I recently went to Estes Park and re-discovered the powerful healing benefits of nature. I've always known this, but worrying about work all year has refrained me from taking time off work.
I started the summer in Arizona and discovered a vortex at Canyon Ranch for where I learned how to heal within that spiral of energy. I ended the summer in Estes, and spoke with a psychic who stated that the energy is off, even in Estes. She stated that many people are there to use the park for their "glory" (like Instagram photos) but are not using the energy of the land for their own good or healing.
I completely agreed. Something I learned on the camino, was understanding this power of movement integrated with the energy of the land. In Morraine Meadow, I looked to the sky and asked for healing. I asked the elk that stood near me to heal me, to send me energy and let Mother Earth take away my pain, worries and concerns. Even though I cried, I felt this sense of bliss that overcame me. While back in the real world, I miss the energy of Estes, but know how to take those lessons and remember the healing power of nature in everyday life.
I suggest everyone to take a walk in the woods or some natural setting that can absorb and transmute the negative energy within.
As always, inspired by the sun,
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Love and feeling like one belongs in a community or their family is part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is simple to say that love is a basic human need.
If analyzing modern society, it seems that we are not doing a good job at this notion. A lack of respect and acceptance along with the rise in Artificial Intelligence, has caused people to isolate themselves, igniting loneliness and anti-social behavior. Those who lack love either feel lonely, worthless or end up on the wrong path in life.
I believe humans are not meant to wander alone in life. We are social creatures, and love is the glue that binds us all.
Love is physical, but it also fulfills humans on an emotional level. Many equate to love as a romantic partnership or gesture (like procreation), but love extends to various different aspects of life. Humans have an innate nurturing aspect within themselves. Even those who are childless often find a passion for taking care of something whether it'd be a pet or a garden.
Love is a part of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Once basic earth-plane needs are met, love is an important aspect of human life. There is a reason why "Find Your Tribe" has become a popular term. It is because we yearn for a sense of belonging within a community, or from other people.
It is natural for humans to want to be with a significant other, or to have a family. In fact, research shows that falling in love was one of the only emotional highs that humans once suffered.
But love goes beyond romance. Giving and receiving love is equally important. Those who are "pent" up with love need to channel it somewhere. And humans also crave receiving love and affection from one another. In the world of single parents, it is often the unconditional love that a child has for his or her parents keeps that single parent going. An act of kindness is what keeps hope alive in a person who feels lonely or suicidal.
The ancient Greeks believed in five forms of love: familial love, friendly / platonic love, romantic love, guest love and divine love. Love is considered a virtue comprised of kindness, compassion and affection. Healthy forms of selfless love is what nourishes humans.
But like everything in life, there is a dark or selfish side of love that drives humans away. Modern authors have identified forms of love such as unrequited love, empty love, infatuated love, companionate love, self-love and courtly love. These forms of love can isolate people, ignite mistrust or lead people to suicide or to kill. Many serial killers have a history of family dysfunction and not receiving love from the biological parents. Those who go too deep in self-love become narcissists.
Love is no joke. Love can save someone or destroy someone. But love is a basic human need. Our hearts are organs that keep us alive physically and spiritually. In order to avoid depression, anxiety and loneliness humans need a balance between giving and receiving love. And some of the love might be channeling that energy towards a passion like painting or rock climbing.
An equal balance is ideal but having some form of love keeps us motivated and going in life.
What do you think? Is love a basic need?
Only a few days left until the summer solstice arrives. The weather turned to fall rather quickly in Seattle, but the leaves still remain green. Silly me found these pictures on my camera of a soup recipe that I made last year but forgot to post it.
Soup has a way of nourishing the mind, body and soul. In ancient times, soup was the main meal for many villages and soldiers survived off stews and soups, but ones rarely with flavor. They required nourishment to fight not a fanciful palate to satisfy.
In modern cooking, we are lucky to have an array of spices, herbs, broths and bouillon cubes to make our soups flavorful for the masses. I once had a past life regression hypnotherapy reading, and many of my lives revolved around food and nourishment.
I had one vision of a book on an end table with a candle and a cauldron of food simmering inside a lit fireplace. Simple and savory, soups are my favorite meal to cook. I once met a nutritionist who claimed soups are one of the best things to eat because of the equal balance of fresh produce, grain, protein, water and healing spices and herbs.
I hope you enjoy this simple soup!
Vegan Barley + Bean Soup
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
4 cups water + 1-2 bouillon cubes (or 4 cup vegetable broth)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup kale, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried barley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
In a deep pot, cook the onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and continue to stir and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Add the water, bouillon, barley and spices and simmer until the barley is edible. (Start with one bouillon cube and add an additional one or even half if you desire the broth to be saltier or more flavorful).
Add the kale and chickpeas near the later point of when the barley becomes edible. Once edible, adjust any spices and then remove from heat when finished.
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Gluten is sneaky. Like pollen, gluten has the ability to cross contaminate easily throughout our kitchen. Those who have a mild intolerance may not have issues with contamination, but those with severe life-threatening issues like Celiacs may need to be more cautious as the slightest bit of gluten triggers symptoms. Those with severe issues may find that eating out is impossible as restaurant kitchens cannot maintain a GF standard, unless the restaurant is specifically gluten free.
It is recommended to thoroughly clean kitchen appliance, or have separate appliances for those with severe issues. Here are some ways that gluten cross contaminates in the kitchen.
What other ways do you know of gluten spreading in the kitchen?
There are countless ways to transition into a plant-based diet (vegetarian or vegan). Most people can benefit from adding more plants to their diet, but if serious about a lifestyle change most people can't do it with a "cold turkey" switch.
Whether you want to become vegetarian or vegan, most people need to gradually ease into that style of eating. Smokers cannot quit smoking overnight. The same is with our diet and palate. We have biological cravings that our body is adjusted to, especially if older. If are are 35 and were raised eating meat, this means you lived nearly 100% of your existence eating meat or dairy (minus the nursing infant years of mother's milk / formula).
These three steps I use to help my clients who want to transition - Add, Replace, Eliminate to adjust to a pallet switch.
-First: Add Produce to Meals
-Second: Replace the meat Protein / Dairy / Simple Carbohydrate Sources
-Third: Eliminate the Remaining Meat/Dairy sources once Palate is Adjusted
There is no timeline for each step or zone. Graduating from one step to the next is an individual process.
While eating your normal diet, this is the time to start adding produce to meals. This doesn't necessarily all have to be raw produce, but just adding produce to cooked foods aides the palate adjustment. It adds bulk to the meal so some less meat / simple carbohydrate will be less consumed. In the video above I share examples of how to add produce to meals.
Most people today eat too many simple carbohydrates. If transitioning for health reasons, this is the time to start replacing to healthier choices as well as gradually replacing meat / dairy sources. An example of this is to replace brown rice with white rice. Another example is if you eat cereal, can you switch from cow milk to almond milk. Soy meat products have a different taste, even something like chickpeas is an ideal replacement for chicken. This stage is a gradual process.
Once your palate is adjusted and feel comfortable eating plant-based foods, this is the time to eliminate the remaining meat / dairy sources, or foods that no longer serve you from your diet. I explain more in the video above.
How have you transitioned into a plant based diet? What worked for you?
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It is no secret that many people today suffer from a gluten intolerance. Whether one has a serious disease like Celiac's, or has a mild intolerance, wheat and gluten can be found in a myriad of food and home products. Those who are trying to heal from gluten intolerances may have a difficult time because gluten is found in medications, kitchenware items, cosmetics and can also be cross contaminated in the kitchen.
If you notice issues after consuming wheat products, contact your doctor to undergo gluten allergen tests.
Here are the following food sources that contain gluten.
Information comes from Bastyr Center for Natural Health Nutrition Care Team.
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