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Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

September 27, 2016

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Fall has arrived on the coast in the Northeast. This morning, we traded flip flops for a pair of boots, and we are leaning into all things pumpkin spice.

This Pumpkin Banana Smoothie makes a great grab and go breakfast, high in protein and fiber. Pumpkin is linked to better sleep,vision and lower blood pressure with the benefit of vitamin A. We add whole cloves and a generous amount of cinnamon to fight inflammation, improve digestion and heart health. Skip the Greek Yogurt to keep the smoothie creamy, and without tasting tart or bitter.

Recipe
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
generous amount of ground cinnamon
6 to 10 whole cloves
dash of vanilla
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more milk to thin and/or more ice to thicken. Enjoy right away with a little sprinkle of extra cinnamon if desired.

Welcoming the Fall Equinox

September 22, 2016

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It’s that time of year again. The one that has us feeling light and airy, but craving a little more dark and cozy. That time of year when we seek balance, purpose and intention.

The Fall Equinox symbolizes the transition from summer to fall. It provides a shift from a time of fruitfulness to harvest. A few facts you must know about the Fall Equinox:

It always occurs on September 22, 23 ,or 24th.
The entire world experiences a moment of balance and equanimity as the sun shines directly on the equator.
Fall Equinox is the point of balance between Summer & Winter Solstices – the longest and shortest days of the year.

With the coming days shifting from light to dark, the Fall Equinox is the time to draw inward, dive deep into yourself, and refocus on what’s important and meaningful. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the year thus far and set positive intentions for the rest of the year ahead. This is the time to celebrate new beginnings.

To celebrate, consider the following activities to help cultivate a sense of awareness, focus, and most importantly – balance.

Meditations + Intentions
Start a mantra meditation with balance as the key focus.
Take a stab at walking meditation.
Perform a letting go ritual by using what’s found in nature – release them into a body of water to be washed away.
Seek short moments of meditation.
Create a dream catcher with natural fall elements to capture your intentions.

Journaling
A guided journal session, with a set series of questions, will smooth the transition to Fall. Grab your journal, carve out quiet time and consider these questions that will draw forth emotions, thoughts and new ideas. Make sure your journal is one you come back to often to keep the fire stoked and burning.

What have you achieved this year?
Who has helped you with these achievements? How can you thank them?
What positive habits have you cultivated?
What negative habits have you cultivated?
How can you invite in more positive experiences and release the negative experiences?
Where do you need more balance?
How can you transition into a state of balance?
What do you want to accomplish as the year ends?

Practice
This pivotal moment of balance is an opportunity for you to practice and find a moment of reflection. Explore postures that allow you to bow down and find that space within yourself where you can go beneath the surface. A few to try.
Standing Forward Fold
Tree Pose
Standing Warrior Sequence
Humble Warrior
Seated Forward Fold
Reclining Bound Angle

So, go ahead yogis. Bow down to Mother nature, shift your perspective and embrace the Fall Equinox.

An acai bowl is a delicious way to start your day with clean energy and is super easy to make. This smoothie bowl is intended for those of us seeking an endless summer, and not quite ready to embrace fall. The addition of citrus makes this recipe less sweet, yet it remains tasting bright and refreshing.

The addition of more superfoods (high nutrient density foods) in this recipe, provide a sense of grounding as we move forward into fall. Superfoods give you more energy, stabilize moods and allows your immune system to function at its peak.

Ingredients to Blend:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tabelspoon acai powder (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons chopped dates
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 juicy valencia orange, peeled and de-seeded
1 frozen banana
5 ice cubes

Toppings (sprinkle of each)
Sunflower seeds
Almonds
Raw coconut
Raw cocao nibs
Slice and squeeze of lime

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Liquid Bliss Yoga Studio in long beach island new jersey

Pure freedom comes from the ability to detach and live in the moment. To remove the distractions of technology and to listen to the sounds of nature. To disconnect. To get off the grid. To get lost with inspiration and set your heart on adventure.

Born and raised on the shores of coastal New Jersey, I feel blessed to have a strong connection to the ocean. Like the embrace of a lover, the ocean holds me tightly in its arms. I feel protected, secure and warm. And with every kiss of the salt water, I am renewed, cleansed, and free. I am in the moment.

I am not mother. I am not wife. I am not daughter. I am me. Purely, simply, and with total abandon.

Peeling back layers of relationship, responsibility, of life – the ocean reveals me. I am connected with each subtle breath, submerged in silence beneath a crashing wave. My heart pounds with anticipation in this silence and I listen to it’s rhythm, it’s desires, it’s darkest secrets. In this silence, my thoughts settle and sink, released to the bottom of the ocean. And when I float back to the surface, my soul is set free.

The surface of the ocean is in a constant state of change. Waves of energy rising and falling with fluidity, grace and power. Each wave, traveling millions of miles to finally find rest upon the sandy shores. A revitalizing energy that is transferable, settling into our bodies, carrying it forward as we move into our days.

As a surfer, I understand this energy is much larger than myself. I am not in control. I am vulnerable. I must learn to let go and be in the moment. Each moment of energy, shaping and shifting who I am, and who I will become. With this energy I disconnect, yet reconnect. I am in the moment. I am free.

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What’s in Your Daily Cup?

September 9, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdZsAtDuPfQ

As we move into fall, I have a secret to share. I did something this summer that shocked my husband to his core. It made my sister question her relationship status with me. As for my friends, they nearly disowned me.

I quit drinking coffee.

It was not an addiction to caffeine or that I was drinking too much. Rather, my daily cup of morning coffee became a habit. I didn’t enjoy every sip of the hot beverage that passed by my lips. I didn’t even enjoy the actual taste of coffee, quite honestly. In fact, most mornings I found I drank only half a cup, leaving behind a cold, milky mess.

It supposedly takes 21 days to break a habit, right? But not if you replace an old habit with something more nurturing for the body, mind and soul. This is what I found when I replaced my daily cup of joe, with a daily cup of fruits, vegetables and spices.

This recipe is simple. But the addition of cinnamon, tumeric and ginger provide added health benefits including: reduced inflammation, increased antioxidant capacity of the body, lower blood sugar and even lower cholesterol levels.

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Try replacing your daily cup with this simple and delicious recipe. And let us know what you think!

Berry Banana Spice
Ingredients
– handful blueberries
– handful raspberries
– 4 large strawberries
– half, frozen banana
– pinch cinnamon
– pinch turmeric
– pinch ginger
– ZICO Coconut Water
– Unsweetened Almond Milk
– 5 ice cubes

Directions
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.

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