Molasses and Lemon Water

How do I begin to tell you about this simple yet wildly affordable and powerful drink?

I first stumbled upon it through Earthy Andy and I have thought about it for a long time yet never got around to trying it. Something finally clicked and I was ready to start to kick these wild sugar cravings I always have and thus introduced it into my life. The first few days I did not feel much of a change but over the past couple weeks, I can honestly say things have truly shifted for me. I have outlined my experience below and you will also find a list of benefits and how to use it. Let me know if you give this a try and how it works for you! 

Please note I am not a health care provider and I am sharing what I have personally experienced and some information I have read and explored about molasses.

  • It cured my appetite. I do not say this to curb your appetite to lose weight but instead, it curbed my appetite for eating junk. My body has started to truly not want carbs as much and craves more plant-based real food. I am talking about fruits and lots of greens! 

  • My sugar cravings are not completely gone but minimized dramatically. I used to crave and eat a full chocolate bar even 80-90% dark chocolate every day. Now I get a craving only a few times a week and I feel satiated after just a few pieces. This is huge for me and I am excited to see such a shift! 

  • My hair is feeling more lush and shiny. Since starting it I have seen my hair transform ever so slightly to have more life and I mean who doesn’t want more life to their hair. 

  • Clearer skin. I am radiating more and having fewer breakouts especially around my moon. I usually have deep pimples yet this I believe is helping to rebalance my hormones and what a miracle that is! 

  • It has helped to regulate my bowel movements. That might be TMI but hey we all do it so let's normalize pooping! 

At this point, you might be wondering ok how do I make this drink and what even is molasses? 

Molasses is a byproduct of making sugar that comes from crushed sugar cane or sugar beets. When using it for health benefits you want to choose blackstrap molasses it is the most concentrated form packed with the most vitamins and trace minerals because it comes from the third boiling process. This thick substance is packed with lots of vitamins specifically, B6, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and selenium. It is important to note that as this does come from sugar it is packed with sugar and taking more than one tablespoon is not ideal. 

Some of the benefits of using molasses are its help with bone health, increases red blood cells, promotes hair growth and maintains a healthy nervous system to name a few benefits. 

In addition to the molasses, I’ve been adding lemon as it promotes hydration, aids in digestion, improves skin and helps to regulate our system.

My plan is to maintain my routine of drinking this daily and taking small breaks every few weeks as it is packed with a lot of sugar and good to be aware of. 

Recipe: 

8-12oz of warm or lukewarm water 

1 Tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses 

Half squeezed lemon 

Mix it all together and drink it up!

My choice for molasses

My choice for molasses


Happy drinking and I look forward to seeing you drinking up this wonderful beverage!

Morning Rituals

Hello!

I wanted to give you a window into what my mornings look like as they have become the backbone for me staying grounded in this ever changing time in my life. These rituals or practices can be done truly anywhere which makes it easy to do it wherever I am. To give you a general time line of what my morning looks like I wake up around 5:30-5:45am and get to my movement routine by 7:45am. I understand that is a lot of time to commit and it did not happen overnight. It has taken me years to finally nail down a routine that works for me and giving myself the proper amount of time. I enjoy moving slowly in the morning so giving myself this much times allows me to show up fully for the rest of my day. Also note that on the weekends I tend to sleep in and also some days during the week if my body is asking for it. I honor that first but still try to maintain my practices even if they are cut a little shorter. If you are looking to start your mornings earlier I suggest setting your alarm just 10mins earlier each day and see what you do with those extra 10mins.

Journal \ I start each morning writing 5 things I am grateful for, 10 dreams I made happen (these are things I am calling into my life and writing them in present tense) and the goal I am going achieve first from my dreams list. I then write free form stream of consciousness for the next 3 pages. I took that piece from The Artist’s Way and cannot imagine a morning without doing it.

Tea Ceremony \ I sit each morning for a minimum of 30mins. Ideally I would love to sit longer yet committing anytime is just as valuable. This is my time to deeply feel my body waking up and connecting with nature and myself. I’ve been playing Riley Lee lately and its aids to a great start to the day. If you want to learn more about my tea practice you can read about it here.

Meditation / Daily Reprogramming Exercise \ This has been a wonderful addition to my morning. I pull my journal back out and work through To Be Magnetics DRE’s. This work has helped me to get clear on where I am limiting myself from fully showing up and going through a meditation (or deep imagining) to reprogram those beliefs. When I am not doing the DRE’s I do a 20 mins mindful meditation. I use insight timer and really love it!

Movement \ At this point in my morning I do light stretching to wake my body up and progress to my daily physical therapy exercises and depending on the day I will head to the gym to run or get outside to hike. I like to alternate days between these two actives and trying to hike and run 3 times a week each.

If you feel called to try one or a few of these things let me know how they help you! I love reading what you all do and it truly lights up my heart to share conversations with you all.

May your mornings be full of things that light you up and bring you into presence and grounded energy for the day ahead!

Lots of love from Colorado!

-Rachel

The Zero Waste Mindset

Can we take a moment and talk the living zero waste mindset? Ok, glad you are all here taking the time to tap into this with me. I few years back, to be honest I cannot remember how long ago but I do know that I was living in my second New York apartment still working in fashion. I was styling photoshoots and assisting on multi-million dollar ad campaigns as my day to day. Yet in my New York apartment I was deep diving into the new world of what zero waste was. I first heard this term on The Minimalist podcast and my little ears perked right up walking along the streets of Brooklyn with my headphones in. I made a mental note to look into this later. Once I finally sat down and explored the exploration never stopped. I am still exploring, ever learning and growing into what being zero waste means to me. 

When I first found zero waste I thought it was avoiding all waste and if I did use waste it went into a mason jar. For me personally this caused a lot of mental strain and self punishment. I was not living from a joyous place yet I brought this thing into my life to find more joy. Joy of living more simply and loving the Earth more fully. So I began to make my own “rules” up, yes if you are reading this you too can make your own rules up. No one is just like me and my experiences in life so I realized I had to make it work for me. Yes, we all have the same goal / vision for this way of living that being we freaking LOVE our beautiful Earth and want to protect her. With that mindset you are one foot ahead of the rest. By living to love and protect our earth I remembered I am the Earth so how I care for myself is vital. 

My so called rules started to form the more this idea began to sink in. I am the Earth, how can I show up and care for myself and use this zero waste mindset in every aspect of my life. The zero waste mindset as formed into living not from a place of either 100% or 0% but an ever flowing percent on the spectrum day to day. Showing up as fully as I can each day to be present to what is happening around me. Ok, so lets deep dive more into what that means for me. I have found to be able to connect to myself and the Earth daily I need to take time to be quite with myself. This for me is the practice of tea ceremony. A deeper way to be in meditation and communion with nature. If you are looking to learn more about tea ceremony you can read more here

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Using tea ceremony as my jumping off place for the day ahead has me centered and grounded. Yet like everything some days I fall low on the 100% - 0% spectrum skipping my practice or sleeping through my alarm clock. Yet this gives me the opportunity to use my compassion for myself. To be compassionate with what my body is asking from me and listening. This is where being present comes into place, what is happening right now in this moment. How can I best nurture and love myself? Everyone has a different way to do that and I invite you to begin to explore that, what do you do that brings you into presence? How can you show up for yourself everyday? Is that sitting in meditation, hiking, cooking, rock climbing or journaling? These are some of the things that are central to my self care. With this presence cultivated I go into my day avoiding waste.

The zero waste mindset is ever flowing and growing like everything in life and how you show up for it is most important. When I am moving through the world my mindset takes me to always look at the bigger picture of what an item will do to this world. Where did it come from? Where and how was it made? Where will it end up after I use it? That one is tricky because it is easier as a society to have blinders on to where our waste really goes. We think we are “recycling” so we are doing our part. Yet most of that ends up in our oceans. Do not let that get you down! You get to choose each day using your own zero waste mindset to replace that plastic and single use items with bringing reusables with you! Check out the Zero Waste Kit to get everything you could need to kickstart this way of life. Although I did not have this when starting I made my own and if they are not available to you, you can as well. I still carry all these items in my bag and repurpose them from items I already have in my home. 

When I first sat down to write this I kept coming up against my self and wondering how to communicate this big topic with you all. I am not sure I still have and thats ok because just like the zero waste mindset it is every flowing and growing. This allows me to explore more deeply with you how in each aspect of my life I am doing this. Keep and eye out for more daily practices from me on how I personally live this Simply Bare way of life! 


Tea Ceremony

Hey everyone!

I have gotten so many questions lately about my practice of tea ceremony and I want to offer you all a place to come and read and learn more. Know that I am no teacher or expect of this practice. I have been practicing for a little over a year and for me tea has changed my life. Yes, tea! It has been the greatest teacher and way of life. It has forced me to out of my comfort zone and brought me back to my true nature. It has invited me to love and support this beautiful earth in a whole new way by asking me to show respect to everything I approach. 

I want to invite you into what my practice looks like, how I got started and what resources have been vital to this journey.  I hope you all enjoy and leave knowing a bowl of tea is always sitting in my home for all of you! 

This time last year I was returning home from my first time in Asia and my first solo trip. A trip that was called upon me without time to think otherwise I knew with everything in my being I had to visit The Tea Sage Hut in Taiwan. After meeting and learning about center from dear friends in New York and an experience of sitting in Prospect Park with a group of people all silently being served tea. 

As I sat with a bowl of tea in my hands looking into on the surface I saw the reflection of the tree and the sky yet to me this spoke to my heart in a whole a new way. Asking me to see that I am drinking nature, this beauty that is all around me and in that bowl is me. I am nature and I sat silently with each bowl with this reflection. I knew something profound was shifting inside me and what or how what would manifest was not even in my thoughts yet. After leaving the park and returning home I knew this practice needed to be brought into my everyday life. To begin to learn and explore this practice. In this moment in my life I was struggling with finances and knew that buying all these beautiful handmade ceramic tea wares were not in my current path. 

So I started the simplest way I could. I used a small bowl from my kitchen, a pot with a lid, and beautiful tea leaves. I slowly created a space in my tiny New York apartment just for this practice. Lying down a small rug, a pillow to sit on and a small tray from my kitchen as the chaxi (stage). I would return to this place every morning and heat the water on my stove and as the water quickly cooled because it had no way to retain the heat I would drink just 3 bowls.

For me it was the practice of showing up to be with this plant and in this silent place then exploring the depth of this truly special plant. I was setting the path of ritual that would continue to evolve. Two weeks after leaving Prospect Park with stars in my eyes and in tea in my belly this practice had become part of my everyday. It was then I knew I had to visit the Tea Sage Hut and so I applied to sit a 10day course. I was in no place to leave my life to head to Asia for two weeks, to take time off work, to invest in the flight across the world but I knew I had to go. 

I received a reply that a space was open and next thing I knew it felt like true destiny everything  just seemed to align. I found the cheapest flight to Taiwan, an amazing eco-hostel in Taipei that was beyond affordable and a month later I set out. Upon arriving it felt as though I was returning home and to loved ones yet we had never met. Each day we sat in meditation and in communion with tea with no outside dictations on how things were supposed to be. Leaving the center was a day I will never forget we all sat together for one last tea ceremony and I wept. I wept for all the beauty and love we had cultivated and how generous they had been to invite us into this space to be with tea. I wept knowing I was leaving this beautiful family of tea brothers and sisters.

Returning home from this experience left me confused and urging to be back. I was in this place of true love and passion for this practice I had cultivated. I returned to sitting everyday and while in Taiwan I purchased tea ware that would help support me in this practice. To have a deeper relationship with this plant medicine. For me this means showing up everyday to be present with tea to be in the space I created before I left for Taiwan in my New York apartment but knowing I can take it anywhere. I travel with my teaware and love to share tea with friends and family in beautiful spaces in nature.  

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If you feel called to this practice simply start with the first brewing type, leaves in a bowl. You will simply need water, hot water, a bowl and large leaf tea leaves. When you are just beginning use the resources you have for me that was a pot, a ceramic dish from my kitchen as a tea bowl and leaves that were gifted to me from a friend. When it comes to choosing the tea I cannot suggest enough using what we call Living Tea. This tea is more than organic by choosing this you know you will be using this medicinal plant in its cleanest form. 


How to begin? 

Create the space 

Take a moment to set up a beautiful little space in your home or outside. This could simply mean laying down a blanket and putting pillow to sit on and setting a Chaxi (stage). I love to use reclaimed fabrics or table runners for this you can get creative! By creating this space for the ceremony we show respect for our guest even if your guest are just you and the tea! 

Heat the Water 

Weather you are using a pot to heat the water or a kettle once you have set you space for the ceremony you can begin to heat your water. I suggest starting with a glass kettle so you can begin to see how the water heats! 

Brew

Once your water is heated just shy of a rolling boil pour water into your bowls and rinse them. This not only is a way to clean the bowls but to show a sign of respect. You will dump this water into a water waste bowl. Now that you have cleaned your bowl place several tea leaves into your bowl as if scattering leaves across the autumn forest floor. Next pour the hot water into your bowl, taking care to hit the side wall of the bowl to avoid burning your leaves. By pouring into the bowl this way your leaves will begin to dance! 

Listen 

As you sit holding you bowl of tea be present. Know there is no right or wrong here you are simply invited to be present with any thoughts or feelings that may arise. Let them surface and return to the tea when you are lost down the ever thinking mind. Once you have consumed your first bowl continue to brew the same way into the bowl with these same leaves. I invited you to watch as the leaves open to you witnessing how beautiful and ever changing the leaves are with each steeping.

Give Thanks

At the end of your ceremony give thanks for the tea and for taking the time to be present. I like  to return the leaves back to the earth by scattering them in my yard returning them to the soil they came from! 

If you are looking to learn more please watch this beautiful video by Global Tea Hut about brewing Bowl Tea. 

Resources

  • Global Tea Hut: an amazing resources to dive deep into learning about tea through their magazine.

  • Living Tea: The most amazing tea and tea ware to purchase!

My Journey to Now

Today marks the end of a book of my life I once dreamed of having. For many years I gravitated toward fashion styling and truly set goals and intentions believing that was my life path. I set a goal that by the age of 25 I would stop styling assisting and begin full time styling on my own. As that age approaches next month and many life changes currently happening I cannot help but reflect on the journey and look forward to this new book of life I finally get to open and enjoy! 

After four years of setting out to achieve a career in fashion I made it a reality. I became the stylist assistant to many incredible stylist and brands, worked on huge film and television productions, assisted on global multi-million dollar campaigns and even made my way to style for a huge globally know brand every month. During all this I began to see and struggle to wrap my mind around how much material and mental waste this all amounted to. I would be working with clothing and merchandise that was begin mass produced mainly in 3rd world countries; and see the overwhelming amount of food waste, single use tableware and bottles disposed of daily.

This struck a chord in me that just did not resonate, I began my research and educate myself more on the fashion industry. It opened my eyes to so many horrible facts and once I knew this it caused me tremendous grief and struggle daily. I felt how am I going to choose a career in an industry that 100% harms this earth that gives me life and the people how make it that much more amazing. At the same time I felt trapped. I live in New York and have bills and student loans that are beyond manageable with a none full time job. 

With this tremendous about of mental struggle to find clarity of my next venture in life I turned to alternative and holistic healing. I found my way to practicing a plethora of things such as medicine reading ceremonies, vinyasa yoga, kundalini yoga, zen meditation, breath work, crystal meditations, and intention setting journaling. It helped me to finally get to a place of acceptance, I felt as if ok this where I am right now and I do not know what is next but that is ok. Although some days that fear and anxiousness would creep up and have me questioning what is next. 

Right now I am in the "what is next" step and it is hard to wrap my mind around it. I felt I needed to leave fashion it was a urge that would not leave me. Even though I found ways to accept that it was ok to be in this path I still questioned it and knew it wasn't the best place for me. While in Costa Rica I focused on finding stillness and also finally committing to say I am ready to let go, I am ready to release my fear of what happens when I do leave this dream I once had behind. Not even one week from being back my life has changed completely.

After my first day back at work I was on the train thinking I really cannot do this anymore, fashion is not my path. I sat there on this idea and thought, ok its officially time to let go. A few moments passed I opened Instagram on my phone and see a post by one amazing seeress Mama Medicine, she is opening a space in Soho and looking for a full time studio manager. My heart started racing and I knew this was the opportunity. With much excitement and gratitude I am beyond thankful to have the opportunity to help Space by Mama Medicine grow. It warms my heart to be apart of an industry and company that is supporting and helping others and I am still struggling to wrap my mind around this reality. We all have a path we will take in life and with this opportunity I feel I have been guided and pushed to be on the path I have been needing and wanting out of this life. 

As 25 approaches in a few short weeks my goals and intentions for this age and chapter in my life have completely shifted. My sense of rush and frustration for life is diminished, with an open heart and mind I am ready for what life has in store for me. I am ready to share with you all my journey along the way and help others find their clarity and stillness. 

 

Sustainable Saturday - 05

I am back from Costa Rica and man on man what an amazing holiday it was! When I have traveled in the past I have been a planner and organizer down to all the small details and this trip I let go! It was the most freeing and rewarding experience, I was able to truly learn and take in being completely present in every moment. We woke up when we felt we had enough rest and slept when the timing felt right and some nights that meant 7pm. 

For the first time in what seems like my life as I walked along the beach at sunset our first full day I felt free and light with my mind completely still. No racing thoughts, frustrations, fears or anxiousness it was completely 100% still. It felt as if all my anxiety about this unknown future I have lying in front of me that I have wrapped my mind and energy around day in and day out was gone.

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This freedom allowed me to be vulnerable to open up to new experiences and people. I met amazing women and men, took spontaneous motorcycle rides (my first time ever!), surfed in the pacific ocean, took a spanish spoken yoga class, learned and practiced my very little spanish knowledge, danced with no fears or insecurities, enjoyed the local sodas with traditional Costa Rican food, climbed to a waterfall and half scaled a cliff, zip lined through the canopy and truly learned to live life blissfully and presently. 

As I've transitioned back into my New York life  I am bringing back this stillness with me and its allowing much ease in my life. I am refocused and calmed in hectic situations that living in this city presents daily, such as those you simple encounter on the subway. Finding new ways to bring that stillness daily, I have introduced a simple new meditation practice and also truly listening to my body. When you choose to go where your gut and your heart lead you it brings a tremendous about of relief and calm into life. 

Traveling Sustainably

Full of excitement I am counting down till my Costa Rican vacation tomorrow. I am headed for a week of true relaxation along the Pacific coast with a dear friend exploring a new country, practicing yoga, surfing, eating, dancing and of course doing it sustainably. 

Before leaving I am making sure to include the following to ensure my waste is minimal to zero while abroad. 

  • Mini Mason Jar : perfect to take out for a night of drinking where plastic single use cups are regularly used
  • Full Size Mason Jar : to fill any juices, left overs, tea and such with when I am out and about
  • Steele Bento Box : I will prepare a small meal to carry in this for the flight and once arrived I will use for meals to take with me to the beach or exploring
  • Small Jar of Simply Co : this eliminates the number of items I need to pack so I can hand wash clothing and hang dry to wear again! 
  • Glass Vilas and Jars filled with SPF & Beauty products: This eliminates the single use travel size beauty products I can refill and reuse all these items for my next travels 
  • Bamboo Cutlery: perfect for my inflight meal and to ensure no plastic single use cutlery is used while away! 
  • Reusable water bottle: always need to stay hydrated, especially on the flight to reduce swelling! 
  • Yoga Mat: Allowing me to save money from yoga mat rentals to put toward  more adventures plus I can practice from my hotel if desired! 

Stay up to date with my adventures via Instagram

How do you travel sustainably? What are your go to must have items? 

Sustainable Saturday - 04

One key to finding consciousness in personal wellness is through truly listening to your body and taking the precautions to forgo the things that don't resinate with your body! 

I am Costa Rica bound next week and knew I needed to prepare my body for the changes ahead. My body can become very frustrated with me when I travel, I easily can get sick, bloated and swollen. So instead of waiting for the inevitable I have taken the past two weeks to begin to boost my immune system and prepare it for the adventure ahead in Costa Rica!

I have added some new morning and nightly additions to my daily routine that I also have found generally help with my regular day to day New York life. Plus these simple additions can all be found in sustainable zero waste alternatives! Simply buying majority in bulk and or in reusable glass containers! 

  1. A nightly Turmeric Milk:  this traditional Indian healing spice works wonders it helps with inflammation, brain boosting and increases antioxidants
  2. Morning Apple Cider Vinegar with warm water this helps strengthen my gut and regulate my digestion 
  3. Morning Probiotic- GUT HEALTH!!
  4. Oil of Oregano which is a natural antibiotic and also helps with inflammation
  5. Daily Meditation
  6. 3 minutes of Cat Cow, this kundalini practice helps to massage all the nerve junctions in your spinal cord and regulate the thyroid gland

Golden Milk Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Cashew Milk (or any other nut milk)
  • 1/2 tsp. Golden Turmeric (I use Moondeli)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg 
  • Pinch of Cinnamon 
  • Pinch of Ground Ginger 
  • Pinch of Ground Vanilla 
  • Pinch of Cardamom 
  • Optional:Pinch of Moondeli Calming Adaptogen

What you will need 

  • Sauce Pan 
  • Whisk 

How To:

  • Begin to warm the milk in sauce pan to a light boil
  • Sprinkle in spices and begin to whisk all together 
  • Continue to whisk until froth begins to form and then reduce the heat and enjoy! 

 

Let me know below in the comments how you prepare for your travels! 

 

 

Sustainable Saturday - 03

This week with International Women's Day I explored a conscious look into practices combining mental and physical health and how closely related they are through the powerful teachings of incredible woman! 

I had the pleasure to practice with Guru Jagat twice while she made a stop in New York. A full immersion into kundalini yoga and reprograming the system. Guru Jagat broke down the programing we have been passed down from our parents and through child trauma. We then practiced  how to clear and open up space for new positive programming in the mind. I left feeling a complete bliss and weight released from within. I since have begun including a few very energizing and distressing practices into my morning routine, more to report on that soon! You can practice with Guru Jagat through her digital platform RA MA TV or Here.    

 The Class by Taryn Toomey  is one I have been eyeing for awhile but with a high price tag for a 65min class I've resisted but my luck came and this week after a post for a half off class showed up on instagram and I had to go. This class will challenge your mind and body beyond the limit we have falsely created in our minds. It will make you want to vomit and while also rolling over and playing dead. But by the end you break through the blocks and feel a new sense of energy and push come and you are ready to full complete the class no stopping. It breaks down the roadblocks in our minds to get out of the comfort zone that says no, not interested I cannot do this anymore and you are able to push yourself. It is one insanely powerful practice that I am not hooked on! She has locations in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver if you live in these locations and have the opportunity  to go, GO you will not regret it! 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book was the perfect read to included in my weekly round up. The 48page book that shows light on the inequality of women  and how powerful it is to stand up together. "All of us, women and men, must do better." Check it out!

How did you honor and support the women of the world this week? Comment and Share below! 

 

Say No to Plastic Bottles

Say NO to plastic water bottles and YES to awesome reusable bottles! 

I was first blown away by the insane waste we are creating during researching of a college writing class 7years ago in which I choose to write about this specific topic. I stumbled upon the video below and it quickly began to make me reconsider everyones role in our waste. Along with being stunned with the information that 30billion water bottles are used yearly in the US alone. This then goes into our oceans and according to Ocean Conservatory, every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. SAY WHAT? Lets fight to change this NOW! 

This knowledge followed along with me like ghost for the next 6years and without slightly blinking an eye to full make a change. One day I finally decided to WAKE UP, I was now living in New York and daily I would see the enormous loads of garbage full of single use plastic pilled on the sidewalk. I would then go to work at the photo studio for a photoshoot and everyone is using single use plastic bottles that were not even recycled. 

I knew if I could make the change that alone would reduce waste significantly. I purchased a reusable water bottle and haven't looked back since! 

Lets help save our land, ocean, air and animals and finally stop with the harmful chemical filled plastic bottles we carry around religiously and instead just swap for an awesome reusable one! 

I personally love my S'well bottle but any non-plastic reusable water bottle is one powerful way to  finally collectively say NO to single use water bottles all together! 

So what is blocking you from saying NO to plastic and start saying YES to a reusable bottle?