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News from the Retreat

Author Archives: Nina Herndon

Finding Strength Through Struggle

To think that each of us experience a shift of energy within our bodies, minds and souls, a belief that we are connected to the seasons, is something that resonates with me. Call me a tree hugging flower child, but I know you’ve felt it too. Winter is heavy and dark, a time when we withdraw and go inward, while spring is fresh and light, a time for renewal and rebirth.

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, teaches us how to live in harmony with nature through a practice of balance. It is a Sanskrit word that translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity.” If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us for one of our Detox & Yoga Retreats.

In withdrawing and going inward this past winter I discovered a great deal of fear, confusion, discontentment and restlessness. Unwilling to face the truth of the matter, I distracted myself by planning what was to be the greatest adventure of my life: farming. It’s not nearly as glamorous as my hopes of backpacking through Europe, or as noble as my intention of going on the World Race, but I was convinced that it would change my life.

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Ayurvedic Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal

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My Favorite Way to Enjoy Oatmeal is with Fresh Blueberries

Winter is officially here, but if you’re in Texas you wouldn’t know it. I promise I’m not complaining. The 70 degree days don’t really fit with the holiday festivities, but with February right around the corner I know I won’t be the only Texan missing these blue sky, balmy days of early winter.

According to Ayurvedic principles, Winter is the season that our digestive fire is the strongest. To maintain balance in our bodies during the winter months, Ayurvedic principles encourage eating foods that are warm, cooked, slightly oily, and well spiced. With our bodies being naturally inclined towards heavier foods during this season, oatmeal makes the perfect meal to begin those cold, winter mornings.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurvedic principles, read this: Winter Guide. We also share Ayurvedic Cooking & Eating Tips at our Detox Retreats. 

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Easy Essential Oil Holiday Gifts

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My Favorite Holiday Bend!

Here are a few easy DIY essential oil recipes that make great homemade gifts for the holidays!

Some of our retreats offer DIY Aromatherapy Workshops. Find out more here.

Uplifting Holiday Essential Oil Blend

14 drops grapefruit essential oil
6 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops sage essential oil

Add water to fill a small spray bottle. Use as a blend for any of these fun and easy DIY gift recipes! (You can also find other blends here.)

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Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins

Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins

Healthy Deliciousness in Every Bite

It’s fall and that means it’s sweet potato season! Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite veggies. Did you know that sweet potatoes are superfoods packed full of health benefits? Make these muffins for your friends and family over the holidays, or make them on a Sunday evening to enjoy for breakfast all week! If you have leftover mashed sweet potatoes, you can do what I did which is replace the sweet potatoes and milk with leftover mashed sweet potatoes.

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Chicken & Vegetable Curry

If you’re intimidated by making more exotic dishes, fear not! This Curry recipe is simple and delicious, and only requires a few obscure ingredients. Our guest love this curry. It’s on our fall/winter menu. Enjoy it at a Upcoming Retreats.

Oh, and if you like cooking (or even if you think you don’t like cooking), I highly recommend the article  Why I Cook, written by Dr. Andrew Weil.

Love,
Nina

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil No-Bake Cookie Bars

Healthy, No-Bake Coconut Oil Chocolate Cookie barsI don’t know about you, but I love having a sweet treat to come home to; something that’s sweet enough to satisfy my craving, without making me feel guilty. These easy, no-bake cookie bars are safe enough to have around the house (because if you’re anything like me, there are days when half of the pan will disappear), and they’re made with coconut oil–which is receiving so much praise for it’s health benefits!

Coconut oil, if you’re not familiar with it, is basically like a miracle in a bottle. You can Google “benefits of coconut oil” and see that even WebMD lists “Uses and Effectiveness” of coconut oil for heart disease, high cholesterol, dry skin, Alzheimer’s, IBS, and more.

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10 Reasons to Start a Yoga Practice Today

nina yoga colorado 2014

Who knew I’d be able to balance on a rock and do “dancer” pose? Not me.

Yoga is intimidating. Even after the first couple of classes it can be intimidating. You may not think yoga is for you, I certainly didn’t think it was for me. But that’s where I was wrong.

I’m thrilled we offer a safe place for beginners at our yoga retreats. If you’re like me, uncomfortable in a room of strangers who you think are judging you (they’re not!), a Yoga Nurture Retreat is perfect for you.

Five years ago if you would have invited me to a yoga class, I would have laughed and replied, “You’re kidding, right? I can’t even touch my toes.” I thought I knew what it took to do yoga, and I was certain I had none of it. I was wrong.

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Refreshing Watermelon-Feta Salad with Fresh Basil and Mint

watermelon-feta salad

Healthy, Cool and Delicious

Looking for a little bit of refreshment in the mid-day heat of summer? This watermelon-feta salad with fresh basil and mint has you covered. Plus, with the sweet benefits of basil and health benefits of mint, it’s a healthy snack to add to your day!

Watermelon-Feta Salad with Fresh Basil and Mint

  • ½ large watermelon
  • 1 cup feta
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • fresh mint, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jicama
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Use melon baller to scoop out watermelon.
  2. Peel jicama and dice into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Whisk together lime juice and honey.
  4. Toss everything to combine; chill until serving.

Jalapeño-Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

jalapeno-blueberry cornmeal pancakesHello, love at first bite!

So, this recipe sounds a little weird but I promise it’s amazing if you love sweet and savory combos. This idea came one morning when I had a lot of random things on hand, and no idea what to make. I’d recently visited a local brunch spot that served a pecan waffle with blue cheese-cayenne butter (and moonshine syrup which I actually ate with my spoon at some point during the meal) – it was amazing to say the least – and somehow I ended up with one of my favorite kitchen creations: the jalapeño-blueberry cornmeal pancake.

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Zesty LemonBerry Coffee Cake

lemonberry coffee cake 2A few weeks ago my roommate and I decided that it would be fun to host a housewarming brunch. Being the procrastinator that I am, of course I didn’t think about how much work it would be… until about four days prior. As I was preparing, I shared with mom what I was making: her amazing sausage gravy, that simple apple crisp I love, and my favorite kitchen sink frittata… and of course something new!

I found a recipe for sticky lemon rolls that just looked and sounded so delicious, but being the wise woman that mom is she gently encouraged me to refrain from making anything that might stress me out. Which led to the discovery of my new favorite kitchen creation: LemonBerry Coffee Cake. I discovered this recipe, and made some tweaks (like decreasing the amount of sugar, swapping coconut oil for butter, and adding more zest) and it’s a huge hit at retreats.

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