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    7 reasons online marketing is perfect for mamapreneurs

    moms can take kids to work at this store12 years ago when I first got started in business, it cost $10, 000 to buy an online shopping cart.

    Back then I owned a holistic birth and baby retail store. Not only was the business hugely time consuming and the rent high, but we spent over $20 000 in design and advertising.

    Getting started in business in those days was a huge risk, involving tons of overhead and big rent- with very little profit margin on the products.

    Businesses in the old days were doomed to fail without a large cash flow. That’s why you hear that 99% of businesses fail in the first 3 years.

    Fast forward to 2013 and everything has changed.

    You can start- up an online service based business by investing in a simple website for about $250.  And after that, you can expect to spend about $20 per month to run your start up business (all you need is a website and an e-mail service provider).

    While in the old days it was risky to start up a new business with rent and inventory sucking up the profit,  these days businesses don ‘t fail, people simply give up too soon.

    Essentially, marketing today is based on connection and education (which makes it sooo much easier for us nurturing types who feel uncomfortable with sales)!

    Now a days, effective marketing is also way less time consuming  too, because you can set it on autopilot with authentic copy and automatic e-mail follow up sequences (you really can connect with your ideal clients while you are at the park with the kids)!

    AHere are my 7 reasons that the online business platform is perfect for busy mamapreneurs:

    1) You can just forget about business as usual. New business models provide the freedom to create your schedule in any way that suits you best. You are at liberty to be available only when you desire to be (and still create a financially thriving business). That means you don’t have to choose between your family and work- you can harmonize the two instead.

    2) Online businesses are inexpensive to start up. All you need is a basic wordpress site with a customized banner, a professional e-mail delivery service and a Paypal account to start accepting money for your services. It’s simple, affordable and accessible for any person who owns a computer and an Internet connection (not to mention, it’s super low risk too).

    3) Marketing and design cost a fraction of what they used to, with services like fivver. Start up businesses need nothing more than a simple elegant banner (logo’s are optional when you are your own personal brand). Later when you are making money, you can justify taking your web presence to the next level with better quality design services.

    4) With all the start up savings due to the nature of an online business, you can instead invest in your biggest asset- yourself- by learning how to design, develop and market your products and services effectively (so that you don’t burn out or give up trying to figure it all out on your own). Marketing doesn’t come naturally to most, yet it is super simple to learn.

    5) With the right copy on your website and effective follow up e-mails that connect with your audience, you can enrol clients in your sleep- instead of pounding the payment or doing cold calls (saves massive amounts of energy, stress and time). There is little need to pay for marketing if you are willing to connect with clients instead.

    6) Today’s marketing is giving centred and educationally based. Perfect for the nurturing spirit of us mothers. You simply create marketing campaigns that educate and then invite your ideal clients to take the journey farther with you (simple and fun).

    7) Finally, because effective marketing is authentic, natural and connection based, you can incorporate your lifestyle into your marketing. Instead of wearing the hat of mother, wife, friend and business woman, you can integrate all of yourself into a personality brand. When you are connected to the right audience, all you have to do is share your life – and that naturally markets your authentic gifts and gets your work in front of your perfect clients- because they can feel you. You don’t have to play a role. You just combine your natural gifts, talents and passions into your services to create work that feels like play and as a natural extension of that flow- you can make a living doing what you love.

    Being an entrepreneur and working primarily VIRTUALLY- for time and location freedom, is ideal for mamas like me, who want to give their gifts in the world and be available to their family at a moment’s notice.

    Want to know more about how to make it happen for yourself? Click here to get my free 7 Step Savvy Start Up Guide for mamapreneurs (and other naturally nurturing gals)!

    Is your relationship to money sacred (or scared)?

    radiant-bethA while back, I had the opportunity to have my `sacred money archetypes` read by my good friend and colleague Beth Martens. 

    I discovered that my top 3 primary archetypes are the Romantic, Maverick & Ruler/Celebrity.

    Not only did this validate my own intuitive way of being with money and business, but it gave me key insights on how to focus my energy in terms of managing my money.

    With my top archetype being romantic, it makes perfect sense how I naturally choose to create a high level of connection, intimacy and pleasure in my programs.

    And with Maverick in second, I am naturally supported to take risks with money and in business- in a world where I have often felt that I have had to keep quiet about all the crazy risks I’ve taken to get where I am today- to avoid ruffling the feathers of the disapproving and doubtful. Their demeaning ‘looks’, ‘pufts’ and ‘head shaking’ asks, “Who do you think you are?” Why I am a Maverick, am I, thank you very much!

    Tied in third place is Ruler/Celebrity (apparently I’ve got to choose which one, and I will be doing that in the VIP day I have scheduled with Beth, later this month)!

    Finally, in last place out of all the other archetypes, I have the Accumulator.

    According to Beth, whichever archetype we have in last place is the one that is suppressed or in shadow. I can really see that being true for me. I don’t relate at all to ‘cheapskates’, I hate accumulating ‘things’ and I LOVE to spend money and use it to gift others, not hoard it!

    Money is all about pleasure, freedom and sharing for me. But alas, I can see how there is  a gift for me in embracing my repressed accumulator….making money is relatively easy for me, but managing it- is not at all (romantics, mavericks and celebrities like to spend)!

    I am sooo looking forward to learning more about how to draw out my inherent strengths with money and how to bring my shadow Accumulator into the light, so that I can create a stronger foundation for growth with my money (we could all use that right?).

    Embracing archetypal work is a wonderful path of practice to get connected to your money in a new way, and unravel any unhealthy attachments or aversions you might have about it.

    For me, just talking about money in a spiritual context itself, has been hugely transformational and has shifted how I relate to it and how easily I can generate it.

    Money is simply a currency and it flows to or away from us- depending on how we feel about and relate to it- which is why healing our money wounds is crucial for freeing up our life force and exercising our freedom to express ourselves in and through our life.

    Working with the Sacred Money Archetypes is a perfect catalyst to do just that.

    But if spending money’s got you shaking in your boot’s scared, and you aren’t ready to invest in the 1 on 1 support to bring your best self forward, then I highly recommend that you join Beth Marten’s group coaching program (where you can learn all the aforementioned -and more from her- at a much lower investment than private coaching).

    Knowing your sacred money contract will support you in a personalized way to understand what you personally require, to remove your money resistance, melt away inner conflict and learn exactly which money strategies will work best for you -based on the unique blend of archetypal energies expressing through YOU!

    She offers a complimentary call that you can listen to as an introduction to her new online group coaching program called Sacred Money Archetypes.

    Beth is a master at taking archetypal wisdom and using it as a catalyst to change lives. In fact, she used this wisdom to heal herself from cancer when she discovered through this work that her inner rebel was unconsciously expressing it’s shadow side through conflict (rebel without a cause).

    Today, Beth has brought her rebel into the light and uses the rebel’s positive expression to help women entrepreneurs take risks with their message-  in ways that make a real difference for others.

    If you are struggling with fear and doubt in your relationship to money, don’t miss this program where Beth will help transform you from feeling scared around money- to finally feeling the gift of it’s sacred connection to your life force and your freedom.

    Don’t do anything else in your business before knowing this.

    Something that I’ve noticed is that people rarely take the time to really search deep inside for what their true calling is.

    yoursoulscalling-workbook-ver1 (2)Moving forward without clarity keeps us distracted with ‘busy work’…it’s all the stuff we frantically do to keep ourselves busy, so that we can justify (suppress the real reason why) we keep working hard on our business, even though what we are doing, isn’t really creating results….it’s because we haven’t started with solid ground.

    To create a strong foundation for your business, you need to know who you are, what you bring, how you uniquely bring it- plus what your overall message is and who it’s for.

    Do you feel confused about how you are here to serve? Or do you keep changing what you do and never get traction in your dreams?

    If you said yes, you are not alone. That’s what happens when you haven’t yet reflected on your life as a whole (sadly, most people wait till their death bed to do that).

    Confusion is what happens when you haven’t given yourself permission to create your dream life (without limitation), it’s what you feel when you try to fit what you want to do inside of what you think you should do, and it’s also what happens when you haven’t excavated your internal why and your external why.

    Without this clarity, it is easy to get distracted and off track into a life and business that feels like work (endless and exhausting). It also means that it is WAY MORE EASY for feelings of doubt and lack of confidence, to take you out of the game.

    Don’t do anything else in your business before you know, can feel and articulate the following 8 elements of solid ground on which to build the foundation of your business….
    1) ‘Own’ your gifts and ‘feel’ your value
    2) See the journey you’ve been on from a systems perspective, so that you can tell your story in a powerful way
    3) Transform your faults into your greatest strengths
    4) Create an experience for others that combines all of your interests, passions and drives, so that you can create a service or offering that is totally unique to you- while serving your purpose and providing value, pleasure and joy for others
    5) WHY: internal (for you) and external (for them)
    6) Know your people
    7) Know your message
    8) Know your reason for being

    Those are all the essential intangibles that you MUST be clear on to start a business that serve’s and gives back to you financially….first you find your soul’s calling, then you craft a service, design your business around your lifestyle and finally create your connected marketing plan to attract your tribe.

    All that is easy, once you’ve done the inner work.

    The perfect business for you is one that is built around your purpose, your calling, your people and your pleasure…. because if there is no pleasure in it, then why bother?

    There are a gazillion ways to make money, but then there is your soul’s blueprint for making money….

    Symbolically, it is your soul’s way of providing an energy exchange, so that you can easily give and receive- your calling is your true currency.

    The only way it will feel fulfilling to make money, is if you are doing what you love and if you do it in service as a natural and easy expression of who you are.

    Sharing your soul as your service is a spiritual journey.

    It will show you what you are afraid of, as well as where you harbour insecurity and self doubt.

    The only way that you will stay the course, is if it matters enough to you (otherwise it’s much easier to just get a job).

    That’s why your success in business depends on what you do being a deep calling for you (THAT YOU LOVE), and that you’d never give up.

    Businesses don’t fail, people quit.

    In order to be sure that you will never give up, you have to create a business that you love.

    It should feel like an extension of you. Even the thought of contemplating quitting your business should feel as bad as the idea of cutting off a limb.

    If your current business or vision doesn’t feel that compelling to you, then why are you doing it? Why are you spending your life energy this way?

    Simply to survive? Or is it because of pride (what are you forcing your self to do in your business because you THINK you HAVE TO or to avoid disapproval or to gain approval)?

    You were put on this planet to enjoy your life and to give and receive value from others. That’s it.

    We are all simply here for each other. In the end, the only thing that matters is the relationships in our lives.

    So are you going to take the time to stop and really access your true ‘currencey’? What are you REALLY here to give? And who needs that?

    If not, what’s stopping you?

    Is there anything else worth doing, if you aren’t doing what you came to this planet to do?

    What do you really want?

    Don’t take another step in your business, without clarity about what you really want to create in your life.

    We’ve all heard it said before. Begin with the end in mind.

    But, how about taking it deeper than that though, and look at the journey that brought you here, so that you can uncover your unique path?

    If you don’t know the answers for yourself about the 8 elements of solid ground on which to build the foundation of your business, then you are missing the most foundational aspect of your vision.

    I am going to be straight with you about what lies ahead if you choose to keep moving forward without clarity.

    1) Your manifestation powers will be weak…. because your attention, focus and emotions will be all over the place.

    2) Your energy will be depleted…..because you’ll keep starting over, but with waning enthusiasm every time as you feel plagued with the doubt of past failures….

    Or

    You can take the time out now to get clear so that you can keep walking your journey with full vision, enthusiasm and energy.

    So do you know, and can you feel and articulate the following…
    1) ‘Own’ your gifts and ‘feel’ your value
    2) See the journey you’ve been on from a systems perspective, so that you can tell your story in a powerful way
    3) Transform your faults into your greatest strengths
    4) Create an experience for others that combines all of your interests, passions and drives, so that you can create a service or offering that is totally unique to you- while serving your purpose and providing value, pleasure and joy for others
    5) WHY: internal (for you) and external (for them)
    6) Know your people
    7) Know your message
    8) Know your reason for being

    Take the time to do this inner work and save yourself the energy, heartache and frustration of spinning your wheels moving forward.

    Need some help asking the right questions and making the space to do this work?

    If you want my help, join the Your Soul’s Calling VIRTUAL Retreat to get your clarity in connection with me and a growing global community of women.

    We’ll put our heads together to help you craft your service or offering, so that it feels like a natural extension of who you already are.

    Cultured at Birth: Why healing the gut fosters a healthy baby

    What does it mean to be “cultured“ at Birth?

    As our babies are being birthed, they are literally being “cultured” by our vaginal flora.

    momma and babe“The medical science shows that the flora in the vagina comes from the gut. What lives in the woman`s bowel will live in her vagina… in women with recurrent thrush, no matter how many powerful anti fungal topical preparations are used, the thrush always comes back. Until she gets rid of it in the bowel, she is not going to be free from vaginal thrush. But why does this woman have an overgrowth of fungi in her bowel? Because she does not have a healthy gut flora to protect her from this fungus and many other microbial invaders. This woman has a condition called gut dysbiosis. She will not only have an overgrowth of Candida albicans in her gut but lots of other pathogenic microbes, causing many other health problems.“
    Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)

    Babies acquire their particular microflora balance at birth through the skin, eyes and mucous membranes of their mouth and nose, as they descend through the birth canal.

    What happens when moms have gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut)?

    Mother passes on her own gut flora (for better or for worse) to her baby. The state of mom’s flora has the potential to either promote healthy digestion, immunity and mental capacities or it can compromise her baby’s health right from birth causing a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for both ie: colic, mastitis, candida yeast infection, diaper rash etc.

    Besides having a history of antibiotic use (antibiotics kill our good bacteria leaving no competition to keep the bad or pathogenic types in check) there are many other digestive, immune and mental indications that we need to restore our bacterial balance (or inner ecosystem).

    Here are some key symptoms:

    □ allergies and food sensitivities
    □ vaginal yeast infections
    □ difficulty losing weight
    □ fatigue
    □ depression
    □ bi polar
    □ OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
    □ dyslexia or dyspraxia
    □ ADD/ADHD
    □ autism/aspergers
    □ poor concentration
    □ sugar/carb cravings
    □ constipation
    □ diarrhea
    □ poor digestion and digestive disorders
    □ acid reflux
    □ sleeping poorly and night sweats
    □ joint inflammation and stiffness
    □ bad breath
    □ gum disease and dental problems
    □ frequent colds and flus
    □ frequent infections
    □ chronic yeast problems
    □ acne
    □ eczema
    □ fungal infections
    □ menstrual difficulties

    If you suffer from 1 or many of the above symptoms you might be wondering how you can find the resources and the support you need to learn how to heal, restore or improve your current microflora balance, right?

    Follow this step-by-step guide to improving your microbial balance in pregnancy:

    1. Eliminate white sugar and flour from your diet (switch to unrefined sugars like Panella/Rapadura for baking and whole spelt flour)
    2. Avoid natural sources of concentrated sugar ie: dried fruit, tropical fruits like bananas and mangoes etc. Instead include more sour fruits like kiwi, berries of all kinds and green apples.
    3. Acidify your colon (good bacteria thrive in a lactic acidic rich environment)- by eating plenty of cultured (or fermented) foods ie: unpasteurized sauerkraut, naturally brewed pickles, yogurt, kefir milk, kefir water etc.
    4. Eliminate all bleached, refined and deodorized fats like: margarine & vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola oil from your diet. Replace them with traditional fats like butter and coconut oil for baking and sautéing while using olive oil (raw only) for salad dressing.
    5. Alkalize your blood- modern people are often overfed, yet undernourished. Mineralize your blood by eating plenty of cooked green vegetables, crispy seeds, gelatinous bone broth and seaweeds.
    6. Take a probiotic pill with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria (10-14 or more strains) throughout your entire pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
    7. Upgrade the quality of the animal products that you consume to being from antibiotic free, compassionately raised and free range or grass fed animals.
    8. Drink, bathe and shower in water that has been filtered of chlorine (which is also unfortunately an antibiotic).

    These lifestyle practices must be adopted by those who want to prevent common childhood disorders such as asthma, eczema, colic and tummy aches while promoting optimal immune health in their developing baby and children, such as couples planning to conceive, pregnant women, breastfeeding women -and moms seeking optimal health for their family.

    For people who don’t have severe digestive problems or a long history of antibiotic use, the aforementioned recommendations will be adequate to restore the gut flora in most cases.

    However, in more severe situations such as autism, IBS and other chronic or persistent cases of digestive distress and mental illness, the family must in addition adhere to a grain free diet for 6 months to 2 ½ years to restore the gut back to its optimal state of health.

    What should you do now, if you didn’t know about this before having your kids?

    These same steps apply for anyone who suffers from microbial imbalance. It is never too late to improve your own and your family’s health!

    Opening the Flow of Your Life Force – Adrenal Nourishment on All Levels

    This is Part 2 of a brilliant essay by Charles Eisenstein on what really lies beneath the adrenal fatigue epidemic.  

    You can access Part 1 here…

    …………………

    Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands refuse to comply with life as it has been. Try as we might to force them to produce, whether with coffee or with internal threats and incentives, eventually their resources will be depleted. The adrenals do not create energy out of nothing; they are transformational conduits that convert universal life energy into human life energy.

    Practically speaking, how do we open the gateway for the adrenal glands both to receive nourishment, and to pass it on willingly to our bodies?

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, depleted adrenal glands are an expression of a “Kidney Yin deficiency.” We can nourish Yin on various levels. On the physical level, we can use traditional herbs and foods, minerals and glandular extracts, to supply raw materials for the production of adrenal hormones. Usually, though, these measures work much better if an opening has happened first on an energetic-psychological-spiritual level. My work focuses on this level of Yin nourishment, though all are important.

    The adrenals are shutting down for a reason. The adrenals, knowing that something in our lives like an occupation or relationship or other situation is wrong for us now, say, “We don’t want to provide energy for that. We don’t want to get you up in the morning for that.” They know what we are here for, and only want to provide life force for something aligned with our true being.

    Now let me add another layer of distinction. It is not actually the external circumstances the adrenals are saying “No” to. Rather, it is our response to those circumstances. It is the way we are being.

    How to Overcome the Feeling of ”Overwhelmed” and Fatigue

    Just as we are not hapless victims of our bodies, nor are we hapless victims of our circumstances. They too are a reflection of our being: our thoughts, stories, beliefs, patterns and habits. There is nothing “wrong” with them; at one time they might have been perfect. What you cannot get out of bed for today may once have been an exciting challenge. Adrenal fatigue is simply a message that you have evolved beyond the way of being that created the present circumstances.

    Reading my words, you might have a very good idea what exactly in your life you are not excited to live. The associated way of being might be “putting up with it” or “trying harder” or “trying not to think about it” or “waiting for things to change.” Your body is no longer letting you do that. But very likely, you see no alternative. You might feel trapped. You might feel overwhelmed. The feeling of overwhelm is actually a key landmark on the adrenal fatigue spectrum.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to add to the feeling of overwhelm by telling you, “You’re just going to have to change what you don’t believe you can. You’re just going to have to muster a little more energy. Hey, you’ve gotta make some changes!” No. That is demanding more Yang, not nourishing Yin.

    The specifics of accessing Yin nourishment vary depending on whether you are in a state of busy stressed overwhelm, or a state of exhausted, directionless fatigue. I offer a guided meditation for each on my CD,”Reconnecting with the Life Force.” A basic underlying principle, though, is that you don’t have to make anything happen. That’s Yang, not Yin, and you’re tired of that. Literally.

    The Power of  ”Spontaneous Movement”

    If Yang is trying and making, what is Yin? Yin is to relax, to play, to trust, to allow. It is not superior to Yang: there is a time in life for both, for planning and striving as well as for going with the flow. Each gives rise to the other.

    Intense activity invites a state of rest, and prolonged rest births restlessness, a desire to move and create. In that state of stillness, when we totally let go of the should’s and must’s that jerk us around like a puppet on strings, we discover spontaneous movement. And it comes effortlessly! No motivational techniques are necessary.

    This spontaneous movement is our true energy. It comes from desire, unforced by the program of obligations, threats, and incentives. It is what your adrenal glands have been waiting for.

    It has been said that fear is the opposite of love, but equally we might see it as the opposite of desire. Fear and desire are the two sides of stress, one negative and the other positive. To desire is to be alive. Adrenal fatigue is nothing less than a call to reconnect with your true desire.

    The spontaneous movement and true desire borne of stillness can be scary, because it takes us in directions we are afraid to go. It gives entry into the unknown. That is why we avoid it by filling our empty moments with a constant stream of distractions, entertainment, and routines.

    Discovering What is REALLY Necessary

    If you are in the busy/stressed category, you might even be angry at the very idea that you have any choice in the matter at all. You may feel ruled by your life. In this case, the path to the stillness-that-births-life-force involves a process of illuminating unconscious choices and making them conscious.

    In any event, when the adrenal fatigue gets intense enough, you will discover that many have-to’s weren’t so necessary after all. Life will enter a new realm. Your adrenals, through their protest, will have taken you there.

    We can understand all disease in a similar way. Disease is not a punishment or evidence that we have more “negativity” than healthy people. Disease simply means that we are ready to grow. It means that the unconscious is becoming conscious. It means that a way of being that once worked for us is no longer working, and we are ready for new stage of unfoldment.

    Adrenal fatigue calls us to find the area of self-expression in which we have shut down. It calls us to find the life we are meant to live, the life that expresses who we truly are and who we wish to become. When you are aligned with that, the flow of life energy through you is clear and powerful.

    You have a reason to be alive, a reason to get up in the morning. You awaken happy and excited to live your day, because you WANT to be alive, and your adrenal glands respond gladly. All of a sudden, whatever nutritional or energetic therapy you are using works like magic. You have reconnected to the life force.

    …………………

    charles2

    Charles Eisenstein spent most of his 20s in Tawian, educating himself broadly in Eastern spiritual traditions, while voraciously reading books on health, nutrition, globalization, physics, and biology. He entered into what was to be a long period of intensifying crisis that started when his professional work became intolerable.

    The next five years were much like a birthing process. The old world dissolved, and the contractions birthing him into the new, took the form of a collapse of all that he once held onto. Crises in health, marriage, and money forced him to let go of a “life under control”. In his helplessness, he accepted help, discovering a generous universe that has always met his needs, somehow, in unexpected ways. Friends and strangers from all over the world, write to tell him how his books have affected them; sustaining his faith and nourishing his passion for his work.

    Learn more about Charles and what he offers here: http://charleseisenstein.net/

    *He also offers 2 wonderful adrenal nourishing meditations and a ‘talk’ that you can get access to here by donation.

     

     

    Indian Inspired Peppers & Portabella Stir Fry

    Yummers! This spicy dish is is super delish and done in 20 min. The perfect supper when you are in a hurry, but want gourmet anyway : )

    peppersIndian Inspired Peppers and  Portabella Stir Fry

    What you will need:
    1 large yellow onion
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    2  large red peppers
    2 large portabella mushrooms
    10 cherry tomatoes
    1-2 tsp unrefined salt
    2 tsp chili powder
    2 tsp garam masala

    How to do it:
    Step 1: Saute onions in coconut oil until translucent on med-high heat.
    Step 2: Chop remaining veggies and stir into the onions.
    Step 3: Add the salt and spices.
    Step 4: Simmer vegetables until tender.

    pepper dinnerServe with rice, salad greens and sauerkraut on the side! Top with crispy seeds : )

     

    Homemade Purple Spelt Playdough

    Omigosh, this was sooooo easy! I remember wanting to buy ‘natural playdough’ online many years ago, but never got around to it!! If only I had known then how easy it was (your kids can help)!

    Tonight my daughter complained of being bored and said no to all my suggestions…she wanted to do a craft….I am not crafty so I wondered if there was something that I could whip up in the kitchen…..finally a use for that table salt I share at classes and in private sessions with my clients (as an example of what NOT to bake, cook or season with).

    Instead I recommend unrefined salt like Celtic or Himalayan with the synergy of their full compliment of minerals!

    Jasmine will tell you all about how we did it (she did most of it)!

    Without further adieu……

    Homemade Purple Spelt Playdough

    1 cup unbleached spelt flour
    1/2 cup salt
    1/2 cup red wine
    1/2 cup water (add an extra half cup if you are not using wine)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons corn starch

    Mix flour, salt, cornstarch, oil, wine and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto parchment or wax paper and let cool. Knead with your hands until playdough consistency.

    If you choose not to use wine you can make your own or use natural food colouring, then divide into balls and add a few drops to make various colors of your choosing!.

    Master Your Practice: 4 Reasons to Cleanse (for Yogini Mamas)

    If you are a yogini mama you may have noticed that many yoga retreats around the world combine raw foods with yoga?

    Have you ever wondered why?

    BethMartens.com

    While it is true that the yogic philosophy and raw food paradigm mesh quite well together on principle- we don’t all need to become raw foodists or fly to the tropics to get the same results (although attending a raw food yoga retreat is definately on my bucket list!).

    So what to do if you can’t afford to fly to a retreat center?

    Don’t worry, you can still get the same benefits at home (minus the luxury and palm trees of course).

    Getting the benefit in your yoga practice isn’t as much about going raw, as it is about reducing the toxic burden on your body.

    There are real physiological reasons why yoga and raw foods work so well together.

    Raw foods are inherently cleansing and hydrating -which helps to reduce inflammation and pain in the body.

    But did you know that sluggish digestion and a congested liver can also cause tension and tightness in your body- and therefore limit your yoga practice because of decreased flexibility?

    Here’s how:
    1) The liver rules the tendons. When the liver is overburdened, it
    becomes nutrient depleted and will draw on nutrition from the tendons
    causing unusual contraction, weakness in related muscles and an
    inflexible and rigid body.

    2) When the liver can’t catch up on detoxification it will send toxins
    to the joints as a storage space (too protect our vital organs) thus
    causing inflammation and pain.

    3) Toxic bodies are often too acidic (from poor diet and lifestyle
    habits) – these acids cause pain and inflammation, making us feel
    stiff and achy.

    4) When bile flow is low –the synovial fluids that protect and bathe
    our joints decreases. Many back problems and joint pains are the
    direct result of inadequate bile flow.

    BethMartens.com

    While most of us won’t be able to fly to the tropics for a raw food retreat in the near future, we can do a spring cleanse from the comfort of our own home.

    Do you want to take your yoga practice to the next level and increase your flexibility through a spring cleanse?

    Join me on a COMPLIMENTARY intro to Liver Rejuvenation call for mama’s where you will learn how you can get started on the path!

    Healing Eczema-The Story of a Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Recovery

    While it has been well over 2 years since my son’s recovery from eczema, the emotional turmoil and angst that I experienced as a mother witnessing my child suffer, is still quite raw. While I rarely think of this experience in our current day to day lives, every once in a while noticing him scratch an itch near the area that he used to have eczema. I find myself catching my breath and asking him with great trepidation, “is that just a normal itch”?

    Now if you’ve never had a child with eczema or some other itchy skin disorder, you might question this to be an extreme inner response to an itch, but if you or someone close to you, has ever been afflicted with this condition, well then you most likely know what I am talking about, especially when it comes to our precious babies! There were so many nights of endless scratching while I prayed to god that I could please “bare this cup” for him. I felt helpless to offer relief, and on edge with anxiety, fearing that it might become worse.

    Let me give you some back round. Being a nutritionist, I understood the etiology of this allergic condition and the path to healing it, at least the one that I was trained in. Yet, even with my knowledge, profound trust in nature and through my own personal experience of self-healing, I found it very difficult to think clearly or take any action at all. Something about him being a child, and myself being his mother, intertwined us so deeply that every action that I knew I needed to take, seemed depriving and daunting. Though I could clearly see that he was becoming intolerant to more and more foods, I was reluctant to start a food diary, to see which ones were currently, the culprits. The task seemed futile, because I knew that if the root cause was not addressed, we would unfortunately have to keep adding new items to the list of quarantined foods….until there were no more “safe” foods left to eat.

    So in getting that, I wasn’t in the place where I could help “us”, I finally sought the services of some other practitioners in the natural health field and together, we got as far as taking “the edge off” through probiotic pills, EFA’s and digestive enzymes, plus avoiding the foods that he was intolerant to (we used the biomeridian stress assessment test, to determine and very accurately I might add, which foods were aggravating the condition). The fact that we were moving towards improvement, also took the edge off my anxiety long enough to realize that while these results were good, at least 60% improvement, I knew that this was not true healing, it was just avoiding the current allergic triggers. If he was really healed, then he should be able to eat like everyone else again, right?

    Inside I knew this to be the truth and ignored the naturopath’s suspicion that my son had celiac’s disease (which by the way, was a suggestion that made me cry for hours, envisioning a future where my son would feel deprived watching others eat what he could not, and longed for). Even though we were working with alternative healing practitioners, more often than not, I admit that I didn’t feel like we were held as whole beings, but rather as fragmented parts of a story called eczema. There was, for my taste anyway, too much professionalism which translated into distance and efficiency. From my end, it felt like we were being shuffled through a “natural health conveyor belt”, even though I’m sure these practitioners had the best of intentions. This is why I agree with Susun Weed that compassion and authentic relating from a place of equality, on the part of the so-called healer, is such an essential part of the healing process. I longed for a wise woman, someone to hold my hand, look me squarely in the eyes, mother to mother, and say “trust yourself”. I never went back after that last appointment, and resolved to do what I knew we needed to do in my heart all along.

    Since we were about to be moving to another province, we had a week long road trip ahead of us that would involve a lot of “eating out”, and therefore a lot of wheat and many other irritating foods such as tomatoes and dairy. It became “do it now” or find another path all together. So this is what we did. For three weeks, my son and I went off all disaccharides (double sugar molecules). Meaning we could eat nothing but fruits and vegetables (but no root vegetables), a predigested fiber/protein/carbohydrate mix, plus 1 tbsp of olive oil a day and water (no spices). No supplements, no grains, no dairy etc. This is commonly referred to as the “leaky gut diet” and is the most common method to heal eczema and food intolerances… plus many other health challenges that few understand actually have their roots in a “leaky gut”.

    This is the simplest way I know to define “leaky gut”: An overgrowth of Candida yeast in the intestinal tract which can lead to the yeast “burrowing” into the intestines and thereby creating holes that allow undigested food particles to enter the blood stream. Since these food particles are not meant to be in the bloodstream, the body launches an allergic response causing inflammation in the area that these foreign particles settle. Usually this happens where that person may have a constitutional propensity toward weakness. For example, if my son had been constitutionally weaker in the lung area, he may have gotten asthma instead of eczema. In some cases, both areas and other parts of the body are affected with inflammation too.

    So we ate like this for 2 and half weeks (I stopped it earlier than I had intended, because he was so greatly improved, but had lost considerable weight which caused me concern). At that point, he was 90% better, and continued after that, to improve until he was completely free of eczema a month later (even though we ate very poorly for the week of our road trip, lots of grilled cheese sandwiches, ketchup and French fries)! The leaky gut diet had taken the load off his intestinal tract and his vital healing forces had kicked into high gear- since they were no longer being assaulted (it only takes three days for healthy intestinal lining to regenerate and heal, so I wasn’t surprised that he healed so fast, especially being a child).

    When we finally arrived in Vancouver, our destination, we put our son on a month of colloidal silver hydrosol, grapefruit seed extract, a living whole foods brand of probiotics and digestive enzymes to address the underlying condition of Candida. And that was it, he has been free of eczema ever since, and he can now eat all the foods that once caused his skin to inflame and drove his mother to tears!

    So why does the son of a holistic nutritionist have Candida in the first place. That is a soft spot for me and probably one of the contributing factors to my inability to take action in the beginning. In a sense, I felt a sense of futility. I wondered how I could so-called be doing “everything right”, yet still face such a considerable health challenge in my own family?

    I knew why my son was struggling with intestinal flora imbalance (allowing Candida to proliferate) since at four months of age he had been on antibiotics for 1 week, due to an infection caused by an inguinal hernia surgery. So while I got that it was due to circumstances beyond my conscious control, that he did not get the best start on balanced intestinal flora-on some level though, I still felt that I should have done more earlier, to compensate for the assault on his inner ecosystem (micro flora balance).

    Yet in my heart I know that I did the best that I could, with the knowledge that I had at the time. For example, I chose to exclusively breastfeed until he was one year of age, which gave his digestive tract much more time than most babies, to mature before being introduced to solid food. Then again, I don’t think I made the best choice of not slowly introducing solid foods.

    When I did finally start feeding him solids, I just gave him what ever I myself was eating (which at the time was a grain heavy vegetarian diet).In hindsight, this choice may have reduced the benefits of longer term exclusive breastfeeding, in regards to his digestion.

    I should have also had him on probiotics for at least 6 months after the bout of antibiotics, but at the time, I didn’t know that it took that long to re-establish microbial balance.

    Along the way, I had also been fortunate to study with a teacher who is very knowledgeable in nutrition from the Chinese medical perspective. Not only did she emphasize the benefit of traditional diets and traditional food prep methods for digestive capacity, but she also turned me onto the wisdom of the “energy of foods”. This knowledge helped me to understand why, when we first started my son on the leaky gut diet, certain foods that were permissible such as the seemingly benign mango, would in fact trigger inflammation, when it had otherwise been calming and receding. I didn’t have the resources at the time to determine why this was so, but in my further training I found that it wasn’t such a mystery, but that certain foods have a heating quality which further exacerbates heated or inflammatory conditions such as eczema.

    Through continuing study, I discovered that a lot of the foods that are typically promoted as being healthy and recommended for everyone, are not necessarily beneficial for young children whose digestive systems are still developing and adjusting. Nor are they helpful for people with weak digestion due to illness or those who have a weaker digestive constitution. I also became enlightened to the fact that sometimes the harsh cleansing and sometimes irritating nature of these so called health foods, had properties that could be neutralized by preparing them the way that our ancestors once did; there by increasing not only their digestibility, but also our ability to obtain nourishment from them.

    And then there are probiotic foods, something I didn’t even discover for our family until many years after my son overcame eczema.

    It makes such perfect sense to me now, why my organic, whole foods vegetarian diet was not the perfect one for my child, even though it brought me into a greater state of health. It also explains why many very health conscious people, who eat the most seemingly wholesome diets can still be deficient in nutrients and suffer from deficiencies and other health imbalances. We are not what we eat, but rather what we can digest and assimilate.

    So if I could do it all over again, this is how I would feed young children to encourage optimum health. I would exclusively breastfeed for one year and then gradually introduce foods as is commonly done, one food at a time. I would prepare simple foods made with traditional food prep methods to neutralize anti-nutrients. I would avoid wheat, not because it is inherently allergy promoting, but because these days, not only is it hybridized, not traditional prepared (soaked), but also because it usually contains baker’s yeast (common allergen). Many question (myself included) whether we can evolve fast enough to tolerate these new forms of wheat and bread making. It seems that people with poor immune function are especially prone to food intolerances and gluten is high on the list of allergenic foods. I don’t want my own children to be part of the experiment of an industry barely 100 years old, and for this reason our family has chosen to forgo wheat and baker’s yeast.

    Instead, in our home we use good simple, affordable and accessible wild yeast fermentation to culture our spelt flour and make easy and delicious sourdough bread at home. When we want convenience, we use organic sprouted flour- free bread.

    While we are particular in our food choices, I don’t make an issue of it outside the home. We rarely limit ourselves when we are guests at someone else’s table, or at a restaurant. I do my best to not let our conscious food choices get between enjoying the good company of others while sharing a meal together.

    Finally, I want to also acknowledge that while this path of healing worked in my son’s case, that there are many other modalities such as homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine which have very valid and effective approaches to eczema. So if you or anyone you know is struggling with eczema, please understand that eczema is a symptom of an underlying imbalance that can be addressed through natural means and that true healing is done from the inside out. While anti inflammatory creams are tempting, one must take caution, as they are also a suppressive therapy (which can cause the disease to be repressed and settle deeper, thus making the healing process more challenging and causing further degeneration). This is true whether the therapy is natural (made with natural ingredients) or conventional. It is best to nourish health, not repress symptoms.

    To clarify, I am not saying that we should never use a topical therapy. I know that sometimes we just need to get our head above water; but if you do resort to anti inflammatory creams, just use them to take the edge off in the short term, while you are looking for ways to nourish true healing. We did try some herbal topical ointments, but most resulted in a lot of screaming and running to the bath!

    Eczema can also be the symptom of a much deeper issue (as all health challenges are) and we must also consider it’s emotional counterpart (lack of confidence or inner balance, anxiety and uncertainty). How can we nurture our child into greater wholeness through our unconditional love and support?

    For deep healing and transformation in health, we must seek the assistance of a practitioner who can truly hold, and witness our journey, so that we can let go and trust our process and inner wisdom. Find someone who you resonate with at the soul level to guide you, as you embrace the gift of greater wholeness- your gift for journeying the sacred healing path.

    Want to learn more about healing food sensitivities and the leaky gut diet that I used to heal my son? Sign up for my COMPLIMENTARY recorded teleseminar where I share more about our story and tell you exactly how we did it.






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    Wise Women Herbal-Healing Wise by Susun Weed
    “Beyond Breast milk -Starting Solids, Delaying Solids, What Does Breast milk Lack”? By Dr. Linda Palmer http://www.babyreference.com/BEYONDBREASTMILK.html
    Allergies-Disease in Disguise- How to Heal Your Allergic Condition permanently and naturally, by Carolee Bateson-Koch DC ND
    One’s Food Is Another’s Poison, by David W. Rowland
    Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself! by Lise Bourbeau

    Mompreneurs Need Momentum (not balance)

    Balance is BSMost moms worry that they won’t have the time to do the work of running a  business and the  truth is that yes the start up of a new business is more time consuming than being in the flow of an already established business. That is why it is so crucial for moms to do exactly the right things to start their business and avoid spending time doing tasks that are not income generating (if your not making money you don’t have a business, you have a hobby).

    One of the most important things to understand when starting your own business as a holistic mom is that you can’t do it in a balanced way (multi tasking  doesn’t work when you need momentum).

    Our culture loves to promote balance , but balance is simply a maintenance strategy and does not have the movement that is necessary to get a business off the ground.

    What actually works is to create focused times where you can get momentum. That way when you are with your family, you are really with them. When you are with your business, you ‘get shit done’ because you have the speed of momentum and the space to focus.

    Moms often tell me they don’t have time….and while that feels true, it is actually the attitude of time poverty that keeps us trying to do it all at once and feeling like we are on a hamster wheel of “having to” instead of  ”wanting to”- we always have time for what we are committed to ….when we make time for ourselves, we find more time… we always find what we are looking for.

    So the next time you use the excuse “I don’t have time”, stop and ask yourself what you are truly committed to….spend your time there, let go of the need to control your time and allow time to show you where it is- and let the rest take care of itself!

    One thing that I use and help my clients with is establishing rhythms instead of living by a schedule and one of the ways that I do that is by living in tune with the moon- what we come to discover by syncing with the moon, is that everything has a season- and that makes it easier to let go of the feeling of having to do it all now.

    It is really about cultivating a new relationship with time and taking a stand to make time for you.

    How might you need to be unreasonable to get focused time set aside to ensure that you get the momentum you need to make your dreams a reality?