El Cielo o El Mundo?

10481965_823753777696241_7296374477466669109_oMy Spanish is getting better. Marginally. As a server at a Mexican restaurant (read, tequila bar) I’ve learned a thing or two- about Spanish, si, and myself as well.

I recently served Harrison Ford, who told me, in the nicest way he possibly could, “May I be so bold, Brit, as to tell you that it’s chile reh-YEH-no not chile reh-LLey-no.” He listened to me practice my pronunciation a few times before he decided to order a Burrito. Come on, you couldn’t have led with that Harrison?  I guess we can chalk it up to a double punch for the bucket list: Banter with Hans Solo. Check. Master the romance languages. Partial check. Speaking of, he did leave me a handsome tip (check for Harry).

I also appreciate tips from our big-hearted Mexican chef, who, funny enough, bears the name of a similarly generous sandwich. If I forget to put in an order of rice and beans, Reuben is quick to oblige. “For you mi amor, anything.” Then he asks, “But what do you really want, mi amor- el cielo o el mundo?“

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So I have to choose… What DO I really want? 

In this way, my serving job has been a lesson in conscious consumption. And like most lessons worth their (margarita) salt, I learned the hard way. I got caught up in the Jackson “work hard to play harder” mentality and forgot that I have never kept up with the fast crowd. Giddy on that “school’s out” energy, FOMO overrode my better instincts until I woke up with a moral hangover and had to reach for the proverbial Advil.

High season has shown me an error in my thinking: Faster is better. Busier is definitely best. I picked up doubles and accepted tequila “tasters” followed by shift drinks. My co-workers seemed so care-free, why couldn’t I just go along for the ride? I continued the quick pace thanks to cold-brew and power bars on the run. At night, I tossed and turned, wired but tired. I said yes to everything: work, alcohol, and invites. Until I couldn’t.

I collapsed at work, dehydrated and completely exhausted. Rock bottom hit. Okay, I’ll cut the dramatics; I broke a few tortilla chips on the way down but friends, family, and mentors quickly helped pick the (non-GMO and gluten-free) chip crumbs out of my hair. Their advice flew in the face of my go-go-go (GO!) schedule and extra-curricular activities. They challenged my sense of urgency and compulsion to do everything under the self-imposed idea that I needed to please everyone.

IMG_5752When I took myself to the doctor, she asked my age and did some quick math related to average life spans. Her point: “You are twenty-six and life is a long time. Slow down.”  My yoga teacher recited a sutra which means: “The path is long. Redouble your efforts and keep going.” Another yoga instructor shared her favorite quote: “In business we get lost. In stillness we get found.”

Alright, alright. Point taken.

That being said, I find it difficult to be selective when choosing the who, what, and where on life’s menu. Saying no is not easy for many of us- it takes strong willpower to dismiss the eye-catching cocktail or to turn down dessert. But to create a high-vibe life, I have to be a little braver about sticking up for myself and practicing conscious consumption.

Do I want dessert tonight? The tres leches or the churros? El cielo o el mundo?

But what do I really, really want?

I’ll take self-love. Check (please).

Summer Love

Happy Solstice! Today, on the longest day of the year, before I take advantage of the daylight hours and get out for a bike ride, I wanted to write about June’s sentimental value. Perhaps you will relate to my love affair with June… Let me know! And tell me what you get up to on this glorious day!


 

Winter 2013 was brutally cold in New England, especially for a ski coach, so when spring arrived, I was ready to move my body. I talked my way into an over-enrolled Dartmouth P.E. vinyasa class, if only because yoga was becoming a buzzword and if I was going to bother giving up a “real workout,” I wanted the sold-out teacher.

Marie Fourcaut

My teacher, Marie, in King Pigeon. Can you tell she is a dancer?

Marie Fourcaut was worth her hype: A petite Parisian with a dancer’s carriage (and an elegant chignon to match), I learned to respect her eye for alignment. Her mix of English and French was trop mignon, especially when she spotted a moment of progress. I loved hearing the excitement in her voice and an affirming “Bravo Brit-a-ny!” Marie adjusted my poses almost reverently… I couldn’t help but soften. I had become good at shutting off feeling in my body. And yet, my hunched shoulders started to relax and my chest opened. I was breathing. I was feeling (merci Marie).

Cue a deep breath.

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Inhale. Exhale. Release.

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Golden evening light is reluctant to leave the FJ Grootendorst Rose. This essence helps us “capture the summer feeling of expansive joy.”

I took a drive to Molly Sheehan’s house. Mom of a college friend and founder of Green Hope Farms Flower Essences, she has always welcomed me for a visit. She happily exclaimed at my timing; she was about to plant one of her angel-inspired gardens and asked if I would like to help. Soon I was tucking seedlings into the soil while Molly explained how the angels guide the garden and its resulting essence. Often, the flowers that the angels choose relate to the people involved with the planting, and the essence, in turn, helps balance and heal issues that may be coming up for them.

I stopped by the farm at the end of June to see the first blossoms.“You know,” Molly said, as we admired the flowers together, “the angels say this will be a powerful essence for letting go and moving on to what serves our highest good, for seeing the abiding reality of love no matter what the surface appearance. It’s called, Love Prevails.” I considered how yoga was awakening a little more self-love, how it felt like I was moving onward and upward.

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A closer look.

A mid-summer shot of the garden.

A mid-summer shot of the garden.

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Love Prevails flower essence in the making.

That summer I ran my fastest half-marathon. I fell in love. I started coursework in holistic nutrition. And yes, I signed up for Marie’s summer yoga class.

When I think about that time, it is clear that, not only does “love prevail,” it is a precursor for every positive step in my life (not that the walk is ever straight). I guess that is why I am such a June fan… because in this month of sunshine and fireflies, it is easier to catch (and hold) the love. I picture Marie teaching on the Dartmouth Green and Molly working in the garden and I consider the seeds that I am (metaphorically) sowing. This summer, for instance, my goal is to start running longer distances again. Will storms hit? Will frost come? Will weeds threaten? Most likely. Will it be beautiful either way? Yes, because love prevails. Hope, light, and growth. To me, that is June.

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Cheesin’ post race w/ Dad. The Skip Matthews Memorial Race (held on Father’s day) is always a great way to celebrate.

What does June mean to you?

What are your hopes for the summer?

Is anyone adventuring with Dad (remember that today is Father’s Day!) or anyone else special?

Please feel free to share
your plans in the comment section. I always love to know what’s on everyone’s summer bucket list!

Love and Light,

Brit

P.S. I realize that flower essences might sound kind of heady (at least they did to me). I can promise that Molly is as professional as she is intuitive. She explains that essences contain the electrical healing information unique to each flower. In this way, they can be wonderful tools as we seek to balance and navigate life’s challenges. You can learn more from her page, “Flower Essences & How They Work.” All of the staff at Green Hope Farms are only too happy to take the time to talk to you about which essences might support you.

Breakfast of Champions

I love mornings. Ironic because I am not an early riser. So let me rephrase: I should say that I love the idea of mornings— mist rising, coffee brewing, ideas percolating. More often, I am running out the door with a travel mug and Instagram satisfies my fantasy for a zen start to the day.

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When I make it to an early yoga or conditioning class, it is clear that my instructors are not familiar with the snooze button. Miraculously bright eyed (and bushy tailed) to my puffy eyes, these women get up and after it. They teach yoga, ski professionally, own businesses, raise families, and ultimately carpe diem with style and chutzpah. Curious about the source of their superpowers, I asked a handful of local yogis, athletes, entrepreneurs, and moms how they rise and shine. From miso soup to Shakeology, I am sure that you will be surprised, amused, and inspired by their answers.


Healthy Being Juicery's Synergy- my favorite!

Healthy Being Juicery’s Synergy– my favorite!

Louise Sanseau, owner of Inversion Yoga Studio: “A soy café au lait and a biscotti. Chocolate chip almond biscottis are my favorite! I also drink a lot of Healthy Being Juice during the day.”

Sarah Kline, yoga teacher & professional counselor: “Kale, spinach, yogurt smoothie with lemon, protein powder, and maca.”

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Hadley “I eat smoked salmon for breakfast” Hammer sends it off of “Smart Bastard.”

Niki Sue Mueller, yoga teacher: “My go to breakfast is coffee!”

Hadley Hammer, professional freeride skier, The North Face athlete: “My pre-competition breakfast is miso soup, rice, and smoked salmon (super weird!). It’s hydrating, not too hard on my stomach which is usually very nervous, and sumo wrestlers never ate animals that stand on four feet before a match because they wanted to stay on two. I figured for skiing, I want to stand up as well!”

Danielle Goldyn, owner of Pursue Movement Studio: “I actually don’t eat breakfast 🙂 I fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours every 24 hours so my food intake occurs from 12:00-8:00.”

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Vanessa finds her sparkle.

Vanessa Sulzer, health coach for SparkleYou, barre instructor & yoga teacher: “I have nuts and a salad with avocado and sprouts with a homemade olive oil, lemon, and garlic dressing for breakfast.”

Ariel Mann, yoga teacher, nutrition counselor & caterer: “My current go-to breakfast is a wild rice cake with crunchy peanut butter, coconut oil and jam… and a homemade latte… all organic!”

Jay Nel-McIntosh, yoga teacher, health coach: “I usually have a smoothie, with fruit, greens, almond milk, and lots of super foods (chia, hemp, flax, cacao, coconut, cinnamon). Sometimes I like to add fresh ginger or oats. If I have more time I like to make eggs and veggies. I might make toast with avocado or hummus but always veggies! I love broccoli because the crunch compliments the smoothness of the eggs so well. You can never go wrong with sautéed mushroom and onion either. Mushrooms have huge cancer preventing qualities. On cooler mornings I love a bowl of oatmeal, adding berries, chia, flax, coconut to get my good fats, and lots of cinnamon which is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.”

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Cameron gives me a smile after her amazing weekend Aryurvedic workshop.

Cameron Barker, yoga teacher, ayurvedic practitioner, owner of Jackson Hole Yoga Therapy:

“My morning routine changes with the seasons and depends on whether or not I’m cleansing. When the seasons are in flux I focus on heavy, rich, nourishing and ROUTINE morning meals… Everything from Persephone’s sweet potato and brussels sprout hash to an almond milk and date smoothie to a bacon egg and cheese from Pearl Street! I never skip breakfast.

My priority is to get food in me and to make it as effortless, non-judgmental, and comforting as possible. 

Then I make a point to cleanse for two weeks to a month, twice, sometimes three times a year. Cleansing mornings = hot water with half a lemon, stewed apples with cloves and a grain. If I’m on a mono diet I’ll have kitchari (mung beans & rice) or soup for breakfast.”

Crystal Wright, two time free skiing world tour champion, owner of Wright Training: “Eggs- protein breakfasts are huge for me and so important for the day.”

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April showers bring May (& June) flowers to Healthy Being Juicery.

Jessica Marlo Vandenbroeke, owner of Healthy Being Juicery: “…sprouted 7 grain toast or Healthy Being Live Seed Bread topped with avocado mash, Himalayan salt, fresh cracked pepper, turmeric and crushed red chili flakes. I love adding locally grown arugula and tomatoes to mine too! When I’m in the mood for something a little sweet I go for coconut yogurt (fresh coconut meat & lemon juice) with fresh fruit and Healthy Being housemade rawnola!”

Trish Fairbanks, fitness, barre, yoga instructor: “Truthfully, I drink a Darigold protein chocolate milk every morning :). Or…granola, if I’m out of it!!

Darcie Peck, owner of Wind River Yoga: “Smoothie! Berries, mango, coconut yogurt, fresh greens, rice milk, banana, coconut oil, and chia seeds!”

Smoothies have made the menu at the Juicery!

Smoothies have made the menu at the Juicery!

Natasha Krochina, yoga instructor, ayurvedic practitioner: “In the spring and the summer I like to make green smoothies. I collect dandelion greens and thistle from my yard. To make one of my favorite recipes, I add apple, lemon, banana, blueberries, spirulina, celery and mint.”

Jennifer Reid Thorn, barre instructor: “I have to fuel my body with nutrient rich, dense, and quick foods that will keep me going and energize my body to meet the physical and mental demands of teaching fitness classes, hauling two kiddos around and breastfeeding. So, the quick and dirty (I mean “clean”)  breakfast is Shakeology. I love the vegan chocolate and tropical strawberry! I mix one pouch with 8 oz of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 banana, lots of ice and blend… and voilà, I have a completely balanced meal in a cup I can run out the door with! Delish!”

MoMonicanica Purington, professional freeride skier, Marmot athlete (Blog: TOMGIRLjh):

“Eggs eggs eggs! Scrambled, fried, soft boiled. I typically eat eggs. Eggs with tomato and avocado or scrambled with kale and mushrooms. And with eggs always comes bacon.”

Britter’s Fritters

IMG_5495Last weekend, I was browsing recipes when I clicked on Mikaela Reuben, a private chef in Hollywood whose actor clients cannot get enough of her smoky yam + zucchini fritters. I was looking for a quick snack or a simple side to jazz up my packed lunches for yoga teacher training and Reuben’s recipe fit the bill. Reuben focuses on nutrient-dense foods and satisfying recipes sans sugar, gluten and dairy. While I wasn’t about to embark on an extreme yogi detox diet, I was excited to have a few healthy, make-ahead options ready. My first batch was such a success that I perfected the recipe to power me through the second week of training: they pair well with an egg breakfast, make a great salad topping, or stand alone as a savory snack. Yams are rich in fiber and vitamin A (good for vision, immune function, cell growth) so give these fritters a try!

YAM + ZUCCHINI FRITTERSIMG_5504

makes about 25 fritters

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups grated peeled yam (2-3 yams)
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini (3-4 zucchinis)
  • 1 cup grated sweet onion (1 onion)
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups finely ground almond meal
 DIRECTIONS:
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    Preheat oven to 350°
  • Add the yam, zucchini and onion to a bowl.
  • In a separate dish mix the dijon, olive oil, smoked paprika, honey, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.
  • Add this sauce to the grated vegetables and coat well.
  • Add almond meal and mix everything together well with hands.
  • Shape small patties into circles that are 2-inches wide and 1-inch thick.
  • Place parchment onto a baking sheet and spray or rub with olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Place fritters on sheet equally spaced from one another.
  • Bake 40 minutes on one side then carefully flip and bake for 40 on the other side.
  • Let fritters cool and then eat!

The Bridegroom in the Guest House: Rumi meets Mary Oliver

During my recent hot yoga teacher training, I heard two different poems that struck me as particularly poignant. “The Guest House” and “When Death Comes” get to the heart of the human condition and remind us to wake up and to embrace our complex (and finite) experience.

“The Guest House”

by Jelaluddin Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house.

A full (guest) house for hot teacher training!

A full (guest) house for hot teacher training!

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

“When Death Comes”

by Mary Oliver

When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes

like the measles-pox;

when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

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A field daisy, a lion of courage, a bride married to amazement… Brit at the beach  (hot yoga preseason)

and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth

tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument. 

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

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The last evening of hot training at Inversion Yoga

Are you familiar with these poems? Do they speak to you, inspire you? What have you heard recently that stopped and made you think for a second?

April Newsletter

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for reading. I am writing this, my first newsletter, to introduce you to my budding business venture: Ta Vie (en Rose) nutrition and wellness. Many of you know that I am passionate about health but you may not be aware that over the last year I became certified as a holistic health coach. Since my move to Jackson in the fall, I have spent time settling in and connecting with the wellness community. I am now eager to share my knowledge with friends and family and excited by the opportunity to work with new clients. In addition to health coaching, I have started to blog and to organize wellness inspired events.

March witnessed a few energizing initiatives which seemed fitting as we “sprung forward” to the season of green buds, newly cleaned floors, and (re)birth. To celebrate the equinox, I welcomed my girlfriends to my apartment for an all-organic, homemade brunch. They were happy to test my granola recipe along with warm-from-the-oven lemon poppy seed muffins with extra lemon glaze. Buzzed on coffee, company, and sunshine, I shared my health coaching plans and invited everyone to two upcoming events that I was organizing: a BeautyCounter social and a yoga fundraiser for the Love Your Brain Foundation.

As a BeautyCounter manager, my friend Callie Millard, introduced me to the California-based organic cosmetics company. Callie and I instantly connected over holistic health and clean beauty; we were both appalled by the lack of regulation surrounding the “all natural” lotions and potions that we use every day. She encouraged me to try their line and it wasn’t long before I signed on as a consultant. Needless to say, I was thrilled to co-host a social “chez moi.” Our guests enjoyed a wonderful evening discussing women’s health while sampling Beauty Counter’s products. Many of the attendants also signed up for health coaching consultations with yours truly; I cannot wait to start working with some of the amazing women here in Jackson.

I was also proud to facilitate a donation-based yoga class for the Love Your Brain Foundation at Inversion Yoga Studio in Jackson, Wyoming. The LYB Foundation was founded by the Pearce family after their son, snowboarder Kevin Pearce, suffered a terrible crash that resulted in a  traumatic brain injury. Having made a remarkable recovery, Kevin now speaks professionally and promotes Love Your Brain. Among their recent projects, LYB created a specialized yoga class for TBI survivors and their primary support person. In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, LYB launched a fundraising campaign to develop similar programs for TBI survivors. A new friend and the youngest teacher at Inversion generously donated her time to the 20 students who participated in the cause. Kira put on a wonderful class and we all enjoyed drinks and treats in the reception area to celebrate. At month’s end, LYB announced that over 83 classes had been offered in 26 states and that they raised over $20,000. I know that everyone at Inversion felt great to be a small part of that incredible effort.

While I did not teach this time, I look forward to the prospect of leading a donation class next March, when I will be a certified yoga instructor. I am thrilled to share that I am starting my 500 hour teacher training program at Inversion next week. It is a gift to live in Jackson while studying with the talented teachers who I have come to know since I moved here. This coming month I will begin my hot yoga and vinyasa yoga training. When I am not in class, I will meet my new clients and become better acquainted with BeautyCounter. In true Spring fashion, it seems that I am turning over a new leaf! I hope that this season brings exciting, new, and healthful changes to your life. Please feel free to pass my message along and to read my first blog posts.

En bonne santé,

Brit

A new leaf

Like food, personal care products impact our health at the cellular level. We consciously ingest food but we may be less aware of the absorption happening through our largest organ- our skin. Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals found in personal care products have safety data while others known to be harmful (think lead and formaldehyde) are still approved by the FDA.

Once I learned about BeautyCounter’s commitment to developing safe products, becoming a consultant was a natural (or should I say organic?) decision because I care about getting my friends and family to use safe products. Not to mention, their line really works. My skin has never looked better since I started using their “Routine Clean” cream cleanser and “Every Day” a.m. hydrating cream. I love the faint citrus smell and the light feeling on my skin. With BeautyCounter, less is more- I use my two staples and then I’m out the door!

Sure, organic lipstick might sound superfluous but our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals through food, household cleaners, air pollution, and beauty products too, correlates to a rise in serious health issues. Given the current (lack of) legislation surrounding personal care products, it isn’t always easy to be a conscious consumer. In this regard, BeautyCounter is a saving grace, because they have already done the homework. Last month, I enjoyed sharing BeautyCounter’s message (and some wine!) with a group of girlfriends. Check out the photos from our event!

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A BeautyCounter of safe, non-toxic products

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Our first social is in full bloom!

Turn over a new leaf… guests sign up for health coaching with Brit

Are you turning over a new leaf this month? What are your spring cleaning projects? Does your make up bag need weeding? I have noticed that making a few substitutions in my routine has made a big difference in my skin. It doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul! As a consultant and health coach, I believe in “progress, not perfection” so please, I would love to hear about the healthy changes that you are making this spring!

If you would like to talk about BeautyCounter with me or are interested in our products, you can learn more at my consultant page.

Spring in her step

New lemons

There is something about lemon poppy seed muffins that just says spring. And spring was certainly in the air on that midweek March day at Casper Bowl in Jackson Hole. I was sitting on the chairlift unashamedly enjoying my time basking on the chairlift as much as ripping the slushy groomers when I was inspired to invent an occasion, a reason to make a batch of muffins to celebrate the season: an equinox brunch with a few of my favorite things (coffee, friends, lemon poppyseed muffins, and granola for good measure).

I googled recipes on the chairlift (oh for a slow Skiway lift!) and ended up finding a simple recipe from the blog, Minimalist Baker, which I could easily make gluten free. In a spring fever to bake, I headed straight from the mountain to the grocery store. A fitness instructor who I adore, Trish, had shared her granola recipe with me so I hit the bins section along with the baking aisle. A note on Trish: she just celebrated her 40th birthday, has four kids, and is in amazing shape, so I reasoned that any breakfast that powers her through her day is probably worth making (and eating). So with Trish-like determination, I began to mix and melt while texting my friends to politely demand their presence at equinox brunch.

The first day of spring dawned and despite our best intentions, none of my friends or I made it to the early morning yoga class we had discussed. Attendance was much better for a mid-morning brunch, however. I had baked the night before but popped the muffins and granola into the oven to warm and the smell of toasted nuts and heavenly lemon zest filled my small, sun-lit kitchen. Hannah took on the task of brewing coffee (not to be overlooked) while I made sure there was enough mix-matched silverware and friends began serving themselves. My guests were so appreciative and enthusiastic, in part because brunch was a welcome change from the ski town norm— greasy egg sandwiches eaten on the go— but it was also so refreshing to enjoy breakfast with other single ladies, to start the day with a shared cup of coffee and to linger over a second.

I am so grateful for my girlfriends here who have made Jackson feel like home in a way that I never imagined. Supportive, smart, and fun-loving, my female friends play a huge role in my health and happiness. Hosting a brunch was a small way to thank them as well as a nod to the possibility of a new season, the warmer days and fun times to come.

I have written my equinox brunch recipes below for you to try and to share. I promise that these simple breakfasts will summon the sunshine and give you energy for your day! Daffodils and good friends also make nice accompaniments. Bon Appétit!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetTrish’s Unstoppable Granola

Dry ingredients:

2½ cups rolled oats (I use gluten-free oats so my gluten-sensitive roommate can enjoy)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Liquid ingredients:

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cups honey or maple syrup

*…add after baking:

1/2 cup raisins (whatever color you fancy!)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients (*except for the raisins and cranberries). In a saucepan over the stove on medium heat or in a liquid measuring cup in the microwave, heat the oil and honey/maple syrup. 2 minutes in the microwave usually does the trick but make sure to stop every 30 seconds to stir and to make sure it’s not boiling. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir (or use your hands) to coat evenly. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the oats and nuts are toasted. Immediately after it comes out of the oven, stir in the raisins and dried cranberries. Let stand until cooled, and stir again to break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks, but I guarantee it won’t be around that long!

“Spring in your step” Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients:Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

2 eggs

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup lemon juice (add a 1/4 cup lemon if you like tart muffins)

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup sugar of choice (I tried organic coconut sugar which worked well)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1½ tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp poppy seeds (or sub chia seeds for an Omega-3 boost)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond meal

1 cup gluten free flour (I use King Arthur because it reminds me of home!)

For the glaze (despite the sugar, I advocate glazing, if only for the approval rating)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners, or lightly grease. In a large bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, lemon juice and zest, coconut oil, almond milk, maple syrup, sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for 45 seconds. It will foam because the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda. Add flour, almond meal and oats and stir with a spatula until just combined. Batter should be quite thick and not easy to pour – rather, “scoopable.” Stir in the poppy seeds (or chia seeds) and whisk once more. Divide batter between muffin tins (should be enough for 12 or so). The batter will rise so do not fill to the brim.

Bake for 18-25 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Let cool. If glazing, whisk the ingredients together until a thin, pourable glaze is formed and drizzle on the muffins.