EASY Warm Winter Food

Everyone likes a hot bowl of something comforting that feels like a warm hug, right? Especially in the winter! There have been times when we’ve been snowed in and craving that nourishing bowl of comfort but without fresh groceries to create a stew or soup.  But when you have a stocked pantry, you can create some really nice dishes to suit the cravings and stoke your inner fire to keep you cozy and warm.

I want to share with you two of my favorite and EASY dishes with you.  The first is Kanjee, which is an old rice-based dish and the second is a savory  Oatmeal soup.  Both are made with ingredients you already have in your pantry and fridge, no need to do extra shopping.

Kanjee is an old Indian dish, used in Ayurveda as a healing food.  When brown rice is cooked until it splits and starts to break down, it becomes easier for your gut to digest. The addition of ground ginger, sea salt and turmeric makes it warming, anti-inflammatory and cleansing.

Kanjee is very easy to make and it’s ready in about an hour.  It’s an excellent dish to enjoy if you are under the weather and I’ve made batches of it to eat for breakfast in the morning – reheating it with a bit of coconut milk and adding cinnamon and raisins.

Magical Kanjee

6 cups filtered water
1 cup organic brown rice
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Rinse the rice and set aside. Bring the water, sea salt and spices to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the rice, give it a stir and bring the water back up to boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pan. Simmer for 1 hour until the rice is split and has soaked up all the liquid.  Yields almost 5 cups of rice.

Enjoy Kanjee as is or add a handful of fresh herbs to it.  It’s excellent for a supper when paired with some roasted root vegetables.

Savory Oatmeal Soup

I pretty much crave this soup all Autumn and Winter long! It has so many good qualities…

>> It’s easy + you can put a big put together in minutes
>> It’s CHEAP to make
>> It’s healthy and nourishing
>> It will save you if you’re in a pinch for dinner on a chilly winter night
>>>>> IT TASTES FREAKING FABULOUS!!!<<<<<

You need to try this soup, you will be delightfully impressed.
OATMEAL SOUP
2 Tbsp. butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion; chopped
3 Tbsp. rolled oats (you can use gluten free if you need to)
3 cups stock; vegetable or chicken or you can use bouillon cubes
1/2 cup light cream or almond milk to give it some richness. (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the onion in the butter until soft. Add the oatmeal, salt + pepper and cook for about a minute. Add the stock slowly; stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree until smooth with a stick blender or in batches with a blender. Return to the heat and stir in the cream.
Serves 4-6

I hope these recipes give you a warm feeling and some inspiration to raid your pantry on a cold winter day! OR maybe they’ll save your dinner prep on a busy weeknight!

Stay well! ♥

Hunger Awareness

How do you know when you’re hungry? This questions come up frequently for me, not just with clients but with my kids.  My kids are both home from college and they are non-stop eating, mostly because it’s winter and there’s not much to do.  They will stand in front of the fridge and say, “what’s to eat, I’m hungry” and my canned response is usually, “drink some water” because I know they just ate omelets and toast an hour ago.  Typically, they’ll end up eating again and consequently, they’ll end up complaining to me about an upset stomach. Someday they’ll listen to me….someday. LOL

We have the POWER to EMPOWER or DIS-EMPOWER ourselves with our food choices…when, what and HOW MUCH we choose to eat.
We need to be free from the rules we were brought up with.  We need the freedom to eat only when we are hungry.
So let’s talk – LEVEL OF HUNGER vs LEVEL OF FULLNESS:

>Ravenous
>Starving
>Very Hungry
>Moderately Hungry
>Slightly Hungry


> Sated
>Slightly Uncomfortable (tired)
>Really Uncomfortable (heavy & bloated)
>Stomach ache

It is equally important that we not let ourselves get to either point of ravenous or stomach ache. Many of us don’t really know when we are sated or full. We are attacked constantly by food ads, food TV, magazines, marketing and bullshit that tricks our minds into thinking we’re hungry. We have come accustomed to eating far too much.

{{Only 1/4 of what we eat keeps us alive, the other 3/4 keeps your doctor alive and living well.}}

I urge you to start paying attention to not just what you are eating but to how much or how little you are eating. Notice when you are SATISFIED and STOP eating.

Don’t worry so much about what’s left on your plate, leave it. (Better yet, compost it!)
You’ll bridge the gap soon enough between taking only what you know you can eat and taking too much.

The human body will die within 10 days without water (sooner in harsh environments). But it can survive for more than 3 weeks without food before it begins to reach death.  I am a HUGE foodie and I want to taste and enjoy as much food as I can so I have to remind myself of this survival food fact frequently.  I use my other senses to enjoy food rather than stuffing my face with it all the time…though eating it certainly the most enjoyable. LOL

Practice being present with your body and eating habits. This is eating in MODERATION. Your body knows what you need, not you, trust your body!
AND REMEMBER: The first sip and the first taste are always the best!

I hope this information is helpful or inspiring to you. ♥

Seasonal Energies + Soul Communication

Right now, members of my EHL Facebook group and subscribers to my email list, are experiencing a series about living in alignment with nature, uncovering our true selves and creating an environment for optimal health.

I am receiving such a wonderful response from this series, I want to share a piece of this series with you, my dear readers. What you are about to read, was delivered to my subscribers yesterday. I hope you enjoy it.

–> Click here to become a subscriber! <–

The Earth is green, fertile and full of life as the growing season is upon us. What do you have in your own personal life that could use a pinch of fertilizer, a sprinkling of water and some sunshine?

== Maybe you have an idea or inspiration for a new project?
== Maybe you’ve been in a funk and would benefit from some motivation?
== Maybe…you’re at a crossroads, with a relationship, a job or life in general and need the sun to shine a little brighter on the path you should choose?
== Maybe you’re dealing with something else, completely different and just you just need a little extra nurturing so you can keep on moving.

Whatever it is, whatever you have the opportunity to “grow”, know that this is the time to do it. All around you, nature is growing, greening and beautiful. You are a part of that too!

SUMMER is prosperity, growth and ideas in action. It is outgoing, free-spirited and jubilant.
AUTUMN is wealth, preparation and gratitude in action. It is both outgoing and inward seeking and it is grounding.
WINTER is settling, reflective and nurturing in action. It is inward seeking and contentment.
SPRING is new beginnings, progress and thoughts in action. It is both outgoing and inward seeking and it is joyous.

{{ Four quarters of the year together create one WHOLE cycle of life. Within the perception of that life cycle is lies the groundwork for living a full holistic life. How will you choose to live it? }}

You are already aligned with the energies of each season, though it’s possible you hadn’t thought of it before. I’m positive that some of my seasonal meanings will resonate with you because you’ve already experienced them.
Now you have been given the opportunity to experience them with more awareness and intention.

Start by asking yourself how each season makes you feel. What emotions come up for you during summer? What are you connected to most? If you have ever felt restless without reason during any of the seasons, you can bet it’s because you’re not working within the action of that season. The restlessness is your soul speaking to you, telling you to pay attention and change course or to step into action.

For example:

SUMMER – what creativity are you letting slip away unfulfilled?
AUTUMN – requires preparation for Winter and Spring, are you organizing?
WINTER – promotes deep personal growth, are you living above the surface?
SPRING – are you holding on to old habits and not evolving within your own life?

ALLOW yourself to feel supported and guided by the natural energies of each season. Energy is POWER, it is Divine and it is within your reach, all you have to do is allow it to flow around you and through you. How do you do it? The same way I have done for years – you pay attention, you show up for yourself and be present. (More on the “how-to’s” coming up soon!)

So, my lovely ones, what is your soul saying to you this summer? Are you listening?

Always sending you the most gracious love,

Intuitive Wellness Coach & Energy Healer

Avoid the Poison Garden

Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak. About 85 percent of the population is allergic to poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak, and about 10 to 15 percent are extremely allergic. This is the most common allergic reaction in the U.S., and affects as many as 50 million Americans each year.

Poison Ivy

I am among that 15 percent who are not allergic to poison ivy. I’ve never had the pleasure of being exposed to poison sumac or oak, that I know of. That being said, I’m still the go-to-gal for friends, family and clients when they are exposed to these annoyingly poison plants. I’ve heard it all – I got it from the dog, I was weeding the garden, I was hiking, I DIDN’T KNOW what it looks like…

{{ Recently, I worked with a lovely woman who was suffering from a reaction to poison sumac and she is the reason I wrote this post. The doctor, whom she sought medical attention from, kept telling her that she was highly allergic and a bad case. But, never told her how cautious she needed to be to not get it in her eyes or any other orifice because of the potential for it spread internally. Dumb, sorry but it’s dumb. She was given steroids and I’m sure, a bill. It really bothers be because I don’t think she received the attention she deserved. It is a rare physician who gives holistic or homeopathic advice, I get it, but it prompted me to share what I know. }}

Visit  Poison-ivy.org for more information about sumac.

If you are or have been a sufferer of the poison in these plants, I want to help so I’m sharing my best remedies and tips with you. I invite you to share this post so that my tips reach as many people as possible.

Poison ivy is the most common and in my experience, is the easiest one to treat. If you are exposed and you know it right away, you can wash the exposed areas with soap and water, treat them with a bit of lavender oil and it will significantly reduce the allergic reaction it causes.

–> Fun fact about nature: poisonous plants often grow near companion plants that have antidote like properties. Poison ivy often grows in close proximity to Jewel weed, which when harvested and turned into an oil, provides relief to the rash the poison ivy causes. <–

What happens with these plants is that they carry a sticky sap that causes allergic contact dermatitis when it gets on your skin. You don’t have to come into contact with the actual plants to get it. The sap can be transmitted by other plants, tools, clothes and your pet. The sap is called Urushiol and causes redness, swelling, blistering and severe itching. It typically clears up within a couple of weeks provided bacteria doesn’t get in the wounds and cause an infection.

The most important thing to do is purge your body of that plant toxin and prevent it from spreading. But, you also want to treat the symptoms and so to do that, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and supplies.

Baking soda
Filtered water
Raw organic honey
Colloidal oatmeal
Gauze (optional to cover the honey if you apply it)

Treat the affected areas:
1. Dry out the rash – make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the affected areas; as it dries, it pulls the toxin out. Rinse with cool water.
2. When the rash begins to heal, apply just a thin layer of raw honey; leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse with cool water. Honey promotes cellular skin growth and is antibacterial so it will help your wound heal.
3. Or you can take a lukewarm oatmeal bath. Colloidal oats work best and you can get those here. <— Use 1 cup of oats per bath and soak for up to 20 minutes.

Sounds easy right? Let it run it’s course and treat the rash frequently with the baking soda paste and honey. But, what if it continues to spread? What if you have a really bad case, all over your body and you just want to die?

There is hope.

I have always maintained the thought that purging the toxin, from your body, is how to cure the infliction. Here is a suggestion to do just that and it’s not for the faint at heart. Hop in the shower and gradually turn up the temperature of the water until it’s as hot as you can stand. (People, please do not scald yourself, I said HOT water, not scalding hot water so be sensible.) The point of this exercise is to purge the poison out of your skin. The heat will cause the wounds to weep which purges said poison. The reason I said this isn’t for the faint of heart is because you will suffer an elevated level of itching for about an hour or more after the shower AND YOU CAN’T SCRATCH IT!

It is so highly effective, I know people who have done it and for that they are badasses. Truly, you’ll begin to heal but, please save the hot suffer shower for when and if you become desperate.

Poison oak

Now, I want to talk to you about what happens if you’re really sensitive/highly allergic to these poison plants. If you are highly allergic, you are susceptible to the rash spreading internally. I knew a woman quite a few years ago now that was so allergic to poison ivy that, though only one hand was exposed, it spread quickly all over her body and in her eyes. Once it was in her eyes, it spread down through her sinuses, her throat and she was in the ICU within a week of her exposure. She’s alright now but it’s something you should keep in the back of your mind if you are very sensitive to these plants.

If you end up under the care of a physician, you’ll probably be put on steroids (topical and/or pill form) and antihistamines. Further, if your case is a bad one, you might be put on Zantac or you might receive a cortisone shot. If the rash gets infected, you may even end up on an antibiotics regimen.

There are more natural alternatives to the pharmaceuticals and I’ll share them with you for informational purposes. They in no way replace Western medicine if you are experiencing a bad reaction, but you may be able to implement some of them as a preventative measure in the early stages of outbreak.

Examples:
Prednisone — ginseng (supplement with properties that mimic steroids).
Zantac — baking soda (1 tbsp. in 6 oz. water)
Antibiotics — oil of oregano, raw cider vinegar (both have antibacterial properties).
Topical steroid creams — coconut oil with lavender essential oil

You see, it is possible to treat AND find relief from the poison at home with ingredients from your kitchen. However, the best advice I can give you is know what these poison plants look like. If you think you see one, even if your not 100 percent sure, it’s best to avoid it. I always look before I tear into weeds in the yard (but I’m always on the look out for a great field salad too LOL).

Stay out of the poison leaves lovelies!

((**The purpose of this post is to share information that have collected through years of experience. I do not diagnose, prescribe and I never suggest that natural remedies should replace pharmaceuticals or physicians care in extreme or emergency cases. Please use common sense and good judgement in using this information, you’re all born it.**))

 

 

6 Signs your Friendship has Become Toxic

6-Signs your friendship has become toxic.

1. It is not an equal-opportunity relationship. If your friend is consistently in control of the relationship, you feel like you’re not being heard or appreciated and always doing the things your friend wants to do, what are you getting out of it? What is the value in that friendship? That you get to tag along like a sidekick? Nope. Let go of relationships that don’t make you feel valued.

2. You do all the work. Everyone has that friend who is in constant need of you but when you are the one in need, they are suddenly missing in action. What is the point of the friendship if it is not reciprocated? Let go of one-sided relationships.

3. You are constantly responsible for their joy and quality of life. How about that friend who really wants to go skydiving because that would make her so happy BUT she can’t go without you. And if you can’t go then she can’t go by herself and then, I guess, she’ll continue to be depressed. All because you wouldn’t hold her hand. Yeah, no. If it happens consistently, let go of needy relationships.

4. You aren’t able to be your authentic self when you are with them. Friends are there to hold space for you to feel comfortable in your own skin and thoughts. If you are holding back, hiding parts of yourself and not speaking your mind, it is not a true friendship. Let go of friends who don’t love you for who you are.

5. There is dishonesty in the relationship that has created trust issues. If you cannot express yourself in complete confidence with this friend without fear of them gossiping or sharing your secrets, what is the point of the friendship? This goes also for the friend who lies to you about other little things, like why she can’t meet you for coffee. Anything that brings her integrity into question should be a sign for you to remove yourself from the relationship. Let go of untrustworthy friends.

6. And finally, You are no longer in alignment with their values, beliefs or behavior. As women, it is important for us to surround ourselves with other women who compliment our values and beliefs; who conduct themselves respectfully and authentically. Have you ever heard the saying – you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Because it’s true. So, when a friend falls out of alignment with your core values and begins living opposite of your core beliefs, it becomes difficult for you to get along. It becomes difficult for you to think about that friend without getting uptight, stressed out and worried. The most important thing to remember is that the change in your friend is ….her choice, not yours and you don’t have to live with those choices. Especially if it causes unnecessary drama in your life. Let go of friends who make you question why you are friends and worry about how your friendship reflects on you.

Why did I write this? I was inspired by my observations of other friendships and what I have experienced in my own friendships throughout life. I witness women struggle with friends that they feel guilty about leaving even though that friendship brings them only grief and stress.  Toxic relationships cause scars on our hearts and in our minds, there’s no doubt about that.

It’s important to remember that you are not locked into your friendships. People come and go in and out of your life as you grow and evolve. You are meant to experience and learn from those relationships AND you are meant to know when to let go so that YOU can grow and evolve beyond them.
When you find your soul sisters and enjoy a lifetime of friendship, you are blessed, but that is not with every friend my friends.

Infinite love from my heart to you all!

Six Communication Tips for Home or Business

Quick post here about one of the most important subjects in your life and work. COMMUNICATION!! I have learned so much in my many years as a business owner and a parent and I always feel like it’s a responsibility I have to share what I learn with you, my dear reader.

It’s amazing to me how communicating in business and family life can be so similar – I have been known to take a step into my business aspect while communicating with one of my kids to make sure we are both being understood.
I want to share these tips with you to use in your relationships or your business. They’ll open you up to some thought about how you are truly speaking and responding. I would love to hear your feedback or if you have something to add to the list so make sure you add your comment to this page.

Here we go:

1. Is your body language reflecting your desired image?
Example: You want the person you are speaking with to feel comfortable and to speak truthfully…but you are standing rigid, with your arms crossed. That isn’t the image of comfort you want to extend to the other person.
Best practice: Be at ease with your own body, relax your forehead and make sure your heart space is open (no crossed arms).

2. Make sure you understand what you are trying to communicate.
Example: We all have had moments when we get twisted up with someone because we are frustrated by their past actions while trying to solve a current issue with them.
Best practice: Address each infraction as they come up and get them out of the way so that you are never in a “pile on the past” position. You will have NO problem being clear and communicating in present time.

3. Speak for yourself ONLY!
Example: To strengthen a point you want to make, you bring in other people…”your father agrees with me” “if I asked your sister, she’d say the same”.
Best practice: Bringing others into your debate is a lazy way to make your point. If those people aren’t there to voice their own opinion, they have no business in your conversation. Speak confidently and from your own truth and you won’t need the extra help.

4. Acknowledge other’s problems and respect their perspective.
Example: Especially in times of conflict, we tend to tighten up around our own feelings and point of view which cuts us off from being open to the other’s experience. You will not be able to accomplish healthy dialogue and resolve if you cannot see the other persons perspective.
Best practice: Don’t just put yourself in their shoes, say it so they know that you are listening. “I acknowledge your experience and what has lead you to this perspective, let’s try to reach a place of mutual understanding”.

5. Make sure you understand what is being communicated to you.
Example: You are talking with someone about their frustration regarding a special project, but you are not fully present in the conversation as you are preoccupied with your to-do list. You may be listening, but are you HEARING them? Same goes with your kids, if you’re not fully present with them – I guarantee you are not HEARING them.
Best practice: Before you sit down with someone, consciously close your laptop, put your phone on silent and bring yourself into the present space you are in with this person. Take notes! Taking notes forces you to be present in the conversation because you have to pay attention to the words they are saying. It also helps you focus on the task at hand and makes the other person feel important, which will empower them to speak with more clarity.

6. Be clear on what you intend to communicate.
Example: We’ve all done it, we’ve jumped hastily into an important communication with someone while we are still emotional about the subject matter. Yep, ‘specially us women. I’m guilty of it. When we are experiencing a high emotional level, it’s near impossible for us to deliver a clear message to the other person.
Best practice: Wind down and separate yourself from the emotional energy preventing you from speaking with your best intentions. If you intend to share your feelings, share them when you are cool headed and objective to give the other person the opportunity to receive openly what you are saying.

And, always remember, sometimes the best kind of communication that you can do is to be silent. Namaste.

It is my intention always to be thoughtful, to speak from the heart and to share knowledge that makes my life better and that you might benefit from. Be inspired to live well and aspire to be aware.

 

3 Non-Dairy Milk Recipes

Do you know this? Store bought, non-dairy “mylks” are filled with additives and preservatives. Read the label – they contain all manner of things I don’t want in my body.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to purchase the brands that contained the least amount of ingredients but still, I just felt toxic. Now, my daughter has a milk sensitivity so having those milks in the house are a necessity.

{{ I don’t have an issue with sustainable, local and organic dairy from content and well cared for cows. But, everything in moderation is a value to me and I recognize the benefits of some nut, plant and seed milks. }}

My favorite milks are almond, flax and coconut. I avoid SOY at all costs because soy in food products represents the devil for me (unless we’re talking fresh edamame from the garden – that’s like heaven). I’m not a fan of hemp milk, cashew or that new pea protein weirdness that I honestly haven’t tried but I know it just hyper-processed disgustingness.

I have found a few effective shortcuts to make my own almond, coconut and flax milk with NO additives or preservatives. Some of the additives include thickeners, emulsifiers, sugar and lecithin. I feel so much less toxic AND my smoothies are healthier without all the extra, unnecessary ingredients.

Everybody should be doing this, honestly. If you’re drinking non-dairy milks as a healthier choice, you need to consider what you’re actually drinking if it’s the store bought variety.
Now I’m going to tell you how I make my own almond, coconut and flax seed milk. It saves me money, it’s sustainable and like I said before, it’s better for you.

{{ I know you’re thinking about TIME but it really doesn’t take much time at all to make these yourself. Just get on with it, at some point you have to decide to make your health a priority and when you do that and you are committed – TIME starts to magically appear. It’s a miracle. }}

What are these recipes I speak of? I’m going to share them with you now…they are SO easy.

From left to right – flax seed milk, coconut milk & almond milk.

Almond Milk : Blend 3 tablespoons of almond butter with 1 1/2 cups water on high speed until smooth and creamy. If you’re going to drink it straight, you can also add 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to sweeten it up and boost the flavor. I don’t usually need the extras because I’m mostly using it for smoothies but if you drink it plain, you might like the extra flavor.

Coconut Milk : Blend 4 cups of filtered water; hot and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut on high for several minutes until thick and creamy. Pour through a mesh sieve first and then squeeze through a nut bag or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to get all the coconut pieces out.
Use it immediately or store it in the fridge. It’s best within 4 days of making it so plan to use it fairly quickly. Since it’s in it’s most natural state, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate and form on the top of the milk if stored in the fridge so shake well before using.

Flax Seed Milk: Blend 1/2 cup flax seeds and 4 1/2 cups of filtered water in a blender on high for 1 minute; let it rest for 2 minutes. Blend again on high for 1 minute; let it rest for 5 minutes. Blend one more time for about 30 seconds.
Pour the milk through a nut bag or a fine mesh sieve lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth into a large mason jar or bowl; squeeze to extract all the liquid.

Here are a couple of extra tips for ya —-> if you’re feeling adventurous, you can substitute other nut or seed butters for the almond butter to make different milk’s – I made pumpkin seed milk once for a recipe and it was awesome. Reserve the coconut cream that collects as a solid at the top of the coconut milk and use it in recipes or to make “nice” cream. Reserve the pulp you strain out of it —> dry it and mix it into granola or grind it into coconut flour and/or refrigerate it and use it to top smoothie and zen bowls.

When you take charge of your nutrition and place yourself into a daily or weekly ritual of making your own FOOD from scratch, you will experience empowerment and self-love because you will be making yourself and your wellness a priority. That is an amazing byproduct of feeding yourself from scratch!

It is my intention always to be thoughtful, to speak from the heart and to share knowledge that makes my life better and that you might benefit from. Be inspired to live well and aspire to be aware. ♥