Adi Shakti Mantra for Pregnancy

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Chanting mantras is an excellent tool for meditation, especially for those who have a hard time sitting in silence.  By chanting a mantra, you are giving your mind a direction so that it knows what is up.  Mantras can also be used for specific ends as well.

During pregnancy, one of the most invaluable mantras is the Adi Shakti mantra.  Yogis believe that the soul enters a fetus at 120 days of gestation.  By chanting this mantra, you can actually change the karma of the soul who is entering.  So, what if you don’t do it before 120 days?  Well, all is not lost- the mantra is just that powerful!

When the fetus has differentiated into a gender, the environment inside the womb which contains a male becomes more acid, in what the yogis refer to as the “acid bath”.  This acidity hinders the development of the right brain (intuition, empathy, abstraction, etc.) and promotes the development of the left brain (logic, order, duty, etc.) These left-brained traits served men (and women) well in the past.  A man leaving his family to go hunting, knowing full well that he might not return, could not afford sentimentality.  Now, entering into the Aquarian Age, our lifeways are different and we need a world full of intuitive, empathetic and compassionate MEN!  Chanting the Adi Shakti Mantra reduces the effect of this acid bath on the brain of the developing baby.

If the fetus is female, chanting the mantra has the effect of elevating her spiritually.  For the woman chanting (pregnant or not) it forges a connection with the Divine Feminine. So really, there is no reason not to chant it!

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti

Namo Namo

Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti

Namo Namo

Pritham Bhagwati, Pritham Bhagwati, Pritham Bhagwati

Namo Namo

Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti

Namo Namo

If you decide to try it out, you can always sing along with this beautiful version by Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha Singh.

Fudgy Gluten-Free Cookies and the river!

I haven’t updated in a while.  To be honest, physically I have been *exhausted* and my meals have been super simple.  I’ve been eating tons of watermelon ( I really do mean it.  I ate a 6 kilo watermelon in 2 days recently!), gluten-free pizzas, homegrown sunflower sprouts, tahini+stevia+carob on rice cakes, raw fruit sorbets, etc.  Things that are quick, easy and tasty are what I am about now.  There are so many recipes that I want to try out and I would love to spend hours in the kitchen doing it but my body is rebelling against that.  I suppose that with less than two weeks until the baby comes, I need to rest when I need to rest and that is that!

I did, however, whip up these super easy, super delicious and (in my book) super healthy cookies from Sketch Free Eating.  These cookies are the bomb!  They are filled with high quality ingredients like buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, honey tahini and flax. And the recipe is so versatile!  For example, the recipe calls for honey but I wanted my husband to be able to enjoy them as well,  so I substituted the same amount of xylitol and added some quinoa milk I had on hand to thin out the batter a bit.  I also love the fact that with the chickpea flour, they are quite high in protein.

Find the recipe at the website: Fudgy Socca Carob Cookies.

Last weekend, we went out to the river again and had a lovely day.  We went to a more remote part, which meant that we had the entire place to ourselves!  The pools weren’t quite as deep as the more popular (i.e. filled to the brim) spots, but they were more than sufficient to totally immerse yourself in the cold, clear water!

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I basically spent the whole day laying in this!  I only got out to have a beautiful lunch of some tortilla de patata, gazpacho and pimientos de padrón.  All made by a friend who must love me very much 🙂

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me getting my Vitamin D!

I hope your week has been great so far!  I am looking forward to a lazy afternoon and a ginormous salad!

Superstar Pregnancy Herbs

Herbal Tonics for Pregnancy

 If you are pregnant or have been sometime in the past,  then you will undoubtedly have heard the question “Are you taking your vitamins?”  It is true that pregnant women do require extra supplementation to ensure that the baby and mother are healthy and thriving, but two of the most beneficial supplements are either overlooked or not even considered.  These two, what I call my pregnancy superheroines, are nettle and red raspberry leaf.

 Nettle (urtica dioica) has become much more popular in the last few years.  It is a common plant that grows abundantly in hedgerows as well as in hotter climes like here in Spain.  It is an amazing plant that has many, many medicinal and tonic properties- not only for pregnancy.  For example, it contains vitamins A, C, D and K.  It also contains calcium and iron among other minerals.

 Specifically for pregnancy, though, nettle helps in:

  • aiding the kidneys
  • increasing fertility in men and women
  • providing nourishment to both mother and fetus
  • easing leg cramps and muscle spasms
  • diminishing pain during and after birth
  • preventing hemorrhage after birth
  • reducing hemorrhoids
  • increasing richness and amount of breastmilk

 

Raspberry Leaf is another superstar.  Apart from vitamins A, C, D and E it also contains absorbable forms of calcium and iron.

It aids pregnancy by:

  • increasing fertility in men and women
  • preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage
  • easing of morning sickness
  • reducing pain during labor and after birth
  • providing a safe and speedy birth
  • helping to bring down undelivered placenta
  • assisting in production of plentiful breast milk

 As you can see, these two plants are wonderful for before, during and after pregnancy!

I tend to make strong infusions of a combination of the two herbs.  I’ll boil a big pot of water at night, maybe 2-3 liters and then add a big handful each of nettle and raspberry leaf.  I’ll then leave the herb to infuse overnight, and when I wake up I have a big batch of gorgeous dark green tea for the day.  Sometimes I drink it warm with a drop of stevia and sometimes I like it iced with some lemon or lime squeezed in for variety.  It is certainly very refreshing that way and a nice change from water.

 Information from The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun S. Weed.

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I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any woman, whether she has decided to have children or not.  It is an amazing source of information on the reproductive cycle and the herbs themselves.

Juicy!

I am really, really craving some sort of juice feast/cleanse at the moment.  I suppose it is simply because I feel heavy, tired, sluggish and hot all the time.  Add that to the baby pressing up against my insides, impeding my digestion causing heartburn and nausea.  Needless to say, I want a break from food!  I know that while pregnant, juice fasting or deep cleansing of ANY type is not the best idea and after the birth, I am planning on breastfeeding for as long as possible.  I have read that it is possible to do a juice feast, as long as adequate calories are consumed and essential fatty acids are added when the baby starts on other foods and is not solely breastfeeding anymore.  Well, that means probably another 7-8 months from now!   I would never, ever put my health or the health of my child at risk so I will be waiting until then to seriously contemplate doing a juice cleanse.  In the meantime however, that won’t stop me from adding in as much green juicy love as possible!

Here I am with my big bottle of goodness!

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This has a head of celery, two big cucumbers, one apple and two lemons. My dogs look well impressed, right?!  At least I am excited 🙂

New Purchases and Food Log

Hola! I hope everything is going great in your world today.  I’ve been feeling a bit blah recently, but fortunately today I felt better.  I think that simply being 9 months pregnant and the subsequent aches and fatigue that come with it are partially to blame, and then the rest of it is due to feeling a bit trapped by not having a car.  I’ve been living car-free for about 8 years now, well ever since I moved away from the USA.  Don’t get me wrong, it has been an experience, one that I am happy to have had as my American sensibilities were entirely too comfortable with the status quo.  Now that I am not as mobile as before, however, it has been increasingly difficult to get about on foot and in public transport to some places- most notably the mountains, as I am DYING to go have a dip in a cold mountain stream again before the baby comes.  We’ll see how that works out, but for now I am just trying to be with my feelings and remember that nothing is permanent, even when it seems like it is.

We have been in the market for a new water filter for a while now because even though Madrid is said to have the best water in all of Spain, it smells.  Some days are worse than others but you can seriously smell the chemicals they use in your drinking glass, even after having been passed through a Brita filter.  As we aren’t planning to be here for much longer, we didn’t want to invest too much money in something that would be impossible to bring with us whenever we move.  After much deliberation, we decided on this getup:

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This is the Adya Clarity water filter system.  It has a ceramic filter at the top, and then passes through another layered filter of carbon, zeolite, sand and something else that I can’t remember right now 😛

You can either use the Adya Clarity mineral solution with it, or not.  We decided to give it a go, despite all the controversy with that product as at the moment the verdict is out and our water situation is so dire that we felt called to quite drastic measures!!

We ordered it from one of my favourite companies, Unlimited Health in Amsterdam.  Along with our filter, I had to get a few more goodies that are impossible to get around here.  I got:

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A big bag of xylitol, coconut butter, mulberries, cacao paste and irish moss.  I am planning on using the mulberries, irish moss and coconut in this Mulberry Mousse recipe at Sweetly Raw.

As a treat, I also bought myself this tiny little morsel:

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I was honestly underwhelmed by this product.  I was expecting something more, well..decadent I suppose, LOL! It was a glorified date/nut bar just like a Larabar or similar.  Another peeve of mine is that it was sweetened with agave AND dates.  I know that is a personal thing but I find it too much.  Oh well, just more evidence that I prefer my own treats to store bought ones, which is a win!

On to my eats for the last few days…

Yesterday (Tuesday) I had:

  • Breakfast- soy yogurt with sliced donut peaches and buckwheaties
  • second breakfast- green smoothie with avocado, kale, frozen peaches, frozen berries, maca, health force nutritionals greener grasses powder and vanilla stevia
  • that tiny Raw Decadence bar you see above 😉
  • coconut oil+carob+goji+mulberry choccie .  Hubby came home from work for lunch and wanted something sweet, so I whipped this up for him.  Of course, I had to share!  I had this with a a green tea.
  • Lunch- brown basmati rice with tofu, red peppers, eggplant and kale
  • watermelon gelato (like watermelon sorbet but with cashew milk instead of water mmmmm)
  • small bowl of popcorn
  • Dinner-corn pasta with red lentil bolognese sauce

I ate A LOT of food that day, mostly in the morning and then snacks between meals.  I felt absolutely ravenous though, and I really don’t want to limit myself.  I did go a bit overboard on the sweet stuff.

That looks great in comparison to today though!

So far today, I have had:

  • breakfast-two rice cakes with some scrambled tofu
  • soy yogurt with some oats and stevia
  • lunch- three rice cakes spread with peanut butter and vegan tofutti mozzarella cheese
  • coffee with soy milk and some gluten free cookies and peanut butter.

There are no veggies in there yet!  I know that tonight a big salad for dinner is out of the question as we are using up all of the odds and ends from the fridge before our next organic veg delivery comes.  Most likely, it will be brown basmati rice with a vegetable stir fry of sorts and a Thai peanut sauce.

Enjoy your afternoon!

xx

Happy Thursday!

Hello there!

Well, I survived my yoga retreat weekend thankfully although I was exhausted at the end of it.  I am noticing that I sleep more and that I really have to conserve my energy much more than before.  For example, if I decide to sweep the floor AND make a meal, then I will surely need a nap after that, LOL.  For some serendipitous reason, my body has been craving much more raw food.  During the yoga retreat, we ate a mostly macrobiotic vegetarian diet with LOTS of bread!  The portions tended to be quite small, and even though I knew it wasn’t optimal for me, I partook in the bread and felt awful for it.  I guess my body is just crying out for some light detox and fresh foods.  I am not going to complain, I am really enjoying it!

To me, summer means fruit!  Just look at all this bounty!  All organic, as well, from the Maharishi Vedic Agriculture farm here in Spain!  So delicious!! Not pictured is another watermelon which I promptly ate half of and juiced the other half, a kilo of figs that had to go in the freezer immediately and about a kilo more of peaches which were really soft.

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Fuji apples, limes, lemons, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, apricots, nectarines, peaches, paraguayos (donut peaches), bananas and avocados.

I want to share my breakfast yesterday.  I had a similar thing today, as I loved it so much!  Now, the idea of buckwheat porridge isn’t new to me, but I have always been partial to oats.  At the moment, oats really wreak havoc on my blood sugar (again, the joys of pregnancy!!) so I decided to give it a go.

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Raw Buckwheat Porridge

  • 1 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 2 tbsp. lucuma powder
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 6 drops vanilla stevia (or 1 tbsp. other sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or water

Place everything in a food processor and process until smooth.  Top with thawed frozen berries and bee pollen. (Today, I used sliced banana and chopped peaches and that was delicious too!

Today, I decided to break out one of my cookbooks, so I chose Raw Taste Sensations, from Unlimited Health Café and Shop in Amsterdam.  I decided on Beetroot and Apple in Ginger Sauce and Cucumbers in Creamy Dill-Mustard Sauce.  We had those two dishes for lunch along with another little side salad of beet greens, cherry tomatoes and olives in a hemp oil/lime juice dressing and some of our home-made sauerkraut and lacto-fermented pickles.  I DID have a picture of our beautifully colored plate, but my camera ate it!  😛

I’ll leave you with a picture of my ginormous belly while I go sip on some more Green Chai Yogi Tea. Yum!

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thanks for stopping by!

Busy Weekend (mostly frozen) Eats

Hi there!  I hope you have had a wonderful weekend.  Mine has been super busy, but also extremely rewarding!  As I mentioned in my last post, I gave my first raw foods workshop.  It was really nice to do, but also so, so tiring.  I think that more than anything that has to do with the fact that I am 8 1/2 months pregnant, LOL!  I think sometimes that I truly must be crazy to take on projects like this right now, but it all turned out well in the end and I am looking forward to doing more- hopefully each time, it will get a little more polished and professional and each time I will get more interest and more people involved.

Today, I have been resting, taking it easy and sipping on iced green tea/nettle blend with lime juice.  So delicious, refreshing and gives me a little energy without burning out my adrenals like coffee does.

Anyway, here is some of the things I have been eating recently:

This has been my go-to breakfast most days- super simple Banana Soft-Serve.  With the heat here, I just can’t get enough cold things, it seemed.  This particular day, my ice cream brekkie had 3 frozen bananas, 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder, 2 T. raw cacao powder, 1 T. Greener Grasses powder and 1 t. crystal manna powder.  Seriously, who needs that dairy crap when you can have this??

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Next, in order to take advantage of the summer fruit bounty, I have been making fruit sorbets *a lot* Sometimes, even twice a day!  This one had frozen strawberries blended with fresh nectarines and a tiny bit of vanilla stevia.  I am LOVING the organic fruit we are getting now!!Image

Lastly, this is a nectarine cheesecake that I made last week and have been slowly munching my way through. Hard work, I tell you!  I basically adapted the recipe from Heather Pace’s mango cheesecake recipe.  

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Nectarine Cheesecake

For the base:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup dates, stoned and soaked for one hour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor, and process until mixture is crumbly but sticks together.  Press into 7 inch springform pan.
 
For the filling:
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 drops vanilla stevia (you can substitute with a combination of vanilla extract and plain stevia, or just vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon more agave or honey)
  • 2 cups chopped nectarine
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin  
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
In a blender, add all ingredients except for coconut oil and blend until smooth and creamy.  Add coconut oil, and blend again.  Pour over base and place in freezer for half an hour or the fridge for 2 hours in order to set.
 
I topped this off with a quick chocolate sauce to make it extra lush!
 
 Magic Chocolate Sauce
 
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
 
Mix all ingredients together and pour into squeezy bottle.  Now you can squeeze magic chocolate sauce to your hearts content.  
Yield 1/2 cup
 
Enjoy!  Serves about 7 people.
 
Lest you think all I eat is sweet foods, today I have had a BIG salad with watercress, romaine lettuce, grated carrot, cucumber, radish and apple, with a tahini lime sauce and sprinkled with a few cashews and hemp seeds.
 
I also had a few bits of spelt bread with mashed avocado, apple cider vinegar and ground black pepper.
 
Tonight, I am making a quick raw pizza with some bases left over from the last time I made it, and a sundried tomato and basil pesto that I will share tomorrow.
 
I’m going to leave you with a picture of myself, taken today at 34 weeks.  I think that I have gained a little more weight this pregnancy than what I would have ideally liked to do, but the important thing is that I feel healthy and happy and that the tummy creature is doing well.
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Here is looking forward to an awesome week!
 
 

Weekend Eats! (not cake)

I realized last week that pregnant or not, I’m not feeling awesome in my body right now.  I know that a lot of this comes from what is a normal and pregnancy related, like feeling bloated, heavy and gassy.  But I can’t help thinking that it is exacerbated by what I am eating- for example the Malai Kofta I had at the local Indian restaurant last Thursday.  So I decided I was going to lighten it up a little and this week it has been pretty much effortless to eat raw.

First, I made some crazy good raw Malai Kofta.  After having the cooked version I decided I wanted to finally try a raw version. You really should try it.  My husband was slightly incredulous at first but ended up thinking it was delicious!

The recipe is here:

http://roshis.com/malai-kofta/

I also made a bomb ass sundried tomato pesto that I had on top of zucchini noodles with some pine nut/cashew cheese.  That was a super easy and gourmet tasting meal. If you want to try it, it went something like this:

1/2 cup soaked sundried tomato

small handful of pine nuts

3 tbsp. olive oil

a few leaves of fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into the food processor and mix until you have a smooth consistency.  You can always add a little of the sundried tomato soak water if you need to get things going.

Other than that, I have been having salads, green juices and smoothies and lots of fruit.

Supplements

I have always been the type of person who has cupboards full of random supplements and superfoods but who also only sporadically takes them.  When I remember, when I feel like it, when something reminds me to do it or when I start to feel bad about having so many things around collecting dust, hehe.

Well, being pregnant has shifted that a little bit.  I can’t say that I have been perfect but I have certainly improved a hell of a lot.  And this is what I am taking:

Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal: In my first trimester, I was barely able to get these down so I stopped for a while.  Honestly, they stink.  Bad. I think it is because they have natto extract in there, which is an awesome source of necessary vitamin K2 but unfortunately not so delicious.  Whatever, now I just chug them down with some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice like it’s nothing

DHA: At the moment, I am taking one that Shazzie recommends in her book Evie‘s Kitchen, which is called O-Mega-Zen3.  Instead of nasty fish oils, this one is made from algae.

B-12: I decided on a liquid b-12 called Ultra B-12 made by NOW Foods.  It has three different forms of B-12 plus other B vitamins to make it more absorbable.  And it came in a huge bottle that I could easily transport back from America and that will probably last me well into breastfeeding.

Greener Grasses: This powder made by HealthForce Nutritionals is made of  wheatgrass, barleybrass, alfalfa, dandelion and oat grass.  I mix it in with fresh orange or grapefruit juice and sometimes I made a green lemonade drink with lemons, stevia, the powder and water.

Chlorella: I take this sometimes in tablet form and sometimes in powder form.  I still can’t get down with chewing the tablets whole like some hardcore raw foodies do, though!!

That is more or less my daily routine.  I am also adding in Ionic Iron, liquid Iodine and Crystal Manna (an algae) which I have but haven’t begun using yet for some reason as well as some sort of Calcium supplement, which I will use in conjunction with the Magnesium oil I already have.

That’s it!  What do you think-have I got all my bases covered or is there a glaringly obvious deficit somewhere in there?

back again! and almond pulp cookie recipe!

 

Things with my pregnancy are going pretty well now.  I had a little setback after my last post where I started feeling terrible and had lots of nausea again 😦  But now I am going into week 16, which means I am in my second trimester!  I can really hardly believe it, it sounds so surreal.

Anyway, when I wasn’t feeling great, I was eating lots of less than optimal foods like boiled potatoes,gluten free pastas and spelt bread.  I am sure that didn’t help with my lack of energy or motivation to be in the kitchen preparing myself good foods that I love!

I have gotten my kitchen mojo back now, though!!

Yesterday morning I wasn’t really feeling that hungry so I had an apple and then made about half a litre of carob and lucuma almond milk.  That was delicious and then later I had the juice of two grapefruits mixed with Greener Grasses powder.

For lunch, I had raw banana ice cream with some added carob, honey and hemp oil.  I have been LOVING me some banana ice cream recently! The hardest part about it is remembering to cut up and freeze ripe bananas.

I really wanted to use up the almond milk pulp from that morning so I looked online and decided on a cookie recipe, which I will share at the end of the post 😉

For dinner, I put together some raw pizzas with a sprouted buckwheat, flax and sweet potato crust topped with sun-dried tomato marinara, pine nut cheese and veggies like cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, diced pineapple and freah basil leaves.  Oh, that was delicious.  It was the first time I have made raw pizza in months.

This morning, I started my day with some leftover raw pizza, hehe, breakfast of champions! I also had some almond milk with rooibosh tea.  Oh, and one of the cookies I made yesterday.

Right now, I am contemplating lunch.  I have a purple corn chia pudding in the fridge.  I think I will have that with a zucchini, tomato and avocado soup.

I am so happy that my body is finally craving raw foods again, and that I have the energy to make them.

ok. so here is the almond pulp cookie recipe:

RawGuru´s Fave Cookie Dough Recipe

1 1/2 cups nut milk pulp (or you can just use nut flour if you don’t have it)

5 tbsp. coconut butter

7-10 dates

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I make my own, but you could also use half of a vanilla bean- yum!)

pinch of himalayan or celtic salt

1-2 pinches of cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

water to moist

Process all ingredients in a food processor until mixture is well incorporated and doughy looking.  Shape into balls, flatten and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10 hours.