Posts filed under Nourish

8 Powerful Superfoods That Fight Fatigue & Stress

Are you a victim of the afternoon slump? If you find yourself struggling to make it through the day, your diet might be to blame. While sugar and caffeine often give you a quick energy boost, they also cause you to crash just a few hours later. If you’re relying on coffee and energy drinks to perk you up, you’re actually doing more harm than good.

3 Romantic Recipes with Rose Essential Oil

No flower embodies love and romance quite like the rose. The essential oil of rose Rosa damascena (Mill.) is also known to provide psychological and emotional support when added to a bath blend or diffused into the air. It’s a mood booster that can promote joy, relaxation, as well as memory and mental clarity. 

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, why not try experimenting with an essential oil that’ll give you warm fuzzies on the inside? Whether or not you’re sharing this Valentine’s Day with a special sweetheart, you’re pretty special year-round. Celebrate this holiday of love—and some sweet self-care—with rose R. damascena essential oil.

Before you start whipping up your “love in a bottle” with our favorite recipes (keep reading!), here’s a quick crash course in blending with rose essential oil:

How to Use Rose Essential Oil in Perfumery and Blending

If you’re a budding aromatherapist, natural products manufacturer, or perfumer, rose R. damascena essential oil is a standard floral for your tool kit. When 100 perfumers were asked to select a standard for a floral aroma, they chose Bulgarian rose.

Rose oil has a warm, deep floral, slightly spicy, rich, honey-like odor. The absolute is unique in that it has a high tenacity alongside a deep, rosy fragrance. Distilled rose otto has more of a top note, and absolute rose has more fixative power. 

Rose is the perfect oil to blend with other florals (like jasmine Jasminum grandiflorum (L.) or geranium Pelargonium graveolens (L'Her.)) to create sweet, romantic, and uplifting fragrances. On a chemical level, rose R. damascena contains about 2% of a sesquiterpene alcohol and farnesol, which is an important constituent for perfumery. Additionally, the esters, the nerol, the nonyl aldehyde, and trace constituents (such ascarvone and rosefuran) are all important for perfumery.

Specifically, rose blends beautifully with: 

  • anise Pimpinella anisum (L.)
  • benzoin Styrax tonkinensis (Pierre) Craib ex Hartwich
  • bergamot Citrus aurantium (L.) var. bergamia
  • black pepper Piper nigrum (L.)
  • chamomile (Roman) Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All.
  • costus Aplotaxis lappa (Decne.)
  • fennel Foeniculum vulgare (Hill)
  • ginger Zingiber officinale (Roscoe) 
  • immortelle Helichrysum italicum (Roth)
  • neroli Citrus aurantium (L.) var. amara
  • orris root Iris ×germanica notho var. florentina (Dykes)
  • patchouli Pogostemon cablin (Benth.)
  • sandalwood Santalum album (L.)
  • vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides (Nash)
  • ylang ylang Cananga odorata (Lam.) var. genuine

My all-time favorite—which is super quick, easy, and simple—is a blend of rose R. damascena and neroli C. aurantium var. amara. 

Don’t forget: less is more. A small quantity goes a long way in your rose essential oil blends. The suggested use level is 0.02-0.05 mg%.

Bottling Romance: 3 Recipes with Rose Essential Oil

Valentine’s Day is almost here, so let’s get blending! Here are three recipes with rose essential oil that are sure to make you feel like falling into a bed of roses this holiday.

Click here to read the full blog from the American College of Health Sciences.

The Healing Benefits of Rose Essential Oil

Rose Essential Oil Benefits Skin, Depression and Hormones

The smell of a rose is one of those experiences that can ignite fond memories of young love and backyard gardens. But did you know that roses are more than a pretty smell? It’s true, for they have therapeutic benefits that can help heal many health conditions.

Rose essential oil, which is created through a simple process of steam distillation, has been used to treat health conditions and used in natural beauty treatments for thousands of years.

Research and personal experiences tell us that rose oil can improve acne, balance hormones, relieve anxiety, improve depression, reduce rosacea and naturally increase libido.

Rose Essential Oil Profile

Rose essential oil is made by extracting Rosa damascena, and researchers have uncovered that it contains several therapeutic compounds known to promote healing in the body:

  • Citronellol – effective mosquito repellant (also found in citronella).
  • Citral – strong antimicrobial that is necessary for vitamin A synthesis (also found in lemon myrtle and lemongrass).
  • Carvone – effective digestive aid (also found in caraway and dill).
  • Citronellyl Acetate – responsible for the pleasant flavor and aroma of roses, which is why it’s used in many skin and beauty products.
  • Eugenol – powerhouse behind clove, the richest antioxidant in the world.
  • Farnesol – natural pesticide (also found in orange blossom, jasmine and ylang-ylang).
  • Methyl Eugenol – local antiseptic and anesthetic (also found in cinnamon and lemon balm).
  • Nerol – sweet-smelling aromatic antibiotic compound (also found in lemongrass and hops).
  • Phenyl Acetaldehyde – another sweet-smelling and aromatic compound (also found in chocolate).
  • Phenyl Geraniol – natural form of geraniol, which is commonly used in perfumes and fruit flavorings.

Top 3 Rose Oil Benefits

1. Rose Oil Improves Depression

A perfect example of how beneficial Rose oil can be is seen in how it affects depression. As our ancestors battled situations where their mental status was dampened, or otherwise impaired, they would have been naturally drawn to the pleasant sights and smells of the flowers that surrounded them. I have never seen a person take a whiff of a powerful rose and not smile; instead, they remark how incredible and uplifting it is.

The journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice recently published a study that set out to prove these types of natural reactions to rose aromatherapy clinically. With a subject group of 28 postpartum women, the researchers separated them into two groups: one who would be treated with 15-minute sessions of a 2.5 percent solution of rose/lavender oil aromatherapy twice a week for four weeks, and a control group.

Their results were quite remarkable. Not only was it discovered that the women experienced a significant decrease in postnatal depression scores, they also reported marked improvement in general anxiety disorder!

How to use rose oil for depression: If you’re ever feeling anxious or down in the dumps, try putting five drops of rose and five drops of lavender in a diffuser by your nightstand before bed. Hopefully you will wake up renewed and at peace!

Click here to read the full blog on DrAxe.com

5 Tips to Stay Healthy in Autumn with Essential Oils!

Many of us are settling into our Back-to-School routines but are struggling to stay healthy with the onslaught of colds and allergies. That's why we've gathered our top 5 tips on how to protect from environmental stresses with natural solutions like the power of essential oils!

Essential Oils are renowned for assisting with preventative care due to their anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, and many essential oils also stimulate immune function (like Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Melaleuca/Tea Tree oil) or help remove pathogens and other toxins from the body (like Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary).

NOTE: We work exclusively with Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and the recipes below are not advised for consumption using any other brand. Email us at info@rainbeaumars.com to learn more!

1) DIY Protective Spritzer

Protect against environmental and seasonal threats with an essential oil blend designed to purify the air, support healthy immune and respiratory function, and stimulate the body's natural antioxidant defenses. Fill a small spray bottle with distilled water and add 10-30 drops of On Guard blend or a combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils. 

You may spritz the solution into your mouth for a sore throat, spray on hands to fight germs, mist in your space to breathe deep, or use as an effective non-toxic, all-purpose surface cleaner.

2) Breathe It In

There are many ways to purify the air with essential oils. You can inhale essential oils directly from the bottle, pour into hands and cup over your nose, or add them to your diffuser, salt rock lamp or clay jewelry. Any method is a wonderful way to soothe a stuffy nose or irritated throat. On Guard blend is great, or also the Breathe blend or any mixture of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lemon, Cardamom and Melaleuca.

3) Immune Boosting Snack

Soak sliced apples in water and a few drops of On Guard blend or a combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils for a healthy, immune-boosting snack.

4) Soothing Detox Bath

Alleviate body aches with a detoxifying bath! Take a nice long soak in a bath mixed with Epsom salts and ~10 drops of essential oils such as Lavender, Geranium, Marjoram, Vetiver and/or Roman Chamomile.

5) DIY Chest Rub Blend

Create a mixture of coconut oil and essential oils such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, Rosemary or the Breathe blend and massage onto your chest and feet for a restful night's sleep.

Click Here for more tips on how to use essential oils or schedule your FREE personal Wellness Consultation.

10 Unusual Habits to Boost Creativity

In the age of the cultural creatives there are a lot of unusual habits and practices sprouting up to support the vast range of unique expressions in our world. As an artist, creative thinker and intuitive channel I have some unusual habits that I’ve honed over the years. Through a lot of experimentation and self-discovery I’ve found these 10 habits to be my strongest allies in the pursuit of empowering my creativity.

3 Simple Steps To Restart Your Life

Don’t let your days roll by in the continual humdrum.

ARTICLE FEATURED FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST BY KAREN LING.

 The very first quick fix is tea though. Nothing like a cup of hot tea. 

The very first quick fix is tea though. Nothing like a cup of hot tea. 

“I’m feeling pretty tired lately. Lol, maybe I’m getting old?”

I received this text from a friend today. She’s 20-something.

I also spoke to a not-quite-as-young friend of mine today who told me she felt great. She just started joining a hiking group last year, and now she does it regularly. She’s 50.

Listen, if you’re like my first friend, you’re not just getting old. Most of us feel exhausted after working for at least eight hours a day, five days a week plus the one-hour commute on both ends. When we get home, we watch at least two episodes on Netflix because it’s damn well-deserved and the only time we get to “relax” before we go to sleep.

Wake up and repeat. And repeat and repeat and repeat. No wonder you feel tired.

So how do you get out of this vicious cycle? How do you restart your life? Hint: NOT by adding something new to your life. Not yet. But by making sure your body is ready and able to actually handle new hobbies.

 

The first 3 things to check to make sure you have right:

  1. Your mindset

  2. Your sleep

  3. Your food

Why these three? Because these are three keystone habits you’re doing. Tweaking existing habits is much easier than adding new ones in, and if these three aren’t in good shape in your life, you can bet you won’t be in the optimal shape to start making positive changes in your life.

So let’s start.

 “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

1. YOUR MINDSET

“Oh man, another one of these self-improvement things. I hope I can do it, but I’ve tried these things before, and I just never stick with it.” 

This was something I used to say to myself every time I try to start something new for myself. It turns out I’m not alone with these invisible scripts. There’s a fear-driven side of your brain which tells you, “You can’t do this.”

If you realize that your brain is trying to sabotage you, what can you do? Well, the tip here is to talk to yourself like you’re talking to a friend, or a coworker, or a child who is being told by a bully they can’t do something they want to try. 

Would you say to that person, “Yeah, you can never do it, so just don’t bother”? No. (If you said yes, I can’t help you. You’re too far gone.)

So the next time you try something new, be kind to yourself like you would be kind to others. You are your own worst critic. But you can also be your staunch defender. Stand up for yourself against yourself (whoa, meta).

 SLEEP! Look at this puppy. Sleep is a joy of life that no life form should be deprived of. 

SLEEP! Look at this puppy. Sleep is a joy of life that no life form should be deprived of. 

2. YOUR SLEEP

The Huffington Post has a whole section on sleep, and for good reason.

Without sufficient sleep, we’re basically going through the day drunk. This means tiredness, difficulty to respond quickly and smartly to anything that comes up.

The entire myth about “sleep is for the weak” is actually more accurate reversed: without sleep, you are weak. You are more irritable, slow, stupid and much easier to actually get sick.

The sleeping hours needed for an average adult ranges from 7 to 9 hours. If you don’t have a good sleeping habit already, there are tons of articles in the HuffPost “sleep” section to help you sleep better.

Just keep in mind that your body is not wired in the same way your computer is. You cannot have instantaneous change. Let yourself have at least 1 to 2 weeks minimum to start sleeping a little earlier regularly. And this sort of timeline is meant for small changes, like 15 minutes to 30 minutes earlier than your current sleeping schedule.

 It takes good old-fashioned TIME to re-adjust your body. Let your body take 1-2 weeks to adjust. 

It takes good old-fashioned TIME to re-adjust your body. Let your body take 1-2 weeks to adjust. 

But this is an absolutely must. Without sleep, your body and mind is weak, slow, and definitely not energetic enough to accommodate any new activities you want to do.

 YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. You might not be eating such photogenic salad, but canned tuna, corn and lettuce is a lot faster than instant noodles and won’t give you cardiac arrest. How’s that for a thought? 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. You might not be eating such photogenic salad, but canned tuna, corn and lettuce is a lot faster than instant noodles and won’t give you cardiac arrest. How’s that for a thought? 

3. YOUR FOOD

We all have heard of the phrase “you are what you eat.”  But in the plethora of information available out there, what can we actually begin with? What are the easiest steps and rules of thumb to keep in mind?

If you are looking at what you eat for the reason to feel energized, then the general rules are:

1. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not.

2. Be mindful when you eat. Chew at least 20 times. (Funnily enough, when I count, I either chew like 5 times or 30. There is no in between, but you are welcome to try.) Let yourself taste and digest your food. Your body wasn’t made to eat 45-minute lunches with 15 minutes waiting in the canteen line.

3. Don’t do three things at once when you’re eating. Again, your body wasn’t made for that.

4. Preferably, eat “real” food. Eat food your great-grandmother would realize as food. I know “real” food seems expensive to people strapped for cash (and those are the ones most strapped for nutrition) but there are plenty of books and articles out there that talk about how to eat cheaply and healthily.

 One day you can be this sort of person, the type that gets up in the morning... and hikes all the way up to the top of a mountain above the clouds. But start from the basics. 

One day you can be this sort of person, the type that gets up in the morning... and hikes all the way up to the top of a mountain above the clouds. But start from the basics. 

YOUR LIFE

To recap: there are way too many people out there who are stuck in a vicious cycle in their lives. The first step to getting out of this is to examine the three areas of your life of things you’re already engaged in and are huge factors to how you function.

Ask yourself:

1. Are you kind to yourself when you try new things? If not, try to talk to yourself you would to a friend or coworker. If your mind already tells you that you can’t do something before you can try and actually commit, you won’t go very far in whatever you do.

2. Do you sleep well? Sleep at least 7 to 9 hours. Without enough sleep, you are weaker, slower and generally less pleasant to be around. Give your body at least 2 to 3 weeks to adjust.

3. Do you eat well? When you eat, to you just chew and swallow to finish your meal in 15 minutes or do you actually let your mind realize you’re actually eating? Start by being mindful of how you eat, and you’ll start realizing what you eat will make you feel a difference as well.

Don’t let your days roll by in the continual humdrum. Start by re-examining these key habits in your life already to build a body that can start doing things you want.

To see the original and full version of this post with all the nitty-gritty details to HOW to do any of the above better, click here.

Made with Love: Recipes for Valentine's Day

1) Decadent Fig Macadamia Torte Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups Macadamia Nuts

1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)

1 tsp Vanilla Powder

1 tbsp Honey (or 2-3 Dates)

 

Filling:

1 whole Banana

2-3 Figs (sliced)

3-4 cups Figs 

1 tsp Vanilla Powder

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 tbsp Honey (or Coconut Sugar, Dates or Maple Syrup)

¼ cup Coconut Water (or pure water)

Optional: Use strawberries instead of figs. Add 1-2 drops Geranium essential oil (CPTG only)

Toffee Drizzle:

8 Dates (pitted and soaked)

1/4 cup Water

1 tsp Coconut Butter (or Cashew or Tahini)

1 tsp Vanilla Powder

Pinch Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture binds like dough. 

2. With clean hands, gather the dough and press into your pie pan evenly. 

3. Then as a base, lay out sliced figs so that they are covering the breadth of the pan.  

4. Next, blend the filling ingredients in a VitaMix or high-powered blender, using more or less coconut water to reach desired consistency.  

5. Pour filling over the layer of figs and then decorate with a few more sliced figs. 

6. Blend toffee ingredients and drizzle on top. Voila!

 

2) Chocolate Maca Balls

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Walnuts

2 cups Dates (pitted)

2 tbsp Cacao Powder

2 tbsp Maca Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Powder

1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)

1 tbsp Coconut Oil (unrefined, extra virgin)

Optional: 1-2 drops of Cassia, Peppermint or Wild Orange essential oil (CPTG only)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor and mix until everything binds together like dough. 

2. Empty contents into a bowl and with clean hands roll about a tbsp sized amount of dough into a ball and set on a large plate or serving tray.

3. Place Chocolate Maca Balls in the fridge or freezer to firm depending on your preference (though 1/2 the enzymes die in the freezer).

 

Always a hit for everyone and such a rich, nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth!

 

 Photo Credit: HeatherHomemade.com

Photo Credit: HeatherHomemade.com

3) Pear + Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

Salad:

7 cups Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves

2 Pears (sliced)

1 cup Optional goat or nut cheese 

1/2 cup Pomegranate Seeds


Raspberry Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup Raspberries

1/2 cup Olive Oil (cold pressed extra virgin)

1/4 cup Coconut Cider Vinegar (or AppleCV)

1/4 cup Coconut Water (or Pure Water)

Handful of Basil Leaves

2 tbsp Coconut Sugar (or Honey or 2-3 Dates)

1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)


DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, cheese and pomegranate seeds, and arrange pear slices on the bed of salad.

2. Blend together vinaigrette ingredients and drizzle on top. Enjoy!

4) Beloved Chocolate Shake

INGREDIENTS

2 to 3 cups raw almond or coconut milk (or pure water)

½ banana (optional)

1 egg white (optional)

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon raw honey

2 to 3 tablespoons cacao powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or powdered Madagascar vanilla)

Pinch of Celtic sea salt

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients and blend until creamy smooth.

 Photo Credit: HealthyBlenderRecipes.com

Photo Credit: HealthyBlenderRecipes.com

5) Sea of Love Linguini

INGREDIENTS

Pasta:

1 package Kelp Noodles preferred 

-or- 4 Zucchini (spiralized)

 Or 1 package gluten free brown rice spaghetti


Alfredo Sauce:

2 cups Cashews or macadamia nuts (preferably soaked)

1 cup Pure Water

1/8 cup Olive Oil (cold pressed extra virgin)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

2 cloves Garlic

1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)

1 tsp Thyme (dried spice)

1/2 tsp Peppercorn (ground)

1 tbsp Brewers yeast 


DIRECTIONS

1. Blend together Alfredo sauce ingredients in a VitaMix or high-speed blender until smooth.

2. Empty kelp noodles into a bowl and liberally pour Alfredo sauce while tossing noodles until the sauce is evenly distributed.

3. Optional: Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and serve. Bon Appetit!

7 Healthy Halloween Treats

Holidays are notorious for derailing our diet disciplines and inspiring our New Year weight loss resolutions. But we don't have to wait until January to  start taking care of ourselves. 

These 7 healthy treats will nourish your body and allow you to indulge in the Halloween fun!

Click on the links below to get the full recipes:

1. CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

2. BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE 

3. SPOOKY APPLE BITES

4. SWEET POTATO AVOCADO TACOS

5. BANANA MONSTER POPS

6. HOT APPLE CIDER TEA

7. PUMPKIN SPICE CHOCOLATE BALLS

3-Ingredient Halloween Apple Bites

 Photo and Recipe featured from  Oh She Glows!

Photo and Recipe featured from Oh She Glows!

Concerned about you or your kids sugar intake this Halloween? Swap out the chemical laden caramel covered apples for these 3-Ingredient Spooky Apple Bites from Oh She Glows!

SPOOKY APPLE BITES

Ingredients

2 Apples (organic)

¼ cup Sunflower Seeds (or slivered Almonds or Pumpkin Seeds)

4 tbsp Strawberry or Raspberry Jam (organic)

Or 4 tbsp Almond Butter (or Sunflower or Peanut Butter)

Optional: 1 Lemon (juiced)

 

Directions

1. Core and cut the apples into quarters, then carve out the center slice to form the mouths.

2. Rub the apples with lemon juice if they’ll be sitting out to keep them from browning.

3. Spread on some jam or nut butter on to the tongue and then push in some slivered almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the teeth.

 Click here to check out the full recipe on Oh She Glows!

Posted on October 26, 2015 and filed under Nourish, Recipes.

PUMPKIN SPICE CHOCOLATE BALLS RECIPE

When it comes to healthy decadence, these raw vegan Chocolate Balls are one of our favorite ways to go. They're always a hit for all ages and such a rich, nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth!

The basic recipe can be customized with different spices and toppings to vary the flavor and texture. In honor of Fall Season, we've added pumpkin spice to this recipe excerpt from The 21-Day Superstar Cleanse.

Share your favorite variety in the comments below and post your pics using the hashtag #21DSC.

PUMPKIN SPICE CHOCOLATE BALLS

Ingredients

2 cups Walnuts

2 cups Dates (pitted)

2 tbsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Powder (optional)

1 tsp Pumpkin Spice Powder

1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or Pink Himalayan)

1 tbsp Coconut or Olive Oil (unrefined, extra virgin)

 

Directions

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor until it binds like dough.

2. Scoop tbsp sized amount of dough and roll into a ball set aside on a large plate

3. Place plate in the fridge or freezer until firm and serve chilled.

fall divider.jpg

Be Empowered by Your Morning Routine

  Photo Article Credit:  Huffington Post  by   R.L. Adams     Writer, blogger, entrepreneur, software engineer, and best-selling author of dozens of SEO, online marketing & self-development books.     Posted: 10/18/2015 10:52 am EDT Updated: 10/19/2015 10:59 am EDT

Photo Article Credit: Huffington Post by R.L. Adams 

Writer, blogger, entrepreneur, software engineer, and best-selling author of dozens of SEO, online marketing & self-development books.

Posted: 10/18/2015 10:52 am EDT Updated: 10/19/2015 10:59 am EDT

 

Routines are described as sets of behaviors that are regularly repeated, usually in the same time and place. They're steeped in habit, vigorously reiterated throughout the course of our lives. Most of our routines have been part of our daily rituals for years, if not decades.

The quality of our lives is very much derived from the same routines that we repeat daily. But of all the routines that we might posses, it's our morning routines that are quite possibly the most important. What we do in the morning helps to set the pace for the day.

And, while we would all love to have empowering morning routines that might include 30-minutes of exercise, eating a healthy breakfast, and writing out our gratitudes, it clearly doesn't always work out that way.

In fact, most of our routines at the outset of the day can't be described as empowering; they can only be labeled as chaotic. Because usually, it's a frantic rush to get ready for the day, multi-tasking our way out the door.

Sound familiar?

If you have children, then your morning routine is probably even more jam-packed. It likely involves getting the kids ready for school, making them breakfast, and ensuring they have a healthy lunch packed. Usually, this leaves little time for much else.

Yet, the mornings are the single most important part of the day. What we do in the morning helps to shape the trajectory of our lives, defines our priorities, and helps determine our likeliness to achieve our goals. Small wins and a little bit of momentum in the morning can push us a long way.

But if you feel frustrated with your morning routine, and are filled with a general sense of anxiety, fear and stress when you leave the house, then it's time to make a change. These five steps to a better morning routine will help to drastically improve our lives.

Step #1 -- Get Organized

When chaos ensues in the morning, it's usually because we lack organization. When we're organized, we can leave room for personal development. But, when we lack organization, just the opposite happens.

Yet, getting organized is easier said than done. Often, it involves a complete overhaul of our homes and our schedules. However, if you've heard the saying, "clean house, clear mind," then you know just how true this is.

Recent studies have even confirmed that clutter creates chaos. Researchers at thePrinceton University Neuroscience Institute determined that clutter prevents the mind from focusing properly, and usually ends in frustration. When we're frustrated, we often opt for silent resignation, allowing things to control us rather than tackling them offensively.

Specifically, they stated the following: "Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system."

Start by organizing your home one section at a time so you don't feel overwhelmed. Pick a drawer and organize it, or pick a small space such as your cupboard and organize that. Go out and buy a cork board you can pin items to or even a chalk board you can write on. When you can visually see the things that need to get done, it's far easier to follow through.

By organizing small spaces, one at a time, we don't feel overwhelmed and we build momentum, slowing gaining more confidence.

Step #2 -- Manage Your Time

Time management is a skill that some might even call an art form. But if you're juggling multiple responsibilities all at once with little room for "me time," then you need an effective time management system.

The most popular one is the Quadrant System, initially introduced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower but later popularized by Stephen R. Covey in his book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

The system categorizes all of our activities based on two factors: urgency and importance. Things are either (1) both urgent and important (short term crises and problems), (2) not urgent but important (long-term goals), (3) urgent but not important (distractions or interruptions), or (4) not urgent and not important (time-wasters).

Take one week to audit your time. Jot down every activity you do in the day and next to it write the quadrant it's associated with and circle it. How much time did you spend on things that could have been avoided (quadrant 3)? How about on your long-term goals (quadrant 2)? And, how much time did you waste with quadrant 4 activities?

This should give you a strong sense on where your time is going, and allow you to better manage the little amount of time that you do have. By better managing your time, you can remove some stress and anxiety, and better prepare for an empowering morning routine at the start of your day.

Step #3 -- Wake Up Early

It goes without saying that in order to develop a better morning routine, you need to wake up early. Simply crawling out of bed at the last minute won't cut it. You need to train your body and your mind to wake up early.

How early? That's entirely up to you. But you should leave yourself with at least one hour of quiet time before things get hectic. Don't know how you'll manage to wake up at least one hour earlier? Try starting with 10 minute increments.

For example, you could set your alarm clock 10 minutes back for the first three days, then another 10 minutes the next three days, and so on. Habits build slowly over time. And if you want to instill the habit of waking up earlier, you might not want to do too much too fast.

If you increment slowly by waking up earlier by 10 minutes each time, you can rewire the neural pathways in your mind over time. Even if you're not a morning person, this process will still work for you.

Think about strengthening the tension on a guitar or piano string. By doing too much too fast, the string can snap. But, if it's slowly tightened little by little, that tensions sets in, making the string slowly adapt. And the mind works very much in a similar way.

Step #4 -- Set Goals

If you've set some goals in your life, then waking up early should become a priority. But you can't just set goals in your mind; they need to be written out before you. The act of actually writing out your goals makes a significant difference in your ability to achieve them.

Set goals that are specific, measurable, and time-based. Come up with some strong enough reasons on why you must achieve those goals. As long as your reasons are profound enough, you'll do what it takes to follow through.

Building your empowering morning routine, then, should involve tackling things that can help to advance those goals forward, also known as quadrant 2 activities when it comes to effective time management.

As long as you can organize your space and manage your time, you'll leave room to work on the things that will matter most to you in life. Strong goals will help inspire you to move forward and slowly build momentum over time.

Step #5 -- Focus on Health Wellness

Your morning routine should also be focused on health and wellness. You need to ensure that you're targeting a sound mind, body, and spirit. There should be an exercise component involved, no matter how small it might be. Even 10 minutes of brisk walking is enough to develop the deeper habit of more strenuous exercise over time.

Another component of your morning routine should involve gratitude. Find everything you can be grateful for in your life, and write it down in the morning. Have nothing to be grateful for? There's always plenty to be thankful for when we truly search.

The act of writing out our gratitudes for even 5 minutes in the morning helps to shift our focus from what we don't have to what we do have. That move from a state of lack to a state of abundance translates into everything that we do because our thoughts are that powerful.

Other things like eating a healthy breakfast, meditating for 15 minutes, and creating a massive action plan for the day should take center stage. But none of this can be done without waking up early, and in part ensuring that you get enough sleep.

Building an empowering morning routine doesn't happen overnight. But, over time, with the insertion of small changes, it does evolve into something wonderful. The biggest hurdle is not to allow bad habits to creep back in and to revert back to our old ways.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos Recipe

 Recipe and Photo featured from  LOVE & LEMONS

Recipe and Photo featured from LOVE & LEMONS

The fall season is a great reminder of the cornucopia of options for wholesome vegetarian meals. This recipe from LOVE & LEMONS could be served on a party platter, packed for a picnic or dished for a crowd-pleasing family dinner. Enjoy!

fall divider.jpg

SWEET POTATO AVOCADO TACOS
Serves 4-6

Ingredients :: Tacos

1 medium Sweet Potato (cubed)

1 tsp Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil, raw, unrefined)

½ tsp Chile Powder

1 cup Black Beans (cooked)

1 Avocado (diced)

2 Scallions (diced)

Pinch of Black Pepper (ground)

Pinch of Pink Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt

4-6 Corn or Flour Tortillas

optional: ¼ cup Feta or Cashew Cheese

optional: 1 small roasted Jalapeño (diced)

 

Ingredients :: Avocado Yogurt Sauce

½ cup Greek Yogurt

1 Avocado

½ clove Garlic

Juice of 1 Lime

Pinch of Black Pepper (ground)

Pinch of Pink Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt

 Directions

1.   Preheat oven to 400° F.

2.   Toss sweet potato cubes with oil, chile powder salt & pepper, and spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and set aside.

3.   In a small food processor, blend together the yogurt, avocado, garlic, lime juice. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4.   Assemble tacos with roasted sweet potatoes, diced avocado, black beans, scallions and cheese. Serve with avocado yogurt sauce.

Notes

Vegan option: Sub cashew cream for yogurt. Blend until creamy: ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour) with ½ cup water. (also, omit cheese)

Gluten free option: Sub GF corn tortillas

Posted on October 17, 2015 and filed under Nourish, Recipes.

BANANA MONSTER POPS RECIPE

 Vegan Halloween Banana Monster Pops by  Forks and Beans

Vegan Halloween Banana Monster Pops by Forks and Beans

Inside each monster hides….. a banana? Apparently so! These vegan Banana Monster Pops by Forks and Beans are a celebration of bananas and vegan chocolate. You can’t go wrong with that! 

BANANA MONSTER POPS

Serves 8

Ingredients for the Mummies:

2 Bananas, use the end pieces each (save the remains for the other monsters)

¼ cup Vegan White Chocolate (melted)

¼ cup Shredded Coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

4 homemade Vegan Googly Eyes

4 Lollipop Sticks

 

Ingredients for the Frankensteins:

Remains from the Mummy banana slices

¼ c. Vegan White Chocolate, melted + a few drops Vegan Green Food Coloring (you might have to use yellow and blue combo)

2 Dates (use the end pieces of each)

8 homemade Vegan Googly Eyes

8 Sunflower Seeds

4 Lollipop Sticks

 

 Directions

1.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of wax paper. Gently place the lollipop sticks halfway through into the bananas, making sure that you do not insert it all the way.

2.  Dip each piece into the melted white chocolate, using a spoon or fork to secure the bottom of it. PLEASE NOTE: These pops can be very delicate so try your best not to hold it upright at this point. Use what you can to hold it from the bottom to transfer into the bowl and out of the bowl.

3.  For the Mummies: Coat with the shredded coconut and immediately place a googly eye in the middles.

4.  For the Frankensteins: Top with the date end piece, pressing firmly yet gently to secure it on the top. Place the sunflower seeds into the neck and two googly eyes onto his face.

5.  Place all banana pops on the baking sheet and immediately freeze for 10-15 minutes or until set.

Posted on October 9, 2015 and filed under Nourish, Recipes.

CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE RECIPE

 Photo and Recipe featured from  Oh She Glows

Photo and Recipe featured from Oh She Glows

There's so many warming comforts in the fall like knit sweaters, hot apple cider and pumpkin pie!

But here in LA with an ongoing heat wave, many of us are looking for ways to enjoy the season and cool down. That's why this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe from Oh She Glows is the perfect choice.

CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups Almond Milk

1/2 cup Rolled Oats

2 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 cup Pumpkin (canned, or use fresh cooked and blended)

1/2 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses (or Coconut Syrup or Raw Honey)

1 ripe Banana (frozen)

2 tsp Cinnamon (ground)

1/2 tsp Ginger (ground)

1/4 tsp Nutmeg (ground)

1.5-2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Coconut Whipped Cream, for garnish

 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the milk, oats, and chia seeds. Place in fridge for 1 hour or preferably overnight.

2. Add soaked oat mixture to blender along with the pumpkin, molasses, frozen banana, and spices. Blend until smooth. Add about 5 ice cubes and blend until ice cold.

3. Add maple syrup to taste. I found 1.5 tbsp was perfect for me.

4. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

Click here to check out the full recipe at Oh She Glows.

For the almond milk in the above recipe, you can choose prepackaged, or make your own!

Posted on October 1, 2015 and filed under Nourish, Recipes.

Rock your Body!

 Photo by Miiicha/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Miiicha/iStock / Getty Images

Not just a hippy science for new agers, gemstone crystals have been used for centuries all over the world as powerful talismans. For instance, royalty and priesthoods throughout time have invested fortunes to be adorned in the highest quality precious stones (and not just because they liked the appearance of these pretty colorful rocks). These global leaders recognize the potential of gemstones to activate a spectrum of abilities, from increased vitality and healing to greater concentration or spiritual connection.
 

How Gemstones Work?

Gemstones focus energy towards your intentions to support you in achieving your goals, like an arrow thrust directly at its target. Both gemstones and our human bodies are molded of earthly elements, but whereas our body’s divine design can be compromised by our thoughts, environment and lifestyle habits, gemstones retain their balanced structures in perfect harmony with the Earth. When we invite gemstones into our awareness by sight, mind and touch, we attune to their pure energies.

How to Use Gemstones?

The possibilities are practically endless, but a few popular ways to incorporate gemstones into your life are:

* Wear them as jewelry

* Carry them in a pouch (or mojo bag) to keep in your purse or backpack

* Put them in your pillow case for when you sleep at night

* Place them along your yoga mat while practicing

* Use them for decoration, like on your bedroom nightstand so they’re the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed, or on your desk to support you at work

* Meditate with them, either hold them in your hands or place them on your alter

* Add to your bath water and affirm your intentions as you bathe

* Create gem elixir by soaking them overnight in water or a bottle of essential oils to anoint yourself with

  CAUTION: Some gemstones may leach metals and substances that could be harmful such as lead or copper and should NOT be used for ingestion or anointing. Research more before using, but some examples aregarnet, malachite, moonstone, pyrite, sodalite and tiger’s eye.

Gemstones to Rock your Beach Body!

Though you shouldn’t depend on the gemstones alone, they can be amazing tools to support your health and fitness goals along with proper nutrition and exercise. Here are our top picks for a beach body:

1) Rose Quartz
Pink in hue, rose quartz opens the heart to love (including self-acceptance and loving the skin we’re in) invokes our innate beauty. It also helps to relieve stress (calming those worry lines that age our faces) and promote weight loss.

2) Apatite
Blue-green stone that suppresses hunger, aids metabolism and weight loss, and for letting go what no longer serves you, including an appetite for unhealthy foods

3) Citrine
Yellow stone detoxifies and is connected with the solar plexus, our digestive fire. Boosts confidence and powers of manifestation (like your dream body)

4) Moonstone
Opalescent white or blue, it's renowned for enhancing beauty, removing obstacles, achieving goals (reaching for the moon)

5) Quartz Crystal
Clear,  improves clarity, powerful healer, pain reliever, and magnifier, intensifying the strength of the other gemstones

6) Hematite
Silvery black, it supports a healthy circulatory system, heart and blood, grounding, and draws illness out of the body

7) Amethyst
Varying shades of purple, it's a stone of sobriety and spirituality. Alleviates stress, tensions and headaches. Fosters intuition, focus and clear vision. Amazing healer and unleashes fullness of breath