Dear Quinoa, I Love You!

I can’t believe I just discovered quinoa, 3 months ago. Where has this amazing grain been my whole life? ūüôā

I’m smitten with quinoa…for a bunch of different reasons:

  • It’s gluten free, wheat free, dairy free.
  • It’s loaded with protein;¬†this means it’s¬†a great vegetarian meal option.
  • A¬†relative to leafy green veggies like spinach; quinoa is a sacred,¬†“ancient grain” ~¬† once considered “the gold of the Incas.”
  • ¬†Studies show, quinoa has been helpful for people who suffer from migraines, as it contains an abundant source of: magnesium (as well as iron, copper, & phosphorus).
  • It’s easy to make and versatile ~ it practically goes well with anything.

I’ve been eating quinoa at least 3 times a week now, including some lunches. Below are a couple pairing ideas. You can find cooking directions on the quinoa box, internet;¬†or listed below. Enjoy!!

  • Cooking instructions: 1 cup quinoa = 1 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to warm/low for about 10-13 minutes. Fluff & eat!
  • TIP: make a double batch and save some for tomorrow’s work-lunch!

You can start with a nice foundation of cooked, plain Quinoa + then add toppings/pairings later…

Adding raw veggies (i.e. tomato, red onion, avo, cucumber)¬†keeps¬†the dish¬†really clean; giving you lasting energy…

Or saute’ up some veggies (i.e. green beans, sweet onion, peas, zucchini) for a heartier ~ cozier meal.

Lastly, one of my favorites: Pesto Quinoa. I found a DEEElicious, healthy way to make pesto. I omit the parmesan; but it somehow still tastes like the reg pesto.¬†This was such a great discovery ~¬†it earned it’s own Blog posting (coming soon!).

Happy grains + greens people!

 

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Posted in Cleanse, Farm to Table, Food As Medicine, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Recipes

Sweet Summer Days on Vashon Island: Pink Salmon

Apparently, this is the summer of learning. I feel like I am at adult summer camp! ūüėČ Something special happens here in August. It’s so special, that it only happens every 2 years…only in August.¬† ūüôā

It’s the run of the Pinks! Usually, I don’t share stories as ‘exciting‘ as ones involving fish/fishing (haa ha). This is definitely worth sharing though…and I think you’ll be surprised too!

These Pink Salmon have quite the journey: once they hatch in freshwater streams and rivers, they begin their migration. They head out to the ocean, sometimes travelling 1,000 miles or more.¬†Pinks tend to¬†live a¬†strict 2 year life cycle. Once they reach the 2 year-marker, they’re sexually mature. They then¬†return to¬†the original waters where they were hatched!¬†Once the Pink’s lay their eggs, they die a few days after.

So, this is their journey. I found this so interesting ~ because they’re not so different than us, really. We have our purpose; our journey, no matter how long or difficult ~ boulders or blessings. We live, we die ~ this is our journey. The Pink’s have a purpose as well ~ and such a unique journey.

In this region, the Pink’s original waters, or home – is the Puyallup¬†Rivier. This is about¬†10 miles away from Vashon Island; and for whatever reason, they travel through here on their way home. Biologists expect about 5 MILLION this year…

The red dots represent the Pink Salmon path, from Vashon to the Puyallup River.

Of course, somehow we (Universe)¬†chose this house to live in…and our beach is the prime spot for “The Run of The Pinks!” Everyday now, we wake up and have small fishing boats and looky-lous. We’re talking early-risers…..6am! It’s fascinating to watch the Pink’s feed. They’ll jump up into the air for bugs…splash around. People who have been fishing for years & years always say, “I’ve never seen anything like this!?”

The Pink Salmon Derby¬†is comin’ up…I’ll report back. Until then, check out this video of them in action!

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Sweet Summer Days on Vashon Island: Crabbin’

The funny thing is, I never really liked Crab ~ until I had it fresh!! Often, restaurants serve imitation Crab. Lucky for us, we get to¬†enjoy this delicacy within hours of catching it! Check out the video’s and pics below…

Apparently, sometimes you ‘catch’ starfish as well. Gotta throw those back, as well as the female crabs. I’ll spare you with the ‘cooking’ and everything in between…that’s a whole other type of Blog posting. Let’s cut to the salad…

I kept the salad simple. Adding citrus and avocado is great with any seafood. Grapefruit is a favorite ~ super yummy and super healthy.¬† ūüôā

I learned a new trick: segmenting! Once you segment citrus, you will never go back to any other way. It’s fun! You start by cutting off both ends. Then, carefully slice the outer peel off ~ making your way around the grapefruit…

Until it looks like this! You cut lil’ slivers or segments¬†of the grapefruit and leave the ‘membrane’ behind. You end up with purrty slices for your salad!¬†

The dressing is fun…you can get creative with it. I used some Champagne Vinaigrette, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice & zest from both. I also added a squeeze of the Grapefruit remains. Why not?Add Salt & Pepp to season…but I like to keep it simple so you can really taste the ‘star’ here…..the Crab!

 

 

Grab some delicious Butter Lettuce…

Happy cooking, exploring, snacking….and most of all, have an awesome weekend.

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Quote of the day…

This summer on Vashon, has really opened me up to so many things.

Life is meant to be lived

¬†“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often.”

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Rock Climbing: Exit 38

Location: 45 minutes East of Seattle, near North Bend ~ Washington.

Climb: Exit 38 (off the 90), Interstate Park (I think!)

What a super fun day!¬†I got to be in the¬†outdoors, learning some pretty great skills and with some inspiring kids & guides…

After packing up all the gear (yes, there is a lot to carry!), the other guides and I arrive early (8am) to secure our spot on the rock.

After about a 1/2 mile hike in, we arrive at the top. At this spot, Exit 38; there are three climbing walls: Far Side, Neverland, & Interstate Park.

After lunch and a couple more hours of climbing, we circle up to close the day. The kids shared their experiences of feeling: fear, trust, accomplishment, encouragement, perseverance…and more fear! They made the connection between asking for help (vocalizing), the support they received on the rock…and realizing this is something they could strive for at home with friends and family.

Even if you’re the belayer, fear can come up as well. You have a lot of responsibility for your climber. You’re leading them…and they’re trusting you! Climbing is really a mind/body experience, because at the end of the day your mind can really help or hinder you. A great reminder for me today…

I am always surprised at how receptive the kids are to staying open, learning new things and conquering their fears. Because at the end of the day, they feel so good and it shines through their eyes! The kids and the guides (who encouraged me while climbing as well!) are always such an inspiration.

Big GRATITUDE today!

Heading back down!

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Yoga: Dancer Pose

When I first discovered this pose, I fell in love. Afterall, I am a dancer and a gymnast first. It’s fun to play around with poses…especially when you take them outside.

Natarajasana‘ (not-ah-raj-AHS-anna) is Sanskrit for Dancer & King…which explains why it then becomes “Lord of the Dance Pose.”

Here are a couple of fun/interesting things to know about this pose:

  • Benefits: stretches shoulders, chest, thighs, groin, legs, abs and improves balance.
  • Chakras activated: 1st – 4th & 6th (aka: Base, Below Navel, Solar Plexus, Heart & 3rd eye).

*Beginning in Mountain Pose (standing), ground into the left leg as you bend the right knee behind you.

*Clasp the right ankle from the inside with the right hand, keeping the knees close.

*Press your foot back as you lift your torso, keeping the hips square.

*Reach your left arm up or straight out ~ whatever feels good.

*Find your Drishti (focal point) and keep your gaze straight with the neck lengthened & the eyes soft.

*Sense the grace and the balance in this pose as you feel yourself timeless and in the present moment.

Namaste…and lots of ‚ô•

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Sweet Summer Days on Vashon Island: Hiking

One of the many ‘sweet’¬†things Vashon¬†has to offer,¬†are the abundance¬†of: land, nature and parks. There are over 18 parks, and hundreds of acres of trails just waiting to be explored. I feel so grateful that I have a forest (literally!) in my backyard…well, about a mile away. ūüôā

Dockton Forest is the second largest forest on the island, boasting 125 acres. There are a mix of hilly and reasonably flat hiking/walking paths. Dockton is also dog and equestrian friendly!

So, c’mon…check out the pics and if you get a chance, visit¬†Dockton Forest (and make sure to let me know whatcha think!)…

Trailhead entrance

Check out the moss on this guy!

Being in nature is 100% blissful for me, but today I found myself feeling a lil’ bit of fear. Walking along the trail, I realized: I was alone – on a new trail –¬†in a new State – and utter stillness was all around me. The vastness of the forest was everywhere I looked. Thoughts started to trickle down, “do I know my way back to the car?”…”what about bears…?”

This is when the message “stay present” came into my awareness.¬†The ego loves to play minds games…it loves to fuel fear! One way to not feed into it, is to stop ~ recognize the thoughts and whatever is coming up and then let¬†them go,¬†bringing yourself back to the present moment. It’s also nice to come back to your breath. Sometimes when fear (fight or flight) kicks in, we can begin to hold our breath ~ in defence. Taking a couple deep breaths and moving forward with positive thoughts is a great way to reframe and rebalance. Once I actually did this, I was able to stop and look around more closely…and boy o’ boy, am I glad that I did. These are¬†the beautiful, magical¬†things I found:

Wild Blackberries!

This hike was such a great¬†reminder¬†to stay present and let go of thoughts (negative OR positive)…who doesn’t need to unplug once in awhile!

Happy hiking!!
‚ô•

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Quote of the day…

“Inspiration can have an infinite variety of sources, such as music, another person, mother nature or a really good bike ride. The origin of the word: Inspiration¬†literally means ‚Äúbreathed upon‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ as if a higher being was breathing down on you, filling you with inspiration.”

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Grillin’ up some Halibut

Summer is such a great time for fish! If you can get it freshly caught, it’s¬†quite a delicious treat.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your fishmonger! Look for sustainably, fresh caught fish and avoid farm raised, if possible.¬†

Ok, onto the Halibut! I love pairing light entree’s with fruit, i.e. salads with grapefruit and fish with citrus! This gave me the idea to grill up some fish and pineapple…for a filling and fulfilling summertime dish.

Rather than going canned, buy a whole (organic, if possible!) pineapple.¬†I think your body will appreciate this¬†act of love! Slice off¬†the top, the bottom and all the sides…until you have a purrty, deskinned pineapple.¬† ūüėČ

Prep: Slice up your juicy pineapple and cut the centers out. Drizzle Olive Oil on one side (this side goes face down on grill!)

Get your grill fired up, stick those juicy suckers on ~ then drizzle Olive Oil on the remaining side.

 

Flip after 3-5 minutes ~ they'll be nicely brown. Set aside.

 
Ok, even though I said “grill,” once the pineapple is done, we’re actually going to leave the grilling¬†behind. The truth is, fish¬†is such a delicate food ~ it usually falls apart on the grill (except tuna & some others). Pan frying fish has been my secret to delcious meals.
 
-Heat your oven to 375.
-You start with Olive Oil and a hot pan (that means medium-hi heat).
-Meanwhile: you’ve unwrapped your fish and seasoned it with S&P (both sides).
-Throw that puppy in the pan, skin side down.
-Cook for 4-6 minutes, depending on how thick your piece is. When the raw middle starts to fade away, flip it.
-Now, I choose to remove the skin. It usually comes right off. I season this bare area with S&P.
-This side is about 4 minutes.
-I flip it back to the ‘bare non-skin’ side; and the final touches¬†transpire in the oven!
-Cook in the oven for about 5 minutes.
 
*The cooking times, all really depend on how you like your fish. I know a lot of you enjoy raw/seared fish too…*
 
*Cooks tip: ideally, you want to use a cast iron pan. But, a good non-stick pan will work as well. FYI- Rubber handles are a no-no in the oven).*
 
The final result will look something like this.
 

Bon Appetit!

 
And you may feel something like this:

Smiley

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Yin Yoga

A little info on Yin Yoga, then a sample practice sequence:

  • Yin Yoga is a ‚Äúpassive‚ÄĚ practice. A gentle, softer approach ~ where we get to slow down and begin the restorative process for our body. (i.e. Seated meditation is a yin¬†activity, versus Vinyasa Flow is a Yang activity.)
  • By extension, exercise that focuses on muscle tissue is yang; exercise that focuses on connective tissue is yin.
  • If you gently stretch connective tissue by holding a yin pose for a long time, the body will respond by making them a little longer and stronger‚ÄĒwhich is exactly what you want.
  • In general, a yin¬†approach works to promote flexibility in areas often perceived as nonmalleable, especially the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

Here is a sample Yin practice. You can do this at home ~ it should take you about 20 minutes.

Start in Child's Pose, resting & become aware of your breath.

Coming onto all fours, inhale as you drop your belly & glance up ~ Cow Pose.

Exhale as you: drop the tail, rounding out and moving into Cat.

Curl the toes under, press the hips back ~ downward facing dog. Spread your fingers wide, release your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe.

Bring the right leg through into Pigeon. Slowly lower your torso over your leg and breathe deeply. Shoot your right leg back into downdog; now try Pigeon on the left side.

From downdog: come to your knees, cross legs behind you and move onto your sit bones. Bring the bottoms of the feet together for Butterfly. Slowly bring your nose to your toes...

Extend the legs and reach out, lengthening the tailbone. Hands lay on shins or grab feet if available to you. Release the head & breathe.

Using a Bolster is optional. Allow your legs to lay vertically; recirculating all the blood, lymph nodes & more.

Savasana. Gently lie back onto your mat, allowing all limbs to fall open & relaxed. Close your eyes and breathe.

*These poses are only recommendations and should not be practiced while experiencing injury in the body. Listen to what your body tells you and stop any stretching or movement if you feel discomfort or pain.*

Most Yin poses can be held anywhere from 5-15 minutes at a time. It is¬†suggested to focus¬†on your breath, staying present…allowing all thoughts to dissolve.

Since we like to talk about ‘balance’ here… ūüôā …having some sort of Yin activity¬†in your regimen¬†allows you to round out your physical practice. Yin activities can really enhance your Yang activities; giving your muscles that extra strength, flexibility, etc.¬†To counter your running/biking/hiking/weights;¬†Yin will also give you that time to slow down, stop pushing, destress¬†& let go. If you opt out of Yin Yoga, you can also try: a walk, meditation, Qi Gong, or breathwork.

Namaste!

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Kris Carr and her “Crazy Sexy Life”

While reading all of these health and nutrition books, I keep running into a couple of reoccurring theories. One I feel strongly about is based on eating processed (altered) foods and the negative effects it can have on our body (not calorie or fat related).

These processed foods, or “laboratory foods” have been described as: “depleting and¬†dead.” In a sense, we’re putting dead, stale-energy inside of our bodies (not to mention, chemicals). Living foods ~ greens, fruits….¬†are from the earth. They’re alive and full of energy, vitality and nutrients.

I’ve literally spent hours this morning being wrapped up in the Crazy Sexy Life of Kris Carr ~ a wellness warrior, living with cancer for 8 years now. In 2003, (at the age of 31) she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, already @ Stage 4 ~ and her journey began. As a “junk-food-junkie” she literally became vegan overnight & began educating herself through books, mentors and health programs like The Hippocrates Health Institute. She is now a NY Times best-selling author of the: Crazy Sexy Diet… and a true inspiration to me.

Crazy Sexy Cancer, is a documentary Kris wrote and directed for TLC. You can check out the YouTube clip of the Trailer  <here>

However, for the purpose of this blog posting, I am inserting a great video below about Kris and her journey. Get some tissues and get ready for a dose of inspiration!

 

Wishing you an abundance of health, happiness and ‚ô•

 

 

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Sweet Summer Days on Vashon Island

This new category will definitely be making an appearance a time or two ~ as I am learning that Vashon is truly a special place.

Usually, each 24-hour day
has 2 low tides and 2 high tides. The low tides are especially great for long beach walks, and discovering the incredible marine life (revealed only at super low tides).

The interesting thing is, while all the starfish below look a bit different ~ they’re all the same species!

 

 

 

These mussel bed dwellers¬†are¬†called¬†Ochre Sea Star’s,¬†also known as¬†the Purple Sea Star (of the Pacific Ocean).¬†The can also be orange,¬†yellow, red…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, these little guys are realllllly sumthin! They are the Sunflower Sea Star ~ the largest in the world! These guys are unique:
  • They¬†have many more limbs or ‘rays’ than the average star, usually 16-24.
  • Moving @ 1 metre per minute & using their 15,000 tube feet, they’re on the¬†move!
  • This star’s color ranges from orange, to yellow, to red~ even purple…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes¬†it’s the simplest of things in life¬†that are the best. We’re so used to rushing around…going, going, going. Taking time to slow way down is not only nourishing for the MBS, but it kinda slows time down. Have you ever noticed yourself saying, “where did the day go?”

Maybe your summer is about having fun, or getting fit ~ but maybe we can set an intention to ‘slow down’ ~ to take it all in. Take a bath, go for a walk, or sit and read in a park.

What is your intention this summer?

Love,

me

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Quote of the day…

‚ÄúYour time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma ‚ÄĒ which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Steve Jobs

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Farm to Table: Kale

Alright! I got my Kale (from Hogsback Farm ~ check out my last posting) and we’re ready to cook it up. Usually, I do a steam or a gentle stir fry with my Kale. Tonight I wanted a little something more. I got playful…and experimental.

I tried something new and kinda created it while shopping in the seafood department. “No halibut?!” Aww. Sometimes you gotta improvise, right? Calamari steaks, here I come! I know what you’re saying, “random”… and maybe even, “eww?” Let’s just say, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome and will definitely be having it again. (This, also coming from my sweet co-chef of a BF!)
 
Calamari Kale Salad:
(ah HA, I tricked you. Yes, it’s a salad!)
-Calamari steaks
-Kale
-Walnuts (chopped)
-Olive oil
-Yellow Onion (sweet)
-Garlic (minced) (4 cloves)
-Lemon (2)
-Red Chili Pepper Flakes
-S & P
 
Calamari:
*In bowl, whisk the: oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, red pepper, garlic, S&P.
*Lay out the steaks on your cutting board. Cut small rings, about 1/2 inch wide.
*Heat olive oil in pan & throw in the rings, pouring the oil mixture into the pan ~ over the calamari.
*Gently move around until cooked: 3 minutes.

Kale:
*Wash kale and cut or rip into pieces.
*Warm the olive oil on med-hi heat, then saute onions till light golden color.
*Toss in the Kale and gently move around/toss, cooking for 3-5 min.
*Throw in garlic & walnuts¬†at last 3 minutes, so¬†they don’t¬†burn. Season with S&P, lemon zest, juice, red pepper throughout…

Most of my postings don’t have detailed measurements and/or instructions, mainly because it really depends on the individuals liking. For this recipe: use¬†your intuition¬†~ and add more of the ingredients you like and minimize the ingred. you don’t care for as much¬†(i.e. lots of onions but little garlic). I personally like, equal amount of onions, walnuts & Kale ~ so you get a bite of each with every forkful. Also, be mindful of how ‘soft ‘ you like your Kale; as the longer you cook it, the softer & more wilted it will be.

Happy crunching & munching!!
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Farm to Table: It’s summer!

“Farm to Table”…..This might become a reoccurring Blog subject; seeing as I now live on beautiful Vashon Island ~ where many small farms operate and flourish. Fresh, organic goods are available left and right here…so it only feels natural to capture it and take you along for the ride.

First up is: Hogsback Farm! A really cute farm, exploding with everything green imaginable. It is summer folks (finally)!

This means: Green salad mixes, Kale, Mustard Greens, Cabbage, Broccoli, Leeks, etc! Hogsback also had some home starters like: Basil.

These are called “Farm Stands” or “U Pick”…and it’s pretty amazing (and addicting). You roll up, grab your goods and drop your cash in the money box. Although¬†most of the Farm Stands cash boxes are securely nailed down now…it’s still an¬†‘on your honor’ system which makes me say, “aww” ~ and smile. Simple livin’ friends!

It’s nice to be able to support local farmers. While meeting some of these locals, I noticed how hard they work ~ and how passionate they are. (Even after one day of volunteering on a farm, this is apparent!) Hit up your¬†local Farmer’s Market!

This time around @ Hogsback, I grabbed some Kale. My next posting will be about the dish I made using this yummy Kale! Stay tuned…
sending ‚ô•

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Watermelon deeee-light!

Mmmmm, summertime. Bliss. This healthy salad is super refreshing. Not only after a day in the sun ~ but any ol’ time as well.

Watermelon is incredibly water dense, which makes it great for hydration.

My Summertime Watermelon Salad:

-Watermelon (cubed)
-Cherry tomatoes (other tomatoes will work great too)
-Red onion (chopped)
-Basil
-Lime (squeeze the juice)
-Salt
-Cayenne

I don’t really measure the ingredients, so just be playful and taste as you add.

Enjoy
‚ô•

p.s. – just a little something fun…

*Watermelon originates in Africa

*These melons are packed with Vitamin C & A

*They’re a good source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene (which travel through the body neutralizing free radicals).

 

 

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“My Father’s Daughter” ~ Gwyneth Paltrow

I became a fan¬†of Gwyneth Paltrow after discovering & reading her lifestyle Blog, “GOOP.” It’s super fun,¬†full of random but significant info¬†and¬†she is a¬†healthy food advocate.
Celeb or not, I am always looking for inspiration. Of course, I am also always eager to learn more about the power we posess, how we live our best self and how to fuel our mind/body/soul.

In this video, Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry’s wife – she is also pretty rad) interviews Gwyneth. They both¬†just released cookbooks with healthy, chemical-free cooking in mind.¬†Gwyneth touches on¬†how she discovered¬†Macrobiotic eating while trying to help her father overcome his throat cancer. She goes on to say how she kept reading about “how our diet effects our health.” I truly believe this as well.

I can’t wait to get “My Father’s Daughter“…

A Macrobiotic diet as explained in Wikipedia, is:¬†“a dietary regimen which involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other foodstuffs such as local vegetables avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods and most animal products.”

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Inflammation

As a child I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis ~ an auto immune disease. Until recently, I wasn’t aware of how much we can be affected by health scares. Although¬†my RA is in remission, the inflammation still lives in my body. The interesting thing is; whether the condition is¬†allergies, asthma, or arthritis ~ most of these are tied to some type of inflammation! Inflammation occurs externally as well as internally (bleeding gums, muscle aches, ulcers). Healthy inflammation is ok; our body responds to an injury or an infection, protecting the body & promoting healing. Chronic or negative inflammation can be caused by many things: stress, diet, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition… but one way we can reduce the inflammation, is to take charge of our diet. Some foods actually make us more susceptible.

This posting is also to serve the purpose of a friendly reminder…to listen to your intuition. I respect Doctors, but only YOU really know and intuitively feel what’s going on with your body. In the past years, I haven’t had much help from Doctors. It has been my health coaches & my Naturopath who opened me up to “listening in” and healing naturally. This has changed my perspective…and my life. I think so many people aren’t informed about how their diet can be effecting them in so many ways (even causing allergies, and other symptoms of sinus/cold issues). When challenges occur…life presents us with an opportunity! So, I ask you to ~ be curious, ask questions and listen in. I am learning just how much our nutrition effects us. What we put in, is what we get out.
This is a beautiful machine we’ve been blessed with!¬†And we only get one. Let’s ‘fuel’ it properly.As I write this, I feel so much gratitude. This Blog is really a journal for me & such a healing experience. Thank you for allowing me to share.

This is a continual learning process, but I¬†would like to¬†pass along info¬†as I move forward in this journey. So many others face similar situations ~ and inflammation is a major issue in our country. I believe we’ve moved into a more processed food diet/pyramid, which is partly why we’re experiencing¬†dis-ease. Let’s be proactive! Let’s do this! If you want more info, check out some of the resources below!

~”The Inflammation Syndrome” by Jack Challem
~”The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book” by Jessica K. Black
~Dr. Weil’s Food Pyramid
~The Conscious Life website (Top 10 listed above)

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

MAN!!! If you haven’t seen this guy, you’re in for a treat. Below I’ve posted¬†two YouTube video’s for you to view.

Why aren’t we teaching kids about food . . . and where it comes from? Why don’t we have a class like this in middle school and/or high school? We have to evolve as our world changes, as our food changes and as our knowledge of these things expand. Right now, we know more about disease, diet and prevention ~ so let’s take action and be part of the solution. . . not the problem.

I truly am inspired by Jamie and his passion for the Food Revolution and our children. Check out: Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution ~ on ABC 9pm PST ~ or go to:¬†abc.com

Video #1: is short (2 min), just to give you a taste of his work.

 

Video #2: is from TED Talks (which I highly recommend checking out – click here)
Jaime received an award from TED.
“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspre families to cook again and empower people everwhere to fight obesity.” ~ Jaime Oliver
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Green Goddess Smoothie

Feelin strong over here ~ as I drink my “goddess drink” (totally made that up!)
Smiley

This isn’t an everyday thing, but I try to keep a balance and add in greens throughout the week. I say, “I feel strong,” because I am doing something great for my body, listening to my intuition¬†and I am being proactive in my health journey.

There are so many combo’s for a green smoothie like this. Here are some ideas:

The base:¬†water, rice milk or almond milk… try and get unsweetened versions. (1 c)

Protein: hemp seeds/powder, flax or even a mix, like Warrior Food. (1/2 c)

“Greens”: Spinach (handful) and HealthForce Vitamineral Green Superfood. (1 tsp)

Fruit: (minimal): banana or blueberries seem to taste best.

Extras: Coconut oil, honey, stevia, goji berries, acai, avocado, almond butter, cacao nibs, coconut water, cinnamon, maca.

*Tip: be mindful of how many ‘sweeteners’ you add. Even though they’re natural, it’s best to only add one or two (i.e. honey or stevia, not both…banana or goji etc.).*

Let me just take a moment to¬†praise HealthForce. While working at Whole Foods in the vitamin dept., I learned valuable info from trainings and the Whole Foods University education¬†I received. HealthForce is a special company ~¬†with stellar products and high standards: pure, vegan and raw.¬†Check out some of the ingredients in¬†the Vitamineral¬†green’s: Nettle leaf, ginger root, broccoli juice, kale juice, parsley juice, chlorella, nori, kelp, enzymes…and more!! eeee!

Feed your body, mind and soul! Yay!

Munch munch
‚ô•

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Posted in Food As Medicine, Optimal Health, Recipes

Force of Nature aka: Laird Hamilton

 

I really do think things happen for a reason…

The other day,¬†I randomly stumbled upon Laird Hamilton’s new book “Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and of course Surfing.”

I immediately remembered back to the day in Kauai, when I ran into Laird himself . . .

As¬†I paddled down the Hanalei river on my Stand Up Paddle board, I hear a guy shouting out paddle pointers. As I¬†realize what’s going on . . .¬†(“Oh! He’s talking to ME?”). .¬†.¬†I try to listen to¬†Laird’s instructions and focus on my paddle technique. It was hilarious. I was all flustered!

I thanked him for the advice…after all, this was coming from a PRO. As I kept paddling, the people I was with (ahead of me) were in awe and totally stoked on the encounter (as was I!).¬†Laird’s energy was super present and strong. I’ve felt inspired by him ever since. . .

About 6 months after that, I ran into Laird and Gabby (Gabrielle Reece, wife and pro athlete) in Venice Beach. Although I don’t have a good story for this run-in . . . I took this as a sign to stay connected to him and research more about his life. After realizing my desire to combine outdoor fitness to my yoga and life coach practice ~ Laird’s book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.¬† Divine!!

I think it’s so important to find¬†people, places and things that inspire us. Follow your excitement!¬†Laird really “gets” that our body, mind and soul are all connected…and need to be fed on various levels. He also is a big believer in being adventurous. . .trying new things. . .to lighten up and have FUN!! This really applies to our relationship with physical activity.¬† I see so many people uninspired and burned out by their regular gym-routines. Getting outdoors, and mixing up your regimen works the brain and body beautifully!!

Check out the excerpt to the left…

Aloha!

‚ô•

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Quote of the day…

“You cannot get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive. It is only in your thriving that you have anything to offer anyone. If you’re wanting to be of an advantage to others, be as tapped in, turned in, turned on as you can possibly be.” – Esther Abraham-Hicks

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Healing With Music

Have you ever felt better after listening to a song or an album? Music can be a huge releaser and of course, a form of expression. Just as certain colors envoke certain emotions, it has been mentioned in studies that certain notes or chords envoke certain emotions within us as well.

Lyrics alone, can be so empowering. When I was younger, music saved me. I wasn’t¬†able to feel certain experiences… and I wasn’t able to ‘tap’ into my emotions. Music provided this for me ~ and still does.

There are so many modalities that can be used¬†in healing ~ bringing us back home in ourselves, becoming whole. Whether it’s music, hiking, therapy, healing foods. . . I encourage you to discover, explore¬†and play. At times, healing can get kinda heavy and my recent intuition¬†sent me a message¬†to lighten things up! This might be partly inspired by one of my favorite quotes:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

I will leave you with a couple special songs I’d like to pass on. Enojy!

~ “Silent Ganges” by Maneesh De Moor
~ “Breathing Light” by Nitin Sawhney
~ “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch

With love ‚ô•

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Cacao Balls

This is a super healthy, super fun discovery. Not only¬†are these fun to eat, but it gave me a reason to bust out my little food processor.¬† ūüôā

One of the best things about this treat, are the nutritional benefits:

*Hemp– is an excellent plant source of Omega’s 3, 6 & 9 ~ a complete protein w/¬†amino acids, iron, magnesium, zinc & potassium

*Cacao– is rich in antioxidants, high in dietary fiber, magnesium, iron and other essential minerals.

*Goji– “arguably the most potent superfoods known”; supporting the immune system, rich in¬†Vit A,¬† antioxidants, 20 trace minerals. (FYI- ounce per ounce it contain more Vit C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach) !!

*Coconut oil– healthy, plant based & cholesterol free. Delicious & can be used topically for rejuvenating skin & hair.

*Maca– is praised for increasing stamina, booting libido, and combating fatigue. It also enables the body to regulate stress factors imposed on it.

Below are the stats and info ~ ENOJY!!

1/2 c shelled hemp seeds
1/2 c cacao nibs
1/4 c goji berries
1 tbls almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp raw honey
1 tbls coconut oil
1/2 tsp maca
1/2 tsp kosher sea salt
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
(optional: 1/2 tsp green stevia powder)

~Put all of the yummy ingredients (EXCEPT goji) into the food processor and blend.

~Now add the goji and blend again.

~Taste test! Once you’re all done blending and adding, use an ice cream scooper to form small cacao balls. Roll the balls in coconut. Keep refrigerated or in freezer.

~Use your best judgement. This is a playful recipe where you should add more or less of the things you like. You may need to add more sweet (honey) or more salt to your liking.

Smiley

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Affirmation Of The Day

“Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Choose your words, for they become your actions.
Understand your actions, for they become your habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
(Sandra P. Riggin)

This theory, if you will ~ comes from the idea that: we are our thoughts. That our destiny begins with our thoughts, and if we want to change the outcome of our life…we start with paying attention to our thoughts. Another idea here, is that we are manifesting what we’re choosing to ‘bring in.’ That’s motivation alone ~ to release any negative thinking and shower yourself with positive words.

I have heard many times, “change your thoughts, change your life.” My favorite… “What we think about, we bring about,” my yoga teacher constantly reminds us.

It’s very interesting to observe. Today, notice your thoughts. Are there any current themes? Are there any patterns?¬†What about¬†any judgements?

‚ô•

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Wisdom from Bryan Kest

“Nobody can do the work for you. I have to untie my own knots. I have to develop the strength to disempower my own habit patterns. Nobody can do this for me. And this is what the practice is all about. Quieting the mind means disempowering the habit patterns of thinking, judging, competing and attachment and being open to what I am feeling or knowing. In other words, “the teacher” waits patiently behind the busy mind. And when I quiet my mind (yoga practice) and experience where I am and what I am feeling, the wisdom starts coming through. Real knowledge of whom I am and what I need manifest as it is supposed to. And there the real yoga begins “living my truth.

The greatest job any yoga instructor can do is create the right environment for the practice of yoga (quieting the mind) and reinforcing the truths being exposed.” – Byran Kest
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Poem…

She starts as a seed, small and fragile ~ and sprouts up . . . growing like a beautiful tree.

Grounded to mother earth, rooted, stable and strong…her knots¬†show, but beautiful they are. Resilient and free…she flourishes and shines wherever she may be.
Expressive and creative she stretches her arms to the heavens, reaching for her dreams and opening to grace. Surrendering to the sun, the moon, the stars…this sacred space.
So much to give & knowing how to receive; living in gratitude, she opens up as her leaves flow with the gentle breeze.
This is a reminder to grow wild and free, alive with beauty ~ like the beautiful mother earth trees.
Much love . . .
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Hello, Washington! I’m home…

Moving from California to Washington was bittersweet. Growing up in such a beautiful place provided so many wonderful opportunities…

Fast forward…and here we are! It’s SO green here! Living on Vashon Island is definitely an adventure. There are so many things to discover: the local farms and their Farm Stands, the endless hiking trails, the water sports, the Ferry system, the hippie community ~ I love it all.

Moving (in general) can take a toll on your mind, body & soul ~ your whole being! <Insert> comfort food, lethargy and lack of exercise. Aye! The first thing to go, is our self-care and Wellness. Getting back into gear here, I have decided to begin a cleanse. This is a beautiful way to take care of your body, health ~ self. To get rid of the waste that has been clogging your systems of elimination. What we put into our body is what we get out of it. ¬†ūüôā

Step 1.) steer clear of dairy and sugar.
*sugar is known to cause your immune system to plummet*
*dairy can actually add to the mucus growth in your sinuses*
Now that I’ve prepped my body a bit, I am using “The Body-Smart System” by Helene Silver to further support this health movement.

This 21-day cleanse, is complete – and holistic. Meaning, the “whole being” is treated . . . with techniques on: “The Clean and Clear Diet,” breathwork, affirmations, relaxation, self-massage, baths, aromatherapy, exercise/yoga, nutrition and delicious recipes.¬†Helene defines Wellness as, “a creative process of growth and change, where we take responsibility for using our bodies, minds, and emotions in a constructive way, and recognize our connection to a larger community of beings.”

Week one basically eases you into a Vegan diet. One of the various daily concoctions is the:
-Inner Beauty Herbal Tea (peppermint, alfalfa, dried sage & oat straw).

I particularly love how The Body-Smart System book explains how the ingredients effect you, as well as what the benefits and healing aspects are. This tea promotes cleansing & nourishment in the following ways:

*peppermint aids in digestion and relieves flatulence…
*alfalfa is nutrient rich in general (includ. potassium & iron)…
*sage helps dissolve mucus in the respiratory passages and in the stomach…
*oat straw is a remedy for chest ailments and is rich in the mineral silica
(which¬†promotes healthy hair, skin & nails)…

Cleansing is a wonderful way to “clean the dirty pipes” if you will. Wish me luck on this journey…time to get shopping!

‚ô•

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Posted in Cleanse, Inspiration, Optimal Health, Physical Activity, Recipes

Attitude of Gratitude

Today, waking up to the news that a Tsunami had hit Japan was shocking and sad. I pray for mother earth.¬†Disasters like this allow us to reflect …

We can choose to focus on the positive. Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ¬†Today, take 20 minutes to write 100 things you’re grateful for.

Today, let’s see if we can BE that attitude of gratitude.
‚ô• Love ‚ô•
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A poem from my mom…

     Blossoms are scattered by the wind
            and the wind cares nothing,
           but the blossoms of the heart
                   no wind can touch
                     ~Yoshida Kenko
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LOVE!

It is a day of Love. . . Happy Valentine’s Day.¬†Today, we can celebrate love; whether we’re in a relationship with someone or not. This day is about the love and relationship we have with ourselves,¬†as¬†much¬†as it is about the one’s we love.
Today, do something for yourself. In “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron suggests taking yourself out on a date, or an “excursion.”¬†All friends, family & lovers ~ sorry!¬†This is a time you set aside, just for you. To nurture, inspire and replenish yourself. This might include: (but not limited to) a walk on the beach, going to a movie, writing in your journal in a park, visiting an art gallery, taking a hike in nature, browsing an antique store you’ve been wanting to go to. . . etc.
So many wonderful things are revealed to us in solitude. During that quality time we spend with ourselves;¬†we learn what’s going on in our lives, what we’re avoiding and what we’re really feeling.¬†We get to listen, receive clarity, and feel¬†our soul being fed.¬†And, although your inner voice might try n’ talk you out of it¬†(“I’m broke”. . . “I don’t have time”, etc.), recognize these invasions and the resistance. But here’s the thing: “what we resist,¬†persists.”¬†If we don’t allow for this time of self-intimacy, whatever we’re feeling/avoiding persists. So, think of it as a double whammy ~ you get to take yourself on a fun date and¬†simultaneously, release some of that brain energy/stress!!

Commit to this date and treat yourself! You deserve it.

Much love,
‚ô•
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Helping students heal anxiety through Yoga

This is a subject I am close to. Yoga can help heal anxiety: revealing symptoms and helping to address it’s root causes.

The body and mind both respond to various yogic tools, including: asana, pranayama, lifestyle adjustments and tuning the senses inward. I believe that all these tools provide a wonderful combination, aiding in healing anxiety.

Although a good asana practice (Vinyasa, Bikram, Hatha Flow) can help burn off nervous energy…sometimes a more passive/relaxing¬†approach is just what the student needs. Depending on the person, a Yang practice such as Vinyasa can actually be counter intuitive to your anxiety. Trying out a Gentle Yoga or Yin Yoga class can ease you into a sweet surrender and leave you feeling nourished and peaceful.

Below are some poses specifically with a therapeutic focus in anxiety. Try them out at home! Namaste


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Quote of the day…

‚ÄúThere are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…
not going all the way, and not starting.‚ÄĚ – Buddha

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Quote of the day…

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Your Brain On Meditation

While reading Yoga Journal magazine, I came across this amazing article and I want to share it with you.

Thousands of years ago, what Patanjali & the Buddha both taught is now being supported by Western scientists. Through new technology, we are learning how the effects of meditation (even in small doses) on the brain can be life changing.

A couple interesting points and quotes:

“Today we know that everything we do, and every experience we have, actually changes the brain.” – Eileen Luders (UCLA Dept of Neurology)

-In a study done by Luders; comparing the brains of 22 meditators and 22 age-matched non-meditators, she found that the meditators had more gray matter in regions of the brain that are important for attention, emotion regulation, and mental flexibility. (Increased gray matter typically makes an area of the brain more efficient or powerful at processing information.)

-Meditation seems to be a simple matter of training. Regular use will (train) strengthen this ‘muscle’ and the connections between neurons. Tiny changes¬†can lead to visible changes in the structure of the brain.

-Meditation can help with anxiety. Research shows¬†meditation can help ‘rewire’ your brain ~ dissolving negative thoughts and disturbances of the mind such as: worry, fear, self doubt, stress, and even panic.¬†In Mantra Meditation, you replace negative thoughts with positive mantra’s¬†and in Mindfulness Meditation, you focus on your breath and the present moment. When we meditate, we take the focus off of our daily: to-do lists, stresses and obstacles. In turn, we breathe which brings more oxygen into the body~¬†calming and regulating the¬†nervous system. We give our brain a little vacation! Whatever meditation style you choose, surely you will benefit in mind and body.

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What is the meaning of Yoga?

‘The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ has a wonderful explanation of this! According to the “bible of yoga”:
“Most people immediately think of some physical practices for stretching and stress reduction. This is one aspect of the Yogic science, but actually only a very small part and relatively recent in development. The physical Yoga, or Hatha Yoga, was primarily designed to facilitate the real practice of Yoga ~ namely, the understanding and complete mastery over the mind. So the actual meaning of Yoga is the science of the mind.

What is the mind? Does it determine our behavior and experience or do we create and sustain its activity? What is consciousness? Can we turn within ourselves to study and understand, perhaps, even control, the mind? This is the subject matter of the ancient science of Raja Yoga.”

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