Starfish on Periscope – Making Paleo Brownies

Yes, I have been ‘Scoping.’ For quite awhile now (find me @Driftseed). And I love it. Come on over and check it out. We’ve been having a lot of fun.

This week, I have been participating in a ‘rolling scope summit’ with a few of my friends. Find us using #Essentialife. We are talking about reducing toxic load, stress management, movement and exercise, and – of course – healthy eating.

I kicked off the summit by making a Flourless Paleo Brownies recipe that I found at The Waking E-Zine and it is ah-mazing. I tweaked the recipe by adding Wild Orange Essential Oil* because we love those dark chocolate and orange flavored oranges that you can find here in the US around Christmas time. It was the perfect addition. Other great additions could be Peppermint and Lavender. Both go wonderfully with dark chocolate.

Below, find my version of Amber Oliver’s fabulous recipe.

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup zucchini shredded in a food processor liquid drained and large chunks removed
1 cup of almond butter
1/3 cup of local raw honey
1 farm fresh egg, cage free, organic, etc. (you know the drill)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1 cup of extra dark chocolate chips, mostly melted (enough that they won’t sink to the bottom of the pan in a big clump) – Choose your chocolate wisely. I use Guittards or Enjoy Life brands.

3-5 drops of Wild Orange, Peppermint, or Lavender Essential Oils* (Optional, but oh so tasty – see disclaimer below) – add these into the melted chocolate

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all the ingredients in order into a large bowl (If using essential oils, stir these into the chocolate before adding to the remaining ingredients)
3. Combine well, remove any pieces of zucchini that create lumps
4. Pour into a greased 9×9 baking pan.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Brownies will be thick, more cake-like and very moist. If this isn’t to your liking, you can drain the liquid from the zucchini for longer or squeeze the water out using paper towels. These are a perfect potluck treat. You can sway you’ve brought the veggies!

DISCLAIMER: Not all essential oils are safe for consumption. Read the labels. If there is a food supplement label on the packaging, these are safe to ingest. If there is not or the label states “Not for consumption (or some other phraseology that means the same thing) do not eat it or put it in food/drink.

If you want to know more about the essential oils I use, contact me using the form below.

 

Untitled – thoughts on progress and the path to success

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape

It’s that time again. The quarterly review prep.

I am reviewing my lists of goals, desires, progress. Reviewing wins, misses, failures, lane changes and more. Excuses and validations.  Cycling quickly through a wide variety of emotions. I succeeded here, failed there, won and lost. I’ve written the same words over and over for years: lose weight, get in shape, be more financially savvy, move to the next level with my businesses…. You know the drill.

This time is different. I say that every time. And every time, it is a true statement.

Every time I get to a review period, I am better at everything on my list than I was the time before. Small steps forward in many directions. But this time, this time I finally feel awake. In the past quarter, I have learned more than I learned in the three full years prior. I have learned what I am doing “wrong.” I had been told before, but this time I have learned. More than that, I have heard, finally, over the din of so many voices of others, I have heard my own voice. My own guides. My own path.

It is an amazing sound.

I encourage you to try it. Stop taking in more and more and more. Stop pulling in the voices of others. If you are like me, you’ve collected many. So many that you can’t even digest or action the lessons they have to share. Read, study, learn – by all means. But chew on it. Swallow it. Eat it up. Before you move to the next thing. Know why you are collecting the knowledge and how you will apply it before you invest the time.

I understand. I am a knowledge junkie. I am drawn to courses and books and study materials like a moth to a flame. When one mentor makes a recommendation, I pounce on it. I am a lifelong learner. It’s time, though, it’s time to put to use what I have learned. Which is a lot. I am a walking university.

I’ve made an agreement with myself.

No more courses. Books only for the courses I am currently subscribed to and then only for entertainment …. Which creates a large danger zone as my entertainment books are personal development books.

No more.

Currently sitting on my virtual course shelf are five business courses, three yoga studies books, and three personal development courses. Plus a finance book that is in itself like a semester of college. Looking at all of this brings the awareness that I have been hiding in my learning.

It’s time to stop the madness. I have a few business needs that would be met by me doing those courses then implementing what I learned, but I don’t want to. I have no passion or even a desire to acquire those skills. Someone somewhere told me I needed to have them. In reality, I don’t need them. At least, not right now. I am going to hire that work done for me. It isn’t in my best interest to spend the time learning those skills for a one time utilization.  Instead I will create abundance in someone else’s life and pay them to do what needs done.

This is the year of the “not doing list.” I will be taking things off my plate and giving them to others who want to do them.

And honestly, I am kinda tired of being told what to do. Even though it is done with love and the best of intentions. And often – at my request …. I had sought input with the hope that by listening I could avoid some of the pitfalls. By devouring lessons and stories of pain, I could avoid my own. But if studying the lessons of others is keeping me from taking massive steps forward, then that would be the biggest disaster of all.

Being Resourceful

_DSC4508Welcome to 2016! How have you been? I have been busy, very busy. Lots of exciting changes for me in the last quarter, and most especially the last fourteen days of 2015. To list just a few:

  • My fiancé began the process of moving his things into my (soon to be our) home. In order for this to occur, I needed to make space for his things. My on-going purge went into full effect.
  • Two moving trips turned into three, including movie worthy incidents during the second and third moves. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles anyone? (Tip: Never move on a holiday)
  • My new in-laws decided they would come for Christmas and stay for our wedding. Ten people in a house that usually has one and a half. More incidents. And when I write the word incidents … I mean we could give the Griswold’s a run for their money.
  • Christmas Eve/Christmas Day including a clash of traditions and a scramble to compensate.
  • That year when half your kids believe in Santa and the other half don’t.
  • The wedding cake – sans decorations due to a misunderstanding at the baker’s. And the frantic search through three craft stores to rectify it.
  • A wedding. Oh my gosh, what a wedding. I’ve never been to a more fun wedding and I am so grateful to be able to claim it as mine.

Now, if you’ve been following me for awhile, either here or in social media, you know that I don’t count January 1 as the official New Year. I count October 29, the day after my birthday. What this means is that annual ritual of review, renew, and plan occurs in October rather than December (good thing, huh? given all I had going on at the end of December…) But between October and December, we decided to shift focus. The path we were on wasn’t getting us where we needed to go.

Why not?

I spent a good portion of 2015 lacking resourcefulness.

What does that mean, you might ask. Let’s look at some definitions of Resourcefulness:
The ability and creativity to cope with difficulties. To be able to deal, skillfully and promptly with new situations. The ability to act effectively or imaginatively in difficult situations.

Especially as the latter part of the year came to pass, and more and more high priority items became critical on my action list, I seemed to lose more and more resources. Time especially.

Or so I said, to myself and to others.

Which is a false statement. A limiting belief. An obstacle. An avoidance. Complete and total bullshit.

You know how I know?

Because in the same amount of time, I had friends doing exactly the same things I said I was going to do. They got fit. They wrote their books. They rebranded and launched their websites. They made rank in their networking marketing companies. On and on and on.

Sure, sure, I can legitimately make the excuse that they did not have all of the obstacles I had. But they had other things. Worse things in some cases. Illnesses, hospitalizations, job loss. Some of their situations freed up more available time for them. Some increased their drive and need to ‘get it done NOW.’

What this really boils down to is that they utilized their resourcefulness while I did not.

You might be wondering where this burst of honesty is coming from. A few things happened this morning. One was a communication with a friend about some recent steps taken to launch into new areas. “My” areas. Areas this person previously had no interest in being in. At least not until we spoke a few months ago. Now my path … looks a lot like this person’s path. And for the first time in a long time, I felt envy. Envy where I normally feel pride and joy when I hear of other’s successes.

So I consulted my husband. Who never fails to amaze me with his intelligence and insight. His words alleviated (most of) my envy. And gave me a bit of pride. He helped me see where I had done exactly what I claim is one of my roles in life, be a teacher. He helped me see where my communications with this friend previously had opened up new avenues for them to travel. How if I hadn’t introduced this or that, then they would never have explored those options.

And isn’t that what I want to be? A teacher? A guide? A mentor?

Yes. Yes it is. It is what I hope to be.

Another thing that happened is the random selection of one of Tony Robbins’ talks from You Tube. In which he spoke about Resourcefulness. He describes resourcefulness as the ultimate resource. To quote him directly, he stated that “the difference between you and this person is not that they had more resources, it is that they were more resourceful.”

Truer words could not have been spoken. Thank you for the punch in the nose, Mr. Robbins, touché. Much Gratitude. Ouch.

Because I am close with this person for whom I had envy earlier today. And I know quite a bit about what has been going on in their life. And can say with honesty, that they have been just as busy with busyness as I have been.

So why is this person further ahead in our respective goals than I am? I’ll bet you can guess by now …

They were more resourceful.

They chose their target, aimed, and went for it. They didn’t allow the little or big things to derail them. But I did.

In actuality though, that will work out well for me in the long run. I have a unique ability to see pitfalls on other people’s paths and learn to watch for them on mine. So this person going before me on almost the exact path as me will give me that rare opportunity to benefit from those quirky little mistakes and failures that come up.

I also have the ability to clarify and refine further what, exactly, my goals are. Truly. It is easy to get bogged down in the action of doing a thing, going a place, making a path. And sometimes we don’t notice when we are in a rut. I have the marvelous opportunity to see the rut because someone else is traveling in it.

Serendipity.

Clutter Is More Than Extra Stuff

“Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living.”  Peter Walsh

When I tell people that I am an aspiring minimalist, they often look around at my big house and all my stuff with a raised eyebrow. Justifiably. I have a too big house for the inhabitants and way too much stuff. Throwbacks to a past life, all of it. It, collectively, is on it’s way out the door.

And I was moving along quite nicely with that. Purging and clearing clutter, emptying cupboards, leading and participating in challenges aimed at having fun while getting rid of the junk – scroll through the old posts, you’ll see them. It was fun, exciting, inspiring. Beyond the physical clutter, I was purging old beliefs, negative thoughts, negative people. I was setting up my inner circle of those trusted and valued contributors. People to whose lives I could also contribute – reciprocal relationships.

But then something happened.

I allowed a very large item of “clutter” into my life. And that item of clutter is the very definition of that quote above. I allowed it to come between me and the life I have chosen. Between me and my family time, my business building time, my workout/health time. Between me and time with my friends. Between me and the physical clutter congesting my house. And it did what clutter does. It got in the way,

Most importantly, I allowed this item of clutter came between me and my authentic self. (More on that in subsequent posts)

By choosing to allow this clutter into my life, I actively chose to set aside all of those other things. I chose to set aside myself. Only briefly, but briefly was long enough. “Briefly” did a significant amount of damage to the important things in my life.

That particular item of clutter is gone now, replaced by a new, much less intrusive and more beneficial item of clutter. The reminder of that clutter remains, though. As does the physical clutter that was mid-purge. And so, as we enter the season of holidays and consumerism, I begin again my assault on the clutter in my life.

Will you join me again in this endeavor toward the removal of the unnecessary? Those items, thoughts, beliefs, and even the occasional person who no longer serves you on your journey. Those items which no longer bring you joy? I will again be posting to my Instagram feed (@Driftseed) using the hashtag #ClutterTamersMS. You’re welcome to join. The more, the merrier seems contradictory on a post about less … but writing it brought a smile to my face.

Until next time … that’s just my pennies.

In Light & Love,
Namaste

Silence

Its been awhile since I wrote. Its also been awhile since I knew why. I’ve had plenty I want to say, to share, to rant about, to celebrate. So many things. But I could not get the words to form into coherent sentences.

Then today it hit me.

More accurately, the dam released.

And all those words began rolling out in a big jumble.

What did I do differently today?

Silence.

I sat in silence.

Buddha-9897

Now those of you that follow me might be confused. I have a mindfulness practice. I meditate more often than not. So how could I not have had silence?

Guided meditations. Or music in the background meditations. Or the kid in the other room with the TV on meditations. or or or …

Today, for the first time in a long long time, I sat in just silence. Sure there’s white noise – the refrigerator, the washing machine, the birds outside, the dog snoring. But it isn’t the same.

Usually there is a TV on somewhere, or a TED talk, or a Periscope (I’m quite addicted), an audiobook, or even just music. Noise. So much noise. Too much noise for my creative little brain.

Now I know better.

Today, Silence becomes a part of my daily routine. I invite you to try it.

In Light & Love

Namaste

Creating your own deodorant using essential oils (Crosspost)

One of my favorite DIY products is the deodorant I create in my kitchen.

Why in my kitchen instead of simply going to the store? Because when deodorant is made in my kitchen, it contains no aluminum zirconium, no parabens, and no propylene glycol. What it does contain is coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, corn starch or arrow root, and therapeutic grade essential oils. It takes less time for me to make it myself and saves me a lot of money. Plus, it works better for me.

I have always been one of those women who was unable to control the odor, no matter how strong the over the counter stuff was. And perspiration? Forget about it.

But, did you know? We shouldn’t be controlling that perspiration anyway. Our bodies are designed to self-regulate temperature (called thermoregulation), clear toxins, and function like a well oiled machine. That process involves perspiration. The odor, on the other hand, comes from the overgrowth of naturally occurring bacteria on our skin.

Over the years, I tried nearly everything, stopping short of the prescription types of antiperspirants. I spent the fortune of a small country on all of the various types of organic and natural deodorants on the market. Not one of them worked for me and some of them even made me smell worse (yuck!).

Why does mine work so well for me? In part because I don’t use it everyday, my body doesn’t build up a resistance to it. I eat higher quality foods. I also regularly detox my armpits. We’ll talk about ‘pit detox’ in a future post.

The essential oils I use to create the deodorant are high quality, therapeutic grade. No fillers and junk. There is also no fillers or junk in any of the other ingredients.

If you are interested in making your own deodorant, as well, you can do it with just a few simple ingredients. There are many recipes on the internet, this is a modification of the one I like the best.

3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons shea butter
3 tbsp aluminum free baking soda
2 tbsp arrowroot or corn starch
10 drops of essential oils – I use a combination of melaluca (3 drops), peppermint (3 drops), frankincense (3 drops), and lavender (1 drop)

Heat coconut oil and shea butter together in double boiler until just melted
Add essential oil
Mix together
Sift together baking soda and corn starch
Sprinkle slowly into oil mixture
Pour into container

Allow to set up.

A lot of people add beeswax for a firmer consistency, more shea butter for more creaminess, or liquid coconut oil and no shea butter to use in a roll on. All of these are wonderful options.

A few tidbits to know about using the above homemade deodorant, the base is a little oilier than you will most likely be used to. Leave a few extra minutes for it to soak into your skin before putting your clothes on to keep the oil from getting on your clothes. I usually put it on just after toweling off, when my skin is warm and the pores are open. It soaks in and soothes my skin, especially if I have shaved that day (That was another thing I had issues with – over the counter deodorants irritated my skin if I shaved that day).

Some people, myself included, sometimes experience an itch and discomfort when first using this deodorant. That occurs because of the detoxifying properties of the baking soda. When this occurs, I usually do a clay detox and make the opportunity to clean up my diet. I often experience discomfort when I have been eating too far off my program.

That’s it. It really is that simple.

Do you make your own deodorant? How does your recipe differ? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about essential oils, please use the contact me form. 

*Originally appeared on Starfish Warriors: http://wp.me/p3XH3X-38