CREATING PEACE

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The first step to creating peace is understanding, self love, and love for Spirit. Understanding how love, karma, conditioning, the ego, the soul, and surrender work are all lessons we must learn if we want peace in our everyday life. Learning to see how the mind works and how the ego feeds off the mind. My favorite way the mind is described is called “the monkey mind”. Its like a hungry monkey swinging from tree to tree if we do not feed it, it will not stop. I recommend feeding the monkey mind objects of substance. Reading sacred texts, engaging in meaningful conversation, positive music, movies with moral lessons, spending less time on social media and watching the news, spending time outside, mediating on the heart, etc. Filtering what we let into our minds is one way to create peace while learning at the same time. Learning about karma and how we can create a more peaceful future with every action we choose. Replacing bad habits with those that move us forward in a positive direction we want. We are prone to addiction so for every negative behavior we engage in, the more likely we will choose to take part in that behavior again. Just so, every time we replace a bad habit with a good one, the more likely we are to make the right choice again. Taking the time to make your life sacred is a good way to ensure making the right choices is more easy for us the next time. For example; when I wake up in the morning I make myself hot lemon water, go to my altar to do my puja and mediation, followed by about an hour of asana. When I start my day off this way I am making my morning sacred. I am more likely to choose healthy activities, thoughts, and exchanges throughout the rest of my day than if I were to have rushed out the door without settling my mind and hurried off into the day. Next is learning to create peace by surrender. Surrender is usually associated with giving up or accepting defeat. In this case surrender is being used as a term to explain a yogis surrender to the flow. Accepting that God’s plan is greater than my own or your understanding. Surrender is accepting that the world was not made as I want it to be always and my way is not always best. Peace can be had when we truly trust that e v e r y t h i n g, the good and the bad, are happening for our benefit. Usually in life we can look back over the years and see how everything fits together like a puzzle. Its with this broad vision that we can see everything in divine order. We only are unsettled when we have narrow vision associated with poor pitiful me playing the victim. Seeing our lives as they unfold, not understanding why things are happening is normal. Thats when surrender comes in. Saying okay universe, I trust that this happening for the best and I accept things as they are. This type of attitude is necessary for peace even during the most mundane activities such as driving, working, doing chores, going to the grocery, walking your dogs, or hanging out with family and friends; to the more emotional times in life such as pregnancy, marriage, death, betrayal, abuse, etc! Peace is created when we can learn to love ourselves  and our lives as they are. Then only can we begin to make changes from a place of trust that allow for greater outcomes! These are just a few ways I have created peace in my life and I hope they help you with cultivating peace inside yourself! What are some ways you create peace in you everyday life?? Comment above.

 

LOVE and PEACE

 

 

 

MANGO BABY

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What do you get when two women who love to cook in the kitchen when there is nothing to cook?! Fresh mango deliciousness. The fun part about cooking in the summer with fresh fruits and veggies is that you can use what you already have laying around in the kitchen to make something yummy without having to follow a recipe or go to the store! Especially when all the produce from the gardens start to come in! Have you planted your garden yet? Its still not too late! Go for it. In any case, here is the recipe we used for this pop up mango salad courtesy of Liem Walker!

Mango Salad

  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 3-4 baby cucumbers diced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • green onion  chopped
  • basil ( sweet and cinnamon) a few leaves of each- chopped
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • handful blueberries diced
  • handful cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 serrano pepper diced (exclude if you don’t like a little kick)
  • a few splashes of rice vinegar
  • 2-3 pinches of salt then salt to taste

So Yummy! We had a mango that we knew we wanted to use. From there we used our creativity and taste buds to lead the way. I think this would have been great with strawberries in it as well! This salad can be eaten by itself or can be put on top of tacos, chips, or as a stuffing! Bright, colorful, and tasty. Did you notice we didn’t even have to use any sugar!! The best part to me! Fruits are natures  natural sugar and I love to take advantage of them! What are some of your favorite fresh or fruit and veggie salads?

LOVE AND MANGOS

RAW

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Spring for me means eating fresher, lighter, healthier foods! If you’re like me then you are looking for something easy and quick. Although, I do enjoy taking an few hours to cook dinner when I am with friends or having a night in sometimes! Tonight we are having tomatoes, avocado, and basil stacks, raw hemp seed tabouli, and raw Mexican wraps! Yes, Italian, Greek, and Mexican all in one meal because why not?!  I have gotten so much positive feed back from the gardening blog so I’m itching to share more on the garden soon! Until then, enjoy these fresh eats ❤ Check out Kimberly Snyder for more fresh raw recipes! She inspired these I am making tonight!

BASIL STACKS

  • 2-3 Organic tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • two handfuls basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Slice tomatoes and avocados. Next starting with the tomatoes first layer tomato, basil, then avocado. Top with balsamic and olive oil! Salt to taste.

RAW TOBOULI

  • 1 Bunch organic parsley
  • 1 organic tomato diced
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 4-5 heaps on hemp seed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Chop parsley and mix in a bowl with tomato, onion, hemp seed. In a separate bowl mix juice of one lemon, one clove garlic, two to three tablespoons olive oil, and sea salt! Pour over parsley mixture and enjoy! Super easy huh?

RAW WRAPS

  • 4-6 big Collard green leaves
  • 2 organic tomatoes diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1  1/2  onion diced
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 2 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 1 Tbs Red Pepper Flakes or Chili Powder
  • sea salt

Mix avocado, tomatoes, onions, and spices in a bowl together. Sea Salt to taste. Cut the stem of the collard green until most of the hard part is gone leaving the leaves on either side in contact. Place mixture in leaf and roll burrito style. They can be kind of tricky at first but if you look at it like a tortilla instead of a leaf it helps! These were my favorite out of everything!! The cumin is such a great way to help for those looking to make the switch from meat to veggies because it gives food a similar taste!!

What are some of your favorite raw recipes?!

LOVE AND RAW FOODS

 

 

GARDNER

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Its all about the soil and the sun! Everything I know I have learned from my husband’s green thumb. He is the plant whisperer. So first sun. Planting in an area that is going to provide enough sun exposure to your plants is so important! Especially for tomatoes, they love sun from the time it rises until the time it sets. Next is soil! The soil is the incubator of healthy plants. We use compost from the food we have recycled from the year before. Instead of buying fertilizer, just recycle all the food you eat excluding meat and dairy. We cannot expect to take all the nutrients from the Earth not replenishing the soil, then wonder why our plants will not grow! Next is the magic worker. Gin trash, or cotton seed hull. Huttos in Jackson has a bedding mix with top soil and gin trash that works like steroids for the plants.You can ask your local gardening shop for something similar! If you are using raised beds, compost can go on bottom and bedding mix on top! If you are planting directly in the ground, tilling is the first step. The area of the garden needs to be tilled at least three times fully so that the ground is super soft! Then tilling in compost adding in the bedding mix last is your best bet. The fun part! Pick out your plants and put them in the ground! Water them after they are planted so they may begin to settle in where they are! Thats it! Now the job is to keep the weeds picked while they are small and water the garden daily, unless the rain helps you out! If you are still wanting to plant, go for it! The most opportune time has passed but better late than never!

A few tips we have learned about individual plants:

  • Okra do best in the dry humid heat. Don’t over water them.
  • Tomatoes need to be staked to they can grow up as high as possible. When fruiting the limbs become too heavy and fall on the ground. The tomatoes will rot if they are laying on the ground. Help them out with stakes and string!
  • Cucumbers will grow wherever the please. They need a trellis to climb and you can help them by redirecting the fingers that wrap around everything!
  • Tomatoes have sucklings! You can pluck these off and replant them. They will become a whole other fruit producing plant that you can give to a friend or family in a pot! We usually have about fifty tomato plants by the end of summer.
  • Basil will grow until it seeds! Drop the seeds in the soil in the same pot it is growing in. When summer ends pull up the dead basil plant and compost it. The next spring all the seeds you sprinkled will become new baby basil! You never have to buy another basil plant again!

These are just suggestions and what we have had success with!! Id love to post a live video of Gregg talking about the plants soon! Feel free to comment or ask any questions!

 

LOVE and SPRING

 

SEED

  

India planted a seed. And once a seed is planted in the heart it has no choice but to grow. Because the heart only knows how to nourish and love , this seed will grow and grow and there is nothing I can do about it. However in order for this seed to grow so much, my heart must grow too. The limbs must find their way through the walls of the heart out into the light. It may sound easy but let me tell you it is quite the experience and sometimes painful. Painful to the minds eye anyway. This growing and breaking through is similar to that of a lotus seed. It must grow through the mud and the gick on the bottom layer of the water. Up through the depths of the deepest water it finally reaches the top for fresh air and sunlight. Once fully blooming a beautiful lotus flower appears. To the eye, a simple process. To the flower, it knows know different. How could it wish to be doing something other than what it is? Sometimes we wish we were doing something other than what we are. But how silly! We can’t be doing anything other than what we are. Growing and blooming and unfolding. There is magic. And even though the word or idea of magic may seem childish it is not. It requires a child like heart to believe, but my friend it is real. Turn off the mind , turn on the heart. A seed has been planted, let it grow. 

                          LOVE and LIGHT 

ALL NATURAL

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About five weeks ago I made my own face wash and face lotion. I started researching and learning about all of the chemicals that are in face washes and lotions that are harmful or not good for our bodies so…. I went all natural. First I threw away all my store bought products.Take a moment to check the ingredients on the back of your bottle you have laying around. I didn’t know what one chemical was when I did.  I felt bad because they weren’t empty but not as bad as I did for putting unknown chemicals on my body. Next I looked up different recipes, taking what I liked from each to make my own. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy was my main source of information if you are looking to make your own also. Next I went to our local natural grocery store and got the list of things I needed, including little containers to store the product in once it was complete. All of these things can be bought off the internet if you don’t have access to a local natural grocery.

FACE WASH

  • 2 oz Castile Soap (I used Rose)
  • 2 oz Almond Oil
  • 1/2 oz coconut butter
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drop lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops clary sage

I used baine- marie method or a medium sized pot with boiling water and another smaller set in or on top of the medium pots water to melt the cocoa butter, almond oil, and Castile soap together. Then add into container that you want to store your mix in and add oils. You can replace all of those oils I used with whatever ones you would like but these are some of my favorite! Just make sure you don’t use peppermint because it will burn.

FACE LOTION

  • 3 oz Cocoa butter
  • 1 1/2 oz almond oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 oz spring water warm
  • 3 1/2 TBSP fresh lavender

Using the bain-marie method, melt the cocoa butter then add spring water and almond or grapeseed oil. Pour in container you want to store, add lavender, and stir in until cold.

Its not hard, but it does require a little bit of prep work. I have truly enjoyed how my skin feels and looks. This may be a placebo effect but nonetheless I truly believe it is important what we put in and on our bodies! Give these a go and let me know what you think. What are some of your favorite essential oils to incorporate into your daily routines? and YES! I was worried about the wash not being able to remove mascara and makeup but it works like magic. I also have started using rose water and rose oil spray on face every morning.Rose water can bring benefits to all skin types, it can help sooth and cool sensitive and irritated skin, balance the skin all over the body,  cleanse oily skin,soften and tone mature skin, rejuvenate the normal skin. Rose water is filled with anti-oxidants and various vitamins, therefore, it can help prevent the signs of ageing and nourish the skin. Check it out. I can’t wait to play with making more natural products. Until then-

 

LOVE and NATURAL YOU

BUT WHAT IF YOU FLY

    

The benefit of taking a leap faith is that you never have to wonder what if. There are no regrets. 

Chasing your dreams means an unforseeable future, which naturally stirs anxiety for me. 

The fun part about the unknown is, I’ve always been silently drawn towards the chaos it can create in the heart.

 This year so far has been one for jumping clear off cliffs without a parachute on and somehow I haven’t hit the ground yet. I have officially started teaching yoga and opened up my own business as Lila Yoga. I couldn’t be more excited! 

What I’m trying to say is take your time adjusting when changes or new situations come. There is a learning curve in life just like in  academics. Keep your goals in sight. Everyday, ask yourself if you are moving in the direction of completing that goal or future you want. 

Is what you are doing today going to help you to get to the life you want for tomorrow? All we can do is put one foot in front of the other. If we fall then at least we can say we tried.

 But you may just fly. 

                      LOVE and LIGHT

WHOLE FOODS

  

 

Ive found a new super food favorite! Before I get to that I have to ask: Does anyone else’s diet flip flop? They say a good  healthy body is made in the kitchen and not the gym. Ive found this to be true. If you eat eighty percent healthy and twenty percent of the not so healthy foods, then you are doing it right! Because let’s be honest, no one can deny a perfectly cut cheesy piece of pizza. 

Luckily for me, my cravings control my 80/20 diet for me. For about two weeks out of the month- ladies know what I am talking about- sorry fellas, I crave pizza, donuts, fried rice, sushi, and yes, every so often taco bell even though I can’t eat it. The other two to three weeks of the month I crave healthier whole foods. 

Being a vegetarian makes coming up with healthy meal options a little more challenging, but I enjoy bringing my creativity into the kitchen. Ive found if you fall in love with what you are doing, the process is less strenuous or stressful.This is no exception to cooking. I say this because I found starting a healthy eating plan was hard to get into! So do it for the love of your body and mind. Not only will you enjoy what you are eating more, but you are more likely to stick with healthy eating habits over the course of your life.

 In health psychology we have studied how healthy foods not only affect your physical health but also your mental health! Just give a whole foods diet a try for a month. You won’t be disappointed. So now I want to introduce my new favorite super food! Broccoli Sprouts. Okay, so what is a super food you ask? A super food is packed full of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. These super foods can even reduce your risk of chronic disease therefor prolonging life. Broccoli sprouts, as well as other varieties of sprouts, can be found at your nearest Whole Foods. 

If you don’t want to buy them, grow them! Going your own food can be very grounding and rewarding. Plant a pack of broccoli seeds then pick them when they are one to two inches sprouted. These sprouts have a spicy taste with a crunchy texture. So far, I have topped them on my creamy pasta, as well as the salad I had today for lunch. Also in this salad I used a mix of spring greens, iceburg lettuce, half yellow onion, handful black seedless grapes, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette , and red wine vinaigrette. 

Today was my first time using grapes in a salad. However, the sweetness of the grapes helped balance the spicy taste of the onion and broccoli sprouts. Im such a nerd I know, but I can’t wait to pack this delicious lunch to take with me on the go. It is perfect for keeping my tummy full and energy high.

What are some of your favorite super foods? Don’t know which foods are super foods? Give them a quick research. I bet you already have them incorporated into your diet! Comment above!

LOVE AND WHOLE FOODS

LITTLE THINGS

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Two boiled eggs, one english muffin- heated- with creamy peanut butter and honey, and fruit. That is how I have been starting my mornings the past few days. Such a big difference from my usual breakfast! Most mornings my breakfast consist of juice I press from whatever fruits and veggies I have in my fridge, warm lemon water, or coffee if lemon water is not available. The more I look back into my life the more I see how very necessary it is for me to have constant change. I was not even aware I needed this change so I made no conscious acts to ensure its happening. However, I was still granted with change. Ive never had a job for more than three years straight. Actually most have only lasted a year. This is not because I was fired or I quit, it just so happened that my circumstances allowed me to be there that long, then it was over. It has been a wonderful experience. I have learned new skills, shaken more hands, gained more knowledge, and been happy all because of change. How often we can think of change as negative.

As I move into the next few weeks I will be starting my last semester in my undergraduate degree, returning to my job that I hold during the school year through working on campus, starting an internship at Blaire E Batson working with neuroscience in children at the cancer clinic and clinical psychologist, and beginning the journey of teaching yoga! When I first committed to teaching yoga I was so scared. I remember being grateful that the time between then and when I would begin teaching was so far away. Well now it is here and I am not so scared anymore. Nervous, but not scared. All I can repeat in my head is “Do your best, that is all that you can do.” Rachel Brathen always has the best mantras for me personally.

So what does this matter to you? We all have a lot of things going on in our lives. I think it is so important to find a phrase or word that helps calm the nerves or emotions we can create in our mind. Lately, mine has been what I wrote above. For you, this can be a Bible verse, a lucky stone you carry around in your pocket, a necklace, or a little saying. Just something to remind you that everything is okay. To bring you back to center and back to peace. It is the little things in life that we do repeatedly that make up the big things in life. Lets focus on the little things today.

                    LOVE AND LIGHT

AMENDMENTS 

Finally slowing down enough to write a blog. Recently I have been working on letting go of negative self talk when changing expectations and goals I have set for myself- if they need to change. When I originally started this blog, I posted six days a week! Now sometimes it seems as if that is impossible. At first I was hard on myself for not posting as much, then the tiny voice comes and tells me everything happens exactly how it is suppose to. To stop resisting. So, I stopped worrying about it and here I am again. I’m writing and introducing new hobbies and goals into my plan that now may mean blogging a little less, or maybe a little more. The point is I’m gunna stop judging myself according to how many post I make and just go with what I can accomplish! I think it is important that we amend goals, check in with what we want in life, and what is achievable at least once a week! Maybe you can do more this week- or maybe you need to cut a few things out. Just remember to keep the big picture insight. Move towards what makes your heart flutter a little more. Do a little more of what makes you happy. Trust that everything is aligning so that you may get everything you need, if we can only be open enough to receive it. 

I have two recipes that I’ve added to my list of favorites that I whipped up this past Sunday. Since they were trial runs I don’t have pictures but I wanted to share anyway! This recipe was fun for me because I was able to use the butternut squash we had grown from the garden! They are so fun to watch grow. 

Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Sage Soup- makes enough for six to eight

  • Two small to medium butternut squash or one large one
  • Bunch of fresh sage
  • Stick of butter
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • One large sweet onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper

First start by peeling squash and dicing into little one inch cubes. They don’t have to be perfect…just small enough to cook fairly quick. Place on pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for thirty minutes or until fork tender. Meanwhile cut up onion and sauté with tablespoon of butter and a little olive oil until opaque or about ten minutes. Add in cooked butternut squash and sauté for about five more. Carefully take squash and onion and put into a blender or food processor to purée. In a medium stock pot add six cups vegetable broth. Stir in purée and let simmer for thirty minutes. Right before serving soup, melt the rest of your butter into a sauce pan with about twenty to thirty sage leaves. Turn heat up to a medium high. Stir sage and butter continuously or watch very carefully because butter can burn within seconds. Once leaves are fried and butter is turning brown take off heat to serve over soup immediately. Top with fried sage leaves. They are like candy to me and Gregg!! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions. I’ll share my second recipe soon! 

                             LOVE and LIGHT