Things.

Be like the Tree

Be the lightLooking back through my journey of personal development, I came to the conclusion that I was trying to fix myself. I must fix myself, and all of my problems will go away. I will lose weight, and be happy forever. I will get a dog and my life will be complete. I will find a man and THEN I will be happy forever. Or probably I just need a new job… Then my life will be wonderful. In all of those scenarios, I would find myself wondering why I wasn’t happy like I thought I would be. Why was I freaking out all of the time?

I know what it is, I’m broken. I’m broken and I need fixing still. I am going to change myself; I must change. Maybe I will try mediating everyday for 30 days, and then I will be changed forever. Maybe I should give up sugar for 30 days, then I will be changed, I will be a nice person who doesn’t freak out and I will be happy.

The Art of Being

While all of those “changes” are positive and a nice idea…. The real issue is that I saw myself as broken. Being broken was part of my identity. It is impossible to be broken and healed at the same time. How could I possibly change myself into someone who was whole and complete if I identified with being someone who was broken and in need of fixing?

Today, I was on a walk with my dog, thinking about the concept of being whole and complete just as I am and what that may look like. It doesn’t mean that I will never changed from who I am today, it is like the evolution of a tree…. Trees are constantly moving towards the light. They are growing, they shift with nature. The whole time a tree is alive, it is going through stages and seasons and movements, however, the tree never finds itself to be broken and needing to change. The tree does not make itself wrong for losing its leaves in the fall.

Change happens naturally for the tree because it accepts what it is given; it alters itself based on the offerings of the universe and knows that everything is fine, just as it is.

What would it look like if you dropped the idea that you needed to be fixed? That somehow you were not enough as you are and must be mended. How would you feel if you gave yourself the space to just “Be”. To know that you are perfect, whole and complete just as you are. How would you show up in your life? Who would you be, coming from that space?

Move towards the light, Be the light, spread the light knowing you are complete, whole and perfect, just as you are.

Complete, Whole, Perfect

 

Xoxo, Your Wandering Gypsy

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Things.

Getting After It

Beyond the Horizon

I’ll admit it. I’ve been stuck. Actually, I’ve been moving… which has lead to me being stuck. The last few months I have been rearranging my life a bit. Every time that happens I seem to have to find myself again. Each time I come back to myself, I discover something new, something I hadn’t seen before, something that inspires me to move forward.

For days, maybe weeks, I have felt paralyzed by fear. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Like, I know I should do that, but if I just put it off for another day maybe this gnawing feeling in my stomach will go away?  For me, it doesn’t go away, it could temporarily while I watch another episode of “The Big Bang Theory” or fill my social calendar with very distracting yet very necessary wine nights with friends, but that feeling always returns.

Don’t get me wrong, those things are very important to living a balanced life, but using them as a distraction from your dreams because of fear doesn’t serve you.

I was in a class recently and we talked about being unreasonable.  Reason tells us that we must be completely ready before we take the next steps in a project… before we can achieve our dreams… before we can have all that we want.  Being unreasonable means you go for it with no holds barred.  You apply for grad school, you take your first ever yoga class, you ask for the promotion, you buy that plane ticket, you tell her you love her even when you’re unsure of the outcome.

Truth is, we can never be 100% sure of the outcome. Nothing in life is 100%

Being reasonable holds us back from getting what we want. We try to rationalize why we shouldn’t do it. You can hear the voice in your head right now. “Is this wrong? What will people think of me? Will that piss him off? What if I fail? I will be so embarrassed… I might die”

Chances are, you won’t die. Feelings don’t kill you. As humans interacting and judging one another and ourselves constantly we are always trying to avoid pain. Avoid embarrassment. Avoid discord.

This leads us to a dead end street. We feel trapped, confined, conformed. When we do this, we lose our sense of self, we lose our passion, happiness, and motivation to grow.

Hear me out… You will never be 100% ready. There are no promises in life, there is no guarantee, you might fail, but the more you put yourself out there and live a life that is authentic and real, the more you learn about yourself and the more alive you will feel.

Look at where your life is, where are you holding back? Who aren’t you calling? Why aren’t you applying for that job? Take a chance in being unreasonable and see what the universe has is store for you.

If you don’t live out your dreams, who will? Get after it, man!

Getting After It

 

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Things.

Wellness Retreat Weekend

If you follow me on other social media, you may have seen something about a Wellness Retreat that I hosted with my sister back in October.

As previously mentioned, my mission with this blog is to move towards a holistic approach to food and wellness including spirituality. If you know me personally, you have heard me speak of the Law of Attraction, meditation, and the blessings of the Universe.

Meditation in the first snow

This is who I am, what helps me to live a balanced life, evolve to become better, and guides me in all of my decisions.  I feel extremely blessed, people may call it lucky, but truly I created this life for myself and I want to help others do the same.

I’m not sure when it was that I set out on my spiritual journey, it may have been with me my whole life, or maybe I just watched too much Oprah as a child. Regardless of how I got here, I have managed to collect a support system of beautiful people in my life who are also on the same path as me.

The Lodge

Believing and living as if everything happens for a reason is one of my core values. One such gift was unexpected. Three years ago, my dad purchased a big old house in the woods, it needed a ton of work and I had no idea what he wanted to do with it. The house is about done, and my sister and I are looking at the property, enjoying the space, the wood stove, the wilderness and thinking “Wow, this would be a great spot for a retreat!”

Dirt Road Magic

“The Lodge” as we lovingly refer to it as, feels like a vacation from reality the moment you drive down the dirt road. So we set out on a mission to have a Women’s Wellness Retreat with our friends to practice our spiritual teaching abilities and to grow our experiences.Crystals

Luckily, my sister and I have the most amazing women in our lives who were totally on board and supportive. On the agenda was Meditation, Yoga, Manifestation Walk, Clearing Energy exercises, Crystals, Communing with Angels, a Lecture on Food, Spirituality and a Vegan diet. The menu was an all Organic, all Vegan buffet of deliciousness prepared by yours truly! Vicki had the energy work covered with her amazing healing skills and years of knowledge!

Let's talk it outHostess with the Most Kale

It was the most magical space for an opportunity to snuggle up by a wood stove, act like hippies in the woods and ultimately, improve our lives and bodies.

We are planning more of these beautiful retreat weekends if you are interested, feel free to contact myself or my sister!

wanderinggypsy0314@gmail.com for more information

Sisters at workUntil next time, gypsy sisters.

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Things to Eat

Got Quinoa?

I remember making a post about quinoa last year around this time, and I was just introducing myself to it, now I feel like it’s a staple in my house and I was basically an insane person for never using it before. What about you? Got Quinoa, yet?

Quinoa Magic

Quinoa has so much fiber and protein and minerals and good carbohydrates! In my world it’s like a miracle food. Well quinoa and kale. Kale is the fucking bomb.

You know when you go to a family gathering and you totally love the food, but afterwards you feel like you just need to eat a salad to get back to normal? My mission is to help you combat that feeling with this recipe. Bring it to Thanksgiving or your next holiday party. My sister and I brought it to a family gathering and everyone loved it, even if they didn’t exactly know what it was at first.

Recipe:

fallmix

1 Cup dry quinoa

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Acorn Squash

1-2 Sweet Potatoes

1 Large Red Onion

4 Cloves of Garlic

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper flakes

1 Bunch Kale

1 Pomegranate

1/2 Cup Walnuts/Almonds/Nuts of your choice

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Assembly:

When cooking, and in life, if possible, start with the most difficult things first. In the case of this recipe, cutting, peeling and dicing that squash can go first, because A)not gonna lie, it sucks, and B) it’s going to take the longest to cook.

It's a love hate relationship

It’s a love hate relationship

Cube the red onion, squash, sweet potatoes, peel and smash the garlic and put it all on a roasting pan or cookie sheet, drizzle in olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and other spices you might like to try. I would suggest a curry or a hot sauce.

Prepped.

Prepped.

Put in the oven at 375 degrees and roast until the squash is soft and slightly toasted.

While that is getting toasty, pour yourself a glass of wine so that you can feel just as toasty! You deserve it, that was hard.

Getting Toasty

Getting Toasty.

Moving on, cook the quinoa, its basically just like rice or the package will tell you what to do.

Next, prep the remaining veggies/fruits/nuts… take out the pomegranate seeds, chop the kale, and set them aside. For the nuts, I toasted walnuts in a little white truffle oil. What a treat.  Now we just like to pretend we are fancy, so if the truffle oil is a little over the top for you, just toasting your nuts in a sauté pan until you can start to smell them works fine too.

Once the quinoa is done, transfer it into a large bowl, add roasted vegetables, kale, dried cranberries (I don’t like the word craisins because it makes me think of crazy raisins and that is just awkward) and nuts. Mix the ingredients together evenly, top with pomegranate seeds and voila! A beautiful, well balanced, vegan dish to bring to any party or to eat for lunch every day for a week like I did.

Om Nom Nom.

Om Nom Nom.

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Things to Eat

Falafel, Eff Yeah

I know the title should really be “Falafel, Fuck Yeah” … but, I don’t want to offend anyone. Haha.

Falafel... Eff Yeah.

So, you’ve all been really good and have been juicing every day with me rightttt?  (I’m 17 pounds down BTW) What are you doing with all the left over pulp?  Making soup, muffins and bread…?  Or tossing it in the compost?  We are currently composting but I have wanted to do something with the pulp.  Finally, inspiration struck  when I was at one of Minneapolis’ best food trucks: Foxy Falafel.

Kale Falafel!  How exciting is that?!?!  Oh, you don’t get giddy when you think about Falafel? Weird…

Nom Nom Nom

In true gypsy style, I customized a totally rad, organic, gluten-free, vegan falafel recipe.  It works either baked or fried using chickpeas, of course, and the kale/carrot pulp from my morning juice.

This recipe is slightly spicy, full of flavor, and adapts well to change.

Ingredients:

3 Cloves Garlic

1-15oz can Garbanzo Beans

Juice of 1 Lemon

2 TBSP Tahihi

3-4 Cups of Kale/Carrot Pulp OR 2 Cups Fresh Kale

2 TBSP Hemp Seeds (Optional)

2 TBSP Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley

1 TBSP Garam Masala or any other Curry you like

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1.5 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

2-3 TBSP Garbanzo Bean Flour (Or other gluten free flour of your choosing)

Oil of your choosing (I chose 4 TBSP Grapeseed/Olive Oil Combo if Frying and 1 TBSP coconut oil if baking)

If frying, you will also need an additional few TBSP’s of the Garbanzo Bean Flour for coating your falafel.

Assembly: (If baking, at this point, turn on oven to 375 Degrees)

In a food processor, (Which is apparently my new favorite kitchen appliance) Blend together all ingredients EXCEPT the Kale or Kale Pulp.

Processor

Once combined, slowly add in kale mixture 1/2 cup at a time until it is completely ground into the falafel batter.

The batter should be thick and a bit dryer than cookie dough. If your batter seems wet, add more garbanzo bean flour. For spice factor, taste it! It’s totally fine to eat raw, at this stage it is basically really thick hummus. Want more spice? Add some Siracha. Needs more salt? Toss it in!

Form the batter into balls or patties. Of course balls are more fun, but patties cook more evenly unless you have a deep frier or are using a ton of oil.

I went the patty route. Now you can go one of two ways after choosing your falafel formation… Frying or baking. If you’re baking your falafel, coat a baking pan with coconut oil, bake 20 minutes, flip and bake 10 minutes on the other side. I found that the baked falafels were more dry on the inside and less crisp on the outside than the fried falafel, so naturally, I’m an advocate of the fried falafel using healthy oils, but both are tasty!

patties

If you’re frying, heat the oil until you can press a wooden spoon to the bottom of the pan and small bubbles come up. That is my mother’s trick for how to tell when your oil is hot enough. Love it. Lightly coat your falafel patties in garbanzo bean flour, then fry your falafel patties for 3-5 minutes on each side until they have browned… Not light brown, not dark brown, just regular brown.

oilspoon

When removing them from the pan, place your falafels on a paper towel, you know, like you do when you cook bacon!

Plate with cucumber, pita, tomato, tzatziki sauce, anything you think would make a tasty falafel!

finaldish

Veggin’ out until next time,

Your Wandering Gypsy

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Things to Eat

A Little Nutty

JarsHow many times a week do you think you eat a granola bar/ energy bar/ candy bar?

I’m willing to guess it’s somewhere around 3 times a week. Sometimes we even pay upwards of $3 for the sugar filled, preservative laden, crap in a wrapper.

What if you made your own raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free, guilt free, awesomeness packed, refined sugar free energy bar?!? And what if it was cheaper than buying them?!?!?!

As an experiment, I tested a recipe similar to the one I’m offering up. I actually didn’t believe this would be possible or taste good… Dude, I was wrong. Tasting is believing for me and I’m a believer!!! Why put excess crap-ola in your body when you can get the same effect or better from something you made yourself without the processed shit?

Here is a recipe for my Gypsy Lifestyle Bars:

2 TBSP Ground Golden Flax

1 TBSP Cacao Nibs

2 TBSP Hemp Seeds

1/2 TBSP Cinnamon

1 TBSP Raw Cacao Powder

1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts

1/2 Cup Raw Almonds

1/2 Cup Chopped Dates

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

2-3 TBSP Raw Honey

nuts

Grind flax seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, raw cacao, and cinnamon in a food processor or coffee grinder. (Flax seeds must be ground in order for your digestive system to absorbs their fantastic nutrients) Next, add the nuts! Grind until finely chop in a food processor.  Then add your dried fruit (dates and raisins in my case) and blend until combined. Finally add honey to the food processor and blend until the mixture sticks together.

texture

Pour this sticky/nutty mixture onto a baking sheet and press into the form of small granola bars with your hands. Another option would be to press the mixture into a 9×9 pan, freeze, then cut with a knife like you would with a pan of brownies.

size

Wrap these, put them in individual bags, pop them in the freezer to keep them fresher longer and pull them out to take to work in the morning or for a snack in the evening. Yum Central!

This recipe is totally customizable, add your favorite dried fruits, nuts, or seeds, leave out the cacao… It’s all good and good for you!

Money Saving FYI: Depending on which ingredients you used, each batch is around $8.30, divided  by 6 or 8. Each bar comes to about $1.04-1.38  (Cliff bars are equally or more than that depending on where you buy them from, and add a dollar or so to that if you’re going raw, vegan, gluten free or organic)

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Getting High

High, Happiness, Relief, Calm, Excited, Enthusiastic, Elated, Joyful, Carefree, Bliss… Whatever you want to call it, it’s what we’re all after.

I heard once that the only real reason we do anything is to get to the next thing that will bring us happiness. We work like dogs to make money in order to pay for a vacation and be happy, or buy a car that makes us happy, or go out to eat at a beautiful restaurant that makes our mouths happy.  There are many ways to achieve a high and I have been noticing it more and more in conversations all around me lately.

We all clearly know that drugs, alcohol, food, etc will get you high, but what about meditation, crystal energy, dancing, exercise, yoga, sacred space, chanting, sex, nutritious food? Some more subtle than others, yet still the same premise; they make you happy, they make you high.   I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and no matter where I was in my life, happiness was always the goal. To get to a better place was always the goal. The differentiating factor for me is “What happens next?”

What happens next, after you’ve drank 2 bottles of wine until you slur your speech, cannot control your emotions, and leave the party early to go to bed? What happens next, after you’ve done a beautiful meditation and open your eyes to prepare yourself for the day ahead? What happens next after you eat a whole row of Oreo cookies? What happens next after you take your dogs for a run?

One side moves you to the next happiest space, the other side, physically and mentally, makes you feel like shit! Sometimes you don’t realize the correlation at first because the “high” is really a cloud.  A constant sugar high can really feel like a mental cloud, once you drop the sugar, the cloud starts to lift. Until then, you didn’t even know you were under the cloud. It is sort of like when I got glasses and realized that the world was so much clearer than I thought it was, simply because I had nothing else to base it on. I had no control point.

My sister often says “Life is much better on the other side of a run or walk”. It’s true. I feel the same about meditation, yoga, and many of the other things I mentioned above ;)

The question I have for you is… Is life much better on the other side of that pint of ice cream? Is life much better on the other side of that night out where you had too much to drink? Is life much better on the other side of that snotty comment that puts someone down in order to cover up for your own insecurities? Is life much better on the other side of buying that purse that you know you don’t have the money for?

Think about the means by which you get high in your life. Maybe next time, you’ll choose differently.

No recipe this time, just some food for thought.

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