Pose of the Week: Upward Facing Dog

Photo Credit: Lily Russo

Upward Facing Dog

URDVHA MUKHA SVANASANA

Benefits of the pose:

  • Strengthens arms, shoulders & wrists
  • Stretches spine, lungs & shoulders
  • Tones stomach muscles
  • Helps relieve mild depression and fatigue
  • Opens chest

Asana Breakdown:

To get into this pose, begin in low cobra. Firmly press your hands into the ground as your arms lengthen. Draw shoulder blades onto the back as the collar bones begin to lift and spread. Feet are together, big toes touching, tops of the feet touching the ground. Hips, thighs and shins are off the mat. Chin can gently tilt towards the ceiling.

Sources:

“Upward-Facing Dog.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publishing, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.

Avocado Pancakes

Avacado Pancakes

An alternative to the sweet starchy breakfast! Here’s a meal that will excite your taste buds and set you right for the day ❤

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1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

A pinch of Salt

2 eggs

1 Avocado

3 shallots

Vegan Butter

1/4 cup Unsweetened coconut milk

Dressing:

4-6 tbsp Vegan butter

1 tbsp Parsley

1/4-1/2 lemon

Garnish:

Shallots

Parsley

Avocado

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Take out a large mixing bowl and add in eggs, avocado (mashed), baking soda, salt, coconut flour, coconut milk and stir well. Grease a frying pan with butter, turn heat on medium/high, add a dollop of batter. Allow the pancake to cook on one side until the edges are golden brown or you see bubbles simmering to the top. Flip. While making pancakes, take out another small pot and add in butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Melt on very low heat so as not to wilt the parsley. Place pancakes on a plate, drizzle dressing over top, garnish and enjoy.

Cabbage Salad

cabbage salad

This is by far one of the quickest, cheapest, most delicious, and nutritious recipes!

Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C, K, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Thiamin, beta-carotene, flavonoids, along with other nutritive properties!

In fact, there is research out there that states that cabbage is helpful for Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, boosting Immune Function as well as Obesity.

Raw Cabbage, especially, is a high prana food, so eat up!

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Ingredients

Raw Cabbage

Coconut oil (melted) or Olive Oil

Nutritional Yeast

Lemon Juice

Cilantro

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If using coconut oil, turn on low and melt oil. Let cool and then pour over chopped cabbage. Toss salad and squeeze lemon juice over your cabbage. Add nutritional yeast and cilantro. ❤

Mistakes: A Step In The Right Direction

It is a misconception to think any one of any stature is ever free from the capability of making mistakes. Mistakes can arise from even the most sincere intention or the smallest lapse in judgement. The importance of mistakes is that they give you feedback and new direction.

Growing up, I was a girl who strived for perfection and deeply criticized myself, my worth, and my merits if I did not meet the impossibly high standard I had set for myself. Interestingly enough, I did not have parents who pressured me to act this way nor was anything else in my surroundings urging me to do this to myself. It came from with in. This unfathomable fear of being wrong. I would say today I can at least pat myself on the back for not being a perfectionist, but I still do strive to answer the question, “What is the most right?”.

I remember this summer, I briefly took a job as a barista at my favorite coffee house. I really had no business being there, however. I knew nothing of coffee, nor did I even drink it myself. On one of my first days, I kept making a series of mistakes that lead to lots of spilling and clean up. I was so embarrassed, but relieved when I apologized to one of my co-workers who replied, “That’s okay. Mistakes are where life happens.”

Even recently, when I moved in with my partner — a move I may not have truly been ready for in my heart, but quickly learned to adapt to — he said to me a quote of similar nature: “Mistakes are unavoidable so you might as well have fun and enjoy the ride.”

Naturally, the part of my brain that has in some way or another programmed itself to strive for perfection was being overrided by the notion that a mistake could possibly been a good thing.

Mistakes are bound to happen. They hurt ourselves and they can hurt others, but they are ultimately how we learn, where we grow, and are what makes our journey unique. I recently lost a job I cared about deeply for a careless mistake, a mistake compatible to that which you make on a math test and think to yourself, “Really? I can’t believe I forgot to do that!”. It’s with a heavy heart that I step away from there, deeply regretting my actions. But I’d like to think that nothing happens without reason. Even mistakes. Yes, even mistakes are divinely orchestrated and can lead you to exactly where you need to be.

This post isn’t to say that you should purposefully make mistakes, but, perhaps, when you do make them, give yourself some room to breathe. Give yourself permission to mess up because that’s where life happens. When you find yourself in the midst of self-ridicule try to change to tone to one of self-compassion and have a little faith. Even though, you may feel deeply sorry for your actions, trust that all is as is because the universe is as is. And, ultimately that it will be okay. Have trust in your actions and faith in your merits. ❤

Pose of the Week: Hanumanasana

Lord Hanuman Pose

HANUMANASANA

Benefits of the Pose:

  • Stretches groin, hips, & thighs
  • Opens Heart
  • Strengthens & improves functionality of abdominal muscles
  • Increases flexibility of hips when practiced frequently

Asana Breakdown:

This pose requires great flexibility and strength and definitely requires a bit of a warm up before getting into it. Personally, I keep this posture till one of my final poses, to ensure that I don’t hurt myself and can get the most benefit out of the asana. For preparation, I like to start off in Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Hanuman/Half Splits). To begin, start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale one leg into three legged-dog, exhale step it in between your legs and bring your back leg down to the floor. Begin to straighten the front leg, allowing your foot to come off the floor, resting on your ankle. Begin to melt your heart closer to your knee and breathe here. This is the traditional prep pose for Hanumanasana.

Once you feel comfortable here, you can begin to ease your front leg forward and extend your back leg on the ground behind you. Straightening both and coming into full Hanumanasana. Here, you want to square your hips as much as possible. So let’s say your left leg is forward, take your attention to the right hip and begin to draw it closer to the front and allow for an external rotation in the the back leg. Lengthen the spine and allow the collar bones to lift and spread.

This can make the pose uncomfortable. The best way to ease int this pose from grace here is to use your hands as leverage and pull your groin a few inches off the ground. Drawing the thighs in closer together, you will begin to get deeper into the pose as well as your hips. Practice here, until you can comfortably remain in the traditional expression with integrity. From here, you can start to play. Options including, bending the back leg and grabbing the foot, reaching arms up over head or leaning forward over the front leg.

Yoga for PMS

Here’s one for the ladies! ❤ We’ve all been there. They are so so painful! here is a sequence to help relieve some of your period pains.

For more information on things you can do to get rid of/relieve menses pains, recipes, and more follow the link here

My Philosophy

We live in a world today where our relationship to food is largely augmented and unhealthy. Now, I live in a tiny town in Colorado where mostly everyone is fit, healthy, the ratio of yoga instructors to non is practically 3:1 and we have three health food stores with a plethora of local, organic, farm-distributed options. But I know that is not the reality for most people.

There something in particular that strikes me to be odd about our culture of eating. This is that many people eat for taste and not nutritive properties. When most people don’t realize that you can be eating a nutritious, healthy, well balanced diet, AND it can be tasty too. It does not have to come down to an either or. One of my missions on this blog is to raise awareness of our eating habits and how they affect more than just our taste buds.

It’s voting season, and I have to heard a lot of people say things like “There’s no point in voting.”, “None of these politicians are going to change anything.”, or “My vote doesn’t matter.” However, that is not true. You have a  have a vote and you get to make it three times a day, every day for the rest of your life. What you buy and what you spend your money on, ends up influencing industrial companies, farmers, livestock, and the environment. What you eat is more than just a friendly encounter you have at the cash register, it impacts your entire global community.

With this in mind, I want to advocate for responsible, sustainable, organic eating that comes from small, non-industrialized farms. I recently read an article about the Orangutans in the rain forest right now. Apparently, the span of 300 soccer fields in the rain forest are destroyed per hour. And, depending on location, 3-14 Orangutans are killed each day. orangutan_with_babyWhich puts them in a disposition where they are likely to be extinct for the year 2023. The reason that so much of this deforestation is occurring is because big companies are looking for ways to harvest palm oil. Palm oil is found in a large variety of products from nut butters to Pringles to marshmallow bunnies. However it can be sustainably cultivated and should be if the price of nonsustainable harvestation is the result of killing one of the largest biospheres in the world and some of the most beautiful, intelligent and miraculous creatures to ever walk this planet.

You know the phrase that says you are what you eat? I’m sure you do. Well many of us also know we shouldn’t be eating sweets, we know they shouldn’t be eating processed foods, or things that are placed in the colorful packets and advertised on TV. But what some people don’t know is that when you are what you eat, what you’re eating could mean that you’re a killer. It could mean that you support the death of innocent animal, or the loss of trees, or the loss of beauty with out even knowing it. And that is what is so truly sad: You have a vote and choice, but you may not even be awe are of the ballot your submitting. I do not mean to place blame in this post, sureley for every finger I point, three point back at me. I’ve never been 100% perfect in my diet, nor will I probably ever be. But there is good food for thought in this message to consider what you’re eating and how it impacts others. Think about the farmers. Think about the animals. Think about the rain forest. Your dollar can support every tree chopped down and every life taken away. But I can also support every farmer, sustainably cultivated product, and it can support the preservation of life rather than the obliteration of it.

Want to do something about it? Stop buying unsustainably cultivated palm oil from these companies: http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/stop-deforestation/palm-oil-scorecard-2015#fast

And vote here: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/What_can_i_do.php
orangutans

Sources:

“Palm Oil and How It Threatens Orangutans.” The Orangutan Project. Just One Planet, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

Mayell, Hillary. “Wild Orangutans: Extinct by 2023?” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 9 Mar. 2004. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

Gluten Free Gringa Fajitas

fajitas

Here’s a recipe out there for ya that I discovered on my Candida Diet! So good. I bit hard to take in meat since it’s been a while, but it sure made my gut feel good 🙂 I recently developed an allergy to gluten and corn as well so this recipes is nice for giving you an alternative to some of the ingredients that can trigger common allergies.

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Ingredients

1 lb Chicken

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Red Bell Pepper

1/2 White Onion

1/2 Cup Quinoa

1/2 cup Spinach

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Chili Powder

Salt

Pepper

Coconut Oil

Toppings:

Cilantro

Avocado

Juice from a Lemon

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Start this dish off by taking a dollop of coconut oil and placing it in a frying pan. Cut up chicken into bite sized bits and place it in the pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally.

Take 1 cup of water and place in a small pot. Turn on high. Once water boils, add quinoa. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid.

Begin to cut up bell peppers and onion. Place in pan with chicken. Continuing to stir so that chicken doesn’t stick to pan. Be generous with your coconut oil. If it dish needs more, by all means, add more. You don’t want it to be soupy with oil, but well lubricated 😉 Add in cumin, paprika, chili powder; salt and pepper to taste. Stir pan, evenly coating chicken and veggies.

Once quinoa and fajita fillings are fully cooked. Prepare your plate by adding quinoa, spinach, fajitas fillings. Top with cilantro, lemon juice, and avocado. ❤

Pose of the Week: Triangle

trikonasana

Triangle Pose

TRIKONASANA

Benefits:

  • Relieves stress & anxiety
  • Aids to back tension and pain
  • Strengthens thighs, ankles & knees
  • Stretches abdominal muscles that assist better digestion.
  • Good for sciatica, osteoporosis, & flat feet

Asana Break Down:

Begin in Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), straighten front leg and extend forward, hinging your torso over your front thigh. Allow your front hand to find a block, shin or the floor. If your hands are placed on the floor, make sure your hand is firmly placed palm touching the ground or remain on your fingertips without compromising your thumb. Some people even like to allow their hand to free float by their shin or ankle, using their core muscles to maintain the integrity of this asana. Allow your other hand to reach towards the sky.

Next, we want to align the body by twisting deeper in the pose. To do this, imagine someone was pressing into your hand that is in the air and encouraging you to twist your lower ribcage forward. Head should align with the line of the spinal chord. Draw shoulder blades closer to one another and check your torso’s alignment over your front leg. Often, people will puff their chest forward and either collapse their ribcage or put their body dramatically off balance. Make sure the center of your torso aligns with the center of your front leg. Allow there to be a mirco-bend in the front leg so that you don’t hyper extend. Back hip muscle should descend down towards the ground. Allow the back body to lengthen. Take your gaze towards the sky.  ❤

Lemon Garlic Tilapia with a Garden Salad & Green Beans

tilapia dinner

Hello internet family ❤ This is a long awaited recipe, requested by one of the sweetest women I know! Similar to the Salmon recipe. Same same, little different. Here it goes: Clean eating for the entire family!

Fish are a wonderful source of protein, omega-3’s, B12 and Niacin, amongst other nutrients. So however you do it, it’s a great meal to add into your diet!

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Ingredients

1/2 lb tilapia

1 lemon

3-4 cloves garlic

A pinch of Salt

A pinch of Pepper

Handful of Green Beans

1 sprig of dill

Olive Oil

1 head of Lettuce

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Carrot

1/2 avocado

Serving 1

Cooking Time: 30-45 min.

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Alright folks, I’m pretty proud of this meal. It’s so nutritious and well balanced! You’ve got a great source of protein, good/healthy fats, and tons of veggies, each with health promoting qualities. Oh, and by the way…it’s delicious.

Set the oven to 375. Take out a baking pan and tin foil. Tear enough to create a tent around the fish. Take out your tilapia, place it on the tin foil, squeeze 1/4 lemon over it, season with a small pinch of salt, take one clove of garlic chopped and sprinkle on top. When your oven has preheated, cover your fish with the tin foil; again creating that tent-like quality. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

Next, chop up your salad fixings. Add more or less of whatever you like/don’t like listed above. Increase quantity if more people are joining you. Once your timer goes off, expose your fish, peeling away the tin foil. Place it back in the over for another 10-15 minutes. If you want your fish to become crispy set for 10 min and then put on broil for 5-7 minutes.

While your fish is finishing up, pour roughly 2 tbsp of olive oil into a frying pan. Add green beans, again adding a small handful for each person other than yourself. Take another 1/4 of lemon and squeeze over green beans. Take a pinch of salt and pepper, season to taste, and sprinkle over the beans. Add chopped garlic to the pan. Add 1 clove of garlic for every 2 people your cooking for. (For example: if you’re feeding 3 people, add 4-5 garlic cloves.) Mix ingredients together, covering the green beans with olive oil. Put on medium, cover with lid, stir every 30 seconds or so. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Allow them to steam for 5-7 minutes, turning the heat down, if needed.

Once the fish is cooked, take 1/4 lemon and squeeze over top. Add a bit more salt or fresh dill if your would like. Taste the green beans, maybe add the last 1/4 of lemon to them and continue to season to your liking.

Enjoy ❤

Please leave a comment or request bellow! Keep em’ coming, I love it!