And another month has gone and went. 2015 is already 1/12 over…Can you believe it? Feels like just days ago we were all anticipating the start of a new year – new beginnings, new endings, new memories, and, of course, a couple new mistakes…It’s the ebb and flow. Life never stops moving, the only constant truly is change. January has been a whirlwind of ups and downs.It’s the ebb and flow. Life never stops moving, the only constant truly is change.
A Kundalini class this past week really shed some light on the inner emotional “trauma” that I’ve been dealing with in the last few years that have come to fruition in the physical form of the torn labrum in my hips (the cartilage in the ball-socket of the hip… yes, it is very painful)… My teacher explained to me that the reason why my hips had become so injured and literally broke down on me in the first place is because of built up inner turmoil that I have yet to let go of. Ultimately our entire practice consisted of a simple breathing exercise– connecting to the inhale and the exhale that gives us life and unconsciously replenishes our bodies. I used to think of yoga more as a workout than anything else. But I’m starting to understand the true meaning of the practice: uniting the mind, body and spirit through breath first and foremost.
It’s quite remarkable when you think about it — we breathe in and out without even really noticing it most of the time. And yet if we stopped…well I think it’s safe to say you know what would happen next. Too often we are completely disconnected from our breath and our inner bodies. Our minds are too busy wrapped up with the next task on our to-do list, jumping from one place to the next, wondering why he/she hasn’t texted us yet, worrying that we’re spending too much money. And/or we’re far too busy aimlessly scrolling through our Instagram feeds (guilty as charged here, no judgment) How are we supposed to heal ourselves, how are we ever supposed to feel at peace if our minds are endlessly consumed and frantically trying to multitask?
With this question in mind, I’m thinking it’s about time for a shift and I’m using the beginning of this month as a symbolic representation of new intentions. I’m always telling myself how I need to quiet my mind. But actually doing it? Now that’s another story. You’d think I’d be some zen master considering I work at a yoga studio and raw foods kitchen. But even those who may seem completely at peace aren’t exempt from feelings of mindless anxiety. I learned a ridiculously simple breathing exercise from the yoga class (LA peeps be sure to check out Peace Yoga!!) to start me off on this journey to a more central focus on breathing, being in the moment and being out of my own head. It goes a little something like this: Close your eyes. Breathe in for 5 seconds, allowing your belly to fill with oxygen. Exhale for 5 seconds, allowing your navel to move towards your spine. Repeat. That’s it. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t allot a few minutes to just breathe a few times a day, right? So do it. Do it now. Close your eyes, take a breather or two…Theeeenn make this raw carrot cake and feed your soul. It’s loaded with yummy ingredients like fresh ginger, especially known for its immunity boosting properties. And carrots are easily one of the best vegetables out there, loaded with Vitamin A and beta-carotene. So any excuse to stick them in a dessert is probably a good one.
Happy Monday and here’s to a new month of mindful bliss.
Raw Carrot Cake + Maple Drizzle:
For the carrot cake:
- 1/3 cup each walnuts and pumpkin seeds
- 3 large carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dates, soaked for a few hours in water
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
- pinch of himalayan salt
- Add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds to a food processor. Process until they break down and begin to form a powder.
- Add in the carrots, dates, raisins and coconut oil. Pulse until the mixture begins to form a dough.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- Remove the blade and transfer the mixture into a small cake or tart pan. Let sit in the fridge or freezer to firm up for at least an hour or two.
For the maple glaze:
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. coconut butter (melted)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over the cake.
Optional toppings: shredded coconut, walnuts