Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bringing Back The Garden

Last Sunday we had a great fathers day up in Auburn with my parents. We went on a long hike, and it was just what I needed to feel reconnected to the beautiful outdoors. The majesty of the foothills is breathtaking. The dogs had a great time and they were filthy to prove it! Nothing like that iron rich soil to turn you orange, LOL. We all had a great time and a lovely dinner together. 

Dinner with a gorgeous view

On our hike

Malachi passed out after the hike on my dirty leg :)

Two very dirty, happy dogs :)

Once again, here in Sonoma, we had another HOT, gorgeous weekend. My husband and I enjoyed our lovely neighborhood, taking our dogs out early for walks before temperatures got too uncomfortable to be out in the suns rays. Our sweet little neighborhood is lined with old, flourishing, wise trees :). They lend their magnificent branches out to provide shade and cooling even on the hottest of days, and today was a scortcher, reaching into the triple digits. 

One thing I really love about our neighborhood is there is so much green and growth. The beauty and energy is undeniable and provides a much different feeling compared to newer track home neighborhoods, where perhaps the only green is some highly hybridized grass and a wisp of a tree in front of a home. I couldn't help but dream of the of the day when every home is a flourishing garden, an oasis that nurtures, feeds, sustains and loves its inhabitants. I know in my heart of hearts this day will come. Those who are "waking up" can attest to the changes that our precious earth is going through.

Yes, change is upon us. Change can be scary, but it's important to remember that often in order to grow anew, there must be a process of breaking down the old, what is sick or dead, and systems that are no longer serving the highest good. The earth mirrors the body in this way, or perhaps it is more accurate to say, our bodies mirror the earth in this way. When we begin to clean up our diet, excluding that which causes imbalance and acidity to our bodies, we go through a process of detoxification and our body often gets worse before it rebuilds healthy, strong cells and tissue. If one is unaware of detox, this can be a frightening experience because the body literally gets rid of anything and everything that is sick or dying. So it goes without saying, it often gets worse before it gets better. But get better it will, and so too will our planet! 

I manifested such a nurturing area to live, one that would remind me of my deepest yearnings of helping to restore our earth to the paradise garden it can be. I envision a world where one has only to walk barefoot across their domain to feel energized and to receive healing from the earth. I see loving families planting trees together, trees that will provided food, shelter and love for centuries to come. I also see these family domains being the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. Naturally sustained without toil and labor, planted strategically for the appropriate environment and setting so the living, breathing, ecosystem flourishes without effort. Just as our creator intended. I envision a world where humanity is once again in tune with all life, where we co-create with one and other and our creator. Creating the most beautiful home, nurtured and tended from our hearts. 

The name of my business, Crystal Eden, is actually a reflection of my dream to return the earth back to paradise. I had been trying to think up a name for a while, when one day as I was meditating, Crystal Eden came to me. Eden of course refers to bringing the earth back to the garden, its glorious, flourishing state. I chose Crystal because a crystal reflects all spectrums of color; all the frequencies of our mother earth. The earth, once renewed, will be glorious in its vibrant spectrum of color that will once agin cover her landscape. She will be a beacon. A glittering reflection of light to the cosmos of what is possible when rooted in love. Hence, Crystal Eden is really about the shining example of love we can embody, if so we choose.

To anyone who shares this dream, I highly recommend the book series, The Ringing Cedars of Russia. The first book in the series is titled Anastasia. These books changed my life. They explore the beautiful dream of a woman recluse living in the Taiga of Russia, of a more sustainable world. Saying these books are inspirational does not do justice to the power of this book series. They strike a cord within you, leaving the reader permanently changed and pulsing on a different frequency. You can find out more about this series here.

Right now I am really focusing on creating the most nurturing environment possible in my home, so I am ready to tackle some big goals. In order to make big changes in my life, I have had to do some deep soul work and break down patters, thoughts and systems that no longer serve me. I'm starting with myself, because the world around us is really but a reflection of our inner world. As I make these changes on a soul level I am astounded and rejoice at the changes that follow in my life. Life is taking on such a richness that, I know it sounds crazy, but I am often moved to tears, simply because I am so filled with love and joy that I get overwhelmed. 

To honor my vision, and the vision my husband and I share together, we are creating our own little eden in our backyard, facilitated by our backyard bee hive. My husband is a hobby bee keeper and we have high hopes for our busy bees. Our place has a fig tree (score!), plum trees and a walnut tree. We are hoping the increase in pollination will literally bear lots of fruit! :). When on our walk yesterday we passed upon the most beautiful wild cherry tree with the most amazing tasting cherries. We kept the seeds and plan on planting our very own wild cherry tree from seed. Ahhh, mother nature is miraculous and abundance is everywhere if we choose to see it and know we are worthy :). Happy gardening everyone and may our dreams of paradise bloom for all to see!

Our backyard bee hive

In love and light~


Monday, June 15, 2009

What "Raw" Means To Me

I have come to the impression that many people who are not already immersed in the world of raw foods, think eating raw is about eating apple slices, carrot sticks and bland salads. Some also wonder if I eat raw animal flesh and other raw animal products. I felt it was time to set the record straight on what eating raw is all about for me. There are many variations of the raw food diet, so please keep in mind, this is how I personally eat and my own personal reflections on what this life style choice means to me.

First I would like to say, in my opinion, someone who eats all raw or a large percentage of raw foods, would be someone who follows a raw diet. There are some out there who feel you must eat 100% raw to be able to call yourself a raw foodist, but that mindset doesn't resonate for me, as I am all about inclusiveness and focusing on how we are similar rather than how we are different :). 

The second thing I would like to say is in my world, raw is not law :). There are some who feel if it is raw, it's fair game and healthy. For me, I focus on what makes me feel good, what digests and is eliminated easily, and what doesn't contribute to further burdening my system with toxic waste or residue. There are many raw plants that don't fit into my diet and it is well known that there are many plants that are poisonous to one wouldn't go about eating these just because they are raw, now would they ;)? We must use our own logic and intuition when choosing to make lifestyle changes. For example, although I have healed many food sensitivities, I am still sensitive to the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers) and so of course, I don't include them at this time.

Thirdly, raw is really a lifestyle rather than a diet. A diet implies it is short term to gain a desired result, whereas lifestyle is about integrating deeper meaning into your choice. It is about incorporating beliefs and having your lifestyle choice run parallel to all facets of your life.

So, what raw foods are included in my diet? I eat a variety of raw foods from the following list:

Fruits, Vegetables and their juices

Smoothies, especially green smoothies

Leafy Greens

Wild Greens

Large Salads


Sprouted buckwheat

Nuts, Seeds and their mylks and butters

Sea vegetables



Superfoods (I am not a huge consumer of commercial superfoods, but I do enjoy small amounts of maca and dried wheatgrass powder. I like the Greener Grasses brand. I also like chia, mesquite and beepollen)

Raw oils and vinegar (These are great additions when I'm in the mood for something more savory)

Beepollen and honey

I also eat some cooked, whole, vegan foods from time to time, as I mentioned in the previous blog post.

My lifestyle does not include meat and dairy. This is a personal choice and there are some people who eat raw that include raw flesh and dairy. 

There are so many possibilities of creation with the above list that it is far from redundant or boring! Variety is key. It never fails to amaze me the miraculous creations some come up with in the raw food community. You don't ever have to feel deprivation and can satisfy just about any flavor fix you are in the mood for. I have never been one that wants to spend lots of time in the kitchen and I enjoy a simpler raw diet. Even in my cooked days I was all about quick and easy :). Easy and simplicity are key for me and it's important to find your comfort level as well. I notice my vitality, energy and glow are optimal when I eat simply and focus on greens, green juice, fruit and vegetables. On rare occasion I make some complex stuff in the kitchen, and when I do, I will be sure to blog about it, but those meals served more of a transitory purpose in my diet. When my husband has time, he is very creative in the kitchen and with our dehydrator. I'm lucky to get his yummy treats from time to time :).

We all come with our own individual experiences and circumstances that we must take into consideration when approaching a new way of eating. I don't do well with gluten, so this is not a part of my diet. For me, my lifestyle is best approached from an angle of abundance, rather than deprivation. Some like to look at raw as an elimination method of getting rid of as many unfit substances as possible. When I think in this mind set it creates a lot of resistance and I start to feel deprived and get hang-ups about food. It has really helped me to move into a space of abundance, looking at all the great, beautiful options I have and feeling excited to try new things I would have never been exposed to before this lifestyle. I can truly attest that I LOVE these foods, the way I eat, and the way my my mind and body feel. Do what feels best to you, and use your intuition. It is also helpful to read or get coaching from someone who resonates with you and seems to be at a place mentally, emotionally and physically you would like to be at.

I would also like to add that eating raw is so much more to me than making food choices. It has transformed my entire life and has radically effected the way I integrate all aspects of my being. Not only do I eat this way for health, but I do it for its sustainability, the empowerment of being able to grow my own food and to know exactly what I am putting into my precious body. I do it because it is kind to all life and mother earth. I do it because it tastes amazing, fills me with light, love and energy, and has allowed me to get out of a rigid box when it comes to preconceptions about what food is. I also eat this way because it connects me to the planet, to my true self and to spirit.

In love and light~


Friday, June 12, 2009

Just Paying it Forward

Mmmmmm, life is good people! I have been completely absent for some time now (I told you all I wasn't sure if this blogging thing is for me)! Life has been busy and transformative :), but what's new? That's how the last couple years have flowed for me. Last Sunday I was certified as a Reiki Master. It was such a beautiful experience and everything I hoped it would be. Getting my Reiki Master certification allows me to teach Reiki to others. I definitely plan on teaching, but probably not for a bit, as I have some spiritual and personal work do before I feel ready to take on the teaching.

I have had some time to really reflect on my goals and what I want to focus on for the upcoming months. One priority is to start blogging more! I have so much information to share with all you lovelies out there. I feel like I just may burst!! :) It's my intention to light up at least a few lives, spread joy, health, and abundance. After all, I have so much to be grateful for it's time to pay it forward, know what I mean? Some things I want to focus on with this blog are raw foods (of course :), whole foods, spirituality, beauty, green living, holisitic living, and downright spreading love and joy! I'll probably update as well about what's going on in my life, on the physical level and beyond ;).

I have been enjoying food soooo much lately. Often I hear comments from people that they couldn't eat the way I do or eat a high or completely raw diet because they love food too much. Well let me tell you! I love food just as much as the next person!  I looooove to eat. For a while, it was my favorite thing to do! ;)

As I have moved along on this path, it has gotten easier and more joyous as I have found other passions in my life. Things that really fill me up with light, love and happiness, much in the same way great food always has. When you are being filled from other areas of your life, it is easier to approach food in a balanced manner. So what are some things that fill me up with joy besides what I eat? Meditation, spending time out in nature with my dogs and hubby, yoga (a new found joy in my life!), dancing, practicing spiritual pursuits ;), reading, writing poetry, photography, laughing till my insides hurt, stargazing, learning about ancient civilizations and connecting with other like minded souls. My list could go on and on, but what I am trying to point out is, it is easier to start making modifications to your diet when you are being filled up by other aspects of your life. 

If you feel that you are at a place where you can not possibly make changes to your diet, that's OK. Maybe focus first on balancing other aspects of your life, and when you feel ready, start out with baby steps, perhaps tackling one food habit you would like to nix. Maybe you want to give up soda, or coffee. Maybe you want to become a vegetarian or vegan. Perhaps you want to start to become educated about what actually goes into mainstream food and to start eating a more whole foods diet. Whatever your goal, you can do it at your own pace and in your own time. Eating raw, or any healthy lifestyle for that matter, is not a race. It's about self growth, conscious expansion and self responsibility. Awakening to truths and taking back our personal power.

So many people in the health movement, including the raw food movement, are focused on right and wrong, black and white, good and bad, when it comes to food choices. We, as a planet and collective consciousness, are moving out of that paradigm of polarity and into one of inclusiveness. It is not difficult to get caught up in the ego, trying to rationalize our opinions, observations and personal experience. When we do this, we are forgetting the most important detail. We have the power of god within us and we are within god, we are pure love and light, and all possibilities and realms are available to us. We have the power to choose and manifest whatever reality we want. When we choose from a space of love we are guided to an outcome that is beautiful for ourselves and the highest good of all life. Let us not separate, and judge each other. Let us not latch on to dogma and beliefs. Let us rejoice that there are so many ways to eat and nourish our bodies and let's celebrate each others freedom of choice. When we stop trying to figure it out with our heads, and choose with our hearts, we can't go wrong. Does the way you eat make you feel beautiful, happy, healthy and alive? Does the way you eat give you energy, peace and connection? If so, you are doing something right :). If not, perhaps it would be a good idea to look within and see where you are meeting some resistance. 

So what have I been eating lately? Really yummy food! :) I love the way I eat, and I wouldn't do it anymore if I didn't. When I first got on the raw path it was strictly about health, or more specifically, getting rid of some symptoms that were not fun and dangerous. I'm finally at a point where it's not about restriction any more, rather abundance! Do I eat 100% raw? No, I don't. I do eat a very high raw diet, some days eating only raw foods, but 100% raw is not my goal. 100% health and happiness is. I may become 100% raw at some point, but for right now eating a high raw diet is wonderful for me. Here are a couple pictures of foods I have made in the last couple weeks.

OK, I didn't make these, but I have been looooving cherries!
Yummy green salad with avocado, sprouts, olives and raisins
Carob Nut Shake
Marinated Veggies
Romaine Boats with cucumber, nut cheese and Lydia's Raw Crackers

Staples in my diet include green juice, green smoothies (lots of leafy greens), fruits, vegetables, nuts (often as nut mylks), seeds, avocados (a fruit :), and big salads. I also sometimes eat steamed veggies, legumes, and grains like quinoa or bhutanese rice. For those who are into percentages, I probably eat roughly 90%-100% raw depending on various factors, like the time of year, traveling, or what my body is asking of me. The percentage is so hard for me to estimate, as one week I may eat 100% raw and the next have steamed veggies for dinner 3 different nights..... I'm really not into percentages as it can give a false impression. I was going to write 75% - 100% then my hubby told me I eat "way more raw than that!" So it just goes to show you, percentage is a matter of opinion. What are we basing those percents on anyways? Try not to get hung up on it. I encourage everyone to find out what works for them and not blindly follow anyones individual truth, including my own :).

Love, light and happiness to everyone!

XO ~ Cassie