Total Core Strength: What is my core & how can I strengthen this core-tastic pillar of wonder?

By | News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Self Care, Travel Well

As featured on myVega.com, written by Jaime Komer

You have a body. Surprise! I guess you didn’t need me to tell you that, yet bare with me here. I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. Let’s continue…You have a body. And your body has a torso of awesomeness. This torso of awesomeness, more officially referred to as your core or powerhouse, needs to be agile, strong, supple, fluid, and sturdy. Wow, apparently we’re quite demanding of this pillar of stability and mobility!

What is the core?

As the core is not a specific muscle, there is some discrepancy on what is included. I like to think of the core as all the muscles and connective tissues that support your spine. Yep, your entire torso area, sans limbs. Together, these muscles allow you stabilize your spine while doing, well, everything. From moving your furniture around to transferring energy while swinging a golf club to extending your back to get up on your surfboard.

Rethinking the power of “crunches”

Culturally, we have placed an exaggerated emphasis on the 6-pack (rectus abdominus) as representing strong abdominal muscles. There’s more to your core than how your abs look! Striving for this image of a fit stomach has fueled the obsession of doing abdominal crunches (also known as abdominal curls, as we curl or crunch our spine into flexion, bringing the upper body towards the lower body). Yet let’s be honest, focusing on strengthening only one area is like building a house with a thick oak door and weak walls made of hay. It just doesn’t make sense. Dr. Spine is the man to listen to when it comes to back health and why ab crunches are not the best option for most folk. Oh, his name isn’t actually Dr. Spine, it’s Stuart McGill.

It’s never just about the core

Your entire body is connected through meticulously woven tissues (fascia), creating a web of influence from your toes to fingers. What you do with the rest of your body while working your core is just as important as the movement itself. I know, like you didn’t have enough to think about already!

AWESOME ALERT: You can find heaps more videos and exercises for your core-tastic core here.

Important: During these exercises, you can discover your very own compensation patterns and where you hold unnecessary tension. The better you understand your own habits, the easier it will be to improve muscular balance and prevent injury.


Exercises to embrace your CORE & improve body awareness

 

 Full Body Crawl

Our body is designed to move dynamically, hence why we need to train dynamically. Exploring new movements in the body can improve your blood circulation, muscular balance, body awareness, strength, and range of motion. Get ready to roll!

Go slow or go home

To best address and recognize your own alignment during movement (which will determine how safely and efficiently you’re moving), these exercises emphasize slow, controlled, and small movements. Notice if anything changes between movements (e.g. breathing pattern, clenching of toes, tucking of pelvis, flaring of ribcage, tensing of jaw, etc.)

By the way, if you find reading exercise instructions to be a bit challenging (you prefer visual instruction), head straight to my YouTube channel.

1. Lil’ Leg Lifts = Lots o’ Work

leg-lift-1

Set Up Lay on back with legs parallel to each other, pelvic-width apart.

  • Pelvis: We’re going to use 3 bony points as markers to help position your pelvis, your ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine—we have one on each side) and your pubic bone. To find your ASIS, place your hands on each side on the top crest of your pelvis, follow the curve of the bone towards the front and downward and you will hit a ridge/slightly bony protrusion. These are your ASIS.
  • Self-Check: Place your palms on your ASIS and fingers reaching towards your pubic bone. You want these 3 bony markers to be level. (If your pelvis is tucked, these points will not be level, as the pubic bone will be lifted higher than your two ASIS.)
  • Your Spine: Envision the natural curves of your spine and try to simulate this while on your back. There will probably be a small gap between your lower back (lumbar spine) and the mat. The back ribs (thoracic spine) will lay on the mat (if you’re a notorious “rib thruster” like myself, the ribs may pop up instead. Yet you can still envision reaching the back ribs towards the ground – without tucking the pelvis).

Movement

  • Upper body stays relaxed. Inhale to prepare.
  • On an exhale:
    1. Solidify your core by creating a tense tube-like sensation around your spine. Your tube should not suck inward. If anything, let it expand outward slightly.
    2. Do a self-check on any compensation patterns–did you tuck your pelvis, curl your shoulders inward, or tense your jaw?
    3. Hover feet 1mm off the ground. Seriously. 1mm. You should be able to feel the texture of your mat–that’s how close you are.
    4. Hold for 1 to 3 breaths. Slowly lower. Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. Lil’ Leg Lifts + Arm Extensionsleg-lift-arm-lift

  • Follow Set Up and Movement steps in Exercise #1.
  • Once legs are hovering (on an exhale), inhale and glide your arms slowly to the sky.
  • If your spine has maintained its shape (make sure your ribs aren’t flaring outward, thus arching your back), lengthen your arms as far back as comfortable.
  • Exhale lower the arms slowly, followed by lowering your feet. Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity.

3. Lil’ Leg Lifts + Lateral Flexionleg-lifts-lateral-flexion

  • Follow Set Up and Movement steps in Exercise #1
  • Option for arms to remain at sides or create “goal posts.” Be mindful of what happens to your rib cage if you lift your arms into goal posts.
  • Initiating movement from the torso (instead of legs), exhale and hinge lower body to the right. Repeat on left. Make sure that your bottom and ribs do not lift away from ground as you hinge from side to side.
  • Here’s the doozy: keep your feet hovering 1mm above the ground at all times while keeping the legs apart and parallel.
  • Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity (yep, I’m going to keep saying it over and over. Come on, you know you love being a quality kid).
*click here to see the blog post on Vega’s website

Oh hey, what do you know! I’m doing the “best warm up ever” right here in this pic! Yep, it’s pretty much my favorite thing…so fun for young kids, too!

Defunk your gunk & junk: from your connective tissue to digestion to movement.

By | News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Recipes, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Warning: The following content may prove to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Reading, absorbing, and acting on this following information can create contagious symptoms of happiness, enjoyment, drive, ambition, clarity, introspection, and motivation.

(photo and recipe featured in Vega’s “Recipe Center” by Jaime Komer)

We all have “gunk” in our body. At least that’s what I like to call it. You know what I’m talking about; the trigger point, the sensitive area, the limited range of motion. By bringing fresh movement into your body, you can find some of this gunk and literally release it. This is one of many reasons why I love incorporating different activities into my daily life. Oh the benefits! One activity I never plan to give up is walking. And there’s so many different ways to do it! Read on to see how you can mix up your routine and bring new life into a regular activity like walking. Now back to feeding your gut health!

After your chosen activity o’ fun, how can you continue to nourish your body and mind? When thinking about what to eat, I want something that is easily digestible, soothing to the stomach, yet energizing, to satisfying. I created this smoothie with that in mind.

Try this post-activity smoothie to balance your body after you’ve defunked the gunk. The recipe is so simple. It’s a fantastic starter to adding things on and getting creative! (see preparation section for modifications in sugar intake)

Ingredients

Serves 1

  • 2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 serving Vega All in One Shake Vanilla Chai
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Hearty handful of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp cacao nibs for garnish

Preparation

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour into a glass and top with cacao nibs.

Do you want to minimize the sugar? Reduce the maple syrup to 1tsp or less.

Do you want it creamier? Add a half banana. 


Get movin’ & groovin’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Not all movement is created equal. I’m hearing a lot these days that “sitting will kill you”. Geez, so morbid. But fair enough, I don’t think our body was designed to sit for hours at a time. Or let me rephrase that, I’m pretty gosh-darn-doodly sure that your body does not thrive when you sit for hours at a time, every day. Let’s face it, your body is designed to move, groove and get wild!

Yet is all movement created equal? Of course not. That’s like saying all food has the same nutritional quality. We need to make sure we consume a variety of nutrients. But that doesn’t mean variety should include things like Snickers, McDonald’s, and Gatorade. (all of which are sponsors for major sporting events, I might add. Hmm, that’s weird. Or maybe I should say, hmm, that’s strategic.)

So back to movement. Let’s look at walking. The act of walking. Walking is awesome. Yet is all walking created equal? Should we be getting different types in? Walking on pavement vs. grass vs. hills vs. rocks? Hmm…You probably know my answer (variety is way more fun for my body and brain!). Yet let’s go to the Biomechanist for this one…

Let’s look at the big picture – how your body thrives. Biomechanist Extraordinaire, Katy Bowman, breaks it down for us in her upbeat blog on “Junk Food Walking”. Here’s the first paragraph to wet your appetite and click link to read in full.

“Junk Food: Something you eat that provides short-term satisfaction at the expense of long-term health.Junk Movement: A way of moving that provides short-term fitness benefits at the expense of long-term health.Food, like movement is a complicated issue. I hope that by this point in your internet-reading career you understand the difference — at least in principle — between whole food and junk food. Fresh, organic, unprocessed foods are now recognized in many circles as superior to their preserved, extended shelf-life, highly processed counterpart. Then, to make matters even more complicated, it turns out that even fresh, organic foods (like grains) eaten extensively and repeatedly throughout a lifetime aren’t so hot either.”

ps: Nutritious Movement is where I go to nerd out on whole body health. It completely shifted my perspective on healthy living. I’m in the middle of the 2-year program to be certified as a Restorative Exercise Specialist with Nutritious Movement. Curious about it? Let me know!

My on-the-go Breakfast (or snack): Chia Pudding Recipe

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, Recipes, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions

You’re on a search party for a hearty & healthy breakfast option. No wait, you’re looking for an energizing snack. Or is it an invigorating lunch? Whatever your current query may be, I’ve found that chia seeds are a cross-functional recharging resource for just about any occasion. Wow, that sentence sounded so serious. Let me rephrase: I think chia seeds are super crazy rad because they can be used in so many ways. Ahh, that’s better.

I’ve organized this recipe starting with a base recipe. It’s ridiculously simple. I like to think of it as a way to get your feet wet without having to dive in headfirst just yet. This is your opportunity to get creative, friends! You’ll find suggested add-ons below, plus a low-sugar recipe I like.

Before we begin…why chia seeds? This superfood of fantasticalness (is that really a word?) has a 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. This is a really good thing! While both Omega-3 and Omega-6 are oh so wonderful, we already get a lot of Omega-6 in our diet. So we need to balance things out by getting a solid intake of Omega-3’s (which might explain why Omega-3 seems to be a buzz word in health foods). The best way to get it? Just like most things, in it’s natural form. And in walks the Chia to save the day. Yay! Side awesome note: chia seeds are also a plant-based protein packed option. Double Yay!

Now it’s time to get gooey and create a meal for, well, anytime of the day!

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  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup liquid
    • e.g. filtered water (this will make the flavor super plain…but still works fine. You just might need more add-ons)
    • e.g. almond milk
    • e.g. coconut water or milk

Creation Station: Stir chia seeds and your choice of liquid together in a bowl. Place in fridge for approximately 10 minutes to allow to gel. Tadaaa! This is your base recipe. What will it taste like? Whatever liquid you use. Simple, plain, and possibly sugarless (depending on your liquid of choice). This is why it’s a base recipe…you’re meant to add things to this! 

1000x200 blog titles-33Looking for almond milk? Here are a few options depending on your location and time available:

  • 1457558079621If you’re in Southern California, pick up locally-made Rawmond Milk, which is raw, sprouted and organic.
  • Learn to make your own with this simple recipe by Whole Foods Market. (it’s easier than you may think!) Contrary to the norm, I love keeping the pulp in my homemade almond milk – it adds nutrients and texture.
  • If you buy your almond milk (or coconut milk) at a grocery store, opt for an organic and unsweetened version.

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Once you have your base recipe, you can add all sorts of raw and natural goodies. The cleaner your gut is, the easier it will be to listen to it. You’ll notice I have a couple sweeteners listed (honey and maple syrup)…I recommend using the fresh berries or goji berries first and hold out on the honey and maple syrup. In other words, start on the less-sweet side. Also, the sugar in the berries are better absorbed because they’re paired with the fiber naturally found within the fruit. See next section for sample recipe. 

  • Frozen or fresh organic berries (if they’re frozen, make sure you let them thaw in your pudding)
  • Nuts or seeds, e.g. walnuts, cashews.
  • Goji berries
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Unsweetened coconut shreds
  • Cacao nibs

Healthy Pairing Tip: This is one reason why our Happy Dough includes fibrous flax meal. Since we use a wee bit of maple syrup and sometimes dates, Matt and I want to make sure these natural sweeteners are paired with hearty protein and fiber to keep your energy lasting longer. You can use this Healthy Pairing Tip to help you recognize when you eat sugary items (fruit juice) without a fibrous pairing (the skin of the fruit that’s been taken out during the juicing process).

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Here is a simple recipe that uses a few of the optional add-ons (above). I hope this helps get the creative juices flowing! Notice the only sweetener in here are the superfood goji berries. Yet the cinnamon adds a nice spice, which I find helps curb the craving for an extra sweetener. Superfood radical radical, if you ask me. Not to mention omega-3 brain stimulations from the walnuts and chia seeds.

  • FullSizeRender-30Chia pudding base recipe: 3 tbsp chia seeds + 1/2 cup liquid of choice (see base recipe for examples)
  • Once your concoction has gelled in the fridge (approximately 10 minutes), stir in the following:
    • 1 heaping tbsp walnuts
    • 1 tbsp goji berries (or 1/4 cup fresh berries)
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • pinch of sea salt
  • Enjoy now or pop into a closed top container and take it with you for lunch!

 

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Love how you Live. Create your Personal Philosophy (free download)

By | Daily Gumption, Free Downloads, News, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions

If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, read it here first. Enjoy! 1000x200 blog titles

A personal philosophy is as belief system, a way you intent to live your life. It can play a major role in how you make decisions. Your philosophy is not based (usually) on fact, hence why it is a belief.

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There are many factors that come into play when making a decision. ANY decision. Typically we make our choices so quickly or even subconsciously that we don’t have time to think about why we made a choice in that particular moment.

One factor that plays a large role into making decisions is our past. A previous experience (positive or negative) can influence a decision. Fair enough, right? If you burnt your hand on the stove as a kid, your experience has taught you to keep your distance from the heat to avoid pain.

Yet what if we start making all our decisions out of fear? You and I know there are more fears besides the fear of burning oneself on the stove. How about the fear of failing? The fear of being put down by others? The fear of being alone? The fear of being left out? The fear of the unknown? The fear of not being in control?

Often times we make decisions basked on something, such as fear, without even knowing it. I mean, how often do you take the time to analyze each choice you make, no matter how wee or ginormous? (Yet oddly enough, you are in fact, the choices you make. Well, I guess that’s why we’re talking about creating a solid personal philosophy to help us along the way with our choices!)

Here’s a good quality example: As I write this for you I am also in the midst of creating an outline for a book on my journey to discovering how to live a healthy lifestyle. Yep, a book. Holy Shnikeys! Can you tell I’m a little intimidated yet thoroughly stoked about the idea? Yet for a good hunka chunka time, I stalled my ambitions out of fear and worry that no one would want to fund it, publish it, buy it and read it. Talk about throwing the towel in before the game even started! Clearly I wasn’t sticking to my guns and my personal philosophy of exploration, creating opportunity and getting out of my comfort zone.

Once I realized I had been bitten by the decaying zombie of fear (yep, they exist), I decided to do something about it (you can, there is a cure). I picked up the towel, got back in the game and beat those lame decaying zombies of fear by making a decision based on my personal philosophy (which does not include zombies). Word. Hey, it’s not easy, but it’s my life…it’s worth it (and so is yours).

Declare and Share! After completing your complimentary Personal Philosophy Worksheet, share with us in the comments below or on our AYT lifestyle facebook page!

Create Your Personal Philosophy Worksheet

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How to feel your best while traveling – My Top Travel Essentials

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Recipes, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Adventure is out there, my friends! We best make sure we’re ready for it. When Matt and I explored Europe for 5 weeks last summer, I did my best to keep my packing list small. I did my best, is the key phrase here. I had two incentives for keeping my luggage to a minimum. One being that I’d have to lug it all around Europe. Being a minimalist gal, that’s not my bag, literally. And two, I figure the less I bring, the more space and reason (excuse) to buy unique and worldly finds! That’s what I call strategy, friends. Matt calls it abusing the system. Ha!

Having lived on three continents and traveled extensively to six (Antarctica, you’re on my list), I have a solid gauge on what my body needs. This goes for a flight from LAX to Greece or a 5-hour road trip to my hometown, Fresno. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel as awesome as possible when I arrive to my destination. So what have I learned from years of global adventures? Believe it or not, for once in my life I can sum my needs up in one word. HYDRATION. Ahhh, but this may not be the hydration you’re thinking of. Or at least, not solely that type of hydration. This goes WAY beyond water. To me, I see hydration as liquid moving, flow of an energy or tangible thing, or the act of stimulation (not that type of stimulation…well, I guess that counts, too, come to think of it). Hydration is the act of nourishing and helps bring balance to your internal systems.

After years of world traveling,

here is what I’ve discovered…

This is the whole body & mind hydration I need to feel balanced & healthy while traveling:

MOVEMENT: I move my body a LOT. In a LOT of ways. Even if I’m sitting on a plane for 14 hours. Movement is like hydration for my body’s tissues, muscles and organs. This way, I don’t feel stiff and achy after sitting for hours in the same position. Why? Because I DON’T sit in the same position.

I’ve had a blood clot before in my leg, so I am particularly mindful to keep the juices flowing, so to speak. (The specialists said my blood clot could have come from a combination of things: flying a lot before the Olympics, surgery on my hip post-Olympics and the type of birth control I was using. Whatever the cause of this clot, I’ve chosen to do my research on why blood clots appear and much of it has led me to my changes in moving more often. And yes, I changed my birth control!)

MENTAL STIMULATION: I hydrate my mind by getting my mental juices flowing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brain dead moments where I just stare at the movie screen and watch 3 cheesy action flicks in a row. But my body, eyes and brain pay for it after. So I do my best to intermix more off-screen brain stimulating activities.

HYDRATING FOODS & DRINKS: I’m adding food into this section as the foods we eat can be deceivingly drying. Think: roasted salted nuts, baked goods, cooked meals, protein or snack bars. These make for delicious breath, too. Yikes! Whatever I put into my mouth will make a big impact on how I feel during my adventures. Yep, that’s what she said.

NOURISHING BODY CARE: Hydrating body products are a must. Yet I want clean and natural products that can withstand the test of heat on a road trip and the dry cabin air at 30,000 ft. I know, I’m asking a lot. But it IS possible! I’m going to show you a couple of my multi-purpose DIY products.

Well, great Jaime, you say. How on earth shall I obtain movement, mental stimulation, nourishing body care and hydrating foods & drinks on my travels? THIS is how. Here are my top Travel Essentials.

Go get them. Pack ’em up.

Hydrate the heck out of your body and mind so you can make the most out of your adventure!

Like I said, Adventure is out there. Now you’re officially ready for it!

Hiking along the many miles of rocky trails in Sifnos, Greece.  

Balancing Serum

This balancing serum rejuvenates my face, hands, lips and anywhere else that needs a nourishing pick me up. I choose to use an Infinity Jar with a roller top. They have the best quality glass containers I’ve seen out there. The glass is so dark that the essential oils are protected from the sunlight and thankfully will not lose their medicinal benefits. Phew!

Here’s how I made this Balancing Serum:

Mental Hydration: Travel Journal

Traveling in Italy last summer, I helped an owner of an Agriturismo (organic farm + bed & breakfast) lay out plans for sustainable gardening…using my journal to draw out ideas, of course! I love jotting anything down from the restaurants we visit to the prices of typical fare to hilarious antics with locals. It’s not only therapeutic, but resourceful and handy to look back on the details of previous adventures.

What a delicious quote! “Not all those who wander are lost.” This describes me to a T when we travel. You never know what you might discover when you allow yourself to simply wander around a new place. This is usually when I experience a trip’s most memorable moments. Like that time I went running along the beach while living in Australia. I unknowingly trotted into a nude beach to discover old men playing beach volleyball. That scene is forever burned in my memory. Ha!

A “free write” is a beautiful way to clear your mind, release tension and worries, while creating the brain space to be present. All you have to do is write for 5 minutes straight. Keep your pen to paper and jot down whatever you’re thinking, even the ahhs or umms that pop up. Notice how you feel after the 5 minutes. I often feel more at ease, relaxed yet inspired, and excited to keep writing!

Physical Hydration

Did you know I have an entire YouTube playlist dedicated to helping you feel awesome while traveling? You definitely need to check out these travel tips, friends. There’s a plethora of easy-to-implement ideas, from posture tips to how to carry your bag to how to sit on the plane. I even have a 10-minute yoga session you can do in the airport or hotel room. All you need is wall space! Give it a try (see below).

Ease the Tension Body Serum

My natural and toxin free concoction to ease my muscle and brain tension (read: physical and emotional tension). I call it, Ease the Tension. (Ha, the name reminds me of a quote in Harry Potter…are with me my HP nerdies?)

Okay, back to Easing the Tension, we’ve got:

  • Panaway Essential Oil
  • NonGMO Avocado Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ultraviolet glass Infinity Jar to protect the nourishing qualities of each oil

Panaway contains a few different types of Essential Oils and has a wintergreen-ish scent. It feels cooling to the skin, creating happy blood flow to the area. I use this concoction on any spot that’s feeling, well, tense. Go figure. And it feels great on a warm day or after a long flight. I love using a reusable bottle like this Infinity Jar, too. I’m all for earth-friendly options!

Diffuser Jewelry to balance your mind & energy

 

I swear this stuff seems to hydrate my brain. Adding a drop of an essential oil to my diffuser bracelet and inhaling the rejuvenating scent immediately puts me at ease. For travel I make sure to wear my “I Lead by Example” with Green Aventurine for its energy properties of openness, embracing change, luck and humor.

Hydrating Raw Snacks

 

NUTS. Don’t leave home without them.

My favorite nuts for travel:

  • Raw pumpkin
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw almonds

Container:

  • 500 ml ultraviolet glass screw top Infinity Jar
  • I’m using this type of jar to protect my food. This way, my nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Now that’s an awesome quote. My nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Extra bonus, I can reuse this container as I buy more goodies on my adventures. I’ve stacked our handmade Happy Dough in here and it’s worked fabulously.

REMEMBER: SOAK your NUTS to absorb all their delicious nutrients. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, which get in the way of nutrient absorption, plus this makes it much harder on your digestive system to break down. Have you ever gotten cramps after eating a bunch of nuts? I sure have. Doh! I only learned about soaking nuts when I took my Plant Based Sports Nutrition Course with Matthew Kenney Culinary. I wish I had known this years ago!

How long do you soak nuts for? Typically the denser the nut, the longer you soak it for. I soak my raw almonds 8-10 hours and the softer walnuts only 2-4 hours. Typically, the darker the exterior, the more soaking it needs.

 

Ready for more travel tips?

Keep your inspiration flowing with

EAT CLEAN for TRAVEL + Eco-Friendly Practices

 

 


Adios Sugar. Hello Energy. Peppy Plant-based Protein Bowl Recipe

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, Healthy Mindset, Recipes, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

I am craving a colorful meal that’s easy to prep and take on-the-go, sans sugar and will nourish my gut & soul.

Gut & Soul. That’s what my recipes are all about. Come to think of it, all of my sessions, workshops and speaking events are about your Gut & Soul. Nourishing yourself from the inside out. The connection between your health, happiness and life balance. Making simple and sustainable changes to empower your daily life. It’s ALL about your Gut & Soul!

Have you tried my Blueberry Crumble? Now that’s a good quality gut & soul nourisher. Wait, we’re here to create an amazing lunch for you. Let’s continue…

Why I love this recipe…

  • There’s no sweetener. It’s pure plant bliss packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and long lasting energy.
  • I feel nourished after eating this. Yet it’s light and bright so I don’t feel weighed down.
  • It’s super-hero-style travel friendly. Pop it in a mason jar and take it with you for the day.
  • There’s very little clean up. I’m not a fan of doing extra dishes. Are you?
  • You can easily switch out ingredients, making a different bowl everyday.

Measurements? What measurements? If you are a strict measurer when it comes to meal recipes, be prepared to get out of your comfort zone with this one. Yet that’s the point, my daring friend. This recipe is created with estimated amounts, not precise measurements for a reason. I want you to try something new, be brave and learn something fantastically new about yourself. I really do think this is where we learn the most about ourselves – out of our comfort zone. It’s the sweet spot, as I like to think of it. When is the last time you took yourself out of your comfort zone and into the uncomfortable world of the unknown? What did it feel like? What was the result of the experience?

Extra bonuses all around! Along with the recipe, I share:

  • Veggie prepping tips
  • Benefits of plant-based prepping
  • How to cook quinoa
  • Daily lifestyle hacks: making this recipe even easier (is that possible?)
  • Helpful resources for clean eating

Here is what you need…

If possible, opt for organic. If you can’t find one of these ingredients, put your creative cap on and replace it with another delectable item that catches your eye. I believe in you!

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 heirloom carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • handful of lacinto kale
  • 1 avocado
  • handful of raw cashews
  • handful of raw pumpkin seeds
  • handful of Italian parsley

Zest Me UP Dressing

  • Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon essential oil (if available)
  • Unsalted tahini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon pepper
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Filtered water (as needed)
Okay, now you’re ready to nourish your Gut & Soul.

I’d like to thank my hard working clean up crew, Mosman the beast, our golden retriever. As well as my handy assistant, our 5 month old Kovy Zealand Komer. He appreciates it when I eat clean.

 

Be a Super Hero. Make my Blueberry Crumble.

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, News, Recipes, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions

Is there a super hero called The Immunity Zincer? (pronounced Zee-nker) I think there should be. After all, Zinc is a lovely trace mineral that your body needs to empower your immune system. How does that not deserve super hero status?

This arduous journey to discovering The Immunity Zincer began with my yearning to create a special breakfast for my family (hmm, Father’s Day breakfast? Possibly!). It needed to be nourishing and not weigh us down with sugar, flour and empty calories. After all, the first meal of one’s day deserves to be a great one, right?

My challenge was to turn a classically rich and empty-calorie meal into a nutrient dense and flavorful experience. So I turned to my pantry of clean ingredients and selected a solid variety to kickstart my day. (Need help swapping out items in your kitchen for healthier alternatives? Watch this.)

For the men in your life, the walnuts, maple syrup and oats contain zinc, an important mineral for prostate health. So if you’re making this for Father’s Day, you can say “I care about your organs and want to help you live a long and fulfilling life, which is why I’m giving you zinc for Father’s Day” Or perhaps you could just say “Happy Father’s Day!” It’s up to you.

Yet Zinc is not just for the gentlemen. The New York Times Health Guide shares…

“Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s defensive (immune) system to properly work. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Zinc is also needed for the senses of smell and taste. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly.”

Beyond the wonders of Zinc, my Blueberry Crumble is gluten free, lactose free, low in sugar and happy. Wait, why is it happy? Because when you eat food with real, nourishing and clean ingredients, your body will thank you. Your systems will be in better balance, less stressed and quicker to regenerate. I’ll eat to that!

My Immune Zincer,

are you ready to rumble in the jungle with your Blueberry Crumble? 

Being a fan of time-efficient kitchen creations, there’s no blending required with this vitamin and mineral packed goodness. Just mix up all the ingredients in a bowl, then pack it into an oven safe container of choice, et voila!

You’ll be saving the best part for last…the Sweet As Glaze. Besides the blueberries, this contains the only other source of sugar (well, technically there’s 1 gram of sugar in a serving of oats. But for the moment, I’m talking about solid sources of sugar). Sweet As Glaze contains organic maple syrup, organic ghee and delectable spices.

I find the Sweet As Glaze helps create a stickier texture and certainly adds a delectable sweetness. I tested my Blueberry Crumble without the glaze in the small ceramic bowl. While still quite tasty, the texture did not stick together as well (ahh well, it is called a Blueberry Crumble) and I definitely noticed the lack of maple syrup. So if you’re going for a super duper clean breakfast, skip the Sweet As glaze or at least decrease the maple syrup from 1/4 cup to 1/8 cup.

Be forewarned, it’s hard to keep leftovers around. But if you’re able to save some, I’ve found my Blueberry Crumble to be just as good out of the fridge a day later. IF you can save some.

In conclusion: I’d like to make a motion to provide super hero status to all vitamins and minerals. They deserve equal opportunity and your body needs them to survive and thrive.

“Steal me a Bite” Raw Treats Recipe for a Healthy Transition

By | Eat Clean + Recipes, News, Recipes, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

“Why yes, I would love a bite of deliciousness”, said everyone. This is one of my favorite recipes to date. And that’s saying a lot. It even might contend with our healthy Happy Dough bites. Why am I slightly obsessed with my “Steal me a Bite” raw treats? Two reasons.

1. It contains Thieves essential oil blend, a combination of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary. Or as I like to call it, “I love my immune system” or “Christmas in a bottle”. Both nicknames have a nice ring to them.

2. Holistic Nutritionist, Susannah Johnson sums my 2nd reason for loving this recipe perfectly: #guiltfree

As I mention in my live class, this is a great treat to have while on the go, take on your road trip, before or after sports events or workouts AND as a healthy transition towards smarter (yet still delicious) dessert choices.

Watch my live Facebook class, taking you through the steps to make your very own HOLY YUMMINESS (aka Steal me a Bite raw treats). Plus, you get to see Kovy spit up, dance, drool and make out with the food processor. Another day in the life of the Komer Posse.

Here is the ingredient list you’ll need:

Once you pop into your local market and pick up your organic goodies, you’re ready to make your raw treats with me and Kovy!  Ready, go! Once you make your newly beloved goodies, take a pic and share it with me here or on instagram, @aytlifestyle.

Do you need the Thieves essential oil? You can order from me. Go here and sign up as a retail customer with Young Living. Do you prefer to get the best deal ever while trying out 11 amazeballs essential oils (including Thieves!) annnnnnnd an ultrasonic diffuser? Sign up as as member and purchase your Premium Starter Kit. This gives you access to wholesale pricing, too. Double amazeballs!

Enjoy your dough! Be careful though…someone might try and steal a bite.

I would.

Are you ready to make lunch?

Let’s make a Peppy Plant-based Protein bowl together!

Would you like Jaime to come and teach your friends, teammates or colleagues how to make their own raw & healthy treats?

Contact us for details and pricing. 

 

Enter to Win a customized Lifestyle Guiding Package!

By | Daily Gumption, Eat Clean + Recipes, Free Downloads, Healthy Mindset, News, Posture | Movement | Exercises, Recipes, Resources, Self Care, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

Are you ready for this?

Enter to WIN a customized Lifestyle Guiding Package with me, your curious Lifestyle Guide. Woohoo!

To enter, all you have to do is answer this question in the comment section,

“Why do you want to make positive changes in your lifestyle?” 

 

WHAT IS LIFESTYLE GUIDING?

It’s about making small and simple changes to a more naturally wholistic lifestyle. From making raw plant based treats to using Essential Oils to going toxin free in the home to self care for your body to postural changes. What inspires you?

We will explore where, why and how you can make positive changes in your daily life. I will guide you in (re)Connecting to your best self, Navigating your healthy lifestyle, while gaining the tools to be your own guide.

You deserve to be the Keeper of Your Body, Curator of Your Health, Cultivator of your Wellness, and the Director of Your Day. 

Your customized Lifestyle Guiding Package will include:

  • a 20 minute Get the Party Started Call
  • 2-hour In-Home Lifestyle Consultation
  • 1-2 hour Follow UP Session
  • Plus a tools-for-change goodies along the way. Yay!

In exchange, I am asking for feedback on your sessions, so I can continue to grow and fine tune these packages and my business. Thank you!

Details:
• The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, May 25th at 10am PST (via my Facebook, AYTlifestyle Facebook page, and Instagram: aytlifestyle).
• Winner must live within the area of Orange County up to South Bay, CA.

Ready, go!

Your Daily Purpose worksheet: 5 questions to make the most out of each day

By | Daily Gumption, Free Downloads, Healthy Mindset, Resources, Simple Tips + Natural Solutions, Travel Well

How’s life going these days, my friend? Let me guess, it’s busy. I’m with you on this one. We live in a go-go-go culture, where we pack our schedules full of activities and tasks. It’s as though being “busy” is seen as a positive marker for your success. Yet I’ve found that being busy does not specifically equate to being productive. Or rewarding, for that matter. Oh, if you’re busy, it must mean you’re working hard. You and I both know this is a bunch of a hullabaloo poppy cock. In fact, I often find being “busy” is just straight up draining, both emotionally and physically. That is, unless I pair my busy-body-ness with focus, inspiration and motivation. I mean, doesn’t each day deserve to feel rewarding as opposed to draining? Don’t we deserve to make the most out of each day? Don’t we deserve to feel proud at the end of the day? I love being able to say, I made the most out of my day and it was freakin’ awesome. Mind you, this doesn’t mean the events of the day were specifically awesome. It was my approach and attitude towards these events that make the day awesome.

I created this Daily Purpose worksheet because I needed to find some pep in my own step. When I need extra inspiration, focus and motivation to take action, I take myself through these questions. I write down my answers and then say each one aloud. Saying them aloud makes them real! Print this out or write the questions down in your journal. When you feel ready, use your Weekly Purpose Guide (found at the end of the worksheet), keeping it handy in an easy to see spot like your fridge, in your planner or by your computer.

Now let’s go and make the most out of today. Because you are one-of-a-kind and you deserve a one-of-a-kind day. Yay!

Use this Daily Purpose worksheet when you need extra inspiration, focus and motivation to take action. Because every day deserves to be awesome, just like you.
*If you have already entered your email before with AYT, you will not receive additional emails. Don’t fret, we do not share emails with anyone!

Daily Purpose

Create a rewarding, efficient, purposeful day you are ridiculously PROUD of.

*Craving extra focus, motivation and purpose? Me, too. Make the most of your day with my free DAILY PURPOSE download. 

Great success!