Food For Thought

wicked

“By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness”

-The Yoga Sutras By Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras are a reading requirement for my 200 hour certification and this one has been by far my favorite. Any moment that I feel anxiousness or irritability towards another human being this sutra comes to mind and bring me the tools I need to carry out the interaction.

Sometimes cultivating these emotions when our ego wants us to feel something else is hard. But in the long term shutting the ego down is what helps us live the life we want and deserve.

Be happy for those happy people instead of trying to bring them down.

Feel compassion for the unhappy and hope that they find happiness again.

Feel delight in the virtuous, they are a reflection of what you can achieve, they are the ones who give you the fire to achieve it.

And my personal favorite, disregard the wicked.

I invite you to write this down, keep it in your back pocket, and remember it when you encounter one of the four of these people.

No Regrets, Just Love + Almond Butter Fudge

Do you know that terrifying feeling that you get before you’re about to do something life-changing?

hands and heart

This happens to me anytime I am making a big decision. You know the feeling, when you’re so excited, yet so scared at the same time. This fear can make you miss out on some major opportunities in your life. All of a sudden this fear takes over and you find questions running through your mind that didn’t exist before like ‘Am I doing this for me?’, ‘Is this what I really want?’, ‘What happens if I fail?’, ‘There’s no way I can succeed!’.

…..the thoughts go on…..

These fear based thoughts reared all of their ugly heads at me this week as time crept closer to choosing my yoga teacher training. As I had said earlier, I had found the one. Then Monday morning came around and I woke up not so sure anymore. Immediately I tried to figure out where these thoughts were coming from; what was the root of this thinking? It dawned on me that the day before at the Wanderlust event Yoga In The City, a thought had crossed my mind that I had never heard before: “What is your purpose?” This was a pretty daunting question and I honestly didn’t know. This one thought must have opened a flood gate because I woke up the next morning completely unsure of myself and who I was.

Instead of being dragged down by these fear based thoughts I decided to change the pace and do as Gabby Bernstein has been teaching me to do when things like this happen which is to face the fear. Acknowledge this fear as not real and return to love. So, I told my boyfriend about my day and how I was feeling to put the spotlight on it. Then I started asking myself some serious questions about what I wanted my purpose to be, what kind of yoga teacher did I want to be, who do I want to be? I then went home, made some almond fudge (recipe below), rolled out my yoga mat and did some seriously sweaty flows. As I laid in savasana I asked what my purpose was. The answer that came gave me a sense of ease and I think it could bring comfort to anyone. This is what I wrote in my journal, word for word:

Your purpose is to love.

Just as you always have.

Love love love.

Don’t let go.

Even if people are scared of it.

Even if people judge it.

Keep loving, it’s the most beautiful thing you can give to the world.

Forget your worry, love is there

I know that this may seem out there, but this message made me realize that there are no mistakes in life. There are no right and wrong decisions because everything happens for a reason. With each action and experience you are learning something whether you are aware of it or not. If you don’t believe me look at a mistake or not so great time in your life. Now, what is something positive that you would not have today if that mistake or not so stellar time in your life didn’t happen? It could be that you gained such as: life experience, knowledge, a relationship, a physical object, anything! The smallest fluctuation could change your entire life. Would you risk all of the good that you have to change something from the past?

I wouldn’t.

Don’t regret anything, look back on your life with love. If you didn’t go through that rough patch in your life you wouldn’t be in that happy place you are today. Are you in that rough patch right now? Guess what. Smooth sailing is ahead. And you will be a far better sailor than you were before.

It’s these simple switches in the mind and of perspective that makes life less stressful and more fun. Being at peace with your past and future can also make you more grateful for the present.

With light and love,

Kathleen

Almond Butter Fudge

via Tara Stiles and Detoxinista

almond butter fudge

What you will need:

1 cup Almond Butter or Peanut Butter

*preferably organic

1/4 cup warm coconut oil

*place jar in warm water to liquify

1 + 1/2 tablespoons of Raw Honey

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Optional: Chocolate Chips

What you need to do:

Combine the almond butter, coconut oil, raw honey, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Then add your chocolate chips.

For a container you have two options:

1. a glass casserole dish (the smaller the better)

2. a sandwich sized tupperware container.

I used two sandwich sized tupperware containers. Line the container with plastic wrap then pour in your mixture. Smooth out the mixture with a spoon or spatula and place in the freezer for 1 hour.

After the hour has passed you can remove your fudge from the dish or container by pulling it out by the plastic wrap. Then separate the fudge from the wrap. It’s not sticky because of the coconut oil so it should come right off.

Cut the fudge into squares and enjoy!

If you have leftovers be sure to store them in the freezer.

And We’re Back! (+ a yummy recipe)

Cover

Hello again!

It feels like it has been forever, when in reality it has only been a short couple of weeks. It’s amazing how much you can learn and accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Throughout this break I have graduated college (finally!), did my very first juice cleanse (1 full day, with visions of 3 for the future), and found the studio where I will complete my 200 hour yoga training in the fall. And these are just the bigger events that are standing out! I have also been trying new products, reading new books, listening to new lectures (and some old), trying new recipes, and new styles of yoga and meditation.

All the while, ideas for articles kept popping up in my head. But don’t you worry, I wrote them all down.

As you can tell I have a lot to share! But this time I am pacing myself.

From now on you will see one post per week and one recipe from me. Although I love the Daily Inspiration, it gets tough to give it my whole heart and soul on a daily basis. But I think the one post per week will be a great match! 

Each post will allow me to post some inspiration, share tips on how to live well, and give you a great recipe to try!

Not a bad deal right?

*If you still need a little wellness inspiration on a daily basis, check me out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram*

I hope you’re looking forward to this comeback as much as I am.

Now, as promised..The Recipe!

photo (1)

Vanilla Chia Pudding

What you need:

-1 cup non-dairy milk (almond, hemp, cashew, coconut)

-2-3 Tablespoons chia seeds (you’ll get a sense for how much you need as it thickens)

-1 Teaspoon all natural maple syrup

-1/2 Teaspoon all natural vanilla extract

-Sprinkle of cinnamon

-Additional toppings (berries, bananas, walnuts, almond slivers, etc.)

What you do:

Pour the cup of non-dairy milk into a bowl. Mix in the chia seeds and additional ingredients. Stir until all is well incorporated in the milk. Place it in the fridge to thicken. What happens during this time is that the chia seeds absorb the liquid and start to turn into a gelatin consistency.  The longer it sits the more dense it will be. After about 15 minutes stir it again. Sometimes you can eat it at this point, but I would leave it for another 15-20. Keep stirring it at intervals though because sometimes the chia seeds get stuck at the bottom, and although that’s OK it’s not ideal.

Once it is at the thickness you like, top it with some blueberries, strawberries, or walnuts. Or you can eat it plain.

I usually make mine the night before so that it is super thick by the time I eat it for breakfast.

This snack is perfect for when you need to be satisfied and energized. Chia seeds are great for creating lasting energy as well as holding onto water (in a good way that keeps you hydrated. Chia seeds are also known for giving people leaner physiques. Did you know summer is right around the corner? This would be the perfect snack to sneak in the cooler during a beach or pool day. Cool, refreshing, and satisfying!

Daily Inspiration-Affirmations

Aim True Affirmation

What a powerful affirmation.

This one was made by my favorite yoga teacher, Kathryn Budig. She is the wonderful mind behind a Vinyasa flow called Aim True. Besides the amazing archery based sun salutations, the idea is that everyday you make an intention or affirmation to help you reach your goals. These intentions and affirmations help you keep your eye on the target and can help you stay true to what your heart and soul actually wants out of life.

I feel as though this affirmation can be used daily. To see things with loving eyes helps you to become less hurt when people cast judgment upon you or are rude to you. When you see things with loving eyes you are seeing the story behind the actions. This may be difficult at first but it is all a part of acting mindfully.

Acting to not react.

For example, when someone casts judgement upon you or says something purposely to hurt you. Simply remind yourself that this person is projecting onto you. It is them that feels this way about themselves. It is no secret that misery loves company. Don’t join them, don’t react. Somewhere in this persons life they are feeling a lack of love and usually that lack of love is coming from themselves.

Look inside,

breathe,

remind yourself why it isn’t true,

and send them the light and love that they are missing. 

Coconut Oil Changed My Life

coconut oil

I love Coconut Oil.

You are probably thinking I love coconut oil for one reason, to cook. But that is not true.

I recently discovered the other amazing ways that you can use coconut oil and it has changed my life, beauty routine, hair and skin.

Here are the many ways that I use coconut oil on a daily basis:

Shaving Cream:

Yup, that’s right. I use coconut oil to shave my legs. I have never been a fan of shaving cream, it has always made my skin so dry. So I usually would just use conditioner. But then I was using so much conditioner. And sometimes that wasn’t as effective either. Since our skin is our largest organ I knew it would benefit from having coconut oil slathered all over it, so when I read that this was possible I immediately gave it a try. The results were amazing. The blade went over my skin smoother and I no longer needed to use lotion post-shower because my legs were already moisturized. So, not only did it make shaving easier but it also saved me time! Simply take a teaspoon of slightly soft coconut oil, rub on the desired area, and shave.

Face Wash and Make Up Remover:

Many of you may be thinking “But won’t that clog my pores and cause me to breakout?” I kind of thought it would too but it actually made my skin even clearer! Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it actually helps those flare ups of acne.It also works better than any make up remover I have ever tried. All you do is take a little bit onto your fingertips, tissue paper, or onto a cotton round (what I use) and wipe the oil all over your face. Take as much as you need, but don’t over do it. You just want enough to very thinly cover your face. Then wet a wash cloth with warm water and wipe the oil off. Your skin should feel moisturized and clean.

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask:

I only get a hair cut twice a year. They’re expensive and I have been loving my long hair. But I also have thick and curly hair that tends to get dry and frizzy. I have tried putting coconut oil in my hair before but it always came out greasy. I obviously didn’t know the correct way to use it. I now use it once a week as a deep conditioning mask. To do this just scoop about a tablespoon of solid oil into your fingers. Put the oil between your palms and rub in between your hands to warm and liquify it. With your hair dry and parted into 3 inch sections start to rub the oil into the hair, focusing more on the ends. Continue around your head, adding more oil as needed, until all of the sections are saturated with oil. I usually do this in the bathtub so that the oil and my hair stays warm. But if you are not in a bath, just wrap your hair in a towel to keep the heat in. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes then wash it out in the shower with shampoo. I wash my hair twice to make sure I have gotten it all out. Style as usual. By the end your hair will be silky, smooth, and smell delicious.

One product with so many functions and believe it or not I have heard of more! Coconut oil can also be used as toothpaste, deodorant, and for oil pulling. By using one product for many beauty use you are also saving yourself money. I buy one jar for my kitchen and one for the bathroom.

And of course always choose organic and unrefined coconut oil.

Health. Happiness.Love.

Recipe of the Week: Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie

Cacao Smoothie

 

This smoothie is the perfect snack in the afternoon. You know that time when it’s around 3:00 and you start to feel a little tired, you start to experience a craving for something sweet or a second cup of coffee, and you may be feeling a little down about being stuck indoors at work. Especially as spring and summer are coming into bloom.

If this is the case, this smoothie is for you. 

The best part is that it is very simple to make.

All you will need is:

-1 medium ripe banana

-1 cup almond milk

-2 tablespoons all natural creamy peanut butter

-1 tablespoon cacao powder

-3 ice cubes

Now what?

-Place everything into a blender and blend until smooth!

I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to make this at work when I need it most?

Of course this is probably not possible. So make it that morning, or the night before. If you choose to make it the night before simply put it in a trusted, air tight mason jar and store it in the freezer overnight. Take it out in the morning and allow it to defrost throughout the day to be ready for you to enjoy by 3.

If you make it in the morning just make sure that you keep it refrigerated.

Cacao is the superhero of this smoothie. It will give you that lift that you need. Not only is cacao full of antioxidants and promote cardiovascular health but it also has been proven to raise the level of serotonin in the brain, which acts as an anti-depressant. It also releases endorphins which helps create a sort of “runner’s high” and also releases Anandamide which is our brains “bliss chemical”. Bottom line is cacao makes you feel pretty damn good about yourself! Which is crucial during that afternoon lull.

Cacao is also full of essential minerals such as magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.

Ditch the guilt laden afternoon snacks and cups of coffee and switch to this smoothie instead. It takes 2 minutes to make and will make you feel better than any last minute pick me up can.

Health.Happiness.Love.

Daily Inspiration

headstand

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” 
― Rumi

I really liked this quote today.

As a sensitive person I often fall victim to criticism or comparing myself to others. These past couple of months I have been able to get in touch with that on a deeper level and instead of being wounded or hurt by it, I learn from it and rise above it.

In every situation, especially the difficult ones, there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes it can be really hard to see that lesson. That’s why I usually just straight up ask. I say “God, Universe, Spirit, What are you trying to tell me?” And usually the message comes out clearer. I know this sounds crazy, but I swear it really works.

This week those lessons have been coming out through my lectures at school. Tuesday I was feeling frazzled and stressed, while considering my mental health day Wednesday we discussed Existential Psychology in class and how important it is to have a balance between structure and freedom. My life with school and work revolves around structure, what my mind and soul needed was a little bit of freedom, so I took it.

Yesterday I was in an interesting mood AGAIN. And in my lecture, ran by the same amazing teacher, we discussed how neuroticism is manifested in our early developmental period. Usually I think to myself “Great, I am crazy” but he began to talk about the resilient people who come out of not so stellar situations. From just a few examples that he gave, I put myself in that category. It was a great reminder to appreciate myself, where I have come from, and to give myself some credit for all that I am doing. 

So although criticism and comparisons will come and go it’s important to remember that once they do come to look inside yourself and think about how you can grow from the experience. How can you handle this criticism better? But also better yet, how are you already great?