5/21/2015

An Essential Guide to Sprouting 

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Now that we are well into the Spring season it’s time to get sprouting! I love to sprout, especially tiny seeds that grow into glorious, nutrient dense greens in just a matter of days. It is deeply healing to connect to nourishing ourselves in this way. Sprouting is a fun way to deepen our relationship to the miracle of food and it couldn’t be easier. Today I’m sharing loads of info to get you started and a beautiful sprout guide made just for you! Spouting is a wonderful activity for children and anyone that wants to make magic in their kitchen.

Sprouting has a host of benefits from alkalizing to cleansing to mineralizing. It always amazes me how these seemingly small plants pack such a powerful punch of nutrition. Last year I wrote this post, 10 Reasons I love to Sprout. There you will find lots of detailed info on why this food is such a miracle.

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

A variety of seeds, legumes, and grains can be sprouted. All it takes is a little love, patience, and some simple equipment that you probably already have in your kitchen. I’ve covered how to sprout mung beans and buckwheat. For soaking grains I like to add a little lemon juice to the soak water to help with digestion and nutrient absorption. You could also add apple cider vinegar, keifr or whey. My general rule of thumb is 1 c. grain to 2 Tbsp. acid.

Today I’m going to share how to grow sprouts from alfalfa and clover seeds. The process is very similar to legumes and grains, it just takes an extra day or two depending on the weather.

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Enjoy your sprouts on top of soups, in salads, as an accompaniment to your favorite bounty bowl, or just eat them by the handful – they are that yummy! Many of my pregnant clients are concerned about eating sprouts because so many websites claim they are dangerous. I advise to make them yourself so that you can be sure they are clean, super fresh, and well rinsed.

Be sure to get your seeds from a good company like Mountain Rose Herbs. This makes a huge difference in the quality of your sprouts. You will also need a glass jar, nut milk bag or sprouting lid. These days I am using my nut milk bags for sprouting, it’s so easy! Be sure you’ve got a rubber band or two on hand as well.

Essential Sprouting Guide by Ashley Neese

Alfafa + Clover Sprouts

Serves 10

Ingredients //

  • 1 Tbsp. alfafa seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. clover seeds

Method //

Add the seeds to two separate, well cleaned jars. Place a nut milk bag on top of each jar and secure with a rubber band. You could use a sprouting lid in it’s place.

Fill each jar with water and swish seeds around. Drain. Repeat 3 x with each jar to be sure seeds are well rinsed.

Fill each jar with water to cover the seeds and set on the counter to soak for 6 hours. Rinse one time at the 3 hour mark and fill again with water to cover and leave it on the counter to soak for another 3 hours. Drain, rinse and then turn jars on an angle to begin the sprouting process.

Rinse the seeds and newly forming sprouts every 6-8 hours and keep them on an angle until they are finished sprouting. Harvest the sprouts at 1 – 1 1/2 inches. To harvest, gently pull sprouts out of the jars and rinse them well in a mesh strainer. Let them drain on the counter in  a little sunlight for a few hours. The sun light will help them turn green, it’s activates the chlorophyll which is what we want!

Keep these beauties in a dry glass jar in the fridge for up to 6 days.

For your reference:

1 Tbsp. alfafa seeds = 4 c. sprouts

2 Tbsp. clover seeds = 1- 1/2 c. sprouts

 

Are you excited to start sprouting? I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Wishing you a happy Spring!

xoa

5/19/2015

Chlorella Beauty Smoothie

Chlorella Beauty Smoothie by Ashley Neese

This smoothie is one of my favorite smoothies for getting the glow from the inside out. It’s loaded with skin enhancing minerals, nourishing fat and just enough banana to round out the flavor. I love sipping this in the afternoon when I need an energy boost, to stabilize blood sugar and keep me steady until supper.

Smoothies get a bad rep for being loaded with sugar. If you know how to balance your ingredients they can be excellent boost of nutrition and provide a wealth of healing to your body. My favorite time to enjoy a smoothie is after an intense yoga session or tennis lesson. Yes! I’m playing tennis again after a 20 year break ;)

Spinach is packed with antioxidants which help protect our cells from damage. It is considered an anti-inflammatory green and has high amounts of iron which helps oxygen move around your body to keep you from looking washed out. Spinach is also high in the beauty vitamin E and calcium.

Chlorella is an algae that is very similar to Spirulina which I often recommend to my fertility and pregnancy clients because it nourishes on the cellular level. These algaes are deeply mineralizing, contain high levels of protein and are rich in antioxidants which support egg health.

Chlorella Beauty Smoothie by Ashley Neese

Tocos are a must in your beauty food regime. According to my Sun Potion friends it is the ultimate skin food and I totally agree with them. I’ve been adding tocos to smoothies and breakfast porridges for over and year and it is truly an amazing food. Tocos are made from the bran of organically grown brown rice. They are super high in vitamins E and D which supports healthy skin, our joints as well as assists our body’s ability to detox. Bonus, a scoop of tocos makes smoothies creamy and has a mild, sweet flavor.

Coconut. Yes, it’s a beauty, fertility, healing, pregnancy, all of the above food! Coconut has so many amazing uses it is crazy. I like to use fresh coconut in my smoothies when I have it. These days it’s pretty easy to grab it in the frozen section of organic markets too. Feel free to use coconut butter if that is easier to get. If you’ve got a food processor and are feeling adventurous, making your own coconut butter is so easy.

Peppermint adds a welcomed freshness to smoothies and is a great digestive aid.

Banana are a smoothie staple as they are delicious and loaded with potassium. Feel free to omit the banana if you aren’t eating any sugar. In a typical day I don’t eat much fruit so one banana isn’t going to send my hormones into a tail spin. But if you are sensitive just leave it out! A great alternative is adding more coconut and spinach. You really can’t go wrong with this combination.

In addition to being a delicious beauty smoothie these ingredients also support fertility and women’s reproductive health. I make a version of this with boosted protein for my pregnant mamas too and they love it!

Chlorella Beauty Smoothie by Ashley Neese

Chlorella Beauty Smoothie

Serves 1

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 big handful fresh spinach
  • 4 oz. fresh/frozen coconut meat
  • 1 Tbsp. tocos
  • 2 grams chlorella
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla

 

Method //

  1. Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth. Drink slowly and enjoy!
  2. This smoothie can be made in large batches and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  3. Drink as close to room temp as possible.

 

xoa

//

This recipe is also featured on the Vidya blog as part of her seasonal recipe share!

5/12/2015

Holistic Beauty // Self Care Massage

Self Care Massage by Ashley Neese

One of my favorite ways to take care of myself during the week is through self massage. I first learned about this ancient Ayurvedic practice from a yoga teacher in Portland. It was Spring of 2009, I was anxious for Summer and feeling ungrounded. She suggested I start a self care massage practice called Abyanga (Sanskrit for ‘oil massage’) to restore balance and help me relax. Since then Abyanga has been a big part of how I connect to and love my body.

I spent much of my teen years into my 20’s disassociating from my physical body. When I found yoga in my early 20’s I felt like I was starting to reconnect with my body in a new way. I had started the path of slowing down and paying attention to myself. By the time my teacher shared the Abyanga practice with me years later I was ready to try it. Honestly I didn’t like it at first. It made me super uncomfortable to touch myself, it felt foreign. It took me several years to integrate Abyanga into my self care routine. I am glad I stuck with it even though I really didn’t like it much in the beginning. I knew deep down it was the work I needed to do to heal.

Learning the art of massaging myself has given me greater access to my innate wisdom, feminine energy, and creative power. By taking care of my body in this way and connecting to what it tells me I am much better at taking care of myself overall. Our bodies have so much to teach us and they are often ignored until they are shouting for attention. Abyanga has also helped me tune into my intuition and sensitivities. Through years of practice I have learned the importance to listening to all of the subtle signals my body shares with me throughout the days.

Ancient Ayurvedic teachings suggest that the effects of Abyanga are beauty, longevity, physical health. Regular practice of self massage, just 10 minutes a day, is very grounding, especially if you have an airy constitution like I do. Grounding is key!

Here are some more of the benefits of Abyanga

  • Calms the nervous system
  • Connects you to feminine energy
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Increases circulation
  • Slows you down
  • Stimulates digestion and detoxification
  • Nourishes the body
  • Gives hair a beautiful shine and helps it grow
  • Smoothes skin
  • Tones muscles
  • Lubricates the joints

Self Care Massage by Ashley Neese

Our skin is the largest organ of elimination. By massaging the skin with high quality oils, especially oils that are formulated with healing herbs, you are assisting your skin in its daily function. Being able to release toxins well is a corner stone of health and wellbeing.

Traditionally Abyanga is preformed in the morning before your shower. This helps to release any toxins that were built up overnight. I prefer to dry brush in the mornings and do my self massage at night before bed. The massage helps me unwind, get ready for sleep and it feels like such a treat at the end of a long day.

There are many suggestion in Ayurveda that suggest how often to give yourself Abyanga. These  are based on your dosha or constitution. Given that most of us have busy lives I always suggest that you incorporate this practice in whatever way feels good for you. When I started self massage I did it once a week because that is what I could handle. Over the years I have practiced more or less massages during a given set of months and it has worked well for me. If I am feeling ungrounded I might do 2-3 a week until I feel like I can do less.

The beauty of Abyanga is that it is teaching us to slow down and listen to our bodies. In my years of practice this has been the greatest benefit. Give it a shot and see what feels right for you.

Note to my pregnant mamas, self massage is totally self and welcomed! It’s a wonderful way to connect to your babe. I suggest oils specific for pregnancy like this one. Massage your abdominal area gently and use this scared time to love your amazing, changing body.

Here are the oils I recommend

If you are interested in learning more about Auyrveda and your dosha this is a wonderful book. And here is a lovely video that explains how to warm the oil and how to massage your body. Be sure to drink plenty of water on massage days and be really kind to yourself during this process. A lot can surface when we start connecting with our bodies in this way. Know that whatever comes up is supposed to surface. Above all trust your body and your inner voice.

Wishing you a beautiful day and I look forward to hear about your massages.

xoa

 

Images by Asami Zenri

5/11/2015

Inspired Living // Lacy Phillips

Inspired Living // Lacy Phillips

Happy Monday loves! It feels very fitting to start the week with a dose of inspiration from one of my favorite women in Los Angeles, Lacy Phillips. I was introduced to Lacy’s incredible online guide Free + Native over a year ago, and was thrilled to finally connect with her a few months back in the neighborhood. Lacy glows from the inside out. She is so bright, encouraging, and positive. I knew instantly that I had met a true kindred spirit and I am so grateful she took the time to share with us today.

Lacy is an herbal scholar, connector, recipe creator, and editor of F+N. In a very short time she has built an incredible community of souls who want to live with intention, beauty, and grace. Today Lacy shares wise words about the teachers all around us, a wealth of self holistic self care tools, and how she stays true to herself.

Inspired Living // Lacy Phillips

Do you have a morning or evening ritual? If so, tell us about it.
Mornings are incredibly special to me. I wake up with a new sense of wonder everyday and then I stay quietly in bed going through my powerful affirmations to set the day. Then I express some elements that I’m grateful for which usually result in my partner Ryan Snow, my rescue Barley, and my epic community.

Dusk is the most powerful part of my day. It’s this magical time between loud and quiet, light and dark, high energy to calm energy.  I feel like anything is possible in these moments. This is when I take the time to meditate or practice Kundalini Yoga with Guru Jagat via RA MA TV. Which I assure everyone is the most vibrational form of Television!

How do you create balance between your personal and professional life?
I don’t. I’m dreadful at this. Zero boundaries. My professional friends all turn into my girlfriends that I want to make tonics for, braid their hair, and read their cards. My readers and clients all turn into my extended family. And I have zero set business hours. I’m working from the moment I get up to when I go to sleep.

Inspired Living // Lacy Phillips

What is your favorite way to relax?
Getting out of town with Ryan and Barley. It’s the only time that I fully disconnect.  Ultimate relaxation.

Best advice you’ve ever taken.
“No one is your friend. No one is your enemy. Everyone is your teacher.” When I look through this telescope, I’m never let down or hurt.  I see nothing but beautiful lessons. When I have my ego goggles on, I’m often disappointed.

Share your self-care musts.
Jiva-Apoha oils & rose infused Shea Butter. Jade face roller. Herbs (right now, it’s Sun Potion everything, nettles, red clover, burdock root, and alfalfa). Inversions & dry body brush to stimulate lymph. NATIVE bone Broth. La Tierra Sagrada Hair Treatment and Mason Pearson Popular brush as well as their wide tooth Comb. The mantra, “I’m perfect exactly as I am.” And Moonstone as I’ve just come into really nourishing my womb creatively and spiritually.

Inspired Living // Ashley Neese

Name three books that are inspiring you right now.
Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan. Woolgathering by Patti Smith. Conscious Loving by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks. The three are in constant rotation at this point in time.

How to you stay true to yourself?
By keeping my blinders on and trying to not see what others in my field are up to. It’s important that we are all on our quest for unique truth as we all have some very unique offerings for this age. Otherwise, the same information, projects, thoughts, and healing are just recycled and reused over and over.

Is connecting to nature something that you value? 
Immensely. I grew up on a ranch outside of Yosemite with literally hay, creeks, rocks, moss, stone ground holes in the rocks from Indians, cows, horses, and chickens as my friends, toys, and imagination. That spirit, aloneness, and one with quiet, unintended nature is something that just simply can’t leave the spirit. I feel like I drank such a full cup of it as a child that quiet time in nature isn’t needed as often as I know it is for my friends that didn’t have that. It’s just always inside you.

Inspired Living // Lacy Phillips

Share a favorite seasonal wellness tip.
Find out your specific dosha line up. Find out which of the 8 constitutions you are. And adhere by these guidelines for your exact unique constitution. Don’t jump onto the LA bandwagon of raw foods, any herb out there, and so forth as these may create a lot of imbalance in the body. Very specific constitutions truly benefit from these trends. And treasure yourself.  It’s epic how incredibly unique and stunning each and every one of us are.

Tell us one thing you haven’t done yet that you really want to do.
Birth life. I feel that I’ve been prepping my body, spiritual expansion, consciousness, and business to bring spirit into the world and to start forming my tribe.

What are you most grateful for?
Freedom. Complete unapologetic creativity and freedom. These are my deepest and greatest values in life. That and love.

/////

For daily inspiration be sure to follow Lacy’s Instagram feed, so much beauty!

5/8/2015

Come Join My Team!

Internship with Ashley Neese

Hello dears! I am happy to share I am looking for two summer interns to start working June 1st.. This is an amazing opportunity to learn about the wellness industry from the inside out and get mentored by me along the way. I am looking for two women who are super passionate about holistic wellness and are based in Los Angeles. If you drink green juice, love nature and are not afraid to sit in community with women and meditate you are in the right place.

Internships will run on a three month trial period (June 1-September 1) with the opportunity afterwards to stay on longer and get paid! 5-10 hours per week on location or from your home. Hours will vary each week, but never more than 10. The communications internship can mostly be done remotely. Must have access to your own transportation and be able to get to Los Feliz and Silverlake.

Below I’ve listed out the responsibilities, requirements, and specifics on how to apply. Please read over everything very carefully. Due to the high volume of email I receive each day I will only respond to candidates I feel would be a great fit. Deadlines for applications is May 19th at midnight PST.

Internship with Ashley Neese

Design + Photography Internship 

Work along side me and independently to create graphics and shoot for my online platforms. You will style and shoot recipes and lifestyle images and design text pieces for events and the website.

Responsibilities

  • Style and shoot photographs for the website and events/workshops
  • Edit photos
  • Reach out to local vendors for shoots and cross promotion
  • Design custom graphics for website, social media, and events/workshops
  • Create mood boards for series posts and shoots

Requirements

  • Passionate about healing and wellness
  • Easy going, positive energy
  • Knowledge of my business and thorough familiarity of what I offer
  • Demonstrated experience styling and photographing food and lifestyle
  • Ability to shoot high quality photography
  • Fluent in Adobe Creative suite and prepping images for web
  • Have your own computer and all the software and equipment you need for designing and shooting
  • Design or photography degree preferred, still in school – that is totally fine!

To Apply

Send resume with links to your online portfolio and social media accounts in the body of the email. Please share a few sentences (no more than 4) about why you want this internship. Use the subject line Design + Photography Intern. Due May 19th at midnight PST.

Internship with Ashley Neese

Communications + Writing Internship

You will work closely with me on brand awareness, social media strategies and editing web content.

Responsibilities

  • Help manage + monitor social media accounts
  • Copyedit blog posts and articles
  • Research wellness topics
  • Write and manage blog posts
  • Build relationships with relevant brands for partnerships

Requirements

  • Passionate about healing and wellness
  • Knowledge of my business and thorough familiarity of what I offer
  • Familiarity with industry leaders in the area and nationally
  • Readily adapt and adjust to change focus and take on new tasks as necessary
  • Knowledge of digital marketing and a strong familiarity with all major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • Desire to research trends, read wellness blogs
  • Adaptability — readily adapt and adjust to change focus and take on new tasks as necessary
  • Passion for applying social media and Internet marketing to meet business goals and objectives
  • English, communications, or journalism majors are preferred, but not required
  • Detail oriented
  • Grammar enthusiast with a good sense of humor and strong command of the English language

To Apply

Send resume with links to website/blog and social media accounts in the body of the email. Please share a few sentences (no more than 4) about why you want this internship. Use the subject line Communications + Writing Intern. Due May 19th at midnight PST.

 

Images by Sera Lindsey

© ASHLEY NEESE 2015