I tried the Chocolate & Zucchini cake this Easter weekend and would definitely bake and indulge again. It is dark and moist with Whittakers 72% cocoa Dark Ghana Chocolate, chopped up for my chocolate chips. Chocolate ganache was poured over the top & then a sprinkling of dried rose petals.
By Jennifer Pilgrim
Yields: 6 mini bundt cakes or 12 cupcakes
Keep your eye out for a rare full moon on the night of April 11. This unique pink moon in Libra will cause a cosmic shift in energy if you open yourself up to it. If you’re standing outside on Tuesday gazing at the sky, you won’t actually see a pink-colored moon. The moon’s name comes from vibrant pink wildflowers called ground Phlox. The pink moon alludes to the changes in nature that happen around this time of year. If you allow yourself to feel the moon’s energy, you may see similar changes in your own life.
Here’s what to expect from Tuesday’s rare pink moon in Libra:
The pink moon will cause a heightened energy around you. It’s up to you to choose how to channel the energy. You can allow it to become a negative source, or you can use it to better your life and yourself. By welcoming the energy shift with a positive attitude, positive things will follow.
If you have a gut feeling in the days ahead, don’t ignore it. The pink moon will strengthen your sense of intuition. You’ll feel more connected to your inner self, including your wants, needs, desires and intentions. Listen to your instincts and follow through with your gut feelings.
The pink moon will bring about a wave of conscious awareness. If you open yourself up to it, it will lead to meaningful self-discovery. Use this time to re-center yourself. Find balance in your life. This new awakening will help you see the future more clearly and allow you to see what path to take.
Areas of communication will be highlighted in the days after the full moon. Use the energy to catch up with friends, family members and loved ones. Take the time to reach out to people you haven’t seen in a while and re-connect. Your social skills will be spot on after the pink moon, and you’ll crave closer relationships with loved ones.
Full moons are associated with rebirth and new beginnings. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to try but never had the chance to, now is the right time. It might be taking up a new hobby, learning a new language or starting a new exercise program. Whatever it is, commit to it. Stop making excuses. Don’t let anyone get in your way from re-charging and trying something new.
Rest & Rejuvenate in the beautiful retreat Mana offers in the Coromandel.
Mother's Day Relax 12-14 May 2017 $190
Winter Relax Weekend 9-11 June 2017 $190
These weekend prices include accommodation and nourishing vegetarian meals.
by Dr. Ilene Ruhoy 8 February 2017
Many health discussions focus on heart disease. And while this is an important discussion because it can help many prevent heart attacks, just as importantly, the blood vessels that feed the brain (known as cerebral vasculature) are equally as vulnerable and in need of protection. And it is the health of these cerebral vessels that's important in preventing a stroke.
Ever wondered how blood gets to your brain?
Briefly and simply, the brain receives its blood supply from the two internal carotid arteries that course up the sides of the neck and the two vertebral arteries that travel up the back of the neck. All of these arteries combine and form what is called the circle of Willis, a ring of vessels from which all major cerebral vessels arise. Before combining, the vertebral and basilar arteries also send off branches to feed the other parts of the brain like the brainstem and the cerebellum.
A stroke is a blockage of a cerebral vessel and can be devastating, resulting in impaired quality of life or even in end of life. The area of the brain affected by the stroke is based on the specific vessel that has been unable to deliver proper blood supply to its corresponding brain tissue. And each region of brain tissue has an associated function, whether its motor, sensory, visual, perception, speech, or cognition. There can be some stroke warning signs—but oftentimes there are none.
To prevent a stroke you have to tackle inflammation.
Known risk factors for cerebral vessel disease include elevated blood pressure, elevated lipids, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, obesity, genetics, underlying disease such as autoimmunity or blood disorders, medications and drugs, stress, poor nutrition, poor sleep as well as sleep apnea, age, or a previous stroke or heart attack. The common pathway for many of these risk factors? Inflammation. Many of these risk factors result in inflammation of the vessels, known as vasculitis.
So what can we do? Some of the very same things we do to hopefully prevent a heart attack can also help to prevent a stroke. And remember: Your lifestyle choices always matter.
1. Adopt a plant-based diet.
The vast array of vitamins, nutrients, and essential compounds that are found in plant-based foods help to lower blood pressure, improve glucose control, reduce inflammation, and help in weight loss. Try to minimize or eliminate pro-inflammatory animal products.
2. Normalize your sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, get it treated because sleep apnea results in less oxygen delivered to the brain during sleep—a critical time for many of the brain's functions. For example, sleep helps to form and retain lessons and memories from the day before. Sleep hygiene is important, so try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times each night.
3. Don't skimp on fresh air and exercise.
Regular daily exercise—preferably outside for the added beneficial effects of the great outdoors—is important to reduce blood sugar, lower weight, and reduce stress.
4. Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
If you need help quitting, please reach out for help or speak to your physician.
5. Supplement to fight inflammation.
Herbal formulations are great for preventive purposes. Boswellia lowers brain inflammation and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant that will work to scoop up those inflammation-causing free radicals. Meadowsweet and white willow bark are natural sources of salicylate acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. Important: If your risk factors are great enough that you need aspirin, these herbs are not a substitute.
6. Give acupuncture a try.
Studies have demonstrated the positive effects on cerebral blood flow with particular head acupoints.
7. Start the day with a juice.
Start each morning with a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant combination that includes turmeric and ginger, along with fruits and vegetables. It is the perfect time to infuse your hungry cells with crucial vitamins and nutrients to set them up for physiologic success!
You have the power to heal your body, improve your health, and prevent disease. So harness that power and take one day at a time.