About Kaitlin Chenoweth

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So far Kaitlin Chenoweth has created 13 blog entries.
  • building my business

Beyond Business: Building My Dreams

2017-01-28T21:53:27+00:00

When I reflect upon this past month, I can hardly believe the physical and mental transformation I’ve gone through. Taking a month to fully invest in my health and my dreams has enabled me to build the strong foundation for a business that is in complete alignment with my passions and gifts. Committing to show up for myself this month even during the moments of difficulty, doubt, and confusion has helped me change my mindset and lifestyle. In essence? This month has been by far the best investment in myself I have ever made. The Epic Fellowship was beyond business - it was an immersion in building my dreams. 

I feel genuinely proud of what I have accomplished and that I’ve been able to discipline and dedicate myself to fully to the creative process for the past thirty days. The results speak for themselves. I’ve seen drastic changes in my energy, level of fitness, discipline, creativity, and work ethic. What a wake-up call to see what I am capable of achieving in just one month’s time!

Lucky for me, I’ve been able to share this beautiful transformation and awakening with three other humans that have officially cemented a space in my heart as soul tribe. The support, guidance, wisdom, and joy that Amber and Daniel (the dynamic duo behind Epic Self) share has been such a gift and instrumental in my personal awakening. They have created such a supportive, encouraging, safe space for me to truly explore, question, and express myself. Not to mention, they have been so patient as I have gone through the process of re-evaluating my life on all levels and questioning the core of my soul’s calling to serve. Sabrina, the other woman here for Epic Fellowship, has been the best surprise soul sister. Her laughter, playfulness, insight, reflection, and sisterhood have made this experience a thousand times more powerful and rewarding than it could have ever been without her.

Last night on the new moon, Sabrina and I took time to share our prayers for the next steps we’ll be taking in life, business, and relationships as we make the transition from this incubator and rebirth ourselves into the world. We laughed, cried, and were overwhelmed with gratitude for what has shifted in both of our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Mind

Mindfulness, mindfulness, mindfulness. Consistently practicing meditation has brought a deeper awareness to my internal dialogue and thought process. This month I have bombarded my brain with positivity, affirmations, and focused as much mental energy as I can into creating a healthy mindset that supports my goals. But let me tell you...redirecting that mental focus hasn’t always been easy as pie. It is hard work to retrain the brain! Yet I will continue to do the work because I can see how those mental shifts have rippled out into the creation of positive, healthy habits.

Body

I thought I knew my body. I mean, I’ve been living in it for 25 years! Then I took my first Pilates class with Amber. She has taught me more about alignment, strength, and body mechanics during this month of pilates, yoga, and myofascial release than the culmination of all classes and teachers I have worked with before. A month of daily Pilates practice has been rocking my world. I feel so much more confident at the core of my being -- directly related to the fact that I’ve been accessing deep muscles of my core that hadn’t been activated through other forms of movement. My body feels in alignment, which has brought clarity to my mind. I have learned how to move efficiently with proper alignment, moving my body as unified organism instead of separate parts.

Spirit

I don’t think ‘life-changing’ even encapsulates what the Epic Fellowship has been for me. I have come to understand that everything I have done up until this point in my life has led me to fully accept the responsibility to share my message: music and creativity as a pathway to awakening. I am here to share the profound and positive shifts that can ripple through all areas of life when we awaken the power of our voice and creative expression. Breaking down to break through into revelation after revelation, this month has been the best investment in myself, my time, my dreams, my health, and my business.

Epic Fellowship? More like: deep dive into your soul’s most primal yearnings for expression, your purpose on Earth, and your place in the universe. Sound intense? Why yes, at times it was. And I’m sure that it will continue to be, but it is so worth it. I am ready.

Beyond Business: Building My Dreams2017-01-28T21:53:27+00:00
  • mind your movement

Change your mind, Mind your movement

2016-11-29T02:24:12+00:00

This morning I woke up feeling tired. I stayed up working way too late and didn’t get enough sleep. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Even though I wanted to sink back into sleep and ignore the world for an hour longer, I didn’t. Every morning I wake up my body and mind through movement and stretching (aka I get my sweat on). An older version of me would have made an excuse along the lines of, “but I’m so tired, I should rest instead,” or “I just don’t feel like it. I’ll do it later on today when I feel more awake.” The updated 2.0 version of me knows better.

You see, I finally understand that there are two parts of my mind that are always vying for my attention. One part of my mind is completely and utterly resistant toward change, movement, and growth. It wants to be as lazy as it can get away with. The other half knows what’s best for me: change, movement, and growth. Guess which one I choose to listen to? Hint: the latter. Wouldn’t you rather be seduced in to success by a positive voice than succumb to self-sabatoge?

Change your mind, mind your movement

I decided that I’ll show up for myself, no matter what. We often create and accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible when we are pushed into tight, uncomfortable places in life. When we are thrust into the unknown and uncomfortable, we want the scenery to change as soon as possible, which challenges us to problem-solve and practice courage, focus, and determination against all odds. Those attributes of success are, more often than not, born out of practice and failure.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  Elizabeth Appell

Make movement a priority

Do you know the telltale sign that you need to be moving your body? When it hurts, when you’re tired, and when you really don’t feel like it. We actively (and often stubbornly) resist moving our bodies. It’s our resistance toward change at it’s most basic expression in our body and mind. The more apathetic our view toward movement, the more we really should get up and cut a rug. Yes, I know it sounds contradictory, but think of it in terms of Newton’s First Law of Motion:  An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.

What we focus on, grows; what we put our energy toward, increases; and once we get the body moving and grooving, it likes to stay that way. It thrives on movement. The challenge? Getting over the initial hurdle of stagnation and immobility. The answer: making the daily choice to prioritize your health and honor your body. Sure, you’ll have days where conditions are perfect: you wake up with a twinkle in your eye, ready to run 5 miles. Most days, you’ll have to simply make the choice to show up and push yourself a little further than yesterday.

A method to push to your edge…every. time. 

Retrain the internal dialogue that wants you to give up. Equip it with affirmations, and turn it into your personal coach. Set a goal (one more lap, 5 more breaths, 30 more seconds, etc.) and when you feel your muscles shaking and your mind cracking, call upon your inner coach for support. Practice mantras like: You’ve got this. You only have one more lap. It’s just a breath, you can do 5 more no problem. You’re so close, just 30 seconds longer. One more lap, you know you can do it!  An internal dialogue that encourages you around every corner helps you reach the edge of your limits, and push beyond them.

Trust me, it will feel good

When you’re done with your daily movement practice, take a moment to appreciate the open, free feeling in your body and the clarity of your mind. The process of changing your mind is one of awareness. Being mindful of your alignment, muscular engagement, and breath during movement is the golden key to unlocking the treasures of a powerful mind-body relationship.

Change your mind, Mind your movement2016-11-29T02:24:12+00:00
  • beyond comfort and complacency

Beyond Comfort and Complacency

2016-11-25T13:26:10+00:00

I hate to break to you, but you’re lazy. Before you get offended, let me just say: I’m lazy too. Now, you and I may be lazy, but that doesn’t mean that we succumb to its spell. Laziness is natural, but it won’t get us anywhere in life. Living a conscious lifestyle requires the daily decision to push oneself beyond comfort and complacency. Embodying the transformation and growth we seek is a rewarding journey in and of itself. There are many tools and techniques that can help us bridge the gap between vision and manifestation, however they all require one thing: your willingness to commit to the process.

Think you’re up to the challenge? First, let me ask you:

Have you subscribed to commitment?

Commitment does not have an auto-renewal subscription. It is a daily choice to recognize that the voice inside our head (that *ahem* we all have) is one that we don’t have to listen to. You know, the voice that tries to keep from consistently trying in the first place? It is not always the easy, exciting choice to make, yet the fruits borne of commitment come in the flavors of discipline, self-love, and unshakable confidence. As your tastebuds begin tingling from the flavors of that rainbow, you will soon find yourself within reach of the pot of gold.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Will Power and Self Confidence are two key attributes of success that are inseparable. They are a double yolk within the same eggshell. In order to build self-confidence, we must simply begin doing what we think will give us the confidence we seek. When we are confident in our lives, we have the will power to continue working when the going gets tough because we have begun to  the results of our efforts. When our will power is strong, we feel confident that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to, because as the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Obstacles are inherently a part of a every success, and seeing your life as endless opportunity to rise above and transform through the face of challenge will skyrocket your willpower and confidence.

So just do it already!

Nike’s trademark phrase ‘Just Do It’  just about sums how. Begin by just doing whatever it is…from exactly where you are. Sure, you may have high expectations and your goals may seem a million miles away, but don’t let that stop you. We all started somewhere, and at first, we all sucked at it! Begin by breaking down your goals into bite-sized morsels. Think: 6 month plan, monthly goals, weekly goals, daily tasks. Once you begin breaking down your big goals into more manageable tasks, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more confident that you can achieve them.

Strengthen your mind-body connection

Those that make decisions and live from a place of clarity and certainty have one thing in common — they move from the core of their being, both literally and energetically. When you activate and strengthen your core muscles, you are capable of supporting your spine, back, ligaments, and joints more efficiently. There is such a strong mind-body connection, and when you consistently push yourself in a daily movement awareness practice, the results will show not only in the waistline. Your mind will become clear and ready to meet life with compassion and focus.

Stick to it every single day, whether that means 5 minutes of laying on your yoga mat connecting with your breath, or breaking a sweat during a high intensity training. Whichever way you choose to move, always bring yourself back to your breath and the chatter in your mind. Choose an affirmation or mantra to keep you going when you feel like giving up. My go-to mantra? I can do this. I am capable. My mind is focused, my body is strong.

Follow the 5 Minute Rule

We’ve all heard of the 5 second rule, but not too many have heard of the 5 minute rule. If you decide to implement just one of these techniques, the 5 minute rule will give you the biggest bang for your buck. It’s straightforward and simple in theory, but if your mind

Case in point? Think of the last time you thought, “I’m just going to spend 5 minutes on Facebook.” Now think about how much time you actually spent on Facebook. I think we can all agree it almost always turns into much longer. Once you put a few minutes of energy and focus into an activity, project, or practice, it becomes much easier to keep the momentum going.

Your energy can be used to focus or to flounder; to spring forward or stay stuck and stagnant. You always have the power to refocus your mental energy. So give it a try — for at least 5 minutes.

Connect with your Why

If there is no basis, no passionate motive, or reasoning behind the habits you wish to transform and the goals you aspire to accomplishing, then you could be trying in vain. The true momentum comes from connecting with your why. It could be simple or elaborate: I want to lose weight because I want to be a able to have the energy to play with my grandchildren. I want to work as an interior designer because I want to feel valued for expressing my artistic esthetic in the workplace. I want to stop drinking coffee because I hate having coffee breath. Remember, these are examples. No one really stops drinking coffee, let’s be honest.

The point is, connecting with your why on a daily basis proves to be a positive reminder and serves as motivation to inspire your efforts.

Celebrate Yourself

Do you realize how awesome you are? By keeping track of your goals and working toward them one task at a time, you’ll soon find yourself accomplishing dreams that you once thought too overwhelming to deal with. You’ve come a long way in your life to be able to consistently and consciously working toward your goals. Remind yourself of the good work you’re doing by reflecting on how much you’ve accomplished to get where you are now. Celebrate yourself by renewing your vows to live a fully engaging life that inspires you.

Remember the wise words of Nelson Mandela as you transform your life and manifest you greatest visions:

“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.”

 

Photo credit: Jenna Belevender Photography

Beyond Comfort and Complacency2016-11-25T13:26:10+00:00
  • Remembering my true nature

Remembering My True Nature

2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00

They say hindsight is 20/20 and that sometimes we find what we were looking for in the least expected places. Both are popular sayings because of their relevant and timeless truth. This past week, the meaning of both phrases merged together as I found exactly what I had been looking for in an unexpected place and in hindsight, it made absolute and undeniable sense. How did these deeply personal insights arise? They arose while spending three nights in ceremony with an ancient, sacred plant medicine called Ayahuasca that helped me through a process of remembering my true nature as a creatively expressive human.

First, allow me to back it up for a moment. You see, for the past three weeks I have been living in Costa Rica at the Epic Self headquarters for a month-long Epic Fellowship. Each day I have been steeping my soul in self-reflection, strengthening my body during daily movement practice, and building new habits and a mindset that reflects the life I am intentionally creating. My body has been cleansing itself of accumulated toxins through an entirely raw vegan diet and I have been shedding the literal weight of a life that wasn’t in alignment with radiant health.

Everything I’ve done during the fellowship has helped me crystalize my voice as a conscious entrepreneur, work diligently toward my vision, and build the foundations for my business. Each day has been challenging me to push beyond my preconceived creative limits. Building a business and figuring out exactly how I want to be serving the world is no cake walk, but my self-inquiry and meditation practices were helping me gain some clarity, slowly but surely.

All of the above was, unbeknownst to me, preparation on many levels for the ceremonies that I took part in last week. Detoxifying my body through clean and pure food for the past several weeks while also adhering to the specific pre-ceremony diet allowed for a much different experience with the medicine. My body is a much cleaner vessel than it was during previous ceremonies, which allowed Ayahuasca to work less as a physical medicine (through purging) and more as a healing experience through emotional and inner self exploration and expression.

For the first two weeks of the Epic Fellowship, I couldn’t quite articulate the purpose of my business, what exactly I’d be offering, and how I would tie my unique gifts into offerings that would uplift, inspire, and better the lives of the people I’d be working with. Before the ceremonies, I had been overwhelmed with a number of different ideas that I couldn’t seem to weave together into a cohesive, strong business plan that highlighted my lifelong passion as a musician and my gifts as a coach and advocate for a healthy, creative lifestyle. During the Ayahuasca ceremonies, however, my prayers for clarity were answered and the uncertainty and confusion that had been clouding my mind was dispelled.

During the first ceremony, I was invited to share a few songs. Ayahuasca gave me greater control over subtle nuances in my voice and I was able to open it in ways that had been previously inaccessible. I felt so comfortable sharing my musical gift in a ceremonial space. For the past several years, I have been enamored with learning and carrying medicine and prayer songs from different cultures and traditions around the world. To be able to share some of them in a prayerful setting was a gift.

Playing music during that first ceremony was a journey deep into my body, my mind, and my purpose. I was invited sing and play music for the next two ceremonies to be of support to others. It was an honor to be entrusted with responsibility. I felt understood, valued, and respected for the art that I have been practicing my entire life and for who I am — as a musician and open channel for divine inspiration. I felt completely supported and I stepped into my power.

My music is my medicine. It has been a constant, solid rock throughout my entire life. It brings me such peace and is my greatest joy. It is life’s greatest gift to express myself through music. It has been a healing journey to unlock the power of my voice, yet through that process, I have transformed my life into one that is aligned with curiosity, health, and self-awareness.

It was uncanny how natural and right it felt to be sharing music during the ceremonies. It became very apparent that it was not only medicine for my own life, but for the lives and experiences of others and that it was my responsibility to continue sharing it.

Music always brings me back to my center, no matter how far I may have strayed. The inspiration that flows through me has no beginning or ending — it is always there, patiently waiting for me to turn on the faucet so that it can pour through me. It is the one thing that, without fail, always connects me to my Creator and a sense of purpose and beauty beyond comprehension.

Ayahuasca helped me uncover the vision I’d been praying for. It showed me how to integrate two integral parts of myself. I was also shown the ways in which I had been unconsciously self-sabotaging my creative efforts. With the help of this plant medicine, I tapped into the areas of self-expression I had been shielding myself from. It became clear that my passion for singing and playing music cannot be separated from my never-ending journey to greater health and vitality. The two are inseparable in my life. The better care I take of my body, the more energy I have. Translation? Energy is life, inspiration, love, expression. Each day is a new commitment to take better care of myself than I did the day before. As I make that commitment, I open opportunities to create, receive, and be of service in the world.

This past week, a quote by Marianne Williamson has been my mantra:

“Our deepest fear is not we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be.”

When we remember our true nature, we remember the fearless love that yearns to light up the world. As I remember my true nature as a creative, divinely inspired and integral part of life, I effortlessly shine my light. Ayahuasca is a medicine that I have deep respect for. In my experience, it has always uncovered the imbalances in my life, helped me reflect on the path I am on, and how to reroute if necessary. Though it may show the pathway to healing, it is always up to me to listen, act upon, forgive, and follow the awakened path of the heart.

Photo credit: Jenna Belevender Photography

Remembering My True Nature2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00
  • gluten free raw vegan rosemary onion bread

Gluten Free, Raw Vegan Rosemary Onion Bread

2016-11-25T04:45:27+00:00

For the bread lover with a gluten allergy, finding a tasty recipe to quell the craving for a fresh baked loaf is like searching for the holy grail. To the gluten-free raw vegan, however, that search becomes a hungry, relentless hunt.

At least it has been for me.

For the past year, I have been staying far, far away from gluten. In the couple of years leading up to that decision, I ate it on occasion but began noticing signs of a gluten sensitivity popping up in my body. I had to say bye-bye to baguettes, adios to arepas, and sayonara to sourdough. Saying goodbye was difficult and my heart ached, but not as much as my belly when I ate bread.

The art of baking bread is a tradition that spans generations and bridges cultures. The aroma of bread baking, in most minds, conjures memories of comfort and family. If you’ve ever walked into a home where there are fresh loaves in the oven, then you speak the universal language of bread. Don’t worry, there’s only one word in this language: “mmmm.”

I’ve become extra sensitive to the intoxicating aromas of cooked and baked food as I’ve eaten a purely raw vegan diet for the past few weeks. Just thinking about a fresh baked bread is making me hungry, even though I haven’t eaten it in months. Last week during the Epic Awakening Retreat, an immensely talented chef named Pedro joined our team. On the last day, he made an onion bread that almost made me cry — not from the sting of onion, but from the fact that it tasted like bread. It smelled amazing, had a crust, and it was warm! I even made a sandwich. This, my friends, is something I did not know I would be able to eat as a raw vegan. Thank God I was wrong!

With Pedro’s onion bread as my muse, I decided to try my hand at making a dehydrated raw vegan bread. This bread is actually much easier to make than a traditional loaf of whole wheat.

Rosemary Onion Bread

3 C Sunflower seeds

2 Red onions, chopped

2 C Flaxseed, freshly ground

1 1/2 Tbs Rosemary

2 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Sea salt

1/2 C Water

To prepare:

Place the sunflower seeds and red onion in your food processor and process until it reaches a fine meal. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl, then add the ground flaxseed, rosemary, black pepper, and salt. As with most bread recipes, it helps to use your heads to incorporate the mixture. Slowly add the water continue to mix all of the ingredients evenly.

On a nonstick dehydrator sheet, spread the bread mixture into a large square about 1/2” thick. It should take up almost the entire dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 118 degrees for 4 hours, then flip it over to a mesh tray and score the bread into 12 pieces. Dehydrate for another 3 hours if you’d like a softer, warm bread, or leave it in longer until it is firm to your liking.

Servings: 12 pieces of bread*

*Only 10 pieces of bread made it out of the dehydrator. Sabrina (also here for the Epic Fellowship) and I were really doing the rest of the team a favor because we thought we should test out the bread for safety’s sake. I mean, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t poisonous or anything…

I’m happy to share that this bread is off the hook. If you top a slice with some avocado, tomato, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of salt, you may just find yourself in heaven. What are your favorite open-faced sandwich toppings? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

Gluten Free, Raw Vegan Rosemary Onion Bread2016-11-25T04:45:27+00:00
  • Banana Ice Cream with Chocolatey Peanut Sauce

Banana Ice Cream with Chocolatey Peanut Sauce

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Millions — if not billions — of men around the world wonder what women really want. For all the lady lovers out there, I’m here to let you in on the secret. Sometimes, all women want is just a delicious bowl of ice cream. Especially when it’s a heaping scoop of banana ice cream with chocolatey peanut sauce. This recipe was inspired by two of my favorite people: my Grandma and my Dad.

My grandma loves ice cream. I’ll make a bold claim: she loves it more than anyone in the whole world. It's inevitable that whenever I visit my grandma, she'll make her way to the kitchen at some point for ice cream. Over the past decade she has developed Alzheimers and though she remembers that she has a desert stomach specifically designated for ice cream consumption, she (bless her heart) forgets how many bowls she has eaten in one sitting.

My dad also loves ice cream, but he stands out in my mind more for his faithful love of peanut butter. He, on the other hand, is sharp as a tack and claims that peanuts are a superfood. Especially when said peanuts are in the form of crunchy peanut butter atop crackers. It's been his staple snack for years. I can't blame him, peanut butter on anything, in my book, is delectable.

I was thinking of them both today, so in honor of their great taste I made a batch of raw vegan banana ice cream topped with a chocolatey peanut sauce. It is simple to make and down right delicious!

Banana Ice Cream

5 frozen bananas

1/4 C coconut oil

Chocolatey Peanut Sauce

3 Tbs peanut butter

2 Tbs cacao powder

1 Tbs honey

2 Tbs coconut oil

To prepare:

Cut the frozen bananas into smaller chunks so that the food processor has an easier time blending them. Add the 1/4 cup of coconut oil and process together until they reach the consistency of soft serve ice cream. If you don’t mind your ice cream soft serve, then you’re to add the chocolatey peanut syrup. However, if you want the ice cream to firm up a bit, place the ice cream in the freezer in a shallow glass dish for half an hour before serving.

Now for the chocolate sauce. By the way, those two words — “chocolate sauce” — may just be my favorite combination of two words in the English language.

In a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, cacao powder, honey, and coconut oil. You can either eat the ice cream immediately or put it in the freezer for a minute so that the chocolate sauce turns into chocolate shell. Regardless of which you choose, your tastebuds will be singing with sweet ice cream symphonies!

Servings: Two heaping bowls of ice cream if you’re like me and my grandma! But if you have a decent amount of self control, this recipe makes enough for four adequately portioned bowls of ice cream to share amongst friends. Sprinkle your serving with dried coconut flakes and cinnamon.

And hey, this may seem like a decadent recipe. Guess what? It is! Ice cream is supposed to be a treat. It is inherent in it’s creamy, delicious nature, even when it's made from pure, whole foods. So enjoy it! And if your grandma is around, scoop some out for her. It’s a scientifically proven fact that 99% of grandmas will appreciate an unasked-for bowl of ice cream.

A little over a year ago, I visited my Grandma before she was moved into an assisted living facility. While we sat on the couch chatting, she reached over and grabbed my hand in hers. She looked at me and said, “you know, ice cream can solve any problem.”

We both started giggling, because you know what? We knew she just may be right.

Banana Ice Cream with Chocolatey Peanut Sauce2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
  • raw vegan chili and cornbread

Savory Raw Vegan Chili and Spicy Cornbread

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Chili and cornbread. Like two peas in a pod, this dynamic duo is a delicious pairing of savory, hearty soup and slightly sweet, spicy bread. It is a classic recipe in many kitchens, from which thousands of variations of ingredients and methods of preparations have been birthed. I was craving a hearty raw vegan meal after my first week at the Epic Self Fellowship and decided that making a batch of raw vegan chili and cornbread would fit the bill.

Ever since I’ve started eating a purely raw vegan diet, I feel much more energized when I eat. No more lagging energy or food hangovers after a meal. Being that chili is typically a heavy meal, loaded with beans and cooked root vegetables like potatoes, I was curious to see if a raw vegan version would satisfy my craving for a more substantial meal.

The benefit of eating a raw vegan chili is that it is chock full of ingredients that, when eaten raw, are potent immune boosters and digestive aids. When following a plant-based diet, it is so important to make sure daily nutrient needs are being met by the body. Garlic and apple cider vinegar, two of the ingredients in the chili, are both known to support immune function. Cilantro has high antioxidant properties which help to protect against damage caused by free radicals in the body. It also helps to ease digestive upset. Carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. This raw vegan chili accentuates the rich and savory flavors of hearty vegetables that pairs perfectly with the spicy cornbread and is a very nourishing meal.

Raw vegan Chili

Ingredients:

1 C sun dried tomatoes, soaked until soft

2 C tomatoes, chopped

1 C carrots, chopped

3 cloves of garlic

2 Tbs Braggs or coconut aminos

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs chili powder

Toppings:

1 small yellow onion, chopped finely

1/2 C tightly packed cilantro, leaves only

avocado, chopped

Preparation:

Soak the sun dried tomatoes in 2 cups of water. Once they have softened, blend the sun dried tomatoes and the soaking water together with the rest of the ingredients in a blender.

To serve:

Warm a bowl of the chili in a dehydrator set to 118 degrees or eat at room temperature. Top chili with chopped onion, cilantro, and avocado chunks and enjoy with a slice of cornbread!

Makes approximately 2 quarts of chili

Cornbread

Ingredients:

2 C fresh corn kernels

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 jalapeño (seeds removed), chopped

1/4 C carrot, chopped

1/2 C onion, chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp black pepper

pinch of Himalayan salt

1/2 C sunflower seeds, ground finely

1/4 C flaxseed, ground finely

in your food processor, place all ingredients 1/4 cup each of corn, ground sunflower, and flax meal. Pulse until well incorporated. Place the mixture in a bowl and mix in the corn, sunflower, and flax meal evenly.

On a nonstick dehydrator sheet, spread the cornbread mixture into squares about 1/2” thick. Dehydrate at 118 degrees for 6 hours, then flip over to a mesh tray and dehydrate for another 6-8 hours. If the cornbread is too soft to flip to the mesh tray, dehydrate it for another 1-2 hours until it is firm enough.

Makes approximately 12 pieces of cornbread

The cornbread is best served warm, but be careful because the slices may disappear fast!

Warm yourself up on a cool fall or winter day with a bowl of this flavorful chili and spicy cornbread. Share with family over a holiday meal, or invite friends to join you for a potluck dinner! Have you ever tried making a raw vegan version of a staple family meal? If so, let us know in the comments!

Savory Raw Vegan Chili and Spicy Cornbread2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
  • one week in paradise

One Week in Paradise

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

One week in paradise down, three to go. Time seems warped here in Costa Rica, and I’m hardly able to believe that my first week at the Epic Fellowship has already passed. The amount I’ve learned during the past week has inspired me to reach high in my personal entrepreneurial pursuits and shown me that the epic life I am consciously creating for myself is absolutely possible. In just one week, I’ve noticed significant shifts in my body, mindset, and goals.

The most dramatic shift I’ve felt thus far has been in my body. For the past three years, I’ve been eating a *mostly* vegan, gluten free diet. I say mostly because, though it was 99% plant based, I ate eggs and had a bit of fish on very far and few between occasions. At the beginning of this year however, I decided to stick to a strictly vegan diet. Before the Fellowship, I had never experimented with a fully raw vegan lifestyle and was excited to see what the effect would be on my body. Unbeknownst to me, my body would feel a massive shift in just one week of eating purely raw, living foods.

Notice how I said raw vegan lifestyle? This way of nourishing the body demands attention to what you choose as your fuel. It is so much more than a diet. It is a way of voting with your money to shift away from the pesticide-ridden mono-culture agricultural system that feeds the majority of the world. When you follow a raw food lifestyle, you’re aware that feeding your body the highest quality of ingredients is of utmost importance. Processed foods are out without a doubt. Though I didn’t eat them very often before the fellowship (a bag of kale chips here, a bar of chocolate there), this raw lifestyle has given me the opportunity to fully step away from any processed ingredients. Eating fresh food that is organic is key — which opens up doorways for connecting with local farmers, community members, and healthy food/environmental advocates.

I’ve gotta say, I’ve got a crush on this lifestyle.

I feel so good when I’m around it, I often find myself daydreaming about it, and it makes my body feel like a queen!

Maybe this is more than just a crush…

The best way for me to convey the way I feel is that the cells in my body feel like they are joyfully dancing and vibrating in my body. My body and mind feel ten times more awake, alert, and alive and I can focus on work for much longer periods of time. I feel more energized than I have ever felt. I’ve got the “it’s-two-in-the-morning-and-I-can’t-sleep-because-I-have-so-much-energy-I-should-go-for-a-run” kind of feeling. Oh, you’ve never experienced that? Yeah, neither had I. Normally, you would have to count me in for a solid eight hours of sleep to feel ready for the day. Not the case with raw foods. I’ve been sleeping an average of 6-7 hours per night and wake up with more spunk than a poodle in a tutu!

For the past few years, I have also worked as a private vegan chef for events and retreats. As someone with a keen curiosity in the kitchen, I couldn’t wait to experiment with and develop new recipes for some of my favorite foods. The first week’s culinary delights have included: pancakes, ice cream sandwiches, chili with cornbread, and pesto pasta to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat tons of greens every day and have made different types of salads and smoothies each day to spice it up while satiating my daily green nutrient needs.

I didn’t think that there would be that much of a difference transitioning from a vegan to raw diet but boy, was I wrong! It has greatly heightened my body awareness and enhanced my mental clarity and focus. With a clear mind, I have been able to articulate the vision I have for my business and have been able to work diligently every day toward my weekly and monthly goals. Needless to say, I’ve noticed — and loved — the difference between my vegan diet and this new raw food lifestyle. It's more than a crush...it's a match made in heaven.

 

One Week in Paradise2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
  • raw vegan ice cream sandwich

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Sandwich

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Every time I go to the beach, a tanned man pushing an ice cream cart walks by and offers me a sweet treat. Though I always decline (sorry milk!), I haven’t been able to shake the idea of making a raw vegan ice cream sandwich.

This recipe is easy to make and though you will need to plan it out ahead of time (to refrigerate and dehydrate the dough) the wait is well worth it! There are two parts — one for the almond cookie, and another for the banana ice cream.

Almond cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C almonds, soaked overnight and dried in a dehydrator for 4 hours

1 Tbs. dried, shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. vanilla

6 medjool dates, soaked until soft, and drained

1/4 C sunflower seed butter

pinch of salt

Preparation:

Pulse almonds in a blender or food processor until they are ground into a fine meal. Then, place the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.

The dough will be sticky and soft. Luckily for you, its a raw vegan recipe which means you can eat as much as the raw ‘batter’ as you’d like! Place the dough in a bowl and in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

When the dough is firm, place it on a chopping board. Roll out 1/2 - 1” thick using a rolling pin that has been dusted with almond flour. Cut cookies with a cookie cutter or knife. Place them on a mesh dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 10 hours at 118 degrees. When the cookies are done they should be crunchy on the outside and softer in the middle. Place the cookies aside so you can fill them with banana ice cream!

Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:

4 bananas: peeled and chopped, then frozen

3 Tbs. coconut oil

2 tsp. vanilla

optional: maple syrup or honey for added sweetness; cacao for chocolate ice cream

Preparation:

Blend frozen bananas and vanilla in a food processor or blender until the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Scrap down sides as necessary and add the coconut oil last, blending until evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into a container and put it in the freezer for half an hour so that it can firm up.

Now you’re ready to put the two together for a raw vegan dessert reminiscent of sunny, carefree days!

Ice Cream Sandwich

Place 1 cookie on a piece of plastic wrap. Mound banana ice cream onto the cookie and press another cookie on top. Smooth out the sides of the ice cream with a knife and wrap  the sandwich in plastic wrap. Place the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer to harden up. When you’re ready to eat your ice cream sandwich, take it out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6-8 ice cream sandwiches

Enjoy your ice cream sandwich. Experiment with the flavors, adding spices to the cookies or fruit to the banana ice cream and let us know what your favorite combination is in the comments below!

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Sandwich2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Unlock the Power of the Voice

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Up until three years ago, I was scared to sing in front of other people. I felt so vulnerable and nervous whenever I sang — like I was baring my heart and soul to the world. At that time, it felt very uncomfortable. I didn't know how to unlock the power of the voice. I still feel like I’m laying my heart on the line, but my relationship to vulnerability and fear has changed drastically since then.

I began taking an honest look at the unhealthy, unbalanced areas of my life. Taking a holistic inventory of my life meant acknowledging that all facets of my life are inextricably linked and when one area is out of balance, all other areas suffer. Bringing awareness to the fears I was holding around my creative expression gave me the opportunity to examine them closely and realize they were merely self-imposed limitations aimed at holding back my artistic expression.

When we explore our fears and choose to move head-first in the direction that they block, we free ourselves from their burden. And that, my friends, is where the juiciness lies. The fears that were once locked doors in my psyche transformed into the very keys that opened up new pathways for health, creative expression, and healing.

Singing became a joy! As I began working consciously with my voice, my life transformed. The more I sang, the more my confidence grew. It positively affected the way in which I saw myself and related to others. I courageously spoke what was on my mind more effectively in all of my relationships. Working consciously with the voice opens pathways of communication within the body and throughout life.

4 ways to unlock the power of your voice

Meditation & Breathwork

Spending 10 minutes a day meditating can greatly enhance your vocal practice. During your meditation and throughout the day, observe your internal voice. Is it one that empowers and encourages you in all that you do? Does it belittle and scorn you? There is no judgment for your internal dialogue, only awareness and compassion. We cannot change what we are unaware of, and once we take note of our internal dialogue we can offer it affirmative speech to guide and support us.

During meditation, focus on your breath. Take deep belly breaths and exhale with control, engaging your core. When you sing, the power comes from the breath and core — not from the throat — which allows you to project a strong voice. You are breathing deeply and oxygenating your body while moving vibration throughout your body. Powerful emotions may arise as you work consciously with your breath and voice to release fears you have around expressing your voice.

Nourish 

Creativity is greatly magnified when we live healthy, nourishing lives. Your voice is propelled and affected by many different muscles. Take special care of them! Hydrate your body with enough water and drink special teas (such as lemon ginger honey or licorice root) that will soothe your throat. This will relax your speaking voice and lubricate your singing voice. Limit foods that cause mucus in the body as they will congest your throat, sinuses, and ability to speak and sing clearly. Some foods that cause excessive mucus are: dairy, gluten, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Nourishing your body with cleansing foods and drinks will enhance the flow of energy in your body.

Sing!

The heart of it all! By bringing awareness to the voice on a daily basis and practicing vocal strengthening techniques, you will begin to unlock the power of your voice. It doesn’t matter how you sound now. The point is to practice consistently. Just like other muscles in the body, the ones used when we sing need to be stretched and strengthened. Think of your voice as it truly is: a expression of muscles and breath working together. You wouldn’t a novice runner to finish a marathon with no training and you shouldn’t expect your voice to sound perfect when you start either.

Enjoy yourself, practice often, and sing whenever you can — in the shower, the car, or belt it out as you listen to your favorite song. Join a choir or work with a vocal coach if you want to develop your voice more rapidly.

The process of unlocking the power of your voice is a fulfilling, creative exploration. It is a journey deep into the heart of who you are. It is an evaluation of the way you communicate with yourself, in your relationships, and with the world.

Singing is joyful! By living a healthy lifestyle that is nourishing to our body, creative mind, and heart, our ability to express ourselves through our voice and song with joy and ease is greatly enhanced.

 

Photo credit: Lucas Zhao Photography

Unlock the Power of the Voice2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
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