Pumpkin Magic!

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“When I am annoyed, sit longer.”

So, I have really been working on my meditation game the past few weeks. Just like my yoga practice, I always, always create some kind of space in my heart and mind and I gather some new awareness from it. There are many times I think, “ugh, i have things to do and I don’t feel like stopping to meditate or stopping to practice yoga,” right?! But, I have come to find out that is when I need them the most! When I am most irritated or annoyed inside my body is when I need the time to stop and be in my body the most and both yoga and meditation provide the space to do that.

I came across this quote, “When I am annoyed, sit longer,” during one of my meditations not too long ago. It was one of those mornings where I had so many different things tugging at me from all directions including my playful and full of life puppies who wanted all my energy on them, but I also wanted to have the time to meditate. I really didn’t want to meditate, but I knew I needed it, and I stopped everything for 15 minutes and did it anyway. My dogs were bouncing all over the place around me, my thoughts were restless, even all the different sounds of life outside my window were irritating me. I kept trying to bring my focus back to my breath, only to get bumped by one of my pups or slammed with a thought about one more thing I should add to my to-do list for the day ahead. Finally, like a top that is done spinning, one thoughts came through and I swear, it saved me, “When I am annoyed, I need to sit longer.” It was a clear thought and it was the truth. So, I did. I sat longer. And eventually, my dogs settled and my thoughts ran out of energy and it was just me, sitting there, with my breath, and a shift to gratitude.

And, if you can’t stop and sit to meditate, maybe you can stop to make up this sweet treat and I am almost sure you can definitely stop to taste it, as well. 🙂

I am still on my pumpkin kick being that it is October and I can’t get enough of it and the Halloween fun! This next vegan treat was inspired by Free People’s  blog.

I give you Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter Fudge

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You will need:

1 cup raw unsalted almond butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, softened

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon honey

dash of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 ounces of dark chocolate, or vegan chocolate of your choice

To Prepare:

Line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except for the chocolate. Mixture should be creamy and smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined baking dish and smooth it out to your desired thickness and texture with a spoon or spatula. Place in the freezer for an hour or two.

Just before you are ready to take the fudge out of the freezer, melt your chocolate either over a double broiler OR melt SLOWLY in a pan on LOW. Slowly because you do not want chocolate to burn…what a mess that is & not fun to sit there and clean later.

Take the fudge out of freezer and cut into square sizes of your choice. Using a spoon, gather up some melted chocolate from pan and drizzle over the fudge squares. Mine got a little messy, so I ended up just spreading the chocolate all around fudge. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, sea salt, or shelled hemp seeds if you wish for some extra fun. Enjoy!

*Store in freezer when not enjoying 🙂

My second pumpkin treat is my Pumpkin Lovin’ Smoothie.

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In a blender, combine one banana, 3/4 cup (give or take) pumpkin puree, some carrots, handful of kale, peach slices (I use frozen peaches), and a gracious amount of cinnamon with some almond milk and blend baby blend! This smoothie will have you lighting up like a jack-o-lantern in no time! Enjoy!

Speaking of Halloween, have you picked out your costume yet? I love nothing more than playing dress up on a night where its perfectly acceptable. I like dressing up when its not perfectly acceptable, too. Ha! Anyway, I am getting pumped for this Halloween and my costume is slowly coming together, piece by piece!

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Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

On top of spaghetti…

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Happy October!!! Ahh, i love October and it is refreshing to know that this month has begun! So many fun things are going on in my world this month and I am totally pumped! This month reminds me of being a kid more than anything! Halloween, pumpkin patching, apple orchards, corn mazes, scarecrows, skeletons, carving pumpkins, carmel apples, haunted houses, candy corn, hay rides, apple crisp, pumpkin pies, raking leaves, jumping into the piles of raked leaves, and the fall air. I live in Florida and unfortunately many of the things I just named I do not get to see anymore….but, I do have a mother that still lives up north and you better believe that I hit her up for a box of leaves just so I can experience the true season down here in sunny south Florida! Ha! And, you better believe I will be dressing up and hitting up the haunted houses this October! Oh ya!

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Ahh, isn’t this quote the best? And, the truth. Although, it is so easy for me to look at this quote on a happy October day and say, “Oh, that is so true and I love that!” But catch me on a day where my boat is just full of “visitors” and it is rockin’ me all over the place, hangin’ on for my dear life… it can be challenging. But, still a beautiful quote and after the initial freak out over a particle feeling(s), I can usually move to this place of just sitting down in my boat taking my “visitors” to shore, letting them off, and peacefully rowing away. I like that.

This all reminds me of my yoga practice this week. I practice Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is a style of yoga that is known for moving from pose to pose while linking the breath. It is about movement and flowing and breathing through it all. I learned this week that the Vinyasa practice  reflects impermanence and change and teaches one not to hold on to each pose, but let it go and move onto the next pose. Impermanence and change. Kinda like feelings, right? Kinda like life. I like that. Life is a series of poses. Each pose connected to the next and as long as we don’t focus too much on the pose we were in before, we can gracefully move to and experience the others all while riding on the currents of our breath.

Today, I have a vegan and gluten free meatball recipe! This recipe was inspired by the blog.fatfreevegan.com. They look an taste like real meatballs!! I altered the recipes a little and in the future I probably would alter it even more by adding more of the spices and taking out the kasha (which is just buckwheat groats). I like buckwheat, but sometimes it can overtake the other flavors because it has a strong earthly flavor of its own. BUT! It was still a fab recipe! Have fun with it!

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You will need:

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds

1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats or quinoa flakes would work

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup kasha (Also known as buckwheat groats…i think it can be optional, you decide!)

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons of dehydrated onion flakes (I could not find these, so I used onion powder instead)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tomato powder (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

To Prepare:

In a food processor, chop the nuts and oats . Do not grind the nuts completely; they should be the size of popcorn kernels. Remove combination and set aside.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and mix well.

Boil 2/3 cup of water.

Combine the nut/oat mix with the combination of all other ingredients you just made up in the food processor in a bowl and add the 2/3 cup of boiling water all together. Stir and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using wet hands, form little meatballs and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

While your meatballs are baking, prepare your choice of spaghetti. To keep the meal gluten-free, I used quinoa corkscrew noodles. Yum! Also, heat up your spaghetti sauce and prepare any other sides you may want with your meal.

When meatballs are finished, add a few on top of your noodles and cover with spaghetti sauce! You will definitely feel on top of spaghetti after this meal! Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda