I remember growing up and being taught to not talk to strangers, let alone give them a hug and for good reason with the world we live in and all the violence we see happening to our children, but is that the best way? I don’t think we should force our kids to hug people, we need to teach them to trust their instincts, but we should teach them about the power of a “good hug”. I taught me kids early to give “good hugs”, to the people in our circle of friends and family. They are all grown up and they still give hugs. Life is about balance with wisdom. We as human beings need healthy and healing physical touch. Studies have shown that touch is essential to our well being, even for our mortality .
But touch is even more vital than this: babies who are not held and nuzzled and hugged enough will literally stop growing and-if the situation lasts long enough, even if they are receiving proper nutrition-die. SOURCE:
Bruce D. Perry, MD, Ph.D. is a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He is the Senior Fellow of The Child Trauma Academy and co-author of Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential—And Endangered.
Maia Szalavitz has published five books and written for The New York Times, Time magazine online, New Scientist, Psychology Today, and other major publications.
So here’s an experiment you may want to try and it may bring a bit of “Happy” into your life. Start a hug campaign in your home, church or community. I suggest to start some where you and the people around you will feel comfortable and open to this experiment of hugging.
Juan Mann, started a very public and controversial hug campaign, that impacted thousands of people. It was so powerful that authorities, banned his campaign. Juan went around and had people sign s petition and they had to remove the ban and the hugging party continued, Hugging is a big deal. Check out his video below and some reason why hugging is so good for us :
Scientific research shows that a good hug, meaning at least 20 seconds is the fastest way for you to get oxytocin flowing in your body. Oxytocin, also known as the “love drug”, calms your nervous system and boosts positive emotions. Here’s how a good hug resulting in oxytocin flow affects you:
• It lowers your blood pressure, especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious.
• It lowers your cortisol (the stress hormone), enabling a higher quality of sleep.
• It can increase your social connections and a sense of belonging.
Studies have also shown that couples who hug more are more likely to stay together. Some reports have even shown hugs can reduce pain. So let’s get the hugging party started. SPREAD THE LOVE. 💕
This is one of my favorite holidays. I am such a hopeless romantic. I love Love.❤❤❤
Valentine’s Day can be decadent and nourishing. We usually see quinoa used for savory dishes, but this is one of my favorites. You guys know how much I love quinoa. Check out all the delicious recipes here on my blog, but try this one first. 😘
< y Chocolate Heart Shaped Quinoa Macaroons is one you will come back to often. Enjoy these on Valentine’s Day or any day of the week. It’s an awesome recipe to share with your kids as well. b>Ingredients 6 tablespoons egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup cooked white quinoa. Follow package instructions.
Pinch of sea salt
bine the egg whites and maple syrup in a heatproof bowl.
Begin by tempering the eggs, which will create a nice crispy cookie exterior. Place the bowl over a pot with boiling water and whisk the eggs and maple syrup together until creamy and warm. When they’re warm to the touch, they are ready to go.
Remove the bowl off the heat and add in coconut, quinoa and salt, mix well.
Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or double parchment paper,( so they will not burn under the bottom)
Spray canola oil inside a heart shaped cookie cutter. Using an ice cream scoop, place the mixture in the heart shaped cookie cutter and fill to the top.<<<
tly press down the mixture into the cookie cutter, molding it into a heart shape. Remove the cookie cutter and continue until you have used all the mixture. Separating the cookies about 1 inch apart.
Bake in the center of a warm oven for 15 minutes until the cookies are nice and golden brown.
Let them cool for at least 10 minutes or until completely cooled.
Top with Chocolate Ganache<<<
4 oz dark or semi milk chocolate baking bar, chopped
1/2 cup milk or organic almond milk or any non dairy milk or heavy cream
Pinch of cayenne pepper
ce chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat milk on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour milk or cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. Drizzle over cooled heart shaped macaroons and Enjoy!!<<<<
Some encounters bring you back home to what your soul is yearning for. This year has done that for me and my family. I have been around people and places that have made me feel like, I was coming home. One of those encounters inspired me to move my culinary creative juices back to Raw Foods. Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. It only includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now I AM NOT A RAW FOODIST, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN, but my diet is about 80% plant based. I believe eating whole foods is better for my body, mind and spirit. So, how did I come back home to raw foods? My best friend. She wanted to take a yoga class one morning and I did have the time, I had so much work to do. I was behind schedule on several projects, I felt run down and just wanted to work and maybe catch a nap in. However, inside of me, my spirit was calling from some release, so I went.
The funny thing is, as we were driving to the studio, it hit me where we were going, to my old yoga studio. The place I learned about the healing beauty of yoga and meditation, ironically another one of my best friends introduced me to this studio, 13 years prior. I got some teacher training here from some the best yoga teachers in the United States. I was very ill during that time, fighting kidney disease and trying to take care of a toddler.
The yoga studio was a place of love and great healing for me. As we walked into the yoga studio, there on her mat was the owner and one of my first yoga teachers. My heart felt so much joy. I felt like I was back HOME. The class was amazing and I felt more energy in my body and spirit, plus so much peace.
My yoga teacher and I caught up and we talked about health issues. She shared with me her journey of healing and it hit me why I was there. Food has been a healing art for me. So of course, my best friend and Creative Marketing Director of my wellness company, mentioned what I had been up to lately with food. My yoga teacher was excited, she had been eating raw to heal, but she runs three businesses and doesn’t have time to prepare the food. She asked me to help her and of course it was my pleasure to say, YES. The yoga studio and her classes brought me so much healing and now I could give back. Life is always trying to bring us home, if we just take the time out to slow down and listen.
Here are three ways you can use my Raw Chocolate Ganache.
Raw Chocolate Ganache: You can use this for many other desserts
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, pinch of sea salt
Using your blender, mix together syrup and coconut oil until well combined. Add in your cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt, and process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. If using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit, or roll out ganache truffles using a melon scoop. 🙂
Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries
1/2 cup black cherries, thawed out frozen cherries
3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Ganache
1 tbsp maple syrup
crushed pistachios and a black cherry
Using a blender Blend everything together, using a biscuit cutter, place on a sheet pan with parchment paper . Pour the ganache mixture into the biscuit cutter, almost to the top, leave room to add the pistachios. Add the pistachios and top with a black cherry. Put into the freeze and allow to set over night or for at least 2 hours to get it very firm. When ready to serve, allow to set room temperature for about 2-3 minutes, this will make it easier for you to push the torte out of the biscuit cutter. Gently remove, by pushing up from the bottom with a frosting spreader or the back of a spoon.
Serve and enjoy immediately because the base is made of coconut oil, it must be eaten immediately or kept frozen.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
1 pear cut in half and seeds removed
Raw Chocolate Ganache, in it’s liquid form. if using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit.
whole coconut milk
1 tsp cardamom and a little more to dust over the pears
1 tbs maple syrup
Super simple. I add a little lemon juice to the pears, so they would not brown. Dipped them into the ganache. I dipped half of the pears here, added crusted walnuts, sprinkled with cardamom, you can also drizzle maple syrup, honey or agave over them for more sweetness. Put the pears into the fridge for an hour or overnight so the ganache can harden on the pears properly. The coconut cream is also super simple.
Open up a can of coconut milk and remove the creamy top part and add to a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in maple syrup and cardamom. Put whipped cream in the fridge to harden a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and whipped cream from the fridge. Add whipped cream to the pears and serve immediatley.
NOTE: This ganache has a coconut oil base so it will melt fast, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
Last one, but oh so good. My grandson helped me make these, notice the heavy handed areas of pistachios. Love it.
Raw Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios
3 tbsp cacao
2½ tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
small pinch sea salt
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
1 crushed soft peppermint stick
Whisk together melted coconut oil, raw cacao and maple syrup in a small bowl until completely smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and combine well.
Add nuts and peppermint
Line a cookie sheet with non stick parchment paper.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon, spread it thick so you bark doesn’t melt so quickly when eating it. 🙂 Add the goodies on top.
Place the container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the chocolate is completely hard.
Break up the pieces and serve immediately.
Store in the freezer. PSA
Since the base of this bark is coconut oil it will melt at room temperature, so please keep it in the freezer, until ready to serve. Eat immediately.
Butternut squash, pumpkins, cinnamon, crumble, Fall, Autumn! This is me screaming all the things I love about this time of the year and cooking. My favorite things baking for my friends and family. I feel like cooking and baking for those you love is one of my most rewarding things I can do for someone.
I got to bake these yummy muffins for one of my friends and fellow yogi, Amanda, because it was her birthday. Amanda is the manager and one of the amazing yoga teachers at the studio I teach at in our community. The studio is incredible, owned by the cutest and coolest couple, Kevin and Megan Kearney, you have to check it out, Ebb and Flow Yoga and Surf.
Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin spice muffins with a pumpkin seed and walnut crumble
Okay back to these muffins. I usually make my own gluten free flour, but this morning I decided to use one of my back up flours when I am in a hurry. I found that, this Pillsbury Gluten Free flour works great, when making muffins. When you are making gluten free baked goods, not every flour blend is going to work. So make sure the flour blend you are using, works well with what you are making. I will talk about this more soon, but check out on the blog my recipes for gluten free flours to make cakes, cookies, pancakes and muffins.
This recipe definitely will remind you of the upcoming holidays, it is packed out with those delicious spices we love during this time of the year, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I you will not be able to eat just one, I bet ya! 🙂
Enjoy and remember to Set the Table with Love.
Make flax eggs ~ 2 tbsp flax seed ground meal, plus 1/2 cup water
1 can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup organic cane sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
3/4 cup almond milk
3 tbsp organic brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp gluten free flour
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup tbsp olive oil
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease muffin tin. Dust with gluten free flour and shake off excess.
Add flax and water together into a large bowl( this is your egg substitute). Let set for 5 minutes. Next, add pumpkin purée, organic cane sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract and whisk for one minute.
Stir in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and mix. Add milk and whisk. Add the gluten free flour and stir until just combined. The batter should be thick and slightly wet, but with form and it able to be scoop into the muffin tins, easily. You do not want dry batter, dry batter will make very dense muffins.
Divide batter into the muffin tins. You will need to fill them to the top, they will not rise very much.
FOR THE CRUMBLE
In a mixing bowl, add crumble ingredients. Use your hand to mash the ingredients together, until crumbly like wet sand. Generously top muffins with streusel.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out completely clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then gently remove and cool completely on a cooling rack, before serving. Enjoy and Share. 🙂
A spring cleanse is an important regimen, no matter how healthy you are. Our bodies need a good cleansing from the previous diet of the winter. In the winter months we tend to get less exercise and we eat heavier, fattier and more comfort foods. Our metabolism slows down as much as 10%, so we have to get it back up and running. A detox can get that metabolism back up and ready to go for the warmer months ahead.
Today I will share a video and a few recipes on how I like to do my Spring detox. I would advice, before starting and new nutritional or exercise regimen to speak to your health care professional first.
One of my favorite ways to detox, is to drink vegetable broth in the morning. Here’s simple and nutritional vegetable broth you can try at home. I also like to juice during my detox, carrot juice is my favorite and provides results, quickly.
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add 4 quarts cold water. Add spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.
I drink this stock each morning. I drink it like a tea. You can also add lentils, an egg or other legumes to boost the protein.
Simple. Juice 5 carrots and enjoy. To boost the juice, to help with your immune system add1/2 tsp of turmeric at the bottom of the glass, then juice the carrots.
I love talking about food, nutrition, wellness and beauty. So, I thought that, I would share how my days usually go, that keeps me full of energy, balanced, looking and feeling my best. I learned a lot of this when I studied Holistic Nutrition and Medicine at Clayton College of Natural Health. How we break our fast, from the night before is very important . Eating a healthier, lighter diet and drinking plenty of fluids, helps cleanse and nourish the body gently, so you may have more energy and clarity throughout the day. What is happening, is we are flushing out built up mucous in the body, as we consume pure liquids, high fiber fruits and veggies, during the am.
Here is my sample of an Ideal Morning routine to cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, boost energy and jump start your day.
Wake up with the sun. Go to bed early enough to wake up without an alarm.
Sit quietly or lie up in bed, pray, meditate, deep breathing. Release any concerns or frustrations. Let things go. Visualize your day.
Pray, and I love reading my bible and other spiritual books.
Drink 2 cups of purified water with a squeeze of lemon.
Yoga and deep breathing for 20-30 minutes.
Eat 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.
Go for a vigorous morning walk or weight training 30 minutes
Get ready for my day.
Eat a whole grain breakfast, I love cooked oats or quinoa. Consume 30 – 60 minutes after the fruit.
Take my supplements.
In 1 or 2 hours, mid morning. a handful of nuts and/or seeds.
Now this depends upon any health issues you may have. So, ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW ROUTINE.
I am kidney transplant survivor and this works well for me, even when I have to p]0take medication.
I will share my Ideal Afternoon routine tomorrow, remember to always Set the Table with Love.
I am in love with Go Raw foods. I discovered their sprouted watermelon seed and how much vegan protein you can get from these little seed is amazing, just one ounce of these little babies will give you 11 grams of protein with only 4 grams of carbohydrates, say yes, please and thank you!!
Here’s the facts:
1 cup of dried seeds containing 30.6g, but I would suggest that because watermelon seeds are high in calories. A cup of watermelon seeds in about 600 calories, but this recipe only call for 1 oz. which is only a 170 calories.
Also, watermelon seeds are also loaded with several of the B vitamins. The American Cancer Society reports that B vitamins are necessary for converting food into energy and other important bodily functions.
Well this morning I made this amazing smoothie and did not want use any of my protein powder, so I used the seeds instead.
I am ready to go on my walk and do a little yoga. My son’s are killing me with their work out plan and getting all ripped. Mama got catch up.
Peach Mango Smoothie
1 cup of frozen mangos
1 cup of non dairy milk
1 oz of watermelon seeds by Go RAW