Wheatgrass: A Refresher

Before it was trendy to drink tree sap and turmeric, boozy mushroom extracts or fermented tea, we were doing wheatgrass shots. By "we" I mean this great wellness industry and the community of health-conscious natural-world/wonder explorers. It's an original, and remains one of the best cure-alls out there.

When near a juice bar, farmers market stand, or any spot that serves wheatgrass, I partake. Often, there's this grass bible nearby. Figured I'd share with you.

Cheers.

Raw Foods for Fall, & Undoing an Indulgence Binge

After a bout of beautiful seafood binges in Europe, it's happily back to plant-based eating at home.

While winter temperatures can be challenging for a raw-food diet, incorporating a few roasted or steamed root vegetables add warmth. Lightly heated broths and soups are also great options, and spicy seed crackers can become staples.

Bon appetit.

For lunch:

Raw sprout mix: More alive, higher fiber and quite a bit more exciting than lettuce as a salad base. Broccoli, bean, lentil, pea - any/all shoots and sprouts welcome.

Persimmon: Somehow, I had never had one of these. Papaya meets heirloom tomato meets ... nectarine? Yes.

Also pictured:

Raw, sprouted pumpkin seeds: A recent discovery and one of the best buys from a favorite brand right now.

Raw sauerkraut: Always.

RX dressing: Now always in-stock at home thanks to my creative plant-loving boyfriend who puts me to shame in the kitchen.

And some avocado for good measure.

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For dinner:

Green soup: As simple as blending herbs (I used parsley - a strong detoxifyer and blood purifier), greens (I chose collard greens, which are as nutrient-dense as kale and less bitter), and the usual lemon-garlic-oil trio. Heat lightly on the stove (don't boil) to ensure it remains raw (alive), and if you have any flax crackers left, toss them in as company or for photo styling purposes.

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And with everything:

Baked Flax Crackers: Vegan, gluten/grain-free/paleo, low-calorie, high-fiber, low-GI, etc.

This recipe is EASY and a great base that can be customized as you like. I used a bunch of spices (cumin, garlic, black pepper and sea salt, cayenne, chili powder, onion and caraway). Next time I'll add pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and may also try a sweet version with dried berries, citrus peel, vanilla and all-spice type additions.

x R

The Best Health Bars in NYC (Recipe Included)

IMG_0333 At some point in the fairly recent past, these were an impulse buy.

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Not expecting anything exceptional, I appreciated the straightforward ingredients, and the price. (Three big bars, which are easily two servings each, per box. For the price of one raw or macro bar (not naming names).)

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As it turns out, these are excellent. Really, quite seriously. Absolutely un-improvable. They are, in my experience, The Best bars of their kind, that I have had yet.

Perfect consistency: the buckwheat groats are individually crunchy while the bar overall is dense and chewy.

Flavor is heaven: it's currently setting my bar (ha) for "best dark chocolate" balance, even though it's not even/at all a bar of chocolate.

And the nutritional profile is pretty nearly perfect: raw, gluten-free, vegan, low GI, high-mineral, alkaline ... My only consideration would be how to replace the agave with something unprocessed - perhaps date syrup?

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If you live in New York. Get these. If you don't live in New York, you can still get them because upon learning about my fandom, LifeThyme shared their preparation with us.

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The Best Buckwheat Cacao Bars in NYC

Ingredients: (quantities mine)

  • 1 C Buckwheat groats
  • Agave (just enough to lightly coat all of the buckwheat)
  • Raw cacao powder (enough to coat the agave-coated buckwheat)
  • 1 Tbsp each:
    • dried cherries
    • cacao nibs
    • pecans
    • sliced almonds
    • cinnamon

Preparation: compliments of LifeThyme Market

"They are not complex by any means. We simply toss the raw groats with enough agave to provide a cover for the raw cacao powder to stick and then add the dried cherries, a few other ingredients lay the batch in a pan to dehydrate.

For me the trick is agave. It had become the sweetener of choice for so many raw foodists and I never enjoyed it as a sweetener (though i've had some very select sap from Mexico that was outstanding). But, the bitterness of cacao evens out the acute sweetness of agave, while the tartness of the cherries and nutty quality of buckwheat help mellow the flavors."

-

And, this is not a sponsored post. I don't work for LifeThyme. Yet. :)

Weird Drink Wednesday (When Every Day is a Wednesday): KOMBUCHA

Kombucha. What started out as an occasional indulgence before developing into enough of a habit to learn how to avoid explosions and exposing unsuspecting others to the occasional scoby (the gelatinous clumps that make appearances from time to time and in various sizes, or "a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast"), has since become a dietary staple. I drink kombucha just about every day. Sometimes more than once. I've tried every brand I've met, and the only thing stopping me from drinking even more of it, is the cost. At somewhere between $2.99 on sale, to up to about $8 on the marked-up gourmet NYC deli side, it's not quite competitive with a green juice habit, but it's close.

Which is why I am now the proud owner of my very own living, breathing gelatinous little UFO-shaped bacteria bundle that will start the brewing for the first of what may be a never-ending batch of homemade kombucha.

Once brewing, it's possible to simply keep "feeding" the bugs, and enjoy kombucha on tap. Making it as it should be, my friends, not an indulgence or a habit, but a lifestyle.

Adopted in part because it's damn delicious (and an awesome cocktail replacement if you're abstaining, as I am again) but also absolutely because of its benefits:

Benefits of Kombucha (source: Wellness Mama)

  • liver detoxification
  • improved pancreas function
  • increased energy
  • better digestion
  • improved mood (helps with anxiety/depression)
  • kills Candida (yeast)
  • helps nutrient assimilation
  • weight loss

All of the above benefits, and more, are caused by the fact that Kombucha is a live, living, alive, (yes those are all the same thing) food, full of good bacteria, which feed our microbiome. Plentiful personal bacteria is responsible for everything from emotional health to preventing auto-immune diseases - directly or indirectly affecting nearly everything about our being. And it's tough (maybe impossible) to have too much of the right bugs, so eat them, drink them and don't be afraid of dirt (them).

Meet New Seasons with Intention: A Guide to Crystals for Manifestation

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The season is changing, the year's beginning its closing quarter, and everyone seems to be reflecting on how best to make the most of it. While nothing beats good old grit, some tools can help us tow the line.

(Though before adding anything to the mix, clean house. A seasonal refresh of your surroundings can help clear stagnancy and set a clean stage for the coming chapter. Then, you can accessorize according to your aim (abundance, peace, love or the like). New seasons are also an excellent time to sage. I’ll be doing mine on the next new moon.)

Crystals – be they powerful or simply pretty placebos, which is for you to experience and know for yourself – can serve a variety of purposes.

Broadly, crystals absorb, reflect, deflect or magnify us. Our intentions or company - what we want, or already have.

Therein, their specialties are more nuanced. While you own your intentions and your actions toward furthering them, a great (and trendy, yes) focus is manifestation.

My definition: Encountering what we should – because it’s what we need – is always an if not the ultimate pursuit. (“Encountering” may mean making, chasing, accidentally stepping on, being run over by or otherwise, which is all to say that the insight may come from any direction, and won’t necessarily be pleasant. But, let’s not digress.)

Following is a nice little guide to some crystals for manifestation:

Source: Adapted from http://wisdom-of-spirit.com/

clear quartz crystal for manifestation_rachelle robinett

The power of crystals lies in their ability to hold and transmit energy.

Crystal energy can help us to heal, focus our intent and manifest desires. There are many different types of crystals. Each type of crystal has its own unique characteristics and will thus aid us in different ways.

They are also believed to help align our vibration with our intentions. Crystal energy and the various types of crystals can be seen as important tools to help us to quickly manifest desires of all kinds.

CLEAR QUARTZ: Powerful crystal energy to manifest desires of all types. Stores and amplifies energy. Acts as a mirror of your inner energy/vibration. Is said to provide clarity and understanding.

ROSE QUARTZ: Crystal power ruling emotions. Great for manifesting love, creating gentle healing energy and opening the heart chakra to receive love.

AMETHYST: Emanates crystal energy of higher mind. Aids us in expanding consciousness, identifying and strengthening intention, strengthening psychic ability, opening us to receive inner guidance and helping us to manifest desires by illuminating the path towards our highest goals. The crystal energy of amethyst can help us to dissolve creative blocks, connect to the wisdom of spirit within and aids us in life after death communication.

AGATE: The crystal energy of agate provides protection, strength and harmony. Agate comes in various colors. Each holds subtly different properties. Agate increases energy and enhances longevity. Wear agate when you intend to manifest desires for the continuation of a positive experience. Agate demonstrates the power of crystals through its properties of enhanced courage, self confidence, grounding positive emotion. It also helps to cleanse and stabilize awareness.

AVENTURINE: Out of all types of crystals, Aventurine provides its wearer with the highest levels of emotional tranquility. It enhances inner strength, leadership ability and facilitates decisive action. Provides emotional alignment to enhance spiritual growth and wellbeing of independence.

AMAZONITE: Amazonite helps to manifest desires to communicate clearly. It amplifies wisdom of the heart, removes emotional blockages, enhances creativity and elevates one’s level of ‘star’ quality. A wonderful manifestation tool for writers and artists. Helps to strengthen inner voice. Soothes nervous system disorders.

CARNELIAN: Use this power crystal to banish sorrow and uplift emotions. Carnelian helps to propel one forward to take initiative towards manifesting desires. Helps to balance creativity and self confidence. Enhances ability to love self.

CITRINE: The crystal energy of this stone helps to eliminate body toxins. It clears away negative energy of the aura and physical body and transmutes negative energy to positive energy. When harnessing the power of crystals, use citrine when desiring manifestations for all types of abundance. Citrine enhances self-esteem, instills confidence and provides an energy of warmth and abundance.

PERIDOT: This power crystal emits a warm, friendly energy. Provides bodily protection, inner happiness and illuminates the personal path to joy. One of it’s greatest powers lies in it’s ability to dissipate angry emotions.

GREEN TOURMALINE: Attract success, prosperity and abundance. Helpful for immune system disorders and weight loss. This is a stone that helps open one up to channeling. It provides protection from lower energies.

FLOURITE: (*I often see these little guys near cash registers at particularly tuned-in places.)

Enhances spiritual pursuits and facilitates the attainment of higher knowledge. It aligns it’s user with greater powers of concentration and deepens meditation. Aids us in expanding our consciousness to higher levels to perceive from broader perspectives. Helps us attain life after death communication. Good for PMS and menopause.

GARNET: Garnet is the stone of health. It is thought to balance the thyroid and to adjust energetic flow within the body. Helps to manifest desires by enhancing our commitment to self and others. Harmonizes energy between ourselves and others.

HOWLITE: Howlite is the power crystal of calm communication. Wear this stone when negotiating anything. It enhances awareness and ability for emotional expression. Enhances spirituality by allowing us glimpses into the higher realms.

JASPER: The crystal energy of Jasper enhances our state of relaxation and tranquility and wholeness. Manifest desires with greater ease through wearing this stone. Jasper provides nurturing and protective qualities during astral travel and helps to facilitate direct life after death communication.

August in the Apothecary

DSC_0073 Developing new products - from exclusive fragrances for some of our retailers, to variations on old favorites (like the new Spearmint flavored Coconut Pulling Oil, which remains our #1 seller).

The online shop is well stocked with the last of Summer's spoils. Otherwise stay tuned for Fall news and dlights and the like.

xR

From left to right: Osha root tincture, Mugwort-rose tincture, Energy tincture (darjeeling, eleuthero, rhodiola rosea); facial toner with essential oils including rose, lavender and more; Sacred Space perfume with Peruvian Agua Florida; Calming kava kava blackberry extract; and Spearmint Coconut Pulling Oil.

Heavy, light. Where we find ourselves when the wind blows. "In contemporary #art, #beauty has faded, a prosaic artifice, a distraction from deeper raw truths, maybe even ugly truths." We discuss the subtle question: Is Reality Beautiful? With Guests: Frank Wilczek Nobel Laureate, Herman Feschback Professor of #Physics at MIT, author of The Lightness of Being and A Beautiful Question: Finding #Nature’s Deep Design Glennys Farrar, Professor of Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology at NYU with interests in #darkmatter detection and cosmic ray experiments #highroad

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1HSMuSl

Podcast: Yogurt Prozac: "Can 'Good' Bacteria Chill Us Out?"

Are you sold on probiotics yet? Do you take better care of your microbiome than your car/plants/pet/pedicure at this point? Are you proselytizing?? "Prozac In The Yogurt Aisle: Can 'Good' Bacteria Chill Us Out?" - NPR

Scientists have documented that beneficial microorganisms play a critical role in how our bodies function. And it's becoming clear that the influence goes beyond the gut — researchers are turning their attention to our emotional health.

Listen/Read

Be happy.

Intermittent Fasting 102: The 5:2 Diet - a podcast from NPR

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Recommending this: the podcast and the approach.

"What if the payoff for a 16-hour fast — which might involve skipping dinner, save a bowl of broth — is a boost in energy and a decreased appetite?"

The "5:2 diet" is a new marketing of intermittent fasting, with a slightly different structure. I've been practicing fasting for some time albeit not this specific timeline. Fasting becomes quite comfortable after enough experience with it and I make sure to return to it every couple of days, at minimum. The physical benefits are significant, as are the psychological. Understanding, at least, your personal relationship with food is pretty damn fundamental to wellbeing and conscious living.

"The diet calls for two days per week of minifasting where the aim is to go a long stretch, say 14 to 18 hours, without eating. During these two fasting days, you also eat only about 600 calories, give or take."

"The fascination is what researchers say may be the broader benefits. Scientists are looking into how fasting may help control blood sugar, improve memory and energy and perhaps boost immunity."

Listen to the podcast here.

Read more about intermittent fasting.