Notes on Self-Care

 

8fa108e1ab32f036892baff57424d123

I found a list of short health reminders that I wrote in my journal a while back to help myself stay on track when it comes to self-care. It’s all too easy to fall off or get busy/distracted with life until you start feeling out of whack and you realize you haven’t been keeping up with yourself.

Whenever I start feeling unbalanced, I always take a look at this list to get myself back on track. I wrote these for myself but I wanted to share it with you guys because I find it really helpful and I think it’s a good foundation of having a healthy lifestyle.

1) Healthy Meals: Meals should consist of grains + vegetables, complex carbs, generous healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seed. Eat organic.

2) Treat Your Gut Well: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods and take/drink Probiotics. Macro-Biotic Diet, popularized by the Japanese are really gut-friendly (more on this in another article!)

3) Take Daily Supplements: Sometimes, we get really busy or some of us may not be food savvy, so if that’s the case I recommend taking supplements until you get comfortable or get knowledgable with what foods to eat. I would start with basics like Turmeric, Omega 3’s, Oregano Oil. These are all safe for you but of course do your research and only take what you need. I would also stay away from any multi-vitamins.

4) Minimize Alcohol Use: Mocktails anyone? We all know alcohol is bad for our bodies but society has conditioned us that fun can only be had with alcohol. I’m learning to switch this mindset because let’s face it hangovers are shitty.

5) Manage stress through daily movement: I like doing yoga at home and occasionally when I feel like seeing people I’ll join a class using my ClassPass app. I also incorporate short walking breaks at my office job. Hours at the gym aren’t necessary but aerobic exercise 2-3 times a week can help, whether it be a dance class or a bootcamp on the weekends.

6) Engage in Nature: I try to do this at least 2x a week, which is hard when you’re living in a city like LA. But hey, that’s why I started a garden on my patio. Caring for plants is really therapeutic and keeps you connected to nature. If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, bike rides or just laying out at the beach does wonders for the spirit.

7) Maintain hydration by drinking water: This is so important but is one of the things we all overlook. Luckily, I have co-workers who are all on the same page and we always remind each other to drink water, especially on a busy day.  First thing I like to do upon waking is drinking a tall glass of water before anything else. Some people don’t like the taste of water and find it boring to drink water, so try coconut water!

8) Respect your Circadian Rhythm: Go to bed at the same time & wake up at the same time. If you find it hard to sleep, try drinking some calming tea such as chamomile or take a warm bath before bed. For me, reading a book always makes me sleepy and puts me right to bed! Sleep should be restorative and re-energize you.

Let me know what you think and what you do to check in with yourself!

 

Life Update: Slow and Steady…

saffu-357231-unsplash

Fall is finally here! It’s one of my favorite seasons as it brings a sense of change and renewal. You see it in the weather, the people, and your overall environment. There were also plenty of full and new moons to help you reflect back and set new intentions for the next phase of your life.

I personally love and embrace change, however I admittedly did sometimes feel “stuck” or had a hard time breaking an old habit or pattern of thinking I desperately wanted to change. There are things such as old negative thinking patterns, procrastination, abandonment issues, etc. that I felt were holding me back from becoming my higher self.

Yes, although they were hard to admit, these are just some of the dark shadows that have surfaced within these past few months for me. I’m sure many of you may also be going through the same thing during this powerful transitional period.

Throughout this process, I began feeling down on myself for not healing or changing fast enough. Can’t I just be that stable, strong, ultimate warrior goddess already?! Many of us have a lot of healing to do whether it be from past childhood experiences, intergenerational trauma, low self-esteem, etc.

As much as I would like to fast forward all of that, I realized that there’s much more work to do mentally AND physically.

To be quite honest, during my entire summer I felt paralyzed when all these demons crept up on me out of seemingly nowhere. I didn’t know what to do or how to fight them, I just sat there in meditation, acknowledged it’s presence and tried as best as I could to accept them and myself as we were. Although, it was very uncomfortable, it did shed light on why I think and react to things the way I do. Most of the time it did not play out in the best way or for my greater good.

Although, I was meditating at least twice a day, observing my thoughts and doing breathwork, I wasn’t feeling that much better. Just recently, I saw a video on TedxTalk by Leon Taylor that spoke about managing your mental health through physical movement. He spoke about the importance of moving your body to help manage stress and keeping your emotions stable. If you also read about Reiki and Chinese Medicine, you’ll know about the different Chakras and energy passageways within the body. If these energies are not flowing or are imbalanced, it can cause blockages which can lead to stress and disease.

I knew I had to get up and move more if I wanted to feel better. I started doing yoga at home for 30-45 minutes a day, 3x a week which as helped me immensely. I’ll be sure to share my favorite yogi channels in another post!

I also recently attended an Acupressure class and learned all the different points on your body that you can massage to help alleviate stress/pain and unblock energy passageways so that your chi can flow better. The class proved to be very helpful! I want to write another article on this and share with you what I learned since I think it could very helpful to you as well.

This is just the beginning of you and I emerging and becoming our authentic selves the way we were meant to be without all the pain, confusion, and societal conditioning. I just want to encourage everyone that no matter where you are in your journey to not feel bad about the pace you are going or feel pressure or anxiety for not being the person you wish to be quite yet. I want you to understand that you are not alone and to keep pushing and thinking of ways to find inner strength to continue becoming who we are meant to be one day at a time!

 

With love,

Ani

 

Benefits of Drinking Matcha

 

0fbbc632fedd9cae92187fb405a836d6.jpg

 

I recently switched over from drinking coffee every morning to now drinking Matcha Tea because depending on the type of coffee I can get jittery or feel anxiety. I switched to drinking green tea because I’ve heard that it was healthier but I still missed that energy burst caffeine provided me. I’m a fan of green tea but today I’m going to talk about Matcha!

Did you know that one serving of Matcha Tea has the equivalent nutritional value of 10 cups of regularly brewed Green Tea? Say what? Not only that, it has 137 times more antioxidants than regular Green Tea! Matcha contains “chlorophyll” the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature color which happens to also be a powerful detoxifier. Chlorophyll helps to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. I think I’ve found something! So…

Amongst its many health benefits, matcha

  • Is packed with antioxidants
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

 

When I heard about Matcha Tea, I was very intrigued but didn’t know where to start. It’s actually super easy to find at any health food store now but in order to get that sweet and frothy matcha goodness,  you’re going to want to go with a high-grade “ceremonial” powder such as Ippodo Tea

You will also need to purchase a Chasen Matcha Tea Set to mix the powder and water in and make the tea. I love shopping for pretty handmade ceramic bowls to mix my Matcha in which you can find on Etsy, Flea Markets, or your local artists!

You can make traditional matcha tea by sifting 1–2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a cup, adding 2 ounces of hot water and mixing it together with a bamboo whisk otherwise known as a chashaku. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try whipping up matcha lattes, puddings or protein smoothies to boost the nutrient content of your favorite recipes. I love me a nice toasty Matcha Almond Milk Latte so here’s a quick recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 4 oz hot (almost boiling) water
  • 8 oz almond milk
  • maple syrup, sugar, honey, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • If you are using a bamboo whisk, soften the tines by soaking in hot water. A metal whisk also works.
  • Place one teaspoon matcha green tea powder in a bowl.
  • Pour hot water over matcha and whisk vigorously until frothy. Using a “W” motion helps.
  • Heat your milk (I like almond or soy milk. Coconut milk is good, too, but I have found it does not froth up as nicely) to 140°F – 160°F on the stove top  and use a whisk to froth — I like to use an electric milk frother.
  • Sweeten to taste with maple syrup, honey, or sugar.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

Best Herbal Teas for Digestive Health

 

ba9a1d9487d2ae705682101af2b66657.jpg
Pinterest

Tea has been used medicinally as a natural remedy for centuries for the body as well as the mind. Drinking tea is something that I’ve added to my daily self-care routine and I’ve noticed a difference in my overall health and mood. There is literally a tea for every type of ailment out there and is one of the best things you can put in your body.

Today, I am focusing on my favorite herbal teas for your digestive health. After every meal, especially a heavy one it really helps to have a cup of tea to alleviate any discomfort such as indigestion, bloating, gas, cramps, etc.

Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea has the ability to improve digestion, relieve pain, and eliminate inflammation. This tea stimulates the flow of bile to increase the rate and efficiency of digestion and promotes healthy bowel movements. Peppermint tea is also good for easing constricting muscles, so it is good for menstrual cramps as well. It is caffeine-free so you can drink this right after dinner and before bedtime to heal and relax yourself. Peppermint oil is also something you can look into if you suffer from IBS otherwise known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Ginger Root Tea: Ginger tea is useful in treating digestive issues because helps with all three phases of gastrointestinal functions: digestive, absorption, and elimination. Ginger root tea has been proven effective at relieving gas and heartburn. It is also known to help with nutrient absorption so after you eat a healthy meal drink some ginger tea to get the maximum benefits of the nutrients you just consumed. You can make your own ginger tea by peeling and adding two one-inch slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of water to a boil. Let steep for about half an hour, pour and enjoy.

Dandelion Tea: Dandelion tea is packed with a ton of Vitamin A and C which helps with mineral absorption, reduces inflammation and prevents the development of disease. Dandelion helps maintain the flow of bile which helps the enzymes in our body to break down fat into fatty acid. It also serves a natural diuretic which allows your liver to more quickly eliminate toxins. It’s beneficial for fighting bacterial infections within your digestive tract.

Oolong Tea: Oolong tea is one of the most beneficial teas in the world and falls somewhere in between a green tea and a black tea. This tea is rich in antioxidants and contains vital vitamins and minerals along with detoxifying alkaloids. Oolong tea is amazing for your gut health and helps boost your metabolism. Oolong tea does contain caffeine so this is something you want to drink during the day. Be aware of how your body reacts to caffeine and drink accordingly. Fun fact: People who drink tea burn an average of 67 more calories a day than those who drink the same amount of water.

You can buy already made tea bags to keep it fast and simple. My favorite brand for tea bags is: Traditional Medicinals Herbal Teas

I also love using loose leaf teas. I usually purchase mine from The Herb Bar and brew it in my French Press. If you don’t have a french press, just purchase a Mesh Tea Infuser or  Tea Ball 

Enjoy!

Daily Vitamins Every Young Woman Should Take

 

ffa7c10ed6ce85824613935d9539d2a1.jpg

 

As a woman in her late twenties, my body started changing and I realized I couldn’t eat what I used to eat in college anymore. My body started rejecting certain foods and began craving for more wholesome foods like fruits and veggies. I knew I had to change my lifestyle but with such a busy work life, it was honestly a struggle. I try to have a plant-based diet at least 5 days out of the week but on some days I get so busy that all I get to eat is a salad and maybe a snack. That’s when I realized that until I start getting serious about my diet to get all the nourishment I need for the day, I’ll have to get my nutrients through vitamins.

Now, I am not a fan of multi-vitamins.  I have been there and done that and has done nothing for me but hurt my stomach. Of course everyone is different and is deficient in different areas, so talk to your doctor and just listen to your body, you know it best. If your stomach is sensitive like mine, try vegan or soy-free supplements. I currently use the brand Solgar and Gaia Herbs for most of my supplements.

Here’s a list of Vitamins:

Gingko Biloba: Gingko Biloba helps me keep up with our fast-paced world and saves me from having brain fog (lack of mental clarity and inability to focus). It’s super powerful because it contains flavonoids which is a plant-based antioxidant which protects heart muscles, nerves, and blood vessels from damage. Ginkgo Biloba is known to help blood circulation in the brain which helps improve cognitive functioning, better memory, and promotes positive moods as well as treats headaches.

Oregano Oil: Oregano oil is a lifesaver for me. Whenever I am feeling weak and fatigued or feel like I’m about to get sick I always reach for this. You can take it with a dropper or as a capsule and helps with colds, coughs, allergies, stomach issues, you name it. It is an antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antiviral and strengthens your immune system to fight off any existing bacteria. I take it daily as a preventative treatment to the afore mentioned.

Vitamin D: I was shocked when my doctor said I was deficient in Vitamin D considering I live in sunny LA. Unfortunately due to UV-Rays, getting Vitamin D through the sun can actually be more harmful than good.  She said it was very important that I take these vitamins daily because a deficiency can cause a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and more. Vitamin D helps regulate your immune system as well as your neuromuscular system and plays a huge role in the life cycle of your cells.

Iron: Iron is a mineral that carries oxygen in the blood. It is the most common deficiency in women and can lead to anaemia. This is something as women we need to take because we lose at least 1mg of blood every month due to our menstrual cycle.  Also, since I’ve switched to a more plant-based diet, therefore eating less meat this is even more of a necessity.

Probiotic: Probiotics are important for your overall gut health. It gives you healthy bacteria that helps balance the body’s micro-biome & PH levels which improves your vaginal flora. It affects your weight and metabolism; mood and energy levels; the appearance of your skin; balance of yeast; relief from occasional gas, bloating or irregularity; and even the health of your urinary tract. It’s a secret weapon to preventing UTI’s which every woman gets in their lifetime, talk about a living nightmare! So either eat a lot of yogurt and kimchi or take a probiotic pill.

Hope this helps and let me know what vitamins you take!

Benefits of Turmeric + Daily Uses

www.curcumindigest.com_.png

 

Turmeric is one of my favorite spices that I have incorporated into my journey of a healthier and natural lifestyle. It’s amazing how many different ways you can use this spice to improve your overall health. You can take it in the form of a tablet or extract but personally I enjoy using it in my food such as soups, smoothies and wellness shots. Turmeric is used as a healing agent because it contains curcumin which is a compound that halts the enzyme that is responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in our bodies. Not only that, but it serves to improve the digestions of fats and sugars which helps alleviate inflammation.

Benefits:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Anti-Depressent
  • Improves Cognitive Functioning
  • Good for Arthritis + Joint Pain
  • Acne Treatment
  • Prevent Cancer

Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate Turmeric:

Turmeric-Ginger Broth: I love making a light gut-healing soup with either chicken or vegetable broth and add noodles and fresh herbs such as green onions or cilantro. I even like to put a tablespoon of turmeric in a traditional chicken noodle soup recipe which doesn’t alter the taste too much but a nice golden color with anti-inflammatory benefits! Here’s Nourishing Meal’s recipe you can try!

Turmeric Lemonade: Turmeric lemonade is something you can easily make to drink everyday in the morning or turn it into a fancy detoxifying non-alcoholic cocktail! You basically squeeze some fresh lemon, add some ginger slices, mix it with some organic honey and add water with ice! If you want to make it look like a fancy drink, just add a sprig of rosemary or mint!

Coconut-Turmeric Smoothie: Simply add it into your next smoothie for a sweet, milky taste. It gives it a beautiful golden color and has tons of healing benefits! My favorite smoothie has coconut milk, banana, mango, cinnamon, chia seeds, and of course turmeric.

Turmeric Wellness Shot: Whenever you feel a cold coming along or you think that your immune system needs a boost, make yourself a powerful wellness shot. I used to purchase these for about $4 at the Farmer’s Market until I realized how simple it was to make myself. Mix a little coconut water, lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Black pepper enhances turmeric’s bioavailability which helps boosts the absorption making it’s benefits even more effective.

How do you like to use Turmeric? There are so many ways! Feel free to comment below!

 

Winter Skin Essentials

 

wishlist002.jpg

1. Tata Harper Daily Essentials Kit: All of her products are 100% percent natural, EcoCert-certified products are all handmade on her Farm in Vermont. This kit contains:

 Regenerating Cleanser (15 ml) Daily exfoliating & clarifying treatment Resurfacing Mask (7.5 ml) For instant glow

– Floral Essence (15 ml) Moisture boosting toner

 Rejuvenating Serum (10 ml) Comprehensive age-defying treatment

 Reparative Moisturizer (10 ml) Silky moisturizer for dry skin

 Restorative Eye Crème (1 ml) Age-defying eye treatment

 Replenishing Nutrient Complex (3 ml) Multivitamin face oil

2. Mint Julep Lip Scrub: This scrub is made out of brown sugar and is highly effective in removing dry skin from your lips. It has a sweet and minty taste and should be used at least 3 times a week.

3. Aster & Bay Eye Serum: This eye-serum helps to prevent puffiness and dark circles as well as smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles. It contains Vitamins A and C and is made with Rosehip Seed Oil which has a velvety texture and is great for moisturizing the skin without being greasy.

4. Manuka Honey: This is an all natural alternative for your health and beauty. You can use this as a acne spot treatment, facial mask, hair mask, or simply put in your tea!

5. Pai Revitalizing Skin Conditioning Oil: In the winter, my skin gets super dry and flaky. I always have to put a facial oil as a base before I use my moisturizer. Pai has an amazing facial oil made of Rosehip Seed Oil, which is one of my favorite oils for the face because it absorbs right into the skin and does not feel greasy. This smells wonderful and is a brand that you can trust.