Friday Favorites

 

Friday Favorites 5_16

1. Your Yoga Horoscope can help you get to know your body. (wellandgoodnyc.com)

2. How do you not want to dance/clean/cry to this song & video. (youtube.com)

3. Customizing your cleanse with Sean & Christa. (undergroundwellness.com)

4. Check out how much food dye you & your kids could be eating. (rodalenews.com)

5. Pep Talk rom Kid President to You. (youtube.com)

6. I love the idea of re-purposing mason jars as herb planters. (etsy.com)

 

Have a happy and healthy weekend friends!

Namaste,
Leah

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Go-To Veggie Dish

Simple Stir-Fry w/ Hemp Seeds & Turmeric

I recently went through an extensive candida cleanse, which pretty much included eating only vegetables for a good number of weeks.  I literally had no cooking experience at this point, and this dish became my go-to for nourishment and kicking the candida.  This dish is one of my favorites, and far too quick & simple to make.  Not only is it jam packed with crazy amounts of preventative medicine, but also tastes quite unlike any vegetable stir-fry I’ve tried before.

Simple Stir-Fry w/ Hemp Seeds & Turmeric

1. Gather & chop your favorite mixture of veggies. I use (lots) of organic broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms and green peppers.

2. Heat 2 tbs. coconut oil in a medium plan. Once melted, add turmeric and let sit in oil as it heats.  (This maximizes the health benefits)

3. Add carrots, cook 2 minutes.

4. Add onions & peppers, cook 2 minutes.

5. Add broccoli, mushrooms, & chopped garlic, cook 2 minutes.

6. Turn heat off & sprinkle with hemp hearts, if desired.

 

I also like to season this dish with the season salt from The Real Salt Co, pictured in the first photo above.  This company sells unrefined, all natural sea salts, as well as addicting seasonings. Real Salt makes sure you get trace minerals back in your body, which are critical for heart and brain function, and are always missing from traditional table salt. I buy mine locally from my hometown in Southern Nevada @ Wellness 2000 Int’l, my go-to health store.

Hemp Hearts are my favorite source of magnesium, and I’ve been sprinkling them on everything lately (to help my sleep).

If you’re looking for ingredients to help fight your candida, look no further than coconut oil, garlic, and onions. Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is a powerful anti-fungal and actually kills the cell walls of candida.  Garlic is also a great anti-fungal, but really helps with stimulating the liver & colon in detoxification and boosting good gut bacteria.  Onions are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, AND anti-parasitic, making them beneficial on many levels.

Feel free to mix & match different vegetables, spices, and toppings for the benefits you’re looking for in your own health.  Be sure to share what mixtures are your favorites!

Well Rounded

Balance

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that life is all about finding a balance.  I’ve struggled with the thought of this forever, thinking that if I work hard, play nice, stay healthy, and make the money that I need, that everything should fall into place as it should, I’d be happy, and my life would be balanced

yogaLAB / thekarmaconceptblog

Finding Balance In Life // Life Wheel

But creating a balanced life takes work, and especially, it takes awareness.  Without realizing what’s abundant, what’s weak, or what’s completely missing, we’re just set towards a bumpy road.

I’ve learned the hard way that focusing only on physical things (work, school, physical health) will drive a person to sickness. It has seemed that if something is going really great in life, sooner or later another aspect starts deteriorating. Personally, I start to focus so much on the happiness and fulfillment of the good areas that I don’t nourish the other realms; the areas that may not be holding up so well and the areas that need some attention.

Regarding my own health, it started declining when I thought my career was moving forward at a great speed, and my body was stronger that it ever had been.  I had just moved to a new city and I was so excited to be finishing my degree, working in my field of study, and teaching yoga. Several months into this fulfillment phase, I started feeling like I was blowing out my mind/body/spirit connection.  I started getting chronically fatigued, physically sick for weeks at a time, and finding my body becoming sensitive to certain foods.  I thought I had everything figured out around me, but really I was just hiding from the areas that weren’t so bountiful, and not really considering my whole picture.

Being around naturopathic doctors and holistic health counselors has taught me to look at the bigger picture.  By studying your life in all aspects and taking small steps to improve what is running low, it’s easy to boost your overall health.

conjourneo life wheel // thekarmaconceptblog

The Life Wheel is something health counselors have used for years, and some versions even date back to ancient Buddhism.  I like to use the site Cojourneo to analyze where I am in my holistic health circle and see what needs improving.  This site also gives you tips to boosting what is low, and management sources for each category.  I’ve posted my own circle above, and plan to update it here quarterly, as a way to look back to see where I have improved and hold myself accountable to my own personal changes.

Although these aspects can change on a weekly or daily basis, I think it’s good to see where you have come from and where you are going with your own health and happiness. You might be surprised and inspired to start taking steps to a more balanced life.

Once your through and have your wheel in front of you, view each area like spokes on a bicycle.  If this wheel were on your bike would it be wobbly? Or is it pretty well balanced and just lacking adequate inflation?  The goal is to create a round circle first, so your bike can ride smoothly and then begin filling the circle in so the whole wheel is colorful, centered, and makes your bike easy to ride.

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It’s not about finding balance, but creating balance in your life.

What does your circle look like? What areas do you need help improving? What ideas do you have to create more balance in your life?

Namaste,
Leah

A Natural Beauty

Happy National Day of Love, folks!

In honor of Valentines Day, I’m heading back to the roots of New Years intent of self-love. I believe it’s important to at least take one day out of the week to treat yourself and spend some quality time relaxing with the most important person in your life, YOU.

Since partaking on this health journey, I’ve not only changed my food habits, but also my beauty routine.  Just like conventional food, the products you wash your hair with, rub on your face, and clean with are made using harsh chemicals that should honestly be banned.  If you’ve been having ongoing health concerns, take a look at your medicine cabinet and shower products.  If you can’t pronounce an ingredient AND have no idea what it is, it could be affecting your body internally.   (Check out how toxic your current cosmetics are in The Cosmetic Database.)

My favorite act of self-love is a detox bath.  I’ve made it a routine in my weekly schedule, and it was even recommended by my naturopathic doctor.  Below are some products I use consistently, free from chemicals and twisted ingredients.

Health Favorites

1/ Dry Skin Brush: One of my favorite products, this is used before your shower or bath.  It has a plethora of benefits, mainly becoming popular for removing cellulite, as well as to stimulate circulation, tone muscles, and eliminate clogged pores. (It also preps my legs for a cleaner shave.) Always start at your feet, and use long strokes up the body towards the heart.

Detox Bath Soak: Since the skin is the largest organ used for detoxing the body, this soak does it all in one sitting.  This San Francisco based company has many different blends of salts, catering to whatever your needs are.

Aztec Healing Clay:  I have used almost every face wash on the market and this has battled my skin problems better than anything I have ever used.  When blended with apple cider vinegar and brushed on the skin, it hardens within 15 minutes to create smaller pores, less blackheads, and overall more appealing skin tone.  Use right before you get in your detox bath, to get double the internal cleansing benefits.

Norwex Cloths: Want to stop using face wash altogether?!  These microfiber cloths are infused with silver thread, creating an antibacterial cloth when activated by water.  These get rid of my makeup better than anything topical I have used, and cleanse way better than chemical laden washes.  These make it easier to travel; I don’t have to have an extra bottle in my bag!  Definitely a must have.  They are sold by independent distributors, so find someone near you and help out a small, local business.  (They also carry household-cleaning clothes, check out this video…)

Essential Oils:  These can be used for just about anything, but I love adding them to my bath water.  My favorites are lavender for relaxing at night, and a sandalwood/vetiver mixture for morning time.

Treat yourself, Heal Yourself, and Love Yourself.

Try Mary’s Self-Love Meditation today as well. This is one of my favorites.

 

What natural products do you use in your daily beauty routines? Also, what are some essential oils that are must-haves around the home?  I’m looking to expand my collection. Thanks!

Much Love,
Leah

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread Heaven

After months of being about 80/20 gluten & sugar free,  I have finally found a recipe that satisfies my sweet tooth and carb cravings without sending me into the downward spiral of depleting health.  Growing up with half of my family from Oklahoma, there was never a shortage of bread in the house or at family meals.  I always noticed a little sleepiness after consuming these types of foods, but never  realized what it was contributing to in my GI tract…

After being diagnosed with two types of Candida, among other health concerns, I found myself needing to get rid of carbs and sugar for good.  If you have never heard of Candida, it is a yeast/fungus that, when overgrown in the body, penetrates the intestinal walls and enters the bloodstream.  When this happens, symptoms can range from leaky gut, skin rashes, brain fog, and depression.  I experienced all of these symptoms + more, and it took a good long time to start the healing process. But that’s another story in itself.

With the help of my naturopathic doctor at Bloom,  it took several months to get to the amount of control I have today, and definitely remains a struggle to stay on track.  I realized sugar was literally changing my moods, making me cry and leaving me tired and angry.  Bread and carbs were weighing me down, making my mind fuzzy and creating a barrier for me to get any work done.  Bread will forever have a place in my heart, but finding the right substitutions makes all the difference.

Against All Grain has become one of my favorite gluten-free websites and Danielle’s page is just bursting with beautiful photos.  Below is her recipe that I’ve used over and over again, making minor changes as my own recipe evolves.

Almond Flour Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Place the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, then beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until frothy and fully combined. Add the zucchini and beat again just enough to incorporate.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running, until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter into 2 mini loaf pans. You can also use this batter to make muffins.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

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I have found that this recipe only makes one loaf, and after making my first batch, I noticed that the bread was TOO moist for my liking.  I have since eliminated the banana (also eliminating a bit of the sugar the banana brings).  I tend to add a bit more zucchini, some chopped carrots, and a little unsweetened shredded coconut. I seem to like a little bit more dense, veggie-esque bread, as well as using this recipe for muffins on-the-go.  Because of the honey, this recipe is not sugar free, but instead uses a natural sweetener.  This at least keeps the blood glucose level lower than traditional sugar.  I do not recommend this for the beginning stages of an anti-candida protocol, but it’s great if you want to start eliminating sugar and gluten, or just want a healthy sweet treat.

Read more about Candida here, and let me know what kinds of substitutions you like to make in your bread.

-Leah

New Years Thoughts

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As we come into the second week of 2014, I find myself still thinking about my New Years Resolutions.  I’ve always had a hard time coming up with a resolution, something I wanted to change for the next year.  I always found myself bottoming out a couple months in, and actually just being more disappointed in myself for not reaching my big goal.  I’ve spent the past 9 days racking my brain to formulate a list of things I could call my “resolution”.  I also spent a great deal of time reading articles on goal setting, watching videos and listening to podcasts about sticking to a goal, creating more tangible goals, and goal manifestation.

After having a rough couple of days, I decided this morning that my “New Years Resolution” would only to be nicer to myself.  While reading my daily devotional, I realized just how much time I’ve spent thinking about things like: “I’m not like so-and-so”, “I don’t work as fast as others” and “I’m not where I thought I would be at this age”.  I constantly have been putting myself down and comparing myself to others, mostly people I don’t even know!  The internet makes it easy to do this, with a constant Instagram and Facebook feed of entrepreneurs and writers doing great things and making things happen.

In my previous post, I mentioned Trish Blackwell.  Her words stuck with me day after day, and I realized if I ever want to be someone that others look up to, I have to stop comparing, contrasting, and striving for someone else’s goals.  She reminds me that each of those people I see on social media also has their own struggles, and most likely have experienced doubt within themselves and self-hate at one point or another.

So, instead of making a crazy list of things to “manage” and “do daily” (I already have enough damn lists!), I’m keeping it simple this year and striving towards self-love, because without that, any goal I do manage to conquer won’t be as fulfilling.  I challenge you to take a step back and just mindfully be aware of how nice you are/ be to yourself.  I guarantee you will enjoy your journey a lot more.

By January 1, 2015, I will be able to say I loved myself more, I loved others more, and truly enjoyed a year of simply making myself happier. Simple.

What are you planning on manifesting for yourself this year?

Listen to Trish’s Anti-Self Bullying Podcast here, and enjoy what Kelly McGonigal has to say about sticking to a simpler resolution.

Happy New Year!

-Leah

Relativity

Karma is the concept of “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.

The inspiration for this blog comes from my quest to find my own optimal health. After a tough year filled with with many relationship, lifestyle, and work stresses, I found my health plummeting. This came as a surprise to people, because I was an avid yoga practitioner as well as an instructor. “How can a yoga instructor be dealing with such mental and physical health issues? Aren’t you supposed to be the spokesperson for a balanced, healthy life?” Everyone in my life seemed to be asking me these questions, and it only made me feel like I had failed on a higher level.

And I just kept remembering, for a person to reach the top of the mountain, you must first trek through the valleys…

I had always heard of karma being talked about as something that the universe spins around, and interjects into peoples lives.  I believe karma can be used as a health term.  The “actions” you take now, create the cycle for your own health.  It determines how you will feel tomorrow, next week, and next month.

And it’s never too late to change your health fate.

 

Welcome 2014

With a new year in full swing, and a desire to inspire others to find their own true health, TheKarmaConcept takes on a new frontier. Now that my own health matters have been brought into the light, I choose to share what I’ve done and continue to do to create the best version of myself.

This year I’ve chosen the word PRESENCE to revolve my daily world around. I keep thinking that maybe if I had been more present throughout last year, that things wouldn’t have tumbled down around me…then I snap out of it and say there is nothing more I could have done at this point. Why continue thinking about things you can no longer change??? Learn from the past and move on…

I choose to embody the very essence of this word through this next year, hopefully creating more meaningful experiences for myself.

Do you have a motivational word for 2014?

Namaste

sunset

Windansea, California

“The light in me reflects the light in you”

Coming to a close with yoga teacher training, a new story begins to unfold within the hand that has been dealt.  Over the past couple of months, I have read much into the spirit of Yoga and the energy of the mind and body, which has made me realize just how precious things are when you recognize the signs of greatness in front of you.  I’m too excited for what life is bringing forth, and grateful to be able to share my experiences with the world.

As a recent transplant from Las Vegas to San Diego, my inspiration and zest for life has escalated and,more so than ever, I am compelled to educate, stimulate, and drive this next generation to a more efficient and zen-like state of being.

Namaste.

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