Lioness Camp – June 2016

Lioness Self Defense
Through the Arts

Summer Camp for Girls 11-14
June 6 – 10th, 9 am – 4 pm

Odyssey Community School
90 Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC


Join Lioness Camp in Partnership with Odyessy Community School, for an inspiring and dynamic new approach to confidence-building. It is our dream to support young women to develop the confidence to move with pride, grace, and fierceness in the world.  Our vision is to find innovative ways to ensure their safety in the greater world through creative education developing greater confidence, verbal and nonverbal communication, clear boundaries, and trust in their own intuition through the arts.

Each day will feature a different teacher and art form, through which the girls will learn to connect to their movement, posture, breathing, and personal space as well as verbal and nonverbal communication skills.  The arts will include drumming, singing, dance, yoga, theater, martial arts, and visual art.  Each day will be a new art form, taught by local performing artists!



For more information:
Beth Bluth
(828) 273-8448

Heather Cohen
(541) 231-6353

Click here for our website.


Working Out Your “Showing Up” Muscle


The inspiration for this blog post all started a few months ago, at a group exercise class called Tabata.

There was a college student doing a research paper on “Why do people go to group exercise classes?” She needed our help by participating in a survey.

I was happy this was announced at the beginning of class so I could contemplate my feedback while participating in the class. I love processing while moving so I knew this would be effective.

After the class, I was eager to share my insights with the student and fill out the survey. I knew this was big and there was more to the picture. I was thinking about intrinsic happiness and self care.

Months have gone by and I am still pondering why I go to group exercise classes. I especially enjoy TRX and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes.

HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training that combines intervals of MAXIMUM effort followed by a complete recovery. While these classes mix up the timing variations they will ALWAYS take you to your max.

I go to class for several reasons which have evolved over the past few years. I have exercised for many years, I notice how my energy becomes stagnant and my mind is cloudy if I don’t move my body. I started exploring group fitness because I knew there was more to the picture then running on the treadmill, getting on a stationary bike or hopping on the elliptical. I felt like I had plateaued in that arena and I was looking for something new.

A few years later, and I am still hooked on these HIIT classes.

Here Dr. Mercola has a supportive article about why he likes HIIT workouts and there is science to back up the benefits.

So what is it, that I enjoy and why do I encourage you to explore group exercise?

  • SHOWING UP regularly (commitment)
  • the teacher (find one you resonate with) creating the workout and encouragement
  • feeling great (endorphins released after exercise, triggering a positive body feeling)
  • the synergy of being in a group
  • the enjoyment of seeing people doing physical and mental self care
  • efficient and quick ( HIIT classes tend to be an appealing 30 minutes)
  • the after effect (metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete routine)
  • upper body strength (important for healthy aging, we lose muscle mass as we age)
  • exercise settles the body so meditations can be deeper and less agitated

Mostly, I am inspired by what I’ve noticed regarding SHOWING UP and how that is expressed in all realms of a person’s life. I think attending group exercise class and committing to going is huge! It is meaningful because it strengthens our “show up” muscle! Please don’t confuse this with obligation vs. having discernment and healthy boundaries. I am talking about “showing up” in a healthy, loving way.
Based on personal observation, many people are “checking out.” It is so easy to check out because of the addiction to smart phones and other electronic nooses (oops, I mean devices…) make it very easy to stay distracted and fill up the calendar and then become overwhelmed and basically unavailable.

Now, more than ever, we need to show up for ourselves, family, friends, our community and the world. I think that there is a link between committing to showing up for class and getting there without excuses and for fully showing up to your precious life!

I hope this inspires you to try a new group fitness class or go online and look up some information regarding HIIT. Don’t wait until 2016 finish out 2015 feeling your best!

As always, consult your physician before exercising if this is new to you or you have a health concern.

Be Well~

Protein Packed Pumpkin Cookies

IMG_0365 IMG_0363

Love these delicious and nutritious snack bites. The original recipe where I got my inspiration is from The Preppy Paleo.

They are great for anytime (except in the evening because they are energy packed.) We pack them for school lunches, hikes, morning add ons, day time snacks, gifts for new moms, etc. Most people who don’t want a sugary overly sweet cookie appreciate this alternative.

They are easy to whip up and take very little time to bake. Often I am able to bake them in the morning and send them in Jaiden’s lunch box.

2 eggs (1 will work)
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
2 Tbsp coconut nectar
1/3 c whole husk psyllium
1/2 c shredded coconut
1/2 c Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips
1/3 c chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
(try adding a dash of cardamon if you want a little taste of chai 🙂 )

Preheat oven to 325 for convection bake or 350 for regular baking.

Mix together the first 4 ingredients and then add the baking soda & spices. Mix until you have an even consistency and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Use a Silpat lined baking sheet or grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.

Drop by rounded tablespoons and gently pat down with a fork to slightly flatten each cookie.

Bake for 9 minutes (or test to find the level of chewy that you prefer!) Just be mindful not to over bake.

Be Kind to Yourself

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Seems natural right? It often seems as if self sabotaging comments or being self critical is how many people feed their inner demons (fears, insecurities, frustrations,etc..) This can’t possibly be an effective tool for intrinsically benefiting one self or making any kind of positive contribution to the betterment of the planet.

“If we eavesdropped on the continuous thread of commentary in other’s minds, we’d be surprised at how cruel we are to ourselves. In fact, if self criticism were a disease, it would likely dwarf other epidemics. If, like so many others, you are your own worst critic, you know what psychological distress this relentless mental criticism can cause.” An excerpt from Conversations about Compassion through the Fetzer Institute.

Cultivating a practice in mindfulness, and responding to your own suffering with kindness are two ways that you can develop self compassion. Breaking away from the habit of harboring self-defeating thoughts is a practice that can move a person through this suffering and into a state of peacefulness.

Dr. Kristin Neff has some beautiful guided meditations to assist people in cultivating self compassion click here to explore what may work for you.

I didn’t always view self care as necessary. However, the older and wiser I grow the more I prioritize self care. At the top of the self care list is Self Compassion. Whenever a flight attendant talks about applying the oxygen masks in case of a drop in cabin pressure, they instruct the passengers to first put on your own mask before assisting others.

This analogy remains true in how we take care of ourselves off the plane and in our daily activities. As caretakers, it benefits all people involved.
Taking time to care for our mind, body and soul is crucial during a time when life is moving at a rapid speed. Recognizing that we need to take space from the “to do” list (or add self care to the list) is very important to our sustainability and the quality of life we are living.

Perhaps the term self care is foreign to you and you are wondering what that actually means.
Here are some ideas to stimulate self care practices for you: participating in an appropriate form of exercise, booking a massage, doing a facial at home, hot foot soak with epson salt, a quiet bath with candles and essential oils, tea date with a friend, writing a journal entry, date night with your partner or loved one, making a healthy meal, reading a good book or magazine, having a gratitude practice, meditation or time for peaceful reflection, hiking or a walk around your neighborhood, etc… the list can include anything that contributes to your well being.

The picture featured with this post is one that strikes me as profound. Try it, treat yourself on all levels like it belongs to someone you love. Hope this can make a difference in your life and you can find yourself a little happier, lighter and more loving.

Be Well~

Relax, Go Organic

20130910-205242.jpgMuch to my surprise this picture was on the front page of yesterday’s Asheville Citizens-Times. (Click it to see it full size, in all its glory!) I am taking it as a message that de-stressing and eating more organic foods are becoming more accepted and possible revered. Even with Jaiden at my head I still look blissed out. This has not come easy but after lots of practice, I think I am getting there. I can’t say I have mastered being at peace in the midst of stress or difficult times, however I value its importance and I keep working towards it.

Practicing yoga, meditating, being in a healthy relationship with yourself and others, adequate exercise and of course making choices that support a healthy body & mind are all important when setting goals for health & wellness.

Eating organic is part of the puzzle. Especially at this time when GMO foods are popping up everywhere. You may not mind being part of an experiment but when I have the choice to eat foods that are not being manipulated then I choose organic. The combination of local and organic together is the best. Also, buying foods from the farmer’s market is nothing short of soul-enriching. I love leaving the market with a bag of locally grown and produced foods. It is simply delightful! Try it if you don’t already – you might like it too.

20130910-205830.jpgHere is another picture of the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15” with Jaiden pushing a cart in the background.

I saw this sign posted in the produce department of an Ingles grocery store. I was so pleased to see this awareness & education being brought to shoppers in a large grocery store not just health food stores.

Here is a summary from the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

If buying all organic produce is not available to you, then take a look at the dirty dozen list. This list will inform you as to which fruits and vegetables are most saturated with pesticides and herbicides and therefore the ones you want to avoid purchasing. Many of these pesticides are toxic to the nervous system. This list does not reflect GMOs. If you want to avoid GMO produce that you would need to buy organically grown fruits and veggies.

The article also provides you with a list of 15 fruits and veggies that are not as saturated with pesticides due to various reasons & criteria. I am hoping for your health that you are eating lots of fruits and veggies and that is why I think it is important for you to consider this article the next time you grocery shop.

Just another tool in your box for becoming more aware and remember awareness is the key!


Taking the Cold Plunge~

photo(4)Hydrate Yourself in More Than One Way~

I decided not to write about cold showers in the middle of winter so I patiently waited until hotter & more humid weather.

If you haven’t heard about the benefits of toggling between vasoconstriction and vasodilation through the use of cold and hot water then you may be intrigued with a medical treatment that’s been circulating (no pun intended) since the 1920s known as hydrotherapy.

I personally enjoy ending my warm shower by shutting off the hot water entirely and being invigorated by the cold water.  I started enjoying this years ago so it has become second nature for me to do this.  I mostly enjoy the clear mind that comes  with this practice.  Some people would never think of doing this because cold water sounds quite awful.  I encourage you to skim this article and maybe you will give it a try.

I should mention, I love going directly from a steam room or hot tub into a cold plunge.  I just think it is so incredibly refreshing that nothing else compares. 

How about a hike that ends with a refreshing dip in a clean & cold river or swimming hole?  Or better yet, a waterfall plunge (note: side picture of Dave, my husband getting right under one the rejuvenating falls of WNC.)

Are you interested in additional support for any of the following bodily functions:
improved blood circulation, managing depression, strengthening the immune system, increasing metabolism, overall hair & skin health and restoring hormone balance. If so, click here to read a more in depth article about different uses of hydrotherapy.

This is just one of the many ways to use water as a means of cleansing & awakening.

Perhaps, I will explore other modalities that include water as a means of cleansing with you in the near future.  Remember what I’ve said in the past, if awareness in the key to living more consciously, then awakening is needed to do so. 

Why not shift towards awareness with a cold blast and see how you feel!



Cilantro, some people love it and some say…leave it!

photo(3)Here’s why I love it:
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an annual plant with a similar but more delicate appearance than parsley.   I enjoy cooking with cilantro because all parts of the plant are edible so you don’t need to worry about picking off the leaves and discarding the stems, which can be time consuming. Just wash it add it to whatever you are making.  I do tend to discard the longer stems if its easy.

Cilantro has a cultivation history that dates back to at least 1500 B.C., as Sanskrit writings from that time indicate.  Isn’t that amazing?   Vitamin K is one of cilantro’s major contributors to your health.  Vitamin K supports the coagulation of blood in a healthy way and Vitamin K is also known to have anti-inflammatory powers that help those suffering from arthritis & other joint pain.

In my opinion, the most enticing benefit to incorporating cilantro into as many meals as possible is its ability to be a natural chelator.  It can potentially help to remove, or chelate, heavy metals from the bloodstream. These heavy metals can wreak havoc on your body in many ways so learning how to gently detox from these metals is something that your mind & body can greatly benefit from.  Cilantro is a rather inexpensive way to embark on this detoxifying journey.

If awareness is the key, then we need clarity to become more aware.  Therefore, if detoxing heavy metals from our bodies & brains can bring about more clarity and peel some of the toxic layers off – than I say, “Bring on the cilantro and the let the awareness shine through!”

To learn more about cilantro chelation, click here.

If you just want to read an awesome article on cilantro & liver health by one of my favorite teachers, Andrea Nakayama of then click here.

I participated in a blood-sugar detox with Andrea.  She had teamed up with knowledgeable and awesome chef, Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Her website is

Ricki provided us with an array of delicious recipes that we were able to enjoy during our detox and after.  During that course I was introduced to Ricki’s amazing website and talents.   This website features healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly recipes.  Here is a link to her recipe for Serendipitous Black Bean Spread.

I usually enjoy this spread with cucumbers and carrots for either lunch or a snack.  Also, great idea to take hiking and it is easy travel food.  Enjoy!

Magnificent Raw Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

photo(1)It’s really a mind-blowing dessert!

This is simply delicious, refreshing and extremely satiating.  I have been making this recipe for years after being gifted the cookbook, I am Grateful.  I used to make it and pour it in small ramekins, lately I have been pouring the mousse in a larger ceramic dish and bringing it to small gatherings.

If you are looking for a sweet treat that is also full of healthy fats and nutrients – this recipe will answer your chocolate desires.

Here is a link to the Chocolate Mousse recipe as posted on The Recipe Renovator website.  There are some great recipes listed on that site – enjoy looking through and trying out something new.  See my renovations to the recipe asterisked below.

You will notice a few unusual ingredients listed in the mousse recipe, such as Irish Moss.  I bought a bag from Mountain Rose Herbs. The bag of Irish Moss that I purchased has moss that is already cut into small pieces.  It has lasted me for a quite a while since a little Irish Moss goes a long way.  It is very important to soak it for 12 to 24 hours for ideal results.
The other items can be purchased at your local health food store.
*Note: I have not tried the powdered Irish Moss yet – but a friend of mine did and she says it works even better.
**Instead of the coconut oil that is listed in the recipe I use coconut butter (you can warm the jar in some hot water if it is to hard to scoop out, then add as is)  I find this to make the consistency a bit creamier and it is what the original recipe calls for.  I also use Pacific Brand Hemp Milk (original flavor) instead of the almond milk.
***For the mint flavoring I add 2-3 drops of Young Living Peppermint essential oil at the very end of blending.  Personally, I love the combination of chocolate and mint.  This is completely optional and it is no big deal if you omit it.  Be sure to use a peppermint extract or  essential oil that notes on the bottle that it is safe for dietary consumption.  Please keep in mind that many essential oils brands are not meant for dietary consumption.
****I use maple syrup in place of agave nectar.  If you want to learn some interesting facts about agave nectar’s sad truth, click here.
It’s worth knowing that agave nectar is not the healthy alternative sweetener that many of us thought it was.
Enjoy this decadent dessert and let me know if you try making it.  Cheers to sweet and delicious desserts that are sans white refined sugar or flour products!

Kale – Packed with Power!

kaleMost likely you have heard about kale being a shining star amongst veggies. It’s true and that is because kale is a powerhouse of packed nutrients. Kale is rich in Vitamin K, A, C, B6, folate, fiber, manganese, copper, tryptophan, calcium, potassium, lutein (high in chlorophyll – which reduces inflammation.) Click here to check out how kale can be supportive in achieving healthy looking & feeling skin.

This article is also useful in learning more about skin care and kale’s influence on healthy & glowing skin.

There are several kale salad recipes out there but this one is my favorite and it was created by a dear friend of mine, Tacy. I have played with it and made some substitutions, you are encouraged to do the same!

 Anytime Kale Salad

3 cups finely sliced raw kale
1 cup shredded raw beets
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ lb. goat feta cheese (optional)

¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1 heaping Tblsp kalamata olive spread (tapenade)

Thoroughly wash raw kale, cut out the center stem, break into chunks and put through a salad spinner. Next, slice the kale into thin strips and place in a large bowl.
Peel raw beets, cut into chunks and shred in a food processor. Place in bowl with kale.
Sprinkle salt over the kale and beets. Using hands, tenderly wedge the salt in for one minute. This has a “pickling” effect, and takes some of the bitter taste out of the kale.
Add walnuts.

Mix together ingredients for dressing. Place salad and dressing in refrigerator until ready to eat. Before serving, add feta cheese and dressing, to taste. Yum!

 The picture shows kale & beets from our garden (thanks to my husband and amazing gardener, Dave.) In my book, it doesn’t get any better 🙂

 ***Note: double this recipe if you are taking to a friend’s house, it goes quickly.