Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stress Relief

The most stressful part of my week is finally over!  I had a Case Study due on Monday, a Cycle menu due on Tuesday, and 2 exams back to back today!  But the good news is that I'm finally done! All I have for the remainder of the week is a lab report to finish writing and an O-Chem mini-quiz to study for on Friday.  Easy. (not the o-chem, simply the lack of projects and tests...)

This morning, I decided to have another bowl of oatmeal.  After reading a bunch of oat-recipes fro KERF, I attempted the whipped oats in the microwave.  They still turned out amazingly good!  I think the key here is to make sure the banana is really ripe.  I mean ripe as in its brown-turning-black-ripe.  This means that all of the sugars are breaking down, so the banana is really sweet and smooth.  Here's how I did it:

1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c water (maybe more or less, I usually eyeball it)
sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 large banana, sliced thin

Pop all of that into the microwave (making sure to use a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl of course) for 1min 30 seconds.  It is important to remind you here that oats expand when cooked, make sure you have a bowl that will allow room for this, otherwise you will have a gloppy mess of oatmeal all over your microwave.  Let me tell you from experience, this is not a fun mess to clean up...

When the timer goes off, let the oats sit for about 30 seconds so they have time to cool and the bowl is not so hot.  Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir well until all the banana chunks have melted into the oats (unless you like that texture, which I definitely do not) and top with a good dollop of nut butter!!  This is for sure my favorite part!  I used peanut butter, but cashew, sunflower, and almond are also deliciously divine (or any nut butter for that matter!!!)

Lunch had to be packed today and included a big pile of raw broccoli with some avocado and lots of blueberries to snack on during my 3 hour class.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but dinner was a mish-mash of deliciousness!  I had leftover baked cabbage with freshly sauteed mushrooms and onions.  Then, for a little indulgence, I popped some fresh kettle corn (I never get to have that when Andrew is around!!)  Girl's night in; oh how lovely.

I also made some chocolate!  I have used this recipe several times, and I think I like it best made with agave!

Thanks Em and Kath for your wonderful recipes and healthy habits!

What's your go-to recipe when you have the whole house to yourself?

Luana ola!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Joys of Silence

While Andrew is out of town, visiting his dad, I get the whole house to myself!  At first, I was skeptical because I am the type that does not like to be alone for too long; I get very lonely.  But, it has been 2 days and I am loving it!  The house is quiet and I have gotten so much work done for my classes.  I miss him a lot, but man is it nice to take care of only yourself for a change!

Breakfast was a bit different I was craving savory...

Baked sweet potato with 1/4 avocado and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I don't get to eat sweet potatoes all that often because Andrew does not like them.  Therefore, I am trying to find new ways to incorporate them into our diets without actually tasting the sweet potato (they have so many amazing health benefits!)

Lunch was a large salad of mixed greens, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli all topped with a drizzle of olive oil and coconut vinegar.

Since I have class tonight (6:30-9:20pm ugh!), I will be bringing oats to cook in the microwave and top it with fresh blueberries!  Nothing says comfort during these crazy winter days than breakfast for dinner!

Well, I got to Dominican, finished my project, went to teach yoga, and found out my class was cancelled!  I drove back home in this (see picture to the left) and am still having the oats for dinner after shoveling the driveway!

Now to round off my night with some studying of Life cycle nutrition and Food Purchasing (O-Chem quiz on Friday)

Stay warm and dry where ever you are!

Luana ola!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Beautiful Sunny Day!

Wow, I can not believe how sunny it is!  If you live in the mid-west like me, you will know exactly what I'm talking about.  During the winter, there is practically no sunshine and when it's not snowing, the reason is because it is more than likely too cold to snow!

Today was a definite exception; sunny mid-40s and absolutely beautiful.  Just enough to remind us all that spring is just around the corner.  That being said, I should probably be getting the motivation to exercise again and begin training for future 5ks and the mini-tri in August.

During these long, winter months, it is important to stay very positive and know that the sun will come back soon.  On Mind Body Green, I found a wonderful article about how to get rid of negativity and let all the goodness that surrounds you to shine through.  We all have more good things in our lives than we realize.  Here are a few of them:

  1. Get to know who you are
  2. Take care of your needs
  3. Learn to breathe,
  4. Be patient with yourself
  5. Meditate
  6. Count your blessings
  7. Accept your feelings
  8. Smile
There are so many more ways to stay positive, and just like everything else in life, time heals it all.  

Luana ola!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Update: It's about time!

Hi my lovely readers!  It has been so long sine the last time we spoke ( read...), and I deeply apologize for that.

That being said, I have been having a writer's block lately with all of my class projects and Essencia Blog writing going on.  In know, I know, No Excuses!  Right.  Well, anyways, I would love to know what all of my wonderful readers would like to read about during this busy season of life.  I have listed several topics below, so please chose one or two and leave me your response in the comments.  I will more than likely touch on them all, I just want to make sure you all are reading things that matter to you; because who likes to read something completely inapplicable!!


Topic ideas:

  1. Spring Recipes
  2. My daily eats (with pictures)/activities (this is how I started the blog, but I'm not sure if you all liked it or not)
  3. Recipes in general with pictures
  4. Nutrition benefits of different foods
  5. Yoga postures and their benefits

I think that's good for now, be sure to let me know what you want to read about

Luana ola!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sharing the Love

I have just finished writing a new post for Essencia Yoga's blog.  I truly love writing these posts because it forces me to sit down and think about what I would like to write about.  Many times, when writing for myself (Luana Ola), I get sucked into writing a simple post about my day or new recipes that I have come across.  That isn't to say that I don't absolutely LOVE writing for all of my readers :)  because I completely do!  I appreciate all of you who read regularly, thank you so much.

As a matter of fact, as a little valentine's day gift, I am going to share a wonderfully delicious vegan recipe I found the other day for Pineapple Upside Down Cake!!!  If you are as excited as I am to try this recipe, leave a comment on your favorite Valentine's Day treat (whether it's current or from passing out valentine's in Kindergarden, there are no judgements here!)

Check out the post I wrote here

And don't forget to leave a comment :)

Luana ola!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Essencia Partner Yoga

Here is my first post on Essencia's Blog! As I said in a previous post, I will be posting through that blog for awhile, but I will always be linking it to Luana Ola. If you have any requests (yoga related or not, either way is great!), please let me know in the comment section!

Luana ola!

"If the thought of practicing yoga is intimidating to you, or if you just want to change up your yoga routine, try adding a partner to practice with you!

Partner yoga can be such a fun and new experience to try with a friend or loved one.  This type of practice brings a sense of connectedness between yourself and the other person.  It can strengthen relationships by building bonds and breaking boundaries. 

The really cool thing about partner yoga is that it changes up the routine of yoga and adds a whole new dimension! You will feel your body in a whole new way and come to find that the postures you might have been doing for years is completely different with someone's assistance. The important thing to remember when practicing partner yoga is to try to breathe in rhythm with each other so that both of your energy’s connect and you can feel the bond.
Some postures to try:

  • Downward facing dog with one partner either pushing or pulling lightly on the hips.  This will create a space in the lower back and shoulders that you could not experience alone.
  • Boat pose with your feet touching your partner’s and if you are flexible enough, you can hold hands.
  • Dancer pose, reaching the extended arm towards each other; maybe even touch hands! It really makes you feel the stretching and strengthening that occurs in your legs.
  • If you are not yet comfortable practicing a supported headstand on your own, try it with your partner in front of you as support.  This way, you know that if you lose your balance, he or she is there to catch you before you fall.  Come to think of it, isn't that what great friendships and relationships are for?

In addition to the wonderful benefits you receive physically, this would be a wonderful idea to incorporate into assisted living homes. As human beings, we need the sense of touch on a daily basis. Something about this sense brightens the energy within our bodies and we feel more happy, more alive. Having partner yoga and deep breathing can really help people feel more at ease, connected, and happy.

Try it out during this month of love.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Motivational Mondays

I don't know about you, but all of this cold weather and snow has left me feeling chilled to the bone and lazy!  Every morning, I go through the same process with myself to get out of bed and get my day going.  It is a very hard thing to do when it is still dark outside and your bed is so cozy and warm...

Which brings me to the reason of writing this post.  We all need some inspiration to get up and go sometimes.  Here are some of the things I like to do plus a few extra ideas:

1.  Do a little stretching before you get out of bed.  This will increase blood flow and circulation, making you feel more awake.

2. Get moving, slowly.  Your body has been doing more than you know while you were sleeping.  It was repairing tissues, and healing itself all night!  If you ask me, I'd say that's a lot of work so put that work into motion by doing some light exercising.  If you like to do hard exercise in the morning, make sure you take a good warm up so that your body is properly prepared for the exercise and day ahead.

3.  If you are not a morning person, get up when your body wakes you up, and then relax.  Grab a cup of hot tea or lemon water to sip while you plan out your day's events.

4.  Try not to drink coffee right after you get up.  Many people, including myself on occasion, like to drink the coffee right away to wake them up for the day.  As strange as this sounds, that procedure is actually counter-productive for what you want it for.  Caffeine has been shown to spike energy levels and then send them crashing down a few hours later (much like sugar, which is another stimulant)

5.  Finally, my favorite, eat plenty of whole grains.  Carbohydrates (especially those from whole grains) produce feel-good hormones like serotonin, endorphines, dopamine, and ghrelin.  So, eat up those feel-good grains to help keep you feeling satisfied and happy.

I will be posting via Essencia Yoga for awhile, but they will be coming onto Luana Ola as well!  Let me know what you think!

Luana Ola!