Groovy ways to start your days

Hi everyone!
Ever feel like you get up on the “wrong side of the bed?” Ha, I think that is such a funny saying. When I was a little girl and I felt this way, I would literally go back to my bedroom, get back into bed and climb out of my bed a second time, with the intention of it being the right side of the bed. Maybe that is all it takes? Starting over. I have been told before that when I am having an off start to my day that I can start my day over as many times as I’d like. And, who knows what throws us off when we rise and shine anyway?! Maybe, we ate something funky the night before, got tumbled up in a funky dream, have the butterflies about a job interview or new life embarkment or we just couldn’t shake an argument we had the day before with a lover or a best friend?! There are so many things out there that can throw our energies off to where we just don’t want to begin the next day…or is it that we don’t know how to begin? Here are some little tricks and tools that I use to help me when I would rather hit the “snooze” button and sleep the day away.
1: Strrrrretchhhhh
In a world that is so face paced and on the go go go, it can be easy to pop up out of bed the minute that alarm buzzes only to get moving again before our bodies even have the chance to wake up. I am guilty of this; I have two adorable pups that nudge me for their breakfast at 6am every morning and it is so typical to jump right up for them and into my day before I am even ready for it. So, I when my alarm sounds or my pups whine, I have tried to let myself slowly wake up. I wiggle my toes, my fingers, blink open my eyes, and I bring my arms above my head, my toes reach out long towards the end of the bed and I give myself a nice long full body good morning stretch to get my blood flowing and energy moving. Then, I sit up and let my toes dangle down to touch the earth. When is the last time you noticed your toes, eh? I notice my toes and my feet and I say, “good morning” to them, for they will be carrying me throughout the rest of my day. 🙂

2: Mirror Talk
Yes, this is exactly as it sounds…self talk in the mirror. It is one thing to talk to yourself out loud while driving in the car or cleaning the house, but to look yourself in the eyes and have a conversation with yourself is incredibly empowering…after you move past the judgement of it being awkward, of course! So, lately to kick off my mornings, once I run the sleep out of my eyes, I mosey on over to the bathroom mirror and I look myself in the eyes and say, “I am going to have a really great day today!” That simple! And if you can think of more to add to that then go for it!
3: Vacuum Meditation This is a new little meditation that I have been using in the mornings and it leaves me feeling light and ready! I do it right at my breakfast table…right after I have said good morning to my toes and did some self talk in the mirror, of course! 😉 It is very simple and I even find myself using it throughout my days if I need it. I sit with my feet touching the floor and my hands open on my lap. I start by focusing on my breathing and then I start to imagine my guardian angels circling around me with giant vacuums! They gently start to vacuum all the stagnant energy and unsupportive thoughts that I have running through my mind and body; they suck everything away creating space and leaving me feeling light and airy. It is so lovely! If you don’t dig the angels, then use whatever makes you feel comfortable…even if you just imagine a giant vacuum above your head…that is perfect! I even send my angels with the vacuums above my house, over each of my dogs and my loved ones. The meditation can be as long or as short as you’d like. Have fun with it! Our thoughts are so powerful and this meditation is oh, so sweet!
4: Start Over So, remember how I said that when I was a little girl I would go back to bed and get up on the right side of the bed? Yes, so maybe tapping into your inner child and doing just that will help to reset your morning, followed by a yummy breakfast! And, prepare a meal that appeals to all of the senses…something that has great texture, a yummy taste, colorful and easy on the eyes and fills the room with a beautiful aroma. Mmmm!

Another great way to start your day is by baking this next recipe…

Vegan & gluten free…

Vanilla Dream Cloud Cookies

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You will need:
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fluffy Frosting
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, put in fridge overnight, flipped upside down
Powdered sugar, to taste

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Like a baking sheet with parchment paper. First, mix together flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Then beat together the coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla until it is creamy. Add the flour mixture in and mix together until combined. If you need more almond milk, another tablespoon or so can be added. Mold the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap; place in fridge for 10-15 minutes. While you are waiting, practice some headstands, handstands or hop into a groovy meditation, right? 🙂
Take the dough out of fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough out and begin to cut out shapes that you fancy. I went with circles and I even drew a heart.

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Lay the cookies on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. When the sheet is all filled up, sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie. Place in the oven for maybe 7-10 minutes or so. Be sure to pull cookies out and check bottoms for some golden browning because these babies can be tricky and you do my want to over cook them! Remove cookies and let cool completely.
While cookies are cooling, get ready to make your fluff! Bring out your upside down coconut milk and open it upside down with a can opener. The top liquidy part of the milk you are going to pour off into a bowl and save for a yummy smoothie later…that’s what I did! The part that you want is below that liquid in a more solid form…mmmm….that is your treasure! Scrap the solid coconut milk out of can and into a bowl. Get your beaters out and blend baby, blend! The coconut milk will soften and turn into a whipped frosting. Add a little powdered sugar, if you wish, but this stuff is amazing without! You will have to hold yourself back from licking the bowl, watch! 🙂 When you have whipped the frosting to your liking, begin to frost your cookies, making them look very fluffy and cloud-like, hence the name. For extra fun, you can sprinkle cinnamon on top.

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Serve right away or store in the fridge! I love these cookies…I ate several and shared the rest! I felt like I was eating a cloud! Enjoy!

Also, for some extra fluff, here are some Easter pics up Maya and Leo for you to enjoy!

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Love the babies and their bunny ears!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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Creating Space

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Hi everyone!
My days are filled with people and situations that provide me with opportunities; opportunities to choose love and happiness or to choose fear and unhappiness. I must remind myself that I have these choices and that they both cannot live in the same space. I am either choosing love or fear…and let me tell you, love always trumps! Love is the miracle-maker and it always gives me exactly what I need. Love opens doors, unlocks the miracles, frees my heart and creates an unlimited amount of space within me to extend out to others. Fear shuts down, puts down, paralyzes and constricts any energy from flowing.
So, how do we integrate a more loving conversation in life? It begins with creating the space in our thoughts. People and situations show up as divine assignments to show me how to heal, learn and let go. My most challenging assignments show up in my relationship with my boyfriend. We attracted one another to heal, love and enjoy one another. One of my biggest lessons with him have been learning how to tap into my inner goddess for self acceptance and love, and not relying on him for those things. Past experiences that he triggers in the present challenge me in these areas. Some days, I am on point and others, the best I can do is have a meltdown. We all get into relationships with our own past experiences that have turned into conversations within the thoughts that run through our heads presently.The thing is, that conversation that was generated from the past, is in the past, there fore, it does not have to be real now in the present moment. It is our job to recognize those conversations as not real anymore and create the space for what is so that love can radiate through us.

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Here are some simple steps that I have been using in my interactions to get myself out of my past conversations that replay in my head and into what’s real in the present moment.

1: Notice. Any behavior change always starts with noticing the behavior first. Nothing can change if you are not aware that it is occurring, right? If I am unable to notice, then I am screwed because chances are I may just be reacting out of ego, and usually these snap reactions are fearbased and imbedded from th past. So, I begin created new neural pathways in my brain by keeping it simple and noticing. Sometimes, I write about what I see myself doing. I notice what is happening around and within me when I feel like I am being triggered. I notice the conversation that is taking place in my head. Is it love or fear-based? If this conversation makes me feel good, it is probably love, but if I start to squirm, it is most likely fear driving them and after the thoughts start rolling in, then the unproductive behavior follows. So, start noticing the thoughts before th behaviors have a chance to rise. And just like anything, this is a practice. Some days, I am extremely aware and I can pause and stay still and allow the untrue thoughts to dissolve. Other days, when I am more sensitive, I will just bypass any noticing and have a knee-jerk reaction, which usually ends up with me in some kind of upset. Whether I roll through a temper tantrum or not, eventually I always get back to noticing my thoughts again. It is important to be gentle with yourself and love yourself through these experiences like you would a best friend!
2: Decide. After I notice what is happening within my thoughts, then I make a decision. I decide whether the conversation in my head is real or not real based off of the situation I am in where I feel triggered. Again, fear makes us act in funky ways. So, if I perceive something as fearful based on my past experiences and I notice myself starting to feel uncomfortable, then I can probably make the assumption that I am operating from ego. I decide if the story I am telling myself is a reenactment of the past or not; real or make-believe. The ego loves to play with the make-believe because we stay stuck here; we search but never seem to find what we are looking for. It can be tricky to see past the ego, so I coach myself through it by giving myself little affirmations such as, “I can see peace instead of this, “What would it look like to let this go?” or “Thank you, Universe, for showing me how to see this differently.” A Course in Miracles says, “When ancient memories of hate appear, remember that their cause is gone,” therefore, it is up to me to forgive the past experiences that are showing up because they are showing up as an opportunity to create space for love by releasing them.

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Now, for a yummy pizza recipe to wrap this up! Today, I have one of my vegan, gluten free, quinoa crust pizzas! So simple and delicious!

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You will need:
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3/4 cup quinoa – soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed & drained.
1/4-1/2 cup water (maybe…according to dough consistency)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoon of dried seasonings (I think I just used some Italian seasoning mixture and a teaspoon of dried parsley)
Toppings: hummus, cucumber, arugula and carrots

To Prepare:
Set the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the tablespoon of coconut or olive oil in a 9-inch round cake pan. In a food processor mix all of the ingredients, except the toppings, together to create your pizza crust. Then, pour the mixture into the oil coated cake pan and place the pan in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Then, remove the pan, flip the crust over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Crust should be brown and crispy on the edges. Remove crust and let cool. Prepare the veggies/toppings but cutting up the cucumber and shredding the carrots. When crust seems cool enough, spread the hummus all over the pizza, first. Then sprinkle on the arugula and cover with cucumber and them the shredded carrots last. Cut up into pizza slices and enjoy! I sure did!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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Managing our energy

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Hey everyone!
I talk a lot about raising vibration in my posts. I feel like it is one of the reasons that I was put on Earth; to raise my own vibration, which allows me to spread big love to others and it raises their vibration, ultimately, raising the planet’s! Yeah! Love that! I try to do this on a daily basis through my blog, my yoga practice, the music I listen to, my behaviors, my interactions with people, what I put in my body, my sleep, my thoughts, my meditation practice…everything! I am either in vibration at a high or a low frequency. And, depending on which state I am in, I will attract those high or low level experiences. But, what happens when I walk into situations where I feel powerless over the energies around me and I encounter a bunch of low vibrations? For example, everyday, I either go to work, my internship, out to eat, to school, to a yoga class, the mall, a park or even my own house. All of these places hold their own vibrations, as do the people within them. Depending on where I am at, it can be easy to get knocked off that high vibrational kick if others are spinning around me. Or, it can be easy for me to absorb someone else’s energy and carry it around. Have you ever gone into a store, a job, or wherever and started the day off feeling groovy and light, but then leave feeling depleted of energy or weighed down? Sure, because it is possible to sync up with another person or place’s vibration and get shifted. The world is at the highest vibration that it has ever been at, and so, right now, more than ever, it is important to manage our own energy, which can be tricky at times. I will share with you some of the things I use to keep my energy high, protected and lovely!

1: Send Love
Sometimes, when I am en route somewhere, I will have the thought to send the place that I am going or the room(s) that I will be spending time in some love. I know, I know… But stay with me. Where thoughts go, energy goes. And yes, we have the ability to think loving thoughts and send people, places or things these loving thoughts and affect the vibration of it. Therefore, I do this. I say something like, “I fill this space with love and light” or “I send love to the heart of this person right now and I envelope them in loving light.” I imagine the building, room, space or person just filling up with light. When I do this, my thoughts get lighter, my body relaxes and my heart feels alive. I raise my vibration and whatever space or person that I am shooting love to raises, as well.
2: Take Frequent Light Baths
This is a simple vision or short meditation that you can do just about anywhere. It can last as short as one minute or as long as you’d like. I just started taking light baths recently when I saw Gabrielle Bernstein introduce it at one of her fabulous workshops a couple of weekends ago. I like to use this first thing in the morning, before going to bed at night and then if a funky situation comes up in the middle of my day, it is also nice. I close my eyes. Sometimes, I will lay down or sometimes, I will just sit. I start to imagine that I am getting rained on with these beautiful raindrops of light…just raining, raining, raining down all over me. It’s beautiful and I am completely coated with a beautiful glowing light that leaves me feeling cleansed and protected. Stay calm & take a light bath!
3: Move
Movement is depression’s worst enemy; I have said this before and I believe in it! So, when I feel a depletion of energy or I am around funky energy and low vibrational individuals, then I will get up and move. Sometimes this means that I take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on my skin. It could mean that I make a phone call to a friend and I move my mouth and release the stagnant energy through my words. It could be that I grab a bite to eat and I fill my tummy and engage my digestive system a little. Anything to get my cells dancing and out of the lower vibration that makes me feel heavy.
4: Keep Special Things with Good Vibration Around
Everything has vibration; I have already said this. There are some things that I have that make me feel extra lovely when I am holding them or they are in my presence. For example, I really dig energy stones; I like to meditate with them, hold them when I am stressing or just keep them nearby. My favorite stones that I have been working with lately are pink opal, lepidolite and rose quartz. I also have other little tokens that have a grounding effect or the ability to clear unsporting thoughts or energy. It can be anything that does this for you, too. I find myself attracted to certain jewelry, mala necklaces, articles of clothing, books or even incense. Whatever speaks to you, let it be with you!

I have two gluten free/vegan recipes for you today! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

My first recipe is…

Quinoa-Kale-Garbanzo Bean Bowl:

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You will need:
1/2 cup quinoa (prepared according to cooking directions)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
A nice handful of kale torn up
Thyme, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

To Prepare:
Prepare the quinoa. Add in the garbanzos beans and kale. Then sprinkle in the thyme, salt & pepper. It is that simple! Add as a side dish or serve as a complete meal! Yum!

The second recipe is a groovy little dessert inspired by http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/08/26/mint-chocolate-nanaimo-bars/

Vegan & Gluten free…

Mint Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

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You will need:
Crust
1/2 cup pecans (or almonds)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (or like 6-8 dates)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Green Filling
1 1/2 cups macademia nuts, soaked & drained (or cashews)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 oz or 2 loosely packed cups of raw spinach

Chocolate Topping
1/2 cup cacao
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup

To Prepare:

In a pan or squat dish, cover it with parchment paper. Prepare the crust first by mixing together all the ingredients in a food processor. Then put the crust ingredients on the parchment paper to create the bottom later, pressing down and around the sides to form like a rectangle or square shape. Place crust in fridge. Then, mix together all the green filling ingredients until pretty smooth. Slowly add the filling on top of th crust, evening it out. Place in fridge. Then, prepare the chocolate layer by mixing the ingredients together; you may need to melt the coconut oil a little so it is softened. Then, add the chocolate on top of the green layer. Then place bars in the freezer for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove bars from freezer and cut into squares of your liking. Place the bars back in the FRIDGE to set up the rest of the way. Serve after maybe 30 minutes more in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

my friends bring the love

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Hey everybody!
I wanted to do a post about friends. It makes me think of the quote, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” by The Beatles. It is the truth for me. The love that I receive from my friends and people around me is endless and perfect! Especially, my lady friends!

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They are there for my moments that I laugh, cry, scream, throw a temper tantrum and celebrate and I honor each and every one of them. Some are near and some are far away. Some were in my life for a short while and some have been in my life always. Some I work, play, meditate or do yoga with. Either way, I am never alone and it is important for me to know this and feel the love from others. And the love is received as well as given away by me. When I am connecting with my girls, I am beaming inside and out. They help me raise my own vibration, as well as the world’s vibration when we are connecting!

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When life gets funky and my ego steps in the way of my happiness and throws me off, one of the best remedies for me has been to call one of my lady loves and let her pull me out of the ego’s arms. I call one of them and talk it out over the phone or through a text, or we meet up an have a playdate. My ego loves nothing more than to make me feel like I am alone. When I bring my energy into a place of love that it shared with another, it has no choice but to rise up and expand. When I go where the love is, I am fulfilling my function of happiness in this world; I am stepping into the light within myself that is always lit no matter what my ego tells me. So, to all of my lady friends out there, I love you all and I honor every one of you.

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One of the best activities I love doing with my girlfriends is making good food and enjoying it together. I love dinner parties… And breakfast, lunch and dessert parties! So, for today’s post, I have two recipes for you and I am going with the green theme, given that this was a green month for St. Patty’s Day!

Green Chakra Breakfast Smoothie

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You will need:
Kale (handful)
1 Banana
Handful of mango (I use frozen)
Almond butter (spoonful)
Almond milk
Cayenne pepper (a few sprinkles, to taste)

To prepare:
Mix everything together in a blender. Taste to make sure you have enough cayenne pepper. I really enjoy this smoothie because I taste all of the ingredients and then there is the kick from the cayenne in the end. It is delightful and will open your heart right up!

Avo-Edamame Sandwich Spread with Kale

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You will need:
1 cup of frozen shelled edamame, steamed
1 avocado
Lemon juice
Veganaise
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
Slices of gluten free bread, toasted
Kale

To prepare:
Steam the edamame. Once steamed, add the edamame to a food processor and pulse until the edamame is all chopped up. Add the avocado and the other ingredients and mix together well in the food processor. Taste testing is welcomed to see if you need more of one ingredient or not. Toast the slices of bread. Spread the edamame mixture on each slice. De-stem the kale and slip it in between the edamame mixture. Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy!

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Love & Light >

Finding the love in letting go & a lentil suprise

Hi everyone! Today, I felt called to talk about letting things go. Some things are trickier than others. It depends how much the voice of my ego gets in the way. The past week, I have been wrestling with the … Continue reading

Body Talk & Chocolate-Mint Bliss Bites

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Hi everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day/Week to you all! I love and honor you and I hope you are doing the same for yourself!
Four years ago, I started making this little holiday a day to celebrate the love for myself. Every day, I focus on loving myself, but this day, four years ago, I stopped smoking cigarettes and I remember telling myself that I was doing it for the love of myself! I was so proud (and I still am)! Each year, I try to do something extra groovy for myself like take a yoga class in a new studio, get a pedicure, go on a date with my hunie, add something healthy into my life, make something extra yummy to share or take my pups somewhere they’ve never been before.This week, I seem to be applying to Graduate school for the love of myself! Weeee! What will you do to show the love?
Another way I show the love for myself daily, is by taking care of my body and maintaining a positive inner dialogue. This leads me into a conversation about the body. I used to be so wrapped up in what people thought about me based on my body and appearance. I was so consumed with these thoughts that they did nothing but paralyze me and cause pain. No matter what I did, I wasn’t good enough and someone was always better than me. I beat myself up with my thoughts because I was stuck in the fear-based ego-state-of-mind and I put my body through the worst things because of it. I would not eat all day long, exercise on top of it, and then eat too much at night. I would over exercise and if I missed a day, I would beat myself up even more. If I did not feel skinny enough or pretty enough, I would not let myself go out in public. I would eat unhealthy things to cope with the feelings and thoughts that were constantly running through my head. I was so self-absorbed and full of fear that I could not truly enjoy the beautiful life that was happening before my eyes. Thankfully, I hit a bottom.
My first step was to recognize and admit that my unhappiness with my body was directly connected to my unloving thoughts about it. I recognized that I was not going to get anywhere healthy if I kept talking to myself in such an awful manner. So, I cut the crap, forgave myself and became my biggest fan. On days that I didn’t like my thighs, I picked out a part that of myself that I did like and I focused on that… All day long, if I had to. Most importantly, I realized that I am not a body; I am a beautiful soul that shines bright, comes from a natural state of love, is granted all the happiness I could possible wish for and any thoughts that do not stem from love are not real. This body is a vessel for me to navigate through this world that I am in.
My second step was to change my internal dialogue by inviting Spirit/God/the Universe in to support me and my thoughts. It was clear that I needed help with this because I had tried and failed too many times on my own. For every unsupportive or unloving thought that popped into my head, I would notice it and invite Spirit in to help reinterpret the conversation or clear away the thoughts. By clearing away the thoughts, I began to create space for love and a groovy new internal dialogue began to manifest itself.
Step three, I started to implement new healthy habits by making little commitments. Thoughts and behaviors go hand-in-hand. When I am thinking in an undeserving way, then I am most likely going to have behaviors that go along with it. Where thoughts go, energy goes. When I had a self-destructive mindset, my behaviors followed suit; I would either deprive myself of food at meal times, overwork my body or fill my body with foods that were not the healthiest choices. Once I became a witness to those negative thoughts, called them out and invited Spirit in, I could then add the healthy behaviors in my life. I started doing things to let my inner glow shine bright! Not only that, I attracted healthy things, as well; Yoga came into my life, healthy people came into my life, I evolved into a vegan and gluten free eater, I knocked off the unsupportive eating habits and behaviors (like smoking!), I started teaching and sharing health tips with others…It was magical and magnetic, and it continues to be! And, whatever weight that I was trying to lose or look I was trying to achieve started to appear. I find that when I align myself spiritually, the weight drops off and everything falls into place. Most of the time in life, I find that all I need to do is forgive myself, shift my thinking into a more loving space and stay connected to the Universe because it always has my back.

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So, along with loving yourself, incorporating healthy behaviors to shine bright and treating yourself during this week of Valentine’s Day, I have a treat for you!

Vegan and gluten free…

Chocolate Mint Bliss Bites

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You will need:
-1 cup of pecans
-1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
-2 teaspoons of flax seed
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 teaspoon (maybe a little more) peppermint oil
-4-5 medjool dates, pitted (but you can get away without them)
-about 1/2 package of vegan chocolate chips

To prepare:
In a food processor or high speed blender, blend the pecans, first. Then add flax, coconut, peppermint, maple syrup, and dates (optional) and blend together completely. Line a plate with parchment paper. Make balls out of your pecan mixture and press them down a little to flatten like a cookie. Place in the fridge to stiffen up while the chocolate is melted. In a pan, slowly head up a half of a package of chocolate chips. If you turn the temp up any higher, you will burn them. Stir the ch chips whole they melt. When chocolate is almost completely melted, take out the cookies in the fridge and begin to frost them with the chocolate. I found it easiest to dip the one side of the cookie in chocolate, set it on the parchment paper plate chocolate-side down, and the spread frosting on the rest of the cookie with a knife/spoon. The idea is to get the whole cookie covered in chocolate… So, however creative you can get! Then, when all the cookies are lathered in chocolate, stick the plate back in the fridge to let the chocolate harden completely, 30 minutes or so. Then, transfer cookies to a container to store in. Share and enjoy!
Love & Light,
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

Meditations from 1/19/14 Soul Feather Meet Up

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Hello everyone! Today, was Soul Feather’s second meet up! Woo! I introduced two different meditations tonight, both of them were inspired by author of Spirit Junkie and May Cause Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein. I fall more in love everyday with my meditation practice and I am constantly looking for new ones to practice on my own and share with others to call in the peace and raise the vibration.

The first meditation that we opened with was to help quiet the mind and body when experiencing intense moments of either high stress, impulsive thinking or overreactive thoughts and behaviors. This meditation is a Kundalini meditation and it can be done just about anywhere… I have done it in my car, at home and even at my job. It is accompanied with a great mudra, your breath, of course, and a fun shake it out sesh. So, if you like to shake your chakras, hold groovy mudras for focus and feel instantaneous calm… Then, this meditation is for you:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PuUddLtsCHA

Also, we shook it out to Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” song. You can shake it out to your own song of choice, or choose this one by clicking here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WbN0nX61rIs

The closing meditation was another one inspired by beautiful soul, Gabrielle Bernstein. Another simple meditation that can be practiced anywhere. It is a pulse meditation accompanied with a mantra. This one is extra cool because it is regulated by your own heartbeat. The idea of this meditation is to think of a mantra or use the one that is introduced in Gabby’s video and say it a long with the rhythm of your heartbeat. Gabrielle introduces the term “Sat Nam,” which is a Kundalini Yoga mantra that is used often. It is considered the awareness mantra and it is the vibration of this mantra that is so special. “Sat” means “truth” and when it is said or thought it causes a vibration up through the crown chakra. “Nam” means “name” and when is it said or thought it causes a grounding vibration to occur. The words together create a meaning of “true name,” “truth is my name” or “truth identified,” and by meditating on it along with the breathe calls in the vibration of truth.
If this meditation rings true for you, check out this link:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h0y1Lu0L8nU

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Meditation from 1/5/14

Here is the link to the Ludovico Einaudi “Nuvole Bianche” song from the meditation we did at the first Soul Feather meet up on January 5, 2014. Now, it is at your fingertips to use whenever you please. I was also able to locate it through Spotify. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcihcYEOeic

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