March 13, 2016

Autoimmune Warriors Eat Bread!

See that bread above? That was my last slice of rice bread. It's trial and error finding what sends our bodies into an inflammatory state. The science helps, but each and every single one of us will be different on an individual level. So take note of what sends you into your not so happy place and design your life around making it fun giving your body what it wants. We are not letting go of anything, we are simply upgrading.
If food is making us sick, fitness is causing us pain, weight loss isn't happening, happiness is drifting- it's time to get in the kitchen...and the emporium.

I like to use pink himalayan sea salt in the below recipe's and as my main salt.

Autoimmune Paleo Dinner Rolls:
Recipe by Amanda Torres @ The Curious Coconut
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Total time: 35-45 minutes
Yield: 8 rolls
Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Measure dry ingredients (yuca/tapioca flour/starch, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and garlic powder) into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine evenly.
  3. Add water to a small saucepan and slowly sprinkle gelatin on top to "bloom" it. Do not let the dry gelatin clump as you do this. Once all gelatin has is wet, heat over medium low until all gelatin is dissolved, stirring as needed.
  4. Pour gelatin and apple cider vinegar into the dry ingredients and stir to form the dough. Let the dough cool for a few minutes.
  5. If the dough is too sticky after cooling, sprinkle 1 Tbsp of yuca flour on the outside of the dough. You can also dust your hands with some flour, too.
  6. Knead and work the dough for just a minute before forming your rolls. This will also help work in any extra yuca flour that you added to the outside.
  7. Divide dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and roll them into balls. Optional: score the tops of the rolls with an "X" shape using a sharp knife. NOTE: balls should hold their shape without collapsing. If they do not, see notes about working with the dough above the recipe.
  8. Place rolls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush the tops generously with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, then brush with olive oil again. Bake an additional 10 minutes, then brush one more time with oil. Return to the oven for about 5 more minutes, or until the rolls are golden and color and offer some resistance when pressed in the middle.
  9. Best enjoyed immediately out of the oven, but may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days after cooking. Reheat in a 350F oven for several minutes until warmed though. Enjoy!
Paleo English Muffins (from Every Last Crumb)
Recipe by Brittany Angell, Every Last Crumb
These paleo English muffins are nut-free, grain-free, and egg-free and come from Brittany Angell's new cookbook Every Last Crumb. Enjoy them with butter or ghee and jam, bacon and eggs, or, like I did, as hamburgers!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 English muffins
  • 207 grams lukewarm water (about a scant 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp coconut palm sugar (I recommend sucanat instead)
  • 127 grams potato or sweet potato starch (about 2/3 cup plus 2 tsp)
  • 72 grams coconut flour (about 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
  • 30 grams tapioca starch (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I recommend unrefined sea salt)
  • 64 grams Spectrum shortening (about 1/3 cup --- and I just have to say WHY in the WORLD isn't leaf lard listed as the shortening of preference in this book?? :-P That's what I use in all my paleo baking, including this recipe, and it tastes SO GOOD. It is the original shortening your great-grandma would've used, after all!)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the potato starch, coconut flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and salt.
  3. Stir the yeast mixture and shortening into the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated and a dough forms. The dough will be fairly wet and sticky.
  4. Oil a large skillet and the inside of each of 4 English muffin rings (see Notes). Place the rings in the skillet
  5. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and place a portion in each ring. Brush the tops liberally with water.
  6. Cover the skillet and place over low heat for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, keeping the English muffins covered, and allow them to rise for 15 to 18 minutes.
  7. Turn the burner back on to medium-low heat. Keeping the lid on the skillet, cook the English muffins for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and flip them.
  8. Cover and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Remove the rings.
  9. Cover the skillet and cook for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the finished English muffins from the skillet and let cool completely before breaking open with a fork and toasting. Store extras at room temperature in a sealed container, or freezer for another day.
  11. NOTES: You can create your own English muffin rings by folding aluminum foil over itself. Use metal paper clips to hold them together. If you find that your English muffins are not fully cooked through, lower the heat and cook them longer. You can continue to cook a muffin in the skillet even if it has been cut open.

March 9, 2016

For the Feminine

If Aristotle is right and we are what we repeatedly do then as a total creature of habit I'm quite possibly part sea animal. I love few things more than water, especially salt water and all that comes w/ it. 

I hold close to my heart deeply rooted in nature, tried, tested and true (by me and science) key ingredients for my body inside & out. 

This one I feel really passionate about because I've been using it for over a hundred years (yes I have been here that long) and it still seems not many people use it, know about it, or realize how SIMPLE, CHEAP and POWERFUL this stuff really is. So tell me if you've heard of it before I want to know!

FOR WOMEN, this is the ONLY thing besides water that I would ever use to cleanse my flower's insides. It dredges what does not belong and perfects what does. It creates a seal to protect too. Ideal for post childbirth. Mix a little with steaming hot water and you have a total lotus! Even better pour a small cup in your steaming hot bath.

FOR TEETH/GUMS, mix a little of this w/ water and I mean a LITTLE this is a powerful salt that CAN NOT BE SWALLOWED. Swish it around in your mouth and even if you lost a filling, or needed a root canal this would seal everything up and protect you for awhile. I have personal experience w/ this.
I have a phobia of dentists and my dentist said this stuff saved my teeth while I was avoiding her.

I also heard from an angel who whispers to me in the wind at Essene Market that there is a natural body of Alum water flowing in MA and that the salt also has a spiritual component to it as well. I am there and will report back with my findings!

ALUM SALT. ALUM SALT ALUM SALT. The only place I know where to get it is at iHERB, a place I suggest all the time for savings on expensive supplements and shakes. Use my code for FREE Shipping and get your own code to get credits if people shop!
When I say cheap I mean like less than $7. for a bag that will last you 8 months to a year! Here's my link, 

March 5, 2016

Home Practice #7: Devotion

 If you listen gently, all areas of life worth living whisper divinely asking for devotion with an equal dose of relinquishing.  

After two years of home practice and study with occassional weekly, or monthly yoga classes with a variety of great teachers, my practice has left the building! Ashtanga has always called out to me because I saw that it had the ability to free me. My body, my mind, my cells, my heart, my spirit and my soul (my abs too). Like a wave crashing on a rock, or a surfer riding that perfect wave it can be felt in a most undeniable way, from a far distance. Unwavering dedication like to our babies, a lover, or dear friend is what sets the liberation in motion. 

My home practice went as far as it was going to go without a teacher, consistent daily practice and a yoga community. After two weeks of class, I can feel this space inside me opening up in a brand new way. I'm moving forward and getting freer. 
For years I've had this sort of aching feeling in the center of my back. Ironically, my sister and mother also feel this same tension in the same place of their backs. 
That tension is leaving me now. 
I can feel a full body unraveling, like the petals of a flower opening, blossoming. 
It's very tangible and so real, reaching into all areas of my life.

Stress withers away with this practice. It's my daily dose of therapy and pampering. 
The power of a yoga teacher, like a sage, or a spiritual guide has the ability to send people, once in a cocoon, out of their class a butterfly to live the life they have been craving. 
They are true healers and they give us the ability to unveil ourselves. Where there was once pain, there will be portals. My decisions have been so clear lately, which is having a huge impact on the direction of mine and my families future.

All of the teachers have had a profound effect on me, even though I've been quietly moving in and out of class, mostly. Loren Russo and her assists have shown me things inside myself that I didn't know were there. Her adjustments of my twists have shown me how my body should feel and what that energy is that does somersaults inside of me every single day and how to communicate with it.
Although I'm dripping with sweat, she comes behind me like a bright light, gently broadens my shoulders, guides me to turn just a little further, directs my gaze and hand placement. As I'm panting, or grunting, she shows me it's safe to fall back into her, while instructing me to plant myself firmly into the ground with my legs and feet. She seems to know my body better than I do for a few moments.

My legs, arms and back have always been strong, but asking my core to engage in all of this brings up so much emotion. Sensing myself enough to practice Bandhas and body locks could help make this so much easier if I would just listen, but I never not once judge my practice. This is my practice. My practice. My journey of the self, through the self to the self. 
Asking my chest to open widely and allow me to spread my wings dredges tears from I don't know where, but they are cleansing me from the inside out and I won't stop.

Allowing my hamstrings to be melted little by little...
The coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, breath and agni...are gifts.
Reaching in bow as I watch  myself in the mirror, not resisting in pigeon and allowing the crystal healer that seemed to fly in from the clouds to work his magic on my blockages-
It's all vulnerability taking me deeper, further and changing me into a healthier, happier, clearer version of myself. 

I'm learning to say the opening and closing mantra's. Some of it feels instinctual, like I've been here before. I'm still struggling with some of the flow of the words in Sanskrit, but it feels powerful leaving my lips with a little bit of my soul on it, while feeling the vibrations of those around me. Loren translates the "gist" of what they mean so well. "Because I want more peace of mind and stability in life, I am now going to practice yoga as it has been passed down since time immemorial." Her interpretation, "For the peaceful resolution of the deluding nature of repetitive existence, I bow at the lotus feet of the Gurus, and behold the awakened joy of my own Soul; this is the ultimate refuge that acts like a shaman, a true source of spiritual enlightenment."
Her Kirtan has makes me cry almost every time. All this talk of crying...
I called my sister Kate on the day I didn't leave class with tears in celebration, like I'd reached a milestone. It's involuntary, but I don't want to let it freak me out. I'm diving into those layers of myself and swimming like a dolphin right through the riptides. I'm not alone.
I know there is something waiting there for me. It's me. I won't stop until I find her and set her free more and more. Even if it means crying in a room full of people, dripping sweat, and seriously leaving smelling offensive to those around me.
I'm working on ingesting more and more essential oils & cleaning up my nutrition to remedy the stench effect of hot yoga & Ashtanga so stay tuned and don't let that deter you from practicing with me.
I'll make it all smell like roses soon enough. 

Allow the softness to speak all of its natural wisdom and fly freely within that space. 

Share your practice stories with me! 

Thanks for reading. Sarah xx

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