Step 1: Set Your Intention

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So, did you think I would forget?  It’s the beginning of October and Fall is still fresh.  A new season can sometimes signify almost a new year for some.  For me, I see a new year of schedules, planning, and time to really start over.

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I always see Fall as a way to remember why I started.  Yes, it is not like spring where plants come alive, and creatures and being alike come out to play.  Fall, as I said before, is the best time to rid and create space.  The perfect time to really just dig deep and rid that bullshit.  Whether it’s toxic chemicals to toxic emotions, we want to start a transitioning season in the best possible way.

When we hear of cleansing or detoxing, it’s safe to say most of us think about 2 things first: food and weight.  I would like to help transition that, because not for nothing, those are two things that most of think about everyday.  I want to think of a clean slate, a new beginning, and not only a healthy beautiful body, but a healthy mind and beautiful soul.  To be quite honest, you can’t obtain such health and beauty with your body, if the inside is still needs a little more love and help.  This is why the first step to any cleanse is your intention.

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When first starting anything, whether a new routine, job, or practice, we usually start off with why.  Why are we starting yoga?  Why did we start a new job or career?  Why did we decide to eat healthier?  Why did we decide to leave a toxic relationship?  Our why’s may all be different, but there are things that we will all have in common.  We are ready for a change and we are ready for our transition.  Once you decide it, you are ready.  It takes a lot of cojones to even tell your mind such things.  We decide to leave the comfort of what has been and really dive into uncharted territory.  Who are we to decide we want to change such a big part of our lives?

IMG_6301I know for me.  This takes a lot.  To say I tend to be a bit scattered and doubtful, can sometimes be an understatement.  Recently deciding to leave a job I had secured for half of my working life, for another unsure part-time job, wasn’t easy.  And to be quite honest, still isn’t.  But, I decided regardless of the fact that it wasn’t the “ideal” job for a girl my age and circumstance, it was a change.  Once thing I desperately needed.  To get out of my comfort zone, to get out of my bubble, and try something new.  I guess you can say that intention was for a change of atmosphere.

So, now I talk to you about your intention for your detox or cleanse.  If you are interested, what are you trying to get out of it? When things get hard, what do you want to feel?  Maybe it can be you want more energy or shed a couple of fast pounds.  Would you consider a new lifestyle?  A new way to approach a different, healthier way of living?  Strength? This could really be your intention for the season.

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For myself, I want to feel light again.  Not so much physically, but more mentally and emotionally.  When things get rough, make it light.  When something might seem hard and you struggle, take it lightly.  Sometimes my emotions and mentality get a hold of me.  I want to learn and be reminded to say it with a whisper, and to listen to what might be too soft to hear.  When a posture gets tough, take it lightly.  If and when I do my cleanse, I want to rid those toxins within that essentially may way me down, that have my energy moving to others places that don’t benefit me or my surroundings.  It always comes from within.

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Of course, this is something you may do every week, but I bring it up now as a commitment.  I believe now is the perfect time to dig deep.  Let the Fall colors warm you and it’s chill breeze awaken you!  

 

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Please feel free to comment or share what might call to you.  Your intention for the season or week!! What will be your Monday Mantra???

 

 

Gracefully Falling into Autumn

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Was that too much for a title?  I wanted to make it clever and cute, and semi related to the topic at hand.  Eh, I tried.

So, are you guys gearing up the Fall season?  Anyone already been ready?  I’m trying.  More mentally than physically.  The thought of cold weather makes me a bit uneasy, but thankfully there are the positive people who remind me about the better things, or to just get over it.  Sweaters? Boots? Pumpkin? Apples?  Plum lipstick?  Something has to make you excited, right?

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I’m a sucker for the little things.  Yes, warm weather all year round can seem like a lot to ask for, but it’s really just for the simpleness of shorts and a t-shirt, and fresh fruit that I would like.  So, for now, I will focus on the easy small ways.  How we can all gracefully enjoy getting into this season of transformation?

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Food!!! Focus on farmers markets for as long as you can.  Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I can still shop for local and delicious fruits and veggies.  It’s nice to see the change in colors in the atmosphere just from the food.  With fall squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, brussel sprouts, and cranberries, there are so many ways to enjoy the season just with food.  In the summer I must admit I take a break from cooking.  My go to of rice and beans with vegetables or salad, soon transforms to roasted root vegetable and curry.  Simple cozy recipes such Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal and Lentils with Butternut Squash, will make you a little more grateful for the color temperatures.

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Clean out those closets and cabinets.  There is nothing better than the feeling of a fresh start!  Fall is all about transformation.  Leaves turn colors and disappear, leaving space for growth once spring arrives.  Same with your body and surroundings in the home.  Go through your kitchen cabinets.  Take out expired cans and bottles, clean it up, make room for what you can use.  Even your bedroom closet.  I bet there are outfits you haven’t worn in a year?  Give it away.  With a big garbage bag, you will be surprise how fast it will fill up.  Whether the reason being it doesn’t fit you right or you changed your style up (I’m guilty of going through style changes frequently).  Maybe you can make room for cozy sweaters for the season.

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Clean up your diet.  I’m going to throw out the word.  Detox.  Yes.  It’s about that time again.  Do you dread it?  Love it?  Mine is a little both.  I love it because I know it’s going to help me start this season with the healthy boost we all need.  Let’s face it.  Fall and Winter? I hope I’m not the only one who will be indulging in hearty stews and curries, apple pie, pumpkin pie, or hot coffee and teas.  Why not prepare your body?  With a week of clean eating, juices, and exercise, you will only have a positive attitude of the new season ahead.  I’m looking forward for my body to feel light and full of energy to fight those colder dark early morning blues!

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Have fun with it!  Do what makes you happy! Experiment!  As I transition into Fall, oatmeal becomes a pretty important part into my diet.  The warmth and moisture it contains is perfect balance of the cold and dry weather upon us.  With some different variations and experimentation, I can enjoy feeling a little more healthier without getting boring.  You can discover what you love and don’t like so much.  For example, I learned I do not like dried apricots in my oatmeal, but love alone or in my desserts.  Who knew!  Little discoveries in a big bowl of oatmeal…

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Hope this helps!  Any questions on food, detoxes, and self-care, let me know!  I would also love to hear any advice you guys have on food, health, and fashion for Fall season!! Updates soon on the new events and changes for the next couple of months for sure!

P.S. Fall is great way to transition our self-care products and routines as well.  Check it out! I change my exfoliating body brush, switch from coconut oil everything to sesame or almond oil, and make time for more moisturizing face masks and body/scalp oil massages at night.  TLC people.  TLC.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

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Well, this is a spontaneous kind of post.  I live a spontaneous crazy life.  It’s almost 9pm.  Just got home from work and decided to down a cup a coffee.  Watch out.  I’m ready.

I made this salad in hopes to 1) use up some veggies 2) save money 3) to be healthy 4) to not be hungry.  These are all great efforts, right?  But, what makes it even better?  The fact that it was delicious!!!  I was not expecting that!  I know, so sad.  Sometimes, fast healthy food, doesn’t always work out to my advantage.  I’m human.

After a productive morning, I decided to keep it up by making myself lunch to bring to work.  With already cooked quinoa, farmer market vegetables screaming to be used, and canned beans, the only effort needed was to get out the cutting board.  Seriously, that could be the hardest part sometimes (most of the time.)

A lot of this is estimated, because like I said, I wasn’t expecting to post this!  So it’s a good sign that it is an easy and accessible recipe!  Definitely experiment with different veggies, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, or even different vinaigrettes. Use your imagination!  And let me know about the deliciousness you create ;)

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cobs corn, scraped from husk
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Combine all in a bowl and mix!!!!

P.S. Limited pictures due to spontaneity!

Berry Chia Jam

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Can we just talk about first how I planned this post a week ago and when I finally stopped procrastinating enough to get down to it yesterday, the post disappears as I try to save.  So, this will be the second time around.  I hope it’s as good as the first.  I usually wing it, but I guess this one will be prewritten/edited.

Anyways….. This one is a good one.  This one is an easy one.  What more can you ask for?

Sometimes I like my breakfasts to have a sweet kick to them.  Like, not just fresh fruit sweet, but a little sugar in the mix.  AKA: jelly.  Whether it is healthified with almond butter on a sprouted muffin, an indulgent topping on pancakes, or a sweet snack on top of crusty bread, I am all for jam/jelly/preserves.  (Can someone tell me the difference?)

I’ve actually been seeing different versions of this recipe for a while now all over the internet, but never got around to actually making it.  Partly because, well, I could buy jelly.  Yet, when times get tough and you run out, you learn to make that sweet substance?  Am I right?  You can’t deny your wants!  So I took what I have on hand, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to make  a healthier homemade version.

Now, this doesn’t involve real jelly making, using pectin or a thermometer (do you use one of those for jelly?), but rather 3 ingredients that I always have on hand anyways.  Fruit.  Sugar.  Chia Seeds.  Sweeeet!  I used to frozen fruit for this recipe and though it seems like the perfect opportunity to use fresh summer fruit, I find the frozen fruit to work just right.  All them juices from when the fruit boils?  Perfect!

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Berry Chia Jam

  • 16 oz bag frozen mixed berries (or any fruit, frozen or fresh)
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 or 3 tbs sugar

In a medium saucepan over high heat, pour frozen berries.  Cover and let sit for about 3 minutes.  Once there is liquid and fruit is heated, mash until some chunks remain.  Lower heat to medium and add chia seeds and sugar.  Stir for another 3 minutes or so until jam thickens and chia seeds enlarge.  Let cool before transferring to an empty jar.  Keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Enjoy!

PS.  I’m torn between “jam” and “jelly”.  But I think “jam” sounds better for a recipe :)

Hot Healthy Summer

IMG_4192Well, it has officially been one month of summer gone.  I am in somewhat of a shock, and hoping that the next two months don’t go by as fast.  And with two more months left, I am going to make it count.

Of course, with Ayurveda, we are all about living with the seasons.  Summer being one of the three that we recognize, it is the month to keep energized and stay cool.  It makes sense.  We don’t want to over heat in the summer and the days are so long, that we don’t want to tire ourselves out so early.  I always find my it’s difficult for my body to stay up later during the first couple of weeks of summer. My body was ready for bed by 8pm.  That’s the grandma status coming out ;)

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Wake up call: First thing you want to do is adjust your sleeping patterns.  Maybe wake up an hour earlier, as the sun rises earlier.  I believe 6am or before does the trick.  Even on late nights, don’t set yourself up to sleep in.  You would be surprised to know how your body may want to get up earlier, then you would expect.  Just listen to it and try not to excuse yourself with that snooze button.  You want to get the maximum amount of energy for the day ahead.

Coconut oil:  Coconut is a cooling fruit.  If it comes from the tropics, it is most likely because it’s made for a more hot/humid climate.  Although I can name about 5 different uses for coconut oil, the one I would like to talk about is a coconut oil massage.  Before a shower, massage the coconut oil over your body.  This will not only get your skin and organs stimulated, but also moisturize and cool your body down before the day starts.  Amazing!  Once you get into the hot shower your pores will open to allow deep moisture.  I recommend a short cold shower after your daily wash.  This will minimize your pores once again and lock in the moisture.  If you still use soap in the shower, I recommend a quick sweep of the coconut oil when you get out.

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Food!!

Enjoy summer’s abundance of fruit.  Your body in the summer will naturally crave sweeter foods.  Keep it healthy and trimming with the fresh berries, peaches, and melons, to the more tropical fruits from other parts of the country.  Papaya’s, mangoes, and pineapples are some of my favorite go-tos.  With the sugar and carbs from the fruits, you will have lasting energy throughout your day.

Raw food is great!  Your body is ready to better digest hearty raw salads, cereals, and yummy side dishes.  Grilled summer veggies such as peppers, zucchini, and corn are also amazing.  Big Plus! Ice cream is A-ok in the middle of that summer hot day.  Cooling milk and yogurts are great for those who overheat easily.

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Avoid high fat proteins and that fried goodness.  I know those summer burgers and french fries look tempting, but make that a once in a blue moon kind of thing.  I find it so much easier to be vegetarian in the summer.  When eating out or want a nice piece of protein, go for the seafood.  Trust me, you want to keep it light during this season!

You may also want to limit your amount of high fermented products, such as kombucha and kimchi.  They tend to be heating to the body.  For your probiotics stick with a cooling yogurt.

Cool Hydration: Coconut water!  Full of electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium.  It is perfect for a post work out drink.  Mix with fruit and frozen banana’s for a cooling summer smoothie.  Fresh juices are perfect for this season!  I find it so much easier to drink a green juice in the morning or a random carrot-orange juice when it’s not freezing temps outside.

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Exercise:  Don’t go crazy.   I know it is summer, and everyone wants that hot summer body, but let’s think realistically.  You already expense a lot of energy through the longer days and warmer climates.  Plus, there is already a decrease in the heaviness and fat content in your meals.  You’re workouts as well should be a less intense.  I practice hot yoga, and during the summer the room is actually a lot less hot then in the winter.  At times there is no heating at all.  If you run, run in the morning or closer to sunset.

Hope this helps!  Of course there are many other tips and tricks, but I find these are the some that work best for most, including myself!

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PS.  If you’re one who enjoys a drink, stay close to refreshing simple cocktails and white wine!  Those do the trick to keep it cool and light during the summer months.

If We Went On a Coffee Date….

I would probably go on for hours….

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Can I pay you in coffee to listen?  We could go to Whole Foods for an almond latte and scone, and just do it up.

I would talk about how much I really have been enjoying the summer!  Even though, I work almost everyday and may not be able to go to the beach as much as I would like, I’m in love.  From the fresh produce in season (tomatoes, come soon please), to night-time chit chats outside, juices and smoothies, cocktails and beers during the day, red wine on a late night girls night… I love it all.

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They say attachment is bad, as in, you only loose something when you are attached to it, but in all honesty I don’t care.  I love my fresh fruits, warm weather, and not wearing pants.  And I say and show it proudly.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I really love kids, to the point when sometimes I wonder if I can ever really have my own.  Does that make sense?  It does to me.  I had my cousins visiting from Florida.  They are young, vivacious, and love to eat and ask questions.  It was great to teach a fresh mind, play like child, and come home to faces excited to see you.  I fell in love.

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I guess this would be the time to admit that I almost gave up.  Not so much on my passion, but my dream(s).  You know those dreams where you see yourself doing something you love in the future, living in a place that was meant for you, meeting people you were destined to meet.  Yea, those ones.  I still kept my passion for my everyday healthy thangs, my yoga practice, and the practice of everyday kindness (I tried for that one), but in a sense that started to mean less when I wasn’t doing that for another purpose.

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I believe in the power of Now.  Focusing on the present moment, living everyday that it is a gift.  I seriously made myself believe that the sun was shining, the weather was great, and I was able to have a green juice before work, so in a sense, life was great.  Until, I felt stuck.  I want to really live once in a while.  Travel, drive around, dance around outside in the middle of the night, even day.  Yes, you can make your mind believe anything, but you can’t make your heart feel something else.

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That kinda reminded me of a quote that I fell in love with:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

It’s the truth, your fucking heart is the smartest thing (organ?) you will ever have.  Don’t loose it.

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Oh yea, and I started cooking!  Kind of.  I like to make roasted veggies and mix it with something.  Like noodles.  I got’s to say, I was pretty impressed with myself.  Different from my usual rice and beans.  Would you like the recipe?  It needs some tweaking, but I would be happy to share :)

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Didn’t I mention I love summer?

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So why don’t we just try this again.  My name is Yesenia.  I love food, in the form that nourishes my body and soul.  I love yoga.  I want to teach and help people become healthier and inspiring beings.  I still believe that even with all the crazy sad shit going on in the world, we can all find peace within ourselves and meditate on an intention to help something/someone.  I want to share my everyday nonsense, inform you the yumminess of sprouts and tacos, teach about the wonders of coconut oil in the summer, AND of course learn from everyone else, all of you.

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If you made it this far, I hope I made it worth your while.  Thanks for having coffee (or tea) with me.

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yesenia

PS.  I literally rambled.  Didn’t grammar/spell check.  Put some pictures up.  This was pure expression.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

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