We've been in Croatia the last month basking in the sun and luxuriating in the Adriatic Sea. We brought a stash of goodies with us for making treats and desserts. This recipe was my brainchild one day when I realised we were running low on cashews (from all the cashew-based ice creams I had been making) and had a bountiful supply of sunflower seeds.
My two kilo bag of sunflower seeds were begging to be brandished on something other than the refrigerator shelf. I also had some mesquite powder that I had been avoiding - I don't usually care for the after-taste, but in this recipe it goes undetected by my scrutinising taste buds, so a bonus for us all!
I encourage you to play and tweak with the measurements as the ones below are approximate (I am guilty of creating in the kitchen by using handfuls of this and splashes of that).
At any rate you are sure to feel sunny on the inside after licking down a spoonful or two of this chocolate-peanutbuttery-tasting summer treat.
If you really want your happiness meter to soar through the roof, try the meditation technique below!
Sunny Ice Cream
3/4 C sunflower seeds (soaked several hours or overnight)
1/2 C almond milk (can use H2O)
3 TBS raw chocolate powder
1 TBS mesquite powder
3 TBS honey or agave (may need to adjust according to desired sweetness)
1 tsp camu camu (optional)
1 tsp chlorella (optional)
1/4 C cacao butter, melted
1 TBS lecithin
Add first 7 ingredients into blender - save a little almond milk on the side as you want a thick smooth consistency and not too runny. Once well blended, add the cacao butter and lecithin and blend again until well mixed. Pour out into a tub and place in freezer for 3 hours when it will be ready to devour.
The trick with making ice creams and mousses is not to get too gun-ho with adding too much liquid to the mixture. Start with small amounts. If your hand was a little heavy, try adding more chocolate powder and little more cacao butter (you may need a touch more sweetener, too).
Finally, top with any fresh, seasonal fruits, bee pollen, cacao nibs or chopped nuts for an ice cream that is sure to get you lapping every drop from the tub.
Do this anytime, anywhere for a lift to your internal happiness account. Zenchai and I love doing it together at night as part of his bedtime routine - so if you have any kiddlewinkles in your life spread the joy by adapting it to their understanding. They deserve to allow their inner-bright to shine, too.
First think of an affirmation for yourself. Keep it simple. For example: I am healthy. I am happy. I am well. Choose up to three short statements. Zenchai and I use 'I am happy and free.'
Then, repeat your phrase in your head, directing the thoughts towards yourself. Once you feel you have sufficiently loved yourself up, think of someone else you love. (Zenchai inevitably chooses his grandmere and then throws his arms up and says 'I love everyone!' Repeat your same phrase but this time sending it out to your chosen loved one.
After you finish sending your super-groovy vibes out to your loved one, think of someone that you feel neutrally towards - ie. the cashier at the grocery store or the guy that pumps your gas etc. Visualise them in your minds eye and send them your affirmation.
Now think of someone you dislike or are having difficulty with (for children this could be a bully or teacher). With that person in your mind send your well wishes towards them.
Lastly, send out your happiness affirmation to everyone.
Finish with: May everyone be happy and free.
You don't have to do all five steps. If you need a quickie buzz booster just do the first and last steps. Your chosen affirmation does not have to be said aloud either, but do so when trying it with kiddies.
It is magic to my ears when I close Zenchai's bedroom door and he is still happily chanting 'I am happy and free. I am happy and I love you.' until he falls asleep.
Are you practicing your yoga? Do you have a daily sadhana? Have you ever wanted to try yoga, but haven’t been able to get up the courage to actually do it? Do you just simply want to get back onto your mat or deepen your existing yoga practice?
Well my darling yoga buds, I have the perfect starting point for you ~ regardless of where you are on the spectrum.
However, what I am about to share with you is not for the faint hearted. This is by far the most advanced yoga pose that anyone can practice AND you can do it in two effortless steps.
Are you ready to transform your life?
Sit, stand or even walk in a comfortable position / way.
Now this is the tricky bit – simultaneously take the corners of your mouth high up towards your ears.
Voila! You have just won the gold medal of yoga. You are smiling even when things might not always be as you wish them to be, but jolly don’t you feel better for it?
Splashing my pearly whites all over,
Ps. The day feels much brighter now that we are all practicing the highest form of yoga together!
I watched Into the Wild last night for the first time. It was an incredibly poignant movie based on a true story. I won’t go into too many details. I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it. But one thing that really stuck-out for me was a discovery that the main character, Alex came to: “Happiness is only real if shared.”
Alex went through an amazing journey to come to this heart-opening realization. It made me feel an incredibly deep gratitude for my family, friends and all the many people that I have in my life to share happiness with.
I believe gratitude is the root from which everything else grows. I encourage you to nourish your gratitude roots by watering them with authentic sincerity to see what beautiful blooms manifest from your roots. It just might be happiness!