It is a soup and stew time of year here in Upstate New York with the single digit and below zero days and nights we’ve been having the past couple of weeks. For me, soup not only warms the body, but it has a way of warming my Soul. One of my favorite soups to make is bone broth. Basically, you slow simmer some bones in water with a little raw apple cider vinegar, and your favorite spices. The apple cider vinegar draws the micro-nutrients out of the bone and into the soup, so that your body can soak them up, and use them for energy. It is a true alchemy. Continue reading for a yummy bone broth soup recipe, and if you don’t eat meat, click on this link to my Soulful Soups article in this month’s Natural Awakenings Magazine for some vegetarian soups. You'll find the article on page 24.
You can make bone broth with fresh bones or you can use the bones that remain after eating a chicken, turkey, beef or even a ham, throw them into a crock pot (or slow simmer on the stove), cover with water and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Next add your favorite spices like sage, rosemary, turmeric, oregano or basal, and toss in half of an onion. Put the lid on and set the heat to the auto setting. In 6-8 hours, when you’ve returned from your busy day, your bone broth will be ready. Transfer the liquid and any meat that has fallen off of the bones to a pot, and put it on the stove. Add in your favorite veggies, bring to a boil, and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until they are tender. If you like, you can also add rice or pasta. Or maybe try the my gluten free dumpling recipe from Gluten Free Alchemy now on Kindle.
Lately I've been feeling like I've been on a hamster wheel. Doing more and more at a faster pace which seems to fuel me doing more and more at a faster pace and the more I do, the more I feel like there is so much more to do. The other day, I decided to step off the wheel and into a labyrinth.
There is a beautiful little park in Altamont, New York that I pass on my way to work. It's name is Schilling Park and there is a labyrinth there. Recently, I was running ahead of schedule and decided to stop off. The labyrinth is a form of sacred geometry. It is a circle with a path that follows a pattern in toward the center and back out. It is said that as one moves through the labyrinth, they are connecting to a different level if consciousness much like meditation and prayer. Often people say that they receive a message or guidance while in the Labyrinth. Here's what I got, "Believe." My response was, "Believe in what?" The answer that came was, "Believe in yourself."
At first I was a little disappointed. I wanted more, but as the days went on, I began to notice how many times a day things like doubt and self criticism sneak in. Since visiting the labyrinth, when these automatic negative thoughts creep in, I find myself saying, "Believe in yourself."
Looking to step off the hamster wheel, visit the labyrinth at Schilling Park or stop by The Take Care Fair at Riverfront Park in Hudson on Sunday, June 25 th from 11:00-4:00.
It happens every now and then. I let my guard down, get distracted or busy and forget to read ingredient labels. This week, my husband had a stomach bug and was drinking ginger ale. My stomach started to feel a little off too, and I was out of ginger tea, so I had some ginger ale. I’ve never been a soda drinker and for some reason, I didn’t stop to read the label. A little while later, my gut started to cramp up and then the pain started in my hips moving down to my knees and into my feet. At that point, I knew what was happening. My body started attacking the glutenie invaders and my own tissue along with it. The next thing to happen was the brain fog, fatigue and having a really hard time making decisions. Although I was annoyed at myself for being careless, it ended up being a good reminder of how much better I feel now that I’m eating gluten free. I can’t believe that I felt that miserable everyday for a couple of years before I took the big leap to change the way that I eat. Often people will say to me that they feel bad that I can’t eat things with gluten anymore. I always tell them not to feel sorry for me, because I am so much happier and feel so much healthier not eating it that I have absolutely no desire to eat that piece of cake or bagel or whatever it is they are eating.
This little trip down memory lane of feeling miserable made me curious about what exactly is in caramel coloring anyway, so I did a little Google research and here is what I found. Caramel coloring is made by heating a carbohydrate at an extreme temperature and mixing it with acids, alkalis and salts. In the US, the carbohydrate that is used is usually corn or wheat but can also be things like barley malt or sugar. This is where the gluten can come in. But I also found this disturbing information in an article from The Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 16, 2011, FDA Urged to Prohibit Carcinogenic “Caramel Coloring.” According to this article, the process of making caramel coloring by reacting sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures results in “the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.” You can read the article yourself here, and the FDA’s position here. If you aren't convinced to give up your favorite soft drinks yet, you might want to check out this Consumer Reports article for some product comparisons. For me, the answer is clear. It is not worth the pain, brain fog and 3 to 4 days of healing not to mention the possible long term effects of continued ingestion of this chemical ingredient. My motto is, if it doesn’t feel good in your body, then it isn’t good for you, regardless of the research.
So what did I do to feel better? Well to be totally honest, I did some moaning and groaning and complaining, because it really can be a good emotional release. Then I used some of Young Living’s Digize essential oil to help with the gut distress. I drank ginger tea to help with the inflammation and gave myself some Reiki to help with the pain. I drank lots of water to help move things out of the body and did some gentle stretching to help loosen up my constricting muscles and joints. I also forgave myself for being careless and allowed myself to be out of sorts and less productive, so that my energy could go into healing my body. What do you do to help yourself feel better when you get glutened?
Now for some happy news- Congratulations to Gail Chase! Gail was the winner of the first gluten free cookbook give away. Thank you to all of you who completed the Food Sensitivity Survey. Now, I could really use your help figuring out the title of the cookbook. You can take the Cookbook Title Survey here. This is totally new opportunity to win a free copy even if you did the previous survey. I look forward to hearing your responses.
Are you familiar with the legend of St. Patrick and how a dream changed his life? Patrick was the son of a wealthy British man. He was kidnapped at age 16, taken to Ireland and sold into slavery. One night he had a dream telling him to escape, and there would be a ship to take him back home. Patrick followed the message from his dream, escaped and found his ship.
Back home, Patrick studied Christianity and then decided to return to Ireland to spread his beliefs. He is most known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Historians note that this is more likely a symbolic story of Patrick’s work to transform and abolish evil through his teachings. Snakes are most often associated with evil, but have many other symbolic meanings. They are a powerful dream symbol. They often cause a dreamer to stop, become alert and cautious. Do they ever visit you in your dreams? For me, snake dreams feel scary and unnerving, but once I muster the courage to face them, I see that they have come with messages to help me move forward.
Imagine what life would be like if Patrick didn’t follow the message from his dream. Would he have remained a slave for the rest of his life? Would he have gone on to touch the lives of so many people in positive and hopeful ways? Would he have become a Saint and would we be eating corned beef and cabbage, and drinking green beer or shamrock shakes in his name centuries later? What powerful messages are your dreams trying to communicate to you? Are there life changing messages trying to come through?
As I’ve been reflecting on the symbolism of this day and the date 3/17/17 which seems so magically Divine, I’ve decided to offer my Dynamic Dreamer Reports for free this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. What does that mean? Click here to be taken to my Dream Discoveries webpage and send me a recent dream. Just type up what you remember about the dream from start to finish exactly as it unfolded. If you only remember fragments of your dream, that’s okay. We can get good information from fragments and the very fact that you remember them is significant. I’ll give you insights into the dream symbols and self-reflection questions to help you explore the meaning of your dream further. I am so passionate about doing dream work and want to share this amazing experience with you. This service will remain free until Sunday at noon. At that point, the payment button goes back up. So send me your dream today.*
*Dreams will be responded to in the order in which they are received. It may take more than 24 hours to receive your Dynamic Dreamer Report, and I may contact you with questions along the way.
When was the last time that you told yourself that you love you? Ever? We are good at expressing our love to others, but how often do we think to give ourselves some love? It has been said that love begins with ourselves. This week, look in the mirror and tell yourself what you love about you and be specific. Is it your eyes? Is it your smile? Is it your caring nature? How many things can you think of? Notice how it feels to give yourself love. Does it feel awkward or selfish? Does it feel compassionate, and nurturing? Try not to be judgmental about how you feel. Just be curious and accepting. If your critical self emerges, give him/her some love too. Try doing this once a day for the entire week and see how it effects you.
Soup...a symbol of abundance, nourishment and love. It warms the body and brightens the Spirit. There's not much better on a cold winter day than the warmth of a bowl of soup in your hands with the steam rising up to touch your cheeks and the savory aroma awakening your tastebuds. It's a real gift for the body and soul.
Soup is really a wonderful creation. You add your favorite vegetables, meat or fish, herbs and spices to a pot of water and let it simmer until the flavors meld together and magically transform into one wholesome, hearty, nourishing and delicious meal.
Cut the chicken breast into small chunks. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add chicken. Sauté until lightly browned. Add soup stock, vegetables and spices and simmer on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. Yeilds about 2-4 servings.
Are you a soup lover who needs a soul searching retreat? Check out The Soup To Soul Retreat that Ruth Ann Smalley, Eden Energy Practitioner & I are doing on January 22nd.
Rituals are a prescribed set of patterns of behaviors. Traditionally, they have been connected to religious, historical and seasonal events or ceremonies. They often involve honoring and adhering to a set of rules and engaging in symbolic activities. In a nutshell, rituals create familiar habits that are honored or valued by those who engage in their practice.
How many times a day do you say things like:
"I should start eating healthier."
"I need to exercise more."
"I am exhausted, but I feel guilty when I take time to rest."
Believe it or not, making these changes has little to do with discipline, however, many people beat themselves up for not being more disciplined when it comes to creating healthy changes in their lives. Creating healthy changes involves listening to yourself and your body in a different way. It involves honoring yourself and doing what's right for you. It involves nurturing yourself rather than willing or forcing yourself to do something that you really don't want to do. There isn't one path to being healthy. Everyone's path is different. What works for one person may not work for another.
Where are you on your path? Have you wandered off of it? Have you tripped and fallen and decided not to get up? Have you turned around and gone back to something more familiar? Have you hit a fork in the road and you're not sure which way to go next? Are you a lone traveler wishing you had some company on your journey? Have you suddenly found yourself in unfamiliar territory without a map? Take a moment to consider where you are and where you'd like to be.
If you want to set out on a health promoting journey of love and nurturance where you gain knowledge, insight and new healthy habits, you'll want to check out my upcoming e-course. The course begins November 11th and the last session gets e-mailed December 16th.
How will you benefit from this course? You'll stop to think about and take care of yourself during a time when you are pulled in a million and one directions and usually put yourself and your needs last. You'll give yourself opportunities to de-stress, renew your energy and your spirit and eat healthier and more mindfully. Click here for more details. You Deserve It!
I love a good autumn sunrise and I love starting the day with a good energizing nutrient packed smoothie. Today’s sunrise inspired this beauty. Grate one small beet and one small to medium carrot. Add some raw sunflower seeds, raspberries, banana & greens. I used kale and beet green. Then fill in the space with some almond or coconut milk. You can also add some almond butter or high quality protein powder. Put it in the blender, Ninja, Vitamix or what have you and Voila! You’ve created a beautiful, delicious smoothie filled with enzymes, anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin D, calcium and a vast array of other vitamins and minerals. You'll also get some nice grounding energy form the beet and carrot root vegetables. Sunrises and smoothies are a great way to add a little color to your life. Try it!
My husband and I have been enjoying this yummy banana tea inspired by Clinical Psychologist and host of The Sleep Summit, Michael Breus, PhD, The Sleep Doctor. He recommends making a banana tea as a sleep aid. According to Dr. Breus, bananas are "nature’s sleeping pill." They contain magnesium and when our magnesium is low, it can affect our sleep. Dr. Breus says, the banana peel has 3 times the amount of magnesium than the fruit. I put a banana in my smoothie every morning, so I figured I'd experiment with the peels. Here's what I brewed up.
1 organic banana peel-washed
3 cups water
Almond or coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
Dash of ground nutmeg
Teaspoon raw honey
Bring the peel, water, cloves and cinnamon to a boil on the stove and boil on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes to make a tea. Pour the tea into a mug and add milk, a dash of nutmeg and honey. Enjoy! In addition to the sleep benefits of magnesium, cinnamon is warming to the body which may help it to relax. The cloves and nutmeg are also known to help promote sleep, but go easy on the nutmeg. It is a powerful spice, and too much can affect your mental health.
Sometimes, when I sleep, I get cramps in my calves due to low magnesium, so I'm excited to experiment with this new tea. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you avoid cinnamon, and of course, if you are allergic to or sensitive to any of the ingredients, leave them out of the recipe.
The Sleep Summit is free On-line August 8th-15th. And can also be purchased to be viewed at your leisure at anytime in the future.
This week is the free on-line sleep summit. As I am writing, I am listening to my pre-summit free gifts and learning so much to share with my coaching clients in our sessions. According to the host, Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Dr., bananas, due to their magnesium content are "natures sleeping pill." According to Dr. Breus, the peel has more magnesium than the fruit, and a tea can be made from the peel. So, of course, I'm heading to the kitchen to experiment with crafting a banana tea, "sleep potion." I'll be posting that on my facebook page later this week.
If you are one of the 1 in 3 people experiencing symptoms of insomnia or if you are one of many people who describe themselves as "wired and tired," you'll want to check out this free summit. I decided to help promote this summit, because so many of you have mentioned difficulties with sleep to me. However, as I looked over the presenters, I noticed that no one appears to be talking about dreams. To me this is a huge oversight, so I'm filling in the gap. This month, I'm offering discounted Dream Discovery sessions- just $49 for a 90 minute session where we explore one of your dreams. Dreams have always fascinated me, and I've been working with my dreams and the dreams of others for the past 13 years. To give you an idea of what it might entail, I've included a couple of my dreams that I explored recently with some of my dream worker friends as an example.
Dream 1, March 2016: In my dream, I'm carrying a fish tank that has hardly any water in it, and I'm going to clean it out. I wonder if any fish are still alive in there. As I'm carrying it into another room, I see another fish tank that is clean and beautiful. It looks like an antique table turned into a fish tank. There are white pebbles on the bottom and fish are swimming around. There is a light on in the fish tank and it is pristine. I wonder why I'm bothering with this dried up tank when I have a nice clean one.
Dream 2, July 2016: I'm walking in a beautiful garden. There is a Labyrinth. I bend down and touch it. It has a mosaic look with yellow, pink and orange colors. The garden is lush. There is a pool of water that is overflowing into part of the garden and there is one potted plant that is drying up. I pull it out from shelter to an area where it didn't get watered by the rain. I take water from the overflowing pool and water the potted plant.
Breaking down a dream is a process; therefore, I'll just be summarizing some of the findings and some of the questions to be pondered. I believe these dreams are calling to me to find balance in self care. Both the fish tanks and the garden can be seen as a representation of my life. They are both living ecosystems just like the human body. One tank has been neglected and the other is clean, lit up, beautiful, filled with living plants, fish and life sustaining water. In the garden, there is one potted plant that has been neglected and is starting to dry up and there is also a pool that is overflowing. In the first dream, the two fish tanks are equal in size and I'm considering discarding one of them. My fellow dreamers believe that this dream is asking me to think about how I will take care of the clean tank (which is a symbol of me) so that it doesn't end up neglected like the other. In the second dream, I am actively taking care of the garden. I moved the potted plant to an area where it will get rained on and I am taking care of the over flowing pool. The dried up area is relatively small compared to the healthy part of the garden. There is a tension of the opposites with the dry area and the overly wet area and action to create balance. The dream is calling me to identify where I have sheltered myself and held myself back from growth and where I where I might be overflowing or running over boundaries.
Some of the other things that were explored were the numbers in the dreams and their symbolic significance. We also looked at the symbolic meanings of fish, mosaics, labyrinths, water, flowers/plants and colors. We considered the zodiac and that the universe is in a transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius and what that might mean. We looked at archetypes and how all of these things are currently connected to my past, current and future life. Each dream contained layers and layers of information from my unconscious, slowly being peeled away, uncovered and brought into awareness so it could be tended to.
Are you ready to take a close look at what one of your dreams might be communicating to you? Click here to schedule a session with me.
Want to read what a couple of people have said about their Dream Discovery sessions? Click here.
If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you.
I'm a nature loving, garden growing, foodie who loves to eat sweet treats, walk barefoot, snuggle with my dog, discover waterfalls, gaze at the stars,explore my dreams and co-create my own reality.