holidays

Mushroom Latte - Post-Holiday Immune Boost

The holidays are a fun time with loved ones and a much needed break for most. It's also possible that our immune system can weaken during this time due to over-indulging, emotions, and perhaps letting go of our normal self-care practices

I can say for myself that it's been an emotional time (with full moon in effect also) and my body has responded quickly and feels weaker. It's making me slow down and actually take a look at all that's arising and needs to be worked out. 

Health is so much more than just what we put into our body. Emotions, environment, and thoughts are just as important to our well-being. Although I have kept my holistic way of eating while I've been traveling and taking time off from work, I am needing to bump up my natural medicinal remedies (along with being still and looking inward) to keep my immune system strong. 

My go-to the past few days has been this super creamy and delicious mushroom latte (because you all know I love mushrooms and chocolate!), which the whole family loved too.

This morning, I partially enjoyed this latte outside while it was snowing! Sadly, it didn't stick, but it was beautiful to watch. 

Ingredients

2 cups hot spring water or tea

1 teaspoon Mushroom Immunity blend (find here)

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon mucuna pruriens powder

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until creamy and frothy. 

Enjoy and Stay Healthy! 

Healthy + Local Last Minute Holiday Gifts

'Tis the season to show the ones you care about how much you truly care about them. Though I do think that this should be a year-round event (and one not focused so much on the material aspect of gift-giving), I've started a list of some of my favorite gift ideas that are healthy and if you're in the Bay Area, local. Check them out below, and feel free to add more of your favorites in the comments!


Massage with an Amazing Therapist. David "Dayalan" Clark moved to San Francisco in January 2012 and has been one of the best therapists I've seen since. He is also a certified yoga instructor and holistic health practitioner. You can gift 60 or 90 minute massages directly through his website at 4dbliss.com.

Photo courtesy of David Clark at 4d Bliss

Photo courtesy of David Clark at 4d Bliss

Healing Acupuncture Session. If you're looking for a holistic health care clinic in San Francisco, Golden Point Acupuncture is that place, and the talented Rebecca Fettig is the person you want to see. She has helped replenish my health immensely. The perfect gift for the person needing less stress, more energy, and ultimately a transformed body and mind. (Wait, isn't that everyone?) While you're getting holiday presents, book a session for yourself at goldenpointacupuncture.com.

Recovery and Restoration through Depth Hypnosis. Suzanne Katanic provides integrated counseling through hypnosis and counseling. Essentially, she helps her clients find connection with their personal purpose and direction and will use Shamanic practices, Huna, energy medicine, and Buddhist psychology to do so. Visit artofdeepbusiness.com to learn more and schedule (or gift) a time to meet with her.

Photo courtesy of Broth Baby

Photo courtesy of Broth Baby

Comforting Bone Broth. Described as "a hug from your mother," Broth Baby's bone broth is pasture raised and perfect for cooking or sipping. It's my personal most favorite thing to sip on after a long day! You can FEEL the nourishment. Check out this wonder at brothbaby.com.

Herbal Apothecary Goods. Sometimes it can be difficult to shop for the men in your life. But MoonriseCreek Herbal Apothecary makes it easier with its natural, eco-friendly botanical skin care line, aromatherapy oils, and other plant-based, artisanal products. Plus, they even sell men's grooming products and personalized gifts as well! Put in your order today through their Etsy shop.

Private or Event Yoga. Perhaps you're looking for a more experiential gift this season. Why not organize an energizing yoga session for a group of your friends, colleagues, and/or family members? Regina Garcia is a fun, knowledgable teacher who will help you begin the New Year "on the right foot." Bonus: Regina also doubles as a photographer, if you are interested in gifting a photo session too. Schedule your session with Regina at yogafelice.com.

Photo courtesy of Yoga Felice

Photo courtesy of Yoga Felice

Photo from A Purified Life

Photo from A Purified Life

Wholesome Cuisine. Last but not least, you could gift my private chef services - a helpful present for the busy individuals in your life! I'll plan, shop, and cook the meals and in return, your recipient will enjoy the nourishment and health benefits of a week of wholesome, home-cooked meals. Alternatively, I also offer private brunch/dinner party catering and in-home cooking classes. Check out A Purified Life's website for more information.

Superfood Hot Chocolate

superfoodhotchocolate featured image

Every year I come home to visit for the holidays with a new favorite drink or food that I'm eager to share with my family. This year, I've been on a hot chocolate kick for about a month now, and it's been a healing and delicious journey. This has been the morning drink of choice at my house for the past few days, and I encourage you to give it a try if you're looking for a cozy nourishing start to your day. Especially around the stressful holiday season, starting with a warm pre-digested drink like this will sooth the digestive system instead of causing more stress first thing in the morning. You'll feel lighter and more energized.

Ingredients

2 cups herbal tea -Any herbal tea of choice works.I use a loose leaf mixture of dandelion root, holy basil, gynostemma, and chaga mushroom. (I order my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs)

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon raw maca powder - Boosts energy, balances mood, influences stamina, and aids sexual function

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder - An adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stress, strengthens the immune system, and boosts energy. 

1/4 teaspoon he shou wu - Strengthens the immune system, supports adrenals, calms the nervous system, and maintains youthful condition and color of hair. 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 drops of vanilla stevia (Omica Organics)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

superfoodhotchocolate
superfoodhotchocolate

Procedure

  1. Place hot tea and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and frothy.

Note: This drink is not by all means limited to these ingredients only. My hot chocolate is never the same. I like to switch off using different superfoods depending on how I feel that day. Play around with what calls you. Other ingredients I often use: mucuna, shilajit, lucuma, stevia, dates instead of honey, tahini, cinnamon, medicinal mushroom powders (reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, shiitake, etc.), and Everlasting Vitality & Youth.

Let me know what ingredients you try and how your specialty superfood hot chocolate turns out.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

x, Giovanna

Creamy Carrot-Ginger Soup

carrot soup feature image

'Tis the season for a warm and comforting soup on a cold or rainy night. Vegetables and fruits have their seasons for a reason. When in season, they provide the most nutritional value, most flavor, and are cheaper. During fall and winter seasons, starchy vegetables are at their peak season to provide warmth and antioxidants that help us fight cold and flu symptoms. Starchy vegetables include: all types of squash, yams, beets, and carrots. Other warming foods include: ginger, mustard, garlic, and onion. To get the most out of your food, make sure you eat a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables every week.

This carrot-ginger soup is the easiest creamy soup you will ever make. It's dairy-free, gluten-free, and very anti-inflammatory.

Carrot soup

Carrot soup

Ingredients 

1 Tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

1 medium onion, sliced

4-5 large carrots or 1 bunch of carrots, coarsely chopped

4 cups filtered water or vegetable broth

2-inch piece of ginger root, sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea salt to taste

Procedure

  1.  Heat coconut oil in a medium stock pot. Add sliced onion and pinch of sea salt. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally. Add chopped carrots and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Add sliced ginger and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, covered, until carrots are soft.
  2. Carefully transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth (You may have to do this in batches if it doesn't all fit). Tip: Take off plastic part of blender lid and cover with a towel to avoid spilling. Place hand over towel before starting blender.If you leave the cap on, the soup will overflow because it is too hot.Once soup is blended completely, add lemon juice and pinch of sea salt. Taste and adjust as needed. Serve.

Serves 4-6