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So far Amber has created 567 blog entries.

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

You’ve probably heard about the many benefits of meditation (unless you’ve been living under a rock) – it improves health, happiness, productivity, relationships, and essentially lives you a more optimal life. But what does a meditation practice really look like for someone who’s never started one? Do you have to go to India and live in a temple for months at a time in order to learn how to meditate? We’re going to break it down for you and share some tips for starting a meditation practice that you can build upon gradually, to build yourself a happier, more mindful life.

 

Breathing meditations

 

One of the easiest ways to begin meditating is to simply focus on the breath. Find yourself a comfortable seat where you won’t feel too distracted (but even if distractions come, that’s part of the practice!), and simply watch the breath. You can count to 8 on the inhale and the exhale, or you can simply allow your mind to gently follow the breath. When it wanders away, simply bring it back. Start with 5 minutes, then gradually work your way up as you are able to sit longer.

 

Mantra meditation

 

Another technique that many people find helpful when they begin meditating is to focus on a mantra to keep their mind focused. Your mantra can be as simple as “in… out…” with the breath, or you can find an empowering statement such as “I am limitless” or even “Thank you” to focus your mind on.

 

Moving meditation

 

When we align our breath and focused mind with movement, we can enter a deeply meditative state. This kind of meditation can be great for people who tend to interact with the world kinesthetically. You can start a slow walking meditation by moving in a circle, focusing on the breath and simply on the movement of one foot in front of the other. Allow your movements to flow with the breath, so one step with each inhale, one step with each exhale. Yoga is another great way to link movement with mediation. Find a yoga practice that you resonate with, and allow this to be your time to set your wildly chaotic thoughts to the sideline. When you focus on the breath and how it moves your body, you become linked to the present moment and develop a deep and powerful mindfulness that you can bring into the rest of your life.

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

How to Recover Quickly From an Injury

2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

If you've been sidelined by an injury, you may be feeling disappointed that you can't partake in all of your normal activities and daily routines. But the good news is, as long as you focus on self-care and incorporate some of these strategies, you'll be back on your feet in no time. Here are some great (and natural) ways that you can help your body heal:

 

Food as Medicine

 

The food you put in your body has a direct impact on the news cells that are built in your body. When you're injured you really want to focus on rebuilding, whether that's bone, muscle, or tissue. Dark leafy greens like kale are chock full of Vitamin A and calcium to get the rebuilding process going. Focus on eating raw organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible for living nutrients to fuel your healing. Don't forget to incorporate protein from sources like sesame or sunflower seeds, nuts and healthy fats from avocado.

 

Gentle movements

 

While you may have to take a break from your normal Vinyasa yoga practice, movement is essential for proper healing of the body. If you let your injured body rest immobile for too long, it will atrophy and you will lose all the surrounding muscle - making it far harder to recover. Instead, practice small motions but don't push past the point of pain. Your body is meant to be in motion! So keep your joints and muscles active and flexible as you go through the healing process. You'll be grateful when it shortens your recovery time!

 

Meditate

 

One of the most powerful ways to create something in your life is to meditate on it, and healing from an injury is no different. Set aside time every day to still your mind and focus on your breath, then bring in an empowering and healing mantra. Send healing energy to your injury and imagine it growing strong and revitalized. Meditation will also help you stay grounded and present during the recovery period.

How to Recover Quickly From an Injury2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

How to Connect To Your True Purpose

2016-01-05T21:20:11+00:00

In a world that's constantly telling us how we should be living our lives, it can be crazy hard to follow the path that's true to your soul. Yet if you want to feel fulfilled and do what you're meant to in this world, it's essential to connect to your inner compass and follow its guidance. While the path may not be an easy one, to say it's rewarding would be an understatement. Here are some ways that you can connect to your purpose, and start living in alignment with who you really are:

 

Practice self-love

 

First and foremost, you must love yourself. When you discover what you love and need, and honor that - you become an unstoppable force. Don't let the world dictate to you what you need in your life. Take the time to nourish yourself the way that only you know how. Nurture the different parts of yourself: your creative side, your spiritual side, your emotional side. Self-love will lead to self-flourishing.

 

Find your tribe

 

When you surround yourself with people who really "get" the journey you're on, you make it far more likely to stay on the path. Build a community of fellow purpose-seekers, people who really care about doing something meaningful with their lives. Identify the people who drain your energy and set boundaries around spending time with them. Set up new activities and groups with your tribe so you can continue to inspire each other.

 

Listen to your intuition

 

No matter what, you are your best guide. Develop the habit of tuning into your intuition, and honoring what it has to say. This might mean starting a meditation practice where you can go within and learn to control your mind. It might mean spending time in nature where your intuition has the chance to really speak to you. Listen to your inner voice, that whisper that is speaking truth... and follow it.

 

Create

 

What is it that your inner creative genius is wanting to put out into the world? When we let go of the world's preconceptions, we free ourselves to create what is really in our heart. Do you dream to start a non-profit organization, or paint, or write music? What is one small step you can take towards creating the dream that's in your heart? Make the space for your creative time, and let go of the self-judgments that many of us have around our creativity. You are a creator by nature, and this is your time to be the artist of your life.

How to Connect To Your True Purpose2016-01-05T21:20:11+00:00

Raw Curried Carrot Burgers

2016-01-08T15:51:26+00:00

These Raw Curried Carrot Burgers are the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck or dinner party. They are so easy to throw together, not to mention a hundred times healthier (and tastier!) than the traditional meat variety. Instead of artery-clogging saturated fats, these babies are packed with vitamins from living plants like carrots, zucchini and red bell peppers. They're flavored with curry and kicked up a bit with a touch of cayenne. Paired with a smooth aoli and sundried tomato ketchup, these delish patties will be the star of your next dinner party.

 

We guarantee that you'll have all your meat-loving friends completely converted!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 carrots 
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp  of curry
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk
  • 1 handful cilantro 
  • Juice of 1 lime

 

Process carrots, zucchini and bell pepper in food processor. Transfer to large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients in together. Form the mixture into patties and place on dehydrating trays. Dehydrate overnight, then serve in portobello mushroom or eggplant buns!

We wrapped ours in bok choy leaves, made a vegan tomato sauce and served with onion rings! (see notes) Phew, it was good!!

 

Notes:

How to make onion rings- Slice up one whole onion.  Throw away outer skin and place the rings on a dehydrator tray.  Keep onions in dehydrator overnight and then serve with burger the next day.

 

 

Raw Curried Carrot Burgers2016-01-08T15:51:26+00:00

Raw Falafel with Vegan Tzaziki

2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

Raw falafels are healthy, fun and so tasty for a light lunch or snack! These babies are packed with healthy fats and raw veggies that will fill you up with vitamins and satisfaction. They take a day to make in the dehydrator, so make sure you prepare the falafels the day before the tzaziki sauce. We recommend adding the 1 tsp each of curry and cumin, then adding more to taste if you desire more flavor!

 

The beauty of falafels is that they are so versatile! You can snack on them with the dip, or put them in a salad or even in a raw pita sandwich. It's really up to you and whatever you're craving! They add a great boost of protein and fat to keep you full all day long.

 

To make the falafel:

 

  • 2 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 cup dry sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground (after grinding, equals 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (*to be added after processing)

 

First, process the carrots in a food processor until they reach a paste-like consistency.

 

Next add in the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, garlic, and spices and process until well mixed. Then add the onion and parsley to the mix.

 

Move everything into a large bowl and mix in the 1/2 cup sesame seeds by hand.

 

Roll 1 Tbsp at a time into falafel balls and place on dehydrating trays. Dehydrate overnight.

 

Photo Nov 26, 4 36 23 PM

 

To make the tzaziki:

 

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 coconut vinegar
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup dill
  • 1 clove garlic

 

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend away! Taste test as you go along and add anything your taste buds desire.

 

 

 

Raw Falafel with Vegan Tzaziki2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

Vegan Caramel Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches

2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

These vegan caramel coconut ice cream sandwiches will blow your mind! Do you remember the days when the ice cream man would come around the neighborhood? Kids would dash into their house for a dollar, then come running exuberantly out to pick out their favorite treat. Mine was always the ice cream sandwich, with deliciously melty ice cream in between two chewy sandwich cookies.

 

Fast forward to a time when I love ice cream sandwiches just as much, but prefer a way more healthy variety - vegan ice cream sandwiches! By substituting this papaya "nice" cream for regular ice cream, you're nourishing your cells without the acidic effects of dairy. And the cookies are packed with healthful ingredients like coconut, oats and bananas to give you an energetic boost that won't leave you crashing. You can eat these sandwiches as a snack or even a guilt-free breakfast! Try them out and play around with your favorite ice cream flavors!

 

Caramel coconut banana cookies

 

3 cups dried shredded coconut

5-6 bananas mashed

½ cup oats

¼ cup mesquite

4 tbsp cinnamon

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Mash all together in a bowl until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Form into small circles, place on dehydrating

 

Papaya "Nice" Cream

6 frozen bananas

2 cups frozen papaya

 

Blend in a Vitamix until it reaches ice cream consistency. Layer ice cream inside cookies and make a sandwich! Freeze until hard, then enjoy!

Vegan Caramel Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

Raw Vegan Basil Pizza with Sundried Tomato and Kale

2016-01-08T16:23:44+00:00

Get ready for this raw pizza to take over your next dinner party! If you're anything like most people, then pizza has got a special place in your heart. After all, there really is no occasion where a good pizza can't make an appearance! But while regular pizza is a staple comfort food in many people's diets, it's actually a gut-bomb that does way more harm than good. The processed-flour crust combined with greasy cheese and plethora of unhealthy toppings brings acidity into the body and leaves you feeling sluggish.

 

This raw pizza, on the other hand, is filled with the vibrant energy of plants to keep you nourished and so satisfied. It's piled with greens and flavorful toppings that will have you completely changing your pizza habit from the old, processed kind to this healthy and creative pizza that's actually great for you!

 

Thin crust pizza:

 

2 cups flax

1 cup psyllium husk

Large handful (1 cup basil), chopped

4 cloves garlic

1-2 cups water (to reach desired consistency)

 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, add water to reach a dough-like consistency. Spread on a dehydrating tray and let dehydrate for 24 hours.

 

Sauce:

 

2 cups fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

Large handful basil

2-3 tbsp olive oil

 

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender until it reaches a sauce consistency.

 

Toppings

2 cups kale, chopped finely

3 tbsp olive oil

1 zucchini, sliced into circles

1 cup palmito, shredded

 

Mix kale and olive oil in a large bowl, and massage until kale becomes soft. Marinate sliced zucchini in a bit of olive oil and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Layer pizza crust with sauce, kale, zucchini and top with shredded palmito "cheese". Cut into (large!) pieces, and enjoy!!

 

Raw Vegan Basil Pizza with Sundried Tomato and Kale2016-01-08T16:23:44+00:00

Raw Hemp Garlic Pesto Lasagna

2016-01-20T17:04:06+00:00

This Raw Hemp Garlic Pesto Lasagna is probably going to change your life, just be forewarned! As we're testing out a bunch of new raw vegan recipes in the EpicSelf kitchen this week, we realized that we wanted to recreate some classic comfort foods in a nourishing remake! This mega lasagna was definitely a huge favorite, as it's decadent layers of eggplant, zucchini, mushroom, pine nut cheese, sun dried tomatoes and tons of pesto just left our jaws dropped on the floor!

 

That is, before we picked them up to dig into this masterpiece. 😉

 

Unlike traditional lasagna, this delightful and hearty meal will leave you feeling refreshed and energized - even buzzing! Try this out and you'll never miss the processed noodles and cheese that clog up your insides. You deserve to thrive - and you crave flavor that satisfies your tastebuds AND your vitality!

 

 

INGREDIENTS: 
2 eggplants, thinly sliced into strips
3 zucchini, sliced
2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
5 large tomatoes
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups pine nuts
1 cup hemp seeds
2 large handfuls basil, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large handful basil leaves
Slice the large tomatoes and place on a dehydrating tray, allow to dehydrate for about 24 hours.
Marinate sliced mushrooms and eggplant strips in balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil; set aside and allow to marinate for 1 hour. Next, allow zucchini slices to marinate in 1/2 cup olive oil for 30 minutes.
In a food processor, combine 1 cup pine nuts and 2 tbsp olive oil, add water as needed to reach desired consistency for pine nut "cheese."
For the pesto sauce, blend 2 large handfuls basil, 1 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup hemp seeds in a food processor.
In a large glass pan, layer zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, "cheese", sundried tomatoes, basil leaves and hemp pesto sauce. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and extra hemp seeds. Dig in!!

Raw Hemp Garlic Pesto Lasagna2016-01-20T17:04:06+00:00

Raw Vegan Almond Hummus + Plantain Ceviche

2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00

It's so easy to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle when you have an abundance of fresh vegan dishes before you! Luckily, it's so simple for you to recreate these, and feel vitalized and energized all day. This raw vegan almond hummus is so versatile - you can use it as a dip for veggies, or even as an "alfredo sauce" for spiralized zucchini, when you're craving creamy pasta goodness! But unlike alfredo sauce, this gorgeous nutty hummus is free from dairy that leaves your body inflamed. The organic nuts and veggies are great for your skin, hair and will leave your insides (and outside!) completely glowing.

 

The ceviche is such a fun twist on salsa, with the slightly sweet and starchy plantains as the star of the show! Blended up with the colorful veggies, this ceviche is great as a garnish on any dish, or a perfect side salad to shine on its own. Whip up a simple salad and pair it with these two sides - you'll be feeling radiant and so satisfied!

 

Almond Hummus:

 

2 zucchinis

¾ cup soaked almonds (soak for 8 hours)

1 clove garlic

small handful basil

juice of 1 lime

 

Blend soaked almonds and zucchini in food processor or Vitamix until fully processed. Add garlic, basil and lime.

 

Plantain Ceviche:

 

4 ripe plantains

3 red bell peppers

2 cucumbers

1 red onion

2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

large handful parsley

 

Chop all vegetables and place in large bowl. Mix with parsley, olive oil and vinegar. Serve as a garnish or on its own!

 

 

 

Raw Vegan Almond Hummus + Plantain Ceviche2016-11-28T00:07:21+00:00
  • Ayahuasca Revelations

Ayahuasca Revelations

2016-01-11T20:33:12+00:00

I unravel and expand into the vastness of my being. I feel my heart beat and breath match and fuse with the vibration of the universe. Every moment slows down and bubbles over with sensory overload. My body pulses with waves of high vibration as energy and emotional blocks crumple into nothingness. A smile lights up my face as I let go and sync into the warm embrace of the rainforest and the Earth.

 

I am home. Loved and supported always.

 

A euphoric peace lasts for hours where there is no thought, only space, heart connection and immense clarity. Complete oneness with everyone and everything. The healing, deep connections, abundant love, and profound insight continue to amaze me over and over again.

 

I am humbled and grateful, as always, by the power of ayahuasca.

 

Last night as I sat in ceremony at Posada Natura with an intimate group of dear friends, tears came to my eyes. What a sacred GIFT to share and spread. We are so blessed.

Ayahuasca Revelations2016-01-11T20:33:12+00:00
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