Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meal Planning Again...

Where in the world is this month going??  It seems like yesterday was Thanksgiving and then Christmas and now....the middle of January?  I don't know about you but we are riding this wave of great energy that 2015 has ushered in. It just doesn't seem to be slowing down at all.  Not complaining!

So many of you sent emails about my meal planning post~ thanks!!  Yes, I do meal planning every week.  Some weeks it gets pretty involved and others, well, I make 12 hour pizza dough in the morning and call it a day.  You know how that goes, right?  Well, I thought I would do another post about this week's recipes.  I love posting about food and what we eat or sometimes, don't eat.

I started our week with a big batch of this!  More-Than-Maple Granola.  We eat granola plain by the handf-full, on top of greek yogurt, as cereal with almond milk.  But, have you every looked at the ingredient list of the granolas you can buy at the store?  Ouch! Between the sugar content and the chemical list, I'll pass.  Besides, it is so simple to make.  Why not just do it? This recipe makes about 4 cups which will last us one week maybe two.

More-Than-Maple Granola
(from Whole Grain Vegan Baking)

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 Tbs. slivered almonds
2 Tbs. flax meal
1 Tbs. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 Tbs. neutral-flavored oil
2 Tbs. sucanat
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried sweetened tart cherries (I use cranberries because that's what I keep in our pantry)

*Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Combine the oats, almonds, flax meal, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, garam masala, and salt in a large bowl.
*Combine the applesauce, maple syrup, oil, Sucanant, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Whisk together. Pour into the oat mixture and stir to coat.
*Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Leave some space between the clumps but try to get a fairly even depth so that the granola can bake evenly.
*Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the ove, and using a spatula, turn the granola over similar to flipping pancakes.
*Bake for 15-20 minutes more, until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet. The granola crisps as it cools. When cool, break the clusters apart as desired and stir in the cranberries. The granola can be stored covered at room temperature for 2 weeks.

So, what else are we eating this week?  Well, we already chowed down on some Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup and plates of rigatoni with Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs and still to come?  Gingered Rice with Chicken.  We also have two evenings out on our calendar for this week but the house has been smelling pretty yummy! Meal planning is definitely the way to go.  Sit down over the week-end, go through your cookbooks instead of letting them collect dust and choose a few recipes for the week.  Stress relieved!!

These past few cold, gray days that have enveloped Charleston recently have been the prime opportunities for some good homemade soup.  I love making soup.  My entire house will quickly smell delicious and the warmth that unfolds is divine.  And, how great is it that most soups are great to stick in the fridge and reheat?  Great for boys coming and going from school and work to rehearsals and to practices.  Busy days!

I wanted to share a new recipe with you...Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup.  I LOVE cauliflower!  We go through a lot of it.  Roasted, steamed with a vegan cheese sauce, mixed with broccoli and red onions and topped with a sweet and sour sauce but this recipe is superb. goes. Try it.  You'll like.  Unless you don't like curry.  Then, try something else ;)

Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup
(from The Oh She Glows Cookbook)
1 Tbs. coconut oil or other oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger
1-2 Tbs. curry powder, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 large handfuls baby spinach
3/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

*In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes until translucent.
*Stir in the ginger, 1 Tbs of the curry powder, coriander and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
*Add the broth and red lentils and stir to combine, Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more.
*Stir in the cauliflower and sweet potato.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender.  Season with the salt and pepper, and add more curry powder, if desired.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
*Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cilantro, if desired.

from Better Homes and Gardens
Gingered Rice with Chicken
(from VB6 Cookbook)

1 1/2 pounds of bok choy
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 bone-in organic chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs. minced ginger
1 1/2 cups brown rice, preferable basmati
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas

*Cut bok choy leaves from the stalks and chop everything, keeping the leaves and stems separated. Put 1 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
*Add the chicken sprinkle with half the salt and pepper and cook undisturbed until the pieces brown and release easily from the pan, 3-5 minutes. 
*Turn and brown on the other side, another 3-5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil.
*Raise the heat to  medium-high and add the onion and ginger.  Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, 3-5 minutes.  add the rice all at once, turn down heat to medium, and stir until the rice is glossy, completely coated with oil, and starting to color lightly.
*Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and add stock all at once and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice.
*Stir in the white parts of the bok choy, adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently, then nestle the chicken pieces on top and cover the pot. Cook without stirring until the rice is almost tender and the water is absorbed, 30-40 minutes.
*When the rice is ready, remove the chicken and stir in the bok choy leaves and the peas with a fork.  Turn the heat to the absolute minimum and let the pilaf rest for another 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, fluff again, and serve the chick on a bed of the rice.

We had this recipe with some sauteed squash, peppers and onions and french bread....yum!

And, last but definitely not of my all-time favorite recipes.  Lentil meatballs or, in our case, black bean meatballs.  No, they do not taste like meatballs created by combining beef and pork.  No, my Italian grandmother would not approve these as a substitute for her homemade Italian meatballs. But, in our house, we enjoy them regularly.  Why?  They are simple to make and make ahead and....a pasta dinner is fast!  There are nights when I need to get dinner ready to eat in 45 minutes before we all head out again.  This is the way to go.  

When I have some time over the week-end, I put these little guys together, bake them and store them in the fridge until we are ready for a pasta night.  Simple.  Give these a try.  This week we used an organic, store bought marinara.  Sometimes, I do make my own sauce but with only four of us at home now and little freezer space, it doesn't make a ton of sense to simmer sauce in bulk!

Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs
(from Peas and Thank You)

8 oz. precooked lentils or 8 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Combine lentils, oats, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, basil, tomatoes, onion and mustard in a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until mixture forms a thick, chunky batter.  Stir in olives and season to taste.
*Form batter into 12 gold ball-sized meatballs and place on a cookie sheet that has been coated with cooking spray.  Cook 20 minutes, flipping once during cooking time.

Note:  I almost always used black beans for this recipe and I make my meatballs about half that size and twice as many.  They also cook in about 15 minutes that way.  

photo from Cookie and Kate

Well, there you go.  A few more good-for-you options that are quick and easy for your weekly meal-planning.  I am pondering the idea of hosting a meal planning course complete with recipes, make ahead tips and grocery lists.  Let me know if you are interested?!

Last on my brain today...has anyone heard of a pacemaker for your stomach?  I just saw this on the news!  Currently, 1/3 of American adults are overweight and the powers that be have come up with a solution.  Have surgery and have a stomach "pacemaker" installed that will tell you when you have eaten enough food.  I am struggling to wrap my brain around this one.  Anyone else out there think that maybe we should just get rid of fast food and processed food and start eating from our local farmers??  Wow.  That seems to be all I can say at the moment.  Mindful eating takes a back seat to the stomach pacemaker.  Would love to hear your thoughts on that one!!

Hope everyone is getting ready for the week-end and making some great meal plans!  Happy Thursday from Charleston Treasures!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meal Planning: Our First Week of January

Good morning!  Here's hoping that you have running water instead of frozen pipes! If you do, then you are one step ahead of us.  I love our old house but our lack of insulation...  Well, it leaves a bit to be desired this morning. Today is not your typical Charleston morning.  21 degrees with a wind chill of 7?!?  Yeah. Cold, cold morning.

On another note, I spent some time last night thinking about what truly makes my life easier.  Especially in the kitchen.  Don't get me wrong.  I love, love cooking, making interesting dishes and feeding my family.  But, there are times when those exact things that I love so much become stressful.  Like last night.  We had a rehearsal that went on until 7:30 and then everyone needed fed.  I say needed because I can throw some things into the Vitamix,  turn out a smoothie and call it a meal.  That doesn't exactly work for a house full of men and teenage boys!

Meal planning and thinking ahead are truly time-saving and take-out avoiding measures that I use often. I thought I would begin sharing some of my meal planning tips and tricks that make my life a bit easier so maybe, just maybe, your life will be a little easier and your meals a little healthier as well.

How many of you plan your meals for the week or even 3-4 days before you go shopping?  This is something I do regularly simply because, again, it makes my life easier.  I don't have the stress of walking into the kitchen, opening the fridge and trying to come up with a meal for my family.  I say 3-4 days because I tend to shop twice a week.  Once for the bulk of my week and then a second trip to restock fresh fruits, veggies and any other items that may be needed for the second half of the week's meals.  I like it that way.  I like having a stocked pantry and a couple of meals in mind that I know I can pull together with minimal planning and preparation.

So, how does this post help you?  Well, I believe we all can benefit from new ideas and other's creativity.  I thought I would post a few of our dinner plans each week and you can check them out and see what resonates.  What recipes you can use that your family might embrace. New ideas.

I went to the grocery with my list and picked up all of the staples and pantry items that I knew we were nearly out of.  I also picked up the extras to make these four dishes:  Pizza Burgers, Shortcut Caesar Chicken Salads, Spicy Tomato Soup and Shrimp Rice Bowls.  Recipes to follow.  Notice I have two veggie meals, one with chicken and one with seafood.  I am working hard to balance our family diet.  It is definitely a challenge but more on that later!

So, I am including these four recipes.  Short and sweet.  Give them a shot and add them to your family's list of go-to meals if you choose.

Shortcut Caesar Chicken Salad 
(from 100 Days of Real Food)

I baked three organic well-seasoned chicken breasts sliced horizontally (6 servings) after getting home from the grocery store and stored them in the fridge for the future.  I also made a big batch of Chloe's croutons (from the tomato soup recipe) to use on these salads.

1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

2 romaine lettuce hearts, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch wide strips
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 of the breast halves cooked previously, reheated, and chopped into bite-sized pieces

*Reheat chicken, chop and set aside.
*Make the dreessing.  Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, salt, and Parmesan cheese.  Whisk thoroughly to emulsify the dressing or shake it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
*Toss the dressing with the lettuce in a large salad bowl and top with chicken, croutons (if using), 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and more pepper if desired.

Pizza Burgers 
(from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen)

1 (15oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil

Hamburger buns, lightly toasted, if desired
Toppings:  Sliced red onions, sliced tomato, marinara sauce,  fresh basil leaves, spinach,  ketchup, etc.

Place beans, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, bread crumbs, flour, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until just combined, stopping frequently to scrape down sides.  Using the palms of your hands, form mixture into 6 or 7 patties.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and panfry patties, letting them cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.  Once patties are nicely browned, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

These can be made ahead of time and reheated later by a quick trip to a 350 degree oven or in the microwave...however, they aren't as crispy on the outside these ways.  I have been serving these with a green salad and some sweet potato fries. Yum!

Shrimp Rice Bowl 

I LOVE rice bowls and they are a great way to be creative and clean out your refrigerator.  Simply make a pot of brown rice and heat some beans.  I usually use black beans, rinsed and sauteed with some finely diced onion and cumin.  Layer your bowl with brown rice, beans, chopped lettuce or spinach, fresh tomato, sliced avocado, slivers of red onion, a few dollops of sour cream or greek yogurt and some freshly sauteed shrimp.  Add a few whole grain tortilla chips and call it dinner.  The creative ideas with this are endless!!  Substitute tofu or organic chicken for the shrimp or use whatever you have.  If my guys hadn't wanted shrimp rice bowls, I simply would have chopped the other three chicken breasts halves and used that!

Spicy Tomato Soup 
 (from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen)

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted whole tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
2 Tbs. brown sugar
Chopped fresh basil for garnish

Rustic Croutons:
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups (1 inch) bread cubes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Soup Directions:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and saute onion until soft.  Add garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper, and let cook for 1 minute more, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, and in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.  Return to the pot, stir in coconut milk and brown sugar, reheat and season to taste.

Crouton Directions:
In a large skillet, heat oil and saute bread ubes until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper while cooking.

To serve, top each bowl of soup with a drizzle of coconut milk, fresh basil and croutons.  Totally delicious!! 

I love these recipes and I also love having websites that I know I can visit and pull interesting recipes for my family!  I hope you will consider doing some meal planning and making life easier for yourself.  Avoiding take-out and that evening crush when it comes to getting dinner on the table can make for pleasant and stress free evenings.

I hope you are warm and making it through this first work week of the new year and making some healthy, tasty meals!  If you give these a try, please comment and let me know how you like them.  Happy Thursday from Charleston Treasures!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cashew Cream Cheese

Happy New Year! It has already been a beautiful four days and we are so looking forward to 2015!  I consciously decided to skip the January 1st post about resolutions or the lack of.  I looked at my life and decided I like it.  I really, really like it and don't want to change it.  Or, recreate it.  I simply want to live more in each moment.  Be grateful for every second.  Cherish the people around me.  And, even more difficult, live deeply within myself and cherish my own being more this year.  There it is.  My resolution that really isn't a resolution! So, happy new year and blessings to whatever you choose to resolve or not for 2015!

As many of you know, I work with food and health and nutrition.  Study after study shows that a plant based diet equips us for a longer, fuller life and that, my friends, is always my goal when looking at nutrition and what my house eats.  We eat a lot of vegan meals in our house.  Sometimes, my family knows it and sometimes they don't!  Either way, a plant based diet prolongs life and promotes health.  So....are you wondering why I posted this bag of raw cashews from Trader Joe's?

I want to share a recipe with you!  As I have studied vegan food choices, more and more I am hearing about cashews and cashew cream.  At first it sounded....icky.  Then, I decided as a nutritionist I need to know more!  So, I started 2015 with some new recipes and fell in love with this one. It came from this book....

Another book I added to my collection this holiday with a Barnes and Noble gift card.  Thanks, Mom! Cashew Cream Cheese.  We have been working to eliminate dairy from our diets.  We know that it creates inflammation and for any of you out there hitting the age of aches and pains, you know what I am talking about!  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about soaking nuts and using them to create recipes but  I'm hooked.  You just might be as well. So, here it is...

Cashew Cream Cheese
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for a few hours or overnight in water, to soften, rinse
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 1/2 Tbs/ finely diced chives
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (I used celery instead)
1 1/2 Tbs. finely minced shallots or red onion
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Blend the soaked cashews with water and lemon juice in a high-speed blender, until smooth. Pause often to scrape sides of blender and fold ingredients to ensure a creamy texture.

*Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, chives, parsley, shallots, salt and pepper, mixing thoroughly. Refrigerate.

The more we sampled it, the more we liked it.  Yes, okay, cream cheese on bagels but it is also fantastic on a tortilla filled with veggies or instead of mayo on a sandwich.  I hope you will give this one a try!!

You can find more of Kris Carr's recipes on her website and be sure to check out the freebies link for some great goodies to help you along your wellness path!!  She also has some great youtube videos...

I love, love, love this video.  What a great example of how a truly healthy plant based diet can look!! If you are searching for more ways to become healthy or are ready to make changes in your diet and need some help, click on my health and wellness consulting link to check out my services.

I hope this post finds you happy and healthy and ready for an amazing week!  Happy Monday morning from Charleston Treasures!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lowcountry Street Grocery

I know that many of you visit farmers markets and here, in Charleston, we are blessed to have them in abundance!  As a holistic nutritionist, my Saturday morning to-do list usually includes at least one farmers market.  I know the best way to stay healthy is through fresh, local produce!

However, what if you couldn't get to that farmers market?  In fact, what if you really struggled to get to fresh fruits and veggies at all?  Yeah. It's a problem.  It really is.

There is a group of individuals right here in the Lowcountry who are looking to change that!  This is pretty exciting news so I hope you are interested in helping out!

What if this totally darling bus showed up on your street or outside of your workplace or near your college campus?  What if it was filled with local vegetables and great dinner ideas and all you had to do was walk outside and shop?

This is the plan for the Lowcountry Street Grocery....
"Lowcountry Street Grocery is a social business corporation seeking to bring nutrition, affordability and food security to the Charleston area. Though we are chiefly concerned with providing better nutrition at modest prices for those living in and along food deserts, the breadth of our inventory and interest in boosting the local economy will prove to be a boon to the entire community. 

Our premium on nutrition is followed closely by our desire for convenience, as we are a mobile market business. We bring our product right to the doorsteps of our patrons via a fully refurbished and eco-friendly bus stocked with produce and sundries.

Our unique, inexpensive and convenient approach will engender a sense of trust and intimacy within the community, and foster future ties — both in business and in friendship."
Pretty amazing idea, right??  Not only are they getting food to people who might not have access to fresh fruits and veggies but they are using produce from local farmers so those farmers benefit as well.  Sounds like a win/win to me!?!

So who will benefit from this brilliant idea?....
"While there are concentrated regions and communities that are primary focuses, particularly Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant, LSG will serve a large geographical area surrounding Charleston that includes the following counties and townships: James Island, West Ashley, Isle of Palms, Awendaw, Johns Island, Kiawah/Seabrook Island, Summerville, Hanahan, Hollywood, Ladson. On special occasion, the mobile market will make trips to outer lying counties and cities. With planned special events and festivals, geographic area may change from time to time, however the overall focus is within twenty-five miles of Charleston, and North Charleston, where our mission is carried out."
I have a strong feeling that you will be hearing a lot more from these guys and gals.  They are looking to create change and a new way of doing things.  Interested?  You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.... all that good stuff. 
Check out their sites and see how you can get involved and what you can do to help!  I do know that very soon, they will begin a Kickstarter campaign.  They are in need of funds for their buses so that this mobile farmers market is indeed quite mobile!

Love the idea and want to donate right now?  Click here!

As many of you know, fresh produce is a key to longevity, health, wellness and so much more.  In my work, I see individuals who truly have not embraced this concept and are struggling to maintain their own health, weight and well-being. 

I do urge you to check out the links above.  A mobile farmers market that supports local farmers is a premium idea and one that will benefit many of us living in the Charleston area.  On another note, if you are looking to begin the New Year by making some health changes, check out my Health and Wellness Consulting link.  

I work with clients, individuals and families who are interested in making positive changes in their eating habits to promote their own health and well-being.  You can find my personal website here.

I hope you will check out the Lowcountry Street Grocery and get involved in some way! 
 Fresh produce=health!  Have a beautiful Tuesday!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Additions to the Book Collection

December 28th.  This year is quickly coming to a close.  It's kind of hard to believe but it's nearly gone.  I have changed and grown and worked and challenged myself so much this year and I finally am feeling like I am ready to wave good-bye to 2014 and say hello to 2015.

The past few weeks I have been on a book collecting spree.  Do you ever get that way?  An ever growing list of books that you NEED to read?  I do.  And, then, I will spend a few weeks doing nothing but filling my head with everything these authors have to offer...And, then, another few months putting it all into practice! Hello, 2015!!

Here are my new titles.  I would love to know what you think...

I guess I have my work cut out for me, right?  The last book, The New German Cookbook, was a gift from my son and his German girlfriend, Alwina.  My plan is to study up and prepare them a few authentic meals when they return to Charleston one last time before heading back over the pond. 

Food is healing.  There is no doubt in my mind that what we eat and how we eat plays a huge role in our health and well-being.  Fresh.  Local.  You know?

I am SOOOO looking forward to spring and planting!  Can you tell?  It's been five years since I have had gardening space.  Now that our inside renovations are complete, it is time to begin on the outside!  I believe the mister is already dreading the digging, raised bed building, planting, etc.  But, as we all know, our energy spent planting will be hugely rewarded with fresh veggies all summer and fall!!  Can't wait!

I hope you are all gearing up for a fantastic beginning to the new year!  We definitely are in our house!  I also want to remind readers who have little kids ages 7-12 that I have a new session of Kids in the Kitchen beginning on January 12th.  These 6 session workshops are geared for young ones who are interested in learning how to cook and why food is important in their bodies.  As a former classroom teacher for 21 years, I have seen that the way children grow up thinking about food greatly influences their health later in life.  If you are interested in registering someone, visit my website and contact me!

Given that I am reading a few new cookbooks, I do have some new recipes to share with you very soon.  So, check back!  Have a great afternoon and Happy Sunday from Charleston Treasures!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Creative Mornings Charleston

Sometimes, something crosses our path that is REALLY cool!  Something we feel the need to share! This was my feeling yesterday morning as I headed out into a chilly morning to get to the Charleston Library Society by 8 am. Why?  Creative Mornings, Charleston!

One morning each month the group gets together, has some breakfast and listens to a speaker or presenter.  It is an amazing idea that can create change.  Each month has a different topic.

Change! I can feel it!  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of heading to this amazingly beautiful building on King Street!

People gathered around 8 to indulge in Counter Culture Coffee and amazing scones and biscuits offered by Cat Lamb and chat...

There are now 104 cities participating in Creative Mornings and at 8:30, we began.  We were joined yesterday by Edward Hart, a Charleston native and composer who is also a Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the College of Charleston.  He spoke about "Finding Your Voice".  

His talk brought me back to my college days as a piano major....harmony, form, orchestration, counterpoint! But, the deeper meaning kept me present. Mindful. In the moment. 

We are all searching for our voice, looking for our own way to make a difference in this crazy world.  We all hope to speak words that resonate with others.  To create.  To compose. To be heard.  

Creative Charleston has several sponsors and is attended by many of the Charleston community.  We filled the space yesterday.  How exciting to be a part of something that has such amazing potential and tickets are free but limited!  

You can find and follow this group on social media....Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or just visit their website. I encourage you to check them out especially if you live in the area and want to experience this cool energy.

Creative Mornings, Charleston! Definitely something to check out. Hope you all are planning a restful, quiet week-end before this crazy, Christmas week begins.  Be mindful.  Be in the moment.  Be present.  Enjoy!!  Happy Saturday from Charleston Treasures :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Morning Walk to the Ashley

Sometimes, mindfulness can be found in a morning walk.  To the Ashley River.  I have been working on mindfulness.  On prayer.  On being present.  I have been working in the midst of distractions.  In chaos.  Organized chaos but nonetheless, chaos.  Renovations.  It's beautiful and loud and full of distractions.  So, I have had to return to mindfulness and all that this single word has brought into my life. 

Oneness.  Children of Spirit.  Beauty.  Green.  Growth.  Yes, today, I will be present.

Have a beautiful Wednesday!
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