Three Sauces

three sauces

Today I present to you three very different sauces, all of them wonderful additions to a meal. Each one has a unique taste, is full of nutrients and brings your meal to another level. I eat these sauces regularly and love that they are all dairy free but not flavor free! After each recipe, I list some ideas on how to use the sauce. Enjoy!

Continue reading for the recipes!

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Facial Steam For Dry Weather


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I’ve been reading how important it is to do a weekly facial steam. It deep cleans your pores, and the nutrient-rich herbs nourish and tone your skin. The heat from the steam releases the aromatic cleansing oils which your skin will happily absorb. To top that off, it leaves your skin feeling soft and clean.

A few pointers:

  • Even if you don’t have all of the ingredients, go ahead and try the herbal steam; it’s better now than never! I didn’t have the lavender but I didn’t let that stop me. I can get the lavender soon.
  • After the steam facial, rinse your face with cold water and mist with rosewater. Then gently pat dry.
  • Try to steam for five to eight minutes. I probably lasted five.
  • If it gets too hot under the towel, lift a corner of the towel or lift your head up for a break.

Facial Steam for Dry-Normal Skin
From Rosemary Gladstar’s book Herbal Healing for Women

1 part lavender
2 part chamomile
2 parts roses
2 parts calendula
3 parts comfrey

To Make:
Mix all the herbs together, adjust amounts to suit you, and store in a dry, airtight glass bottle.

To Use:
Bring two or three quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add a healthy handful of the herb mixture and let it shimmer with the lid on for just a couple of minutes. Remove the pot from the heat source. With a large towel, completely cover your head and pot of steaming herbs.

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Green Juice Recipe

I love green juice. I’m a big believer in drinking freshly made juices, at least a few times a week. While the juice doesn’t have any fiber (it’s okay because you are getting it the rest of the day, right?)  it’s full of nutrients and enzymes that go zap! straight to your veins. There are many ways to make green juice, just make sure you don’t overload it with too many sweet fruits. One apple per person is great, or substitute another fruit depending on the season such as grapes, pears, or watermelon. Same thing for greens, mix them up!

morning juice2Enjoy!

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Let’s Go Inward

Rumi inward

Let’s talk about internal health, because you can eat kale up to your ears but if you are not paying attention to your inner Self then you are not fully living. I saw this quote (below) the other day and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

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Being Present

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“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are so many things I could say about this quote:

1. Your thoughts create your reality.
2. All you have is the present moment; the event/trip/weekend you are looking forward to in the future doesn’t exist.
3. Be grateful for what you have.
4. If you aren’t living the life you dream of, find a way to; what else is there to do?
5. Don’t worry so much about what others think about you or the life you live. Make it your own, follow your own path and realize that the only thing you have control over is the present moment.

Take what you want from this and make it your own. But, make it the best day you can.

For me, being present means following my heart and being true myself, whether that means I’m being goofy, laughing, crying, dyeing my hair blonde when I probably should just be brunette (but I HAD to see if blondes have more fun…I will get back to you later about this), making nourishing meals, exercising and so much more.

One last point: I was just talking with a friend about actually feeling our feelings. It’s important to not always try to push aside emotions, feelings, or thoughts that you think are dark. Running away from them, in my opinion, is worse than feeling them and processing them. I also believe overriding negative thoughts with positive thoughts is a useful tool, but sometimes you have to get to the heart of the problem in order to overcome an reoccurring emotion. What do you think is the best way to go about this?

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Snack Time! Nutritional Yeast Popcorn!

popcorn

If you are friends with me, you probably already know that I have a thing for popcorn. I’m kind of obsessed.  How can I resist the crunchy, salty, oily goodness? I will admit there was a time that I ate it a few times a week. I have since cut back because, I will be honest, it’s not the most nutritional snack out there. I’d rather enjoy popcorn a few times a month, instead of making it a normal part of my life.

The trick to popcorn is using the small white kernels. The yellow big ones aren’t as tasty and get soggy. I pop the white kernels in my popcorn maker, but you can also pop them on the stove with a little grapeseed oil (or another oil that can take high heat–not olive oil). Once it’s all popped, put it in a bowl and then add toppings. My favorite combination is olive oil, sea salt, nutritional yeast and curry powder. For a special treat I  mix some melted butter with olive oil.

Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins including B12, protein and fiber. I personally love the nutty taste. It’s great for vegetarians who might not get other sources of B12. Additionally, I use it when making vegan “cheese” (recipe coming soon!) and on top of oatmeal. I also love the added flavor the curry powder brings. The subtle taste of cumin, turmeric and other spices complements the nutritional yeast and tastes delicious.

p.s. This is a perfect snack to put in a small plastic bag and bring to the movies. You can avoid their GMO/trans fat popcorn and also save money. :)

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Facing Fear

rock

Let’s talk about fear. And let’s talk about conquering fear.

I have a habit of being afraid or nervous more than I would like. Interestingly enough, I also have a habit of putting myself in situations that I am afraid of. In college, I went on a 25 day bike trip (when I was not in great shape), I recently went to Toastmasters when I have a fear of public speaking and I have bought a ticket to India and gone there alone (twice!). You would think that, because of my fears, I would hide in my house and just avoid things that scare me. It’s not like people are forcing me to conquer my fears! I guess I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations. I like to think that I grow from these experiences and I want to be adventurous. The funny thing is I know that people think I AM adventurous and that I don’t have fear.

One big fear I had a few years ago was teaching yoga. I went to a yoga teacher-training course on a whim, with a friend, because who can turn down being in Costa Rica for a month? Not me. I went, telling myself that I would just think of it as a yoga retreat, a time to develop my yoga practice and swim in the ocean. I spent the month being afraid of talking in front of the group (my public speaking fear is real) and telling myself there was no way anyone would: a) hire me as a yoga teacher and b) come to my classes (yes I’m working on my self-confidence issues). But then a funny thing happened. I came back from my yoga teacher training and about one year later, I started teaching. At that time, I had moved away from the bay area in California and was back in my small hometown in Iowa. It seemed like the perfect time to teach. It wasn’t hard to get a teaching job and most people in Iowa are are not super hard-core yogis like you will find so many of in CA.

So, I started teaching, twice a week. Sometimes no one would come. Sometimes 6 people would come. As each week went by, I started to develop some confidence in my teaching skills. No, I’m not perfect and I still make mistakes. But, I’m doing the best I can, and, more importantly, I’m doing it! I’m showing up twice a week and sharing my love for movement. So, BAM! Take that, fear.

I guess the moral of the story is, see fear, and then say, “Step aside fear, you are not wanted here! I can do better than you, just watch me”. And then show fear who is boss. Just remember, it’s okay to make mistakes, we all do.

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What are you afraid of? Does your fear have any basis? And, how often do your fears become a reality?

P.S. The above picture is a recent trip I took to Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. Another scary moment!

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Sampler Meal- Simple Meal Idea

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When I go to  restaurants, I love trying sampler plates. It’s fun having a plate full of different tastes, textures and colors. Sometimes when I’m at home I like to create my own sampler plate by grabbing whatever I can find in the refrigerator. It’s a great way to use up items in your refrigerator and it takes a very short amount of time to prepare!

In this sampler plate, I had: Arugula, cucumbers, black and green olives, sauerkraut, carrots, pickles, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and hummus. I had a side of potato chips (I like the brand Good Health that uses avocado oil for frying!). I also added a side of summer squash, since I have enough for a family of ten, thanks to my parents’ garden.

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Easy Meal: Beans and Vegetables

veggies beans and cheese

I am not the biggest fan of leftovers. If I have a choice I eat something that is fresh and has been cooked recently. But when it comes to beans I am the opposite, bring on the leftovers! I’ve been cooking up a big pot of beans and then storing them in the refrigerator to use for upcoming meals.

Benefits of doing this:

1. I like cooked beans better than canned beans. The texture is chewier and there is more flavor.

2. It saves money, organic canned beans add up

3. They are in your fridge and ready to be turned into a bean soup, added to vegetables, turned into a mexican dish or whatever your heart (or stomach) desires.

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How I go about this.

The night before I cooked my beans I soak them in water, so they can soak overnight. Soaking beans not only reduces the cooking time, but also has many health benefits. It breaks down phytates and enzyme inhibitor and can reduce flatulence. I then discard the water and rinse the beans again. Next I put them in a pot full of water and some salt and let them boil for about 1-2 hours. I check them every once in a while to add more water and to test a bean to see if it’s ready. Once it’s soft and ready for eating, I rinse out the water and let them cool for a bit. I usually drizzle oil on top and then put them in a glass container and store them in my fridge.

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Make Mistakes

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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

-Neil Gaiman

Are you afraid of making mistakes? I am. I’ve been wanting to go to Toastmasters for years now, but I constantly come up with excuses for not going. My main reason is I will completely blank out and my voice will be shaky and then I will have to hold back my tears, yes, I am speaking from experience. Lets just say, public speaking is not my strong suit. I also shy away from baking because I find it tricky and more of a science than a pleasure. The thought of throwing away an entire cake filled with pricey, organic ingredients makes me cringe. But, what is the joy in life if we can’t try new things and work our hardest, learning from our mistakes and growing as humans? Growth is not always a straight trajectory, to learn and grow you must encounter obstacles and road blocks, that is what teaches us lessons and makes us stronger. So here is to making more mistakes and enjoying the process!

Update: I just baked a fruit crostata and a peach pie. It was my first time for both and they went well AND I went to Toastmasters as a visitor. I actually enjoyed myself, I want to  join next year when the timing is right.

 

Photo found here

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