How to Make Rose Elixir

roseelixir
“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
― Maud Hart Lovelace

Rose elixir can be likened to a love potion. It is a type of rescue remedy, for the achy breaky heart and beyond. It calms and soothes nerves, acts as a healing tonic at the onset of illness, and opens your heart center during times of un ease.

There are many tutorials on making rose elixir this is how I did it and I had great tasting and healing results!

What you need:

Whiskey – quality baby (you may also use brandy or vodka) I used whiskey because I had it on hand and I like the flavor profile. You will need enough to fill the vessel you choose. It’s a cold day in you know where when I have to do precise measurements with my potions.

Roses petals wild or organic- Be certain they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. Use any variety of color and type that suits your fancy. You will need enough to fill your jar loosely they do not need to be packed down

Fresh Ginger optional this adds a slight heat to the elixir

Raw Organic Honey

How To:

Fill a glass vessel (think jam jar ) with the fresh succulent rose petals, any color any variety is superb just be certain they have not been chemically treated in any way.

Add the raw honey and gently stir to coat the petals. Don’t be a perfectionist just get that sweetness incorporated. Use about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup depending on the size of your jar.

The honey ratio should be a bout 1/4 of the recipe. If adding ginger peel slice and slip a few pieces in.

Finally pour your alcohol (Makers Mark in my case) over the top, filling your jar to the brim. Seal tightly.

Allow to marinate in a cool, dry, dark, place for up to six weeks, no less than 4 weeks.

Shake it up a bit every day.

Once the soaking time is up transfer to the container you will be using for this elixir. I used a dark brown glass bottle with a dropper.

Once your love potion has been toiled and troubled it can be used for a variety of ailments from skin wounds to the soul.

For the full spectrum of uses and the original recipe go here.

I added a wee bit of ginger to my mixture because the constitutions in this house tend to benefit from a little heat as well as the cooling effect of roses.

Most recipes for rose elixir call for brandy or vodka. I used whiskey. In other variations I researched this was a viable option and it was the alcohol on hand. I’m all for ease in any situation even witchery and love potion creation.

This remedy can be taken to open hearts metaphysically as well as substantially calming the nerves.

Here in this household we are experiencing great transformations and I know we will do nothing but benefit from having a calming, centering, heart opening, love potion in our  witch doctor kit.

Also it is reported to also be of use  as an aphrodisiac and I’m looking forward to testing that theory. I myself tend be a bit frosty and airy and welcome the thought of a warming concoction to bring a little heat to matters of the heart.

Dosage: Just few drops should suffice to calm the nerves and heal the heart if attempting to thwart a cold a teaspoon every few hours has proven incredibly beneficial.

The petals and ginger can be left in the potion as it is used or the two can be strained and separated. If you separate don’t let those petals go to waste devour with  a lover alone, on cake or in a cocktail.

Even more health benefits from roses here.

À la vôtre

 

Most days Kiki can be found seeking elevated states of being through better food.  A certified kitchen witch since the age of seven, Kiki is always continuing her education in blissful states of consumption.  She is certified in Raw Nutrition by illustrious Raw trailblazer David Wolfe through the BodyMind Institute, where she continues her training.  Find her at www.ohhaikiki.com as she relaunches her personal blog this spring!

Win FREE Admission To The Academy of Culinary Nutrition!

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

This month has been giveaway central here! And today, we have two amazing opportunities for readers who are looking to transform their lives and careers. 

If you are interested in furthering your current knowledge of raw foods preparation, gluten free baking, and culinary nutrition, and are even considering teaching this knowledge to others, look no further than best selling author Meghan Telpner’s Academy of Culinary Nutrition

In 2008, Meghan Telpner first began offering cooking classes in her loft-style kitchen in Toronto’s west-end neighbourhod of Parkdale. Shortly afterwards, she launched the Culinary Nutrition Program, starting with just 12 students around her kitchen table.

As demand for her classes grew and the walls of her 600 square foot loft could expand no further, she took the leap to online teaching and began recording her programs for a global audience. Meghan gathered the best team she could find and began building the world’s first online school for culinary nutrition.

The program has both an honorary option as well as certification in culinary nutrition. Both include practical, everyday, natural cooking skills as well as a deeper exploration into the therapeutic properties of the foods we eat and how we prepare them. This program serves to enhance prior professional training in natural health, or can serve as your introduction to it.

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

The Culinary Nutrition program includes:

- 70 Hours of Real time pre-recorded videos pieced into 11 workshops covering topics like: 

  • meal prep skills, food storage, menu planning and organization
  • the foundations of nutrition, including breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins
  • the sources, functions, and deficiency symptoms of major vitamins and minerals
  • Gluten-Free Baking
  • Eating For Awesome Energy
  • Edible Beauty Care
  • Raw Food Power
  • and more!

- Accompanying course materials (resources + recipes + reading material)

- Weekly live-stream office hours with Meghan that includes demonstration of key techniques and tips and tricks and Q&A.

- Meghan’s business coaching workshop: Two additional courses designed to get your business and personal goals in motion

  • full-day, live-streamed video course  detailing effective branding guidelines, best use of social media, sponsors and partnerships, filling classes, web development, book writing and more
  • A 90-minute personal development workshop aimed at helping you move beyond hurdles, putting an action plan into place and taking the first steps to make it happen.

- Home study & cooking assignments based on:

  • Development of meal plans in accordance with various dietary restrictions.
  • Recipe development and testing.
  • Client simulation: how to follow a prescribed meal plan.
  • Workshop or cooking class creation.
  • Cooking assignments and assessments so you can do your work and eat it too!

- Private Facebook Group for students and grads

And that’s not all…

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Bonus Training Opportunity

As a Wellness Coach, I know how challenging it is to begin coaching and to start ( and grow) a blog & social media following. It has taken me years to find my online voice, develop my own unique coaching method, grow my social media presence, and all of the other aspects that a holistic health professional needs.

That’s why I am offering a one time only opportunity to receive personal mentorship sessions from me ( for free!) plus other bonuses for anyone who registers to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition through my referral link. This means that on top of your training with Meghan, you get to work with me on what steps to take next to develop your online platform.

What’s included in this bonus training?

+ 2 Skype Strategy sessions with me

We’ll dive deep into your strengths and callings, and what you intend to do once you graduate from The Academy. I’ll give you my ideas on how to grow your blog and develop a social media strategy that’s right for you.

+ Month Long Social Media Bootcamp

You’ll gain access to an exclusive month long course on social media for holistic entrepreneurs, which will be available later this year.Created by EK Bradley of Thriving Healer and myself, we’re going to dive further into how you can use your training to impact your local community or internationally.

+ Opportunity to guest post on Holistic Dad

You’ll have the opportunity to guest post on my blog. This is typically only available to our staff writers, a small group of coaches and yoga teachers we have developed relationships with over the years.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, I’d love to work with you! This bonus training will no longer be available after the program begins in September, so head on over to The Academy of Culinary Nutrition to enrol!

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Win FREE Admission!

Meghan has graciously offered to give one lucky reader FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition program, valued at  $1,790 CAD. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$145 Adaptogenic Herbal Instant Beverage Giveaway from Four Sigma

Four Sigma Foods Instant Beverages

 

Several months ago I discovered Four Sigma Foods, a company based in Europe that has been spreading the message of how awesome medicinal mushrooms and other superfoods are to a person’s health. My wife and I ordered a few boxes of their instant superfoods including chaga, reishi, and cordyceps and our energy levels have greatly improved. Read on about what their superfoods can do for you, how you can receive 15% off your order with our special code, AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY to become one of two winners of their Royal Flush Prize pack worth $145!!!

Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogenics, like the reishi mushroom, cordyceps and many others, increase the body’s natural resistance. The multitude of negative outside ‘forces’ like chemicals (think pesticides or Hexafluorosilicic acid aka fluoride) or overexposure to free-radical damage inhibit the body’s natural ability to fight disease. Chinese herbalists believe Ataptogenics are a fundamental part of having and maintaining radiant health.

Four Sigma

The Reishi Mushroom

This is one of the oldest and strongest healers in the history of Chinese Herbalism. Known for not only stimulating the immune system but regulating it, Reishi can help your body combat auto-immune disease by slowing down your overstimulated system. It’s also known for it’s antiaging properties due to the high levels of antioxidants. In Japan, it has been a safe and effect remedy for Chemo side effects as well as stimulating and rebuilding that immune system. Other uses include strengthening the nerves and reducing stress, increasing memory, fighting allergies, lowering LDL – bad cholesterol and preventing many heart disease symptoms like hardening of the arteries. Its a good bet that if you need immune system support, this is the solution. It’s called the Supreme Protector for a reason!

Consistency is Key

Now the best thing you can do for yourself when taking Chinese herbs, or any herbs or natural remedies, is to stay consistent with your doses. Taking a handful of pills one day and missing out on the next three days, then trying to make up for it with another massive handful, is just a waste of money. But, Four Sigma has created the best solution for those of us on the go and who don’t want ANOTHER PILL TO TAKE! They’ve created individual packets that you can take on the go.

Four Sigma Foods

Suggestions for Drinking

Perfect for work, class, or stopped at a red light – just rip open a packet and tap the contents into a cup of water, coffee, tea, whatever you’ve got near you! I’ve added a cordyceps packet to my coffee and had delicious results. I now add Reishi and Chaga to my vegan protein drinks. The cordyceps (and all the others) are good enough to add to plain water. They have the perfect amount of Stevia to make the drink tasty but not overpoweringly Stevia-ish – unlike other healthy powders and teas that are laden with the natural sweetener. I pour the packet into warm water to help dissolve the crystals and add my cold water and ice afterwards.

Four Sigma Foods

Four Sigma is an amazing company in all respects. Run by a group of health-loving Finns that travel the world, they’re committed to spreading the word about superfoods above anything else. They are offering you, the Holistic Dad readers, 15% off your entire order until August 15. Just enter the code “HolisticDad” at the check out to receive your savings. Soon you’ll be drinking your way to better health!

And Now… For the GIVEAWAY!

Four Sigma Foods are offering NOT 1 BUT 2 ROYAL FLUSH PRIZE PACKS .. 2 LUCKY WINNERS will each receive the 6-Box bundle! So sign up, share with friends everyday via tweeting and facebook sharing (cause you’ll earn more points when you do) and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Jess Ainscough On The Wellness Journey

 

JESS AINSCOUGH

I am delighted today to bring you a new series on the blog featuring interviews with wellness experts across the globe. I also couldn’t be happier to begin this series with the inspirational Jess Ainscoughthe world renowned wellness warrior herself! Author of the newly published Make Peace With Your Plate ( Hay House), she reaches over 700,000 readers each month on her blog, many of whom partake in her cleanse.  Jess recently interviewed me in her Zen Men series, which was an honor.

Imagine you’re in your twenties and told you not only have cancer, but a rare form and your only option of survival was to have your arm amputated. Jess didn’t want to go that route.

‘I didn’t chop off my arm. I didn’t go into aggressive, full-body chemotherapy.
I didn’t accept that my doctor’s ‘solution’ was the only course of action.

I decided that I would do everything in my power to thrive in life, in spite of the looming expiration date I’d been given.
I learned how to treat myself with absolute kindness & self-respect.
I radicalized my diet. I systematically detoxified my body — and mind.
I discovered that wellness isn’t a destination, but a loving (and unconditionally forgiving) relationship with your own body.’

Jess gives us a glimpse today into how she became a wellness pioneer.

HD:  Jess it is so fantastic to be able to have you here today! You have an amazing journey that you share on your website about how you overcame a major health issue.Tell us a little about how you felt during those years of discovering you had cancer and using natural healing to make your way out.

JA: I still have cancer, but I don’t see it as the terrifying threat I once did. I was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma in my left hand and arm six years ago and was told that my case is terminal. Conventional medicine doesn’t have any solutions for me, other than amputation to bide me more time. So I’ve dedicated the past six years to healing my body with natural methods. I’ve overhauled my diet, my lifestyle and my mindset. I did two years of a therapy called Gerson Therapy to give my body an intense detox, I learnt how to meditate, and I’ve done a lot of work on myself to peel back the layers and switch on my body’s innate healing mechanism.

HD: For those that haven’t heard of Gerson therapy, can you share a little bit about their methodology?

JA: Gerson Therapy is two years of intense detoxification and nourishment. It involved hourly juicing, multiple daily coffee enemas, castor oil treatment and a very strict diet that’s mostly vegan and all organic. It’s incredibly tough to do, but I’ve seen some miraculous things occur as a result of it. Gerson isn’t for everyone though. For some people it may be all they need, but for others (like me) other elements are needed in order to truly heal.

HD: You speak all over the world about health and wellness. What is the number one thing people ask you when you are meeting readers or speaking at an event?

JA: People love telling me when I’ve managed to convert them into doing coffee enemas. I always say that one of my missions in life is to make coffee enemas cool. The amount of people who enthusiastically tell me that they’ve started doing them tells me that it’s happening!

HD: What changes do you see with regards to people turning to natural medicine and more traditional forms of healing?

JA: People are awakening to the limitations of modern medicine versus the incredible power of their own bodies. Conventional medicine is important and it definitely has a place, but I love that more and more people are embracing natural healing methods to deal with the root cause of their ailments. We’re starting to trust ourselves more rather than give all of our power away to people outside of us.

HD:  If there was one thing anyone can do to better their lives and health, what would it be ( in your opinion)?

JA: It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing because I think that to truly live a healthy and happy life, we must have a few areas covered – eat real food, connect with nature each day, spend time in stillness/meditation, and to have fun every single day. The biggie though is joy – if you’re not enjoying life, no amount of green juice in the world will make up for that.

HD: You offer some pretty incredible health and wellness guides and programs on your site. Tell us a little about them.

JA: For those who are new to my work, I have a Wellness Warrior Starter Kit & Cleanse e-book that is a great introduction into life as a wellness warrior. My online coaching program, The Lifestyle Transformation Guide is just about to close it’s doors. We just have a few spots left in this program – we’re capping it so that I’m able to continue the support and intimacy for its members. We also have some super exciting programs in the works at the moment, which will be rolling out through the year. Stay tuned!

 

Subscribe to the blog: jessainscough.com
Follow Jess on Facebook: facebook.com/thewellnesswarrior

Introductory Herbal Course is live and I’ve got a discount for you ( plus one reader wins FREE admission!)

 

 

herbal academy of new england

Introducing the latest course from the Herbal Academy of New England

Over the past year, hundreds of readers have enrolled  in the Herbal Academy of New England’s Intermediate herbalism course. My wife and I joined them and have been soaking up all the information and raving about the school to our friends and family. What we love most about the HANE is how user friendly and design savvy there courses are. You can print the units or read them directly on your screen or mobile device. They have stunning illustrations too.

HANE has now just launched the Introductory Herbal Course to help those of you who are curious about herbalism but may not be ready to jump into the intermediate course. To celebrate they are kindly offering readers 10% off the Introductory Herbal Course using the coupon code HOLISTIC when you enroll. This coupon will be good for the entire month of June! Click here to enroll now. 

In the Introductory Herbal Course, you will discover: 

  • 6 in-depth units
  • Content-rich lessons
  • Printable handouts and charts
  • Recipes throughout every unit
  • Over 50 herbal monographs
  • Educational video demonstrations
  • Multiple choice quizzes!
  • Easy access to course instructors

herbal academy of New England

 

Herbal Academy of New England

Herbal Academy of New England

Labels for your herbal tinctures and salves, provided in the course

 

The Six Units:

Unit 1: Herbal Basics Choosing Herbs; Storing Herbs; Herbal Teas and Tinctures; Syrups and Topical Applications; Herbal Actions; Anatomy Overview

Unit 2: Common Discomforts
The Immune System; Prevention; Detoxifying and Cleansing; Colds and Flu; Respiratory System; Herbs for Kids; Materia Medica

Unit 3: Kitchen Remedies
What’s In Your Cupboard; Spices; Kitchen Materia Medica; Making Kitchen Remedies; Wildcrafting and Foraging;

Unit 4: Nervous System

Overview of the Nervous System; Stress; Headaches and Migraines; Essential Oils; Sleep and Insomnia

Unit 5: Body Care
Introduction to the Skin; Body Care Recipes; External Health, Internal Health; Salves, Balms, and Butters; Topical Oils; Scrubs; Cleansers; Herbal Baths; Moisturizers; Toners; Hair Care

Unit 6: The Holistic Approach
History; Conventional Medicine; The Holistic Model; The Holistic Body; Herbalism Is More Than Just Herbs; Placebo Response; Case Studies; Holistic Approaches: Massage, Body Work, TCM, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Naturopathic, and others

The Introductory Herbal Course is a brand new, multimedia program consisting of six in-depth units, interactive ebooks, printable charts and handouts, demonstrations, and many herbal recipes. This course will get you started on your herbal journey, covering all of the basics including common discomforts, herbal actions, dosing, and herbal remedies! By the end of this course, you will know why herbs work and how to make your own body care products, teas, tinctures and more. Build your apothecary, start your materia medica and get to know the Holistic Approach! You will walk away more inspired to pursue your herbal studies at the intermediate level and beyond.  

About the Herbal Academy of New England

With roots in greater Boston, The Herbal Academy of New England is an educational resource offering online programs, local workshops, and herbal clinics. The academy is committed to researching and gathering information and tools to help support a lifestyle of self-awareness and whole body care. It is the Herbal Academy of New England’s desire to encourage individuals and society to make sustainable and meaningful changes so as to use earth’s resources with greater wisdom and respect. Herbalism includes stewardship of the earth. 

Herbal Academy of New England

I mentioned a giveaway right? Yep, just like when they launched their Intermediate course, HANE is giving one lucky reader FREE admission to the Introductory Herbal Course. Entry is easy and fast, scroll down to enter! Or you can go ahead and enroll using coupon code HOLISTIC for 10 % off. This coupon will be good for the entire month of June! Click here to enroll now. 

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

5 Ways To Become Healthier ( Starting Now)

5 Ways to become healthier ( starting

All across the world, people are waking up to a pressing need for us to become aware of how to take care of our health, as well as making a positive impact on our environment and community. 

Through the internet, affordable courses, books, health leaders, alternative MDs, Moms/Dads/Kids, activists, chefs, and so have appeared. It can be overwhelming finding out what we should eat and how we can best take care of our health. On top of that, there is a belief that in order to be healthy you need to spend a ton of money on supplements or equipment. Sure, I love my Vitamixer and see real value in supplementation, but in reality you can start living a healthier life right here and now.

I’ve created my list of 5 ways you can take charge of your health without feeling overwhelmed. Start with one of these points or do all of them! Whatever feels right for you and your family. Remember, you are not in this alone!

1.) Say no to GMO

If you are concerned about Genetically modified food, pesticides, and other harmful toxins in your food, it’s time to switch to organic. It’s important to remember that even though organic food can cost more, it doesn’t have to; there are organic produce clubs you can join that send you an affordable box of veg/fruit every week, and at your local farmer’s market you can speak with farmer’s about seasonal produce.

Organic shampoo too expensive? Consider making your own ( youtube has many videos on everything from ‘no-poo’ to dry shampoo). No fluoride free toothpaste at your local store? Use baking soda and essential oil ( like peppermint) or even turmeric.

Remember to buy in bulk when possible so as to save even more. Your local health food store should have a bulk section for things like chickpeas, lentils, rice, etc You can also save by shopping at places like iherb which offers discounts and cheap or free shipping.

2.) Download my free workbook to determine your budget and assess your pantry

If you’re not sure where to start and are new to all this health stuff, download my free workbook and start filling it out. It will help you determine your budget, personal health goals, and what items in your house may contain harmful ingredients.

3.) Find the right exercise for YOU

Not everyone enjoys running, yoga, or cross fit. Find what YOU enjoy and do it daily. That’s your number 1 task: consistency. If you hate doing something, you won’t do it for long, so find out what works for you. If it happens to be running, then schedule it into your calendar and tell family/friends you are unavailable during that time for anything other than running. Or better yet, invite them along with you!

Enjoy yoga but no time to take a class? No problem, you can do it at home and fit it into your schedule. Read Emily’s post on how to not feel overwhelmed by yoga and know that it’s flexible for your needs and schedule.

4.) Start using and/or growing spices

You can do this right now! Write down your top 5 favorite spices on a sheet of paper and then google them followed by ‘health benefits’ or ‘how to grow’ and you will be amazed as to A. how health they are and B. probably how easy it is to grow them ( well, some of them)

I’ve written about the health benefits of ginger as well as cinnamon, and that is just touching the tip of the iceberg! Wait til I write about turmeric…one could write a book on turmeric as it’s a major superfood.

Once you’ve investigated the health benefits of your favorite spices and herbs, discover how to use them. The Herbal Academy of New England has excellent programs and articles for learning how to make poultices, cook with superfoods, make tinctures, etc. Meghan Telpner also teaches on her TV show and culinary nutrition program how you can use superfoods in your daily diet.

5.) Simplify

I can’t even begin to expound on how important it is that we all slow down and simplify our lives. That’s a challenging task in our fast paced keep-up-with-the-Joneses world, but our health and wellbeing depend on it.

A few ways to start slowing down and simplifying

-Declutter one room a week and donate or sell whatever you don’t use or need

-Journal 1 page a day. This will slow down your train of thought and get you into a contemplative mode. An excellent way to end the day. 

- Go on a limited info diet. I am not saying you shouldn’t stay on topic of topics that are important to you, I’m saying don’t be inundated with negativity that is dominate in media. 

- Spend time each day meditating and/or praying. 

-Take a nature walk with your family. 

All in all, remember that the journey to wellbeing is something that may not happen overnight. It can, and it’s great if it does but leave room to gradually improving your health too. No matter what health issues you are facing, you can do something each and everyday to get you closer to your goals.

10 Ways To Make Yoga More Than A Resolution

yoga

10 Ways to Make Yoga More Than A Resolution

Whether you are new to yoga or are looking to restart your practice there are some things to remember so as to avoid overwhelm.

10. Start with a five minute practice if you don’t have much time or start with a home practice if you can’t get to a studio.  Don’t let the inability to get to a group class keep you from experiencing the benefits of a practice.

9. Classes are always crowded at the beginning of the year.  If you tried going to classes for the first time in January or February and they were packed, know that by now things have calmed down a bit.

8.  Don’t let the new and crazy sounding words scare you.  Your teacher will show you what they are asking you to do and if you feel lost give it a couple of chances rather than just giving up right away.  If you feel lost after a couple of classes find a new class and a teacher that makes you feel comfortable.

7. Don’t feel like you need all of the “gear”.  You don’t need a special mat, expensive clothes or yoga socks.  You don’t actually even need a mat to get started.

6. Go to the appropriate yoga class and practice the right kind of yoga for your body.  If you have not moved your body in so long that you wore leg warmers the last time you went to a class then don’t start with an advanced Vinyasa class.  Find a Gentle or Beginner’s class and give yourself permission to start slowly.

5. Know that it is ok to not be able to do every single pose that is taught.  Go with the flow and do what you can.  There is a reason it is called a yoga “practice”.  It takes time and work.

4. Try not to compare yourself to your neighbor.  Your teacher may say that to you and you might laugh to yourself and think ”right…” but really don’t do it.  Yoga is not about comparing so stop doing it and enjoy your practice more by just being in the moment.

3. Remember to laugh a little (or even a lot).  Yoga makes us feel joyous and laughter is just another expression of joy. A yoga class doesn’t have to be serious and stuffy.

2. Take care of yourself after class.  Drink water, eat healthy foods and get some rest.

1.  Start where you are.  Forgot needing to be flexible and just go to a yoga class!

Emily Loupe is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, massage therapist and much more.  She has a passion for wellness and helping people use the practices of yoga to create health, wellbeing and happiness.  She teaches and runs a teacher training program in Austin, Texas called Elemental Yoga School.  Elemental Yoga School will be offering online yoga programs in 2014.  Find out more at http://www.elementalyoga.org

Honoring Your Family’s Natural Rhythms

I found out the hard way that I was the destroyer of my family peace.

Disruption of circadian rhythms has been linked to such problems as diabetes, depression, dementia and obesity, says Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California. *source The Wall Street Journal

cycles

image source: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Having never considered myself an A-type push, push, push personality it was a rude awakening the day I realized I was pushing my loved ones past their natural limits in an effort to achieve.

It started with a three alarm meltdown from my daughter, then just three years old.

I had done away with the nap in an effort to “keep up” with my peers that were swearing by a no nap/ earlier bedtime for their kids. These peers had convinced  me that this new arrangement would allow me may hours in the evening to do my work and thus be more productive.

Now here we were at her group playtime at the YMCA losing our collective minds.

The meltdown was so severe I did not even know how to handle it.

I just let it roll out, tears, full volume screams, sideways glances and sneering comments about seeking a child psychologist from the adults that run the playgroup etc.

It was a terrible, heartbreaking moment.

After the dust settled I knew it was sleep related.

My daughter is prone to big emotions and big outbursts but, this was different.

I had rearranged her biological clock to fit my needs not her natural rhythms. We all ebb and flow to a deeply centered biological clock that receives its data from mother earth and the surrounding universe.

Basically, I messed with God’s plan and my child suffered.

Now before you go telling me it’s all a learning process and not to be so hard on myself. I know that. I got it. I just want to illustrate how our ingrained programming to go, go, go forth and be productive can come at a price.

The price of happiness lost.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony -Thomas Merton

After this sobering event I realized I had pushed this glorification of busy on myself and my husband.

I recalled the days I had huffed and puffed about the house resentful of my husband resting on the couch. He seemed to always need a daily siesta and it bothered my undercover overachiever demon. I used to make him feel guilty for needing a nap when in fact the truth was the whole family should have been taking a natural quiet time each afternoon as our bodies were calling for it.

I saw clearly how I pushed us all  through times of feeling weak aka tired or depleted.

And clearly now I could see how this wasn’t amping up our productivity at all. It was just making us resentful, tired and downright crabby.

So, wheres the happy ending?

I realized that when it’s time to rest it’s time to rest.

The entire family now enjoys a blissful interlude mid day. And what do you know an earlier bed time is still part of the package. Because I allow her to recharge mid day my daughter isn’t filled with frenetic energy at bed time.

The moral – never be afraid to admit you are wrong.

Here are a few ways you can honor your own families natural rhythms.

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature. – Joseph Campbell

1 Know your tribe.

Don’t be blind to your family’s specific needs. We are not cookie cutter humans. We all tune into the universal rhythms but we all also have different internal clocks. Some people are natural night owls Other people have medical conditions that override their biological clocks. My husband for example has low thyroid activity thus rendering him tired and depleted more often than others. Know your people and honor their differences schedule your events accordingly. Do not make family members feel guilty for their natural physical reactions to different parts of the day.

2 Work with your natural environment.

When the sun goes down turn your screens off. This is crucial. I know that a lot of us work at a computer and a lot of us do this at night while our family sleeps. I get that. But, as often as you can honor the universe and its endless cycles of day to night, When the sun goes down reduce exposure to artificial light so that bodies can continue on their natural cycles.

3 Be willing to always be working and reworking what works.

Only you will know or observe what is working and what isn’t. Like a good editor always be revising for optimal results. Also be willing to challenge the current constructs you are working within such as  school or work schedules. Be willing to challenge these things and see if you can find some give or leeway.

4 Think like a scientist.

Observe the earth, moon, sun, stars, tides, seasons etc. Notice how this system is already perfect. Learn what you can take from natural systems to implement in your family.

 

As with everything holistic keep an open mind and be willing to implement new things.

Tell us in comments or at the Facebook page how you honor your natural rhythms.

 

Kiki Harshman

On most days Kiki can be found seeking elevated states of being through better food.  A certified kitchen witch since the age of seven, Kiki is always continuing her education in blissful states of consumption. She is certified in Raw Nutrition by Raw Food trailblazer David Wolfe through the BodyMind Institute, where she continues her training. She has also completed an introduction to herbalism course through the Herbal Academy of New England. Currently taking a break from personal blogging, her curriculum vitae is available at her About.Me page.

Sweet Secrets – Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

This Valentine’s Day weekend, I’ve got a tasty treat for you.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

Yes.  Cupcakes.  Actually, a cupcake giveaway.  A cookbook and educational tome for creating and sharing (optional) whole food, gluten free cupcake recipes that are loaded with healthy ingredients and can be made vegan friendly with a few alterations.

Like this.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

All of these amazing photos are taken from The California Country Gal’s “Sweet Secrets – Real Foods Cupcakes!”  your guidebook to creating Paleo Friendly, Low Glycemic, Guilt Free, delicious Cupcakes.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Just a reminder – these are ALL Gluten and Grain Free.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Yup, ALLL….

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Now that we’ve got your attention… here’s the giveaway, care of Annabelle Lee, the California Country Gal.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

For a more in-depth look at these delicious Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes – which have No Flours, added Starches, or Refined Sugars take a look here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

59 Uses for Lavender Essential Oil — The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of Oils

lavender essential oil

Guest post by Rachel Denning from DiscoverShareInspire.com Check out her 100% pure essential oil store (and get a free ebook), and her 3-Part video series on using essential oils.

Download this article as a PDF for future reference. Scroll to the bottom of this post for an MP3 on Lavender essential oil by Dr. Susan Lawton.

Whether you just getting into essential oils (check out the Complete Beginner’s Guide), or are an experienced user, lavender essential oil is one of the basics that you’ll always have in your kit.

That’s because lavender has been known as the ‘swiss army knife’ of essential oils… one of those stalwart standards that is a remedy for a diverse range of ailments.

Rome and lavender

Pure lavender essential oil smells clean and fresh, sweet and floral with woody undertones. Steam distillation of the flower tops and stalks produces a colorless, silky oil. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used lavender as a perfume, and for cleansing. They put it in their baths and spread it on their bodies.They used it in sick rooms to improve the smell and relax the patient. During weddings and celebrations they would spread lavender petals on the floor so the fragrance would be released when stepped on. [Read more...]