New Website Launch!

Hey everyone!

Or at least, anyone that is left and hasn’t moved over to the new site!

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If you’re still here and receiving this – please head on over to the new site: www.alexiswilliamson.com

I’ve had a blast crankin this whole new look out – it’s been a lot of workbut it’s finally HERE!!!

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Ok, well, I will keep it short and sweet. I’d really love for you to re-subscribe over on the new site. And, I so appreciate your love during this time!

Ok. See you soon!

xxoo A

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Posted in Inspiration

New Website Coming Soon!

Things have been a bit crazy since moving back to LA. Crazy in a good way though.

It’s just busier here! There are more people, places and things to see. We’re not in Bainbridge anymore y’all! 🙂

Since I’ve been wanting to launch my website and grow my business, it’s a good thing to be around so many motivated people. Plus, is there a better place for yoga, health and wellness?! I love Venice! (really, the whole westide!)

This is also a great thing for me because: finding balance and re-centering is challenging enough, but living in LA really allows me to work on this stuff deeply! There are many distractions. It’s easy to get swept up in the go-go-go mentality. Writing here on the blog and working with others always helps me come back to home. To a kind of homeostasis, if you will. 😉

Ok, moving on to the fun stuff. Creating the website has been a blast! Really. When you work on developing a brand, building your biz, and the design aspects – you really learn a lot about yourself. You get to play around, try new things – and best of all, you get to explore your creative side! This process has actually helped me to understand more about why I want to help people and how I can go about doing this.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard work. I may, or may not have broken down a time or two. But, in the end – its all growth and it’s all good! Im happy about this progression because, like everyone else in life, I’ve gone through stages of feeling stuck. I know you’ve been there too. ♥

But, after having these experiences, I feel confident in helping others within this area. Moving out of fear and towards our dreams. Stepping into our power. And healthfully fueling our Mind-Body, to set us up for success.

We teach what we know!

So, my fab photographer and I decided to do a super fun photoshoot for the website. Cuz why not?! {more on her later, info coming soon!!}

Shopping for props and getting some beautiful inspiration from Anthropologie! Such fun kitchen items!!

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And…

Why not have a little fun with it! (or A LOT!) I’m a jewelry junkie and Madewell never disappoints. LOVE!

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First shoot location that came to mind: Temescal Canyon. This nature haven is one of my fav hiking spots. Spring is around tha corner!

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DIY Mint water, check!

A super-easy-n-fun prop and a healthy/natural refresher!! Loving the green color!

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Frolicing through nature was so fun – it’s like being a kid again 🙂

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Multiple locations and hours later, we ended our shoot day @ the ocean. My life has always revolved around being by the water. Its home. It’s pure LOVE.

We got some gorgeous sunset {magic-hour} shots.
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MMMMMMmmmmm oh yeahh.

Namaste!

That’s a wrap! See you soon on the new site!!

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Posted in Inspiration, Yoga

Yin Yoga & A Quick Meditation

I haven’t been writing much lately. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I’ve been caught up in a lot of other things that needed my time, such as: being really laser focused and committed to a detoxing diet for Crohns, writing and getting clear on my message to help others, and getting back into Yin Yoga (my first love!).

The latter has been so awesome. Even more awesome because I found a new kind of Yin – Hot Yin Yoga. It’s kind of the best of both worlds for me. Since discovering Hot Yoga (not Bikram, although very similar) my joint aches have improved greatly and I don’t really get sick anymore!! I think my body needs this particular kind of sweat. Yes, a steam room or sauna can get somewhat of the same effect but it’s the combo of fluid movement + the heat that is incredibly healing for my body.

This has been quite a journey: from doing my training in Vinyasa Power Yoga, to moving to Hot Hatha and Yin. I had to face the facts, my body doesn’t thrive when pushed to the max in Vinyasa. (although, I still love/respect Vinyasa and my fav teachers!) It’s partly because of all the health stuff I’ve been experiencing. But THAT’S OK! I have learned to listen in, take it easy and challenge myself in other ways.

Mostly, I feel my best and thriving when I’m: biking outside, walking, hiking, swimming and/or doing hatha/yin yoga. So, that’s what I stick to. Letting expectations go is really healing – and freeing!

So, back to this new Hot Yin class. It’s a combo of yummy, juicy relaxing poses (although holding them and going deep into it does serve as a challenge!) and hot heat – which makes for a really great, de-stressing class. Especially if it’s right before bed 😉

At the end of the class, our instructor asked us to do a breathing exercise (meditation) with us. It was really nice and I thought I’d share it with you.

  • In a cross legged seated position, sit up straight and elongate the spine.
  • Feel free to use a block under your sit bones to elevate your hips. Some find this more comfortable for mediation.
  • Become aware of your breath and start to witness the in-breath and out-breath.
  • Now, close your eyes and tune in. Quiet the mind and concentrate on your breath.
  • Repeat these mantras yourself…

Breathing in, I feel peace.
Breathing out, I let go of resistance.

Breathing in, I feel love.
Breathing out, I let go of fear.

Breathing in, I feel acceptance.
Breathing out, I let go of judgement.

Breathing in, I feel gratitude.
Breathing out, I let go of unworthiness.

Breathing in, I feel compassion.
Breathing out, I let go of anything that doesn’t serve me.

You can continue this or repeat this for however long you wish. I believe we did about two cycles through. It was really lovely. We had candles lit and then took savasana.

Enjoy!

…and remember that there’s in a ripple effect in how we treat people. If we treat ourselves with loving kindness {and others} the love can be passed on and felt by others too.

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Meditation, Optimal Health, Quotes, Yoga

A Sanctuary In The City Of Los Angeles: Lake Shrine

This is literally one of my all-time favorite spots! I think you’ll agree, it’s so very special for many reasons…

There is so much to say about The Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) (Lake Shrine) but I’ll give you the basics.

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The founder Paramahansa Yogananda, is known as the ‘father of Yoga in the West.’ His hopes were to make the universal teachings of Kriya Yoga available to everyone. You can also experience this via his book Autobiography of a Yogi (available in 28 languages!). Founded in 1920, SRF is now a ‘worldwide religious organization’ with more than 500 temples and centers around the world.

Seek(ing) to foster a spirit of greater understanding and goodwill among the diverse peoples and religions of our global family, and to help those of all cultures and nationalities to realize and express more fully in their lives the beauty, nobility, and divinity of the human spirit. ~Paramahansa Yogananda

Although the word ‘religious’ is used, I think these centers are viewed as a spiritual place of being where all religions are accepted and honored. This is illustrated at the Lake Shrine gardens where you’ll find sacred shrine’s for each religion…

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Principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions. ~Paramahansa Yogananda

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Yoga is about ‘uniting’ anyways, right?

Here are some of my favorite sights @ SRF. The walking grounds are just beautiful!

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In the above picture, you can see the Windmill Chapel. This is where meditations are held…

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There are lovely little sitting areas for meditation or just a pretty view of all this…

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{a portion of Gandhi’s ashes are here}

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He who perceives Me everywhere and beholds everything in Me, never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him. ~Bhagavad Gita VI:30

SRF is a little sanctuary in the city and definitely a hidden gem. You can visit for a nice walk amongst nature or attend a class or lecture. Even just sitting for a bit brings more peace into my day. Sometimes, you just need a change of environment to shift your thinking. In the past, this has definitely been the case for me – and it works!

Either way, I highly recommend you visit Lake Shrine!

Check out the SRF page for visitor info here.

Namaste

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Posted in Inspiration, Meditation, Quotes, Yoga

Quote Of The Day: Overcoming Obstacles

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…Many obstructions are purposely put on the way for us to pass through. They are there to make us understand and express our own capacities. We all have that strength, but we don’t seem to know it. We seem to need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities. In fact, that is the natural law. If a river just flows easily, the water in the river does not express it’s power. But once you put an obstacle to the flow by constructing a dam, then you can see it’s strength in the form of tremendous electrical power. ~The Yoga Sutras

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Posted in Inspiration, Quotes

Anti-Inflammatory Juice: Remove Toxins and Feel Energized

This recipe is actually a version of a juice reccommended by my Doc! Recently, he designed a specific diet for me to acheive the following goals:

  • Detox unwanted metals and toxins
  • Dissolve lymphatic waste build up
  • Relieve my liver and other organs that have been working overtime
  • Promote Anti-Inflammatory super-hero foods to alieveate effects from RA and/or Crohn’s Disease.

I don’t know about you, but BAM! That’s some powerful s*hit!……and I love it!

Whether you’re detoxing or not, this juice recipe is beneficial to your overall health and wellness. Adding in this juice (or any other) to your diet regimine would be a fantastic way to boost your: immunity, bone health, and your body’s digestion capabilities.

Ok, let’s talk liquid love deets! Beets and ginger act as powerhouse anti-inflammatories and cilantro is a super antioxidant; fighting free radicals and protecting our body against diseases!

The betalain pigments present in beets have repeatedly been shown to support activity in our body’s Phase 2 detoxification process. Phase 2 is the metabolic step that our cells use to hook activated, unwanted toxic substances up with small nutrient groups. This “hook up” process effectively neutralizes the toxins and makes them sufficiently water-soluble for excretion in the urine. (source)

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Anti-Inflammatory Juice Recipe:

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 beet green leaves
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • 1 small cube of ginger
  • 1 small lemon wedge

Make sure to wash veggies well ~ especially those beets. Dirty lil suckers! If you’ve never peeled ginger {use the back of the spoon}, check out this how-to video here. Chop it up and juice!

So far, I’m feelin pretty good. I believe in ‘adding in‘ more of the good stuff we need (like juice!). So, you don’t have to be on a cleanse to drink your juice. Adding in one juice per week….or heck, one per day — will definitely benefit you {just see the facts above!!}. You might even find that you feel the ‘cleansing’ effects of juice. If you experience any achyness or cold-like symptoms coming on, know that this is normal and happens with some individuals. Think of it as your body trying to rid itself of any stuck gunk. 🙂

If you have any health concerns or chronic health conditions, please consult with your Doc first. Remember that everybody has their own bioindividuality and diet/nutrition needs. For example, this recipe doesn’t have kale or any other leafy greens because my Doc said right now, they’re too detoxing for me. If this doesn’t apply to you ~ feel free to add in greens!

New here, or new to juicing and want to take it easy? Check out my easy beginner green juice, here.

Thanks for visiting, see you soon.

Much love,

A

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Recipes

Outdoor Adventure: Charmlee Malibu Hike

I’ve been having some fun here in LA so far. Of course, while living on the westside, you get to experience all the beauty of the local beaches. There are endless outdoor adventures to embark on. Biking on the path, SUP, running on the sand…

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It’s safe to say, I’m having a blast being back here in the outdoors!

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This past week, I headed back to one of my favorite hiking spots: Charmlee Wilderness Park. If you’re driving from Santa Monica or via the PCH, you’ll get to experience the beautiful coastal drive up. You can expect a pretty mellow hike, with walking paths that are mostly flat.

With over 532 acres of gorgeous land to cover, you’ll find: cute picnic areas, 8 miles of trails, breath-taking vista and mountain views…and maybe even some wildlife!

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There’s something so therapeutic about being outdoors in a place of such expansiveness! There’s time and space to take a deep breath in, and feel all of life’s possibilities. You might find clarity and creativity flow in too!

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There are also some cool rocks and boulders to play around on. Kinda fun to discover! 😉

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I read some reviews on this hike, and I am not sure what people were saying about ‘getting lost.’ It kinda seems impossible. There are plenty of trail signs and although there are various paths to take, most of them lead back to the same spot. It’s kinda fun to pick one….and just GO! I guess I feel free and more like a kid when I am outdoors, exploring!

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It’s the views that get me! {BONUS: great spot for a breather, or a mini-meditation break!}

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Some info to know, before ya go:

  • There’s plenty of parking, but be prepared to pay $4 per car.
  • Bring water and sunscreen (even a hat) because at that elevation and being in sunny SoCal, the sun gets HOT!
  • There are bathrooms and drinking fountains near the parking area.
  • The park is open from 8:00am – sunset, 7 days a week.
  • Address: 2577 Encinal Canyon Road, Malibu

Have fun – get out there!!!

Peace, love and hugs…

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Posted in Inspiration, Meditation, Optimal Health, Physical Activity

Do You Need A Pep Talk?

I think ‘I’ was the one who needed the pep talk today. 🙂 So, when I was reading the inspirational blog over at LiveWeal.com, I was pleasantly surprised to find this sweet SoulPancake video posting.

The ‘kid president’ in this vid reminds us to KEEP GOING! “And then, keep going and going.” He also brings up a good point: that we’re all in this together. It’s time to shine people! ……and for gosh sake: DANCE!!!

It’s just what I needed! AND, since the kid suggested sharing it with people who encourage you – well…. That’s YOU! So, here ya go.

Check it out:

So, spread the love y’all!

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Quotes

Check out my ‘Healing Naturally‘ column @ Duct Tape and Bubblegum!

Duct Tape and Bubblegum

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If so, then I know how you’re feeling. This was my story before I discovered all the wisdom there is in using food as medicine. The most transformative part of my wellness hero journey has been experimenting with foods that may, or may not be healing and energizing me. The proof is in the superfood-puddin’.

By now, you might have been reducing, or fully eliminating gluten from your diet and are ready for the next phase: dairy and sugar. In my opinion, these two guys are probably the toughest to kick. Because there is so much I want to share with you, today we’ll just dabble in the dairy free process…

I should make note now, that I am talking about commercialized dairy (pasteurized/homogenized). If you’re anything like me, you eat one cheddar bunny and BOOM, the whole box somehow disappears. Why can’t…

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Posted in Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health

Super-Easy Beginner Green Juice Recipe

It’s about damn time! I apologize for it taking so long for me to post this! Between work, life and moving to LA; I haven’t had a chance to post my juice recipes…umm, oh and there was that (over-due) girls trip to Palm Springs, yeah – that was pretty awesome too.

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And after a trip like that, we all could use a little liquid lovin’.

But yay, finally the juice post I’ve been wanting to write…and here we are. {insert: the slow clap – my GF’s will get this!!}

For reals tho ~ It can get pricey and time-consuming to go get your juices from Natural Food Markets and shops. Luckily, we got a juicer for our wedding. {thank you Marina & fam!}

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I’ve been puttin her to work…the juicer, not Marina. 😉

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Sometimes I find that clients and beginner juicers have a hard time with the ‘greenness‘ taste of it all. 🙂 I’d rather them try out a ‘sweeter’ tasting juice then not try any at all. So, if it’s helpful, for your first couple of juices ~ add in apple and carrot (like this recipe does!). If you’re new at this stuff, I understand it can be confusing at times. I would suggest you do some research of your own. See what piques your interest and what is out there. Also, as always consult your Doc before making any serious changes to your regimen.

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If it’s available to you, try to buy local and organic, Non-GMO. Wash all of your items and you’ll be ready to go!

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I like to do a rough chop of all my produce…

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Easy Beginner Green Juice:

  • 3-5 Stalks of Kale
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2-3 Stalks of Celery
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Apple
  • Squeeze of lemon (if you love lemon like I do!)

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Right now, this recipe is a little over 1 serving, but you can easily double it. Make sure to have plenty of water throughout your day. And please…don’t only drink juices during your day. I am not a fan of juice fasting/cleansing. We need food (aka: fuel) and water to thrive! It’s not necessarily about taking out foods – as it’s about adding in the nutrient dense green goodies! Liquid Love y’all! We don’t need to starve our system! Remember, it’s about balance.

Always keep yourself nourished…

…and…

Get ur greens on yo!

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Recipes

Quest For Perfectionism

Finding balance is a big inspiration for this blog. I have had difficulty with this in the past, and of course it’s always an evolving journey. 🙂

If you think about it, so many things lead back to balance. In relationships, love, friendships, work and of course health. The latter has been especially ‘interesting’ to say the least. With any health challenges that arise, it’s best to try to stay open, present and compassionate with yourself. With RA and now supposedly Crohn’s…my wellness journey has definitely been a learning experience inside and out.

I have come to discover that the food I eat GREATLY effects how I feel. I have (safely and wisely) tried many things: gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and now raw (especially raw dairy). I will continue to experiment and learn, because I am determined to be completely free of all pain! I am feeling so great and have come such a long way…

That being said, it can be tough to stay balanced when you’re continuously needing to change your diet. You can have this, but not that…etc. etc. There’s one thing I am learning now more than ever. And that is:

I am not on a quest for perfectionism…

I can’t let fear fuel me or fuel the food I do/don’t eat. I know what I need to eat to feel good – but sometimes, you just gotta enjoy life. So, this is where the balance comes into play. And this is where being present and connecting with your intuition is important. I try to ask my body and listen in. Sometimes, it’s just not the right day for my favorite: a chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes, it’s definitely the right time! No need to spend your energy stressin on whether a food is ‘bad’ for you or not. Just make a heart-based decision, and stick with it. Then, let go.

The quest for perfect nutrition teaches us an important lesson: Nourishment is not just about “nutrition.” Nourishment is the nutrients in the food, the taste, the aroma, the ambiance of the room, the conversation at the table, the love and inspiration in the cooking, and the joy of the entire eating experience. {source}

We can get so caught up in the focus of WHAT to eat, that we forget about the experience. I don’t know about you, but I truly fell in love with food when I learned to cook. It was the: ritual, the company, the excitement of doing something new ~ it’s all part of the path to NOURISHMENT.

I truly believe we are what we eat (as in, the quality of food). But, I also believe we become the energy we consume. So, the next time you’re eating, see if you can bring a smile to your face or gratitude to the meal you’re enjoying. Shift into this positive perspective, and you’ll super-charge your whole-health plan!

I hope you experience some amazing, nourishing moments in your week!

Would love to hear your comments ~ what are your favorite nourishing moments?

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Quotes

Meditation Challenge: 10 Minutes For 10 Days

 

Being in a new environment (LA) and also noticing that I’ve lost my morning meditation ritual got me thinking. Having a morning ritual can really set you up nicely for the rest of your day. It allows you to set the vibe and intention that you would like to create and later, move throughout your busy day with a little more peace.

I lost my morning practice because “I got busy” and let it slide away. Excuses, bleckkk! 🙂 It’s funny how we can let some of the most important things we do for ourselves ‘go’ first. If you’re feeling groggy, unclear, unable to focus or even negative…having a morning ritual can help get you out of that thinking and shift you into clarity and gratitude.

Your morning ritual can be just about anything. Below are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write in your journal
  • Light a candle and do a couple stretches
  • Sit in a breathing meditation
  • Listen to a guided meditation

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No matter what your ritual is, the purpose of this time is just that: time! Our days can be rushed and chaotic. This is just a little bit of quiet, peaceful time that you get – all to yourself! A time where you can allow your thoughts to filter through and ease your mind into the day.

I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have the time! I feel ya. But, actually, we all have 10 minutes. This is my challenge to you. Can you take (just) 10 minutes and get centered before your day starts?

What do you think that’ll feel like? What internal changes could/will occur?

A good friend once told me, “Meditation is like brushing your teeth. We all make time for it in our routine. Would you ever skip out on brushing your teeth? Meditation is just another tiny thing we add into our daily routine.”

You can do this! It’s just 10 minutes. I truly believe in this, it’s worth it!

But, I will be waiting to hear from you to tell me whatcha think. We are doing this together ~ because I need to get back into my routine as well. Let’s see how we feel after 10 days. Maybe we’ll be inspired to continue for the month! 🙂

If you have any questions or if you need help getting started, please don’t hesitate to ask. {Also, check out some of the resources below!}

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Big OM to you!

Resources:

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Meditation, Optimal Health

Learning To Go With The Flow Of Life

Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, the Universe swoops in with a big change. This is just the way things seem to work, right? Sometimes I think it’s a lesson or reminder to not get to comfy or attached to one specific thing.

Life is a process of flow, and he who clings to any form, however splendid, will suffer by resisting the flow. ~ Buddha

Since moving to Bainbridge Island and getting married, the hubs and I have found something we weren’t sure we’d ever find: a place that truly feels like home. Bainbridge Island is this for us. It’s the answer…and everything we’ve been looking for.

That being said, because of my hubby’s work ~ we’re heading back to LA. We both look at this as an opportunistic time. Although we’ll be missing our lil island, LA has a lot to offer. We both have previous work/life experience there and we’re looking forward to meeting back up with the people we’ve missed.

On the road trip down, we stopped in Portland, Eugene and Ashland {Oregon}. I love Oregon – such gorgeous green landscapes! I think we both loved Ashland OR too. Such a cute little mountain town ~ oh so charming with the snowy mountain tops and farm-to-table cafes.

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By the way, there are ways to get your greens on while travelling on the road. We google’d or yelp’d our way to ‘natural markets’ throughout various cities and found ourselves yummy options + fresh squeezed juices!

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Bring your mason jar along for the ride and you’ll have the perf container to go. You can take these on the road easily if you’re in cooler climates (overnight, my car was the perfect refrigerator!) or use hotel fridge’s if need be.

Luckily, we avoided any snow issues and headed straight through the Cali border. We fueled up on green juice and jammed to our favs. (Although, when you’re going stir crazy and you’re feeling silly – you’ve just gotta.. git… it…out…somehow!!

Sometimes you just gotta sing and dance!

Pit Stop! While Skip was on a biz call, I headed over to the Mt. Shasta area: gorgeous Shasta Lake!

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On a day like that, simply breathtaking! Very good vibes up there too. There is easy access off the I-5 or if you have time, check out the camping options!

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1,000 hours later and after finally arriving in Venice Beach, we realized how lucky we are to be able to make this short-term move. Happy to be back in Cali yo…

{Did I mention that it’s 75 degrees and sunny?!}

Breathe in ~ all ~ the possibilities in the world!

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Posted in Inspiration, Optimal Health, Quotes

Duct Tape and Bubblegum

Alexis Williamson is a writer, wellness coach and Duct Tape and Bubblegum’s resident mind-body expert.

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Last time, we talked about some steps to get you started on healing naturally through nutrition.

Because studies show dairy, sugar and gluten are the top triggers for sensitivities, lack of energy, and inflammation; the most common question I get from clients is:

If I’m experimenting with removing dairy, sugar and gluten ~ then what can I eat?

Going through this experience myself, I know it can be tough and even confusing to start a whole new relationship, and even lifestyle, with food. I also know that you need guidance and helpful information to make the process doable! I want to provide you with a couple of my favorite brands/goodies and even tricks I’ve learned while coaching others and experimenting with my own nutritional needs (aka my Thrive-style!).

Let’s start with…

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Posted in Inspiration

Inspiration In Action: Charlie Reijnen

After meeting Charlie and getting to know her, I was truly inspired.

I won’t talk too much about her story because you will hear about it in the interview, but I definitely think she is a great role model for younger women.

Although she lives on Bainbridge Island, she has previous experience in the modelling and acting industry. As we all know, that industry can be cruel to…well, just about anyone!

She has persevered and grown into a confident, healthy, bright young woman!

I am very passionate about helping women with self-love, empowerment and finding ‘the power within‘ ….so it was only natural I interview her!

  • Check it: Charlotte Reijnen
  • Inspiration In Action: Trainer/Model/Actress/aspiring dietitian
  • Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Quote: “I believe in pink..
    I believe that laughter Is the best calorie-burner.
    I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
    I believe in staying strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
    I believe that tomorrow is another day and most important I believe In miracles…”
    ~Audrey Hepburn

How can we be great role models for a younger (female) generation to come?

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You mentioned you’re starting a book! Tell us more about that…

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What inspires you? Can you give us one of your nutrition tips?

– – –

GO CHARLIE! (and she’s only 22!)

Who know’s what’s in store for this little lady. Whatever she does, I know it’ll be great…and I know I’ll be rooting her on!

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Posted in Inspiration, Optimal Health, Quotes

10,000 Hour Rule: Don’t Give Up!

After a solid week into 2013, listening to Macklemore’s “Ten Thousand Hours” reminded me not to fall back into old habits. It also reminded me of how much I want to turn my dreams into reality…

In “Ten Thousand Hours,” Macklemore pulls from Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers;’ which is based on the “10,000 hour rule” and the idea that we need 10,000 hours of experience in anything before mastering it.”

I know what you’re thinking though, “but it’s only been a week…” Well, sometimes that’s all it takes to self-sabotage. Trust me. I know. For me, it was eating something that really doesn’t serve me well. And guess what happened? I felt it big time. But, it’s important to not beat yourself up!

The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint…The greats were great cause they paint a lot.

Hearing this song today was such a great little reminder to: stop, listen-inward, check in with myself and come back to my intentions. I set pretty hefty goals for myself and I’m thankful for this message to KEEP AT IT. Everyday. Even if it’s a teeny-tiny step, it counts. It’s momentum… and it’s momentum in the right direction!

NYE resolutions and goals are great and all… But, as my friend Mastin Kipp says, “it’s not the goal thats important, it’s when the goal becomes actionable…” So, I ask…

  • Where are you at with your daily routines/work/personal life?
  • How do you feel?
  • Have you checked back in with your goals and intentions you set?
  • What steps have you taken to turn your intention into an actionable goal?

This is also a good time to mention the emphasis we put on “doing.” We set goals and we take ACTION, which is doing. But, what about the “be-ing?” If you wished for more peace within (like myself) then running around ‘doing’ things might cause more harm than good. Finding peace within (for example) also takes some chilling out and be-ing present. You could try a lunch break/mini-meditation where you breathe in “asking for more peace within.” Although it’s tough to do, we must try and remember to dance between the ‘doing’ and the ‘be-ing’.

This is dedication… A life lived for art is never a life wasted.

I’m rooting for you. We’re all artists! I know anything is possible in this world and it’s yours to create! Dream big. And keep at it!

BIG love…

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Posted in Inspiration, Meditation, Quotes

3 Reasons To Love SFO Virgin America Terminal

Sometimes travelling can be stressful, tiresome and just plain gross. This past holiday season, a lot of travelers might have been anxiously anticipating the likely stale airport experience. Myself included!

But not if you’re travelling through SFO > in the new Virgin Terminal. !!

To my amazement, I discovered 3 airport game-changing features. After the awe-and shock wore off, I knew I had to tell you all about it!

I walked out of the jetway feeling a little fatigued from my SEA>SF flight. And, I literally tripped as I glanced up and saw the word Organic. Double-take. “The Plant ~ Cafe Organic” that is…

#1 Fuel Up: I could probably do a whole posting on The Plant, but I’ll sum it up. 🙂 The extensive menu includes a cuisine that is “contemporary California and Asian inspired.” Not only can you get Non-GMO, organic vegetarian/vegan items, but they have fresh pressed juices & smoothies available as well. Green juice @ the airport? Am I dreaming? And I’m loving the cafe’s mission:

“Our mission is to promote the wellbeing of people and planet, and provide an avenue to support healthy choices and sustainable practices.”

I highly recommend the ‘Green Basic’ juice and the ‘Plant Burger’ {made with lentils, beets, bulgur wheat & cashews!}.

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#2 Destress, Decompress & Stretch It Out: Enter, the zen den! The fact that there is a yoga studio in an airport blows my mind. I practically ran over to the area to make sure it wasn’t a joke. Yup. It’s true! Although the room is small, size doesn’t matter. The effort is beyond imaginable! As you open the frosted glass door, there is a sign to remove your shoes, a nice wooden floor and props that make this a travel yogi’s dream. Both times I visited the free yoga studio, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Just me. My (borrowed) mat. My breath and my unwinding, appreciative body. Namaste-ahhhhhh-omm.

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#3 Gourmet Snacking Healthfully: Napa Farms Market is a gourmet foodies dream. If you’re looking for fresh cheeses, quality wine, wood-fired pizza or even non-dairy, vegetarian, vegan options ~ this place has it all! In fact, they dedicated a whole section to ‘Raw, Gluten Free, & Vegan’! Almond milk yogurt anyone?! This market is special and unique for an airport, as it supports local, artisanal producers. Hella cool.

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As if you need any other reasons to love SFO and Virgin. But wait, there’s more…

  • There are modern, sleek, labeled bins for: recycle, compost and trash.
  • There are ‘hydration stations’ throughout the area (and near The Plant) for refilling your bottle, you brought from home. cough!> The water faucet is triggered by a sensor and it never stays on longer than a couple seconds, preventing wasted H2O. Love this! (see my pic above)
  • The Virgin America planes are 25% more fuel-efficient than others.
  • “It’s slated to be the first LEED Gold Certified airport terminal in the U.S.” <source>

Maybe I’m just geeking out here but c’mon! I know I’m not the only one who thinks airports (and planes) need to kick it into high gear > make some major improvements and move into the modern present time. A hygienic time, at that!

All that being said, I am SO SO SO grateful for these 3 amazing additions to SFO. I actually had a really nice travel experience! I usually fly direct and the SEA>SF>SD route initially bummed me out. But now, I’ll be stoked if I get to drop into SFO.

No matter where you fly, if you’re travelling this season ~ make sure to fuel up, hydrate, get-bendy, and snack healthfully. It’ll also help to naturally defend your system with probiotics and a high dose multi-vitamin.

Happy and safe travels. Love!

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Posted in Farm to Table, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Yoga

Gratitude To Readers!

Hey all!

Happy 2013! I hope your transition into the New Year was fun, healthy and exciting…

WordPress sent us an End of The Year annual, wrap-up for @mbsbalance. What a super-fun (and informative) thing to do!

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I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I am really grateful for all the readers…and for the feedback, support and resources. It is you that inspires me! This past year has been full of lessons and growth. Lots-a happiness too!

And, a lot of that has happened because of this blog. Thank you for allowing me to ‘journal’ publicly and to express myself in this format. Most of my inspiration comes from wanting to help others live their best life and grow into their best-self.

One of my dreams for 2013 is to expand our online community and grow my mentoring practice. This wouldn’t be possible without the readers! I will be announcing a free offering soon. So stay tuned!

Ok…Back to you! I was blown away by the readership ~ reaching peeps internationally! I’m silly with excitement that we’re communicating with over 57 countries!!! 

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How fun. This makes me giddy. Smiley

Shout out to tha *top 10* views per country!!

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I love writing and I love being able to do this – so thank you again for listening. I’m looking forward to January; this fresh start, this new year… And to creating more juicy content that readers need and love. I can’t wait to see what we co-create together!

Much appreciation and gratitude to you…

Namaste

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Posted in Inspiration

Manifesting for 2013

As we come to a close on 2012, we may find ourselves taking inventory of all that’s happened in this past year.

I know it’s a little cliché. But, reflecting on this past year brings awareness to the things we did and didn’t do. It allows us to shine gratitude on: people, experiences, things…and ourselves for all that’s happened. Don’t blink! Time Life goes by so fast when we’re not watching closely!

If you’re a journal-type, it may be fun to jot some questions/thoughts down. I was thinking about what my experiences have been like and what I am wanting to bring in for 2013. Don’t doubt…we have the power to create anything in our lives!

Where your attention goes, your energy flows.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

  • What were your top 5 highlights of 2012?
  • Were there any major life changes or emotional shifts? If so, what were they & how did they make you feel?
  • What were some things that you felt disappointment about?
  • What 3 words would describe or sum up the overall ‘vibe’ of your 2012 year?

And now for our dreams and wishes in 2013…

  • What feelings do you want to release in 2013? (fear, attachment, ego, etc.)
  • What feelings do you want to create in 2013? (peace, love, balance, etc.)
  • Close your eyes. What does 2013 look like for you? What does it feel like?
  • (One of my fav subjects)…If you could do one ultimate-loving thing for yourself in 2013, what would that be? (a massage, more yoga, self-love journal, etc.)
  • For a deeper look: examine these (below) areas of your life and see where you are dissatisfied. What do you want to create more of within these four areas?

heart map

I talk about The Four Agreements often. One of these agreements is to “be impeccable with your word.” Say what you mean, and mean what you say. This includes being true to yourself and your own words! If you set a goal…be true to this desire; and take actions to meet it. You deserve it.

If you’ve written these Q & A’s down, you can place it on display, where you’ll be reminded of the intentions you’ve set. Throughout the next couple months (or even the year) ~ check in with these notes. This will bring your attention back to your intentions and keep you in connection to what’s important to you.

Stop waiting and start CREATING today.

Have fun with this! The world is yours to create!

Happy New Year!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

Tis the season! The holidays are here and the decorations are up!

So far, we’ve been up to some fun, festive activities…

Checking out our lil town’s lights…!

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Picking out our tree here on Bainbridge & hanging some mistletoe, fa-la-la-la-lahhh

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I tried out a new delicious, cranberry cake recipe (I don’t post everything I do!)  😉

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I bundled up and headed out to shop for loved ones (in the city-Pike Place!)…
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In the process, I may have found something fun for me too (I couldn’t resist trying on some red lips!) hmmm….

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Then, the other night I was curled up on the couch and the weather report came on. Possible snow…?!? I am pleading with the gods to give us a lil’ snow before we head down to sunny Cali (La Jolla).

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I needed a hot drink fast! I love these cozy moments: a good book, a fire is blazin,  and you’ve just got to have something delicious to sip on! I’ve been trying to come up with a good alternative to a mocha. I cannot have coffee anymore and I found a silky-rich soy that is just divine. Perfect for a virgin cocoa with a kick.

Mexican Hot Chocolate:

~Add all ingredients into a small pot and wisk together. Heat to simmer and serve!

No need for extra sugar because the soy milk already has evap cane juice! Make sure to play with the ‘spice’ amounts according to your liking. Maybe you’ll get cray-cray and add some nutmeg too! And don’t forget about all the amazing benefits of cayenne! It’s a super-powered anti-inflammatory and has major detoxifying properties. I feel pretty good about drinking this!

I am so excited for Christmas…it’s almost here. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the snow… and in the meantime, I wish you and all of your families n’ friends the happiest, healthiest – jolliest holiday season.

With love…

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Posted in Food As Medicine, Recipes

The Four Agreements: Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Four Agreements is a wonderful, spiritual, self-improvement read. It’s a special book and one of my favorites. Actually, it was given to me by my now husband (magically, when I truly needed it most).

That’s the thing about him… (well, that’s a whole other post)

For those of you who are wondering, The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

At first glance, it seems too simple. I think I remember my rebellious young-self saying something like, “Easy. I got that.” But there is so much more to it than ya think. It gets real juicy.

At that point in my life, I could have written “The How-To (not live within these agreements) Guide”. But, something inside me said I wanted to try to understand the principals.  If it was coming from such a great source, there had to be more to this book than meets the eye, right?

The book was given to me years ago, but since then – I bought The Four Agreements: 48 card deck. They’re great coffee table decor, and fun to read as part of your daily routine. This morning, I needed a little refresher (and reminder!).

I happened to pull one of my favorite cards:
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Flip it over and the message reads:

 

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

 

Although those four powerful agreements seem simple, the magic happens with: awareness; the light bulb goes on – you start to see the examples and lessons. You adopt an agreement, and before you know it, the slightest shift in your thoughts ~ effects your words, actions…everything! It starts to make a whole-lotta sense. This was the beginning for me, realizing my own thoughts were polluting my brain and body. Because it’s not what others say that can harm us, it’s whether we allow it to or not. It’s how we digest it.

We have a choice. We can either be prisoners of our own mind, or we can be self-reflecting, balanced ~ beautiful creators!

Learning that has been so transformative!

I hope this has helped you in someway. If I could go back to that confused girl I used to be, I would reassure her, “Do the work. It’s all gonna work out!” I am so grateful to have been exposed to this book and many others ~ it’s been an incredible (and healing) experience.

You can check out my reading list on the Resources page.

Have a wonderful day!

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Healing Naturally: Prescribe Nutrition

Duct Tape and Bubblegum

What would life be like if we were all eating healthy, organic meals regularly?

bad foodI found myself asking this question after watching a film based on the idea that Food is Medicine. Food Matters discusses the possible ways we can heal our bodies through nutrition and questions the drug-obsessed nation we’ve become. How did we get to a place where we rely on popping a pill for every affliction? As I listened, I felt inspired and compelled to share…

The drug industry is a half trillion-dollar a year, world-wide conglomerate. Almost $300 billion in North America. This is a really, really big business. What would happen if everybody were well? There is no money in health. You see, good health makes a lot of sense…but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars. ~Andrew W. Saul (Ph.D)

This quote kinda makes sense, right? It’s a scary thought. It’s confusing to think…

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Posted in Inspiration

Thich Nhat Hanh: 5 Mindfulness Trainings

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One of my big influences has been the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh or (‘Thay’). He is a ‘zen master’ known best for his Mindfulness training’s and beliefs (among many other amazing attributes: human-rights & peace activist, noble peace prize nom from Martin Luther King Jr.).

Gratefully, I’ve had the opportunity to visit his monastery, walk in meditation with himself and the monks… and I try to keep up with the 100-something books he’s written! (Thay is now 86 years old!)

I picked up the latest issue of Shambhala Sun featuring Thay and came across a great article by Andrea Miller. “In The Country of the Present Moment” was based on Thay’s teachings of the five mindfulness trainings; a breakdown of attainable and understandable teachings of Buddhism.

Below, I’ve listed the 5 teachings and a quote from each section:

  • Reverence For Life

Protecting life – loving life starts with loving the life in ourselves and not discriminating against our own suffering, our own pain. When we don’t discriminate against the ugly things or the painful things in us, then we also learn not to discriminate against people who we believe are not very kind, not very wholesome. Discrimination is the root of the destruction of life.

  • True Happiness

True happiness is not made of fame, power, wealth or sensual  pleasure, but rather of understanding and love. The capacity to live in the here and the now allows you to recognize that you already have everything you need to be happy. You don’t need to run into the future to look for happiness.

  • True Love

It’s not: I love you, if you meet my needs…It’s about helping the person you love to be free and happy.

  • Loving Speech and Deep Listening

…(it) Involves looking deeply and honestly at yourself and improving your relationships through mindful communication… the first step is to express appreciation for the person you’re speaking to, so that you ‘water his or her good seeds’ {drawing attention to their positive qualities and helping those qualities grow stronger}.

  • Nourishment and Healing  {A little background is necessary here. This teaching talks about the other things that ‘nourish’ us…beyond literal food, we can consume energy, thoughts, etc…}

If we’re around people who have a lot of fear and anger, we’re eating the collective-consciousness food of fear and anger. But if we’re around people who are peaceful, that peace is a kind of food.

Our thoughts are sometimes not such healthy food, so to stop the stream of thinking and get in touch with what’s right here and now is nourishing. If we’re attentive, we can hear the wind in the trees and the birds singing. There are so many things to be nourished by if we are aware.

These are such great reminders! Simplified…yes…but actually applying them ~ harder to do!

Totally attainable though. 🙂 Keep reworking it.

We can rewire old, negative thought processes and habits. Give yourself some credit love…and hold space and time for growth.

♥ Loving kindness to you ♥

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Macklemore: Look In The Mirror

I’m a serious Macklemore fan. If you don’t know about this Seattle native rapper – this is a treat!

After seeing Macklemore’s ‘Tiny Desk’ npr performance, I was spellbound and filled with inspiration.

The music is so special, words really cannot do it justice ~ so I’ll just get right to the juicy stuff…

“…And I had to find out who I really was

Who I really wasn’t

So sick of who I was becoming

Yeah, tired of running

Time to look at the man in the mirror until I can learn to love him…”

Macklemore reminds me, it takes courage to face your demons. Listening to and watching Macklemore’s experiences through his music feels so intimate. Maybe it’s because I relate, or maybe it’s because he tells his personal stories so well through his emotions.

The above quote is from “Make The Money” ~ do yourself a favor n check out the performances below…

“Make The Money”

 

“The Heist” dropped in October and yes, all the songs are literally amazing. I would post all the videos if I could, but if there’s one that personifies who Macklemore is ~ this might just be the one…

“Same Love”



{nuff said}

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Quick Clean Cabbage Salad

This past week, the hubby and I headed to Portland to celebrate my big 3-0! Portland is known as innovative foodie land, and we definitely ate like queens n kings.

I’ve been known to say, “you don’t know me yet ~ but I eat a lot.” The inner foodie in me went a little cray-cray in Portlandia. I’m usually so healthy, but this trip was a special indulgence…

We had Oysters from the amazing Urban Farmer (Hama Hama, of course!)…our hotel restaurant!

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We had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, at Bamboo Sushi in the NW district (besides Nozawa, duh). On the Eastside, we checked out the biscuit obsession going on at one of their top spots: Pine State Biscuits

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I think our favorite meal was at tapas inspired Toro Bravo. It was the: ‘hour long wait was totally worth it‘ ~ kind of place. Yeah. Of course being in the foodgasm-fog I was in, I took NO photos. I was so caught up, enjoying everything in the moment. But, I will tell you that the Empanada: with cider-braised pork, cabbage & apples ~ was DIVINE!

Ok. Whew! Back on the island and after our near, food-coma… my hubby and I desperately needed a quick-clean-healthy-simple meal.

We always crave our favorite salad, which is from Shima sushi in Venice. It is a fairly simple cabbage salad with flax oil and yuzu. We’ve asked about it while visiting Shima and have since recreated it!

Cabbage is full of high doses in Vitamin C and A. There are also major antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering benefits.

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The flax oil is kinda the secret weapon here, as it’s known to help lubricate the joints and supply your Omega’s 3 & 6. Learn more here.

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Plus, this salad has powerful parsley …if you missed that post – check it out here!

Eat up!

Quick Clean Cabbage Salad:

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 1/4 c Flax Oil (from refrigerated section of health store)
  • 2 tbsp Yuzu (usually found in Asian section of store)
  • 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Roughly chop your veggies. Wisk up your oil/Yuzu mixture and toss with your salad. Sprinkle parsley throughout and season accordingly!

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*As always, you may want to play with the Yuzu/Oil amounts, as I like things more on the tart side!*

Energize! Feel great ~ all week long!! 

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Optimal Health, Recipes

Turning 30

Yup! I’m turning 30!

People say your 20’s and 30’s are about finding yourself. As I turn 30, I reflect on not just this year but even this past decade. It’s a closing of my 20’s ~ so many crazy chapters. And an opening of a whole new layer of self.

I spent most of my 20’s getting into trouble and lets face it: I was really lost and confused. I was unhappy! This was for many reasons. But at about 25, I wised up a bit. After hitting another all-time low, I had fractured my ankle…and among other things, alcohol was the main culprit. It was then that I decided to quit drinking. There was no epiphany (yet) or really any deep thought behind this. It was one of those divine interventions ~ my intuition said, “this needs to stop!”

During this time, there were so many synchronicities and factors which led me down this {new path} of healing and recovery. But, I can remember a specific moment where I knew everything was changing for me. It was during a vacation (with my now-husband) where I had finally – for the first time ever – stopped. Put all the breaks on in life and just stopped. We were in a tropical, middle-of-nowhere type of place and for the first time ever: deep self-reflection began to set in. Everything I had been ignoring and trying to cover with escapism tactics started filtering through. It was the first time I had felt a deep awareness. It was a combination of (sobering up!) slowing down, finding quietude/stillness and being in nature. This is when I felt God or ‘the Universe’ and all its magic for the first time. To this day, I’ll still never forget that feeling in my body (and mind).

I also felt happiness for the first time. Or, at least I must have had to relearn what ‘happiness’ meant….what it felt like. I felt a sense of balance. I knew I wanted more of this! I promised myself I would learn more and seek it out. This is where the true journey began. From years 25 to 30, it’s been one heck of a ride…

I found yoga, meditation, teachers and counselors which have helped along the way…

I completed a 50-mile bike race in Mexico and overcame my ‘UPPER LIMIT‘ fear of running (arthritis won’t stop me!). I visited Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery ~ prayed and walked in meditation with all of the other guests and residential monks.

I learned about ‘food as medicine‘ and discovered how we have the power to heal ourselves through nutrition and other various modalities.

I found that there is serious healing in being alone…listening, learning and developing your intuition. I learned how to love myself completely and wholly. (another great post, coming soon!)

I truly began to understand how this is our life to make. I learned that ultimately, we choose where we want to go and how we want to live. We choose what we create in life. We also choose what we don’t create (or attract).

I learned “the longest journey we make in life is from our head to our heart.”

Because these past 5 years have been really tough so transformative…. I am only that much more excited as I grow older. I am grateful I’ve been able to see & experience the lessons and grow with them.

I can only imagine what the future holds! For now, I’m just gonna celebrate getting this far and being this happy @ 30.

My plans include Portland, lots of sleep, yoga and delicious food ya’ll!
Smiley

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Super Soul Sunday Recap: Enlighten Your Life

Howdy!

I am not always a regular for Super Soul Sunday but I do love me some Oprah. Being that I love Marie Forleo and some of her other spiritual revolution buddies ~ I was excited to watch their guest spot on Super Soul Sunday this past week.

The three guests on this episode were: Marie Forleo, Mastin Kipp, and Gabrielle Bernstein. All of which, I am a fan of! These folks were presented as ‘the next-generation spiritual thinkers‘. My favorite part of the episode was when each guest talked about three ways to become more spiritual (right now!). Here’s the recap below:

Three Ways To Become More Spiritual

Gabby:

  • Become willing to know more, to learn. (invite change in!)
  • Pay attention to those ‘signs’ that we receive. (books, teachers, etc.)
  • Show up!…..and do the work.

Mastin:

  • Follow your bliss. (pay attention to those moments which light you up)
  • Take action in that direction. (and trust that you’ll be supported)
  • Ask yourself….”What can I give? How can I help others?”

Marie:

  • Find gratitude. (try starting a gratitude journal)
  • Be present. Be in the now.
  • Bring passion to everything you do. (shift your perspective & even bring passion to washing the dishes)

I loved hearing each guests point of view. These are great words of wisdom. These suggestions can be helpful in creating more spirituality, growth, & love into your life. This is also helpful for if/when you’re feeling stuck. Start somewhere, take time & space….and then, take action!

If you’re looking for a biz coach, Marie Forleo is really quite somethin’ special. I love her because she is a strong female, a leader, and one of my favs ~ authentic and comfortable with her own silly self. She will inspire you, motivate you, biz coach you and completely entertain you! Sign up for her weekly newsletters and you’ll be so happy you did.

Also, (last thing, I promise!) she’s buddies with my fav health nut Kris Carr. Check out their hilarious & delicious Crazy Sexy Kitchen video here!

Did you watch this episode of Super Soul Sunday too? What did you think of it?

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Tragedy Into Triumph

 
“Some of the most devastating things that happen to you will teach you the most.”
~ Ellen Degeneres, Tulane Commencement Speech – 2009

This post almost didn’t happen. The first hang up I experienced was the intimidation I felt about writing on something that is so personal (to me and to others). And… I am definitely not an expert. I am barely on the other side of things, looking back…and understanding how all this happiness & growth happened! Anyways, I decided to push past the fear and start writing. Then, during some really wonderful moments of clarity, I began to write with a little more ease. The next day, I realized my work was not saved. Grrr! I thought, “either I am not supposed to write this…or since it’s a challenge for me to be this transparent ~ maybe, this is a lesson.”

And so here we are!

I tend to look at most of my life experiences as lessons. Not just the silly “fear of writing” stuff ~ but the toughest moments of my life lessons as well. We all go through ‘devastation’ in our lifetime. Maybe there is a bigger reason or purpose for this. Maybe we’re supposed to learn: Compassion?…..Forgiveness?…..Love.

For me, some of these lessons I’ve been learning seem to be life’s greatest lessons. It may even be one of the reasons I am here. To go from surviving to thriving. But it’s tough to not let the experiences swallow you up. Or to let your experiences change you…leaving you with fear, self sabotage, trust issues, etc. It can be hard not to get stuck in this place.

The “real” you is free and peaceful. Light, happy and balanced. This is how we come into the world! I don’t know about you ~ but it has been my goal to get back to that inner-state.

So, what has continued to help me? A lot of healing and a lot of hard-inner-work. Sounds like no fun? In my opinion, it’s about whether you’re willing and ready to do ‘the work’ or not….. but it’s also about asking yourself ~ how bad do you want: ___________?  (Change? Happiness? Relationship? Balance? Peace? Healing?)

Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life eight years ago, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming.
~ Tony Robbins

 

 

Tony Robbins is one of my good ol’ favs. He kicks your butt into gear. There is a time for healing and gentleness. But, there’s also a time where you might want to ask yourself if you need to take action.

Doing the inner-work and being inquisitive is one of the ways we can move from ‘devastation’….or surviving, to THRIVING!

Along the way, I’ve found the below tips to be very helpful:

-Transparency: This involves being crystal clear with yourself and with others. I think this is difficult because it forces you to be vulnerable. Speaking your truth is freeing! It also allows others to understand what you’re dealing with ~ and can invite support, growth and healing.

-Community: We can’t do this alone! So, it’s helpful to have a positive community of friends, or a counselor that can be a sounding board. This can also mean getting off the couch (or outta bed) and getting into the community to volunteer. Helping others is a great way to give what you desire to gain. It feels so good to help others!

-Self Love: I think this may be the foundation for everything else in life. This means taking care of: you! It can also mean, softening that ‘little voice in your head’…the inner critic. Allowing yourself the time and space to process and heal is key. Be compassionate and patient with yourself. Try taking the time to do things that truly nourish and fulfill you. (i.e. bubble baths, hikes, journal writing, cooking, etc.)

-Healing: We’re so lucky to live in a time where ‘getting help‘ is totally normal. There are also so many incredible resources and modalities to choose from. Everyone is different, so check out any of these that pique your interest (or all!): massage, acupuncture, reiki, therapy, yoga, meditation, prayer, books…..and (duh), Oprah!  🙂

Let go. And, all is coming.

Oh…..and, always ‘Save Draft.

Lots and lots of love

 

 

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Vega Performance Protein Smoothie

I first heard about Vega during my training @ Whole Foods. Out of all the amazing nutrition options, Vega really stood out. Backed and formulated by Brendan Brazier (Professional Ironman Triathlete) – packed with natural, plant-based protein and being dairy/gluten/soy free ~ it’s an outstanding product.

“I formulated Vega using the highest quality, least processed, plant-based superfoods available. Armed with Vega, you will no longer need to compromise between whole food goodness and fast food convenience. To me, Vega is a way of life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.” ~ Brendan Brazier

Let’s check out the Performance Protein. Here’s what you’ll find on the ingredient label:

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(Proteins): savi-seed, yellow pea, sprouted whole grain brown rice, hemp, alfalfa… + branched chain amino acid complex, L-Glutamine, and a digestive enzyme blend.

In the VegaOne Nutritional Shakes, you’ll find plant proteins and impressive extras like: omegas, antioxidants, probiotics, greens, vitamins/minerals, maca, chlorella…and digestive enzymes.

NO, they didn’t leave anything out! I love the Nutritional Shakes because it’s your one-stop-shop. I am used to adding my maca and greens (live or powder) to my shakes. But, with this product ~ everything is literally already in there. These shakes tend to be a bit chalky so I do drink more of the Performance Protein.

I’ve been using the Performance Protein in my smoothie recipes for about two months now and I love it! Muscle repair is super important for me. I can tend to get achy pretty fast if I don’t replenish my system after a hard workout. This is especially true, after a Hot Yoga class. But, I also love to start my day with these smoothies because I feel full, nourished and energized till lunchtime.

Check it out!
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Vega Performance Protein – Blueberry Smoothie:

  • 1 cup of almond milk (or any other nondairy delight)
  • Handful of ice
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 1-2 handfuls of greens (kale, lettuce, spinach)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (my secret weapon ~ more on than in a future post!)

Slurp & enjoy!

Next up: I’d love to try their Recovery Accelerator!

Cheers to your beautiful health, inside and out.

Smiley

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Dare To Fail

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Parsley: My Secret Weapon For Detoxing

Having a case of the ‘acheys’ the other day, I headed out to try a supposed superhero for Arthritis and Inflammation: Parsley. I’m always looking to find out more about Anti-Inflammatory foods. And, if you’re like me, some of the most powerful plants seem to taste a bit bitter or strong. So, how can we incorporate these into our diet?

I think I found a great parsley solution! Its inspired by a vegan pesto that I love making.
{Dang! I still need to post that!} Swap out the sweet basil for some kickass powerful parsley ~ and we got ourselves a new detoxing dressing! Ok, more about this in a minute – but first…

If these nutritional facts about parsley don’t knock your socks off, well…..

It’s A Cancer Fighter: parsley has an organic compound called ‘myristicin’ that inhibits tumor formation and helps fight against oxidized molecules (i.e. it’s an antioxidant). Myristicin can also neutralize carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. Myristicin’s tumor fighting front is typically the lungs.”

Anti-Inflammatory Action: the aforementioned luteolin and Vitamin C also helps to reduce inflammation. When regularly consumed, these two nutrients combat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.”

Bone Building: Just a two tablespoons serving of parsley provides over 153% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps to synthesis osteocalcin which builds our bones. Vitamin K also prohibits the build-up of calcium deposits assisting us in the fight against atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart disease.”

Boo ya!

Anything with PARSLEY is cleansing. So, if you don’t want to stick it into a smoothie ~ top your salad or dish with it, then you can try this delicious dressing:

Things You’ll Need:

  • Parsley (handful)
  • 1/8 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • Lemon (1-2 slices squeezed)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1-2 tbls Purified Water

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I think it’s important to use high quality ingredients. Watch out for GMO’s and pesticides. I have read, and personally heard many cases in which these toxins have created disease and wreaked havoc on our lovely lil bodies. So, try to choose Organic and non-GMOwhen possible.

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You may want to experiment with the ingredient amounts, as I like things very lemony. Play and add to your liking.

We got this mortar & pestle as a gift, so I wanted to try it out. But, you can use a blender or food processor too. Either way, get to grinding!

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EXTRAS:

-I added the dressing over rice and topped it with some veggie sausage + avo. You can really use this dressing on anything: quinoa, noodles, salad, chicken, etc. It’s so tasty!!

-If you wanted a thicker dressing, add in some AVO for a creamy texture. If you’re shooting for a pesto, then add in the avo + nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, etc.

-Add in red chili pepper flakes for a little heat.

Make it fun! Because I know some of you won’t eat your greens unless ya can’t taste em. 🙂

Learn more about Parsley here @ World’s Healthiest Foods.com

Cheers to your health ~ live long and strong, people ♥

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Shifting Fear Into Gratitude

I’ve talked a little about fear, here on MBS. In the process of working through my fears, I had a breakthrough I thought would be useful to share.

Whether you’re feeling: fear of failure, fear of judgement, or a fear that’s been created from something in the past… I think we all experience fear, sometime or another.

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Coincidentally, I watched “Peaceful Warrior” the day before I had some of my own ‘fear’ come up. I started thinking about our fears and how to deal with them when they arise. Peaceful Warrior is an inspiring movie and some of the lines quotes really got me thinking.

“There are no ordinary moments.”

The idea behind this quote is that every moment is sacred and beautiful…and if we’re not in the NOW, we’re missing out on these moments.

It dawned on me that this theory can be applied to our ‘fear’ as well. When fear comes up for me, it usually arrives in a worry-some thought or anxious feeling. The mind-chatter goes wild…and we are no longer in the present moment.

Then I thought about the quote again…

What about this:
Instead of allowing negative or fearful mind-chatter to take over, try refocusing your thoughts and attention on the things you’re grateful for.

Cuz, if you really think about it – we’re all so lucky to be: healthy, safe, alive…..
Fill in the blank _________

Everyday, every moment ~ there are examples.
The rain… The huge maple leaves falling from the trees… a friend/partners beautiful smile…

I loved this quote too:

“You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”

I think fear relates to vulnerability as well. If we open our hearts and look within, we can learn so much. If we open our hearts to others, we can create: expansion ~ growth ~ love.

“The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”

This movie reminded me of the magic in life and the significance of being in the present moment. One way we can do this is to start a Gratitude Journal. Jotting down the things you’re thankful for will bring you into the now and shift you into a positive perspective.

Shedding light on your thoughts and fears can clear away darkness…

So, open your heart to your fear. Give love to your fear. Listen to it. What is it saying?

It’s only fitting that I leave with this:

~ I am grateful for you.
~ I am grateful for my teachers.
~ I am grateful for being able to share this.

P.S. I’d love to hear your experiences and/or info you think might be helpful.

Lots of gratitude and…..LOVE!

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Healthy Hearty Fall Recipe: Brussels Avo Salad (Part 2)

Here we are in Part 2 ~ discovering the delicious Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado & Pumpkin Seeds (adapted from Whole Living Magazine). This dish pairs amazingly well with the Creamy Farro (Part 1). If you missed that post, you can find it here.

They look like mini cabbage!

This is an easy, 6 ingredient recipe!! You can peel the Brussels leaves while talking, singing, or even drinking a nice glass of what-have-you. I’m serious. I’m not a chef and I rarely perform heavy-duty, complicated recipes (Skip on the other hand…). 😉

Chopping off the end a bit helps you peel these suckers…

I didn’t think I’d be a fan of Brussels Sprouts, merely based on the overall general consensus. But, they won me over with this raw, clean, citrusy dish. I also want to add: the Creamy Farro & this Brussels dish would be a fantastic addition to any holiday meal…including Thanksgiving.

Creamy, zesty, crunchy ~ goodness!

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado & Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Directions:

-Whisk lemon zest, juice and mustard in a small bowl.
-Gradually add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.
-Toss dressing with brussels sprout leaves and pumpkin seeds. Gently stir in avocado and adjust seasoning.
-Add the last of your zest over salad.

*serves 6*

I hope you enjoy creating and eating these dishes as much as I did. 🙂
Leave comments, ideas, suggestions below!

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Healthy Hearty Fall Recipe: Creamy Farro (Part 1)

I love grocery shopping. I don’t know if it’s all the food choices or just the fact that I can finally afford to cook fun recipes with exotic ingredients.

I’m just a happy camper in the grocery store. And on a day that hasn’t gone your way…a new delicious recipe can turn things around. Sometimes, that’s all ya need.

Im pretty obsessed with the magazines: Whole Living & Sunset. So when I received the November issue of WL ~ the words “Healthy Seasonal Delicious” literally jumped out & danced around me. I was just telling Skip I’d like to beef up my fall recipes…

Inside, I found an amazing recipe using Farro. This would be a new experience for me. This grain can get confused in various regions as spelt or barley. Call them cousins, if you will. Farro is usually cooked similarly to risotto, but actually remains crunchy when finished. Almost nutty. Not me. The Farro!!

Mostly because of my sensitivities, I rarely cook with gluten wheat. Once in awhile, if the recipe’s worth it, then I give it a go. Plus, I knew the other WL recipe I had found would pair perfectly with the Farro: yummy fresh brussels sprout avocado salad! (Brussels…..another newbie for me!)

I’m not sure if it was the wine, but this was a pretty relaxing recipe experience! While the Farro was a simmerin’ ~ I had time to peal the brussel sprout leaves (you’ll git the hang of it). But that was done pretty quickly and with the left over time, I started writing this posting. 🙂

Seasoned and ready for baking…

Golden & crisp!

Adapted from Whole Living Magazine, I did change a few things which are noted below.

It was said to serve 6. Maybe we eat a lot but it seemed to serve more like 3.

Creamy Farro with Wild Mushrooms:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup organic Farro
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock or veggie stock
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces wild mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used button Crimini)
  • Red-pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch spinach (10 ounces), stemmed or Kale
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Parmesan, plus more for serving

    Directions:
    -In a medium to large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.-Add farro, stirring until toasted, 1 minute.-Add wine and reduce by half.

    -Add stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender and creamy, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and cover to keep warm.

    -Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Roast, stirring once, until crisp and golden, 20 to 22 minutes.

    -Warm farro over medium heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and Parmesan. Top with additional Parmesan.

    **Tips**
    -Chop all veggies and do all prep work ahead.
    -If you’re oven heats easily or is a new oven, your mushrooms may not need as much cooking time.
    -I added red pepper flakes to Farro (last 5 minutes of cooking) instead.

    Because this is such a large post, the Brussels Sprout Salad with Avo will be next, in Part 2.

    ♥ Happy Cooking! ♥

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Inspiration In Action: Shayn Almeida

Today, I ran into Shayn Almeida @ where?……yes, Cafe Gratitude. I’m aware ~ this place is becoming a problem for me.
Smiley

Shayn is a yogi and works with Seane Corn as her assistant. I’m so happy we got to talking! I’m even more thrilled about being able to interview him…

  • Check it: Shayn Almeida
  • Inspiration In Action: Yoga, DJ
  • Location: Venice, CA
  • Quote: “Let yourself be drawn by the silent, stronger, pull of that which you truly Love.” ~ Rumi

What inspires you?

Seane Corn talks a lot about ‘working with the shadow’. While working with Seane, what have you learned about this and what is your point of view?

What tools for transformation have you used or have found helpful?

BONUS VIDEO: What are you working on right now?

You can find out more about Shayn at: DjShayn.com

His new site is coming soon: VinyasaPower.com

~I’m still working out sound issues, but thanks for bearin’ wit me!~

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Inspiration In Action: Travis Eliot

I’m so excited to be introducing the: Inspiration In Action interview series to my blog! I have always been connected to and fascinated by intuition and inspiration. I love connecting with others and especially, learning about what lights the fire within.

It’s only natural I document this and share it! And….of course, it’s super fun!

This is my way of spreading the love and the stories of people who’ve inspired me. I hope you enjoy this ~ as I’ve had a blast with IIA, in the making.

  • Check it: Travis Eliot
  • Inspiration In Action: Yoga & Ayurveda
  • Location: Santa Monica, CA
  • Quote: “What you think about, you bring about.”

What is one major source of inspiration for you? Why?

What is one of your favorite yoga poses and why?


What is one of your go-to super foods you rely on and why?

You can find out more about Travis on his site: www.traviseliot.com

You’ll find info on his yoga classes; local and throughout the US ~ as well as his retreats and DVD’s.

Dancing Happy Star
Thanks for checking us out! More Inspiration In Action interviews coming soon…

Lots of ♥

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Road Trip: Sequim

Feeling fall round’ the corner, I felt antsy to get out in nature and enjoy these last sunny crisp days. I say “last” because I can only anticipate rain is on the way, as we’ve had something-like 70 days without it. A little bit of an indian summer here in Seattle. Whatever it is, I like it! 🙂

I cant believe I haven’t visited the Olympic National Park yet. But, with all the traveling and our wedding ~ you can’t fit it all in. I knew I wasn’t feeling up to hiking in the Olympics but I was definitely up for something mellow. Still figuring out all this inflammation stuff, I was feeling rundown and a bit achey….even fighting off a “could-be” cold. Though, I knew a little time in nature would help.

So, I started researching – looking for nearby outdoor adventures, and realized Skip and I hadn’t been to Sequim. It’s a small town on the NE side of the Olympic National Park…and I found it by coming across the Dungeness Spit. The Dungee Spit is the longest natural spit in all the US and is part of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. But, first- I’m sure you’re asking, “what the heck is a spit?” A spit is a large piece of sand revealed by water in a lower tide. Kinda like a sandbar…?
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Well, anyways, you can walk this incredible spit for 5.5 miles and at the end you’ll find a beautiful lighthouse. Maybe it’s the dork in me (obviously it is)…but this means walking out in the middle of the ocean for 5.5 miles on this little piece of sand strip. The spit! So neat. 🙂

So, we set out to find this sand spit…and headed toward Sequim. Somewhere along the way (thank you technology!), I found out there was a farm festival. It included 6 local Sequim farms, including the Dungeness Creamery and all organic Nash’s Farm (both which I was really excited about)! I read up on both the farms and was really impressed.

We arrived to Sequim and drove straight to Nash’s Farmstore. You can call it a Farmstore but really it’s like a natural market. The produce section was huge! A cute girl who moved from Solana Beach to Sequim (wearing a Mitch’s sweatshirt!!!!), helped us around the store. There were also products from Dungeness Creamery available, along with products from other farms (lavender & honey is big there as well). This is a great spot to pack up some goodies and head out on a picnic. 🙂

The Solana Beach gal also mentioned Port Angeles surfing. So, we of course needed to see it. About 25 minutes down the highway, we found little Port Angeles. We practically stumbled upon this natural food-to-go spot. So, why not?
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We had delicious gluten free sandwiches and an organic green veggie salad. There were lots of vegan/vegetarian options and the to-go spot had lots of healthy crackers, bars, snacks, nuts, cookies, etc. Really a neat find. We need more of these EVERYWHERE!!

Next, we headed back to Sequim…and visited the Dungeness Creamery & finally the Dungee spit…
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The creamery had a great farmstore, full of their raw milk products…
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I’ll have to post later on my experimentation with Raw Milk and it’s benefits. I have been blown away by my bodies positive reactions towards this.

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Sequim isn’t very big, so finding your way around is easy. The creamery is literally 5 minutes from the Dungeness Spit. After entering the park, there’s a large parking lot and plenty of signage & tourist info. Getting to the actual spit requires some trail walking…

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It’s a quick jot through the forrest and you arrive at some pretty spectacular scenery…
Out there on the spit, it’s a trip because you’re literally facing and looking at Canada. It’s pretty much the ocean border, and you can see Victoria!
There is also major wildlife to spy; over 250 various bird species & 41 species of land mammals!

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Heading back to the car, we spotted some garbage decomp info. Good to know!!
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Super fun trip and a great way to clear your head. To stop the daily “go, go, go” and take a beat. A short distance from Bainbridge Island…and would be great to turn into a weekend getaway, I’m sure. Maybe that’ll be next on the list 😉

I’ll leave you with a tid bit more info…

FUN FACT about Sequim:
“Sequim lies within the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains and receives on average less than 15 inches (380 mm) of rain per year—about the same as Los Angeles, California.” (Wikipedia)

Until the next time….lots of love to nature & lots of love to you ♥

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Cafe Gratitude: Cucumber Melon Gazpacho

While visiting LA a couple weeks ago, I was excited to stop into the new Venice ~ Cafe Gratitude. I can’t say enough about the amazing creations @ this restaurant. And that’s what they are: art!…beautiful, thoughtful, vegan items that you just can’t help but feel healthier after experiencing. The whole restaurant is just that too…an experience.
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Inside, you can pick up their super popular cook book, house-made flax crackers, posh hippie “Love” glass bottles and much more. I want to try all of their juices, smoothies, salads, entrees….DESSERTS ~ all made with veggie love. I think it’s an amazing effort and an inspiration for healthy foodies.
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I ordered the “I Am Adventurous” a delicious gazpacho made with cucumber and melon. I tried to eat (or slurp) slowly, but I cleaned the bowl pretty quickly. Trust me. Its.That.Good.

I also ordered the “I Am Fortified” which is a delicious grain bowl filled with brown rice or quinoa, fresh veggies + kale + yummy sauce of choice. (I had the sesame-ginger which was out of this world!) This was really satisfying and clean.
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Repeat this experience a couple more times (add in my seriously tasty date/maca smoothie) and you’ll have the highlight of my LA trip. Cafe Gratitude.
(check out the adorable to-go boxes)
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Back home, island livin this week…I felt a gazpacho craving creepin up outta nowhere! I decided to recreate the chilled soup with a little bit of my personal flavor ~ this is what I came up with:

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I love that this recipe is quick, simple and clean. Not to mention mmmmmm 😉

Throw your chopped items in da blender and give it a whirl.

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I think you’ll be delighted!

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       Cucumber Melon Gazpacho:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup of honeydew melon, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 4+ mint leaves (depending on your desired flavor)
  • drizzle of organic extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt

Enjoy ~ with lots of love,
Alexis

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Bainbridge Island Summer

As these sunny long days wind down, I find myself thinking about this first summer on Bainbridge and how wonderful it has been. I love this island: the small town feel, the gourmet eats, the friendly folks and of course the beautiful beach stretches.

I thought it’d be fun to share my favorite, top 10’s of the summer…

1.) Boat camping/Blake Island- If you’re visiting the island, this is possible too. And actually, I am cheating here a bit. Boat camping on Bainbridge is great but because we live here ~ we decided to venture out to Blake Island. Although I could write a whole posting on this, I’ll leave you with the basics. You can also get to Blake by cruise boat via Argosy (departs from downtown). Either way, there are plenty things to check out: the Salmon Bake, the greeting deer, the trail walks and of course, the beaches.

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2.) Bike on Crystal Springs Dr- This is an easy, flat, picturesque path to ride or walk on. Biking is huge here in Seattle ~ a big difference from CA. I’ve noticed the general respect for bikers ~ this is definitely the case on Crystal Springs…and on Bainbridge.

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3.) Pier jump- Nuff’ said!

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(Check out piers @: Hidden Cove or Crystal Springs)

4.) Blueberry picking- This was a super fun thing to do as a couple…fun for kids and the fam too! The owner talked to us a little about the different varieties and tastes. There was also a flower garden to pick from (great prices!). We picked away and the very next morning, enjoyed the berries in our pancakes!

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5.) Walk the sprawling pristine beaches- I’m pretty biased when it comes to this! Our house is on the east side of the island, facing Mt. Baker and downtown Seattle. We have one of the only sandy stretches and it’s just divine!! I believe there is public access on Grand Ave or Ferncliff Ave.

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6.) Farmers Market- It’s a quaint island-farmers market, but the produce is high quality. The island band plays & it’s not to be missed! (see #7) At the last market I picked up some raw honey! (which is hard to come by). It’s said to be incredible as a natural antibacterial…and it’s dang good on my morning oatmeal. 😉

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7.) Hang with the locals (First Friday Art Walk!)- Its fun to walk down Winslow, from shop to shop. Most of the store owners have wine…and you might run into this: (does it get better?!)

Just islanders, bein islanders!

8.) Watch the Sunset- Any spot on the westside of the island is great for this. (crystal springs sunset ride anyone?)

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9.) Boat, Kayak or Paddleboard- I…just……need….a couple more days to do this!!!! I can’t get enough! It’s fun, calming and active. You can rent all water toys in the marina. This is me, having way too much fun @ our post wedding BBQ!

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10.) Bloedel- I may have saved the best for last! (although, who’s kidding – I can’t choose!) These beautiful gardens are such a treat on the island. With wonderful walking paths, spectacular views, and a neat history…well, I don’t want to spoil anything. Just GO!

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I’d love to hear about your adventures…and of course send in any questions you may have!!

Get out there….AND PLAY!!

P.S.- Don’t even get me started on the food here……!
(coming soon)

😉

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Wedding Bliss…..The Mr. & Mrs.

August 11th 2012, I married my best friend and true partner. I feel so incredibly grateful…

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This summer has been busy ~ to say the least. The wedding planning alone is way more work than ya think (it really does take over, even if you aim for a simple wedding!) 😉

I’m so inspired by Pinterest! It’s really a fun tool….especially for a wedding.
I had so much fun getting crafty with the invites! (Kraft paper with gold stamp)
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Sweet menu design…..and a delicious Northwest summer spread!

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Some of my favorite details were the ridiculous cupcakes & dessert bar from my lovely sis-in-law @ Trophy Cupcakes!! We also had fun with the guest gifts:

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I’m still gushing over the amazing post-wedding BBQ we had on our beach…
Oysters, paddle boards, friends, fam & sun!!!! C’mon!! ♥

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Weddings can be stressful. I say: enjoy everything (even the crazy moments), be in the moment and remember ‘who‘ that special day is about.

What were your favorite moments of summer?

Love, sun & gratitude…

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Posted in Inspiration, Optimal Health

Indulging…the healthy way! (Crab Endive)

Good afternoon y’all-

Skip is sick, it’s raining and it’s my day off……perfect timing to cook up some delicious things! I’ve been craving some not so healthy items this week. With the wedding coming up – I’ve really been trying to keep it clean.

If you know me though, I don’t believe in depriving oneself.

So, I’ll indulge!…….and do it the healthy way at home 😉

We’ve been searching for wedding appetizers…you know, a tiny bite with pizzazz. I saw Giada De Laurentiis do a crab endive salad and was inspired. I tweaked it a lil to our liking:

The goodies:
-Crab
-Endive
-Apple cider vinegar
-EVOO
-Dijon Mustard
-Lemon
-Avo
-S&P

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Add all your wet ingredients & wisk…

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Hold that thought. I’m starring at the fresh baguette on my counter. Well, its starring at me. I have an extra large box of basil and I realize I need to make a pesto crostini. But of course. 😉

Although I don’t usually eat gluten ~ remember, this is an “I’m indulging” post.

Now, then. For the pesto: throw in some basil, pine nuts or walnuts in my case…add the EVOO & spin. I add in avocado for a creamier pesto. MMMmm.

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Its crazy up in this biatch.

Ok, slice up your baguette. Brush it with EVOO & toast in the oven for a few.

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Go back to your crab dressing…give it a wisk. Add your crab into the mix and gently toss. I can’t help but add avo here – look! So gorgeous!!

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Spoon the crab mix into your cute little endive boats.

Dress your crostini & why not top em’ off with a little feta?

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These are definitely contenders! Crisp, light, fresh & totally satisfying.

Cozying up for a movie. Hearts & tummy’s are full!

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Posted in Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Recipes

“Get Coached” – Are You Ready?

I promised I would post more on Victor 1’s: GET COACHED…and here we are! These DVD’s offer some of the best NFL coaches, motivating you ~ in the various areas of your life. We all need guidance…we all need inspiration!

Although I’m a fan of all the Get Coached NFL DVD’s ~ Sean Payton is my favorite. The first time I watched it, he really got me thinking. I asked myself, the questions he was asking…

* * What actionable strategy can you take ~ that will enable you to achieve your ultimate goals? * *

It’s all about Momentum.

Word.

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Quotes

Beach Workout 1

I really cannot remember back to when my ‘beach workout’ obsession began. I think it started due to the fact that after I quit competitive gymnastics, I was bored with the gym and regular workouts.

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🙂 Embarrassing yes, but starting athletics early on had a major, positive influence in my life.

After years and years of ass-kicking training, I needed something new. Bottom line: you have to find what works for you.

Bringing together my love for the outdoors and exercise = me feelin’ gooooood, centered, energized and healthy! So…obviously, I want to share what I’ve discovered!

Being an athlete, I’m inspired by sports in general. Football being a BIG one. Through my fiance’ Skip’s: Get Coached‘ NFL DVD’s, I’ve learned more about what great leaders the coaches are. More on this later ~ because I can’t wait to rev you up! 😉

That being said, I like to bring a little bit of everything into my beach workouts. I like to incorporate other sports & their trainings. It’s all about making it fresh & fun. On any given day, you might see me on the sand: (although, I don’t recommend watching ~ but there is a method to my madness!!) dancing, sprinting, doing football drills, dropping down for push-ups, yoga-ing, imaginary rope jumping…etc.

Some of my cross-fit/circuit training-inspired moves have come from a special place I was able to train at (cough: get my ass-kicked at) with this guy below: Navy SEAL, Logan Hood (bad muther f’r).

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We did anything from box jumps to burpies, to kettle bell squats & rowing.

A lot of these exercises can be transferred and used in the outdoors…and on the beach. Where I live on Bainbridge Island, there is a lot of driftwood (logs). This is a perfect tool for workouts like: push-ups, step-ups, and lifted squats.

Really…..just get creative. But don’t hurt yourself! And, by any means, get yourself a trainer too 😉

So, today – I’ll leave you with one simple move:

* Lock into your Push Up position: flat back, shoulders over your hands, tighten your core.

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* Lower down into your Push Up: (optional) keeping elbows in @ ribcage, core strong… push back up.

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* Open up into Side Plank: stack your feet on top of each other, keeping your alignment- turn open, lift your arm and stretch to the sky. Lifting the leg is a bonus.

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Regarding the reps, find what works for you. Our bodies are all different and they’re at different places in our workout regime. I don’t really keep too much track of reps…but I usually start out a new exercise doing: 12 reps @ 3 sets. Holding plank or side plank for 15-30 seconds is a great place to start.

Go sweat!

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Posted in Inspiration, Optimal Health, Physical Activity

Detox Day 3 ~ Rejuvenate, Restore, Relax

Today is a complete chill out, relaxation day for me. After Hot Yoga last night (and it definitely kicked my butt), my body needs to ‘just be’ today. It’s a perfect day for this – as it’s incredibly nice outside here on Bainbridge Island (our lil suburb of Seattle). 🙂

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I started this morning out eating a delicious Grapefruit (and some oats from yesterdays recipe). In celebration of summer approaching (I love all the fruits!), I’ve filled our fridge full of my favs.

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Grapefruit is off the charts in Vitamin C levels! It’s also helpful to eat fruits containing Lycopene on days where you’ll be soakin up the sunshine, aka Vitamin D. It’s replenishing! Ahhhh. You feel me?

One more thing to add. I pulled together a cabbage salad for lunch but since my brain is on v-a-c-a, I forgot to take any pics. Whoopsie. It’s kinda one of those ‘throw everything ya got in’ type-a-salads. Just go with it….

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CHOP IT UP’!
-cabbage
-apple
-cucumber
-red pepper (or any will do)
-red onion
-almonds

I rely on Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Vinegar for a quick, easy, healthy dressing. Nuthin fancy. I used Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon for its detoxing properties and of course a lil S&P.

Do it!

Off to the first boat ride of the summer. Its officially, exactly 60 days till our wedding! Aww yeah.

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Optimal Health, Recipes

Detox Breakfast, Day 2

Good morning y’all! Yesterday was a nice transition into this detox. I’m feelin good!

I’ve done cleanses and detox programs before, but one thing to remember: everyone is different and therefore their needs, metabolism, sensitivities, etc. – are going to vary as well.

Bio-individuality, as Integrative Nutrition calls it.

That being said, depriving myself or going too extreme doesn’t work well with me. So, although I am trying to cut out: Dairy, Meat, Sugar, & Wheat – I’ve been making sure I snack (healthfully) if I need to and….if I need a piece of cacao…then that’s ok too. 😉

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(sparingly though – and a high % of dark, organic cacao is a good choice)

So, I started off this morning with a Crazy Sexy Diet smoothie: Green Guru
-avocado
-romaine leaves
-cucumber
-E3Live
-coconut water or purified water
-banana (or pear)
-stevia to taste

*I substituted the below:*
-no stevia (although, maybe I’ll add it in next time – whew!)
-I haven’t gotten my E3Live, so I added my HealthForce ‘Vitamineral Greens‘ & ‘MacaForce
-I used water
-I used banana

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This is a thick and creamy smoothie because of the yummy avocado. But, I knew I was going to need a little more energy for my Hot Yoga class later. So, I went with one of my favorite, usual suspects!

Oats + nuts + berries!

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The cooking is similar to rice, where you do 1 cup oats & 1.5 cups water.
-After it boils, give it a stir (and I like to add a little almond milk & cinnamon)

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-Let it sit on low till it seems creamy and dreamy! 😉
-Add toppings!

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Ok, off to sweat my buns off!!

Namaste and lots of love to you… ♥

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Optimal Health, Recipes

Back To Blogging…(and doing what I love)!

Well, hello WordPress and…..anyone…who’s still….out there?!

I took a little hiatus. Life and work has been a bit challenging. Then again, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering a new island (yes, we’ve island hopped to Bainbridge!) and I’m a lucky gal, as I’m now engaged!!

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So, with work finished for the year, I’ve cleared some space and time…. and, I am back!

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I knew the first thing I needed to do was a detox. Out with the old and in with the new! Goodbye mucus, germs & nasties – Helllllo beautiful bloggers 😉 Ever needed a refresher? A cleansing of stale, stagnant energy? Or maybe you just need to get in tip-top-shape (for a wedding, maybe??) Ha! Who really needs an excuse anyhow. Let’s get healthy people!

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I know, I know ~ this is Day 1. But, I am feeling alive and healthier than ever. I had been prepping a bit prior to today, so that the transition wasn’t so harsh. Re-reading my ultimate fav, Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Diet” ~ has also pumped me up and inspired me to get rebalanced.

I started the morning off with a Berry Green smoothie:

-Almond Milk (unsweetened)
-Blueberries
-Strawberries
-Spinach
-Hemp seeds
-Ground Flax

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Im drinking lots of lemon water as well…and plan to get outdoors – sunshine! Ahhhh.

I’d love to hear recipes, suggestions and anything else you guys got!

Lots of love to you!

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Posted in Cleanse, Food As Medicine, Optimal Health, Recipes

Healthy Snacks

After taking some time off this summer, I’m officially back to work. And, what a transition! It’s interesting how quickly we can loose our self-care routine. After just two weeks, I’m feeling completely wiped out and exhausted. Time for a wake up call!! 🙂

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This summer, I learned a lot about: health, healing, nourishment……and cooking! I found that the greatest wealth IS health. When making changes in your life, creating new healthy habits ~ its tough to stay on track.

How quickly I found myself abandoning my healthy routines, like: making time to shop for and pack healthy snacks. We need energy and fuel to propel us throughout our day. Balancing these healthy habits while working can be challenging, but with a little planning ~ it’s definitely possible!

So, I researched and revamped some old snacks. I created a list of ideas and wanted to share it with you…

*All snacks are Gluten Free / Dairy Free*

  • Almond Butter and apple
  • Almond Butter and celery
  • Hummus and carrots
  • Hummus and cucumbers
  • Hummus and Udi’s gluten free toast
  • Cucumber slices and dill
  • Frozen edamame (defrost evening before, add salt or tamari)
  • Nori Sheets (see picture below!)
  • Avocado (yes, bring a whole avo and cut it @ work. Save 1/2 if need be.)
  • Raisins
  • Nuts & Seeds (Almonds, Brazil, Pumpkin, Sunflower)
  • Lara Bars (fruit and nuts only-all natural)
  • Low Glycemic fruit (grapefruit, pears, apples, plum). *Best eaten on empty stomach.*

This Blog actually helps me along my healthy journey. It serves as a reminder, a purpose to keep researching- learning, growing and sharing. Thank you for allowing me to do this!

Have any delicious snacks to add? Please comment!

Happy snacking!

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Posted in Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health

Quote of the day…

“Being truly here is very important — being here for yourself and for the ones you love. Fortunately, being here is not a difficult thing to accomplish. It is enough to breathe, and let go of thinking or planning. Just come back to yourself, concentrate on your breath, and smile. You are here, body and mind together. You are here, you are completely alive. That is a miracle.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh from “You Are Here”

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Quotes

Hello, Fear.

A little friend who like’s to pop up from time to time ~ decided to stop in for an extended visit. So, I thought I would spend some more time on this…

Fear can come in many shapes and sizes. It can translate into various emotions, and it can ‘come up’ in the most bizarre ways. Sometimes, a fear of snakes…is just a fear of snakes. But, in my opinion, “stuff” comes up for a reason and it gives us a good opportunity to take a look at it. I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to look the other way. I’m ready to understand this more!

Recently, I reached out to my teacher asking for some guidance on this topic: fear. She said something that struck a chord and has stuck with me ever since…

“Fear is just recycled energy. This is not your energy…this is someone else’s energy……let’s see if you can give it back.”

Thinking about it, it made sense. For me, personally…this was true. I could literally think of the person(s) that embodied this negative, fearful, anxious energy. I could see how in-a-way, they had transferred their energy to me. I don’t blame them…and I don’t believe they were conscious of this.

It might sound a little new-agey, but if you open up to it…

This resonates with me, especially when thinking about early childhood. At a young age, we’re sponges…and sensitive little beings. Young or old, I can see how we pick up on different ideas, theories, programming…..energies.

 

Summary from our discussion & tips I picked up on:

  • Try to understand how you’re feeling. What emotions arise?
  • Being loving and compassionate towards ourselves as we unravel these emotions and thoughts are important as well.
  • Try journaling  ~ it can be fun and helpful.
  • Fear can bring you into the past & out of the present moment. Try Mindfulness Practices like: Breathing Exercises, to bring you back to into the present. (More on that later, in another Post!)
  • Create some Affirmations to release old programming/energies. (Thoughts are super powerful! Change your thoughts, change your life!). Some examples below…

        – I release these recycled energies back into the Universe.

       – I don’t have to be afraid anymore. I am safe.

       – Breathing in, I feel peace and love.

 It’s not always easy to do this type of investigative work…but I believe that the benefits are immeasurable. Onward and upward you courageous thing, you.

 Sending lots of love ♥

 

 

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Posted in Affirmation, Inspiration, Meditation, Optimal Health, Quotes

Stop And Smell The Roses

I’m learning about all the ways to nourish yourself, find inner peace…and incorporate balance into your life.

Sometimes you gotta just -stop- and smell the roses, so to speak. When we slow down, we create time and space for ourselves…to grow, to experience the wonderment of life ~ to flourish!

This weekend, see if you can create some time for a hobbie or a passion of yours. Or maybe this will be a time for something you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t gotten around to doing.

I absolutely love nature…but I also LOVE photography. So, I decided I would bust out my camera and capture one of the sweetest things about summer: flowers!!

 

What are some things you love to do? What sparks your creativity?

 

What fun thing could you do for hours and hours on end…not knowing where the time went?

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Posted in Inspiration, Optimal Health

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