Soul Feather 2/23/14

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Hi everyone!

Just recapping a little of what we covered in Soul Feather this past Sunday! If you missed the meet up, no worries, you can still get your groove on here! I introduced some meditations/breathing techniques that create some serious space for love!

We opened up with a breathing technique/meditation that was inspired by the beautiful author, speaker and spirit junkie, Gabby Bernstein. This meditation comes from Kundalini Yoga and it is absolutely life changing! I give you…

The Inner Conflict Resolver:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mmWVaPWVFAw

We had a fabulous discussion about how to let things go and turn it over to the Universe, which is connected to my blog from last week, Finding the Love in Letting Go.
Remember our simple baby steps:
1: Notice what is going on within you; the uncomfortable sensations, accommodating behaviors and the dialogue within yourself.
2: Create a loving inner dialogue by replacing any negative self talk. Supportive and loving thoughts!
3: Visualize yourself letting go! What would it look and feel like to let this go?
4: Invite Spirit/God/Angels/Higher Power in. Say a simple prayer, such as, “Thank you for helping me to let this go,” or “Thank you for bringing me back to a space of love,” or anything you can think of that supports the direction that you want to go. I dig the prayers of gratitude because I feel that it sets the wheels in motion, connects with the law of attraction and I feel that whatever I am seeking help with is already here and taken care of.

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Then, we wrapped up our time together with two delicious songs that I picked out. We meditated with them for about 10 minutes. You can find these songs here:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mb633y5Vblk

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mehLx_Fjv_c

I cannot wait to connect with you all again at Soul Feather’s next meet up on March 9, 2014 from 5:00-6:00p at Lolë Palm Beach!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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Soul Feather 2/9/14

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Today was Soul Feather meetup number three! So exciting! And don’t worry if you missed it, I am sharing the breathing technique and meditation that I introduced in this post.

We opened up with a Kundalini Yoga breathing technique called alternate nostril breathing. Click on the link below to see more.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A84NKF-16lc

We closed with a meditation. I introduced four Kundalini Yoga mudras to incorporate into meditation and times of stillness. Find more about mudras at the link below.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=c4-feed-u&v=w48KBquC4pU

Then, we meditated with our mudras to this song: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5DUCKGyojpE

Next Soul Feather meet up will be February 23, 2014!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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Time limiting thoughts and time saving meals

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Hi everyone! Happy February!
I love this quote from A Course in Miracles. I use it when I have thoughts that are bringing me fear and discomfort. It’s a permission slip for letting myself off the hook. And, I give you permission to use it, too, and often!
Today, I am going to talk about time; creating time, in particular. Lately, I have had several of my friends come to me and ask how I find the time to incorporate a meditation practice into my busy life. As I have mentioned before, I am a full-time student, in the middle of an internship, preparing to graduate in May, I work a job on top of that, I have two crazy lab pups, who might as well be human children, a fantastic Yoga practice (that I also teach now), a loving boyfriend, a home to take care of, a vegan diet to prepare for each day, my Soul Feather meet up group, my Soul Feather blog, a miraculous meditation practice and playtime in between all that. Phew! Yes, it is a quite the balancing act! And I know I am not performing solo in this show, so, if ya feel me, keep reading. 🙂
When I first started meditating, it began very slow and I would do it every once and a while. Actually, the first time I ever sat still long enough to meditate, I was petrified and I cried my eyes out. It was an embarrassing-weird-uncomfortable-funky-scary situation and I remember feeling like “This is not for me…I am doomed…I am broken.” However, meditation always seemed to call me back. Weeks went by after that first time and I found myself asking a friend to sit with me be my meditatation coach. I asked her for all the details. We sat on her dock in the intercoastal and meditated, and I am forever grateful to her. I had put this tremendous amount of pressure on myself for it to be perfect…only to discover later that there is no perfect way to meditate. For me, it started with letting that idea of being perfect go and learning how to just stop, even if it was only for a quick moment, to notice that moment, along with the thoughts wrapped up in it, letting go and shifting it all to my breath and into a space of love. Less and less time started to show up between the times I would practice. Sometimes, I would hit up my meditation space two times in one day. I started to fall more in love with it…to the point where I said to myself, “I’m going to do this everyday.” However, there was one thing that stopped me from an everyday practice; my thoughts. My ego had stepped in and made me think thoughts like, “I can’t commit to everyday… I don’t have enough time.” And that was my block for a while. As long as I kept thinking that I didn’t have time to meditate, that is what kept showing up for me. So, I changed my thinking about the time I had available for meditation and magically, I started to create an everyday practice. I googled and you tubed meditations daily from spiritual guides and gurus that I followed, I learned different breathing techniques to incorporate, I burned groovy incense and invested in some beautiful crystals and stones to share energy with and I started sharing these meditations and what brings me love with others at my Soul Feather meet up groups. I meditate every morning. Sometimes, it is longer than others, depending on what shows up. Then, there are moments throughout my day where I take a few minutes to reconnect with my breath, myself and the Universe. Sometimes, actually, most times, those minutes I take during the day to stop take place in my car; running from my internship to my job… in the Starbuck’s parking lot. Then, at night, I take time before I go to sleep to reconnect. So, from simply shifting my thoughts from “I don’t have enough time” to “I have just enough time” or “the Universe supports me in all that I do,” the time to meditate shows up for me. In the end, I have more energy to take on my full life, more love to spread to others and a space of inner peace that keeps growing each time I hit my meditation mat.

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Another place where I can be in the moment and connect with myself is when I create food and share it.

Today’s recipe are a couple simple recipes that can be used as sides, a snack, or if you make enough, the main meal.

The first treat I have is favorite snack and a staple for my diet…
I give you Avocado Toast:

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You will need:
-gluten free/vegan toast
-1/2 an avocado
-olive oil, to taste
-salt, to taste
-any extras (sprouts, kale, arugula, tomato…)

To prepare:
Toast the bread in a toaster. Cut the avo in half. Scoop it out with a spoon; if you like nice slices, slice the avo with a knife before scooping it out. Put the avo on the toasted bread. Sprinkle a little salt and drizzle on the olive oil. Add other toppings of your choice if you wish. Yumm! I love avocado toast. It is so simple and perfect to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a side or a snack.

The next recipe is inspired by my girl at http://www.celineeatsavocados.com.

Roasted Potatoes with Parsley & Avo

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You will need:
Mini potatoes (I like the purple and red potatoe mixture)
Parsley
Avocado
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little paprika in a medium to large sized bowl. Wash the potatoes and cut them in halves. If you only have regular sized potatoes, then cube them up. Then throw the cut up potatoes in the olive oil mixture. Make sure all the potatoes are covered with mixture. Then, put the potatoes on a baking sheet lines with foil and stick in the oven for 25 mins. At the end of the 25 minutes, turn on the broil to make it them crispy and gold brown. After the potatoes are done in the oven, let them cool and transfer into a bowl. Add the fresh chopped up parsley and some avocado slices and serve it up! I also added some quinoa in there for some extra fluff!
These potatoes can be made with any olive oil and spices that you’d like. I also made some with rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper for the Super Bowl last weekend and they were delish!

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Olive Oil

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Eat, share, enjoy!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Breathe & Eat

“I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.”

Some days, this is my mantra all day long. I learned this mantra from my yoga practice, go figure,and I apply it to my life. Why, you ask? Well, because it works! Where thoughts go, energy goes, right? The first time I used this mantra, it was in one of my Vinyasa flow yoga classes. Because it is summer, it seems as if the heated studios we practice in have been extra sweaty. I am all about the extra sweat and releasing extra toxins, but what comes with that is extra opportunities for me to calm my thoughts that tell me, “Wahh! This is crazy! Give up!” One hot, sweaty, deliciously juicy class not too long ago, my mind was doing just this. It was doing nothing but bringing energy to it and causing my body to freak out, feel weak and want to give up. Giving up would have been fine, too, because it is what it is. However, right at that moment of choosing whether to come out of the pose or stay, my yoga teacher gave me my mantra, “I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.” I grabbed it up and started saying it to myself while incorporating my breath and moving through the poses while sweat dripped. It was like magic. My body totally and completely hopped on board and I rode the wave till the end of the practice.

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I am so grateful for that class and I will forever be. For not only did my yoga teacher provide me with a mantra-mediation for class, but she gave me a mantra for life. Life shows up and I try to live it as it is delivered, but sometimes it is uncomfortable and my mind wants to take me everywhere but in that moment, which is where I need to be the most; feeling, accepting, learning, and embracing.

Breathing seems so basic and like “duh!” but when life gets crazy, we tend to hold our breath and tense up, when we should be doing the exact opposite. This is funny to me. I think that human beings may be the only creatures that do this in response to stress. I watch my dogs, and when they get stressed or run around, they don’t stop breathing. If anything, I see them breathe more, suckin’ down air, with their tongues all out. Amazing!

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Now, for some mexican feasting!

I recently posted the yummy raw beet ravioli recipe and I mentioned how I am all about the raw dishes, when they aren’t too complicated. I now share with you a raw taco salad recipe that was inspired by ohsheglows.com. I cannot get enough of her recipes!

This recipe is one of my favorites! I know, I know, I say this about every recipe that I post. It’s true though, and I think it’s a good thing! It was so nice to find a vegan taco salad recipe, let alone raw, because just about every time I go out to eat it is at a restaurant with mostly non-vegan dishes with my non-vegan friends and I can more times than not find a taco salad on their menu that I make the appropriate substitutions to.

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Raw Taco Salad:

Walnut Taco Meat

1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 2-8 hours

1 + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if your taste buds desire)

1/2 teaspoon chili

Sea salt, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Cashew Cream (aka, your sour cream)

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water, for desired consistency (I think I ended up using about 1/2 cup)

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sea salt, to taste (just over 1/4 teaspoon)

Guacamole

1 large avocado

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons lime juice

Scant 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Other possible toppings you may like:

green onions, greens of choice, salsa, and some chips or crackers

Taco Meat Prep:

Drain walnuts. Food process walnut meat ingredients on pulse or chop setting until ingredients are combined. Leave walnuts somewhat chunky. Remove and set aside.

Sour Cream Prep:

Drain and rinse cashews/macadamia nuts. Add to processor and process. Stream in water (close to 1/2 cup maybe) and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Add water as needed. Sauce should be smooth and not grainy. Add seasonings to taste.

Guac Prep:

Medium size bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in chopped tomato, onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.

To assemble all the layers, first, add a nice amount of greens to bast of the bowl, followed by a nice scoop (1/4 cup)  of the guac mixture. In the middle, spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa (if using) and then add some of your walnut taco meat over that. Put your cashew sour cream into a plastic baggie, twist baggie so cream moves to one corner, and snip off corner so you can squirt your sour cream on the taco salad over the taco meat. Lastly, add some chips or crackers on the side to dip or crunch over your salad. Let your taste buds have a fiesta!

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Breathe. Eat. Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

Breathe & Eat

“I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.”

Some days, this is my mantra all day long. I learned this mantra from my yoga practice, go figure,and I apply it to my life. Why, you ask? Well, because it works! Where thoughts go, energy goes, right? The first time I used this mantra, it was in one of my Vinyasa flow yoga classes. Because it is summer, it seems as if the heated studios we practice in have been extra sweaty. I am all about the extra sweat and releasing extra toxins, but what comes with that is extra opportunities for me to calm my thoughts that tell me, “Wahh! This is crazy! Give up!” One hot, sweaty, deliciously juicy class not too long ago, my mind was doing just this. It was doing nothing but bringing energy to it and causing my body to freak out, feel weak and want to give up. Giving up would have been fine, too, because it is what it is. However, right at that moment of choosing whether to come out of the pose or stay, my yoga teacher gave me my mantra, “I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.” I grabbed it up and started saying it to myself while incorporating my breath and moving through the poses while sweat dripped. It was like magic. My body totally and completely hopped on board and I rode the wave till the end of the practice.

IMG_0172

I am so grateful for that class and I will forever be. For not only did my yoga teacher provide me with a mantra-mediation for class, but she gave me a mantra for life. Life shows up and I try to live it as it is delivered, but sometimes it is uncomfortable and my mind wants to take me everywhere but in that moment, which is where I need to be the most; feeling, accepting, learning, and embracing.

Breathing seems so basic and like “duh!” but when life gets crazy, we tend to hold our breath and tense up, when we should be doing the exact opposite. This is funny to me. I think that human beings may be the only creatures that do this in response to stress. I watch my dogs, and when they get stressed or run around, they don’t stop breathing. If anything, I see them breathe more, suckin’ down air, with their tongues all out. Amazing!

IMG_0201

Now, for some mexican feasting!

I recently posted the yummy raw beet ravioli recipe and I mentioned how I am all about the raw dishes, when they aren’t too complicated. I now share with you a raw taco salad recipe that was inspired by ohsheglows.com. I cannot get enough of her recipes!

This recipe is one of my favorites! I know, I know, I say this about every recipe that I post. It’s true though, and I think it’s a good thing! It was so nice to find a vegan taco salad recipe, let alone raw, because just about every time I go out to eat it is at a restaurant with mostly non-vegan dishes with my non-vegan friends and I can more times than not find a taco salad on their menu that I make the appropriate substitutions to.

IMG_7355

Raw Taco Salad:

Walnut Taco Meat

1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 2-8 hours

1 + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if your taste buds desire)

1/2 teaspoon chili

Sea salt, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Cashew Cream (aka, your sour cream)

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water, for desired consistency (I think I ended up using about 1/2 cup)

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sea salt, to taste (just over 1/4 teaspoon)

Guacamole

1 large avocado

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons lime juice

Scant 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Other possible toppings you may like:

green onions, greens of choice, salsa, and some chips or crackers

Taco Meat Prep:

Drain walnuts. Food process walnut meat ingredients on pulse or chop setting until ingredients are combined. Leave walnuts somewhat chunky. Remove and set aside.

Sour Cream Prep:

Drain and rinse cashews/macadamia nuts. Add to processor and process. Stream in water (close to 1/2 cup maybe) and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Add water as needed. Sauce should be smooth and not grainy. Add seasonings to taste.

Guac Prep:

Medium size bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in chopped tomato, onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.

To assemble all the layers, first, add a nice amount of greens to bast of the bowl, followed by a nice scoop (1/4 cup)  of the guac mixture. In the middle, spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa (if using) and then add some of your walnut taco meat over that. Put your cashew sour cream into a plastic baggie, twist baggie so cream moves to one corner, and snip off corner so you can squirt your sour cream on the taco salad over the taco meat. Lastly, add some chips or crackers on the side to dip or crunch over your salad. Let your taste buds have a fiesta!

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Breathe. Eat. Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

Yoga

I love yoga! I remember when I was first introduced to it by a good friend and how in my head I turned my nose up to the idea of it because I had been this big bad basketball player my whole life and I needed something to challenge me and I thought I knew that yoga could not give me a good enough challenge, blah blah blah, right? Hah! Well, thank God that I wasn’t so incredibly blocked off that I missed this opportunity all together. For, yoga has added such flavor to my heart and soul. I tried it once and it was love at first pose! The style of yoga that I prefer to practice is called Vinyasa yoga or hot power yoga. Before I tried this, I thought that all yoga consisted of was slow stretching. Boy, was I ignorant! Vinyasa yoga is a type of yoga that encourages major lengthening and stretching of the body parts (I discovered pieces of me that I didn’t know existed!) with flow and movement incorporated that gets your heart pumping (probably one of the safest and best forms of cardio one can do) and allows you to get your sweat on all at the same time all while connecting your breath to movement. My yoga teachers at the studio I attend (yogapalmbeach.com) are the most wonderful individuals and we practice in heated rooms (usually around 90 degrees, give or take) and they play the grooviest music sets, which is just dreamy, if you’re a music junkie like myself! I could skip the studio all together and just practice at home, but all these great extras, along with the phenominal energy of my fellow yogis in each class makes it soooo complete! Nothing like sharing energy and raising each other’s vibrations to later go out and share in the world!

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There are a plethora of poses in yoga. It seems never ending; heart openers, twists, arm balances, inverting poses, balancing poses, strength-based poses, resting poses…the list goes on and on. Just when I get one down, another even funkier one pops up in class. I am taught that it is not about the poses, but more so the journey of getting to those poses and my thoughts that come up along the way about the poses that I strive toward. And I thought I would not be challenged in yoga. Heh!

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This picture above is from a trip I took to San Francisco, California with the family that I nanny for. We visited the Muir Woods and I got my yoga and my play on up in there. This pose I am doing is called tree pose. Nothing more perfect that connecting with the energy of the most majestic red woods on the planet! I swear I heard the universe breathing while we hiked through there!

This last picture is a new type of yoga that just fascinates me! It is called acro yoga, and poses are done in combination with one or more individuals. My boyfriend, Wade, was my victim for this pose, God bless his little heart. He was reluctant at first, but I persuaded him and in the end we played together, laughed, and produced a beautiful pose with our energy combined!

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I look forward to sharing more poses with you in the future!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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