How many times have you said "I really need to go to the gym" or " I should probably start working out again."? Probably more than you can count. I was once one of those who was very guilty of procrastinating when it came to working out and sometimes still am. I would have all intentions of making it to the gym or a workout class, but then would end up skipping it and guilt myself for not just going to the class. I've kind of learned that yoga pants are much more efficient during a workout than worn on the couch.
For me, inflammation is the root of all evil causing tensions headaches and my shoulders to scrunch up by my ears. Inflammation occurs in the body as a defense mechanism that recognizes damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens and acts to try and heal the problematic areas. Unfortunately, the inflammation I experience is chronic and caused by severe cervical disc herniations and injuries. There are many factors that cause my body to have major inflammation flare ups including physical activity, lack of sleep, stress, and so forth.
Most of us depend on our deodorant like it’s water, especially those in the fitness industry, but do you ever stop and think about what is actually in that little stick that you swipe on your armpits everyday? If this hasn’t crossed your mind I’ll save you the time and go ahead and suggest that if you're not already using an all-natural deodorant that you toss the little stick in the trash.
We all have that favorite meal we look forward to everyday and mine just so happens to be breakfast. So I wake up in the morning everyday and look forward to this meal and filling my body with yumminess. I love nothing more than a big ole' plate (or bowl in this instance) with a variety of my favorite breakfast foods including eggs, some greens, fruit, and all that good stuff!
Hi there! 👋 Lets talk ALL about skincare. Up until 2 years ago, I was never one to maintain a solid routine for taking care of my skin. And I was definitely guilty of buying cheap drug store products thinking they would do the trick. But we all live and learn, right? Especially after one too many breakouts and a few acne scars.
As a kid, I remember my parents encouraging me to read....a lot. At the time I would roll my eyes and try to come up with a million other things to do so I didn't have to read. Who knows, I probably willing did the dishes a few times just to avoid having to read? And SparkNotes were definitely top on the list in my Google history when it came to required reading at school.
If you were to take a peek into my make-up basket you would probably notice that more than half of the contents are unopened or barely used, which makes sense because it's not often that you will find me wearing make-up. Except my eyebrow pencil. I never leave my apartment without my eyebrows filled in because I have some pretty funky eyebrows (thanks, Dad!).
The past few weeks my body has been craving earthy spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, and cayenne. This craving is actually the reason I baked this delicious loaf of bread, which requires minimal ingredients and is super easy to make. Although some may considered this loaf of bread a "sweet treat," it is made with lots of healthy ingredients that fight inflammation, improve gut health, build a stronger immune system, and so forth! Oh and did I mention it's gluten-free?!
HELLO 2018 & Happy New Year to you all!
Last year, I started the ritual of writing down monthly intentions for myself. This ritual was inspired by one of my favorite wellness bloggers Jordan Younger from The Balanced Blonde! If you're a wellness or spirituality junkie and don't already know her, I highly recommend checking out her blog! By taking the time to write down my intentions I have been able to stay focused and on the path to accomplishing my goals. My intentions aren't always focused on things such as conquering my forearm stand (although that is in the books for 2018!), but more focused towards ways I can better myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Every year about this time of year I find my self saying, "this year flew by!," but this year I am thinking "damn, 2017 you were a long one!". From major shifts in my lifestyle and career, to a lot of jaw dropping headlines in the news, and the loss of Tom Petty. A lot has happened.
As I sit down to write this post I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of content I could share here. But don't worry, I won't highlight everything because that could keep you here for hours and I personally am not one for too sitting long. So in honor of saying farewell to 2017 here are a of the valuable and life changing experiences I had this year.
I've been anxiously waiting to share this post with you, but I wanted to wait until I had 6 months of experience teaching yoga before I did! Also, has it already been 6 months?! Time flies without you even realizing it!
I am going to start by saying that I honestly never thought I would be a yoga teacher. I'm an introvert and far from a public speaker. In fact, public speaking terrifies me to a point where I become nauseous and clammy. Given this, you may be wondering why I decided to enroll in a teacher training program. I actually did it to deepen my practice and knowledge of yoga without any intentions of teaching. As I dove deeper into my teacher training, I felt a calling to teach and share the practice of yoga with others.
Lets talk skincare...
Raise your hand if you have ever had struggles with acne? My hand is held high! But, strangely enough my acne problems didn't start to occur until adulthood. Throughout middle school, high school, and college when my hormones were going through all sorts of whacky changes, otherwise known as puberty, my skin was in great shape! Sure, I would have a small little break out every now and then but nothing to be too worried about. My breakouts were so minor that when I would complain to my friends they would just roll their eyes at me and say "you're skin is perfect, you have nothing to worry about" (although, I think the term perfect was used a little too loosely).
Fast forward a few years and my skin situation is completely different now. In all honesty, I think things for my skin started to take a turn when I moved to NYC. The air is a little dirtier in the city, my eating habits changed (a quick bagel or slice of pizza was my go-to, such a New Yorker thing), and my stress levels sky rocketed. All things that can make a good complection go bad!
These breakouts started to really take a toll on my confidence. I was afraid to go anywhere without make-up because I didn't want people to notice, but I was also reluctant to put anything on my face because I didn't want to clog my pores. Then, when I was home and behind closed doors the claws would come out and I would pick away at my face leaving it red and inflamed. If you learn anything from this post, let it be that picking your face is a TERRIBLE thing to do.
Overtime, I began to get really frustrated and tired of trying things that were not working. I began to do what I do best, Google, and decided that I was going to visit an Integrative Health doctor to finally find out what the heck was happening to my skin. Turns out the answer wasn't what I expected.
So...what I've learned so far is....
1. Don't waste dollar after dollar on expensive products. It most likely isn't so much of what you're putting on your face as much as it is what you're putting into your body. If you're having uncontrollable breakouts try to eliminate wheat or foods that contain gluten. No, I am not implying that you have to go on a gluten-free diet, just try to be more mindful and find better substitutes.
2. Washing your face multiple times a day can do more harm then good. Your skin type should help determine how many times a day you should wash your face. People with oily skin should refrain from washing their face too many times a day. Stripping your skin of moisture can result in your skin producing more oil causing breakouts. For people with dry skin, washing your face 1-2 times a day should be sufficient enough to remove dirt allowing your pores to breath. A little moisturize after a good wash is beneficial too.
3. Find a good mask and apply it routinely. I use a mask 2-3 times a week and I notice a significant difference in my skin. Right now, I am really loving the BeautyCounter Balancing Facial Mask (send me an email if you're interested in the mask and I can point you in the right direction!).
4. Get your hormones in balance. When hormones are out of whack our sebum production increases causing unwanted breakouts. Take note of the time and location in which your breakouts are happening and this will help you know if the cause is your hormones.
5. Cut back on the coffee addiction. If you drink more than two (regular size) coffees a day try to find a substitute and lower your coffee intake. I was one of those that would have 2 or more LARGE coffees a day. Not smart for someone who already has anxiety issue since it just made me more anxious and jittery! Now, I allow myself one coffee in the morning then I drink tea when I need a caffeine boost. Not only is it helping to improve my skin, but I am able to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night!
6. Acupuncture helps clear and maintain healthy skin. I've had two sessions so far and I already notice a significant difference in my complexion and not to mention how I feel (note, I am following all of the other tips above too and not just relying on acupuncture).
Three years later, lots of product trials, and a few doctors appointments I am finally headed down the path towards healthy & happy skin! I hope that you find these tips helpful and know that you're not the only one who struggles with skin issues. You're beautiful regardless!
I'd love to hear some of your skin experiences and if you have any tips leave a comment below!
"Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters the most." -Buddha
We all know that mornings aren't always the most pleasant time of the day. Especially, these dreadful Monday mornings. For me, the hardest part is forcing myself to get out of bed when my alarm clock goes off instead of hitting the snooze button a time or two. In my high school and college days I was very much a night owl, dreading the sound of my alarm clock so much that sometimes I had to set 2 or 3 just to make sure I eventually woke up. But, as I have gotten older I have become more of a morning person. I actually appreciate rising with the sun and starting my day at a slower pace.
Since becoming self-employed, I have become more mindful of how I spend my mornings and have made an effort to say good-bye to the snooze button and create a habit of getting up by 7:15 AM everyday. It is amazing what I can get accomplished before the clock even hits noon! Aside from the productivity, my favorite part of waking up early is the time I have to really welcome the day. Instead of rushing to get ready in the morning (because I decided I just HAD to have those few more pointless minutes of sleep), I can now allow myself to get ready with ease without checking my clock every 5 minutes to make sure I am not running late.
When I started to get the hang of waking up, I decided the next step was to create a morning routine to hold myself accountable to the 7:15 AM alarm clock. My typical morning routine consist of a few puppy cuddles with Lucy before rolling out of bed to make my first cup of coffee (our Ninja Coffee Maker makes the best homemade cold brew, highly recommend!). Then, Lucy and I walk to the dog park for a few rounds of fetch before I head to the yoga studio to spend some time on my mat. Finally, I take my morning shower and eat some breakfast. Then it's time to head out the door to conquer the day feeling energized and accomplished.
Let me tell ya - since starting this routine I feel AHHH-MAZING!
Now, that I have become one of those cheerful morning people and experienced such a significance change in the quality of my day I want to share some tips with you on how to mindfully conquer the early mornings.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
Before enjoying that coffee you desperately need/want, make yourself a large glass of water with some fresh squeezed lemon. Not only will this get your digestive system kicking into gear, but it will also hydrate you.
Now, it's time for the COFFEE
If you're anything like me, your day does not start until you've had your cup of coffee. The delicious taste and caffeine are not the only reasons to drink coffee because the smell of freshly brewed coffee is equally appealing.
Stretch it out.
Our muscles are naturally tight in the morning, but sometimes it is hard to have time to get on your mat and stretch it out. I recommend just taking a few moments in mountain pose, forward fold, childs pose, and bridge pose. It's amazing what just a few breaths in these poses can do for your body in the morning.
Write your thoughts in a journal.
Okay, I am not going to try to hide the fact that I struggle with keeping this habit. Sometimes I am on a roll and journaling everyday and other times it will be weeks before I pick my journal back up. But, it's a great way to organize your thoughts in the morning and set intentions for the day. I personally am going to work at being more consistent with journaling!
Take a morning yoga or meditation class.
There is nothing I love more than an early morning yoga class. It is my favorite way to start the day! I always leave class feeling energized and more grounded. I also use my practice as a way to dedicate time to focus on myself.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
There is a reason they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! A healthy breakfast gives you energy for the day, fires up your metabolism, increases your focus, and helps prevent you from overeating throughout the day. Try to avoid sugary breakfast!
Enjoy a refreshing shower.
As a New Yorker, I refuse to go to bed without showering at night, but I also need shower in the morning to help wake myself up. Whether you enjoy your showers hot or cold, there is something so refreshing about an early morning rinse.
I hope that these tips help you to kick that habit of hitting snooze to the curb and encourage you to jump start your day in mindful, productive manner. You got this!
So, I’ve been dreaming up some big ideas for this journal. There is just so much that I want to share with you! Sure, you’re going to get a lot of juicy posts about my life and my wellness journey, but I also want to share many other things with you. Lately, I’ve been really excited about this idea of sharing different wellness places and spaces that I have the opportunity to go visit and experience.
Personally, I am making an effort to experiment more and more with meditation. Let me just throw out there that I have a REALLY hard time with my meditation practice, but I am maintaining consistency and patience. I often get very frustrated, which quickly turns into anger. Not very zen of me, right? But, with all of the changes happening in my life I have felt a little off balance so I figured what better time to start incorporating meditation into my life then now.
This past week, I had the honor of taking a meditation class at MNDFL Meditation. After I chatted with the MNDFL team, an awesome group of people, about booking my cushion and fully committed, I promised myself that I was going to go into the class with an open heart and mind. I promised to have zero expectations and to just be open and accepting to whatever comes my way. When choosing a class, MNDFL has so many to choose from on their schedule, I decided to go with a sound bath, which was led by Nate Martinez (highly recommend).
Upon walking in the door, I was already in love with the studio. The beautiful space is full of greenery, cozy seating, and books to read while you wait for class to start. Class hadn't event started yet and I was already in full relaxation mode. Then, I had the MOST magical class which opened up my eyes and mind to a new side of meditation.
I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY MY EXPERIENCE, IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
The beautiful sounds that vibrated throughout the room helped me to instantly relax and settle into my cushion. I was able to quiet my mind and focus on my natural breath and whenever my mind started to wander outside of the room I just came back to the rhythm of my breath and the sounds. Then, I experienced the most incrediblefeeling. My body became very light and I felt as if I was floating a few inches off the ground. I was vibing high with all of the energy flowing through me! All of my stress and worries disappeared and I felt very centered and in tune with myself. Wow, wow, wow. Can I just feel like that all the time?? It was that experience and that feeling that has inspired me to make an extra effort to slow down and find balance by incorporating a meditation practice into my daily life.
TIPS FOR CREATING A MEDIATION PRACTICE
BE REALISTIC AND EXPERIMENT: The chances are you are not going to become some meditation guru overnight. Try different types of meditation styles until you find what practice or practices are most suitable for you.
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET: Sometimes when starting out you’re more likely to appreciate the practice if you begin with shorter sessions. Then, as you become a meditation sensation you can work on practicing for longer periods of time! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
BE CONSISTENT: It’s beneficial to be consistent with the space and time of day that you’re meditating as well as the amount of time you meditate. This will help you to incorporate meditation into your daily routine so when you skip out it just won’t feel right and you’ll be encouraged to take that time to meditate. Especially when you start to experience the benefits!
GO TO A STUDIO FOR CLASS: Guided meditation can be glorious. When you first start meditating it can be difficult to build a consistent and successful practice solo. Try a few different studios and teaches and learn from their valuable guidance and techniques.
PRACTICE WITH AN OPEN HEART AND MIND: There will be good days and bad days, just like in life! Somedays you may be washed with emotions and end up crying your eyes out after your practice (I’ve totally been there!). Be accepting of whatever comes your way during your meditation practice. If you’re really intrigued by your thoughts and emotions during your practice, take some time to journal once you are done meditating.
Hello and welcome!
Lately, I have had the urge to share my story with readers. Maybe it’s because I have been paving a new path for myself in life and feel very inspired during this time. But, I also feel as if I haven’t truly shared my story with you. Sure, I’ve shared bits and pieces of what’s going on in my life through Instagram and other social media platforms, but I’ve never openly and honestly told my story on my blog. So, I figured what better time than now? A little disclaimer, I am still working on the whole openness part of this so bear with me. One day, I will be brave and learn to share all the juicy details.
Some of you have followed me on my journey from the beginning and some are just recently joining me, therefore I am just going to sum up my story and how it has led me to be here today writing this post. All through college I aspired to be some big shot in the fashion industry. There were many long nights spent in the studio sketching and sewing all sorts of designs. This is where blogging kind of started for me. I began sharing my outfits and writing about the ever-changing trends. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m that girl who has had multiple domain names: most recent being Planted On The Mat (insert eye roll). Anyway, upon graduation, fashion brought me to New York City for an internship and eventually a career. Once I moved here for the internship, NYC captured me and I have yet to find anywhere cooler to live (except maybe a remote island). As time went on living in the city, building new relationships, and working in the fashion industry, I began to struggle with severe anxiety. This is when I discovered the practice of yoga.
Discovering yoga has changed my life in so many ways. After a couple of years of consistent practice, I decided to enroll in a 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training to deepen my personal practice as well as have the option to teach if I ever desired. During this time, things were becoming very difficult for me at work. I was struggling with a toxic work environment and a boss who created fear and angst. Eventually, it became too much and I made the scary decision to quit my job and say goodbye to the fashion industry.
The past couple of months have been a journey of highs and lows, but I do not regret one moment. This journey is what has allowed me to find my voice and courage to teach and share the benefits of yoga with others as well as launch my own wellness brand. It is what has inspired me to be sitting in this spot sharing this story with you. And most importantly, this new journey what has encouraged me to start walking the path of self-discovery and to continually seek true happiness through being my most authentic self.
If you ever have doubts or questions about your life, I encourage you to explore them instead of pushing them to the side without much though. You never know where they may lead you.