Are you interesting in working with Elizabeth? As an award-winning fitness trainer, writer, author and presenter, Elizabeth fuses her education, experience and her four moves abroad to best coach her clients and to create culture and brand-specific product development.
Health, Fitness & Spiritual Coaching
Are you looking to get back on track? Are you stuck in somewhere in life and need some help piecing together your life or your soul? Whether you are searching for inner-love and acceptance, a new workout or how to transition into a vegan lifestyle, Elizabeth will guide you to where you need to go.
Elizabeth has worked with people of all backgrounds and issues, but specializes in:
Elizabeth will best recommend a plan and package that works for you and your budget. Sessions are either 30 or 45 minutes in length and she prizes herself on affordability to help regular people with an average wage get the help they deserve.
Vegan Food/Culinary Product Promotion & Cooking
Mind Body Soul Food features vegan recipes that are inspired by nature. Using whole food ingredients, MBSF features recipes that are budget and time friendly.
If you are an organic, vegan, plant-based or grocery store food brand that wants to be featured on the Mind Body Soul Food blog, contact Elizabeth to gain exposure to your brand today. Culinary tools and devices are also accepted.
Product promotions will include:
-Recipe using your products
-Pictures featuring you product
-Story about the products / nutritional value
-Links to any products online
-Coupon or embedded codes if made available
-Post shared across all social media channels & groups
Please review this post “Cranberry Apfel Shorle for Two” to gain a better idea of how I use products and ingredients in recipes.
If you are hosting a small event or retreat and would like local, sustainable and plant-based foods at your event, please contact email@example.com to discuss options and the menu. Services are also available if you’d like your event, retreat and food photographed.
Collaborations, Features, Reviews, Writing and Everything in Between
Elizabeth is available for the following services:
-Guest / Exchange Blogging
-Product Feature & Review
-Product Usage/Workout for Article or Video
Here are some examples of past product features and reviews.
BOSU Yoga Hip Openers
How to Use Gliders for Dynamic Planks
BOSU Exercises for Ski Conditioning
Eddie Bauer Rippac Packable Day Pay Review
Keen Women's Voyageur Mid Hiking Boot Product Review
Elizabeth also accepts guest bloggers, partners and affiliates on MBSF. Please contact her to collaborate.
Read Elizabeth’s full-length biography here.
About Elizabeth Rae Kovar
-Author of Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus
-2014 Shape.com’s “Top 50 Hottest Female Trainers in America”
-Stuart R Givens Fellowship Recipient: Backpacked & Studied Yoga in India (YA 318 hours)
-Over 1,000 articles published in print and online medias
-BOSU & American Council on Exercise (ACE) Master Trainer Presenter
-Master’s Thesis Research Study: Yoga Programs for People w/ Movement Disabilities, implemented on Stage 1-2 Parkinson’s Patients at University of Toledo Hospital
-Studied Abroad at Griffith University Gold Coast, Australia 2005 | Studied Yoga in India 2007 | Worked Abroad at Pat Cash Tennis Academy Gold Coast, Australia 2008 | WWOOFer for Yoga in Daily Life Ashram Brisbane, Australia 2008 | Buddhist Meditation Course-Chiang, Mai, Thailand 2008 | Lived Abroad Hannover, Germany Oct. 2014- Dec. 2015
-Wrote a vegan cookbook – published late 2016 | early 2017.
-Creator of The Lemon Tree & Mind Body Soul Food blog
-Collaborated with software engineers to create Mind-Body fitness apps
-Yoga and plant-based food retreat coordinator
Do you love coconut cream? If so, you’ll quickly fall in love with fruit-infused coconut cream. Coconut cream is a versatile food that can be eaten as a snack or part of a dessert.
For one of my latest recipes, Chocolate brownie bites topped with raspberry coconut whip, I wanted to make a frosting that was “approved” by nature. Most frosting are laden with either sugar or powder sugar. I wanted something fresh, and then it hit me – why not blend the coconut cream with berries.
Wah lah! On the first try, magic happened! The only downfall about this frosting is that its addicting by itself. It can actually create a nice mousse when chilled.
I recommend topping your cake, brownie or treat upon use. If left exposed, the frosting will harden and darken. So, if you frost an entire cake, make sure its tightly sealed with foil, cling wrap or a cake lid.
In simple terms, it’s delicious, healthy, easy to create and budget friendly – everything that fits the Mind Body Soul Food Philosophy.
Enjoy experimenting with all your favorite frosting flavors!
How to Make Berry Coconut Cream / Whip
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Makes approximately 1/2 cup
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup fresh berries of your choice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight for around 5-8 hours. Carefully, remove the lid without shaking the can. Next, Scoop out the white cream that sits on top of the clear water. You can use the remaining water for cooking or a smoothie.
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve chilled.
That's it! Fruit-flavored coconut cream is that simple, easy and delcious!
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Have you seen marketing and promotions that make you believe you can “hack” your life? In fact, it’s become such a buzzword that spiritual corporations, mindful gurus and yoga experts are promoting the shit out of this word making you believe there is a hack to everything – love, conscious engineering, abundance and finding your soul mate.
Besides making the article, video or product “click bait” material, every “expert” has found the new way to make you believe that shortcuts are possible. It's as if the lessons that humans have learned throughout the last thousands of years are no longer worthy. Well, if there’s one thing I learned while living in Germany is that I’ve become what I term, “a realist spiritualist” and the German certainly toughened me up in many areas of life.
As a spiritual person, I believe(d) in much of what we learn in this school of thought about positive thinking/energy and manifestation. I came to realize that a lot of spiritual thinking is hopeful and wishful, which is very positive and necessary for growth and change. However, what my life experience has given me is actual knowledge and understanding of change and spiritual growth. It never once gave me some “hack” or short cut into life. That is where my realistic thinking kicked in. At times I became so logical in Germany that it actually made me more spiritual. It sounds crazy and illogical, but it was true (at least in my brain) because I accepted and honored life’s lessons.
Since we live in the Information Age, we are presented with opportunities to make things faster, which in turn makes us want things faster and quicker. Money, promotions, weightloss, text messages - we want it all and we want it now. But is that really the case?
I find that there are more efficient ways to doing something, but it’s not necessarily quick-fix hack like most marketing gimmicks makes you believe. The informal definition of a hack is, “a tip, trick or efficient method for doing something or managing something.” If there’s one thing that technology has taught us, is that there are better ways to doing something.
It takes years for a 500-pound person to get back to a normal weight. Most marriages are not repaired after one counseling visit and most people do not become John Mayer after the first time he or she picks up a guitar.
Everything in life takes time and experience. But it’s about how much energy you put into something. My kundalini yoga instructor once told us that one of his students wanted clarity and movement with a business opportunity. He told her to do this specific mantra every day for 120 days and see the results. Disciplined, she did what she was told and the opportunity did present itself.
In some way, that is a hack as using the power of mantra and vibration, but she still had to do her part. It's not a seven-day program or 30-days to the best life you ever wanted. She spent a quarter of a year applying herself to this mantra. Thus, a lot of work, energy and dedication was put forth for her to reap her reward. And that there is the reality that you must put forth your own effort. I’m sure for many people after day 7 they’d become tired, hopeless and question if something like this works.
In simple terms, the word “hack” should not be replaced with speed or quickness.
Now, some people are blessed in this world, no doubt, but for most of us we still need to “work” to overcome or to get things.
Acceptance is another lesson. Last year, I went to the Spanish Balearic Island, Ibiza. I visited the most popular Hippie Market and there sat a palm reader shading himself under an umbrella. The one thing I’ve struggled in my life is financial security, like most people. Without saying a word, he said, “All your fortune will come through hard work. You are not meant to get rich through other people or something like winning a lottery. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you must work hard for your fortunes.”
In some ways, we all hope to be discovered with our creative efforts. I’ve taken a ton of abundance classes and courses and although I think life grants abundance through different means (which I’ve personally experienced), I’ve never struck it rich like any of those books, webinars or courses taught me (and instilled in my brain) years ago. If you do try to hack something you must be realistic in some ways.
I will share an example of how manifestation works, but how time also dictates the fates of life. I moved to Germany 2.5 months after my husband. Right before he left for Germany, I wanted us to see one last movie together. Somewhat sad on the bus to work, I stressed about my finances since I recently spent over two thousand dollars on moving costs. I don’t really know why but I walked a different route than usual to work that day. I thought about whether or not we should go to the movie. I wanted to, but my mind kept fighting, “you need to save money.” I walked through the back parking lot at work (which I never do) and glanced down at the ground. In my mind I screamed, “Holy shit! It’s a twenty-dollar bill. Thank you universe!”
I began reading books about mindset in 2007. That 2014 experience was the first time I “won” or “earned” anything over one to two-dollars. Although I felt it was a divine intervention to let us go to the movie, I accepted the gracious gift with appreciation and a reality that money doesn’t grow on trees. Thus, moving abroad without a job would require me to be smart with money.
So, the reality is that anyone has the potential to earn money, but the reality of when it can happen is out of your control. .
Life is not always easy, but we humans are complex beings. So when someone says you can hack your life, understand there are a lot of factors that weigh into it, and very rarely is anything in life a quick fix.
Presently living in Seattle, the development of this city to aspire to be the next San Francisco is pushing out the creative artist / average-waged person and catering rent and jobs to the high-earning tech people. The homeless population has exploded, causing a state of emergency situation. Last weekend, I offered a homeless guy food who declined saying, “No thanks. I just got off work and already ate. Thank you though.” This guy began bundling himself into a sleeping bag prepping himself for the next day of work. This is the unfortunate reality of life in this city at the moment because of human choices. Life is miraculous, but maybe the "hack" or wish for that homeless guy was just to get a job. Sadly, it's not enough to pay market rent ($2,000-3,000 for a 1 bedroom), but the course of his life will progress to a better situation if he stays focused on that dream.
Another spiritual "hack" is the promotion of "meditate like a zen master in minutes per day." I'm sorry but I spent time at a Buddhist meditation center and these masters dedicate their life to spiritual work. Like a snowball, the more you meditate the quicker your mind and body will respond to the physiological changes, but meditating in less than 12 minutes per day cannot be categorized on the same level as a master. It's more realistic to believe that even the smallest amounts of meditation will decrease stress. But what happens internally when you get so frustrated at your efforts? You beat yourself up, you get frustrated, you quit and then your belief systems change. Don't you see how these marketing tactics do more damage than good?
Although I do believe some people’s experience goes against what I just said, just remember there are no short cuts in most areas of life. There are better and more efficient ways of doing something, but just like the injured person who skips his or her physical therapy - the body cannot heal without that discipline to do the exercises.
So if your "hack" doesn’t work, don’t get down on yourself. Just note that things will manifest when its time, but you too have to dedicate energy to your goal/dream. When we get caught up in the details we lose hope.
But in all honesty, if someone (or a program) promises you life-changing results or a six-figure income in 30 days or less, I'd question it. To me, it smells a lot like bullshit.
Can you really hack your life? What do you think?
Are you already on yummly? Or want to find a place to save all your favorite recipes from online food blogs and bloggers? If so, head over to yummly.com where you can find, click and save all your favorite recipes.
For a long time, I've been a Yummly user and find it as a convenient recipe search engine to pinpoint recipe specifics. You can search a title name such as "blueberry scones" or something more specific like "vegan cranberry bread" or "gluten free desserts." The best part is that each recipe shows the image thus allowing you to decide what looks yummy and ready for your kitchen.
So, if you are on yummly and want to yum my page or recipe, just look for the little orange "yum" button. It's similar to a Facebook like. Thank you for yumming and I look forward to bringing you more delicious and healthy recipes this year!
In good health,
Bloglovin' is the place to be to follow all of your favorite blogs and bloggers. Now, you can stay updated and follow MBSF on bloglovin.com See the link above, click, follow and enjoy!
Are you ready for spring yet? I know I am. In fact, spring has sprung here in Seattle. Daffodils are blooming, crocuses are in full bloom and trees are budding. It seems a bit early for this, right? Regardless of nature's confusion, it is still winter.
During my last few days of living in Hannover, I whipped together a quinoa dish using ingredients I had around the house. I wanted to enjoy the last moments of living in Germany while spending time at the Christmas market. But, it is only until now I posted this recipe. Ironically, today marks two official months of being back in the United States.
It's a bit ironic I posted this recipe so late. I've found myself day dreaming of Hannover quit a bit and looking at these images reminded me of the life I once had and will always cherish. Free to be on my own, create what I want to create and live life by my own rules. If only everyday of life could be like that, eh?
The experience is a bit symbolic to this recipe. While hinting the dish splashes of this and dashes of that, it's a unique form of self-expression to show what your palate wants for that day. So, for this recipe there are no rules You can add, subtract and multiply anything you'd like. When you start making choices for you, you grow and blossom. It's part of life.
But I will say if you are not a fan of cinnamon than you may want to omit it. This dish fuses the best of winter flavors to energize your body for the start of the upcoming equinox - spring. Bon Appetite!
Vegan Winter-Kissed Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes
Total Time: 27-32 Minutes
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup butternut squash, chopped
1/3 cup dry cranberries
1/4 cup cashews
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
splash of olive oil + apple cider vinegar
optional topping: 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
Begin by cooking the quinoa according to the package directions (usually a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio).
Prep the butternut squash and steam it. Prep the nuts. Once the quinoa and squash are complete, mix and combine everything in a bowl. You can serve this warm or cold. Top with pistachio nuts and adjust flavors to your liking.
PS - Here is a beautiful picture of my "front yard" in Altstadt Hannover, Germany. Cheers to a beautiful winter.
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Most people know that 80% of Americans suffer from back pain. Unfortunately, our modern day lifestyle and desk-job culture does not contribute to a healthy back. Keep reading to discover five ways your desk contributes to your back pain.
-Chronic Sitting: Our bodies were not designed to sit, and sit and sit and sit all day, everyday. There is a term called, "hypokinetic" disease, which are diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Normally, this roots to issues like diabetes and arthritis caused from a sedentary lifestyle But, chronic is no exception. When we sit all the load is constantly placed on the pelvis, which results in stiffness and pain. Back pain is normally the first indicator that the body has been sitting for too long.
-Sitting Posture: Posture affects our musculature well-being. It sounds easy to say, "Sit up straight and tall." But, there is a reason why holding good posture is difficult. It's hard work and takes lots of concentration. Most people do not realize that our bodies "fight" gravity at all hours of the day. When seated long-term, our posture begins to change because of the gravitational pull on the body. If we lack movement in our life, our posture worsens with time resulting in a "humped back." Poor posture adversely affects back pain. Plus, most people sit with a tucked pelvis which changes the spinal column (deviates neutral spine).
-Emotional Stress: Most people who work a desk job are stressed. Some holistic health practitioners state that of those 80% of Americans that have back pain, 80% of them are causing their back pain from their emotional stress. When we are stressed, our muscles tense. It's part of the "fight or flight" response. Long-term, we learn how to channel our stress to certain areas of the body, most which includes the spinal column and upper back.
-Lack of Energy: Sitting causes a lack of energy. Combined with chronic sitting, the body begins to feel sluggish. Once our posture worsens, combined with a lack of movement, we lose energy. Its a vicious cycle, but the same applies in the opposite realm. When you move you feel better and have more energy. Many people who are tired from staring at a computer all day also experience lack of energy. The spine cannot feel vibrant when the body doesn't move. Breaking through the "lack of energy" barrier is the hardest for most people.
-Desk Job Attire: Most people who work at a desk wears business or business-casual clothing. This mostly affects females, but wearing high-heeled shoes everyday can drastically change our posture. Our bodies adapt to the lines of stress that is placed upon it. High-heeled shoes begin to change the posture of the foot and ankle, leaving it in an unnaturally plantarflexed state. When the feet shifts, our muscle and bones in the legs and back also shift. Generally, the calves become shortened, which flattens the feet. The "collapsed arch" internally rotates the leg bones which tilts the pelvic forward. As a result, this causes a lordotic curve in the spine, which causes back tension long-term.
Oh February, the month of love. I felt inspired to write about love, after Valentine's Day.
I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. I, like many, refer to it as a "Hallmark holiday." I don't discredit those love birds who walk hand-in-hand with a bucket of long stem roses, but I've always fled from superficiality. Lately, I've noticed people are undergoing a major shift. Have you noticed that? But alot of these shifts have to do with the matters of the heart. Unfortunately for some, the lack of love in their life has depleted their spirit. Instead of focusing on the gushy-stuff, why not channel your love inward or to something you care about (creativity, planet, good deeds).
February is also National Heart Health Month. Maybe that's because it's linked to V-day, but with all this focus on the heart why not inspire it to do something or live a better life?! I mean, without this vital organ we cannot cease to exist. Since 14 is my favorite number, I have chosen 14 quotes to inspire love within and to the people around you (not necessarily a romantic interpretation). Enjoy!
Recently, I have joined thousands of authors and readers on goodreads.com. Here you can find many Q&A with authors and enter one of hundreds of free book giveaways! Its a nice and free community for those interested in good reads! Thanks to my first goodreads.com reviewer, I share with you the review below! Let's stay connected with my Good Reads Profile!
Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis & Gurus by Elizabeth Rae Kovar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I found this book as a great read for those who like adventure and spirituality. The author does a good job describing her emotions and the light and dark sides of her journey. The title suits the premise of the book.
View all my reviews
Chocolate and raspberry go together like peas and carrots. From a culinary perspective, when I think of Valentine’s Day I envision chocolate and raspberries. It just works together and it’s the “shoe that fits” when fusing health and sweets together.
One recipe I’ve always wanted to create are fruit-based frostings. Many traditional frostings use powdered sugar, which is finely grounded sugar into its powdered state. Essentially, most frostings and icings are loaded with sugar. Although tasty, my goal is to create recipes that are closet to nature using whole foods.
And well, nature provides the best “food coloring” while using fresh fruit. The colors, soft and sweet, are the perfect combination for the day of love. So for this V-day, I am in love with creating. I feel that when you are in-tune with your physiology and psychology, your creativity naturally blossoms and have better opportunities for getting it right the first time - like I did with this experiment!
So, for something short and sweet this Valentine’s Day, look no further than these amazing (and mouth-watering) chocolate raspberry love bites.
Brownies are one of the easiest dessert recipes to create. It’s not difficult, but the secret is the sugar to flour ratio. Altering or reducing the sugar content creates a more cake-like (fluffier) substance. The sugar, combined with the butter, is what gives brownies that somewhat “greasy” and outer crispy texture.
When creating the frosting, I decided to use coconut cream. Coconut cream is also one of the easiest “things” to make. All you need to do is place the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator (preferably overnight or around 6-8 hours) for it to solidify.
Take a look at this post on how (and must-know tips) to create coconut cream.
The coconut frosting will take a couple hours to thicken. But, I recommend storing the frosting in a jar and dabbing the brownie when you are ready to serve.
Also, I used a mini-muffin pan, and the batter makes exactly 12 small brownies.
Vegan Chocolate Brownie Bites with Raspberry Coconut Whip
Prep Time: 12 Minutes
Cook Time: 14-16 Minutes
Total Time: 26-28 Minutes
Makes: 12 Small Brownies
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (I used unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/3 cup vegan butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal mixed w/ 2 tbsp water)
2 tbsp nondairy milk (used almond milk)
optional: 2 tbsp chocolate chips
Raspberry Whip Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup fresh raspberries, washed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup
Make flax egg and let it sit momentarily. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Melt the butter and stir together the butter, flax egg, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder and baking powder. Next, add in the flour and milk. Mix until it forms a well-blended dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Grease a mini-muffin pan. Use a spoon and place chunks of the batter into the pan. You may need to pat down the batter so it has an even top. Bake for 14-16 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the whip/frosting. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until well blended. Let the brownies cool entirely before topping them with the frosting. Enjoy!
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com