1. Mini tostada Spread ¼ cup of nonfat refried beans on a corn tortilla that’s been toasted in the oven. Top with shredded lettuce, ½ diced medium tomato, and 1 Tbsp. of your favorite shredded cheese.
2. Frozen grapes Freeze 1 cup of grapes and enjoy them as if they’re sorbet.
3. Greek yogurt with honey Mix 1 tsp. of honey into ½ a cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cinnamon (if desired)m.
4. Cinnamon apple Sprinkle an apple with cinnamon for a treat that tastes more decadent than it is.
5. Strawberries and chocolate Dip 4 or 5 (depending on their size) strawberries into 2 squares of melted dark chocolate.
6. Almost apple pie Try 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce with a hint of cinnamon.
7. Jicama Chop 1½ cups of jicama and add a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for a tangy, refreshing treat.
8. Café Au Lait Enjoy 8 oz. of skim milk with a shot of espresso.
9. Carrots with hummus Crunch on 9 or 10 baby carrots with a side of 2 Tbsp. of hummus.
10. Nuts A handful of 20 pistachios, 12 almonds, or 14 peanuts makes for a nice “good” fat and protein snack.
11. Eggs with guacamole Hard-boil an egg and replace the yolk with 2 Tbsp. of guacamole for a protein-packed snack.
12. Edamame Boil or steam ½ cup of unshelled edamame with a pinch of salt for a fiber-rich snack.
13. Bitter chocolate Enjoy 1 large block or 3 small squares of dark chocolate.
14. Mediterranean tomato Dice 1 medium tomato and top with 2 Tbsp. feta cheese and a pinch of salt.
15. Kale Chips Make your own kale chips for a fraction of the price with this recipe.
16. Bell peppers with balsamic vinegar Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar on top of 2 cups of sliced bell peppers.
17. Eggs with spinach Scramble 3 egg whites with ½ cup of raw spinach and 1 Tbsp. of feta cheese.
18. Corn with garlic Coat ½ of an ear of corn with 1 tsp. of olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove. Grill until tender.
19. Santa Fe black beans Combine ¼ cup black beans, ¼ tsp. of salt, and 1 Tbsp. of nonfat Greek yogurt for a hearty snack.
20. Chocolate banana Drizzle ½ of a large banana with 1 square of melted dark chocolate.
21. Caprese Top 1 oz. of mozzarella cheese with ½ cup of cherry tomatoes and 2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar.
22. Tuna salad Mix together 2 oz. of water-packed tuna with 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard.
23. Sweet potato Enjoy 1 small baked sweet potato with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
24. Popcorn Munch on 2 cups of air-popped popcorn.
25. Olives For a salty snack, enjoy 9 kalamata olives.
26. Greek watermelon Top 1 cup of watermelon with 2 Tbsp. of crumbled feta and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (if desired).
27. Peanut butter Even on its own, 1 Tbsp. (3 tsp.) of peanut butter makes for a treat full of good fats, and you can make your own homemade peanut butter or other nut butter in less than five minutes.
28. Cottage cheese and melon Combine ¾ cup of melon with ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese for a sweet dessert.
29. Strawberry and spinach salad For a savory and sweet salad, mix together 1 cup of baby spinach with ½ cup of sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar. Add a few slices of red onion, if you like.
30. Shakeology Mix 1 scoop of your favorite Shakeology flavor with water. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, mint leaves, or orange or lemon zest.
31. Spiced cottage cheese Mix ¾ cup nonfat cottage cheese with a pinch of chili powder and a pinch of curry powder. Top with chopped scallions (if desired).
Preheat oven to 400º F. Place one rack high and one rack low in the oven.
Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine grapes, 1 tsp. oil, salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to blend.
Place grapes on prepared small baking sheet. Bake, on lower oven rack, for 20 to 22 minutes, or until grapes are tender and skins are lightly wrinkled.
While grapes are baking, brush both sides of bread lightly with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Place on large baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, on higher oven rack, for 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 4 minutes.
Spread each slice of toasted bread with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Top evenly with grapes, remaining 1 dash pepper, and thyme; serve immediately.
Prep Time-15 mins Cook Time-22 mins Total Time-37 mins Servings-8 Servings (2 pieces each) Calories-185 kcal Author-Beachbody
Lightly coat two 16 x 12-inch pieces of parchment paper with spray. Set aside.
Place rice, quinoa, water, and soy sauce in food processor; process until mixture forms a smooth paste.
Place rice mixture on the spray-coated side of one piece of parchment paper. Top with second piece of parchment paper, spray-coated side down. Roll parchment paper with rolling pin until rice mixture is very thin and has evenly spread to the edges of the parchment paper.
Place parchment paper onto large baking sheet. Remove top piece of parchment paper and discard.
Sprinkle rice mixture with water. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes, or until brown and crisp.
Cool and then break into pieces
Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time-35 mins Total Time-45 mins Servings-4 servings, approx. ½ cup each Calories- 114 kcal Author -Autumn Calabrese
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper to taste (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 medium shallots finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut parchment paper into four circles about 12 inches in diameter each. Fold each circle in half. Place on baking sheet. Place a salmon steak in the center of each parchment half circle. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Top salmon evenly with pineapple, shallots, and cilantro. Fold other half of parchment over ingredients and crimp edges to seal. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Be careful when opening pouches as steam will be released.
Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time-12 mins Total Time-22 mins Servings-4 Servings Calories-179 kcal
2B Mindset Plate It! A great lunch option. Sub maple syrup in place of honey for the vegan plan.
BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza
2 whole-wheat flatbreads or 6½-inch whole wheat pitas
½ cup reduced-sugar barbecue sauce
1½ cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
½ cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
½ cup corn kernels
½ medium red onion, chopped
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Place flatbreads on a large baking sheet.
Spread barbecue sauce evenly on flatbreads.
Top flatbreads evenly with chicken, black beans, corn, onion, and cheese.
Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Top evenly with cilantro and drizzle with lime juice. Serve immediately
Look for barbecue sauce that has an ingredient list that does not contain artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. There are many brands on the market that are sweetened with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
Place squash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Poke squash 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 60 to 80 minutes. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Scrape flesh into stringy noodles. Set aside.
To make sauce, heat tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add additional water is sauce is too tart. Set aside.
Coat tofu in cornstarch in a small bowl; mix well.
Heat a large wok (or skillet) over high heat.
Add 2 tsp. oil, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add tofu; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all sides of tofu are brown. Remove tofu from pan and place on a large plate. Set aside.
Add 2 tsp. oil to pan; cook, over high heat, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add onions; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion are light golden brown. Remove from pan; place on plate with tofu. Set aside.
Add 2 tsp. oil to pan; cook, over high heat, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add eggs; cook over medium heat. Do not stir. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath, creating a very thin omelet. When eggs are set, cut them with your spatula. Remove eggs from pan and place on plate with tofu and onions. Set aside.
Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to pan, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add garlic; cook, over medium-high heat, for 1 minute.
Add spaghetti squash, spreading squash into a single layer; cook for 30 second, stir and make another single layer. Repeat this 3 to 6 times, cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until squash is warm and golden brown.
Add sauce; mix well.
Add bean sprouts and green onions; mix well.
Add tofu mixture; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.
Transfer to a large serving platter. Top with peanuts, lime wedges, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.
If you can’t find tamarind paste, you can substitute rice wine vinegar. Thai fish sauce is Nam Pla, but you can use another kind if you have it.
Prep Time-20 mins Cook Time-1 hr 30 mins Total Time-1 hr 50 mins Servings-6 servings Calories-231 kcal Author-Beachbody
P90X/P90X2 Portions ½ Fat ½ Protein 2 Vegetable 1 Condiment
½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (preferably Bob’s Red Mill® All-Purpose Baking Flour, red label)
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
¼ cup all-natural peanut butter
1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. baking powder, gluten-free
1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
Place sweet potato, flour, sugar, peanut butter, pumpkin pie spice, extract, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in food processor; process until a smooth batter forms, scraping down sides as needed.
Dollop twelve balls, approximately 2 Tbsp. each, onto each prepared pan. Lightly flatten with back of a fork that has been dipped in water (or coated with spray).
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan after 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on pan before serving.
Xanthan Gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent often used in gluten-free baking to provide structure to baked goods that typically comes from gluten. Xanthan gum is also used in sauces and dressings to help thicken and emulsify ingredients. It can be found in the grocery store with the gluten-free baking ingredients or online.
To prepare sweet potatoes, pierce whole sweet potatoes multiple times with a fork and bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes, or until soft to the center.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Prep Time-15 mins Cook Time-16 mins Total Time-31 mins Servings-12 servings (2 cookies each) Calories-104 kcal Author-Beachbody
Top cream cheese with cinnamon, honey, and apple. Fold tortilla in half; cook in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until apple has softened and tortilla is golden brown.
Prep Time-10 mins Cook Time-5 mins Total Time-15 mins Servings-1 serving Calories-234 kcal Author-Beachbody
Combine eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, extract, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
Place bread and blueberries in a 13 x 19-inch baking dish that is lightly covered in spray.
Top with egg mixture; mix well to blend. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place baking dish in roasting pan. Add water to roasting pan to come an inch up the side of baking dish. (Baking dish will be sitting in water.) Tent aluminum foil over roasting pan so that foil does not touch bread pudding. Cut two slashes in foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove foil. Bake an additional 35 to 45 minutes, or until bread pudding is puffy and custard is set.
Cut into eight pieces.
No Dairy, High Protein, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
Prep Time-15 mins Cook Time-1 hr 20 mins Total Time-2 hrs 5 mins Servings-8 servings Calories-235 kcal Author-Beachbody
P90X/P90X2 Portions 1 Protein ½ Carb Grain ½ Fruit
Stress kills and life is going to keep on hitting… so what do you do? This interview may change your life and at least maybe your midset!
Life is hard… especially right now. And as so many people across the globe are staring pain and tragedy in the face, this interview couldn’t come at a better time. Everyone’s struggle is unique. But the skills you’ll learn from this amazing guest can be universally applied to almost any circumstance to help you SMILE through the PAIN.
The Ed Mylett Show with guest Maria Menounos.
“Maria Menounos is an Emmy winning reporter, TV personality, pro wrestler, actress, and businesswoman. And even with all of her life’s achievements, she is NOT immune to the battles that life throws our way. But her ability to use the power of a smile to change her own state of mind and the state of others around her is truly transformational.
In this interview, Maria takes us on her life-changing journey from learning that her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer to finding out that she ALSO had a brain tumor and would need an operation.
Instead of allowing STRESS, FEAR, and DEPRESSION to paralyze her, Maria shares how she made a conscious decision to face her brain tumor head-on with HUMOR and how something as simple as a SMILE can make all the difference!
Stress levels around the world are at an all-time high. Maria and I dive deep into the effects of STRESS on the body and reveal secrets on how to REDUCE the STRESS in your life RIGHT NOW.
Life’s most difficult battles often open our eyes to what is really important in life and help us redefine the true definition of success. It’s almost like getting a second chance at life.
Most of us are in the thick of a mess right now. But no matter what battle you’re fighting, this interview will enrich you, enlighten you and fill you with positivity.”
Pronunciation: LEE-tha June 20-22 Themes: abundance, growth, masculine energy, love, magic. celebrate your success, your family, and your good fortune. Other Names: Midsummer, Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s Day, St. John’s Eve
Litha, or Summer Solstice is the last chance in the year to activate intentions before we move into Autumn and the season of reaping and rest. All four elements are joined together to celebrate the duality inherent in nature, the light and the dark. Daylight is at it’s longest on this day, a day to soak up the sun and nap in the warm abundant energy of the sun, as now our days will grow shorter and become cooler. A time to celebrate the light and the remaining days of summer and tap into our inner power to make dreams and plans come true. Fire plays a very prominent role in this celebration. The element of Fire is the most easily seen and immediately felt element of transformation. It can burn, consume, destroy, cook, and of course, be a source of light and warmth.
In ancient time, the Summer Solstice was a fire festival of great importance when the burning of bonfires, or then known as balefires ritually honored the sun and the Gods. Torchlight processions with flaming tar barrels or by wheels bound with straw, which were set alight and rolled down steep hillsides walked towards the place of the balefire and the celebrants. The Norse loved lengthy processions and would gather together the whole family along with their animals and lighted torches and parade through the countryside to the celebration site to drive out evil and bring fertility and prosperity to men, the last crops of the season and their herds.
This is a celebration of the sun and the warmth that still covers the land. Colors of reds, golds and yellows symbolize this. Colors of greens , browns, and blues represent the colors of the earth during summer. Decorations can include images or artwork representing the sun, colorful pinwheels, sunflowers or other orange and yellow flowers, green leaves off the tree, and oak trees and acorns are associated with solar power, strength and energy, and they also represent the very masculine energy of the Solstice.
In yogic traditions, on the day of the solstice, we practice 108 Sun Salutations. Ultimately, today is a day where to honor the sun. It’s all about light. It’s about awakening to the light and power within each and every one of us. It’s about the triumph of light over darkness. Which we need now more than ever.
A Solar Summer Solstice Project
The summer solstice, marks the zenith of the sun, the longest day of the year, when the sun’s power is at its peak. The moment of peak power is very, very brief. Our ancestors built huge bonfires on this day to celebrate their connection to the vital power of the immense burning star that keeps our planet bright, warm, and alive. Hundreds of years ago on the summer solstice, our ancestors sat in sun-drenched fields or on stones as warm as a living body, fashioning small round suns from straw or vines, decorating them with sun colored flowers, honoring the mysterious, fiery light that warmed and brightened their days and made the plants grow that fed them.
The summer solstice is a perfect time to help children make a tangible connection with the earth, to connect with the sun, to invite solar power into their lives. If you and they make a round, golden image while sitting in the strongest sunlight of the year, allowing it to shine on and infuse your creations, you bring that strong, life-promoting energy indoors with you when you are done.
Here are just a few ideas for possible materials to get going. Chances are that the kids will come up with their crafty ideas that will work just as well. The it just should be round and that its colors evoke the sun’s warmth and energy. Try your best to make your images outdoors in the sunshine.
Grapevine wreaths make excellent bases, which may then be decorated with fresh or dried flowers and yarn or ribbons.
You can home-dye your yarn and ribbon using onion skins to achieve a rich terracotta or golden yellow, depending on how long you boil them in the pot with the skins. Modeling clay comes in many types, some self-hardening or bakeable. Get out the toothpicks, chopsticks, and other carving implements, and make suns with jolly faces.
Children of all ages enjoy finding four slender sticks from the yard, crossing them to make an asterisk shape with eight spokes reminiscent of the eight celebrations (festivals) of the year and winding brightly colored yarns and ribbons around and around to make a round variation of the sun. If four sticks are too bulky for small fingers to manage, use only three the solar shape is more hexagonal but still appealing.
Poke in a flower or two for an especially pleasing result—marigolds and daisies are the classic sunny favorites.
When the images are finished, you and the children may want to hold them up to the sky for a few moments so that the sun shines on them, before finding the perfect place in your house or outdoors to hang them.
You can also honor the sun by creating a permanent or temporary sundial. Sundials are some of the oldest forms telling time as the sun moves across the sky, and they are a wonderful way to connect with the movement of the sun across time.
To work with the sun, you need a timer or clock that can go off on the hour. You will want to place whatever you are using for your sundial and place it in the full sun. You can do this with something as simple as, a pencil and a paper plate. Or, you can get more elaborate and plan on carving, drawing or painting a round made of paper, wood, etc.. as your canvas. Put your dial into an area that gets full sun. On each hour, mark it. Do it in pencil, and then later, you can come back to it and mark it more permanently with whatever craft supply you decide on (paint, marker, etc…). You have begun your sundial. But, the sun’s position in the sky changes, so to really do this perfectly, you would do this again at the winter solstice. Draw a line between the marks for summer and winter, and those are your times for the dial. While it takes you a full season to complete the sundial, it’s a fun and meaningful solstice craft. If you want to get really fancy, do this at the equinox (either one) and then you can also have a mid point for the equinox. It’s kind of beautiful to have done this by observing and marking the path of the sun at three integral and sacred points of the year, while honoring the energies of each of those points. This sundial becomes a very special piece on your journey through the solstices!
Light some candles Since the Solstice revolves around the sun, a candle should be lit for the entire day, especially if it is cloudy or raining. Good candles to burn on this day are; sage, mint,lavender and basil scented/oil infused ones. Candle colors of greens, oranges or purples set the theme nicely.
Personally, my favorite way to honor the solstice is a fire burning ritual.
1. On a piece of paper, write down what you’re ready to release. What can you make a conscious effort to shift in your life? How can you dissolve old beliefs or habits to help use your light to drown out the darkness that surrounds us all? How can your inner power be a catalyst for the liberation of all beings?
2. Let it burn. Use a candle or if you have a fire pit or bonfire burning, even better. Put your paper and your intention in the fire. Watch the smoke rise and let it be a symbol of release.
This has always been a simple but powerful ritual. However you celebrate today, there’s no right or wrong way. Show gratitude & appreciation for the life that surrounds us thanks to the sun, and then think about how you’re going to use your own light and power to make this world a better place.
The Summer Solstice Cave Meditation Ritual
You will need…
Yoga props, cushions or pillows, something for seated comfort
Tastes of the season (fruits, veggies, etc…), enough for you to eat in one setting
Florals of the season (fresh flowers)
Journal or notepad and something to write with
This should be done in the morning on Solstice day. Find a protected room or even a closet, where you are completely undisturbed. Create an atmosphere in which you feel comfortably seated and secure. Place a candle (safely) and surround yourself with scents and maybe even a seasonal food that you like. Take a mirror and look at yourself for at least 15 minutes. Ask yourself the question “Who am I”? You can calmly address it to yourself repeatedly. Make sure you stay in eye contact with yourself through the mirror. Write down all of your answers. Then tell yourself that you trust yourself while not losing eye contact. What happens if you can trust yourself? Write down all feelings and emotions that arise. Conclude your ritual by eating the food that you have made available. Be aware of how the sun nurtured it just as you are nurturing yourself, as it was in the womb. And as you feed yourself, thank the sun and yourself for it. Finally, after eating and journaling, emerge reborn from your cave and go ioutside and soak up the Solstice sun!! You can also incorporate this ritual into your routine after the summer solstice in order to build more connection to your inner nourishing power.
Summer Solstice What Should The Future Bring?
What you’ll need….
Candle or bonfire (lit)
8 rounded stones or rocks
Any other symbols of power or energy to you (see below)
Journal or notebook and something to write with
This ritual is performed with fire or with a candle, depending on what’s available. Place a circle of 8 rounded stones or rocks around the fire or the candle, they will represent the 8 sun festivals, the 4 cardinal points and the 4 elements. You can also place other items like flowers or power animal (oracle/totem) cards in or on the circle, whatever feels right for you. Have your paper and pen ready. Before you start the actual ritual, find a space of silence for a moment. Come into the here and now – and let yourself be guided by the power of the summer solstice and love. Then it’s time to reflect. What has happened in the past six months, what do you want to let go of and what are you thankful for? You can write these questions down on the paper provided and then burn them in the fire (or candle). Fire has a very transforming power. Give up everything and let it go – so that new things can emerge from the ashes.
It’s time to clear our energetic field, get some relaxation and re-energize! Things to have on hand:
Epsom salt (Dr Teals makes a salt that has different essential oils in it, it’s only about 4.99 a bag, you get a lot, you don’t need fancy salt.
Essential oils: For this ritual we will use Eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and orange. All of these are for fatigue.
In addition you can also eat an orange and breathe in the peelings. A scented candle works too. While in the tub!
Incense help put you create a sacred space.
Music, soft instrument that you like. (I like pan flutes, and medieval music!
Something to sip on, maybe some sun tea or herbal infused tea.
Extras: Any flower petals or herbs and a sachet bag or fabric bag if you don’t wanna clean up a mess. Use any crystals associated with the Summer Solstice like; .
Optional: tint your bath water with safe food coloring or a bath bomb, (stain free). If you don’t have these, just imagine the color.
The colors to work with are blues like the sky or oranges and yellows like the sun, your choice! When you close your eyes see the color in your mind, imagine your tub water is that color.
Place a picture in your mind or you can look at a physical picture of one of your happiest days. Breathe in deep and hold it and as you let the breath out imagine all your worries, stress and cares fall off of you into the salt water. Don’t worry your body inst soaking in it, the salt is soaking it up.
As you drain the tub anything negative will go down the drain. EXTRA: A bowl of ice water with some lavender in it, maybe a lemon or orange slice ( keep your eyes closed) put some soft rags in it beside your tub, ring the rag out and place it over you eyes or your whole face.
One option is to set sacred space adorned with with candles, incense, etc., Or you could be present at sunrise at the Solstice hour to do the meditation. Read slowly and reflect. Or you could memorize and meditate from memory and visualization. Or follow my lead…
Take a moment and be aware of where you are. Look around and make note of the space you are in and what surrounds you. How much of what you see is here with you because of sunlight? If you’re in a wood built building, physically connect with the trees that became the the building, even the furniture you sit upon daily. All made possible because of the sunlight that shines down on the trees. If you’re surrounded by a wooded area, look up and see the trees reaching towards the sky, the sunlight! Most of what we need to survive is connected to the sun. The food we grow, the chemical in our body called, serotonin boosted by the sun gives us energy and helps keep us calm, positive, and focused. Reflect on all the sun does for you in your daily life, consider what it would be like if the sunlight were permanently turned off. How much do we take for granted that the sunlight makes possible? Perhaps make your own list of what important things you have been gifted by the sun..
Turn your imagination towards the sun. You can close your eyes or not, you may prefer to see the shadows cast as the Solstice sun rises. Remember a time and place when you enjoyed the warmth of the sun on your skin. When you noticed your skin grow warmer and felt the warm air on your skin. Maybe it was at the beach or swimming pool, maybe it was the surprising warmth in winter as the rays of sunshine enveloped your car. Or when you were out sledding and the sun kissed your cheeks. Remember a special time with you and the sun, even if it was just sitting on your porch on a fall day when the sun broke through the chills on a windy day.
Now, visualize yourself back in that feeling, at that time, of enjoying the sunshine in its glory. Imagine that the sun is alive. Stars have life cycles. They are born, they have long lives, and they die. Is it possible, then, that they just may have a consciousness, too? Perhaps not a consciousness like we know consciousness to be, but unique unto itself. The ancient people believed that the sun was alive. So today in this moment, set aside all the logic you learned in school and believe that the sun is intelligent and all-seeing. Imagine that the Earth, too, has a consciousness, and that she is a child born of the Sun. You, in turn, are a child of the Earth. Without the Earth, there could be no humans. The Sun then would be our benevolent grandparent.
Take a moment to be in these benevolent rays of the warmth of the sun. Feel nurtured. Connect with the power of the Sun while in the protective cocoon of the Earth. Imagine the Sun giving you a tiny, tiny pinch of its power and placing it in your belly (sacral chakra). Wiggle your toes on the ground beneath your feet knowing that you are rooted in the Earth in innumerable ways. Smile. Feel the Sun and the Earth smiling with you.
This new little pinch of power is the Sun’s solstice gift to you. You can use it as you like. You can let it grow and share it with others. You can let it expand around you nurturing your aura. Think of all the ways you could use this pinch of Sun to make your life better. Feed it and let it grow, then give some of it back to the Earth and the Sun. It will have your fingerprint on it. We all have parts of us that can benefit the world and the cosmos. The Sun can help us activate them.
It is time to leave this contemplation but you can take it with you as you go do the things you have to do that don’t feel very magical. Remember the Sun and give your heart to it.
Try celebrating the summer solstice with a seated meditation at sunset. The benefits involved when you meditate, such as calming the nervous system and improving a general sense of well-being, help to prepare the body and mind for a good night’s sleep. Conclude the extended solstice day with a few minutes (or an hour if you have time!) of silence and contemplation for deep relaxation….
Bring the power of flowers into your home. Putting fresh flowers in your living room or using a fragrant garland would also elevate your spirits and inflow a calming positive energy for all family members.
Create a Summer Solstice altar, meditation space, prayer space, or simply decorate your fireplace hearth or around your home. Use whatever connects you to the summer sun, your own passion and light. Orange and red candles, gemstones such as; carnelian, fire opal or sunstone. Extra special is to use gemstones designed like flames. Gather summer flowers such as; calendula, sunflowers and roses. They are all associated with the Summer Solstice!
Charge your gemstones by summer sunlight. Sunlight just like Moonlight, brings it’s own energy to gemstones. Just bring them in before sunset (a couple hours in the sun is all they need) because after sunset they will begin being charged by the Moon.
Watch the sunrise and then watch the sunset.
Milk is associated with Summer Solstice and those who are followers of the Fae path will leave milk out for the Fae.
Have an outdoor picnic to celebrate the sun and to welcome the Solstice.
Make some sun tea.
Make solar water by leaving a glass bowl or pitcher of spring water under the sun at midday for a few hours. Wonderful for plants after its cooled!!
Go on a hike.
Make flower and herb infused oils (see more below in links)
Make solar fruit water by leaving water with fruits in a closed glass jar for an hour or two in the sunshine.
Build a faerie house.
Light a bonfire in the morning and keep it attended to and burning all day till sunset.
Foods OfThe Summer Solstice
Herbal Lemon Cookies (Author Unknown)
1 cup Butter or margarine
2 cups Sugar, divided
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Lemon Grass, Lemon Balm or Lemon Basil chopped
Cream the butter and 1-3/4 cups sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and herbs. Add to the creamed mixture and mix. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 3 inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork or cup bottom. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until barely browned. Cool slightly, then remove to a rack.
Vegan Lasagna with Roasted Vegetables
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small eggplants), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
3/4 pound zucchini or yellow squash (about 2 zucchini), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
Salt and black pepper
10 ounces lasagna noodles (about 10 to 12 noodles)
2 packages extra-firm tofu (about 28 ounces), drained of liquid
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
12 to 15 torn basil leaves (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with coarse salt. Allow them to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pat the eggplant slices dry to remove any moisture that has collected. Arrange the zucchini slices on another baking sheet. Brush all of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and just browning. Remove them from the oven and reduce oven heat to 350° F.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles until they’re just al dente. Drain them and set aside. Next, use your hands to crumble the tofu finely in a large mixing bowl. Add in the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste. Continue crumbling the mixture with your hands until it resembles ricotta. Check for seasoning and add lemon, dried herbs (if desired), and salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce, and top the noodles with half of the roasted vegetables. Spread half of the tofu mixture over the vegetables.
Arrange 4 noodles and 1 cup of marinara sauce over the tofu. Cover the marinara sauce with the remaining roasted vegetables and tofu. Cover this layer with the 4 remaining lasagna noodles and a final cup of marinara sauce.
Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, or until noodles are crisping at the edges and everything is bubbling gently. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the basil leaves, if you like, over the top of the lasagna. Cut and serve.
Raw Vegan Summer Recipe Fresh Broccoli Salad
1 lb broccoli florets
2 cups cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch lemon zest
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
Pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, crushed
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonaded
Begin by adding your broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes to a mixing bowl. Now it’s time to make a dressing. In a separate bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, and zest. Throw in some Dijon mustard, vinegar, black pepper, and salt. Give it a whisk until it’s an almost milky consistency. Pour the dressing over your broccoli and tomatoes, toss with your hands, then let sit for about an hour in the fridge. Add some hazelnuts and fresh basil, and there you have it. A fresh, raw, gluten-free salad for your mouth and your tummy!
¼ cup all-natural marinara sauce (I used Fixate Marinara Sauce)
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 servings Perfect Juicy Chicken (I used grilled chicken that I grilled this morning)
¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
5 fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh arugula (I used Spinach)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
Using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, squeeze as much water as possible from spaghetti squash; place in medium mixing bowl.
Add egg, Parmesan cheese, and oregano; mix well.
Place squash mixture in center of prepared baking sheet; use damp hands to press into a thin circular shape, about ¼-inch thick and 10 inches across.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is dry and edges begin to brown. Remove from oven.
To make pizza, spread marinara sauce in an even layer on baked crust; top evenly with mozzarella cheese, chicken, and onion.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until onion softens slightly and cheese melts.
Top with basil; cut in half. Divide evenly between two plates; serve each with 1 cup arugula as a side salad or additional pizza topping.
Make sure spaghetti squash is very dry before mixing with other ingredients. It should reduce from 4 cups to approximately 2 cups after squeezing.
Add any of your favorite veggies most toppings. If you like your veggies more cooked, sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes before topping the pizza.
To make this an individual serving, reduce the cheese topping to ¼ cup, and use 1 serving of chicken.
To make for a family, double the ingredients for the crust and press it out to fill a whole baking sheet.
To freeze: After baking, instead of adding toppings, let crust cool completely; place baking sheet in freezer. When frozen, transfer crust to a resealable bag. When ready to eat, add toppings directly to frozen crust; bake for 15 minutes.
To cook spaghetti squash quickly, place whole squash in microwave; cook, on high, for 3 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard and seeds. Return squash to microwave; cook, on high, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until you can easily remove spaghetti strands with a fork.
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