Easy Dessert Recipe – Varya’s Old Fashioned Lemon Squares

Easy Dessert Recipe – Varya’s Old Fashioned Lemon Squares

10th October 2014

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

This is hands-down one of my favourite recipes of all time. In fact, I made it every weekend for the last four weeks until I perfected it for you. That’s how thoughtful I am! I sat there eating try after tray of them until I knew I had the recipe I could proudly stand behind.

So today I present my Old Fashioned Lemon Squares recipe. These bars have a delicious tangy tartness to them, a soft texture, and a “browned butter” crust. Made with simple organic ingredients, they’re easy to make and great to share, so if you are making a batch, be sure to invite some family and friends over to share the love.

Love, Varya
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Your Internal GPS – the Relationship Between Functional Neurology and Movement

Your Internal GPS – the Relationship Between Functional Neurology and Movement

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Today I am going to provide you with the basis for a practical understanding of the relationship between functional neurology and movement. In other words: how your brain gathers information, and how that affects movement, physical performance, weight loss, and pain-management.

Your Internal GPS

Let’s imagine you’re on a road trip. You’re excited – you’ve got plenty of beef jerky, coconut water, and your vibrams are packed. You enter your destination in your GPS, and off you go.

Having used a GPS before, you know a few things right off the bat:

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The Cycle of Change

The Cycle of Change

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

In many ways, life is change. We change. Our partners change. Our bodies change. Our goals change. Our circumstances change. Our environment changes. To be precise, all those things are constantly in flux. Sometimes, we go looking for these changes ourselves, but more often than not, they find us.

Dealing with this reality, and reacting to it, is perhaps one the greatest challenges we face. It’s also the key to our happiness, inner peace, and fulfillment. Learning to accept and welcome change is a life long journey. Each experience is an opportunity to explore this further and face our fears and illusions. It is a delicate balance of maintaining our sense of self/self worth and inner strength, letting go of our need for control, surrendering to the wisdom of our hearts, and being present, while also seeing and feeling our paths unfold before and behind us.

No biggie, right?

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Your Body is Not a Tool

Your Body is Not a Tool

16th August 2014

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

I started my week with a hot yoga class. Sitting there on the mat, yesterday morning, all blissed out, I was suddenly pulled out of my self care reverie by the words of the instructor:

“Your body is just a tool… Pain is an illusion. Play around with the idea of just ignoring it… You are the source, not your body or your mind.”

I sat there, horrified. Every fibre of my being protested, and I felt my spirit and my very cells call out a long “Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!”. Her words lit a fire within me, and that is when I knew this article was ready to be written.

Let’s be honest. Most of us look at the body as a hindrance. It has to be fed, clothed, taken care of. It needs to be “exercised”. It isn’t precisely the shape you want it to be, it doesn’t do things precisely the way you want it to. It needs sleep, rest, and recovery. At best, it’s a tool, and at worst, it’s a hassle. Right? WRONG.

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Manifest[-ing] Love

Manifest[-ing] Love

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

I am sure many of you have heard about the power of manifestation. You may even have tried it with different degrees of success. Well, today I am going to delve into the complexity of this topic from the perspective of manifesting love into our lives.

Manifestation

This powerful concept hinges upon the understanding that we are the creators of our destiny. That everything we need has already been put in place in the etheric realm, and is just waiting to come into being in this physical reality. That this life is all about about bridging the gap between the etheric and the physical, in our journey to become fully awakened human beings who live in oneness and love with their families of spirit.

“The only greater joy than union is… reunion. There is an awakening that must happen here. You must awaken while in this body, for everything exists within it, and only through this awakening will you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Only through this awakening will you recognize and remember those with whom you are destined to reunite.” – Kathleen McGowan

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Is Your Diet Healthy for You? A Guide to Optimal Health

Is Your Diet Healthy for You? A Guide to Optimal Health

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Today I’ll be touching on a topic that I have wanted to write about for some time: how to determine if your diet is healthy and effective for you in the long term.

This is a really relevant discussion, since we are constantly bombarded with information to support various dietary approaches. It can get confusing at times, and we all need a way of weeding through it all. Of course, I always encourage you to study the science behind each approach, however it is important to temper scientific knowledge with personal experience and assessments. We’re all different. In the end, you need to determine what is right for YOU.

One of the great benefits to what I am about to share with you is that, once you have assessed and settled on a dietary pattern that resonates with you, your body and your long term health goals, you will have the tools to refine and tweak your dietary components according to your needs and, over time, to your changing needs that may occur with physiological changes (ie, increased stress, aging, or an injury).

Let’s define diet

Before we jump into it, let’s define that word. For the purposes of this article, we will be using the word ‘diet’ to mean the kinds of food that an individual habitually eats, as well as their lifestyle to some extent, rather than “dieting” in terms of restrictions, weight loss etc. To this end, a specific dietary approach would signify a preference to certain foods or methods of cooking or eating, based on certain principles.

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Home-Made Salted Caramel Recipe (+ Chocolate Option!)

Home-Made Salted Caramel Recipe (+ Chocolate Option!)

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

I love salted caramel. I really really really … really do.

Unfortunately, I cannot stand reading a pre-made caramel recipe label. When did such a simple, nourishing dessert turn into a list of chemicals? *Sigh* It makes me sad.

Luckily, that is what my kitchen is for – recreating traditional recipes! And today I’m going to share my home made salted caramel recipe.

To give you some insight as to how delicious this caramel is… my mother, who refuses to eat whole dairy or butter, or pretty much anything I make, usually polishes off a batch of this in just a few days.

Feel free to enjoy this caramel one table spoon at a time as is, drizzle it over some ice cream, or even make it into chocolates, like I did. To that end, I have also included the recipe for the chocolate option, and it is simple and fun to make. If you have little ones, they will love making these treats… and eating them too! Enjoy!

Love, Varya

Homemade Salted Caramel

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I Am. You Are. Perfectly Imperfect.

I Am. You Are. Perfectly Imperfect.

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Every day, we are bombarded with representations of “perfection”. Here, buy the perfect outfit. Have the perfect hair. Find the perfect partner. Have the perfect family. Find the perfect home. Be a perfect lover. Have a perfect body.

No wonder we feel terribly pressured! Pressured to present an image of said perfection and to punish ourselves for not living up to this representation.

But “perfection” is imaginary – an image. It is not substance or natural. It is something that we must work tirelessly to maintain, at the cost of our physical and mental health, and even our relationships. In the pursuit of this, we lose our self worth. We buy the outfits. We exercise and torture ourselves instead of moving creatively. We make demands of our partners and relationships. We make demands of ourselves. And in the process, we begin to lose ourselves, which is the greatest loss of all. We spend our days focusing not inwards but outwards.

That is not to say that it is wrong to be well put together or kind to others, but that one’s external image should be a reflection of who we are within, rather than a protective mask layered to hide what we perceive to be our imperfections – and the feeling of unworthiness this brings.

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(re)Discover Your Inner Sexy!

(re)Discover Your Inner Sexy!

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

S. e. x. y. We hear that word every day in songs, marketing ads, movies. From our friends. From our partners: “Baby you’re so sexy” (Am I?!) … It echoes over and over in our heads. But do you actually feel sexy?

We are bombarded by conflicting messages. This product will “make you sexy”. There are unattainable, airbrushed body images everywhere. But to many, “being sexy” in the modern (popular) sense is also considered shameful.

How can we be expected to navigate such muddy waters? And what does being sexy even really mean? Does it mean dressing provocatively? Or looking like a model? Does it mean to be desired? To be desirable? Why the heck is this all so confusing?!?

(re)Discover Your Sexy!

It is all much less overwhelming than it first seems when we consider that being sexy (or not) is all dependent on YOU. You can’t try to become sexy, to fake your way, so to speak. Heels won’t do it. Makeup won’t do it. An attractive partner won’t do it, and nor will endless partners. Sexy comes from within you. It’s all about how you feel about yourself.

I’m here to tell you that it is time to (re)discover your inner sexual power – your fire.

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15-Minute Flourless Double-Chocolate Cookies Recipe (YUMMM!)

15-Minute Flourless Double-Chocolate Cookies Recipe (YUMMM!)

29th May 2014

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

This has to be one of the simplest dessert recipes ever!

These flourless double-chocolate cookies are fudgy and rather addictive, so if you are making a batch, be sure to invite some family and friends over to share the love.

Enjoy!

Love, Varya

Flourless Double-Choc Cookies

Time: 15 minutes + 2 hours cooling

Yield: 20 cookies

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It’s Time to Come Home

It’s Time to Come Home

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Home is where the heart is – we have all heard this expression before. That notion of home, the very word itself, is something we can relate to. It is a powerful heart based concept, the word itself carrying with it such power and associations. Each of us can identify and describe it, whether we have experienced it before or are still on the search for it.

Take a moment now, close your eyes and think of what home means to you….

To me, it is physical warmth, emotional safety, and spiritual understanding. It is unconditional love and boundless compassion. It is a myriad of sensations, physical scents, emotional and physical experiences. Being home means being buffered from the crashing waves of the world around you. Here, you can still sense them, but they simply brush over you. Here, they do not have the power to pull you down into their depths. Here, you are one with the world yet separate, free to truly follow your path.

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Loving Your Skin – 10 Essential Natural Topical Treatments

Loving Your Skin – 10 Essential Natural Topical Treatments

By Varya Kapran

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Today we will be addressing a topic that is very dear to my heart: skin health.

Having struggled for 10+ years with terrible acne and eczema (did I say terrible?!?), I feel very blessed now that I wake up with clearer skin as a result of my healing journey. As you can imagine, that difficult time was a never ending cycle of dermatologists, monthly antibiotics, hydrocortisone creams, holistic practitioners who were unable to help (it’s all about finding the right person), layers upon layers of conventional makeup, and poor self esteem. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle against my skin and my body.

Once I began to find the answers I was looking for, it was akin to self discovery, and I began to feel more confident and more in tune with myself. It has been a long journey getting here, but worth every effort. Nowadays, I honour and listen to my skin. It has so much to share with me about the health of my body overall, and if I take the time to pay attention and react accordingly, then I am rewarded with radiance and clarity.

I have a few articles coming up that will address the internal and lifestyle components of skin health, and another on chemical-free make-up. So keep an eye out for those. In the meantime, let’s start by touching on some of my favourite natural topical skin treatments.

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