Monday, June 16, 2014

Mala Love

Recently, a friend introduced me to the wonderful world of malas. We were out to lunch and I was immediately drawn in by this beautiful necklace she was wearing. She explained that it was a mala. At the time, I didn't know what a mala was but I was more than ready to find out.

Malas are used as a meditation necklace. They can be made from rudraksha seeds or gemstones.   Typically, a mala has 108 beads. Why 108 beads you ask? Well there are many reasons why 108 is an important number you can find the list here. The 109th bead is the Guru bead, when you reach this bead you are to stop and thank your teachers and those who have influenced your life. Malas that are given as presents can be powerful tool for meditation.

To use a mala, you start on either side of the Guru bead (which will be the big bead in the center). Holding the first bead between your thumb and middle finger, focus on your mantra (can be a Vedic hymm or a slogan for you to live by that day such as: strength, gratitude, integrity, etc.) or your breath (inhaling on one bead, exhaling on the other).

Malas are great for individuals who are just starting their meditation practice. The presence of the necklace draws back in a wandering mind. The Mayo Clinic has an article about the benefits of meditating. If you don't want to read the whole thing, I can recap it for you. Meditation helps you gain new perspective on stressful situations and build new skills to manage stress. Your self awareness is increased and you're able to focus on the present. Basically, meditation teaches mindfulness. There are SO MANY benefits to this.

Most malas are handmade. When purchasing, you want to stay away from any dyed products. I've begun making my own (that in and of itself is a great way to teach mindfulness... but that's a different article). Let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Raw: Green Juice For Beginners

So, Matt and I juice. A lot. I've decided to start sharing some recipes of 
our "go to juices". Honestly, it's only just now that we've started creating
 recipes; we usually just toss all the left over veggies/fruit of our fridge into the juicer.

We use a masticating juicer. This type of juicer allows for all of your greens
 to be properly juiced. It is also a slower process because it's pressing the
 juice out instead of using heat and a blade (as a centrifugal juicer will).

This is a great green juice. It makes 3 cups, enough for two.
- 1 1/2 C Kale
- 1 1/2 C Collard Greens 
- 1 C Spinach 
- 2 head Broccoli 
- 4 large Carrots 
- 1 small Granny Smith Apple
- 1 Orange- skin off
- 1 Grapefruit- skin off
- 1 lime- skin on

And juice!

- With juicing you don't need to take out seeds, skin (unless it's oranges and grapefruit- 
you can leave them on but your juice will be very bitter), stems, etc.
- Juice leafy ingredients first and citrus last- the citrus pushes the greens through.
- Clean your juicer asap after.
- If you have a masticating juicer you can leave the juice in the fridge for about 
30 hours. We juice at night and then grab it for breakfast the next morning. 
If you have a centrifugal juicer, drink immediately.
- We use a strainer (provided with our juicer) to prevent excess foam and pulp.
- Don't know what to do with your pulp???? Try making veggie stalk, putting it in 
breads, or composting!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Golden Milk

Why has it taken me so long to discover turmeric? I'm not sure, but I'm glad I've finally found it. If you haven't eaten turmeric (chances are you have and you don't know it. It provides the yellow tint in curry), or haven't heard of turmeric... you can do your homework here. This anti-inflammatory spice is basically the super root and your body will thank you for consuming it. 
You can put it in just about anything to get all the health benefits (stir fry, rice dishes, meat, juice, teas). Lately, I've enjoyed using it in a drink called Golden Milk. Golden Milk is an Ayurvedic drink that's a great for bedtime because it helps digestion and create a peaceful slumber (turmeric can also help with insomnia).  
- 1 Cup Milk (I use whole cow's milk, 
but you can substitute it for any type) 
- 1 Tsp. Turmeric
- 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon 
- Honey to taste 
Bring the milk to a soft boil
Stir in turmeric and cinnamon 
Place honey in your teacup
Pour golden milk over honey

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Beeswax Candles


Whoa. Let's all be honest, this hasn't happened for a while. Well, I'm here to change that.
We're quickly running out of our (Christmas present) candle supply. Matt and I have about two candles and/or an incense stick burning at all times. Incase you haven't noticed, it's been a little snowy in Missouri this year. ([(Snow+dogs= wet dogs)=smelly house]=candles are necessary).
A while ago, I had bought some beeswax at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market (it's the best one to go to in STL- it's as local as possible). Beeswax comes in 1 pound bricks. You can also order beeswax on Amazon. There are all different shades of yellow, so pick the color you like the most because that will be the color of your candle. 
- 1 lb. beeswax
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3 small Jars 
- Old sauce pan (don't use one that you cook food in, 
unless you enjoy beeswax in your food)
- Double boiler 
- Candle wick
- Pencil 
- Essential oil of choice

1. First, you'll need to use a double boiler to melt your wax.

2. When the wax is melted, add the 1/2 C. coconut oil. Beeswax can get very hot, so you'll need to use coconut oil to stabilize it. 

3. As you wait for the coconut oil to melt, place your one wick in each candle jar. Use a pencil to stabilize the wick and keep it up right. 

4. Next, pour a small amount of wax/oil into the bottom of each jar. Press the wick bottom into the hardening wax. 
5. Once the wax is hardened, poor the remaining wax just shy of the lip of each jar, leaving about 1/2 inch of space. 

6. Pour a few drops of preferred essential oil into each jar. I used lavender (duh).  

7. Let the candle harden. Cleaning off any spill on the outside of the jar- you don't want it to melt onto your counter tops!