kale and gratitude

i’ve been in a 9 month yoga mentorship program with a focus on more in-depth study of anatomy, ayurveda, the koshas, chakras, asana, pranayama, meditation and so much more. this is my last month of the mentorship and the emphasis has been on gratitude. our teacher asked us to practice gratitude every day for 21 days. this could not have come at a better time. the truth is, in the past 6 months i’ve been struggling with feeling a sense of discontent, wanting more, feeling like i don’t have enough, thinking i should be doing more. this pattern of thinking impacts the way we feel on a daily basis, the way we interact with others and the way we experience the world around us. i was in a rut, wanting to be in a different place than i was and feeling frustrated about it. when i began practicing gratitude every day, truly focusing on being grateful, my attitude, experience and interactions with others changed.

when we focus on what we don’t have, what others have and what we wish we had, we are not able to see the blessings in our own lives. somehow we have come to the consensus that having more and doing more makes us more important. somehow we have learned to attach our self-worth to people, relationships, things and accomplishments rather than going inward to our own hearts for self-love and self-worth.

when we come back to a place of gratitude, savoring moments such as…

  • waking up to a new day
  • watching a beautiful sunset
  • spending time with loved ones
  • bringing home a bouquet of flowers
  • talking on the phone to a friend
  • the way our bodies support us
  • doing the things we love
  • the feeling of love
  • eating a delicious meal

the focus moves to what we DO have rather than what we don’t have.

speaking of delicious meals…i spent the afternoon preparing this healthy, nutritious and delicious meal and felt a tremendous feeling of gratitude for the time spent in the kitchen, savoring the colors, textures, smells and tastes. i’m grateful for the change in season, crisp and sunny days, cool nights and the beautiful variety of fall fruits and vegetables.

here’s a recipe that will surely bring out a feeling of gratitude.

warm kale salad with roasted butternut squash and pomegranates

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle of organic kale
  • 1 organic butternut squash
  • 1 organic pomegranate
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • organic virgin, unrefined coconut oil
  • organic olive oil
  • organic himalayan sea salt

p1

i’m grateful for pomegranates…here’s why you should be grateful for pomegranates too

p2

  • the pomegranate is known as a super food, its jewel-like seeds (arils) have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
  • packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins
  • helps relieve stomach upsets
  • relieves menopausal hot flashes
  • relieves hemorrhoids
  • relieves conjunctivitis
  • prevents osteoarthritis
  • lowers blood pressure
  • stimulates the immune system, wards off colds, flu and infections
  • reduces inflammation
  • reduces risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol
  • protects against heart attack and stroke
  • helps combat against prostate cancer and diabetes
  • all parts of the pomegranate have health benefits! the peel is good for the heart and blood vessels; the white membrane is good for stopping diarrhea and good for wounds and ulcers of the mouth and throat. the fruit strengthens the brain and cleanses the body and blood from toxins.

i’m beyond grateful for butternut squash and kale. here’s why you should be grateful too…

p3

kale

  • one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet
  • loaded with antioxidants
  • rich in vitamin c
  • excellent source of vitamin k
  • helps prevent heart disease
  • high in beta-carotene
  • contains numerous cancer fighting agents
  • helps protect the eyes
  • incredible source of minerals

butternut squash

  • natural anti-inflammatory
  • high in antioxidants
  • aides in cancer prevention
  • helps regulate blood-sugar levels
  • supports a healthy heart

here’s how the recipe goes

  1. cut the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds
  2. peel the skin from the butternut squash and cut the squash into cubes
  3. smother the squash with coconut oil and add himalayan sea salt
  4. cook squash at 450 degrees for approximately 20 mins
  5. remove the stems from the kale and chop the kale into smaller pieces
  6. massage the kale with olive oil until it softens up a bit
  7. squeeze 1/2 a lemon into kale
  8. add a small amount of olive oil if needed (can also add a dash of vinegar if desired)
  9. add the cooked squash, pomegranate seeds and 1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds.
  10. season to taste

p4

gratitude comes from being in the present moment – rather than looking to the past at what we wish we could change or to the future at what we wish we could have instead.

p5

when you begin to feel discontent, wishing you had more, feeling like you’re not enough, repeat this mantra to yourself…

” I AM ENOUGH, I DO ENOUGH, I HAVE ENOUGH. I choose to go to my heart center for love and self-worth rather than  people, relationships, things and accomplishments”.

wake each morning grateful for a new day. be present. choose to go to your heart for love and self-worth. eat good food. give thanks before every meal. find gratitude in the small things. love yourself. you deserve your own love.

much love, Shawnee

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