Transition

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Hi everyone!
Oh, how I have missed writing and sharing my energy in this space. For the last month, I have been settling into the new transition(s) taking place in my life and I am really enjoying all that is coming forward. I went up to my hometown, Toledo, Ohio to take a yoga teacher training. I got cracked wide open during the training and had several breakthroughs. I took the time to explore different parts of my hometown that I never knew existed, connect with family and friends, do yoga, teach yoga and most importantly, I was able to explore myself; I got real curious about pieces within myself that I never noticed before. I perfected yoga poses on my mat and I strengthened the practice of loving myself. I learned how to step away from the inner critic and tune into my girl, the inner teacher.
A few times during the training, I caught myself thinking…thoughts like, “what’s going to happen next in my life?” were typical with accompanied with anxiety. My mind is always trying to take me out of the present moment and into one that isn’t here yet. So, I started to notice when that would happen, let it go and come back to the present moment. Because, when I am in a moment that isn’t here, my inner critic lights up and I buy into all these crazy ideas, which never seem to serve me. So, I started to just observe the difference between my inner critic and my inner teacher. The sound of their voices and the vibration that they carry, are quite different. The inner critic is always louder and the first to chime in. My inner goddess is always the quieter one, sitting back, certain and calm, always encouraging me and saying, “You’re doing great, keep going,” or “Relax, breathe and go with the flow.” I like how it feels to listen to my inner girl, the goddess, so I do that more today than ever. And, when life comes, I don’t seem to waver as much as I used to. I breathe deeper, just as I would on my mat in a challenging pose and I love myself through it.

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I did create something fantastic while I was in Ohio. I have been all about lavender lately, so I made some gluten free vegan lavender bread!

Lavender Blueberry Bread

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You will need:
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons flax seed (plus 5-6 tablespoons water)
1 tablespoon culinary lavender
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoon earth balance butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup blueberries
Juice of one lemon

To prepare:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flax seed and water in a small bowl and set aside to let it gel up. Crush up the lavender, then add it to a pan with the almond milk and heat to just before boiling. Then, in a medium size bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg). Mix the blueberries in with the dry ingredients a little to coat them. In another bowl, mix together the other ingredients, including the lavender, almond milk and flax seed and water combination. Finally, mix together all the ingredients. Spray the bread pan or muffin tins with a cooking spray and then pour the batter in and place it in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes, give or take. After baking, remove from oven, and let cool. Serve, share and enjoy!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

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Summer and Macadamia Nut Mango Bars

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Hi everyone! It has been a little bit since I have written last. Happy June! What have you been doing to welcome in the summer?! I have been walking through some big changes these past couple of weeks that have been incredibly challenging, but relieving and liberating all at the same time. They have been changes made all in the name of self-love. The emotions come in like waves, right. Like, one minute, I will be happy and the next I feel as if my toes have lifted off the ground and the wave is rising up, my head just barely above water. Then, it settles, my feet land and the internal glitter shines! Emotions are like that; I can either choose to sink, swim against them or let them wash over me. I stay connected to the Universe through this time because I know she has my back. I keep my heart open, my head up and I step back to let the light shine beautifully on the path I will walk.

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Today’s recipe is great to surf into summer with!

Macadamia Nut Mango Bars

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You will need:
Crust
2/3 cup pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (add tablespoons one at a time for consistency of your choice)
Salt, to taste

Filling
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked
1-2 cups cubed fresh or frozen mangos (I used frozen)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Juice from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Water, maybe, for consistency
Salt, to taste

To prepare:
Soak the macadamia nuts for at least an hour to activate them. Begin with the crust and a food processor. Process the pecans or walnuts first. Then add in the other ingredients creating a crust that sticks together. Remove the crust from the food processor and place it on a parchment paper lined dish. Then, with a spatula, form the crust into a square. You can make it as thin or as thick as you’d like. Let the crust sit in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Clean out the food processor and drain the macadamia nuts. Add the macadamia nuts to the food processor and blend. Then, one by one, start to add in the other ingredients for the filling. You may or may not need to add water for consistency. It should be on the thicker side. Taste tests are welcome! Then, slowly start to spoon out the filling on top of the crust. Use a spatula to evenly spread out the filling over the crust. Then place the mango bars in the freezer to set up. Let them sit in the freezer for about an hour or so, and then when you’re ready to serve you can cut up the squares with a knife. Enjoy!

Also, I have found it especially important to connect and play with my girlfriends during this time in my life. Here are some acro yoga pics that I have been trying out with my girls! So fun! Summer is here…don’t forget to play!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Enjoying the calm in between the busy

Hi everyone! I mentioned a couple posts back that I graduated at the beginning of this month…so groovy… And I will be continuing on this August to complete my masters and graduate again next May 2015. In the meantime, I have had some extra time in my mornings before I head to work in the afternoon. It’s a funny thing, because I am naturally pretty busy… At least I have been since starting school. I’m used to running from thing to thing with very little spaces in between, but still breathing and loving it all! Now that I have this time, I have been sleeping in, practicing yoga, getting to know some other beautiful souls in the yoga world and local studios though teaching more kids yoga, connecting more w my pups, beaching, reading, writing, playing, meditating and making yummy food, of course! I feel like I am properly welcoming in the summer! 🙂

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Things will be picking up here very soon, though, so I am enjoying waking up slow in the mornings. Come mid July, I am off to my home town in Ohio for a month to complete my 200 hour registered yoga teacher training! I am so excited I can’t stand it! It is a dream come true to finally be able to do this and I can’t wait to learn more about myself, my body, strengthen my practice and share the beauty of yoga to even more people! So grateful! Happy Summer!

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I did mention that I have had more time to try new recipes out, didn’t I? Here is a new one, but also kind of old. One of my very first posts, I did a Mac & Cheese with a butternut squash sauce inspired by the beautiful http://www.celineeatsavocados.com. This is a reinvention of that with a yummy twist!

Baked Mac & Cheese with a Cauliflower-Butternut Squash Sauce

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You will need:
Pasta noodles (I like the gluten free quinoa ones)
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of earth balance butter
1/4 cup veggie stock
1/2 of a cauliflower head
1 cup of butternut squash (I bought frozen organic bs and steamed it)
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2-3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1-2 cups peas (again, I used frozen peas and just steamed them)
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Steam the butternut squash (if you bought frozen) and cauliflower while you boil the pasta noodles. Boil noodles just until it is slightly tender and then drain water. When you are finished steaming and boiling, add the cauliflower, butternut squash, veggie stock, 1/4 cup earth balance, almond milk, nutritional yeast and spices all together and blend until it turns into a creamy sauce. Taste tests are welcome! You may need to add more almond milk or butter or spices to get the taste and texture that you desire! Measurements are not 100% accurate because I found myself adding a little of this and that…but, they are pretty close to accurate! Also, steam your green peas! When you are finished processing and steaming peas, butter a glass baking dish with a little earth balance butter and pour the pasta noodles in followed by the dreamy sauce you just made and gently mix the sauce through the noodles. Then, add your steamed peas and gently mix them through. In a small pan, add your 3 tablespoons of earth balance butter and the cup of bread crumbs and in a medium heat mix the crumbs together with the butter. When butter seems to be melted and they are melted together, remove from heat and gently sprinkle the bread crumbs over top of the mac and cheese in the glass baking dish. Place in the oven for maybe 15-25 minutes. It should get golden brown on top. When finished, let cool, taste test, serve and enjoy!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Drop the plans and make a pizza

I woke up this rainy Florida morning, summer trying to push through with her humidity and glory, and I read my lesson from A Course in Miracles like I do every morning when I am rising. Every lesson is perfectly put together to unfold in such a way; like layer upon layer to produce this beautiful masterpiece that I am finding out lies within me.
Today’s lesson 135, talks about planning; plans, plans and more plans on top of to-do lists, right? How many of you do this? I know I do. Plans for the day, plans for the month, and plans for the year. I have come to learn that planning is another sneaky trick used by the ego. The Course says that “the mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control for future happenings” based out of fear. I began to think about this and how exhausting it is for me. There are so many moments throughout my days where I am busy planning for what’s next instead of living in what’s now! And, it is all because my ego tells me that it is important to have a plan, to make me think that I am in control because, God forbid, if I wasn’t in control something terrible could happen?!! But, then I think to myself what it would look like if I didn’t plan every single detail, allowed room for change and lived like I knew I was being guided every step of the way? When I am busy planning, I’m blocking the unexpected groovy flow of life from streaming in. And, this is not suggesting that we shouldn’t plan, because having a plan is productive, but it becomes unproductive when my attachment to it is interrupting my daily flow of life. Ya dig?

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After I read my lesson, I took time to release my senseless planning and let it soak in through mediation. It was comical to watch my mind dance around and do her thing. I started off in the moment and then, before I knew it, I was planning and thinking about work this afternoon… Ah, but then, I caught myself, and I was able to get right back to soaking up the moment that I was in. My mind did this dance a few times until it settled in the moment and I heard the love trickle in. Beautiful guidance from God/Universe/Spirit/Inner Guide streamed in assuring me that I am where I am supposed to be, things are under control and giving me permission to release my reins on the future an soak up the love in the present moment. When I did this, I felt nothing but love and light flow through me, which allowed my mind and body to release and relax. Then, I finished up the meditation with a beautiful light bath. I imagined raindrops, swollen with light, pouring down on me and coating me with a luminescence that I will carry with me throughout my day!
And, I will leave you with this final quote from The Course, “A healed mind does not plan…If there are plans to make, you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed, nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you. But they are answers to anther kind of question which, remains unanswered yet in need of answering until the answer comes to you at last.”

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So, I hope that you soak up the idea of not planning and letting your day unfold as it will, opening yourself to new opportunities and groovy love-filled moments that are awaiting you! I am not saying to withhold all planing, because it is necessary in many cases…but just notice when your mind is on “I gotta plan” overdrive and give yourself permission to detach from the plan if it fluctuates and enjoy what comes forth in your moments!

And, it is always good to plan meals! 🙂 I am confident to say that eating is necessary! Let me do the planning for you here…

This first beauty is inspired by on of my favorite vegan restaurants in south Florida, Christopher’s Kitchen! They have a pizza called the Biancoverde Pizza, that looks spectacular, but I did not get to taste it because it is not gluten free, wah! So, I took it upon myself to the-create the pizza with a gluten free crust and a few little twists.

And I call it the….

Pizza Fantasia

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You will need:
Crust:
3/4 cup quinoa, soaked in water for at least 8 hours (very important!)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/4 cup water, maybe (for consistency)

Macademia Ricotta
1 cup macademia nuts
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
A little water, for consistency

Toppings:
Arugula
Yellow onion, roasted
3-5 medjool dates, pitted
Avocado
Grape tomatoes, cut in half
Pumpkin seeds
Thyme, to taste
Oregano, to taste
Red pepper flakes or chili pepper flakes, to taste

To prepare:
Prepare your crust first. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put the tablespoon of coconut oil in a round 8 inch cake pan. Then drain the quinoa as best as you can. Add the quinoa into a food processor with the salt and garlic and blend until the texture turns into a dough-like consistency. If the texture is too thick, you may need to add a little bit of water. Blend until smooth. Then pour the dough into the coconut oil coated pan and put in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes. The crust should start to turn golden brown and crispy. When the crust is done baking on the one side, then flip it over and bake in the oven for another 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool. While your crust is cooling, you can mix together the macadamia nut ricotta. Clean out the food processor, and add in the macadamia nuts, salt, lemon juice and water. Slowly add the water a little bit at a time. You want the texture to be similar to ricotta cheese, so not too watery. Also, you may want to slice up some of the onion (just enough for top of pizza) and put in the oven on parchment paper in pan and roast for a few minutes before adding to pizza. When your crust is completely cooled, first lather on the macadamia ricotta cheese. Then sprinkle on your spices, thyme , oregano and the chili flakes. Then, add arugula, topped off with the roasted onions, dates, avocado, the grape tomato halves and pumpkin seeds. You may want to top off with a few sprinkles from each of the spices one more time. Cut the pizza into slices, serve and enjoy a mouthful of Fantasia!

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My next creation was inspired by my girl, http://www.celineeatsavocados.com. Her dreamy recipe is Banana Walnut Cinnamon Freezer Fudge, mmmmm! I did not have walnuts on hand, so I improvised and came up with something just as delish!

Cinnamon Banana Hemp Seed Freezer Fudge

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You will need:
1 cup hemp seeds
1 banana
1/8-1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
Toppings (optional): dairy free chocolate chips, nuts, chia seeds…
Mini cupcake wrappers

To prepare:
In a food processor, blend together hemp seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup banana and cinnamon until creamy. Then, pour about a tablespoon or so into the mini cupcake wrappers, add toppings if you wish and then place them in the fridge to stiffen up, for about 1-2 hours before enjoying. Great for a morning, afternoon or evening treat! 😉

Light & Love,
Amanda

Graduate.

Hi everyone!
Ahhh, it feels good to be writing. I have been bouncing around and around trying to keep up with all of these groovy shifts taking place in my life.
I graduated this past weekend! Woohoo! The last couple of weeks have been filled with life celebrations, family time, selfies with girlfriends, catching up with old friends and planning for the future!

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As I have mentioned before in previous blog posts, the girl that moved down to Florida seven years ago is very different from the girl that waltzed across the stage to receive her diploma last Friday morning. Seven years ago, I made the best decision of my life and the first decision towards loving myself. Funny thing is, I didn’t even know it then. What I did know is that I needed help with getting out of the hell hole that I dug and so I transplanted from Ohio to treatment in Florida and never looked back. Almost three years into my recovery, I decided to give school another try. I was terrified. Up in Ohio, I went to two different universities in a year and a half, and for the first time ever, I drove my GPA straight into the ground. I had to drop out because of the unmanageability that drugs and alcohol had created in my life. I remember walking back onto a campus and not knowing what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it and if I would be successful. All of these questions were answered beautifully along the way. Every time I felt discouraged or scared, there was an advisor coaching me along, funds coming through at the right time for tuition, friends loaning me their books for studying, new acquaintances meeting for coffee to chat, my boss giving me the flexibility that I needed for classes, professors teaching me and rooting me on, the sweet and subtle voice of the Universe guiding me through and family members loving me the entire time. Every single time. Every single semester. I went from a broken soul-1 point something GPA- hopeless state of mind drug addict to a groovy-recovery thumpin’-yoga teachin’-light spreadin’-plant based eatin’ summa cum laude honors graduate! Blows my mind! All miracles, all love based! It’s funky to look back at my life and think that I have lived two lives in one lifetime. So, for all of you incredible people in my life that have been apart of this journey and have believed in me until I could believe in myself, you know who you are…thank you and I love you!

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What’s next, you ask!? Pure sweetness! I have been accepted into my school’s advanced standing masters program, which I will begin this fall 2014. This summer will be full of spreading yoga to the little yogis and getting my 200 RYT on to teach the big yogis! Keepin’ the light flowing! And, the fear still creeps in for these exciting upcoming things… Especially, questions like, “How will I pay for it all?” or “Will I be good enough?” These little thoughts can paralyze me,and lately, I have been noticing them and simply responding to myself with this beautiful Gabby Bernstein quote:

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Incredible, right? I can do anything. The power lies in my thoughts and this is confirmed more and more everyday.

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Along with family and friends this past weekend, I whipped up some new yummies inspired by Love & Lemons at http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/04/10/chocolate-chip-carrot-cookies/.

Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookie Bites

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You will need:
-6 tablespoons of gluten free flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds + -1.5 tablespoons water whisked together in a little bowl
-1/2 cup grated carrots
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup gluten free oats
-1/4 cup gluten free/vegan chocolate chips

To Prepare:
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed with the water. Let that sit for a bit and gel up. In a food processor, pulse the carrots until they are a grated consistency. In the medium bowl flour, add in the grated carrots, coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla and the flaxseed and mix until combined. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and add in the gluten-free oats and the chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Then, using a tablespoon, scoop batter into balls and place on the cookie sheet at least a few inches apart from one another. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and the edges become slightly crisp. Enjoy!

Here’s a quote that my beautiful yoga teacher shared at the end of a class a couple weeks ago. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as she read it. Have a great week!

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Forgiveness & Pot Pies

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Hey everyone!
This week has been about stepping into the light of love and creating space by tapping into forgiveness. I have been a student of A Course in Miracles since January 1, 2014 and I have been learning about what it is that I am here to do while living in this world; I am here to be happy, spread love and be a source of light for others! This calling rings true to every cell in my body, especially, when I am fulfilling it, however, as much as I would like to be in this space at all times, I am a human with an ego that tends to step in the way from time to time.
This week, the daily lessons that I have been learning and practicing have strung together into a beautiful theme of forgiveness. I have accepted that one of my functions in this world is to be the light for others, but it can get messy when I hold things against people and I refuse to forgive. Therefore, my light is then temporarily dimmed in certain areas and I cannot shine as bright. I have become aware of myself and my thoughts when I do this. My ego wants to separate certain individuals that I feel need to give me an apology first in order for me to forgive them, right? Sure, but what happiness has this way of thinking brought me? I feel justified to be angry at certain people when I label them as doing me wrong. But, then again, what would it look like to let it go? Usually, when I think about letting a resentment go and visualize what I would feel like, thoughts of peace, calm, relief and love come to my mind. If this is so, then why do I do the constant back-and-forth with myself? The more experience I have with these situations, the more I am finding out that it doesn’t really matter and that forgiveness is the key to my happiness. As Louise Hay says, “When I am stuck, there is usually more forgiving that needs to be done.” Real talk.
I have mentioned before that I am a fan of taking baby steps through opportunities, such as these, when they arise and when the awareness is present. Forgiving, or overlooking, the behavior(s) of a person , place or thing that I feel has wronged me does not always come as gracefully as I would like it to …then again, sometimes it does. I have put together some steps that I like to take when I am trying to move into the space of forgiveness that will propel me back to a space of love and happiness:
1: Notice. I notice my thoughts and the lack of forgiveness along with the discomfort that is showing up because of it. I notice the thoughts and the conversation that I’m having with myself. At this point, I do not need to make any decisions. I just need to notice. Keep it simple.
2: Own it. I own my thoughts about the person, place, thing or situation that I am resistant against. When I can own my thoughts about what is going on, then I can shift the energy away from being a powerless victim. As long as I remain resistant or in blame, then I give whatever it is even more power and find myself even more binded to it.
3: Ask for help. I ask the Universe/Spirit/God/Angels/Higher Power to show me how to forgive. I only need a sliver of willingness for miracles to happen. I say simple prayers of gratitude, such as, “Thank you for showing me how to forgive,” “I am scared, but willing to forgive, thank you for showing me what to do,” or “Thank you for guiding me through this and bringing me back to love.”
4: Move. I try to engage in something that will shift my energy and get my mind off of whatever is causing a struggle or discomfort. I go do yoga, call a friend, eat something yummy, watch a movie, take a shower, clean the house, walk my pups, meet up with friends, take a nap, do something creative… Anything to get me out of the space that does not serve others or myself.

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Today’s recipe is inspired by http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-vegan-tofu-and-vegetabl-134550. I give you vegan & gluten free:
Plentiful Pot Pie

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You will need:
Crust:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
1/2 cup vegan butter (earth balance)
Water

Filling:
6-8 oz of tofu (extra firm)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 carrot,diced (I forgot to add carrot in mine)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 russet potato, cubed
1/4 cup gluten free flour
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 1/4 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt & pepper, to taste

You will also need either some oven safe ramekin dishes (12 oz) or one big oven safe dish.

To Prepare:

Crust: Place the flour in a mixing bowl and place in the freezer to chill while the filling is getting prepared. Also, place a fork in the bowl of flour in the freezer.

Filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tofu into 1/3 inch thick cubes. Press a paper towl on the tofu to soak up any excess water.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the tofu in the skillet and cook until tofu is golden brown. Remove the tofu and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until the onion and garlic is translucent. Then, add the potato to the mixture, stirring frequently, until tender. Add the flour, nutritional yeast and sou sauce to the veggie mixture. Then, add the veggie broth and stir everything together until combined. Add in the tofu, peas, corn, sage and thyme and store to combine. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Back to the crust: Remove the bowl of flour and fork from freezer. Cut up the butter into smaller cubes or slices and add it to the flour. Using a fork, cut the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Then, with yours hands, combine the mixture even more so that the flour is absorbed. Gradually, add cold water into the bowl with flour while mixing together with the fork to make dough. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten the ball into a circle. Add the flour to a flour surface. Place the ramekins or dish you will be baking pie in upside down so that you can trace around the top. Trace in the dough around the dish, but make the circle about 1/2 inch wider on all sides.

To assemble:
Add the veggie mixture equally between dishes, if you have more than one you are baking in. Place the dough you cut out over top the dish, covering the veggie mixture. Press the dough to deal it around all the edges. Make the crust thicker on the edges. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes (give or take), until golden brown on top.

When finished, take the pie out and let cool before serving. Enjoy!

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Have a fabulous week!
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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Step into the light of your purpose & have a cupcake

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Helloooo!
Things have been moving around pretty quickly these days in my little life. I am just so tickled that I don’t even know where to begin! I notice little shifts start to happen when I have more fun, listen to my inner goddess, converse and listen to feedback from the Universe and take action. And in the last month or so, much bigger shifts have been rolling in. I have no idea what I am doing and I am trying to remain in this space of not judging what is happening, but just noticing it, enjoying it and loving it all as it manifests! The moment I stopped listening to my ego’s thoughts of fears and I started saying “yes” to what showed up… Miracles started to rapidly occur!

Here are the facts:
-I made the radical decision to go plant-based/vegan with my eating on October 22, 2012.
-I decided I needed to get creative with what I was eating because 6 months into the vegan eating plan I was bored with avocado sandwiches… Although they are quite delicious! So, I hopped online and searched for recipes… Which turned into me sharing these recipes I found off other fabulous blogs, tweaking them to my own flavor or coming up with my own meals and treats to eat. I became an artist with my food creations and I started sharing about it through the popular social medias sites, like Facebook and Instagram.
-I made the decision to create a blog, Eat.Sweat.Play.,because Facebook and Instagram just couldn’t hold all the fabulous information that I needed to share with others…Plus, I felt like giving back and putting vegan recipes out there to the new (and the already established) vegan eaters of the world who were struggling with creativity in preparing food, just like I did in the beginning. Also, I was good at writing and I loved it! Blog was activated on July 6, 2013.
-September 2013, a friend and employer from Lululemon asked me to pose not only in their yoga clothes, BUT also, with a plate of one of my yummy plant based creations in a little photo shoot for their product notification email! They came out to my home, shot some pics and it was another experience of fun and love!
-October 2013, I became a Kid’s Yoga Teacher, got licensed, immediately, and now I have my own little business, Kidding Around Yoga with Amanda. What? I’m now a business owner! What the heck!? Pinch me! The skies opened and the opportunity just dropped into my lap. My role in it all; : I said “yes” and I showed up. At the training I connected with myself, created relationships with some fabulous people, learned how to teach meditation and yoga to kids, had an absolute blast doing it, and fell in love with the entire experience… Even the scary parts! You can check out Kidding Around Yoga with Amanda here:
https://www.facebook.com/Kiddingaroundyogawithamanda
-November 2013, taught my first kid’s yoga class. It felt amazing and I fell in love, yet again!
-End of November 2013, another women’s atheltic clothing store, Lolë in Palm Beach, which is based out of Montreal in Canada, got in touch with me to see if I wanted to do Yoga in the window for them to not only help promote their store, but my kid’s Yoga, as well. For the whole month of December, I said “yes” to showing up every Monday for an hour to do some groovy poses in their beautiful space in some of their beautiful and very functional clothes! I am now friends with the employees, I love their clothes, I love their message they promote to “Live Out Loud Everyday,” and incredible opportunities have stemmed from just saying “yes”to them and showing up! Check out the Lolë sites to learn more about this awesome company! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lol%C3%AB-Palm-Beach/681454825206886

http://www.lolewomen.com

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-December: Soul Feather is born! I started having little nudges from the Universe to spread my authentic truths and inspirational messages in a bigger way in conjunction with my blog. I was having some blocks with just going out and randomly speaking, so, I decided to create a little meet up group and name it Soul Feather. I created a Facebook page, first, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Feather/682830458415615 where I could post light and inspiring quotes and messages, along with the Soul Feather meet up dates and relevant information. Again, I said “yes” to what my inner voice was telling me, created the group, set up the event with a date and everything else fell into place… Lolë Palm Beach said that they wanted to be my location for the Soul Feather meet up. Aveda graciously supplied the event with a complimentary tea that was deeelicious and Aveda said that they want to help me promote Eat.Sweat.Play. https://www.facebook.com/AvedaCHSS

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-January 5, 2014: Soul Feather’s first meet up! Again, no idea what I was doing (I still don’t!) but I just said “yes,” trusted my inner goddess, knew that I was supported by the Universe and I showed up! People came! We had Aveda tea and kale chips I made and brought to share; comfortable and simple. I opened the group with a friendly little intro about myself and how I was drawn to create Soul Feather, everyone engaged in a conversation of what attracted them to Soul Feather, having an opportunity to share their truth, and then I introduced a simple, but, beautiful little meditation with some helpful tips before diving into it. My favorite part: seeing everyone all zenned out after the meditation was over and feeling the energy radiating throughout the room. In love, yet again! There was even a puppy in the room that felt the stellar vibes…he ended up on his back and completely chilled out. I cannot wait until Soul Feather’s next meet up on January 19th! Weeeee!

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So, I just keep saying “yes” to the things that make my heart sing, I show up, trust that the Universe is supporting me completely, and stay on the love zone as much as I can, which takes place in my thoughts! I do move away from that space, though, more than once a day, I’m sure… But I’m not there for too long and to help move myself out of it I just watch my thoughts about myself, what’s happening inside of me and I flood my thoughts with positive affirmations. I cannot wait to see what is next!

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Now, I know you are just dying for the cupcake part of this post, right? Good, because, trust me, it’s worth it! This little baby is deliciously toothsome and I hope you devour and enjoy it as much as I did!

Gluten free and vegan…

Banana Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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You will need:
Cupcake
2 bananas (ripe, preferably)
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 flax eggs (2 tbs ground flax seed + 6 tbs water)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 8 oz. package of vegan sour cream
1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)

Cupcake tin & cupcake wrappers

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your flax egg by whisking together the flax seed and egg in a little bowl to let it gel up. Peel the bananas and mash up with a fork in a bowl. Then add all the other ingredients including the flax seed after it has time to gel up. Mix with beaters or a mixer until all ingredients are nicely mixed together. Then put a couple tablespoonfuls of th batter in each cupcake wrapper in the tin. Put in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking, mix up the frosting by mixing up all the frosting ingredients in a bowl and then placing in fridge to stiffen up a little before frosting. Licking the excess frosting from beaters is always open in my kitchen… And trust me, you will want to lick this frosting off! Mmmmm!
Once your cupcakes are done, let th cool a little before frosting. Then store the finished cupcakes in fridge before serving. Enjoy!

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Love & Light,
Amanda

Let yourself off the hook!

‘Ello loves! & Happy Friday!

I woke up this morning not the way that I intended to kick off my Friday morning. Not. At. All. I’d like to blame it on a female hormonal imbalance, if you get my drift. Normal morning tasks, like walking the dogs and doing my morning meditation, just seemed so…ugh! Challenging! So, after sitting in the uncomfortable feeling chair for more than I wanted to, a voice came into my head and she said, “Relax. All you have to do is your best for today. And your best for today may be different than your best was yesterday or will be tomorrow. Embrace what shows up.” Immediately, I felt some relief.

I notice that most of the time when I am struggling it is because I am the one putting all the pressure on myself. My ego tells me it is other things…my boyfriend, the dogs, homework, hormones, the weather… But, once I move into some kind of acceptance by opening my heart, embracing what is, and letting myself off the hook, I can breathe normal again.

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So, I made the commitment to myself to do my best today by embracing what shows up and giving myself the permission to let go no matter what. This is my mantra. And when I feel myself starting to tense up, I go right to this, and I kick my ego out of the way. Pow!

Be gentle with yourself.

To go along with today’s gentle theme, I have a real simple, but fun, recipe.

Spaghetti Squash Noodles!

Go get yourself one spaghetti squash from the grocery store…

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Cut the squash in half (long ways)

Scoop out the seeds and set aside (maybe to roast & eat later, hmmm?)

Brush inside of squash halves with tiny amount of olive oil (maybe 1/2 tsp on each half)

Sprinkle salt & pepper over the olive oil coated halves.

Place squash halves on parchment paper lined baking sheet, the cut side down (or inside of squash facing down)

Roast squash for 30-45 minutes @ 375 degrees. (I think I might have done mine for 40 mins, some ovens get a little hotter/cooler than others)

Once you take the squash out of the oven, take a fork and start to scrap away at the inside of each squash half and the “spaghetti-like strands will start to form. I was so very amused with this process. It connected to me then where this squash got its name. 🙂 Leave the strands IN the squash and serve right out of it like a bowl or put strands in an actual bowl. (I just LOVE eating right out of the squash! Makes it so fun!)

Let cool for 5-10 minutes or so.

Season again with salt & pepper, or whatever seasons your wild heart desires and serve!

*I heated up a little spaghetti sauce and poured right on top of the squash, like it was a traditional spaghetti meal. I sprinkled a little nutritional yeast on top. I added a little side salad and some garlic bread, as well.

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Mmmm. Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Brownies with oomph!

Hello and Happy 4th of July, my friends! Happy Freedom! Happy Love! Happy Life!

Today, I introduce you to a brownie recipe that I happen to stumble upon, and grateful that I did, er, maybe that’s my belly talking. 🙂

Anyway, these babies were inspired by a post on minimalistbaker.com. First time I had ever been to this site and it is full of lovely pictures and vegan recipes that I will be trying out because this one came out so perfect.

And let me warn you, this is no ordinary brownie. This is a brownie with some extra oomph! The best brownie my taste buds have ever laid their eyes on…and I’m not just saying that. And, they have a healthy kick to ’em! The cacao, black beans, and flax offer some fiber and protein! Nothing better than eating dessert and knowing that there are some benefits aside from the sugar rush you may have get, right?! These brownies have black beans in them!!! I know what you’re thinking. But, I ask you to be open minded and willing here and I promise, if you do those things, these brownies will take you to the moon! They did for me and the lucky people I shared them with! Let’s get started…

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Gluten Free Vegan Black Bean Brownies

1 15 oz. can or 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed well & drained

2 large flax eggs (2.5 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder (I love cacao!)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 heaping cup of sugar

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

Toppings: walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips, whatever you like! (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan

3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax & water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple of times and then let mixture sit for a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the toppings, and puree the ingredients (3-5 minutes) while scraping down the sides, as needed. Texture should be smooth, kinda like frosting. If it appears too think, add a little water, but you don’t want to be runny.

5. Evenly pour or scoop out batter into the muffin tin and smooth over the tops with a spoon.

6. Add your toppings you desire.

7. Bake for 20-26 mins or until the tops are dry and edges are pulling away from the sides.

8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

9. Taste. Enjoy. Smile.

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And just a little side note…while you are waiting for your brownie babies to cool for those 30 minutes or so, do something to get your chakras moving. Raise that juju! Do a head stand, sing a crazy song, run around outside barefoot (it grounds you!), dance with your animal…Me, oh, I did yoga poses on my kitchen counter!

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Light & Love,
Amanda