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Hygge: Creating Well Being, Connection and Warmth

If you can imagine content moments, gathered around the hearth in good company, with a warm cup of tea held in your hands, you can quite likely feel what the concept of hygge means, right down to the marrow.

As we are coming to a place of realization and understanding that the importance of quality supersedes quantity, embracing the concept of Hygge has become something of great value while the daylight hours subside, and the temperature starts to drop.

The term Hygge is a word new to the trends of well being in North America, coming from a traditional practice in Northern Europe, and is still commonly celebrated amongst the people in its native homeland. It is something that we all do in cold climate countries really, although acknowledging it as a practice, further cultivating its qualities, and embracing it as something that is good for us is just the medicine we need while life continues to quicken.

Etymologically speaking, it stems from the roots of a hug, to comfort, and a great source of wellness that comes from the original depths of the holy water well itself. Hygge represents the sacred familiar that we feel in the temple of our homes amongst friends and family. It is a concept that appeals to the cultures of colder northern climates, as winter can be felt as a time of significant challenge. The way of Hygge has shown to be a valuable way of being, mastering the art of feeling into a state of wellness during winter months. Much of the explanation as to why the people of Northern Europe are considered some of the happiest on earth is due to this lifestyle.

So how do we practice this art of Hygge? More than anything, it is in choosing less, scaling back, slowing down, and connecting in. Essentially, it is simply getting cozy that best describes the how and the what of it all. Why has this simple concept become something that so many of us are drawn to? Looking at how, as a society we have moved away from our varied traditional roots, the old stories have become lost- those stories that once spoke of familiar ways that nourished it’s people for thousands of years. Many of those traditions and stories revolved around the seasons, specific to the land, unique to each bio-region. Colder climates require a much different lifestyle approach than that of tropical or desert landscapes. As the world has decentralized and the entire planet has become humanity’s home, we are now looking to relocalizing some of the basic lifestyle practices that our sense of wellness dearly misses, and wildly needs. Embracing Hygge is an opportunity to connect into the dark hours, the cold temperatures, and the deep nourishment that we need to give and receive together amongst loved ones. Igniting the light from within is what is nature’s invitation, as the sun’s energy retracts in winter months. Reflecting this practice of igniting the inner light brings the central focal point of warmth and brightness into our hearts, hearths, and homes. It is, in essence, another way in which we align our lives with the land, the seasons, and the cycles of the sun and the moon.

Some of the ways of feeling nourished and connected associated with this idea are…

  • Gathering around a fire, indoors or out.
  • Holding and sipping a warm cup of tea.
  • Lighting soft candles.
  • Burning aromatic herbs.
  • Sharing nourishing food.
  • Telling stories, old and new.
  • Engaging in playful games.
  • Playing music together and singing songs.
  • Dancing.
  • Laughing.
  • And any other expression of Nourishing our Joy while it is cold and stormy outside!

Really what this all means to your intimate self can only be defined by you, however focusing on bringing this concept into the slow, steady rhythm of your world, is the idea we hope to share.

Winter time is an incredible opportunity to go inside, and to find the deep inner meanings and messages that are cast aside during states of strong outer movement throughout summer. Now, as we contrast with the winter movements that we so enjoy carrying out in the strong elements, it is balanced with slow, warm, deep, spicy, toasty, snuggly, fuzzy, soft, cozy, comfy, gentle, creative, engaged, and loving, face to face connections.

Gather on in. Gather in hearts, minds, and souls. Let us unify closely together so that the kinetic energy contained amongst one another works to keep us warm.

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.
Categories: Blog, Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Looking for a healthy stuffing recipe?

Food is important in our life for several reasons. Firstly, we couldn’t survive without it. It’s our source for nutrients, sustenance and life essence. Secondly, food brings us all together. Connecting and the creation of relationships, family and community are largely centered around meals and eating together. This is particularly true for the Thanksgiving holiday. Friends and family gather around meals cooked with care to express gratitude for each other and the blessings in our lives. This recipe provides a delicious, nourishing dish filled with nutrition and plant medicine to share while you connect with your loved ones.

Hope you have a Thank-full long weekend with friends and family!

Gluten-free and vegan unless you choose to use on of our recommended substitutions.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • small handful of fresh sage, chopped
  • small handful of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • large pinch of sea salt
  • fresh ground coarse pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized pot bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil. Add in the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat {do not lift lid} and allow the quinoa to steam for another 10 minutes. When that is over, you will have picture perfect quinoa – trust me, no  more soggy mess!

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over low heat. Add in the chopped celery and onion. Cook until they begin to become clear, about 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the vegetable broth, sage, thyme, garlic powder and season with more salt and pepper if needed; simmer for a few minutes.

Combine the quinoa with the veggie mixture and add in the last 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, stir together well. Place the stuffing mix into a greased oven safe dish. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Then broil under a low flame until the top become golden brown.

 

Brown rice or fermented sourdough bread can be substituted for quinoa*

Bone broth can be substituted for vegetable broth* 

 

Health Benefits Of This Recipe

 

Bay Leaves: Recorded as far back as 1629, Bay trees were planted around settlements to keep the plague at bay! The leaves contain antioxidant volatile oils which have a stronger overall effect on the body than Vitamin C.bay leaves watercolor It’s antioxidant effects are comparable to resveratrol (the heart health component to red wine) and flavonoids from green tea.

Sage: The name directly translates as Elder or Wise, as this herb supports our bodies to reach the golden years. The latin translation of the word Sage is Salvare- meaning to save or cure. It is often used in bone broth soups to fight off infection or colds. Sage brightens the mood, increasing a sense of gratitude, sharpens the memory in which one can give thanks for past cycle’s gifts, and streamlines focus into the moment- supporting full presence with loved ones.

Thyme: One of the major therapeutic compounds in Thyme is thymol, an antiseptic that kills microbes, and has an especially profound effect against acute bronchitis causing viruses and bacteria. Fall is a season where we once again become particularly susceptible to coughs and colds, so why not add some Thyme to your favourite fall dishes to prevent those stubborn chest colds!

Quinoa: Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Bone Broth: Aside from the benefits of all the proteins and sugars, and whatever nutrients might be hiding in the marrow, bone broth is extremely high in minerals. Bones from land animals are rich in calcium,magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, and fish bones also contain iodine.

Categories: Blog

The Sacred Masculine; Supporting Our Strong Warrior From Within

The Sacred Masculine; Supporting Our Strong Warrior From Within

By Angela Willard

I’ve recently come out of a long cycle, firmly planted on purpose, where I had surrendered myself and my abilities towards growing and cultivating the things I held dearest to my heart. Throughout this journey, I hadn’t planned on sacrificing my well being in the process, which is what began to happen as I ploughed on at full fight and flight speed, in order to get things done.  

Eventually, my plate became so full that something had to give- although I realized that between the commitment to my family, and the responsibility to my business, I couldn’t find an area of least importance I wanted to release. In acknowledging this truth, I needed to assess the ways in which I was showing up, and how I could enhance my energy reserves out of a constant state of overwhelm. How could I shift the feeling of “I can’t handle this” to “I got this”? I eventually realized it came down to perspective. Not only is perspective a way of mind, it is also connected to a way of physical being. When the body is overwhelmed by stress, it directly affects the mind’s eye in which it views the world. hand holding globe at sunset

We can change our external lives to mirror a more zen, minimalist tone in many arenas, but there are some areas that we hold so dear to us, in which our passions can express themselves, that we strive to fill them to the brim with strong efforts. Calling on and drawing from our inner reserves to manifest our soul’s purpose needs core strength to keep us well connected to mindful ways.

Experiencing this process has taught me much about balance, give and take, presence, wellness, and to how to be there to nourish myself as much as I do for others. In practicing what I have learned, I am able to bring my wellness forth as fuel to accomplish my goals.

What I’ve come to realize is this:

When I feel supported, nourished, and strong from within, I experience my day with an open flow that simply feels right.

In times when I feel stretched to my fullest while carrying my strengths capacity, I need to lean into the support of the net I’ve woven of loved ones, plant allies, personal prayers, and rooting practices that carry me through.

Currently, a support I lean into are the tonic herbs in the Sacred Masculine formula.

Essentially, this formula has been created to work on the stress response, recalibrating the perception of stress to the modern day culture we now live in. It helps to re-wire our nervous system to respond appropriately to today’s world, versus automatically switching into a fight or flight mode of fear based, protection perception. The Sacred Masculine blend opens up our view finder to see that our full plates serve our highest purpose, uses stress to our benefit to create focus and concentration, and helps streamline all efforts in the direction of what we are here to create.

I’ve broken down the components of this blend below to describe their actions and uses, and how they all blend in harmony to create the above desired effect.jar of sacred masculine tonic blend

  • Eleuthero: Soothes nervous exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. Balancing to an under or overactive thyroid due to hypothalamic stress. It is an energizing and uplifting herb, and is especially helpful during times of melancholy and depression.
  • Pine Pollen: An androgen to help keep testosterone levels in balance; testosterone can enhance the positive effects of cortisol such as strength and concentration.
  • Astragalus: This is the herb of resilience, allowing us to bounce back from challenging circumstances.
  • Reishi: Calms states of hypertension, autoimmune issues, and frayed nerves.
  • Chaga: Offers stress management for the body and mind, minimizing the effect of oxidative damage from physical stress.
  • Fo-Ti: Rejuvenative to the nerves, brain cells, and endocrine glands.
  • Nettle Root: Supports water channels, which are affected by the moon, as are women (kidney/bladder health), and integrity of connective tissues (nourishing muscles and joints).
  • Shilajit: Enhances energy, memory, and mood!
  • Cayenne: Gets the system moving (especially cardiovascular and digestive); De-stagnates.
  • Licorice: Contains steroids that increase the function of the adrenal cortex. Harmonizes all botanicals in an herbal formula.

The times of our modern culture have called us to reclaim our natural ways that allow us to exceed in our lives- no longer by the measure of material success, but by how deeply we love, how hard we laugh, and especially how much we’ve shown up for the things that matter to us most in this world.

Allowing the grace of the Sacred Masculine, within ourselves, and within our relationships, offers us the knowing of both how to be strong, and how to be soft.

This is key to the long term resilience women need to show up, be the change, and lead by example. It’s time to join the movement, and start caring for your self, so that you can be fueled and charged to follow your dreams, experience life fully and reach your highest potential for the benefit of yourself, and all the living beings of this world.

 

Testimonial:

“I felt the effects of Sacred Masculine within a few days time. Where I had been stressed out, burned out and fatigued, I now felt energized, and capable of handling my responsibilities and schedule. Sacred Masculine has been such a support and me and my adrenals are so happy to have it in our pantry!”

-Harmonic Arts Customer

To purchase your jar of Sacred Masculine click here.

Summer Health Alignment

This is the 2nd of a 4-part blog series from Harmonic Arts and Herbalist Yarrow Willard. 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. Please Check out part one on Winter Health Alignment 

Did you know that Yarrow has a new blog? Check it out at YarrowWillard.com

Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy…

Breathe deep, smell the flowers, listen to the birds. 

Let the timelessness of these long days sweep you away in blissful moments of joy and relaxation…

When it comes to health it’s not uncommon for people to think of summer as the glory days of good health. The weather is warm, the plants are out, there are less colds and flus and overall people seem happier. It’s the season for picnics, camping, vacations, festivals and all sorts of outdoor activities. Getting out in nature is one of the easiest and most effective ways of helping one feel better. In fact, the concept of “forest bathing” (going for a gentle walk in the woods) has been proven to show significant health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and correcting other cardiovascular imbalances. Regular walking in Nature has also shown to calm anxiety, stress, nervous tension, and improve immune function. One way the health industry sees the effects of this, is that all around the northern hemisphere, the sales in supplements drop dramatically during summer months. Only to pick right back up again in the fall when the weather shifts and flu and cold season starts up again.

What if we were able to use the energy we can feel and tap into during the summer months as a way of supporting our bodies health needs throughout the rest of the year?

This is not such a hard thing to achive, in fact we are intuitively guided to do this, as it is how our ancestors have utilized the power of summer manifestation for thousands of generations. They would make the most of the summer season and store its energy in the from of ferments, preserves, canning, drying and other means of making it last and be accessed throughout winter months.

If we are to maximize the benefits that can be found in summer months, we are best to come into seasonal alignment and live in accordance with the energetics that govern the world around us.  Our connection to the abundance available in summers manifestations will then help support our health during this season and beyond.

So as we travel down this road of Summer Health Alignment, I would first like to introduce you to the 4 basic Energies of Seasonal Alignments:4-energetic-seasons

-Spring Activation,

-Summer Manifestation,

-Autumn Accumulation

-Winter Decline

When looking at working with the seasons, it is also important for us to have a basic sense of the Fourfold landscape of Holistic Health, which it Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.

Each of these are aspect of who we are and as so, require a different type of nourishment in order to properly maintain our health and vitality.

By looking at wellness through the lens of Holistic health, we realize that it is a dynamic layering of many interactive parts.

On one hand we have seasonal alignment as mentioned above. Where finding the right mix of fourfold-landscape-of-the-self-1ingredients to take in from our outside environment is the filter for choosing our path.

On another hand we have this fourfold landscape of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves.
Our choices therefore should ideally be rooted in an understanding of how they affect each aspect of oneself. By using these filters to help guide us, we naturally gravitate to the right tools and practices for generating a long and fulfilling life.

So lets take a deeper look at these four aspects of ourselves and how they can be nourished by aligning with the power of Summer Manifestation.

Physical

Summer is the season in which we can maximize our efforts physically. The days are longer and warmer, which brings our energy levels up and can allow us to be more physically active. What we see in many cultures in hot countries is that they ideally work in 2 cycles; a morning and an early evening shift. This is because the days are too hot and the body too fatigued for strong work in the afternoon. I believe this is an ideal way to really benefit from the manifestation power on summer. With long days we can often get two shorter working days out of one. So it’s time to take on those projects you want to do and make the changes to your physical world you want to see. One of the best ways to use this extra time is to get out and grow a garden, harvest more foods and medicines from your environment, and process, preserve, ferment, or store some of this abundance for use later on. With this direct connection to the food and medicine you are able to save money in the summer, and it gives you much more healing benefits than store bought food when it is consumed at a later date.

As the weather becomes warmer, it is important to remember that the bodies ecology and energetics need time and some effort to adapt to this changes. So be careful of internal imbalances related to heat that may come up in the summer. Specifically inflammation, irritation, heat rashes, brain fog and summer fevers. Also if you are from a northern ancestry, it is likely that your body was not as adapted to heat, and so these people can have a harder time with it. Drink lots of water, practice more exercise, and sweat out those toxins and that heat as it builds up in the body. This can also be worked with by introducing cooling and bitter foods, as well as diaphoretic/diuretic plants. Favourite plant medicines for summer at our house are Elderflower cordial (video link), Digestive Bitters, Hibiscus, Gynostemma, Peppermint or Atmospheri-tea, and Green Smoothies. Some cooling foods we can add to our diets are local fruits and their juice, fresh leafy greens, avocados, cucumber, coconut, sea vegetables, and fish.

Mental

Our mental health can often become exhausted in the “dog days” of summer. Heat rises and guess what’s at the top of your body… your head! It’s common for people to feel more mentally lethargic during the summer season. Often this is coupled by the fact that because it’s nice outside we are continually distracted by wanting to get out and enjoy it. Especially when we see others around us planning their own extra curricular activities. The fact is that most of us are much less mentally productive in the summer. This is not a bad thing, it can actually be a much deserved break from the constant mental work that the modern world often demands of us. Instead, summer should be a time for action, and a time to create all of your ideas and plans that came from mentally active times of the year, such as the winter months. So if strenuous mental activity is not working for you in the summer months, don’t bang your head against the wall. Get out and do things! Be active and use that energy to build happiness and accomplishments that you can be proud of when you think back on them from slower times of the year spent indoors.

Emotional

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that the summer is ruled by the heart, which governs the emotions of joy and has the voice of laughter. So enjoy yourself, have fun, connect with others, do things that bring more joy into your life. This is a time for merriment, a time for celebration, a time to take in all the magnificent colours and fragrance of the natural world. Get out and nourish these aspects of your life. Vibrant living starts from creating the time in our lives to enjoy ourselves. Spend time building your connections with plants, animals, people and all the life around you. There is no person or thing that will be wearing a sign on them that says friend of _____, will make you laugh and experience joy if you spend time with me. It is up to you to go out and create those relationships if you want to have them in your life.

Spiritual

Similar to Emotional, the spiritual aspects of summer are those of connection, community and celebration. Find your spiritual fulfillment in the world you build relationships with. Part of why we get less sick and generally feel happier in the summer is because we have more opportunity to build nourishing relationships. This may be with a garden and the plants you grow, it may be with the plants and animals you see in the natural world, or it may be with the people that inspire you and bring more enjoyment and purpose into your life. Take the time to allow these aspects of connection to nourish your spiritual needs.

Taking a vacation is as much about spending time with those we love and doing things that make us happy, as it is about releasing ourself from the burdens of stress and commitments that we so readily take on. Committing to less in the summer months can make us more available for joy and good flow in our lives.

For this reason I am a big fan of the “stay-cation”. Which to me means coming home early from work, or taking time off just to putz around the yard or laying in a hammock and reading a good book. Be good to yourself in the summer and the rest of your year will be rewarded with more productivity and value.

Image from The Vancouver Island Herb Gathering

My hope for you this summer is to get out and really make the most of its powers of Manifestation, enjoy yourself, laugh a lot, and connect with like minded individuals. May you carry the energy of abundance that summer offers with you into the rest of the year to come..

In Health,

Y~

 

 

 

About the Author:

Yarrow 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.

Yarrow also has a brand new blog where he will be adding all sorts of great insight into deepening our connection to the natural world. Check it out at yarrowwillard.com

 

 

Dealing With Cravings On A Cleanse

During a cleanse it’s inevitable that some cravings will come on, especially when we may not be eating as much calorie dense food as we’re used to. Sometimes cravings come on so strong you feel like you’re turning into a ravenous beast that simply MUST have whatever it is you’re craving in that moment.

Moments like this are normal…but the first thing to do is catch your thoughts, examine them, and determine if you’re just hungry and your body/brain are defaulting to the calorie dense foods that they remember. Consider if you truly do want to eat these foods or if it’s just a passing craving, if you’re feeling emotional, stressed, or are simply just hungry and need to eat something healthy to curb your craving.

Breath deeply and think about how you will feel after you eat whatever it is that you’re craving, and if the consequences are worth a few moments of temporary pleasure.

Here’s a list of common cravings that could come up, and some cleanse friendly alternatives that can help you curb that craving, and keep you feeling great:

  • Bread: Eat quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, rice, or root vegetables. These foods are  a good source of gluten-free carbohydrates, loaded with fiber to fill you up, and vitamins, minerals and protein. If you simply must have some bread look for gluten-free breads/wraps but preferably the ones with the fewest ingredients, and organic ingredients. You can also bake your own yeast-free gluten free bread using gluten free flours. There are many great recipes online.

  • Cheese – Try making your own nut cheese (eat in small amounts), or sprinkle some nutritional yeast on your meal (goes great on salads, steamed vegetables or whatever you can think up). A craving for cheese could also be a need for healthy fats, so eating foods like Avocado, Coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax, or small amounts of cold-pressed oils can help nourish your body and curb your desire for cheese and other dairy products.

  • Alcohol – Try fermented beverages like Kombucha or Jun, fresh coconut water, or make an herbal soda with carbonated water and Harmonic Arts Herbal Root Beer Syrup or Chaga Kola Syrup.

  • Coffee – We often use caffeine as a stimulant when we are tired. One way to rely less on caffeine is to get adequate sleep. Caffeine is a poor replacement for rest that our body needs. Earlier bedtimes, using less electronics and artificial lighting in the evening, and relaxing evening teas like chamomile can help create a better night time routine to help you get to sleep earlier. As a replacement for coffee try Harmonic Arts KickStart, Herbal Teas, Matcha, Yerba Mate, Guyusa, or Herbal ElixirsRoasted Dandelion Root also makes a great coffee substitute that is very cleansing. Water can also be a great resource for helping you cope with consuming less caffeine. Every time you crave coffee or other caffeinated beverages just sip on some water. Being hydrated will help you stay more alert, improves digestion, and is essential for cleansing.

  • Sweetener – Dates, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Honey, Stevia Leaf, Berries, Yacon

  • Dessert – There’s nothing wrong with craving something sweet after a savory meal. The key is to avoid the heavy, sugar laden common dessert foods like cake, cookies, ice cream, pie etc. You could have a piece of fruit and a cup of herbal tea with some honey, or make a small dessert smoothie with some frozen berries, almond milk or water, and banana. Eating it out of a small bowl with a spoon makes a smoothie seem more like dessert, especially if you make it thick.

  • Salty Crunchy Snacks – Try replacing things like chips, crackers, and other salty snacks with fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, snap peas, and cucumbers. If you prepare them in advance and have them ready in the fridge or in your lunch bag, they’ll be ready and easy to grab when you’re craving a crunchy snack. You can also try healthy snacks like brown rice cakes,  and for something salty dried seaweeds like dulse and nori are a great way to get those ocean minerals into your body and curb a salt craving. Upgrade your salt with high quality mineral salts like pink crystal salt, smoked sea salt, black lava salt, and other sea salts that are much better for your body than standard table salt. Avoiding heavily salted, processed foods will help your taste buds adapt to less salty food. That way, when you do use salt, you need less.

    The key to dealing with cravings is to figure out the source of the craving and what the best option is to overcome it. If it’s stress or emotions you can try some physical activity, or something calming like yoga or meditation. If it’s true hunger then you definitely need to eat, just choose the best, healthiest alternative possible and you’ll stay on track.

    We don’t always choose the best options. We aren’t perfect beings, so if you do give in to a craving, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply examine the source of the craving, how/why you gave into it, and what your intentions are to deal with those cravings moving forward.

Have you joined our Facebook group yet? If you have any questions, please ask them there or email us at [email protected]

Happy Spring Cleansing!!
The Harmonic Arts Team

Triple 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

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

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.

pexels-photo-38136-1

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 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.

4 Favourite Natural Cold and Flu Fighters

4-immune-boosters_edited

 

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

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

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 (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

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

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!
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