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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

sisters on the beach

Playing with my "sisters" during our photo shoot

About one month ago I took a BIG leap.

I mean big.

In one of the worst economic times since the great depression, I have continued to pour my heart and soul into a business I love.

And you know what?

We’re growing.

How can it be that businesses small and large are folding all over the place, yet a holistic health business can prosper?

Well, it comes back to that big leap.

About 2 months ago, I followed my heart and my passion and invested in a program that I knew would support me and my business in ways I could not even imagine.

Now, my rational self said,

“Are you crazy???”

“How much do you want to spend on this program?”

“Where will you get the money?”

And on and on . . .

But you know what I did?

I got out of my own way.

I allowed my intuition to guide me, and allowed my trust that everything works out perfectly to push me forward.

So I said “yes” to myself and to my vision even in the face of what seemed like a crazy decision . . .

And I am so glad I did.

You see the program has only just begun, and I have already received transformation and value like I never could have imagined. My energy is better, my body seems to be growing younger, my relationships have improved and my business is thriving.

That is the beauty of jumping in when you hear the calling; of following your gut instinct or  your heart; of making YOU important – no matter what your doubt demons or other people say.

Because the truth is, unconsciously they may not want you to grow or be successful or get healthy. If you stay as you are, even if you are unhappy, that is what is comfortable to others (and to you).

So, I am here to give you that gentle nudge and say

“If not now, when?”

“If not you, who?”

Life is too short to play small.

Life is too short to not taste the nectar that exists just outside your comfort zone.

I may not be an economist or expert investor, but I can confidently say that the absolute BEST investment you can ever make is in  YOU.

There is no joy in a body that is sick.

Wealth cannot be fully enjoyed in a state of illness or pain.

It is literally impossible to live your passion when you don’t have enough energy to just get through the day . . .

I often see the trepidation in my prospective clients eyes, and I have had that same trepidation myself, but I have never had a client turn around and say to me “God, I wish I hadn’t invested in myself, what a waste.”

Quite the opposite. They usually gush that they would have paid any amount to achieve the health, clarity and joy they reach at the end of their programs.

Likewise, the more I am willing to invest in myself, the more I see flow to me in return.

When you have health, when you glow, when you are out of pain, when you have energy, when your moods are balanced, when your skin and eyes are clear and bright, when you have body confidence . . . you literally attract better relationships, opportunities, career possibilities and resources.

I am a true believer in the law of attraction as I witness how it works in my own life and the lives of others.

Be what you want before it is actually manifest, and it will come quickly.

It takes faith, but it works.

Connecting to my "true self" in Santa Monica

Because of my “big leap” I found my true self while on retreat with 9 other powerful women and our very powerful “leader”, Rose Cole.

Nothing is more valuable than this.

As powerful women in this program we have been “upping our game” with holistic nutrition, personal exploration, cleansing and more.

All in the name of shining our light in the brightest way possible to be of service in a bigger way.

I can’t tell you how amazing the experience of real investment has been, but I wanted to share a bit about this with you in order to show  you that anything IS possible . . .

That you ARE worth it . . .

That you have a bright light to shine . . .

You just need to start honoring your body as the temple that it is.

Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, after all, you are really all you have.

If you feel ready to take a big leap and invest in your future in a big way, I invite you to apply for one of just 3 spots available through the rest of the year for my Private Platinum Health Coaching Retreat. This intensive is by application only. You get to spend an entire day with a holistic health pro (that’s me!) to unlock your unique radiant body code, and get all the tools to look (and feel) younger, experience abundant energy, shed excess weight and jump start your get-healthy journey to results that really last.

Learn more and download your application here.

with love and healthy inspiration,

Ana

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Ah, sugar, sweet sugar.

It seems so benign and docile as a white powder would, but as a former sugar addict, I know what it’s capable of.

And a lot of it’s not that pretty.

Now, I don’t like to demonize foods, but if we look at the fact that most sugar is not a food, but a highly refined chemical produced from a food, I feel a little better about sharing its dirty truths. : )

“Mood-damaging, personality-bending, health-destroying, confusion creating – Research reveals that repeatedly overconsuming sweeteners, dessert foods and quickie carbs wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels, overstimulates insulin release, triggers inflammation, and could contribute to more than 150 health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, severe PMS, failing memory, mental confusion, Candida, sexual dysfunction, infertility, wrinkles, acne, depression, anxiety, migraines and early aging.” (excerpted from Sugar Shock, by Connie Bennett)

Whew! No wonder I felt so awful.

So rather than focusing on the negative, let’s move on to 6 easy steps to Stop Singing the Sugar Blues, shall we?

  1. Reduce or eliminate coffee – Yup, I know the coffee drinkers out there are not too happy about this step, but the truth is, the ups and downs of caffeine (especially from coffee), include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sugar cravings to be more frequent. Try DandyBlend or  Teechino, a great rich drink you brew just like coffee.
  2. Drink water – Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration, Before you go for sugar, have a glass of water and wait to see what happens. Bonus tip: add a drop of flavored stevia to satisfy the sweet tooth without upsetting blood sugar.
  3. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat foods – I ate tons of these in the height of my sugar head days, but these (fake) foods contain high amounts of sugar to make up for the lack of flavor and fat. Eat full fat whole foods and you will find you need less to satisfy.
  4. Eat sweet vegetables and fruit – They are sweet, healthy and delicious. Try winter squash, carrots, beets, yams, onions, parsnips and lower sugar fruit like berries, apples and grapefruit.
  5. Get exercise – Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Moving your body helps release feel-good hormones, which means you will be less likely to look to sugar.
  6. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! – Your body does not biologically need sugar, but it does long for hugs, time with friends, time outdoors, workouts, massages, etc. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!

If you are really struggling with sugar and cravings, check out my 10-week Body Transformation Virtual Group Coaching Program, which focuses on getting the sugar out and the sweetness into your life, so you can enjoy a slim, stress-free and energized body and life. Learn more here.

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In yoga there is a law that states: “where attention goes energy flows“.

So, whatever you are present to is what is fed, what flowers, what grows.

This can be applied to just about any area of your life.

But what I want to focus on here is how presence relates to your metabolism, energy, digestion and your health.

First, let’s just look at what presence is and how it works.

It has been scientifically proven that we can affect anything simply by observing it and paying attention to it. You can affect another’s behavior by observing them.

We might call this self-consciousness, but this phenomenon has also been shown in animals, planets and more.

You may have even noticed for yourself that when you are in nature, observing the beauty around you, that you experience an almost immediate sense of relaxation and well being.

Well, this emotional responsiveness to what we put our attention on also relates to our body and to our metabolism.

When you eat with awareness and really fully choose presence with your meals, research has shown that you actually assimilate more nutrients, digest better and boost your metabolism.

Digestion, in fact, begins in the head! Wow!

Now, you may be saying “big deal, I don’t have time for this”, or “I don’t really care”.

Well, I encourage you to listen up because if you wish to maximize the nutrition from the food you eat, increase your energy, burn more calories without getting on the treadmill, get more enjoyment from your food and prevent overeating, this is THE tip you can start right away for profound results.

Without presence in the act of eating, you will experience less enzymatic action in the gut and be more likely to experience digestive problems (even if you don’t “feel” them), bowel disorders, lowered immunity, and fatigue. Not to mention you will most likely hold onto weight, have more difficulty losing excess weight AND overeat.

YIKES!

In order to take full advantage of the metabolic power of presence, you must give your full attention to eating. This means no TV, no reading, no computer, no eating while you work or while you drive. Be fully present.

Now, the slight exception to this would be eating in the presence of others. This is fine and even beneficial. Sharing a relaxed meal with family or friends is still supporting the attention being on your food and the act of eating.

Your Action Step:

For the next week be totally 100% present to your meals (and snacks). Remove all distractions and commit to this with your whole self.

Create a relaxing atmosphere alone or with others. If you are at work, step away from your desk.

Notice your food, smell it, look at it, really taste it, chew it, breath it.

Really make this a meditation.

Extra credit: Now if at some point during the week you choose to indulge in or binge on a “forbidden” food, be totally present.

DO NOT leave the building. Pay attention to what happens when you actually scoop the ice cream out of the container into a beautiful bowl, create a calm and comfortable environment and sit down, while enjoying it slowly.

If you are eating low quality ice cream, you will most likely put it down pretty quickly. : )

Even if you are eating the good stuff, you will most likely be satisfied with less.

This is not easy, I know, so be gentle with yourself.

I encourage you to try this, and please leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!

with love,

Ana

p.s. Are you ready to get serious about boosting  your body’s natural healing powers, boosting your metabolism, increasing energy, raising  your vibration and living a fulfilling, joy-filled life all from the comfort of your own home?

In my Total Body Transformation Program homestudy course, I walk you through step by step in how to reach your goals and become energized & radiant, naturally.

Questions? Please email me at devana108@gmail.com

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Sometimes you need to just focus on the next step . . .

with love,

Ana

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sugarsnaps_es3v

Sugar Snap Peas – Nature’s Snappy Candy

Every year around this time, one of my favorite healthy whole food snacks begins to appear in the local farmer’s market – sugar snap peas.

If you have never eaten these little green jewels in an edible shell raw, you are in for a tasty surprise. They are sweet, yet low in sugar.

They’re refreshing, especially when stored in the fridge. They make the perfect dipper or can be eaten as is. And their crisp personality will satisfy the snacker in you.

The best news is they’re fast food! Just wash, drain and toss them in a to-go container. You can pull the tops off and “de-string” them as you eat.

These delicious members of the legume family pack some nutritional punch as well. They contain vitamin K for bone health and blood clotting, B-vitamins including folic acid, and plenty of vitamin C.

Look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety and smooth. Their color should be a lively medium green. Those whose green color is especially light or dark, or those that are yellow, whitish or are speckled with gray, should be avoided.

Enjoy them right on the spot or store in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s feast.

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fruits_vegetablesMany times when we start to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets, there is a learning curve regarding how much to buy and how to store it optimally. No body wants broccoli rotting in a back corner after 5 days!

So, here are some quick and easy tips to maximize freshness and your dollars – less waste.

1) Buy as much as possible from your local farmer’s market where it has been picked that day. The majority of produce from local grocery stores is weeks old when you finally buy it.

2) To extend the life of your produce, store it in Green Bags (Ever Fresh  at http://www.evertfresh.com/ or Debbie Meyer at https://www.greenbags.com/?cid=587724 or www.hsn.com) or use the new E.G.G. (Ethylene Gas Guardian, found at http://www.4theegg.com/).

3) Store as much as possible in your “crisper”.

4) Try wrapping the ends of greens with wet clothes or organic paper towels. This seems to help them last longer and keeps them from wilting.

5) To save time and plastic, take your green bags to the market with you. Then everything is ready to be stored upon arrival.

6)Mushrooms, jicama and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) should be store in paper bags to prevent them from molding.

7) Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature.

8) Potatoes and onions should be stored in a cool, dark, dry environment. Not in the refrigerator.

9) Avocados should stay at room temperature until they ripen, then refrigerate.

10) Items like apples and oranges can be left out in a basket, but will last longer in the fridge.

11) Berries will do best refriderated in a container that allows some airflow.

12) Asparagus will stay freshest if you put the ends in water and cover them with a bag. Use as soon as possible.

13) Fresh herbs should be used within a few days. To store them longer, try processing in the food processor with a little olive oil. Divide into ice trays, freeze, then store the single portion doses in the freezer in baggies or glass containers.

Now, happy produce shopping!

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flowers__and__butterfly

In honor of Spring’s Transformational Energy, I wanted to share this excerpt from a book (see credits below) that I found inspirational. Spring is a great time to re-evaluate, clean out and start fresh. Now, you can create and nurture what you want to grow.

Wishing you a beautiful April!

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Follow the three R’s: respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone every day.
Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Approach love and cooking with the same reckless abandon.

From Life’s Little Instruction Book: 511 Suggestions, Observations, and Reminders On How To Live A Happy And Rewarding Life by H. Jackson Brown, Rutledge Hill Press.

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