MAP Wellness

MAP Wellness
Spreading the Health

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chocolate PB Balls

1/3 C ground flax
1/4 C ground almonds, ground cashews, or chestnut flour even!
3 T organic peanut butter
1 1/2 T ground goji berries (grind in coffee grind or blender)
2 t sesame seeds
3 t raw cacao
1/2 t vanilla
1 T chia seeds
1 T raw honey

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined and easily handled.

Roll into balls.

Refrigerate.  Eat.  Alone or with your love.

Meg's Mole - as seen on TMS!

1/2 C cherry tomatoes
2 T olive oil
2 T tahini
1 T pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 T cacao powder
1 T fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic OR 1/2 t granulated garlic
1 T agave
1 t cinnamon
1 t chile powder
1/4 t sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 T filtered water

Place all into blender, blend smooth.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Making TV - From the OTHER Side of the Camera!

Check out Meg's photos from her visit to Roger TV's "Live Healthy Now" & Global TV's "The Morning Show" here!

Top 13 MAP Wellness Tips for 2013!

2013: MAP your way to Wellness: 13 ways!

Well, here we are already, kicking off week two of 2013!  Have you been keeping up with the promises you made yourself when the clock struck midnight on the first of the month?

The start of a new year has long been known as the time to resolute change; a chance to once again re-commit to improving health, reaching goals, and sometimes drastically altering our ways of living in order to achieve those things.  Now, that said, I am not actually an advocate of the “New Year's Resolution".  Alternatively, I think it wise to keep various purposeful projects going all year long, and to me the New Year merely represents yet another checkpoint.  It is an opportunity to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then take stock of where you have been, where you are, and where you would like to eventually be.  So today, I would like to offer up a few of my ideas about how anyone can start making 2013 a year full of love, happy life, and laughter, and also a time for making some small and manageable, yet very impact-full changes for better health.

1. Start from where you are.  If there is one great lesson I have learned from my Yoga Teacher Training course this past year at 889 Yoga, it is this.  Be honest with yourself, and even if it is one step forward, two steps back, you will eventually make the progress you desire.  Don't try to change too much at once either; tackle challenges in realistic increments, and be okay with that.

2. Eat more green (plant) food.

3. Be in the moment.  This is one that I still struggle with every day, but since consciously working to simply "be", my quality of life and over all happiness levels have shot through the roof!  I have started reciting a mantra to remind me to be present – sometimes something as simple as "I am here" can do the trick.  Pay attention.

4. Show Up.  For your life, your friends, your family, and yourself. And really listen.

5. Breathe.  Deeply and often.

6. Cook at home - learn three delicious and healthy recipes that can become your "go-to" meals when you want to give the gift of good food to your loved ones!  I have some great options her on the blog!

7. Smile.  At strangers.  And to yourself.  You will instantly feel better and will make others smile too.

8.  Dress to feel your best; trends are fun, but wear what makes you feel most beautiful.

9. Move your body every day.  For at least 30 minutes.  Walk.  Dance.  Run.  Skip!

10. Offer yourself to others.  Volunteer.  Read to your children more.  Play a board game with your elderly relative.  Hold the door.

11. Eat more plant protein, less animal.  Try hemp hearts, tempeh, chia seeds, and test out some yummy nut and seed butters!

12. Take risks.  Step outside your comfort zone and take a leap of faith.  

13. Stop counting calories if you can.  Please.  Eat lots of plants, whole foods, and limit of eliminate processed and fried foods.  You will feel better physically and emotionally.  Nutrition in equals energy out!

And most importantly: Love.  Your life, your friends, your family, YOU.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cashew Citrus Mounds

The holiday season may be over, but that’s no excuse not to continue to stock the freezer with sweet (healthy) treats, right?  I have really gotten into the raw dessert thing this past year, having experimented with various decadent delights such as raw banana bread, strawberry nut bars, coconut macaroons and more! 

Keeping in line with my well-known love for the humble coconut, I decided to create yet another bite-sized delight using the tropical treat as the main attraction.  This time however, I based the cookie around creamy cashews, and took the flavour up a notch with both fresh lemon juice and zest.  The result?  A sinfully sweet and royally rich mound of flavour, that is both easy and quick to create!

Cashew Citrus Mounds

1 C cashews (un-soaked)
2 T dried goji berries
3/4 C of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh  lemon zest
1 T agave nectar

1. Process the cashews in a food processer into a coarse flour.
2. Add the goji berries and coconut and process again until very well combined.
3. Next, add in the the lemon juice, zest and agave. Process until well mixed and the dough starts to clump together.
4. Form the cookies.  You can use a good quality ice cream scoop (a small one!) or as I prefer, you can scoop into rounded tablespoons, packing tightly.  Gently tap the spoon on a plate to release the cookie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Musings...

Falling in, being in, feeling  Is there anything better in life, really?  I don't think so.

Upon reflection of my life in love this past February, I decided to write about this topic for various reasons, the most obvious being that Valentine’s Day was fast approaching; that one special day each year that we as human beings, are hard-wired to display our appreciation for the one that we love in standard or old stand-by, over-the-top, expensive, silly, and sometimes completely outlandish ways. 

At that time, I was also preparing to face said holiday in a very new and special relationship, that I retain until this very day.  At its best, this courtship has filled me with fervor, wrapped me in warmth, and supplied me with plenty of the strength and stability I'd long been searching for.  At its worst, it has left me yearning, feeling vulnerable, and has at times been explosive, raw, and sometimes abusive.  You see, I had only just recently fallen in love, and have maintained relationship to this point.  I have spent the better part of the last year developing and nurturing every aspect of this bond, as it is, and will always be the most important relationship I will ever have.  And the object of my affection this time, is me.

It has been a long road, but I think I have finally found the respect, love, and compassion for myself that my ego has held captive for many, many years.  I have, over the course of this past year, allowed myself the chance to enjoy my own company, really feel my body and all it can do for me, and finally figured out how to simply honour me for me.  I am finally learning what it feels like to be complete.  Whole.  Happy.  And in love.  

Now, this is not to say that this new love I have discovered in any way overshadows the all-knowing love that transpires between two people who meet and meld their lives together in the romantic type of way.  No, these are two vastly different affairs.  But I have finally discovered the important truth that one needs to first love oneself fully before they can completely give themselves to another.  In relationships, both parties need to be quite evolved as individuals, and then and only then, can their love blossom into the most beautiful, healthy, and everlasting union there ever was.     

I know what it feels like to be totally and completely in love with a man, enamored to the point where the world-stops-turning.  Oh yes, it is divine.  First with the butterflies, the newness of it all so thrilling and unpredictable.  Then there’s the infatuation; pure lust, ecstasy, the inability to think of anyone or anything thing else.  Pure euphoria.  The constant desire to touch, smell, see, hear, and be with that person...ah, the honeymoon stage.  Then later, later come the little notes, actions, and words that have the power to make one smile regardless of their state of mind.  The sharing of ideas, supporting of dreams, and the fueling of forward momentum as a team.  The purely romantic gestures from the heart that mean oh so much, and continually change life for the better. 

Not needing to always be "right", unwavering acceptance, taking pleasure in the "quirks".  The laughter, tears, silliness, drama, and pointed connection deeper and more true than any other. The simple day to day interactions, the comfort, the quiet, the stillness.  All of it so perfect and a part of the glorious package that is true and lasting love...

Love needs to be cared for.  You need to actively participate one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time, lest the flame will inevitably begin to smolder on at least one side of the fire.  I know this to be true.  Love needs to be fanned, fueled, and felt fully, lest it be taken for granted and forgotten. 

Like I said at the top of this post, there really is nothing better than being in love.  And now that I am happily in relationship with my own self, I am excited to see what happens when I am able to again dip into my heart's stores of affection, share my joy, and feel that rapture with another.  I look forward to being able to crack open my core, and expose that energy, a pulse of passion just waiting for the opportunity to flow from my heart and into the arms of another once again.

So there you have it.  Just my thoughts, unedited, spontaneous, and true.  I am by no means any type of expert in this arena, so if you don't agree with my musings, that is well and good.  This is simply what I believe I have learned, and what I believe to be true at this moment.  Does it all sound just too mushy?  Well I don't care if it does.  Because as it turns out, I like mush.   

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
- Lao Tzu

"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'
- Erich Fromm  

"True self-love requires radical self-reflection."
- Gabrielle Bernstein

Friday, February 1, 2013

Raw Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pie

1/2 C walnuts
1 C soft/fresh raisins 
1 T shredded coconut 
6 pitted dates, soaked for 4-12 hours 
1 t vanilla 
1 t cinnamon 
pinch salt 
1/4 C pecans for garnish

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until they are crumbly and stick together. Add in the coconut and process until combined.  Press into a small tart plate (or for “bite sized” treats, use mini molds/ice cubes trays like I did) and chill.

Again using the food processor, puree the dates with a tiny bit of the soak water, cinnamon, vanilla & salt.  Process, scraping sides of bowl as needed until the mixture forms a gooey paste. Spread into the crust and top with pecans.