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Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Category: Fall

Fall Foods for Grounding

Katie Gordon

For those of you on the west coast where temperatures are still in the 80's, this post will be relevant to you in a few weeks.  However, for my friends over here in the east, we have officially entered the season of Vata and you may be finding that you've begun feeling the effects of the fall season that is now upon us.  Energetically, the expansiveness of the summer season is now descending, contracting, moving inward, shedding.  This shift can leave many of us feeling the effects of seasonal change in the fall more so than any other season.  Maybe you're feeling a little more mentally scattered?  Ungrounded?  Maybe your skin is beginning to feel dry and itchy?  Here are some foods to help bring you back down to earth and into your body. 1. Leafy Greens - Yea I know you've heard it all before.  Leafy greens are great year round, but the hearty greens we get from now through the winter like kale, swiss chard, and beet greens are great for cleansing the body of toxins and added much needed nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin A.  Try them sauteed with chopped fresh garlic and olive oil.

2. Squash - My favorite is delicata, roasted in olive oil and herbs of your choice for about 30 minutes, topped with (you guessed it) leafy greens and pumpkin seeds or walnuts.  Play around with different herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg, noticing what flavor combinations most appeal to you.

3. Pungent foods - These hot and spicy foods help to clear toxins that have been building up in our bodies over the summer.  Incorporate more hot peppers, ginger, chilies, garlic, get the idea.

4. Root veggies - Roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, and carrots are the perfect food for fall because they combine the earthiness of the vegetables with longer cooking times, energetically locking more heat into the food.  Here's a recipe I posted previously for a Roasted Root Salad.

5. Healthy fats - As the air gets cool and crisp, so do your skin and internal organs.  For  healthy, glowing skin and mucus membranes, make sure to get enough healthy fat and oil in your diet.  Think nuts + seeds, olive, coconut, and flax oils, etc.  Get creative.  Add oils to your smoothies, drizzle walnut oil over your roasted veggies,  add pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds to yogurt or oatmeal.  Think of moisturizing from the inside out!  Fats also help our bodies to feel more grounded and insulated during the cold winter months.  To be clear, this doesn't mean necessarily gaining weight, but just adjusting how you nourish yourself.  Allow yourself to eat warmer, heavier meals from now through winter.

Fall is a great time to turn your focus inward, learn new ways to nourish and feed yourself, and begin to build your energy reserves for the coming winter.  But it's also a great time of year to get out in your community, visit nearby farms to get your produce, go apple-picking, make your own cider, and start experimenting with fall foods and flavors.  Try new fruits and vegetables you come across and please share your favorite fall recipes!



Ginger Persimmon Bread

Katie Gordon

I took a day off yesterday.  A "mental health day" as my dad used to call it.  So I woke up slowly, staying cozy in bed with a huge mug of tea for as long as I could justify it, went to yoga, and visited my favorite coffee shop for a matcha almond milk latte and to catch up on some reading.  Then I baked.  For a day off, I'd say it was pretty productive.  I even cleaned the bathroom. Joy had posted this recipe a few weeks ago and it sounded like the perfect combination of fall flavors.  I had never tried baking with persimmons and I just happened to have two from the farmers market.

For this recipe, I use Hachiya persimmons, which are for baking, as opposed to Fuyu persimmons, which are for eating raw, on salads, with nut butter, or any other creative uses you can come up with.  The Hachiyas are taller and are ripe when they're super soft.  Fuyus are squat and firmer even when they fully ripen.

Ginger Persimmon Bread adapted from Joy the Baker

Note: I made the persimmon pulp by peeling two Hachiya persimmons, slicing the flesh off the core, and throwing it in the blender, pulsing until it was still a little chunky.

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour) 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. persimmon pulp 1 tsp. baking soda (I used baking powder because I couldn't find my baking soda and it worked fine) 1 c. natural cane sugar 2 eggs 1/2 coconut oil (can substitute vegetable oil) 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (if you don't have fresh ginger or can't be bothered to grate some, just use 1 tsp. of ground ginger) Dash of ground cloves (optional)

Place a rack in the top third of your oven and preheat the to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x4x3 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the persimmon pulp and baking soda/powder.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, and spices together.  Add the persimmon mixture.  Then fold the wet ingredients to the flour mixture until all the flour is combined.  Pour it into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

Roasted Root Salad

Katie Gordon

I really really want it to be Fall.  But even though I'm ready for cool crisp air, butternut squash, scarves, chunky sweaters, soup, hot cider, and baked apples, it's still in the 80's here in Southern California.  So instead of being upset that it's still hot, I'm just going into denial mode and getting ahead of myself because I really can't resist posting this recipe for you all so that when Autumn finally does show up, you'll be ready. Now let me just start out saying that I'm really not a potato person.  I could do with or without them.  I'd rather cook up a pot of quinoa, farro, buckwheat or some exciting grain.  That all changed last weekend when my mom and I found some purple potatoes at our local farmers market.

Along with the potassium contained in your typical potato, these purple potatoes are also a rich source of the phytonutrients called Anthocyanins, pigments found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables (blueberries, blackberries, and acai for example).  Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals caused by the body's normal metabolic processes, as well as radiation, environmental toxins, cigarette smoke, pollution, and herbicides.  Purple potatoes are the most common, but look for any color especially as heirloom varieties become more popular and readily available.

Roasted Root Salad: adapted from 101cookbooks

1 1/2 lbs small, waxy potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (I used purple, but you could use any color you want) 1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut into the same size as your potatoes 1/2 lb parsnips, scrubbed and cut 6 shallots, peeled and cut into halves lengthwise 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil 2 pinches of sea salt 2 bunches of green onions, green tops cut off and sliced in half lengthwise

vinaigrette: 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 small or 1/2 medium shallot, minced 2 tsp. whole grain mustard 1/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1/3 c. olive oil 1 Tbsp. greek yogurt or creme fraiche (optional)

2 c. cooked wild or brown rice (the wild rice looks prettier)

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and shallots with 1/4 c. olive oil and sea salt until well-coated.  Turn them out onto one or two baking sheets (I had to use two) in a single layer.  Throw the green onions into the bowl and coat them with the residual olive oil, then add them to the baking sheets.  Keep in mind the green onions will take about 20 minutes while the rest of the veggies should stay in there for 40-60 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, pour the red wine vinegar into a small bowl along with the chopped shallot.  If you have time, allow them to soak for about 20 minutes.  Whisk in the mustard and salt, then drizzle in the olive oil, still whisking.  Then stir in the yogurt or creme fraiche, adjust vinegar, mustard, salt, etc. to taste.

When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven.  Toss your rice with some of the vinaigrette.  Then either add the vegetables to the bowl and toss with the rest of the dressing, or turn the rice out onto a serving platter and use it as a bed for your vegetables.  Top with the roasted green onions.

Serves 6.