Blueberry Banana Gluten Free Pan-Cake

I am an avid lover of pancakes! There’s so many ways you make them, but in all my years I have never had a pancake quite like this. It literally is a pan cake. And om namah shivayah is it good!

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Ingredients

2 banana

2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

3 tbsp water

1 jar of your favorite jam

1/2 cup almond butter

1 carton Blueberries

Maple Syrup

Coconut oil

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Take out a large bowl and begin to mash bananas with a fork. Add in Pamela’s Pancake mix (save’s you a huge chunk of time!) and mix well. The bananas pancake mix should create a fairly doughy consistency. Add in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and water. Stir well.

Oil up a pan with coconut oil and turn on medium/low heat. Pour roughly 1/2 cup of pancake mixture in the pan and place blueberries on top. When the heated batter begins to boil and the bottom has turned golden, flip your cake. Begin to make your cake once both sides are golden an cooked through which takes approximately 2-3 minutes on both sides. Lightly coat the top of the pancake with coconut oil and then add a layer of jam. In this recipe I used peach, which was divine! Throw another layer of the “cake” into the pan (don’t forget to add the blueberries!). Once cooked, butter with coconut oil and then add a layer of almond butter. Continue to layer your cake with alternating layers of jam and almond butter until you have used up all your batter.

Serve with maple syrup and enjoy ❤

 

 

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The Silver Lining in Darkness

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I have to apologize for being absent the past few weeks. It seems that life has taken a turn into a mode of crisis. Many people take winter in as a time reserved for deep reflection and introspection; a time of hibernation; to rejuvenate so we may plant new seeds in the spring. The parts of us that no longer serve us have reached into the earth causing us to draw inward.

As I have begun to dig deep into my roots during this winter season, I see that I have delved deep into the shadow self. The solstice seems to mark a time of completion. I look upon my year knowing I have spent many of my days wrestling with the shattered parts of me I would rather not address. Like a steady stream under the darkened sky, I reflect a water that is blackened, but I am not black. The sutras ask us to be like a diamond: reflecting the colors of that which is around us, without attaching or defining ourselves as that color because as soon as the color is taken away, we will find we remain a diamond; pure, clear, and brightly shining.

As the days get shorter, colder, and the sky begins to fill with snow, I find myself in a place of reflection for this past year. In honor of the solstice, I took the opportunity to set my intentions for what I would like to cultivate in the coming year, 2016. After writing all of my thoughts down on paper, I found what I need the most is forgiveness.

As we all delve into our shadow self, the need to judge, the deflect, and project our problems elsewhere arises. I encourage you to find what needs healing in your life during this time and take an action step to heal it. If you need to forgive someone, do it. If you need to let go of something/someone, do it. If you need to stand up for yourself, to hold your ground, do it. Whatever medicine of the spirit you find yourself looking for, don’t withhold it from yourself any longer.

Know that there is a silver lining in the darkness. What you are searching for in the new year can be created.

Thoughts on Meditation For Beginners

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Meditation can be incredibly intimidating for the ruminating or monkey-mind, as I call it. For me, I often find a lot of self-judgement around meditation: “Am I doing it right? When was the last time I had a thought? Am I still thinking? Om Namah Shivaya… why can’t I stop thinking?”

And that, right there, is the ultimate fallacy. The goal of meditation is not to “stop thinking”. It is about awareness. Taking time to truly notice the breath, to feel the weight of your clothes, and the sensation of them touching your skin. To become aware, but not attached, to the mind as it wanders through the vast hallways of your life.

This is easier said than done, but that is why we call it a practice. I can guarantee that every great yogi has had to work towards gaining peace in their mind, that the constant chattering did not merely stop because they decided to sit crosslegged, in silence, for an extended period of time. It stopped because they chose to make a habit of meditation.

What is truly phenomenal is that just the action of becoming still, of listening to the mind chatter, of noticing the emotions, as well as physical distresses of the body, actually has striking effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

In fact, the University of Wisconsin, among many others have proven that meditation alters gene expression. Changing the bodies response to fight or flight by giving an additional reaction: action. The Yoga Sutras discuss this. They say that eventually the dedicated yogi will reach a point where they no longer react to situations, but rather respond situations with clarity and diligence. With consistent practice, it also begins to turn off genes related to cancer, alzheimer, and obesity as it begins to turn on genes that promote mental clarity, longevity, and overall wellbeing.

So here are some tricks you can bring into your meditation practice to get the ball rolling. Remember, you are just noticing what is happening around you. Resist the need to judge or label the mind as it being to string thoughts along throughout your practice.

Breathing — Using Uijayi breathe (the breath of victory) begin to place your awareness solely on the breath. Listen to breath as it moves in and out of the body. As the mind wavers, take it back to it’s basic.

Chanting — Often finding a chant can be very helpful. Whether it is an intention, a prayer, spoken out loud, in silence, in your native tongue, or in sanskrit; it doesn’t matter. Having a chant can be very powerful because it allows the mind to focus on a simple phrase. This can help to bring about joy in the heart and turn the volume down on the monkey-mind.

Listening to a tape — Sometimes it can be helpful to listen to a meditation tape. This way you have something to listen to when the mind starts to wander. This will also help you focus on intention and can bring new elements into awareness.

Set a timer — Another huge fallacy around meditation is that is has to be for a long period of time. Even though meditation is most beneficial when practiced on average for 27 minutes a day, that’s not realistic for some people. So you do what you can. Sitting for even 5 or 10 minutes can make a world of a difference. So set a timer, let go of the need to look at a clock, and take a moment to be still.

Find ways to bring it into daily life — The truest and most evident benefit of meditation is finding ways to take in off the mat and into daily life. As you delve into your mediation practice, notice how your tolerance or patience begins to change. Or choose to actively incorporate the meditative mind into simple tasks such as getting cut off in traffic, waiting in a long line in a grocery store, or having that uncomfortable conversation. That state of being is what will serve you the most. It can be a compass in your life to point you in the direction of where you need to be and the path of least resistance to get there.

You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should mediate for an hour.” ~ Old Zen Saying

Mango Chicken Haystack

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Here is a clean eat for the family night dinner. It’s got great flavor; mixing sweet and spicy.

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Ingredients

1 cup Basmati Rice

3 tbsp Olive Oil

 1/2 lemon

1/2-1 lb Chicken breast

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

A pinch of Salt

A pinch of pepper

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tbsp Chili Powder

1 mango

1 Avocado

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 cup lettuce

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Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add rice and bring down to medium/low heat, cover with lid.

In a frying pan, place olive oil, onion, garlic and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add chopped chicken, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, 1/4 lemon and chili powder. Bring up to medium/high heat and stir frequently, adding more olive oil, if needed. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, remove from heat.

When rice is ready, add a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil, cilantro, and 1/4 lemon. Mix well.

Begin to make your haystack by placing rice, chicken, lettuce, avocado, mango, and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy ❤

 

Pose of the Week: Crow

Crow

Crow

BAKASANA

Benefits of the pose:

  • Strengthens Upper Arms & Wrists
  • Increases Focus
  • Works Core
  • Stretches Upper Back
  • Tones Abdominal Organs

Asana Breakdown:

To get into this pose, begin in malasana firmly place your hands directly in front of you. Rooting down through your first three knuckles, begin to lift up onto the balls of your feet. As a beginner, you can begin to rock back and forth hear. Perhaps, holding the pose for only a second or two and then coming back to the ground. Allow the knees to draw in closely to the armpits as the shoulders move over the wrists, aligning with the middle finger. Draw your feet close to your glutes as you begin to work towards gradually straightening the arms. Once the arms are completely extended, you move from Crow to Crane! ❤

Egg-celent Breakfast

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Here’s an easy breakfast I threw together! Super easy, quick and yummy!

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Ingredients

New York Lox

2 eggs, hard boiled

1/4 cup lettuce

1/4 cup Spinash

1 avocado

Himalayan Pink Salt

Optional:

Capers

Lemon

Salad Dressing

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Take out a small pot, fill with water, add eggs. Let boil for 10-15 min. Take out lox, cut lettuce, and avocado. Sprinkle with salt. Add capers and squeeze lemon over it or add salad dressing, if desired. Once eggs are done, remove the shell, slice, and serve!

Pose of the Week: Eagle Pose

Eagle (behind)

Eagle

GARUDASANA

Pose Benefits:

  • Increases balance and proprioception
  • Increases flexibility
  • Open Shoulders and Hips
  • Relieves back ache & sciatica
  • Asthma

Asana Breakdown:

Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Beginners may want to practice next to a wall. Slowly and gently begin to bend your knees, rooting into the left leg, allow your right leg to come off the ground crossing over the left. Some people have the flexibility to hook their right foot behind their thigh. If that’s not in your practice, don’t fret! Simply crossing over is just fine. Begin to sink deeper into the hips, cross the left hand over the right, mirroring the pattern of your legs. Allow the collar bones to lift and spread, breathe deeply here. Connect with your core, tucking your tailbone. Find your drishti (gazing point) and begin to left your elbows so that they align with your shoulders. Another variation is to fold forward so that the knees and elbows touch.

Eagle (profile)

Kind Quinoa Kale Side Dish

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Hello hello!

I got another one for ya! I put this dish as a side, but the more veggies you add the more of a meal or filling snack it turns out to be! Here it goes:

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Ingredients

1 Cup Quinoa

1 Portabello Mushroom

1 Red Bell Pepper (optional)

3-4 Kale Leaves

2 cloves garlic

1-2 tbsp Olive Oil

3 tbsp Tamari

A pinch of Salt

A pinch of Pepper

Time: 10-15 min

Serves: 1-2

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Take two cups of water and place in a small or medium pot. Turn on high, when the water starts to boil, add quinoa and turn on medium/low heat. Take out a frying pan and put roughly 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan. Finely chop garlic and add to pan and turn on medium heat. Continue to chop mushrooms, bell pepper, and kale making sure to take out the middle stem and adding only the leafy green. Add to pan, stir veggies, and add salt, pepper, and Tamari. Stir in seasoning and then turn to low heat for 1-2 minutes. Take off heat and serve.