Seasonings Meanings:The Winter Solstice, Religion


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*Ok so working on an old laptop, and a trigger happy pinky finger, this post just got published about 12 hours before I actually wanted it to…nothing like a little surprise publishing on a Monday morning, but hey, it’s all good.  Enjoy the “early” post.  Anyone else ever done this?  I know Deb has, anyone else?

How are you doing today?  What’s shaking sweetie pies?  I’m doing great and thanks for the awesome feedback on Diana of Soap & Chocolate’s Guest Post Yesterday which featured her take on Raw Vegan Peppermint Patties If you missed that one, check it out! 

Raw Vegan Peppermint Patties split in half showing coconut inside

Bite taken out of one Raw Vegan Peppermint Patty

And again, Thanks a Million, DianaYour creativity inspires me to stay inspired and I can’t wait to whip up some goodies when I return home from my trip!!!

A couple quick food highlights ’round here included a Kale Salad with Cukes, Brock, Sugar Snap Peas, and Cauli…

Kale salad with mixed vegetables in homemade slaw dressing

…dressed with my Homemade Vegan Slaw DressingSweet-n-Tangy goodness!

Close up of Kale Salad in Slaw Dressing

A Garden Salad for Scott with carrots, arugula (I love the peppery, spicy, bite of arugula!), sun-dried tomatoes (another girl I know has been using the Sun Dried Tomatoes lately, too), & cukes dressed with my homemade CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing

Salad with CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing topped with sun dried tomatoes

and a Baked Potato on the SideThat I nuked

Salad with CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing and potatoes on side

Are microwaves safe?  Probably not but I use it anyway.  There’s a time and place for convenience and sometimes, you just gotta say, what the heck, I need to.  I try not to over-use it, but I also try not to overthink things and drive myself nutty!

And Skylar has been enjoying her Advent Calendar 

Little girl playing with advent calendar

Scott’s Jewish.  I’m not.  Anyone else raised in a split-religion house?  The Advent Calendar for us isn’t even Jesus’s Birth.  It’s about The Mouthful of Chocolate… 

Little girl sitting in chair making funny face

…And opening the cute little doors.

Little girl sitting and opening doors on advent calendar

I have such fond memories of Advent Calendars from my own childhood and she loves it, too!

Young girl wearing pink t-shirt sitting in chair at table

And she’s had lots of fun on Slides

Young girl sliding down slide into pool

And we’ve been to the Beach

Beach view of water with boats


Young girl in swimsuit playing on sandy beach

Where we’ve made lots of sand castles

Young girl smiling while playing in sand

And we’ve dug sand holes

Young girl standing in bathing suit on beach in front of lounge chairs

And laughed & loved alot

Woman and young girl posing and smiling for camera on beach


Young girl smiling while playing in sand on beach

Yoga Today is 108 Sun Salutations.
You’re thinking what???!!!  Why??!!!  

Don’t know what a Sun Salutation is?  Here’s the flow of one salutation.
Or here’s another.

What is the significance of the Winter Solstice?

Well the Winter Solstice, which occurs between Dec 20 & 21 every year, is today.  Meaning, it’s the shortest day of the year and the sun’s position in the sky is the lowest. The seasonal significance of the Winter Solstice means that until the Vernal Equinox, the days will begin to lengthen and nights will begin to shorten.   Many people celebrate Winter Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning and a chance to marvel at the power of transition from darkness into light. 

It’s customary in yoga traditions to mark the Solstices with 108 Sun Salutations. 

Why 108 Sun Salutations?

I found this info which gives a succinct and clear explanation: 
There is a special significance to 108 in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. For instance, there are 108 beads in the mala of both traditions; there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and each has masculine and feminine, totaling 108; 1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands for Infinity. As we reflect on the significance of the sun, we are reminded that the sun is the illuminator of our world, that it is our primary source of heat and the giver of life. So come, honor the sun!

Or here’s Yoga Journal’s take on it.

You don’t have to do all 108 Sun Salutations; do as many as you feel is appropriate.  Heck, just do one!  Just be mindful and present, joyfully aware, that the days will now get longer and notice how this effects you in your daily life.  

If you’re religious, do you feel connected to the winter holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, in a meaningful way?  Or do you feel that the December Holidays have morphed into a time of retail gluttony and commercialism? Or, do you feel a bit of both?  Or, do you view this season as a time to simply connect with friends, family, and loved ones independent of everything else?

I am of the opinion that it’s wonderful to celebrate the holidays with my immediate family and although we don’t get caught up in gifts (I mentioned before that we don’t do gifts for any holidays anymore, which is very freeing and a gift in and of itself!), but I also have to stop and remind myself of the Christian significance of this time because, I admit, it does get a bit buried and lost for me otherwise.  But what’s your take on this time of year?  What does it mean for you?

As I asked in the post, too, did you grow up in a religious household?  Were your parents the same religion?  Did this or does that matter to you?  I know some of my friends, VeggieGirl, Katie of Faith Food & Fitness, and many more of you too, have strong faiths and I applaud people who believe in something and stand up for it, not only religious choices, but in general. 

Next Question…do you feel connected enough to yoga to even contemplate 108 Sun Salutations?  Is there a physical exercise or something you do that once upon a time you thought it was crazy but now you’ve accomplished it?  Marathon running or Century Bike Rides come to mind for me!  How about for you? 

Stay Tuned For More Guest Posties in the House and less Deep Thoughts.  It’s a Food Blog after all. Haha!…

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Thanks so much for the Beautiful Blogger Award Averie : ) I'm so happy to you are such a wonderful blogger friend. Maybe that we'll be in person one day soon : )

    Great facts about yourself! With a minor in Biology you could easily get a degree in nutrition. You're one step ahead of me that's for sure : )

    I can't wait to see if you get the Best of Raw Award!!!

    Have an awesome rest of your vacation!


  2. ah! thanks for the award my love! you are too sweet. i loved reading your answers and you are SUCH a beautiful blogger! so true, so true. you have lived EVERYWHERE! wow! and i didnt realize you were so tall. a whole 10" taller than me.. we NEED to hang out! i am loving all this averie in my life right now.. it is like christmas all over again!

  3. Congrats on the awards, girl! So glad to see everyone else loves you just as much as I do!!! :)
    You are awesome.

  4. Thank you again for the award! So sweet. :) Andd seriously, 5' 11", ah so tall. Skylar is gonna SKYrocket! hehe. Ohh holy geeze, with these puns.

    Boo to bad commenters. I've never gotten any, but maybe because I'm too safe? I'd like to take more risks with the blog.. but sometimes I hang back because I know so many of the little Tucson world I live in is chiming in! :/

  5. Again- some of these photos of you and Skylar, I just love. They are so sweet.

    The local bread looks rockin.

    I usually just smile and say thanks for gifts I won't use. Then it's Goodwilled!

    Wow, cant believe you're nearly 6 feet tall! Cool!

  6. I love love love the photo of you looking down at Skylar. It's a total Mommy Action shot! :-)

    Have a wonderful Christmas!


  7. Your daughter is so sweet and beautiful, what a smile! I am intrigued by that raw mac and cheese, must check it out! Merry Christmas!

  8. I have an om tattoo on my back:) I am quite sensitive as well, I think that is what lead me towards vegetarianism and yoga. The principle of ahmisa had resonated deeply with me since I was a teenager.

    All my best to you and your family this Christmas!

  9. Hi beautiful mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

    Oh you make me feel so warm!! I love you and your blog!!! The pictures of you and skylar are just PRECIOUS.

    tomorrow I am doing Indian food with the fam and a Buddhist/Indian studies professor from the university. LOW LOW KEY. Beach sounds amazing though- super jealz!!

    And wowwwwwwwwwwwwww! I had no idea you were so tall!! that is so cool!

    beautiful eats! esp the museli bread!!


  10. i droooled over that vegan mac and cheese! YUMMY!

    and congrats on your rewards <3 and thank you ever so much for rewarding me back<3 xox you are far to genuine and sweet. love you girly.

    i loved reading everything about you :) Its fun learning more about fellow bloggies!

    hmm. now something random about me? I used to be a gymnast! And placed third all around in my Province… :( sadly though, my eating disorder has stopped me from doing Gymnastics. it was once a true passion.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones! XOXOX

  11. YAY! You deserve the award….flaunt it all you want, Averie!
    I spent Christmas Eve "touring" DC! :-)
    Merry Christmas!!!!