Wellness

6 Natural Solutions to Pet Allergies so you can Keep on Loving Them

6 Natural Solutions to Pet Allergies so you can Keep on Loving Them

Pet allergies can be horrible especially when you just want to snuggle up with the animal you love.  I have a friend who recently asked me about natural solutions to pet allergies.  She didn’t want to take medication so I wanted to help the best I could and thus my research began.  Here are my results…

Yoga Exploration: Saucha

Exploring Yoga can lead you on several paths.  Learning more and more about yourself every moment.  As I came upon Saucha or Purity I was slightly confused as to what this means in the context of Yoga.  Saucha is the first of the Niyamas (Read more here about Niyamas).  Many of us think of purity and think of being untouched or perfection.  That is not what Saucha is.  While part of Saucha is cleansing our bodies and minds, it is also about purely loving yourself.  Instead of looking for someone else’s love, love yourself for you.  It means the beginning of focusing on our spiritual body instead of our physical body.

Saucha

Patanjali wrote Saucat svangajugupsa parairasamsargah.  Sri Swami Satchidanandatranslates to By purification arises disgust for one’s own body and for contact with other bodies.

This means once purification comes we begin to realize our physical bodies are just bodies it does not define us, the body is not who you are it is a vessel.  Our bodies become indifferent, we no longer admire it. We begin to realize our true self.

As a society many are so concerned with our physical bodies we never really get the chance to discover who we truly are.  Purity invites us to explore and love our true self.  Debra Adele says “Being pure with ourselves means we are not afraid of our thoughts or our feelings, and we do not have to hide anything from ourselves.”

We are beautiful creatures with our own unique spirits.  Dive into that spirit, find out truly who you are and love it!  Live purely as you!

Practice Saucha, find yourself and love that self!

Want to dive deeper into Purity?  Check out Debra Adele's Book Yamas & Niyamas

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10 Ways to Raise EcoFriendly Children

Satya

Sea Salt Foot Scrub

 

 

Sea Salt Foot Scrub

Sea Salt Foot Scrub

Our feet are one of the most used parts of our body.  Sometimes they get over worked and don’t get to relax.  Feet also pick up lots of things as we walk around, especially when we are barefoot or in flip flops.  So cleaning and taking care of our feet are important.  After all we want them to work for a while right?  I came up with this foot scrub to cleanse and relax my feet...

10 Ways to Raise Eco-Friendly Children

In our world today we have many environmental issues.  When we begin to teach the importance of our world to our children we have taken the first step in helping create a healthier world.  For many of us learning about the issues is not enough and often too much for young children to understand so we need to create a connection with nature.  Our children are the future; what they believe they will create.  It is a passion of mine to send my children out into the world with an understanding of how important it is to take care of our environment.  So where to begin? What will they understand?  Don’t stress about that, just start with something.  There are many ways to teach children about our environment and create a connection with nature.

10 Ways to Raise EcoFriendly Children

Here are 10 Ways to Raise Eco-Friendly Children

  1. Create a Garden! This can be flowers, vegetables, herbs…whatever you choose.  Have the little ones help with planting seeds, watering and caring for the garden.  This teaches them about the beauty that comes from our world and connects them with nature while they’re getting dirty and exploring.
  2. Take a hike. It can be a short hike.  It can be a walk outside.  Point out all the animals or plants you spot.  This shows them nature surrounds us.
  3. Use reusable grocery and shopping bags. And when asked, explain why you use them instead of plastic bags. This shows that it is important for us to protect our environment.
  4. Make recycling a family thing. Ask the children where that goes, the trash or recycling.  If they don’t know explain why it goes in either place.  This gives them the ability to understand and begin to be proactive themselves.  Giving them the power to make the choice.  ( Children usually like to be independent so they will enjoy this)
  5. Compost! I know this may seem like work, but it’s really not so bad.  You can have a Kitchen Compost Bin that goes to an Outside Compost Bin when full (look at your local home store for an outside bin). Fruit &veggie scraps, egg shells, coffee grinds can all go into a compost bin.  This will teach them to give back to the environment and not to waste useable goods.  A big plus is that the compost can be used for you garden and you don’t need to buy soil.
  6. Take them to a local farm and/or nature center. Let them explore how humans, animals, and plants/trees all work together.  This teaches them that we are all interconnected and what we do effects the world we live in.  Also bonds them with nature.
  7. Read books about nature and the environment. Such as…
  1. Even when it is cold out explore nature. Try out some fun eco-websites with games and adventures for children.
  1. Have Educational Earth Movies for Rainy or sick days. Yes you want to get out in nature as often as possible.  There are also many parts of the world that children may not get to see and these educational movies allow them to see the whole picture.
  1. Show them how important a healthy world/environment is to you. Children look up to us as parents/caregivers and think we can do no wrong.  So everything we do is teaching them.

Let’s begin to raise Eco-friendly Children and help to create a better future.  What is important to them is what will be important to future generations.  Teach them all you can!

XO

Katie Bell

PS Stay Green!

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Yoga Exploration: Aparigraha

A yoga exploration can lead you down paths you never expected.  I certainly received a lesson of my own while teaching about Aparigraha, but I’ll tell you about that lesson a little later.  This is our last Yama to explore (Read more about Yamas here).  Aparigraha means non attachment or non-possessiveness.  We can have an attachment to material possessions, money, a person, objects; really anything.  These attachments keep us held to a place of entrapment.  To be free we must let go.

Aparigraha

Patanjali wrote Aparigraha sthairye janmakathamta sambodhah.  Sri Swami Satchidananda translation When non-greed is confirmed, a thorough illumination of the how and why of one’s birth comes.

We can live our truth when we let go of the attachments.  Our truth becomes clear to us when our minds are not clouded with attachment.  Debra Adele says “A bird cannot hold its perch and fly.  Neither can we grasp anything and be free.”  When we hold onto all these attachments, we are holding ourselves back from growth and freedom.

Earlier I mentioned a lesson I learned, here it is!  I was teaching a yoga class the other day.  My inspiration was non attachment or letting go of attachments, labels and expectations.  I felt that it was a beautiful class with little bits of inspiration dropped throughout it.  At the end of class I did not get much feedback and I am used to hearing great class thank you.  So for a moment I thought wow maybe class wasn’t so great.  Then it came to me I was expecting to hear feedback, I was attached to that.  And so in that moment I let that go, knowing I had done my best and spread the words of non-attachment.  I had learned a lesson in what I was teaching and that was pretty awesome!

If we walk through life always wanting more and waiting for it to come how can we ever move forward?  The attachment keeps us stuck to that place.  Unable to be in the present moment.  Unable to see the beauty in front of us.  Unable to grow towards a greater life.

Trust in the greatness to come and let go of the attachments.  Life holds so many beautiful things, be open to all the beauty coming your way.  Don’t let it pass you by.  Life is ever changing, be ready to flow with life instead of being stuck to one aspect.

Practice Aparigraha and live free, flowing through the beauty.

Want to dive deeper into non-attachment?  Check out Debra Adele's book Yamas & Niyamas

XO

Katie Bell

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Yoga Exploration: Brahmacharya

Exploring yoga was always a passion of mine, diving deeper into what yoga really is.  And to share it with all of you is just as awesome to me as learning about it myself.  When I came to this next Yama (Read Here for more on Yamas)  I was a little unsure how to interpret it.  Brahmacharya which means NonExcess, continence, chastity.  Three different interpretations I received meaning different things yet basically coming together at the point of moderation.  So for today I have concluded Brahmacharya means live in moderation.

Brahmacharya

Patanjali wrote Brahmacarya pratisthayam viryalabhah.  Sri Swami Satchidananda translation is By one established in continence, vigor is gained.

Ever ate too much and felt so full you didn’t want to move?  Out shopping and thought oh I need one more pair of yoga pants, yet you get home with nowhere to put them?  That would all be excess.  While many of us live in a society where moderation is often difficult to grasp, it is often the simple things in life that make us the happiest.  When you think about it what makes you happier enjoying time with a loved one or buying another pair of yoga pants?  Achieving that goal or eating so much you can’t move?

When we look at life through a different lens of what is most important, moderation doesn’t seem so distant.  Living in moderation allows us to gain energy and maintain energy.  You are full of energy and power, however it is not an endless source.  When we use our energy in excess there is none left for our important tasks or fulfillment.

Using energy wisely can allow us to access resources and create fulfillment and success.  The huge plate of food, that new pair of yoga pants do not fulfill needs and wants at least not for a long period of time.  We have that power within to create that fulfillment.  Leave indulgences to the side and see the beauty in moderation and enjoying the simple things.  With that you will find fulfillment and the freedom to appreciate all things, moments, experiences.

Practice Brahmacharya and live fulfilled and free!

Want to dive deeper?  Check out Debra Adele's book The Yamas & Niyamas

XO

Katie Bell

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Green Goddess Smoothie

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Green Goddess/Ninja Turtle Smoothie

Ready to be a Green Goddess or for the little guy we call it the Ninja Turtle!  This smoothie is packed with Vitamins, Minerals, and Energy!  Great for a Snack or Breakfast!

Green Goddess Smoothie

What do you need:

  • 1 cup of Spinach
  • 2 Large Kale Leaves
  • 1 cup Strawberries or a Banana (Your choice)
  • 1-2 TBSP Peanut or Almond Butter
  • ¼- ½ cup of Almond Milk
  • Optional a couple ice cubes

Throw all ingredients in the Blender (I love the Nutri Ninja!)  and Blend!  Then Enjoy!  This is a great way to get veggies into little ones which is a battle in our home.  When he hears Ninja Turtle Smoothie he is Excited!  And I promise it does not taste like Spinach or Kale!  Double the recipe for a larger smoothie.

 

XO Enjoy!

Katie Bell

PS The Nutri Ninja is wonderful, Check it out Here!!

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Yoga Exploration: Asteya

As I continue down this path of Yoga Exploration, I have reached a pit stop on Asteya or Non-Stealing.  When we think of stealing immediately what comes to mind is taking an object from someone or some place.  And many of us think well I am good in this department I would never steal something.  And in all honesty that was my beginning thought too.  However when you dive deeper into Asteya it becomes so much more.

Asteya

 Patanjali wrote “Asteyapratisthayam sarvaratnopasthanam” Sri Swami Satchidanandatranslation, to establish in non-stealing, all wealth comes. So what does that mean?  Before I tackle that lets step back a minute.  What we think of stealing is only a small part of what stealing can be.

Have you ever been late to an appointment?  That is stealing time from someone.  This is definitely one I am working on.  When someone schedules time in their day for us, we must respect that and when we are late we are stealing time from them.  That is a new thought, right?

Or how about talking with friends?  Person A is so excited about this vacation, then person B comes in and takes over talking about their vacation to the same place.  Is there a time you can think of that occurring?  That is stealing joy or a moment from someone.  We all want to be heard, we all want our moment to speak.   So much so that often we are not truly listening and focus only on what we will say next.

Stealing is not simply taking an object from a person or place.  Stealing is taking joy, ideas, time, thoughts, and moments.  And so what Patanjali was saying is when we stop stealing from others and live in our own joy, our own ideas, our own thoughts and so on we will be full of wealth.

Something to think about.  By no means are any one of us a bad person because we are late or we interrupt a conversation, however being mindful of our actions and what we may be taking from others can help us to create our own joy, thoughts, moments, and so on.  We are all on the earth together, so let's be mindful.  Practice Asteya and create your very own everything!

Want to go deeper into Yamas & Niyamas Check out Debra Adele's Book

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The Greatest Gift

As I sit here, thinking of the Yoga class I taught this morning.  I mentioned Presences a lot.  This is something I have been working on, being present in every moment.  As a Society we are very mindless and are always doing multiply things at once.  And so I began thinking.  If only we were all a bit more present to our lives.

Greatest Gift

Many of us move through life so quickly that we miss out on the many beautiful things life presents us with.  We are often surrounded with loved ones and yet feel no love or show no love because we are so caught up in the hustle and the bustle.  Or maybe we want to hold onto that moment so much that we are not even present for that moment, sitting behind a camera.  What do you think?  Do you think this sounds familiar?

I used to take 100s of pictures a day of the little guy because I wanted to always cherish those baby moments.  And more recently I am so busy with work; I feel I am not present in the moment with him or anyone for that matter.  And so I began thinking.  If only we were all a bit more present to our lives.  Look into yourself and think about this, have you experienced this?

In this moment this is your life, sitting where you are reading this post.  This is your life, everything else is a memory…are you present to that?  And this moment is all you are guaranteed, be present and enjoy every moment.

As I embark on a new chapter in my life I have come to realize the greatest gift I can give to anyone is to be present.  Great Irony right greatest gift to be present.   LOL.

Being present allows us to enjoy that moment and truly be with the people around us.  So put down the camera and let go of work, chores, stress and enjoy the moment you are in.  Experience life, listen to the conversation you are having, enjoy every bit of your dinner, and let go of every single other thing that is past or future.  Be present this week in your life and with your loved ones.

Be present at dinner with the family, be present in the meeting at work, and be present to yourself in yoga class.  Be present, be there fully and enjoy the moment.  Experience your life.  With presence comes gratitude and with Gratitude comes Happiness.

The greatest gift you can give to anyone is your presence!  Turn off the cell phone, stop looking at your watch, stop thinking about what comes next and just be present in this moment of your life…

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Yoga Exploration: Satya

As we continue this Yoga Exploration, we have come to Satya or Truthfulness.  This is the second Yama.  And what a powerful thing to think about.  Truth or Truthfulness is often scary and yet holds so much power.

Satya

I had a family member pass away a few weeks ago and as I listened to his daughter speak about him and how the one rule they had in their family was to tell the truth, I was blown away.  She also said that there can be no disappointment when you tell the truth.  The words were so powerful and profound.  And yet so simple.

Whether truthfulness means telling the truth or living in your truth if can often be fearful.  The truth has the capacity to reveal a different light, a different world.  Living in truth gives us the power to be real.  The power to truly be ourselves, something many of us long for and are not sure how to get there.

Patanjali wrote Satya Pratisthayam kriyaphalasrayatvam.  Sri Swami Satchidananda translation “To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.  The truth permits us to let go of what holds us back, the worry of what others think or will do.

Lies and stories are illusions that take us away from the present moment.  They keep us from our truth.  Living in our truth brings light to our lives and helps us remain present, in this moment.

To live in our truth we must let go of being “nice”.  Nice is our thoughts of what we should be not who we are.  Be you!  There is a truth that is rooted in you, allow yourself to live that truth.  When you allow yourself to live that truth, you will begin to feel a shift in your life.

I encourage you to explore Satya further in Debra Adele's Book Yamas & Niyamas and Live your Truth!

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DIY Coconut Exfoliator

 

 

DIY Coconut Exfoliator

I absolutely love the way this makes my skin feel!  It is wonderful!  I try to Exfoliate once a month to get rid of the dead skin cells.  I have learned over the years that Exfoliating helps keep the skin fresh, smooth, and young!  Here is one of my favorite exfoliators, I make in the kitchen!

DIY Coconut Exfoliator

You Need

To make a One –Time Use Exfoliator

  1. 4 TBSP Coconut flakes and 2-2 ½ TBSP Honey
  2. Mix Together
  3. You can add Essential Oils only 1-2 drops. I used geranium this morning in my Exfoliator.  Lavender, Frankincense, and Cedarwood are also good for the skin.  Lemon or Wild Orange are good to help pull out Toxins.

To make a Several Use Exfoliator

  1. 1 cup Coconut Flakes and ½ cup of Honey
  2. Mix together
  3. Add Essential Oils if you wish
  4. Store in a Glass Container for 3-6 months

I chose to use coconut flakes because they gentler on the skin, which is better for exfoliating the face.  Honey has antimicrobial properties and is just wonderful for the skin.  This morning I used Geranium essential oil not only because it has a great smell, it is also a powerful healer for the skin.

All ingredients can be found here

And enjoy!  Make your skin love you and love your skin!

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Food Journaling ?

As I began my food journey, I had a ton of people tell me to food journal.  And in all honesty my original thought about it was “right because I have time to do that!”  How many of you have had that thought before?  I am sure many of you.  So what I will say next might be confusing, just read a little more it will all make sense.

Food Journaling

Start Food Journaling!  And start now!  This has the ability to change your life.  Let me get clear.  I know you have no time; I know I have no time.  However this is something to make time for.  I will start at the beginning, what is food journaling?  Food journaling is keeping track of what you eat and how it makes you feel.  This is not counting calories; this is not to lose weight or to make yourself feel awful for eating something.  Food Journaling is simply to help you find the foods that you feel best when eating.  And on the other side the foods you eat and you don't feel so great.

Every person is different and therefore different foods affect everyone differently.  Some can have dairy, others cannot.  So have you ever had a day where you just felt congested or no energy or had unwanted feelings and you were not sure why?  These symptoms may have been  cause by something you ate.  For me I hardly remember what I ate yesterday, let alone how I felt.

That is where food journaling comes in.  You can start with a composition book or just a small notepad.  And just begin writing down what you ate and how you felt that day.  After about 2 weeks you will begin to see when you feel great, when you don’t, and what you ate.  This is a key to healing yourself with food.

You can do it after every meal or at the end of the day, whenever you can fit 5 minutes into your schedule.  Make it Happen it’s worth it, I promise!  Food Journaling opens our eyes to see what we put in our bodies and how much it affects us.

Go, Get Started, Now!  Share your journey on our Facebook!

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Yoga Exploration: Ahimsa

Ahimsa or Non Violence is our first Yama.  Minor review…Yamas are restraints in an “ethical code” discussed in the Yoga Sutras, Written by Patanjali.  Patanjali wrote Ahimsa patisthayam tat samnidhau vaira tyagh, translation- All hostilities cease when one is established in nonviolence.  (Sri Swami Satchidananda) Ahimsa

What is violence?  According to Merrium Webster it is the use of physical force to harm someone, to damage property or great destructive force or energy.  This does not simply fall under one situation, violence can be a multitude of things.  It can be to the self, to others, physical acts, verbal attacks, and so on.

Violence comes from fear.  Fear is of the imagination; it is what we create in our minds.  When we allow fear to keep us hostage, violence seems to become the only viable option.

We must find courage inside to push past that fear and face it.  Courage does not mean having no fear, it means to face that fear and have faith and belief in yourself to move through it.   Finding compassion, self-love, and balance.  Connecting with ourselves.

In her book The Yamas & Niyamas, Debra Adele compares this to Mr Miyagi in the Karate Kid.  He is a force to be reckoned with yet he does not use that force unless threatened. This is living in Nonviolence.

Nonviolence is the basis of all yoga philosophy.  That is the importance of this single act. Consider this, if we move through life in violence how can we expect the world around us to do any different?  The more peace you find in yourself the more peace you will find in the world.

 

Dive Deeper into Ahimsa: Nonviolence, read The Yamas & Niyamas By Deborah Adele.

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5 Natural Sweeteners: Regular Sugar Alternatives

  Refined white sugar is processed and really not the best for our bodies.  Lucky for us there are a few alternative options that taste just as good!  Here are a few I use in the Kitchen...

5 Natural Sweeteners

Honey

Honey is my favorite of all.  I use this in my tea and also to make tasty cinnamon dishes.  Honey also has some powerful healing benefits.  It can help with Coughing, Sore throat, Immune Support, and Allergies.  When looking for honey it is important to find a local organic brand.  There are many farm stores that sell honey.  If local honey is not an option I recommend this honey...YS Organic Bee Farms Certified Organic Raw Honey

Something to Note

  • ½ to ¾ cup of honey for every 1 cup of white sugar in recipe
  • When baking with Honey you should lower oven Temperature about 25 degrees

Coconut Sugar

We use this a ton in our Kitchen.  Don’t get discouraged by its dark color, this can be used to replace white or brown sugar.  It has a strong smell and keeps the taste of foods the same.  This is a simple swap out for Refined White Sugar.  Using Coconut Sugar allows you to equally substitute recommendations in recipe, in other words 1 cup of sugar = 1 cup of Coconut Sugar.

Xylitol (Birch Sugar)

Why is this better the refined white sugar?  It has two-thirds the caloric value as regular sugar and Xylitol is also said to have dental benefits.  This would be an equal replacement for regular sugar.

Something to Note

  • Does not do well in Bread making or hard candies
  • High doses can cause Digestive side effects
  • Toxic to dogs

Maple Syrup

Who would have thought, Maple Syrup good for you!  That is great news, at least I thought so.  Now I do not mean the “Maple syrup” many of us put on pancakes as a child.  I mean real Pure Organic Maple Syrup , like…  Pure Maple Syrup is high in Manganese and Zinc.  Use ¾ cup Pure Maple Syrup to 1 cup regular Sugar.

Stevia

This natural sweetener is commonly heard of.  It comes from the Stevia rebaudiana Plant and is said to have positive health effects.  May lower blood Pressure (no effect on normal blood pressure) and may lower blood sugar levels in diabetics (Check here for further information of these effects).  That is pretty profound.  Substitute 1 tsp Stevia to 1 cup regular sugar.  This may be the best natural sweetener option so experiment with Stevia and give it a chance, it may have to grow on you.  The benefits are worth it though.

While these are healthy alternatives, you still want to use any form of “sugar” in moderation.  Our bodies are not meant to process high amounts of Sugar.  I encourage you to test out these alternatives and find which ones work best in your kitchen.  Remember it is your Body, your Health and your Life…

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