Tuesday, March 29, 2016

THE GUIDE: CORD CUTTING

A ceremonial meditation to dissolve draining negative connexions to recharge your energy + create abundant opportunities . . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SPIRITUAL SMACK: MAMA MOON GATHERING



 L U N A R   E C L I P S E  |  F U L L   M O O ON  I N  L I B R A
B Y  M O O N  +  Q U A R T Z

Illuminating the night entering into the lunar eclipse of Full Moon in Libra, here is Moon + Quartz with her Moon Guide on how we can utilise the lunar cycle to our power . . .


F U L L    M O O N   I N   T H E   F O U R T H   H O U S E
f o u r t h   h o u s e   t h e m e s
House of family, foundations, home, roots, and the parent whose influence proved most nurturing. The need for privacy. Real estate. The subconscious and the stored emotional memories that fuel it. Ancestors and lineage, our origins. The place we learn how to release the past and ground ourselves in service of becoming self-sufficient beings. The necessary, nurturing foundation that allows one to go out and find one's place in the world.

F U L L   M O O N   R I T U A L
The Libra Full Moon / Lunar Eclipse is an opportunity to release those habits, routines, relationships and vices that jerk you out of an innate sense of balance. In the days leading up to the eclipse, make note of the moments you lose your balance: who or what is involved? Is it environmental? Relationship-based or situational? Is it your fundamental sense of security that’s being disturbed? Write it all down.

When it’s time for your Full Moon ritual, look over the list you created and use your intuitive, emotional, feeling senses to discern what you’re now ready to release. Using the following page, write out a list of everything you wish to release.

When you’ve finished, bow very deeply to everything you’ve chosen to let go of during this cycle. Try to remember the ways these habits, patterns or relationships served you once, and give gratitude for the role they played in bringing you to where you are now. Then fold the page as tightly as you can, place it in a fire-proof bowl, and set it aflame. As it burns, pay attention to the sensations and emotions that run through your body. Imagine your life unfolding without limiting beliefs standing in the way of your ambitions and dreams.

To close the ritual, rinse your hands with cool, clean water as a symbol of new beginnings.




W H A T  I S  T H E   S I G N I F I C A NC E   O F  A  L U N A R   E C L I P S E ?
Eclipses present a concentration of energy unmatched by typical New and Full Moon lunations. We look to eclipses to precipitate major endings and beginnings — with lunar eclipses in particular, though, the focus is on what needs to be released in order to move on to the next phase of experience.

W H A T   H A P P E N S  D U R I N G  A  L U N A R   E C L I P S E ?
Full Moons occur when the Sun and Moon are in direct opposition. While New Moons present an alignment of solar and lunar energies, Full Moons represent those two energies at greatest odds with each other, with all their differences starkly illuminated. Here on the ground, that manifests as a sensation of being pulled between two different poles or directions, a sensation which tends to have an amplifying effect on our experience of being in the world.

During a lunar eclipse, the Sun, Moon and Earth find such close alignment that the Moon actually moves right through the Earth’s shadow — we literally see our shadow projected on the face of the Moon. Full Moons already illuminate what’s hidden in our psyches; a lunar eclipse not only unearths what’s hidden, it takes it one step further, bringing up emotional material completely unconscious, completely invisible until activated by the eclipse. In other words? A lunar eclipse is deeper, wider, stronger, and more intense than a typical Full Moon. Feelings, intuitions, fears, revelations — nothing’s off the table. Tread carefully. 


D O   I   N E E D   T O   D O   A N Y T H I N G   D I F F E R E N T L Y ?
First and foremost, and I truly can’t stress this enough: create more space for yourself to experience and move through whatever comes up in the days surrounding the eclipse. Why? Because there’s honestly nothing worse than getting broadsided by an emotional maelstrom and having no time to process what’s happening.

Since the Full Moon is occurring in Libra, that time and space may be artistic or creative in nature or, at the very least, aesthetic. Whether triggered by external events or internally provoked, lunar eclipses always present an opportunity to get closer to your unconscious mind. Be prepared for relationship issues to be a larger than usual trigger.

T H E   B O T T O M   L I N E 
Ultimately, eclipses signify that something in your life has reached a tipping point. More than is the case during typical Full Moon periods, transition now is imminent. Whatever in your life feels ridden with tension and disharmony, it’s worth your time, effort and energy to begin to work to loosen its grasp on your mind, heart and emotions.

If it’s a relationship, will it end, or will you evolve? If it’s your career, will you quit or double down?

Since we’re in Libra territory, our work during this cycle is all about balance. It’s also a time to recognize those singular important partnerships — best friend and confidantes, significant others, even enemies qualify here. Where are you expending more energy than you receive in return?

Where are you holding tight to an over-idealized vision of the true nature of a relationship?

Understand that uncomfortable insights and events may seem to erupt out of nowhere in the hours preceding and following a lunar eclipse, awakening completely unanticipated emotions. Make sure you carve out enough space to process them.
Always remember that absolutely everything is of use. Absolutely everything. Even the most destructive circumstances provide fresh compost for future experiences. Case in point? A few years after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, when radiation leaked into the groundwater and soil surrounding the nuclear plant, a new species of mushroom adapted to consume the radioactivity.

Since this eclipse occurs so closely to the spring equinox, do your absolute best now to release everything that’s spent and expired in the last year. What you don’t release now will follow you into the next cycle so be intentional, be specific. Once again, this is Libra territory, so don’t forget to share your dream-vision with a close confidante.

If the going gets rough at any point during eclipse season, remember: you are stronger, larger, and more capacious than you dare to dream. Work to see difficult circumstances for what they truly are: the promise of higher functioning alignments that are still to come. Use sadness and disruption as an opportunity to release what no longer serves and re-commit to the future-possible. Find spaces to give gratitude for the opportunity you’ve been given to transform.

Friday, March 18, 2016

BEAUTY BITES: MATCHA CREAM MACAROONS




B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  M A T C H A  C R E A M   M A C A R O O N S
These morsels are reminiscent of macaroons but yield a more dense yet creamy texture that my family + friends gobbled down to the crumbs. Free of the traditional refined sugars, egg, and processing, they're instead low-glycemic treats that deeply rehabilitate and repair muscle tissue via whey and provide a super-antioxidant zing! of energy à la matcha.

Although I am not one to use protein powders—whole foods over processed—M.V. Naturals's minimally cold-processed, highly-bio available whey protein preserves the native character of easily-digestible protein. It has less than 0.01 g of lactose and has high concentrations of cysteine, an essential amino acid precursor for possibly the most potent antioxidant glutathione, to boost immune function and combat oxidative stress. Alternatively, you could use blood sugar-stabilising + omega-3 fatty acid-rich hemp protein for a vegan option that boasts a complete, plant-based 20 amino acid profile. Grass-fed collagen (cold-water soluble) and/or gelatin could also be an untested option here for an autoimmune, anti-inflammatory option for those who cannot tolerate any dairy products, like myself.

Treats worth getting your hand stuck in the cookie jar for . . .

I N G R E D I E N T S 
m a t c h a  c r e a m   m a c a r o o n s   |   y i e l d s   1 0   c o o k i e s
1 cup protein powder — cold-processed, grass-fed whey or organic hemp protein for a vegan option / AIP could also try grass-fed collagen here, although I have to experimented with it for this recipe
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
3 tablespoons raw cacao or carob powder, optional for variation of flavour

m a t c h a   c r e a m 
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 teaspoons of coconut butter
1 teaspoon of matcha powder or you could use a teaspoon of herbal greens blend, filled with detoxifying sea vegetables + antioxidant berries

D I R E C T I O N S 
Combine all the ingredients until they are well incorporated. Scoop them onto a pan covered with parchment paper (I use a non-toxic, bleach free version). Place the pan in the freezer to allow the cookies to set for around 7-10 minutes. As you wait for the cookies, whip up the matcha cream. Take the cookies out of the freezer, place a generous dollop on each and devour!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

FARMACY: CHAKRA-BALANCING BATHS


F A R M A C Y  :   C H A K R A  -  B A L A N C I N G   B A T H S

Our lives, like the moon and the seasons, wax and wane. Spring is a time of allowance to empty ourselves and be receptive container to welcome in the fullness of our beings. When we transition from the hibernation and cocoon of our hushed winter days, the flow of energy in our subtle bodies and chakras are slow to awaken. Taking baths with mineralising sea salts and targeted essential oils and/or herbs flush our three bodies—gross, subtle, and causal bodies—into clearance and leave the chakras permeating with refortified energy . . .

D I R E C T I O N S 
Combine one cup each of coarse himalayan pink salt and dead sea salt, which provide over 80 trace minerals and are composed with a distinct ionic charge. As these salts are high in magnesium as well, they detoxify and heal achy joints. Upgrade the salts by mixing them with twenty drops of your chosen essential oil(s)—if you pick two, put ten drops of each and so forth for other various combinations. You could also mix in dried herbs if you'd like. I incorporate dried sage for its powerful ability to heal scar tissues with its kerotene content, fight inflammation, and increase collagen. I combine it with rose petals and rose oil—also called G-d Oil—for healing and opening of the heart to surrender.


R O O T   C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | the base of the spine, near the tailbone
f u n c t i o n | where we house our deep-seated emotions, survival instincts, and memories, grounding us into stability and charging energy or life force through the spine, which can be unsteady if facing or having faced trauma
o i l s | grounding scents such as sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, ginger, cypress, myrrh, vetiver, and cypress

S A C R A L   C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | the lower abdomen, two inches below the navel
f u n c t i o n |our center of sexuality, well-being, pleasure, and creativity but also the location in which we store resentment, anger, greed, and intense emotions
o i l s | rose, ylang ylang, clary sage, rosemary, jasmine, bergamot, wild orange, and sandalwood

S O L A R   P L E X U S  C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | upper abdomen, near the stomach, between the navel and rib cage
f u n c t i o n | personal power, confidence, trust, self-worth and -understanding, metabolism, and sense of control
o i l s | basil, juniper, lavender, geranium, clove, grapefruit, juniper berry, black pepper, lemongrass, ginger, and cinnamon or peppermint, depending on whether there is excess heat or lack thereof in the case of the latter

H E A R T   C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | centre of the chest, right above the heart
f u n c t i o n love, trust, hope, openness, compassion, giving and receiving forgiveness, patience, and healing from sadness or grief
o i l s | cedarwood, rose, geranium, jasmine, ylang ylang, sage, eucalyptus, bergamot, cypress, lemon, melissa, and wild orange

T H R O A T  C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | throat
f u n c t i o n | communication, self-expression, listening, speaking, writing, and resonating with our Truth
o i l s | maleluca, bergamot, roman chamomile, lemon, patchouli, basil cypress, peppermint, and spearmint

T H I R D   E Y E   C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | between the eyebrows
f u n c t i o n | connexion to our intuitive thinking, inner guide, and higher consciousness; ability to face and dissolve negative thoughts or patterns; psychic ability; manifestation; and visions
o i l s | lavender, patchouli, frankincense, cypress, cedarwood, juniper, rosemary, sage, vetiver, and helichrysum

C R O W N   C H A K R A
l o c a t i o n  | the very top of the head, about the tip of your middle finger when the bottom of the palm meets the beginning of the hairline at the top of the forehead
f u n c t i o n | cosmic and spiritual connexion, universal-knowing and trusting, enlightenment, 
o i l s | frankincense, myrrh, lavender, cedarwood, helichrysum, sandalwood, vetiver, and jasmine


Friday, March 11, 2016

BEAUTY BITES: OLIVE OIL MARINATED ARTICHOKE HEARTS




B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  O L I V E   O I L   M A R I N A T E D   A R T I C H O K E   H E A R T S
Artichokes are finally in season as we awaken into Spring, a time to shed our winter malaise and re-root ourselves into a lighter presence. This edible flower bud is not only a beautiful excuse to eat some flower buds—how beautiful!—but also to providing cleansing and rejuvenation for our organs from their cold, sluggish wintry days. 

This is a plant-based dish of succulent and meaty artichoke hearts that will entertain the buds of your most meat- and potato-loving buds. Find it over on the Thou Swell site later today!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SPIRITUAL SMACK: MAMA MOON GATHERING


T H E   B E I G E  B L U E S  |  S U P E R  M O O N  /  T O T A L   E C L I P S E  I N  P I S C E S

This supermoon is a total eclipse of the tides of our emotions, piercing through the static blanket into which we weave ourselves. It forces us to lift this veil of our past and future events foreseen through the lens of delusion. We carry this field with us wherever we go, like an old sweater that keeps us warm in its static comfort. An ease in its all knowing of the past and a delusional belief of a consistent future. Devoid of colour or vivaciousness in living—a pale beige existence. 

Through the eye of this supermoon, allow yourself to pluck away at the pills of your sweater—the old wounds, the traumas, the bounding chords—then lift it and yourself up into clearance. 

May this supermoon flood ourselves and our cells with the capacity to lift the veil and take off our pilled beige sweaters. Here’s to warming into our own stories as the sun of a solar eclipse. This is a moon that reverberates the honeyed voice of your lightest self—clear, white, milken, both devoid and simultaneously containing all colours.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

THE GUIDE: NYC EATS


A round up some favourite places to savour safely —accommodating anything + anyone from allergies to vegan enthusiasts to paleo noshers . . .

T H E   G U I D E   |   N Y C   E A T S 


H U   K I T C H E N  | this lace is my culinary second home when I'm in NYC—I could and do practically eat most of my meals here. Hu Kitchen is completely gluten-, grain-, GMO-, soy-, refined sugar-, and crap-free fast + casual eatery. The meat options are grass-fed and pasture-raised with plenty of satisfying vegan options available such as the Veggie Grandmaster Loaf or vegetable side dishes. Many of the offerings do include nuts and/or nightshades for those following the Autoimmune Protocol, but there are nonetheless plenty of safe options. I love the taro no-yo pudding, a sophisticated adult upgrade of puddings cups reminiscent of childhood lunches. You can pound it out with a cup overflowing of toasted coconut, fresh berries, or granola made in-house. Oh and for lunch or dinner,  I suggest with mouth wide open a generous plate of their buttery coconut- and sea salt-brined chicken. 

H U N D R E D  A C R E S  | in a quaint country setting, Hundred Acres serves a frequently changing menu centered on seasonal American home cooking. Its current market menu includes items like spit-roasted amish farm chicken, grilled octopus with blood orange, or roasted vegetables to find solace from the late-winter winds. 

C A F É   C L O V E R  | an warm restaurant nestled in West Village, Café Clover sources local and organic produce, grass-fed meats, and offers a charming setting. Some autoimmune-friendly menu staples for me include local striped bass with artichokes and seared ramps, whole branzino à la plancha with castelvetrano olives + fennel, and Goeffle Farm pounded chicken breast. Other satisfying plates include baby carrot salad with cashew cheese + carrot green pesto and Goeffle Farm egg scramble with market salad.

A N G E L I C A  K I T C H E N | an organic casual restaurant serving plant-based + vegan fare, some great options are their sides such as sea vegetables; kabocha squash, Japanese sweet potatoes, + turnips (an adrenal fatigue-healing dream for the New York bustle); and steamed vegetables. The menu does contain a lot of soy-based items such as tofu and dressings, but you can hold different sauces and order a salad for a light lunch option. They also have juices that are fresh-to-order!

T H E   B U T C H E R '  S   D A U G H T E R  | although they do offer crumb-pickin', finger-lickin' bar snacks made in-house like kale chips + house-brined vegetables, the butcher's daughter takes the cake?! for their heritage juices of dreamy floral blends like watermelon, fennel, honeydew, cactus pear, lime, and lavender flower or my preferred pungent choice of zucchini, celery, green leaf, lettuces, spinach, watercress, lemon, and dill.

G I N G E R S N A P S   O R G A N I C  |  I love the few drinks and noshes that I have fed on here which include the warming Hemp Horchata peppered with cloves + cinnamon, cauliflower soup, + the superfood salad (hold the nightshade dressing)! Very simple yet satisfying fare with even more options for those who can tolerate nuts.

S O U E N  S O H O  | there is almost no meal as comforting to me as one with seafood, which makes Souen's piece of broiled fish with a macrobiotic side of kabocha, broccoli, and carrot a quiet indulgence.

L A F A Y E T T E  | a brasserie in the style of belle-epoque, Lafayette is an enchanting spot to have oysters du jour, a celebratory drink, or for people watching over tea.

N A V Y  | an American seafood restaurant offering local catches in the form of seafood crudo, beautiful roasted fishes , + crisp market frisée.

J A C K ' S  W I F E   F R E D A  | a quirky eatery designed in the taste of a Wes Anderson set, Jack's Wife Freda stole my stomach with its peri peri chicken and breakfast plates, not to mention its vibrant atmosphere that host to some of the most stylish of the city.

D I M E S  | a Californian-style minimalist spot of the friendliest vibes and fanciest of health-conscious concoctions such as lamb meatballs in turmeric broth, winter salad brightened up with orange blossom vinaigrette, pickled salmon, + lavendar açai bowl!

B R O D O  | a takeout window to pop on by for a sip of a variety of grass-fed + pasture-raised bone broths that can be upgraded with additions such as immune-boosting fresh-pressed ginger juice, shiitake mushroom tea, organic coconut milk infused with lemongrass + lime, or local squash with warm spices for those still-blustery days. 

M A T C H A B A R  | a shop located in Williamsburg within a dangerously not-too-far distance from local favourite jewellery shop catbird that is all things matcha, with options from iced matcha tea to a hemp milk matcha latté.

C H A L A I T  | a refreshing + airy spot that Becky of Be Clean Shop and I stumbled upon on a day of adventures during the Axis show that serves teas, eats, matcha cortados, lattés, and a mean matcha americano.