Orange: Self Love and Sunshine!!
Updated: Feb 9
The color Orange can have some quite remarkable effects on our physical and emotional states.
It brings about a feeling of brightness and conjures images of sunsets, citrus and the sacral chakra, representing abundance, self love and healthy sexuality. Orange essential oil is used to improve overall energy, stimulate the libido and encourage intimacy and creativity. Additionally, in Chinese medicine, tangerine peel (or Chen Pi) is used in countless herbal formulations and foods to improve the flow of blood and Qi and to strengthen the digestive organs and resolve pain.
As Valentines day approaches, rather than the deep reds of roses and wine, I would like to give some appreciation to the next color in the rainbow.. Orange!
This week most of us will be focused on our relationships with others. Whether we celebrate the overly commercialized holiday in the air or not, it's pretty hard to ignore and is bound to have some sort of impact on our mentality. If we observe this stirring of emotions, and sit with it.. we can create an opportunity to direct some our loving energy inward, and focus on moving through the stagnation in our bodies as well as in our interactions with others.
I would like to invite you to take some time in the coming days to sit and breathe deeply. Allow your breath to expand into and fill the space just below your navel. This area of the body known as your lower “Dantian” is seen in many traditions as the reservoir of our life energy or Qi.
Try visualizing a warm, glowing, orange orb resting right in the bowl of your pelvis, expanding with each inhale and condensing with the out. Breathing deeply into our belly not only helps us feel more centered, it minimizes neck, shoulder and low back tension, soothes the nerves and improves digestive function. Belly breathing relieves stress by stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system or “ rest and digest mode.” Being in this state drastically increases our ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients as well as to process our emotions.
We can use breathing exercises and meditation to get us out of our head and help us be more rooted in our center. Approaching others from that place, we are able to be more open to receiving, growing, trusting and being loving.
Let's enter Valentine's Day week with the intention of embodying and exuding the color orange to bring a little sunshine wherever we go!! I have included a couple of my favorite recipes from my days as a restaurateur that I feel honor the energy of Orange.
If you'd like to hear more about belly breathing exercises, keep an eye on our blog. I'll be sharing a guided meditation in the coming weeks. I'm also putting some dates together to begin holding workshops at the collective on homemade herbal remedies, clean body care products and medicinal foods. Hope to see some of you there!
Orange Blossom Bliss
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2-3 orange
1/2 tbs. Orange Blossom (Neroli ) water
¼ cup of coconut cream ( I prefer the texture and flavor of the kind in the tetra-paks the leftovers are perfect for sauces and soups too!)
3 drops Doterra Wild Orange Oil (internal grade, can be eat in in very small amounts as well as used for aromatherapy)
10 drops of Cinnamon Tincture
15 drops ( about 1/2 a dropper) of Dong Qui tincture. Dong Qi is a Chinese herb famous for its tonifying effect on the reproductive system, is used here to encourage blood flow to the lower belly as well as for its sweet, complex flavor.
1 tsp Vanilla Simple Syrup this can also be easily made at home with some water, sugar and a vanilla bean :)
Soda water for finishing
Orange slices for garnish
Extra coconut cream for garnish
Cinnamon powder for garnish
Drink shaker or pint glasses
Instructions: Juice the oranges, fill one glass with ice, then halfway fill with juice, add 2 tbls of coconut cream and the herbal ingredients. Place another pint glass over top and shake until chilled. Strain into another glass filled with fresh ice and pour in the mixture a little more than ¾ full. Top with soda water and garnish with a dollop of coconut cream and some cinnamon powder for color, serve immediately.
Ginger- Tangerine Butternut Soup
2- medium butternut squash, halved, de-seeded
2 stalks of celery
3 large garlic cloves
3 tbs. shredded fresh ginger
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1 large yellow onion
Zest and juice of one organic tangerine
2 tbs avocado/coconut blend oil ( or other high heat oil)
2 tsp sea salt
1 qt vegetable stock
2 tbls unsalted, extra creamy butter
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375. Cover the squash with oil and shake the rest of the salt and the curry powder onto the flesh, then lay it cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 min until tender and slightly browned.
While the squash is roasting, chop and saute the onion until translucent ( about 3 min) add the celery and half the salt. Cook another couple of minutes stirring occasionally on med- low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and butter and continue to cook another 2 minutes stirring in a little stock to avoid sticking to the pan if necessary.
Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool until it can be handled. Then scrape the flesh out of the peel into a blender, add the sauteed mixture, tangerine juice, zest and veggie stock and puree until smooth. You can garnish it with all sorts of things to make the color pop. Some things I've used, a swirl of coconut cream, paprika, chopped scallions, fresh herbs or a little dash of sriracha.
This soup is nourishing, warming and gently spicy with a ginger kick. It is perfect food for the weather and great for digestion and our theme of showing our belly some love! I hope you enjoy creating and sharing these recipes with loved ones. Enjoy!