Holy Yoga for Toddlers

I have been taking the Kids Holy Yoga course and I am simply loving it! The team is an amazing group of women of faith who also happen to be experienced yoga teachers. The course has given me the opportunity to play with my daughter and find out that she loves yoga!  

Bella is just one and a half, but she loves trying to stretch her little body into the poses. She doesn't do all of the poses, nor are they perfect, but it doesn't matter. I am only interested in sharing the love of Christ with her through movement. If you make it fun and playful I promise your child will also do yoga with you and as a bonus you will get the opportunity of teaching them about God's great love!

Today's video is a holy yoga class for toddlers based on the story of Noah's ark. Feel free to watch it with your toddler or just get some ideas for your next class!

Stay Blessed!

Lectio Divina

I first learned about Lectio Divina during Holy Yoga retreat from Jill Fisk. Her Lectio Divina sessions were calming and taught me a lot about myself and the God that loves me. Before that, I viewed meditation as a person and her thoughts. But, since then I started bringing scripture into my daily meditations either in the form of mantras or as lectio divina. Today I will teach you this new type of meditation so that you can add it to your meditation toolbox.

You start Lectio Divina by taking a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Allow yourself to become silent for a few minutes. I like to repeat the word maranatha to help me focus my thoughts.

Once you feel a sense of calm come over you, open your eyes and read a passage in scripture. Read it slowly and gently. Savor each phrase, really letting the scripture sink in. Close your eyes and sit with the scripture. Let it talk to you. Close your eyes and just sit with what you read. Repeat this 3 times. When you are meditating on the scripture, allow thouhgts to come by without judgement. Allow any inner pondering, any struggles to take you to a deeper dialogue with God.

If you would like to go through a guided Lectio Divina, take a look at this video and I will guide you through it!

Stay Blessed everyone!



 


Lent Meditation Challenge: Feeling God's Love and Kindness through Meditation

 Spend some time in God's love. Practice loving and kindness meditation today!

Spend some time in God's love. Practice loving and kindness meditation today!

Lent starts in two days! Are you ready to meditate for 40 days? It is so simple and beneficial for you, just take ten minutes a day to practice one of the meditations I have taught in the past three weeks. You will change your relationship with God, become calmer, and see clearer.

Today's meditation is a love and kindness meditation. In Mathew 22 Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment of all. He replies:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This it the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On These two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Mathews 22:37-40)

Jesus summarizes the entire Mosaic law into love. So take sometime today to be in the love of your Savior and to send love to others. Loving and Kindness mediation is a form of meditation where you first send God's love to your self through affirmations and visualization techniques. Then you do the same towards a person you deeply love (spouse, child, etc), a neutral person (an acquaintance) , and finally a person who is hostile against you or that awakens negative feelings in your heart. 

Take ten minutes today to quiet your mind and to live the greatest command of God's law: love. Hope you enjoy the video!

Stay Blessed!

 

Contemplative Prayer: Be Still and Know

Today I teach you a different type of meditation for those of you who are planning to take the 40 day lent meditation challenge starting on February 10th. Today's meditation is a christ-centered meditation called contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer was brought to the west by father William Meninger after he found a 14th century book entitled the cloud of unknowing. 

Much like the basic meditation you learned last week, contemplative prayer is done cross-legged with a straight spine. To start, deepen your breath and focus your attention to your inhales and exhales. And throughout the meditation you will repeat a mantra or word that is meaningful to you. I use the word Maranatha - which in Aramaic means the Lord is coming. I repeat Maranatha in my head in each inhale and on each exhale. I focus on what the word means to me and visualize Christ dying on the cross for my sins. Maranatha is a very powerful word. Everyday we should long for Him to come back. Maranatha will remind us to keep our minds in the Lord and on our eternal life with him. This meditation will help you keep yourself in tune with the divine and less concerned about the material things in life. 

During this meditation, don't ask anything from God. Just be still and stand in his presence much like Psalm 46:10 recites :

Be still and know that I am God.


Stay Blessed and watch the video to do a guided meditation: 



Basic Meditation: Learning to wait for God

Lent season is coming! This year I am going to invite you to, rather than giving up something for lent, to adopt a new habit starting February 10th. This new habit is to spend 5-20 minutes a day for 40 days in the presence of the Lord through meditation. Despite of any mystical ideas you might have regarding what meditation is, meditation is nothing more than silencing your mind to listen to God.  Psalm 62:1-2 introduces this idea of waiting silently in the Lord:

  • Truly my soul silently waits for God; 
  • From Him comes my salvation.
  • He only is my rock and my salvation;
  • He is my defense;
  • I shall not be greatly moved.

Our God deserves to be loved and you deserve to spend time with Him. Nowadays life is so hectic, we need to train ourselves to know how to wait silently for God. So take these daily 5-20 minutes to sit in His presence. Don't ask for anything, just be. I promise, it will change your life and your relationship with him. 

In the next few weeks that antecede lent, I will present ways you can meditate. This week I teach a very basic meditation where you silence your mind and focus on the breath. Make sure that you have a timer with you. If you use your phone, put it in airplane mode and turn the sound on. Find a comfortable and silent space and sit cross legged with your spin upright. Watch the video to learn the rest.

Since starting a daily meditation practice, I have noticed a few differences: The first is that I am much more present. Rather than being worried about social media all day, I have learned through to soak in the present moment. 2) I have become calmer and learned to trust God. I have a tendency to worry a lot. But when you realize that God is in control and you have a strong and intimate relationship with him you can trust him to lead the way. 3) I have heard the Lord speak to me a lot clearer. It may not necessarily happen during meditation, but he will speak to you much louder when you take time to be in his presence everyday.

I believe this practice will bless you. Stay blessed and looking forward to take this challenge on starting February 10th!





Harnessing the power of your thoughts: Headstand

God spoke the world into being (Hebrews 11:3) and as we are created in His image our thoughts and words are also powerful. We usually think that thinking positively is new age craziness, but throughout the bible we see the power of our thoughts and words. When Jesus asks the blind man if he really thinks he can heal him and he says yes, he tells him: Become what you believe (MSG version). That sentence stuck with me because it is so powerful. We become what we believe. So, what do you believe you are? Are your thoughts kind about yourself? Jesus shows how our beliefs can become truths. The blind man’s faith led him to see. What does your faith and beliefs lead you to?

Meditate: Throughout your yoga practice notice your thoughts regarding your abilities. What happens when you start to struggle in your headstand? What do you tell yourself?  If you start talks of self-loathing, observe those thoughts and instead tell yourself the following affirmations: I am worthy. I am a child of God. I am loved. I am whole.

Practical ways to eat plant based!

Maybe you want to start eating plant-based, but you are having some trouble getting started.  You may feel that you just don't have the time for all the prep necessary to lead a plant-based lifestyle. Well, most of us don't have the time. I love preparing new and different foods, but there are those days where I barely have any time to breathe. So here are my go to quick foods to eat plant-based:

Amy's kitchen frozen foods

Amy's kitchen is my go to frozen food brand. This a vegetarian line made with all natural ingredients - some of the products are organic and some all vegan. Their food is delicious and I am obsessed with their indian line. During winter, when it's cold out, I find myself craving spicy indian fare... So instead of going to an indian restaurant and eating potentially unhealthy food, I grab an Amy's kitchen Vegetable Korma. It reminds me of my trip to india, it is satisfying, and so good for you! Amy's kitchen uses non-GMO ingredients.

Maya Kaimal Coconut Curry

 I am completely obsessed with this coconut curry and always try to keep it stocked at home because it can turn any boring rice or quinoa into an amazing meal in seconds. Usually I will roast an eggplant in the oven and then will eat with this curry and naan bread. It is soooo yummy and it is done in under thirty minutes. I find it in the freezer section of my fresh thyme store. If your store doesn't carry it, I suggest you ask for it. It is amazing! If you always have some quinoa prepared in the fridge (you can just prepare a batch over the weekend, then you can add veggies and quinoa and voila! Amazing meal!

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great quick meal. I prefer buying my local brand called Baker Mills and having it cook overnight in a slow cooker. I add water apples and raisins and just leave it overnight to cook. It makes a satisfying breakfast every morning. But if having it cook in the slow cooker is way too much of a hassle for you, then go for a few packets of instant oatmeal. It may not be as healthy as the steel cut counterpart, but it makes for a quick, on the go, plant-based meal. 

Foragers

Want to drink green juice, but just don't have the time nor the will to make some? But, still think that the brands sold in the supermarket are full of sugar? Think again. Foragers greens on greens is a great choice and very low in sugar. They have other great juices and nut milks like their matcha almond milk. I love this brand and the CEO worked at Odwalla with my hubby. So I gotta support our friends :) 

Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl

I am not a big Starbucks fan, but their stores are everywhere (even inside the Louvre!) and their hearty veggie bowl is tasty and completely plant-based. I highly recommend you buy it if you are in a rut and looking for something quick and plant-based. I really, really like it!

Other great places to grab a quick plant-based bite:

Other amazing options for plant-based faire on the go are: Native Foods (try their Thai meatball bowl), LyfeKitchen (try the ancient grains quinoa bowl), true food kitchen (this restaurant belongs to Dr Weil and has some amazing fare), and the omnipresent Chipotle (try their sofritas bowl with brown rice and beans - I love it!).

 

Good Luck and Stay Plant-based!

 

 

 

 

Finding strength in the Lord: Astavakrasana

Some days are true battles. Everything goes wrong, you are misunderstood, you are attacked without reason, you are put down (sometimes by things you say to yourself)... These are spiritual battles. Sometimes it is hard to fight these invisible battles, because you can't see your enemy... So it is important to practice strength in our lives through our yoga practice. Understanding our reactions when we are not strong enough and training ourselves to go to the Lord instead of victimizing ourselves is paramount to win these battles.

Today in class we will find strength in the Lord through arm balances. By trying to get into different arm balances including astavakrasana (eight angle pose), we will notice how we react during times we need strength. Do you quit?? Do you tell yourself you are not good enough? Do you keep trying? We need to learn to turn to the Lord as we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philipians 4:13). Can you do it? Maybe not today, but through consistency, and faithful obidience we can develop our practice and do anything. This is a lesson for our yoga practice and lives. 

Don't ever quit! We can do anything because our God is the God of the impossible.

Stay blessed and enjoy class!

Kapotasana, death, God, and letting go

If Yoga practice is a microcosm of life, then Kapotasana is a microcosm of death. And I am not talking about that Kapotasana where you plop to the floor and never bind. That doesn't count. I am talking about the real Kapotasana where you have to fight the floor to be able to open your heart, and then you take your shoulder to the limit by trying to reach your heels. You may not bind, but I am talking about the struggle that takes you to the limit. That Kapotasana. The one that leaves you breathless fighting your own body to be able to grasp a little bit of air.

Kapotasana is for me such a deep pose that when I started practicing it, it created anxiety before I even set foot into the studio. That is why I equate it to death practice. Because death creates anxiety. Have you ever been in a situation where you are having a great day and then you have a sudden realization that you are going to die one day and everything will be over? Then a bout of anxiety sets in... That is pretty much how Kapotasana makes you feel once it enters your daily practice. 

I started getting anxious about Kapotasana the night before when I went to bed. I would think to myself: "Oh my, I have to do Kapotasana tomorrow morning....". Usually a mini panic attack ensued and I had to do breathing exercises to sleep. When I woke up, another wave of anxiety would come over me with a tiny panic attack when I remembered that I had to do Kapotasana in a few hours. Once I got to the studio, my panic grew and when it was actually time to drop back into Kapo, I was usually trembling. It must seem crazy to you that I put myself through this everyday, but what I have learned through these daily forages into Kapotasana is truly priceless.

Having so much anxiety build over doing a pose, forced me to forget obsessing over accomplishing the pose and going on to the next one. It didn't matter anymore if I bound or not. Instead, I had to focus on the present to be able to just get through my practice without starting a panic attack. So rather than watching every youtube video and reading every article about Kapotasana, I started focusing on every little aspect of my practice. And instead of worrying about what was coming next or when I was getting the next pose, I started letting go and focusing on the now.

Kapotasana forced my focus out of my physical body and onto the celestial one. My anxiety about this pose was so much that I turned my eye completely to God and let Him guide my practice. In fact, when I drop down to Kapotasana I reach to the sky and say a brief prayer before I drop back. Little by little kapotasana got easier, and the anxiety became less overwhelming. God reminded me that after death, the most important encounter of our life happens with Him. I was reminded of John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

I did believe it. So I let go, my trembling subsided, my grasps for air became longer. My focus was on God. 

What happened after conquering Kapotasana was magical. My practice unfolded effortlessly. My youtube video obsession vanished and getting into new poses was more about unlocking the potential that was already there.  Kapotasana forced me to focus on what mattered: God and the present moment. 

 

Bringing down walls in your Yoga practice and life: Marichyasana D and Faith

Marichyasana D was the first wall I encountered in my yoga practice. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, it did not seem to matter. Months passed by and everyday I had a different reason why I couldn't bind in the pose... First, I figured my belly was too big and getting in the way, then I realized my legs were way too fat to be enveloped by my arms, or maybe my arms were way too short to go around my legs, and then I thought my spine could not twist enough... 

I obsessed over the pose for months. I have probably watched every youtube video and read every article ever written on Marichyasana D. Then after months of consistent practice and faith, it just.... happened. It was a bit anticlimactic... My world didn't change, birds did not sing. One day, I just bound and my day went on as usual. 

Yoga practice is often a microcosm of life and it teaches important lessons if you pay close attention. Marichyasana D was for a while my very own promised land, which was kept safely inside a very tall wall I could not get through. No matter what I did, the wall would not come down. It was only through faithful obedience and consistence that the wall fell. 

Does that sound familiar? The people of Israel also encountered a wall around Jericho. Did they need military prowess to get into the city? No, all they needed was God. Just like conquering Marychaisana D, the people of Israel blindly followed God and through faith and obedience they made the wall fall. 

Every challenging pose in the yoga practice is a promised land that is protected by wall. When you hit a wall what should you do? You should, like the people of Israel, stay faithful and consistent with God in your holy yoga practice. In life, staying faithful and strong with God will also bring down many walls. Whenever you hit a wall in life or yoga practice, remember:

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days."  Hebrews 11:30.

During practice today we will attempt to get into an advanced twist called marichyasana D. This is an intermediary to advanced class and it will take about 45 minutes. During class ask yourself: 

  • How else can you access and apply the power of God in your yoga practice and your life?
  • Are there any areas where you could use more faith and consistence?

It is a new year and a great time to reflect on faith and obedience in Christ! So enjoy the challenge of this intermediary class and remember to stay faithful!

Stay Blessed!

 

Vision Writing Exercise for 2016: Make His vision for your life come alive!

The first day of the new year is a great time to think of the future. Personally, I see this time of the year as one of prayer and reflection, a time to set goals, and sit with the Lord. Today, I invite you to take some time to calm your mind and meditate. The video below is a short pranayama and meditation on Habakkuk 2:2. For those of you who are not familiar with pranayama, it is a breath exercise yogis do. Scientific studies suggest pranayama lowers blood pressure, calms the parasympathetic nervous system, and eases anxiety. By calming down the mind, you are able to better communicate with our creator so that you can hear and understand His goals for you. While you are doing the pranayama, I invite to ask yourself:

  • Has God given you a vision for your life?
  • What is that Vision?

Once you have an idea of God's vision for you life I ask you to meditate on Habakkuk 2:2-3 :

Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it." For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Notice that God orders his prophet to write down his vision and then share it with others. He asks for it to be in plain sight. So write down God's vision for you and place it in plain sight for you. You will be reminded everyday of God's vision for your life. You will be motivated to work hard to achieve His Vision. 

I hope this video helps you calm your mind and connect with your Savior. Whatever His vision is for your life, remember: it may take long, but your Father is the God of the impossible. And though things may seem impossible for you, for God everything is possible (Mathew 19:26). 

Stay Blessed!

 


5 Stay Fit Secrets I Learned From the Japanese

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the land of the rising sun, Japan. I don't know if you have noticed yet, but the Japanese live long, they are lean and healthy, and they age very slowly. During my trip, I was eager to crack the Japanese code that creates this overall health.  Well, by talking to different people and noticing what was going on around me I found nine habits the Japanese have that are contributing to their overall level of health and wellness. Here they are: 

  1. They drink lots of green tea: Unlike the United States, you don't see the Japanese guzzling a 16 oz coke at every meal. Instead, they drink lots of hot green tea. Green tea contains bioactive contents that improve health. These include polyphenols that are powerful antioxidants (no wonder those people age slowly!). Studies also show that compounds in green tea increase metabolism and fat burning. So adopt this Japanese habit and sip on green tea all day! I noticed they drank a powdery tea called Sencha instead of brewing their tea. By drinking this powdery tea with meals - rather than steeping, they are actually eating the entire leaf in powder form - see the link below to buy!
  2. They drink brothy soups before a meal: While, we are eating fattening appetizers when dining out, the Japanese have brothy soups (e.g. Miso soup) before every meal. When you go to a restaurant a brothy soup is usually included as an appetizer. By adding brothy soups before each meal, we become full before eating our main meal without adding too many calories. A traditional miso soup has 36 calories, meanwhile a traditional American appetizer has an average of 400 calories. 
  3. They enjoy other types of protein that are not animal based: The Japanese eat some animal-based products, but their traditional cuisine uses animal based proteins sparingly. Instead they diversify their protein intake by also eating wheat, tofu, and soy milk.  When they do eat animal flesh, the Japanese focus on fish. 
  4. They drink matcha tea: Matcha was used as medicine by ancient buddhist monks in Japan because of its high vitamin C content. Today we know that matcha has a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). EGCg is a powerful cancer fighter and matcha green tea contains 100 times more EGCg than any other tea in the market. Matcha is basically green tea on steroids. Do yourself a favor and drink matcha once a day! I know I do! - see the link below to buy!
  5. They don't add a bunch of sugar to their tea: Now I will tell you something that the Japanese don't do: Added sugars. You will never see a Japanese ask someone to sweeten their tea. Even matcha - sweet matcha is an american invention - stay away from it. Great matcha is aired to become less bitter. If you can't stand the bitterness - do like the Japanese. Drink your matcha with a healthy sweet instead. 
  6. They eat using chopsticks:  Have you tried eating regular food with chopsticks? If you have, you know that you are not stuffing your mouth with food because it is simply difficult to do so. By eating with chopsticks, the Japanese practice mindful eating with a slower pace. You won't see anyone stuffing their face with any food in Japan. You don't necessarily have to use chopsticks to eat, but try practicing more mindful eating by taking smaller bites and chewing more times (up to thirty times before swallowing).
  7. They eat lots of seaweed : The american diet is low in iodine which prompted our government to add iodine to table salt. However iodine deficiency is still a problem causing many to develop thyroid disease. The Japanese eat a lot of seaweed which helps them to get their recommended levels of this important mineral. Want to add a brothy soup and increase your iodine levels? Then do like the Japanese and try adding some miso soup to your diet!
  8. Ginseng shots: You see Ginseng shots everywhere you go in Japan and I ended up buying some for myself. According to the Japanese Ginseng shots are supposed to help with circulation and your immune system, provide an energy boost, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and even help treat diabetes. I just added Ginseng to my morning routine. Maybe you should try it for yourself - see the link below to buy!
  9. They walk a lot! Cars are a luxury in Japan, and you will often see 300-500 people cross the streets of Tokyo during rush hour. They walk everywhere likely logging over 10,000 steps a day. I have personally been obsessed with the 10,000 steps a day deal for a long time, but now I want to log even more steps daily. Want to be able to track your steps? Get a fitbit! It was the best thing I did for myself... Then friend me! I really enjoy some healthy competition! - See the link below to buy!


Holy Yoga for New Years

 Kurmasana

Kurmasana

The goal of today's holy yoga class is to rebirth a new self in Christ. As the new year approaches, we will do hip openers as a symbolic exercise of birthing a new self in 2016. The class will work towards a challenging hip opener called kurmasana (or turtle pose). As you take this class, meditate  on Romans 12: 1-2: Think of taking your everyday, ordinary life, your yoga practice, your sleeping, your eating, you everyday work and offering it to God. During practice focus on the following questions:

What will this offering of ordinary things in your life look like for you?

  • What will offering your yoga practice to God look like?
  • What will offering your work to God look like?
  • What will offering your eating to God look like?

What can you improve in your life in the new year so that this offering is even better?

I hope that in the year of 2016 you dedicate your life to Christ. I hope that this is a year of achievements and improvements for you! When we live in Christ and according to His rules, our lives flourish. I hope that the Holy Spirit transforms you this year, and that through Him you are able to find a new self.

Stay Blessed!

Izabel

Holy Yoga for Christmas

ChristmasHolyYoga.jpg

As we approach the celebration of our Savior's birth we should start thinking about our rebirth in Christ. Today's class focuses on 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things passed away; behold, all things become new".  

I invite you to meditate on this scripture and ask yourself:

Who are you in Christ?

Who is the new you with Christ? 

The bible says, in Galatians 5:22-23 that in the Spirit,

  • You are love
  • You are joy
  • You are peace
  • You are forbearance
  • You are kindness
  • You are goodness
  • You are faithfulness
  • You are gentleness
  • You are self-control

During today's class please bring your thoughts to these questions and to what we become in Christ. Take the time to meditate on areas you may need improvement and thank God for what you have become in the Spirit.

Have a blessed class and Merry Christmas!

Yogi Gift Guide for the Yoga Lover in your life

yogigiftguide.jpg

Need a gift for the yoga teacher, yogi, or yoga lover in your life? Well, look no further... Here are my top pics that are bound to swipe your yogi love off her/ his mat!

1) Mini grid foam roller: There are times when you just need to work out some kinks and this portable grid foam roller can do the job anywhere! It can be easily put away in your desk, yoga bag, or car. It is also super cute and adorable! Give her/ him the gift of fascia release!

2) UE Boom bluetooth speaker: Sometimes the yogi in your life might want to teach an impromptu class, or they may teach privates. UE Boom bluetooth provides an easy connection to their phone so that any place, can become an amazing yoga class environment!

3) Spotify Gift card: Yoga teachers appreciate the value of spotify and you will be a hero giving her a credit for her/ his favorite music service. You get the added benefits of her/his students loving you for it too!

4) Heavily Meditated T-shirt - Yogis like a good and fun graphic t-shirt and this one delivers both - because your love is likely heavily meditated. Find it here

5) Metallic Manduka mat in gold - Wanna give her the yogi gift equivalent of a Rolls Royce? Then buy her a limited edition metallic manduka mat in gold! Get it here

6) Holy yoga training - There is nothing more life changing than this training - and if your yogi love has already undergone it, there are many more specialty ones to be undergone... Find it here

Hope these tips helped you find the perfect gift!!!! I know I would be ecstatic with any of these!

God Bless you!

Izabel

Holy Yoga for Advent Week 3

This week is our final week of preparation before Christmas. As we draw closer to the celebration of God's birth, we are reminded to make room for Christ. It is not the right time to hold on to hatred, sadness, anguish or any type of negative feelings. Today's focus is on letting go. Christ wants to dwell in your heart, but if you are burdened with negative feelings there won't be space for Him. Through our practice, we symbolically let go by pulsating in asanas instead of holding them for long periods of time. We also use a few minutes during class to dance freely and explore our space and bodies. As you work on physically letting go, you might want to meditate on the following question:

What are you holding on to which is taking up space that should have been reserved for Christ? 

The bible says we should let go and be forgiving towards one another (Ephesians 4:31-32) and that we must forget what has passed and must instead focus on what is ahead (Philippians 3:13-14). Once you understand what you are holding on to, I want you to practice sending you the person/ situation who has wronged you or bothers you love and peace, and then kindly letting them go of their thoughts. Simply let go. It is ok. It is the past.

Letting go is hard, but with a little practice it is possible. If you would like to do some more reading on what the bible has to say about letting go, feel free to take a look at the following verses:

  • Mathew 6:14-15
  • Luke 9:62
  • Proverbs 23:7
  • Mathew 5:44
  • James 1:19-20

Now onto the class! Hope you like it!



Posted on December 14, 2015 .

Holiday Travel Nutrition Hacks

Are you traveling this holiday season and anticipating a 5lb weight gain? Well, with a little planning and a lot of will power, I guarantee you can keep that weight gain at bay. There are 6 items I bring with me whenever I travel. Here is what I do whenever I travel to keep my body healthy and any weight gain to a minimum (Want more tips like these? Sign up for 4 weeks of free and exclusive tips in January Here)

  1. Travel Blender: I never travel without a travel blender, unless I am 100% sure there is a raw vegan juice bar by my hotel. I own a powerful travel blender called nutri ninja (The link is in the bottom of the page). It has 900 watts of power - a vitamix has around 1500 watts - so this travel blender is pretty powerful. So powerful in fact, it could probably serve as your main blender at home. It makes great green smoothies in the morning even when you add fibrous veggies. I went on a holy yoga retreat recently and all of my cabin mates thought I was crazy. I brought my little blender along and instead of having pancakes in the morning - I would save the greens from the night before and blend them in the morning with a banana and my pre-packed superfood goodness (which is my next must have item). Which reminds me, bring small plastic zip lock bags to collect greens and fruit from the buffet at your hotel or restaurant and place them in your room fridge for later use. Also, when you book your hotel, request a fridge. Let them know you have special dietary needs, and they will usually oblige. 
  2. Pre-packed superfoods: As I said before, a little planning goes a long way when traveling. Nobody wants to lug around boxes and containers to make a green smoothie. What is a girl to do? Pre-pack all of her smoothie goodness into little plastic ziplock bags. I prepare one bag per day of my stay that way even if I don't find greens I can blend a banana (which is available anywhere) with my super foods. I usually add Amazing Grass Green Superfoods ( link at the bottom of page) - a raw and amazing supplement, some maca (link at the bottom of page) which helps with stress and my immunity, and some hemp seeds for a clean, whole food source of protein. I make sure to feed my body well first thing in the morning so I don't feel any cravings. The smoothies usually tide me over till lunch time.
  3. Portable morning shots: Every morning I take a shot after drinking my 32 ounces of water. I usually have a wheatgrass or turmeric and ginger shot, but, finding a shot on the go can be quite challenging. First, because there are no travel juicers I know of (trust me I have looked), and second because juice bars are not available in your destination. So if my research shows no juice bars close to my hotel, I bring a powdered wheatgrass drink. It is not as effective as the real thing, but it helps me keep my routine consistent - and consitency is key in keeping with a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, I even add it to my water throughout the day when traveling because it is such a great detoxifier.
  4. Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds make my world go round! Seriously, these little tiny seeds can turn any lame salad into a nutritional powerhouse. Sometimes, it may be hard coming across a good plant-based meal when traveling. So I bring my hemp seeds and I add it to everything I eat. I buy Manitoba Harvest (link below). Hemp seeds are the most nutritious seed in the world and a complete protein. They have a balanced profile of protein, essential fats, enzymes, and vitamins with low sugar, starches, and saturated fats. Adding these seeds to salads, soups, and meals keeps me satiated for a longer period of time as well. Keeping me from eating too much junk when on holiday. 
  5. Accessories: Always bring reusable cutlery, and a water bottle or travel coffee mug. You will need it to create your smoothies and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. I love the bamboo cutlery to-go ware makes and I have a set (link Below). You could use plastic cutlery - but who wants to trash the environment?
  6. Justin's chocolate almond or hazelnut butter packs : Have you tasted Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter? If you haven't  - maybe you shouldn't... They are so good, it is hard to stop eating them. But, if you have enough self control these little packs make a great on the go snack (with a banana) or a late night healthy indulgence. I love eating something sweet and delicious in bed, so I bring these little packs of amazingness along and I eat them with bananas. It can also make for an amazing breakfast if you can't make a green smoothie. 

I hope the tips were helpful for your impending holiday travel. It is important to keep our bodies healthy and to be consistent, but also remember to enjoy your trip and immerse yourself in local culture and food! Take a meal to really indulge and experience the local cuisine... You can always walk off the calories later ;) 


Healthy Fettucini Alfredo: Kelp Noodles and Plant-based Alfredo sauce

It is that time of the year when we start craving lots of fattening and comforting foods. The cold weather sets in and our body seeks warmth and comfort. But, it is possible to survive winter, eat what foods that are creamy and amazing, and still not gain 10 lbs by March. All you need to do is indulge in healthy versions of your favorite comfort foods. When you focus on plant-based versions of comfort foods, we are able to create recipes that fulfill that psychological need, but are also good for your body. My version of fettucini alfredo uses Kelp noodles. If you are not familiar with kelp noodles, they are noodles made out of kelp and are carb free, gluten free, and basically free of anything except thyroid boosting iodine! It does have added soldium alginate, but that is a natural emulsifier extracted from brown seaweed. So it is safe! Kelp noodles can be eaten right out of its pack raw, but I am not fond of its crunchy texture. I use a trick I learned from Mathew Sweeney to create soft and amazing kelp noodles that have similar texture to an al dente pasta. I buy the Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles brand - the one you see to the left of the text.  The Alfredo cream is based on cauliflower, caramelized onions, garlic, and treeline vegan cheese. If you are not familiar with this brand and you are Vegan I suggest you get familiar with their products. They cheese is out of this world and I absolutely love them! The produced vegan cheeses and spreads made from cashews and aged like regular cheese - it is full of probiotics and adds an amazing cheesy taste to any recipe. The one I love the most is the scallion flavor see the picture below . This cheese is great by itself too - try it with some Mary Gone Crackers! By the way, don't forget to sign up for four weeks of exclusive nutrition tips and yoga sequences here!

Without further ado here is the recipe. Everyone that tasted it loved it - Even my 18 month old baby girl! I hope that you love it just as much as they did. 

Ingredients

  • One head of cauliflower
  • One bag of Kelp Noodles
  • Garlic to taste ( I like a lot of it so I did an entire bulb of garlic)
  • One entire white onion
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter (1/4 cup)
  • 6 tbsp on hemp seeds
  • 1stp red pepper flakes
  • ½ treeline Vegan cheese in scallion flavor
  • water – start with one cup – add more as needed
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • salt 1 teaspoon
  • olive oil

Kelp Noodle Prep

Before you start drain all of the water from the kelp noodles. Place them in warm water - nothing above 95 degrees - otherwise it won't be raw. Then add some vinegar and baking soda. Yes - be prepared for a small chemical reaction. The bubbles will subside. Let the Kelp noodles rest for at least thirty minutes so that they soften. 

Alfredo Sauce

As you let the kelp noodle rest in the baking soda and vinegar bath, trim off the leaves from your cauliflower. Take the Earth Balance Vegan butter and brush your head of cauliflower with it. Set the cauliflower on a baking sheet and the oven to 400 degrees and place the head of cauliflower there. Let it bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. 

While the head of cauliflower is baking, slice the onions and peel the garlic. Take some more of the vegan butter and place it in a frying pan with the sliced onions and garlic on low heat. And I mean the lowest setting - you want the onions to slowly caramelize. This will take about 30 minutes. When the onions are browned and smelling amazing they are ready!

Once both cauliflower, garlic and onions are ready, place them in the blender. Add 6 tbsp of hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1/2 treeline cheese in the scallion flavor, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Blend all of the ingredients.

Final Prep

Once your sauce is ready, drain the kelp noodles from their bath. Then mix the kelp noodles and the sauce. Your Alfredo is ready! Add any other veggies and nuts you may want - I added some cashews, scallions, and tomatoes. 

 

Enjoy!

Holy Yoga for Advent: Week 2

Today is our second week preparing for Advent. We will work on opening our hearts to the love of Christ so that we can celebrate his birth with the right mindset. We will do that through an intense class focusing on twists and backbending poses. The twists allow us to go deeper into backbends. And the backbends allow us to symbolically and physically open our hearts and make space for our Savior.  Although we seem to only physically open our hearts, make no mistake... Human bodies are symbiotically connected and opening our hearts physically creates a psychological response. Body psychotherapy is a field of Psychology that has studied this body-mind connection for many years. 

My hope is that this class will open your hearts so that you may know the hope to which Jesus has called you - his inheritance - as we are children of God (Ephesians 1:17-18). Your heart is where Christ wishes to dwell. He wants you to experience his love and connect to his full Glory and Grace. 

God Bless you!


Wanna change your life in 2016?

Would you like to completely reshape yourself in 2016? Maybe you want to gain consistency in your yoga practice or you have been toying with the idea of following a plant based diet, but have no idea how. 

If you answered yes to any of the above, I have a new years gift for you! Sign up for my monthly newsletter and win 4 weeks of exclusive content including: 

1) Week by week and step by step transition into a plant-based iet

2) Shopping lists and recipes weekly

3) Weekly nutrition and life hacks to lose weight and feel fabulous

4) Weekly guides to Yoga practice with Yoga fat-burning circuits, pranayama, and asanas to help you shed extra pounds - that is a month of yoga!

Each guide will help you prepare for a week in January. The first guide will be sent out in the last week of December and will have the first steps to transition to a plant-based diet, 6 complete yoga workouts (including breath work, meditation, yoga fat burning circuits and yoga practice you will follow throughout the month - these are exclusive videos not available on my blog), and nutrition tips  and life hacks to lose weight and feel great all year long! 

All you need to do now is sign up and I will send you the first guide in the last week of December so that you can prepare for the new year!

Name *
Name