Nourish Bowls.

As the weather gets chillier, windier and more rainy in these fall/winter months, those who identify predominantly with the vata dosha can easily find themselves feeling unbalanced, scattered, anxious, and more prone to dryness and cold.

 Roasted carrots, roasted butternut squash, roasted beets and brussel sprouts, red lentils/quinoa, and sauteed kale with avocado.

Roasted carrots, roasted butternut squash, roasted beets and brussel sprouts, red lentils/quinoa, and sauteed kale with avocado.

Nourish bowls have recently become an integral part of my meals, and I’ve found that transitioning more to warm, cooked foods has helped me feel more grounded and aided with my digestion. And they just taste so darn GOOD, so it’s essentially a win-win.

 Roasted brussel sprouts, roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, quinoa/red lentils with kale, pea shoots, sauerkraut, and avocado.

Roasted brussel sprouts, roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, quinoa/red lentils with kale, pea shoots, sauerkraut, and avocado.

To save time during the week, I choose one day to make a large batch of quinoa and red lentils. Essentially it’s just 1 cup dry quinoa and 1 cup split red lentils boiled in 4 cups of vegetable broth. I add a dash of turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, ground fennel, and cook it until the liquid has been absorbed. I’ve been adding kale or red chard at the end of the cooking cycle. From there, I’ll put together whatever other vegetables I’ve roasted- beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, delicata squash….the possibilities are endless.

 Today’s creation- roasted delicata squash with a splash of balsamic finish, roasted beets, roasted cauliflower, quinoa/red lentils with sauteed baby chard, kale, and the fresh beet greens.

Today’s creation- roasted delicata squash with a splash of balsamic finish, roasted beets, roasted cauliflower, quinoa/red lentils with sauteed baby chard, kale, and the fresh beet greens.

When I batch cook and roast my vegetables, it sets me up for success during the rest of the week. I merely put together my own nourish bowl ingredients and heat them up for a deliciously warm, nutritious and balanced meals throughout the week. Let me know what combos you’re inspired to try! The possibilities are endless.


Stepping into Yirah!

The beautiful thing about the internet is that it connects us together with people from across the globe. I received a heartfelt email from a lovely new friend living in South Africa, and included in it was a post I’d written almost two years ago. Reading my own words- written in a time of great uncertainty as I was preparing to leave a job I had been at for 11 years- was a gentle reminder that there are two different faces of fear, and essentially, how with a little faith and luck, things always work out.

I wanted to re-post this now, as I feel it’s relevant and can invite you to get quiet, to listen, and to step fully, wholeheartedly, bravely into YIRAH.

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This whole time I thought there was only one type of fear. The deep-rooted, irrational, worst-case scenario lizard-brain fear. The kind that tells us to avoid that conversation when our partner says, “We need to talk” because it’s uncomfortable and we might get broken up with and never find love again. It’s the fear that tells us not to press ‘publish’ because people may not like what we wrote. It warns us that if we quit our full-time job, we won’t be able to pay our rent or afford health insurance. We’ll be forced to eat $0.10 ramen and everyone will shake their heads and say, “I told you so.” The Hebrew word for this type of fear is pachad.

There’s another kind of fear. But it has a much different type of energy. It’s what you feel when you step onto the stage to deliver your keynote speech and you’re ready and excited and the energy is pulsing through your veins. It’s standing underneath El Capitan and feeling awe-struck amidst the grandeur of nature. This is the overwhelming feeling of reverence and magic when we enter into a larger space (physical or psychological) than we’re used to inhabiting, or when we’re filled with more energy than we’re used to possessing. It’s when we’re in the presence of God and deeply connected to our spiritual essence. It’s a holy fear. The Hebrew word for this is yirah.

When we’re still and quiet, we can discern one from the other. Pachad keeps us small, safe and hidden, but discontentment silently breeds here. Most people’s lives are largely dictated by pachad. But yirah feels much different. We lean into this when we listen to our intuition, turn our heads to acknowledge what our hearts are crying out for, and follow our calling.

Truly stepping into our lives means learning how to manage the screaming pachad. To soothe it, quiet it down, rock it to sleep. And then tiptoe away and swing open the door and step fully into yirah, which has celebratory balloons and streamers and confetti and has been waiting for us all along.

Broken Open.

At the time, I had no idea that I was energetically financing myself to an unhealthy person and situation. Love is blind sometimes. But hindsight is always 20/20, right? Being completely freed from the cords of entanglement, I can clearly see the immense physical and emotional toll it had on my body.

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My precious life force, prana, qi- was severely compromised. I had no idea how the emotional stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, and underlying feelings that something just wasn’t right were enough to culminate into a huge slap-in-the-face wake up call.

It’s been two weeks now that I’ve been able to finally get a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. I’ve been doubling down on my self-care routines, making sure to feed my body warm, cooked foods (working on rebuilding my qi and nourishing my spleen), practicing yin yoga in the evening, and surrounding myself with positive friends and family. My body clock is restoring itself slowly but surely- I’m waking up early again full of energy. I now have my much-needed space and solitude to read, journal and meditate. It’s like coming back home to my ‘old self’ again. And it feels really, really good.

And with this energetic, emotional, spiritual, and physical restoration, my desire to create and make art has returned.

 The first piece of art birthed from my ‘broken open’ heart. Hand painted and hand lettered while wearing rose quartz- a stone representing unconditional love, compassion, empathy, and healing. Available for purchase  HERE.

The first piece of art birthed from my ‘broken open’ heart. Hand painted and hand lettered while wearing rose quartz- a stone representing unconditional love, compassion, empathy, and healing. Available for purchase HERE.

I believe that every one of us experiences ‘the dark night of the soul’- a time when we are broken open. Our greatest pain and losses can be a portal to self-discovery and transformation if we allow them to be. To be broken open helps us better understand those in pain, it deepens our empathy, teaches us grace in forgiveness, and allows us to better hold space for others.

I am looking forward to what this new season will bring creatively and artistically. I’m a firm believer that whatever gets thrown our way, we have the capacity to transform it into something beautiful. We can choose to make art with it.

Square One is Sacred Ground.

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Square one is sacred ground.
— Sam Lamott

I’ve heard that huge life transitions happen every 7 years. If that’s the case, the timing of the universe is accurate. 11/11/11 was supposed to be my wedding day, and this year- exactly seven years later- I’ve found myself in another season of ‘transition’.

“Square one is sacred ground.” I first read these words one week ago while navigating and processing that gut-wrenching feeling that comes with the dissolution of a relationship, and they made me weep. When the reality you’ve known and built your world around suddenly comes crashing down in flames, it’s easy to recognize that you’re back to square one. It’s a mixture of disbelief, anger, fear, and uncertainty. I’ve learned that most of our deepest hurt comes from relationships. But even more importantly, so does our healing. When we’re knocked down and shaking uncontrollably with rage on the floor, it’s our friends who spoon feed up truth, wrap us in love, and remind us of who we are.

Square one humbles us, softens us, opens us up, and acts as the fertile soil for new growth and possibility. It feels like a mixture of daunting fear, fragility, and yet, new hope and promise.

Perhaps you’re at square one too. Maybe you’ve reached a point in your physical health, in a certain relationship, or even in your mental health where you feel like you’re back to the beginning. The very last thing you may feel in this moment is promise. It feels impossible to fathom the beauty in the ashes, that destruction makes way for possibility, and that you’re standing on sacred ground that is filled with opportunities for new growth and potential.

I’m here to invite you to look at your situation with new eyes. It’s not all about the mountaintops that we reach; it’s about the way we put back together the broken pieces from the floor, the way we rebuild and find renewal and restoration in these new beginnings. This is square one. And this, my friends— is sacred ground.

Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Turmeric.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. 

Trust the Process.

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Whatever season you're currently in, know there is beauty tucked underneath the snow, in the promise of spring buds, and in the falling of dried leaves that have known the summer sun. The hardest, coldest, loneliest seasons of my life taught me resilience, wholeness, and healing, and to this day, I see them as gifts that made my 'spring' that much brighter and warmer.

Seasons of grief, loss, job transitions, relocating, singleness, or new partnerships all have gifts. Waiting for you to see them.

The Ripple Of Impact.

"Anything worth doing is worth doing because it changes someone."

I don't know who said it, but it was was meaningful enough for me to scribble these words down in my notebook last year. It's true. Art, work, writing, whatever it is that we "DO", becomes 10x more meaningful when it helps someone else. 

The ROI is something I like to refer to as the "Ripple of Impact." When my clients' new healthy behaviors positively affect their children, it reminds that our ROI expands far beyond ourselves. It impacts our relationships, our children, our friends, our coworkers, and our communities. 

This most recent testimonial from my client May was touching because it shows this ROI. Her children are now enjoy eating healthier food and also are her biggest advocates for continuing a healthy lifestyle. She is now stronger, more radiant, energized, and mindful about her eating habits and movement, and working together was an extreme joy. 

I am so grateful that I had a chance to meet and work with Julianne. She was truly a Godsent during a low time in my life. I was eating extremely poorly, I was exhausted every day and I made very little time for physical activity.

Julianne showed me the importance of nutrition and how I can use food to fuel my body and kill hunger and sweet cravings. I was able to lose 15lbs while on the program, get out and enjoy nature and physical activity and I found all sort of delicious ways to incorporate the four components of eating healthy.

I am truly amazed at how much my energy as well as confidence has changed over the course of eight weeks. The skills that have been shared with me have benefitted my family as well. I will never go back to my old ways of living and eating. My family and I will follow the Kanzaki Method™ for life.
— May Stephens
 CELEBRATING VICTORY! May's final hike after eight weeks of fueling her body properly and moving in nature.

CELEBRATING VICTORY! May's final hike after eight weeks of fueling her body properly and moving in nature.

The Ultimate Creamy Vegan Mac 'n Cheese

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INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. gluten-free pasta (I used brown rice pasta)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours (you can also pour boiling water over them and let them sit for ~45 minutes if you're time-crunched)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked sea salt, or more to taste  

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, drain the cashews and discard the water. In a high-speed blender, blend together the cashews, water, garlic, coconut milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, paprika, onions, and smoked sea salt until it becomes a creamy consistency.
  3. Pour over pasta and mix until pasta is fully coated.
  4. Add roasted vegetables (optional, but encouraged!) and enjoy!

 

 This vegan mac 'n cheese dish fits into that sweet spot between foods that taste delicious and foods that are good for you. 

This vegan mac 'n cheese dish fits into that sweet spot between foods that taste delicious and foods that are good for you. 

The Sun.

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Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone—
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance—
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love—
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed—
or have you too
turned from this world—

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?
— Mary Oliver, The Sun