HOW HUMANS CAN GET THE MOST OUT OF THE WINTER SEASON

Making the effort to ebb and flow with the natural cycles of the seasons is paramount for good health. Our bodies are designed to follow the patterns of Nature. Even the smallest adjustments to honor these patterns just make damn good sense!

Winter is a season which calls for more quiet time, deep inner reflection, and more than the average amount of nurturing. Perhaps even a little pampering every now and again ❤️❄️❤️

SLOW DOWN AS MUCH AS YOU ARE ABLE

Spend more time ‘snuggled in’ at home. Take a cue from wildlife and rest.

Life is busy much of the time. And sometimes the only way to shut that steady stream of to-do’s off is to get seriously intentional about it.

Take a at least one night a week this winter and plan to do a whole lot of nothing. Sink into a comfy chair with a good book. Gather up your crochet needles and put together some stitches while you watch a movie. Or sit yourself down with family/friends and play a few board games.

Just make sure there is an abundance of both feeling cozy and relaxing going on.

PRACTICE INNER REFLECTION

We all have things that we find difficult to cope with. Often we keep a few little struggles on the front lines of our lives in a subconscious attempt to avoid the bigger stumbling blocks.

Spend some time searching DEEP within your heart. See what you can find that causes you considerable pain when you think of it. Then allow yourself to feel the pain. Give it permission to be there. Recognize that it is justified. And it only makes sense that it took up residence there after the experiences you’ve had. And then …

Let it go. Take it right by the hand and escort it out of your life. March it to the outer edges of your personal experience here on this planet and place it on the other side of the borderline. Take a step back. Blow it a kiss and say goodbye. Then turn around and WALK AWAY.

HAVE SPA DAYS AT HOME

Light a candle. Turn on some music. Close the bathroom door. And pamper yourself.

About once a week, create a soothing atmosphere in the bathroom (and maybe the bedroom too) and just pamper yourself.

Deep condition your hair. Give yourself a facial. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi.

Make it a point to keep your thoughts on the positive side. Use a mantra if it helps. And breathe. Breathe deeply. You are worth each and every moment you are spending in this space. You deserve to be treated well. And sometimes it is damn nice when you are the person doing it.

We too often pay very close attention to how others are treating us while losing sight of how we treat ourselves.

So let’s try a little harder to be kind to ourselves this winter season. We will be better for it in the spring ❤️


If you have something you make a point of doing to make the dark, cold, season of winter, more beneficial (dare I say rewarding?), please share it in the comments.

I’d love to acquire a few new tricks to tuck up my sleeve for the upcoming season 😉

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤

PLANT BASED STUFFING FOR THANKSGIVING

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been working on a plant based stuffing recipe for a few weeks now. I’ve always had the best stuffing recipe ever. Like over-the-top frickin’ fabulous. It is my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

My recipe has sausage in it. And I’ve been trying to be more mindful of eating processed food. So I thought it would be fun to make a whole new recipe. A plant-based recipe. Fit for a Thanksgiving feast. Even though I won’t be making a full holiday dinner this year.

I volunteered to work for the holiday. And quite honestly I don’t cook a big dinner most years anymore anyway. Too much work for this girl. Particularly when I am the only one who really enjoys it in this house.

But I’m pretty sure that a big ‘ol scoop (or two) of crazy tasty stuffing. Topped with a really savory dressing. And a heaping serving of mashed potatoes on a plate will satisfy my desire to indulge, at least a little, in this once a year feast.

So with both, “I need the best damn stuffing ever” and “Let’s keep it plant-based” in mind I came up with the recipe below.

It’s damn tasty. I promise. Give it a try. You’re going to love it.

It will be a permanent addition to my recipe box, for sure 😉

PLANT-BASED THANKSGIVING STUFFING RECIPE


1 med onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 bayleaf

salt and pepper

2 1/2 c vegetable broth

8 oz fresh mushrooms

1/2 c pecans, chopped

1/2 c dried apricots

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/8 c dried parsley

8 c dried bread cubes


Toast pecan pieces. And place aside.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, oregano, bayleaf, salt (to taste), and pepper (to taste) in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth until onion and celery are translucent. Remove bay leaf.

Chop mushrooms. Toss them in with the veggies and seasonings and cook until warmed through.

Mix in pecans, apricots, cranberries, and parsley and immediately remove from heat.

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and toss with all other ingredients.

Grease a large baking pan and pour mixture into it. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

I made my own bread cubes for this recipe. I used a package of bakery fresh buns to make them. I don’t generally eat a lot of white bread. But I had the buns on hand and so I used them up.

In my opinion a whole grain bread would be even better. It would add another dimension to the flavor profile.

But use whatever works for you. The recipe is damn good just the way it is.

Also, if you are oil-free as many plant-based eaters are, you can skip the oil by lining your baking dish with parchment paper before you put the stuffing in it. Or, better yet, use a silicone baking dish 😉

AND …

If you decide to make this tasty dish please be sure to share your experience with me in the comments! I’d love to know how others feel about the recipe. And learn any tips or tricks you might have discovered while making it!

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤

18 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

Everybody wants to live a better life. It really makes no difference who they are, what they do, or what circumstances they live with every day. They want to alter their lives in a way that meets their deeper needs. They want it to be better than it is.

They want to have stronger, more stable relationships. They want to be respected, appreciated, and admired. And they want to feel that the way they’re spending their time and energy is purposeful.

Attaining these goals can seem impossible. When faced with the task, many people simply shut down intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

They don’t know how to get from where they are to where they want to be. It feels as though they are light years away from their goals. And so they do nothing.

Doing nothing guarantees that nothing changes.

But here’s some really great news for you …

You don’t have to run at these goals full speed. In fact, they are better reached incrementally.

Baby steps will get you to them just fine. So take baby steps. One or two little baby steps at a time.

Following are 18 things you can do right now that will exponentially improve your life.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR STATE OF MIND

  1. Do not let others tell you what you’re worth. They really have no way of knowing. Their opinions have been formed as an outside observer. It is impossible for them to understand all of the things which have shaped you into the human who stands before them today.
  2. Do not tell others what they’re worth. You really have no way of knowing. You’re opinions have been formed as an outside observer. It is impossible for you to understand all of the things which have shaped them into the human who stands before you today.
  3. Seek knowledge. You’re mind longs to learn. But sometimes it needs a little coaxing. Pick something that interests you. Anything at all. And then learn everything you can about it.
  4. Allow your mind to rest. It is estimated that the average person thinks between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day. Give it a break. Sit quietly somewhere, or maybe go for a walk, and shut down all of those random thoughts with a mantra. Try, “I am purposeful”, “I am worthy”, or “I am beautiful”.
  5. Train your mind to be more positive. This can be done pretty simply by practicing the 5×55 rule. Choose a mantra (see above) and write it out 55 times for 5 days. Your mind believes what you tell it. And over time it will start repeating these positive inputs on its own.
  6. Smile. The very act of engaging in this facial expression causes an elevation in mood. You do not have to feel like smiling for it to work. Your brain associates the movement of the muscles you use to smile with ‘good feelings’ and will cause your mood to follow the action.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL STATE

  1. Stretch every chance you get. If you feel impelled to embark on a formal stretching routine, go for it. But don’t limit it to just that. Take moments throughout the day to stretch. It is sooooooo good for your body. And if you accompany it with a long slow breath in through your nose and out forcefully through your mouth you’ll increase the benefits by leaps and bounds.
  2. Move more than you do right now. No matter what level of activity you have cultivated in your life, increase it. It doesn’t even matter what you do. Just move more each day than you have been in the routine of doing.
  3. Pamper yourself. In whatever way you feel most nurtured, take care of yourself. Read a good book. Take a long walk. Soak in a jacuzzi for a bit. Or sit down in your favorite chair and give yourself a foot massage. Take 2 minutes. Or take an hour. But pamper yourself in some way every day.
  4. Eat like you matter. Choose your food with careful consideration of its nutritional benefits. Prepare it with love. And then create a pleasant atmosphere to consume it in. Use the good china. Light the new candle. And disconnect from media.
  5. Learn to listen to your body. It knows exactly what it needs. AND it is trying to tell you. There is a little bit of a learning curve involved in this skill but it is so worth the extra effort it takes. Your body will tell you what it needs to eat, when it needs to rest, when it is in distress, and more. Learn to hear what it has to say before you make choices that affect it.
  6. Begin to research and develop an understanding of human anatomy and physiology. This can be done at any level. And while most think of it as a skill only for health professionals, it is becoming increasingly important for the average person to have some knowledge in this area.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE STATE OF YOUR SOUL

  1. Choose your higher power. And then cultivate an understanding of that power and also of the people who believe in it. This will broaden your view of faith. Both yours and others. Bonus points if you go so far as to research the belief systems of people who do not share your views.
  2. Write a gratitude list. And then keep it handy for review. Don’t tuck it away never to be seen again. Look at it regularly. Every day if you can.
  3. Engage in spiritual practices. These can be private practices, such as; prayer, meditation, or fasting. Or something more public, like; volunteer work, study groups, or attending spiritual services.
  4. Write a letter to your higher power. Be open and honest in what you say. Don’t hold back from releasing any negative emotions you feel about your relationship. Choose to release any inner turmoil you feel surrounding the contents of this letter. And then dispose of it. Burn it if you can.
  5. Write a letter to your higher power to express the appreciation, love, and gratitude you have for their presence in your life. Don’t hold back. Dig deep enough to include the little things. Then save it. Or send it off in the mail with an address that seems fitting. Don’t include a return address. Just let it go.
  6. Do something for someone without expecting anything in return. This tends to be more rewarding when you do something for someone who doesn’t have the means to reciprocate. Let go of any expectations you may be inclined to place on their reaction to your act. And keep your act of kindness private.

And there it is …

18 simple ways to improve your life.

If you’re anything like I am you’re going to want to get started on each and every one of them right away.

BUT it will serve you much better to pick one or two and work with them for a bit (baby steps, remember). Allow yourself to ease into practicing them. Take great joy in the progress you make as they become part of the very weave of your being. And be kind to yourself as you absorb the lessons they have to teach you.

Then pick one or two more and move on to the privilege of experiencing growth in those areas as well.

NOTE: You don’t have to actually master one to move on to another. The beauty of this is that it is a long term, organic growth process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about these suggestions in the comments below.

Have you used any of these tools in the past? How has that worked out for you?

Is there one that you’re excited about getting started on? Which one? And why?

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤