Hibiscus Hydrator Chia Seed Water

Have you noticed?  

CHIA SEED WATERS ARE ALL THE RAGE THESE DAYS!

That’s because they are …

SO tasty.  

SO good for you.  

SO easy.  

I plan to do a series of chia seed waters and the like to brighten all our lives — especially the kiddos.  “Waters” like this one are a great way to introduce kids to tea and to get them to drink that little extra bit to stay hydrated and nourished in a fun way!

My 6.5 year old LOVES this — as you can see from her silly bedhead-ponytails pic.  She was very happy to wake up to this concoction awaiting her in the kitchen!

We are always looking for ways to make hydration fun and interesting.  Not to mention all natural with no sugar-spike, and free of artificial food dyes!

May you and all your favorite people to share bedhead time with enjoy this refreshing treat!!  Let me know in the comments how you all like it … bedhead photos encouraged!  ;P

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High Potency Hibiscus Hydrator

By Maggie Verderame

This keeps nicely in the fridge for a day or so without the chia seeds turning to pudding, so it’s nice to make a big batch and sip away — especially in the warmer months!  In cooler months, this makes a nice alternative to fresh juices and smoothies by simply not icing it very much.

This recipe makes 1, 16oz serving:

1 TBS Chia Seeds
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 TBS White Grape Juice
¾ Cup Fresh Water
1 tsp Coconut Sugar
½ Cup Strong Hibiscus Tea*


Soak chia seeds in the apple cider vinegar, grape juice and ¼ cup of the water for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chia seeds from clumping together.

Mix coconut sugar into hot hibiscus tea so it melts.

Add the sweetened hibiscus tea to the chia mixture.  Top with a little ice and enjoy!  It’s like nature’s Boba Tea ... only, in my opinion, MUCH better!

*To make strong hibiscus tea:  steep 1 TBS dried hibiscus flower pieces in 2 cups of boiling water for 15-20 minutes.  Add 1 tsp of coconut sugar for every High Potency Hibiscus Hydrator you plan to make.  This amount of tea will make 3 of the above drinks.

If you live in the US, I recommend getting organic dried hibiscus flower petals from Mountain Rose Herbs.

My Beliefs

MY BELIEFS ...

✴ I believe in people — we are all born of light and filled with the same goodness.

✴ I believe in the power of yoga, music, words, and glitter.

✴ I believe in being strong and flexible.

✴ I believe kids are capable, creative geniuses deserving of respect.

✴ I believe in fairies, mermaids, Santa, enchanted realms, magic, and spirit guides.

✴ I believe dog noses are actually the bees’ knees.

✴ I believe if we were all truly grateful for our bodies, we could change the world.

✴ I believe organic food is best.

✴ I believe in natural healing, herbal tea, fresh juice and kale smoothies.

✴ I believe in collaboration and connection.

✴ I believe mindfulness is simpler than we make it out to be.

✴ I believe we are our own gurus.

✴ I believe in the language of energy.

✴ I believe in love

What do you believe???

What do you believe???

My Manifesto

My Magareeshi Manifesto (I love alliteration!):

✴To create and share things that make the world a brighter place.

✴To use yoga, art, music, and deliciousness to foster deeper consciousness, greater peace, and lots of fun.

✴To help people understand that leading a natural and yogic life is easy.

✴To support meaningful social causes with donations or by promoting them.

More than anything else in my life and work, it is my intention for us all to have fun while living yogically!

In my world sleep, music, yoga and tasty, organic food are absolute necessities.

Loose leaf tea, earrings, steaming hot baths and wine are always fabulous ideas.

Ego is overrated, and being judgy and mean (to myself or others) is a definite NO.

Fantasizing about being a rockstar is totally reasonable.

Striving to brighten the world is a must.

 
 

At the end of the day, LOVE, GRATITUDE, CONNECTION, and LAUGHTER are what really matter. I aim to be cool, healthy and yogic while making my ideas come to life. I am someone who shares anything good in the world I know of; loves freely on people (and dogs); inspires others through yoga, music and natural living; is a domestic goddess of holistic homeyness, a playfully mindful mom, and a solid partner to my indefatigable husband. Above all else, I try to be kind and happy every day!

I want my life and work to inspire others to live brightly ever after! 

My Story

My (looooong!) Story ~

Seriously! You may as well brew some tea, grab a snack and put up your feet because this is practically a novella.

I’m Maggie Verderame — aka, Magareeshi. Magareeshi is a nickname given to me because I’m somewhat of a “yogi.” I don’t think I’m like The Maharishi or anything! In fact, I’m totally against the whole “guru” thing. (So, if you’re looking for me to be your guru, I must tell you now, I won’t do it! You are your own guru. I am happy to inspire your inner guru to guide you. But that’s all. I mean, sheesh, I don’t levitate, nor am I better than you are. I may have some insights for you, but when you apply them, your own brilliance will shine through — and what I want is for you to be shiny, happy YOU! Ok, now back to me ...)

On paper, I am a singer-songwriter and a yoga teacher. I’m also a happily married mindful mommy, a vegetarian home cook, and a creator of FUNctional art and jewelry. Yoga is the foundation for everything I create.

I’ve been doing yoga since 1992, when I was 19 years old. (You do the math!) When I was about 10 years old I was diagnosed with scoliosis. If you don’t already know, scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. My case was severe enough to warrant wearing a custom-made hard brace that encased my entire torso. I wore my brace 23 hours a day, allowed only to take it off for an hour of stretching, swimming or bathing. As I grew, so did the severity of my spine’s curve.

By my teenage years, my hips and shoulders were out of alignment with each other, my ribs were rotated in a wonky formation, and my thoracic spine (the upper back part), was shifted way far over to the right, under my shoulder blade. I began having immunity issues, and chronic kidney infections in my left kidney that could be attributed to my spinal alignment. I had a bit of a hump (not the technical term — that’s “kyphosis”) on the right side of my upper back. I kind of made all this work for me and my teenage attitude by simply standing in a bit of a sassy looking stance most of the time. I went to school, was outgoing, and was able to keep studying and working at my passion, which was musical theatre. Truth be told, though, I hurt. My body hurt a lot, all the time. Occasionally I missed school and opening nights and talent shows because of my kidney problems or other health issues.

At 16 I was told I needed surgery to straighten my spine. I was supposed to have a metal rod attached to my spine, forcing and holding it into place. My orthopedic doctor told me if I didn’t have surgery, the chances of my being in a wheelchair when I was an adult were high, given how consistently my curve kept increasing. He also suggested that I wouldn’t ever be able to be pregnant because it would put too much pressure on my ribs and back. Outwardly I was happy and peace-loving, but I was a pretty angry, confused kid.

Before I was diagnosed with scoliosis, there was a lot of stress in my life. My parents divorced when I was a baby and a few years later my mom remarried a man who became an abusive alcoholic. I was physically and sexually abused when I was little. My mom tried hard to keep things positive, but by the time I was a teenager, all this stress contributed to tight muscles, pain, and the intensity of my spine’s curve.

I know this all sounds like a total bummer, but there’s a point to it and it has a happy ending, so please keep reading .......

Due to an insurance debacle, I never got my surgery in high school. I didn’t know anything else I could do to help my physical state, so I kept on keeping on in hopes that someday I would be able to have surgery. In the meantime I received a diploma from a small college in my “backup” field of study, broadcast journalism, while I worked in a record store, performed in community theatre and wrote and sang my own songs in some dive-y places. Eventually, though, my back hit a tipping point. I had to stop working, I couldn’t go further on in school and I certainly couldn’t perform. I could barely walk. I was hunched over and in pain and for a few weeks when I was 19 I lost all the feeling on the surface of my back.

Insert hopeful music here .......

Around that time, a new friend suggested I see her mother who was an acupuncturist. I made an appointment. I had no idea what I was doing, by the way! This was before Google and I did no research whatsoever; I just went with it. At my first appointment, in addition to using needles, the acupuncturist did all sorts of bodywork I’d never heard of. I left her office in what felt like a different body. I had more mobility and relaxed muscles. I could breathe more deeply. I was happier and the world around me looked brighter.

At the end of my appointment, the acupuncturist asked me if I had ever tried yoga. I hadn’t, but for some reason — again with absolutely nothing to go on, it sounded like a GREAT idea! We decided on a regular treatment plan for me that I couldn’t afford and I committed to trying yoga right away. Ah, to be 19 again! Just wing it!!

I did my part. I showed up for appointments and I went to a yoga class at a gym. I had some lower body flexibility, a wee bit of coordination, and no upper body strength. It was odd. It was challenging. It was kind of funny. I was the youngest and least physically capable person in class. I left thinking, ‘Okay, not sure what I just did there, but it was kind of cool, I guess.’ Right away I noticed I felt really, really happy. I felt connected to things I found meaning in like flower children and social justice and peace and health. I thought that was amusing. It felt good. A few minutes later in the locker room the yoga teacher approached me. She said, “Oh, I’m so glad I ran into you! I see what’s going on in your body and I know that was hard for you, but, if I may? Just ... just ... come back. Try yoga again, ok?” It all seemed so peculiar and I had no idea why I was doing any of what I was doing, but I said, “Okay. Sure.”

I did go back. Weekly. I went to my acupuncture appointments weekly, too. I finally fessed up that I couldn’t pay for all of this and I got my first lesson in miracles-through-people when the acupuncturist offered me a job! She said she would pay me to be her receptionist/office manager and her benefits package would be all the free acupuncture I needed ... because, she pointed out, I needed A LOT.

My time spent in the acupuncture office and at yoga classes exposed me to the world of natural living. I began to eat differently. I began to think differently. I began to feel differently. I began to associate with alternative healthcare practitioners, bodyworkers, mindful artists and meditators. I began to attend all sorts of workshops and classes. I was healthier and happier. I was more positive, hopeful and physically capable. I found a lovely yoga teacher who altered every posture to suit my needs, even when it was nowhere near what the rest of the class was doing. She taught me that yoga is for EVERYONE, regardless of their circumstance. I got myself a yoga book and I did yoga all the time.

I decided to go to acupuncture school because the system of Oriental Medicine had so positively impacted my life. I remember the first sentence of my application essay was, “Acupuncture changed my life.” In school I continued to get healthier and healthier and I realized that, in addition to helping heal me, acupuncture was my catalyst to yoga and learning more about nutrition and natural living. I figured out that I didn’t actually want to be an acupuncturist. I missed performing and wanted to live as an artist with enough of an understanding of Oriental Medicine to support my life and to be able to share it with others. It became clear to me that I wanted to explore all kinds of natural healing to have a positive impact on the world — especially children because I knew what it was to be an unhealthy, unhappy, disrespected child. So I left school. I eventually left the acupuncture office and I went back into theatre (and, therefore, bar tending — which totally paid off because it was at the bar where I met my indefatigable, inspiringly musical husband in 1995 and we’ve been collaborating ever since).

All the while I did yoga. Yoga and healthy living permeated everything I did. It became the foundation for my life. I learned to live with more acceptance and go with the flow and follow my muses. When I was given a group of teeny tiny kids to direct in a musical, I inherently infused yoga into that work. When I taught preschool and implemented an original after school dramatics program for kids 12 and under, I shared yoga with those kids, as well. It made sense to me that kids should experience yoga because it could help them be calm, happy and focused. It never occurred to me, however, that I was or would be a yoga teacher. In fact, I didn’t exactly know what I would do professionally so I explored working with kids, writing, performing and anything that interested me. My freelancing, entrepreneurial spirit was born and I trusted I would figure out a way to weave everything I loved together.

Fast forward about a zillion (okay, maybe 9) years later when my yoga teacher at the time told me I should be a yoga teacher. I laughed because 9 years into my practice, I was just starting to try to do a headstand. You see, over the years, my spine had shifted closer to the center of my back, my ribs had rotated into a healthier alignment, and my shoulders and hips had released a lot, all without surgery. So, I was finally feeling able to explore yoga like the other able bodied yogis in my classes. I was getting strong. I was getting brave. I could get a little adventurous and try to do things that had seemed impossible earlier in my life like, stand on my head. I thought my teacher was crazy. And yet, somehow, once again, I went with it and wound up interning under her, attending yoga teacher trainings and started teaching in 2001. I had a knack for it and I absolutely loved teaching yoga!

In 2003 my husband and I opened a yoga studio in Las Vegas (where we live because he is a badass drummer for a cool show on the strip!). I directed the studio for 5 years. During that time I developed my kids yoga program, trained a slew of yoga teachers, created my own teacher trainings, connected yoga with art and music locally, and basically had a grand old time with some of the most wonderful people on earth! In 2008 we decided to have real life baby instead of a yoga studio one, and our full-of-moxie wee girl was born in 2009.

Since that time the foundation of yoga in my life has become an even fiercer force! It has led me to a deeper understanding of mindfulness through parenting and ignited a passion in me to support other families in their pursuit of happy, healthy, mindful living. My artistic soul is called to create and share like never before; the music and artful things I make all emerge from yoga. I am driven to de-mystify yoga, showing how it can be practically applied by ANYONE regardless of their background or beliefs. I’ve put it all together and now use yogic principles and entertainment to inspire people of all ages to lead more natural, joyful lives!

Through yoga I have become grateful, even for the dramatic negative things that have come my way; they have shaped who I am today. Yoga and music are interestingly similar and working closely with both for so many years, I have learned how to improvise and go with the flow. (Full disclosure: I am not perfect and stumble often, but I at least fall back on this intention every time I become overwhelmed!) I have learned that one thing leads to another, we are all connected, a tolerant world view leads to understanding and peace, and that there are many blessings in disguise among us. Thanks to challenging circumstances bringing me to yoga and all that unfolded from there, I am living brightly ever after!

And I hope to contribute to you and yours doing the same! See how here