Tag Archives: healing

  1. The 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge // Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance

    This 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge serves as an opportunity to break the caffeine addiction for good or as a temporary break to give your neurotransmitters a hard reboot. Consider it a reset to your caffeine tolerance.  

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    The 14-Day Caffeine-Free Challenge // Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance

    To read more about how-to take a break from coffee / caffeine and why you may want to consider it check out this full and in-depth post.

    To simplify it, as your body becomes accustomed to consuming caffeine, you need to consume more and more of it to experience the same energy boost. Acting in a similar manner to anti-depressants, high doses of caffeine on a regular basis acts as central nervous system stimulant and can flood the brain with neurotransmitters, creating neurotransmitter resistance or long term receptor damage 18. Olekalns, N. (1996). Rational addiction to caffeine. Journal of Political Economy, 104(5), 1100. 

    Reasons to Take a Break From Caffeine and Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance:

    • Caffeine no longer affects you the way that it once did
    • You crave caffeine and NEED it to start your day or to get through the day 
    • Your daily caffeine consumption amounts are insane
    • You are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, anxiousness or adrenal fatigue
    • Your sleep health has been suffering
    • It’s leading to health problems
    • Doctors orders

    How-to Beat the Coffee Addiction

    The good news: to kick the caffeine habit, you really only need to get through about 7-12 days without drinking any caffeine. During that time, your brain will naturally decrease the number of adenosine receptors on each cell, responding to the sudden lack of caffeine ingestion. If you can make it that long without a cup of joe or a spot of tea, the levels of adenosine receptors in your brain reset to their baseline levels, and your dependence will be broken. 2https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-is-how-your-brain-becomes-addicted-to-caffeine-26861037/

    You can certainly go cold turkey on cutting out caffeine for this 14-day challenge, but if you are a hardcore caffeine consumer, you may want to consider preparing by cutting back gradually and replacing your traditional caffeinated coffee with either half decaf or more gentler forms of caffeine, found in quality teas like green or black tea.  I personally really LOVE a Matcha White Hot Chocolate as a gentler alternative to caffeinated coffee, such a treat.

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Caffeine and Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance:

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    References   [ + ]

    1.8. Olekalns, N. (1996). Rational addiction to caffeine. Journal of Political Economy, 104(5), 1100.
    2.https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-is-how-your-brain-becomes-addicted-to-caffeine-26861037/
  2. How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    Are you feeling that afternoon slump and reaching for coffee or other caffeine to power through? Is your sleep inconsistent and often interrupted? Are you finding yourself needing more and more coffee to get through? Follow along to learn How-to Take a Break from Coffee and Why You May Want to Consider It.

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    I am not one of those die-hard, ride or die coffee drinkers who’s been at it every morning for many, many years. There was a very long time, during the middle of my healing journey that I wasn’t able to handle any coffee at all. Even a single cup would cause extreme jitters and serious feelings of anxiousness. 

    After I healed my gut, went through an extensive liver detox and rectified my adrenal fatigue, among many other things, I did a little experimenting and low and behold, me and coffee were friends once again. We would connect occasionally when I was craving it. Generally it was Boosted, as I found this lessened any jitters straight up black coffee might cause. Overtime I created my own Healthier French Vanilla Coffee Creamer  for those folks in my life that wouldn’t give up the sketchy store-bought stuff. I learned to make my own cold brew at home and I even fell in love with a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee number and found myself adding it to keto granola. But, some time last year my occasional cup of coffee, only when it sounded good, turned into an every single morning thing. It became part of my morning routine and the ritual of it became as much a part of the craving (or more) as the caffeine itself.

    Then my one 8 ounce cup of coffee in the morning turned into 12 ounces. Suddenly my life included the occasional afternoon coffee. Sometimes even an evening cup. This evolved into me craving coffee when I felt that afternoon slump hit and I would actually at times find myself smelling it, even when it wasn’t around because my brain was lusting after it so deeply to give me that boost. I was finding myself traveling and making plans for how I would get that perfect cup of coffee on the road.

    It was fine. Because in my mind, coffee has so many wonderful health benefits and if a light caffeine reliance was the worst thing I had going for me, I would say I am doing pretty good in life. After all, at this point I have chosen to basically all processed foods and for the most part all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, etc etc all to manage my health and autoimmune symptoms. Just let me have my dang coffee. 

    How-to Take a Break from Coffee (and Why You May Want to Consider It)

    The Benefits of Coffee

    Coffee has many brain-protective compounds and an abundance of antioxidants, polyphenols and bioactive compounds. Coffee contains vitamin C, magnesium, polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids, and chlorogenic acids. and it’s generally regarded quite favorably by recent research. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26784461

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    References   [ + ]

  3. Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    This comforting Hot and Sour Soup is a perfect, soothing and healing winter meal. Whether you are fighting off a bug or just looking to have a cozy and quick bowl. Ready in barely about 15-minutes, this soup is paleo, gluten-free, whole30 and keto / low-carb compliant with options for vegetarian and low FODMAP.

    Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    Hot and Sour Soup {Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole30, Keto}

    Despite my efforts to fight off illness this winter, (dang there is just SO much going around) and despite taking on all of my holistic and natural approaches to protect and boost my immune function – earlier this month I got a cold! Booo.

    The good news is that all of my constant hard work caring for my immune system was not for nothing, it was a very quick and fairly benign little cold, thankfully. Shortest cold I have ever had, to be exact. A day and a half, really. After two days in the hot desert in Joshua Tree and Palm Springs and coming home immediately to teach a sunrise yoga class to 60 people, outside in 45ºF weather, barefoot in wet grass, in a tank top, I kinda put my body through the ringer and it finally hit it’s limit.  A little sniffly nose, a few sneezes and more than anything, a very fatigued body – that I could tell was fighting hard and I finally had to succumb to it. So, I allowed myself the time and space to just rest and relax and to fight off whatever it was working hard to keep at bay, 2 days of chillin’. I continued on my protocol of protecting my body, I took my elderberry syrup several times a day, zinc, vitamin C, oregano oil and all my other witchy remedies, and I was back to myself in no time. What a win. Truly.

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  4. 11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

    11 Simple and Holistic Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System to Avoid Getting Sick (+ Tips for If You Do)

    11 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

    Simple, holistic tips to fight illness and strengthen your immunity PLUS what you can do if you do get sick, to fight it quickly.

    Go With Your Gut

    I can tell you from personal experience that the very best way to ward off chronic illness, colds, flus, infections, allergies, food sensitivities and controlling / avoiding autoimmune disease is to heal and strengthen the gut! With 70-80% of our immune system’s cells occupying our gut, this is home base for our vitality and wellness. Our gut bacteria helps the immune system’s T cells develop—teaching them the difference between a foreign substance and the body’s own tissues. Without these important immune soldiers doing their job to protect us, the nasties get in, they slip by the troops, invade, wage war, take over and it’s not fun!

    With years of comprised digestion, intestinal bacterial overgrowth and finally being diagnosed with a parasite, I personally spent a solid decade to 15 years, getting terrible sinus infections, several times a year, every year, most times it then eventually evolved into bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. I got every single strain of every cold, flu and stomach bug that passed through town – I even battled the Swine Flu when that was a thing. On top of all of that, I suffered for many, many years with a variety of environmental allergies – ALL of this stopped when I finally healed my gut and prioritized proper digestion. It’s magical really. But, it’s not. It’s simple.

    As you’ll hear echoed many times throughout this article, and if you spend more than about 5 minutes chatting with me at any given time, our gut is vital to our immune health and it’s the control center for our bodies to decide what is friend and what is foe. I highly encourage you to prioritize optimizing your gut, both for the cold and flu season ahead, as well as the future of your overall health and wellness.

    Along with tips on strengthening and healing your gut, here are some tips to Naturally Boost Your Immune System:

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  5. Matcha White Hot Chocolate with Matcha Marshmallows {Paleo w/ Keto Options}

    This Paleo Matcha White Hot Chocolate is a cozy, winter dream come true. Frothy, luscious white hot chocolate meets a classic rejuvenating matcha latte, with all kinds of nutritious, superfood goodness you can feel good about – from antioxidants to healthy fats plus healing, immune-boosting, gut-healing collagen, if you wanna include it. It’s paleo and dairy-free, with options for keto and vegan! The maple-sweetened paleo matcha marshmallows on top, those are totally optional, but listen – don’t be stupid!  

    Matcha White Hot Chocolate with Matcha Marshmallows {Paleo w/ Keto Options}
    Matcha White Hot Chocolate with Matcha Marshmallows {Paleo w/ Keto Options}

    This Matcha White Hot Chocolate is practically a superfood tonic disguised as a treat! First and most importantly, this delightful, healthful treat features Vital Proteins brand new Matcha Collagen. Antioxidant rich matcha tea, can help fight free radicals in the body and promote long-term health. Matcha being the whole leaf, ground, also contains 137 times the amount of free radical-fighting antioxidants as any other green teas. The matcha is combined with high-quality grass-fed collagen which promotes bone, joint, and skin and digestive health. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is responsible for supporting, healing and sealing the gut plus maintenance of healthy connective tissues, such as bones, joints, skin, hair, and nails. Read more about the benefits of collagen here.

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  6. The Power of Gratitude + FREE Gratitude Journal Download

    The Power of Gratitude

    Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use in the most simple of ways to expand our happiness and cultivate loving relationships, it can even improve our health, both mental and physical.

    I am so excited to share the Power of Gratitude. The very many powerful health benefits to a regular gratitude practice along with some tips and thoughts on how to cultivate a grateful heart, plus if you scroll to further down, I’m even offering a free download of a Gratitude Journal worksheet you can use daily, as part of your practice.

    I invite you to explore ways to support living gratefully as a way of life, not simply something we celebrate once a year.

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  7. Benefits of MCT Oil – Why I Use It, How it Differs from Coconut Oil, Liquid MCT Oil vs Powder + More

    The list of health benefits of MCT Oil or medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat, includes fat loss, appetite suppression, increased energy, improved cognition, improved athletic performance, to name a few. Read on to see why I use it, how it differs from coconut oil, how to take it and more!

    Benefits of MCT Oil

    A balanced, nutrient-dense diet rich in healthy fats is essential to us being our very best! Every single cell in our body needs fat to function, most especially our brain cells. Our brain is actually the fattiest organ in our body at over 60% fat.  You already know my feelings on the importance of healthy fats in a well-balanced, nutrient-dense whole foods diet, but you can read more about the Benefits of Healthy Fats.

    At this point I have to imagine you’ve heard the buzz surrounding MCT Oil. One of the quickest sources of clean fuel for both the body and the brain, MCT oil is hands down one of the best ways to power up your performance or kick start a nutrition program.

    What is MCT Oil?

    “MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has many health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. MCTs are a type of fat that can be readily used for energy by your body and do not have to be broken down before use. They are precursors to ketones and help your body burn fat instead of burning carbs. Ketones are one of the brain’s two primary fuel sources, and also a vital source of ATP energy for the body.  ATP energy is what allows every single muscle in your body to move. While ketones from fat, rather than glycogen from carbohydrates, are the primary source of fuel for those on a ketogenic diet, but you don’t have to fully go keto to benefit from MCT oil and ketones.

    MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between 6–12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.

    Most fats consumed are taken into your body then must be mixed with bile released from your gallbladder and acted on by pancreatic enzymes to break it down in your digestive system. Medium-chain fats are digested easily and once they reach your intestine they are sent via the bloodstream directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. MCTs even pass the blood-brain barrier to supply your brain with an instant boost of energy.  MCTs are absorbed more quickly than longer chain fats, as there is less work for the body to do, in breaking down the carbon bonds, meaning they can be used quicker as fuel, rather than being stored as fat.

    Medium-chain Fatty Acids May Help With:

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  8. Caramelized Onion and Bacon Liver Pâté

    Rich in both flavor and nutrients, this Caramelized Onion and Bacon Liver Pâté makes a wonderful appetizer or sandwich spread and would both be the perfect addition to any holiday spread or even just an every day weekday treat.

    Caramelized Onion Bacon Liver Pâté

    Caramelized Onion Bacon Liver Pâté

    Well, well, well. The time has come. Liver has made it’s way to the Tasty Yummies recipe archives. Who am I, even? Honestly, though, there is a version of me from 5 years ago that would truly never believe it possible. Yet, here we are. Just a girl in her 30s that has a mild love affair with good liver and how good that it makes her feel.

    A good pâté at a restaurant, this was the first time I was able to eat liver. If you’ve never had it, pâté is a smooth mousse that is deliciously served up in small portions traditionally on crostini or crackers, garnishing pricy charcuterie boards. Liver is usually quite inexpensive to purchase from your local farmer, or a trusted market, sometimes as inexpensive as a few dollars a pound.

    Liver is a highly-prized, often overlooked superfood. I find it’s a really great way to get my vitally important vitamin A, a fabulous source of B vitamins and iron, along with many crucial minerals and it even contains a not-yet-identified anti-fatigue factor. Guys, legit I have massive amounts more energy when I am eating liver, regularly.  You can read more about the many, many nutritional benefits of nature’s most potent superfood here.

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  9. Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    This Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte is an inflammation-fighting, immune system boosting, super drink and it’s full of comforting, healthful goodness! 

    Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    Healing Golden Bone Broth Latte

    Part of living life to it’s fullest and getting out there to travel and experience the world – is being exposed to things. Foods, illnesses, germs, bacteria, toxins – it can definitely take it’s toll on your immune system. I am proud that despite having several autoimmune diseases, my tireless work to maintain my health and vitality and how I’ve worked hard train my immune system and it’s little warriors to do it’s job and do it well – it’s working! I feel great, I beat illnesses swiftly, if they do take hold and I am not knocked on my ass with every little life shift, stress or travel – which, truthfully, is basically what the majority of the first 30 years of my life was all about. The fight of one illness right to another, bronchitis, swine flu, respiratory infections, every stomach virus or flu around, I had chronic allergies and all the other usual signs of a compromised immune system.

    I can tell that this month, with loads of travel and eating a bit differently that I traditionally would at home, later nights and longer days – that I have definitely asked a lot of my little immune system army in a short amount of time. And while they’ve been keeping up with their end of the deal to keep me well, I can certainly feel that my body is definitely working overtime right now to keep it that way. I love that I can chill and know that all of my hard work protecting my immune system was important and now I sit back and let it do it’s work.

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  10. The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Our thoughts have the power to transform our reality.

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam – Respond to negative thoughts and patterns by thinking and doing the opposite.

    If you’ve followed Tasty Yummies for sometime, you are aware that my yoga practice has played a very integral role in my healing and my health, along with my journey toward self-love and self-confidence. I jokingly say that yoga is the gateway drug that came into my life, rocked me and changed me forever – the “drug” that got me on the path to healing. But in full honesty it truly was the stepping stone that brought me to a place where I could finally prioritize my health and from a totally non-ego centered approach, it allowed me to place ME and my happiness above all else. Yoga was the first introduction I had to learning to love and celebrate my body, to trusting myself and most importantly, to knowing that I was actually worthy of being happy, vibrant and well.

    It was sometime in 2006 that I first stepped onto my yoga mat, and while I didn’t know this at that time, it was that first unrolling of my mat that fully changed the trajectory of my life moving forward. It was the first time that I made a choice to prioritize my self-care above all else, to give myself permission to fully love myself and to trust that what lied ahead, while intensely challenging, would make for a better version of me.

    My yoga practice has evolved greatly over the years. From a daily, rigid, before dawn, self-led mysore practice, to group ashtanga practice, to sweaty vinyasa classes anywhere and everywhere I could take them in, from coast to coast. A few years ago my personal practice eventually reached a place that I was yearning for more and it was then that I received my 200-hour and then 500-hour certification to teach, which I used to host retreats and teach regular classes, publicly and privately. These days, my personal yoga practice is much more private and intimate, with a far less stringent, regimented approach.

    While I don’t have a scheduled 90 minute practice daily anymore, yoga still seeps into every single one of my days, even if just by way of the philosophies and methodologies inspiring my approach to daily living. Often it’s the practice of conscious breath work in a stressful moment, or quite literally physical stretches prior to or just after lifting heavy weights or having a rigorous workout of some kind. Some days I make my way to the beach to flow. Often I don’t. I find myself, most days, without consciousness, creating a symphony of breath and movement when I need it most or finding that beautiful balance between effort and steadiness in all aspects of my living. There may not be any greater constant in my life than the practices I have cultivated through yoga.

    Throughout my yoga teacher training in 2014, I had a great many lightbulb moments. Literally open mouth “Aha!” moments. Realizations not just in what my body and mind were capable of, but rather in recognizing the control that I had unknowingly harnessed through my practice over the years up to that point. The control of creating my own happiness on the mat and in my life. There were beautiful practices that I had cultivated, unconsciously, which greatly contributed to changing me and much of it finally had explanation with these teachings. I could finally put words and thoughts to them and almost tangibly hold them in my hands so that I could study, cultivate, practice and share them with others.

    Studying the yoga sutras and more specifically, Pratipaksha Bhavanam, were probably the most eye-opening aspects of my teacher training and to this day, despite my practice and my teaching career having changed drastically than what I ever could have imagined, they continue to provide daily practices and inspiration for a better life.

    The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

    Yoga at 8,839 feet?

    It was at the very top of Half Dome mountain on a trip to Yosemite last week, at the end of the most intense and rigorous hike (and experience) of my life, after facing my biggest fears and heading head on into place of great discomfort – that I had a great moment of true revelation! It was on top of that mountain, while sobbing in pure pride for what I had just accomplished, that I had the great realization that it was my yoga and the practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam that got me through and to the top of that mountain that day! Both literally in the actual hike to the peak, but also the years of healing and transformation that led me to even being able to take that journey to be there, in the first place.

    In every moment of self-doubt on the journey that day, in every intense thought of great fear, in every question of “But, what if I fall?” I had the unconscious ability to tap into this important practice and change both the dialogue and the outcome. I wouldn’t allow it to continue, I honored it in the moment, I expressed gratitude for it’s teachings and it’s purpose, then I shut that shit down and then literally heard the words – “Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?” (Erin Hanson)

     
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  11. Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Golden Milk {+ Video}

    Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Golden Milk

    Before you beat me to the punch, I will stop you right there, I realize that golden milk has become a bit of a “golden child” (pun intended) in the food blogging world. I am not the first to share a golden milk recipe and I am sure I won’t be the last. It’s a buzz food, currently and I am not one bit mad about it, I love the stuff, I have been enjoying it for years.  I decided to still go ahead and share my personal recipe here on the site, despite the mass amount of golden milk recipes floating around the web, with the intent to share with you some important bits, tips and thoughts often left out, in regards to the proper means to assimilating all of the many benefits of turmeric.

    Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Golden Milk

    The term “superfood” has certainly become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, an often overused term, at that. Often, these foods that have been used for healing for many centuries become adopted by modern culture and as the foods become more readily available, we reap the benefits. Win win! But, people tend adopt these foods and run wild making claims for health and healing, often without doing the research for themselves or fully understanding the claims they are making. Unfortunately, often, much like the phone call game we played as kids, the details and important facts can be lost along the way.

    Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Golden Milk

    Before I get into what is often left out and what we aren’t always told, let’s talk about the benefits! Turmeric and curcumin, the well-studied main bioactive component of turmeric, have been found to promote health and protect against a wide variety of health conditions.

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  12. Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge {Gluten-free, Paleo}

    Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge {Gluten-free, Paleo}

    Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge {Gluten-free, Paleo}

    Well, I might just have to quit after this. This Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge features two of my favorite things together in a marriage so perfect I am not sure any treat can ever compare. At least for this girl. As if it couldn’t get better, this treat features the bonus healing powers of one of my favorite daily supplements.

    This fudge is dreamy. It’s rich and decadent, it’s unique and “mmmmm”-inducing. Here’s the thing though, if you don’t like tahini, it may not be for you (though you could likely swap in some almond butter or sunflower seed butter). But if you are a lover of all things tahini, you’re in luck. MAJOR luck. The tahini flavor shines bright and in it’s prominence it’s complimented so perfectly by the decadent, rich super dark chocolate. Don’t skimp here, quality is of key. Better yet, use homemade dark chocolate if you’ve got some. You guys already know how I feel about dark chocolate, a square or two a day of this magical superfood and that’s about all this lady needs to be satisfied. It doesn’t take much. Curious on why dark chocolate is a great option for a daily treat? Read more about the many benefits of dark chocolate.

    Boosted Chocolate Tahini Fudge {Gluten-free, Paleo}

    But here’s the best part, this is so much more than your usual treat, in true Tasty Yummies style, I boosted this fudge to bring an added layer of healing benefits. Vital Proteins’ Vanilla and Coconut Water Collagen Peptides is one of the latest and greatest from my pals over at Vital Proteins. You guys have already heard me sing the praises of collagen peptides as part of a healing diet and lifestyle. But since I have started incorporating Vital Proteins in my life, daily, they have continued to expand their product and introduce more and more incredible collagen based products. The new Vanilla and Coconut Water Collagen Peptides is no exception, this has been a wonderful addition to smoothies, as well as baked goods and now this amazing boosted fudge.

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  13. New Year Release Ritual

    New Year Release Ritual

    2016 will go down in the books as an intensely challenging and pivotal year for a great deal of us. If you too are counting down the days to starting over in 2017 with a vow to change and have a better year, let’s reflect on these resolutions and how to make them last. Mentally we need that idea of pressing a magic reset button in hope that we can leave our baggage behind in a four digit number and wash our hands of it.  By the end of the year it’s as if our candle has been burned at both ends and we grasp at the belief of starting over at the stroke of midnight.

    I have learned through my own ritual work with the moon and seasons that everything is on a cycle and having our own practice to mark the beginning and end of them can help you manifest things you want to attract and release that which no longer serves you. The moon expands, gets full and bright and then retracts until its dark only to start the cycle again. In the fall, the leaves die and fall off of the trees, everything retreats and goes within for Winter and emerges with new life and birth in Spring. We are not immune to these natural cycles. It’s why we focus so much on the New Year!  But before we can make room to bring new things into our lives, we must release the old and clear out the clutter. I am going to help you set this intention for release through a simple ritual I have experienced results with.

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  14. 15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    15 Homemade Holiday Gifts

    With the holiday closing in on us, I am sure many of you are doing the last minute gift scramble so prevalent in these final days before Christmas. Rather than throwing money at the wall and going with whatever it sticks to, instead of just grabbing another gift card from the big box stores, why not get creative and craft up some beautiful, thoughtful homemade gifts this year?

    Drop the cottonball snowmen, leave the popsicle sticks in the popsicles and leave the salt dough for the kids. Finally put away, I repeat, put away the glitter. Spread the holiday cheer with some of my favorite sweet (but sometimes savory) and simple handmade holiday gifts.

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  15. Simple Self Care

    Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

    I am excited to bring you the first post in an ongoing series from Brook Albrigo, a Shamanic Reiki Master and very dear friend of mine. You have heard me speak previously about the very important roles that reiki and the subtle body have played in my healing journey, I have also shared very specific details of healing sessions with Brook. Brook will be joining us here monthly to share more about reiki and the strong influence in which energetics can play in healing, including simple tips to restore balance and promote vitality and wellness.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

    When will the rollercoaster of emotions from the past few weeks stop?  The severe divisions, the resulting solidarity being shown in protests and by people vowing to stand up for one another, the complete shock of realizing how profoundly the beliefs of others can potentially affect us. If the current events have left you raw, breaking down crying at the grocery store, or fumbling for control of your anger or incredulousness perhaps what I have to share can help you get your bearings amidst absorbing other peoples’ emotions and amplifying this difficult time. The beauty of this is that we are all waking up to just how deeply connected we are to one another.

    In hindsight, as I was in Yosemite national park a week before election day, the powerful flow of the storm fed waterfalls and rivers were a premonition. I gathered strength from the waters, mountains and trees not knowing I was being prepared for the events that were to follow. As a shamanic healer I use a technique known as Nature divination- the practice of connecting to elements in nature to receive guidance. Messages come from particular nature spirits -like trees, plants, mountains or waterfalls.  We believe in shamanism that everything has a spirit living inside of it that we can communicate with if we learn how to listen. On my solo adventures on hiking trails, I gave attention to each rock, tree and animal; tuned to receive messages. Lucky for me, I was alone and spared the curiosity of fellow hikers wondering why I was talking to a tree!

    Simple Self Care

    I was intensely concerned with the violence and conflict at Standing Rock in North Dakota and while the guidance I sought was regarding that situation, I found it to be relevant to what we are experiencing today as a human collective and have felt comforted by receiving this knowledge. When we feel helpless, sometimes that is a sign that we need to re-center and remember that we are part of a higher calling, a bigger picture, and we should listen to our guides that are right in front of us everyday. This is how I was able to maintain the past week and be of assistance to others.
    I realized the tools and techniques needed to ground and care for ourselves may get lost in the daily shuffle of life but they are always there and I have created a simple list of self-care rituals to help us all through. We just need to decide our well being is worth making the time for and be willing to get a little bit out of our comfort zones.

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  16. How-to Make Bone Broth

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Bone Broth

    What is Bone Broth:

    Bone broth truly is one of the greatest superfoods. A soul-warming, healing, mineral-rich infusion found in many traditional households across many diverse cultures, bone broth is rich in amino acids and minerals and it’s healing properties run the gamut. This nutrient-dense, inexpensive magic elixir provides minerals in a highly bio-available form, meaning that the body can absorb easily them. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. As the cartilage and tendons breaks down, you’ll also receive chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, both sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. The long cook time of bone broth allows the maximum release of nutrients. Bone broth contains collagen and gelatin, providing great healing value to cartilage and bones but also to the skin, digestive tract, immune system, heart and muscles.

    Bone broth is a liquid made by simmering bones for an extended period of time, between 4 and 24 hours. Any bones can be used: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, bison and even fish. Vegetables, herbs and spices are often added to enhance the flavor and the bones and vegetables are strained and discarded before serving. Typically, the bones will have some connective tissue, like joints and tendons, and some meat attached.

    Additionally bone broth and stocks is a wonderful way of letting nothing go to waste. The nose-to-tail concept of sustainability.

    You’ve probably heard the terms Bone BrothBroth and Stock all used fairly interchangeably, but there are actually some differences between them. Each is made using meat and/or bones, cold water, vegetables and spices / seasonings. Cooking remains similar but the time of simmering varies between them. Bone broth is different from traditional stocks and broths in that it typically is made just from the bones and whatever small amounts of meat are adhering to those bones. Bone broth is simmered for a very long period of time, upwards of 48 hours. Stock is made generally with bones and a small amount of meat and is simmered for much less time, just several hours, 3-4. Meat broth is generally made mostly with meat and sometimes a small amount of bones, simmering for usually under 2 hours. Meat broth and stock still have great health benefits, however it’s a lower nutrient content then long simmering bone broth. For some, bone broth vs stock also means the presence of meat and veggies vs. just bones. Bone broth usually does not contain these and stock usually does. That said, those clear definitions have definitely blurred as bone broth has become more prevalent and people find their own ways of making it, so don’t get too hung up on the words.

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  17. Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

    Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

    I am so excited to introduce you all to Brook Albrigo, a very dear friend of mine. You have heard me speak previously about the very important roles that reiki and the subtle body have played in my healing journey, I have also shared very specific details of healing sessions with Brook. I am very honored to announce that Brook will be joining us here monthly to share more about reiki and the strong influence in which energetics can play in healing, including simple tips to restore balance and promote vitality and wellness.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

    If someone had told me 6 years ago that I would become a Shamanic Reiki Master I would’ve laughed in their face and told them to get their head checked. Those words just didn’t exist in my vocabulary until the day, immobile and injured, I sought physical pain relief and found healing on an extraordinary level.
    The path that followed was one I never for one moment felt that I chose, but rather that it chose me. I had to surrender to it or be dragged kicking and screaming. Either way, THIS was happening!

    Before I discovered healing through energy work, I was completely comfortable in my routine of self destructive and toxic co-dependent ways. I was living in New York City, working in the beauty industry, sometimes working weeks without a day off. I was convinced all the sacrifice would pay off – it’s all part of the ‘city hustle’ and you can sleep when you’re dead, right?  The stress and disregard for self care was so out of control that I had developed insomnia, digestive issues, a constant eye twitch and I couldn’t calm my nerves enough to take the subway home without at least two drinks in my system.

    Looking back and knowing what I know now, this was all just a major distraction. A diversion I had unknowingly created to avoid the real issues underneath the surface.  I was more willing to sacrifice my health, happiness and overall well-being than face the hard truth – I simply did not love myself. Even worse, I hated myself. I had been on antidepressants for years trying to numb this feeling of never being enough or worthy. I was adept at smiling and pretending that I had it all together, but deep down was this great deal of self loathing and suffering. While initially antidepressants did help me get through a tough time, I had come to rely on them for too long and wanted to eventually come off, but did not think I was capable. All of these circumstances combined with my Saturn Return (an event that happens to all of us about every 28—30 years which brings about major change), the perfect storm was created.
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  18. The 9 Best Foods for Eye Health

    I received compensation from Alcon for the below post, but all opinions expressed here are mine.

    The 9 Best Foods for Eye Health

    Glasses and contact lenses have been a part of much of my life. When we moved to California over three years ago, I actually had to give up wearing contact lenses as I began to suffer from dryness, allergies and itchy eyes – nearly daily. This certainly complicated things as wearing glasses in the kitchen, dealing with the steam of the oven or the dishwasher fogging up the lenses, can complicate things while cooking. Plus, glasses while at the gym or yoga practice, sliding off your sweaty face is also annoying and cumbersome. After some changes to my lifestyle, managing ongoing allergies and getting back to tip top eye health, I am back to wearing contacts again and I am loving my new DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses. Daily disposable contact lenses are totally new for me, but I am loving the freedom to enjoy my on-the-go lifestyle without the hassle of glasses and I love that each day, my contact lenses feel fresh and new. If you would like to try them, visit DAILIESChoice.com to learn about the Alcon DAILIES® Choice Mail-In or Online Rebate Offer and how to save up to $200 on a year’s supply of DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses!*

    The 9 Best Foods for Eye Health

    Research shows that much like the rest of our bodies, what you eat can also help support eye health as you age. Of course, as always, it is recommended that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in color, like orange, yellow, red and dark green as these are particularly likely to include the vitamins great for eye health. Foods rich in antioxidants are also known to help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans; as well as cataracts and other eye-related conditions. It is documented that people who supplement their diet with Vitamin C, antioxidants, zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamin E experienced about a 25% reduction in risk of developing serious AMD1https://www.macular.org/antioxidant-vitamins-and-zinc-areds.

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    References   [ + ]

  19. Grain-free Basil and Mint Zucchini “Noodles”

    Grain-free Basil and Mint Zucchini "Noodles"

    Being in the blogging world over 6 years now, I have had the pleasure of meeting some very incredible people along the way. But some, they walk into your life and you know that they were placed into your path with a purpose. I met Amie Valpone last year, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a busy conference. We spoke like half-witted high school girls, catching up, giggling, sharing and connecting over our personal healing journeys. Amie has an infectious lust for life and for living that instantly resonated with me. As someone that has spent the past 10+ years dealing with various (though very minor in comparison) health struggles, I very much appreciate how Amie has chosen to use her struggles as a means to help others, through her website thehealthyapple.com, I also admire that she has used her very challenging healing journey to fuel her passion to teach others that your health and vitality lies in your hands and that you DO have the power to overcome. I feel like the word “inspiration” is hardly enough for this firecracker.

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  20. Digestion 101: A North to South Process // Part 5: The Large Intestine

    Digestion 101: A North to South Process // Part 5: The Large Intestine

    1000px-Digestive_system_diagram_en

    Digestion 101: A North to South Process

    Here we are, at the end of the road. The large intestine is the final step in the process of digestion. By this point you probably more than understand the concept of digestion being a north to south process. We have talked about it at length starting first the brain and the mouth, and the importance of being in a parasympathetic state and properly chewing your foods, then of course the stomach and the dire need for proper hydrochloric acid production, how the accessory organs, the pancreas, liver and gallbladder  continue the process of digestion, releasing bile, enzymes, various hormones and allowing the small intestines to finish digestion but more importantly do it’s very important job of assimilating nutrients and finally last but not least, the large intestine.

    See Part One: The Brain and The Mouth

    See Part Two: The Stomach

    See Part Three: The Accessory Organs: Pancreas, Gallbladder and Liver

    See Part Four: The Small Intestine

    How it Should Work

    The large intestine, or the bowel, is compromised of 3 sections, the cecum, colon and the rectum. The leftover chyme from the small intestines, passes through the illeocecal valve and first into the ascending colon. At this point in a healthy digestive system, what is left as chyme (the digested food) after the small intestines, is indigestible fibers, lots of water, sloughed off cells and bile. The large intestine is all about absorption and recycling.

    As in the esophagus and the small intestine, the contents of the large intestine are pushed forward by a sequence of muscular contractions called peristalsis (a type of motility or muscular movement). After passing through the illececal valve the remains travels from the ascending colon, across the transverse colon where waste forms, into the descending colon, to the sigmoid colon and then the stool moves out of the body.

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  21. Digestion 101: A North to South Process // Part 4: The Small Intestine

    Digestion 101 // Part 4: The Small Intestine

     

    1000px-Digestive_system_diagram_en

     

    Digestion 101: A North to South Process

    As we continue more south in digestion, after first the brain and the mouth, then the stomach we move from the first part of the small intestines, the duodenum and it’s interaction with the accessory organs, the pancreas, liver and gallbladder and into the function of the small intestine.

    After we leave the duodenum, the small intestine is less about the actual process of digestion, from a sense of breaking down the food we eat and it is more about the assimilation and absorption of nutrients.

    The first part of the small intestines, the duodenum, acts more as a part of the stomach than the small intestine and the jejunum, ileum and villi are responsible for assimilation.

    See Part One: The Brain and The Mouth

    See Part Two: The Stomach

    See Part Three: The Accessory Organs: Pancreas, Gallbladder and Liver

    Digestion 101 // Part 4: The Small Intestine
    How it Should Work

    The small intestines have a dual role as an organ and a gland.

    As we talked about in the previous post, The Accessory Organs – The Pancreas, Gallbladder and Liver, the small intestine releases mucous to keep things moving and it also releases two hormones: secretin and cholecystokinin.

    Secretin stimulates the pancreas to release bicarbonate to lower the pH of the chyme and pancreatic juice. The CCK stimulates the gallbladder to release bile (to read more about these processes please see post #3).

    By the time that the chyme has left the duodenum, thanks to the processes of the accessory organs, the chyme should be almost entirely digested.

    • The carbohydrates have been broken down into glucose molecules
    • Proteins are broken down into amino acids and polypeptides
    • Fats are broke down into fatty acids and glycerol molecules

    Peristalsis, a series of wave-like muscle contractions moves these absorbable molecules into the jejunum and the ileum, the middle and end parts of the intestine.

    Within the small intestines, we have millions of villi, tiny finger-like projections that protrude from the epithelial lining of the small intestines. These villi and their microvilli absorb the nutrient molecules directly into the bloodstream, where they are carried throughout the entire body.

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