Our superfood spotlight for the day are those beautifully tear-shaped nutrient packed nuts; almonds! A relative of the peach and apricot, this tree nut is native to the Mediterranean and is known to be one of the earliest cultivated tree nuts in history. Depictions of almonds appear in the artwork and scriptures dating as far back as 3,000 BC – and were even found in King Tut’s tomb! In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, almonds are regarded for their nutritional value, their ability to increase longevity for the brain and their Vata-pacifying effects.
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and vitamin B, both, powerful antioxidants and high in fiber and the essential mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are responsible for lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Just a handful of these tiny treats may even reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes – and with a nutritional profile of merely 160 calories per ounce and 6 grams of high-quality protein, it’s a snack anyone can sneak into their lives on a daily basis.
Convinced and can’t wait to get more of these delicious nuts into your diet? Here are a few ways to help get you started:
– Instead of using dairy milk in your morning coffee or smoothie substitute it with almond milk.
– Love baked goods? Almond flour is a fantastic substitute for gluten-free baked goods, and can pump up the nutritional value of everything from cookies to pie crusts.
– Not into or allergic to peanuts but miss that childhood PB&J staple? Then go for an almond butter and jelly sandwich, it’s just tasty and has higher nutritional value.
Source: The Chalkboard
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
~Henry Van Dyke
As we move into August and move up our chakra ladder, we can finally celebrate and embrace all matters of the heart. Yes, that’s right the 4th chakra (and most beloved) is our heart chakra, known in Sanskrit as Anahata. The element for this chakra is air and the color is green. It’s purpose and focus is love, balance, self-acceptance, relationship, devotion and compassion. The demon associated with the heart-center is grief and the associated emotional deficiency that may arise from blockages are judgement, depression, fear of intimacy, lack of empathy, and loneliness. Just as the old adage goes – treat others as one would like others to treat oneself – this golden rule aligns perfectly with the the foundation of this chakra – the treatment to others and oneself is found in the ability and basic right to love.
According to the Veda’s love can always be found at the exact moment (and maintained) when consciousness expands. So for today’s meditation practice we’ll practice love without agenda. As we sit down and settle into our meditation creating time and space for our consciousness to expand we’ll feel, experience and give our love away with each inhale and exhale. To begin start by visualizing a bright green light radiating from the center of your chest. If this comes easily to you then start to bring this light into the shape of a heart. Once your awareness settles on the green glow begin to introduce the corresponding verb to this chakra “LOVE”. As you inhale silently say to yourself “I” and with each exhale “love”. For the remainder of your meditation repeat this mantra 12 times (the number of lotus petals associated with anahata is 12) and with each repetition don’t be shy to bring in a person, place, or thing that comes to mind – the very first thing that comes to mind. Not focusing on someone or something that you typically express love to daily but anything in general, what we’re trying to practice is love without agenda. Be open and natural as you practice and remember it’s ok, actually better than ok, to say “I love me”. Once you’ve completed your 12 breaths refocus your attention on your green heart glow, stay here with smooth inhales and exhales for 10-15 minutes.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
– Steve Jobs
If we don’t learn to trust ourselves and truly listen to ourselves, we’ll miss everything and never create the life of our dreams. The key to gaining this trust is listening. If we don’t listen to our heart and intuition we can not self-actualize. You may not hear what you are being told to do, or maybe the action steps that will help guide your way. We will not be able to recognize our destiny or see clearly on how to live out our life mission if we continue to live our life according to the opinions and thoughts of others. This is not your life, nor your destiny. Our destiny is to live a self-actualized life, one in harmony with the universe and of course your Self, where we can act out of and take action on our destined path from a place of faith and love.
And as we do, expect and allow miracles and synchronicities to show up in the most amazing way!