June 1, 2011

Healthy Junk Food?!

Confession. As much as I am a healthy lifestyle advocate, I do love junk food time to time; namely french fries and ice cream. I’m all about eating whatever you want, but controlling your portions. However, what if you can get the best of both words? What if you can satisfy your fried-food-craving or sweet tooth while still making healthy choices?
I absolutely love Sarah Jio’s blog over at Glamour, called “Afternoon Snack.” She has compiled a quick resource for anyone wanting to prepare and eat healthy, yet deliciously satisfying food. I was recently able to try out two of her featured snacks:

Baked Zucchini “Fries”
These “fries” were delicious, and easy to make. FInally, fries minus the guilt and plus some nutrients! :-) They are perfect for an afternoon snack or an appetizer.

I could’ve baked mine a bit longer, they weren’t as crunchy as i’d hoped.

Guilt-Free Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
This recipe is so simple it had be wondering, why didn’t i think of that? A sweet and cold treat with vitamins and protein…I could get used to that!

Well there ya have it, sinless delight. I hope to try more recipes in the near future, so check back soon!

Tags: ,
May 17, 2011

My Five Favorite Yoga Poses

Ah, yoga. Calming, energizing, and centering all at the same time. Sometimes there is nothing better than a nice yoga session. The effects felt after yoga can be addicting, hence the term “yoga junkie.” I’ve compiled a list of my favorite yoga poses (as of lately)…of course they’re subject to change through the course of my practice, and depending on my mood. :-) Here they are:

1) The Plow- This pose is so energizing. It loosens up the hamstrings and the back really well. It also brings blood and oxygen to the brain, making it very refreshing. It took me a few weeks to master this pose when I first started practicing.

2) Downward Facing Dog- Standard. Although it’s considered a beginner’s pose, there’s a lot to think about when going into the “Down Dog”. Your arms should be shoulder width apart, fingers evenly spaced, and the area between your thumb and pointer finger pressed flat against the mat. Legs should also be hip width apart, feet parallel. You should constantly be elongating your shoulders and neck by pressing into the ground. You will be surprised to know that downward dog is often used as a rest pose–it’s crazy how easy and comforting it becomes once you get into the higher level vinyasa flows!

3) Triangle- The Triangle is great for your abs and legs. Not only does it stretch and strengthen, since it’s a twist pose, it can aid your digestion and ease your anxiety. The biggest challenge with this pose is keeping your upper body and glutes on the same plane. As one of my instructors had us do to demonstrate this: stand against the wall and do the pose. If you’re like me, you’ll realize your back is arched and glutes stuck slightly out.

4) Pigeon-The pigeon is a great hip opener and really feels great. If you’re not challenged by the first pose, you could always lift your back leg up to get an even better stretch, felt in the quads.

5) Headstand- I’m currently obsessed with this pose. I’m not advanced enough to get into it without a wall behind me, but I’m working at it! To get to this pose against a wall, kneel with your hands in front of you, in a “V” shape. Put your head between your arms and slowly lift your legs above your head, using the wall if needed. The benefits of this pose are endless. It relieves stress, increases oxygen flow to the brain, and improves your balance. Mentally, the headstand is said to improve memory and awareness with continuous practice.

There ya have it, my 5 favorite poses. Try em out and let me know your thoughts! Namaste :-)

May 16, 2011

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” Buddha

I recently read the book, “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne. This book is based on the philosophy that we create our own universe. According to The Law of Attraction, everything that comes into our life, whether negative or positive, we attract.  The philosophers sited in the book use a technique to achieve what they want in life.  They picture what they want and really try to feel the emotions that would come along with their accomplishments.  By actively pretending you have already gotten what it is you wanted, you attract said thing.  At the same token, if you actively think about what you don’t want, you will attract just that.  After reading this book, I couldn’t help but wonder, is this really possible?  Can we literally change/control our lives and decide our destinies by using this technique?  It seems to good to be true.  But this attitude is what will hold you back in your efforts, regarding The Secret.  If you don’t 100% believe in The Secet and all it has to offer you, the universe will no bring you your wishes.

I have been trying to actively use The Secret since i’ve read this book.  Even if it doesn’t actually work (I really hope it does!), The Secret and The Law of Attraction do teach us lessons that could improve our lives every day. 

1) For one, the entire philosophy is based on optimism.  You are what you think.  If you’re always thinking negatively and you’re hard on yourself, you are going to reflect these thoughts as a person.  If you’re joyful, thinking positively, and embracing change, you are more likely to improve your life with that alone.  Happy people attract positivity.  If you’re walking around with a cloud over your head, how do you expect to get the job of your dreams, or meet the love of your life? Basic principles of optimism can enhance anyone’s life.

2) Also, it teaches us to humble.  The book mentions that in order to get what you want, you must not only believe in the Secret to its fullest extent, but you must be grateful for what you already have.  If you want a new car, instead of focusing on hating your current piece-of-crap car, you should be grateful you have a car in the first place.  The Secret also requires that you ask the universe for what you want in a humble way, over and over.

3) Patience.  The book suggests you must be patient when practicing the secret; only with time and consistent asking, belief, and gratitude you will see results.  Patience is almost extinct in our society today.  Don’t know a random fact? Google it on your blackberry and you’ll know within 5 seconds.  Need to eat lunch on the go? Fast food places are everywhere.  Our society can’t get enough of this fast lifestyle.  It seems like anything we want or need we can have at our fingertips.  I’ve noticed that this really makes people impatient.  We’re so used to getting what we want, when we want, that we’re lost when we actually have to wait.  I think The Secret can help show those who lack patience that “good things come to those who wait.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  Just reading it alone made me happy, and able to see the big picture of things.  Think about unfortunate events that have occured in your life.  How did you react to them?  If you reacted negatively, i’m sure a whole other slew of negative events happened to you as a result.  Also think about a time in your life when you were happy.  I’m sure great things came your way. 

Hope everyone can take my advice and and try The Secret out!