Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Green Smoothies

I am getting way too good at making these healthy beauties!!!  I am on day 2 of my smoothie challenge and will be drinking 2 smoothies today!!  The best part is that I am loving it!  I practically crave them and can't wait to drink my next batch!

Sorry for it being sideways...my camera is back up, but the photographer (ehem...me...) is not so good with technology and can never remember to take pictures landscape...

This purple beauty has so many wonderful components:
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 large banana
  • handful of frozen fruit mix (strawberries/mango/pineapple)
  • handful of frozen mixed berries
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
    • Blend it all up with a bit of water to keep it smooth!
    • It makes either 2- 16 oz snack smoothies or one 32 oz meal replacement!

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Since it is spring and a time for rejuvenating and cleaning, what is your plan?

Luana ola!

108 Sun Salutations

In honor of the vernal equinox (the beginning of spring that happened on March 20th), it is a tradition in yoga to complete 108 sun salutations...

You can find a brief explanation here, but don't quote me on this.  It seems pretty accurate, but I'm not 100% positive.  Let's go with if, though, for now.

I completed 108 traditional sun salutes yesterday morning and it was an experience I will never forget!  First and foremost, my body ached and still aches today but I feel so alive.  My muscles were more fatigued than they ever had been, even after lifting weights!  The thoughtfulness that you must keep while breathing and going through the motions is miraculous and so motivations.

Each time I came up to upward salute and back down to forward fold, I said the number either out loud or in my head.   I noticed that my focus got very tired by 70, which is when I began counting out loud.

With my face dripping in sweat and my muscles shaking with fatigue, I counted down my last 10 and sat in meditation for a few minutes to let my mind re-connect with my body and allow my body to rest awhile before moving on with my day.  (The walk to my car was quite funny because I kept stumbling due to how tired my legs were!  My arms didn't want to raise to grasp the steering wheel!  Okay, it really wan't that bad, but it felt like it at some points...)

Luana ola!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monster Smoothie!

My lovely teacher gave us the night off for class today so that we could work on our giant take-home test that is actually a project!  So fun!! (no, seriously, I love projects and this one is really fun!)

We have to create a restaurant with a menu and floor plan!  Sounds easy, but it's taking me much longer than I anticipated so far...I have the generic floor plan done and was working on the logistics until...

I got hungry!!  Go figure...so I whipped up one of my best green smoothies yet!  I've been on a kick with these wonderfully healthy/delicious/nutritious guys for about a week now.  It took me finding the right ratios and blending time to reduce "chunkage" (yes, I just made that word up).

Here's what I've got for you today, put the ingredients into your blender as listed:

  • 1/2 c almond milk (or milk of choice/yogurt)
  • 1 small apple, chopped, with skin still on
  • 1 small kiwi, diced, skin removed
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1-2 c greens, washed ( spinach is a good one to start with but you can use any green here! kale is good too)
  • 1 c frozen mixed fruit, no sugar added (my mixture bag had peach, mango, pineapple, and strawberries)
  • top with 1 c water
    • Blend away until it is nice and smooth.  If you don't mind texture, don't blend as long.  But, if you are like me and are completely turned off by the idea of chunkage in your smoothie, blend  like crazy! Adding avocado or another healthy fat/ thick yogurt also helps with the creaminess.
This recipe made enough for me for a filling lunch (it's about 300 calories).  You could definitely share with a friend as a snack, but if you do eat it as a meal, drink slowly and it will definitely fill you up!  The great thing, though is that it is easily digested and you will more than likely need a snack in approximately 3 hours.   Here's to healthy eating!!

What is your favorite green smoothie blend?

Luana ola!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vegan Zucchini Bread

This wasn't really intended for St. Patrick's Day, but I guess it could be considered festive because it has zucchini in it and obviously zucchini is green!!!

Sorry, no pictures due to the camera being on the fritz still and I don't really have the time to search for a new one.  I know I know, take pictures with my iPhone...I just get lazy with picture taking these days and would much rather keep it simple and write.  Is that okay?  Because if you guys would rather see more pictures, please let me know.  I'm easily convinced by my readers' suggestions!

Back to the goods:

Found this recipe at culinate.com  It turns out so beautifully and very moist.  A little note, I substituted the lemon juice for 1T apple cider vinegar

  • 2 c zucchini, grated and losely packed
  • 2 T flax seed meal
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 c spelt flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c soy milk
  • 4 T canola or coconut oil
  • 3 T agave


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the grated zucchini, flax meal, and grated lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the spelt flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and brown sugar. Mix into the zucchini.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and lemon juice. (The mixture will curdle; don’t fret.) Add the oil and agave.
  5. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the zucchini mixture, stirring until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Please try and let me know what you think?!

Luana ola!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Embracing Wholeness

While doing some research after the seminar yesterday, I came across this beautiful website.  The author, Melissa Brisbane is a Kinesiologist and holistic health practitioner.  Her beliefs on how the body heals itself through compassion and love are exactly what I believe and would like to one day emulate.

The first email that I got from her was about being empowered and feeling inspired.  Her beautifully sculpted
words and phrases touch your heart and make you feel lighter and happier while you are reading it; but the part that struck me the most in this email was what she said at the end:

"In order to heal, you must let go of your mental struggle.
We heal by making peace with ourselves, right in this very moment.
We choose to do this by finding what helps us still the mind and calm the nervous system.
For me, it's kinesiology, qi gong, surfing and watching sunsets; whatever sparks my light and connects my heart.
When I'm doing these things, my fears and worries dissolve. The more I partake in this connection, the stronger it grows and the more I feel steady on my path.
And then when it becomes dark and tense again, I do the same again and again, constantly letting go and realigning.
Trusting in my transformation, the physical healing will come. I hope you keep trusting in yours."

I find stillness in practicing yoga, cooking, reading, and going for long walks in the sun.  There are so many things that make me happy and fill my heart with love and peace.  After pondering about what makes me happy, I found it hard to even imagine how I could ever forget those things and become angry.  Below is a list of some more things that make me happy, so the next time I feel discouraged, I can take a look at that list and feel the warmth of love flood through my body and mind.

  • Rain
  • having a good conversation
  • Laughing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • going to the beach
  • feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin
  • being in love
  • watching Gus (our tortoise) eat and play
  • Thunderstorms
  • and the list goes on
What are some of the things that make you happy and at peace?

Luana ola!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Beauty Within

I just had the most amazing experience that every woman (and man) should have in his or her lifetime.  For one of my nutrition classes, we were asked to attend a seminar being held at the school.  I could only attend the afternoon portion, as I had an O-Chem exam...

Well, I definitely lucked out on which time I could go because it was all about eating disorders.  Ever since going through a mild disordered eating phase of my own, I have been constantly searching for more information about intuitive eating, self-esteem, and achieving overall balance of the mind/body/spirit.  I have also felt for awhile that I would like to lean towards one of my specialties as an RD in eating disorders.  This workshop helped me to learn what that could possibly be like!

The first hour included a talk about how to approach disordered eating.  It is so important, here and anywhere, to not judge people.  No one knows about a person's past and just because they look a certain way, that does not mean that they are healthy, unhealthy, lazy, happy, or any other adjective that we prescribe to people based on how they look.  What is important is health.  When we align our eating habits with love, compassion, and care for our bodies, we end up eating and exercising in a way that is perfect for our body.  No one fits a certain mold, so why should one person's eating and exercising habit work the same way for a different person?  The best answer I can come up with is that it can't.

During the next hour, there was a panel of 3 women (one was a 14 year old girl!) who had recovered from an eating disorder and one woman who had been battling with an eating disorder for 50 years.  Luckily, she is going through her recovery very very well and is at a healthy weight.  From listening to these women's stories, I gained so much insight and respect for others whom go through a similar battle in their life.  I feel so rejuvenated in my own life just from hearing their stories!  It truly is all about balancing your life.  One of the women said that she got to her healthy weight (from being overweight with an eating disorder) by eating croissants/peanut butter/and other foods that are typically "off limits" when someone is on a diet.

This proves and proves again that diets don't work.  Living is not about depriving our bodies from what they want, it is about finding full bliss and reaching your own personal full capacity and loving yourself and all that is around you.  I can only hope to one day help others to overcome their fear of food and to learn how beautiful and wonderful they really are.

Always remember, you are beautiful and you truly make the world a better place.

Luana ola!

I forgot A Spoon!!!!

I didn't have much to chose from in terms of bringing dinner to school earlier this week, so I decided on bringing oatmeal.  It's quick, easy, tasty, and oh so portable.  I packed 1/2 c dry oats and a sprinkle of spices into a large glass bowl with a lid and tossed some fruit into my lunch bag.  Once it got to dinner time at school, I just poured some water in and microwaved on high for 1 min 30 sec.  While microwaving the oatmeal, I realized that I forgot spoon...!!!

So, I started sipping/biting the oatmeal out of the bowl...looked pretty ridiculous...found chopsticks in my back pack (ehem...why were they there?...don't ask me haha!), but they were a lifesaver, at least I didn't look like an animal anymore! 

I can honestly say I have never eaten oatmeal with chopsticks before, but I have now and you know what?  It's not that bad!

What has been your craziest go-to meal?

Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Soup

Yesterday evening, Andrew and I went to a holistic health expo to support my yoga friend, Jody and her business Essential Artifacts.  The expo was hustling and bustling with vendors ranging from Juice Plus, to spine health, to essential oils!  Amazing!

Sadly, I walked away without a purchase, but I learned a lot!

On the way home, the roads were foggy and rainy.  Yuck!

In honor of the holiday coming up and the cool, wet weather, what better to make for dinner that Irish potato soup?!  I listed the ingredients I used below, but did not measure anything so you can use each to your taste:

  • white potatoes
  • carrot
  • onion
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • celery
  • vegetable broth
  • peas, frozen, thawed
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
    • Cook all the ingredients, except peas, until the potatoes are soft.  Add the peas and process or blend half of the soup until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients for some texture.
Look at this beautiful, healthy, and festive green soup!!!

Luana ola!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


It's official, I am officially a yoga instructor at the new Xsport gym in Schaumburg! Woo hoo!!

I was so nervous this morning when going to the audition, but the leader of group exercise was very nice and I felt comfortable right away.  All I had to do was show her 15 minutes of a routine and explain a few modifications that she asked of me.  Piece of cake.  Now, I have to update my CPR certification and I am on my way.

Just to make sure it's clear, I am still helping out with Essencia's Blog, although Jeannine and I have been getting into so much other work, that the blog has taken a little break.  I will probably post one later this week, so be on the look out!

In other news, I had a wonderful day of food!

Breakfast:  Banana oatmeal with a dollop of peanut butter

Lunch: a delicious green smoothie.  Wait...did I just say delicious to a green smoothie??!!  Yes, folks, I did!  I have made green smoothies in the past and they always seem to turn out chunky and super "green" tasting, if you know what I mean.  This time, I pureed it longer and all of the fiber from the greens became nice and smooth.  Here's my concoction (sorry, no pictures, the camera has pooped out...):

  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 medium pear
  • 1/4 c frozen tropical fruit
  • 1/4 c pineapple
  • 2 c spinach
  • 2 T plain dairy free yogurt
  • a bit of water to bring it all together
Some snacking here and there

Dinner:  Mung bean and brown rice curry with sauteed green beans

MMMMMM!  A little more snacking this evening with hot tea and this girl is done for the night!

Luana ola!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Break

I know, I know...

I've been slacking on my posting...

Well, it is all in good fun because I have finished my website (Check it out here!) and I am now beginning to work on a nutrition plan for Luana Ola.  It is in a brand new stage, conception if you will, and will take some time to master.  I got this idea from Tone It Up.  I have been following their facebook page and browsing their website for about a year now.  They have very good information and really understand the principles of being healthy.  Since I love this idea so much, I have decided to begin something similar, except include what I know from my own background in yoga, nutrition, athletics, and exercise physiology!  I would definitely love to share this opportunity with you all, so please email me if you may be interested in helping me get this thing going.

In other news, Andrew and I both had this week off and have gotten so much work done with our businesses!  We also got a lot of fun things done too, like ice skating and playing in the snow!!

Remember, although the weather may be cold, you can still have fun outside!

Luana ola!