All posts filed under: health and wellness

How Yoga Saved My Life

When I first started practicing yoga it was purely for the physical benefits. I had just come off of a knee injury (a torn MCL due to the dangerous combination of high heels and my 21st birthday) and I was looking to get myself back into shape – I really missed surfing and riding a bicycle – and I was hoping to gain a little extra flexibility throughout my body as well. I was hesitant to begin because I had tried other yoga classes before. In high school I dabbled with the practice, but found most of the classes to be too slow or too boring or not challenging enough. I had kind of written yoga off completely – that is, until a girlfriend urged me to join her for a Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga class. And I can truly say that that one single class was life changing (thanks, Callie!). My first Baptiste Power Vinyasa class was nothing like what I expected. It was the most physically challenging yoga practice I had ever experienced. …

when life gets prickly, starve it of water

Today we are going to talk about handling stress. Because stress is one of the leading killers in Americans, one of the leading reasons for heart problems, and we really can do something about it. Mostly this is a topic of retraining the brain. Creating a new web of thinking that involves rewiring what we see as priorities. When we live to work, we live to be stressed. Why not just work to live, and once work is finished for the day – stop working. Of course, it’s never that simple. But there are ways to reduce stress, one baby step at a time.When we retrain our brain to think of jobs, chores, activities as positive aspects of life then we are already beginning to reduce stress – because how can we be stressed when we are loving what we do? But that takes practice. It’s hard to jump into these routines with a huge smile and a dedication to tackle everything with joy. Right, who can do that every day? So here are my …

Put it Down: 9 Things You Can Do Without

We now live in a world of over-stimulation. We are bombarded by the screens in our hands, in front of our faces, reflecting in the mirrors. We can’t get away from the influence, or so it may seem. We are constantly being told what to look like, who to emulate, what to idolize, where to eat and how to act. I don’t know about you, but that has put my brain on overload. I recently watched  a very accurate and moving video about how our obsession with technology is making us all so selfish and unconnected from the real world, real relationships, real people, real feelings and emotions. While I have also seen some very inspiring and moving accounts of how social media has positively shaped our lives, I feel like this may not be case for the majority. What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion! Regardless, the desire to step away from the screens has helped shape my dis-attachment to certain social media. For instance, I used to scroll through Instagram …

Evening Rituals for a Good Night’s Sleep

Recently I wrote an article about morning routines highlighting seven positive and powerful ways to begin your day (you can read it here), but when it comes down to it, the best way to start your day is by making sure you get a good night’s sleep. Now, we all know that sleep is important for your health: physically, emotionally and psychologically, and that sleep is our body’s way of resting, repairing, and rejuvenating. A bad night’s sleep can leave you feeling weak, tired, cranky, and confused the next day, and overtime sleep deprivation can lead to many chronic health problems such as depression, heart disease, and obesity. Now knowing and doing are two separate things, and unfortunately in our “hectic” world, winding down at the end of the day is always much easier said than done. Many of us turn to alcohol and sleeping pills for a quick way to hit the hay – which in return make us feel even angrier and groggier the next morning. What a vicious cycle it is. So …

the best ways to eat healthy on an island

I have discovered through a lot of trial and error that eating healthy on an island is actually pretty easy, even if you cannot grow your own produce and don’t have access to a farmers market. Now it seems pretty straightforward when you have a farmers market or farm stand, and access to all kinds of fruit trees. But this is definitely not always the case, and it certainly depends on what SIDE of an island you actually live on to even make this possible. Okay, yes some of those options are definitely fruitful – grabbing avocados from public trees, and mangos from along the road is very widely practiced in Puerto Rico. But sometimes you have to go beyond just those two fruits, right? Obviously. And occasionally you do encounter a great farmers market with a lot of options for produce. But what about all the other essentials, like flours, milks, nuts and seeds, oats…. Well you can get creative and if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can make …

When the Energy Just Won’t Flow: 5 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Rut

Most of the time I feel fluid. Most days, that motivated, positive, creative energy inside of me flows naturally, with ease, like a river running towards the ocean. Then there are some days when it seems like that river gets dammed up, and the water runs dry, and I just can’t seem get inspired or productive or pumped up – I literally feel blocked. Some days are a struggle, but hey, that’s real life, and lucky for us through positive, mindful practices we can shake those humdrum moments and learn to tap into that motivated, positive, creative energy that lies deep within each and every one of us. Yes, each and every one of us. Whenever I’m feeling drab, unambitious, or like I’m stuck in a rut, I turn to these five practices to help get my gears going and to reconnect with my energy source. Try just one or maybe try all five. Let these be tools you can use whenever and wherever you feel yourself stuck or overwhelmed. 1 Get disconnected from your …

5 Steps to Living Life with Intention

What are your dreams? Your goals? What does your heart hope for? Take a second. Look for answers within. Get intentional. What does it mean to live intentionally? Intentional living happens when we adopt a mindful attitude towards the choices and situations we are presented with each day. Most of us would agree that we are awake when we go through our daily routine. But how conscious are we? It is so easy to set ourselves to auto-pilot when we wake up each morning and go through the entire day mindlessly going through the motions of living. We sit blindly in the passenger seat of our own lives, allowing moments, experiences and feelings to just pass us by. When we live life with intention we perform every action with conscious intent and a desire to fulfill our core values. We do have basic intent behind most of our daily activities (washing the dishes so they don’t start to pile up and mold, taking the bus to work in order to earn a living, etc.), however …

My Morning Routine: 7 Ways to Positively Start the Day

How you begin your morning sets the tone for your entire day. How often do you hit snooze when the alarm goes off, dreading the work or school day ahead? Or with one eye open do you immediately grab your smart phone and begin checking your email and social media sites? Now, I’m all too aware of this song and dance, and the mornings I find myself caught in the routine of snoozing, browsing and Instagramming, I notice that it leaves me feeling agitated, drained, and straight up not good enough… all before I’ve even really begun my day. I started becoming more aware of “morning routines” during my 200-hour yoga teacher training. Each morning of the training began the same: meditation, journaling, verbal “let go’s,” and practice, all of which allowed us to get clear and grounded before we moved into our 8-hour day of study. Now before this, I never really had much of a morning routine… well except for hitting snooze, wasting time on Instagram, and chugging coffee as I’m rushing out …

goodness can be pre-packaged

I am a smoothie making machine. A smoothie constitutes second breakfast for me (first breakfast is usually museli; no I’m not a hobbit, just someone that is always hungry and plans ahead). I’ll make a smoothie for snack or lunch, and maybe a dessert smoothie for after lunch. I have tried all brands of greens powder and plant based proteins. So when I first discovered ALOHA on Instagram, I was naturally very curious. ALOHA is a company based in New York with roots in Hawaii that distributes pre-packaged dietary supplements in the form of “greens” and proteins (and chocolates!). Now what sets them apart from what you typically find in GNC is, well actually several things. Ingredients are sustainably sourced – they search for the raw materials and don’t cut corners just to find a cheaper alternative. But not only do they start with the ingredients, they take it a step further to ensure they are using sustainable methods to package and ship, as well simple every day life like cleaning their showroom in NY. …

Why I Gave Up Face Wash

I won’t blame any of you who may have already judged me, just a little, on the basis of this post’s title. So let me please begin by assuring you that while I am guilty of being a little bit of a hippie, I am certainly not of the dirty variety! To prevent you from backing away from your computer screens any further, allow me to clarify my opening statement a little. True, I have given up on face wash, but I haven’t given up on washing my face. You see, 10 months ago I adopted a natural, plant-based lifestyle. It began with boycotting the farming industry and eating plant foods only, but as I gradually became more educated on what I was allowing into my body, it led to an intense questioning of what I was putting on to it as well. I was beginning to feel the myriad benefits of nourishing my body and cells with organic, nutrient-rich whole foods: no more additives, preservatives or chemical nasties. It felt only natural to extend the …