Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Sharing a Tip From My Creating Wellness Ebook on How to Sleep Better

Posted by Maria on January 7, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Life Coaching, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Author of Creating Wellness

I’m so excited to announce that my Creating Wellness ebook is now available on Amazon.com and I’d like to share a tip on how to sleep better to give you a taste of what’s inside.

Creating Wellness ebook now on Amazon.com

First a few words on the importance of being healthy.

As Count Tyrone Rugen said in The Princess Bride, “Get your rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”

Being healthy means having the freedom to do whatever you want with your life.

I believe many illnesses are largely preventable and it all comes down to a person’s ability to relax. I wrote Creating Wellness because I’ve observed that high levels of stress are lurking behind the scenes of many illnesses and managing stress is a big piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.

Having a chronic disease is not only challenging, but it keeps people from pursuing their dreams and achieving their goals. Poor health is often a huge, all-consuming distraction and results in people spending their time seeking medical attention, standing in line to fill prescriptions, dealing with side effects of medications, worrying about finances and/or the future, and trying to cope with pain, etc., instead of doing their own things that bring them joy.
The good news is, there’s still time to make small lifestyle changes NOW — like quitting smoking, exercising more, fueling your body with more nutritious food, getting regular massages, establishing healthy sleep habits, and speaking your truth — that will save you tremendous expense and suffering later. Maria Koropecky ~ Creating Wellness

Creating Wellness includes practical tips to help people relax and folding them into your life may prevent illnesses from showing up in the first place.

Here’s a tip on how to sleep better:

Also, make sure your bedroom is as dark as can be while you’re sleeping and you don’t have any bluish lights turned on (like the lights from your TV, computer, cell phone and even your alarm clock/radio) in the hours before you hit the pillow.
Blue lights can really interfere with the sleep cycle because historically, blue lights mean daylight in our brain, which means it’s time for us to be busy and productive, not resting. Maria Koropecky ~ Creating Wellness

Turn off blue lights to sleep better at night.

Turn off blue lights to sleep better at night.

Creating Wellness is also available on Amazon Canada.

This short ebook is a quick read, has lots of cheery photos, and contains some practical tips on how to relax and manage stress. If you want to be healthier and are committed to making some lifestyle changes, than reading Creating Wellness is a good start.

# # #

To schedule an interview with Creating Wellness author, Maria Koropecky, please email.

Also, if you get a chance to read Creating Wellness, please leave a review on my Amazon page. I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

75 Ways to say “Thank You”

Posted by Maria on October 9, 2015 under Energy Healing, Gift Ideas, Life Coaching, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

“Thank you” is a very powerful thing to say in any language.

thank you!As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the power of saying “thank you.” No matter what language(s) you speak, expressing your thanks and gratitude is transformational for everyone.

On top of being spiritual in nature, research shows that saying “thank you” can also lower stress. According to the Institute of HeartMath, expressing genuine thanks also strengthens the heartbeat and improves the heart’s rhythm. It’s an energetic shift! When you are grateful, you veer away from the stress response and you activate the relaxation response (which I wrote about in my ebook, Creating Wellness) which promotes healing.

If your Thanksgiving weekend with your family starts to get stressful and you’d like to create a better connection with them, make a point of telling each person present, “thank you,” or I’m grateful to you for “_________”, or I appreciate this about you: “_________”, and see how that goes. You’ll start to notice the good in people more than what annoys you. Also, it just might cut the tension and boost everyone’s mood and make this the best Thanksgiving yet!

Knowing how to say “thank you” in several languages is a handy communication tool and I bet it’s one of the top five words or expressions you’ll learn when you travel to a foreign country and that’s why I’ve compiled this list of how to say thank you in 75 languages.

How to say Thank You in 75 languages:

1. AFRIKAANS (South Africa) – dankie – dahn-kee

2. ALBANIAN (Albania) – faleminderit

3. AMERICAN SLANG (USA) – cheers, kthx, kthxbye, much grass, pat on the back, shout-out, thx, TY.

4. ARABIC (Middle East, North Africa) – shukran – shoe-krahn

5. ARMENIAN (Armenia)– Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun – Shnorhakalut’yun

6. AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH (Australia) – ta (informal)

7. BELARUSIAN (Belarus) – dziakuju

8. BENGALI (India, Bangledesh) – Dhannyabad

9. BOSNIAN (Bosnia, Herzegovina) – hvala – HVAH-lah

10. BULGARIAN (Bulgaria) – благодаря – blagodaria

11. CANTONESE (China) – Mh’gōi – m-ghoh-ee

12. CANTONESE (China) – do jeh – daw-dyeh or tou yeh

13. CATALAN (Andorra, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia) – gràcies – GRAH-syuhs

14. CROATIAN (Croatia) – hvala – HVAH-lah

15. CZECH (Czech Republic) – děkuji – deh-ku-yih

16. DANISH (Denmark) – tak – tahg

17. DUTCH (Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname) – dank u

18. ENGLISH (Canada, UK, USA, etc.,) – thank you, thanks (informal)

19. ESPERANTO – Dankon

20. ESTONIAN (Estonia) – tänan – TA-nahn

21. FIJIAN (Fiji) – Vinaka

22. FINNISH (Finland) – kiitos – kee-toas

23. FRENCH (France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg) – merci – mehr-see

24. GERMAN (Germany, Austria. Switzerland) – danke – dahn-kah, danke schoen (literally: nicely thank you)

25. GREEK (Greece) – ευχαριστώ – efharisto – ef-har-rih-stowe

26. HAWAIIAN (Hawaii) – mahalo – ma-HA-lo

27. HEBREW – .תודה / toda – toh-dah

28. HINDI (India) – dhanyavād

29. HINDI, HINDUSTANI (India) – sukria – shoo-kree-a

30. HUNGARIAN (Hungary) – köszönöm – KØ-sø-nøm

31. ICELANDIC (Iceland) – takk – tahk

32. INDONESIAN (Indonesia) – terima kasih – t’ree-ma kas-she

33. IRISH (Ireland) – Go raibh mile maith agat – Go-Rev-Meela-Mah-Agut (literally, may you have a thousand good things)

34. ITALIAN (Italy, Malta, San Marino, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia) – grazie – GRAHT-tsyeh

35. JAPANESE (Japan) – arigato – ahree-gah-tow

36. KINYARWANDA (Rwanda) – murakoze

37. KOREAN (Korea) – 감사합니다 – kamsa hamnida – kahm-sah-ham-nee-da

38. KURDISH (Kurdistan) – supas (thank you); zor supas (thank you very much)

39. KURDISH (Turkey, Iraq, Iran & Syria) – spas – *this one’s my favourite! :)

40. LAO (Laos) – khob chai

41. LATVIAN (Latvia) – paldies – PUHL-dyehs

42. LEBANESE (Labanon) – choukrane

43. LITHUANIAN (Lithuania)– ačiū – AH-choo

44. MACEDONIAN (FYROM, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) – Благодарам / blagodaram – blah-GOH-dah-rahm

45. MALAY (Malaysia) – terima kasih – TREE-muh KAH-seh

46. MANDARIN (China, Hong Kong) – xie-xie – syeh-syeh or shieh shieh

46. MICMAC, ALGONQUIAN (Canada & United States) – welalin

48. MONGOLIAN (Mongolia)– Баярлалаа – bayarlalaa

49. MYANMAR (Burma) – Jae Zu Din Pa De

50. NEPALI (Nepal) dhanyabad – Dhan-ya-vaad

51. NORWEGIAN (Norway)– takk – tahk

52. PERSIAN/FARSI (Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) – Mam’noon or Mo’teshake’ram

53. POLISH (Poland) – dziękuję – dsyen-koo-yeh

54. PORTUGUESE (Portugal) – obrigado [masculine] – oh-bree-GAH-doh and obrigada [feminine] – oh-bree-GAH-dah

55. RUSSIAN (Russia) – спасибо – spasibo – spah-see-boh

56. SIGN LANGUAGE – Flat hand starts with fingertips on chin (palm facing in) then hand moves down and away from the signer.

57. SAMOAN (Samoa) – Fa’afetai – fah-ah-feh-ta-e

58. SCOTTISH GAELIC (Scotland) – Tapadh Leat – tah-puh let (Informal)

59. SINHAK (Sri Lanka) – istutiy – isst-too-tee

60. SLOVAK (Slovakia) – Ďakujem – JAH-koo-yehm

61. SPANISH (Spain, Mexico, Latin America, South America) – gracias – gra-see-us

62. SWAHILI (Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) – asante – ah-sahn-the

63. SWEDISH (Sweden) – tack – tahkk

64. TAGALOG (Philippines) – salamat – sah-lah-maht

65. TAHITIAN (Tahiti) – Maururu

66. TAJIK (Tajikistan & Uzbekistan); TATAR (Russia, Central Asia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Finland & Turkey); UYGHUR (Xinjiang Uyghur, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan); UZBEK (Uzbekistan) – rahmat

67. TAMIL (India , Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia) – nandri – nun-dry

68. THAI (Thailand) – kop khun

69. TURKISH (Turkey) – teşekkür ederim – teh shek uer eh der eem

70. UKRAINIAN (*my mother tongue) (Ukraine) – Дякую – DYAH-koo-yoo

71. VIETNAMESE (Vietnam) – Kam ouen

72. WELSH (Wales/Cymru) – diolch – DEE-ol’ch

73. WEST INDIAN CREOLE (Carribean) – mèsi

74. YIDDISH (Israel, Germany, Eastern Europe) – a dank

75. ZULU (South Africa) – ngiyabonga

I hope you have a chance to practice many of these thank-you’s around your family’s Thanksgiving table this year! Thank you for your interest.

Energy Alignment: Balancing Outer Action With Inner Receptivity

Posted by Maria on March 19, 2015 under Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Guest Bloggers, Life Coaching, Meditation, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | 3 Comments to Read

by Christy Whitman, Guest Blogger

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my spa days! – but not many people know exactly why, or how much I receive from the time I invest in recharging myself in this way.

For me, a spa day is not just about releasing stress, looking better and feeling good (although these are all much-appreciated benefits!).  The energy I give to myself when I take a “me” day is literally what gives me the ability to give my energy to all the relationships and activities I’m involved in, including running an international coaching academy, being a wife to my husband Frederic, a mother to two young boys, writing books, leading retreats and coaching courses, taking great vacations and generally enjoying my life.

That I am able to extract across-the-board value from an act as simple as spending a day at a spa goes back to a principle I was lucky enough to learn years ago from Jack Canfield, one of my earliest mentors.  This principle that has since been cited by numerous other metaphysical teachers and tested by quantum physicists – and I’m sharing it with you here because if you apply it, it will serve you in virtually all aspects of your life.

One hour of “inner” work (and by “inner” work, Jack was referring to the internal practice of intending, visualizing, and aligning our energy) is worth seven hours of “outer” work.

Now, doing “inner” work does not necessarily mean sitting in meditation for an hour each day. What it does mean is that before we take any outer action, we first take a moment to clarify the intention behind that action.  Said another way, we deliberately decide how we want to feel, and get into that state of being before we do anything.  If there is a “secret” to my being able to accomplish so much in so many different aspects of my life, it’s that I practice bringing my internal energy into alignment with the essence of what I want to get out of that activity or situation before I take any external action.

So, when I’m doing something that nurtures my body – like getting a massage, a facial, or visiting the acupuncturist – I begin by connecting with my intention to fill myself with whatever energy I perceive will most serve me at that moment – whether it’s vitality, stamina, sexuality, relaxation, increased immunity, or all of the above.  The end result of this practice is that I receive much more value out of the time I spend engaged in that activity, because I’ve aligned my energy with the outcome I desire and have opened myself up to receiving it.

So many women I’ve worked with and coached have fallen into what I call the “dark side” of multi-tasking.  Sometimes we can be so focused on other things that we take ourselves out of the present moment – even when that moment offers the deep relaxation and nurturing we’re craving!

So to you fellow spa-goers, I pass along the same advice that Jack gave to me: Take a few minutes to align your energy with whatever outcome you want to create before you engage in the activity.   If it’s a spa day you’re creating – whether a full day at home or just a quick one-hour massage, prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you’re in a state to receive the full benefits that the experience makes available.

Aligning your energy with the activity at hand makes all the difference in the world – kind of like using an electronic device that is running on battery power versus one that is plugged in and being fully charged by a live electrical current.  Action that is infused with energy and intention produces results that are astonishing compared to what can be accomplished with action alone.  Try it for yourself and see!

Christy Whitman is a New York Times bestselling author, transformational leader, and author of the forthcoming book The Art of Having It All. She has appeared on The Today Show and The Morning Show, and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Seventeen, Woman’s Day, Hollywood Life, and Teen Vogue, among others. As the CEO and founder of the Quantum Success Coaching Academy, a 12-month Law of Attraction coaching certification program. Christy has helped thousands of people worldwide to achieve their goals through her empowerment seminars, speeches, and coaching sessions and products. Christy’s life-changing message reaches over 125,000 people a month, and her work has been promoted by and featured with esteemed authors and luminaries such as Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marci Shimoff, Brian Tracy, Neale Donald Walsch, Abraham-Hicks, and Louise Hay. She currently lives in Montreal with her husband, Frederic, and their two boys, Alexander and Maxim.

Meet her at www.ChristyWhitman.com and www.TheArtofHavingItAll.com

November 11, 1918 was a very Auspicious Day in History

Posted by Maria on November 10, 2014 under Life Coaching, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Seasonal, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

By Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner & Numerologist

World War I ends at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, 1918.

As a Canadian, I deeply appreciate the freedoms I enjoy today. I’d just like to take a moment and say: To all who have served in the military and who have sacrificed their lives for future generations, thank you for your service.

Today, I’d like to talk about the significance 11/11/1918 from a Numerology point of view.

As a Numerologist, 11/11/1918 is very fascinating to me. November 11 is a very auspicious day and WWI didn’t end on that day just randomly, out of the blue.

Now, I don’t know if the Diplomats and the Politicians and the Generals were aware of the powerful energy associated with the number 11, maybe they were, but I personally think that there was something else going on behind the scenes in the Universe that was influencing the course of human history on that particular day.

And we can use Numerology as a tool to give us a glimpse behind the curtain.

If you were to reduce 11/11/1918 to a single digit by adding 11+11+1+9+1+8 which equals 41 and then add 4+1, as we do in Numerology, you would get a “5” and 5 represents Freedom. Freedom! Isn’t that cool?

What do the numbers mean?

The number 11 is a Master Number which means you don’t add 1+1 and then reduce it to a 2 as we would with most other numbers. Master numbers are very potent and have great potential. If you add 11+11 you’ll get 22 which is the other Master Number.

The number 11 represents “Illumination” as in “Enlightenment.” Sometimes 11 energy can have “head in the clouds, dreamer” tendencies in the negative end of the spectrum and it’s just huge potential that never goes anywhere. On the positive side of the spectrum, however, 11 can be highly motivational and thankfully that was the attribute in play on 11/11/1918.

Eleven is an odd number and therefore it has abstract and idealistic properties, unlike even numbers which have their own strengths.

You may be wondering if 11/11 is so auspicious, why couldn’t WWI end a year sooner in 1917? The answers lies in the Universal Year. Each year has it’s own energy and everyone on the planet feels it’s influence, no matter what their personal numbers are. If you add up 1+9+1+7, you get a 9 (which is about “Selflessness”) and if you add 11+11+9, you would get a 4 (which is about “Limitation”). So 1917 has different energy altogether, but was a necessary step on the path to Enlightenment.

By the way, 2014 is a Universal Year of 7 (“Spiritual Analysis”) and 2015 is a Universal Year of 8 (“Material Satisfaction”) so get ready for a really big prosperous year ahead for all of us in 2015! :)

When you add up 1918, you get a 19 and then you add 1+9 and you get a 10, and then you add 1+0 and you get a 1. Guess what the Universal Year of 1 represents? Independence! Yes Independence. So November 11, 1918, the day the treaties were signed to end World War 1, is all about Freedom and Independence! Isn’t that amazing!

If all of that hadn’t happened that way it did almost 100 years ago, then our world would be very different today. Whew!

And now you can see why I said, “November 11, 1918 was a very auspicious day in history” because if you look up “auspicious” in the dictionary, you will find “auspicious” is synonymous with words like, “promising success,” “propitious,” “opportune,” “favourable,” “favoured by fortune,” “prosperous,” and “fortunate.”

So if Numerology fascinates you as much as it does me and you’d like to have your own personal Numerology reading, please contact me, Maria Alexandra, by email and we can set up an appointment.

And right now, I’m offering gift certificates for a complimentary 30-minute Numerology reading (valued at $30) to all who are interested.

Free numerology reading

All I need is the correct spelling of your full name and your birth date and I’ll reveal things about yourself that are jaw-droppingly interesting.

By the end of your 30-minute complimentary Numerology reading, you’ll know your Core numbers including Life Path, Expression and Soul Urge and how these numbers are influencing your life.

Please claim you free Numerology reading by emailing me, Maria Alexandra, today.

At the very least you’ll be more aware of your hidden talents and abilities and you’ll discover some hidden gems in your life.

Some conditions apply regarding these Gift Certificates:

  1. One per customer
  2. For 1st time customers only
  3. Can be upgraded to a 1-hour Numerology Reading for only $30
  4. No cash value
  5. Limited time offer

Please call or email Maria Alexandra to book your Numerology Reading appointment.

I hope you take a moment on Remembrance Day, November 11, each year to honour the people in history who have contributed to the freedom we are experiencing today. It is your duty to them to live your best life now and not waste their sacrifices or your opportunities to make this world a better place. Your own Numerology reading can point you in the right direction.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, Maria Alexandra.

Feeling Stuck in the Mud? Try the Kneeling, Standing, & Sitting Method

Posted by Maria on October 13, 2014 under Energy Healing, Green Living, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Meditation, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | 4 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

My mother likes me to go to church with her on Sundays. Sometimes I’d rather watch Super Soul Sundays on tv instead but I’ve been going to church more often these days.

When I’m at church, I mostly sit in contemplation. Last Sunday, I was reminded of a conversation I had when I was 6 with my 9 year-old neighbour, Patty. We were comparing notes about our churches — I’m Ukrainian and she’s Irish — and I was saying something like, “We do a lot of kneeling, standing, and sitting — stand, sit, kneel, stand, kneel, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit… oh brother,” rolling my eyes — “and if it was up to me, I like to sit.”

These days, I still prefer to sit. After a long sermon, hauling myself out of my pew to stand for what feels like hours without relief, seems like a lot of effort. And getting back up from kneeling is a different ballgame altogether when you’re in your 40’s. :) .

So while I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that there’s actually a rhyme and reason behind these postures.

And since it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I’m going to use a metaphor of a farmer couple, Fred and Frida, to illustrate my theory.

Kneeling

It all starts with a prayer. Prayer lets you get centered. It’s the “asking” side of the equation. Basically, you’re just having a conversation with yourself and with God (if you’re so inclined) to get clear about what you want. Praying helps strengthen your faith that whatever it is you’re asking for, you will eventually have, even if you haven’t noticed any physical evidence yet.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Our farmers, Fred and Frida, have just acquired a plot of land in a community garden. They want to start growing vegetables for their growing family and maybe sell the surplus at markets. First, they have to figure out what sorts of vegetables they’d like to plant and they have lots of options to choose from. They figure it wouldn’t hurt to pray about it so in their own way, they each take a few moments to gather their thoughts and ask for ideas, good weather (like enough sunshine and enough rain) for the crops, good health for themselves so they can do the labour, and the knowledge to solve any challenges that will come up, etc. etc. They’re also able to visualize what their garden looks like in full bloom and how they’re feeling as they share their bounty with friends, family, and neighbours.

Meanwhile, the land and the seeds of the plants represent pure potential. Prayer is what’s inside the acorn (the code inside the seed) before it cracks open and becomes the grande oak tree.

But it doesn’t stop there. Praying by itself isn’t enough. If you want results, you also need to take action — thoughtful, consistent, and repeated action.

Standing

There’s an African proverb that says, “When you pray, move your feet.” Everybody knows that you can’t get anywhere without taking some sort of action steps along the way. Getting up on your feet is about taking a stand for what you believe in, showing others that you mean business, declaring out loud what you want, and taking action. Also, a lot of times, action is about reaching out, giving, and being of service.

Farmers Fred & Frida

By now, Fred and Frida have procured their seeds and have designed the layout of their garden. They’ve come to the community garden prepared and are wearing the proper clothes for the job and have brought all of the equipment they’ll need for planting. The kale will go here, the zucchini will go there, the tomatoes over there near the basil. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and are working hard all day.

They come back to their garden rain or shine, day after day, week after week, and make sure the plants are getting enough nourishment and care. At first, the soil looks pretty much the same as it did in the beginning, but all of a sudden, there’s colour and little green leaves are starting to break through. Fred and Frida are excited about their progress and they’re motivated to keep going.

Eventually, after all of their hard work, the vegetables are awesome and the garden is ready to be harvested. The growing part may be over but there’s still a lot of work to do so that these vegetables and all of that effort don’t go to waste.

Sitting

After kneeling (praying) and standing (taking action), the next step is sitting (receiving). Sitting is deceptively simple, but some people skip this step. Sitting is about relaxing, resting, and receiving. You can’t just give, give, give all of the time. You also have to be able to receive the gifts that others are trying to give you.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Fred and Frida are grateful that they have had a good growing season. They have plenty of healthy vegetables for their family meals and like to share the best veggies and recipes with their friends. They’ve also opened a stand at the local farmers’ market and are receiving compliments and cash for their quality produce and they plan to expand their plots next year.

I think, all in all, Fred and Frida are successful because they prayed, worked hard, and accepted the blessings that came to them.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in the mud of life and are ready for a positive change, try the kneeling, standing, and sitting method.

Thanksgiving

But you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t know how to pray,” or “I can’t remember the last time I prayed and I don’t know what to say.”

Well here’s a good place to start: “There’s nothing greater that you can say to God than thank you, thank you,” ~ Maya Angelou.

And then you’ll be able to know which steps you’ll need to take that will yield the best results.

So, I’d like to take this moment and say “thank you” for all of the blessings of my life, and for all of the Homespunspa customers I’ve met over the years, and all of the readers of my blog. That’s what I’m most grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving. Now have a seat at the table and pass the turkey and the stuffing, and the mashed potatoes, and the gravy, and the the brussels sprouts, and the cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie, and ENJOY the fruits of your labours with your loved ones.

Find Peace of Mind As You Walk A Labyrinth

Posted by Maria on August 14, 2014 under Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Green Living, Meditation, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner

“To travel a circle is to journey over the same ground time and time again. To travel a circle wisely is to journey over the same ground for the first time. In this way, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the circle, a path to where you wish to be. And when you notice at last that the path has circled back into itself, you realize that where you wish to be is where you have already been … and always were.” ~ Neal Donald Walsch

If you’re looking to solve a problem using your intuition, or expand your spiritual horizons, and/or find peace of mind, try walking a Labyrinth.

Walking a Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice that can work wonders for your soul.

Recently, I literally stumbled upon a Labyrinth that I previously didn’t know about. I was attending a friend’s funeral at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, BC, a lovely historic church that was consecrated in 1885, and I just happened to notice the markings of a Labyrinth in the church parking lot. I made a mental note to come back at a later date.

I first heard of Labyrinth walking after reading Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” several years ago and have kept my eye out for them ever since. I didn’t think Labyrinths could possibly exist in Victoria but as it turns out, there’s more than one. There’s also one in a park in James Bay behind the Legislature, too.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Labyrinths are not mazes. A maze is a complicated and confusing network of paths with many forks and options. Maybe you have walked through a life-sized maze with high hedges in a garden park before and had a difficult time finding your way out.

Labyrinths, on the other hand, are not designed to bewilder or puzzle. Labyrinths are not difficult to navigate and have a single path that leads to the center. There’s only one way in and one way out and all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and follow the yellow-brick road, so to speak.

It didn’t take long for me to make my way back to my newly discovered Labyrinth. I dusted off my copy of “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and decided that the Labyrinth would be my first “Artist Date.” I picked a sunny and hot Saturday afternoon and headed off to North Saanich near the airport. When I got there, I made a point to visit my friend’s grave in the Church’s cemetary first.

The classical Labyrinth pattern of seven inter-linking circuits has appeared on Cretan coins since 430 BC and Labyrinth symbols can be found in many cultures.

I made an effort to walk the Labyrinth because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I’m trying to quiet my mind and tap into my intuition. To me, walking the Labyrinth is a kind of mini pilgrimage to a sacred place. To me, just following the meandering path helps me lose track of the outside world and get into a contemplative and meditative state and from there I get ideas and end up feeling better.

I decided to go through the Labyrinth twice that day. When I got back into my car, I decided to take the scenic road home. Out of the corner of my eye, across the street from the church, I noticed a beach. I quickly parked the car again and thought I’d explore a little further. I walked down the stone steps to sea level. The beach was covered with an abundance stones and rocks and pebbles and seashells. I thought to myself, “She sells seashells by the seashore” and then I thought “Sand Dollar.” I hopped from rock to rock, trying not to step on any seashells but that was not easy. There were just so many of them.

And then, there it was. Just sitting there plain as day. A Sand Dollar. The first one I’ve found in my life — ever. It made me smile and I thought, maybe this gift was something to do with the Labyrinth path I’d just walked minutes before. I like to think it is and although I can’t guarantee that you’ll find some kind of treasure after walking a Labyrinth, I invite you to try and to at least keep your eyes and ears open. Who knows what you’ll discover!

If you’d like to find a Labyrinth in your own city or in a city you’re planning to visit anywhere in the world, check out the Labyrinth’s Society’s web page. They have a world-wide Labyrinth locater tool that just may point you in the right direction.

Win a Guest Spot on My New Show on VoiceAmerica

Posted by Maria on June 22, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Sponsors, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’m about to live a dream I’ve had for most of my life.

Let me take you back to the mid-80’s when I was 15 or 16 years old. One summer, I went to a tennis camp in upstate New York and one of the girls I met there, Raisa, was from Chicago and she told me that she once saw this woman called, “Oprah Winfrey,” in the airport and that was the most famous person she had ever seen. I hadn’t heard of Oprah at that point but for some reason I made a mental note. Raisa said, “keep an eye out for her because some day she’ll be a household name.”

Wow, did she ever call that one!

A few months later, Oprah’s talk show went national and my mom and I watched her show at 4pm in the afternoons. The Oprah Show, among other talk shows of the era, inspired me and my friends to pretend we had our own talk show and we would interview each other and sing songs and laugh at our own goofiness. I think we also recorded our shenanigans on the technological marvel of the time, VHS!

I didn’t mention Oprah because I’m about to meet her – that’s not the dream I’m talking about – though fingers crossed, maybe I’ll meet her some day :) .

I mentioned Oprah because to me, she’s a great communicator and she has been one of the touchstones of my life. Someday, I’d like to thank her in person for paving the way for people like me and for showing the world how important good communication is in the grand scheme of things.

Back to my story. Also while I was in high school, I went on a weekend retreat. At some point, everybody had to go to the front of the room and speak to the group and share their story. That was a turning point moment for me because when I stood at the podium and spoke to everyone and made them laugh, I discovered that I actually like public speaking!

I think my dream of being a professional speaker was born in my teens but as my life continued, the dream somehow never got off the ground in spite of my many attempts.

Fast forward a few years to the early ‘90’s – this was before the Internet! I was in University studying English. One weekend, I dragged my friends to a Psychic Fair and I sat down with a man called, “Ravenhawk.” He told me that he saw me having my own radio show one day. Before he could finish his thought, I interrupted him, which ticks me off to this day, but those words have always stuck with me.

The following year, I took a speech course at University and it was by far my favourite class of my entire degree.

A few years later, I almost went to Broadcasting school, which I should have done in hindsight, but that didn’t work out.

I’ve also been a member of Toastmasters and may return soon.

So that’s basically my history with public speaking. I like to joke that I’m taking the extended milk run toward my dream.

I think Ravenhawk said the radio show won’t happen till my early 40’s and I wish he had said something like “have patience” and “don’t try to force it” because the timing won’t be right sooner.

Well, I’ve just turned 45 and things are coming together for me. The pieces of the puzzle are taking shape.

Suddenly my dream of speaking to an audience is within reach because a few months ago, out of the blue, I got an email with the subject line, “Speak up, the World is Listening!”

Those words struck me like a lightening bolt.

And now I’m ready to make my announcement.

This is brand new information and you are among the first to know.

I have a new radio show called, “Supernatural Spa” on VoiceAmerica starting in the autumn! I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself!

I’m going to be talking about how spas are designed to stimulate the senses and elicit the relaxation response. I’m going to interview all kinds of holistic practitioners for tips on how to manage stress and lead a healthier life.

But wait, there’s more…

To get the ball rolling for my show and to introduce myself to more people, my executive producer and I have come up with a really fun and unique idea! I’ve combined my education and all of my life experience, work experience, talents, skills and interests and my entire heart and soul to create a Stress Relief VIP Spa Day!

You're invited to a stress relief VIP spa day.

The Stress Relief VIP Spa Day is a full day, intensive, one-to-one spa appointment and as the owner of Homespunspa Mobile Spa, I’ll bring the spa experience to you in five different sessions over the course of one day.

You can choose either the Face-to-Face VIP Spa Day or the Virtual VIP Spa Day.

But wait, there’s more!

And when you sign up for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day in the next three days – this is where things get really special – as a bonus, you will be entered in a draw to win one of four guest spots and be interviewed by yours truly, Maria Koropecky, about your success story, on my show, on VoiceAmerica’s Health and Wellness Channel. I know! Isn’t that amazing!

Win a Guest Spot on my new show on VoiceAmerica

To find out more about me, Maria, and the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day, I’d love for you to watch my short video series on my YouTube channel, “Homespunspa.” The links are also at the top of the “VIP Spa Day” page on homespunspa.com.

To register right now for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day and get the amazing chance to win a guest spot on my Radio Show, call me, text me, or email me and leave a message saying, “Yes, Maria, I’m interested in hearing more about your Stress Relief VIP Spa Day.

I will promptly return your call to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in my story. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I hope you join the conversation.

What is a Holistic Practitioner?

Posted by Maria on May 8, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Energy Healing, Fitness, Homespunspa, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Pedicures, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner

On my Homespunspa Mobile Spa business card it says, “Maria Koropecky, Owner, Holistic Practitioner, & Speaker, based in Victoria, BC, Canada.”

You may be asking, “What does Holistic Practitioner mean, exactly?”

Go ahead and watch my video or continue reading the post below to find my answer.

Well, in a nutshell, the job title of “Holistic Practitioner,” also known as “holistic healer” or “holistic health practitioner” or “wholistic – with a w – practitioner,” refers to a person who works in the health and wellness field, who considers the “whole” person (in other words, the body, mind and spirit) in their treatment plan, rather than just the physical symptoms.

Holistic practitioners understand that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected. We focus on the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of a person in tandem when treating our clients’ health concerns.

I find it interesting that the word, “Holistic” starts with the sound, “holy” and one of the definitions of “holy” is “having a spiritually pure quality.”

I doubt the words “holistic” and “holy” are actually related, but there is a spiritual element involved in many holistic therapies, so I like to think they are.

You’ll find Holistic Practitioners in spas, health clinics, resorts, retreat centres, wellness centres, hair salons, and cruise ships or they might be running their own business like me.

We use a variety of techniques and therapies to compliment, not replace, traditional or conventional medicine.

Some holistic health care modalities include: acupressure, aromatherapy, herbology, hypnotherapy, nutrition, personal training, reflexology, and Reiki to name just a few out of hundreds.

Personally, on my business card, I could have written, “esthetician, massage therapist, energy healer and soon-to-be NLP coach,” but I think “Holistic Practitioner” is a neat and tidy umbrella term for all that I have to offer.

I consider myself a holistic practitioner because when I give someone a pedicure for example, I’m not just giving a pedicure. I’m also helping you relax, manage stress and balance your energy.

Having your feet look better is great, a fresh coat of polish can do wonders, but I’m hoping that not only will you look better, you’ll also feel better too.

Regardless of our individual training and scope of practice, holistic practitioners support their clients toward optimal wellness.

I hope that helps clarify what holistic practitioner means. Next time we’ll talk about “what to look for in a great holistic practitioner.”

Nothing Beats Borscht!

Posted by Maria on January 8, 2014 under Energy Healing, Green Living, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Many Ukrainians celebrate Christmas Eve with a 12-dish vegetarian feast on January 6th. Borscht is one of the dishes and I absolutely love it! When prepared to my taste (and no two batches, let alone recipes, are the same) it’s like a fine claret with complex notes. Borscht is also a soothing, comforting, warming, and healing soup and I’m inspired to share a recipe with you today.

Meatless Borscht for Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup or more dried mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 TB vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut julienne
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 3 to 10 peppercorns to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 to 9 cups of water
  • 1 carrot, cut julienne
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice or 1 small can tomato paste or 3 TB ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 beet, peeled and whole
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Method:

  1. Notice my stained fingers after peeling this beet for borscht.

    Notice my stained fingers after peeling this beet for borscht.

    To rehydrate dried mushrooms, pour hot water over the mushrooms, drain and wash. Cover the mushrooms (again) with lukewarm water and soak for 30 minutes or longer. Cook the mushrooms in the same water as they were soaked in earlier, until tender. Set aside the mushrooms and reserve the mushroom stock for later.

  2. In a large stockpot, caramelize the onion in cooking oil. You can add the optional red bell pepper here if you wish. It’s not traditional but I like to do it. Cover with 8 cups of water and add 2 beets (reserving a third for the end), as well as parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover with a lid and cook until the beets are al dente.
  3. Add the carrot, potato and celery and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and continue cooking but make sure the cabbage retains some crispness.
  5. Add the tomato juice or paste, minced garlic and cooked white beans.
  6. Add the cooked mushrooms (if you aren’t using them elsewhere) and mushroom stock. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add the last whole beet at the end to brighten the colour of the borscht.
  8. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and/or cayenne pepper.
  9. Strain out the cooked vegetables and serve.

Note: The borscht is served clear with vushka (translated to “little ears” that are closely related to mushroom-filled tortellinis) on Christmas Eve. During the rest of the year, you can garnish the borscht with jullienned vegetables and sour cream and use a meat stock. The borscht should be mildly tart but not sour.

Borscht is one of the healthiest soups I know and if you’re suffering from some sort of health crisis like quitting smoking or fighting cancer, borscht will nourish you and will make you feel better and will help your chances to be successful with your health goals and new year’s resolutions.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you’ve ever attempted to make borscht from scratch before and if you have any tips or tricks for the rest of us. Happy New Year!

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