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As we spring forward and hopefully bid farewell to winter, I"d like to talk about one of my favorite subjects, Self-Care!   Let's pause for second and remember that you must give yourself permission to practice self-care in order to have a fulfilling life!  Spring can get super busy as we try to cram in more into our longer days.  Spring time can be a more stressful time of year as activities start to ramp up for our kids as well. 


So, what is self-care?  Well, yes of course the first thing that comes to mind is a massage or a pedicure but actually it's any activity that nurtures and refuels you at a deep level.  It doesn't have to cost anything and is more of a necessity than a luxury.  It's just like putting on your oxygen mask first so that you are better equipped to support your family, community and world.  Self-care can be as simple as taking an extra long shower, going for a walk in nature, going to bed at a good time every night or eating more wholesome foods.  Try to totally unplug during this time though, so you can be present and get the most out of this wonderful gift you are giving yourself!


I recently started to dive deeper into meditation and it has been a life saver for me.  Another simple self-care practice is keeping a gratitude journal.  Everyday, write down five things that you are grateful for.  This is an amazing superfood for your mind, body & soul!  


To really treat yourself, come join Mary Catherine (yoga instructor) and myself for a day of Inner Spring Cleaning, a Yoga/Meditation/Ayurveda retreat on Sunday, March 17th.  See my events page for more info!


Recipes

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KITCHARI

Kitchari is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic dish that dates back thousands of years. It is a one-pot dish and a mixture of two grains, basmati rice and mung (dal) beans. This combination, of rice and dal has a good amount of protein and with some added vegetables creates a well-balanced meal. It is very easy to digest, is sustaining and nourishing as well. It is often used for fasting or for an Ayurvedic cleansing/detox program. Kitchari can be eaten for lunch/dinner and even enjoyed for breakfast!


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of basmati rice (Cook as directed). Sprouted is best and can be found in health food stores (THRIVE/online). TJ’s also sells sprouted rice. You can sprout yourself by soaking the rice for 8 hours or overnight.

1 cup of mung beans (dal or split lentil beans) Sprouting is also best here or you can purchase at Whole Foods or a health food store. 

1 cup of vegetable stock

1 can of light coconut cream

1 inch ginger root, grated

1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped/grated

2 teaspoons of ghee

½ teaspoon of coriander powder

½ teaspoon of cumin powder

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

½ teaspoon of cumin seeds

Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 and ½ cups assort vegetables (steamed broccoli, green beans/roasted asparagus, sweet potato)


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately and cook the rice according to directions on package with water.


2. In a separate saucepan, on medium heat, sauté the seeds in the ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices, the ginger & garlic and stir together for a few minutes to release their flavor. At this point add the dal, stock and coconut cream and stir to combine everything. Season with salt and pepper and cover, lower heat to cook for 20 minutes or until the dal is tender. If the mixture has dried up, feel free to add more stock.


3. When rice has cooked and rested for 10 minutes plate the rice first, top with dal & vegetables and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. 

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No Bake Dark Chocolate Superfood Energy Bites

(Vegan, no bake, raw)

These energy bites are SO easy to make and much healthier than store bought energy bars.  Most energy bars are glorified candy bars, loaded with sugar and questionable ingredients.  Check the ingredients in your bar and see what I mean. You'll save money and take control of the ingredients and the amount of sweeteners, minus the junk/preservatives.    


Energy bites also provide long-lasting energy for busy days and are great for traveling and fueling before and after workouts. They do a great job at sustaining you between meals as well.  


There are so many variations of these recipes on line! I just made some pumpkin spiced bites the other day and for Christmas I plan on making sour cherry/dark chocolate bites, yum!! 


Ingredients:

1 cup of organic rolled oats

¼ cup of mini semi sweet choc. chips (Enjoy Life Brand/Vegan)

½ cup ground flax seed

¾  cup of crunchy raw almond butter 

2  tablespoons of cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut for rolling (optional)

Optional: 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds 


Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Then add wet ingredients and mix well.  Put bowl of mixture into freezer for 30 minutes. Makes forming balls easier. Roll mixture into 1” balls with your hands. Then roll in unsweetened coconut flakes. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for longer life! 

Makes approx 12 -15 balls.





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Chocolate Avocado Flourless Muffins

 (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free!)

These muffins are a delectable treat with chocolaty flavor and fudgy texture, almost brownie like!  All the deliciousness without the guilt! No one has to know about the avocado, it's our healthy secret :)  I top mine with coconut flakes before baking. 


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 avocado, seed removed and flesh scooped out
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 2-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a  mini muffin pan with  liners and spray with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Puree avocado and banana in food processor or use mixer.
  3. Add in almond butter and combine.
  4. Add in protein powder, cocoa powder and maple syrup, combine.
  5. Add batter to a bowl and mix in chocolate chips
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, insert batter in a mini muffin pan. Fill each cavity to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
  7. Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.