Berry Chia Jam

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Can we just talk about first how I planned this post a week ago and when I finally stopped procrastinating enough to get down to it yesterday, the post disappears as I try to save.  So, this will be the second time around.  I hope it’s as good as the first.  I usually wing it, but I guess this one will be prewritten/edited.

Anyways….. This one is a good one.  This one is an easy one.  What more can you ask for?

Sometimes I like my breakfasts to have a sweet kick to them.  Like, not just fresh fruit sweet, but a little sugar in the mix.  AKA: jelly.  Whether it is healthified with almond butter on a sprouted muffin, an indulgent topping on pancakes, or a sweet snack on top of crusty bread, I am all for jam/jelly/preserves.  (Can someone tell me the difference?)

I’ve actually been seeing different versions of this recipe for a while now all over the internet, but never got around to actually making it.  Partly because, well, I could buy jelly.  Yet, when times get tough and you run out, you learn to make that sweet substance?  Am I right?  You can’t deny your wants!  So I took what I have on hand, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to make  a healthier homemade version.

Now, this doesn’t involve real jelly making, using pectin or a thermometer (do you use one of those for jelly?), but rather 3 ingredients that I always have on hand anyways.  Fruit.  Sugar.  Chia Seeds.  Sweeeet!  I used to frozen fruit for this recipe and though it seems like the perfect opportunity to use fresh summer fruit, I find the frozen fruit to work just right.  All them juices from when the fruit boils?  Perfect!

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Berry Chia Jam

  • 16 oz bag frozen mixed berries (or any fruit, frozen or fresh)
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 or 3 tbs sugar

In a medium saucepan over high heat, pour frozen berries.  Cover and let sit for about 3 minutes.  Once there is liquid and fruit is heated, mash until some chunks remain.  Lower heat to medium and add chia seeds and sugar.  Stir for another 3 minutes or so until jam thickens and chia seeds enlarge.  Let cool before transferring to an empty jar.  Keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Enjoy!

PS.  I’m torn between “jam” and “jelly”.  But I think “jam” sounds better for a recipe :)

Hot Healthy Summer

IMG_4192Well, it has officially been one month of summer gone.  I am in somewhat of a shock, and hoping that the next two months don’t go by as fast.  And with two more months left, I am going to make it count.

Of course, with Ayurveda, we are all about living with the seasons.  Summer being one of the three that we recognize, it is the month to keep energized and stay cool.  It makes sense.  We don’t want to over heat in the summer and the days are so long, that we don’t want to tire ourselves out so early.  I always find my it’s difficult for my body to stay up later during the first couple of weeks of summer. My body was ready for bed by 8pm.  That’s the grandma status coming out ;)

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Wake up call: First thing you want to do is adjust your sleeping patterns.  Maybe wake up an hour earlier, as the sun rises earlier.  I believe 6am or before does the trick.  Even on late nights, don’t set yourself up to sleep in.  You would be surprised to know how your body may want to get up earlier, then you would expect.  Just listen to it and try not to excuse yourself with that snooze button.  You want to get the maximum amount of energy for the day ahead.

Coconut oil:  Coconut is a cooling fruit.  If it comes from the tropics, it is most likely because it’s made for a more hot/humid climate.  Although I can name about 5 different uses for coconut oil, the one I would like to talk about is a coconut oil massage.  Before a shower, massage the coconut oil over your body.  This will not only get your skin and organs stimulated, but also moisturize and cool your body down before the day starts.  Amazing!  Once you get into the hot shower your pores will open to allow deep moisture.  I recommend a short cold shower after your daily wash.  This will minimize your pores once again and lock in the moisture.  If you still use soap in the shower, I recommend a quick sweep of the coconut oil when you get out.

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Food!!

Enjoy summer’s abundance of fruit.  Your body in the summer will naturally crave sweeter foods.  Keep it healthy and trimming with the fresh berries, peaches, and melons, to the more tropical fruits from other parts of the country.  Papaya’s, mangoes, and pineapples are some of my favorite go-tos.  With the sugar and carbs from the fruits, you will have lasting energy throughout your day.

Raw food is great!  Your body is ready to better digest hearty raw salads, cereals, and yummy side dishes.  Grilled summer veggies such as peppers, zucchini, and corn are also amazing.  Big Plus! Ice cream is A-ok in the middle of that summer hot day.  Cooling milk and yogurts are great for those who overheat easily.

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Avoid high fat proteins and that fried goodness.  I know those summer burgers and french fries look tempting, but make that a once in a blue moon kind of thing.  I find it so much easier to be vegetarian in the summer.  When eating out or want a nice piece of protein, go for the seafood.  Trust me, you want to keep it light during this season!

You may also want to limit your amount of high fermented products, such as kombucha and kimchi.  They tend to be heating to the body.  For your probiotics stick with a cooling yogurt.

Cool Hydration: Coconut water!  Full of electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium.  It is perfect for a post work out drink.  Mix with fruit and frozen banana’s for a cooling summer smoothie.  Fresh juices are perfect for this season!  I find it so much easier to drink a green juice in the morning or a random carrot-orange juice when it’s not freezing temps outside.

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Exercise:  Don’t go crazy.   I know it is summer, and everyone wants that hot summer body, but let’s think realistically.  You already expense a lot of energy through the longer days and warmer climates.  Plus, there is already a decrease in the heaviness and fat content in your meals.  You’re workouts as well should be a less intense.  I practice hot yoga, and during the summer the room is actually a lot less hot then in the winter.  At times there is no heating at all.  If you run, run in the morning or closer to sunset.

Hope this helps!  Of course there are many other tips and tricks, but I find these are the some that work best for most, including myself!

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PS.  If you’re one who enjoys a drink, stay close to refreshing simple cocktails and white wine!  Those do the trick to keep it cool and light during the summer months.

If We Went On a Coffee Date….

I would probably go on for hours….

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Can I pay you in coffee to listen?  We could go to Whole Foods for an almond latte and scone, and just do it up.

I would talk about how much I really have been enjoying the summer!  Even though, I work almost everyday and may not be able to go to the beach as much as I would like, I’m in love.  From the fresh produce in season (tomatoes, come soon please), to night-time chit chats outside, juices and smoothies, cocktails and beers during the day, red wine on a late night girls night… I love it all.

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They say attachment is bad, as in, you only loose something when you are attached to it, but in all honesty I don’t care.  I love my fresh fruits, warm weather, and not wearing pants.  And I say and show it proudly.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I really love kids, to the point when sometimes I wonder if I can ever really have my own.  Does that make sense?  It does to me.  I had my cousins visiting from Florida.  They are young, vivacious, and love to eat and ask questions.  It was great to teach a fresh mind, play like child, and come home to faces excited to see you.  I fell in love.

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I guess this would be the time to admit that I almost gave up.  Not so much on my passion, but my dream(s).  You know those dreams where you see yourself doing something you love in the future, living in a place that was meant for you, meeting people you were destined to meet.  Yea, those ones.  I still kept my passion for my everyday healthy thangs, my yoga practice, and the practice of everyday kindness (I tried for that one), but in a sense that started to mean less when I wasn’t doing that for another purpose.

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I believe in the power of Now.  Focusing on the present moment, living everyday that it is a gift.  I seriously made myself believe that the sun was shining, the weather was great, and I was able to have a green juice before work, so in a sense, life was great.  Until, I felt stuck.  I want to really live once in a while.  Travel, drive around, dance around outside in the middle of the night, even day.  Yes, you can make your mind believe anything, but you can’t make your heart feel something else.

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That kinda reminded me of a quote that I fell in love with:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

It’s the truth, your fucking heart is the smartest thing (organ?) you will ever have.  Don’t loose it.

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Oh yea, and I started cooking!  Kind of.  I like to make roasted veggies and mix it with something.  Like noodles.  I got’s to say, I was pretty impressed with myself.  Different from my usual rice and beans.  Would you like the recipe?  It needs some tweaking, but I would be happy to share :)

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Didn’t I mention I love summer?

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So why don’t we just try this again.  My name is Yesenia.  I love food, in the form that nourishes my body and soul.  I love yoga.  I want to teach and help people become healthier and inspiring beings.  I still believe that even with all the crazy sad shit going on in the world, we can all find peace within ourselves and meditate on an intention to help something/someone.  I want to share my everyday nonsense, inform you the yumminess of sprouts and tacos, teach about the wonders of coconut oil in the summer, AND of course learn from everyone else, all of you.

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If you made it this far, I hope I made it worth your while.  Thanks for having coffee (or tea) with me.

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yesenia

PS.  I literally rambled.  Didn’t grammar/spell check.  Put some pictures up.  This was pure expression.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

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Gut Lovin’ Salad

Good morning!

Hope everyone is ready for an amazing weekend!  Even though my weekends are mostly work related, I am always down for the positive vibes the weekend can bring out.  We should try the same thing for Mondays?  Worth a shot, right? (I’m well aware it’s Thursday, I’m still in college mode apparently)

Anyway, the other day during my cleanse I did some experimentation. Partly with new ingredients and know what order to put up those ingredients.  I know, sounds a bit crazy, but trust me on this one, I eat way too much salads that I take into account every aspect of one.  Dressing is a big deal.  Make your own.  It’s healthier and probably way more tastier.

With many detoxifying ingredients and gut moving vegetables, this salad is a sure way to cleanse your system.

  • Dandelions – filled with alkaloids to scrub your intestines clean!  Bitter greens are known for amazing digestion
  • Sprouts – chlorophyll little yummies which help create good bugs in those intestinal tracts.
  • Kimchi (fermented cabbage) – Love! Filled with probiotics, it helps to fill your intestinal tract with good bacteria and HEAL digestion.  If you are a kombucha fan, it plays a similar role.
  • Quinoa – a complete plant based protein!
  • Apple cider and Lemon – explained here :)
  • Curry Powder – warming and healing spices, such as an turmeric for inflammation and ginger for digestion.

Whether on a detox or not, make this salad a couple of times a week.  Your taste buds and body will thank you!

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Salad

  • 1/2 bunch Dandelions and/or Kale
  • 1/2 cup watercess
  • 1/2 cup sprouts (use some sprouted beans as well for more protein)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • radishes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup kimchi
  • parsley to garnish
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

*Most of these are eyeballed, so do as much that is good for you.

*Dressing

  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 tsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder

Make the dressing first.  Mix the apple cider vinegar, half a lemon juiced, tamari, and curry powder together.  Save the other half of lemon.

*Sometimes I leave out the dressing.  You can massage the kale with sesame oil and apple cider vinegar.  Squeeze a lemon at the end with some Himalayan salt and peppa!

Tear up the dandelion and kale to bite size pieces.  Drizzle about 1 tsp of sesame oil on and massage throughout the greens.  They should significantly decrease in size and become softer.  This will help the bitterness. Then add your dressing and mix well.  Add watercress, sprouts (and beans), quinoa, radishes, kimchi, and avocado.  Squeeze half a lemon, and parsley  onto the salad for a little more moisture and freshness.

Enjoy!

 

Spring Detox Part 2

Good morning ya’ll!

Hope everyone has had an amazing week!!! Mine definitely had it’s ups and downs.  I took quite a hiatus, first due to work.  My schedule has changed drastically and it’s definitely going to take some time to get used to.  I’ve been keeping focused with work, eating right, and some yoga.  Can we also talk about how I lost 4 months of information on my phone?  Yea, it was somewhat traumatizing, especially for me who had so many pictures!!  You know what that means?  This might be a slightly less appeasing post to the eye.  No pictures from my detox :(

So let’s talk about how the rest went, shall we?

What I ate/drank?

  • Lemon with water upon awaking
  • Green juice every morning.  Nothing like starting your day with greens, ginger, and lemon.
  • Raw ginger cereal with raw cashew milk.
  • Green tea once a day
  • Gut lovin’ salad.  There will be a post on that soon!  It’s so good and taste so fresh.
  • Kombucha
  • More juice!  Preferably the Carrot Juice from Suja, or the Blueprint Beet Juice.
  • Ginger or peppermint tea

What I did?

  • #yogaeverydamnday (sweat)
  • Only breakfast and lunch
  • 5am or 5:30am wake up calls
  • Bed between 10pm – 11pm

How I felt?

Amazing during and after!  I lasted 5 great days.  I was never hungry, which was one of my priorities.  I wanted to enjoy everything about this detox.

My body felt light with all the fresh food and juices.  My yoga practice also helped by sweating out the toxins and giving me more strength. *Staying grounded during a detox, can actually be very difficult.  You’re body and mind may want to take flight, resulting in not being able to concentrate in everyday life task.  A vata obstacle.

Can we get real for a little?  My intestines were definitely moving.  I was regular and going to the bathroom easier and more frequently.  Just in the morning, I noticed a lot more evacuation.  This let me feel more secure with my body and health.  Nothing is worse than feeling backed up and bloated while trying to lighten up!  I was also great not to depend on breakfast in order to go.  I was able to go at times after my lemon with water or green juice.

Now we can talk about energy.  I don’t remember ever feeling depleted like I usually do!  I was fine with no coffee in the morning.  My yoga practice definitely woke me up every morning.  Through out the day, I made sure to keep myself well hydrated and fed, to not promote any drop in blood sugar.  I went to bed feeling light and was able to wake up easy by 5:30 every morning!  Less food is sometimes more guys!  I really couldn’t believe how well it turned out!

I highly recommend this detox if you are a health conscious eater to begin with.  You must love food and vegetables enough to want to nourish your body with it for a good amount of time.  Because, I did eat “normally” I extended my detox for a medium length of time.  Of course a juice cleanses would be shorter and a whole food cleanse would be a duration of a couple of weeks.  I had 1 cheat meal from Whole Foods and it was amazing.  Just a mostly raw salad and a kombucha, but it was just the slight midweek treat I needed ;)

You want to love what you are doing for yourself, basically because you love and respect the body you possess. We are all just souls, protected by your body.  Honor it!  Love it!

If you have any questions or would like to share your detox experience, please share!!! I love to talk more and hear what others have to say.  It’s always a learning experience for everyone.

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Till next time!

 

yesenia

 

My Spring Detox Part 1

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Are you tired of this subject?  To be honest, I am.  I think it’s because I started late in the game, but I’m ready to for the warm weather to become consistent so all I crave is fresh vegetables and fruit!  Oh, I should probably mention that it was 80 degrees two days ago, and we woke up to snow this morning.  Mother nature, I am sorry for the way you have been treated, but why you gotta be so mean?

Can you tell I’m a little upset?  But, I shall remain positive and say, I am more than glad to be on this mini detox now.  For me, I waited until my body and finances were a little more in check.  More so my body though.  It was important to get rid of any monthly bloat and plan what I will be having over the next few days.  The cleanse I chose?  Whole food cleanse, high in raw foods.

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My reasons.

  1. Finances.  It was cheaper for me to eat healthy most of the time than juice.  Don’t get me wrong, I did splurge on a few juices, but just a few and enough to get me through four or five days.  Focusing on maybe two a day.  When you sub a bunch of veggies for the usual groceries such as extra yummy sauces, dairy, and meat/fish.  It can actually come out almost the same.
  2. Pitta Problems.  During recent months, I have noticed my body becoming very overheated.  It has been that way for a while now.  Whenever I drink wine, eat heavy, or even eat a lot.  Generally, I am a little more cold than the usual person.  But simple things trigger my heating reaction, specifically on my face.  Redness, to rashes, my pores become enlarged and irritated.  I am using this detox as a way to see if I can cure/control this, if not inform myself more about it.  I am using a high raw food diet to do that.

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So let’s talk about my first day!!!

Dreadful.

I didn’t use my own advice on a pre-cleanse diet….  A diet full of white rice and flour, fish, eggs, and dairy the weekend prior, was not a good idea.  From somebody who is sensitive to those foods, I found myself less than comfortable that Monday starting my cleanse.  So much so, I didn’t even want to go to yoga.  I actually ate a little more so maybe the food would get things moving inside my stomach.  A couple of juices, salad, and canned soup were my drugs of choice.  For dranks it was a Ginger Kombucha and a lot of Eater’s Digest Tea.

*Side note* Did anyone see the lunar eclipse?  My special self woke up at 3am to see that blood moon, but all I saw was a cloudy night sky.  Tear.  Depending on your sign it was supposed to give you a certain reading and energy. I used this rare occasion to really manifest some kind of energy.  Some mantras and words to better cope with what has been going on around and inside me?  I’ve been really into astrology spiritual energy, so it’s something I hope to talk more about soon!

Tuesday was a better day.  I didn’t find myself as hungry.  I think my body was still trying to rid and digest the other foods I have been consuming.  For breakfast I had a a raw cereal with a a third of the Suja coconut milk (forgot to picture) and a small cup of green tea.  Lunch was an alright salad:

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  • massaged kale and dandelions
  • sprouts and sprouted beans
  • radishes
  • quinoa
  • parsley
  • avocado
  • homemade dressing (share later on if perfected!)

So I’m trying to keep this up for a few more days.  If I eat out, I’ll probably go for the healthier whole foods option.  With a green juice first thing in the morning for a few days, I’ll hopefully be feeling a bit better in no time!

My biggest challenge:  Saturday morning if I can keep aways from Whole Foods scones and coffee ;)

Till next time!