๐’‰๐’๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’„ (๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’”๐’ ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’„) ๐’•๐’Š๐’‘๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‚๐’–๐’•๐’–๐’Ž๐’

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๐‘ด๐’Š๐’๐’…

  1. Stay connected to nature. Breathe in the crisp air, take in the beauty that autumn brings. Staying connected to the cooling temperature will make the harshness winter brings much easier to enjoy. Mindful walking.
  2. Decluttering is somehow good for the soul. And autumn is a great time look at the abundance in our lives, keep what we need, and maybe donate or give away what we don’t. For me, I enjoy autumn cleaning even more than my spring cleaning.
  3. Practice mindful breathing. Practice right nostril breathing: Close your left nostril using the ring finger on your right hand. Inhale through your right nostril for 6-8 seconds, then exhale through the same nostril for 5-7 seconds. Repeat for 7-10 rounds, a few times a day. This will enhance the sun energy that helps keep the body warm as the temperature drops.
  4. Try some new cool weather hobbies. Hiking, nature crafting, cooking classes, learn outdoor survival skills, learn some indoor gardening, go geocaching. hit the museums, take on a reading challenge, volunteer… Staying active will help you avoid seasonal depression.
  5. Play! Connect with your inner child and jump in some leaves, or climb a tree!
  6. Nap. A 20-minute nap is said to be totally rejuvenating for the whole physical, emotional, and mental system. If you can fit it into to your day I highly recommend it.
  7. Take another route to work.ย Mixing up your routine in small ways creates new neural pathways in the brain to keep itย healthy. And you will get to see the autumn landscape in an area you maybe haven’t seen.

 

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๐‘ฉ๐’๐’…๐’š

  1. Eat seasonally and from local farmers. Root veggies (enhance your connection to the Earth), spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, barley, baked winter squashes, nuts, seeds, fish rich in Omega-3’s like salmon, and whole grains. This will keep you feeling warm and grounded and aid with seasonal allergies too when you eat locally grown!
  2. Add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and garlic to your dishes.
  3. Drinkingย a warm glass of water or tea with some fresh lemon first thing in the morning. This will keep you hydrated and start your gut off to a good start!
  4. Use natural oils like coconut, jojoba, and shea to hydrate your skin and especially during the cooler months,ย  dry brush to get rid of dead cells at least 2x a week. Exfoliate and moisturize daily with natural products.
  5. We deal with so much fabric on our skin and all the drier air from the heat being on. Get a humidifier! Theย moisture can be very important for our lungs, our skin and our whole bodyโ€™s health.
  6. Get to bed a bit earlier, keep the room cool and dark and get a great sleep.
  7. Drink tea as often as possible, try using herbs and spices like dandelion, sage, gentian, cinnamon, turmeric and chamomile. This will keep you hydrated while still keeping warm!
  8. This is also a good time of the year to start taking natural preventive supplements such as elderberry syrups, Indian gooseberry, turmeric, ginger, honey, holy basil and other herbal supplements to keep infections at bay.ย  And try some Echinacea Plusยฎ tea
  9. As we spend even more days indoors, we get less vitamin D, therefore it is necessary to take vitamin D supplements during fall and winter months.
  10. Try out a Neti Pot. Neti pots help reduce allergies, and flush out the nasal passages (great for colds and sinus infections)
  11. Grab a wheatgrass shot (a quick way to get a healthy boost) from places like Whole Foods or juice bars, or inย powder formย (which you can add to smoothies etc).Packed with key vitamins and minerals, wheatgrass supports the immune system and aids the bodyโ€™s detoxification process. It also supports body alkalinity, and promises a daily serving of vegetables.
  12. Studies showย that acupuncture can boost immunity to help prevent getting sick, and also reduce cold and flu symptoms.

 

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๐‘บ๐’‘๐’Š๐’“๐’Š๐’•

  1. Shift your activity inward. Reflect on the your year so far, start planning for the next few months to keep your mind focused on the seasons ahead. This practice will keep you mindful of where you’ve been and where you want to go. Meditation has been used for centuries to improve relaxation, improve mind-body balance and enhance general health and well-being.
  2. Yoga. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose,ย Noose Pose, ย Revolved Head-to-Knee Poseย ,ย Bow Pose,ย Camel Pose,ย Warrior I Poseย ,ย Sun Salutationsย and Hot Yoga.ย 
  3. Meditation; Letting Go: A Guided Meditation for Fall
  4. Practice gratitude as often as you can.
  5. Get together with others of like mind to pray, meditate, etc…
  6. Use your commute for a โ€œBeauty Scavenger Hunt.โ€ย Find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work.
  7. Keep a gratitude journal.Gratitude journals are quick and effective ways to shift your mood away from your problems and worries and towards the good things in your life. ย For an optimal experience, purchase a good quality journal and pen (something special that will encourage you to keep writing) and set aside 5-10 minutes either first thing in the morning or before bed to list three things youโ€™re grateful for. If you feel stuck, try myย 30 gratitude journal prompts.
  8. Use autumn scented essential oils around the house, they will lift your spirit and your mood!
  9. Hug a tree and connect with nature.ย 

 

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๐‘ฌ๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’”

  1. Journal. Spill your emotions into your journal so you can make a plan to change the negative ones and pull out the positive ones. Be honest with yourself.
  2. Actively work on your self confidence. The Mirror Technique. As the weather gets cooler and season depression tries to creep in have a plan of action to keep feeling good about yourself.
  3. Mindful Relaxation.
  4. Hate autumn? Identify the very best thing possible about fall for you and experience it as richly as you can. Then you can go on to the second best thing and so on… Find the joy of the season!
  5. Do things that make you smile, and laugh! Good full belly laughs!
  6. Don’t start over shopping for the holidays. This is one of the BIG reasons many people come face to face with depression during these months. The stress of bills and the need to spend spend spend makes us crash hard. SPEND mindful time with loved ones, this is the best gift you will ever plan for them!
  7. Sink into a bath with essential oils or a fabulous bath bomb. Create a spa in your bathroom and settle in for some relaxing moments to recenter yourself. Take the “me” time.
  8. Go out and get a new hair style or color or even a manicure! Refreshing yourself helps get your mood in check and your mood in line with the season.ย 

 

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๐‘บ๐’๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’

  1. This is the perfect time to start reaching out to people you may have lost contact with. Plan an autumn outing maybe, or go for chai to sit and talk. Reconnect, it’ll feel good!
  2. Start a new hobby or take a class where you’ll meet new people.
  3. Plan an autumn themed trip, even if it’s just a weekend or a day trip with your bff’s. Something even as simple as stopping for autumn themed coffee at your local cafe will warm your heart and lift your spirits!
  4. Get friends together for a game of touch football – even if you don’t like football. Embrace the season!
  5. Get the family involved in some gardening for next season!
  6. Take a drive or hike to look at the autumn leaves.
  7. Host a wine or seasonally themed party!
  8. Plan a Friendsgiving with friends or co-workers.ย 

 

 

kabocha (carnival) squash recipes

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How to Roast Kabocha Squash

Kabocha or Carnival squash is a Japanese pumpkin. Itโ€™s sweeter than most squash or regular pumpkins. The skin is edible once itโ€™s roasted. Kabocha contains iron, fiber, vitamins A, C, B and is lower in carbohydrates than other squash or pumpkins.
You’ll need a cleaver knife and carefully slice it by safely rocking the knife, this is a difficult squash to cut, so take your time. You can also poke the squash with a fork and microwave for 4 minutes to soften it for slicing. It can be baked whole for 15 minutes to soften for slicing too. Once the squash is sliced in half, spoon out the seeds. Slice each half into 4 pieces. The seeds can be saved and planted in your garden next year.


Place the squash on a foil or parchment lined baking tray. Brush the squash with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper or salt and ground cinnamon on each piece.
Roast at 400F for 35 minutes or until fork tender.

 

Roasted Kabocha Soup

Ingredients

  • A halfย a large kabocha squash (or double the recipe and use the whole squash), seeded (about 3 to 4 pounds for the half)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoonsย  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400ยฐF. Use a cleaver (it helps if you have a rubber mallet as well) to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces.ย Scoop out the seeds and save them to roast likeย pumpkin seeds! and scoop out the stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil lined roasting pan. Rub olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt.ย Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.

2. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a 6 quart pan. Add the celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.

3.ย Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash flesh into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purรฉe the soup. Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.

 

Maple Glazed Kabocha Squash

Ingredients
  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ยฝ teaspoon salt
  • ยผ teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ยผ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ยฝ teaspoon rubbed sage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Cut squash in half from stem to bottom. Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh.
  3. Cut both halves of the squash into 2″ wedges. Arrange wedges ,skin side down, on baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Using clean hands, rub squash pieces to coat all sides with oil and seasonings.
  5. Drizzle squash with maple syrup and sprinkle tops with sage and nutmeg.
  6. Bake squash at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until tender.*
NOTES
*Baste squash with pan drippings and broil for the last 3-5 minutes for a more toasty texture and flavor.
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Esther’s Pumpkin Pie

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From Esther’s Kitchenย 


Esther’s Pumpkin Pie
Cuisine: Esther Approved, Dessert
Prep Time: 1 hour
Serves: 9″ pie, 8 slices
Author: Chef Linda | Estherโ€™s Kitchen

Ingredients
2-1/4 cups pumpkin (canned)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened plant milk such as almond or coconut
1/4 cup vegan light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 store bought 9″ frozen pie crust, thawed, unbaked (confirm it is Esther Approved and does not contain lard)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
1. Combine all filling ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. You can also use a mixing bowl with electric hand mixer.
2. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie crust. Use a spatula to smooth the top. Spread the filling out and upwards to meet the edge of the sides of the pie crust.
3. Bake the pie for 40 minutes. Check the crust for browning at 30 minutes. If it looks like it is darkening, wrap foil around the crust.
4. Allow the pie to cool completely before refrigerating it. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight prior to serving. Serve alone or top with an Esther Approved, non-dairy whipped cream.

Note: Purchase 2 (15 oz) cans of plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Measure 2-1/4 cups of pumpkin and refrigerate the remaining pumpkin for another use such as a smoothie. Use a gluten-free pie crust for a gluten-free option.
Photo by Scott.

Fall Bucket List

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Fall Bucket List

Hike a portion of the Appalachianย trail.
This has been on my list for a long time. And we finally live close! Just waiting for cooler temps and autumn leaves to start turning. Ticks are super bad here in NJ so I’d rather wait till the little evil things are resting!

Finish my Crystal Healer’s Certification Classes!!
Should have this completed this month!

Start taking some pottery classes to get my hands back into the craft.
I loved making pottery. But don’t love using it. I took a pottery class in college and loved it. I found it to be very meditative to work with my hands crafting. I didn’t pursue it as a hobby because I don’t use pottery. I love the artistry but the weightiness of the pieces seemed just clunky to me. So I would love to get back into it to challenge myself to create pieces I would actually use and display in my home. And who knows, perhaps a business opportunity? Or a side line I could add to a little shop me and the hubby have been dreaming up lately ๐Ÿ˜‰

Complete 1 of my Reikiย certifications, level 2 classes.
With everything that’s been happening the last several months I haven’t focused on classes or practice. I miss it!

Go apple picking.
I’ve never gone apple picking before and we have orchards close by. So this fall we plan to go picking @ Battleview Orchards

Bike a scenic trail or two.
Yayyy we finally got bikes! A friend very generously gifted us 1 gently used and 1 new bike this summer. Sadly we still haven’t taken them out. Next week we plan a test run.

Baking & making 90% of our holiday gifts this year.
Last year we decided we wanted most of our gift giving to be homemade. Last year we baked breads and made jams and bought a few thoughtfully coordinated extras to add on to the experience. We haven’t quite laid out our plans yet, but we are on staycation next week and have time to come up with our ideas for this year.

Geocaching.
Here’s the app!

Take lots of mini road trips around NJ, PA & NY.
While we’re here we need to do some exploring!

Adopt a puppy or kitty.
Happy to say we already checked this one off the list before I finished this blog post!! I’ll be posting about him! Check out Petfinder, there are thousands and thousands of animals to choose from.

Bake a pie, from scratch.
Remember, apple picking will be done!

Host a scary movie night.ย 
Lights off. Autumn snacks and beverages a plenty. Plenty of comfy pillows and sleeping bags/blankets so people can be cozy and comfy if they fall asleep lol.

Send notes to friends and family for Thanksgiving telling them why you are thankful for them.
This is something I’ve thought about doing for a few years. But every year I over think it and just don’t do it. This year, scale it simple. Just little notes of love, appreciation and gratitude. Doesn’t have to be fancy to be heartfelt.

Take lots of fall foliage walks.
Drive somewhere new and just walk the town or area we’re in and take in the beauty.ย  Try and keep a photo journal and blog it!

Make leaf art; here are some ideas…
37 Best Leaf Craft Ideas to Help You Fall Into the Season

Get a 1000-piece puzzle with an autumn theme to put together on a chilly night.
I want to make hot apple cider and just spend a quiet evening working on a puzzle with my honey.ย  Perhaps some Vivaldi, Four seasons playing in the background?

Learn how to knit and create a scarf for fall or winter.
Pretty simple plan. And best part, my hubby would help. He’s actually the sewer in the house so he has a few skills in this department.

Visit the local farmers markets/Eat Everything That’s in Season.
We didn’t get a chance this summer to check them out.

Make homemade autumn latte’s
Here are some of the recipes we want to try –ย  https://vegnews.com/2018/9/5-must-make-vegan-lattes-perfect-for-fall

Preserve something to enjoy for throughout winter
This will fall right in with us making homemade holiday gifts this year!ย 

Go through a corn maze!
I’ve never gone through a cornfield maze before, hopefully this is the year.ย 

Donate another bin or two to a shelter or resale shop
Since I started this list I already have a full trash bag and a full bin just waiting to be donated!

Normally I blog my bucket lists and forget to post updates. Fingers crossed I keep up!

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

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Pumpkin gluten-free vegan cookies made with Arbonne protein & fiber boost! YUM!!!! Only 15 min to make!
๐ŸŽƒ
Simple:
8 scoops of yummy Arbonne protein
2-scoops of Arbonne Fiber boost
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1- tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1-can organic pumpkin
Bake for 15 min at 350 degrees

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN CHILI

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Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili for dinner, yummmmmy

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN CHILI

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegeatable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1ยฝ tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
ยผ teaspoon pepper
ยผ teaspoon smoked paprika
ยผ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (15 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil over medium heat.Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.Add the garlic and cook one more minutes.Next, add the sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Stir until the sweet potatoes are coated with the spices.

Next, add the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, 3 cups of the stock, and the tomato paste. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the black beans and cook until they are warmed, a few minutes more.If the chili is too thick for your preference, add another cup of stock.

 

The Colors Of Autumn & A Recipe

 

Autumn Leaves

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PUMPKIN BREAKFAST COOKIES

INGREDIENTS
ยผ cup Spectrumยฎ coconut oil, melted
ยผ cup honey
1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats
1 cup quick cooking oats
โ…” cup unsweetened, dried cranberries
โ…” cup pumpkin seeds
ยผ cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
ยฝ teaspoon sea salt
ยฝ cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs, beaten

INSTRUCTIONS HERE