Adaptogenic Chaga Smoothie

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, chaga, chaga smoothie, adaptogen, hormones, stress relief, smoothie, smoothies, cinnamon, coconut, breakfast, organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, Organic September, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant powerThis is a delicious smoothie using the balancing action of the adaptogenic chaga mushroom.

Chaga is a medicinal mushroom along the same lines as Reishi, Shiitake, and Cordyceps, amongst many others. It acts as an antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties, and helps to support the immune system. It’s wonderful for supporting the body at this time of year when we begin to transition from summer into fall and the colder months.

When you brew this hearty tough mushroom, you wind up with a wonderful tea that nourishes your organs and your glands. Being an adaptogen, this does exactly what it says: it helps our bodies “adapt” to our inward and outward biological, chemical, and physical environments. Adaptogens also keep our stress hormones in check, preventing us from releasing more than we need in times of crisis and our fight or flight mode. Overall, adaptogens provide a balancing and calming effect on the whole body, especially the nervous and endocrine systems, allowing us to cope with the things life throws our way.

Special care should always be taken when harvesting this mushroom. It’s always best to ensure that wherever you are purchasing your Chaga from, the company maintains practices that keep parts of the mushroom behind so the spores can repopulate and it may grow again.

While you can just easily sip this as a warm or cold tea or make a delicious hot cocoa with it, adding it as the liquid base to your smoothie gives you a great dose of the little fungi too! Paired with raw cacao and plant-based protein it becomes a wholesome smoothie to optimally support your body.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup cold brewed chaga tea
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Medjool date
3 tbsp. hemp hearts
1 heaping tbsp. raw cacao powder
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional: 1 tsp. maca, pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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The Procrastination Of Meditation

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Are you a procrastinator? Or a daydreamer?

In the timing before writing this post, I was trying to tick off a long list of tasks I needed to complete and it got me thinking. Then daydreaming. And procrastinating. Then sidetracked.

I started to have another thought, opened a new window on my browser, started browsing over there, then I wanted to change the track of music I was listening to, then I thought actually, I’m beginning to get a little hungry so I started browsing Pinterest for some inspiration… I think you can see where I’m headed with this. I thought this deserved a post all on its own, as I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling!

It made me realize that the same is true in meditation. How many times have you tried to sit still for a moment to just concentrate on your breath? And in that moment, been distracted by all the other things you need to accomplish to the point where you couldn’t really focus and just gave up.

This happens to me all the time. I have always been a procrastinator then scrambled to do everything at the last minute. Day dreaming comes easy because all the thoughts in my mind tend to run away with my imagination until I forget what I was even thinking about in the first place. Let me assure you that this is normal. Your mind wanders. The key is in trying to bring your mind back to focus and back to your breath.

In this day and age, with all the technology surrounding us, the constant need of keeping up with social media, it’s no wonder it can be hard to break away from everything and just be still.

As I’ve come back to rooting my own meditation practice never has this rang more true for me. In that, I have come to accept that this is what tends to happen. My mind will wander. I will think about what I need to do, what I haven’t done, what’s hanging over me.

You make the time to stop and just be and grant yourself peace and quiet. You make the time to focus your attention away from all your worry and then the second you do this, it all comes to the forefront of your mind. Stress and anxiety seems to bubble up to the surface once you’ve finally allowed yourself the time to separate from it all. It’s very ironic.

But then, a sort of calm washes over. Acceptance.

I reach acceptance that I have anxieties in my life, that there are things sitting in my subconscious, there are things I need to take care of, prepare for, be mindful of. I struggle to keep the focus of my breath while concentrating on tackling my mental list of all these things that suddenly have made themselves so important.

But with acceptance, I find more ease in bringing my wandering mind back to where it needs to be. To focus, to concentrate, to relax and clear my mind, bring awareness back to my body and breath. With acceptance, we can seek the change we’re seeking and move forward.

Eventually, everything becomes quiet and calm and finally, I can meditate.

August Workshop

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I’m teaming up with one of my teacher training friends to bring a workshop to you this August.

The workshop will cover both meditation and yoga, making it accessible to all and easy to implement into your life on a daily basis. No previous experience is necessary and beginners are welcome!

In the 3 hours we will include:

Pranayama- Breathing techniques

What is Ashtanga yoga? Discussing the 8 limbs and how they apply to everyday life

Asanas- Ashtanga based, Vinyasa flow sequence with room for modifications, finding proper alignment, demos, and discussion of the bandhas

Incorporating holistic alternatives- acknowledging stress levels & common triggers

Meditation techniques- a focus on the inner self, walking & seated meditation

Tibetan Bowl practice & a taster of Laughter Yoga

The workshop includes some healthy treats and juices/tea to wrap up the day

Please BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat) I do have some extras so please email me at info@stephmatthews.com in advance if you’d like one set aside. Besides that, just dress comfortably, bring a bottle of water if you like, and an open mind and heart!

The date of this workshop will be August 14th 2:00PM-5:00PM

Location: Eastbourne House Arts, Bullards Place, London E2 0PT (nearest tube is Bethnal Green)

Keep the date in mind, book the time in your diary, and follow us on social media for more updates!

You can book online here £30 before August 7th, £35 thereafter

SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS:

Gabriella White:

Twitter: @gabriellawhite

Instagram: @theculturecave

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gabriellasyoga

Website: http://www.ercu-world-yoga.com

Steph Matthews:

Twitter: @_stephmatthews_

Instagram: @_stephmatthews_

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephmatthewsyoga

Website: http://www.stephmatthews.com