Beija Flor

Bodywork & Botanicals

Restorative Herb Ball Recipe

 


Restorative Herb Ball

This is a simple recipe adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's herbal zoom balls. This version is created using herbs to restore the kidneys, adrenal, & nervous system.  The herbal balls are a tasty satisfying snack that can be enjoyed any time of day.  The recipe is easily adaptable. Play around with the ingredients to make it your own. Try adding dried fruit, different spices or chocolate chips! 

1 cup tahini
1 cup almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 cup honey (more/less to taste)
1-2 Tbl garam masala spice blend (or a blend of warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cardamom)
1/2 oz cocoa powder
1 oz ashwagandha powder
1 oz oat straw powder
1/2 oz nettle powder
1/2 - 1 cup chopped walnuts/almonds (to taste)
Shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine tahini, almond butter, & honey.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine all powders & garam masala spice blend.

  3. Slowly mix the powders into the honey/nut butter mix, making sure to mix thoroughly. The mixture should be easy to roll into a ball. Not too sticky or dry.

  4. Mix in at least half of the chopped nuts. If using shredded coconut use all of the chopped nuts.

  5. Roll mixture by hand into little balls approx. the size of a golf ball or smaller.

  6. Roll each ball in the reserved chopped nuts, or shredded coconut (if using) to coat the outside.

  7. Keep in a storage container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

 

 

Transition to a healthy winter season

Each season asks something a little different of us. As we wrap up projects and prepare to exit the fall season, we can begin to tune out any extraneous noise and return our focus inward. Make space for simplicity and settle in for the cold months ahead. Winter is the perfect time for restoration of the body and mind. Without the tug of sunny days and warm weather pulling us outside, it becomes easier to engage in practices that help us slow down, conserve energy and enjoy the stillness around us.

When the weather turns cold we naturally gravitate towards warm nourishing foods. We love using warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove & ginger in our winter pies. Hot tea or cocoa keep our hands warm, and soup becomes a regular menu item. This is no accident. Our body knows what it needs to stay in balance. As the environment outside changes, we can listen to the signals from our body to adapt our lifestyle and remain healthy throughout the season. 

One of the easiest ways to stay in balance is to adapt to the foods of the season. Enjoying more hardy root vegetables and winter squash will make your transition smoother. Add warming spices to your meals. Give cooling foods a break, and re-introduce them as the weather warms up. If you live in the Rogue Valley you can stay connected to local farms at the indoor winter market every Saturday at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. You might even join a winter CSA and have fresh produce delivered to your neighborhood!  

Another simple practice to bring into your winter life is evening foot baths. Placing your feet in a container of warm water is SO easy and SO beneficial! If the only thing you do is put your feet in warm water while you watch TV, your feet (and therefore you) will be happier. The warm water will bring circulation to your feet and ankles and soothes muscular tension. Tension held in our feet directly translates to tension all the way up the body. The way our feet connect to the ground when we walk or stand can really make or break it for us. At this time of year, our feet tend to get a little neglected. We shove them into boots, they carry us around all day, and hardly ever get a second thought. Give your feet a little gratitude each night! If you want to take it a step further, add some herbs & Epsom salt in there. A 1/2 cup of Epsom salt will do. For chronically cold feet, add a little ginger root to your foot bath. If you are looking for something relaxing add catnip. For sore muscles try comfrey leaves! 

Last but not least, winter is a great time to begin writing. If this isn't part of your life already, now just might be the easiest time to start (maybe while your feet are soaking in the tub?). Winter is the time I spend reflecting on the past year. It gives me a chance to think about what worked, what didn't, and what I want to bring into the next year. I find that all of this reflecting is much easier on paper. It gives me space to spill out all of my thoughts instead of just swirling them around in my head which can be a little overwhelming. Writing brings clarity to my vision and helps me to process what happened over the past year. It is a wonderful way to turn your attention inward and bring peace of mind.

If you don't know what to write, simply begin with 2 lines a day.

  1. what you are grateful for.

  2. what you are ready to let go of.

 

 

 

 

Abhyanga - Ayurvedic Self Care for Fall/Winter

In Ayurveda, Fall is a time of year associated with Vata dosha, and particularly the Wind element. It's a time of transition, which can feel hectic as we begin to move into the colder seasons. It's associated with experiences of cold, dry, rough, mobile & erratic. As you pay attention to the changing of the season, you may start to notice some of these sensations. Our hair may become dry and our skin tends to become rough. It can be hard to focus & stay on task, and our body begins to naturally crave more warming, moistening, nourishing foods. To balance increased Vata, we want to look for qualities that subdue it. For example, things that are warm, oily, nourishing, stable, and things that bring about a sense of grounding & routine.  

One of my favorite Fall routines is practicing what's known as Abhyanga. It's a daily self-massage with warm oil. It is a really simple practice that can be done right before showering. Use an oil of your choice and apply to the entire body with lightweight and vigorous movement to bring blood flow to the skin and stimulate the lymphatic system. I tend to work from the extremities towards the core to help encourage the movement of lymph. If you have the time, hang out for about 15 minutes to let the oil absorb, then hop in the shower and rinse with warm water. Your skin will feel luxurious! If you don't have the extra time, it's ok, you can just hop in the shower right after you finish.

It can be done with any type of plain oil (sesame oil being the warmest) or you can get creative with herbal infused oils! Each of us is unique, so you will have to discover what works best for you as an individual. I have been using St. John's Wort Oil. St. John's Wort has so many benefits including: protecting the skin, reducing muscular tension & nerve pain, it also speeds and improves wound healing as it brings oxygenated blood to the cells. St. John's wort oil feels like the perfect herbal oil for me when moving into the cold, dark time of year. It is frequently used to aid in symptoms of depression and anxiety. It seems to have all the qualities we are looking for to pacify increased Vata. Plus, St. John's Wort works best when used regularly over an extended period of time, which even further encourages me to create a stable, daily routine! (***St John's Wort is generally safe to use, however, does have some dangerous herb/drug interactions with medications. Please check with your doctor, especially if you are taking prescription medications***) 

I hope you explore this simple daily practice and have a lovely Fall! 

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