Food Diary

The most common question i get sent is about my diet! What do I eat and what is a typical day of meals like for me? I know there are a lot of great blogs that made their name documenting every bite they take during the day. That’s not my thing, but I decided to do it for one day, which has been educational for me as well. Fueling well is SO important, and I find that sticking to a diet rich in raw foods and juices is the best choice for me. Always just listen to your body and make the right food choices based on how you feel.

Here goes:

When I go to bed I throw whatever citrus fruits I have around in a gallon jar of water. Today’s was half an orange and a cinnamon stick. I also love cucumbers in the mix. I had about half of my water and then a big honey crisp apple. Then I went to yoga and had another apple and some water.

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For breakfast I had my morning cereal, which I usually just throw together. But I measured today: 3 TB Chia seeds, almond milk(carageenan free), 2 TB ground flaxseed, 2 TB hemp seeds, 1 Cup frozen blueberries, 1 TB coconut nectar, and 1 TB cinnamon

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I also had my tea: Celestial seasonings Bengal Spice tea with french vanilla coconut milk creamer*. It tastes like a spicier chai tea latte… I went for a second cup, it’s so tasty!food-2

*So Delicious brand coconut milk creamer does contain carageenan

I took a delicious kale, cucumber, apple, lime juice to work with me. The (not so) secret mix: 1 head kale, 2 cucumbers, 2 apples, 2 limes- for a perfectly balanced, not too bitter, delicious green juice.

For dinner I had a delicious salad. This one had a greens mix of spinach, kale, and chard. Toppings were 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, shredded carrot, 1 TB olive oil, 1.5 TB nutritional yeast. I also love cucumber in my salads.

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For dessert I had a small version of my typical green smoothie: frozen berries, greens(I usually use plain spinach), banana, almond milk/water and sun warrior protein powder. In the morning I’ll maybe add some cacao powder (it’s loaded with caffeine). If I want a super power green smoothie, I’ll brew some green tea the night before and use that as the liquid in place of almond milk. I use YogiTea Blueberry Green Tea.

For snacks in between meals, I have fruits, vegetables, and a raw nuts. I don’t limit snacks, ever. If I want to have five bananas, I do. Sometimes if I’m lazy I’ll just make a super-sized smoothie in place of a salad.

Related articles:

Shopping guide to avoiding organic foods with carageenan

Raw VS. cooked food

 Info about raw juicing

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4 Common Things That Stress People Out: Guest Post by Karen Fernandes

Stress is a huge problem in most societies in the world, and those where it is not will probably suffer from it in the future as their society develops. To tackle stress you need to understand the possible causes of it, and how best to your personal stress can be treated. To help people identify the cause of their own stress, I have listed some of the most common reasons below.

Moving Home

This can be a very stressful time for people because so many things are involved. Changing a property is difficult enough, but when you think it is also your home, things can get out of control. Friends and memories are left behind, to be replaced by the new and the unknown. Fear and anxiety can cause huge amounts of stress, and both of these are in this situation in abundance. To try to avoid the stress plan ahead, get help, and look on the move as a step forward in your life.

Running Out of Time

Some days it seems that we have worked all day to get nowhere, and these days can come one after the other to cause  you stress. If your work life is one endless struggle to complete the tasks you are assigned, you need to alter something before you breakdown. Try to talk to your boss about your workload, as often people are not aware of how much somebody is struggling in their work; and could be singing their praises because of the seemingly impossible burden they handle. If this doesn’t work you may need to consider a change; working yourself to death benefits nobody.

Arguing

Some people love to argue,but if you are not one of those avoid arguing at all cost. It does nothing to improve your mind or body, but can cause damage to both. An argument takes 2 people; if you refuse to participate there can be no argument. You won’t lose the argument; you will simply not have had one. Problem solved.

Not relaxing

Relaxation is something that everybody needs, and we should all demand some time to feel relaxed. Being relaxed is not simply a case of sitting down, you need to forget about everything, and let your mind recover from the continual stresses of the day. You will know when you have reached a relaxed state, because your body becomes almost weightless as the things weighing you down float away. Take a warm bath with aromatic herbs, cuddle up on your favourite chair listening to music, or treat yourself to a massage. Whatever it takes, make sure you relax for an hour or 2 every day, the benefit is immense.

Not all stress can be easily handled, but most of it can be. With some thought and a little help, stress can be manageable for most of us; it can even be totally removed in a lot of cases. If you think you are suffering from stress, it is you that needs to take the first step; try to do something about it.

The author of this post, Karen Fernandes, is an avid blogger, an amateur photographer and a traveler. She recommends that all individuals should read books on self-help skills, in order to build their personality. You can follow her on Twitter for more information.

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I’m on Pinterest!

Follow me and I’ll follow you!

I pin an assortment of fun stuff about healthy living, yoga, anatomy, and food! I don’t pin stupid things, I won’t try to force my opinions on you, and I promise I won’t pin anything wedding or DIY related. Let’s share!

Follow me!

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I am a miracle made up of particles

Bodies of info performing such miracles.
I am a miracle made up of particles.
and in this existence,
I’ll stay persistent,
and I’ll make a difference
and I will have lived it.

A quote from one of my new favorite songs in the world. Just talking about music rarely does it justice, so I encourage you to download and enjoy this empowering song.

Free download of the piano version here!

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5 Ways to add shoulder opening to your hip opening poses

Two birds, one stone. Stretching both muscle groups at the same time will give you twice the benefits!

Also, it’s a good way to break any patterns or habits you may have developed in your practice. If you are a yogi that practices 3+ times a week, please don’t be afraid to break out your own remixes of the poses presented. Trust me, the teacher wants you to do what feels good and benefits you, even if it doesn’t look like what your neighbor is doing. It’s easy to go on auto pilot, especially in forward folds. I am frankly OVER yanking my hamstrings into folds 20x a class! Switch it up and give your shoulders some love in these hip openers!

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Bound high lunge. It’s not all about bound side angle pose all the time! You can do this variation with your heal up or down in a bound ‘Warrior VI’ or ‘Flying Warrior’ as some call it pose.

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Prasarita Padotanasana Cherry Picker. I love this variation, instead of just hanging down or yanking on your feet to stretch your hamstrings, this stretches your shoulders and gives you a new way to open the back body. The resistance you get when you walk your hands back behind you will make your traps and deltoids sing.

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Twisted Janu Sirsasana. I must thank my teacher Silvia Mordini for teaching me this unique variation of one legged forward fold. It’s hard to see in the photo, but this is actually a twist that you will immediately in the outer muscles of your back. Use the hand and arm not touching your foot as leverage to twist further. Further the stretch by softly bending the outstretched leg and twisting further.

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Starfish fold. This variation of Badha konasana is mostly practiced in Jivamukti classes, but this is my new favorite fold! This is a super passive fold that feels great at the end of practice, especially one heavy in back bends and heart opening.

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Bowing Balasana. This variation of child’s pose feels great in the muscles of your upper back and shoulders. To intensify, walk the elbows forward as much as possible.

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Om Shanti!

Hello yogis!

Today I am off to Europe for exciting adventures in my homeland of Iceland and then Paris! I can’t wait to practice in another hemisphere and meet yogis from around the world! I have fun posts lined up for you and lots of photos when I’m back. Om Shanti, friends!

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Why “Healthy eating and an active lifestyle ARE my health insurance!” doesn’t work

As an active person with a healthy diet, I’m fairly confident that I will not develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or any other obesity related illness in my lifetime. Considering the flabbergasting costs of America’s obesity epidemic, I’m saving my insurance companies a load of money in that department. Other fitness professionals can say the same thing, “Healthy eating and an active lifestyle ARE my health insurance!” But that’s just half the battle. Life is so unpredictable, you never know what kind of crazy things are going to happen! Faulty toasters killed 791 people last year, and chairs killed 592 (how does that even happen?). While each person has a different situation, the stats show that about 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. This means that nearly one-third of Americans face each day without the security of knowing that, if and when they need it, medical care is available to them and their families. Yikes.

Which brings me to the latest example of how sometimes bad things happen to good people. Brett Valentine is an incredible IntenSati teacher and life coach in the Seattle area. Here is a Clif’s notes version of what happened to this inspiring man, as written by his husband Levi:

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Labor day weekend Brent, myself and our 206 family went to Mossyrock, WA to camp, spend the weekend celebrating a birthday and catching up with each other. Brent, through a series of events, darkness and a unfortunate turn in the wrong direction ran off of a cliff. He did it with as much gusto as he approaches life. Brent fell approximately 8 to 10 feet straight down onto a riverbed of solid rock. He landed on his right side of his face and front of his body. He was unconscious and when I got to him just seconds after the fall he was bleeding from the ear, his nose and his mouth. Brent was sent to Providence Centralia Hospital. There it was determined that he had fractured his Orbital bone on the right side of his face, needed stitches on his face, as well as fractured the Scaphoid bone in his left wrist. As he was being discharged his doctor found reason for concern with the function of his eyeball and he was now, instead of going back to camping, headed to Harborview Medical Center back home in Seattle for further specialty review. At Harborview it was realized that the Orbital bone was not as bad as the doctor thought but the fractured Scaphoid was going to be a problem and surgery was going to happen. Since that diagnosis on Sunday Brent and I have been living at Harborview Medical Center. Brent will have a long road to recovery. There will be other surgeries to remove the pins and screws that hold his wrist together. There will be physical therapy and numerous follow-up doctors visits. Brent will be out of work for an extended period of time due to the nature of his injury and his line of work. He is a man that has given so much to others, and I hope this can be used as an avenue for those good deeds to now be returned through donation. Brent carries no medical insurance and after our recent marriage he now falls just outside of the bracket for financial assistance to cover his medical bills. The amount of money that is building up in medical costs is large and I am asking for your help, on behalf of Brent Valentine, because I know he IS WORTH IT! Any donation will go directly to medical expenses and loss of wages. If you do know Brent you already know that this man is worth helping, and I hope you will pass this page on to your friends and family because you believe in him getting the help he needs to get fully back on his feet.
Read the full story and see pictures and updates here. A story like Brett’s gives me an extra reminder of how blessed I am to be safe and healthy. If you are inspired at all by this story, I encourage you to give anything you can to this amazing man!
Namaste!
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Raja Bhujangasana

Yoga Journal doesn’t call this a pose, but I have always liked the idea that any shape in your body that feels good or challenges you is yoga. My teacher Silvia Mordini always uses the example that making a pizza is a vinyasa.

I snapped this shot of my beautiful friend Michelle, the Graceful Yogi, who ‘graciously’ guest posted when I was away. You can read her inversion tips here, and her forearm stand tips here.

If you’re a vinyasa junkie, you’re probably doing tons of upward facing dogs and cobra poses. These help with spine mobility for sure, but reaching the toes to the head is an even deeper backbend and is just another way to improve poses like your wheels and bows. So give this rarely used pose a try, and remember it’s a life long practice!

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Notice how the curve in her spine is in the thoracic and cervical spine, not just the sacrum. Mobility in all parts of the spine is needed to do backbends safely.

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Cool show of progression in raja bhujangasana

Work every section of your spine.

Work every section of your spine.

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