Understanding The Karma Concept

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The Karma Concept was born out the pursuit to create a healthier lifestyle; to set you up to discover your true self, your own powers of healing, and how to create a more profitable future through self awareness.

Karma is defined in the dictionary as “action; seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation.”

Setting aside the commonly spoken about definition regarding circumstances and events, this philosophy & definition can more positively be translated into your own self, and the reactions you experience throughout your body, mind, and spirit.  Physical, mental, and emotional symptoms & imbalances can all be traced back to an initial point that started the resonating process.  Whether it is healthy food vs. junk food, supportive relationships vs. negative relationships, or positive thoughts vs. self-sabotaging thoughts, our current presence and holistic self are the outcomes of past experiences and choices. Understanding where they came from can lead you towards a path of self-healing.

The wonderful thing is that we can change our future by changing our present.  In terms of karma, begin focusing on the here & now to create a healthier future.  We can no longer do anything about the past, so accepting where we are in the current moment is the best we are ever able to do.  Support a positive present to reap a healthy future.

Ignorance is NOT Biss

I spent many days feeding my body food that weren’t right for it, only to have many negative symptoms of disease, depleted hormones and no gut function.  I was not being totally conscious of my food choices or noticing how these foods were directly affecting my energy and body as a whole.  My mind was cluttered with negative external remarks and self-hatred, living in the flesh rather than my own soul.  Talk about an ongoing bad dose of karma… By eating the wrong foods and thinking the wrong thoughts, I was only slowly poisoning my body and mind.

My actions were developing constant negative results, and I was clueless.  I’d see doctor after doctor prescribing medications that only covered up the problems temporarily.  I decided I needed to take things into my own hands and begin research on my own.  I ended up diagnosing myself before my naturopath could, and am grateful I could develop the self awareness needed to pay attention and look in the right places.  It didn’t come easy, and I contribute my 10+ years of yoga and yoga teacher training to the development of these tools.  Most people can’t tap into this realm of awareness as easily, and there are more health problems now than ever before.

Through The Karma Concept, learn to identify what is triggering your mind/body/spirit symptoms before they really get out of hand.  Your health is completely controlled by you, and you are your own best healer.

 

3 Simple Easy Ways To Start

Food Log:

Keeping track of what you eat, how often you eat, and how these foods make you feel is the first step in identifying key issues.  You can either keep a hand written journal with you, or easily download an app on your phone.  I personally use My Fitness Pal.  It even tracks your exercise and weight loss goals.

Meditation:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you have not started a daily meditation practice, DO SO NOW!  This can create the most awareness in your body.  Focus on tuning in to your organs and brain, to see how well you are digesting and resting.  Meditation Oasis is my favorite, and there is definitely something for everyone.  Starting with just a couple minutes a day, can make a huge impact on how you feel and react to the world.

Journaling:

Writing down your thoughts, moods, and gratitudes is a simple way to get things off your chest and heal your mind.  Challenge yourself to write down 10 things you are thankful for each day.  Check out Tiny Buddha’s 10 Journaling Tips.

 

Believe in Your Future Self

Becoming aware of your internal body & mind definitely takes time, but hey, you’ve got a lifetime to be in the body you have!  Make the most of it and charge it up to it’s fullest potential.

Live the life you desire.

 

Namaste,
Leah

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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

Homemade: Kettle Corn

Popcorn used to be my favorite snack as a kid, definitely being eaten daily after school, and sometimes willingly being subbed out for meals. Did anyone else have such an obsession with the kettle corn microwavable packs? Seriously, I love popcorn.

I was heartbroken after reading Food Babe’s article on Why Microwave Popcorn Is An Absolute Health Nightmare, so I quickly made the switch to air popping my own.  It took some time to get used (i.e. burning a lot of batches), but have finally been able to reproduce microwavable kettle corn on a healthier, tastier level.

Popcorn is a great low calorie snack, quick to make, and easy to take on the go or smuggle into movie theaters.  Make sure the kernels you purchase are Non GMO & Organic. Genetically modified corn is a horrendous ingredient and should really be avoided altogether. If you haven’t seen & rented the documentary Genetic Roulette, it’s a must watch.
What a great excuse to eat some popcorn, ay?

Homemade: Kettle Corn Popcorn

Not to mention the kettle corn sold at the fair…. So good, yet I can’t help but think of how sugary each bite of that stuff is. Really, who needs to eat a bag of popcorn 1/3 of their body height anyway?

Using coconut crystals keeps the sugar content low on this kettle corn, with only 4 grams per tablespoon.  Feel free to use more or less, depending on your own body’s response to sugar.
We purchased 3 lbs. for $12, so it’s a pretty inexpensive switch to make in your own kitchen.

Homemade Kettle Corn 

Ingredients:

+  1/3 c. non-gmo popcorn kernels

+  2 tbs. coconut oil  (use more as drizzle after popped, if desired)

+  3-4 tbs. coconut sugar crystals

+  salt, if desired

+ large saucepan & lid

 

1.  Heat coconut oil in pan w/ lid on.

2.  Pour kernels in oil when it starts bubbling.

3.  Wearing oven mitts, hold pan and gently shake the kernels,
making sure they don’t burn.

4.  Continue shaking as they pop.

5.  Turn off heat before the last kernel pops
& drizzle in melted coconut oil or grass fed butter.

6.  Sprinkle coconut crystals and a dash of salt.

7.  Shake some more.

 

Be sure to also try Food Babe’s Superfood Popcorn and let me know what other combinations to try.
Happy Snacking!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

1. My favorite nutritionist, Christa Orecchio, on Boosting Your Metabolism. (http://thewholejourney.com)

2. Ditching eggs for breakfast & eating TOAST– (http://cupcakesandcashmere.com)

3. Morning Meditation: Aliveness.  (meditationoasis.com)

4. California City Guides, to help plan our next trip. (designsponge.com)

5. Learning to trust & heal your gut with Underground Wellness’s Kombucha Kamp Podcast. (undergroundwellness.com)

6. Catching up on my Food To-Eat Pinterest board.

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

A Meditative Mindfulness

A Meditative Mind

Happy Friday!

With the end of the workweek approaching, I think we all look forward to the relaxing aspect the weekend traditionally offers, right?  I say traditionally because many folks aren’t so available to enjoy these days like they were designed.  I hope you’re one of the lucky ones, yet I can almost guarantee you’re sitting there, rolling your eyes, thinking “relaxing??? Is this lady crazy??? My weekends are for errands, forgotten chores, side jobs and everything in between…”

After attending a yoga class that included chanting and live music, my friend Alex asked if I had my own meditative practice.  I told her I didn’t have one, and honestly had never been able to really “get into it”, besides during my yoga teacher training. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who found quiet peace in the morning that translated through the day but just hadn’t figured out what worked for me.

She told me to check out Meditation Oasis, and even sat with me for a healing meditation.  We were across from each other on the ground; legs crossed, and slowly sank into the sounds in our headphones.  I found myself drifting away constantly from the lady speaking, and honestly don’t remember a word she said…but I know how I felt after, and how well I slept that night.

Even if weekends are the start to your workweek, I challenge you to take a few minutes and just sit with yourself and practice a guided meditation.  The website above has short ones, long ones, and meditations with or without music, so it’s easy to find something to tailor your preferences and time allotment.

Holistic heath focuses on body, mind, and spirit, and I believe meditation can target all these things, if you let it. Instead of focusing so much energy on eating more healthy or exercising more, give your brain a break for once.  Not that eating healthy and exercising aren’t important, (because they are!), but focusing on strengthening the mind will lead to making other life shifts (like diet and exercise) more manageable and satisfying in the long run.

Happy Weekend & Namaste,

-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

My Go-To Green Juice

I’ve been feeling a cold coming on lately, so have been loading up on more veggies to try and fight it. Being sick is the worst, and my weak immune system does nothing for me when fighting off infections, so I end up being sick for 3X longer than the normal person.  This year I’m determined to avoid that.

My favorite immune boosting snack comes straight from my juicer.  It makes it so easy to take in a mass amount of nutrients that you normally couldn’t eat in a whole sitting, and it’s easy on the stomach.  Below is my go-to recipe…it’s simple, quick, and cuts to the point; great for your daily routine or when you’re feeling down.

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1 Cucumber (peeled if not organic)

3-4 stalks of Celery

1 Carrot (peeled if not organic)

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Turmeric

2 Ice Cubes

 

1).  Prepare your glass with a dash of Turmeric, 2 Ice Cubes, and a squeeze of Lemon

2).  Juice 1/2 of Cucumber….Celery…Carrot…and 1/2 Cucumber…(In that order!)

3.) Pour the blend over the ice and enjoy with a straw.

*You can always add more Lemon Juice and/or Turmeric if needed/wanted.

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Tumeric is not a usual ingredient in green juices, but I have come to love the spice it gives. It’s also one of the best things to boost the immune system, among a LONG list of other great benefits. It’s pretty much the go-to fix-it herb. Read about it here.

Enjoy!

-Leah

 

Linked Up

Trish BlackwellScreen Shot 2014-01-08 at 3.29.49 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-08 at 3.47.54 PM

If you haven’t listened to Trish Blackwell, you are seriously missing out!  This powerful lady will boost your confidence and direct you towards a life of abundance.  She speaks as if she were a close friend, and I credit her to getting my goals on track for this year. You can listen/download from her website or in the iTunes app.

Lauren @ The Holy Kale is one of my favorites in the online health world.   I love her article on Keeping Your Produce Fresh.  This is very important for maximizing the food you spend so much time and money on!  I use it every time I get back from the farmers market.

Check out this link to see how sugar is really affecting your brain.  I love TED videos, and this one keeps it short and sweet. (Literally!) I’ve been trying to stay away from any sugars, even keeping high glycemic fruits out of the house. I know I was/still am highly addicted, and this video explains exactly why sugar can overtake your mental control.

-Leah

Upgraded Energy

With a new year ahead, everyone creates these specific goals and outlooks for themselves, planning to accomplish them plus more with the clean slate of New Years. Last year I remember telling myself…”I’m going to get so much done…create new experiences…better my life through accomplishing my goals.” I would say that, Yes, I did do a great number of things last year, but found my health declining from all the energy I was expelling. I ended up living off caffeine, and eventually my body no longer processed that into energy. I would end up feeling super groggy, and spending way too much on Starbucks.

Can you relate?

Heavy into research, I stumbled upon a man who seemed to have reinvented the coffee spectrum.  Introducing Dave Asprey, the creator of the new Bulletproof Coffee.  His website seemed intriguing, and the testimonials gave me hope that I had found something that would satisfy my coffee cravings AND give me the sustained focus I had been looking for.  He not only promises sustained, feel good energy, but also a curb in sugar cravings.

Could it be real?  Would I get to enjoy day-long efficiency as well as ending my sweets addiction?!

His coffee concoction includes his upgraded, mold-free beans, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil.  I know, I know…butter for breakfast?  Just like all food products, some are produced better than others; and with the mess of health terms like organic, non-GMO, and natural, it’s hard to know what is what. Read about healthly butter here.

My boyfriend completely surprised me this past Christmas with the Bulletproof Coffee Kit.  The first day I tried it, I was beyond excited at how GREAT I felt.  I’d been used to taking breaks every so often throughout the day, even having to quit my job due to lack of energy and focus.  My morning beverage really opened my eyes to how intuitive the human body actually is, and how the correct diet can completely impact your daily routine.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter you brew the beans, (I use a french press), all you do is blend the coffee, oil, and grass-fed butter together!  You’re left with a frothy hot beverage and endless energy for the day ahead.

To make use of other natural energy conductors (without caffeine), check out Primal Docs.