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Wellness Wednesday: Let’s Talk about Energy Healing


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Let’s talk about energy healing. What is it? How does it work? In this blog post, I want to share with y’all some of my experience. There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding energy work, but in essence, it is rather simple and highly transformative. Healing is heart-centered work to be experienced but it is helpful for the mind to understand the process. Maybe it freaks you out. Maybe you are a skeptic. Understandable. My goal is to simplify the explanation. Let’s see if I can pull it off..

So for me, like many, the physical yoga practice was my entry way into a more nuanced understanding of energy and mind-body connection. We start with the gross body and work inward. After years of practice, I felt more tuned and in-tune, as if I had it all figured out (how naive…). I got more involved in the yoga community and eventually I was led to energy workers and healers. I did NOT know what I was getting myself into – in that very first session, I was cracked open and my secrets, both conscious and unconscious, were revealed. Awh shit, so began a deeper journey into myself than I could have ever imagined. I did NOT have it all figured out, and this realization was not disappointing at all, on the contrary it was freeing.

So what is energy medicine/energetic healing and how does it work? You may have heard of Reiki, a healing modality from Japan that has become popular in the West in recent decades. And there are plenty of others: Past Life Regression, Chakra Healing, Intuitive Healing, VortexHealing, Rainbow Therapy, Avatar Healing, Life Force Energy Healing, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Accupuncture, Shamanic Healing, and the list goes on and on. Aside from the formal modalities, many healers are innately sensitive and intuitive. But really, what does this all mean?

A basic understanding of energy and the subtle body anatomy (also called the energetic body) is not necessary to receive energy work but may help you to conceptualize what is actually going on during a session. Put (very) simply, everything in the universe puts out a vibration, or frequency, expressed as energy. Emotions are also energy, which affect the energetic field (called the aura) surrounding the physical body as well as the energy pathways and systems contained within the body. All of your cumulative thoughts (and I’ve read we have upwards of 60,000 thoughts/day) stem from and influence the emotions, which have a great impact on the subtle body. The subtle anatomy consists of energy pathways (think meridians in accupuncture, although there are several other pathway systems), the chakra system, as well as others. Even the physical body is dense energy. We as human (especially in this culture) go to great lengths to suppress and repress the emotions, which causes blockages and stores throughout the body. Physical body work like massage and yoga definitely facilitate release, but the energy medicine works on the subtle level to bring to the surface a deep build up of emotion, old patterns and karmic junk so that it can be acknowledged and eventually worked through or “cleared”. This deep inner work allows us to get re-acquainted with ourselves, including the dark, ugly bits that we hide away from the world. As you move deeper and deeper inward toward your truths, the outdated habits, thoughts and patterns begin to fall away and the heart begins to open. Sometimes these shifts and releases cycle back and become more refined, sinking into consciousness at deeper levels.

As Einstein says, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Everything is energy. This is physics! My yoga teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, believes in the next 50 years or so, someone will have invented a camera that can capture pictures of the aura. Just think, the iPhone 7 has a 12-megapixel camera with 2 lenses! (I honestly don’t know what this means but I hear it takes AMAZING pictures).

So, the healer helps you to see the truth of what you’ve worked so hard to push down and away. Why would anyone want to do through this?! Some would say, what else is there to do? This is the important life stuff. And an important side note, the word healer is somewhat of a misnomer, because the healer does not heal you, rather the healer facilitates the movement of stuck energy and helps you to safely work through what comes up. You heal you. In the end, you must take responsibility for your own spiritual growth, although the healer is a great expediter!

Phew as I’m writing this blog post I’m realizing that I’m trying to unpack loads worth of information (and I will write an upcoming blog post about all of the fabulous resources on the topic for those of you curious cats). Let’s continue this conversation. Please post and comments or questions below! AND if this really interests you, try a session and see what comes up! We offer several healing modalities with skilled energy workers at Be Here Now Yoga Healing and Wellness.

Stay tuned for my next blog post. I will highlight LeRoy Malouf, a skiller energy worker with decades of experience. He developed the Energetic Wellbeing Process and he will be here SEPTEMBER 21st FOR A FREE DEMONSTRATION. NOT TO BE MISSED.
xoxo

Meatless Mondays: Drink your greens and ALKALIZE

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Growing up, my mom had a book called “Alkalize or Die”. She would push cantaloupe and cucumbers on us, always making sure to let us know “it’s alkalizing!” It wasn’t until years later that I appreciated her efforts. Our bodies’ pH is an important indicator of health, and an acidic environment is a breeding ground for various diseases, including cancer. Most foods that comprise the “standard American diet” are acidic, e.g. meat and dairy products, sugar, breads, pasta, coffee, tea. Other the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds, and sea algae are some examples of alkaline foods. An alkaline diet ensures good health at the cellular level and energizes your system with nutrient dense, high fibrous, low sugar and magnesium rich foods. Check it out – the pH of the body is analogous to the pH of a pool – if too acidic, the water turns green from bacteria growth!

Alkalizing in the morning is a great way to reset and start the day. Drinking warm lemon water upon waking is suggested by the ancient food science of Ayurveda (you can add a touch of maple so the lemon doesn’t wear away the enamel of your teeth). Common sense would lead you to believe that lemon is acidic, but through the digestive process lemon becomes alkaline! Drinking greens in the morning is another fabulous way to energize and alkalize. If you don’t have a juicer, investing in a good green powder is a good way to take in nutrient dense greens rather than creating biological deficits through sugary drinks, coffee, and tea.

Play with these concepts, integrate, be easy on yourself and find your rhythm!

My teacher, Sri Dharma, recommends this green juice:

Half a bunch of celery
1 lemon
1 cucumber
1 green apple (optional for sweetness)
Make it your own, add parsley or other greens!

There are so many good green powders available on the market. I’ve been turned onto and highly recommend Vitamineral Green powder, a very potent blend that will knock your socks off.

Thoughts on Meatless Mondays And an introduction to our new blogger!

As you can see from our blog history, the latest Be Here Now blogger was a talented vegetarian chef offering custom recipes, practical food preparation and kitchen tips. Thanks to Greer for her fabulous Meatless Monday contributions.

Here’s a bit about my food journey and some thoughts on Meatless Monday! My experience of vegetarianism/veganism as well as my attempts to raise a well-fed and healthy family has been on a steep learning curve. The eating styles within my family vary – I am a fairly strict vegan, my husband eats meat and my son is somewhere in between (and the baby gets plant-based breast milk ☺ ). Labels aside, I think Meatless Monday is a smart and accessible way to learn about plant-based diets and how to integrate this style of eating in the kitchen – and I love how it’s become pedestrian language. I am not a militant vegan and my intention is not to place judgment on anyone for their eating choices, but I’d like to share some of the reasons why transitioning to eating less meat and dairy is great for the health of our bodies and the planet. My yoga teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, is a huge advocate for veganism as a gateway to cultivating compassion in the heart. By refraining from eating our animal brothers and sisters, we begin to see their sentience and the interconnectedness of all beings. Again, this sensitivity to the dead flesh of animals is cultivated and some do not see the value in it simply because they love the taste of meat or because they are not ready to break a lifelong habit. This is where “Meatless Monday” comes in –eating no meat one or two days out of the week as a grounds for experimenting with vegetarian cooking. A more modern reason for consuming less is for economic and ecological/environmental reasons. Staggering statistics show how much water and land it requires to raise livestock, producing far less food than the same ratio of water/land to grow vegetables. Livestock, particularly cows, also pass gas of high levels of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (although it’s lifespan in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2)! There are plenty of resources available that inform our personal decisions, specifically about what we buy and put into our mouths, as it relates to the economy and environment – and as scientific findings and the conditions of this planet continually change, I believe we have a responsibility to adapt accordingly. AND eating less meat is good for the body! Eating less meat reverses heart disease and makes you feel lighter! Again, it’s all about INTEGRATION and that’s precisely why Meatless Mondays is genius.

SO. There is no shortage of delicious recipes out there. Grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats like avocado and coconut, fruit and TONS of vegetables, especially those dark leafy greens – this is the stuff that healthy recipes are made of. Some of my favorite food bloggers are Ohsheglows and MinimalistBaker. Check them out. My friend recently suggested this veggie burger recipe – so delicious and offers a savory denser meal to satisfy the meaty craving. I also have supported my diet with protein-laden superfoods like hemp seeds, goji berries, and the algaes like spirulina.

I’ll be blogging for BHNY and I hope to bring you recipes, musings, wisdom, and lightness (I’ll try not to be so serious ;). We will have plenty of guest writers to bring more voices to the conversations. xoxo


 

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Emma McGonigle is a seeker, mother and D.C. based Dharma Yoga teacher. She is a dedicated student of Sri Dharma Mittra, who serves as an endless source of inspiration through the teachings of Self-Knowledge and hatha-raja yoga. Spending her days (and nights) mothering 2 boys ages 4 years and 6 months, she also works as Marketing Manager for Be Here Now Yoga and hopes to update her teaching schedule soon!

Meatless Monday: Pantry Staples Dinner

IMG_2139Fresh is always best but sometimes we have to make do with what we have in our pantries. This fast and healthy dinner recipe combines three staples I almost always have on hand: canned organic tomatoes, lentils and coconut cream. I did happen to have some fresh parsley so that made it’s way into the dish for a pop of fresh green!

Recipe:

2 cups cooked lentils

1 can tomatoes

1/2 cup coconut cream

lemon, parsley, salt and pepper (all optional)

How To:

Combine the first three ingredients in a pot and stir together over medium heat. Bring to a boil, once boil in reduce to a simmer to allow the flavors to meld. After 5 minutes remove from heat and serve. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and as much chopped parsley as your heart desires.

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday: Favorite Veggie Blogs

This Monday I want to highlight all the great online, free resources for those wanting to eat more plant-based. Whether you practice a vegetarian diet or are just looking to make a few changes, the blogosphere is a wonderful tool. Even if you are just interested in it for the beautiful and drool-worthy photos! Here are my favorites for you to peruse.

1.http://greensmoothiegourmet.com

This lovely blog is D.C. based and packed to the brim with blended fruits, veggies and super foods. Beyond the great smoothies you’ll find beautiful and delicious raw and whole foods desserts that taste as good as they look AND are good for you. Winner!cashewcreamcookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. http://www.thefirstmess.com

You’ll feel greener and more nutritionally whole just from looking at these delicious meals. The recipes are seasonal, plant based and easy to follow. When you read the About Page you’ll see the author went to culinary school but credits her abilities and success to real world food experience, agriculture and eating. Her recipes reflect her experience in their creativity and accessibility.

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3.http://veggieprimer.com

The motto on this site is “Healthy doesn’t have to be hard” and the author proves this to be true. As a working Momma she’s got the plant-based meals down for ease, health and flavor. Her photos are of course beautiful as well. Vegan-Pasta-Alfredo_4

4.http://www.rainbownourishments.com

Healthy desserts that are incredibly gorgeous to look at fill this blog. There are many savory options as well. What I love so much about this blog is the obvious care the Australian author takes in the preparation, presentation and writing of each recipe. She’ll make you want to meticulously make a raw, vegan cake…and then gobble it up immediately. raw-gaytime-cake-vegan

5.http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com

Probably one of my favorite blogs, I like the simplicity of the recipes, the love the author has for un-tapered veggies and fruits, and her quirky, kind of angsty, blog posts. She’s interesting and her recipes always include plenty of substitutions making them very accessible. IMG_4735

Meatless Monday: Baked Fries

IMG_2371Potatoes are by far some of my most favorite foods in the world. They’re so versatile, nutritious and full of flavor. They also are very affordable which means they can be a great, healthy staple in your diet. Turning them into baked fries is my favorite way to prepare them, they’re so simple you almost doesn’t need a recipe, but every time I eat them I love them so much that I want to share the recipe. Roasting them slowly lets them get so perfectly crispy on the outside and turns the inside into the texture of mashed potatoes. Mmm… baked fries you have my heart.

Baked Fries Recipe:

Ingredients:

Potatoes – as many as you want, I usually roast at least 1 pound just so I have them on hand

Olive oil to coat

A mix of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper (all optional)

How To:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes, cut them into wedges. Put the wedges in a bowl and top with olive oil and all the spices. Use enough that you coat the potatoes with the spices. Once coated place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are fork tender and crispy on the outside.

Eat with any variety of sauces (sriracha, ketchup, peanut sauce, chimichurri), top your rice bowls with them or eat plain and hot right out of the oven. If eating them as leftovers just heat them up in the oven first.

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Soup + Quick Pickled Apples

1447640182273-2I am the type of gal who likes soup for all seasons. Granted in the summer it’s usually a chilled soup vs in the winter when I serve it hot and steamy. Either way, soups hydrate me, fill me with vegetables, are affordable, easy and taste amazing. This soup is very simple to make and perfect for spring when the weather is still playing with our wardrobe, not quite letting us put away our winter sweaters just yet. Snuggle up with this soup and enjoy the last our cold days.

Recipe:

Soup:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • salt
  • pepper

Quick Pickled Nutmeg Apples (optional topping):

  • 1 apple
  • pinch nutmeg
  • vinegar to coat
  • agave

More Optional Toppings:

  • Chopped parsley, thyme, chives, sunflower seeds

HOW TO:

1. Chop up the cauliflower, taking off the stems and leaves.

2. Place the chopped cauliflower into a soup pot and cover with your water or stock. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the cauliflower is soft. At this point add in your nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

3. Remove the soup from the heat, let it cool enough so that you can transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

Quick Pickled Nutmeg Apples:

1. Stem and core your apple.

2. Slice it into thin slivers and mix with the pinch (I do mean a pinch, a little goes a long way) of nutmeg, agave and vinegar to coat. Shake it up and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Toppings and Serving:

Ladle your soup into your bowls, top with a spoonful of the quick pickled nutmeg apples and sprinkle a medley of sunflower seeds and chopped parsley, thyme and chives on top.

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday: Banana Bread + Almond Butter

banana breadYou know what makes it easy to wake up in the morning? Fresh coffee and banana bread! And then of course what makes it even easier is when you know you have homemade almond butter to smear all over that fresh banana bread. Making nut butters at home is super easy and really rewarding, I always feel better when I’ve made something from scratch and now just exactly what went into it. This banana bread is really easy too, you literally blend everything together and pour it into the baking dish. I found the recipe online at chocolatecoveredkatie.com, which has lots of fun recipes for indulging your sweet tooth on a regular basis. Here’s a quick nut butter recipe, as well as the changes I made to the banana bread recipe.

Almond Butter:

Ingredients: 

1 cup almonds (preferably soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours for easiest digestion)

pinch of salt

1-2 TB of grape seed oil (you can also use coconut oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil, I like grapeseed oil for it’s neutral qualities, plus I practically bathe in coconut oil so I try to switch it up sometimes)

How To:

Pour your 1 cup nut of choice into the blender/food processor. Blend until the nuts grind down to a flour like consistency. Add the salt and gradually stream in the oil while the blender/food processor is still running. You might have to pause the machine so stir the nuts around since it will be very thick. Continue blending/processing until a butter consistency forms. If you like your nut butter chunkier then stop when it looks mostly creamy with a chunkiness. If you like your nut butters smooth then keep blending/processing until it is as smooth as can be.
You can easily double this batch, although the more you make of it the better it is to make in a food processor than in a blender. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. I like to keep it on hand for eating with fruit, pb&j, and peanut sauces for rice/veggies.

Oat Flour Banana Bread:

Here is the link: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/09/28/flourless-banana-bread-recipe/

I found the recipe to be a bit dry so I added more banana. I also added a pinch of nutmeg, it adds to the warmth of the bread.

I hope these recipes help spring you out of bed before your alarm clock in the morning! What are some of your favorite breakfasts that wake you up in the morning?

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

 

 

Meatless Monday: Raspberry Dreamy Creamy Smoothie

raspberry skin smoothieThis glorious warm weather is starting to effect my time spent in the kitchen. During the winter I am happy to spend hours baking, roasting and slow cooking. In the spring and summer though, especially in D.C. where it gets hot fast!, it’s nice to step away from the ovens and stovetops and work with more raw and fresh materials. Enter in the smoothie! They’re cooling, filling, generally raw and you can stuff a lot of nutrition into them! Using frozen fruit and bulking them up with things like bananas keeps them them affordable.

There’s a lovely secret ingredient hidden in here that you wont taste but that you will love for it’s creaminess! This is a great recipe to start your day as it’s so gentle on the tummy and sets you up with healthy fruits, fats and protein right off the bat!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 TB almond butter

1 1/2 cups coconut water

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 avocado (surprise!)

 

How To:

Place all of the ingredients in your blender. Blend everything together until smooth and enjoy! This is best enjoyed right away. Feel free to modify it with different frozen fruits. If you’re interested in adding more healthy fats then go ahead and add in 1 tsp of coconut oil, it’ll make it more creamy and dreamy! Mmm it is so yummy. Doesn’t it feel great to take care of your body?

What type of smoothies and foods do you like with this warmer weather?

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday: Chimichurri Grain Bowl

IMG_2440-2Chimichurri takes seconds to prepare and is made up of just fresh, good for you ingredients. It’s so easy and delicious, your sauce world is never going to be the same. Store some of the sauce in the freezer, that way you always have it on hand when you need to add a flavor punch to anything!

 

Chimichurri Ingredients:

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch parsley

1 TB olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

3 cloves garlic

pinch salt (add more to taste)

 

Bowl Ingredients:

Grains – I used barley (soaked 1 cup dry overnight, brought to a boil in 2.5 cups water, simmered on low and covered for 20 minutes)

Chickpeas (I used canned, organic)

Avocado

All the tahini and sriracha sauce you want!

 

How To:

Cut the stems off of the cilantro and parsley. Blend all of the ingredients for the chimichurri sauce together in a blender until it turns into a paste. Store in the fridge for up to a week, after that it is best to freeze it until ready to use.

If you’re making a bowl toss your grains and chickpeas with any veggies (chopped carrots, radishes, spring onions and tomatoes were my favorites!) you like and mix in the chimichurri sauce. Top with avocado, tahini and sriracha if you like! I certainly did!

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!