Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

Squash season in upon us once again and while I know its impossible to ever get sick of butternut squash recipes check out this slow cooker tomato sauce I made to pair with my spaghetti squash.
This recipe is going to have all the warm flavors to balance Vata and Kapha dosha. Its high vegetable content is going to be especially great for Kapha while Pitta might find they need something a bit more dense. Plus the high acidity from the tomato base could cause irritation to Pitta’s spicy nature. So best to steer clear on this one.

I love this recipe because it is made of completely fresh ingredients, no need for jarred tomatoes or tomato paste, just pure vine ripened tomatoes as Ayurveda calls for. The slow cooker works long hours to break down the tomatoes and bring that saucy flavor to life!

Purple leaf tulsi is considered one of the holiest herbs in Hindu cooking. The God of all plants as these leaves are a major immune booster. The high levels of phytochemicals aid in longevity and keep the body feeling energized. They are great for the prevention of high blood pressure, and when steeped in hot water the aroma alone is known to lower stress levels.

This recipe was a great excuse to add them into my cooking and the flavors did not disappoint, even added a bit of spice

Purple leaf tulsi

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
4 tomatoes- roughly diced
1 yellow bell pepper- finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic- finely chopped
1 tbsp dried or fresh thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp purple leaf tulsi
5-6 leaves fresh basil- chopped
1 tbsp olive oil or other high quality oil

Directions:
Mix all ingredients besides the spaghetti squash together in the slow cooker and set to high for 4 hours or if you have more time low for 8 hours.
Remove 3-4 cups and blend to create a creamier sauce if desired. Recombine to slow cooker and let sit until ready to eat!
Bake spaghetti squash in the oven for about 40 minutes at 400F, let cool a bit before taking a fork to form the spaghetti strands.

I added some broccoli in the oven to give this dish a little crunch! Asparagus, green beans or any other crunchy green that sounds good to you, would do just the same.

Enjoy!

Add fresh cracked pepper on top to add last minute flavor and help your body absorb all the nutrients this dish holds!

Finding Your Yoga

It is not easy to bring daily practices into our lives. When we think about the time we have in the morning it can be very limited. Sleep always seems to sound better than taking time for ourselves that will essentially enhance the rest of our day. If we know we are going to feel better than why do we struggle to bring this into our lives?

It is all about finding your yoga. Your practice that allows you to shut down the mind, focus on the present moment and never think about about somewhere else you need to be.

For some this Yoga, for others nature alone is there yoga.

For many of us we think of Yoga as a physical exercise; stretching, sweating, moving our bodies in all sorts of shapes in order to make ourselves feel good. What we don’t realize is that yoga looks different for everyone. Yoga by definition is anything we do for ourselves that makes us feel present. For some this takes the shape of art, painting, drawing. For others it may be hiking, gardening, bicycling, working on our car, cooking or even taking our dog for a walk. It is the thing we do in our day that puts us at ease, makes us feel productive but also relaxed because in that moment we feel the connection to our souls purpose.

My grandma practicing her “yoga”. She can spend hours a day no matter the weather out in her garden, giving her mind a rest of the daily stress of life.

Finding your  yoga is the answer to bringing a daily practice into your life. What brings you to life? What sets your soul on fire? Find that practice and do it. Find the time, everyday, because you have the time even when you think you don’t.

For others yoga is music, creating something new.

Understand that feeding your soul is going to bring yoga into all other aspects of your life. When we make the time for ourselves we are also making the time for patience, understanding, gratitude and these characteristics will show up in our relationships, our motivation, our career.

I invite you to take a moment now. Shut your eyes and think of that one activity that feels like effort but is actually your favorite thing to do. Think of this passion and go bring it to life. The time to start your daily practice is now.

Smoothie Bowl Motivation!

Nothing gets you going in the morning like a fresh and hearty smoothie bowl! An exciting twist to your breakfast can really change the way you take on the day. You can pack in any flavors you want, fruits, seeds, nut butter even protein.

This recipe is especially beneficial for pitta dosha as it’s packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. Since pitta is the most sensitive to outside toxins it’s really important for them to have a high level of antioxidant foods in there diet. Healthy fats help our bodies to absorb nutrients and get the most out of our fruits and veggies. They also help to calm pittas fiery digestion because they keep us full longer!

As the summer kicks off out here we are in the height of pitta season, with the moist humid air and sweat building on our skin. It can feel a lot more difficult to stay cool from the inside as well as keep our skin clear and body odour under control. Starting our day with fresh and cooling pitta pacifying foods is best!

Check out this mornings recipe for a strawberry almond smoothie bowl ⬇️

On the inside:

  • 6-8 strawberries
  • 3-4 blackberries
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 scoops vanilla protien

On the top:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • A few fresh berries

3 Ingredient Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is life changing. It’s simple, versatile and healthy and I just can’t get enough of it!
It’s a great snack or even breakfast. You can eat it as is or jazz it up with berries, seeds, nuts, whatever floats your boat.
Chia pudding is simply canned coconut milk and chia seeds in a 2:1 ratio. However you can create just about any flavor you’d like by adding just one or two more ingredients.
Below is my go to recipe for chia pudding that I personally find doesn’t need any added sweetness but if you wanted to use it for more a dessert and less of a breakfast honey, agave or any natural sweetener can be added. This is creamy chocolate goodness 😍

1 canned organic coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp cacao powder

Make sure to get CACAO and not COCOA

Mix it together it a large bowl, making sure to get any clumps that may have accumulated on the bottom. Let it sit for at least one hour before serving.
It doesn’t have to be refrigerated to serve but will last 5-7 days in the fridge and a little chill makes it taste just like ice cream!

Some other ideas for chia pudding flavors:
Apple cinnamon
Chai
Strawberries and cream

Enjoy!

Making an Ayurvedic meal from your leftovers

Leftovers make the world go round. We all know that and love to find some good leftovers in the fridge. Traditional Ayurveda however says no no to leftover food. Day old food is no longer fresh and is not optimal in digestion. What traditional Ayurveda lacked however, was a refrigerator. Refrigeration comes in pretty handy in keeping food fresh just a little bit longer.

We open the refrigerator door and find some cooked rice, a bit of saute vegetables and we think to ourselves how can I make this into a meal. Yet alone how can I make this into an Ayurvedic meal trying to satisfy the six tastes; sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent.

While raw vegetables are generally only recommended towards a kapha diet a little bit of leafy greens can add some bitter tastes when served with rice and beans, a complete protein and in Ayurveda, considered of sweet and salty taste. Add your side of vegetables and some healthy fats to help our bodies absorb the maximum amount of nutrition from our veggies. Think of the term “fat soluble”. An avocado is great source of healthy fat and can fit into almost any recipe. Our veggies are often well spiced and so take care of our pungent tastes and lastly a squeeze of citrus on top gives that bit of astringent tastes at the end.

My last minute lunch fits all 6 tastes
  • Cooked rice and beans with black pepper and cumin
  • I used brown rice, black beans and avocado oil
  • Saute peppers and onions with garlic, cumin, fennel, and a pinch of turmeric.
  • Handful of arugula
  • Half sliced avocado
  • Lime juice from half a lime

3 Ayurvedic face masks you can make at home

Facemask for acne:
Aloe vera is good for fighting inflammation and redness. The chemical compound works especially well against acne caused by oily skin. Turmeric and green tea both combat sensitive skin. This is good for all skin types but especially Pitta dosha!

Ingredients:
– Two spoons aloe vera
– One spoon turmeric or green tea

How to:
Mix ingredients together until it creates a smooth paste. Rinse off after 15-20 minutes.

Facemask for blackheads:
Honey is antibacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It works great to peel away dirt and peel out the pesky blackheads. Milk acts to soothe and moisturize the skin. This mask is good for all doshas but especially moisturizing for Vata’s dry prone skin.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup milk
– 2 tbsp honey

How to:
Combine ingredients, mixing well until honey dissolves. Use cotton balls to apply mixture and rinse off with warm water after 15 minutes.

Facemask for oily skin:
Lemon acts as a natural detoxifier to the skin. Removing dead skins cells and reducing oil secretion. Honey is an antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant working against breakouts. This mask if great for all doshas but especially Kapha and Pitta!

Ingredients:
– 2 tbsp of lemon juice
– 1 tbsp of honey

How to:
Mix ingredients in a bowl and spread over face. Let it dry and than rinse off with warm water.

Taking Ayurveda to go

Ayurveda doesn’t often link up with a mobile lifestyle. Personally I am a frequent traveler and I love travelling long term or moving to a new place. With that comes the need to keep up with healthy habits and routines. Here is my little guide to keeping Ayurveda with you as you travel.

Make your own spice blend to add to lunch and dinner dishes
If you are practicing Ayurveda you recognize a lot of the same healing spices in your food. So when your going on a vacation or out of town for a bit pack a little jar of your favorite spice blend
Make your own spice blend for breakfast dishes or sweet treats. This blend is also great for creating some internal heat if you live or vacation in a cold climate.
Bring a medley of seeds
Seeds are nutrient packed and a good source of protein on the go. They are a great addition to so many dishes!
You can also add chia or any others that you’ve got stocked in your pantry.
Tulsi is an ayurvedic herb native to India. It has an endless list of benefits some of which include natural energy, detoxification, regulating blood pressure, blood sugar and the treatment of fevers, coughs and flus. Grind it and mix it with some water and lemon to use as a facial cleanser.

Blending Smoothies with Ayurveda

The truth is we all love smoothies. We love to use them as a way to get in our daily greens, throw some seeds in there and pretty much our entire pantry if the flavor can be masked by a banana. Banana, peanut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, spinach, almond milk, the list goes on and on for our favorite smoothie ingredients. Were thinking we’ve created the best of everything in one. What we are not thinking about is that’s a lot of different qualities of food for our digestive system to make sense of. Not to mention were probably adding ice which creates a rough, cold and hard environment inside our bodies.

Ayurveda encourages simple foods and not overloading our systems with food combinations. So smoothies are not usually high on the recommendations list. However we know they are a healthy snack or a convenient breakfast on the go. Try these tips with your next smoothie recipe to keep your digestive system feeling happy, healthy and ready absorb all those nutrients your providing.

  • Try it without ice
  • Add extra herbs or spices
  • Keep it simple

Check out this recipe for a specially balancing Pitta blend.

  • 1 cup mango
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves (5-8)
  • Half sliced cucumber
  • Coconut milk

*Add some rolled oats if trying it for breakfast to satiate Pittas extra hunger throughout the morning.

Lentil and Quinoa Burger

Ingredients- Makes about 12 patties

1 chopped onion
4 cups cooked lentils of choice
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 carrots- grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp high quality oil or ghee

I grinded a bit of flax seeds with blender to create flax seed meal and avoid having to buy both

Directions:
Heat oven to 400F
In a pan saute onion with oil/ghee until golden and soft. Let cool.
In a bowl add the cooked lentils, quinoa, carrots, turmeric, cumin, hemp seeds, flax seed, flaxseed meal, and onion. Mix together.
Line a baking sheet with oil/ghee.
Use an ice cream scoop to help create evenly sized burgers, and shape them with your hands.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops begin to golden.
Serve with your favorite bun and veggies.
I added avocado, tahini, spinach and tomato.

A Bit of a Detour

Road to Hana, Maui 2016

While this page is a business account this blog is a bit more personal. Filled with random thoughts that come to my head that I think might be worth jotting down.

For those of you who don’t know me personally I’ve spent the majority of the last 4 years travelling through different continents. I spent a lot of time in New Zealand and Australia, backpacking through Southeast Asia, Europe and parts of the Caribbean and most recently, India.

Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico 2016

While I’ll still be posting about Yoga, Ayurveda and the beauty of bringing the two together, I hope you’ll join me on another journey, across the USA, with a pretty funny best friend, during a global pandemic.

We’ve been friends for upwards of 14 years now and there’s RARELY a dull moment. We couldn’t imagine the things that might come our way as we take on this adventure but, as it never is, surely it’s not going to be smooth sailing all the time.

Somewhere in Arizona, US 2016