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Meatless Monday: Red Lentil, Yam and Ginger FALL SOUP

meatlessmondayyyEating seasonally is best for the body and the planet (and Lord knows, she needs some love right about now). Michael Pollen, longtime advocate for local, slow, seasonal food, is also a huge proponent of cooking at home primarily because we as consumers make better health choices by planning in advance and home-cooking is proven to be better for the environment.

That all being said, FALL IS MY FAVORITE FOOD SEASON. Most every season I participate in a yogi seasonal cleanse with one of my fabulous teachers. She is trained in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, the Dharma Yoga diet and raw food cuisine – she has combined these principles to create a compassionate and updated diet that will bring radiant health to the body and mind. I have learned SO MUCH from these cleanses; it’s unreal. What we choose to eat is loaded – politically, emotionally, socially – so we all must do our best to make personal upgrades. Another message that has seeped into my heart-mind: we all deserve the best ingredients to support the best health possible. This notion is especially potent when coupled with mindful buying, paying attention to labels, fair trade products, etc. I think it’s also important to note (I can’t write this blog post with this left unsaid), you can eat well within your price range! Make a few updates at a time – for example, smoothies for breakfast – using fruits and vegetables, even if you can’t afford the organic variety (check out the dirty dozen list to help you decide what to buy conventional or organic).

Okay, so what’s on the menu for fall? During this windy, dry season, it’s good to bring balance and grounding with nourishing soups and stews, seasonal root vegetables and squashes, and as always, LOTS of greens. I want to share a recipe that was shared with me via the cleanse group. This soup is perfect in every way (especially with the fresh ginger and turmeric root) and sooooo easy/inexpensive.  Check it::

1 cup red lentils

5 small garnet yams, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated or finely diced (if you don’t have fresh, 1-2 tsp powder will do it)

4 Tbsp ginger, grated or finely diced

1 Tbsp coconut oil

6 cups vegetable broth

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Garnish with A TON of chopped cilantro

Add coconut oil to soup pot at medium heat. Get the pan nice and hot, then add grated turmeric, ginger and lentils. Saute for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and then add yams. Toss until coated and slightly caramelized. Add stock and bring to gentle boil, then simmer until yams and lentils are soft. Turn off the heat and add coconut milk and cilantro. (When I made this soup, I also added chopped kale for extra greeeeens).

A tip from a friend: when you reheat this soup, add a ton more fresh cilantro!!!

Wellness Wednesday “A Little Everyday”


Yoga is spreading like wildfire across the country and the world, and with good reason! The sacred science is just that, a science – meaning with consistent practice, Yoga will systematically take you as deep as you are willing to go. Once you get a taste of the bliss, or “yoga high,” it will leave you wanting more, which is why you see so many folks walking around with yoga mats on their backs and yoga studios filling up daily classes. Culturally, we tend to binge on entertainment to stimulate and satisfy the senses, but bingeing on Yoga will only lead you deeper into infinite knowledge and union with your higher Self (!!). Bingeing on asana, or postural yoga (the exercise), can surely create exercise junkies and enable more activity in the mind and body. Eventually you may notice that it is not working anymore. So you have to go deeper, more subtle. Here’s what I’ve learned in my many years of practice and from my Yoga teacher, Sri Dharma – with constant practice, you will reap the benefits. To practice a little everyday is better than practicing A LOT OF YOGA two or three days a week. This makes sense for me now more than ever as a mother to a 4 year old and 6 month old. Gone are the days when I could practice 2 hours everyday! I mean, binge all you want! But don’t neglect the practice on the days you don’t get to a class.

What does “practice a little everyday” look like? For me, it means 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and 30 minutes of asana with a baby rolling around next to me. Sometimes it looks like 10 minutes of pranayama and reading a Yogic text or article to fan the flames inside my heart. I practice asana in the grass while my boys play outside! It looks different everyday according to my needs. Sometimes I make it to a 90 minute yoga class! That being said, taking classes and connecting with community through your local studio or practice space has been so nurturing to me. In my experience, the safe learning space, a haven if you will, of a trusted studio will provide you with the Yogic techniques and support to integrate the practices in your life, and to do a little everyday.

The concept integration always comes up for me. We are constantly integrating new teachings, processes, information. After my second son was born, we went through a process of integrating a new member into our family. More and more integrating. So seek out the highest knowledge and teachings available to you and integrate your own personal lessons into your daily life.

It’s also nice to share tricks and experiences – it helps us support and share with each other. How do you practice a little everyday? Post below in the comments!


LeRoy’s FREE Workshop is Tomorrow! An Overview of EWBP

imgres Do you desire to find healing and live a more balanced, harmonious, peaceful, purposeful life? Are you a curious student? A seasoned healer? A seeker? Come check out LeRoy’s free workshop at Be Here Now THIS WEDNESDAY from 7:30-9:30. ALL ARE WELCOME! I read his book, Knowing and Living your Purpose: A Practical Guide to Being the Real You, and he is truly a masterful energy worker. I will attempt to provide you with an overview of his work, but I highly suggest you come see the magic for yourself.

What is the Energetic Well Being Process?

LeRoy developed the Energetic Well Being Process (EWBP) later in his life drawing from the many sources of energy work he has both trained in and discovered through his spirit seeking. The language surrounding his method is simple, to the point, accessible – and the practical application is also very notable. Three concepts vital to the EWBP are: weak energy drains away your life purpose, the positive power of being neutral, and clearing away our symptoms by identifying root causes. Let’s break it down.

Weak Energy Drains Away Your Life Purpose:

We continually block ourselves with thoughts and emotions, beliefs and assumptions. A lot of this programming is “inherited” from our ancestors, parents and relatives, social groups, society, environment, etc. As the blocks, or weak energy, accumulate overtime, they create patterns and play in the background of our minds and bodies and eventually becomes symptoms. The symptoms are communicating to us and if we don’t respond, they turn up the volume! Understanding how our energy goes weak will help us notice patterns and eventually reduce or eliminate symptoms.

The Positive Power of Being Neutral:

It’s easier to understand the practice of neutrality by exploring its opposite. We are NOT neutral when we are reactive, creating drama, worried, anxious, depressed, judging, blaming, frustrated, fearful, angry. When we are neutral, there is less bias and more understanding, open-mindedness and balance. Being neutral does not mean a lack of connection, rather it a way to clear negative emotions as they arise and act from a place of calm (instead of RE-ACT). He has developed a protocol to practice neutrality that is very detailed and helpful which he lays out in his book.

Clearing Away our Symptoms by Identifying Root Causes:

Working through our symptoms seems simple, and it is to some extent, but there is some priming involved; for example, having a strong desire to heal and practicing neutrality. He uses the analogy of symptoms as waves – one end of the wave can be thought of as the symptom/reaction and the other end is described as the truth. When you observe/find/identify the wave it “collapses.” To find the root cause, the question arises “where (in your entire universe) is the weakest point in relation to the symptom?” Again, he maps out a lengthy protocol that is clear and easy to use.

The purpose, or ultimate goal, of healing is to remember who you really are, which is in harmony with all of nature, centered in the heart, being and only seeing unity and wholeness, becoming stronger and more fit as you age!

Who is LeRoy Malouf?

Something I love about this book is that LeRoy shares his life story. In his eighties, he is full of life and vitality. He and his beloved wife raised 5 children. Over the course of his life, he’s had several careers shifts on the path to finding purposeful, satisfying work. Come meet him for yourself tomorrow from 7:30-9:30 for a free demonstration at Be Here Now Yoga, Healing and Wellness.

Meatless Mondays: Hemp Seeds 5 Ways!


Hemp seeds are a staple in my diet. Why, you ask? Because they are a delicious, nutrient-dense, affordable superfood packed with protein (which I need a good amount of as I am a breastfeeding vegan diva). They are nutty, earthy and magnesium-rich – which is important because, from what I’ve heard, most of us are magnesium deficient (magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for a ton of chemical reactions in the body, for relaxation, and for best of all, facilitating regular bowel movement). I’d like to present you with 5 ways to incorporate hemp seeds in your diet. Check it out –

  1. You’ve probably already guessed … SMOOTHIES! Here’s a few recipes I make regularly (I learned this one on a women’s retreat from some lovely ladies):
    orange juice
    1 banana
    1/4 avocado
    bunch of spinach
    hemp seeds (as much as you’d like – 3 TBSP is the serving size)
  2. Hemp seeds also pair well with cacao, which is also an amazing superfood that happens to be chocolate. Sweetened with banana and dates, this is a winner:almond milk
    1 banana (try freezing your bananas to make your smoothies taste like ice cream 😉
    1 TBSP cacao
    a few dates
    hemp seeds
    you can also add a dash of cinnamon and/or a splash of vanilla
  3. Energy bite balls:These actually taste like no bake cookies, so you can’t go wrong. Here’s the link from Further Food.
  4. One of my favorite easy lunch/dinner go-to’s is kale salad with hemp seeds:Thinly slice kale (think ribbons!), massage with dressing (see below), add hemp seeds, avocado, shredded carrots (obviously you can make this your own by mixing up the toppings. I like to add chickpeas or vegan fake chicken for a heartier meal).
    Easy Tahini Dressing
    1/3 cup tahini
    1/2-1 TBSP maple syrup
    pinch of salt
    warm water to thin
  5. Adding hemp seeds to your morning oatmeal (or your raw oats soaked overnight) is another easy favorite. Super charge your oatmeal with goji berries (soak for 10ish minutes in water or almond milk first), banana, coconut flakes and hemp seeds. Or go for more earthy tones with a nut butter, apples, hemp seeds and walnuts.

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.

Meatless Mondays: Drink your greens and ALKALIZE


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




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!


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.


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 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.


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








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.



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


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


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:


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.


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 and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!