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Ceremonial Cacao: Connecting with the Self

Day 2- Connecting with the Self

How Do We Come Back to Ourselves in Times of Uncertainty?

So grateful for the opportunity to connect with myself.

In honor of last night’s full moon, I placed some water out in a vessel last night (in addition to some healing body oils) out on my porch under the moon light to soak up the goodness, the expansion, the love of the full moon.

After my morning meditation practice, I crept out into the cool air of the Michigan morning and retrieved my beautifully blessed water.

Thank you mother moon

I used her to be the carrier of the loving medicine of mama cacao.

This morning was slow.

Intentional.

And love filled.

I lit my copal incense, prepared my cacao and sat silently with myself.

Sitting with Cacao + a new read, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

It felt like a reminder of why establishing routine is so valuable for me.

The hummingbird spirit with so much love, but that she forgets to take care of herself sometimes. Today I took care of myself and I will carry this energy into the rest of the day.

I reflected on the space that feel stuck, that need some transmuting of energy. I gave a special blessing formyself to heal and the negative energy be transmuted into love.

Thank you to the spirit of the sacred fire

The alchemical element, the infinite space of creation.

By connecting with myself this morning, I realized the value of being grateful.

Of settling into sacred space to realize that I am my breath.

That breath is sacred.

That breath is the loving force that connects all things.

The winter moves us in slow and loving ways, grateful for the slowness today.

We must aim to make conscious decisions to connect with our sweet selves. It is when we step into our selves that we are able to take inventory of our heart space. To realize where we are at and how our thoughts and actions are affecting everything around us. By connecting with myself this morning I realize that I have been locking up love and ruminating on the past.

My intention is to forgive myself and those around me for we are all navigating our own celestial bodies, our personalities and so much more. I asked for any negative energy I am carrying to be transmuted into love. I am grateful for the chance to share this with you and I hope it serves you on your journey of loving yourself into the great unknown.

For 10% off @Cacao Lab use the code JENNIFERS10 for 10% off 

From our weekend trip to Saugatuck, Michigan

Leaning into Yoga

I have been on my Yoga journey for a small period of my life but it has transformed me beyond my own recognition of myself.

It was knocking at my spiritual door for many years and it was only recently that I decided to open that door and let that reconnecting with spirit in.

This past summer, I decided to to delve into Yoga Teacher Training with Detroit Yoga Lab.

 

This was actually the same studio I took my first real yoga class from.

 

Let me take you back, I was a graduate student at Wayne State in the Fine Arts Department and my room mate invited me to sign up for a week of yoga. It was a great move for me at that period of my life and left a strong imprint in my memory.

calm

peacefulness

noticing my body in space and time

realizing that the body needs to be respected

I felt so rested that I fell asleep during the class.

As someone who has always been a high achiever, it felt so different than any experience I had ever had. My spiritual practice back then might have been looking at a beautiful work of art at the Detroit Institute of art…namely a Rothko painting that brought so much inner harmony. I felt glimpses of that spirit waking up here and there, only to realize many years later.

At that period of my life, I was a part of the “art scene” in Detroit and staying up late and going to art openings and consuming copious amounts of alcohol was all part of the persona that I donned as an artist. I even smoked cigarettes back then.

Yoga kept creeping up in my life but I never gave it much thought.

It was as if the universe was sending me precious bread crumbs, saying…yes please invite me into your life.

 

In undergrad my mom bought me a great yoga bundle with a mat, block, strap. I used it a few times but lacked the ability to sit and really be in my body until years later. I was a college athlete then and participated in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. So I was always looking for the finish line. Too consumed by achieving and being recognized as talented.

Yoga circled back around years later, when I taught my first art class at the college level, I had a student whom was making artwork with images of the Buddha, nature and tea. She was happy and buoyant with life and that also left an impression on my heart space.

And lastly, yoga came to me in the form of a well known music festival in Michigan, Electric Forest.

I participated in a group yoga session and felt so much joy.

I felt an emotional release doing yoga next to my husband against a sea of people enjoying the orchestrated movement.

That was the first year my heart truly opened to everything.

I knew that this was a safe, loving and nurturing practice that can keep you grounded and filled with light and love.

It takes me back to a memory of when I was a pre-teen, I received a birthday gift from my sister, a CD from my favorite emo band, Bright Eyes. On the yellow front cover of the cd there was a quote that said something about, “being warm light that spreads.”

I finally know what that means.

My life, like many, has had many bumps, unconsciously pinballing through life, unaware and afraid.

Now I feel my own inner light and know that it is always with me. I have the path of yoga to thank for that.

I now know my mission

To be warm light that spreads.

I am not an expert

I still fumble

I get irritated

I get angry somtimes

But I know the light is always within me and yoga is helping me see that light. It has been my saving grace showing me that the light is always there.

I am excited to keep sharing my journey on the path to yoga.

I hope you find some time to practice some gentle movements today or just get quiet with yourself.

There is so much harmony in that.

 

Cacao Lab

My 30 Day Dieta with Ceremonial Cacao

https://i0.wp.com/images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5fa4073679efdc5b2be7da61/651ab28e-aded-4232-a4b2-5448ba37427e/01c7c7638d7d4b0968bab7f502cf5099648971d050.jpg?w=840&ssl=1Leaning into ceremonial space with Cacao Lab’s Ceremonial Cacao, family owned and ethically sourced Ceremonial Cacao

Expanding the Heart – Working with Ceremonial Cacao

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It is customary in Cacao circle to speak your intention, either to your self or to share with your cacao family. The beauty of sharing your unique vibration out into the world is a humbling and grounding gift. To lean deeper into what your heart has to say. I try to bring the practice of  intention into all conscious moments. 

It is my intention with this cup of cacao to…

LOVE MYSELF

TO ACCEPT MYSELF

TO BE HONEST

TO BE VULNERABLE

TO LET GO

Each week of the course we touched on different topics including Cacao’s history in Meso and South America, how cacao is processed, the physiological, nutritive and medicinal value of cacao, cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation, medicine songs and so much more.

We met weekly for online cacao circles with Florencia and the other participants in the course which was really special to connect with people from all over with a shared passion. We would open sacred space, discuss the Mayan calendar and the energy of the day, talk about the weeks lesson and share what intentions our hearts were holding. It was a healing period of my life (I suppose this is a constant :D)  and I felt like a sweet little sponge just absorbing all the energy and wisdom.

It was very humbling. 

Cacao makes your heart soften especially when you share in community with others. I have since gone on to participate in weekly cacao circles with Cacao Laboratory and consider it the greatest medicine to share cacao with others who are also inquiring deep into the heart. I hope to continue sharing with others throughout this life time to help plant seeds of gratitude for ourselves, our planet and for the wisdom of Cacao. 

Cacao has left a deep impression on my heart space.  I have since shared it with my husband, friends and myself at least a few times a week. It keeps me grounded in a state of gratitude, intention and love…the greatest gifts we can ripple out into the world with. 

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Some Interesting Facts about Cacao

🍫 Etymologists trace the origin of the word “chocolate” to the Aztec word “xocoatl,” to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.” (Smithsonian)

🤎 Contains Phenylethylamine (PEA), an adrenal-related chemical that we create naturally when we’re excited. It also helps us feel focused and alert because it causes your pulse quickens, similar feeling to when we are excited or fall in love. (natural news)

♥️ Contains Anandamide, name comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda” (internal bliss) Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that is produced naturally in the body after exercise. Cacao is one of the only foods that provides this type of neurotransmitter. Anandamide affects the parts of the brain that play a role in memory, movement control, mood, and higher thought process.

♥️ Theobromine, This makes up 1-2 percent of the cacao bean and is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels, much like caffeine. This ingredient is what makes cacao and chocolate unsafe for dogs.

Valuable Vitamins + Minerals

  • Magnesium, Cacao beans are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — magnesium is crucial for more than 300 biochemical reactions. It’s essential for muscle and nerve function and keeps the heart rhythm steady.

  • Iron,  An ounce of raw nibs has 6 percent of your recommended daily iron intake. Iron is necessary for red blood cell production.

  • Antioxidants, Antioxidants are important because they absorb the free radicals that cause damage in the body.

  • Mood improver, Chocolate and cacao stimulate the brain to release neurotransmitters that can trigger emotions, including good ones like euphoria.

Sources: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/chocolate_science_history_and_fun_facts_part_2

http://www.naturalnews.com/022610_cacao_chocolate_raw.html

https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-cocoa-nibs.html

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/8/2057S/4686320

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/a-brief-history-of-chocolate-21860917/?no-ist

To learn more check out this incredible report published by Cacao Lab

Check out Cacao Lab’s FAQ’s, or watch this beautiful documentary. I am still a vessel in learning and am excited to expand my knowledge and share with you!

Working with Ceremonial Cacao

 

For 10% off @Cacao Lab use the code JENNIFERS10 for 10% off 

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Here are some more posts relating to working with Ceremonial Cacao

https://cacaolaboratory.com/blogs/news/this-is-your-brain-on-cacao-the-lab-report-part-iii

Connecting with Gratitude + Ceremonial Cacao

connecting with movement w/cacao laboratory

#CacaoEveryDay, A 7 Day Wellness Experience with Cacao Lab

Making Space for Cacao

connecting to breath w/ cacao

 
Taking a moment to acknowledge the indigenous wisdom of Cacao, as someone who is greatly benefiting from this plant ally and teacher, if you feel inclined to help lift and support the communities that have protected and have Mayan heritage, please see this link for ways to uplift.

picture of rose infused ceremonial cacao

Making Space for Cacao

Making Space for Cacao

I am so happy to have discovered Cacao through Youtube artist Caro Arevalo (incredibly talented Peruvian American Artist, making work about our plant and animal allies and consciousness).

It has now become part of my morning routine at least 1x per week.

And wow am I beyond grateful.

Why do I like it so much?

It tastes nutritive.

I feel more love with cacao in my life.

It adds richness and beauty and love into my life.

The process is ceremonial and slow.

It feels nourishing and wholesome.

It takes me on a small journey of slowness before I begin my day.

As someone who used to rush through the morning, this allows me to slow the math down. I move slower, I think slower and am able to honestly watch my thoughts as a parade through my morning. It makes me feel beautiful and loved by my wild self.

Have you heard of Cacao Lab?

I discovered Cacao Lab and then went into the vortex of Cacao on the internet and discovered a whole new world. I feel happy about using Cacao Lab because there is partnership with indigenous communities and with the integrity of heirloom cacao trees. If you want to learn more about Cacao, check out this page.

The Process/ Experience/ Gift of Cacao

(simple and loving, because you are worth it)

  1. Using ceremonial cacao, chop your block to your desired amount, for daily, I usually consume 30g. Make sure you have a kitchen scale so you can make sure you’re consuming the right amount. If you want to learn more check out the FAQ from Cacao Lab’s website.

  2. Place the chopped cacao in a ceramic/glass bowl large enough to hold 6-8 oz of water (this water can also be a tea that you prepare, blue lotus pairs well especially for later in the day), slowly pour your water in the bowl and begin to whisk slowly to start breaking up the pieces, allowing them to become one with the water.
    • place a beautiful intention as you prepare and fill your head with space, love and abundance.

  3. Add in any adaptogen/herbs such as maca, reishi, rose. I personally also like to add my tinctures during this part. I add lion’s mane, reishi and sometimes kava.

  4. Et Voila, you can also blend in a vitamix to create a really lovely frothy cacao drink. I especially like to do this and I also add a little bit of coconut oil to the blender.
Cacao up close

 

Create a space for consuming and trust in the wisdom and open hearted nature of this plant ally. Make sure you make time for this and don’t just guzzle it down. The spirit of cacao is a heart opener. It is nutritive (hello magnesium) and so much more.

To make this more ceremonial for yourself you may consider the following…

⭐sing to cacao while you are preparing your drink, singing is so good for releasing energy in the body

⭐set an intention as you drink

⭐listen to a meditation that that specifically goes along with your element cacao from Cacao Lab

⭐thank the wisdom of the plant for opening your beautiful heart

⭐thank the wisdom of the elders and keepers of the plant

⭐drink slowly and mindfully

⭐carry this beauty with you throughout the day

I am an affiliate of cacao labs For 10% off @Cacao Lab use the code JENNIFERS10 for 10% off 

Delicious and Healthy Nice Cream Recipe

Image of healthy nice cream

Nice Cream with frozen black currents

3 Ingredient Summer “Nice Cream” Recipe

This has been our summer go to dessert and it’s super easy and affordable to make. We have been taking advantage of berry season here in Michigan both at the local farmers market and our own back yard. Since this recipe calls for frozen berries, I simply place the freshly picked berries on parchment paper (on a baking tray) in the freezer until completely frozen. Now I want to share why we decided to switch to “nice cream.”

The Switch from Dairy to Nice Cream

When we eat dairy, we strive for organic, grass fed and local. Organic and grass fed are important because it means that the cows are able to eat exactly what nature intended them to eat, the things that grow from the earth. To ruminate in the fields and to enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious “grasses.” Since dairy is a product that comes from another animal, it’s important to think about the lifestyle that the animal has. Is it being pumped with hormones? Is it treated fairly ? etc.

This is important not just for the humanity of the animal, but because you essentially eat what it ate…Something to think about if you consume animal products. That’s why we are choosy with dairy and it’s something that we have learned from Dr. Mark Hyman in many of his popular books such as The Pegan Diet. Milk can be inflammatory to our bodies so it’s important to be choosy about what kind of dairy you enjoy and the amount.

Image of Mango Nice Cream

Mango Nice Cream

Hello Nice Cream

As the summer days continued on we found ourselves craving ice cream more and more. So after many episodes of perusing the frozen aisles at Whole Foods and spending way too much money or making compromises on ingredients, we wanted something cleaner and more affordable.

When you ask for something the universe provides🌟 I recently finished my holistic nutrition program and remembered a recipe from one of my text books, The Whole Foods Diet: A Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity (written by the founder of Whole Foods Market).

Image of Raspberry Nice Cream

Nice Cream Recipe, Inspired by “Raspberry Nice Cream”  from The Whole Foods Diet: A Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity

🫐 6 ounces raspberries, we used frozen and also substituted other berries such as blueberries and blackberries and currents

🌰 1/2 cup raw whole cashews, soaked in warm water at room temperature for at least 2 hours, drained

🍌 2 bananas, peeled, thickly sliced and frozen

Puree raspberries (or other frozen berries) and cashews in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding up to 1/4 water if needed to puree. Add bananas and puree again, scraping down the sides often, until very smooth. 4 Servings

You can eat on the spot and freeze the rest.

Transfer to a tightly sealed freezer-safe container. (If you make far in advance, soften at room temperature 15 minutes before)

Another Easy Nutritious Recipe to Explore ⬇️

quick and easy omega 3 + antioxidant rich chia jam

Picture of Jennifer in a beautiful peaceful space with prayer hands

Honoring Your Energy using Human Design

Picture of Jennifer in a beautiful peaceful space with prayer hands

Leaning deeper into the self

Honoring your Unique Energy ✨ An Inquiry into Human Design⁠

Have you ever thought about your energy?⁠

When I think of energy, I think of the essence, the impression, the inner attitude, what’s behind the image, the shell, and the particular way it interacts in the physical world. Spirit, prana, chi, it’s the life force that animates each and everyone of us. This energy is flavored by the cosmos creating your unique personality. ⁠

 

We affect our Energy⁠

I believe we are responsible for our energetic imprint based on our thoughts, actions and the words we choose to say. Our energy is unique to us and is a reflection of whether or not we are in alignment with our soul’s code. To understand something so abstract we need a system. ⁠Luckily there are many systems that have been used since time immemorial.


For me that System is Human Design ⁠

Human design has helped me to step into understanding my energy. Giving me true permission to be myself. Realizing that as a #manifestor I am here to initiate, inspire and act on my impulses. I have endless energy for the things that make my heart sing as an Ego Manifestor. My authority or how I make decisions is to listen to my heart ❤️ I am sensitive to others emotions which shows up as an undefined solar plexus. ⁠

When we are able to truly know our own energy, we can take responsibility for it and act in accordance with our soul’s dance. Knowing we each have our own energetic imprint can allow more grace in seeing others in their unique energetic dance with life, instead of expecting them to be exactly like us. ⁠

We each have a unique Human Design Chart

Over 70% of the worlds population are fueled by the Sacral center, a center which thrives on getting things done ☑️ being accomplished and has a set amount of energy that needs to be burned through each day. ⁠

If you are the other 30% (Manifestor, Projector, Reflector) you might feel like you don’t fit in with this fast paced world. ⁠

If you feel called to dive into your human design chart you can book a reading with me. I can’t wait to learn more about your energetic imprint and to help you step deeper into being yourself more fully.

Image of man meditating while looking at the sky

Some more posts about Human Design ⬇️

Human Design for Everyone

Leaning into Human Design

Image of a colorful sunset over lake michigan

Human Design for Everyone

Image of a colorful sunset over lake michigan

Human Design for Everyone

I want to make Human Design available for EVERYONE. As someone who is in the realm of wellness, I feel it is my responsibility to create offerings that are available for as many people as possible. A common theme I am seeing a lot is a pay barrier. I think wellness people should get paid what they feel they deserve but often this creates a barrier for people who want access to health but are not able to afford it. It is my hope through my various offerings to help as many people as possible  have access to this information so that they can continue to shine. One way I am doing this is by offering donation based Human Design Readings.

I am inspired by the Yoga with Adriene model of sharing free content on Youtube and having some offerings and membership along the way.

Why Human Design?

Human Design has really shifted  the way I see myself in this world. From digging deep into human design I understand that I am truly unique and have a particular energetic imprint that is unlike anyone else’s.

For example, a very large percentage of the world’s population (close to 70%) are considered the “Generator” energy type (manifesting generators included), this particular energy type is incredible but…they really like to work and get things done, and usually from the moment they open their eyes to when they go to sleep. I see this energy type a strong masculine flavor…this way of being also happens to be the most “accepted” energy form. These generator types have endless energy from their sacral center. But guess what…not everyone is a generator, so why should we ALL try to fit in that mold?

And even generators have their sweet beautiful nuances and deserve to rest.

If we lean into our Human Design we might learn some really valuable strategies on how to best use our energy, how to make decisions appropriate to our energy, and so much more. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Why I personally love Human Design

I have seen and felt the great influence that the human design system has had on my life over the past 2 years. It has changed the way I see myself, understand myself and has give me more permission to fully be myself. That is the greatest gift. Human design is a really fun system that draws on ancient traditions like the Chinese I’ching, Jewish Kaballah, Chakra System, Astrology and modern Physics. I am an ego manifestor so I am meant to make decisions from the heart or will center and not from the mind. This has helped me tremendously. I also know as a manifestor that when I am feeling “angry” I haven’t participated in my personal strategy which is to inform. I can feel it in my body. My husband has a completely different chart and knowing his design has helped me to move into more grace with who he is and how he’s meant to interact in this world.

Any tool that helps us thrive is a good tool indeed

I know there are a lot of systems out there. And it’s good not to get too caught up in one but Human Design resonates in a very positive way for me. It has given me permission to fully be myself and to understand my unique energetic imprint in life. If you are interested in a reading please fill out this form. I am excited to dig into your chart and help guide you along this unique system.

 

Check out this recent video I made about honoring your Unique Energy ⬇️ 

 

Read more about Human Design ⬇️

Leaning into Human Design

image of solar infused body oil

Radiant Body Oil

image of solar infused body oil

The beginning stages of a solar infusion for Radiant Body Oil

Radiant Body Oil ☀️

Hello, Radiant Body Oil. A new small batch face and body oil to nourish your cells. If you are interested in purchasing, you can buy from my Etsy Shop. Discovering the use of oil on the skin has been transformative. I feel like I am actually nourishing my skin instead of drying it out and adding tons of chemicals which are often found in many conventional beauty products. If there is anything you should take away from this article, it’s that we don’t need nearly as much as we think we do.

Whatever your philosophy of life, the nervous system is your only means of connecting and interacting with your world. If you treat your nervous system like the sensitive system it is, it will play back the finest music to enrich your being. Keep it tuned and healthy, feed it well, and protect it from overuse and exploitation, and your reward will be a life of exquisite quality. Through even the most stressful events, you will feel centered and empowered.

Rosemary Gladstar

Why use radiant body oil on your skin?

The ancients have long used oil as a sacred tool. To anoint the skin. To heal the skin. Body oiling, especially an oil infused with various herbs and organic plant matter, has been recorded in many traditions including ancient Egyptians, the Ayurvedic system and in biblical times.

The Sanskrit word for oil, sneha, means love. Being saturated with oil is believed to have a similar effect as being filled with love. Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of oil massage, and is transformative and grounding as a daily self care practice.

When we use oil we are nourishing the body with fat instead of with water like many conventional beauty products. Oil is penetrating where water will eventually evaporate, causing us to continually apply our product through out the day. Oils have long been infused with the healing properties of plant wisdom

Redefining beauty or Health-filled skin

Our culture has created a commodity around “beauty” and body products to promote youthful looking skin. Aging is inevitable in the human body and there is nothing wrong with wanting beautiful skin. Youthful skin can be seen as an all encompassing label for skin that glows, has few “imperfections,” less lines, even tone and the list goes on. Skin is meant to change as our bodies age but there are things we can do naturally that promote healthy skin.

Our skin is a record of our life experiences. The lines on our faces are the expressions of joys and sorrows. Our skin can be seen as a reflection of what we eat, how we manage stress, how much we move and a little bit of genetics. It is important for us to think about our skin as an organ with pores. It needs to breathe. It needs to eliminate.

Some easy and approachable tips for healthy skin 🌞

We can often be tempted to buy products to act as bandaids for the real problem. If we approach our skin from a first principles approach, we can come to understand it’s all about the foundation…the very quality of life that we cultivate that will have a the most impact on our overall health.

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables 🥕 and fruits 🍎 , these contain a host of phytonutrients including antioxidants that can help combat oxidative stress. Consider drinking a smoothie to add more soluble fiber in your diet, good for your bowels and good for your skin. I like to add cucumber, parsley, celery, blueberries, ginger and water.
  • Add more herbs 🌿 into your diet, enjoy parsley, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc. Explore and get creative with different cultural foods. Try adding at least a few teaspoons or dried herbs to your meals daily. And during the growing season, plenty of fresh herbs. If you aren’t sure where to start chop fresh herbs into a salad.
  • Move 🏃‍♀️ every day
    • When we move we are encouraging the blood to flow, the energy to move, the lymphatic system to promote detoxification. When we break a sweat we create a space for detoxifying our skin through the pores.
  • Wear a hat or sunblock if you are in direct sunlight from the hours of 11am-3pm. You can typically check the UV index on your phone or use an app like D Minder. The sun is our friend, but it’s good to be mindful of your skin type and the amount of strong sun exposure that is appropriate for your skin.
  • Be mindful of what you use on your skin. The skin absorbs everything you put on it. Be curious about what you are putting on your skin. Chances are you don’t need nearly as many products as you think you do and you can use that money to add more nutritive substances to your diet.
    • Get rid of synthetic fragrances, these disrupt the endocrine system, the bodies way of regulating hormones etc.
    • If there are things you can’t pronounce or you don’t know what they are…question them and look them up on EWG’s Skin Deep Database
  • Eliminate Processed Foods from your diet
    You are what you eat. I like to stick to the quote by Michael Pollan, “Eat whole foods, mostly plants.” Processed foods are not the way nature intended us to use nutrients. Our evolution equipped us with the incredible ability to process whole foods. Processed foods put a lot of stress on our bodies, produce inflammation and often contain additives that can be harmful for our bodies and it’s many complex systems.

Other Benefits of Skin Oiling

  • Can be used as an act of self care
  • Calms the Central Nervous System, touch is healing. You calm your body through touch.
  • When we massage our skin with the added benefit of oil we are stimulating the Lymphatic system. The lymphatic system runs through our entire body and interacts with lymph centers. The cardiovascular system has the heart to plump blood through out the body, where as the lymphatic system is stimulated through movement or pressure on the skin. It is a system responsible for carrying waste to the necessary places to promote overall health and immunity.
  • Massage is a great way to connect intimately with a partner or platonic friend
    • scalp massage, hand massage, foot massage etc.

How I personally use Radiant Body Oil

Situation 1, I typically splash my face with water at night to cleans away the day, sometimes I will exfoliate with ground oats or masa harina. After I pat the skin dry I add 1/2 to a full dropper of oil into my palms, rub vigorously and then massage onto the skin. If I had been out in the sun a lot I will typically apply more liberally to allow the oil to help heal any of the oxidative stress from the sun.

Situation 2, If I have been out in the city, a weekend camping trip or somewhere with a lot of dust etc. I will use the oil for cleansing my skin. For this I wet the skin with lukewarm water, add the oil to the skin and continue to splash and massage the face. From there I will use a cloth and wipe away the oil. I am always amazed at the amount of dirt that comes off.

Radiant Body Oil Ingredients

The organic jojoba and sweet almond oils are solar infused with dehydrated garden herbs including rosemary, calendula and holy basil for one lunar cycle, integrating the powers of the Yin and Yang, Sun and Moon.

Organic Jojoba Oil (about 40%)

  • Biocompatible with the skin, easily absorbs into the skin
  • Rich in Vitamin E, B, Zinc, Iodine and many antioxidants
  • Acts as a humectant (protective + nurturing)
  • Useful for acne, eczema, cold sores, psoriasis, itching and scars
  • Similar to human sebum (natural skin oil)
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Balances natural oils
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Great for those with dry skin or those who are prone to acne or redness


Organic Sweet Almond Oil (about 40%)

  • Rich in vitamins A, B + E
  • Helps maintain moisture levels
  • Soothes skin irritation
  • Relieves dry skin
  • Overall incredible skin nourishment


Organic Seabuckthorn Oil (about 10%)

  • High potency of Vitamin C, also known as the “beauty vitamin” because it reduces inflammation and helps boost collagen
  • Rich in Omega fatty acids
    • one of the very few sources of Omega 7’s, also contains Omega’s 3, 6 + 9
  • Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants
  • Rich in minerals

Organic Rosehip Oil (about 10%)

  • High source of essential fatty acids which assists in cell regeneration
  • Great for all skin types
  • Vitamin A rich, helps even out skin tone

Very small amount of the essential oils

  • Lavendar
  • Clary Sage
  • Rose Geranium

 

 

Some more articles I have written on beauty + body

Make your own face oil

Wake Up and Hydrate

Oh calendula

Favorite Wellness Products / Summer 2022

re-thinking beauty

you’re beautiful just the way you are

 

Picture of tomatoes from our garden

Easy Herb Roasted Tomatoes

Herb Roasted Tomatoes 🍅 An easy way to enjoy your Garden bounty

Herb roasted tomatoes are a new summer favorite in our home. I love to add them to our nourish bowls, a weekly staple in our home. I love it when it’s that special time of the summer months here in Michigan and I no longer have to buy tomatoes from the farmers market or grocery store. I relish in the ability to grow my own food and each year it seems to get just a little bit easier. 

There comes a point in the summer where I have more tomatoes than I can possibly know what to do with so I like to get creative with how I prepare them. After an incredible trip to Greece this past summer, I have a new found love for herbs and of course, tomatoes.

The Anti-Inflammatory Power of Herbs 

Herbs are a huge culinary staple in most cultures around the world, especially those with a strong connection to the land. The land is filled with herbs and medicine, especially for the seasoned forager or those deeply connected to their ancient culinary roots. The Blue Zones were one of the first avenues of learning about how cultures have been using food as medicine.

Lessons from the Blue Zones

The Blue Zones have really cultivated a curiosity about the true power of food in relation to longevity. In learning about the Blue Zones, I took a special interest in the Ikarian of Greece. So when a trip to visit Greece came up…I wasn’t just excited about the Acropolis. I was beyond thrilled to indulge in the beautiful connection to the land through food that seems inherit in the Greek culture. 

If I have learned anything from my trip to Greece, it’s that Herbs are essential to really making a meal taste amazing. Asides from the rich flavor they help create in any dish, herbs are loaded with antioxidants. Herbs help combat free radicles and are one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants found in nature. We should always add herbs into our dishes, especially if we are consuming high inflammatory foods like meat and cheese. All the ancient cultures knew that slowly cooking meat with herbs was a way to combat any harmful effects of animal protein. Herbs are also on the daily dozen checklist created by Dr. Michael Gregor. 

Image of Daily Dozen Check list

 

So you have a ton of delicious summer tomatoes 🍅 it’s time for Herb Roasted Tomatoes

One of my favorite ways to prepare all vegetables is by slow roasting them. They take on a really delicious rich flavor and are cooked to a really lovely degree making a great addition to any meal and meal prepping throughout the week. 

How to herb roast tomatoes 🍅 (or any veggie for that matter)
Picture of Herb Roasted Tomatoes

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Rinse, cut away any “bad” spots and chop the tomatoes into small cubes or slice in half
  3. Place chopped tomatoes in a flat baking dish so that the surface area is covered without too much layering
  4. Douse in olive or avocado oil
  5. Apply a liberal amount of your favorite herbs (you can use thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.)
  6. Add some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  7. Stir to evenly distribute the goodies
  8. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring half way

Enjoy!

This can be a really wonderful addition to any nourish bowls, sauces etc. Please note that the roasted tomatoes will be “watery,” you can enjoy the watery texture, blend it or cook it with some canned chickpeas and herbs in a pot. Most of all enjoy the incredible benefits of tomatoes, loaded with anti-oxidants like lycopene which help support sun damage internally. 

 

A few more articles relating to food and nourishment

Nourish bowls as my go to meal for health + a little herb love

Choosing to be Healthy

Lemony Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

quick and easy omega 3 + antioxidant rich chia jam

Picture of Ethique shampoo bar

Eco Beauty Find: Ethique Solid Shampoo

Picture of Ethique shampoo bar

Compostable packaging from Ethique Solid Shampoo Bars

Eco Beauty Find- Ethique Solid Shampoo

I love sharing good products when I find them, especially when the company supports a cleaner world and takes responsibility for their ingredients and the products. I was first introduced to Ethique by a Youtuber named Sustainably Vegan, who is the epitome of a sustainable person. I believe that we can all make small changes to create an impact. The individual choices we make each day contribute to the whole. So if we choose to buy things in a conscious way, we are contributing to the change.

We can choose to support sustainable brands

A really fun part about buying from Ethique is they tell you what your impact is. When you make an account with them they have a section that shows you what your impact is. I have only made one purchase and this feels pretty rewarding to me. Knowing that when I participate in an exchange with their company that they are not in it to just make a profit. They want to create an impact. They want to cultivate a positive relationship with the environment through their products. They saw a problem…plastic and overconsumption of products. We don’t need nearly as much as we think we do. We can keep it simple, feel beautiful and make an impact by questioning the norms.

Picture of Ethique Brand Impact

This is my impact so far by supporting Ethique Solid Shampoo bars

Going against the grain

Sometimes this can mean questioning the norms, which can be uncomfortable. Marketing is really powerful and we have all been “programmed” to believe that we are beautiful if we use product X, Y, Z because the commercials told us to and because if we use that product…we too can be beautiful with flowy shiny hair. What if I told you, you don’t have to wash your hair everyday? I was my hair 1x per week sometimes less, sometimes more. It all depends on what I am up to. I was raised in a home where we washed our hair…daily with oodles and oodles of shampoos and conditioners that were all colors of the rainbow. Although I love rainbows…these colors were not naturally derived and are harmful for our endocrine system, the system responsible for the regulation of our hormones.

Why I love Ethique – Eco Beauty Find

I love them for so many reasons so I will try to be succinct. The shampoo bars are high quality, great lather, no waxy build up like other shampoo bars, you get up to 80 uses with them, they are a carbon neutral company, compostable packaging, no plastic bottles, they plant 1 tree for every order, vegan, not tested on animals and so much more.

Each shampoo bar is about 15$ USD and lasts up to 80 uses…so for me, I will be using the same shampoo bar for 1 year if I wash my hair 1x per week. That is kind of wild? So instead of purchasing a new bottle of expensive shampoo with synthetic chemicals…I can use my 1 bar of frizz wrangler…$15 dollars a year? That is kind of amazing.

So with the money I save on shampoo I can support my health through nourishing my body from the inside out through eating more high quality foods.  Sounds pretty good to me.

Frizz Wrangler First Impressions

I really like the shape of the bar and the smell is pleasant, not too strong or artificial which is important to me. I have only used 2 times…so I have only had the bar for 2 weeks 😉 The bar lathers really well and seems to hold up nicely in the shower space. I love the way it lathers in the hair and I don’t have to use any ACV to balance the hair shaft…as anyone who is going against traditional shampoo is told to do. It makes like easier, more affordable and enjoyable. I will continue to use this and might add a few more of their products to my repertoire of beauty and wellness products. I am thinking about the Tone it Down Shampoo and Conditioner bundle to help with the Brassiness of my hair from the sun and past colorings.

Would you be interested in trying out a solid Shampoo bar from Ethique?

Frizz Wrangler Solid Shampoo Bar, Hello Coconut 🥥

Picture of Ethique Solid Shampoo Eco Beauty Find

Compostable packaging sharing the impact you can make through sustainable purchases.

    • For dry hair
    • Up to 80 uses
    • Creamy coconut scent
    • Great lather with no waxy residue
    • With creamed coconut to nourish
    • pH: ~4.5
    • Soap-free formula

 

Check out some more of my posts relating to what I refer to as “conscious consumerism”

you’re beautiful just the way you are

Package Free Shop

Tentree Ambassador 2021

 

picture of various homeopathic medicines

Favorite Wellness Products / Summer 2022

picture of various homeopathic medicines

Taking a moment to share some of my favorite alternative approaches to overall health and wellbeing

I think wellness can be simplified. We don’t nearly as much as we think we do and we essentially vote with our dollar. There is a lot of noise out there and it’s important to go with what works for ourselves and our bodies.

To me the core foundations of health revolve around body, mind and soul. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of…I need everything to truly be well. The reality is, our bodies are intelligent and respond to our environment. If we maintain balance in our lives by eating well, resting well, not stressing, being in nature and connecting with others…chances are we are able to live a beautifully well life.

I have been simplifying my wellness purchases over the past 5 years which saves a lot of money and time. I find that the more I devote to the pillars of health, as mentioned above, the happier and healthier I feel. Sometimes self care is simply being in nature and drinking enough water.

But I do like to buy products to help promote health. I like to support companies that are doing good for the world, who are here to truly promote health, who use science and who work in relationship with our beautiful planet. Our planet is a cornucopia of medicine.

Wellness Products / August 2022

🐝Bee Keepers Natural, B. Immune Throat Spray (Propolis)

I love using this throat spray, it tastes good and is a woman owned business sourcing

Propolis is a source of prebiotics and antioxidants that improves intestinal barrier function and protects against oxidative stress

  • Supports your immune system with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and over 300 other beneficial compounds
  • Naturally contains flavonoids and polyphenols that fight free radicals and combat oxidative stress
  • Soothe a scratchy throat

🌺 Bach Flower Remedies / Aspen “Feel Secure”

I am a big fan of flower remedies. I love working with subtle energy and trust in the healing powers of flowers. Bach remedies are emotional support allies and I tend to work with whatever remedy my soul is being called into during a specific time of my life.

From the Bach website,

The system of plant and flower-based remedies was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Edward Bach, a physician and homeopath who was convinced that emotional wellbeing was key to overall health. Dr. Bach spent his life exploring the use of flowers and plants to bring a simple, natural and gentler approach to emotional balance.

🌎 Ion Nasal Spray (Intelligence of Nature)

I have been falling in love with the poetic and scientifically sound world of Dr. Zach Bush, one of the creators of ION.

What he says intrinsically makes sense at a deep soul level. Ion works on the premise that there are weak junctions in our membranes and that in order to preserve our inner environment we have to fix these weak junctions. Ion helps us to do that by using ancient soil microbes. No big deal.

From the ION website,

The science behind ION* lies in strengthening the cellular integrity of your body’s barriers, including not just your gut, but your sinuses and skin as well. Keeping your cells connected keeps these barriers intact, which sets the stage (or “terrain” as we like to call it) for seamless interaction between you and your microbiome.

🌿 Herbal Tinctures (Open Hearts Club Herbs + Spirit)

As an herbalist I love including herbal tinctures into my wellness regiment, especially during the different seasons and cycles of life. I like to make my own and work with different plant allies to help support my various systems in the body. Tinctures are a very old form of medicine in which organic plant matter is cut into small pieces and then alcohol is used to extract the medicinal compounds in the plant. Tinctures are usually created in a jar and shaken daily (macerated) to encourage the breakdown of the plant. I use various tinctures for various ailments. When looking for tinctures, try to support a local herbalist through platforms like Etsy, look for organic or wild crafted and check the reputation of the shop to ensure they know what they are doing. Humans have been healing with plants for a very long time.

 

In summary…

I am learning it’s so good to really question what do I really need and to not get lost in all the hype of endless “wellness products.” Know what you really truly need, source from responsible business that align with your values and honor and cherish those products that you choose to integrate into your body and wellness routine. I enjoy considering all the things I can do that are “free” that I don’t need to buy. Such as just being in nature, closing my eyes long enough to observe my thoughts and just practicing more gratitude for all the beauty in my life.

Wishing you all the luck on your journey and if you have any favorite wellness products or health experience that you enjoy, I would love to hear about them!

 

 

picture of a white pine forest looking up towards the sky

Overcoming Negative Thinking

Some Personal Reflections on Negative Thinking

We are biologically hardwired to think negatively, it has helped us survive as a species to contemplate the “worst possible situation” and to find an alternate life saving path. We call this mechanism the Negativity Bias. This inherit bias is helpful in some situations but not…every situation…all the time. This bias can keep us in a perpetual state of negative thinking which affects how we feel, our energies, how we show up in the world, our health and so much more.

To learn more check out this article. 

We reflect the world we were brought up in

If we were raised in a house hold of “negative Nancy’s” and “Ned’s?”, then chances are we might have received some “programming” to carry similar negative thinking patterns from our environment.But guess what…our brain is neuroplastic and we can change the expressions of our genes (hello epigenetics) through changing our environment. The most immediate environment being our bodies and our minds.

If we were raised to think a certain way, we can change that. Right now. Because sometimes those thought are not entirely ours. We can objectively look at our thoughts and realize…hmm this is an emotion or thought that is looping…why is it there…what is it trying to tell me. Oh…this is something my dad used to say or still says…this is not mine.

Rumi explains it all…

Let’s take a look at the poem, The Guest House by the great mystic poet Rumi

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

This poem is all about objectively looking at the “thoughts” or visitors / experiences that come into our lives. Welcome them all in…even if they’re a “crowd of sorrows” and allow them to teach you a lesson.

The Main Key is Awareness

We must learn to tap into that gentle space of awareness, to objectively examine these thought patterns, weed them out, and plant new seeds. These seeds can be seeds of love, seeds of neutrality, seeds of grace. Just allowing it all to be and not getting upset towards yourself for harboring them. You are a human on the earth plane…this is all part of the beauty, but awareness is key. When we let go of attachment of our thoughts we allow breathing room.

Some tips to get out of the negative thinking patterns

Step 1-Awareness

To be aware enough to realize these thought patterns are there is a the ultimate breakthrough. If you have been able to do this, I am SO proud and happy of you, for you! You did it. Please keep practicing, life will give you endless opportunities to practice. If we slow down enough we can give ourselves that sacred pause to watch our thoughts and not get “swept” away in their madness.

Step 2 – Be Curious

Be objectively curious of your thoughts. Question the thoughts. Maybe you need to write them down and do some investigative work to see where you picked up these thoughts…are they yours? Or are they something you’ve been conditioned to believe from family? from Society? Etc. Simply noting like meditation teaches us, “ah, a negative thought,” that is something you are experiencing but it is not you. You are pure love ❤️

Step 3 – Plant Seeds

Maybe this is a seed of love and positivity or coming from a place of objective neutrality. I like to place my hand on my heart space and comfort myself in those moments. An intuitive gesture of, “it’s going to be okay.” A few messages I like to share with myself in these moments are…

“And this to”

“I carry the seed of love”

Once we identify the looping negative thought we can try to plant a seed of opposition. If I am carrying the negative pattern of…”I’m not good enough, ” I could simply say to myself, ” I am good enough and I am getting better every day.”

Wow that is so so so much nicer to hear and I can feel a buzz throughout my entire body when I speak those works.

Step 4 – Change your thoughts and change your reality

Now that we have some positive or neutral seeds planted, keep practicing and really feel into those words. I have been leaning deeply into Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work over the past 2 years and he has transformed the way I see my inner world. He marries the seemingly disconnected worlds of science and spirituality and creates tangible steps to help people “break the habit of being themselves.”  He says that our thoughts create our emotions (which is energy in motion) and that are personality creates our personal reality.

This literally blows my mind when I think about it. As someone on the path of awareness I can feel in my body how an emotion manifests through my thinking. We choose our realities with our thoughts.

What will you choose to say to yourself today?

 

Check out this post on Self Love ❤️ 

Building Love for Oneself

 

If you want to watch this in video format be sure to check out my recent Youtube Video, a stream of consciousness conversation around Negative Thinking 💭

 

Picture of Ceremonial Cacao

Preparing Ceremonial Cacao

Picture of Freshly Chopped Ceremonial Cacao

Preparing Ceremonial Cacao is so calming and a beautiful process you can cultivate

A quick and easy guide to preparing Ceremonial Cacao. So excited for you to step into your personal journey of softening the heart space.

Image of Cacao Lab Ceremonial Cacao with Anima Mundi Euphoria blend

  1. Source your ceremonial cacao. I love supporting Cacao Laboratory because they ethically and responsibly source their Cacao from farmers who are in sacred reciprocity with the spirit of Cacao. You can learn all about their sourcing and the intricate process of creating ceremonial cacao from the Cacao seeds from this wonderful Origins Youtube Series from Cacao Lab.
  2. Now that you have your ceremonial Cacao, let’s make something delicious for your mind, body and soul. Likely your Cacao will come in a solid bar. You will need to chop the cacao into small pieces so it integrates easily with the water. While chopping you can integrate gratitude. This blessed being has travelled a long way to make it to you. Sing a song of gratitude while chopping, you are officially connecting with the spirit of Cacao, today is an especially good day!  **Bonus tip, chop more than you need and store in a mason jar for your next cacao experience.
  3. Determine your serving amount. For my near daily practice, I usually consume about 30g. If it’s your first time working with Cacao, you can try 20g and increase from there as you see fit. Make sure you have a kitchen scale so you can make sure you’re consuming the right amount. If you do not have a scale, 2 tablespoons is usually a good amount to start with. If Cacao is a new food you are working with or if you are an any medications or are pregnant you will want to adjust your serving amount. If you want to learn more check out the FAQ from Cacao Lab’s website.
  4. Place the chopped cacao in a ceramic/glass bowl large enough to hold 6-8 oz of water (this water can also be an herbal infusion that you prepare, blue lotus and rose are a few expansive options).
  5. Slowly pour your water in the bowl and begin whisking to encourage the cacao to become one with the water.
    • place a beautiful intention as you prepare and fill your head with space, love and abundance
  6. Optional nutritive add ins, You can get pretty creative with your add ins. Cacao is a super food in herself and if you have never tasted Cacao pure, I encourage you to try her in her raw beauty. But…once you get on the Cacao train, you can consider add ins such as maca, reishi, lions mane, rose, tahini, almond butter, coconut milk, ginger powder, honey, agave, mesquite and so much more. You can get really creative here.I see consuming cacao as a medicine so I like to incorporate my tinctures during this part too.
  7. This last step is optional, but in my opinion necessary because it makes the experience so much richer, you can blend my cacao in a Vitamix to create a really lovely frothy cacao experience.
  8. Set an intention and enjoy the beautiful heart opening expansiveness of cacao ❤️ It’s good practice to slow down and integrate cacao into a space of deep slowness. Cacao teaches us so much if we allow ourselves to slow down and listen deeply.

 

Image of Ceremonial Cacao Bar from Cacao Lab

 

I am so excited for you to begin your cacao journey.

If you want to work with cacao in more a ritual approach please see some of my other posts below and check out the video content below by Cacao Lab ⬇️

My 30 Day Dieta with Ceremonial Cacao

Making Space for Cacao

 

Watch the Cacao Lab Origins Video Series on Youtube

 

cacao lab 10% off