Monday, September 23, 2013

Relaxing in Yoga

As we all know, this time of year is the beginning of the crazy, hectic, and busy holiday season.  When the rest of the natural world is starting to slow down and hibernate, we humans begin to pick up our pace to make sure all holidays, kids school work, after school activities, and our adult lives are taken care of.

Yoga can help you handle all of this, slow down, and stay more calm in high pressure situations by reminding you how much better you feel when you do take the time to relax.  The next time you are in a yoga class, focus on your breath in each posture.  It doesn’t matter what your posture looks like compared to others.  All that matters is you. If you can breathe comfortably in the posture, then you are doing it right!

If you generally don’t take yoga classes or don’t have any offered near you, try this next exercise.  It only takes 5 minutes and you will feel so great afterwards: (this practice can be accomplished whether you are stressed, just need 5 minutes to yourself, or for any reason)
  1. Find a place to sit comfortably or lie down.
  2. Close your eyes and allow yourself to sink into the chair or floor you are on
  3. Begin to focus on your breath, feeling the rise and fall of your chest, feeling the warm air from your nose float over your upper lip.
  4. Allow all thoughts to float away, knowing that they will be there again when you need them
  5. Breathe for as long as you’d like.
When you finish the practice, slowly sit or stand up and slowly begin to move back into your routine for the day.

As I said before, you don’t need to be in a stressful place to feel the benefits of this practice.  Although it definitely helps stress, this practice will help you be more productive in your work and even throughout your life as a person of many roles.  So just breathe and focus on the simple things in life that we all generally take for granted every day.

Namaste, Luana ola!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stuffy Nose?

'Tis the season for stuffy noses and allergies.  With all the leaves drying and kids going back to school, it is practically inevitable to get at least a little sniffle (even if you eat the most healthy diet in the world!).  It's more about being around loads of people, stress, and those darn leaves falling than anything else.  In today's post, I'll help you find the perfect ways to prevent and conquer those pesky sniffles.

     As with everything else in life, prevention starts with your diet.  This season, focus on whole foods.  No, no silly, not the store (although that could work if you're willing to pay your entire salary...).  By whole foods, I mean things that come directly from nature, without much processing.  These things include beans/legumes, rice, farro (delicious Italian grain!), quinoa, gluten free oats, and all the fresh fruits and vegetables you care for.  Here's a great tip for every meal or snack during the day:  make the main part of your meal veggie/fruit-centered and then top it off with a warm bowl of broth, rice, or lentil soup.  MMM...I'm feeling warmer just thinking about it!


  1.      If you have a juicer or a blender, make some green juices and smoothies!  This is a really simple way to load up on vitamins and minerals from leafy greens that are sometimes hard to swallow. (Comment below or message me if you'd like some recipes!!)
  2. Let's say you already have a stuffy nose and you want to get rid of it (who doesn't)...before you head to the drug store and fill your hard-working cells with chemicals, try this out. 
    1.  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
    2. While the water is getting up to temperature, combine 2 T dried chamomile flowers, 1 t whole cloves, and 1 t whole pepper corns into a round bowl or cake pan. (Any herbs or spices can be used, but I chose chamomile for its soothing properties, and cloves and pepper for their punch.)
    3. Pour the hot water over the spices and allow your face to rest over it (without actually touching the water).  You can even put a towel over your head to trap the steam in towards your face.
    4. Be sure to have tissues ready, because this really works!
  3. One of the most important suggestions I could give you, though is to stay away from anything with sugar (except fruit of course).  Processed sugar is truly a drug, and while it is okay to have once in a while, it is definitely a no no while you are sick.  Think of it this way, your body is working so hard to fight off whatever virus or bacteria you have contracted.  You want to do everything you can to help it out (i.e. eating plenty of fresh, preferably raw fruits and vegetables...maybe some veggie soup...).  By eating sugar, you would be making your body even more susceptible to the bacteria by literally giving it food!  yikes!
I wish you all blessings throughout this beautiful season and many wishes to stay healthy!

As always, feel free to comment below and follow my posts to keep learning and exploring with me!

Luana ola!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Step 3 for Grocery Shopping

It took me an extra week, but here it is...the final step that I use to keep grocery bills low.  Since we have an over abundance of apples, tomatoes, and leftovers right now, there will be no grocery bill this week except for any odds and ends that may come up.

So on to step 3:
Once you have gotten all of your fresh in season, off the sale rack produce, hit up the isles for bulk items like rice, beans, nuts, and seeds (if you so desire, because hey you can totally thrive on loads and loads of fresh produce!!).  The great thing about these items is that they may seem to cost a lot when you buy them, but guess what...they last a long time!!!!!

So there you have it, my 3 tips on buying fresh and keeping the grocery bill low:

  1. Check out the weekly ads and online sales
  2. Discount bins and in season produce
  3. Bulk items

Ok, so one more thing before I sign off here.  I will definitely be getting my you tube videos up and running by October first.  I am striving to do one per week, so please fill me in on topics you'd like for me to discuss, otherwise I will be explaining my new adventure in food and basically fun things that are going on in my life now.  Please subscribe to my blog to get the latest updates as well and come back soon to see what the name of my channel will be!!!! (hint:  it's not Luana ola...)

Luana ola!