Manifest Monday // What Drives You?

“Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~Howard Thurman

 

soul on fire

 

On the road to holistic health, where are you driving? Have you mapped out a path for yourself with a clear destination or are you losing yourself amongst dead ends and one way streets? Are you driving non stop or do you take a road side pause to sit and enjoy the views?

All too often in life we may find ourselves driving without having any idea of our destination. We don’t know why we are going through our days, we are driving on cruise control, doing what we think we should be doing and headed to no where in particular. What happens? We lose our zest for life, our tread on the road, our drive for the day and we leave our passions in the dust of the path behind us.

 

A lack of passion can manifest in our lives as:

  • Lethargy
  • Boredom
  • Irritability
  • Depressive episodes
  • Lack of motivation
  • Chronic fatigue

and the list goes on.

This Manifest Monday we’re evoking enjoyment and passion into our lives! Next Monday we will get clear about our destination and the road we’re traveling.

 ~*~

When we are children, we are driven by passion. We have no responsibilities besides cleaning up our toys after a day of play and exercise and make-believe. We do whatever we feel like in the moment and if it doesn’t result in fun and laughter, it’s on to the next thing. We live for enjoyment.
As we get older, we inherit responsibilities at work, at home, through schooling. Suddenly life becomes waking up to go to work, to come home and do housework, to make dinner, to watch mindless shows to wind down and going to bed to do it all over again the next morning. What are you waking up for? It’s no wonder so many of us are lethargic to get out of bed, we’ve lost our drive to do so! One of the best ways to re-ignite the passion within ourselves is to start doing those things we’re passionate about!
“There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela
backbend

Fill with a premium

What’s fueling your day?
We tend to drive full speed ahead, thinking that we must always be doing something, there is always work to get done, places to be, people to see. At what point do you run out of gas?
Slow down, and take time to stop, to refuel, to fill yourself back up so that you will be running on a full tank again. Take time to do what fills you, what lifts you and you will be ready and excited to take on the adventurous day ahead.

This week’s premium challenge:

“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
— Mae Jemison
Fuel each day, at least 20 minutes a day,  with something that you are passionate about. Let each day be different and by the end of the week you’ll have experienced 7 things that you enjoy. It could be anything from walking in nature, to reading, to writing. If one of your passions is dance, learn a video off YouTube. If it’s singing, practice your favourite show tunes. If it’s biking, bike. If it’s cooking, make something new and exciting and special (and healthy!) for dinner. Experiment. Re-explore your passions and give yourself something to look forward to everyday for at least 20minutes a day.
Prescription for wellness: add “do something exciting” to your “to do” list. When we add truly enriching and enjoyable activities to our day, we will start to connect with those things that we are passionate about. We begin to bring colour and vibrance to our lives.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

~ Ferdinand Foch

On the passionate road to health,
Suzanne Eden

Raw Lemon Raspberry Velvety Cream Chocolates

A sweet, fully raw Friday fix for you this morning!

 What began as a mouth-watering vision became a master piece of a white canvas shirt splattered in chocolate with raspberry dipped sleeves and a kitchen devoured by cashews and chocolate, lemon juice and raspberry bits. Let me assure you, it was worth every bit of the demolished shirt and stomach overstuffed from recipe tasting for these decadent bites.   But with such a rich dessert, one or two of these will satisfy your taste buds and what’s more? The high quality fats of the cashews will keep you satiated, meaning you’ll consume less and feel satisfied for longer. With a rich chocolate coating and burst of velvety, refreshing cream,  these sweet treats will satisfy both your taste buds and  your body!
Raspberry
I am thrilled to announce that I initially made these to be featured in the upcoming Jesse Lane cookbook but I’ve had permission to share them with you on here first! The second time I made them (learning my lesson and salvaging my remaining white shirts) was for my brother and new sister- in- law’s celebration of their recent wedding. They had the most gorgeous day anyone could ask for and enough leftover food to last them a month.
Don’t let them fool you, though a little time-consuming, these chocolates are easy!

Why We Steer Clear of Packaged Chocolates

  • Sugar and dairy and soy, oh my!
    • Packaged chocolates are typically bite sized morsels of decadent death. Just about everything we are trying to avoid for optimal health and wellness is morphed into these sneakily small packages.
  • Small but mighty
    • Being very tiny, we psychologically underestimate their effect. This can happen in a few ways: We end up eating more than we think, we underestimate their effect to wreak havoc on our bodies. (how could something so small be so harmful?) and we feel we need more of it in order to satisfy our sweet tooth.
  • Post munch slump
    • These chocolates will spike our blood sugar causing us to crave more sweets once, shortly after, our blood sugar crashes taking our energy levels with it.
These raw homemade chocolates are designed to combat these common issues:
  • Moderation here won’t be a problem as the fat content of the cashews will help to prevent a major spike in our blood sugar. It will also create a psychological feeling of satiety to help you feel full faster and keep you full longer. This is further enhanced by the richness of the cream, psychologically signalling your sweet tooth satisfaction.
  • How do we curb a sweet tooth? By increasing the healthy fat and protein content of our diet. These chocolates do just that with the cashews helping to curb your sweet needs without overindulgence.
  • They are dairy free, soy free, palm oil free, preservative free & refined sugar-free. This is a treat worthy of your body!
Where Pleasure Meets Quality
Cramming as much health in as possible:
It all comes down to properly sourcing your products. Here’s how to keep them satisfying your taste buds as well as your health:
  • Cashews – cashews are a definite treat as they have a high toxicity warning. However, they make for a great occasional treat that a healthy body will be able to handle. What to look for: raw, unsalted, organic cashews in an air tight container. Be sure to check your sourcing as most some raw cashews have in fact gone through some heat processing at some point during their manufacturing. And the air tight casing? This means no Bulk Barn. When left exposed to air, the delicate oils in nuts and seeds will go rancid, turning these beautifully healthy fats into holistic nightmares that will wreak havoc on your health and waistline.
  • Chocolate: Look for a raw, organic, vegan and soy free dark chocolate bar. You want at least 70% dark chocolate as the higher the content, the less sugar is added in. Also, aim for sweeteners such as coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index so it won’t spike your blood sugar the way other sweeteners will.
  • Lemon : this recipe calls for the rind and so it’s imperative that you purchase organic produce as the rind is where you’ll find the toxins and that’s just not an appealing ingredient in any dish.
  • Honey : Look for a high quality, raw honey from a pure source. You will typically need to look to your health food store rather than the conventional supermarket. A good quality honey is abundance in sweet nutrients.

chocolate

Lemon Raspberry Velvety Cream Chocolates

Ingredients

1 cup cashews
5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 cup frozen raspberries
3 tsp honey
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1-2 of your favourite vegan, soy free, dark chocolate bars

Filling

  • Soak cashews in 2 cups of water for 2-4 hours. Drain.
  • Combine all ingredients, excluding the chocolate, in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  • In a pan over low heat, melt the chocolate bar in a little coconut oil to avoid burning.
  • Fill ice cube trays with a soft, pushable bottom or chocolate molds with some of the chocolate, pour a dab (I pipped mine in for ease but either way will work) of the lemon raspberry cream in the centre and pour the rest of the chocolate over-top, just enough to cover the cream.
  • Pop in the fridge to cool and set overnight.
  • In the morning, carefully remove (you may need to leave the out of the fridge for 10-20minutes first) and savour! Store in the fridge to avoid oxidation of your delicious fats and to keep these chocolates fresh.
The lemon squeeze:
A funny thing happened when we tried these and you can weigh in too. My family came back to our house to try some left over chocolates. Some of my eager taste testers experienced far more lemon, others far more raspberry. It seemed a different flavour took precedence for each person.
.
I am personally a raspberry, I find the raspberry hits a strong flavour on my tongue with a subtle enhancement of lemon.
Are you team lemon or team raspberry?
The switch up:
There are so many inventive ways to use this cream cheese like filling. Here are a few:
  • Raw Lemon raspberry cheesecake using a nut and date crust
  • Raw Cake/Cupcake frosting

 Seat of the soul

As we move into the tail end of the week, how has your practice of gratitude come? Did you notice a lot of absentminded negativity during the swear jar challenge? This is normal. The good news is that in the same way negativity can compress into habit, positivity can expand into habit. This is what the gratitude journal is doing for you: shifting your focus, developing habits that serve you and expanding your positive energy. You can only invite more positives into your life!
Need something to put in your gratitude journal this weekend? Make these chocolates, savour a few, and pass them on!
In decadent spatters of chocolate & raspberry,
Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // Gratitude & the Swear Jar Challenge to Health

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts become conscious of our treasures” – Thornton Wilder

meditation

As the fall creeps upon us, we’re turning over a new Autumn leaf with the segment: Manifest Mondays. All about getting down and dirty and manifesting the life you want. From your health, to your relationships, your career and happiness, this is where the transformations happen! In the same way that a wholesome breakfast can fuel the body for the remainder of the day, Mondays can amp up our intentions for the week ahead.
This September’s segment? Gratitude. It’s simple, it’s powerful and best of all, it’s completely free!

~*~

“Always look on the bright side of Life”

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it’s a quality of thought, a state of mind.”
Monty Python got it right! In positive psychology we look at what brings a sense of peace, happiness and enrichment to a person’s life. Though there’s a rampant misconception that happiness comes from attaining things in our lives whether it be landing that job, making more money, finding our soul mates… studies prove that what really elevates happiness is to be appreciative for what we have now. In fact, while attaining anything on the outside may create feelings of initial happiness, we will eventually find that these things are insufficient at sustaining our happiness and we will search for the next thing.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey
What has been linked to sustained and lasting happiness is none other than gratitude itself. Your secret weapon in your arsenal of holistic wellness.  To practise appreciation, until it becomes a way of life, is to open yourself up for new transformations and a fresh perspective on the bright side of life.

11 Reasons You Need to Start Practicing Gratitude right  Now:

Oftentimes in life and our pursuit of health, the simplest things hold the greatest potential for healing.:

Mind / Spirit

  1. The Chill Pill – Side effect free, a daily dose of recommended gratitude may help to reduce anxiety and stress.
  2. Has been linked to a greater sense of well-being and quality of life.
  3. Rebounder – Gratitude has been shown to help individual’s bounce back faster from sudden tragic events. The times that it is hardest to see in gratitude are the times that we need it the most. When we make a habit out of it, it is easier to stick to the habit in difficult times and use it to uplift ourselves.
  4. It makes us happier: Just 5 minutes of daily gratitude journaling has been shown to increase your long-term overall well-being by 10%!
  5. Social Butterfly: Gratitude has been linked with having increased social circles and a greater quality of relationships. This meant having deeper connections, and stronger relationships. Why? Gratitude helps us to see the best in others, appreciate them and feel closer to them which is reciprocated. It feels good to be appreciated and others will gravitate towards this.
  6. Accomplish more: Gratitude has been linked to increased productivity and goal achievement.
  7. Quiets the Green Eyed Monster: being grateful for what we have reduces our jealousy of others. When we appreciate all we have, we can appreciate what others have as well. This is the feeling of true abundance.

Body

 8. Beauty Sleep – Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of writing in gratitude before bed can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

9. Exerciser: One study found that those who practised gratitude on a daily basis, spent 19% more time exercising.

10. Energizer – has been shown to increase energy. True gratefulness will raise your energy and the surge of feel good hormones can heighten your energy levels and make you feel more vibrant!

11.  Beat the cold: Has been linked to a stronger immune system.

I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.

~Benjamin Disraeli

The attitude of Gratitude

Wait just a moment! This is not a one week practice. Across most studies, result increased slowly. Why?

  • It may take time to really induce grateful feelings. Even if it seems more monotonous and trivial at first, keep going. The real feelings of appreciation will come and grow stronger with time.
  • It’s a mindset: eventually gratitude will become a way of life, you see in gratitude and this is where wellness will take a grateful leap!

beach

Getting in the Mood: How to LIVE in Gratitude

The challenge to swear by

We all know the swear jar. A dollar goes in for every swear word that comes out. But it’s time for a revamp with this week’s challenge: for every negative thought that creeps into our mind, every time we complain or don’t want to be doing something, we add 3 things that we are grateful for. Far more valuable than any currency. This will shift our focus to the positives that surround us, and when we focus on positives, we see more of the positives and you will attract more positives.

Pen to Paper

Begin a gratitude journal. I love to find notebooks that keep me motivated to write. Some of mine have their own inspirational quotes scrolled across the front. Begin today, write it on anything, keep the journal by your bedside table and write 3 things you are grateful for every morning and every night.

When you have the intention to write them down, you begin to look for these things and I promise, they will show up. Big, small, it’s all the same and there is something to be said about making your appreciation a concrete thought on paper.

What began as a small, honest journaling of three things I was grateful for each night, morphed into pages of thankful rambling and those pages turned to notebooks now stock piled on my shelves. Eventually I got to the point where keeping a journal seemed unnecessary, it was simply my life. But at anytime, when things get busy, the journaling is always there to pick back up and refresh our perspectives.


The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.

~Michael Josephson,
Off with a grateful bang (as the new season of the Big Bang Theory airs!),
Suzanne Eden

The Bermuda Triangle of Hamilton & the Rocky Road Trip Inspired Smoothie

If it wasn’t already, it became undeniably apparent this Thursday, that I didn’t inherit my mothers sense of directions. It is, that I’m slightly… Directionally challenged shall we say? Plop me in a forest and I can find my way back, but stick me behind a wheel or god forbid, put a map in my hand and who knows where well end up. One things for sure, it’s bound to be an adventure. If you’re looking for a rekindling of your faith in humanity (as everywhere, of the many places I stopped for directions, people went graciously out of their way to help me) or looking for a scenic tour of the province, hop on in as my passenger and give me the directions!

Thursdays 1.5 hour drive found me backtracking & lost amid the labyrinth of the one way streets of Hamilton concluding with a 3.5 hour journey to my destination. Hamilton now being the brunt of all jokes and the Bermuda Triangle of my adventures.

I did, however scenic, arrive at my destination and settle in with my aunt to talk business over a smoothie fix from Fiddleheads. Perhaps the best smoothies I have ever had as I have admittingly day dreamed about them since the very day I took my first sip. I was almost as excited for the smoothies as I was for the summit I was about to attend. My heart is truly edible.

Fiddleheads

I had to recreate my own version of this delicious smoothie for you, of course, so keep reading!

But first, before satisfying the taste buds, lets satisfy the soul with a few sips of my top lessons learned from the summit:

Top empowering messages from women to women (or women to man, this applies to you too!):

  • The three P’s
    • Passion: follow your passion, know what you love, surround yourself with it, keep clear visions and you will never lose your way (so long as I’m not driving you there)
    • Perseverance: keep moving forward (eventually you will find your way out of Hamilton)
    • Persistence: create your own doors when you find a wall, be flexible in life and take it in stride, persist to connect and share your passion. Our speaker spoke at We Day by persisting after being turned down numerous times. Turns out no-one had actually read her story. She was told that she didn’t have a chance, the speakers had been chosen, but she could meet with them for a half hour and in that time she had sold her story and the space was opened for her to share her passion in front of a stadium of enthusiastic listeners.
  • We are not the leaders of tomorrow, we are leaders of today! Life is too short to work in a profession you don’t like.
    • Amen! Keep your vision and work for it, love it, live for it. Create your life, your work, from the heart.
  • If it is to be, it is up to me.
    • You take control of your own success/ failure and embrace self improvement. Learn how to fall and get up quick with a smile on your face and always keep your vision. Trust in the magic, greatness is squared.
  • Inspire someone everyday.
    • In how you live, in the way you utterly support another’s dreams, inspiration multiples.

Inspire

~ A bite for the Road ~

Quick and easy road trip approved snacks:

  • My aunt supplied me with raw almonds and walnuts at her office to suffice until the smoothies as my stomach sounded as though I has been traveling 3 and a half days instead of hours
  • At the venue, the food ended up being platters of cookies the size of my hand and fudge squares, so I kept to the water until we happened upon the herbal tea! Blackberry raspberry tea to be exact.
  • And for the long trek home through the dark as my directions slipped down the side of the seat (you thought I was lost with directions…) and it took another 2 hours, I packed a fresh, juicy apple to enjoy.

With uplifting imagine Dragons through the stereo, I finally found my way home by 1am and collapsed into a warm and cozy bed, no directions needed.

So perhaps the greatest lesson I took from this road trip:

May we all be with the intention to get a little lost, lose our path a little ways, learn to enjoy the rocky road and reach out to others until we find our path once again. All roads will eventually lead you to where you need to be but our greatest lessons may come from veering off the map. My lesson this time: investing in a map, having emergency supplies of rationed food, and Imagine Dragons is always a good idea.

Without further ado, here is my take on the smoothie I indulged in from fiddlesticks.

The Rocky Road Shake

A rich,  decadent chocolate smoothie cut with the sweetness of fresh, juicy strawberries and a slightly rocky edge of raw cacao nibs.

Rocky road

Ingredients

  • 1 Frozen banana
  • 3/4 C fresh, organic strawberries
  • 1/4 C Unsweetened coconut/almond milk
  • 1/2 C Spinach
  • 1/2 tsp Chlorella
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract (alcohol free)
  • 1/4 Cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP Carob powder
  • 1 TBSP Raw cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP raw cacao nibs

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients apart from raw cacao nibs. Add milk to desired consistency.
  • Add the raw cacao nibs and blend a few seconds to grind them up until they are small chunks.

shake

With a delicious smoothie in hand, I am off to get lost in the forest for an afternoon of fresh air, sunshine and hopefully some deer sightings along the way.

To the rocky roads through our own Hamilton’s,

Suzanne Eden

Listen Up Yogis! The Biggest Workout Mistake I See & the Electrolyte Elixir

Prior to moving away this past year, I worked at our local hot yoga studio. Simply stepping into the room, curtains drawn, windows steaming, hot plates lining the walls, was enough to signal the body to start producing glistening beads of detoxifying sweat across your brows. I saw it all, from your basic sweaters to those whose mats resembled slip N slides by the end of practise. Everyone in that room was sweating and that’s where I started cringing. It wasn’t the sweat that had me in a bind but the fact that I watched copious amounts of people come and go without the understanding of how to properly replenish their bodies after such an intense workout. Truth be told, I didn’t truly understand the magnitude of the situation at the time. Simply drinking water is just not enough, not nearly, and regardless of whether you are sweating it out in a hot yoga studio or out on your bike on a blistering summers day, you need to know how to stay safe and protect your body.

elements

Why electrolytes are your new workout companions:

We lose electrolytes when we sweat. Potentially up to 1.5 liters in an intense workout! With the loss of sweat comes the loss of electrolytes, sending our body’s delicate balance out of whack. Have you ever felt dizzy or nauseous during a workout? This could be the culprit of imbalanced electrolytes.

Right now,  your body is sending an incomprehensible number of electrical impulses through your body. Without this, you wouldn’t be functional.  This process is only made possible by way of your cells, tissues and fluids that work in the proper ratio of salts (electrolytes) in your body. This is why it is so critical to keep this environment as it is or you are sure to feel the side effects.

 
How do we properly replenish?

Let’s begin at the bottom, the sweaty, slip N slide floor so to speak and work our way up. We’ll start with the most common energy drinks: Gatorade and Powerade. These drinks are loaded with unnecessary junk to have it both look, and taste appealing. Here are some of these concoctions biggest flaws:

  • … Buy it in every colour…?
    There is nothing natural about its fluorescent rainbow of electric yellows and manufactured green. You sweat to sweat the toxins out of your body, right? Why would you want to fill yourself back up with toxins again?
  • A spoonful of sugar… or two… or three..
    These drinks are loaded with low quality sugars. It is necessary for sugar to be present in your electrolyte balancer but the quality of sugar is key, not the heavily refined sugars found in these drinks.
  • Quality
    We need salts in our electrolyte balancer, yet what you find in these sports drinks is the low quality salts that work against our target for health.

coconut water
We are sweating to detoxify, there is nothing that makes sense in consuming toxins right after to bring them right back in. Onto the next, the buzz of coconut water.  I am a coconut water fanatic! I adore this stuff, especially with pulp! It’s a refreshing and energizing drink through the day and after a sweaty practise but it has its flaws in adequately replenishing electrolytes. It helps but its benefits are a bit… watered down shall we say?

Here’s the thing…

Coconut water is very high in potassium but low in sodium. We need the proper proportion of electrolytes to adequately restore our bodies post workout. So if we aren’t consuming coconut water with the proper ratios of salt, we’re doing better than no electrolytes at all, but we’re not quite there.

Liquid gold: The electrolyte elixir!

The holy grail of workout replenishment! This recipe was provided by my sports nutrition professor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. It offers the proper ratio of post workout components for a quick surge of energy and proper bodily replenishment. Mid workout energy slump? Try a good sip of this and you’ll be good to go. Trust me. When biking in sweet summer’s heat, this was my Savior.

I’ll admit that I was hesitant to try it. Lemon water, salt and maple syrup isn’t as enticing as the water from an exotic coconut but I was encouraged by my courageous peers who tried it first. I have to admit, it’s not bad at all. The maple syrup will tingle on your taste buds with the lemon giving it a tartness that cuts the salt. It’s like a slightly salty lemonade and incredibly refreshing.

RECIPE

500ml Purified water

2 TBSP Maple syrup

1/4-1/2 Tsp Sea salt

1/4C Lemon juice

Simply mix & hydrate!

The coconut oil in my cabinet is a glamorous pool of transparent liquid as we head into a mini heat wave this week to welcome September. Though ACTIVE-ist month is concluding, this step 2 in your holistic journey is one to keep running with. I will be sure to have more posts on this topic at some point as this month whizzed by and I have so much more to share!

Get out there, get sweaty and drink up! I would love for you to leave me a comment letting me know how this drink works for you or how you liked the taste. It’s now my workout staple and a huge impact on my routine. I hope you all have the same results and keep safe during those gloriously sweaty workout sessions!

Bottoms up!
Suzanne Eden