Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BEAUTY BITES: HOW YOU GLOW X ROSE PISTACHIO HALVA



A fragrant Mediterranean dessert dotted with pistachios + crowned with a rose reduction, promising of the glow . . .

B E A T Y   B I T E S :  R O S E   P I S T A C H I O  H A L V A 
raw | vegan | paleo 



I N G R E D I E N T S 
1/2 cup raw sprouted tahini
1/4 cup raw coconut butter | you could use coconut manna, but it won't technically be raw
3 tablespoons raw coconut flakes or raw, sprouted sunflower seedsyour preference, but crush either up
2 tablespoons lucuma powder
4 tablespoons raw sprouted pistachios
1 tablespoon crushed rose petals
1 teaspoon beet juice or powder
1/8 teaspoon raw vanilla powder
1/8 teaspoon rose water
Raw coconut sugar or maple syrup [not raw] to taste

D I R E C T I O N S | Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until a creamy yet slightly firm texture is reached. The consistency is dependent upon whether you use the optional sweeteners and the consistency of your tahini and coconut butter. Once the mixture is well-incorporated, pour into a container lined with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight. Serve with crushed pistachios + rose petals . . .

Monday, September 28, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: TARA / HOW YOU GLOW


Tara and Jessie, the duo behind HOW YOU GLOW, are after my own belly + being—hungry for kicks of umami, touches of high vibration, + fountains of creative inspiration in search for the glow. You can find chats with the sweet Shiva Rose, discover sustainably crafted wear such as Feit, and elevate yourself with Guru Jagat. Intelligent and aware but grounded with a touch of whimsy . . . 

Here is Tara of HOW YOU GLOW to guide you into all that ignites her vision + sparks her inner light, from turmeric to meditations on how to eat . . .


T A R A   S O W L A T Y  |  H O W   Y O U  G L O W


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create How You Glow.
HOW YOU GLOW started over a bowl of food & yoga. Jessie came over to my house where I cooked her my version of Sqirl’s pesto bowl, and she led me through the most incredible yoga session, and from there on out we knew we had to start something together. Our overall approach to eating, indulging, beauty, movement, and overall lifestyle were so similar, one thing led to the next and before we knew it we created this transformative online space we call HOW YOU GLOW.

Q: What inspired the name?
With our backgrounds in the health sphere— I’m a natural foods chef and holistic nutritionist, Jessie is a yoga teacher and art therapist— we resonate with an inner vibrancy, light, positivity, a GLOW, that we’re constantly searching for.

Q: When you are not working on How You Glow, what else do you like to do?
T | Luckily, 
HOW YOU GLOW entails everything that I love to do, so work & play are usually one and the same— food, travel, fitness, beauty, fashion :) It’s a constant flow though— HOW YOU GLOW is on from the moment I wake up to the minute I shut my eyes for sleep. Alongside that, I work with clients on meal planning, kitchen hauls, and GLOW-Lifestyle coaching.

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
T | With 
HOW YOU GLOW, everyday is something new and exciting. That newness definitely keeps me going. Bookending my morning and nights in a similar way allows me to set a mindful meditative pace everyday.
Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
T | Food is the ultimate way I glow. One of my favorite ways to start my day is with french fig yogurt or rose fig yogurt that I get from my local farmers’ market, bananas, figs if in season, passion fruit, chia seeds, and flax seeds. This is the perfect bowl of goodness that sets me up for a day of creativity, vibrancy, and glow.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
T | Hot water with lemon on the regular
Turmeric, turmeric, turmeric— whenever I get a chance I try to incorporate it into my diet
Lavender and rose essential oils— peace, calming, and heart opening plant power

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
T | A day filled with incredibly delicious food, cozy snuggles in bed, outdoors and nature, a good sweat, and all of my loved ones!

Q: Who are some sources of inspiration for you?
T | I’m consistently inspired by everything around me. I’m lucky enough to curate such an incredibly nourishing resource like 
HOW YOU GLOW which gives me access to tons of inspiring people and products— I like to take bits and pieces of things that resonate with me most!

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
T | Lavender oil is a huge part of my life— I use it to set in the clam vibes, clean the air, as a potent spot treatment for blemishes and facial redness, and as an overall mood enhancer.

Vitamin E is also something I’ve been using for years, my grandmother swears by it, to heal scars, moisturize and bring elasticity to the skin

Avocado Oil is a super nourishing yet light oil that I like to use on my hair and nails

Turmeric is also a huge part of my routine, I try to ingest turmeric as much as possible, to heal my body from the inside out. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are incredible


Lipo-Shperic Vitamin C, I swear by this stuff, and have been taking it for years. My aunt recommended it to me years ago when she started seeing Dr. Khalsa, and it is seriously magic. I load up on it especially before and after plane flights


Q: What would be your ideal last meal?
My last meal would last a whole day, and occur in multiple countries :) (we’re dreaming, right?!)

First I would jet to Australia for the best pre-brekkie around, from Bread & Circus or Devon on Danks for their perfectly cooked, golden-yolked eggs. Then I’d stop in Japan for a multi-course traditional Japanese breakfast at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. Then, I’d hop on over to Jimbaran Bay in Bali for some Indonesian fried rice with an egg on top. Next, is a quick snack or two in Paris—probably some rosé, rose flavored st. honores at Ladurée, Poilâne bread with some delicious French butter, jam, and cheese. Then I would round out the night with an al fresco dinner cooked by my two grandmothers who know how to make crispy tahdig and my special Persian-style chicken wings just how I love them. And the day wouldn't end without chocolate.

Q: What’s on your reading list currently?
Thich Naht Hanh’s “How To Eat” is always on my bedside table, and I like to read and re-read the little passages over and over again. Also, I love to read cookbooks, and currently reading Alice Waters “The Art of Simple Food.”

Q: What makes your heart glow?
When I’m resonating with my surroundings in a positive and nurturing way, that’s when my heart glows. Indulging in the foods that I love, spending time with my family, working hard, and taking care of myself— finding the balanced between it all is really what 
GLOW is all about.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

BEAUTY BITES: SAGE ROASTED WHITE ASPARAGUS


Sage is not only for smudging . . . 

Whenever I collect a bounty of fresh sage leaves to make sage bundles, I always save over leaves to use in cooking. Sage is an incredible herb for sharpening our brains—it used to be an ancient remedy consumed as tea for mental clarity and is currently being researched for its effects against Alzheimer's. Sage to be a sage, I suppose . . .

I love putting a leaf in my bone broth for its light fragrance or, as of recent, roasting it with market vegetables. They paired beautifully with a bunch of white asparagus I recently picked up—light as a night on the wake of Autumn . . .

B E A T Y   B I T E S :  S A G E  R O A S T E D  A S P A R A G U S  
raw | vegan | paleo | aip



I N G R E D I E N T S 
1 bunch of asparagus
4 leaves of dried sage | crushed 
Flakes of Maldon salt to taste

D I R E C T I O N S | Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit as you wash your asparagus. Pat them dry + lay them down on parchment paper. Coat them evenly with the coconut oil + crushed sage. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until roasted to a very light golden colour. Take out of the oven + sprinkle with salt!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FARMACY: AWAKENING CREATIVITY



In the glittering + messy microcosm of social media, our creative energies can paradoxically be stimulated and zapped simultaneously. There's an entire panorama of visual stimulation to feed off of. Yet, this can swirl us into black hole, consumed by competition. Any creative who's building, moulding, + presenting themselves or an aspect of such is well aware of this conundrum. It's a dealing of the ego—the deep-seated struggle to find success vis-à-vis with a frantic search for the solution + formulating stories for the success of others. 

It is only through forgiving ourselves for these frustrated searchings + questionings can we flow into our creativity. This process is like working with clay. We can then surrender to our own source + vision rather than moulding our minds with the clay pickings of others. You can either soften + revive the old, unused, dried-up pieces of others or get your own fresh block of clay to press your own thumbprint . . .

I'm on the same train, learning through delays + breakdowns amongst stops unknown. Here are some pickings that allow for a smoother journey . . .


H E R B S
H E   S H O U   W U  +  P I N E  P O L L E N | These two are my staples for hormonal and libido support, which also support creativity. A small spoonful of pine pollen gives me the most elaborate + creative work sessions. Kacie's incorporation of he shou wu is a beautiful antidote for relieving tension as well with its addition of various other adaptogenic herbs. 
S E X   D U S T   |  I have come to realise that with lack of creativity also comes lack of libido or disconnexion with our sexuality. We hide our bodies, our feelings—truly naked only to our own eyes. This results in the suppression of the flow of energy in our lower body chakras, which rule self-expression and creativity. I find that supplementing with herbs that target these energies such as this blend can not only be used to rush blood to the right places when needed but to our brains to fuel creativity.


F O O D S 
M C T  /  X C T   O I L  | The effect this coconut oil on steroids has on the brain is profound. It contains the rarest of medium chain fatty acids + require 18 pounds of coconut to produce. It upgrades metabolic and cognitive function while simultaneously stimulating the digestive system, which yields a triple boost to the brain to spark creativity.
C O C O N U T  | Just slather it on everything—drink its waters, eat its meat, use its butter to increase your fat intake. Our brains are about 60 percent fat, so fat is resultantly its preferred source of fuel. Incorporating this easily-digested fat into your diet will provide the support necessary to create
R O O T S  | When our minds are scattered, our energies are also often depleted, floating, + disarrayed. Root vegetables provide the body with grounding reminiscent of that of Mama Earth, bringing us back to ourselves and our true source of creative fire.  I often gently steam them to keep their nutrient integrity but also enjoy them roasted. My seasonal rotation includes Korean/Japanese sweet potatoes; taro root; turnips; Kabocha, butternut, and spaghetti squash; rutabaga; and carrots. They're incredibly comforting coupled with the slight sweetness of raw organic coconut oil. 
F E R M E N T S  | The gut and enteric nervous system is considered our second brain. Restoring optimal gut motility and function is not only crucial for achieving homeostasis of our whole-body functions. This also in return lifts brain fog + allows for sharp-thinking. I always recommend making a homemade batch, but i this is not feasible, you can contact me for a local order or pick some up at your market. Many areas now have ferments such as sauerkraut or kimchi [not autoimmune friendly] from local companies.


P A N I C   M O D E 
Sometimes when the due date of a work project, an assignment, a post, or whatnot is wrapping its approaching arms around my mind. I'm overcome by its grip and cannot think straight let alone produce anything of substance. In these times when I'm stricken, meditation seems like a far off thought. I honestly feel overwhelmed by its thought in panic mode and need something more concrete to focus myself on, something to guide me. 

My neurological pathways shift completely when I use Emotional Freedom Technique—it's the Ibuprofen in my holistic medicine kit. I've mentioned it in my tools to heal the heart—it's my staple. Here is a guide on how to do it.

Other easily accessible tools for me are magnesium flake/epsom salt baths or, if I don't have the time, I spray this on my skin. I recently also chatted with Becky of our local Be Clean Shop about my anxiety + sleep remedy of rubbing lavender oil on the soles of my feet for increased and quick absorption as well as rubbing some on the tip of my nose. Lack of creativity can lead to sleepless nights with anxiety hindering our ability to fall and stay asleep, and this combats both issues. If you have a headache resulting from tension as well, blend in a drop of frankincense oil as well for anti-inflammatory pain relief. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

BEAUTY BITES: ADAPTOGENS + ROSE LATTÉ


Today's guest post is by Kacie Carter, the force + visionary behind Human Resources Wellness, who  guides us through armouring our bodies against stress with adaptogens . . .


B E A T Y   B I T E S :  A D A P T O G E N S   +  R O S E   L A T T É 
b y    K A C I E    C A R T E R   /   H U M A N   R E S O U R C E S 

It’s no secret: I’m kind of obsessed with my pantry and refrigerator full of powders, potions and tinctures. But let me get one thing straight: nothing can take the place of a healthy, balanced diet and the paramount nutrition it provides our bodies. If we want to be healthy, we need to start with a healthy diet rich in veggies, bioavailable high quality protein, healthy fats, and adequate minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. But there are also a variety of amazing supplemental herbs that can make a tremendous difference in our lives, and my favorite of them all are called adaptogens. Adaptogens are powerful substances (plant chemicals, polyphenols and amino acids) that enable our bodies to cope more efficiently with living in our modern environment full of toxins and stressors.


Stress is stress, regardless of where it originates. Your body cannot physiologically differentiate between being chased by a lion or an argument with a co-worker: the exact same chemical response occurs- where your body is flooded with cortisol, your blood sugar rises dramatically, and energy and blood is shunted away from your organs to your extremities so that you can react quickly. This is what is referred to as the Fight or Flight response. This adaptation has definitely allowed us to survive and evolve, but when it is constantly and chronically elevated, the results are devastating for our health. Most commonly, our adrenal system (two small glands located above our kidneys that produce Cortisol, Epinephrine and Norepinephrine among other sex hormones) gets depleted from being constantly active, and we end up with the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue; anxiety, fatigue, mood disorders, hormonal dysruptions, exercise intolerance, hair loss, sleeplessness, and so many more.


We live in a modern world full of toxins and stressors. Even if we do our absolute best to avoid them, we will still be exposed to them by virtue of living in modern society- in cities, the water we drink at restaurants, the food other people prepare for us, when we travel, the air we breathe in, the cars we drive, the stress from work and school and relationships- basically, just being a human being! Rather than running away into a forest and retreating from society, let’s be a part of the modern world, but still maintain our sanity. let’s show up for mankind and our planet and our loved ones- with a sense of balance while respecting our limitations. Adaptogens are herbal remedies that can help us cope with these stressors to find more balance.



B O D I L Y    S Y S T E M S   A F F E C T E D   B Y  S T R E S S
E N D O C R I N E  /  H O R M O N A L  |  this includes our thyroid gland, satiety & hunger regulation, sex hormones including menstruation and fertility, etc.
C A R D I O V A S C U L A R   /   C I R C U L A T O R Y  /  H E A R T  | which also regulates our blood pressure, cellular energy production, and lymphatic organs that control detoxification.
N E U R O L O G I  C A L  /  B R A I N  |  greatly effects our sense perception, speech, memory, balance, and hormonal interactions via the pituitary and hypothalamus glands.
D I G E S T I V E  |   Our digestion functions optimally when our parasympathetic “Rest & Digest” nervous system is engaged. Chronic stress shunts much needed blood and energy away from the digestive system, resulting in chronic digestive & related disorders.
E M O T I O N A L  | including our mood, our response and ability to tolerate stress, contentment and gratitude, deep and stable relationships,
SP I R I T U A L  |  our sense of greater connectedness with the earth & the life force that connects us all.


All of these systems work in a synergy; that is to say, they cannot be separated from one another. Each one interacts with and effects all of the others. It is easy to see how stress; whether acute or chronic, results in debilitating effects on the body.

Adaptogens can help us improve our response to stress while living in precisely these modern conditions. Rather than being physiologically overwhelmed by stress and toxins, we can assist our bodies to RESPOND better to those stresses so that they do not become overburdened and break down on us, which results in physical disease and major emotional imbalance. Adaptogens possess unique herbal capabilities to supplement where there is a deficiency, or decrease unregulated excesses, bringing the body closer to homeostasis.


A D A P T O G E N S    I   L O V E
A S H W A G A N D H A  |  Especially nourishing for the thyroid gland (that controls your energy and metabolism), ashwaghanda can help support hypothyroid conditions and assist in relaxation, especially in acute anxiety episodes by reducing cortisol. It also helps to heal adrenal fatigue. I love Moon Juice’s powdered Ashwagandha, or “Adrenal Support” capsules by Gaia Herbs.
G I N S E N G  | is known as the king of adaptogens; Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero) seems to have some of the best stress regulating capabilities and is a powerful immune booster.
C H A G A   M U S H R O O M | also has amazing anti-tumor, anti-oxidant and DNA repairing qualities. Wild Arctic Chaga from Alaska is some of the most potent on earth.
H E   S H O U   W U | is one of the more powerful herbal remedies to balance hormones, and helps to nourish the skin and hair while calming the nervous system.
H O L Y   B A S I L | is an herb indigenous to India with some of the best soothing qualities of any plant. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps promote deep relaxation.
M A C A  |  a root native to the highlands of Peru, Maca has slightly more stimulating but balancing qualities and can help greatly with stamina, hormone balancing, and even increasing libido!




A D A P T O G E N I C   R O S E   L A T T É
1 bag Tulsi holy basil rose tea
1 tsp Ashwagandha
1 tsp He Shou Wu 
1 cup almond milk  | homemade preferable
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of vanilla powder
1 tbsp MCT oil and/or grass fed ghee

M E T H O D | Steep tea in hot almond milk for 5 minutes until flavors have infused. Remove tea bag and add the liquid plus all other ingredients to a blender and blend for 30 seconds until you get a rich froth. Sip slowly and enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

THE GUIDE: MANAGING MERCURY IN RETROGRADE


T H E  G U I  D E :  M A N A G I N G   M E R C U R Y   I N   R E T R O G R A D E 

Yesterday marked the first day of the Mercury in Retrograde that will last until October 9th, affecting our lines of communication, decision, memory, + travel. I'm already feeling its glitches. On its very first day, our analytic programs at work were slow, I had to restart my new yet frozen laptop twice, and my train heading home was delayed by half an hour. These are not coincides—when Mercury is in retrograde, it pulls + slows everything back with it. 

Yet this planetary pullback is an optical illusion of sorts. As a dear astrologer compares, Mercury in retrograde is similar to when we're slowly driving on the road and the next car over consequently appears to be moving backwards. We know this isn't actually the case and this applies to planetary movements—the retrograde occurs according to the perspective from the Earth. 

Accordingly, I take this time to shift my own view. Rather than being aggravated, paranoid, or tugged by the effects of Mercury in Retrograde, I surrender to the shifts to allow myself to swim through the resulting emotions. I re-consider, re-ground, and re-balance to realise my full potential. I view this time as a potent reminder to slow down and savour all that flows through my life—from delights to possible dismays—for a heightened presence post-retrograde. This period bears medicine for our hearts as a cosmic gas pedal to awaken our senses—stopping the rush to shake us into our true reality. Flowing with the river . . .


Here is my guide to listen to these shifting Universal nudges + attune to our highest selves . . .


C R Y S T A L S   |  There is a multitude of crystals that can carry you more seamlessly through the flow of Mercury Retrograde and against habitual tendencies of fast-paced upstream struggle in life. The crystals with the most potent energies for this time are Black Tourmaline, which assists in letting go of the sense of fear and paranoia that can arise; Tree Agate, which re-roots our energies to sync up with that of Mama Earth + the flow of the Universe; and Amazonite, which instills grace + clear communication. 

G R O U N D I N G   G R I D S   +   M E D I C I N E   W H E E L S | 
You can reap the support of the crystals above by simply keeping them in close quarters, during meditation, or while performing a puja. Alternatively, you can also create grounding grids and medicine wheels. Grounding grids can be very extensive through sacred geometry, but this site gives a more clear + concise explanation. 

K U N D A L I N I    K R I Y A S   | Being aware and within the space of our breath is the most medicinal element we can incorporate during this planetary period. Simple breathing techniques are a gentle start—try a four-count inhale, four-count hold, followed by a four-count exhale through the nose. Another practise I also like to incorporate is the technology of Eight Stroke Breath for Energy + Stress Release. This involves sitting with your eyes closed with hands in Gyan Mudra, inhaling through the nose in eight counts then exhaling through the nose in one powerful stroke. Begin doing this for three minutes but ideally practise for 11 minutes.


A F F I R M A T I O N S | As a true high-strung Virgo, I keep myself organised with a huge agenda where I outline my life down to lunar + planetary cycles. Writing down shifts such as Mercury in Retrograde allows me to be more careful when approaching projects and not initiating them unless necessary; adding extra reminders to not forget things; and being kinder to myself when errors do occur. I scribble down soothing affirmations to allow myself to surrender to any perceived step backwards—some words you can include as "I am renewed and revived through all" or for "shifting through the shit" for a dash of humour. I take pride in coming up with and a laugh a bellyful with the latter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FARMACY: HERBAL KOMBUCHA


Although I have recently posted about juna lighter sister of kombucha that is also a live, fermented probiotic drink but with a softer taste + milder effect—I still indulge in my regular cup of kombucha. I have been experimenting with it more recently + have delved deeper into increasing its healing effects. I had infused my kombucha with chamomile flowers before and recently have been adding a variety of different herbs—often dried—and savouring its effects. Adding adaptogenic and calming herbs is the ultimate solution to regularise the energy that kombucha provides.


F A R M A C Y :  H E R B A L   K O M B U C H A
raw | vegan | paleo | aip



I N G R E D I E N T S 
8 cups of pure water
kombucha scoby + 1/2 cup of kombucha tea from an already-cultured batch
2 teaspoons loose leaf black tea or 4 bags of organic black tea
Herb of your choosing | chamomile, hibiscus, or ginger are some ideas

D I R E C T I O N S | Boil eight cups of water. Take it off the heat and add in your tea to steep for ten minutes. Then remove the tea + pour it into your container, which should be a large glass jar or jug of some sort. Pour in the honey and let the tea wait until it's cool to the touch. Add in the kombucha scoby along with the 1/2 cup of its tea. Place it away from direct light at room temperature. Some people let it sit for only three days, but that's not sufficient enough time to let it truly ferment. I let it go for a while, but find a medium that works for you—try it at a week's mark and adjust accordingly.  

Once it's ready pour into glass bottles or jars. If you want it to be fizzy, leave about three inches of space, + put the lid on to let it wait in room temperature, away from light for 2-3 days. If you'd like it without the fizz, just bottle the tea [leaving 1/2 cup in the jug for future use] then refrigerate. 

To make the kombucha with herbs, add in the herb of choice into the bottles of ready kombucha to be infused for the 2-3 days.