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Fall Bread Recipe: Banana Nut Bread

In our house the smell of banana nut bread wafting from the kitchen oven announces the arrival of fall.
I’ve experimented with a number of banana nut bread recipes over the years-this one’s my favorite! Enjoy healthier alternatives to compliment your healthy lifestyle.

Grab your pan and your bananas, and get ready for some of the season’s best comfort food.

YIELD: Makes 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes

1 1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 cup coconut oil

3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)

1/4 cup yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/3 cups pecans (4 ounces), toasted and chopped

Special equipment: a standing electric mixer

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Sift together 3 1/4 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.

Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.

Start Your Day Well: Morning Routine for Moms

Morning yoga practice is that sacred time when you nurture your body, mind, and spirit. Over years of practice, you likely go on to include meditation, breathing practices, mantra, mudras, journaling, and even intentional dietary nourishment into your morning routine. All of these practices together nourish you with the energy and fortitude you need to move through your day. Unbroken daily practice for weeks can infuse your life with focus, skillfulness, vitality, and peace of mind. This is until you become a mother.

Then, what used to be a sacred time turns into no free time. Your daily practice is bound to decline and be skipped. Sometimes, you’ll go entire months without practice. Getting back on track can seem unattainable even with a sweet baby, let alone a screaming one! There is no way to find 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep or even 8 minutes without distraction to go into your zen mode. Months of no consistent practice becomes a year, and by then, you start to experience adrenal fatigue. It might take you longer to realize that your long-lost daily practice is calling out to you. While many feel it, few can answer. Sometimes, there is no way to return to that luxurious, long hour of zen you enjoyed before becoming a momma. This is when you have to take action: you have to design a new practice.

Read the full article published on CureJoy August 2017.

Refreshing Watermelon & Mint Juice+Benefits

During the summer months in Texas, my family and and I keep cool thanks to the natural springs and watering holes located in the hill country.  In addition to the necessary preparations required when traveling with kids, we make sure to include watermelon-especially on a day spent outdoors.

We enjoy bringing a picnic packed with cold watermelon either freshly sliced, in salads, chilled juiced, and/or agua frescas.

Love the healthy vibes it contributes to our lifestyle with nutrients rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, and B. And it gets even better, what makes watermelon fruit a must have is lycopene, the antioxidant that renders the fruit its deep red color and its oh-so chill factor!

Recipe
Yield: 6 small glasses
1 small organic watermelon, chilled and cubed
4-5 stems fresh mint, stems removed if using blender method
Method
Add melon to blender and puree until smooth
Add the mint and blitz until well combined

Pour through strainer to remove pulp, (recommend leaving some pulp for dietary fiber)
Garnish with a mint leaf and serve

Use the remainder of juice for popsicles

5 Tips to Energize Your Life Under the Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice marks the beginning of summer and is the longest day and shortest night of the earth’s solar year. It is the simultaneous completion cycle of daylight increase that began at the winter solstice and the beginning cycle of nighttime increase to come for half the year.

 Solstice means “standing of the sun” and it represents a threshold of energizing fullness.We can connect with the sun’s energizing fullness at this great turning point. Here are five tips to activate the brilliant radiance within you and energize your life:

 1. Stand Under the Sun

This is an ideal time to stand under the sun and understand the celestial power of brilliant radiance at its fullest. Take a moment while the sun is “standing still” to contemplate your own view behind and ahead of the coming solar cycles:

Look back at your own unique path since the winter solstice–affirm what has increased and become more joyfully illuminated in your life…

Look ahead at your dreams of what is to come–affirm all that you will you permit yourself to be in becoming more free.

I invite you to stand and awaken to your own inner radiance at this time and let it shine fully to illuminate your life. 

2. Contemplate Your Inner Radiance

Here are a few questions to focus your inner radiance in alignment with the fullest bounty of our seasonal sun:

What have been my achievements since the winter solstice?

What less useful patterns do I wish release and to let go of during the remaining yin phase of the year ahead?

What do I wish to shine even brighter in my life?

3. Get On the Mat

Take your mat into nature and celebrate the sun in Summer Solstice with seven or more cycles of sun salutations at dawn or dusk.  Face the sun as you salute on your mat and smile celestially as you breathe.

 4. Go into Nature to Reflect and Meditate

If time permits go on retreat: head deeper into nature and celebrate the fertility of the earth during the summer solstice, reveling in how all plant and animal abundant vitality is merely energy drawn from the sun. Explore nature’s ways to creatively imagine how the energy of the sun converts into your own vitality and enduring abundance. Enjoy a walking meditation in nature at all times of the day.

 5. Bathe in Bodywork

Just as the sun bathes and stimulates the earth with solar energies, give yourself the gift of healing bodywork. Take time to indulge your favorite bodyworker or explore new modalities of energy transfer, like dry brushing your body.

 However you choose to experience your own rejuvenation, realignment and reconnecting this solstice make the most of your time in the sun and enjoy all discoveries brought to light!

 Blessings and the full bounty of the sun to you!

First published on MindBodyGreen

Power Your Resolve in 3 Easy Steps

In any ongoing practice “resolutions” can often be preconceived as negative, or invoke guilt if we don’t follow through.  Yoga offers a refreshing alternative tradition to the New Year’s itch to give things up through annual resolutions.  This practical approach is called sankalpa, or resolve.    Sankalpas give us a more positive yet equally powerful way to achieve personal improvement.  And with sankalpas, anytime is a great time to let go of guilt and open up to new possibilities–not just over New Years.

Rod Stryker, Founder of ParaYoga, explains, “that kalpa means vow, or the rule to be followed above all other rules.  San refers to a connection with the highest truth.”  Sankalpa is thus a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth that honors the deeper meaning of our life and speaks our larger purpose, or dharma.  As we embrace our overriding purpose for being here we can then set ourselves free from ego driven resolutions of years past. 

A sankalpa helps us set our conscious intent towards something greatly valued.  It starts from the radical premise that we already are who we need to be in order to fulfill our life’s purpose.  Sankalpas simply focus our mind, connect us to our most heartfelt desires and help us channel our divine energy.  For example, if we set a new year’s resolution to give up eating sweets in order to lose weight and later find ourselves eating cupcakes, we might despair or consider our willpower weak.  However, a sankalpa would expose our desire to loose weight at the root of what we’re aspiring to achieve: is it to overcome being stressed-out and depressed, looking good in a bathing suit, avoiding dangerous health risks?  As we redirect the power of our conscious awareness to our primary intention, sankalpas liberate us to recognize contradictory feelings and impulses as natural experiences all on the path towards a healthier life.  In the above example, your positive intention to be healthier could then embrace a balance of diverse lifestyle changes rather than hammering on the resolution of a rigorous diet alone.

Sankalpa are vows expressed in the present tense.  They recast true effort for the future as if the intention is already fully achieved in this moment.  Sankalpas thus free us from focusing on what we are doing wrong and instead focus us on acknowledging every moment as being continuously right. 

SETTING YOUR SANKALPA IN THREE EASY STEPS

Create sacred space for introspection such as meditation, pranayama, and journaling.  In your space ask yourself questions that only you know the answer to: How would you feel if all your desires for next year came true: where would you be, what will be added to your daily life, what will be taken away that can help you be happier, healthier, etc?

Cast each desired future reality as short sentence or phrase in the present tense for your sankalpa.  Be mindful to keep theses phrases positive and eliminate fear-based words.  For example, instead of writing “I will be a more loving being” recast it as “I am a loving being.”

Cultivate steadfast awareness on your sankalpa to employ it as a daily practice.  Gently remind yourself that your intention is already here, or combine it throughout your meditation and pranayama practice, or as a mantra.  In journaling, write it out multiple times, or write it down and place it on your bathroom mirror or even on your computer monitor.   

Have patience and know you already have within you everything you need to fulfill your dharma.  Deliberate, methodical and focused mindfullness on your sankalpa will help you manifest your most heartfelt desires through the divine energy within. 

Enjoy the journey unfolding within and all around you!

30 day challenge logo 2017 a

30 Day Yoga Challenge

date: June 12-July 11, 2017

time: Daily

location: Worldwide Web

RegisterNow

Register by May 20th and Invite a friend for free – two can participate and support each other for the price of one!  

Can you transform your life in just one month? Yes! Strike a yoga pose every day for 30 days and experience your transformation into a better you.

Let me guide you along with my insights to establishing, maintaining and thriving into your own 30-day transformation. You’ll also learn how to cultivate your daily momentum into a regular practice that fits your lifestyle.  Join the challenge and be prepared to revitalize and thrive in your everyday!

Bea Love’s 30 Day Challenge includes:

Instructional Videos,
Training Plans,
Daily Motivation & Guidance,

That’s not all! Enjoy Bonus Perks:

Flexibility to practice anywhere (online),

Live Calls,

Shared online community,

Chance to win cool GIVEAWAYS

 

Get Your Om on the Go!

Bea audio CD promo card 2

Anyone can practice Bea Love meditation any time and anywhere.  Each daily session is a contemplative pearl of wisdom connected along a silken thread of 21 days progressive learning.

This is a series appropriate for beginners as well as experienced meditators to gain greater insights.

Each daily practice begins with a ten minute guided meditation. Guidance includes breathing techniques to calm the mind, reduce stress and lead one’s awareness to the internal source of inner peace and wellbeing.

Five Reasons to Cultivate Gratitude on the Mat & Beyond:Extending Thanksgiving Throughout the Year

Gratitude is a powerful quality. Do you wait until Thanksgiving for a prompt to experience gratitude? For some of us, we might be only appreciate what we have when it’s gone – or by our family and community influencing us to participate in these high holidays.
Yoga is in many ways an ever-present season of Thanksgiving. It helps us delve deeply into our own personal experience of gratitude on a day-to-day basis. Simply having a body that works on the mat is often a wonderful bounty to behold. When we PRACTICE YOGA we initiate our own personal, daily experience of gratitude – a foundation that is especially helpful to us when our work-life or love-life circumstances are less than favorable. It is often that the real power of Yoga shines whenever our lives take such unexpected detours. The daily yoga practice on the mat we might take for granted suddenly expands to support our daily lives.
This inner-cise of gratitude awareness is as important as is the outer exercise of a physical Asana practice. Simply showing up to our yoga practice every day evolves greater potential for enduring mind-body-soul transformation in all circumstances. And that’s something to be grateful for.
As Thanksgiving brings us all towards recognizing countless blessings around us seasonally, we might additionally accept that such bounty is right in front of us and always within our grasp. Let yoga help you cultivate and experience gratitude for those daily blessings in every season.
HERE’S A FEW REASONS WHY YOGA CAN EXTEND YOUR THANKSGIVING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR:

Read full article on Gaiam here.

21 Day Meditation Challenge

date: January 25-February 14, 2017

time: Daily

location: Worldwide Web

RegisterNow

21 Guided Meditations for Modern Day 

Invite a friend for free – two can participate and support each other for the price of one!  After you register we will follow up directly to confirm your participation and issue a free gift pass to your friend.

Your own 21 day challenge begins with daily 10 minute podcasts of guided meditations.  

Each meditation segment comes complete with thematic daily mantras, proven techniques and foundation secrets that will enable you to sustain an inspired approach to living long after your challenge is over.

Bea Love invites you to embrace your intention, open up to self-transformation and treat yourself to building some TLC momentum in your life – right here, right now!