From the Ground Up: Earthing

Beach.jpg I grew up by the ocean, and when as an adult I lived on the prairies, I missed it terribly. As a child, I would spend many happy hours digging and playing in the sand. When a teenager, I spent many, many hours on the huge rocks on the beach, which sat at the edge of the bluffs, dreaming of my future. During stormy times in my life, the ocean was a comfort and a mystery to me…especially when the fog was rolling in to shore, thick and wet, and the mournful sound of the fog horn was bellowing every few minutes. Little did I know that being on the beach was also healing for me.

Just over five years ago, my husband and I moved to be by the ocean again – but on the opposite side of our huge country of Canada from where I grew up. Now I am living in the Pacific Northwest, on Vancouver Island. I am so very blessed to be able to reach several beaches within minutes of walking, riding a bike or driving. And now that I am aware of the benefits of Grounding, I am even more grateful to be where the climate allows me to practise this form of wellness on a regular basis. But no matter where you live, you too can practise Grounding, or Earthing as it is also called.

So, just what is Grounding? There are many things which bring us health benefits, and the energy of the earth is one. It used to be that people received earth’s energy when they had their hands in the soil, gardening, or when they went barefoot in the grass and on sandy beaches in the summer. In fact, grounding is part of the reason many people like to spend vacations on a beach…they feel better, but are unaware of the reason why! When we connect with the earth directly – barefoot – we receive a tiny charge of energy which helps us feel well. Our bodies are great conductors, as we are made up of so much water, and the energy from the earth “recharges” our body battery, so to speak. The free electrons on the surface of the earth transfer into our body easily, as long as we have direct contact with the earth through our skin. The electric charge is even more beneficial if you are able to walk on WET sand, and who doesn’t love wading at the water’s edge of the ocean? But just walking barefoot through your grass, or sitting on a lawn chair with your bare feet in the grass/soil works beautifully as well.

Most of us in Canada don’t live in a climate which enables us to “ground” year round. Fortunately, with the latest technology, you can purchase various grounding sheets and blankets, as well as pads and mats for when you work on your electronic devices. My sister claims she gets relief from aches and pains when she sleeps on her grounding sheet, and there are many testimonials from product users which make me think there are definite health benefits for many, and especially for those who don’t have access to beaches, gardens, and grass in the winter.

Even though it’s now winter, I have the privilege of walking on the beach in my bare feet. The sand may be quite cold, but it’s possible. Even a few minutes of grounding is worthy of chilliness, and it seems to me that I should take every advantage of living next to the beautiful Salish Sea! So, for abundant wellness, begin to plan for ways you can incorporate grounding into your life. Feel the earth’s energy recharging your body with health and wellness. It’s free, it’s enjoyable, and it’s building your wellness, from the ground up!

 

 

 

 

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!!!! 🙂

 

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 – 3  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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Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

As the weather is turning cooler, pumpkins are ripening in the fields, which makes me think of this recipe. For those of you who are looking for a gluten free, grain free. something sweet to have with your coffee, this has been a fail-proof recipe for me. Try it once, and it will become a favorite. I’m not sure where I found this recipe…so unfortunately I can’t give credit to the creator of this cake. 😦

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GRAIN FREE PUMPKIN BARS

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup almond butter

2/3 cup honey

4 eggs (you can try using flax “eggs” instead)

4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (Try making your own by combining 2 tsp.ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 9″ x 13″ glass pan with coconut oil or butter.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well until a smooth batter forms.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake at 350*F for approximately 25 minutes, or until the centre is firm and a tester (a toothpick, a sharp small knife or a skewer)  inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack before cutting. You can top this with a whipped topping if you wish.

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