Holistic Beauty Rituals – new interview series!

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Welcome to a new series here on my blog all about holistic beauty! I’ll be sharing interviews with a variety of women asking about their holistic beauty rituals. Some are beauty experts, some are just regular gals like you and me. Let the holistic beauty secrets begin!

DSC_6802 (1)Meet Anne Havens – holistic beauty expert.  I met Anne through a mutual friend and have attended her women’s empowerment group and yoga retreat. Anne glows from the inside out. She is a licensed esthetician and certified yoga teacher with 15 years experience in the holistic wellness industry. She loves working with women to educate and support them on their healing journey through holistic skincare, health & beauty rituals, yoga, and postural alignment classes.

How do you approach aging and beauty?

I am all about prevention!  The more we support our bodies in our 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s the healthier and more vibrant our skin will be as we mature. Diet is very important to me as well. Knowing that our skin is an organ and the 7th channel of detoxification, helps me keep my nutrition in line.  The skin is a wonderful mirror of internal imbalances which most often comes from inflammation and stress in the digestive system.

I was trained on the island of Maui from a holistic spa & wellness school. Here, I gained a foundation of holistic skincare that emphasizes customized nutrition, mind-body practices, meditation, stress reduction, supportive skincare, and cultivating inner fulfillment and happiness.  I strive to create a complete experience for my clients that addresses these areas as well as supporting their connection to nature and spirit.

What are your daily beauty rituals?

IMG_2037*Deep and complete beauty sleep
*Oil pulling first thing with coconut oil and tongue scraper
*Tall glass of lemon water to hydrate the cells and lemon to gently cleanse
*Green drink with green powder (with probiotics), kale and a few blueberries for breakfast. This alkalizes the body and helps flush out toxins.
*Exercise daily either: yoga, hiking, trail running, or dancing
*Dry brushing before I shower to exfoliate and stimulate lymphatic system
*I exfoliate my skin everyday with a gentle facial cleanser, this helps keep my pores clean and prevents breakout
*Antioxidant rich moisturizer for my skin type that prevents moisture loss and feeds my skin
*I use eye cream and lip balm every night before bed

What are some rituals that you feel all women should be doing?

Facials are really amazing to nurture women and help us feel beautiful and cared for. There is something so soothing and pampering about a facial. When someone lovingly caresses, cleans, and massages your face and scalp, mental tension melts away and you connect to your body in a loving way.

Do you have any beauty rituals or natural products that you have recently tried and/or incorporated into your routine?

I am really loving Eminence Organic Skincare’s Lotus Detoxifying Night Treatment. It has a micro green complex from sprouts that detoxes the skin of environmental pollutants, like car exhaust, while you sleep.

How do you eat for beauty?

IMG_2153Lots of greens and veggies, limit sugar, eat healthy fats and protein. I have experienced less breakouts, colds, and fever blisters when I Eat Right for My Blood Type.

I love drinking green tea and when I am done with the tea bag I use it to clean my face and as a toner around my eyes allowing my skin to soak up all the antioxidants.  Night time is the most important time to wash your face and do your skincare ritual.  It cleans all the dirt and toxins off your skin that have collected there throughout the day and helps the skin to naturally cleanse and restore itself while you sleep.  This process can also help you relax and fall asleep faster.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?

I think whenever we are working towards a goal there needs to be a good balance of practical steps i.e.: hydration, nighttime ritual, detoxing, facials, healthy diet etc. as well as spiritual steps i.e.: meditation, soul-searching, forgiveness, getting clear etc. A lot of time the spiritual steps are left out. But knowing who you are and being really comfortable with your true self leads to inner beauty and outer radiance. Embracing the truth of your being, your nature and all of its flaws, letting go of perfectionism and loving yourself fully creates a clarity and beauty in the eyes, radiance in the skin, and magnetism in your energy.  This is a lifelong process of self-discovery and alignment with our soul’s purpose and calling. I’ve seen this time and again, the shift in the eyes and the energy that happens from owning our story and owning our gifts and deeply loving and accepting ourselves no matter what our situation or circumstances are.

What else do you do to support vibrancy and beauty?

We can stabilize the skin for a time with products and treatments but true lasting beauty comes from both the alignment of the inner and outer, the physical body, mind and soul. One of the best beauty rituals we can do is to look inward at our limiting beliefs whenever they arise. Instead of running away from them, dissect them, see where they are coming from and then choose to see them differently. And we do this over and over again until they no longer have a hold over us. We can continue to stay in a vibration of self love and acceptance as much as possible.  This is beauty.

Anne Havens has a holistic skincare and wellness practice in Arvada, CO, Havens Holistic. She teaches yoga in Golden, CO at McIntyre Community Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic and is co-owner of YOLO Yoga Retreats LLC

For information on their upcoming yoga retreat this June please visit yoloyogaretreats.com.

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Memorial Day Grillin Roundup – Veg Style

romaine_oneGrilled Caesar Salad

Did you know that I’m a grilling expert? True story. Yes, and I also eat a whole foods plant-based diet and have for many, many years. You see, my dad used to own a grillin’ and bbq’ supply store. Most of the customers were interested in grilling… meat. At the time I was going to nutrition school and knew the consequences of eating a meat heavy diet. At our cooking demos these guys would pile their plates with meat, meat and more meat. So, I made it my mission to educate customers on how to grill vegetables and how yummy it could be! Now none of these guys went vegetarian or anything, but I hope I inspired them to grill some veggies alongside their other (not healthy) stuff.

You can totally have your Memorial Day picnic and eat whole foods, plant-based as well. And, have it be totally yummy. Below is a roundup of my favorite grillin’ recipes. Who knows, now that I’ve relocated to Colorado maybe it will be my mission to educate on healthy grillin’ with plants here too!

beanburgSweet Potato Veggie Burgers

a902e-cauliflower_cilGrilled Cauliflower Steaks

asparagusongrill
Grilled Asparagus

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Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad

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Sesame Sriracha Grilled Tofu

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Grilled Peaches and Cream



New Recipe: No-bake Peanut Butter Brownies

nobakebrownieVegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Gather:
2 cups of chopped dates*
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cacao powder
Pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup peanut butter

*If your dates are pretty dry, soak them for 30 minutes, then drain

Make:
Add the dates and walnuts to a food processor and process until a dough like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor – process until fully combined – a few minutes.

Press the mixture into a baking dish, and put in the refrigerator to set for 30-60 minutes. Then cut to whatever size you like, or make little brownie balls. Done!

You can customize this recipe however you like – omitting the peanut butter, adding different spices (cinnamon, cayenne pepper, etc) and/or top with chocolate chips, cacao nibs, coconut, hemp seeds, etc.


Chakra Series :: 5th Chakra

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This month, we are working on balancing our 5th chakra as part of the chakra series.

chakras_map-svgThe the 5th Chakra, called the Vishuddha Chakra, is located in the area of our throat. This chakra is all about communication and speaking your truth. It is also about listening – listening in conversation, listening to your body, listening to your intuition. To open up our chakra we work on opening the area of our throat, neck and shoulders. It’s element is ether – from ether comes sound. It’s color is blue and its sound is “HAM.”

wordswag_1493646509395Yoga Poses
Different yoga poses can activate certain chakras. Here a few beginner-level poses I like to use to activate your throat chakra:

Ujjayi Pranayama: Ocean Breath
Ujjayi breathing, or victorious breath, steadies the breath and keeps us in the present moment. You can practice it as a meditation and while doing yoga poses to smooth and even the breath. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Seal your lips and exhale out your nose, constricting the back of your throat making an audible sound sort of like a whisper or soft ocean wave. Keep your inhales and exhales even.

Neck Stretches
Find a comfortable cross-legged seat. Ground down through your sit bones and lift up through your sternum. Keeping your neck long and the crown of your head lifted, bring your leg ear towards your left shoulder – slowly and gently. Place your left hand on your right ear and pull the stretch deeper. Inhale lift your head back to center. Repeat for other side.

Matsyasana: Fish Pose
Start laying on your back, arms by your side, legs drawn together. Slide your hands under your buttocks, palms face up. On an inhalation, bend your elbows to lift your heart up and tilt your head back. You will feel an intense opening along your throat, neck and heart space. Stay for a few deep breaths. To come out of the pose, inhale and lift your head first, then slide your back down to the floor.

Healing Foods for the Chakras
You can also nourish chakras through the foods you are eating. Foods that nourish your 5th chakra are foods that soothe your throat – think warming, soothing beverages like herbal or ginger tea. Here is a warm, nourishing, throat-soother beverage to try for opening up your throat chakra.

Golden Turmeric Latte

turmerictealatteMakes 1 serving

Gather:
1 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp raw honey (or 1 date)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2” piece of ginger root
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil

Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender. Then put into a small pan and heat until warm.


Tips to Start a Yoga Practice

b083c5de947d497c86344c6304252e8bHave you been curious about taking a yoga class, but feel too intimidated to go? Maybe you’ve heard about the many benefits of practicing yoga: strength, flexibility, balance and stress relief – but you have no idea what to expect from your first yoga class. I’ve been teaching yoga for one year, and I’ve met so many people that are hesitant to go to a yoga class.

Walking into a yoga studio for the first time can be a scary experience. Just being brave enough to be there means you belong there. Doesn’t matter your body type, how flexible or not flexible you are, if you have the latest and greatest gear. Yoga is for everyone.

If possible, take a beginner’s class or series. This will give you a solid introduction to the basic poses. If your local studio or gym doesn’t offer this, still go to yoga. It’s helpful if you let the instructor know that it’s your first class. Throughout class the instructor can guide you to variations of poses that will work for you. Remember, yoga is a practice. You don’t have to be “good” at it or hit all of the advanced poses. You just need to show up!

As you get ready for your first yoga class, here are a few tips:

  • Wear clothing that allows for a full range of motion
  • Bring your yoga mat if you own one
  • Wear a form-fitting top or something that can easily be tucked in
  • Leave your phone in your bag ringer turned off
  • Bring water and a towel if you sweat a log
  • Yoga is practiced with bare feet, so remove shoes/socks before class
  • If the teacher suggests using certain props (block or strap), grab them before class starts

Also, there are a few words you might hear in class. You don’t need to commit these to memory, but it mighten lessen your confusion to review these now.

  • Namaste “the light in me acknowledges the light in you,” usually said at the closing of the class
  • Vinyasa – a style of yoga linking breath to movement as you move through poses
  • Ujayii – a kind of breath that makes a sound, reminding you to stay with the breath as you practice
  • Om – a sound chanted at the beginning and/or end of class to connect with universal energy and bookmark your practice
  • Savasana or Corpse pose – the final relaxation at the end of class

New Recipe: The Easiest Tahini Dressing

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This is the salad dressing I make all of the time. Below is the base recipe, which you can then customize with herbs and spices of your choice.

Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free

Gather:

2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw honey
Pinch of cayenne
Optional: herbs of your choice, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, ginger – get creative!

Blend! Save the rest in a jar or container for later. Will keep up to 5 days.


Chakra Series :: 4th Chakra

wordswag_1492017615485chakras_map-svgWe are working with our 4th Chakra this month as part of the chakra series. The 4th Chakra, called the Anahata Chakra, is located at our heart space – the center of the chest at the sternum. This chakra is the seat of our empathy, compassion, kindness, love and passion. This is the chakra that opens your heart. It’s earth element is air – so being mindful of breath is a big part of working with this chakra. It’s color is green and its sound is “YAM.”

Yoga Poses

Different yoga poses can activate certain chakras. Here a few beginner-level poses I like to use to activate my sacral chakra:

Cow Face Pose
Start in a tabletop position. Bring your right knee forward and cross it over your left knee. Then slowly lower your hips down. You are working towards having your right knee stacked on your left. Try to bring the heels at equal distance from your hips. Inhale and raise your right arm up towards the ceiling and extend your left arm out to the side, thumb face down. On your exhale bend your elbows behind your back and clasp your hands. If you are not able to clasp hands, use a strap, or just grab the back of your shift. Stay here or take a deep breath in, and on your exhale start to fold forward. Stay for one minute and breathe. Ease out of the pose into tabletop, then take the other side. This pose opens the hips, chest and shoulders, promotes deep breathing and softens your heart.

Cat and Cow Pose
Start in a tabletop position, knees over the hips, hands under shoulders. Spread your fingers side. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your sitting bones towards your ceiling. At the same time lift your chest up between your shoulders, and broaden your shoulders. As you exhale, reverse this action and round your spine up towards the ceiling like a halloween cat. Release your head and neck here. Continue these actions… inhale, arch your back into cow pose, exhale, round your back cat pose. After several rounds, return to a neutral spine in tabletop position. These poses promote flexibility in the spine, deepens the breath, and opens your heart.

Camel Pose
This is a great pose to open the heart, stretching your front body, and preparing for deeper backbends. Kneel on the floor with your knees hips width. Place your hands on your lower back, fingertips facing downwards. Root down through your knees, they are your foundation in this pose. Slightly bring your tailbone in to lengthen your back – at the same time slightly press your front thighs back to counter the forward action of your tailbone. Inhale and lift your chest up. To deepen the pose, bring your hands to your heels. If you feel any strain on your lower back return your hands to your lower back. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.

Healing Foods for the Chakras

You can also nourish chakras through the foods you are eating. The color of the heart chakra is green. Eating your greens and green veggies will really activate this chakra. Green juices, green smoothies and salads are a great way to nourish your heart chakra.

Cashew Chopped Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing
Makes 2 huge salads

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Gather:
1 small head of red leaf lettuce (any lettuce will work here), chopped
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup corn
1 cup chickpeas
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup raw cashews

Dressing:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1” ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup of water
Splash of Tamari sauce

Make:
To make the dressing, blend all of the dressing ingredients.

To assemble the salad, divide the Lettuce into 2 plates (or one plate and a to go container for tomorrow’s lunch). Divide the rest of the ingredients between the 2 salads, and top with the peanut dressing.



New Recipe: Asian Quinoa Salad

asian quinoa saladVegan, Gluten-free
Makes 2-3 servings

Gather:
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup slivered kale
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage

Dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sambal olek chili paste
1 tsp maple syrup
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Make:
In a lidded pan, bring to a boil the quinoa, water, and frozen edamame. Then cover and cook on low for 14 minutes.

Meanwhile chop all of the other veggies you are using and put them into a bowl. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Then add the cooked quinoa and edamame and stir.

Will a last a few days in the fridge, this salad gets better the longer it marinates.