Starting 2019 with chocolate!

Happy 2019! I think I can say that since it’s still January. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to your year.

I’ve been working flat out for the last three weeks, developing and teaching classes, entertaining company, and attending lots of meetings. When your days and evenings are full like mine have been, you just have to have something to look forward to, right? And this dessert is certainly something to be excited about! It takes a few minutes to make, and is a show stopper when you entertain.

So, let’s start 2019 off with a favourite chocolate recipe!

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Raw Chocolate Cacao Mousse with Avocado

Raw Chocolate Cacao Mousse with Avocado

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup

4 Tbsp organic sugar

2 Tbsp vanilla (YES! 2 TBSPS!)

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp Bragg’s amino acids or coconut aminos

2 Tbsp coconut oil

3 Tbsp cacao

Place all the above ingredients into a high speed blender, or into a food processor. When the ingredients are combined and smooth, add:

2 cups of cut up avocado

(Make sure you cut the avocado into small pieces or even mash them as this mixture is very thick and will tax your blender. You don’t want to burn out the motor, so make sure you don’t skip this step of cutting up the avocado!)

Blend the mixture in your blender or food processor until it’s silky smooth. “Pour” the mousse into a pie plate and smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in freezer until frozen solid – at least a few hours. Take out just before serving and cut into pie shaped slices, and serve.

Alternately, you can “pour” the mousse into serving bowls, and serve right away, or keep cold in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

You’re going to love this one. It’s super easy and it’s CHOCOLATE!!!! ūüôā

 

creativity is part of wellness

For those of you who don’t know, one of the things I do to maintain my overall wellness is to be creative. At one time, it was knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, but when I finally tried what had been my heart’s desire all along, I found what filled me up and made me happy every time I did it. Every. single. time. ¬†Even when I was frustrated, I would still come away afterward with a sense of being “filled”, of “wind in my sails” or whatever term you want to use to say happy! contented! energized!

So, the sweet spot in creativity for me is as an artist. For you, it might be something like photography, calligraphy, journaling, or something else…there are probably as many ways to be creative as there are people. One thing I do know is that we all need to MAKE AND TAKE TIME to be creative. We are better parents, partners, friends, employees, entrepreneurs, professionals, etc. when we carve out time to express our creativeness in some way on a regular basis. Don’t underestimate the power of being creative in your overall wellness plan. It’s a must. Nonnegotiable. Just do it!

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Great Blue – acrylic on 20″ x 26″ canvas – available

 

 

THE LAW OF REFLECTION

I’ve heard so much about what has become known as The Law of Attraction over the last several years, but I was never really comfortable with the concept as I understood it. Now, I could be wrong, but it seems to be that the short version is you decide what you want, you tell the higher power you believe in what your desire is, and the thing you are seeking will manifest itself in your life.

The reason this made me so uncomfortable is that it seems to indicate that each of us is in control of all of our life, is powerful beyond any and everything, and is dictating to a “higher power” what it should make happen in your life. Ummm…I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to control anything in this world except for…not even sure what would fit in the blank here. I can’t control when it rains, how much it rains, whether my garden grows, the rate at which my child grows, the number of hair that fall out of my head each time I shower, and so on and so on…

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So, what I read recently seems to me to be a more accurate way of describing how things operate in our world. It’s called The Law of Reflection. I took this photo out my bedroom window as it demonstrated the concept rather well.

So, the short version is: as you do, so it will be done to you. When you are walking down a street, or in a store, have you noticed that when you smile at people, they tend to smile back at you? When a clerk is short with you, and you respond with a kind word, that this person appreciates your attitude and adjusts his or her own? When the sky is blue, that color is reflected in the water below? When there are grey clouds above, the water reflects that color as well? If you are generous with your time, your resources, your forgiveness, all of this comes back to you, often in greater amounts than you give? This is The Law of Reflection. This is not manipulation, which is born of selfishness. This is giving to others what you yourself want.

Do you want to be appreciated? Appreciate others. Do you seek generosity from others? Then give freely to them. Do you desire love? Then love others without condition. The Law of Reflection deeply appeals to me. It makes my life one of blessing to others, and in return, I receive the blessings that others have to offer me. This contributes to wellness, wholeness, and contentment.

Live a life based on The Law of Reflection. It will be rich beyond measure in ways you cannot anticipate.

(The Law of Reflection is taught in The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn. Available at bookstores and Amazon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARMING CAULI-SWEET SOUP RECIPE

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BUSY? That’s an understatement for many of us, and especially as the holidays approach! When I came to do this post, I noticed how it’s been almost 4 weeks since my last post…whhhaattt??? How did that happen? Well, like your life, it’s been really, really busy around here. ¬†So, my apologies for taking so long to come back to post something of help to you!

So, how do you cope when life is running way too full and way too fast? One thing I do when time is short is make soup – quick, easy, and yummy soup! Lots of it, all at once, using my pressure cooker. Then I use the left overs for lunches, and sometimes I can even squeeze another dinner out of this recipe, as it makes 12 cups.

About 8 years ago, when we lived in Calgary, Alberta, our second rice cooker decided it was done. A rice cooker was one kitchen tool I decided I couldn’t live without, so we drove over to a large Asian market and were looking at all the rice cookers available. ¬†A minute Asian woman came up behind us and she tapped me on the shoulder, pointed to one cooker, and told me: “You buy. Very fast. Very fast!” ¬†“This one?” Her head nodded, and she again said, “You buy!” So we did…we bought the model she recommended, and it turned out to be a pressure cooker quite similar to the InstaPots you can get most everywhere today.

What a GREAT buy!!! It has a large capacity stainless steel interior, and cooks basically anything and everything you can think of. I had to learn how to use it by trial and error as the directions were in Chinese…but as more and more videos came on YouTube and more and more recipes became available on Pinterest, I learned how to use my pressure cooker to save me tons of time and lots of money. That’s always a win!

So, to help you through the crazy business of the holiday season, here’s a recipe you will want to make over and over. It takes very few ingredients, very little prep, and cooks all by itself while you get to do other important things.

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Place these ingredients into your pressure cooker

1 head of cauliflower, about 2 lbs.  (Wash and cut into 4ths if you wish. No need to peel outer leaves or to core unless you want to)

2 pounds of sweet potato, washed and cut into large pieces (Your choice as to the kind of sweet potato. I like the orange fleshed in this soup.)

1 Р3  or more cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped into large pieces

1 large onion, peeled and cut in half

spices of your choice : I use 2 Tbsp. organic dried dill

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

2 Tbsp. Kirkland no salt spice

2 tsp. tumeric

salt and pepper to taste

Add 8 cups of vegetable broth. If you don’t have veggie broth, use water or a combination of veggie broth and water to equal 8 cups.

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Secure the lid on your pressure cooker, and choose the manual setting so that you can set the timer for 10 minutes.  Once the liquid comes up to temperature, the ingredients will cook for 10 minutes. Once the soup has finished cooking for the 10 minutes, allow it to vent on its own for at least 10 minutes, or until all the pressure has released on its own.

If you only wait 10 minutes after the soup is cooked before you vent the pressure cooker on your own, be sure there is no pressure left when you remove the top. Your veggies will be firmer than if you wait for 20 minutes, as they continue to soften even when the machine is no longer cooking them.

At this point, you should add:

  • 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast (optional – but makes the soup taste amazing)
  • 4 Tbsp. or more of Dijon mustard
  • 2 – 4 cups of plant “milk” of your choice (almond, hemp, oat, coconut, etc.)
  • Use an immersible blender or a high powered blender to make a smooth soup. If using the immersible blender, you can do it right in the pressure cooker. If using a high powered blender, do it in smaller batches rather than filling the blender full. ¬†And that’s it! Your soup is ready – smooth, hot and very yummy!

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FACECLOTH? NO THANKS!

Today I would like to introduce you to an incredible skin care tool. It is vegan, free from chemicals, colouring, additives and irritants. It is 100% biodegradable and fully sustainable. This tool is made of 100% natural vegetable fibre, is packed with minerals and antioxidants and is environmentally safe and free of toxins.

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The Konjac Sponge Co. travel set of face and body sponges. Comes in a bag for packing and for drying the sponges after use

This is the Konjac sponge! It is made from a potato (Konnyaku) which is a plant native to Asia, and grown at high altitudes. The Konjac potato is full of minerals and is naturally alkaline, which means it is gentle on your skin.

The Konnyaku potato has been used in China, Japan and Korea for over 1500 years in many ways, but especially as a beauty product. The first Konjac sponge that I bought and used was created for delicate baby skin!

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Andalou Naturals konjac sponges

Other companies besides The Konjac Sponge Co sell Konjac sponges – like these ones from Andalou Naturals. Different shapes or colors can mean different degrees of hardness, or that some ingredients have been added to the sponge, like pink clay, volcanic scoria or other “things” – ¬†which help with deep cleaning, cell stimulation and circulation and so on.

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Young Living Orange Blossom Face Wash

I find the sponge is a perfect partner for my Young Living Orange Blossom Face Wash. In fact, just a pea-sized drop of face cleanser on the sponge makes the face wash go much farther, and it suds up much more than using a cotton pad or cotton ball. AND it is so soft on the facial skin…you won’t believe how wonderful it feels! Certainly much, much softer than a face cloth.

Wondering where you can purchase your own? Andalou Naturals are sold in many health food stores as well as some grocery store,s in their health or pharmacy section. I ordered my Konjac Sponge Co set from Amazon.ca Рhere.  You can also check out the website for the Konjac Sponge Co here.

OIL PULLING

So let’s talk about oral health today. There are MANY scientific studies which have been done over the last 10 years or so which support the idea that most disease actually starts in the MOUTH! ¬†That’s right…your mouth holds a key your wellness. Huh!

What exactly does that mean for us? Well, when the wrong bacteria have a place to thrive, or when the levels of your mouth bacteria get out of balance, the conditions for disease are created. The longer these conditions remain, the more disease can get a strong hold, and eventually wreak havoc with your health.

A case in point is my husband. When he began to have severe health problems, the functional medicine doctor we went to told us he needed to see a special dentist who could assess whether his mouth was the cause of his symptoms. When we did see a “biological” dentist, it WAS found that he had significant areas of bacterial and fungal growth in cavitations (not cavities) which were causing many of his symptoms. Once these areas were dealt with, his health rapidly improved. Although the mouth was not the ONLY problem my husband had, his health did dramatically improve once the mouth was properly taken care of.

So, short of finding a biological dentist and having special work done on the mouth, how can we prevent or help to avoid the problems in the first place? One ancient practise is called “oil pulling”. ¬†On Webmd.com, in an article by Colleen Oakley¬†exploring the effectiveness of oil pulling, ¬†Jessica T. Emery, DMD says, ¬†“This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] that dates back 3,000 years. It involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil — typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil — in your mouth¬†for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.”

“Unlike some so-called natural home remedies, it’s not a practice that’s based on pseudo-science. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. How? “Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell,” Emery says. “Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.”

Here’s how we do our oil pulling. First, I bought these silicone moulds to make the process easier. Aren’t they cute?

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Next, I fill the molds with pure, cold pressed virgin coconut oil. This makes it easy to get just the right amount of oil each time for the oil pulling.

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Then I put the molds into the freezer. Once the coconut oil is frozen, I pop the coconut oil shapes into a glass container, and put it back into the freezer.

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Each morning, we take out 1 coconut oil shape and use it for oil pulling. If this amount is too much for you, just bite the shape into 2 parts and use one of them for your daily pull.

To do the oil pulling, you “chew” the coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth. The oil becomes liquid very quickly, so you don’t need to worry that it is frozen…once you begin to chew, it is no longer solid. You chew and swish for 5 – 20 minutes. You’ll probably want to begin with 5 minutes. If you want to work up to 20 minutes, I find it’s easier if I’m doing it while in the shower. Of course, I have my little container with me to spit into in case I have reached my tolerance limit for chewing!

Once you have completed your 5 – 20 minutes of chewing and swishing, you’ll want to spit the coconut oil into a container, to dispose of the oil in your compost or in your garbage. DO NOT ALLOW THE COCONUT OIL TO GO DOWN THE SINK!!! It will clog your drains – guaranteed!

You can do your oil pulling every day, or you can do it several times a week. The benefits of oil pulling may not be obvious to you, but it will assist you in your quest for health and wellness! Happy pulling!