Baked Salmon with Roasted Squash topped with Kale, Feta and Seeds (Luteal Phase!)

Still looking for healthy & super easy recipes for those yogi evenings where you just can’t be bothered to process let alone cook? Need something low carb, rich in vitamins, and without fail, a very tasty treat to those old buds? This is it!

Not to mention, it’s another perfect recipe for the luteal phase. This would be the 10-14 days before your menstrual cycle. And if you aren’t a woman in her reproductive years- just make & eat & relish this nutrient-packed dish!

Let’s skip the questions about true “yogi” vegetarian/vegan plates — this is for those of you looking for nourishing whole foods to replenish your organism. All of the food products I buy are 100% organic and conscientious. However, the conscientious part will always vary depending on the person who is reading this recipe.

Just be forewarned that it contains fish & dairy!

No more intro, we are getting straight to the yum of it:

Shopping list:

  • Organic squash (get a small one to split and de-seed that can be shared between two)
  • Alaskan-caught salmon fillet (or similar: e.g. “Caught in the atlantic”)
  • Organic Kale (a bag or so- it will cook down significantly)
  • Organic feta block
  • Sunflower Seeds and Pumpkin seeds

How-to for the salmon and squash:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can alternately rinse them and dry them in a paper towel and roast them with your squash.
  • Place in a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes (check to see if it’s tender). No need for oil or seasonings – it will be very sweet!
  • Take your salmon fillet and squeeze some lemon juice on top and sprinkle it with salt, rosemary and pepper. Wrap up that little doggy in aluminium and bake for 15 minutes.

How-to cook & add the Kale, feta and seeds topping:

  • Clean, dry, and chop up that organic Kale. Fry with a bit of avocado oil (olive oil is also fine) and add some Hymalayan salt & organic pepper. Cook 10-15 minutes on low heat until tenderish – kale is always a bit tougher in texture than normal lettuce. You can also steam it, but it needs some flavour from some light, healthy frying
  • On a plate, place half of your baked squash and top with half your fried kale. Crumble your feta on top and sprinkle some sesame and pumpkin seeds. Place half of your fish fillet on the place and serve it up! Yas!

Don’t forget to serve the other half of all that good stuff on another plate for your guest 🙂

Enjoy & Namaste 🙂

Food for the Menstrual Phase

If you haven’t heard of cycle synching yet, get on this train!

I discovered “Womancode” by Alisa Vitti about a year and a half ago. However, it took me a little while to start taking syncing seriously- especially heeding to all her advice about proper exercise in specific times (I was a wor–out-aholic). It was a gradual change that took lots of reading, research and convincing and finally total exasperation living with painful, long, and quite emotional periods. I decided to try and make small changes according to her book. Now the book has become my shopping list, my exercise regime, and my go-to for tips on women’s health care. It even includes great info on non-organic products for the home, advice about your own skin care routine, scientific facts about the downfalls of birth control, and real testimonials from people who have been healed through cycle syncing.

Alisa Vitti is the founder of Flo Living (www.floliving.com) and a holisitic health counselor who has dedicated the past 25 years of her life to studying women’s hormones. She is now the re-known author of best selling books “Womancode” and “In the Flo”. We are finally getting real research and data for women in their reproductive years; real useful, correct, and non-harmful info on what diet plans work for us & how we can avoid trying to live up to the patriarchal system in terms of work ethic. She proves time and time again that all these highly popular diets (Keto, Paleo, Intermittent fasting) and new age work out programs (HIIT, Tabatha, hard core spin classes and marathon/triathlon training) are really only tested long-term on men or women who are post-menopausal!

But, don’t ditch the fad diet ideas or the very useful functional training programs that are out there- they are still beneficial, but only within certain phases of your cycle.

Dr. Stephanie Estima is another empowering woman dedicated to the total health of women in the their menstrual years. She studied neuroscience and psychology and became a doctor in Chiropractic and founded Hello Betty (www.hellobetty.club), a site dedicated to empowering women through synching. She also wrote a fabulous book worth checking out called “The Betty Body” which is aimed at helping women lose weight by better understanding their hormones and their cycles.

If you are a woman who has suffered PMS, has painful, long, or irregular periods, who suffers from infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or is/was taking the pill, or are simply finding themselves out of whack, tired during long work days, or with low libido, you must read either of the recommended books!

With all of this said (and worth checking out), I’d like to give some quick tips on what food is essential to eat during your menstrual phase, and also give you a quick yummy recipe.

What is happening in your menstrual phase?

You are probably experiencing a shift in energy and feel the need to relax and stay home. Your first few days of your cycle you should stay home and “nest” and focus on going inwards. This might be through work from home (nothing social), doing some light upkeep of the house, and basically allowing a bit of lounging on the couch. Let your body rest while you menstruate and avoid any heavy exercise- for realsies though. Your hormones are at their lowest points now before they reset for the follicular phase.

You feel the need for further evaluation and intuition in this phase. Reflect on the past month and use it as a time to set new intentions for your next phase.

What should you be eating?

When your hormones are at their lowest it’s a good time to go more or less keto or grain-free. I happen to do loads of exercise in my other phases and need some additional daily carbs aside from fruit & veg. Here is a go-to shopping list:

Grain:

  • Buckwheat
  • Wild rice

Fruits

  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Concord grape
  • Watermelon

Legumes:

  • Adzuki bean
  • Black soybean
  • Black turtle bean
  • Kidney bean

Nuts & Seeds:

  • Chestnut, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds

Meat:

  • Duck
  • Pork
  • Some beef

Other:

  • Blancha tea
  • Decaf coffee
  • Miso
  • Salt
  • Tamari
  • Butter
  • Bone broth

Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Burdock
  • Dulse
  • Hijiki
  • Kale
  • Kelp
  • Kombu
  • Wakame
  • Seaweed
  • Mushrooms: shitake and button
  • Water Chestnut

Seafood:

  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Mussel
  • Octopus
  • Oyster
  • Sardine
  • Scallop
  • Squid

As Vitti says, “…eating phase specific foods [there are four phases in your cycle: follicular, ovulation, luteal, and menstrual] supports your hormones to help eliminate PMS, protect fertility, achieve and maintain a healthy weight, have clearer skin, experience easier periods, improve moods, and boost energy.

A simple recipe if you are on your period:

Brown Rice & Wakame Pasta with Shiitake/Portobello mushrooms and Seaweed

Ingredients

  • Brown rice & Wakame pasta (gluten free, organic and comes in individual portions!). I use Terrasana brand from Veritas here in Spain but you can use any noodle you desire.
  • Shiitake & Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • diced scallions
  • Kombu Seaweed (Algas de Kombu) – if you buy the dried kind, soak them in warm water and sea salt for 10 minutes to prep.
  • Butter, salt and pepper (if vegan, sub butter for sesame oil)

In a pan, heat butter and add onion and scallions. After a few minutes throw in your diced Shiitake & Portobello mushrooms cooking on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, boil water for your pasta. Once boiling add the pasta for the recommended cooking time. In the case of the brown rice and wakame pasta from Terrasana- exactly 4 minutes is enough.

After soaking the seaweed, rinse them and chop them up and add them to the pan with the mushrooms.

Rinse pasta, and add to the pan with your mushrooms and seaweed. Add a little bit more butter to separate the pasta as it tends to stick together. Top with a bit of parmesan or vegan cheese similar to feta and enjoy!

This recipe can be altered to add more veg or add tofu for an additional protein kick.

Hope this was useful! Be sure to head to my Instagram page for more info on cycle-syncing (also available in SPANISH!). ❤

New Moon Detox Smoothies

Detox beet root smoothie with Coconut

Yum! Who doesn’t love a yummy healthy smoothie? I used these smoothies as meal replacements in the morning- you can optionally keep all the contents whole as a fruit bowl rather than mixing! All of them are vegan and gluten-free 🙂

These recipes follow my New Moon Detox story on Instagram. New moon is a great time to detoxify the body and realign yourself to prepare for a new lunar cycle. Don’t worry, I don’t believe in starving oneself on strict fasting diets for no good reason. This is purification from the inside out, but please be conscious of your own body. If you are a woman on her menstrual cycle, this is not recommended as the body needs real whole grains and other complex carbs & proteins (not to mention lots of love and rest!). In any case, the 4-day detox involves real food, but mostly in smoothie and soup form. Let’s start with a beet-root breakfast smothie:

Ingredients for Beatroot Detox Smoothie:

  • Cooked and peeled beet root (you only need about half, add the other half to a salad or mix it up in a soup)
  • Season fruit: in summer you can add a few apricots or 1/2 a peach, and in autumn and winter I like to add blueberries and strawberries and a 1/2 of a banana
  • A few dates for sweetness
  • The juice of one lemon and part of the rind (if organic)
  • fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • optionally add some coconut yogurt for thickness, mineral water or ice in hot weather
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax or hemp seed
  • cinnamon and coconut flakes to top it off

Mix it up and enjoy! There are so many great variations to this same smoothie, altering ingredients depending on the season, or if you are a woman, where you might be in your cycle. You can read more about what yummy foods are right for you to balance hormones in another blog post!

If you are very active and tend to do harder exercise in the morning, the next detox smoothie is great for a post work out:

Peanut Butter Detox Smoothie

Ingredients for P & B detox Smoothie:

  • Small organic green apple with skin
  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of one lemon
  • A bit of lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon raw, organic chunky peanut butter (or another nut butter)
  • teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 c coconut yogurt – greek style is the best!
  • mineral water
  • cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax or hemp seed
  • top it off with shredded coconut flakes

Detox and enjoy 🙂

Feel free to check out my instagram stories for the full New Moon detox!

Defining Relationships

When I was a child, I watched all those Disney movies. You know the ones where the lady meets her knight and shining armor? I grew up on TV programs like Saved by the Bell and 90210 and dreamed of the typical American things: to grow up and be able to drive, to wear red high heels with blue jeans, have fancy clothes, drive around in a convertible, to be a princess. I wanted to meet my prince charming and have my white wedding.

I did, at one time, really believe that these were things I needed and wanted. My life was set up for me because in every context this was the message, subliminal or not, that was sent to me: you should grow up and get married and have kids. Think “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” or the “Little Mermaid” or any programme on TV- we’re just women floundering out here waiting for a man to rescue us. I played with Ken and Barbie dolls, who of course were a married couple living in my giant doll house. My monogamous committed-to-eternity parents also instilled these concepts deep into my brain- my mother was a stay-at-home mom who took care of us while my dad made the bread. Every white picket fence house around the corner emulated the same concepts.

My lifelong vision of a family was what I had in front of me and what I saw at home, with my friends, in publicity, on TV- everywhere. It was and still is a deeply ingrained social concept.

But was this the life I had to mimic? Was I just destined to do the same: grow up, finish college, get a job, get married and buy a house? Why is this context of life and relationships still so age old?

According to Oxford dictionary, a relationship is: “the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.”

So, when along the way did relationship definitions become so tightly monogamous, so long term or life-long? When did they become end-of-the-road marriages, or have to include the idea of kids as “family making”? Since when did we all decide we were “meant” for someone else? That we were all destined to be swept off of our feet? Or we’d find “prince charming”?

Hm, maybe all those Disney movies had something to do with it.

After living in Europe for the past 12 years and here today a fully grown, single woman at 37, life has given me a lot of insight on what healthy relationships should be and why our age-old traditional notions can even be quite toxic. Side note: I AM NOT AN EXPERT. But, I really believe healthy, loving, honest relationships, whether intimate or platonic are based around strong connections and the right intrinsic energy- those where you bind with someone because of core values & morals, shared intellect and interests, and where together you see the potential of learning from each other or together. And I will go as far to say that these relationships can happen simultaneously, or if sexual can be non-monogamous, and that we may live any of our relationships out short or long term.

We’ve spent too much time on the “one person for life” tag, that we haven’t given ourselves the leeway to think outside the box and grasp the idea that MAYBE relationships can be very different from what we’ve learned since childhood. Maybe they have a much broader or narrower scope and can adapt as we grow older and change.

This TED talk video by Christopher Ryan discusses the outlook on sexuality and human relationships (based on biological and animalistic history and tendencies). An American author and psychologist, Mr. Ryan has released similar work in his book Sex at Dawn. We can start to pick apart the reason why we’ve spent lifetimes believing in monogamous marriages, when in fact, perhaps we are not meant to be monogamous “animals”.

I knew that something about me was different when my turn finally came to tie the knot. I stood inside a tiny church in the Basque Country with the man I was in love with, about to sign the papers to be married. I’ll never forget the feeling in my gut: “This isn’t going to work out”. It was so clear and so telling, that I immediately compensated that thought with: “Who cares / Whatever.” Literally, that was my second thought. I had been implanting “whatevers” in my head since I was 16 so I didn’t have to deal or investigate the things that I really wanted.

Something very valuable did not come to me until well into my 30’s. Basically after three horrendously toxic relationships (not including the man I was married to), I started to really come to terms with the fact that latching on to people that were not right for me to satisfy some goal that was not even mine was wasting my time and my life. I had grown up and become obsessed with the fact that I needed to be in a relationship: I was willing to be emotionally dependent with all the wrong people so that I wasn’t alone. So that I could make my parents happy. So I could start working on that marriage path. So I could have kids.

But my relationships were ugly. The men were non-committal, not willing to be serious or think about really investing in a life together. Some of them were narcissists. My last boyfriend actually made me believe I should be a different person so that I could have a happier life. What I was used to doing was SETTLING. Pulling the wool over my eyes and letting some other mediocre human tell me that if i just changed something about myself – if i just could relax more, if I just was a little thinner, if I just didn’t drink so much or laugh so hard or have such a hot temper- if I just changed, I could be married.

And suddenly I snapped out of it: why would I do any of those things? Do I undervalue myself just so I could be in some committed relationship? Why would I sacrifice loving and respecting exactly how I am just to keep going on with some other person who was able to rationalize a 3 day silent treatment because they were angry? How much pain and suffering was I willing to endure just to “be” with someone?

Cut to a few years later.

Self-discovery and time off from this toxicity gave me much more than I expected. Through the process of self-realization in yoga and discovering who I really am (with all the scary weak parts), I would gather that something was off for me in how I acted in my relationships. It was time to put all the bullshit aside and start something new and fresh.

Check out this eye-opening video on non-monogamy and polyamory.

I believe that self discovery is the best place to start when finding what kind of relationship dynamic is right for you. And, like it has for me, it can change over time, depending on the person you are with and a multiple of other factors. I do not necessary define myself with any term like “polyamorous” or “non-monogamous” etc. I wouldn’t even say that my next relationship has to be closed or open- it just really depends on the connection and what real core values and synchronocity you have with any person you meet that you wish to engage with.

I would start by asking the questions: Why can’t we define love based off the terms that we find satisfying with our partner? Or our multiple partners? Why can’t women in their 30s feel good about being single (which doesn’t mean “alone” or “lonely”)? Why can’t we deviate from traditional definitions of being in love and real, pure, universal love? Can we stop comparing our path with those who did end up married at 28 with three kids? And can we understand that maybe that’s not what we want, need, or value anymore?

Investigate. Ask questions. Do it with your long-term sweety. Do it alone. But more than anything, engage in your relationships the way that makes YOU feel good.

I’ll leave you with one more exceptional video by Mandy Len Catron about the real meaning of love. After all, our end goal here is always the same:

LOVE AND BE LOVED.

Tumeric Paste

We’ve all heard it! Tumeric is a miraculous spice that dates back thousands of years in India. Tumeric contains a compound called curcumin which is a great natural anti-inflammatory and a strong anti-oxidant. Why not add a little Tumeric to your morning coffee? Or sip it during the day in the now popularized “Golden Milk”. Or how about adding a bit to curry recipes, warm carrot and pumpkin soups or hot broths in winter?

Whatever the recipe, this paste is handy and ready to add to your favorite Indian recipe.

Because curcumin is poorly absorbed into the blood stream, we need to heat it and add black pepper which can increase absorption by 2,000%. You can add a little bit of coconut oil and cinnamon for added flavour and health benefits too!

Let’s get to making the paste- it’s so simple and you can store it for use for up to two weeks.

What you need:

  • A 30g spice bottle of organic tumeric powder (can get this at most organic food shops or local supermarkets) – see image!
  • Appx. 1/2 cup mineral water (use good water!)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

I literally eyeball the entire recipe. Add all ingredients to a pop and bring to a boil stirring frequently. You’ll will notice that it will start to turn to a paste rather quickly. Once it does, you’re done! Take it off the heat, pour the paste into a glass jar for storing, and that’s it!

For my “Golden Coffee”, I mix up a healthy teaspoon of the paste, vegan milk (I use rice & coconut), more cinnamon and a splash of Agave to a 1/2 cup of black organic coffee. I don’t use drip- I use an Italian Moke pot for stronger expresso. So yummy and a good healthy morning kick!

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oats (Vegan!)

Yum! This is one of my favorite breakfast treats! And breakfast is my favorite part of the day 🙂

Best made in-season with pumpkin or butternut squash:

Ingredients:

  • Half butternut squash chopped & peeled
  • 2-3 carrots chopped & peeled
  • A small 200 ml can or box of coconut cream
  • 1 cup whole wheat or normal oats (organic, not quick oats!)
  • Appx. 2 tablespoons of Chía seeds
  • A few pinches of cinnamon
  • A couple squirts of agave or honey if not vegan

Toppings:

  • Coconut yogurt or Sheep Kefír/ greek yogurt if not vegan
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • Pumpkin/Sesame seeds and mixed nuts
  • Any fresh fruit: I like banana and blueberry
  • Coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of organic, natural peanut butter

Boil your carrots and squash or pumpkin until soft. Drain most of the liquid (leave about 1/4 c water). Add back to pot with the coconut cream. Mix with a hand mixer or if you have a blender (or fancier), use that! Add cinnamon and agave and blend until smooth.

Add some of your blended squash mixture to a large jar and add your chía seeds and oats. Mix with a spoon. Fill up the jar with more squash mixture and oats until full! Seal tight and leave in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.

When it’s ready, spoon 1/2 c of your overnight pumpkin oats into a bowl. Add approx. 1/4 coconut yogurt (or sweetened Kefír or greek yogurt if you aren’t a vegan) and all your toppings! If you like it a bit sweeter don’t be afraid to add a bit more agave or honey.

Enjoy!

Kombucha

Sweet, efervescente, home-made kombucha

Kombucha is a new adventure. This sweet fermented tea dates back thousands of years ago and is known for its probiotic properties. Meaning, it’s good for your tummy and keeps overall digestion happy and healthy. Because it’s normally made with black or green tea, it’s also uplifting, effervescent and energizing!

I’m going to teach you how to make it today 🙂

Continue reading “Kombucha”

Put Her in a Box.

Continue reading “Put Her in a Box.”

Hello, Ego.

Egomaniac. Egotistical. Superegoist. Having a big fat ego.

Wait, what does having an ego even mean? When we use the word “ego” we often automatically think of people that are self-centered or pompous, self-serving and sometimes even narcissistic. They might like to toot their own horn, be a bit of a braggart and be wrapped up in themselves.

But when we get down to the core of ego, the truth is that we all have one. And while having an ego might be a way to describe someone’s inflated opinion of themselves, it’s actually also assisting that little voice inside our heads. You know the one- running it’s mouth to you all day. Telling you what to think, do and feel. Yeah, your mind. Well, the ego is the mediator between a situation that occurs and how we react and then attach ourselves to that situation through feelings, emotions and thought processes. Basically, we overly associate incidents with ourselves (our “I” and our ego) and becoming overly emotionally invested in these incidents. Our ego can even convince us of quite the opposite of stuck-up; it might even make us feel insecure, unworthy, or incompetent.

Continue reading “Hello, Ego.”

Hatha Raja Yoga Flow

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A full intermediate “coffee cup” class! I had to edit some things down, and so my head is cut off in a few segments. I’m not used to filming longer sequences on my own, but I had to share today’s beautiful fiery practice.

You can also find the video on my YouTube Channel 😁😊

Namaste beautiful yoguis. 🌎