)

Eat immediately or chill and serve later.

Enjoy!

 

Creative combos:

Peaches, cinnamon, and vanilla milk, topped with pecans.

Cherries, chocolate milk and vanilla

Mangoes, nutmeg, and vanilla milk, drizzled with honey (mango lassi oatmeal!)

 

 

Dreamsicles

Dreamsicles
Dreamsicles

Dreamsicles

2 tbsp sea buckthorn purée

1 cup orange juice (I used an organic orange/mango juice)

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

Blend the ingredients briefly and immediately pour into popsicle molds.

Pour into ice cube trays for a flavourful addition to water.

Freeze until set and enjoy!

 

As well as being high in vitamin C, sea buckthorn contains vitamins E, A, B1, B2, B5, D, P, K, and a number of minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols (known for their cholesterol-lowering properties).

A super boost to a summer staple.

Radiant Skin Smoothie

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Radiant skin smoothie

Radiant skin smoothie

1 tsp incan spirulina (or blue green algae/chlorella of choice)

3 capsules marine phytoplankton (opened and emptied into blender, capsules discarded)

1 apple

1/3 large cucumber

2 tbsp sea buckthorn purée

1 cup spring water

Place all ingredients into your blender and pulse away.

Drink immediately. Fresh, lively, cooling smoothie.

Beauty Medicine!

Incan Spirulina

Grown high in the Andes with glacial water, incan spirulina has the highest content of phycocyanin available on the market. Phycocyanin is a blue pigment reported to induce the production of stem cells found in bone marrow. Incan spirulina also boasts chlorophyll, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. Chlorophyll helps rid the body of toxins, which, when built up, can manifest as skin rashes, pimples, and other topical issues.

Marine Phytoplankton

Go to the source. The source of life on the planet. These tiny microorganisms convert energy from the sun into essential nutrients. These micronutrients have been reported to assist with cell detoxification. Phytoplankton is high in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, as well as assist with cellular function.

Sea Buckthorn

Considered a nutritionally-complete food, this berry packs a lot of punch. It is a natural source of Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, and… wait for it… Omega-7. Wait, what? Omega-7?  Palmitoleic acid (Omega-7) is a rare constituent found in sea buckthorn berries. It also happens to be a component of human skin. That’s why this particular plant source of vitamin C is touted for skin regeneration and repair. As well as being high in vitamin C, sea buckthorn contains vitamins E, A, B1, B2, B5, D, P, K, as well as a number of minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols (known for their cholesterol-lowering properties). Said to originate in Asia over 4 million years ago, sea buckthorn is a hearty shrub and happily grows in many regions today, including Canada. Find it here.

Cucumber

With their high water content, cucumbers are excellent at hydrating the body while helping it eliminate toxins. Leave the peel on to get added vitamin C. Cucumbers also contain silica, beneficial in strengthening connective tissues. Our little green friends contain a variety of vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium and fibre.

Apple

Apples have been known for their detoxing benefits for centuries. Good news for us as this is one fruit we can always seem to find in season somewhere. Many cleanses, detoxes and fasting programs – whether for dietary or meditative benefits – involve consuming only water and apples. This fruit is a rich source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, and makes a sweet addition to your green smoothie.

Spring Water

Enjoy the benefits of pure, fresh, living water. Find a spring near you.

 

Top 5 Beauty Medicines

Beauty medicine
Beauty medicine

Beauty medicine

5 of my personal favourite therapies:

1. OJAS Multani Mitti soap.

The scent just. makes. me. happy.

And the bar is beautiful in the shower or bath.

 

2. Gingerlily Poetic Pits by Livinglibations

Intoxicating essential oil blend when applied to my pits makes me welcome sweating so I can enjoy the exotic aroma.

I also apply this deodorant to my pulse points as perfume.

 

3. Shirodhara massage

This ayurvedic treatment is heaven for the head.

Feel all tension melt from the face and mind as warm oils condition hair and promote radiant well-being.

 

4. Fragonia essential oil

I fell in love with this plant oil at first smell.

Powerful heart medicine, this Ganesha of essential oils helps women remove obstacles and restore harmony.

 

5. The Mystic Masala Tridoshic Candle

Looks as beautiful as it smells.

This natural candle carries me through inspired writing sessions and heart-opening yoga practices.