mabon/autumn equinox

Mabon/Autumn Equinox

Pronunciation: MAY-bun, MAH-bun, MAY-vhon, or MAH-bawn
September 21-24
Themes: harvest, gratitude, abundance, balance, welcoming the dark
Other Names: Autumnal Equinox, Fall Equinox, September Equinox, Harvest Tide, Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon

Mabon at the Autumn Equinox and just like Ostara on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year, at Mabon the days and nights are of equal length. And is typically celebrated on Sept 22, but since it changes depending what calendar you go buy, the 21st – 24th is acceptable as well. The Equinox occurs at different local times, so that depending on where you live, so it may fall the day before or after the date listed on any given calendar. The autumnl equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration.

Depending where you live, you are beginning to feel it in the air, the end of summer. Temperatures may still be warm during the day, but in the evening there is a coolness beginning to creep in. Leaves are beginning to fall and you may be starting to see some color on the trees. For me, I can even smell it in the air, that earthy smell of leaves beginning to decay and their sugars and organic compounds leave a scent in the air as the leaves break down, creating the classic musky-sweet smell. Mabon is a celebration of life and death, and giving of life again, the cycle of the seasons.  As with Ostara, the theme of balance is highlighted here, reminding us that everything is temporary, seasons will change, and that neither dark nor light ever overpowers the other for long.

This as always a time to express gratitude to our higher power for the blessings in our lives, but harvest festivals especially so because we are receiving the earths bounty with the harvest. This holiday now a days take a moment to rest from our labor and relax, Labor Day.

Mabon was a Welsh mythological figure whose origins are connected to a divine “mother and son” pair, echoing the dual nature of the relationship between the Goddess and the God, Jesus and Mary. Whichever name you choose, enjoy your celebration and give thanks for the bounty of the Earth. Mabon denotes all of nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown. And giving thanks for the harvest the earth provides.

The colors of the autumn equinox are the colors that represent the autumn season, reds, golds, cream, hunter green, browns, buttery yellows and rich shades of purple! Typical decorations are, acorns, gourds, pinecones, leaves and the cornucopia filled with autumn fruits, winter squashes, late summer/early autumn flowers and nuts.


Candle Magic

You’ll need…

  • An unscented candle in a harvest color— yellow, orange, brown, or in green to symbolize cash in hand
  • essential oil of cinnamon, orange, or ginger
  • Something to inscribe the candle with—a pencil, stylus, etc.

If you normally cast a circle or invoke a diety, directional elements, higher power, etc… before a working, do so now. Using a stylus or pencil, inscribe your Mabon intent on the candle. For example, if you need money to pay the bills, carve that on there in whatever way you feel called to; ie: symbols, words, etc.. it’s the intention that matters.

Once you’ve completed your inscription, anoint the candle with essential oil. Focus your intent into the candle, drawing the abundance of it to you. Clearly visualize your intent and what it will mean to you. How will it change your life? How will it affect those around you? What does it look like?

Light the candle, and meditate on the flame. Continue focusing on your intent, and imagine it building, first as a small spark, and then growing into a large ball of light. Maintain this image as long as you can, and then release it into the candle flame. Make sure the candle is in a safe place so as not to be a fire hazard (a bowl of sand is perfect for this) and allow the candle to burn out on its own.

Mantra

Autumn Leaves Don’t Fall,
They Fly They Take Their Time
And Wander On
This Their Only Chance
To Soar!
@transitionsyoga


Mabon Intention Setting Ceremony

A simple Mabon celebration you can do at bedtime is light a candle, close your eyes and breathe deeply for five minutes, giving thanks for all your blessings. 

Fall Equinox (Mabon) Ritual
For good harvests and rewards ahead:

For this Mabon, or second harvest, ritual, we are going to balance the scales and mirror nature’s own division of light and shadow, which strike perfect balance on the two equinoxes each year.

Gather:

  • One white or cream candle to represent your light harvest
  • A gemstone to represent your light (e.g., selenite, scolecite, clear calcite, quartz, or petalite)
  • Palo santo, copal, or white sage for smudging
  • One burgundy or black candle to represent your dark harvest
  • A gemstone to represent your shadow (e.g., black tourmaline, jet, golden sheen obsidian, or aegirine)
  • A perfume or essential oil blend to integrate your light and shadow aspects

As you gather your Mabon tools, divide them into two sides: light tools and shadow tools. For the first part of this ritual, you will want to keep them separate; later in the ritual, you will be guided to mingle them, acknowledging the intimate dance of light and shadow.

Smudge the items you have gathered, and on the left, or yin, side of your altar, place your burgundy or black candle, your perfume or essential oils, and your gems that represent shadow. On the right (masculine), or yang, side, place your white or cream candle, your gems that represent light, and your smudging herbs. Take a deep cleansing breath and acknowledge on an energetic level that all these tools represent parts of you that need to be integrated into one dynamic whole expression. When you are ready, call upon your spirit guides to help you discern which items on the light side of your altar are ready to be moved to the shadow side, and vice versa. Is your light candle ready to glow upon your shadow stones, or vice versa? As you step forward in wisdom to move items on your altar as called by Spirit, enjoy the liberation that comes from blurring boundaries. You are not just light or just shadow.

Those are easy answers. You are all of it, and more. You are the slippage between the categories we believe are fixed. You are the exception to all the rules. And that is why your magic is undeniable and indefinable.

Once you begin to mix the sides, keep going. In the amalgam, your peace and your deeper purpose reside. Move the stones, the candles, the offerings. When a new balance has been struck, step back and take a closer look at the alchemy of light and shadow, the balance between the hemispheres of awareness. What lessons have been unearthed here for yourself? Take a moment here to breathe, connect, center, and receive messages from your guides. Finally, bring your hands to prayer position over your heart and give thanks for what you have learned. This is the hour of balance, and here you are, in the center of All, right where you need to be. Welcome this moment. Cheers to your balance, your integration, and your health.

Amen, A’ho, So it is.

Excerpt from The Book of Blessings and Rituals by Athena Perrakis, PhD © 2019

“Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!”
–   Night An’Fey, Transformation of Energy



Meditation

This is a meditation based on the story of the Mabon in the Mabinogion tale of Culhwch and Olwen, but with an Australian twist. The meditation can be done as a part of this Autumn Equinox ritual or just by itself.

Equinox Meditation

  1. Get in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and open your heart. Place your hands directly on your heart and take a deep breath in through your nose. Allow the air to flow naturally through the mouth releasing all that no longer serves you. Continue focusing on your breath until your mind has settled. 
  2. Reflect on how you can bring in more balance and harmony into your life. Observe your thoughts and listen to the answers. Once the answer is received envision yourself throwing these thoughts into a river and watch them float away. 
  3. Bring awareness to your breath coming in and out. With every breath, you begin to feel more balanced. 
  4. Allow your mind to settle and say out loud, ”Balance and harmony is my birthright and I deserve it. I seek balance and harmony as it is found in the universe. I release what is old and no longer needed. I release what is blocking me from living a balanced life.” Repeat until you truly feel you’ve connected with these words. 
  5. Sit in stillness for as long as you can, allowing some time for these words to seep into your mind, body, and spirit. 
  6. Bring your awareness back to your body and your breath. Allowing yourself to be completely grounded and breathe in the balancing energy of the universe and the equinox. 
  7. End your meditation sending gratitude to the universe and radiate this harmonious balancing energy all over the world. 

Source: The Hoodwitch

 


Autumn Incense & Oils
Think scents of pine, sage, cinnamon, frankincense, sweetgrass, and myrrh!

Mabon Ceremony Oil

  • 1 oz. grapeseed oil for base
  • 5 drops cedar oil
  • 6 drops rosemary oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried marigold
  • 1 apple seed

Crimson Leaves Incense

  • 1 part Red Sandalwood
  • 1 part Dragon’s Blood
  • 1 part Storax Bark

Autumn Equinox Intentions/Activities

  • Do a gratitude practice.
  • Celebrate! This is a time of rest and merriment.
  • Autumn crafts.
  • This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future.
  • Find balance, literally, do some yoga and honor balance and movement.
  • Tend your autumn garden bounty. No garden> Visit your local farmers market or roadside fruit and vegetable stand.
  • Meditate.
  • Bake with fruits from the harvest (aka early autumn fruits).
  • Take a hike.
  • Complete old projects.
  • Tell stories around a bonfire, drink hot apple cider.
  • Write down all your blessings from the past year in a journal.
  • Decorate your altar, table or fireplace hearth with acorns, pine cones, seasonal fruits and nuts, and/or a few of the first colored leaves that drop from the trees.
  • Light candles in autumn colors like deep red, orange, brown, and golds.
  • If you are one who struggles with seasonal depression during the fall and winter months, use this time to set an intention for inner peace and strength.
  • Plant the seeds for new undertakings or even a change in lifestyle.
  • Go apple picking. Or visit a pumpkin patch if they are open yet.
  • Clean your house and get rid of stagnant or negative energy.
  • Host a potluck Mabon dinner with your favorite people.
  • Create a gratitude garland
  • In a journal or notepad, answer these questions to the best of your ability: ”How am I calling in balance into my life? How can I be more balanced? What needs to be released in order to cultivate balance? What have I been growing in my garden of thoughts? How does this serve me?” 
  • Make apples into bowls! Carve out an apple so that the filling is gone and all that is left is a thick bowl-shaped apple shell. You can put small plants in these, offerings to spirits or deities, or you can place a candle inside. Put it on an altar or windowsill and it’s complete!
  • If you have food to spare, donate some to a local food pantry. Also, if you have pet food or toys to spare, donate to those to a local animal shelter! Mabon is a great holiday to give back and donating what you can is a wonderful way to celebrate the equinox!

Mabon/Autumn Equinox Crafts



Foods Of Mabon

Vegan Mabon Raspberry Nut Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

Bake in a rectangle glass pan on 350 for 45-48 minutes

  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C Turbinado sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 very heaping tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 4 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Caramel agave sauce
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 1/2 C almond milk
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 3/4 small pack raspberries, whole or sliced

Cool the cake thoroughly (about an hour) before putting in the refrigerator (or glass may crack) to chill for an additional hour or two, or overnight, before icing with chilled frosting.

Frosting: Mix with an electric mixer :

  • a stick and a half of vegan butter, then gradually mix in
  • Erythritol Monkfruit Powder until desired creamy texture and flavor are reached.
  • Mix in a little caramel agave syrup at a time, until desired flavor is reached.
  • Frost cake, then decorate with apples, strawberries and caramel agave sauce.

Vegetable Pot Pie

Makes two pies, 12 or more servings

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and finely chopped
  • 3 cups diced vegetables of your choice
    (choose 3 or 4 from among cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, corn kernels, zucchini, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, kale, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Two 9-inch prepared good-quality pie crust, preferably whole grain
  • 1 cup fine whole grain bread crumbs
  • Paprika for topping

Cook or microwave the potatoes in their skins until done. When cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice four of them and mash the other four coarsely. Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until  golden. Add the vegetables of your choice, layering quicker-cooking vegetables like peas, corn, and zucchini over longer cooking ones like cauliflower, broccoli, and leeks (though none of these are terribly long-cooking). Add a bit of water; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not overdone, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the skillet, then pour in the stock. Add the optional nutritional yeast. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. until the liquid thickens. Stir in both the diced and mashed potatoes. Heat through gently. Stir in the seasoning blend, thyme, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the  mixture into the pie crust and pat in.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over each pie, then top with a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let the pies stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, then cut into wedges and serve.

Three Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups of squash (I used acorn, butternut & half a green pumpkin – I don’t recommend green pumpkin lol).
  • 1 cup of milk substitute (I used rice milk, you can use almond or soy)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 med-large parsnip
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Herb for garnish – I used parsley
  • Maple syrup or agave to taste for sweetness

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and compost them. Also, roughly chop up the carrot, parsnip, onion & celery (feel free to prepare the root veggies from our next recipe at this time to save on energy!).
Fill a 9X13 glass cake pan with approximately 1 inch water and place the squash face-down in the water. Take the chopped veggies, toss with the olive oil and place on a flat cookie sheet in a single layer. Put both squash and veggies in the oven to bake. This could take 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your oven, the size of the veggies, yada yada.

Keep an eye on the veggies to make sure they don’t burn – but you want the squash skin to brown. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle them and scoop the flesh out of the shells (but not cold!) & put them into a food processor. I prefer to process the squash first until very pureed, and then add veggies and do the same thing. Add the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne at this time. If you did like I did and let the squash & veggies get TOO cold you can reheat this on the stove or in the microwave. Serve warm with herb garnish.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins – Taken from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz(I highly recommend this book!!).

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar (raw sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!)
  • ½ cup milk alternative (I used rice milk)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp molasses

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Fill the muffin cups two thirds of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Harvest Ratatouille

  • 8 – 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large or 4 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into chunks the same size as the zucchini slices
  • 5 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tomato paste, to taste (optional)

1. Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant and softened. Add zucchini and eggplant and saute about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add more olive oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.
2. Take off the lid, add other add-ins, if you like, increase heat to high, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes to evaporate excess liquid, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little tomato paste if using, and stir well.
3. Serve hot, or allow to cool and add a little olive oil before serving. Serves 6.

Apple Butter

  • 4 quarts Apple
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 1/2 quarts Cider
  • 1 1/2 pounds Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves

Wash and slice the apples into small bits. Cover with the water and boil until soft. Press through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. Bring cider to a boil and then add apple pulp and sugar and cook until it thickens, constantly stirring to prevent scorching. Add spices and cook until it is thick enough for spreading. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Mulled Mabon Wine (alcoholic)

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Honey Wine (Mead)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 strips of orange zest (or lemon)
  • 3 oz of Brandy (optional)

Directions

On the stove or in a Crock Pot on low, combine ingredients. Warm to just below boiling (if you boil it, you’ll lose the alcohol) Serve warm in mugs, have alongside pumpkin pie or your favorite fresh-baked gingerbread cookies! For a holiday look, garnish with a cinnamon stick and curl of your choice of orange or lemon zest!

Mabon Mulled Wine (alcoholic)

This makes enough wine for a small gathering or small servings, for more just double the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL of your favorite red wine
  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • 3 anise stars
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 shot of Drambuie or Grand Marnier

Directions:

Comine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve warm or let cool.

Alternate Directions:

Combine all ingredients in crock pot.  Heat on high for ten minutes.  Heat on low for half hour.  Serve warm or cold.



Mabon/Autumn Equinox Links

The Origins Of Mabon

6 Mabon Music Playlists

Mabon Kids Crafts

What Is The September Equinox

tips to stay on your meal and exercise plan

I know that starting a meal plan is intimidating and hard and making it through the first week can feel impossible. I know on days a and 2 you will feel like it’s a breeze. Then you’ll want to chew off your own arm on day 3. I know because that’s how I felt! So I wanted to share some tips for staying on your meal plan no matter what. These are things I have been doing since I went back to using Ultimate Portion Fix this month to get my nutrition back in check like it did before and doing Morning Meltdown. I learned these through trial and error and I want to help you have the lest amount of error on your journey as possible. Enjoy!

Pick the right plan for you.

When you are choosing your fitness program, check out the nutrition plans that go with them. The meal plans are actually deigned by real nutritionists to help you get the best results possible during your time on the program. I really recommend following the nutrition plan that the fitness program recommends. BUT, if you seem to like the sounds of 2B Mindset and the plan on your program is Portion Fix, just talk to your coach and they can make some recommendations on using a different nutrition plan with the fitness program you want to do. Remember your goals and go after it on both fronts, exercise AND nutrition. Exercise alone will not get you where you want to be!

Remember your Why.

Plan to be a little uncomfortable at first, Things feel uncomfortable when you start a meal plan because it is of course, not what you’re used to. My husband said to me yesterday, “When you begin to eat healthy you have to accept you may be a little hungry at times, after all, you were eating too much and too much, be ok with being a little hungry now and then till your body gets used to what and how much you should be eating”. You may have never been into veggies, you are, eating lower calories than you are used to, and much less sugar and processed foods (the later two which are addictive). It’s normal to go through some sugar withdrawal, you may even get headaches. Your body may be a little shocked but you will get used to the changes if you stick to the plan and remember what you are doing this for. I recommend making a vision board that has pictures and words that keep you motivated and will put your WHY right in your face when things get tough and you start to waiver. Hang it in your kitchen on the fridge for the extra added motivation. The more that you focus on where you want to go and why you are going there the better off you will be.

Keep it interesting.

I recommend finding some recipes offered on your plan that you especially like and making those in rotation. If you need variety in your life be sure that you honor that, even when you are on your meal plan. If you are doing a Beachbody meal plan that uses the color coded portion control containers then there are recipes you can follow in the meal guide that comes with the program, there is the Fixate Cooking Show on Beachbody on Demand, Fix Cookbooks that have a ton of recipes and variety at your disposal that all fits your meal plan, more recipes I will share with you on your journey and before you know it, you will create your own collection of favorites. Eating on a meal plan does not have to be boring, you can make so many different delicious flavorful foods that will keep you engaged and keep you moving towards your goals.

If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.

This is true for life in general but doubly true if you are eating off of a meal plan. When you are eating clean there are very few options at restaurants that will fit into your plan. There are very few ways to get clean eating meals at drive throughs. This means that you will need to plan ahead for work and also if you are planning to go out. This does not mean that you cannot go out for a treat meal with friends or family but this should also be planned. Map out what your week looks like and look at how much food you will need. Shopping day for us is Saturday and prep days are Sunday afternoon, for 3-4 meals in advance. The food stays fresh and ready and grab and chow down super easy during the work week. This keeps the flavor fatigue out of the equation and keeps the prep time minimal.

Allow yourself a treat now and then.

In my opinion it is important to stick to the meal plan as prescribed for at least a the first week or two but after that if you need to have a little leeway for one meal it is ok. Some call it a cheat meal. The important thing to remember is that you are on this meal plan to get results and that when you go off the rails it will likely hinder those results so don’t get too crazy, or way off your plan. If you want to eat a treat meal pick something healthy that will give you the satisfaction of tasting good and fulfilling your cravings. Split a dessert, do not eat that whole cake. Make it one meal and not a whole day. You get the point, be smart, choose wisely, and do not go crazy. Remember, balance! You will be surprised, as you eat clean your taste buds begin to change and you will begin to crave different, healthier alternatives as treats. So, the more time you give it before you give in to veering off of your plan the better off you will be. Also, don’t go for a treat on your rest day or Active Recovery day. Do it on a day you find challenging and do not make it your last meal of the day. Eat your treat right before or right after your workout.

Do not concentrate on the scale.

The number on the scale is important, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the only thing that matters while you are cleaning up your diet and losing weight. Many people make the mistake of fixating on the scale and it becomes almost an extra weight around their neck, driving them crazy every day. There are a ton of reasons why the scale moves up and down on various days and you may be a couple pounds up one day then a couple pounds down the next. This is normal and if you are checking the scale every day you will be disheartened and stressed out and will be, in my opinion, less likely to stick to your meal plan and exercise regimen. Remember non-scale victories ARE victories. That brownie you passed on at the work party, inches lost on your waistline, learning healthier ways of fueling your body, etc… Also as your workouts intensify your weight will fluctuate as your body attempts to figure out what is going on. So. Know your numbers and weight yourself once or twice a week (unless your program calls for you to weigh daily) and do it at the same time and on the same day each week. Do not focus solely on the scale. Keep in mind how you feel, how your clothes fit, and also how your measurements are going.

Continually educate yourself.

The important thing to remember is to stick to what you are doing and DO NOT get sucked into overthinking or over analyzing. You committed to a meal plan for a reason and it will get you to where you need to be. When you do have a solid foundation of exercising, eating clean, and getting results it is important to continue to expand your knowledge of meal prepping and eating healthy, and it is important to explore different schools of thought on nutrition to see which one works best for you. There is no one size fits all for health and nutrition so keep looking and never stop exploring what is out there. The more you learn the better results you will get and I also believe that with growth becomes excitement. When we are excited we can really do anything and that is how we turn this into a lifestyle and keep the results coming!

mexican

Año Nuevo/New Years’ (Dec 31)
EveDía de Reyes/Epiphany/Three Kings Day (Jan 6)
Candelaria (Feb 2)
Día de la Constitución/Constitution Day (Feb 5)
Día de la Bandera/Flag Day (Feb 24)
Natalicio de Benito Juárez/Benito Juárez’s birthday (March 21)
Semana Santa/Holy Week (Varies every year)
Día del Trabajo/Labor Day (May 1)
Cinco de Mayo/Batalla de Puebla (May 5)
Día de las Madres/Mothers’ Day (May 10)
Día de la Independencia/Independence Day (Sep 15-16)
Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead (Nov 1-2)
Día de la Revolución/Mexican Revolution Day (Nov 20)
Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe/Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec 12)
Navidad y las Posadas/The Christmas Season (Dec 16-25)

Mexican

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and deveined, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warm
  • 1 cup pico de gallo (or fresh tomato salsa)
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place chicken broth, garlic, jalapeños (if desired), chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, bay leaves, and chicken in a 3-quart slow cooker; mix well and cover. Cook on high for 2½ to 3 hours (or on low for 4 to 5 hours), or until chicken is tender.
  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks.
  3. Evenly divide chicken between 8 tortillas. Top evenly with pico de gallo, avocado, lime juice, and cilantro; serve immediately.

Prep Time 20 mins  Cook Time 3 hrs  Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins  Servings 4 Servings (2 tacos each)  Calories 333 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions ½ Fat 1½ Protein ½ Grain Carb

P90X3 Portions 1½ Carb 1½ Protein 2 Fat

Body Beast Portions 1 Carb 1 Vegetable 3 Protein 2 Fat

Container Equivalents ½ Green 1 Red 1 Yellow 1 Blue

2B Mindset Plate It! Add a side salad or veggies for a great lunch option.

FIXATE Chicken Mole

Ingredients

  • 3 large dried ancho (or pasilla) chiles stems, seeds, and ribs removed and discarded
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil divided use
  • 1½ medium onions chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas toasted, torn into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. all-natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1¾ cups low-sodium organic vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1 (3.1-oz.) square Mexican chocolate (like Ibarra or Abuelita), chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 (4-oz.) raw chicken breasts boneless, skinless

Instructions

  1. Soak chiles in water for 15 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  5. Place onion mixture, chiles, tortillas, peanut butter, oregano, and broth in blender, in two or more batches, if necessary; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until very smooth.
  6. Return mixture to saucepan; cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Add chocolate. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  8. Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Add chicken breasts; cook, turning once, for 7 to 9 minutes, or until chicken breasts are no longer pink in the middle.
  10. Top each chicken breast with ⅓ cup mole sauce.

Recipe Notes: You can substitute 3 oz. dark chocolate plus 1 pinch of ground cinnamon for Mexican chocolate. 

Prep Time 20 mins  Cook Time 40 mins  Total Time 1 hr  Servings 8 Servings (about ⅓ cup sauce each)  Calories 289 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions 1 Protein 1½ Condiment ½ Fat

P90X3 Portions 1 Protein 1 Carb 2 Fat

Container Equivalents 1 Red 1 Yellow 1½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It! A protein and FFC as part of lunch.

 

Steak Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1½ tsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium green (red or yellow) bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. raw extra-lean beef sirloin, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ½ cup fresh salsa
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warm
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent and peppers are tender.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add beef, chili powder, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add salsa; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.
  6. Evenly top each tortilla with beef mixture, yogurt, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Prep Time 20 mins  Cook Time 18 mins  Total Time 38 mins  Servings 4 servings, 2 fajitas each  Calories 311 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions 1½ Protein ½ Grain Carb 1 Vegetable

P90X3 Portions 2 Carb 1½ Protein ½ Fat

Container Equivalents 1 Green 1 Red 2 Yellow 1 tsp.

.

Horchata Shakeology

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Shakeology
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, almonds, cinnamon, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Prep Time 10 mins  Cook Time 0 mins  Total Time 10 mins  Servings1 serving  Calories 260 kcal  Author Beachbody

Container Equivalents  (*regular and vegan) 1 Red ½ Blue 1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It! An occasional snackional or enjoy as part of breakfast.

 

Mango Margarita Shakeology

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Plant-Based Vegan Shakeology
  • ½ cup chopped mango
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime peel (lime zest)
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. Place almond milk, lime juice, ice, Shakeology, mango, lime peel, and hemp seeds in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Prep Time 10 mins  Cook Time 0 mins  Total Time 10 mins  Servings1 smoothie  Calories 305 kcal  Author Beachbody

Container Equivalents ½ Purple 1 Red ½ Orange 1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It! This recipe makes a great breakfast option.

Taco Seasoning Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano in a small bowl; mix well.

Prep Time 10 mins  Cook Time 0 mins  Total Time 10 mins


Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack or pepperjack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium jalapeño seeds and veins removed (optional), sliced (can add a second if desired)
  • ½ cup mashed avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. Place cauliflower on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder; toss gently to blend. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender-crisp and golden.
  4. Top evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. Top evenly with tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, avocado, and cilantro; serve immediately.

Prep Time 20 mins  Cook Time 33 mins  Total Time 43 mins  Servings 4 servings  Calories 157 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X2 Portions ½ Fat ½ Dairy 1 Vegetable

P90X3 Portions ½ Carb ½ Protein 1½ Fat

Body Beast Portions 2 Vegetable 1 Protein 1½ Fat

Container Equivalents 1 Green 1 Blue ½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It! Makes a great veggie side as part of lunch or dinner. Also makes a great snack(tional).

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 medium jalapenos seeded and deveined, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. raw ground chicken breast
  • 1½ cups dry farro rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (or diced tomatoes) no salt added
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper to taste; optional
  • 1 cup shredded jack, cheddar, or Mexican blend cheese
  • 3 medium green onions chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.
  3. Add garlic and jalapenos; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until jalapenos are soft.
  4. Add chicken; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Place chicken mixture, farro, beans, corn, tomatoes, water, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and coriander in a 3-quart slow cooker; mix well and cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, or until liquid has been absorbed, and farro is tender.
  6. Remove lid and stir mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add cheese; mix well. Cover until cheese has melted.
  7. Top with green onions and cilantro; serve.

Prep Time 15 mins  Cook Time 3 hrs 13 mins  Total Time 3 hrs 28 mins  Servings 10 serv, about 1 cup each  Calories 320 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions 1 Protein ½ Grain Carb ½ Dairy 1 Vegetable

P90X3 Portions 2 Carb 1 Fat 1 Protein

Body Beast Portions 1 Starch ½ Legume 2 Vegetable 3 Protein

Container Equivalents 1 Green ½ Red 2 Yellow ½ Blue

2B Mindset Plate It! Add more veggies and protein to this FFC as part of lunch.

Turkey Tostadas

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1½ cups roasted turkey breast, shredded (approx. 8 oz.)
  • 2 cups leaf lettuce, finely shredded
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ medium ripe avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Lightly coat both sides of tortillas with spray. Place tortillas in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.
  3. While tortillas are baking, heat salsa in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until turkey is evenly coated and heated through.
  5. To serve, place a tortilla on each serving plate. Top evenly with lettuce, turkey mixture, onion, cheese, and avocado.

Prep Time 15 mins  Cook Time 11 mins  Total Time 26 mins  Servings 4 servings  Calories 285 kcal  Author Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions 1 Fat ½ Protein ½ Grain Carb ½ Vegetable

P90X3 Portions 2 Carb 2 Fat 1 Protein

Portion Fix Containers ½ Green ½ Red 1 Yellow 1 Blue

2B Mindset Plate It! Add more veggies to make a great lunch.

happy national peanut day

10 fun facts about peanuts and peanut butter that you may not know:

  1. 🥜 It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  2. 🥜 By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
  3. 🥜 Four of the top 10 candy bars manufactured in the USA contain peanuts or peanut butter.
  4. 🥜 The average peanut farm is 100 acres.
  5. 🥜 Peanuts are the #1 snack nut consumed in the U.S., accounting for two-thirds of the snack nut market.
  6. 🥜 Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  7. 🥜 There are six cities in the U.S. named Peanut: Peanut, California; Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania; Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Pennsylvania, Peanut, Tennessee; and Peanut West Virginia.
  8. 🥜 According to Little Brownie Bakers, cookie bakers use about 230,000 pounds of peanut butter per week to bake Do-si-dos and Tagalongs.
  9. 🥜 The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school.
  10. 🥜 Peanut butter is consumed in 94 percent of USA households.

Source: The National Peanut Board

The Peanut Butter I Use Is Always Palm Oil Free!

Shakeology

The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 5 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan Salt)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Lightly coat two large baking sheets with spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine quinoa, peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, extract, and egg in a large bowl; mix well.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips; gently mix until blended.
  5. Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until set.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets; remove from sheets and cool completely on a wire rack (or on parchment paper).

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 22 mins Total Time 47 mins Servings 24 cookies, 1 cookie per serving Calories 95 kcal

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Carb
½ Fat

Container Equivalents
1 Yellow
1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy as an occasional treat. Be sure to track it.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), reserve liquid
  • 2 Tbsp . all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp . hot pepper sauce (like Sriracha)
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. iced water
  • ¼ cup chopped raw peanuts
  • 2 medium green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Fresh lime juice


Instructions

  1. Place chickpeas, peanut butter, hot sauce, ginger, garlic, and honey in food processor (or blender); pulse until chickpeas are mashed.
  2. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Pulse until well blended.
  3. With food processor running, slowly add oil and water until smooth. If hummus is too thick, add reserved liquid 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  4. Fold in peanuts, green onions, and cilantro; mix well.
  5. Drizzle with lime juice.

Peanut Butter, apples, raisins, and sunflower seeds… YUM!

Apple Sandwich:

  • Small Apple = 1 purple container
  • Peanut Butter = 2 tsp.
  • Sunflower seeds = 1 orange container
  • Raisins = ½ purple container

Who has the peanut? This adorable game is perfect for your little one’s next party. The game teaches group cooperation while improving observational skills and…it only requires one peanut to play!  The group will learn quirky rhymes while following the rules and learning how to patiently wait to take turns. Read more at: Education.Com

Continue reading “happy national peanut day”

lammas

Photo By: Ad Victoriam

Lammas

Pronounced: English – LAH-mahhs
Lughnasadh
Pronunciation – LOO-nah-sa
August 1-2
Themes: first fruits of harvest, gratitude, benevolent sacrifice, utilizing skills and talents
Other Names: Lughnasadh, Lughnasa, August Eve, Feast of Bread, Frey Fest, First Harvest

The feast of Lughnasadh commemorates the funeral games of Lugh, Celtic god of light, and son of the Sun.  In the mythological story of the Wheel of the Year, the Sun God transfers his power into the grain (harvest), and is sacrificed when the grain is harvested.  This grain is then used to bake the first bread from the year’s crop, which in earlier times would then be taken to a church and laid on the altar to be blessed. The name “Lammas” actually comes from this tradition, taken from an old Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning “loaf mass.”

Irish legend has it that the festival originated with Lugh himself, when he held a funeral feast and sporting competition to honor his foster mother, Tailtiu. She had died from exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland so the people could grow crops.

It is the cross-quarter day between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox, and it marks the beginning of the harvest season. The first hints of Autumn are appearing even through the heat of summer. Grains are ready to be harvested, fruit is starting to fall from the fruit trees and daylight is now becoming shorter. In some places you may start to feel cooler evenings and begin to see a leaf or two tumble to the ground as the trees prepare for their autumn colors to appear!

Lammas rituals usually revolve around; harvesting, gratitude, and recognizing the manifestations of our intentions that have unfolded so far during the course of the year. Many a loaf of bread are made traditionally as way to mark the holiday, as it represents bringing the seeds of intention into full fruition. Corn dollies are a traditional craft made from straw. Decorate with the colors of Summer and Autumn; yellows, oranges, reds, greens and browns. Use harvest imagery like weaved baskets and, Summer corn, late blooming flowers of Summer (daisies, goldenrod, helenium, chrysanthemum, aster, black eyed susan, gaillardia, sunflowers, and zenia), stalks of wheat and of course loaves of bread. Spellwork related to securing abundance and a happy home is particularly powerful at this time.

Candle Magic

Materials Needed

  • 3 Orange candles
  • Frankincense incense
  • 3 Pieces of orange construction paper
  • Make 1 bouquets of wheat stems. Tie with string or thin cord.

Take 3 orange candles & pass them through the smoke of frankincense. As you light each candle say; “May this candle bring warmth to my home, light to my heart & prosperity to my spirit”.

On the 3 pieces of orange paper, on one each, write down 3 blessings. Pass each paper through the smoke of Frankincense to bless it. As you pass each through the smoke, say; “Thank you for these blessings.

Fold each piece of paper individually. With a bundle of wheat stems as an offering, tuck each blessing inside the bouquet of wheat. Then pass the entire wheat bouquet bundle once more over the Frankincense smoke and say; “Harvest time comes yet again to bring us food in abundance before the cold of Winter. To keep us happy and healthy, for this I (we) give thanks. May prosperity and peace always find a way to our hearts.”

Let the candles burn down & blessings prosper. Amen, aho, and so it is. (Additionally you can burn the wheat bundle in a bonfire.)

Lammas Ritual For Courage

Materials Needed

  • 6 inch square of orange cloth
  • Red thread or ribbon
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • pinch of dried basil
  • a few black peppercorns
  • a few drops of orange essential oil

Lay out the cloth and sprinkle the herbs and oil onto it, saying; “The strength of the bull, the daring of the boar. Grant me courage , now and ever more. Grant me bravery in my life each day to follow my own path and have my own say”.

Tie the sachet with the red thread or ribbon and keep it near you, in your bag, in your pocket, or car. *Place it beneath your pillow when you sleep (be careful oil doesn’t seep to your sheets). Every full moon replace the herbs and oil.

When the sachet has served its purpose, untie the knot and bury it.

*Note: keep away from pets

Salt Dough Ornaments

ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
  2. Gradually add water while stirring and mixing to form a dough with a Play-Doh like consistency.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and knead for approximately 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky or a bit more water if it’s too dry.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet in a 150-degree oven. Gently turn them frequently so that they dry out evenly. Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your crafts, so just keep a close eye on them.

Lammas Meditation

The meditation can be done in a group setting, if you wish. You can record the instructions if you like, or memorize them or listen to my audio. This meditation is to help you find out how you can be more productive and creative, so be sure to affirm this to yourself before you start. Find a quiet, undisturbed place.

Sit in a comfortable and supported position.

Relax and begin… 

You’re walking down a country lane, towards the setting sun.  You feel its lingering warmth and see the remaining glow.

It is warm, the insects are buzzing and the air is thick with the scents of summer; the trees, the flowers and grass. Take the time to see what’s around you, hear the sounds of the birds, feel the grass between your toes, smell the flowers in full bloom and sense everything around you.  What animals cross your path? What else comes into your view?

As you move forward relish the solid contact your feet are making now with each step, as you move onto the dry earth of the path… 

You are approaching a field of golden corn. The sun is a huge golden ball, setting over the field. Ahead of you, to one side, there rises a hill, a green hump rising above and just beyond the gold of the corn. Standing near the edge of the mound is a glorious tall, lush oak tree, its branches spread in welcome… When you’re ready, enter the field.

The corn swishes and sways as you walk through it. Approach the tree. The corn doesn’t grow right up to the tree, so there is soft grass at the base of the trunk, you feel it beneath your feet and toes. Now sit with your back to the tree, facing the setting sun with the hill to one side and the whispering, golden corn stretching ahead of you …. 

Ask now for your creative gift. Wait patiently and notice everything you see, feel, hear and sense, however small. When you feel you have received a sign, or feel you need to move on, proceed in your own way with the journey, moving onward over the hill for perhaps more information. Whenever you feel ready turn back along the path through the corn as you walk back into conscious awareness.

Make a note of all you experienced. You can do this visualization as often as you want – your message may clarify over time. 

Lammas Intentions/Activities

  • Gather wheat, gem stones in harvest colors and create a segmented wheel on a round plate or on a table. As you place each item, give thanks for what lies ahead. Include one offering to represent what you need to leave behind.
  • Bake bread.
  • Lammas is a festival of light celebrating the last long days of the year. So, light some candles! Light one in yellow and one white. Let the candles burn until sun down.
  • Gather dandelion blooms and make dandelion wine or jelly.
  • Make preserved or jam from summer fruits.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Bless and thank your garden. And spend some time caring for it and begin plans to protect it as the cold months are around the corner!
  • Brew beer or ginger beer.
  • Take full advantage of the bounty at the farmers markets.
  • Go apple or berry picking.
  • Pick wildflowers.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Spend time reflecting on this year so far.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Make a list of what you intend to harvest this year.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Make Corn dollies from grasses or grain stalks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Create a gratitude list.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Cleanse your space to welcome the new.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Nourish yourself, in whatever form you choose. Good food, good company, a massage, a bath, crafting; whatever nourishes you as a whole.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Lammas Blessing

At first harvest we gather to give thanks for the abundance we are about to enjoy. These crops, these gifts from Gaia our Mother come to us after seasons of sacred Intention. Our efforts now rewarded, honor earth. As the great wheel turns to brings summers end, I prepare my spirit for harvest and feast.
~ Sage Goddess

Corn Husk Dollies

Materials Needed

  • Square-cut dried corn husks ($7.43 for 6 oz., amazon.com)
  • Yarn or raffia
  • Paper towel
  • Buttons
  • Glue

Putting It Together

  1. Start by soaking the husks in water for 10 minutes, and then blot excess water with a paper towel.
  2. Lay four or six husks (always an even number) in a stack.
  3. Using thin twine, tie husks together, about 1 inch from the top.
  4. Separate husks into equal portions (2 and 2, or 3 and 3), and fold halves down, covering twine.
  5. Using thin twine, tie husks about 1 inch down, creating the head.
  6. Roll a single husk and tie at the ends to make arms.
  7. Position arms below the knot at neck, between equal portions of husks.
  8. Tie waist. For a female doll, trim husks to an even length. For a male doll, separate legs into equal portions. Tie at knees and ankles. Trim evenly.
  9. *For non-binary, let your imagination flow!
  10. To make the hair, glue the yarn or raffia to the heads. Fashion clothes from pieces of felt: Cut rectangles, and snip slits or X’s in the center; then slide over the doll’s head, and secure around the waist with a strip of felt or yarn. (Glue on buttons, and use scissors to make fringe as desired.) Create hats and bonnets by cutting felt to fit, and then gluing in place.

Craft By: Martha Stewart *Added by me.

Foods Of Lammas

A Lammas feast should definitely involve bread, as well as late-summer fruits and vegetables, corn, and other grain dishes. apple and pear trees

Lammas Bread
  • 1 c whole wheat flour or rye flour…or do all regular flour
  • 3 c bread flour plus more as needed
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or caraway seeds
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c scalded milk (optional on the scald…it brings out the milk’s natural sugars, but the recipe works fine with warmed milk)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the honey to the hot milk and stir to combine. Cool milk mix until it reaches 115ºF. Stir milk mix into flour mix. Knead for 15 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Oil the dough’s surface, then cover with plastic or a damp towel. Let it rise in a warm spot until double. Punch down, then shape into 2 rectangle loaves or one large wreath. Let rise again until doubled. Bake at 375ºF until golden; it should make a hollow sound when tapped. About 30 – 40 minutes, depending on shape you choose. If you’ve got a bread machine, add wet ingredients first, dry second, yeast last. Let it do the work on the European setting, and pull at 1 hour, 55 min, immediately after the last knead. Shape by hand, do the final rise, and bake. 200 degrees internal temperature is ‘done’ for bread. Let cool before slicing.

Yield: 1 large braid or 2 regular-sized loaves

To do a braid, divide dough into three sections and roll them into long ropes. Match at the top and braid downward, tucking ends under when placing it on parchment lined baking sheet. 

Roasted Garlic Corn

Ingredients

  • Unshucked corn cobs
  • A pot of water
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika

Directions

Soak the corn cobs in the pot of water—leave the husk on—and let them sit for an hour or two. This will make the corn cobs nice and moist.

Put the wet corn cobs, still in their husks, on a grill. If you’re lucky enough to be using a campfire, drop them into the white coals on the edge of the fire ring. Turn the corn cobs once in a while, and let them cook for about half an hour. You’ll know they’re done when the husk is dry and slightly burnt.

Remove the corn cobs from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes to cool a little. Don’t let them get cold. Peel the husk all the way back and use it for a handle, or use wooden skewer sticks. Brush the cob with butter, and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.

Barley Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 20 ounces button mushrooms stems trimmed and caps thinly sliced
  • 3 14.5-ounce cans low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sourdough or some other bread toasted (optional)
  1. Bring the barley and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook for 7 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes more. Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until they release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve with the toasted bread, if desired.
  2. To freeze: Let the soup cool, then ladle it into resealable freezer bags. Store for up to 3 months.
  3. To reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Serve with the toasted bread, if desired.
Lammas Brew

Blend together the following herbs:

  • 5 parts Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)
  • 1/2 part Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • 1/2 part Cinnamon Chips (Cinnamomum spp.)
  • 1/4 – 1/8 part Freshly ground Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water. Then add 2 – 3 Blackberries to each cup of tea and allow to steep for 5 – 7 minutes. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding or reducing the amount of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) or omitting it all together. Want it more sweet? Add more Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). No fresh berries available? (That’s a shame.) The tea is still good without them (but really find some berries if you can).  

Lammas Corn Custard
  • 2 c fresh kernel corn
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp each sugar and salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Mix corn with dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, and butter. Place in a buttered baking dish, individual dishes, or casserole set in a shallow pan of hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Fun Lammas Links

Lammas Facts & Worksheets For Kids
Lammas Day
Lammas: First Fruits of the Earth
Festival of Lughnasadh

recipes


Starters

Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients:

  • Parchment paper
  • 1lb. seedless red grapes, stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ¼ tsp. + 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 16 ½-inch whole-grain baguette slices, (approx. 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Place one rack high and one rack low in the oven.
  2. Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine grapes, 1 tsp. oil, salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to blend. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Dairy
½ Carb Grain
½ Fruit

P90X3 Portions
1½ Carb
½ Protein
½ Fat

Body Beast Portions
1 Starch
½ Fruit
1 Protein
½ Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Purple
1 Yellow
½ Blue

2B Mindset Plate It!
Makes a great FFC as part of breakfast or lunch.

Thai Hummus With Peanuts

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), reserve liquid
  • 2 Tbsp . all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp . hot pepper sauce (like Sriracha)
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. iced water
  • ¼ cup chopped raw peanuts
  • 2 medium green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Place chickpeas, peanut butter, hot sauce, ginger, garlic, and honey in food processor (or blender); pulse until chickpeas are mashed.
  2. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Pulse until well blended.
  3. With food processor running, slowly add oil and water until smooth. If hummus is too thick, add reserved liquid 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  4. Fold in peanuts, green onions, and cilantro; mix well.
  5. Drizzle with lime juice.

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-0 min
Total Time-15 mins
Servings-10 servings, about ¼ cup each
Calories-101 kcal

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Carb
½ Fat

Body Beast Portions
½ Legume
½ Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Yellow
1 tsp.


Teriyaki Salmon Bites

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 lb. raw salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish; optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, and honey in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.
  2. Add salmon; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Place salmon in an even layer in saucepan; cook for 2 minutes, turn each salmon cube, cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  5. Place salmon on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion (if desired). Place a toothpick in each piece of salmon.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cook Time-5 mins
Total Time-1 hr 15 mins
Servings-6 servings
Calories-147 kcal

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Protein
1 Condiment

P90X3 Portions
1 Protein
1 Fat

Body Beast Portions
2 Proteins
1 Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Red
½ Yellow
½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great protein as part of lunch or dinner.

Fixate Pretzel Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. coarse sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • Parchment paper
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Lightly coat two 16 x 12-inch pieces of parchment paper with spray. Set aside.
  3. Place rice, quinoa, water, and soy sauce in food processor; process until mixture forms a smooth paste.
  4. 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.
  5. Place parchment paper onto large baking sheet. Remove top piece of parchment paper and discard.
  6. Sprinkle rice mixture with water. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes, or until brown and crisp.
  7. 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

Container Equivalents
1 Yellow

Hummus-Filled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise, yolks discarded
  • ½ cup prepared hummus
  • 10 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • Ground smoked paprika (to taste; optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill each egg white half with 1½ tsp. hummus.
  2. Sprinkle evenly with olives and paprika. Serve immediately.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cook Time-0 mins
Total Time-10 mins
Servings-2 servings, 8 egg halves each
Calories-223 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Fat
½ Protein
1 Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1½ Carb
½ Protein
1 Fat

Body Beast Portions
1 Legume
1 Protein
1 Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Red
½ Blue
½ Orange

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great protein and FFC as part of lunch or snack(tional).

Tomato-Thyme Pita Crisps

Ingredients

  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 (6½-inch) whole wheat pitas, split (tops removed from bottoms), cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes (or sliced cherry tomatoes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine basil, pepper, thyme, and cheese in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  3. Spread pita wedges evenly on baking sheet. 
  4. Lightly brush each wedge with oil.
  5. Sprinkle basil mixture evenly over pita wedges. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Top pita wedges evenly with tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cook Time-8 mins
Total Time-18 mins
Servings-8 Servings
Calories-124 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Grain Carb
½ Vegetable

P90X3 Portions
1½ Carb

Body Beast Portions
1 Starch
1 Vegetable

Container Equivalents
½ Green
1 Yellow
½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great snackional or enjoy as part of breakfast or lunch.


Mains

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Ingredients

  • Parchment paper
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, (approx. 3½ to 4 lbs.)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 cups all-natural marinara sauce
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane. 
  4. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender. 
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.
  6. Scrape spaghetti squash flesh into stringy noodles.
  7. Lightly coat 4-quart baking dish with spray. 
  8. Evenly layer half spaghetti squash, half marinara sauce, and half ricotta cheese in baking dish. Repeat with second layer.
  9. Evenly top with Parmesan cheese.  
  10. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
  11. Garnish with basil (if desired).  

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-1 hr 17 mins
Total Time-1 hr 32 mins
Servings-4 servings
Calories-474 kcal
Author-Beachbody

Container Equivalents
1 Green
2 Purple
1 Red
1 Blue

2B Mindset Plate It! A great dinner option. Add an FFC for lunch.


Hawaiian Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 4-oz. raw salmon steaks rinsed, patted dry
  • 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
  • Parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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

Container Equivalents
1 Red

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great protein option as part of lunch or dinner. If eating with dinner, you may omit the pineapple FFC or leave it as it is such a small quantity.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground white pepper (to taste; optional)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ⅓ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Place cauliflower on baking sheet that has been lightly coated with spray. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
  4. While cauliflower is cooking, bring almond milk to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Add cheese, pumpkin, and mustard; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended.
  6. Add cauliflower; mix well.
  7. Pour cauliflower minute into 8 x 8-inch casserole dish that has been lightly coated with spray.
  8. Top with bread crumbs.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cook Time-48 mins
Total Time-58 mins
Servings-6 servings, about ¾ cup each
Calories-83 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Protein
½ Vegetable

P90X3 Portions
½ Carb
½ Protein

Body Beast Portions
1½ Vegetable
1 Protein

Container Equivalents
1 Green
½ Blue

2B Mindset Plate It!
Makes a great veggie side as part of lunch or dinner.

Tempeh Power Bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 12 oz. organic tempeh, cut into squares or triangles
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small oranges (like mandarins or clementines), peeled, separated into sections
  • 1 cup cubed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. To make dressing, combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and oil in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
  3. Place tempeh in a glass casserole dish. Top with half of dressing; toss gently to blend. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once. Remove foil; cook for 5 more minutes. Do not let tempeh dry out. Cool.
  5. While tempeh is baking, assemble bowls by evenly dividing salad greens, onion, oranges, sweet potatoes, and avocado between four serving bowls.
  6. Top bowls evenly with tempeh and drizzle evenly with remaining dressing.

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-20 mins
Total Time-35 mins
Servings-4 servings
Calories-408 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Fat
1½ Protein
¼ Tuber/Legume Carb
2 Vegetable

P90X3 Portions
2½ Carb
1½ Protein
2 Fat

Body Beast Portions
1 Starch
4½ Vegetable
3 Protein
2 Fat

Portion Fix Containers
Green
1 Red
½ Yellow
1 Blue
1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great lunch option. Sub maple syrup in place of honey for the vegan plan.


BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place flatbreads on a large baking sheet.
  3. Spread barbecue sauce evenly on flatbreads.
  4. Top flatbreads evenly with chicken, black beans, corn, onion, and cheese.
  5. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Top evenly with cilantro and drizzle with lime juice. Serve immediately

Recipe tips:

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.

Or use this healthier barbecue sauce!

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-8 mins
Total Time-23 mins
Servings-4 servings, 1/2 flatbread each
Calories-308 kcal
Author-Beachbody

Container Equivalents
½ Red
2 Yellow
½ Blue

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy as part of a great lunch.


Pita Pizza

Ingredients

  • 4 (6½-inch) whole wheat pitas
  • ¾ cup all-natural spaghetti sauce, no salt added
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (½ cup)
  • ¼ medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Top pitas evenly with spaghetti sauce, basil, cheese, onion, and bell pepper.
  3. Place pitas on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cook Time-8 mins
Total Time-18 mins
Servings-4 Servings
Calories-248 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Protein
½ Grain Carb
½ Vegetable
½ Condiment

P90X3 Portions
2 Carb
1 Fat
½ Protein

Body Beast Portions
1 Starch
1 Vegetable
2 Protein
1 Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Green
2 Yellow
½ Blue

2B Mindset Plate It!
Add protein and more veggies for lunch.

Pad Thai With Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash about 3 lbs.
  • 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 2-4 Tbsp. water
  • 12 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch preferably GMO free
  • 8 tsp. peanut oil divided use
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 medium green onions cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Crushed red pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.
  4. Coat tofu in cornstarch in a small bowl; mix well.
  5. Heat a large wok (or skillet) over high heat.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to pan, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add garlic; cook, over medium-high heat, for 1 minute.
  10. 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.
  11. Add sauce; mix well.
  12. Add bean sprouts and green onions; mix well.
  13. Add tofu mixture; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.
  14. Transfer to a large serving platter. Top with peanuts, lime wedges, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

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

P90X3 Portions
2 Carb
½ Protein
1 Fat

Container Equivalents
Green
½ Red
½ Yellow
1½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Add a side salad or veggies for dinner. Add an FFC for lunch.



Desserts

FIXATE Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups mashed cooked sweet potato (approx. 3 small)
  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan after 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on pan before serving.

Recipe Notes

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

Container Equivalents
1 Yellow
1 tsp.

Vegan Container Equivalents
1 Yellow, B
1 tsp.


No-Bake S’mores Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 whole-wheat graham crackers (1 cracker sheet each) broken into large pieces
  • 1 large ripe banana mashed
  • ½ cup all-natural almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 scoops Chocolate Whey Shakeology divided use
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Shakeology
  • 2 to 3 drops marshmallow flavor (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil melted

Instructions

  1. Place graham crackers in food processor (or blender); process continuously until crackers are crushed into fine crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil). Evenly sprinkle ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs in bottom of pan. Set aside.
  3. Combine banana, almond butter, cocoa powder, 2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology, and ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
  4. Press chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
  5. Place cheese, Vanilla Whey Shakeology, and marshmallow flavor in food processor (or blender); process until smooth and well blended.
  6. Evenly spread cheese mixture over chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  7. Combine remaining 2 scoops Chocolate Whey Shakeology and oil in a small bowl; mix until smooth. 
  8. Evenly spread Chocolate Whey Shakeology mixture over cheese mixture.    
  9. Sprinkle top with remaining ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs. Lightly press graham cracker crumbs into top. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until set. 
  10. Cut into twelve bars (approx. 2½ x 2-inches). 
  11. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Recipe Notes

You can find marshmallow flavor on-line or in specialty cake decorating stores. You can substitute pure vanilla extract for marshmallow flavor.

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Fat
½ Protein
½ Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
½ Carb
½ Protein
2 Fat

Body Beast Portions
½ Starch
1 Protein
2 Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Red
3 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy as an occasional treat.

Apple Cinnamon Quesadilla

Ingredients

  • 1 (6-inch) whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 Tbsp. cream cheese softened
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. raw honey
  • ½ medium apple thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Spread half of tortilla with cream cheese. 
  2. 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

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Fruit
1 Dairy
½ Grain Carb

P90X3 Portions
1 Protein
2 Carb

Body Beast Portions
½ Fruit
2 Protein
1½ Starch

Container Equivalents
½ Purple
1 Yellow
1 Blue

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy as an occasional treat (includes a bonus FFC). Be sure to track it.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Cortland (or Honey Crisp, Macintosh or Mutsu) apples
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 2 tbsp organic grass-fed butter (or extra-virgin organic coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup water

Instructions

  1. Core apples using an apple corer (or sharp knife).
  2. Add water to a 3-quart slow cooker and carefully place apples in slow cooker so that they are standing upright.
  3. Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and butter in a small bowl; mix with a fork until crumbly.
  4. Fill apples evenly with oat mixture.
  5. Cook on low for 2 hours, or until apples are fork tender. Remove apples from slow cooker. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-2 hrs
Total Time-2 hrs 15 mins
Servings-5 servings, 1 apple each
Calories-251 kcal
Author-Beachbody

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Fruit
½ Carb Grain
½ Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
2 ½ Carb
1 Fat

Body Beast Portions
2 Starch
1 Fruit
1 Fat

Ultimate Portion Fix Containers
1½ Purple
1 Yellow
1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy this as an occasional FFC treat.


Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bites

Ingredients

  • ½ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1½ cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Prepare 6 muffin cups by lining with silicone or parchment cupcake liners. Set aside.  
  2. Combine almonds, sugar, oil, and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix well. 
  3. Divide almond mixture evenly between muffin cups. Set aside.
  4. Combine yogurt and honey in a small bowl; mix well.
  5. Evenly top almond mixture with yogurt mixture and strawberries. 
  6. Freeze for 6 hours, or until firm.
  7. Remove from cupcake liners to serve. 

Prep Time-15 mins
Cook Time-0 mins
Total Time-6 hrs
Servings-6 servings
Calories-129 kcal
Author-Beachbody

Container Equivalents
½ Purple
½ Yellow
½ Blue
½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Enjoy as an occasional treat. Be sure to track it.


Blueberry Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 2½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 8 slices low-sodium sprouted whole grain bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Hot water

Instructions

  1. Combine eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, extract, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
  2. Place bread and blueberries in a 13 x 19-inch baking dish that is lightly covered in spray.
  3. Top with egg mixture; mix well to blend. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. 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. 
  6. Remove foil. Bake an additional 35 to 45 minutes, or until bread pudding is puffy and custard is set.
  7. Cut into eight pieces.

Recipe Notes

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

P90X3 Portions
2 Carb
1 Protein

Body Beast Portions
1½ Starch
½ Fruit
2 Protein

Container Equivalents
½ Purple
½ Red
Yellow

2B Mindset Plate It!
Add more protein to make a great breakfast option.



COPYRIGHT © 2020 RUNNING TO ZEN
*This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking my link. Thank you!

ostara/spring equinox

OSTARA – SPRING EQUINOX

Pronounced: OH-star-ah
March 19-23
Themes: balance, renewal, action, beginnings, hope, new possibilities
Also Known As: Eostra’s Day, Easter, Vernal Equinox, March Equinox, Bacchanalia
,

Ostara or the Spring Solstice is the second of the three spring time festivals on the Wheel of the Year. This is a time for celebrating the balance between winter and the coming summer. This is the official beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the moment of exact balance between the dark (winter) and the light (summer).

Typically celebrated on March 20, the exact moment of the Spring Equinox varies from year to year because of a slight misalignment between the Gregorian calendar and the actual rate of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. Depending on where you live, it may fall the day before or the day after the date listed on any given calendar.

The Earth is becoming warmer and more fertile and the promise of greener, warmer, more fruitful times is awakening as buds and bloooms emerge from the trees, bees return and beging to pollinate the opening flower buds, and fields of grass are awakening from winter slumber. This is a time when we can open our windows a little, step outside in maybe just a sweater on some days, we feel a hint of the coming summer with the sun kissing our cheeks.

To celebrate this time of year, you can decorate with fresh flowers, and potted plants. Traditional colors for this holiday are pale greens, yellow and pale pink. Images of bunnies, decorated eggs in pastel colors are also traditional decorations. It is a time of child like wonder and an eagerness to be with nature as the earth comes alive with beauty.

Colors of the Spring Equinox include yellows, purples, blues, greens and pinks. Symbols of balance such as sun and moon symbols, Ying and Yang. Also add something that represents “new life”. This could be eggs (real or maybe paper mache (No Cook Paper Mache Paste). Things that represent to you, new life!

Spring Magic

Wish for Something New

March brings in renewed hope and promise. Winter will end soon and new life is blooming all around us and everything feels filled with promise. According to the ancient Roman calendar, this was New Year’s Day. This little intention setting ritual will bring something new into your life. You’ll need the following supplies:

  • A pen
  • A sheet of paper
  • An envelope
  • A photo representing your wish
  • A purple candle

First, write your wish on the paper. Then place the paper and photo in the envelope, but don’t seal it yet. Next, light the candle. Gaze at the flame and visualize your wish coming true. When you feel the time is right, close the envelope and seal it by dribbling some of the warm candle wax on it. Snuff out the candle. At Ostara, open the envelope to release the spell’s energy. Continue working toward your goal until you achieve your desire.

From: Llewellyn’s Spell-A-Day

Surrendering

Use fire in a ceremony with a bonfire, fireplace or candle to surrender something that still needs to be unloaded to make room for all that is new. It can be symbolic as in burning a written narrative about what you are surrendering. Spring is renewal, taking the nourishment from the winter cycle and the freedom from surrender and weaving it into a new picture or new expression of your vision forward in the season.

Earthing

There is a lot of confusion as to exactly what it is, but simply put, earthing is connecting with Mother Nature through the earth, the ground we stand upon. Grounding is centering and balancing your energy as in bringing it back to Earth. Earthing will help ground you, but the purpose isn’t just to ground, but also open a line of communication between you and Mother Earth, whether it be to receive healing energy or ask questions. Grounding can occur anywhere, whether you are in contact with Earth (soil, grass, rock, etc) or not. Earthing, however, can only occur if the person is directly touching the Earth, as in the soil, sand or grass outside. Spring is a great time to get outside and reconnect with our Mother Earth after a long winter indoors. Find a safe place to walk barefoot and spend time feeling the energy flow into you.

Spring Activities

  • Include hot cross buns with your breakfast. To honor the union of the earth and the sun (son of God/Jesus) for Spring blessings. Don’t forget to bless or say a prayer before eating!
  • Wear pastels.
  • Bless the seeds planted in the garden. Plant some seeds in pots or in your garden (if you blessed some seeds for Imbolc and saved them, use those). Start seeds indoors to be planted out in your garden after the frost.
  • Place a lit green candle in a dish full of moist earth. Ask/Pray to your higher power or universal energy for blessings, abundance and/or fertility. Let it burn down and then bury the remainders (except the dish).
  • Dye or paint eggs with symbols of spring, or just in pastel colors. Make natural dyes from herbs.

Natural Egg Dyes:

Blueberries: blue
Blackberries: blue-violet
Beet juice: red
Red onion skins: red
Brown onion skins: yellow-orange
Turmeric: yellow
Walnut Shells: dark brown
Cranberries: red
Red Cabbage: purple
Carrot tops: green
Carrot Tops:Yellowish-Green

After the eggs are dyed, dip them into white vinegar to set color.

  • Take a long walk and take in the beauty of nature reawakening all around you.
  • Meditate.
  • Hold a spring party outside if the weather is nice enough. And an Easter egg hunt for the kids!
  • Make bird and/or squirrel feeders.
  • Read stories about Easter, Passover, or other Spring themes. 
  • Open windows and air out your home.
  • Dust out cobwebs.
  • Get rid of old furniture and things that are not useful, beautiful or joyful.

Seed Mosaic 

This is a great way to use old seeds not suitable for planting. If you don’t collect seeds, just post a request for them in your local chapter of free websites such as www.freecycle.org or www.craigslist.org, or ask some farmers at the local farmer’s market if they have any.

You Will Need: 

  • An assortment of seeds 
  • Paper (blank or with a picture) 
  • Extra paper to “catch” seeds 
  • White craft glue 
  • Paint brush 
  • Cups or bowls

Sort the seeds into separate cups or dishes for easy use. Seeds come in so many different sizes, shapes and colors Give the child a piece of plain craft paper, or give them a print out or coloring page so they can follow the image with their mosaic. Show the child how to paint some white craft glue onto a section of their picture, and then sprinkle seeds onto the section. After a minute, tilt the page to allow the excess seeds to fall off onto a separate piece of paper. Return them to their proper bowl. Seed mosaics can be as simple or elaborate as the child likes.

Spring Potpourri

A small pot filled with homemade potpourri can be used as a fragrant blessing for your home.

  • 45 drops rose oil
  • 1 cup oak moss
  • 2 cups dried dogwood blossoms
  • 2 cups dried honeysuckle blossoms
  • 1/2 cup dried violets
  • 1/2 cup dried daffodils
  • 1/2 cup dried rosebuds
  • 1/2 cup dried crocus or iris

How To Dry Flowers

Mix the rose oil with the oak moss, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and then store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.

The above recipe for “Spring Equinox Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes“, page 162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995

Spring Intentions

  • Ostara is a symbol of the transition into the light.
  • Spring is a time for renewal, rebirth, and bright beginnings.
  • Honoring the brief balance of light and dark at the equinoxes is a powerful way to reconnect with your own wholeness.
  • Use this day to find balance of body, mind, and soul
  • Light a candle to symbolize the return of the Sun (Son), and set your intentions for new beginnings and renewed passion. 
  • *Charge crystals under the Sun, in the light of the equinox, to infuse them with the energy of renewal. Ask them to generously hold the power of the Sun’s radiance, making it readily available to you as the year continues to move forward on the wheel. This ritual is especially powerful at noon when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, and at the first moment of spring, which varies by geographic location.
  • Make a birch besom as a symbol of renewal, fertility, and new beginnings.
  • Use this day to cleanse, heal, balance your spirit, and regenerate your vital energy.

*Ostara Blessing

Speak, Ostara, of hope and growth – your gifts to us.
Teach me the ways of light
and reveal the path of illumination
as I prepare to transcend.
Shedding my cold winter skin,
I activate my sanctity,
burning away what no longer serves me.
I emerge from my hibernation,
awaken my dormant energy,
and blossom with the spring.
Amen, A’ho, So it is.

From: Sage Goddess

Poems

Beginning 

by Warren Hanson

This is the Beginning…
This is where it will all start,
on the wings of some new Spirit with the Beat of some new Heart.
Every morning brings a Promise.
Everyday has Gifts to give.
But Today…Right Now…this Minute…
is when I begin to Live.
And the air that I am breathing
is the breeze of what could be,
as I stand here looking out
on all the things that could be Me.
And the road that goes before me,
leading somewhere out of sight,
is a brand new Opportunity for me to get it Right.
This is the Beginning.
This is Once upon a Time…
There are dragons to be vanquished!
There are castle walls to climb!
But this story isn’t written yet.
I’m only on page One.
The Adventure that’s awaiting me has only just Begun.
There are Mysteries and Treasures.
There are daring deeds to do!
And if I speak the secret word, then all my Wishes will come true.
That Magic Word has powers that can make the heavens spin.
But it really is no Secret that the password is…”Begin!”

So, this is the Beginning…
My Beginning.
My Rebirth.
I Awaken to the Wonder
of what I am Really worth.
It is a Springtime for the Spirit, and it’s Giving me a Choice.
So I choose to Use this season as a reason to Rejoice!

Ostara Meditation

Create a Flower Mandala and Meditate

This is another activity that can be done alone or with others. Collect flowers, flower petals, crystals and even candles to create a flower mandala. Play music and burn some incense as you make patterns and spirals or whatever imagery you are drawn to. Put positive energy throughout your creation process. When you finish sit in meditation with the mandala and the energy you created.

Freshly baked spicy Easter hot cross buns with glazed white pastry crosses on a white background

Spring Foods

During the Winter we tend to eat warmer and heavier foods. When Spring returns it is time to eat fresher foods that are full of color. Start eating lighter meals made of from fresh, Spring fruits and vegetables.

Honey Fry Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Mix the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder together. Add about 1/2 cup water and mix well, adding a bit more water if needed to make a stiff dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until dough becomes elastic and smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into squares, strips or circles. Deep fry in very hot oil until golden brown. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels. Drizzle honey in a very thin stream over bread and serve immediately. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon if desired.

Hot Cross Buns with Lemon Frosting

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110°)
1 cup warm milk (about 110°)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 Tbsp. each salt and ground cinnamon
1/4 Tbsp. each ground cloves and nutmeg
2 eggs
3/4 cup currants
1/4 cup finely diced candied orange peel or citron
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, unsifted

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 400°. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat in eggs. Add currants, orange peel and enough of the flour (about 4 cups) to make a soft ball. Turn dough out onto floured board; knead until smooth and satiny (10-20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down and divide into 36 equal pieces; shape each into a smooth ball. Place balls about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush each gently with egg yolk mixture. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 35 minutes).

Bake in a 400° for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack for about 5 minutes; then with a spoon or the tip of a knife, drizzle frosting over top of each bun to make a small “X”. Makes 3 dozen.

Lemon Frosting:
Combine:
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. water

Stir together until smooth.

Sunshine Punch

1 qt. cranberry juice
1 c. sugar
2 c. orange juice
1 c. pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 c. chilled ginger ale
1 pint pineapple sherbet

Blend the cranberry juice, sugar, fruit juices, and almond extract. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time. Just before serving, stir in the ginger ale and sherbet.

Early Spring Salad With Creamy Lemon Dressing

4 cups wild greens

Dressing:
1-1/2 cups olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp rosemary
1 cup water
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp miso
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 cup any cooked root vegetable (potatoes, yams, yuccas, evening primrose root, etc.)
1/2 small onion
Juice of 1 lemon
Small handful parsley or cilantro

Wash the greens and pat dry with towels.
Chop greens into bite-sized pieces.
Into a blender, add oil, water, and lemon. Blend. While the blender is running, put in the remaining ingredients except root vegetable. This will prevent anything from getting stuck under the blender blades.
Blend until smooth, then add the root vegetable to thicken the dressing. Vary the amount of the root vegetable according to how thick you like your dressing.
Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

SOURCE: http://indianspringherbs.com/salads.htm

Dandelion Salad

**DO NOT pick dandelions from a lawn that has been chemically treated**

1 Tb vegetable oil
1 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 c. young dandelion leaves
1/4 c. sliced green onion or leeks
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 c. grapefruit or tangerine sections or mandarin oranges
Dandelion blossoms, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar. Combine dandelion leaves and onions; add dressing and toss to coat. Arrange on two salad plates; top with eggs and fruit. Garnish with dandelion blossoms, if desired.

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Ostara – Spring Equinox Links

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Earth Meditation

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imbolc

Pronounced: Im-bulk, Im-molg, or imb-olc
February 2nd
Hope, Renewal, fertility, Purification, Hearth, Home, Return Of The Light
Candlemas Day, Brigid’s Day,

Imbolc celebrates the coming end of Winter and the beginning of the growing cycle in the Northern Hemisphere. The long, cold, dark months are nearly over, and stirrings of Spring can be seen with the slow emergence of animals from their hibernation, smelled in the blooming of daffodils and crocuses and felt with moments of winds seeming warmer with each passing day. Although snow may continue to cover the ground in many regions, the darkest and often harshest part of the cold season is now behind us. This cross-quarter day—midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox—is a welcome time for many who eagerly awaited the return of the warmer months. Imbolc, also known as Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, of course even Groundhog’s Day, is celebrated on February 2nd.

It’s time to give thanks for the growing daylight. A celebration of Gods return to power and the Goddess, recovering from giving birth to the God at Yule, is beginning once again to step into her Maiden role. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, Christians also observe it as the Feast Day of St. Brigid. The concept of purity and purification has long associations with the month of February. The warmth of the growing Sun (Son) begins to cause seeds deep in (and of) the Earth to germinate and sprout, and even though much of this activity is taking place deep within the soil, those who are attuned to Nature’s rhythms can feel the quickening pace of life emerging all around them. The festival was mostly observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man but today it’s popular throughout the world.

Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order – whether physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Make plans, organize, clean out drawers and closets to help create a refreshing sense of bringing in the new and clearing out the old. Preparing yourself and your home now will help to allow you to take full advantage of the wonder, fertility and freedom that Springtime will bring !

This holiday celebrates beginnings and renewal. It is also a time for spring cleaning after being shut indoors and inactive through the winter months. The ability of the Sun to cleanse and purify is is signified and recognized in various ways. Some people light several candles in each room of the house, or, in a more modern version of this tradition, turn on every lamp to energize and cleanse the old energy. Many do spring cleaning and then bless their rooms with sage, palo santo, holy water, tingshaws, etc… Candle colors for Imbolc are typically white or yellow decorations include fresh Spring flowers and besoms (small decorative ritual brooms).

May the stirring of life underground, stir new dreams into life within you.

May the flames of inspiration and new growth be ignited within your Being.”

— IMBOLC BLESSING

Ways To Celebrate Imbolc

  • Light a candle – a flame is the traditional symbol of Imbolc, which is a ‘fire’ festival.
  • Spring clean  your home
  • If you have the space outdoors, or making your own apartment garden inside, plant for the coming year and maybe sow a few early seeds. You can start off tomatoes or sweet peas indoors in February.
  • Visit a river or stream.
  • Take a cleansing bath.
  • At sunset, put the lights on in every room in the house to welcome back the sun.
  • Host a candlelight dinner.
  • Take time to meditate or journal in a candlelit room.
  • Take a walk outside and enjoy the lengthening days and appreciate this period of rest for the earth and Mother Nature.
  • Spend time with the earth, sky, and sea.
  • Recite and write poetry.
  • Create a Brigid’s Cross.
  • Many magical practitioners take Imbolc off from their day jobs to stay home and clean, organize bills, rearrange the home, and prioritize personal projects. 

Imbolc Cleaning With Intention

Imbolc is the time for Spring cleaning. It is time to clear out the dust and cobwebs and prepare our homes, and ourselves, for the activity and growth that come during the spring season.

  1. Cleanse your Home –  Clean windows and mirrors. Sweep down cobwebs and dust under books. Throw away or destroy any old charms, spellwork, etc.. Out with the old….. Dust, polish, under and over. All the small nooks that get neglected with every day cleaning. This is a great time to dig into minimalism and start to toss out and donate things you no longer need. Now, light a smudge stick (palo santo or sage and lavender) and let the smoke reach every corner of your house; behind doors, under furniture, under the bed, etc! Open the windows and wave the smoke outside, taking the negative energy with it. Next, sprinkle holy (blessed) water around.
  2. Cleanse yourself – Take a ritual bath. Fill the tub with lavender salts or oils. Soak for as long as you like, allowing all negative energy soak away. As the water drains from the tub, visualize it carrying away all the negativity from you, leaving you fresh and clean, psychically as well as physically.
  3. Give thanks – Spray some lavender oil mist or buy some fresh lavender to fill your home with clean springtime aroma. Burn some *frankincense incense. In your prayer, meditation space, or ritual altar (you can cast a circle if you wish to do so) and think about the areas of your life that you would want to be more calm, peaceful (aka cleaner). Ask your higher power for inspiration in doing so. Or if you prefer, meditate and see and feel what inspiration comes to you during meditation. Think about what you want to gain strength in, in your life. Ask for ideas to create that. Thank your higher power for spending time with you and inspiring you!
  4. Have a cup of ginger tea and a piece of cinnamon toast with your higher power, goddess, etc as an offering and celebration of spring renewal. If you opened a circle, it can now be closed.

Imbolc Incense Blend for Purification and Protection

Mix together in a bowl and burn on a charcoal disc in a heat safe incense bowl. Use a fan or feather to waft the smoke into all corners of a physically cleaned home. As you energetically clear the space with the smoke, repeat “This space is cleared, this space is blessed.”

Candle Magic for Imbolc 

Since Brigid is the Goddess of Fire, Imbolc is a great time for candle magic. With an intention in your mind, light your candle and imagine your intentions igniting in the flame of the candle. Burn the candle as long as you wish before blowing it out. As the smoke wafts, imagine your intentions being carried into the Universe. And because we want you to be safe, please remember never to leave burning candles unattended.

Make Your Own Fire Starters

Brighid is a goddess of fire, but sometimes getting a fire lit on a chilly, windy winter evening can be tricky. Put together a batch of simple fire starters to keep on hand, and you’ll be able to get a blaze going at any time!

Egg Carton Fire starters

  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Parrafin Wax or candle stubs
  • Sawdust, wood chips, cotton balls, dryer lint, belly button lint and/or paper towels
  1. Shove whatever you have on hand in the cups of a cardboard egg carton. Lint, sawdust, wood chips, cotton balls or paper towels.
  2. Chop your wax up so it will melt more quickly.  Melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.
  3. Place your egg carton onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil or a surface you can easily scrape wax drips off of. 
  4. Pour wax into each egg carton cup, let them harden and then pull them apart into individual cups. 
  5.  Easily lights with one match.

Foods For Imbolc

Now this one is tricky for me. I gave up dairy years ago and Imbolc is all about the dairy. But symbolism is just as meaningful so non-dairy it is! Dairy (particularly cheese, butter, and milk), eggs, baked goods (particularly bread), spiced wines and herbal teas. Blackberry is sacred to Brigid and blackberry pies, jams, jellies and wines are eaten in honor of her.


Honey Cakes (Liebkuchen)

1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup honey
1 cup sour milk
2 Tablespoons vinegar
6 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Prepare sour milk and mix dry ingredients. Set both aside. Cream margarine and sugar, add egg, beat until light. Add honey, sour milk and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Chill one hour. Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into 2″x3″ rectangles and place on buttered cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Frost with plain vanilla frosting.
* For sour milk, add 1 T. vinegar to 1 c. milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Imbolc

Imbolc Herbal Ice Lantern DIY Craft
Friends Of The Brides Mound
Imbolc History
Love this mandala from https://www.facebook.com/Mandalanas

*Used in religious and spiritual rituals for thousands of years, frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. Because it is so fragrant when burnt, it was used by ancient people as a religious offering. In Christian symbolism, frankincense can represent Christ’s sacrifice.