Posts tagged seasons
Cyclical Living: Summer Notes

Just as I teach clients to sync their lifestyles with their own internal monthly cycles, I also practice and teach syncing with the cycles of the Earth for healthier, more connected, and more meaningful living. Today (June 21st) is the Summer Solstice- the longest day of the year and the first day of Summer! I will be celebrating the occasion by watching the sunrise and the sunset today, reflecting on all the ways I have grown up until this point, and thinking about what I desire to both let go of and to cultivate in my own life.

Because the Sun is our source of energy here on Earth, you may notice the abundance of energy that you feel during Summer months. Summer is marked by the element of Fire and the emotions of joy! Between longer days with more sunshine, warmer temperatures, more time spent outside, and maybe even some vacation time planned, we feel the vibrance of life in full swing. We have gone through the cleansing and awakening of Spring and now we are ready to fully enjoy the abundance of energy we naturally feel during Summer months. Below is your guide for food, movement, self-care and ways of being for living cyclically this Summer.

EAT

LIGHTEN UP Due to the abundance of natural energy we feel during the summer months and the extra heat outside, we crave lighter, fresher, juicier and raw foods during this time of the year. Because so much is in season, it is a wonderful time to experience a variety of colors and flavors or nature. Fruits and veggies cooked on the grill or with lighter cooking methods such as steaming and sautéing will hit the spot.  Also, be sure to HYDRATE to compensate for the extra heat this season. Add in fresh lemon, cucumber or fresh mint for even more refreshment. My favorite snacks during this time include chilled quinoa salad with EVOO, cucumbers and bell peppers and fresh watermelon drizzled with Myer lemon juice.

VEGGIES IN SEASONS Beets, bell peppers, butter lettuce, corn, chayote squash, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, jalapeño peppers, lima beans, okra, peas, radishes, shallots, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes , zucchini.

FRUITS IN SEASON Apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, currants, figs, guava, grapes, lime, honeydew, mangoes, melon, nectarines, plums, peaches, papayas, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon.

MEATS During summer months, we may feel as though we need fewer animal products and fats to feel satiated. Try eating lighter meats such as fish an poultry. Or go meatless for a season and see how you feel! 

GRAINS Lighter grains such as corn, farro, millet, amaranth and quinoa tend to be favored by our bodies in summertime. A little grain goes a long way during the summer months.

MOVE

We can take advantage of the long days and abundant energy of the season to indulge in joyful movement we love, spend more time outdoors and move with friends!

JOY is key here- this is a wonderful time to observe whether the activities you participate in bring you joy, and if not- find something new! We can utilize this peak of vitality to have fun with movement and nourish our souls with our daily practices. Think of those activities you loved to do during the summertime as a child! Playing as we did as children is a great way to connect to our inner joy.

OUTDOORS EXCURSIONS such as hiking, biking, walking, kayaking, swimming, etc. are fun ways to get fresh air and can even be done with friends to scratch our itch for more social activities this time of year. Walking near a body of water and then jumping in when you get nice and toasty is a fun activity to celebrate the cooling properties of water!

HYDRATE it's important to take extra care to hydrate this time of year, especially if you are being active outdoors. Aiming for 64 oz of water per day is a good estimate. Try drinking a glass or two of water first thing in the morning to jumpstart hydration for the day.

BE

INVENTORY + CELEBRATION Summertime is a time when we reap the harvest of the seeds planted in the Spring. As the "peak of the year", it is a chance to take inventory of all the ways we have grown over the past seasons and celebrate where we are. It's a wonderful time to take inventory- what's working? What's not working? The Solstice is a powerful day to set new intentions to carry us through the rest of the year and let go of anything keeping us from moving forward.

GRATITUDE lots of sunlight means higher moods and happiness levels during this time of the year. We are primed to feel more cheerful and grateful when there is more daylight, so using this season to flex our "gratitude" muscle is a great way to turn this into a habit. If you don't already have a gratitude practice, this is a great time to start one- simply writing down 5-10 things you are grateful for each day!

CONNECT TO MASCULINE ENERGY The focus on the Sun this season helps us connect to our empowered masculine qualities. the Sun rules the masculine energy of our planet (the Moon being the feminine). Masculine doesn't mean the male gender- rather, it is that energy that is responsible for taking action, setting boundaries and orienting towards goals. What action do you need to take? Maybe action that you have been putting off or waiting until the "right time"? Now is the time! What boundaries may you need to set with yourself and with others to be in alignment with your Highest Self? What goals are asking to be set? Now is a great time to get our your calendar and begin setting dates and deadlines for projects over the next few months. Connect to the solar plexus chakra (a gorgeous bright yellow color) and explore your own personal power. How do you take action to use your power as a creator? This is great theme to explore throughout the Summer months.

INNER LIGHT reflect on the ways in which you shine your own inner light! When we shine our light we heal ourselves and this world. Connect to what is is that brings you joy and how you can share this with others though your words, thoughts and actions.

Self-Care

WAKE UP WITH THE SUN It feels easier to wake up early this time of year and make the most of our daylight hours. Why not start a new morning routine or re-vamp and existing one to bring more JOY into your life? Think about those things you wish you had more hours in the day to do, and try scheduling them in during the fresh morning hours.

SOAK UP SOME LIGHT Sunlight is crucial for our health and wellbeing. This is a great time of year to start a practice of getting 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day (depending on how fair your skin is). The aim is not to burn- simply to allow your body to soak up precious Vitamin D and regulate circadian rhythms of sleep and waking through sun exposure.

SWEAT Heat is detoxifying! Don't be afraid to sweat. Sweating is our body's natural purification system and a healthy way our gently assist our bodies in detoxing. Be sure to hydrate!

CONNECT TO NATURE with a higher motivation to get outdoors this time of year, it's the perfect opportunity to begin or strengthen your own practice of connecting to nature. Try going on a walk in solitude without any electronics to distract you. Focus on your senses- sight, sounds, smell, touch, taste- and truly soak in the experience of being in nature.

COLD SHOWERS sounds awful, feels awesome! This is a great time of year to experience the many benefits of cold showers- glowing skin, balanced hormones, and total invigoration! Begin by dry brushing your skin and then applying a body oil such as almond, sesame or coconut. Stand in the cold shower (as cold as you can handle) and begin rubbing your skin vigorously starting at the feet and working your way up. You will being to notice you no longer feel cold! Step out of the shower and pat dry, admiring your glow.

Cyclical Living: Spring Notes

In the spirit of living in harmony with the seasons, I have curated a guide for the activities, energies, tastes, smells, remedies and self-care practices that encompass the creativity, rebirth and vibrance of Spring.

Living in sync with the cycles of the seasons is a potent way to tap into the energies of nature that can guide flourishing in our lives. Because our modern culture is often disconnected from nature and the cycles of the Earth, simply bringing awareness to the beauty and intentionality of these seasonal shifts is a simple way to re-cultivate this sacred connection. Participating in the celebration of each new season may impart a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beautiful planet we live on! Living cyclically also has positive implications for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

From personal life, to work, to health, to leisure, Spring is a time for shedding the layers of Winter. It's a time for planting new seeds, setting inspired goals for the year ahead, flowing with the energy of creativity. It calls us to engage with the abundance of physical energy we feel, and celebrate the vibrant colors, longer days, warmer air and overall sense of renewal.

MOVE

In this part of the year, we have an increasing abundance of energy due to longer days, warmer temperatures and a natural inclination to move our bodies. This is a great time to:

GET OUTDOORS Take up an outdoor fitness practice such as hiking, walking, biking, group exercise classes...anything that gets you out into the fresh air!

CONSISTENCY Plan a consistent movement time each day. Whether morning, afternoon or evening, create a ritual that gets your body moving, daily.

GARDEN Plant a garden! This simple pleasure gets you outside and can be quite physical. It also imparts a sense of stewardship for the blossoming of new life. If this isn't possible where you live, try transplanting some new house plant cuttings indoors to nurture or find a community garden near you.

FRIENDS Move with friends! Springtime often fuels an increased desire to be social. Try out a new exercise class with a friend, go on a hike or nature walk, or create a new group fitness or yoga routine in the park.

NOVELTY Move in a new way! Re-define your paradigm of "exercise". Try something fun, that maybe you always wanted to try, and be open to new experiences of movement.

EAT

Our bodies understand the shifting of the seasons and often crave lighter, fresher, more colorful foods during the Springtime. They sense that it is time to shed a layer, physically and emotionally, and may naturally direct you to making food choices to facilitate this! Springtime is also seen as a time for cleansing. This can mean salads, raw foods, light soups, juices, smoothies, Buddha bowls, and meals packed with fresh vegetables, herbs, light grains, lean proteins, plenty of greens and an abundance of fresh water.

SPRING PALATE SUGGESTIONS

LETTUCES Bibb, romaine, butter, mesclun, arugula.

VEGETABLES Onion, carrots, snap peas, asparagus, garlic, fennel, radish, broccoli, avocado, leek, spinach, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms.

FRESH HERBS Dill, basil, mint, tarragon, lemon balm, chives, rosemary, thyme.

FRUITS Lemon, mandarin, mango, orange, papaya, strawberry, grapefruit, cherry, watermelon.

GRAINS quinoa, amaranth, couscous, farro, barley.

RECIPE I can't get enough of this Spring soup recipe.

BE

PLANT NEW SEEDS This time of year is perfect for "planting new seeds" for a business project or idea, new friendships and relationships, new routines, rituals and self-care practices, and anything in your life that is calling for a fresh start. We feel creative and inspired by the energy of Spring, and channeling this into hobbies, work and relationships feels natural and easy.

TRY SOMETHING NEW Bring a bit of novelty into your work, your routine, your leisure! This is a powerful time to implement new habits, rituals and intentions that bring you into more intimate alignment with the life you are creating. Maybe it's finally time to truly begin that meditation practice you've been mulling over? *hint hint* ;) Or simply visit a new park, museum or bookstore, or take a class such as ceramics, herbalism, or an intersting workshop. Expand your horizons!

BALANCE The equal length of the days and nights represents finding a sense of balance and equilibrium in our lives. This might mean a work/life balance, a seriousness/playfulness balance, a masculine energy/feminine energy balance, or simply balance in your diet, relationships and daily schedule. Journal about what "living a  balanced life" would look and feel like for you right now. Pick one or two ways in which you could implement the balance you envision into your daily life this season through new habits, rituals, behaviors and beleifs.

BECOME Spring propels new action. It can feel like a rejoicing, a new hope, gratitude, joy, and fertility for new ideas and creative ventures. Journal about your journey from "being" to "becoming"- from the experience of existing where you now, to evolving into what is next. What new adventures, growth, possibilities, opportunities and successes are on your horizon? Now is the perfect time to look forward to all that is evolving as you are growing in your life.

CREATE Tap into your unique creative force. Make art, write, sing, dance, inspire, be inspired. Creativity is the natural force of the universe and is especially potent during this time at the Earth creates a re-birth of new life.

REMEDY

Herbal remedies, essential oils and self-care practices to complement the bright, vibrant energy of Springtime.

HERBAL REMEDIES

CALENDULA A bright, sunny flower with beautiful energy. Can be made into a healing salve or oil, such as the one here, and can even be added to salads!.

NETTLES A natural allergy remedy and tonic for nails, hair and skin. Brew as a tea or infusion, and serve with raw honey over ice.

GINGER  Fires up digestion and aids in cleansing of the digestive system. Add to smoothies, juices and cooked foods.

DANDELION LEAF AND ROOT Supports the liver, kidneys and digestive system and is a natural diuretic.

TRIPHALA Supports clearing of digestive tract and aids in detoxification.

ESSENTIAL OILS

LEMONGRASS an energizing, uplifting scent and a natural bug repellent for outdoor adventures.

EUCALYPTUS a natural allergy remedy and energizing addition to showers and diffusers.

GRAPEFRUIT adds a bright flavor to smoothies and drinks, supports energy levels and metabolism, promotes mental focus, uplifts mood, promotes feelings of vitality.

YLANG YLANG Calming and uplifting, massage into scalp for healthy hair after sun exposure, promotes optimism and a positive perspective.

PEPPERMINT Energizing and cooling. Add two drops to palms, rub together, and inhale for an instant energy boost. Rub onto neck and shoulders (spot test for sensitivity first) for a tingly, cooling sensation after outdoor adventures.

SWEET ORANGE Anti-depressant, purifying for air, home surfaces and body, add to smoothies, juices, beverages and foods for a citrusy flavor, uplifting and energizing.

SELF-CARE

EXFOLIATE Slough away the dullness of winter skin with gently daily exfoliation. I love this exfoliating soap and this DIY moisturizing scrub.

STIMULATE LYMPH During the winter months, lymph fluid tends to stagnate due to less physical activity. Get this natural detox mechanism moving through dry brushing, rebounding (jumping on a trampoline!), mindful movement and a daily self-massage.

SUN EXPOSURE Spend at least 20 minutes outside each day and try to get some sun on your skin! This increases the production of Vitamin D, increases energy, heightens feeling of wellbeing and regulates circadian rhythms. 

GO NATURAL What parts of your self-care and beauty routine can benefit from a switch to a natural product? Where can you minimize to let your natural beauty shine?

Spring is a beautiful time to begin truly taking action on the vision you have for your body, your health and your life. For personalized, one-on-one support for creating new habits that stick, achieving your health goals, and engaging in your own personal health and life transformation, let's talk!

Autumn Transitions

     

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Here in Florida the seasons all seem to blur together. The summers become sweltering and the winters do sometimes chill to the bone but all through the year there is a generally mild feel that I truly do appreciate. But over the weekend a little cold front from the North came through and for the first time it truly felt like Autumn vibes had arrived. 

Even in Florida where Fall doesn't feel drastically different temperature-wise, there is a definite feeling of energy turning inward, self-reflections and letting go of what no longer serves me. Just as leaves of the trees begin to fall, I have begun to clear out the clutter in my life- both physical and mental.

I was eager to fill my car with belongings to donate- furniture, clothes, cosmetics, dishes and cookware- to ride this energy of happily releasing the physical blocks that lead to mental clutter.

Eating in honor of the seasons helps our internal clock adapt and thrive in the energy of each season even further. Nourishment came in the form of a warming and deeply nourishing red lentil coconut curry. It is so simple to make in a big batch and eat for any meal during the week or to freeze and have on hand when it's time to get cozy.

Red lentils are also perfect for supporting my ovulation phase with plenty of folate, B vitamins and fiber, and coconut milk provides filling and fats and nourishing lauric acid. Plus, it tastes absolutely divine and is even picky-boyfriend approved. It takes about 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to cook. Recipe below:

You Will Need

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves, minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 BPA-free can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups red lentil (dry)
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Cooked wild rice. brown basmati rice, farro, amaranth or grain/seed of your choice

What to Do

  • In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until onion is soft (a few minutes)
  • Add in tomato paste and curry powder and cook for another minute while stirring
  • Add in broth, coconut milks, diced tomatoes and lentil, cover and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low heat until lentils are very soft, 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Right before serving, add in spinach and stir.
  • Serve over rice, farro, amaranth, or quinoa and garnish with fresh cilantro.