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Triple Chocolate Love Pie

Tripple Chocolate Love Pie

When you’re making a Triple Chocolate Love Pie, there is always an extra important ingredient that needs to be included… LOVE

So take your time and enjoy the creative experience…

Everything else is great to have checked off on your list, but if something is missing, it’s ok, there are always options and alternatives.. So treat this recipe as a blueprint, and get experimental if you like. Just make sure you add the LOVE in, and your creative masterpiece will come out beautiful.

Tonic Immune Protective Soup Recipe

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Tonic Immuni-teaAt Harmonic Arts, one of our favourite Winter Tea Blends is Tonic Immuni-tea.

This deeply nourishing, earthy flavoured blend has a few sweet notes consisting of Wild and Organic Adaptogenic/Tonic herbs and mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Chaga, Reishi, Eleuthro, Astragalus , Rehmannia, Codonopsis, Goji, and Wild Yam.

Tonic Immuni-tea is the perfect base for creating immune protective elixir drinks and soups…

Strengthening Commitment to Your Self

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The earth has circled around the sun yet again, and many of us find ourselves in a similar place as we did this time last year; ready to make a commitment to that which is important, and close to our hearts. Perhaps it is a desire to more deeply commit to your health, to your relationships, or to your career. What you are committed to does not measure the success of your intentions. It is the strength of your commitment that will determine success.

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How can we fortify the agreement we decide to make with ourselves, in order to bring to fruition the important matters of our hearts?

Winter Health Alignment

This is the 1st in a 4-part blog series from Harmonic Arts and Myself (Yarrow Willard), to be released on Solstice and Equinox.

This is the 1st in a 4-part blog series from Harmonic Arts and Yarrow Willard, to be released on Solstice and Equinox. The intention of these blogs is to deepen our understanding of ways to show up in optimal health during each season of the year. When we  choose to align with the natural energies of the season, we are proactively reducing imbalance and disease in our body, mind, and spirit.

winter alignmentWinter’s Decline

When it comes to health, many people see winter as the toughest time of the year. It’s not uncommon to feel challenged with immune issues, stress, depression or a lack of energy in the winter months. Partly this is because it’s the natural completion of the life cycle. The world around us is retreating into sleep mode. If our actions and choices are not in alignment with this seasonal tone, our health and wellness will suffer.

The lack of alignment with winter health practices is an all too common state in the western society. Our busy lives are filled with sensory overload, stress, poor food options and unnatural environments. All of which tell our bodies to respond in the opposite way that our natural world is presenting us. This equation creates a conflict or disconnect within us, and is the most common root cause of imbalance in the body. Leaving us sick, depressed, and burnt out.

The state of decline that winter represents is an important and necessary step in our evolutionary process. Winter offers an opportunity to become more introspective, to reflect on our life choices, and to realign with our purpose and vision for the coming season. To do this work it’s important to give ourselves the space to slow down, rest, and reset ourselves. This internal focus becomes an easy alignment when the natural energies of winter are utilized.

There are 4 basic Energetic Seasonal Alignments throughout the year:4-energetic-seasons

-Spring Activation,

-Summer Manifestation,

-Autumn Accumulation

-Winter Decline

 

 

Winters decline offers us the perfect opportunity to refocus our attention, set new intentions, and recalibrate the way we are choosing to show up in the world. To do this requires us to slow down, reflect, reduce our level of output, choosing inward moving rather than outward expansive practices.

 

Understanding the fourfold landscape of Holistic Health:

When we look at wellness fourfold-landscape-of-the-self-1through the lens of Holistic health, we realize that is it a dynamic layering of many interacting aspects.

On one hand we have seasonal alignment as mentioned above. Where finding the right mix of ingredients to take in from our outside environment is the filter for choosing our path.

On another hand we have the fourfold landscape of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves. Where each aspect of who we are requires a different type of nourishment in order to maintain its vitality.


To achieve lasting wellness, our health choices need to be rooted in an understanding of how they affect each aspect of ourself. When we use these filters to help guide our choices, we naturally gravitate to the right tools for generating sustainable health and well being.

The wholistic model of supporting mind, body, emotion and spirit should ideally be integrated into each choice we make in life, then overlapped with the seasonal filter of how these choices integrate with the seasonal cycles of life happening around us.leaves layered

For example: I know that green leafy vegetables feeds my body well with nutrients, gives my spirit vitality, and makes me happy because I’m taking good care of myself, but should I eat a garden salad for dinner in January?

Best winter practices for nourishing our wholistic health

Physical –

Slow down, rest, stay warm and don’t push ourselves too hard. Though we should slow down, it’s essential to get some activity outside and find opportunities to breathe the crisp, fresh air. Chopping wood, walking, skiing, or just playing in the elements gives our body deeper wisdom in knowing how to best show up and prepare for the season.

Diet wise, natural winter foods are cooked seasonal options, and foods that have been preserved and stored from the summer/fall abundance. Such as fermented vegetables, beans and seeds, root vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips, dark leafy greens like kale and collards, whole grains, healthy fats such as organic dairy, fish, coconut oil, high quality animal protein, and bone broths are all great winter choices. It is not an ideal time for cooling foods, like raw vegetables, fresh fruit, juices, sugars or tropical foods.

We can also integrate warming tonic or immune herbs, and medicinal mushrooms as teas, broths and elixir drinks. Herbs such as Astragalus, Eleuthero, Reishi, Chaga, Goji Berry, Rosehips, Fo-ti, Ginger, Cinnamon and Chai spices are ideal in this season. There are many other herbs that are supportive for proactive or specific health concerns this time of year. A great source in Canada for quality organic plant based health options is www.harmonicarts.ca

Mental –

Slowing down and focusing on introspective thought can be a key practice in the winter months.man sitting alone in snow If we scatter our thoughts on too many projects or ideas, it creates gaps in energy and increases the stress load in the body. Less multi tasking and more depth and imagination is ideal during this season. Find ways to avoid circle thinking on issues we can control is important. Much good visioning can be accomplished with a focused mind, and winter is the perfect time to do this work.

Looking back at what has been accomplished and setting intentions for how we are to show up moving forward. Plan projects, fortify programs, and hold space for regenerative health and rest to occur. To support nerve and brain function we can look to herbs like Skullcap, Passionflower, Ginko, Gotu Kola, Lemon Verbena, Holy basil, Mucuna, and Lion’s Mane.

Emotional –

Often people battle the blues and other tough emotions during the winter months. See this as an opportunity to look at your commitment to self nourishment. At this time, feelings of emptiness, loneliness and isolation are easy to fall into, and understandably as the elements outside are much less hospitable than other seasons. In Traditional Chinese Medicine  philosophy, winter holds the emotion of fear. This is the base state behind many of our hardest to deal with feelings. When we acknowledge the energy of fear and dig into its root causes in our lives, we begin to recognize our own cobweb of patterns and habits that no longer serve us.

The inner sanctuary of winter offers the opportunity to deepen our commitment to self and our loved ones, through slowing down, simplifying and being more present. In this space we can begin to cultivate new rituals instead of repeating old habits, as we get clear on how we are choosing to show up in the world. The worst thing we can do for emotional growth in the winter is to distract ourselves by overloading our senses with media, social obligations, excessive alcohol and drug use, or a heavy workload. Instead look to create time for hobbies, personal connection, and self nourishment. Warm baths, comforting teas, fireside conversations, outdoor activities and reflective moments, are great ways to set the tone for healthy emotional growth in the winter months.

Spiritual –

Similar to emotional health, our spiritual health can often feel hungry for nourishment in the winter months. These dark days can sometimes have us yearning for adventure or escape. Use this energy to deeply root your dreams and aspirations for the year to come. Getting clear on how you are creating purpose and value in your life can be a great winter project. Practices like meditation and reflective writing may help stimulate those winter spiritual cleansing muscles. Winter reminds us to look internally rather than externally for the answers to our big questions in life.  It is our deepest inner work that is ripe for exploration through this slow season. The dark and coldness can sometimes trigger spiritual crisis and expose internal struggles we have been repressing, remember to love yourself and move into these feelings with the curiosity of the inner child, rather than avoid it’s discomfort. The opportunity to dig into the root of our internal struggle is one of the most powerful aspects of winter’s decline. Before we can see the light we must know the dark…

In Summary –

Once we start to unravel the codes of characteristics and natural order within ourselves and our surrounding environment, we see that optimal health choices are not so much about nutritional facts, dietary limitations, exercise regimes and health information. Real and lasting health is actually more about finding flow and balance, and accessing the power of inner and outer  harmony. This lifestyle approach can start to become easy common sense practices; even if they are not all that common these days.

There are no hard and fast rules to living a healthy life, just a basic flow that governs the natural cycles of life. It is in our highest alignment to accept and work with these cycles, if we are to achieve lasting vitality and harmony in our lives, and as a collective here on planet earth.

Mountains in winter

 

 

yarrow hands upYarrow Willard Cl.H. (Herbal Jedi)

Yarrow is a Clinical Herbalist and the co-founder/formulator of the Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary at www.harmonicarts.ca . From an early age, he was raised in the ways of herbs and natural medicine. Yarrow is highly edu-taining and carries a wealth of knowledge and insight into upgrading health and vitality and deepening our connection with the natural world. He is continually sharing the “Herbal Jedi” life path through his many events, classes, blogs, YouTube channel and other social media.

4 Favourite Natural Cold and Flu Fighters

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This time of year I actively add an ounce of cold and flu prevention to my family’s daily regime.

As our bodies adjust to the shifting seasons and the retracting light, fortification to the immune system becomes an important intention.

In that, I choose anti-microbial herbs as defense, immune boosters as offense, and deep immune tonics for conditioning and maintenance.

 

 

Cold Defense– When we feel a hint of the winter wetlands hit with stormy cold symptoms, we pull out this blend to come in strong with support to our natural defenses. This blend is ideal to take when sensing oncoming symptoms of a potential cold or flu.

Cold-Defense-50ml

 

Immune Boost Tea– This tea is a favourite for it’s healing essence that permeates the air while it brews up on the stove during colder months. It boosts our resistance to winter bugs while warming the body from the outside-in.immune boost tea

 

Elderberry Syrup– This one is always welcome to all members of our family, even the choosiest of palates enjoy the sweet berry flavour of this classic syrup. Elderberry is said to have a center of gravity on the lungs, and its anti-viral properties either keep colds and flus at bay, or lessen the impact of such symptoms.Elderberry-Syrup

 

Viral Support– This blend has a deep penetration to trigger the immune system. It lends support to the body in conditioning for its best defenses yet.Viral-Support-50ml

 

Rolling through this winter cycle, you may also find some of these products to be especially helpful, assisting you through the season with a lowered level of stress on your health and wellness!

 

angela willardAngela Willard became a Clinical Herbalist through the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in 2005. She has since practiced as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. Angela actively adds herbal and health tools to her basket of wisdom by continually upgrading her knowledge with a strong focus on Women’s health and wellness. Sharing information that empowers people to live with integrity and reach their highest potential is a true calling, one which fuels her on her path. She balances her time between raising a young family and nourishing her passionate purpose as an herbalist.

 

Closing of the Veils – Giving Thanks to the Natural World

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Join Herbalist Yarrow Willard as he explores a few ways in which we can deepen our Kin-ection and offer our thanks for all the abundance we have received in the year.

At Winters Door we have an opportunity to honour the Death/Hibernation process within ourselves and the world around us.  In doing so, we create space to for new life to flow through us once more.
In this Video the Herbal Jedi shares a variety of ways to do this, and why it is important.

Plus a few herbal gems and bits of knowledge along the way.

Categories: Blog, Video Blog

Elevated Donut Bites

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Truth time – I made these healthy donut bites specifically so I could use the Elevate Elixir Blend. I’m obsessed. Ever since the weather turned, I haven’t been able to get enough of its creamy, rich, cardamom flavour! Last year it was our Activate Elixir Blend I put in everything, but this year it’s Elevate. I use it in my coffee, hot almond mylk, breakfast oats and most recently my baking.  If one of the other elixir mixes is your current favorite you can substitute it in favour of mine.elevated donut bites

Ingredients:

⅔ cup rolled oats

⅔ cup dates (de-pitted)

⅔ cup nuts (soak for 1-4 hours and then rinse) – I used cashews

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

⅛ teaspoon vanilla powder

.1 teaspoon Elevate elixir

½ teaspoon 5 Mushroom Blend (or another mushroom powder)

To make the dough:

Add oats, dates, nuts, elevate, mushroom powder and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until the ingredients have turned into a moist dough.

Ball the dough into the size of your choice (I made bite size) and place on a tray covered in parchment paper in the freezer for 20 minutes

To make the glaze:

In a pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat on stove

Once melted, turn off heat

Immediately add vanilla powder and maple syrup

Whisk together and transfer to bowl

To Finish:

Remove donut bites from freezer

Roll each donut bite in the  glaze

Place back on parchment paper

Once all bites are covered in glaze, place in freezer for 10 minutes

(If you have leftover glaze, repeat above process)

After the the glaze has frozen on your scrumptious Elevated Donut Bites, you can transfer them to a  sealed container and keep in fridge.

I was inspired by a recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life  which I then elevated with a few awesome Harmonic Arts products!

Kelsey

 

This delicious and easy recipe is brought to you by Harmonic Arts team member Kelsey, who is a  Holistic Nutritionist inspired by West Coast living, meeting her farmer, playing with her food and getting outside.

Chaga – A Medicinal Mushroom

chaga blog header

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus): This mushroom shows up as a sclerotia (growth) that is found mostly on birch trees in the northern regions of our planet. It has been used for at least several hundred years in Russia and Eastern Europe and is well known and used extensively by indigenous people of northern Canada, Europe and Siberia.

As a superfood and medicine Chaga has gained much popularity over the last 10 years, mostly due to its heavily researched anti-tumor and immunomodulating properties. Chaga is also employed as a potent antioxidant for which it is starting to get quite a reputation.

 Some studies suggest Chaga can be used as an anti-inflammatory, reducing pain sensations and has blood sugar regulating properties. Like other superfood mushrooms Chaga must be prepared in a way that makes its Chaga Tea Cutcompounds available for absorption in the body. This means cut pieces of the mushroom must be lightly simmered as a broth or a decoction style tea, prepared was a dual extract tincture, or pre-extracted edible powder form.Chaga Chunks -Wild Harvested

The tea has a nice flavour with hints of vanilla, it can be used as a base for smoothies, hot drinks or soups, the tincture or powdered extract can be consumed on their own or added to food and drinks.

 

Mushroom Mysteries, Medicine… and more – Part 2 of 2

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Click here for Part 1 of the Mushroom Mysteries and Medicine series.

The use of Mushrooms as medicine and superfood can be found in almost every traditional culture, and has a rich history throughout the world.mushroom

Their ability to assist in healing the body of chronic diseases, tumour systems and weakened immune function has intrigued practitioners and healers for thousands of years. In the last 50 years, this aspect has gained much attention by the health and science community, especially in the west where there has been a dramatic influx of these types of diseases; brought on by the shift from traditional diet to that of a modern one.

As such, much time and money has been spent studying mushrooms and attempting to figure out how they work, what potential species may be of benefit, and what the best ways to use them are.

There are several constituents of interest that have been found in the medicinally active mushrooms that show great healing potential. The most significant are the polysaccharides and triterpenoids, but benefits have also been attributed to the nucleosides, ergosterol, fatty acids, protein/peptides, trace elements and other compounds unique to each mushroom.

Mushroom Mysteries, Medicine… and more – Part 1 of 2

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IMG_5030Humanity has always had a deep fascination with the fungal kingdom. Stories involving the mysterious world of mushrooms are layered into the folklore in every culture that has ever existed.

Even the earliest intact human we know of, Otzi the Iceman (5000 y old), had a pouch containing 2 medicinal mushrooms (Birch and Tinder polypore). Both of which are considered to be helpful with parasites and bacterial infection, which he was shown to be suffering from.

The deeper we dig into the world of mushrooms, the more we find ourselves in amazement and awe at the potential keys that the fungal kingdom unlock. The fungal kingdom has a potent place in helping tackle many of the major issues we face in the world right now. When we take into account all the new technology, growing edge science, and old world knowledge surrounding mushrooms, it is a mind opening experience. The more we learn about them and their dynamic, integral part in life, the more we realize how little we know about our own planet, ourselves and the future of our health sovereignty…

Currently studies and testing are being done on fungi in many sectors of government and industry, including use in disease control, immune support, chronic diseases, food sources, flame resistant and lightweight building materials, biofuels, pollution remediators, communications medium and more. Even though many of us are unfamiliar with some of these uses for mushrooms, currently the worldwide industry is valued at over 45 billion dollars and rapidly growing.

IMG_4878Every time we open a new door into the world of fungi, we find 10 more to explore…

Leading us to questions such as..

Can Fungi help save our planet from the damage we have done?

Can many of humanity’s current issues be tackled using mushrooms?

And the answers coming back are starting to look like a yes… on multiple fronts.

I’d like to share with you a handful of mind boggling facts and info bites about how mushrooms show up on this planet:

  • First off, there are over 1.5 million species of fungi on the planet. We have only been able to classify around 14,000- 20,000 species that produce fruiting bodies (mushrooms), but this could be only 10% of the fruiting species, due to the fact that they can lay dormant for many years and only produce fruit when shocked or in ideal circumstances.
  • IMG_6830Fungi make up ¼ of the total biomass (living organisms) on Earth. Collectively this kingdom acts similarly to a nervous system or world wide web for the planet, offering all sorts of valuable nutrients, immune support and informational exchange with the rest of life.
  • Mushrooms have been on earth for approximately 1,300 million years, slowly breaking down lava rock to create an environment where plants could exist. Plants have only been here for 700 million years. That’s almost twice as long!

Iced Maca Mylk

Iced Maca Mylk-page-001

It’s August and we are well into the summer season. This month’s days are still long and usually hotter than the months before and the months to come.

Depending on your circumstances the summer has been packed with music, camping, friends, festivals and parties. Or maybe it’s been filled with summer camps, water fights, children screaming and gardening. Or a little of both;)  Either way the heat of the sun and the splendour of the season can be taxing and you may be feeling fatigued and low on energy.

If you’re in need of a cold pick me up then look no further! This chocolatey, cold use of this superfood will cool you down and give you that extra boost of energy to keep enjoying your summer!

IMG_2852Ingredients:

1 cup nut mylk ( I used almond mylk)

1-2 tablespoon cacao powder

1 teaspoon maca

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon real maple syrup

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until mixed

Add ice to glass

Pour maca mylk over ice

Enjoy!

Kelsey

This delicious and easy recipe is brought to you by Harmonic Arts team member Kelsey, who is a  Holistic Nutritionist inspired by West Coast living, meeting her farmer, playing with her food and getting outside.

Green Power Blend Lemonade

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 Green Power Blend Lemonade

FullSizeRender (2)Perfect for a hot day!
 
Packed with vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories.
 
So refreshing and delicious!

Ingredients:

~2 Litres water

~2 lemons

~2 tbsp honey

~2 tsp Green Power Blend

and ice 

I mix the honey with a little warm water to make into a liquid and then mix with the cold water, lemon juice, GPB and ice.
It’s so nice and refreshing! I love it.

camala GPB

~Recipe shared by Harmonic Arts representative Camala~

5 Ways to Encourage Kids’ Summer Enjoyment, Naturally!

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angie and lindenFamilies and friends of children are beginning preparations for the coming summer holiday months. Kids of all ages will be home from school during 10 warm weeks, and keeping them engaged and cool are keys to everyone’s happiness.

In our home, we aim to guide our children through their senses, the gateways to communing with nature. Facilitating nature connections allows these budding beings to learn from the original guru, mother nature herself.

Planting the seeds to ignite children’s imagination takes a little intention and inspired invention on the homefront.

The Perfect Smoothie to Start Your Day

The Perfect Smoothie to Start Your Day-page-001

Our Affiliate Manager Colin recently shared a wonderfully simple smoothie recipe that he makes to help meet all of his nutritional needs.  He balances his time as a firefighter/photographer/Holistic Health Coach and does an outstanding job of nourishing himself with the best foods and ingredients.  Come along as he shares a glimpse at his morning routine.

“I was asked at a Nutrient Dense Eating class recently to give up my daily smoothie recipe so I put to paper exactly what my first meal of the day is. I usually start with a glass of room temperature water with a half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to prepare my digestion for food.  Then I sip the Full Meal Deal smoothie before my exercise and yoga routine.

Beltane… The Initiation of Summer

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.” (3)

solar yearLike many old world traditions, the days of celebrating Beltane have come and gone. There was a time in Northern Europe though, when Beltane (May 1st) and Samhain (Nov. 1st ) were considered the most important dates in the calendar year. These dates are mid-haven between Equinox and Solstice, and carry an important traditional significance as the beginning of Summer and Winter. As such, they were celebrated with many rituals and ceremonies to ensure a prosperous and healthy season to come. Beltane also served to connect everyone in the community with the importance of giving thanks for the abundance they already had.

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