I had the pleasure of spending time with the author of Eat with Intention: Recipes and Mediations for a Life that Lights You Up. Her name is Cassandra Bodzak, and she is awesome! She is a healthy cooking expert, wellness coach, meditation teacher, TV personality and blogger, and a mom to a five-year-old goldfish. She helps people create a life that lights them up from the inside out. With spring on the horizon, it’s a great time to think about new approaches to life. Here are some words of wisdom from Cassandra.

Before you head on over to the diet section of Barnes and Noble and pick up the hottest new fad diet, how about trying something different this Spring? What if I told that you have had the secrets all along, you just have forgotten how to ask for the answer. In my book, Eat with Intention: Recipe and Mediations for a Life that Lights You Up, I teach people how to reclaim their relationship with their body so they can access their inner wisdom for living their healthiest, most vibrant and happy life!

The first big step to this is starting to have a conversation with your body. You can’t find out the answers if you don’t start with asking the questions. So I wanted to provide you with five juicy questions to get you started on your body love conversation and help you get into this loving ritual for Spring and beyond. First off, I highly recommend creating a sacred space to begin this conversation. Find a cozy nook, light a candle, make a cup of tea and get a beautiful journal to jot down some notes in. Once you are comfortable, begin with a meditation. My clients love to listen to my guided meditation for loving and accepting your body (you can listen to that here), but you can do whatever feels best to you to unwind and center into your inner world. When you are ready, place one hand on your heart and one hand on your navel and one by one ask yourself the following questions. Allow whatever comes up to come up without judging it or trying to manipulate it, just let it be and feel free to journal what comes to mind first, allowing the responses to flow organically without second guessing what is coming forward.

1. How have I been treating you?

2. How can I take better care of you?

3. Am I doing anything right now that’s hurting you?

4. What foods would be most nourishing for you right now?

5. Is there something you have been trying to tell me?

Truth is, you can go on forever with questions, and I encourage you to keep asking as they naturally pop up for you. It takes practice. It’s like any relationship in life, you need to build up your connection one day at a time. Keep showing up, keep asking and most importantly, keep listening to what your body is telling you. I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback.

Here is a bonus for you! A recipe and meditation from my book.

Life can drag you in a million different directions each day, but you can stop the treadmill of insanity whenever you take a moment, connect to your breath, and choose to do what you love—what your soul wants and what ultimately is for your highest good. Our life expands when we start choosing to do things we love with the time and energy we have.

MEDITATION FORTHE POSITIVE MIND

Sit in easy pose. Curl your ring finger and little finger into each palm with your thumbs holding them down, with your two standing fingers held together instead of spread apart as in a peace sign. Bring in your arms so that your elbows are by your sides and your hands are by your shoulders with the two standing fingers of each hand pointing straight up. Your forearms and hands should tilt forward slightly to an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical. Press your shoulders and elbows back firmly but comfortably and keep your palms facing forward. Close your eyes and focus them on your third-eye point (the space between your eyebrows). Take slow deep breaths and mentally chant “sa ta na ma” from the third-eye point outward. This is a common Kundalini mantra that describes the cycle of life: “sa” means infinity, “ta” is life, “na” is death, and “ma” is rebirth. Start by practicing for 11 minutes, gradually building up to 31 minutes. Take a deep breath in to close, hold it, and then exhale and relax.

Pumpkin Quinoa Pancakes (Yield: 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 1 cup (112 g) quinoa flour
  • ½ cup (123 g) pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pumpkin pie spice (for homemade pumpkin pie spice, mix ½ tea spoon ground cinnamon, 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, and 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil cooking spray, for greasing

FILLING (OPTIONAL): 8-ounce (237 g) container vegan cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) date syrup
  • Sprinkle of ground nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small cup, combine the almond milk and cream of tartar and set aside
  2. To make flax “egg,” mix together the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5minutes, until thickened.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the quinoa flour, pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice,coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the flax “egg.”
  4. Spray a medium frying pan or griddle pan with the cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the almond milk mixture to the mixing bowl and thoroughly mix. Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bubbles start to form and the edges begin to crisp. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds, and then transfer to a serving plate.Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  5. To make the filling, if using, combine all the filling ingredients in a stand mixer and beat untilsmooth and creamy. To serve, I love making silver dollar pancakes and stacking them with layers of the filling in between.

“I choose to do things I love.”

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