Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Have you recently felt feelings of  jubilation, like your floating on top of the world, yet simultaneously grounded? Most likely, you were experiencing the by-product of being truly balanced within your body. Your mind and your body collaborated in unison and the result was this harmonious flow of beautiful thoughts within a calm and tranquil body. Balancing your mind, body and spirit truthfully does require effort; recognizing the places within that need nurture and learning how to feed those devoid spots.  When mind, body and spirit are connected and are all being carefully developed with patience, time, energy and love, you will experience peace, affinity and an angelic melody to move through life with ease. There are several ways to create that structure, that balance that we all long for. Relationships are key to enjoying the balance we all crave. Relationships with people, food and thyself. Begin by asking yourself how are your relationships? Are you hungry for more love, touch, sex, intimacy or friendship? (Remember, they are all different.) How could your relationships benefit by adding any of these five elements? How are your interactions with family & friends? Do you feel fulfilled by those in your life, are they giving and receiving just as you are? Sit back and reflect on your relationship with the food you eat. Do you have cravings? When do you have them? Do you eat in response to emotional situations? Cravings can be intense and are in response to a vitamin, mineral or fat deficiency. By understanding your deficiency, you can work to eliminate your cravings and have a deeper and more distinguished understanding and appreciation for your body and thus treat it with loving kindness. Knowledge is a powerful tool in creating your ultimate state of wellness. This state is different for everyone. We are all unique, as one person’s  delight can be another’s poison. When was the last time you satisfied yourself spiritually? Whether it’s a walk in the park, a stroll on the beach (barefoot!) or simply sitting quietly with yourself in a meditative state; ask yourself how nourishing your spiritual side impacts your overall sense of wellness? The beauty in the art of balance is that we have full control over our bodies level of balance simply by our actions and reactions to life. Finding your personal sense of calm, creating a safe space to reflect and learning how to love yourself fully from the inside out can provide immense nourishment and inner beauty, shining from within, permeating outward. While most of us tend to feel off kilter from time to time, knowing how to bring yourself back into balance and recognizing that a change needs to be implemented is half the battle. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, gardening,a great chat with a close friend, a hug and a cup of tea along with a good read always brings me back to my safe and comfy space. Sometimes all it takes is a great start to your morning, scratching off from your to-do list, a hug from a loved one or a hike on a sunny day to feel the physiological, mental and emotional effects of a body in balance. While it can be phrased as an art, balance is first felt by taking the time to love yourself enough to live in harmony….mind, body, spirit as one. Need a few tips to get back on the balance wagon? Once you feel imbalanced, take 15 minutes of silence; sit quietly and practice deep breathing from the depths of your belly. This type of breathing will slow your heart rate down as well as your racing mind and your body will slowly begin to restore itself into balance. Grab a buddy and get moving! When your body’s in motion, you’ve broken a sweat, your mind can clear itself of toxic thoughts; your endorphins kick into high gear and tackling your to-do-list wont feel as daunting! Lastly, attempt to schedule ” me time.” Love yourself enough to cook a beautiful meal on a weeknight, take an after dinner stroll, curl up with your fav book or simply practice some living room yoga by candlelight. Restorative activities have a wonderful overall effect on your health, thus bringing your state back into balance, all while feeling gorgeous from the inside out! Keep it simple, lovely and purely authentic…the art of balance awaits.

And we’re off…to the farm! I was stoked. Driving through the rolling hills, looping through the majestic toffee colored landscape, we spotted cows, calfs, sheep and not the slightest sign of residential real estate as far as our eyes could see. It was desolate, beautiful, peaceful. As we approached the gates, two mama cows starred at us while their 1 day old calfs wobbled right behind them. Our tour guide gave us the spiel and off we went, darting straight for the dwarf apple trees. We got to taste 8 different varieties before committing to which tree we favored most. Baby picked and ate, picked and ate until she found her fav, it was a blast! The goats, sheep, chickens,turkeys, pigs and two estate dogs gave so much life to this place-it was a beautiful thing 🙂 The 580 acre ranch honestly made me want to go back to my vegan days. It showcased just exactly how animals are supposed to live; happy & free, adored and coveted all in harmony.  The farm felt so alive; all living things treasured by those who came from near & far  to admire, pick, play and eat closest to the earth, as nature intended. It reconfirmed to me the importance of living a conscious life, to take time to know where your food comes from, and to be mindful of  life around you. From the organic tomatoes, the countless varieties of apple trees, all the farm animals and the blooming sunflowers around us, I was in heaven. Part of living a gorgeous life is living pure, living green and reconnecting with the earth. As a new season approaches, embrace the beauty of what Fall has to offer us and celebrate it in local, organic and seasonal fashion 🙂

Wellness Wishes,

As summer winds down to a close and Fall is on the horizon, its a time for reflection of warm days and bbq’s, kids playing in the sand and ice cream (coconut ice cream I hope!) cones on a long walk after dinner. Ahh summer, how fun and carefree you are 🙂 As Fall approaches, I’m instantly drawn to grounding foods, warm spices, comfort in a cup… The skies are still blue, there is a crispness in the air that I love and a natural mood change fills my home. A more subdued hue, a relaxing night in by the fire and a warm dinner of roasted acorn squash, spiced quinoa with nuts and braised greens. After our meal, a reflective time with a warm mug of tea soothes my belly and concludes a perfect evening. Yogi teas are my favorite, the best part about them are their inspirational quotes on the end of the string. Today mine reads “Bliss is a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.” So true indeed! Ginger tea warms the gut, improves digestion while including a group of wonderful herbs, roots and grasses in its blend. It has organic ginger root, lemongrass, licorice root, peppermint leaf and black pepper. Medicinal in their properties and healing and comforting at the same time. Another favorite is Purely Peppermint. Its known to soothe indigestion and give your belly a warming yet vitalizing effect. There are countless categories of Yogi Tea that you can find at your local grocer, they range from Detox and Wellness teas, to snack teas and teas specifically for women. Pick up one that you find interesting and share your tea experience with me. What’s your comfort in a cup?

Wellness Wishes,

 

Happy Saturday Gorgeous! One of my absolute FAV things to do on a weekend morning is to stroll our local farmers market. The abundance of fresh fruit, veggies and freshly picked flowers gets me uber excited to start the day! There is something about the smell in the air, the local farmers greeting you as you meander by their stands and the laughing and smiley faces of all the kids that just makes me beam from ear to ear. This morning, I found a Dalia flower stand, grown 20 minutes outside of Santa Cruz and this farmer had the most vibrantly gorgeous Dalias in all colors I had ever seen! Four bunches later, we brought them home to grace our living room and give me just another thing to smile about as I pass them every day 🙂 Corny, I know… but Im so pumped about Farmer’s Markets! The community of like-minded people that come to support their growers is astounding and awesome, while the creativity that fills my mind on what new recipe I should create tickles my fancy too! It’s a beautiful thing that unites people while educating families on the bounty of what grows right around them 🙂 Happy Saturday to all my gorgeous friends out there, keep you inner beauty alive and shop local & seasonal to nourish your body, mind and spirit.

Wellness Wishes, 

Hi Friends! I hear so many people wanting to jump start their new diet plan with a cleanse. This cleanse usually consists of 7-10 days abstaining from meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and sugars. The trouble with the cleanse, is that its mostly water weight that is lost and the reintroduction of the animal products, sugars and caffeine tend not to be gradual, leading to immediate weight gain. As I have learned more and more about inflammation and the havoc it wreaks on your system, the cleanse which usually starts your diet, needs to become the foods you gradually weed out of your system, or eat very sparingly. Red meat, cow products of cheese and milk, and most sugars begin to compromise your bodily functions and cause “extreme heat” within our bodies. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of countless diseases in our bodies. Stress and lack of exercise also contribute to inflammation, but the choices we make for our food consumption greatly alter or diminish the inflammatory response by our body. When our bodies are inflamed, they too are uncontrollably high in acidity. We should always remain in balance between acidity and alkalinity. Typical acidic foods are sugars, most grains, meat and dairy which should then be balanced out by consuming alkaline foods such as veggies, nuts, tofu, some fruits.

 

Rather than cleansing your system for a week, learn how to manage cravings, alkaline your body and see the dramatic results of living a life free of inflammation!

Wellness Wishes,

 

I seem to get the question pretty frequently…how do I satisfy my sweet tooth without giving in to cookies, candy and the like? Well, I have some great nutritionally sound goodies to tickle your fancy. Did you know that desserts is stressed spelled backwards? Crazy hun!? This is because too much refined sugar in our bodies completely stresses out our system and keeps us vying for more. The following are a few ways to kick your sugar cravings and satisfy that sweet tooth naturally!

  1.      * Fruit!-a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and sweetness straight from mother nature, unprocessed and just the way nature intended us to eat. Fresh fruit is your best bet, but dried fruit does the trick too! Fruit in its dried form has all of its sugars concentrated to give you extra sweetness. Pack a handful of dried cherries, cranberries and apricots in your purse for when you are feeling the urge. Dates are another great dessert alternative. They are sweet, balanced in mineral content, contain fiber without the added sugar of traditional desserts out there. Try a date or two 20 minutes after dinner and guaranteed you will kick the ice cream, brownie or cake addiction to the curb! Low glycemic fruits such as berries are the way to get your antioxidants and your curb your sugar cravings even while on the go!
  2.     * Dark Chocolate!- While we’ve all heard some rich dark cocoa can do a body good, its difficult to know what percentage of cocoa you are getting when you eat your dessert out at a restaurant, ect. The BEST chocolate for body, rich in antioxidants and its in purest form is raw cacao, from the cacao plant. This is one of our amazing Superfoods that provides complete nourishment including all vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and mood boosting chemicals that signal the “feel good” hormone, Seratonin in our brain. Check our raw cacao nibs from Whole Foods-yummy and naturally fabulous!

* Eat Regularly!- This sounds random when talking about sugar, but when our bodies go too long in between meals, we begin to crave sugar. Sugar metabolizes extremely quickly within our bodies and therefore gives us that burst of energy our body craved. Yet if you snacked or had a meal with a slightly higher protein intake, your body would not crave the sugar to begin with. Make your meals count and you’ll see your desire for sugar begin to dwindle.

* Drink water!- Sounds simple, right? The greater hydration we give ourselves the less likely we are to reach for that chocolate bar. Hydrate your cells for increased energy, less cravings and a detoxifying method to rid your body of unwanted toxins.

* If you just cant stand it, then reach for my newest fav sweet treat! They are Raw Macaroons made by Hail Merry. Delicious! Vegan, raw, gluten-free macaroons made with living enzymes and flavored with cold pressed raw coconut oil, pure maple syrup and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. They are Heavenly!

Wellness Wishes,