Fire Cider

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep


Fire Cider is an immune-boosting health tonic. It stimulates the fire in your digestion, it is full of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, it can alleviate sinus congestion, and promote blood circulation.

I have had this tonic before but this was the first time I made it at home. I had the brilliant idea of offering to make it for 7 of my close girlfriends as well (whats a few more onions and horseradish to chop?) Halfway through my prep and my husband and daughters went running out of the house, hands over noses, as if a apocalyptic stench descended upon our living room. I barely saw them leave as I could no longer see through the tears in my eyes… But an hour later, and some scented candles and all were happy again.

The gist is this;

fresh horseradish, garlic, onions, ginger, cayenne pepper, fresh hot peppers, fresh turmeric, lemon juice, fresh oranges, and raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother).


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I checked around at different recipes, most all were the same. I ended up adapting my recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. Use all organic ingredients.

FIRE CIDER

1/2 c grated fresh ginger

1/2 c grated fresh horseradish

10 cloves of garlic, crushed or shopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 inches of fresh turmeric root, chopped

2 fresh jalapeños, chopped

zest and juice from 1 lemon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Orange, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, or 1 tsp dried (optional)

1 or 2 drops of oregano oil (optional)

1 bottle of Raw apple cider

1/4 c raw, local honey (to sweeten at the end)

Add all ingredients into a mason-type jar. If using one with a metal lid, then place a small sheet of parchment between the liquid and lid. Stir or shake once every day for 4 to 6 weeks. Store in a dark and cool place. When ready to strain, use cheese cloth and squeeze all the juice out of the ingredients. Add honey until desired sweetness.

Continue to store in a cool and dark place, not in the fridge.

HOW TO TAKE:

  • Take a shot (about 1-2 Tablespoons) straight up.

  • It has been recommended that you can take up to 5 or 6 T per day when fighting a flu

  • Dilute the fire cider tonic with warm water, juice or apple cider.

  • Swap vinegar in a salad dressing for fire cider 

  • Add to fried rice 

  • Drizzle over steamed veggies.

  • Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc.

  • Add to soup or chili.

  • Use as a hangover cure.


Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Winter is on it’s way here in Switzerland, but I have Fire Cider to keep me warm.

Stay Healthy Everyone!

Super-mom Smoothie

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A smoothie is something very simple, and probably not worth a recipe. But I must admit, that I have had some really terrible smoothies while living here in CH. Watered down with too much ice, too chunky from apple, too sour from lemon, too milky, etc. In CA a smoothie is treated like a meal in itself, completely balanced with the right amount of fruit or veg, a protein kick, an immune boosting element and a secret ingredient or two that make you genuinely satisfied and full. 

A smoothie is also a great way to get ingredients in your kids quickly. We make a variety here at home in our Vitamaster, but the one bellow has been on repeat lately.

During the time of my pregnancies, I gave up coffee and most other forms of caffeine. Not because I believed that my babies would pop out with a simmilar hipster-quality cappuccino addiction (I am looking at you, ViCafe!) I just didn't feel good on it anymore. So I began the journey into adaptogens. Postpartum life also gave me hormonal mood swings and imbalanced adrenals. The addition of Ashwagandha, Reishi, Maca, Cordyceps, and Prash combinations helped me (in moderation). 

I am not going to educate you on how to use adaptogens. There is plenty of information out there on it. Just start small and pay attention to the subtle changes. But do follow my girl Bri @seed.leaf.life  for amazing adaptogenic inspiration. Also Lee From America  has a great beginners guide.

I buy mine from stores in California on my bi-annual trips home to the states. But a great website for those of you in CH is HERE


yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

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SUPER SMOOTHIE

1 banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen or fresh wild blueberries

1/2 cup nut milk or yogurt + water combination

1 T coconut butter OR almond butter

1 heaping T cocoa nibs

1 heaping T gogi berries

1/2  scoop Collagen Pepitides

1/2 t prash combination

1/4 t reishi

1/4 t mangostein + hibiscus powder

Blend all together starting on low and moving upwards until completely blended. Add more water or milk if your smoothie is too thick. And I can highly suggest investing in glass or bamboo straws. We have had ours for several years. Easy to clean, fun to use and less to throw away!

 

 

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Enjoy!

En Guete!!!

The Cookie

Little kitchen assistant

Little kitchen assistant

This is the cookie of the year for us. On rotation, we make a fresh batch each week or as the brown bananas in our fruit bowl designate our needs for a new batch. Now that I have a kindergartener in the house, my snack game has gotten significantly stronger - Watch out, Kinder-moms!

The original recipe discovered by Heidi Swanson. Doubled on chocolate, nut-free (making it the perfect school snack) and sweetened only by bananas. I have made various versions of this recipe. Ground Hazelnuts with the chocolate has been a favorite recently. Or adding oat flour and chai spices and leaving out all the chocolate. I always add a bit of flax and lucuma to our batches as well. We have fun with this one and my 18 month old can have a place at the table helping me make them each time. 

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The Cookie (The secretly healthy cookie)

  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed) or olive oil
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts (or almonds, or sunflower seeds)
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or oat flour)
  • 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lucuma powder (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped (we love the Lily's brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 170 degrees C

In a medium bowl combine the bananas, vanilla, and coconut oil. Set aside. In a large bowl stir together the oats through flax seeds. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate. The dough is a bit wetter than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 1 - 2 tablespoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Until golden on the bottoms and slightly dry looking on top.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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How to Make Fire

I wrote this in April of 2016. I don't know why I never posted it.... I just can't believe how tiny my little squirt was back then. Almost two years already that we have lived in CH. Time flies, when you're building fires and fuelling up on würst regularly. Enjoy the flashback.

- Ash


Now that Spring has arrived to warm our bodies from the winter cold, we spend most of our day in the forests or lakeside in Zurich Oberland (Zurich countryside). My husband grew up in this landscape and valley and knows it well. When we booked our flights from California to Zurich I asked him what he was most excited about showing our daughter in his home country. 

"Building a fire in the forest"

Our daughter is two, mind you.... And I come from a place where building fires outdoors is really never encouraged, and ONLY allowed in serious campground enclosures, on wide beaches away from any and all tree life, and in a permitted outdoor chiminea. Too many people I love have been effected by loss from wild fires in California. The near idea of striking a match in a heavily wooded area brings on anxious discomfort for me. 

In Switzerland though, the art of foraging for sticks and building a fire under a blanket of trees in the midst of your afternoon walk is highly encouraged and practiced. 

As for teaching your budding piro-happy toddler about safe fire practices. Here's a few tips from a Swiss pro;

Begin with a walk.

Begin with a walk.

  1. Begin with a walk in the woods. It's important to build your hunger while searching for the perfect place for a fire.

Prepare your space.

Prepare your space.

2. prepare space

Stick collection

Stick collection

3. Collecting sticks

teepee

teepee

4. Create a teepee

light

light

5. Light

tend.

tend.

6. Tend the flame

stick collection matinence

stick collection matinence

7. stick collection round 2

the wurst placement

the wurst placement

8. Wust placement

cook, hovering over flame until blistered

cook, hovering over flame until blistered

9. cook and eat

walk home

walk home

10. Clean up your fire and walk home

Daily Dal

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I spent 5 months in India in 2010. Much of that journey has shaped my current life path in one way or another. This blog post would be too long to divulge all the pithy details now. But the one story that I tell more than others is how I left my craft of cooking behind on a journey to find something else. What I ended up with in the end, was a deeper understanding of the cooking world and the power of food.

February 2010. Market in Mysore India

February 2010. Market in Mysore India

I was 25 and had been traversing in and out of America, Europe and SE Asia for 4 years at that point on pennies, cooking for free wherever I could and making money just for the next plane ticket. As you do in your 20's. India had always allured but never felt right, until it did. 

Once in India I ignored my urge to follow the food and instead dug deep into discovery of color, feel, history, and belief. Eyes wide and heart open, I left India completely broke and returned to Spain to sleep on friend's sofas and exist on nothing more than tortilla español and tangerines. My always logical and not-so-easy-to-convince father called to wake me up to my financial situation of late. 

"you have $500 in your bank account, Ash. You cant even afford a flight home"

Running on fumes from my India awakening, naturally, my response was;

"Something is going to happen, dad, I can feel it! I am living in the open question of life!" (insert prayer hands and eye-roll emoji here)

A week later I was asked by a good friend in Mallorca to help someone she knew who was coming to the island for holiday. You know, fix up their cottage when they leave for the day, maybe set up breakfast. I was looking at an easy 500 euros to push me through at least 2 more months of the egg and orange diet. "Oh, and I told them you can teach yoga and maybe cook too, they are super stoked!"

I made a welcome Moroccan dinner on the Thursday they arrived- tagine, couscous with melted sweet onion marmalade, roasted vegetables and a fresh carrot, cilantro salad. I arrived in the morning to teach yoga and serve them homemade CA-style granola and superfood smoothies.

By that Sunday the couple had flown me to their home in Vienna to be their yogi chef. It's been 6 years and 11 countries that I have traveled and cooked for them in. On their boat, I was introduced to the Swiss engineer who is now my husband, and so many other soulmates have been met along the way though this work relationship. In the end, I always credit India to the gratitude of those turning events. India un-doubtingly has magic and power, if you let it in. I felt my heart open in a whole new way when I walked through her land and dropped into sacred moments. Shift happened.

Now that I am more ROOTED than ever before and growing my family, reconnections with Mother India will be far and few between. I foster my Yearning for India often with cooking. Filling my kitchen with the scent of steeping spices in homemade ghee, and Pairing ginger, lime and curry leaves wherever possible, and tucking into a satisfying dal on a monthly basis.

Here is my go-to recipe for everyday Dal. Made with coconut milk, ghee, and mustard seeds. Variations are easy to spin off of and creativity is invited. Spinach, diced carrots, or peas? I like to top mine with cool yogurt, fresh cucumber, lime and something super spicy. I would even suggest frying an egg in ghee and topping the dal and rice for a protein packed meal. This is a staple in our home. Enjoy.

Everyday Coconut Dal

3 cups red lentils (masoor dal)

1 medium yellow roughly chopped

1 cup tomatoes, canned, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 tablespoons ghee

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

15  fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional but worth seeking out)

1 14-oz can coconut milk

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, ginger, coriander, and turmeric. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down. Add salt (it's always best to add salt to any legume after they have been 80% cooked)
  2. In a frying pan, warm the ghee over medium to high heat. Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Staying close to the pan, wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and the curry leaves and cook, until lightly browned. Stir often to prevent burning.
  3. Add the curry leaf mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors have melded.
  4. Serve with basmati rice, fresh cucumber, cool yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and some spicy pickle relish, etc.
  5. NOTE: you can add fresh spinach or diced carrot, fresh chiles or even fresh ginger. Get creative and add ingredients where and when you see fit.

Convincing - A Brownie Recipe

Potty training is a messy ordeal.

I have dreams of adults in my life pooping their pants and my frantic reaction to having not packed any extra adult undies and pants in my handbag. There is just so much laundry in our lives right now, but a light at the end of the tunnel. I see it. It's cleaner there.

I am the first to admit that heavy doses of Swiss chocolate have been issued to both child and parent as a tool for survival during these long days of dirty panties and, as both bribery and celebration. We are quite strict in the house with a no white sugar and no food-coloring rule for our child's consumption. She gets plenty from her grandparents and the occasional handout at a party. But in our house, a sweet-loving house, we bake a lot with alternatives. Being 50% Swiss, my daughter has an instant attraction to "schoggi" -chocolate. Just like her Papi. We use 70% dark chocolate as a bribe to sit on the potty before we leave the house or as a reward, along with copious amounts of clapping for the coveted poop in the potty and NOT in our pants.

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High in antioxidants and lower in sugar than it's sibling the Milk Chocolate, which is apparently Switzerland's favorite, dark chocolate has always had a place in our home. I find milk chocolate to be too sweet for my liking and I'm hoping my daughter will also develop a preference for the slightly more bitter, but equally as attractive, dark chocolate option as well.

Here is my favorite chocolate brownie recipe at the moment, sweetened with dates and maple, creamy from almond butter, and laden with dark chocolate. The recipe calls for nuts and salt on top. Dried cherries are also a fantastic addition to the top as well. My daughter is a purest, so at the moment we top it with nothing other than chopped chocolate and a tiny bit of Maldon salt. I can't recommend this recipe enough to replace your kids common homemade brownie, and I equally recommend it for the daily potty training celebration.

Enjoy easily being convinced of white sugar-free brownies!

Recipe provided by one of my forever cookbook loves: At Home In The Whole Food Kitchen, by Amy Chaplin.

Almond Butter Brownies With Sea Salt
yields fifteen 3 x 2 1/2 inch brownies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup packed pitted deglet noor dates (the soft large ones)
  • 1 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I have also used melted and cooled coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds (optional. Other nuts and dried fruit are an option as well)
  • sea salt flakes (Maldon is the best)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the dates in a medium bowl and soak with boiling water for 20 minutes, or until softened. Once softened, drain the dates.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  4. In a food processor, blend the almond butter, olive oil, maple syrup, maple sugar, almond milk, salt, vanilla, and softened dates until smooth.
  5. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, using either a rubber spatula or a stand mixer to combine the two.
  6. Set two tablespoons of the chopped chocolate aside, and pour the rest into the batter. Be careful not to overmix.
  7. Pour the batter into the baking tray and spread evenly. Top with the chocolate that you set aside, the toasted almonds, and a large pinch of sea salt flakes.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. The edges should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
  9. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool completely. 

Warmth

Autumn arrives with eagerness here in Switzerland. It's mid-October and the mountains are already capped with snow, visible on a rare clear autumn day. Our first of the season colds have set in already and I've un-earthed my hibernating knitting projects.

My life with tea has always been abundant and favorable to the everyday coffee. Listening to the needs of my body first thing in the morning and for the mid-day pick up. How well did my child sleep? Am I still bloated from yet another fondue dinner? How quickly do I have to run out the door?

Here are a few of my most gratifying, replace-the-cafe-latte, tea recipes to steep on. Enjoy the warmth.

 

Masala Chai

A love affair ever deepening since my time in India 5 years ago. This recipe is so unlike the cinnamon ladden, sugar syrup you get with frothy milk at your local Starbucks. It's deep with cardamom (my favorite spice) and only as sweet as you like. I prefer mine spicy, to add warmth and digestive fire to my day, therefore you can be as generous as you like with the ginger- 4 or 5 slices, and even toss one or two back in after straining and blend to incorporate. Plus, blending it will add froth to your Masala Chai Latte. 

serves 2

  • 3/4 c water
  • 2-4 green cardamom pods, smashed
  • 5 whole black pepper
  • 1-2 this slices of ginger
  • 1 one inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of star anise
  • 3/4 c milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1 1/2 t  strong loose-leaf black tea
  • sweetener of choice- honey, cane sugar, jaggery, xylitol, etc

Add water, cardamom pods, black pepper, cinnamon stick and star anise to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Leave overnight.

In the morning, add ginger and bring back to a boil, reduce to simmer. Add milk and tea. Simmer for 1 more minute then turn off heat and steep for 2 minutes.

Strain and add sweeteners. 

GOLDEN MILK -Turmeric tea

 

Benefits of turmeric: Turmeric is especially known for its benefits to digestion, immune function, reducing inflammation, liver health and even possible protection from cancer. Turmeric is one of the foods with the highest antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When you mix turmeric with black pepper, you increase your body's absorption significantly. I especially love this recipe without cows milk as I like to give my body a break from dairy now and again (it is hard to do during fondue season in Switzerland, mind you...) Cashew milk has recently been my go-to as I have not found the coconut milk brand that I LOVE here yet, but in California, I navigated to the coconut version often. This is a great one to drink before bed as well. I think it has done wonders for my toddler's sleep patterns (extra honey and cinnamon added, of course)

  • 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. Drink immediately

recipe made with fresh turmeric:

  • 1 1-inch knob fresh turmeric
  • 1 1/2-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ghee 
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water, or water
  • 1 tablespoon manuka honey, or other raw honey

Instructions

  1. Peel both the turmeric and ginger, then grate them finely into a mortar and pestle. Spoon the ghee into the mortar and grind the ghee into the turmeric and ginger with your pestle until they form a fine paste.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a saucepan, and spoon in the paste made with turmeric, ginger and ghee. Turn the heat up to medium-high and warm the ingredients together until little bubbles just begin to creep up the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes. Strain the golden milk through a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer into a tea pot. Stir in the Manuka honey and continue stirring until it dissolves. Serve warm.

Notes

Golden Milk is traditionally made with cow's milk. If you wish to omit the coconut milk and coconut water, simply substitute 2 cups whole milk. Or another way I love it is with fresh cashew milk.

 

MATCHA LATTE

This creamy, dreamy, green wonder caught my attention when I was a teen. Mind you it was the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CA coffee chain) version, blended, heavily sweetened, and topped with whipped cream. But still introducing me to the desirable, earthy undertones of green tea. More often than not, this is my go-to replacement for the cafe-latte days of my past (coffee has never felt the same in my body since my pregnancy 3 years ago.) This is my 3 pm pick-me-up or Sunday morning brunch tea. Most other mornings I gravitate towards pure sencha for a clear mind and a little boost. It is important to remember that all green teas turn bitter if over-steeped or made too hot. It is a tea to be mindful and delicate with, in turn, it will provide the same for you.

  • 3/4 c cows milk, almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp matcha powder

Heat your milk choice gently on the stove, not boiling. I use a hand held milk frother. Spoon out approximately 2 T of hot milk into a small bowl with the matcha powder. Whisk vigorously with a bamboo whisk until frothy and slightly lighter in color. It is better to use bamboo when working with green tea and not metal, but if you are without a bamboo whisk, then you may. Froth or whisk the left over warm milk

 

Enjoy and stay warm everyone. -Ash

ROOTED Worldwide

TIPS FOR BEING ROOTED ON THE GO.

Pack-worthy essentials to help give you a sense of stability and home while living up-rooted and traveling around the globe.

How important it is to find your roots while drifting over land and sea. It is hard enough to live out of a suitcase while living in the in-between. Some days you just crave the crash on your own pillow at home, the smell of your laundry detergent on your favorite sweater, or the simple feeling you get when passing through the doors of a home your soul knows.

Below are my necessities to help ground and settle my spirit while wandering and living without roots. 

 

·       Unpacking – I always say ‘Home is where I unpack.’ A simple rule of thumb I follow is to always unpack when I’m staying somewhere for more than two nights. It just helps you to drop into your space, experience it more deeply and feel like ‘this is my home; this is where I reside; this is where I lay my head; this is where my things are.’

·       Traveling Altar –  It’s your sacred space that holds the treasured things that keep you connected and rooted. They can be gifts from friends, photos of loved ones, trinkets from places of significance to you, statues or books of your spiritual path. They’re reminders of memories, of things that you’ve loved, and anywhere there has been any unfurling of the heart. This curated collection of objects represents the essence of your being and your home in this new space. I have mine wrapped up in a silk bag and I unpack it and set it up on a small table, empty shelf or even the floor of the room I call home at the moment. I like to have it in a place where I can set up my yoga mat and practice or even just sit in front of it for a meditation or prayer on my journey. I do this when I go to new places – places of the unknown.

o   Some examples of the items I have on my alter right now: a little rose pin from my mom, a small Buddha statue from India, an olive wood cross from California, a Ganesha statue from Indonesia, a silk scarf and mala from the Dali Lama, a seashell [“the eye of Lucia”] plucked from the Amalfi, a shell from Spain, a piece of volcano from Iceland, a bead from Kenya gifted from a dear friend, an amethyst crystal, a photo of my daughter Mila from her birth, a postcard from a friend, A tiny wooden elephant from Thailand, broken travel bracelets from adventures past, a picture of my husband Swiss and the one remaining earring from a pair that he gave me early in our relationships as his first gift while we were in Belize.

·       Traveling Candles – if you can handle the weight of packing a candle, lighting a fire can feel like home and can be an important element in your spiritual travel alter. 

·       Clary Sage – Smudge Sticks (preferably white sage from California) – these clear impurities in the air, detoxify and rid a space of bad energy. Light them, get them smoking and walk to each corner of the room a couple times or around a space or person.

lite one end with fire, allow to burn for a moment before blowing out the flame and just smoke remains. Smudge it out on a plate when finished "cleaning".

lite one end with fire, allow to burn for a moment before blowing out the flame and just smoke remains. Smudge it out on a plate when finished "cleaning".

·       Traveling Yoga Mat – I have an ultra light travel mat by Manduka that I bring with me. It’s yours, you sweat on it, and it is there for you when your ready. Whether you leave your mat laid out on the floor all day or fold it up when your not using it, the mat invites you in to practice, like the pot call the cook to the kitchen. Sometimes we need the reminder to drive up the intention.

·       Measuring Cups – I always travel with American measuring cups! If I get homesick and call my mom to make her buttermilk biscuits, I can save a lot of time and energy by using these tools rather than converting the ingredients to metrics and finding that they never turn out the same. There are some great plastic collapsable ones out there too.

·       Multiple Journals – I love a good Moleskin. But the Apica Note Book brand is one of my favorite. They’re thin, so I can have multiple for different topics, whether spiritual outpouring, family travel ideas, work-related projects or something pertaining to my daughter. I’m a Pisces so I like to have a daydream journal of things I want to do or envision doing in the future. There’s no rule that journals need to be filled cover to cover. I have lots of half empty journals, and each one tells a tale of my past.

·       For traveling with a child – In terms of traveling with a child, bringing certain snacks, books, and stuffed animals that are reminiscent of home is really important. At two, my daughter isn’t really attached to one thing in particular, but having an essence of home is something that comforts her and gives her a sense of place regardless of where we are in the world. This of course, means I have to bring many items on a  trip as opposed to just one important one.