Vegan Cacao Berry Protein Smoothie: Post-Yoga Smoothie #2

It's HOT out! Summer has finally arrived to San Francisco, albeit a month late. Sweating in the yoga studio and in the kitchen, nothing satisfies more than a nourishing Post-Yoga workout smoothie. Last month I really reigned in my sugar consumption, (per my doctor's orders, due to a sudden severe allergic reaction) cutting out all processed sugar AND foods with natural-occurring sugars such as dates, honey, bananas, maple syrup, pineapple (my usual smoothie go-to ingredients). I was also on a strict vegan/no soy/no gluten/no corn diet and enjoyed the challenge of making meals that fit the bill and still excited the foodie in me. 

That said, this Vegan Cacoa Berry Protein Smoothie* was created, very low in natural sugars, with healthy fats and protein to replenish after a sweaty workout and has brought smiles to omnivores and non-vegans alike. Enjoy a cool one today and feel good about having a low-sugar treat! 

VEGAN CACOA BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE*
Serves 2 (because sharing is more fun!)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries (or mix of berries)
acai berry packet, frozen & cut up into chunks
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 generous scoop Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder (if you don't have handy, use toasted carob powder or cacoa powder)
handful of icecubes
1.5 cups Coconut Hemp milk, unsweetened OR 1 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
handful ice cubes

OPTIONAL:
handful of spinach (will make the color of the smoothie a bit gray, still tastes yummy)

*After creating this smoothie, I discovered that the recipe is very similar to JJ Virgin's The Virgin Diet Shake, a meal-replacement shake that helps you lose weight. Bonus!

 

Soothing Ritual for Dry Cracked Skin

The great thing about a 3-week road trip to the Southwest in the summer is the wide stretches of open terrain, the heat, and being enveloped by nature. The unfortunate part is what a toll that terrain, heat and high elevation has on your skin. I couldn't drink enough water or moisturize with enough lotions or oil to not make my skin look like an old snake. Eww. 

All these years living in the Bay Area at sea-level, with our moisture-laden air, I took for granted, not appreciating its fountain of youth-like properties for the largest organ of my body, my skin. Returning from my desert and mountain adventure, I was desperate to replenish my skin, which was already uber sensitive due to a recent bout of severe utricaria (hives) and anaphlaxis. A natural and unprocessed solution was of top priority!

My skin-soothing ritual over the next few days was two-fold, both involving coconut oil: 1. Cool oatmeal bath with essential oil; 2. Coffee Body Scrub. Not only did it all felt good and smell delicious, after 2-3 days my skin was back on track, no more chap, crack, or flaking!

The Coffee Body Scrub was a homemade gift from a fellow Forrest Yoga teacher, Jessie Delmar of Kaoite Healing Arts . She found the recipe for the scrub online at theCoconutMama.com. Coffee and coconut oil are rich in antioxidants, plus coconut oil has vitamin E and proteins that contribute to cellular health and tissue repair, just to name a few!

 

Here is how I proceeded to heal my skin: 

DAY 1 - Oatmeal bath only (recipe below)
DAY 2 - Oatmeal bath, drain tub, then scrub your entire body with Coffee Body Scrub, rinse.
DAY 3 - Repeat Day 2, only using scrub on areas that are still dry and cracked.

NOTE: Consider the oats as your "soap" and the oils as your "lotion" or moisturizer - don't use soap and/or lotion after these baths.
 

REJUVENATE-ME OATMEAL BATH

Oats have fats, sugars, and proteins that work to protect and soothe your skin. The fats lubricate as well as the sugars which leave a gelatinous-like residue in the bathwater and on your skin. The proteins have anti-inflammatory properties, blocking histamines to help soothe itchy skin. 

Lavender essential oil also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, calms and relaxes, and reduces skin irritations. Geranium essential oil promotes the appearance of clear, healthy skin and hair, calms nerves and lessens feelings of stress.  

I love using my Doterra essential oils for natural healing - they are CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® and can only be purchased through a Doterra Wellness Advocate, of which I am. You can purchase these oils through my "store" on the Doterra site - click here.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup uncooked Oats
muslin satchel with drawstring
1 Tablespoon fractionated coconut oil with 3 drops essential oil such as Lavender or Geranium in a small, sealed container (this oil mixture will last for multiple baths)

DIRECTIONS:
Pour oats into muslin satchel and attach the bag directly under the tub facet using the bag's drawstring. Run a warm (not hot) bath, allowing the water to run through the oats in the bag.
As the bath is filling, pour a scant 1/2 teaspoon of the coconut oil/essential oil mixture into the bath water. 
Once bathtub is filled, squeeze the muslin bag to release more "oat juice" into the water, or even squeeze directly on to your skin like you would soap up your body. 
Sit and soak for at least 20 minutes. DO NOT USE SOAP. Gently rinse off (without soap) and pat dry with towel.

Turmeric Smoothie for Your Post-Yoga Workout

tumericTropicalSmoothie

What I crave most after an intense yoga workout is a thirst-quenching, nutrient-rich smoothie, and lately one that also has anti-inflammatory properties. This Creamy Coconut Turmeric Smoothie is my current favorite, especially as my body has been feeling more aches and pains in my joints. Turmeric root when paired with healthy fats (avocado) is a great anti-inflammatory and joint-healer,  along with ginger root (which also helps with digestion and the immune system), pea shoots (also an antioxidant).  I've been adding GLA (gamma linoleic acid - an essential fatty acid), an Omega-6 oil to my diet to help reduce PMS and alleviate joint pain, but it also is a fat-burner, maintains skin and bone health, and elevates levels of serotonin (brain health!). It's important after a workout to replenishes lost electrolytes (you lose through sweat), so adding coconut water acts like a natural version of Gatorade. Also important to get protein after working those muscles - add hemp seeds which are a Super Food - a complete protein, and a source of Omega-3 & 6. Lemon is antimicrobial a natural cleanser and helps brighten up the flavor and any bitterness from the pea shoots. 

Here's my recipe, which is adapted from the Natural Gourmet Institute's Tropical Turmeric Smoothie. Use all organic ingredients. Blend all ingredients in a blender. Makes 2 tall glasses.

CREAMY COCONUT TURMERIC SMOOTHIE:

1/2 ripe avocado, pitted & chopped
handful of frozen pineapple or mango chunks
handful of pea shoot sprouts
3 TBSPs hemp seeds
1 TBSP ginger, peeled & minced
2 TBSPs lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1/2 TSP GLA oil (or other Omega-6 oil, like Borage)
1/4 TSP "Daily Turmeric" powder supplement
2 1/2 CUPS coconut water
4 ice cubes

How Yoga Helped Grow My Business

When I'm not in the yoga studio I can be found in my jewelry studio, running my jewelry company emiko-o reware. Even though been in business since 1998, it wasn't until a few years ago that it really began to grow - and this coincided directly with my decision to delve deeper into my yoga life and dedicate myself to doing the transformational work that comes hand in hand with Forrest Yoga practice, training and teaching. 

This spring I was invited to be a presenter for a the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), a national, non-profit arts organization of which I've been a long-standing member. Specifically to give a talk on the topic of Finding Your Voice for the annual conference SNAGnext Asheville 2016: "An Interchange & Exchange on the many facets of Making a Living in the Field". My talk titled, "Are We Having Fun Yet: Using Your Authentic Voice To Ignite Your Business". I was honored to be able to share with my community what I've learned to take my biz to the next level and help both the newbies to business & the jewelry/craft world and the mid-career/seasoned artists. 

In preparing my talk I realized that so much of what I wanted to say tied directly to the mindfulness and intent-driven practices I've been absorbing in my engagement with Forrest Yoga. My talk is centered around these 3 Keys: Connecting to Authentic Voice, Play, and Set Up Support. Any of these you will hear touched on in at some point in ant Forrest Yoga class you take and they are so relevant to a creative business! 

After giving my presentation, throughout the entire weekend, so many of the conference attendees made a point to connect with me and express their gratitude for my talk and the information, with even one artist suggesting I apply to do TED talks! I love public speaking and with everyone's encouragement I was convinced that this presentation needed to be accessible for posterity, hence I've recorded it as a YouTube video which you can watch above.

My brain's a whirlin' for what should be my next talk, which is also very yoga-inspired: "Embrace Your Sparkle Self: Being An Enticing Public Speaker". Are you intrigued?!

Unraveling the mysteries of the Hips, Neck and Shoulders

Photo from Innerstellar Yoga and Pilates, Forrest Guardian Colleen Millen

Photo from Innerstellar Yoga and Pilates, Forrest Guardian Colleen Millen

For the past few months I've been blessed to have the opportunity to assist Forrest Yoga Guardian, Colleen Millen (a Guardian is a master Forrest yoga teacher personally chosen by Ana Forrest who has the power to train and mentor teachers) in advanced level classes. It is the mastery of these healing hands-on assists that originally drew me to this style of yoga and continues to nourish me as a teacher and assistant, now on the giving end. 

I'm excited to be a part of this weekend's Forrest Yoga Ceremony and asana intensive: "Unraveling the Mysteries of the Hips, Neck and Shoulders: Forrest Yoga Ceremony and Intensive", assisting two very special Forrest Yoga Guardian Mentors Kiki Lovelace and Colleen Millen. To experience a Forrest Yoga Ceremony, the Native American-inspired Calling in the Four Directions is one of the most grounding and spirit-connecting ways is a rare treat and adds another juicy layer to delving into authentic self unlike any I've experienced in the yoga world. Not to me missed!

DETAILS:
Saturday, June 11, 1-3:30pm
Innerstellar Yoga and Pilates Studio, Berkeley, CA
Cost: $65
Register here

DESCRIPTION (text from Innerstellar's website):
We’ll begin our 2.5 hour workshop with Guardian Mentors Colleen & Kiki leading the class with Native American-inspired ceremony, including Calling in the Four Directions, chanting and meditation, followed by a juicy Forrest Yoga sequence. Learn how to groove through your practice without struggle so you can open and release stuck energy  in the hips, neck and shoulders. Ride energizing inversions, arm balances and hip opening poses on your path to more freedom in these areas.

Pre-requisites: Ability to do inversions and sun salutations, all while practicing in a heated room. Space is limited, so sign up now to reserve your spot!