December 2018

December Wellness | words from Kate

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Indulge, Savor and Enjoy. That is what my daughter said when she asked me to read T’was the night before Christmas a second time the other night. I asked her to explain and she said she had not fully been paying attention the first time so could I please read it again so she could pay attention and indulge, savor and enjoy the story. When asked like that, how could I say no! Her words got me thinking how much better the holiday season would be if we followed these three words. I have always thought to indulge was to be selfish, over the top, or something you only did once in awhile. So I looked up the definition of indulge as well as savor and enjoy for clarity. 

indulge: verb,

to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of, to taste or smell, especially with pleasure, to appreciate fully; enjoy or relish: to savor this moment of accomplishment.

savor: verb,

to have experience of: TASTE, to taste or smell with pleasure : RELISH, to delight in: ENJOY savoring the moment.

enjoy: verb,

to take pleasure or satisfaction in, to enjoy oneself, to have a good time.

My challenge is that often times I am moving too fast to slow down and even acknowledge the sensations, feelings, nuances and impacts of an experience. And how often I wish I could have a do-over to indulge, savor and enjoy it.

If you too feel like you have been moving to fast, if you have not fully been paying attention, if you have not been truly enjoying and savoring the small (a delicious piece or pie) or the big (reading to your child), now during the upcoming Winter Solstice is the perfect time to pause, to reflect on what you can let go of, what you want a do-over in and what you want to savor.  

In joy,



Kate's Kitchen | my new favorite four ingredient cookies


1 large egg

1/ 3 cup coconut sugar

1 ¼ cup sliced Almonds

1/3 cup chocolate chips

parchment paper

cookie pan


  • Heat oven to 315 F

  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper

  • Whisk egg, add coconut sugar whisk together for at least a minute

  • Stir in sliced almonds and chocolate chips

  • Using a tablespoon scoop out on cookie sheet.

  • Stir the batter throughout the scooping process to prevent the batter from settling.

  • Bake about 20 minutes till cookies are crackly on top.

  • Cool and In Joy

*photo taken from


Winter Nourishment | food for the winter solstice


Hail The Winter Squash!

Dishes prepared with winter squash are a tradition of winter solstice celebrations. And of course, all types of winter squash are wonderfully GOOD for you! Squash such as kabocha, butternut, acorn andspaghetti squash are all high in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A and is also a good source of Vitamin C. Squash is a healthy source of fiber and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. It's a great vegetable to add to your winter celebrations no matter what! Here's a Butternut Squash & Apple Soup recipe from Elena's Pantry to try out this Winter Solstice.


Solstice Around The World

The Solstice is celebrated all over the world and it looks delicious! Here’s what other traditions eat to welcome back the sun.

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Mindful Moments | solstice activities

One For You | savoring a solstice moment

In this activity from the Berkeley Wellbeing Institute, you will spend 10 minutes writing about a happy, joyful or pleasant event that happened earlier today or this week. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, the mundane will do just fine. For example, you could write about: “A good conversation you had with a friend.”

Write about the people, smells, sounds,physical sensations, and sights that you experienced at the time of the event. Focus on the positive emotions that you felt during and right after this event. Focus on how this event occurred and how you created this situation for yourself. Write about anything else that makes you feel good about this event.



One For All | candlelight blessing circle

Rituals can help us take pause. A break in the ordinary routine of life to notice. It’s all part of learning to savor our moments moving around the sun. This Candle Light Blessing Circle is one you can do alone or with friends and family. You can modify this by taking this outdoors or asking that each participant prepare a blessing of their own to contribute.

  • Begin by placing on a table, one large unlit candle and various smaller unlit candles for each person present.

  • Turn off all the lights and spend a moment in darkness, remembering and honoring the Sun’s light.

  • Then whomever is leading, can light the main big candle an offer a blessing.

  • After that each can come and light their candle from the main flame and all candles can be placed in a circle or spiral around the main one.

  • Once all candles are lit, a song, blessing or “Happy Solstice” can be offered in unison. 


Solstice = Standing-Still-Sun | excerpts from Dr. Judith Rich

Dec. 21st, we enter the belly of the night.

Winter Solstice: We come to the portal that separates darkness from light. Standing in this arch of time where Earth takes a breath before facing us back towards the sun, we too, take a breath, turn inward, pause in this pregnant moment and let darkness reveal its gifts:

Winter Solstice: A time to let the longest night of the year seduce you into stillness. Time to silence inner voices, listen to the beating of your own heart. Time to breathe slowly, become the breath. Linger here. The night is long.

Winter Solstice: Time to savor the sweetness of the dark. Nothing to fear. It's only you. And millions of years of Earth's turning; away and then back, away and then back towards the light. It's all you. The dark, the light, the fire, the night: it's all you. You're all it. Sweet oneness, savored in the dark.

Winter Solstice: A time to reflect on your life in this moment. Like never before, or ever again, reflect on this sweet, fragile moment.

Winter Solstice: A time to let go of what burdens. Empty out stones sitting heavy in the heart. Let bygones be bygones. Acknowledge. Forgive. Begin again.

Winter Solstice: : A fertile time, a time to ready the womb; a time for pregnant possibility. A time to sow seeds of imagination, to germinate in the darkness. A time to tend the inner hearth; be warmed by the coals of creativity.

Winter Solstice: Can you be with it all, just as it is? No fighting, no trying, no pushing the river. It flows by itself, so you watch it. You notice. You see twigs and branches submerged in the stream of your life. Without effort, the water flows over, under and around it all. Nothing can stop it; it goes on forever.

 Like you do. Like I do. Like we do.

May you go on forever, like this most pregnant night of the year.


Read the full poem here.


The Gift Of Self Care | a meaningful last minute gift

The gift of self care is a gift of love! And any gift from Illuminating Wellness is a gift of sefl care, especially a Whole Being, Wellbeing Retreat which allows your loved one gets to get away from the hustle, bustle and routine of their daily life to unwind, relax and let go. You are gifting them with the time to slow down, time connect with nature, time connect with themselves.

Stress has been shown to be a component is over 85% of all dis-ease. Which means when stressed is relieved, healthiness increases. During these retreats we slow down, eat delicious, lovingly prepared meals, enjoy daily bodywork treatments, daily movement classes, daily mindfulness classes and take time to relax and just be. A Whole Being-Well Being retreat relieves stress and increases rejuvenation, allowing for a fresh start, fresh perspectives and personnel transformation!



Winter Retreat | Jan 31 - Feb 3, 2019 | Basalt, CO

4 days and 3 nights in a mountain home to relax, let go and begin living in flow and receive daily massages, inner journeying exercises, guided visualizations, movement classes, sessions on the BioMat ,the IMRS 2000, and the Chi machine AND wholesome, deeply nourishing, and incredibly delicious snacks and meals. Come join us for great conversations, connection to self and above all lots of fun. Learn More About Lodging.

$1900 w/ meals + private room | $1500 meals + shared room

*save $250 when paid in full 33 days in advance with payment plans available


Spring Retreat | May 14-19, 2019 | Isla Holbox, Mexico

6 days and 5 nights on a tropical island away from it all to relax, let go, renew and begin living in flowand receive daily massages inner journeying exercises guided visualizations, movement classes, sessions on the BioMat ,the IMRS 2000, and the Chi machine AND wholesome, deeply nourishing, and incredibly delicious snacks and meals. Come join us for great conversations, connection to self, local activities, and above all lots of fun. Learn more about Isla Holbox, MX.

$3300 meals + private room | $2800 meals + shared room

*save $400 when paid in full 33 days in advance with payment plans available


The Gift Of Massage | 90-60 minutes

Massage can ease pain, reduce stress, boost your immune system, curb headaches, improve sleep… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Kate is expert at combining a number of bodywork techniques that allow your loved one to connect and remember the delightful, fantastic, unique gift they are to the world.


The Gift Of Tapping In Joy! | 90 minutes

Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique, is a simple yet profound technique which involves gently tapping on different Acupuncture points to loosen and release negative energy such as stress, anxiety, anger and more. As a coach and practitioner of this method, Kate can tap out the old, the stuck and the unwanted to allow the flow of renewal, peace, acceptance and joy!



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