November 7, 2014
Here’s my favorite banana bread recipe, and the one you all have been asking for (sugar-free, flour-free):
- 2-3 mashed ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 cups almond meal
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or raisins)
Mash bananas in large bowl. Add eggs and honey and whisk together. Add dry ingredients and mix. If the batter is too dry, add some almond milk or decrease amount of almond meal until you have a good, moist batter consistency. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and spread coconut oil on inside of pan/paper. Pour batter in pan and bake 350 degrees 40-60 minutes, until center is no longer gooey. This recipe is not an exact formula as there are many variables. Experiment, and enjoy! 🙂
September 18, 2014
So, I have been loving this milk tea lately! I got the recipe from the latest Banyan Botanicals catalog, contributed by the Banyan Ambassador Alicia Diaz. Thank you! This includes some of my all-time favorite ingredients, and I find that this is a comforting, warming tea blend.
Have to share this deliciousness and you can get most of the ingredients locally at Savory Spice Shop in Birkdale Village in Huntersville (although I find better prices for cardamom pods and rose water at the Indian grocery- Rajbhog foods on Pinnacle Dr., from Prosperity Church Rd. in the University area). I use some local honey as a sweetener.
- 1 cup almond milk (fresh if possible)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp. rose petals
- 1 tsp. green cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp. ginger powder (Savory Spice Shop has an AMAZING organic freshly ground Peruvian ginger)
- 1/8 tsp. rose water (food grade)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- pinch of natural sweetener
Pour hot water over the rose petals, cardamom, ginger and coconut oil then add the almond milk, rose water and natural sweetener. (I also heat the almond milk before adding so it is a nice hot milk-tea.) Yum!
August 27, 2014
I’ve shared in classes last week a simple, yet powerful statement that Jack Kornfield said in his audiobook “Transmission.” Of course since my God-daughter is Tibetan and I love learning about their culture, this statement perhaps stuck with me with greater intensity. He said “In Tibet, they pray ‘May I have enough difficulties to grow in compassion.’” Tibetan peoples have known immense difficulties as many have been forcefully pushed out of their country in order to retain their faith and culture and are living as refugees in India. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama (leader of the Tibetan government in exile), is the most powerful example of compassion, even in times of struggle.
This prayer is a beautiful way to practice gratitude for our lives. When we can be thankful for even our difficulties, and recognize that life gives us beautiful challenges for our growth as spiritual beings, then the challenges lose power and we grow in compassion for ourselves and others. We are so incredibly blessed to have this life, to experience all that comes along with living a human experience…we feel it all; the wacky, crazy, joyful, ecstatic, and blissful sensations of being alive! We are built to endure, built to overcome, built to grow from difficulties, we are that strong!
Be thankful. Join me in the daily prayer “May I have enough difficulties to grow in compassion.”
July 16, 2014
We are experiencing our beloved hot and humid summer days, and we feel this summer energy in our bodies and minds as hot, burning, anxiousness. Here are some tips for maintaining balance this season:
- Keep cool by drinking lots of cucumber and/or lemon water. Add slices of cukes or lemons to a pitcher of water and keep in fridge for easy access.
- Steer clear from spicy and over-cooked foods. When you can, eat raw and light (think salads, seeds, berries).
- Moisturize your skin all over, every day with a healthy, organic oil. Coconut oil is cooling for summer heat, and some say it is a natural sunscreen as well.
- To help to calm all of the busyness and anxious jitters, be sure to practice one Yoga asana every day: Svasana (corpse pose). Give yourself 10 minutes of lying on the floor uninterrupted. Can’t take 10, then take 5…just take it!
- Sitali pranayama is an excellent cooling practice for the digestive system, which is considered the main component of our immune-system. What an excellent way to begin your day!
- Practice “earthing”, by standing or walking barefoot on the bare earth for 10-20 minutes each day. All I want to say about this is…wowsa! Your energy-body will thank you.
- When you begin to feel yourself feeling agitated, angry or frustrated…allow yourself to recognize that this is excess summer heat built up in the body. This is a sign that your inner constitution is imbalanced, so follow all of the guidelines above. Especially practicing svasana when you feel irritable. Not only will you feel better, but everyone around you will too!
Why is it important to stay cool and balanced for Summer? Firstly, your body will function optimally. Secondly, you will allow yourself to slow down enough to REALLY notice your life and what you are doing, instead of running through the season with such angst that it flies by (don’t miss your life). Lastly, when you become a vibration of peace and serenity, others will benefit from being in your presence. You make a global impact, from your tiny corner of the Universe.
June 23, 2014
Join us this fall in the N.C. mountains for a weekend of Yoga, meditation, nature, and relaxation. Register early to ensure your choice of accommodations. Go to www.RelaxandRetreat.wordpress.com for more info.
May 22, 2014
This recipe is from PreventDisease.com, and sounds so good I have to share!
Mix all ingredients, pour into popsicle mold or paper cup with stick, and freeze. 🙂 You can also experiment with using different natural sweeteners, according to your preferences.
May 7, 2014
Matt Venuti is touring our area again this month!
You’ve got to experience this live, a beautiful gift for yourself. Here is the general list of local events:
Friday, May 9th – 7:00pm $20 Lotus Living Arts Studio of Concord (Union St.)
Saturday, May 10th – 7:00pm $15 advance, $20 at door Our Place, Cornelius (Main St.)
Thursday, May 22nd – 7:00pm $15 advance, $20 at door Elemental Healing, Charlotte (5200 Clark Rd.)
Friday, May 23rd – 7:00pm $20 advance, $25 at door Ahlara International, Mooresville (Joe V. Knox Ave.)
April 8, 2014
“Abandon what is unwholesome, oh monks!
One can abandon what is unwholesome, oh monks!
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unwholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unwholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore I say ‘Abandon what is unwholesome!’
Cultivate what is wholesome, oh monks.
One can cultivate the wholesome.
If it were not feasible, I would not ask you to do it.
If this cultivation of the wholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the wholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, ‘Cultivate what is wholesome!'”
March 25, 2014
From time to time, I share information about a good book I’ve read, usually in the realm of Yoga. I’m a lover of intense, non-fiction, thought-provoking and intellectual reads. Over the past year or so, nearly every time I would be chatting with a friend, we would get on the topic of Oneness, or authenticity and it would remind her of a book titled “Dying To Be Me”, and she would ask me if I had read it. I would answer “no, but I’ll order it.” She insisted that how we were discussing many aspects of living were just like the ideas from this story. I would forget about the book, until the next time we got together, and she would ask the same question, “…have you read it yet?”, striking my memory again to order this darned book!
Well, I finally read the story…and now I understand why. I am usually not interested in reading stories that are endorsed by public TV, as they can seem rather “gimmicky” or “cheesy”. THIS was not that book. The author uses her magnificent story to help illustrate such an important topic…LIFE. She so expertly guides you through an experience of struggle between being who you are in your heart, to being who you think you should be in the world. This struggle ends in a vibrant realization of the preciousness of human life, our interconnectedness and the purpose of being here!
I could understand so much of her experience, as she clearly explains traveling through different levels of consciousness, as most experienced meditators often visit. Her description is clear and inspiring. The lessons that she has learned from this are profound, and easy for us all to access. Even though this is not a traditional Yoga book, the underlying message is very much Yogic and even if you do not enjoy deep intellectual books, you will love this one. You do not have to personally identify with her experience to receive the wonderful message. I highly recommend reading it, and sharing it. Sit with the message. Realize the power of your very existence, the magnitude of being in this life. And don’t squander your life away.
March 16, 2014
- Sunday, March 23rd: 6:30-8:00pm Yoga Nidra/Gentle Flow at On Track Yoga in Mt. Holly. Donation-Only. Please pre-register at www.OnTrackYoga.com
- Saturday, April 5th: 2:30-4:00pm Singing Bowl & Gong Meditation at Unity of Charlotte
- Sunday, April 6th: 4:00-5:30pm Yoga Nidra/Gentle Flow at Yes2Yoga in Charlotte. Donation-Only. http://www.Yes2Yoga.biz
- Saturday, April 12th: 6:00-7:30pm Music & Kirtan with Osel at Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville. Donation-Only. http://www.clearlightyoga.com
- Friday, May 9th: 7:00pm Concert with Matt Venuti, The Hang & The Gubal at Lotus Living Arts Studio of Concord. $20
- Saturday, May 10th: 7:00pm Concert with Matt Venuti, The Hang & The Gubal at “Our Place” in Cornelius. $15 in advance, $20 at door.
- Friday, May 23rd: 7:00pm Concert with Matt Venuti, The Hang & The Gubal at Ahlara in Mooresville. $20 in advance, $25 at door.
- Also, stay tuned for a restorative Yoga class accompanied by singing bowls & gongs with Jessica Bowles and Karen Head at The Bindu in Cornelius, happening in May. 🙂