Pose of the Week: Eight Angle

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Eight Angle

ASHTAVAKRASANA

Pose Benefits:

  • Strengthens Arms, Wrists, Shoulders and Abdomen
  • Stretches Legs
  • Improves Balance
  • Tones inner Thighs

Asana Prep:

No doubt this is a more challenging asana and it is important to make sure you are fully warmed up to practice. To prep for this asana, I like to sit in staff and come into a “rock the baby” motion. Take your knee in on hand and your foot in the other and gently begin to twist your torso, rocking your leg back and forth as if it were a baby. If there’s more available, you can cradle your leg in your elbow creases. Repeat on the other side.

Asana Breakdown:

When you are fully warmed up and ready to begin, start in staff. Making sure your pelvic floor is tilted forward and your spine is erect. Begin with your left leg. Prop it behind your left shoulder. Firmly rooting your hands directly underneath your shoulders, make sure all five knuckles are connected to the floor. Move your weight  from your bottom to your wrists so that your sit bones comes off the ground. Now your right leg should be extended while your left leg sits above your left shoulder. This is a great place to begin and may be where you find yourself pushed to your edge. However, if there is more, hook your right foot to your left. Extend both legs and deeply bend your elbows so that your arms are parallel with the floor.

Food for Thought:

As you may notice, I am smiling in this photo. For me, this asana is not always an easy task, however, a teacher of mine once said that when you are in the midst of struggle, especially in an asana — but also in day to day life — try smiling and notice how the asana changes. So I encourage you to find the posture that pushes you and move into the meditative, nonattached mind, and smile. See how it changes your practice and how it changes your life from day to day. ❤

Meditation for Changing Your Thought Patterns

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Our minds are constantly going — the chatting never seems to take a breath. Often, this continuous garble will say things to ourselves that we aren’t even consciously recognizing. A thought comes in, it gets stored, and we never have time to consider if that was something we truly meant or wanted to be thinking. This pattern of the subconscious mind leaves us high and dry in a moment of crisis because now our unwarranted thoughts have free range to say things like: “You’re not good enough.”, “You are not worthy.”, “You deserve what is happening to you.”, and so on. We all have this pattern due to a lack of mental hygiene. So for today, I offer you a way to sift through your mind and give it a little pre-spring cleaning.

If you’re anything like me, you may find when you come to sit in meditation, your mind immediately wants to speak louder. This is why many yogis practice asana first — to tire out the mind. So this meditation can be approach in a variety of ways: 1) perform an asana practice, the physical meditation I am about to describe, and then sit quietly for silent meditation, 2) skip the asana, dive straight into the physical meditation, and then go into quiet mediation, 3) dive right into quiet mediation, mentally going through the physical mediation.

PHYSICAL MEDITATION 

What you need:

  • A piece of paper
  • Colored pens or pencils (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter

Begin by taking your piece of paper and writing down the negative thoughts you find yourself thinking when you come to sit an meditate or feel in your day to day life. Begin to cut them into long strips. Take a moment to sit with what you have written. Perhaps examine how truly and deeply you feel that way about yourself and a moment that made you feel that way.

Now, take those same strips and on the other end of the paper, write the inverse of your statement. An example would be that if you wrote, I am not good enough, change it to I am good enough. Beautiful. Take a moment for that to sink in. Ponder the possibly that this is very true and what is on the other side of the paper is false. Take a moment to think of times where you felt this way. Notice the shift in your brain and body. How do you feel?

The purpose of this meditation is to consciously sift through your thoughts. Now, look at these pieces of paper and actively choose which ones you want to be thinking, what you want to take as true. Cut the paper in half, dividing the two thoughts. Take the thoughts you choose to discard and place them in a container or outside where it is safe to burn. Symbolically, you are consciously making a choice of what you wish to think and what you choose to let go. LET GO. Take those negative thoughts and release them, with love and kindness, for they are teachers, too.

With the remaining strips, the ones you are CHOOSING to think, sit with them in a comfortable, cross-legged position. Close your eyes and hold these affirmations as truth. Begin to place these truths in your heart. Sit here for at least 5-10 minutes. And just feel what it is like to know you are these things, you are worth these things, and the only one who can choose to make you feel this way is you.

❤ Namaste

Please feel free to leave a comment bellow, leave feedback, and tell me what you think!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Clean Eating Fajitas

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Having to give up cheese, gluten, and corn, I find myself missing the good ol’ southwest mexican meal. The truth is though, I can still eat what I want and it still tastes just as good! So here is my take on gluten free, corn free, dairy free fajitas!

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Ingredients

1 lb Carne Asada meat, pre-seasoned

1 red bell pepper

1 white bell pepper

2 green chili peppers

1/2 White onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of pepper

Toppings:

Salsa

Avocado

Serves 2-3

Time: 20 minutes 

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To begin, take out a medium frying pan. Chop your meat, onions and peppers. Add olive oil, meat, onions, bell peppers, and chili peppers to the frying pan. Turn on medium heat and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir pan. Allow the meal to simmer until the meat is fully cooked and the peppers are soft. Once done, serve and add toppings of your choice. Enjoy ❤

Pose of the Week: Boat

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Boat

PARIPURNA NAVASANA

Pose Benefits:

  • Strengthens Core, Hip flexors, and Spine
  • Improves Digestion
  • Stimulates Kidneys and Intestines
  • Increases internal awareness
  • Improves Balance
  • Helps with Stress

Asana Breakdown:

To get into this pose, sit on the floor with your knees bent. Keeping the knees bent, begin to raise your feet off the floor until the lower leg becomes parallel with the ground. Lock your mulabanda by engaging your pelvic floor. Keep your integrity in your back by flattening your stomach, allowing the spine to elongate in a linear fashion. Allow the collar bones to lift and spread. Slowly begin to straighten the legs, extending the arms forward.

Pose contradictions:

If you are experiencing any of the following, please refrain from this pose:

  • Headache
  • Pregnancy
  • Neck Pain or stiffness
  • Menstruation
  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea

Sources:

Granacher, Urs, Albert Gollhofer, Tibor Hortobágyi, Reto W. Kressig, and Thomas Muehlbauer. “The importance of trunk muscle strength for balance, functional performance, and fall prevention in seniors: a systematic review.” Sports medicine(2013): 1-15.

“Boat Pose – Paripurna Navasana – Yoga Pose.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publishing, 28 Aug. 2007. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

“How to Do Boat Pose in Yoga.” YogaOutlet.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Cherry Chicken with Rosemary & Garlic Quinoa

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Ingredients

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Chicken

1 Chicken Breast

4 Cups 100% Cherry Juice

A Pinch of Salt

A pinch of Pepper

1 tbsp Rosemary

Quinoa

1/2 cup Quinoa

2 cloves Garlic

3 tbsp Olive Oil

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Take your cherry juice and put it in a slow cooker on medium heat for 3-4 hours or until finished. I used a regular pot and put it on low. Add your chicken If you are going the pan version, the chicken take about 30-40 minutes. Take the chicken out and strain. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary.

In another pot, take one cup of water and put it on high. Once boiling add in quinoa and turn down to medium heat for 10 minutes or until done. In a skillet take your olive oil and chopped garlic. Let it simmer on low for 1-2 minutes, add quinoa. Serve with chicken and greens (I Chose spinach). Eat and enjoy!

 

Brightening Juice

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Start your day off right with a glass of juice! I was super grateful to be given a juicer for Christmas! I use it all the time! It’s so easy do do and is jam packed with nutrients!

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Ingredients

1 Cucumber

1 Apple

1/4 Lemon

1 tbsp ginger

4 stalks of Cellery

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Get your ingredients together and blend! ❤

Vietnamese Pho: An Organic Take

 

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Pho is by far one of my favorite meals! And it is jam packed with nutrients. The broth itself is said to have amazing healing properties, especially for the muscles and joints. Unfortunately, most pho that we can by at a restaurant is not organic and often it contains MSG. To solve my dilemma to determine whether this food is my friend or pho (get it 😉 ) I decided to make my own.

The process can be a bit intimidating because the ingredients may be slightly unusual and it can be time consuming. Fear not, it is simple, delicious and makes a ton! So you will be able to share the meal with your family.

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Ingredients

1 lb beef or pork bones

1 White onion, Large

4-5 quarts of water

1 tbsp Ginger, fresh

1 1/2 tbsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp Pepper

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 pods Star Anise

2-3 tbsp Fish sauce

1 1/2 lbs choice of meat (Shrimp, Tofu, Pork, or Beef)

1 tbsp Sriracha

1 tbsp Hoisin sauce

1 lime

Toppings:

1 1/2 cups of bean sprouts

1 head of Cilantro

2-3 Jalapeños

1 package Thai Basil

Green Onions

2 limes

1-2 packages Rice Ramen Noodles

Sriracha

Poison Sauce

Cherry Tomatoes

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IMG_3304.JPGPreparation:
Many health food stores sell beat sprouts, however, if they are not in
season or if you would like to sprout your own, you can take about 1/2 cups of beans (I chose
mung), cover them with water, and place a folded paper towel and rubber band over the top. Allow them to sprout over the course of 5-7 days (other beans take less time). Once they have sprouted, strain them and add them to this meal or the next!

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Start by taking your beef bones and cooking them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. This will rid the bones of any parasites and will ready the bones marrow to be pulled out when making your stock.

In a large pot, place in water, onion (shopped),ginger, and bones. Simmer on low for 6-10 hours.  Then add pepper,salt, chili powder, star anise, and fish sauce then stir. Add in your meat either by cooking it in the broth or in a pan. I prepared mine in a pan to avoid any contamination and to individually season the meat to my liking. Once finished, take out the bones and add the meat to the pot along with the Sriracha, 1 lime, and Hoisin Sauce.

In a separate bowl, cook the amount of rice noodles you would like to eat by following the instructions on the package. Then, disperse the noodles into each serving and add the broth (NOTE: the rice noodles are fragile and will break/disintegrate if you cook them all at once and place them in the pot). Then, add the toppings of your choice, I recommend adding them all.

Eat and Enjoy ❤

 

 

 

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather is cold and the body needs nourishment, Chicken Soup is the way to go. Here is a recipe I made using a chicken from a dinner the night before. It’s great to get mileage out of your ingredients and your time in the kitchen. Feel free to bake a chicken and throw in the bones and  leftover meat into the pot or start from the beginning!

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Ingredients 

1-2 lb Chicken (with bone)

4 Carrots

3 stocks Celery

6 small potatoes (option: 3 white and 3 purple)

1/4-1/2 White Onion

2-3 Cloves Garlic

1 package Rice Ramen Noodles

1/2 lemon

1/2 tbsp Rosemary

1/2 tbsp Thyme

1 tbsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp Black Pepper

1 tbsp Cumin

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Begin by making your stock: Pull out a large pot and fill with 5-6 cups of water. Cut up chicken, potatoes (leave skin on), carrots, onion, garlic and celery. Turn stove on medium/high heat for 40-45 minutes, adding water as needed. Check to make sure your chicken is fully cooked. Let it cook for more time before adding in your seasoning.

Once your stock has been created, turn on medium/low heat, add in squeezed lemon, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Adjusting quantity as needed. Finally, add in 2-3 cakes of rice ramen. Let Ramen cook for 4-6 minutes and then take off heat. Serve and enjoy ❤

Mango Chicken Haystack

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Here is a clean eat for the family night dinner. It’s got great flavor; mixing sweet and spicy.

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Ingredients

1 cup Basmati Rice

3 tbsp Olive Oil

 1/2 lemon

1/2-1 lb Chicken breast

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

A pinch of Salt

A pinch of pepper

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tbsp Chili Powder

1 mango

1 Avocado

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 cup lettuce

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Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add rice and bring down to medium/low heat, cover with lid.

In a frying pan, place olive oil, onion, garlic and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add chopped chicken, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, 1/4 lemon and chili powder. Bring up to medium/high heat and stir frequently, adding more olive oil, if needed. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, remove from heat.

When rice is ready, add a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil, cilantro, and 1/4 lemon. Mix well.

Begin to make your haystack by placing rice, chicken, lettuce, avocado, mango, and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy ❤

 

Egg-celent Breakfast

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Here’s an easy breakfast I threw together! Super easy, quick and yummy!

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Ingredients

New York Lox

2 eggs, hard boiled

1/4 cup lettuce

1/4 cup Spinash

1 avocado

Himalayan Pink Salt

Optional:

Capers

Lemon

Salad Dressing

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Take out a small pot, fill with water, add eggs. Let boil for 10-15 min. Take out lox, cut lettuce, and avocado. Sprinkle with salt. Add capers and squeeze lemon over it or add salad dressing, if desired. Once eggs are done, remove the shell, slice, and serve!