Elixir of Life – The Tropical Tummy Soothing Smoothie

e·lix·ir (əˈliksər)
noun
  1. a magical or medicinal potion.
     elixir of life

This recipe works magic on a sensitive tummy! The Elixir of Life is really not my recipe,  I lovingly borrowed this from my guy, with a few tweaks to make it GFYC approved.  He is Puerto Rican and I love that the ingredients he uses are all local to PR.

What I really love about this recipe is the papaya.  It is chocked full of tummy-loving digestive enzymes.  The coconut water and banana support your healing with electrolytes, potassium and magnesium.  The perfect trifecta for post-yoga nourishment.

2 Servings

Ingredients*:

2 cups cold coconut water

½ medium papaya

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons bee pollen (optional)

e·lix·ir /əˈliksər/ noun noun: elixir; plural noun: elixirs GFYC Hunting for Local Ingredients at a Local Puerto Rican Market
Hunting for fresh ingredients at local farmer’s markets is my kind of shopping spree!

*When shopping for ingredients, look for local and organic options.

Directions:

Pour coconut water into a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.  Peel and deseed the papaya.  Cut the papaya and banana into 1-2 inch chunks and add to the blender.  Secure lid onto blender and blend on high until smooth.  Pour elixir into two, 16 oz glasses and top each with 1 tablespoon of bee pollen (optional).  For optimal enjoyment, drink one and share one!

elixir of life

 

 

 

 

 

I love to hear your GFYC stories and questions, feel free to share below.

 

3 Ways to Find Love in Your Next Yoga Class

glutenfreeyogachick.com
glutenfreeyogachick.com

It’s Valentine’s season, and images of love are everywhere. Personally I love Valentine’s day and usually spend it making (and eating) gluten free chocolaty deliciousness.  Sometimes the media hype around the holiday is less than sweet, and can fuel unrealistic definitions of love.  Even the Super Bowl was sponsored by a diamond jewelry company urging viewers to buy a ring if you truly love her, or make those of us who don’t have a sparkly rock somehow less loved.

It is not true!

Yoga philosophy reminds us that love is infinite and all around us at any moment ready to be recognized, cultivated, and expanded. If you want to find true love, incorporate these three techniques at your next yoga class.  You will unlock your heart and open your awareness to love that is already right in front of you.

Glutenfreeyogachick.com
Looking for Love?

Before Yoga Class – Set Your Awareness on Love

Before your next yoga class or meditation, take a few minutes to focus your awareness on your heart center, or anahata chakra. Close your eyes and begin by taking a few deep centering breaths. Imagine, think or feel a brilliant emerald green light emanating from the center of your chest. With each breath expand that green light throughout your body.  Silently repeat the primordial sound associated with the heart chakra, “YUM, YUM, YUM…”.

When you feel ready, open your eyes. Take a few moments to notice any shifts in your body, mind and spirit before moving on to the yoga asanas.

During class – Circulate Love With Every Breath

Yoga class should always focus primarily on the breath.  Have the intention of circulating love with every breath during your asana practice.  As you inhale, breath in love. As you exhale, give love back. Continue with the awareness of inhaling and exhaling love with every breath.  If your mind begins to drift, lovingly bring it back to the intention of circulating love.

After Class – Keep Your Focus on Love

You hear your yoga teacher say it all the time, “find your drishti”. Drishti is a Sanskrit word that means view or focal point. The ancient yogis discovered that where our gaze is directed our attention naturally follows, and that the quality of our gazing is directly reflected in the quality of our mental thoughts. You can use the drishti concept off the mat and into your everyday life.  After your yoga class make love your focal point.  Practice seeing it in all things; the wag of a dog’s tail, the sound of a soulful song, even graffiti can be love if you are willing to open your eyes to it.

Open your eyes to love – it is everywhere!

See Love Everywhere
See Love Everywhere

Remember that you are loved exactly as you are in this moment.  You don’t need to do anything to be loved, you just need to open your mind, body and spirit up to the love that is all around you.  Use these tools to remind you that your true Self is never without love.

~Namaste~

Turmeric Tonic

IMG_1379Lower inflammation with this infusion of Chai inspired spices and heavy use of fresh turmeric root.

I’ve been living in Puerto Rico for the last 5 weeks so I can take care of family that needed me.  While here I have taken the opportunity to learn about local Caribbean foods and farming.  I am always very passionate about using local and organic ingredients when I can.   The joy I find in connecting with the local farmers I buy my food from is just as much a part of the recipe as the ingredients themselves.

plaza mercado

Turmeric grows locally in Puerto Rico, along with a lot of other very nourishing root vegetables. It is very orange and fragrant when fresh and has long been know as a natural anti-inflammatory.  I purchased an entire pound of the beautiful, fragrant finger-like jewels from the Plaza Mercado (a local farmer’s market in San Juan).

IMG_1299

As a part of my gluten-free yoga chick adventures in Puerto Rico, I found an Ashtanga yoga studio within walking distance from where I am staying in San Juan.  It is a very rigorous practice of 73 positions that has been leaving me drenched in sweat and sore.  In addition to practicing Ashtanga, I am walking a mile each way to the studio and still keeping up with my regular running routine.  My hips hurt so good!  I created this very potent turmeric tonic to ease inflammation in my muscles and joints from all of this movement my body is adjusting to.

As an experiment, I prepared a batch of this super potent turmeric infusion each morning and drank it throughout the day while continuing with my yoga and running routine.  This turmeric tonic was super effective at relieving my aches and pains naturally.  This recipe uses three times more turmeric than you normally see in other turmeric tea recipes.  In my research I have not found any side effects to too much turmeric.  I have learned that pepper is key to unlocking the turmeric’s superfood power, and also adds a nice spicy flavor.

pickerimage

 

For this recipe, try to find the freshest turmeric and ginger possible.  My suggestion would be to go to a farmer’s market or natural food store where you know they are replenishing the items often.  Look for plump roots with little or no wrinkling on the outer skin.

Ingredients:

3 inches fresh turmeric root – Sliced with skin on

1 inch fresh ginger – Sliced with skin on

1 tsp cracked black peppercorn

1 cinnamon stick

3 cups filtered water

Method:

Place all ingredients in a small pot over medium high heat on a stovetop.  Once it comes to a rolling boil, decrease the heat to low, bringing the liquid to a light simmer.  Cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into an insulated carafe or other container.

Enjoy this super potent, yet tasty tonic plain or with your favorite milk (I like it with unsweetened coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top).  For the most medicinal benefits, sip the tea throughout the day.

I’m always interested in what you are doing.  How do you use turmeric?  What is your experience with Ashtanga yoga?  I love creating a community and would love to hear your about your adventures in wellness.  Please leave a comment or send me a message.

Have a beautiful day!

 

 

Curb Your Craving for a Girl Scout Cookie with this Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

Gluten Free Yoga Chick Vegan GF Cookies
Gluten Free Yoga Chick Vegan GF Cookies

A soft, vegan, gluten free, and low glycemic cookie that satisfies?  Yes please!  The chocolate and coconut in this recipe give the cookies a Girl Scout’s Samoa cookie taste, but are softer, chewier and dare I say, better?  You be the judge!

Here I used larger chocolate chips, but the chocolate/coconut ratio wasn't quite right.  Smaller chocolate chips are better for this recipe.
Here I used larger chocolate chips, but the chocolate/coconut ratio wasn’t quite right. Smaller chocolate chips are better for this recipe.

Recipe for your mind, body and spirit:

I use a combination of sugars to get the best flavor and nutritional bang for your buck.  Stevia is a natural low glycemic sweetener with fewer calories.  Molasses has the added benefit of vitamins and minerals most modern diets are lacking, plus it adds a nice golden color to your cookie the way brown sugar would, but without the artificial colors.  Read this article to learn more about sugars and sweeteners.

1/2 cup organic white sugar

1/4 cup granulated stevia (2X strength of regular sugar).

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup coconut milk (or your milk of choice).  I used canned lite coconut milk for an added richness, but you could use the boxed coconut milk, almond, rice, or cashew milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup white rice flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons potato starch

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips (I recommend mini chocolate chips to get the best chocolate to cookie ratio).

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with oven safe parchment paper.

Cream together coconut oil, sugar, stevia, molasses and vanilla using an electric mixer or Kitchen Aid.  In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet sugar mix 1/3 at a time until the soft dough forms.  Be sure not to over mix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon out dough onto the cookie sheet in tablespoon size dollups.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a beautiful golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack.  If you are like me you will eat them immediately.  In the rare event you have leftovers, be sure to store them in an airtight container to maintain the soft freshness.  Enjoy!

FullSizeRender

Like the recipe?  Have a suggestion for a recipe you would like me to make-over?  I love to hear from you!

Food hack: Make This Simple Swap to Maintain Your Healthy New Year Intentions

Set yourself up for successfully creating clean eating habits in 2015 with this easy substitute for sugar laden granola or cereal.

IMG_0005

I created  this muesli recipe for something easy to keep in my purse so I had a low glycemic, GF meal ready to go while I was traveling in Puerto Rico this holiday season.  I just picked up a yogurt at the airport or convenience store and voila!  A convenient meal that kept me satisfied and ready for my next paddle boarding / yoga adventure.

Recipe for the mind, body and spirit:

Clean eating is a trendy new term for an old-fashion style of eating.  Clean eating simply means to eat whole food from its source and to avoid food that has been manufactured or containing unnecessary ingredients.  Clean eating is something yogis have been doing for centuries, so I guess you could say yogis are trend setters!    Practicing yoga connects you with the language of your body and helps bring awareness to how your food makes you feel.  Although granola is thought of as “healthy”, most of what you find in stores is sugar laden and can have a lot of needless ingredients that do nothing to help nourish your body.  Substitute your usual ration of granola or cereal with this nutrient dense, naturally sweetened muesli for an easy, to-go meal your body with thank you for.

Muesli breakfast traveling in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Traveling is no excuse to eat poorly!
My Muesli breakfast while traveling in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Vacation is no excuse to eat poorly!

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

1/2 cup Gluten free whole oats

1/2 cup pepitas (pepitas are pumpkin seeds that have been shelled)

1/4 cup dried fruit

4 tablespoons chia seed

 

Method:

Combine ingredients in a to- go container for a healthy breakfast or snack when added to milk or yogurt. This recipe allows for substitutions, feel free to get creative and add your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.  My favorite way to eat this is let it sit in a cup of almond milk for a minute or two to allow the oats and chia seeds to absorb the liquid. Then I add fruit and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt for a traditional German style breakfast.

Mikey likes it!
Mikey likes it!

The ONLY Gluten Free Christmas Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need


An all-in-one allergy friendly cookie that is easy and fun to prepare.   I have used this recipe for years and nobody has ever suspected they’re allergy friendly.  In fact, friends have asked for the recipe and were shocked when I told them they were gluten free and dairy free!  Use this recipe for cut-outs, Linzers, fruit bars, the possibilities are endless!

IMG_0256

Did you wake up this morning and think, “oh my gosh, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I still have to (fill in the blank)”?

I did.  Then I remembered that I  don’t HAVE to do anything.  What I love to do is share my love of baking with my family and friends.  Let this recipe inspire you to do the same without the stress, or last minute holiday frenzy.

Recipe for mind, body, and spirit: 

I was born and raised in the rural town of Provo, Utah.  My fondest memory growing up was the neighborhood tradition of gifting cookies, candies and homemade treats to every neighbor at Christmas.  It was a great time to say hello to the folks you may not otherwise connect with during the rest of the year.  It gave me that sense of peace, harmony, laughter and love that I believe is what Christmas is all about.  Plates of the most delectable homemade gifts would show up at our door from families we had never met.  Suddenly the strangers from across the street became our best friends.  It is truly a marvel how sharing food can bring together a community.

Below is a link to my go-to recipe for an all-in-one gluten free cookie recipe from Living Without Magazine.   I hope it inspires you to continue (or start) a special cookie sharing tradition in your home, neighborhood, or community.

Gluten-Free Classic Shortbread Cookies – Recipes Article.

Warm Wishes and Happiest of Holidays to you and yours.

lv- GFYC

 

IMG_0713

The Very Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Eat pumpkin pie and be grateful!

Look into my pies!
Look into my pies!

 

My secret to this pumpkin pie is the crust, which is made from a variation of a shortbread cookie recipe.  Of course you can always use a shortbread cookie mix and make it easy on yourself. Always choose the most nourishing choice for yourself, sometimes that means taking a well-deserved culinary shortcut so you can spend more time with your family during the holidays.  I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie mix.  This recipe was adapted from my mom’s recipe, which was not gluten free.  Using her recipes gives me that connection and feeling of love from her even now that she has past away.  It keeps her alive in my heart when I smell the sweet mix of cinnamon and sugar.  It is my intention to continue that circulation of love by sharing this very special recipe with you.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Mind-Body-Spirit Connection:

If you want to get healthier, give thanks. Thanksgiving is all about celebrating what you are grateful for, and nothing says Thanksgiving more than pumpkin pie.  In the yoga tradition, Sun Salutations are a practice of expressing gratitude to the sun. I teach Sun Salutations in nearly all of my yoga classes to connect with that ancient tradition of giving thanks.  Each movement is connected with a sanskrit mantra that expresses gratitude for the sun’s warmth, light and ability to transform.  These ancient yogis were on to something, as modern day science has proven that an attitude of gratitude can give you an immunity boost, decrease stress in the body, and make you more likely to have better health habits such as eating right and exercising. Read more about the physiological benefits of gratitude here.

mini pie variation makes a great gluten free gift.  I used tart sized tins for these.
mini pie variation makes a great gluten free gift. I used tart sized tins for these.

Ingredients:

Pie Filling:

1 can (15 ounces) organic pumpkin puree

1 can (14 ounces) organic Sweetened condensed milk

2 large free range eggs

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice* (or use 1 part  ground clove, 2 parts ground ginger, and 4 parts ground cinnamon)

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Pie Crust:

2 sticks (½ pound) organic unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks

¾ cups organic granulated sugar*

1 large free range egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ⅔ cups white rice flour

¾ cup cornstarch

⅔ cup potato starch (not potato flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

Method:

ALLOW all ingredients to come to room temperature.

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.

Crust:

Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Add egg and mix for 1 minute.  Add vanilla, scrape the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, potato starch and xanthan gum.  Slowly add ½ of the flour mix to the butter mixture and mix for 1 minute.  Add the remaining flour to the mixture and mix until all of the ingredients are combined.

Grease or butter a 9” pie dish, taking care to thoroughly grease the sides to prevent sticking.  Press the crust mixture into the dish working from the inside out, creating an even ¼ inch thick crust.  You will have leftover crust to use to decorate the top of your pie.  Use the leftover crust like cookie dough and cut out festive leave shapes and bake separately on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

IMG_0207

BAKE the empty pie crust for 8 minutes using a pie crust protector or foil to protect the edges from over baking.  If you use foil, create a ring around the top of the crust.  Meanwhile, begin making the filing for the pie.

Filling:

MIX cinnamon, salt and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl, set aside. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and spice mixture. Gradually stir in sweetened condensed milk.  Slowly pour the filling mix into the pie crust.  Reposition the pie crust protector and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Decorate with pie crust cutouts to create a standout pie.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

I made these gift baskets for all of my friends one year and they were a huge hit.  I still get requests to make these pies from both my GF and non-GF peeps!
I made these gift baskets for all of my friends one year and they were a huge hit. I still get requests to make these pies from both my GF and non-GF peeps!

20 minutes to Incredible Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies for Abundance

gluten free oatmeal cookies 2
Love. Bake. Share. Repeat.

This simply scrumptious oatmeal cookie recipe will win over even the most discerning crowd with effortless ease.  It is said that when you give your generosity will be returned to you.  In that case, these tasty treats will open up the floodgates of love and affection!

You only need 20 minutes for this no-fuss cookie recipe, including bake-time.  Whoever said gluten free baking was hard never tried this recipe.  Just be sure to bring your butter, eggs and peanut butter to room temperature before beginning.

Mind/Body/Spirit Connection:

The Law of Giving and Receiving from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, by Deepak Chopra, states that the universe operates through dynamic exchange.   Share these cookies with your new neighbor, your book club, or even your next tailgate party.  Everyone will love them and you will be circulating love and appreciation that will undoubtedly come back to you tenfold.  Made with all natural peanut butter, real oats, no refined flours and less sugar than most cookie recipes, these treats provide healthy fats and fiber.  Omit the chocolate chips for a healthier version.

Ingredients:

liberated eggs!
liberated eggs!

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup organic sugar

¾ cup organic brown sugar

3 cups gluten free quick oats

2 liberated eggs

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

¾ cup cranberries or raisins (optional, based on the season)

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1 cup all natural peanut butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar, brown sugar and butter in a mixer on high speed.  Turning the mixer to medium speed, add eggs one at a time.  Slowly pour in vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda, then spoon in the peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips and cranberries on low speed.

Spoon tablespoon sized dollups of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.

I used an ice cream scoop to measure these cookies and I think they were too big.  Use a tablespoon to measure and they will come out the right combination of crunchy and chewy.
I used an ice cream scoop to measure these cookies and I think they were too big. Use a tablespoon to measure and they will come out the right combination of crunchy and chewy.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown around the edges.  Allow to cool.

Share often and watch the principle of Giving and Receiving work in your life.  Let me know how abundance unfolds for you when you bake and give from your heart.

Peach Pico de Gallo

You will love this easy gourmet variation of Pico de Gallo; spicy, sweet and Rajasic.  It is a perfect compliment to my homemade margaritas and an adaptation of Mikey’s classic and well known Pico de Gallo. A must have recipe for the traditional black bean taco Sunday!   If you want the classic recipe, just use shredded purple cabbage for the peaches.

peach pico de gallo 2

Your yoga teacher may talk a lot about uniting mind body and spirit during class by using your breath.  This is also something I believe you can do with your food, after all, what we put in our mouths becomes our body.  It is so nourishing to the mind and spirit to go to the local farmer’s market and hook up with your edible posse and meet the people who have grown your food. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, just go with an open heart and a willingness to connect.  That’s good yoga and good food.

peach pico de gallo
Encinitas Farmer’s Market fête

Health Benefits:  Peaches contain a whopping 10 different vitamins plus health giving minerals.  The spicy habanero makes this a  Rajasic dish.  Rajasic foods energize almost all the systems, specially the nervous system. Thier effcts on the mind are to help you push yourself beyond your normal capacity and capability. Rajasic (originating from the word ‘Raja’, meaning king, means kingly or fit for a king) food is associated with quality and freshness.  These tomatoes were picked the same day, so fresh!

Ingredients:

2 medium heirloom tomatoes

1 medium peach

1/2 white onion

1/3 c freshly cilantro

1 habanero pepper

1/2 lime

salt to taste

 

Method:

Dice tomatoes, peach and onion.  Skinning the peach is optional, but I recommend leaving the skins for their added fiber content and beautiful color.  Finely chop the cilantro.  Carefully cut the habanero in half and remove the seeds (consciously keep the oil from the pepper away from your eyes and sensitive skin), then mince the pepper.  Gently mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl being careful not to bruise the delicate fruits.  Add the juice of the lime and salt to taste and stir to combine into mix.  Allow to chill for 1 hour to before serving so the flavors can combine.

peach pico de gallo 3
Serve on top of your favorite taco, burrito or tortilla chip. This would be excellent on fish tacos!