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Apr 10, 2013

Spring Growth

Spring Growth

Good morning!  I am writing from a beautifully snowy spring day here in Boulder. It was just a few days ago that the sun was shining and it was seventy degrees out. But, that's the beauty of Colorado (and I love it)! The snow we got was heavy (thirteen inches just yesterday) and the night cold, so our already stunning flat iron mountains are encrusted in white. It is truly beautiful, I love this time of year! As most of you know, I have spent the last nine years living 'away from home' in the fall/winters. Therefore, the spring offered a time for me to come back into my own home space, settle into my home rhythms, do my work more consistently and reconnect to the nature of Colorado. This year, while I have been home all year, I still feel this shift. It truly is the season to come alive: to implement creativity, to plan for what you want in your life and to prepare yourself for that renewal and rebirth. To me, it feels like a time full of possibilities!

So, I am curious, how does spring feel to you? I have been wanting to write and check in with everyone… seeing as I haven't been on here much lately. I truly want to know how you are feeling in your life right now. What is happening in the seasonal transition for you? I know some of you are returning home after the winter away, some of you are in new jobs or training programs, some are in new seasons of life with motherhood and the likes. So, have you stopped to think about how are you feeling? This is such an important piece to moving more fully into our lives and ourselves. So, take a moment to stop right here… feel your feet… and take a deep breath. Allow yourself to really hear that question, "How do I feel right now?" Now close your eyes and listen for the answer. To take it a little further, can you ask that question of your body, your emotional state and your level of connectivity?

I am feeling a little inflammation in my neck, a tight right side arm and shoulder (my primary chopping hand as a chef), slightly dehydrated. I feel well rested, and happy in my current surroundings (the beautiful bright white day outside, the lovely sunshine beaming into my new office from it's skylight). I am feeling fresh and optimistic in my endeavors, and grateful for the way things are unfolding in my life right now. But, I feel that more space in my calendar and more time to move my body in the way it most needs would allow me to feel more deeply connected right now. Maybe that helps offer you some reflection, as it does for me to write it… and now I can share with you why I am so excited about and grateful for the state I am in.

I have made some strides lately with my business that are really sitting well with me. For one, I now have an office (that, as mentioned above, I am sitting in right now)! So, I now have proper office hours, two days per week, in a beautifully nestled spot in North Boulder. This allows me to really separate my personal space from my business space, a seriously needed transition since I live and do a lot of work in six hundred square feet-or-so. I am thrilled to be able to have this quiet, sunny room as a getaway to hone in on the new vision of BeBeingBecome!

So, that is what's next: the growth of BeBeingBecome. Because, as I have been able to root in one place for a whole year now (gasp, I know!), I am deepening what BeBeingBecome means to me, and to you. Over the next month, you will see a more intimate experience happening here. This newsletter will no longer be heavily centered around recipes. It will be about my experiences, my services, my passions and the way I want to change the world, through you. And, yes, that still includes recipes and pretty pictures of food. But, it will be a more detailed perspective and a different way to connect with one another.

Why, now, you may wonder… Well, it all revolves around 3s. If you have been sharing with me in the last year, you will know I am deeply connected to the number three. It has long been 'my number,' and a real steady for many aspects of my life. Additionally, I was born on May 3. And, this year, I am turning 33! I want to be fully expressing my gifts to you by the time I step into my year of double threes.

New aspects to my giving include a package I am really excited to offer, Get It Clean. Get It Clean optimizes your home kitchen and pantry space. It supports your ability to clean up your food environment (kitchen, pantry, snack drawer) so that you may clean up your diet and learn the tools needed to eat well for the long haul! This will be launching in May, so get ready for in-home or distant sessions (via Skype), meal plan support and cooking services, all within the levels you want. Yep, there are three: Basic, Plus and Deluxe service bundles!

You will also see a new dedicated Recipe page on my website and more personal stories of why I do what I do. While the journey began with my personal experience, you are why I do this work. You continue to read these notes, ask my advice, enjoy my cooking and care enough about yourself to step forward into a clean and healthy lifestyle. So, I thank you! It is a pleasure to be connected with so many people, around the world, who share a passion for food, beauty, awareness, and living fully.

You help give me a place to be in the world : where together we can seek the truth, shine brightly, aim high, be inspired and be rewarded for our efforts.

Many blessing for your spring and all that lies ahead,
xo, B 

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Mar 7, 2013

Butter Cups

Butter Cups

Hi friends, hope you've been well. It's been almost two weeks of being sick over here but I am on the homestretch now... coming back to life. Thank goodness!!! So, it was time for a little treat!

Last week, I saw a post by Bauman College Natural Chef graduate Genevieve Gladysz about making almond butter cups. It seemed so simple that I wanted to give a go. And, it was true: this recipe is a quick (aside from waiting the twenty minutes for them to set) way to make a delicious treat, that is reminiscent of childhood sugar-laden sweets. However, the sugar content here depends on the chocolate you choose. I used a soy free, 85% cacao content bar that is my favorite these days (Green&Black's, cant find an exact link). The quality of your chocolate will absolutely affect the quality of your cups, so choose wisely! You can certainly vary this recipe by changing the center butter and by adding different spices or flavors to your chocolate (such as Genevieve suggests vanilla bean, or cayenne pepper, mint, etc). I like an original, simple flavor, so mine is basic. But, it is not lacking in any way. Choose what suits your tastes! Also, look carefully at the label of your nut or seed butter, as this recipe starts with a sugar and salt free base.

Happy making!

SunButter Cups
by Brandi Mackenzie

Ingredients:
1/4 cup SunButter, unsweetened
1 tablespoon honey
2 pinches Sea Salt
3.5 ounces Chocolate Bar, chopped (most bars are 3.5oz)
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/2 teaspoon Finishing Salt (such as Murray River)

Method:
1. Place 6 silicon or paper cupcake molds onto pan and prepare space in freezer for that pan (I use a pie pan because it's small and fits easily into my freeze).
2. Using a double boiler (or makeshift version of such), bring water to a boil. *Google makeshift double boiler and view images for ideas*
3. In small bowl, mix SunButter, honey and sea salt.
4. Measuring with a teaspoon, create six equal balls of SunButter mixture. Flatten slightly into discs, set aside. 
5. Add top portion of double boiler and allow heat to penetrate. Place chocolate inside top dish, stirring gently with a spatula. Add coconut oil, gently stirring until fully incorporated. Turn off heat to double boiler.
4. Pour a portion of chocolate mixture, approximately 1/2 centimeter layer, onto bottom of each cup.
5. Once filled, take each cup and gently tilt while rotating so that chocolate creates a one centimeter layer on entire mold (to become the outer wall of butter cup). 
6. Place each Sunbutter disc into center of chocolate'd mold.
7. Cover each equally with the remaining chocolate mixture. Top with finishing salt.
8. Place in freezer for at least twenty minutes, until chocolate is very hard and does not immediately soften to the touch.
9. Remove from freezer, gently pop out of silicon wrapper, or keep paper wrapper in tact, and serve. Store, refrigerated, in airtight glass container for up to five days.
10. Lick your fingers and enjoy! 

This was meant to be published on Monday, and since it's now Friday, you should know I've made these twice this week! They are delishh!! I am down in Texas to visit my mother for the weekdnd, so Aaron was left with a batch all to himself... well, not quite all, I had to test one and be sure it was fit to eat ;) 


Have fun with ths one, let me know how it goes!

xx, B

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Feb 22, 2013

Seasonal Faves for Self Care

Seasonal Faves for Self Care

These last few months have been intense. Finding out my mother had breast cancer just days before Christmas was the most monumental. And, with that came many other layers of physical, emotional and energetic expressions. The good news is that my mother is feeling well and in high spirits, as always, but she will begin traditional treatment therapies in March, lasting up to eight months. I am grateful that I am in a place where I can travel back and forth to be with her during this time, and help support her in the ways she needs. But, when we begin to support someone else, we have to be careful how we treat ourselves.

I am generally quite good at self care. In fact, I have had people who don't know me intimately applaud my personal boundaries with my time and my ability to say no, to care for myself. But, I realize that the energy I want to put forth for my mother is more tremendous that what I actually have to give. So, while I will take great care of her by her side and be here emotionally and spiritually for her while apart, I really have to be sure and put me first. Because, aside from the care I wish to offer my mother, I am still in several other giving roles, not unlike many of you. I am a partner, a house caretaker, a meal-maker to my family (kitty included). I am a faculty member at Bauman College, offering extended services to both students and instructors there (working more now than ever). I am an assistant to The Way of the Happy Woman working closely with instructor, students and venue staff. I am a personal chef and educator to clients and groups... My work in this life is to give, and I absolutely enjoy it! But, to give in a way that feels right for me, I need my own strength. I need to support myself first. Maybe that sounds selfish but, in my work and study I have found, and absolutely, truly believe, that you cannot care for ANYone else until you care for yourself.

Parents, caregivers, teachers and other service related individuals may say that they can certainly push through personal struggles to put their children, spouse, students, first. But, I have seen time and time again, that those will get exhausted, depleted and many times ill. One of the pillars of women's yoga and fulfilling our feminine embodiment is recognizing ourselves as sacred and cherishing our bodies, minds and souls (men need to cherish themselves as well!). For me, in the midst of sending my energy outward, I have become run down. Some signs included eating less nourishing food (still good but less optimal than I'd like), consuming too much caffeine (then becoming unable to sleep at night), feeling overwhelmed, not prioritizing my personal practice (movement, meditation, journaling, etc) and lastly, getting downright sick! As someone who "never gets sick," I am missing work today with an extremely intense head cold. The I-can-barely get-out-of-bed, my-head-is-going-to-explode, I-am-dripping-from-everywhere kind of head cold. Ew!

So, my body speaks. And, I listen. Since I was due for a seasonal favorites list, I have decided to dedicate this one to self care. Self care can be taking five minutes of silence while standing under the warm shower, giving yourself a head massage, creating a nourishing meal for yourself, sipping hot cocoa or fresh lemonade (depending on which hemisphere you live on), getting a pedicure, facial or massage, having a date night with your partner or laying in Savasana for a few extra minutes. Just doing something that makes you feel really good! The key is knowing it does not have to be extravagant to feel that way!! Here is a culmination of things that make me feel good (and that I am especially indulging in these last forty-eight hours)!

Body Brush
Using a body brush has many benefits (read on the click through). When I am fatigued, I find it especially helpful, and it really wakes me up in the morning.  Highly suggest it!

Botanica
The new business venture of my dear friend, Lark Fox. She is an amazing healer working through Intuitive Arts, Herbal Medicine, Yoga and offering personalized services and group classes in Boulder.  I have been seeing her for energy work for years and she is gifted in a way of work I have never experienced through other practitioners.  

Cocoa Mojo
A delicious blend of raw cacao, coconut sugar and medicinal mushrooms made by Enerhealth Botaniclas. Tastes like the most creamy and wonderful hot cocoa I've ever had (mix 1.5T with 8oz milk of your choice). Enerhealth also makes powdered coconut milk, great for travel!

JLounge Natural Nail Bar and Spa
A beautiful new spa in Boulder with a natural approach and organic products. Co-owner, Jen, has been caring for my face and body over the last two years. Ten dollars off of your first visit (see footer bar on website for details).

Just Great Stuff Bar
The Organic Chocolate Dream Greens bar by Betty Lou's is a green bar covered in dark chocolate, with clean, organic ingredients (it has a bit of rice flour but I tolerate it well). They are great for on-the-go, have a nice bite/texture and taste really good. I originally found them in Cincinnati at Whole Foods but now order online.

Kick Ass Remedies
A local Boulder company, Wish Garden Herbs, creates some amazing herbal blends to target your seasonal and daily immunity and overall health needs.

Maca
Maca is a "potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue." I use it in smoothies, add it to my Cocoa Mojo, or eat it by the spoonful. It has a slight flavor influence of horseradish (or other bitter roots), but also a sweetness. Don't overdue it in the beginning. Start with .5-1 teaspoon and gradually add more as you get used to the taste.

Mate
I make mate tea almost every single day. For me, it is a clean good source of caffeine that truly supports my day; I feel best when I wake up with mate. More earthy than green tea (which I find more sea-like), and less acidic than black tea. I sometimes add a little honey and always add frothed almond milk (see below).

Nespresso Aeroccino Plus
This milk frother is a great gadget to have in the kitchen! The base is small and stays easily tucked away. When the pitcher is connected, you get a nice frothed milk in about a minute. Starbucks does not carry almond milk because they say it does not froth. This proves them wrong.

Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary
Another Boulder Mecca. This absolutely breathtaking apothecary holds my heart's desires: loose herbs and teas, wild cultivated and mindfully crafted oil blends for therapeutic use, skin care, etc. You can buy jars, books, bulk items and the knowledgable staff will support you in any direction, from making your own tinctures to creating a perfect gift basket. *You can also buy online

Hope you find some self care ritual to support your weekend.  

xo, B

*photo is Cocoa Mojo with frothed Almond Milk... made myself ;)

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