See more on the Cotacachi solstice and two winter health tips below.
Winter is truly here in the Blue Ridge. The day began at 44 degrees F and has been diving since. It was 29 F degrees when I began writing. Its 26 F now and our weather man promises temperatures down to 8 degrees F tonight … Brrr!
Here are two of our North Carolina guest cabins about a week ago.
Winter welcomes the New Year with few flowers in the US. You, however. can decorate your new year with fresh Ecuador flowers. See Ecuador New Year’s rose news here.
Winter’s upon us so we are outta here…headed south to enjoy Cotacachi winter views like this, instead of ice and snow.
Cotacachi winters are mild, mid 70s in the day. High 40s at night would be considered cold. This is high mountain weather, ever changing, clouds, rain and sunshine all in a short time, but plenty of sun…enough on the equator at our 7,500 foot altitude so sunburn is always a risk!
The winter’s solstice is great in Cotacachi because there we know how to go with the flow.
Cotacachi’s indigenous population view the Solstices as the most powerful times of change in the year.
In Cotacachi there is really no longest day or longest night of the year. The sun always rises at 6 am.
Here is the sunrise on one of our morning walks.
The sun sets at 6pm. Sunsets are not phenomenal in Cotacachi but on our travel-to-the-beach days we can see the sun rise in Cotacachi and be in our beach apartment for this sunset.
You can now enjoy both the mountains and sea with our surf and turf condo plan that lets you stay on the beach AND in Cotacachi.
Cotacachi is a wonderful place to celebrate the solstice. Such celebration is important because this is a time to be aware of change more than ever before.
Humanity is undergoing more economic change than it has for 75 years and the way to gain the most from this uplifting (that most people call a downturn) is to be aware of the good things it brings.
This is a needed and normal cleansing that hopefully will bring some great social change as well. New ways of living, producing, getting along are required and this change will help bump us along.
This is why we added an extra shamanic related course Beyond Logic for this February and then we have our regularly scheduled shamanic mingo in June 2009 so readers can learn more about this more spiritual aspect of Cotacachi and Ecuador.
The majority see loss in this change. This limited perspective makes them feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Yet this illusion is false.
I ask you from which ashes has not something greater and better emerge?
We hope to see you in February or June.
Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo
These courses help us to understand, look for and adapt to change at the high level.
We need to keep pace with change at lower levels as well… such as nutrition. Yet we to often ignore the solstice and seasonal change in our eating and lifestyle habits.
We do this at our peril. If we can stop and listen. the lessons are so valuable, pure and true.
One lesson that we can learn is that we should eat differently in each season. We operate on three essences, fire, water and air. These three elements need to remain balanced and seasonal change can throw this balance out of whack. Spring aggravates the water, summer the fire and autumn- winter throw air out of kilter. Winter is too dry…too brittle and our health is improved if our lifestyles adapt for this fact.
One foundation of winter health is to alter our diet and increase our intake of protein and fats.
For example, pumpkin pie is a great winter meal. Here is how we make it.
Take a can of pumpkin (or if you are lucky like me to have dozens in your garden-clean and cook one down), add in a mixture of water and whey vanilla protein powder, two eggs, stevia (just a bit!) to sweeten (buy it at your health store). I throw in a little lemon juice, one teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg and half a teaspoon of ground ginger and clove.
Often I skip the crust and just make pumpkin custard. If I am making a crust then I use half quinoa powder, half flour to enhance the protein balance of this meal.
Here is a wintry variation to zucchini. Make a high protein hummus or baba ghanouj.
The way we make hummus with more protein is to mix 4% fat cottage cheese, chick peas, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and a bit of lemon juice. Blend it up and you have an excellent winter’s dip. Switch the chick peas with cooked eggplant (just wash, slice and bake the thin slices in the oven) and you have the baba ghanouj.
Instead of eating this dip with celery and light vegetables, use pocket bread instead.
Another way to nourish your body is through the lungs and skin with essential oil. In winter Eucalyptus is the king of essential oils!
Eucalyptus essential oil is warming and stimulating… helps to move the rivers of the body during this drying time. It is anti bacterial, anti viral, stimulating to fluid circulation, an expectorant, and mucolytic.
Eucalyptus essential oil helps with Colds, flu, bronchitis when you inhale from the bottle, a steam tent, bath, or massage a drop to the nose and chest. Before bed put 1 drop straight Eucalyptus on soles of each foot and put on socks.
Eucalyptus essential oil helps with sinus infection and joint aches and pains.
There are hundreds of different kinds of essential oils. Eucalyptus can easily be placed in the top five for its “good medicine” qualities. It is often referred to as the oil of respiration.
Eucalyptus essential oil is the liquid that is in the leaves of the eucalyptus tree and extracted by steam distillation. Its chemical contents determine it to be antibacterial and antiviral.
All you need is a little bottle of pure Eucalyptus and another bottle of good base oil. The following suggestions can be used as part of your preventive healthcare program, or as relief from colds, flu, and respiratory conditions.
Ways to help yourself with Eucalyptus essential oil.
1. Simply inhale from the bottle of pure Eucalyptus.
2. Pour a little base oil in your palm, add 1 drop of Eucalyptus, apply to and in nose, then massage where appropriate, such as under cheekbones, over eyebrows, on temples, around ears, neck and chest.
3. Fix your bath water and get in first, then apply #2 palm blend to nose, neck, chest, hands, and feet. Put warm wet washcloth over chest, close your eyes and rest in the water.
4. Make a steam tent for inhalation. Pour boiling water in glass Pyrex bowl, add about 3 drops Eucalyptus. This will be very strong at first. Close eyes and bring face over bowl while inhaling. After first few breaths, put towel over your head and the bowl. With hands under towel, massage face and back of neck. Rest here for 15-20 minutes. This can be done 3 times a day.
5. Put 1 drop of Eucalyptus on the sole of each foot, put on your socks and tuck yourself in for the night. You can order a 10 ml bottle of pure Eucalyptus essential oil from our friend Candae Newman at
Better yet, join us in Ecuador where we have steam baths with fresh eucalyptus leaves!
Until next message, may all you winter be warm!
Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter. See how to get really low fares during the Ecuador air fare war from the US, Canada, Africa and Europe.
Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour
See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.
The patio has this view.
Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo
Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Here is a long shot of Cotacachi.
March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Join us on our next courses and tours. Here is our 2009 schedule.
May 21-26 Ecuador Spanish Course
May 27-28 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 12-15 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 2-7 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina
Sept. 17-22 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Oct. 9-11 International Investing & Business Made EZ North Carolina
Oct. 21-26 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
Nov. 6-8 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Coastal Real Estate Tour
The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include airfare, accommodations, food or individual transportation.